Thursday, 31 January 2013

Scavenger Hunt: "Valentine Voyeur" by Kara Leigh Miller

February 14th is a day that true romance novels are made of. Some people love it and some people hate it. For some it's a day of love, a day full of possibilities, and a day they'll never forget. It's a day of new engagements and weddings galore. Oh, please. Spare me the melodramatic happy ending bull crap.
I despise Valentine's Day and all it stands for! I had my heart broken, not once, but twice on Valentine's Day. I also had my face beaten until it was bleeding and my leg broken. I was evicted from my apartment and fired from my job. All on Valentine's Day. As far as I'm concerned, Valentine's Day can suck my big, hairy ball sack.
Watch out, ladies. I am the Valentine Voyeur and I am out for revenge.
To read the full account of Detective Markson's hunt for the Valentine Voyeur, stop by Amazon and pick up your copy.

If you'd like to win a free copy of The Valentine Voyeur, stop by my blog and join in on the scavenger hunt.

Interview: Nia Bradley

What have you had published?
I’ve only just started publishing things, though I’ve been writing on and off for years. At the moment I have published Teaching Tom to Share and a growing series of Sexy Shorts that I’m adding to regularly.
What genre(s) of book do you write?
The stories I’ve published are all erotic romance and erotica, though I write all sorts and don’t worry too much about genres, as long as the story interests me.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve written stories of varying lengths on and off for the last 15 years or more, but never really felt like any of them were finished or polished enough to publish up until recently. All sorts of things inspire me though, from idle daydreaming to ideas that pop up from watching tv programmes or reading other stories and sometimes just real life, with the details tweaked a little.
How long did it take you to write “Teaching Tom to Share”?
I think about a week. I normally average about 1500 - 2000 words a day when I’ve got the story worked out in my head. Though often I put things aside if I get a little stuck or another story grabs my attention.
What is the working title of your next book(s)?
I’ve still got plenty to do with my Sexy Shorts series, though I’m also considering writing another slightly longer story more like Teaching Tom to Share. I like a little romance in my stories too and it’s easier to work it in to a longer story I find.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always written short stories. I’m a voracious reader and very early on I found I enjoyed writing as much as reading, so the two seemed to go hand in hand for me really.
Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
Putting it down when it’s finished. I’m always determined to make it better and find it hard to call it finished.
What do you do in your spare time?
Take my dog out for long walks in the hills or on the beach.
Who is your favourite author?
It changes a lot, but the last one I got obsessed with is Stieg Larsson.
What’s your favourite genre to read?
I read all sorts, romance, erotica, crime, horror, contemporary and lots of short stories often from genres I wouldn’t go near normally.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Consider self-publishing. It’s not a silver bullet, you still need to write well and find a way to convince people to pay to read it, but it is a good alternative to trying to find a publisher that will take you on, if you are willing and able to do the work yourself. There are plenty of good (and free) guides on the subject available.
     Most importantly though, enjoy yourself!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just to say thank you really.

Interview: Gabe Redel

What have you had published?
I’ve been a professional writer for six years.  I’ve written for trade journals, news papers, and magazines.  But my goal was always to publish my fiction, and I achieved that goal in 2012 when a small publisher picked up my fantasy novel “The Amazing Pitsville and The Beggar’s Invisible Railways.”How long did it take you to write “The Amazing Pitsville and the Beggar’s Invisible Railways”?
I worked on the novel for well over six--nine months, but actually writing time---with me sitting down and putting words to computer screen---it was around three months.
What is the working title of your next book(s)?
I have the sequel to “The Amazing Pitsville and The Beggar’s Invisible Railways” finished and to the publisher.  It is titled Book II of The Amazing Pitsville series, “The Dimensional Surfer.  Other than that, I’m working on a vampire novel.  I can’t say much about it at this point other than it will be unique and wild.
Why did you start writing?
When I was in grade school I always chose poetry for the Forensics Competition, which was strange considering I was an athlete.  But then one class period my teacher assigned each of us to write our own poems.  So we all did, and when I read my poem in front of the class, the teacher was impressed.  She thought my poem was excellent, and then other teachers started adding poetry writing to their curriculum because they wanted me to continue writing.

At the time, I never thought once that I should become a writer.  I always believed that authors were incredibly special people, and I knew I wasn’t one of them.  But I did enjoy art, music, and theater, and I pursued those all throughout my adolescence.

The day that I chose to become a writer was in English 101 in college.  It was a GED.  At the time, I had been picking up pen and paper to ink poems because I was into playing the guitar and writing my own songs.  I wasn’t very good at writing the lyrics to the songs because I had no formal education on how to structure a poem.  So, really, I needed guidance.

In my English 101 class, I received no guidance on how to write poems.  What made me fall in love with writing was when the professor opened my eyes to the idea that writing was an art.  I had always believed that writing was as dry as math.  I always believed that there was only one way to write about something.  If you wanted to write about a car, there was little more to say about it than to explain its capabilities.  But my English 101 class destroyed my belief that writing was dry.  I learned that I could make puzzles and games with literature.  And I don’t mean word finds and crossword puzzles.  I mean I was reading writers who could pen mystery within their paragraphs with such precision that it was possible for the reader to learn what the meaning of their strange writing was by observing the rules of their word patterns, sentence structures, and paragraph structures.

And that was just the tip of the ice burg.  I immediately declared my major in English and began learning the beauty of creative writing.  My path to becoming an author was set in stone, and that was ten years ago.  Although I now write fiction, I still pen poems whenever the ghosts strike.
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
The hardest part to writing a book is finding a plot line that works.  I’ve started writing books that went no where because my plot wasn’t pure.
What do you do in your spare time?
The most of what takes up my spare time is kickboxing and fitness.  I’ve trained in mixed martial arts for three years at a very good fight gym.  I give it my all to stay in the best shape I can so that I don’t get beat up too bad when sparring with the other fighters.
Who is your favourite author?
I can’t say I have a favorite author.  I have many.  
What’s your favourite genre to read?
I don’t have a favorite genre either.  There is no telling what genre the next greatest book will published under.  I just keep my ear to the ground and my nose to the air to find the right stories for me.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
If you are a young writer, the best advice I can give you is to count the cost before you undertake a career in writing.  It’s a tough road to go down.  It could be a decade before you get your first piece published.  I’m not trying to discourage you, I’m just saying that it will be easier on you if you know what you are getting in to.  That way you have nobody to blame.  It’s just the way things work in publishing.  But don’t give up.  If you truly love something, you’ll find a way to make it happen no matter how difficult it is.  But if you are only in love with the idea of something, you’ll find an excuse.

“The Amazing Pitsville and The Beggar’s Invisible Railways” is available from Amazon.

Interview: Daniel Bowman

How did you get started writing?
I realize that I have tried for a long time. When I was a child, I wrote 1½-page stories of alien abductions, ending before the main character ever made it to the spacecraft! I also tried pirate novels, though these always stopped after the third mutiny—I needed a story where it already had a plot.
  How did you get the ideas/information for your book?
 “Alaric, Child of the Goths” began on a vacation. My wife Amanda and I visited the Toledo Zoo in Ohio. She was wiped out from walking all around, so I watched the History Channel after she fell asleep. We do not have cable, so this was as much a part of vacation as was watching the polar bear tear apart a trash can.
      The episode was—you guessed it—about the Goths. I stared at the screen as I heard how a group of farmer-soldiers were cheated by Rome but decided to stand up to her, though she was the greatest empire in the world. They would not put up with bullying. The program ended: “Oppression sires rebellion, and when pushed too far, even the weak and the shattered can rise to challenge their oppressor.” I feel chills every time I hear that.
       History is full of stories—true ones (unlike the wildly-adapted-but-still-enjoyable Braveheart, 300, Gladiator…). So many heroes, villains, and tragedies far exceed the fictional ideas of authors, and many of these stories are known only in boring monographs. I aim to remedy that.
What do you think your next book will be about? Any tentative title?
I hope to publish “Hammer of God” this year. Euric and Guntharic, brothers living in medieval Hispania, watch as their parents die and their sisters are taken captive by the Muslim Umayyads, who conquer their nation in a single battle. Euric flees north to Francia, where he dreams of becoming a knight, his fate intertwined with that of Duke Charles Martel. Meanwhile, Guntharic experiences life among the Umayyads, suffering through a long enslavement as he learns their advanced culture and befriends both Christians and Muslims. Will the two brothers ever see each other again? What will happen when the Umayyad host finally faces the Frankish phalanx at the epic battle of Tours?
       I am also writing the tale of Hernan Cortes’ wife, Dona Marina, so my wife can finally read a book with a female main character.
What tips do you have for other writers? (persevering, proofreading, publishing, promoting…) Anything unique/strange/wonderful?
The best tip I came across is to always plan my next session before I end my current one. That way I can write anywhere/anytime, knowing what I’m supposed to do next. I rarely have writer’s block because of this. 
        In college, I told my brothers part of a story each night, taking notes at the same time so I could type them out! They got annoyed, but I still have those stories.
What is your life like outside of writing family like?
I have been married to Amanda, my first and only girlfriend, for over eight years and we have two children, John and Anna. I enjoy an eclectic range of hobbies: playing piano and composing music, reading ancient languages, and teaching English as a Second Language to students from over fifteen countries.

“Alaric, Child of the Goths” is available at Amazon.
Visit Daniel Bowman.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Review: "The Agreement" by Cami Stark

In my opinion “The Agreement” is a lot better than “The Meeting.” I was debating whether to give this short story four or five stars but I settled with four stars because there is one thing I feel that Cami could improve on.

When it comes to setting and outfits Cami describes everything brilliantly so that you have a clear picture in your head but when it comes to the sex scenes I feel that they are lacking.

I would recommend this short story. All I have left to say is I wish that it was longer.

I received my copy of “All She Craved – The Arrangement” from the author for my honest review.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


Marie was Darren’s cleaner until they’d exchanged those three little words – I love you – and everything had changed. Now Darren and Marie have been married for a little under a year and those days of lace panties and silk nighties are gone.

With Christmas day approaching Darren is dreading a day spent with Marie’s family while she continues to give him the hard shoulder but maybe Marie has a present for Darren that’s a bit more…physical.

Revived is a short erotic romance story of approximately 1,400 words.

*Content not suitable for people under the age of eighteen*

Available on Amazon as a Kindle Version here.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Interview: Shelly Hickman

What have you had published?
My first book “Believe” was published by a small press who has since closed its doors. When I obtained my author rights, I decided to self-publish.
What genre(s) of book do you write?
The two books I’ve written were both contemporary fiction.
What inspired you to write your first book?
The loss of my young daughter to leukemia inspired me to write my first book “Believe”. I began writing it after her first bout with cancer, when I truly believed the illness was behind her, so the story had a much different tone when I first started. However, when she relapsed and ultimately lost her battle, I went back to the manuscript. Writing “Believe” was necessary and cathartic.
How long did it take you to write “Somewhere Between Black and White”?
I think it took me about a year. I’m not a very disciplined writer. I’ll start something, put it away for months, and then decide to come back to it. I received lots of help and suggestions for “Somewhere” in my online writing group. I feel that my writing is more polished in this second novel, as we are always hoping to improve our skills with each new project.
What is the working title of your next book(s)?
This is where the “not very disciplined” thing comes in. I’m still in the process of deciding what I’d like to do for my next project. 
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, but it was primarily a private experience, putting down my thoughts in a journal as a teenager. Creative writing has always been kind of sporadic for me. And of course the demands of everyday life also have a lot to do with it. Now that my kids are older, I find that I have more time to grow as a writer.
Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?
I self-publish. I know that self-publishing is still looked down upon by some. I see evidence of this in discussions in the online writing community belong to, but I think that’s beginning to change. Personally, I enjoy the process of doing it myself, but if someone chooses to do it, I think it’s important to hire an editor.
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
All of it!  Haha. All of it is hard, but I think the part I have the most difficulty with is just coming up with an idea that will give me enough material to write an entire book. I know several people who have ideas coming out their ears. I’m not like that, but once the ball’s rolling, I’m usually okay. 
What do you do in your spare time?
Ugh! I spend way too much time on the internet. I used to read a lot of non-fiction, religion, philosophy, etc. But now that I’m writing fiction I’ve been making an effort to read novels.
Who is your favourite author?
Hmmm, I have a few. Richard Bach, J.K. Rowling, Nora Ephron, Erma Bombeck…
What’s your favourite genre to read?
I guess maybe chicklit. I enjoy stuff that’s everyday life, realistic, with lots of humor thrown in. It really doesn’t have to have an earth shattering plot, as long as I love and care about the characters. I guess I enjoy slice of life and human imperfections, and when an author can make us laugh at those imperfections.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Some people say, “You must write every day if you want to be a writer.” I say that’s not realistic. People are busy and have all kinds of things going on in their lives, so we shouldn’t be made to feel guilty if we don’t write every day. However, I do think if we can manage to read every day, especially in the genre you enjoy writing, it’s helpful. And never feel like you don’t know enough about writing to pursue it. We are all learning and growing, and we all hope that our next project will far exceed the last. The only way to improve is by doing.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I just want to thank you, Katie, for taking the time to read and review “Somewhere Between Black and White” and for being so gracious to have me as a guest on your blog.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Review: "Somewhere between Black and White" by Shelly Hickman

Somewhere Between Black and WhiteThis book is a must read. There is not a single complaint I can make about it. Shelly’s writing style flows nicely and the editing it great meaning there are no distracting errors that spoil the story. Shelly combines romance with humour and creates an awesome story with a page turning plot line.

"Somewhere between Black and White" tells the story of Sophie and Sam who both work teaching children at school and fall in love. However, just like in real life things aren't that simple. With Sophie's sisters illness and the troublesome kids at school will Sophie and Sam manage to make their relationship work? Read it and see...

(5/5 Stars)

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Review: "Kicking Eternity" by Ann Lee Miller

This is the third book I have read by Ann Lee Miller and it is by far my favourite. “Kicking Eternity” certainly deserves a five star review.

Ann’s writing style is easy to read and flows well. There are minimal typing errors and the writing is nicely set out on the page. Throughout the story Ann creates in-depth characters which are easy to connect to. Raine is the main character in this book and after just a few chapters you feel like you are living her life. You get annoyed by some of the choices she makes and you feel her pain and sadness.

“Kicking Eternity” is built around a well thought-out story line which keeps you turning the pages and makes this book difficult to put down. I would recommend “Kicking Eternity” to teenagers/young adults.

(5/5 Stars)

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Review: "Love on the Rocks" by Kara Leigh Miller

When I picked up this book I didn’t intend to read it all in one sitting but I couldn’t put it down. Kara’s writing flows well which makes this book an easy read. I liked everything about this book, from the setting to the storyline to the characters and writing style.

Kara wrote the story in first person from the point of view of the two main characters, Meghan and Jeff. The point of view switched between chapters and to begin with I kept getting confused about whose view the story was coming from but after a few chapters I got used to it.

The story is set on the Aurora Island Resort where Meghan’s best friend, Ashleigh, is getting married. Jeff is Ashleigh’s brother and as much as Meghan tries to ignore him and just enjoy her vacation that’s not always an easy thing to do. The characters are both believable and loveable and the story contains just the right amount of erotic content. I look forward to reading more of Kara’s writing and I would highly recommend this book to both men and women.

(5/5 Stars)

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Review: "The Art of My Life" by Ann Lee Miller

“The Art of My Life” is the second book I have read by Ann Lee Miller. I give this book four stars (the same as I gave “Avra’s God”) although, personally I preferred “Avra’s God,” I don’t think this book deserves anything less than four stars.

“The Art of My Life” tells the tale of Cal and Ali who to begin with are clearly very different people. The book begins with Cal leaving jail. He’s given a chance to ‘restart’ life but will it be different the second time around?

The story line of this book is like that of pretty much every other chick-lit/romance book. Guy likes girl but can he win her heart? Although the story line is good I just couldn’t connect to it. From what I can see both Cal and Ali liked each other from the start and I found the story line a bit ‘flat,’ but that’s just me.

Ann Lee Miller has a good writing style that flows well and makes you want to know what’s going to happen next without dragging it out too much. There are minimal typing/proof-reading errors which makes this an easy read. A good book for any teenager/young adult who enjoys romance.

(4/5 Stars)