Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Dusty Pages Review: Dream Girl

He’s sexy and intelligent, handsome and witty, and Chloe’s body lights up with sparks at his touch. And when he looks into her eyes and whispers naughty sexy things into her ear, she wants to melt into him and enjoy the mind-blowing passion he promises.
Too bad he’s the star of the popular reality show Dream Girls, and he’s also dating nineteen other women in addition to Chloe — women who are sexy and so talented that their Nobel Prizes should arrive any day now. Chloe’s sure he’s just amusing himself with her, and there is no way he’d pick her as his final Dream Girl — especially since she gets into so many crazy scrapes on the show.

She promised herself she was only doing this for adventure, travel, and new experiences…not to make a fool of herself on national TV. But he’s so sexy and persuasive! Would it be so bad to say yes to all of his dark, dirty requests? And most important of all — what will happen if she risks her heart?

I've never been a big fan of reality TV, so a book about it was an odd choice for me but I really enjoyed it. This fictitious look into the world behind it all, picks out my own thoughts about the medium from vicious manipulative producers to desperate to win contestants.

I loved Chloe. She was a well drawn extremely likeable character that I found myself relating to. Her interactions with Dominic were feisty and full of witty saucy banter - which I am a sucker for. Their flirtation and romance was the kind I would imagine for myself. There were a couple of love scenes towards the end of the book, they were both tasteful and hot.

This is the first book I've read by Ms Alvarez but most certainly won't be the last.

I give it

Monday, 21 March 2016

Meet A Writer Monday Presents...

...Avril Sabine

1. How do you come up with titles for your books?

Sometimes the title arrives along with the idea and other times something that happens in the book gives me a title. It could be something a character says, an item or event. Of course there are times when I struggle to decide what title to use and I hassle my family and editors to improve on the titles I've come up with.

2. Do you find your social life hampered by your writing life?

Social life? What social life? All joking aside, I wouldn't say it hampers it as much as it distracts me from it. There's been many times my oldest son has picked up my laptop and carried it to the door with me still trying to type 'just one last word'. I'd be lost without him to get me organised. The times I've been sucked into a story when I'm supposed to be getting ready to go somewhere, are numerous.

3. How do you feel about public appearances? Do you do them often?

I enjoy meeting my readers and have had fun at each appearance, workshop and school visit. I plan to do more in the future.

4. What do you plan to do next?

I plan to continue releasing books as often as I'm currently releasing them. There will be more books in my series Fairytales Retold, Demon Hunters and Plea Of The Damned. I also have some new series coming out this year and in 2016. Realms Of The Fae, Myths And Legends Retold and Rosie's Rangers.

5. How do you motivate yourself to keep writing?

Motivation is never an issue. Sometimes I have the opposite problem of being able to take a break from my writing. My characters and story ideas often keep me awake as I frantically try and keep up with the words crowding my mind, preventing me from sleeping.

6. Do you have anyone you go to for advice? In person or Online?

It all depends on what sort of advice I need. I have different people I talk to when I need advice on particular things. Family, friends, contacts I've made in different fields. If they can't help me I then search for someone I can either ring or contact online. It's always important to make sure the person you go to for advice knows the area you're wanting advice on.

7. What is your favourite word?

My favourite word is why. I've been using it since I was little. Ask my family, I'm sure they'll tell you how much I drove them crazy with it. In fact, I love the word that much I wrote a blog post about it!

8. Which of the four seasons do you like the most?

I don't do good with questions where I have to pick only one thing. It's not the fact I have to make a decision. I'm good at that. It's having to choose one when I like more than one. I like both spring and autumn equally. Until they get too hot or cold that is. That's what I love about both those seasons. Days that are a perfect temperature.

9. Why did you choose to be a writer?

I loved books from when I was very little and asked everyone to read to me until I was able to read for myself. It was while I was once again reading my book of fairytales that I realised someone wrote the words I was reading. That's the moment I decided I wanted to be the person who wrote the words in books. I wasn't old enough to go to school, I didn't know they were called authors, but I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.

10. Where is your favourite place to go on a weekday afternoon when you have no plans or obligations?

My favourite place to go is into a book. I love reading books that draw you in so you're there with the character, living their life with them. A book that grabs hold of you and doesn't even let you go after you've read the final page, staying with you for days as you think back over the experiences you shared with the main character.


About Avril

Avril Sabine is a Queensland author who writes mostly young adult speculative fiction. She has been writing since she was a young child and wanted to be a writer the moment she realised someone wrote the books she loved to read. Avril is the author of more than twenty-five books, including the Demon Hunter series, Dragon Blood series, Elf Sight and The Irish Wizard.


Friday, 18 March 2016

Worcester Comic Con

This year the university arena here in Worcester (UK) will be holding the first ever Worcester Comic Con on the 21st of August 2016. Guests so far include Robert Llewellyn (Red Dwarf) and Silvester McCoy (Doctor Who)....

...and now ME. That's right, I am pleased to announce that I will have a trade table at this very convention. :) I will be selling copies of my books, as well as various items of merchandise relating to my books and Eternal Press/Caliburn Press. I will also happily sign any copies that people want to bring along. I think its going to be a really fun event and I will do my best to keep everyone updated with the prep before the day.

To check out the other guests, stalls and of course to purchases passes, head on over to their website and scout around. I look forward to seeing some of you there.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Meet A Writer Monday Presents...

... A. J. Brown

1. Tell me about your book, Cory’s Way, and where you got your inspiration for it?

Cory’s Way is about a little boy whose father leaves him and his mom in the middle of the night. When this happens his mom is forced to move them from the comforts of the life they had lived before good old Dad left. This also forces his mom to get a job where she works a lot of hours and Cory is left alone when not at school. He gets bullied and chased and meets an old homeless man who becomes like a father figure to him. There’s also the issue of children being kidnapped in and around the state. Though that is a secondary part of the story it is a vital part. It’s not quite a coming of age story and there are a few darker moments in it.

The story was inspired by my daughter and a homeless man she felt compassion for when she made a card for him and I gave it to him. He was such a nice man and it led to, what I believe, is a great book for all ages.

2. Why did you want to write this book?

Cory’s Way has so much of me in it. There are things from my childhood in the book. There are places I knew in the book. There are feelings and fears that I had. And, honestly, it was something that wanted to be written. It’s very personal for me.

3. How do you feel about public appearances?

I like them. I’ve only done a couple of them. One went well and the other one went okay, but it was fun and I met a lot of folks, who in turn, became fans of my work.

Do you do them often?

Just the two so far, but I have three coming up in the next few months and I can’t wait. I love the anticipation of it and talking to the readers, and not just about the stories, but about lives as well. Selling books is always a plus, as well.

4. A duck walks into a bar, what does he order?

A beer and quackers.

5. Is there one area of your writing that you’ve always wanted to improve upon?

Marketing. I hate it. I’ve been working harder at it, but sometimes all I want to do is sit at my desk and write—that is the fun part.

6. What in your opinion are the key ingredients in maintaining a good relationship with your readers?

Being accessible. That doesn’t mean let folks you don’t know into your home, but when a reader contacts you personally, respond to them. Engage readers in conversations on social media. And don’t be a jerk. Readers are the most important people to an author, and whether or not folks understand it or not, you’re not just selling your books, but you are selling yourself. If readers don’t like you, the person, then there is a good chance they aren’t going to buy your books, no matter how great they are.

7. Are you still learning who you are?

Always. I think everyone changes from day to day, either in moodiness or in events that happen in their lives. I think we learn more and more about ourselves when we set out to accomplish something or when we fail or deal with hard times. It’s who comes through on the other side of those good and bad times that we are in that particular moment. Does that make sense?

8. If you could spend the day with any character from fiction who would it be?

Willie Wonka. Seriously. Willie Wonka.

9. Which of the four seasons do you like the most?

Autumn. I love the falls season. Leaves changing, the temperatures are cool, not cold, Halloween, football. I just love that time of year.

10. Why did you choose to be a writer?

I didn’t choose to be a writer. I think it chose me. I hated serious writing throughout school, though I did write jokes and parody songs. I didn’t start writing until I had a recurring nightmare that was more terrifying each time I had it. Then I was told of a writer who once had the same issue—recurring nightmares and not sleeping because of them. He was told to write the nightmare when he had it again. And he did. Long story short, after writing the nightmare twice, the second time with the feelings behind it, he no longer had the nightmare. So, I gave it a try and wrote the short story, Chuckie. I never had the nightmare again, but I realized that I actually enjoyed the process of creating the two main characters. I’ve been writing ever since.

11. What does love feel like to you?

It feels like my wife, Cate. I can’t explain it. She’s just…she’s perfect for me.

12. What was the last book you read without skipping through anything?

Jan Hull’s Ceres Exley.

13. Who was your first crush?

The first crush that I remember was a girl named Sandy Robertson and I was in fifth grade. She was beautiful with her brown eyes and brown hair and that beautiful smile. I crushed on her for three years.

14. If you got a (new) tattoo what would it be of?

A blue block M bleeding maize blood—I’m a huge University of Michigan fan.

15. If you had to give up one of your favourite things forever in exchange for a multimillion book deal, what would it be?

I wouldn’t and I’ll tell you why. This may sound corny, but I’ve always believed my abilities should be what makes my stories good. I’ve always believed that if my work can’t stand on its own two feet, then it doesn’t need to be out there. Sure, I wouldn’t mind a hand up every once in a while, but I’ve worked hard for everything I have ever had. I don’t want this to be any different. I know people who have had things handed to them and they’ve taken it for granted. I don’t want to take for granted how hard I have worked to get the handful of readers I have, and the ones I hope to have in the future. So if giving up something I enjoy was the only way to get a multimillion dollar book deal, then I wouldn’t do it, because in my eyes, I wouldn’t have earned it. It would have been given to me, and at a cost as well.


After his father leaves in the middle of the night, Cory Maddox and his mom, Gina, are forced to start over.  Left alone while Gina tries to work her way out of debt, Cory deals with life as the new kid in school with no friends.  Fleeing from the school bullies, Cory ends up under an overpass where an old homeless man lives.  After being saved from the bullies, Cory and the homeless man, Mr. Washington, become friends.

But things don’t get any easier for Cory.  Children are disappearing from around the state, and the bullies haven’t forgotten his escape the first time they went after him.  And there is something wrong with Mr. Washington…something terribly wrong. 

Accompanied by his only two friends and the unlikeliest of allies, Cory sets out to keep a promise to the ailing homeless man.  Will Cory and his friends find a way to keep the promise, or will the journey prove too difficult for them?

Read an extract here


About A. J.

A.J. Brown is a story teller who pens emotionally charged/character driven stories that often include a touch of the dark paranormal. His work has received such honors as a Pushcart nomination, and editor's choice for Issue #12 of Necrotic Tissue. Above all else, A.J. is a husband and father of two beautiful children who not only support his creative endeavors, but also provide inspiration (sometimes in unexpected ways).

Facebook: (or) A.J. Brown
Blog:  Type AJ Negative