Monday, 16 December 2013

Cover Reveal - True Fate by Shayna Varadeaux

This week I'm thrilled to reveal the stunning cover of Shayna Varadeaux's debut novel, True Fate . . .


Cover Design by KILA Designs

Strange things have always happened to Nia, and until now she’s written them off as flukes. At nineteen she has seen her fair share of odd occurrences and just feels lucky. 

When Nia unknowingly spoke a prophecy on her eighteenth birthday she freaked out her best friend, Rhea. Nia realizes she needs to find some answers. Rhea makes her promise to go and see her Great Aunt Amarie, but she isn’t sure if her crazy aunt could really help.

Nia finds herself unexpectedly drawn to a stranger and begins dreaming of people who seem to know everything about her.

They offer little in the way of information as to how and why. It all feels too real but Nia is unsure, at least until she wakes up with a trinket from the encounter.

When dreams and reality collide Nia will have to face dangers she never knew existed. Ready or not she will have to discover her True Fate.




Author Bio:
Shayna is a happily married mom of three teenagers and a native Texan. She is a highly addicted reader and an avid reviewer with a love for generating buzz for other authors.

“Life is chaos and reading is my relaxation. Writing comes second only to my family and my music. I love playing the bass and singing backup vocals for my husband. A tattoo artist turned author, following my dream and loving it!"

"I am currently writing True Fate, my first YA Paranormal Fiction! I hope to publish by the end of the year or the beginning of next year. Luckily I have my best friend who is also my supportive husband to cheer me on. I'm definitely looking forward to the painful journey of becoming a self-published author!”

Author Links:

Friday, 6 December 2013

Dystopian Sci Fi Serial THE SPIRAL ARM, Episode 2 - New Release!

Episode 2 in the brilliant new series . . .



Wren is in the most dangerous place imaginable - a training ship full of fledgling killers heading to a war-torn planet. She’s struggling to keep up, and the other cadets aren't impressed. But Wren’s not done for yet. She’s a survivor and uses the one thing she’s got to even the odds - her super-smart brain. But will that be enough?

Praise for Episode 1: 

“It had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.”

“Everything about this story is intriguing.”

“… the beginning of a great space opera.”


More about Peter Boland
After studying to be an architect, Pete realised he wasn’t very good at it. He liked designing buildings he just couldn’t make them stand up, which is a bit of a handicap in an industry that likes to keep things upright. So he switched to advertising, writing ads for everything from cruise lines to zombie video games. After meeting his wife and having two boys, he was amazed when she sat and actually wrote a book. Then another and another. They were good too. So he thought, I’ll have a go at that. He soon realised there’s no magic formula. You just have to put one word in front of the other (and keep doing that for about a year). It also helps if you can resist the lure of surfing, Taekwondo, playing Lego with the boys and drinking beer in front of the TV.  

Links: 
Facebook Page

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

My Post-Apocalyptic Obsession

A while ago, I wrote a post about my love of all things post-apocalyptic, over on Jera's Jamboree. And now, with the release of THE PERIMETER, my final book in the Outside Series, I thought I'd resurrect the post again, over here. 

I’ve always been quite an eclectic kind of reader. Never sticking to one genre and devouring just about anything and everything from romance to thrillers to supernatural to contemporary fiction. But I do have phases. There was my ‘pony’ phase when I was ten – anything with a gymkhana and a fanciable stable boy and I was hooked. Later, came my Anne Rice phase – vampires and witches in the Deep South.  I still dip in and out of her series. But right now, I’m head-over-heels in love with dystopia and the apocalypse.

Artist - Matthew Coglianese
The British TV series The Last Train got me hooked on near-future fiction. It came out at the end of the nineties and after watching it, I trawled around looking for more movies and books to satisfy my craving, but alas, pickings were very thin. A few years later, I decided to write my own – The Outside Series. I’m happy to say that since then the genre has been flourishing.

Here are a few of my personal faves:

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is set in a dystopian society where children from different ‘districts’ fight to the death in an arena. Sounds brutal and it is, but it’s written for teens, so isn’t quite as bloodthirsty as it sounds. Fast-paced action with a hint of romance. 

Survivors, a British TV series about a small group who survive a flu pandemic. I loved the gritty realism of it, the ‘what-would-you-do-in-this-situation?’ scenario. 

The Passage by Justin Cronin: Vampires + Dystopia = what’s not to love? This is a rich and highly detailed novel set before and after the end of society as we know it. 

The Blemished by Sarah Dalton. I recently discovered this indie writer and found an unputdownable story about a dystopian society where people are genetically modified to be beautiful. Everyone else is ‘blemished’. We follow Mina’s story as a ‘blem’ where Dalton skilfully combines action, romance and drama. 

The Walking Dead is hands-down my favourite of the genre. Based on the graphic novel, it’s a TV series about a zombie apocalypse. The characters are brilliant, the setting is terrifying and the tension is so ramped up that I feel like I’ve run a marathon after each episode. I do watch most of it from behind a cushion, but the bits I get to see are fantastic. 

I am Legend by Richard Matheson is a fabulously scary end-of-the-world novel. I was excited when the movie came out, but really annoyed when they gave it the obligatory Hollywood ending. 

Divergent by Veronica Roth. This first book in the series was very enjoyable. It’s about a dystopian society where people are split into factions according to their personalities. The story follows Tris as she comes of age and must choose where she belongs.

Recently, I've been reading the gripping Yesterday's Gone serial, and I've just started Breakers, which is shaping up to be a great read.

There are plenty more in my ‘to-be-read/watched’ pile and I think this phase in my life is set to last for a good while longer. I do, however,  tend to alternate each novel with a more contemporary read, otherwise I can end up confusing my ‘factions’ with my ‘districts’ which is not a good idea.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Seed Savers: Heirloom Blog Tour

Today, I'm happy to be part of the Seed Savers Blog Tour. It's a YA Series that sounds intriguing - a dystopian society where gardening is illegal as the government controls the food supply. Here's a bit about each book in the series. Plus, a short excerpt from the third book Heirloom.



Book 1 - Treasure:  
In a future where processed food is king and gardening is illegal, three friends secretly study about seeds and growing food. Afraid of being caught by GRIM, siblings Clare and Dante run away one night leaving behind their friend Lily and mentor, Ana. 

Book 2 - Lily: 
After Clare and Dante leave, Lily sets out to discover why. Along the way she makes new friends and struggles inwardly when a family secret is revealed. Lily must decide what to do and whom she can trust. 

Book 3 - Heirloom
In a futuristic U.S.A. where gardening is illegal, siblings Clare and Dante have escaped to Canada and are living with a host family, enjoying farm life and learning to grow their own food. Attending Garden Guardian class, they meet other refugees and unearth the  history of how they lost their choices about food. 

Their friend Lily, who was left behind when they escaped, searches for a father she grew up believing was dead, but whom she recently discovered is alive. To succeed in her quest, Lily must elude GRIM, look for the secret Seed Savers symbols, and find the friends who can help in the search.  
 

Excerpt from Chapter 29 of Heirloom (book 3)
Clare looked at her chair and then at the door. Jason was already outside. She knew she couldn’t wait for the next politics class. She wasn’t even sure if there would be another one, as now all inside lectures were dependent on the weather. And besides, Stan had acted as if everyone knew what happened in 2064. She left her chair for someone else to put away and rushed toward the door.

“Jason, wait up.” He didn’t hear her. She ran to catch up with his quick gait. “Jason!”

He turned. Clare thought how he looked older. His stern face caused her courage to briefly falter.

“Wait up. Where ya goin’?”

“Walking,” he said. “Thinking.”

“I don’t know,” Clare began, “what happened in 2064. I don’t know who James Gardener is.”

He shook his head slightly, made a little puff sound through his nostrils. “I swear, Clare, sometimes I don’t know what you’re doing here.”

She opened her mouth to respond.

“Look, I’m sorry. It’s just . . . this has been my whole life. My family has always been a part of Seed Savers. The Movement and the crackdown were stories I grew up on. I cannot wait to get back again—when the time is right. I lose my patience with people here who don’t have the urgency I feel.”

Clare felt a little guilty; her only sense of urgency was in learning to garden. She got the feeling Jason meant something more. He always seemed so—so restless. Discontented.

“So,” she said quietly, “will you please tell me about 2064?”



AUTHOR BIO

S. Smith grew up on a farm with a tremendously large garden. She maintains that if you can’t taste the soil on a carrot, it’s not fresh enough. Although she now lives with her husband and three cats in the city, she still manages to grow fruits and vegetables in their backyard garden.
A licensed ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher, Ms. Smith has enjoyed teaching students from around the world. 
Ms. Smith is a member of SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) and an OSU Master Gardener. She gardens and writes at her home in the beautiful and green Pacific Northwest. 
 Author Links:

Monday, 18 November 2013

THE PERIMETER - Release Day Book Blitz

Release Day!
THE PERIMETER
(Outside Series, Book 3)


In this fractured world, a sinister force is coming for Riley, and the only things keeping her safe are a perimeter fence and the people she loves. As her life is threatened, she must make impossible choices. But help comes from the most unlikely of places, and all Riley needs to know is: who can she really trust?

Meanwhile, a repentant killer searches for peace and salvation, but what he gets is the exact opposite. Now he’ll have to make the hardest decision of his life.

The Perimeter is a darkly captivating dystopian tale of adventure, danger, love and redemption that will have you on the edge of your seat and up at night turning the pages to find out what happens next . . . 

The Perimeter is available from the following stores:


The Perimeter Book Blitz kicks off today, courtesy of Xpresso Book Tours. You can hop over to some fantastic review sites and book blogs, for interviews, excerpts, guest posts and reviews. Plus, there are giveaways on most of the sites. 

Here's a list of today's stops:
November 18th  

Brigitte Whoa the Book-a-Holic 
Book Lovers
Buried Under Books
Mythical Books 
Renee Entress's Blog
Hot Off The Shelves
Living an Eternal Fairytale
A Dream Within a Dream
The Flipping Bookworm
Sitting, Waiting, Reading 
Bookkins
Stacy Claflin Author 
The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club
I Love Books

Monday, 11 November 2013

Win an iPad Mini

eBookSoda sends you free and bargain book
suggestions based on what you like to read. 

To celebrate the imminent launch of this brand new
readers' service, eBookSoda are giving you
the chance to win an iPad Mini



There are lots of ways to enter.
Choose one or more of the options below
to increase your chances of winning.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Forever Fredless by Suzy Turner

As many of you already know, I'm a fan of Suzy Turner and her fantastic YA paranormal novels. So I was excited when I found out she'd written her first chick lit novel, Forever Fredless. Here's a little bit about it, plus I managed to wangle an excerpt!




Kate Robinson has spent the past two decades yearning to find her soul mate, the boy she found and then lost during a family holiday.


Shortly after her twenty-eighth birthday, however, she inherits a fortune from an old family friend and becomes something of an overnight celebrity. Can her new-found fame lead her to him after all this time?










 EXCERPT:

Thank God for anti-perspirant, I thought as I sat on the couch and waited for the countdown to begin. I clutched at my hands until they were white and looked across at the two people sitting opposite, both completely at ease in front of the cameras.

Five, four, three, two, one...

'Welcome back to this morning's edition of Good Morning GB,' announced Ireland Rothschild, the blonde-haired, blue eyed darling of morning TV. 'I'm here with Fergus O'Reilly and we've a special guest with us this morning. None other than Britain's love-struck multi-millionaire, Kate Robinson. Welcome, Kate,' she said with a dazzling smile aimed more towards the camera than at me.

As my cheeks began to heat up, I was so grateful to the make-up artist, who had insisted on caking on the foundation before the show had started. In fact, I had so much make-up on that I was hoping once I'd removed it, nobody would recognise me when I headed to the airport in my now rather stupidly chosen car. I couldn't exactly blend in driving a pink Mini could I?

'Good morning,' I whispered shyly.

Fergus grinned back at me, tilting his head as if he was about to speak to a child. 'Now, tell us, Kate dear, how does it feel to never have to worry about money ever again?' he asked, his toothpaste advert  teeth twinkling beneath the heat of the studio lights.

'Erm, well, I guess it's... erm, kind of... erm,' I felt so bloody stupid. Great time for my brain to stop working. 'I - erm. Great,' I nodded. 'Great, really great.' Idiot.

Ireland glanced across at her grey-haired colleague and pouted before nodding. 'Tell us how you knew this man. This,' she glanced down at the iPad on her lap and continued, 'Samuel?'

I cleared my throat and lifted my head, feeling like my brain was back in action. 'He was a very good friend of the family, some years ago,' I answered.

'Just a friend? Why did he leave you all his money and his property?' asked Fergus.

'He didn't have any family and I guess you could say that my mother and I were the closest he ever had to a family.'

'Isn't that lovely?' pouted Ireland. 'You certainly are a lucky woman. But what about your mother? Didn't she receive any of his inheritance?'

'No,' I said before swallowing hard. 'My mother lives a rather... nomadic lifestyle, in Africa. She doesn't want any of it. All she asked of me was to donate a sum to charity which, of course, I have done.'

'She lives in Africa? A nomadic lifestyle? That sounds intriguing. Perhaps we should interview her one of these days,' laughed Ireland and Fergus together.

'Have you splashed out on anything since receiving your inheritance back in June?' they asked, leaning forward eagerly awaiting my answer.

'Yes I have actually. I bought a car and a new house.'

'Well good for you, Kate. But now, most of us are curious about this boy you lost. Tell us about him?'

Oh no. Why did I agree to this?

Taking a deep breath, I knew I had no choice. Several articles had been printed since the one in Liberty; everyone wanted to know more and nobody was going to leave me alone until I told them everything. 'He was just a boy who I had a connection with when I was much, much younger. It was at Skegness. At an afternoon disco for kids. I was dancing and I felt someone touch my back and when I turned around there he was.  The most beautiful boy I'd ever seen,' I said, stopping and smiling as I reminisced. ‘It was one of the happiest memories of my life.'

Sighing, I continued, 'We just looked at each other and it was like everything else just disappeared into the background. We stood staring, for what seemed like ages. I could barely move. And then, almost as soon as it had begun, my dad appeared and took me away. I couldn't do anything as we walked to the car. I looked around for the boy but he was gone. And then, just as we were driving away, I turned around in my seat and there he was. He had a daffodil in his hand. I always assumed he'd gone to pick it for me, but that's just a childish fantasy, I guess. The whole thing is probably nothing but a childish fantasy, really.'

Ireland was very carefully dabbing at her eyes with a tissue, pretending to be moved, while Fergus smiled sadly.

'What a beautiful story, Kate. I don't believe for one second that this is a childish fantasy. It's romantic and beautiful,' Ireland said.

'Now, tell us, Kate. Why did you call him Fred?' asked Fergus.

Smiling, I explained about the Right Said Fred song, just as the music began in the background.

'What a wonderful tale. Thank you, Kate, for joining us today. It's been a pleasure having you with us to share your story,' said Fergus.

'Thank you,' I whispered before the camera moved back to Ireland as she straightened her skirt and looked alluring. 'Do you remember this moment in time?'she asked. 'Are you the elusive Fred? We'd love to hear from you. You can contact us at...'

Before I could hear anything else, I was ushered off the couch and back behind the scenes where Jo stood, waiting patiently for me, with open arms.
~ 

Want to read more? Course you do. Here's where you can pick up a copy:  
Coming to more outlets very soon.


Suzy Turner has worked as a journalist, assistant editor, features editor and magazine editor. Early in 2010 however, she began writing full time and has since completed six books for young adults (the Raven Saga and The Morgan Sisters series) and one chick lit novel, Forever Fredless.

Although Suzy is a Yorkshire lass at heart, she left her home town of Rotherham, UK, to move to Portugal with her family when she was ten. The Algarve continues to be her home, where she lives with her childhood sweetheart and husband of 15 years, Michael, and their two neurotic dogs and a cat who thinks she's a princess.



For more details about Suzy and her books, visit:
Website: http://suzyturner.com
Chick Lit Blog: http://www.fictiondreams.com
YA Blog: http://suzyturner.blogspot.com
Facebook Page: http://facebook.com/suzyturnerbooks
Twitter: http://twitter.com/@suzy_turner
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/suzyturnerbooks



Monday, 7 October 2013

THE PERIMETER (Outside Series #3) - COVER REVEAL . . .

 

In this fractured world, a sinister force is coming for Riley, and the only things keeping her safe are a perimeter fence and the people she loves. As her life is threatened, she must make impossible choices. But help comes from the most unlikely of places, and all Riley needs to know is: who can she really trust?

Meanwhile, a repentant killer searches for salvation, but what he gets is the exact opposite. Now he'll have to make the hardest decision of his life.

The Perimeter is a darkly captivating dystopian tale of adventure, danger, love and redemption that will have you on the edge of your seat and up at night turning the pages to find out what happens next . . .

THE PERIMETER
(Outside Series #3)

Coming November 18th 2013 



About the Outside Series:
Set in the near future, the Outside Series follows Riley as she overcomes the murder of her younger sister by tracking the killer across a post-apocalyptic Britain. At the same time, she is forced to take on the might of a twisted regime intent on conquering the nation.
Book 1 - OUTSIDE
Book 2 - THE CLEARING
Book 3 - THE PERIMETER


Links to all books:
Shalini's US Amazon page
Shalini's UK Amazon page
Barnes & Noble page
Smashwords page
itunes page