Thursday, 16 April 2015


Title: Death Wish
Series: Cerulean 1
Author: Megan Tayte
Publisher: Heaven Afire
Release Date: 7th February 2015

BLURB from Goodreads

The Ceruleans: mere mortals infused with power over life and death. Five books; one question: If the might of the heavens were in your hands, would you be sinner or saint? 

Seventeen-year-old Scarlett Blake is haunted by death. Her estranged sister has made the ultimate dramatic exit. Running away from school, joining a surfing fraternity, partying hard: that sounds like Sienna. Butsuicide? It makes no sense. 

Following in her sister’s footsteps, Scarlett comes to the isolated cove of Twycombe, Devon, with grand plans to uncover the truth. Alone. But she hasn’t reckoned on meeting two boys who are determined to help her. Luke: the blue-eyed surfer who’ll see the real Scarlett, who’ll challenge her, who’ll save her. And Jude: the elusive drifter with a knack for turning up whenever Scarlett’s in need. 

As Scarlett’s quest for the truth unravels, so too does her grip on reality as she’s always known it. Because there’s something strange going on in this little cove. A dead magpie circles the skies. A dead deer watches from the undergrowth. Hands glow with light. Warmth. Power

What transpires is a summer of discovery. Of what it means to conquer fear. To fall in love. To choose life. To choose death. 

To believe the impossible. 


Title: Forget Me Not
Series: Cerulean 2
Author: Megan Tayte
Publisher: Heaven Afire
Release Date: 20th February 2015

BLURB from Goodreads

The Ceruleans: mere mortals infused with power over life and death. Five books; one question: If the might of the heavens were in your hands, would you be sinner or saint? 

Death is stalking Scarlett Blake. As if the encroaching darkness in her head wasn’t enough, she’s become disturbingly accident prone. Falling off a cliff isn’t ideal when all you want is as much time as possible to live, to love. 

Her fate is horrifying. Unbearable. And inescapable. No one can save Scarlett from The End that’s looming. Not Jude, the Cerulean who is intent on Claiming her. Not Luke, the boy who is intent on loving her. 

The clock is ticking, louder with every heartbeat. Now Scarlett must decide how best to protect the people she loves. Will she trust in Jude and the life-after-death he promises? Will she stand against the Fallen, who have her sister captive? Will she carry the burden of her death alone – every headache, every hallucination, every wrenching, aching emotion? 

And when the clock falls silent, when the darkness eclipses the light, will Scarlett fight for life? Or will she have no choice but to surrender?

Goodreads Link



Waves everywhere, swirling, surging, seething – a raging melange of foam and salt and inky water biting at me, pulling at me, thrusting upon me a solitary invitation:

As I fought to remain on the flimsy polystyrene surfboard that seemed more bucking bronco than wave rider, I thought: That’s how easy it is – you just let go.Just release the grip on this world that in recent months had seemed so much an effort, and sink into the blue, beneath the waves, where chaos and fury turned to quiet and calm. Like she did.

Was drowning as they claim? I wondered. The easiest way to die – peaceful? How would it feel to give up all the dragging myself through the day, all the struggle to evade the aching void inside? A relief?
Another wave rose me up and slammed me down with breathtaking power. Its force stirred me. You could say a lot of things about Scarlett Blake – she’s a loner, she’s a wallflower, she’s a menace in the kitchen – but no way was ‘she’s a quitter’ on the list of character flaws.
‘Screw you!’ I shouted through the spray.
Funny, sounded like someone shouted back. But who else would be out in this tumultuous sea at six a.m. on a summer’s morning? Solitude was the entire point of hauling myself out of bed in the still-dark and picking my way down the cliff path to the beach just in time to see the horizon light up with the first burnt-orange glow of the rising sun. No one to see me make a damn fool of myself on my first surfing attempt.
‘Trying… yourself killed?’
Definitely a voice. Male. Angry.
Scanning the surroundings for the source proved difficult while lying stomach-to-board. On an upward surge I got a glimpse of the Devonshire cliffs that fringed the cove, all dark, jutting rocks topped by bushes of gorse, and then a flash of the beach. On a downward plummet there was nothing but eye-burning, throat-choking seawater.
‘Forward… next wave!’
The voice was closer now. There was an edge to it beyond the anger. Something raw.
My eyes picked out a black form between the waves. Someone on a surfboard, paddling it expertly seaward. I took one hand off the board to push sticky tendrils of hair from my eyes. Rookie mistake. Turned out holding on one-handed was impossible. The board shot upwards, out of my feeble grip, and then it was just me and Old Man Sea.
Kicking frantically, I tried to keep my head above the surface, but the waves were burying me, one after the other, only a second or two to come up for air before the next one hit. Far away now were thoughts of letting go – I was fighting furiously for life. Never in my seventeen years had I been so desperate. But my legs were tingling with effort, and I knew it was just a matter of time.
When the final wave broke me all I could think was, Sienna. With her name on my lips I inhaled a lungful of water and I sank…

… for all of a second before something grabbed the back of my t-shirt and hauled me upward. Coughing and spluttering, I emerged from the blue and was pulled roughly onto a board, my leg shoved over so that I straddled it. I had the fleeting thought that this board was much sleeker and more substantial looking than the one I’d just lost before my rescuer settled pretty much on top of me and started paddling toward the shore.
With him in command, we crested waves and glided down the other side with apparent ease, though I seemed unable to match the rhythm of our motion and kept taking in great gulps of brine. Over the sound of the waves and the wind and the splash of powerful arms cutting into the water to propel us along, I picked out low, irate grumblings.
‘… idiot tourists… total waste of… all we need… another bloody drama…’

Finally, we reached the shallow waters and he slid off the board and pulled me off to walk to the beach. But my legs didn’t seem willing to respond to basic instructions like ‘walk’ or even ‘stand’ and breathing between wrenching gasps had become a challenge, so he threw an arm around me and half-carried, half-walked me, dragging his board with his spare hand.
Ten steps up the beach he let me down onto the sand.
‘Head down,’ he commanded. ‘Between your legs. Cough it out.’
I did as I was told. Liquid spilled out of me with each retching cough, and the cool air I gulped in burned my throat. I fought the panic, I fought the pain, focusing instead on the shells and stones strewn around. Finally, breathing won out.
‘You okay?’
I was reluctant to look up. For starters, I knew I must look a mess – long hair plastered to my head rat-tail style, face flushed and salt-burned, eyes teary and bloodshot. And then there was the fact that this guy, whoever he was, had just saved my life, and was evidently pretty mad about having had to do so.
‘Hey, you okay?’
I lifted my head slowly. Took in broad thighs clad in black neoprene; hands reaching out, palms raised; a wide, muscular chest; a striking face – rugged, square jaw, full lips, ruddy cheeks, Grecian nose bearing a thin scar across the bridge, thick black lashes framing eyes… oh, his eyes.
I opened my mouth, tried to speak, but I was paralysed by his gaze. All at once I was home in the cottage, tucked up beneath the blue patchwork quilt of my childhood; I was watching my grandmother remove vanilla-scented fairy cakes from her powder-blue Aga; I was running through a meadow of sky-blue forget-me-nots with my sister – free, exhilarated, happy. The memories took my breath away. I felt the familiar burn in my tear ducts.
His eyebrows pulled together and he placed a hand on my trembling knee.
‘Are. You. Okay?’ he said with exaggerated care, as if he were speaking to an elderly lady having a turn at a bus stop.
I blinked, cleared my throat and managed a husky, ‘Yes. Th-thank you.’
Concern melted into exasperation.
‘What’s the deal,’ he demanded, ‘out there on your own, clearly no idea what you’re doing, children’s play surfboard… you got a death wish or something?’
I cringed. I’d known the board was short, but I’d thought it was me-sized – at five foot three, what use was some enormous board?
‘I’m sorry.’
‘You would’ve been sorry if I hadn’t seen you.’
‘I just wanted to get a feel for it. I didn’t realise it was so rough out there.’
‘Rough? That’s not rough. Not even optimum surfing weather. Piece of cake for someone who actually knows how to surf…’
He paused when he saw a tear escape my eye and roll traitorously down my cheek. Furrowed his brow, combed his fingers roughly through dark hair that was drying fast in the breeze.
‘Listen, I didn’t mean to…’
I brushed the tear away furiously. Enough with the vulnerability.

‘Right, well, thank you…’
‘Luke. My name’s Luke.’ The stress lines in his face smoothed out and his lips curved. Like this, smiling and relaxed, his scrutiny was a touch less unsettling. ‘And you are…?’
‘Thank you, Luke, for your, um, help, but I’m sure you’ve better things to do, so I’ll just be…’
Before he could protest, I launched myself to my feet. He instinctively rose with me, and my water-fogged mind registered belatedly that my rescuer was a giant of a guy – my head was at the level of his chest. As I looked up to take in his stature I staggered slightly and he reached out to right me, but I stepped backwards. I didn’t need his kindness.
He looked awkward, unsure of himself, as he towered over me. ‘Hey, will you be okay?’
‘Yes, yes, I’m fine. I’ll just head home.’
‘You live close?’
I pointed vaguely west. ‘Yes, not far.’
‘Up there?’ He looked puzzled, and then interest sparked in his eyes. ‘You mean the Blake place?’

Busted. Of course being vague was pointless. My grandparents’ ramshackle cottage on the western cliff was the only building up there.
I made a noncommittal mnnnhnnn noise, but Luke was not to be deterred.

‘But that place has been empty since…’
He was looking at me now with such scrutiny that I took a further step back. I saw the cogs turning in his mind as he took in the classic green Blake eyes and then compared her – short, spiky red hair, eternally crimson lips, tall and impossibly slender – with me – petite and curvy, hair more blond than auburn reaching to the base of my spine and a pallor worthy of a vampire. His eyes widened.

‘Scarlett? Scarlett Blake!’
There was shock in his tone, and then sympathy.

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
I’m Megan. I grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days I make my home in Robin Hood’s county, Nottingham, with my husband, a proud Scot who occasionally kicks back in a kilt; my son, a budding artist with the soul of a paleontologist; and my baby daughter, a keen pan-and-spoon drummer who sings in her sleep.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Yes, I’m a publishers’ book editor and ghostwriter, so writing is my day job.

When did you first consider yourself as a ‘writer’?
I’d been writing professionally for years before I considered myself a ‘proper writer’: the day my first book was published.

Who is your publisher? Or do you self-publish?
I’m published several times over under my professional name, but I chose to self-publish my novels to start off, because I like the creative freedom that affords and because I believe in working hard to achieve a dream.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
The Ceruleans first drafts took me anything from three weeks to three months to write. Then came the rewriting and editing – another couple of months per book. (GEEK ALERT) I wrote a blog post charting how I wrote the series with (UBER GEEK ALERT) a chart:

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Death Wish is the first of five books in the Ceruleans series. I just published the second, Forget Me Not, and I’m busy editing the other three ready for publication. After that, I’ll be writing another story. Which, if Death Wish is anything to go by, will end up being an intricate, epic one that spans several books and consumes me for many, many months!

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
‘Write about what you know’ is an old adage, but a good one. I could write fiction about my life these days – about being a frazzled career woman and mum who bumbles from one culinary disaster to the next. But, frankly, it doesn’t appeal. Instead, I cast myself back to my teens – when life was stretching out in front, full of possibility; when love was new and exciting and full of lessons to learn; when the potential to screw up hilariously and horrifically was enormous; when being yourself was essential, but frequently difficult. I write the kind of books I’d have loved to have read then

Do you have a favourite character from your books? And why are they your favourite?
I love all of the main characters in the Cerulean series. But most of all – well, shouldn’t all authors be at least a little in love with the heroes they write? I am with Luke, the guy who Scarlett falls for. In my opinion, every girl should have a Luke. Strong. Warm. Compassionate. Brave. Forgiving. Giving. Unselfish. Willing to challenge. Willing to dream. And, of course, one heck of a cook!

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I could write. In my ‘treasures’ shoebox I have my very first story, written aged six. Reading it now, I assume my school was offering a Most Adjectives Crammed Onto a Page Prize – I can’t fathom why else I felt the need to be quite so descriptive. From there, I wrote many stories through my childhood and teens, but I didn’t quite get the courage together to write a book until adulthood.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Absolutely. As a self-publishing author, I very much value reviews, and each day I send out more and more copies.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
The title usually comes to me right along with the concept for the book. Death Wish actually began life as two separate novels, one called Wiped Out and one called Daydream Believer. But as I developed the plot, Death Wish was the only possible title, I felt (if you read the book, you’ll see why).

What do you do to unwind and relax?
With two children, a busy business and several books to edit/publish/promote, I don’t get a lot of down time in an average day, but I try to chill with my kids before their bedtime – stories, games, bathtime, snuggles. Then later in the evening, after another session at my desk, I get stuck into whatever box set I’m working through, with, if I’m being good, chocolate-coated rice cakes or, if I’m not being good, just the chocolate coating! Then I read until late in bed, which is my ultimate way to unwind. I plan regular breaks from the routine too – walks in parks, meals out, holidays by the sea.

Have you ever based events on things that have happened to you?
Yes, absolutely. The Ceruleans series is quite personal to me, based on a mix of experience and fiction woven from my imaginings and ponderings. The setting – in a part of coastal Devon where I spent every summer as a child – was a key inspiration. But the story, about love and loss, light and darkness, good and bad, is based on my own efforts to make sense of a world in which people close to you can die; in which being true to yourself can be incredibly difficult; and in which love – for people, for places, for a way of being, for a passion and an ethos – is the only reason to hold on.

What are you currently reading?
I’ve two chapters into an early Richelle Mead novel called Storm Born. I only recently discovered Richelle, and as I always do when I find a new author whose work I love, I get hold of the entire back catalogue. This edition of Storm Born is pretty battered, as I bought it second hand on Amazon, but I think I’m enjoying it all the more for that – I love ‘loved’ books.

Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
The Blue Peter Book of Gorgeous Grub, a book of recipes created by kids. My copy dates back to 1980, and it’s well-thumbed and smells of icing sugar. I’ve kept the book all these years because it brings back fond memories of culinary explorations with my brother and sister in our childhood, and now my son delves into it for inspiration. The other day we made Star Wars Stew together. I can’t tell you how impressed he was by a casserole whose main ingredient was crisps!

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Have fun and keep writing. In my day job I’ve worked with plenty of authors who risk killing the joy of writing by getting bogged down in the business of being an author. I try not to take myself too seriously. I love to write, and if others enjoy reading what I write, that’s a brilliant bonus – but either way, I’ll still write.

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