Guest Post: Mallory McCartney, author of Black Dawn

Thanks for having me! 😊 Becoming a writer has always been a long dream of mine. When I was in public school, literature and reading was always a priority for me. I seriously couldn’t get enough, The Scholastic Book Fairs were always a highlight, I remember previewing the catalogue weeks before and deciding which books I would take home. This was the start of my book buying obsession. Once I reached the end of Grade Eight though, I knew I wanted to become a writer for a career, I even wrote it in my year book! Black Dawn took shape at the end of public school and heading into high school. I feel like this story was always waiting for me to write it, the first manuscript focusing on Emory and Brokk. I wrote it for my cousin’s birthday as a present, and then left it alone for seven years.

The inspiration for Black Dawn came from a collection of moments in my life. The first being with my cousin, and we had a sleep over at my family’s old farmhouse and spent majority of the night talking about our hopes and dreams for the future and the first spark of Black Dawn came into conversation. After writing the first manuscript and I left it alone, and I went to college for the Fine Arts, and then after this I travelled to Australia and New Zealand by myself. This experience was pivotal for me, not only did I learn a lot about myself and grow personally, but seeing the different landscapes of those countries was amazing, and helped me build the world of Kiero.

Once I came back home, it wasn’t until after I met my husband that the idea of becoming a writer came back into my plan. We were talking about Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Trilogy (which is a series we both love, go pick it up if you haven’t checked it out!) and the conversation landed back to the manuscript I wrote, and we revisited it. The original title for Black Dawn was Kiero, and we talked late into the night and the world we see in Black Dawn came to life. The next day I started writing. The book grew with me, elements from the original manuscript meshed with the current, the dynamics of the characters developing and growing as I did throughout my life. None of the characters specifically are based on people in my life, but the emotions they experience I pulled from some experiences I went through.

Looking back, I wouldn’t be here without the support of my family and friends, all my teachers throughout public school, high school and college. The love of reading sparked my love of writing, and above all not giving up on my dream of becoming an author.

Author: Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

 

About the Book

Title: Black Dawn

Genre: YA/NA Fantasy

Author: Mallory McCartney

The end of an Empire, the rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory’s arrival she will discover she is the long-lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows

Links: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

One Chance Night by Eliza Boyd


I asked Eliza Boyd what inspired One Chance Night, In her words:
Music is a big source of inspiration for me. I can hear a song and feel a book or story. It can write itself in my head after one listen or it can unravel layers each time I hear the song again. For One Chance Night, that song was Brett Eldredge’s “Don’t Ya.”

I heard this song and saw this video and wanted to write a book about… Well, if you want to read the book, I probably shouldn’t tell you. 🙂 But if you have read it (or want to know later what part first came to me), think chapters 27-29. That’s the first image of Chelsea, Brett, Ian, and Jack I ever got. Of course, things evolved a little differently as I started writing the beginning, but that happens when you’re not a plotting author.

Since I’d seen the end already, I had to figure out what happened to Chelsea to get her there. That road was a little tough and sad, but knowing the ending made it quite a bit easier to stomach—and write.

And the song even inspired Brett’s name. I hadn’t settled on any names when I saw the first scene in my head, so I kept Brett’s as a tribute to what brought the story to me. As for the other names, I’m honestly not sure. It took me a while to name Chelsea though. She had countless names before Chelsea stuck, but she’ll always only be Chelsea to me now.

Thank you, Brett Eldredge, for singing that song, and thank you, Universe, for bringing it to me when you did. Otherwise, we might not have had Chelsea’s story, and I’m really glad we do. 🙂

23478544Once Chance Night by Eliza Boyd

Series: Make a Change #1

Genre: New Adult Contemporary

Pages: 188

Published: May 15, 2015 by Patchwork Press

Thanks to the author, publisher and Net Galley for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis mk3

On the surface, Chelsea Greer has it all:
A loving husband.
A nice house.
A good job.

In reality, she works hard to maintain the illusion that is her life. She’s also missing the most important thing:

Love.

One night could change her life. One night could give her the strength to rediscover what’s important. In one night, she could find love when she most needs it and least expects it.

All Chelsea has to do is follow her heart after One Chance Night.

ADVANCE PRAISE

“Featuring a strong main character, country music (!!), wonderful friendships, and lots of character growth, ONE CHANCE NIGHT is sure to leave you with a smile on your face.” Author Molli Moran.
“One Chance Night was filled with intense emotion and had me swooning, swearing, wishing I could reach through the pages of the book and strangle a certain character and become best friends with others.” Author Christie Cote.

“One Chance Night isn’t a story of love-it’s a story of discovery. Chelsea has spent too many years living for someone else. It’s her time to finally shine. Eliza Boyd tells an empowering story about what it truly means to take control of your life and that some chances are worth taking. This book is not to be missed!” Blogger Tiffany Williams.

Purchase Links:
About Eliza Boyd:
Eliza Boyd is a contemporary women’s fiction and romance author. Also an avid reader, she writes novels, short stories, poetry, and whatever else strikes her fancy. Born and raised in Northern Illinois, she now lives in sunny Arizona with her husband and her plethora of animals. When she’s not reading, writing, or working, she can be found walking around her neighborhood (for exercise, not for stalking), taking photos of her pets, or catching up on her favorite shows. Catching up really means binge-watching.

My Thoughts mk3

“Losing myself and my own identity to become Mrs. Wesley Greer isn’t what I planned to do” Girl I’m feeling you! You hit me straight in the heart with that one!

Chelsea is only 23. She got married at 19 and has been miserable pretty much since. Wesley is a pig and a spoil brat! By the end of only the 1st chapter I wanted to jump in the between the pages and kick his arse, then drag Chelsea out by her hair and slap some sense into her.

Chelsea has let Wesley get away with his selfish and chauvinistic behaviour for too long. Now he expects things a certain way and chucks a tantrum if he doesn’t get what he wants. I think this is probably the most common mistake newlywed women make. Don’t take any crap, marriage is 50/50. Don’t take any crap from day one or it’ll be mission impossible to stop later. My intense dislike for Wesley made it really hard for me to get into the story at first – that pig made me furious.

On one chance night Chelsea sneaks out of the house for some much needed ‘me’ time and ends up striking a long lasting friendship, with as it turns out, four people that night.

Chelsea has an instant lustful connect to muso hottie Brett, but she’s a good little girl and remains faithful – calm down there no adultery in the book. I found Brett a bit too good to be true until we got some back story on him and his super caring and helpful nature made sense.

I really enjoyed chapter 20, when Chelsea finally sticks it to Wesley, stands up for herself and leaves him. It’s always nice to see a bully shut down.

I really liked the two girls, Stevie and Mayra, Chelsea ended up living with. While they were a bit sugary sweet and over the top at times, I liked them and want them as my friends.

Chapter 22 jumps us forward 8 months, but I won’t say anymore as it’d give away the ending. The Epilogue leads us straight into the next book and gives us the whole set up for the next book.

I think if I’d been able to sit down in and read it in one sitting I would be able to enjoy it more. I had a lot going and on and had to fit half an hour here and there to read it. I think I’m also a little jaded to the topic. There was a time when I felt I had lost myself completely and was miserable in my life and marriage because of it, but I made the opposite decision to Chelsea and I made it work. I fought and got myself back stronger than before.

It’s strange, I feel like I’ve failed Ms Boyd by not loving this book. I really wanted to love it, I did try. I think my biggest problem with the book is that I resented how easily everything came together for Chelsea! Actually I think that really was my only problem with the book and that is my fault, not the books.

ANYWAY, this is a story of hope and that shines through. Hope is never lost. You are responsible for your own happiness. If you’re miserable do something about it. The book was well worth the read and I am looking forward to reading more from Eliza Boyd.

I Liked It – Three Stars.

3s

Purchase Links:

Paradise City by CJ Duggan

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Paradise City (Paradise #1) by CJ Duggan

Pub Date 28th April 2015 (Hachette Australia)

I received an eBook ARC from Net Galley in return for an honest review – So Thank You CJ Duggan and Hachette Australia.

Synopsis mk3

From the author of the bestselling Summer series, comes the first book in a seriously sexy New Adult series you won’t want to miss. For fans of Abbi Glines, Sarah Dessen and Colleen Hoover.

There’s bound to be trouble in Paradise . . .

When her parents decide a change will be good for her, seventeen-year-old Lexie Atkinson never expected they’d send her all the way to Paradise City. Coming from a predictable life of home-schooling on a rural Australian property, she just knows that Paradise will be amazing. But when she’s thrust into a public school without a friendly face in sight, and forced to share a room with her insipid, hateful cousin Amanda, Lexie’s not so sure.

Hanging out with the self-proclaimed beach bums of the city, sneaking out, late-night parties and parking with boys are all things Lexie’s never experienced, but all that’s about to change. It’s new, terrifying . . . and exciting.

And when Lexie meets Luke Ballantine, the swoon-worthy, bad-boy leader of the group, the chemistry between them is electric. Trouble with a capital T, Luke is impulsive, charming and answers to no one, and he’s sexier than any guy Lexie has ever known. Lexie begins to wonder if Luke is going to be good for her . . . or very, very bad?

Goodreads-Button-with-Shadow

My Thoughts mk3

Raise your left hand if you ever made an ass of yourself in high school. Now raise your right hand if you ever tortured yourself over a boy (or girl). Now give yourself a high five because you survived, maybe not unscathed, but you survived.

Oh how this book took me back. Duggan perfectly captures the – he likes me, he likes me not – torture teenage girls put themselves thought. Perfectly captures the hormone induced hysteria that growing up causes.

I loved how real Lexie felt. I wanted to be her friend, I wanted her to flourish and succeed. At some points it was if I was reading my own but better written teenage diary. I wanted to jump into the pages; slap Amanda, kick Ballantine up the bum and hug Lexie while offering her a big bowl of cookies and cream ice cream.

I love bad boys with soft and cuddly centers, love seeing their masks slip, love seeing them let their guards down. Every teenage girls dream is a bad boy that’ll be good just for her. A naughty, cheeky, hot mess. A bad boy who’s really not a bad guy – Boom! it’s Ballantine.

A likable, relatable sheltered country girl. A grade A student who’s been cooped up and restricted – and now, damn the consequences, she’s going to find out what it’s like to live – Boom! it’s Lexie.

There are twist and turns and lessons to be learned. Family tensions, school detentions and late night rendezvous. A boy named Luke Ballantine and girl named Lexie Atkinson – Boom! an exciting, endearing and entertaining story.

Duggan’s writing is beautiful; fresh, humorous, full of heartache and yet full of hope – A damn nice surprise in what can be a rather unbelievable, excessive and skanky genre.

I am internally chucking a full blown teenage tantrum that I have to wait until September to find out what happens next in the world of Lexie. Five Stars.

Aesomeness

Author’s Links mk3

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/CJDuggan

Website – http://www.cjdugganbooks.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/CJ_Duggan