Author Interview with CJ Rutherford

This week’s author interview is with spotlight winner CJ Rutherford!  He’s an author that I always have a great laugh with, so I was really happy that he won with his nomination this week!  CJ is the author of the Tales of the Neverwar Series and also dragon keeper to the flamboyant Claude.

Q:  For those who are new to CJ Rutherford, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books?

CJ:  Well, I write YA fantasy, but my first series branches out through several genres.  There’s romance, time travel, and alternate reality.

Q:  At what point in your life did you know you wanted to be a writer?

CJ:  I think I always knew I wanted to write.  It was only when my kids got too old for bedtime stories I wanted to put them into print.

Q:  Do you need peace and quiet to write or do you have a playlist to keep you going?  If you do would you share it with us?

CJ:  I write everywhere.  In the car, in my chair….and other places I won’t mention lol.  I love to listen to ambient music like Enigma.

Q:  Are you characters always a complete work of fiction or is there an element of someone you know to start the idea rolling?

CJ:  Hahaha…I always love this question.  The two mains in Souls of the Never are based on my daughter and her best friend.  When I read them back, it’s just their interactions.

Q:  What are your experiences of being an Indie Author, do you find that social media is a help or a distraction to your writing?

CJ:  Definitely a distraction, but useful for marketing and connecting with readers.  It’s a double edged sword lol.

Q:  What are you currently working on or is it a secret?!

CJ:  Ooo…now that’s a secret.  I have a project, The Companion Series.  Book one is titled Companion of Darkness.  I’m about a third in, and my alpha readers are begging for more.  I guess I must be doing something right.

Q:  What trouble has Claude been up to recently?

CJ:  That damn dragon still continues to post on my blog.  He does all sorts of giveaways.  He actually does pretty well.  We just did an awesome giveaway where the whole series was offered on audio.  Join my VIP list to have a chance to win http://talesoftheneverwar.net/your-free-book/get-book-one-of-this-epic-fantasy-for-free

Q:  If you could be any character you have written, who would you choose?

CJ:  I’d choose Gaak.  He’s probably someone you don’t know, but the most important character in all my books.  You just don’t know it yet.

Q:  What are you currently reading?

CJ:  EVERYTHING by Sarah J Maas.  LOVE her!

Q:  Fictional Dinner Party – give me 5 fictional characters or authors who you would have as dinner companions.

CJ:  Puff the magic dragon.  Pete’s dragon….see a theme?  Frodo, Bilbo, and Sam

Thank you so much CJ for taking the time to answer our questions for us today!  Good luck with the new project and keep up the good work Claude 😉 


Gemini Freebie Book Blitz!

Title: Gemini
Author: Dylan Quinn
Genre: NA Urban Fantasy Romance
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb: Twin Souls. One Sacrifice.
Northwestern University senior Zoe Adams has spent her fifth incarnation on the run. Abused and abandoned by those she once trusted, Zoe turns her back on a duty her soul accepted lifetimes ago to focus on a music career in this one. Until her Gemini’s untimely arrival forces Zoe to choose between a love she can’t remember and a life she’s always dreamed of.
Cade Adams has waited twenty-one years to reclaim his beloved soul mate, but his elation is short lived. As Zoe struggles to let go of her human life, demons from Cade and Zoe’s past threaten the Gemini, and they find themselves living on borrowed time.
The Tree of Souls is empty, and only the Eternal Sacrifice can refill it. Is forgotten love worth dying for, or is five incarnations more than one soul can take? With more than just the fate of their reunion at stake, love becomes an Eternal Sacrifice Zoe and Cade may not escape.
Since sneak reading her first big girl romance at the age of eleven, Dylan’s been addicted to Happily Ever Afters. Playing pretend with swoon-worthy book boyfriends and their strong leading ladies often keeps Dylan sleep deprived, though she seldom complains about dreaming in dialogue.
With juxtaposed interests, Dylan writes it all ~ Character driven romance in NA, YA and adult, from sticky sweet to taboo heat ~ Urban Fantasy to Contemporary Romance and Romantic Suspense. Nothing’s off limits.
When she’s not writing guilty pleasures, Dylan plays stage mom to her daydreamer offspring in the Midwest. This Music fangirl goes nowhere without her beats and playlists. She has an affinity for Moscato and chocolate-covered strawberries. Dreams of singing on the Voice with Adam and Christina, and fantasizes about getting trapped in Mystic Falls with Damon Salvatore.
Author Links:
Buy Links:
#Free with #KindleUnlimited
Gemini Excerpt published with permission © 2016 Dylan Quinn
Cade
While I held Zoe, every nerve woke from its slumber. My heartbeat increased and a hum of energy surged through me. Just being near her was intoxicating.
I craved to kiss her lips, but I wouldn’t. Not until she sought me to.
Until her body spoke to me.
“So what can you tell me?” She asked. “What’s the plan?”
“The plan is you get to know me. The way all relationships develop.” I released her just enough to look into her eyes. “We spend time together, and your heart will answer the rest. And when you so choose, I’m yours—heart and soul.”
Although in time, she would understand that I already was.
“What’s the catch? Other than giving up my life here? I need all the information if I’m going to make a decision this important.”
“There’s a reason you can’t be privy to all the secrets of this life. This must be a decision based on your soul. No logic can go into choosing love.”
Her eyes narrowed, and her irritation returned.
“Well in case you’ve missed the past millennium, people today don’t just fall in love overnight. Life’s not a Disney movie.”
She pulled away, and I let her go.
Zoe was right. Unions in modern times were complicated. Raz said there were many variables humans took into account when choosing a mate, and Zoe, although the same soul, had different experiences during each incarnation. I couldn’t force her to love me or to choose our life together, as much as I wanted to.
Each of her lives was a lesson for me as well—in relinquishing control. All I could do was trust in her heart and our love. Trust her soul would return to me.
“Humanity is about choice. I would never force you to love me. And I would never choose my happiness over yours, but yes. I am hoping your heart will choose me.”
Her breathing slowed, and her lips parted slightly, just enough to send my heart racing.
My Gemini mark began to pulsate. To burn.
I needed to kiss her.
She needed to kiss me.
After thousands of years loving Zoe, I could read her body as if it were my own.
Searching for what Raz called her tells, I first regarded her eyes. They were always the most expressive. They danced between mine and my mouth. Her breaths became shallow. A pink flush spread across her cheeks as she inched toward me, shifting nervously between her feet.
Should I try? Part of me was unsure, but my body betrayed my wits.
I’d waited twenty-one years for this moment.
I could wait no longer.
I moved toward her, inhaling her sweet scent, and rid the space between us.
Her eyes grew wider, and her lips parted. Waiting. I could hear her heart pulsing rapidly.
Her body gave her answer.
“My greatest desire is for you to find happiness.” I stepped closer, picked up a long strand of her dark locks and tucked it behind her ear. Running my fingers along her jaw, I whispered across her cheek.
“You have no memory of a life before this.”
I gently grasped her chin, stroked her bottom lip with my thumb, and edged toward her.
“But I’ve seen our life together.”
I wrapped my arms around her waist, pulling her closer, our lips now fractions apart.
Her eyes never left mine, and her body trembled in my arms.
“And I will always. Choose us.”
Her breath breezed across my cheek as I pressed my lips to hers. Soft. Gentle. Trembling beneath mine. The tingling sensation I’d missed so much returned, running rampant throughout my body.
I pulled back, not more than a centimeter, to gauge her response.
Her eyes remained closed, lips parted. Waiting for my return.
I brushed a kiss gently, then deeper into her.
She allowed me to explore her soft lips. They parted further still, and I edged my way in, exploring her sweet mouth.
An intense force rushed through my veins, to my chest and arms. Her life force burned within every muscle. My body that longed for her was now alive from her touch.
Zoe fell into my embrace, letting go of all the tension she’d been holding. She enfolded her arms around my neck, pressed her chest against mine, and gently tugged at my hair. Her hands ran down my cheeks, then to my shoulders and waist.
She pressed her kiss deeper into mine, soft at first, then fervently, as if this was our last.
One block at a time, her wall was crumbling—the pain replaced with a longing for our love. Soon, her memories would resurface, and I would have my Chayah back. Our souls Converged as one.
Zoe broke our kiss, pulled back and gulped a breath of air. She opened her eyes, her body still quaking in my arms. A minute passed. Her gaze drifted up, and a single tear slid down her cheek.
“It’s you,” she whispered.
I placed my hands on her face, held her cheeks gently, and gazed into her emerald eyes.
“It’s me.”

Freebie Book Blitz! Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things – Martina McAtee and The Masterpiecers by Olivia Wildenstein Book Blitz!

Title: Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things
Author: Martina McAtee 
Genre: YA Paranormal RomanceHosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb: 17 year old Ember Denning has made an art of isolating herself. She prefers the dead. She spends her days skipping school in old cemeteries and her nights hiding from her alcoholic father at the funeral home where she works. When her own father dies, Ember learns her whole life is a lie. Standing in the cemetery that’s been her sanctuary, she’s threatened by the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and rescued by two people who claim to be her family. They say she’s special, that she has a supernatural gift like them…they just don’t know exactly what it is.

They take her to a small Florida town, where Ember’s life takes a turn for the weird. She’s living with her reaper cousins, an orphaned werewolf pack, a faery and a human genius. Ember’s powers are growing stronger, morphing into something bigger than anything anybody anticipated. Ember has questions but nobody has answers. Nobody knows what she is. They only know her mysterious magical gift is trying to kill them and that beautiful dangerous boy from the cemetery may be the only thing standing between her and death.
As Ember’s talents are revealed so are the secrets her father hid and those in power who would seek to destroy her. What’s worse, saving Ember has put her cousins in danger and turned her friend’s lives upside down. Ember must learn to embrace her magic or risk losing the family she’s pieced together.
Martina McAtee lives in Jupiter, Florida with her teenage daughter, her best friend, two attack chihuahua’s and two shady looking cats. When she isn’t writing young adult books about worlds with reapers, zombies, werewolves and other supernatural creatures she’s reading or watching shows that involve reapers, zombies, werewolves and other supernatural creatures. Her debut novel Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things released in August of 2015. Her second book in the Dead Things series, Dark Dreams and Dead Things, will release July 15, 2016.
Author Links: Facebook: www.facebook.com/MartinaMcAtee1
Buy Links: #Free with KindleUnlimited
Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things: http://amzn.to/1Z4L4NHDark Dreams and Dead Things: http://amzn.to/1Z4KVtH
Title: The Masterpiecers
Author: Olivia Wildenstein
Genre: YA/NA Mystery
Blurb:
Nineteen-year-old Ivy Redd’s talent with a needle and thread has earned her a spot on a coveted reality TV art competition set in New York’s Metropolitan Museum. The prize: a significant amount of money and instant acceptance into the Masterpiecers, the school that ensures new artists fame and fortune. Her talent has also thrust her and her twin sister, Aster, into the spotlight.
Not that Aster needed help with becoming a media favorite. She managed that on her own by running over a wanted mobster. She told the police it was self-defense, because she couldn’t tell them the truth—the truth would make her sister look bad.
Locked in an Indiana jail to await her trial, Aster watches Ivy on the small TV hanging in the dayroom. It’s the highlight of her day, until she finds out what her sister truly thinks of her. Then, observing her sister becomes a punishment far crueler than imprisonment.
Olivia Wildenstein grew up in New York City, the daughter of a French father with a great sense of humor, and a Swedish mother whom she speaks to at least three times a day. She chose Brown University to complete her undergraduate studies and earned a bachelor’s in comparative literature. After designing jewelry for a few years, Wildenstein traded in her tools for a laptop computer and a very comfortable chair. This line of work made more sense, considering her college degree.
When she’s not writing, she’s psychoanalyzing everyone she meets (Yes. Everyone), eavesdropping on conversations to gather material for her next book, baking up a storm (that she actually eats), going to the gym (because she eats), and attempting not to be late at her children’s school (like she is 4 out of 5 mornings, on good weeks).
Wildenstein lives with her husband and three children in Geneva, Switzerland, where she’s an active member of the writing community.
Author Links:
Buy Link:
#Free with #KindleUnlimited
 
“Our mother used to say that Ivy sucked all the good from the womb and I was left with the scraps. I hate to think she was right about anything, but my twin sister is exceptional.
“You’re going to do so well,” I tell Ivy, squeezing her hand.
“No touching,” barks the guard watching over us.
It’s just the two of us in the visitation room.
Ivy yanks her hand out of mine. “I don’t know about so well, but I’m going to do my best.” She links her fingers together in a business-like manner. “Has Josh come to see you yet?”
“No.”
“He told me he spoke to your warden about letting you watch the show. You have his permission to look at it whenever you want.”
I give her a weak smile. “That’ll be the highlight of my day.”
She runs her nail underneath the peeling, synthetic wood surface of the table.
“I’m happy you came to see me,” I say.
Her gaze sticks to the tabletop. It’s as though she doesn’t dare look up at me. I think she’s afraid to cry. “Was it really an accident, Aster?” Her voice is so faint that I have to strain to make out her words.
“Yes.”
“You promise me—”
“Yes,” I say. “Stop worrying about this. By the time you come home, it will be ancient history.”
She bites her lip.
“Now go make history,” I tell her.”

Author Interview with JoAnna S. Morris

For this weeks interview we welcome spotlight Author JoAnna S. Morris, I was excited to receive JoAnna’s answers as she is a completely new author to me, so I’m really happy she won the spotlight so I could discover a new author!

Q:  For those who are new to JoAnna S. Morris, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books?

JoAnna:  I am the author of YA Dystopian Fantasy series – Echo Among Stars, Silence Among Stars and Fire Among Stars.  I was born in California and raised from the age of 6 in Oklahoma.  Oklahoma is nice, beautiful in fact, but my bones ache for the salty waves and sand between my toes.  I don’t get to go back near as much as I’d like. *sigh*  I’ve been writing in one form or another since I could hold a pencil but I finally gathered the courage to share my work with others about two years ago when I began work on Echo.  I have two head-strong, fun-loving children ages 18 and 11 and this September marks 17 years of being married to my high school sweet heart.  I enjoy music, movies, reading, writing, music (JT!) and painting. HA!  That pretty much sums me up.

Q:  At what point in your life did you know you wanted to be a writer?

JoAnna:  I have always wanted to write.  I would write screenplays as a young teen.  I still have them packed away in storage somewhere.  I’m pretty sure they’re cringe-worthy, I should probably burn them. 😜In any case, writing a book has been on my bucket list since before I knew what a bucket list was.  I always told myself that I could die a happy woman if I saw Jewel, Bette Midler, JT in concert and published a book.  Now that I have accomplished that I should probably update that list. *gulp*

Q:  Do you need peace and quiet to write or do you need a playlist to keep you going? If you do would you share it with us?

JoAnna:  I have to listen to music while I write.  I usually create a play list for each book that i’m working on.  It serves as a constant inspiration.  For example, here is the playlist for my most recent release Fire Among Stars.  Holocene – Bon Iver, Skinny Love – Bon Iver, All the Stars – Ed Sheeran, Oblivion – The Indians, Without Words – Ray Montague, Not About Angels – Birdy, No-one Ever Loved You – Lyyki Li, Sweetheart, What have you done to me – Keaton Henson, Always in My Head – Coldplay, Dreams – Beck, Flume – Bon Iver, 10,000 Emerald Pools – Borns, Blood Bank – Bon Iver, Staring at the Stars – Passenger, The Funeral – Band of Horses, Magic – Coldplay, No one’s Gonna Love You – Band of Horses, Where is my Mind – Pixies, Lampshades on Fire – Modest Mouse, Black Sun – Death Cab for Cutie, Dead Inside – Muse, Change your Mind – The Killers, Lover, Please Stay – Nothing but Thieves and Beating Heart – Ellie Goulding.

Q: Are your characters always a complete work of fiction?  Or is there an element of someone you know to get the ball rolling?

JoAnna:  Typically my characters are fiction, however sometimes there are characters that have tiny bits and pieces of someone that i know of have known.  It’s inevitable, I think.

Q:  What are your experiences of being an Indie Author?  Do you find that social media is a help or a distraction to your writing?

JoAnna: Social Media is absolutely a crucial tool for an Indie Author, there is no doubt.  Most of us have to rely on some form of social media to get visibility.

Q: What are you currently working on, or is it a secret?

JoAnna:  My current SIP is a standalone YA Contemporary.  I don’t want to say too much but think John Green meets Rainbow Rowell.  It’s a very personal story to me and I can’t wait to get it out into the readers hands!

Q:  I see from your page that you have recently taken part in a book signing.  How does it feel to be a signing author?!

JoAnna: Being a signing author is pretty surreal.  I still can’t believe anyone would want my signature.

Q:  If you could be any character you have written, who would you choose?

JoAnna:  If I could be any character that I’ve written it would probably be Ainsley.  She is just to fun and carefree – I think it would be entertaining to spend a day in her shoes.

Q:  What are you currently reading?

JoAnna:  I’m currently reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.  So far I’m intrigued and the writing style is beautiful.

Q: Fictional Dinner Party.  Give me 5 fictional characters or authors who you would have as dinner companions.

JoAnna:  Oh my gracious, this is a hard question.  I’d be the one to stand just so I could have an extra space.  I think I’d like to sit with JK Rowling, Alice Hoffman, William Shakespeare, Stephen King and Gertrude Chandler Warner Chandler.

Thank you so so much JoAnna, for taking the time to answer our questions!

If you want to check out JoAnna’s books the first book in the Star’s series Echo Among Stars is available here http://amzn.to/2a8j5ga

Review of Dark Day Dreams by James Hawthorne

Dark Day Dreams is a collection of short stories, focusing as you can probably tell from the title on the darker side of things.   Each story is heavy on narration (not a bad thing) and adds to the day dream feeling whilst reading each one.  As with short story collections, there is something to suit every taste, but by that token not every story will be for everyone.  There were a few that stood out for me and I will do a brief synopsis of those (the review would go on forever if i did one for each!)


The Midnight Kid Rides Again
What happens in dreams?  Paul, an average Joe type, is suffering from depression which seemingly makes him more vulnerable than most to the presence of Sleep Demons.  Sarnathan is most powerful during the night of the winter solstice and seems set on having Paul as his prize.  With the help of the “midnight kid” the antithesis of Sarnathan, Paul is taken on a ride through the dream world planes trying to run, hide and fight it out until it’s time for him to wake in the real world.  As a dream world, it can be forgiven for being on the fantastical side, a huge number of mythical being are fitted into the short pages leaving your head spinning, but then the whole story is on the same fast pace so you just kind of run with it and despite initially feeling confusing it does all fall into place.  The use of modern pop culture may date it in the future, but for the now, it does bring a little humour. It’s an exciting opener to the book that’s for sure.


Beast in Show
Karl a mountain beast, comes to LA to experience life in the pure human world, a chance encounter leads him to the world of stand-up, where mocking the mountain life he grew up in brings him fame and fortune.  Whilst leading a seemingly charmed human life, the beast is never far from the surface and needs sometimes must.  Joined by his mountain love the two must learn to adapt and there is an interesting take on jealousy.  The pace and tone is steady and the fact it is a slightly longer story than the first two allows it to settle into itself.  I found this a very enjoyable with some real dark laughs in places.


Glitch
By far and away my favourite of the book, the start worried me that it may be dreary but the opener relating to Alzheimer’s becomes an aside – the revolutionary drug created to treat it is the star of the story, misused and abused as a recreational party drug named as “glitch”  starts to have a disastrous impact on the brains of the users when there is no Alzheimer’s damage to repair – it gruesome and captivating and a massive page turner, in fact I forgot I was reading a short story.  This does, in my opinion, have the capacity to hold it’s own as a standalone story and it’s deserving of the slightly longer length – really exciting premise and imagery that will stay with you for certain.


There are of course many others, one’s like “A Holy Amputation” weren’t really for me, i think it was just a bit too near the mark in relation to current affairs for my comfort zone, and Gun Control raises it’s head on more than one occasion – being from the UK I think it would be wrong of me to comment particularly on that contentious issue.  


I did do a bit of eye rolling at Hungry Women, whilst i enjoyed the concept of the Nymph, I just didn’t go in for the “women can only be happy when they are skinny” premise (having been both at times myself).


There is a hell of a lot to enjoy in this book and a number of the stories do have unexpected twists which are heavily sci-fi in places which was right up my street – the Outer Limits came to mind with some.  As I said at the start with any short story collection there will be hits and misses for each reader and I think the two pretty much balanced out for me.


I do have to say this however, whilst it doesn’t impact on the quality of the story telling, there are some really serious formatting issues going on.  It may be the devices i was reading on (kindle cloud reader and kindle for iphone – not that it should matter) but there were page breaks mid sentence, words joined together, letters missing off the ends of words, story titles starting on a different page to the story and large paragraph gaps.  Each time that happened it really pulled me out of the story. Some are perfectly formatted but others need work really.

All in all this was an enjoyable read and I am grateful for receiving a review copy.

Delirium release week blitz and Falling Ash Cover Reveal

Breaking The Darkness 003 - Delirium - SmallWhile trapped in her dreams by Phaela’s sleep spell, Kasha’s friends search desperately for an antidote but soon realize it will not be so simple.
And they find themselves encountering perilous obstacles on their mission to rescue their beloved friend.

Kasha’s dreams will force her to confront her heart’s nemesis, and while she wants no part of Kaden, he could be her true salvation.

Kasha must be willing to sacrifice everything, even seducing her captor, who seeks the unthinkable from her.
Will her plan work, or will her friends find a way to break the sleep spell in time to save her?

About the Book

Delirium
by Felicia Starr

Series
Breaking the Darkness #3

Genre
Adult
Urban Fantasy
Paranormal Romance

Publisher
Independent

Publication Date
July 25, 2016

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The Breaking The Darkness Series

Breaking the Darkness 001 - Taken For Sharing  Breaking the Darkness 001.5 - Marked For Sharing  Breaking the Darkness 002 - Betrayed For Sharing  Breaking The Darkness 003 - Delirium Small

About Felicia Starr

Felicia StarrFelicia Starr was born and raised in New Jersey. She has been an avid traveller starting at a young age taking magical adventures exploring scenic and historic sites across America with her grandparents. Lover of almost all things paranormal and science fiction.

Her days are spent counting down the minutes until her next cup of coffee, preferably with a caramel swirl, her nights are filled with reading and quiet meditations drawing inspirations for her stories. Reading for fun, writing for passion… always thinking and dreaming in scenes.

Author Links

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Newsletter – Sign Up & Receive a Free Ebook!

This promotion is brought to you by Pure Textuality PR.
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falling-ash-placeholder-cover-without-borderHe has me. He holds me. He’ll never let me go.

I’ve faced my fair share of challenges this year. I’ve endured physical and emotional pain and survived the attacks that led to the self-destruction of society, but I don't know if I can survive this.

I may not want to.

My name before he took me was Ashleigh, but now I'm only Ash.

WARNING: Falling Ash is a Dark Dystopian Romance novel intended for mature audiences 18+. It contains disturbing situations, graphic violence, strong language, and sexual content.

 

 

 

FallingAsh

About the Book

Falling Ash
by A.T. Douglas

Series
n/a; standalone

Genre
Adult
Dark Fantasy
Dystopian

Publisher
Independent

Publication Date
August 11, 2016

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 FallingAsh

About A.T. Douglas

A.T. Douglas embraced her renewed passion for reading by diving into the self-publishing world in 2013. Fueled by her love of music and her addiction to the Young Adult/New Adult genres, she strives to turn daydreams and the realities of life into words the world can read. She lives in New Hampshire, USA, with her husband and sons and wishes desperately that there were more hours in the day for family, reading, and writing.

Author Links

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This promotion is brought to you by Pure Textuality PR.
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Review of Hope by Lydia Sherrer

Hope is a short story by Lydia Sherrer – it is part of a greater anthology so perhaps check out the whole thing!


Although only a short story, so much is packed into it’s few pages.  A truly interesting premise and one that I have honestly never considered – what happens to vampires in the event of an apocalypse?  Our narrator has the blessing and curse of her master, travelling companion and protector being one who feeds off her blood to survive.  The alternative is unthinkable and whilst she is merely a slave to her master, at least she is to a degree protected.  Post-apocalyptic worlds have a way of coming back to bite the best of plans (pun intended) and can anyone be truly under protection?

The world weaved in the short pages is incredibly descriptive so much so that you feel like you are there, feeling the snow like ash upon your face, the fear, the pain and desolation. I wish that this story was longer, but then would it lose some of it’s magic?




Hope can be purchased here http://amzn.to/2a8qdJg

And the Anthology Apocalypse Chronicles here http://amzn.to/2a5XJwV

Review of Sanctum (Book 2 in the After Light Saga) by Cameo Renae

This is the second book in the After Light Saga, I was given the opportunity of an ARC review of book 1, ARV-3 when I reviewed for the lovely Jenna Martinez at Late Night Books and Reviews.  Book 1 was a 5* read for me so I was excited to get to read book 2.


Set immediately after the events of Book 1, Finn is still in recovery and Abi still falls to be punished for her escapade to the restricted area with Tina.  From the start, no punches are pulled and Abi is thrown into a truly terrifying situation, which has nothing to do with the Arvies.  Her narrow escape from her torture is only met with yet more bad news about the Arvies, who are continuing to attack the fuel supplies.  Plans to move to the larger Government bunker are speedily put into motion, the injured being the first to go, which includes Abi and Finn.  Never a book to allow any plans to go right, for reasons unknown, their chopper flies off course and is spectacularly downed.  Stuck with few soldiers but many wounded the group make their way to the remains of an old town and seek solace in the town Church.  A small hive within the church refer to it as Sanctum.  Is it their sanctuary or will it ultimately become their tomb?  One things for sure, they are on a countdown and they are most definitely not alone……but when Abi has Hellfire at her side……..


Right from the get go the same relentless pace of this story continues, thrown straight back into the action, I was left horrified at idea of Abi’s first ordeal which is amazingly written in true “don’t want to read, but can’t stop reading” style.   After being lulled into a sense that, actually things might be ok, the chopper goes down and we are back into familiar territory.  There is a bit of a “Star Trek Away Team” feel about the Chopper Crew and their heart-stopping battle to reach sanctum, the naivety of those who are new to the outside world is a necessity though, to keeping the story believable in it’s own world.  I love the introduction of the Sanctum Hive, giving hope to the fact that people who weren’t mad preppers also stood a chance and they had the right mix of welcome and apprehension to the new group.  Abi’s journey is particularly intriguing with the curious link she has to the Arvies, which stems back to what she witnessed whilst in the vents with Tina in book 1.   Her relationship with Finn, ramps up but still in a very sweet, first time love way and is written sensitively to the genre.  There are massive set pieces in this book which are spectacular in their execution and I love that the Arvies are no longer mindless mutants, but calculating and adaptive foe.

There is so much action in this book, it is again very hard to put down.  It has such a cinematic feel to it, it’s a series which is crying out to be made into a franchise and I am just heading to add book 3 to my TBR!

If you are interested in reading my review of Book 1, ARV-3, please head over to Late Night Books and Reviews to take a look!  http://latenightbooksandreviews.blogspot.co.uk/search?updated-max=2016-06-18T23:36:00-04:00&max-results=7&start=7&by-date=false

Throw Back Thursday – Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

For this weeks Throw Back Thursday, I am very pleased to welcome back this week’s Spotlight Author PM Hernandez.  She has selected Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World!

O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t.
~William Shakespeare, The Tempest

My introduction to Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley, was in a high school creative writing class. We had to choose a book from the teachers list, read it, include marginalia, and write a report. I cant exactly recall why I chose it. Probably because it was one of the few on the list that looked like it didnt suck and it was science fiction. Oh, and it was short.

(Sidebar: For those who dont know what marginalia is, its notes written in the margins of a book. I dont know why my teacher couldnt simply say write notes in the margins.Despite being quite full of herself, she was an excellent teacher, yet I suspected she made up the word marginalia until I looked it up. In my defense, this was the same teacher who, when compared to Robin Williamss character in Dead Poets Society by one of the class suck-ups, preened like a peacock. I was completely justified to be suspicious that she possibly made up a word that sounded smart but which was actually complete gibberish.)

Moving onBrave New World was scarily prophetic back in my high school days and only continues to read like a doomsday warning. In Huxleys future, in the World State, there is no nurture, only nature, but its a twisted facsimile of nature where embryos are grown in tubes and given chemicals that determine what theyll be in life, which caste theyll be in. People are commodities, grown in a hatchery,which is fitting because in this futuristic society, Henry Ford is God. Literally. Its a dystopian world where we are cogs in the machine, have no choice, are forced to conform, and are kept compliant through drugs and pleasure seeking. While sex is treated as something casual and to be encouraged, even among children, things like emotional relationships (especially familial or romantic) are considered misguided and outdated. The lower castes are trained to do menial jobs and conditioned not to question their lot in life, while the upper castes lead hedonistic and materialistic lives.

When Bernard, the protagonist, questions the system, hes mocked. His pursuit of love interest Lenina is thwarted by his outcast status and the fact that she agrees with others that while Bernard is an alpha, something went a little wrong in the hatchery while he was gestating. Despite this, she agrees to go on holiday with him to a Savage Reservation,where they meet Linda and her grown son John. Linda, who stayed behind at the reservation out of shame for her pregnancy, is strung out on soma, a drug all citizens take but which she abuses. Bernard takes John back to London where he becomes a celebrity (the Savage), but where John also realizes the world has basically gone to hell. He quickly becomes disenchanted with society even though hes attracted to Lenina, who he desires but also reviles for her sexual promiscuity. Ultimately, John cant cope with this brave new world (see what I did there?) and he lashes out, not only against the system but against Lenina.

I wont spoil the ending. I promise. Ill just say go read this classic. I dont know if its the first dystopian ever, but Brave New World was written in 1931. Yep, as in nearly a hundred years ago. Way before in-vitro fertilization and a host of other things Huxley includes in the book. I have to credit Brave New World and Mary Shelleys Frankenstein with inspiring one of my current works in progress. Its seriously one kick ass book and every time I think about how old it is and how well it holds up, my admiration of Huxley only grows. If my silly write up hasnt convinced you to pick up this book, think on this. Brave New World is number 52 on the American Library Associations most challenged books list. So be a rebel, and go read it!


The Last Man book 2 by Tobias Wade – Release Day Blitz!

last-man2We must accept what is before we can create what could be.
Farris has endured the land of fear, but her epic journey must continue as she pursues her brother deeper into the abyss. Nothing is as it seems in the surreal underground world, and she is tested by trials of pleasure, illusion, and love.
Farris’s friends walk by her side, but how can she dare place her trust in one of her companions when every possibility of deception promises certain death? Sasha would stop at nothing to bring her back safely, even if it meant losing her brother to do it. Riften’s loyalty to his own people hints at ulterior agendas, and her enigmatic Guide has no qualms about manipulating her to do anything that might bring his freedom.
She cannot succeed alone. But trusting the wrong person could cost her everything.

 

About the Book

The Last Man Book II
by Tobias Wade
Series
The Last Man #2
Genre
Young Adult
Fantasy
Publisher
IPB Logo
Publication Date
July 21, 2016
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The Last Man Series

last-man  last-man2

 

About Tobias Wade

Tobias WadeAs a child I constructed a spaceship capable of superluminal speeds powered by a fusion core reactor. The submission was denied by NASA on the grounds that it was made entirely of LEGOS. In high school I was told that I could do anything I wanted in life, while only being taught everything that I didn’t want to be. I probably deserved the detentions I received. In college I completed two bachelors of science in psychology and physiology and worked as a researching neuroscientist.

During my psychological studies it struck me as odd that I could learn so much about why humans behave without really understanding the intricacies of human nature. It occurred to me that I had learned more about the depths of human experience from reading Dostoyevsky than I ever had from my text books, and I was inspired to write professionally. I moved to Hollywood where I now write fantasy novels for IPP Books, perform script analysis for Underground Films, and write my own scripts through Creative I Works. 

In my stories, scripts, and books I create surreal worlds which utilize abstract scenarios to illustrate my values. I am drawn to themes of individuality, personal enlightenment, and the subjective quest of defining our purpose. I glorify man’s will to overcome all obstacles within himself and the ability to find beauty in all things, even tragedy.

Author Links

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