Friday, 26 April 2013

Darkest Sins: Help Ash Krafton with her cause...

Darkest Sins: Help Ash Krafton with her cause...: Hello everyone, Today I'd like to bring to your attention a very important cause . Through Dark World Books , I had the hu...

Thursday, 25 April 2013

BOOK GIVEAWAY! (ROYA #15)

I'm not feeling very well this week, so instead of my usual article I've decided to run a giveaway.

Win a Signed Paperback of YA Fantasy
The Ferryman's Wife!

 

 
Entrants have the opportunity to win a signed paperback of my Young Adult fantasy The Ferryman's Wife. The winner will be announced next week, and will receive the new version, complete with the new cover, once it becomes available. Good luck, and please remember to spread the word...
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 22 April 2013

Shadow Embraced Trailer Reveal


 


Shadow Embraced
(Haven #1)
 

No escape.
 
Those words haunt Scar’s dreams. She thinks the creature that terrorises her while asleep isn’t real, but when she’s abducted and taken to a reform school meant to contain creatures too dangerous to function in society, she starts to wonder whether she isn’t some monster.
 
She turns to an underground fight club full of vampires, werewolves and witches established by the students to control her urges, and who is she kidding, she loves to fight.
 
When fighters begin to disappear, turning Scar into the prime suspect, she must race to prove her innocence before her true nature is exposed.
 
The only problem is that she’s not entirely sure she’s innocent.
 
 
 ~ Shadow Embraced Book Trailer ~

Add Shadow Embraced to your Goodreads list!
Cheree Smith

Cheree Smith
Cheree Smith lives in a country town in Australia as a high school English teacher where she writes paranormal, horror and dark stories for young adults. She enjoys listening to and learning about legends and myths, watching scary movies and dreaming up new worlds where monsters can come alive. When she is not in her writing cave she can be found listening to music, even dabbling in the occasional writing of music or reading.
Website –  Blog – Twitter – Facebook – Goodreads




 

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Excerpt: Arena Games (ROYA #14)

   Arena Games
Legend of Petrova

Petrova the Pummeler is the warrior of all warriors, the master of the mystical orbs, until a fateful match leaves her damaged and unable to continue fighting as a warrior. Now she must take her place as a master in the Arena Games and train her own students to become Arena Warriors. Along the way there are obstacles: A band of thieves and murderers, a journey through the gypsy magicked Wood of Gibbald, a little girl with many life-altering secrets, and dozens of competing warriors. Arena Games: Legend of Petrova is a story about friendship, love, revenge, and betrayal.





Excerpt

 
“Let me tell you about revenge, Virtos. It is not a sweet drop on your tongue; it is a hole in your mouth from which all things, including your heart, leak. Turn your back from it. It’s a waste of time.”
“If that is how you feel, then I have to say that some lessons a man must learn on his own.”
She looked at him with furrowed brows briefly and then a giggle rumbled in her chest as she peered down at her cards.
“Fine. Poker hand. If my hand beats yours then you’ll stop with the nonsense,” she told him, clearly confident in her cards.
“Fine,” he agreed. “And if I win, then you’ll sign this.” He put the parchment, a sharp-pointed stick and ink on the table. He turned the letter her way so she could read it. She crossed her arms when she recognized the insignia of the Arena Games. Her smile became a deep frown, almost angry.
She flipped her cards over one at a time, slowly revealing a straight.

 
 
 Tabitha Short
 Tabitha Short is best known for her blog, The First Five Pages, a site which aids authors in expanding their reach and meeting their marketing goals by offering a preview to the public.  Currently Tabitha has published horror shorts titled The Please DO Feed the Animals ZOO, The Corpses of Old Farm Hill Road: The Arrogant Man, and The Roller Coaster of Death. Recently she released her fist novel, Her Sister's Murderer, followed shortly after by Arena Games: Petrova's Legacy.
 

 

Monday, 15 April 2013

Shadow Embraced Cover Reveal

 
 
*~*~ HERE IT IS! ~*~*



Shadow Embraced
(Haven #1)
 

No escape.
 
Those words haunt Scar’s dreams. She thinks the creature that terrorises her while asleep isn’t real, but when she’s abducted and taken to a reform school meant to contain creatures too dangerous to function in society, she starts to wonder whether she isn’t some monster.
 
She turns to an underground fight club full of vampires, werewolves and witches established by the students to control her urges, and who is she kidding, she loves to fight.
 
When fighters begin to disappear, turning Scar into the prime suspect, she must race to prove her innocence before her true nature is exposed.
 
The only problem is that she’s not entirely sure she’s innocent.

 
Cheree Smith

Cheree Smith
Cheree Smith lives in a country town in Australia as a high school English teacher where she writes paranormal, horror and dark stories for young adults. She enjoys listening to and learning about legends and myths, watching scary movies and dreaming up new worlds where monsters can come alive. When she is not in her writing cave she can be found listening to music, even dabbling in the occasional writing of music or reading.
Website –  Blog – Twitter – Facebook – Goodreads




 

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Making Moves

Things are changing. On returning from my writing holiday I've had a chance to review my working situation, and I've come to certain decisions regarding how to move forward.

Making the decision to become self-employed last year was not an option. No matter how paltry my royalty payments are, they are earnings, and they need to be declared. Before my writing trip I'd been considering how best to utilise my time. Whether through modesty, or perhaps a lack of confidence, I've been selling myself short. With years of experience under my belt, as well as qualifications to back it up, I ought to be doing a lot more with myself. As such, I've been making plans and putting them into action. Slowly but surely, I'm getting into the swing of things.

I'm in the early stages of launching a new marketing campaign for Devils Light, which kicks off with a new cover for The Ferryman's Wife. This new cover is representative of the dawning of a new era in my career. It was never my intention to become an indie author, but I must play the hand I'm dealt, and play it to my best ability. It's a deliberate move to distance myself from the past, and the baggage that has unfortunately been attached to Book 1 through a certain 'publisher'*.

I'm not going to tell you all my plans, but I will reveal that I'll be doing more reviews in the future.  Reviewing is something I enjoy, but it has to be in-between writing books. Looking after my daughter is a full time job in itself, so when it comes to my own work I must be economical with my time. It usually means I end up having to choose between reading and writing; the travesty! I will announce details regarding reviews, submission details, and dates, in the near future.There are more plans in the pipeline; more strings to my bow. These will all be revealed in good time. Watch this space...



*I use this in the loosest, most sarcastic of terms.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

With Great Power (ROYA #13)


Upon hearing about the tragic suicide of Nova Scotia teen Rehtaeh Parsons this week, my cogs got to whirling.  I was shocked to discover that her peers, especially the females, had shunned her after images of her being gang-raped were passed about amongst them. Regardless of her attackers claim that it was consensual, why did her schoolmates not consider the matter of Rehtaeh’s dignity?  At 15 you know the difference between right and wrong, and your reasons for choosing to do either.  You also know that if someone had consented to group sex then a) It’s none of your damn business b) The likelihood of them actually wanting photo images of the event, let alone those images being passed about the school, is pretty slim, and c) In any instance where sex is consensual, and not a product of grooming or bullying, then it isn’t something to be ashamed of.  

I’ll guarantee most teenagers are aware of the above, irrespective of whether their parents cultivate the same opinion at home. That the teens in question saw fit to brand Rehtaeh a ‘slut’ after viewing images of the incident tells me that there’s something fundamentally wrong in how they’re being influenced regarding tolerance.  I could go on to draw comparisons with how this may be viewed if the sexes were reversed; if it were four girls and one boy, would the boy be branded a slut? (I doubt it). However, it would be beside the point.  Rehtaeh did not consent to having sex with her four attackers, and that makes the actions of her peers even more disgraceful.

It all leaves me wondering what messages youngsters pick up from the literary world.  With the rise in popularity of YA books being made into film, the question of whether we’re culturing tolerance or ignorance comes to mind. I believe authors of YA have a responsibility to convey certain attitudes towards tolerance, understanding and equality.  A good writer can do this without preaching or lecturing.  It’s all good and well writing something for the sake of it, but when you’re reaching out to impressionable minds it’s imperative to consider where they’ll take inspiration. 

Sadly, not all YA authors share my vision. Time and time again I encounter books aimed at teens which don’t encompass multiculturalism, sexuality, and forbearance. These aspects of life become prevalent throughout our teens, for this is when we begin to comprehend them. That makes them young adult issues, and it seems pointless and foolish to avoid confronting them. That’s not to say teens need exposed to graphic scenarios in order for them to comprehend the atrocity of rape. Subjects like sex or rape can be tackled without the need for explicit scenes.   I’m also not advocating underage sex. I do remember being 15, though. Pretending all 15 year old girls are virgins is not just absurd; it’s insulting to teens, for they know it’s not the case in reality. Yes, a story can be written off as a fantasy, to be considered as having no bearing on reality, but that seems like a cop-out to me. Conversely, it seems redundant in this day and age to only have characters whose ethnicity and/or sexuality are relevant to the storyline. After all, they’re irrelevant in day-to-day life, or at least they ought to be. I’m not suggesting all YA books should take on themes as controversial as rape, or even sex. Nevertheless, we don’t need any more white-washed tales about perfectly beautiful (invariably straight) collectives.

It seems the media is not so concerned with breeding tolerance. This is when the artist must step up. Once upon a time, children's stories were filled with warnings of predators and monsters. Nowadays they're more about falling in love with them. When it comes to topics such as sex, or being a victim of rape, YA authors need to overhaul this current ‘hush-hush’ approach. Let’s not shy away from things that are quite obviously affecting young adults. The Pen vs. The Sword, and so on. I’m not saying this for definite, but perhaps if  Rehtaeh Parsons’ schoolmates had a better understanding of such situations, they may have reacted differently towards her. Instead they must live with how they’ve acted, with the weight of her death on their shoulders.   

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Fractured Soul Tour



 
Fractured Soul
(Fractured Light #2)
 
 
Llona will do whatever it takes to protect her new found friends and home, but the dark plot threatening Lucent Academy, a school that’s supposed to be a safe place for Auras, may be too powerful for even Llona to defeat. This fast-paced tale of love, loyalty, and overcoming the darkness will keep you on the edge of your seat until the last page!
 
What others are saying:
I love these books! A kick-butt heroine and a hottie love interest, with a refreshingly original concept. Be prepared—once you start, these are hard to put down.
Paula Cotton, book reviewer at ReadingLark.blogspot.com
Fractured Soul is a brilliant sequel, exceeding even the remarkable first book in the series. It will haunt your every waking moment between the times you’re reading it, and it will stay with you long after you’ve finished. It’s an amazingly well written and engrossing story that I highly recommend—after you’ve read the first one, of course.
Cindy Bennett, bestselling author of Geek Girl & Rapunzel Untangled
 
 - Amazon - Barnes & Noble -


~ Fractured Soul Book Trailer ~
 
 
 
My Review
 
I must start by saying that I haven’t read the first in this series. Does it matter in this instance? I don’t suppose it does, for I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
It’s been a while since I’ve encountered a main character as individual as Llona. Even though the main story is about the darkness that’s threatening to take over, her true personality remains prominent. I couldn’t help but like her.  When a protagonist rolls up their sleeves, gets their hands dirty, and puts up a fight; that dear reader, is what it’s all about! It didn’t play a big part in the story, but I also appreciated the romance.  It was believable, loving, and it made me want to read the first book, mainly to find out more about Christian.  Their trust and understanding of commitment to one another rang true, even in times when Llona doesn’t consciously know it.
On occasion the narrative fell a little flat, but these moments were fleeting.  The tension is intended to be high, but I wasn’t always convinced of it. In fact, I found it a tad predictable at times.  I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether that’s because I read a lot of YA books or not. A few times I had to remind myself that it was a fantasy book, and not get irritated by completely unbelievable aspects (like running about with a broken leg etc.). The fight scenes are gritty, bloody, satisfying to read, and I looked forward to reading more of them as the story progressed.
On a superficial note, in the kindle*version a lovely visual happens each time you finish a chapter and click to start the next. Each new chapter has a faint swirling pattern at the top that turns bold as you click. It’s pretty, and I appreciate the little things.
Fractured Soul is most defiantly a Young Adult book, catering to a younger audience and doing so well.  If you can read quickly, then you’ll tear through it in no time. There’s a great mix of action, romance and characters to get you hooked on the series, with plenty of promise of more to come.
 
˜˜˜˜
 
 
 
About Fractured Light (Book #1)
 
Llona Reese is used to living on the run. After the Vykens killed her parents, she knew they would eventually come for her too. She can’t take any chances. But when she starts to make friends for the first time in her life, she gets careless and lets her guard down. Big mistake.
As an Aura, Llona can manipulate light and harness its energy. But if she wants to survive, Llona will have to defy the Auran Council and learn to use her power as a weapon against the Vyken whose sole desire is to take her light. Now she’s caught in something even bigger than she can understand, with a power she can’t wield, and no one she can trust, except, just maybe, a mysterious stranger.



 

Rachel McClellan
Rachel McClellan was born and raised in Idaho, a place secretly known for its supernatural creatures. When she’s not in her writing lair, she’s partying with her husband and four crazy, yet lovable, children. Rachel’s love for storytelling began as a child when the moon first possessed the night. For when the lights went out, her imagination painted a whole new world. And what a scary world it was…
 
 
 
 
 
 



A Little Q&A with Rachel McClellan...
 

Q: What was the inspiration behind this book?
I wasn’t sure there was going to be a sequel to Fractured Light up until the very end. Those who have read it will know why. Fractured Soul is Llona’s journey as she learns to overcome the new darkness inside her.

Q: Is there a particular theme or message you are trying to convey in your story? If so, what?
There is a subtle theme about overcoming our inner monster. No matter what has happened to us, whatever the pain, anger we may harbour, we still have a choice on whether or not to listen to this poison or learn to conquer it.

Q: What's your next project?
The next book in the series, Fractured Truth, will be available next spring. I’m also shopping around a YA Gothic paranormal titled UNLEASHED. It’s sort of a young adult version of Jekyll and Hyde.

Q: Who is your favourite character to write?
I love to write about Llona. She has so many qualities that I want myself. I really believe that by writing strong characters, I, too, become a stronger person.

Q: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love adventures and seek them out whenever possible. Because my husband is in graduate school full time, I learnt really quickly that if I wanted to have adventures, I was going to have to take my four kids with me. Although it can be difficult at times, it has been a great experience for all of us.

Q: Tell me 3 things about yourself that is not connected to writing.
  1. I’ve been skydiving and loved it.

  1. I played Macbeth in my high school play. Yeah, that’s right. The dude part.

  1. The first boy I ever kissed is currently in jail for murder. Glad I dodged that bullet!

 
 
 Check all the great tour stops out and don’t forget to join the International giveaway running at
Dark World Books 
 
 
Fractured Soul Tour schedule: