[Blog Tour] The Beast Within (The Elite #1) by Jonathan Yanez

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11:14 AM

In Jonathan Yanez book, The Beast Within, you meet Conner Moore who doesn't seem like anything too special until he meets Laren and then his world is turned upside down.


REVIEW

Title: The Beast Within
Author: Jonathan Yanez
Publish Date: March 2013
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Pages: 166
Other Books in the Series: TBA
Buy the Book: Amazon
Rating: ★★★★

Once eighteen-year-old Connor Moore stumbles across an almost human species, he is faced with history’s darkest secret, a daunting future, and a love life he can’t even begin to explain.

Concealed throughout the pages of time, there has been a powerful race of human-like creatures manipulating mankind. This Elite race is made up of five ruling families, who have obeyed The Law and remained content to keep their identities a mystery. Now after centuries of secrecy, an ancient foe is forcing them out of hiding.

When a dark-haired mystery woman named Laren crosses Connor’s path his life is turned upside down. Soon Connor is taken on a heart-pounding journey that leads to a startling discovery of who he really is and a daunting future of what he is to become.

The cover is beautiful for this novel. I think it was what captured my attention when I first was considering what blog tours I was going to do and I knew right away that this would be one of them. I love when I get the chance to rave about covers because honestly, I cannot fathom how someone can create such a beautiful piece of basically art that fits so perfectly with the story. So, now, I am actually going to do my review. 

The Beast Within by Jonathan Yanez is the story of Conner, a normal guy who is dealing with an awkward break up and the pending future of attending college. Even though he had been accepted into many different colleges and offered athletic scholarships, he knew that he could never leave his mom behind. He hates the idea of her being alone since his dad has never been in the picture. But his thoughts shift from his ex-girlfriend when he crosses paths with a secretive and mysterious woman, Laren. There is something about that girl that urges him to see her again until he suddenly finds himself entangled in a web of secrets that just might prove to be the end of him. Faced with a fate that seems to great for an average guy, Conner must discover who he is and his role is in this new world he finds himself a part of. 

Conner used to be worried about simple things but now those things seem unimportant and he has so much more to learn. He is the type of the guy that seems curious about most things and he isn't afraid to ask questions. I like that about him but what I found more admirable was the way he seemed to know when he was pushing something to far. He was more conscious of the way his words affected those around him than most people and I think that makes him the type of guy you can trust. I know that I would have a hard time not wanting to trust him after I read about him. I think he is the type of guy that would be easy to have a crush on because of how he acts and what he does for people. Of course, I doubt I would be comfortable admitting such things if Conner were a real person but I can see why Laren and Katie would want to be with him. It surprised me once I got into the book that anyone would want to end a relationship with him. I would be inclined to say that she didn't know how great of a thing she had. 

When I began reading and Laren made her first appearance in the story, I knew that there was something incredible about her. I came to admire her as the story progress, although she is nowhere near perfect but really, who is? The relationship between her and Conner is one that did not fail to peak my interest. Even as their relationship began, there was always a sense that it was forbidden and that she was going to have to keep secrets from him and from other people. Not exactly the best way to fall in like but to each their own, I suppose. She grew on me more as the story continued and it was hard not to like her by the time the book was over. 

Overall, I really liked the story. It was beautifully written and had interesting characters. I encourage you all to go check it out. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jonathan Yanez was born and raised in a Christian household in Oxnard, CA. He was involved in everything from piano and saxophone lessons to swimming and track. Growing up hist parents encouraged him to read, and he did - anything he could get his hands on. Soon he developed a fascination with storytelling and characters that would follow him the rest of his life.

Graduating from BIOLA University with his BA in English Literature, he never lost his love for writing and creating. He now works part-time as a personal trainer and hopes to one day make the move to writing full-time.

Other than reading and writing, his passion is living life to the fullest. He loves: spending time with his wife and pets, watching movies, participating in mud runs, traveling, going to the gym, and pushing his limits in everything. This desire takes him anywhere from skydiving and motorcycle riding, to surfing in Hawaii and various types of martial arts. He has his eyes set next on archery and running with the bulls in Spain.

He is married to the love of his life and resides in Southern California with his husky, Daphne, and cat, Helen.

Twitter: @JonathanAYanez
Facebook: www.facebook.com/JonathanYanezAuthor
Blog: thebeastwithinbook.blogspot.com
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/user/show/13858613-jonathan-yanez


EXCERPT

As crazy as it sounded, Connor was beginning to accept his new reality. “So, where do I fit into all of this?”
“Well for that we’ll need a history lesson.” She cleared her throat. “Since the beginnings of mankind, there have been those individuals possessing more than just the normal set of abilities or skills. Call it what you will — natural selection, mutation, chance — but a select few have stood apart from the rest.
Every people or race has their own name for these beings. The Germans call them ‘The Rulers’ or ‘der Herrscher,’ the Irish — your ancestors — chose the word ‘Roghnaithe’ which means ‘Chosen,’ and in ancient Rome, the Latin word was ‘Beastia’ or ‘Animal.’ The abilities these individuals possess are closely related to many of the abilities found in animals; heightened senses, increased speed, and strength. Another bonus for these select few was the aging process. We still age, but at a much slower rate than our human counterparts.”
She paused in her lecture. “Following so far, Mr. Moore?”
Connor nodded. “I think I should sit down for the rest.”
“Probably a good idea,” she agreed, pausing long enough for him to take a seat.
“Now, with time, these gifted ‘people’ recognized their superiority and banded together forming clans or families. Soon these families began vying for power and rank; it didn’t take long for war to break out and humans were dragged into the mix. The war was so devastating to every side that only five families survived. These remaining five families called a truce and created a Council and a list of rules to abide by to ensure a war of this magnitude would never occur again.”


FOLLOW THE TOUR

April 6 -  The LUV'NV [Review]
April 6 - Enchanting Reads [Guest Post & PROMO]
April 7 -Paulette's Papers  [Guest Post & PROMO]
April 8 - Mythical Books [PROMO]
April 9 - Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews- [Interview & PROMO]
April 9 - Buffy's Ramblings [Guest Post & PROMO]
April 10 - Paberback Princess [Review & Interview]
April 11 - Reading With ABC [Review]
April 12 -My Cozie Corner [Review]

0 comments :

[Blog Tour] Taming Tyler (Texting Tyler #2) by Rebecca Rembish

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10:15 AM

In the sequel to Texting Tyler by Rebecca Rembish, you get the chance to see who Tyler really is and understand how life can throw you curve balls that you never could have expected.

REVIEW

Title: Taming Tyler
Author: Rebecca Rembish
Publish Date: February 18, 2013
Publisher: Mystic Mustangs Publishing
Pages: 230
Other Books in the Series: Texting Tyler
Buy the Book: Amazon
Rating: ★★★★★

In Rebecca Rembish's premier novel, 'texting tyler', Chris lives in the shadow of his older brother, struggling to be the popular one... the good looking one... the one all the girls adored.

No doubt about it, TylerClarke is hot.
Tyler Clarke has a reputation.
Tyler Clarke has been with every girl in school.
Tyler Clarke is also a virgin... or at least he was until his first date with Lori Matthews.

One thing Tyler could never seem to avoid was a label. Good or bad, no label had ever bothered him quite as much as the one he received from Lori. What was it about her that made him care so much? Why was she different from all the other girls he ever met?

While Tyler never made decisions on a future beyond high school, Lori is a planner. After graduation, she decides to spend her first year at home and attend the community college for two reasons. She needs more time to plan
her future and she needs to save money. Tyler and what came next were never part of her plan.

With an uncertain future, a pregnant girlfriend and not many people to turn to, Tyler struggles with one of the toughest years of his life.

Lori's careful plans are turned upside down. The fear of raising a baby inthe same difficult circumstances she grew up with and a relationship that scares her to death, Lori must make the most heart wrenching decision of her life.

Sometimes it can be overwhelming, reading so many fantasy (I'm generalizing right here) day after day. It's not to say that I don't love them because I do... but it is so nice to read something normal. I like the feel of a story that could be real -- that could happen to someone I know. There is something about those types of stories that manages to always hit home. That is a quality that I discovered in this novel. 

Taming Tyler by Rebecca Remish begins with Tyler, the type guy that every girl seems to want and he just goes along with it, earning himself the title of a man-slut. I prefer man-whore but that has no real basis in this review. There are always girls vying for his attention, which turns out to be more of a turn-off than a turn-on. How can it be that this guy who is never seen with the same girl is actually a virgin? No one would believe him if he told them the truth and he does, of course, have a reputation to uphold. Then in walks Lori, the most popular girl in school who just recently went through a major breakup. He knows that he never noticed her before because of her relationship but now he can't stop noticing. When she rejects him, he is thrown off his game and becomes determined to prove that he is more than some man-slut. But life proves to be more complicated than that when they begin dating. Pregnancy had never been in the cards for either of them and now... well, it's unavoidable. Will they stick together until the very end? What choice will they make for the baby's future? How do their friends respond to this sort of news? Well, you'll have to read to find out. 

I think that Tyler was an endearing character from the moment I began to read the story. It's something about the way that he acts. I'm always a fan of the guys who make bad choices and try to become a good person because of it. Of course, I would be upset if I were one of the girls he was texting but let's be honest here. If you are texting Tyler, you should already know the score because taming Tyler is out of the cards. Or well, it was. I admire him for everything that he isn't but tries to be. I think he felt stuck in life, lost with no direction on where to go. The greatest part of the story was watching Tyler grow up and grow up fast. He became the type of person that the old him would've laughed at. He became a guy that anyone would want to love.

Lori, oh Lori, how you managed Tyler I do not know. I find it funny that she knows he is attractive and yet doesn't seem into the idea of kissing a guy that has been kissed by too many other girls. All of her friends think she's crazy but I can see where she's coming from. I relate well with her character surprisingly. She is the type of girl that would be loyal to friends and kind to strangers. She wants more for her life, and for Tyler's, than they already have. Of course, the baby threw a proverbial wrench in that plan. It is the choice that she and Tyler make as a couple that proves the type of people they are underneath the drama and the baggage. 

I liked the way the story was written, the language was very true to how people speak now but without seeming too... lazy. I love the realism of the story and the way readers can connect with almost every character introduced. Beautiful story, definitely worth the read! 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Rembish is a stay at home mom to a mini superhero. To help balance out her adventurous days with a preschooler and grown-up married life, she escapes by writing Young Adult Romantic Fiction.

She is a compulsive nail biter, who makes daily trips to 7-11 for blueberry coffee. Rebecca grew up in Rockland County, New York, and now resides in New Jersey with her husband and son. Although Rebecca loves to text, amazingly, she and her husband of ten years have never once sent each other a text message.

Website:
Twitter: @justsendatext


FOLLOW THE TOUR

April 6 - My Reading Addiction [PROMO]
April 7 - Pieces of Whimsy  [PROMO]
April 8 - Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews [PROMO]

1 comments :

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

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5:30 PM

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, meant to highlight the upcoming releases we are anxiously anticipating.

I haven't done this sort of thing yet so let's see how I do. ;) I am thrilled to see how close some of these publish dates are and maybe you can join in on the excitement. This week on my eager to have released list are five different books:




Title: Invisibility
Author: Andrea Cremer & David Levithan
Publish Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Philomel
Buy the Book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon


Stephen has been invisible for practically his whole life — because of a curse his grandfather, a powerful cursecaster, bestowed on Stephen’s mother before Stephen was born. So when Elizabeth moves to Stephen’s NYC apartment building from Minnesota, no one is more surprised than he is that she can see him. A budding romance ensues, and when Stephen confides in Elizabeth about his predicament, the two of them decide to dive headfirst into the secret world of cursecasters and spellseekers to figure out a way to break the curse. But things don’t go as planned, especially when Stephen’s grandfather arrives in town, taking his anger out on everyone he sees. In the end, Elizabeth and Stephen must decide how big of a sacrifice they’re willing to make for Stephen to become visible — because the answer could mean the difference between life and death. At least for Elizabeth.


 Title: Gorgeous
Author: Paul Rudnick
Publish Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Buy the Book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Inner beauty wants out.

When eighteen-year-old Becky Randle’s mother dies, she’s summoned from her Missouri trailer park to meet Tom Kelly, the world’s top designer. He makes her an impossible offer: He’ll create three dresses to transform Becky from a nothing special girl into the most beautiful woman who ever lived.

Becky thinks Tom is a lunatic, or that he’s producing a hidden camera show called World’s Most Gullible Poor People. But she accepts, and she’s remade as Rebecca. When Becky looks in the mirror, she sees herself – an awkward mess of split ends and cankles. But when anyone else looks at Becky, they see pure five-alarm hotness.

Soon Rebecca is on the cover of Vogue, the new Hollywood darling, and dating celebrities. Then Becky meets Prince Gregory, heir to the British throne, and everything starts to crumble. Because Rebecca aside, Becky loves him. But to love her back, Gregory would have to look past the blinding Rebecca to see the real girl inside. And Becky knows there’s not enough magic in the world.

A screamingly defiant, hugely naughty, and impossibly fun free fall past the cat walks, the red carpets, and even the halls of Buckingham Palace, Gorgeous does the impossible: It makes you see yourself clearly for the first time.

Title: The Program (Program #1)
Author: Suzanne Young
Publish Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Buy the Book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon


In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.


 Title: Ultimate Betrayals
Author: Brittany Cournoyer
Publish Date: April 16, 2013
Publisher: Tate Publishing & Enterprises, L.L.C.
Buy the Book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Samantha Stewart witnessed a tragic event when she was just a child and it changed her from a young vibrant child into a sullen, completely silent, teenager. She only spoke to her parents and dear grandmother and didn’t have any friends. Her teachers ignored her and her peers at school were cruel.

Then one day it happened. A new boy, David Edwards, moved into town and again, Samantha’s world was changed. Thanks to a project given by her French teacher, she is forced into working with David on it. Her parents are on board with the idea so Samantha has to break her silence and talk to David. Then in a shocking twist of events she finds herself heart broken.

Again, Samantha’s life is turned upside down. But this time can she handle the change? How do you survive the Ultimate Betrayal?


 Title: Of Silver and Beasts
Author: Trisha Wolfe
Publish Date: May 1, 2013
Publisher: Self-published
Buy the Book: TBA


In the sand-covered queendom of Cavan, the goddess once saved a young Kaliope’s life, preventing the mercury her father attempted to hide in her blood from reaching her heart. Now, a cybernetic clamp filters it, but the silver streaks swirling faintly beneath her skin are a constant reminder that she’s different.

When nineteen-year-old Kaliope is chosen as head of the Nactue Guard, she becomes the sworn protector to her empress. In the midst of an invasion on a neighboring land, Kaliope is placed in charge of guarding Prince Caben, the last heir to his kingdom. But when they’re attacked by the feared Otherworlders, Caben and Kaliope are abducted and taken below to a realm where they must fight for their life in a caged arena.

Kaliope struggles to protect her princely charge, keeping him and herself alive while battling inhumanly opponents, and trying to save the stolen, sacred relic that will restore her empress’s life force and all of Cavan. And if she can somehow awaken the goddess within her, she may save what’s most important.

New Adult Dark Fantasy: Intended for readers 17 years of age and older.


Those are my five books for this week. I am pretty excited to get the chance to read them once they are released because they all sound epic for several different reasons. I should be getting back on track with reviews either tomorrow or the day after. I'd love to hear what sort of book everyone is looking forward to, so feel free to comment and let me know what you are looking forward to and whether you agree or disagree with the books on my list. Maybe your suggestions might help me find a few more books to buy in the future!

Here is what is coming up on the blog:

April 5 - The Beast Within by Jonathan Yanez [Blog Tour] & Taming Tyler by Rebecca Rembish [Blog Tour]
April 7The Body Electric by Allie Duzett & Invasion (C.H.A.O.S. #1) by Jon S. Lewis & The Lighting Beasts and the Great Tengu King (The Tale of the Valiant Hero Kenta #1) by Ezra Jacobs
April 8 - Russian Dolls by Cristelle Comby [Blog Tour+Interview] & A Glimpse of Her Soul by Stuart Jaffe [Blog Tour+Interview]

1 comments :

[Blog Tour: Interview & Giveaway] Rapture (Rapture #1) by Phillip W. Simpson

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1:27 PM

In Phillip Simpson's novel, Rapture, you find yourself tagging along on a journey of epic proportions as the main character Sam struggles to save those who were left behind after the Rapture. But who is going to want to be saved by a boy who is half-demon anyway?


REVIEW


Title: Rapture
Author: Phillip W. Simpson
Publish Date: September 1, 2011
Publisher: Pear Jam Books
Pages: 300
Other Books in the Series: Tribulation (Rapture #2), Apocalypse (Rapture #3)
Buy the Book: Amazon | Smashwords
Rating: ★★★★

The Rapture has occurred, just as the Bible predicted. The faithful have risen up to Heaven. Those left behind are in a living hell.

Earth burns, hell-like in its oppressive heat. Every volcano in the world has erupted, and tsunamis and earthquakes continue to devastate the planet. Clouds continually rain ash onto the scorched landscape, sparking fires all around. Plants and animals are dying. Food is scarce. The night sky is devoid of stars, and the moon - when it can be seen - is the colour of blood.

The remnants of humanity fight for survival. Most have fled the cities and now hide in caves deep in the mountains. By night, demons stalk the Earth, capturing the remaining humans and killing them - if they're lucky. The less fortunate are converted to worship of the Devil, and ushered into endless hell.

Eighteen year old Sam is unable to rise up because he is half demon. Hikari, a Japanese sword master and demon expert and his beautiful daughter, Aimi, have been all the family Sam has ever known. Now they're gone, and Sam must set out on the mission Hikari charged him with long ago: to help all the humans left behind. Armed only with his beloved Japanese swords and his wits, Sam wanders the post-apocalyptic world alone, separated forever from everyone he loves. Cursed by his demonic heritage, he must now embark on a quest that will take him across the US to the City of Angels.

There he will confront his destiny. There he must fight to save a friend ... and the souls of the living.

There is one simple fact about this cover: it is eye-candy. The second thing I wanted to say was this: I am happy that I got the opportunity to read it.

Rapture by Phillip W. Simpson is the story of Sam, a boy he always knew he was different and was aware that he would never be accepted because of it. Choices made long before he was born led to the terrible truth about his existence: he was not simply a human boy but rather a half-demon, conceived to bring about the apocalypse. What Satan had not considered was that the humanity in him would be stronger than any demonic urges that would be thrown at him. It was not planned for him to be raised up as a sort of savior to the people left behind after the Rapture. Yet here he was, doing exactly that. Now, a new Antichrist has risen up in the midst of all this horror and Sam's destiny seemed to be entwined with this unknown figure. His charge from heaven is to save the innocent and to finish off the Antichrist. Even I can say that it is a lot of pressure to be putting on some teenage kid. But he is no ordinary teenager and by the time the book is over, it's pretty clear.

The plot is actually very beautiful. Is that weird? I found the subject intriguing because the way it entangled both religion and a dystopian world was something that I had not considered. I've found that it is easier to separate the two completely from each other than to combine them. It's hard to make an appealing story when the book is basically saying, 'Those who are left behind are screwed because they sinned in life,' but there is a certain amount of humanity to the story. Of course, if Sam hadn't been there to act as some sort of savior to those left behind and protect them from going to Hell, I would've had a hard time with the story. It showed that even in the darkest of hours there is hope. No one is perfect so why condemn them straight away?

Sam, the main character, showed from the beginning that he was a strong character both physically, mentally, and emotionally. I suppose you would have to be in order to survive the things that he had to endure as the protector for this fallen world. In a matter of moments, he lost everyone that he had ever held dear to him and was left behind in a world that was ruled by demons. He could have easily lost hope in his destiny and lost touch with who he truly was but he held true to himself. It would have been hard to suddenly find himself surrounded by the people who once judged him -- who once hated him because he was so different. Why should he play savior for people who had always hated him or were most likely going to by the time everything was over? He knew that they would never be grateful for his efforts, because who would ever admit to feeling gratitude toward some half-demon creature? Even if he looked human, he knew he wasn't and so did they. I have a lot of respect for him in the sense that he protects everyone, even his enemies. I doubt I would have been willing to do what he must to fulfill his destiny. He earned a lot of props for giving away food to people who would never care for him. 

Even if he was half-demon, I think he is more human, more caring, more sacrificing than anyone else in this world. He is prepared to give up it all for the sake of a cause that made him an outcast.

I was curious about Hikari when he was first introduced to the story. I'll admit that I'm not used to having the term 'master' be used in the oriental context, which threw me off for a bit. I am taking history as one of my courses this semester so that's probably why. But for someone who I could've easily hated, there was something that just begged to be loved about him. He saw Sam as his son despite the fact that he was not and he accepted Sam for who he was because he knew that somewhere instead this boy, there was a strong will growing. It was hard to see how much certain things that happened to Sam affected him. I could literally feel the strong bond between the two of them and I crave to have that with my own father. It's funny how that works out. There is almost an undeniable ache left behind once he is gone, which is hard to read. Aimi is the daughter of Hikari and a couple years younger than Sam. She is mature for her age, something I can understand since she probably had to grow up faster than anyone else ever has. For knowing Sam's true nature, she never seemed to doubt that he was a good person and she rushed to his aid when he needed someone to be on his side. I liked that. She is Sam's best friend, she has seen him at his worst, and knows that he will do his best to fulfill his destiny. 

Overall, I really liked the way the story flowed and how the characters developed over the course of the book. I liked the way that it shifted from present to past, giving me insight into the characters who were no longer around since the Rapture. 



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phillip W. Simpson is an author of mostly children's books - both fiction and non-fiction.

As well as being a writer, he is an elementary school teacher. Career highlights include being in the army, gaining a Masters in Archaeology, owning a comic stop, becoming obsessed with martial arts and oriental weapons, and turning down a job at the British museum.

His YA novel RAPTURE (the first in the Rapture trilogy) was released Sept. 1st, 2011 by Pear Jam books. RAPTURE is a dystopian/post-apocalyptic story about the end of the world featuring demons, angels, and a half demon protagonist caught in the middle. RAPTURE was shortlisted for Sir Julius Vogel award for best Youth novel.

Book 2, TRIBULATION, was released in December 2012. The final book, APOCALYPSE, will be out early 2013.

On a personal note, he is married to Rose, has a son (Jack), and two border terriers, Whiskey and Raffles. He loves fishing, reading, football (aka soccer), and single malt Whiskeys. 

Book Website: www.rapturetrilogy.com
Author Website(s): www.phillipwsimpson.com AND www.phillipwsimpson.co.nz
Blog: www.phillipwsimpson.com/blog
Facebook: www.facebook.com/PhillipWSimpson.Author
Twitter: @PhillipWSimpson
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/5167118.Phillip_William_Simpson

EXCERPT



As soon as this thought entered his mind, it was interrupted by a demonic presence to his left. A cluster of Lemure surged out of what had once been the local coffee house, screaming as they advanced. Sam sprinted around a wrecked SUV to give himself some breathing room, drawing both swords.
He swung around to his left, still at full stretch. Whether by good luck or by displaying a higher than usual level of intelligence, three of the Lemure hadn’t fallen for the ploy. They met him on the other side of the SUV, running as hard as he was. Sam didn’t even pause. He struck high then low and spun around to deliver a double blow to the third Lemure. All three turned to ash in his wake.
He kept sprinting, skirting around the wrecks in the middle of Main Street, heading east. It was opposite to the direction he wanted to head in but he would double back later in order to confuse his pursuers.
Sensing that the demons were falling behind, Sam slowed to a fast jog. He could keep this pace up for hours if he needed to. Before the Rapture, he had often run into the Rockies and back before the sun had even snuck up over the horizon. Night-time was when he always trained, away from prying eyes. He always felt stronger in the dark. Hikari had told him that his night vision was much better than any other humans, something he had suspected when he realized he could see almost perfectly in all but the most absolute darkness.
It was just as well because now the only light came from the moon, which was hardly a great source of illumination. Normally, street lights, the frontages of residential homes, the odd shop open for a late night and the occasional car would provide ample light for the average resident. It was odd running through the small town like this, guided only by the malevolent red glow from above.
Disturbingly, despite his injuries, Sam felt even stronger right at that moment, almost as if the moon was energizing him. He looked up, hoping to catch a glimpse of a star in the now cloudless sky. There were none. Had been none since the Rapture. The stars, once beautiful and sparkling in the clear country air, had all fallen. Where they had landed, Sam had no idea. He just knew that they weren’t in the sky anymore.
Suddenly a shadow fell across the moon, a strong wind buffeting him from above. He’d sensed the presence of the Astaroth but he was far, far too late. Too late and too slow. Cursing himself for his lack of concentration, Sam attempted to roll but felt something lift him off his feet with a powerful jolt. It was the Astaroth alright. Clearly, those wings weren’t for show, he thought wryly as the Astaroth slowly gained height. Luck had been on his side though. Instead of those mighty talons piercing his skin, they had merely jagged his backpack.
Then Sam remembered what were in his hands. What had been in his hands all the way down Main Street. His swords. He swept both up at the same time, each aiming for a different leg, and felt a savage surge of satisfaction as the iron weapons both connected and bit deeply. The Astaroth roared so loudly that, if Sam had been able to, he would’ve covered his ears.
Instead, he found himself falling. Surprisingly quickly. He thought, rather belatedly, that he hadn’t actually planned this out very carefully.
The ground rushed up to meet him.


INTERVIEW



  1. I know a lot of authors hate the question about what inspired them to write a story but I’m always curious. So here’s my question: what led to your interest in writing the story?

Because I love end of the world scenarios where you think ‘what would I do in that situation?’ My wife and I often have conversations (probably as a result of watching too many zombie movies) about what we would do if we found ourselves in this position. How would we survive? Where would we go? Who would be with us? I also like stories about survival and one person or a small group fighting against a world gone mad. Even though I love zombies and vampires, I wanted to write something that had more of a fresh appeal. I’d read the Left Behind series years ago and using the concept of the Rapture as a stepping off point started to percolate. The Left Behind series puts the characters in a contemporary setting. I wanted to tie in my love of fantasy with that and have a far more surreal backdrop. Plus, I love anything with angels and demons and end of the world scenarios.


  1. Are there any messages in the story that you want the readers to grasp by the time they finish the book?

That’s a tricky one. I’m fascinated by end of the world scenarios, possibly because I read lots of books and watch tons of movies about them. I like the idea of being prepared for a disaster and thinking what I would do in that situation but I certainly hope it never eventuates. The end of the world could happen in lots of different ways. A zombie apocalypse, virus, disease, nuclear war, the Rapture, hit by a meteorite, natural disasters – you get the idea. It’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. I suppose then that my message is ‘be prepared.’ I also wanted to explore the themes of nature versus nurture. I’m a school teacher by day and often find myself musing over children’s behavior. Do they behave the way they do because they were born that way or is it because of their upbringing? I often wonder what would happen if a certain child was brought up in a loving family. I’m positive it would turn out for the best. That’s where I went with Sam (the main character). Even though he’s inherently bad (demon), he’s spent all his life being nurtured in a loving (albeit slightly dysfunctional) human family. Finally, don't judge a book by its cover. A person should be judged on their actions rather than their appearance.


  1. Now, I am going to ask a question that typically isn’t a favorable question. I’m going to ask you to pick favorites. Who is your favorite character to write and why? Which character do you relate the most to?

Aimi is probably my least favorite – just because I’m not a teenage girl and never have been. How on earth does a grown man get into the head of a teenage girl? I can't figure my wife out half the time. But when you are writing dialogue you have to try and get in the characters head. It can be a challenge. At least with Sam, I can relate because I was once a teenage boy. Sam is probably my favorite character just because he is so tragic and yet so brave and powerful. He likes to be alone (even though, conversely, he does crave human companionship) and spend time outdoors, hiking and training. I like to go hiking and have a slight obsession with martial training. I did six years of kung fu and now do MMA (mixed martial arts) twice a week. I also find martial weapons  - especially swords like the katana -  a thing of beauty. I admire the workmanship and the long hours that has gone into their creation. Much like writing a book.


  1. The process of creating characters seems to be very complex and different for each writer. Did you base any of your characters off of people you know in real life? Did you have them go through similar experiences that people you know or you have gone through?

Adam, the leader of the Black Ridge survivors is based on one on my friends. His name is, well, Adam. He’s solid and dependable, too. I killed off quite a few of my other friends in the book too. Grace’s Aunty and Uncle (Greg and Linda Muller) are good friends in real life. I killed them off without giving them a scene. Lots of friends have asked to be included in the books (their names in any case), but I keep warning them that they will probably die. As for similar experiences, no-one I know personally has endured the torment poor Sam suffers in the Trilogy.


  1. What was your favorite scene to write? I’ve always liked that authors seem to never favor the same type of scenes. Some are all for the action and suspense scenes while others prefer the complex, deep, and emotional scenes. Which type of scenes do you prefer to write?

The opening scene in Rapture is where the main character, Sam, is waiting in the darkness for the demons to emerge and come for him. I find these types of scenes quite scary. The whole unknown quantity. The audience at this point don’t know what is coming for him, who he is and what has happened to the world. It’s a very tense scene and as a result, was very enjoyable but quite intense for me to write. I like writing action sequences. I go through them in my head and practice some of the moves to ensure they make sense. But I really like emotionally charged scenes as well such as the death of a major character. Scenes like that often make me cry so while they are incredibly difficult to write, they are also extremely satisfying.


  1. Most authors place a lot of value on pre-writing rituals to help them prepare for writing different scenes and getting into a character’s mind. Do you have any?

For preparation, I get on the rowing machine in the morning and listen to my ipod. That’s when I do most of my thinking. I visualize the scenes in my head and the exercise clears my head and gets me charged up. I then drink about three cups of coffee while I'm running the conversations through my head or thinking about how a character would react to a certain situation.


  1. What books have influenced your life the most? Or rather what characters have made the biggest impact on you?

The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I absolutely-cannot-put-it-down-read-it-until-I’d-finished loved it. I loved the bleak, ash-covered world and the washed out colors. I loved the perseverance of the father in the face of almost overwhelming odds. Like many, I got into fantasy because of Tolkien. I must have read the Hobbit when I was seven. Jack Vance is my all-time favorite author. He is just such a wordsmith. One of my favorite characters is Cugel the Clever. And I love the Lee Child's character of Jack Reacher. All these characters have similarities in that they face adversity largely alone and come up with creative solutions to overcome obstacles. Much like Sam.


  1. Because I’m a huge fan of reading and love different authors because of their different writing styles, I’m curious about whether you have that same experience. I like certain ways that authors word things and it seems to influence the way I write. Do you have any authors that you would consider influential on your writing?

Jack Vance's style is magical and has a timeless charm. Effortless. He is very descriptive though and I really wanted to try and get away from that a bit with my latest novels (I have been guilty of it before) because it has a tendency to slow down the narrative. I also wanted to rev up my pacing. I’d read a few of Lee Child’s books (Jack Reacher novels) just before starting Rapture and I really liked his pared down, thrifty approach to his prose. I think he has definitely influenced my writing style.


  1. Are there any new books that have come out or are coming out that have caught your attention?

I've got more books than you can poke a stick at. I keep buying more so I don't get to read half of them. Next in line is Battle Royale by Japanese writer Koushun Takami (1999). I've been reading lots of great reviews about zombies and the zombie apocalypse which I'm tempted to bite (ha!) into.


  1. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?  

This sounds trite because every author says it but it’s true – write, write, and then write some more. Read lots. Write in the genre you love. I’ve become a better writer because I read and write a lot. Practice makes perfect. Develop a thick skin and be prepared to get back on the horse every time you fall off. You will face rejection and criticism in the course of your writing career.

FOLLOW THE TOUR


April 3 - Bookworm Avenue [PROMO]
April 4 - Paperback Princess [Review & Interview]
April 5 - Books, Books, and More Books [Review]
April 6 - Word to Dreams [Review]
April 8 - Gimme The Scoop  [PROMO]
April 8 - Reader Girls [Review & Interview]
April 9 - Lov Liv Life Reviews [Guest Post & PROMO]
April 10 - Cherie Reads  [Review]
April 11 - RABT Reviews [Review]
April 11 - Books, Authors, Blogs [Review]
April 12 - Bibliophilia: A Love Story [Review & Interview]

GIVEAWAY

This is a giveaway for 3 Print Copies of Rapture and 1 Print Copy of Tribulation

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