Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Laptop Repairs & New Followers

Wow! What a week! Unfortunately (and some of you may have seen my messages) but over the weekend I drowned my poor laptop with Tea! Personally as a way to go I think it has to be one of the best...drowning in a mug of warm tea would be rarther nice I imagine :-)

Luckily for me it has partially survived with only a paralysed keyboard, so thanks to a techie friend I have a usb keyboard attached, and I am back online until I can get it fixed!

But if you are one of my lovely new followers from my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/Witchbloodthenovel or on twitter then I'm sorry I haven't been around to say 'Hi'! But have a look around this site and you'll find the Witchblood Prologue to read, and my brilliant book trailer on one of the above tags. There is another page for the competition I am running, where you can win to be a character in my sequel Witchcraft, which I hope to release in June...would you like to be a witch? A vampire maybe... or an angel? It's your choice.

Going back through my old posts, you can find the details of my recent blog tour with reviews, interviews and charcter information. Before that you'll find information on how I got to where I am, why I decided to self-publish, when I have a UK agent, and how I went about it.

I love to hear from you, and welcome any feedback on my site. Even better...go buy my book! It's only 77p / 99c and is available on kindle, ibooks, smashwords, kobo, B&N etc

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Blog Tour: Re-runs: Day 5

On the 14th my blog tour came back to the UK to the fabulous Nina's book blog, Death, Books & Tea (What a great name huh? Personally I can't think of better...I love books, I love books about, well if not death...vampires, ghosts etc, and what could be better than a large mug of hot tea?!) http://deathbooksandtea.blogspot.com

So anyway Nina had been reading Witchblood and had kindly offered to do a review for me. As it was only my second 'professional' blogger review I was still a little nervous of the outcome, but after reading it, I couldn't be happier! For those who did not see her review, here it is again:

Review:
Jessica is violently attacked by a girl gang, and is then left for dead.  But somehow she is saved. Turns out she's become a vampire, under the care of Daniel and Eva. She has to learn how to deal with her new found status, her place in Vampire society, and of course the new diet. But as well as the powers that come with being a vampire, she has others. She's also a witch, somehow, with no way of formally learning to control these powers. And there may be more to this than she thinks...
 
This is a book set in England! Yay! Sorry, I just like books set in England, because I can relate a bit more, and understand a few more cultural references and so on. The concept was interesting, and could have gone either terribly, or well. Luckily, this one went the latter way.
 
From the start, I was hooked. I was promised it would be a quick read owing to the fact it's quite short. But it's not just that. Jessica's narration and the amount of stuff that actually happens mean you can easily speed through it, and still get a good idea of everything that's happening.The characterisation was good. The older vampires seem to have adjusted well to modern life, and Jessica is adjusting to existance as a vampire as well as you'd expect.
 
The romance between Jessica and Daniel was inevitable, but quite nice to watch develop. And then there was the introduction of a kind of love triangle, which was also inevitable but I personally could have done without. Nothing against this book in particular, it's just I can do without love triangles in everything.
The final revelation about Luke was quite unexpected, and it made me wish we'd seen a little more of him throughout the bulk of the book  to properly get to know him. I think that Eva was my favourite character. The way she handled things, and the fact that she survived the French Revolution just made me like her.
Of the supernaturals in this, I have to say that I like the vampires best. That is only because the other two races don't get enough coverage. But I'm sure that I'll love the witches once we get to know them.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Blog Tour: Re-runs: Day 4

On Day 4 of my blog tour the lovely Brodie at Eleusinian Mysteries:  http://eleusinianmysteriesofreading.blogspot.com/ wanted to host a guest post. I had a quick think, and decided it would be rather fun to do an interview with Jess (the main female character) in Witchblood. I was right, it was loads of fun and for those who missed it the first time round, here it is again:


Character Interview - Jess from Witchblood

Your name is Jessica James? I hear there is a story behind that?
Yeah…how did you hear that? My dad was a huge wild-west film buff. I think he wanted a boy, but instead he got me, and then he found he could still name me after his biggest hero…Jesse James!

What are you most hopeless at?
Hmm I dunno, I guess six months ago I would have said cooking – my university pizzas were either burnt or floppy. But now, well I guess Eva would say I’m most useless at being a vampire! I don’t tow the party line, I sleep more than I should and I find drinking live blood icky…and no, I’m not about to go all twilight and snack on a Mountain Lion…I mean all the fur would get in your teeth! It’s bad enough when you get a single hair in your mouth, never mind a whole gob-full of fur!

So how do you feel about being a vampire?
Well at first it was pretty freaky. I mean you hardly go and get yourself murdered and when you wake up say, ‘yey! I’m a vampire!’ It’s more like ‘what the hell?’ I thought I was in some weird dream. Of course once I got used to it, I’m glad, I suppose. Sometimes it’s pretty cool…but other times, not so much. Life has certainly got more complicated, but it’s definitely better than being dead!

Who has hurt you worst in your life? And have you forgiven them?
I don’t really feel ready to tell you that. Let’s just say I’m pretty pissed at a lot of people right now. My dad for telling my lies my whole life, and my very ex-boyfriend for the same. In fact the vampires are possibly the sanest people in my life right now, and that’s not saying much.

There are rumours that you have descended from a powerful family of witches in north eastern America and they want you to leave Manchester. Is this true?
Who the hell have you been speaking too? Sebastian will kill me if I answer this, so I’m not going to, but there’s no way I’m leaving Manchester.

You obviously have a close connection with Daniel, your vampire maker, and you are now living with him. Are you an item and is this why you are reluctant to leave Manchester?
Erm, I’m not sure…I mean no! Well, it’s complicated, I suppose. Like you said, he is my maker, so of course I’m attracted to him, but there’s other stuff going on right now. I have my own room in Daniel’s house, and Eva does too. I’m new so there’s no way they’d let me live on my own anyway.

Is it true you killed one of Sebastian’s vampire bodyguards?
Oh my god! What do you think? Me, a smallish baby vampire against a three hundred year old super vamp-hardly! I think Sebastian’s going to be pretty pissed with you, and I can hear him coming, so I’d make a quick exit if I were you.

Brodie's Fearful Note: *CAN BE SEEN RUNNING THE HELL OUT OF HERE*

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Blog Tour: Re-Runs: Day 3



Today I am doing a re-run of Day 3, which was hosted by the lovely book blogger, Kiki at http://thecaffeinateddivareads.multifacetedmama.com/ 

Kiki read Witchblood and then reviewed it on her site, as well as linking to my blog competition (see above for the competition page!) I will post her review below for any of you who haven't yet read it:



Welcome to my stop on the Witchblood Blog Tour!  This wonderful book is the debut novel of UK author Emma Mills, and fantastic start to what I am sure will be a fabulous writing career.  If you love vamps, witches, twists and turns, and romance, then you will love this book!  So be sure to read the blurb and my “5 mug” review and watch the trailer below to get a “bite” of it!  But don’t stop there!  Keep reading for details about a Witchblood contest being held on Emma’s blog!  And. finally, after that there is a giveaway of a copy of this book!
You can visit her blog here and follow her on Twitter here!

The summary
When Jess steals a glance at a gorgeous guy in a Manchester nightclub, little does she realise how he is going to change her life…or should that be death?
Yet, the vampire clan could never have predicted what they were taking on. With Luke pronounced ‘off-limits’ and the blood of a vampire simmering in Jess’s body, can she forget the love of her life and move on? If not, she will risk exposing the entire Northern clan to untold dangers, in order to live her life the way she wants.

Can Jess be sure that Luke is all he appears to be? Will she succumb to the attraction she desperately tries not to feel for Daniel? And why does she still crave a packet of crisps more than a tasty teenage boy’s blood?

My review,…
Witchblood is the debut novel from Emma Mills, and it is one of my favorites.  I am a sucker for vamp stories, without a doubt, but this book is unique in its story.  A little bit vamp, a little bit witchy, and a little bit human,… there is a little of everything in this story.  Jess is so likeable as a character that it was impossible not to be drawn into the book.  She is your normal teenage girl with all the normal teenage angst that we can relate to.  The struggle between her humanity and her new vampire life is even more intensified.  For the first half of the book, I couldn’t decide if I loved Daniel, or wanted to smack him around for turning her.  But he was impossible not to love, too!

This story was so much more than a YA vamp tale, though.  The vamp/witch aspect was almost an aside to the true thrust of the story.  Jess and her struggles, twists and turns, secrets,… all of it made me hard pressed to put it down!  The author made these characters come to life, made you feel right along with them. I am a softie for a book that draws me in, and when I started getting teary during key points, you know she had me with her storytelling!  I can’t wait for more from this author!!

To buy/add the book,…
Buy it:  Kindle UK | Kindle US | Smashwords
Add it:  Goodreads | Shelfari

Monday, 20 February 2012

Blog Tour - Re-runs - Day 2

Continuing my tour re-run from yesterday I am posting Day 2's blog post which was a guest post on my favourite Young Adult books and it's influences. It was hosted by UK book blogger, Sister Spooky, at http://sisterspookybookfangirl.blogspot.com/ 

This is my post:

I started writing Witchblood in Jan 2009, and as it was the first novel I’d written, it took me until Dec to finish. After many agent rejections it then took me another six months to learn how to edit and make my writing sharper, more concise. This time I sent Witchblood out, I immediately had two interested agents. Sadly my agent didn’t sell it to the big-time publishers, due to them saying vampires were ‘out’ and paranormal was a sliding trend.

I disagree! Which is why Witchblood has now been self-published on Kindle, and is already amazing me with a brilliant first month sales. Thinking back to 2009, I know straight away which books inspired me to write…The Twilight Saga! Yes, I know the whole sparkling vampire thing is a bit laughable, and Bella is not the most kick-ass heroine in the world. But the series sucked me in and re-introduced me to the world of YA fiction, and even better, the sub-genre of paranormal/paranormal romance.
 

Since writing Witchblood, my love for YA has only increased, and amongst the many I have read none have captured me like The Hunger Games. I LOVE this book. It has everything I hope to achieve in my writing, a truly kick-ass heroine. No-one can beat Katniss Everdeen! An engaging, addictive and original plot which is fast paced and basically just fantastic! I can't wait to see the movie in March, I just hope it doesn't disappoint.

I'm still reading YA and this month the to books I'm most looking forward to reading are: Every Other Day by jennifer Lynn Barnes, and Pyxis by K.C.Neal.


 
 
 

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Blog Tour - Re-runs - Day 1

For those of you who missed my blog tour last week, I thought I'd re-post all the posts here for a catch up, and for those of you who don't know, a blog tour is a virtual book tour. Over the last seven days I've had a mixture of guest posts and Witchblood reviews posted on some great book blogs, in the UK, US and Austrailia.

Day 1 was an author interview with me, hosted by a fellow northern girl, Caitlin on her blog The Cait Files which you can find at http://thecaitfiles.blogspot.com/

Here is the interview:

·         In the spirit of Twitter, can you tell us about your book in 140 characters or less?
Girl dies, gets saved by a vampire, turned into a vampire & fights to keep her soul, as she attempts to control her desire & newfound powers!

·         What tempted you to write YA, and why paranormal YA in particular?
It had to be YA, because that is what I love reading at the moment. I am in a book club and read other prize winning type adult books each month, but YA gives me the most enjoyment. I went for paranormal because I’ve always had an interest in Wicca, witches and had a secret love of vampires!

·         The setting of Witchblood is really unique, both in the sense it is set in Britain and that it is then set outside of London. What was your reasoning for this?
It was after loving the Twilight Saga, then the Evernight, Wings, Morganville, & House of Night series, amongst others that I came up with my own idea for a book series and I thought it would be great to add a British voice. There seem to be plenty of UK YA writers, but not many seem to do paranormal…or maybe I haven’t found them! It was an obvious choice to then set it in Manchester, rather than London, because I’ve grown up here and know it well, where as I’ve only been to London a couple of times. Plus in my opinion Manchester is a great city, which has everything, and is currently very ‘in’.

·         I've been following your blog posts about your journey through self-publishing, has it been easier or harder than you imagined?
Both! On the one hand it is far more time consuming, and has had many more facets to it than I initially thought – for example Blog tours & Book trailers were something I didn’t know about, and it all seems rather daunting. Yet once you get into it and learn about each thing you realise that, yes it is extremely time consuming, but it is also very ‘do-able’, so things I initially thought would be impossible, become possible.

·         If you could choose to become a paranormal creature, which would you choose?
Hmm I’d probably choose to be a witch! I love the idea of spell casting and potion making, and if I could fly a broomstick and have a go at Quidditch I’d be in heaven! Although, after loving Aprilynne Pike’s, ‘Wings’ series I would also quite fancy being a faery!

·         Can you tell us a bit about what you're working on right now?
Currently I am writing ‘Witchcraft’, which is the sequel to ‘Witchblood’.  I was doing really well and writing 1000-1500 words a day a couple of weeks ago, but unfortunately it has been neglected the last couple of weeks, due to me arranging this tour, designing the poster and other promotional issues. My last word count was 13,661 and I’m at chapter 5. You can keep an eye on where I’m up to with Witchcraft and read sneak excerpts on my blog.
It was great fun answering Caitlin's questions and the post did better than I could have hoped for with 12 blog comments entering the giveaway for a free copy of Witchblood. Tommorow I will post Day 2's post which is a guest post written by me about my love of YA fiction.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Who will be Jess's Valentine?

Yes, there's murder, girl-gangs and violence in Witchblood, but a girl needs a good dose of romance too right?



"I lifted my face up to his and saw my desire mirrored in his own. Softly his lips pressed against mine, and I pulled him down next to me, so we were lying face to face, our lips kissing, the tips of our tongues flicking each other’s."


"The smell hit me, like a bowl of melted, 80% dark chocolate, seductive and bitter at the same time. It drew me to him with such force, I couldn’t resist. I didn’t want to resist. Even if I’d any willpower left, I knew I wouldn’t refuse."

So if you want a great read for Valentine's day why not download Witchblood for only 77p/99c at Amazon, Smashwords, ibooks, Kobo or B&N.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Witchblood Blog Tour...

Commences today! The first stop is over at The Cait Files book blog. She is running an interview and a giveaway. So head over there if you want a free copy of my book!
http://thecaitfiles.blogspot.com/

Tommorow the blog tour stops at Sister Spooky's book blog. Laura is posting an article I wrote about Witchblood and  other Young Adult fiction that inspired me to write + a giveaway!
http://sisterspookybookfangirl.blogspot.com/

On the 12th I am hopping over the pond to the US where Kim is hosting a stop at her blog The Caffienated Diva and posting a review of Witchblood. She's been reading it this week and I'm really excited to know what she thinks of it...or should I be really scared! And another giveaway!
http://thecaffeinateddivareads.multifacetedmama.com/

On the 13th I am flying over to the sun drenched Austrailian winter (if only it wasn't cyber-flying!) to visit Brodie at her book blog Eleusinian Mysteries. I wrote a really fun character interview for Brodie, so she's hosting 'an Interview with Jess' - my main girl! And another giveaway!
http://eleusinianmysteriesofreading.blogspot.com/

On the 14th I am back in the chilly UK with Nina from Death, Books & Tea book blog. Nina has also been reading my book this week and will be posting her review, along with hosting a giveaway!
http://deathbooksandtea.blogspot.com/

On the 15th I am over at the lovely Franny's blog Mind Reader. Franny is also writing a review so you can get a really good idea of different blogger's viewpoints and also running a giveaway.
http://darkfrannysthoughts.blogspot.com/

The Last Stop on the tour on the 16th is back over in the US at Steph's blog Fangs, Wands & Fairydust. Steph wanted something a little bit different and is very involved in trying to get mums (or moms) to read the same book their teenager is reading, to give neutral territory to discuss issues with your kids. Hence she suggested a parent/teen discussion guide for Witchblood. As a mum/mom myself I think her idea's great, so I've written an article on some of the teen issues that could be raised and discussed in WB. Of course there's also a freebie biveaway as well!
http://fangswandsandfairydust.blogspot.com/

Hope you all like the tour. Any comments would be greatly appreciated :)

PS...If any of you have not yet seen my fabulous, sexy book trailer, click on the 'Prologue page' to find it there!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Location Inspiration

After getting so thoroughly sucked into the YA paranormal fiction genre with first the Twilight Saga, then many others like the Evernight series, I came up with an idea. I wanted to add a UK voice to the many brilliant US ones out there, and it seemed an obvious choice, to set my debut novel, Witchblood, here where I grew up.
It’s well known that you should write about what you know, and as I grew up south of Manchester city centre, and now live east of it, it seemed an obvious choice for setting.
In the first chapter Jess gets attacked by a girl-gang, after a night out at a trendy nightclub. There are many dark, cobbled alleyways, flanked with high scruffy Victorian buildings in the city centre, and all provide inspiration for this scene.
Here is one such picture that inspired me:

The nearby north Cumbrian hills seemed ideal as a remote location that would suit Jess’s awakening. If the vampires wanted to get Jess away from the city, a desolate farm in the middle of nowhere would be an ideal hideout.

Once Jess is taken back to Manchester, she is taken to live with Daniel, her maker. He lives in Didsbury, which is a suburb of Manchester, very popular with the students. There are streets filled with huge imposing Victorian & Georgian houses – most of which have now been renovated into student flats, for the two Manchester universities. A student enclave is the perfect place for vampires to live unnoticed. The residents are always changing, and far too involved in their own lives to notice what might be going on next door! I imagine his house to look something like this:

And here is a typical cricket club surrounded by trees, ideal for Jess to watch Luke from, as she desperately tries to control her thirst!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Witchblood Trailer Reveal

The time is here to reveal the Witchblood trailer. I'm so excited because I love it! I love the music which I found on a website called dig.ccmixter.org where you can download music files that have a public license to add to your videos. The track I chose is called 'Too Young' and is written by someone called Alex, with vocals by someone called Snowflake...but it is so beautiful and perfect for my book.

Here is the Witchblood Trailer:



I did have a go at creating my own book trailer, but it was too stressful, and time consuming. I have no skills what so ever in putting a video together! So instead my brilliant friend and book blogger, @silviap82did it for me. Check out her blogs: the first has details of her book tours, webdesign, trailer packages and costs; while the second is her book blog. She's brilliant and lovely too - would highly recommend!

 

Lastly, Siliva is also hosting my first interview today, so if you want to find out more about me or my book, check out her page:
http://darkestsins.blogspot.com/2012/02/interview-with-emma-mills-trailer.html?zx=b323afedb6ecf4c5

Friday, 3 February 2012

Spread Love, Not Hate...

Spread Love, Not Hate
I came across this blog hop via @patricialynne07 on Twitter and intrigued I looked up her website, which directed me back to the source, K.C.Neal's blog. After hearing the story of an author, Katie who recently published her first novel, Which should be congratulated? YES... except someone she knows in real life decided to mock her accomplishment, and began bullying her online. Spread <3, Not Hate was born from this to counteract the negativity and to speak out about bullying on Feb 3rd.

Personally I am very lucky, and even though I didn't necessarily fit in at school I was never bullied. In fact I was lucky because the year before I started senior school a new Head teacher started who had radical plans to wipe out any bullying within school. There was a blanket, zero tolerance policy, the punishment was suspension and then expulsion. So I may have only had a couple of good friends, but I was never bullied...just ignored!

Bullying as a child or teenager is wrong, hurtful and needs to clamped down on before it gets out of control, and we find ourselves reading about another teen who's hung themselves in the bathroom because of youtube videos or facebook bullying.

But, bullying as adults? It's unbelievable!

This is a Blog Hop

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Interview with Jess

Today I've been writing article posts for the bloggers hosting my Blog Tour. I've written a post on the different locations in Witchblood, and why I chose them. I've found some great photos so you can see what I see. Here's a taster:
Here's a typical Manchester back alley...can't you just see the teenage girl gang lurking behind the bins on the left, as Jess seeks them out to deliver her vengenance?

After I finished the location post I wrote a really fun interview. I'm doing an author interview for Caitlin at thecaitfiles.blogspot on the 10th Feb to kick it all off, but this interview is different. This is an interview for Jess! You'll have to read the blog post at the tour for the answers, but here are the questions:

  • Your name is Jessica James? I hear there is a story behind that?
  • What are you most hopeless at?
  • So how do you feel about being made into a vampire?
  • Who has hurt you most in your life? And have you forgiven them?
  • There are rumours that you have descended from a powerful family of witches in north eastern America and they want you to leave Manchester. Is it true?
  • You obviously have a close connection with Daniel, your vampire maker, and you are now living with him. Are you an item & is this why you are reluctant to leave Manchester?
What do you think?