My book, Bad Blood – Out Now!

bad-blood2Synopsis:

“I am Britannia. I am your protector. I will fend off the hungry hordes of undead hands that reach toward you. I am your steadfast defender. I will stand between you and the zombie masses as they try to taste your flesh. I am strong, unyielding, and dedicated to your survival. All I ask from you… is your blood.”

A five-hundred-year-old bloody game of vengeance will need to be put on hold if vampires are to survive the zombie uprising. Britannia and Nicholas, bitter enemies and the only two surviving vampires left in London, have to work together to save un-infected humans and deliver them safely to a vampire stronghold in the Scottish Highlands. Unable to drink the zombie ‘bad blood’, the remaining vampires need the humans to stay alive. But will the vampires tell the survivors who they are and what they want from them? Will Britannia be able to hold back her vengeance for the greater good? Is survivor Josh the reincarnation of Britannia’s murdered true love? And can she bring herself to deliver him to the ‘safe’ hold? Survival instincts run deep, but bad blood can run deeper.

Buy Links

Amazon UK       Amazon US      Evernight Teen

Excerpt:

We ran to the hospital. On the way, we encountered hardly anyone, alive or dead. Where were they all? When we arrived at the hospital car park, I understood. Zombies were pack animals. A massive crowd of them were crammed in and around the main building like they were waiting for a concert to start, all barely paying attention to their surroundings and seemingly swaying against the force of gravity. The other thing was the smell. When watching horror films filled with shuffling zombies, the horror came from their ghastly looks—the reminder that death has a tight grip on us all, well, most of us. But what the filmmakers should focus on—if they could—was the acidic rank odor zombies gave off. They had been dead barely twenty-four hours. It took a normal human body at least thirty-six hours to really start to smell, and that was with a vampire’s heightened senses. These guys smelled like they’d been out in the sun for three weeks covered in rubbish and besieged by wily maggots. They were mostly intact, though. Maybe this hospital had been Zombie Ground Zero. Most had turned so quickly their comrades hadn’t had time to feed.

“Maybe we should try a less populated target.” Nicholas twitched his nose and turned away from me to dry retch.

“Maybe you should grow a pair.”

“Maybe you should act like a lady.” He now had his hands on his hips, squaring up for yet another argument.

“Acting like a lady isn’t going to help now, is it? What do you want me to do? Drop my handkerchief in front of the zombies and watch them fight one another to scoop it up for me? Moron!”

“Always to the ‘nth degree with you, isn’t it?”

“Shut up. Look, the doors are holding, and they’re outside, not inside, which means there must be some people left in there alive to have barricaded this place so tight.”

“Or maybe there are just more zombies in there.”

“Well, there’s definitely a blood bank in there, and that’ll help matters no end!”

Nicholas looked thoughtful then nodded. He of course didn’t want to actually say aloud that I’d had a good idea. “So, how do we get past them?”

I assumed it was a rhetorical question, so I started down to the car park entrance, where most of the zombies were mobbing. I opened the outer door as quietly as possible.

“Ladies first,” Nicholas whispered in my ear.

“I thought we’d agreed I wasn’t a lady.” And with that, I shoved him as hard as I could into the throbbing throng of zombies.

Published by Evernight Teen http://www.evernightteen.com/

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Interview call-out

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Interview call out.

You may, or may not already know, that my book, Bad Blood is now out in the big wide world. I can only liken it to watching your child leave home (not that I have children!) To open the door, boot it out and hope that it doesn’t embarrass you, or come crawling back asking for money.

As an author there are a number of ways you can help your book along it’s little independent path; one of those is interviews. There are literally thousands of blogs and websites out there dedicated to books of every genre and most will have a section for author interviews. People like asking questions. People like getting answers. The interview is simple in its format and can really help your online exposure and promote your book. I’ve done quite a few myself already: to view my interviews click here, or specifically for my Bad Blood tour, click through to my dedicated Face Book page.

So in the spirit of delving into the dark depths of the author psyche – don’t worry the proper protective gear will be adorned – I’m putting an open call out to all authors. Would you like to be interviewed? If you would, then send me an email to: mail(at)creativemindswriting(dot)co(dot)uk or leave me a comment below so I can find your blog and make contact. Together we can take over the world! WAHAHAHA oh, no wait that’s my secret evil master plan… together we can promote you and your work – there, that’s better, less psychotic!

10 Benefits of an eBook

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10 Benefits of an eBook.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good list – so let’s look at the benefits of eBooks from both a writer, and a readers’ perspective.

For Readers:

1)      Font: you can alter most readers to make the font easier to read – this is perfect for people with vision problems and children who read better in larger fonts. New readers now also come with adjustable back lights too, so you can read anywhere, any time.

2)      You’re desperate to read that book, all your friends are talking about it – well with an eBook version you can download it instantly. No waiting for the post to come, or searching through library and bookshop shelves. You want it, by heck – you can have it right now! You can download an eBook any time you want – if you’re hankering for a zombies vs vampires undead-appaloosa at one in the morning – you could even download my novel Bad Blood!

3)      They’re usually cheaper that print versions – so you can save quite a sum of money in the long run to spend on, you guessed it, more books! Some of the classics are even available for free, along with other taster books and promotional short stories.

4)      Lighter to carry round than a book. Have eBook reader, will travel. Slip it in your bag and never again have a bored moment: waiting for a bus, for your friend to finish her make-up, or if you’re alone and enjoying a nice frothy fresh cup of coffee in an over-stuffed fake leather sofa in your local coffee joint; just remember to regularly charge your e-Reader!

5)      No more crammed bookcases. I don’t know about you, but my book shelves are dangerously piled high – like some bizarre literature Cirque-de-Soleil act. I love reading books, but I also love buying them and buying them takes less time! With eBooks, you can electronically store as many books as you like, without endangering your safety with a possible book avalanche.

For Writers:

1)      Royalties are higher on eBooks, as production costs are lower. Although, there is still that satisfying rush involved with seeing your work in print, the bottom line is that you’ll earn more from eBook sales.

2)      Production time is less, which means you can produce more work in the year than if you were printing – thus starting the royalty gravy train rolling sooner, rather than later.

3)      You’ll never be out of print. eBooks are always available and not tied to being printed in batches – if your work doesn’t date too much, it’ll be in circulation much longer.

4)      New e-Readers such as the Kindle Fire also include the front cover along with the text, this keeps your wonderfully designed book cover along with your work and is much more aesthetically pleasing to your reader and easily identifiable for you and your publishers branding.

5)      You can add in bonus content for your readers – maybe the playlist you listened to whilst writing, extra character information links, instant access to your website or Amazon author page so they can buy more of your splendid works. The possibilities are fantastically endless and will be consistently evolving.

Now, I’m not an ‘eBooks are the only way’ kind of girl, I’m still in love with paperbacks and hardbacks too – its a hard habit to break, but I must admit that eBooks are becoming pretty attractive. In my humble opinion, can’t they exist side by side, helping one another? To me, the written word is magical – no matter what format it takes.

BAD BLOOD – Coming soon!!!

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Oh yes! My first lone author novel ‘Bad Blood’ will be re-released soon through the publishers Evernight Teen

“I am Britannia. I am your protector. I will fend off the hungry hordes of undead hands that reach toward you. I am your steadfast defender. I will stand between you and the zombie masses as they try to taste your flesh. I am strong, unyielding, and dedicated to your survival. All I ask from you… is your blood.”

A five-hundred-year-old bloody game of vengeance will need to be put on hold if vampires are to survive the zombie uprising. Britannia and Nicholas, bitter enemies and the only two surviving vampires left in London, have to work together to save un-infected humans and deliver them safely to a vampire stronghold in the Scottish Highlands. Unable to drink the zombie ‘bad blood’, the remaining vampires need the humans to stay alive. But will the vampires tell the survivors who they are and what they want from them? Will Britannia be able to hold back her vengeance for the greater good? Is survivor Josh the reincarnation of Britannia’s murdered true love? And can she bring herself to deliver him to the ‘safe’ hold? Survival instincts run deep, but bad blood can run deeper.

Updated August 2014

My Bad Blood playlist – Musical Inspiration Blog Hop

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So, I’ve been teasing you all for quite some time about my first lone author novel, Bad Blood. Well, you’ll have to wait till next month for the actual release (not long now!) but I thought I’d take this opportunity to share with you how music helps me write and create some of the important scenes in my work.

Bad Blood is a vampires vs zombies so is choc-full of action scenes and has a very strong undertone of romance. Listening to certain songs whilst writing really helped me to speak through my main character, Britannia. Personality wise, her’s is a million miles away from my own and I found it hard to make her do what I wanted, I even had to change parts as I went along, as she grew as a person/ vampire.

Below is a play list that really spoke to me whilst writing; I used it to evoke Britannia; you’ll find links through to YouTube videos so you can listen to each track too:

Basement Jaxx – You don’t know me

Black Lab – Sun & Moon

Coldplay & Rihanna – Princess of China

Flyleaf – All Around Me

Florence & The Machine – Howl

Gabriella Climi – Defender

Mona – Shooting the Moon

Young Guns – Bones

Lady GaGa – Teeth

Skepta – Hold On 

Black Stone Cherry – Stay

Dot Rotten – Are You Not Entertained?

Rob Zombie – Dragula

Kevin Rudolf – Let it Rock

Johnny Hollow – People are Strange

LifeHouse – Everything

Lamb – Gorecki

The Civil Wars – To Whom it May Concern

Angus & Julia Stone – For You

Iko – Heart of Stone

The Fray – Be Still

Stateless – Bloodstream

Snow Patrol – Set Fire to the Second Bar

Playing well with others.

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Two years ago I participated in a bold new writing project called ‘The 48 Hour Book’. It was set up by Northamptonshire Libraries (in the UK) and was planned to coincide with World Book Day on 5th March 2011. At that time I wasn’t a published writer, so was eager to learn everything I could about the craft, and of course meet people who were currently ‘living the dream’ as full time writers.

The crux of the project was to write a whole book in 48 hours. Impossible I hear you cry, and you’d be right. We didn’t manage to write a whole book in that time, but we did manage to come up with a setting, characters, a plot, the ending along with a fair amount of prose. The book that the project birthed was called ‘Vicious Circle’ and was set in Northampton at a travelling Fair.

How it worked was that each writer took a character, then we worked out their journeys together. When characters interacted we sat with the writer they belonged to and talked it through. It was hard work, but with the guidance and patience of our leaders, Judith Allnatt and Ben Elijah, we managed to produce a great book at the end of it all.

As an idea, The 48 Book was ambitious to say the least, but writing with others can prove exhilarating and inspirational. The ‘Beautiful Creatures’ series is a product of two writers working together and having others around you reliant on your input can motivate you into working harder. It’s easy to let yourself down, much harder to let someone else down.

A lot has happened to me in the past two years. I’ve had over 40 stories published/ accepted for publication in 5 countries, and my first novel ‘Bad Blood’ is due out next month through the publishers Noble & Young. I’ve referred to writing as a hobby in the past, and to honest that’s quite misleading. To be a writer you need an overwhelming passion for the written word. You need enough free time and motivation to dedicate to your words, and getting them out there. You need to be willing to adapt and be flexible with your life enough to include writing time, submitting time, and promotion time. It’s hard work – but sooooo worth it!

If you’d like to learn more about The 48 Hour Book click here. You’ll notice that I somehow managed to worm my way into the middle of the photo!

What I’m looking forward to in 2013

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What I’m looking forward to in 2013:

Okay, so I love TV, Movies and Books. I also love a good list, so I’ve managed to combine everything here to give you a taster of some things I’m looking forward to watching and reading this year.

 TV Series:

Revolution – season 1 – No technology, no power – a concept I used in my short story ‘What they learnt in the dark’ I can’t wait to see what JJ Abrahams does with it!

Game of Thrones – season 3 – If you haven’t watched the other 2 seasons, then you’ve either been living in a cave, or have missed the most amazing series to come out of HBO. Dragons, zombies, warlords, family politics, knights and princesses; if you watch nothing else, watch this series!

The Walking Dead – end of season 3. Will Rick leave them? How closely is it following the graphic novels? It’s already kicked off now, I can’t wait to see how season 3 ends, especially as Walking Dead is now leading US viewing figures.

Utopia – Hopefully a 2nd season…?. A crazy series, that somehow makes perfect sense! Is Janus what they claim it to be? Go onto the website, take the quiz, and see how long it would take for them to find you…It would take them 55 hours to find me.

Hannibal – season 1 – I loved the films and the character of Hannibal Lector is just so delicious, so hopefully this series won’t stray too far. But time will tel

 MOVIES:

Beautiful Creatures – They’ve already had some critics at their throats from missing out important characters such Marion, but the effects and trailer look spectacular – so maybe they missed out what they didn’t need? When I watch it, I’ll let you know.

Hansel & Gretel – Witch Hunters Fairy Tales are soooo popular right now and again the trailer looks exciting and filled with wicked witches. Great concept, fingers crossed it lives up to it.

The Host  I loved this Stephanie Meyer’s book, a much more developed and deeper plot/ characters than the Twilight Saga. It’s also got Saoirse Ronan in who was brilliant in The Lovely Bones.

The Mortal Instruments  City of Bones – I haven’t seen that much on this one, but what I have seen looks amazing, great British cast and, if it’s anything like the books, will be an amazing journey into another world, that sits neatly into our own.

Iron Man 3  I’ve really grown to love Robert Downey Jr. In my opinion he does a great job as Iron Man, and I loved his part in Avengers Assemble. This has also got Guy Pierce in and Ben Kingsley – should be a fab popcorn movie.

Kick Ass 2 – It has Jim Carrey in as Colonel Stars & Stripes – need I say more?

 BOOKS:

Once I read these, I intend to review them here, so I’ve just added links so you can pre-order/ buy in the meantime.

Sookie Stackhouse Series – Dead Ever After – Charlaine Harris

Morganville Vampires – Fall of Night – Rachel Caine

Infernal Devices – Clockwork Princess – Cassandra Clare

Masque of the Red Death – Dance of the Red Death – Bethany Griffiths

The Raven Boys – The Dream Thieves – Maggie Stiefvater 

And of course, it would be remiss of me to not mention my own book in this list! Bad Blood will be available in May (watch this space for the front reveal and publication date) My vampires VS zombies extravaganza packed with turbulent relationships, un-requited love, and more slathering undead than you can shake a sharp stick at!

The Next Big Thing

What is the working title of your next book?

In the past I’ve mainly submitted manuscripts for joint author anthologies, but right now though I’m just in the final stages of editing my first lone author novella called ‘Bad Blood’ which will be published early next year by Noble Romance’s YA imprint Noble & Young.

Where did the idea for the book come from?

I read a lot of horror and love vampires and zombies, so I thought I’d mash them together in a big bloody mess! ‘Bad Blood’ sees two arch enemy vampires, Britannia and Nicholas having to work together to protect humans in the zombie apocalypse. I’ve always liked the idea of having two characters that hate one another, but are forced to work together to maintain their survival.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s a YA horror, although could be enjoyed by adults too. I don’t believe in ‘dumbing it down’ for a YA audience or simply ramping up the sex and violence to keep it purely adult. There’s also quite a bit of paranormal romance in there too – I’m a sucker for that genre and just had to mix it in there for my own amusement. I’ve set it in London so it’s very English, although is easily relate-able to all English speaking countries.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Oooooo – well it’s a predominately British cast of characters with the exception of two American soldiers; so I’d really like to see Emma Watson as the main character Britannia and perhaps Andrew Garfield as her unwelcome ally Nicholas. For her lost love American solider Josh, I think Liam Hemsworth – although I realise he’s Australian!

What is the one-sentence synopsis of the book?

Survival instincts run deep, but bad blood runs deeper.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I’ve already taken the book to a main stream publisher so it will be available through all the usual channels as well as promoted through their own website. Noble Romance are lovely and all their staff have been incredibly helpful.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your masterpiece?

It came out pretty quickly, probably in about 4 months. It’s written first person from Britannia’s POV and she’s a really strong willed character – even me as her creator couldn’t bend her to my will – so she kind of led the way.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I guess you could call it an Urban Fantasy / Horror and to be fair, there are lots of both vampire and zombie books out there in the same genre – however not that many that throw both monsters into the mix together. I do play with the vampire mythos quite a bit too to serve the story line, and there’s definitely a patriotic theme running through it.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Would it be really narcissistic to say me? I read a lot – and I mean a lot! And I really wanted to read this kind of book. I couldn’t find it out there already, so I thought I’d have at it!

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Britannia has a dry sense of humour and really comes up with some funny one liners. Nicholas gives as good as he gets too. The romance aspect is steady, but doesn’t over power the action. It’s also going to be set as a trilogy (if all goes well)

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So that’s My Next Big Thing. Thanks for Rebecca Giltrow for tagging me and I’m going to pass the blog baton onto to these gorgeous literary lovelies:

Julie R Kendrick (@Willow573)

Daphne Shadows (@Daphneshadows )

Rayne Hall (@Raynehall)  – who I’ll be hosting here on my blog

Rebecca Besser (@beccabesser)