Friday, 16 December 2011

5 Star Review for Ravenstoke

The first review for Ravenstoke is in and it's a lovely 5 stars (or 5 butterflies in Anna's case).  Please check out Anna's blog - Books to Brighten Your Mood.

I'll also be guest posting there next week in time for the holidays.  I'll post the link when it's up and running!

Quote of My Week:  "When I'm seven I won't need you to sit in my room before I go to sleep.  That way you can get enough sleep."  (Only 3 more years to go then.  Yay?)

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Ravenstoke has arrived...

Ravenstoke, the sequel to Winterborne, is now available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes for the happy holiday price of $2.99.  Now everyone run out (or sit at your computer like I do) and buy e-readers for your loved ones for Christmas and Hanukkah!  Thank you in advance to everyone who buys and reads the book.  I hope you enjoy it!      

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Ravenstoke is coming

I'm pleased to announce the sequel to Winterborne will be with you shortly.  I am about to send it off to the conversion elves who will provide me with shiny, new ePub and mobi files for your ebook viewing pleasure.  Writing the blurb has been a little challenging because I'm trying not to include spoilers from book one.      

Here's what I've cobbled together so far --

Loie and Mia's seventeenth birthdays brought more drama and surprises than they ever expected.  Now they are adjusting to the fallout and struggling to keep those newfound powers in check.  When Andreas is called away to England under mysterious circumstances, a new guy is sent to Salcey Ridge in his place.  Cian is smarmy and cocksure and Loie wants nothing more than to sic a hellhound on him.  Unfortunately, Cian isn't the only complication in their lives as the girls must also contend with the reappearance of Mr. Winterborne himself and Loie's most dreaded fear - a part in the school musical.  Can they survive the rest of junior year unscathed?    

Friday, 28 October 2011

The Best Laid Plans...Well, I Laid Them Around Here Somewhere

I had every intention of completing Ravenstoke this week, the sequel to Winterborne.  The kids were away and I had four whole days to make it happen.  On Monday night, I awoke in the night with a lovely bout of food poisoning.  Thank you, guacamole.  On Tuesday, I puttered around nibbling on toast and tried to stay hydrated.  By Wednesday, I was ready to make the magic happen and I did bang out a healthy number of pages.  I worked into the evening and my husband didn't even whine when he came home from work to find no dinner ready and nothing viable in the fridge.  Thursday came and I woke up ready to roll up my sleeves for another successful day.  Around 9:30am, I began to feel dizzy.  I thought perhaps it was residual dehydration from the food poisoning.  I drank water.  The dizziness stayed with me all day, like persistent motion sickness.  Even in my sleep, I felt dizzy whenever I tried to flip to my right side.  This morning I went to the doctor.  I am the lucky recipient of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.  It lasts for a few weeks and the treatment basically consists of making yourself feel dizzy until your brain gets used to it.  Yippee!  Believe me, I fully recognize that this is not serious.  I mean, 'benign' is right there in the title.  It's just Murphy's Law.  I have four days to rally and get my book in order and I manage to snag food poisoning and vertigo in one week.  And as I find reading and writing very difficult to do without a queasy stomach and a swooning head, my efforts (such as this post) will be rather limited.  

So the upshot of all this boohoo-ing is that my book is going past my self-imposed deadline.  I just hope this condition doesn't last too long because I am still hoping to release Ravenstoke before Christmas.  I'm enjoying the characters (old and new) and can't wait to share the latest installment of Loie and Mia's journey!               

Quote of My Week:  "I never thought I was smart enough to get depressed." - the abdominally blessed Jason Stackhouse

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Back in Black

I'm in somewhat of a dark mood these days.  Maybe because it's rained every single day since we returned to England and the temperature feels more like November than August.  Brrr.  I'm over it already.  May also be that I'm in the homestretch of The Hunger Games trilogy.  Two books down and one to go.  I find myself itching to learn archery, but I'm sure to pull a tightly wound shoulder muscle with the first tug of the bow.    

Summer has turned into a longer break than intended for me, mainly because we've been on holiday and now that we're home, I'm still in the constant presence of my prison guards, er, my children, until school starts next week.  One of them has decided that the cat that bit her thumb in America has hidden in our suitcase and is waiting for the right moment to pounce again.  When she's alone and her resistance is low.  My son helpfully pointed out that the suitcase theory is ludicrous, then continued to describe a scenario where the evil cat with a chip on its shoulder swam the breadth of the Atlantic Ocean, dragged its damp Calico body from the water, and found its way, a determined glint in its green eye, to our quiet, unsuspecting cul-de-sac.  No more Scooby Doo for that kid.  The younger one refuses to be alone in any room in our house and now requires a guardian (who can only be named Mommy) by her bedside in the evening.  This too shall pass...I hope.  Darn cat.  I intend to be back in the swing of things soon. 

For now, I am trapped in the arena called my home, cursing the Capitol for sending its cat muttation our way and constantly checking my dwindling supplies (i.e., things to keep my kids occupied).   Where, oh where, is my mockingjay??        

Saturday, 16 July 2011

We Interrupt This Blog...

Please check out my guest post, 'Nothing Personal,' up today on Tina's Book Reviews.  She's also hosting a giveaway of Winterborne so if you don't have a copy yet, here's your chance to win one and avoid plonking down that hefty sum of $2.99.  In other book news, Winterborne is now available on All Romance Ebooks/OmniLit and discounted for the next 2 weeks.

I aspire to have a new post on my own blog this week.  After that, I'll be enjoying some time in the US which means Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the big screen, and loads of fodder for this blog.  Can't wait!   

Thursday, 7 July 2011

New Zoo Reviews

I'm a little behind on sharing the latest reviews of Winterborne so here's a few to keep you busy --  

The Caffeinated Diva has blessed me with 5 mugs of coffee.  Thanks, Kim!  Another fab review recently posted on It's All About Me with a shout out to Buffy fans which I love.  From my side of the pond, The Cait Files has weighed in with a great 4-star review.  Please check out their blogs for all your YA book needs.  

I am busy here trying to write and also win Euromillions so that I can afford to keep writing.  If I win the gazillion pound jackpot, I will only be like the 500th richest person in England.  What I want to know is -- who are the 499 people ahead of me?? 

Thursday, 23 June 2011

$0.99 Summer Promotion for Nook Owners

Special news for all you Nook owners -- Winterborne is available on Barnes & Noble for the low price of $0.99 for a limited time only.  Tell your Nook-loving friends and stock up on your summer reading today!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Top 10 Things I've Learned About Teen Romance

10. When a 25-year-old guy is lusting after a 16-year-old, it’s creepy. If he’s a 100-year-old vampire, bring it.

9. That ginger guy with the blank stare in my gym class may not be the gangly geek I think he is.

8. The more aloof and friendless I am, the more likely I am to attract the hot, mysterious guy from school.

7. If the guys I like have names like Peeta and Gale, I am trapped in a crappy future. Time to get my game face on.

6. If he sparkles in sunlight, do not assume it is an art project gone awry. Run.

5. If I am destined for/matched with/in an arranged marriage to a guy, I will not love him. I will fall in love with the other guy.

4. If I never see my mysterious boyfriend eat yet he sucks down vials of red liquid, don’t despair. He may not be a vampire. He may just be immortal.

3. If the fact that two hot brothers are into me seems too good to be true, it is. They are vampires.

2. When the guy I like has yellow eyes and prefers milkbones to milk, get a clue. He’s a werewolf.

1. Get thee to a love triangle. No adolescence is apparently complete without two males competing for my love. If I can’t rustle up an Edward and Jacob, improvise with my best friend’s pasty grandfather and my neighbor’s dog.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Today's YA Too Dark?

B'niz first.  I've had some awesome reviews the last week or so and want to thank all of the reviewers for spending a little time with my book and caring enough to spread the word.  I urge you to check out these blogs -- Mollie's YAttitude Problem, Anna in Athens, GreeceLa Petite Fille Rousse (interview bonus!), and My Keeper Shelf.  I also have a guest post on top 10 things I've learned about teen romance up today on Missy Reads & Reviews.  So you don't OD on blog names here, please feel free to peruse the rest of my reviews on GoodReads and Amazon at your leisure because I'm sure you have nothing better to do on a Friday.

In other news, some lady ignited a firestorm with her Elisabeth Hasselbeck-style view on YA lit.  The Wall Street Journal article discussed the bleak landscape of today's YA novels compared with the Judy Blume unicorns and rainbows of yesteryear.  Remember when it was all menstruation and peeping toms?  Ah, the good old days.  By pointing to all the horrors contained in the pages of modern books for kids as though it's some new phenom, the writer displays a shocking level of ignorance.  She asserts that SE Hinton kicked off dark YA with The Outsiders and publishers have ridden the misery money train ever since.  Has she read any mythology (my books of choice throughout adolescence)?  Myths are full of murder, adultery, rape, sexism, bestiality, and incest (in no order of favoritism).  Did reading about Zeus raping Europa in the form of a bull "normalize" rape for me?  Not so much.  Made me think he was a lightning-chucking asshole, though.  Plenty of YA authors and librarians have weighed in on this topic in the last week so I don't want to repeat too much of what's been said (great points about the Matthew Shepard murder, teen cutting, etc).  I'd simply like to give me two cents on the dystopian angle.  The puppet cites The Hunger Games as "hyper-violent" and rallies parents not to allow publishers "to bulldoze coarseness or misery into their children's lives."  YA dystopian books are uniquely positioned to make teens think about social and ethical issues.  In reading those types of books, they immerse themselves in a possible future.  A bleak future that, if they don't want to find themselves living in it in thirty plus years, may make them think or behave differently as they grow into adulthood.  I wish YA dystopian was more prevalent when I was a teen.  My critical thinking skills didn't kick in until much later, probably because I wasn't confronted by issues that required much critical thought.  Also, science and technology have moved on by leaps and bounds in the past forty years.  The ethical issues arising from these advancements will continue to multiply and I would rather have teens debating these types of issues now and deciding what kind of people they want to be and what kind of world they want to inhabit, rather than having them scratching their heads as adults and wondering how the world ended up in such a sorry state.  At least I can rest assured that my own kids will be emotionally ready to face an uncertain future because I didn't bathe them in sunshine and put their brains on ice for future use.  Hey, that last bit gives me an idea for another dark dystopian YA novel...  

My Quote of the Week: "You're my favorite friend." - my 4-year-old daughter to me.            

Friday, 3 June 2011

Writing in Progress

I've been writing up a storm this week, unfortunately, none of it is for my blog:( The kids are away and I'm trying to get through as many pages as poss for Book 2 of the Universe Unbound series.  I'm also working on a couple of guest posts for other blogs.  Basically, I am openly cheating on my blog.  

Two fantastic reviews have posted this week for Winterborne. One is from Lisa in Australia at Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me and the other from Beth in the UK at A Little Sun Shy

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Fave Children's Stories in our House o'Books

First, I'd like to mention that my interview with Jennifer at Independent Paranormal posted today.    

Second, and completely unrelated to the above, I've been thinking about how much time my husband and I spend reading to our kids.  It's a lot and we love it.  We get through the books rather quickly and, as a result, have amassed a ridiculous number of children's books over the past seven years.  Luckily, a majority of them still get decent attention.  I think it's because these are not only books that my kids enjoy, but books that my husband and I enjoy as well.  In no particular order, here's a list of our current favorites --

Wind in the Willows
Chronicles of Narnia
Knuffle Bunny, Knuffle Bunny Too, Knuffle Bunny Free (the last one chokes me up every time)
The Nutcracker (original story)
Peter Pan
I'm Bad, I Stink, I'm Dirty
Angelina Ballerina books
Madeline (mostly Madeline's Rescue)
all of Julia Donaldson's (we are suckers for rhyming couplets)
all of Roald Dahl's (my 6-year old likes all of his books and has re-read them many times, but my 4 year old isn't ready yet, although she likes The Magic Finger)

We have a boy and a girl and these books seem to cross gender lines as well as age lines.  If you haven't read any of these to your kids or you need book ideas for other children, I highly recommend any of these.


Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Real, Actual Reviews by Strangers!

So two awesome reviews have posted this week and I couldn't be happier.  Please check out the Book Nook Club and Forever Young Adult for their perspectives on Winterborne.

I also have a guest post up today on The Book Butterfly about past fictional characters most welcome in my fantasy lit world.

I promise to do a proper post of my own very soon!

Friday, 13 May 2011

I'm A Guest Post-er

I'd just like to encourage you all to check out my first guest post today over on Fantastic Book Review.  Thanks to Tina for being ahead of the pack!  

Also, Winterborne is now officially available through iBookstore.  Get thee to an Apple product.

Sunday, 8 May 2011


I know those of us across the pond are a few episodes behind when it comes to Glee (and entire seasons behind for certain other shows, sadly).  I must admit that I'm a little wary about the whole venturing into original songs territory.  I was bothered enough by the idea of Mr. Shue's solo career outside of the show (Matthew Morrison is awesome, but he's definitely of the ensemble or duet variety).  Now I have to be subjected to songs I can't sing along to during the show.  My husband may find this turn of events a great relief, but I would rather endure another Journey song than listen to a song about slushies.  Unless by some stroke of luck Joss Whedon is writing these songs, then let the original songwriting commence and all rejoice!  

I hope that these originals (not to be confused with Vampire Diaries 'Originals,' a topic for another day) continue to get mixed in with songs I know.  While I'm on the subject, here is my list for Ryan Murphy (should he ever decide to visit me here) of songs I'd like to see covered by the Gleesters, including but not limited to --

Lost in Love by Air Supply (that's right, folks.  I said it and I won't unsay it.)
any Beastie Boys but I'm partial to Brass Monkey
Love Shack by the B-52s
Just Like Heaven by The Cure
The Gambler by Kenny Rogers 
more Neil Diamond, please.  
Closer to Fine by the Indigo Girls
Vacation by the Go-Gos
and Rachel needs to bust out the Pat Benatar

I'd also like to give a big high-five to Kristin Chenowith, John Stamos and Gwyneth (no Paltrow necessary).  They are welcome on that show any time; they're amazeballs.

I understand that I am stuck in an 80's/early 90's time warp when it comes to music I'd like featured on Glee.  That's because they already do a great job of current hits, so I'm simply stepping up for the oldies who like to get their Glee on.  Peace out.    

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Bite Me

I have a confession to make.  It has nothing to do with the marker stains on the couch (that was my 4-year-old, trust).  The big reveal is -- I have not read any of the Twilight books.  Once you get your gasp in check, there's more.  I haven't read any Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Vampire Academy, Interview with a Vampire, Dracula or any of the legion of vamp-inspired books that are omnipresent in today's lit landscape.  Not a single one.  You can pretty much rest assured that if fangs and human blood are an integral part of the plot, I haven't read it.  It's not a conscious choice.  I don't see those titles and wrinkle my nose in disdain.  With my limited time, I tend not to gravitate to our pasty pals when it's book-choosing time.      

Curiously, I have seen many of the films and television shows.  I happily sat through the first three Twi-movies (okay, one was on a plane so it was more 'uncomfortably' than 'happily').  I am a voracious viewer of Vampire Diaries and True Blood.  I still worship at the altar of Buffy and Angel.  I've also seen Interview with a Vampire and Dracula more than once.  I am an avid reader, I swear.  When it comes to my fantasy reads, however, I prefer pretty much anything but the fang gang.  I like me some superpowers, mythological creatures, even depressing dystopia.  Give me your werewolves, your faeries, your huddled masses of magic-folk yearning to practice the black arts freely.  Sorry vampires, you are so not invited in.           

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Fire Up the Kindle!

Okay, people.  The eagle has landed.  Judgment day has arrived.  It's in the can.  Whatever idiom you've got, the bottom line is that my ebook is now available on Kindle (soon to be followed by Nook, iPad, Sony and Kobo) for the very special price of $2.99.  Grab anyone you know by the collar, v-neck, or neckline of choice who likes YA paranormal/urban fantasy and introduce them to Winterborne by Augusta Blythe.  

Here's the blurb:
Sixteen-year old Mia Winterborne is destined to be special.  Details are sketchy, though, as her dad disappeared with all the answers when she was five.  Mia only knows that she’ll inherit her kickass superpowers on her seventeenth birthday.  Helping Mia prepare for her anticipated ascendancy is Loie (rhymes with Joey) Bryce, her best friend and eternal sidekick extraordinaire.  The girls’ intense friendship has never wavered until now, when Andreas arrives in Salcey Ridge.  They both fall hard for the British hottie, who quickly becomes a fixture in their lives.  When they discover that Andreas is not who he appears to be, the frightening reality of Mia’s powers finally hits home.  The nearer Mia’s birthday draws, the more the danger escalates and long-buried lies are exposed, putting the girls on a path that they never expected. 

Winterborne is Book 1 of my Universe Unbound series (with Book 2 hopefully out by the end of the year).  In the meantime, I am making good progress on a YA dystopian novel that I intend to publish this summer and have another urban fantasy I'd like to launch as well.    

I would love any help in getting the word out, so feel free to pass along my Kindle link (if you click on the book cover, it takes you there), my blog, my website, the word, etc.   I've also created a FB page, but it's looking a little lonely at the mo so 'friend' me, please.     

Lastly, I'd like to give a shout out to the helpers -- my brother-in-law for designing an awesome book cover and for showing me the barebones of html, mobi and ePub files, my editor Jennifer Feddersen for her helpful suggestions and my family for giving me time to indulge.  Next stop - my website!  

I intend this blog for musings and the like so forgive the flagrant self-promo, which I'm afraid will happen from time to time.  Next week, I promise to revert to raving lunacy.  Ciao for now!   


Friday, 8 April 2011

Medieval Musings

Top 10 reasons why I'd suffer an early death in medieval times (not the restaurant but the actual time period) --

10.  Would not respond well when summoned as "wench." 

9.   Would be unable to grow hair long enough to demonstrate my womanhood.  Frequent Shakespearean-style mishaps ensue (yes, I know Shakespeare is Elizabethan -- thanks).  

8.   Would be unable to function without daily hot showers.

7.   Would most definitely die during childbirth.  

6.   The pox would be upon me and fast.  I get every bug that infiltrates our bacteria-free zone.

5.   Would not possess elbow grease required for scullery maid-type labor.  Would surely be burned at the stake for my perceived impertinence/uselessness/heresy/leprosy.

4.  Would die of boredom unless I invent television, er, guess I would start with electricity.

3.  Would suffer immobilizing back strain after fighting off rats for last piece of bread in back alley.

2.  Would off myself if I had to share one room with my entire family.

1.   Would never survive the journey to Mount Doom.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Get Your Sparkle On

I am on Day Two and a Half of my daughter's stomach virus (that's right, the half counts).  It's been many years since I had to hold a girl's hair back while she vomited.  Funny how you don't miss certain things from your youth...     

In between patting my daughter's fevered brow with a cold washcloth and allowing sips of Dioralyte (which sounds like someone who worships at the altar of Christian Dior but isn't), I've been subjected to a Barbie movie marathon.  Who knew Barbie was a straight-to-DVD star like the Olsen twins?  We ended yesterday's session with Barbie of Swan Lake and picked up this morning with Barbie Diamond Castle (and I'll admit, some of the songs in the latter one are quite catchy).  Although I had Barbies as a child and definitely recall cruising my Barbie around in her purplish convertible, as an adult I have an automatic aversion to all things Barbie.  Yes, she's awesome in Toy Story 3, but does she have the chops to carry the lead roles in all these movies?  According to my 3-year old she does, so what's my beef?  Aside from the much bigger discussion of a girl's unrealistic body image, etc., I find Barbie flat.  The Patron Saint of Dullsville.  All of these characters she "portrays" are bland and sweet.  The writers have tried to make her courageous and spunky, but she's unbelievably sincere.  Where's her edge?  I realize I'm not the target audience and (I guess) we want our wee ones to think everyone is lovely and pure of heart, but are we setting our kids up for disappointment when the people they meet in the real world are more shades of grey than pure white?  And although that was not a race reference, it brings me to my next point -- where are the minority characters?  You cannot possibly expect me to believe that in all of the lands - Fairytopia, Mermaidia, Made-up-Worlds-with-No-Name, Barbie doesn't even pass a brother on a busy street?   The first time I saw Diamond Castle, I watched Liana and Alexa crooning sweet love songs to each other, thinking that Barbie was getting her first lesbian role.  Then they introduced the guitar-playing twins, Jeremy and Ian, and I knew the story was swerving back into traditional territory.  Sigh.                

So after swallowing a chock full o' CGI blondes these past couple of days [insert distasteful thought here], Barbie and vomit are now inextricably linked in my mind.  "My tummy hurts," my daughter cries again.  Yes, mine too.

Quote of My Week:  "When you die, you go to jail."  Courtesy of the above-referenced daughter.