For the Zombie Fans: Z-Radio by Candy O’Donnell

My life will never be the same again!  My entire existence changed when the Zombie Apocalypse started.   I was bitten and thought my life was going to end at the radio station.   My name is Cherise, and there are people out there that want me dead! giveaway

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Candy O’Donnell lives in California. At the age of twelve, she wrote her first mini book, filled mostly with what took place with her mother and her long tedious bout with leukemia. It was a short story told as extra credit when she suffered a sprained ankle and had to be out of school for over two months. School officials refused to believe a word of what she had written until her grandmother, her guardian back then, entered the school with the truth. Everything she had written down was exactly what took place. Unfortunately, her mother succumbed to the disease. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history and culture. After living with her aunt and uncle for over five years, she wished to explore her uncle’s native heritage, and did so with vigor. She also has grad units in criminal justice.

Twitter: @Candyodonnell

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New Release Excerpt & Giveaway: Bridges Burned by Chris Cannon

Release Date: 01/19/15
Entangled Teen
Summary from Goodreads:
Don’t just fight the system…burn it.
Since discovering she is a shape-shifting, fire-breathing dragon on her sixteenth birthday (surprise!), Bryn McKenna’s world has been thrown into chaos. Being a “crossbreed”—part Red dragon and part Blue—means Bryn will never fit in. Not with dragon society. Not with the archaic and controlling Directorate. And definitely not when she has striped hair and a not-so-popular affection for rule-breaking…
But sneaking around with her secret boyfriend, Zavien, gets a whole lot harder when he’s betrothed to someone else. Someone who isn’t a mixed breed and totally forbidden. And for an added complication, it turns out Bryn’s former archnemesis Jaxon Westgate isn’t quite the evil asshat she thought. Now she’s caught between her desire to fit in and a need to set things on fire. Literally.
Because if Bryn can’t adapt to the status quo…well, then maybe it’s time for her to change it.

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excerptValmont helped clean the mess from dinner. “Need anything else before I go?”

“No. Thanks for coming to check on me.”

“If I could, I’d camp outside your door just to make sure you were safe.” He sighed. “Knowing you could’ve been hurt eats away at me. And yes, I know it sounds like I’m obsessed, but since I became your knight, you’re my number one focus. I tried asking around for advice, but there hasn’t been a citizen of Dragon’s Bluff who’s stepped forth to protect a dragon in more than a century.”

“Why did you intervene that day?”

He clasped her right hand between his and stared at her like she was the most beautiful creature in the world. “There’s something about you, something special, something worth fighting for.”

Wow. If there ever was a perfect thing for a guy to say, that was it.

Book One:
(cover linked to Goodreads)

Available from:Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo Books


I love reading and writing snarky, kick-butt characters who take on the world and win.

My truths: You can never have too many books, shoes, or purses.
Coffee is the Elixir of Life.

There should be a National Nerf Bat Day where you are allowed to whack annoying people upside the head.

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The Clone Chronicles by Heather Hildenbrand



Purchase on Amazon:

Until a month ago, eighteen-year-old Ven had never set foot outside the windowless warehouse where she was created. An Imitation of Raven Rogen, Ven spent her days confined in the lab, studying videos of her Authentic, all so she could step into Raven’s life at a moment’s notice.

Now, Ven lives in Raven’s penthouse apartment, kisses Raven’s boyfriend, and obeys every order from Raven’s dad, Titus Rogen—the very man who created her. But Ven has a secret plan. She doesn’t want Raven’s life. She wants her own.

In the action-packed sequel of Imitation, Ven wages a dangerous war against Titus. First she’ll free herself, then she’ll free every last Imitation. . . .

Haven’t started the Imitation series yet?

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Everyone is exactly like me. There is no one like me.

Ven wrestles with these contradicting truths every day. A clone of wealthy eighteen-year-old Raven Rogen, Ven knows everything about the girl she was created to serve: the clothes she wears, the boys she loves, the friends she loves to hate. Yet she’s never met the Authentic Raven face-to-face. Imitations like Ven only get to leave the lab when they’re needed—to replace a dead Authentic, donate an organ, or complete a specific mission. And Raven has never needed Ven . . . until now.

When there is an attack on Raven’s life, Ven is thrust into the real world, posing as Raven to draw out the people who tried to harm her. But as Ven dives deeper into Raven’s world, she begins to question everything she was ever told. She exists for Raven, but is she prepared to sacrifice herself for a girl she’s never met?

Fans of Cinder, The Selection and Sara Shepard’s Lying Game series will love Imitation, a thrilling, action-packed novel sure to keep readers guessing until the very last page.


About Heather Hildenbrand

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Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. (She’s only slightly socially awkward as a result.) Since 2011, she’s published more than eight YA & NA novels including the bestselling Dirty Blood series. She splits her time between coastal Virginia and the island of Guam and loves having a mobile career and outrageous lifestyle of living in two places. Her most frequent hobbies are riding motorcycles and avoiding killer slugs.

Heather is also a publishing and success coach bent on equipping and educating artists who call themselves authors. She loves teaching fellow writers how to create the same freedom-based lifestyle she enjoys. For more information visit and find out how to create your own OutRAGEous Life.

She is represented by Rebecca Friedman. You can find out more about Heather and her books at

#Giveaway: Best Kind of Broken – Now in Paperback!

Best Kind of BrokenBEST KIND OF BROKEN by Chelsea Fine

(January 13, 2015; Forever Trade Paperback; $12.00)


Pixie Marshall wishes every day she could turn back time and fix the past. But she can’t. And the damage is done. She’s hoping that a summer of free room and board working with her aunt at the Willow Inn will help her forget. Except there’s a problem: the resident handyman is none other than Levi Andrews. The handsome quarterback was once her friend-and maybe more-until everything changed in a life-shattering instant. She was hoping to avoid him, possibly forever. Now he’s right down the hall and stirring up feelings Pixie thought she’d long buried . . .

Levi can’t believe he’s living with the one person who holds all his painful memories. More than anything he wants to make things right, but a simple “sorry” won’t suffice-not when the tragedy that scarred them was his fault. Levi knows Pixie’s better off without him, but every part of him screams to touch her, protect her, wrap her in his arms, and kiss away the pain. Yet even though she’s so close, Pixie’s heart seems more unreachable than ever. Seeing those stunning green eyes again has made one thing perfectly clear-he can’t live without her.


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The door to the dining room swings open again and this time Levi walks through, a box of tools in his hand.

Cougar Mable immediately lights up. “Morning, Levi!”

“Morning, Mable.” He smiles at her. He scowls at me.

I notice his face is now clean-shaven and a part of me misses his scruff—what? No. NO. I do not miss his scruff. Missing scruff is for weirdos.

I scowl back at him and start grating Swiss cheese.

“Where’s the fire alarm in here?” he asks in his work voice. It’s a very different voice than his get-out-of-my-way voice or his if-you-want-hot-water-wake-up-earlier voice.

Mable points to the wall, looking far too happy to be of service, and I keep my eyes down as he moves past me. As I sprinkle cheese over the quiche, I can’t help but notice how grated Swiss kind of looks like white scruff.

I’m not a weirdo.

Quiche finished, I turn to start sautéing vegetables and my gaze automatically darts to Levi. He’s so distracting. His arms are all raised, and his shoulders are all broad, and he’s fixing crap, and it’s just… it’s just… annoying.

You know what else is annoying? The fact that the freaking fire alarm is right by the stove.

With a huff and a puff and some choice words in my head, I grab my sliced bell peppers and force my feet to the stove. I throw the vegetables into a frying pan, grab a wooden spoon, and ignore Levi’s close proximity.

My body hums.

I ignore that too.

I steal a glance in his direction and watch as the corded muscles in his forearm flex as he unscrews something on the alarm box. Why does he have so many muscles in his forearm? That can’t be healthy.

I drop my eyes to the frying pan and focus on bell peppers, because bell peppers are interesting and they don’t have backs the size of Alaska or copious amounts of forearm muscles.

The forearm muscles that I’m not thinking about lightly brush my shoulder, and the humming inside my body knots together and zips around like a bumblebee on crack.

I casually turn down the heat on the stove, like that’s the reason I’m suddenly a human vibrator, and go back to stirring. Levi goes back to screwing.

Bell peppers.

I’m thinking about bell peppers.

Levi brushes against me again, except this time his forearm grazes my breast and my body immediately goes wild, like I’m some love-starved teenager, and the humming dives low in my belly and the stove gets hotter and my breaths get shallow and suddenly bell peppers are the sexiest vegetable on earth.

Welcome to Hotel Horny Women, home of scruffy cheese and sensual produce.

From the corner of my eye, I catch his Adam’s apple bobbing with a nervous swallow, which can mean only one thing. The boob brush was an accident.

Well, crap.

If he had been trying to cop a feel with his Hulk-ish forearm, I could have responded with some kind of snarky “you’re a pervert” comment. But it wasn’t on purpose and somehow that makes it sexier, and now the cracked-out bumblebee is buzzing in my nether regions and my hands are starting to tingle and why the HELL is this stove so hot?

I turn the burner down another notch and take a slow, deep breath. I have a boyfriend. A great boyfriend. So this sexual frustration I feel around Levi is nothing to get my bee-loving panties in a bunch about. I just need to calm down.

Levi lowers his arm for a moment, his eyes still on the alarm, and stretches his neck.

Ah, the neck stretch. The universal sign of stress. Well, at least I’m not alone in my frustration. My hot, distracting, pants-are-so-inconvenient frustration.

Wait, what?

Who said anything about pants? I am NOT thinking about pants—or lack thereof. Damn you, bell peppers!

I toss the wooden spoon to the side and move back to the counter, where the threat of being turned on by a handyman or, you know, a sautéed vegetable is much less severe.

I stare at the scruffy quiche and bite back a groan. What was I thinking, living under the same roof as Levi? There’s no way I’ll survive the summer.

Hell, I can barely survive breakfast.



The Best Kind of Broken is the best kind of book: well written, perfectly paced, funny, tender, poignant and extraordinary.  I would recommend it to fans of contemporary romance who appreciate an original plot, witty banter, entertaining characters and unpredictable action.  It has a depth that other NA titles do not, and I love how the light-hearted jokes balance out the raw emotion.

Pixie and Levi are reunited in an unusual way, and their interactions are bittersweet.  Obviously there is a history, and the details of the past are slowly revealed throughout the story. The POV alternates between Pixie and Levi, and I love this type of storytelling.  You get inside the heads of both main characters, and their private thoughts are honest and hilarious.

I also enjoyed the setting of this book.  Pixie’s aunt owns an inn in Arizona, and it has a kind of Gilmore Girls feel to it (I mean that as a compliment).  Scenic location, quirky tourists, and an excellent cast of characters on staff.  This is the perfect backdrop for Pixie and Levi to co-exist while both are at a crossroads.  The inn provides temporary housing and employment; the staff members and guests provide wisdom and comic relief.

This book is a quick read, perfect for a lazy day at home or at the beach.  I look forward to the other titles in this Finding Fate series.

*This review was originally posted April 8, 2014

Chelsea Fine Headshot 2Chelsea lives in Phoenix, Arizona, where she spends most of her time writing stories, painting murals, and avoiding housework at all costs. She’s ridiculously bad at doing dishes and claims to be allergic to laundry. Her obsessions include: superheroes, coffee, sleeping-in, and crazy socks. She lives with her husband and two children, who graciously tolerate her inability to resist teenage drama on TV and her complete lack of skill in the kitchen.
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#MustRead: Contradictions by Tiffany King


“Without a doubt, the chemistry between the party-girl heroine and the geeky-but-adorable hero is off the charts explosive.”—RT Book Reviews

 “Fun, fandom, romance and the perfectly sweet kind of opposites attracting.”—NY Times Bestselling author, Jay Crownover 


Release Day

January 6, 2015



A Woodfalls Girls Novel

Tiffany King

When everything starts spinning out of control . . .

Three years into college, Tressa Oliver’s life is a nonstop party. She’s skating by in her classes, and there’s no shortage of drinking, dancing, and general hell-raising. The only aspect that hasn’t been much fun: She can’t shake the toxic jerks that always seem to gravitate toward her.

It will take someone totally wrong . . .

Trent James is the classic anti–bad boy: smart, boring, and way too serious. To a wild girl like Tressa, there’s no way in hell they’re compatible—especially since Trent seems to see straight through her defenses.

To set her right.

When a college prank goes terribly wrong, Tressa starts to suspect that her partying ways are leading nowhere fast. Now she has to turn to the last person she ever thought she’d ask for help—and quickly discovers that there’s more to Trent than meets the eye . . .



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Interview with T.R. Milne, author of Birth of a Destiny

The Book Beacon is today’s stop on the Birth of a Destiny Blog Tour & we are proud to post the following interview with the author, T.R. Milne!  Keep reading for more info about the book and be sure to enter the giveaway!


birth of a destinyCan you tell us about your book, Birth of a Destiny?

I like nothing more than slipping into the pages of a book, so I have written Birth of a Destiny so that its readers can do just that, jump off every-day life and enter another world where mystery and magic rule. Birth of a Destiny is a layered book, and what I mean by that is that underneath the storyline where Rose is sizing up to battle the darkness, she is also fighting her own dark demons after losing both of her parents in a car accident. The light vs dark storyline circles around each other in a dance, and the reader will have to read all of the Light Bearer series to find out who ultimately wins.

What genre is Birth of a Destiny?

Magic, mystery and adventure abound in a Australian bush setting and the magical world of Sequimur.

How long did it take you to write?

It took me nine years from the time that I started writing to when I published Birth of a Destiny. In between those years, I learnt the craft of writing, had three children and continued to work part-time. Thankfully, the second book in the Light Bearer series is on track to take about one year, from start to finish.

How many books are going to be in this series?

There will either be three or four books in the series, but I’m not sure yet. I will know when I am writing book three in the Light Bearer series.

What is your favorite scene from the book?

I love trees and nature, so my favourite scene would have to be when we meet Upwood, a magical tree with a big heart.

What can readers look forward to in Birth of a Destiny?

Readers can look forward to slipping into the pages of the book and getting lost in the mystery and magic. I love my characters and the setting where I grew up, and I hope readers fall a little in love with both. Readers tell me they can’t put it down, so hopefully people can look forward to a gripping read, and wanting more.

What’s next for you?

After I have spent the summer holidays with my family and new puppy, my lovely editor, Maria, will be happy to hear that I will be starting to edit book two. I also have a completed chapter book to get illustrated and published, plus, I have three more chapter books to write (inspired by my gorgeous children), so I might have to find a quiet corner to start writing in these holidays.


Up for Grabs: (2) paperback copies of Birth of a Destiny by T.R. Milne open Internationally

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TR Milne

T.R. Milne was shaped as a writer by early childhood where she grew up in a haunted house on a farm where her imagination grew wild.

Her love affair with writing began nine years ago, when her first child was still a baby. Since then, between working part-time and parenting a brood of scrumptious children, she has been writing during little stitches of “free” time in coffee shops, kitchen tables, libraries, and her study.

She now lives with her husband and three children in Melbourne, Australia where she is a Change Manager and Author.

T.R. Milne finds inspiration for writing in all the things that bring light into her life T.R. Milne loves writing for Young Adults, stirring their fertile imaginations and eager sense of adventure. Birth of a Destiny, the first in the Light Bearer series, is her debut novel.




Spotlight: Wearing the Cape Series by Marion G. Harmon

Wearing the Cape banner
This is my stop during the blog tour for Wearing the Cape by Marion G. Harmon. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 15 till 31 December, you can view the complete tour schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours
So far this series contains 4 novels and one novella: Wearing the Cape, Bite Me, Villians Inc., Young Sentinels and Small Town Heroes.

Wearing the Cape coverWearing the Cape (Wearing the Cape #1)
by Marion G. Harmon

Genre: Superheroes/ Urban Fantasy
Age category: Older Young Adult/ New Adult

Who wants to be a superhero?

Hope did, but she grew out of it. Which made her superhuman breakthrough in the Ashland Bombing, just before starting her freshman year at the University of Chicago, more than a little ironic. And now she has some decisions to make. Given the code-name “Astra” and invited to join the Sentinels, Chicago’s premier super-team, will she take up the cape and mask and become a career superhero? Or will she get a handle on her new powers (super-strength has some serious drawbacks) and then get on with her life-plan?

In a world where superheroes join unions and have agents, and the strongest and most photogenic ones become literal supercelebrities, the temptation to become a cape is strong. But the price can be high—especially if you’re “outed” and lose the shield of your secret identity. Becoming a sidekick puts the decision off for awhile, but Hope’s life is further complicated when The Teatime Anarchist, the supervillain responsible for the Ashland Bombing, takes an interest in her. Apparently as Astra, Hope is supposed to save the world. Or at least a significant part of it.

You can find Wearing the Cape on Goodreads

You can buy Wearing the Cape here:
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Read the first 13 chapters for free on Amazon and Kobo

Bite Me coverBite Me (Wearing the Cape #1.5)
By Marion G. Harmon

Genre: Superheroes/ Urban Fantasy
Age category: Older Young Adult/ New Adult

It was supposed to be a working vacation…

For Jacky Bouchard (aka, Artemis: vampire, former night-stalking dark avenger, and reluctant superhero), a trip to the Big Easy was a chance to solidify her new Bouchard identity, meet the grandmother she didn’t know she had, and do a favor for the New Orleans Police Department by helping them keep an eye on their local vampires.

Watching a bunch of fashion-obsessed goths with fangs should have been easy, but now she’s dressing in black and sleeping in a coffin even though living the whole Fiend of The Night stereotype makes her want to vomit. And for someone working undercover, she is getting attacked a lot. When Jacky learns that a master vampire capable of siring progeny with his blood (an urban myth—vampires don’t reproduce that way) may be haunting New Orleans, she decides to go hunting. But the streets of the French Quarter are dangerous when you don’t know who is hunting you, and Jacky finds herself in trouble up to her neck and needing all the help she can get…

You can find Bite Me on Goodreads

You can buy Bite Me here:
Barnes & Noble

Villains Inc coverVillains Inc. (Wearing the Cape #2)
By Marion G. Harmon

Genre: Superheroes/ Urban Fantasy
Age category: Older Young Adult/ New Adult

Astra has finished her training and is now a full-fledged Sentinel, but things are not going well. She suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the public revelation of her relationship with Atlas has caused her popularity to nose-dive.

To complicate things, the Teatime Anarchist’s intervention has changed the course of events–leaving her with lots of knowledge about the way the future was before the Big One, a complete future-history that is now out of date.

And just when she thinks she’s getting a handle on things, unfolding events (a bank-robbery and a horrific murder) show that one of the nastier pieces of the old future isn’t so out of date after all; unless she solves a murder before it happens, Blackstone is going to die.

You can find Villains Inc. on Goodreads

You can buy Villains Inc. here:
Barnes & Noble

Young Sentinels coverYoung Sentinels (Wearing the Cape #3)
By Marion G. Harmon

Genre: Superheroes/ Urban Fantasy
Age category: Older Young Adult/ New Adult

The reward for a job well done is another job.

After the Sentinels’ takedown of the second incarnation of Villains Inc., things are relatively quiet in the great metropolis of Chicago. Astra, aka Hope Corrigan, is able to breathe a little, to hang out with her friends, and even to attend classes (where her professors are starting to think she is a myth). But Blackstone is loading more training and responsibilities on her, and converging events threaten the compromises she has made to balance her superhero career and student life and to protect her family and friends.

Worse, a new supervillain has come to town, and it will take all of Chicago’s capes to defeat the threat of the Green Man — if he can be defeated at all. When a new supervillain group begins targeting anti-superhuman groups, it becomes apparent that even the Sentinels are going to need help.

Because one thing is certain: Chicago is going to have a very bad day.

You can find Young Sentinels on Goodreads

You can buy Young Sentinels here:
Barnes & Noble

Small Town Heroes coverSmall Town Heroes (Wearing the Cape #4)
By Marion G. Harmon

Genre: Superheroes/ Urban Fantasy
Age category: Older Young Adult/ New Adult

Astra has become one of the most popular Sentinels in Chicago, past scandals notwithstanding, and is now the team leader of the Young Sentinels. But on their first big solo outing, the new junior Sentinels fall into a new scandal—one which could cost them the team. And Astra has a dream visit from Kitsune, the odd shapeshifter-thief who precipitated the battle between the Sentinels and Villains Inc. the year before. The dream warns of a fresh disaster, in a town Astra has never seen before and that may not actually exist.

Astra’s efforts to find the town from her dream leads to her “recruitment” by the shadowy Department of Superhuman Affairs, and she leaves the team behind in Chicago to learn more about the DSA’s secrets than are good for her, face old enemies, and discover a little town called Littleton. Fortunately for Astra, “leaving the team” does not mean she’s on her own.

You can find Small Town Heroes on Goodreads

You can buy Small Town Heroes here:
Barnes & Noble

Marion author pictureAbout the Author:
Marion G. Harmon has read and written all of his life (well, ever since first grade). He finished his first novel, Wearing the Cape, in 2010, and after failing to find an agent who knew what to do with a superhero story, decided to self-publish (mainly so he’d stop rewriting the book). He published through KDP and Createspace in mid 2011 with some success; Wearing the Cape earned a 4.5 star Amazon rating and spent most of 2012 ranked #1 in its Amazon category.

Marion has since written four more novels set in the same world (Bite Me: Big Easy Nights, Villains Inc., Young Sentinels, and Small Town Heroes), astonished each time at the enthusiastic response of his readers. He is currently working hard on a sixth book, this one also featuring Astra and company, while polishing the plot of his deeply unserious space epic, Worst Contact. Really.

You can find and contact Marion here:
Series Website

Lola's Blog Tours

#MustRead: The Revelation Series by Randi Cooley Wilson

RedemptionYesterday, author Randi Cooley Wilson was featured in an USA Today article about her entertaining spin on paranormal romance.  If you have not read her books Revelation and/or Restraint, you need to fix that – and fast!  My reviews of of these books can be found here and here.  SO GOOD, Y’ALL.  SERIOUSLY.  In my opinion, it’s like discovering the Arcana Chronicles (Kresley Cole), Wicked Lovely (Melissa Marr) or Iron Fey (Julie Kagawa) series – fast paced epic adventure/romance/ drama with a remarkable cast of supernatural characters.

Book Three of Wilson’s Revelation Series is Redemption, and it is now available.  Eve’s journey continues – both physically (new realms!) and personally (now what?!).  After the events of Book Two, she has a new protector and understanding of her role in the world.  Is she a pawn or does she have free will?  Are her feelings for Asher genuine or just fated?  All the events and characters from the first two books weave together into an exciting and moving story in this installment.  And as much as I love Revelation and Restraint, Redemption is my favorite in the series… so far.   Do yourself a favor and get the books to enjoy over the holidays or give them as a gift to your favorite bookworm. – kris


Enter to win $25 gift card to B&N or Amazon (winners choice) & a digital copy (Nook or Kindle, winners choice) of: Revelation, Restraint and Redemption by Randi Cooley Wilson

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Interviews: Verla of Last House Burning and author Katy Scott

We would like to thank YAReads for the opportunity to interview author Katy Scott and Verla, the main character in her new novel, Last House Burning.

About the Book:

Last House Burning

When you speak of the Devil, he probably won’t appear. But he may send one of his staff.

In an old house in a deserted, burned-down village, a young woman called Verla lives alone. Year after year she stays there while the world changes around her, no one else ever stepping foot in the village, the people in the nearby towns forgetting she exists. Verla is used to it. It’s the way things have to be.

Until Ben, a bored teenager visiting the area with his family, barges into her life and discovers her terrible secret. As he spirals deeper and deeper into the bureaucratic world of Heaven and Hell that Verla is part of, he realizes he has one chance to help free her from her lonely fate.

But securing Verla’s freedom is going to involve more than just an appointment at the local office of the underworld. Especially when Ben encounters a charismatic American with a suspiciously broad knowledge of Hell, a mysterious elevator with deep and terrifying powers, and a pinstripe-suited demon with an evil scheme that could shake the foundations of Heaven, Hell and Earth.

And things are about to get personal.

lily collinsInterview with main character, Verla:

What would you order if you walked in a Starbucks?

I’ve never tried coffee before but I’ve heard how good it is! I do know I like hot chocolate, so I think I’d blend the two and get a fancy mocha – that’s what they’re called, right? With some cream fresh from a cow.

 What kind of shoes are you wearing?

 Lace-up black boots made by Ernest, the village bootmaker. They’re over a hundred years old and still look new. Ernest sure knows how to make shoes.

What is your most treasured possession?

A picture book created by my little brothers. I used to cry when I opened it because I felt so bad about what happened to them, but it’s been so long now that I can smile when I read it.

What is on your nightstand right now?

Well, this is awkward. Okay, I’ll tell you. It’s a note that says “Hey Verla, I’ve gone to get some food. Back in 10.” A certain person left it at my house the other day and, well, I guess I just didn’t want to throw it out.

If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living, dead or imaginary), who would it be?

Jane Austen. I was obsessed with Mr Darcy for years. 

What would you like it to say on your tombstone? 

I think it would say “Here lies Verla. Finally.”

What impression do you make when people first meet you?

Usually they remember something else they have to do, and leave. So their biggest impression is probably that I’m very forgettable. Until a few weeks ago, I hadn’t had a proper conversation with anyone for years.

Favorite color?

Dark blue, like the sky right after dusk.

If you had a free day with no responsibilities, what would you do?

I’d go down to Sydney and visit the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I’ve heard so much about it but never seen it! I might even do the bridge climb.

Favorite place you have traveled?

I haven’t gone far at all unfortunately! But there’s a hill near my house where you can see all the stars on a clear night. One day I want to go back there. 

What do you like best about yourself?

My resilience. Back when all this first started, if you’d have asked me if I could survive like this for so long, I’d have said no. But I have survived, and I’m pretty proud of myself.

What do you like least about yourself?

My stubbornness. If only I’d just said yes when… well, there’s no use dwelling on it. What’s done is done.

Favorite genre of music?

Classical, of course! I didn’t know there were any other genres.

Favorite subject in school?

Art. I was going to be a famous artist. That didn’t turn out so well.

Righty or Lefty?

Righty. You weren’t allowed to be a lefty when I went to school! They’d tie your left hand behind your back.

Biggest Pet Peeve?

When people leave a round coffee cup stain on the newspaper! Ugh. It’s like they’re trying to make my life even more difficult. I shouldn’t really complain, though. Technically I’m stealing the newspaper from them.

What makes you laugh out loud?

When Ben makes up words in Scrabble and tries to tell me that it’s modern vernacular that I’ve never heard of. A few days ago he put the word ‘omg’ down. That is so not a word. You can’t even pronounce it. “Om-guh”? I don’t think so.

What would your last meal be if you were on Death Row?

Sashimi. It’s on my bucket list of foods to try, so that would be nice timing.

Have any pets?

No. Not even bugs are allowed to exist anywhere near my house.

Do you keep a diary or journal?

No. But when I was about sixteen I wrote a series of stories about myself, except that instead of a village girl, I was a rich young lady out in society with lots of men asking for my hand in marriage. I think the stories are still in my library somewhere. I hope no one ever finds them. How embarrassing.

Interview with author Katy Scott

Katy Scott

On Last House Burning:

What was the inspiration?

I was driving along one day and idly wondered what it would be like if Hell got too crowded, and the bosses started using buildings and houses on Earth to put people in instead. It snowballed from there.

Can you describe the process of world building?

For this book, it started off small. A character here, a location there. As the characters and locations got more extreme the more fun I had, and before I knew it I had a whole world built: a world where Heaven and Hell are run like businesses, complete with sexy secretaries and anally-retentive bosses.

What was the most difficult thing about writing this book? 

The hardest part was transitioning Ben’s character from thinking that the world was normal, to believing that Verla was who she said she was – and bringing the reader along with it. I wrote and rewrote those scenes several times.

Last House BurningWhat was your favorite or chapter/ scene to write? 

My favourite chapter to write was Saturday Night at the Emerald Club. I’ve always been fascinated with Prohibition and the 20s in general, and I had so much fun bringing a dodgy Chicago speakeasy to life.

Is there a message you want your audience to take away from this novel?

I’d like people to question the reality that they’ve been presented with. Nothing in the book is true, and maybe other things in life aren’t necessarily what we think they are either.

What actor/ actress would you choose to play Verla and Ben?

I’d love Lily Collins to play Verla, and Xavier Samuel to play Ben. Can I cast one extra character? I’d get Lance Gross to play Jamie.

          Verla                       Ben                        Jaime

lily collins   Xavier Samuel  Lance Gross


On Writing:

Which authors inspire(d) you?

Terry Pratchett, Roald Dahl, John Steinbeck and Marian Keyes.

What are you currently reading?

I’ve just finished Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and goddamn I wish I could write like that.

Do you have a specific time of day you prefer to write? 

Yes – nighttime. If I didn’t have a day job, I’d write all night.

Plotter or Panster?

A plotter all the way. I’ve tried being a pantser, and I end up with stories that go nowhere.

Do you have advice for getting past Writer’s Block?

Yes – switch to the next scene and write down some notes for it. It doesn’t matter how rubbish they are. If you can, scribble down a few lines of dialogue as well. Then some more notes, then some more dialogue. Don’t stress about getting it right – just get something down.

What project are you working on now? 

I’m writing the second novel in a chick lit trilogy. I’ve already finished the first, and I love it. It’s a massive departure from urban fantasy, but I’m having so much fun. Watch this space!

Interview with David Estes, author of Slip

Slip_newWhat was the inspiration for Slip?

First off, thanks so much for having me on your awesome blog, Kris!

There were two major inspirations for SLIP. First, I really wanted to make this book all about family. It’s a story of one family’s struggle against great odds, regardless of whether they live today or far into the future. In this case, they live in a future where they face many challenges.

Second, I wanted the book to highlight and consider a major issue we face today: overpopulation. The world is only so big and many of our resources are of a finite nature. And yet each and every day we see the global population grow higher and higher. It’s not sustainable. But what’s the solution? SLIP highlights one potential way of dealing with the problem, but I’ll let you decide whether it’s the right one.

Can you describe the process of world building for this book? 

This world was a whole lot of fun to build. Because it’s set very far into the future, the potential for technological advancements were endless. There were some obvious ones, like automatically driving cars and retinal scans, and some less obvious ones, like floating holographic 3-d ads that tailor themselves to any pedestrians they come in contact with. All in all,  the technology and scifi aspects allowed my imagination to run wild and create a world that will come alive  on the pages and in the minds of my readers.

What was the most difficult thing about writing Slip?

Structure. My beta readers were somewhat mixed in regards to the structure of the book, which is unusual. Most of the time my team of ten betas are on exactly the same page, which makes it easy to address issues and correct them. But in this case, they were split pretty evenly on where the book should start. Half of them wanted it to start with the main character as a teenager (classic YA) and the other half liked my original idea which was to begin the story with the main character as a child, and they show how he grew up. In the end, I went with the second option, which I think is a more unique take on things and allows me to build up the world from a child’s eyes, which is cool and challenging at the same time. Then later you can see how much the character changes from childhood to teenager.

What was your favorite or chapter/ scene to write?

My favorite scene was when the main character finally leaves home to make his own way in the world. Imagine being a child who has never really left his own house, because the world is too dangerous for him. The world would feel like an alien planet to him. There was tons of emotion boiled into such a short scene that I felt myself getting overwhelmed even as I wrote it. That’s when writers are at their best.

Is there a message you want your audience to take away from Slip?

I always like there to be subtle messages in my books, and this one more than most. I want readers to see that even in the worst circumstances, a family has the chance to support each other and pull through it. Tragedies happen, but we can rise above and seek a better future.

Author Photo - David EstesWhich authors inspire(d) you?

Dean Koontz, Patrick Ness, Neal Shusterman, Veronica Roth…there are so many awesome authors I look up to. But these four in particular have inspired me to take my craft to the next level.

What are you currently reading?

I just finished The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, which was AMAZING! Highly recommend. And now I’m reading BZRK by Michael Grant, which is really different so far. Not sure about it yet! But I loved his GONE series, so I’m hoping to enjoy this one too.

Do you have a specific time of day you prefer to write?

Yes! I’m a morning writer, and you’ll almost always find me churning out my 3,000-words-per-day goal between 9 and 12 in the morning. That way I can spend my afternoons hanging out with my wife, Adele. We live in Hawaii, so we usually wander over to the beach to go for a swim or read a good book in the sand.

Do you have advice for getting past Writer’s Block? 

Hmm, well I’m fortunate that I rarely get writer’s block, but for me the only way I can bounce back from it is to get down to the bare bones of the emotion of whatever story I’m writing. I need to feel some of the emotion in the story so that I CARE about it as much as I hope my readers will. This usually requires me to skip ahead and write one of the more tumultuous and emotional scenes I have planned. It also helps if I listen to a song that brings out the same emotions I’m hoping to translate into words. I’m a very emotional writer, and I quickly lose interest if I’m not connecting with my characters.

What project are you working on now?

Great question! Well, my agent and I are in the process of pitching my new YA post-apocalyptic witch book, BREW, to publishers. I’ve also just finished the sequel to BREW, called BOIL, so I’m working on revising that one. And next I’ll be writing the sequel to SLIP, which is called GRIP. I expect to release GRIP later this year. So, as usual, I’m busy busy busy, loving my new career as a fulltime author. It’s a dream come true!

Thanks so much for all the great questions, Kris! I hope you and your members enjoy SLIP!