Thursday, 30 June 2016

Throwback Thursday - The Handmaid's Tale

Today is Throwback Thursday and carrying on from last week's guest spot, I am joined to today by fellow like minded blogger Rebecca Milhoan from Rebecca's BiblioGal Book Review!


Her focus is on Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Historical and Super Hero reads, so if that is up your strasse then check our her blog at https://bibliogalblog.com or on facebook.


Today she has chosen The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.




Rebecca:  I read this book as a Junior in High School, which is year 12 I think in the UK.  It was required and based on the cover I foolishly believed it was some sort of medieval fantasy story.  I was most certainly wrong!  I loved it though and it got me started on my now life long love of Dystopian Novels.  It's a masterful tale about what could happen if the wrong people came into power and how it would affect the average person.  I could even apply it to what's happening today in the political arena worldwide, especially the part about Canada being an escape route (insert smirk here).

Post-Apocalyptic Playground:
My first experience of this book was actually when I watched the film.  Whilst visually it's very much of it's time, I was completely pulled in by the story which was quite brutal at times.  One of my top reads too!

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Author Interview with Scarlet Le Clair

For this week's author spotlight, we interviewed Scarlet Le Clair.   Scarlet is the author of the Zombie Apocalypse book George:  The Long Road Home.  She has been very poorly this week so a big thank you to her for taking time out to answer our questions.

Scarlet lives in a small village in the Welsh Valley's, UK.  She loves to read and can mostly be found with a book in her hand.

Q.  At what point in your life did you realise you wanted to be a writer?

Scarlet:  I've always had a love of reading and because of that I enjoyed writing my own short stories.

Q.  Where do you draw your inspiration, do you ever in some ways use real life experiences?

Scarlet:  Some of it is from real life.  Lately, it comes to me in dreams or at three o'clock in the morning when I'm trying to get my son back to sleep.

Q.  Do you need peace and quiet to write or do you have a playlist to keep you going?  If you do would you share it with us?

Scarlet: I need peace and quiet, I don't have the TV or music on

Q.  Are your characters always a complete work of fiction or is there an element of someone you know to get the idea rolling?

Scarlet:  So far all my characters have been a work of fiction. Although I tweaked my character George's appearance to match my cover model Elman Espana.  I have another work in progress that I am co authoring with Lizzie James that is loosely based on a real person.

Q.  What are your experiences of being an indie author?  Do you find social media is a help or a distraction to your writing?

Scarlet:  Lol.  It can be both. Facebook is a huge problem for me I'll go on for 2 minutes and a hour later I'm still on there!  But it can also be a really good place to pimp my books, through my page, SASS street team and various takeovers.

Q.  What are you currently working on or is it a secret?

Scarlet:  I have just completed the third book in the Torn Trilogy, I just need to do the edits.  and I'm working on another with Lizzie James but that's all I can say!

Q.  George is quite a departure from your first two books, was it a hard decision to change genre's? 

Scarlet:  I've always loved horror and the creepy side of things since I was younger,  I love the Goosebumps Series and the Darren Shan books and as I grew older that morphed into a love of all things Zombie.  I think in enjoy the survivors POV, and what they need to do in order to survive.

Q.  If you could be any character you have written, who would you choose?

Scarlet:  Sam.  Who wouldn't want to be between two hot lifeguard brothers?

Q.  What are you currently reading?

Scarlet:  I have just finished Into the Nothing by B.T Urruela, it was amazing.

Q.  Fictional Dinner Party!  Give me 5 fictional characters or authors who you would have as dinner companions.

Scarlet:  Dumbledore, Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, Dean Winchester and Mike Talbot (from the Zombie Fallout Series by Mark Tufo)

Scarlett, thank you so much for taking the time out to do this interview with us and we hope you feel better soon! 

George: The Long Road Home is available now!
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F9E8N8C/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01F9E8N8C/

Monday, 27 June 2016

Legends of Litha Blog Tour and Midnight Devine Book Blitz

Title: Legends of Litha Anthology
Author: Various
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR
Blurb:
Bring Forth the Power of the Creature in your Soul!
Enter a magical world where those around you are not who they seem. Take a quest as fantasies become real, and mysteries unfold into beautiful tales and horrid betrayals. Inside these pages, you will be sucked into a realm where all that seemed impossible is anything but. Dragons, Bird Men, Demon Hunters, and Mermaids all await you within these stories. 
Litha, also known as Midsummer, is the day of the summer solstice, when the sun is at the height of its journey. It is a day filled with fire and magic before the year begins to wane. For each pagan holiday, there will be a corresponding volume in the Wheel of the Year Anthology.
Stories Included-
A Dragon’s Heart and Sparrow’s Soul- Cherron Riser
Blood and Ashes- Ashley Nicole Davis
Thunder Born- Tara Ann Moore
Allure of the Sea- Taylor Lexus Brown
Confession- Taylor Lexus Brown
Buy Links:  Amazon: http://amzn.to/28J171A
Title: Midnight Divine
Author: Valerie Roeseler
Genre: NA Paranormal Romance
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb: Leaving her broken home and shady past behind, Ivy Harris is determined to make something of herself. Her new acquaintance, Jack Roe, is irritating and arrogant with a womanizing reputation. Despite his secretive behavior and constant pursuit of her, Ivy finds herself falling for him. When Jack’s secrets are revealed, Ivy discovers her life isn't her own as she's trapped within a conflict between beings of light and darkness.
After a series of dangerous encounters threaten her existence, she finds comfort from a mysterious stranger and gains the loyalty of unexpected forces. The walls Ivy has secured around her crumble in the wake of tragedy, and the devotion of her friends provide her with the family she's longed for. With their safety and her survival contingent on her actions, Ivy has no choice but to become the force of nature she's destined to be.
Valerie Roeseler is a devoted mother, author, and workaholic with a degree in Advertising, Graphic Design, and Print Production. She lives in Texas with her compassionate husband, chatty toddler, and water-loving English Pointer. She devours coffee and protein shakes, as they are her life’s essence, and is an enthusiast of art, music, literature, adrenaline, and hair dye. When she is left to her own devices, she tends to forget that sleep is a necessity.
Author Links:
Buy Links:
Trey catches up with me and pushes me against the wall with his body. “What the fuck, Trey! Get off me!” I struggle against his grip and the weight of his body.
“Come on, Ivy. I know you want me. I got your message loud and clear when you kissed me at the race yesterday.” His lips kiss me from my jaw down my neck as he uses his knee to spread my legs, leaning in closer. I smell the alcohol rolling off him, and it has a mixture of burned charcoal that reminds me of Beleth’s goons who tried to rape me. An urgency pours over me to get out of the situation by any means necessary.
Shit. This is gonna hurt.
“Trey,” I leer with seduction, demanding his attention. He leans back to look me in the eyes, and I give him a coy smile. He loosens his grip on me, and I run my hands through his hair above his ears. He motions to kiss me again and hesitates as I speak, “I’m really sorry, Trey.” He raises an eyebrow in question. He has no idea what I'm apologizing for. I rear my head back and bring my forehead to his nose as hard as I can, using it as a battering ram. He stumbles back, and I take my chance to leave.
Jack marches toward me with a pissed off expression and stops at the front of the hallway. His fists are clenched at his sides, and his eyes glare with a faint white illumination while the lighting from the room behind him give him a glowing aura. “Ivy? Are you ok?” his voice grates through his clenched teeth.
“Yeah. Just take me home,” I brood with my head down, avoiding his gaze as I storm toward him.
"You bitch!" Trey curses with hostility, and I look over my shoulder as he charges towards me. Jack stomps down the hall a few steps and freezes as I bring up my elbow, swing back, and bust Trey in the face. I twist and push his head down to knee him in the stomach, and he falls to the ground coughing.
“Stay down,” Jack warns from beside me and grabs my hand to lead me out of the house. His body's radiating heat so hot I start sweating again.
We jump in the car and peal out. Jack glances over to me with concern, his anger boiling under the surface. “What happened?”
“Nothing.” My head throbs, and I reach up to touch my right eye. There's blood on my fingers when I pull them away.
Jack reaches over and pulls my chin to face him. “You’re bleeding again.”
“Yeah,” I wince.
Jack shifts into fifth gear as we pull onto the highway, then maneuvers his shirt off as he steers. He hands it to me, “Here. Put this on your eye. It’ll help stop the bleeding.”
I take the shirt from him and hold it to my eyebrow while I try to avoid gawking at his body. “Sorry. I’m not trying to bleed all over your car.”
“I’m not worried about the fucking car, Ivy! What the hell happened?” he raises his voice in anger.
“Nothing. Don’t worry about it. I can take care of myself,” I repeat in monotone.
His face falls, then he grins at me. “I can see that, but I should have been there. Yet again! I told you I would look out for you. You shouldn’t have had to do that.”
Quickly sobering up, I question, “Where the hell were you all night anyways? I went to go do some shots, and turned around to give you one, and you were gone!”
“I got caught up talking to some guys from out of town,” he admits. I'm silent against his excuses. “Where did you learn to fight like that? That’s the second time I’ve seen you kick someone’s ass.” Jack smiles with pride.
I smirk at him and quip, “Wouldn’t you like to know?"

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Throwback Thurday - War of the Worlds

It's Throwback Thursday time again and this week we are very humbled to have a selection from CJ Rutherford, Author of the Tales of the Neverwar Series.


CJ: The best OLD sci-fi book I ever read was a classic. War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells. It's frightening in it's authenticity. The world it's set in...WW1 esque Britain, is awesome, but the characters are what drive it.
I loved the musical as well. It gave a whole new dimension to it.


Post-Apocalyptic Playground: It is a sci-fi book that I have shamefully never read, although (completely unrelated to this segment) The Mothership located an old copy within their dwelling the other day so now I have no excuses! Likewise though, it's the musical which always stays with me (rather than the Tom Cruise/Spielberg vehicle) and I can even hear the music as I type!

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Double Release Day Blitz!

Title: Legends of Litha Anthology
Author: Various
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR
Blurb:
Bring Forth the Power of the Creature in your Soul!
Enter a magical world where those around you are not who they seem. Take a quest as fantasies become real, and mysteries unfold into beautiful tales and horrid betrayals. Inside these pages, you will be sucked into a realm where all that seemed impossible is anything but. Dragons, Bird Men, Demon Hunters, and Mermaids all await you within these stories. 
Litha, also known as Midsummer, is the day of the summer solstice, when the sun is at the height of its journey. It is a day filled with fire and magic before the year begins to wane. For each pagan holiday, there will be a corresponding volume in the Wheel of the Year Anthology.
Stories Included-
A Dragon’s Heart and Sparrow’s Soul- Cherron Riser
Blood and Ashes- Ashley Nicole Davis
Thunder Born- Tara Ann Moore
Allure of the Sea- Taylor Lexus Brown
Confession- Taylor Lexus Brown
Buy Links: Amazon: http://amzn.to/28J171A



Title: Vampire Knight
Author: Elizabeth Loraine
Genre: Paranormal
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR
Blurb:
Vampire Knight is a Royal Blood Chronicle character novella about Katrina’s father Fredrik during his years as a Templar Knight. Find out secrets he’s never revealed before, meet new characters and see familiar characters in a different light along the way, including Katrina’s mother, Elizabeth and Fredrik’s brother, William.
“I wanted to give the loyal fans of Royal Blood Chronicles a prequel where they could get to know many of the main characters of the series and join them on early adventures. I hope you enjoy Vampire Knight.” Elizabeth Loraine.
I grew up in a small northern Minnesotan town married my high school sweetheart, had two beautiful children and as soon as we could we moved to a warmer climate. I have worked with my husband building and decorating custom homes for years. After loving every kind of vampire book, movie and series I decided that I wanted to know more. I can write a book I thought, how hard can that be? Well.... But I stuck to it and finished my first book Royal Blood Chronicles Book One in August 2009. I now have six books in the series and am about to release book two of my new series Phantom Lives. My parents always told me that I could do anything that I wanted, work hard, study and do it right. I believe that and live that way every day.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Review of Humankind by LC Morgans

This weekend I will be completing another first, in that I will be attending Essex Author Extravaganza!  I have been reading up on authors for the last couple of months but finding myself increasingly disappointed in the lack of genre diversity.  When signing author, Laura Morgan, let me know she had a YA Dystopian series under the Pen L.C Morgans, I jumped at the chance to take a break from the contemporary romance and what a discovery it was!






"In the year 3030 an alien species known as the Thrakorian’s attacked Earth. On Invasion Day the extraterrestrial race invaded the planet by force, however such influence was not needed.  The Thrakorian’s took control easily from the indigenous race who foolishly believed they possessed it."

Kyra was just a young girl when invasion day happened, lucky to escape the destruction of her home she sought sanctuary from the invaders in the most unlikely of places, the scars from the thorns of the rosebush she hid in would remain on her body, but the kindness of the invader who rescued her would remain indelibly on her soul.

King Kronus, unlikely saviour of Kyra and now overlord of Earth, is largely untouchable to Humankind, he is a face on broadcasts at most to them. Kyra keeping her earlier encounter a secret from those around her, is forced to grow up an orphan along with the many others who lost their families on Invasion Day. Joining the military is the only option as far as she is concerned, she is bright and she knows that the Intelligence Division is where her loyalties to the Thrakorian's will take her.

Kyra's preparation for her chosen path serves her well, quickly making a name for herself at the training camp, she catches the eye of Sgt McDermott, but just how will their growing feelings for each other impact upon her long term plan of rising up through the ranks? Kyra's life is turned upside down by events, which start to spiral when a random event allows her natural code breaking ability to shine. Her abilities, however, lead her to start questioning all she has ever known and will it be possible for the alliances she has forged to protect her?

This book drew me in from the very first page, I loved that story began with quotes from future historical figures about how the earth was spiralling towards it's demise prior to invasion day. The author very helpfully also outlines the hierarchy and social/military ladder, which helps with understanding the future you are being taken to. The long term damage caused by an apathetic society reliant on a benefit system is entirely believable and I think that set the story up well. Kyra's drive is understandable and her encounter with King Kronus clearly gives her an extra edge. The story does raise a number of issues around friendship, trust, loyalty and even touches on domestic violence, which I felt to be a brave move in a YA book and one which was handled exceptionally by this author. Kyra is instantly likeable and her unfaltering loyalty starts to become her vulnerability in my view, leading her to truly life changing places and events. Although much of the story focuses on her military training, the pace is continual and doesn't falter, you find yourself rooting for Kyra throughout.

The story is one where you think you know where it's headed and then something happens to turn it on it's head! Just when you think it's a love story it almost becomes a thriller and then back to Sci-fi. I am loving the trend of strong young females in YA fiction and Kyra can certainly give Katniss and Tris runs for their money.

I cannot wait to read the second instalment in this series - this is most definitely a 5 star read from me.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Author Interview with Stacie Wilson

Stacie Wilson is the winner of the first Author Spotlight contest over on Post-Apocalyptic Playground's facebook page.  She graciously accepted our request for an interview, despite being in the midst of packing for UtopiaCon!










Stacie's first full length novel Myst was released last month, there is a prequel novella, Prophecy, also available.  In between the two Stacie has been an anthology collaborator on several occasions.



Q.  At what point in your life did you realise that you wanted to be a writer?

Stacie:  I've always had a love for reading and writing.  Secretly, I've wanted to be an author for as long as I can remember.  I used to scribble down tidbits of poetry or story ideas on scraps of paper.  Somewhere along the line, I lost touch with that side of me for too long.  About five years ago, a friend told me about a new conference for YA authors and their fans in Nashville.  Going to UtopYAcon helped me to reconnect with my love of writing.  Since then, I've had a few stories published in anthologies, self published a novella and my first novel Myst.




Q. Where do you draw your inspiration, do you ever in some way use real life experiences?

Stacie:  I draw inspiration from anything and everything.  I have used some real life experiences in my writing.  A short story I wrote had a character that had to deal with being the new kid and having trouble fitting in.  My daughter dealt with that last year when we moved.  I was able to use some of her experiences with that in the story.

Q. Do you need peace and quiet to write or do you have a playlist to keep you going?  If you do would you share it with us?

Stacie:  I tend to need peace and quiet for the actual writing but I love to use music to set the mood.  My playlists tend to get huge

You can find Stacie's playlist for Myst over at Spotify  http://spoti.fi/1XxHJcx

Q.  Are your characters always a complete work of fiction or is there an element of someone you know to start the idea rolling?

Stacie:  They start off as a work of fiction, usually elements from people I know of met sneak in.  My daughter and her friends are a great source of inspiration for teen characters.

Q.  What are your experiences of being an Indie Author, do you find that social media is a help of a distraction to your writing?

Stacie:  I absolutely love being and Indie Author.  I had a brief experience with traditional publishing and it just wasn't a good fit for me.  I need the independence and control over how my story is published.  But, being an Indie Author comes with great responsibility.  You have to invest in quality editing, Covers and formatting.  Social Media is a mixed blessing.  I love being able to connect with readers and other authors.  Social Media officers fantastic marketing opportunities, but it can be very time consuming.  It's easy to get sucked into it and spend too much time there rather than on writing.

Q.  What are you currently working on or is it a secret!? 

Stacie:  No secret! I'm working on book 2 in the Myst series.  It's coming along and I'm shooting for an October release date.


Q.  Have you always had a fascination with the mystical realms?

Stacie:  Absolutely. I've always been fascinated by magic and the idea that there are mystical realms and creatures out there.  I've had the great fortune to meet some amazing people over the years who had some pretty impressive psychic abilities.






Q.  If you could be any Character you have written who would you choose?

Stacie:  Hands down, Lanie.  She is Brianna's BFF in Myst.  She is quirky, feisty, loyal and has one heck of an adventure ahead of her.

Q.  What are you currently reading?

Stacie:  I work a full-time day job as well as writing.  All my free-time is being spent in the world of Myst.  The last thing i read is Chris Cannon's YA series, Going Down in Flames.  I binge read the first three books.  There are dragons!

Q.  Fictional Dinner Party:  Give me 5 fictional characters or authors who you would have as dinner companions.

Stacie:  Wow, that is so hard!  There are so many of both that I would love to have dinner with.  Fictional characters would be Anne from Anne of Green Gables (I LOVED that series growing up) and Brianna from Myst.  She has lived in my head for so long i'd love to just sit down and have a casual dinner with her.  Authors would be Jennifer L. Armentrout, Darynda Jones and J.R. Ward.

Stacie, thank you so much for taking time out to take part in this interview.  I hope you have an amazing time at UtopiaCon and we really look forward to the release of the next book in the Myst series.

The first book Myst is available now:

•´`★*´¨✫**Where Magic Begins•´`★*´¨✫**
Myst http://bit.ly/1OXGQY2
Two worlds separated by magic.
The future of both rests in her hands.
Surrounded by a loving family and her two best friends, Brianna St. James’ life has been filled with love and happiness. Now that she’s graduated from high school, her only worry should be what major to declare in the fall. But when nightmares plague her, and unexplainable things start to happen, any hopes for a simple life flicker and fade.
Drustan, her sworn Guardian and protector, has been sent to bring her home. Now he must help her remember a past that was taken from her and protect her from the dark forces that would see her dead.
Two worlds.
One hope.
Her

You can also find out more about Stacie on facebook https://www.facebook.com/StacieWilsonAuthor/?fref=ts or her Website www.StacieWilson.com 


Thursday, 16 June 2016

It’s Throwback Thursday!
Every week I will go back through my bookshelf and dust off those that have been there for a while!
This Week will be Dune by Frank Herbert
Dune will always be a little special, I think it was one of the first truly Science Fiction novels I read.  The crazy thing being that if it wasn’t for my immense love for David Lynch it may well have passed me by.  Now, Dune the movie was far from Lynch’s best work, however, it was the story and world that drew me in (well it was hardly going to be Sting’s acting).  Next stop was the book shop, I even remember I got it in Brighton (UK) during a day out with the family (I was only 13 or 14).  It is a story covering many facets, the sociological elements of the noble houses and the religious fortitude of the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood, but of course it’s all about the Spice.  Melange.  


This highly coveted commodity is only harvested on Arrakis, amongst the Dunes and the dangerous sandworms the native Freman have adapted but their long term proximity to the spice has had an impact on them.  The power struggle between the houses Atreides and Harkonnen is at the forefront with their battle to control the spice, with young Paul Atreides fulfilling a prophecy only made possible through Melange itself.  It’s a book I should find the time to read again, as it has been such a long time since I last picked it up from my shelf.  It is a world rich with character and intrigue, plots within plots, but the rewards from allowing yourself to become completely immersed and lost in the words is immeasurable.  I would welcome your thoughts and memories of this book, perhaps it’s one that you have read recently or if not at all, you are now intrigued to - i have tried to avoid any real spoilers for that reasons :)

In case you didn't believe me with my dusty old copy here is mine from around 1993 :)

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Well today I have been busy signing up to so many things that I realised that I really need to get a calender sorted!  From the last week in June to the second week in July Post Apocalyptic Playground has signed up to 3 blog tours with reviews and a cover reveal!  Reviews will be coming soon for Their Solitary Way by JN Chaney, Soulbound by Bethany Adams and The Witnessing of Maitlyn Wren by Jennifer Lynn January!



It's made me realise how organised I am going to need to be, with real world adulting and 2 children I'm going to have to have some hardcore reading time locked down!

Monday, 13 June 2016

So yesterday I did something new, I started up and blog and facebook community!

For the past year I have been helping Indie Authors to promote their work using social media by way of my admin involvement in the group S.A.S.S which is the Struggling Author Street-Team Service.  I have learnt a lot in the last year and learning has led me to a conclusion....there is a lot of contemporary romance out there!  Don't get me wrong, I am a fan of that genre as well (who doesn't need some hand fan moments in their life), but I always struggled to find a platform in which to give equal help to the authors of Dystopian, Sci-Fi and Fantasy books.  Frustrated, I decided to do something about it and so the Post-Apocalyptic Playground was born.

My vision is for it to be a community spirit, a place where authors and readers can come and play games, enter contests, put themselves up for interviews and spotlights, as well as getting involved in discussions surrounding books in the genre.  I am genuinely humbled to already have nearly 100 likes on the page and I know I have my Indie Book Community Friends to thank for that (love you all) and I hope the interaction keeps up.

I am keeping this blog in tandem with the page and I hope that those of you who aren't on facebook can join the community spirit with me here.  If you are on facebook check out the page too!

https://www.facebook.com/postapocalypticplayground/