Tuesday, 23 September 2014

PROMO/REVIEW - IN A HANDFUL OF DUST - NOT A DROP TO DRINK SERIES BY MINDY MCGINNIS

Title: In A Handful Of Dust
Series: Not A Drop To Drink
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: 23rd September 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
The only thing bigger than the world is fear.

Lucy’s life by the pond has always been full. She has water and friends, laughter and the love of her adoptive mother, Lynn, who has made sure that Lucy’s childhood was very different from her own. Yet it seems Lucy’s future is settled already—a house, a man, children, and a water source—and anything beyond their life by the pond is beyond reach.

When disease burns through their community, the once life-saving water of the pond might be the source of what’s killing them now. Rumors of desalinization plants in California have lingered in Lynn’s mind, and the prospect of a “normal” life for Lucy sets the two of them on an epic journey west to face new dangers: hunger, mountains, deserts, betrayal, and the perils of a world so vast that Lucy fears she could be lost forever, only to disappear in a handful of dust.


INITIAL THOUGHTS
I'm looking forward to reading more about Lynn, and finding out if she has ended up within a small community or is still preferring her own company. Is Lynn still looking after Lucy, whom she seemed to adopt in book one after Lucy's mother died. 
I'm also interested to see what changes occur when the very life force, the water is questioned as to whether it could be the root of the disease that is killing the survivors. I loved book one so I have high expectations from book two! 

MY REVIEW
I received an e-arc of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review. The cover is an image that depicts a scene from within the book. This cover fits well with the cover of book one so I'd say they'd look great on a shelf together. Would I pick this book up from a book store shelf purely on the merits of the cover? I certainly would, it is really eye catching. Then when you read the blurb! Well how could you not read it.
All is not well with Lynn, Lucy, Carter, Stebbs, Vera and the other "survivors". The community is being attacked by a viral disease, that could be airborne, or water borne. Although Vera, Lucy's grandmother has had some medical training she is having problems isolating what or who is the carrier. Lynn as always is working hard, taking the dead bodies, burning and burying them trying to keep the virus from spreading. The sadness and desperation is affecting everyone and when little Maddie succumbs to the illness and dies Vera has some hard decisions to make. Through a process of elimination Vera comes to the conclusion that the possible "carrier" of the disease must leave their community. I will not say who the actual "carrier" is as that would be a spoiler. 
Visitors who have stopped by and spoken to Lynn and the others have mentioned that California is a good place to live that they have more of the "Before" technologies and a better perhaps safer way of living. So Lynn decides that is the place that would be the better place to be, instead of herself and Lucy struggling on in an ailing community.
The book then tells the story of their journey. Before they set off both Lynn and Lucy have some tearful goodbyes to say to Stebbs, Vera and Carter. So Lynn and Lucy set off together with just some food and water supplies and a change of clothes in a backpack on foot. 
Lynn is still very much like her mother taught her to be, distrustful and wary of strangers. Where as Lucy seems to see the good in everyone she meets. They meet a variety of people on their journey such as Joss, another lone female traveler. They have an incident with some males who have knowledge that Lucy can find water so are interested in taking her prisoner. Lynn sheer guts turns that situation around. Lynn and Lucy end up with three horses. In fact they come by those horses just when the walking fatigue has set in. Neither Lynn nor Lucy have ever ridden before but they do take to it quite well and hey it has to be better than walking the whole way to California! Lucy call's her horse Spatter, Lynn ends up referring to her horse as Mister during the ride, so Lucy continues to call the horse Mister and the third horse that they are using to carry supplies that ends up being called Brown Horse quite simply because it is brown. Just as the women have settled into riding the horses the brown horse seems to go lame. As neither of the women is an expert in horsemanship, they decide to stop for the day and rest by a stream. Unusually for Lynn, a man manages to take both herself and Lucy by surprise. I think the man manages to do this as both the women are concerned about brown horse being in pain. The man seems to know about horses and heads off to scavenge some supplies to treat the horse with. Lucy seems to be trusting and friendly towards the man straight away telling him her name. He introduces himself as Fletcher. It takes much longer for Lynn to reveal anything about herself to him.
Fletcher ends up riding along with the women and is a great help at certain points of the journey. Having revealed a "good person" that the woman meet they also come across "bad people" too. The journey becomes more and more difficult, at one point it seriously seems as if both women may die. then they are rescued and taken to a settlement. The people of the settlement have a weird way of life, and it soon becomes apparent to Lynn and Lucy that all is not as it seems.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It has action, drama and plenty of danger thrown in too. I also love the poetry that Lynn quotes to Lucy. During the journey Lynn and Lucy encounter many different people. They even help out a young family by guiding them to a house they had been resting in for a while before starting back out on their trek. I really liked the character of Fletcher and his back story, I'd say he was really taken with Lynn too, maybe they could meet up again in a future part of the story.
The book actually touched on horror with one settlement the women ended up staying in for a while. Absolutely shattered, they end up being picked up and yes they are nursed back to health. They even briefly think of staying there until Lucy is shown how the settlement gets some of its water! The epilogue is a bit of a shock and a twist, where will the series go from there? The ending leaves one character settled and another coming to a surprising decision.
So did I enjoy this book? I truly enjoyed reading this one. I'd been looking forward to it from the minute I finished reading book one. Would I recommend the book? I can genuinely recommend this one. I would go so far as to say this series is a must read for all post apocalyptic fans.  Would I read another book in this series? Whilst pondering this question I made the depressing discovery that Mindy McGinnis has no set plans to write a book three!  Though I was cheered up slightly by finding out that she has done a number of short tales to fit within this series. So I am adding those to my Want To Read List as soon as I find out more about them. I hope there is a Vera & Stebbs one as well as the anticipating the possibility of short tales centered on Lynn, Lucy and perhaps Fletcher too.                         Would I read other titles by this author? I intend to read more by this author. I've discovered that she has some short tales in a few anthologies that I plan to add to my Want To Read List. The Fall is one title and Spring Fevers is another title I am interested in reading.


PURCHASE LINKS

Monday, 22 September 2014

BOOK BLITZ - RAVEN - LEGENDS SAGA BY STACEY ROURKE


New release



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Title: Raven
Series: Legends Saga # 2
Author: Stacey Rourke
Audience: NA Paranormal
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Formats: E-book and Paperback  
Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
Cover by: Najla Qamber Designs
Editor: Melissa Ringsted
Date Published: Sept 22, 2014








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An infamous love, destined nevermore,
For death could not claim, the enchanting Lenore.

Cursed by the malevolent spirit of the Headless Horseman, Ireland Crane ventures to Manhattan in search of a way to break her soul crushing bond. Instead, she discovers the lines between fact and fiction are blurring once more. Croaking ravens. Telltale hearts. Could the works of Poe be coming to pass with handsome Wall Street Midas Ridley Peolte as their unwilling target?

She walks the Earth, a plague on mankind,
searching for he, her rotted heart doth pine.

Together, the two unknowingly release a dark force death itself could not tame. Surrounded by the unrelenting violence and mayhem they’ve unleashed, Ireland feels her control over the Horseman slipping. Before the beast within consumes her, she and her crew must follow the clues of the dead to right a centuries’ old wrong. Will it be enough to sate the Horseman’s appetite?

Hell hath no fury like a ghoul scorned.


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excerpt

Clamping her eyes on the wash of tears that threatened, Ireland ignored the wailing of her heart … and laid a palm to each of their cheeks. One lone tear snuck between her lashes at the cascade of tingles seeping up her arms.
“You can’t blame them for not understanding,” a familiar voice drawled behind her.
She spun as he neared, leaving Rip and Noah wheezing for breath—or, more likely, completion of her task.
Techno-colored flowers bloomed in a colorless world each time the sole of Ridley’s shoes met the earth. The crisp cut of his white, tailored suit was accented by a burst of color from the button-down shirt beneath that changed in hue to match the species of flowers that sprung to life. Hydrangeas blue. Orchid purple. Lily fuchsia. Rose coral. As he neared, Ireland noticed his eyes morphed to match as well. The result hypnotic.
His haggard and troubled fa├žade was a thing of the past. The man before her exuded confidence and a zest for life from every pore. The draw of which was so magnetic Ireland had to fight to keep her feet planted while her body insisted she close the distance between them.
“To them this is a thrill, a game of chicken against the Reaper himself.” Ridley paused beside her, his shoulder skimming hers. Even then he didn’t grace her with a glance, his attention fixed on Rip and Noah. Tipping his head toward her, the warmth of his breath teased over her breast bone. “For us, it’s destiny.”
The moment he stepped away from her, the chill of solitude lashed at Ireland’s soul and cut deep. Bending eye-level with her withering subjects, Ridley pursed his rose petal lips to blow a soft, healing breath over both of them. Wan complexions of the dying were ripened to plump apricot. Both men blinked away their disappointment before dipping in a low bow—foreheads to the ground in a show of respect.
“No need for that, boys.” Ridley smoothed the front of his suit coat, a self-depreciating chuckle playing over his lips.
Neither humbled servant budged.
“You’re like me?” Pacing in a slow circle around him, Ireland’s eye narrowed.
He matched her steps, leading them in an intimate waltz normally reserved for predators—or lovers.
“Like you?” He tsked. “Oh no, my darling flower. There is no other like you. Our only similarity is being pawns in a game that began centuries before either of our fathers got an amorous gleam in their eyes.”
Ireland’s gaze lingered over the soft curve of his mouth, wondering if his lips could possibly taste as delectable as they looked. “How do we play?”
Curling one finger into a ruffled tuft of her skirt, Ridley pulled her to him. Bowing his head, he brushed his cheek over the delicate curve of her collarbone. “The game is already in motion,” he murmured. “The rule sheet not meant for our eyes. All we can do now is stay alive.” 
Ireland weaved her fingers into his hair, yanking his head back with a passion driven force that bordered on violent. “I’ve taken lives. I’m a monster,” she snarled against his lips, tormenting them both with the agonizing veil of energy that denied their touch.
His hand snaked up her arm to find her fingers and loosen her grasp. Palm to palm. Fingers entwined with fingers. “Does granting it make me any better?”
Ridley didn’t give her time to answer. With one hand pressed to the small of her back he crushed her to him.  Their lips met with a desperate urgency that caused Heaven and Earth to quake in nervous anticipation of what was coming … 
 
 
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Title: Crane
Series: Legends Saga # 1
Author: Stacey Rourke
Genre: NA paranormal 
Date Published: May 26, 2014

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The Horseman is unending,
his presence shan’t lessen.
If you break the curse,
you become the legend.

Washington Irving and Rip Van Winkle had no choice but to cover up the deadly truth behind Ichabod Crane’s disappearance. Centuries later, a Crane returns to Sleepy Hollow awakening macabre secrets once believed to be buried deep.
What if the monster that spawned the legend lived within you?
Now, Ireland Crane, reeling from a break-up and seeking a fresh start, must rely on the newly awakened Rip Van Winkle to discover the key to channeling the darkness swirling within her. Bodies are piling high and Ireland is the only one that can save Sleepy Hollow by embracing her own damning curse.
But is anyone truly safe when the Horseman rides?


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The Gryphon Series is written by Stacey Rourke. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant, drooly dogs. Stacey loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. She is currently hard at work on the continuations of this series as well as other literary projects. The Gryphon Series is available wherever fine books are sold.



Contact Info: 
Visit the author at www.staceyrourke.com
Twitter @Rourkewrites
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Friday, 19 September 2014

APOLOGIES & HEALTH PROBLEMS

Due to health issues the blog is temporarily (hopefully) Closed. I definitely want to continue reading, I am just not coping well with my health issues (Meniere's Disease, EDS type 3 Hypermobility, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain & Chronic Fatigue). Due to these health problems I am being forced to drastically cut down the amount of Book Blitz, Release Day Posts etc I am doing. I was at a point that I was doing so many Promo type posts that combined with my ill health I didn't have the time or energy to have time for reading and reviewing.

Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience I may have caused you. 
I will try to honor posts I have signed up for but please bear with me as my health is fluctuating wildly at this time.

Apologies in advance for what I am about to say. Due to my increasingly fluctuating health issues I am finding it very difficult to keep up with my blogging at this time. I feel awful for letting people down but feel I need to rest for a while.

I love the blogging, promoting Authors and their books but it is becoming a bind and a chore when I am ill and I feel so guilty that I am no longer up to it at the moment.
I really want to continue to read and review, perhaps concentrate more on the reading (the more relaxing part). Then on the other hand I love doing the cover reveals etc . . . but I know in my heart that I cannot continue in the way and at the pace I have been doing. 

So I have decided to cut down. I have a couple of Publishers that I am part of their Reviewer Programs and am part of Netgalley. I still intend to post regularly just not the 3 or 4 posts per day I had been doing.

I hope you understand,

~ Jeanz

   JeanzBookReadNReview

RELEASE DAY PROMOTION - THE MARIAN BY TAYLOR HOHULIN

Title: The Marian
Series: The Marian
Author: Taylor Hohulin
Release Date: 19th September 2014

BLURB supplied by the Author
Fifteen-year-old Ethan Denby doesn’t know how he got on the Marian. He just woke up one day inside the body of its captain.

The Marian is unlike any ship Ethan has ever seen. It crawls on long, metal legs over dunes of salt in search of water, despite laws granting exclusive harvesting rights to a corrupt organization known as HydroSystems Worldwide.

HydroSystems is closing in, tensions are mounting aboard the Marian, and on top of all that, Ethan is beginning to think the dreams he's been having aren't completely harmless. If he doesn’t get home soon, Ethan could die inside someone else’s body in this wasteland of a world. The only way back seems to be through a place known simply as the Cloud, but how can he convince the crew to take him there when it means confronting a dangerous cult and venturing into a place where the very fabric of reality has worn thin?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Taylor is a DJ at a Christian rock station in Dallas, Texas. He lives in Arlington with his wife, two cats, and a dog. He has lost track of the number of times he ate a whole sleeve of Oreos. Taylor's latest book The Marian is the first in a planned trilogy. 



OTHER TITLES BY TAYLOR HOHULIN

Title: Alpha
Author: Taylor Hohulin
Release Date: 17th June 2013

BLURB from Goodreads
Alpha is the world’s first robotic soldier, but he would rather woo his mechanic than wage war. This probably has something to do with his human heart, given to him in hopes that it would prevent him from enslaving the entire human race.

Once the greatest soldier the Planet Earth Military Forces had seen, Meat can’t help but think this new age of robotic soldiers will leave people like him in the dust. Forced into retirement, he has nothing left to do but stew in his bitterness toward the organization that wronged him.

Lucas Sharpe wishes he’d managed to work his way to CEO of the Planet Earth Military Forces before its leaders traded their plasma rifles for stacks of paperwork. Now he’s just bored.

Alpha is having enough trouble winning his mechanic’s heart - as it turns out, robots aren’t her type - but when Meat begins to stalk Alpha’s inventor, Lucas sees a chance to return to action, even if it means breaking a few rules. Unfortunately, Lucas’s involvement only makes Meat angrier, and before long, the ex-soldier’s obsession escalates into all-out suburban warfare. Everything Alpha loves is threatened, and it becomes clear he will have to fight. And he would fight - he really would - if not for an unfortunate, deadly malfunction that should come as no surprise to anyone who knows his inventor is the worst Military scientist of all time.

Monday, 15 September 2014

BOOK BLITZ - LIFE LIVED TWICE BY SHERRIE WOUTERS

Title: Life Lived Twice
Author: Sherrie Wouters
Release Date: 6th June 2014

BLURB supplied by Itching For Books
Some promises are made to last forever ... What if you fell in love with a stranger ... but that stranger had come from your past, a past you never knew existed until the moment your eyes met? 

When Tess Winters locks eyes with a stranger at an airport bookstore, it ignites a feeling of passion somewhere deep inside her that she can't explain. Although the encounter is innocent and brief, the intensity of it lingers, leaving her overwhelmed by a yearning for the mystery man now consuming her every thought. 

Struggling to break the powerful hold he has over her heart, Tess starts to experience strange but familiar dreams...dreams from the turn of the twentieth century of the charming Mr Addison Taylor. 

As her dreams start to materialize into reality, and past and present begin to blur, Tess is forced to put the pieces of a forgotten time together, and soon discovers that love isn't the only thing that can find you after an eternity. Captivating, mysterious, and romantic, Life Lived Twice will leave you wondering whether love is so powerful it could last more than a lifetime.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Sherrie Wouters is a thirty something flame haired chick who accidentally wrote a book and is now an author. A qualified Homeoeopath and Kinesiologist, Sherrie lives in country Victoria, Australia with her husband, and two daughters. She is currently working on the sequel to Life Lived Twice. 

AUTHOR LINKS



BOOK TRAILER


EXCERPT

By the time I’d examined his tanned calves, the masculinity of his
skin was lingering in the air between us. He smelt sensational, and I found
myself uncontrollably breathing in as I rose.

Now curious to see more, I kept going. But as I began to move, an
odd sensation of warmth radiating from him came over me; it was almost
like an invisible hand caressing my skin. My heart fluttered at the idea
of it, and suddenly blood was rushing to all the wrong places as I felt an
unexpected thrill of anticipation.

After tracing his body all the way up to his chest, my wandering
eyes didn’t seem to want to stop, and they were soon up to his neck and
following the stubble along his jaw, right up to his light brown hair.

And then he spoke. The sound of his voice jolted me from my
daydream and pulled my gaze to his.

Addison!” I gasped as our eyes collided.

From the moment the name left my lips, my eyes widened ... stared
... and became lost in his. As a rush of airy weightlessness floated me
from the floor, suddenly everything felt more enhanced, more real, like
something inside me had suddenly woken up.

It was an intoxicating feeling and the longer I stood entranced, the
further his beautiful blue eyes reached into mine. Somehow they were
knocking on the door to my heart, stirring something so powerful it made
me want to cry and laugh at the same time and, for a brief second, there
was something in his eyes that made me feel complete.

Suddenly his brows squeezed then softened. “Ah ... um ... sorry about
the electric shock.” He smiled. “But who’s Addison?”

My throat tightened as warmth flushed my cheeks. Who the hell
was Addison?

Embarrassment pulled my eyes from his. “Oh,” I said, choking on my
words, “Um ... ah ... no ... I don’t know anyone called Addison ... I mean, um ... ”

“Oh!” He smiled cheekily as he leaned towards me and whispered.
“You sounded so convinced I was him ... I thought for a second I could
be. I mean, if you wanted me to be.”

My face shot back to his, words jamming in my throat as I stared.
Who was this guy, this stranger? In just a few seconds he’d turned my soul
inside out, and now he was charming me with his words as well.

As his lips rose into a smile, I couldn’t help but smile back. But panic
quickly returned to my constricted throat as that name re-entered my head.

Suddenly aware of the warmth still creeping across my face, I managed
to pull my eyes from his again and divert my gaze. Addison, Addison, who
the hell was Addison? I couldn’t budge the name from my thoughts.

As I stood fidgeting, I could feel him staring, waiting for me to say
something, anything. After taking a breath, I shifted my gaze and we
locked eyes again as I spoke. “Um,” I said, swallowing hard, “I must be
mistaken ... sorry.”

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Friday, 12 September 2014

PROMO & AUTHOR INTERVIEW - THE OTHER LAMB BY KATIE YOUNG

Title: The Other Lamb
Author: Katie Young
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release Date: 28th August 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
Incarcerated on Earth as punishment for breeding with humans, the Watchers found a way to escape. Zach is living proof of that…even though someone has cut out his heart.

When Zach turns eighteen he develops an insatiable thirst for blood, but he tries to bury his fears and go on enjoying his birthday. His best friend Kim has scored them tickets to the hottest gig in town. But a charged encounter with his idol, the enigmatic rock star known as Grigory, leads to a revelation that shatters everything Zach thinks he knows about himself and the world, and places everyone dear to him in grave danger. 
Zach is a Naphil, the forbidden offspring of a mortal woman and a Watcher. When those who seek to destroy him snatch Kim, Zach is forced to embark on a journey of discovery spanning continents and ages. With the help of a mysterious stranger named Sam, Zach must unearth the truth about his parentage, find Kim, and discover who has stolen his heart…before he triggers the apocalypse.

Goodreads List


AUTHOR INTERVIEW

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Katie Young. I was born in Hampshire in the UK and I live in Greenwich, SE London.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I have always enjoyed writing, but I didn’t consider doing it ‘properly’ until I was almost thirty. I really wanted to be a rock star or an actress, but didn’t have the talent or fortitude to succeed at either, sadly!

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
Probably when my first short story was accepted for publication in an anthology. But I think I will always feel like a bit of a fraud!

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
It took around four years from finishing the first draft to getting it published, and it’s changed drastically in that time.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I certainly do. I work in TV production for a major US studio, so it’s a fairly full-on day job.

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 book is called The Other Lamb. It’s my debut novel, and I would say it’s ‘a dark and heady tale of fallen angels, bloodlust, lost souls and rock ‘n’ roll’.

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
My publisher is Curiosity Quills Press. They are total rock stars.

Do you have a "lucky charm" or "lucky routine" you follow when waiting for your book to be accepted by a publisher?
Not really. I don’t think I believe in luck. A lot of times, people mistake hard work and stamina for luck. Most overnight successes are not overnight at all – usually a lot of groundwork has been done before the recognition comes. So my tactic is to write the next story while I am waiting for a response. That said, I do make a wish on my eyelash if one falls out!

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Way. Too. Long. I’ve been writing my current WIP since February last year, and it’s not done yet. I am a very slow writer, and I like to ponder ideas for a long time and let my brain make strange connections before I write anything down.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I would like to write a variety of things, but a writer friend once said that is a sure-fire recipe for obscurity! I think I will probably always write things with a paranormal bent to a degree, but I’d like to try different things. The story always comes first for me, then I decide the best genre for telling that story.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I wrote The Other Lamb as a stand-alone, but I see the potential for a follow up if it strikes a chord with readers. The Watchers are scattered to the four winds, so it might be fun to catch up with some we haven’t met yet.
Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
I think Grigory from The Other Lamb is my favourite because he’s so terrible in so many ways, yet he has redeeming features and is pretty irresistible. He’s kind of based on a teenage infatuation of mine. I also have a special place in my heart for the new main characters in my WIP. They are mystical twins and I am slightly obsessed with twins.

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
I’d be Grigory because he is gorgeous and immortal, and he gets to front a band.

Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
I take inspiration from news stories and from things I learn when visiting places. I sometimes overhear conversations when I’m commuting and think ‘that would make a great story’. I write myself notes all the time then read them back and think ‘what was I on that day!?’ I also take inspiration from other authors, musicians, and films. There are countless stories around us all the time, so I just try to find an angle and crystallise one that interests me.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I tend to write on my laptop, on the sofa with a cuppa or a glass of wine to hand. I make playlists which conjure the feel or themes of whatever I’m working on and let the music take me into the zone.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
Absolutely not. I would never censor my reviews. I’m interested in all opinions – good and bad. I am a big girl. I can take a bit of a pasting!

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
I try to give the characters names which are appropriate but that also mean something. For example, the Hebrew meaning of Zachariah’s name in The Other Lamb is relevant to the plot. I tend to use real place names, but the same principle applies if I’m making up the setting.

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 try to outline, but I find it quite hard to stick to a plan. My ideas tend to change and evolve over time, so I have to keep everything fairly fluid and revise A LOT.

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
Now you’re asking! If only I knew the magic formula. There are always going to be the books that go ‘viral’ for whatever reason, whether it’s shock value or just something that captures the public imagination at a particular point in time, but I think generally the best way to market and sell a lot of books is to write consistently good ones! There is no substitute for word of mouth, and if you produce consistent, quality work, you will find your audience. Be humble and gracious and appreciative of your readers. Take time to network in person or on social media if you can, and write characters you care about and the chances are your readers will care too.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
I lose momentum quite a bit, especially when I’m busy with my day job and other responsibilities, and that can block me. I think the best way to get through is just try and write a little bit every day. Even if it’s just a few sentences. Just to be able to go to bed knowing you wrote something that day is good for your state of mind. I watch a film or read a book, or listen to a song with amazing lyrics. Something you can be inspired by.

What do you do to unwind and relax?Do you have a hobby?
I am on the go quite a bit. There’s always a film to see or a band or a comedian or a play, or friends to catch up with, so I rarely have time to switch off. I should go to the gym more and get more sleep. I suppose the way I wind down is to have a bath. Or sex. Or sex in the bath. And also drink!

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Definitely! Grigory is based on a real person – very loosely of course – but that sense of teenage fandom and infatuation is all fifteen year old me!

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..")
Very dubious ones! Ha! No morals, but I guess essentially all my stories are about love. Usually really warped love, but love nonetheless.

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
So many. I adore Chuck Palahniuk, Tom Spanbauer, Poppy Z. Brite, Anne and Christopher Rice, Oscar Wilde, Glen Duncan and JT LeRoy. All very different authors, but I guess you could broadly call them all writers of smart horror.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
I like a paperback. They are not too cumbersome, and they look great lining the walls. Also you can flick the pages back and forth easily and the paper smells good.

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
It’s so hard to pick a favourite. There are a few. As Meat Loves Salt by Maria McCann, Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk, Drawing Blood and Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite. But I suppose if I could only pick one, I’d go for The Man Who Fell in Love with the Moon by Tom Spanbauer. I’ve read it so many times. It’s just beautiful. Magical, heartbreaking, sexy, horrifying and wonderful.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst  book to movie transfer?
This is quite topical with the exciting news that Universal are going to be making new Vampire Chronicles films. That is a good example actually. I LOVED Interview with the Vampire and thought it made a great movie in its own right even though it was completely different to the world I had envisaged from the novel. But then the film based on Queen of the Damned was just awful. I think books can make great movies and TV shows, but we need to accept the film and the book are two separate entities. I know it sounds sacrilegious, but I’d probably never have made it through Tolkien’s oeuvre if it weren’t for the Lord of the Rings films. I was blown away by them at the time. I don’t understand the snobbery about films. Books and movies are completely valid art forms and there are good and bad examples of both.

Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
I remember loving Boy by Roald Dahl, and Red Sky in the Morning by Elizabeth Laird was the first children’s novel which made me sob like a baby. It has always stayed with me. I also love Tove Jansson, AA Milne and Margery Williams. I wrote poems as a child, and I remember having a book of poetry which included Nod by Walter de la Mare. It’s still one of my favourites.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
I know it’s easy to pick on but I found Fifty Shades impossible to get through. It did, however, spawn some of my favourite blogs and parodies so has indirectly given me countless hours of laughter and joy.

Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
She won the Orange Prize, so she hardly needs my endorsement, but Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles was my favourite debut novel of 2012. It’s breath-taking. It made me weep on public transport. I’m excited for her next project.

Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
I always think I would have done a whole bunch of things differently, but you can’t dwell. You have to let go and move onto the next project.

What do you think about book trailers?
They usually make me wish I could watch the film! That said, I’ve seen some amazing ones. The trailer for the new Lauren Beukes (Broken Monsters) is incredible.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Write a story you are passionate about, grow a thick skin, and know there is a long road ahead of you. If you think your first effort is amazing, you are probably in for a rude awakening. Read and write as much as you can. Surround yourself with people and things that give you pleasure. Live a full and joyous life and always use your powers for good!

If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
Living - Chuck Palahniuk, Bryan Fuller and JT LeRoy/Laura Albert. Dead – Tove Jansson, Oscar Wilde and the Marquis de Sade.

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