14 Dec 2016

Cover reveal: The Survival Pact by Christy Sloat

The Survival Pact releases February 17, 2017 from CHBB Publishing #onehouseunited

Three friends. One promise. One goal. Survive.
Kami thought she'd seen it all as a small time reporter for a New York Paper, but after hearing reports of the dead crawling from graves and attacking humans, she realized the world she once knew would never be the same again. Forced to flee the city, she heads south where her two best friends Emma and Lou reside in search of answers. As a drunken joke ten years earlier, the three friends made a vow that if the world went to hell they’d survive it together, no matter what. With the pact now a reality, they are forced to face a never ending tidal wave of the dead, tornadoes, earthquakes, and massive storms with hundreds of miles to go. Along with their new dog, Snack, the girls get closer to their destination but no closer to answers as to why their world is filled with such evil. Will their plan of survival keep them alive or will they drown in the sea of the dead?
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7 Dec 2016

Interview with Dial Em for Murder author Marni Bates

Can you tell us a little about your latest book.
Absolutely! Emmy Danvers just wants to write undisturbed in a coffee shop when a total stranger steals her drink, gives her a cryptic warning, shoves her to the ground, and dies right on top of her. Her life only gets more twisted from there…
I had an absolute blast writing DIAL EM FOR MURDER.

What inspired you to write it?
I saw a wonderful play called Dead Man’s Cell Phone (written by Sarah Ruhl) but I left the theater obsessed with an entirely different plot that kept circling in my head. I wrote down little snippets of ideas in my journal and a few years later DIAL EM FOR MURDER just came tumbling out of me. Sebastian’s close relationship with his grandfather was definitely inspired by my own grandpa. Today is actually the 10th anniversary of his passing. I think of him every day.

Is it part of a series?
I’m already working on the sequel. I love spending time in Emmy’s head!

If your latest book was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?
Ooh! Well, I could totally picture Holland Roden or Molly Quinn playing Emmy. And maybe David Lambert as Sebastian? And maybe Brett Davern as Ben? I could see that being a fun cast!

What made you want to become an author?
I was a book worm as a kid and showed an interest in writing at a young age. My mom kept telling me I should write a book, but it wasn’t until I was bullied by one of my teachers in high school that I really began to write. I used it as a way to process what had happened to me. The fictional version of myself was braver and snarkier and stronger and she had awesome friends and stood up for herself. And when I finished writing the first draft of that story, I felt invincible. Sharing my stories with the world instantly became my biggest goal in life.

Name one of your all-time favourite book covers?
I love the cover to Ally Carter’s, THE HEIST SOCIETY. It’s fantastic!

Name one book that made you think 'wow'? Why did it have such an effect on you?
I read a book called I WANT TO GO HOME by Gordon Korman when I was in Elementary School and it changed my life forever. It was hilarious. Laugh-out-loud, fall-off-my-chair, everyone-is-staring-at-me-and-I-don’t-even-care funny. I didn’t know authors were allowed to be that funny. And making someone laugh over and over again seemed like the most wonderful talent in the world.

Who, or what, inspires you?
Gordon Korman’s books still inspire me. I met him last year and he was so incredibly nice! My friends inspire me to be the best version of myself, which often includes them pointing at my laptop and telling me to focus. I’ve found that hiking is a wonderful source of inspiration for me too! I love to travel and hiking allows me to constantly feel like I’m exploring the unknown.

Where is your favourite place to write?

I love writing in coffee shops! I like to work around other people, but with my headphones in and my music cranked up.

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?
I recently watched Reese Witherspoon’s amazing performance in WILD, which is based on the autobiography by Cheryl Strayed. I was struck by how faithful it was to her real life experiences on the Pacific Crest Trail. The movie was beautifully filmed, too.
I also love the first Princess Diaries movie! So wonderful.

Who is your favourite author (s) and why?
This is such a hard question for me! I think Alicia Thompson is absolutely brilliant. I read her book Psych Major Syndrome early on in my career and turned to my mom and blurted out, “I really want to be her best friend!” And it weirdly came true!
I also love reading books by Ally Carter, Laurie Halse Anderson (as long as I have a full box of Kleenex nearby), Tracy Deebs, Sophie Jordan, Katie McGarry, and oh man, so many authors! So many amazing books out there that I still need to read!

If you could have a dinner party with any author from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
Jane Austen. I am a total PRIDE & PREJUDICE fanatic. I will watch any movie adaptation of that story that Hollywood wants to give me. They could do it as a space musical with opera singers and I would just grab the popcorn!

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I once threw an alligator in Egypt. I still feel guilty about it, too. It wasn’t the alligator’s fault that a man tried to put him on my shoulder. But my fear response kicked in and I sent the alligator flying across the room.
There was also the time a monkey stole my baseball cap in Gibraltar and an old man used his cane to grab it back for me!
Oh, and sometimes I can’t tell my left from my right.

Tell us something interesting about the area where you live.
Portland Oregon is absolutely beautiful! There are tons of mountain trails just waiting to be explored. I try to take pictures of all my hikes! They make me smile on all the cold rainy Portland days when I stay inside with a huge cup of coffee. :)
Here are some fun pics from my local adventures!



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1 Dec 2016

Cover Reveal: Within the Essence (The Division: Book One) by Connie L. Smith

Within the Essence (The Division: Book One)
By Connie L. Smith
$3.99
ISBN: 978-1-945910-02-9
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As the demons near, the Essences rise…
AJ had never been particularly athletic or coordinated, so waking up to realize she suddenly has super-human strength is a massive, mind-shaking shock. Finding that she’s gained a stalker overnight is another mark in the unusual category, and when she discovers she’s always had the essence of a werewolf in her blood, her world all but shifts beneath her.
Demons, she’s told, are looming in the world’s future, and the only hope humanity has of surviving their arrival is if she and teenagers like her surrender their humanity to dive into their mythical essences. Fairies, dragons, dwarves, mermaids… The remnants of seventeen different fantasy species must come to life to save the lives of everyone.
Someway, an army of supernatural teenagers must prepare to meet the demons escaping from their dimensional banishment, or everything ends. Can these teens succeed and save the world?

Connie L. Smith spends a decent amount of time with her mind wandering in fictional places. She reads too much, likes to bake, and might forever be sad that she doesn’t have fairy wings. And that she can’t swing dance. Much of her preferred music is severely outdated, and as an adult she’s kind of obsessed with Power Rangers. She has her BA from Northern Kentucky University in Speech Communication and History (she doesn’t totally get the connection either), and her MA in English and Creative Writing.
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30 Nov 2016

Interview with Aftermath author Clara Kensie

Hi Clara! Can you tell us a little about your latest book.
AFTERMATH is a dark, ripped-from-the-headlines psychological thriller about hope, healing, and triumph over tragedy. Sixteen-year-old Charlotte survived four long years as a prisoner in the attic of her kidnapper, sustained only by dreams of her loving family. The chance to escape suddenly arrives, and Charlotte fights her way to freedom. But an answered prayer turns into heartbreak. Losing her has torn her family apart. Her parents have divorced: Dad's a glutton for fame, Mom drinks too much, and Charlotte's twin is a zoned-out druggie. Her father wants Charlotte write a book and go on a lecture tour, and her mom wants to keep her safe, a virtual prisoner in her own home. But Charlotte is obsessed with the other girl who was kidnapped, who never got a second chance at life--the girl who nobody but Charlotte believes really existed. Until she can get justice for that girl, even if she has to do it on her own, whatever the danger, Charlotte will never be free.

What inspired you to write it?
When I was twelve, a girl my age, from my neighborhood, disappeared on her way home from school. I knew about stranger danger and all that, but until then, I never really believed bad things could happen in my safe, suburban town to girls like me. It was the first time I truly felt unsafe and vulnerable. But I knew that the fear I was feeling was nothing compared to the terror the missing girl must be feeling.
Fortunately, she was found alive a few days later. She’d been kidnapped by a man who lived a few blocks away, and he kept her locked in a corner of his crawlspace. Following a lead, the police had searched the man’s house, even going into the crawlspace, but they didn’t see her, and the girl’s captor had terrorized her so much that she was too scared to call for help. The police came back later to search the crawlspace again, and she finally found the courage to cry out to them.
The girl and her family moved away soon after her rescue, and I never learned what became of her. But I never forgot about her. I made up a story about her recovery, and that story became AFTERMATH. I’ve thought of her often over the years. I want to know how she survived, how she recovered, what kind of impact the experience had on her and her family. I became fascinated with the subject of recovery from traumatic events – so much so that in college, I majored in psychology, sociology, and social services, with a minor in criminal justice. Triumph over tragedy is a frequent theme in the books I write.
Although that girl’s experience inspired AFTERMATH, the book isn’t her story. AFTERMATH is Charlotte’s story. Charlotte is kidnapped just before her twelfth birthday and escapes when she’s sixteen. The book starts with her escape and follows her journey to recovery, as well as her family’s.

Is it part of a series?
AFTERMATH is a standalone novel.

If your latest book was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?
The main character in AFTERMATH is a sixteen-year-old girl, and she has an identical twin sister. It was tough to cast these two characters – surprisingly, there aren’t many teenage identical twin actresses out there! But I finally found a pair who are the perfect age and have the perfect look for the characters. Here they are, along with the actors I would cast for some of the other characters in the book (I can’t reveal all of the characters, or it would spoil some plot twists!):
Amanda Pace (Weeds, The Bold and the Beautiful) as Charlotte Weatherstone
a sixteen-year-old girl who returns home four years after being kidnapped,
only to discover that her family has fallen apart in her absence. To put her broken family back together, and to help find the body of her captor’s first victim, the traumatized girl must first heal herself.
See photo here: IMDB
Rachel Pace (Weeds, The Bold and the Beautiful) as Charlotte’s angry and rebellious twin sister Alexa
See photo here: IMDB
Here are the twins together:
Amanda and Rachel Pace as Charlotte and Alexa Featherstone:
See Photo here: IMDB
They are so perfect! If AFTERMATH really is ever made into a movie, I’m going to beg Amanda and Rachel to play Charlotte and Alexa.
Here’s the rest of my dream cast for AFTERMATH:
Angelina Jolie as Charlotte’s distraught mom, Vickie
Bradley Cooper as Charlotte’s ambitious dad, Cory
Delroy Lindo as tough but sensitive Detective Rick Lindo (I wrote the character for Delroy Lindo, actually)
Elle Fanning as Charlotte’s friend and Alexa’s ex-friend Bailey Brandis
Blythe Danner as Charlotte’s beloved therapist, Dr. Goldbloom
Chris Cooper as Charlotte’s kidnapper, The Keeper
What made you want to become an author?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, and I took creative writing classes in high school and college, but being an author was never a career goal. I kind of fell into it a few years ago. I had just finished reading the Harry Potter series, as well as the Twilight series. I was so sad when they ended. I loved the characters and I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to them. I realized, though, that all series end, and the only way to have characters that I’ll never have to say goodbye to is to write them myself. So that’s what I did. Even after the books are published and out in the world, the characters are still mine, I know them intimately, and I’ll never have to say goodbye to them.

Name one of your all-time favourite book covers?
Hoo boy, that’s a hard one! I love book covers. A book cover designer, I’d imagine, is probably one of the hardest jobs in publishing. I admire everyone who does it. My favorites are covers with a single, simple, powerful, iconic image. My most recent favorite is the cover for SAD PERFECT by Stephanie Elliott. I haven’t read the book yet, (it’s pubbing Feb 28 2017), but even if I didn’t know what it was about, I’d want to read it based on the cover alone. It’s simple, but powerful: a large, open safety pin on a textured white background. What does that safety pin mean? What does the title mean? The title is printed in all lower case. Why is the second ‘e’ in the word Perfect printed backwards? I must find out!!!
I like to believe that the cover designer for AFTERMATH knew what kind of covers I like best, because she did it with my cover. It’s a single, simple, powerful, iconic image of a blue hair ribbon floating--or maybe it’s falling?—against a background of white clouds. The letters in the title are all lower case. The innocent, hopeful ribbon juxtaposed with the ominous title perfectly represents both the hope and the darkness in AFTERMATH. Simple, but powerful. I love love love the cover. For the rest of my life, every time a see a blue hair ribbon, I’ll think of AFTERMATH, and I hope everyone else does too.

Name one book that made you think 'wow'? Why did it have such an effect on you?
One book? Just one? Are you sure? Fine. One book that made me say wow is SCARS by Cheryl Rainfield (which, by the way, has an amazing cover too). SCARS is dark, and beautiful, and it’s written with such passion and honesty. It tackles important issues in a way that leaves you feeling raw and exhausted and inspired and strong and hopeful. It has probably saved people’s lives.

Who, or what, inspires you?
Teenagers inspire me. Hearing about teens who overcome hardships, or who help others, or who want to go into politics, or who invent something cool, are so inspiring to me. I love teenagers. That’s why I write YA.

Where is your favourite place to write?
I have a writing office with a desk and an ergonomic swivel chair and motivational posters and all that, but I hardly ever use it. My favorite place to write is on my bed.

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?
The Harry Potter movies. That may be an unoriginal answer, but it’s true.

Who is your favourite author (s) and why?
This is always the toughest question for me to answer. I’m going to go with my first, immediate thought: Stephen King. I started reading King when I was very young, maybe eleven years old, and his books blew me away. They still do. His characters stick with me. The plots are gripping, and his prose is brilliant.

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Fannie Flagg, Armistead Maupin, Lemony Snickett, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Lena Dunham. Some are life-long favorite authors, some are authors of favorite books from various times in my life, some are authors of recent reads. All seem like fun, smart, interesting people. Ah! Can you imagine! What a blast we’d have!!

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I write upside down.

Tell us something interesting about the area where you live.

I’ve lived in the Chicago suburbs my entire life. Rumor has it that my great-uncle worked for Al Capone.

Clara Kensie grew up near Chicago, reading every book she could find and using her diary to write stories about a girl with psychic powers who solved mysteries. She purposely did not hide her diary, hoping someone would read it and assume she was writing about herself. Since then, she’s swapped her diary for a computer and admits her characters are fictional, but otherwise she hasn’t changed one bit.

29 Nov 2016

Cover Reveal: Penhaligon's Attic by Terri Nixon

Penhaligon's Attic by Terri Nixon
Genre: Historical Saga
Release Date: 01 December 2016
Publisher: Piatkus Books
1910. Anna Garvey arrives in Caernoweth, Cornwall with her daughter and a secret. Having come from Ireland to take up an inheritance of the local pub, she and her eighteen year-old daughter Mairead are initially viewed with suspicion by the close-knit community.
Anna soon becomes acquainted with Freya Penhaligon, a vulnerable girl struggling to keep her family business afloat in the wake of her grandmother's death, and starts to gain the trust of the locals. As their friendship deepens, and Freya is brought out of her shell by the clever and lively Mairead, even Freya's protective father Matthew begins to thaw.
But when a part of Anna's past she'd long tried to escape turns up in the town, she is forced to confront the life she left behind - for her sake and her daughter's too . . .
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Terri was born in Plymouth in 1965. At the age of 9 she moved with her family to Cornwall, to the village featured in Jamaica Inn -- North Hill -- where she discovered a love of writing that has stayed with her ever since. She also discovered apple-scrumping, and how to jump out of a hayloft without breaking any bones, but no-one's ever offered to pay her for doing those.
Since publishing in paperback for the first time in 2002, Terri has appeared in both print and online fiction collections, and is proud to have contributed to the Shirley Jackson award-nominated hardback collection: Bound for Evil, by Dead Letter Press.
As a Hybrid author, her first commercially published novel was Maid of Oaklands Manor, published by Piatkus Entice (a digital-first imprint of Little, Brown) in 2013. The paperback is published by Piatkus Books. The two further books in this series: A Rose in Flanders Fields and Daughter of Dark River Farm are published by Carina UK (a digital-first imprint of HarperCollins)
Terri's self-published Mythic Fiction series set in Cornwall, The Lynher Mill Chronicles, is available in paperback and e-book.
Terri also writes under the name T Nixon, and has contributed to anthologies under the names Terri Pine and Teresa Nixon. She is represented by the Kate Nash Literary Agency. She now lives in Plymouth with her youngest son, and works in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Plymouth University, where she is constantly baffled by the number of students who don't possess pens.
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28 Nov 2016

Interview with author Sheila Sobel

Can you tell us a little about your latest book.
April is having difficulty coping with her life. Her father is recently deceased and her absentee mother is MIA in the Middle East. April’s only option is to move to New Orleans, a city that she has never been to, to live with an aunt she has never met. After a cryptic conversation about family “secrets and lies”, April lashes out. Feeling alone, angry, trapped and frightened, she reaches out to Madame Marquerite, a Voodoo high priestess who has convinced April that she needs a “spiritual cleansing” in order to find peace. With one bad decision after another, April puts not only her life, but her new friend Angel’s life, at risk. Color Blind is a novel about coping with loss, consequences for poor judgement and the self-awareness that comes with finding one’s path.

What inspired you to write it?
Two things in particular inspired me to write Color Blind, 1) a three part story in the Los Angeles Times about one man’s journey to discover his family roots (which turned out to be Africa, not Italy) and, 2) a desire to trace my own ancestry, as so many of my relatives passed away too soon leaving me with a sense of disconnect from my own family history.

Is it part of a series?
I am open to the possibility.

If your latest book was made into a movie, who would you like to play the main characters?
Hailee Steinfeld as April, Quvenzhane Wallis as Angel and Evangeline Lilly as Kate.

What made you want to become an author?
I started reading at age four, but didn’t know that I wanted to write books until my junior year in high school when I registered for a creative writing class. College and the need to earn a living afterwards took priority over my passion, so I put my writing on hold for forty-five years. I’m very happy to be able to write full time at this stage of my life.

Name one of your all-time favourite book covers?
Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book” in paperback; the stark statue against the beautiful dark blues sets the mood, the raised gold letters are eye-catching and, there is that lovely gold John Newberry Medal sticker on the cover.

Name one book that made you think 'wow'? Why did it have such an effect on you?
George Orwell’s “Animal Farm.” In the beginning of the book, the revolutionaries, Snowball and Napoleon, drive out the farmer, take over The Manor Farm and establish their own Animal Farm, where all animals are equal. By the end of the book, Snowball is gone and the remaining pigs are now undifferentiated from the humans they previously considered enemies. This book, my first introduction into dystopian worlds, made me profoundly sad for the animals that risked it all for nothing.

Who, or what, inspires you?

My husband inspires me. Michael not only keeps me grounded from day to day, but he supported my decision to leave my full time job to pursue my long-buried passion for writing.

Where is your favourite place to write?
My favourite place to write is at my desk, where I am surrounded by stuffed animals, picture books, YA novels and reference books. I almost always have the company of one or two dogs and sometimes a cat, if he chooses to be sociable.

What is your favourite movie that was based on a book?
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” As a senior auditor for Warner Bros., I was fortunate to have the experience of working on the film, visiting the location and watching as the world J.K Rowling created came to life.

Who is your favourite author (s) and why?
J.K Rowling is my favourite author. In the face of dire financial circumstances, she displayed a strong belief in herself and tremendous courage when she chose to follow her heart and write. Her words and the worlds she created transport me. She is a phenomenon.

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
I would like to have dinner with Norman Mailer again. While working on the film adaptation of his book “Tough Guys Don’t Dance,” which Norman directed, I got to know him quite well and had dinner with him regularly; I would love to be able to do it again. To round out the guest list for a favourite past and present author dinner, I would invite Dashiell Hammett and J. K. Rowling to join us.

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
My first job out of high school and summers in between college, was working in a factory making steel doors. I worked the assembly line for 10-12 hours a day, usually six days a week and became a member of the United Steel Workers of America.

Tell us something interesting about the area where you live.
I live in Los Angeles, where there is always something interesting going on. One activity to enjoy takes place during the summer when the Hollywood Forever Cemetery holds open-air screenings of old movies. Bring your favourite person, a blanket and a picnic to enjoy movies under the stars with the movie stars that have passed.

As a Senior Auditor for Warner Bros., Sheila oversaw production costs for films including “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the “Matrix” trilogy, “The Dark Knight” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” After working on 70+ Independent and Studio movies, Sheila stepped away from the film business to complete her first YA novel. A member of SCBWI since 2010, Sheila is also a member of International Thriller Writers (ITW), Children’s Book Writers-LA (CBW-LA) and Women in Film (WIF). She was nominated for the 2016 Allegra Johnson Prize in Novel Writing through the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. When not writing, Sheila volunteers her time walking dogs rescued from local shelters by the Amanda Foundation. She lives in Southern California with her husband, two rescue dogs and two rescue cats.

25 Nov 2016

Saved by the Firefighter

Genre: Contemporary romance
Release Date: Nov 1st
How can she forgive him for what he didn't do?
Photographer Izzy Cooper feels as frozen as her pictures. Trent Palmer might be the hottest firefighter in Templeton Cove, but she can never face him again. Not after he failed to save her brother. But when they're forced together by a calendar shoot, the sparks between them are undeniable.
Izzy knows it's not fair to blame Trent for the tragedy, but opening herself up to loss again isn't something she's prepared to do, no matter how determined Trent is to show her that pain is part of life and that love—their love—can make any suffering bearable.

Excerpt
The security alarm chimed. Someone had stepped inside the studio. Exhaling a heavy breath, Izzy pulled back her shoulders, lifted her head and forced a smile.
“Hi, how can I…” Her heart stopped. Trent Palmer stood just inside the door. “Why are you here?”
His dark green gaze bored relentlessly into hers, his strong jaw set as he reached behind him and shut the door. “I came by to see how you’re doing.”
Traitorous attraction skittered over the surface of her skin before Izzy turned and strode toward the corner she used for staging portrait shots. The fluffy bunnies, huge furry dice and toys she’d used to relax a toddler earlier now felt macabre.
She spun around, clutching a teddy bear. “The same as I was doing yesterday and the day before. I told you I don’t want to see you. I don’t ever want to see you. Why do you keep coming back?”
He came closer, his gaze locked on hers. “You have to talk to me. I was Robbie’s friend. There was nothing—”
“You could do. Fine. I get it, but why do you feel the need to keep coming in here and checking up on me? What do you want me to do? Dance in the street? Kick up my heels at the fairground? God, just leave me alone.”
“There’s a beach party tonight. I want you to come with me.”
She stared. Why him? Why would a man she really liked—a damn firefighter—have to pursue her like she was someone worth pursuing? “No.”
He looked at the equipment covering the desk alongside him. He lifted and replaced a camera, the hunch of his wide shoulders indicating his discomfort. Izzy hated that she drew no satisfaction from that…only sadness.
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About the author


Rachel lives with her husband and two teenage daughters in a small town near Bath in the UK. After having several novels published by small US presses, she secured agent representation in 2011. Since 2013, she has had six books published by Harlequin Superromance (Templeton Cove Stories) and recently signed a contract for two more. She also has four Victorian romances with eKensington/Lyrical Press.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and Romance Writers of America, and was selected to mentor the Superromance finalist of So You Think You Can Write 2014 contest. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find Rachel with her head in a book or walking the beautiful English countryside with her family. Her dream place to live is Bourton-on-the-Water in South West England.
She likes nothing more than connecting and chatting with her readers and fellow romance writers. Rachel would love to hear from you!
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