Tag Archive | Dystopian

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. The weekly Meme wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading.

  • Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    -BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

Light the WayPeople rarely spoke about life before the virus, even those who were adults when the disease broke out. We’d been shown broadcasts at school about how people used to live, but it was definitely not considered acceptable dinner conversation.

~Light the Way by Joe Kipling

 

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Saturday Spotlight

saturday spotlight

Blinded by the Light by Joe Kipling

(The Union Trilogy Book 1)

Blinded by the light

In the near future, when the world’s population has been decimated by disease, the fortunate few live inside the Boundary, while the unlucky ones are left to die on the Outside. MaryAnn is one of the privileged. It doesn’t matter that her friends can sometimes be cruel or that the boy she likes just threw up on her shoes, it’s all about being noticed at the right parties.

But it takes a single event to rip her life apart.

Struggling with physical and psychological scars, MaryAnn must face up to the truth about the foundations of the Neighbourhood and the legacy of her family. Once she learns the truth she can never go back, but can she really put her faith in the Union?

Blinded by the Light is about death and coming to terms with loss, the abuse of power, discrimination and the fear of the unknown. It is the first book in The Union Trilogy.

This dystopian young adult fiction book set in the near future critiques aspects of society such as a preoccupation with celebrity, materialism and privilege. It Shows that in real life good and evil are never clear cut and we all have to decide what it means to ‘do the right thing’.

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My Review:

Set in a future where the population has been decimated by the Sandman Virus and the elite live in Neighbourhoods run by The Light Foundation. This was an enjoyable read, told from MaryAnn’s point of view.

MaryAnn’s father is an important man in The Light Foundation and at the start of the book MaryAnn has a perfect life, she’s a spoilt rich kid who has everything she wants.

After meeting her estranged brother, Daryl, at a party, disaster strikes and MaryAnn has to live with the Director of the Foundation. Although still rich and spoilt, she becomes isolated with only the Director’s daughter, Maud, for company.

When her brother contacts her again, she discovers he is a Unionist. The Unionists live outside of Neighbourhoods and know the truth behind The Light Foundation. As MaryAnn is introduced to other Unionist members, including her Uncle Patrick and Daryl’s friend, Peter, her beliefs are challenged, and her world changes from the ‘them and us’ attitude that she was brought up with.

The characters were well written and multi-dimensional, my favourites being MaryAnn and Peter. I loved seeing MaryAnn adapt and mature as the story went on, and the developing friendship between her and Peter, though it was heartbreaking watching the life she knew collapse around her.

The Author has done an amazing job of world building and how her society is structured, and it’s easy to imagine living there, either as one the elite or one of ‘outsiders’

Overall, a topnotch and imaginative start to a trilogy for young adults, and older adults also. I’ve already started Book 2, Light the Way.

About The Author:

Joe KiplingJoe Kipling is a West Yorkshire based young adult fiction writer with a lifelong passion for Sci-Fi, particularly the post-apocalyptic variety.

She currently lives in Holmfirth with her dog Kenny and is a full-time consultant and part-time writer.

A lifetime of travelling and avoiding near catastrophe has provided endless inspiration for The Union Trilogy.

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Toxic by Karen J Mossman and Karina Kantas

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Two authors, two versions of the same book in two exciting genres of fiction.

Karen J Mossman and Karina Kantas present, Toxic.

 

ToxicLexi isn’t your normal Malok. She craves adventure and freedom from the mundane life forced upon her. 100 years ago, the first drop of acid rain fell. Maloks fled to the mountains, building a new way of life—a desolate life—a life Lexi knows all too well.

Lexi has a plan, her ticket out of this miserable existence, becoming a ranger. Aron, her partner, believes she’s not strong enough to fight alongside him. Lexi will stop at nothing, no matter what the danger, to achieve her independence, even if that means defying him.

Amidst everything, Marcus, Lexi’s childhood best friend makes a sudden return. Before she can rejoice in a reunion, her happiness is crushed when she sees Mae, the bully that had terrorized her in her teens. Marcus was aware of the mental abuse Lexi had suffered and yet the person she loved and the person she hated the most, stand before her, together.

“A powerful dystopian thriller that captures the heart and imagination”.

“A romantic, thrilling read…..Karen dares to challenge relationships bringing them together in troubled times….thougthful and though- provoking.”

Toxic by Karen J Mossman

 

Toxic -Erotic“A sensual, erotic read…Karina dares to figure out the nature of passion…thoughtful and thought-provoking.”

“It was a pleasure to read an erotic story that had an actual plot. The genre itself is probably the most misunderstood. The plot drives an erotic story and the sex just adds to the enticing nature of it. You’ve done a great job building a world for your reader.“

Toxic by Karina Kantas

 
“Toxic is based in a future world where acid rain forces the people, the Maloks to build their cities inside mountains for protection. What is also amazing is this book has two versions, the romantic and the erotic. In both books the story focuses on a female Malok called Lexi, who is determined to become a Ranger and help society guard against the Outcasts. Only Lexi has little support, even from her own boyfriend, Aron. Mix in a childhood sweetheart, in the shape of Marcus, and the unexpected arrival of Mae, Lexi’s childhood bully and things begin to get interesting. Toxic is the story of Lexi’s determination to satisfy her ambitions, both professionally and personally. The Erotic Toxic tells the same story but delves deeper into Lexi’s sexuality and passions. Whichever Toxic you chose, you find yourself living the fantasy.”

 

Excerpt:

“Lexi,” greeted the young medic.

“Hey, Sha.” Lexi smiled.

She walked past Sha and sat down on a stool, took a sterile cloth, and wiped away the dead skin, causing her to take an intake of breath. No matter how many times she had been burnt there was no way to get used to that kind of pain.

As she reached for a jar of Dozax paste, Sha spoke. “You’ve been outside again, haven’t you?”

Lexi didn’t answer at first, as she felt the wonderful relief as the paste went to work, taking away the pain and healing the burn. The skin immediately started to regenerate and within moments all that was left on her hand was a green coloured dye, which would eventually fade. Still, Lexi needed to wear a patch that had a tiny spot of Dozax cream to complete the treatment. It was dangerous for any Malok to use Dozax in its pure form. Everything had to be diluted.

“You are such a strange Malok,” Sha said, shaking her head.

Lexi smiled. “I can’t help it. I’d go crazy if I was cooped up here forever.”

“Has your ranger training started?” Sha asked.

Lexi’s grin was wide. “Not yet. At the end of the week,” she answered, still not believing she had been accepted into the academy. “Okay, I’m done,” she said and then jumped off the stool. “See you tomorrow.”

“Oh wait. You have four inoculations to do tomorrow.”

“Four?” Lexi questioned.

“Yes, some Maloks arrived last night with the new commander.”

“Oh, yes I forgot about Jow. So sad. He was nice as a commander, and so approachable and happy all the time, you know?”

“Yeah,” Sha agreed and then giggled. “Remember when he came and said he wanted to learn basic aid? Oh my, he was so funny.”

Lexi laughed as she remembered that day and how he always made her smile. “See even now, just thinking of the late commander makes us happy. He left a great legacy behind.”

“He sure did. Let’s just hope the new one can live up to that.”

“Okay, I’m off. See you tomorrow, Sha.”

“I will have the Dozax jabs ready for you in the incubator,” Sha called.

“Super! Thanks,” Lexi mumbled.

Lexi still couldn’t get that sad day out of her mind. She even had to visit the Charmer to talk and get closure. The loss of Commander Jow was hard for everyone. A party of fifteen went out that day and only two returned. Lexi wished for peace every day, but the only way that would happen was if the Outcasts and the Maloks agreed to share.

She shook her head. Of course, that would never happen, she was kidding herself. Outcasts needed the Terra leaves to feed their addiction. Never mind that this amazing plant could cure pain, protect the body from germs, Illness and normal medical problems that come from age and a weary body. She couldn’t imagine how life used to be when young people would die, because they didn’t know the secret of the plant and the properties it possessed. So, sad, she thought, as she quickly made her way back to the residence she shared with Aron.

Everyone assumed that Lexi and Aron would marry and settle down. Her friends certainly thought so, and at the start, so did Lexi. Only now she had woken up, and the adventurous Lexi wanted so much more from life and becoming a ranger was a step in the right direction.

 

Authors
About the Authors:

Karen J Mossman.

Karen J Mossman comes from a family of journalists with her grandfather and uncle having been newspaper editors. Further back a 2x grandfather wrote for his local paper and also published a book based on those articles. Karen is the only one to go into fiction.

All Karen’s books are in collections – The Decade Series, Electric Eclectic and Just Stories.’ She is also a founder member of Electric Eclectic books and has four tales in that collection.

Karen is also an avid blogger and book reviewer, “It’s especially important to me to have feedback from my readers, so please leave a review when you have read one of my books.”

Karen lives on the beautiful Isle of Anglesey off the North Wales coast with her husband and two dogs. She has two grown up children, who were both born on the same day, two years apart.

“I was fascinated by Stephanie Meyer’s book The Host, where people lived in mountains. This was a world I wanted to explore as a setting for Toxic. Living in a close environment as this, there has to be rules. Those rules don’t always have to be fair. This gave me scope to add intrigue and animosity between my characters.”
-Karen J Mossman

WebsiteThe Magic of Stories • FacebookTwitter • GoodreadsAmazon

 

Karina Kantas

Karina Kantas is the author of the popular MC thriller series, OUTLAW and the loved romantic fantasy duology, Illusional Reality.

She also writes short stories and when her imagination is working overtime, she writes thought-provoking dark flash fiction.
There are many layers to Karina’s writing style and voice, as you will see in her flash fiction collection, Heads & Tales and in UNDRESSED she opens up more to her fans, giving them another glimpse into her warped mind.

When Karina isn’t busy working on her next bestseller, she’s a publicist, author manager and VA. She’s also the host of the popular radio show, Author Assist on the Artist First Radio Network.

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Toxic Teaser

Karina and Karen and proud to associate Toxic with Electric, Eclectic books.
Electric Eclectic is a global marketing brand.

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Hosted by:
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Author Assist

Interview with M.L.S. Weech

My guest today is author, M.L.S. Weech, otherwise known as Matt!

Hi Matt, welcome to Rainne’s Ramblings.
Would you like to begin by telling us a little about yourself and your background?
Me

I’ve been published for about three years. I do that when I’m not enjoying my job teaching Sailors at the Defense Information School. I was raised in the desert southwest, and in my youth, there wasn’t exactly a lot to do because I essentially lived in a desert. My imagination was my most accessible toy. I grew up to join the Navy, and after ten years of service, I returned to where my career started as a civilian instructor.

 
When and why did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was about 8. I’d just watched what is still my favorite movie ever, and my favorite character died. Naturally, I cried, but my biodad sort of chuckled at me and told me to write a better movie if I didn’t like this one. So started work on the sequel, and I’ve been writing ever since. I finished my first book when I was about 17. I got genuinely serious in 2009, when I joined a writer’s group and committed to writing 1,000 words a day. I love stories. I love thinking about the plot. I love the crafting of words. It has simply been a part of my life for so long I’m not sure what my life would look like if I didn’t do it.

 
What inspires your books?

My posts are usually inspired by something random. My first book, The Journals of Bob Drifter, was inspired by my family dod and my dad. My mom had a nightmare she told me about, and that inspired my second book, Caught. My newest published novel is an anthology in which my contributing story was inspired by the riots in Virginia. So usually I see or hear something, and my brain, which is prone to flights of fancy, takes it to an extreme degree.

 
Are there any particular places that help you get the creative cogs turning?

I’m a believer in work habit and ethics. I can pretty much write anywhere, but I’m most productive on my couch with my laptop and cool elevating table. (I can pull the top up so it’s even with my arms). That’s where and how I’ve written for about five years, so that’s where my body is most conditioned to want to write.

 
What is the setting and genre of The Power of Words?

The Power of Words has four stories. The first is a science fiction novella set in a world where people can virtually swim in a social media world. That world is dominated by a group of speakers called Voices. This is a world in which social media and digital lives (in this case lived through visors known as omnies) rule, and bare faces are considered odd.

The second is a traditional fantasy set in Richard T. Drakes’ Hollow World series. The story takes place at a seedy bar, and it’s essentially a hostile negotiation between an entrenched criminal and a newly risen hero of the people.

The third is the first in a post-apocalyptic series. It’s a zombie survival story taking place in San Antonio. Some might roll an eye at the idea of “another” zombie apocalypse, but this story is unique in that the main character isn’t one who’s in any way suited to survive in such a place.

The last story is my own, of which I’m very proud. It’s a dystopian science fiction heist story. A mom, who’s essentially a former policeman, hatches a scheme to take out the servers for the planetary silence protocol currently enforced. She believes in the right to speak, and, more importantly, she wants her daughter to be saved from the ruthless enforcement policies currently in place.

 
Why do you think this book will or should appeal to new readers; what makes it stand out?

The first reason would be that it’s great speculative science fiction in the vein of Hugo novels of old. There’s a clear message and meaning, which is nice in a world of popcorn scifi.

The other reason is that it’s all dedicated to the importance of communication. We live in a world where maybe sometimes people want to be heard, but they don’t want to listen so much. I think people need a reminder on the importance of hearing and speaking. Communication is what matters. These themes are wrapped stories that are engaging and fun.

 
Many authors state that their characters are portions of themselves. Is this true with you?

I don’t even hide from this. Part of my process when I create characters is that I give them one trait from myself. Sometimes it’s a good trait. Sometimes it’s a not so good trait. Every now and then, I take a positive trait to an obsessive degree to see what happens. I’ve has people ask me which character is most like me, and I do have a thought on that, but the fact is every character has a part of me. Those who know me and read my books often comment how much of myself they see in each character.

 
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Umm….(counts in his head)…five unpublished books and one half-finished.

 
What is your favourite part or scene in The Power of Words? Can you give us a peek?

I can’t give you the peek because my favorite part is the reveal in my contribution to the story. I’ve had many people complement me on the plot twist in Caught, and I think this twist is just so much better. That’s honestly my favorite part, but another part I enjoy is a scene in which the crew’s lifter, Laree, is trying to get a security badge. It’s just a cute little scene that makes me chuckle. Here it is:

A pair of glass doors whooshed open as she stepped into the lab. She kept her eyes down, but noticed a few technicians look at her. She pointed at the empty lab chair before snatching up a data pad, pretending she’d forgotten it.
Bad mark! she thought looking at the first person she saw. He didn’t have a red badge either. Bad mark! Bad mark! Two more employees displayed their green badges like wards against her plan, mocking her increasingly impossible timeline.
She walked around the monitors and holo-tables as if simply taking a leisurely route back out of the room.
Bad mark! For spark’s sake does anyone on this floor have a … there’s a good mark.
A spindly young technician in need of two meals and a gallon of anti-acne cream sat at a monitor. His red badge dangled from his white coat pocket like a pretty bow. She made a show of nearly dropping the data pad, and the helpful tech, who’d probably never seen a woman naked before, had his moment in the limelight. He heroically stood there while she plowed into him. He just managed to snag the data pad as she snatched the man’s badge.
He looked at her, and she could practically see the wedding play out in his eyes.
Oh, Sweetie, no! She hid her face with the data pad and winked at him before heading out of the lab.
That’s when her wrist communicator started flashing.
Come on, Laree! Did you really think it was going to go that smoothly?

 
Tell us about the cover and how it came about.

Power of Words Cover_FRONT_EBOOKAgain, I’m super proud of this one. I actually designed it myself. I knew I wanted a text-based cover because it was an anthology. So I took the title and played with some concepts. One of my favorite design techniques is the Gestalt principle of figure and ground. Silhouettes use this same principle. The idea is the contrast of one set of shapes on a simple background create the impression of an object or, in my cover’s case, words. I took this one step further because I used a very specific set of words as my figure (the text creating element). I keep it secret as to what those words are because I’d like to think people wonder what the words are and end up staring at them to figure out what publication they’re from. It’s a simple concept executed well. I’m not trying to boast. I’m not saying it’s the greatest cover or concept ever. I just assert it’s a solid idea done well. The real judgement of that would be the viewers though.

 
Have you done any personal appearances?

Ever? Yes. I’ve been in a few bookstores, and I usually do a book launches at a local comic book store. The owner (Bumper) is a great guy, and I like to hang out there. I don’t anymore because if I go in there, I’m going to buy rare comics, and they’re expensive. Most of my appearances (and the one I’m about to do) are at conventions. My next one (and last for the year) will be the Baltimore ComicCon Sept. 28-30.

 
What do you think makes a good story?

I honestly have a simple formula for that. Sympathetic, proactive characters + interesting plot + interesting world = good story. The key element there is the character. They can be reading a book or talking about the weather if they’re sympathetic and proactive enough. I do have to explain that sympathetic to me doesn’t necessarily connote “likable.” A character someone hates can be just as captivating as a character someone loves. The point is, the character evokes strong emotions.

 
Which writers inspire you?

Currently, I’m a huge fan of Brandon Sanderson. I think Peter V. Brett is the best with characters. Dan Wells is the most underrated author out there right now. Then there are the go-tos, Anne McCaffrey, Robert Jordan, Timothy Zahn, and Dean Koontz. I do want to give special attention to Michael G. Manning and C.L. Schneider, two indie authors who really are outstanding.

 
Do you have plans to, or have you already, released audio editions of your book(s)?

The Journals of Bob Drifter is already out on Audible, and Caught is nearly finished. In fact, the Audible version of Power of Words is in production, though I’ve hit a snag there, so it might not be out as soon as I want.

 
Writing seems to be a large part of your life. Imagine a future (if you can) where you no longer write. What would you do?

Well, I’m getting married in November, so I’d probably just be an annoying dad and (hopefully) loyal husband. I’d watch WAY more football (and THAT’S saying something) and play a few more video games too. I might take up sleeping as a hobby. I’ve heard good things about it.

 
Your blog is a mixture of books (news and reviews), Book Cover of the Month and your Mum/your faith:
How/why did you come up with the idea for Book Cover of the Month?

I love top ten lists and competition and brackets. I also love book covers. So I started out just picking covers I thought were nice because that’s actually how I discovered C.L. Schneider. After I started doing that, I wondered what to do the covers. The idea for a bracket came pretty quickly after that. I just like to talk about covers. I’d like to see more voters, and I would really like to have more (professional) debates about why this cover works and why that one doesn’t. For now though, it’s really fun, and I’d look at the covers regardless. This just gives me an interesting bit of content to offer my readers.

 
Has writing about your Mum’s illness and your ‘Trial of Faith’ helped you?

The testimony is first and foremost about giving glory to God. This trial truly shaped me. It saddened me. It broke me. It humbled me. But it also helped me improve my relationship with God. I struggle with pride so much in my life. I was raised in it. I was trained in it while in the Navy (Take Charge! Be a Leader! Be Assertive!). This event was humbling because here I am, a man committed to the idea of, “There’s always something I can do!” Then I’m placed in this situation where I was simply helpless. It’s put me in a place where I’ve realized I’m subject to God’s will and God’s grace, and I’m better for it. Life was hard when I felt like it was all on me. Now I realize my life is in God’s hands, and everything he does, even this, is for good. The testimony reminds me of that. I still struggle with pride. MAN do I struggle with it, but I hope I’m improving and growing.

It also helped me to open up more. As I said above, I already fail to see what’s “interesting” about me. Combine that with the fact that I’m honestly super private and generally selfish with my time, opening up like this has helped me grow as a person.

The greatest help would be hearing, thinking or knowing that my testimony has helped introduce more people to Jesus, and through him God. I fear now that what I’m doing might be brining too much attention on myself and not enough to God (which is the main objective). I feel this way because our faith and grace are evidenced (not granted!) by the fruits of our labors. I’m not honestly sure if’ I’ve born any fruit. I’m not sure if I’ve helped anyone find Jesus or even encouraged anyone going through something similar. That portion of the blog is almost over. I have ideas on what the Sunday blogs will be, but I want them (and everything I do) to glorify God. I may fail more often than I succeed (because we all fall short of the Glory of God), but I want to try.

 
It’s time to relax! What do you do?

I write. When I’m not writing or watching football, I’m playing video games. Reading is fun. But honestly if I had more time for writing, I’d be much happier. Marketing, editing, publicity, those things just really burn me out.

 
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Favorites ever are: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (BEST EVER), How I Met Your Mother, Stargate SG-1, and Supernatural (the first five seasons only). Current series would be Doctor Who, The 100, The Marvel TV shows, Game of Thrones, and Stranger Things.

 
If you had to choose a character from one of your books to have lunch with, who would it be and why?

Bob from The Journals of Bob Drifter. Sure, he might be there to take my soul, but he’s hundreds of years old. He’d have a ton of stories to tell me before I croaked.

 
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

I’m bad at sharing. Not because I’m unwilling, but because I’m really just sort of baffled at the sorts of things people want to know about. I think I’m pretty boring, so it’s hard to think about things because I just don’t know. I usually talk about my students or my kids (my fiancee’s kids, but I’ve pretty much already hijacked them).

 
Thank you for joining us today, Matt. Good luck with the release of The Power of Words in October, and best wishes for your wedding and the future.

 

Boy of Blood By Megan O’Russell

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Title: Boy of Blood
Author: Megan O’Russell
Genre: YA Dystopia
Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing
Series: Girl of Glass
Release Date: April 10, 2018

 

Boy of BloodAfter Nightland’s vicious attack on the domes, the safety and perfection of the world within the glass has been contaminated. Desperate to rebuild, outsiders are allowed into the domes to help, breaking the cardinal rule: outsiders and Domers must always be separated. But the city is in shambles, crumbling into chaos without the Vampers of Nightland to keep order, and one name is carried on the wind: Nola.

Clinging to Jeremy, Nola struggles to find a way to exist in the domes, turning her back on all she learned in the city. But when one of the outsiders brings the dark secrets of the domes to light, the line between survival and murder blurs against the spectre of the dying world.

Can Nola follow the dark path laid out by the Domes? Will the dangers of the night become her new sanctuary?

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About the Author:

Megan O’Russell is the author of the young adult fantasy series The Tethering, and Nuttycracker Sweet, a Christmas novella. Megan’s short stories can also be found in several anthologies, including Athena’s Daughters 2, featuring women in speculative fiction. Megan is a professional performer who has spent time on stages across the country and is the lyrist for Second Chances: The Thrift Shop Musical, which received its world premier in 2015. When not on stage or behind a computer, Megan can usually be found playing her ukulele or climbing a mountain with her fantastic husband.

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Guest Post by Megan O’Russell:

THE O’RUSSELL LIFE by Megan O’Russell

Megan O'Russell

Being an author is amazing. Being an author and a working actor is… complicated.

Right now, aside from working on my three young adult series, I’m performing on the North American tour of The Wizard of Oz. My entire adult life I’ve been lucky enough to work as a professional performer. From Denali, Alaska to Sanibel Island, Florida, I’ve done shows in some amazing places. I would never want to give up performing, but maintaining two different careers is a huge juggling act, especially when you live in a tour bus.

A typical day on tour starts with bus call. The whole cast piles onto the bus. We have quiet hours until noon, so I curl up in my sleeping bad under my seat and try to sleep.

Around noon-ish we stop for lunch. Hopefully, there is cell service or Wifi so I can check for emails from my agent or publishers, check my social media outlets, and post any links I want to share.

Then it’s back on the bus. I *try* and take the afternoon bus time to write or edit. I usually have time to edit 5,000 words or write 1,500.

At 3:30pm or so, we get to the hotel. That’s either time for exercise, writing, finding food, or (if I’m really desperate) a nap.

Usually 5:15 means it’s back on the bus to head to the venue for the evening’s show. We have company meeting on stage, then I can maybe sneak in about a half-hour of writing before mic check. Then it’s time to get ready for the show. I have some big chunks of downtime during each performance, so I have enough time to write a blog post and read a little in whatever marketing/author based book I‘m delving into a the moment.

10:45 pm sees us back at the hotel, which is time for a snack and some more writing.

Bedtime is about 2am, and then I wake up an hour before bus call to do it all over again.

Occasionally, we’ll have just a travel day with no show, which provides some wiggle room for doing something fun, or we’ll be in a city for more than one day so I’ll have some time to explore instead of just staying on the bus. And there are some amazing cities to explore. From Saint Louis to Raleigh, I’ve gotten to hang out in some pretty awesome places while on The Wizard of Oz tour.

It’s a crazy and hectic schedule in which finding a spare minute to work is an amazing feat and finding a quiet place to write is nigh on impossible.

And I will say planning a book release from a tour bus is not for the faint of heart. I cannot express how grateful I am for the team at Fiery Seas Publishing. Without them, I would have curled up in a corner and cried trying to plan a whole blog tour. They’ve been amazing through this whole publication process.
I wouldn’t trade my two crazy careers for anything, but if you ever see me walking wild-haired into a restaurant with a pack of actors from The Wizard of Oz, you’ll know why.

 

 

Five on Friday

5onFriday

Five Books – Five Authors – Five Brief Reviews

I’ve been spending some time this week cataloguing my reviews and came across these books on Goodreads, with some of my first reviews, which I thought I’d share with you.

 

So… If you’re looking for a new book to read this weekend, try one of these:

 

22441671Title: Seed
Series: Keepers of Genesis, #1
Author: D.B. Nielsen

A powerful, hidden artefact is unearthed and, with its discovery, an ancient conflict is reignited. Seventeen-year-old Sage Woods, the daughter of an eminent archaeologist, uncovers the artefact’s disturbing secret and is placed in terrible danger. Unwittingly, she has stumbled into an invisible war between two primordial dynasties of a supernatural order – a war in which she has a fateful role to play in a race to control the power of the SEED.

Embroiled in a quest that takes her from the British Museum to the Louvre to the Vatican Secret Archives, Sage realises that her blossoming romance with the mysterious, alluring St. John Rivers is inextricably tied to the artefact. Up until now, St. John has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Sage is determined to delve deeper to uncover his dark secret and his connection to the SEED. It is a decision that will have a devastating effect on humankind…

Amazon 

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My review:

Wow!! I loved this book.

A hard to put down, page turner. Well written, with a thrilling and intelligent storyline and believable characters.

I only have one complaint…. the book ended. 😉

Thank goodness there are more to follow!

 

22585896Title: The Girl at Midnight
Series: The Girl at Midnight #1
Author: Melissa Grey

Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she’s ever known.

Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she’s fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it’s time to act.

Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, but if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it’s how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

But some jobs aren’t as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

Amazon  • B&NKoboiBooksGooglePlay

My review:

I loved this book!!

It’s a quirky, entertaining and sometimes humorous fantasy, and I enjoyed it…. a lot!

I loved the characters and their interactions, and the wonderful world they inhabit.

 

21415080Title: Land
Author: Alex Campbell

The sea rose. Civilisation was wiped out, countries drowned. Out of the ashes of a desperate refugee camp, a new society was born, with a new place to call home: Land. Trapped by an aggressive sea, its citizens were bound to rules that saw the weak removed, marriage and children by approval only, and designated work for all. All for the greater good……

Decades later, and seventeen year-old Christy’s life is on the cusp of irrevocable change. She has become eligible for the Pairing, a carefully selected marriage of political and social convenience where romance is out of the question. Her grandmother, Cons, has also reached a significant age – sixty-six: soon the Selection Truck will arrive to take her away forever.

Christy’s only hope for protection lies with her missing rebel father…..but nothing goes as it’s supposed to. As Christy finds a Pair who might offer a new opportunity for love and security she also uncovers a destiny that has been hidden from her; truths that have been disguised as childhood lies. With Cons’ life under threat, Christy is forced to face a whole new world, one where she must choose between those she cares about and the greater good….a new life where she must play the reluctant rebel, the revolutionary, the lover…..the assassin.

Amazon  • B&NKoboiBooksGooglePlay

My review:

I loved this book.

It has a fantastic plot, with never a dull moment. Some likeable, strong characters and some not so likeable ones.

It was really hard to put down.

 

18568775Title: Dawn Solstice
Author: Olivia Kiernan

Archaeologist, Dawn Kennedy, is sent to work at a Neolithic tomb in Ireland. The tomb, Newgrange, is famed for its history of reincarnation. Dawn is drawn to studfarm owner Evan O’Brien but their relationship seems thwarted from the start. The locals talk of The Legend of the Banshee, a harbinger of death and when Dawn is haunted by a strange spectre, she feels the past reach out to her. Soon she is living in fear, fear of love, the banshee and Ireland’s fractured history and overlooking the river Boyne, Newgrange seems to be waiting, waiting for her love, waiting for her to die.

Amazon  • B&N 

My review:

A very enjoyable read.

This was one of those books that once I started reading, I didn’t want to stop until I’d finished.

 

18147185Title: Ways to See a Ghost
Series: Ways To See A Ghost #1
Author: Emily Diamand

Isis, the daughter of a charlatan psychic, can see ghosts – including that of her dead little sister, Angel. Gray is the son of a UFO-chasing conspiracy theorist. The two teenagers are forced together when their parents start dating. After a reluctant start, a friendship develops and Isis confesses her secret ability to Gray. But when Isis’ mum is inducted into an elite psychic society, run by charismatic Philip Syndal, Isis discovers there are sinister intentions beneath Philip’s charm. She and Gray find themselves in grave danger and Isis is forced to use her considerable powers to save them both.

Amazon  • B&NKoboGooglePlay

My review:

I like that this book was a quick, easy read, and suitable for younger readers of paranormal, as well as interesting enough to keep adult readers entertained.

The book was well-written and the characters were interesting.

 

If you do pick up one of these books and read it, please leave a review.
It doesn’t have to be long and detailed, a few words will do 🙂

 

Five on Friday

5onFriday

Five Books – Five Authors – One Genre

Looking for a new dystopian read for the weekend?
Try one of these…


Title: The Running Game
Series: Reachers Book 1
Author: L.E. Fitzpatrick

The Running GameRachel’s father called it the running game. Count the exits, calculate the routes. Always be ready to run because they’ll always be coming for you. Whatever happens, they’ll always be coming for you.

On the surface, Rachel is just an ordinary doctor, trying to stay alive in war-torn London, but she has a secret. Rachel is a Reacher – wanted by the government and by the criminal underworld – for her telekinetic powers.

Charlie and his brother John had a reputation for doing the impossible. But after losing his family, Charlie is a broken mess and John is barely keeping him afloat. In desperation, they take a job from a ruthless ganglord only to discover the girl they are hunting is a Reacher – one of their own kind.

James Roxton, a conman and thief, is searching for the man who tried to kill his mother. Suddenly embroiled into the plan to kidnap Rachel, he decides he can turn things to his own advantage.

Even with the help of dangerous and dubious allies, can Rachel turn the game around and save herself?

Amazon

My Review:

This book has it all… friendship, courage, intrigue, suspense, murder, betrayal and more, and I loved it.

I was hooked by the end of the opening chapter and the unique plot kept me captivated right up to the last page.

L E Fitzpatrick’s vivid descriptions depict S’aven as a dreary place with a dark and corrupt society, – not a great place to live.

The main characters, both good and bad, are well-rounded and believable with their own traits and behaviours, and I found myself rooting for Rachel, John and Charlie.

The ending was well done, no cliffhanger, but plenty of room for a sequel, and I’ll be waiting for it.

Also available in the Reachers series:
Border Lines (book 2)
Every Storm Breaks (book 3)
Safe Haven: A Reacher Short Story
Family: A Reacher Short Story
The Lost Shepherd: A Reacher Short Story

• • •

 


Title: The Phoenix Project
Author: D.M. Cain

The Phoenix ProjectA thought provoking and compelling dystopian world that will change the way you view justice…

In prisons across the country, inmates are forced to fight to the death in a weekly bloodbath while the nation cheers them on.

Raven Kennedy, a bitterly depressed young prisoner who has never forgiven himself for his unspeakable crime, struggles against his own guilt and self-loathing. But even as the real war wages within himself, Raven is forced to battle some of the prison’s most ruthless killing machines. Can he survive long enough to unravel the anger and regret that shackle him—and one day find the forgiveness he seeks?

Amazon

My Review:

An original, entertaining, thought-provoking and, at times, an uncomfortable read.

The story line was well thought out, refreshingly unique and well worth reading.

I followed Ravens journey in the present as he dealt with life in prison and the brutality of the Phoenix Project, and learnt, through a series of flashbacks, how he ended up there.

His remorse, self-loathing and guilt, but also his survival instinct are graphically brought to life by D.M. Cain.The world Raven inhabits is brought to life by the authors detailed and descriptive writing.

• • •

 


Title: Blood Master
Series: G.O.D.s Book 1
Author: Kirsten Campbell

Blood Master2052: Two-thirds of the human population have been killed by the Great War, the Clover Virus and the Death Plague. Only one man survived the Death Plague, an albino man named Griffin Storm. He’s the only albino in existence. No one knows what happened to the other albinos, but most believe the rumors that they were eliminated by the Guild Faction’s deadly experiments.

Griffin is hiding out in Underground Atlanta. He has special abilities. He can manipulate crystal and glass. He uses these abilities for good, raiding warehouses and old buildings for food and medical supplies to give to the abandoned children that live in the Underground. During a raid, he meets Tassta Vinetti. She’s a resident of the legendary Brotherhood Fortress. Griffin is taken to the Brotherhood and chaos ensues as Tassta, her twin brother Penn and her Uncle Lerin Sanctobous keep their new visitor and his untold powers secret. They can not disclose that the only albino in existence is now at their fortress or they could all be in great danger.

Fact is, the Guild is hunting Griffin. He is the only survivor of their deadly experiments and his survival will have dynamic consequences. The Guild believes Griffin will transform into a G.O.D., a Genetically-enhanced Omni Dimensional being. If he transforms, he will have inter-dimensional doors within his body, doors that lead to heaven and hell. Griffin will become a Blood Master and he’ll be able to control the demons from the Dimension of Blood.

Will Griffin save the children of the Underground from their tragic life? Will he transform into a G.O.D. and become the Blood Master? Only time will tell…

Amazon

My Review:

I loved this book!

The story started slowly setting the scene and filling in some background, but soon shifted up a gear with some great action and a number of surprising twists.
The characters were well-developed and, for the most part, likable.

The romance between Tassta and Griffin was tasteful and didn’t overwhelm the story.

The author has created a fascinating and realistic world of the future, with vivid descriptions of the Brotherhood’s fortress and the Underground.I can’t wait to see what happens next for Griffin and all.

Also available in the G.O.D.s series::
Blood Phase (book 2)

• • •

 


Title: The Last City
Series: The Last City Book 1
Author: Logan Keys

The Last CitySixteen-year-old Liza was prepared to die from cancer, but instead she’s been gifted super-strength. Since the undead plague, the world’s gone crazy: Evil dictators, mad scientists, sick kids imprisoned on an island, and experiments that have created the stuff of myths and legends.

When Liza meets Jeremy Writer, an anarchist rousting the people to revolt, she has a choice to make. Risk imprisonment, or join the rebellion. And she finds she has a talent for enlisting allies to their cause.

Tommy’s a normal seventeen-year-old boy, that is, until he’s angry. The Underground’s created super-soldiers to fight the regime holding the last city. But he struggles to contain his monster more and more, and Tommy wonders how much of himself will be left when they arrive. He’s got too many who rely on him, to give up now.

If Liza can’t help spark an uprising, and Tommy loses control before victory, then the last of the population will be purged, and freedom will be nothing but a memory.

The Last City (Formerly Gods of Anthem) is a young adult zombie dystopian tale that faces all odds in a post-apocalyptic world.

Amazon

My Review:

Until nearly the end of the book, you go back and forth between two stories, told side by side from the point of view of two people, leading totally separate lives. You know they are going to link up, but you don’t know how.

There’s mystery, suspense, action and romance. Real characters with depth and emotions. Some amazing world-building and a unique plot.

There are some ‘slow’ moments, but that just gives you chance to breath.

All in all it’s a well paced page turner.

The ending leaves a lot of questions unanswered, which sets you up for the next book.

I can’t wait for the sequel!

Also available in The Last City series::
La La Land (book 2)
Lies and Legends (book 3)

• • •

 


Title: Death Thieves
Author: Julie Wright

Death ThievesYou’re dead, Summer Dawn Rae.

When Summer Rae is stolen from the moment of her own death and taken to a future where mankind is dying, it is with the hope that she, and other teenagers like her, can save it. But after only a short time in the future, Summer discovers a darker side to the altruistic reasons behind her abduction. She is determined to fulfill her purpose in a world gone literally mad, but can an ordinary girl save a whole world when she only cares about saving one person?

Amazon

My Review:

I enjoyed this time-travelling / sci-fi / dystopian book.

The storyline was well thought out and the main characters were dimensional.

The book started slowly but I was soon drawn in as it picked up pace and Summer was snatched, by Tag, from the life she knew into the future to ‘save mankind’.

The twists and turns kept me reading as I wondered what Summer and her friends would do next and how things would eventually turn out.

The ending seemed a bit rushed but the story was nicely wrapped up.

I received a free ecopy of Death Thieves through Kindle Scout.

• • •

 

If you do pick up one of these books and read it, please leave a review.
It doesn’t have to be long and detailed, a few words will do 🙂