COVID-19 Quarantine Reads…

We are on day 7 of the quarantine and I’ve already begun to run out of shows to binge watch. Luckily, I have a large stack of books patiently waiting for me to crack their spine. Ironically, the first book on my list is Parasite by Mira Grant.

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.
We owe our good health to a humble parasite — a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the Intestinal Bodyguard worm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system — even secretes designer drugs. It’s been successful beyond the scientists’ wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives . . . and will do anything to get them.

Mira Grant lives in California, sleeps with a machete under her bed, and highly suggests you do the same. Mira Grant is the pseudonym of Seanan McGuire – winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for best new writer. Find out more about the author at or follow her on twitter @seananmcguire.

Have you read Parasite by Mira Grant? I’d love to know what you thought of it. Comment below and share your thoughts, good and bad!

The Atlantis Bloodline ~ Giveaway

I’m so excited to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about The Atlantis Bloodline by C.A. Gray

C.A. Gray is the author of three YA Amazon bestselling trilogies: PIERCING THE VEIL (magic and quantum physics meet Arthurian legends), THE LIBERTY BOX (dystopian metaphysics and mind control technology), and UNCANNY VALLEY (dystopian coming-of-age with neuroscience and super intelligent A.I). She starts with some scientific concept that she’s interested in learning more about herself, and then creates lots of epic chaos and high-stakes action to go along with it. Her stories are free of gratuitous violence, language, and sexual content, and she abhors depressing endings… but they’re not all kittens and rainbows either!

She also listens to and reviews audiobooks on her website (, Goodreads, Instagram, and on her podcast, Clean Audiobook Reviews, where she also occasionally interviews other authors.

By day, C.A. Gray practices naturopathic medicine, podcasts, and writes medical non-fiction under her maiden name (Lauren Deville). She lives in Tucson, AZ with her husband Frank, and together they maintain an occasionally contentious film review blog (under her real name: Lauren Baden. Three names. Yes.) She’s kind of the queen of multitasking–so in her spare time, she creates whatever meals or crafts she found most recently on Pinterest, drinks lots of coffee (Aeropress btw) and occasional wine (reds–and she saves the corks for craft projects), works out (while listening to audiobooks), and studies the Bible (about half of the podcasts on Christian Natural Health are scripture meditations). …She does sleep, too.

Join her newsletter for best-of-the-month reads, freebies and giveaway information, as well as new releases!

I love when I get to interview a guest author and really get to know them. C.A. Gray is a pleasure and I’m proud to be hosting her book.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I’m working on something a little different this time. It’s an early chapter reader/middle grade series in which three 9-10 year old kids (Gabe, Elizabeth, and Marty) apprentice under a time-traveling magician called Thrylos, traveling to various critical moments in history. They must battle against the evil magician Kakovoulos, ensuring that history turns out as we know it, rather than taking a much darker turn. I love the historical research I get to do for this one! For instance: did you know that Julius Caesar was once kidnapped by pirates? Or that Plato was once sold as a slave? Or that in 1908 an asteroid nearly hit London that would have wiped out the entire city? True stories, all. Not sure how my kids are going to save the day, but they totally are… Now I just have to figure out the whole illustration thing! 🙂

How did you come up with the title of your first novel?

The first novel was Intangible, and the original name for it was Ripple Effect. It referred to a quantum mechanical principle, but it was just so vague. Intangible isn’t much better, I’ll admit, but I wanted an alliteration theme with all one word: Intangible, Invincible, and Impossible is what I came up with. I know better now — I need to have some keywords in there!

Who designed your book covers?

Now I do them all on Design Crowd so each is done by a different person, though I’ve used a few designers more than once.

How did you come up with name of this book?

Actually I originally intended to call it just Bloodline. It was the name of a sermon series at my church, and I thought, that would be an awesome book title!! But then I decided, not enough keywords for Amazon searching. And since it was about descendants of Atlantis, and that’s a BIG keyword, bingo. (Then I ended making Bloodline the name of Kai’s band.)

What is your favorite part of this book and why?

I LOVED writing the initial tension between Ada and Kai as they got to know each other, and Ada wasn’t sure what his deal was. I knew what was happening and I still felt the suspense!

If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Oh I’d totally hang out Esme (I’d say Kai, but I’m married) 😉 and she’d take me to the Mermaid Cove where we would swim with the mermaids! And then she’d take me to the Faerie Glen. I never even give the faeries any page time in this book, but I’d like to meet them.

Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

I think all of my main characters have aspects of me in them, because I imagine how I would react in a given situation or how I might say something, and I put that in their heads or their mouths. But I suspect I’m pulling all of my characters from experience, whether it be myself, others, or fictional archetypes. You write what you know.

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?

A little bit of both. I have outlines, but the outlines are pretty fluid. Sometimes as I’m writing a scene, I realize that something needs to be said or done that I didn’t plan for, and I just go with it.

Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.

This book is a bunch of my favorite things, all meshed together: romantic suspense, a Cinderella-ish story, a secret society, mermaids, magic, and mythology… how could you not be intrigued? 🙂

Is there an writer which brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?

Marissa Meyer or Orson Scott Card. Both of them have such distinctive narrative voices (though completely different from one another.) I could read anything by either of them, no matter what it’s about, and be engrossed. I want to know how they pull that off!

When sweet Ada Edwards meets the mysterious Kaison Hughes, lead singer of the biggest band in the world, she can’t understand what he sees in her. Despite everyone’s warnings about him, she’s rapidly falling in love. But it’s obvious he has a secret, and he’s not all he appears to be.

Kai’s life isn’t his own, and his fame isn’t the half of it. As a member of a secret organization known as the Elioud, descended from the Atlantean daughters of the Pleiades, he’s been commissioned with a task: to reintegrate the lost line of Maia into their ranks. It just so happens that Ada is the one they’ve been looking for. He doesn’t know what they intend to do to her, and he doesn’t care. All he wants is the prize for a successful mission: one unqualified wish, which he intends to spend on his beloved sister’s freedom.

There’s just one problem: Kai’s falling in love with Ada, too.

Add to Goodreads | Amazon | Apple | B&N | KOBO

Would you like to win a $25 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

The Unopened Box – Writing Wednesday

Did you participate in last week’s #WritingWednesday post? It was all about Dreams. If you haven’t posted your response, click HERE so you can do that now. Then, make sure you check in here ~ every Wednesday ~ for the latest #WritingWednesday writing prompt! Now, back to today’s regularly scheduled post…

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.

  • Read the writing prompt below,
  • Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today I am writing in the voice of Tanja, a character in one of my current ‘WIP’ manuscripts.

Today’s writing prompt:


A coffin is just a box. A box we fill with the bodies of our lost loved ones. A box we fill with tears at the passing of friends and family. A box designed to keep out unwanted pests and vermin, vandals and thieves. A box not to difficult to unlock, from the inside, even when buried six feet under. All it takes is a little magic and a talented guide.

I am that guide!

I learned the ritual from my mother and my Aunt Clara when I was only ten years old. Although they were well known throughout our community and thought of as true practitioners, they had only scratched the surface of what it really means to be a necromancer.

By the time I was eleven, my mother was gone, sealed in a pine box and buried six feet below the earth’s surface. For the last six years, I’ve been salting the earth, above her body, weekly to protect her remains from those who practice the black magics. She was powerful, maybe not as powerful as I, but powerful enough that others might want to steal an ounce of blood, a sliver of skin, a lock of hair, or even a bone or two in an effort to intensify their own magic. It would work too. That’s why I salt the earth. That’s why I’ve never left New Orleans. That’s why, when Operation Atlas came knocking on my door I insisted that if I were to work with them, I wouldn’t be one of their pets, locked in a cage… or cell… or wherever they kept them at the corporate offices. When I showed them what I was capable of, they agreed to let me stay in my home in New Orleans. Not that they really had a choice.

© 2020 Nina Soden

Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s writing prompt [THE UNOPENED BOX] inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with! 

What books have made your March 2020 reading list? Comment below and let me know! Then, click on the links below to check out my latest post for the New York Times Top Ten Lists and see which books you’d like to add to your reading list!

As Above, So Below ~ Giveaway

Lost Angels (As Above, So Below Book 1)
by Loren Rhoads and Brian Thomas
Genre: Paranormal Romance

When the succubus Lorelei sees Azaziel across Lost Angels, she knows he’s been kicked out of Heaven, but is not yet Fallen.  She resolves to do whatever it takes to bring the angel down.

Unfortunately, Lorelei doesn’t realize that Azaziel has an agenda of his own. Taking her back to a burned-out church, he forces a mortal girl’s soul into the devil girl’s flesh. Then the succubus needs to find an exorcist who can cast the ghost out of her.

With all the supernatural warriors of Los Angeles looking on, neither the angel nor the succubus can imagine how love will derail their plans…

Add to Goodreads

Amazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo

Angelus Rose (As Above, So Below Book 2)
by Loren Rhoads and Brian Thomas
Genre: Paranormal Romance

If Romeo had wings and Juliet a barbed tail, could they find happiness in the City of Angels?

After their escape from the ashes of Lost Angels, the succubus Lorelei and the angel Azaziel want nothing more than to enjoy each other’s company. Unfortunately, Asmodeus, the Demon Prince of LA, has threatened to devour Lorelei’s new-grown soul if she doesn’t bring about Azaziel’s downfall. Meanwhile, Aza is keeping secrets of his own that threaten the tenuous peace between Heaven and Hell.

Three archangels come to town to try to set things right, but friendships are fracturing. The demon in charge of fallen angels is sniffing around. And Los Angeles is about to be caught between a devil and the deep blue sea.

Add to Goodreads

Amazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo

Loren Rhoads is the co-author (with Brian Thomas) of the novel Lost Angels about a succubus who sets her sights on an angel and ends up possessed by a mortal girl’s soul. The sequel, Angelus Rose, came out in February 2020.

Loren is the author of The Dangerous Type, Kill By Numbers, and No More Heroes, a space opera trilogy set after a galactic war has wiped out much of humanity.

She is also the author of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel. She blogs about graveyards as travel destinations at

You won’t be surprised to know that she likes long walks in the moonlight and old graveyards.

Website/Blog * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Pinterest * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Want to win a $25 Amazon card? CLICK HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE!

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Deer Among Wolves ~ Giveaway

I’m so excited to be one of the many tour hosts sharing information about Deer Among Wolves!
Deer Among Wolves (A World in Ruin Book 1) by Rebecca Fernfield
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Survival

An extinction-level plague was only the beginning

Sixteen years have passed since an unstoppable plague ripped through the world killing billions.

A few desperate, mis-matched groups of men, women, and children found their way to a small town and learned how to survive, then thrive.

Now death is stalking them once more!

Newly appointed First Officer, Jude Sinclair, is under pressure when death follows a group of struggling survivors into town.

As the townsfolk sicken then die after a short, painful illness, Jude is desperate to learn how to stop the disease and save the town from extinction.

Deacon Carlisle lost everyone he loved to the plague and then ruthless survivors, now all he wants is to protect his new family and escape the infected town, but the unthinkable happens when his son disappears.

With the sickness claiming lives, and the boy missing, Jude and Deacon must rely on their own ingenuity to discover the truth, and save everyone they love.

Does Jude have what it takes to protect the town from its invisible enemy?

Can Deacon rise to the challenge of saving his son?

What is the truth behind the deaths and the boy’s disappearance?

‘Deer Among Wolves’ is book 1 in ‘A World in Ruin’, a series of action-packed and intriguing tales of life after the apocalypse.

Goodreads * Amazon

British author, Rebecca Fernfield, is a lapsed medievalist who spends her days plotting the overthrow of evil regimes and devising intricate plans to rescue their victims. She’s also given to flights of fancy about the end of the world and what she’d do if supermarkets suddenly ran out of chocolate, wine and other essentials. She lives among the flatlands of the Humber estuary where Vikings and Saxons once fought and where, sometimes, on foggy mornings, you can still hear the echoes of clashing swords.

Website * Facebook * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Would you like a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and giveaway instructions.

Dreams – Writing Wednesday

It’s been a while since I’ve done a #WritingWednesday post because I’ve been knee deep in my 397 page manuscript. Yeah, its a doozy, and I can’t wait to release it and find out what you guys think of it. But, I’m back and ready to get back to my regularly scheduled posts, so make sure you check in here ~ every Wednesday ~ for the latest #WritingWednesday writing prompt!

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE, weekly writing challenge.

  • Read the writing prompt below,
  • Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today I am writing in the voice of Nigel, a character in one of my current ‘WIP’ manuscripts.

Today’s writing prompt:


I can’t always remember my dreams, but when I do, they are significant.

This morning I woke up, in my small ten foot by ten foot room, and I couldn’t breath. It wasn’t the confined space, I’m used to that. No, it was the smoke. It surrounded me, blurring my vision and clogging my lungs. The only problem was that there was no smoke in the room.

I tried to call for help but was unable to find my voice. I could hear people all around me, but couldn’t see them.

“Are you alright?”

“What’s your name?”

“Are you in any pain?”

They kept asking me questions, over and over. Finally, I could feel scrapping all down my back, as if someone was dragging me across a bed of rocks or glass. That’s when I realized I wasn’t in my room. The first glimpse of my surroundings came moments later with a wall of fire lifted the smoke in the distance. There was a car, burning on the side of the road in a town I’d never seen before. Locals stood a safe distance away, just staring at the car and back down at my broken, bloody body.

“Ma’am, are you alright?”

“Ma’am?” I asked. Was she talking to me?

That’s when I realized I wasn’t actually awake. It was my first subconscious, dream induced, precognitive vision. My first, but not my last.

© 2020 Nina Soden

Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s writing prompt [DREAMS] inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with! 

What books have made your March 2020 reading list? Comment below and let me know! Then, click on the links below to check out my latest post for the New York Times Top Ten Lists and see which books you’d like to add to your reading list!

Author Interview ~ James Murdo

I’m excited to welcome James Murdo, author of ‘Siouca Remembers‘ to my blog today.

Author James Murdo

Let’s start by finding out a little bit about you…

  1. Where do you call home?

London, UK. Brought up mostly in Highgate but I’ve lived all around. I’ve also just received Irish citizenship (very topical).

  1. What is your family like?

Brilliant, argumentative (at times) and understanding. I’m fortunate to have a great family and we’re all very close.

  1. If it doesn’t bother you, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?

We moved from a flat to a house when I was 5. I remember the flat being enormous with the biggest garden imaginable. Turns out, it was tiny. The house we moved to was great – near parks, good transport, and more importantly, my siblings and I had our own bedrooms (finally!). Only thing that bothered me was the central heating. I can assure you it never ever worked.

  1. Do you have any hobbies, other than writing? What do you enjoy doing?

Exercise, rock climbing, increasingly healthy eating (intermittently punctuated by periods of regression), comedy…

  1. What is your greatest dream?

To go to space. I’m ambivalent about going to another planet in comparison with living in space itself. I wish I’d studied Asteroid Mining.

  1. What is the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?

Family illnesses.

  1. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?

I became enamoured with reading during a family holiday when I was very young. Everyone else was out in the sun, but I was captivated. I devoured anything, although I had an affinity for ghost stories. My older sibling bought me “The Algebraist” (Iain M Banks, my favourite author who I often bang on about) from a local bookshop for an early birthday, precipitating my love of sci-fi, my degree (Physics), and a significant part of my mindset.

  1. Who is your role model?

A lot of people, but – apologies for the cliché – my parents.

  1. What is your greatest fear?

Day-to-day, spiders.

  1. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books?

Used to prefer paperbacks (or hardbacks), tried e-books and found my reading experience unchanged. I understand some people are averse to them, but for me, they work. I like volume and instant reading gratification; I don’t like waiting for books to arrive. I am still waiting to be fully converted to audio-books, I love the good ol’ radio too much.

  1. What is your opinion of novellas?

I prefer lengthier books as I like to become completely immersed for as long as possible, and I read very fast. Some say I skim, and that would be fair.

  1. Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?

Of course.

  1. What is your favorite film based on a book?

LOTR. Looking forward to more.

  1. What is your favorite book genre at the moment?

Space opera!

  1. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?

The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara. My mother recommended it. Paperback actually!

  1. If you could invite any four (4) celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?

Not to cop out, but there would be so many, and this would depend on what second of the day I thought about it, the weather, the news, so much. Sorry. Da Vinci definitely, though. He’d make it every time. Probably a Neanderthal too, although fame-wise, not sure…

Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest story.

  1. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say?

Siouca Remembers’: A cerebral part-space opera, part-epic fantasy spanning time and space. A first contact story twisted and on steroids.

  1. Is the above book part of a series?

Short answer, no. It’s part of the ‘Wanderer Universe’, of which there are currently 6 books. There’s the ‘Wanderers series’ (currently consisting of 3 sequential books: Gil’s World, Searching the Void, Infinite Eyes), and 3 independent/standalone books (Long Paradise, Fractured Carapace, Siouca Remembers).

  1. Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)?

Lots that happen to appear on the radio, some that I reserve when trying to write chapters in a certain style, and often silence.

  1. How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?

I thought about it for a long time, solicited the opinions of family and beta readers. Siouca is an important character.

  1. In your latest novel, who is the lead character and can you tell us a little about him/her?

I have a few, some AI, some biological, and some in between. My style of writing is mosaic-like which can take some getting used to, but everything always comes together in a satisfying conclusion (I hope). That’s why I like to caveat that it’s “cerebral sci-fi” – not to toot my own horn, but to emphasise the multiple storylines. I sometimes also say “hard sci-fi”, although I’ve found that term can be a little ambiguous and not too well known amongst readers.

  1. What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?

For Siouca – respect for life.

  1. Will readers like or dislike this character?

Like. Probably.

  1. What first gave you the idea for your latest book?

Lots of different things inspired me. Irodiel (one of the characters) was part-conceived following a dream.

Let’s talk now about your writing process.

  1. What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

It varies, but I only have the vaguest plots. Anything more is a waste of time for me, as I constantly alter and re-write them when I have new exciting ideas. I like to keep most of the plotting in my head – which somehow works out alright.

  1. Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing? What would you do differently the next time?

The writing itself – it comes in clumps and I need to be inspired (internally). I’m envious of writers who talk about aiming for 1,000 or 10,000 words a day. For me, the story comes when it comes.

  1. Are you a self-published/Indie author or did you publish through a traditional publishing company?


  1. If you’re a self-published/Indie author what made you go that route instead of the traditional publishing route?

A few factors, but for simplicity: time and expedience.

  1. What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?

Write more, worry about promotion less. I still need to follow that advice.

  1. What advice would you give someone who wants to start writing?

Don’t think, just do.

  1. Where can your readers follow you? Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts.

My website: (you can subscribe to my newsletter)

Amazon Author Central:



Twitter: @JamMurdo (I use)

Facebook: (I rarely use)