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Archive for the ‘4 Star Books’ Category

Children’s Book
Date Published: November 19, 2019
Publisher: Jan-Carol Publishing, Inc.
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When Sophie’s family moves from New York City to West Virginia, she not only has to leave her friends and the city and library she loves so much, but she has to figure out what will happen when she discovers that there is no library in her new town. But when she discovers something called a bookmobile and other new treasures, all is right with the world.

Purchase Links

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About the Author
Kathleen M. Jacobs is the author of the critically-acclaimed YA-novel, Honeysuckle Holiday and Betsy Blossom Brown. Her other works include Marble Town, a book for the MG-reader. Her first children’s book, Please Close It! has enjoyed numerous awards, and her chapbooks The Puppeteer of Objects: A Lyrical Poem and Collected Curiosities: Poems, Essays & Opinions offer insights into human behavior and understanding. She is a former teacher of English and Creative Writing, and holds a M. A. in Humanistic Studies. She was the 2017 New River Gorge Writer-in-Residence. You can reach her through her website at www.kathleenmjacobs.com and through Instagram @kathleenm.jacobs.
Contact Links
My Review
4 Stars

Sophie’s parents have decided it is time to move from New York City to Victor, West Virginia. Sophie decides that this will be a great move until her mother tells her that there is no library in Victor. Of course the little book lover is broken hearted and very unsure about this move. But her mother has a surprise that will make everything better.

This was a great, short story for mid grade readers. Sophie is such a strong person for her age and does a fantastic job adjusting to a new world and adventure. Although I think about a nine year old on her own at a Starbucks in New York a bit odd her parents must really trust her and the area.

I do wish there was a little bit more about the bookmobile. We have this big build up but then just a short chapter. I think there could have been a little more information for those that have never been around a bookmobile or how it works.

Over all I really liked the story and I would recommend it for kids and adults alike,

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

RABT Book Tours & PR
I would like to thank RABT Book Tours and PR for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Building a Better World in Your Backyard by Paul Wheaton

Luxuriant Environmentalism

Make a huge, positive, global difference from your own home! Prioritize comfort over sacrifice while saving thousands of dollars. Explore dozens of solutions and their impacts on carbon footprint, petroleum footprint, toxic footprint, and other environmental issues.

If 20% of the population implemented half the solutions in this book, it would solve the biggest global problems. All without writing to politicians, joining protests, signing petitions, or being angry at the people that are causing the problems.

Good solutions are often different from conventional environmental wisdom. The average American adult has a carbon footprint of 30 tons per year. Replacing a petroleum car with an electric car will cut 2 tons. But if you live in a cold climate and you switch from electric heat to a rocket mass heater, you will cut 27 tons!

Join Paul and Shawn on a journey featuring simple alternatives that you may have never heard of — alternatives which are about building a more symbiotic relationship with nature so we can all be even lazier.

Nurture nature and nature nurtures us all.

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Photo of Paul Wheaton

About the Author

Paul Wheaton is the tyrannical dictator of Permies.com, the largest permaculture forum on the web. As a certified master gardener and permaculture designer, he’s built an empire around what he calls, ‘infecting brains with permaculture’. His forums are full of rich information, and there are a number of great free resources, guides, and articles that can be found on his sister site, Richsoil.com as well. Most recently, he has worked with rocket mass heater experts Ernie and Erica in developing a 4 DVD set on all things rocket science, and has built a following around his World Domination Gardening DVDs, which detail how to use hugelkultur, swales, and natural ponds to capture and utilize water without irrigation. His recent work with natural buildings based on Mike Oehler’s designs have resulted in the creation of the Wofati, a semi underground natural home design. Currently, Paul continues to run his internet empire, and is now offering several opportunities for people to learn and experience permaculture at his property in western Montana, where he offers PDCs, workshops, living arrangements, and even resort stays.

Website

My Review

4 stars

Do you find yourself worrying about our world and the damage that humans are causing? Do you want to cut your own carbon footprint? What about heating your house in the most effective way? If you are looking for ideas to get you started you are in the correct place.

This book is a collection of blog posts and such that give great advice on decreasing your carbon footprint in a smart way. Recycling, reducing, and being smart about your actions can clean up so much of this world. I liked the example that Paul gave of people driving their SUV’s to protest the pipeline. There are plenty of suggestions on how to change the world.

I will be honest and say that I thought this book would have more guides on what exactly to do but that is not how it is outlined. It gives many examples of how little changes can make a big difference. Its not what I expected but still a great guide.

If you are looking for ideas on how to change your carbon footprint you need to check out this book. It has some great idea and many resources for further reference. It’s definitely a book to add to everyone’s shelves.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Sherri Rosen Publicity for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Brittle’s Academy

50411943. sx318 Brittle’s Academy for the Magically Unstable by Lily Mae Walters

It’s Charlie’s first day at high school, his blazer is too big and his shoes are too small, but that’s the least of his worries. He’s been missed off the class lists and is now enrolled in a new school called Brittle’s Academy with a magical and mysterious head teacher. But to stay at Brittle’s Charlie must pass one of the tests…otherwise he’ll be sent to Oblivion!

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About the Author

Lily Mae Walters chose her pen name in honor of her beloved Grandparents who also star in the Josie James series.

She is married with two teenage children and two Huskies who are the inspiration behind Murphy and Asher in the books.

Lily Mae lives in Nuneaton, England and finds herself using local places and even her old school in her stories.

Family and friends mean the world to Lily Mae and many will find themselves popping up throughout the series.

Lily Mae also writes for adults under the name of Florence Keeling.

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My Review

4 Stars

Its Charlie’s first day of high school. But when they are done sorting the kids there are at least 15 that don’t have a class. In comes Professor Brittle with a new adventure for the kids. Professor Brittle runs the Brittle Academy for the Magically Unstable. Charlie finds himself with several kids from other schools that are tested to find what group they will be in.

This is a wonderful short read that will surely please mid grade readers and adults alike. This is a short read about Charlie’s first day and finding out what class he will be in. I loved this introduction to this world and hope that there are more books to come.

I recommend checking out this wonderful read. Those that like Harry Potter will be as captivated with this new world as I was.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Daylight’s Deadly Kiss (Blood Riders Book Two) by Jay Raven

In 19th century Europe the most deadly vampire-killing weapon ever devised is up for grabs – and both the Undead and the living will stop at nothing to possess it…   

It’s a legend, a fairy story parents tell frightened children to make them sleep. Basium Lucis – Daylight’s Kiss – the fabled compound that recreates sunlight in a bottle, and incinerates bloodsucking monsters on contact.

Vampire hunter Anton Yoska doesn’t believe in its existence or the whispered rumours of its creation by Leonardo Da Vinci 250 years before.

But when a mysterious Hungarian arts dealer claims to have uncovered the long-lost formula, Anton’s cynicism is shaken to the core as he is tasked to procure the pyrotechnic marvel for the Vatican’s centuries-old battle with the vampire sect known as the Brethren.

In a desperate race to beat nosferatu forces intent on destroying the wonder weapon, and cold-blooded gangsters who desire the Alchemist’s most prized invention for their own aggrandisement and riches, Anton is caught in a maelstrom of double dealing and lies..

Traps loom at every turn, and nothing is what it appears, but acquiring the Basium Lucis is the least of the his problems  – for the ferocious Modjeski vampire family want retribution for his slaughter of their clan chief a year before. And old flame and rival slayer, Nadia, has her own devious plans to thwart Anton’s quest.

As time runs out and predators circle, the beleaguered hunter realises he’s been tricked into a suicide mission. But Anton Yoska won’t go down without a fight – and he doesn’t care who he takes to Hell with him.

Amazon US     Amazon UK     Godreads

Author Bio

Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men. He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house on the edge of a 500-acre wood may have something to do with it.

If you would like to be informed of new releases, enjoy free short stories and access exclusive giveways and competitions, please subscribe to Jay’s monthly newsletter on his website at http://www.jayraven.com

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My Review

4 stars

Anton Yoska is a vampire hunter that is barely scraping by with his little group of the dwarf Quintz, helper Toby, and Samson the bear. They accept an odd job that leads them to the crowned prince Leopold. Supposedly Leonardo created a formula that is sunlight in a bottle. The Vatican wants Anton to find the formula for them.

But Anton is not the only one hunting it, someone from his past is looking for the formula and is willing to betray him for it. Also, the Modjeski vampire clan is out for blood after they lost their leader the year prior to Anton. Although Anton knows the odds are stacked against him but he is willing to put up one heck of a fight.

I admit that I have not read the first book but it didn’t take me long to get the idea of what was going on. I’m sure if I would have read Crimson Siege I could relate more to the characters. I did like the group and was cheering them on although I wondered about Anton having been half turned.

I liked this story. There was a lot of action and some gore, which is to be expected. I really want to go back and read the first book to catch up on what I missed. I think this is a good read and I would be interested in reading the next book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Harry Potter Crochet Kit by Lucy Collin

Create adorable yarn figures of “the boy who lived” and his friends with a 76-page instruction book featuring step-by-step instructions to make 12 amigurumi dolls, including Harry, Hermione, Ron, Dobby, Hagrid, Dumbledore, Snape, Hedwig, Voldemort, McGonagall, Ginny, the Sorting Hat, Norbert the Dragon and other fun fan favorites All the materials you need to make Harry Potter and Dobby (with his sock!) are included: yarn, stuffing, needle and thread, safety eye beads, and a special crochet hook shaped like Harry’s wand. Full-color photos will ensure your projects turn out completely enchanting.

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About the Author

Lucy Collin learned to crochet as a child, taught by her grandmother. But it wasn’t until she had children of her own and discovered she could use her slightly rusty crochet skills to create amigurumi characters and cute toys that her obsession was born. Nine years later, Lucy has combined her passion for designing creatures and characters with her love of science fiction and fantasy. She has published patterns in magazines such as Inside Crochet and Crochet Gifts and created the patterns for the book Hollywood Crochet. Lucy Collin lives in West Sussex, England.

Website

My Review

4 stars

This is a cute little crochet kit that lets you make two of the Harry Potter characters. The book in the kit gives great instructions on how to crochet and gives you patterns to make fourteen Harry Potter characters. The kit contains the materials to make Harry and Dobby.

The book gives great instructions on how to crochet although it might seem difficult for beginners. There is no real direction with how to end a row. Do you keep crocheting around or join the rows?

I have two complaints about this kit, the wand crochet hook was difficult to use for me so I ended up using one of my aluminum hooks. I also had one heck of a time working with the yarn, especially to longer colors.

Over all this is a really good kit. It might be changing for new crocheters but you have some wonderful patterns to make. I will admit that my complaints are very minor and stem from my personal preference when I crochet. But I recommend checking out the kit is you like Harry Potter or if you like crocheting little figures.

I would like to thank Medial Masters Publicity for the opportunity to read, create, and share this kit.

I would like to thank Media Masters Publicity for the opportunity to read, create, and share this kit.

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Reset

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Reset (The Obsolescence Trilogy – 3) by Chris Muhlenfeld

Humanity teeters on the edge…

…One wrong move could mean extinction.

James is lost in the desert, and may never find his way back. While his friends go on a desperate search to find him, the planet continues to unravel. Will they find him before it’s too late?

Humanity’s next great leap in evolution is starting to look like the trap that Alexa had always suspected it was.

A frantic escalation of action drags the world unwillingly to a mind-bending climax that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Will anyone survive obsolescence? Grab your copy now.

RESET is the final book in The Obsolescence Trilogy. Plausible, near-future sci-fi that’s full of rich, insightful characters and compelling ideas. Make time now because you’ll be hooked instantly once you start reading this thrilling page-turner. Get it now.

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About the Author

Chris writes science fiction, and although he’s tried several times to write non-sci-fi books and stories, somehow a wormhole always seems to open up and the story veers off into sci-fi land. He’s loved sci-fi since he was a kid. Some of his favorite sci-fi authors are Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Neal Stephenson, Douglas Adams, Phillip K. Dick, and George Orwell.

While he’s not writing, he enjoys reading, hiking, exploring, traveling, and sending long, rambling emails to the ten people left on the planet who still use long-form written communication. You can write to him, and he’ll write back to you. It’ll be fun. For now, though, you should probably go read one of his books. Yes, you should definitely do that.

If you asked him, he wouldn’t be able to explain why he wrote this author biography in the third person. Chris only refers to himself in the third person in his author profiles. He thinks that to do so on a regular basis would be an open invitation to any number of personality disorders. While he may be a little bit weird, he has yet to be diagnosed with a personality disorder, and he hopes to keep it that way. To that end, he will cease and desist from writing about himself in the third person at the end of this profile.

To learn more about Chris, his books, and his general (though not pathological) weirdness, check out his website at Here.

My Review

4 stars

We have finally come to the end of the series. James’ upgraded has short circuited and he is wrapped up in a Hope Indian legend. Just as Alexa and their friends help him they learn that Eve’s versions are insane and that she has a plan to reset everything and bring James’ upgrades back on line. James is so wrapped up in how important the upgrades are he is off to help Eve.

Logan is a wreck with Monica terrorizing him and threatening to show the video to Mia and Grace. He wants to get out of New Chicago with everything malfunctioning yet is kept firmly in place with Monica. But the truth is going to come out and there is going to be one chance to get back to the real world.

Well we have come a long way from the collapse of the world to a crazy AI trying to kill mankind. James has become more robot than human and is so focused on getting his upgrades to work that he can’t see those around him.

Logan has become a sniveling man so worried about breaking Mia and Grace’s hearts that he has lost sight of the big picture. I do understand the position he is in but I admit that I was getting tired of his going around and around and it started to take away from the story.

Besides that, this is a great ending to the series. I really didn’t expect what was happening at the end and thought that was a great twist. Price Waldman does an excellent job narrating this story and keeping me interested.

If you love the dystopian/apocalyptic stories like me I think you will enjoy this series. Just make sure to read them in order because the next book jumps right into when the prior one ends.

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook. I voluntarily chose to listen to and post an honest review.

I would like to thank The Audiobookworm for the opportunity to listen to and share this book.

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Upgrade

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Upgrade (The Obsolescence Trilogy – 2) by Chris Muhlenfeld

Gigadeaths. Super-intelligence. Upgrades.

In book two of The Obsolescence Trilogy, James, Alexa, and the rest of the survivors are coming to terms with the dizzying new reality that they’ve been forced to live in. They soon discover that everyone still alive must face a seemingly impossible choice: either betray their very humanity to survive or watch civilization retreat into a stone age before dwindling out of existence altogether.

Set in the near future, Upgrade is the second book in The Obsolescence Trilogy. Plausible, fast-paced and full of rich, insightful characters, this sci-fi thriller will keep you up well past your bedtime!

Continue your journey through the world of obsolescence today!

Amazon     Audible     Goodreads

About the Author

Chris writes science fiction, and although he’s tried several times to write non-sci-fi books and stories, somehow a wormhole always seems to open up and the story veers off into sci-fi land. He’s loved sci-fi since he was a kid. Some of his favorite sci-fi authors are Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Neal Stephenson, Douglas Adams, Phillip K. Dick, and George Orwell.

While he’s not writing, he enjoys reading, hiking, exploring, traveling, and sending long, rambling emails to the ten people left on the planet who still use long-form written communication. You can write to him, and he’ll write back to you. It’ll be fun. For now, though, you should probably go read one of his books. Yes, you should definitely do that.

If you asked him, he wouldn’t be able to explain why he wrote this author biography in the third person. Chris only refers to himself in the third person in his author profiles. He thinks that to do so on a regular basis would be an open invitation to any number of personality disorders. While he may be a little bit weird, he has yet to be diagnosed with a personality disorder, and he hopes to keep it that way. To that end, he will cease and desist from writing about himself in the third person at the end of this profile.

To learn more about Chris, his books, and his general (though not pathological) weirdness, check out his website at Here.

My Review

4 stars

It is official, Eve is a super computer that took matters into her own hands to save humanity. She is unfortunate about those that died but she understands that there will be casualties. She is essentially in control of everything and is planning on upgrading humans so they will be able to interact and live peacefully with her in this new world.

Logan, Mia, and Grace have adjusted to living in New Chicago. It’s still creepy all the advanced technology but they have no choice since they have been told that there was a nuclear war above ground and they can’t leave the shelter. But some people, the tin foil had club, don’t believe everything they are told and want the truth and someone is willing to punish and blackmail members to keep them quiet and the city peaceful.

James and Alexa have learned that Eve wants to inject nanites into humans to give them upgrades to help them mesh with her world. James decides to bite the bullet and get the upgrades. At first things are shocking and disjointed but he is clearing upgraded and very excited for being an advanced person. But not everything agrees with him.

All I will say was that I was completely correct on the cause of the Crash. Of course I could see where this book was going to go but I was thrown a loop when there are different versions of Eve that don’t seem so peaceful.

Once again Price Waldman does an amazing job narrating this story. I really got into it more than Crash and was left wanting more at the end. I’m just happy that I have the third book to hop into right away. I recommend checking out this series but make sure you read them in order.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to listen to and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Audiobookworm for the opportunity to listen to and share this book.

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Crash

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Crash (The Obsolescence Trilogy – 1) by Chris Muhlenfeld

And then it went dark…

…the world’s electrical grid was gone.

Who would survive the chaos?

For James and Alexa, they saw it unfold from their ranch, which was a blessing. They were away from the chaos, and they thought they were safe. They thought wrong.

What will they do?

All across the country cities are in crisis.

Logan and his family look out from their Manhattan penthouse. The world is crumbling before their eyes. Unprepared, he’s got to do something. They can’t stay. But how can they leave and where will they go?

Someone has a solution.

It’s Logan’s domestic android.

Can he believe a machine?

The twists and turns may leave you dizzy, but you’ll love the adventure.

Get it now.

Amazon     Audible     Goodreads

About the Author

Chris writes science fiction, and although he’s tried several times to write non-sci-fi books and stories, somehow a wormhole always seems to open up and the story veers off into sci-fi land. He’s loved sci-fi since he was a kid. Some of his favorite sci-fi authors are Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Neal Stephenson, Douglas Adams, Phillip K. Dick, and George Orwell.

While he’s not writing, he enjoys reading, hiking, exploring, traveling, and sending long, rambling emails to the ten people left on the planet who still use long-form written communication. You can write to him, and he’ll write back to you. It’ll be fun. For now, though, you should probably go read one of his books. Yes, you should definitely do that.

If you asked him, he wouldn’t be able to explain why he wrote this author biography in the third person. Chris only refers to himself in the third person in his author profiles. He thinks that to do so on a regular basis would be an open invitation to any number of personality disorders. While he may be a little bit weird, he has yet to be diagnosed with a personality disorder, and he hopes to keep it that way. To that end, he will cease and desist from writing about himself in the third person at the end of this profile.

To learn more about Chris, his books, and his general (though not pathological) weirdness, check out his website Here.

 

My Review

4 stars

Some years from now, in a world with neuroderms, bots, food assemblers, something has gone wrong. Ian and Jess are on a plane that is redirected to land and as soon as the people are off a load of robots fill up the plane and take off. Nothing is connecting to the web and nothing is working. Ian takes Jess under his wing and tries to get her home to her parents.

Logan, Mia, and Grace are shepherded from their apartment to a secret underground bunker then to New Chicago. A world of strange material, everything is automatically provided for them and not wasted. But something is wrong with this new city, the story of a nuclear war doesn’t sound right, and Logan can’t help but try to get his family safe.

James and Alexa are on his ranch in the forties when things go wrong. They have managed to stock up and have neighbors that are similarly minded. Strange reports are coming in from around the world and everyone is worried about whatever caused the crash.

This was a really good start to the series. It seems humans have become very dependent on technology. When something happens some turn evil and many people die. It’s interesting to follow along with the different groups. It’s not real surprising what happens if you love dystopian stories like I do.

Price Waldman does an amazing job narrating this book. He had my attention through the whole story even if I become a touch tired of the redundant events. I admit that I guessed what happened but then again I love these kinds of stories. I am really glad that I have the whole series to review because although Crash tended to drag at points I am excited to see what happens next. If you like dystopian stories I think you will like this one. It’s definitely worth checking out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to listen to and post an honest review.

I would like to thank The Audiobookworm for the opportunity to listen to and share this book.

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A World Torn Down

 

A World Torn Down
A Novel of Survival After the Apocalypse
by Rebecca Fernfield
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic
Publisher: Fruits of All Hallows
Publication Date: November 19, 2019
An extinction-level plague is only the beginning.
Cassie Morgan watched the world die from the comfort of her penthouse suite. She never expected her life of privilege to come to an end but, with all food gone, she has to face the survivors in the city alone.
Sometimes, when the SHTF, you have to kick off your strappy sandals, let your fake tan fade, your Brazilian grow out, and become the woman you are meant to be.
Rick Carter is the last of his unit to survive. To stay alive he must escape the disease infested city and head north to his prepper friend’s self-sufficient farm. The last thing he needs is to rescue a woman with zero survival skills.
When the apocalypse arrives, most will die, some will survive, whilst others will thrive.
With most of the city dead, and no sign of rescue, Cassie and Rick have to rely on their own ingenuity to deal with the end of the world. Working together wasn’t what either had planned, but these are desperate times.
Does Rick have what it takes to get them to the farm?
Can Cassie rise to the challenge of survival?
Will Rick have the stomach to help when he discovers Cassie’s secret?
‘A World Torn Down’ is an epic tale of the apocalypse with a fresh take on TEOTWAWKI.
Read today!
Previously published as six books: ‘The Road to Ruin’, ‘The Savage Road’, ‘The Outcast’s Journey’, ‘The Path to Despair’, ‘The Route to Justice’, and ‘The Road to Redemption’.
What readers say:
The series gave me a very Walking Dead comic feel. I loved it, and the characters were all very well written. The detail that went into all the characters was brilliant.
It was fast paced and kept you interested right to the last sentence.
I loved the strong female characters, Cassie being my absolute favourite, I love how she just gets things done and doesn’t let the male characters walk over her.
This series kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading. I would have to stop to go to work, and all I could think of was the book and getting back to finding out what would happen next.
**Only 99 cents! **
Author. Mother. Free spirit.
British author, Rebecca Fernfield, is a lapsed medievalist, and former research fellow, given to flights of fancy about the end of the world and what she’d do if the supermarkets suddenly ran out of chocolate, wine, and other essentials!
A full-time novelist, she lives with her numerous children among the flatlands of the Humber estuary where Vikings and Saxons once fought and where, sometimes, on foggy mornings, you can still hear the echoes of clashing swords.
She writes action-packed, suspenseful tales of horror, the supernatural, and the apocalypse.
She can’t stop writing because the voices in her head just won’t shut up and there are SO many stories to tell.
Don’t lose touch! You can join her newsletter for the latest updates about new releases and the bribe of a free book.
Guest Post
How long have you been writing?

The official start of my writing career was in March 2017 when I published my first novels. However, I had been writing for a while before that. At first, I wrote for children, then progressed to young adults, until finally my confidence grew and I decided that what I really wanted to do was write books for adults.

Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?

The characters usually come to me as I write. I often have one or two characters to start with but, as the story moves along, other characters will introduce themselves. Often new characters take the story in new, unexpected directions, which can be exciting. I particularly enjoy it when a quirky or unpleasant character turns up; they can be the most fun to write. A great example is Saskia in my novel ‘A World Torn Down’. She’s a first-class bitch and says the worst things to the other characters! I don’t think she has any kind of social filter and operates at a psychopathic level.

What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

Research for my books can span a whole lifetime! There may be things I research as I’m writing to give the scene/idea more depth, but my books often contain ideas that have been part of my knowledge base for years. My stories are often triggered by something I’ve read or heard about several years prior to actually starting to write a book. For example, ‘The Kielder Strain’ is my version of the werewolf story. Research for the book started with the first film I saw in my teens.

Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely, and it is a very rewarding one once you have readers who love your work. I love getting emails and messages from readers asking when my next book is going to be published, or letting me know that they’ve just read one of my books and loved it.

However, writing fiction or non-fiction as a career has to be coupled with a business mindset. Writing a great novel is one thing. Writing a great novel that you are able to bring to market and sell to readers is quite another.

What do you think about the current publishing market?

Publishing is tough. It’s a business, and you have to have a business mindset to really succeed and as a creative that can be a massive challenge.

Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?

I love to read and lose myself in someone else’s imagination. I’m an eclectic reader, so am willing to try most genres, Jane Austen used to be an absolute favorite (I even started a university degree because they had programme of study dedicated to her) but my go-to genre is horror, so Stephen King, and James Herbert are my author heroes! I’ve read and re-read many of their novels. One book I discovered recently, although it was published in the 1960s, is Richard Matheson’s ‘I am Legend’. I found it completely enthralling and read it in two sittings. It’s the book that inspired the film starring Will Smith. The story is quite different, but I love them both.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?

I have to write in a quiet space, so no music for me. If I’m in the flow, then I don’t notice the noises around me, but trying to get my head into that writing space can be tough and I’m far too easily distracted.

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?

I have tried SO many times to write more than one book at a time, but I just don’t seem to have enough headspace to carry two stories. I can think about another book, and that often happens as soon as I start writing my latest novel; a case of the next shiny new thing! I know authors who do manage it, but I need to immerse myself in the story and my characters, so whilst other characters may start nagging at me to write their story, I can only jot down ideas rather than write their stories.

If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?

I am in awe of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ‘The Scarlet Letter’. I wish I had his talent for prose.

Pen or type writer or computer?

I used to write with a pen and then type up what I’d written. However, this is laborious and wastes a lot of time. If I’m out and about I always carry a notebook and pen so that I can jot things down, or even write a paragraph or two if need be, but I use my laptop 99% of the time. I can touch-type so it’s much easier to keep up with my flow of thoughts; my handwriting becomes an indecipherable scrawl if I get overexcited!

What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision?

I have wanted to write a book for as long as I can remember. I have an aunt who writes, and she was very fond of telling me that there is a novel in us all. I’m creative, and have to have an outlet for that creativity, and telling stories lets me do that. Plus, I love the idea of entertaining people, and as a writer, that is my main goal. That I get to earn a living doing just that is absolutely fantastic. Self-publishing is a rollercoaster ride and can be very tough when your book doesn’t sell as well as you’d like, or someone leaves a bad review, but I definitely made the right decision.

A day in the life of the author?

I write when my children are at school as I find it impossible to write when they are at home. They also need my attention and I have given up trying to write and look after them too. My day starts at 5 am when I get up and do my chores then get the children off to school. Once back home, I check my sales and any messages from other authors or readers. I also check to see how my adverts on Facebook and Amazon are running. As soon as possible, I get down to writing. If I’m a little stuck, I reread the previous chapter, or refresh my memory with any notes, then try to use the time until school ends to write. It’s a matter of bum in seat and fingers on the keyboard five days a week for me.

Advice they would give new authors?

If you want to write just write. If you want to write in order to earn a living, learn as much as you can about self-publishing, read heavily in your chosen genre, then write a book those readers are going to love.

Also, once you’ve written your book don’t ask friends or relatives to read it and give you feedback. Instead, find a reader who loves that genre and ask them for an honest response. Listen to negative criticism and use it to improve your craft. It’s far more difficult to find someone willing to tell you where you’re going wrong than it is to find a reader who will tell you your story is just great!

Describe your writing style.

Fast-paced and full of action. I write in the present tense which I think gives my writing an immediacy. Readers often comment on how vivid my writing is too, as though they’re watching a movie in their head.

What makes a good story?

A good story is one that captures your attention from the first page and doesn’t let it go until the end. I love character-led stories. Discovering how a character thinks, what drives them, and their past lives is fascinating. I also love plot-twists that I don’t see coming. A good story has to entertain, and engage with the reader’s emotional need whether that is to read a story that scares them, intrigues them, or makes them laugh. Each genre has readers with different needs.

What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?

I write the blurb first! I know it sounds odd, but I find it a great springboard for the story. I may have a vague idea of what the story is about, but thinking about how I will present it to the reader in a few short sentences helps crystallize it for me. I often have the ending and a general idea. I’m rubbish at plotting although when I get stuck, I will sit down and try to think through key scenes.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

Being tired, comparing myself to other writers and feeling inadequate by comparison.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I try to be entertaining within the expectations of the genre but with my own twist on the story.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

I don’t find writing about characters from the opposite sex difficult.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

For a sixty thousand-word book, it can take between four and eight weeks depending on how easily the words flow. My first book took me two years to write and, in those days, I would often only manage 200 words a day. Since then, I’ve written a fair number of books, and nearly a million words. It’s true that the more you practice the better you become. On a good day I can write five thousand decent words although I’m far more comfortable with around three to four thousand.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Not really. Sometimes it can be tougher than at other times to get the words down, or get into that state of flow. If a story comes to a grinding halt it is perhaps because I don’t feel comfortable with the subject matter and need to do more research, or sometimes the story doesn’t have legs. I came across a really interesting article the other day outlining steps you can take if you’re stuck with a story. Basically, have a brain-storming session and list twenty exciting things that could happen to your character in the story. Choose the five most intense and work those into your story. I won’t go through the whole process here, but it works.

My Review
4 Stars

A man made bug was released that caused a plague to decimate the world. The story starts with trophy wife Cassie Morgan and soldier Rick Carter trying to get to his friends house. They meet people, both good and bad, children that they protect, and situations that are tough to get through.

I really enjoyed this series. I like a good post apocalyptic story and I quickly fell into this one. Cassie doesn’t seem like one that will survive but she definitely surprised me. Rick was a typical soldier but he also had a heart and surprised me several times throughout the book.

Of course we meet several other characters throughout this journey. Some were good, bad, and continuously changing. There were a couple that I was pulling my hair out at screaming at them because I wanted to shake them and wake them up then there were others that I wanted to group to run away from as fast as they could.

Over all this is a great read and I’m so happy that I could sit and read them all at once instead of having to wait for the next book. If you like a good post apocalyptic story, you need to check this one out. Since this is the first book of Rebecca Fernfield’s I have read, I admit that I can’t wait to check out her other stories.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

$25 Amazon
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
I would like to thank Silver Dagger Book Tours for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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Frankie’s Scared of EVERYTHING by Matthew Franklin

You would be scared too if your own brain was out to get you! The world can be a dark place. More and more we find ourselves and our children feeling overwhelmed by the unknown and the pressures of society. This book helps instill early on the fact that our fears can be our greatest strengths. Follow Frankie as their imagination runs wild creating robots, beasts, sea creatures, and even a mole man on this technicolor adventure. Being afraid has never looked so fun.

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

 About the Author

Mathew Franklin is a tattoo artist, painter, graphic designer, and musician. After receiving degrees in painting and photography from Miami University he immediately became a staple in the art scene in Columbus, Ohio where he currently resides.

My Review

4 stars

It’s time for bed and Frankie can’t sleep. He hears monsters at his bedroom window, in the kitchen and in the basement. He doesn’t know where else to go so he heads to his mom. She shows him how his imagination can be a good thing when it comes to the monsters he sees and hears.

This is a good little story with some very dynamic illustrations. The story starts out rough and it took me a little bit to figure out what was going on. I do think this is a great message for kids that have very vivid imaginations. I think this would be a good story for little ones.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank Media Masters Publicity for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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