Monday, 25 February 2013

Fairy May a 5 Star Winner!

My latest book Fairy May was officially released on 1st February 2013 and I'm currently touring the web to spread the word (you can find the full tour schedule on my website). 

So far the tour is going really well and Fairy May has collected some excellent reviews. In fact it's received 5 star ratings on Amazon by all reviewers.

One of the things I've liked about this tour is that I got the chance to do my first ever character interview. It was fun to be Fairy May. I hope to do more of these in the future too.

I also enjoyed the group interview I did with members of Where Writers and Authors Meet (WWAAM) as some of the questions were completely different from the usual stuff I get asked.... although the one about Italian lovers may have been a bit too off topic.... I did say I was game for anything though ;)

I've been able to write articles (and record some video's to go with some of them) on a variety of topics too and I've done some interesting wall chats on Facebook as well.

As the first month of the tour is coming to an end and I move into the second half I'd like to thank everyone who has hosted me, followed the posts and left comments. I'd also like to say a special thank you to all the people that downloaded a copy of Fairy May on International Book Giving Day and put it on the best seller lists.

I still have a few spaces left to fill towards the end of March so if you'd like to host me and Fairy May please get in touch.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Featured Friday: The Dragon Shield by Dianne Gardner

Title: The Dragon Shield
Author: Dianne Gardner

Purchasing link:
The Dragon Shield is packed to the rafters with incident and peril. Ian's resolve is tested like never before, the camaraderie of his supporters and their combined efforts will keep the reader engrossed.
There is a constant battle being waged between hope and despair and you are never quite sure how things will develop. By the novels end I felt that things were only just beginning for Ian and I wanted more - a mark of Gardner's skill as a storyteller. 

What can I say? This is an excellent follow-up as well as a bridge to the next installment. 

-The Independent Review

Author bio:
Dianne Gardner is both an author and illustrator living the Pacific Northwest, Olalla Washington. She’s an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the National League of American Pen Women. She has written Young Adult Fantasy novels as well as articles for national maga­zines and newspapers and she is an award-winning artist.

Dianne spent many years living out in the desert wilderness of the American Southwest, lived in a hogan made from adobe and cedar for thirteen years, co-owned 25 horses both pure bred and Native American ponies, traveled horseback and by wagon throughout the Navajo reservation, herded sheep and goat, worked in the forest planting trees and piling, farmed on barren soil and even lived in a teepee for a short while. She spent many long years using survival skills as a way of life.
Later she studied pastoral counseling and was a Pastor’s appren­tice at a mainline church. She and her husband have been feeding the homeless for over twelve years. Today she shares both her survival experiences and her love for people, especially young people, into her writing as a way to not only to give her readers a firm understanding of her stories’ characters, but a rich appreciation of nature.


What made you want to write children’s books?

I’ve always been a lover of fantasy stories. Through the Looking Glass, The Narnia Series, and Alice and Wonderland were all favorites of mine when I was growing up. Since I have many grandchildren, I thought how fun it would be to write a story that they could love the same way I loved those classics. Since 9 of my 16 grandchildren are boys. I knew I’d have to write a series that the boys could love as equally as the girls. That’s when Ian’s Realm began. It’s a story of honor, integrity, family, and love.

What is your process for writing and illustrating? Which do you do first?
Usually I write first and then, knowing I’m going to want some illustrations for my books, I’ll paint them. But before I started writing the Ian’s Realm series I started painting the dragon. I knew I was going to write a book and had already done a little outline for it. Enough of the story was formed that I felt justified painting Stenhjaert. (I’ve mostly only painting from life i.e. models, plein air painting, still lifes though not many of those.) So doing fantasy was a really new thing for me.
Once the dragon was starting to take form I saw the story really come alive. From then on I wore a foot path from my house to my studio painting and writing all in the same day.

What do you attribute to as your success?
For me, success is measure by the smiles on people’s faces when they tell me they read my book. I’ve been getting rave reviews, I just wish more people could enjoy it --marketing is so difficult today with the millions of books that are out there!

But for actually finishing a novel, I have to give credit to my support system- one being the critique group that I meet with every other Wednesday. We read our chapters and offer each other help. From that group I’ve developed close friendships and sometimes another author friend and I will go on long walks in the woods-my favorite place for inspiration-and talk about our stories as if our characters were living next door to us. We’ve really become close enough that if I have a stumbling block with my world, my friend knows exactly how to talk me through it. And I her.

I also have to thank the SCBWI for their great conferences and workshops that they offer in our area. I learn so much at them!

What’s your next adventure?

The Ian’s Realm saga begins with a trilogy, and right now I’m working on the conclusion of those three books, Rubies and Robbers that will also be published by Hydra Publications.

There are four short stories A Tale of the Four Wizards that compliment the series, telling the myths of the Realm. If you like the series I highly recommend reading them. As one of my readers suggested they are “gems on the crown of the Realm”. There are some subtleties in the novels that you probably won’t understand until you read the shorts.

I also have two books drafted after the trilogy, both involving The Realm. The first, which will be published after Rubies and Robbers, is Cassandra’s Castle. After that will be The Diary of a Conjurer. I’ve been tossing another idea in my head as well.

Will you ever write outside the genre?

I’ve thought about it. I have an idea for a contemporary YA about a homeless man. My husband and I have been feeding the homeless for over twelve years and there are so many sad stories to tell. But it will be awhile before I venture away from fantasy.

I also am tossing the idea of a dystopia series. I have a short written in that genre and I enjoy it. But it would be a hard series to write mostly because I feel so strongly about the content. We’ll see what happens!

Friday, 15 February 2013

Featured Friday: Riptide by Amber Lea Easton

I know I mostly aim my content towards the children's market when it comes to book features here but when I heard that my cyber-buddy Amber Lea Easton was touring the web (with World of Ink- one of my favourite tour companies to work with) I jumped at the chance to host her. Amber has written several books but today's post is for Riptide.

Title: Riptide
Author: Amber Lea Easton
Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand
Length: 98,000 words
Genres: Contemporary Romantic Suspense (Adventure)
Heat Level: Steamy


One violent night shatters Lauren Biltmore’s life. As an anchorwoman, she's accustomed to reporting the news rather than being the lead story.  She escapes the spotlight by fleeing to her brother's home in the Cayman Islands. Haunted by nightmares, all she wants is a distraction from reality.

Distraction arrives via sexy screenwriter, Noah Reynolds. His take-me-to-bed looks mask a past ripe with scandal. He knows he should stay away from Lauren, especially when the worst night of her life unlocks his writer's block and while he's dealing with a stalker of his own, but ethics are his weakness.

Attraction sizzles beneath Caribbean sunshine. As their relationship grows, Noah's stalker intensifies her torment. Lauren wonders if her paranoia is justified or a carryover from her past. What's real? What's imagined?  Tentative trust is tested as their love is swept up against a riptide of deceit, murder, and revenge. 

EXCERPT  (more suspenseful than sexy):
Heart thudding in her chest like steel drums, she jolted awake,  and blinked at the stars glaring at her from the open hole in the ceiling. She froze with fear, every limb paralyzed, breathing labored. Someone watched her from the foot of the bed. She could feel their gaze on her...on them.
Noah slept next to her, completely unconscious judging by the steady rise and fall of his chest and the weight of his arm over her abdomen.
Look. It’s my imagination. No one’s there. I double-checked—no, triple-checked—all the locks before bed.
Her thoughts immediately went to the morning before...the blackout, the pictures, the fear. She exhaled slowly and raised her head.
A woman stood at the foot of the bed, hair hidden by a yellow scarf, face in shadow, dressed in a baggy sweatshirt and jeans. Real.
“Who are you?” She bolted upright, eyes wide as the woman turned and ran from the room.
Pushing Noah’s arm aside, she bolted from the bed. Anger replaced fear in an instant. Unable to control the emotions raging through her bloodstream, she ran into the living room. No one. She’d left all the lights on before going to the bedroom. She turned in a circle, plastic from the still unfinished kitchen crunching beneath her feet.
The deck door remained closed and locked. Nothing appeared disturbed.
Heart still slamming against her ribcage, she walked to the top of the stairs leading down to the laundry room. She took one step...and then another...slowly...unable to breathe until she reached the bottom. All the deadbolts remained locked.
No one had left.
She flattened her back against the wall and looked over her shoulder toward the top of the stairs. If no one had left, then the woman had to still be inside.
Ali? Alicia? Someone pretending? Questions rattled her mind as she ascended the stairs with her back kept firmly against the wall. She wanted to call out to Noah, but her voice lodged in her throat.
Once in the living room, she again checked the lock on the sliding glass door before staring down the hall toward the spare room she’d never entered. Fear battled anger until she thought her head would explode from the pressure of the two heated emotions.
As she passed the bathroom, she flicked on the light to make sure it was empty inside. It was. She pushed open the door to the spare room with her foot as she kept her back pressed against the door.
Dark. She slid into the room, her hand moving along the wall for a switch of some kind.
Then she heard footsteps behind her. Slow. Creeping.
“What’re you doing?” Noah asked from where he stood in the open doorway.
He flicked on the light, showing the room to be empty except for piles of boxes and tools. She stared at the open window at the far side of the space.
Without answering him, she walked over the mess and leaned out the window. Palm trees swayed with the night wind. Shadows danced in the darkness, black on black. In a moonless sky, stars fell toward the dark void where the ocean lay. .
“Lauren? Are you sleepwalking or something?” Noah’s hand dropped against her shoulder.
The truth of what she was seeing warred with the knowledge in her heart that someone had been standing at the foot of the bed. The intruder could have escaped out this window. It wasn’t a long drop for an athletic person.
I’m not going crazy, I’m not. God, I hope I’m not.
She shoved the window closed with more force than necessary and latched it. When she finally faced Noah, she felt like someone dancing on the edge of a cliff in the darkness, someone about to take a free fall into the abyss.
“I didn’t mean to wake you,” she said, her voice husky with emotion.
“You look terrified.” He smoothed her hair back from her face, his thumbs caressing her cheekbones. “Did something happen that scared you?”
“You look better.” She flattened her hands against his chest and forced a grin. “How do you feel?”
“Hungry.” His grin reassured her that all was well in the world. “Want an omelet?”
She smiled and let her hands trail down his chest. Maybe she’d been dreaming, after all. Yesterday had been more than a little stressful.
“I hear you make the best omelets on the island—”
“In the world, actually.” He winked. “World famous omelet.”
“World famous, yes, of course, how could I resist?” She exhaled the nervous energy that still zapped through her system and leaned into him. The man had a way about him. There was no denying it.
“You can’t resist me. I’m like a drug.” He glanced behind her toward the window she’d forcefully closed. “Want to tell me why every light in the house is on and why you’re in here closing windows at three a.m.?”
“Not really.” She linked her hands behind his waist and looked up at him. “I like being here with you in the middle of the night, think I’ll make it a habit.”
He squinted at her, obviously curious about the reason behind her madness. Again, he glanced toward the window but said nothing.
Habit? Had she actually said that word? There’s no way she could stay here again, probably shouldn’t be here now, not when she was having blackouts, chatting it up with creepy redheads and hallucinating women standing at the foot of the bed. She’d successfully gone from one nightmare into the next and could no longer distinguish reality from fantasy.
She cringed when he looked away and turned off the light. She was such a liar, a dirty, rotten liar. A hypocrite. A fraud. She needed to control herself and slow this down before they both got in too deep.


Amber Lea Easton is a multi-published fiction and nonfiction author. For twenty years, she's worked in the fields of journalism and advertising with a brief detour into the financial industry.  Although she holds a BA in Communications & Journalism, she is a perpetual student of life who enjoys taking courses on a wide variety of subjects when time allows.  Smart is sexy, according to Easton, which is why she writes about strong female characters who have their flaws and challenges, but who ultimately persevere.

Easton currently lives with her two teenagers in the Colorado Rocky Mountains where she gives thanks daily for the gorgeous view outside her window. She finds inspiration from traveling, the people she meets, nature and life’s twists and turns. At the end of the day, as long as she's writing, she considers herself to be simply "a lucky lady liv'n the dream."

Visit Amber at:
Twitter - @MtnMoxieGirl

Thursday, 14 February 2013

FREE books from best selling children's author

Today is International Book Giving Day so I've made both my children's picture story books available for free download on Amazon.

Happy reading everyone :) 

Out and About at the Zoo

Rhyming text and colourful pictures accompany this fun day out discovering different animals at the zoo.

Fairy May

Fairy May dreams of one day becoming a tooth fairy but she struggles at school and always seems to get things wrong. With hard work and determination Fairy May prepares for her test. Will she realise her dream and become a tooth fairy?

As any author will tell you, reviews really make a huge difference and are one of the best gifts we can receive. They help our books stand out in the sea of options available and form an important part of our marketing material. That said, if you could take a minute to write a quick review I'd really appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Featured Friday: The World at War - The Four Horsemen Series by Pam Funke

Title: The World at War: The Four Horsemen Series
Author: Pam Funke


Book blurb: 

The second book in the exciting Four Horsemen Series. Join General Alexander Ludlow as he continues on his mission to save the world. At least that is what he thinks that Operation Dark Angel is all about. He is however starting to suspect that this mission is not all that it's cracked up to be. The world is in complete chaos as major nations wage war on each other and the world is on the brink of World War III.  
The Group is secretly continuing Operation Dark Angel with much success. Unknown to the rest of the world they are the ones who are behind the strange and devastating attacks on Israel and around the world. What is it that they are really after when they are supposed to be bringing peace to an out of control world?  
Italian President Nicolaitanes Balac is steadily gaining political power and recognition. The entire world is watching this one man and wondering if he will be the one to save them from the chaotic spiral that the world is headed towards. Is he really who he appears to be or is he something much more sinister? Can he save the world? Do we even want him to? Is this who mankind should rely on for help or will this be the worst mistake that mankind has ever made?

Book excerpt:

 Chee Tsang, China’s Chief Executive, gathered the country’s military officials together. He was ready for payback. How dare Israel attack his beloved country? Beijing is now just a smoldering disaster zone. This fact alone both angered and saddened him.
General Baojia Chan stood nearby looking over intelligence and working out a war strategy in his head. First we will attack Israel with missiles then a surprise attack with our massive army. 
“General, I want your opinion about something. What will we gain from this? How will this attack on Israel benefit the people of China?” Chee Tsang asked.
General Chan looked back at the papers he was reviewing before looking at Mr. Chee Tsang. “Well, I think that this will only work as long as we contain the element of surprise. We then enter the country from here and here,” Baojia said pointing at the military map.
“I see. But would we not have a greater advantage point from here and here,” Chee asked.
“I have planned for the Immediate Action Unit to drop forces in at those locations,” General Chan replied.
“But I thought that we primarily used them to protect the country from terrorism, riots, and the like. If we use them in our attack, won’t that leave the country defenseless?” Chee asked.
“Yes, the IAU is primarily used for that purpose but as they are extremely good at tactical maneuvers we will be using them to strengthen our military forces. The Snow Leopard Commando Unit will be protecting our country while the military is deployed,” Baojia replied. 
“Very well then, how long before we can make this happen?” Chee asked. 
“It is being done as we speak sir. In a matter of hours we will have our troops in the air,” Baojia replied.
             General Chan has done well, although I wish that he had waited for my approval. Chee turned and faced General Chan. “You are doing a fine job. As I am not needed here I will be off taking care of more pressing issues. Do not disappoint me,” Chee said. He then turned and left the room.
General Chan turned back to his staff. “How much longer before the planes are loaded with the troops and equipment?” he asked. 
“Sir, they will be ready for takeoff in approximately two and a half hours,” the young soldier replied. 
“Excellent. Now I want you to launch the missiles at Israel. We will start by creating chaos and panic and then the real fun begins,” General Chan ordered. 
“Yes sir,” the soldier replied. He then typed in the target locations, the order codes, and hit send.

Author Bio:

Pam Funke is the grand-daughter of a Pastor and was brought up in the church. Her love of reading led her to write. She lives in Hinesville, Georgia  with her son and daughter. This is her first novel.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

The tour has started!

1st February kicked off the virtual book tour to promote the release of my new children's picture story book Fairy May. The full tour schedule can be found on my website.

I'm happy to see that Fairy May is off to a good start and that 5 star reviews are already popping up on the Amazon page. 

I still have some spaces left to fill so if you'd like to host me on your site then please get in touch.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Featured Friday: Trinity by Clare Davidson

Title: Trinity
Author: Clare Davidson
Genre: YA Fantasy

'Trinity', released July 2012, is Clare Davidson's debut novel. It is an epic fantasy, targeted at young adult readers, with strong crossover appeal into the adult market.

Kiana longs to walk through a forest and feel grass between her toes. But she is the living embodiment of a goddess and has enemies who wish to murder her. Her death will curse the whole of Gettryne. Locked away for protection, she dreams of freedom.

Her wish comes true in the worst possible way, when her home and defenders are destroyed.

Along with an inexperienced guard and a hunted outcast, Kiana flees the ravages of battle to search for a solution to the madness that has gripped Gettryne for a thousand years. Pursued by the vicious and unrelenting Wolves, their journey will take them far beyond their limits, to a secret that will shake the world.

Author Bio

Clare Davidson is a character driven fantasy writer, teacher and mother, from the UK. Clare was born in Northampton and lived in Malaysia for four and a half years as a child, before returning to the UK to settle in Leeds with her family. Whilst attending Lancaster University, Clare met her future husband and never left. They now share their lives with their young daughter and a cranky grey cat, called Ash. Clare juggles family life with writing, teaching and a variety of fibre craft hobbies.

Book Excerpt:

Nidan turned to face the Wolves as they dismounted. In their position, Nidan wouldn’t have given up the advantage of being on horseback, but the Wolves had over-confident smirks plastered on their faces. They began to march forwards, drawing their swords.
“Stand behind me. Don’t let them get near you.” Nidan hoped that the hedge at their backs would prevent them from being circled.
Kiana nodded and obeyed.
Then the Wolves were upon them. Nidan gritted his teeth and engaged the first man, allowing fear and anger to flow through his body, lending him strength and speed. Steel crashed against steel as Nidan blocked blow after blow from first one, then two opponents. Each time their blades struck his, he found his heels digging further into the ground. He wanted to move and dance around their attacks, but Kiana was behind him. I can’t let her die. Pios, help me!
Block, block, strike. His blade bit into the neck of a Wolf, causing a fountain of blood to spring forth. The man looked surprised and fell, only to be replaced by the next.
They're playing with us.
There was no reason why the five remaining Wolves couldn’t just attack as one pack and finish them.
Nidan forced the air out of his lungs in a war cry. He fixed his teeth into a snarl and parried, dodged and weaved, tying the Wolves up in a not-so-merry dance as he struck with a solid kick and then a sweep of his sword.
I’m better than them. He’d win if it was two to one, but the odds were far worse than that. He cut down a second man. Four left, plus the scout. They know I’m a threat. He waited for them to stop tormenting him and surge forward. Is this how Wolves kill?


'Trinity' is available to buy from:


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