Interview with Micah Persell

Micah Persell Author PicTell us about your publishing journey…

I was incredibly lucky:  I started Of Eternal Life, my first book, in the summer of 2011, and it was published by the summer of 2012.  Just one year from conception to being in readers’ hands.  I know not every author has such a story, and I hope I never take it for granted!
What do you love about being an author?
That moment I get an idea for a new story.  It’s the best feeling in the world, and it strikes at the most inopportune times.  That’s why I carry a journal on me always so when I’m at a party (or the grocery store), and the person I’m talking to relays a story that sets off an entire plot line in my head, I can sneak away and jot it down before I’ve lost it.
If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?
Very unoriginal, but I would have to choose Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice.  She’s got the best personality of any character I’ve ever read!
If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
For Of Eternal Life, I’ve always imagined City of Angels Meg Ryan as Abilene.  Eli is much, much harder to imagine.  I’ve actually never been able to picture any actor in his role!
Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?
I’m firmly in the “sexy lead” camp.  I’m a big ole chicken, and I never watch horror movies, so I would miss out on vampire awesomeness if they hadn’t crossed over into romance!
If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?Extraordinary Love Bundle Cover
I like this era!  As a woman, I’d like to keep the right to vote and speak my mind and all of that good stuff that is stillbeing worked on currently.  I’m excited to see how the world is changing and the opportunities my daughter is going to have that I didn’t.
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
“Everything matters, but not that much.”  I had a professor in college who said this often, and it really stuck with me.  I sweat the small stuff way too much, and the big stuff?  Forget about it.  I’m a basket case.  This little phrase has helped immensely in the midst of many a freak-out.
If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?
I’ve always thought Tolkien’s take on elves was phenomenal and not one that has been replicated to his level since.  I’d love to be one of his elves.  And, of course, getting to hang with Legolas wouldn’t suck.
Where do you write best? 
It changes with every book, oddly enough.  Past answers have been home office, work during my lunch break, and right after my work day but before going home.  Right now for my current work-in-progress, it’s on my couch, bouncing my three-month-old in her bouncy chair with my foot, Supernatural on the TV with low volume.  Specific, I know–but it’s writing magic for some reason at this point of my life.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
I got an early copy of Dark Skye by Kresley Cole, and, of course, it’s the best thing I’ve read, as are all of her books.  Love that woman.
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
I’ve written in paranormal and historical, and I have a very rough draft of a YA cooling its heels while I figure out how to fix its many flaws, so I don’t have many genres left inside of romance!  I suppose…contemporary? If I was going to break out of romance entirely, I’d love to attempt a really gritty mystery, but I have a feeling I don’t have the attention span to plot out intricate twists and turns.
Where can fans find you online?
My website is www.micahpersell.com, and on my “Contact” page, I have links to all of my social media homes.  Hope to see you there!

Interview with Jane Tara

IMG_8535Tell us about your publishing journey…

It’s been a long and interesting journey for me. I started as a playwright, and won a few awards, which got my plays published. Then I had some children’s picture books published. (To date I’ve had about two dozen published.) I wrote my first novel, Forecast while I was living in New York, and it was published by Dorchester. Over the years I’ve written for TV, magazines and newspapers. In 2009 I started my own boutique publishing company called Itchee Feet, which produces children’s travel books.

When Dorchester went bust, I got the rights to Forecast back and contacted Momentum. They republished Forecast, and have since published Trouble Brewing, The Happy Endings Book Club, and now Hamlet’s Ghost.

Momentum is a good fit for me. It really is about gaining momentum as a writer.

 What do you love about being an author?

I love the solitude. Or at least, I love it when I get it. In my house it’s rare.

I love those moments when I’m writing and I’m totally in the world I’m writing about. There are other times when I feel like I’m smacking my head against a wall, so it’s wonderful when it flows.

Another thing I love about being an author is hearing from readers. I love hearing that I’ve made someone smile.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Sei Shonagon who wrote The Pillow Book… and we’d eat Japanese food. I can’t imagine that she’d want to eat anything else. And she certainly wouldn’t approve of me being vegetarian, so sashimi and yakimono it is.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads? Title_Hamlets_Ghost_Jane_Tara

Forecast actually had a director attached at one stage, and I wrote the screenplay. I was really hoping for Isla Fisher and Shirley Maclaine to play Rowie and Gwendolyn. Unfortunately the project didn’t pan out.

I think Hamlet’s Ghost would be a fun romcom… Not sure who I’d cast however in my mind Kip looks suspiciously like David Gandy. Can he act?

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

Oh sexy leads, definitely.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I’d go back to the royal court in Heian Japan (794-1185). The world’s first novel, Tale of Genji was written during this time. There were many Heian women writers whose memoirs and diaries survive today. I’d love to hang out with Sei Shonagon, who was the lady-in-waiting to the Empress, and wrote a diary that was passed around the court for entertainment purposes. Her wit and strength and sharp observations astound me.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

Learn how to meditate. I wish I’d understood the power of mindfulness from a young age. I now teach my sons. It’s a very powerful life tool.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

A fairy. I’ve been waiting my whole life for my mother to tell me I’m part Fey. Maybe next year, on my birthday…

Where do you write best? 

Perched up on my bed.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

I read non-fiction while I’m writing. I’ve just finished The Woman Who Changed Her Brain, by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young, the women who started the Arrowsmith School for kids with dyslexia and learning issues. Incredible story and inspiring work.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

Travel memoirs. I’m a traveller. I get restless living in one spot. I’ve lived in six countries, visited dozens more… I love being on the road. And I love reading travel memoirs. I plan to write one, one day.

Where can fans find you online?

janetara.com

https://www.facebook.com/Roadmancebooks?ref=hl

https://twitter.com/janetara

http://www.pinterest.com/roadmance/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1080134.Jane_Tara

http://momentumbooks.com.au/authors/jane-tara/

http://www.amazon.com/Jane-Tara/e/B0039AK7SI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00KID48C0

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/hamlets-ghost-shakespeare/id881730385?mt=11

Interview with J K Coi

JK Coi (2)Tell us about your publishing journey…

Well, it’s a typical story I guess! It involves secret typing elfs who invaded my home in the middle of the night to write my first book, and a chance meeting with Brad Pitt who loved the story so much he vowed to see it in print, and crazy offers from all the publishing companies of millions of dollars, and diamonds, and private jets…oh wait…that was something else. *grin*

What do you love about being an author?

Well, I guess it’s no surprise that the best part is making stuff up!(see above)

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

I think maybe Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights because he’s so brooding and intense and I would love to be able to delve into his character. But I’m pretty sure I’d be too excited to eat anything. Maybe I’d just drink. Lots. :)

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?Dark Immortal

For the first book in my Immortals series, Immortal Duty, I’ve always pictured Clive Owen as Rhys—because he’s dark and rough around the edges, but with a killer accent and a bit of an air of mystery. Amy is more the girl next door type, with a perky personality but the ability to be really focused and intense. I think I like blonde Jennifer Lawrence for her part.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

I’ll pretty much take vampires any way I can get them, LOL.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I love the idea of the flash and excitement of the roaring 20s, or the glamour of the 30s and 40s.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

Don’t sweat the small stuff, and live everyday like it’s your last. They’re both really important to me. Life is so short, if all you do is worry about every little thing, you’ll burn out really quickly and have regrets.

Forever ImmortalIf you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

Whichever one is the sexiest and lives forever.

Where do you write best?

In special chair in my living room when the house is empty and quiet. Too bad that doesn’t happen very often!

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

The last book I read was Holly Black’s Coldest Girl in Coldtown – and I thought it was awesome, I’m eagerly waiting for the next one!

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

I like writing paranormal and steampunk, but I’m also a huge fan of fantasy, horror, and YA. Mostly because I like variety in the things I read, so it stands to reason that I would get bored only writing in one genre too.

Where can fans find you online?

Thanks for having me!! I had a great time, and I love to hear from everyone.

Book Review: Fangirl_15 by Aimee Roseland

cover49083-mediumSynopsis:

Chloe is in love with Lucien.

He’s enigmatic, compassionate, generous and intelligent. Likes classical music just as much as kicking ass and knows his way around a kitchen, though he’d never admit it. His Samurai swords are an extension of his personality and a lifetime of heartache has taught him to wield them unfailingly. He’s gorgeous yet humble and can’t see past his own scars. Lucien feels deeply for his chosen family and is absolutely worthy of love.

Sounds perfect, right?

The only problem is that Lucien is a character in a novel.

The Dark Riders is one of the bestselling paranormal romance series of all time, and it was destined to have eight installments, one for each of the brothers-in-arms. Lucien’s story was supposed to be book eight, where he’d finally find true love and live happily ever after. Except the writer died before his story was published. Worse yet, book seven was finished by some poser that thought killing off one of the main characters would bring a more modern twist to the finale.

Chloe is absolutely devastated by the news that one of her “friends” is dead and that the series is canceled. She has a quasi-nervous-breakdown at work and ends up falling asleep in the lounge. Her midnight escape from the locked office lands her in a deserted parking lot after hours where an unseen force has been waiting. Just. For. Her…

The devastating attack strands her in an alternate reality where the Dark Riders are real and the horrible ending created by the publisher hasn’t happened yet.

Chloe decides that she’s been brought there to fix all of the storylines, and tries her best to convince the monsters around her that she’s there to help. She ends up mangling their plots more often than not and now must race the waxing moon to find a way home before Lucien accidentally falls in love with her instead of his destined mate. The Fates are working against her as Chaos interferes and the truth about what really dragged her over threatens to destroy everything that Chloe holds dear.

About the Author: 5758617

I was born and raised near Las Vegas, NV and grew up dreaming of rain. I also dreamt of heroes and villains and the women that inspired the best and worst in them.

It seemed like every book I read as a teen was a classic bodice-ripper. Wimpy-virgin-heroine always making bad choices and getting herself in trouble, cue the macho hero, yadda yadda yadda. Those books are what inspired me to write my own stories, not because I loved them, but because I constantly found myself tossing them aside and fuming. I would think of all the ways the story would have been better: if she had just picked up the sword and stabbed the bad guy when she had the chance…

I LOVE writing, and I love the new direction that fiction has taken over the last decade. So many amazing, strong female leads now! And so many new writers that finally have a voice in the indie publishing community.

I was blessed with a wonderful husband who supports my passion for writing and reading, and who really helped me focus my desire to publish my work. When I’m not busy enjoying my daughter and husband, I’m usually developing a new story idea, or sneaking in some time with my favorite authors.

I’m a bit of a hermit, they called it being “shy” when I was a kid, but I love hearing from fans. I also love ferrets, hiking, chili dark chocolate, strong coffee, nursing mamas, and rain.

http://www.aimeeroseland.com

My Review:

I’ve read a few books with this premise, a massive fan of a book series/ TV series is pulled into their world to cause havoc and fall in love with the character of her dreams. I read another one a while back that was so obviously based on Twilight that it was verging on copyright infringement, that one had the character dragged into this world, not the fan into the imaginary world though.

Fangirl_15 was actually a pretty good read, it was well plotted out and introduced some lovely characters and scenes. It was also very well written – which the other book I read, was not.

From a writer’s perspective I think that the story would have been better first person from Chloe’s point of view. As it was third limited, it kind repeated itself a lot, which did get annoying to read the same scene twice from two different perspectives. If keeping it third person, perhaps simply integrating the perspectives, rather than limiting, would have solved the problem.

The front cover is a bit of a let down. as it does nothing to capture the distinct urban fantasy vibe that the book has. This looks more like a thriller, which won’t do it any favours in the long run.

Overall, I’d give Fangirl_15 4 out 5 stars – definitely worth a read, as don’t we all want to get lost in our favourite books?

Book Review: The Winter King by C.L. Wilson

91G-t5phdNL._SL1500_Synopsis:

Wynter Atrialan, the Winter King, once lived in peace with his southern, Summerlander neighbors, but when Falcon, the prince of Summerlea, stole Wynter’s bride and murdered his young brother, Wynter vows vengeance. Calling upon a dangerous Wintercraig magic called the Ice Heart, he gathers his armies and marches against Summerlea, crushing their armies and spreading icy winter in his wake. After three long, bitter years of battle, Summerlea is defeated and Wynter comes to the heart of the kingdom to issue his terms for their surrender. The prince of Summerlea stole Wynter’s bride and slew Wynter’s Heir. He wants the loss replaced. The Ice Heart is consuming him. Wynter hopes holding his own child in his arms will rekindle the warmth of love and melt the Ice Heart before he becomes the monster of Wintercraig legend, the Ice King. The Summer King has three very precious daughters whom he loves dearly. Wynter will take one of them to wife. She will have one year to provide him with an Heir. If she fails, he will turn her out in the ice and snow of the mountains and claim another princess for his wife. And so it will continue until Wynter has his Heir or the Summer King is out of daughters. All the while, Wynter will enjoy the vengeance of knowing the Summer King will suffer each day without his beloved daughter(s), as Wynter suffers each day without his own beloved brother. The plan is perfect—except for one small detail. The Summer King has a fourth daughter. One of which he is not so fond. Blamed as a child for the death of her beloved mother, Khamsin Coruscate, the forgotten princess of Summerlea, has spent her life hidden from the world like an embarrassing secret. Dressed in cast-off gowns and left to her own devices, with only the determination of her loyal nursemaid to ensure she receives the education befitting an Heir to the Summer Throne, Khamsin haunts the abandoned towers and gardens of Summerlea’s royal palace, close to her beloved late mother’s treasures, and waits for the day her father will recognize her as a Princess of the Rose. But though she dreams of the valor and sacrifices of ancient Summerlea heroes and pines for paternal love that will never come, Khamsin is no sweet, gentle, helpless princess-in-a-tower. She is a fiercely passionate creature with a volatile, rebellious temper that is often as reckless and destructive as the dangerous forces of her weathergift, the power of storms. Together will their stormy personalities be able to meld or will their powers destroy not only their love but the whole world?

Add it to your Goodreads Shelf

 Available for purchase at Avon Romance Amazon  BN  Kobo

About the Author: cl_wilson_web

C. L. WILSON grew up camping and waterskiing across America, from Cherry Creek reservoir in Denver, CO, to Lake Gaston on the border of Virginia and North Carolina, to Georgia’s Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona. When she wasn’t waterskiing and camping on family vacations, you could usually find her with a book in one hand and a sketch pad in the other—either reading, writing stories, or drawing. Sometime around the ninth grade, she decided she was better at drawing her pictures with words than paints and charcoals, and she set aside her sketchpad to focus entirely on writing. Wilson is active in Tampa Area Romance Authors (TARA), her local chapter of Romance Writers of America. When not engaged in writerly pursuits, she enjoys golfing, swimming, reading, playing video games with her children, and spending time with her friends and family. She is also an avid collector (her husband says pack rat!), and she’s the proud owner of an extensive collection of Dept. 56 Dickens and North Pole villages, unicorns, Lladro figurines, and mint condition comic books. Wilson currently resides with her husband, their three wonderful children, and their little black cat, Oreo, in a secluded ranch community less than thirty miles away from the crystalline waters and sugar-sand beaches of Anna Maria Island and Siesta Key on Florida’s gulf coast.

http://clwilson.com/

https://twitter.com/clwilsonbooks

https://www.facebook.com/clwilsonbooks

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1310735.C_L_Wilson

http://www.amazon.com/C.-L.-Wilson/e/B001JS38U6

My Review:

This book was a lovely escape into a romantic fantasy world; it was kind of like a cross between Game of Thrones and a historical romance. I loved the supernatural element and the set up between the two kingdoms was almost Shakespearean.

From a writer’s perspective, it was put together beautifully and built the world around the reader without effort or force. It felt almost fairytale like in its storytelling, and drew you in really quickly. My only criticism, and this is just me, is that the relationship did the typical romance to and fro – he deceives her, she lies to him, they hate each other (a little too much) he’s a bit of a brute, she’s a bit too precious… And I’d have liked to have seen a less tired romance formula used, as the rest of the book was original and enthralling.

The front cover is beautiful too – it really sets off both characters and will do really well on the virtual and physical book shelves alike.

Overall, I’d give The Winter King, 4 out of 5 stars – feeling like reality is getting you down? Then pick up this book and sink into an epic fantasy love story.

The Winter King Banner 851 x 315

 

Book Review: Mary Hades by Sarah Dalton

20935599Synopsis:

Not many seventeen year old girls have a best friend who’s a ghost, but then Mary Hades isn’t your average teenager. Scarred physically and mentally from a fire, her parents decide a holiday to an idyllic village in North Yorkshire will help her recover. Nestled in the middle of five moors, Mary expects to have a boring week stuck in a caravan with her parents. Little does she know, evil lurks in the campsite… Seth Lockwood—a local fairground worker with a dark secret—might be the key to uncovering the murky history that has blighted Nettleby. But Mary is drawn to him in a way that has her questioning her judgement. Helped by her dead best friend and a quirky gay Goth couple, Mary must stop the unusual deaths occurring in Nettleby. But can she prevent her heart from being broken? The first in a series of dark YA novels, Mary Hades follows on from the bestselling Kindle Single ‘My Daylight Monsters’. A spine-tingling tale with romance, readers will be shocked and entertained in equal measure.

About the Author:4720363

Sarah grew up in the middle of nowhere in the countryside of Derbyshire and as a result has an over-active imagination. She has been an avid reader for most of her life, taking inspiration from the stories she read as a child, and the novels she devoured as an adult. Sarah mainly writes speculative fiction for a Young Adult audience and has had pieces of short fiction published in the Medulla Literary Review, PANK magazine, Apex Magazine and the British Fantasy Society publication Dark Horizons. Her short story ‘Vampires Wear Chanel’ is featured in the Wyvern Publication Fangtales. She is the author of the popular YA dystopia series ‘Blemished’ and the gothic novella ‘My Daylight Monsters’. She is currently working on a YA Fantasy series titled ‘White Hart’. Follow Sarah on twitter @sarahdalton

http://sarahdaltonbooks.com/

My Review:

I’ve read a couple of Sarah’s books before so was really looking forward to this book. Now, I have to add in here that this sounds like a 2nd book in the series – although it claims to the first on Goodreads. There’s a definitive ‘catch up’ in the first couple of pages that chart a book before this one – so not sure what happened there?

I’ve been drawn to ghost books ever since I was a little girl, and anything with a Six Sense vibe is fine by me. So the whole plot and concept was a winner in my mind.

From a writer’s perspective, the mystery part of the book wasn’t hard to work out – although to give it credit it is a YA read, so as an adult I was probably going to catch on sooner (one would hope!) rather than later. My only real gripe was that Mary was a bit boring, if she didn’t see ghosts, should would have been the kind of girl you’d dread sitting next to in class as boredom would have been sure to follow. Because of this, there is no real chemistry in the budding relationship with Seth and quite frankly I could feel myself siding with the vengeful ghost!

The front cover is lovely, very atmospheric and attractive – so should garner a decent amount of attention on the virtual book shelf.

Overall I’d give Mary Hades 3 out 5 stars – a pretty good read, written incredibly well, just wish the main character had been stronger.

Book Review: Zomburbia by Adam J. Gallardo

19083252Synopsis:

“Scary, freaky, and original. Get this book!” -Nancy Holder Lifeless. Slow-moving. Brain-dead.
“Welcome To Zomburbia.”

My name is Courtney Hart, and I’m here to tell you about things that suck. Being born in a podunk town like Salem, Oregon, for one. Living in a world infested with zombies? That, too. And the meat heads I go to school with? I think I’d actually take the undead over them most days. But I have a plan to get out of here and move to New York. I just have to keep selling Vitamin Z along with your fries at The Bully Burger. The secret ingredient? Zombie brains.

I’ve noticed things are getting even worse lately, if that’s even possible. The zombies seem to be getting smarter and faster. If I can avoid being arrested, eaten by shufflers, or catching the eye of some stupid boy, I should be able to make it through finals week still breathing. . .

“Gallardo’s world-building is innovative and fascinating, sick and twisted and unexpectedly touching. You’ll want to check that your zombie apocalypse closet is well stocked.” -Molly Harper White

“Readers are guaranteed plenty of mayhem and romance, laughter and heartbreak.” -James Patrick Kelly

My Review:

Looking at the front cover, this looks like an amazing zombie book.  However, instead of it being the full on horror it promises, its more of a teen angst set against an undead back-drop.  If you like those types of books, you’ll love this – it lends itself very much to a teen readership, but as an adult I really expected more, so I was kind of disappointment.

From a writer’s perspective, it was written very well and was well thought-out, but (here’s that big ‘but’ again!) the very start of the book is kind of boring and introduces our protagonist as a whiny teenager, drama-cising her way through the shuffling zombie outbreak. I would have much rather had a Katniss style character that you can get behind that kicks butt and take things seriously – one you actually want to survive.

Also, there’s not much promotion from the author online. I usually include a bio and photo from Goodreads on my reviews, but alas the author is currently an absent blank on there.  that really needs to change. Authors live and die by social media these days and, as the book is available for review now, he should really include his details on Goodreads and Amazon – at the very least.

The front cover is amazing, so two undead thumbs up to whoever put it together – it’ll no doubt get some attention on the virtual book shelf.

Overall, I’d give Zomburbia 2 out 5 stars for adult readers, 3.5 out of 5 for teens – it’s kind of ‘Clueless’ with zombies.

Book Review: Phantom’s Dance by Lesa Howard

a906240bd1b7a2b2d6186063e48293e73273b9f7-thumbSynopsis:

Christine Dadey’s family uprooted their lives and moved to Houston for her to attend the prestigious Rousseau Academy of Dance. Now, two years later, Christine struggles to compete among the Academy’s finest dancers, her parents are on the brink of divorce, and she’s told no one about her debilitating performance anxiety and what she’s willing to do to cope with it. Erik was a ballet prodigy, a savant, destined to be a star on the world’s stage, but a suspicious fire left Erik’s face horribly disfigured. Now, a lonely phantom forced to keep his scars hidden, he spends his nights haunting the theater halls, mourning all he’s lost. Then, from behind the curtain he sees the lovely Christine. The moldable, malleable Christine. Drawn in by Erik’s unwavering confidence, Christine allows herself to believe Erik’s declarations that he can transform her into the dancer she longs to be. But Christine’s hope of achieving her dreams may be her undoing when she learns Erik is not everything he claims. And before long, Erik’s shadowy past jeopardizes Christine’s unstable present as his obsession with her becomes hopelessly entangled with his plans for revenge.

Amazon:

My Review:

So, Phantom’s Dance is a YA updated version of the Phantom of the Opera – I love Phantom of the Opera, more the original book than the cheesy musical, so although I don’t really do ‘normal’ YA books without a supernatural theme, I still really wanted to read this one.

From a writer’s perspective, it’s an easy read that takes you from A to B without any road blocks. The pace is good and there’s a few lovely turns of phrase in there. In my opinion though, this is really meant for the lower YA reader and so, as an adult who enjoys the genre, I was kind of left wanting and waiting for deeper characters, more intense scenes and sharper dialogue.

The front cover is okay, looks more like a normal contemporary YA, which in truth is what it is – so probably represents it well

Overall, I’d split the review into YA and adult readers (to be fair to the author) For YA it’s 4 out of 5 stars, for adults more like a 3 out of 5. If you’re expecting a cape wearing gothic read that oozes horror and venerability, you’ll be disappointed, so take it for what it is, a modern, well written YA read.

PhantomsDanceTourBanner

 

Book Review: Perfected by Kate Jarvik Birch

PERFECTED 1600x2400Synopsis:

Perfection comes at a price. As soon as the government passed legislation allowing humans to be genetically engineered and sold as pets, the rich and powerful rushed to own beautiful girls like Ella. Trained from birth to be graceful, demure, and above all, perfect, these “family companions” enter their masters’ homes prepared to live a life of idle luxury. Ella is happy with her new role as playmate for a congressman’s bubbly young daughter, but she doesn’t expect Penn, the congressman’s handsome and rebellious son. He’s the only person who sees beyond the perfect exterior to the girl within. Falling for him goes against every rule she knows…and the freedom she finds with him is intoxicating. But when Ella is kidnapped and thrust into the dark underworld lurking beneath her pampered life, she’s faced with an unthinkable choice. Because the only thing more dangerous than staying with Penn’s family is leaving…and if she’s unsuccessful, she’ll face a fate far worse than death. For fans of Keira Cass’s Selection series and Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden series, Perfected is a chilling look at what it means to be human, and a stunning celebration of the power of love to set us free, wrapped in a glamorous—and dangerous—bow.

About the Author: KateJarvikBirchbiopic

Kate Jarvik Birch is a visual artist, author, playwright, daydreamer, and professional procrastinator. As a child, she wanted to grow up to be either a unicorn or mermaid. Luckily, being a writer turned out to be just as magical. Her essays and short stories have been published in literary journals including Indiana Review and Saint Ann’s Review. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband and three kids. To learn more visit www.katejarvikbirch.com 

 

My Review:

I do enjoy a healthy dollop of Dystopia! Perfected certainly filled the brief there. It was an interesting idea along the same lines as the Chemical Garden series, only in my opinion written much better.

The plot wasn’t so intricate that you needed a notepad and pen to keep up, but enough to keep you reading – it did strike the perfect balance there.

From a writer’s perspective, it was incredibly well written, and had obviously enjoyed the touch of a good editor (that can make all the difference, its not just up to us authors you know!) and it really did make me think – could this actually happen? The answer I came up with was, not right now, but maybe in the future when we’ve forgotten our morales and the rich have ultimate power (OK, they kind of do now, but at least they hide it most of the time) To have what was effectively a ‘living doll’ to play with and dress up, isn’t as far fetched as you might think (especially if you’ve seen some of those cringe worthy Channel 4 shows in the UK)  

The twists were a little easy for me to work out, however I had to remind myself that this is a YA book – so wouldn’t have been as shocking or as visceral with its plot turns as an adult or even a NA book would have been.

The main question that I’d like to pose here is that –  if I had the money, would I have a ‘pet’? The answer is…no. But not for the morale reasons you’d think, I can barely look after myself, let alone someone else I had feed a special diet to, dress and house!  It all seems a bit like hard work to me. Plus, I want those gowns myself!

The front cover is very pretty and attractive – its actually what made me pick it in the first place – yes I am that shallow!

Overall I’d give Perfected 5 out 5 stars – a solid read for both teen and adult readers alike – now once you’ve read it, let me know…would you have a pet? Or would you be one? 

 

Perfected-tour banner

Interview with Lance Manion

lance manion pic

Lance Manion

Interview with fellow horror author Lance Manion:

When did you realize you wanted to be a horror writer?

After reading Night Shift by Stephen King. The idea that you could come up with an idea that creeped you out and then share it with others was a fun thought.

What’s your thoughts on authors and social media?   

It’s a great way to build or enhance your readership. I’m a big fan of any way to reach your target audience that isn’t controlled by the big publishing houses or run through a politically correct filter. It is vital for the success of the coming eBook revolution.

Which sites do you prefer?   

Facebook seems to be fading a bit, I’ve never gotten the hang of Twitter, Tumblr just got gobbled up by Google and Instagram seems geared entirely towards high school kids that want to exchange pictures of their genitalia. Assuming they don’t want to see my genitals I guess I’m waiting for the next good site.

What’s your favorite horror monster and why?   

The zombie. The basic premise can work in almost any genre and tell any story it wants but at the same time you have this villain that is mindless so you can feel good about shooting it in the face. There is no moral ambiguity.

What is the worst mistake a new writer can make?

Other than taking advice from an unknown? I would say being too descriptive. It’s like in the movies where the monster is always scary until you actually get a look at it. Don’t give them too good a look.

And what advice would you give them?   

Let the idea carry the story, not the details. Let the reader do some of the heavy lifting, they know best what interests/scares them.

website/blog   www.lancemanion.com