Author Interview: The wonderful Britt Holewinski


Schism

By: Britt Holewinski
Pages: 264
Publisher: Delirious Pixie
Published on: March 15th 2016

"My name is Andrea Christensen. I'm one of the oldest oldest people in the world."
"Schism" is the first book in a new dystopian trilogy that tells a tale of survival, of good versus evil, and of constructing a future with only memories of childhood.
A government-created virus is accidentally released before testing is complete and within weeks it kills six billion people, children are the only survivors. Andy Christensen and her two friends travel across the country searching for a safe place to live, but nowhere, it seems, is capable of resurrection.
“SCHISM is an engrossing page turner that skillfully deals with dark subject matter in a compelling, through-provoking manner.” -IndieReader.com
“This apocalyptic teen drama’s character interactions may draw readers in, but its vigorous story will keep them hooked.” - Kirkus Reviews
“The author includes detailed character backgrounds that lend depth and believability. Below the surface of the story is a much deeper examination of human nature...and this makes the book truly fascinating. 5 Stars” ~ Foreword Reviews

Hi all *waves* this is Andi and today we have the wonderful Britt Holewinski, author of Schism in house to answer some questions.

 

Britt Holewinski Photo

 

Hi Britt, I am glad that you could be here today.  

~ Thanks Andi, I am glad to be here.~

 

So we are going to start slow and work up to the harder questions. \/”’\/

~ I’m ready, hopefully.~

 

What were you like at school?

~I moved around while growing up, and so I had to learn how to make new friends quickly to fit in. By high school, I was the girl who was just there. Everyone knew me, but I wasn’t popular or unpopular. I think this helped me to observe the world around me, which enhanced my imagination and creativity.~

 

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

~Every writer wants to see their book on the front shelves in Barnes & Noble and have it turned into a movie. That would be amazing! Realistically, however, I would be so grateful if I could write full-time and just pay the bills. But more importantly, I want to make sure that my readers are satisfied. If they enjoy my writing and can lose themselves in the story, then I have succeeded.~

 

So, what have you written?
~I have written a young-adult, dystopian novel entitled Schism, which I began working on more than 20 years ago after reading Lord of the Flies. My novel depicts what might happen if all of the adults in the world were suddenly killed following the accidental release of a virus, and the surviving children were left on their own.~

 

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
~I write primarily on my laptop, but I often carry a notebook in my purse (with a functioning pen!) in case ideas come to me at the most inconvenient moments, i.e. while standing in the frozen food aisle in the grocery store. Also, I love writing in cursive. It’s a lost art, and sometimes handwriting my chapter outlines becomes a welcome break from the keyboard.~

It is a lost art, I still try to write hand written letters to family to show my minion that writing is good, and not everything has to be via email.  

 

My _Standing_ desk

 

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process? I personally think that it is very important, and it makes me cringe when I see a really bad cover, By the way, I do really enjoy the cover for Schism, it is poignant without being cluttered.  Also, the juxtaposition of what I assume to be a M-4 Carbine and the teddy bear just killed me.  

~A good cover is essential to the success of a book, especially a self-published one. It is the first impression a reader will make about the pages inside. It should look crisp and uncluttered, and it should reflect some part of the plot or story. I’ve seen some self-published covers that are quite clever and look just as polished as books published traditionally. Then I’ve seen some covers with too many words and too many graphics that it’s difficult to tell what the genre could be, let alone the story or message the author wants to convey.~

 

28817400

 

What is your favorite quote?
~“Tomorrow is promised to no one.”~

So enjoy the moment right? 

~Yup, like I did at this Marine Corps Ball.~

Marine Corp Ball

 

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
~I love this question because I’ve been picturing this novel in my head since 1995, so you can imagine the actresses who have shuffled through my brain over the years. Right now, I picture Elle Fanning as a possible actress to portray Andy, my heroine. She’s the right age, and if she could tomboy herself up a tad, she would be perfect. I also feel she has the potential to dig deep and reflect the hardships Andy endures in Schism and in the next two books.~

02-elle-fanning

 


Schism

By: Britt Holewinski
Pages: 264
Publisher: Delirious Pixie
Published on: March 15th 2016

"My name is Andrea Christensen. I'm one of the oldest oldest people in the world."
"Schism" is the first book in a new dystopian trilogy that tells a tale of survival, of good versus evil, and of constructing a future with only memories of childhood.
A government-created virus is accidentally released before testing is complete and within weeks it kills six billion people, children are the only survivors. Andy Christensen and her two friends travel across the country searching for a safe place to live, but nowhere, it seems, is capable of resurrection.
“SCHISM is an engrossing page turner that skillfully deals with dark subject matter in a compelling, through-provoking manner.” -IndieReader.com
“This apocalyptic teen drama’s character interactions may draw readers in, but its vigorous story will keep them hooked.” - Kirkus Reviews
“The author includes detailed character backgrounds that lend depth and believability. Below the surface of the story is a much deeper examination of human nature...and this makes the book truly fascinating. 5 Stars” ~ Foreword Reviews

About Britt Holewinski

Born in Boston, Britt Holewinski lived in six different houses across the United States during her childhood, sparking her interest to write about characters who must continually adapt to new situations and locations.

Early on, she dreamed of becoming an astronaut; however, shortly after completing her graduate degree, she was offered a job with the CIA. Her years working for the Agency opened her eyes to the world we live in and gave her rare glimpses of what living in a crumbling, post-apocalyptic world might be like.

In her spare time, Britt loves to go hiking anywhere with a view, learn French, and visit historical Revolutionary and Civil War sites along the East Coast.

After residing in the Washington DC area for fourteen years, she is currently living and writing full-time in Michigan. Schism is her debut novel.

 

Posted in Author Interviews | Leave a comment

Out of the Dark by Claire C. Riley Review and Release


Out of the Dark

By: Claire C. Riley
Genres: Post Apocalyptic Thriller
Series: Out of the Dark #1
Published on: May 26, 2016
Out of the Dark by Claire C. Riley Review and Release

We are temporary. Finite.

The choices we’ve made, the people we have loved. Who we used to be no longer matters.

Because now it is all about the ending. And the ending always comes too soon.
There’s fear in the dark. And behind every drop of light, the shadows creep and the darkness comes in the form of clawing, red-eyed monsters. They hunt us—stalk us…they are desperate to destroy us.

But I have a reason to fight the darkness and everything in it. A small glimpse of light that lives within my golden-haired daughter, Lilly. She is my strength. She is my everything.

Every life is an untold story, each scene unfolding until the final act. But our ending has yet to be written, and I will continue to protect us, until I cannot.

Also by this author: Odium II, Limerence 2, Odium Origins. A Dead Saga Novella. Part Two
 
Goodreads


mels signature framed

 

 

Out of the Dark by Claire C. Riley is one of those books that tears your heart apart from the beginning to the end. I’m starting to think she enjoys torturing her readers. She’s a sadist for sure.

From the very beginning of Out of the Dark, you are given this sense of despair that you aren’t entirely sure where it’s coming from, you just know that it’s there. As the story goes on, the horrors of this world are revealed, and let me tell you, they sound disgusting and terrifying.

The story follows a woman and her daughter through the world in their attempts to stay alive. This poor woman has been through Hell. However, that’s probably the standard for that world. Her daughter sounds like the sweetest little thing and you just want to help them somehow. As a mom, I can identify greatly with how this woman feels about her daughter and how much her life revolves around keeping her safe.

This book is an emotional rollercoaster for sure. The way this author writes is amazing to me because she makes me feel emotions that I don’t normally feel while reading. It’s crazy. I seriously wanted to climb into the book and kick certain characters in the throat.

There is plenty of action to go along with everything else, so if you like that, then you’re set. Out of the Dark is a great book for anyone looking for something a little bit different from the usual Post Apocalyptic Thriller. It’s emotional, it’s exciting, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s amazing.

 

5 fangs

 

Purchase Link

Amazon

 

About Claire C. Riley

Claire C. Riley is a USA Today and International bestselling author. She is also a bestselling British horror writer. Her work is best described as the modernization of classic, old-school horror. She fuses multi-genre elements to develop storylines that pay homage to cult classics while still feeling fresh and cutting edge. She writes characters that are realistic, and kills them without mercy. Claire lives in the United Kingdom with her husband, three daughters, and one scruffy dog.

Author of:
Odium The Dead Saga Series,
Odium Origins Series,
Limerence (The Obsession Series)
Thicker than Blood series,
& Shut Up & Kiss me,
Plus much more.

Posted in Book Reviews, Favorite Authors, Post Apocalyptic Thriller | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Blood Day by J.L. Murray


Blood Day

By: J.L. Murray
Genres: Paranormal, Survival Stories, Vampires
Pages: 348
Publisher: Hellzapoppin Press
Published on: November 29th 2015
Blood Day by J.L. Murray

The lights went out, the streets ran with blood, and when the power came back, the monsters were in charge. And the children were missing.

When the Revenants take over, they force humans to donate blood to feed their insatiable hunger. They overthrow governments and take away the music, television, and free will. But four people from completely different walks of life are about to deal the Revenants a blow that might rock the world to its foundations.

Sia, a classical musician, who wakes up in an experimental hospital. Mike, a journalist with a past, who finds himself on the run. Viv, a doctor who has lost everything: her job, her house, even her son. And then there is Joshua Flynn, a Revenant with a grudge, who wants to shatter what the other monsters have built into a million pieces.

The players are cast.

Andi's Review

 

What happens when vampires have taken over the world and young children start being taken, or more so they are disappearing. For the main characters, yes characters in this book, that is exactly what they are working different angles of relatively the same story.

 

Sia, a young woman who had nothing going for her since the Reverent took away the ability to play music. She awakes to find herself as a ward for an experimental hospital under the control of a sadistic, yet somewhat caring nurse who feels the only way to educate Sia is to torture her.

 

Mike, a journalist who feels that he is about to break open the entire Reverent ideals and plans. His supervisor, however, is not keen on the exposure and calls in the Reverent’s to take Mike into custody. He is able to escape and finds himself in the company of a very bad man, but in this world the good guys are bad guys, and the bad guys are.. well REALLY bad guys.

 

Then you have Viv, a human who has lost her husband and her son to the Reverents. She is a genetic scientist and has worked for the Revenents with purifying blood. When the leader of the Reverents stops by, he decides that Viv is just the woman to take his secret research to the next level.

 

Finally you have Joshua, who is actually a Reverent, but he has a bone to pick, or maybe more like a blood to drink from the rest of the Reverents. He is not a good guy, but not a bad guy honestly, more like a guy that has an agenda and will do what he needs to, to survive and to thrive, if you can thrive.

 

This book is heartbreaking but good. By heartbreaking I mean you know that there are not really good guys, but there are not really bad guys, the truth is that this is a no win situation for everyone, including all of the main characters.

 

I liked this book, it was sad, and by that I mean you realize that it is a no win situation and so you don’t really know what to expect. With children missing and individuals dying, it isn’t surprising that this is a dark story. The ending actually took me by surprise. It wasn’t a bad ending, in fact taken the tone of the book and the darkness of the characters, the ending was actually pretty fitting.

 

4 fangs

Goodreads
Amazon
 

About J.L. Murray

J.L. Murray is the author of the Niki Slobodian series (Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, The Devil Is a Gentleman, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, The Devil Was an Angel, and The Devil's Backbone), The Thirteen series (Jenny Undead and Eat the Ones You Love), After the Fire, Blood Day, and the highly anticipated upcoming series Blood of Cain (Monstrous).

Murray is a firm believer that horror can be beautiful, and that good and evil are very far from black and white. She lives with her family in Eugene, Oregon.

Posted in Book Reviews | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Struck by Amanda Carlson…Release Day!


Struck

By: Amanda Carlson
Genres: urban fantasy
Series: Phoebe Meadows #1
Published on: May 24, 2016
Struck by Amanda Carlson…Release Day!

When Phoebe Meadows gets struck by a strange light in the stockroom of Macy’s, life as she knows it flies out the window. As if being hit by lightning isn’t bad enough, she’s accosted in the subway by a man with a missing hand, arrives home to find a raven on her kitchen counter, and her neighbor, Ingrid, shows up dressed like a gladiator hell-bent on protecting her.

Before Ingrid can shuttle her to safety, Phoebe is kidnapped and tossed into one of the Nine Worlds where she’s quickly forced to come to terms with what she is: A valkyrie. The only problem is, she has no idea what that means.

After a narrow escape, she finds an unlikely ally in Loki’s son, Fenrir. Together the valkyrie and the wolf must battle their way back to New York City and reach the valkyrie stronghold where Ingrid is waiting for her. But with danger and obstacles at every turn, she might not live long enough to learn the full truth about who and what she really is…

Also by this author: Aces Wild: Sin City Collectors, Ante Up, All In
 
Goodreads


mels signature framed

Struck by Amanda Carlson is a fast paced, exciting glimpse into the world of Norse Mythology with a modern spin to things. Once you start reading, it’s as if the best roller coaster in the world was a book and you didn’t want it to end. I think it would be a good read even for those who know nothing about that particular mythology as Carlson does a really good job of telling the reader exactly who each character is and the role they play.

 

I’ve only read one other book that involved Valkeries but Struck has ensured a newfound fascination for me. I’ve always liked Norse Mythology, so this book was a really fun read for me. I loved how Carlson introduced each element and gave it a place in today’s world.

 

One thing I have come to expect from Amanda Carlson’s books is action. I don’t mean one or two fight scenes and that’s that. I mean scene after scene of action, and its good action too. Sometimes fight scenes can get boring and repetitive, but not with her books. Struck is definitely fulfilling that expectation to the fullest. It felt as if Phoebe was going from one issue to another with barely a chance to breathe in between. Each scene was creative and different from the others and easy to follow.

 

Carlson does a great job of creating this world. Her descriptions of the different worlds was done in an easy to imagine way, which I really appreciated.

 

Overall, I really loved this book. My only complaint would be that it was over too soon for me, but that’s just me being greedy and always wanting more. I can’t wait for the next book in this series to come out.

 

5 fangs

 

Purchase Link

Amazon

 

Excerpt:

Chapter 1

 

I blinked open my eyes to find two concerned faces hovering above me. I shifted my body, and a cascade of shoeboxes tumbled around me. “What happened?” I swallowed a few times. My throat felt funny.

“You tell us,” Sam said, hands on her hips, her blonde curls bouncing in agitation. “I was minding my own business helping a seventy-five-year-old lady cram her corns into a pair of high heels when all of a sudden what sounds like a sonic boom goes off. I run back to find you out cold, crumpled like a rag doll on top of a pile of Steve Maddens.” She extended her arm to help me up. Samantha Reed, my co-worker and recent best friend, was not amused. I grabbed on to her hand, scattering boxes and shoes as I went. “When I saw you lying here, I thought you were dead, Phoebe. Don’t scare me like that again. Ever.”

“Yeah,” Tom echoed in his standard monotone. “Don’t scare us like that.” Tom Levine, Macy’s resident eighteen-year-old stock boy, took a few steps back so I had enough room to fully clear myself of the mess. Apparently, I’d passed out, but I had no recollection of the event at all. “But, dude, at the same time it was freakin’ awesome. I thought the whole building was going to cave in or something. There was this huge kaboom.” Both his hands went out in front of him, mimicking an explosion. The story ended with a whooshing noise out of the side of his mouth. It was the most animated I’d ever seen the guy. “Then the lights flickered and…you were lying here.”

“Honestly,” I said, trying to smooth down my now static-frizzed hair, “I don’t remember much. I heard a noise and glanced up, right as a bolt of something shot out of the lights. It must’ve hit me, which is weird, because I didn’t feel anything and I’m not hurt. Next thing I knew, you guys were looking down on me.”

We all tilted our heads up to the ceiling.

Several long, narrow fluorescent bulbs hung from their fixtures at odd angles, rocking slowly back and forth. It was the only indication that my convoluted story held a kernel of truth.

“No way.” Tom moved under one of the bulbs and tried to reach it, jumping twice, but it was too high. He glanced over his shoulder, flipping his brown hair off his forehead in a single flick. “I wish this kind of stuff happened to me. It’s boring as hell back here.”

“I had no idea fluorescent lights could shock someone like that.” I rubbed my arms. My extremities were a little tingly, but other than that I felt fine. My throat was better after a couple of swallows. “A big store like Macy’s should insulate their lights better or check the circuits or hire better maintenance people.” I gestured to the broken fixtures. “That’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.”

“Please, fluorescent lights can’t shock you like that.” Sam’s voice was full of authority as she marched forward to investigate. “It’s completely impossible. Electricity doesn’t arc that far at one hundred and ten volts, and even if it did, fluorescent lights are made up of electrons and gas, not wire filament. So essentially there’s no way on earth those light bulbs or that fixture”—she directed an angry finger toward the hanging bulbs that still had the audacity to rock back and forth—“shocked you from way up there.”

Sam was an aspiring actress, but she should’ve been an engineer. Her brain was vast and held more factoids than I thought possible for one person. She was one of the smartest people I’d ever met.

A sharp acidic smell hit the air.

I glanced down. The hemline of my skirt was smoking.

“Oh.” I licked my fingers and pressed them against the frayed edge, and a soft psst sounded as the tiny coal of heat was extinguished.

Sam met my eyes, her expression shocked. “Holy crap, Phoebe!” she cried, moving in front of me. “We need to get you to the doctor right away. Your skirt is smoking. How is that even possible?” She twisted her head up toward the ceiling and then back to look at me, her face incredulous.

“Dude, that’s freakin’ crazy.” Tom was giddy as he shuffled toward us. “I’ve never seen anyone on fire before.”

“I’m not on fire,” I answered testily as I checked the rest of my body for any other indication that I may, in fact, be on fire. This was beyond insane. “I’m totally fine. I promise. I have a great idea. Let’s call maintenance, and they can come in and check it out and we can all go back to work. The customers are probably crawling up the walls by now, and Nancy is going to be mad we’ve both been back here so long. I can’t afford to lose my job.”

“I don’t care if Nancy’s pissed or not. She can wait.” Sam placed her hands firmly on her hips. “This is much more important. Phoebe, if your clothes are smoking, that’s a pretty big indication that something calamitous just happened. People don’t just catch on fire. Something could be really wrong with you. I think we need to get you to a hospital, pronto.”

She might be right, except I felt better with each passing second.

In the short amount of time we’d been standing here, my body had become somehow more…energized. Like I’d downed an entire bag of Skittles, and the sugar high was kicking in. My fingers twitched, and my feet almost bounced on their own.

“Sam, I’m fine,” I reassured her. “I feel more awake, but that’s it. I actually feel like I could go for a run right now. Whatever happened, it didn’t hurt me. It worked the opposite.”

Sam wasn’t buying what I was selling. “It’s the middle of winter in New York City, and you hate running. You refer to runners as self-torturers who love inflicting pain on themselves. That alone means we should take you in. You’re not yourself, and this proves it.”

“Well, hm, you might be right about the running part,” I said. “But according to how I feel right now, I might have to alter my definition of self-torture. I could be missing out by not giving it a try.” She crossed her arms. “Seriously, Sam. I’m not lying. I feel amazing. I have no explanation for what happened, but I have no scorch marks on my body, no gaping holes in my chest, and nothing else is smoking. Let’s not make this a big deal, okay? Even though you said the noise was loud, you two seem to be the only ones who heard it. No one else is here.” I glanced at Tom. The kid had four looks: bored, ultra-bored, slightly happy, and confused. He was giving us confused now—the same expression he wore whenever we tried to explain how invoicing worked. I turned back to Sam. “Let’s get back to work. This entire thing is embarrassing, and we’ve been gone so long the customers are going to riot. Please, Sam. I can’t afford to have Nancy fire me. I can barely cover rent as it is.”

Sam rolled her eyes, dropping her arms. “Fine, but I’m keeping an eye on you for the rest of the day. If you so much as sneeze in the wrong direction, I’m calling an ambulance. I mean it, Phoebe. I’m not taking any chances.”

“Deal.”

“Dude, you know”—Tom shoved his hands in his front jean pockets, tugging them down impossibly lower—“when you were lying there, you looked totally dead. I’ve only seen one other dead guy before, but you looked just like him. Kinda freaked me out.”

“Thanks, Tom. That’s really helpful.” Judging by the artful green leaves proudly displayed all over his attire, he was a real poster boy for Sherlock Holmes. Anything could look dead if it wasn’t moving. “I was clearly breathing the entire time, since I’m standing here alive. Fainting can look an awful lot like dead. The subtle difference would be in the chest movement.” I nodded to Sam. “I’ll just clean up these boxes and meet you out on the floor.” Macy’s didn’t mess around with their shoe department in New York. It spanned two floors, and it was always busy.

“Okay,” she relented. “If you’re not out in ten minutes, I’m coming back to find you.”

“Got it.” I was relieved when she finally walked out of the stock room. I wanted to forget this craziness had ever occurred.

Tom bent over to help me as I gathered up the errant shoes. “Dude,” he said, “can I touch your arm? I’ve never touched anyone who’s died before.”

 

About Amanda Carlson

Amanda is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, with a BA in both Speech and Hearing Science & Child Development. She went on to get an A.A.S in Sign Language Interpreting and worked as an interpreter until her first child was born. She enjoys playing Scrabble to an unhealthy degree, shopping trips to Ikea and has a great weakness for tropical beaches. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and three kids.

Posted in Book Reviews, urban fantasy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Book Blitz: Blood Visions By L.J. Hamlin

Blood Visions Banner

Title: Blood Visions

Author: L.J. Hamlin

Publisher: Torquere Press

Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Release Date: 5/25/16

Heat Level: 4

Pairing: M/M

Length: 68K

Genre/Tags: Contemporary, M/M, Paranormal, Erotic Romance

Add to Goodreads

bloodvisions1400

Synopsis

Private detective Ronan Bayne is a former cop who now runs his own agency specializing in all things paranormal. After several women have gone missing, Ronan gets called in by the police chief.

Dustin McPherson is a psychic who’s worked with the police in the past. After having a vision of one of the missing women, he meets Ronan. Together, they must solve a case more complicated than either of them expected.

Excerpt

It was too real to just be one of his nightmares. Dustin had learned to tell the difference between his dreams and a vision while he was asleep by the age of twelve, and he is twenty-one now. Dustin sits up in bed carefully, his head swimming a little, his ears still ringing with the girl’s heart-wrenching sobs.

He gets out of bed and goes to the bathroom. He takes some Tylenol out of the cabinet and washes it down with a glass of water. He hopes that will help with his headache, and he won’t have to take the tramadol his doctor has given him.

Dustin looks at himself in the mirror above his sink. He looks pale even for him, and sweaty. His dyed purple hair is matted, some of it slicked down, stuck to his head, and other bits are sticking up wildly. The whites of his bright blue eyes are a little bloodshot, but there is no blood below his nose this time, so that’s something.

Splashing some water on his face to try to wake himself up a little, Dustin dries off his face with a towel, and then heads back to his bedroom. Dustin sits on the edge of his bed and pulls out the sketchbook he keeps there, and the charcoal.

He starts sketching the girl from memory. He can remember what she looked like, but Dustin can’t remember anything about the room she had been in, only that it was dark and cold. She’d been chained up; her wrists were bleeding. Dustin had been able to feel her fear; she’d been terrified.

Purchase

Torquere Press

Blood Visions SquareMeet the Author

L.J. Hamlin is a twenty-something (getting older every day) author, who has been writing all her life, mainly in notebooks no one else ever saw. Then she discovered M/M groups online and was encouraged by friends to share her stories. After a while (and with a lot of pushing) she grew brave enough to attempt getting published. Now she shares her stories with others and hopes never to stop. L.J. loves cats and pretty much all animals, is a collector of many things, often weird, but most of all books.

Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads | Pinterest

Giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: One winner will be selected to win an eBook copy of Blood Visions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Button 2

Posted in Book Blitz | Leave a comment