Wow. Just, wow. A while back I somehow managed to reach 500 followers and have, since then actually got a few more and it’s all been very overwhelming. And because I am incredibly grateful for every single follower, I am hosting a giveaway for my followers!
As these giveaways are for my followers, you MUST be a follower to participate, but once you are there are extra entries to win!
You can be a new follower or an old one, so long as you’re following somehow.
Giveaway open until 31st October.
Please read my giveaway policy before entering.
Winners will be emailed.
What do I have for you?
I have FOUR different prizes for you.
ONE is UK ONLY and THREE are open INTERNATIONALLY.
ARC Copy of Ruthless
Batch of Swag – no photo
E-book copy of All That We See or Seem by Tempest C. Avery
Print copy of Coexist: Keegan Chronicles by Julia Crane
So we have finally reached the end of September and what a month it’s been! I want to start this wrap up post with a huge thank you to everyone who has supported Fresh Start September and helped to make it such a success.
Daphne, Melissa and I want to especially thank all the authors who did interviews and guest posts for us, all the publishers that have supported the event (Strange Chemistry, Harlequin, Entangled Publishing, Random House), and our fabulous guest bloggers, Kayleigh, Brodie and Alison. Without them this would have been a rather dull event!
Here is a recap of all our posts this month:
1st – Introduction Posts – Melissa, Faye and Daphne
2nd – C.J. Redwine Interview – A Daydreamer’s Thoughts
3rd – Amanda Rutter (editor of Strange Chemistry) Interview – Winged Reviews 5th – Synopsis Discussion – A Daydreamer’s Thoughts
7th – Carmen Rodrigues Interview – Melissa’s Midnight Musings
8th – Blogger Guest Post – Kayleigh from K-Books – Winged Reviews
10th – Lauren Bennett (publicist from RHCB) Interview – A Daydreamer’s Thoughts 11th – Cover Art Poll – Melissa’s Midnight Musings
12th – Jessica Khoury Interview – Winged Reviews
15th – Jay Kristoff Interview – A Daydreamer’s Thoughts
16th – Niall Leonard Interview – Melissa’s Midnight Musings
17th – Blogger Guest Post – Brodie from Eleusinian Mysteries – A Daydreamer’s Thoughts
20th – Kat Zhang Interview – Winged Reviews
22nd – Hannah Harrington Interview – Melissa’s Midnight Musings
25th – Rachel Harris Interview – Winged Reviews
27th – Kim Curran Guest Post – A Daydreamer’s Thoughts
29th – Blogger Guest Post – Alison from The Cheap Reader – Melissa’s Midnight Musings
30th – Wrap Up Post and Prize Winners – Daphne, Melissa, Faye
Cover Art Poll Results
As promised, we are revealing the winners of our Cover Art Poll! Thank you everyone for voting and the winner is:
Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff – 21 votes (30%)
Defiance by CJ Redwine – 20 votes (29%)
What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang – 7 votes (10%)
34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues – 7 votes (10%)
My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris – 6 votes (9%)
Speechless by Hannah Harrington – 5 votes (7%)
Crusher by Niall Leonard – 2 votes (3%)
Origin by Jessica Khoury – 1 vote (1%)
Shift by Kim Curran – 1 vote (1%)
As you can see, it was a close one between Defiance and Stormdancer, but Stormdancer took the win with one slim vote!
All the covers were gorgeous in their own way but I have to admit that Stormdancer is a well-deserved winner.
Thank you for taking the time to vote in this!
And now, what I’m sure you’re all waiting for, the winners of all our fabulous prizes:
2 winners of Strange Chemistry ARC packs, each pack including a copy of Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings, The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke AND Katya’s World by Jonathan L Howard (courtesy of Strange Chemistry) are:
Veronika and Heather Cranmer
1 winner of an eBook of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris (courtesy of Entangled Publishing):
1 winner of an paperback of Speechless by Hannah Harrington (courtesy of Harlequin):
1 winner of a hardcover copy of 34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues (courtesy of the author):
3 winners of a book of your choice from any that has been featured in Fresh Start September (each courtesy of the hosts) are:
Nichole Nelson, Oana Ungureanu and Wendi Bishop
The winners will be contacted shortly by email, so please respond to claim your prizes!
Again, thank you everyone for entering and participating in Fresh Start September.
When I first had the idea for this event, I never would have imagined it to turn out the way it did. I have truly enjoyed organising this and it has been amazing to meet so many great authors and publishers. It was also really interesting to get an insight in to the publishing and publicity side of things, to which a huge thank you goes out to Amanda Rutter and Lauren Bennett for that.
Lastly, but by no means least, I really need to give a huge thank you to my co-hosts Daphne and Melissa. Without them being so excited to help, without their organising skills and just extra background work, none of this would have happened at all. It was one idea that was turned into something tangible and I couldn’t be happier with the way it all turned out.
So thank you to everyone.
Behind the Blog is a meme to help bloggers connect their life and interests to the content showcased on their blog. The co-hosts, Faye, Kathe, and Melissa will provide a different topic, idea, or question every week that bloggers can relate to themselves and the books, films, or other media they find interesting!
We all have a basic necessity to eat. Without food our bodies can deteriorate. It takes a long time, but it will happen. If you’re reading this, then you probably have the luxury of choice when it comes to food. With that in mind, what is your favourite food? Are you a sweet tooth or do you favour the savoury?
In relation to media, have any books or films given you a craving for food? Or made you want food you’ve never tried before?
I first want to apologise for the lateness of this post. It should have been written and scheduled much earlier in the week but I got busy and then I got ill so it was not posted when it should have been. I apologise for this and hope that you can all forgive me. Now, onto the post!
Food has always been a large part of my life. If you were to look at me, I’m certain a lot of people would believe that I have a great relationship with food because it looks like I eat a lot of it and probably don’t exercise all that much. I have battled with my weight since I can remember but my problem is that I love food too much to give it up and to stick with alternative food, which, to me, tastes foul and disgusting. Fortunately, however, I have recently been losing weight by eating less carbs. Not cancelling them out together because that is dangerous but by simply changing a few things, I have been able to eat what I want and still lose weight. perfect.
But I’m going slightly off topic here, aren’t I?
One of my favourite dinners, one that I could (and actually have for practically six months) live off of, is spaghetti bolognaise. I like making this delicious dish by hand from scratch – none of that processed jar stuff – as I find that it just tastes so much better that way. It’s also cheaper but that’s another story. There is just something about the mix of tomatoes, basil, Worchester sauce, garlic and other herbs that really calls to me. It tastes glorious and is one food that I could never get bored of. After weeks of eating other dinners, I usually find myself craving this dish. It reminds me of home and I just gobble it up easily.
But aside from that, talking about my favourite food is actually quite tricky because I’m not sure I know what my favourite food is. I’m a lover of bread – hello carbs from hell – and like eating it in many different varieties. If I’m hungry between meals, I would usually just have some toast as I enjoy the taste and feel it would fill me up more than a bar of chocolate would. So perhaps bread is my favourite food but I’m not so sure. I do also love ice cream. There is rarely a time when I would turn down this food because in all its different varieties it still tastes glorious and magnificent! It is just so simple and yet so elegant and tasty all at the same time. But does that mean it’s my favourite food?
Maybe not knowing what I like to eat best makes me sound too privileged, at least I have the choice, whereas some people simply have to eat what they’re given. I am thankful for the choice I am given, I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to select which foods I wish to eat from the supermarket but I’m also upset by it. The knowledge that a large proportion of the food I have the choice to by is usually put into waste is horrible when there are people in the third world country who are struggling to find simple bread to eat. It is definitely something that should make you think about how lucky you are, I know I certainly think that.
But to get things back on track – it is safe to say that I am a savoury tooth. As you can see above all of the foods I mentioned – bar ice cream – are savoury foods and I would much rather have a starter with a dinner then a pudding. Don’t get me wrong though, I still like my desserts and my sweet tasting things but when push comes to shove, I would definitely prefer to keep savoury foods then sweet foods.
What about you though? Do you like savoury or sweet?
We’d love to have you join us for Behind the Blog!
If you’re choosing to join us for Behind the Blog don’t forget to link up your post by using the Linky list below!
Are you joining us? Here are our rules:
- The hosts’ Behind the Blog posts go live at midnight on Friday, GMT+0:00. Feel free to post before that, just link up on Friday!
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- Read, write, and connect! The Linky is there for you. Make use of it!
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** linkytools is currently unavailable, but as soon as it is back, a list will be here. Until then, feel free to leave your links in the comments! **
Today on Fresh Start September we have the amazing Kim Curran, author of Shift. She has written a brilliant guest post for all of you about what she would change if she had the power. This relates to her book as this is the power her main protagonist has.
Hope you enjoy it!
A question I’ve been asked a lot recently is what decision I would change if I had the power to undo any decision – the power the main character in my book Shift has. It’s a great question, but not one to which I can give an easy answer.
Perhaps it’s because all of the things that were so bad when I lived through them seem so far away now. The boyfriend I shouldn’t have dated. The friend I shouldn’t have trusted with the boyfriend I shouldn’t have dated. And while they might have resulted in a lot of tears and sleepless nights at the time, I can smile about them in the rare times I do think about them now.
There are some things I think about a lot. Like staying in one job for years longer than I should have, because I didn’t think I was good enough to get another job. But that wasn’t really a choice. I wasn’t caught between two options, weighing up the consequences. I simply didn’t think I had options. So that’s another thing I have to leave untouched.
The one thing that really sticks in my mind is my indecision over applying to Oxford University. My tutors at college suggested I did, and my predicted grades made it a possibility. I had all the application forms with me one night I was down the pub with my friends. I was reading over and over them and imagining what my life would be like if I did get in, when a very cute guy, I had a terrible crush on, asked me, quite simply, why I wanted to apply.
Right then, I had that sliding doors moment. You know the one? Where you see your life go off in two radically different directions. In one life, I did get into Oxford Uni and I loved it, but I became so caught up in the romance of it all that I changed and let all my old friends slip away from me. In the other life, I didn’t apply, went to a different but yet still great university and stayed who I was. So what did I do? I ordered a pint and threw the application forms away.
I don’t want you to think I did it because of that cute guy. Although, that cute guy is now my husband, so it all worked out in the end.
There are the things I wish I hadn’t done, like let my friend bleach my hair using bleach, or let my uncle, who hadn’t cut hair since the 80s, cut it after. But now, they make for good stories. And who knows, maybe I had even worse haircuts in alternative realities. Although it’s hard to imagine that.
The problem with choices is it’s so hard to track the consequences. Something that seems so small and simple can end up being the biggest decision in your life. While the big decisions, often end up having no effect at all.
My mother always says we worry about 90% of things that never happen. And she’s right. If I think of the hours I’ve wasted, worrying about this thing at work, or that thing I have to say to a friend, none of which turned out to be a big deal, well… it’s a lot of time wasted.
All anyone can do is try and make the best decisions they can, with the information they have at the time, and then let the future take care of itself. As for the past, it’s gone. So let it go.
Our choices and especially our mistakes make us who we are. They’re part of us. Our teen years are, I believe, meant to be full of them. We’re supposed to do stupid things and get into scrapes and have adventures and have our hearts broken and break hearts in turn. It’s all part of those crazy years, which, if you do them right and learn from them, will turn you into a stronger and more interesting adult.
So, I can honestly say now, hand on heart, that even if I had the power, I wouldn’t change a thing.
So there we have it! What a great post, don’t you think? What about you though? What would you change if you had the power?
I would like to take this moment to thank Kim Curran for writing this post for us today and allowing me to share it with you all for Fresh Start September!
When your average, 16-year old loser, Scott Tyler, meets the beautiful and mysterious Aubrey Jones, he learns he’s not so average after all. He’s a ‘Shifter’. And that means he has the power to undo any decision he’s ever made. At first, he thinks the power to shift is pretty cool. But as his world starts to unravel around him he realises that each time he uses his power, it has consequences; terrible unforeseen consequences. Shifting is going to get him killed. In a world where everything can change with a thought, Scott has to decide where he stands.
As a bonus part of the event we are giving everyone the chance to win some prizes donated by our wonderful participants and ourselves! These include:
- 2 winners of Strange Chemistry ARC packs, each pack including a copy of Poltergeeks by Sean Cummings, The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke AND Katya’s World by Jonathan L Howard (courtesy of Strange Chemistry)
- 1 winner of an eBook of My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris (courtesy of Entangled Publishing)
- 1 winner will receive a paperback copy of Speechless by Hannah Harrington – US/CAN only
- 1 winner of a hardover copy of 34 Pieces of You by Carmen Rodrigues (courtesy of the author)-US only Enter here
- 3 winners of a book of your choice from any that has been featured in Fresh Start September (each courtesy of the hosts)
The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL and will run until the end of the event (30 September). Remember to follow the Twitter and Facebook pages of the prizes you want to win, for example, to be eligible to win the Strange Chemistry Prize, you must follow them on Twitter and Facebook. Good luck!
That’s one of the three things I know for sure.
The other two are these:
One – It’s Raining. Two – I belong to him.
Sixteen-year-old Rose arrives at sleepy, remote Millwood expecting to spend a quiet summer with her aunt and uncle on their estate. But after a series of dark and disturbing dreams, and the surprise arrival of charming brothers Oscar and Caicus Valero, her world is thrown upside-down. What are the brothers hiding? And what is it about Oscar that is so familiar? Before the summer is out, Rose will be forced to confront her destiny, even if it means facing the demon of her dreams.
It is peaceful
Ever since I read The Witches of the Glass Castle, I knew that Gabriella Lepore has a unique and creative talent so it was with happiness that I received her second published book, How I Found You. Fortunately, as I started reading this book I realised that the writing style is just as magnificent as her debut novel and I am absolutely certain that Gabriella is an author to keep an eye on. Her novels are always so interesting, compelling and entertaining and I will forever be on the look out for more of her work.
But there is danger
How I Found You actually exceeded my expectations. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was expecting, in all honesty, but it was one story that truly captivated my mind and soul. The story takes place in a quiet village, a place that is full of normality and tradition; a place not known for odd occurrences. So when two brothers arrive and things start to go askew, Rose is unwilling to play along. She is ready to get to the bottom of their plan – to unveil them once and for all. I loved how it all transpired together. The way it was so obvious that something wasn’t quite right and yet, as a reader, not being entitled as to what was wrong with the scenario. It was brilliantly done and helped to make the page-turning happen quickly – you simply need to know what is going on.
There was a few things that I cottoned on to – thanks to reading The Witches of the Glass Castle and understanding a little more about Gabriella’s writing style but I was still pleasantly surprised by the end of the book – for some twists I simply hadn’t seen coming. The plot of the book may have the possibility of seeming overwhelming to some but for me it was so intriguing and captivating. The mystery of the novel, the suspense, and the action, all lead to a truly compelling read that I found incredibly difficult to put down. After all, how could I return to normality when I didn’t know if Rose was going to sort it all out?
Lurking in the shadows
What really helped to make this story read-able was the realistic and lovable characters. Rose was a wonderful protagonist that I found myself really sympathising with. She was extremely stubborn, strong-willed and heavy hearted and I couldn’t help but to enjoy reading about the her journey. There were a few times when I rolled my eyes at her or wanted to shake her to stop being so silly but other than that, she was a character that I simply grew to love. That love, however, was nothing compared to the love I felt for Oscar. Oh, that boy had my heart racing all over the place. He was the perfect blend of a bad boy gone good. He had dilemma’s coming at him from all corners and I just wanted to cuddle him and tell him that he had to make the right choice; the only obvious choice. He was protective, charming, and delicate; although he would probably hurt me for telling you all! He was a truly remarkable character that I easily could have read more of.
The relationship between Rose and Oscar was also something that kept my interest in the book. There were times when I felt like it was a bit too much, or a bit too fast, but at the same time it felt so natural and perfect. You could just feel how much Oscar felt for her and you could see why Rose fell into that, fell for his words and the feelings he shrouded around her. They completed each other and I just loved how much he was willing to do for her, to be for her. It was really great to read and was half the reason I just kept on turning the page – I needed to know more about them and their lives. How Rose affected Oscar’s life was actually one of the most compelling parts of this entire book.
Waiting for the moment
There were some moments in this book that I found incredibly hard to get behind but I feel that this is because the writing style and the characters felt so realistic to me that I often forgot everything else that was going on – almost as though I forgot I was reading altogether! Fortunately these moments were few and far between. In the meantime, there were enough moments full of laughter, excitement, suspense and tears to keep me entertained as I worked my way through the book that these issues barely felt like a blip on the radar. It would be near impossible to write a book that was completely perfect – especially to everyone – but Gabriella has definitely done a great job of getting close.
To destroy everything
All in all, How I Found You, is a book that I utterly enjoyed and loved. It is a book that is full of spark and flare which holds a story that you will remember for a long time. With entertaining subplots, a thrilling main plot, and a lovely homely feel to it, this book is one that is guareented to be loved by many. I would easily recommend it to any YA lover and especially to those who love insta-love but even those who like a little bit of romance thrown in. It is also gripping enough to be liked by those who like a book that is full of thrills and suspense. In my opinion, Gabriella Lepore has managed to outshine herself by writing yet another wonderful, magical, captivating story that will keep you hooked from the very first page right to the very last one.
** I received this book in return for an honest review **
So today I have the charming Rachelia here for her interview.
Hopefully this will give you a good view on this wonderful girl!
Tell us a little something about yourself!
Well, my name is Rachelia and I’m 22 years old. I’m currently a student, although I won’t be for much longer – I leave for England at the end of the month to finish my history degree up this fall! I’ve also got an interest in politics, Aboriginal and gender issues. But my real passion? Books and reading of course! I love love love being able to curl up with a good book (new or old), and a couple of yummy cookies and tea. I can just bliss out right there while reading, and forget about the stress of school and life. It’s a great escape, and cheaper than heading down to the Bahamas for a week once a year!! Other than reading I also love playing with my family’s two adorable dogs Buddy (a pure bred pug) and Bella (pug and cavalier king charles spaniel mix), watching TV (from Supernatural, Flashpoint, Food Network to oldies but goodies like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars), and occasionally crafting.
How long have you had your blog?
About 10 month now… WOW, has it been that long?! My first post was in December of 2011 but it wasn’t a review – my first review was posted January 3, 2012.
Do you enjoy running your blog?
For the most part? Yes. I love interacting with other bloggers and readers, as well as the occasional author. It feels great when someone reads a book based on your review or recommendation! However, I have went through a few months of book blogging slumps, and I really hate formatting my blog, and things like that. But overall I wish I had started blogging MUCH earlier because I really do love it!
When you started, did you ever think that it would end up the way it has?
Not really! I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but I’ve really been embraced by a small group of fellow bloggers (like you Faye!) that I just adore, and it has been an amazing experience. Recently I was nominated for a Bloggy Award for Best Breakout Blog which I NEVER expected! It has been a wonderful, surprising experience.
Is there an interesting background story to the name of your blog, if there is, tell us!
I woke up with the name of my blog in the middle of the night – I don’t know, is that interesting? haha. I had been trying for about two weeks to come up with a name and it just came to me, and was perfect because books do provide a comfort, an escape and are familiar and can be a security blanket!
As we’ve got this far without mentioning it, why not tell us a little something about your blog, what you post, how it runs, who you cater to, etc.
So far I have taken a pretty laid back approach to blogging so far – anything goes! I don’t just read strictly YA, I also read adult fiction, some non-fiction. The one category I don’t really read as of right now is middle grade fiction.
Do you participate or host and blog memes? If you do, which is your favourite?
I do participate in some memes such as the Recommend A… meme hosted by Shanyn of Chick Loves Lit on Mondays, and Waiting on Wednesdays. However, while I LOVE doing these memes and exploring other’s posts, I think my favourite meme to read is Broke and Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday. I haven’t participated though because I can never come up with enough things, and doing Top Five Tuesday each week just seems… sad, haha.
Also, while it is not really a meme, I host Required Reading every Sunday on my blog. It’s a round-up of my favourite bookish links that I enjoyed throughout the week. I created Required Reading as a way to spread the bookish love in the community, and so far, I’ve had a great response. A few other bloggers have also started doing their own posts on Sundays which I love because it means I can find more articles and great links!
What is the best book you read in 2011?
I wasn’t blogging in 2012, and read a small amount of books, but the ones I did read were great. Ugh, this is a hard decision, so I’m listing a few… The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, The Birth House by Ami McKay, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson , Hourglass by Myra McEntire, and The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson.
What about in 2012?
I was able to narrow this one down a bit more because there were three that have just stood out so prominently as favourites to me this year. Hands down I’d say The Fault in Our Stars by John Green as the best book I’ve read but it’s closely followed by Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood and Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein!
What is your favourite book genre?
I read a variety of genres, in both YA, adult, and non-fiction, but my top 3 genres would be contemporary, historical fiction and paranormal!
Quick Fire Round
ebook or hardcopy?
Hardcopy (although I love my e-reader)
ya or adult?
I’ve been reading more of it lately, so I’m going to say YA
vampires or werewolves?
chocolate or vanilla?
harry potter or twilight?
four or peeta?
I haven’t read Divergent yet (… that’s who Four is from, correct?) but I’ve read 2/3 of the Hunger Games books so I guess I have to say Peeta… even though I didn’t really like him :|
series or single?
Ahh, a tough one! Right now I’m going to say singles – I’ve read some awesome ones this year!
blogger or wordpress?
I like the functions of WordPress, but design of Blogger. My blog is currently hosted on Blogger so I’ll go with that :)
Is there anything else you would like to say about you or your blog?
Just that I’d like to say thank you to all those who have supported me and my blog along the way, including you Faye! You’ve all been so wonderful and I’m glad I decided to join such a wonderful community :)
Thank you for your lovely answers Rachelia! It’s been great getting to know you better! If you just read this interview and are still not following her, what are you waiting for? GO FOLLOW HER NOW!
Today I am the scheduled stop on the Burning Bush tour! I have a cool character interview with Lanore to share with you all.
Here’s hoping that you enjoy it!
Lanore Vesta is a college student that lives in the supernatural caged city of Santeria. Being a Mixbreed (child of parents from two different species), she deals with magical species discrimination on a day to day basis. However, she’s fought through many barriers—she’s the first Mixbreed to go to the university, co-leader of Mixbreeds for Equality, and the founder of the Enchanted People Stand Up newsletter.
She’s here today to discuss the sequel that she’s in called The Burning Bush (Book 2 of Santeria Habitat Series).
Lanore, in the novel Fire Baptized (Book 1) a supernatural serial killer hunted you. What are the struggles you face in The Burning Bush (Book 2)?There are several things I have to battle in The Burning Bush. Although this time I’m not being hunted, there is a dangerous killer in my caged city tying young girls to bushes and then casting a fire spell on both the victim and bush. Additionally, Zulu and I are in a war with Dante, the leader of the Bottelli Vampire family.
Will we meet new characters in the sequel?
Definitely! Angel from the end of Fire Baptized has a huge presence in this book. I love her with all of my heart. Zulu’s sister, Cassie an adorable teenage Were-tiger has a large role in the book. Readers get to meet my dad and a special Air Witch I use for illegal magical services.
From Caged View (Book 0.5) to Fire Baptized (Book 1), there are a lot of creative night clubs that Lanore visits. Will there be some new party locations in this one?
Of Course! I wear a mask on the book cover because I have to attend the Remembrance Day Masquerade Ball. This year the elemental witches hosted it and used The Enchanted Forest as the event’s theme. The entire ball is captivating to say the least.
I also visit MeShack’s fraternity house and two new night clubs: Liquid and Club X. Each facility provides a unique magical experience.
In Fire Baptized, it seemed like you made a clear choice in which your lover would be. Are their some heart troubles in the sequel?
This time, I don’t really deal with romantic problems when it comes to which guy I will be with. One of them are in his Season, which is a Shapeshifter puberty phase that last for seven to ten years. We tried a committed relationship, but he cheated on me with two groupies. Dare I say when I discovered him in the act, there were a lot of flames. J I don’t plan to revisit being hurt by him again, although he has other plans.
Either way, I don’t battle with a choice. I more struggle with balancing my unique relationships with Zulu and MeShack as well as making sure I don’t disrespect either one of them. It proves to be really difficult.
Now for the fun stuff. What is your favorite:
Pirate Rod Captures the Mermaid Princess
(I know. . .but I love trashy romance novels.)
Coffee or tea?
Coffee with habanero oil! I love it hot!
Thanks so much for having me on!!
Thank YOU for answering all of my questions! It was great to have you here!
Want to read more of Lanore? Why not read Fire Baptised and Burning Bush both are out NOW!
Lanore Vesta is marked with a silver X, the brand of Mixbreeds, second-class citizens shunned by society. She stays to herself, revealing her ability to create fire only during emergencies. All she wants to do is graduate college and stop having to steal to survive. But when she stumbles upon a murder in progress, she catches the attention of a supernatural killer. Now all she wants is to stop finding dead bodies in her apartment.
Enlisting help from her Were-cheetah ex-boyfriend MeShack and a new mysterious friend named Zulu, she is steered through the habitat’s raunchy nightlife. But their presence sometimes proves to be more burden than help, as they fight for her attention.
While the corpses pile up, and the scent of blood fills the air, Lanore is left wondering: will she find the psycho or die trying?
Rivera forces Lanore to investigate his case, the Burning Bush Murders. Someone’s been tying girls to bushes and setting them on fire. Lanore must find the killer, or Rivera goes public with his information.
Meanwhile, Dante won’t take his defeat without a fight. He counterattacks and the Santeria habitat, as well as Lanore’s and Zulu’s lives, are changed forever.
Dark fantasy bestseller Kenya Wright currently resides in Miami with her three amazing, overactive children, a supportive, gorgeous husband, and three cool black cats that refuse to stop sleeping on Kenya’s head at night.
You may, or may not know that in the twitterverse, I am known as Fayezer; the most astonishing and -inmyopinion- amazing superhero that ever did live. *cough*
So, when I saw this inspiring birthday card in a local stationary shop a few weeks back, I was instantly filled with giggles. Since I didn’t, tragically, have my camera on me I simply wrote down the quote which I present to you all now!
I love this quote and believe in it wholeheartedly.
Superheroes may be great and amazing (myself included :P) but a lot of the time, we don’t want or need superheroes, we just need our friends.
But what’s even better than superheroes AND friends?
A superhero wrapped in a friend.
You’re extremely upset and just need some comfort. A friend gives it to you, makes you feel better, pulls you out of that black hole. In that moment that friend is amazing and the best person in your life for that moment.
That friend, is, quite simply, a superhero; your superhero.
So the next time you are horrible to your friends, or take them for granted, stop and think to yourself – where will they be when you need them and can’t find a suitable superhero?
Treasure your friends, they are special, unique and utterly inspiring.
But more importantly, be more than just a superhero to your friends when they need you. Be a friend first and a superhero second.
They will never forget it and be there for you when you need it too.
Sometimes being a friend is even better than being a superhero.
*hopefully you deciphered this rambling monologue of things. lol*
So today I am introducing you to the wonderful Tracey Sinclair, author of Dark Dates.
She has written a lovely guest post for you all and then once you’ve read it, there’ll also be the chance to win an e-copy of her book!
If you were to ask me when I fell in love with vampires, I’d probably say as a teenager – swept off my feet by the gothic romance of Anne Rice’s seminal book Interview with The Vampire, and its sequel, the equally intoxicating The Vampire Lestat. A sweeping, sensual series that reached back into the history of vampire lore while bringing it bang up to date in contemporary America, these books still feel fresh today (despite the increasing diminishing returns of the later entries into the series) and are rightly credited with shaping the modern landscape of fantasy fiction.
But if you were to ask about the roots of wanting to write about vampires? I’d probably give you a different answer: The Lost Boys. This 1987 film is easy to mock as ‘vampires for the MTV generation’, but its influence (and that of its contemporary, Near Dark, which came out the same year) can’t be underestimated. While Rice wove an intricate tapestry tracing vampires back to ancient Egypt, these films were all about the modern: these weren’t vampires constrained by history and legend, they were pop culture creatures whose very shallowness was enthralling. Both films – but The Lost Boys especially – abandoned the idea of vampires as elegant loners, instead substituting the idea of vampires as the coolest gang in the world. Sure, the membership fees were high but look at the pay offs – you’ll never grow old, you’ll never die, and you get to spend your time riding motorbikes with your mates and dancing around in cool underground caverns to Doors songs. You can see the descendants of Kiefer Sutherland’s David in many of the films and shows that followed him, most notably Buffy The Vampire Slayer – just look at the bleach haired Spike and the leather coated Angel; the Frog Brothers and Xander would surely get along, and you can imagine Dianne Wiest’s beleaguered single mom Lucy would have plenty to chat to Joyce Summers about. Buffy is of course dazzling in its own originality and was a groundbreaking show, but Whedon’s use of pop culture references and whip smart dialogue sits easily alongside a film that includes the never-bettered ‘death by stereo!’. On the literary scene, too, the movie had its impact: while it’s fair to say that Rice was the defining influence on vampire fiction for the next two decades, you can see The Lost Boys’ footprints in works by writers such as Poppy Z Brite, who combined their heady excesses with Rice’s Southern Gothic to great effect.
The Lost Boys freed the vampire myth from the weight of historical legacy (both in fiction and folklore) and the traditions that had defined it for generations – no longer did you have to give your bloodsuckers a backstory that went back centuries, you just had to give them great clothes. While The Lost Boys is visually the very epitome of the 80s – Corey Haim’s outfits! – it has stood the test of time well, ageing as flawlessly as the immortal undead. The jokes are still funny, the action scenes are brutal and effective, and the central performances still vivid (Kiefer remains sexy after all these years, but then anyone who watches 24 knows that…)
Don’t get me wrong – I heartily admire anyone who can do the kind of historical research that Rice does, or effectively conjure a world long past, and there’s still plenty of great vampire fiction in that tradition around – check out Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian for a recent example of the genre. But I knew that when writing my own book, Dark Dates, I wanted it to be utterly modern. There is of course some London history in there, inevitable when your backdrop is a city with such a colourful past, but my vampires are contemporary creatures, and they are as soaked in the now-ubiquitous information overload as the human beings they live amongst. Let’s put it this way, I thought it was pointless trying to create a convincing world where nobody has read Twilight. And if I managed to create something that’s half as funny, sexy or memorable as The Lost Boys, then I’ll go away happy…
Author: Tracey Sinclair
Publisher: Self Published
Published: April 2012
All Cassandra Bick wants is to be left to get on with doing her job. But when you’re a Sensitive whose business is running a dating agency for vampires, life is never going to be straightforward – especially when there’s a supernatural war brewing in London, a sexy new bloodsucker in town and your mysterious, homicidal and vampire hating ex-lover chooses this moment to reappear in your life…
Witty, sharp and entertaining, Dark Dates is a heady mix of vampires, witches and werewolves – with the occasional angel thrown in – and introduces Cassandra Bick, a likeable heroine destined to join the ranks of fantasy’s feistiest females.
Tracey Sinclair works as freelance copywriter, editor and legal directories consultant. A diverse and slightly wandering career has included writing factsheets for small businesses, creating web content for law firms, subtitling film and TV and editing one of the UK’s largest legal directories. A keen blogger, she regularly writes for online theatre site Exeunt and science fiction site Unleash the Fanboy and her blog Body of a Geek Goddess was shortlisted in the Cosmopolitan Blogger Awards 2011. Her work has been published in a number of magazines and anthologies and her short play Bystanders was premiered in 2011 as part of the CP Players New Writing Season at Baron’s Court Theatre, London. She has published two small press books (Doll and No Love is This, both Kennedy & Boyd) and is now dipping a toe in the digital self-publishing world with her new urban fantasy novel, Dark Dates.
Do you want to win this glorious sounding novel?
Now’s your chance!
Tracey is giving away ONE ebook to ONE lucky winner!
The giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
It will finish on the 6th October.
You must follow my blog.
Winners will be e-mailed and will have 72 hours to respond.
Please read the rest of my policy, here
Behind the Blog is a meme to help bloggers connect their life and interests to the content showcased on their blog. The co-hosts, Faye, Kathe, and Melissa will provide a different topic, idea, or question every week that bloggers can relate to themselves and the books, films, or other media they find interesting!
As we head into Fall, with the leaves changing all around us, the trees becoming skeletons of their former selves, I’d like to think about transformations. How have you changed or transformed in your life? What parts of yourself have you left behind?
In relation to books/media: Who are some characters that undergo major transformations (figurative or literal?)
This week we have such an in depth topic and I really had to think about what I wanted to put here. In a way, we all change every single day without even realising it until eventually we look back on the years gone by and realise so much is different. I want to say that I am the same person I was when I was eleven years old but that would be a downright lie.
Once upon a time I was a carefree child. I would play in the sun, giggle with my friends, laugh just because I could and do embarrassing things because I simply didn’t care. As I grew older I began to change. Everyone does but we each do it in our own different ways. For me, when I started secondary school and started to be bullied was the first time that I changed. It was during this time that I started to keep my thoughts and feelings inside instead of vocalising them. I took each and every word those bullies said to me and kept them in my head, letting them play on repeat every single day.
I was certain what they said was true. I wasn’t worth the time, my friends were just pitying me, they weren’t really my friends and I was just a waste of space. Over and over again, I put myself down and growing self-confidence was incredibly difficult. I didn’t have a great bunch of supportive friends either, a few were bullied themselves, others were just as emotionally unstable as I was and just really, we were the misfits in the school. The ones who had been outcast and we just needed someone to turn to.
As I grew older I learnt to at least try and ignore the taunts and sneers, the bullying itself went away but when I looked at them, I couldn’t stop thinking about the words they said. They had changed the way I saw myself and to this day, I still hate them for it. I struggle to stand in front of full length mirrors, I hate photos taken of me from too many angles, and I just simply don’t believe in my own self-worth. I want to. There’s a small part of me that, on my good days, reminds me that I am worth it, but this voice is small and doesn’t break the surface enough.
I know that I have a long way to go, I know that one day I will be able to look in a mirror and be happy, that I’ll be able to hear someone compliment me and agree with them – without dripping sarcasm in my words – but for today, it just isn’t happening. While this transformation in my life wasn’t a happy one in some ways, it is also good in other ways and I want to outline these out because this post is getting a little sappy and I’m not good with stuff like that.
I used to be a shy person, usually teetering on the edge, sucking my thumb and twidling my thumb instead of going out and doing things and talking to people. I was quite content on my own, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it’s nice to have people to things with as well. This shyness grew when I got into secondary school and was bullied – I simply took what they gave me and that was that. Until finally, one day, I decided I’d had enough and I told them where to go. They weren’t used to being challenged, I got agressive enough with them that they actually backed up. Being bullied helped make me more confident and it gave me the confidence to stand up for myself as well.
Nowadays, I still get the odd day of shyness and nerves; you know that feeling where you’re pretty certain you’re going to throw the hell up, but I have a lot more days of feeling confident. With the jobs I have worked in and my time at university, I have learnt that being the one to speak up first makes things easier. Sometimes everyone is just as shy as you are and they just need that extra push. This confidence has given me job opportunities I may not have had before, it has given me the chance to speak about my ideas and thoughts in seminars and it gave me the willpower to start this very blog. So, in a way, I have the bullies in my life to thank for this boost, without them I may still be that shy flower, unable to stand up for what I think is right.
Change may not always be good, but it is the way we deal with change that reflects who we are.
There are so many books that deal with great transformations of characters but I’m just going to list five of the most recent books I have read (in the last year) that have really depicted it brilliantly (in my opinion.)
Welcome Caller, This Is Chloe by Shelley Corriell; A story about a girl who starts out as an obnoxious, annoying, gossip, self-obsessed queen but who transforms into a lovely, caring, protective and beautiful girl. The book is based on her transformation, her ‘coming-of-age’ story and it is a brilliant read.
Saving June by Hannah Harrington; Harper has lost her sister. An event which causes her life to shift out of focus. This book deals with grief and loss and how it can change us and scar us and yet we can continue to live and be happy throughout it. An amazing read.
Forgiving Trinity by Liz Reinhardt; Trinity got addicted to drugs and it changed her life, but her decision to give them up and start life anew is something that has transformed her life. This book is about the tough battle that occurs once such a heavy and important decision has been made. A magnificent book.
Emerald City by Alicia K. Leppert; Depression can strike at any moment. In this story it is a failed suicide attempt that changes Olivia’s life. She soon realises that there is more in life to live for then she realises. This is a truly remarkable story about what is to live with and fight against chronic depression.
Speechless by Hannah Harrington; One of my new all-time favourites, Speechless tells the story of a girl who has a lot to learn. When her big mouth nearly gets someone killed she changes her life to repent for her sins. It is the story of finding out who you are and not letting the world drag you down. A truly stunning read.
Really, there are so many books that I could write about here but since I don’t want to ramble on for much longer I’m going to stop! Hopefully this gave you some good recommendations though!
But now that you’ve got to here, why don’t you join us!
Behind the Blog is a new meme for bloggers themselves. To find out more, check out the introduction on my blog or that on Kathe’s.
Are you joining us? Here are our rules:
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