Friday, October 31, 2014

Haunting Halloween Hop - The Shining

Welcome to the Haunting Halloween Hop, hosted by Aussie Owned and Read. To see what scares everyone else participating in this hop go HERE.

I’m supposed to be talking about what makes me scared, but I couldn’t bring myself to post anything to do with spiders. I squeal at the sight of the eight legged monsters, and I think I would pass out if I had to even attempt inserting an image of a spider into this post.

Instead, I’m going to talk about my favourite horror writer, and one of his scariest books.

When I was in college, all I ever read were Stephen King books. I was his number one fan (but not Kathy Bates style). I remember The Shining gave me the heebie jeebies for weeks. It’s been on my re-read list for a very long time, and has been bumped to the top since the release of the sequel, Doctor Sleep, but I haven’t mustered the guts to actually pick it up and read it again.

It scared me...

The thought of it still scares me...

And the memory of Jack Nicholson in the movie scares me even more.

Yep. Heebie jeebies.

The one thing that makes me feel better about the scare factor of this book is Joey.

I might have to make room in my freezer when I finally convince myself that re-reading The Shining is a good idea.

Some other SK books that rank as scary for me are Misery, Christine, and Pet Sematary. There are plenty more, but I would end up listing every book he ever wrote, and none of them have stayed with me quite as much as The Shining.

What book has scared you so much that you'd need to make room in your freezer for it?

K x

Saturday, October 18, 2014

BOOK BLITZ - Isla's Inheritance by Cassandra Page

Isla’s Inheritance by Cassandra Page
Genre: Young adult urban fantasy
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Release date: 9 October 2014

Summary from Goodreads
Isla was content to let her father keep his secrets, but now she can’t stand the touch of iron and her dreams are developing a life of their own. She must discover the truth — before it’s too late.

Seventeen-year-old Isla Blackman only agrees to participate in a Halloween party séance because Dominic, an old crush, wants to. She is sure nothing will happen when they try to contact the spirit of her mother. But the séance receives a chilling reply.


Isla doesn’t want to upset her father by prying into the family history he never discusses. When the mysterious and unearthly Jack offers to help her discover the truth, Isla must master her new abilities to protect her loved ones from enemies she never knew existed.

Goodreads | Amazon | Smashwords

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Interview with Cassandra Page, author of ‘Isla’s Inheritance’

Can you tell us a little about ISLA’S INHERITANCE?

It’s a young adult urban fantasy set in Australia, and is about a girl named Isla (surprise!). Isla’s seventeen and a bit of a sceptic, in that she always looks for the sensible, mundane explanation for things—something her single-parent father has always encouraged. At a Halloween party, she agrees to take part in a séance because a hot guy she used to have a crush on wants to go; it’s a shock to her when the “spirit” they contact claims her mother isn’t actually dead, as she’s always been told. Of course, she doesn’t believe it at first, and is quickly distracted by said hot guy, whose name is Dominic.

Of course, that’s when things start to get interesting. ;)

Isla’s Inheritance is the first book in a trilogy. The other two books are coming out in the first third of 2015, which is both exciting and utterly terrifying! Getting everything ready is going to be a bit of a mad rush, but the flipside is that readers won’t have to wait years between instalments. GRRM, I’m looking at you!

I notice you write using Australian English spellings. Is the book written that way too?

Yes, it is. Even though Turquoise Morning Press is based out of the USA, the team decided that since the story is set in Australia, it would be more authentic to use Australian spelling and terms where possible. However, I did try and choose words that had common meanings, to minimise the chaos and confusion for readers. As an example, a thong in Australia is a type of shoe that I’m told is called a flip flop in the US. We’d never say flip flop here but, on the other hand, given what a thong is in other parts of the world, I didn’t really want people to get mixed up! There have been a few different decisions like that.

What is your favourite part of the writing process?

Writing the last few chapters of a book, definitely. I’ve drafted four now, and that’s always been the best part of the experience. It’s such a heady rush, seeing all the plot threads come together and the plot accelerate. Also, usually by that point I’m doing mean things to my characters, which is always fun!

The other thing is that it takes me a long time to write a first draft—somewhere between six and nine months—so it’s always satisfying to reach the end of that process. I’m a single mother and work full time, so I have to squeeze in my writing where I can: after my son’s in bed, on lunch breaks, that sort of thing. I also do a lot of plotting (and scheming) in the car.

Given the reference to iron in the blurb, it’s not a surprise to learn the “fantasy” part of your urban fantasy relates to the fae, which are part of European mythology. How did your fae come to be in Australia?

I decided very early on in the drafting process that I didn’t want cute Disney elves. Not that I have a problem with Disney—I’m a mum and therefore know the Frozen soundtrack verbatim—but I felt something darker than Tinker Bell suited young adult readers better. My ruling class of fae are renowned for their vanity, and their cruelty to those in their service. As a result, the fae in Australia are almost all refugees of one kind or another: “lesser” fae who want to live free of oppression.

Where in Australia are the books set?

They set in Canberra, Australia’s capital, which is, in some ways, an overgrown country town. What that means is we have a lot more green spaces than either Sydney or Melbourne do: reserves running through suburbs; low mountains covered in walking trails and with lookouts perched on top; parks for the kids to play.

It’s a great place to set a story when your supernatural population likes green spaces. Werewolves and fairies in particular would love it here—there are places with hardly any iron or steel, and green corridors a wolf could sneak through. I wondered at first whether setting a supernatural tale here would somehow lack credibility. But then I thought, if Sookie Stackhouse can run into vampires in a tiny town like Bon Temps, why can’t Canberra have its own supernatural stories, that element of magic?

When I see the sunlight sparkling off the surface of Lake Burley Griffin on a crisp autumn afternoon, or the glittering lights of the city from Mount Ainslie at dusk, I think that magic is already there. All I’m doing is telling people about it.

Author bio
Cassandra Page is a mother, author, editor and geek. She lives in Canberra, Australia’s bush capital, with her son and two Cairn Terriers. She has a serious coffee addiction and a tattoo of a cat — which is ironic, as she’s allergic to cats. When she’s not reading or writing, she engages in geekery, from Doctor Who to AD&D. Because who said you need to grow up?

Author links
Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Google+ | Pinterest | Goodreads

K x

Thursday, October 16, 2014

REVIEW - Forget Me Not by Stacey Nash

Today I have a review for you of a book that I've waited quite a while to read. I have known Stacey Nash for almost two years. We blog together at Aussie Owned and Read, and we've become good friends in the process. I've followed Stacey's bumpy journey with this book, and I'm so glad it has found a home.

Please note that my relationship with Stacey has had no bearing on the outcome of this review.

About the book:
Forget Me Not by Stacey Nash
YA/Fantasy/Speculative Fiction
Published August 1st, 2014

Anamae is drawn into a world which shatters everything she knew to be true.

Since her mother vanished nine years ago, Anamae and her father have shared a quiet life. But when Anamae discovers a brooch identical to her mother’s favorite pendant, she unknowingly invites a slew of trouble into their world. They’re not just jewellery, they’re part of a highly developed technology capable of cloaking the human form. Triggering the jewellery’s power attracts the attention of a secret society determined to confiscate the device – and silence everyone who is aware of its existence. Anamae knows too much, and now she’s Enemy Number One.

She’s forced to leave her father behind when she’s taken in by a group determined to keep her safe. Here Anamae searches for answers about this hidden world. With her father kidnapped and her own life on the line, Anamae must decide if saving her dad is worth risking her new friends’ lives. No matter what she does, somebody is going to get hurt.

My Review:
Forget Me Not was a fun read. I loved the story, and it was unique enough for me to think that I hadn't read anything like it before. Not so much in the way of plot or romance, but in the technology. Nash has really put a lot of thought into the tech and gadgets the characters come into contact with, and use throughout the book. I really enjoyed the sci-fi elements incorporated into the urban setting, and although I have never been anywhere in America, I felt like I knew the landscape well enough from the descriptions to feel as if I'd been there before.

Anamae is a strong lead character who is determined, and knows what she wants (most of the time). She is thrown into a sticky situation as a result of her own actions, but is in the dark when it comes to how or why. She spends the rest of the book seeking and finding answers.

I especially liked the action and fighting scenes in Forget Me Not, and Nash was not afraid to let her characters get hurt. I thought this added a nice element of realism to the story.

The romance in Forget Me Not was cute, and had all that wonderful teenager-y angst and tension. Sometimes I wanted to slap Anamae to wake her up, because she is a little clueless when it comes to her best friend, Will. Jax, on the other hand, is everything I love in a bad boy. He has the aloofness, swagger, and the attitude to go with it. Sorry Will, but I'm team Jax all the way.

Overall, Forget Me Not is a fast paced, action packed, and fun read. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel, Remember Me.

About Book Two:
Remember Me by Stacey Nash
YA/Fantasy/Speculative Fiction
Published October 1st, 2014

When all is lost, she must remember…

Anamae Gilbert managed to thwart The Collective and rescue her father, even though his mind is now a shell. Determined to stop Councilor Manvyke hurting her family again, she’s training to become an active resistance member and enjoying a growing romance. But things never sail along smoothly – Manvyke wants retribution. And Anamae’s name is high on his list.

After a blow to the head, she awakes in an unfamiliar location. Anamae can’t remember the last few weeks and she can’t believe the fascinating new technology she’s seeing. She’s the new kid at school and weapons training comes with ease, but something feels off. Why does the other new kid’s smile make her heart ache?

And why does she get the feeling these people are deadly?

About the Author:
Stacey Nash writes adventure filled stories for Young Adults in the Science Fiction and Fantasy genres. When her head isn’t stuck in a fictional world, she calls the Hunter Valley of New South Wales home. It is an area nestled between mountains and vineyards, full of history and culture that all comes together to create an abundance of writing inspiration. Stacey loves nothing more than writing when inspiration strikes.

HarperCollins | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

K x

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fight For Me is Finally Coming!

Wow! It’s been a while since I posted about anything to do with my books. Things have been crazy busy for me and time has disappeared into the abyss.


I have news!

The next instalment in The Tate Chronicles is on the road to publication. Fight For Me will be released into the world on January 17th 2015, so the next few months are going to crazy busy as well. I chose this date because it’s the same date Fall For Me was published. If you’ve been following my journey here, and on Facebook, you’ll know that Fight For Me was a hard slog to write. It took me much longer than I anticipated, and releasing on the second book birthday of Fall For Me just seemed like the best option. 

The cover reveal for Fight For Me is set for November 14th, and I’m very excited about this. The cover is almost finished, and I can’t wait to show everyone.

Until then, here is the cover blurb:

“How can I fight for you
when I don’t know what I’m fighting for?”

When Grace Tate became one of the fallen to protect a vampire, it got her into more trouble than she’d bargained for. She’s angry at Charlotte for hiding the truth, and with Josh living in the city and Seth missing, life is harder than ever.

It’s about to get a lot harder…

Grace doesn’t want to leave Hopetown Valley, but when Josh ignores her calls she decides to go and search for him. She doesn’t expect to run into Seth as well.

When she reaches the city, Grace learns that Charlotte is the most hunted vampire in Wide Island. The city vamps want her blood, and the angels are after her soul. Grace gets caught in the crossfire of a battle she never wanted, but to win one war, she has to fight another.

Torn between the one she gave up everything for, and the one who sacrificed everything for her, Grace has to face Charlotte, and the past, if she wants to fight for her future. But how can she fight for someone who doesn’t want to fight for her?

Every choice Grace makes becomes a battle, and in every battle someone has to die.

More details about the book:
Title: Fight For Me
Series: The Tate Chronicles #2
Author: K. A. Last
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Expected Date of Publication: January 17th 2014
Word Count: 73,000
Cover Artist: KILA Designs


K x