Monday, 14 August 2017

Getting to Know the Authors: Featuring Jane Washington!

Bio:
    I started writing when I was two years old. I’d concoct stories while my mother wrote them down for me, not even blinking an eye when I killed off the mother-dinosaur in my fictional dinosaur family, sending the baby dinosaurs off to live with their dinosaur grandparents. So, due to my mother’s lack of censorship every time I made up something borderline controversial, I’ve grown into an adult that mostly just writes borderline controversial things.
    And that, my friends, is how you shift blame.
     I live in Brisbane, Australia, with my Husband and our first-born son. He’s a dog, and he wasn’t born so much as bought, but he’s still our heir. We also have a couch, this one really nice lamp, and a few potted plants: Wally, Salvador, and Pinky. There was another, Alexander the Great, but he’s dead now. My writing process consists of a cycle of skipping. I skip sleep so that I can write, I skip meals so that I can write, I skip shopping so that I can write, and then I skip meals again because I didn’t go shopping. In the end, I skip writing because I’ve made myself sick.
It’s not a process I recommend.

What has she written?
She has written:


Giveaway!!!
   In collaboration with the amazing Jane Washington, we will be giving away a signed copy of her awesome novel Charcoal Tears INTERNATIONALLY! Whooo! Simply enter into the giveaway bellow for your chance to win this signed copy all for yourself!
Charcoal Tears
(Seraph Black #1) 
by Jane Washington
 blurb:
       “You see, there is safety in simplicity… in a life of simple peace, where the electricity doesn’t dance across the backs of my eyelids, and the sparks don’t slither over my consciousness. Only asinine peace, where my paintings don’t seem to paint themselves, leaving me with terrible feelings of premonition and a chill beneath my fingernails.”
       Seraph Black used to think that she was prepared for anything. She could last days without eating, and she always walked away from the violent altercations with her father relatively unharmed. She even survived working at the club, surrounded by the dregs of society, all staring into their bottles instead of noticing the unravelling lives that trailed behind them.
       She had thought that she could survive anything, but she wasn’t prepared for Noah and Cabe to come bulldozing into her life, careless of the precious secrets they picked apart in their quest to take over her world. She was even less prepared for the mysterious Miro and Silas, but most of all…
Most of all… it was the stalker that threatened her talent for surviving. She wasn’t ready for the photos, and the messages. The warnings. The threats.

       Seraph’s life of surviving in the shadows was over, because the searchlight had found her, and there was nowhere that she could hide.
      More info here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26569610-charcoal-tears
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Now on to the Interview!!!
1) How old were you when you started writing, in your opinion?
       I started lying when I was old enough to talk. I think that counts.

2) What do you want a reader to gain from reading your works?
       The experience of going through something terrible, and then overcoming it. The healing process. OR... maybe if they just have a giggle at something, that's fine too.
3) What are your three top suggestions on becoming an author, or being a pleasure writer?
1. Don't write to impress. Write what's real.
2. Being a good author isn't about having so much confidence that you don't feel fear, it's about being terrified ... and writing anyway.
3. Also, there's this awesome thing that Kurt Vonnegut said, and I agree with it 100%: “Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.”

4) What is your favourite novel, why?
         Catch-22, Joseph Heller. Because it's pure brilliance.

5) Who is your favourite author, why?
          Samuel Beckett, or Joseph Heller. Beckett, because I've never encountered a person so optimistically miserable. Heller, because again, pure brilliance.

6) What are your favorite pass times besides writing?
          I play the piano!

7) Who in your life do you credit your imagination to the most?
          My brother, Seb. He was the first person to encourage me to write, and he never stopped.

8) What are the top five things on your bucket list?
          I have too many, I can't even answer this question! :')

9) What is your funniest childhood memory?
          The day my ten-year-old self learnt how to fake-cry, and the looks on my brothers faces.

10) To the youth of today, if you could tell them one thing, what would it be?
         Read more.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Wires and Nerve (Wires and Nerve #1) by Marissa Meyer (Review)

      Based on the popular series The Lunar Chronicles, Wires and Nerve is a graphic novel continuing off from where the book series ended. Iko is an android. She is a machine with the mind of a woman. In an effort to help Cinder, she goes on the hunt to track down and stop the wolf-monster-lunar hybrids that the evil queen had unleashed on earth. In the process she gets a little dinged up, but a few wolf aliens are not anything she cannot take with the aid of her friends.
     Minimalistic in its color choices, Wires and Nerve's art style is unique as it has a very friendly feel, and is not overly detailed. It was a little uninteresting to look at visually because of the lack of color diversity (it was mostly exclusively blue). That aside though, the story was simple but friendly. I would feel comfortable to let younger readers look into this book. It's a fun read and an interesting way to look at the Lunar Chronicles, giving a minor side character time to become more developed and rounded. Ultimately, Wires and Nerve was a good graphic novel, and I give it the rating of FOUR OUT OF FIVE STARS!!!
*Advanced Readers Copy Review*

Monday, 7 August 2017

Book Blitz: The Woodlands Series Box Set by Lauren Nicolle Taylor!


The Woodlands Series Box Set
Lauren Nicolle Taylor
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: August 7th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult
Do you dare enter the Woodlands?
      As the last livable spot on Earth, it’s the only home Rosa and Joseph have ever known. But now they need to escape, or Rosa will be trapped forever in a horrific government program. A dystopian page-turner with over 750 five-star ratings on Goodreads. The Woodlands Series is perfect for fans of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth, and The Jewel Series by Amy Ewing. Readers can purchase this boxed set at a significant discount over the cost to purchase each novel individually. This is a complete series boxed set.
      The Woodlands is an Award-Winning Finalist in the “Fiction: Young Adult” category of the USA Best Book Awards, as well as a Semifinalist in The Kindle Book Awards by the Kindle Book Review.
“Lauren Taylor’s writing is powerfully descriptive; she is a master of words and similes.” – Author Erica Kiefer
“It seems so rare these days to find a dystopian with an original vein in it. The Woodlands Succeeds.” -Author Pauline Creeden
“I went into this story with my own ideas, but they were obliterated by what I found instead. I was so happy to be wrong because this story touched my heart deeply in a way that I never expected.” – Reviewer Amber Douglas Mcallister
“This book was fantastic! Spectacular! It had everything I look for in a book: Action, Adventure, and even romance!” – Reviewer Jocelyn Sanchez
EXCERPT:
      The helicopters were stationed at the rim of Ring One, just inside the low, sandy-colored wall that surrounded the center podium. They were waiting, crouching like black angels ready to lift us from this place, this hell, into an unknown world. A Guardian in black uniform with gold trim walked to the front of the choppers and signaled for us to come forward. Another one threw the bags in the cargo hold as he read from his list. Three girls and eight boys. Joseph’s name was not on the list. I felt a flood of relief that was washed away by panic. I was barely holding myself together as it was, seeing him was liable to make me fall to pieces. But he was supposed to be here.
       Paulo’s hand was on my back, pushing me towards the helicopter like I was an uncooperative apple on the conveyor belt. I was trying so hard to muster up some courage. Today I was leaving the only home I had ever known. I would never see my mother again. I felt the anxiety rising, the crushing pain of the separation I was about to suffer. Suddenly the grey-washed town didn’t look so horrible. It was home after all, I guess. I told myself it was fear that was making me feel this way. It didn’t help.
       My mother, who had been quietly following us around like a dazed puppy, pulled me to her in a tight embrace. She whispered, “Sorry,” in my ear before stepping back, fists clenched, showing the appropriate restraint. Some other mothers were crying and holding their children as the Guardian wrenched them away and led them onto the aircraft.
        My mother’s face was my own, the way she moved mirrored my own movements and mannerisms, but that’s where the similarities ended. Although raised by this woman, I was nothing like her. For the first time, I saw things from her perspective. Getting into trouble all the time, never showing Paulo anything other than contempt. I must have been such a frustration to her.
They called my name. Paulo put his hands firmly on my shoulders, holding me in my place. His intense stare was impossible to look away from. “Don’t shame your family,” he spat at me. And with that, he made it easy to leave. I could feel the blades starting to move, my hair whipping around my face. I stripped away the fear and anxiety, leaving a girl that was fierce, empowered by his hatred.
“Don’t worry, Paulo, I’ll stir it up, make a little noise!” I shouted through the wind. The Guardian that let me sign up was watching me, probably regretting his decision. My mother was standing rigidly, her handmade skirt billowing as the air churned around her, her hand outstretched, pleading. I could see it in her eyes—please Rosa, don’t cause more trouble. She couldn’t stop me, no one ever could. Paulo was already walking away, his back to me. Behind my mother stood a man, one blue eye, one brown, smiling. He lifted his hand to wave. I raised my hand, confused. The chopper lurched awkwardly and I was knocked back into the cargo hold.
        “Sit down!” the Guardian snapped at me. I quickly found a spot and strapped myself in. The others were staring at me, eyes wide. The Guardian tapped the pilot on the shoulder. “Wait, there’s one more.”
       He bounded in, bag in hand, and casually threw it on the pile and scanned the seats. There was plenty of room on the other side but he squeezed his bulky form between me and the boy I was sitting next to.
       Suddenly we were in the air. When the Guardian wasn’t looking, Joseph slipped his hand over mine. Warmth calmed the agitation I felt, like pouring gold over lead, glowing. We stayed that way the entire ride. Eyes forward. Impossibly trying to anticipate what may lie ahead.

Author Bio:
     Lauren Nicolle Taylor lives in the lush Adelaide Hills. The daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist and an Australian scientist, she was expected to follow a science career path, attending Adelaide University and completing a Health Science degree with Honours in obstetrics and gynaecology.
She then worked in health research for a short time before having her first child. Due to their extensive health issues, Lauren spent her twenties as a full-time mother/carer to her three children. When her family life settled down, she turned to writing.
She is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semi-finalist and a USA Best Book Awards Finalist.

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