Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Getting to Know the Authors: Featuring Maria V. Snyder!

   Meteorologist turned novelist, Maria's been writing fantasy and science fiction since she was bored at work and needed something creative to do. A dozen novels and numerous short stories later, Maria's learned a thing or three about writing. She’s been on the New York Times bestseller list, won a half-dozen awards, and has earned her MA degree in Writing from Seton Hill University where she's been happily sharing her knowledge with the current crop of MFA students. She also enjoys creating new worlds where horses and swords rule, 'cause let's face it, they're cool, although she's been known to trap her poor characters in a giant metal cube and let them figure out how to get out. Readers are welcome to check out her website for book excerpts, free short stories, maps, blog, and her schedule at

What Has She Written?
    She has written: Poison Study (Study, #1), Magic Study (Study, #2), Fire Study (Study, #3), Touch of Power (Healer, #1), Inside Out (Insider, #1), Storm Glass (Glass, #1), Sea Glass (Glass, #2), Scent of Magic (Healer, #2), Spy Glass (Glass, #3), Outside In (Insider, #2), Taste of Darkness (Healer, #3), The Eternal Kiss: 13 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire, Assassin Study (Study, #1.5), Power Study (Study, #3.5), The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance, Ice Study (Study, #3.6), Shadow Study (Soulfinders, #1), The Study Series Bundle (Study, #1-3), Corsets & Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances, Inside (Insider, #1-2), Opal Cowan Trilogy 3 Books Collection Set (Glass, #1-3), Poison Study & Storm Glass, Brave New Love: 15 Dystopian Tales of Desire and Storm Watcher.

Now On To The Interview!
1) How old were you when you started writing, in your opinion?
I was in my early 20s - I was bored at work and started jotting down story ideas and writing cheesy science fiction short stories.

2) What do you want a reader to gain from reading your works?
I want them to be entertained and also know that when life is difficult, you need to keep going, to persist and not give up. That if you work hard and don't be afraid to ask others for help, you can achieve anything.

3) What are your three top suggestions on becoming an author, or being a pleasure writer?
My top three are: #1 - Read a lot! Read as many books in your genre as possible, but also read in other genres as well. No only will you know what's been done before (or done to death), but how your story will fit in with the others. Also it gives you an instinctive knowledge of how novels are structured. #2 - Write a lot! The more you write the better you'll be. Also get feedback from other writers on your stories, take writing classes if you can, and attend writing conferences if you can. #3 - Don't give up. Writing is hard work and it takes persistence to finish that story, to keep revising until it's the best story possible. Also if you're going to seek a publisher - you'll need persistence to find a publisher for your novel.

4) What is your favourite novel, why?
The Gate to WOMEN'S Country, by Sheri S. Tepper - it's the ultimate girl power book!

5) Who is your favourite author, why?
This changes and I don't have just one favorite. Currently I'm really enjoying books written by Ilona Andrews - they're fantasy and urban fantasy and they have strong female protagonists.

6) What are your favorite pass times besides writing?
I enjoy photography, making jewelry, and playing volleyball. I also LOVE to travel and read of course!

7) Who in your life do you credit your imagination to the most?
 I've never been asked this question before! I'd have to say my parents - no only do I have their genes, but they always encouraged and supported me when I wanted to take dance classes or acting classes. They never said I couldn't do something.

8) What are the top five things on your bucket list?
I want to get a Ph.D in creative writing, I want to travel slowly - where I can spend months in one country and explore and not rush around going from one historical feature to the next. I also wish to see the Pyramids, Galapagos Islands, the Taj Mahal, and Machu Piccu.

9) What is your funniest childhood memory?
 My dad asking my sister what she would say or do if her BOYFRIEND asked her to "you know....mmmm hmmmm" (referring to have sex). And my sister replied without hesitation, "I'll tell him I don't hum."

10) To the youth of today, if you could tell them one thing, what would it be?
 Don't give up. If you have a goal or have a dream, then pursue it. It won't be easy, but if you work hard and keep going, it's possible!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

An Ember in the Ashes Release Day Blitz!

    I am so excited that AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir releases today and that I get to share the news, along with a special introduction from Sabaa herself!
   If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Sabaa Tahir, be sure to check out all the details below.
   This blitz also includes a giveaway for a signed copies of the book and some of those awesome sword letter openers we’ve seen around courtesy of Sabaa, Penguin Teen, and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

A letter from Sabaa Tahir:

Dear Readers,

   Today, my “baby” AN EMBER IN THE ASHES is finally out in the world! From inception to pub date, this journey took eight years. And what a journey it was: writing, rewriting, revising, editing, querying, submitting; Meeting other debuts, bloggers, booksellers and librarians, and hearing their thoughts on EMBER. There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the radness.
   And now, the book is here! I am so excited to see it in the hands of readers. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. To celebrate release day, I’m giving away two signed, first-edition hardcovers of the book. Details below!

All my best,

Author: Sabaa Tahir
Pub. Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 464
  Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.
  LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.
  ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.
  When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.

Check out the book trailer!

About Sabaa:
   Sabaa Tahir grew up in California’s Mojave Desert at her family’s 18-room motel. There, she spent her time devouring fantasy novels, raiding her brother’s comic book stash and playing guitar badly. She began writing An Ember in the Ashes while working nights as a newspaper editor. She likes thunderous indie rock, garish socks and all things nerd. Sabaa currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.

   2 winners will receive a signed hardcover of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES. (US Only)
   3 winners will receive a hardcover of AN EMBER IN THE ASHES and a Sword Letter Opener! (US Only.)
   Ends on May 9th at Midnight EST!

Monday, 27 April 2015

White Raven Giveaway!

  Giveaway time! Huzzah! To celebrate the release of White Raven we are doing a giveaway of a 25$ Amazon gift card, a signed copy of White Raven and swag! Enter bellow! 
   It only took one heartbeat to change my life—one chilling phone call in the middle of the night.
  And then, as if my life didn’t already suck, my dad sends my brother and me to some idyllic island for the summer to live with a grandma we never met. WTH. Naturally, I rebel. In the end, I find myself shipped off to Raven Hallow…and bored to tears.
  Until I get an eyeful of the mind-bendingly gorgeous Zane Hunter. The dark-hair cutie makes my pulse go bonkers, and I think, maybe this might not be so bad after all. Six feet of swoon inducing looks, with a hint of Celtic charm in his voice, he was the type of guy that left a string of broken hearts in his wake. And I had all the heartbreak I could handle.
  Yet, there is something uncanny, almost supernatural about Zane, and it’s not just his devastating smirk. No matter how much distance I put between us, Raven Hallow isn’t big enough, and the sparking tension between is undeniable. Of course, the one person I want to avoid becomes my salvation.
  My past comes back to terrorize me. Someone wants me dead, and the closer I get to the truth, the more I realize my whole life is a lie. I am no longer sure what is more frightening—the attempts on my life or the guy whose heart and soul are synchronized with mine.
(US/CAN Only)

Special Excerpt from White Raven!!

     "TJ and Rose kept the conversation rolling as I gave the appropriate one-word responses or a head nod. I didn’t have much of an appetite, mostly picking at my chicken Caesar salad and gazing out at the ocean, until…
   His hair was black as a wintry night, eyes icy blue as a gypsy’s heart. He had a lazy saunter about him and a glint of humor twinkling in those heart-melting eyes. There was nothing loose about his body, muscles bunching as he tethered a boat to the dock. I twiddled the straw, staring brazenly.
   Good God. I wanted to have his babies. Not now, but most definitely someday.
   And just like that, my summer got a billion times hotter…and interesting—way more interesting. I bit my lip, mulling over how I was going to accidently fall into his pants. Um—I mean path or even his lap would do, anything to get that one’s attention.
  Drool hit the table in a mad case of fangirl, and I didn’t even know his name.
As if he sensed he was being slobbered over, his eyes scraped over me, and I held my breath. Holy hot tamales. An electric bolt of…lust maybe, I really didn’t know what it was, but it coiled through my body, making me shudder. A flicker of an unidentified emotion crossed his face, right before a secret smile appeared on his lips. Oh man, don’t get me started on his lips.
   Elbows propped on the table, I rested my head on the edge of my palms, continually gazing and getting lost in the depths of his eyes. He hypnotized me. I followed his movements, my eyes glued to him. Then one of my elbows slipped off the table in classic Piper form, and down I went. I caught myself just before my chin whacked a corner of the patio table.
   Only me.
   Mortified, I closed my eyes.
TJ laughed. “Smooth, Pipe. I think you made a lasting impression.”"
    Want a copy for yourself? You can buy one at these links:
Purchase Links:

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Bruja by Aileen Erin (Review)

   Another good installment in the Alpha Girls series, Bruja takes a new view in the Alpha Girl world. Bruja takes the readers on an adventure with a witch introduced in the previous books in the series. Her name is Claudia. She is an extremely powerful witch that has been blood oath to an evil coven leader named Luciana. This an other causes launch Claudia on an adventure in the forests and mountains of Peru with a certain handsome werewolf.
   I loved Bruja. It was action packed and pretty romantic. Claudia was a very strong, determined and respectable character. Along with her, all of the characters in the novel were extremely interesting and well developed. I loved the dynamics between the characters, they were very well done. On top of that, I thought the plot was well done and very well developed.
   If I were nitpicking I do have one complaint or two. The first complaint is that I feel like the romance between the wolf and Claudia could have had some more tension. My second and last complaint would have to be with the introduction of the story. It was a wee bit too slow. I felt that it should have been quicker, getting Claudia to Peru quicker, starting the adventure faster.  Past those small nitpicked problems, Bruja was perfect. I loved it. I give Bruja the rating of FOUR AND A HALF STARS OUT OF FIVE!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Maxon by Christina Bauer (Review)

    I loved it! Once again Christina Bauer has written an amazing and creative young adult novel. Maxon is the fourth book in the Angelbound series. It's about the original characters amazingly fabulous son Maxon, which the readers had already gotten so connected to in the last book when he was a super adorable three year old. On top of Maxon, it follows the story of the newest queen of the water elements. She has a hefty responsibility heaped on her to protect a special orb that she can infuse with her power to share it with others, and an entire kingdom. The king of the Air elements want the orb and her powers, and will do anything to get it. When Maxon and Lianna meet sparks fly and danger strikes.
    I loved the romance in this novel. It was so well developed that my heart was overjoyed by it. Maxon and Lianna were amazing characters, they were both spunky and sassy. I love them. Aside from the relationships, the action scenes and powers/ablities were truly epic. I have a slight love with the dragons tails that Maxon and his mother have. They are some of the coolest things I have ever read about. Beyond that I love were Christina is taking the Angelbound universe, and I mean universe. Christina has thoroughly set the stage for any stories she wants to do from this point out. Now all of the cultures are set and the social constructs set. I love the introduction of elemental powers into the Angelbound series in this novel. I love it!
    If I were to nitpick I do have one or two complaints. The first one would be the lack of development into the problem that Maxon was a giant playboy. I felt that should have been confronted and overcome. The last complaint would be with Lianna's ex. I feel like his role in the novel was not developed to its full potential. Past that I still really loved Maxon and recommend the entire Angelbound series. I give Maxon FOUR AND A HALF STARS OUT OF FIVE!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Sing For Me by Gracie Madison (Review)

     In this novel, angels and demons are at War. In the world of angels there are special angels called Choirs. They were born for music. Their voices can can hurt. Their scream can kill. Their emotions are forbidden. They are being hunted. In this story, the Choirs are hiding as humans on earth. Who from, a ex angel and his cult following. In the process, a Choir named Madeline has to fight her attraction to her guardian, because her emotion are forbidden and can kill. *Warning Adult Content*
    I kind of enjoyed Sing for Me. It had many good moments and dynamics between Madeline and her friends and guardians, but at the same time had many dull moments. When I declare somthing dull, it does not mean nothing was happening in the story. It just means the story was not written well enough to keep my interest in the story, and I have many moments like that in this novel.
    I did find the performance scenes had me thinking of Christine by Phantom of the Opera, with her passion and power in music. Those parts I enjoyed along with the bit of romance and action in the story. The romance in this novel definitely had its moments, but I found that like the rest of the story, it got very dull at times. I give Sing for Me TWO AND A HALF STARS OUT OF FIVE!

The Infinite (Gates of Thread and Stone #2) Lori M. Lee

    The second book in the Gates of Thread and Stone series, the story of Infinites and mortal progresses.  I found this book to be a little to chaotic and unsatisfying in the story telling. I did love the characters, but I was bothered by the lack of deep connections that I loved so much in book one!  There was huge rifts in the connects between the main character and pretty much every other character in the entire story. I believe that was a bad thing because the relationships were the best part of the first novel in the series. Taking that away substantially lowered the quality of the novel. Moving on to the environment of the story, the wasteland outside, dead from the war, and the city in that wasteland. The city was flourishing and left me with a lot of questions. For example: How do they grow food? Why is the city not of a similar environment to the desert considering it is surrounded by a desert?
    On the upside, the action sequences were pretty good and there was a plot twist in The Infinite that was pretty intense and interesting. I also found that the mixture of magic and technology in the novel to be supper interesting. On top of that the rebirth of society after the end of the world was done very interestingly. Ultimately I was disappointed with The Infinite and give it the rating of TWO STARS OUT OF FIVE!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Getting to Know the Authors: Featuring Lisa Jensen!

Bio in Her Words:
    I might have been a pirate in a previous life, or else I watched too many old Errol Flynn movies on TV in my formative years.
    My historical/fantasy "Alias Hook," presents the flip side of the Neverland from the caustic perspective of its prisoner, Captain Hook. It will be published by Thomas Dunne Books in July, 2014.
   My historical pirate novel, "The Witch From the Sea," published in 2001, is the first book in a planned trilogy.
    In real life, I'm a film critic for an alternative weekly in Santa Cruz, CA, a position I've held since dinosaurs roamed the earth. I also reviewed books for the San Francisco Chronicle for 13 years, where my specialty was (surprise!) historical fiction, and women's fiction.

What has she written?
She has written Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen!

    "Every child knows how the story ends. The wicked pirate captain is flung overboard, caught in the jaws of the monster crocodile who drags him down to a watery grave. But it was not yet my time to die. It's my fate to be trapped here forever, in a nightmare of childhood fancy, with that infernal, eternal boy."
    Meet Captain James Benjamin Hook, a witty, educated Restoration-era privateer cursed to play villain to a pack of malicious little boys in a pointless war that never ends. But everything changes when Stella Parrish, a forbidden grown woman, dreams her way to the Neverland in defiance of Pan’s rules. From the glamour of the Fairy Revels, to the secret ceremonies of the First Tribes, to the mysterious underwater temple beneath the Mermaid Lagoon, the magical forces of the Neverland open up for Stella as they never have for Hook. And in the pirate captain himself, she begins to see someone far more complex than the storybook villain. 
   With Stella’s knowledge of folk and fairy tales, she might be Hook’s last chance for redemption and release if they can break his curse before Pan and his warrior boys hunt her down and drag Hook back to their neverending game. Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen is a beautifully and romantically written adult fairy tale.

Now on to the Interview!
1) How old were you when you started writing, in your opinion?
I know I was writing stories by the sixth grade, because I recently found some of them that my mom kept. I started writing film reviews right out of college, but I was in my 30s, writing book reviews for the San Francisco Chronicle, when it occurred to me to try to write book-length fiction.

2) What do you want a reader to gain from reading your works?
Every book is different, in terms of theme and intent. But in general, I try to write characters that readers will fall in love with, and want to follow through all their adventures.

3) What are your three top suggestions on becoming an author, or being a pleasure writer?
The only way to become an author is to write. But here are somre hints aboout the process:
Write what you want to read.
Don't let anyone else tell you what, or how to write, or box you into a niche.
Don't get discouraged. Nobody can tell your story but you!

4) What is your favorite novel, why?
A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. It's a model of economy; it takes place in one night, yet encompasses an entire lifetime. And every page is teeming with comedy, compasssion, and life.

5) Who is your favorite author, why?
Dickens, because his scope is so broad; Diana Gabaldon, because her characters are so rich.

6) What are your favorite pass times besides writing?
Reading. (I never have enough time for it, but your own ideas get stale if you don't keep reading!) Drawing. Baking. Movies. I'm a terrible gardener, but I love my succulents!

7) Who in your life do you credit your imagination to the most?
My mom always urged us kids to get out and be ceative. My dad was a great reader. My husband is an atist who inspires me every day. Pick one!

8) What are the top five things on your bucket list?
Um, I don't really have a bucket list—if you mean like parachuting out of a plane, or bungee-jumping over the Grand Canyon. (So, obviously, nothing to do with heights.) But I do try to make the most of every day, because you never know what opportunity might turn up.

9) What is your funniest childhood memory?
My entire childhood was funny—at least, I remember laughing a lot! My family was very upbeat and we always saw the humor in every situation. And we used to do things together, like quizes and crossword puzzles and trivia games, and crack each other up with our answers!

10) To the youth of today, if you could tell them one thing, what would it be?
Be kind, be courageous, find something to do that you love, and never give up on yourself!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone #1) by Lori M. Lee (Review)

   Right from the get go the setting and feel of the story caught my attention. Gates of Thread and Stone definitely has a unique tone to it. It's a mixture of the themes/genres of post-apocalyptic, romance to a degree and mythology. I loved the loving, pure and strong relationships that the main character, Kai, has with her adoptive brother and friend Reev and Avan. The relationships and character dynamics were so well developed that they played my hearts strings like a master musician. The quality of the relationships definitely up'd the overall quality of the book itself, making it a far more high quality and interesting read.
      I only have one piece of criticism and that was on the ending/conclusion of the novel. The ending was less that completely satisfying. I found that the dynamics I had come to love and expect a lot from earlier in the novel was weaker for some reason. Specifically the relationship between her and her brother. I wish that the connections between her and the boys had been strengthened and solidified before the book ended. Ultimately I did enjoy the book and I give Gates Of Thread and Stone FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Frostfire (Kanin Chronicles #1) by Amanda Hocking (Review)

    I very much enjoyed the new world that Amanda introduces us to in her new novel Frostfire. I have never before pictured trolls as magical humanoids that are both beautiful and powerful, so it took some getting used to, thinking of the characters as trolls. On top of that, unlike many YA novels, the story actually takes place in Canada, yes the freezing snow covered most of the time Canada. I find that pretty awesome, yah know, being a Canadian. I find that it is rare to find a story taking place in my home and native land. I like it. Living in Canada, I could picture the freezing land the trolls live in quite clearly.
   On to the story it's self. I thought that the characters were very unique, and that the drive that is found in the main female protagonist, Bryn, to be very strong and solid. That definitely helped with rounding her as a character, doing so by giving her a goal that the readers can empathize with. Moving on, and looking at the plot, I did have one or two complaints. I felt like their was not enough twists or "big revelations" to keep the reader as invested as they should be. I found my thoughts wandering during lulls in the story. Coinciding with that, there was some parts of the story left untouched and undeveloped. For example, her charge from the beginning of the novel. Towards the end he just drops off, unmentioned in the rest of the story. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm definitely nitpicking. The story it's self was very interesting and I really enjoyed reading it. I do recommend you at least take a look at Frostfire. I give Frostfire the rating of THREE AND A HALF OUT OF FIVE STARS!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Gathering Frost (Once Upon A Curse #1) by Kaitlyn Davis (Review)

    I found the concept of Gathering Frost riveting. The concept of mashing out current modern world and the world of magic and fairy-tales together by force is something that had me curious, had me trying to picture what that would look like. That is very good because a story that sparks imagination is a truly good story.
   Delving into the character development, I loved the way the evil Queen was designed. She reminded me of an evil Elsa, from Frozen. From the way she wore crystals to her white-ish blond hair. She set the stage for the rest of the characters and their motivations very well. Now Jade, the main female protagonist, is a super strong character. Although there was some room for improvement with the introduction of Jade. The author does not give enough of a glimpse into Jade's past in the beginning to allow the reader to make a deep connection from the very beginning.
    I love the relationship between her and Asher. The romance was heart touching and lovely. The twi characters seemed very well suited for each other. Although, again, I do feel there was room for improvement in the ways of the romantic tension. I feel that the romance would have been more potent if the tension leading up to it had been more described and tense. As it was, it was still a very good book, and I recommended it to those fairy-tale fans out there. I give Gathering Frost the rating of THREE AND A HALF OUT OF FOUR STARS!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

New World Order (Sunset Rising #3) by S.M. McEachern (Review)

   The third installment of  the Sunset Rising series, the post apocalyptic action story continues. New World Order starts right off the bat with the kidnapping of Jack, causing for an interesting intro into the story. The story continues to develop with a new plot, but the same characters. After the past two books, the characters are pretty well developed before the book even starts. I did have a problem with an element with they way the story was written. In the story, the author would built up tension with one character, then switch characters, leaving the readers disappointed and annoyed at the change. This occurred for a good portion of the novel, driving me crazy. Beyond that, in my opinion, the conclusion of the novel was too short. After an entire novel worth of build up, it all ended pretty quickly. 
   The positives would be the amazing depths of love and thought in the main characters, and the awesome action/conflicts that occurred in this novel. Both are very important in the way of telling a good story, and keeping the readers attention. I find both at least partially redeeming for the cut off storytelling I mentioned earlier. I give New World Order the rating of TWO AND A HALF OUT OF FIVE STARS!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Saturday, 11 April 2015

The Institute (The Institute #1) by Kayla Howarth (Review)

    In a post apocalyptic world where Defectives are rounded up and forced to live separate from society in unknown conditions, Allira Daniels will do anything to keep her family safe from the Institute. Specifically her  younger brother with the ability to see the future, labeling him a dangerous "Defective" to society.
     I actually quite enjoyed the narration of The Institute. The tone of voice was very effective in its story telling and consistent with the personality of the main character Allira. I did have some trouble with the commencements of the story because it did have a lul not far into the story, boring me a bit. The redeeming factor for it is that if the reader pushes through the lull, they will be a huge surprise/plot twist to come, making the wait worth it. The story its self is very interesting and touches the emotions of the reader very effectively at many different moments. Heads up, there is a cliff hanger ending! Be aware of that, in case you love or hate those. There is a sequel to this called Rebellion. I enjoyed The Institute and give it the rating of THREE AND A HALF STARS!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Friday, 10 April 2015

Getting to Know the Authors: Featuring Amanda Hocking!

    I live in Minnesota with my dog Isley, three cats Sophie, Nikki, and Squeak, my husband Mike and my stepson Gavin. I do many things, most of them lame and boring, but the thing I get paid to do is write young adult books.
     I enjoy Red Bull, Jim Henson, Batman, dinosaurs, sharks, Jane Austen, Lego sets, and I absolutely hate long walks on the beach out of my intense fear/hatred of wet sand.
     By the end of 2015, I will have published five different series, with a total of 20 different published works. Two of my series and one standalone novel are self-published, and three of my series are with a traditional publisher, St. Martin’s.
     My New York Times Bestselling series the Trylle trilogy has been optioned for a film by Media Rights Capital with District 9 screenwriter Terri Tatchell adapting the books for screen. My zombie series, The Hollows, has been adapted into a graphic novel by Dynamite.

What has she written?
She has written many novels, they are:       
Switched, Torn, Ascend, My Blood Approves, Fate, Flutter, Hollowland, Wake, Wisdom, Lullaby, Hollowmen, Tidal, Letters to Elise: A Peter Townsend Novella, Elegy, Frostfire, Virtue, Forgotten Lyrics, Swear, The Beginning of the End, Honalee, Ice Kissed, Fresh Water, Radio Silence, Crystal Kingdom, Movin' On, Forced Eviction, The New Regiut me, That Old Time Religion, Grim, Inevitable, The Girl Next Door, The 2011 Book Blogger's Cookbook, Dark Tomorrows, And Then There Were Five, Surrounded by the Marauders, Endgame, United BDivided, Watersong, Torn, Switched, I Am Not Who You Think I Am, How I became rich, Royale: Trylle, T3, Ice Kissed, Freeks, Crystal Kingdom.

Now on to the Interview!!
1) How old were you when you started writing, in your opinion?
I started writing stories literally as soon as I learned how to write. Before that, I was constantly telling stories and making things up. 

2) What do you want a reader to gain from reading your works?
I want them to gain a moment of escape. I write to forget my troubles, quiet my anxiety, and lose myself in another world, and I hope that readers get the same thing from my books. 

3) What are your three top suggestions on becoming an author, or being a pleasure writer?
1. Write what you want to read, not what you think other people want to read. Sometimes writers get too focused on trends, but if you don’t love what you’re writing, nobody else will, either.
2. Read a lot in a variety of genres. Don’t limit to yourself to one thing. I love young adult and horror most of all, but I’ve found books in all kinds of genres that I’ve really loved and that have shown me things I wouldn’t have known otherwise. 
3. Find a writing group to give you honest feedback. You can’t become a better writer if you don’t know what isn’t working. is an excellent place to get early feedback, but there a number of writing groups online, not to mention ones at schools and colleges. 

4) What is your favourite novel, why?
That’s hard to say, and it changes. The two books I’ve read more than any other are “Slaughter-house Five” by Kurt Vonnegut and “Manic Magee” by Jerry Spinelli. I think Vonnegut is a brilliant writer, and I’m a bit of a WWII buff, so I enjoy his take it immensely. “Maniac Magee” just really stuck with me when I first read when I was kid, so I keep going back to it. 

5) Who is your favourite author, why?
That’s another tough question. I love Kurt Vonnegut, but I also really enjoy Judy Blume, Richelle Mead, Holly Black, and Neil Gaiman. 

6) What are your favorite pass times besides writing?
Writing and reading are my two biggest pass times. Beyond that, I watch a lot of movies and cooking shows. I have a golden retriever and three cats, and they keep me pretty busy. I also play video games from time to time. 

7) Who in your life do you credit your imagination to the most?
I guess I don’t really credit anyone with my imagination. I grew up as an only child, living out in the country with no cable TV or internet, and I didn’t really have any friends. To entertain myself, I had to make things up. It was an act of survival. My parents and my grandma were always supportive and encouraged me to write, but I don’t think anyone really gave me my imagination. 

8) What are the top five things on your bucket list?
1. Travel to all seven continents. (I only have two down, so I have five more to go). 
2. Fly in a hot air balloon.
3. Swim with sharks.
4. Become fluent in Swedish. (I can only speak a teeny little bit).
5. Clone dinosaurs and create my own Jurassic Park. (A girl can dream, right?”

9) To the youth of today, if you could tell them one thing, what would it be?
Don’t be cynical or do things ironically. Life is too short to be lived sarcastically. Do the things that you’re passionate about and matter to you, not just because you think you’ll look cool. 

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Getting to Know the Authors: Featuring Kayla Howarth!

     Kayla was born and raised on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. She still resides there with her husband and son, working part time for a medical pathology lab while working on her writing.
Her love of reading and movies inspired her to start something she never dreamed possible: Writing her first novel.
     When she's not working, looking after her son, or writing, you'll most likely find her hosting her own dance party in the kitchen while she does the dishes. (Where her husband will argue that more dancing is achieved than clean plates.)

What has she written?
She has written The Institute and Resistance!

Now on to the Interview!!
1) How old were you when you started writing, in your opinion?
I loved writing in High School, choosing Literature as an elective subject. I never thought in a million years I’d try to make something of it. I was twenty-eight when I finally realised what I wanted to be when I grew up:  an author.

2)What do you want a reader to gain from reading your works?
I hope that anyone who reads my books can find an escape, get lost in a different world, and forget about reality. Even if it’s just for a little while. 

3) What are your three top suggestions on becoming an author, or being a pleasure writer?
1. Read. A lot. I believe my writing improves with the more books I read. I’ve learned what I like to see as a reader, and what I don’t, and I try to incorporate that into my own writing.
2. Keep writing, even when you’re blocked. I always tell myself that it doesn’t matter how bad the first draft is. It can always be fixed during editing. But having SOMETHING down is better than nothing. It’s moving the story along.
3. Don’t fret about what other people think. Not everyone is going to like your work, and that’s okay.

4) What is your favourite novel, why?
The Hunger Games, and for many reasons. The strong female lead, the originality of the story, the way it’s written. I hadn’t even picked up a book in years, until I saw The Hunger Games at the movies. And even then, it was my husband who bought the books! I started reading them one night and five days later I was finished and suddenly wanting to read every YA book I could get my hands on.

5) Who is your favourite author, why?
Goes without saying that it’s Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games inspired me to begin writing in the first place.

6) What are your favorite pass times besides writing?
Reading is a given. Watching movies. I love ten pin bowling, even though I never have the time to go and I’m really, REALLY bad at it.

7) Who in your life do you credit your imagination to the most?
I have no idea where my overactive imagination comes from. I’ve always had it. 

8) What are the top five things on your bucket list?
See the Northern Lights
Have a white Christmas (don’t get those in Australia!)
Learn archery
Run a half marathon
Own something from Tiffany’s

9) What is your funniest childhood memory?
Maybe not the funniest, but definitely one of my most memorable. Travelling to New Zealand with my family, we were told of a cave that had “invisible water”. Thinking ‘right, whatever’, we went to this cave, climbed down numerous steps, weaved our way through other tourists who were also looking for this ‘magical’ water, only to get to the bottom and see bright aqua water pooled at the bottom of the cave. Needless to say I felt ripped off. Shuffling a little closer, “The water is right there!” I exclaimed.  I turned to see my mother and sisters laughing at me. “Look down,” my mother said. I had stepped in the water and I didn’t even know it! And then I felt it seep into my shoes. I had to trudge all the way back with soaking wet feet.

10) To the youth of today, if you could tell them one thing, what would it be?
May the odds be ever in your favor.

Excerpt from Resistance by Kayla Howarth!

   Here is a special excerpt from Resistance coming out next month May 2015, sequel to The Institute by  Kayla Howarth!

      "That whole night is still a bit of a blur, starting from when I first woke up on the hard ground in the middle of a forest. 
   Trees surrounded me, only giving partial view to the stars and sky above me. Cicadas chirped loudly in my ears.
    My mother leaned down, gently brushing my cheek with her hand. She said… something, but I couldn’t make it out.
    “What?” I croaked, my voice hoarse.
    “Welcome to the Resistance,” she said, her voice calm and soothing.
    “The what?” I said, confused.
    I tried to stand, pushing my mother out of my way, but I was wobbly on my feet.
Chad was suddenly at my side. “Sorry about that. I didn’t want to drug you but we knew you’d put up a fight, scream, and probably wake up Drew,” he said, wrapping his arm around my waist and holding me close.
    “You drugged me!?”
    He winced. “Not my idea.” He glared at Paxton.
    My vision started to blur. “What is this?” I asked as Chad lowered me back down to the ground.
    “There’s so much to say,” my mother said. My mother. I couldn’t believe I was sitting just a few feet away from the woman who died eight years ago.
I was in too much shock to feel anything. Numbness took over my body and it was like I was slipping into a haze.
    The only thing I could focus on was Paxton’s tone of voice when he said, “We don’t have enough time to explain everything.” He was strictly business.
    What is Paxton even doing here? I thought to myself. He’s one of them. He’s the guy who “tested” my amplification ability by making me blow up a car battery alongside another Institute resident.           He’s the one who deemed me good enough to be recommended for the agent program. He showed me around the training centre, inducted me into the program. He’s one of them!
Ignoring his words, I glared at my mother, wanting answers. “You’ve been alive this whole time? You walked out on us, abandoned us, for what?”
    “It’s not as simple as that, Lia.” Her voice was small. “If you come with us, we’ll have all the time in the world to discuss it.”
    “Go with you, where?”
    They all started talking at me, cutting each other off, trying to explain what was happening. Whether it was the drugs or the lingering shock, I don’t know, but my brain wasn’t in comprehension mode. All I could gather was they wanted to take me somewhere, over the small mountain range that has been the backdrop of my horizon for my entire life. They were all expecting me to make this momentous decision on spur of the moment. To go with them or to stay? I sat there, watching the five of them talking and arguing over what would be best for me like I wasn’t even there.
    It didn’t help that Paxton kept saying over and over again, “We don’t have time for this. She needs to decide now, before it’s too late.”
    That’s when I snapped.
    “Everyone shut up!” I yelled. They all turned to look at me, stunned at my outburst. “Stop talking about me like I’m not here. I need to get this straight. You’re saying the Resistance have a compound out west, close to the radiation perimeter, completely secure from the outside world. And you want me to go there?”
   They all nodded.
   “Okay, so what about Shilah? I can’t just leave him at the Institute.” I shake my head, my decision made. “No way. It’s not going to happen. You don’t think Brookfield will punish him if I go missing?” I turned to Chad. “How did you get away?” I looked down at my wrist but my tracker was gone.
   “It was always the plan to get out,” Chad said with little emotion.
   “Why didn’t you tell me?”
   He ran a hand through his hair. “I wanted to. Tate wouldn’t let me.”
   “So Tate’s in on it, too?”
   “He’s kind of our leader,” Ebb added.
   “There’s eight of us, actually,” my mother said.
   “Total?” I asked, which received a few chuckles.
   “Eight leaders,” Paxton clarified. “Tate, your mum, me, Chad’s mother, and four others you’ll meet when you come with us.”
   I shook my head. “No. I’m not leaving Shilah.”
   “He’ll be safe, I’ll make sure of it,” Aunt Kenna said.
   “How could you make sure of it?”
   She came to sit beside me on the hard ground. When I turned to look at her, I was no longer looking at my Aunt, but at the doctor who treated me at the hospital when I hurt my ankle at the Institute.
   “You!” I screamed.
   “I wanted to tell you. So badly.”
   I reached over to touch her face and she let out a small laugh. Her face contorted slightly, making my hand flinch away from her. When I looked back at her face, she was Aunt Kenna again.
   “I can shape shift. But it’s not all that impressive considering I only have the two faces to change into.”
   In the middle of a forest, surrounded by these people who were meant to be my family and friends, I realised I truly knew nothing about any of them.
   “Is there anyone who hasn’t lied to me?” I asked no one in particular.
   “It was too risky to tell you, Lia,” Aunt Kenna said. “I’m not Kenna to the Institute. They only know me as Kandice Randall. They don’t know I’m your aunt, they don’t know I’m Defective. I’ve been working for them for years and they’re none-the-wiser about my true identity. I couldn’t risk exposing myself.”
   Ebb suddenly appeared at my other side. She didn’t walk over to me, it was like she blinked and was suddenly there. I stared at her, wide eyed. “I can teleport,” she said nonchalantly, wrapping her arm around me.
   With each new reveal, it’s was like a wire in my tiny, naïve brain short circuited. I furrowed my brows in confusion and pain.
   “I know how you’re feeling. I felt the same when Chad approached me to join them,” Ebb said, like it was meant to reassure me.
   “I’m really sorry, Allira. You need to make a decision,” Paxton cut in.
   “What happens if I say no?”
   “You won’t remember this ever happened,” Paxton replied.
   Paxton gestured to my mother.
   “I tamper with memories,” she simply stated.
   “What if I don’t want to forget? If what you’re offering me is real, I want it. I want it more than almost anything. Almost. But Shilah’s safety comes first.”
   Chad asked for a moment alone.
   “Two minutes,” Paxton said, gesturing for the others to leave us.
   Chad took Ebb’s spot next to me. “I wanted to tell you.”
   I didn’t respond. I didn’t know how to.
   “Come with me.”
   “Just like that? Leave and don’t worry about the consequences? You’re not scared about what will happen to Tate with you gone?”
   “He told me to leave. He also told me to drag you with me – kicking and screaming.” He took a piece of paper out of his pocket. “This is from him.”
   I was hesitant at first, but reluctantly reached for it. Placing it on my lap, I stared at it, willing myself to build the courage to open it. It didn’t come. “I want to. I want to go with you, be with you… and my family,” I added, suddenly aware of the words that were falling out of my mouth.
   “Then come with me,” he repeated. He reached over and tucked my hair behind my ear. With that one simple gesture, I was so close to saying yes.
   “Get Shilah out, and I will,” I whispered as a lump formed in my throat.
   That was it. I’d made up my mind. "