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Available Now: The Resistance by S.L. Scott

Give in… The Resistance by S.L. Scott.

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A Chick Kitt Confession: I see this cover…and I start singing Taylor Swift ….”I knew you were trouble when you walked in…”

Because one look at this perfectly-poised man with the suggestion of his guitar and his rock star crowd and I already know that like the female protagonist in this story, Holliday Hughes, I’m in “trouble, trouble, trouble…” 

The writing is on the wall, (look closely), Jack Dalton is going to be one book boyfriend that will be hard to resist! Why even try?

Synopsis

You don’t choose when. 

You don’t choose where. 

And you don’t get to choose who you fall in love with. 

The minute he opened his sexy mouth, Holliday Hughes should have known Jack Dalton was trouble. His smooth pickup lines, broad shoulders, and ridiculously handsome face charmed her right out of her clothes. She gave into her desires, the instant attraction blinding her to the obvious. 

One night. That was all it took for Holliday’s world to be flipped on its axis. Jack Dalton was cocky. Smug. Volatile. Demanding. He ignited something deep inside her like no other, but there was something more to this brooding bad boy. There was a dark side to him she couldn’t help but be drawn to. 

Torn between what she knew about him and a mysterious side he tried to hide, could she walk away or was he simply too hard to resist? 

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We’ve got our copies! With the release of the book only a couple of days ago, its Kindle version remains 99 cents through Amazon! What chick can resist that price? We are glad to see our friend, S.L. Scott, has published yet another book! Congratulations to her! Amazing cover & best of luck!

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Social Media Links for S.L. Scott

Blog | Twitter | Facebook |

Northwest Prime Radio Interview

Amazon | Goodreads | Pinterest

 

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ICYMI: Chatting with Helena Hunting

We hope you caught the radio interview Helena Hunting, author of Clipped Wings, did with Lori Ness, host of Northwest Prime and guest co-host, Chick Lisa. Helena was very sincere about her characters’ roots, humble about her experience leading up to publishing, honest about her covers, and grateful to the support of fans like you! Helena is genuine and gave an amazing interview!

On the side, after the interview, we made one more inquiry out of Helena, which she graciously answered.

  • If you could hand pick an artist to be involved in writing music inspired by the love story of Hayden & Tenley, whom would you choose?

“Prior to the show I would have picked either Christina Perri or The Neighbourhood, but Lori introduced me to a new band called Ninth Floor Mannequin and their music, along with the story behind their lead singer Jarrod amazes me and I love their sound. So if I could pic any band to write a soundtrack for the book, it’d be them for sure.”

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Here are some links to catch up on more information/interviews with Helena:

Fics2Flicks Interview 

Northwest Prime Radio Interview

NWP

Exclusive Outtake Bookish Tempations

Exclusive Outtake (Hayden POV) The Sub Club Books

PreOrder Inked Armor via Amazon

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 SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS FOR HELENA HUNTING

Website | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads

The sequel, Inked Armor, will be released on May 13th! Look for the F2F chicks to be participating in that blog tour! And, if you are heading to the upcoming RT Convention in New Orleans, Helena wants you to stop by and say hello to her!

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Shades of Avalon Blog Tour: Review, Exclusive Outtake and History of Hollywood in Ireland

Today we are participating in the Blog Tour for the new novel by Carol Oates, Shades of Avalon. It’s prequel, Shades of Atlantis, took the reader from Maine, where brother and sister Triona and Ben Pryor grew up, to England and then eventually to the author’s native country, Ireland. Shades of Avalon taps into the popular Celtic tales of Excalibur, King Arthur, Merlin, Camelot, and Guinevere. The author enjoys her Irish heritage and exploring the history of Ireland, so her readers are fortunate to benefit from this and have so much of Ireland’s countryside and Irish myth weaved into her books.

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Here’s a little history of Ireland in Hollywood that Carol wishes to share today!

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Excalibur Drive and the Powerscourt Estate served as inspiration for a backdrop during the final chapters of Shades of Avalon. A journey took in some of the route, passed through the village of Enniskerry and ended at Powerscourt. As hard as I tried, I doubt I did the scenery justice. (A/N: Looks amazing to us!)

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The island of Ireland has a thriving film industry. One place in particular has proven extremely popular and adaptable for the screen. From granite peaks reaching 2,500 feet, to untouched blog lands, to beautiful beaches, quaint villages, waterfalls, lakes, forests, valleys, wildlife, and enchanting estates, Wicklow, known as “The Garden of Ireland,” has it all.

Also, with two film studios, it’s not at all surprising filmmakers have been coming to Wicklow from all over the world since the early days of film. Everyone who’s anyone has filmed here, including Fred Astaire, Richard Burton, Katherine Hepburn, James Cagney, Meryl Streep, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Liam Nelson…even this year’s Best Actor—Matthew McConaughey. But he’s not the only Oscar winner. Dozens of Academy Award winners and nominees have come from Wicklow productions. Ten years before The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola directed his first movie in Wicklow.

Productions filmed in Ireland include:

  • A Game of Thrones (Belfast)
  • Saving Private Ryan (Wexford)
  • Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (Clare)
  • The Princess Bride (Clare)
  • Moby Dick (Cork)
  • Hellboy 2 (Antrim)
  • Dracula Untold (2014) (Belfast)

Productions filmed in Wicklow include:

  • The Crying Game
  • A Lion in Winter
  • The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Braveheart
  • Becoming Jane
  • King Arthur
  • Vikings
  • The Tudors
  • Camelot

That’s just a fraction. And, of course, there’s the 1981 epic production of Excalibur, which brings us to Excalibur Drive, a 42 mile round trip that takes in dramatic cliffs, valleys, and loughs.

  • highest village in Ireland (Roundwood)
  • tallest waterfall at Powerscourt
  • 19th century Italian gardens at Powerscourt
  • oldest established seaside town at Bray

A/N: We’re hoping there’s one more series to be filmed in Ireland in the near future…

Ireland 5Wow! This would make a fab movie poster! j/s

Chick Kitt’s Review with Limited Spoilers

Because I loved Shades of Atlantis, I have always been thrilled about Carol’s forthcoming sequel. I wanted to stay longer in the world from this book! When it ended, I felt like I had just ‘met’ so many interesting characters and hated to say goodbye without getting to know them fully. But finding out that the POV was switching from Triona to her younger brother Ben’s POV for Shades of Avalon made me a little hesitant. I had enjoyed the love story between Triona and Caleb and diving into this world Carol created where the fringes of magic, myth, and legend had met and tied together for an engaging story. As a female reading a female protagonist, I was able to feel the love story a certain way, claim the experience. With the POV switched to Ben, a 19-year-old guy, in Shades of Avalon, I guess I wasn’t sure I would get the same amount of emotion and plot from the book.

When I began to read Shades of Atlantis, I was hooked immediately, knowing I was driven by my own heart’s desire to see the love story through and reach some kind of HEA for the female protagonist. In reading the sequel through Ben’s eyes, I found myself driven more so by a sense of adventure–the journey, thrill, and excitement! And that’s what you’ll find in this book–a fantastic journey of magical beings, Arthurian legend, a well-developed plot, and surprising interaction between all the characters, all the while, with  the underlying simplistic tenderness of the bonds of love–old, new, and renewed.

The next chapter in the Shades series begins with an elaborate act of revenge against Triona that results in Caleb being captured. Triona’s immediate and “extended family” is brought together to plan how to get Caleb back, even if it comes to a battle. I say ‘extended family’ because characters, old and new, are added along the way, each with their own specific skill set or knowledge playing a part in the planning. So why is the story told from Ben’s POV? Because ultimately, he has the most to learn and discover about himself, and everyone within his family has something to teach him. He’s like an older Percy Jackson but with Celtic roots. He’s a Celtic Luke Skywalker who must learn to use the force to prepare for the battle between good and evil. Ben’s self-discoveries are not limited to what he can do as a Guardian. He seems to inherently struggle with his new life as both a husband and Guardian, constantly protesting the extra effort and sacrifices it requires from him. It’s only when he is finally willing to accept his new life on Destiny’s terms rather than his own, that he is able to fully embrace all that he can do and claim his important role within his growing family.

And make no mistake, this book is about a family forged from lineage, sacrifice, strength, support, teaching and love. And at the heart of that family is the relationship between Triona and Caleb–soul mates who form a magical super couple. Though Caleb has been captured at the beginning of this book, later on Caleb and Ben share a very interesting scene that results in this:

Caleb - 2*swoon, swoon* So love Caleb!

There are plenty of twists, drama and deeper levels of the relationships explored along the way that make Shades of Avalon such a fun and fantastic read! And with Carol’s beautiful writing, it’s a book that can be appreciated by all ages. Here is a small passage, no doubt inspired by the pictures Carol shared above, that shows just how pleasing her words are to read:

The sky had turned dark blue with dots of white light speckled across it. The sun dipped over the horizon, leaving only a pale streak of light behind. The surrounding countryside reflected off the still lake as though the liquid was black glass. Another time the setting would have been idyllic, an old English country mansion set into a picturesque valley, the fabricated attempting to dominate nature and coming up short. Right now none of us were in the frame of mind to appreciate it. In the absence of rain clouds, we created our own. The atmosphere around us sucked the life out of the air, leaving it stale and lifeless.

There is so much going on in this story with both a buildup to a mysterious final showdown and a continuus unraveling of details right until the very end! I’m certain you’ll love this book and that it will leave you hungry for the third one!

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Bookmark this post, because you’ll want to come back later and read this …

EXCLUSIVE OUTTAKE from Shades of Avalon

(Triona Returns to London)

The door of the coffee shop creaked when I pushed it open. It probably wasn’t loud enough for humans to notice but the high pitched squeak made my teeth ache.

“I’m sorry. I was just closing up,” the young girl behind the counter said, annunciating each word in a smooth British accent. I wasn’t inclined to narrow the origin further.

The place was empty, but just how I remembered it. My eyes darted to the table I’d been sitting at the day I’d been convinced I saw Caleb across the street. The attractive man at the next table had noticed my distress and chased me outside. It turned out John wasn’t a customer; he owned the coffee shop.

Rain drizzled over London and had soaked my hair and chilled me to the bone during the walk from the Underground station. I hadn’t slept on the flight and it gave me time to reconsider. Perhaps Ben had a point and seeing John—allowing him to see me—was a bad idea. I couldn’t be sure what effect it would have on his memories.

I raked sodden hair from my face with both hands and bit my lip when another wave of anguish threatened to well up. The painful lump in my chest wouldn’t dislodge, but I ignored it as best I could. I refuse to relinquish control of this situation to some random Guardian watchdog. I’d exposed John to my world and he was my responsibility.

“I could make you some tea?” the girl offered, her ruby lips twisting up on one side. “Are you okay?”

A panicked laugh escaped before I could stop it. She came out from behind the counter. The shock of red slicing through her short black hair caught the light and gleamed. Fake eyelashes batted like butterflies fluttering their wings.

Some part of me must have thought something of Caleb would be here. Maybe that I could feel him here like I had that day. But I didn’t, and the hollow left behind by his absence caused a fissure to open in my heart.

“Do you need some help?”

“No, I can handle it.” I turned to leave. I had John’s address, although I’d never been to his home. It’d been one means of keeping him at a distance, of not allowing him to insert me into his life.

“That’s what everyone says…until they can’t,” she said and closed the door, smiling up at me. “Let me make you that tea.”

I nodded, but flinched when she touched my arm. The girl drew back and pointed over to a table. My entire body was a live wire, a bundle of nerves stretched as tightly as guitar strings.

The chairs were turned upside down on the tables and I spotted a mop and bucket in the corner. Obviously I’d disturbed her, but tea and a moment to gather myself sounded good. I pulled a chair down and sat while the girl busied herself behind the counter. A few moments later she placed a steaming mug of black tea in front of me and handed over a wad of paper towel.

“To dry off…” A dark eyebrow arched in question.

“Triona.”

Her expression shifted to surprise so fleetingly that I almost missed it. Her brown eyes narrowed as she stood back, her gaze passing over me carefully. She huffed, as though unimpressed with what she saw, before returning to the counter. “Emma,” she said, hoisting herself up to sit with her legs dangling. Thick-soled boots knocked against the wood.

“You’re John’s sister.” It wasn’t a question. Now she’d given me a name, I knew I’d seen those brown eyes before. Although painted in black and green make-up, they were John’s eyes. Her hair had been the same golden as his in the picture he’d shown to me. She’d been a few years younger too. It seemed she also shared his kindness to strangers.

“And you’re the girl who broke my brother’s heart.” There was more than a note of a challenge in her voice and I rose to it.

“I don’t think I did that.”

She laughed with a mocking smile and leaned back on her hands. “Oh come on, just us girls here now. No need to come over all coy. He pretends like he hardly knew you. Like it’s too painful to acknowledge all that time you spent together.

I looked down to the wisps of stream rising from the mug and recalled the dark mist descending on the Hill of Tara. He didn’t want to be a part of that world.

What, you thought I didn’t know about you. I was in boarding school in France, not on Mars.” Emma sighed. “I should warn you. He’s not what you remember.”

My head shot up. “What do you mean?”

Her nose scrunched and a ruby piercing on one side glistened. “You’ll see.” She paused and her brow crinkled. “That is what you’re here for isn’t it? You came to see Johnny?”

I nodded and she clucked her tongue, hopping down with a quiet thump. Emma dipped her head to one side. “Why do I get the feeling trouble is about to get very real around here?”

 

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As always, we wish to thank both Carol Oates and Traci from Omnific Publishing for giving us the opportunity to help promote this series!

Don’t miss out on your chance to win tons of fabulous prizes in this giveaway hosted by Carol and Omnific.

Rafflecopter Giveaway!

CarolOates

Amazon | Omnific | Author Website

Goodreads: Shades of Atlantis

Goodreads: Shades of Avalon

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Shades of Avalon Release Day!

Congratulations to Carol Oates on today’s release of Shades of Avalon, the sequel to Shades of Atlantis.

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It’s live today… here!

Synopsis: Ben Pryor grew up as an average kid in Camden, Maine, unaware of the supernatural storm brewing in his Celtic blood. However, at nineteen, as the last born in the royal line of the beings that once ruled Atlantis, Ben has eagerly embraced his newfound abilities and birthright. 

When Caleb, his sister’s mate, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, the prime suspect is the last remaining member of the overthrown corrupt Guardian Council. 

With the discovery that an old acquaintance has been keeping secrets and the future Ben was so sure of shifting before his eyes, the situation becomes more complicated, the ransom for Caleb too high.

In the sequel to Shades of Atlantis, Ben will delve deeper than he ever imagined into the magical old ways of the Guardians, the secrets of Excalibur, and the truth behind the legend of King Arthur.

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Having read both books and experienced Ben’s self-discovery in Shades of Avalon, we can tell you this story plays out like a movie! So, for us, there isn’t anyone we’d rather envision as the lovable Ben Pryor than Liam Hemsworth. Just the thought of Liam in this role adds to the magic of the character and brings this story to life just a little bit more!

kinopoisk.ruAhhh…see? Magical!

If you haven’t read either, we highly recommend reading both books and ordering today via Omnific’s special Tax Day promotion!

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Want to Win

Fabulous Prizes? 

Then don’t forget to enter the author’s blog tour giveaway here!

CarolOates

Amazon | Omnific | Author Website

Goodreads: Shades of Atlantis

Goodreads: Shades of Avalon

Thanks to Traci (@OmniTraci) with Omnific, we will be officially participating in Carol’s blog tour on April 18th with a review and other interesting tidbits to share!

Please plan to join us then!

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Don’t Miss the Upcoming Live Radio Chat with Author Helena Hunting on Northwest Prime

Tomorrow afternoon, April 11th at 4:30 EST (3:30 CST/1:30 PST), Helena Hunting, one of our newest favorite published authors, will be chatting with Seattle WAVE radio DJ Lori Ness on her show Northwest Prime.

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Twitter | Facebook | Website

This is a great opportunity to get to know Helena and listen as she and Lori explore why women authors love to write about the “bad boy.”  (Ooh! Yes, let’s get into the nitty gritty of that one!)

Chick Lisa will be joining them half way through to talk more with Helena about her debut novel Clipped Wings. 

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And it’s sequel Inked Armor. 

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We were previously honored to interview Helena quite extensively here on Fics 2 Flicks but hope to use the live time to get her to expound on a few more subjects, including having her…

  • Share a little more about the cover designs that go against current trend. We just love her covers!
  • Tell us a little more about the prequel novella Cupcakes & Ink as well as what to look forward to in her followup Cracks in the Armor
  • Talk to us about the positive aspects/experiences of having emerged from the Twilight fanfiction fandom

We’re helping you connect to this wonderful new author!

You can support Helena by tuning in tomorrow afternoon to listen to her live interview at www.northwestprime.com (just click on Listen Live) and tweeting your questions to @iguestinfo or @fics2flicks either before or during the show!

Or…if you are unable to listen live but have a question (or comment) for Helena, feel free to leave it in the comments of this post and Chick Lisa will likely persuade Helena into answering it on the show! Then you can listen to the recorded show through the Northwest Prime website once it is posted! Well isn’t that the icing on the cupcake!?!?!?

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 SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS FOR HELENA HUNTING

Website | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads

GIVEAWAY CONTEST

Our friends over at Fifty Shades Film are also hosting an awesome giveaway contest in support of Helena. The grand prize winner will receive the following:

  • Autographed copy of CLIPPED WINGS and INKED ARMOR
  • Clipped Wings and Inked Armor Vanilla Flavored Lip Balm
  • Clipped Wings stickers
  • Clipped Wings and Inked Armor temporary tattoos
  • A Special “Clipped Wings” Bracelet
  • Hayden “Cupcake” inspired treats including Cupcake Flavored Dental Floss and Cupcake Flavored Toothpaste.

For more prizes and complete details on how you can enter to win, go here

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Exclusive Interview with Author Niall Leonard

Oh how the F2F chicks love to bring our readers a terrific interview! We’re like Elizabeth Vargas and Barbara Walters when we get together and try to come up with hard-hitting questions fans want answers to as well as thoughtful questions that invoke heartwarming answers. So we were ecstatic when Nialls Nation approached us about the opportunity to interview author Niall Leonard in anticipation of the release of his upcoming novel Incinerator, the sequel to Crusher and the second book in the Crusher trilogy via The Random House Group.

EXCERPT & ORDERING INFO HERE

The day Finn Maguire discovers his dad bludgeoned to death in a pool of blood, his dreary life is turned upside down. Prime suspect in his father’s murder, Finn must race against time to clear his name and find out who hated his dad enough to kill him.

Scouring the sordid, brutal London underworld for answers, exposing dark family secrets, and facing danger at every turn, Finn is about to learn that it’s the people you trust who can hit you the hardest. . .

Crusher is this year’s most talked-about debut thriller.

Lisa’s Review of Crusher

Discovering Niall Leonard has been another welcome part of this journey Kitt and I have been on since finding each other in the Twilight fandom. That journey lead us to some incredible authors who are now going mainstream and the reason we first launched this blog, not the least of which is Niall’s wife Erika (aka E L James). We have enjoyed their Twitter banter for a few years now, as well as reading interviews he has done as a result of his wife’s growing fame. So when Niall got his first publishing deal, we had no doubt the intelligence and humor we had grown to love would also be evident in his writing. And it is.

It will come as no surprise to those who follow this blog that I bought the audiobook version of Crusher. It’s what I do. It’s what I live for. (Sorry. I still have Anna Kendrick’s The Little Mermaid skit on the brain. lol) Crusher is fast-paced and keeps you entertained from start to finish. There’s even a little bit of romance for our hero, and I can’t help but hope that Zoe has found her way into Incinerator too once I get to listening to the audiobook. Since Niall has helped raise two boys of his own, it’s obvious he knows his way around their head space. It’s also obvious he knows his way around a good story. We’re big on not giving away any spoilers in our posts, so you won’t find any here. What you will find is a recommendation to buy the book and fall in love with Finn too!

U.S. Release Date: April 8, 2014
EXCERPT & ORDERING INFO HERE

Incinerator is the pulse-pounding sequel to Crusher, Niall Leonard’s debut YA novel and an Edgar Award finalist for Best Young Adult Novel.

Following the bloody deaths of his mother and father, Finn Maguire is determined to make a fresh start, running a boxing gym in the bruised and bitter heart of the city. But when loan sharks target his business partner and his lawyer vanishes with all his money, Finn is dragged down into London’s underworld once more, with only his fists and his wits to keep him alive.

Q&A

F2F: It’s fantastic that Nialls Nation has been created to support your career, and we appreciate the admin including us in the opportunity to do this Q&A with you. Thank you for taking the time, Niall!

NL: You’re very welcome. I’m honoured to be asked and amazed at the efforts Nialls Nation makes to publicize the Crusher trilogy. Their work is beyond price.

F2F: Kitt always wants to know… How did you celebrate when you got the news Crusher had been picked up by Random House?

NL: I remember when I heard the news – I was vacuum-cleaning the floor in my father’s house in Ireland when my agent rang and told me that if I wasn’t sitting down, I should be. When she explained that Random House wanted to publish Crusher and its two sequels I was stunned – I understood then why she’d told me to take a seat. Of course, it was the same year Erika’s trilogy became a record-breaking publishing phenomenon, and extraordinary events just seemed to keep on coming, but I’ve never stopped being thrilled and flattered to be published, and I hope that thrill never fades.

F2F: Lisa always wants to know… Is there any significance to the name you chose for your main character(s)?

NL: Maguire was my mother’s maiden name and for me it always had a rogue-ish quality, maybe because my father used to grumble (in jest) that in centuries past the Leonards had been kings in their part of Ireland and the Maguires had moved in and taken over. I’ve used it quite often as the name of my hero in my work. ‘Finn’ is a bit of vanity because it means ‘fair-haired’ in Irish (though it should really be spelled Fionn). I’m fair-haired so it was a way of putting myself into the tale.

F2F: Did Finn start talking to you when you decided to participate in Nanowrimo, or had he been kicking around in your head for a while?

NL: He’d been kicking around for a year or two. I emphasise this to people who wonder how I wrote the first draft of Crusher in a month. Writing quickly has never been a problem for me, but the planning and working out of the structure can take a while. In fact it took longer than it should with Crusher; from the start I thought it ought to be a book, and even wrote an opening chapter, but since I hadn’t worked out beforehand where the story was going I lost momentum and put the project aside. As a TV writer I’ve always relied on knowing the structure of a piece to allow me to keep me moving; also as a TV writer I’ve had clients breathing down my neck and that kept me focused too! Since I was writing Crusher for myself it was too easy to let myself off the hook, pretending that the piece would be better if I let it ‘mature’ for a bit, which was classic procrastinating BS. Nanowrimo was the kick up the ass that I needed.

F2F: Is Finn’s dyslexia inspired by anyone in real life?

NL: One of my brothers a few years back was diagnosed as dyslexic, and realized that that had held him back academically. I thought of that when I needed a reason for Finn to have under-achieved at school, to be taken for stupid when in fact he’s smarter than most, and to be angry and have low self-esteem; dyslexia fitted the bill. Of course If I’d realised how difficult it would make my job when he’s trying to solve mysteries, I might have looked for a different flaw..!

F2F: Why mystery? Were you a fan of the Hardy Boys or Sherlock while growing up?

NL: I was never particularly into mysteries when I was growing up, or even now. I was into humour and comedy, and have always believed that being able to tell a joke is like being able to tell a story with a twist – the answer has to be hidden in the tale itself, in such a way that nobody sees it coming until the very end. I’ve written a lot of murder-mystery thrillers for TV, and learned the craft on the job, approaching the problem in a practical way; you start off with a secret that motivates the murder, and find other secrets that have a similar theme, and you wrap the real answer inside the fake ones. The audience follows the hero as he or she unravels the puzzle. When it works well, and you take the audience by surprise, it’s a real buzz. But writing Crusher I learned that it’s an even bigger buzz when as the writer you take yourself by surprise.

F2F: Your wife, E L James, famously admits that your sons have not read her books, but have they read yours?

NL: They made a start, but if either of them ever got to the end, they haven’t told me, and I’ve stopped asking. It’s a painful irony for both Erika and me that our kids aren’t great readers – maybe that’s our own fault for giving them too many other things to do when they were young. Growing up I was quite often bored out of my skull and reading was the only escape. However, many of our sons’ friends have read Crusher and enjoyed it – including the lad whose dislike of fantasy and romance novels first inspired me to come up with a crime story featuring a teenage hero. That’s some consolation. (Many of those boys have read Fifty Shades too, from a rather different motive…)

F2F: We love the new cover for Crusher, as well as the covers for Incinerator and Shredder. The theme has a very appealing Saul Bass feel. How much creative input did you have in the design?

NL: The original Crusher cover featuring the lonely figure in the dark street was deliberately aimed at the adult thriller audience for which that sort of image is a staple – it was meant to convey that Crusher was not a typical young-adult book. However, for the paperback edition we decided to go for a radical revision and tie it up thematically with the covers of the next two novels.

F2F: The Fifty Shades trilogy blazed a trail with its simple monochrome covers, blowing away all the ancient clichés of romantic fiction imagery. I wanted my book like hers to have an iconic cover that could be recognized across a bookshop, or when shrunk to a thumbnail on screen. My other basic idea was that the text of each title should be ‘damaged’ in the way the title suggested, and the cover artists took that idea and ran with it, suggesting a simple three-colour theme and coming up with the modern-Saul-Bass look everyone loved.

F2F: Daniel Weyman did a great job narrating the audiobook version of Crusher. Will he be narrating Incinerator and Shredder too? Were you involved in the audiobook process at all?

NL: For the Crusher audiobook I was sent a shortlist of actors and I have to admit I rejected them all – they had boy’s voices and I wanted the more world-weary tones of a young man. I asked for a list of older actors and listened to about twenty: Daniel Weyman came top of the list – but that was the limit of my involvement, which surprised me. I never even got to meet him. I trained as a director and the idea that you send the actor cold into a studio to make his or her own way through the text, with no hints or suggestions as to how they should approach it, seemed like anathema – but in the world of books that’s how it’s always been done, apparently. And since it turned out so well, maybe a director would have just over-complicated the process!

F2F: As a television writer turned novelist, would you rather see your books adapted into movies or a television series?

NL: I would say movies, because the stories are essentially so short and self-contained. Everyone demands so much of a TV series these days – multi-layered and deeply complex, with storylines that run for season after season. If I were writing Finn as a TV detective for a serial I’d have to do it differently…

Actually, that’s a really interesting idea. (A/N: We’ll see our names in the credits, right?)

F2F: Speaking of television, are there any British and/or American television series where you find the writing (bloody) brilliant?

NL: The dialogue in Game of Thrones zings off the screen. It manages to be convey ‘medieval’ without become stilted and self-conscious, and it’s always witty with it. House of Cards I love, even if it suggests that every politician except Frank Underwood is fundamentally honest and devoid of guile, which stretches credibility just a little. I’ve recently discovered Arrested Development, which has the merciless wit of Modern Family but none of the saccharine – although the saccharine in MF is superbly judged.

F2F: What’s next for you? Any projects you can share with us (besides trying to housebreak Mini – lol)?

NL: I am torn between a period detective novel series based an actual historical character I came across a few years ago, and a one-off novel about dogwalkers in a London park and how their lives interweave. The first will take, and has taken, a great deal of research – the second I research every day. Mini, though adorable, is a real distraction – puppies are a lot easier to keep entertained in a house with young children.

Just for fun…

F2F: Maybe not everyone knows that you were your wife’s original editor for the Fifty Shades Trilogy when it was fanfiction. Was there ever laughing involved while you pored over what you read that you haven’t admitted to her? C’mon, you can tell us!

NL: Erika literally sat at my elbow as I proof-read each chapter, and she missed none of my reactions. I edited punctuation without referring to her, often swapping ellipses for dashes and vice versa, but if I wanted to change any of the words we hammered it out between us. It was hard work for both of us, but we did laugh, and when we did we laughed together. I still find it hard to believe we actually collaborated so closely for so long without ever trying to hit one another with blunt heavy objects.

F2F: Have you ever written fanfiction and, if so, for what fandom(s)?

NL: I was going to reply ‘no’ to this question, but then I realized that when I started to write almost everything I produced was fan fiction, in the sense that it echoed the work of authors I loved. I’ve written stuff inspired by JRR Tolkien, Frank O’Connor, Sven Hassel (don’t ask) and Spike Milligan, among others. But of course many professional writers start out by emulating their heroes, and keep writing until they find their own voice. Fan-fiction is another way of doing that, with the added thrill of sharing the fun with friends and fans.

F2F: How did you propose to your wife? With each of you having such a great sense of humor, we’re thinking it might be a fun(ny) story. Although, we’re also fans of hearts and flowers 😉

NL: This is a very sensitive subject, and whenever I have told the story I’ve tried to make it funny, but Erika has never found it hilarious….

…and despite intense efforts over centuries of marriage I have never been forgiven. It seems I will just have to keep on trying… (A/N: We thank you for sharing the story with us, Mr. Leonard, but due to the unromantic nature of it, and our allegiance to Erika, we have decided not to publish it.  We support your efforts to continue seeking forgiveness. LOL!)

F2F: Who has current bragging rights for trivia night at the pub? The guys or the girls?

NL: The girls have only come to the pub quiz a few times – and the last time they finished ahead of us by a point, which was suitably mortifying for the guys. However in the last year the boys’ team has won the jackpot twice, mostly on the strength of trivia, so we have nothing to be ashamed of. Sadly however the boys’ team seems to have gone their separate ways of late. Erika and I are planning to form a splinter group, just as soon as we can agree on a snappy name for the team…Don’t anybody hold their breath.

F2F: Okay, we won’t! But chick Lisa is holding her breath in anticipation of the audiobook version of Incinerator!

Available June 2014!
EXCERPT & ORDERING INFO HERE

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Thank you so much to Niall Leonard for entertaining us with his enthusiastic and thoughtful answers! We wish him the best of luck with the release of Incinerator.

Niall Leonard

WebsiteTwitter | Amazon

And be sure to “Like” Nialls Nation’s Facebook page! In addition to up-to-date information and working directly with Mr. Leonard, they do great giveaways!

#JointheNation

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For more Q&A, you can also listen to a wonderful interview with Mr. Leonard conducted by Lori Ness after the release of his first book, Crusher, on NorthwestPrime by clicking here!

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Shades of Avalon Cover Reveal

Some things in life will always be worth the wait. 

As a book lover, when you find that you are a fan of a particular story, its characters, & its author, then a book’s sequel is definitely worth waiting for! 

It’s finally here! A double reveal for the Shades series by Irish author Carol Oates. And as blog hosts, we strong-armed Carol and her publisher, Omnific, into giving us a glimpse of her newest book, due out soon! But beware…if you haven’t read Shades of Atlantis yet, the sequel’s synopsis and excerpt will have **spoilers**

First let’s take a look at the new & improved cover of Shades of Atlantis:

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Ooh! Isn’t it striking? Those of you who have already read Carol’s book will recognize that this is Triona Pryor, a seemingly ordinary young woman with a plan to go out into the world and bravely live her life, only to realize her bloodlines have predestined what kind of world she and her brother Ben will be exposed to and forced to face.

Synopsis:

Since the death of their parents, Triona Pryor and her brother, Ben, have lived with their aunt and uncle in Camden, Maine. Now in her senior year of high school, Triona loves her family and friends, but she has always felt that she didn’t quite fit in…in Camden, or anywhere else.

Enter Caleb Wallace, the devilishly handsome man who has recently moved to Triona’s small town.

While their attraction to each other is instantaneous, it also proves to be dangerous…and deadly. When tragedy strikes, Triona flees to London for solace and to start her life anew. It’s there she discovers from an unlikely source that her family has been keeping secrets from her – secrets about not only her birthright, but her ultimate destiny as well.

Armed with this knowledge, Triona finds herself thrown into a whole new world and into a battle to save the lives of everyone she loves.

And presenting the sequel, Shades of Avalon:

SOAvalon_CoverOoh! Now isn’t this intriguing and mysterious? Carol sets up an interesting turn of events here! While the first book is told from Triona’s perspective, the sequel does something unexpected and picks up with the story continuing from Ben’s perspective. The cover suggests events will force Ben to be embroiled more deeply into the new, perhaps darker, world full of mystical legends and magic. The excerpt below suggests he’ll discover more about who he is and his place in his new world.

Synopsis:

Ben Pryor grew up as an average kid in Camden, Maine, unaware of the supernatural storm brewing in his Celtic blood. However, at nineteen, as the last born in the royal line of the beings that once ruled Atlantis, Ben has eagerly embraced his newfound abilities and birthright.

When Caleb, his sister’s mate, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, the prime suspect is the last remaining member of the overthrown corrupt Guardian Council.

With the discovery that an old acquaintance has been keeping secrets and the future Ben was so sure of shifting before his eyes, the situation becomes more complicated, the ransom for Caleb too high.

In the sequel to Shades of Atlantis, Ben will delve deeper than he ever imagined into the magical old ways of the Guardians, the secrets of Excalibur, and the truth behind the legend of King Arthur.

Shades of Avalon Excerpt:

“I have no idea what my blood can do,” I conceded.

“What?” Amanda tilted her head, intrigued.

“Oh, nothing much. Just something the crazy, old coot Merlin said.”

I left the three of them and approached the edge of the lake, careful not to slip on the mud. Nothing says regal confidence like sliding on my ass. I planted my feet and threw my shoulders back, expanding my chest. I had no idea how to do this. Did I simply ask, or was there a specific command? I decided to wing it and hope.

The water moved, and I imagined liquid eyes watching me. Butterflies tumbled in my stomach. I rubbed my palm across it in a vain attempt to allay the movement. It didn’t work and my apprehension grew. I framed the words in my mind as Emma nodded, straining the bowstring a little more. I took the action as assurance she had my back. She was just a kid and yet probably braver than me.

“You wish to entreat us, Blood of Danu?” Ripples spread out across the glassy surface of the lake from the base of the pillar. If I wasn’t mistaken, the tone of the voices verged on arrogance.

“No,” I boomed. “I don’t entreat you. I am Benjamin Alexander Pryor. I am the last born in the bloodline of Dagda and descendant of the goddess, Danu. I command you to return the human known as Arthur Pendragon to this world immediately.” 

Author Bio:

Carol Oates came into the world on Christmas morning, in an elevator. Raised just across the street from the childhood home of Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, it was only a matter of time before Carol’s love of all things supernatural would emerge. She began experimenting with fiction at school and keeps the notebook containing her first unpublished novel in her desk drawer. Over three decades later, all her stories still begin life scrawled on paper. When not writing, Carol can be found exploring history with her son. Luckily, he shares her love of old buildings, castles, and tombs.

Amazon | Omnific | Author Website

Goodreads: Shades of Atlantis

Goodreads: Shades of Avalon

Giveaways:

Omnific and Carol have graciously set up some very nice giveaway prizes for our readers:

1. E-pack of Shades series provided by Omnific

2. Print copy of the original Shades of Atlantis, Collector cards, & a Newbridge Silver bookmark

3. Print copy of the original Shades of Atlantis & Collector cards

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Three fabulous prizes. Three lucky winners.
Just click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter. Best of luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

We just wanted to take a minute to say thank you to all of the blogs who helped spread the word about today’s cover reveal and signed up to participate! Each blog will be featuring a giveaway, so readers can blog hop and enter multiple contests. It’s always good to show your support of an author by leaving a review on Amazon or Goodreads!

Special thanks to Traci from Omnific and, of course, our friend Carol Oates for letting us help promote Shades of Avalon. Wishing you blockbuster success with this next installment once it is released!

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