Wednesday, 20 April 2011

The Vampire Relationship Guide Volume 1 Blog Tour: Guest Post with Evelyn Lafont

Today on the blog, I have the brilliant Evelyn Lafont, author of The Vampire Relationship Guide, with a guest post on her view about the appeal of the supernatural genre.

Evelyn Lafont is an author and freelance writer with an addiction to Xanax and a predilection for snark. Her debut novella, The Vampire Relationship Guide, Volume 1: Meeting and Mating is available on Amazon , Barnes and Noble and Smashwords.

The Rational Appeal of Supernatural Books

As a reader, I tend to get into these grooves during which I only want to read a specific type of book for, like, months on end. Lately (as in, for the past year or so), if a book doesn’t have a supernatural element—like a vampire, demon, fae, sorcerer, whateverer—I can’t…um…sink my teeth into it.

There once was a time when I could read conventional chick lit without any supernatural goodies or badies and be perfectly content but now, I want funny, sexy, romantic and otherworldy to scratch all my itches. (Okay, really, could I have used a grosser analogy than that?)

Recently, I began wondering about this change because, since I’ll be turning 36 this year, I feel like my tastes should be getting more practical and less fantastical but my reading preferences seem to be pulling me the other way. I can’t help but wonder if it isn’t the age thing that’s really causing this. After all, the older I get, the more I have to face my own mortality. And you know what supernatural characters have in common? Immortality or, in the very least, a super long lifespan.

But another way that age might be affecting my reading choices is that the older you get, the more you realize that…oh, how do I put this…life is boring. Well, maybe not always but it is a bit—predictable. So why wouldn’t I want to pick up a book that has a reality no one could see as boring and events that I can’t possibly predict?

Every reader, obviously, is different. Each will have their own reading quirks, favorite genres and irrefutable reasons why they are completely devoted to that genre. For me? Gimme something funny, with a bit of bite, and a sexy otherworldly live-forever type, and I’m happier than a human chick lying in a pile of sexy vampires. Well…almost.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Dreamwalk Blog Tour: Interview with Sarah MacManus

Today on the blog, I have the brilliant Sarah MacManus, author of the awesome novel 'Dreamwalk' (my review here), who has kindly stopped by to answer some of my weird, wacky and wonderful questions (hopefully she thought so too LOL).

Anyway, before we get started with the interview, let me introduce you;

Sarah MacManus makes things up and then writes them down. She lives in the middle of the United States, but feels at home anywhere with a river. In the mundane world, she works as a freelance technical writer.

In SarahSpace, she spends her time rescuing princes from ravening monsters, restoring ancient races to their rightful place and making secret, shameful wishes come true.

Sarah loves the East Village, indie music, Cornish pasties, the smell of rain, Spitalfields, biochemistry and all shades of blue.

Sarah's work has appeared in the literary journal The Battered Suitcase and she has a poem forthcoming in an anthology from Little Episodes.

(Information taken directly from

Right..interview time =)

1. With such a variety of subjects available to write about, what made you choose to write about romance with such a serious undertone?

I admit, I had been planning for Dreamwalk to be a lot lighter and fluffier. The main character, Chloe, was very loosely based on a friend of mine. She died very suddenly and tragically (and far too young) while I was writing the first draft. After that, the book took on a much darker tone. Once I was actually able to work on it again, the story wanted to go somewhere deeper than just happy-ever-after.

Loving is a very important part of life, but not everyone gets their happy ending. And some people find themselves having to keep love alive through some very dire circumstances, financial hardship, addiction and even after death. Once the glamour of romance wears off, all that’s really left is the determination to express love and to act with love. I think that’s the most important thing – to decide to do that despite the dire circumstances, and that’s where the story wanted to take me.

2. What kind of research did you need to do for Dreamwalk?

I had to do quite a bit, actually. The Australian mythology for starters; although I was vaguely familiar with it. I read some fascinating work by Dr. Diane Bell, who delved deeply into the feminine side of the culture and wrote about it in an accessible way. The ancestor gods in the book are all significant to areas of personal growth and enlightenment in that culture.

I had to do geographical research as well. Although I’ve lived in both New York and St. Louis, I wasn’t as familiar with some of the areas that I wanted to write about and I was completely unfamiliar with Australia. I need to look up the statutes for liquor licenses and serving hours for New York. I needed to know if driving from Adelaide to Alice Springs was a feasible one-day trip. I also needed to know if these places would produce these characters.

And of course, I had to do research on heroin use, I now know more about heroin than I’d ever imagined knowing, because I wanted to understand it, so I could understand Shane. And I wanted it to be realistic and rooted in the science of neurochemistry, not the horror story propaganda that you see. The brain receptors for heroin are the same ones that use naturally produced endorphins to block pain while we fight or flee from danger. I had to know how it worked in the human brain, and why it’s so addictive, I needed to know how it was administered, I needed to make sure that Chloe didn’t use it enough to become addicted herself, and what they would give Shane at the hospital when he overdosed. I talked with people that have used heroin and some that have had a lot of trouble coming off. People with mental and emotional problems often use drugs to self-medicate their condition, which is what Shane was doing.

3. Which of your characters is most like you and why?

Probably Trish. I’m not a dedicated activist, but I do hold some very firm views about natural preservation. Trish is also kind of cynical and likes to emphasise the irony in situations. Trish is quite sardonic. She’s always giving advice and usually assumes that she’s going to have to be responsible for fixing things when they go wrong. For awhile there, she doesn’t want to do it anymore, but eventually she realises that no one but herself put her in that predicament and that’s the future she chose for herself and it’s the right one.

4. Do you have a favourite scene/chapter from Dreamwalk? If so, what is it and why?

If I had to pick one, I think the scene with Boris in the shower is my favourite. I’m not entirely sure why, except that it’s the most obviously comic scene in the book. And to be honest, I like Shane best when he’s being a little devilish. It’s nice to see him having a go at Boris and not being the self-loathing emo kid once in a while. It was also fun to see him being completely derailed at the end. Although Shane has a lot of flaws, he’s definitely one of my favourite characters, and it was fun to see him stripped of a lot of his self-protective attitudes and mechanisms in that scene.

5. Do you have a favourite place to go to read/write?

Not really. I normally do all my writing in my home office, with some music blaring. I’m not stuck on a place, really, but I do have to have the fan going and I have to be wearing flip flops, for whatever it’s worth. And coffee. I require lots and lots of coffee.

6. Describe your book in three words.

Surreal. Complex. Romantic.

Thanks again Sarah for taking the time to answer my questions =)

Dreamwalk Blog Tour: Guest Post from Sarah MacManus

Little Episodes

When Naomi asked me if I wanted to do a guest post for her blog, I wanted to take the opportunity to help promote my favorite non-profit org, Little Episodes. Little Eps is an arts community currently based in London that works to promote artists, writers, poets and performers. It was started a few years ago by actress Lucie Barât, and the whole crew works to help get writers published, get performers onstage and get artist’s work scene.

I ‘met’ Lucie online back in 2008 when we both had short stories in the same issue of an online journal called “The Battered Suitcase.” When she told me about her vision for Little Episodes, I was instantly taken and of course I volunteered to help out. She wanted to produce a volume of short stories and poetry that let writers express the ups and downs, the depression, addiction and other life-numbing, art-killing problems of working in the arts industry. Who knew better than us how it can wear you down, trying to make a living in an unsympathetic industry?
(Lucie Barat and Sadie Frost)
Over the last three years, that volumes of prose and poetry has grown into a vibrant organization. The anthologies themselves have featured work from renowned poet Todd Swift, award winning author Melvin Burgess and actress Sadie Frost.

Little Episodes has a monthly club night in London, where writers, artists, poets and performers can meet up, socialize, network and share their work through performance and collaboration. Our club nights have featured emerging music artists like Kieran Leonard and The Penny Ballads, as well as better known performers like Carl Barât (Lucie’s brother) and most recently, Adam Ant.

(Adam Ant)

Little Episodes has an online community where artists can share and promote their work, learn from each other, get support and develop friendships that make the life with an uncertain calling less stressful and more fun. It’s open to the public and anyone can join and everyone is welcome to the events. So if you just like to read, or are just starting to think about writing, painting, or playing, you’ll be welcome.

Soon to come is a café in Brighton, with food and drink, bookshop, wifi, poetry readings, performances and art workshops.

I’m really proud to be associated with Little Episodes and hope that it continues to strike a chord with readers and writers alike.

You can find them online at or on Facebook.

All graphics taken from

Friday, 15 April 2011

In The Storm Blog Tour: Interview with Karen Metcalf

Today on the blog, I have the lovely Karen Metcalf, author of 'In The Storm', for an interview. In The Storm is a lovely novella that can be purchased in e-book format from or But if you stick around, you will be in with a chance to win one of two copies of In The Storm.

Right, interview time =)

1. What was the inspiration behind In The Storm?

It all started with a thunderstorm when I was living on the East Coast. I absolutely love them, and thought about creating a world where it stormed all of the time, as a reflection of someone’s inner torment. As a child I thought storms were nature’s way of expressing emotion, and thought it was original enough idea to give it a shot.

2. Are Carly and Morgan based on anyone you know?

Carly’s anger is based on my own as a child. I wanted her to be a strong protagonist, as it seems many female protagonists are sort of idle, and wait for someone to sweep them off their feet, or fix everything. (However this is changing in YA more recently.) Morgan was not someone I really planned, but rather developed himself as the story progressed. I grew to really like the kid.

3. If you could escape to another world, what would yours be like?

Mine would be the storm world I wrote about. My only other obsession is the beach. It would definitely be a combination of the two, but a happier ocean that the one I describe in the novella. Storms and oceans can be so aggressively beautiful and have so much expression. The perfect personification of anger.

4. What is your favourite scene/quote from In The Storm and why?

I love my description of the stars and the moon as a hammock. For some reason I tend to think of those words a lot; they stuck with me the most. Also, The ending of the last chapter before the epilogue. It breaks my heart every time. That’s when I fall in love with my own character.

5. Did you learn anything whilst writing In The Storm? If so, what?

I learned that the inspiration just smacks you out of nowhere. I have no idea how many times I thought about what writing a book would be like. I never thought it would write itself in a week and surprise me so much. Even now some of those words don’t even seem like I wrote them. It’s an amazing experience.

6. If you could sit down with any fictional character for a spot of tea, who would it be and why?

Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. I am so in love with him!

Thanks for stopping by Karen!

There’s a phrase in the South: “telling stories”, which means telling lies. Growing up, Karen Metcalf told a lot of stories, which wasn’t always a good thing.

She was raised on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where she spent most of her time reading science fiction and horror. She continues to explore those worlds through her writing, today.

Karen is 23 years old, and lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Link to my review here.

In The Storm Blog Tour: E-Book Giveaway

Here's your chance to win a copy of Karen Metcalf's 'In The Storm' in e-book format.

"Abandoned by the world around her, Carly believes she is fated to a life of torment at the hands of her stepfather and is desperate for an escape. When she can bear the abuse no longer and gives in to a thunderous rage, she suddenly finds herself in an unfamiliar, yet beautiful, storm world. This limbo between dimensions appears to be her private sanctuary, but it may just be her purgatory.
No one escapes fate without sacrifice, but is the price more than Carly is willing to pay?"
Karen has generously provided me with the means of giving away two copies of her e-book novella, 'In The Storm', as part of her blog tour. The winners will be provided with a coupon code when entered into the publisher's website ( will allow you to download the digital version.


- Open internationally
- Must be a follower of my blog (I will be checking)
- Only one entry per person
- Contest ends on April 29th April, winner will be contacted within a couple of days, if they do not respond within 48 hours then a new winner will be selected
- Winners will be drawn using

How to enter:

- Leave a comment below, make sure you include your e-mail adress

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Review: The Vampire Warden by S.J.Wright

My Rating: VG, B, L

Published: 2011
Publisher: Self Published

Author's Website:

Purchase @

“I couldn't seem to contain the inferno burning inside me, being that close to him. Even knowing the danger he posed and the gruesome scenes that must have been caused by him, I still felt a burning inside me every time I heard his voice or felt his hot gaze on me.

But I was the Warden. He was one of the damned. We were destined to be at odds. Enemies. “

Sarah Brightman, having just lost her father to cancer, is stunned to discover that the mother she thought was dead is actually still alive. She also finds out that the legacy her father left her is a lot more than just an Inn on the outskirts of Nashville, Indiana. She has a frightening new responsibility.

The Vampire’s Warden is the first novel in the ‘Undead in Brown County’ series by S.J Wright. This book was a delectable and great read.

Sarah Brightman is an independent and strong willed young woman. Her mother left her and her sister when she was little and now their father has died. The family business, a bed and breakfast, has been passed over to Sarah whilst her sister, Katie, continues her studies at a college far from home.

After their father’s death, Sarah finds out a lot more than she thought she knew like the fact that she has been living right next two vampires her entire life. With the help of Nelly, her exuberant and serious employee, and Alex, a wayward stranger that seems to know a lot about Sarah’s missing mother, she finds out all about her heritage.

I really enjoyed this book. I’m not sure which vampire’s side I am on though. Both are gorgeous, charismatic, charming and endearing. Michael has this way of winning you over and making you think that he has done nothing wrong, whereas the other vampire has been nothing but helpful to Sarah but at the same time keeping a lot of secrets from her that she ends up figuring out on her own and blowing up about.

My favourite moments were the flashbacks that Sarah got. I also thought it was brilliant that Sarah wasn’t all too gullible to believe that vampire’s existed right off the bat. She needed some convincing which I found quite realistic. I know I certainly wouldn’t believe that vampires existed just because I read it in a book. Pretty sure if I did, people would think I was a lunatic and cart me off to the nut house. I can’t say I disliked any parts from the book. Everything seemed to flow easily and was a nice light read.

Overall, I would recommend this book to everyone except for young children. Excellent read for a teenager and young adult enthusiasts alike.

Disclaimer: I was sent this e-book as part of a blog tour via The Bookish Snob Promotions. I have not been paid for this review and everything I have said is of my own honest opinion.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Review: Dreamwalk by Sarah MacManus

My Rating: E, B, R

Published: 2011
Publisher: Young Rebel Publications

Author's Website:

Purchase @ YoungRebelPublications

After the death of her mother, eighteen year old Chloe Hawthorn is haunted by terrifying nighttime hallucinations. Determined to take control of her dreams, she uses them to find Shane Anderson, a charming and troubled musician whose online videos have been holding her in thrall. She finds him in the Dreamtime, sweating out heroin detox in a run-down rehab center.

Chloe sets out to find Shane in the waking world and discovers her dreams have been taking her into the past. Horrified, Chloe realizes Shane doesn't survive his addictions. In order to save him, Chloe must master her Australian mother's legacy — the secret of walking the Dreaming through time. But what price will Chloe pay for this Dreamwalk and will she save Shane only to lose him forever?

Dreamwalk is a sensational adult debut by Sarah MacManus. This book had me on tenterhooks all the way through and I absolutely loved it.

Chloe Hawthorn is still reeling from her mother’s death when her father moves her to a new city, away from everything that she has even known. To top it all off she has the most awful nightmares. Trish, Chloe’s best friend from St Louis, sends her a clip of a boy playing a guitar. Chloe becomes obsessed with this boy, Shane, and has very vivid dreams about him. But are they really dreams? You need to read the book to find out.

I had so many favourite moments in this book. Firstly, I loved the characters; they are so life like and easy to relate to. Their life is like so many other people’s out there. I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much, it’s very different from what I have been reading lately because this could be anyone’s lives that MacManus is describing and this is what, I think, makes the book a bitter sweet brilliance. One of the more scary moments in the book is actually one of my own personal fears but it blends well with the story and is essential to aid Chloe in her journey. I don’t want to say what it is as it may ruin some of the story for you but I can tell you that I wouldn’t wish it on my own worst enemy.

I could go on about this book all day, it was that brilliant. It definitely goes up there as one of my favourite books this year. After starting reading this book, I don’t know if this is a coincidence or not, but I have had some amazing and vivid dreams that I can remember in detail the next day.

Overall, brilliant read, would highly recommend it to any adults out there and possibly the more mature teen. There is certain content that would not be suitable for younger teens.

Disclaimer: I was sent this book for review by the author. I have not been paid to review this book and everything I have said is of my own honest opinion.