Mini Review & Mini Interview: Demon Flight (Book one of The Tempest Series) by Lauren Symonds

Demon Flight

To Shaela, a half-demon slave of the Dacques, the sanctuary of Tempest Ravine had always been a fairy tale, designed to lift the spirits of the oppressed people of Jade City.

When she is finally put in touch with the brave Leviathan, the mystical place is confirmed a reality. With Leviathan's help, Shaela and her children embark on a dangerous flight from their demon masters. If they can reach the safety of Tempest Ravine, chains and servitude will be a thing of the past.

Mini Interview with Lauren Symonds

A little about Lauren:

I’m 21 (nearly 22 in just under two weeks time) and have always had a love for reading and writing. I wanted to have my own story out in the world before I turned 22, and finally achieved it!

A little about Demon Flight:

The year prior, I had been working on a novel, which still needs a few tweaks before it will be released. Demon Flight is a short story in relation to my novel. There were characters in there that were just begging to have their story told.

The story for Demon Flight came to me whilst I was napping. I often envision the world I write about, and some of my best ideas come to me whilst dreaming. I just couldn’t get Leviathan out of my head, and so I jumped up the moment I woke up and his story just came spilling out of me.

How excited she is to have your book released?

I cannot describe how excited I am to finally have my work released. Not to mention quite nervous as well at my readers responses. It’s been a long time goal for me and it’s such an unbelievable feeling to finally have accomplished it! I hope people enjoy my work just as much as I enjoy writing it.


Demon Flight is a great beginning to an awesome new world I have fallen in love with pretty quickly. I can imagine myself sneaking though Jade City and arriving in the safety of Tempest Ravine. The characters and creatures are refreshingly new and the story instantly drew me in. I can't wait to discover more about this world and the creatures and people that inhabit it.

TY for the Ebook to review

On The Bright Side Blog Tour: Guest Post

Welcome to a stop on the, On The Bright Side Blog Tour. On The Bright Side is an new tween book from author S.R.Johannes. On The Bright Side releases in Ebook January 31st and in paperback in February.


Gabby is a disgruntled tween angel who has just been assigned to protect her school nemesis and ex-beffie. Problem is her ex-beffie is dating Gabbys longtime crush. Instead of protecting Angela, Gabby pranks her (since when is sticking toilet paper to her shoe or spinach in her teeth a sin?) Soon, Gabby gets out of control and is put on probation by her SKYAgent, who has anger management issues of his own. Determined to right her wrongs, Gabby steals an ancient artifact that allows her to return to Earth for just one day. Without knowing, she kicks off a series of events and learns what can happen when you hate someone to death. 

Guest Post from author S.R.Johannes: Finding The Tween Sweet Spot

There is a huge difference in writing middle grade characters from young adult.
First is the age
middle grade is usually under 12. And young adult is usually 15 and up. Tween is somewhere in between like 10-14.
Second is the insight. In MG, the character is usually worried about themselves and not the world around them as much. The conflict is not universal; it is more within their circle, parents, teachers, friends etc
In young adult, the view is more outward. In YA, the character is worried about his/her place in the world. How they fit in, how they can make a difference on a larger scale.
To me, writing tween is hard because you have to squeeze somewhere in the middle without the plot being too complicated. You have boys but not yet romance. So you focus more on crushes as opposed to love. They are also not as independent as 16 year olds so the parents still play factor.
For Gabby, my biggest struggle was putting in her snarky humour while balancing likability. There is a fine line between snarky and whiny. Finding that place is tough. It is hard to write a lovable character that is selfish in motivation but that is where a tween focuses more.
In OTBS, Gabby starts out with an internal motivation. About a girl winning a boy she wanted. About a girl taking the high road in protecting someone who she didnt like. But as the story moves along, her motive becomes about something more. In the end, her actions have larger consequences than she imagined.
So hopefully, OTBS finds that sweet spot and keeps people laughing yet teaches the core message about acceptance and moving on.

Want to get your hand on a copy of On The Bright Side by S.R.Johannes? To buy the kindle ebook, available January 31st, head to amazon or B&N . The Ebook will be 0.99 for the first month! Paperback copies are available for purchase in February!

Praises for On The Bright Side

"S.R. Johannes delivers a cute paranormal thrill ride for middle graders! Even in death there is a BRIGHT SIDE!" - Addison Moore, author of the bestselling Celestra series and soon to be TV show

Clever and charming, ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is the story of a reluctant guardian angel, her still-breathing crush, and the frenemy shes assigned to protect. A great read! -Suzanne Young, author of A Need So Beautiful, A Want So Wicket (6/12), and The Program (2013)

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is both hilarious and heart-warming a tale thatll have you hoping that there really *are* spunky and determined angels like Gabby whove got our backs.” - Kristin ODonnell Tubb, author of Selling Hope & The 13th Sign (2013) (Feiwel & Friends)

"With a smart, snappy heroine and a heart-warming crush, ON THE BRIGHT SIDE is a page-turning new take on guardian angels that left me begging for a sequel!" - Gretchen McNeil, author of Possess and Ten (9/12) (Balzar + Bray)

IMM #25 : My first IMM of 2012!

In my mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren were everyone puts up the books they have bought, received or got from the library!

Hey! I hope everyone is keeping well and had a great book week. This is my first IMM of 2012 and I have loads of awesome books to show you! I have been meaning to do one for a few weeks now but life as usual got in the way! First up a few blog notices:

My blog, Kerry-Ann @ Reading A little bit of everything & Kathy @ I am a reader not a writer put together a hop called Charity Hopping Around the World that commences on March 30th though April 4th. I would appreciate if you all would check out the post about it and hopefully sign up to take part. The hop is going be so much fun and I appreciate all who want to participate :) Sign up here!

I also have recently started organising blog tours for authors for FREE, and I am looking for bloggers who might want to take part in the blog tours. I have about 12 blog tours to organise between now and July. Some of the tours are already posted in my new page on my blog looking for bloggers. So if you interested, take a look Looking for bloggers for blog tours!

Now onto the books:

First up are the books that I have gotten for review:

Glory ( The Legend of Glory #1) by Devin O'Branagan



I received this copy from the author for review as part of her blog tour. I have put together a blog tour for Glory which starts on February 13th though February 26th. Glory is about a girl who's blood holds the cure to a deadly pandemic who embarks on a mission to save the human race. Along the way evil forces conspire to stop her and she is sent three supernatural beings to watch over her. We have witches, angels, vampires, and demons in Glory, which sounds like a good read to me. It is next on my TRL :) TY to Devin for the book!

Ugly to start with by John Michael Cummings

Ugly to Start With


I received a copy of the book for review on behalf of the author via his publishing house West Virginia University Press. This isn't the usual YA book I would normally read, however I was intrigued by the storyline of the book. It is set in the 70's in West Virginia and is narrated though a teenage boy called Jason Stevens who is just trying to survive his teenager years and dreaming of attending an art school in the city. The journey Jason goes thought sounds at times funny, heartwarming, and highs and lows which I think will make a good read. I am going to read Ugly to Start with in February and later in the month I will have an interview with the author John Michael Cummings!  TY to John and West Virginia University Press for the book!       

Family Magic (The Hayle Coven Novels, #1) by Patti Larsen

Family Magic (The Hayle Coven Novels, #1)


Early in the month I ran a blog tour for Family Magic on behalf of the author and it was a great success. I received a signed copy of the book from the author for review and I loved it! You can check out my review here along with a giveaway to win the first 4 book's in The Hayle Coven Novels in Ebook! TY to Patti for the book!

Dark Days (The Childe #2) by CA Kunz

Dark Days (The Childe, #2)


OMG! I love CA Kunz and their The Childe series! I received a signed ARC of Dark Days for review as part of their blog tour. I loved the first book in the series, The Childe, you can check out my review here , and I loved the second in the series even more and I didn't know that was possible! As part of the tour a few weeks ago I have a This or That on my blog with one of my favourite characters Ryan Beckford you can check that out here where you can also be in with a chance of winning a KindleFire! My review will be posted February 6th as part of the tour! TY Adam and Carol for the book! Oh I forgot to mention, I am quoted in the ARC for praise for The Childe I was super excited to see it! I am not sure if it will be in the final copy but I am honoured if it's only the ARC :)

The Darkening Dream by Andy Gavin

The Darkening Dream


I kindly received a signed copy of The Darkening Dream from author Andy Gavin. The Darkening Dream is a dark fantasy book set in 1913, Salem, Massachusetts. It sound like a really good read. I have on my TRL for March and can't wait to get to it. I love the cover as well! TY to Andy Gavin!

If your still with me LOL here is the books I bought!

Bloody Valentine by James Patterson

Bloody Valentine


First of James Patterson's book have never interested me before and I don't like thrillers with murders and mystery! However his short novella by James Patterson really intrigued me. I think I might read it before valentines day and put a review up on the February 14th as an a different sort of read to a romance book LOL.


The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking, #1)


The Ask and The Answer (Chaos Walking #2) by Patrick Ness

I kept going to buy The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness and finally decided to buy it when it when I saw it on offer for £2.99 and was even more surprised to get the second in the series The Ask and the Answer for just £0.99! What bargains!

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld



I managed to pick this up for £0.99 in the January sales! The story sounds really good. This book was author Curtis's debut novel in 2005 and was a New York Times Best Seller (2005). I can't wait to read this!

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

The Historian


I again managed to pick this up for £0.99 in the January sales. It is an adult historical fiction book with vampires in it. It reminded me for some random reason, a book that would be in the same area as A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness which I loved!

What did you get in your mailbox?


Charity Hopping Around the World sign up

A big thank you to Kathy @ I am a reader not a writer for helping me and my sister put this together and hosting with us!

Near the end of 2011 me and my sister Kerry-Ann @ Reading A Little Bit of Everything came up with the idea to put together a charity hop and where glad of the help from Kathy who is just awesome at putting together hops. Now the time has come to sign up!

Charity Hopping Around the WorldGiveaway Hop
March 30th to April 4th

Hosted by:I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
Reading Away the Days
Reading a Little Bit of Everything

Purpose: To promote a charity that you support.
For the post, tell a little about the charity.
It can be a local, regional or worldwide charity.

Along with the info about the charity host a giveaway. It can be a giveaway related to the charity or it can just be book related!

The main thing is to spread the word about your favorite charity!

Hop Rules:

*All family friendly blogs & websites can participate.  

*Choose a charity to spotlight.

*Host a giveaway on your site that runs from March 30th to April 4th. It can be related to the charity or book related.

*Include the Charity Hopping Around the World Image & the linky (or link to the hosts sites) in your post.

*No restrictions on the number of entries but please keep it simple.

*You can include a link to the charity's donation page but donations can not be a requirement or way to enter your giveaway.

To sign up simply add your blog to the linky below. Include shipping info in parenthesis after your blog name.

Author Interview: Del Shannon

A little about Del:

My name is Del Shannon and I live in Boulder, Colorado (USA) with my wife and teenage daughter. I also have a son who is away at college.

For as long as I can remember I’ve always enjoyed writing, reading and stories. I especially enjoy stories that are grand adventures where you completely lose yourself in the characters and plot. But theres another, very prominent side of me thats scientific and analytical, which is why I work as a civil engineer on the design and construction of dams and reservoirs. These two sides of me may seem at odds at first glance, but they actually complement each other very well.

The design and construction of something as large and complex as a dam takes a great deal of creativity because, no matter how much you plan and design and think through the hundreds of challenges and problems, there are always dozens of problems you cannot predict. It takes a great deal of creativity to solve these problems when they arise. Writing also requires a great deal of creativity, but this creativity must fit within a distinctive structure. To effectively tell a story you need to be able to design its framework and have a vision of what it will eventually look like to you and your readers. In essence, you have to design and build a story just like you would design and build a dam.

Ive learned over time to embrace these two sides of me and do my best to not let one dominate the other. My creative and analytical skills work best in tandem where one is balancing the other.

Can you tell us a little about Kevin's Point of View?

Kevins Point of View is a story about a 12-year-old boy named Kevin Tobin and he has a hyperactive imagination. Kevin has turned his imagination into a tool to deal with the pain of the death of his father and, while it helps him, it drives everyone around him completely bonkers. His friends and family do love him and try to be patient with his antics because they know how much hes suffering, but theyre also driven mad by his crazy behavior.

This delicate balance exists for a year after the death of Kevins father, until one day a strange package is mistakenly delivered Kevins house. The package contains something called the influxitron and Kevin has no idea what it is or what it does. The influxitrons owner, the very evil Devin Talon, desperately wants the influxitron back and will literally do anything to make sure its safely retrieved. Devin manages to track the influxitron to Kevin and is about to take it back, when Kevin and his best friend Tony escape Devin and race into the mountains. While theyre running Kevins imagination is transformed from an infuriating personality quirk into a dangerous foil and becomes the one thing that keeps them alive and out of the hands of Devin and his henchmen.

As Kevin and Tony continue to escape and push deeper into the mountains they begin to realize that the influxitron is something much more important than they first realized and they must solve its mystery. In the end we learn the Kevins very existence is because of the overwhelming love of someone we never expected.

Where did you get the idea for Kevin's Point of View?

The basic idea for the story came while I was in graduate school studying for my masters degree in civil engineering. I was in one particularly complex class, having a difficult time understanding the subject, and my mind began to wander. I began thinking about all sorts of things and realized that Ive been doing this, daydreaming using my imagination, nearly all my life. I also realized, while just letting my mind wander around, that all my teachers hated it when I would daydream in this way because I wouldnt be paying attention to the lecture. I always really enjoyed daydreaming and I thought the idea of a young boy who actually used his imagination and daydreaming to solve a huge problem would be a really fun story and would connect with other kids who had issues with daydreaming.

One of the other sources of inspiration was Saturday morning cartoons. When I was a kid nothing on the earth was better than Saturday morning cartoons. I especially loved the Loony Tunes cartoons and their wild adventures. So theres an element of cartoonish craziness in the story as well.

Lastly, movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark and Back to the Future and Ghostbusters made a huge impression on me when I was growing up. Like Kevins Point of View, these were grand adventures filled with narrow escapes and evil bad guys and heroics that saved the day. I loved the idea of the unlikely hero. Like the swashbuckling archeologist Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark, the picked on and bullied Marty McFly in Back to the Future, and the geeky scientist who also believe in specters and haunting in Ghostbusters, Kevin is an unlikely hero who uses what is seemingly a huge detriment a haywire imagination to his great advantage.

Describe Kevin in 5 words

Loyal. Flawed. Imaginative. All boy.

Kevin has a very vivid imagination which he uses to escape from the turmoil of his father'sdeath. Imagination is a great thing that helps us escape, however do you think you can lose yourself too much in imagination and forget reality?

Absolutely. In fact, Kevin does exactly this and crosses this line much too often. Again, this is whats so great about Kevin. He, and everyone around him, know that this isnt a healthy way to deal with his problems, but later his imagination becomes the one thing that keeps him alive. Its his greatest problem and also his greatest asset. I love this paradox and I think this basic premise is in everyones life. Unfortunately, our society has conditioned us to limit, or at least downplay, the bad things in our lives and accentuate only the good things. To me, this leads to imbalanced lives that have great difficulty in seeing much beyond their own perspectives. The reality is that our lives are mishmashes of things that are all interconnected and complement each other, even when we dont realize it.

I love the cover of Kevin’s point of view. It is funny and imaginative. Who designed it and did you have much say in the designing process?

The cover for Kevins Point of View was actually a thank you note given to me by a student named Ruben Quintana after I visited his class. And while Im sure I met Ruben during my visit I really couldnt tell you who he is beyond his name. His note was included in a large stack of thank you cards from the entire class, but when I saw it I immediately laughed. Over time Rubens note, which said on the inside “Thank you for coming to our class. Hope you book becomes a movie.” has become a reminder of who Im writing for. As I received rejection after rejection (literally over 100 rejections) I made it a habit of going back and reading Rubens card over and over because he represented an audience I knew was out there. Rubens card kept me going and so it was an easy choice to use it at the cover because each time I see it Im reminded of those who want to read this story.

Why should we read Kevin's Point of view?

You should read Kevins Point of View for all the reasons above, but also because its just a fun story. Even though the story touches on the death of a parent, which is gut wrenching subject, I never wanted this to an angst-filled book. I wanted Kevins Point of View to ultimately be about hope and optimism and using whatever tools you have, regardless of how meager, to accomplish amazing things. Another reviewer coined the phrase dramatic relief when she was describing the pauses of seriousness surrounding the fun in the book, and think this is pretty accurate. Kevins Point of View is mostly about the crazy and funny adventures of Kevin and his best friend Tony, but it also has enough of a dramatic undercurrent to lend a tone of seriousness and underpin the need for these wild adventures.

Are you currently working on any new projects?

Ive written the first chapter of the sequel to Kevins Point of View and I hope to find more time to write additional chapters. The problem is my full-time job as a civil engineer is quite demanding and I work very hard just to stay on top of these responsibilities, which often doesnt leave much room or time for writing. Ive always envisioned Kevins Point of View as a series and there are details in this first book that were intentionally placed there for use in future books. If given the opportunity I envision at least 4 or 5 books in this series.

Thanks to Del for this awesome interview. Kevin's Point of View is available now to buy!

Author Interview: Rebecca Emin

A little about Rebecca:

I live near Oxford with my husband and three young children. I always said that I would write a novel one day but it was only when I was approaching my 40th birthday that I realised I should stop saying it, and get on with writing! I started writing regularly in 2009 and have since developed a love for short stories and flash fiction as well as novel length writing.

Your book New Beginnings released on January 23rd.  Can you tell us a little about it?

New Beginnings is about a girl called Sam who starts at her secondary school and becomes a victim of bullying. During the book it shows how she deals with this, and also develops her own self confidence and makes friends with people both at school and elsewhere. Sam is interested in the performing arts so there is also another side to her story as she develops this too.

Where did you get the idea for New Beginnings?

I know a lot of people who have been bullied (including myself) so I felt it would be a subject that many people could relate to, and I knew I would be able to write from Sam’s point of view as I had experience of how it felt to be singled out like she is.

In your novel New Beginnings, Sam has to learn to face the bully's and overcome and summon up her courage to perform onstage. In todays society pressure from bullies and peoples comments hold people back from fulfilling things a person wants to do. Do you think your book will send a positive message that you can overcome this and gain the courage to do what you want no matter the negatives from others?

I like to hope so. As I mentioned, I was bullied myself and even now I would not have the confidence to do some of the things that Sam does in the book, however I have finally got on with developing my writing and the feedback from others has built up my confidence a lot. Sometimes it takes a long time, but I think having other things to focus on is an incredibly useful thing.

How does it feel to be releasing New Beginnings?
It’s a very exciting day for me, despite the fact that I have had my author copies for quite a while now. I still think this date is significant, which is the reason I set up the online launch party, as I didn’t want it to go past without being noticed. It is very special when a publisher says they would like to publish your writing, so this book will always mean a lot to me.

New Beginnings is YA however would you place it in any other category?

This is a really interesting question, as I have had readers from age 8 up to people in their 70s who have said they have enjoyed the book, which is such an honour. I think there are threads in the plot that will appeal to people of all ages.

Why should we read New Beginnings?

I would like to think that people who are being bullied would find this book helpful. I mention Bullying UK in the book – and I am also donating 10% of any profit I make to this charity. Their contact information is in the back of the book, so if one person uses this to get help I will be happy.

I also hope that other readers will think about what could be going on around them, and maybe be aware of situations that otherwise may go unnoticed.
Most of all though, I hope people will read the book, enjoy it and have that ‘feel good’ feeling once they have finished reading it.

Are you currently working on any more projects?

My second novel is complete and I am currently hoping to find a publisher for that. It’s called ‘When Dreams Come True’ and it is aimed at the 10-14 age group. I have a collection of short stories for adults which was published in November 2011, which is called ‘A Knowing Look and Other Stories.’ For the first part of 2012 at least, I am concentrating on writing short stories.

Thanks to Rebecca for the interview. I will be reading New Beginnings in Febuary and will post a review later in Febuary.

Stalk Rebecca:

Review: Family Magic by Patti Larsen & an awesome giveaway!


Family Magic is the first book in the Hayle Coven Series by author Patti Larsen. It is told thought female protagonist Sydlynn Hayle who is battling with wanting to be a normal sixteen year old and giving into her magic, to being a witch, something she is destined to be whether she embraces it are not. Oh and did I mention Syd and her sister Meria are half demon as well.

The magic in Family Magic is different from any I have read before, the coven leader, that being Syd's mother Miriam, can control the magic of the coven during ceremonies, she hones in and uses the coven's power. The power Miriam spreads to the coven is of warmth, safety and love which Syd is trying to surpress all the time.

I also really like that the Demon's in Family Magic aren't portrayed as scary monsters after power they just live on a different plane called Demonicon where Syd's dad lives, there are good and bad demons the same as there is good and bad humans.

There is alot of teen angst, with Syd battling against her mother refusing to give in to who she is supposed to be. Hating her mother for making her a witch. The angst did grate a little as Syd did complain an awful lot however Syd does mature as the book continues as she has to finally understand that it her who isn't confident within herself to fully embrace herself and not her mother's fault.

Syd also had to deal with normal teenage issues as well. With being the new girl at school, to being bullied by the head cheerleader and also to top it of it doesn't help that humans can sense she is different and tend to avoid her.

Syd has to mature further as a powerful source attacks the coven and puts her family at risk and also has to deal with overcoming things in her normal life i.e the bullying. I found that I could kind of guess the way the story was going in a sense that I could figure out who some of the traitors were from the start and who was attacking the coven however I was definitely surprised by one traitor and even though the fast paced story I still doubted myself that I had guessed wrong which kept me intrigued.

Of course there was a romance in Family Magic. A love triangle of Syd, high school jock Brad and coven member and darkly handsome and mysterious, Quaid. The story didn't delve too much into the romance side, which I was a little disappointed in however I think its a great set up for the rest of the books in the series.

Finally there were some other awesome characters I loved. Meria, Syd's little sister is so cute, unlike Syd you can see her demon side with her cute little horns and red skin, but she can use her magic to make herself look human. She is so adorable. We also have Gram, Syd's grandmother who is plain crazy. She was attacked years before and it left her off her rocker. She is funny though and the only thing to keep her quiet is chocolate and tequila. And not to forget Uncle Frank, Syd's vampire uncle!

All together Family Magic is a great book. Has a good fast paced storyline, great characters and a great bases for more to come!

4/5 Butterflies


Patti has kindly offered one lucky reader the chance to win the first four books in the Hayle Coven Series in Ebook. To Enter comment below and leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!

-Giveaway is International
-Giveaway sponsered by Patti Larsen
-Giveaway open to anyone 13+
-Giveaway Ends 6th Febuary

YA Feature: Introducing YA author Alison Walkley

This week on Reading Away The Days YA Feature in author Alison Walkley. Alison is the author of Vuto, Choice & Queer Greer. Enjoy the interview with Alison and don't forget to leave a nice comment below!

A little about Alison:

I have an educational background in journalism, film studies and creative writing. I have written hundreds of articles for newspapers across the state of Connecticut, as well as national magazines like CURVE. I have been writing since I was in elementary school when my parents bought me my first journal in third grade. By the end of 5th grade, I had started writing a detective zine based on the Olsen Twins' video series. That blossomed into Hanson-inspired fan fiction in middle school. I wrote my first screenplay my freshman year of college - a musical based on the music of Queen. I can't think of a time that I wasn't writing. My first book, Queer Greer, was written after graduating college and returning from the Peace Corps as a health volunteer in Malawi, Africa. I now have two self-published books to my name, several unpublished screenplays and one novel that I'll be pitching to publishers in the coming months.

You have written three books, can you tell us a little about your novel Choice?

I decided to write Choice during National Novel Writing Month in 2008, taking up the challenge to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days for the first time. I absolutely loved the push to crank out 1,600-words every day and by November 30th, I had a pretty solid draft that I was eager to flesh out and edit. The idea for Choice came from knowing several women who had had to make the decision whether to abort a pregnancy before; thinking about it for myself, I had no idea what I would have done in their shoes. So, I wrote a book about one of the most difficult subjects for any female: what do you do when you find yourself pregnant in high school, before you have the means to care for and raise a child? I wrote it in two parts as a way to really dive in and discover the pros and cons of the situation as a whole - the first part tells the story of our sophomore protagonist, Haley Fry, when she discovers she is with child and decides to abort; the second half tells what Haley's life would have been like if she chose to keep her baby.

I love the way Choice is written. The first half of this novel being what happens when Haley chooses an abortion, while the second half reveals Haley’s life when she chooses to keep the baby. Why did you decide to write the book this way?

I wrote it intending to keep my own biases out of it, allowing readers to determine what the better decision would be. The subject of abortion is a difficult one fraught with emotions and strong opinions on either side of the line. What does it matter what I personally believe, as the author? It comes down to an individuals' personal thoughts on the matter. All I wanted was to make people think a little deeper about what abortion means for the woman carrying the pregnancy, the would-be father and the family of the pregnant teen. It is not as cut and dry a decision as so many proclaim it to be. My hope is that people will read my book and rethink their stance on the issue, whatever it may be, and to be a little more open-minded about it.

In your book Choice it is told through the eyes of the entire family. I really like this idea as it shows the effect the situation has on not just the person going though it but people surrounding her. When you started writing Choice did you want to write it this way from the start i.e. though everyones eyes?

I actually did set out to write Choice through the perspectives of everyone in Haley's, the protagonist's, family. However, part of that decision came from writing it during National Novel Writing Month. I knew that the story could become stale quickly if I was forcing myself to write it in 30 days. I needed a way to keep it fresh on the page and to give me the impetus to continue with it every day. Thinking about one of my favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver, and the way she wrote my favorite book, The Poisonwood Bible, I recalled she had written each chapter from the point-of-view of a different person. Not only did this way of writing keep the story going, it kept me as a reader hooked perpetually; every chapter was completely different than the next and I could not put that book down. So, I used Kingsolver's method (a method many authors have used, in fact) to write Choice and I found that it was the perfect style for it. Every time I felt like I had nowhere else to go with one character, I'd stop their chapter and start writing the next from someone else's stance. Not only did it get me to the 50k-word count by my 30th day of writing, but it kept the plot exciting and seems to have intrigued quite a few readers as well!

Can you tell us a little about your novel QUEER GREER?

Queer Greer was my first full-fledged novel and will thus always hold a special place in my heart. It also means a lot to me because I wrote it for all of the high school and college-age girls grappling with their sexuality, aiming to give them a book to read that I would have loved to have read when I was questioning my own bisexuality at their ages. It's personal and semi-autobiographical, following protagonist Greer MacManus as she starts a new high school and finds herself in a love triangle with both a boy and a girl. There is a dearth of quality literature out there for bisexuals and, while I wouldn't necessarily call my book "literature," I do think it's a good read that brings up a lot of important issues surrounding minority sexualities. It is a book that aims to normalize the feelings many of us go through as we determine who we are and aren't attracted to.

Where did the idea come about for QUEER GREER?

I decided to write Queer Greer because I had a lot of pent up feelings surrounding my coming out process as bisexual and realized I never had anything to read about bisexual women growing up. Thinking it over it really upset me thinking that, if I had had a book growing up that showed me what being attracted to both boys and girls was like, that it was okay and normal, maybe I wouldn't have had as many hardships as I faced surrounding the matter. I have known many self-destructive people in the LGBT community, myself included, who have benefited from surrounding themselves with other LGBTs and educating themselves and others about what it means to be LGBT. I knew I had a book in me at that time and, when I returned to the States from the Peace Corps, Queer Greer was nearly bursting out of me, willing itself to be written. While I cannot say for sure how many people my book may have helped as I hoped it would when writing it, I can tell you I was invited to lead a seminar on Queer Greer and being bisexual in a gay/straight world at the largest LGBT conference in the U.S. - the True Colors Conference - in March 2011. Simply sitting in that room and connecting with LGBT high school students was enough to make me realize there was a good reason for writing that book.

All your books are about real life situations, is this the sort of books you like to read, if so can you tell us some of your favourite books/authors if not which genres do you like to read?

I do love reading about controversial, realistic plot lines, which is why writers like Jodi Picoult and Wally Lamb are at the top of my favorite author list. I'm also a sucker for a little fantasy now and then - J.K. Rowling, Charlaine Harris, Philip Pullman, Alice Hoffman. I've recently gotten into Tana French, who writes about intertwining storylines in Ireland. I do need to read more, though! It's hard to fit reading AND writing into a lifestyle where a full-time Monday-Friday day job is essential to making ends meet!

You wrote you novel VUTO in November 2011! Where did you come up with the idea for Vuto?

Vuto, my third novel, might be the one I'm most excited about to date - though I think I have that sentiment about every new project I've taken on. Vuto, which means "Trouble" in the Malawian language called Chichewa, is about an African woman, a Peace Corps volunteer and a murder, to put it succinctly. The idea came from several sources: 1. My own Peace Corps experience. 2. The inequalities between genders in Africa. 3. A little help from a friend. I knew I wanted to write about a woman bucking an African tradition that prevents men from acknowledging their children until they have lived for 2 weeks, but I didn't have anything beyond that. It wasn't compelling. I took on the challenge last November with my friend, Chloe. While Chloe didn't end up completing the challenge herself, she was responsible for the idea of inserting a murder - either my protagonist or the volunteer murders the protag's husband, forcing them to go on the run. I fleshed out the plot from there and continue to do so!

What do you hope to accomplish this year regarding your writing?

I have great feelings about this year! The independent publisher Rocket Science Productions will be releasing a second edition of Queer Greer, complete with a newly designed cover. I also aim to finalize Vuto and start querying publishers by May.

Thanks to Alison for the awesome interview. Be sure to check Alison's books out!


Author Interview: Jenna Kay

A little about Jenna:

I began my writing journey three years ago. One morning I woke up and knew I needed to write. I was 28 years old, wife and mother of three. I felt like something was missing in my life, like there was something else I needed to do. So I prayed for a year straight in search of answers. In between all this my father passed away. We'd been very close and it hit me (and my family) hard. I like to think my dad helped push me in the right direction

Your novel Clarity is being re-published as a second edition with a new title names Mark of the Seer along with a new cover by publishing company, Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing in March. Are you excited to be releasing Mark of the Seer again?
Yes, I'm very excited that Clarity is getting a "makeover", and I'm also excited that the Seer Society has found a home. Very, very excited to see what the future holds for Clarity and her human friends (and her angel friends!).

For all those that don't know what Mark of the Seer is about. Can you tell us a little about it?
Clarity Miller is a seventeen year old girl just beginning her senior year. She lives in a small south Georgia town and can't wait to graduate so she can get as far away from home as possible. Her life is predictable and boring, until the day Sam walks into the grocery store she cashiers at. That's when her life goes all topsy-turvy.

In your novel, Clarity is given the gifts of a Seer, what do these entail?

Clarity meets Sam and learns that he's her guardian angel, which she doesn't believe at first. After she's attacked by demons, saved by Sam, that's when she learns she's been given the gifts of the Seer and can also see into the spiritual realm. The Seer Marks that only she can see on her palms are a source of power, filled with the light of God. Sam tells her that when her Seer abilities grow, she'll be able to fight in the invisible war alongside angels where she'll be able to send demons back to hell.

Can you describe each character in 5 words:

Clarity: Easy-going, practical, funny, smart, and pretty.
Sam: Patient, loving, secure, loyal, and gorgeous.

 Why should we read Mark of the Seer?

Though it's written for teens and young adults, anyone of any age can get something out of it. "Mark of the Seer" goes into real-life situations we humans go through, and my goal is to make people think about the "what-ifs" in the world, such as: What if there's people who can actually see angels and demons, and are able to fight in the spiritual warfare that plagues the human race?

Is there any books you are looking forward that are being released this year?

I haven't be able to keep up with what's coming out because I'm working on three projects at the moment, but I'm looking forward to reading all my fellow authors work at CH&BB Publishing.

Stalk Jenna:

Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing

The Childe Blog Tour: This or That with Ryan Beckford & your chance to win a KINDLE FIRE!

I am so happy to be part of The Childe Blog Tour. The Childe series is one of my favourite series and competes in my opinion with some of my favourite series, including Twilight & Harry Potter! Enjoy my this or that with Ryan Beckford one of my favourite characters from the series, and don't forget to check out how you can win yourself a Kindle Fire!

This or That: Ryan Beckford

Halloween or Christmas?

Definitely Halloween, it’s the one night that I can be myself and not have to worry about people finding out my secret.

Football or Baseball?

This one’s easy, football. I actually play on the varsity team at Astoria High. Oh, and just in case youre wondering what position I play, its running back.

Movies or Music?

My first instinct is to say music. I mean I really like movies too, but music gets me through a lot of things. I listen to it while I exercise, study, train…lots of stuff.

Red heads or Blonde? :)

Hmm…I’m pretty sure that if I didnt say red heads, Id get in big trouble with Cat…so Im going to say red heads. But to be honest I tend to like darker haired girls over blondes anyway.

Vampires :) or Werewolves?

Hahaha! Well I guess the “cat’s out of the bag on this one. You could call it a bias, but Im pretty much on the side of the Vampires.

Live in the country or live in a city?

Alright so this was a tough one. I love the city, but living in the country does give me and mine some great benefits. Seclusion is a huge bonus, plus living in the country has allowed us to blend in. It

Summer or Winter?

Oh the winter definitely. I absolutely love snow and the cold weather. Plus it kind of helps that I’m cold blooded I guess. And sunshine is completely overrated.

Which Era would you prefer to live in: Victorian Era or the 1920's?

Well…I guess if I was given the choice I d go with the Victorian Era. It wouldve been interesting to see how my ancestors ruled during that time. I hear that we were quite the force back then, and since I have huge problems with what they were doing during that time, I probably wouldve tried to be the voice of change. Then maybe my family and I wouldnt be in the predicament that were in now.

Chocolate ice cream or Vanilla ice cream?

Mmmmm, chocolate is easily my favorite ice cream flavor. It goes pretty awesomely with almost everything dessert related, hahaha!

Which book would you choose to read: Dracula or Harry Potter?

Well since Dracula really doesn’t do it for me, Im going to have to say Harry Potter. Its just that Dracula gives all vampires a bad name, and lets not get into how far from the truth Bram Stoker was when he wrote it. I know its not like we dont have our issues with everyone knowing each others business, but it is easier to stay “hidden” in a small port town like Astoria.

Come back on the 6th of Febuary to check out my review of Dark Days the second book in The Childe Series. In the meantime why not check out my review of The Childe the first book in the series!

Next tour stop:

So here is how you can be in with a chance of winning a Kindle Fire:

You can gain "points" by doing various things! First of 5 different people must first comment below! Once this is done CA Kunz will come by and leave a question in the comments! The question will be related to my post so please make sure you read my post to find the answer! Once you have the answer you must send it with your name to this email

Please dont put answers in the comments!!

By sending your answer you gain 5 points however you can earn more points if you do the following! To gain these points do the following then comment below with the details required:

1 point for following my blog (leave GFC name in comment)
1 point for tweeting about my blog post (you must leave the link in comments)
1 point for following CA Kunz Blog (leave GFC name in comment)
1 point Sharing the post on Facebook (you must leave the link in comments)
1 point Like either CA Kunz Facebook page  or The Childe Facebook page (comment which one you like and name used)

Leave all info in one comment and please leave an email address so you can be contacted!
Check out all the other blog stops on the tour for more chances to be entered to win the Kindle Fire!


Every week one lucky commenter will be picked to win a signed copy of The Childe and a swag pack! So make sure you comment below with an email address!

Also as a treat you can downloads a Kindle copy of The Childe for free till 19th January! What are you waiting for? Click here!

Check out my interview on Reading A Little Bit of Everything!

Hey! I was really happy to be the first blogger to feature on Reading A Little Bit of Everything's new weekly feature, Get to know your blogger!

Please hop over and check out my interview! Find out which two characters I would have over for dinner (some hotties), if I judge a book by it's cover and a book series that has made an impact on me!

To top it of Kerry-Ann over @ Reading A little bit of everything is offering a GIVEAWAY of one of my favourite children's classics The Secret Garden!

What are you waiting? Get going!

Introducing New YA Author: Megan Bostic

This week on Reading Away The Days, YA feature is author Megan Bostic. Megan debuts her novel, Never Eighteen this month! Please welcome Megan to Reading Away The Days by leaving her a nice comment below and don't forget to check out her novel, Never Eighteen!

A little about Megan & why she started writing:

I'm a mom of two teenage girls living in Tacoma, WA. I wrote my first novel in 2007. I started writing because I was grieving the loss of my mother-in-law. We had taken her in to do hospice care for her when she was diagnosed with Cancer. When she passed, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands. I started writing. I helped me though a very hard time.

Can you tell us a little about your debut novel, Never Eighteen?

Never Eighteen is about love, loss, and living every day as if it were your last. If you look around you, you're bound to see people who aren't taking advantage of life. Instead of battling their struggles, they're letting them shut them down. My main character Austin is dying. He understands all too well that life is a gift and shouldn't be taken for granted. So, the book is also a story of hope. One kids mission to show his loved ones that life is worth living.

Where did you get the idea for Never Eighteen?

The idea actually came from my husband at the time and I ran with it. I took the experiences I had taking care of my mother-in-law, plus my own life experiences and fused them together to write this novel.

Never Eighteen is your first published novel. How does it feel to be published?

Sometimes its exhausting. Sometimes its terrifying. Mostly I feel like Ive defeated a very worthy adversary, which is very gratifying.

I love the cover of Never Eighteen who designed it and did you have much say in the designing of the cover?

It’s original artwork by Carol Chu and I absolutely love it. I did get to voice an opinion. The original background color was kind of yellowish, and I didnt like it at all. So now a lovely light blue graces the cover.

How is working coming on your next novel, Sad?

Well, I’ve changed the name to Sliced. Work right now is slow. Im doing a major rewrite and that is always a laborious task. But Im plugging along and hope to have it finished by the end of November. (2011)

Why should we read Never Eighteen?

Though the characters are fictional, they deal with very real, very important problems that I think many people will be able to relate to. It's a story that will make you contemplate your own life and the lives of those around you. Its also a book full of hope. No matter how bad things seem, we have to find it within ourselves to make it better.

Finally is there any other debut novel you are looking forward to reading this year?

Pretty much all the books by my fellow Class of 2k12 which you can find at

Thanks to Megan for the interview. You can pre-order Never Eighteen as the links below:

Mifflin Harcourt
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, Books-a-Million, Powells

Stalk Megan:
@meganbostic on twitter