Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fear the Heat

So the countdown is on guys... it's getting ever closer to the Smokeless Fire blog tour and release! A few days ago the first paperback arrived and I'm soooo happy with it. Here are some (dodgy) pics of it to tease you...


Another massive thank you to Claudia McKinney at Phatpuppy Art for giving Ari form and Smokeless Fire such a beautiful cover!





And because I'm in such a good mood (:-p) here's another Smokeless Fire teaser... be warned... it's HOT!

" Leaning close, his eyes blazed into hers. “Stop it,” he whispered harshly, his breath teasing her lips, his chest rising and falling rapidly.  "


Yeah, that's all you're getting... I'm such a TEASE!


Sam x

Monday, September 26, 2011

Half-Blood - a Covenant Novel

Hey guys,

This week I'm recommending a book that was on my  'highly anticipated' list. It should be noted that at present this novel is only £2.91 for Kindle on amazon.co.uk and only $3.99 on amazon.com. I have to thank a wonderful reader Maria for letting me know about this bargain deal yesterday. As soon as she told me I hopped on over to amazon and downloaded the book. As you can see I blasted my way through it...

Half-Blood (Covenant #1)

amazon - Kindle £2.91

Blurb

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi—pure-bloods—have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals—well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.

Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:

Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.

Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.



My Review
*****Awesome Read!

Exceedingly entertaining, Half-Blood is the perfect hit for those of us who have been ailing from Vampire Academy withdrawals.

Jennifer L. Armentrout has written a fast-paced, mythology rich, funny, passionate, violent and emotional adventure; an adventure that I literally HAD to blow through because I just didn’t want to put my kindle down until the very last page. Even now I want to flick back to the beginning and start reading Half-Blood all over again.

My favorite kind of book, Half-Blood is not only plot-driven but character-driven. The main protagonist, Alex, is the best kind of heroine. She is sassy, strong, snarky and brave, as well as utterly stubborn and impulsive with just the right amount of naivety. I can see why parallels have been drawn between Alex from HB and Rose from VA; they are very similar characters, but since Rose is one of my favorite YA heroines ever, I’m certainly not complaining. I love Alex. I also love Aiden. He starts off very much the brooding badass, but Armentrout does a fantastic job of slowly unraveling his character.  It’s wonderful how Alex gets to see him in such a different light from everyone else. Aiden turns out to be incredibly loyal, strong and affectionate and I just… hmm… new crush for me I think. To make matters more complicated, there is Seth. I’m incredibly intrigued by Seth and love Armentrout’s plot device surrounding his character - I thought it was so incredibly clever and I cannot wait for book two to spend more time with this wicked cool character.

The plot itself moves along at a quick, uncomplicated pace (again the author does a great job of revealing the mythology and plot so that it doesn’t overwhelm), with smooth, modern prose, quick quips, an abundance of action and sizzling chemistry between the cast of characters.

Cannot wait for book 2, PURE.

Five Massive Massive Stars!




Sam x

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Smokeless Fire Teaser & Buttons

Smokeless Fire TEASER #4


"In shock, Ari reached out unconsciously and took it, pulling the jacket on and shivering at the warmth of the silky soft fur against her chilled skin. The White King nodded at Rabir and the ‘genie’ went up in flames. She squeaked on a scream, the heat of the flames licking her face before disappearing completely. There was no evidence of him ever having been there, not even the scent of lingering smoke.
He had gone up in smokeless fire."






I've also made these cute buttons guys - Team Ari, Team Jai and Team Charlie. I know you can't choose a team yet because, well, the book isn't out yet, but they are posted on the firespirits.blog HERE and you can grab them anytime you please :-)


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Heroes and Villains

This arrived in the post this morning... squee!






Sharp-eyed Marianne lives in a white tower made of steel and concrete with her father and the other Professors. Outside, where the land is thickly wooded and wild beasts roam, live the Barbarians, who raid and pillage in order to survive. Marianne is strictly forbidden to leave her civilized world but, fascinated by these savage outsiders, decides to escape. There, beyond the wire fences, she will discover a decaying paradise, encounter the tattooed Barbarian boy Jewel and go beyond the darkest limits of her imagination.
Playful, sensuous, violent and gripping, Heroes and Villains is an ambiguous and deliriously rich blend of post-apocalyptic fiction, gothic fantasy, literary allusion and twisted romance.


If you follow the blog you already know I'm an Angela Carter nut but somehow (stupid tool that I am) I have managed to bypass Heroes and Villains for years, thinking it another collection of short stories - all of which I already have. It wasn't until I was updating my collection with these gorgeous new Penguin editions that I actually read the back of Heroes and Villains and discovered it was a novel of AC's I hadn't read before! How exciting!!!! And it sounds AWESOME. I am so tempted to shove everything aside and just escape into it, but I won't. I can't :-( tooo busy. But as soon as I get around to reading it, I'll let you guys know if it is as amazing as it sounds.



Sam x

Friday, September 23, 2011

This Weeping Frost


Sarah is empty.

Hiding behind a smile, Sarah Lewis is a lonely party girl with a silent home life, absent parents and a well-guarded heart. With a less than extraordinary life, Sarah is shocked when a dark, mysterious stranger begins to haunt her world. And when his haunting footsteps kick up ghosts – memories of a girl who apparently does not exist – Sarah grows steadily more afraid. She may long for a life less ordinary but it is life nonetheless that she longs for… not Death.

But then… Death has never been so compelling before.


Cassius is Ankou.

A tortured soul, Cassius has only one friend - his savior and fellow Ankou, Anonna. Now Anonna is Fallen. Seeking vengeance for her death, Cassius begins to haunt Sarah’s life, hoping to use her to lure in his enemy, the one he blames for Anonna’s Fall. But as he creeps deeper inside Sarah’s world Cassius grows steadily more afraid. He may long for vengeance but not if it means tempting his frosted heart to love.

But then… Love has never been so compelling to Death before.

This Weeping Frost is the sequel to Drip Drop Teardrop, a Novella.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Scottish-American

I can’t believe how quickly the past few months have flown in and that Smokeless Fire will be available to buy in 30 days, and that the blog tour kicks off in 27 days’ time.  I am loving the world of the Fire Spirits. For this release I decided to go with US spelling for the novel which is a step I hadn’t been sure of taking in the past. When I first started out self-publishing I was fully aware of the spelling differences between the US and the UK but I had hoped it wouldn’t be a problem. For the most part it hasn’t been. However, I was completely unaware that the grammar is different. My editor pointed it out and I’m like ‘uhhhh what now?’ There’s nothing I can do about the grammar unfortunately. It might sound lazy, it might sound reasonable, but I really don’t want to have to relearn written English language skills :-p
Spelling is a different matter.
The UK spelling in The Tale of Lunarmorte I never saw as a problem because I never specifically state where the pack are located (this was intentional btw – I wanted my audience to feel as if the pack could be living anywhere, in the same town as the reader etc). Again with Slumber the UK spelling is a non-issue because it’s set in the fantasy world of Phaedra… like everything within that world I can spell anyway I please :-p
But I started to really think about the spelling when I wrote Warriors of Ankh. Part of the series is set in Michigan. US spelling or not?? I mused, I pondered, I… mused. In the end I decided against US spelling because the other half of the series was set in Edinburgh.
However.
Smokeless Fire (for the most part *she says secretively*) is set in Ohio. As I was writing it, discussing counties, food chains, trees native to OH (and now you’re like ‘uhhh what now?’ too), I said to myself (and others) can I really use UK spelling? My decision was nope. So Smokeless Fire is written with US spelling and although the grammar is UK (sorry!) I hope this will mean a smoother read for my US readers since you do make up the vast majority of my readership J.  These are all the things I didn’t think about when I first started out self-pubbing. Surely it would be easier if I just based all my books in the UK? It might. But we don’t have the same easy flow to our dialogue, or fifty wonderful states to play with, or the genius insults (douchebag, tool and asshat – I can’t get through a day without saying one of those [through my characters or at people on the TV, I’m not abusing people I know :-p]) and I guess after living with and befriending a number of Americans at university, as well as admitting an addiction to US drama/teen drama and comedy, I picked up an awful lot of ‘American’ habits and a certain way of speaking (I drive one particular relative crazy because I say awesome all the time. I even called my mobile my cell a few days ago – the horror!).  Moreover, I don’t know what it is - whether it’s film or books - there is a grim, raw quality to British media, and don’t get me wrong I’m a huge fan of British film and literature, but not for my own writing. I like to be dark and sinister in my novels but I also enjoy the openness and the light that an American ‘accent’ brings to my books.
But most importantly, as I say, the biggest target audience for my books is American readers.

Anyhoo… after all that gabbing (about spelling of all things :-s) here’s a vlog post I put on the Fire Spirits blog showing off the swag that is up for grabs on the Smokeless Fire blog tour.






Sam x

Saturday, September 17, 2011

40K Sales Celebratory Giveaway!

Phew! Guys... it's been a wondrous three and a half months. In that time I've sold over 37500 copies of my novels and have sold over 40000 since I first published at the end of February. To celebrate  hitting the 40K mark I'm hosting a two month long giveaway for one winner to win a signed copy of Smokeless Fire, Slumber and Drip Drop Teardrop a Novella. Two runners up will win a paperback copy of Smokeless Fire sent directly to them via amazon.

Just head on over to the current giveaways page to check out the details. Just to be different, I'll not be using random.org to select the winners. I'm going old skool and will be picking winners out of  a 'hat' on a vlog post.

A huge massive thanks to everyone who has downloaded one of my books, to all my fantastic readers and to the very wise and wonderful book bloggers who helped take Moon Spell out of obscurity and into the bestseller lists on amazon.
Love you all.


Sam x

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Smokeless Fire Teaser #2 & #3

Smokeless Fire (a Fire Spirits novel)

Teaser 2...

"The Brotherhood were strange to say the least. They stood clustered together, ten Moroccan men from the city of Méknes, dusty and rumpled in their plain shirts and slacks. Somehow Ari had been expecting hooded robes and sinister moustaches. "


Teaser 3...

"A strong arm came around her shoulder and Ari was folded against Charlie’s warm chest. She breathed him in, clutching a hand to his Nine Inch Nails t-shirt. He smelled like lemons and damp soil and fresh musky sweat.  She wanted to curl up inside him and never let go."




Not long now guys. And if you check out the blog http://firespiritsnovels.blogspot.com/ and click on the Smokeless Fire Blog Tour page you'll see I've made some changes to the mega giveaway that will be hosted on the final day of the tour. Now one winner will have the chance to win a signed copy of Smokeless Fire, Swag, a signed copy of the entire Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy, and four of my top YA picks for this Fall sent directly to them by me from amazon - Half-Blood by Jennifer L Armentrout, A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies, The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton and Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon. It's a blog tour and giveaway you don't want to miss!


Sam x

Sunday, September 11, 2011

IMM - Choked with the Cold Edition

Hi guys, I bought some goodies this week. Check them out in the vlog and please forgive my yucky cold, inability to complete sentences (When I say on the opposite spectrum I mean on the opposite END of the spectrum) and my general blahness. Got some good books though...





Kindle Books


Angelfall by Susan Eee
















Heroes Til Curfew (Talent Chronicles #2) by Susan Bischoff


















Book Pile

Abandon by Meg Cabot

The Cursed Ones by Nancy Holder & Debbie Vigue

Heist Society by Ally Carter

After Obsession by Carrie Jones & Steven E. Wedel

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Fury by Elizabeth Miles




Hope you guys got lots of goodies too.


Sam x


My thoughts are with everyone who lost someone ten years ago today. xxx

Friday, September 09, 2011

Set Fire to the Rain

Everytime I hear this song I think of Ari and her trials in Smokeless Fire! It's officially the song for Fire Spirits :-)














Sam x

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Lunarmorte - the 'Official' Blog

Hey folks

I've been getting so much love over the last few weeks from fans about The Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy, and I've been getting all excited about the spin-off series for next year, that I decided it was high time that the world of Lunarmorte got its own blog. So if you click on the page Tale of Lunarmorte it will redirect you to the blog address below where you can discover all you'll ever need to know about the Lunarmorte universe.


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Smokeless Fire Book Trailer

Hi guys!

Check out the book trailer for my upcoming novel, Smokeless Fire, the first novel in my brand new YA Paranormal series Fire Spirits...







Hope you like :-)

Sam x

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

The Iron King

The Iron King (Iron Fey #1)
By Julie Kagawa

amazon - paperback £4.12

Book Description (taken from goodreads)

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.



My Review
**********Outstanding Read!

WOW.

Amazing.

What a stunningly imaginative world Julie Kagawa has created in The Iron King, the first of the Iron Fey series. Kagawa’s vivid descriptions and inventive fey creations make The Iron King the winner of its genre. With her attention to detail and vibrant and evocative prose, Julie Kagawa takes her place among the greats of fantasy writing  - her writing is reminiscent of classics such as Alice in Wonderland and moderns such as The Mortal Instruments.

I was completely swept up in the world of the fey, at once enchanted and terrified by the mercurial creatures and the realms they live in. Reeled in and hooked by the genuinely creepy and sinister beginning, I traversed The Iron King with awe, intrigued and utterly content to be there. The plot is unique and gripping, full of suspense, action and romance.

As far as characterisation goes… awesome. Meghan, the heroine, has the most character development. She was likeable from the get go, snarky and fun with those she was comfortable around and yet brimming with all the insecurities many teen girls possess. Despite her fear of the fey she dives into their world to save her little brother and it’s over the course of her journey that she gains the strength and confidence to match her bravery. The heroes of The Iron King, Puck and Ash, were fantastic. Puck was funny and mischievous and adorably cute, his loyalty to Meghan endearing and kind of hot. Speaking of hot. Hello Ash of the burning ice. Yum. Ash was the ultimate bad boy and I can’t wait to see where his character goes over the course of the other novels. My favourite secondary character has to be Grimalkin, who reminds me of the Cheshire Cat. He says and acts exactly how you imagine a cat would if he could talk. Arrogant, witty and occasionally just a little bit nice.
The iron fey characters were particularly distinct and ingenious. I loved the charming and cute pack rats and the terrifying Ironhorse and Iron King. Kagawa describes these characters so well I could see them crystal clear before me.

As you can tell from this review I was amazed by The Iron King and cannot believe it has taken me this long to read this novel. It is definitely the most captivating and beguiling novel I’ve read in a long time, and I’m now a HUGE fan of Julie Kagawa. I think she’s awesomesauce.

The Iron King gets my rarely given…

Ten Explosive Stars!





Sam x

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Slumber only $0.99!

Hey guys, I've reduced Slumber (Chronicles of the Fade #1) to $0.99 on amazon.com  and £0.86 on amazon.co.uk.

It's a fairly lengthy and epic romantic adventure so grab now while you can! The offer is for a limited time only.




Sam x

Almost Too Amusing to be True

The following story is complete truth. I kid you not.

Well I had another AMAZING month in sales for August and my mum and I were sitting discussing it last night; you know, how fantastic it is that I get to do something I really love and get paid pretty good money for it etc. Now, we've not been the luckiest family in the world and I haven't been the luckiest person and this just seems like such a dream. So... I've never actually uttered the words 'I am really lucky' before.

And after last night, I never will again.

Here's how it went...

Mum: I was thinking about it, Sam, and you are so lucky."
I nodded. "I am really luckyyy ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

The above was my screaming, my eyes rolling back in my head as I fought hard not to pass out - and nearly losing a few times. I then went into shock which scared the bejesus out of my mum (remember if you ever go into shock get lots of blankets and keep warm). You see... I hadn't even got the last syllable of lucky out of my mouth when my laptop slid from my hands and smashed onto my foot. I'm now laid up with what we suspect is a fractured big toe (I fractured my other big toe a few years back and it feels and looks exactly the same way  :-s). So yeah... I know I am truly blessed to be writing full time but I am never uttering those words out loud again!

On the plus side I can't do much so I can probably get a lot of writing done with my extremely heavy and violent laptop. Ahh my laptop. I loved it... but I just can't look at it the same way now...



Sam x

Friday, September 02, 2011

Smokeless Fire Teaser #1

Hey guys,

I'm going to try and put a teaser up for Smokeless Fire every couple of weeks, so here's the first one...

Smokeless Fire (a Fire Spirits novel)

Teaser


"He nodded. “There are many kinds. With many talents.”
“Good or evil?”
If it was possible his dark eyes seemed to grow even blacker. “Why are humans so obsessed with that distinction?”
Ari snorted. “Because we like to know what we’re dealing with.”
“Good people have been known to do evil things, child.”
She sucked in a deep breath, her nerves twanging as she found the courage to ask, “Are you a good person?”
The soft tap of his fingers against the glass arm of the throne made Ari jump and she watched his face twitch at her reaction. She cursed herself for revealing how much he unnerved her. “I am not a person. I am Jinn.”







Sam x

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Grounding Quinn

Finally! I got around to reading an indie for recommendation :-)
This week I'm recommending a contemporary indie that's kind of a crossover YA due to the adult content in the novel (there is some adult language and situations).

Great read...

Grounding Quinn
by Stephanie Campbell

amazon kindle - £2.14

Book Description - taken from Goodreads

Eighteen-year-old Quinn MacPherson's biggest fear has always been turning out like her mentally unstable mother. (Solving algebraic equations comes in as a close second.)

That is, until she meets Benjamin Shaw.

Quinn thinks hooking up with Ben over summer vacation will be nothing more than a quick fling. She can't even commit to a nail polish choice, much less some guy.
Unfortunately for her, Ben is not just some guy. Ben gets her- the real her, flaws and all- and that scares the hell out of her.

When Ben does the unthinkable- tells Quinn he's in love with her- she does what comes naturally. She pushes him away. Ben can only watch from a distance as Quinn lashes out, and punishes him for daring to care about her.

But how far can you push someone, even someone who loves you, before they are gone for good?


My Review
*****Fantastic Read

Wow. This novel was definitely a surprise. A great surprise. Perhaps more of a crossover YA/Adult novel than straight up YA contemporary, Grounding Quinn is a brilliantly written, hard-edged coming-of-age romance.

The eighteen year old titled heroine, Quinn, is a wonderfully drawn character. Her voice is snarky with arsenic-laced wit and yet there is a beautiful vulnerability to her and undeniable likeability, despite her varied flaws. But perhaps THAT is what is so beautiful about Quinn.
The romance between her and Ben is authentic and sweet and extremely electric, and I also loved Ben’s POV. He’s such a loyal and passionate character and the complete opposite of Quinn, which was exactly what she needed. Although the romance is a huge part of the story the real story is how the romance helps Quinn deal with the emotional issues she suffers due to her dysfunctional family. She’s not an easy character. She makes some terrible mistakes but throughout it all Campbell does a fantastic job of letting the reader in on the reasons behind Quinn’s errors in judgement, so much so that I could never truly blame her and was utterly sympathetic to her character.

Quinn’s voice is at once laugh-out-loud funny with her quick quips and faux confidence and at the other end of the spectrum she is somehow heartbreaking. I found Grounding Quinn an extremely easy read with its smooth prose, well-written romance and three dimensional characters. It was also a surprisingly emotional read for me and I was amazed by how much Stephanie Campbell’s writing touched me.

Fantastic book. I’ll be keeping a lookout for more work from this great author.

Five Massive Stars!




Sam x