Title: Defensive Play
Series: A Boys on the Brink Novella
Author: Jamie Deacon
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Release Date: November 30, 2018
Genre: Gay YA Sports Romance
Length: 21,500 words
One glance is all it takes to bring his defences crashing down…
Seventeen-year-old Davey has never made friends easily. Shy, geeky, crippled with social anxiety, he feels isolated from his peers, and only his position as defender for the school football team fills the void of loneliness. On the pitch, his deft footwork has earned him the respect and acceptance of his squad, though at a price. Desperate to hold onto this camaraderie, Davey conceals the truth from everyone, even his own family.
Then, during the annual Brookshire football tournament, his eyes meet those of a rival player across the field and a spark flares between them, one neither boy can deny. Adam is everything Davey longs to be—confident, popular, comfortable with his sexuality. Davey aches to explore their connection, to discover where it might lead, but how can he follow his heart and risk rejection by his teammates, the closest thing to friends he has ever known?
⇒ E X C E R P T ⇐
The rain has stopped. A soft mist hangs in the air, turning the distant streetlights a hazy orange. After the stuffiness of the clubhouse, the night is bitterly cold and I pull on my sweatshirt against the chill. I sit on the steps overlooking the car park, heedless of the damp that seeps through my jeans. Elbows on knees, I rest my chin in my hands and close my eyes, attempting to clear my mind. I don’t want to think anymore. I just want to sit with nothing but the dark and the quiet for company.
I haven’t been hunched there long when the door opens, ejecting a stream of warmth and thumping bass. I glance behind me, although I know who it will be. My body goes still. Adam lets the door swing shut and, just like that, we’re alone.
He doesn’t seem surprised to find me on the steps. Perhaps he saw me leave. Has he followed me? My insides clench. What if Adam thinks I did it deliberately, that I meant to lure him out here. Maybe I had. Maybe, deep down, a part of me hoped Adam might come, even while the rest of me prayed he wouldn’t.
This time, when our gazes connect, there’s no one to see, no football match to act as a buffer. I drink him in. Even in the faint glow filtering through the frosted pane in the door, his eyes are a vivid blue.
“Hey,” Adam says. Such a simple word that expresses so much. There’s recognition there, like we’re childhood friends meeting after years apart, but uncertainty, too. He has a nice voice, I register through my turbulent thoughts—warm and slightly husky.
“Hey.” My reply emerges somewhere between a croak and a squeak. Cringing, I stare down at my feet.
“It’s Davey, right?”
I fling him a startled look. Had this boy—this confident, gorgeous boy—actually gone to the trouble of finding out my name?
One side of Adam’s mouth lifts in a crooked smile. “Well, I had to know who the lunatic was who almost took my leg off.”
“God.” I bury my face in my hands. Of course Adam was going to ask about me after what happened on the pitch. “I’m so sorry.”
He laughs and nudges my thigh with the toe of his trainer. “I’m kidding. Seriously, you did us a favour.”
I dare a peep at him, unable to rid myself of the thought that he has pursued me out here to take the piss. That wouldn’t be anything new, after all.
“It’s true.” Adam crouches on the step beside me, his expression amused but without malice. “Rob warned me about you. He said the rest of your defence was pretty solid, but probably weren’t quick enough to catch me. You were the real threat.”
I grimace. “I’m guessing he wasn’t expecting me to take you out quite so spectacularly, though.”
“Funnily enough, that wasn’t included in the pep talk. Still, I should be thanking you. You made our job a whole lot easier.”
“Don’t remind me. You should’ve heard the guys after the match. I’ll never hear the end of it.”
Adam laughs again, and I can’t hold back a smile. Here I am, having an actual conversation with an amazing-looking boy—a boy who’d caught me checking him out, no less—and I’m not making an ass of myself.
The door behind us bursts open and several guys spill out. I tense, guard raised. Will they think it odd us sitting out here alone? I scan their faces, but none are from Farnstead. A moment later, they barrel down the steps without giving either of us a second look and head for one of the cars parked nearby.
As they pile in and the engine growls to life, I exhale, shoulders slumping. I can feel Adam studying me and keep my gaze lowered.
“You’re not out,” he says, “are you?”
“What?” My entire body goes rigid. He knows. I’d already guessed as much, but suspecting it is one thing; being confronted with the indisputable truth sends me spiralling back into panic mode. Why had he really followed me out here? I’d thought…been sure I’d read something in his eyes when they locked with mine, but what if I’m wrong? Do I truly believe someone like Adam, someone popular and self-assured, would have sought me out? Unless…
I see again the Brookminster players in their huddle, sniggering, moments after Adam caught me staring. I’d reassured myself they weren’t laughing about me, but perhaps my fears had been well founded. The cold certainty settles like a snowball in my gut. I’d given myself away, and now the other lads have sent Adam out here to chat me up, trick me into an admission I won’t be able to take back. For all I know, his mates are somewhere close by as we speak, listening in.
“Hey.” Adam extends his palms in what is probably supposed to be a calming gesture. “It’s all right. I know and it’s all right.”
“You don’t know anything,” I snap. The instinct for self-preservation, to keep my protective wall intact at any cost, propels me to my feet. “You hear me? You don’t know anything about me.”
Before he can respond, I’m down the steps and sprinting into the darkness, phone already out to call my parents. All I want is to go home, crawl into bed, and forget today ever happened.
⇒ Purchase Your Copy! ⇐
⇒ About Jamie Deacon ⇐
Jamie lives in a tranquil spot close to the River Thames in Berkshire, England, and has always been just a little out of place—the only redhead in a family of brunettes; an introvert far more at ease with dogs than with people; a connoisseur of simple pleasures in a society intent on the quest for wealth and fame. Despite an outward cynicism, Jamie is a romantic at heart, and, when not immersed in a book, can mostly be found writing emotional stories where young men from all walks of life are forced to navigate the sometimes painful reality of growing up, coming out, and falling in love.
⇒ G I V E A W A Y ⇐
To celebrate the release of Defensive Play, Jamie Deacon is giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card. For your chance to win, simply enter via the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway is open to entrants world wide, and closes at midnight EST on Friday December 7, 2018.
Good luck! [ENTER HERE]
Kat: The Legend of Gnawbonia by Nick White
THE WORLD’S FIRST FULLY ILLUSTRATED NOVEL
168 pages & 14 chapters of action packed illustrated mastery
In the great city of Catifornia, the Meofia are by far the most feared of all the felines. At home, their baby sister Kat is enslaved under lock and key. Done with the constant abuse, she escapes, embarking on a perilous journey far beyond the land of cats.
Lost at sea, Kat is captured by a ruthless gang of notorious pirate dogs and forced to the depths of the ocean in search of treasure; where she discovers an ancient city, lost in time.
Here, Kat comes to terms with who she truly is – gaining the courage to fight for her life and freedom, to fulfil an ancient prophecy that she inevitably finds herself entwined with.
A new style of book, a fusion of various parts.
Adventure novel, graphic novel & picture book.
T h e I n t e r v i e w
KAT: THE LEGEND OF GNAWBONIA IS AVAILABLE AS A VISUALLY STUNNING HIGH-QUALITY HARD COVER (seriously it’s beautiful, congratulations on that) AND AS AN ANIMATED EBOOK. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR AND KAT’S PUBLISHING JOURNEY?
Thanks Sarah. I did actually get accepted into a few publishing houses, but turned them down as they wanted full creative control of the book and in the end they pay fractions to authors. Although there’s a few risky pages in there I like everything I’ve put into the book and didn’t want it butchered by any company scared of offending few individuals to protect their reputation. So I funded the first print run through Kickstarter, it’s a great way to do it – if you can convince people it’s a worthy investment that likely won’t be fulfilled for a long time due to shipping problems and international banking issues. Hahaha.
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT, OR HOW THE STORY CAME TO BE?
I’ve wanted to do an illustrated novel for about 17 years, and what sparked that was that there just aren’t many around (there were none back then). I guess I then had to work up the courage to spend 5 years of my life on one single project. I was never really sure what the story was going to be but in the end when I put pen to paper I wanted the end of it to have an epic fight between a seemingly helpless and small-for-her-age cat, and a bunch of hungry beastly dogs. And I wanted the cat to come out on top. From there it was a case of reverse engineering the story; Why are they fighting? The dogs could be pirates. Why is the cat there? She could be their prisoner? How did she get there? She was lost at sea etc etc. Every answer would inspire a further question until the story was plump enough.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING AND GIVE YOURSELF ANY ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
I’d tell myself to invest heavily on Netflix… then I could have spent the last few years working on my book fulltime and not through the nights in between my full time job.
ARE YOU WORKING ON ANYTHING AT THE MOMENT, CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT IT?
I am loosely working on the next volume of the book. It’s very exciting; it’s a straight continuation of the story.
WHAT ARE YOU READING AT THE MOMENT OR WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?
The last book I read was the Gruffalo. I have a 3 year old daughter. The last book I read for myself was James and the giant peach. I always wanted to read it when I was younger but never got around to it. Roald Dahl’s still got it!
THANK YOU SO MUCH TO NICK FOR TAKING THE TIME TO ANSWER MY QUESTIONS!
Nick has chosen to give 10% of all profits from the book to three international animal charities, Mercy for Animals, The Humane League and Animal Equality, who are doing essential work around the globe to eradicate factory farming – a theme the book lightly touches on.
Nick is originally from Sydney, Australia, has spent the last 18 years as a commercial artist, lending a hand to some of the biggest ad and design agencies in the UK, NZ and Australia.
NICK CAN BE FOUND @ www.nickwhiteworks.com
Wind Rider (Tales of a New World #3) by P.C. Cast
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication: October 30th 2018
Add to Goodreads
Mari, Nik, and their newly formed Pack are being hunted. Thaddeus and the God of Death will stop at nothing until they are obliterated from the earth. But Mari and Nik have one goal: to reach the plains of the Wind Riders in order to band together to stop Thaddeus from destroying all that Mari and Nik hold dear.
But will the mysterious Wind Riders accept the Pack, or will Mari and Nik and their people be rejected by the mighty Riders and be forced to flee for their lives? And what happens when a rogue Lead Stallion gets too close to the Pack, rejecting all Wind Riders and turning to a stranger for companionship instead?
In the third instalment of the Tales of a New World series, love and goodness are put to the ultimate test. Will the Wind Riders and the Pack be strong enough to withstand the God of Death? Will the Great Goddess of Life awaken to join the battle and, if so, will it be as Death’s consort, or will the Goddess stand with Mari and her people against the great love of her eternal life?
To celebrate the release of Wind Rider (Tales of a New World #3), Pan Macmillan Australia has given me the opportunity to give away to one lucky reader the first three books in the Tales of a New World series!
♥ Giveaway is open to Australian and New Zealand addresses only, sorry.
♥ You must be over 18 or have parents permission to enter.
♥ If randomly selected as the winner you will need to provide me your postal address so I can pass it on to Pan Macmillan for shipping of the prize pack.
♥ Giveaway will close at 12:00am AEST 16th November 2018.
Brian Wilkinson attempts to juggle multiple careers as an author, high school teacher, and librarian. He currently lives in East York, Ontario, with his wife, Catherine, and his two children, Owen and Nora, who served as the inspiration for the main characters in his first novels, Battledoors and Paramnesia.
Once I finished writing my first novel, Battledoors, my mother eagerly read it and then said, “Wow, this would make a great movie!” I’ll admit, I got pretty excited at the notion and immediately started dreaming up all sorts of scenarios that culminated in my characters showing up on screen. I remember a few times when I was in a movie theatre and looking up at trailers playing on giant screens and all of the cardboard standees and posters and thinking, “That might be my book someday.”
At that point, I didn’t even have a publishing contract for the book. That in and of itself would be a major success, and yet there I was, aiming for the 1% of books that are lucky enough to be translated into film.
That led me to wonder why the book alone wasn’t good enough. It’s a strange thing, when you really think about it, that the ultimate goal of your artistic creation is to hand it off to someone else to create, potentially, a more popular and consumed version of what you came up with. Maybe it’s because we equate that kind of visibility with success.
And there are lots of examples we can pull from. Twilight, The Martian, Ready Player One, Hunger Games, Divergent, Lord of the Rings (masterful works in both cases), heck, even the Avengers, X-Men, and Batman are all more popular because of the films, while the source material is left over for those who are willing to take the time to read them. And before you mention it, yes, there is the case of Harry Potter, which was a book phenomenon long before it became a film phenomenon, but I’ll tell you now that as a teacher and a librarian there are a lot more kids these days who have seen the films but not read the books.
For me, books are the best form of entertainment out there. My mind gets to create voices, imagine the landscape, and see in greater detail and more depth than the typical film run time allows for. There is a patience that is required and a level of focus that is all too often easily lost by an audience passively taking it in. At a theatre, I can pay attention. At home, I’m often distracted by some device or another. With a book, I have to really be present.
And considering how much time it took me to write the things, I’d like any audience I’m lucky enough to have to be able to take their time with it and see it, hear it, and feel it for themselves however they might choose.
All of that said, I wouldn’t argue if Hollywood came knocking on my door.
I know; I’m a terrible hypocrite. “But you just said that books are better!” you’re shouting at me. And yes, they are. Still, one can’t deny the awe and splendour of seeing someone else’s imagining of the same thing you read and comparing notes. Harry Potter, for the record, was pretty spot-on in its translation. For all of its deviations, Lord of the Rings is a stunning achievement. The Hobbit… not so much. Still, those are books that earned their place on the silver screen by building an audience and by rising to meet the lofty standards that the books set up. It’s exciting to see a great filmmaker do something special with your work and hold it up as the gold standard. I mean, seriously, Ernest Cline got Steven Spielberg to adapt his first-ever novel! How cool is that?
So, yes, I’ll dream big and stare at the movie poster on the wall. And yes, it would be cool. No, I’m not about to put together a “dream cast” for my books, as I would get it all totally wrong. The only actor I ever pictured bringing any of my characters to life was Patton Oswalt in the role of Dr. Westlake from my second novel, Paramnesia. Don’t know why, either. The rest of the characters I’d leave in the hands of others. Why? Well, I never would have tapped Chris Pratt for Starlord. I cringed at Chris Evans as Captain America. And who the heck is Gal Gadot?
See? All of those people are amazing in their roles to the points where the comic characters are adapting to match up. Now that’s something special. Nope. Leave the casting to someone else.
But look, you’ve caught me dreaming absurdly big again. I’m already doing that just by getting published in the first place and hoping, just hoping, that someone finds my books, reads them, enjoys them, and watches the movie versions play out in their own heads. Isn’t that amazing? Isn’t that the definition already of a huge amount of success?
It’s more than good enough for me.
Battledoors: The Golden Slate
Forced to work together with friends and enemies in order to return home, Owen is faced with a series of choices that will prompt him to find courage he never knew he had, explore the possibility of romance, and try to find a way to let go of his painful past and move on. But is Owen ready to finally take control, and become the protagonist of his own story?
Paramnesia: The Deadish Chronicles
Nora Edwards finally had everything she wanted out of life, including the boy of her dreams, Andrew, until one night that dream turned into a nightmare. On their way home from prom, Nora and Andrew are attacked by a supernatural creature called the Revenant that sucks the souls out of the living in order to feed itself. Nora manages to escape from the creature, but tragically, Andrew is not as fortunate.
Although Nora suffered loss that night, she gained something, as well: the ability to see the dead. Whether the skill is a gift or a curse is yet to be determined, as those around her assume Nora has developed “paramnesia,” a disorder where one confuses dreams with reality. She’s also attracted the attention of the Revenant’s masters, who need to preserve the secret of their supernatural existence. Nora, along with Andrew and her living and dead allies in the Deadish Society, quickly finds herself in a battle for the souls of her city—and her mind.
The Path of the Lost (The Path of the Lost, #1) by Beau Kondos
Published July 2nd 2018 by KoHR MEDIA
The first book in a timely fantasy series about discovering the power of representation and perception in a world without art.
Zynthia is a Delver of the Cosm, one of the last of her kind. She has the ability to unleash the power of art, melody and narrative in a world that has outlawed creative expression. After her grandmother’s death, she is left to Delve on her own in the hope of discovering a lost ‘key’ that could preserve the Cosm’s light and save her world from fading into oblivion.
A single painting leads her to James, a man who is caught between two worlds.
After forming a fragile alliance with a Guardian and a rebel, Zynthia and James embark on the Path of the Lost. This ever-changing trail is haunted by forgotten creatures and secrets of the Cosm’s past.
Is James really the key Zynthia has been searching for? Can he learn to harness the power of his art to help in the battle against the Lost? Or has Zynthia’s Delving initiated a chain of events that will plunge her world into darkness forever?
Capturing themes of imagination lost, sexual awakening and coming to terms with the psychological anxiety of becoming independent, The Path of the Lost explores how the power of creativity can be used to unlock the colour caged inside a seemingly grey world.
THE PATH OF THE LOST HEART WAS PUBLISHED ON THE 2ND OF JULY, FIRSTLY CONGRATULATIONS! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE INSPIRATION BEHIND IT, OR HOW THE STORY CAME TO BE?
Thanks so much, Sarah! Inspiration tends to always flow in from multiple directions but I guess the main one was witnessing the rapid evolution in technologies and the consumer habits that formed around them.
Back in high school mobile phones only sent texts and made phone calls, so I’d rarely see anyone enthralled by a screen on the train home after school. Now you see mobiles, iPads and Kindles everywhere on public transport. I’m all for technological advances, but it got me thinking of some of the consequences of the decrease in ‘dead time’ we once had so much of. If there’s always an app or a group chat that can easily distract us, where do we find the free time to really process the day’s events, and just tune out and experiment with our imagination?
My storyworld is based in the Cosm, and it was inspired by this dilemma. The Cosm is a world where creative expression has been outlawed where most people have the time to explore their imaginations, but they don’t want to. The story asks some pretty big questions about what could potentially happen when we don’t make the time to explore what’s going on in our heads and the world around us.
It’s very hard to get picked up as a debut author. Usually the big Aussie publishers won’t look at your stuff unless you have an agent and unfortunately for Aussie writers, young adult fantasy has a bigger market abroad than at home. I couldn’t find an agent to take me on to sell the novel locally, so it felt like my hands were tied. Publishing locally was something that was very important to me, so I created a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to plead my case. Fortunately there was an overwhelming response to ensure The Path of the Lost was published on home turf first, so I was able to use the funds to have my manuscript professionally edited and printed in Australia. Now I’m currently working on finding a publisher abroad.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK PRE-PUBLICATION DAY AND GIVE YOURSELF ANY ADVICE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Learn to say no. I’m a social animal and I find it quite difficult to say no to invitations to social events. Self-publishing has been an enjoyable challenge, but it does eat up a lot of my free time. Sadly I’ve been using my writing time to work on things a publishing house would traditionally do, when I should’ve left my writing time as is, and said no to social events instead. Friends mean a lot to me, and I feel terrible saying no to them haha.
ARE YOU WORKING ON ANYTHING AT THE MOMENT, BOOK TWO PERHAPS, CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT IT?
The Path of the Lost was originally double the size. Book one was the first half of the novel, however during my six years of writing it evolved so much, that the second half needs to be re-written. I hadn’t planned for the characters to take control and end the first instalment the way that they did. I discovered that one of the rewards of writing was witnessing the characters grow organically. They revealed that there was a bigger story to tell, and a different path I needed to take to do so. I can tell you that the second novel will deal with heavier themes but it will introduce a few new characters and highlight the complexities of what makes a villain.
WHAT ARE YOU READING AT THE MOMENT OR WHAT WAS THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?
I just finished Circe, which had been sitting on my TBR pile for so long. I’m a huge mythology buff and from the first chapter I fell in love with Madeline Miller’s writing. It’s really poetic and lyrical and she’s done such an excellent job of tying together some of my favourite Greek myths into a single narrative with a powerful protagonist. It’s quite beautiful.
THANK YOU SO MUCH TO BEAU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO ANSWER MY QUESTIONS!
It’s been a pleasure. Thanks, Sarah!
Beau Kondos grew up in Melbourne and was captivated by strong women kicking arse on TV. After realising he wasn’t cut out to save the world, he started training to be a geeky sidekick by soaking up the contents of Greek mythology and philosophy books.
He has a double bachelor’s degree in media and communications/commerce from the University of Melbourne and a graduate diploma in creative media from RMIT University.
One of the highlights of his career was working for a not-for-profit, where he met many undiscovered superheroes. When he’s not working at a publishing house, you’ll find him travelling the world on a food adventure or making big decisions at his local supermarket’s ice-cream freezer.
The Inspiration Behind Stuck On Vacation With Ryan Rupert
Written by Pagan Malcolm
I was inspired to write Stuck On Vacation With Ryan Rupert—a YA contemporary suspense novel—while on vacation with my friend back in Grade 9 (so I was roughly 14 at the time).
Like many young teenagers exploring the new, exciting world of being a teenager, having relationships, and growing into maturity, I was really wrapped up in the concept of romance and getting my first boyfriend. It just so happened that at the time I really liked this one guy (I thought he was cute, and that was the basis of my crush), but nothing ever happened between us. We had separate classes, there was no force pushing us together at all. So I never acted on it, or really attempted to get to know him. I thought he was way out of my league and he would never date someone like me anyway. But the fantasy was still nice, and as a creative, fantasies are something I always hold onto.
So as I mentioned above, at the end of Grade 9, I was invited by my best friend (at the time) to join her family on their vacation to Daydream Island. I’d been there before, it was very nice there, but I’d never stayed for a week, and even to this day I really value my privacy when it comes to sharing rooms. If at all possible, I like to stay with close friends or just by myself, so it was already uncomfortable to me that I had to share the room with my friend, her dad, and his girlfriend.
But my mum had raised me to be grateful and the trip had been paid for me, so of course, I didn’t turn it down or complain.
Another fun fact about me is that I really dislike the ocean and swimming in general—I was never a strong swimmer growing up and I hate being cold, so the appeal of going for a dip in the sea wears off pretty quickly once my legs get tired and I start shivering. And while on this island, I found that there weren’t many activities to be doing that didn’t require going into water, so I was quite bored sitting around at the pools and such. It wasn’t exactly hellish or a nightmare, but it was far from ‘fun’, to my personal standards anyway.
While sitting there, daydreaming, I came up with this idea. Just a thought—a funny thought at the time, as I imagined how weird and amusing it would be if I ran into my crush while stuck on this island. In my teenage fantasy, it would give us an opportunity to get to know each other better (with the ideal outcome being a sometime romance).
Of course, that was never going to happen, but slowly, I started to piece this story idea together about a girl with a mortal enemy (based on my crush) who is forced to come to this island paradise. I gave her an exaggerated fear of the sea, which helped create the same kind of conflicts I’d been facing. The concept was perfect!
Two people who hate each other stuck in an island paradise with no choice but to get along (as they were forced to share a room), or tear each other apart.
Not to mention that one is a coward when it comes to the ocean, and the other is adventurous, egotistical prankster who torments the main character at every opportunity he has.
By the end of the trip, I was itching to get the story down on paper, and I spent an entire week straight just binge writing the book. I rocked up to school on Monday to start the new term and dumped a manuscript at my friend’s table.
While the inspiration is a little weird, looking back, I don’t regret it. Maybe one day that guy will find out Ryan Rupert is based off of him (or at least, how I’d imagined him to be), but to be honest, I think I prefer my fantasy as just a fantasy. I get to have a lot more fun with it that way—like adding random psychopaths with a mysterious past to the mix, and creating a completely unique and adorable couple who always seem to captivate my readers.
My fantasy was just a fantasy, but my story is for everyone to read and enjoy.
Stuck on Vacation with Ryan Rupert: There’s Trouble in Paradise by P S Malcolm
Aubany Winters’ life soon becomes a nightmare when her mum gets cancer and has to leave for California with her dad. Left with her neighbours, the Ruperts, and to her displeasure, their son Ryan, she finds herself forced to tag along on their family vacation to Nula Island. There’s just a few problems, like her fear of the ocean, her and Ryan’s mutual hatred for each other, and the psycho girl who is trying to kill them. Will Aubany overcome her fears? Will she and Ryan ever stop hating each other? Or will their flaws and disagreements lead them right into the enemy’s hands?
P.S.Malcolm (Pagan) grew up in Proserpine, Queensland— a small, Australian country town on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. She was a storyteller from a young age and spent years perfecting her craft.
For two years, she juggled waitressing in tourist filled coffee shops while undertaking two degrees in Creative Writing online— one specializing in children’s fiction and publishing. She has always had an interest in writing, but never saw herself working in the industry until she made the choice to self-publish her debut novel, STUCK ON VACATION WITH RYAN RUPERT. Realizing that she loved the process of publishing her book, she pursued an internship at a publishing house and snagged a spot as Pen Name Publishing’s Marketing Assistant.
In between interning and writing, Pagan opened her first business working as a freelance Marketing Strategist for Paperback Kingdom— which helps indie authors with all aspects of their author careers.
Pagan is a cat enthusiast, tea lover, and floral fanatic. She keeps a well-stocked tea collection, and one of her favourite past times is rocking up to a cozy teashop in a worn pair of jeans and writing a few pages of prose. If the ‘florals’ weren’t a dead giveaway, she’s a proud Hufflepuff and is crazy about the colour yellow.
Pagan also enjoys reading— particularly fantasy and paranormal— and is a passionate blogger. She reviews books that she has read on her personal website, and indie books on her business blog. Some of her favourite and most influential authors include Amanda Gernentz Hanson, A.G. Howard, Marissa Meyer and Michele Jaffe.
Her newest book, LANTERNS IN THE SKY, is set to be released by The Parliament House Publishing in Spring 2019.
Gabrielle Reid is an Australian author based near Newcastle, NSW. She has previously worked as a high school English teacher and still does creative writing workshops in schools from time to time. Gabrielle has published short stories in a variety of literary journals and regularly posts on her website and blog at http://www.justkeepreiding.com. The Things We Can’t Undo is her debut novel, published by Ford Street. It is available from May 1st in Australian bookstores (links at the end).
Time to hand it over to Gabrielle.
The Things We Can’t Undo by Gabrielle Reid
There’s no backspace key for life’s decisions.
Samantha and Dylan are in love – everyone knows it. So it’s no big deal when they leave a party for some time out together. But when malicious rumours surface about that night, each feels betrayed by the other.
Will Sam make a decision she can’t take back?
Published: May 1st 2018 by Ford Street Publishing
Bookish Kirra 24th April (Review)
Better Words Podcast 25th April (Podcast)
The Literary Casanova 28th April (Review)
Genie in a Book 30th April (Interview)
#LoveOzYa 1 May – RELEASE DAY! (Summary and Q&A)
The Adventures of Sacakat 3rd May (Guest post) * You are here 😛 *
Of Wonderland 6th May (Review)
Infinity Reads 7th May (Interview)
Musings & Wanderings 9th May (Guest post)
Written Word Worlds 10th May (Review & interview)
One Bookish Girl 12th May (Interview)
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and author Jane Avey Harris has vowed to donate all her online royalties to RAINN this month to support #SAAM. So there was no way I could say no when Film-14 reached out to see if i’d be willing to share the trailer they had just produced for Jane’s latested book.
The My Myth Trilogy is about a 17 year-old girl who uses fantasy to process her childhood abuse.
(My Myth Trilogy #2)
by Jane Alvey Harris
What if the worst thing isn’t that they don’t believe you?
What if the worst thing is that they just don’t care?
Seventeen year-old Emily has accepted the truth of her past trauma and made peace with her battered egos. She’s won the first battle…barely…but the war in her psyche still rages. The same day Mom is released from rehab and Emily finishes detox, Dad announces he’s ready to be a family again, throwing Emily into panic. Determined to protect her younger brothers and sister from Dad, she gathers the strength to do the hardest thing she’s ever done: speak her Secret.
But it isn’t enough. Nobody will intervene. Emily is more alone and helpless than ever. Her therapist suggests that the key to resolving her crises lies within the mysterious First Realm, where Emily has access to her Fae abilities and where she can find her Champion…the one person with enough power to end the destructive cycle of abuse and help Emily transform from victim to survivor.
Desperate for guidance, Emily returns to the First Realm only to discover the Seven Kingdoms in total chaos. She has just a few days to find her Champion before Dad comes for her. Can she complete her task and return to the Second Realm in time to save her family, or will her dreaded premonition turn out to be true: that she is her own worst enemy?
“Jane Alvey Harris has such a fresh, youthful voice and writes with modern flair. Secret Keeper is a five-star story all YAs should read…” – Reader Views
“Harris once more brings to bear a formidable imagination as her heroine seeks healing. While there are elves, goblins, and giant spiders, this isn’t a traditional quest narrative. Concepts such as sexual consent and self-forgiveness dominate the foreground.” – Kirkus Reviews
“Secret Keeper is as gorgeously written as Emily’s process to healing is rendered. This is a standout novel that will leave audiences eagerly reaching for the next installment.” – Foreword Reviews
“Secret Keeper is inspired and imaginative. Harris is an alchemist, blending fantasy, tragedy, and a determined hero fueled by magic and hope. Like Riven, this sequel crackles with mind-bending electrical charge.” – Michael Buckley, Author of The Undertow Trilogy
* * * About the Book * * *
Traitor: that’s what Tatsu is now. On the run from both Runon and Chayd, Tatsu and Yudai’s only hope for survival is to disappear into the wilds. However, when the siphon’s deadly curse returns, they have no choice but to travel into the desert kingdom of Joesar in search of a cure.
Battling the unforgiving elements of the sands, Tatsu starts to realize that the path towards destroying the siphon may claim Yudai’s life. Time is running out as Nota’s fury—and the siphon’s hunger—begin to spiral wildly beyond their control.
As their options slowly fall away, the only thing Tatsu and Yudai can count on is each other.
The Mage Heir, second in an LGBT FANTASY duology by Kathryn Sommerlot.
* * * Author Bio * * *
Kathryn didn’t major in creative writing, but never stopped believing. She survives on books, strong coffee, craft beer, puppies, and the Oxford comma. She currently lives in Japan with her husband and teaches high school English to shape the next generation of young minds. She also comma splices like it’s going out of style.
* * * Book Excerpt * * *
Tatsu didn’t mind sleeping under the leaves, but Yudai’s agitation seemed to grow as the sky darkened. He paced back and forth between two ancient tree trunks with his hands clasped behind his back, over and over, until the stars came out.
“You’re going to have to sleep eventually,” Tatsu pointed out, voice mild, once the moon was high overhead. It earned him a growl in reply. “Please just sit down.”
“This clearing will be dead by morning,” Yudai snapped. When he turned to retrace his steps again, Tatsu could see the twist of his fingers clenched together in tight fists.
“You can’t do anything about it, so there’s no point in blaming yourself. It’s probably just making the whole thing worse.”
The look Yudai threw him was dubious at best, but evidently, the possibility was difficult to ignore. Yudai eventually settled himself down between two patches of yellow-green weeds, and he ran his finger over his lip a few times before his eyes flickered up towards Tatsu. “Distract me.”
“You could ask nicely,” Tatsu said.
One corner of Yudai’s mouth quirked upward. “I could,” he agreed, and said nothing more.
“Did you know that my mother had other children?”
Yudai blinked and sat back, face slackening. “Good distraction.”
* * * Giveaway * * *
Giveaway for 5 eBook copies of “The Mage Heir” to celebrate the release day.
The kingdom of Runon has created the impossible: a magical energy source that siphons life from the nearby lands and feeds it back into Runon itself. On the edge of the forest lives a quiet ranger named Tatsu who is watching the drain grow closer to his home country of Chayd.
Arrested for crimes against the crown, Tatsu is taken to the capital’s prison, where the queen offers him a deal. If he sneaks into Runon and steals the magical source that powers the drain, she will return his freedom. Caught in the unimaginable aftermath, Tatsu knows that the only hope is to stop the siphon before it swallows the world.
More and more he finds himself at the mercy of the destruction the siphon leaves behind – and everything he has ever known will fall apart in the revelation of its horrifying truth.