Monday, 29 September 2014

Kitsy Clare's Private Internship Book Launch & Competition

I'm celebrating the launch day of Kitsy Clare's second book in her Art of Love series, Private Internship. Read on for an excerpt and chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card and more.



Private Internship blurb:

Sugar’s not so sweet and secrets can be deadly … especially with matters of the heart

Sienna’s bestie, Harper warned her not to intern for famous bad boy artist, Casper Mason. After all, he just fired Harper who helped Sienna get the interview. But the moment Sienna sees Casper—or Caz—sweaty and practically shirtless and swinging from chains while he works on his sculpture, she’s hooked. He’s the richest, hottest artist in New York, and he lives in the fabulous Williamsburg Sugar Factory. But he’s also an incorrigible game-player, who seems to relish challenging Sienna’s loyalty with a string of unsettling tests.

She knows she should get away fast. But by the time Sienna sneaks into his locked storage room and begins to unearth his dark and terrifying secret, she’s fallen way too hard for the handsome, charismatic Caz.


Excerpt:

It’s blessedly warmer in here and I realize this warehouse is so enormous he’s only heated the renovated parts. In two of the corners Caz has deposited huge piles of sugar packets—ones tediously counted by spurned interns?
My attention is drawn to the larger of the piles. Its packets are shifting ever so slightly. Ah! The jig’s up; Caz is hiding under it. Sugary mosh pit here I come! I tiptoe forward, ever so slowly and pounce, landing with a shockingly loud crunch. Burrowing down into the packets, my hand hits a leathery cowboy boot. I grip onto the top lip for all its worth. “Tag!” I shriek. “Gotcha.”
Caz explodes upward, like a giant cake surprise, his hair all at wild angles. Grabbing me by the waist he pulls me down. We wrestle like kids, sending packets flying in all directions. He’s stronger than me, so it’s not long before his corded arms circle around me and pin me there, some big kid winning one over on his little brother or sister.
But Caz is not like a big brother, not at all. Not sure what we are now, as he gazes at me with his deep brown eyes, animated, sparkly and questioning. Wide, as if he’s seeing me clearly for the very first time. “You’re fun,” he whispers, his sculptural, perfect mouth so near mine.


Book reviewers are saying:

"Beautiful. Amazing. A fantastic read that left me wanting more." -XoXo Book Blog

"A juicy read full of passion and magnetic chemistry that will have you hooked from beginning to end." -From the Purple Matter Book Blog


Buy Links:


Author Bio:

Kitsy Clare hails from Philly and lives in New York. A romantic at heart, she loves to write about the sexy intrigue of the city, and particularly of the art world. She knows it well, having shown her paintings here before turning to writing. The Art of Love series includes Model Position (novella) and Private Internship. Kitsy also writes YA as Catherine Stine. Her futuristic thriller, Ruby’s Fire was a YA finalist in the Next Generation Indie book awards. Fireseed One, its companion novel, was a finalist in YA and SF in the USA News International Book Awards, and an Indie Reader notable. Her YA horror, Dorianna, launches on Oct. 24 with Evernight Teen.

Website

Don't forget to enter the competition:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations, Kitsy!

Do you have any books you'd like to share? Any recommended reads? I love adding to my TBR pile.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Gwen Gardner's Second Death

When people ask me what my writer's group Untethered Realms means to me, I say they're my writing family - a constant source of support, advice, and motivation. Plus, a healthy dose of butt kicking and humour when needed. Gwen Gardner is a member of that writing family, and author of the fantastic Indigo Eady series. I'm thrilled to be sharing her latest release with you today.

Over to you, Gwen.




The Cemetery…At Night

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Ellie!

I know Ellie likes the strange and macabre, so today I’m going to talk about orbs, which feature prominently in Second Death, the first novella in my Afterlife series. 

Ever been to a cemetery at night? Strange things happen. Okay, I’ve never been to the cemetery at night. But my characters have and it was an interesting experience. I don’t think they’ve completely forgiven me for it. 

What do you know about orbs? You’ve probably seen them in some of your photographs. They’re quite adept at photo-bombing. Check out the cover of Second Death, where you’ll get a good look at them. And yeah, they do show up a lot in cemeteries, just not exclusively. Orbs are balls of energy left over from the human spirit after death. They appear as little swirling balls of light anywhere that there’s spirit activity. After death, these balls of energy stay on because they're bound to their previous lives. The premise is that they travel as an orb to conserve energy in their natural forms. They're not as fully developed as ghosts. 

So what would you think if you were walking through the cemetery at night (it could happen, just ask my characters!) and all of a sudden these little balls of light show up and start swirling around you? 

What if they were hypnotic? 

What if....they were really ghost lights, not orbs at all?!

What are ghost lights? They’re like sirens that lure ships into crashing against rocks, with loss of life and limb their evil goal. They get off on the screams of agony and terror. If you’re not careful, they’ll lure you in with their hypnotic beauty, and then…

…well, check out this excerpt to find out what happened to Indigo Eady and the gang…


Up ahead, a swarm of tiny orbs hovered and swirled.
“Look at that! They’re especially colorful here in the dark, aren’t they?” said Simon.
It was true. Without the village lights, the orbs were especially bright and beautiful. They had a certain magnetism here in the cemetery. I walked toward the multi-colored glowing balls, the boys behind me.
Franny was the first to reach them. “Why, they’re pretty little things, aren’t they?”
Completely delighted, she held her fingers out and touched a pink one. She smiled when it perched on her open palm. 
“Oh they are lovely!” exclaimed Miss Cornerstone, reaching out to touch a blue orb.
Even Drew Pettigrew seemed entranced, smiling indulgently at the ladies. 
The orbs darted in and out among us like fireflies in summer. 
Simon held one in his palm and blew it off like a dandelion, sending it swirling above his head. He laughed and made a grab for it. Badger focused on a little violet orb that kept just out of reach every time he tried to touch it. 
I laughed at the sight of them all so spellbound. I didn’t know what I was so worried about earlier. Gertrude’s Garden was a lovely place to spend a Saturday evening. 
Miss Cornerstone giggled and snatched at the blue orb as it left her palm. 
Out of habit or instinct, I’m not sure which, something niggled at the base of my neck and made me look closely at my surroundings. It was enough to break the hypnotic spell we were under, but too late. While I was able to shake it off, my friends traipsed after ‘the pretty lights’ on an orb-induced, trance-like high. 
And they were getting farther and farther away from me. “Hey! Wait! Simon, stop!”


Ever been to the cemetery…at night?


Second Death:


The Sabrina Shores spirit community is in crisis. 
Ghosties are mysteriously disappearing at an alarming rate. 
They’re simply…gone. A second death. 

The clues are limited, but it’s clear that the one common factor is Gertrude’s Garden, the nightclub social center of the spirit community which just happens to adjoin the Sabrina Shores cemetery: the one place Indigo makes a point of not going. Ever. She has her reasons. 

Indigo Eady:

Much to her chagrin, Indigo Eady is a celebrity among spirits. She’s the girl who can see and speak with them. She has a proven track record in helping spirits find their murderers, so it’s no surprise when she’s drafted onto the Missing Paranormal Committee. Who better to help them than the experienced teenage ghost whisperer- investigator and her friends? 

Buy Links: 


Order Second Death on Amazon
Order Second Death on iTunes


Bio:

Gwen Gardner is a native Californian living in sunny San Diego, where her love of reading and writing led to a BA in English literature. Life is now complete with her husband, two dogs and a daily call from her daughter.

Since ghosts feature prominently in her young adult Indigo Eady Paranormal “Cozy” Mystery series, she has a secret desire to meet one face to face - but will run screaming for the hills if she ever does. Gwen adores travel and experiencing the cultures and foods of different countries. She is always up for an adventure and anything involving chocolate - not necessarily in that order. 


Connect with Gwen:



Congratulations, Gwen. I love your Indigo Eady series, so I know this will be an awesome read. 

I'll be back on Monday. Have a great weekend, my friends.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Devil's Intern Release Blog Tour

If you're a long-time blogging friend, you'll know I'm a massive fan of Donna Hosie. She's a hugely talented YA author and friend, and it's been my honour to have her as a blog guest on more than one occasion. When Donna announced her latest release, The Devil's Intern, I was eager to once again offer my humble blog. Today, I'm thrilled to say, she is back. Over to you, Donna.



THE DEVIL'S INTERN RELEASE TOUR

The fun and fear of writing time-travel by Donna Hosie


Writing time-travel is nothing new to me. My first four novels all had their premise based around a modern day teen who ended up time-travelling 1000 years into the past to the time of Camelot. A mixture of modern and medieval was fun to write, but without the danger of paradox, it was also a pretty joyous (and easy) journey to write.

My latest release, THE DEVIL'S INTERN, is an entirely different adventure altogether. Talk about a head rush. I've taken a Viking Prince, a peasant from 1666, a feisty girl from the 1960s, and a modern day guy who has been dead for only four years. The four best friends are in Hell, and they're looking for a way out. When they steal a time-travelling device, they each discover that the past isn't as easy to change as they thought.

I knew this book was going to be ambitious, and it took four years and many, many, MANY drafts to get right. Team DEVIL (Dead but not Evil Vanguard In Hell) travel to a medieval village, the Great Fire of London, San Francisco during the Summer of Love, and modern day New York and Washington. The research alone took months. I don't have a time-travelling device, and these settings had to be authentic. It's not enough to say a character can see flames. The reader has to be able to smell the fire from the page. This is the fun part of writing time-travel. I've never been to Glenwood Cemetery in Washington, but I now know so much about it, I feel as if I have. Writers and readers get to experience the world through the page of a book.

But the fear of writing complex time-travel comes when you get into a paradox. A paradox is a contradiction, but one that could be happening. If you think of the brilliant HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN novel, Harry sees a person he thinks is his father conjure a Patronus, only to realise later on that he saw himself in a time paradox. This is the interesting challenge for writers of time-travel: how far do you go? Do you play it safe, or do you aim to blow minds?!

For THE DEVIL'S INTERN, I've decided to blow minds! My characters see each other in their pasts; they discover they've heard each other in the future! I don't believe in dumbing down Young Adult literature. Teens are smart. Writers owe it to themselves to push boundaries and enjoy making readers think. The past, present, and future - nothing is off limits!




About the book:

"How did you die?"

It's the most popular question in Hell, and Mitchell Johnson has been answering it ever since he was hit by a bus at age seventeen and inexplicably ended up in the Underworld. Now Mitchell is The Devil's intern in Hell's accounting office. Lately, he's noticed a disturbing trend: the volume of new arrivals is straining Hell's limited resources. Then Mitchell overhears his boss discussing plans to limit newcomers with a legendary time travel mechanism. With a device like that, Mitchell realizes, he could change history and prevent his own death. 

Mitchell's plot goes awry when his three closest friends—Alfarin, the Viking prince; Elinor, from 17th-century London; and Melissa, from 1960s San Francisco—insert themselves into his plans. It soon becomes clear that the fates of all four are entwined in dangerous and unpredictable ways. With unforgettable characters and a thrilling premise, this original novel is by turns funny, poignant, and thought-provoking


Due for release 1 October 2014 from Holiday House, NY. Pre-orders now shipping.



Author Bio:

Donna Hosie is the author of THE RETURN TO CAMELOT trilogy and THE CHILDREN OF CAMELOT. Her latest novel, the Kirkus-starred THE DEVIL'S INTERN, is published by Holiday House. 

You can follow Donna on Facebook and Twitter. 








Congratulations, Donna. I must admit I'm in awe of anyone who writes time-travel stories. As you say, the paradoxes they present mean they are far from straightforward to write. I can't wait to start reading The Devil's Intern.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Underrated Treasures Blogfest - Aha!

It's time for another of Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh's thrilling blogfests - the Underrated Treasures Blogfest. Thank you as always, Alex.


How to take part:

Everyone has a favorite movie or band that no one else has ever heard about. For whatever reason, they remain undiscovered and underrated. Now is your chance to tell the world about this obscure treasure!

On Monday, September 22, post about your favorite unknown – MOVIE – BAND/ARTIST – TV SHOW – BOOK

My entry:

I'm going to cheat a little, because I'm sure you've heard of my underrated treasure - Norwegian band, Aha. 



Here's the thing - whenever I mention I'm a massive Aha fan people usually respond with laughter and, 'Oh. Didn't they have that one hit with Take On Me?'. Even more infuriating is that you'll never see a one-hit wonder show without Aha's Take On Me making the list.

I want to scream with frustration. They were NOT a one-hit wonder band. Take On Me wasn't even their number one record, and was probably their worse song. In fact they ended a 25-year run with nine albums, more than 50 million in record sales, having played in over 40 countries, and still holding the Guinness World Record for the highest ever paying audience for one concert - a staggering 198 million for their Maracana stadium concert in Brazil, 1991.

The band was founded by Morten Harket (vocals), Magne Furuholmen (keyboards) and Pål Waaktaar (guitars), all accomplished musicians. They wrote their own songs, and insisted on performing live no matter where they appeared. Nothing can beat the sound of Morten Harket's five-octave vocal range, either.

So, you see why I get frustated by the one-hit wonder label. They have to be one of the most underrated bands ever.

I'm going to leave you with three Youtube clips, all favourites. The middle clip is from the 2010 concert I attended at the Royal Albert Hall. I hope you enjoy them. If you weren't a fan, I hope you become one.


"Slender Frame" 1991 (from Scoundrel Days)


"Here I Stand and Face the Rain" 2010 (from Hunting High and Low)


"Butterfly, Butterfly" 2010 (The final concert)


What's your underrated treasure?

Monday, 15 September 2014

#100happydays, Mended by Love, & Authors United Against Plagiarism

Ninety-eight days ago, I started #100happydays. If you've not heard about it before, you can learn more here.


In brief, the object of the challenge is to be happy for 100 days in a row. To make the time to be happy or to find happiness in your every day life.

To take part, you post a picture per day of what made you happy via a form of social media (I chose Facebook). I didn't always post a picture - sometimes I just used words to convey my happiness - and there were a handful of days I struggled, but it certainly made me appreciate the every day occurrences in my life in a far greater way. I learned to see the happiness in the world that surrounds me now, something our busy lives too often prevent.

Here's a few of my happiness pictures.


 Have you or are you doing the #100happydays challenge?


Mended by Love

I backed my first Kickstarter project last week - Mended by Love: A Mother's Memoir of Love and Forgiveness. The Kickstarter project has been started by author PK Hrezo, who will be writing the memoir for the mother of a courageous young woman named Queena. Queena's life was tragically changed beyond recognition just days after her eighteenth birthday and before a promising scholarship to the University of Florida could begin. Read the full story and how PK became involved here.


Like all Kickstarter projects, it will only receive funding if the target goal is reached. If you can help, no matter how small the donation, please do. If you cannot make a financial contribution, please help to spread the news of this project via as many social media outlets as possible.


Authors United Against Plagiarism

I'm sure by now you've all heard about Sam Taylor Mullens, the woman who has allegedly plagiarized author Rachel Ann Nunes. If you haven't, or want to know more, you can read Rachel Nunes first post here and then her posts that follow. You can also find regular updates on how this case is proceeding via Donna K. Weaver. Her September 8th update is truly shocking.

Sam Taylor Mullens has now been served with a summons to appear in federal court to answer plagiarism and other charges. However, bringing Sam Taylor Mullens to court will cost money. So, Rachel Ann Nunes has started a gofundme fundraiser to help with the legal costs. You can find the Standing Against Plagiarism fundraiser here.

In addition to this fundraiser, several authors have banded together and released a fundraiser boxet called Unseen.


Unseen is now available on Kindle, Nook, and Kobo.

Again, if you're unable to make a contribution to the gofundme campaign or buy the book, please help to spread the word.

That's it for this week. I'll be back next Monday, when I'll be taking part in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Underrated Treasures Blogfest. Until then, happy reading and writing.

Monday, 8 September 2014

The Stars Are Out For Untethered Realms

I'm really excited about today's post, because it's packed full of awesome news from my writer's group, Untethered Realms.

M. Pax has a stunning new science fiction/steampunk series and today is the official release day for book one, The Rifters. The great news is Rifters is free on selected sites for a limited time. So, don't wait around to get your copy. You can also order book two, The Initiate for 77p (99 cents).


Rifters Blurb

The Gold Rush trickles to a fool’s quest and a string of stagecoach heists. In 1888, Earl Blacke decides to make a new start and become a better man. He escapes into the mountains, heading north. In the wilds of Oregon, a rift inside an ancient volcano opens and sends him into the future, into the present day. It also shaves forty years off his age, forty years to live over again and atone for what he’s done.

Starting over is hard to do. In current day New York, Daelin Long’s dream job at a publishing house goes the way of the dinosaurs her sister chases. With no money and nowhere else to go, Daelin accepts the librarian position in her sister’s dinky town in the middle of Oregon. Nestled inside ancient volcanic peaks, the town of Settler holds onto many secrets. Residents roam the streets with weirdly fashioned devices, and odd lights pulse in the night skies. People whisper of a phantom outlaw and start dying, murdered and missing their heads. On top of it all, Daelin’s sister is missing, and Daelin doesn’t know who to trust.

Earl knows more than he’s saying. He shares a notorious history with the phantom, one he’ll see remains buried. Keeping Daelin’s sister’s secrets is his only chance at redemption, and the only way to keep this world safe.

Excerpt

Earl’s vigil ended. His girl came home. It had to be her. He stood, ready to run down into the clearing and embrace her, but the angle of the head gave him pause. Silhouetted by the blue energy, the arrival had a long beak. Yes, a beak. Definitely not Charming.

“No.” Earl slumped to the ground and scrambled behind a boulder. Once concealed from the visitor below, he raised his binoculars.

The figure came into focus illuminated by the moon and the rift. It wore a mask with goggles over its beak. Green mist poured out of it in a breathing rhythm, and it had the tail of an eel. The thing stood like a human with two arms and two legs in the usual places. It set down a gyroscope, a metal orb of rings, some full rings, some partial, before the gateway. The gyroscope spun, siphoning energy from the pillars, energy reaching for a crystal in its center. It spun faster, faster, faster until the crystal began to glow. A disturbing shade of green.

The beaked thing from the rift shrieked, which came out as a bubbly burp, an odd sound to go with an odd sight. It kept burping, stopping periodically to sniff at the wind. It continued with its strange behavior until the moon started to set, which deepened the shadows of night, stretching them to distorted patches.


The Rifters is available at an introductory price. The second book in the series, The Initiate, will be available October 20, 2014. It’s up for preorder for a special price at iTunes, Amazon, and B&N. Check HERE for links. Giveaways and events are ongoing through October 31, 2014. Check HERE for details.


BIO

M. Pax is author of the space adventure series The Backworlds, plus other novels and short stories. Fantasy, science fiction, and the weird beckons  to her, and she blames Oregon, a source of endless inspiration. She docents at Pine Mountain Observatory in the summers as a star guide, has a cat with a crush on Mr. Spock, and is slightly obsessed with Jane Austen. Learn more at mpaxauthor.com.


M. Pax has some exciting giveaways associated with her new series. Make sure you check them out here.



For fans of Indigo Eady, Gwen Gardner also has a new series starting - Afterlife. Last week she revealed the beautiful cover for the first novella, Second Death


Second Death:

The Sabrina Shore spirit community is in crisis.

Ghosties are mysteriously disappearing at an alarming rate.

They’re simply…gone. A second death.

The clues are limited, but it’s clear that the one common factor is Gertrude’s Garden, the nightclub social center of the spirit community which just happens to adjoin the Sabrina Shores cemetery: the one place Indigo makes a point of not going. Ever. She has her reasons.

Indigo Eady:

Much to her chagrin, Indigo Eady is a celebrity among spirits. She’s the girl who can see and speak with them. She has a proven track record in helping spirits find their murderers, so it’s no surprise when she’s drafted onto the Missing Paranormal Committee. Who better to help them than the experienced teenage ghost whisperer- investigator and her friends?

Second Death will be released on September 22nd.

Bio

Running, writing and reading are her favorite things. She’s also a dreamer.

Have you ever told yourself that “someday” I’m going to travel or write or whatever it is that you are passionate about but can’t do right now for whatever reason? You can go for years and years and keep telling yourself that “someday” you’ll do it. Too often “someday” never comes. But Gwen’s did. She’s a former Administrative Manager and Vice President of a successful swimming pool plastering company – until she woke up one day and realized that he “someday” had arrived. She quit her job, moved to the mountains and began to write. Crazy, she knows. But even crazier? Is when you get to the end of your life and realize that your “someday” is too late. Life is much too short for that! So the adventure has begun. Website 



Finally, coming this fall is the first of a series of exciting, speculative fiction anthologies from Untethered Realms.



Nine twisted stories from nine twisted worlds

Twisted Earths is a collection of tales from Untethered Realms, a group of speculative fiction authors. The stories are as varied and rich as the types of soil on this and other planets--sandy loam, clay, knotted with roots and vines, dreaded paths through unexplored planets, and in enchanted forests, lit by candlelight and two moons.


Contributing authors

Angela Brown
River Fairchild
Gwen Gardner
M. Gerrick
Graeme Ing
M. Pax
Christine Rains
Cherie Reich
Catherine Stine


Preorder Twisted Earths before October 14th



Preorder Twisted Earths and get your choice of an Untethered Realms authored book for free with proof of purchase. For proof of purchase, you can do a screenshot of where you ordered the book. Send this screenshot along with which book youd like for free (click here for our book list) to untetheredrealms@gmail.com.

Preorder from: Amazon / iTunes / B&N / Kobo

Wow. That was a lot of news. I apologise for the length of this post! So, what's the news in your part of the world?

Friday, 5 September 2014

Time Travel Romance Cover Reveal

Before I share the gorgeous new cover from Nicole Zoltack, it's my month to review a favourite read over at Untethered Realms. You can find my review of Mark Knight's Blood Family: Quest for the Vampire Key here.

Right. Over to the faulous Nicole Zoltack.

Hi, everyone! This is Nicole Zoltack. I've written a bunch of romances, a lot in the speculative realm, and finally wrote a time travel romance: THE TEST OF TIME. And I adore the cover. It's beautiful. Wanna see it? Sure you do!



I could not be happier with it. What do you think of it?

BLURB: Katia jumps at the chance to go to England with her best friend after Rose ditches her deadbeat boyfriend. While walking through the market, she spies a large mansion and recognizes the guy out front as her high school friend Tony. Just as they start to reconnect, Katia passes through times and lands in the arms of Lord Landon, who looks like Tony but certainly doesn’t act like him.
Soon, Katia learns that this 1815 is different from the one in history books. Trapped in a parallel world, Katia struggles to not fall for Landon but his charm proves too much for her. Just when she is about to confess her love for him, Katia travels through time yet again.
The course of love never did run smooth and if Katia can’t figure out and master the test of time, she’ll never see or friends again, or worse, never be reunited with Landon.

So I'm sure you're dying to know the release date and luckily it's not that far away! THE TEST OF TIME releases September 9th! Be sure to grab it on the 9th!

Add it on Goodreads!


BIO: Nicole Zoltack loves to write in many genres, especially romance, whether fantasy, paranormal, or regency. When she’s not writing about knights, superheroes, or zombies, she loves to spend time with her loving husband and three energetic young boys. She enjoys riding horses (pretending they’re unicorns, of course!) and going to the PA Renaissance Faire, dressed in garb. She’ll also read anything she can get her hands on. Her current favorite TV show is The Walking Dead. To learn more about Nicole and her writing, visit her blog.



Thank you for letting me share your new book cover, Nicole. I cannot overstate how much I adore this cover.

That's it for this week. I'll be back on Monday with a post packed full of Untethered Realms news. 

Monday, 1 September 2014

Writing Update: The End Is Now!

At the beginning of August I worked out a writing plan for the next 12 months, with certain weeks or months set aside for different projects. I gave myself a 45K word target for my YA science fiction series by the end of August. At 39,856 I didn't make my target. However, I did add another 24,137 words in August. So, I'm pretty happy. I'm still not sure if I'll be releasing this as a series of 15K episodes or as three 45K novellas. At the moment, it could be either.

As it's now September, I've moved on to the second of the three projects I'll be balancing - book one of two apocalyptic novellas. I'd like to write more novellas and make it a series, but only if the story calls for more. I've read trilogies were it's apparent the author forced a third book and it didn't quite work. I don't want to make that mistake.

This month's project is apocalyptic fiction, one of my favourite genres. It's hard trying to think of something fresh and original. I think I've got it. I guess it won't be until the beta readers get hold of it that I'll know whether it's different enough from what's already out there. Expect nail-biting to commence once I reach that stage.

I've decided to be a tease and give you a taster of the cover for book one. Hope you like it!


Talking of apocalypses, I'm a huge fan of The Walking Dead and anything related to zombies. The more blood and guts, the better. Earlier today two friends sent me a link to something that nearly had me punching the air with happiness. The nearest city to where I live holds an annual zombie walk. How cool is that, and how did I not know?

Exeter's 4th Annual Zombie Walk is being held on October 31st. I really want to go. All I need now is to find some local friends willing to join me, and get made up as zombies.

How do you decide the length of a book? Do you set out to reach a certain word limit or does the story sometimes dictate the length? Are you a fan of the apocalyptic genre? Have you done or would you like to do a zombie walk? As always, I'd love to know your thoughts.