Friday 30 June 2017


Title: Contained
Series: Virus
Author: RJ Crayton
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Teens & YA
Publisher: Ericella Press
Release Date: 12th August 2016

BLURB from Goodreads
Elaan, Lijah and Josh are starting to think that perhaps no place is safe.

As they're forced to leave the one place they thought was safe, they find old friends in new places. Just as they think things are finally coming under control, shifts happen.

In this exciting final book, our leads search for the solutions that have evaded them thus far, in hopes of reaching a happy ending for themselves and the world in peril.


As I revealed at the end of my review of Exposed, I started reading this book straight away! I have really felt hooked all the way through these books. I'll be sad to come to the end of the last book.

The cover of this book looks quite stone like which does fit one of the settings in the book really well. The symbol appears once again, this time a brighter orange shade, does that indicate a possible vaccine or even a cure? The byline on this cover says "No place is safe" which again fits this book very well on more than one occasion.

In this book the teens are once again reunited and are with the person/woman their father sent them too, but once again they are being hunted down. What they had thought would be a safe place has once again been discovered. So now there is the person who their dad sent them to, a teenage friend the person has made called Amadu. It's the university that Amadu would have attended that they make for. The person/woman thinks she may have discovered the final missing element that James and Kingston have been missing in their efforts at making a vaccine. Before approaching the University they set up "camp" at the home of one of Amadu's tutors. Then go to the University. . . sadly someone seems to have pre-empted their journey and they soon find themselves captured. The person/woman soon reveals they have been caught by an old boyfriend of hers that still seems to be very obsessive over her. Can they use it to their advantage. Will Alex, the man in charge, be persuaded to allow them to hide in his underground complex or will he just hand them over to the government.

Sadly the immune Elaan and Josh (who on paper is logged as an immune due to false paperwork been done by Dr Kingston Wells) end up being sent to the Virginian complex that is under the direct rule of President Thoreaux. It is Thoreaux great plan to kill off any people that are carriers of the virus. Thoreaux wants a perfect, elite race. Hence the author comparing President Thoreaux to Dr Mengele. Thoreaux has a breeding plan which involves him wanting to "love" match immunes, then have them marry and reproduce. Eventually creating a healthy population. Which possibly may sound a good idea to some. One of the other things Thoreaux wants to implement is his very own version of religion too.
Once again it is Dr James Woodson trying to manouvre test results so that Elaan and Josh are "matched". It is Dr Kingston Wells that has this weird hate for Elaan. We never find out why he dislikes her so much. Unless it is that he thinks his son better, or a higher class person to Elaan. Dr Woodson's plan is scuppered but is soon back on track. If Elaan and Josh do escape the complex in Virginia it will be down to Elaan's father and not Josh's!

Whilst all this is going on for Elaan and Josh, Elijah is still trapped with the very woman his father sent them to thinking she could keep them safe. They are both still in the underground complex at the mercy of Alex. Alex's only weakness seems to be that he professes love for the woman he loved and lost all those years ago. Will that give her enough power over Alex to keep herself and Elijah free. It seems at one point she will not be able to keep Elijah safe when Alex has him locked up in quarantine. Will Alex send Elijah to be killed? Just when you think all is lost both the "woman" and Elijah get help from an unexpected source.

The author has written the characters so well that you can visualise them and you genuinely care about them. Even when Elijah is being obstinate, and not liking the person his father has sent him, Josh and Elaan to for safety. You can see the situation from both points of view. It's difficult to say much more about this book or series without spoiling the reading experience. I have honestly been hooked all the way through the whole series. I've loved both the pace and amount of action in this book. RJ Crayton created great characters such as the teenagers Elaan, Elijah, Josh, and Amadu. She also formed some brilliant adult characters, that you liked/loved and disliked/hated, such as liking Dr James Woodson and Nina (the generals wife). I enjoyed disliking Dr Kingston Wells and Alex, and of course hating President Thoreaux and his experimental basement. In fact there was a very relevant and realistic comparison of President Thoreaux (in the book) to Dr Mengele (who worked for Hitler and was a very real, destructive, twisted scientist that ordered, and took part in some horrific experiments). I could go on and on about this book, but as I've said I don't want to reveal spoilers that should be revealed slowly within the context of you reading the book/series.

So what was I thinking immediately upon finishing this book . . . Well my very first thought was when can I read the next one! Then realised this book was the, last, book! I honestly really, really, enjoyed reading this book, lots of edge of the seat moments. I guess you could look at the fact I still have a few questions about the characters within the book as the series ending badly as it was left 'unfinished' not 'totally resolved' but my opinion is I look on the fact I have a few questions still unanswered as the authors way of letting the individual reader come to their own conclusions.
In fact I thoroughly enjoyed the whole series. So much so I'd love there to be a spin off from this series, or an add on novella maybe to catch up with some of the characters of this series.
There is one thing for sure, I will be taking a close look at the other titles RJ Crayton has written and most likely adding most of them to my "must buy" list as well as my "must read" list.

Wednesday 28 June 2017


Title: Exposed
Series: Virus
Author: RJ Crayton
Genre: Sci-Fi, Dystopian,Teens & YA
Publisher: Ericella Press
Release Date: 14th June 2016

BLURB from Goodreads
The safety of the underground bunker is left behind. Elaan and her friends are out in the open, exposed to the world above. Exposed to a world that has been ravished by the virus. Can they make it to the one person they've been told can provide them safety?

Amazon UK

After finishing Contained I needed to know more! The cliffhanger situation book one had left my favourite teen characters in, had me starting book two Exposed straight away!

The cover of Exposed gives the impression of a situation  that has become even worse than in Contained. It's a grey/white background with the same symbol on the front cover. This time the colour of symbol is a more orangey red. As the title suggests that the virus is worsening and maybe means more people have been or are being Exposed to the virus and its mutation. The byline is, "She is their one chance for safety. Now they must find her." Again this really works well as a teaser for the book.

Elaan has given Elijah the letter his father wrote him, and then finds one of her own. The siblings read their own letters and then swap over to read each others, which is a good job as the information they need is spread between the letters as an extra security measure. I love the fact that their father James knows his daughter Elaan so well he knows she will want to keep what may be the last letter/communication she ever has with her father. So her father has done a small letter on a separate sheet that she can keep and gives instructions to destroy the information letters. 
The teens check exactly what is contained in their backpacks as secretly as possible in front of Boxcar Willie, who wants payment for getting them through the checkpoints. Boxcar Willie has already suggested that he "have a couple of nights" with Elaan as payment. Naturally both her brother and boyfriend are dead set against this. Though Elaan actually quietly considers it if it is their only chance for escape.
The teens have learnt that cash is almost worthless, the currency is jewellery and items that can be bartered for other things. Elijah and Elaan find the special coins their parents bought them every year for their birthdays, whereas Josh has cash, and lots of it! Elijah splits their "currency" three ways, though always takes the smaller cut, be it in the valauble coins of the cash. Determined to be fair with Josh and wanted to make sure his sister has every chance possible.

So as the blurb already tells you, Elaan, Josh and Lijah are out of the supposed safety of the Scientist Protection site underground. they are above ground attempting to follow a hastily drawn map that will take them to the last person they thought they would be seeking out for a chance at a place of safety. Elijah has shown the map to Joshua as he has a photographic memory, then given the map to Elaan and at her suggestion drawn a rough map outline for himself in the event they get separated. Elijah has also made Josh promise to take care of Elaan and make sure they follow the map to the person their father is sending them to.
So I want to explain a little about the character but obviously want to leave most of the surprises intact for you to unlock yourselves as you go through the series. What I can tell you about the person who represents safety is that they are female and is related to the man called Mark Dayton who initially, unknowingly brought the virus to America. This means his sister is a "carrier". She is relatively safe so long as she doesn't come into contact with the Helnona virus as if she does she will then become a carrier and spread the virus. 

As Elijah predicted the three teens do get split up. Josh and Elaan are together and Elijah, the eldest of the three on his own. Elijah knows in his heart he can count of Josh getting Elaan to safety or doing everything possible to keep her safe. Elaan is naturally worried about her elder brother, and wants to wait around or search around for him but Josh insists that Elijah would want them to continue with their plan, and that Elijah will either catch up with them or meet them at their destination.

Elaan and Josh walk and make "camp"  where ever they can find a safe place. They eventually come across a tandem. Though the tandem is a great find, when Elaan finds it's previous owners it turns into a horrifying find too! The tandem certainly cuts time off their journey much quicker than walking until they end up with a puncture. It's then they meet another person who they later find out is distantly part of the Dayton family. The name that no one utters or wishes to be associated with, as to be related means an immediate death sentence. The man they meet is called Lee, he stops to help as Elaan reminds him of his own daughter that he has sadly lost contact with due to the outbreak and progression of the virus. 

I really loved the character of Lee, the way despite the chance that Josh and Elaan may have the virus or want to rob him, he still stops and offers his help. Of course after the incident with Boxcar-Willie both teens are a little skeptical about what this strange man may want in return from them. When the teens go with Lee to his home, they see evidence themselves that in fact Elaan does look remarkably like his daughter, though that fact both puts them at ease whilst making them a little edgy at the same time.

Whilst all the above has been happening to Elaan and Josh, Elijah has been having a dilemma of his own. Should he do as he promised his sister and make his way to the destination their father wishes them to go and stay at. To be honest Elijah had only ever intended to take Elaan there and then go his own way alone, but now he is alone already maybe he doesn't need to even see the woman their father was sending him to. He is sure that Josh is has the same chances of getting Elaan to safety as he would have. Maybe he could just go it alone now. Then Lijah thinks about his little sister Elaan, what would she want him to do? She'd want to see him and make sure he was safe after the way they were separated. Finally he decides he needs to check Elaan is safe, let her know he is fine and then he can go off alone and do whatever he wants.

Elaan and Josh can't believe how deserted everywhere is until they hear a rumour that the government may have purposely sent out military personnel virus carriers out to spread even more death and destruction.

Again I was hooked to this book from the first word to the very last one! And yep I was so engrossed in the plot and the author had made me feel so connected to it's characters that had to immediately begin reading the final installment in the Virus Series!
The book is from either Elaan's point of view or later in the book we have chapters from the points of view of both Josh and Elijah. I love the sibling relationship between Elaan and Elijah, they clearly love each other over anything and anyone else, and yes, they may have their differences such as the fact whether or not Elaan should be going into a relationship with Josh but when needed they are there and are prepared to do whatever is necessary for each others safety.

I've probably rattled on enough but I always like to share my immediate thoughts on finishing the book, though I have had to edit out anything spoilery this time! So here's the questions and thoughts running through my mind as I finished Exposed:
There's so much more to be well as learning what is now going on at the scientist protection complex now the teens have escaped? Did the General ever return? How have those inside survived with no food deliveries from 'up top'? Have Dr James Woodson and Dr Kingston Wells made a vaccine yet? Or maybe made a cure for the infected? Are the government still after Elijah, Elaan and Josh? or do the three teens have bigger problems with the rumours of military personnel being made into carriers and being sent out into what is left of an already dying world? 
And yes! I did begin reading Contained straight away, highly addictive series!

Monday 26 June 2017


Title: Concealed
Series: Virus
Author: RJ Crayton
Genre: Sci-Fi, YA, Dystopian
Publisher: Ericella Press
Release Date: 26th May 2016

BLURB from Goodreads
They said it was extremely hard to get. They said it wasn't airborne. They said there was nothing to fear. They were wrong. Seventeen-year-old Elaan Woodson was supposed to be one of the lucky ones. She got one of the few spots in the subterranean protection unit designed to keep select scientists, military officials and their families safe from the deadly virus ravaging the world above. But, how lucky are you really when the people in charge and those you love keep secrets from you? While Elaan has heard that what you don't know can't hurt you, she's beginning to think otherwise. And she should...


I had seen this series before and had kept meaning to read it. After enjoying my previous read to this, which was also from this genre, I fancied another post apocalyptic/dystopian read and chose to begin this series.

I find the cover quite striking, from the dark blue stone like colour, hinting at the darkness and sparseness within the world Concealed is set in. Then there's the red image, logo or however you would personally describe it, which I'd say represents the virus. The byline of "They said we were safe. They were wrong"  fits the book perfectly and certainly draws you in wanting to know more. 

When you begin reading the book you are kind of on edge and unsure whether to believe the government rather like the characters in the book. It is a missionary, Mark Dayton who brings the mutated airborne version of the Helnoan back to the US. Sadly Mark is a "carrier" and is spreading Helnoan B far and wide with anyone he comes across in his day to day life dealing with parishoners etc. The general society are told everything is under control, whilst behind the scenes scientists, and certain members of the military, etc, are being gathered together and being placed underground, in either a Scientist Protection Complex or Special Protection Unit.  

There are two types of the virus the Helnoan and Helnoan B which is airborne. Both types Helnoan, and it's mutated Helnonan B make victims initially suffer, from a general feeling of being ill, followed by a fever. Victims of the original Helnoan virus rapidly become seriously ill, with symptoms such as vomiting, blood loss, bleeding from eyes, nose, ears and mouth. This is how the virus is so easily spread within the body fluids. The bodies of those who die from the virus need to be hermatically sealed and cremated to "kill" the virus.

 Not every single person is able to catch either virus. There are "immune's" who are totally safe from the virus and become a sought after commodity by those who wish to experiment as well as those who want to recreate a new world and re-populate it. Then there are "carriers" where the virus lays dormant until it comes into contact with someone else who has the virus and then they become "carriers" and actually unknowingly spread the virus to anyone they then come into contact with.

The main characters we follow in Concealed are 17 yr old Elaan Woodson, her 19yr old brother Elijah Jacob Woodson and their father and lead scientist Dr James Woodson. Another scientist, in fact the second in command is Dr Kingston Wells and his son Josh Wells and they all live alongside other lab workers, military personnel and their families in the smallest Scientist Protection Complex (SPC) with only 42 occupants and space left for others to join them. Though no one from "outside" or "above" ever comes inside the complex. It would be far too dangerous as they could be infected with either of the strains of the Helnoan Virus. Due to both men having lost their wives, Dr James Woodson and Dr Kingston Wells are determined to do their level best to protect their children no matter what.

Both scientists work well together and are equally eager to find the elusive cure or vaccine. 
This battle is quite personal for both the Woodson family and the Wells family as both have lost the mothers in their respective families. However they are completely different characters with Dr Kingston Wells, seems quite matter of fact about his wife's death, and having a "get on with life now" attitude. He is also forthright, at times both ignorant and somewhat arrogant, so not the best scientist to be working with or to be a lab technician for. Dr Kingston Wells also seems to have a rather strong disliking to Elaan. Could it be Dr Kingston is doesn't want his perfect boy fraternising with the likes of a mixed race girl such as Elaan, but then that can't be why, when he seems to have taken Lijah under his wing and regularly has Lijah help him in experiments as an unofficial lab technician/assistant.
Whereas Dr James Woodson is still deeply affected by Shonda Woodson's passing, he was a quieter man to begin with but now he is even more withdrawn, prefers to be alone in his grief for his wife. He is excellent at his job but at times fails to turn up to work and curiously Dr Kingston Wells covers up for him. If it is revealed James Woodson is falling behind on his important work both he and the remainder of his family would be thrown out of the SPC and be at the mercy of the virus.

There's so much going on in this book, both within the lines you visibly read to the possibilities of what could happen that you create yourself as you read the book from "between the line" using the actions and and the nuances you have already learnt about the individual characters and their unique personalities. Then there's all the things going on in the background that begin so tiny you don't notice the hints to them, that build up, become bigger and clearer and eventually unfold or in some cases burst free, and you literally say "wow didn't see that coming" or "hey, I thought that might happen!"
I am finding it really difficult to prevent myself from slipping and giving away any spoilers as well as trying to remember where one book ended and the other began as I read the whole series back to back, which is highly unusual for me to do! To say I was "gripped" or  "pulled" and "held" by this book (in fact the whole series) is a bit of an understatement. RJ Crayton really has you become attached to the characters, even the ones you enjoy dis-liking like Dr Kingston Wells. Something I don't usually do until I have finished a book is checkout other peoples opinions and/or reviews on it. I saw a lot of low star reviews for this one and I seriously have to say I totally disagree! The pace in the book is fast enough for you to read it and not become bored, yet slow enough to give you some "on the edge of your seat" moments.

Favourite characters are naturally the three teens, Elaan, Josh and Elijah. If I had to pick just the one I'd say Elijah, or Lijah as his family call him. I loved the way he was determined to protect his sister from getting hurt by Josh. Lijah knows something about Josh, that he has promised not to reveal, he thinks it's not his place to do so and that either Josh should not pursue a closer relationship with Elaan or he reveal the secret and let Elaan make an informed decision on whether to go ahead in a relationship with Josh. All this time (you realise later in the book, and most certainly in the series) that Lijah only ever has Elaan's best interests at heart. Elaan goes from thinking that Lijah is jealous as she has a love interest and there is no one suitable in the SPC for him. To thinking he doesn't want to see her happy again after losing their mum. At one point she also thinks that Lijah is gay and wants Joshua for himself!!! This is something I won't reveal as the whole story, misunderstandings, reasons for secrecy etc all unfold bit by bit in the book and end up totally explained within the series. The place this book finishes really has you sitting at the edge of your seat and perplexed at what will happen.

This book really had me thinking and asking questions all the way through as you can see in my Goodreads "diary" log, they ranged from: What is the secret that Josh can't tell Elaan that Elijah discovered?, What could be so bad that would make Elijah want Josh to stay away from Elaan? Could Elaan really be right about Elijah that he is gay and that he may have accidentally found out Josh is gay or bisexual too?" My immediate thoughts upon finishing Concealed BK1 in the Virus Series were . . A really good start to a possibly great series! Can't believe how it ended. Definitely left me with plenty of questions that need answering in the next book.  The most imminent question being Will “Boxcar-Willie” double cross the teenagers?  

Monday 19 June 2017


Title: Day 7
Series: Cell 7
Author: Kerry Drewery
Genre: Sci-Fi, Dystopian
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Release Date: 15th June 2017

BLURB from Goodreads
The tense and thrilling companion to Cell 7.

Martha Honeydew has been released from the terrifying Cell 7. But despite her new freedom, the corrupt judicial system is still tracking Martha's every move. And Isaac, her only trusted friend, is now imprisoned in the very same cells she was. Isaac saved Martha's life, it is only right she now saves his. 

But with Martha still a target, her chances of saving Isaac are remote. Martha begins to question whether it is ever possible to escape government scrutiny. 

Will Martha and Isaac ever reunite? 

Will they ever live in a better world?

Amazon US
Amazon UK

As I really enjoyed Cell 7 back in October 2016 and had read there was to be a follow up book by the name of Day 7 I had been excitedly awaiting it. I found Cell 7 to be really different to the other dystopian books out at the moment. In fact the society is quite futuristic but totally believable that there is a possibility that our own world could one day have a court and prison like the one featured in this book series. I'm eager to know where the book will pick up, where is Martha now? Can anyone help Isaac? Will Isaac be denied the one small concession of a human counselor or will he be one of the first to have to talk to a fully computerised counselor? 

The cover is as eye-catching as Cell 7, though this time the colour is green. In the centre of the "eye" or maybe a "camera lens" there is a tree. . . could that tree be a reference to the tree Martha used to try to catch a glimpse of during her incarceration. Maybe the tree represents the growth of something? Perhaps a banding together of those against this present justice system.

There is a brief prologue which picks up right where Cell 7 left off. Martha is being escorted from the studios after been let out of her cell. There's photographers flashing cameras and people taking pictures on their mobile phones and all Martha wants is for them to leave her alone to get her breath as she is naturally still stunned at being freed. She frantically grips the ring that Isaac gave her. Martha is now scared that Isaac will be given the death sentence and if that happens Martha feels part of her will die along with him too.

The TV programme set up is still fairly similar to that in Cell 7. They use the same "Buzz for Justice" eye logo. The audience seats are as usual full to capacity already. There is a slightly raised witness box as well as an area for three panelists, each with their own large blue buzzer in front of them. 
The first offender is brought in, Gus Evans, who was previously given a second chance. Gus has only been free for 7 days! Kristina the presenter in her perfect grey pin stripe suit and pale blue blouse introduces Gus, then shows some CCTV footage that firstly shows him holding a banner saying "one person, one vote" then it shows the demonstration getting out of control and shows Gus with his hands on an overturned car. Once CCTV footage is seen by the audience at home and in the studio along with the panelists Gus is given 30 seconds to protest and say why he is innocent, but 30 seconds is not very long and it seems by the time Gus works out something to say his time is up! Kristina reads out what punishment Gus will have if found guilty and then goes straight to the three panelists who decide whether Gus is guilty or not. The first panelist is Ava, a pensioner who has always wanted to appear on TV,the second panelist is Sadiq, a male interested in getting into the music industry and finally Candice who wants to become an actress. So all panelists are really there for their own purposes and agenda, irregardless of the case they will vote on. How fair can a trio of panelists be if one of them can be swayed by the offer of an audition in return for a press of the guilty buzzer?!

So as you will have read the last book you will know that it is Isaac in the Cells. Martha has been released and gone with the only people she knows and trusts, Eve, Cicero and Max but it soon has to come to an end as the government, in particular Prime Minister Stephen Rennard want Martha locked away in some sort of institution where she will not have a voice. In fact in some parts of the book you realise that the Prime Minister will stop at nothing to shut up anyone that speaks out against any of his policies or ideas. The Prime Minister is very crafty and can spin things to suit his own ends. 
A character I really loved is killed in this book and though the Prime Minister didn't wield the knife that killed her, he may as well have. It seems in this book that no one is safe!

Whilst Isaac is going through exactly what Martha did. He has to endure his own experience and think of how did Martha cope. Isaac has no outside contact at all, he doesn't have Eve as a counsellor like Martha. The new counselling is in effect so Isaac has to speak to a computer. When he asks questions he is warned that he will forfeit is right to counselling. 

Once again it is Eve, Cicero and Max trying to help Martha get Isaac out. Max tries the ways he helped with getting the public on board. They think it will be easier to get people on their side because of them showing the video and paperwork that belonged to Jackson which showed corruption by many celebrities and officials. Unfortunately, all the evidence has been disposed of and removed from the internet. Also the way Max hacked into the system has been made more secure. Not only are they up against that but the media is determined to discredit Martha saying she should not be free even though she was proven totally innocent.

Isaac is subjected to the whole voting for justice and along with his supporters come up against the whole Guilty/Black or Not Guilty/White, there is no grey in between. Even though Isaac only shot his father because Jackson was putting the young woman he loved in danger. Jackson would have killed Martha, had Isaac not shot him. But as the TV programmers promote their show as an eye for an eye no one seems to want to hear the reasons behind Isaac's actions. In fact, the TV programme became so popular in the first book of this series, that there is both a daytime and nighttime edition.

I feel like its two steps forward, then one step back for those helping Martha. They have to be extremely careful as they are being watched and anything that could be classed as or turned into a possible crime is! At times in the book Martha and her group feel like the whole world is against them, and I certainly felt that way when reading the book. They do have some mystery helpers a couple of times in the book.

Of course there are still the 'haves' and 'have nots'. The have not's live in the Rises where Martha comes from and the haves live in the large posh houses such as the one Isaac comes from. There is still the injustice that not everyone can afford to vote, though the Prime Minister has come up with the idea of giving every person living in the Rises a mobile phone so that they can vote on the show that forms this societies legal system. I honestly had a similar reaction to a certain character in the book. How can those in the Rises vote, even if given a mobile phone it will still cost them money to vote. a mobile phone with no credit is no good! Then later in the book, you discover the actual real reason that the Prime Minister wants everyone to have a mobile phone.

The end of the book is good, not what I expected. I obviously can't say the ending as that would be a big spoiler. How the book ends it could be the final ending, but personally I think there is so much potential for a spin off series maybe, or a continuation of this series where those characters still alive could form some sort of rebellion against the black and white law rulings on TV. The other small thing that irritated me a little was the Prime Minister's surname being Rennard, as I was watching the Grimm series on TV and one of the characters in that has the surname Rennard. I know, total weird coincidence, but every time I thought of the Prime Minister I thought of the character in Grimm too. The strange thing is I kind of have a dislike for both characters.

My favourite character in this book just has to be Mrs Lydia Barkova, the lady who lives next door to Martha in the Rises. The one with all the superstitions and sayings and has ended up being a substitute mother to Martha after her own mother was killed in a hit and run accident. I felt sorry for Mrs Barkova as it was her son, Oliver that was blamed for the hit and run. He was tried on the Death Is Justice TV show and found guilty and killed. Martha, Mrs Barklova and many people from the rises knew it wasn't Oliver but he was the one that the police and authorities wanted to pin it on. In fact we found out in Cell 7 that it was Jackson Paige who killed both Martha's mother and Isaac's mother. This man has quite literally gotten away with murder on numerous occasions.

The other character I ended up quite liking even though when you read the book yourselves you may not necessarily like her much to begin with was Sofia. She wasn't mentioned as much as some of the other characters were, but she does play an important part in this book and could become a more central character if there is a book three - which I hope there is. I want the society in Cell 7 and Day 7 to realise neither the old judicial system was right but that neither is the present one.

I totally loved every page of Cell 7, and I really enjoyed this one too. The beginning of the Day 7 felt a little slow paced for my taste, especially in comparison to Cell 7. Day 7 has the tension builds up more gradually. Once the tension built a little more I began to be pulled into the plot more. Day 7 gives a little more background on some of the other characters, such as TV presenter Joshua Decker. In fact his character did surprise me a little towards the end of the book.

My thoughts as I finished reading Day 7 were: Could there be a book three? Please tell me there's more to come from this dystopian/futuristic society? There's so much more, there has to be!

Thursday 15 June 2017


Title: Motherhood, Martyrdom & Costco Ads
Author: Whitney Dineen
Genre: Humour, Parenting & Families
Publisher: 33 Partners & Publishing
Release Date: 15th May 2017

BLURB from Goodreads
Join bestselling romantic comedy author, Whitney Dineen, as she discovers the three Es of parenting:
• Exhilarating—when you first discover you’re pregnant.
• Exhausting—when you realize you’ll most likely never sleep again--like EVER.
• Explosive—OMG these kids spew from both ends!
And that’s just the beginning. Whitney shares the ridiculous highs and excruciating lows of her catapult into motherhood. Enjoy the ride as this new mom vows to give up profanity while falling in love with… you guessed it, Costco. Be careful, because if you’re anything like Whitney, you may just pee a little.
Motherhood Martyrdom & Costco Runs takes the reader on a roller coaster of emotions as Whitney plummets into postpartum depression, desperately tries to get her kids to stop yodeling in public restrooms, and comes to terms with the fact she’ll never quite be queen of her own kingdom. Get ready to laugh, cry, cheer, and pat yourself on the back for the sake of mommies everywhere. And while you’re at it, stop by Costco for a case of toilet paper and a Very Berry Sundae. You won’t regret it!


I was looking forward to a fun, light hearted read with this book. After reading the blurb I was interested to learn how Whitney coped with the "the three Es of parenting.

I think the cover really sets the fun tone for the book. It shows Whitney dressed in her business suit with a pair of goggles and a cape whilst posing as a superhero! The background is a Costco store (not that I have been in one) though I know it is a trade warehouse store.

The genres on Netgalley for this book are humour, and parenting & families, and I think the book fits those genres perfectly. Its the kind of book you can shove in your handbag and read as you travel to work on the bus or train. The anecdotes and stories are presented as chapters/vignettes so it is all delivered in fairly small bite sized pieces. 

So Whitney Dineen is a "normal" everyday person like you and I. Whitney had suffered miscarriages before the birth of her daughter Margery, and then once again suffered a miscarriage before having her second daughter called Hope. There is a little more background about Whitney where she discusses miscarriage, pregnancy tests such as amniocentesis, disabled children and abortion. I found myself engrossed in her opinions and I totally agree with them, The medical profession seriously takes your opinion for granted, they presume far too much for liking! I think Whitney is the sort of person I would certainly be a friend with! Whitney actually says in the book that she hopes we enjoy the laughs, tears, and eye-rolls her stories will give us. So as i have already said Whitney suffered miscarriages so ended up being a middle-aged mum rather than the hip young mum that all her children's friends would love too! Instead she ended up being a mum for the first time at age forty. Whitney was scared she would be labelled an old mum or may even get mistaken for her off-springs grandparent at the school gate. As it turned out her children's parents vary between age 32 to 52 and no matter the age they still have the same issues. Lets admit it we all dream of a clean spotless, nothing out of place home, we can all feel over tired and end up screaming at the children when they don't do as we ask within the first three times of asking!

I guess I should share a couple of her funny situations. . . I loved how when she tried to explain the 70's and 80's to her young children saying there was no dollar store (pound shop for us in the UK), no home computer, no games or apps etc. The first thing her five year old daughter says is If there's no home computer how did you print off colouring pages!

Another thing I can totally empathise with Whitney on is when she talks about 'finding the balance' she estimates her real needs such as needing 36 hours per day, and 9.7 days in a week to be the type of wife, daughter, mother, writer,and friend successfully. It's either that or she needs two clones, a cleaning lady and a cook!

A couple of phrases she uses which made me smile and think yes I totally identify with were 'If you do touch much for others and don't do for yourself, you'll wither on the vine'
and 'Me time is mythical like unicorns and fairies'. Like all mums Whitney has realised she can only do her best.

Another major part in the book that made me laugh was the different upbringings herself and her husband had. Whitney basically calls it like it is, whereas her husband is more reserved and refers to 'girls parts' and 'boys parts' , her children have decided on using "front door" or "back door". Then whilst out one day one of the children refers to cleavage as a "book crack". 

This book really does have you giggling and literally laughing out loud. I really don't want to share anymore of the stories or expand on the ones I have mentioned as I think it would spoil your own reading experience. There is so much more in the book.

My first thoughts on finishing this book were this book was such fun to read, it felt more like having a chat with a friend! It really does have you laughing out loud. It is a very easy book to dip in and out of so great for journeys to and from places. The perfect book to have in your handbag (as a paperback) on your kindle, or on your phone. You certainly won't be bored with this book ready to whip out and read as much or little as you wish. 

Monday 12 June 2017


Title: The Human Wilderness
Series: New America Trilogy
Author: S.H. Livernois
Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror
Release Date: 5th March 2017

Blurb from Goodreads
Would you face monsters for the ones you love? 

There are no people left on Earth, except Eli Stentz and seventy-five others. They hide within the steel walls of a settlement called Hope, tormented by a horde of soulless, mutated humans who howl at their doorstep day and night. The survivors call them zombies, but the name doesn't quite fit. 

The world belongs to them now -- the Parasites. 

One day, a stranger emerges from this void with tales of survival and horror. Eli can't believe his eyes -- this man shouldn't be alive. Six years ago, humanity succumbed to a mysterious epidemic and civilization collapsed. Society never recovered, leaving the post-apocalyptic landscape a barren, dangerous wilderness. 

So why would this stranger kidnap one of Hope's children? And why Lily, a girl Eli loves like a daughter? Plagued by these questions, he has no choice but to face the monsters outside Hope's walls to rescue her and bring her home. But he doesn't expect the mystery lurking in the wilderness. 

For the world isn't empty after all -- there are more settlements. Most have abandoned American democracy, embracing a more dystopian way of life. And they are connected by a disturbing conspiracy. 

But Eli has other monsters to fight. For outside Hope's walls are the memories of his violent past. After all, no one lives through the apocalypse without getting blood on their hands. Eli knows that better than anyone. 


As I said at the end of my review for Among The Monsters, I picked this book up and read a couple of chapters straightaway. The prequel had certainly pulled me into the book setting and made me want to read more about it's characters.

I think the cover of this book is really good how it is showing "sides" for the characters contained in the book. On one side or above there are some survivors within the wilderness in silhouette. One of the silhouette's is a woman, the others I'd say (after reading the book) are male. In fact I think the humans on the cover are Eli, Frank and Jane as they do go on a "missions" together in the book, outside the safety of their settlement. Below are silhouettes of broken, deformed humans that have become infected and transformed into parasites.
In my opinion the prequel book cover and the cover for  this book fit well and certainly gel together as a series. 

The byline/beginning of the blurb really sums up the society we are about to read about in a few sentences. "It's a dangerous world. No laws. Few People. Herds of the infected. Among them; one missing child and one man who'll do anything to rescue her". It really is a fantastic description in a nutshell of the book.

As this book is part of a series, of course it is labelled similarly to Among The Monsters, as Horror and Zombies on Goodreads. However I would add this book/series to the following genres, Post apocalyptic, and Dystopian.

As I've said it was quite late at night when I finished the prequel but couldn't resist starting this one. Originally my intention was to read one chapter. . . I ended up reading two!
I did find this book a slightly slower read to get into to and was initially really disappointed that it didn't pick up where the prequel ended, or follow the main characters featured in Among The Monsters. I do feel that the prequel set the scene and background for the rest of this series, but there was the niggle I wanted to know what had happened to Rebecca, where Martha had taken her.

The first characters we meet in The Human Wilderness are Eli Stenz and Squirrel (Allen James Twoomie) both are residents in a settlement called rather ironically "Hope". Eli and Squirrel are out hunting for meat for the other people in Hope. Everyone that lives in Hope has a job to do, Eli's and Squirrel's jobs are to hunt for food and to kill parasites if they see them too. They usually keep fairly close together as two sets of eyes and ears are better than one for hearing any approaching parasites. As one bite or scratch from a parasite is enough for you to become infected and turn into a parasite yourself. This is also the reason both men have every inch of their skin covered with thick material or leather strapping to protect their skin from coming into contact with anything infected. Strangely as Eli is checking out the deer they have killed for the 6 year anniversary celebration of Hope being created but Squirrel seems to have disappeared. The men meet back up but before they can quickly retreat to Hope, unfortunately Squirrel ends up being caught by the parasites, Eli is close by and attempts to kill the parasite before it bites Squirrel but he is a second too late. Now Eli faces returning to Hope, having to tell Squirrels family and the other residents what happened, that though no one from Hope has been infected for two years, Squirrel has and is dead! People are busy with preparations for the anniversary celebration, and don't take the news very well. In fact some of the residents of Hope blame Eli.  They were already wary of him as compared to everyone else as Eli is still considered a newcomer. As Eli is a bit of a loner it gives people an excuse to think the worst of him and view him as an outsider. The people Eli does get along with are Jane, the Doctor who nursed him when he first arrived at Hope with numerous gun shot wounds. Eli also gets along well with Frank, his wife and their adopted family. 
As the community is grieving, once again Eli feels guilty as though it should have been him scratched or bitten, not Squirrel aka Allen James Twoomie who has a wife Lauren and family. The community rally around Lauren but its clear to see that they wish the one infected and dead is Eli, the quiet loner who's past they don't know. Instead of an original founding resident of Hope, that Allen James Twoomie was.
Later in the book we learn that Franks adopted daughter Lily has disappeared. Naturally Franks first thought is to go after her and he asks for people to go with him. Sadly the community attitude is if Lily is on the outside of Hope's walls if she isn't dead already she will be soon! In the end it's Eli, Frank and the Doctor Jane that go in search of Lily. They come across parasites, and even survivors pretending to be parasites, trying to steal what little food and weapons they are carrying.

So we follow Eli, Frank and Jane as they try to follow the tracks left by Lily and whoever the larger footprints belong to. Lily is quite clever as she leaves strands from her friendship bracelet for her family to find and to help guide them to her. 
We learn about Eli's dark and violent past. How he has killed when ordered to. Eli is determined to get Lily back even if it means allowing the inner monster that he has pushed deep inside himself to hide it, out once again. Eli is prepared to do whatever it takes. He has killed before and is willing to kill again if it means getting Lily back.

After a turbulent journey Eli finds out who Lily is being taken to, a woman called Olive who lives in Grants Hill. However Olive is only collecting the girls and supposedly keeping them safe for "the saviour". By this time in his arduous journey, and having a little more insight into what the girls are being used for by Olive and her army of men, Eli is determined to save all the girls or as many as possible.

The Saviour turns out to be a face from the past that Eli would really rather have not seen ever again. The Saviour is from Eli's past when he killed to order with no question. Will the Saviour recognise Eli? and take this opportunity to have revenge?

There's so much happening in this book, it's action packed really. I found this book to be a fast read. Seriously I read this one late into the night, I didn't want to put it down. I still have questions from this book about exactly what the Saviour intends to do with the girls as it certainly seem it isn't the same as what Olive has used them for. I am also looking forward to delving even more into Eli's history. I hope the next book tells more of the girls stories and we catch up with the girls we met in the prequel. Other things I'd be interested in knowing are related to the the questions the characters ask each other about the parasites. I'd like discover if parasites have any senses left such as smell and touch? Do they remember who they were before? Do they have emotions? Do they feel pain? etc

My immediate final thoughts upon finishing this book were that this book was a great dystopian/post apocalyptic and I am already looking forward to reading bk2 when it's available.


Could you tell us a little about The Human Wilderness Bk1 in your A New America Trilogy?
This is the first book I've written, and I began developing it in 2014. That year I decided to try NaNoWriMo (an annual writing competition that challenges new writers to write a book in a month) and I wrote and finished a post-apocalyptic novel that will never see the light of day. It wasn't very good, and I actually lost my original manuscript (which was probably a good thing) when my portable hard drive up and quit. That inspired me to rethink the story completely. Around the same time, I finally started watching The Walking Dead, and after a couple months serious binge-watching, I decided I wanted to write my own zombie apocalypse story. But I wanted to do it better; I just didn't think the "Walkers" were very threatening.  So I began brainstorming. It took a few incarnations before I came up with the story that became The Human Wilderness. I basically learned how to write a novel, while writing that book, so it took a while. Thank God for patient editors.
I am yet to watch The Walking Dead, I keep saying I am going to then getting distracted by other things instead.

Was the prequel “Among The Monsters” written before Bk1 in your A New America Series? Will there be any more novellas to go with this Trilogy?
The prequel was actually written after I'd finished The Human Wilderness. I wanted to create a story that could act as an invitation into the world I'd created, with the hope that it would encourage readers to pick up the book. I'd brainstormed many different prequel stories -- one from the perspective of a Parasite, another featuring Quinn -- but I kept going back to Rebecca. She's an interesting character and one who will be more prevalent in book two as a formidable antagonist, which is why I wanted to feature her story in the prequel.
Yes, I hope to write more short stories/novellas for this trilogy. I'd like to write something that can be published between book one and two, and also between book two and three, as a way to both offer readers different perspectives into the story and to keep people entertained while they wait for the second book.
I was wanting to read The Human Wilderness but the reason I read Aomng The Monsters first was so I could get a feel for the society etc.

Would you also tell us a little bit about the A New America Trilogy as a whole?
I don't want to give away too much, but the trilogy is meant to explore the idea of what happens between the end of civilization and its rebuilding as a dystopian regime. So many post-apocalyptic movies and novels envision the America of the future as being a dystopia. I wanted to write a story about how society gets to that point.

Where did you get your book plot ideas from for the A New America Trilogy? What/Who is your inspiration?
I'm not really sure where my ideas come from, honestly. I do a lot of brainstorming and really try to logically work out where a story will go next. I follow my instincts and ask questions, and see where that leads. But the initial story idea, for the most part, seems to just arise into my mind without much work. This story was a little different. I set out to specifically write a post-apocalyptic story, because the genre is fascinating  to me. That's where I started, and I just asked questions and brainstormed until I had a plot.

Do you basic plot/plan for each individual book in turn through the series before you actually begin writing any of it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story on a book by book basis?
I outline extensively before I write a single word. I actually consider the outline a first draft, because it's so detailed, and this is always reviewed by an editor. That way, the story is pretty much complete by the time I start writing; I cannot write any other way. If there are problems, rearranging a story is far too difficult after the story has been written. When I wrote Book One, I had a pretty solid idea of what I wanted Book Two to be like, so I could outline and write accordingly. And now that I've pretty much finished outlining Book Two, I have a solid idea of where I want Book Three to go. And I know how the entire trilogy will end. I think many people misunderstand outlining and think that it stifles creativity, but I feel it's just the opposite. Outlining is fun because it's so free. I let my ideas take me where they need to flow in the outlining stage. When the writing starts, there's still a lot of improvisation, because the characters start taking on their roles and moving across the page, and though they have specific steps to take, they still follow it in their own way.

How did you come up with the Title’s and Cover Designs for your A New America Trilogy (including Among The Monsters”)? Do you have a lot of input into the process?
I tried to come up with a title in a methodical way, but it didn't work at all. Eventually, like my writing process, the title just popped into my head. The cover for Among the Monsters was my own design, and I had a vague idea of what I wanted it to look like. Same with the cover for the book -- I had vision of what it would look like. However, the cover was too important to tackle myself, so I reached out to a cover designer; the cover was pre-made, but for extra cost I could suggest tweaks, which I did. The final product is the result.
I love both covers!

Could you give a rough release schedule and titles of the other books in the A New America Trilogy?

I just finished the outline for Book Two and it's with my editor. Depending on how many changes she suggests, I'd like to start writing it next month. It could take me four months or so to write (I do have a full time job). Hopefully that puts me on track to have Book Two done by the end of the year. I'd expect a similar schedule for Book Three -- published by the end of next year. However, that's a very loose schedule, and there's another project I'd like to start during that time as well.
I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the rest of the New America Trilogy series, as I loved both Among The Monsters and The Human Wilderness! Thankyou for taking the time for take part in this Interview! ~Jeanz