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Friday, 28 June 2013

Charity Skydive: One Month Today!


This time next month, I will be a Lancaster airfield, and will either have jumped already or be getting ready to jump (AAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!) but without your help, there will be no jump at all.

GULP!

I have to reach £500 in sponsorship within the next three weeks and, as it stands right now, I am nowhere near. If you can spare a pound, euro, or dollar, in support of Rainbow Trust; a children's charity that supports children with a life threatening or terminal illnesses, it would be very much appreciated.

To sponsor me, you can text ROWL99 £5 (or amount of your choice) to 70070 to sponsor me or go to JustGiving.

I've already got the T-shirt!

Related posts


>> I'm Throwing Myself Out Of A Plane
>> Happy New Year for 2013



Thursday, 27 June 2013

Win Your Name in 'Christmas Is Cancelled... Again'

Work on the second book in the Christmas is Cancelled series—Phil's story—is about to get underway, and you could be a part of it.

How would you like your name immortalised in print?



As a thank you for all the support I have received, I am offering one lucky reader the chance to name a character in Christmas Is Cancelled... Again. 


It can be your name, or a name of your choice (unless your chosen name is the same as one of the existing characters, in which case we'll need to get creative) and there will also be an acknowledgement in the front of the ebook too.



Entry is free, no obligation and no strings attached; you don't even have to jump through any flaming hoopsunless you want to, of coursebut you will have the option of unlock bonus entries to boost your chances of winning.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Twenty Questions with... Hannah Pole PLUS GIVEAWAY

I am delighted to welcome Hannah Pole onto my blog today, author of Silence of the Wolves, book  one in the Call of the Wilderness series, from Carina UK.

I met Hannah a month or so ago and based upon my first impressions, she seemed a bit...um...looney-toons—in the best possible way of courseso I jumped at the chance to get to know her even better with a game of twenty questions. I'll let you decide if my first impressions were on the mark or not ;-)

ACT ONE – all about you…


In a nutshell, I am a creative crazy bean, living with my lovely husband and a house full of too many animals! I’ve always secretly wished I were a werewolf of some description, but have come to realise that I will have to settle for writing about them instead! I’m happiest in the sun with my head in a good book!

1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

Well its funny you should ask! I actually literally fell into it. I was reading through old diary entries one day and I came across one that made me laugh so incredibly hard I literally fell off my chair! I’m not joking, it really hurt! Anyway, I decided that everyone should laugh that hard so I started writing it into a book. The rest, as they say, is history!

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

My pre-writing ritual is as follows - Coffee making comes first, lord that delicious milky goodness is my writing fuel! I then clear up whatever mess my dogs have made, stare longingly at my bookshelf, read through the last chapter I’ve written, tweet about how much I procrastinate. Then I’ll turn off my internet and wrap myself up in my personal literary world!

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing?

Oh god yes! The most prominent of which is J.R. Ward. Her series about the black dagger brotherhood was the first Urban Fantasy series I picked up! To keep a long story short I will just say that I found her books at an incredibly difficult time in my life, she kept me sane. It was because of her I found my favourite genre. Keri Arthur, Rachel Vincent and P.C. Cast are the authors that kept me there though, without these ladies, I can honestly say I wouldn’t be even remotely as passionate about the genre as I am. They gave me the courage to write.

4) Is there one piece of writing (or life?) advice that has stuck with you, or that you would like to share?

With writing the one piece of advice I was given and will in turn pass on is honestly, write for yourself. I know everyone says this but it is so true. Stick to the genre you love, create characters that excite you and situations you can imagine so clearly it’s almost as if you’re watching it happen before your eyes. And appreciate yourself, don’t be afraid to boast or be proud because you should be!

And with regards to publication, the best bit of advice I received was to be sure to make the opening chapter exciting. I was told when I tried (and failed) to publish my first book that 90% of new authors don’t get published because it takes too long to get into the story! So open with a pulse racing scene and you’ll give yourself a fighting start (no pun intended!)

5) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

Erm, I used to load trucks for a living, in the time of doing anything for money that was a good earner!

I’ve got a Diploma in Animal Behaviour, because I really wanted to work in a zoo (It didn’t work)

I am known to smother almost everything I eat in salad cream. I can live for months on homemade goats cheese and salad cream toast and little else.

6) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

My mac, I couldn’t write without it! My kindle, candles and incense, my house is empty without them! My playstation3 (I am not ashamed to say I am a huge Skyrim nerd!) My oversized crates of wine. And my harpoon gun (Only Joking!)

ACT TWO – all about your new release…


Scroll down for excerpt and cool trailer!

Fate is calling…

After a strange encounter in a dark alley, journalist Tamriel’s life is turned upside down. She’s missing days, developing odd new abilities, and being followed by mysterious Leyth.

Dark, dangerous – and too gorgeous for his own good –Leyth’s determined to teach Tamriel about her new life – as a werewolf! And just as intent on keeping their relationship strictly business.

But as their simmering bond grows, Tamriel and Leyth face a bigger challenge; Tam may be their kind’s strongest weapon against the Circle, a deadly group of paranormal creatures gone rogue. That is, if she’s ready to give into her destiny and put up the fight of her life...

7) Congratulations on your recent release of Silence of the Wolves, what was your inspiration for writing Tamriel and Leyth’s story?

I’ve always loved supernatural, my first (unfinished) book was about Angles, demons and everything in between! When National Novel Writing Month came around, my husband and I had just been given our lovely dog Orbit, who is a Husky X Malamute. When I was trying to find inspiration to write my novel, Orbit sat with his paws on my feet the entire time. Wolves seemed the obvious option! Dark and dangerous, with a ton of action and a smidge of love!

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

Most of it just wouldn’t stop coming, I’d sit down and disappear into a literary world of bliss for hours on end! The only difficult bits were what I like to call the ‘scenes in between’- just before a major event in the story line I would find it difficult to fill the gaps.

9) I see Silence of the Wolves is your debut, how long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?

I remember sitting down and staring at the little blinking cursor for a bit struggling to get started. So I started with exactly that, the opening line is Tamriel, the heroine, struggling with what to write for her next story (She’s a journalist) But from the second my fingers hit the keys, it just came. It took me thirty days to write the first draft. I submitted it straight away to Harlequin because I’d heard they were accepting submissions. I spent a month extending and finalising it. Then two months after that I got the terrifying ‘I would like to discuss your novel with you’ email from my editor!

I count myself incredibly lucky for this to have happened so quickly for me!

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?

Looking up at her, the wolf’s eyes could only be described as regretful as he let rip a howl that could crack windows. She watched in disbelief, terror freezing her to the ground, as the wolf’s arms and legs started to bow and distort, his entire body beginning to move and writhe. It looked for all the world like his body was breaking down and rebuilding itself. His face started collapsing in on itself, jaw cracking, tail shortening until it was no more, the beautiful black and grey fur that covered him in rippling waves disappearing into his skin until, finally, it was over.
It took only seconds until what was left…
…was a butt-naked man lying on the cold forest floor.

11) Over to you, what can you tell us about Silence of the Wolves, to make us rush out and buy it?

It’s a heated combination of lust, despair and the war between (Sexy manly) Good and (putrid decomposing) Evil. Werewolves dominate the plot with some soul stealing Magi, evil zombieish-Vampires, beautiful Djinn (genies), Minotaur’s and Wiccans thrown in to boot! Honestly, the best I can say is if you like something pulse racing, a little magical and sort of lusty give it a go! You might love it! I know I do, but I wrote it ha!

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?

WELL! This is the first in what I’m hoping to be about a ten book series! Song of the Soul, the second book is currently with my editor being edited (Eeek!) – Bite of Vengeance, book three is currently in the making… And the first book in my second series Creatures of the Night is currently undergoing the first stages of being written. It’s all very exciting! I am eternally glued to my laptop! (My poor husband has lost his wife to literature!)

QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…


13) Plotter or pantser?

Panster! I just go with it and see where it takes me!

14) Secret Seven or Famous Five? (please tell me you know them!?)

Secret Seven!

15) Digital books or print books?

Hard question! I’m inclined to say print books because I love the smell of them! Mmm!

16) Tea or coffee?

Coffee. Writers fuel!

17) Cats or dogs?

Dogs! Wolves. Dingos. African wild dogs. LOVE THEM ALL!

18) Extrovert or introvert?

Extrovert! Always!

19) Save or spend?

Spend! (Usually on books. Lots and lots of books.)

20) Facebook or Twitter?

Meeting up at the pub. (I’m not good at social media!) But if I had to choose, I’d say facebook. The limit on typing on twitter kills me!

And that’s a wrap!

Thank you so much for taking part, Hannah, I wish you every success with your new release.

To discover even more about Hannah, and to keep up with her latest projects and shenanigans, you can visit her at:

Twitter     Facebook     Website


Buy it now…


Add to Goodreads

CALL OF THE WILDERNESS: BOOK 1
For fans of Kelly Armstrong

Amazon
Amazon UK
Carina UK

(more links to follow)


Giveaway…


I love this giveaway from Hannah, very creative and original...

If you buy the book tweet me a picture of Silence of the Wolves on your phone, kindle, nook, laptop, chalkboard, face, whatever works! Or email it to hp@hannahpole.co.uk and you will get a free signed e-poster!

The funniest pictures will receive an amazon gift card or a signed printed poster!

Also, if you share the book, like my facebook page or follow me on twitter, you will be entered into a draw to win a signed printed poster or an amazon gift card! EXCITING TIMES LADIES AND GENTS!

Excerpt...


Slowly, carefully, Tam moved. Only an inch as she lowered herself to the ground and, in one painstaking movement, she knelt before the wolf.

Her knife was clipped to the side of her bra and her hands itched to reach for it, but she knew it was a bad idea. Currently the wolf was showing no signs of aggression and she didn’t want to spook him again.

As she looked into those beautiful grey eyes, she saw no anger, no malice. She saw fatigue, pain and confusion. She could read the emotions behind them like a book.

As she watched him, it seemed as though he was being as careful as she to move carefully. It was almost as if it were he who didn’t want to spook her rather than the other way around. He lowered his back end to the ground, shuffling a little awkwardly around his back leg. He then proceeded to lie down completely, resting his head on his paws, keeping his eyes still locked onto hers. It was as if he’d visibly given up.

Tam slowly edged forward. She must be absolutely crazy, knowing this was a vicious wild animal and that it could tear her apart easily. Yet her gut told her the wolf wasn’t going to hurt her.

She must be going mad. She was going to end up being that weird woman that was nearly killed by a wild wolf because she thought she could be friends with it.

And yet, this moment, this intense, terrifying, incredibly special moment, was one she would treasure for the rest of her life; one she would write about and talk of over and over again to friends, family and, maybe, one day her children.

The day mommy made friends with a wolf.

Book trailer...



Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Aurelia's "Anoraks"

Have you ever tried to find a free stock image for anoraks?

I have.

And I failed, so um...here's an old picture of my kids looking super cute instead.

(c) Aurelia B. Rowl
That counts as an anorak picture, right?

You may be wondering why was I looking for anoraks in the first place?

Well you see... I was toying with the idea of creating a Street Team (see here), but I hate the idea of getting my readers and followers to spam their friends and falsely recommend my books when they are released (see here). If/when I get to the top of a Goodreads list, I want it to be by merit; because readers have read and enjoyed my work, not just because I've basically bribed voters with the promise of free gifts and swag.

So, instead of a Street Team, I've created a new reader group on Goodreads; a place where my readers can gather together, discuss my books and get insider info on what I'm up to. There will be exclusive excerpts, giveaways, sneak peeks, review requests, blog host requests and anything else that comes to mind. More importantly, I want to create a community...

That's right, I want to get to know you too, and in the process, you'll get to know me better as well.

Of course, if you love my work, then I very much hope you'd be willing to recommend me to your friends, write a review, sign up to be a blog host, tweet when I have a new release, share my posts on Facebook etc, but purely because you'd like to support me, not because of what you might get out of it in return.

And the name of this group?

It's called Aurelia's "Anoraks" of course, so if you're a readermaybe even a fanof mine, I'd love to see you over there.

Click here to join
Aurelia's "Anoraks"


Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Twenty Questions with... Carmen Falcone

I am delighted to welcome Carmen Falcone back onto my blog today, author of Heating Up Hawaii, recently released from Breathless Press, as well as A Vengeful Affair, released by Entangled Publishing last Summer (click here to read my review).

Hi, Aurelia! Thanks so much for having me over your coveted blog ;) 

ACT ONE – all about you…


Carmen Falcone learned at an early age that fantasizing about fictional characters and places beat doing Math homework any day. She traveled the world, achieved a B.A. in Tourism in her hometown in Brazil and was soon invited to work in the USA, where she met her Swiss husband. She’d always dreamed of becoming a published writer, and after her daughter was born, she revisited that dream of writing – this time, unwilling to give it up. She lives in Austin and enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with her family and three high energy pugs.

1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

I’ve always been a closet writer. I used to write a lot when I was a teenager, then had a long writer’s block. Fortunately, I found my way back into writing a few years ago and haven’t stopped ever since.

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

I usually like to warm up by checking the news (and by news I mean celebrity gossip websites!) before I dive into writing.

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing?

I read a lot of romance novels by Jacqueline Baird growing up, and always enjoyed her style. She always wrote fast-paced stories filled with passion.

4) Is there one piece of writing (or life?) advice that has stuck with you, or that you would like to share?

Write no matter what. The long writer’s block I endured taught me to use writing as a way of expression and never go too long without doing it.

5) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know? 

If you read my blog or follow me on twitter, that’s a hard one! LOL. I’m the youngest of six, I lived in California for a year and I’m not circumcised (Sorry, couldn’t resist!).

6) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

iPhone, iPad, kindle, pop corn, laptop. I said pop corn to make sure you were paying attention ;)

ACT TWO – all about your new release…



There is just one person standing between Penny Ashbrook's dream of opening her own PR business or being stuck at her job: the formidable Luc Leoni - her first lover, and the man who lets nothing and no-one get in his way. Seeing him after so long brings all the hidden emotions after a life altering break-up to surface. Pain, denial...and lust.

Luc has made many sacrifices for his career, including Penny Ashbrook, the woman who set his aspirations back a year. But now she has returned and is more alluring than ever. After all these years, he thought a self-made billionaire like himself could master everything, but to resist the strong pull toward the one woman he can't have is an impossible task.

When this unlikely pair is reunited they will have to face the many challenges set in their way, especially an attraction that has only heightened with time and a deadline quickly approaching. Can their new bond surpass old—and new—fears?

7) Congratulations on your recent release of Heating Up Hawaii, what was your inspiration for writing Penny and Luc’s story?

Thank you! I always enjoyed the reunited lovers trope, and was dying to give it a try.

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

I’ve made quite some changes from the first draft to the final one, but they all made the story stronger. I think. Please buy it and let me know J

9) How long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk? 

It’s hard to know, because I was in between projects and didn’t write this one straight through.

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?

Sure! I love this section when she sees Luc again after eight years apart, at a networking event.

“But this man… He took a step in her direction, the setting sun illuminating his face as he moved out of the shade. She glanced at him like her eyes were old-fashioned camera lenses, capturing his features in slow motion and adjusting to his figure. His lips, sensual and rich like his clothes, twitched. As soon as her gaze collided with his, her heart skipped a beat for a few seconds only to resume and pound its way out of her beige linen dress.

Luc Leoni.

It couldn't be, could it? To see him again after all these years.

Oh, but it was…”

11) Over to you, what can you tell us about Heating Up Hawaii, to make us rush out and buy it?

Heating Up Hawaii is a sexy contemporary novella filled with sexual tension, strong emotions and compelling characters. If you like reunited lovers, office romances or vacation romances, you’ll enjoy this read!

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now? 

I have an Entangled Indulgence releasing in December, and I just finished Heating Up Las Vegas, the sequel. I also have a couple of other projects in the works.

QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…


13) Plotter or pantser?

Pantser.

14) Secret Seven or Famous Five? (please tell me you know them!?)

Say WHAT? LOL!

15) Digital books or print books?

Digital all the way, baby.

16) Tea or coffee?

I’d have to say tea. I must be the only Brazilian who hates coffee!

17) Cats or dogs?

Dogs.

18) Extrovert or introvert?

Extrovert.

19) Save or spend? 

Spend! ;)

20) Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook

And that’s a wrap!

Thank you so much for taking part, Carmen, I wish you every success with your latest release.

To discover even more about Carmen – and believe me, you want to! – and to keep up with her latest projects and shenanigans, you can visit her at:

Author WebsiteGoodreads
TwitterFacebook ∙ Blog


Buy it now…


ISBN: 978-1-77101-962-0
Heat Rating: 3
Word Count: 38240
Release Date: May 3, 2013

Amazon UKNook/Kobo coming soon


Excerpt…


Only a few more months. Penny Ashbrook pressed her folded arms on the metal rail of the rooftop bar. She looked at the pallet of orange, yellow and pink colors dipping into the background as the sun set behind the Dallas skyline. A few more months, and she'd be debt free - and not just monetarily.

Although each day would stretch into the length of a decade, she knew she could handle it. Hell, hadn't she done just that for the past six months? She'd kept her head high and chin up even though her boss's passive aggressiveness often drove her crazy. She'd pretended not to listen when small-minded coworkers whispered behind her back. At thirty, wasn't she too old to be the talk of the office?

With a sigh, she stood straight and squared her shoulders. The much-awaited networking happy hour was not the place for a therapy session. She glanced around her. A sea of people occupied the large outdoor area. Elegantly attired men and women sought new contacts and hot leads while munching on caviar hors d'oeuvres and overpriced liquor.

She decided to stare at the blinding sun one more time, in hopes of extracting enough energy to walk around and get moving. After all, her client list wouldn't just materialize in front of her, would it? She'd had to fight hard and strong to get where she wanted to be.

"Penny, I've just run into an old friend of yours," her boss, Charles Dawn, told her while his fingers lightly touched her elbow. He prompted her to turn toward him and the tall, broad-shouldered man standing next to him.

Penny flashed her signature smile and squinted to get a sharper view of the man in front of her. An oversized palm tree shadowed him.

She guessed he was at least six feet two, which put her at a disadvantage at only five feet six. His dark gray designer suit looked tailor-made to fit the planes of his large chest, and good God, legs that went on and on.

Old friend? She couldn't remember having friends that looked this intimidating—old or current. If she was honest with herself, the few friends she had, all vanished like dust after she'd called off her wedding.

But this man... He took a step in her direction, the setting sun illuminating his face as he moved out of the shade. She glanced at him like her eyes were old-fashioned camera lenses, capturing his features in slow motion and adjusting to his figure. His lips, sensual and rich like his clothes, twitched. As soon as her gaze collided with his, her heart skipped a beat for a few seconds only to resume and pound its way out of her beige linen dress.

Luc Leoni.

It couldn't be, could it? To see him again after all these years.

Oh but it was...

Penny stared into his two-colored eyes—one lighter than a clear blue sky and the other reminiscent of murky seas. Yes, even they were ambiguous.

"Luc." She cleared her throat, and noticed a couple of fine lines around his mismatched pair.

"Penelope." Luc's velvety voice was like a warm caress. His French accent alone lured women to drop their underwear by his bedside. His deep pronunciation of her name hadn't changed... Pen-ay-looh-paay.

Penny stiffened her back, offered him a professional handshake under Charles Dawn's ambitious grin. Although she wished she could kick Luc Leoni where he deserved, she had to swallow her resentment and go along with it.

Luc took her hand in his larger one, and heat coiled low in her stomach. But instead of a professional handshake, he pulled her closer with a swift movement and leaned down. He kissed her on one cheek, his warm lips brushing gently on her skin. The whisper of a touch between his stubbled chin and her other cheek belted a wire of electricity into her system.

Penny smelled his earthy masculine cologne, where rich woodsy notes blended with a light citrus. Luc Leoni was a fantastic gift wrapping for an unworthy product.

He stepped back.

This can't be my imagination... The hot breeze ruffled a few lustrous black strands of his hair, warning her that it was all too real.

"What a small world," Charles said. "I did fail to ask where you two know each other from."


Monday, 10 June 2013

Spotlight on... Once Upon A Twist by Aimee Duffy and Michelle Smart


When the sun goes down,
guess what’s coming out to play…?


Glass Slippers and Combat Boots

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, the creatures are coming...
In a land run by misogynists, where fair maidens are deemed liable to fall in a dead faint at the sight of blood, Prince Charming is worried – the creatures that have destroyed their neighboring kingdoms are coming for them. He judges it imperative to get all the females to safety, but first he needs to break the enchantment enslaving his One True Love to her hateful home. Oh, and there’s the small matter of the Ball to get through too.
But when the creatures reach them ahead of their expected time, all plans are foregone. Can Ella break her wicked stepmother’s enchantment? Can she save her handsome Prince and the kingdom before midnight strikes? And can she show his soldiers what it really means to kick a monster’s butt? The clock is ticking…

Excerpt...


“She murdered my father – I can’t prove it but I know it was Christell who put the poisonous spider in his bed. If she could, she would kill me too but my fairy godmother put her own enchantment on me that stops Christell or my stepsisters from killing me. It doesn’t stop them beating me when the mood takes them, but it is impossible for them to decapitate me or remove a limb or stop my heart from beating.”

“Why doesn’t your fairy godmother break the enchantment?”

“Ha!” Ella rolled her eyes and heaved herself up. “I haven’t seen her since my father’s funeral. She’s elderly and very scatty.”

James’s easy-going smile had vanished. His brow had furrowed and he stared at her for long moments before speaking. “Christell’s taking an awful risk letting you into the forest every day.”

“Like most of the humans in this land, she avoids the forest.” She dragged a finger along his stubbly cheek, tracing the long scar that ran along it, a permanent reminder of the war he had been fighting in for King and Country. “But you are braver than most humans.”

Darkness clouded his eyes. “I wish you had told me before… Ella, we need to find a way to break the enchantment.”

“Until my fairy godmother shows up, there is no way. Christell’s magic is too powerful and personal for an unconnected sorcerer to break it.”

“It’s not safe for you here,” he bit out. “I wanted to marry you and take you as far away as I could. It’s not safe here for anyone.”


Reunited With Red

Many, many years later…
When Ruby visits her grandmother in the deep, dark forest, she stumbles into a nightmare. Her grandma’s been attacked by a wolf-like creature, and an ancient disease that turned people into monsters is back… and so is the cold-hearted ex she walked out on a year ago.
Now she has to either accept Jeremy’s help or face becoming a monster herself. Fighting alongside the man she once loved isn’t easy, especially when she discovers there’s more to Jeremy than the cheating bastard she took him for.
As they fight to survive the disease and save those they love, can they keep from falling for each other all over again?

Excerpt...


“Where are you going?” she asked.

“To get the gun. Stay there,” he added when he heard the water splashing around her.

The splashing stopped, and she didn’t speak. He pulled a small torch from his pocket, clicked the button. Nothing happened. Shaking his head, he considered waiting for the clouds to pass the moon so he could see properly. That could take minutes they didn’t have.

Dropping to his knees, he felt blindly around the ground, but it was like looking for a natural blonde at Hugh Hefner’s. Then again, he’d be able to find Red there—or anywhere—even without the gift of sight. She may still be in the water, but he could remember her lavender scent, remember her silky smooth skin. Remember how his body fired up like it had been injected with a semi-lethal dose of hormones when she was in a ten foot radius.

“How…d-do you kn-know it will f-f-follow us.” Her teeth rattled together as she spoke.

Without the heat of his body, she must be freezing. He increased the speed of his search, thought about leaving the damn thing. After all he had plenty more at home, what was one shotgun when he had one in every closet? But keeping her alive for the journey back was more important than keeping her warm.

“J-J-Jer…?”

He considered how much to tell her, after all, he’d signed away the right to be honest with anyone, even the rest of the world when the half-dead creatures started attacking in the night. When he realized what had started it all, he had sworn he would put an end to what he helped create, even though opening his mouth meant he risked jail. Or worse, the other person’s death.

He’d been responsible for enough deaths already.

Once Upon A Twist
by Aimee Duffy and Michelle Smart

When the sun goes down, guess what’s coming out to play…?


Buy Links...




Amazon UK
Amazon US





Michelle’s links...






Aimee’s links...





Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Twenty Questions with... Katlyn Duncan

I am delighted to welcome Katlyn Duncan onto my blog today, author of Soul Taken, book one in The Life After trilogy released earlier this week by Carina UK.

To be on board right at the start of not only the Carina UK imprint, but also the start of several authors careers, has been wonderful. Katlyn is the third author to be published by the new digital imprint from Harlequin so far, and the third debutante. I have loved getting to know her over the past few weeks, but now it's time to introduce her to you all, and what better way than with a round of twenty questions...

ACT ONE – all about you…



Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.

Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.


1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

Since before I can remember I was writing. Whether it was short stories, movie scripts, plays or novels, I was always writing.

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

I find that in the morning, right when I wake up I get my best work done. Other than that, there is no set ritual I have. For instance, sometimes I listen to music and other times I need silence, it depends on my mood.

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing?

Many authors have influenced me, such as Kelley Armstrong, James Patterson and Stephen King. But pretty much any book that brings out strong emotions, whether that is love or hate, inspires me to make my writing stronger. I remember a few years ago reading Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr and I was blown away, it actually pushed me to start writing again since I connected with the story so well and I wanted others to feel the same way about mine. And Rachel Vincent as well. She is an amazing author and a lot of times makes me want to throw her book out the window while reading, but in the best way possible!

4) Is there one piece of writing (or life?) advice that has stuck with you, or that you would like to share?

For life advice I would say 'be yourself'. I read and write YA, so the struggle to find out who you are going to be is always there. As a teen you can feel like the whole world will be crushed if you don't go to this dance or kiss that boy, but if you aren't true to yourself then when your youth is all said and done, what do you have? I wish I could have told my 15 year old self that many times, but now I do have a lot of angsty journals to go back to for novel fodder. 

5) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

I love romantic comedies, I'm a complete sucker for them.

I studied forensic science at university.

I hate sea water.


6) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

I'm somewhat of a gadget hoarder...my iPhone, iPad, laptop, Kindle, and Kindle Fire. 

ACT TWO – all about your new release…




After-life just got a lot more complicated...

Maggie is a Soul Collector. It’s her job to transport souls from the Living Realm to the After – but during a mission to find a stolen soul, she ends up stuck in a teen mean girl’s body.
Trapped, Maggie’s soul is catapulted into Ally’s life – and the human world she hasn’t experienced for one hundred years. But, as a descendant of the most powerful beings in the After, Maggie must rescue Ally before the girl’s soul dies…
To survive, Maggie must uncover devastating secrets – because with one soul taken by a terrifying enemy, Maggie’s could be next!

7) Congratulations on your recent release of Soul Taken, what was your inspiration for writing Maggie's story?

One day Maggie's story slammed into me. The question, "What if a reaper was taking a soul to the after-life and got stuck inside of her body?" The plot has developed significantly since then but that was the first seed. 

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

The first two drafts came together nicely, but there wasn't much of a story and Maggie was sort of letting the story take her. I've learned a lot over the years and my final drafts were more difficult to pull out but definitely better. 

9) I see Soul Taken is your debut, how long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?

I want to say about four years. But I didn't do this full time, I wrote for fun. But when I started book blogging (www.sithereandread.com) I met a lot of people and realized that I could make my dream come true if I tried hard enough, so I did.

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?


Taking another step forward he pulled my body close to his, the touch sending electric currents through me. Unconsciously I lifted my arms, pressing my fingers against him for balance. 
"He lied to us," he whispered, his mouth touching my head.

11) Over to you, what can you tell us about Soul Taken, to make us rush out and buy it?

I always write what I want to read. And this book is definitely different than other "reaper" books. Maggie is a strong seventeen year old soul who is thrust into a precarious situation and basically has to fight for her and her new body's after-life. You will get lots of action, adventure, and a bit of romance. 

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?

I am currently working on the sequel to Soul Taken.


QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…


13) Plotter or pantser? 

Plotter. 

14) Secret Seven or Famous Five? (please tell me you know them!?)

Famous Five. 

15) Digital books or print books? 

I'll never choose! :0)

16) Tea or coffee?

Coffee in the morning, tea at night.

17) Cats or dogs?

Dogs.

18) Extrovert or introvert?

Introvert.

19) Save or spend?

Spend. 

20) Facebook or Twitter? 

Twitter.

And that’s a wrap!

Thank you so much for taking part, Katlyn, I wish you every success with your new release and have already added it to my TBR list.

To discover even more about Katlyn, and to keep up with her latest projects and other-worldly adventures, you can visit her at:


Buy it now…

Add to Goodreads
Release date: June 4th, Carina UK
Genre: YA Paranormal
ISBN: 978-1-472-01709-3


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Excerpt...


I knelt down again next to Ally and reached out to touch her skin. Even though the sensation was unpleasant, I could feel her pulse as it rapidly declined.

“No,” I moaned. I looked up again to see if any of the Guard could help, but no one was around.

I looked back down at Ally. Her face was paling by the second. My soul started to tingle. I leaned closer to her body, reaching my hand out to touch her face again, when her arm moved toward mine.

I jumped back.

Heather pushed through the crowd. “Did she just move? Did I see her move?” Streaks of black mascara ran down her cheeks.

A ringing sensation tickled my ear and I tuned in to the True Soul’s presence. I looked at each human. The True Soul was close, but who had it? They all seemed equally shocked at the tragedy.

An uncomfortable pressure in my chest drew me closer to her body. My soul slanted toward hers until I was practically on top of her. I helplessly watched my hand morph and stretch toward her body.

“What the—?” I tried to pull back but the strength of whatever was happening had other ideas.

My hand disappeared first, then my arm, then my torso.

But before I could call for help, my world went dark.