*REVIEW* ~ Waking for Winter (Philadelphia Coven Chronicles #4), by Katherine McIntyre

#paranormal #romance #urbanfantasy

Blurb

The Philadelphia Coven has thwarted the Order of the Serpent’s every attempt to destroy their city only to draw out the scariest nightmare from the Otherworld, the Caoranach. One of the Coven’s own, Cami Akiyama, has already met this creature—the very monster who tortured her, branding her with a mark. Given Cami’s history with the big bad, the Coven leader assigns her a bodyguard, none other than the gorgeous and lethal necromancer, Dante Martinez, the ex-boyfriend she disappeared on years ago. One conversation confirms the spark between them never died, and based on the way Dante flirts, he won’t allow that flame to extinguish out without a fight.

No one has ever compared to Dante and the incendiary passion he inspired in her, but the Caoranach broke her—Cami’s too damaged for any sort of relationship. Not like that stops him. If anything, he fights harder for the memories of a love that kept her sane on the bleakest nights. And despite every effort to distance, she finds herself falling for him all over again. Except the Caoranach isn’t finished with her—the branded mark holds the secret to the city’s destruction or salvation, and Cami stands in the center of the storm.

My Review ~ 5 stars

Fast Paced and Passionate Second Chance Romance

Waking for Winter is a fast paced and passionate second chance romance. It contains one damaged Banshee who is not going down without a fight and a Necromancer who will give anything to keep her alive and make her his. It is the fourth and final instalment in the author’s Philadelphia Coven urban fantasy series which combines kick-ass scenes and heated encounters.

The Order of the Serpent has been the proverbial thorn in the side of the Coven, the organisation dedicated to prevent creatures from the Otherworld wreaking havoc and destruction on their city and humanity. The Order’s actions have drawn out the nightmare of the Caoranach, a creature intent on destroying the city. Cami has had the misfortune to have been held captive by this creature and bears both mental and physical scars, the latter in the form of the Caoranach’s mark. Cami is in an impossible situation – she is hell-bent on destroying her nemesis but fears the mark bestowed on her has formed an unwelcome bond with her enemy, enabling the creature to use her as a weapon against those whom she loves. Once Cami’s mark becomes known to the Coven, the necromancer Dante, whom Cami walked out on years ago is assigned to protect her.

Cami is a heroine whom I was rooting for from the off. She is so stong when the chips are down despite havng to cope with PTSD from her time in captivity. Her actions in the novel and in the past are motivated by protecting those whom she cares about and I admired how she put the welfare of others before her own, even if to do so risks her heart and soul. Dante, who we met earlier in the series, comes across as a bit of a man-whore, but we soon learn that this is just a front. Tasked with protecting Cami, the couple are forced into close proximity and the feelings they once had for each other soon resurface.

Yet Cami is adamant that she will not re-kindle their relationship and as the tale unfolds we learn her reasons for this. However, Dante is extremely persistent and as the danger increases so soes the passion! Brought together once again in the shadow of the death and destruction threated by the Caoranach will Cami and Dante reunite or even survive? I loved the story from beginning to the end.

Recommended for lovers of fast-paced and sexy urban fantasy.

Reviviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that a copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review. 

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   Amazon.com

Author Links

Website: http://www.katherine-mcintyre.com

Tumblr: http://www.booksteacoffee.tumblr.com

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kmcintyremt

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kmcintyreauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pixierants

*ARC REVIEW* ~ A Dragon’s Treasure, by Beverly Ovalle

#erotic #paranormal #dragons #shifter #romance

Blurb

Kai has been hunting for his mate for a very long time. Drawn to a singular place on earth, filled with treasures, he still seeks the greatest treasure of them all. His mate. Fleeing danger, Connie runs into the arms of destiny, but she has plans already, and a Dragon mate is not on the agenda. Kai has waited centuries for Connie, and he will claim his mate. Patience may not be a Dragon’s virtue, but he always gets his treasure. Sparks fly in this humorous erotic tale of mating and mayhem.

My Review ~ 5 stars

Fun and frolics in this sizzling dragon shifter read

A Dragon’s Treasure is a humorous and smoking hot read as Dragon shifter Kai attempts to persuade his reluctant mate to reconcile herself to the fact that she is his. He has been waiting centuries for her and now she has walked into his life he is not going to be put off by this small spitfire of a woman who calls herself Connie! He has plans a plenty for her and he will not be thwarted. I loved Kai’s visceral reaction on finally finding his mate and also how his friends wolf shifters Breccan and Maxwell in particular have fun at his expense as they can see that he is faced with a reluctant mate!

As for Connie she is on the run from a dangerous situation, escaping to her childhood friend Ellen and hoping to lie low for a while. She has her life pretty much planned out and it did not include falling for a hottie like Kai, let alone an uber controlling Dragon shifter – she is wary of the intensity of the feelings he invokes, not to mention the danger she is in from her predicament. However, you know what they say about the best made plans of mice and men…

Kai and Connie get off to a bad start and sparks fly between them as Kai tries to reign in his dominant side which does not go down with the strong willed and feisty Connie! I enjoyed  the fact that despite her instant attraction to Kai she is no pushover and loved witnessing their mating dance and their verbal sparring. There are a host of sizzling scenes and Kai is one lusty dragon! Kai will succeed in making Connie his for life and he will do all in his power to protect her from the danger she is in.

Fans of erotic romance will love this read especially if they like their heroines to get down and dirty with some hot blooded shifter types (and they don’t come much hotter than dragon shifters)!

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that an ARC of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Connect with the Author

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/BeverlyOvalleAuthor

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ovalleba

Website: http://ovalleba.wix.com/beverly-ovalle

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6982787.Beverly_Ovalle

 

 

 

*BLOG TOUR* ~ Mistress of the Air, by S. Nano (includes author post, extract and giveaway)

On Airships

Mistress Of The Air is a comic, Steampunk, erotic adventure. It features Edwardian dominatrix Lady Sally Rudston-Chichester and her airship, ‘The Corseted Domme’. Lady Sally travels across the Empires of Europe having adventures and dropping in on her aristocratic relatives for afternoon tea.

Lady Sally’s airship is a crucial part of the story. I love airships. I think it’s the absurdity of them that appeals to me. Really, you send something up into the sky powered by hundreds of cubic feet of explosive gas – it’s a disaster waiting to happen! But, having said that, airships are so cool and fun that you can see why the Steampunk genre has embraced them. They are also sexy. They are like giant phalluses in the sky, a feature I make use of in my book. They are a god-send to a writer of erotica wanting to have a bit of fun.

Lady Sally’s dirigible (I love that word!) is actually based on a real airship, the R100. Where I used to work (in the local archive) there was a collection of documents and photographs about the R100 which was built in the 1920s at an airship station in Howden in the East Riding of Yorkshire close to where I live. I used these as my inspiration for ‘The Corseted Domme’.

In fact, the descriptions of Lady Sally’s airship are pretty realistic. Duralumin was an aluminium alloy used in airship construction. The geodetic frame of ‘The Corseted Domme’ was a type of construction for airships and aircraft that using a form of spirally crossing basket weave to improve load bearings. Airships were vast, their living quarters designed for long distance travel.

The R100 and R101 were part of a programme to develop civil airships for long service routes. The R100 did a test flight taking it to Canada. The programme came to an ignominious end when the R101 crashed in France in 1930 on its maiden test flight.

What a shame! How exciting it would be to have a sky filled with airships like a Steampunk novel.

Of course, ‘The Corseted Domme’ is the largest and fastest dirigible ever to be built, reaching speeds of 120mph. And she needs that, because Lady Sally has a habit of upsetting people and getting into trouble so she has to make a few hurried escapes.

Be warned. Mistress Of The Air contains wild escapades, kinky BDSM, dastardly devices, explosions, nice cups of teas and the sleekest, sexiest airship on earth. I hope you’ll join Lady Sally for the ride!

Book Blurb

Mistress of the Air is a Comic, Steampunk, Erotic Adventure.

Lady Sally Rudston-Chichester owns a brass mine in Zanzibar, a Lapsang Souchong tea plantation in China, a rubber tree farm in Malaysia, trunk loads of corsetry, and the country’s largest collection of antique whips and floggers.

Larger than life, and itching to find new and inventive ways to punish her submissive gentlemen, the Edwardian dominatrix has a vision. Embracing the spirit of the new age of aviation, she embarks on a series of adventures on her own airship, The Corseted Domme, with her transvestite maid, Victoria, her airship pilot, Captain Wyndham, and her automaton sex toy, Borghild.

A select group of submissive gentlemen, consisting of a duke, bishop, lawyer and banker, is invited to join Lady Sally so she can try out her new dastardly devices and sex toys on them. She whips, spanks and punishes her way across the Empires of Europe, dropping off to visit her aristocratic relatives and friends for afternoon tea.

But Lady Sally’s journey is not uneventful. War is threatening to break out and the Ministry of Aviation want to commandeer her airship for the war effort. And when The Corseted Domme has a crash landing, Lady Sally realises there is a stowaway on board intent on sabotaging her airship.

There will be wild escapades, kinky BDSM, dastardly devices, explosions and nice cups of tea.

Buy links

Ebook

Amazon US (Kindle):    Amazon UK (Kindle):    Barnes and Noble:    Kobo:

Print

Amazon US (print):

Amazon UK (print):

Create space/eXcessica (print):

Book extract

“I am thrilled. It’s wonderful to see my project come to its fruition. I take it everything is ready for the maiden flight of my airship.”

“Yes, Lady Sally,” replied Wyndham, “she’s ready. She’s a magnificent machine; I’m convinced your ladyship will be impressed by her.”

“I don’t doubt that, captain, after all the interior fittings have been made to my exacting specification and design.”

“I see you’ve brought your luggage, madam,” said Wyndham, gesturing towards the charabanc laden with trunks.

“Oh, but that is merely one or two trifles, my corsetry and some of my antique whips and canes. I have engaged the services of several horse and carts for the remainder of my wardrobe, and the heavier bondage and domination equipment is already installed. My maid has spent several weeks packing for my escapade, haven’t you Victoria?”

“Oh, yes madam, I certainly have!”

“Come Victoria, don’t pretend it hasn’t been anything but a labour of love for your mistress.”

Victoria’s wistful look conveyed that it had indeed been just that.

“Follow me Lady Sally,” said Wyndham, leading the way. “Barnes-Wallis is going to give you a tour of the airship and explain the technique of its construction. It uses many unique materials and design features, but he’s the expert on that.”

As they entered the shed Lady Sally gasped. She had a vision of how her dirigible might look, of course, but her breath was taken away by the sheer scale and magnificence of her creation. The airship was the size of an ocean liner and dwarfed the diminutive figures as they stood on the ground gazing up in awe at the vast expanse of linen fabric enclosing the gas bags and duralumin frame. Barnes-Wallis led them onto the walkways from which they could view the intricate internal structure.

Now in his element, the normally diffident Barnes-Wallis began his enthusiastic explication of the construction of the airship.

“Each transverse frame consists of a hard girder in the form of a stiff, sixteen-sided polygon with the flats at top and bottom; this massive hard girder is twenty-seven inches deep and up to a hundred and thirty feet in diameter. Sixteen steel cables penetrate the centre of the polygon to the corner points, bracing the polygonal girder against deflections and making it erect….”

“… And, of course, erect girders are essential to the structure, are they not?”

“… One half of the transverse frame is divided by a vertical plane passing though the axis of the ship, consisting of a stiff arched rib with oiled ends that are free to slip towards each other, and this arched rib is braced by eight radial wires, which go flaccid through the deflection of the arched rib under the applied loads. Normally four or five wires remain in tension….

“And how have you calculated the torsional load bearing capacity of my airship?”

“The forces and bending movements in the members are calculated by the solution of a lengthy simultaneous equation containing up to seven unknown quantities.  In the solution, we had to find the correct compression force for the radial wires to achieve the required load bearing. This geodetic type of construction for the airframe makes use of a space frame formed from a spirally crossing basket-weave of load bearing erect members. The principle is that two geodesic arcs can be drawn to intersect on a curving surface in a manner that the torsional load on each, cancels out the other….

“… Well that is simply amazing,” commented Lady Sally, “but perhaps I ought to take a look at the living quarters now…”

“… but I’d love to show you my calculations, your ladyship…” called Barnes-Wallis waving a wad of foolscap sheets with closely pencilled figures at the three receding figures.

“Oh, fascinating I’m sure,” she called back, “but I’ve such a busy day ahead of me and I ought to be moving on.”

Captain Wyndham smiled as Victoria bustled Lady Sally away.

“He’s a genius you know. From my knowledge of aeronautical design, I know the construction of this airship is truly remarkable.”

“Indeed, I chose him for his brilliance in structural engineering, captain, though I must confess the ‘how’ is not always my strong point. I merely tell people what I want and they do it for me… isn’t that so Victoria?”

“Oh yes, madam, indubitably, yes.”

About the author

Nano is an author of erotic stories with dark and exotic content in fantasy, paranormal or historical settings, often drawing on the themes of female supremacy, BDSM and fetish but with a seam of quirky humour running through them as well. His first full-length erotic novel, ‘Adventures in Fetishland’, a BDSM/fetish re-invention of Alice in Wonderland, was published by Xcite Books. His short stories and novellas have been published by Xcite Books, House of Erotica, Forbidden Fiction, Coming Together and Greenwoman Publishing.

His second novel, ‘Mistress Of The Air’ was published by eXcessica on 21st April 2017.

Web site: www.slavenano.co.uk/writing

Blog: www.slavenano.co.uk/blog

Facebook (Nano Vaslen): http://www.facebook.com/nano.vaslen

Mistress Of The Air facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/Mistress-Of-The-Air-1671491076492099/

Pinterest: http://uk.pinterest.com/nanovaslen/

Amazon UK author profile:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B005EBU1QI

Amazon US author profile:

https://www.amazon.com/Slave-Nano/e/B005EBU1QI/

Goodreads author profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6828376-slave-nano

*****

GIVEAWAY!

Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here:

http://writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/s-nano/

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog tour organized by

Writer Marketing Services.

 

 

~ BLOG TOUR PLUS ARC REVIEW & AUTHORS’ POST~*DISENCHANTED* by Heide Goody and Iain Grant

I was thrilled to receive an Advanced Reader Copy of Disenchanted, penned by the writing duo Heide Goody and Iain Grant. I invite you to put your feet up, scroll down and find out about this fun-filled book and read my review. You can also read a post compiled by the authors – another of Dr Alexander’s letters to them, which contains an insight into the research material used to create the novel. I am particularly pleased to be hosting this particular letter as it features the town of Tamworth, which I know very well. More of Dr Alexander’s letters can be found on the other blog’s in this tour. 🙂

Book Blurb

“Ella Hannaford has a small business to run, an overworked father to look after and a future stepmother who wants a perfect wedding. 
Can she avoid a girly night out with her clueless stepsister? Can she side-step lovesick suitors at every turn? Not if it’s up to that team of foul-mouthed dwarfs who want to forcibly drag her into her happily ever after.
Gingerbread cottages, dodgy European gangsters, gun-toting grannies, wisecracking wolves, stubborn fairy godmothers, ogres, beanstalks and flying carpets abound in a tale about what happens when you refuse to accept your Happy Ending.”

My Review ~ 5 Stars *****

Magic and mayhem collide in riotous fairy tale romp!

As someone who is an unabashed romance novel addict and who also loves fairy tales, I could not resist the chance to review Heide Goody’s and Iain Grant’s Disenchanted. The premise of the novel – where the heroine very definitely does not want a HEA, despite the meddling of a host of formidable magical creatures, also appealed to my sense of the perverse. Indeed, I found the read to be a real tonic and I defy anyone to read it and not crack a smile and/or stifle a gaffaw within reading the first few pages!

If you thought that fairy tales were firmly consigned to superstitions from the past and story books for children, then think again. Magical creatures really exist, although Ella the heroine would much rather they were not quite so fixated on controlling her life. Much of the action takes place in rural England (predominantly the Midlands), as Ella veers from one adventure to another in her quest to avoid her prospective suitors at all costs and at the same time unravel issues from her family’s past. I loved the fact that Ella is a 21st century woman (no simpering miss) and does not need a ANY interference, magical or otherwise, in her life thank you very much. Her efforts to resist the fate her fairy godmother and her associates have planned for her drive the plot forward and the conflict makes for some hilarious scenes as the authors expertly turned the usual HEA fairy tale tropes on their head…

This unique and humorous tale includes an evil stepmother to be, a gung-ho grandmother, unlikely prospective suitors, a fairy godmother, dwarves, a big bad wolf and more. Combined with an indomitable heroine and a series of larger than life characters, it’s a fast-paced, laugh-a-minute, feel good read, with some excellent one-liners.

It was my first experience of the authors’ work and I now have a real taste for their irreverent humour and will be reading some of their other works very soon. Thoroughly recommended to readers who enjoy a fun filled read and magical read.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that an ARC of this book was given to me by the authors for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

The links are:

UK kindle:   UK paperback:   US kindle:   US paperback:

A Post from the Authors

Heide and Iain’s latest novel, Disenchanted, is out this month. The fairy tale fantasy comedy was written with no small assistance from Dr Epiphany Alexander of Sheffield University’s Department for Folklore and Oral History. As an insight into the research material used to create Disenchanted, we present another of Dr Alexander’s letters to the author duo.

My Dear Friends,

When last I wrote to you, I believe I was trapped  in the trunk of a Lincoln Continental in downtown Tucson, Arizona. I found time to reflect upon some of the unusual things that have happened in my  life over recent days, and I was able to draw some useful conclusions. So it was that when Pak Choi suggested that we might slip out via his homeland, I immediately agreed, as I had determined what should be our next course of action.

One should always be wary of spending too much time in Faerie, as it ages the skin terribly, so I had Pak Choi immediately open another portal back into the real world, and this one to the town of Tamworth.

As I am sure you’re aware, Tamworth was the seat of the Saxon rulers of Mercia, and it was for this reason that I needed to visit. The photograph in the domunculus I had seen in Tuscon was unmistakeably a picture of Æthelflæd. Æthelflæd was the daughter of Alfred the Great, and known as the Lady of Mercia. Pak Choi opened a convenient doorway that emerged in the river meadow in the shadow of Tamworth castle.

The castle is built at the confluence of two rivers, the Tame and the Anker, and this important junction is the subject of a local fairy tale, known as The Mermaid and the Mother. A local boy, Tom, liked to spend time by the river, although his mother warned him to be careful of mermaids. Tom was confident that he would not be tricked by the notoriously sly mermaids, and continued  to pass his days on the pleasant grassy banks. When a swan engaged him in conversation he was not afraid, and even took the swan home to meet his mother. It turned out that the swan was a mermaid, and by inviting her over the threshold of his home, Tom was now betrothed to her. Tom didn’t mind the prospect of spending the rest of his life swimming in the river with this fascinating creature, but his mother was determined to prevent the marriage so she heated up the oven, preparing to roast the swan. The cunning mermaid passed word of this to the town’s magistrate, who was naturally obliged to protect the royal bird and so threw the mother in jail, and presided over the nuptials in her absence.

[Here is a picture of the mother preparing to cook the swan]

Pak Choi and I enjoyed the brief and pleasant walk up into the town, passing by the Assembly Rooms, which bears Tamworth’s unofficial coat of arms. This features a pair of mermaids, popularly supposed to be Tom and his bride.

I wanted to visit the library, where I believed there was an archive of the local newspapers. The late Mabel Swift had a popular history column in this for many years, and it was her work that I wished to review, as I had heard that she had a great deal of expertise regarding the life of Æthelflæd and I needed to find out what link there might be with Andrew Lang’s Black Fairy Book. In the library, a bespectacled assistant called Ernest offered to copy all of the relevant material for me, and suggested that I should enjoy a walk around the shady pathways between the library and St Editha’s church while I waited. Pak Choi and I enjoyed this very much, as there are lots of cheeky squirrels who seem unafraid of people and so Pak Choi was able to have a hearty gossip with them without attracting too much attention. He passed on a bawdy tale of squirrel-based derring-do which I will relate here for your amusement, as I know that your book Disenchanted touches on some rather base elements.

A squirrel called Ewan declared himself king of the nuts, by virtue of the fact that nobody else had thought to do it first. He had a throne constructed of nuts and made all of his subjects bring him nut-based tributes. He was an unpopular ruler as nobody could ever see any benefit to his reign, only the burden of supplying nuts for his insatiable appetite.

It became known that he needed so many nuts to sustain his lovemaking, as he liked to visit whatever passes for a red light district in squirrel terms (I’m afraid that Pak Choi’s excessive mirth made this point a little unclear to me). Ewan’s subjects decided that they could cure these urges with the use of a classic honey trap. They recruited a delightfully pretty girl squirrel. Pak Choi used the term hotsy totsy. I honestly don’t know where he gets it from, I think these squirrels are a bad influence. The attractive squirrel was charged with engaging the squirrel king in energetic lovemaking, but whenever he reached for a nut (as he would do throughout) she would bite him vigorously. You might think that this tale ends with Ewan’s re-education, perhaps renouncing his reign over the nuts, but you’d be wrong. It actually ends with him contracting tetanus and dying, which had Pak Choi and his bushy-tailed friends falling about and hooting with laughter.

[Here is a picture of the King of the Nuts]

There is an interesting anchor-themed sculpture near the church. It is a memorial to Colin Grazier, one the three British seaman who retrieved secret documents from a sinking German submarine in World War Two. The Enigma code books were amongst those documents, enabling those clever people over at Bletchley Park to understand the Germans’ encrypted messages. Sadly, young Colin, a local lad, drowned when the sub went down.

[here is Pak Choi’s sketch of the sculpture]

I had my own mystery to solve and codes to break and felt inspired by Colin’s example as I went back into the library to see what Ernest had found for me. The librarian had uncovered and photocopied a wealth of local history material for me.

Ernest looked at me intently and enquired if I would like to join him for a drink of locally brewed real ale, over which he could tell me some more about the local area. Lovely though the little man was, I can’t abide real ale. I dismissed his advances with brief thanks and made a sharp exit. I had much to think about. I was not in need of ale but of some quiet thinking time and a cup of Pak Choi’s soothing tea.

I post this to you in the knowledge that I have promised to meet you in Birmingham tomorrow to help celebrate the launch of your new book. I see no reason at all why I can’t get to the bottom of this mystery and then come meet with you, dear friends.

Yours,

Dr E. Alexander

Dr Epiphany Alexander’s latest book, “One Day My Prints Will Come: How Early Printers Hindered the Spread of Fairy Tales” is currently available from Sheffield Academic Press.

Heide Goody and Iain Grant’s novel, Disenchanted, is available now from Amazon.

UK kindle:   UK paperback:   US kindle:   US paperback:

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Interview with Ian Cawley, author of GNOSIS*

#technothriller #thriller #politicalthriller #futuristic #mysticism

Today we are thrilled to welcome Ian Cawley, author of Gnosis, a thriller which blends big business and politics with world events, climate change and ancient mysticism. I was fortunate to meet Ian (pictured above) when he visited Tamworth Literary Festival in March this year and I am very much looking forward to reading Gnosis.

Scroll down to read the interview Ian with and find out about Gnosis. 🙂 

Book Blurb

How far would your conscience take you?

In a world increasingly disturbed by the Climate Change Phenomenon, and with overwhelming economic refugee migration, Max Harrington’s conscience led him to create GNOSIS; a computerised management system to regulate energy and fuel consumption around the globe.

His vision was of a cleaner, fairer and healthier world. What he didn’t see, however, was that the big data created would become a far more valuable prize to those less bound by conscience.

This political thriller, set in the digital age, follows a trail of murderous clues, running from the academic fields of Cambridge, through the powerbrokers of Westminster and into the war-torn desolation of the Holy Lands.

Q & A

1. Tell us about yourself

Born in the Manchester area, I’ve worked in jobs that have ranged from loading fruit & veg vans to running a film school, but mainly in the graphics and the audio-visual industries. I wrote my first screenplay in 1989, shortly after graduating, which gained the attention of Channel 4, though the project was scuppered with all the others thanks to Lady Thatcher selling off the TV franchises at that time.

Since then, encouraged by a year’s MA of Scriptwriting at Film School, I have endeavoured to continue my writing of unique stories with some success through independent fiction films and documentaries.

Now living in the Midlands, I’m married with two children.

2. Tell us about GNOSIS.

I had become tired of trying to get writing and film projects up and going, so I decided on a different approach to getting my work out there.

The advent of Amazon’s self-publishing option came as an obvious outlet; a relatively easy way in which to get your work out to a wider public and see how it’s received. It was also a fresh challenge since I had never attempted to write in the novel format before.

The idea for GNOSIS came about, I think, after watching Tobias Churton’s documentary series on ‘The Gnostics’ whilst at the same time reading up on some of the ideas of two scientists – Fritjof Capra and James Lovelock. Capra was postulating theories of connectivity of all matter in the universe whilst Lovelock was expounding his Gaia Theory – the earth being a self-regulating organism.

I found myself intrigued by these philosophical ideas and pondered the prospect of weaving them into a fictional story using conventional narrative devices. These creative musings, however, have taken twenty-five years to come to fruition.

The story

Gnosis is the story of Max, a digital engineer who wants to save the world.

How far would your conscience take you? In a world increasingly disturbed by the Climate Change Phenomenon, and with overwhelming economic refugee migration, Max Harrington’s conscience led him to create GNOSIS; a computerised management system to regulate energy and fuel consumption around the globe. His vision was of a cleaner, fairer and healthier world. What he didn’t see, however, was that the big data created would become a far more valuable prize to those less bound by conscience. This political thriller, set in the digital age, follows a trail of murderous clues, running from the academic fields of Cambridge, through the powerbrokers of Westminster and into the war-torn desolation of the Holy Lands.

3. I understand that one reviewer has called it ‘The Da Vinci Code meets Big Data’?

Yes. I can see why that may have occurred to the reader since it is a traditional mystery plot involving the lust for power and control (information being the asset) whilst having undercurrents of possible supernatural forces at work, the use of codes and mysticism.

4. Lots of people have also said that they can see GNOSIS as a film

Absolutely. GNOSIS is really a movie script hiding in a novel. Given that my first love is cinema and all my previous writing has been for the screen, it was inevitable that that style would surface in the way it came off the page. It is also structured very much like a movie.

5. How long did it take you to write the novel?

The idea for GNOSIS had been kicking around for over 25 years, but I only really started writing it up in anger (as a novel) in 2011 and published it in the summer of 2016.

6. It’s extremely topical, and in that respect I am talking about the political, EU, terrorism, climate change, big data and hacking themes. Readers have called GNOSIS ‘an uncanny prediction”.

Are you psychic?

Well to quote Bob Dylan “You don’t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows.”

7. What kind of research did you do?

As I went through the story, the technical details were served purely though the internet. For example, YouTube showed me the drive from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  The internet is a wonderful tool for the writer and it can allow you to do neg checks as well before releasing the story.

Characters

8, Which is your favourite character in GNOSIS, and why?

Oh gosh, that’s hard – like saying who is your favourite child. That’s a tough one. If I had a few I’d pick – Max of course, but I do have a soft spot for Brent McGregor. He’s an utter buffoon. I also like the character of Francois because he cares and doesn’t care in the same measure.

9. Are any characters like you?

Of course. Max. In my fantasies. 🙂

10. When you were writing it could you see certain actors as the characters?

It was only towards its completion that we began to fantasise about potential actors. Kevin Spacey I thought would be excellent for Joe Green. Emily Blunt for Georgina.

And for Max…? I never really came up with one for Max. My wife came up with several. 🙂

Clifford? Maybe Derek Jacobi as Clifford…

11. Are any of the characters real life people – politicians for example?

There are elements drawn from people who I have never met but know of, and there are elements of people I know and have known quite well.

12. Your favourite football team has made its way into GNOSIS. You support Manchester City. Tell us more.

It just seemed a fun thing to do for City fans. Some of the in-jokes are a bit obscure and you would have to be a City fan of some long standing to get all of them.  I’ve supported Man City since leaving primary school.

13. You have several films featured in GNOSIS (Night of the Demon etc.) – are they your favourites? Why were they included….

The 30’s horror films tend to be a motif for my childhood. The reference to Jacques Tourneur’s 1957 film ‘Night of the Demon’ has two significant elements to it – firstly, I saw it as a kid and it had me absolutely captivated. Secondly, I saw it when I was older with a group of mates; it being part of a BBC 2 double bill with The Ghoul starring John Hurt.

Night of the Demon is a bizarre collaboration of a European director using American money for a British production. Without going into all the politics behind the film, the mix of the American star Dana Andrews, the perverse American view of what “English countryfolk” are and the types of dwellings they live in, along with a stunning performance by Niall MacGinnis as the evil Dr Karswell, it’s an utter delight to watch. I would suggest the séance where they all sing “Cherry Ripe” together to be a moment of cinema legend.

Some of the motifs throughout the film seemed to marry so well with some of the elements and ideas in the story.  It just seemed fitting to put it in. Also, it might tempt readers to search out the film and watch it.

14. How do you pick character names? Do they have any special meaning to you?

Yes. Because they have need to suit the characters and there is always an opportunity to play an in-joke. For example, Colleen Bell – is one of the major characters to survive into the sequel. Those who can make the link with the other characters in the book will find the entire MCFC 1969 FA Cup winning side appearing here, there and everywhere.

Writing

15. Do you ever surprise yourself with what you’ve written?

Yes. When it’s a good gag and you are the first one to hear it.

16. What’s the best and the worst thing about being an author?

The hardest thing is filling white spaces with words. I don’t think it ever gets any easier. However, once you are through the process having produced what you believe to be a credible novel, there is a sense of achievement and legacy that stays with you. There’s also nothing better than to receive a glowing review from a complete stranger.

17. Where do you most like to do your writing?

In solitude and silence but that is very difficult with a growing family and several pets.

18. Do you ever get writer’s block? How do you tackle it?

No. I just get ‘lazy-itus’.

19 What is the best writing tip you have ever been given? How has it influenced you?

Alan Plater, acclaimed writer (who mentored me in the early 90s) corresponded with me frequently. To be honest, I learned more from Alan, in a few sentences amongst the paragraphs, than a whole year studying at film school.

Diana Hawkins, Film Producer. She advised me on the importance of structure. She encouraged me to get my stories into a proper structure and from that point on I understood how important it is to make your story really work.

20. How much of your own life experiences appear in your writing?

I think it’s inevitable that your own daily experience of living will find a way into some aspect of the stories, plots, characters, settings and dialogue. Writers often start writing from a point of something they already know or have an interest in.

21. What’s your usual writing routine?

My usual writing routine is to steal what time I can and promise myself that unless I write at least two paragraphs City will lose at the weekend.

Is that true? – Yes.

Self-publishing

20. You self-published GNOSIS. Why, and how easy did you find it – the process?

As I said earlier, I just wanted my work out there, read and enjoyed.

In retrospect it was fairly easy, but having my own design and computer skills helped the process immeasurably.  Someone who isn’t tech savvy might need to seek help or buy the service in. For example, I designed and created my own book cover using Photoshop and After Effects with some photography. I also handle my own Social Media accounts.

The sequel

21. You are presently writing a sequel. Care to tell us anything?

The sequel picks up the story where GNOSIS left off.  It is a time for justice to be meted out and certain individuals to get their comeuppance.  A lot of readers have already got in touch with me, and asked what’s going to happen to the ‘baddies’… Hopefully soon they will find out, and they might even get a happy ending. 🙂

**Release Day Review** KOVAH: Soul Seeker (A Rebel Riders Novel) by C.J. Pinard

KOVAH: THE SOUL SEEKER is released today!! From author, C.J. Pinard (The Rebel Riders, The Beautiful Immortals) comes the paranormal, fantasy romance that fans have been waiting for. After following Nolan Bishop (the Rebel Riders trilogy) almost losing his soul from being bitten by a succubus, it is now time to hear Kovah’s story; the hybrid, half-human/half-vamp, who hates and hunts vampires, slaying them, and feeling despair and angry for what he has become. But, when he begins to have a purpose, friends and emotions he never thought he’d feel again, will he be able to admit it to himself that his existence maybe not so bad afterall?

Kovah: Soul SeekerTitle: Kovah: Soul Seeker (A Rebel Riders Novel)

Author: C.J. Pinard

Genre: Paranormal fantasy, paranormal romance, urban fantasy

Release date: December 27th 2016

Length: 255 pages

Buy Links: Amazon US & Amazon UK

Blurb: The night Dominic DeLuca meets a succubus, his life of all-night partying and college classes is over in an instant. Fundamentally transformed inside and out after killing her, he exists much differently for the next 10 years than he had before. When his freakish eyes and lack of aging become too much to explain, he leaves Dominic and New York behind and becomes Kovah Sanagra, the foul-mouthed, angry vampire-hunting hybrid who literally has nothing left to lose.

His new life takes him to New Orleans, where he finds pleasure in the large variety of vampires he has to choose from when he wants to kill something. But when a female vampire who had helped him in the past shows up during his hunt, he realizes he has some unresolved feelings he’d rather not deal with. Upon meeting Archie and the Rebel Riders, Kovah feels as if his life might have some purpose; some direction. But still, the female vampire keeps showing up… and when a time comes that she needs Kovah’s help, is he going to repay her for how she saved him so many years ago, or will his hatred for the vampire race override what he knows he feels for her in his hardened heart?

Kovah: Soul Seeker is a Rebel Riders novel intended for readers 18 and older.

REVIEW ***** (5* rating)

This deliciously dark, fantasy paranormal romance is the perfect escapism. After being introduced to the strong, stand-out character of Kovah in the Rebel Riders series, fans (myself included) have been eagerly awaiting this stand out novel, Kovah. A hybrid, half-vamp/half-human, turned after losing his soul to a succubus, Kovah now spends his evenings with his motorcycle friends, the Rebel Riders, eliminating vampires and, his favourites, succubae.

Kovah’s character is dark, mysterious, stand-offish to most and particularly aggressive to vamps, but he is an incredibly exciting character. He may be a survivor but he has lost his life as he once knew it. He has given in to the understanding that he’ll never age, and most probably never have the long term love that many enjoy. He acts the tough guy, and is often one, but deep down he knows nobody would cope easily with his experiences, and the nightmares he has are constant reminders of what happened to him.

Like PTSD, he relives the events over and over, which ultimately leave him with a peed off attitude. He has an exhilarating, dangerous past that overwhelms him. And, although a badass with aggressive tendencies, there are moments when his emotions have led to him crying in despair, in shock, for what he has done and what he has become.

However, Kovah is not as alone as he thinks. He has Archie, his boss at the motorcycle garage and leader of the Rebel Riders, along with his new companion, Nolan Bishop. After his first suspicious instincts, there becomes a growing respect and friendship between these two. To fully appreciate how Kovah and Nolan become so close it is highly recommended that the Rebel Riders trilogy (Nolan’s story) be read as it details encounters between the two more intricately. And, lastly, there is Violet; the female vampire that saves him in his darkest moment, and years later comes back in his life.

To relieve his aggression, just for kicks, he has been seeing Janice, a kinky vamp that provides him with the release he needs. However, in contrast to her are his growing feelings for Violet. It is interesting to see how this situation unfolds, how Kovah deals with his feelings, especially as his strong dislike for vamps won’t allow him to get too involved with one. They can’t be trusted. Or, can they?

A member of the BSI (Bureau of Supernatural Investigation), Violet, has been made aware of a vamp motorcycle gang and approaches Kovah for help. His capabilities, being a hybrid, may allow him to get close and find out more. But, will Kovah get in too deep, and will he really be willing to help Violet out?

Kovah is a very suspenseful read that is complete with action, surprises, romance and fun. It is a quick read due to the pace of the story, with some excellent characters to follow, both new and old. The author has written Kovah in first person, which I enjoy as a reader simply because it allows the reader to get inside the head of the main character, understanding their thought processes, and in turn their actions/reactions.

It is a great read that fans of the series will absolutely love. As mentioned before, I strongly recommend that the whole Rebel Riders series be read to fully appreciate Kovah’s character, how he stands out in the series, and to see his relationship with Nolan blossom and become a great bromance!

An Advanced Reader’s Copy was provided by the author in return for a fair and honest review.

You can find my reviews of C.J. Pinard’s Soul Rebel (Rebel Riders #1) here, Soul Redemption (Rebel Riders #2) here, and Soul Release (Rebel Riders #3) here.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

**REVIEW** GUARDIAN (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus’s Journey Part III (Jezebel’s Journey Part III) by C.J. Pinard

The Daughter of Darkness series finale is here in GUARDIAN. Following Lotus’s Journey has been a pleasure. Lotus, half-vamp, half-faery, has been teased and beckoned in her dreams by her evil father, Vlad Montour (a.k.a. Vlad the Impaler). Discovering his ideas for taking powers and controlling all supernaturals, his methods for achieving that, and many other evil acts, it becomes clear that he has to be stopped. But, will meeting with her sisters to discuss a plan of action turn sour? Especially since one was once on the dark side herself not too long ago?

Guardian (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus's Journey Part III: (Jezebel's Journey: Part III)Title: GUARDIAN (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus’s Journey Part III (Jezebel’s Journey Part III)

Author: C.J. Pinard

Genre: Paranormal mystery, thriller

Release date: August 22nd, 2016

Length: 127 pages

Buy Links: Amazon US, Amazon UK

Blurb: Realizing that a confrontation with Vlad had slipped out of her grasp, Lotus sets off with Drew and Jezebel to formulate another plan of action. But then a phone call from Tori, the sister she’d just learned about but had never met, changes the course of their plans.

Lotus now has to search for some kind of heirloom or jewel left to her by her biological mother. But where would she find such a trinket? She’d been orphaned for over 100 years and didn’t even know her mother’s name, let alone anything she’d left her. With more determination than ever, the assistance of a witch, and her other gifts, they will help guide Lotus to find it. But what else will they find when going on such a hunt?

The final showdown to kill Vlad has been set and as Lotus and Jezebel finally meet their long, lost sisters, Tori and Blair, they realize the chances of them getting away with killing Vlad and living to tell about it are very slim. Still, their resolve is strong; the sisters are strong. The question is: Will it be worth it? Giving their lives to rid the world of their evil father, Vlad the Impaler, for good?

Find out in this heart-stopping final instalment of the Daughters of Darkness series.

REVIEW ***** (5* rating)

I have followed Lotus’s journey through each book of the series, and GUARDIAN is a brilliant story to end the series. Lotus has certainly come a long way throughout the series; although half-vampire and half-faery she has lived most of her life in a most human-like manner. Over the course of the series she has learned so much about herself, her capabilities and her family. She has even sustained a long-term relationship with cute, hot Lycan, Drew, a neighbour and protector. And yet, she still loves to make her everyday life as human-like as possible, i.e. going to work and general life as a mortal.

“… why was I living as a mortal? I’d told them that it was because I knew no other way. That was the truth, partially, but the other half of me knew it was because it was safe and harmless to pretend to be human. However, deep in my dark heart, I knew I should venture onto the wild side – the dark side of the supernaturals – and see what it had to offer.”

It is very easy to connect with Lotus’s character in this manner. Her character, within the story, acts as a bridge between the reality and the supernatural world. In Guardian, Lotus has to make some uneasy decisions and to take chances, along with her sisters, in the hope of defeating their evil, vampire father, Vlad Montour (a.k.a. Vlad the Impaler). And, the reader can sense a change in Lotus in exploring more of her supernatural side, especially as she would need this to help be rid of her father.

Told not only from Lotus’s point of view, the reader also follows Jezebel’s as it is also her final book of the series too! This is very fitting as these sisters are so close at this point and in almost every scene together. In fact, aside from Drew, Jezebel is the closest person to Lotus. Both become cautious when they meet with their other two, newly-found sisters, Tori and Blair, especially Tori as she was brought up and worked for their father.

However, there are some emotional twists when we learn about the sister’s backgrounds, their mothers, and just why Tori may have turned against their father. Along with the final showdown, I felt that the meeting scene of the four sisters was a vital part of the story. Were they going to turn on each other? Could they be trusted? These were just some of the questions running through my mind. It is written really well, and the caution and emotion felt real.

The overall atmosphere of the story, and indeed the series, is dark, eerie, and full of suspense and mystery. It darkens still as the sisters try to take on their powerful, evil father. And, it is he that creates the mood and tension. Trying to take the power and control all supernaturals is his goal, including his own daughters. But, did he really love them? Can they really take on their own father?

Complete with witches, succubi, werewolves, faeries and vampires, Guardian has a thrilling, fast-paced story line with plenty of action, especially as the story moves towards the end. A brilliant read for this Halloween. But, I would advise to read Lotus (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus’s Journey Part I and Watcher: Lotus’s Journey Part II before finishing with Guardian.

A copy of Guardian, Lotus’s Journey Part III was provided by the author in return for a fair and honest review.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker