Blood Rose Books

 

 

Blood Rose Books, is a book review website that provides review for the Mystery, Action Adventure, Thriller, Paranormal, Dark Paranormal and Horror genres. All the reviews are honest and yes that does mean a some bad reviews as well.

Blood Rose Books, tries to get readers interested in books and genres that someone may not have thought of trying before. As well as get people interested in not only mainstream published authors, but the wealth of indie authors that are out there as well.

Please feel free to comment on here, or on any of the reviews on the website Blood Rose Books 

 
I hope that I am able to lead you to your next great author and read.

Cheers,

J9

Mary Kubica: Every Last Lie

Every Last Lie - Mary Kubica

Mary Kubica show how far a woman will go to prove that her husband's accident was anything but:

Clara's world was shattered when her husband, Nick, and their four year old daughter, Maisie, were involved in a deadly car crash. Maisie was unharmed in the crash but her Nick succumbed to his injuries. The crash is ruled as an accident, probably speed related, but Clara cannot believe that Nick would drive the winding road fast with their daughter in the back seat. When Maisie begins to have nightmares about the crash, Clara has determined that Nick's death was much more than an accident. Who would have wanted Nick dead? And, more important, why? Clara will stop at nothing to find out and the truth is only the beginning of secrets and deceit she is going to uncover. 

This is the second book that I have read by Kubica and while it may follow a similar format to tell the story, it is nothing like The Good Girl, which I appreciated. The format that Kubica chooses to use is a before and after the main event, in this case a deadly accident that kills Nick. The voice of before and after is also not the same person, her husband Nick is the before voice and Clara is the after voice. This allows you to get to know and care about both characters even though you know that Nick's is going to end in tragedy.

Kubica puts real emotion in to this book and I can honestly say that I there are times within the book that I do not know if I would have acted differently from Clara. From not wanting to tell her daughter about her daddy's death, to trying to deal with what actually happened during the accident and setting out to find herself, Kubica puts a very real elemetn behind Clara's thoughts, choices, grief and actions. The need to know what actually happened and that your loved one would not be so reckless not just with their life but that of her child.

I enjoyed going along the journey with Clara as she tries to discover what truly happened that day and Kubica does a great job of introducing new facts and possible along the way that there are many factors and people to consider as to what caused the crash. I think that Kubica chose a bit of an unconventional ending to her book which I think you will either love or hate. I personally loved it.

Two books down by Kubica and I have enjoyed both of them. I think she has mastered the way that she likes to tell the story and uses it to her advantage. I'm off to find another book by her.

Enjoy!!!

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K. L. Slater: Blink

Blink - K. Slater

K. L. Slater takes a reader on every parent's worse nightmare with the disappearance of their child:

Toni's life was turned upside down when her husband was killed in action. It has caused her to make some drastic changes in her life, some good and many bad ones. With her daughter Evie by her side she makes a move to a new city to try to start a new life but people notice there is something not right with Toni and question her ability to take care of Evie. When Evie disappears there are many suspects but everyone sees it as Toni's fault. Will she ever see her child again? As more time passes she tries to stay positive but everyone knows as more time passes the likelihood of Evie coming back alive gets smaller and smaller.

This book had everything that I was looking for in a psychological thriller, and as the premise on Goodreads says it actually does have a twist that you will not see coming. Trust me that does not happen very often and there are times when I question where the big twist was. Honestly, half way through this book I was like I have it all figured out and how it was going to play out but I was totally wrong. Slater does a great job of not only surprising you having so many possibilities that you're not sure which one is right.

Slater has a strong story telling aspect in this book and I really enjoyed they way she decided to tell the story with the present, Toni before and the teacher before. It can take a bit to lead to the actual abduction of Evie so it was maybe a bit drawn out but Slater needed to lay the groundwork. It also gives you a great overview of what led up to Evie's disappearance as well as the list of suspects for taking Evie and they all seem to have a motive that they would act on that sends your brain spinning in so many different scenarios.

Toni is very real character who is suffering from the loss of her husband and everything psychological and financial burdens that comes with that. The only Light in her life is Evie and as much as she tries to be a good mother, she struggles throughout the past portions of the book. The choices that Toni does make does make her hard to like at times but at the still time you feel so sorry for her that you understand her in a way.

This is the first book that I have read by Slater and it will not be the last. Slater has a great story telling ability that has set the bar really high with this book, so I'm really looking forward to finding another book by her.

Enjoy!!!

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Interview: S. J. Kincaid

A little late for my Blogoversary this year, but that is okay, as this author was new to me and her novel The Diabolic was a great read. It melded together so many aspects that I enjoy in books, darkness, political power plays and a ruthless main character. I mean what is there not to love. Additionally, her second book in her Diabolic series, Empress, was just released this week so make sure you check that out as well. Please welcome to Blood Rose Books today:

S.J. Kincaid

My Grandma was instrumental in me turning out to be a reader. Was there a book or person who first influenced you in to becoming an author?
My Sister was the number one influence in this. She was older than me by four years, and I wasnt to be just like her. I used to follow her around and annoy her when she was playing with her friends. When she decided as a third grader that she loved writing, I decided to start writing too. It became my primary hobby from then onward.

If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why?

Actually, it would be an unpublished but extremely talented writer I've already co-written a novel with, on of my two best friends, Jamie. Thanks to her, I co-wrote the first ever manuscript I finished, and realized writing was a possible career for me. I've hoped ever since for a chance to write something with her one day. It was so much fun.


What appeals to you writing in the YA genre?
I don't have to write about mortgages or wrangling with taxes, for one. It's an interesting period of life when there's still so much possibility, so many decisions not yet made, and a teenager is simultaneously and adult in so many ways but lacking all the autonomy and power over fate an adult has.

Many adults have taken to reading novels that have been classified with the YA designation. Why do you think YA novels are appealing to adults more? Do you think that this may change some of the overall content of the YA genre? Hoave you seen changes within the genre since you started writing in it?
I think adults appreciate - as I do - the pacing of a typical YA novel. Although there are certainly exceptions, adult fiction often seems much more rumination or lingering than a YA novel, where the emphasis focuses upon driving the story forward.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?

I would say straight-up romance. My sister writes romance as Meredith Duran, and she's incredibly talented, but I don't think I could simultaneously keep to the pretty strict genre guileless and expectations and manage to produce something compelling and fascinating the way she does. I really am in awe of her.

The Diabolic was originally supposed to be a standalone novel; Why did you decide to make it into a series?
There were a variety of reasons, but mostly it was because there was just too much story left to tell! I really had this plot idea that nagged me so I felt compelled to write onward.

As The Diabolic wrapped up the story by the end of the book did you find it hard to create a new storyline and where these characters would go next?
Not in this case, mostly because it was the storyline for where it would go next that compelled me to write onward, rather than contract for three books from the start. I just had this idea and I couldn't resist pursuing it.


You wanted to make The Diabolic older and darker from your previous series, what appealed to you about writing the darker side of human nature; As Nemesis is cold, lacks empathy and is ruthless.
I felt like INSIGNIA began with a main character who was fourteen, and although some readers will grow older as Tom does, other will pick up all three books after they're out. To write for middle grade or the younger end of YA, one has to be respectful of not just the readers, but the parents and librarians who are sharing the book. I want people to know from the beginning of the first book just what they'll be exposing their kid or student to if they read this series, rather than surprise them with shocking or dark stuff they're not ready to read. For that reason, there's a lot of pretty dark stuff they're not ready to read. For that reason, there's a lot of pretty dark stuff in INSIGNIA, but it never goes too far , and yet I couldn't help but notice the parts that readers really connected with were some of the darker moments. With The Diabolic, I laid it out pretty explicitly in the first chapter of the first book just how dark the story could get, so if it doesn't work for a reader, then someone knows in the bookstore.

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?

Yes! I should preface this and say I had the awesome and enormous par of The Diabolic wings made, so anyone who wants a selfie with them, come see me! These are my events:

November 4th, I'll be at the Colorado Teen BookCon with Scott Reinten, Veronica Rossi, Emily Suvada, Len Vlahos, and moderated by Scott Bergstorm.
November 6th: I'll be at Third Place Books in Seattle.
November 7th and 8th: I'll have two events with Tommy Wallach at Barnes and Noble and Chevalier's Books

November 18th: Miami Book Fair 

What is one book (Other than one of your own) that you think should be a must read for everyone)

The Gift of Fear. Not fiction, but honestly it'll save your life. That book has given me so many useful tips as a woman who travels alone often.

I want to thank Kincaid once again for taking the time to answer these questions. Honestly, if I was able to go to one of her upcoming events I would totally take a self with those wings, they sound amazing and I am really looking forward to reading Empress, the second book in her Diabolic series.

Layton Green: The Brothers Three

The Brothers Three: Book One of The Blackwood Saga (Volume 1) - Layton Green

Layton Green takes readers on an adventitious quest for power, friendship and save a loved one:

The Blackwood brothers from New Orleans are very different but are always there for each other. Will dreams of a fantasy world and believes he was meant to be a hero, if only he get over his panic attacks. Middle brother Caleb tries to live his life to fullest and take a laid back way of life using his charm to survive. Oldest brother Val who has been caring for his brothers since their father died and mother became ill is hiding a secret from both of them. All three are about to be put to a test that none of them ever dreamed of (though Will wished for something similar). Enter in to a world where wizards rain supreme, religion is crushed down and a perilous journey must be taken not only to save their own lives but find out the truth about their father and save a long time family friend who help raise them.

Honestly, this is one of the best fantasy quest books that I have read in a long time. I may not dip in to this genre that often but I know what I like and Green delivered on so many levels. From start to finish with his writing, plot, characters and pacing of the book everything was right.

Green is known for the amount of research and detail that he has put in to his Dominic Grey series (which is one of my favourites) and it was interesting to see him put these type of skills towards a fantasy based book. You can tell that he pulled from different folklore and cultures to creates the monsters (and trust me some of these creature not not only unique but scary as hell) as well as the puzzle aspects to the quest that the brothers are forced on. You can also see it in the world building between the parallel dimensions which was one of my favorite aspects of the book.

The parallel dimensions or portal between two worlds is not something that I have read a lot of, but I find I really enjoy the idea of it. It was an interesting twist between the two dimensions to show what would have happened if religion was stamped out like witches or magic ideals. I actually want to know more about this world, the magic, the culture and the hierarchy system that is in place. All of these aspects are just touched upon in the first book as this book was Quest based, but I are really interested in knowing more.

Having the three brothers was an interesting choice and there were times when I questioned the need for all three. I am sure that they all have their roles to play, as they are very different in personality as well as strengths and weaknesses but there was times that the middle brother Caleb was more of a secondary character than a primary one (perhaps this will change in the next book). Trust me you do not want to be a secondary character in this book as well they get hurt a lot and not everyone is going to make it to the end of this book, which I am glad that Green is willing to take risks with his characters, all of them.

Fantastic start to a new series, this book really had everything that I was looking for when I read this genre with it's mix of fantasy and adventure.If you're looking for a new fantasy read and series to start you should pick up this book. I'm really looking forward to the second book, especially how this book ended. I need to start the second book really soon.

Enjoy!!!

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Nicholas Sansbury Smith: Orbs

Orbs: A Science Fiction Thriller - Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Nicholas Sansbury Smith takes the reader on the journey of an Alien invasion where no place is safe:

 2061: Earth is dying. Cataclysmic solar storms has eaten away at the atmosphere and has caused leaders from around the world to finally acknowledge that the fate of the human race lies on the colonization of Mars. Dr. Sophie Winston is hired by New Tech Corporation to test a biosphere deep within the heart of Cheyenne Mountain; a mission she believes will help prepare the company for the three-year flight to the red planet as well as ensure spots for her team members on those ships. There job is to stay in the biosphere and not leave no matter what, however, days in to the assignment things begin to go extremely wrong and they are unable to contact the outside world. The mission abandoned, the blast doors are opened and the enter in to a barren world that appears to be void of life and water. But not all life is gone, and the team is about to find out that they hold a very precious resources that the invaders need.

I discovered Sansbury Smith earlier this year with Hell Divers and when I found out he had other series, I knew I had to check them out. Orbs is so different from Hell Divers it is shocking, there are very few common threads (really the main on is the survival of the human race) between the two books that they could have been written by different authors. I mean this completely as a compliment as it shows the creativity that Sansbury Smith has in that brain of his. 

From start to finish I was drawn in to this book and the concept that he presented. While an Alien race invading our planet is not knew by any stretch Sansbury Smith's take on it was extremely unique to me. The Alien's need for our water and we're not just talking bodies of water, we're talking every last drop they can squeeze from every living thing on Earth. Enter some of the creepiest and scary Aliens that I have ever been introduced to and lets just say that how living creatures die seems far from a quick and pleasant experience.

I found the characters were not quite as well developed as I would have liked them to be, but I think that it is due to the fact we start off with many and are slowly weeding them out (Yes that is right Sansbury Smith is not afraid to kill off a character or two or more). I think in the next books we will get to know some of the characters better rather than some of the stereotype ones that we got in this book. As I said everyone does not make it to the end here, so there is hope for less point of views next time around and to really get to know some of the characters.

This book will make you appreciate the next time you go for a swim in any body of water or even take a shower or bath. Our most precious resources is our water, we cannot be the only lifeforms out there that relies on it, so maybe Sansbury Smith is a little bit of a prophet. I'm Really looking forward to the next book.

Enjoy!!!

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Peter Swanson: Her Every Fear

Her Every Fear - Peter  Swanson

Peter Swanson shows the readers that you can never really hide from your past:

Kate Priddy always had bouts of anxiety, but things are taken to the next level when her ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and left her to die after killing himself. Kate never thought that she would recover both mentally and physically after what happened to her but she wants to try. When she is accepted in to an art program in Boston, her distant cousin Corbin Dell suggests a flat switch for 6 months. kate really cannot say no. What Kate does not know is the Corbin is trying to fell Boston as she is London and when Kate/Corbin's Boston neighbour turns up dead, Kate has all these questions of who Corbin really is.

I really wanted to LOVE this book. It had such an interesting premise and I really enjoy when a main character has a flaw that is very real life and affects so many people out there but overall I found this book fell flat. This mainly had to do with how the story was told and which characters Swanson chose to have points of view from.

I liked the back and forth between the characters' points of view as well as the shifts from the past and present, but I think that this was also a major flaw in the book as it gave too much away as to what was occurring in the present. This made the book predictable and the major punch line about what was occurring not happen, as you're like "yep figured that out about half way through the book." And trust me it is really obvious.

Kate was the most interesting character in tis book. The paranoia and basically agoraphobia (not wanting to leave the house) that she has was a really interesting aspect to her character. I also liked the incorporation of having her as an artist to try and overcome these issues but they also contribute to them as well in this book. However, I wish that she was a more developed character and these aspects seem to get lost in the second half of the book and it is not due to her suddenly recovering.


Overall, Swanson's book was a miss for me. It had a great premise and great potential and I think executed in a different way I would have enjoyed it. This does not mean I will not read another book by Swanson, I can tell he has something there as an author, but as this is the first book I have read by him I am disappointed.

Cheers!!!

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Mercedes Lackey: Hunter

Hunter - Mercedes Lackey

In the first in a new series, well known author Mercedes Lackey takes the reader on the journey of a young hunter who travel from her small town in the mountains to the big city to help against the fight with the Othersiders:

After the Diseray happened Monsters appeared. The ones from your nightmares and some you have never heard of before. The people are forced to live in Cities (Cits) with high walls and the protection of the Hunters. Joyeaux Charmand (Joy) who has been a hunter since she was a child in her mountain village has been summoned to the Capitol, Apex City,  to work as the newest Hunter. Apex is where the best Hunters are located but the job is much more than Joy thought it would be. Hunting the monsters is one thing, but there are even more dangers within the city which means she always has to watch her back. Someone does not want Joy in the city and will do anything to make sure Joy is gone permanently.

Really enjoyed this book, I know I have read Lackey before but it was a long time ago and I'm thinking it was during my romance phase (yes I had one of those when I first started reading). Lackey was able to blend some of the notions that we have now, like our obsession with celebrities and needing to know everything they are doing, with a fantasy and technology based world. This book is also fast pace. Lackey wastes no time throwing Joy in to battle and it never seems to let up. Even when she is in the Capitol where she should be safe she knows that all is not right and she needs to keep her guard up. This book really does go from hunt to hunt and with all the different creature that Lackey has Joy face I did not want to put this book down.

Joy is a fantastic character and lead for this series. She is a kick-ass as a hunter who is humble but naive and almost shy when she first enters the Capitol. Really good personality, she is wise beyond her years in certain areas. I loved that she brought her small town knowledge to the big city and showed the hotshots that there way of doing thing aka showing off was not always the best way to get it done.

One of the most interesting and inventive aspects in this book for me was the Hounds. When an individual becomes a hunter they are able to summon a set of hounds from the Otherside and they fight side by side. Hounds is a term that is used loosely as they take on many shapes, sizes, forms as well as extras, like wings thrown in. In the case of Joy she treats her hounds as equals. One more thing that makes me like Joy more as a character. Honestly, I think she will become one of my favourite female characters in a series, if Lackey keeps her along this path.

World building was well done I felt like I had a good grasp on what lackey had set up and that she did not overwhelm me with too many details. As the book is told from Joys POV we get her feelings and emotions that she has when she first enters the Capitol and learns all about what is expected of her as a Hunter. I do hope there was more information about the Folk, as they were introduced right at the beginning of the book as these feared creatures but then that aspect was never really explored further. I also would like more information about the Diseray. This was a major world shaping aspect, basically made the world what it was now, but why it happened is never really explained so I hope that happens sometime in this trilogy as well.

I liked that there romance idea was a real subplot as Joy was very busy doing what she was brought to the Capitol for to be a hunter not to go one dates :) I also appreciated as this is a YA read that there was not love triangle in site.

I think this was a well done YA novel and it was nice to have a heroine who was not overly concerned about her popularity or what a guy thinks about her (most of the time, she is human after all). Great start to a series and I am very excited to read the next book in this series and see if Lackey can top this one.

Enjoy!!

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Interview & Giveaway: Wendy Walker

Wend Walker was a late find for me this year, but her novel All is Not Forgotten is one of the most memorable I have read in a long time and to top it off it was her debut to the thriller genre is simple outstanding. Please Welcome to Blood Rose Books Today:
 

Wendy Walker

 

From Chicken Soup for the Soul to women’s fiction to psychological thriller, how did you get from point A to point B? Why the psychological thriller genre?
I have been on a very long journey as a writer! My first attempt at a novel was actually a legal thriller. That one took me six years to write and revise because I was having my babies! But it eventually got me an agent and from there, I started writing women’s fiction because I became fascinated with suburban culture and the issues that were all around me as a stay-home mother. I wrote two novels in this genre, and then was approached by Chicken Soup for The Soul to edit an edition for their series. I went on to edit two more books for them and it was a great way to make some money as a writer and hone my editing and writing skills. 

However, I was a single mom by then, needing to forge a career for myself that would sustain me in the future, so I went back to practicing law. I also wrote two screenplays and another women’s fiction novel while I was practicing law again. After five years, I found a new agent who gave me the life-changing advice to try my hand at a psychological thriller. She thought it was something that would fit with my skill set and she was right! I took about two months off from my fledgling solo law practice and wrote All Is Not Forgotten. That novel enabled me to write full time – after seventeen years since I wrote my first page.

You recently released your second psychological thriller novel, Emma in the Night, what did you learn from about yourself and writing between the two novels?
There wasn’t much time in between, but I did learn quite a lot! With the help of my agent and editor, I was able to glean what readers liked about my writing and work and what could be better. Writing Emma In The Night took a lot longer than All Is Not Forgotten because I was growing as a writer and trying to be better with each draft. Luckily, I had new access to professionals to advise me in the psychological areas of narcissism and family dynamics, and also FBI forensics. I hope I can get better with each novel. That is surely the goal as an author – and every professional, really. 

How do you believe your now two books (All is not Forgotten & Emma in the Night) stand out from the rest of the novels in this genre?
I think I bring a focus on real world psychological issues and illnesses because of my background as a family law attorney. The training I received there, and the experiences with families in crisis, gave me enough knowledge to know what might make an interesting plot. From there, I do a lot of research and try to include very specific and realistic aspects to the characters who are impacted by the psychological
issues at the core of each novel. Readers seem to be enjoying this aspect of my work so I hope to continue along this path and carve out a niche in a genre that includes some incredibly talented authors.

If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why?
That’s a tough question! I adore Jane Austen. I don’t know what kind of book we would write together, but she had the ability to capture the essence of both people and the cultures that shaped and confined them and I find that fascinating. Most of my work has elements of the cultural constraints on the characters, if only as a backdrop to the plot. By linking people to their environment, Austen was able to help the reader understand their motives, even if they were nefarious. No character was all good or all bad – and they were always relatable. I think that every novel has to have that element at its core. If the reader doesn’t care about the characters, not even the most thrilling plot will keep them engaged.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
For me, an abstract literary novel would be a challenge. I like to write in first person or close third person and focus on the inner thoughts of each character. Being inside a person’s head is where I am most comfortable. If you asked me to describe a physical landscape in a unique way, I would probably run in the opposite direction! That is not where my interests lie. My strongest skills are in my ability to weave intricate plots (from being an attorney) and also to tie together the psychology behind characters and motivations. The latter skill comes from my work in family law, but also a lifelong fascination with people and psychology. 

I personally love the point of view you decided to have in All is not Forgotten, why did you decide to have the story told solely from psychiatrist Dr. Alan Forrester point of view?
I had to have a narrator who would be privy to everyone else’s secrets and emotions. The psychiatrist was the perfect solution. From there, I decided to use the actual words of the other characters in italics, rather than leaving the entire book in the voice of the narrator. This tool enabled me to give a voice to each character, but to allow the narrator to drive the plot. Once I got inside Dr. Forrester’s head, it was incredibly easy to write the novel. I knew what each chapter had to contain and reveal, and I knew exactly how my narrator would reveal it. I doubt I will ever find as much ease writing a novel as I did with this one. It was a unique coming together of plot and voice.

How much research did you do in regards to not only PTSD and the medical science around the possibility of a drug to make someone forget a memory but all the psychiatric techniques that Alan uses on Jenny?
I did a lot of research! I read everything I could find on line – which was extensive. I started with articles intended for the general public, and then I went into the scientific articles written for that community. I read blogs and other chat sites for people suffering from PTSD, and also survivors of sexual assault. From there, I found a scientist working on memory experimentation and a therapist who has experience with trauma treatment. I had every passage of the manuscript read and vetted by an appropriate professional. I wanted to get it right!

This book had me questioning myself several times while reading your book that given the same information that the characters had would I make the same or different decision. So I have to think that while writing this book you also asked yourself the same questions. Therefore, if you could help a loved one forget a horrible moment in their life would you?
Yes – that is the question at the heart of the book and what I wanted readers to ponder. I don’t think I would ever choose to erase a factual memory, for me or a loved one. There is just not enough research on how this impacts our emotional memory. However, there are amazing treatments which target emotional memory, altering them to be less powerful, and I would definitely seek out that type of treatment for myself or a loved one.

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share? Maybe some up dated information about Reese Witherspoon’s interest in All is not Forgotten :) as well as some additional information about Emma in the Night.
There are many updates! The movie for All Is Not Forgotten continues to move forward. Reese Witherspoon’s production company is still attached and involved and actively pursuing the production of the film. Emma In The Night is out in the world and doing great. We are pursuing interests in Hollywood for that novel as well. I am working on my third novel and hope to have that out next summer. I have many appearances scheduled for the fall and they are all listed on my website at wendywalkerbooks.com.

What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think should be a must read for everyone?
Not to dodge the question, but I’m not a fan of must reads. I think that books and genres are very personal. For me, Mystic River is one of the best suspense novels I have ever read. It is incredibly deep psychologically and does an amazing job of tracing childhood trauma to adulthood. I loved the Kite Runner for the same reason. Those are just a couple of my favorites. If I had to choose just one book for everyone to read, it would have to be The Lord of the Flies. That novel raises questions about human nature in a way that is brilliant and relatable, and those questions are ones that can help us understand ourselves, others and the world at large. 

 

I want to thank Wendy once again for taking the time to answer these questions especially since I was asking right before this event was to start. Wendy it truly an author to watch out for and I cannot wait to read Emma in the Night (I have it on my Kindle already). Wendy has very nicely supplied a giveaway to go with her interview, so see the rafflecopter link below to enter :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Interview & Giveaway: A.M. Justice

I will admit that I do not read a lot of High Fantasy or strictly Sci-Fi ones either, but somehow Justice was able to combine both in her novel A Wizard's Forge. Justice book (and series I bet) is very world and character driven and you would be hard pressed to find a more real and strong character than Vic. Please Welcome to Blood Rose Books Today:

A. M. Justice


Who is A. M. Justice? What led you to writing not only a novel but a series?
I’m a born nerd with eclectic interests that range from dance to scuba to the outdoors to all things science-related, including science fiction and fantasy. Most of my favorite books, films, and TV shows fall into the SF/F genre. Even within that genre, however, I prefer stories, films, and shows that present the fantastical in a realistic way—showing the dirt under the fingernails, if you will. 


The Woern Saga has been in development for a long time (in fact, I wrote the original source story for A Wizard’s Forge when I was a teenager, back in the last century). I turned it into a series because I love the characters so much, and as I aged, I had new ideas for their adventures.

 

things I admire and aspire to do in my own work.

It has been exactly one year since A Wizard’s Forge was released. How has your year been?
It’s been an emotional rollercoaster! It’s thrilling and terrifying to release your work on the world and see how people react, whether that’s through your sales or reviews. My goal is to keep building a fan base and momentum so when the next book in the series comes out, it’ll make a big splash (I hope!).

A Wizard’s Forge is a mixture of the science fiction and high fantasy genres. Why did you choose to put the two together? Was it another way to express the differences between the two cultures and beliefs?
The choice was more a reflection of my own worldview, which like Vic’s is evidence-based while being open to supernatural possibilities. I also like settings that can fit within our universe—if humans are living in a strange world that is similar to our own but contains different plants or animals, I want to know how people got there. Readers familiar with Anne McCaffrey’s work will immediately recognize I’m following the precedent she set with her Pern novels. Pern is a lost space colony that resembles Earth in climate and ecology (except for the world-threatening Thread), but by the time most of the stories set in Pern take place, the space travelers’ descendants have lost all modern technology and live in a quasi-medieval society.

Another reason why I write blended fantasy and science fiction (also known as science fantasy) is that I prefer “magic” to have some basis in the physical world, even if the how and the why are made up. All the supernatural powers in Knownearth have a biological basis. There’s very little about this in A Wizard’s Forge because Vic doesn’t learn the details until Book Two,  A Wizard’s Sacrifice, but I’ve written a lot about the origins of her powers on my blog and elsewhere. You can read about the magic system here: https://amjusticeauthor.wordpress.com/2017/04/07/the-insiders-guide-awf-worldbuild/ 


If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why?
My idol is Ursula K. Le Guin, and I would cherish the opportunity to work with her because I believe she’d be a wonderful mentor. I’m in awe of her imagination and her writing skill, and I also admire how she paved the way for female speculative fiction authors in the 1960s. Her novel The Left Hand of Darkness was the first book written by a woman to win the Hugo, science fiction and fantasy’s most prestigious award. Le Guin’s imagination stretches far and wide, she writes really layered narratives that are about a lot more than the surface story, and her writing is elegant—all


What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
I suppose every author has a different answer to this question. For me, the hardest genre to write in would be contemporary lit, because the ordinary problems of ordinary people aren’t terribly interesting or inspiring to me. The real world can be fascinating—I like reading biographies and nonfiction—but I’ve made it picked up very few contemporary novels and finished even fewer. Coming in second would be hard science fiction involving interstellar navigation, because I’d want the physics to be “good,” but the amount of research I’d need to do to make it so is daunting. I was recently joking with a friend about how I can nitpick the biology and medicine on Star Trek to the bone (because I know a lot about those topics), but when the captain calls for a tachyon pulse, I just nod and say, “oh yeah, the tachyon pulse will get the job done!”


The genre I most like writing in after fantasy is historical fiction. That requires a ton of research too, but I like researching clothing styles and home construction and culture and politics from historical periods, so I embrace the challenge rather than shy from it.


Vic is an ever-changing character (as you say in the premise, a scholar, a slave, a warrior and a wizard) in this book just based upon life events that influence her change. Was it hard to write Vic as she grows, changes and adapts several times throughout the book?

I didn’t find Vic hard to write at all, as her experiences and challenges are so dramatic that I could just put myself in her shoes and imagine how she would react to each situation. I also wanted to explore self-reliance as both a strength and a weakness. Her history as a loner growing up in Ourtown makes her incredibly vulnerable to Lornk but also gives her the wherewithal to escape from him and recast herself as new opportunities present themselves. She’s very good at learning, which is why she excels at physical and intellectual challenges, but her faith in her own abilities blinds her to other peoples’ capacity and desire to help her, and a lot of the troubles that arise in the second half of the novel emerge from those flaws.

Torture and manipulation can be a theme that is present in novels, however, you decided to take a route of a more “unconventional” type of torture, sexual torture. Why did you choose this form of torture? Where did the idea come from? Was it hard to write the experiences for your characters?
I didn’t really think of this approach as unconventional, since in real life, for as long as humans have existed, adults have used sexual abuse as a way of grooming young teens to do their bidding. Lornk isn’t interested in Vic as a mere sex slave to satisfy his carnal desires. Instead, he uses sexual pleasure the way Valmont does in Dangerous Liaisons, as a means of controlling his victim. As he tells her, he wants her to crave him the way an addict craves narcotics:

He laughed softly, stretching his arms out, then twining his fingers behind his neck. “I told you once—I want you to crave me. Why do you think that is?”
“So I’ll obey you.”
“Oh, I’ve had your obedience for months. What I want now is your devotion. The day may come when you will have the world in your hands, and I want you to hand it to me, without reservation.”

Lornk also isolates Vic so he’s her only source of food and comfort and comes very close to making her entirely dependent on him. She manages to escape, but his psychological hold continues to haunt her when she’s a grown woman and a renowned soldier.


Lornk encompasses everything dark in human nature. What appeals to you about writing about our dark side?
Well, a book needs a good villain, doesn’t it? As the author, I know a lot more about what motivates Lornk than what the reader sees in A Wizard’s Forge, where he is a villain in every sense of the word. However, as he hints in the passage above, he’s not operating out of pure sadistic pleasure in others’ pain. He’s playing a long-game, one that involves Vic’s role in a future conflict, and Lornk believes if his plans succeed, all of humanity will benefit, while failure could spell the end of human kind. The stakes will become clear in A Wizard’s Sacrifice.


Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
I’m really excited to announce that A Wizard’s Forge received an Honorable Mention Award for Fantasy in the 2017 Reader’s Favorite Book Awards. Readers can check out all this year’s winning titles here: https://readersfavorite.com/2017-award-contest-winners.htm

You can hear a podcast interview with me starting Sept 16 on Write On with Tom Fallwell (http://www.tomfallwell.com/podcast.html), and I’ll be participating in the Virtual Fantasy Con in October: https://www.facebook.com/VFCReadersCorner/ 


What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think should be a must read for everyone?
Recently someone asked me which book series I would take with me if I had to be stranded on a desert island, and I answered Ursula Le Guin’s Earthsea Cycle, because it’s a favorite I could read over and over and still see new things. The books in the Cycle feature dragons, sorcerers, evil clerics, old dark magic, and lots and lots of sea travel, while all the stories are tales about finding one’s inner strength to serve the greater good. They are great stories that taught me a lot about heroism and the kind of person I wanted to be as I lived my very ordinary life.


 I want to Thank Justice for taking the time to answer these questions and for writing a unique book. If you are looking for something different that blends High Fantasy and Sci-Fi together check out A Wizard's Forge. Justice has also provided a giveaway to go along with her interview so please see the rafflecopter link below to enter :)
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Interview & Giveaway: Mary Kubica

It is rare to come across an author that can continue to have an interesting way to tell a story as well as have an engaging story each time. You will find both of these aspect in Mary Kubica's books. I have only read The Good Girl and Every Last Lie (review to come) so far and both are engaging and truly shine with the format that Kubica has chosen to write them in. Please Welcome to Blood Rose Books Today:

Mary Kubica


You have chosen to write in the thriller/suspense genre and you have had great success with your novels. How do you feel your books stand out from the rest in this genre?
There are so many talented suspense authors publishing books these days that I can’t say mine stand out from the rest, though I’m thrilled to be writing at this exciting time when suspense is all the rage and readers are eagerly devouring books in the genre. That said, I like to add relatable characters to my books and to keep the plotline completely plausible, answering the question: what happens when ordinary people are thrust into extraordinary situations? I want my readers to be able to put themselves in these same situations and ask themselves what they would do.

You have now released four novels, The Good Girl, Pretty Baby, Don’t You Cry and Every Last Lie (I have had the pleasure of reading two so far); From book one to book four what have you learned about yourself as an author? Has your creative and/or your writing process changed?
My writing hasn’t changed per se, but hopefully I have improved as an author with each novel. Having the opportunity to work with an editor has, by far, had the greatest impact on my work. Before teaming up with the phenomenal Erika Imranyi, I didn’t share my work with anyone. It’s been a completely invaluable experience to work with someone who can point out my strengths and weaknesses as an author, allowing me the opportunity to apply this knowledge to my manuscripts as I write.

If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why?
Heather Gudenkauf! She’s one of my favorite authors in the genre, and a wonderful person to boot. I’ve had the pleasure of traveling with Heather quite a bit, and I believe we would work well together. We seem to be of like mind, especially where our writing is concerned. 

Which one of your books are you most proud of and why? (I realize this is like choosing your favourite child)
Such a hard question! I am proud of all of my novels for different reasons (just as I love both of my children equally!), but if I had to choose, I’d pick THE GOOD GIRL. It was my first novel, one I wrote over the course of five years when my babies were napping, and it launched my career. Without THE GOOD GIRL paving the way, chances are good the following three novels would never have been written.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
I don’t know because I’ve only tried my hand at suspense! But I have an itch to write a historical fiction novel one day – with a suspenseful twist – but the vast amount of research needed to do it intimidates me. Therefore, I’m going to guess historical fiction for this questions, because of the research that needs to be done, and the painstaking attention to detail these authors must put into their work. I get to make most of my stories up!

In the two novels I have read by you, The Good Girl and Every Last Lie, you choose to tell the story in a format that of Before the incident and After. What is it about this format that appeals to you?
It adds a second layer of mystery to the novels when these stories are coming at the reader not linearly, but in multiple dimensions. Bits of information are revealed to the reader in the Before and After chapters, and it’s up to the reader to piece them together as best they can. (if you’re a reader who prefers stories told linearly, check out DON’T YOU CRY)

You also choose to have the point of view of both male and female points of view, do you find it hard to switch between these characters? Do you find it more difficult to write from the male point of view?
Not at all. There seems to be a getting-to-know-you period with all of my characters, regardless of whether they’re male or female. But once I get to know them, something extraordinary happens and I feel I know instinctively what a character would do or say in a situation. By the end of a book, I feel I know my characters quite thoroughly.

Your novels all seem to feature strong mental based themes. In The Good Girl you have Stockholm syndrome and in Every Last Lie you have paranoia and some darker parts of the human mental state. What appeals to you of having your characters “suffer” from these afflictions? Is it to make your characters feel more real to your readers?
I don’t attempt to make my characters suffer. I find them to be very human, and as humans, I believe we all suffer from some sort of inner demons – whether or not to the same extent as seen in my books. I make every attempt to make my characters relatable and real. 

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
My next novel, 11 DAYS, will release in 2018. Very soon I’ll have some more information to share on this! As for upcoming events, those can be found on my website at www.MaryKubica.com. 

What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think everyone should read
Tim O’Brien’s THE THINGS THEY CARRIED. My favorite!

I Want to thank Mary once again for taking the time to answer the questions for her interview. I know I have a few more books of hers to read yet but I am also looking forward to her new release next year. Mary has very nicely supplied a giveaway to go along with her interview, so please enter via the rafflecopter link below.

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Interview: J. F. Lewis

There are times within a genre where certain aspect loose their appeal to a reader. For me Vampires had fallen out of favour awhile back and I was less likely to pick up a book that featured them. So I was in for a great surprise when I picked up J. F. Lewis' novel Staked. Here we no longer had the glittery vampires that had become so popular, but the ones of folk lore with their strength and weaknesses. Please welcome to Blood Rose Books today:

J. F. Lewis

The Urban Fantasy / Paranormal genres appear to be the genre that everyone is writing in these days (even authors that are well established in other genres), what do you think draws authors to these genres? How do you believe your novels stand out from the rest of the crowd?
Every culture has a vampire myth. Part of the core of urban fantasy is based in that ancient tradition of telling stories to explain why the dark is scary. The need to make sense of the explainable is hard wired into humans. Urban fantasy is an extension of that, adding magic to the mundane.


As for what makes my urban fantasy different...
Mine has a flesh-eating 1964 1/2 Mustang convertible? I'm only sort of joking there. Reviewers have called my fiction "literary methamphetamine" or mentioned that I dial things up to eleven. I think what they mean is that Void City novels tend to be tightly plotted and even if some moments don't seem important at first, they are. 


You won't find very many static or unimportant characters and if you think you've found one, quite often, that individual will be important eventually, even if it is a few books down the line.


You have two separate series that you are in the process of writing (The Void City and The Grudgebearer) what is it about writing a series appeals to you instead of a standalone novel?
The Grudegbearer Trilogy is meant to be read as one large manuscript much like the Lord of the Rings, but with more carnivores. 


Void City, though, is definitely more episodic. I don’t know what makes me feel differently about one than the other, except that the characters in Void City have many different stories in them and with Grudgebearer, to use most of the same set of characters, I’d have to go backward rather than forward.
 

 
If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why?
Sir Terry Pratchett is my favorite author, so he'd be my pick. His sense of humor combined with his scathing social commentary are impossible to beat.


What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
Southern Fiction. I’m just not wired to write those types of stories. I prefer magic and the supernatural.


Your main character in your Void City Series is a little unconventional when compared to all the pretty boy shiny vampires that have flooded the genre (insert eye roll). Why did you decide to create a main character that was both brutal and insane?
I’m not sure I agree with the assessment of Eric as insane, though he can definitely be brutal at times. When I set out to write STAKED, it was a reaction to the idea many writers were using at the time of vampirism being something akin to the ultimate coolness pill.


Being a vampire meant that you were suddenly super cool, beautiful, had great fashion sense, knew how to dance, and had Fung Shui out the ying yang, but that made many protagonists super emo.
With Eric, I wanted being vampire to actually be rough. All of a vampire’s bodily fluids get replaced with blood. I also took away many of the usual crutches. He can’t drink animal blood and it can’t be microwaved, so he basically has to drink blood fresh if he wants it hot. A few times a week, he wakes up so hungry, he knows someone one is going to die…


Basically, I wanted to give him the short end of the stick in a lot of ways and then have him refuse to whine about it. When life gives him lemons, he throws them back and flips “Life” the bird. 

On the same note, The Vampires in your story burn in sunlight, don’t like crosses and have some kind of ability to turn into a bat like creature. Was it important to you to keep them a little more classic? Maybe bring the classic ideas in to a more modern time?
Yes, I took all of the vampire myths and said these are all true most of the time, then figured out how to have them all be true while keeping things manageable from a logistics standpoint. In the end I settled on vampirism being the ultimate Rorschach test. The more unique and interesting you were in life, the more likely you are to be higher on the vampiric food chain. The higher up you go the more powerful you are.


So boring people become Drones, barely even vampires. Soldiers are next, possessing most of the your stereotypical powers and weaknesses common to vampires form their home mythology. Masters get all those, plus usually one traditional weakness doesn’t work on them. Vlads are kind of like Dracula: they have all the power and there is only one way to kill one and make it stick, which varies by individual, though it is tied into their home mythology.

 
You write from both the male and female (Eric & Tabitha)point of view in your Void City series, do you find it more difficult to write from a female perspective? Did you have some help getting in to the female mind?
Writing from a woman’s point of view is awesome. My best example of how I approach it can be summed up by a conversation I had with my wife the night before my first con. We were having dinner and I asked her what she was thinking about.


“Well,” she said, “I’m wondering if the kids are behaving for your mother. I think I probably should have ordered something different. I’m trying to decide whether or not we have time to run somewhere and buy an easel for you to display your cover art better… Why? What are you thinking about?”
I looked up at her and said, “I’m chewing.”


In short, when writing from a female point of view, just remember that they're usually thinking about six things at once.


For those of us that have not had a chance to read your Grudgebearer series, could you give a run down on the world, characters and premise?
It’s exactly like the Lord of the Rings except there are no Hobbits, there is no ring, and Legolas eats anyone who gets in his way.


Seriously, though, while there are several new races (Aern, Vael, Eldrennai, Sri’Zaur, etc.) and enough characters that I should probably have included a spreadsheet, it really boils down to the idea of an ancient empire having to reach out to their nigh immortal former slaves and ask for help after having broken a treaty that kept the peace for a couple hundred years. It's about slavery and restitution, about the importance of family, about kids growing up and making their own decisions... it's about gender inequalities, disparities in power, and the bond between brothers in arms... but it's also a tightly plotted narrative with wit and humor. Fans of Eric and Greta will probably like Kholster and Rae'en. You should read it.


Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
I'm currently at work on the next two Void City books. Readers can follow me on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJFLewis/) or Twitter (@jf_lewis) to get updates on availability and other projects.
 

What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think everyone should read
Roger Zelazney's Nine Princes in Amber. Corwin is a snarky protagonist and I love the concepts tossed around in that book. I'm going to cheat and give you two. The second one is The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold. Her protagonist is one of the best "thinking' heroes since the creation of Sherlock Holmes.


I want to say thank you once again to Lewis for taking the time to answer these questions and give us some insight on he books. I know my favourite answer is the one about writing from a woman's point of view, lol. If you are looking for an old but fresh take on Vampires I suggest you try his Void City Series. Do not let the covers fool you, they are dark, gritty and have some gore and action to them, basically everything I want in a Vampire book :)

Feature & Giveaway: B. A. Paris

Unfortunately Paris was not able to do an interview this year but nicely offered a giveaway, so here is a little feature about Paris and her books.

If you have not heard of B. A. Paris' debut novel Behind Closed Doors you do not know what you are missing. It is one of the best debut that I have read not in just the past year, but within my time as a reviewer for this blog. I did not know what I was expecting from that book, but Paris delivered so much more.
I am currently reading her second novel The Break Down and while I am not too far in to it, I can already say I know I am going to like it. I am also excited to see that Paris' third novel Bring Me Back is going to be released in 2018, which I know I will be looking out for.

If you are looking for some interviews that Paris has done, I have found some good ones at:

Happy Ever After and the Book Review Café. Hopefully next year I will be able to Host Paris and ask her some of the questions I'm dying to know :)

Here are a blurbs about the books:
Behind Closed Doors
Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace.
He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do.
You’d like to get to know Grace better.
But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart.
Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.

Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.

The Break Down

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?
Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods. And the driver who was later
found murdered.
She’s forgetting everything. Where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

What she can’t forget is the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt...

Or the silent phone calls she’s been receiving since that night. And the growing fear that someone’s watching her.

Bring Me Back
The disappearance
The suspicion
The fear
A small Russian doll. Innocent. Innocuous.
But suddenly finding the dolls left in and near the house is torture to Finn and his wife.
It's a sign that Finn's girlfriend, Layla, who disappeared fourteen years earlier, is still alive. And so the happiness he has managed to find with Layla's sister, Ellen, is brought into question. He loves Ellen - but does he love her as much as he once loved Layla? If Layla came back, could he fall in love with her all over again? Could he love her enough to leave Ellen for her?


As stated above Paris has very nicely offered a giveaway even though she was unable to do an interview, so enter the rafflecopter link below.

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Interview & Giveaway: Nicholas Sansbury Smith

There are times when you find an author on a whim and get blown away. This is what happened to me when I picked up Hell Divers by Nicholas Sansbury Smith, it was totally an unexpected hit for me in the past year. Due to this book I have been on the search for his other series and so far I have read Orbs (review to come) and Extinction Horizon (review to come) and have enjoyed all of them. While they may share some similar elements all of the series stand out in many different ways. Please Welcome to Blood Rose Books Today:

Nicholas Sansbury Smith



You have a work history with the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management to author, why the change? Did your work experience prepare you to be an author?
I was ready to focus on writing and had the opportunity so I took the leap. Yes, absolutely it has helped with my writing. I worked in disaster mitigation and learned a lot about how the government operates during and after a disaster. The knowledge I gained has directly influenced many of my stories. I think my work at HSEMD gave me a unique perspective and I’ve used it to try and create unique stories.

From your Orbs Series to your Extinction series and your new Hell Diver series; series appear to be your go to. What do you think are the main components of writing a successful series? Why do you choose to write a series instead of standalone novels?
I like telling a longer story, and a series allows me to develop characters and focus on world building that I’m not able to do in a standalone. Series are also very popular and have become a trend on Amazon. I personally love reading a longer story that continues with episodes and enjoy writing them as well.

If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why?
Great question and a difficult one to answer. I’d probably go with my current co-writer, Anthony Melchiorri. We both have a similar style and work well together, which is very important.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
Probably non-fiction. I love researching a story, but I also like the creativity involved in making things up. I’m not sure I would be good at re-telling a true story or writing a biography. For me, the fun is making new material and building new worlds and characters.

Your three main series (Extinction Cycle, Orbs and Hell Divers) all feature some form of mutation of humans, what appealed to you about mutation instead of other horror monster out there to choose from?
A mutated human is more horrifying to me because that monster used to be a human, with a past, and a family, and a career. Can you imagine having some sort of your brain still functioning but being trapped in a mutated, monstrous body? To me, that would be Hell.

I have only read your novel Hell Divers (so far, I have the first Orbs and Extinction books on my nook) but in all of your novels you paint a bleak future not only for humans but the fate of the Earth. Is this the future you see us heading towards? How prepared are you for an apocalypse?
I personally believe humans will continue to survive regardless if civilization collapses. I also think that is very likely to happen in the next century. I agree with Stephen Hawking that we will need to eventually leave this planet if we hope to survive as a species. If we can’t leave earth, we may only survive in small numbers after a cataclysmic event, but humans are very resilient and intelligent creatures that will find a way to carry on life in some manner or another. In terms of the most likely of ways civilization will end, in my opinion, it will be a viral outbreak or natural disaster like a super volcano. When I worked for HSEMD I saw all of the different threats we face as a species, and there are too many to list. It’s quite depressing if you think too much about it.

Hell Divers is probably one of the most unique premises I have read in a very long time. Where did your inspiration come from in the creation of the world and premise of the books? Are you a sky diving enthusiast?
I’m not a sky diving enthusiast, and I’m actually afraid of heights. I like to keep my feet on the ground, and find the concept of Hell Divers, actually terrifying. The premise of the story came from a brainstorming session with my literary agent. I explained the idea and we went from there. I really wanted to do something different than stories about bunkers underground or survivors living in shelters in post apocalyptic settings. At the time I wrote Hell Divers those were the most popular stories. Don’t get me wrong, I love those types of books, but I wanted to do something different. I decided to take humanity to the sky and have the divers jump back to the surface to retrieve parts that kept the ships in the air. The plot developed from there...

X was one of my favourite characters in books that I read in the past year. What went in to the creation of the character?
That’s really cool. I’m glad you liked his character. When creating X, I decided I wanted to write a flawed character that had a fighting gene that wouldn’t allow him to surrender. No matter what the world threw at him, he kept pushing onward. There are a lot of reasons not to like X, but I think the reader still roots for his success by the time they get to the end of book one.

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share? Personally I’m hoping for some information on the next book in the Hell Divers series, Ghosts.
Ghosts is now available in all formats, and Extinction Cycle, War will be out in November. My next major event won’t be until next year as I’m spending the rest of 2017 finishing up Hell Divers 3: Deliverance, and the Trackers and Orbs series.

What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think everyone should read
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman. Hands down my favorite book of all time.

I just want to say thank you again to Nicholas for taking the time to be part of my Blogoversary. I know I'm always happy when I can find an established author that I have never heard of before so I can make my way through their books and not have to wait years for the next one. Honestly if you are a fan of Post-Apocalyptic or the world just going to Hell, then you need to check out Sansbury Smith's series, you will not be disappointed. Nicholas has very nicely supplied a giveaway (US) to go along with his interview so make sure to enter in the rafflecopter link below.


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Interview & Giveaway: Hollie Overton

Wow I cannot believe that it is already September and I am starting my &th year Blogoversary event. If you have been part of previous years you know I always like to feature a debut and up and coming author. This year's kickoff author is Hollie Overton, whose debut novel Baby Doll was a really good debut novel that explore the unique relationship between kidnapper and captive. Pleas Welcome to Blood Rose Books today:

 
Hollie Overton
 
If there was one author, you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why? 
I’d have to say JK Rowling. I love the world she created and to be able to work with her and see how she does what she does would be amazing.
 
Is there a book, author, story or person that inspired you to become a writer? 
My reading has always been varied and across genres so I don’t know if there’s one author or book I can credit inspiring me to become a writer. A few of my favorites growing up were Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark, R.L. Stein, Sue Grafton, James Patterson, Francine Pascal, and the list goes on and on.  My biggest inspiration though and the reason I became a storyteller was my mother. She always encouraged my creativity and has been my guiding force.
 
You are one of the series writers for the TV for several popular shows (Shadowhunters, Cold Case and The Client List), why did you decide to write a novel?  
I love writing television but there are times when I’ve struggled to get work. It was very frustrating to keep writing scripts and to feel like the door was constantly slamming in your face. I was unemployed for awhile, and incredibly frustrated with my TV career. I decided I needed to go back to writing for the pure love and joy of it and to stop worrying about all the business stuff and the marketability, etc. that starts to dominate your writing when you work in Hollywood. That’s when everything changed.  I just had the spark of an idea, and suddenly I couldn’t stop writing about Lily, the central character in Baby Doll. Ninety pages later, I had what is basically the first part of the novel.
 
How does writing a novel differ from writing for TV? 
In some ways they are very similar. You’re creating a story from nothing, creating compelling characters, a compelling plot, etc. But TV writing is collaborative. You have to be willing to share your ideas, and have some or depending on the day, all of those ideas rejected. You’re not in charge and that’s what you have to do. Writing novels is all about you. For better or worse, you make the decisions so there’s no one to blame if readers don’t like your characters or your plot. Writing novels is also very solitary which if you’re extroverted like I am, can be challenging. As a TV writer, you’re surrounded by people, sharing ideas, laughing, talking, making one another work harder to tell the best story possible. That’s why I enjoy doing both!  I get the best of the two worlds.


Shadowhunters is based upon Cassandra Clare’s bestselling series The Mortal Instruments, what are some additional challenges for writing a show that is based upon such a well-known novel and characters? 
Shadowhunters is a big epic story so the challenge was always finding ways to streamline the plot without sacrificing the core essence of the book and the characters.  There’s a lot of pressure to honor what the fans love while also finding ways to surprise them. So much thought and care is taken into telling these stories because all the writers are fans of the novels and understand how important these stories are to the fans. We worked very hard to make sure we kept pivotal moments, while also trying to put a unique spin on things. 

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?  
I imagine historical fiction would be quite challenging, making sure you’re getting all the history correct while also telling an entertaining story. If you’re not skilled, you could have a book full of facts and a dull story or you could have an interesting story but none of the history adds up.  To me, that seems like a lot of pressure. 

Stockholm syndrome plays a big part in this book and I thought that dynamic between Lily and her kidnapper was really well done and not as straight forward as many people think it should be. And it in the story it was important to highlight this relationship, what type of research did you do on the syndrome? Was there a real life incident that you modeled theirs after? 
I’m so glad you found that part well done! I consulted with an FBI agent who handled abduction cases as speaking with a social worker friend about the psychological effects abuse would have on someone. But I didn’t research that part of Baby Doll as much as others because over the years I’d read a lot about kidnappings and the power an abductor has over their captor. In my mind, Lily could never really love Rick but the hold he had over her wouldn’t just vanish over night. She’d have to fight to rid herself of those feelings and how he’d manipulated her. That’s what I wanted to explore.

You are an identical twin yourself, so the “twin aspect” you highlight within Baby Doll is normal for you. How much of the interaction between Lily and Abby is based upon interactions between you and your sister? Did you try to put yourselves in the mindset of these two characters and think how you would each might have reacted? 
I’d say almost ninety-nine percent of their dynamic was inspired by own relationship with my twin sister, Heather. We’re incredibly close. We talk on the phone constantly, text nonstop and see each other probably six days a week.  What’s interesting about the twin relationship is that you really struggle to find your identity on your own but at some point when you get older, at least in our case, you accept that this person really does complete you.  There’s no one in the world I’d rather hang out with than my sister. That’s why it’s so devastating when Abby and Lily lose one another. They really are losing a piece of themselves. So it was very easy to put myself in Abby and Lily’s shoes. 

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share? 
My next book THE WALLS was released on August 10th in the US and UK and I’m having a book launch in LA at Book Soup in West Hollywood on the 10th and in Corpus Christi, TX at Barnes and Noble on Sept. 23rd. I’m also interviewing new TV jobs and I’m working on my third book.

What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think everyone should read?  
One of my favorites recently is All the Little Children by Jo Furniss. It’s The Road meets Lord of the Flies with two amazing female heroines at the center. The book isn’t out until September but I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy.  I only planned to read a few pages. Instead, I cancelled all my plans and devoured it in one day. It’s a fast-paced read with tons of heart and emotional twists and turns. 

I just want to say Thank you once again to Hollie for being part of my Blogoversary I know it takes time to answer the questions and as you can tell Hollie is very busy. I really do recommend that you check out her debut novel as see for yourself just how well done the Stockholm syndrome aspect was done. Hollie has very nicely provided a giveaway (INT) to go along with her interview, so please enter the rafflecopter link below.

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Angela Marsons: Dead Souls

Dead Souls: A gripping serial killer thriller with a shocking twist (Detective Kim Stone Crime Thriller Series Book 6) - Angela Marsons

As the cover of this book states, this is the sixth book in the D.I. Kim Stone series and you really should pick up the previous five books (Silent Scream, Evil Games, Lost Girls, Play Dead and Blood Lines) in order to understand Kim as a main character and the team she works with. Plus this is one of my favourite D. I. series which I highly recommend it.

When a collection of human bones is during a routine archaeological dig a Black country field suddenly becomes a complex crime scene and need the expertise of D.I. Kim Stone. Too bad it's outside of her jurisdiction by a hair. However, this brass have other ideas and Kim is forced to work with Det. Travis who she has a troubled past with and the fact that he despises her does not help. As they dig deeper and the bones are sorted they uncover that these people died in horrible ways from animal traps to bullet holes. While Kim is away Bryant is in charge of the team and they are dealing with an increased amount of malicious Hate Crimes that shake the team to the core that eventually puts more than one of them in danger. Can Kim uncover what happened in the Black County fields in order to save her team?

I am a big, no make that HUGE fan of Marsons, right from her first book in this series, Silent Scream, I knew that she was an author to watch out for and I was right. After five books the series was still going strong, but I did start to wonder if Marsons could continue to come up with interesting and twist worthy plots with the release of her sixth book. I think that this was one of the weaker books in this series so far. This is not to say that I did not enjoy it however, I thought that it was a bit slower than the previous books and lacked some of the imagination was not there. I also found that after reading the five previous books, you get to know that Marsons does have a formula which works great but I think that it is time to change it up a bit as I was able to see the connections fairly early while reading this book. What I did love about the plot was that it had the small town feel where everyone keeps the secret until the very end just to protect the town and themselves as well as the idea that the past can never stay buried for long.

What I appreciated in this book was that we got to know Kim better as a character in the present, not focus so much on her tortured past and focused on some of her history within the police force. This comes when she is forced to work with her former partner Travis. Lets just say they did not end on good terms, and if you have read the previous books in this series you will see that things are very much sour between them. Marsons also highlighted not only how much her team relies on Kim's leadership but how much Kim relies on Bryant and how she acts when he is not there. Bryant is very much the strongest member on their team.

There was also more development of the secondary characters as Kim is away, especially Stacey. I'm not sure if Marsons took a lot of reviewers critiques from the last book about Stacey's use of language and British slang, but it was not as nearly as bad in this book as it was in the previous. I think that Stacey was really the last character of Kim's team to be developed as a character past the computer wiz and online expert and I am glad that Marsons took the time to give more of Stacey's backstory and really give her more of a backbone in this book as well.

While this book is not my favourite in the series and I found it slower at times, I did appreciate getting to know Kim better as a character. On a whole this series is extremely solid, one of my favourite out there and I recommend it any chance I get. I now have to wait for the seventh book in this series, and it cannot come fast enough. Seriously check out this series I do not know what you are waiting for.

Enjoy!!!

If You Like This,
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Darynda Jones: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet - Darynda Jones

As the title of the book suggests this is the fourth book in this series, so You will need to read the previous books (First Grave on the Right, Second Grave on the Left  and Third Grave Dead Ahead) to understand what is happening in this book, so with that said there will be spoilers below from the previous three books...you have been warned.

Charley Davidson, aka The Grim Reaper, is in a grim mood after her last case, so she has taken some time off but The Reaper's work is never done. When a young woman seeks Charley's help, convinced that someone is trying to kill her, Charley knows her time off has come to an end. Everyone close to woman refutes the story or thinks that she is insane, but the more push back that Charley receives the more she is convinced there is something wrong. Life will never be normal for Charley not only because she is the Grim Reaper but Reyes is out of prison, on the run and always looking for trouble where Charley is concerned

Alright, this is not my typical read, I will admit that, but I have this thing for series that I started awhile ago and revisiting them every now and again to see how the story progresses. I feel like I cannot leave a series behind especially when I remember enjoying it. So this is my return to Jones' series and her Grim Reaper. There were some high and low points to this book which made it an okay read for me.

Charlie was not as annoying in this book as the last one, I think she had to grow up a bit more with what happened to her in the previous book and really look at her life. She still had some snarky comebacks but I felt that they were more well placed in this book and not as childish as in book 3. I also appreciated that there was also less sex scenes in this book compared to the last. The scene was was a little bit drawn out for me, but I think that readers who like this in their novel will appreciate it. These scenes are something Jones has had in all the books of this series so regular readers would probably miss it if she took the sex scenes out.

This book was pretty predictable in my opinion. I was able to figure out all of the mystery aspects within the book way before the end of the story; who was harming Piper, who the bank robbers were and who was moving in to the apartment next to Charlie. So this was basically I knew it all as soon as all the mystery aspects were introduced. This is not where Jones excels it would be nice for her to have an unexpected twist and turn here or there. This makes the mystery aspects secondary to what appears to be happening in Hell (which we do not get a lot of) and Charlie and Reyes' relationship.

Speaking of their relationship I did get sick of Reyes continually threatening Charlie. I mean it has not worked in the previous three books, I highly doubt that it is going to work now. Why doesn't he grow up, change his tactics and just accept Charley for who she is, I mean isn't that what attracted him to her in the first place.

One thing that I was disappointed about between the third and fourth book was I thought that Swopes was dead, I was surprised that he was reintroduced all of a sudden in this book. Kind of made me like the third book a little less and I'm disappointed that Jones could not let one of her secondary characters die. I thought that was a big turning and maturing point for Charley as well as this series.

I do not know why I keep reading this series at times. It has so many elements that I do not like in  the books I read now, now being the key word. As stated above the only thing I can think of is this is like my guilty pleasure or something and just not being able to let go of series that I have already started. It's like my once a year return to what I used to read, lol.  That siad I'm sure fans of this series will enjoy this book, as Jones has found a formula that works.

Enjoy!!!

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