Thursday 31 May 2012

GUEST POST BY JOLENE PERRY



Guest Post by Jolene Perry


Sometimes a story is more personal than you expect it to be.

I read an article in an online newspaper that talked about the YA books coming out that year which dealt with abusive relationships.

I'd part mapped one out a while back, and thought maybe I'd work on it - all evidence that the market had just gotten an influx of them didn't sway me the way it should have…

The more I wrote in the story, the more personal it became.

I was not ever hit by my boyfriend in high school. He never screamed and yelled at me - though I heard him trashing his room a few times when I left after an argument, and he didn't hesitate to show me when he was pissed about something.

He'd pick fights with me over the phone and hang up, knowing it meant I'd sneak out to "straighten things out."

There was one really horrible night with him that I'd blocked from my mind for a long time, that I remembered when I was writing, so I used it.

I see these cases my husband talks about with women who are beaten and bruised and making up excuses and going back over and over. One ended in murder a couple of weeks ago. A case my husband will be prosecuting when it goes to trial.

The abuse story I told is nowhere near that dramatic, but so much of Ronnie's story was mine. WAY more than I realized while I was writing it. When I got to the end, and started writing down the parts of her story that were real (I always do this for my author site), I realized more and more how much of me was in that girl.

I stared at my computer screen in shock.

I had one of my best friends, who was a guy, who I shared more with than I probably did to most of my girlfriends - (like Luke from Knee Deep) and a boyfriend I'd known since I was a kid (like Shawn from Knee Deep) And I felt this draw to my boyfriend, only because I'd known him for so long, not because we really had anything left in common.

I felt more like I was stuck in this relationship, and didn't even realize I didn't want to be there until I visited a friend in college and saw how much more LIFE was out there. It was just that the idea of this one person had been in my head for way too long.

And where did I end up? Married to the best friend.

People talk about writing what you know, and then talk about keeping yourself out of your books. But you know what? I KNEW that situation - and I know I'll get some bad reviews (like you always do - ESPECIALLY when you tackle a tough topic) that are going to say that Ronnie's actions weren't believable.

But here's the thing - I told her story, the best way I knew how. Ronnie's reactions with pieces of my truth. And there are some drastic differences, but there are also some startling similarities. So, to me, Ronnie's actions were completely and totally understandable.

And that's the story of how Knee Deep came to be. 






EXCERPT - KNEE DEEP BY JOLENE PERRY




Knee Deep Excerpt

My front door opens. “Hello?” Shawn calls. 

“In here!” I say back. Suddenly this feels weird. Why would this feel weird? This is just what happens when one of us is stuck at home. Why would today be any different? But my heart’s beating against the inside of my ribs, trying to tell me this is different. 

Luke scoots away from the couch. Does he feel it too? That maybe him and me hanging out alone for the day might not have been the best idea? 

Shawn steps through the hallway and scowls when his eyes meet mine and then pass to Luke. This shouldn’t be a big deal. Except...I’m so stupid. I was just thinking how I needed to make Shawn’s life outside of his house less stressful, and part of me 
knew it was weird that Luke was here without Shawn. I thought it, and did nothing. But again, it is just Luke. 

“What’re you doing here?” Shawn asks. His dark eyes fix on Luke. 

“I figured you’d be here, man.” Luke stands up. “It’s like we always ditch together, right?”  

Romeo and Juliet kissing in the pool on the TV screen probably isn’t helping anything. Maybe Shawn won’t notice, or maybe it’s just sending my heart into crazy flutters because this tension between Shawn and Luke and, I guess, me, is happening during the most romantic scene of the movie. 

“Uh, I don’t know.” Shawn’s still scowling, his brows pulled low and his jaw tight. 

“You would’ve hated it,” I say. My eyes catch his, but his are as black as his mood seems to be. I’m so stupid. Why did I have to let Luke stay? 

“Yeah, maybe.” Shawn’s narrowed eyes go from Luke to me, back and forth, as if judging the situation. Really? What did he think could possibly happen between Lukeand I? Even if this is suddenly on my top three ‘most awkward moments’ ever. I can’t even think about what the other two might be. Maybe I’ve just found number one. 

“Romeo and Juliet all day.” Luke laughs, but I know him well enough to see he’s trying really hard to be relaxed. His shoulders are too stiff, and his normal stance is too rigid. I wonder if Shawn sees it too. “Guess I’ll leave you two alone.” Luke’s trying hard to keep his voice light. 

“Yeah.” Shawn has yet to return Luke’s smile. “I almost never see my girl anymore.”  

It’s like I’m on the edge of my seat, tension pinpricking every part of me. I’ve never seen Shawn like this. 

“Well, I should get my ass to rehearsal anyway.” Luke gives Shawn a friendly pat on the shoulder before heading outside.  

I don’t watch him go. My eyes are on Shawn, trying to figure out what to expect next. 

“What the hell was that?” His sharp gaze is now pointed directly at me. 

I stand up and lean to the side, trying to be relaxed. “It didn’t seem like a big deal this morning.” Maybe if I play it off as nothing Shawn won’t be so mad. He knows Luke and I are friends. No big deal, I tell myself again. But I don’t know if I’m trying to convince myself or Shawn. 

“Was he here when we were texting?” he asks. His voice may be low, but not in a good way. It’s low in a way that makes him sound like he’s past the edge of reasonable anger. 

My body’s screaming for me to take a step back, which makes no sense. This is Shawn. My Shawn. “No.” But I’m weakening by the second, almost shaking inside. His jaw tightens again. 

My eyes close as I remember, and dread fills my chest. “He got here as I sent my last one.” Is that bad? Good? 

“And you didn’t think to tell me? What the hell is that?” 

I jump at the sharpness of his voice. Shawn doesn’t need this stress. I know this. I reach forward to put my arms around him. We just need to hold one another for a minute, then it’ll all be fine. 

He stops me, grabbing my arm—hard—just above my wrist. 

“This is not okay.” His jaw is set. 

“Hey.” My voice shakes. My body shakes. I’m actually scared of Shawn for the first time ever. I jerk my hand once, but he tightens his grip...impossibly tight. My lungs can’t pull in a breath; there’s just not enough air in the room anymore. “Shawn, you’re hurting me.” He can’t mean to hurt me. He can’t. 

His face is stuck in a sharp scowl. 

“He’s your friend.” My voice is crying. I want to try and pull my shaky arm out of his grasp again, but I’m afraid to; he’s squeezing so hard. Tears are hot against the back of my eyes, threatening to spill over.  

“How would you feel if I spent all day with some chick?” The words come out as angry spit from between his teeth.  

I open my mouth to answer but can’t, the lump in my throat has taken over. All I can think about is that I need to find something to say so he’ll let me go. Some way to get the air through my throat to form words. “It’s just Luke,” I plead, sucking in a breath. 

“Whatever.” He throws my arm back at me, turns, and walks out the door, slamming it hard behind him. My body jumps at the sound. 

I stumble backward onto the couch. I’m like a leaf battered about in the wind. Nothing’s working right. I need to sit. Normally I’d run after him, but I have no idea what to expect. And I’m afraid. Of Shawn

He’s never been that way before. Ever. He’s moody and particular, but this seems...extreme. I’m cradling my wrist with my other hand, afraid to look at any possible damage. It hurts to move it. What just happened here? How did it happen? 

It’s like there suddenly must be something fundamentally wrong with the universe. But the TV’s still on. My house looks normal and quiet. I’m still breathing, but Shawn,my Shawn, just hurt me. Lying down seems so anti-climactic, but I can’t bring myself to do anything else. 

When Juliet realizes Romeo’s dying the sobs take over, and I pull my knees to my chest as if making myself smaller will somehow dull the pain.  

It doesn’t. 






AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - JOLENE PERRY





Jolene Perry's Bio:



Jolene grew up in Wasilla, Alaska. She graduated from Southern Utah University with a degree in political science and French, which she used to teach math to middle schoolers.

After living in Washington, Utah and Las Vegas, she now resides in Alaska with her husband, and two children. Aside from writing, Jolene sews, plays the guitar, sings when forced, and spends as much time outside as possible.

She is also the author of Night Sky and The Next Door Boys.

eBook
ISBN: 9780983741886
ISBN: 9781476060316
Pages: 240
Release: May 1, 2012

Kindle buy link - $2.99
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PROMOTIONAL SPOTLIGHT - KNEE DEEP BY JOLENE PERRY







Knee Deep Summary From Tribute Books


Shawn is the guy Ronnie Bird promised her life to at the age of fourteen. He's her soul mate. He's more uptight every day, but it's not his fault. His family life is stressful, and she's adding to it. She just needs to be more understanding, and he'll start to be the boy she fell in love with. She won’t give up on someone she’s loved for so long.

Luke is her best friend, and the guy she hangs with to watch girlie movies in her large blanketopias. He's the guy she can confide in before she even goes to her girlfriends, and the guy who she's playing opposite in Romeo and Juliet. Now her chest flutters every time he gets too close. This is new. Is Ronnie falling for him? Or is Juliet? The lines are getting blurry, but leaving one guy for another is not something that a girl like Ronnie does.

Shawn’s outbursts are starting to give her bruises, and Luke’s heart breaks as Ronnie remains torn. While her thoughts and feelings swirl around the lines between friendship and forever, she’s about to lose them both.





Wednesday 30 May 2012

TAKEN AT DUSK BY C.C. HUNTER




ISBN: 9780312624699
Publication: St Martins Press
Pages: 380


BLURB taken from St Martin's Press letter that came with the book!
In Taken At Dusk after getting settled in at shadow Falls, Kylie Galen believes that if she can just uncover
what she is, all the other uncertainties in her life will suddenly make sense. Things really need to make sense right now. For starters, her heart is still torn between Lucas and Derek - or it was. Now, she's beginning to wonder if she was wrong about both boys.


But it's not just romance that's leaving Kylie conflicted. She's also being haunted by an amnesia-stricken ghost who can't remember who she is. Complicating matters even more is the message the spirit brings from the world beyond: Death is imminent for someone at shadow Falls Camp - and this time, there's nothing Kylie can do to stop it.


MY REVIEW
Wow! I loved this book, in fact, I love this series and Whisper's At Moonrise is on my wishlist now! Thankyou to Loren Jagger's who sent my daughter this book and of course a giant thank you to C.C. Hunter for writing such a great series.
So first let me start with the cover, I have loved all the covers of the Shadow Falls Series, they are so colourful and pull you into the book so well.
Now the book, wow where do I start.....I'll slow down because I don't want to give away any spoilers!
The one desperate question I kept asking my daughter when reading this series was does she find out what she is? Well I am sorry because I know how it felt when my daughter said it to me but in my daughters words "You will have to read the book yourself and find out, don't be so impatient, enjoy the journey of the book" and she was so right in what she said C.C. Hunter does take you along on Kylie's journey of discovery, you feel the angst she has at not knowing what she is. You also go through all Kylie's coming of age and romantic drama's too. You will have to think for yourselves who you would really like her to end up being with. Myself and my daughter have totally different opinions on this. 
The descriptions of the people and places are still really good, and you can still picture the scene really well. I would definitely watch the shadow Falls Series if it was made in to a Movie or TV show BUT I would desperately want the movie/tv show to stay true to the books.
I love the relationships and friendship between the characters at Shadow Falls, as a reader you end up feeling part of their gang which is all down to how C.C. Hunter has brilliantly written this book!
There's lots of emotions floating around in this book, there's anger, jealousy, love and loyalty. There are love triangles too with Kylie, Lucas and Derek and Miranda, Todd and Perry, who will end up with who? There's also the chemistry between Holiday and Burnett too. 
I think Kylie's "gift" of being able to speak to the dead/ghosts is a really fascinating "gift" even though its also an intrusive and scary one most of the time.
So before I go too far and reveal spoilers I think I should sum things up!
Did I enjoy the book? Loved it! Would I read more by C.C .Hunter/ Shadow Falls Series? Yes already firmly on my wishlist! Finally would I recommend? Oh, yes, in this books series, each book was even better than the previous one.


Available from Amazon.co.uk

AWAKE AT DAWN BY C.C. HUNTER




ISBN: 9780312624682        
Publication: St Martins Griffin
Pages: 416




BLURB from Goodreads
Step into the world of Shadow Falls, a camp that helps teens tap into their special…talents. Once you visit, you’ll never forget it—and you’ll never, ever be the same.

From the moment Kylie Galen arrived at Shadow Falls Camp, she’s had one burning question: What am I? Surrounded by vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, fairies and witches, Kylie longs to figure out her own supernatural identity…and what her burgeoning powers mean. And now she’ll need them more than ever, because she’s being haunted by a new spirit who insists that someone Kylie knows—and loves—will die before the end of the summer. If only she only knew who she was supposed to save. And how…

But giving Kylie the most trouble is her aching heart. Gorgeous werewolf Lucas left camp with another girl, but he’s still visiting Kylie in her dreams. And Derek, a sexy half Fae who’s always been there for her when she needed him, is pushing to get more serious—and growing impatient, especially when Lucas returns. Kylie knows she needs to decide between the boys, and it’s tearing her up inside.

Yet romance will have to wait, because something from the dark side of the supernatural world is hiding in Shadow Falls. It’s about to threaten everything she holds dear…and bring her closer to her destiny.



MY REVIEW
So after reading Born At Midnight I couldn't wait to get straight into book two Awake At Dawn.
Kylie is still on her personal quest to find out exactly what sort of Supernatural she is. In this book Kylie also has a new spirit to puzzle out too. Kylie's love life has improved, from being dumped for not making out with Trey to having two new love interests. One the Fae, Derek and the other Were, Lucas. Two different characters all together really but both seem to really care about and truly love Kylie. I have a feeling no matter who Kylie eventually chooses, someone will be hurt. At the moment Kylie is trying her best to keep each one as a friend without upsetting the other. Derek, the Fae may be physically there at the camp with Kylie but Lucas, the were, seems to be getting his feelings through in Kylie's dreams at night.
We also see more of the darker side of the supernaturals, and learn a little more about the vampire gang that Della's cousin Chan runs around with.
Kylie, Della and Miranda's friendship continues to become stronger. Kylie is becoming more attached to camp and kind of dreading going home to visit.
This book seemed slightly more fast paced than bk one to me, I felt that I read it quicker.  I really enjoyed this book , even more than the first in the Shadow Falls Series. Once again when I got to the end I wanted the next bk straight away. This second book definitely had more "wow", "Oh Wow" moments in it. Some of pieces of the jigsaw have begun to slip into place. Yet as one or two pieces slip together you seem to discover even more pieces of the continuing puzzle to put together.
Just when you think you have figured out what Kylie is she seems to develop another ability that points to a totally different supernatural race. So the speculation as to what kylie is continues to be somewhat of a mystery.
Book two ends in such a way you want to immediately grab Bk3 and continue reading.
I again loved the cover the beautiful falls and shades of green. The relevance of the falls will obviously become clearer to you when you read the book.
So did I enjoy the book? Yes. Would I recommend C.C. Hunter/This Series? Yes. Will I read more of this series/ by C.C. Hunter? Definitely....I am straight into Bk 3 now.


Available from  Amazon.co.uk  




BORN AT MIDNIGHT BY C.C. HUNTER



ISBN: 978-0312624675
Publication: St Martins Press
Pages: 416




BLURB from Goodreads
One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.

Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart. 

Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…



MY REVIEW
My daughter received this book direct from the author C.C. Hunter (and its signed) so definitely one we won't be parting with! I have being going to read it for a while but then continued to commit to dated reviews so couldn't manage to read it. Then my daughter kept saying I would really enjoy it etc Rachel recommended it etc (here's her review) So I decided I could manage to fit this one in before my next time dated review.
Well Rachel was right I really did enjoy it. Born at Midnight is the first in the Shadow Falls Series. You will learn the relevance of the title within the book. The main character in the book initially thinks that shadow Falls is a camp for misbehaving children, somewhere their parents pack them off to when they can't be bothered with their children. Kylie learns the real purpose of the camp as you get into the book.It was a little slower starting than I normally enjoy but I felt the slower start to the book helped me get to know the characters a little better instead of being bombarded with things I would need to remember. The descriptions of both the surroundings and the characters are so detailed that you have no problem of visually imagining the people and places.
I love the character of Kylie, the way she can have lots of her own problems, such as her parents impending divorce, and the fact her boyfriend just dumped her because she refused to go "all the way" when he pushed the issue with her, yet she always manages to help those around her with their problems. I know we don't officially know what Kylie's supernatural talent/gift is yet but I definitely believe that  empathy skills are part of her gift. 
I thought the way C.C. Hunter has the Supernatural's reading each other by wiggling their eyebrows whilst concentrating on the Supernatural they wish to read is comedy gold. Its really funny by the end of this first book when a character wiggles their eyebrows you start doing it with them. so if you read in public places get ready for the funny looks lol! 
The book is quite light, in that it has humour within it, but it does deal with some very serious subjects, divorce, parents new partners, dyslexia and racism against the supernaturals as a whole and within their individual races. The book also covers different friendships and the difficult subject of teenage sex. The book is very cleverly written and does not come across preachy about any of the subjects it covers or touches on.
This book has plenty mystery, suspense, danger and still has room for joy, happiness, humour,understanding and love too.
Kylie finds herself attracted to two guys. One who is initially thought a very bad guy, but she later learns he is not guilty of the terrible crime she thinks he committed. The other guy is a good guy...or is he ? One of his talents is being able to control peoples emotions and Kylie can't help but wonder if he is manipulating hers into falling for him. I purposely have tried not to mention characters names or too much of the plot as I think you should discover it in the same way I did through reading the book for yourself. As though my daughter recommended the book she would not tell me anything about it, other than the details in the synopsis. I could go on and on about this book but then I feel I would give too much of it away so I will stop now! I will move on to the book cover, I really like the different purple shades of the cover it suggest mystery, possibly danger.  Then there's the image of Kylie standing in the middle of a tree that has been split down the middle, which to me represents how she feels at certain points within the book herself as though she is split in two or is in two minds about what to do/say. You will read more about the tree and its significance within the book.
So did I enjoy the book?Yes, Would I read more of the series/ more by C.C. Hunter? Yes am already reading Bk 2 Awake At Dawn. Would I recommend? Yes even though it is aimed at the YA market I still enjoyed reading this book.

Available from Amazon.co.uk

Tuesday 29 May 2012

AUTHOR INTERVIEW - CINSEARAE SANTIAGO





What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Cinsearae, and I was born and still live in east coast of the States. I’ve been fortunate to travel to a few places, including, Jamaica, England and Mexico. I hope it doesn’t stop there. *grin* I love anything and everything paranormal, Halloween and horror-related; anything mundane just bores me to tears, lol.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I’ve had a knack for writing starting in the 3rd grade. When I started reading Steven King in 8th grade, it was then that I had dreams of becoming a writer.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest book is “Diary of a Vampire Stripper”, a bit of a misadventurous romance, with chick-lit snark, and splash of dark humor. I love dark humor; chalk it up to loving a lot of Vincent Price’s old horror flicks.

Who is your publisher? or do you self-publish?
I’ve been published traditionally, but I prefer self –publishing the most, since each project is exactly the way I envisioned it, from the story to the characters to the cover art.

What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I love writing paranormal romance and horror, and I’m working on the second part to Diary of a Vampire Stripper as we speak. *grin* I like writing short stories on occasion too, so I’ll more than likely have another anthology out by next year as well.

Where do you get your book plot ideas from? What/Who is your inspiration?
My muse hands me a lot of my ideas in my sleep! As for inspiration, life’s negative and positive aspects are an inspiration to me, not to mention combining that with being a horror junkie. It helps me to create more believable situations, people and dialogue.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I do a lot of writing while listening to instrumental/atmospheric music or nature sounds, and other times, I need absolute peace and quiet. My favorite albums I listen to are by Nox Arcana or Midnight Syndicate, and lately, Symphony of Shadows. For atmospheric music, I really enjoy any of Steve Roach’s works. I actually do a lot of writing in my bedroom!

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
I’m a book cover designer for Damnation Books, LLC, and I’ve learned a lot over the years. When I design covers, it’s usually an image I see in my mind’s eye. If it’s one rule I stick to when doing covers, it’s, ‘the simpler the design, the better’.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
It really depends. Sometimes, the title will pop in my head with the story immediately following, or   vice-versa.

How do you come up with characters, names, and place names in your books?
They come to me already ‘alive’, lol! I know their names, looks, personalities, quirks, likes/dislikes….the works. If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear there were other people living in my head, but in a good way, lol! I think Mel Brooks says it best: "Every human being has hundreds of separate people living under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, personalities and have them relate to other characters living with him."

How do you market/promote your books?
The majority of it is done via internet, but I still like good ‘ol person to person contact at conventions too, when given the opportunity.

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
To get away from the PC, I LOVE to spend time outdoors. Parks, cemeteries, nature trails…it’s great to disconnect and be exposed to nature. It definitely helps ground me.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
I might use a small part of person’s personality for a particular character here and there, as well as personal events or situations, but I never like to tell exactly *which* events were ‘real’ ones in my books! (grin)

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
I usually like to have hidden messages in my stories, especially in my latest one-- they revolve around family, friendship, and trust.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback?
I’m still old-school and prefer a paperback book, but if it’s a short story, I don’t mind reading an e-book.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
I enjoyed the Harry Potter series immensely. Some books in this particular series transferred better than others, and the first two were spot-on, which I loved.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
I doubt it. After all, people should have a choice to their preferred style of receiving and reading a book. And heaven forbid your Kindle (or whatever e-device one uses) decides to konk out and you lose all those e-books you had stored away.

Did you have a favourite author as a child?
I loved Judy Blume’s books and read her a lot as a child. I’ll still never understand why her books were banned. She wrote about normal, typical stuff that went on in everyday life and had such lifelike characters! To ban stories that talk about things that happen in LIFE doesn’t make sense to me.

Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
How to Eat Friend Worms” and “Freckle Juice” were two of my all-time favorite books as a kid. I also loved the “Bunnicula” series. I devoured R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” series in junior high school/high school as well.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Avoid any and all naysayers and dream killers, for they’ll be the first to bring you down or keep you from pursuing your own dreams. Choose critique groups carefully as well as creative writing instructors. Almost everyone loves being a critic, and most love to be cruel when it comes to giving their own two cents. Treat their two cents as such. As a writer, you’ll have to develop a thick skin. Understand that everyone will not love your work, so try not to take negative reviews to heart. It’s expected, and unrealistic to believe otherwise. Write for yourself and for those who do love your work—to hell with the ‘mainstream’. Writing is a lonely road, but don’t cut yourself off completely from human contact! And if you’re a horror/paranormal romance writer looking for a supportive group, I invite you to join my own writers group on Facebook (just search Gratista Vampire Clan).

If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
If I could call up the deceased, then Edgar Allan Poe, first and foremost! I’d also call up Vincent Price (and yep, not only did he act, he was an author AND a cook! Maybe we could cook something together and chat at the same time!) and I’d love to have Stephen King over and pick his brain for a bit!

Where can readers follow you?

They can friend me on facebook

on twitter:

and my author website:

http://www.youtube.com./user/Cinsearae?ob=0&feature=results_main
Thank you so much for having me , Jeanz! 
You're welcome thanks for sending me a copy of your book and taking part in the Interview too!



DIARY OF A VAMPIRE STRIPPER BY CINSEARAE SANTIAGO



ISBN: e-book
Publisher: Lulu.com
Pages: 249




BLURB from Goodreads
Her best friend is a werewolf. Her boyfriend is a ghoul. And she really, REALLY can’t stand her vampire husband.

Trying to juggle college tuition and rent, young Audra Perez seeks a fast fix to her financial woes by auditioning as a stripper for the Hoochie Coochie Club. What she didn’t expect was to actually be chosen! Barely a few months into her new job, she becomes acquainted with a mysterious, distinguished gentleman by the name of Darren Von Eldon, and they secretly begin dating against club rules. Then one passionate night at his beach house changes Audra’s life forever.

Now as a newly-awakened vampire, this only adds to her day-to-day mundane burdens. Refusing to drain humans, she hunts birds for nourishment, and finagles a way to avoid going to classes during the day. But bigger problems loom ahead. Radical cops that know about her kind roam the night, seeking to destroy any and all ‘monsters’, and her best friend’s family has a bone to pick with Audra’s. Headless bodies are turning up on vamp and were turf, each side blaming the other for the murders. It’s up to Audra and her friend Lu to figure out who’s doing the killings, and their search leads them beneath the city streets to encounter an abomination neither one of them will ever forget.

And the relationship issues? Well, it’s not easy dealing with a boyfriend and a vampire husband, so let’s not even go there…



MY REVIEW
I didn't really know quite what to expect from this book cover, I initially thought it could possibly be a bit bloodthirsty and perhaps very gory but it isn't like that at all. Having said that I do quite like the cover. Obviously this is a vampire genre book, the title tells you that but what it doesn't tell you is it is so much more. The style of the book is a kind of the diary of Audra. I try not to give spoilers in my reviews but will mention things that are already mentioned in the blurb, so here goes... Audra is short of cash and basically getting desperate so ends up at a strip club looking for work. Audra has to choose an alter ego as you don't want the type of guy that goes to a strip joint to know your real name. So Audra chooses Claudia I'll leave you to read the explanation of why in the book! The book is Audra's story, she is turned into a vampire though she is never asked if she wishes to be. the book tells of Audra coping with being a new vampire, and her learning about other races such as weres. Audra also has to quickly learn about Vampire and Were politics. Audra joins forces with a fellow stripper Lu, to try and solve the murders that the vamps and were are blaming on each other before an all out war is started. Do they suceed I hear you ask? You'll have to read the book. There's humour, suspense, murder, a bit of gore, danger and some romance too in this story. As if an impending Were/Vamp war was not enough danger there is also a group who want to kill all supernatural beings to contend with.
*WARNING there are sexual explicit scenes in this book that are not suitable for young teens, the scenes are very descriptive* So having said that it is not my usual type of book, I tend to steer away from  the sexually explicit scene books, as I find it spoils the overall book. This book was not totally spoiled by it, the scenes were done as a natural part of the story. I would say it would not be classed as erotic. I don't read erotic by choice.
So did I enjoy the book? Yes Would I recommend? Yes to adult fans of Mary Janice Davidson, and Dakota Cassidy fans perhaps. Would I read more in this series? Yes I would I want to know what happens to Paul (you'll get what I mean when you read the book) and of course there's plenty more scope for the story too. So YES! Would I read more by Cinsearae Santiago? I think I would Yes!


Published March 2012 by lulu.com

AUTHOR INTERVIEW - CINSEARAE SANTIAGO




What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Cinsearae, and I was born and still live in east coast of the States. I’ve been fortunate to travel to a few places, including, Jamaica, England and Mexico. I hope it doesn’t stop there. *grin* I love anything and everything paranormal, Halloween and horror-related; anything mundane just bores me to tears, lol.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I’ve had a knack for writing starting in the 3rd grade. When I started reading Steven King in junior-high school, it was then that I had dreams of becoming a writer.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest book is “Diary of a Vampire Stripper”, a bit of a misadventurous romance, with chick-lit snark, and splash of dark humour. I love dark humour; chalk it up to loving a lot of Vincent Price’s old horror flicks.

Who is your publisher? or do you self-publish?
I’ve been published traditionally, but I prefer self –publishing the most, since each project is exactly the way I envisioned it, from the story to the characters to cover art.

What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I love writing paranormal romance and horror, and I’m working on the second part to Diary of a Vampire Stripper as we speak. *grin* I like writing short stories on occasion to, so I’ll more than likely have another anthology out by next year too.

Where do you get your book plot ideas from? What/Who is your inspiration?
My muse hands me a lot of my ideas in my sleep! As for inspiration, life’s negative and positive aspects are an inspiration to me, not to mention combining that with being a horror junkie. It helps me to create more believable situations, people and dialogue.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I do a lot of writing while listening to instrumental/atmospheric music or nature sounds, and other times, I need absolute peace and quiet. My favorite albums I listen to are by Nox Arcana or Midnight Syndicate, and lately, Symphony of Shadows. For atmospheric music, I really enjoy any of Steve Roach’s works. I actually do a lot of writing in my bedroom!

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
I’m a book cover designer for Damnation Books, LLC, and I’ve learned a lot over the years. When I design my own covers, it’s usually an image I see in my mind’s eye. If it’s one rule I stick to when doing covers, it’s, ‘the simpler the design, the better’.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
It really depends. Sometimes, the title will pop in my head with the story immediately following, or   vice-versa.

How do you come up with characters, names, and place names in your books?
They come to me already ‘alive’, lol! I know their names, looks, personalities, quirks, likes/dislikes….the works. If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear there were other people living in my head, but in a good way, lol! I think Mel Brooks says it best: "Every human being has hundreds of separate people living under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, personalities and have them relate to other characters living with him."

How do you market/promote your books?
The majority of it is done via internet, but I still like good ‘ol person to person contact at conventions too when given the opportunity.

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
To get away from the PC, I LOVE to spend time outdoors. Parks, cemeteries, nature trails…it’s great to disconnect and be exposed to nature. It definitely helps ground me.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
I might use a small part of person’s personality for a particular character here and there, as well as personal events or situations, but I never like to tell exactly *which* events were ‘real’ ones in my books! (grin)

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
I usually like to have hidden messages in my stories, especially in my latest one-- they revolve around family, friendship, and trust.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback?
I’m still old-school and prefer a paperback book, but if it’s a short story, I don’t mind reading an e-book.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst book to movie transfer?
I enjoyed the Harry Potter series immensely. Some books in this particular series transferred better than others, and the first two were spot-on, which I loved.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
I doubt it. After all, people should have a choice to their preferred style of receiving and reading a book. And heaven forbid your Kindle (or whatever e-device one uses) decides to konk out and you lose all those e-books you had stored away.

Did you have a favourite author as a child?
I loved Judy Blume’s books and read her a lot as a child. I’ll still never understand why her books were banned. She wrote about normal, typical stuff that went on in everyday life and had such lifelike characters! To ban stories that talk about things that happen in LIFE doesn’t make sense to me.

Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
How to Eat Friend Worms” and “Freckle Juice” were two of my all-time favorite books as a kid. I also loved the “Bunnicula” series. I devoured R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” series in junior high school/high school as well.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Avoid any and all naysayers and dream killers, for they’ll be the first to bring you down or keep you from pursuing your own dreams. Choose critique groups carefully as well as creative writing instructors. Almost everyone loves being a critic, and most love to be cruel when it comes to giving their own two cents. Treat their two cents as such. As a writer, you’ll have to develop a thick skin. Understand that everyone will not love your work. It’s expected, and unrealistic to believe otherwise. Write for yourself and for those who do love your work—to hell with the ‘mainstream’. Writing is a lonely road, but don’t cut yourself off completely from human contact! And if you’re a horror/paranormal romance writer looking for a supportive group, I invite you to join my own writers group on Facebook (just search Gratista Vampire Clan)

If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?
If I could call up the deceased, then Edgar Allan Poe, first and foremost! I’d also call up Vincent Price (and yep, not only did he act, he was and author AND a cook! Maybe we could cook something together and chat at the same time!) and I’d love to have Stephen King over and pick his brain for a bit!

Where can readers follow you?
They can friend me on facebook
on twitter:
and my author website:
http://www.youtube.com./user/Cinsearae?ob=0&feature=results_main
Thank you so much for having me , Jeanz!
J

PROMOTIONAL SPOTLIGHT - DIARY OF A VAMPIRE STRIPPER BY CINSEARAE SANTIAGO


BLURB from Goodreads


Her best friend is a werewolf. Her boyfriend is a ghoul. And she really, REALLY can’t stand her vampire husband.

Trying to juggle college tuition and rent, young Audra Perez seeks a fast fix to her financial woes by auditioning as a stripper for the Hoochie Coochie Club. What she didn’t expect was to actually be chosen! Barely a few months into her new job, she becomes acquainted with a mysterious, distinguished gentleman by the name of Darren Von Eldon, and they secretly begin dating against club rules. Then one passionate night at his beach house changes Audra’s life forever.

Now as a newly-awakened vampire, this only adds to her day-to-day mundane burdens. Refusing to drain humans, she hunts birds for nourishment, and finagles a way to avoid going to classes during the day. But bigger problems loom ahead. Radical cops that know about her kind roam the night, seeking to destroy any and all ‘monsters’, and her best friend’s family has a bone to pick with Audra’s. Headless bodies are turning up on vamp and were turf, each side blaming the other for the murders. It’s up to Audra and her friend Lu to figure out who’s doing the killings, and their search leads them beneath the city streets to encounter an abomination neither one of them will ever forget.

And the relationship issues? Well, it’s not easy dealing with a boyfriend and a vampire husband, so let’s not even go there…



Published March 2012 lulu.com

Monday 28 May 2012

AUTHOR INTERVIEW - ED JAMES





What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?

My name is Ed James - though it's not my real name.  I was born in
Penzance in Cornwall but lived in Scotland from the age of 2.  I now
live in East Lothian, near the coast and Edinburgh.



Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?

In some ways, I always did.  I loved writing at school, even writing
some pieces for fun but getting disinterested with them quickly.  I
remember writing a good crime story for my project in Higher English
that was full of swearing.  I spent most of my 20s trying to be a
musician in an art-rock band, almost succeeding on a couple of
occasions.  When it all fell apart, I started writing, mainly as a
cathartic process but also to do something creative on my own that I
could live or die by.



When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?


Quite quickly, to be honest.  I have a tendency to throw myself deep
into projects and it was pretty quickly that I was immersed in it.



Did it take a long time to get your first book published?

It's been five years and I've had to go the Kindle route.


Do you work another job as well as your writing work?

Yep.  I work in IT as a project manager.  It's a stimulating job and
I'm now good enough and experienced enough to be able to manage the
day job and writing.  And that's at both, I guess - I consider myself
good at writing after making a lot of mistakes and learning from them.
It's a long way to great, mind.



What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it
in less than 20 words what would you say?


GHOST IN THE MACHINE.
Police thriller mystery hunting a killer who uses a social network to
hunt his victims.
 





BLURB from Amazon.co.uk
Detective Constable Scott Cullen of Lothian and Borders has only been three months in CID as a full DC. He is assigned a Missing Persons case which has stretched his uniform colleagues. Caroline Adamson - a young, recently divorced mother from Edinburgh - has disappeared whilst on a date.

The more Cullen digs into her disappearance, the more he unravels her private life. Who was she on a date with? What happened during her divorce from Rob Thomson? As Cullen's own private life gets messier and the relationship with his DI deteriorates, Caroline's body turns up and he finds himself hunting for a ghost in the machine. 

Book one of the Scott Cullen series. 



£0.99 (Price was quoted on 15th May 2012)
Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?

Self publish.



Do you have a "lucky charm" or "lucky routine" you follow when waiting
for your book to be accepted by a publisher?


The times I've sent it off to agents, the charm I used was get on with
something else.  When I send off the full GHOST manuscript to an agent
three years and six drafts ago, I had four months to wait so I wrote
the sequel.  I'm only now getting back into it.



How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original
idea to finishing writing it?


Despite the fact that it's taken three years (elapsed time, not man
years!) to finish GHOST, I actually write pretty quickly.  It took
three months to do the first draft, then another three to do the
second draft.  I think I sent it off after nine months, though I'd had
some time off due to being really busy at work.  I pretty much totally
reworked it at Christmas time and wrote 27,000 words in ten days or so
to finish it.



Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?

GHOST is the third I've written and it was hard to finish.  They are
getting easier as I'm getting better/more experienced, but it's still
not a facile activity.



What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same
genre? Books of a different genre?


I'm going to finish the sequel, DEVIL IN THE DETAIL, and hopefully
publish it late Summer.  I've got a short story which I plan to
publish pretty quickly, it's a science fiction crime story.  I will
then get on with some new Scott Cullen - DYED IN THE WOOL is the
third, but I'm struggling to nail down the plot.



Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?


Yes - DEVIL IN THE DETAIL is the second in the Scott Cullen series.

What genre would you place your books into?

Tartan Noir.


What made you decide to write that genre of book?


It's a funny story.  Just before Xmas in 2009, I picked up a hardback
of Iain M Banks THE ALGEBRAIST.  When I got on the train and took it
out of my bag, it turned out it was the hardback of Mark Billingham's
SLEEPYHEAD.  I tore through it, reading it in two days.  I'd been a
big fan of crime fiction like Ian Rankin for a long time and I thought
why don't I do it?  I'd just been writing a sort of crime fiction
story from the perspective of the baddies, but I couldn't quite get it
sorted.  What a police thriller gives is a solid framework to put your
story in.



Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why
is it your favourite?


DEVIL IN THE DETAIL is the favourite.  It's the most well-plotted and
I'm pleased with taking a small idea I'd had from an email chat with a
mate and turning it into a realised crime story.  I just need to
finish it and publish it!


Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they
your favourite?


I have to say that the character of the DI in GHOST - Bain - is the
one I love writing best.  He's like a force of nature - total chaos -
and I find it really natural to get into his wild way with words.  I
have to tone the swearing down as there's a tendency to punctuate
everything he says with the f word - as happens with loads of stress
monkeys I know.



Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?

I get ideas from reading the news, speaking to people or sometimes
just from something I see on the street.  I was working in London
recently and saw a poster for a club that had the phrase "do you need
an alibi" which gave me an idea for a short story.  It's something
I'll flesh out, but shows an example of the inspiration.


Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to
music, sit in a certain chair?

I do most of my writing on the train.  I've got two journeys to work,
one to Edinburgh and one from Edinburgh out to the office.  I get on
the train, headphones on and the netbook on.  I march onto the train
and get one of the seats with a table, usually pushing someone's
newspaper off my half of the table!



Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you
officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers
you know?


My girlfriend has been a very honest reviewer for years and really
helped me stylistically - I'm naturally a plot/story/plan kind of guy
and she's really helped develop my detailed writing style.  For the
final draft of GHOST, I gave it to my Dad - not someone short of an
opinion... - and it was very useful having another set of honest
feedback.  I think as long as there's honesty and you're not too upset
by the feedback then it's good and really helps your writing.



Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?

Yes - I really believe in the blog world to support writers like me.


Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?


Yes - I try not to enjoy the bad reviews too much or get dispirited by
the good.



Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all
positive about your book/books?


I'd go the other way and ask a glowing review if anything was wrong.
The only way to develop as a writer is to learn from feedback.
Writing a 90,000 word novel is very hard - it's a big project to
manage and you can only do an 80/20 thing with the best will in the
world.  That's when you need to harness honest, objective feedback.



How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your
book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?


Yes.  The titles of Scott Cullen will - for the time being at least -
be musical references of the form SOMETHING IN THE SOMETHING, e.g.
GHOST IN THE MACHINE is a Police album, DEVIL IN THE DETAIL is a
Placebo song, WHISKY IN THE JAR is the Dubliners and more famously
Thin Lizzy.  The covers I did myself based on some nice photos I've
taken on my iPhone.  It's great being self-sufficient.



Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?


The title usually comes with the idea.  I'll quickly come up with a
title, sometimes they stick, sometimes they don't - SPANNER IN THE
WORKS became DROP IN THE OCEAN, for instance, and I doubt I'll stick
with COUGAR IN THE WILD...


How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?


Sadly enough, I've got an Access database that logs all my characters
and has a list of surnames that I can quickly pull out when I need a
character.  I remember reading an interview with Iain Banks where he
said he had a list of names in the Culture that he dips into when he
needs a new character.  To prep the names in advance is good as you
don't want to slow down when writing.  The places are largely real and
in Edinburgh, though I have invented a few places.



Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin
writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes
the story?


I did the latter with GHOST based on a loose idea and got into a total
mess with it.  It's taken nine or ten drafts to sort the story out.
For future works, I think what's worked best is plot out the main
story and write it to a novella length - 30,000 words or so - and then
look at ways to complicate it and also add in subplots.  It's what I'm
doing for DEVIL and I'm having some success with it - the story is
nailed on, it's just the "book" stuff that needs fleshed out.


How do you market/promote your books?
I've been approaching blogs like your own to see if they're
interested.  For indie books like mine, it's an excellent resource and
I really appreciate the time taken to review.  I've got my books on
places like Goodreads and Shelfari as well.  The next step is to go
mainstream and target the press, but that is highly unlikely.



Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get
past the "block"?


A couple of times.  The way to get past it is to write.  If you write
something bad, you've written something and something that you can
fix.  If you've not written anything then you can't make it better.
Writing to me is an iterative process - I don't sculpt sentences for
hours, I bash through it and tweak with every edit.



What do you do to unwind and relax?Do you have a hobby?


This is the hobby!  To relax, I watch films, football or read sci-fi -
it's important to not read the same genre as you're writing at the
time.



Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?


Ian Rankin is the main one - I would always get his REBUS books in
hardback when they came out.  Other influences are Iain Banks and
Irvine Welsh.  There are a lot of really strong Scottish writers of a
very varied range, and it maybe comes across in my books.



Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?


I've not got a Kindle and I have about 60 unread paperbacks.  I want
to get into eBooks but I really am struggling to read a lot with all
of the writing I've done this year.



What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is
it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)


I've just started reading REVELATION SPACE by Alastair Reynolds.  It's
a paperback sci-fi novel, first in a series.  It's promising, though
I'm only ten pages in.  I just finished LAIDLAW by Hugh McIlvanney
which is a late 70s crime thriller set in Glasgow and a key influence
on Rankin.  It was enjoyable but somewhat opaque and more of a
literary novel than a modern crime thriller, but then it's older than
I am.



Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?

I'd say so, yes.  As soon as iPads have eInk displays...


Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a
writer something newer in your life?


I dabbled but it's something I've really got into with a lot of life
experience under my belt.



Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read
but just couldn't finish?


I frequently start books that I can't finish.  Sometimes it's just
that I'm not in the right frame of mind.  I remember as a kid trying
to start reading the Hobbit every year for seven years or so - all
those dwarves falling out of cupboards really put me off.  I
eventually read it a few years ago and actually enjoyed it...



Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out
for? and Why should we watch out for them?


Gary Marshall - he's someone I knew from my music days.  He's the real
deal - been writing for a living for years and a real inspiration for
me to know, in that I could see there was a way you could live some
sort of creative dream (and also that the reality isn't always sexy).
He's published an eBook - COFFIN DODGERS - that is a good laugh and
one I highly recommend for fans of Christopher Brookmyre or Harlan
Coben.



What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?


Make sure you get honest feedback and that you listen.


Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I do - my real name has been taken.