Archive for March, 2018


Hey all, I’m taking part in Authoright’s Spring Reading Week this year. I’m lucky enough to get to both host the guest post here and to do a review of the first novel in this series, Devil’s Demise. That’ll be up later today. For now though here’s the author, Lee Cockburn. Enjoy!

Character development between books.

At the beginning I carefully chose the two main characters to feature in the novel Devil‘s Demise, they are Taylor Nicks and Marcus Black, I chose names that I like, ones I thought were pretty cool, names I would like for myself if I could choose, male or female.

I then thought about what they would be like, as people, their good points and their bad, Taylor striking to look at, intelligent, committed to work, but very flighty in her private life, unintentionally hurting others as she fails to commit to them, the explanation for this will come in the third book which will hopefully be out this year.  Marcus is a very handsome, kind, caring individual, clean cut, faithful, hard working, and loyal, everything a man could be, committed to his wife and son, and works very hard to provide for them, he’s intelligent and enjoys his work, and the team he works within.

These two main characters are featured heavily through all three novels, the books cover their working relationships and their private lives, the emotional turmoil of the harrowing incidents they deal with week in and week out.  The second book Porcelain Flesh of Innocents covers one of the most terrifying situations a parent will ever face, DC Marcus Black’s son is snatched from just outside their home, only being left for a moment.  The rollercoaster of fear and terror, their heartaches as the team work to try and get him back before it is too late.  Both novels delve deeply into their personal lives, as other characters dip in and out of the storyline and add to the ups and downs the main characters are involved in.

I like the freedom of writing you can and add and takeaway characters as and when required, new love interests for Taylor, their emotional problems, their personalities, their draw towards the main characters, especially Taylor, she tends to lure people into her life and then shuts the door as they get too close, when she deeply wants to change, to be different, but hasn’t managed, yet.

Taylor and Marcus are good friends as well as colleagues and share a relationship that many would crave to have, they are able to tell the truth to one an other, whether it will be liked or not, they have each others backs and are fiercely loyal to one another, and share a mutual respect, but don’t always see eye to eye, as their private lives differ greatly in the spectrum of life.

The main storyline will always change, along with the villain, so to speak, other characters will come and go, and others will feature throughout all three books, their part to play always simmering just below the surface, their presence almost as important as the main characters, with the depth of the parts they play, so the reader will also wonder about what will happen to them too.

I don’t know if I’ve really explained how all the characters roles develop, it just happens, when you are writing the story moves in varying directions and the characters just fold into the mix and their importance in the grand scheme of things, is just like a piece in a jigsaw, it can’t be completed without every little bit, some a piece of sky, the same as many others and non descript and the others a face, or special feature, but all required to complete the task.

Hopefully if and when the reader finishes the novels, they will be satisfied the way the story has kept the characters parts running, explaining what is going on in their lives and leaving them wanting the characters to do the right thing and wanting things to work out for them, and of course, wanting more.

 

Devils Demise cover

Devil’s Demise

A cruel and sinister killer is targeting Edinburgh’s most powerful women, his twisted sense of superiority driving him to satisfy his depraved sexual appetite. He revels in the pain and suffering he inflicts on his unsuspecting victims but a twist of fate and an overwhelming will to survive by one victim ruins his plans for a reign of terror. His tormented prey will need all her courage if she is to survive the hunt.

Purchase from Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Devils-Demise-Lee-Cockburn-ebook/dp/B00OKQB900/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1509620984&sr=1-2&keywords=lee+cockburn

Lee Cockburn Photo

About Lee Cockburn

Lee Cockburn has worked for Police Scotland for sixteen years including as a police sergeant in Edinburgh for seven years and also as a public order officer. Before joining the force, she played for Scotland Women’s rugby team for fifteen years, earning over eighty caps for the Scottish ladies and British Lionesses teams. She also swam competitively for twelve years, successfully representing Edinburgh at the age of fifteen in the youth Olympics in Denmark in 1984. Lee lives in Edinburgh with her civil partner Emily and their two young sons Jamie and Harry. Her first book Devil’s Demise was published by Clink Street Publishing November 2014.

Follow Lee Cockburn on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lee_leecockburn

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House Keeping 3/27/18

I’m slipping badly, aren’t I?

I’m trying, promise. It’s gotten way too easy to just not. Way too easy. And I hate that because I have swarms of ideas right until I sit down to write them. Then nothing, I can’t even write fragments. I also hate writing stuff like this because it feels too much like self pity.

So I’m going to have to figure a way to push through that.

The good news is, I’ve got another guest post coming up towards the end of the week. I really enjoyed reading it and I think you all will too.

There’s also still four days to enter the Second Star Books lifetime subscription giveaway. That’s one brand new novel from a new YA author, an additional book with a similar theme, a full sized 8oz candle specially made for the box, and extra goodies each month for the rest of your life. You can enter here. I’m definitely looking forward to checking out their boxes when they start running.

That kind of brings me to the end of it this week. I’m going to try and get back into the groove of things with reviews. The next few might be a little on the short side as a result. My comic shop went ahead and signed me up for the Ghostbusters: Crossing Over mini series. I actually picked up the first issue of that when I picked up issue four of What Dreams May Come, so I’ll do a review of that when I get the chance.

And anyway, if you like what I’m doing here feel free to leave a comment or a like, ask me questions if you want. Or if you really dig what I’m doing, you can support my caffeine addiction and buy me a ko-fi. That’s it for now. Enjoy!

Hi every one. You may remember last year, I reviewed the previous book in this series, Project Pandora. It left room for follow up books, so here’s the cover for the next Assassin Fall novel. Enjoy!

Project Prometheus Cover Reveal

The Academy stole everything from Hades, their perfect assassin. Angry and leaving bodies in his wake, he finds two other ex-assassins doing the exact same thing.

Tyler and Shannon once killed for The Academy. Now they’re tracking and hunting down its scientists. So why is The Academy only after Hades?

Shannon will do whatever it takes to protect Tyler, even if it means teaming up with a former rival. While she seeks answers to her past, Tyler wants to learn the truth about the mysterious white room, which no one has ever seen except him.

As for Hades? He simply wants revenge.

They all need answers, even if it means returning to the organization where it all started.

ProjectPrometheus cover

Want to read more? Pre-order your copy of Project Prometheus by Aden Polydoros today!

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo

Aden Polydoros

About Aden Polydoros:

Aden Polydoros grew up in Long Grove, Illinois, the youngest of three children. Aden’s family moved to Arizona when he was in second grade. As a kid, he spent much of his time exploring the desert near his home. When he wasn’t searching for snakes and lizards, he was raiding the bookshelves of the local library. As a teenager, Aden decided that he wanted to be a writer. He spent his free time writing short stories. He was encouraged by his English teacher to try his hand at writing a novel, which inspired him to begin PROJECT PANDORA. The YA thriller is set for publication with Entangled Publishing in Summer of 2017. He is represented by Mallory Brown of Triada US.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Entangled Publishing

Alright, I’ve got a guest post for you today as part of the Coming Darkness blog tour. It’s about world building, which is always an awesome topic. Again, this is one of the early posts in a blog tour, check out the other stops on the tour. And, as always, enjoy!

Coming Darkness Banner

I think world building is the best part of writing. Molding a world to fit a story is both creative, and challenging. The best way I know to talk about world building is to give you a little insight as to how I went about building the world in Coming Darkness.

When I started writing Coming Darkness, I was new to writing and still feeling my way around. I gave zero thought to world building, didn’t even know it existed! I was busy thinking about the characters and what they were doing and how they were feeling. I had plans to include supernatural beings, like vampires and angels, but I didn’t plan beyond that.

It wasn’t until I began to get deeper into the story that I started questioning the nature of those beings. I was unaware that those questions were my first steps into world building. Before then, I had been following pretty standard rules of paranormal fantasy. Vampires are undead. Werewolves are ruled by a male alpha. And so on. But I was finding that I wasn’t satisfied.

For instance, I wanted my vampires to have their own characteristics. I loved what Anne Rice created with The Vampire Chronicles. I also loved what White Wolf created with The Masquerade and what J. R. Ward created with The Black Dagger Brotherhood. So along those lines, I started thinking about specific characteristics and abilities my vampires could have. I wanted them to be an old, primal species—pre-human civilization. And that lead me to the idea of the elements fire, earth, air, and water.  I separated my vampires into clans and the abilities of each clan fell into symbolic sync with the elemental name. Clan Earth can fast travel through earth. They have mastery over the body, and the ability to shape shift. Clan Air can fast travel through shadows. They have mastery over what senses perceive, and the ability to produce powerful pheromones that can beguile and seduce. Clan Water can fast travel through water. They have mastery over the mind, and the ability to charm. All the clans are descended from the first vampire clan: Clan Fire. They had red skin, all of the abilities of the other three clans, and the ability to walk in the sun.

The werewolves were re-imagined next. I was going to include them in the story for balance, but I was doing it reluctantly. I’ve never liked werewolves because of the hyper-masculine alpha pack leaders. So you can imagine how delighted I was when my werewolves presented themselves with a matriarchal social structure! Wonderful! They have alphas, but the matriarchs are stronger and could defeat one easily. I think I can thank hyenas for giving me the subliminal inspiration for that.

In all, I was happy with the beings I adapted, but I needed to tie them together. To be specific, I needed to tie their existence together because of the angels. What I was chafing at was a world where gods, angels, vampires, werewolves, etc. existed without a reason for them all to exist together. I needed to be able to explain not only how they came to be, but also how they shared existence on the planet.

Enter The Purge: The angels were sent to earth to clear it of Darkness and pave the way for humans. Creatures that posed the most threat to human life were killed off. Others, knowing they would soon succumb to forced extinction, used all of their magical and biological skill to live on in the form of hybrids. So all vampires, werewolves, etc. are human-other hybrids. Humans became the dominant life forms and the angels allowed the hybrids to live (for reasons) only if they kept their populations low and did not interfere with human development.

Probably the last big thing I did was change standard vampiric nature. I could see no way that angels would allow anything “undead” to exist. If I created a world in which the angels cleared the earth of serious and unnatural dangers to humans, undead would have been wiped out as soon as they appeared. That goes for zombies, and ghouls as well. In my universe, there are no dead men walkin’!

I did other things as my world took shape, and I will say I found that world building was as integral to the story as the motivations and actions of the characters. As both framework and universe, it supports the characters as they sort out their challenges, as well as providing challenges themselves. I love stories with rich worlds supporting them, and I’m tickled beyond belief that I created a world that is already planting seeds of different stories within it. I can’t wait to explore and see what comes next!

Happy Reading!

Coming Darkness Cover

Coming Darkness

Archangel Lucifer lives a comfortable life of self-imposed exile with his vampire lover, Kai. When the other Archangels come to him with a problem — Heaven is gone and their Father is missing — he refuses to get involved because not only is it not his problem, but it’s probably some elaborate ruse they’ve cooked up to lure him back into the fold. When he’s personally attacked, he finds that he’s wrong on both counts. There are other powerful gods at work, gods who believe the current creation is flawed and must be destroyed.

Kai is thrown off balance when Lucifer disappears, and his life begins to spiral out of control. In the past, he never cared that he was looked down upon and called Lucifer’s pet. But with Lucifer absent, he’s left to navigate a world that doesn’t respect him. Since the only true currency is respect, he must gain it the only way his enemies will understand, through blood.

Purchase from Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D7MM5IM/

Coming Darkness - Author pic-cropped

Author Bio –

They say it’s never too late to find and pursue your passion. Turns out they’re right. Although Susan loved to read, she didn’t start writing until she was in her late 40’s. A stint in grad school helped her hone her craft, and now she happily spends her days making up stories and figuring out how best to emotionally (and sometimes physically) torture her characters.

Social Media Links –

Website  Facebook  Twitter  GoodReads  Creativia Author Page

Coming Darkness Blog Tour

I have been way behind on everything lately and should have had this up earlier. But my post for this blog tour goes up tomorrow and I figured that I should share where you can find where the other stops on the tour are. It’s going to be a week long tour, so there should be a ton of nifty posts available. So, check it out and enjoy!

Coming Darkness Full Banner

Alright all, we’re coming up on Authorite’s Spring Reads Week and I’m taking part. More importantly, a bunch of other bloggers are taking part. Given the sheer number of nifty books available for hosting, I’m expecting that this is going to be awesome. So, keep an eye out and enjoy!

Spring Reads 2018 schedule

House Keeping 3/21/18

So, that second review didn’t happen. I’m sorry about that. There were a couple of rough days at work and then I wound up having to get my car checked out. Fun times, fun times. But that’s mostly dealt with and the last bit I’ll be trying to get taken care of later this week.

That all said, I am going to be late with my review this week as well. I’m not nearly as prepared as I would like just at the moment. Working on it though.

Also, the fourth Answer the Call comic is set to come out this week, so barring anything going wrong I should have a review of that up sometime late this week too. It’s going into the final stretch so I’m really curious about what the big bad’s plan is and just what Holtzmann’s machine is meant to do, aside from scrambling eggs.

Aside from that, there’s still time to enter the Second Star Books lifetime subscription giveaway. You can find that here. If you missed my previous post about them, that’s here. I’m as excited about this as I was that book bundle, possibly more so.

And that’s that for this rather late house keeping post. I’m a bit out of sorts lately, but that’s manageable and I’m figuring out what to do about it. If you like what I’m doing here feel free to leave a comment or a like. If you really like what I’m doing here you can always feed my caffeine addiction and buy me a ko-fi. Either way, enjoy!

This one’s late. It’s late and I’m not particularly happy with it. Largely that comes from this being non-fiction and that not really being my cup of tea reviews wise. I broke my own rule and remembered why I had it. This one’s from the nice folks at First Second, here’s Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World. Enjoy!

Brazen cover

While I mostly enjoyed it, I am probably not the target audience for Penelope Bagieu’s Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World. That’s not a complaint. Brazen is a cool jumping off point for looking more into the women mentioned in it but, given that it is split into twenty-seven sections, there’s not a lot of deep going into any given story. It’s also a bit of a mixed bag on the women included. Several I understood completely, a few I didn’t quite get.

In large part, Brazen feels like it could be a really good source for a middle school history class to pull from. There’s enough information to catch interest in the women featured and enough to get started. I would have liked to have seen a bibliography or an index at the end. I feel like having the sources included could have made this even better in regards to finding out more.

The writing is simple and straight forward which works well with the short sections. The art has a nifty sketchy quality while also having a fair degree of detail. The overall effect is quite functional and makes for an enjoyable read.

That’s ultimately a big chunk of what decided it for me. I enjoyed reading Brazen and I know that a younger me would have enjoyed it more. Not citing her sources somewhere in the book does lose some points for me. So, I’m giving Brazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World a four out of five.

House Keeping 3/13/18

So, Spring Forward happened. Luckily my phone auto reset the clock for it. Unluckily I’d already set my alarm for an hour earlier than I usually do because my old phone was always a week or so behind. It was a great morning.

I can’t complain too much though. Hopefully the weather will get to where it is regularly warm enough that I can put my sage and basil out without killing either of them.

On to book related things though! It turns out that I messed up a little last week with my scheduling. There was a book that I’d meant to post but then wires got crossed and I got tired and fun stuff all around. But it means there’s going to be two reviews this week. One on Wednesday as standard and the other on either Friday or Saturday, depending on how work goes.

I’ve also got another reminder about that Second Star Books giveaway. I’m super excited for it and want to pass that excitement on to you all. So, here’s the link again.

And in other news, I am once again trying to work up some extra content for around here. Who knows if it’ll pan out, certainly not me, but for whatever reason I’m feeling really excited to try something these past few days. I don’t know what it is, but I want to see how far I can take it.

Then, of course, the standard stuff. If you like what I’m doing here you can leave a like or a comment. If you really like what I’m doing here, you can also help support my caffeine addiction and buy me a coffee. That’s it for now. Enjoy!

I mentioned this back during the house keeping post this week, but I wanted to go a little more in on it and on Second Star Books itself. Reiterating things a little to start, just in case anyone missed it.

Second Star Books Header

Second Star Books is opening shop come April and I figure it would be pretty cool to tell you all a little more about them. Each box contains a hard cover book from a debut YA author, that’s the focus of the box. Then there will also be a second book that is themed similarly to the first and an 8 oz. candle crafted to go with both books. Each box will also contain other related goodies.

I’m really excited by the idea of being introduced to a new author each month, especially given my tendency to lock into a set of authors and not really try anyone new. More than that, I dig that Second Star Books is going to donate a book for every box sold to kids in need. They will be working with both established literary charities and underprivileged schools. That’s something I definitely plan on throwing in behind Second Star for.

Really cool, right? This is where I tell you about the giveaway part. The folks behind Second Star Books are also super excited about the monthly box starting up and they want to share that with bookish types all over. Running until the box goes live on the first of April they have a giveaway, one lucky human will win a lifetime subscription to Second Star Books. That’s right, not a month free or an x month subscription free, but a lifetime subscription. If that sounds as awesome to you all as it does to me, I’ve got the link for you here.

Good luck!