Cruisin’ through books cause books make life worth living with Aly 8/22/2015 ARC edition!

The Lost Girl by R.L. Stine

Love, Love, Love this author!  This book was just as good as his Fear Street series, for me, that I grew up reading.  I remember begging my mom to buy me R.L. Stine books all the time when I was younger and these books never disappoint me.  I guess I will never out grow R.L. Stine and the Fear Street!  I am so glad he has started writing this series again for kids to enjoy in a another generation!  This book was so great I would reread it and buy it for my niece.  * I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*   5/5

Brain to Books Blog Tour Elizabeth Davies

Brain to Books Blog Tour

Fast Fact

Author: Elizabeth Davies
Genre: Paranormal romance
State of Grace from the Resurrection Series
Amazing Grace
Sanctifying Grace
The Spirit Guide
The Medium Path


ElizabethDaviesPhotoElizabeth Davies was born and raised in South Wales more years ago than she cares to remember. She lived in England for nearly two decades but returned to her roots when she felt the mountains of her youth calling to her, and hiking in her beloved Brecon Beacons is now one of the joys in her life. When she is not working as a full time secretary, Elizabeth loves spending time with her family, hates doing necessary chores, and tries to fit in writing whenever she can. She has published several books: the Resurrection trilogy, beginning with “State of Grace”, continuing with “Amazing Grace”, and ending with “Sanctifying Grace”, “The Spirit Guide and most recently – The Medium Path. She is currently working on another paranormal romance set in Wales.
She is also seriously addicted to chocolate.


Cover - State of Grace.Grace has a terminal brain tumour and will die in the next few months. Roman has an addiction to blood, and could possibly live forever.
Grace is twenty-seven years old. When they meet in the twelfth century Roman is several hundred years old.
And Grace has another problem – she’s from his future and neither of them believe it.

Interview with Elizabeth

  1. Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing?
Like nearly every author I read a lot. I devour books like a child eats sweets. But I didn’t even consider writing until I read Twilight. I enjoyed the series, I wanted my own vampire. So I made one up.
I work full time and have a family, so I fit in writing when I can.
  1. Is this your first book?
State of Grace was my first book, and I have written another four, with two more in the pipeline and more ideas that I can handle. I think I’ll be busy for a while!
  1. What genre do you enjoy writing the most and what is this book about?
I’ve only published paranormal romances, but I have plans for novels that are more general women’s fiction.
State of Grace is about a woman with a terminal brain tumour who is unpredictably projected into the past, where she discovers vampires do exist.
  1. How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
Grace is the name of the protagonist, and she was in a bit of a state – so it seemed apt.
  1. Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
I did the cover – and not particularly well. Having no money to spend on a cover designer, and not being able to source a pre-made that effectively linked the three books, I decided to have a go myself.
  1. If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
That’s a hard one to answer. I actually have no idea.
  1. When did you first consider yourself a writer?
    I’m not sure that I do consider myself a writer. I don’t make a living out of it, and I suppose I still think of myself as dabbling. I’m quite shy about it, and most people who know me personally don’t know that I’m an author.
  1. What does your writing process look like?
    I start off with a premise, a beginning and an end (and often a title), with no idea how I get from one to the other. I’m definitely a punster. I have tried plotting but the minute I start typing the plot goes out of the window and the characters decide what’s going to happen for themselves. I write early in the morning before I go to work when I’ve got the house to myself, and I sit curled in an armchair with my pjs on and a laptop balanced on my knee – I don’t think I’d know what to do if I had an office…
  1. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Doing exactly the same thing but hopefully be better at it. I don’t envisage earning enough to be able to give up my job, so I’ll still be fitting the writing in when I can.
  1. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors??
Keep writing, and don’t spend so much time marketing and promoting that all your energy goes into that and not your writing.
  1. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
Yes I do, read them, though not as much obsessively as I used to. I will go weeks or even months now without looking at how State of Grace, my first novel, is doing. I do check far more often with my latest book, though.
Less than favourable reviews are heartbreaking, especially when you think they may be unjustified. But as an author you have to let them go and I never respond to a review unless I’ve specifically asked that reader to review my book. Then I thank them for their time regardless of the review they write – it’s only polite, and it’s not their fault if they didn’t like my work.
  1. What is the most difficult thing about being an author?
Apart from the bad reviews??
Seriously, I find promoting and marketing to be the hardest and least favourite part of being an author. Sometimes I’m tempted to not do it, and just concentrate on writing, but I know I can’t do that!
  1. What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
The best thing they can do is to leave review, and if they have a blog or are on Twitter, then they can mention it, and help spread the word.
  1. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking of suitable names for the main characters. But reactions to names are very subjective, and what I might think reflects the essence of a character other people may have a different reaction. I don’t research the meaning, necessarily, though I might look it up later, just out of curiosity. Also many of my characters are people who really lived, and I’m stuck with their names. For instance, in my current manuscript, which features Joan, daughter of King John, there is a woman called Clemence, who is Joan’s mother. Someone did say this is a man’s name – which it is – but that was her real name, so I’m not going to take it away from her.
15 What is your best marketing tip?
I found I’ve had the best response from book recommendation sites, rather than Facebook or Twitter, but there are still many things I haven’t tried yet to generate interest in my work, so marketing is an on-going process.
16   What are you working on now? 
Another paranormal romance set in 13th century Britain. I do love history! It’s about a witch’s familiar, and hopefully isn’t as cutesy as it sounds. I’m aiming to publish in time for Hallowe’en.
17 What can we expect from you in the future?
I’ve got another paranormal romance or two up my sleeve, and I also have a few ideas for general woman’s

Interview with Grace:

You’re an intelligent woman – how come you didn’t realise straight away Roman is a vampire?
Seriously, would you? What’s reasonable in fiction, isn’t so reasonable in real life. If you read an article in a newspaper saying that some guy drinks blood, etc, your first thought would be that this guy is a nutter. Plus I was never into the supernatural stuff. I preferred science fiction, so my first instinct was to blame it on the tumour. Science. Fact. Not made-up stuff.
Yeah, about that. How did you feel when you were diagnosed?
At the time my diagnosis was more unreal than the vampire situation. It still is. I’m twenty-seven, for goodness sake! I can’t possibly be dying. And I feel so well – apart from the headaches.
Have you made any plans – you know, um, for the end?
Yes. No. Sort of. I’m selling the flat in London, tying up all the loose ends. I suppose I should be thankful I’ve got the time to do that, and the time to say goodbye to my family.
How are they dealing with it?
Not well, but I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. Hell – I’m not sure I believe it either! Sometimes Roman is more real to me than my tumour. I don’t want to talk about my family, it upsets me too much.
Okay, I understand. Tell me about Roman. What’s he like? Deep down.
He’s a vampire. That’s what he’s like. He’s not human – not really. Vampires are complex creatures, much more than the media usually gives them credit for. Yes, they are driven by their need for blood, but that’s only the same as the way humans are driven by their need for air and food. They don’t just lie around waiting for their next meal, the same way people don’t. They have lives to live – unimaginable lives.
What did you think when you first saw him?
That I was dreaming. For a long time I thought it was all in my head. I still do, if I’m honest. I know things I shouldn’t know, but I compare this to people waking from comas and being able to speak a foreign language. Things like that happen, right? So perhaps it’s happening to me. That’s a far more believable story than time-travel and vampires.
Well, when you put it like that…
Of course I’m putting it down to the havoc the tumour is wreaking in my brain. God knows what nerves it’s pressing on, and what electrical impulses it’s disrupting.
I’ve been wanting to ask you – what’s with the naked thing?
Arrrg, I was hoping you wouldn’t bring that up. I have no idea. It must be a subliminal fear of appearing naked in public, or something. It’s really annoying. I’m never naked in any other dreams.
Doesn’t that tell you there might be more to this whole situation? And there’s the fact that if you are injured in the past you bring that injury with you to the present day.
I can’t answer that. Psychosomatic, maybe? Like stigmata? The brain is a complex organ and science knows only a fraction of what it is capable of.
You made some, shall we say, reckless decisions whist at the castle.
I’m dreaming. It’s not real. How can they be reckless?
You came back injured. I’d call that reckless.
Okay – you dream you’re killing your mother-in-law. Do you honestly believe your dream is going to follow you when you wake up? No, of course you don’t. I didn’t either. I didn’t think anything was REAL. So it didn’t matter what I did when I was dreaming.
Yet the first couple of times you time-travelled you brought back injuries…?
Yes, I did. And I can’t explain them, and I tried to pretend they weren’t there. I was in denial.
It seems you may still be in denial.
Perhaps I am. I think if this was happening to you, you wouldn’t believe it either.
You’re probably right… Do you think it’ll happen again?
Who knows, but I hope so…

Buy the Books

Connect with Elizabeth

Twitter Handle @bethsbooks

Brain to Books Blog Tour Jason Greensides

Brain to Books Blog Tour

Fast Fact

Author: Jason Greensides
Genre: Contemporary
Books: The Distant Sound of Violence
Jason GreensidesJason Greensides has a degree in Video Production and Film Studies and has made several short films, two of which have been broadcast on television – but writing fiction is his real passion.
He’s interested in ‘outsider’ types, those operating on the fringes of society. This inspired him to write his first novel The Distant Sound of Violence. It’s about a group of kids, one in particular, Nathan Dawes, whose philosophical obsessions and criminal connections have all but made him an outcast at school.
Jason is now working on his second novel, another coming-of-age mystery, but on coffee breaks he blogs and tweets about the mysteries of writing and throws in the occasional book review.

Book blurb for The Distant Sound of Violence:

Do we ever escape the decisions we make when we’re fifteen?
finiNathan Dawes, the loser from school, an outsider, street philosopher and member of The Grove Runners gang, needs Ryan’s help to get Stephanie to fall for him. When Ryan’s lawnmower is stolen, Nathan sees this as his chance to enlist Ryan in his plan.
Although Ryan knows becoming friends with Nathan could lead to trouble, he reluctantly agrees to help.
Stephanie wants nothing to do with either of them. Besides, she’s more interested in the one guy in the world she really shouldn’t be.
As Nathan continues his pursuit of Stephanie, and Ryan becomes embroiled with The Grove Runners, soon events overtake them all, haunting their lives for years to come.
Part coming-of-age, part mystery story, The Distant Sound of Violence is a heart-breaking tale of bad decisions and love gone wrong. It’s about the choices we make that lead to violence, loss and tragedy.
A Video review by Author D.M Cain for The Distant Sound of Violence

An Amazon Review For The Distant Sound of Violence

A Great, Fast-Paced and Gripping Coming-of-age Tale ★★★★★
 Hooking you from the opening pages with its vivid characters and pacey narrative, this is a gripping tale of coming of age in early 90’s West London.
The story centers on fifteen year old orphan Ryan, an average kid trying to keep his head down until exams, while at the same time keeping his girlfriend and the conservative-minded aunt he lives with happy. His life is thrown off kilter, however, when he is hesitantly drawn into a friendship with Nathan Dawes, a fellow pupil whose oddball mentality, criminal connections and philosophical obsessions have made him a social pariah to anyone but the gang of petty crooks he consorts with.
Narrated by Ryan, with the wisdom of hindsight as he looks back on events spiralling beyond his control, it is easy to see how he becomes so easily pulled into Nathan’s circle; he’s a vibrant character with a hapless, lost charm that is as compelling to the reader as it is to Ryan. Nathan is in love with Stephanie, a girl far outside of his league, and he believes Ryan’s help is the only thing that can help him win her over and attain him the life he dreams of. Nathan’s longing is poignantly described and his earnestness and helplessness in this area resolves Ryan to his cause and us along with him.
The spectre of determinism looms over events as the characters navigate the trials of adolescence and Ryan and Nathan find themselves dealing with a heart-wrenching mystery that will haunt them into a no less turbulent adulthood.
A powerful sense of place and a sharp, nostalgic feel for time pervade the novel, and the supporting cast of characters are richly drawn – Stephanie in particular, who might have been a canvas upon which to project Nathan’s desires, is depicted with a depth and feeling that makes her at times the most relatable character. Her growth and the development of her relationship with Nathan provides another, moving aspect to an engaging, exciting and thought provoking read that I’d strongly recommend.

Excerpt from Chapter Two

I was late for school the next day because I couldn’t get out of bed at the thought of seeing Karen. When I did finally arrive for the first lesson of the day – maths – I was greeted by Nathan’s ridiculous grin. I immediately saw what he was smiling at: the seat next to his was the only one free. I scanned the class, searching for another chair, but they were all taken. So, nodding at Peter, who was still angry with me for missing football practice, and ignoring Karen and the raised eyebrows of Mr Harrington, I slumped into the seat next to Nathan’s.
As soon as Mr Harrington’s sweaty back was turned, I pulled out my note pad, ripped out a sheet of paper and scribbled, what happened after i left?
Nathan activated the red nib of his four-coloured pen and wrote back in capitals (he had this really annoying way of writing all his notes to me in capitals): MISSION ABORTED.
karen dumped me last night because she found out i was with you. she hates you, I wrote, tossing the paper back at him.
But as soon as Nathan began reading the note, I regretted what I’d written. I didn’t think he’d care either way, but his shoulders sagged down, he unhooked his left foot from his right knee and placed it back on the floor, began to rub his fat lower lip with his thumb, then gently folded up the note and stared down into his textbook.
This last act must have been particularly painful for him because he hated maths. The shape of the E Mr Harrington awarded him on every piece of homework reminded him of a rake slowly scrapping off precious cells from his brain; and when you turned the E ninety degrees clockwise, he would tell me, manically flapping his arms about, what did you get? M: M for maths. The ‘therefore’ symbol, that small triangle of dots, was like the laser targeting system the Predator used to hone in on his victims before he skinned them and ripped off their skulls. The square root symbol was like the meat hook from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; the pie sign like the wire speculum used to force Alex’s eyes open as they tortured him in A Clockwork Orange. So to bury his head in his textbook must have meant my note had hurt him.
(Although, I still wonder whether he was less concerned with his role in my break-up with Karen and more the fact of being hated by a girl, any girl, feeding into his insecurities about never having had a girlfriend and his hopeless relationship with the opposite sex in general.)
Shifting my gaze towards the back of Karen’s head, my thoughts pulled back to last night’s devastating phone call, I ripped out a fresh piece of paper from my note pad, began to write a letter asking her for a second chance, then changed my mind and screwed it up.
But the sound of the paper being crumpled cut through the silence of the class, drawing all heads in our direction and all eyes onto Nathan, the pupil everyone thought most likely to have caused the noise.
Mr Harrington strolled over to our table, inserted his hand into Nathan’s closed fist and extracted our note. He uncurled it and read it, his eyes flitting over our written crap. With a disappointed sigh, he finally placed the note back into Nathan’s hand, pointed at the two of us then over to the door.
Nathan closed his eyes and slowly shook his head, not in anger or outrage at some injustice he’d just suffered, but rather at the inevitability of the situation, as if the concept of determinism had finally been proven right.
I sank back into my seat, cringing at the disappointed looks I was getting from Karen and Peter.
‘Can’t we just discuss this?’ Nathan said.
I stood up.
‘Sure,’ Mr Harrington said, ‘come back here at three forty-five and we can discuss it in depth. But for now, could you and Ryan please leave the room.’
Nathan flushed, and for an instant he looked distraught. For the first time ever he actually seemed gutted about getting detention.   ‘Can’t we do this another day? I was going to get Ryan’s lawnmower back.’
Mr Harrington seemed confused by his remark, as if it were inconceivable that Nathan might have something to do after school that he actually cared about. ‘Well, you should have thought about that before you started sending notes. Now, go report to Mr Whitehead.’ His expression turned sour, daring Nathan to say another word.
For a moment it looked like Nathan was about to speak again. Instead, he stuffed his books into his rucksack and stood up. My legs buckled as we trudged through the desks towards the door, and I was way too embarrassed to look in either Peter or Karen’s direction.
Closing the door behind us, Nathan said, ‘I’m sorry about you and Karen, but she probably wasn’t right for you anyway.’
‘What would you know?’ I said a little too loudly, my voice echoing down the deserted corridor.
‘Probably not much. But before we go to Whitehead’s office, let me show you something.’
‘Uh, no.’
‘It won’t take long – we’re just going to the science department.’
‘Fuck off,’ I replied, quickening my pace. ‘I’m not getting chucked out of school for your bullshit. Fuck that.’ The thought of my aunt squinting at an expulsion letter made me feel sick.
Nathan caught up and walked along with me. His eyes now had a pathetic, pleading look in them, and he was breathless, his hands all jittery. ‘Just let me show you this one thing,’ he went on. ‘Tonight I’ll get your lawnmower back and you won’t have to hang around with me again.’ His eyes widened in hope.
This made me pause; it certainly didn’t sound like he was asking me to join him in the toilets for a crafty fag. Then I remembered where we were going – Whitehead’s office – and that I didn’t really want to go there either. Hearing the fight gone out of my voice, all I could think to say was, ‘That’s what you said yesterday.’
‘Yeah, I know, but this is important, if not the most important thing.’
‘OK, but I swear it had better be worth it.’
He didn’t give me the grin I had expected him to, instead, without another word, he took hold of my arm and marched us to the Science labs.
Standing to one side of the classroom door so that we couldn’t be seen, we peeked through the window at the class full of kids, stood over experiments involving petri dishes, Bunsen burners, glass tubes, and pipettes.
‘What I am supposed to be looking for?’ I said.
‘Over by the window near the cupboard, you see…?’
I pushed my face up against the glass and scanned the area he’d referred to.
‘Standing next to Taylor,’ he continued, trying to catch a peek over my shoulder. ‘You see her?’
‘Yes,’ I sighed, ‘I see her.’
Stephanie Redding was a high-achieving student who’d joined our school at the end of last term. She hadn’t made much of an impression on the boys, as she wasn’t one of the prettiest girls in our year. She was almost too thin for her height, with a chin a little too elongated, so at first glance I couldn’t understand why she got Nathan so excited. But as I continued to look, Nathan’s cinnamon breath hot in my ear, I could see that she had a head of rich dark brown hair, which, in the light from the window, gave it a radiant, velvety sheen, luscious hazel eyes, a pretty nose and clear white skin. But the thing that struck me most was that when she laughed you could see her front teeth were slightly angled inward, an unusual trait which made her look (and I know this makes no sense) exotic, European-looking. French.   I finally turned away from the door, moved out of sight and leaned against the wall.
Nathan didn’t have a chance.
‘That,’ he said, moving into the position I had just vacated, straightening the thin end of his tie dramatically, ‘is the girl I’m going to marry.’

Where to buy The Distant Sound of Violence

Amazon (on sale $99 from Wed 19th-Sun 23rd August):

Greensides’ Website and Social Media Links

(The Distant Sound of Violence on sale $99 from Wed 19th – Sun 23rd August)