Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Interview and Excerpt ~ Horse Country by Christine Meunier


About Christine
Christine considers herself introduced to the wonderful world of horses at the late age of 13 when her parents agreed to lease a horse for her. She started experiencing horses via books from a young age and continues to do so, but recognizes that horses cannot be learnt solely from books. She has been studying horses from age 16, starting with the Certificate II in Horse Studies and is currently undertaking her Bachelor of Equine Science via distance education.

Christine has worked at numerous thoroughbred studs in Australia as well as overseas in Ireland for a breeding season. She then gained experience in a couple of Melbourne based horse riding schools, instructing at a basic level before heading off overseas again, this time to South Africa to spend hours in the saddle of endurance and trail horses on the Wild Coast.

Particularly passionate about the world of breeding horses, she teaches equine studies focused on breeding, at a TAFE, Victoria, Australia.She also writes a blog about equine education which you can view at http://equus-blog.com/


http://www.horsecountrybook.com/ - Horse Country available for sale in ebook and hard copy formats!
http://www.facebook.com/HorseCountryBook - like Horse Country - A World of Horses on facebook!
http://equus-blog.com/ - EQUUS - Equine Related Education, Vocations and Travel
http://www.facebook.com/EquusEducation

Horse Country - A World of Horses
Book info

Follow Lise and Wes as they work their way around North East Victoria, Australia in the seasonal world of breeding thoroughbreds. Horse Country follows the seasons of the thoroughbred industry and what the day to day of working on a stud could look like.

A few hours away, Maddie and Melanie are working hard in their parent’s metropolitan riding school, teaching others about horse riding and care of the horse. From the nervous first time rider, to the child who wants to run fast and jump high, the young women shape lessons to suit the individual.



Interview

When did you realise you wanted to write a book?

I’ve always loved writing in school and afterward and Horse Country actually started to develop back when I was 16 years of age and in high school! It’s only in the past four years that the idea of developing it into a publishable novel has surfaced and then been put into action.

Who are your influences?

I love words in general; books that I read, wanting to tell a story for other people.

Who is your favourite author?

Elyne Mitchell.

What is your favourite book?
Silver Brumby as per the above author.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Reading! Playing guitar and singing, daydreaming, gardening.

What inspired you to write Horse Country?

Actual experiences in the horse industry and a desire to let people know how much fun and how rewarding it can be to work with horses.

What is your favourite thing about horses?

They’re honest.

Are you going to write any more books? Are they going to be about horses?

Absolutely! I’m currently working on a pre-teen horse series with a Christian theme and a standalone novel like Horse Country that’ll be about importing horses to a tropical island and generating a horse business.

Is there anything else you want to say?

Thanks so much for your time and for allowing me to share about my novel! For those who are considering writing their first book, dream big and do it!
Excerpt

Trevor stepped into the office in the yearling barn, needing to make a quick call now that he’d agreed to fill in for Kaye and do her foal watch shift for the following evening. He sat down at the desk as he dialed the familiar number, waiting for someone to pick up.

“MacKenzie speaking.”

“Doc, it’s Trevor.”

“Oh! Trevor. Have I got you at a good time? You’re not about to skip the country, are you?”

“I rang you…” Trevor stated in confusion.

“Oh, yes… yes you did.”

“But no, I’m not about to skip the country. I hate flying.”

“You could take a boat.”

“I get seasick.”

“Oh… a shame. How about a train?”

“I don’t need to go anywhere,” Trevor stated with a frown. “I was ringing to say that I can’t make our appointment on Thursday evening. I’m filling in for one of the other workers, so I’ve got to be on foal watch.”

“Foal watch? Tell me, what are you watching the foal for?” Mackenzie Taylor queried in surprise.

“Umm… it’s not exactly watching foals. Should be called mare watch, I guess. We’ve got a lot of heavily pregnant mares left to give birth and each evening someone has to keep an eye on them before the night attendant arrives.”

“And what do you do if they start giving birth?”

“Generally leave them to it. We only have to step in if there’s a problem.”

“Well isn’t that a different kettle of fish! Assisting a mare give birth! Well no bother about your appointment. We’ll just reschedule for next week unless you call in and state you need to talk earlier. How does that sound?”

“That sounds great. Well, I’d better get back to work, we’ve got a barn full of yearlings.”

“Yearlings?” Mackenzie questioned, causing Trevor to roll his eyes.

“I’ll tell you all about them in our next session.”

“Indeed. Have a lovely afternoon Trevor.”

“I’ll try.”

Trevor sat quietly at the desk, realising there was a voice in the barn he didn’t recognise. It dawned on him that the new TAFE student must have arrived and not wanting to have to deal with introductions at that point in time he stayed where he was, certain all would move on shortly to show the student around the property.

Before the breeding season even ends we have a barn full of yearlings to prepare and sell. When does it stop?


The book can be purchased via http://www.horsecountrybook.com/ and those interested can keep updated on reviews, author interviews and excerpts at http://www.facebook.com/HorseCountryBook.



Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Blog2Buzz Buzzin' Author #3 ~ James Garcia Jr


















Welcome to the Blog2Buzz's Buzzin' Authors weekly meme created by All We Have is Stories and Book2Buzz! This meme is to showcase, highlight and BUZZ about the authors that are really making an impression on us! Blog2Buzz is a group on Goodreads welcome to all bloggers and authors wanting to connect with other bloggers and authors! Our goal is to create a helpful, informative and fun community for all in it! We also hope to help generate traffic to everyone's sites and help get their names our there! We encourage everyone in the group to share this meme!



Would you like to be involved as well? It's as easy as a click of the mouse! Just click our logo below to join us!

This weeks Buzzin' Author is James Garcia Jr.
James is new to the Blog2Buzz group and I hadn't heard about his books until he joined. They all sound great but today i'm just going to tell you about one, I have't read it, yet, but it sounds great.

undefinedAbout James
James Garcia Jr. was born in the Central California town of Hanford. He moved up the road to Kingsburg with his family as a child. After graduating KHS, he attended Reedley College where he met his wife. They, along with their teenage sons, still make their home in Kingsburg which is also the setting of James’ vampire series.Dance on Fire was published in 2010 and its sequel Flash Point was published Halloween 2012. His third book entitled,Seeing Ghosts, a stand-alone paranormal romance is set for a June 2013 release.

James is an Administrative Supervisor for Sun-Maid Growers of California.

Stalk James on:




The Book!
undefined
Seeing Ghosts 
Paul Herrera finds himself bequeathed a mysterious old house near the California central coast by a deceased aunt he never knew. The woman who shows it to him is the spitting image of his wife, taken from him three years before in a senseless car accident which also took his unborn son.

While he deals with the ghosts of a past he cannot let go, there are new ghosts Paul must deal with - alone for the week in the expansive two-story house that he will soon discover holds many secrets.

Eventually, he will see that he is surrounded by ghosts as he struggles to hold onto the only thing that he has left in this world - his sanity.

Cover art done by Maria Zannini

 


Excerpt!

I suppose you can say this whole thing began and ended with ghosts. Not all my life, of course, but only all that ever really mattered.

Everything before meeting Angie happened simply to get me prepared for our life together. No real living had occurred until that moment. After Angie died, I was left only with ghosts. Now tonight I lie beside another woman who is not my wife, and who I have yet to touch. I marvel at her even, peaceful breathing as I stare at the awful ghost that sits calmly, but menacingly, near the foot of the bed.

Aunt Flora is dead and has been for several months. There’s really no reason on God’s green earth why she should be here, in my home, a place she’d never visited in life, but here she sits just the same, and I’m sure I know why. Perhaps it has everything to do with her not having a home of her own any longer, or because she’s lost her husband once again. She seems to grin at me as if she can read my thoughts.

Now she nods dramatically to say that she can, indeed.

“What do you want, Flora?” I finally ask, whispering. I try to be as quiet as possible. It seems like a useless proposition. Peace is an illusion to me at this point; like something so far out of my grasp as to be laughable.

“You know what I want, Paul.” Her voice is low and calm, but seems to reverberate against the walls. “You know very well what I want,” she says as the all-too-familiar lightning flashes outside probe into the bedroom and illuminate her. A gust of wind rattles the window briefly. It must’ve been the reason I awoke in the first place. I’m pretty sure it was just wind, but who could know at this point? In any event, there’d be no more sleeping.

I see Flora’s terrible features—that aged and deep-wrinkled skin pulled over high cheekbones; and that profound smile that brings no pleasure, but only sets me on edge. Thunder roars in the distance as if on queue. I am intimately familiar with this particular storm. Both it and Flora seem to have followed me.

“I can’t help you with that, Flora,” I say.

“Yes, I know. All you can do is bring everything to ruin.”

I stare at the ghost and say nothing further, taking in the sight of her with her long-sleeved white blouse, dark slacks and black shoes. It’s incredible to me that I’m having another conversation with my aunt. It’s clear she holds me to blame for what’s happened. If I wasn’t afraid before, there’s no denying it now.

Flora reclines against the winged-back chair that was Angie’s favorite and smiles. Her arms remain atop the arm rests, the perfect picture of quiet. Another bolt lights up the sky and my eyes immediately find her claw-like fingers as they seem to be digging into the upholstery. Now I know better and I shiver at this apparently perfect culmination of events.

“It’s not over, Paul,” Flora says. Her tone is firm and reminds me of a wild animal’s growl. “You know damn well what I want! It is all that I have ever wanted. But you have taken that from me. You have taken far too much. Now I shall do the taking. Do you hear me, Paul? Do you understand what I am telling you?”

Now I’m the one who leans back. I sit up first, positioning myself against the tall headboard. Here is a trend I can’t shake free of—me being awake as the night wanes. Another burst of lightning flashes across the Central California sky and then disappears, casting the room back into shadow. Thunder sounds. The storm is fast approaching. I say nothing more as I recline and simply stare at my dead aunt who sits and stares back, composed for the moment. It would seem I’ve become quite comfortable with ghosts, doesn’t it?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I think Seeing Ghosts sounds awesome and the cover is beautiful, what do you think? You can buy it on Amazon now!


Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Teaser Tuesday #9



Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be 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!

"Hera's eyes were cold as she returned Aphrodite's look; she stood close to her, close enough that could have attacked her with the spear, but she held her anger in check."
"Man was not meant to wield this power, Hera."

P.g 18 (epub) Godhead by Ken Mooney



Saturday, 20 July 2013

Review ~ The Annihilation of Foreverland by Tony Bertauski



The Annihilation of Foreverland by Tony Bertauski 5/5

The Annihilation of ForeverlandThe author sent me an e-copy in return for an honest review. I had high expectations for The Annihilation of Foreverland, I've heard a lot about it and its been on my to-read list for awhile, I wasn't disappointed. This book is like Unwind and The Maze Runner had a  baby, which was great because both of those books are favorites of mine, and now so is this. The Annihilation of Foreverland is about a group of teenage boys who wake up on an island camp with no memories of who they are or how they got there. The adults on the island tell them they're here to improve themselves and must visit foreverland - a computer assisted alternate reality - in order to
get better so they can graduate. But a red headed girl comes to reed in his dreams and tells him to resist, and he does despite the suffering which is inflicted on him. Then Danny arrives on the island, on his first trip to foreverland he see's her too and together they uncover the sinister secret behind foreverland. Will they escape the island with their minds intact?

I love the story line its very original and I was addicted to reading it, I didn't want to put it down. The book was well paced and flowed well, the writing style was great and made for easy reading. The cover alone had me intrigued and when I started reading so did the story. I pretty much worked out what the islands purpose was halfway through the book, watching the events unfold was still really enjoyable. I loved the characters particularly Zin - even though he was a secondary character - I thought he was a great addition to the story. Danny and Reed were very complex characters, they questioned what they were being told and I liked Danny's trouble making it gave his character another layer and made him a much more interesting character. I liked watching Reed and Danny piece together their pasts while figuring out what was happening to them in the present. I think writing about characters who don't know who they are or where they're from is quite some feat and Tony Bertauski did it seamlessly.

As much as I loved this book I found the techy part a little boring, I know its an essential part of the book but the scenes where Danny is on the computer totally lost me. But that's probably because i'm not a very tech savvy person and this didn't effect my overall opinion of the book which is that is a really entertaining, addictive and intriguing read, I'm looking forward to reading more from Tony. I recommend this book to fans of YA and science fiction.


                                                           Goodreads  ~ Amazon

Stacking The Shelves #5



Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews to showcase the books we got this week. They can be physical or virtual copies and it doesn't matter if they're won, bought, borrowed or received for review.

This week I got some great books!

I went to a car boot sale yesterday, I only spent £5.50 and I got all these great books:
Sabriel by Garth Nix
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
Misery by Stephen King
Blood Harvest by S.J Bolton
The Betrayal of Trust by Susan Hill
362 Belisle St. by Susie Moloney
Twice Burned by Kit Craig


For review I got an e-copy of:
Necessary Sacrifices by Zoe Cannon


What books did you get this week? <3





Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Interview and Playlist: Koethi Zan author of The Never List.



About Koethi
When Koethi Zan was born in the sleepy farming town of Opp, Alabama, the “City of Opportunity,” her mother was Valedictorian of the local public high school and her father the star of its football team. Her parents named her after the homecoming queen of Lurleen B. Wallace Junior College, perhaps hopeful that some of that glory would rub off on her. But Koethi would never be a homecoming queen. In fact, she spent most of her youth in her room, reading, listening to Morrissey, and avoiding everything connected to high school football—not an easy task in those parts.After graduation, Koethi put herself through Birmingham-Southern College with scholarships and a small “cow fund” courtesy of Molly, the Charolais heifer she’d received as her third birthday present. She used the money wisely, travelling to New Orleans on the weekends to hit the club scene, almost always in silver-sequined costume, surrounded by transvestites, Goth kids and her gay male entourage. Perhaps, in some roundabout way, she had fulfilled her homecoming queen destiny after all.Then, in what may have been a misguided fit of pique, Koethi threw away her all-black daywear and her thrift-store evening gowns, and went to Yale Law School, with some vague idea of becoming a film producer. Afterwards, however, she unexpectedly found herself twenty-eight stories up in the Manhattan offices of Davis Polk & Wardwell, a prestigious white shoe law firm that represented mostly investment banks. She regularly pulled all-nighters working on secured financings and revolving credit facilities. She tended to wear demure black pantsuits, with her hair up. It didn’t take her long to realize corporate life wasn’t for her, and Koethi spent the next fifteen years practicing entertainment law both in private practice (at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison and, later, Schreck Rose & Dapello) and in-house business and legal affairs positions (for the film producer, Ed Pressman, and, most recently, at MTV), with a slight detour along the way to study cinema at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. As an entertainment lawyer, Koethi attended glamorous premieres and openings, international film festivals and celebrity-filled parties. She dealt with gritty production issues as varied as suicide threats, drug overdoses and sex-tape allegations. She warred with Hollywood agents and befriended reality stars. Then, while Senior Vice President & Deputy General Counsel at MTV, she decided to fulfill a lifelong dream on the side, and in the early mornings she wrote a crime novel, The Never List. Now, coming full circle in a way, Koethi, her husband, Stephen Metcalf, and their two daughters, live in an old farmhouse in a rural community in upstate New York. Her husband occasionally watches a football game on television. But her daughters have never even heard of homecoming queens.

Interview

1. Where did the inspiration for THE NEVER LIST come from?

THE NEVER LIST was inspired in part by the amazing stories of captivity survivors: Elizabeth Fritzl, Natascha Kampusch, Sabine Dardenne, Jaycee Lee Dugard. These women have suffered through the absolute worst thing I can imagine and every one of them has demonstrated incredible strength in the wake of such trauma. My own difficult life struggles paled in comparison. I was—and am—in awe of them. I wanted to create a character like that: a woman who was strong in the face of unfathomable horror, but who needed to confront her past to figure that out.



2. THE NEVER LIST echoes recent events in the news even though you wrote it long before those events came to light in May 2013. How did you feel when you heard about the women in Cleveland and have you heard any early feedback about the eerie similarities between life and art here? If the news about Cleveland had broken while you were writing your novel, would those events have changed the storyline in any way?

I was stunned when the news broke about the Cleveland kidnappings, and it only became more surreal as the story unfolded. I’d written a book based on my worst nightmare, and there it was on the screen—real. And even worse than the story I’d invented.

Dozens of friends contacted me in those first few days, recognizing the obvious similarities and thinking I would have some special insight into the situation. But I didn’t have any answers for them. I don’t know how or why these terrible things happen. Writing my book was just my way of trying to understand the hardships and strength of the women whose stories inspired me. All I know is that I am so happy that Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight are finally free, and I hope they are able to recover from such an unfathomable tragedy.

It’s hard to say what I would have done had the story come to light while I was writing the book. However, even if I had changed some of the plot details, the essential narrative would still have been the one I felt driven to tell: the story of a woman who survived an awful, traumatic experience and her struggle to recover by facing her past. My book was written from the heart, with great empathy and respect for abduction survivors. The timing of this revelation doesn’t change that; it only makes my feelings for all these amazing women that much stronger.


3. What made you want to be a writer? Did you always want to be a writer when you were growing up?

I was raised in a family of scientists in a house that had only one small bookcase. And unfortunately that bookcase was filled with chemistry and engineering textbooks. When I was nine, however, I found at the bottom of a drawer my mother’s Norton Anthology of English Literature, Volumes I and II, from her one required freshman English class. After that I pretty much survived childhood by reading.

If you’d asked me at twelve, I would have said all I ever wanted to be was a writer, but I lost my nerve somewhere along the way and opted for a steadier career path. I was estranged from my parents after high school and ran out of money fast, so it seemed important at the time to find a secure way to support myself. So I ended up at Yale Law School, which was a pretty great safety net.

I was drawn to the world of writers, though, so perhaps it was inevitable. I married a writer and as a lawyer I represented writers. My favorite New Yorker cartoon sums it up: a little boy in a cowboy costume says to his father, “Well, if I can’t be a cowboy, I’ll be a lawyer for cowboys.” So now I’m finally a cowboy.

4. How would you describe your book to someone you’d just met?

I like to say it’s a psychological thriller about girls held captive in a basement crossed with a trauma recovery memoir—sort of as if the girl in that basement from Silence of the Lambs ended up hunting down Hannibal Lecter.

5. Do you have a “Never List” of your own?

I don’t have an actual written list, but I do have a jumble of informal rules that my best friend and I developed in high school. We didn't need to write anything down because we lived by them everyday as we navigated our way through our odd adventures: staying out all night, going to unsavory clubs, hanging out with strange characters. I have written Sarah and Jennifer’s Never List, however, and expect to add to it, perhaps even with suggestions from readers.


6. The relationships between the female characters are crucial to The Never List—who are your favorite female characters in fiction?

As I thought about this question, it struck me that the first names to come to mind were all young girls: Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, Matilda, Pippi Longstocking, Jo from Little Women, Cassandra from I Capture the Castle, Catherine of the early chapters of Wuthering Heights. These characters are all smart, tough and insightful individuals who follow their own way.

It’s telling that so many of the strongest, surest female characters haven’t yet reached maturity, while some of the adult characters I love are ruined or deeply flawed: Anna Karenina, Isabel Archer, Lily Bart. Yes, they are more complex and challenging, but in a way, my true heroes are the girls who haven’t been taught to doubt their strength yet. My life goal is to get back to that place, and to keep my daughters there.

7. Did you do any research before you began writing your book?

I spent the past ten or so years researching it indirectly. My unofficial hobby—one I would never put on my resume—was obsessively studying psychopaths, captives, and the criminal mind. Also, I took a brief detour from law in the early 2000s to go to graduate school in Cinema Studies. There I studied Surrealism with the incredible Annette Michelson, who, let’s just say, has a penchant for the dark side. So in many ways it was as if I was preparing for the book for years without knowing it.

While writing the book, I did formal research into BDSM, abnormal psychology, victimological studies, statistical analysis, you know – the usual. My computer got a lot of viruses, and I saw a lot of disturbing text and images that are etched in my brain forever.

8. Do you feel your own life experience has contributed to the book in any specific ways?

 Definitely. Although I have thankfully never experienced what my characters went through, the broadest themes were drawn from my own emotional life. Sarah, Tracy, Christine and Adele each have a different response to the traumatic events of their collective past, and I’ve experienced them all for better or worse: anxiety, anger, repression, ambition. I’ve worked with a wonderful therapist on and off for a decade—our relationship is definitely not the model for Sarah and Dr. Simmons—but my own process helped me understand what it’s like to go back and face a dark past.

Specifics from my own life influenced many of the details of the book as well. My relationship with my best friend was the model for the friendship between Sarah and Jennifer. While the story is obviously fiction, the powerful, intense nature of their friendship is rooted in ours, and their paranoia and obsession with precautions are magnified versions of our own.

Also, I went to college in Birmingham, Alabama, and my friends and I spent many weekends in New Orleans, wreaking all manner of havoc. We lived a pretty wild life—hitting the club scene, dressing up in costume, crashing with strangers. We woke up one morning to find we were staying with a guy who honestly believed he was a vampire. That was a bit of a wakeup call.

While I was in college, I also had a brush with a spiritual cult. My roommate and I went to regular meetings for a couple of months, where we were instructed in a bizarre cosmology and taught to be “present to the moment.” It was an interesting life experience that we didn’t take very seriously. Then we reached the level where we were invited to attend a weekend retreat in honor of a visiting guru from New York City. We had to scrape the floors of a house we were renovating for the group, do special “sacred” movements to music, and were expected to meditate for hours. I’m not ashamed to say I feigned illness, got out of there fast, and never went back.

9. Which writers do you enjoy reading?

Mostly I read at either one of two extremes: nineteenth century/early twentieth century marriage plot novels and dark psychological crime. My favorites aren’t especially original: Tolstoy, Dickens, Austen, Wharton, Zola, Eliot, and Nabokov. And I always recommend a couple of books I think are under-appreciated: Samuel Butler’s The Way of All Flesh and Lermontov’s A Hero of Our Time. Some of my favorite crime writers (construed broadly) are Patricia Highsmith, Graham Greene, Shirley Jackson, Henning Mankell, Ruth Rendell and Dorothy L. Hughes. I can’t understand why everyone in the world hasn’t read We Have Always Lived in the Castle because it is a perfect, perfect book.

10. Where do you like to write—and how?

I wrote THE NEVER LIST down in a stonewalled basement, which was fitting. I got up at five a.m. five days a week and wrote for exactly one hour before my kids got up. I gave myself a minimum of five hundred words to do in that hour (which I later increased to six hundred), so there was no time for writer’s block or self-doubt. I only knew the broad strokes of the story, so each day was a new revelation, as I would find out what was going to happen as I went.

Now I’ve moved to another house, so I don’t have that wonderful basement anymore. In fact, I have a large, bright sunny office with a beautiful view of the Berkshires, where I absolutely never, ever work. I end up at the banquette in my kitchen, mostly so I can sit cross-legged.

I’m writing two books now, and I do a thousand words on each a day. On the first draft, I focus on getting the story down, knowing I will re-write each line a thousand times. For one of these books I have a relatively detailed outline that I more or less stick to, but for the other I’m letting it unfold as I go. I like to get my word count done first thing in the morning; otherwise it hangs over my head. After every five hundred words, I get a ten-minute internet break, then—provided I’m not traumatized by what I’ve found there—it’s back to work.



Here is Koethi's playlist for The Never List:
http://open.spotify.com/user/vikingbooks/playlist/0AHmBWVucZEbnQ5uX53dft

And don't forget to enter for a chance to win a copy of The Never List <3



a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Never List is available now! Don't forget to buy your copy.
Pamela Dorman Books/Viking; on-sale July 16, 2013; 9780670026517; $27.95

Amazon





Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Review and Giveaway ~ The Never List by Koethi Zan



The Never List
The Never List by Koethi Zan 5/5

I received an e-copy of the never list through netgalley for an honest review. Wow this book was great, it's definitely a new favorite of mine I'm going to read it again one day. I really enjoyed reading it, I was totally transfixed I didn't want to put it down. The Never List is about Sarah, a women who escaped the from the cellar of an evil man ten years ago following 3 years of his torture because her and her best friend went against their rules, they got in the car. Now Sarah lives in New York still trying to recover when the agent who worked the case tells her the man who abducted and tortured her and two other girls along with murdering her best friend Jennifer might be paroled after the a "religious conversion" Sarah summons all of her courage and sets out to find Jennifer body so that she can be at peace and maybe keep the monster locked up. But what she finds on her search might just undo all those years of therapy and make her finally face the past.

 Such a great story line, it kept me guessing all the way to the end - which I never saw coming, it gave me goose bumps. The Never List was so realistic and utterly believable it's frightening, it shows that no matter what precautions you take sometimes bad thing still happen. I loved the way the book flitted between the past and present slowly revealing things, and just when you think you have the full story of what happened ten years ago, Koethi reveals something unexpected. I really liked the main character, Sarah's development throughout the book as she faces her past and the way she takes control of the group. I like the secondary character Tracy as well, she appears to be the strong one but we realize that she isn't fully recovered from her time in the cellar. Also Christine trying to hide her emotional scars was very interesting, the way she reverted back to the way she was in the cellar under extreme circumstances even after ten years off pretending to be fine. The Never List had so many twists and turns I didn't see coming even though I consider myself to be quiet the girl detective, maybe not as good as Sarah but still, I was shocked at so many points in this book I had to stop myself from gaping at my e-reader. The ending was great, I really wanted to read more about Sarah and the things she uncovered and to see where her story went from there. I didn't want the book to end I look forward to reading more of Koethi's work in the future she's a great writer, she had me totally captivated. She created a very well developed, heart wrenchingly realistic physiological thriller. I recommend this book to anyone who likes thrillers, realistic fiction and just all round awesome books.

Amazon

To celebrate the books release today the lovely people at Viking are going to giveaway a copy of The Never List!! This giveaway is open to the US only and no PO boxes. Good Luck.



a Rafflecopter giveaway







Saturday, 13 July 2013

Saskia book tour - Corr Syl The Warrior by Garry Rogers



Corr Syl The Warrior by Garry Rogers 

When an armed patrol crosses the border into Wycliff District, the Wycliff Council sends Corr Syl to investigate and recommend a response. Corr soon learns that spies have infiltrated his district, and already many lives are at risk. He catches a glimpse of something truly evil, and with no time to spare, must choose between a safe response that might fail, and a sure response that might start a global war.

Science fiction from an environmental scientist. The story follows a young warrior who is descended from rabbits as he investigates unusual threats to his community coming from a neighboring Danog community.




Wycliff Map


Where you can purchase this book?













About the Author

Garry Rogers has a PhD in Physical Geography. He taught at Columbia University and UCLA, and currently serves as President of the Agua Fria Open Space Alliance, Inc. He has published three nonfiction books, and hundreds articles in peer-reviewed science journals and conference proceedings. He is currently working on a sequel to his debut novel Corr Syl the Warrior, and a second volume on Arizona wildlife.









Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Blog2Buzz Buzzin' author of the week #2 ~ Zoe Cannon

















Welcome to the Blog2Buzz's Buzzin' Authors weekly meme created by All We Have is Stories and Book2Buzz! This meme is to showcase, highlight and BUZZ about the authors that are really making an impression on us! Blog2Buzz is a group on Goodreads welcome to all bloggers and authors wanting to connect with other bloggers and authors! Our goal is to create a helpful, informative and fun community for all in it! We also hope to help generate traffic to everyone's sites and help get their names our there! We encourage everyone in the group to share this meme!



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This  weeks Buzzin' Author is Zoe Cannon.
I reviewed Zoe's first book The Torturer's Daughter recently and I absolutely loved it. The sequel Necessary Sacrifices is out on the 15th! 

About Zoe
Zoe Cannon writes about the things that fascinate her: outsiders, societies no sane person would want to live in, questions with no easy answers, and the inner workings of the mind. If she couldn't be a writer, she would probably be a psychologist, a penniless philosopher, or a hermit in a cave somewhere. While she'll read anything that isn't nailed down, she considers herself a YA reader and writer at heart. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and a giant teddy bear of a dog, and spends entirely too much time on the internet.

Stalk Zoe on:
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads
Her Website.

Interview!

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Honestly, I can’t think of a time when I didn't want to be a writer. I've been writing for as long as I can remember. When I was growing up I spent most of my time with my nose in a book, and writing my own books seemed like a natural extension of that.

Who are your influences?
Madeleine L’Engle has been a huge influence for me. She’s proof that just because a book is written for a young audience doesn't mean it should be simplistic. Her books have always felt magical to me, full of ideas and wonder and a sense of what matters in the world. I think that’s because of two things: the depth and complexity of her stories, and how (I suspect) she wrote a lot of herself into her books – what drove her, what mattered to her, how she saw the world. I try to include both those elements in my own writing. Orson Scott Card is another influence of mine – I read a lot of his books when I was younger, and I think it’s where I got my love for stories that are full of philosophy and moral dilemmas.

Who is your favorite author? what is your favorite book?
It’s hard to name my favorite author – there are so many to pick from! But if I had to choose just one, I think it would be Lois McMaster Bujold. Her science fiction is good on so many levels – her stories are smart and well-thought-out and just plain fun. As for books, I have three tied for my favorite right now. There’s Benighted by Kit Whitfield, a complex and thoughtful urban fantasy set in a world where almost everyone is born as a werewolf. There’s Warchild by Karin Lowachee, a sci-fi novel with amazing characterization, going deep into the main character’s head as he tries to find a place between his native human race and the aliens who raised him. And there’s Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, a story of friendship in World War II that will not only make you cry but has one of the most interesting character voices I've ever seen.

What do you like to do when your not writing?
I spend a lot of my non-writing time reading. I love books – if I didn't, it wouldn't make much sense for me to write them! Other than that, I like to play computer games, poke around on the internet, and hang out with my husband and dog. My life is pretty boring, really. :) But my books have more than enough excitement for me.

What inspired you to write The torturer's daughter?
I love dystopian fiction – that’s the main reason I write it. But beyond that, I wrote this book because I wanted to see what dystopian oppression would look like in a place that wasn't an exotic future, but was instead someplace just like our own world. I wanted to see what it would be like if one of the villains of the dystopian world, a woman who tortures and executes anyone who questions the regime, happened to be an ordinary person with a life and a family… and what would happen when her daughter was forced to confront the things that her mother had done.

Which of the characters you've created is your favorite?
That’s a tough decision – but I think I’d have to say Becca. Especially now that I've written the sequel to The Torturer’s Daughter. When I sat down to write the sequel, I had some idea of how she had evolved between one book and the next, but I didn't fully appreciate the person she had become until I actually started writing. Even though I know she’s entirely a creation of my own imagination, there were times in the sequel when I just wanted to hug her and tell her how proud I was of her.

Do any of your characters remind you of yourself?
I don’t think I've ever written a character who was based on me, or who reminded me of myself more than not. But I put bits of myself in most of the people I write about, often without realizing it until after the fact. I can see myself in Becca’s contemplativeness, in Micah’s idealism (you’ll meet him soon!), and even in Raleigh Dalcourt’s sense of conviction.

How many books are there going to be in the Internal Defense series?Right now I have five novels planned, as well as two novellas, although that’s not a hard-and-fast number – a story might not work out the way I planned, or another addition to the series might show up demanding to be written. Not all the books will be about Becca and the other characters from The Torturer’s Daughter, either; although the next book, Necessary Sacrifices, will be a direct sequel to The Torturer’s Daughter, I also have plans for stand-alone novels within the series that will explore different characters and different aspects of the world.

What is your favorite thing about writing?
The best thing about writing, in my opinion, is that it lets me take the stories in my head and share them with other people. There’s something magical about that process – how you can start with something that doesn't exist anywhere except your own mind, and turn it into something that complete strangers can experience.

Are you going to stay in the dystopia genre for future projects?
I have ideas for several more dystopian novels, both in the Internal Defense series and in different but equally dark worlds. I've always loved dystopian books, so it makes sense that so many of my ideas fall into that genre. But I also have some non-dystopian stories planned – although everything I write tends to contain darker elements, no matter the genre.

When is the sequel Necessary Sacrifices out?
Necessary Sacrifices will be coming out on July 15th!

The Books!

The Torturer's DaughterThe Torturer's Daughter (Review)

When her best friend Heather calls in the middle of the night, Becca assumes it's the usual drama. Wrong. Heather's parents have been arrested as dissidents - and Becca's mother, the dystopian regime's most infamous torturer, has already executed them for their crimes against the state.

To stop Heather from getting herself killed trying to prove her parents' innocence, Becca hunts for proof of their guilt. She doesn't expect to find evidence that leaves her questioning everything she thought she knew about the dissidents... and about her mother.

When she risks her life to save a dissident, she learns her mother isn't the only one with secrets - and the plot she uncovers will threaten the lives of the people she loves most. For Becca, it's no longer just a choice between risking execution and ignoring the regime's crimes; she has to decide whose life to save and whose to sacrifice.

It's easy to be a hero when you can save the world, but what about when all you can do is choose how you live in it? THE TORTURER'S DAUGHTER is a story about ordinary teenage life amidst the realities of living under an oppressive regime... and the extraordinary courage it takes to do what's right in a world gone wrong.

Amazon



Necessary Sacrifices (Out July 15th)
A year and a half ago, Becca Dalcourt joined the resistance. Three months ago, she started working undercover inside Internal Defense. A year from now, she’ll probably be dead. She knows the odds. She’s seen how the life of a double agent ends.
All she wants is a chance to do something with what little time she has left. Something big. Something meaningful. But the resistance doesn't trust her, and her job transcribing torture sessions hasn't given her anything but the names of dissidents whose lives, according to her resistance contact, aren't worth saving.
So when she discovers a secret government program designed to brainwash dissidents into loyal citizens, she resolves to shut it down, no matter the cost. Even if her plan puts everyone she loves in danger. Even if the most experienced resistance fighters say it can’t be done. Even if it means betraying the only person who sees past the mask she wears every day.
Even if she has to do it alone.

The sequel to The Torturer’s Daughter, which has been praised for its dark realism, Necessary Sacrifices asks how you fight an enemy that can't be defeated... and what sacrifices are worth making along the way.



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Sunday, 7 July 2013

Interview & Excerpt ~ Duncan M. Hamilton author of The Tattered Banner


Duncan M. Hamilton

About Duncan
Duncan is a writer of fantasy fiction novels and short stories that are set in a world influenced by Renaissance Europe. He has a Masters Degree in History, and is particularly interested in the medieval and renaissance periods. He doesn't live anywhere particularly exotic and when not writing he enjoys cycling, skiing and windsurfing.   

Email: dmhamiltonauthor@gmail.com
Website: http://www.duncanmhamilton.com
Twitter: twitter.com/DuncanMHamilton
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/duncanmhamilton

Book Info

Unique talent always attracts attention…
The Tattered Banner (Society of the Sword, #1)

In a world where magic is outlawed, ability with a sword is prized above all else. For Soren this means the chance to live out his dreams.

Plucked from a life of privation, he is given a coveted place at Ostenheim’s Academy of Swordsmanship, an opportunity beyond belief.

Opportunity is not always what it seems however, and gifts rarely come without conditions. Soren becomes an unwitting pawn in a game of intrigue and treachery that could cost him not just his dreams, but also his life.

Genre: Fantasy
Self Published
Word Count: 124,000
ISBN: (paperback) 978-1481013222
(Kindle) 978-1-62347-203-0
Release Date: March 2013
Format: Paperback and e-book
Available from Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes & Noble, Nook UK, Kobo, iBookstore, Smashwords.

Interview

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I don't think I ever had a moment like that; it's just something I've done for as long as I can remember!


Who are your influences? 
I tend to read history for the most part, so that heavily influences what I write. I don't think I could pick out any individuals though!


Who is your favorite author? What is your favorite book?
Probably Raphael Sabatini. I love his classic swashbuckling adventures; Scaramouche, Captain Blood, and The Sea Hawk being among my favourites. I also really like The Three Musketeers and The Count of Montecristo.

In terms of more modern stuff, I'm also a big fan of a Spanish writer called Arturo PĂ©rez-Reverte. I don't speak a word of Spanish though, so happily all of his books are in English translation!


What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Cycling, windsurfing and skiing when the weather is right. With all the sword fighting I write about, I thought some first hand experience might help, so I recently took up fencing. It's really good fun. I read a lot too, history for the most part, medieval and renaissance periods being my main interest.


What inspired you to write The Tattered Banner?
I wanted to write a story based in a renaissance style city-state, filled with opportunity, intrigue and danger. The story grew out of playing around with that concept. It started out as historical fiction, but the freedom that writing in a fantasy setting allows was too attractive to pass up, so I made the sideways move and haven't looked back since.


How many books are there going to be in the Society of The Sword series?
It's a trilogy, with the next book coming out (hopefully) in the early autumn and the final part a few months after that. I've written a couple of other books set in the same world, which explore characters who make a brief appearance in the Society of the Sword trilogy. They will be stand-alone novels though, hopefully to be released over the course of next year.


What's your favorite thing about the medieval period?
You know, I really can't say! History generally has fascinated me ever since I was a kid, and I've no idea why!


What is your favorite thing about writing?
I can give you a more definite answer on this one! Sitting down at my desk in the morning with nothing more than an idea, and getting up from it in the evening with new people, places and events taking shape in front of me. Creating all these things out of nothing just keeps me coming back to my keyboard with a smile on my face every time.


Are you going to stay in the fantasy genre in the future?
I've certainly got a lot more stories I want to tell and ideas I want to explore, specifically in the Middle Sea world that The Tattered Banner is set in. I don't think I'll ever completely depart from fantasy, as I enjoy the creative freedom it offers too much, but I think it would be a shame not to explore some of the other genres out there too. Action/Adventure and Sci-Fi have always appealed to me too, and I've written stuff in both in the past.

In terms of keeping your writing fresh, I think it's a useful exercise to vary things a little from time to time.


Do you have any projects in the works?
Lots! The follow up to The Tattered Banner is away being edited at the moment. I finished the first draft of the final part of that trilogy not so long ago, and I'm about half way through writing my next longer piece, which will probably end up being a trilogy also, the first part of which I hope to have ready to publish late next year.

Excerpt

The customer was well dressed, not as well dressed as a noble or a wealthier merchant, but neat, clean and tidy. A servant perhaps. Shrewd though, he was haggling hard and this was creating Soren’s chance. The haggling was intense and the opportunity was growing greater by the moment. With as much nonchalance as he could muster with the smell of the different foods all around nearly driving him to madness, he walked quickly, but not too quickly, past the customer and into arm’s reach of a beautifully shaped, golden loaf of bread. A series of inviting diagonal grooves were cut across its back, betraying its crusty shell and no doubt hiding delicious fluffy bread underneath.

His hand was shaking; the thought of the bread set his mouth awash and his heart was racing. The bread was firm to the touch, but yielded to the slight pressure of his hand. Then he had it, clutched to his chest. Keep walking, he thought, slow and steady, it is as easy as anything. The weight of anticipation was beginning to lift from his shoulders when disaster struck.

‘Stop there! Thief!’

For a moment Soren hoped that the shout had been directed at someone else, but a glance over his shoulder proved that it had not. The merchant had pulled a long thin club from underneath his counter and was striding purposefully toward him. One of the smaller side alleys that ran off the square was his best chance; they led to the warren of tight twisting alleys that riddled the city like veins, a web that anyone who had grown up on the streets was intimately familiar with.

With eighteen years under his belt, Soren had found over the last couple of years that his body had become inconveniently large. The small spaces between adults at leg level that had once provided free passage when he was younger were now closed to him. Instead he had to use his size to try to bash people out of his way to clear a path ahead. It was not the most economical of escapes, knocking from person to person.

With each bump and curse, the merchant got a little closer. Just as one of the laneways came into sight and with only a few heads bobbing between him and it, he felt a firm hand grab a handful of his shirt between his shoulder blades. He spun around, and the first swing of the merchant’s club cracked him on the back of the hand and knocked the precious loaf of bread from his grasp. He watched with agonising hunger as the loaf hit the smoothly cobbled ground and was quickly trampled into oblivion.

Recovering quickly from this setback, Soren pushed backward as hard as he could, driving with his legs and forcing his way past the last few people and into the free space at the entrance to the alley. Unfortunately the merchant had followed swiftly through the void he had left in his wake. Throwing himself backward to avoid the swing of the merchant’s club, he fell into a pile of rubbish; various junk heaped there by the nearby traders. Luck smiled upon him as his hand came upon a piece of wooden doweling rod, which he quickly raised to parry off the next blow.

‘You’ll pay for that loaf, you little shit!’

‘Fuck off, you fat pig!’ said Soren. The merchant could easily afford to lose a loaf of bread. Its value to Soren was ten times what it was to him.

The merchant didn’t reply. Soren’s backchat just infuriated him. He bellowed in rage and kept furiously hitting down at Soren with his club. Soren scrambled to his feet, fending off each attack with his rough wooden rod. He consciously mirrored the stance of the swordsmen in the arena, his feet planted wide apart and his knees slightly bent. The contact of the two pieces of wood made a satisfying ‘thwock’ and Soren found that he was almost enjoying himself, or would have been if it were not for the painful hollowness in his belly and the disappointment at having lost the loaf of bread, which he was still feeling keenly. The merchant swung at him from left and right, the club swishing through the air. Some strikes Soren ducked, others he sidestepped, but the most pleasurable were those where wood struck wood, and Soren effortlessly deflected the club up, down, left or right; to any direction of his choosing. The merchant’s attacks seemed to come at him at a snail’s pace and Soren felt as though he could do as he liked.

The merchant, on the other hand, was not enjoying himself. Each spoiled attack was enraging him further. Instead of the satisfaction of beating the daylights out of a street urchin who had just robbed him, he was presented with the smiling face of a filthy gutter rat who he could not seem to lay a single blow upon. Furthermore, a chase that he had expected to take but a moment, was requiring considerably more time, and his stall was unattended and inviting further theft. Finally reason overcame rage, and he paused, his face red as he gasped for breath. Soren remained in a crouch, gently swaying his weight from foot to foot, his piece of wood held out in front of him, the tip deadly still. With a curse at both Soren and the conspicuously absent City Watch, he flung his club at Soren, which Soren easily dodged, turned and walked back toward his stall. Soren put one hand on his hip and with the other raised his club high, in the salute that Amero had always made after easily defeating an opponent.

As he stood and straightened himself, the bitter disappointment at having lost the loaf struck him and his empty belly with renewed force, but he was quickly distracted by a slow clapping sound. It was not the sharp sound of bare skin against skin, but that of soft, thick leather on leather drumming out behind him.


Friday, 5 July 2013

Blog2Buzz Blog of the Month Winner July!!!


Welcome to Blog2Buzz's new feature Blog of the month! We already have a winner this month but be sure to enter to be next months blog of the month on the thread entries for August blog of the month which will go up on Blog2Buzz on the 14th of this month. Now back to this months winner.




The winner is Reading in Twilight.



Congratulations to the blogs owner Juliana. Be sure to follow this amazing blog voted Blog of the Month July by Blog2Buzz members!








Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Wishlist Wednesday #1




Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we will post about one book per week thats on our wishlist, that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves.

I know wishlist Wednesday is about one book on your wishlist your excited about but I'm going to be ordering a couple of books later that have been on my wishlist for awhile and I wanted to tell you guys about them!!


PODsSeventeen-year-old Eva is a chosen one. Chosen to live, while others meet a swift and painful death from an incurable virus so lethal, a person is dead within days of symptoms emerging. In the POD system, a series of underground habitats built by the government, she waits with the other chosen for the deadly virus to claim those above. Separated from family and friends, it's in the PODs she meets David. And while true love might not conquer all, it's a balm for the broken soul. 
After a year, scientists believe the population has died, and without living hosts, so has the virus. That's the theory, anyway. But when the PODs are opened, survivors find the surface holds a vicious secret. The virus mutated, infecting those left top-side and creating... monsters. 
Eva and David hide from the infected in the abandoned PODs. Together they try to build a life--a new beginning. But the infected follow and are relentless in their attacks. Leaving Eva and David to fight for survival, and pray for a cure.
Amazon


Shatter me by Tahereh Mafi 

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.


Taken (Taken, #1)
There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

Amazon