Blog Archives

Goodreads Giveaway – The Chosen Series by C.A.Milson

Triple Treat for followers of C.A.Milson. Three giveaways on Goodreads. Enter to be in the running to win copies of Rise Of The Darkness, Bloodline Of Darkness and She’s Not So Ordinary.

Enter Now 
https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/136199-the-chosen-the-rise-of-the-darkness

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/136198-bloodline-of-darkness

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/132266-she-s-not-so-ordinary

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Bec Taylor Launches Her New Book | PRLog

Bec Taylor Launches Her New Book | PRLog.

 

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The Students Sold Us Secrets Book Blog Tour

TSSUS

Title: The Students Sold Us Secrets
Author: Lee J Mavin
Series: Volume 1
Hosted by: Beautiful Promotions

– Blurb –

No one is safe! The school has become a war-zone and the innocent are turning fast! A brave and nameless teacher has collected some awful and disturbing documents from some ghastly students. These are their stories and they will shock and amaze both teacher and student. But they haven’t been given away for free. This terrified individual has paid a hefty price to get the truth and is paying for it, with his freedom. In his report he states: ‘If you are considering a career in teaching I would advise against it completely. It has become a profession far more dangerous than a police officer or even an army soldier in open war.’ ‘I’m risking my life giving you this information, but I feel you need to know the truth. On the surface these children appear innocent and well-mannered but it is inside where their darkness dwells.’ The Students Sold Us Secrets Volume 1 is the first collection of short stories from the writer that brought you Reverse the Universe, Lee J Mavin, and will take you down a path you never thought existed. It’s packed with twelve short stories, all equally alarming and unsettling, as well as a secret report written by an undercover teacher.

the students sold us secrets Front

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GET YOUR COPY NOW!!! ONLY $4.99!!
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Lee J Mavin previously published a collection of poetry titled Reverse The Universe: collected poems and unused lyrics and has also published a children’s novel titled The Diary Of A 7th Grade Hybrid. This year he will be publishing more mad fiction in the form of a wicked a weird fantastic adventure titled The Intergalactic Custody Battle and the book he has always wanted to finish, also another young adult novel without a title yet.

He is currently enrolled at Sydney University as a Ph.D. in Arts and teaches ESL and Japanese between shots of caffeine to keep him awake.

He sneaks as much writing he can in between lessons, it helps to ease the pain. He has started a series of stories titled “The Students Sold Us Secrets Volume One” with ASJ Publishing. Volume 2 to the series is out now!

He is also kept on his toes by his feisty wife and five year old daughter both of whom are Chinese. They like to let me know how bad my Chinese is on a daily basis.

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Book Signing – Robert P. Mitchell

BOOK SIGNING

Robert P. Mitchell, author of Tales Of A Tenacious Tenor, will be having a book signing at the Monroe County Library, (Hughes Library), Stroudsburg, PA on Saturday April 18th, 2015. From 10:00AM til 3:00PM

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Bob’s amazing story of how movie idol Mario Lanza inspired him to sing, and the road he traveled to realize that dream.

From Central Pennsylvania to the opera stages of New York, Bob overcame many obstacles to realize his dream. 
It’s an inspiring story for all dreamers and doers, those who have the courage to follow their inner voice, and make their singing voice as rich as it can be.

If you are in the area, don’t miss it!

Tales Of A Tenacious Tenor

Interview With…. Ashley Howland

Hi readers. Today I am joined by Ashley Howland, author of “Obi The Super Puppy“, and “Ghostnapped“.

Ashley lives in Adelaide, South Australia. She and her dogs, Obi and Stitch, work for Labs ‘n Life, a nonprofit organization that works with youth at risk to train Labradors as autism assistance dogs (www.labsnlife.com). She is inspired to write by her husband Ross, her daughters, Maddy and Aijay, and of course, Obi and Stitch. They are a constant, endless source of material and happiness. Her next book is a novel for teenagers titled It’s What You Do Next That Counts.

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Ashley, thanks for being here today. Please tell us about you.
I am a mother, teacher and writer. I love to create characters and stories with my two girls.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My dogs certainly help by jumping all over me. Actually I would have to say my girls. They are so full of energy, life and have an amazing natural zest. It’s pretty easy to get the day started
with them bouncing around. The dogs are just as energetic.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I’d have to say Andy Griffiths and yes my girls would have to come. They love his books and would love a chance to spend the day writing with him.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
It’s What You Do Next That Counts is a book for teenagers. It’s about a year in the life of a sixteen year old girl. Her parents have died and she has moved countries to live with her Aunt and Uncle. It’s a book with a lot happening. Callie the main character has made some pretty tough decisions, but she meets some great new people on the way.
To me this book is all about friendship and finding yourself. It is set in Perth and Vancouver, two cities that are worlds apart. This book will appeal to boys and girls, there is a lot of Australian life in the story, with the beach, cricket and other sports playing and important part.

I will be releasing this book on Kindle towards the middle of March and then the print version will follow!

What are you working on next?
Next  have the sequel to Obi the Super Puppy and the Mystery of the Red Mist:
http://www.amazon.com/Ashley-Howland/e/B00BQA4XRO
This one is called Obi the Super Puppy and the Quest for the Last Laugh. These books are about my first Labrador, who thought he was a super hero. He was always doing strange things, but with such purpose. In these books he tells my two girls all about his adventures. The second book also introduces our next Lab – Stitch. It’s been a lot of fun to write about Obi and keep his memory alive.

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Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
Most people will tell me that writing is a special or extraordinary talent, I hope it is. However I think my desire to do things and to be creative is more amazing. I’m not sure I am very talented at most of the things I do, but I still like to do them. One example is cake decorating. Every birthday I create cakes for the girls. They love to make it hard for me too. One ear it was Snow White and the seven smurfs on a pirate ship. I was up for the challenge and it ended up being pretty cool. I am still mastering cake pops, but it will not defeat me. I can now do something that resembles a reindeer, monkey and polar bear.It’s a bit of a laugh as the girls love to see what I can come up with.

Who are your favourite authors?
I love Roald Dahl, he was always my favourite and I still read his books to my girls and my classes. Other authors I enjoy reading are Andy Griffiths (perfect for reading to primary school students) and
John Flanagan (love the Ranger’s Apprentice). I read a lot and like to try different authors. Basically I love books with action, mystery and a good laugh.

What do you like to do with your free time?
Free time, that’s an interesting concept. When I get some down time I quickly grab the computer and write. It isn’t always a story, sometimes I just like to get on my blog: http://ahowland.org/wordpress/
I think it’s important to find some time just for you and to do something you love.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
I am working on a series of nonfiction activity books. They will be the Not So Boring Books. The first one is all about creative writing. By the end of the book you should have your very own story completed. This project is something I am really passionate about because I love writing with children. The next project is a series of super hero books. My girls helped me develop their super hero characters and I have some first drafts done. It will take me a while to get the first one or two books out, but I am hopeful of a release later this year. They are The Lighting Lilly and Princess Sea Adventures. Right at the moment I am taking part in the chapter book challenge. The aim is to write a chapter book in the month of March. This year it’s a pirate trilogy for me. So I am very busy, but that’s always how I work
the best.

Where can people find you on the web?
I have a webpage that will be updated later this year: http://ahowland.org/
Other than that and my blog I am on Facebook:
I also have twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads and Amazon.
I can also be emailed at ashley@ahowland.org as part of my blog I run Stitch Says which is a chance for me to help promote other children’s authors. I offer reviews and interviews.

Any final thoughts?
I’d just like to say thank you for this opportunity. I am very passionate about reading and writing so it’s great to be able share on a forum like this!

Thanks for joining us Ashley 🙂

Interview With…. Isobel Blackthorn

Hi Readers and Booklovers! Today I am talking with Isobel Blackthorn. Isobel was born in London and moved to Aussie when she was 6. Isobel and her family spent around six years in and around Adelaide before they returned to London. Since then, she has travelled a fair bit between the UK and Aussie, and has had the opportunity to live in Spain and the Canary Islands.

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Welcome Isobel. Please tell our readers about yourself.
I was born in 1962 in London. My family moved to Australia when I was six. We were ten pound Poms and we lived in and around Adelaide for about six years, before returning to London. I’ve been back and forth between the two countries and I’ve also lived in Spain and Lanzarote, Canary Islands. I’ve been a teacher, market trader, alternative life-styler and PA to a literary agent. I also have a fascination for the occult. I received my PhD in Western Esotericism from the University of Western Sydney in 2006. It was after that, when my twin daughters left home, that I dedicated my life to my real passion, creative writing. My short story collection, All Because of You, came out in 2012 and since then I’ve had short stories and some non-fiction pieces published in journals in Australia and the USA.

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What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I’m an early riser. Up before dawn, sometime around five, and I do my best writing in those still hours before my day takes over. Writing is a huge passion and after waiting for three decades of my adult life to get to this stage so I’m on fire. When you get to my age, there’s a sense of urgency. I can’t waste time dreaming or fiddling about with inconsequential things when I have big goals still to achieve before I slip the coil.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
At the moment I would love to hang out with Umberto Eco. I have so many questions for him. I’d love for him to show me around his extensive book collection and we could drink fine Italian wine and talk all day about medieval history and figures like Cagliostro, and esoteric sects like the Freemasons. There are many authors I would like to meet, and sadly some have passed from this life, like Doris Lessing, and my favourite Scottish author, Iain Banks. But with Umberto Eco I would have a unique chance to talk about both creativity and a shared special interest. I’m in awe of prolific writers, writers who can sustain a story for 500+ pages. I’ve just finished reading The Prague Cemetery, my third Eco to date, and I’m left with the feeling that something is missing in my life that can only be filled with another Eco.

What’s the story behind your latest book?
Asylum is my first novel and it has its basis in truth. Like the protagonist Yvette Grimm, I was an English-born visa overstayer and I really did invest my hopes in a palm reader’s prophecy that I would meet the father of my children before I was thirty. What a nut! That was the starting point for the story but I needed to make Yvette very different from me so I made her an artist. I can only paint walls.

Yvette’s quest takes her to Perth, and into a world of actors, artists, dilettantes and no-hopers. She’s estranged from Australia and offers a unique migrant’s perspective on what it’s like to find yourself an alien in this land. Asylum is basically a story of alienation. It’s also a black comedy about one woman’s struggle to make good the wreckage of her life, and heal her wounded heart.

Asylum Cover

What are you working on next?
I’m working on two other projects. I’m venturing into horror, with more than a toe hanging outside that bed sheet. I don’t think I’m capable of straight ahead horror. Something always bends me back into satire. I’m inspired by the British film, “Sightseers,” directed by Ben Wheatley. How dead pan and matter-of-fact the killing was in that film.

The other project is satirical too. It’s about a young woman trying to prise from her mother the details of her father’s disappearance. The occult in all its dimensions features heavily in the story. It’ll be huge when it’s done; my homage to Umberto Eco.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
This question makes me feel boring. People tell me I have a talent for inspiring others, and it is true that I’m able to create grand schemes in my mind, which is good for writing, but I’ve fallen foul of this so-called talent many times. Beware of castles in the air. And I can’t recall the number of times I’ve conjured a vast vision of possibility for a friend, unaware that she or he is sitting there waiting without much patience for me to finish, having lost interest hours before.

Who are your favorite authors?
I adore Doris Lessing, Alice Munro, Fay Weldon, Iain Banks, Peter Carey, Chris Womersley, and of course Umberto Eco. And so many many more.

What do you like to do with your free time?
Free time? I have to remember to make that happen. Even when I’m reading, it isn’t really leisure time, because I have a sharp eye on everything the author is doing.

I love hanging out with my girlfriends for lunch or coffee. I adore long bus journeys and visiting my two daughters who are living in Melbourne. I can’t see enough of them. Writing is a solitary life. A writer makes enormous sacrifices for the demands of her craft. I try to strike a balance by spending time in my garden, growing my own vegetables, and hanging out with my cat, Psyche, the gentlest, sweetest cat ever born.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
My second novel, The Drago Tree, is due to be released in September 2015, by Odyssey Books. Signing that publishing contract felt like stepping into another world. The novel is set in Lanzarote, a tiny island off the coast of southern Morocco, with stunning landscapes of calderas, lava flows and vast swathes of volcanic ash. The Drago Tree a romantic tale of geologist Ann Salter’s attempt to escape her life back in England, and find a new direction. Only she’s haunted by memories of her estranged sister Penny. I was going through a hard time when I wrote the story and would escape for hours of every day into a world of tourism websites, history and geology websites, Youtube footage, photos and best of all, google maps, whose little man toured the island the year before. One time on street view I actually clicked my way down the length of the whole island.

Where can people find you on the web?
I have a blog containing all my latest news along with all sorts of information about projects I’ve been involved in, and my previous publications.
https://isobelblackthorn.wordpress.com/asylum/
I can also be found on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/Lovesick.Isobel.Blackthorn
Twitter: https://twitter.com/IBlackthorn
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5768657.Isobel_Blackthorn
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Isobel-Blackthorn/e/B005JGLS74

Any final thoughts?
I’ve really enjoyed this interview. Thanks so much for the opportunity.

Thanks Isobel for being here today 🙂

Interview With…. Rebecca Taylor

Hi Readers. Today I chat with fellow Melbournite, Rebecca Taylor. Bec comes from Mt Eliza, a suburb on the east-side of Melbourne.

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Welcome Bec. Please tell our readers something about yourself.
I am 39 years old, but most days feel 50! I live in a spectacular part of Victoria, Mt Eliza and am 5 minutes walk from a beach that I never see as I am always doing washing. I live across the road from a water reservoir that I am currently trying to save from being dug up for high density housing, which is why I moved away from Pakenham in the first place.

I much prefer the sight of gumtrees filled with kookaburras, parrots and Tawny Frog Mouths and hearing the call of frogs compared to the call of workmen.

I am rearing 4 children who are becoming far too independent thinking for my liking and have an immigrant for a husband (does a Cockney count?). Thanks to my aspirationalist, middle class upbringing in the Latrobe Valley in a town that shall not be named (Moe), it is easier to say where I haven’t traveled in a Jayco Swan than where I have been.

I also am the product of a successful public school and HECS derived education system. I graduated from Monash University twice. The first as a Major in History/Politics (yes I could put BA after my name – but choose not to), the second time as a Secondary History Teacher (no I didn’t learn!).

In between those two degrees I was a Sales Rep for the Mars Corporation where I ate far too many Twix and then an Electorate Officer and all round babysitter for 2 Federal Politicians.

Travel wise I have taken the wrong train to Pompeii and discovered Herculaneum instead, appreciated Muslim architecture in Granada, ate Pigeon Pie in Morocco, paid respects to newly interred Australian soldiers in Fromelles while drinking bad beer with ABC journalists, been late for the Battle of Hastings and in time to catch the Disney Train in Orlando!

My favorite hobbies are pollinating my melons, the inexhaustible amusement that is de-cluttering, sharing inappropriate political paraphernalia on Facebook and sorting whites from colors.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The lure of the siren call of a 2 year old that has just poo’d his pants at 6am! 🙂 That, and the fact that it is a new day and I might actually get to steal 2 seconds to write one or two words of prose. After searching for lost socks of course!

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
I have two. Martha Stewart, so she can show me how to store multi-coloured Lego whilst keeping the Hamptons feel of my Cape Cod inspired living room. Also Oprah Winfrey, so that she can shamelessly plug my book so that I can earn millions instantly to pay for my New England renovation … in New England!!!

What’s the story behind your upcoming release, “Cut The Chemicals Cookbook”?
My daughter displayed intolerances to foods that contained artificial additives like colours, flavours and preservatives. After some research we modified her diet and she is now a changed child. Literally – we traded her in for a nicer one. Seriously, the whole family has benefited. I got sick of other sticky nose families asking me about how we did it and why so I wrote the book.

I found that while doing research it seemed as though the information was difficult to understand and that you had to buy expensive ingredients and information packages to make changes. I wanted to show families actually how easy it was to do and how you can change your families diet in a way that was easy for busy working families and budget friendly too.

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What are you working on next?
I am a repressed Tony Robins and love all things History. I am extremely envious of the person who wrote Horrible Histories and the teacher in me hopes to one day also educate children about the wonders of the past without them realising that they are learning.

My current project is a series of books aimed at my son’s age group (10 years) and bears his name. It’s called Out of Time Oscar. Oscar must save his famous Archaeologist Uncle from a fate worse than death, to be left to live out his days trapped in a past that has no internet!

This series sees Oscar in each book hurled on a misadventure through a particular period in time, where he must solve a problem to rectify the fabric of time that has been damaged by his time traveling uncle. If he doesn’t get the job done in time (i.e. by the end of chapter 10) there will be serious repercussions for all humanity and his uncle will be trapped forever (cue menacing drum beat).

I also have started a series of books that are historical fiction for teenagers. I have based the stories on real life Australian historical figures. The first book was about Eva Carmichael, one of the only survivors of the Loch Ard shipwreck in the 1800’s off the Great Ocean Road.

My next book is going to be about my two Great Uncles who were among the first Australians to battle the Japanese in WW2 whilst trying to save Singapore from invasion. This is currently in the research phase.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
I can make a meal out of 3 random wilted ingredients, whilst – wait for it – marking homework, making lunches, dressing up 2 years olds as Batman, avoiding questions about what’s for dinner all while brandishing a menacing whisk at inept politicians on 774 ABC drive radio!

Who are your favorite authors and singers?
I am a product of the 90’s Seattle Grunge scene, so I still think that Eddie Vedder understands my adolescent angst. I also still live in hope at the reformation of Powderfinger after Bernard Fanning grows tired of Siestas.

As I am a multi-faceted individual who doesn’t conform to stereotypes I also love Jane Austen (for my romantic side), Kylie (for the disco queen in me), Dan Brown (History Revisionist) and Jackie French (I’m a Proper Grown up).

I also love Terry Deary whose brilliance I would love to emulate, Enid Blyton for her quaint English cottage culture and J.K Rowling for keeping my 10 year old off the iPad.

Where can people find you on the web?
I have a website for two of my books
www.theirstoryebooks.com
www.cutthechemicalscookbook.com
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cut-the-Chemicals-Cookbook/628152513871532
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/cutthechemicals/

Any final thoughts?
Not a lot of writing happens when you spend your Sunday nights watching Escape to the Country whilst eating Cadbury Snack. (For those outside of Aussie and NZ, you can find out what Cadbury Snack is here.. Enjoy)

Thanks Bec for being my guest today. Cut The Chemicals Cookbook is coming soon from ASJ Publishing.

 

Give It Wings and Let It Fly Away – GoodReads Winner

Congratulations to Alice B from O’Brien FL who has won a copy of Ken Maxon‘s book “Give It Wings And Let It Fly Away“. Your autographed copy will be out to you soon.

Give it wings

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