Posted in Cover Reveal

Cover Reveal: Mythical – Michael Weekly

Mythical

Mythical (Mystical #2)
by Michael Weekly
Genre: YA/NA Urban Fantasy
Limitless Publishing

Paranormal Blurb
When you’re a witch in a kingdom of Elves, there’s bound to be conflict…
Eliza Rose finds herself in a world full of Elves—the very creatures she is sworn to kill. To make matters worse, she is forced to slay her own mother. But one question remains. Why was her mother in such a horrid place to begin with?
Eliza and Donovan cannot face the dangers of Ellevil alone…
When the Elf, Christian, meets Eliza for the first time, he knows he must have her. As a master of manipulation, he will do anything he can to get his way.
Donovan has left his old gang life behind. In his journeys with Eliza, he has seen her talents as an assassin bloom. He wants what is best for her, and he is certain that Christian is anything but.
In a land of pure beings called Mystics, not all of them are what they seem…
When Eliza falls in love with Christian, only Donovan knows the Elf can’t be trusted. Christian manipulates the myth within her to come forth, and Eliza’s hidden power is unleashed, bringing her true nature to light.
Answers might be found in the fairy and mermaid kingdoms…
To discover why Eliza’s mother was in Ellevil, Eliza and Christian must embark on a journey to the fairy and mermaid kingdoms. As challenges continue to unfold, Eliza is forced to choose between her hidden power and the witch she truly is.
Eliza Rose must unlock her hidden power in order to survive, but time is running out. Corruption may overcome her—the same way it consumed her mother.

Paranormal Buy Links

Amazon

Amazon UK

Mystical-cover

Mystical (Mystical #1) on Goodreads

Author Bio

Michael WeeklyMichael Weekly is a professional writer known for his ability to construct detailed, believable worlds and then to inject them with captivating stories and relatable characters. His big break came three years ago when he started writing on a site called Wattpad. Prior to that, he had written mainly as a hobby and as an exercise in relaxation and meditation, using writing as an escape out of the world and into his own mind.

Writing in the genres of Urban Fantasy, Dystopian YA, and NA, Michael is the author of Mystical, which has earned a ton of positive feedback. Mystical was picked up by Limitless Publishing in 2015, and since then, Michael has been working on additional entries to the series.

When he is not writing, Michael also enjoys playing video games such as League of Legends and World of Warcraft. He enjoys being a shopaholic and a professional foodie. He lives in Virginia with his imaginary fury companion CoCo, where the two live happily.

Links

WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

Posted in Author Blog Challenge, Inspiration

Author Blog Challenge – Character Inspiration – #LifeBooksWriting

13118917_544495715723232_7874467364954798303_n

Last week turned out to be virtually technology free for me. My family and I stayed in Devon for a few days in a lovely  cottage in the Dartmoor National Park.  I knew it didn’t have a dishwasher and a tumble dryer and I was prepared. It did have a fabulous walled garden, lovely and safe for my dogs, so I was prepared to make the sacrifice.

However, what I didn’t bargain for was the almost total absence of internet. Not good when I had posts to share on my blog. So last week’s author blog challenge on  ‘6 Book Marketing Tips’, never happened.

 This week’s author blog challenge is Character  Inspiration.

The Dangerous Gift- Teaser 4a

 Visual stimulation is important for me as a writer.  I plan out my story initially in my head, rather like watching a film or TV programme and as I write, I visualise what I’m writing. This makes my story very real to me and its one of the reasons having other pairs of eyes to read your work is so important. What makes perfect sense to me, may not be clear at all, to my readers, so having other people read it is essential.

Character Inspiration

 

My characters spring mostly from my imagination. I usually think about what they look like first and then  add in their personality traits. This is usually only an outline, very similar to the plot outline I have and then I start writing. The characters’ outlines develop, as they are faced with conflicts, meeting new people and situations. Once I have written the first few chapters, I read my work back in detail to make sure the characters are behaving as I thought they would and that they are consistent.

Newsletter Sign Up

There are of course other things that inspire my characters. For their physical appearance I use Pinterest. I create a new board for each book and pin likely heroes, heroines and antagonists, as well as setting and other key factors as they occur to me.

I’ve met lots of people in the course of my life and  the memorable ones stay in my head. Some of these I use as characters or part of characters. Observation is a core skill in character inspiration and who doesn’t love people watching?

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book Review

Cheerleading Can Be Murder – Carissa Ann Lynch- 5* Review:

cheerleading can be murder cover

Mystery Thriller Blurb

Getting on the cheerleading squad is hard enough without a psycho on the loose…

For Harrow High freshman Dakota Densford, life should be easy. All she has to worry about is talking to cute boys and remembering her locker combination. But when cheerleading tryouts draw near, she learns the cards are stacked against her—spots on the varsity team are limited. Dakota faces her competition head-on, but when her life is threatened, that takes the competition to a whole new level.

High school is never easy, and freshman year is off to a rough start…

Between Dakota’s uniform being ripped up and masked vandals trashing another girl’s house, everyone is suspect. To complicate matters further, Dakota has a thing for Andy McGraw, but she finds him locking lips with another girl.

The harassment continues, and when Dakota finds suspicious flyers inside her best friend’s locker, she doesn’t know what to think. The principal’s unfeeling, overachiever daughter, Brittani Barlow, will do anything to secure her place on the team. But Dakota’s neighbor, on the other hand, definitely fits the profile of a sociopath.

Cheerleading has become a game of life or death.

promo teaser 1

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

AmazonBarnes & NobleAmazon UKAmazon CAAmazon AUBooks a Million

Mystery Thriller My Review

You realise you’re dealing with something sinister, as soon as you read the first page of this story. It’s made all the more shocking, when you realise the antagonist is targeting high school kids. 
I recognise the importance of being part of the cheerleading team in high school, even though I am not from North America. This story focuses on excellence and the need to belong.
The characters are varied and interesting and the setting has a realistic familiarity, which gives the horror moments greater impact. The insight into the antagonist’s mind set and behaviour is intriguing but gives little away. 
Dakota, the story’s main protagonist faces all the usual high school girl problems; a cheating boyfriend, mean girls and the need to achieve the highest accolade of becoming a varsity cheerleader. The sense of danger and menace facing Dakota and her friends’ increases as the story progresses, leading to a climatic ending that both reveals and conceals the true evil that dominates the story. 
With a level of suspense and confusion that rivals ‘Pretty Little Liars’, this is an enjoyable read for all ages and I look forward to the next book in the series.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Poppy - Author Bio

carissa ann lynch

Besides my family, my greatest love in life is books. Reading them, writing them, holding them, smelling them…well, you get the idea. I’ve always loved to read, and some of my earliest childhood memories are me, tucked away in my room, lost in a good book. I received a five dollar allowance each week, and I always — always — spent it on books. My love affair with writing started early, but it mostly involved journaling and writing silly poems. Several years ago, I didn’t have a book to read so I decided on a whim to write my own story, something I’d like to read. It turned out to be harder than I thought, but from that point on I was hooked. My first and second books were released by Sarah Book Publishing: This Is Not About Love and Grayson’s Ridge. I’m a total genre-hopper. Basically, I like to write what I like to read: a little bit of everything! I reside in Floyds Knobs, Indiana with my husband, three children, and massive collection of books. I have a degree in psychology and worked as a counselor.

Poppy - Links

Facebook 

Goodreads 

Limitless Publishing 

Twitter 

Cheerleading Can Be Murder_jacket

Posted in Book Review

5* Review: Country Rivals – Zara Stoneley

Country Rivals eBook

Historical Blurb

Dashing eventer Rory is ready to button up his breeches and settle down. His gorgeous wife, Lottie, wants a bank balance in the black so she can protect the beautiful family estate for future generations.

But with the wedding business at Tipping House going up in flames, and rumours that it was arson not accident, Lottie begins to wonder who she can trust with her future.

Tranquil Tippermere is under siege as movies moguls and insurance investigators invade the countryside, and as events gather pace rescue plans start to look too good to be true, and intentions may not be as honourable as they seem.

As a moody, but definitely marvellous, polo player enters the fray and squares up to the eventing hero of Tippermere, does Lottie stand to lose her husband as well as her home?

Historical Buy Links

Amazon UK 

Amazon

Mystery Thriller My Review

‘Country Rivals’ is characterised by its believable English country setting and complex characters. The lovable and often naughty animals regularly upstage their human counterparts and make this series a delight. The residents of Tippermere are larger than life but they are all grounded, with recognisable human flaws and frailty that make them easy to empathise with and hard to forget.

I have read the other books in the series and so most of the characters in ‘Country Rivals’ are old friends.  If you are new to Tippermere, this story is complete and supported by sufficient back story to make it a standalone read but why miss out on the other books?

 Lovable Lottie and sexy Rory take centre stage but it is Lady Elizabeth’s redoubtable influence that makes the plot unpredictable and interesting. Sam, the quintessential footballer’s wife provides the glamour and glitz and new characters add to the mayhem, misunderstanding and mystery that make this fast paced story an engaging read.

‘Country rivals’ is full of humour, passion and poignancy, with a lovely hopeful ending.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Poppy - Author Bio

Zara was born in a small village in Staffordshire, educated in Cheshire, and went on to study at Liverpool University. After a successful career as an IT consultant, she decided to follow her heart and ran a dog grooming business for several years before becoming a full-time writer.

Her fun, romantic, romps draw on her experiences of village life, and her various love affairs with dogs, cats and horses. These days if she’s not at her laptop, you can usually find her trudging across fields on foot, or sat on the back of a horse.

Zara divides her time between a country cottage in Cheshire and an apartment in Barcelona. Her most recent novels include the popular Stable Mates, Country Affairs and Country Rivals.

Poppy - Links

Website     Twitter    Facebook    Amazon    Pinterest

Posted in Feature Friday

Feature Friday: Nobody Knows – Rebecca Barber

Mystery Thriller Blurb

 Gillian Dempsey must find a reason to go on…

Easier said than done after a rare virus robs her of both parents. Left alone and confused, the mourning nineteen-year-old flees to her three best friends, who receive her with open arms.

Her parents give her more than an inheritance—they give her a second chance at life…

When Gillian is left with some properties in her parents’ will, she assigns them to a real estate agent to manage. Joel Matthews takes the job, but he quickly becomes more than a business associate. After a string of fortunate coincidences, Gillian and Joel spend a passionate night together—after which Joel all but vanishes from her life.

But they still have unfinished business, and Gillian won’t allow him to slip away—especially with her heart.

Life is a roller coaster of tragedy and joy…

Gillian reels him in, and soon the two are married. Gillian’s heart expands even more when they receive the news of their first pregnancy. But after the baby is born, things aren’t the same. Joel becomes distant…resentful. And then the abuse begins. Darkness consumes their marriage—only to get worse.

While Gillian tries to hold her family together, it seems Joel is doing everything to tear them apart. But just one slip of his temper makes all the difference, because this time, there’s no turning back.

Maybe being abused can be endured, as long as Nobody Knows…until someone ends up dead.

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

Amazon

Amazon UK

Kindle AU 

Paperback US

 

Mystery Thriller My Review
NObody2.png

This story grabs you from the first line.
The acceptance, fear and guilt Gillian feels is evident as soon as we meet her and as her story unfolds, the reasons why are hauntingly clear. This isn’t an easy subject to write about or read but the author creates a poignant, thought provoking story without sensationalism. The writing is sensitive and the characters realistic and easy to relate to.
Joel is all surface glamour and no depth but it’s easy to see how he would attract Gillian, young and newly bereaved. Gillian is at an all time low when she meets Joel and never really manages to achieve her full potential. A victim of abuse she displays classic denial but although some of her actions are hard to support they are understandable.
Joel displays lack of insight and is completely self-centred. He is easy to hate.
The other women in Gillian’s life are vibrant and care about her even when she lies to them and pushes them out of her life. The see-sawing of Gillian’s relationship with her friends illustrates their powerlessness perfectly. If she hides the truth from them, they can’t help.
Joel’s mother is the most conflicted of the characters, Gillian sees her as a saviour but is Adele more motivated out of guilt than compassion?
The menace and suspense in this story is excellent and even though domestic abuse is not an easy story to write, this book succeeds right up to the riveting end.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Author Bio 2016- 2

a3b9f-bec2bbarber2bpicture

Rebecca, one of four kids to her parents who are both primary school teachers, was born in Wollongong on the south coast of Australia before moving to the country with her family. After a few years of embracing all that country life had to offer, the family relocated to Port Macquarie with its white sand beaches. After a brief period enjoying the sun and the surf they finally settled in Canberra where Rebecca still lives today. But all through her childhood a notepad and a book where never far away. These days Rebecca is an avid reader, and when she isn’t buried in a book or cheering on her beloved football team she’s spending time with her husband Robert and their overly spoilt dog Levi.

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Instagram

Goodreads

 

NobodyKnows_ecover

limitless publishing blue Modified

 

Posted in Feature Friday

Feature Friday: Pain – Amanda Mackey

 

Mystery Thriller Blurb

Life is sweet in The Sanctuary—until Lillian Harris is thrown the curveball of her life.

Lillian is perfectly happy cocooned within the lofty perimeter fence of The Sanctuary. Her Sanctuary—a vast oasis for rescued lions, tigers, and elephants. The animals are her world. So when Lillian’s dad tells her a nineteen-year-old criminal who’s fresh out of prison is coming to The Sanctuary as part of a rehabilitation program, Lillian is more than a little apprehensive. She interacts with animals more than humans—and definitely not criminals.

Justice Armstrong is more arrogant than a Silverback, but something darker lurks behind his eyes…

It isn’t until Justice swaggers toward her from the parole officer’s car—pierced, confident, and more than a little hot—Lillian knows she has her work cut out for her. His stare has the power to rob her of all thoughts. His words, although crude and nefarious, bring a part of her to life she never knew existed. How is this criminal suddenly turning her world upside down?

He has the power to drag her to the dark side….

Pain is his drug of choice, a vice he can’t survive without. Then he meets Lillian Harris. Little miss hellcat. Fiery, strong, and all woman. She challenges him at every damn turn, and watching her tame those fierce big cats makes his need for her that much stronger. He wants to do things to her…wicked things. She makes him crave pain in a whole new way.

When a teen with a dark past bumps heads with a feisty rescue worker, will it be love over lust—or a matter of life and death?

 

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

Amazon

Amazon UK

Author Bio -1

Amanda Mackey was born in New Zealand and moved to Australia when she was 12 years old with her family, where she has lived ever since. She has loved books since an early age and is an avid reader. This has helped lay the foundation for her writing. She’s published 2 non-fiction books and has her a fiction novel titled, Instinctual out now.

Instinctual is a 2 book series. Book 2 will be out Sept. 30 2014.

Amanda hopes to make writing her full time career.

 

Links -1

FACEBOOK

LIMITLESS PUBLISHING

AMAZON 

TWITTER 

GOODREADS

WEBSITE 

limitless publishing blue Modified

Posted in Book Review

Country Rivals Blog Tour – Author Interview – The Tippermere Trail – Zara Stoneley.

Poster

 If like me you loved ‘Stable Mates’, ‘Country Affairs’ and the delightful Christmas freebie, ‘A Very Country Christmas’ , you have been looking forward to today’s release of ‘Country Rivals’ from the lovely Zara Stoneley. I’ve already read this fab story and I will share my review later today but for now, enjoy my interview with this talented author and follow the Tippermere Trail with Zara .

An Interview with...

ZaraStoneley authorpicHow long have you been writing? Was there one event or person who inspired you to start writing? If so can you tell us about them?

I’ve always loved writing and reading, and submitted my first book (a thriller, to Michael Joseph – I aimed high!) when I was in my early teens. Mum always encouraged me to write (she wanted me to write a James Herriot style novel – and lent me her old typewriter to do so!), which is why Stable Mates is dedicated to her. My Grandad also inspired me when I was younger. He was sure that we are related to Elizabeth Gaskell, an author who lived very close to where I do now.

Are you a full time writer? How important is writing in your life?

I’m lucky enough to write full time now, until recently though I juggled writing with a day job. I love writing, and can’t imagine not doing it. Practically every day I see or hear something that I have to jot down as I think it will be wonderful material for a book – so I’d probably explode with frustration if I wasn’t allowed to write!

You write erotic romance and more recently bonkbuster novels, which do you prefer writing and why?

I never set out to write erotic romance, but Accent press ran a competition to write an erotic novel, with a publication contract as the prize. I entered, and as a result ‘Forfeit’ was published in 2012. It was great fun to write the books, but my current publisher (HarperCollins) then suggested I write more of a ‘bonkbuster’.

My natural voice probably lends itself more to romcom, I like to see the funny side of life, which doesn’t always sit well in an erotic romance. I really love the books I’m writing now (which my editor originally suggested) – they’ve been likened to Jilly Cooper and Fiona Walker, but they’re a lighter version. Funny, true to life, with quirky characters and great animals, and set in our wonderful Cheshire countryside – all the things I love, which I hope shines through in the stories.   They still have some sexy, steamy scenes, but aren’t as intense as my erotic romances were – and so probably more ‘me’ – I like my ‘naughty’ with a laugh on the side.

Zara Stoneley is your penname. How did you decide on your penname and why do you use one?

I originally wrote contemporary romance as Susie Medwell, but decided I needed an alternative for my erotic novels to avoid confusion.

I love the name Zara, and Stoneley was derived from the name of the village I grew up in. When I started to write my current books for HarperCollins they said they loved the name Zara Stoneley and asked if I could stick with it – so Susie (after one book) seems to have been ditched!

Can you describe your writing process if you have one?

A ‘what if’ usually is normally my starting point (more about this below!), I then need a very clear picture of my characters – I jot down notes (on cards) so that I can visualise them and understand what makes them tick.

I then often crash ahead and write the first couple of chapters, because I know how the story will start, how it will end, and the key points.

At the start of each day I plan out the scenes very roughly, and then write. I’ve always found that I need some sort of plan, but I don’t like to be too rigid – more often than not, as my characters develop the story will change – but the broad outline stays the same.

The world building in your Tippermere series is wonderful. Can you tell us what inspired you to create Tippermere and its residents?

Thank you! I love Tippermere – I want to live there! My editor originally asked me if I could write a modern take on a Jilly Cooper type novel, as most of my books had dogs, horses and the countryside featured in them. I jumped at the chance – and Tippermere is a mix of all the best bits of the villages around and about where I live in Cheshire. Having ridden and kept horses for a large chunk of my life, and had dogs (and run a dog grooming business), I’ve come across lots of funny incidents, and met masses of wonderful country people. The residents of Tippermere aren’t based on individuals I’ve known, but I have stolen some characteristics and events from real life. I’ll be very sad the day I have to leave Tippermere for good!

‘Country Rivals’ is the third book in your Tippermere series, can you tell us a little about it? Is ‘Country Rivals’ the end of the Tippermere adventures?

Country Rivals has been great fun to write. If you’ve read the other Tippermere books, you will know that Lottie runs a wedding business from her home, Tipping House, as a way of providing income to maintain the estate.

A few years ago, an irate wedding guest at a wedding venue near to where I live set fire to it, and I thought ‘what if this happened to Lottie?’ How would she cope, could she find a solution – or risk losing her inheritance?

When a film crew asks if they can use Tipping House as a location, Lottie feels she has little choice. There are a few twists and turns, a very hunky polo player and a scheming, nasty actress, plus a lot of laughs and some tragedy – as Lottie risks losing her husband and her home.

I can’t possibly drag myself away from Tippermere yet – it’s got a mention in my next book, The Holiday Swap (but with new characters) – and I would love to write about Lottie and the gang again.

It’s vital for authors to have a social media presence. Is this something you enjoy? Do you have a favourite social media platform and why?

I have met lots of lovely people on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but I have to admit the downside is that it can be too easy to chat, which can be a great distraction. At the end of the day, writing has to be my priority.

If I have very little time to spare, then Twitter is great as you can pop in and out (and Instagram can be inspirational), but the interaction on Facebook can be more rewarding.

Have you a favourite author, book or genre that you like to read?

I read all kinds – whatever suits my mood, and love to discover new authors. I’m really looking forward to Jilly Cooper’s next book Mount, and Fiona Walker is a must-read author for me. I enjoy a thriller (if it’s cleverly written), and nothing can beat a good romcom when I’m on holiday.

What’s next for Zara Stoneley?

I am really excited about my next book, The Holiday Swap! It’s due out later in the year, and if you like the film The Holiday, then this could be a book you’ll enjoy. It’s brilliant fun for me, because I get to visit Tippermere again, plus I’ve got a second setting of Barcelona – a city I spend a lot of time in, and absolutely love. It’s already up for pre-order on Amazon, but for now the cover is being kept under wraps (it’s gorgeous!).

My top 7 favourite places to visit in Cheshire

Tippermere, the setting for Country Rivals, is actually a fictitious place (sorry), but I’ve drawn inspiration from some of the best spots in Cheshire.

Follow my ‘Tippermere Trail’ and check out some of my favourite places – and you’ll be a fair way to knowing exactly how it looks in my head!

 Don’t miss the fabulous Lyme Park – the estate was used as the setting for Pemberley in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. I’ve often wandered down to the lake and waited for Mr Darcy to emerge – but I’ve not had any luck yet! The inspiration for the Tipping House Estate started here – I have no problem at all imagining Rory and Lottie strolling by the water, or Pandora and the crew (in Country Rivals) filming in this wonderful place.

 Cheshire Polo Club – take a picnic, drink champagne and tread in the divots. You don’t need to know anything at all about polo, or even horses, to enjoy a fun and romantic afternoon (and it’s a great excuse to dress up). I still don’t quite understand all the rules, but the action can be fast and furious, and the riders incredibly brave.

Zara Stoneley Post 1 Cream tea

 Enjoy tea at The Belle Epoque in Knutsford – this is a stunning hotel with Art Nouveau fireplaces and a Mediterranean roof garden, and the champagne afternoon tea is delicious! A stroll in Tatton Park (Brideshead Revisited and Cold Feet have used this as a location) could be the perfect end to the day.

 The Lovell Quinta Arboretum is at Swettenham, just outside Congleton. Park your car at the Swettenham Arms and wander through 12.5 acres of meadows filled with wild flowers, and a wonderful arboretum filled with more than 2500 trees and shrubs. It is very much off the beaten track and wonderfully peaceful.

 Cholmondeley (pronounced chum-ly) Castle is one of those hidden treasures, and I love this romantic gothic castle with its beautiful gardens. It has an intimate atmosphere and you can take your picnic down to the lake and feel like you’re a lady for the day. (There’s also a fabulous pub just outside the estate, The Cholmondeley Arms if you forget to pack the sandwiches). Time your visit right and you could see Jazz in the Garden, the Power and Speed Festival, Horse Trials, or annual celebrity cricket match (remember that cricket match in Stable Mates? Now you know where I got the idea!).  

 Alderley Edge – is a gorgeous village, and the main inspiration for Kitterly Heath (this place is SO Sam). Whenever I visit I just have to buy something from the G. Wienholt Bakery, there’s also a fabulous butchers shop, lovely boutiques and even the charity shops are well known for designer wear. Do some window shopping, sit outside one of the many restaurants or café’s and celebrity watch (several actors and premiership footballers live in the area), then go for a stroll on…

 The Edge – this was the setting for Alan Garner’s novels The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and offers a panoramic view across Cheshire and the Peak District. It has inspired scenes in more than one of my books, and is where Mick takes Pip in ‘Stable Mates’ when he’s decided to get to know her better!

Country Rivals eBook

Historical Blurb

 

Dashing eventer Rory is ready to button up his breeches and settle down. His gorgeous wife, Lottie, wants a bank balance in the black so she can protect the beautiful family estate for future generations.

But with the wedding business at Tipping House going up in flames, and rumours that it was arson not accident, Lottie begins to wonder who she can trust with her future.

Tranquil Tippermere is under siege as movies moguls and insurance investigators invade the countryside, and as events gather pace rescue plans start to look too good to be true, and intentions may not be as honourable as they seem.

As a moody, but definitely marvellous, polo player enters the fray and squares up to the eventing hero of Tippermere, does Lottie stand to lose her husband as well as her home?

Historical Buy Links

Amazon UK 

Amazon

Poppy - Author Bio

 

Zara was born in a small village in Staffordshire, educated in Cheshire, and went on to study at Liverpool University. After a successful career as an IT consultant, she decided to follow her heart and ran a dog grooming business for several years before becoming a full-time writer.

Her fun, romantic, romps draw on her experiences of village life, and her various love affairs with dogs, cats and horses. These days if she’s not at her laptop, you can usually find her trudging across fields on foot, or sat on the back of a horse.

Zara divides her time between a country cottage in Cheshire and an apartment in Barcelona. Her most recent novels include the popular Stable Mates, Country Affairs and Country Rivals.

Poppy - Links

Website     Twitter    Facebook    Amazon    Pinterest

Posted in Book Review

Cheerleading Can Be Murder Blog Tour: Author Interview- Carissa Ann Lynch

 

An Interview with...

promo teaser 5

Today I have author Carissa Ann Lynch on my blog. She is the author of the best selling  ‘Have You Seen This Girl?’.  

What made you start writing? Was it always your ambition to become a published author? Why was this?

My love for writing started with my love for books. For the record, I spend WAY more time reading than writing. I take a book with me everywhere I go. In fact, I often joke with people that there’s a greater chance of me leaving my driver’s license at home than leaving my book at home. I carry whatever I’m reading from room to room, and I read every free chance I get.

When I was young, I enjoyed writing silly poems, songs, and some short stories. But I never really wanted to write a novel.

 My first book was a total fluke. It was late at night and I’d just finished the book I was reading. I couldn’t fall asleep or decide on a new book to read, so I got this crazy idea – to write my own book. I thought it would be easy but it wasn’t. But I kept going and going because I had to see how my own story would end.

I never planned on submitting it to publishers, but my sister pushed me to do it. When I got my first publishing contract, I don’t think anyone was more shocked than me. I thought they’d sent the email to the wrong person. The day my first book released was one of the best days of my life, so I made it a mission to keep writing so I could experience that awesome feeling of holding my book in my hand again and again.

The thing about writing is it’s a lot like reading, only I get to decide what happens next and control the outcome of the book.

Your stories concentrate on young adults and have a dark theme, what made you want to write these stories?

I have a degree in psychology and I’ve always been fascinated with the darker areas of the human mind and personality. I like to write about anti-heroes and villains, and address serious real-life fears. Fear is a strong emotion and for me, it’s the easiest one to write about. Writing about what scares me comes naturally to me.

Life lessons or pure entertainment, which of these characterises your stories?

Both. Almost all of my books focus on social problems or psychological issues that are important to me. In the Flocksdale Files, I addressed serious topics such as human trafficking, drug addiction, sexual violence, and post-traumatic stress. But some of my other books, like Cheerleading Can Be Murder, are lighter in content and more for entertainment value. I rarely plan on a “lesson”, but by the end of the book I’ve usually tried to make one.

Can you describe your writing process if you have one?

I usually set a daily word count goal and I try to follow it until the book is complete. I don’t take off weekends or holidays; I keep going until it is done. But once done, I often take a month off to read, plot future book ideas, and relax my brain. I know some people say you should write every day, but I don’t. I need time to just read and get prepped for the next writing binge. When I write, I do it compulsively and it can be mentally exhausting. I often exceed my writing goals and it’s not uncommon for me to miss an entire night’s sleep while I’m writing.

You are the author of the successful ‘Flocksdale Files’ series. What was the inspiration behind these books?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There are so many things that inspired me to write the Flocksdale Files. Drug addiction is an important issue to me – personally and professionally. I live in an area where drugs and HIV are an epidemic. So, Wendi’s character was born out of my desire to portray an accurate portrait of someone struggling with heroin addiction. I didn’t care if her character was pretty or nice, or what people thought of her. I wanted her to be raw and real, and bear her soul for all to see.

But I also wanted to address other serious topics, such as sexual violence and trafficking. I’ll be honest – when that series started, Wendi Wise took over the reins and controlled that story. That series was the most emotionally exhausting and emotionally satisfying series I’ve ever written.

‘Cheerleading can be Murder’ is your latest release. Can you tell us a little about this book and will there be other books in the series?

promo teaser 4

Cheerleading Can Be Murder is the first book in a three-book series called Horror High. It’s about eleven girls who are vying for six spots on the Varsity cheer squad. As though getting on the squad and dealing with every day high school drama isn’t hard enough, there’s a sociopath on the loose in Harrow Hill. He (or she) is determined to take out the cheerleaders, one by one.

The second book in the series is called Cutting Up the Competition and it just released! Book three is called Killer Moves and I just finished writing it. It will be out soon as soon editing is complete.

I like to put books in a series out as quickly as possible because I know, as a reader, how bad it stinks when I have to wait for the next one to come out LOL.

Your stories are full of mystery, suspense and thrills, is this genre you like to read? Do you have a favourite author?

I enjoy reading all genres. From cheesy romance to hardcore sci-fi…you name it, I’ll read it. But mystery and horror are my favorite genres. I have so many favorite authors but if I had to choose one it would be Chuck Palahniuk. I adore his edgy, minimalist style and the shocking way he lays out a story. I think I’ve read “Fight Club” at least fifteen times.

Do you invest time in your social media presence? If so, why is this important for an author?

Yes, I absolutely do. I’ve had to work for everything I’ve had in my life and I think writing should be no different. If I want to be a successful writer, then I have to put forth the effort to get my name out there. Since I’m still fairly new on the writing scene, I have to get out there and meet readers and establish my platform. There are so many books out there; I want to make sure people see mine. We live in a virtual world now and readers want to be able to interact with authors and know what’s going on in their lives. I have an amazing street team – Flocksdale’s Finest.

Where do you like to write? Why is this place good for writing? 

My favorite writing spot is outside on my back porch on a semi-sunny day. But my kids don’t always allow me to write in one place. I write on my laptop and I carry it from room to room. It’s not the ideal way to write, but it’s the way I have to do it at this time. And most of the time, I do my best writing late at night while the rest of the world is asleep.

image1

 Here’s a pic of my laptop out on the back porch. In case you’re wondering, that IS duct tape on the sides of it. I love my laptop and I just can’t bear to give it up for a new one yet.

What’s next for Carissa Ann Lynch?

I have so many books coming out this year, so get ready! Cutting Up the Competition (Horror High Book #2)  just came out. Killer Moves (Horror High Book #3) will be out soon. I also have a ghost suspense novel, Searching for Sullivan, scheduled to release in a few months. And an anthology I wrote for charity called “13” comes out October 4th.

I’m currently working on another series about a cult.

cheerleading can be murder cover

Mystery Thriller Blurb

Getting on the cheerleading squad is hard enough without a psycho on the loose…

For Harrow High freshman Dakota Densford, life should be easy. All she has to worry about is talking to cute boys and remembering her locker combination. But when cheerleading tryouts draw near, she learns the cards are stacked against her—spots on the varsity team are limited. Dakota faces her competition head-on, but when her life is threatened, that takes the competition to a whole new level.

High school is never easy, and freshman year is off to a rough start…

Between Dakota’s uniform being ripped up and masked vandals trashing another girl’s house, everyone is suspect. To complicate matters further, Dakota has a thing for Andy McGraw, but she finds him locking lips with another girl.

The harassment continues, and when Dakota finds suspicious flyers inside her best friend’s locker, she doesn’t know what to think. The principal’s unfeeling, overachiever daughter, Brittani Barlow, will do anything to secure her place on the team. But Dakota’s neighbor, on the other hand, definitely fits the profile of a sociopath.

Cheerleading has become a game of life or death.

promo teaser 1

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

AmazonBarnes & NobleAmazon UKAmazon CAAmazon AUBooks a Million

Rafflecopter Giveaway -1

  Rafflecopter giveaway

Poppy - Author Bio

carissa ann lynch

Besides my family, my greatest love in life is books. Reading them, writing them, holding them, smelling them…well, you get the idea. I’ve always loved to read, and some of my earliest childhood memories are me, tucked away in my room, lost in a good book. I received a five dollar allowance each week, and I always — always — spent it on books. My love affair with writing started early, but it mostly involved journaling and writing silly poems. Several years ago, I didn’t have a book to read so I decided on a whim to write my own story, something I’d like to read. It turned out to be harder than I thought, but from that point on I was hooked. My first and second books were released by Sarah Book Publishing: This Is Not About Love and Grayson’s Ridge. I’m a total genre-hopper. Basically, I like to write what I like to read: a little bit of everything! I reside in Floyds Knobs, Indiana with my husband, three children, and massive collection of books. I have a degree in psychology and worked as a counselor.

Poppy - Links

Facebook 

Goodreads 

Limitless Publishing 

Twitter 

 

Posted in Book Review, Book Spotlight

4* Review: Bet on Me – Mia Hoddell

 
Poppy - Blurb

It’s all a game until they’re betting with their lives.

 Alaya Matthews is in search of freedom. Tired of her mundane life, she packs everything she owns into two bags and heads for Europe. Her plan is simple: see the world and be adventurous, don’t get tied down, don’t settle for less than her heart’s desires, and never fall in love.

 However, Alaya didn’t plan for Cole Ashford.

 Drawn to her love of life, Cole wants to know how to live again. For seven years he’s been dead inside, and the numerous threats hanging over his head have finally caught up with him. What Cole doesn’t realise is accepting Alaya’s help will mean confronting every part of his tainted past. Alaya is desperate to know what haunts him, and she’s so certain he’ll reveal it she invents a bet he can’t refuse.

One is never enough though, and as they grow closer together, the more daring their wagers become. Neither of them will back down from a challenge, but the stakes are being raised. Gambling on Cole may cost Alaya her heart, or even worse, her life.

 
Bet On Me is $0.99 for the release week only!

Mystery Thriller My Review

This story captures the essence of what it is to be young and vibrant.

Alaya has her future mapped out, but unfortunately, she’s not the one doing the planning. Her view of her future is very different from her parents. Strong willed and independent; she knows exactly what she wants to do with her life, and is courageous enough to put her plans into action.

Meeting a sexy stranger is not on the list, but she’s prepared to be flexible and cannot resist flirting and making a bet that will give her more angst and excitement than she could have dreamed for herself.

The setting for this story is European and interesting and there is a strong suspense thread. Cole has secrets and a dangerous past. His strong attraction to Alaya risks both their lives. There is great build up of sensual tension between Alaya and Cole and well written sexy scenes. This is a page turning read; where extreme sports are not the only element of danger.

 If you enjoy glamorous new adult romance with a strong flavour of dangerous suspense, this one’s for you.

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Rafflecopter Giveaway -1

Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Book Review

4* Review: The Thing Is… Kathleen Gerard

cover84239-medium

Winter Blurb

Meredith Mancuso is depressed. Ever since the death of her fiancé, she has shrunk from the world. Even with her successful writing career, she’s not motivated to work. When her sister, Monica, begs for a favor, Meredith wants nothing more than to say no. But she’s ultimately roped into pet-sitting an orphaned Yorkshire terrier named Prozac.

Blessed with spiritual wisdom and a high IQ, Prozac is an active pet therapy dog. To heal broken-hearted Meredith, he rallies his fan club at Evergreen Gardens, an independent living facility, where he visits each week.

Prozac and the community of resilient older folks challenged by losses of their own propel Meredith, often against her will, back into the land of the living. Meredith learns that most people carry some sort of burden, but it’s still possible to find meaning, purpose, and joy—and sometimes, even love—along the way.

 

Winter Buy Links

Amazon UK

Amazon

Winter My Review

The Thing IsI love stories where the animal characters take the lead and this is one of these. The aptly named Prozac is a Yorkshire terrier, in his current form, at least. Prozac is a dog spirit guide, who helps humans and when his current ‘owner’ is incapacitated, he is foist on the unsuspecting Meredith, with hilarious and often poignant results.

 Meredith is depressed and grieving. She doesn’t like dogs and this leads to some inevitable posturing as dog and human come to terms with one another. The other stars of this story are the residents of the Evergreen Gardens care facility. They all have a story and a tragedy and Prozac as the therapy dog helps them all but will this still be the case when he lives with hermit like Meredith?

There is gentle romance, a curious mystery and lots of fun in this story, which is unusual and intriguing.  It’s a story about acceptance, learning to adapt and not taking situations or people at face value. If you like your stories quirky with unique protagonists, then this one is for you.

 I received a copy of this story from Red Adept publishers via NetGalley in return for an honest review.


The Thing Is
by Kathleen Gerard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


The Thing Is by Kathleen Gerard

Kathleen Gerard
Follow my reviews. :
Jane Hunt Writer First Steps
Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Facebook
Jane Hunt Writer Book Reviews Google+
Connect on…:
Twitter

View all my reviews