Monday 28 January 2013

Warm Bodies Review

Warm BodiesWarm Bodies by Isaac Marion

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars.

It’s been a long time since I simply read a book for pleasure. After seeing the film trailer for Warm Bodies and learning this was also a book, I HAD to read it. Let’s face it, it looks absolutely wicked!

I’ve never been a fan of zombie stories. I like Resident Evil and that’s about it, but this story may just hold the power to convert me. There’s not much I can say about the storyline that hasn’t already been said countless times. It’s definitely a romantic comedy with a hint of the horror genre. There’s quite a bit of action and of course, a true love story. I love all the characters, especially ‘R’ and ‘M’, how could you not? ‘R’ is a zombie and even I fell for him. Also, Julie isn’t one of these wimpy girls so she gets an A+ from me.

After watching the film trailers I can see there are going to be quite a few differences to the print version, I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with it. I don’t think for one minute this story could be spoiled.

The only gripe I had was the sheer amount of metaphors and similes. They just seemed too much and at times, I did skip the odd paragraph because things were overly explained or described. Other than that though, this is one awesome read and is now one of my favourite stories!

View all my reviews

Monday 21 January 2013

Creepy Photography.

I'm my spare time I love to go out and take photographs. I have an amazing new camera, a Canon DSLR, and I love her dearly. She has more than exceeded my expectations of her.

I have had a love of photography since before I can even remember. Now I have my toy and some nifty accessories, I'm hoping to do this more seriously. Including being the photographer at my friends wedding later this year! I had practice at my own little nieces christening earlier last year and the photographs were beautiful.

Last night I was able to go out again and practice. I want to learn everything I can about all the features on my baby. What I captured put a massive smile on my face, especially when I captured these in the pitch black. They are only trees, but I think they look so creepy... and I LOVE creepy. Anyway, I thought I would post them on here.

Saturday 19 January 2013

Meet multi genre author Fran Orenstein and enter our giveaway!

Dr. Fran Orenstein, author, poet, presenter
Please give a warm welcome to Fran Orenstein. 

Fran joins us today to discuss that dreaded thing that at some point in their careers, all authors will face... Writers Block! 

You will be able to see all of Fran's work as well as find out where you can get more information on this amazing multi genre writer. 

Fran has also been kind enough to allow me to host a giveaway!

Beating Back The Block: one writer’s cure

Scenario: The Bard sits at a table, quill in hand, creating words that will live on for 400 years, perhaps a thousand years; words spoken by actors over the centuries, memorized by school children. He strokes his beard, scratches his head. Putting quill to paper he writes,   “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. I come to bury Caesar….” 

Just then he is interrupted, perhaps Anne calls him to dinner, or a blot of ink ruins the paper. When he returns a day or so later his mind is blank. Why was this character Marc Anthony going to make a speech? Is it a necessary speech? What was the purpose? Is he wasting his time creating a play out of some ancient murder nobody cares about any more. He fiddles with the fire that is dying in the hearth. He checks the inkwell, sharpens the quill, stares out the window. He does everything but write the next sentence. Imagine Julius Caesar never written because William Shakespeare developed a writer’s block that he couldn’t break.
At some point during the writing experience, every writer gets blocked. I have gone into a manuscript that was flowing beautifully and couldn’t write another word. It seemed boring, inane, insipid. What was I thinking? Who would want to read this? Yet, just yesterday it was exciting.

Have you ever closed down the computer, covered the typewriter, or put the pen in a drawer, and your stomach churns every time you think of starting again? I have a simple solution that works every time. I go back to the beginning of the manuscript and start editing and rewriting. As I move along, I realize it’s really good. I understand why I chose to write it. By the time I reach the point of yesterday’s despair, I know what comes next. Even if I only write one page, I’ve moved on.

Once I learned that, I always go to the beginning of the previous chapter and read it through. I generally find things to add or change and it inspires me to continue writing. Bedsides breaking the block, I’ve been editing and rewriting as I go along. Every writer has some technique or there would not be any books. This is one suggestion and the next time you face writer’s block, try rereading to get back into the thread and feeling of the story. Whatever you do, don’t give up…it isn’t fatal. 

Author Bio

Fran Orenstein was born in New York. Growing up in Brooklyn and the Bronx, she experienced a fine education in the public schools and the varied culture of New York City. She has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Brooklyn College, a master’s in counseling psychology from the College of New Jersey, and a doctorate in Child and in Youth Studies from Nova Southeastern University.

She thrives on reading 3-4 novels a week, which she considers an escape from the real world. Her favorites are detective stories, legal mysteries , horror and intrigue. She likes books written by women about women, but also loves heroes like Jack Reacher, Harry Bosch, and JP Beaumont. Among her favorite authors are Dean Koontz for the beauty of his poetic metaphors, and Janet Evanovich, whose amazing characters make her laugh.

Fran wrote her first poem at age 8, and submitted her first short story at age 12. After a brief spell as an early childhood teacher, and full-time mother, she was an editor/writer for three national career education magazines, and then spent 22 years working for New Jersey State Government in a variety of positions. These included rehabilitation counselor, manager of women’s programs including writing policy and legislation, developing programs in child care, gender equity, and creator of The NJ Coalition on Women and Disabilities. Prior to retirement, she served as Special Projects and Disability Officer for AmeriCorps. Fran has many years of experience writing and publishing academically and professionally. She has written, articles, newsletters, political speeches, brochures, and has presented at national and international conferences on gender equity and violence prevention.
She considers her children and grandchildren her finest legacy. Fran currently resides in the Tampa Bay Florida with her cats. 

Her philosophy is three-fold:
1. There is a solution to every problem using creative and positive thinking.
2. Help others, either by a simple act of kindness, or a volunteer project. It will come back, even though it might not be obvious or immediate.
3. Life is an adventure, live it. 

Find out more about Fran here...


It's Giveaway Time!!

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Sheer beauty - also the setting of Leticia! Had to share.

So after being promised inches of snow over Manchester, we get nothing except a sprinkle. So we went higher to find it... and walked around in a blizzard! Some photos are a little out of focus, it was rather windy and I couldn't keep my camera still. However, considering these were taken between 10.30pm and 11.30pm in total darkness, I don't think I've done too bad. God I love my camera!

This is also the setting for my novel Leticia. All these photos are taken around Dovestones and Saddleworth Moors. Beautiful.

Friday 18 January 2013

Review - Switched in Death by Sherry Foley


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t normally read thrillers, however I’ve read a couple lately and really enjoyed them. I might have to start reading more. This is not a short book and yet I finished it within two days. THAT is how much it keeps you glued to the pages.

Now I need to be careful with what I say here, because the book is full of twists and turns, very few of them are predictable and I would hate to ruin anything for future readers. The characters are likeable and believable. The character Seth is great, well created and three dimensional, but then, so are all the characters.

As people who know me well already know, I’m a lover of horror and anything that gives you the creeps or send shivers down your spine etc. Well this one definitely gave me the creeps. Not scary creeps but more the fact that what happens in this book, does happen in real life. To know there are people out there committing these atrocities is rather worrying. But the way in which... (need to be careful here) everything happens (I’m telling you nothing) its genius and well thought out. Definitely worthy of the five star rating. For something to give ME the creeps... well, that doesn’t happen often so I’m more than impressed.

I will certainly be reading (and hopefully review.. hint! lol) Sherry Foleys books in the future.

View all my reviews

Review - The Undying by Ronnell D. Porter

The UndyingThe Undying by Ronnell D. Porter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 Stars

Okay, I've had this book on my kindle... forever. In fact, it was the first Kindle book I ever bought. The cover is amazingly beautiful and I admit, that's the reason I bought it.

The story however was a little disappointing. I got bored rather quickly and the main character annoyed the hell out of me from the word go! She really needs to grow up and stop crying all the time.

It picked up a little and after a while I kinda enjoyed some of it. With a little bit of work and less crying, this could be a really good story.

View all my reviews

Saturday 12 January 2013

Emotional review of The Last Gift by Scarlet Black

The Last Gift – Scarlet Black
5 Stars

Let me start off by saying, I know the woman who’s life this book is based on. Yes she is a friend – but this review is no way bias at all. 
I have known Deborah for coming up to two years. I instantly clicked with this woman. We talked and talked, shared similar views and thoughts on things and I had a lot of respect for her. Even though we have never met face to face I was honoured to be able to call Deborah a friend. 

After reading this, I cannot but into words just how much MORE respect I have for her. 

This book was hard for me to read. Not because I had to put it down and come back to it later. Not because it was boring. But because it’s hard to read when your eyes are constantly filling up with tears. I think if I didn’t know this woman, I may have hardened to things and not been as emotionally affected. To read what a friend has been through, especially when things have gone wrong and been filled with such sadness at times, it affects you. 

The other reason it affected me, and the reason my respect has grown even more is because my family have been through something very similar. I know what it’s like to watch someone wither away in front of you. My mum and I nursed my nana for almost 10 years. I was 10 when she became ill and 19 when she passed away. My mum was an only child (adopted) and my sister was too young to help. So it was me and my mum facing everything life threw at us. Still to this day, that’s never changed, it’s me and my mum against the world. 

On top of that, this story talks about adoption. The pain of having to give up a child when times didn’t accept unmarried mothers. It talks of the pain the mothers and sometimes even the fathers face when they have to part with something so precious to them. (on a personal note, this makes me sick and I’m glad and thankful to be born in the modern world).  In the book, the family come back together and it’s beautiful to read. My mum was adopted and spent 50 years of her life thinking she was an only child. She met her birth mother when she was 21 but they never formed a relationship. It was just her and my nana, since my granddad passed away when my mum was nearly two. They were best friends as well as mother and daughter, regardless of whether they were blood related or not. At the age of 50 she found out she had a brother from her adopted fathers side, and then learned she had two half sisters and two half brothers from her biological mothers side. This was very very emotional, but families have been brought back together. All of them are happy to have each other in their lives. So to read this book and it have so may similarities to mine and my mothers life made it even more emotionally hard to read. 

This book is beautifully written, I defy anyone not to be touched by it and I think there is something written in here that people will be able to relate to in one way or another. 

I will also say this. Deborah has always seemed like a strong but passionate woman. That’s how she has always come across to me. After reading this, I now understand why. 

This is a short story and available through Amazon. 

Meet Author Debbie Kump and enter the Giveaway!!

Please welcome Debbie Kump to my blog today, she is here to talk about her Apocalyptic Thriller '7G'. Debbie has several books in print, the covers of which are visible below her post. She has also been kind enough to allow us to do a giveaway. See the bottom of this post for more details. 

When the fictitious future becomes frighteningly real.

Cursive is a dying art. Will handwriting be next? With text messaging commonplace and laptop computers becoming more and more integrated into the classroom, will students eventually stop needing the skills to actually write at all? And with Smartphones readily linking to the Internet and mobile telecommunications upgrades from 3G to 4G Networks, what else will the future hold? Will WiFi be everywhere, effectively eliminating the need for cell phone towers?
My Apocalyptic Thriller, 7G, takes a leap into this fictitious futuristic world. My husband has always been a bit of a futurist. He’d often share his technological ideas for the future with me…then a few years later we’d laugh when we saw his idea come true. Several years ago (before the Smartphone and ebook boom) he proposed the idea of hands-free telecommunications. Instead of mobile phones and computer monitors, users could text, surf the Internet, or read an ebook on lenses worn directly over the pupil. The possibilities for these multi-purpose lenses seemed endless: from e-libraries to dream uploads and instant language translations, all accessible with the blink of an eye. 
Available Now!
That’s when my imagination snatched hold of his spark and took off. Instead of carrying Smartphones, users would wear contact lens-sized, extended wear, virtual computer screen and keyboard eye DOTS. With body heat as the sole catalyst required to power the endothermic chemical reaction recharging each battery, both military and civilians alike constantly wear these Digital Optic/Ophthalmic Transmitters (collectively referred to as “DOTS”) and “MUDE” Mobile Uplink Digital Equipment. Using ear DOTS, babies could piggyback off their parents’ MUDEs to listen to soothing melodies. Or dog owners could eliminate unwanted behaviors by using DOTS for bark control and invisible fencing like electronic collars do today. 
This plethora of ideas soon wove itself into a multi-faceted novel, exploring the varied uses of the technology through multiple protagonists and interwoven subplots. I set 7G in the near future, at a time when Smartphones will be obsolete. With the upcoming conversion to 7G Network allowing instantaneous optical and audio recording, limitless military and civilian applications abound. Yet an unexpected programming glitch proves fatal, spelling disaster for the nation. In the aftermath of 7G, the fates of college sophomore Erik Weber and submariner Alyssa Kensington entwine. Will they escape and manage to survive in a crippled world?
While editing my manuscript for 7G on a flight to my parents’ house over the Christmas holidays, my husband whipped out the SkyMall magazine, pointing to a pair of glasses that provided a GPS digital reading of the wearer’s location.
I blinked, studying the glasses again. A chill ran down my spine.
“Freaky,” I told him, my pen poised over a scene where compulsive gamers developed eye shakes when their pupils rapidly flitted back and forth to reach the desired keys on their virtual keyboard eye DOTS.
Then a few days later as my husband perused Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex, he paused to have me read a paragraph. In this selection, a centaur named Foaly placed a monocle over one eye to interface with a virtual system through a series of blinks and winks rather than using hardwired equipment.
Barely believing my eyes, I read the paragraph a second time, wondering when will this type of technology no longer be a work of fiction? Will a time come when all information is easily accessible on contact lenses like the eye DOTS from 7G?
With an increasing number of technological inventions entering the marketplace, that time may arrive sooner than we think…and hopefully will end better than my world does in 7G.

Other title available by Debbie Kump. 

For more information, please visit her website:
or find her on Facebook:
and Amazon:

In the near future, Smartphones will be obsolete. Instead, technological innovations provide virtual computer screens for texting, surfing the Internet, or reading an ebook on lenses worn directly over the eye. 
With the upcoming conversion to 7G Network allowing instantaneous optical and audio recording, limitless military and civilian applications abound. Yet an unexpected programming glitch proves fatal, spelling disaster for the nation. In the aftermath of 7G, 
the fates of college sophomore Erik Weber and submariner Alyssa Kensington entwine. 
Will they escape and manage to survive in a crippled world?

Author Bio:
After graduating from Cornell University with degrees in Biology and Education, Debbie Kump taught middle and high school science in Maui, Seattle, and the Twin Cities and worked as a marine naturalist aboard a whale watch and snorkel cruise. Debbie lives in Minnesota,  U.S.A. with her husband, two sons, and three Siberian huskies. She especially enjoys writing early each morning; teaching; coaching youth soccer, hockey, lacrosse, and baseball; and dogsledding her kids to school.

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Thursday 10 January 2013

Revelations Inspiration!

So since I'm currently writing four books, all very different, with lots going on! I needed something visual to help me with the end of Revelations. I made this just for inspiration, but it also gives people a taste of what's to come!

Saturday 5 January 2013

Welcome Author Alexandrea Weis. Plus, we're having a giveaway!!

Today we are joined by Author Alexandrea Weis. She will be telling us more about her home town in her guest post - How to be a New Orleanian.

Alexandrea has several books in print and up for grabs, you will be able to see the covers and titles throughout this post. She is also releasing her latest novel "Acadian Waltz" on the 15th of this month. You will be able to view the cover and read the blurb at the end of her post. 

How to be a New Orleanian

     The rhythm of the resurrecting city of New Orleans is reflected everyday in the unified heartbeat of its determined residents. And no matter the devastation, New Orleanians will continually fight to hold on to their beloved little bastion eight feet below sea level. Like the memory of a first kiss, the warmth of New Orleans pervades your soul and forever becomes a part of you. To travel among the wide oaks and antebellum homes of the Garden District makes for beautiful postcard pictures, but it does not give you a true indication of what it means to be a New Orleanian. You have to immerse yourself in the old world atmosphere and varied traditions of the people of this town in order to understand them, and, hopefully, become one of them. 
     You need to dine in the myriad of exceptional restaurants and take part in a heated discussion about where to find the best bowl of gumbo. Spend a Monday morning drinking coffee and chicory in an old uptown kitchen while learning how to cook the perfect pot of red beans and rice. Experience the wrong way to eat a muffaletta sandwich, the right way to shuck an oyster, and the only way to eat a beignet. And you will always have to remember that if your food isn’t boiled, blackened or fried, it just ain’t cooked.    
          You will want to traverse the different sections of the old city divided not by points on a compass, but by proximity to the Mississippi River or Lake Pontchartrain. Because no one in the Crescent City could ever tell you where to find the south end of town, but they could recite by heart the neighborhoods along the bend in the river. From the Bywaters to the Irish Chanel, from Lakeview to the infamous Ninth Ward, so many smaller sections alive with their own unique histories make up this city. Each part of New Orleans has a rich heritage based on the struggles of its French, Spanish, Irish, African, or Italian founders. 
Then head over to Canal Street, where the local term “neutral ground” was created in the early 1800’s. In those days, the wide thoroughfare was first used as a common market area between the feuding French and Spanish occupants of the city. Take a streetcar ride down legendary St. Charles Avenue to see the world renowned Audubon Zoo. Along the way, soak up the different styles of Victorian, Greek Revival, and Colonial architecture represented by some of the city’s finest homes. Let the soothing rocking motion of the streetcar ease your cares, as the sweet scent of magnolias streams in from the open window beside you. 

At the end of your streetcar ride, walk the broken cobblestones of the French Quarter, and take in the alluring sights of the tightly packed Creole cottages. Listen for the seductive sounds of Jazz music resonating around you, the smell of great food hovering in the air about you, and let your imagination linger on the romantic wrought iron balconies above you. Make your way to Jackson Square and take in the tall spires of St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest Catholic cathedral in the continental Untied States. Walk through the adjoining Cabildo Museum, where the Louisiana Purchase was signed in 1803. Stroll on over to the Moonwalk, by the edge of the Mississippi River, and enjoy the calliope music coming from the Delta Queen Riverboat. After you have learned to bargain like a pro with the vendors at the French Market, then saunter down the shady sidewalks of Esplanade Avenue. The street made famous by Tennessee Williams and his tale of hidden desire. Finally, let yourself wander the narrow alleys of St. Louis Cemetery Number One, where you can visit the above ground tombs of famous former residents Marie Laveau, the voodoo queen, and Paul Morphy, the chess phenomenon. 
     But there is another, more important, criteria for being an ingrained member of this eclectic southern city. You have to learn to appreciate life. Not the day-to-day hurried existence that shortens the lives of stockbrokers and businessmen, but the easy lust for the fulfillment of the senses. For everything about New Orleans is tailored to the forgotten art of self-gratification. In these days of such soulless existence, it is a heartwarming relief to find a place unashamed of its abundant way of life. No one in New Orleans regrets the way they live, they only regret when they have to leave it. 
     So the next time you think about my hometown, don’t linger on the unforgettable disasters of our past. Instead, revel in what makes our city unique, shamelessly flamboyant, and stoically unapologetic for its transgressions. New Orleanians have moved on from Katrina. Despite the numerous media attempts to bury the residents under clouds of negative press and dim outlooks, the people remain resilient. Because they know that when Mardi Gras is over, crawfish season is right around the corner. We may have paid a heavy price for our time in paradise, but we know that somewhere up in the heavens, someone is answering our prayers. After all, the Saints did finally win the Super Bowl.        

Alexandrea's Upcoming Release!
Acadian Waltz.
Available Jan 15th 2013.

  At thirty, Nora Kehoe is feeling pressured to settle down. On a blind date, Nora unexpectedly ends up in the emergency room where she meets Dr. John Blessing. Nora hopes the pragmatic Dr. Blessing can make her life complete. Then a passionate encounter with a childhood friend changes everything.

     The charismatic Jean Marc Gaspard manages the family business, Gaspard Fisheries. But rumors abound that Jean Marc is running more than seafood through the waters around Manchac Louisiana. When a family crisis sends Nora to Manchac, her new fiance, Dr. Blessing, threatens to call off their wedding. Soon Nora is thrown headlong into the dangerous world of smugglers and swindlers. And as Jean Marc tries to protect Nora from his past, he also realizes he may lose her because of it.

     The dark bayou waters run deep with secrets in Louisiana, and every Cajun knows how to dance the fine line between the right and wrong side of the law. But for strangers, learning the steps to staying alive in the swamps can be tricky. Life, and love, will be dependent on how well one can master the … Acadian Waltz 

More about this author!

Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Her popular second novel, Recovery, won the Gold Medal for best romantic suspense from The Reader’s Favorite Book Awards 2011, was named best Romantic Suspense novel by the Spring 2011 NABE Pinnacle Book Awards, and was a Finalist in the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Wards in 2012. Her fourth novel, Broken Wings, won best Contemporary Romance by the NABE Pinnacle Book Awards in 2011, and is a finalist in the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards for Contemporary Romance in 2012. Her sixth novel, Diary of a One-Night Stand, was released in August 2012. A permitted wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.

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