Friday, July 31, 2015

Please welcome Andy Weir author of The MARTIAN




























Usually I write a little blurb here - a total lie about me meeting up with the author doing the interview even though I do these via email - but I can't even... I'm still trying to wrap my head around the fact that Andy replied to my email. Yay!

Okay. Let's see what Andy has to say about reading, writing, and zombies!


It’s the zombie apocalypse and writers have got to stick together to survive. Pick 3 authors to be on your zombie apocalypse killing team and tell us why you’d choose them.
Andy says: Stephen King: He knows how best to survive in a horror landscape
Hugh Howey: He’s an avid and skilled sailor. Best place to be in a zombie apocalypse is the ocean
George R. R. Martin: Because the fanbase will still insist on more A Song of Ice and Fire, even after the apocalypse.
Meredith says: Interesting, these are the top 3 authors picked for this question. I'm glad you didn't reserve George for bait like some other authors have - you know who you are. But the ocean... hmmm... according to Max Brooks (World War Z) zombies can live under the water and pull themselves up on the anchor line. I think Hugh could take on a few zombies though, he does push-ups and stuff.


If Stephen King and J. K. Rowling were drowning in a river, who would you save first? And now you have to tell us why.
Andy says: J.K. Rowling. She’s younger, so I’m saving more years of human life. (I always go with whoever’s younger when people ask me a question like that).


We authors are voracious readers. My TBR list is approximately 8 miles long. What are you currently reading?
Andy says: I just started “The Bone Clocks” by David Mitchell.


What is the one book that you could read a million times and never get bored with?
Andy says: “I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov.


Last year my favorite read was The Martian by Andy Weir. What was your best read of 2014?
Andy says: I really enjoyed “What If” by Randall Munroe.


This year my favorite read has been The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. What’s the best book you’ve read so far in 2015?
Andy says: Tough one. I’ll go with “The Fold” by Peter Clines.


You’re a writer by day and a superhero by night. (Take off those geeky glasses Superman) What’s your superpower?
Andy says: Teleportation. I’ve always wanted to be able to teleport instantly to anywhere in the world. Like in the book “Jumper”.
Meredith says: I've always said I'd teleport myself to someplace without traffic, most likely a beach.


I have writing spots all over my house: my desk, my couch, the patio, and my bed. Where’s your favorite spot to write?
Andy says: My desk. Boring, I know. I have a tower, not a laptop. So that’s where my computer is.


We’re supposed to love all of our children equally, but there are some scenes I’ve written that really stick out in my mind. Tell us your favorite scene from your book ​The Martian.
Andy says: I really liked the launch of Iris (the resupply probe that fails). I think the scene came together really well and I’m pretty sure I caught a lot of readers off-guard when the booster failed.
Meredith says: I was caught off guard. I had so much hope and then... boom.


Sometimes a little too much of myself slips into my characters. Which one of your characters most resembles you?
Andy says: Oh, definitely Mark Watney.


I’ve always got tunes rocking while I’m writing. Tell us five songs that are on your playlist.
Andy says: Actually, I can’t write with distractions like that. I’ve tried, but I just can’t concentrate with music, so I need silence.


If you could tell an aspiring author one tiny tidbit of information, what would you say?
Andy says:
1) You have to actually write. Daydreaming about the book you’re going to write someday isn’t writing. It’s daydreaming. Open your word processor and start writing.
2) Resist the urge to tell friends and family your story. I know it’s hard because you want to talk about it and they’re (sometimes) interested in hearing about it. But it satisfies your need for an audience, which diminishes your motivation to actually write it. Make a rule: The only way for anyone to ever hear about your stories is to read them.
3) This is the best time in history to self-publish. There’s no old-boy network between you and your readers. You can self-publish an ebook to major distributors (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.) without any financial risk on your part.




Connect with Andy Weir






(This is the famous Andy Weir. Idolize him - or at least read his awesome book)







Monday, July 27, 2015

Please welcome Maggie Toussaint (writing as Rigel Carson) author of G-1 (Guardian of the Earth, Book 1)




For this interview, I met Maggie on the northern tip of our square earth, where the view of apocalyptic devastation is at its best. We had a nice squirrel infused tea and talked about zombies, reading, and writing!


1. It’s the zombie apocalypse and writers have got to stick together to survive. Pick 3 authors to be on your zombie apocalypse killing team and tell us why you’d choose them.
Maggie says: I loved the concept of John Scalzi’s book, Red Shirts, a spoof on the Star Trek regime. When things went wrong in the story, a character found a way to visit the writer and have him rewrite the ending. I’d love to have a writer rework the ending of the zombie apocalypse. Can’t you just see a zombie apocalypse story ending with “and they all lived happily ever after?” ((serious snort))
I’d go with Kindle Scout winner Neal Wooten and his pack of Pit Bulls from Pit Bulls vs Aliens. Nothing like safety in numbers.
I’d also take along my good friend Polly Iyer. Another Kindle Scout winner with Indiscretion, Polly isn’t afraid of tough topics. She could write her way out of anything while I was working on food fight scenes.
Meredith says: I think we're a pretty cool group to hang out with. When the zombie apocalypse hits, I'm going to go looking for my fellow Scout authors.
Maggie says: Yeah, the Kindle Scout crowd certainly believes that an imagination would be a terrible thing to waste.


2. If Stephen King and J. K. Rowling were drowning in a river, who would you save first? And now you have to tell us why.
Maggie says: I’d reach for JK Rowling first. She’s one of my favs. I figure even the river would be scared of Stephen King, so he’d be safe a bit longer.
Meredith says: Hahahaha! I just laughed out loud.
Maggie says: Hey, the man’s got a rep, what can I say? How nice it would be to have such recognizable name branding!


3. We authors are voracious readers. My TBR list is approximately 8 miles long. What are you currently reading?
Maggie says: I’m just finishing up 3 Women Walk into a Bar by fellow Georgian Linda Sands. Her depth of characterization is impressive. Linda is another Kindle Scout winner, and I’m delighted by the choices Kindle Scout is making acquisition wise. I currently have 4 more books to be read on my Kindle, a book on backorder, and a stack of paperbacks waiting for “one day.”
Meredith says: I read '3 Women' and it was awesome!



4. What is the one book that you could read a million times and never get bored with?
Maggie says: My absolute favorite author of all time Jayne Ann Krentz writes under 3 identities. I’ve reread all of her books multiple times, allegedly for craft, though I get sucked into the story every danged time. (How does she do that? Is she my kryptonite?) My favorite opening of hers is from Soft Focus. Check it out on Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature.
Meredith says: Nice! I'll have to check out Jayne.




5. Last year my favorite read was The Martian by Andy Weir. What was your best read of 2014?
Maggie says: What year is it now? Seriously, they all run together. Let me check my reviews… Okay. Got it. Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick. An intrepid woman explorer saves a scientist/spy’s life only to discover she’s got a target on her back.
Meredith says: Ooooh, sound interesting. As a fellow science geek, I love sciency reads.
Maggie says: I saw on your bio or somewhere that biochemistry was your thing. I ended up doing a lot of biochem in my science career, but it was sure hard in college. That and microbiology nearly did me in. My final for micro: define metabolism (and she didn’t mean the definition).


6. This year my favorite read has been The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. What’s the best book you’ve read so far in 2015?
Maggie says: I’ve been really busy in 2015, but from my meager list, I chose The Atlantis Gene by AG Riddle. In this book an evolution scientist and a secret agent pair up to discover the Atlantis Gene. (Did I mention I was a scientist in a former life? I’m such a sucker for stories featuring scientists, which is why I finally wrote a series with a scientist as a lead character…)
Meredith says: I'm the same way! Also, I have The Atlantis Gene in my stack of TBR books. I have been following - and completely envious of - AG Riddle's writing career, his start from indie to the big screen is inspiring.
Maggie says: Inspiring is right. These things happen, that’s the miracle for indie writers and newbies today. It’s a new world out there, that’s for sure.


7. You’re a writer by day and a superhero by night. (Take off those geeky glasses Superman) What’s your superpower?
Maggie says: Every person with superpowers seems to have the goal of saving the world. I’d love to have the superpower to make people get along and behave. That’d save the world faster than anything.
Meredith says: I like that. Just behave, people!
Maggie says: Cool! We’re on the same wavelength.


8. I have writing spots all over my house: my desk, my couch, the patio, and my bed. Where’s your favorite spot to write?
Maggie says: A little Magic Eraser will get all those spots out… Oh all right. I’ll get serious. I have an office, but lately I’ve discovered the pluses of the recliner in the living room. Comfy and a tad warmer.
Meredith says: I don't judge. I like being warm when I'm writing. I get angry when I'm cold.
Maggie says: Hmm. Maybe when I’m writing a tense scene I should see if being cold makes the writing stronger. Thanks for the tip.



9. We’re supposed to love all of our children equally, but there are some scenes I’ve written that really stick out in my mind. Tell us your favorite scene from your book G-1, Guardian of Earth series book 1.
Maggie says: Partway through G-1, Zeke is incarcerated but he manages to MacGyver himself out of jeopardy. I love how he refused to give in when all the chips were stacked against him. He fought against an incredible multi-pronged attack to keep him isolated and out of circulation – and he beat the odds. This is a point in the book where Zeke really starts taking charge of his future, where he turns his curiosity and intellect to more real world problems. This is where his destiny and the world’s becomes startlingly apparent.
Meredith says: Sounds awesome. G-1 is on my to-read list, btw.
Maggie says: I am tickled pink that it’s on your horizon. Writing science stuff was easy for me, but writing it at a basic level was a challenge. So far, the reviews have been positive that a) the science is right and b) the geekiness factor doesn’t overwhelm the story vehicle. That was my aim, in any event.


10. Sometimes a little too much of myself slips into my characters. Which one of your characters most resembles you?
Maggie says: I invest a little of myself in every character, but I would be dead wrong if I told you I was my lead character, Dr. Zeke Landry. He’s like off the charts smart. I’m more like Jessie, the older sister of pop star Queen Bea. Jessie is trained as a scientist, but she’s got a lot of walking around sense too. Turns out I admire that in a person.
Meredith says: We science people are just alike.
Maggie says: I have a bit of klutziness and at one time a guy I knew nicknamed me as Grace because of it. I wonder what my medical examiner will say about my poor toes. I bet I’ve stubbed them a kazillion times. I blame the klutziness on the focusing factor. When I’m focused on something, I don’t think of anything else. I become totally absorbed. That’s great for my focal point, not always so great for dinner, etc.



11. I’ve always got tunes rocking while I’m writing. Tell us five songs that are on your playlist.
Maggie says: Now you are going to find out how repressed I am. No music while writing. No noise at all. I’ve got to be able to hear all the voices in my head, you see.
But I play instrumental music on Pandora for editing. I really like this cello version of Royals but I’m blanking on the group’s name.
We have traveling music for the car. Yes, I’m one of those crazy women you see singing their way up and down the interstate. Playlist includes Jimmy Buffet’s greatest hits, Blind Boys of Alabama, classic oldies from the 60s/70s, and of course, Stairway to Heaven.
Meredith says: I love that so many of my fellow scouters listen to cello compilations. I used to play the cello! I was never very good at it though. So, I haven't heard the cello version of Royals so I googled it and if we're talking about the same compilation, I LOVE it!! 
And there's nothing wrong with singing in the car. I blast my stereo and belt it out on my way home from work each morning.
Maggie says: Yes! That’s the one (or an unplugged version of it). It’s so catchy. BTW, one of my kids briefly played the cello, until she found out she had to lug it back and forth to school, then she switched to flute. I love the deep resonant sound. It fills me with joy to hear those notes.


12. If you could tell an aspiring author one tiny tidbit of information, what would you say?
Maggie says: Develop thick skin. This is a business where everyone likes to take a shot at you.
Meredith says: A yes, thick skin is a must. Or stainless steel suit of armor would work.
Maggie says: Wouldn’t it be nice if those protective coatings would make us more immune to bad reviews or rejection letters? But I have a thought about that. Those lows make the highs all the sweeter.




Connect with Maggie/Rigel!



(Maggie's into science, she's cool in my book)

____________________________________________________


BIO: From her youthful days of tree climbing and dreams of flying to her career days of pocket-protector geekiness as a toxicologist, Southern author Maggie Toussaint remains riveted by a good story. As a book aficionado, she put into practice what she’d learned and began penning novels. She’s multi-published in mystery, romantic suspense, and science fiction. Dime If I Know, a Cleopatra Jones mystery, won the 2014 Silver Falchion Award for Best Mystery, while her romances claimed top honors in Romantic Suspense from the National Readers’ Choice Award and the EPIC eBook Award. More at www.maggietoussaint.com and www.rigelcarson.com  




Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins



This book holds secrets.
There's a lot of darkness. Lots of wondering about what goes on behind closed doors. People wondering about how much they really know a person. And why is this woman riding on a train day after day after day?
And then everything starts getting pieced together via the thoughts of a drunk, an serial adulterer, and a... narcissistic adulterer.
I guess at the end all I have to say is: Don't marry someone you don't know well.
And now lets talk about the sanctity of marriage. Why oh why must everyone be an adultering whore? Why can't people just get married and not sleep around?

I've read a lot of reviews where TGOTT has been compared to Gone Girl.
They're both thrillers but unique in their own way.
By the time I got done reading Gone Girl, the characters morphed throughout the book into people I couldn't stand.
In TGOTT, I couldn't stand the bad people throughout the entire book. I was sad for Rachel, but the rest of the characters were... well, you'll have to read it and find out for yourself.

It was a good read.
But the adultery turned me off big time.
3.8 stars

PS : I always wonder to myself why books like these sell so well. Is it the thrill, the mystery, the drama of crumbling marriages and secrets kept between spouses? Am I the last human on the planet with an ounce of morality?


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

New Release Tuesday

Happy Book Birthday to fellow KindleScout author 
Monte Dutton

His novel Crazy of Natural Causes releases today!



Facebook posts


really, it's the worst.

Posted by M. R. Pritchard on Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday, July 20, 2015

Please welcome Joshua Jacobs author of The Withering







I caught up with Joshua after he got back from vacation. I was insanely jealous because... he went on vacation.
Let's see what Joshua had to say about zombies, reading, and writing. 


1. It’s the zombie apocalypse and writers have got to stick together to survive. Pick 3 authors to be on your zombie apocalypse killing team and tell us why you’d choose them.
Joshua says: Stephen King, Neal Shusterman, and George R.R. Martin. I would pick the first two because of the extensive list of diverse books they’ve penned. Their imagination is boundless, and their creativity is sure to help us get out of bad situations. I would pick George R.R. Martin simply because he’s a man who clearly knows how to do the dirty work, which in a zombie apocalypse is going to be essential. Stephen, Neal, and I would have to be wary, though, or George might kill us off when we least expect it…
Meredith says: I feel like George knows how to make people die when you least expect it. That could come in handy.
Joshua says: Or come back to bite me in the ass!
Meredith says: Literally. Like, by a zombie...


2. If Stephen King and J. K. Rowling were drowning in a river, who would you save first? And now you have to tell us why.
Joshua says: Stephen King. And this is no hate toward J.K. Rowling. I’m a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, but I still read and enjoy the books Stephen King continues to write. I wish I could say the same about J.K. Rowling’s work. Now if she wanted to write a prequel to the series…
Meredith says: I haven't read any of her other stuff. But a prequel would be kinda cool. I was a Stephen King fan before I was a Rowling fan. The first book I bought for myself was 'Bag of Bones' and it continues to be one of my favorite books. I think I've read it about 20 times.
Joshua says: I’ll have to read ‘Bag of Bones.’ I’ve seen the movie, and as everyone knows, Stephen King movies leave a lot to be desired.
Meredith says: You're supposed to read the book first, Joshua. Always read the book first. (I'm joking! I've watched the movie first on more than a few good reads) I feel like the ‘Bag of Bones’ movie barely hinted at the great parts of the book, as usual.

3. We authors are voracious readers. My TBR list is approximately 8 miles long. What are you currently reading?
Joshua says: I’m currently reading The Martian by Andy Weir. If anyone else has read this, I’m curious to hear your thoughts.
Meredith says: see below


4. What is the one book that you could read a million times and never get bored with?
Joshua says: Night by Eli Wiesel. If you’ve read it, you know why.
Meredith says: Gosh, I haven't read that since high school. Makes me want to read it again.
Joshua says: Everyone should read it at least twice.

5. Last year my favorite read was The Martian by Andy Weir. What was your best read of 2014?
Joshua says: Well look at that! We MUST have a discussion about this book. My favorite book from last year was probably Looking for Alaska by John Green. Green’s writing is so simple yet incredibly powerful, and his ability to write unique, consistent characters is a skill I wish I had.
Meredith says: Ooooh! I've been waiting to read Looking for Alaska.
Okay, on to The Martian! How far into the book are you? I found that during the first quarter of the book I got real tired of potato calories being counted, the only thing that kept me going was Mark Watney's sense of humor and phenomenal use of swear words.
Joshua says: Yes! Thank you! I’m about 100 pages in. I was reading it while on vacation, and I felt like I needed to take a vacation just from that book. I felt like I was reading a science report from high school all over again. Please tell me it’s worth it.
Meredith says: It's worth it! So so worth it. The science report stuff will be over soon. At least with the potatoes. I think he goes into some electronics and physics but it doesn't drag as bad as the potato part.




6. This year my favorite read has been The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. What’s the best book you’ve read so far in 2015?
Joshua says: This year’s leader is the YA novel, An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. I breezed through it so quickly, I forgot it was almost 500 pages.
Meredith says: Nice. Adding it to my TBR list.


7. You’re a writer by day and a superhero by night. (Take off those geeky glasses Superman) What’s your superpower?
Joshua says: I want to fly!! Which is a little ironic since I’m mildly afraid of heights…
Meredith says: That is kinda funny. But if you can fly you can't fall!
Joshua says: True, but super heroes always seem to have their weaknesses come back to hurt them in the end.

8. I have writing spots all over my house: my desk, my couch, the patio, and my bed. Where’s your favorite spot to write?
Joshua says: I used to write everything at the desk in my loft, but I recently moved and no longer have that writing space. As of yet, I haven’t found a new favorite writing spot. Wish me luck!
Meredith says: Good luck!! I got rid of my dining room table and replaced it with a desk, if you're looking for suggestions...
Joshua says: Ha! Who needs a dining room table these days anyway, right?
Meredith says: I don't even miss it.

9. We’re supposed to love all of our children equally, but there are some scenes I’ve written that really stick out in my mind. Tell us your favorite scene from your book The Withering.
Joshua says: My favorite scene comes relatively early in the book as Alice returns to the city in which she grew up. She’s waylaid by two men looking to rape her. For me this scene is pivotal because it shows two things 1) just how dark a place the world has become and 2) just how brave Alice really is despite her weaknesses.
Meredith says: There is so much emotion in scenes with violence or near-violence, and I feel like if you can portray the emotions effectively, it makes for a powerful scene that no one forgets. Kudos, I can't wait to read it.
Joshua says: I look forward to what you have to say!
10. Sometimes a little too much of myself slips into my characters. Which one of your characters most resembles you?
Joshua says: This may come as a surprise because he’s na├»ve and even downright ignorant at times, but there are pieces of me in Ethan’s character. Though our circumstances are wildly different, his character growth throughout the novel in many ways resembles my own growth throughout my mid-twenties.
Meredith says: I always come across this quote on writing that says "write what you know." I feel like sometimes we have no choice but to put ourselves in our books, it makes the characters authentic and real.


11. I’ve always got tunes rocking while I’m writing. Tell us five songs that are on your playlist.
Joshua says: I’m so jealous! I wish I could listen to music and write at the same time, but I am too easily distracted. However, my top five songs would be, in no particular order, I’m Ready by Jack’s Mannequin, Santeria by Sublime, Cecilia and the Satellite by Andrew McMahon, Trap Queen by Fetty Wap, and Shotgun Rider by Tim McGraw. Yes, eclectic, I know.
Meredith says: Okay, that is one of the most eclectic playlists I've come across. I mean, Tim McGraw and Fetty Wap...
Joshua says: I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a little something for any situation.

12. If you could tell an aspiring author one tiny tidbit of information, what would you say?
Joshua says: Practice your skill! Read other authors and analyze what they’re doing that works, write often, take writing classes, read books on writing. I’ve met too many writers over the past ten years who simply stop growing at an early point because they believe their work is ready to be published. I’ve never met a writer who can objectively look back at the first book they wrote and praise it. Most are like the first book I wrote back when I was twenty: total crap!
Meredith says: So important! I remember looking back at my first book and thinking it was crap. And then I rewrote it all. So important to read read read and analyze. I feel like there are a lot of new authors who don't do this and it's a detriment to their work.
Joshua says: That’s impressive that you went back and rewrote it. These days I’m afraid to even open the document that contains my first novel.
Meredith says: Open that sucker up and roll in the gloriousness of your improvements.


Get your copy of TheWithering




Connect with Joshua Jacobs:





(Meet Joshua. I want to call him Josh)



Saturday, July 18, 2015

Why editing a 85,000+ word book is so difficult

You know the words that are supposed to be there, you've read them a thousand times, sometimes your eyes just fill in the errors.

Can you do it?
Posted by Grammarly on Friday, July 17, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015

Please welcome Olivia Vetrano author of Neverland




When Olivia finally got a break from her final exams, she let me pester her with questions. Let's see what she has to say about zombies, reading, and writing.


1. It’s the zombie apocalypse and writers have got to stick together to survive. Pick 3 authors to be on your zombie apocalypse killing team and tell us why you’d choose them.
Olivia says: I don't know if it's because I'm particularly pessimistic, but I would not for a second assume I'd have any chance of surviving any kind of apocalypse. So instead of assembling a fighting team of authors, I'd pick the ones I'd like to spend my final moments with. Morbid, sure, but if I was about to die, being surrounded by my favorite authors might soften the blow. Only being able to choose three is tough, but I'd narrow it down to J.K. Rowling, Laurie Halse Anderson and John Green (can you tell I'm into YA fiction?)
Meredith says: Great picks to die with, lol. I love YA fiction too! Also, LHA lives near me. She frequents our local indie bookstore but I haven't worked up the courage to make an appearance.


2. If Stephen King and J. K. Rowling were drowning in a river, who would you save first? And now you have to tell us why.
Olivia says: J.K. Rowling. I wouldn't even think twice. Even putting aside the legendary Harry Potter series, I would unquestioningly save her over King. Rowling's life story is so inspiring. I remember watching a documentary on her when I was 14 and thinking "woah, if she can overcome what she did and go on to make literary history, what's stopping me?"
Meredith says: When I get down, I pull up articles on JKR's ascension to literary awesomeness. It makes me feel better, strangely enough.


3. We authors are voracious readers. My TBR list is approximately 8 miles long. What are you currently reading?
Olivia says: I have an awful attention span. So I tend to read two books at a time, a chapter of one book, a chapter of the other, repeat. Right now I'm reading a dual biography on Reagan and Kennedy by Scott Farris (because I'm an American Studies/History major/ giant nerd). I'm also flipping through a collection of Walt Whitman poems. I love Walt Whitman for many reasons, but especially because he's a perfect combination of history and poetic genius.
Meredith says: I read tend to read 2-3 books at a time. Glad I'm not the only one :)


4. What is the one book that you could read a million times and never get bored with?
Olivia says: Catcher in the Rye. Hands down. I feel such a personal connection to that book. The first time I read it, it was for school, so naturally I had to hate it. But the following year I had the inexplicable need to go back and reread it. And it changed my life.
Meredith says: Yay! Another rereader!


5. Last year my favorite read was The Martian by Andy Weir. What was your best read of 2014?
Olivia says: I read All Quiet on the Western Front for the first time last year. I don't even know how to explain what that book did for me. I judge books on their ability to make me feel, and All Quiet on the Western Front went above and beyond in that department. I actually have a word document on my computer with dozens of quotes from it and they all give me chills.


6. This year my favorite read has been The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. What’s the best book you’ve read so far in 2015?
Olivia says: I had a really tough spring semester, so I've been slacking when it comes to reading. I plan to change that over the summer though.
Meredith says: Let's go girl! We're nearing the 7th month of the year. But seriously, when I was in college I rarely had the time to read for pleasure.


7. I have writing spots all over my house: my desk, my couch, the patio, and my bed. Where’s your favorite spot to write?
Olivia says: I do the majority of my writing in bed. But admittedly that's more laziness than genuine preference.
Meredith says: I love writing in bed. No judgement here.


8. We’re supposed to love all of our children equally, but there are some scenes I’ve written that really stick out in my mind. Tell us your favorite scene from your book NEVERLAND.
Olivia says: Oddly enough, there's not one chapter that sticks out to me... but I do like the dream chapter towards the end because I'm able to tie in my favorite Walt Whitman poem, "O Captain! my Captain!" It's kind of cool because I used an excerpt of the same poem earlier, so it comes full circle. It's almost as if the two excerpts serve as book-ends, enclosing around a bunch of unanswered questions. And to be completely honest I didn't necessarily plan it work out like that, so when I realized how it came together I was thrilled.
Meredith says: Cool!


9. Sometimes a little too much of myself slips into my characters. Which one of your characters most resembles you?
Olivia says: My main character, Hayley, is a big fan of dry sarcasm, which I am most definitely guilty of using.


10. I’ve always got tunes rocking while I’m writing. Tell us five songs that are on your playlist.
Olivia says: My mind runs wild when I listen to music, almost as if I'm writing separate stories to fit particular songs. For that reason, I have to write in silence. Lame, I know, but it's my only chance of being remotely productive. That way, I'm more inclined to fill the empty spaces with my own ideas.
Meredith says: Not lame. I know plenty of other authors who have to write in complete silence.



11. If you could tell an aspiring author one tiny tidbit of information, what would you say?
Olivia says: Don't let time make you feel small. The pressure to write at a certain speed will only mess with your head. Recently I met a bunch of authors who told me their average novel takes them a month. Neverland took me two years. And as impatient as I am, I know that if I were to try to rush the story, it would hurt the overall book. No deadline is worth losing your voice. 
Meredith says: Wow, a month. The fastest I ever wrote a book was in 2 weeks but that was just a rough draft. I like King's suggestion that a book should take a season to write. But I tend to follow my own deadlines.


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(This is Olivia)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Half a King (Shattered Sea #1) by Joe Abercrombie





I finally got my hands on a Joe Abercrombie novel. His work has been on my TBR list for a few years now and I'm happy to say that I finally read one of his books.

'Half a King' was a dark and gritty fantasy about a crippled boy who becomes a king after the deaths of his father and brother. Betrayal sends Yarvi to the benches as an oarslave, there Yarvi learns strength and determination and what it means to be a true leader.
I couldn't put it down.

5/5 stars







The blurb:

“I swore an oath to be avenged on the killers of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath”

Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself. And he must do it all with only one good hand.

The deceived will become the deceiver

Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.

The betrayed will become the betrayer

Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.

Will the usurped become the usurper?

But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi’s path may end as it began – in twists, and traps and tragedy...


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Review Captain and Countess by Alice Gaines





I don't read a ton of Regency romances, but I'm glad I picked this one up. Swoonworthy and perfectly-paced, I couldn't put Captain and Countess down.




Blurb:
In this sensuous Regency romance, Jason, Lily, and Bess become engaged to the wrong people.

Captain Jason Northcross desperately desires his sister, Lily, to marry into noble society. To achieve a duchy for his sister, he needs a proper marriage for himself. His status guarantees an easily achieved betrothal, and he should have no trouble selecting one of the eligible young ladies during his party in the countryside. However, distracted from his goal, he has a hard time keeping his hands off his neighbor, Lady Rushford.

The late Earl of Rushford's widow, Bess Webster, believes romance has passed her by. So why can’t she keep Captain Northcross out of her dreams? And how does he inflame passions she didn’t know she had? While she should be focused on penning novels and finding husbands for her friends, her thoughts center on broad shoulders and laughing green eyes.

Will these misaligned engagements be set straight before the final vows have been spoken?


New Release Tuesday