Friday, 25 July 2014

Book Promo & Author Interview




Publisher: Great Nation Publishing (25 July 2014)
NORMAL IS OVER The school year ending with Reject High's destruction was enough for Jason Champion. Summer break meant lots of time to split between his girlfriend Sasha and best friend Rhapsody. That is until predictions of a solar storm arrive, one unlike the earth has ever seen. Sasha tells Jason the sun's rays may affect his invulnerability and strength, while a mysterious new enemy is possessed with the belief that whoever absorbs the radiation will become immortal. With no other options and their enemies drawing closer to their goal, Jason and his friends join forces with the "Collective," a group that has guarded the origin of their power for a century. Its members think the storm will cause an explosion killing millions - a price none of them are willing to pay. The second installment in a young adult fantasy series, Sophomore Freak combines engaging characters inside of a page-turning, breathtaking adventure. Equal parts sci-fi, fantasy, and action-adventure, Sophomore Freak is a breathtaking page-turner written from the perspective of Jason Champion, a 16-year old teenager with rage blackouts and a penchant for getting in trouble, Equal parts sci-fi, fantasy, and action-adventure, Reject High is a breathtaking page-turner written from the perspective of Jason Champion, a 15-year old teenager with rage blackouts and a penchant for getting in trouble, Brian Thompson writes science fiction for both young adult and adult audiences. He is a celebrated writer, educator, and former journalist. He is also the author of speculative fiction/science fiction thriller The Anarchists and the third installment of the Reject High series, Forgotten, due in summer, 2015.

Interview
1)    When you write, do you plan the storyline or just go with the flow and see where it takes you? Plotter or Panster?
Both, actually. I started off a pantser, but in writing sci-fi and world building, that didn’t really work out. So, I became a plotter and I use sticky notes for my major plot points. If I feel the character(s) take me down a different road, I go with it. I’m writing the third book in the series now and I have to rewrite the climax and ending I’ve plotted because of that very reason. 
2) Where do you do most of your writing? Do you have a special spot?
I have a space in my office where I write. I also have a laptop that I tote around so that I can get writing time in where I can. The past few unconventional places I’ve written are a moving car and a train. We have two young children, ages 6 and 2, so you have to adapt in order to get things done.
3) Are any of your characters based on people you know?
My main character’s stepmom, Debra, is named after my stepmother. She’s one of two people I know on the planet who would willingly adopt a boy with rage blackouts and ADHD. Hers is the only case where a character is based off of someone I know. I do name characters after other people (with permission, of course) but generally, their characteristics are different.
4) Who was your favorite author as a child? Who is it now?
I don’t know that I had one. I loved the Sword of Shannara series by Terry Brooks and The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Those are the authors that stick out in my mind. I’m more of a classic guy, so you could pick anyone from Shakespeare to Philip K. Dick and I’m happy.
5) Did you always want to be an author? If not what was your ambition?
Growing up, I wanted to be a doctor. Then a lawyer and a computer science major. None of those really worked out for me. My creative writing class in my senior year of undergrad at Morehouse College really sparked that ambition for me.

6) A lot of authors have playlists for their books. Do you like to listen to music whilst you write and if so can you give us any recommendations?
It depends – I’ve listened to The Roots, Lorde, contemporary Christian, R&B, Rush, Pink Floyd. It really depends on what kind of scenes I’m writing.
7) Can you tell us a bit more about your book and how it came about?
Sophomore Freak is the sequel to Reject High and the second part of a four book series. The first book, Reject High, centers on Jason Champion, a 15-year-old boy kicked out of his school for fighting and sent to the Regional Educational Guidance Collective Training Facility – an alternative school nicknamed “Reject High.” There, he meets his best friend, Rhapsody. She shows him an emerald crystal that gives them mysterious powers. They later find out there are six different colors of the crystals and each give them different abilities. Along with Sasha, the prettiest girl in school, and Selby, her ex-boyfriend, Jason and Rhapsody discover they are being watched by a group hoping to possess the emerald. 

Sophomore Freak picks up three months later. Jason is being targeted by David King, a scientist who thinks the six crystals will explode during an upcoming solar storm. He also believes the radiation from the explosion will make him immortal. King threatens the lives of Jason’s loved ones until he collects all of the crystals for him.

The Reject High series came about from reading Rick Riordan’s Olympian books and I thought about how I would write a YA series with superpowers. I did some research on solar flares, which is a major plot point for the books, and it kind of went from there.  

8) What made you want to write for the YA market?

My editing partner Jackie read the opening pages to The Lightning Thief and it sparked something in me. I have experience in secondary education and I believe it’s because I have a voice that appeals to those ages.

9) Do you ever get writers block and if you do, how do you beat it?

Sometimes. I do a few things. I either walk away to do something else or I go back to the last pages I finished and rewrite them or add to them. That usually gets me back in the flow of things.




Thursday, 24 July 2014

Thursday Thoughts (9)

Hi,

Welcome to my new Weekly post - Thursday Thoughts.

This is going to be a weekly discussion post that I hope will get all my blog readers commenting and giving their opinion. I will pick a topic and write how my thoughts and feelings about it and then hopefully all you lovely readers will leave a comment below with your own opinions.

The only rule I have is that everyone is respectful of each other's opinions, there is no real right or wrong here, this is a chance to experience a topic from someone else's perspective. Please listen to each other and be nice.

If you wish to take a more active part in this discussion and make your own blog post about the topic, I will create a Linky list below that you can link your post to. If more and more people take part - the bigger and better it will become.

Some discussions will be light and silly, others will be more serious but they will all be about books and book related things.

So come on everyone, pull up a chair and lets hear your voice.

This weeks topic is:

Book Bench Hunt! 

This isn't such a discussion post, but I would be interested to hear what you think about the whole thing!


Books about Town

2 July - 15 September 2014


Books about Town is coming to London this summer! Find all 50 unique BookBench sculptures, designed by local artists and famous names to celebrate London’s literary heritage and reading for enjoyment. 
Basically 'Books about Town' in association with the Literacy trust has created 50 uniquely designed benches and placed them around London. There are 4 'trails' to follow to find them all.




My friend and I decided that we had to do this. Being masive book nerds this was something we knew we just could not miss.

So I printed off the trail maps, plotted a route between the benches as best I could. Worked out Tube transfers and got ready to explore.

We started with the 'Bloomsbury Trail', so hopped on the Picadilly line to Holborn and started to explore.


We found the first bench quite quickly (Peter Pan) and was so excited. We made our way round the trail, finding them in parks and squares, it was great fun. Some benches had people sitting on them and we had to ask them to move but everyone was really friendly and agreed to take our photo by the bench. The only hiccup we had was the 1984 bench wasn't there anymore - it had been damaged and taken away for repair, so we wasted 20 minutes looking for it which was very annoying but other than that we made good time and was feeling positive. 
I won't flood the blog with pictures, for each Bench we took 4 photos - 1 of the front of the bench, 1 of the back (as they were decorated both sides with a different picture), 1 of the information plaque about the book the bench was based on and 1 of my friend and I next to the bench. 
As you can see there were 11 benches on this trail and we found them all! My favourite was 'The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe' 


We then made it to Russell Square tube and made our way over to 'St Pauls' to complete the 'City Trail'
We knew this one would be slightly harder but I had planned to start with the cluster together on the left then walk up to 'Brick Lane' bench then head to the right and catch the more spread out ones. 
Well, St Paul's is quite a confusing network of connecting streets, but even so we soon found Mary Poppins and those around it, we got the first 4 in about 20 minutes and was feeling hopeful, we then headed to find the Jacqueline Wilson bench, this is where it all went downhill. I don't know how well you can see on the map, but the label for JW covers the road names and there are no particular signs as to where it is. We walked all around this area for 45 minutes, we found the Bridget Jones bench in the process but couldn't get the other. We didn't want to give up, we both read her books as a child and we wanted to get them all.
What I didn't realise when I downloaded these maps were that they were actually interactive and could be zoomed in, but I just printed them how they were thinking that was all you could get. So partially my fault for not checking but the map did cause some problems. We had to give up in the end and because we were so behind time we decided we would miss out the 3 floating ones at the top (Brick Lane, Laura Marling and Cricket) Instead we stopped to buy a drink of water as it was so hot out, and then hopped back on the Tube and got off at Bank to get Stormbreaker etc. 
We were feeling a bit dejected at this point, no benches in almost an hour! but when we got off at Bank we found the next 3 very quickly and our spirits rose again.
We then headed to Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman, this was a highlight for us as we are both massive fans of the books, and we literally ran screaming towards it when we spotted it! 
But I have to say my favourite for this route was actually the last one 'Katie in London' it was beautifully designed.


So slightly more hopeful and with plans to come back later to the ones we missed if we had time we set off across the River Thames to complete the 'Riverside Trail'

Very hot and a bit hungry with aching feet and backs we powered through, determined to see as many as possible. We were on a time limit, our railcards were 'off-peak' only so we had to be on a train home before 4:30 or we would have to wait until after 7:30, but we both had places to be in the evening so that wasn't an option.
It was already nearly 3:00 by this point but we were sure we could do it. We had an hour, that was enough!
The first four were in a nice sqaure and very easy to find and some of the more colourful and beautiful benches. We had a slight problem with the Dr Seuss bench in which case a woman refused to move so we couldn't take a picture, but we did all the others and when we made it clear we weren't going to leave without our pictures she did move. She muttered 'God, it's only a stupid bench'. Which I found equal parts annoying and funny. She just couldn't see why this was important to us. But we got our picture!!!
Most people we met throughout the day were supportive and interested, so it was overall a nice atmosphere.
We got the other 2 close ones, Julia Donaldson's was very busy, but I can tell why, she is amazing and the bench was gorgeous. We then made our way along down the riverfront, as the next 2 look like they are still on the water's edge. As you walk you have to cross London Bridge, which actually means you have to go away from the river a bit, and up some steps into a courtyard area that then leads off into streets, we followed it round. At one point there was a slight fork and we followed the left, as the right hand side looked like a dead end with tall buildings. We soon realised we must have passed the benches somehow but couldn't understand where they were, but by then we had nearly reached the Shakespeare bench so we kept going. We realised we would have to double back to get to London Bridge tube station to get home, so it was easier.
We snapped Shakespeare then made our way back. Still not spotting these benches, but as we came back to that fork we spotted people walking down towards what we thought was a dead end, turns out there is a path hidden in there that leads to a really nice courtyard so hallelujah we found the last 2! Riverside trail complete. Paddington Bear and Great Expectations were our last.

we look so relieved to have found it!!! Finished!


We then walked rather quickly back to the Tube Station to catch a train back to the main station St Pancras and then home. I made it with 5 minutes to spare!!!

We didn't manage to do the 'Greenwich Trail', it's so much further out and needs a DLR connection, we never would have made it, but the way we see it - this means we can go back for another day. Already planning it.
 There are some benches there I am really excited to see so we will be going to do them soon, and also finding the ones we missed on the City Trail. Looking at the website there are also 2 benches not on the trails. There are actually only 48 on the trails, the 2 making it up to 50 are spread out elsewhere, there is an "Around the World in 80 Days" bench near Stanfords in Leicester Square and "Worlds Biggest Flip Book" in Waterloo. So we will try to get them too.

There was a good variety of benches. It was a bit strange but there were 2 Peter Pan benches, one in Bloomsbury trail and the other on City. I was actually disappointed that there wasn't a Harry Potter bench - how could they miss such an iconic series as that? Maybe they will add some extras. A 51st bench has been voted and will be Neil Gaiman 'Neverwhere'.
I would also have loved to see a Percy Jackson bench - how cool would that be!?

If you want to see pictures of all 50 benches just visit the official website and they are all there. Once I have found the rest of them I am going to make an album with all my snaps, can't wait.

Which books would you have loved to see as benches?

Would you go and hunt them down if you could? Or have you done it already?

In September they are going to Auction off the benches with all money going to charity, which bench would you buy if you could afford it? Would you want to own one?
I would definitely buy the Narnia one, but I loved so many of the others too. I wish I could win the lottery!!!


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Blog Tour - Caller 107

Caller 107 by Matthew Cox

Genre: young-adult, contemporary paranormal

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Publication: July 22nd, 2014

Cover Artist: Polina Sapershteyn (http://www.polinas-portfolio.com/)




Description:

When thirteen-year-old Natalie Rausch said she would die to meet DJ Crazy Todd, she did not mean to be literal.

Two years is a long time to be stuck between two people that want nothing more than to destroy each other. A tween crush on the larger-than-life jock from a local radio station is the only trace of a once-happy life ruined by warring parents.

Whenever WROK 107 ran a contest, she would dive for the phone, getting busy signals and dead air every time. She never expected to get through, but at least with her best friend at her side, it used to be fun.

Before her parents ruined that too.

Her last desperate attempt to get their attention, falling in with a dangerous group of older teens, goes as wrong as possible. With no one left to blame for her mess of a life but herself, karma comes full circle and gives her just a few hours to make up for two years’ worth of mistakes–or be forever lost.

--

Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- after="" and="" deliberate="" fiction="" happens="" intellectual="" it.="" life="" nature="" of="" questions="" reality="" science="" span="" that="" the="" what="">
Social Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Cover Reveal: The Dragon Holder

The New Series "Forbidden Forest Saga" Coming out next week through
with GMTA Publishing!



The first book in the New Series by 
Author, Wilson Feliz!




Be sure to check back for updates and links to get your copies!




Monday, 21 July 2014

Book Promo - Spirit Warriors

rdb banner
The Scarring (Spirit Warriors #2)
by D.E.L. Connor
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Booktrope
Published: July 21, 2014
Length: 244 pages
Spirit Warriors The Scarring

Blurb:

“One of us would finally end what had been started by the machayiwiw so many years ago. I would have to kill him. It was just that simple. I never thought I would want to kill anybody or anything, but maybe I never had anything worth killing for before.”
-Emmeline Rima Belrose, The Scarring (Spirit Warriors, Book 2)
In the majestic beauty of a Montana summer, Emme and her friends celebrate her near-drowning survival and their defeat of the powerful evil spirit, the machayiwiw. But even as they rejoice, things are amiss. Emme watches helplessly as her family divides, and her friends struggle to hold their relationship together. Worse yet, the love-of-her life, Charlie, announces that he will move back to the reservation, without Emme. Different nightmares take over and Emme realizes she must fight and kill—or watch those she loves be killed. Friends from the reservation reach out to Emme and show her what evil can steal from her. Emme believes that evil can never break her bond with the Spirit Warriors or the love she shares with Charlie. Or can it?
Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Although this is the second book in the Spirit Warriors series, it can be read as a stand alone novel.

Excerpt

Ron looked over at me. I stared back at him. "Do you understand what I have told you, child?" Ron asked me.

I nodded. "Charlie is a spirit mover."

Ron nodded. "Among other things."

Ron went on, “Charlie is having more and more speaking times with the warriors. There is a sense of urgency now that Charlie learns how to shift spirit warriors into human bodies. He has been practicing with Ryan and Hawke. He is making some progress, but it is taking a long time. Charlie is weakening with the increasing talking times. He does not know when they will come and he has been injured many times. Our people now make sure he is never alone. We cannot risk his injuring himself, or the machayiwiw finding him undefended. He has much to learn. You have much to learn. You must learn hand-to-hand combat. Hawke is our best warrior, both with a knife and a spear. He can cut the wings off a fly in flight with his knife. He will be training you.” Ron looked at me.

“NO, I don’t think so.” I told Ron. “First, Hawke doesn’t like me and I can’t see him training me. Second, I’m not sure I could kill someone, even if it was the machayiwiw. In anger, I think I can, but I’m not sure.”

Ron looked at me. “What if that person was trying to kill Charlie, or your friends, or Eros your bird?”

I shook my head. “I just don’t think I can do this.”

Ron lowered his gaze. “If you don’t, you will die, along with Charlie, your friends, your animals, and your family. I will die, as will our people. He will finally destroy the one person who stands against him. The one person who has the power to destroy him. There will never be another you. Our people have waited many, many years for you. Golden Flower has waited many years for you.”

“I don’t want the responsibility!” I yelled at Ron as I stood up. “I might fail!” I jumped up and ran down the side of the creek. I ran as fast as I could and the sharp prairie grass cut my legs. I didn’t feel it. I felt angry and sad at the same time. “Why me? Why not someone else?” I thought to myself. I rounded a bend of the river and I ran right into Hawke. The force of our collision knocked us both to the ground. I lay on the ground with the wind knocked out of me. Hawke stood up and looked down at me.

I stood up and brushed off my shirt. Hawke stared at me. I looked at him and asked, “Why do you hate me?”

Hawke glared at me. “Charlie is my cousin and my best friend. You have brought him nothing but heartache and loss. I suspect you will do something stupid and Charlie will be killed because of you. I really don’t care anything about you and I’m sure as hell not sold on your ‘savior’ complex. I think you are full of shit and if something happens to Charlie, I will hunt you down and kill you myself.”

I was horrified. “I didn’t want this! I just want to be with Charlie. No matter what you think, I love him. I have always loved him and I will never stop loving him.” Hawke stands with his arms crossed. “We’ll see about that.” Hawke brushed past me and walked back up the creek towards Ron and Charlie.

I walked back to the jeep. I climbed in the back with Charlie and it was quiet as Ron drove us back to the cluster of buildings. When we pulled up, Irene came running up to the jeep. “Come on, Emme, we are getting ready to eat.” Irene grabbed my hand and pulled me in the building. Ollie and Jack were with Ryan. Jack motioned us over. Charlie brought me a plate of food. Irene squeezed her small body between Charlie and me. Charlie looked down at her. “Hey, Squirt, why don’t you sit on the other side of Emme?”

Irene looked at me. “Are you in love with Charlie?”

I glanced at her small face as she slid her arm through my arm. “Yes,” I whispered to her. Irene wrinkled up her face.

“YUCK! Boys are messy and yucky and stinky! Even Charlie.” We all laughed as Charlie grabbed her and rolled her on the ground and tickled her until Irene begged for mercy.

After lunch, Charlie and I walked hand in hand down to the creek. We sat on the bank and stared at the water. I leaned over and put my head on Charlie’s shoulder. Charlie wrapped his arm around me and pulled me close to him. We sat there quietly. I looked across the creek and saw Hawke staring at us. He had his arms folded across his chest. I looked at Charlie. “Can’t we even be alone? Does he have to watch us?”

Charlie nodded. “He is just protecting me.”

“From me?” I say sarcastically. Charlie shook his head. “No, not from you.”

Hawke stared at me. I stood up and stared back at him. He reached in his waistband and pulled out his knife. I stared him down as he prepared to throw his knife in my direction. I was not scared of him. Something deep inside of me assured me that he would not kill me with his knife. I stood perfectly still as he pulled back his arm. In slow motion I saw the knife hurling through the air, handle over blade as Charlie screamed my name. I felt the knife come right by my head and I felt a sharp pain by my ear and the drip of blood on my neck. My face never changed as I stared back at Hawke. My friend, that red hot feeling that meant I could be something stronger than I was, overcame me and I felt myself soaring above the creek.

I heard Charlie calling my name. I looked around as I called out, determining where every living thing was around me. I felt the rattlesnake’s presence before I saw them. I singled them out and waved my hands. Within minutes they were hissing in a circle around Hawke. Hawke was trying to back away, but he was backing into another snake. Charlie was screaming at Hawke to stand still. Charlie was yelling at me. “Emme, NO, stop it! Hurting him would only hurt me. Do you really want to hurt me?” My attention wavered from the snakes and I focused on Charlie. Instantly I was back in my body and looking at Charlie.

Charlie had me by the arm. “Stay here, Em, I’ll be right back.” Charlie waded into the water and ran to Hawke. The snakes were gone. Hawke was sitting in the dirt by the bank with his head in his hands. Hawke was visibly shaking as Charlie helped him up. I stood up and glared at Hawke. They waded back across the bank.

Charlie walked up to me. “Hawke is here to protect me and by protecting me, he is protecting you. Hawke has the skills to help you, to teach you what you need.” Charlie looked over at Hawke. “Emme is not the enemy. Do you finally see what she is? Do you see the gifts she has? She is our people’s last hope. She belongs with us.”

Hawke nodded and walked over to me. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a piece of cloth. He reached up and wiped the blood off of my neck. “I’m sorry,” he told me.

I grabbed his hands and held them between mine. “Me too.” Hawke turned on his heel and walked back the path to the main building.

Charlie looked at me. “What the hell did you just do?”

I looked back at him. “I finally figured out that Golden Flower gifted me with the ability to talk to and control animals.” I smiled questioningly at Charlie.

Charlie didn’t smile back. “What else have you done?” I told Charlie about Ollie and the church and the birds. Charlie paced around me. “This is not good. The machayiwiw will notice a display like the one you did in town. You must not ever do it again in a public place where others can see you. Do you understand me?” I nodded with my head down. Charlie leaned forward and grabbed my face between his warm hands. “I have to admit that it was an awesome thing to do for Ollie, but we have to be more careful.”

I laid my hands over his by my face. I leaned into this chest as he slowly lowered us to the ground. We laid on the ground facing each other. I stared into his eyes lost in his world. Charlie stared back at me and as the beautiful empty world and the warm wind eavesdropped on us, we talked. I told him about Bets, and Mom and Ben, and how hurt Ollie was at the church. I told him about Jack and the preserve and Rose and the baby. We talked laying down and facing each other with our fingers intertwined until the sun started its slow climb to the edge of darkness. The sky was an incredible shade of deep purple with shades of violet blue. Even in the beauty of the sunset, I felt the desperation creep over me. I started to shake. I didn’t want to leave Charlie. I never wanted to leave Charlie. Charlie leaned closer. I could feel his breath on my cheek. He laid his gentle brown hands on my cheeks. I closed my eyes. “Let me take the pain away,” he whispered. We stood up.

Charlie closed his eyes and he chanted in a low voice. I listened to his voice. I closed my eyes and leaned into Charlie. I laid my head on his chest and listened to his heartbeat. I felt the desperation leave me and I was filled with a sense of peace and serenity. My breathing slowed, and my mind was filled with the beautiful times that Charlie and I had shared. We were like one in my mind, our thoughts joined and our spirits connected. It was the most incredible intense feeling. It was what I imagined making love would be like. I felt dizzy and my body felt it was on fire from the inside out. My legs gave way and I dropped to my knees. Charlie grabbed me and slowly lowered me down to the ground. “What did you do?” I asked Charlie. He stared back at me. “I showed you our love. I showed you what is worth fighting and dying for.”

As Charlie stood up, he staggered. I reached out and held his arm. “Are you okay?” Charlie put his hand over mine that rested on his arm. “Just tired. You wear me out.” He grinned broadly as I swatted his arm. “Poor me,” I told him. We held hands as we headed back to the main buildings.

Ollie and Jack were standing outside of the meeting room talking to Ryan and Hawke. Ryan looked up as we approached. “Hey, Em, can you come back next week? I want to run in the hills with you, and Hawke needs to start working with you on knife and lance throwing.” “Sure thing,” I told him. Hawke looked at Charlie and then at me. Charlie was leaning on the car while he talked to Jack. Charlie’s face was pale. Hawke walked the short distance to me and whispered in my ear. “Every time Charlie carries your pain, he gets weaker. Every time you feel better in Charlie’s presence, he pays the price for it. Is that what you want for him?” I shook my head “No.” I looked at my feet as Hawke said, “Don’t come back here. Walk away. His burden is too big to carry.” I shook my head. “I’m sorry I can’t do that. I just can’t. I love him too much.” Hawke shook his head and walked away.

We all walked to the car. I held Charlie’s hand as long as I could. I climbed in the back seat and Jack and Ollie sat down in the Mustang. As we drove off, I turned around and stared back at Charlie. He stood there watching us drive off.
An Interview with Author D.E.L. Connor

What was your favorite book growing up?
When I was old enough to read it was the Little House on the Prairie series. I must have read and reread each of them a hundred times. I honestly thought I was Laura Ingalls Wilder. Most girls my age were into dolls and while I liked dolls and playing house, my version of playing house always had a log house and a covered wagon. They are still my favorite books to read to children. Can't you just picture yourself on a hot summer day bouncing along in the back of the covered wagon?
Who is your favorite author (living or dead)?
I have more than one. Obviously I love Laura Ingalls Wilder, but I am also a huge fan of Larry McMurray. I grew up admiring strong women writers like Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee and more recently J.K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyers.
What inspired you to write the Spirit Warriors series?
Actually is has been a long time coming. I wrote the short story that the Spirt Warriors evolved from in college may years ago. The professor asked me to stay after class and he told me how good it was, but unfortunately, it was too dark to be a children's story. I put it away and went on with my career as a nurse. Finally J.K Rowling and Stephenie Meyers came out with new dark tales and the young adult market was born. The time was finally right! I finished Book 1 in two weeks. The struggle to get it published took more time, but here I am with two books in the story completed.
What character do you most identify with in Spirit Warriors: The Scarring?
Probably Lilly, I tend to be kind to a fault, and love my friends and family unconditionally. I think as a child I wished I could have been more like Bets and Emme. They are headstrong, brave and willing to fight for anything or anyone they cared about. I was shy when I was young, although no one believes that today! LOL
Can you tell us about your next project?
Why of course. I am about half way through book 3 in the series The Burning. There will be 6 books total in the series. Book 4 will be The Lamenting, Book 5 The Ensouling and then a Prequel to be named later. In between those books or after them I'm not sure which, I plan to write a new adult romance novel about loss and finding the chance to love again.
The Concealing (Spirit Warriors #1)
by D.E.L. Connor
Release Date: November 24, 2013
Length: 191 pages
Publisher: Booktrope

Spirit Warriors - The Concealing webready
Blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Emme Belrose has it all: four best friends, a horse of her own, a hidden tepee hangout, and a blossoming romance with tall and handsome Charlie. These friends also have a secret. They can move their spirits into animal bodies: an osprey, a mustang, a grizzly, a mountain lion and a coyote.



But when Charlie, who has a gift for seeing the future, has a vision of Emme drowning in the icy Yellowstone River, the Spirit Warriors must train their animal bodies to kill an enemy they know is coming… but know nothing about. Suspenseful, romantic, and awash in Native American magic, Spirit Warriors captures the tragic enchantment of the American West—and confirms the power of friendship.

About the Author

DEL ConnorDella was born in South Dakota and raised in the vastness and beauty of Montana on a farm. When she longed for the big city life, she moved to Texas where she attended college and received a PhD in nursing. When not nursing people back to health you can find Della huddled over her Mac writing the stories that have occupied her mind for so many years, or traveling with her best friends, the NOLA’s, riding bikes across the Golden Gate bridge or exploring botanical gardens. She is the proud mother of a champion triathlete, two aging dogs and 1 grand-cat. Della has admittedly confessed to her coffee addiction and swears that her two hour coffee crawl while on vacation in Seattle –was the best two hours of her life!
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Friday, 18 July 2014

FF (171)


Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee or Alison Can Read

This week's question feature is
Katrina & Bookish Things & more

SHARE A FUNNY YOUTUBE VIDEO

My Answer:

I've just been introduced to 'Chuckle Duster', they are a performing arts group in Shoreditch, London, they do improv shows. And I think they are great, always make me giggle. This was their latest video. 

Happy hopping and Blogging!

 

Sunday, 13 July 2014

YALC - Young Adult Lit Con


This is a long post, but hope you enjoy!

This weekend was LFCC - London Film and Comic Con at Earl's Court in London. This year, for the first time ever it contained YALC - the Young Adult Lit Con. This was set up by current Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman (author of Noughts and Crosses series plus many more)

I go to LFCC every year, it's my mum's annual Birthday treat. We usually go on a Sunday due to work commitments and it is just easier somehow. But this year with the YALC there were more people going on Saturday that we wanted to meet so we decided to book the day off work and head to London. I should also point out now that I went dressed as Katniss from The Hunger Games, so if you see a mark on my forehead in the photos - it's just make up, I haven't really cut my forehead!

Knowing there would be a lot of authors there I packed the books I wanted to get signed in a bag and got ready to carry them around London. My backpack had about 10 books in it, mostly hardback and weighed a ton, but I knew it would be worth it to get them signed. I still had to leave a couple at home as it was. (some of the authors attending ---------->)
But I was ready, or so I thought!

The difference was astounding, usually on a Sunday we can get there for about 9:30 and just walk in and walk about leisurely. This year, this Saturday was crazy. We got a fairly early train and got to Earl's Court for about 8:50 - a whole 10 minutes before the doors were due to open for the Early Bird entries. We expected a bit of a queue, but not what we were faced with. The line went round the building TWICE!!! We were about three quarters of the way back. Slightly annoyingly the guys organising the lines kept changing instructions, we were told to stand on the right, then he told us to stand on the left, then to 'clear out the way' as cars with the stars were still arriving. He then said that the right side was joining onto the current queue and those on the left would then form the start of a line that would join the back of us. But by the time we got round to the front that line had long disappeared so I think he moved them out the way and let them in. But never mind. An hour and 10 minutes later we got through the door. Finally!

But immediately we doubted if that was what we really wanted, the room was packed and I am talking sardines packed in a tin level. You could barely move or breath in there. Luckily I am not claustrophobic but even so i felt a bit intimidated.

We scouted out the people we wanted autographs from first, as they do a 'Virtual Queue' system where you get a ticket number and just come back when that number comes up to save you standing around. Well my friend asked me to get 'Summer Glau' for her and my mum wanted her signature too so we headed straight for her. At approx 10:15 we got a ticket and was number 857 in the waiting list!!! I then grabbed T.J Thyne (number 231) and my mum got David Hewlett (again in 200's). Knowing it would be a few hours we decided to go to the book zone, there was a talk at 11:15 I was interested in and to be honest I was only there for the Books! The YALC was all I wanted.





I walked around some of the desks, talked to a few self published authors, looked at some publishers stands - Books with Bite, and Atom books were there. Waterstones had a massive table selling books. Then Egmont had an awesome corner and a table filled with freebies. I got a Tote back, some badges, some wristbands including a Skulduggery Pleasant wristband (ahhh!!!!) some posters for various books including Starcrossed series and A.G.Howard's new book. It was awesome.
To the side was a reading area with a wall of hanging books which was really cool
Tickets for the first talk had run out but it was in an open area and we were told we could listen in if we 'hovered round the edges' which is exactly what we did. The talk was about the rise of Dystopian fiction and was run by (right to left) Malorie Blackman, Patrick Ness and Sarah Crossan. It was really interesting and they raised some interesting points.


I then ran across to Sarah Crossan's signing, leaving a little early from the talk to get to her table, only to find thre was already a handful of people in the queue, but I think I was about 8th. On the way there I spotted Derek Landy's queue - he wasn't due for another hour but people were already lining up so I asked my mum to stand in line and hold me a place whilst I met Sarah and being the wonderful mum she is, she agreed.

So I met Sarah Crossan and she was lovely! She is the author of 'Breathe' and 'Resist' which I adore. She signed my books and let me take a photo. (or rather the random strangers behind me took it for me - thank you whoever you were)

 Sarah Crossan and Me!

I then went to the Derek Landy queue and took my place back from my mum, she was about 6th back from the front and I'd say there was already about 30 or so more behind her. We then stood for the next hour. It was chaos!
Stan Lee was appearing for his final time and so had mass people waiting for him, they stupidly put his signing area right to the side of the author table. This table included Darren Shan, Derek Landy and Malorie Blackman - the queues for all 3 authors and Stan Lee were so big they ended up just clashing in one massive huddle in the middle. The organisers had to do some serious re-arranging. That hour felt so long, it was so hot and my feet and back were killing me, I put my backpack of books on the floor but there wasn't space to sit.
I was a bit disappointed that they scheduled Malorie and Derek at the same time. As Malorie's line was also very big so I realised I wouldn't be able to get her autograph too.
Derek arrived and started to sign
He's so awesome.
I then got to the front and he signed the 2 books I had with me, so that means I have all but 2 books in the series signed, but I had to leave those at home as they were both over 600 pages long, fat and heavy and just wouldn't fit in my bag.
We then had a photo, he said to look 'intriguing'. Not sure if we managed it, but it was fun!
Love that photo!


I then decided to head back and see if the film stars where up to our numbers, Summer Glau was only on 200 or something, after all that time and had left for lunch and then to do a photo shoot so it would be a couple of hours before she was back. That was when we realised that with ticket 857 we were never going to meet her.
I wanted some more authors so I left my mum to get T.J Thyne's photo and her David Hewlett, while I checked out the lines.

Malorie Blackman's queue had gone down so I thought I would join, there were some others behind me joining too and very soon her line was quite big again, but then an event organiser said that Malorie was doing another panel talk in 10 minutes so she wouldn't be able to sign our books but we could come back afterwards, seeing as it was already gone 2pm and we were knackered and she wouldn't be back until gone 4pm. I did not want to wait around that long so I faced the fact I wouldn't get to meet her, but I have seen her before so it wasn't too bad.

I then walked round to see if Rainbow Rowell had a queue, and Oh My Goodness did she have a queue. 30 minutes before she was due to be there, she already had a line of about 50 people, I didn't want to stand in that, it was too hot and too long, I hadn't even got back to the main room for a look round yet. I then tried to see where Will Hill and Andy Robb would be. Andy didn't have a sign up - confusingly and Will Hill wasn't due for another 15 minutes. I walked out to see if there was anyone else I was interested in and tell my mum what I was going to do next.
When I came back Rainbow Rowell's queue had taken over the back half of the room and was fighting for space with Derek Landy's line which was still going and Darren Shan's fans. Both authors agreed to stay longer so they could sign more (aren't they great!!!) There must have been about 300-500 people in the queue for Rainbow.
I managed to squeeze by and noticed someone sitting under Will Hill's sign, having never seen him and there being no picture in my book I didn't know what he looked like, so I asked. Once I had established he was in fact the person I wanted to see I got my book out (Department 19 series).
I was relieved about this, I thought I would end up missing everyone else and not getting anymore books signed which seemed a waste after carrying them for so long. So bonus!!!
Will was really nice and we had a quick chat, we were totally hemmed in by Rainbow fans but it was still nice. He also agreed to have a photo


Will Hill and me

I haven't actually finished reading Department 19 yet but I'm about halfway and really enjoying it so knew I wanted to meet him and he was very nice.
I then decided to have one more look for Andy Robb, my mum was still in the autograph area and probably looking for my brother who had been trying to walk round and look and escaping into one of the cafe's/restaurants there just to get some space all day. I figured they would find me eventually. there was still no sign up for Andy so I asked a very helpful lady who was working for the event and she told me that Andy Robb would be signing where Will Hill was, they would switch. So I went back to the table and lingered, being constantly squished and jostled by the manic crowd behind me. 

A few other brave people got through for Will's book to be signed and SJ Skuse sat the other side, I'd never read her books but she had a steady stream of people too. 
Will got up and said goodbye then about 5 minutes later they finally came and changed the signs. Then Andy Robb himself arrived, and he signed my book for me. Wish I had brought both of the Geekhood books now, but never mind. We had a chat and he was really nice. I didn't manage to get a picture with him, wish I had but never mind. 
By now it was almost 3pm, I had no idea where my mum and brother were the Rainbow queue was still growing. I actually heard two of the organisers arguing about what they were going to do about all the lines saying it was 'totally out of hand', but 'what exactly do they expect us to do about it!?' I felt so sorry for them, they were all trying really hard but bad organisation was causing mass problems.

I managed to find my family and we agreed to give up. I had wanted to wait to see Steve Cole again and talk to Sarah McIntyre, there was also a panel discussion about Fantasy writing and Dragons on later, but none of us could face staying any longer. My back weighed more and more as the day went on, our feet hurt, it was stiflingly hot and still as crowded as ever with more people coming in all the time so we opted for 'run away'. 
 
My brother had been round half the stalls earlier in the day, but my mum and I literally spent the day standing in lines and yes meeting the authors but we didn't get anywhere else. But by that point even if we had wanted to have a look round, there were so many people and the aisles were so narrow you couldn't even get near to the tables. I don't know if any Fire Safety or Health and Safety laws were broken, but it surely couldn't have been safe to have that crush of people in there. If there had been a fire or some other emergency we wouldn't have been able to evacuate without some sort of stampede and people getting crushed and no paramedic could have got through easily. It's actually scary.
 
So we ended up leaving earlier than planned. I was quite happy as I got most of the autographs  I wanted so I felt like I had mostly achieved what I set out to do, but I didn't enjoy it anywhere near as much as other years.

It was a fabulous event, but they seriously underestimated how many people would be coming for the YALC. In comparison to the building size they gave it a fairly small corner, almost like it was tucked there as a little bonus area, but it was heaving. It exploded, they obviously didn't think that many people would be interested, but it was fabulous to see so many people passionate about books.

I hope they do another YALC next year either as it's own event, or with a bigger section of LFCC. 

It all just needed a bit of number control and better organisation, but I am glad I went

Book Promo - Reborn





Have you discovered 'Reborn' next. The new amazing book by C.C Hunter? If not, now is the time to dive in.

Enter Shadow Falls: After Dark and meet a vampire named Della, who’s about to discover what her own story is meant to be. . . .

Della had the perfect life—the family, a boyfriend, and a bright future—until she was turned, and abandoned by everyone she loves. She takes refuge at Shadow Falls, a camp for teens with paranormal powers. It’s where she and her best friends, Kylie and Miranda, heal their heartbreak with laughter, and where Della is training to be a paranormal investigator—and she refuses to be distracted. That means there’s no time for romance with Steve, a gorgeous shapeshifter whose kisses melt her heart. 

When a new vampire named Chase shows up at camp, Della’s world is thrown into even more chaos. Arrogant and annoyingly sexy, Chase is a mystery . . . and the only mystery Della likes is one she can solve. She can’t solve Chase, at least not while she’s dealing with ghostly hauntings, vampire gangs and a web of family secrets. Can she prove herself as an investigator and keep her life—and her heart—intact?

The first in a brilliant new series from the creator of "Shadow Falls". Haven't read Shadow Falls yet? Then where have you been. Get started now. Also available - special 2-in-1 editions just released.

"The Beginning"
contains books 1 and 2 - 
Born at Midnight 
and
 Awake at Dawn


"The Next Chapter"
contains books 3 and 4 - 
Taken at Dusk
and
 Whispers at Moonrise

And if that's not enough, book 2 in Della's series has been announced and will be called 'Eternal'. I cannot wait for this!!!
Here are some teasers:
  • Never drive ninety miles an hour in a forty mile an hour speed-limit area.
  • When it snows inside your bedroom, something spooky is going on.
  • Breaking and entering isn’t nearly as much fun as you would think it would be.  Especially when you are seconds from being caught.
  • Riding in a convertible with the wind in your hair is almost as good as flying.
  • Taking ice cream away from a girl suffering from a broken heart, might get you turned into a kangaroo with pimples.
Wonder what that's all about, well start the series and find out.
C.C Hunter is one of my all time favourite authors and I adore the Shadow Falls series. It really is a must read! So what are you waiting for? 


Saturday, 12 July 2014

Name a Character! Dark Moon Series


How would you like to have a chance for a character YOU named be in a popular new series soon to be published by Dark Feed Press with GMTA Publishing? 


Sounds like a dream come true, right? 


Well here is your chance, read below to find out how you can be a part of this amazing new series soon to be released! 

Like the Dark Moon Series Facebook Page and tell us the story behind why you are choosing that name you're submitting.  

On August 12th, 2014 we will choose a winner at random and the name you've chosen will appear in our next book "Dark Harvest."

  RULES: The name can not be a celebrity name or contain curse words.  We retain the right to use the character as it pertains to the story. This means they could have a short run (two book minimum) or a long story arc. Who knows how that character will develop. 

Friday, 11 July 2014

FF (170)


Follow Friday is an opportunity to discover and follow other book related blogs! Want to join? Check it out at Parajunkee or Alison Can Read

This week's question feature is
Casual Readers

If you had a time machine (i.e. a TARDIS), where would you go?

My Answer: I would consider going back in time as there are some great events and people I would like to meet but I would be terrified that I would change something, however small and it would cause the butterfly effect and the world as we know it would cease to exist (too dramatic?) It could happen! So I might have to go forward, but then I might be disappointed with what I saw, if life didn't turn out the way I hope it will. So to be honest. I would probably just sell the time machine and make my fortune!!! Let someone else do the travelling. :)

And don't forget to check out and comment on my new weekly discussion post 'Thursday Thoughts' this week I looked at How to Talk to Authors.

Happy hopping and Blogging!