Saturday, August 2, 2014

Nothing Like the First Time Blog Tour: Author Interview

Carly Summers and Greyston Sterling were each other's first kiss, first sexual experience, first love, first everything...
They were a match made in Heaven, that was, until Grey took a job as a freelance photographer which took him to the other side of the world. When it came down to a choice between his career and his girl - he chose his career.

Now, 10 years later, Grey's back in town and wants to see if they can rekindle what they had all those years ago. Carly has had relationships but nothing that lasted. No one ever compared to Grey.

But how can they if he's engaged to somebody else?

About the author:  

Keren lives in the UK and is an avid bookworm; she has been since she read things like Black Beauty, What Katy Did and The Hobbit as a child. Her first real memories of reading are the summers she used to lie on her bed and re-read What Katy Did and What Katy Did Next.

Over the years she has come to realise that she is a bit OCD about books. They have to be in perfect condition without the slightest bit of damage.

She is a book reviewer and has been for the past 18 months or so.

The idea for Stolen came to her one day but she never thought she’d actually write it let alone publish it. If it wasn’t for her author friend Kira Saito, the idea would still be stuck in her head not on paper. But constant love and support from Kira is why you are now able to read Stolen.

Stolen is her first novel but now that she’s written one, she knows she needs to write more. There will be one sequel, called Freed which will be from Bodhi’s POV. This will be set a couple of years on.
Then, the plan is for her to write either NA or Adult Contemporary Romances. She has a big crush on Lady Antebellum’s music at the moment and their songs have inspired a few book ideas.

Keren loves hearing from her readers and if you want to contact her, you can do so at any of the following places:

Twitter: @Gothic_Angel28

“So your career comes before me?” I asked, already knowing the answer. “At least look me in the eye and answer me, it’s the least you owe me Grey.”
“I don’t want to have to choose Carls,” he said as he caught my eye. “I just don’t want to miss out on the experience of a lifetime. I get to see amazing things, capture them on film while I experience the different cultures.”
“Just answer the question Grey – you want your career more than you want me.” I started to cry again, I had wanted to get through this without crying but I was fooling myself when I thought that.

“I’m sorry Carls,” he said as he took my hand into his. “I love you, I always will. But this is the opportunity of a lifetime, it may never happen again. I need to do this. I’m not making a conscious choice to put you second but if you weren’t so stubborn, you’d come with me like I asked.”


Author Interview:

1-Tell us a little bit about yourself. 
I am a single mom to a 7 year old son. I love to read, write, review books, anything that involves books really. My son loves to read too, so I am a very proud Mommy that he should follow in my footsteps.
I have been a book reviewer for nearly 3 years and I love my blog, Gothic Angel Book Reviews. It’s the first thing I created that I can say I am immensely proud of (apart from my son of course).
I love music. I have very eclectic tastes and my two favourite bands are total polar opposites; Depeche Mode and Lady Antebellum. I love to listen to music all the time. Whether I’m reading, writing, doing housework, I love to belt my tunes full blast and sing along (off-key, of course!)
2-What are your hobbies other than reading and writing?
I don’t really have any hobbies. I guess you could say making greetings cards is a bit of a hobby.  I used to make them all the time  but now I only do it on the odd occasion.

3-What are your favorite foods? Let's start with appetizers, then main dishes, then dessert. 
Oh gosh, I really don’t know. I guess my ideal meal would be… umm… prawn cocktail to start, then a roast turkey dinner with all the trimmings, then a lemon cheesecake.

4-Tell us about your publishing journey. What inspired you to write and how did you start preparing your book?
In 2012, I had an operation on my spine and thought that whilst I was recovering, because I couldn’t move around a lot, it would be a good time to start writing this book that had been in my head for over a year.
I sat at my laptop and began to write. I don’t plan for my novels because every time I try to plan, I end up stalled. So I just let the words flow.
I wrote Stolen and a friend convinced me to submit it to Limitless Publishing. I was really scared of rejection and so I planned to self-publish. But I submitted to two publishers, both of whom offered me contracts and I was so ecstatic, it was a dream come true. 

5-Why did you choose this genre? Would you explore different genres in the future or would you stick to this one?
I chose NA Contemporary Romance for my second novel and I felt the words flowed easier than my YA Paranormal Romance. Things just came to me easier than the YAPN. So I think I’ve found my home. YA isn’t for me, nor is PN, but I don’t know if I would explore any other genres. Never say never, I guess! ;)

6-Now that you're a published author, what do you think is the best part about it? What are some of the things that you did not enjoy doing in the process?
The best part about it? Seeing my name out there on book covers. I just love to look at my books and say “Huh, I wrote these!”
The worst part? Waiting for an answer from the publisher about whether they want my books ;)

7-When you read a book, do you like the first person or third person perspective more? Why?
I prefer first person narrative. Why? Because I want to be drawn into the story. For me, reading is an escape. I want to be sucked into someone else’s reality and lose myself entirely. This is easier done in first person, for me anyway. 

8-Is there any band or artist that you listen to while writing?
I have very eclectic tastes in music, from The Cure, The Smiths, New Order to Pink, Ne-Yo, Usher and a whole lot in-between. My favourite artists are Depeche Mode and Lady Antebellum—complete polar opposites. Honestly, I just love music and if I hear a song I like, it doesn’t matter who the artist is.

9-Did you encounter writer's block? How did you find your way around it?
I encountered writer’s block as I went to write my first ever sex scene. I was lucky that I had a BFF who is an erotica author and she talked to me about it. She said that if I didn’t write it there and then, I never would and so I put on some music and began to write it. The music? Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard and Freak Me by another Level. It really helped.

10-Are there any hints that you would give your fans about upcoming releases?
This one I have in progress is about a woman whose husband commits suicide. It’s her journey of self-discovery, where she has to learn to be ready to love again. 

11-How would you answer people who argue that fiction is useless and not beneficial?
I wouldn’t. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. That particular opinion is not one I agree with, but not all people are meant to agree. 

12-How do you convince someone who does not read to give reading a chance?
I don’t really know. I think I would just tell them why I read and see if they can maybe connect with that.

13-Is there any message you would like to give out to people who are reading your book? 
For people reading Nothing Like The First Time, I would say “Here’s to first loves and second chances”.

14-Thank you for your time for answering these questions. Could we wrap up by asking you for writing advice for aspiring writers?
I say always follow your dream. If you want to write, then do it. My cousin Sarah was inspired to write after seeing me reach for the stars. I honestly think that if you are meant to write, you will. Always be your own special something and always have faith in yourself. Remember one thing; Ad Astra Per Aspera—A Rough Road Leads to The Stars!

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Book Review: Three by Kristen Simmons

Ember Miller and Chase Jennings are ready to stop running. After weeks spent in hiding as two of the Bureau of Reformation’s most wanted criminals, they have finally arrived at the safe house, where they hope to live a safe and quiet existence.

And all that’s left is smoking ruins.

Devastated by the demolition of their last hope, Ember and Chase follow the only thing left to them—tracks leading away from the wreckage. The only sign that there may have been survivors.

With their high profile, they know they can’t stay out in the open for long. They take shelter in the wilderness and amidst the ruins of abandoned cities as they follow the tracks down the coast, eventually finding refugees from the destroyed safe house. Among them is someone from Chase’s past—someone he never thought he’d see again.

Banding together, they search for a place to hide, aiming for a settlement a few of them have heard about…a settlement that is rumored to house the nebulous organization known as Three. The very group that has provided Ember with a tiny ray of hope ever since she was first forced on the run.

Three is responsible for the huge network of underground safe houses and resistance groups across the country. And they may offer Ember her only chance at telling the world her story.

At fighting back.

Thank you very much Tor Teen for sending me a review copy for this book.

As you all know, I really enjoyed reading Article 5 and Breaking Point. It is a really good dystopian series, full of action and thrill.

I felt the same way about Three. It started off really well. I was quickly drawn back into the world. I was really intrigued finding out how their adventure would end.

Now, let's talk about each thing I liked:

1-Characters: Definitely the highlight of the whole book. The character development was really well-done. And I'm not speaking about the main characters only. The secondary characters beautifully evolved as well. As I kept moving forward with the story, each of them surprised me. I have to say, I very much enjoyed reading about Jesse and Tucker. They might all have made many mistakes (some of them were even unforgivable), but how their storylines unfold is splendid.

2-Writing style: Without any doubt, we revisit Ember's head to see the story from her eyes. She tells us the story and makes it move forward. The writing style works with the world and presents many emotions that Ember feels. Sad. Happy. Excited. Scared. Disgusted. It's all there.

3-Plot: The plot of the third book in the series, ironically titled Three, is smart and action-packed. I truly understood why this book is called Three, and that realization makes your head spin. It wraps up wonderfully and we get to see many different types of dangers throughout.

Next, let's speak about the few problems I had with this book:

I really appreciate Kristen Simmons's writing style because it blends with her story well, but in the middle of the book, towards the last 100 pages, the plot suddenly started to go nowhere and I wanted it to go to the point. It started to suddenly drag for no reason.

Also, there is another issue that I disliked, but I don't necessarily think that Simmons's is at fault there. Even though I liked how the story ended, it fell a little short for me. Many things that happened in this book had previously already happened in different dystopian books that I've read. There wasn't any new element. Simmons could have enhanced her creativity a little bit in that aspect. The reason I said that Simmons is not entirely at fault here is because publishers are selling many dystopians. It's starting to become about the quantity, not about the quality. Article 5 is a good dystopian series, but there are so many average dystopian books right now. I really hope that this aspect will improve in future dystopian books and even Simmons's books.