Monday, 27 March 2017

Meet A Writer Monday Presents...

...Tima Maria Lacoba

1. Tell me about your book, BloodGifted, and where you got your inspiration for it?

The idea came to me while researching my Masters degree in Archaeology in Britain. I came across a Roman fort on Hadrian’s Wall that was abandoned in the mid 3rd century, for no apparent reason. But knowing how superstitious the ancient Romans were, I incorporated a supernatural element into it, and BloodGifted was born.

2. What is the longest you’ve gone without writing?

It would be about a month. I’d just completed Bk 3, BloodVault, and I felt burned out. Over the last 4 years I’d written 4 books (1 short story and 3 novels), each around 100K. I was simply exhausted and needed a break.

3. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and why?

My favourite place in the world is Italy, especially the Amalfi coast. I love the Mediterranean, Italian food and culture, and of course, it’s archaeology.

That’s why I set set my short story, Laura’s Locket, in Sorrento.

4. If you could live in a book, TV show or Movie, what would it be?

Given such a fantastic choice, I’d head straight for Narnia. I’d love to walk through a forest to meet centaurs, satyrs and talking beavers.

5. If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?

I’d travel back to 5th century Britain to see if King Arthur really did exist, and the legendary knights who made up his troupe. Was he a Celtic warrior, or a Roman commander who remained behind after the Romans had withdrawn?

6. If you had to choose to live without one of your five senses, which would you give up and why?

I hope never to lose any of my senses, but if ever forced to make a choice, I’d rather lose my hearing than any of the others. At least I could remember all the beautiful music and voices in my mind, and I could read the subtitles of movies and TV shows. I’d rather sacrifice that, then my sight, as I hate the dark.

7. If you could bring one fictional character to life, who would it be and why?

It would have to be the great detective, Sherlock Holmes. I reckon he could still teach our modern law enforcement about crime solving using logic and deduction.

8. What genre do you write in and what draws you into this genre?

I write paranormal romance / urban fantasy because it gives more scope to the imagination. Plus, who doesn’t love a gothic story with a touch of romance?

9. What part of your writing time do you dedicate to marketing your book?

No more than an hour, as I’d rather spend the time writing. Too much time can be wasted on social media pushing my books, and that’s not what people want to see. Instead, I choose some reliable (and affordable) paid marketing sites that can do it for me. They do a much better job, too.

10. Do you think giving away books for free works and why?

I could write a thesis on this subject. The simple answer is NO. An author spends months (even years) creating, plotting and writing a novel, then paying a professional to edit, another to design an eye-catching cover, and finally for formatting, only to give it away for free?


All a freebie does is devalue our work as writers, and condition readers into believing they’re entitled to it, which of course, is rubbish.

Every piece of creative work deserves to be paid. Authors are providing a service – entertainment – that must be paid for.

11. Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?

The few times I believed I was in control of my story, my characters soon sorted me out, lol. They definitely dictate the course of the action, and even where my chapters should end or begin.

After all, it’s their story.

12. Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

Some of my characters are based either on, or a combination of, people I personally know. And they know who they are, lol. I have their permission.

The rest are purely my imagination.

What’s a girl to do when she learns she’s the key to breaking a centuries-old family curse? Become dangerously intimate with a jaw-dropping vision of male hotness hiding a secret agenda of his own.

Nothing could be simpler.

Or is it?

When primary school teacher Laura Dantonville learns of her family's dark ancestral legacy, she’s propelled into a secret underworld ruled by magic, mystery and murder, and stalked by vampire clans who would do anything to possess her. For her protection, she’s assigned a guardian not knowing that part of her role in ending the ancient curse that has plagued her family for centuries, involves having a child with him.

And she has one day to make a decision.

With only five years left of servitude to his sire, Alec Munro reluctantly accepts to act as Laura’s guardian or risk remaining in slavery forever. But can he maintain a platonic relationship between them when something far more intimate is required to end his sire’s family curse?

With time running out, Laura must decide to either accept Alec or allow her vampire-hating detective boyfriend to end the legacy his way – by eliminating the undead side of her family.

After all, they’re not human are they?

Being unable to age is just the beginning.

About Tima Maria

Tima Maria Lacoba is a former ancient historian and archaeologist who accidently smashed a 3,000 Egyptian vase while on her first dig! Her supervisor made her glue it back together again. It took a week. From there she went on to specialise in late Roman-British archaeology, and the military forts along Hadrian’s Wall, because buildings don’t smash as easily. Now she’s combined her love of history with another passion—story-telling—to create a dark tale of Roman soldiers cursed by a British witch.

Twitter: @TimaMariaLacoba

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Dusty Pages Review: Hollow City

This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine's island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

For some reason, although the story picks up right after the events of the first book, it didn't seem as exciting as the first. I do get the feeling that this is one big long story that got split into three parts rather than three individual books with their own themes. The photographic portions of the book seemed to be stretching their connection to the story - in fact it seemed as if the story was written so that photograph could be included rather than inspiring the story as the ones in the first book had. There seemed to be a lot of running about blinding to fill pages.

I found that it didn't really get interesting until the last quarter of the book where there are a couple of surprising twists that draw you in just in time for this book to finish and you have to read the third to know the outcome. I will read the third, because I would like to see if the story rounds off nicely and I want to see the full extent of Jacobs abilities.

Sadly I feel I can't give this anymore than

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Dusty Pages Review: All the Little Liars

Librarian Aurora Teagarden is basking in the news of her pregnancy when disaster strikes her small town: four children, including her fifteen-year-old brother, Philip, have vanished from the school football field. What's even more worrisome is the dead body found at their last known location.
While the local police comb the county for the missing children, Aurora and her new husband, true crime writer Robin Crusoe, begin their own investigation. Could the two incidents have something to do with a group of school bullies? Are Aurora's father's gambling debts related to the disappearance of her brother? Or could it be that Philip himself, new to town and relatively unknown, is the one responsible?
With Christmas approaching, Aurora is determined to find her brother . . . if he's still alive.

I have been waiting for this book for a long time. I loved the Aurora Teagarden Series when I first got my hands on it and the fact that it never really seemed to be rounded off left fans like me speculating on whether it would continue. When I heard this was coming out I couldn't have been more excited.

It was wonderful to be back in her world with all the old characters that I loved but one was noticeably absent (Arthur Smith - currently in the midnight Texas series) which confirms that all the series have been tenuously connected - though no realistic mention of vampires or shifters in this one.

I was a little disappointed that the covers had changed again, this is a pet peeve of mine. I do like when all the books on the shelf match. The only other thing that I found a bit of a let down was how I was able to guess what had happened fairly early on in the book and was waiting for Aurora to catch up. However I am intensely happy to see this story continuing. Hopefully Ms Harris will bring it to a proper conclusion this time, though I hope that is several books in the future. I have already put the next title on my wish list

I give it