Friday, 6 March 2015

{Guest Post} Crow Moon by Anna McKerrow

23567756Crow Moon
by Anna McKerrow
Release Date: March 5th, 2015
Publishers: Quercus
Genre: YA, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 384
Danny is a fun-loving 16-year-old looking for a father figure and falling in love with a different girl every day. He certainly doesn't want to follow in his mum's witchy footsteps.

Just as his community is being threatened by gangs intent on finding a lucrative power source to sell to the world, Danny discovers he is stunningly powerful. And when he falls for Saba, a gorgeous but capricious girl sorceress, he thinks maybe the witch thing might not be such a bad idea...

But what cost will Danny pay as, with his community on the brink of war, he finds that love and sorcery are more dangerous than he ever imagined?

Wickedness and passion combine in this coming-of-age adventure.

Top 5 (okay 6) favourite fictional witches
By Anna McKerrow

1.      Willow Rosenberg  in Buffy The Vampire Slayer 
Willow is, in my opinion, far and away the best modern depiction of a witch in popular culture, because she’s a normal girl. Kind of a geeky girl, actually. Oh - and she’s gay.

Admittedly, things go a bit fantasy here and there, especially later in the series when she becomes a supernatural demon-type with red eyes – the possibilities of a paranormal character and storyline is pretty tempting for any writer, and we do have to remember that Willow operates in a world where vampires are real from day one. So her role as a witch is always an interesting one, because Buffy mixes “real” occultism and Wicca, in Willow’s case, with storybook fantasy magic throughout the series. Hard to do but obviously Joss Whedon is a god.

So apart from being a brilliant representation of a young lesbian, with a sensitive and realistic relationship, Willow learns how to be a witch, and gets better over time. She’s bookish and reads a lot. She tries stuff out and gets it wrong.  Her personal power develops because of her commitment rather than she just wakes up one day and poof! She’s a witch. Magic for Willow is not something she is born with or is bestowed by some kind of paranormal process. She works at it. Also, at one stage in the series, she has a virtual circle of fellow witches that help her cast spells online. This is in fact mirrored now by a number of virtual groups getting together to mediate and run healing sessions online. I remember thinking at the time how cool it was that Willow did that – boom, years later, I’m attending Goddess Healing Meditation via facebook on a Sunday night, 9pm-9.30pm.

2.      Sandra Bullock as Sally in Practical Magic
Oh to be Sally in this film. Not only does she have just the most perfect hair in the world, but she has that lovely little herbal pharmacy-come-White Company-shop and makes lots of semi-medicinal potions in smart shiny bottles, and hooks up with a hot odd-eyed policeman at the end. What’s not to love?

Apart from the hair and the toiletries, what I really love about Practical Magic is that Sally belongs to a family of witches that are at least a little depicted as witches that do realistic things like attend seasonal festivals and help out local women with their love lives. Oh, and grow plants. (I love the earth energy in this film). The bringing the man back from the dead spell is obviously fluff, and irritating because they (presumably deliberately) mispronounce the Goddess they are appealing to for help as Heck-tate instead of Hecate – Heck-ah-tee, Greek goddess of magic, witches, the moon.

Still, midnight margaritas with Dianne Wiest and Stockard Channing? Yes please.

3.      Fairuza Balk as Nancy Downs in The Craft
In 1996, The Craft happened. I was 19, and already a wannabe witch.
Oddly, I didn’t really rate The Craft when I first saw it. I think it was because (spoiler alert) Nancy goes mad at the end of the film from being possessed by a made-up god, and I thought that was some kind of unnecessary party-pooper warning about the dangers of witchcraft. Despite that bit, the film has a great emphasis on four teen girls forming their own coven and, particularly in one scene, dedicating themselves to being witches in a thoughtful and semi-accurate way: being outside, somewhere beautiful; calling in the elements:

Nancy: Hail to the guardians of the watchtowers of the East, the powers of air and invention. Hear me! Us! Hear us! 
Bonnie: Hail to the guardians of the watchtowers of the South, the powers of fire and feeling. Hear us. 
Rochelle: Hail to the guardians of the watchtowers of the West, powers of water and intuition. Hear us. 
Sarah: Hail to the guardians of the watchtowers of the North, by the powers of mother and earth. Hear us. 
Nancy: Aid us in our magical workings on this May's eve. 

Nancy, despite being the “bad” character who “goes too far” with the magic and ends up in a bad way, is pleasingly gothy, punky and troubled, and has the advantage as a fictional witch of being someone that, again, learns how do magic rather than someone that has exceptional natural powers, which is often the go-to approach for witch fitch (my term), and the case for her fellow character, “good” witch, Sarah. She is the one that takes the girls to their local new age shop (which, apparently, in real life, she bought). The film apparently had a Wiccan high priestess as an advisor, and you can see it in the detail of the rituals they conduct and the overall philosophy they follow, though only so far of course. Nancy is by far the coolest character in The Craft, and I think subconsciously I based my character Demelza at least a little on her.

4.      Vivienne Le Fay Morgan / Morgan Le Fay 
The archetypal witch, Morgan Le Fay – Morgan of the Fairies – is Queen of Magic. Enchantress and sister of Arthur, she is represented in a variety of positive and not-so-positive ways by a number of authors. In Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Mists of Avalon and Fay Sampson’s Daughter of Tintagel, she is a priestess of the Old Religion. In some poetry she is more the Goddess herself. In Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Geraldine McEwan plays her as Morgana, a batty old crone with crazy hair living in a subterranean dry-iced lair, sticking her talons into eggs full of blood (wherever one would get THOSE - the blood looks suspiciously like sweet & sour sauce. Ohhh the production value).  Eva Green played a gorgeous seductress Morgana Pendragon in the (criminally, in my view – it was brilliant, much better than the BBC’s crap Merlin) discontinued TV series Camelot.

My favourite, though, is Dion Fortune’s Vivienne Le Fay Morgan, witch and Sea Priestess, in the books The Sea Priestess and Moon Magic. She’s a proper witch, knowing the mysteries of the sea, and inducting a clueless civil servant type into sea and moon magic whilst all the time it’s implicated that she is the original timeless Morgan Le Fay herself, Queen of Magic. Tinglingly good.

5.      Gloria and Stella in Switch 
Switch was another series that never made it past the first series, and it really should have because it was/is (you can still see it on Netflix) absolutely brilliant. The premise is that four young witches share a flat in Camden and do magic (admittedly of the finding a boyfriend sort) by getting together over a large cooking pot, chucking some random herbs in it and joining hands for a “SWITCH”. The good thing about it is, though, as well as featuring a black character and a lesbian, and being funny and well-written, that the four characters represent (very clearly, IMO) earth, air, fire and water. So, Stella (Lacey Turner in a pleasant change from Eastenders) is earth and is businessy, works in advertising, wears nice clothes, has plenty of money. Jude’s a sexy, creative Leo; Grace is a sensitive, caring water sign and Hannah’s an airy free spirit traveller.

The other thing I loved about it was Gloria, Grace’s mum, played by Caroline Quentin, is a wonderful, warm, funny and pretty well depicted pagan mum that’s involved in a the community, and appears in a couple of episodes chivvying the girls along to be better witches and to come and take part in a solstice.

6.      The Halliwell sisters in Charmed 
I can’t really narrow it down to one of them. I loved them all. If I had to pick… Piper, probably. She owns a bar and she’s got the best hair. Again, a mega series of the 90s, now.

About the Author: Anna McKerrow works on creative writing projects for the reading charity Booktrust, which is where she became interested in Young Adult fiction. (It wasn’t around when she was 15; she went straight from Judy Blume to Jackie Collins). She has also published four volumes of poetry and teaches creative writing in adult education. Anna is interested in all things magical, reads the tarot and is a Reiki healer. Her favourite place in the world is Glastonbury, and she loves the sacred sites of the south west of England, where she grew up. She believes passionately, like Alan Moore, that creative activities such as writing are a kind of magic in themselves. 

Thursday, 5 March 2015

{Review} The Upside-Down Fish by Kate Louise & Laura Matine

18712335Posted by Donna
Release Date:  February 3rd, 2015
Finished Date: February 25th, 2015
Publishers: Sky Pony Press
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Ages: 3-6 years 
Source: For Review
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 36
Upside-down Fish lives in a big tank at a pet store filled with lots of other fish. The other fish in the tank swim the right-way up, though, and they don’t understand why Upside-down Fish is so different. This makes him very lonely. One day, a child comes into the store and chooses Upside-down Fish as a pet. He is anxious that he won’t be accepted in his new tank, but much to his surprise, the new fish are friendly! They love that he is different and want to know what it’s like to have the sky below and the ground above. Upside-down Fish realizes that it’s okay to be different—it’s what makes him so special.

Kate Louise and Laura Matine’s The Upside-Down Fish is about being yourself and finding happiness with people who accept you for who you are. Inspired by the author’s own upside-down fish, this is a book for any child who feels a little different and needs that extra boost of confidence that he or she is unique.

The Review: The Upside-Down Fish is a beautiful story about a fish that is not like all the other fish. If you haven’t already guessed this fish is upside down and upset that no-one wants to take him home. It’s not until a little girl decides she wants to buy him because of him being upside that the little fish truly discovers what it’s like to find a home and really fit into the world. 

This is a remarkable and touching story about being socially accepted and I love message behind it and how relatable people will find it. 

Reading this with my 4 year old was really an enjoyable moment. I adore stories that teach her that not everyone is the same and she clearly understood this while reading it. I loved seeing the expressions on her face during the story. I could see the sadness on her face when the upside-down fish was upset and I could see the happiness on her face when we reached the end of the story, and I love how she questions things about the story. It’s simple, we both fell in love with The Upside-Down Fish. Not only is the story memorable but it has beautiful, bright and bold illustrations that complements the story perfectly. 

In all, The Upside-Down Fish is a fantastic read to enjoy with little ones but it’s one adult can enjoy to! Highly recommended. 

Thank you to Kate Louise for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

WBD Teen Fest: Why I Can’t Live Without Books + Giveaway #cantlivewithoutbooks


Today we are celebrating WORLD BOOK DAY Teen Fest!
Over the next few days World Book Day be hosting their first multi-platform online festival, targeted specifically at teenagers. They have author interviews, exclusive author blog posts, book-related DIY videos, author Spotify playlists, trade secrets on how to land yourself a job in the publishing world and #shelfies (photos of authors’ book shelves!) There are some fabulous authors taking part such as Holly Smale,  Gayle Forman, Non Pratt to name a few. You can find the schedule HERE. So don't forget to stop by and check out the online festival. 

Why I Can't Live Without Books. 

I can remember a time when I never read. Sad I know, but it’s also one of my biggest regrets. When I look back on my childhood, I had a great time but I can’t help ask myself ‘what would it have been like if I’d read?’ If I’m honest I feel like I’ve missed out on something. 

Fast forward 10 years and it brings me to my early 20’s and I did start to read slowly but I never really found the right genre until Twilight and Twilight of course made me discover a whole new world of young adult books and I was hooked from the start. 

Reading for me now is a part of my everyday life. I cannot NOT read. There is never a time where I’m not halfway through a book or even when I’m not thinking of reading. Reading has become a passion. It’s something not only to fall in love with but it’s an escape into someone else’s world and a journey of discovery. A discovery into all the magical what if’s of the world. What if this really happened? Whether it is contemporary or dystopia, or sci-fi or fantasy I love it. I love seeing the ideas that other people have and, read them from the pages and get lost in the world that is created. It’s the best feeling when you’ve finished a book that you absolutely loved and you can’t stop thinking about it. It’s even better when you have people around you that you can share your thoughts with too.

So, it’s plain and simple for me, I love reading and it’s a love that won’t be ever going away.  

World Book Day have kindly donated a YA book bundle for one lucky winner.  This giveaway is only open to UK & IRE and is open until 11th March 2015.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

{Review} Vision in Silver (The Others #3) by Anne Bishop

21457243Posted by Melanie
Release Date: March 3rd, 2015
Finished Date: February 9th, 2015
Publishers:  Penguin Publishing Group
Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: 416
The Others freed the  cassandra sangue  to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…

The Review: Tension between the Others and the Humans reaches a new climax in the third book of the series because if you thought the last book had put an end to things….. you were wrong. After the Others freed the blood prophets from their confines, everything should have gone back to being normal but it didn’t. First off, the Cassandra sangue are not adjusting to life outside of the compound in which they were kept, some a hurting themselves, some are being hurt by others and their carers are at a loss as how to help them. With the Humans First & Last movement putting pressure on the Others to release the whereabouts of the girls because of their delicate states, it falls to Meg to show them how to live on the outside. Meg is still struggling with the need to cut and a new visitor to Lakeside sends her reeling with the need. This visitor is hiding secrets, secrets that not only put the humans around her at risk but also the Others when they lend support and protection and could be the catalyst for something else. The HFL are not backing down with their propaganda about the Others and will stop at nothing to portray them as savages but to what end? if it’s a war they want it looks like they may finally get their wishes.

Whilst not my favourite in the series Vision in Silver is still a compelling read.
I absolutely love this series and find the author has created a very rich world filled with a diverse cast of characters that pulls you in with every chapter. Meg’s character is just as prominent in this book, she is still struggling with the need to cut but is discovering new things about her sight that just might save her. I love how she affects everyone around her, her innocence plus the need to learn and understand seems to be having such a positive effect on the Others making them want to try too. I feel all of the Others in the courtyard have become more tolerant and willing to compromise because of Meg, it helps that her human learning experience is also teaching the Others about humans too. Now, one of the things that also draws me into this world is the relationship between Simon and Meg, it’s clear to the reader that they have some kind of feelings for each other but because both of them are not used to having those emotions or knowing what they are – they don’t understand them – and this gives it a really innocent feel. It has progressed at a snail’s pace but that’s ok, it leaves you hanging on for the moments they spend together and I love it when Simon gets growly when Meg’s in a situation he doesn’t like.
The storyline is a clear progression from the two previous books and you can really get a feel for where the series is headed… and that is to war. It seems that Humans have short memories and because of the punishment doled out to those associated with the drugs, the Humans First & Last movement have gained a great deal of followers and they aren’t afraid to show where their loyalties lie. There are talks of food shortages, taking land back from the Others, demanding to know where the Cassandra Sangue are and needless to say – the Others aren’t happy. They don’t understand how there can be food shortages or why anything should change, all they know is that the HFL are stirring up hatred towards them and that cannot be tolerated. The story really builds the basis for what seems like the inevitable, it shows us a lot of what is going on and by the end of the book we are aware of what lengths both sides will go to, the Humans do get brave indeed and it will have consequences for both sides. We also catch up with some of the Cassandra Sangue and see that it is a struggle for them to adjust, it’s really sad to think that they’ve lived their lives in seclusion and now can’t face the extra stimuli of the real world, so Meg tries to help with that and we get a lot of hope from one particular girl who wants to live.
As I said, whilst this book was great read, it lacked the intensity of the other books, but saying that – it also felt like the calm before the storm. I loved where the story went plot wise and also character wise and as always… I’m left wanting more from this fabulous series.

4.5 flowers!

Monday, 2 March 2015

{Review} With Every Heartbeat (Forbidden Men #4) by Linda Kage

23019564Posted by Donna
Release Date: March 2nd, 2015
Finished Date: February 17th, 2015
Publishers: Self Published
Genre: NA, Contemporary, Romance
Source: For Review
Format: eARC
Pages: Unknown
*New Adult Romance*

I used to think everything was black and white, truth or lie, easy or hard, that if I could just escape my strict, overbearing, abusive father, my life would be perfect. But since I’ve found a reason to risk his wrath and leave, to help a friend in need, I’ve come to realize everything I thought I knew is wrong. 

Friends have their own agenda, honesty comes with a dosage of lie, easy doesn’t even exist, keeping secrets sucks, and love...love is the most painful thing of all. 

Maybe if Quinn Hamilton hadn’t asked me to skip classes for the day and help him pick out an engagement ring for my best friend, I wouldn’t have fallen for him so completely on that sunny Tuesday afternoon and I wouldn’t feel so conflicted. But I did, and I can’t take it back, no matter how hard I try. So I have to deal with the fact that even I’m not as good, or honest, or caring as I’d always thought I was, and no matter what I do next, someone’s going to get hurt. Probably me.

-Zoey Blakeland

*Don't worry! The hero and heroine are not cheaters.*

The Review: I was counting down the days until a copy of this book landed in my lap, so thank you Linda Kage for continuing with one of my favourite series and giving me more from my favourite men. 

In With Every Heartbeat Quinn Hamilton is happily dating the first girl he ever slept with. He’s content and pleased that someone like Cora loves him because he’s always believed that people with a past like his can’t be loved. 

Zoey Blakeland, running from her father to help the one friend whose stuck by her all these years is now moving to college to live with Cora. But upon meeting Cora’s boyfriend Quinn, she knows that she has to try and stay away from him because there’s definitely something between them and she refuses to betray her best friend. 

As Quinn and Zoey fight their attraction for one another, what they don’t know is that Cora is playing her own game and Quinn and Zoey are both her pawns in her little game. 

As soon as I heard Quinn was getting his own story, I was immediately excited. I was hoping that Ten was going to be first but after reading With Every Heartbeat I could see why that couldn’t quiet happen yet because Ten wasn’t ready yet. Anyway, back to Quinn and Zoey’s story. I loved them. I really did. I was little unsure about Zoey’s character to start with, just because I’d never met her before so there were a lot of introductions to start with but, honestly  she fit right in with all my favourite characters. I did feel that with Zoey being new to the group that it did slow down the first 30% of the book, mainly because there was a lot of talk about how all the other characters go together and where they were at with their relationships. Maybe if Zoey already knew the characters before With Every Heartbeat it may have kick started the start of her story quicker. Anyway, despite this very small issue I had, I still loved the story. 

I’ve always been a fan of Quinn and I couldn’t wait for more. He’s such a loyal, honest, devoted guy and quiet guy that will do anything for his friends. Sometimes it’s easy to forget what Quinn is capable of because he is the shy guy but I loved seeing other sides of his personality shine throughout the story.  But one thing I hated about Quinn’s story was Cora. That girl was hard to stomach. I hated the way Zoey and Quinn were so loyal to Cora and more so because Quinn and Zoey are both such good people that they see the good in everyone but for me, Cora was pure evil. Evil! And I didn’t feel sorry for her just one bit. 

I really enjoyed the plot of the story. I found it intense and hard to put down. I was curious how Linda Kage was going to pull of the story and not have the two characters cheat and the way she did it was really good. So this is NOT A CHEATING book! You’re safe people. LOL. 

In all, With Every Heartbeat is another great addition to this remarkable and lovable series and I’m so glad I don’t have to wait long for Ten’s story. 

Thank you to Linda Kage for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Saturday, 28 February 2015

{Review} Dog with a Bone (Black Dog #1) by Hailey Edwards

23211040Posted by Melanie 
Release Date: October 31st, 2014
Finished Date: February 18th, 2015
Publishers: Self Published 
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: 100
Buy: Amazon UK Amazon US

Half-bloods with Thierry’s skill set are given two options. They can join the conclave’s marshal program, or they can pack their bags. Turn down the job offer, and you’ve just shredded your residency pass for the mortal realm and booked yourself a one-way ticket to Faerie.

Texas is the only home Thierry has ever known, and she’s not going anywhere. 

Even if it means following in her notorious father’s footsteps as a peacekeeper. 

But pinning on the badge opens her eyes to the fact sometimes fae need protection too, and that sometimes humans are the real monsters.

The Review: Dog with a Bone is the first book in the Black Dog series and what an opener it was !
We meet Thierry Thackerey in the thick of her qualifying exam to become a Marshall, failure is not an option for her considering the program is the only place that offered her sanctuary when her gift manifested. She has been trained by Shaw who is an incubus and let’s just say….. his lure isn’t the only thing that draws Thierry to him. He’s her friend and one of the only ones who’s immune to her gift making him perfect to train her. They share a mutual attraction but nothing can come of it whilst she is still his student but come graduation… he won’t be staying in the friend zone for much longer if Thierry has her way.
After successfully qualifying to become a Marshall, she is partnered with Shaw for a few weeks of on the job training but when they head out to their first assignment…. It turns out to be bigger than any of them ever expected.

I honestly loved this book, I loved everything about it. Thierry was the sort of heroine one could really route for and has all of the traits a good UF leading lady should have – awesome power, kick ass moves, sense of humour and of course a hot sidekick/partner. She is more than capable of doing her new job and you can tell that she is gutsy and willing to take a risk to do what’s right. I liked the love connection with Shaw, her power actually compliments his and they have a very easy going camaraderie going on where they are attune with how the other thinks, making them perfect partners to work together. Not only that but they have a forbidden love thing about them too with Shaw being her trainer and her being the student…. I love this type of love connection and with the way they know each other it just makes sense that they would seek each other for love. They give us a few hot moments throughout the book when they give out a ‘will they, won’t they’ vibe and I’m quite looking forward to seeing their relationship develop.
With this being the first in a series it is very much a getting to know you and your world book but unlike some, it isn’t overloaded with information and the story shines through. The job Thierry is aiming for as Marshall is to police the Fae of the world, humans are still in the dark about it and everyone wants it to stay that way so the Marshalls keep the peace. Thierry is a half breed so has her foot in both worlds and that gives her an edge in her job because she can view things from both points of view but her investigation does make you wonder who the bad guys really are – Fae or Human? I thought the investigative thread of the story was fab! I love anything like that and it is probably why I love UF like I do. This story kept me engrossed in the book, I wanted to know what was going on and the more into the story we got, the more we were introduced to different species and enveloped in the world. The plot definitely kept me on my toes with plenty of action and mystery, leading to secrets being revealed and I was kept guessing right up until the end about what had happened, so when you add to that great pacing, great characters and a sprinkle of love…. I’m well happy. I thought this was a great introduction to the series, it has tons of potential but I want a longer story next time and maybe more of Thierry’s background so that I can really get behind her. 

4.5 flowers! 

Thank you to Hailey Edwards for giving me the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Friday, 27 February 2015

{Blog Tour + Kindle Giveaway} Rebecca Newton and the Last Oracle by Mario Routi (UK only)

20567230Rebecca Newton and the Last Oracle by Mario Routi 
Release Date: April 4th, 2015
Publishers: Oak Tree Press, UK
Genre: YA Fantasy 
Rebecca’s life is about to change!

In the beginning, the ancient Gods created not just the earth. They also created three other worlds: the Elysian Fields, a paradise where they themselves live; Tartarus, the dark world of demons and Titans, ruled over by the ancient deity Cronus; and finally the Land of the White Sun, where all the heroes and creatures of myth dwell – Centaurs and Minotaurs, Cyclopes and Gorgons, Amazons and flying horses! In this land the Creator planted the Sacred Flame, the Cosmic Source that keeps the universe in balance and must be protected from the Dark monsters and Evil Gods who desire to seize it, in order to destroy all the worlds.

Hearing that Rebecca is charismatic, Turgoth, ruler of the kingdom of Beast, arranges for her abduction. When the two of them come face to face, they realise that there is a strange bond between them and their destinies become entwined forever. But although they start to share deep feelings for each other, they are doomed to fight on opposite sides...

Rebecca Newton and the Sacred Flame is a tale of epic wars, grand passions, mythical creatures and ancient Gods – an adventure story which reaches to the core of what we mean when we speak of “Good” and “Evil”. 

To celebrate the release of his second YA fantasy, Rebecca Newton and the Scared Flame with have author Mario Routi here with us today who will be answering a few of our questions;

1)   How did you come with the idea for the series?
I’d wanted to write the series for a few years.  Several paranormal experiences turned the flame on, but one of these was a chance encounter with an old man in a restaurant many years ago.  He read my first adult book, Orizon, also based in world of Rebecca Newton, and claimed that the place was real and that he’d been there!  As well as that, a life-long love of fantasy fiction inspired me to pick up my pen and give this series a go.

2)   How long does it take to you to write a book?
It takes me about a year to write a book. I make a rough mapping for the plot – where I want the story to go, end up and how I want my characters to behave.  Once I get started, however, I let myself relax and let the story go where it pleases, all the while checking back that I’m keeping to the rough ‘map’. 

3)   Which was the most challenging thing about this book to write?
I think the most tricky thing is to keep a good balance between description and action. I love writing both, but you need the right balance to keep the story moving but give it life. 

4)   Do you have a favourite character from the book? 
Rebecca is of course my little girl, but I see a lot of myself in Turgoth.

5)   Do you have a favourite quote from the book?
I do! It’s short, but to the point! ‘Souls are immortal!’

6)   Whatʼs next for you?
I'm currently on the 3rd book of the Rebecca Newton Saga. Once that's done, I guess there will be another Mythical Epic Fantasy – watch this space!

To celebrate the publication of Rebecca Newton and the Last Oracle, I have a brand new kindle and a copy of the book to give away to one lucky reader. 

To be in with a chance of winning, simply tweet your answer to the this question:

‘If you were granted one superpower, what would it be?’

to @BookPforLife and @MarioRouti using the hashtag #RebeccaNewton

The giveaway is UK only!