Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"Daughter of Isis" by Kelsey Ketch: SPOTLIGHT & REVIEW

Daughter of Isis
Descendants of Isis #1
by Kelsey Ketch
Genre: Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: October 26, 2013

Blurb:
Her mouth parted slightly, waiting for Seth to breathe life into her own body, just like in the story. She wanted him to awaken her senses.”

Their worlds collide in California’s high desert.

The last thing Natara “Natti” Stone wants to do is to start anew at Setemple High School. She wished she had never left London. Yet the brutal murder of her maternal grandmother has made her life very complicated. The only clue related to her murder is an ancient, encrypted necklace Natti discovered after her grandmother’s death. And if trying to adjust to American life is not enough, Natti is being stalked by a mysterious, charming high school senior, Seth O’Keefe, who is annoyingly persistent in his attempts at seduction.

Seth O’Keefe is secretly a member of the Sons of Set, an order that worships the Egyptian god of chaos. Seth’s blessing from Set, his “charm,” never failed, except with one person: Natti Stone. Her ability to elude him infatuates and infuriates him, and he becomes obsessed with the chase. But the closer he gets to her, the more his emotions take a dangerous turn, and he risks breaking one of the most valued covenants of his order. The punishment for which is a fate worse than death.

The adventure this unlikely couple becomes engulfed in could cost them their lives and their souls.

*Note: Content for Upper YA*


You can find Daughter of Isis on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17975812-daughter-of-isis

You can buy Daughter of Isis here:


***Praise for Daughter of Isis***
Daughter of Isis is an addicting and enthralling read brimming with Egyptian mythology. Readers will be pulled into the story after simply reading a page!” —Emily, Reader Rising

I always enjoy a good book about Mythology and Daughter of Isis brings a thrilling modern day spin to one of the tales. Kelsey Ketch wove the story perfectly and sucked me right into her magnificent world.” —Naomi, Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

About the Author:
During her high school years, Kelsey Ketch could always be found tucked away in a little corner of the hall or classroom, writing her fantasy worlds and creating illustrations and maps. Today is no different, except now she’s writing in the break room at her office building or at the tables of the Barnes and Noble CafĂ© in Cary, North Carolina. She is also an avid reader, a part-time book blogger at Ketch’s Book Nook, and lives with her two orange tabbies and awesome and humorous flat-mate.

For more information, please visit her site at kelseyketch.com.

You can find and contact Kelsey here:





What did Sister Sinister think?
* * *
I give it 3 Stars!
* * *

I was given the opportunity to read to review this book by Lola's Blog Tours, and I seriously ran hot and cold through the whole story. It's been awhile since I waffled so much on my feelings for a book, but DAUGHTER of ISIS caused a lot of contradictory emotions in me. I'll tell you why.

Firstly, the story follows Natara "Natti" Stone as her father relocates her to a new country and a new town after the murder of her grandmother. Setemple looks like a slice of Egypt; it even has its own pyramid in a town laden in Egyptian culture. The setting makes Natti uneasy, as does the sex magnet with the name of Seth O'Keefe, local stud. There is just something about him that makes her desire him, while also causing her headaches whenever he is near. There is just something about him...

It's not made clear why Natti's father moves them to a heavily Egyptian flavored town when he wants his daughter to have nothing to do with the culture, but what caused me issue was mainly Seth. The power given unto him by his God Set, is the ability to "charm" people into doing whatever he wants. His favorite daily past time is seducing all pretty girls to have sex with him and his two jerkwad friends. Somehow this is seen as seduction, when in fact, it really is rape on a large scale. The teenager is using magic to enthrall women. Just because he makes them want him, or he pushes them to act when they might not have without magical interference, doesn't make it any less sleazy or criminal, and its even more disgusting that he "charms" women into getting it on with his fellow Sons of Set.

Ok, so I know that the point is that Set is chaotic evil and his minions are out doing murderous, unlawful things. I get it, I do. But I don't get the feeling that anyone feels what he did was sexual assault, and the bad things done just aren't given the gravity I felt would be realistic. So I do caution anyone that prefers not to read a book featuring sexual enslavement to steer clear. I can see this book stirring up all kinds of controversy, but that's not necessarily a bad thing if it gets people talking.

So all of that being said, there were a lot of missing words and wrong tenses, but despite my problems with the story, I *did* mostly enjoy it. It might not sound like it, since I pointed out what triggered my distaste with the book, but it really was very well written and the author knows how to tell a YA story. The mythology was fun, as well, and it will certainly appeal to many people. Not everyone will have the same feelings as I did reading it, after all, and like I said, I did enjoy it, even if its sex-as-power theme bothered me.

And that's really the magic of individuality, isn't it? You get to read it for yourself and make up your own mind. =D

EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT QUEEN OF SOMEDAY by Sherry D. Ficklin!



Queen of Someday by Sherry D. Ficklin won't be your average young adult book. No, this book will have something extra special within it. Queen of Someday will be enhanced with embedded videos throughout the story. These videos will give you behind the scenes looks into the life of Catherine the Great, as well as author commentary. Enhance your reading experience with this new enhanced young adult book! Enhanced e-books are fairly new, and Clean Teen Publishing is excited to be able to offer one to you! Queen of Someday is scheduled to release on October 7, 2014. Watch the video below to hear more about this exciting announcement from Author Sherry D. Ficklin. Make sure to hop over to her website before you leave to enter her giveaway and definitely don't forget to pre-order your copy today and save $2. The price of Queen of Someday will increase on the day after release! 

*Please note that on many reading devices may not be able to show enhanced content. In this case, you will be able to follow a digital link that is embedded within the e-book to view each video online. Currently the best reading platform for enhanced e-books is iBooks. However, most Kindle and Nook devices will allow you to follow the link to our external secure website to view the bonus content. 



PRE-ORDER QUEEN OF SOMEDAY TODAY

Save $2 when you pre-order your copy today! 

Release Day: October 7, 2014
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Series: A Stolen Empire Series

Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophia will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?


A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR:

The true story of Catherine the Great is one fraught with betrayal, intrigue, and romance. While a good deal of my story is drawn from actual people and events, I have been very liberal in the rearrangement of dates, events, and places. Whenever possible I took my cues from her own words, intermixing my own thoughts and ideas. My thought upon the creation of the book was simple. I looked at the woman she was when she claimed the crown and then wondered, how did an innocent girl from Germany become such a force of nature? Most people aren’t born cold or ambitious, but have circumstances that forge them into those people. And that was the story I wanted to tell in this book. I wanted to see the events in her early life that would have changed her into the person she became, and not knowing the truth of that story, I simply made something up. That is what we, as writers, do best.

If you are curious about the real history behind Catherine, I suggest heading to your local library and doing a bit of research. This is not meant to be a historically accurate representation, but a flight of fancy, one that I hope you, dear reader, will enjoy as much as I have.


WATCH THE OFFICIAL BOOK TRAILER:

ABOUT SHERRY D. FICKLIN



Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.



She is the author of The Gods of Fate Trilogy now available from Dragonfly Publishing. Her previously self-published novel After Burn: Military Brats has been acquired by Harlequin and will be released in 2015 with a second book in that series to follow. Her newest YA steampunk novel, EXTRACTED: The Lost Imperials book 1, co-written with Tyler H. Jolley is now available everywhere books are sold and her newest YA novel, Losing Logan, is due for release in 2014 from Clean Teen Publishing.








Want to READ MORE from Clean Teen Publishing? Check out our huge selection of amazing reads! There's sure to be something for every reader!

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Monday, September 29, 2014

"The Last Orphans" by N.W. Harris: EXCERPT, REVIEW, GUEST POST, INTERVIEW, & ***Giveaway***!!!!!!





Title: The Last Orphans

Series: The Last Orphans Series #1

Author: N.W. Harris

To Be Published: October 17th, 2014

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

Page Count: 274

Genre: YA Apocalyptic Sci-Fi

Content Warning: Violence, adult content, minor language

Age Recommendation: 16+

Synopsis:
One horrifying day will change the life of sixteen-year-old Shane Tucker and every other kid in the world.

In a span of mere hours, the entire adult population is decimated, leaving their children behind to fend for themselves and deal with the horrific aftermath of the freak occurrence. As one of the newly made elders in his small town, Shane finds himself taking on the role of caretaker for a large group of juvenile survivors. One who just happens to be Kelly Douglas–an out-of-his-league classmate–who, on any other day, would have never given Shane a second glance.

Together, they begin their quest to find out why all of the adults were slaughtered. What they find is even more horrifying than anything they could have expected–the annihilation of the adults was only the beginning. Shane and his friends are not the unlucky survivors left to inherit this new, messed-up planet. No, they are its next victims. There is an unknown power out there, and it won t stop until every person in the world is dead.

A spine-tingling adventure that will have you gasping for breath all the way until the last page, The Last Orphans is the first book in an all-new apocalyptic series.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Born at the end of the Vietnam war and raised on a horse farm near small town north Georgia, N.W. Harris’s imagination evolved under the swaying pines surrounding his family’s log home. On summer days that were too hot, winter days that were too cold, and every night into the wee morning hours, he read books.

N.W. Harris published his first novel—Joshua’s Tree—in 2013. It was no wonder that with his wild imagination and passion for all things word related, that N.W. Harris was named a quarter finalist in Amazon’s Break Through Novel Award Contest. In early 2014, N.W. Harris joined the ranks with Clean Teen Publishing when they signed his new young adult apocalyptic adventure series—The Last Orphans.

In addition to writing, N.W. Harris has been a submarine sailor, nurse, and business owner. His studies have included biology, anthropology, and medicine at UCSB and SUNY Buffalo. He is an active member of SCBWI and lives in sunny southern California with his beautiful wife and two perfect children. He writes like he reads, constantly.


EXCERPT

Light faded from the gloomy heavens as Shane climbed over his aunt and out of the passenger side of the cab. Ominous green clouds still choked the sky, but the air was calm and quiet. He walked a few yards away and turned around, staring absently at the wreckage and wanting to die. The truck door hung open, his aunt’s swollen feet sticking out. Crippling numbness overtook him, pressing in on all sides, as if he were being buried in wet cement. It invaded his mind, drowning his thoughts, and leaving only dejected questions that no one could answer. What was he supposed to do now? Why did he have to still be alive when everyone he loved was being taken from him?
“Help!” A girl’s hysterical voice ripped through his viscous daze like a bullet through a soda can. “Can you please? Help!”
The voice was pitched with agony and grief, but also very familiar.
Shane pivoted, the weight of his aunt’s nightmarish demise making it hard to move.
Two girls ran up the Douglas’ long, gravel driveway toward him. The taller one’s tangled, blonde hair billowed behind her. She wore cutoff blue jeans and a baggy, white T-shirt with crimson paint smeared across her chest. She dragged a shorter version of herself by the hand behind her as she ran. It took a second for Shane to register who it was.
“Kelly?” he shouted, his voice hoarse with shock. Struggling to break free of the catatonic state threatening to turn him into stone, he jogged heavily down the driveway to meet her.
“They killed my dad and my mom!” she shrieked, her eyes wild and her gaze darting like she expected some horror to jump out of the fields and attack her. “They went berserk and trampled them!”
“Wait—slow down.” Shane grabbed her shoulders to steady her. Her distress tore his mind away from the despair seeping through every part of his body, starving him for breath and welding his joints together. “Who killed your parents?” He realized the red on her clothes was fresh blood.



What did Sister Sinister think?
* * * * *
 I give it 5 stars!
 * * * * *

Something has gone terribly wrong with the animals of the world, turning them on the adult population until only the youth are left alive. Struggling to survive, a large group of kids will band together and hit the road in search of even a single grown-up who can take the burden of responsibility, but until they find them -if they ever do- these kids are going to have to make it on their own. Can they do it, or will an even greater threat prove to be the undoing of all of humanity?

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, one that I am more than happy to give 5 stars to. It is absolutely deserving of each twinkly one, because the author has given us a story that will appeal to many readers by touching on subjects that raise fear in us, sadness, disbelief, anger, hope, and love. It has mystery and excitement and budding romance and bravery; guilt, shame, and greed. It is a human story under inhuman circumstances.

* * * * *


Topic for Rebecca, answered by N.W. Harris:

  • If all the adults suddenly were wiped from the face of the planet, would law and order be a thing of the past, or would the children create their own?

The children would eventually create their own new version of law and order. The systems that are in place today are there because of a functioning infrastructure. If all the adults are gone, that infrastructure will fail. In my opinion, there will be initial chaos, then groups of children will start to conglomerate. Some groups will be bad and some good. Some of the kids will try to find ways to shelter and feed themselves by farming, hunting, fishing, etc. Others will make their living by stealing from those good children. At first, justice will be swift, frequently violent and without trial. As those that are determined to rebuild by making honest livings settled into their new lifestyles, I believe they’d make militias to protect their families and food. Next they’d create tribunals and hold some sort of court for criminals. Like in the in the Wild West, some of these new justice forces would inevitably become corrupt. Over time, I believe the children would thrive and society would be reborn. But I’m a bit of an optimist (my stories may not always seem to reflect that.)


Sister Sinister interviews the hugely talented N.W. Harris:

Welcome N.W. Harris, author of “The Last Orphans”! I can't thank you enough for taking the time to do this interview!
 

Q. Can you tell us a little about what inspired you to write “The Last Orphans”? 
A. I grew up in the South, and I love science fiction. I’ve always wanted to write a story that merges the two—that takes small-town kids and puts them in an extraordinary situation. I wanted to show the tenacity and strength of those polite people who live in the backwoods of America, and I wanted to use the setting in which I was raised in a novel.

Q. I can honestly say that this book is one of my ultimate favorites. There was just something special about it. But it isn't your first publication is it?
A. Wow! Thanks for saying that :) I have published two other novels in The Joshua’s Tree Trilogy. It’s also young adult science fiction, and is with a different publisher than The Last Orphans.

Q. In “The Last Orphans”, the cast is a group of school kids thrust into unspeakable horror. If something like this happened for real, do you believe that the youth of today could really handle such an extraordinary scenario?
A. I think they could. I believe most people have an inner hero in them that will come out if the right pressure is applied. I have a lot of faith in the human race and think we are something very special--a force to be reckoned with. 

Q. Young Adult books are wonderfully popular right now, but I only recently learned that it doesn't imply that the target audience is young adults, but rather that the main characters are teens! Who do you think your book will most appeal to?
A. I think it, and the series, will appeal to teens and adults who like a gritty action story and who like apocalyptic scenarios. Many readers want a story with a core group of characters they can follow, and not a loner for a main character. The Last Orphans Series will appeal to that audience as well. 

Q. Have you already started work on the next book in this series? Can you tell us a little about it?
A. Funny you should ask. I actually just sent the finished manuscript to my publisher a couple of days ago. I don’t want to give away too much, but I will say the challenges that await Shane and his friends surpass what they encountered in Book 1. I’ll also tell you that book two is called "The Harvest" (and that was not public information until now!:) The title is very reflective of what the book is about. Think I’ll stop there (laughs wickedly).

Q. What future projects do you have in mind? Anything you can share?
A. Well, for the near future, a lot of work needs to be done with marketing The Last Orphans. I also have to take care of edits on book 2. Within the next few weeks, I intend to start writing the third book in the series. Distant future—I want to write a story about a boy who is an elf (or a dark angel) and is living amongst us normal folks, going to high school an such. He thinks the symptoms of his “condition” are a disease and doesn’t have a clue as to what he is. Then strange people start trying to kill him... Of course, that’s just what I’m thinking today, lol.

Q. If you were thrust into an apocalyptic situation amidst a group of friends, family and strangers, would you be the sort to lead or would you be more of a follower?
A. I’ve always been more the leader type. If other leaders were in my group, I’d collaborate with them. I think that is the only way we’d survive. No one person has all the answers, and everyone in a given situation has something they can bring to the table.

Thank you so so much for sharing with us today, and for that title reveal. *cheeky grin* I cannot wait to get my hands on that book!!

Thanks for having me! 



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Sunday, September 28, 2014

"Grey Days" by Vanessa Deroo (5 Stars)

* * * * *
Grey Days
by Vanessa Deroo

Genre: Post-Apocalypse/Dystopia

* * * * *

I was given a copy of this short story (2,220 words) in exchange for my honest opinion and my only regret in reading it, is that it was too short! I'd have loved for this to be so much longer, just because it did a fabulous job in drawing me in so quickly, but it does work perfectly in the format it was written with a neat wrap-up at the end. The author managed to paint a dismal setting easily imagined, with that ray of hope and goodness trying to pierce the foggy veil. Well done!


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Nominated for a Liebster Award!

Wow, I feel seriously honored to have been nominated for the LIEBSTER Award by CindelD of Falling for Books!!

The LIEBSTER AWARD is a recognition passed from blogger to blogger; a friendly way of saying I appreciate you. Generally gifted to bloggers with less than a 1,000 followers, it is also a lovely means of promotion for both the nominator and the nominee. And since "liebster" is a term of endearment in German meaning "dearest" (technically, liebster is the male version of the word, and liebste is the feminine - wee fact for ya!), it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling just being nominated for it.

Now the Rules.

1.  List 11 facts about yourself.
2.  Answer the 11 questions that the person who nominated you asked.
3.  Nominate 9 bloggers with less than 300 followers and leave them a comment letting them know they've been nominated.
4.  Ask 11 new questions for your nominees.
5.  No renominating the blog that nominated you!

So, 11 Facts About Me
  1.  I'm searching for the book or movie that will truly scare and/or chill me!
  2.  I've always wanted to kiss a killer whale.
  3.  I have a true 'fairytale' story.
  4.  I have an enormous scar on my back that looks like railroad tracks.
  5.  I dress our chihuahua in clothes. (Only cool and stylish ones.)
  6.  I am truly blessed with 3 fantastic children.
  7.  I imported my husband from Germany.
  8.  I was adopted and I love it.
  9.  I prefer to write with a partner.
  10.  Violin music touches my soul.
  11.  I believe in Fairies.
Q&A from the person who nominated me
  1. Why do you blog? - It's only been since last year that I began to blog with any frequency and I started because I wanted to make connections in the publishing world. Now I am greatly enjoying helping authors spread the word about their works.
  2. Why do you love to read? - Reading lets you experience, learn, and grow; it transports you and stirs emotions.
  3. What is your favorite genre? - It's a tie between Horror and Paranormal Romance.
  4. When did you fall in love with books? - I've always been a big reader. I'd read in bed with the hall light on when I was supposed to be asleep. I just love the feeling of expanding beyond what I know and see.
  5. Paper back or ebooks? - Both. I love the feel of a book in my hand and I adore collecting books, which has become so much easier with e-books. And I don't have to read by hall light when I have a tablet in hand!
  6. Where do you like to read? - In bed with the lights off.
  7. What is your favorite book and why? - I can't even begin to answer that but the Hunger Games books and anything Jeff Strand or Philip A. McClimon really strike a chord with me. I could go on forever, though. Some of my favorite books were actually the Resident Evil series and I freakin' love Kim Harrison's Hollows! Some new favs are Allie's War by J.C. Andrijeski, Frostbitten by Heather Beck, Mutation Z: The Ebola Zombies by Marilyn Peake, and geez, the list is too huge to go on. That and I feel horrible if I can't name the gazillions of favorite books and authors I have, so I don't like trying!
  8. What do you do when you are not reading? - Homeschooling our youngest, worrying about our 2 oldest, telling my husband I love him, coddling our chi baby, scratching our big dogs with my harpy toenails (they love it, I promise), writing, editing, drawing. I love to watch movies and tv, play computer games and visit family.
  9. What about a book makes you choose it? - The cover first, then the back blurb. If it sparks my interest, I go for it.
  10. What is your favorite movie? - ALIENS!
  11. If you were to write a book what would it be? - I am writing a book, several in fact. The one closest to publication is about zombies and romance (not zombies being romanced).

My nominees are:
  1. Stephanie @ LitLoversLane
  2. Olivia @ Olivia's Catastrophe
  3. Jaideep @ Pebble in the Still Waters
  4. DelSheree @ The Edible Bookshelf
  5. ReadingDelightedly
  6. KIKA @ The Book Bluff
  7. Concupiscentbibliophile
  8. Twin Spin
  9. Star Angel's Reviews


My questions for my nominees (Let me know if you answer them - I would so love to read your replies!)
  1. How do you feel about the current face of self-publishing?
  2. Do you prefer a book to be a part of a series, or a stand-alone?
  3. Do you like to watch movies of the same genre that you enjoy reading?
  4. Is there is a genre you will not read unless asked to?
  5. If you could meet one author in person, who would it be?
  6. Is there a subject you think should be taboo?
  7. Do you believe in love at first sight?
  8. Sharks or giant squid?
  9. Zombies, mutants, or aliens?
  10. Vampires, witches, or werewolves?
  11. Thylacine or T-rex. If you had a choice, which would we resurrect?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Author MARILYN PEAKE: INTERVIEW & Review of MUTATION Z: THE EBOLA ZOMBIES!!!

Please welcome author Marilyn Peake! We're lucky to have you here doing this interview!

Q. You have a great many accolades for your writing work. That must feel amazing!
A. It does feels really good. It also feels fantastic when my writing reaches readers and I receive enthusiastic emails from them. I’ve got to say when I received your message about how much you loved reading MUTATION Z: THE EBOLA ZOMBIES, that made me very happy and inspired me to keep on writing. Most writers write for an audience and absolutely love hearing from readers about their work.

Q. You have written many, many stories. Which would you say was your favorite to write?
A. That’s a hard question to answer because I’ve loved the creative process with all of them. I found the experience of writing MUTATION Z: THE EBOLA ZOMBIES rewarding and meaningful because it helped me deal with the horrific news stories I’d been following on the growing Ebola epidemic in West Africa. SHADE, my Young Adult Mystery novel with Paranormal elements, was fun to write, even though it dealt with some pretty serious issues, because the main character Shade is feisty and rebellious and says some very funny things with her smart mouth. Probably the stories that were the most pure fun to write were my middle grade children’s books in THE FISHERMAN’S SON Trilogy. In those books, the main character Wiley O’Mara gets to swim under the ocean on the back of a magical dolphin. It was fun to research the fish that live in the ocean and to include them in a book of Fantasy.

Q. What inspired you to write the novelette, “Mutation Z: The Ebola Zombies”?
A. I had been following the news stories on the growing Ebola epidemic in West Africa and felt so disturbed by the rapid spread of the disease and the inadequate medical response to it that I found myself creating a story to reflect the horror of the real-world situation. That story became MUTATION Z: THE EBOLA ZOMBIES, a novelette in the genres of Apocalyptic Science Fiction, Zombie Fiction, Conspiracy Fiction, and Horror.

Q. I personally love when my monster books make scientific sense. Did you have to do much research for this story?
A. Years ago, I read THE HOT ZONE by Richard Preston. That nonfiction book is about a real-life incident that took place in 1989 inside a lab located in Reston, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. Monkeys were brought into the lab from the Philippines, and it turned out they were infected with a monkey strain of Ebola. A secret military SWAT team was deployed to kill the monkeys and sterilize the building in order to prevent the spread of the disease inside the United States. That book is terrifying. Ebola is one of the hemorrhagic fevers through which the insides of an infected person liquefy, eventually streaming out of every opening in their body, including their eyes and even any tiny holes made by hypodermic needles. Ebola is usually spread through bodily fluids. The mortality rate is around 90% and there’s no known cure. In the Reston lab, Ebola mutated and became airborne, so that monkeys having no direct contact with the sick monkeys caught it. The virus also jumped species. It was found in the blood of a man who worked inside the building, although he survived.

THE HOT ZONE is filled with a great deal of factual information about Ebola: where it most likely originated (in the rain forest, jumping species from bats to monkeys to humans), how it mutates, ways in which it could become a worldwide pandemic, etc. The Reston lab incident happened in 1989. THE HOT ZONE was published in 1994 as a kind of warning to the world. It left a very big impression on me. When the recent outbreak of Ebola began in West Africa, I became concerned. When it started spreading across West African countries and becoming an epidemic there, I felt alarmed. I began reading news stories every day on the horrors of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and the many ways in which the disease is getting out of control. A worst-case scenario recently reported by the CDC is that 1.4 million people could be infected with Ebola in the West African countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone by January. This form of Ebola has a mortality rate of around 70%. An experimental serum has cured a few medical workers brought back to the United States for treatment. Vaccines and more serums are being developed by pharmaceutical companies in a number of different countries.

All these news stories gave me ideas for how my fictional story, MUTATION Z: THE EBOLA ZOMBIES, might reflect the sense of horror in the real-world Ebola epidemic. As I wrote, I continued to research the unfolding news stories.

Q. What is your next project? Will it be another horror book?
A. Right now, with the blessing of Hugh Howey, I’m working on a fan fiction story set in his WOOL universe that will be published on Amazon. I’m hoping to turn MUTATION Z: THE EBOLA ZOMBIES and SHADE into two series of books. I also have plans to write a series of science fiction stories about aliens coming to Earth and the military’s use of psychological tools to influence the public.

Q. If I asked you which of your titles I should read next, knowing that I thought “Mutation Z” was brilliant, what would you recommend?
A. Thank you so much for referring to MUTATION Z as “brilliant”! That makes me very happy! I’m not sure what to recommend, as I haven’t written anything else quite like MUTATION Z. You might like OCCUPY FAERIE, a short story about a politician and a wickedly evil faerie who work together. I’d love to recommend SHADE. It covers a number of dark topics, although it’s a very different genre than MUTATION Z. Personally, I love the main character, Shade. She has so many problems in her life; and yet she’s feisty, headstrong and brave enough to handle them all.

Q. Before I let you go, I have to ask. Do you think a zombie outbreak could be possible? If it happened, would you be surprised? Do you think you would be prepared?
A. I love those questions! I’m not even sure I’d be prepared if an Ebola outbreak were to become a worldwide pandemic, although I hope somehow I would be. Surviving something like that often involves a huge element of luck. Some small percentage of people are always immune to the disease! As far as a zombie epidemic, I don’t really believe that’s possible; but there are diseases that have similarities to zombie disease. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some new and weird disease became an epidemic. Ebola’s real and it’s a weird disease. It’s spread in a number of different ways, including through the eating of infected bushmeat (bats, monkeys, etc.), a tradition among many poor people in Africa. The disease of Kuru was found among the people of New Guinea back when they practiced a form of cannibalism in which they ate the brains of dead people as part of a funeral ritual. It caused brain and nervous system changes similar to Mad Cow Disease. Rabies causes a fear of water in patients due to their difficulty with swallowing. So, even though I don’t think a zombie illness that involves walking dead people is possible, I do believe that diseases similar in nature are very possible. The world is sometimes a very frightening place.
 
 
 
 
MUTATION Z: THE EBOLA ZOMBIES on Goodreads:
 
MUTATION Z: THE EBOLA ZOMBIES on Amazon:
 
 
Thank you so much for this interview, Marilyn Peake! I love that "The Hot Zone" inspired you so many years ago. That book was an eye opener for me, as well, and got me excited about medical thrillers and contagion stories. It is probably what started my fascination with the truth of science and what horrors can come to be because of man and nature. If you haven't read it yet, I would definitely recommend "Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic" by David Quammen. Fascinating and scary both.
 
My review for "Mutation Z: The Ebola Zombies" follows and I will be looking to get my hands on OCCUPY FAERIE and SHADE. Readers, hook yourself up with a copy of MUTATION Z today! You won't regret it. =D
 
 
 * * * * *
Mutation Z: The Ebola Zombies
by Marilyn Peake

Genre: Horror

* * * * *

I was so honored to have the author contact me to review her book, MUTATION Z. It looked like exactly the kind of book that I'm interested in and I was right! I read it in a single sitting, as I couldn't possibly put it down, and it was the realism that hooked me from the start. 

We join nursing graduate Emma Johnson as she embarks on a mission of compassion to Liberia and an Ebola treatment camp, where the CDC and WHO are testing vaccines in hopes of curing the deadly disease.

I am VERY excited to hear that this novelette will be growing into a series! Especially because of the ending that leaves you with buggy eyes and an impressive jaw gape.

"Mega: A Deep Sea Thriller" by Jake Bible (5 Stars)

* * * * *
Mega
by Jake Bible

Genre: Horror/Thriller
* * * * *

I LOVE "monster" books and low-budget monster movies, so when I found this book I knew I had to cross my fingers and dive in! Though I was a little worried it might bite (har har), or be a Steve Alten rip-off, it was in no way either.

MEGA follows a ragtag mix of professional, retired, and disgraced soldiers as they find themselves recruited by a fixer man. They'll join an old friend and his boat crew on the high seas in a couple of missions that turn out to be way more than they bargained for.

This book isn't just about the shark! It's about the people (and pirates) and more than one man's hunt for his personal white whale.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

"Dead Girl" by B.C. Johnson - COVER REVEAL!!!

Deadgirl, by BC Johnson - coverCuriosity Quills is excited to reveal the cover for urban-fantasy, paranormal-romance DeadGirl, by B.C. Johnson, which is scheduled for release November 6, 2014!

The fantastic cover was designed by Andy Garcia.  

About DeadGirl:
Dead is such a strong word …   Lucy Day, 15 years old, is murdered on her very first date. Not one to take that kind of thing lying down, she awakens a day later with a seemingly human body and more than a little confusion. Lucy tries to return to her normal life, but the afterlife keeps getting in the way. Zack, her crush-maybe-boyfriend, isn’t exactly excited that she ditched him on their first date. Oh, and Abraham, Lucy’s personal Grim Reaper, begins hunting her, dead-set on righting the error that dropped her back into the spongy flesh of a living girl. Lucy must put her mangled life back together, escape re-death, and learn to control her burgeoning powers while staying one step ahead of Abraham. But when she learns the devastating price of coming back from the dead, Lucy is forced to make the hardest decision of her re-life — can she really sacrifice her loved ones to stay out of the grave?

Add DeadGirl to your Goodreads 'to-be-read' list!


B. C. Johnson - bio picAbout by B.C. Johnson: 
Born in Southern California, B.C. Johnson has been writing since he realized it was one of the few socially acceptable ways to tell people a bunch of stuff you just made up off the top of your head. He attended Savanna High School in Anaheim, and an undisclosed amount of college before deciding that weird odd jobs were a far greater career path. This lead him to such exciting professions as: aluminum recovery machinist, lighting designer, construction demo, sound mixer, receptionist, theater stage hand, wedding security, high school custodian, museum events manager, webmaster, IT guy, copywriter, and one memorable night as the bouncer at a nightclub. He is trying very hard to add “vampire hunter” and “spaceship captain” to that list.  

He currently lives in Garden Grove with his supernal wife Gina, his half-corgi, half-muppet dog Luna, and his new half-grayhound, half-living-tornado-of-destruction Kaylee. He also spends time with his two brothers, his parents, and his close friends, whose primary pursuit are usually healthy debates about movie minutiea. When he’s not working or writing, he’s been to known to pursue all conceivable geeky avenues of interest including but not limited to video games, the sort of TV shows/movies Benedict Cumberbatch might star in, graphic novels, podcasts, funny gifs, the whole thing.   He’s also been known to apply his special brand of hyperbole and mania to pop-culture humor essays for various websites that can be found on his homepage, bc-johnson.com. B.C. also has a high school noir short story called “The Lancer” available on Kindle. Deadgirl is his first novel.  

Find B.C. Johnson Online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

"Sceadu" by Prashant Pinge - COVER REVEAL, EXCERPT, & Q&A!!!

Today is the cover reveal for Sceadu by Prashant Pinge. This cover reveal is organized by Lola's Blog Tours.

Sceadu_Prashant Pinge_CoverSceadu
by Prashant Pinge

Genre: Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: 10 November 2014

Blurb:
All this while, Matilda’s shadow had been growing larger and larger. Suddenly, it lunged out of the ground and swallowed her, like a python does its unsuspecting prey.

Nine year old Matilda ends up with a century old book through a series of strange coincidences. And disappears. Her brother and cousins are forced to suspend their hostilities and pursue her to Sceadu, a land inside the human shadow. Once there, the reluctant visitors find themselves chased by the vicious Hefigans, creatures of Sceadu. However, everything changes with the revelation of an ancient prophecy that foretells the doom of the world they left behind.

With the stakes suddenly raised, the children must now navigate the dangerous terrain, overcome grave challenges, and unlock the secrets of the shadow. But can they do it in time to thwart the plans of the treacherous Hefigans? Or will they succumb to the guile of a ruthless enemy who is equally determined to destroy mankind?

Sceadu is a fast-paced adventure which blurs the boundary between the physical and the psychological, the real and the mythical.


You can find Sceadu on Goodreads.

Excerpt:
Matilda sat at her old wooden desk, staring into the thick yellowed pages of a book under a dull moth ridden beam cast by the night lamp. But every time she blinked, it seemed as if the words had played a round of musical chairs. And the moths, fluttering through the words at times and hovering over them at others, did not make things any easier.

Matilda was about to turn the page when there was a tug at her feet. It was a very gentle one, almost imperceptible. Surprised, she glanced down, but there was nothing. Perhaps it’s just my imagination, she thought. She was about to shake her thick dark brown curls out of her face when she felt it again.

Matilda pushed her head down and looked into the dark void with furrowed brow. Her skinny legs stared back. But before she could decide on whether she had actually felt anything, there was another tug, an unmistakable one this time. And another one. The truth suddenly dawned upon Matilda. It was her shadow, trying to drag her into itself.

Matilda jerked back the chair, kicking hard at her shadow. But it snapped back, pulling at her even more viciously. She stomped upon it repeatedly. But the dark grey shape began jabbing at her feet and ankles. Matilda pushed herself up and made a frantic attempt to run. But her legs refused to move, and she almost toppled forward.

All this while, Matilda’s shadow had been growing larger and larger. Suddenly, it lunged out of the ground and swallowed her, like a python does its unsuspecting prey.


Prashant PingeAbout the Author:
I grew up in the quiet and beautiful neighbourhood of Shivaji Park in Mumbai, India.

My schooling happened at the famed Bombay Scottish School where I was a rather conscientious student while my college years were spent at D. G. Ruparel College. I completed my bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Purdue University with a brilliant semester at the University of New South Wales. I followed it with a master of science in management from Lancaster University, a post graduate program in management from Indian School of Business, and a post MBA master in international management from Thunderbird School of Global Management. And yes, there is a simple explanation to all this. I love campus life.

I started my professional career as an engineer at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Once the monotony got to me, I returned back to join our family business in Mumbai, where I have been ever since. More recently, I have settled in the role of a consultant in my own marketing and branding firm, Media Panther.

My foray into the world of writing happened in 2003 after I had a dream that compelled me to stumble out of bed and put pen to paper. But that book is yet to be written. In the meantime, I happily string words together in my quest for Nirvana.

In my spare time, I enjoy collecting old coins, reading fiction, indulging my creativity (I have recently written and produced a short film, Freedom of Expression), travelling to exotic destinations, watching movies, and listening to music. I am also keenly interested in the subjects of psychology, mythology and ancient history.

I live with my wife and son in Mumbai.

 Q & A w/ Prashant Pinge
 
After writing children's fiction for more than a decade, what prompted you to write a young adult fantasy novel?
I have always wanted to experiment with different genres. However, the decision to write a young adult fantasy novel was not a conscious one. The catalyst was an idea I had early one morning a few years ago. But once it took seed, I knew I had to write this book. I shall, however, continue to write children's fiction, a genre I immensely enjoy working in.

The title is quite unique. How do you pronounce it? Where did you get the idea for this book?
The title is pronounced as 'shay-du'. It is the old English term for shadow. I have always been fascinated by human shadows, our constant companions who are relegated to playing second fiddle most of the time. In physics, shadows are formed when an object blocks light. In psychology though, the concept of the shadow is a very interesting one. However, I shall leave that for the readers to discover in the book.

Did you draw any inspiration from your own life when it came to developing the characters?
As a matter of fact, I did. It was easier to flesh out realistic characters this way although I have exaggerated certain aspects of their personalities to make them more interesting. I feel this will help readers identify with the characters, immersing them squarely into the adventure.

How is Sceadu different from the other works of fantasy fiction available today?
If I were to think of one reason, it would be the logical basis of the entire fantasy which makes this a thrilling yet plausible adventure. I also believe it is the only story out there where the human shadow has been given centre stage.

You have been published traditionally by some of India's top publishers. What made you take the self-publishing route with Sceadu?
The decision to take the self-publishing route with Sceadu came after a lengthy period of deliberation. The primary drivers were complete creative control and the ability to reach a global audience. However, I do plan to work with publishers, with my next work of children's fiction already picked up for a 2015 release.

What has your experience been with self-publishing so far?
My self-publishing journey so far has been a very rewarding one, allowing me to learn a lot about the different facets of this industry. It has also been a very difficult one, especially due to the lack of resources. In fact, it wouldn't have been possible without the help of a lot of people who have contributed to my endeavour in various ways.


Do you have another project in the works? If so, can you elaborate on it?
I am currently working on a piece of commercial fiction which would fall in the domain of romantic comedies. I hope to have it completed by December 2014.


You can find and contact Prashant here:
- Website
- Book Page
- Author Facebook
- Book Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads
- Google +

There is a tour wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Sceadu. These are the prizes you can win: 3 e-copies of Sceadu

for a chance to win enter the rafflecopter giveaway:
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