Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Audiobook Review: Primordial by David Wood and Alan Baxter!


    Primordial Audiobook
  • Written by: David Wood , Alan Baxter
  • Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
  • Length: 8 hrs and 15 mins 
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release Date:09-08-17
  • Publisher: Gryphonwood Press
  • Sometimes, the legends are true.When eccentric billionaire Ellis Holloway hires renegade marine biologist Sam Aston to investigate the legend of a monster in a remote Finnish lake, Aston envisions an easy paycheck and a chance to clear his gambling debts. But he gets much more. There is something terrible living beneath the dark waters of Lake Kaarme and it is hungry.As the death toll mounts, Aston faces superstitious locals, a power-hungry police chief, and a benefactor's descent into madness as he races to find the legendary beast of the lake.

My Thoughts: 

I'm such a sucker for a good underwater adventure, or indeed any adventure that has prehistoric creatures trying to eat you!! So upon seeing this, I dived in. And, as I kind of guessed before starting, I found myself immersed in an action packed, enthralling, underwater adventure, that ticked all the right boxes. 

Plot wise, I loved it. Sam Aston is called upon by an eccentric billionaire, Ellis Holloway, after one of Ellis's previous employees disappeared. He left behind some compelling evidence to show that there may be something in the lake in a Finnish village. Sam knows the guy is crazy, but with a chance to clear his growing gambling debts, he decides to entertain the man. Easy money, right? Nope, there is something lurking in the lake and it's hungry!!!  The plot was fast paced, entertaining, actually quiet believable (when it came to how the beast came into the lake) and a rollicking adventure!!

All the characters were well written and developed. Sam is the lovable rogue whom you can't help but love. We have a hot tv host whom is also quite smart, and we have the eccentric billionaire whom loves all things cryptids and is willing to fund the trip to find the proof of a prehistoric creature, and we have other characters who all add up to make the book interesting and intriguing. 

It's also not just about the beast. We see and hear things from the small village to question whether the creature is there by choice. There seems to be other beasts around... the two legged kind, and it just goes to show that beasts aren't always just animals. I was intrigued about the books in the basement and need to know more about their origin and what they are!! I really, really hope there's more to come!!

In all, this was awesome. I flew through it and absolutely need more!! I will definitely check out more from both authors and can only hope they have some creature feature books written!!!

Jeffrey Kafer is one of the best in the business. He has narrated numerous books, in numerous genres and never fails to deliver. It's the same here!! He is so easy to listen to and nails the performance. He had me on the edge of my seat all the time but especially during the tense moments. He just knows how to bring a story to life!! 

I was voluntarily provided this audiobook for free from the author, narrator, or publisher. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.


Story:  

Narration:  


Audiobook Review: Extinction Horizon by Nicholas Sansbury Smith and Giveaway!


    Extinction Horizon Audiobook
  • Written by: Nicholas Sansbury Smith
  • Narrated by: Bronson Pinchot
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins 
  • Unabridged Audiobook



  • Release Date:02-10-15
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.



  • The worst of nature and the worst of science will bring the human race to the brink of extinction.
  • Master Sergeant Reed Beckham has led his Delta Force Team, codenamed Ghost, through every kind of hell imaginable and never lost a man. When a top-secret Medical Corps research facility goes dark, Team Ghost is called in to face their deadliest enemy yet - a variant strain of Ebola that turns men into monsters.
  • After barely escaping with his life, Beckham returns to Fort Bragg in the midst of a new type of war. The virus is already spreading. As cities fall, Team Ghost is ordered to keep CDC virologist Dr. Kate Lovato alive long enough to find a cure. What she uncovers will change everything.
  • Total extinction is just on the horizon, but will the cure be worse than the virus?



  • My Thoughts:

  • I've had the ebook of this on my kindle for a few years, but kept putting it off, not sure why but I kept thinking it's a case of "same old, same old." Over the years, though, I started seeing more and more of this and the great reviews it was getting, and while browsing Audible, saw it was available. After listening to the sample, it piqued my interest enough to buy it. Over the course of a few months, I bought all of them with my credits and when I downloaded book 6, I started listening. 

  • So this starts with us seeing some American soldiers during the Vietnam war. They were given an experimental new drug that is said to help them turn the tide of the war. They were to become the weapons, it was to make them faster and stronger, but what they unleashed was monsters who killed indiscriminately. Friend or foe, it didn't matter, all they wanted was to kill. 

  • Years later, Master Sergeant Reed Beckham and his Delta Force Team, are called back into action because a top secret lab has gone dark. Team Ghost are told to proceed with caution as this lab deals with highly contagious and deadly diseases. It was currently working on a cure for the outbreak of Ebola that was gripping the nation. Team Ghost suit up and head out, only to discover that everyone in the lab seems to have succumbed to....something and are now something more than human. They are monsters who will stop at nothing to feed. 

  • Narrowly escaping with their lives, Team Ghost arrive back only to discover that the Ebola virus has spread but also, one person from the lab had left before the place went dark, he was infected with this new strain of the virus and changed! The new strain is creating monsters. It is highly infectious and looks like it's also incurable. What can Team Ghost do? 

  • This book exceeded all my expectations and absolutely blew me away. The plot was extremely fast paced and had me on the edge of my seat throughout. Ebola is a horrible and frightening disease but add in what they did with it and it was scary. The results of the outbreak were even more frightening.... The Variants are, plain and simply, monsters. The author also explained the science behind everything in such a way that it was quite believable!! You could easily believe how the Variants came to be. 

  • The characters were amazing! Team Ghost are the best of the best and Reed Beckham has kept his men alive through every mission they were sent on. Now though, the new threats aren't easily killed and it's up to Beckham and his team to help save humanity. I loved the friendship that Team Ghost have. They are brothers and would risk everything for each other, non more so than Beckham. Each of them were well written and developed and you can't help but root for them. 

  • Even apart from Team Ghost, there are a lot of other characters. Dr Kate Lovato being an important one. She is a scientist, one of very few left, that deals with infectious disease. It's up to her to try to find a cure, or a way to kill The Variants. She was extremely well written and was one of my favourites. 

  • Anyway!! This book was phenomenal. Fast paced, action packed, brutal and brilliant, it's a must read for everyone. I devoured it and am so glad I have the next book to dive into straight away. Honestly, this book was amazing and I urge you to go try it. I would so love to see this as a movie or TV series!!! Highly recommend!!!! 

  • Bronson Pinchot was also amazing. I can't believe I haven't listened to anything else narrated by him, though I do have some of them in my TBR pile. He nailed the performance and brought this book alive. His narration was flawless and you could easily follow who was talking. He also did an amazing job heightening the tension and keeping me on the edge of my seat. If I could give this book and the narrator 10 stars, I would.

  • Story: 

  • Narration: 

  • GIVEAWAY: 

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Autonomous by Annalee Newitz Nerd Blast and Giveaway!


Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (September 19, 2017)

Autonomous features a rakish female pharmaceutical pirate named Jack who traverses the world in her own submarine. A notorious anti-patent scientist who has styled herself as a Robin Hood heroine fighting to bring cheap drugs to the poor, Jack’s latest drug is leaving a trail of lethal overdoses across what used to be North America—a drug that compels people to become addicted to their work.
On Jack’s trail are an unlikely pair: an emotionally shut-down military agent and his partner, Paladin, a young military robot, who fall in love against all expectations. Autonomous alternates between the activities of Jack and her co-conspirators, and Joe and Paladin, as they all race to stop a bizarre drug epidemic that is tearing apart lives, causing trains to crash, and flooding New York City.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

Praise for AUTONOMOUS

"Autonomous is to biotech and AI what Neuromancer was to the Internet."―Neal Stephenson

"Something genuinely and thrillingly new in the naturalistic, subjective, paradoxically humanistic but non-anthropomorphic depiction of bot-POV―and all in the service of vivid, solid storytelling."―William Gibson

"This book is a cyborg. Partly, it's a novel of ideas, about property, the very concept of it, and how our laws and systems about property shape class structure and society, as well as notions of identity, the self, bodies, autonomy at the most fundamental levels, all woven seamlessly into a dense mesh of impressive complexity. Don't let that fool you though. Because wrapped around that is the most badass exoskeleton--a thrilling and sexy story about pirates and their adventures. Newitz has fused these two layers together at the micro- and macro-levels with insight and wit and verbal flair. Moves fast, with frightening intelligence." ―Charles Yu, author of How to Live Sagfely in a Science Fictional Universe

"Annalee Newitz has conjured the rarest, most exciting thing: a future that's truly new ... a terrific novel and a tremendous vision." ―Robin Sloan, author of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

"Holy hell. Autnomous is remarkable." ―Lauren Beukes, bestselling author of Broken Monsters

"Everything you'd hope for from the co-founder of io9 ... Combines the gonzo, corporatized future of Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash with the weird sex of Charlie Stross's Saturn's Children; throws in an action hero that's a biohacker version of Bruce Sterling's Leggy Starlitz, and then saturates it with decades of deep involvement with free software hackers, pop culture, and the leading edge of human sexuality." ―Cory Doctorow, New York Times bestselling author of Walkaway.

Excerpt:

The sub’s cargo hold was currently stacked with twenty crates of freshly pirated drugs. Tucked among the many therapies for genetic mutations and bacterial management were boxes of cloned Zacuity, the new blockbuster productivity pill that everybody wanted. It wasn’t technically on the market yet, so that drove up demand. Plus, it was made by Zaxy, the company behind Smartifex, Brillicent, and other popular work enhancement drugs. Jack had gotten a beta sample from an engineer at Vancouver’s biggest development company, Quick Build Wares. Like a lot of biotech corps, Quick Build handed out new attention enhancers for free along with their in-house employee meals. The prerelease ads said that Zacuity helped everyone get their jobs done faster and better.
Jack hadn’t bothered to try any Zacuity herself—she didn’t need drugs to make her job exciting. The engineer who’d provided the sample described its effects in almost religious terms. You slipped the drug under your tongue, and work started to feel good. It didn’t just boost your concentration. It made you enjoy work. You couldn’t wait to get back to the keyboard, the breadboard, the gesture table, the lab, the fabber. After taking Zacuity, work gave you a kind of visceral satisfaction that nothing else could. Which was perfect for a corp like Quick Build, where new products had tight ship dates, and consultants sometimes had to hack a piece of hardware top-to-bottom in a week. Under Zacuity’s influence, you got the feelings you were supposed to have after a job well done. There were no regrets, nor fears that maybe you weren’t making the world a better place by fabricating another networked blob of atoms. Completion reward was so intense that it made you writhe right in your plush desk chair, clutching the foam desktop, breathing hard for a minute or so. But it wasn’t like an orgasm, not really. Maybe it was best described as physical sensation, perfected. You could feel it in your body, but it was more blindingly good than anything your nerve endings might read as inputs from the object-world. After a Zacuity-fueled work run, all you wanted to do was finish another project for Quick Build. It was easy to see why the shit sold like crazy.
But there was one little problem, which she’d been ignoring until now. Zaxy didn’t make data from their clinical trials available, so there was no way to find out about possible side effects. Normally Jack wouldn’t worry about every drug freak-out reported on the feeds, but this one was so specific. She couldn’t think of any other popular substances that would get someone addicted to homework. Sure, the student’s obsessive behavior could be set off by a garden-variety stimulant. But then it would hardly be a medical mystery, since doctors would immediately find evidence of the stimulant in her system. Jack’s mind churned as if she’d ingested a particularly nasty neurotoxin. If this drug was her pirated Zacuity, how had this happened? Overdose? Maybe the student had mixed it with another drug? Or Jack had screwed up the reverse engineering and created something horrific?
Jack felt a twitch of fear working its way up her legs from the base of her spine. But wait—this shiver wasn’t just some involuntary, psychosomatic reaction to the feeds. The floor was vibrating slightly, though she hadn’t yet started the engines. Ripping off the goggles, she regained control of her sensorium and realized that somebody was banging around in the hold, directly behind the bulkhead in front of her. What the actual fuck? There was an aft hatch for emergencies, but how—? No time to ponder whether she’d forgotten to lock the doors. With a predatory tilt of the head, Jack powered up her perimeter system, its taut nanoscale wires networked with sensory nerves just below the surface of her skin. Then she unsnapped the sheath on her knife. From the sound of things, it was just one person, no doubt trying to grab whatever would fit in a backpack. Only an addict or someone truly desperate would be that stupid.
She opened the door to the hold soundlessly, sliding into the space with knife drawn. But the scene that met her was not what she expected. Instead of one pathetic thief, she found two: a guy with the scaly skin and patchy hair of a fusehead, and his robot, who was holding a sack of drugs. The bot was some awful, hacked-together thing the thief must have ripped off from somebody else, its skin layer practically fried off in places, but it was still a danger. There was no time to consider a nonlethal option. With a practiced overhand, Jack threw the knife directly at the man’s throat. Aided by an algorithm for recognizing body parts, the blade passed through his trachea and buried itself in his artery. The fusehead collapsed, gagging on steel, his body gushing blood and air and shit.
In one quick motion, Jack yanked out her knife and turned to the bot. It stared at her, mouth open, as if it were running something seriously buggy. Which it probably was. That would be good for Jack, because it might not care who gave it orders as long as they were clear.
“Give me the bag,” she said experimentally, holding her hand out. The sack bulged with tiny boxes of her drugs. The bot handed it over instantly, mouth still gaping. He’d been built to look like a boy in his teens, though he might be a lot older. Or a lot younger.
At least she wouldn’t have to kill two beings today. And she might get a good bot out of the deal, if her botadmin pal in Vancouver pitched in a little. On second glance, this one’s skin layer didn’t look so bad, after all. She couldn’t see any components peeking through, though he was scuffed and bloody in places.
“Sit down,” she told him, and he sat down directly on the floor of the hold, his legs folding like electromagnetically joined girders that had suddenly lost their charge. The bot looked at her, eyes vacant. Jack would deal with him later. Right now, she needed to do something with his master’s body, still oozing blood onto the floor. She hooked her hands under the fusehead’s armpits and pulled his remains through the bulkhead door into the control room, leaving the bot behind her in the locked hold. There wasn’t much the bot could do in there by himself, anyway, given that all her drugs were designed for humans.
Down a tightly coiled spiral staircase was her wet lab, which doubled as a kitchen. A high-grade printer dominated one corner of the floor, with three enclosed bays for working with different materials: metals, tissues, foams. Using a smaller version of the projection display she had in the control room, Jack set the foam heads to extrude two cement blocks, neatly fitted with holes so she could tie them to the dead fusehead’s feet as easily as possible. As her adrenaline levels came down, she watched the heads race across the printer bed, building layer after layer of matte-gray rock. She rinsed her knife in the sink and resheathed it before realizing she was covered in blood. Even her face was sticky with it. She filled the sink with water and rooted around in the cabinets for a rag.
Loosening the molecular bonds on her coveralls with a shrug, Jack felt the fabric split along invisible seams to puddle around her feet. Beneath plain gray thermals, her body was roughly the same shape it had been for two decades. Her cropped black hair showed only a few threads of white. One of Jack’s top sellers was a molecule-for-molecule reproduction of the longevity drug Vive, and she always quality-tested her own work. That is, she hadalways quality tested it—until Zacuity. Scrubbing her face, Jack tried to juggle the two horrors at once: A man was dead upstairs, and a student in Calgary was in serious danger from something that sounded a lot like black-market Zacuity. She dripped on the countertop and watched the cement blocks growing around their central holes.
Jack had to admit she’d gotten sloppy. When she reverse engineered the Zacuity, its molecular structure was almost exactly like what she’d seen in dozens of other productivity and alertness drugs, so she hadn’t bothered to investigate further. Obviously she knew Zacuity might have some slightly undesirable side effects. But these fun-time worker drugs subsidized her real work on antivirals and gene therapies, drugs that saved lives. She needed the quick cash from Zacuity sales so she could keep handing out freebies of the other drugs to people who desperately needed them. It was summer, and a new plague was wafting across the Pacific from the Asian Union. There was no time to waste. People with no credits would be dying soon, and the pharma companies didn’t give a shit. That’s why Jack had rushed to sell those thousands of doses of untested Zacuity all across the Free Trade Zone. Now she was flush with good meds, but that hardly mattered. If she’d caused that student’s drug meltdown, Jack had screwed up on every possible level, from science to ethics.

With a beep, the printer opened its door to reveal two perforated concrete bricks. Jack lugged them back upstairs, wondering the entire time why she had decided to carry so much weight in her bare hands.

Copyright © 2017 by Annalee Newitz

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Annalee Newitz is an American journalist, editor, and author of both fiction and nonfiction. She is the recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship from MIT, and has written for Popular Science, Wired, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. She also founded the science fiction website io9 and served as Editor-in-Chief from 2008–2015, and subsequently edited Gizmodo. As of 2016, she is Tech Culture Editor at the technology site Ars Technica. Her books include Pretend We're Dead and Autonomous.

Photo Credit: Annalee Newitz

WEBSITE: https://www.techsploitation.com/
TWITTER: @Annaleen
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/191888.Annalee_Newitz
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/10154760617654217
INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/ghidorahnotweak


--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

- 15 Winners will receive a Copy of AUTONOMOUS by Annalee Newitz.

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Monday, 18 September 2017

Nicholas Sansbury Smith Author Feature and Giveaway!

Welcome to all things Nicholas Sansbury Smith!! For the next couple of days I'll be featuring my reviews of his books that I've read, and having a giveaway!! I bought Extinction Horizon not long after it first came out and proceeded to buy each installment in audio when I could. It was only at the start of this year that I had no book for review and decided to start book 1, well, over the course of a week, I flew through them. They were breathtakingly brilliant!! I devoured them and was left with a major book hangover!! I then bought his Hell Divers series and Trackers series, haven't listened to Hell Divers yet but I read the Trackers series and it was amazing!! It was frighteningly real and captivated me. 

This author has firmly been placed in my favourite author list and I want to try to get more readers his way! Trust me, you won't be sorry!! Anyway, from tomorrow on, I'll post a review a day and when they are done, I will have an interview with the man behind the amazing writing!! I'm also hosting a giveaway throughout the feature for a signed book of choice from Nicholas and some ecopies of his book. You can enter today, and each day after the giveaway will be included with the reviews. Hope you enjoy the reviews and let me know if you have read/would read any of his books!!

Nicholas Sansbury Smith is the USA Today bestselling author of the Hell Divers trilogy, the Orbs trilogy, and the Extinction Cycle series. He worked for Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management in disaster mitigation before switching careers to focus on his one true passion—writing. When he isn’t writing or daydreaming about the apocalypse, he enjoys running, biking, spending time with his family, and traveling the world. He is an Ironman triathlete and lives in Iowa with his fiancée, their dogs, and a house full of books.
Nicholas would love to hear from you. Connect with him at the following places

Check out his series and let me know in the comments which one you would start with?






As I said, I'm doing a giveaway for a signed copy of any of Nicholas's books (Open to US only) from his store http://nicholassansburysmith.com/index.php/nss-store/ and some eCopies of his books. Enter below and please share! 

GIVEAWAY: 

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Friday, 15 September 2017

H.A.L.F. Origins by Natalie Wright Blog Tour and Giveaway!


H.A.L.F.: ORIGINS (H.A.L.F. #3)
by Natalie Wright
Genre: YA Sci-fi Romance
Release Date: August 24th 2017

Summary:


Alien predators attack Europe. A deadly virus spawns an epidemic. And a clandestine organization conspires to profit from chaos and forge a New World Order.
In this heart-pounding finale of the H.A.L.F. series, Tex, Erika and the rest are in a race against time. In books one and two they fought for their lives. Now they battle to save us all.
Tex and Erika are again fugitives and running for their lives. But when Tex falls gravely ill, a Navajo healer is his only hope for survival. Tex emerges changed in mind and body but with vital information: how to stop the predatory M’Uktah from destroying those he has come to love.
Erika Holt seeks a respite from the threats to her life but hasn't given up. As she and Tex launch a mission to shut down the galactic highway used by the invaders, she grows closer to her troubled human-alien hybrid companion. But what about her on-again, off-again boyfriend Jack?
Jack Wilson, along with his new friend Anna Sturgis, is determined to put an end to the Makers’ schemes for world domination. Complicating matters, the valuable medicine to counter the alien virus has been stolen.
As both alien and human forces line up against them, the destiny of all mankind is hand the hands of these young warriors. And time is running out.


“The latest satisfying addition to the H.A.L.F. series has something for everyone: exciting action scenes; great love stories; fascinating new aliens; and relatable characters fighting to save the world and find their places in it.” ~Alyssa H., Red Adept  

Add to Goodreads
Add H.A.L.F.: The Deep Beneath (H.A.L.F. #1) on Goodreads
Add H.A.L.F.: The Makers (H.A.L.F. #2) on Goodreads

Purchase Links:
AMAZON KINDLE (US): http://bit.ly/HALF_ORIGINS
AMAZON KINDLE (UK): http://bit.ly/ORIGINS_UK
AMAZON KINDLE (CA): http://bit.ly/HALF_ORIGINS_CA
AMAZON KINDLE (DE): http://bit.ly/ORIGINS_DE

PAPERBACK:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/H-L-F-Origins-Natalie-Wright/dp/1545371091/
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/half-natalie-wright/1126963268?ean=9781545371091
CREATESPACE: http://bit.ly/ORIGINS_CreateSpace

Book Trailer: 


Excerpt:



The Archetypes of H.A.L.F. 

I recently came across an article on Pinterest about character archetypes. When writing the H.A.L.F. series, I didn’t specifically consider my characters regarding their archetypes, but upon reading the post, I realized I’d created characters that fit into quintessential Jungian archetypes.

If you’re not familiar with archetypes, perhaps the simplest way to define an archetype is that it’s a prototype or example of a particular type of person. For example, Harry Potter is an example of the classic fantasy character of the Orphan-meets-Hero.

In the H.A.L.F. series, Erika Holt is the main protagonist. The first paragraph of the first chapter of book one lets us know Erika’s archetype immediately:

“Erika pulled back the throttle and urged her dusty machine to go faster. Her long, dark hair flew behind her, twisting and twirling in the hot wind. It would be ratty by the end of the ride, but knots in her hair were a small price to pay for the feeling of freedom.”

Erika is the Explorer archetype. The core desire of the Explorer is freedom, and the biggest fear is getting trapped. This push-and-pull between desire and fear plays out for Erika in the first chapter of The Deep Beneath (H.A.L.F. 1). As she gets closer to Jack Wilson, her instinct is to push him away. This is a result of her fear that by getting close, she’ll be “trapped” in the same dead-end life her mother had. Her sole goal is just to get away. Erika’s not sure where she’s going, but she’s motivated by her soul’s desire (as dictated by her archetype) to seek freedom.

The character arc for Erika is about whether she will overcome this fear. Will she let anyone in? Or continue to push people away in her quest for what she believes is freedom?

In contrast to Erika, Tex (aka H.A.L.F. 9) is The Lover archetype. Anyone who has read The Deep Beneath may be scratching their head right now and saying, “What? Tex? The Lover?”

Even though Tex is dangerous and often callous about people’s emotions, his core desire is connection, and his biggest fear is isolation. We see Tex often react negatively to Jack, especially when Erika shows Jack affection or admiration. His fear of being alone triggers his anger. The Lover archetype will try to become more and more emotionally and physically attractive to others to stave off their worst fear: being alone. I don’t want to give anything away, but readers will see this play out in the three-book series as Tex undergoes significant internal and external transformation to conform and gain acceptance.

Archetypes aren’t only for protagonists. The antagonists/villains of the H.A.L.F. series are archetypal as well.
Commander Sturgis is the main antagonist of The Deep Beneath and appears in the other two books as well. She’s often ruthless and power hungry, but her archetype is the Caregiver (aka the Parent). Again, readers of the series may shout, “What?!”

I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out. The core desire of the Caregiver is to help others. The Caregiver’s greatest fear is selfishness and ingratitude. The Caregiver’s strategy is to do things for others, but her weakness is martyrdom and being exploited.

I don’t want to spoil your fun at discovering this deliciously nasty character, but the three-book series shows the “dark side” of the Caregiver archetype through Commander Sturgis. She’s more “Mommy Dearest” than Mrs. Weasley, but casting her in a twisted version of the Caregiver role created fun contrast in the series.

A powerful conspiracy drives the plot of the H.A.L.F. series and every conspiracy needs someone in the role of the Ruler. The Ruler's motto could be: “Power isn't everything, it’s the only thing.” This slogan fits Sir William Croft to a T. His core desire is control, and his goal is to create a prosperous legacy. He fears losing power, and he hates chaos (unless he can profit from it!). Sir Croft was a fun character to write as I tried to understand the mind of an authoritarian and what made him tick.

As a writer, it’s helpful to understand the core desires and fears of your characters as the tension between the two often inform the direction the character will take. Of course, a well-rounded character is more than just an archetype, and all of the characters in the H.A.L.F. series are combinations of things. But at their core, each fits one of the twelve Jungian archetypes, and their basic desires and fears inform the choices they make.


What is your favorite character archetype? What archetype are you?

About the Author

Natalie writes adventurous fantasy and science fiction for teens and adults including her award-winning H.A.L.F. series and The Akasha Chronicles. Her first novel, Emily’s House, has been read over 2 Million times on Wattpad!

When not writing, reading or questing in Skyrim, Natalie meets readers and appears on writer panels at comic cons and book festivals throughout the western U.S. She and her mascot baby alien traveled over 10,000 miles in the past year!

Natalie lives in Tucson, Arizona with her husband, teen dauther and two cat overlords.

Sign up to my email list and receive a FREE PDF copy of book 1: http://bit.ly/SUBSCRIBE_Natalie

Author Links:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | BookBub | Instagram | YouTube | Wattpad

GIVEAWAY:



ORIGINS Mega Giveaway:

ORIGINS Launch Mega Giveaway is going on throughout September. Entrants have the chance to win the following:

GRAND PRIZE: 1 Winner will receive the following: $100 Amazon Giftcard + Signed, Hardcover copies of the entire 3-book H.A.L.F. series + branded book swag, including metal bookmarks, complete set of H.A.L.F. Character Trading Cards®, keychain, and buttons + non-branded, retail swag themed to the book. Retail value of this prize is $240+ 


FIRST PRIZE:
1 Winner will receive: $25 Amazon Giftcard + Signed, Paperback copies of the entire 3-book H.A.L.F. series + branded swag (as listed above) + non-branded swag. Retail value of this prize is $75+

10 Runner-Up Prizes:
10 Winners will receive: A gifted copy of Amazon Kindle version of an eBook of the reader’s choice from among Natalie Wright’s published, single-book works (Emily’s House, Emily’s Trial, Emily’s Heart, The Deep Beneath, The Makers, or ORIGINS). Retail value of this prize if between 99¢ to $3.99 (depending on book chosen and price at the time gifted).


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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Something Like Family by Heather Burch Nerd Blast and Giveaway!


Paperback: 316 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (September 12, 2017)

Synopsis
Abandoned by his mother when he was young, twenty-two-year-old Rave Wayne knows all about loss. That doesn’t mean he’s used to it. After he’s dumped by the girlfriend he assumed he’d spend his life with, Rave is longing more than ever to connect.
Then, as if by miracle, he receives an invitation from his grandfather, a man he thought was long gone, to come for a visit in rural Tennessee. Loyal, honest, and loving, dear old Tuck is everything Rave could have hoped for. He’s family. Soon, Rave finds himself falling for a down-to-earth local girl, and he thinks his life is finally coming together.
But the past isn’t through with Rave. When his mother returns after many long years, looking to reconcile the terrible mistakes that once defined her, Rave struggles to put together the unsettled pieces of his heart. Will this once-estranged family be able to come together to understand the meaning of unconditional love, the fragile bonds of family, and the healing power of letting go?

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

Praise for SOMETHING LIKE FAMILY

“Engrossing and genuine, Something Like Family pays tribute to the bonds of love we often fray, but always hold dear. The uplifting story of Rave and Tuck will leave an indelible mark on your heart.” —Christine Nolfi, bestselling author of Sweet Lake and The Comfort of Secrets

Excerpt:

“Rave Wayne?”

Rave stopped busing a table near the front door of the café. Marco, his boss, had been mad at him about last night’s fight, and right now, the last thing Rave needed was some attorney drawing attention to him. And the guy in the gray suit with the bad comb-over and sweaty forehead was definitely an attorney. “Yeah?”

The man motioned to the seat across from him. “Could I have a few moments of your time?”

Rave chewed his cheek. “Sorry, all my moments are spoken for.” Dishes clanged together as he took the full bin into the kitchen, then tried to make a quick escape. Rave headed out the front door, still untying the dingy white apron around his hips. The night air was warm but fresh. Early spring in Tampa had temperatures in the eighties, but he didn’t mind. He had parked at the end of the building because his car was a heap, and Marco preferred that it not sit in the front. Or in the light of the street lamp.

He knew the second the guy rushed out of the café to follow him. At least they could have their conversation outside. “Mr. Wayne?”

Rave nearly laughed out loud. He propped his weight against his car door. The tired old girl groaned a little when he did. “Yes?”

“I was sent here by Tuck Wayne. Do you know that name?”

“Nope,” Rave said, but his heartbeat quickened. Other than his mother, he didn’t know anyone who shared his last name.

“He hired me to find you. He’s your grandfather. He’d very much like to meet you.”

The world swirled around Rave, and he was thankful for the metal car door behind him. He shook his head. “I don’t have any living relatives. If I did, I’d know it.” His hands were sweating, and Rave felt a fight-or-flight instinct coming on. He opted for flight and got into his car before the man could stop him.

Through the closed window, he heard muffled words. “How would you know, Rave? From your mother? She was a sick woman, delusional, even. Isn’t there the smallest chance she could have lied—”

Seriously? This guy he just met wanted to stand at his window and pass judgment on Rave’s mom? No. Rave flew out of the car and grabbed the attorney’s shirt. “You don’t know anything about my mother.” But then a thought struck him, and he let the man go. “Do you? Is there news about her?” He knew there wasn’t. In his heart, he knew his mother was dead.

“No. I have no news of her whereabouts or status. But what I do have is an invitation from the man who raised your mother. He would very much like to get to know you, Rave. You’re all the family he has left.”

The words spiked through his system. Leaving jagged slivers as they went.

The man added, “And he’s all the family you have.”


Copyright © 2017 by Heather Burch

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Heather Burch is a #1 bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She lives in Southern Florida with her husband, John. Her title, One Lavender Ribbon was in the top 100 bestselling books for the year on Amazon. In 2014, she became one of the most quoted authors by Kindle readers. Her deeply emotional stories explore family, love, hope and the challenges of life. Her books have garnered praise from USA Today, Booklist Magazine, Romantic Times and Publisher’s Weekly. Heather lives to tell unforgettable stories of love and loss—stories that make your heart sigh.

Photo Content from Heather Burch

WEBSITE: https://www.heatherburchbooks.com/
TWITTER: @heatherburch
GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4983102.Heather_Burch
FACEBOOK: https://facebook.com/heatherburchbooks
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/heathereburch/

GIVEAWAY: 



--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

- 1 Winner will receive Audio books- IN THE LIGHT OF THE GARDEN, ONE LAVENDER RIBBON, ALONG THE BROKEN ROAD by Heather Burch
- 1 Winner will receive a Copy of DOWN THE HIDDEN PATH by Heather Burch.
- 1 Winner will receive a Copy of SOMETHING LIKE FAMILY by Heather Burch.

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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Narrator Andrea Emmes Spotlight and Audible Giveaway!

Welcome to an awesome feature and giveaway I have for you!! One of my favourite female narrators, Andrea Emmes, has agreed to do a giveaway for some of her audio books. Check it out below!!


Audible Best Selling Narrator, Andrea Emmes started her career performing in musical theater while growing up on the East Coast. This lead to a successful career as a stage performer working for Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Renaissance Cruises and eventually head lining on the Las Vegas Strip.  Having worked in tv, film and video games, Andrea, a total bibliophile, now enjoys narrating audiobooks at her home studio in San Jose, California.  Known as "The Girl with a Thousand Voices", her wide range of character voices and dynamic/emotionally invested performances has reviewers and listeners alike commenting on how she effortlessly pulls listeners in, and has versatility and charisma. Not only does she have a Bachelor of Science in Game Art and Design, but Andrea gets her inner gamer geek on playing games of all kinds with her husband and their cat, Lucy.


Website: http://www.andreaemmes.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andreaemmesnarrator
Twitter: https://twitter.com/aemmes
Audible: http://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_search_c4_1_2_1_srNarr?searchNarrator=Andrea+Emmes&qid=1493038626&sr=1-2
ACX: https://www.acx.com/narrator?p=AQKHN5W8RP5DT

Here's a snippet of one of the Best Sellers on Audible, Little Women.




And another sampler of  Remembrance




Andrea has narrated some amazing books that I loved, check out my reviews:

Whispered Pain: http://www.audible.com/listener/Natalie-BookLoversLife/A3OBJGGKN1KREP/ref=a_listener__cco_1_1_rvwTtl?asin=B016P4040K
The Lie: http://www.audible.com/listener/Natalie-BookLoversLife/A3OBJGGKN1KREP/ref=a_listener__cco_1_1_rvwTtl?asin=B00N42H9RI
Witch Hearts: http://www.audible.com/listener/Natalie-BookLoversLife/A3OBJGGKN1KREP/ref=a_listener__cco_1_1_rvwTtl?asin=B00OZ7Y7LC

Andrea has been kind enough to giveaway 2 Audible US codes to any of her books and 10 Audible UK codes, so please enter below and show Andrea some love!!

UK GIVEAWAY:

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US GIVEAWAY:

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Marked by Fate Book Blitz and Giveaway!


Marked by Fate
by Various authors
Genre: YA Fantasy/Sci-fi
Release Date: October 24th 2017

Summary:


5 Brand new YA SFF stories and 21 bestselling favorites!! All pre-orders will get exclusive access to a Secret Reader Portal on release day.
Defined by Their Choices — Marked by Fate.
26 full-length novels for a limited time only!
Champions rise, shadows fall and magic rules in Marked by Fate: A Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction Collection. Battle alongside gods, travel across foreign lands, and fall for handsome heroes in this action packed young adult collection featuring witches, shifters, angels, cyborgs, and more. Venture to oceans deep with mermaids, fly upon the backs of dragons, or speak with ghosts in this group of 26 coming of age novels from some of the best writers in the industry today, including USA TODAY and NEW YORK TIMES bestselling authors.
The friendships are real and the romances are breathtaking. Travel through new galaxies, explore fantastic fairy tales, take down dystopian governments and escape urban fantasy worlds. Full of time travel mysteries and paranormal lore, Marked by Fate is a box set with a message — that all women, no matter the age, can conquer their fears and heartaches to become the fierce, strong heroines they were always meant to be.
Will you fall in love … save the world … or become the villain? Who will you be?
Have YOU been Marked by Fate? One-click to get this extraordinary collection today, before it’s gone forever!


Pre-Order for only $0.99! Amazon | Nook | Kobo | iTunes     

Authors
USA Today bestselling author, Kristin D. Van Risseghem
International bestselling author, Rhonda Sermon
Award-Winning author, Melissa A. Craven 
International bestselling author, Kelly St. Clare
Amazon bestselling author, Raye Wagner
USA Today bestselling author, Ednah Walters
New York Times bestselling author, Erin Hayes
USA Today bestselling author, Siobhan Davis
New York Times bestselling author, Jamie Thornton
Award-Winning author, Debra Kristi
Amazon bestselling author, Sarah K. L. Wilson
Amazon bestselling author, Hilary Thompson
Amazon bestselling author, Ingrid Seymour
International bestselling author, Jeanne Bannon
USA Today bestselling author, Melle Amade
USA Today bestselling author, Lena Mae Hill
Award-Winning author, C. J. Anaya
International bestselling author, Jackson Dean Chase
Award-Winning author, D. L. Armillei
USA Today bestselling author, Emily Martha Sorensen
Amazon bestselling author, Amalie Jahn
Amazon bestselling author, Dionne Lister
USA Today bestselling author, J.L. Weil
Amazon bestselling author, Alisha Klapheke
USA Today bestselling author, Angela Fristoe
Amazon bestselling author, Meg Cowley

GIVEAWAY:

Enter the MARKED BY FATE Pre-Order Giveaway and Sweepstakes!! http://woobox.com/32f5tp


 
Imagination Designs
Images from the Meadow of Dreams kit by Irene Alexeeva