Author Interviews

Guest Post – Milana Marsenich

Copper Sky

Copper SkyI have a strong affection for my hometown of Butte, Montana, a mining town with a rich history. As a natural listener and a therapist, I’ve witnessed amazing generosity and courage in others. I first witnessed this in the people of Butte. As a child, teen, and young adult I also witnessed multiple tragedies and incredible resilience in overcoming these tragedies. It made me think about how a town affects us, especially a town as diverse and wild as Butte, Montana. In writing Copper Sky I attempted to capture the town’s kindness, bold spirit, heartbreak, and amazing courage and compassion.



Milana Marsenich dogThe White Dog

I have always loved dogs. Huskies are my breed. Every dog I’ve had as adult has either been a husky, malamute, or a stray who lived with a husky or malamute. Consequently, writing the four small parts from the dog’s point of view was easy for me. Both the white dog and the wolf dog in Copper Sky are attempts to give the reader a view of the town. I thought of both dogs as “the town’s dog”, and as a sort of enduring spirit of the town. As it turns out, there was actually a town’s dog that the people of Butte took care of and memorialized with a sculpture. You can read about Auditor here:
I didn’t know about Auditor when I wrote Copper Sky. I learned about him after he died. I was at my father’s house in Butte and noticed an article about him in the Montana Standard, the Butte paper. Granted, he’s not a wolf dog, or any version of husky, but he definitely represents the town’s spirit: lovable, resilient, and bold.


The Accidents

Butte has had multiple mining accidents as well as frequent fires. People died all the time. Mining is a dangerous occupation. Copper Camp, a book compiled by Workers of the Writers’ Program in the State of Montana and published in 1943, states that the accidents probably created 50-100 widows a year. In 1889 fire broke out in the Anaconda Mine shaft killing 6 men. A fire in the Silver Bow mine in 1893 killed 9 men. In 1911 the mine cage dropped from the surface to the sump in the Leonard mine, some 1500 feet, killing five men. Later that year, before the introduction of child-labor laws, 6 boys were killed in a tragic accident in the Black Rock Mine. In 1917, the year that Copper Sky primarily takes place in, fire broke out in the shaft of the Speculator Mine, killing 168 men. The people of Butte of learned to grieve, comfort, and understand. They have learned to be strong, to fight for justice, to carry on. It is this strength that I hoped to portray in Copper Sky.


The Orphans

Men were not the only ones to die. Women also fell prey to misfortune. They were victims of violence, oppression, and sickness. In 1918 the Spanish Flu killed 1000 people in Butte. As I wrote Copper Sky I wondered about the motherless children. How did the people of town manage so many orphans? And what was the effect of such loss on the children? As a therapist I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the many ways trauma affects our lives. In Copper Sky I explore, not just the effects of our own traumas, but effects of the traumas of our parents, the traumas of a town, traumas that happened before we were even born. I couldn’t help but wonder if the people of Butte had absorbed this ability to deal compassionately with tragedy simply by growing up in a town like Butte.


Continue reading “Guest Post – Milana Marsenich”

Blog Tours · book reviews

Blog Tour: StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio

I have been looking forward to this post for so long!

Today I get to share my thoughts with you about StoneKing as part of the ongoing Blog Tour. Thank you to Fiery Seas Publishing and Donna for the opportunity to get involved!

Part of the reason this has been some time in the making was that before February, I hadn’t even read any of the earlier books in this series. So… I had some catching up to do! If there is anyone else new to the series and would like to learn a little more about my thoughts for the prior books in the series, Kinglet and Fiskur, you will note I have kindly (and unashamedly) provided links for my self promo for you to take a look at.

Are you sitting comfortably, ready to see where Kristan’s adventure takes us next?




StoneKing by Donna Migliaccio

February 20th, 2018


The Gemeta Stone Book 3

Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC


Book Trailer


They call him StoneKing: the lord of four countries, the vanquisher of the Wichelord Daazna, the man who will restore his people to prosperity and peace.

But there is no peace for Kristan Gemeta. Already weighed down by the cares of his new realm, Kristan carries a secret burden – the knowledge that Daazna is not dead. He isolates himself in his ruined castle in Fandrall, where he struggles to control the destructive Tabi’a power that may be his only hope of defeating the Wichelord once and for all.

And there’s trouble elsewhere in his realm. His Reaches are squabbling in Dyer, Melissa and Nigel are experiencing heartache in Norwinn, and Heather’s command in Hogia is in jeopardy. Unaware of this turmoil, Kristan receives an unexpected gift – one that forces him, his knights, an inexperienced squire and a crafty young shape-shifter into a hazardous winter journey.

StoneKing picks up a short while after Fiskur – Kristan’s anointed Reaches are now governing his realm whilst he returns home to Fandrall to restore his birthright.

Yet the StoneKing himself is as broken as the realm, and as he tries to take the troubles from everyone’s shoulders, will he break under the strain? He is certainly a different man. In Kinglet he is a young, strong, altruistic and stereotypically heroic in character – which couldn’t be any further from the truth now. He is physically weak and mentally tested as he struggles to master his magic, whilst everybody else succeeds in trying his patience. It is hardly surprising when the rocky foundations of control crumble, given that Kristan’s Reaches lack the experience required to rule the realm in his stead.

An unexpected journey as a result of a delegation visit and an even more shocking gift is the only reason that Kristan discovers any of the ongoing turmoil; it only goes to show how tenuous his control is.

I am not going to lie – I loved seeing Kristan fall from grace in Fiskur; not that I would wish the trauma he went through on anyone, but there would have been very little scope for character development if he hadn’t. I’m not a huge fan of tropes, some more than others, and I actually love this series more for breaking the stereotype. Nobody is as perfect as Kinglet painted Kristan to be, so the newfound dark elements of his mind and perspective lend a greater depth to his character. At the moment, his all-in-all expression of negativity creates a lot of conflict and uncertainty, but I cannot help but feel it has some greater part to play later on. Who can say, maybe Daazna created the tumultuous monster that will be his undoing?

I would say it helped a great deal that I have read the previous instalments to the series only a short time ago, but I found StoneKing incredibly easy to pick up. Also, given that by the third book the reader understands the fantasy world built by the author, the pace of the book seemed quicker to me. Whilst the text was still beautifully and vividly descriptive, the need to impart detail and explanation was not so prominent and that enabled us to get on with the action. I am not one for spoilers, so you will just have to pick up the book(s) to find this out for yourself!

The one thing that surprised me about the book was the distinct lack of presence of our main antagonist, Daazna. Instead it appears that Kristan has more than one enemy and maybe their future role could become more significant than we know. Personally, I would have liked to see even one chapter dedicated to Daazna. I want to know his plans!! Even just to serve as a reminder that he is still alive!

Much like in Fiskur, we are introduced to a number of new characters. I love Serle, aforementioned “inexperienced squire”. He is only a child, bless him, but I would go so far as to say he is practically incompetent at being a squire. There were times when he irritated Kristan so much and was so deflated at the whole situation that I just wanted to mother him and tell him it was alright. I also loved Nolle and her cheeky side. Even knowing the wrath she would endure from the StoneKing, she still pushed the boundaries far more than she should have. But then she could, because he needed her Wiche power. Both of these characters made refreshing additions and I hope to see more of them in future books.

I cannot wait to see what the next instalment of the series is and what difficulties Kristan and his friends encounter. Having read the first three books and really enjoyed them, I can hand on heart say that I will be following the series through to the end, whenever that may be.

Buy Links: Amazon  ~  Barnes & NobleKobo  ~  iBooks

Donna Migliaccio About the Author:

Donna Migliaccio is a professional stage actress with credits that include Broadway, National Tours and prominent regional theatres.  She is based in the Washington, DC Metro area, where she co-founded Tony award-winning Signature Theatre and is in demand as an entertainer, teacher and public speaker.  Her award-winning short story, “Yaa& The Coffins,” was featured in Thinkerbeat’s 2015 anthology The Art of Losing.

Social Media: Website  Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest

Reading Lists

Reading List: March 2018 – aka March of the Arcs!

I cannot believe it is March already!!

Spring is just around the corner, although if the weather is anything to go by you wouldn’t know it!! In an ideal world, it would be the kind of weather to stay at home in and snuggle up with a book – wouldn’t you agree?!

Unfortunately, living in your own Fantasy world doesn’t pay the bills, so I have to dig out every single pair of gloves I own and wear them simultaneously to venture into the frozen wastes to earn my keep *sigh*

We all have to have something to look forward to when the day is done though. I’ve spoken recently about the mini reading slump I have found myself in lately, and I have been trying to come up with some ideas for how to beat it. I have decided a change of routine is probably a good start, so I came up with an idea called March of the Arcs! I have a few (plenty of) arc’s due for review, so not only is this the change of routine I think I need, I hope the boost to my rating on Netgalley should also lift my spirits!! Fingers crossed I’ll also get introduced to some lovely new books too!


Copper Sky

Copper Sky

I was kindly asked to review this title by the author, who had seen a couple of my other reviews for OpenBooks… so thanks for asking me! So far I have read the first chapter and  I can’t wait to get stuck in to the rest!




Finally I get to read the much anticipated third book of this series!! I have been DEVOURING the previous books in order to catch up and participate in the current blog tour. I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you all on the 19th March!




I think this was one of my first downloads from Netgalley and I really want to give it a try. Admittedly, it isn’t the sort of book I would read normally – poetry isn’t really my bag, but since it is such an iconic piece of literature I feel I have to have a go! If nothing else, I am sticking to the brief of trying something new and breaking routine!


Ekata: Fall of Darkness


This is also a Netgalley download that I have sat on for a few months and really need to read. It’s a kind of dystopian fantasy, as I recall… and both of these are genres I enjoy.


The Mansions of Murder

Mansions of Murder

This is my most recent Netgalley “Read Now” download, and it’s a historical fiction/murder mystery. I can’t say I have read anything like it before and I hope, if I enjoy it, I’ll be picking up more books in the genre. I am currently toying with the idea of trying Agatha Christie’s works, so this is my way of dipping my toes into the water, so to speak.


I hope you don’t mind that this list isn’t particularly detailed – it’s been a busy week for me here. If you have any questions or want to know more, please drop me a comment below!

For now though, have a wonderful Friday and a lovely weekend!!

Rebecca mono

Book Related

Cover Reveal: Breachers – Anthony Thomas

Hi everyone!!

Today I am pleased to be taking part in the cover reveal for Breachers by Anthony Thomas! I think the book sounds amazing and I feel more than sure I’ll jump at the opportunity to read it once it’s published in September this year!

For now though, here is the opportunity to take a sneak peek at the cover and find out a little more about the book:-



By Anthony Thomas
Fiery Seas Publishing
Science Fiction
September 18, 2018


Jason Conners is the last person you’d expect to run into a burning building, unless of course there was something inside worth stealing. Call him what you want: criminal, thief, asshole, but hero? Absolutely not. Jason’s questionable behavior and disturbing antics can only be attributed to one secret.

He can change the future, but with great power comes great responsibility? Hell no. His ability makes him the best thief in the city, and nothing is off-limits. Until Jason’s carefree attitude gains the attention of the Rogues, and the government.

The Rogues want him to stop catastrophic events from taking place, and the government has their own agenda. When the hunt begins, Jason is caught in the crosshairs and learns that breaching is not as limitless as he thought.

Can this anti-hero give up a life of easy money and become the savior the Rogues need, or will it cost him everything—even his immortality?


Doesn’t that look fantastic?! I had read the book synopsis prior to the cover reveal on the publisher’s website and was interested at that point, but I know that seeing that on a bookstore shelf would definitely catch my attention!

What do you think? Is this a book that would catch your eye? Want to find out a little bit more?


Anthony Thomas

About the Author:

Anthony Thomas settled in the city of sin, though part of him will always remain in the small farming town in Northern California. When he’s not hunched over a keyboard, Anthony enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter and two dogs.

Social Media:




Reading Lists

Reading List: February 2018

February is my favourite month of the year.

Yes, it’s usually cold and wet; dark and drizzly…. but the days begin to stretch out a little longer. The drive home after work will not be punctuated by street lamps for much longer. Before long, we will be able to bask in the evening sunshine on the beach!!

beach flip.gif

Source: Giphy

Okay, I am being a little too optimistic here, but you see my point. The New Year (and warmer climes) are on the way. Maybe not here, but somewhere…?

Maybe I should get back to the REAL reason why February is my favourite month – because it’s my birthday soon! I’m still of an age in which I look forward to birthdays, instead of trying to forget about them. I don’t have any special plans, but there’s always the chance of one or two bookish gifts, so I’m in!!

As February is my favourite month, I have decided that the majority of my books to read are from my favourite genre – Fantasy! Shall we take a look at the books I’m reading this month? Just call me your fairy Godmother and say no more – because your wish is my command!


Kinglet – Donna Migliaccio


I first became aware of this series when I took part in a Blog Tour for the second book, Fiskur. I posted an excerpt and enjoyed reading it myself, but due to other commitments I didn’t have the time to pursue picking the first book up. Now I am pleased to say I do have the time, and Fiery Seas Publishing sent me an ebook copy when I made the request.


Fiskur – Donna Migliaccio


At the time of making the request for Kinglet, I was also sent Fiskur too! I also happen to know that the third book of the series is being published soon, so I wanted to read both of these books ready. I hope to be signed up to the blog tour for StoneKing!


The Torcian Chronicles – P. J. Reed

The Torcian Chronicles

I’m checking out The Torcian Chronicles this month as I am taking part in a Blog Tour for this book beginning the 1st March. I’ll admit this is the first I have heard of the author, despite having a number of works, including poetry and short stories. I have high hopes for the book and I can’t wait to let you know my thoughts!


Living On A Rainbow – Calvin Wade

Living on a Rainbow

This is my non-fantasy read of the month, and it addresses a more important topic – mental illness. I was blown away by the sample I read, and I expect I’ll have this book gobbled up in a matter of a few days once I pick it up!


A Darker Shade of Magic – V E Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic

So… I have FINALLY decided to jump on the bandwagon and see what all the fuss is about. I see retweets of Victoria’s posts on Twitter all the time as she is so popular amongst bloggers! There seems to be such a buzz about her books, so now I just have to find out what they are all about!

Divider mono

So, that is my reading list for this month!!

Have any of you read any of these books? If so, what did you make of them? Would you recommend them to a friend?

As always, I love to hear from you!

Rebecca mono

Author Interviews

Author Interview: Susan Sage

Good morning everyone – I hope you are all having a lovely day!

Some of you may know that I shared my review of A Mentor and Her Muse, written by Susan Sage yesterday. Thank you to those that have had the opportunity to read the review. If you haven’t checked that out already and want to take a look, you can find that post (HERE)!

As always, I like to give authors a chance to have their own time to talk about their book; I think it is only fair, in fact. Susan has kindly dedicated some time to just that purpose, so thank you very much!

So, without further ado, I’ll hand over to Susan, and what her thoughts are in reply to some questions I had after reading A Mentor and Her Muse:-


What or who was your greatest influence in terms of inspiration for the book?

Somewhere I read that a good way to write a book is to ask yourself a question of the ‘what if’ variety. Ever since seeing Thelma & Louise, I’ve enjoyed imagining various road trips. What if I wrote about one? Who would I select for the journey? I thought of a student at a school where I once worked. She was the impetus for Taezha. I didn’t know the student well, but she used to tell me about how she loved writing and wanted nothing more than to become an author when she grew up. Her future was a promising one. I’ve always wondered what became of her and can’t help but think that books and writing are still an important part of her life. That I was able to help foster her interest in literature helped me get up every morning and go to a stressful job in a public school in a poverty-stricken district. Also, my oldest sister was a teacher in the inner city of Detroit back in the late 1960s. I was very impressed by her caring and compassionate nature. She was the sort who went above and beyond with students. However, I don’t think she ever took a student on a road trip – at least not of the sort that Maggie took Tae on. More than half the fun of writing fiction is in taking biographical bits of those you know and transforming them into your own creations.


What is your Ideal time and place to write? Do you have a routine?

An ideal time and place would be to write in a large, book-lined home library/office while seated at a large mahogany desk. My ideal time would be after midnight. However, I’m a morning person, so in actuality, that’s when I get my best writing done. I do write in my home office, but it’s a small one. Lately, I only seem to be able to write in my somewhat broken down reclining chair. It overlooks a lovely, large Maple tree. Seems like I’ve always needed to be near a window when I write… I wish I had a better writing routine! Four days a week during the 9-month school year, I try to write in the evenings – usually for an hour or so. Doesn’t always happen…On my mornings off work, I spend the mornings writing and afternoons revising (that’s always my plan, anyway). I’ve always been the most productive in the summer.


Which character do I relate to the most and why?

It would have to be Maggie. Like me, she longs to spend most of her time writing, doesn’t like driving in traffic, and has insomnia. But she’s got way more issues than I do: she is haunted by her past. She doesn’t mind her life so much when she is mentoring and maybe imagining herself as a muse. While I enjoy mentoring, I don’t consciously think about becoming anyone’s muse! Also, her relationships with family and others are way different from my own. She felt way more judged by her parents and older sister than I ever did. She tries to lead a quiet life, but it doesn’t work out for her. What I like about my life right now is that it is a quiet one…Still, like Maggie, I need the stimulation of travel, of fully embracing life, even if that means having to feel all the bumps and potholes! The most autobiographical parts in the book are depicted in Maggie’s journals from her years growing up in Detroit.


Both Maggie and Tae are complex characters. What do you think is Maggie’s main motivation for taking Tae under her wing?

Maggie wants to rescue Tae from a life which she’s certain will not allow Tae to develop as a writer. She meets Tae at an incredibly lonely, difficult time in her life. Relationships with men haven’t worked out, she doesn’t have children, plus she’s going through menopause. Tae makes her feel alive like few others are able to, so Maggie is hardly an altruistic mentor. Still, she truly enjoys taking Tae places, especially to Tae’s first poetry reading or an art gallery. She doesn’t have any children, and as you find out later in the book, she discovers the pros and cons that go along with the role of parenting. At times I felt like Maggie had more to learn from Tae than Tae did from her. Hard to say who the real mentor was – who the real muse!


There are sensitive issues touched upon in the book, in particular the racial inequality and discrimination experienced in the not-too-distant past. What impact do you think this subject has on the book and on the characters within?

While Maggie was raised in Detroit, she went to a school where integration was forced: black students were bussed to the all-white school she attended. As a girl, she didn’t understand why blacks didn’t frequent an upscale department store. She lived a mile away from the Detroit riots. Although Maggie always lived near blacks, she was never a part of their world. She saw through the particular lens of white privilege. Decades pass and she finds herself trying to immerse herself in a world she thinks she understands. She is saddened by the poverty of the segregated area where she works in Flint. Maggie would like nothing better than to rescue Tae from feeling the slightest hint of discrimination, and of course, she can’t. She struggles with being a privileged, liberal white woman. Her journal entries show not only her awareness of racial inequality but her attempt to deal with white guilt which carries over into Flint in 2012: she has naïve hopes that by taking Tae on a summer road trip she’ll be able to release herself from the burden. She is surprised by the looks she and Tae get in restaurants; she hasn’t thought through how Tae will feel in the all-white lodge in Hocking Hills. She doesn’t understand Quintana very well, nor Quintana’s reaction to her. Early on, Tae has little regard for Quintana or her ‘sisters’ (except the sickly Tamala). She wants to be free of the difficulties of living in poverty, of being bi-racial. When she realizes the cost of being controlled by Maggie, both on the road and even once they are living with Tyler, Tae re-evaluates her relationship with Quintana and realizes some of the positives. Quintana wants to place her trust in Maggie, but Maggie betrays her by absconding with Tae. You wonder when or if she’ll ever open her door again to a white woman!


A Mentor and Her Muse is an enjoyable journey with an array of complex, but equally relatable characters.

For anyone interested in obtaining a copy of the book, you can find the required links below:-

A Mentor and Her Muse


Open Books



Author Interviews

Author Interview: Steve Campitelli

Hi everyone!!!

As you may know, I recently undertook reading The Fall as a part of my January TBR, and I am excited to be bringing you my thoughts and review of the book tomorrow!

I always like to give authors a chance to talk about their own books, and today is no exception. Steve has very kindly taken the time to answer some questions I had after reading The Fall:-

Firstly, can you tell us a little about yourself.

I was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, the setting for the book. I’ve lived most of my life here, apart from a 6-year stint living and working in Japan. I’ve been involved in education for 30-odd years in a few forms, and have also been working with text and editing work for about 15 of those years. I’ve always been a movie and reading junkie – the sort of idiot who likes catching the train to work as it gives me reading time. I am open to most genres but reserve a special place for post-apocalyptic, and I always knew that when it came to writing a book, it was going to be post-apoc!


What inspired you to write The Fall?

What inspired me to write The Fall? I grew up in the 70s and that era gave us some classics in post-apocalyptic, sci-fi and disaster movies like Planet of the Apes, The Omega Man, The Poseidon Adventure, Rollerball, Logan’s Run, Soylent Green – these movies influenced me hugely. Later on, came George Miller’s Mad Max 1 and the second instalment in that series, Mad Max 2 The Road Warrior, was a pivotal movie for me, a real turning point. I found it visually stunning with a classic storyline, and it was significant as it was also an Australian movie – it showed we could make these types of stories too and, perhaps subconsciously, I took something out of that. I thought then, as I do now, it is almost the perfect movie, and it planted a seed around post-apoc stories that influenced The Fall some 30 years later. That notion of the last people standing, island of calm in a sea of danger that Mad Max 2 portrayed so beautifully, I tried to echo in The Fall with Kulin Wallcom, an oasis of safety in the nightmare wasteland. The Omega Man remake I am Legend was another influence. I’ve always been drawn to the faster and for me more terrifying quick infected beings, such as those found in I am Legend and 28 Days/Weeks Later, as opposed to slow, shuffling zombies. I wanted to write something which combined those elements. I hope I got it right!


Do you think it’s possible that some of the technology available becomes a reality?

This is great question and the answer is yes, absolutely, some of the tech in the story will be a reality and in fact, already is. I wanted to write a close-future story that contained elements of the recognisable and known to us, plus future tech, but I didn’t want it to be ‘magical’ and to dominate the story. I wanted it to be grounded in reality, to just be there and almost taken for granted, like we do the tech we have now, so I needed it to be very believable and logical and used in an everyday way. The BACC suit body armour and the ultra-strong materials it’s made of already exist and are being used, not quite as presented in the book. Other things such as coagulant spray, the tech portrayed by the ‘medeval’ (early ID of illness, remote diagnosis), driverless transports, virtual keyboards all exist and are being used now. The highlight tech piece in The Fall is the 360, featuring the virtual wrap-around screen in front of the face, which doesn’t exist as yet, but the technological basis for it does. I had this notion that future communications technology would transition from the hand-held phone to wearable tech positioned around the head and activated in front of the face. I drew on the tactile-virtual objects featured in movies such as Minority Report and Ironman, and essentially fused that with app technology of mobile phones. The technology for ultrasound-based tactile or touchable virtual objects exists now, so it seems a logical step for communications tech to go in that direction – it’s augmented/virtual reality. Another one which exists now is nano technology – the future of that is very exciting and real.


In terms of the infected and the mutations, was any research required before you wrote the book? If so, what did you look into?

In terms of the infected and what the virus might do, yes, I did quite a fair bit of research. I was presenting an unreal viral agent (the Jackson Virus) but I wanted to write things supporting it which would hold up and be believable as part of the world I was trying to establish. So I did a fair bit of reading on science, tech and medical websites and government CDC-type sites, on viruses, contagion, pandemics, procedures, nomenclature, physiology, emotional contagion, aggression, addictive drugs, ‘turning’ off infection at the cellular level – the types of things I have written about in the book are grounded in the things I have read and then taken up a few levels with a few liberties, health, tech and reality-wise. It was also important for me to write at least partially from the infected ‘perspective’ – to explain them and to make them more real as opposed to just being targets for the non-infected. I wanted them and the discussion around them to be more nuanced, so it was important to really ground the whole thing in believability.


The setting of the book is a post-apocalyptic Australia – why did you choose this setting?

Why did I choose post-apocalyptic Australia? I’ve probably already partially answered this in question 2 with the influence and appeal of Mad Max 2; I just love that dusty, wasteland setting. The Prologue of the book is set in The Mallee, a dry, hot wheat farming area hundreds of kilometres from Melbourne in north-west Victoria, much like the setting for MM2 in many respects. It’s a place I visited a few times as a child as my mother had good friends who had a farm there, and to get there we had to take an overnight train – it just felt like the end of the world; an appropriate place to start the apocalypse! When I first started writing the book, the Prologue was set in China at the base of a shale mountain and I was doing all this reading on it and I suddenly stopped and asked myself why was I setting the story in a place I knew nothing about? I then resolved to stick to what I know, so the Prologue transferred to rural Victoria, and the main part of the book, which was always going to be Australia not China, I set in an area familiar to me, south-east Melbourne. That notion of using familiarity also explains the Japanese angle: my wife is Japanese, I lived there, and the language peppered through the book is a reflection of that. There’s a lot you can do with research, but there’s also a lot to be gained from who you are and your experiences.


I get the distinct impression that The Fall is to be a part of a series. Any news on a next book?

Yes, The Fall Conversion is the first in what I intend to be a three part series. I am working on book 2 now, Reversion, which rewinds back to 2050 at ground zero with the virus’ namesake Dr Riley Jackson, before coming back to 2052 in the second half with John Bradley again as the feature. I hope to get it out mid-2018, but realistically, it’s probably going to be later in the second half of the year. The third part, Redemption, will be the resolution of the story. I hope you can be there for the ride.

The Fall

S.T. Campitelli



A huge thank you to Steve for his time with the interview! If you’d like to find out more about the book, then please keep an eye out for my review, which is being posted tomorrow! I hope to see you there!

Reading Lists

Reading List: January 2018

Hi everyone! *waves emphatically*

January is here! The blogging/reading records are wiped off the slate and it’s time to start all over again.

I started the blog last year and I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it! Having taken a wee step back over Christmas to spend time with family and wind down, I am ready to throw myself back into the deep end and get stuck in!

Not only am I excited because I had a couple of late review requests to squeeze in, I GOT TWO REQUESTS IN ONE DAY!! There’s my first record of the year sorted!

I truly am flattered that people take the time out of their day to ask me to review their books. I know that it benefits you, but out of the many, many… many blogs out there, the fact you have taken the time to look at mine still astonishes me. So thank you – to everyone.

So,  I have a busy month ahead of me…


Snobbity Snowman – Maria Bardyukova & Quiet Riley

Snobbity Snowman

Goodreads – Snobbity Snowman

I was approached by the author to review this children’s picture book back in December, and I fell in love with the idea straight away. I enjoyed reviewing another book last year aimed at the younger generation (although not QUITE so young as this one), and I figure, why not take the opportunity to read and review the kinds of books from my childhood that made me the reader I am today?

Given the time of year, (I am listening to storm Eleanor raging outside my window as I type), I think it couldn’t be more appropriate!


The Fall – Steve Campitelli

The Fall

Goodreads – The Fall

This is the first of the late submissions to my reading list. I have read books of a similar nature before, such as Bad City by Matt Mayr and I am also listening to The Stand by Stephen King and really enjoying that too! Whilst this has no elements of horror like King’s novel, based on experience, this should be something I really enjoy!


A Mentor and Her Muse – Susan Sage

A Mentor and Her Muse

Goodreads – A Mentor and Her Muse

I received this request on the same day as The Fall, on the 1st January and accepted as I was intrigued by the psychology aspect of the characters implied in the blurb. The fact that the main character is also a “frustrated writer” makes me suspect strong development – after all, it takes one to know one… or so they say. I’m still waiting for the digital copy of this book, but with the promise of it being sent through soon, I have added it to this month’s list. – Dane Cobain

Goodreads –

I managed to make a respectable start on this last month, but Christmas happened and it ended up on the back-burner somewhat. Again for this month, the same thing applies as all my requests get priority. Fingers crossed I’ll get to finish it this month, get my review on Netgalley and get my rating score up a tad. It’s looking very sorry for itself at the moment – which is what happens when you get excitable and take on more than you can manage…


ReWired – S R Johannes


Goodreads – ReWired

Again, much the same for this one. I downloaded this from Netgalley and I need to get my review (and rating) up. This also follows a technology vibe, which is something I haven’t really read much of since reading Aaru by David Meredith in November.


The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton

The Miniaturist

Goodreads – The Miniaturist

This is the only paid book I have on the list for this month, and I have tagged it onto the end for a reason – motivation to get reading! I recorded and watched the BBC’s TV adaptation of this book on New Year’s Eve and fell in love with it straightaway!! This book was quite a bit further down the reading list and wasn’t due to be read for some time yet, but I’ve shamelessly bumped it up the list, because I can.

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So there you have it – what books are you starting the year with? Have you set your reading challenges? How many books are you attempting to read this year?

Rebecca mono

Author Interviews

Author Interview: David Noe & Laura Loolaid

Hi all!!

Today’s is a quick post! As promised – I am sharing the link with you for the recent interview / discussion Laura and David kindly videoed for us about Seeker and the ChaosNova universe.

Within they discuss the creation of the Universe, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of their collaboration process.

So, here’s the link!!


Down the TBR Hole

Down the TBR Hole #9

Today, I am continuing to clear Goodreads of unwanted books (so obviously, I can just fill it up again!) For anyone who hasn’t come across the tag before (in which case, where have you been?), here is a refresher on what this entails:-

This meme was started by Lia @ Lost in a Story. Here is how it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here are the next ten books on the TBR up for review:-


1 & 2   Worldwaker and Hometaker by Dean Wilson

Goodreads – Worldwaker

Every victory is its own defeat. General Rommond’s efforts to amass technological superiority over the enemy has resulted in the creation of a weapon that could destroy everything, and a faction just mad enough to use it.

The Armageddon Brigade has awoken from its deep slumber, and it seeks to wake the world with it. Attracting the brightest, and most unstable, of minds, this splinter group of the Resistance has become the greatest thorn in Rommond’s side.

The Resistance and the Regime must unite to defeat a foe that answers to neither of them. Yet their deep divisions and long-held suspicions threaten to end the Great Iron War once and for all—by ending everything.

Goodreads – Hometaker

The Resistance races against time to complete the missile-launcher known as the Hometaker, capable of opening a gateway to the land the Regime came from, and exposing the Iron Emperor for all the evils he has done.

Everything rests on the secrecy of the mission, but from day one tongues are wagging. The atmosphere is like dynamite. An overheard word could light the fuse. With no time left on the clock, General Rommond is forced to make an audacious plan: finish the construction of the Hometaker on the move, driving straight towards the enemy, who have assembled in unimaginable force.

The Great Iron War is coming to an end. It’s all or nothing—their world or ours.

I started this series this year and whilst I enjoyed the first few books, it has lost its appeal for me. I think the foundation plot is excellent, but in trying to up-the-ante the books become so farfetched and at the same time manage to be repetitive, the series loses its sparkle. I mean, who starts a war and has a spare blimp tucked up their sleeve, you know, just in case the giant submarine just happens to be sabotaged and run out of air?

Oh, you DO?! It’s just me then…

Verdict: Go


3  The Thief Taker – C S Quinn

The Thief Taker

Goodreads – The Thief Taker

The year is 1665. Black Death ravages London. A killer stalks the streets in a plague doctor’s hood and mask…

When a girl is gruesomely murdered, thief taker Charlie Tuesday reluctantly agrees to take on the case. But the horrific remains tell him this is no isolated death. The killer’s mad appetites are part of a master plan that could destroy London and reveal the dark secrets of Charlie’s own past.

Now the thief taker must find this murderous mastermind before the plague obliterates the evidence street by street. This terrifying pursuit will take Charlie deep into the black underbelly of old London, where alchemy, witchcraft and blood-spells collide.

In a city drowned in darkness, death could be the most powerful magic of all.

Doesn’t this just sound so dark and delicious?! I am a huge champion of historical fiction, in case any of you are unaware, so this is right up my street. I had half forgotten I added this to the list. Now I’ve seen it again, I’ll have to add it to the actual reading list I am working from… and probably near the top!

Verdict: Keep!!


4  The Feedback Loop – Harmon Cooper

The Feedback Loop.jpg

Goodreads – The Feedback Loop

Stuck in a virtual dreamworld called The Loop, a man named Quantum Hughes struggles to free himself from a glitch that forces him to live the same day on repeat. His life changes when a mysterious letter arrives one morning from a woman named Frances Euphoria, the first human player he has made contact with in a very long time. Once Frances appears, members of a murder guild known as the Reapers begin surfacing in The Loop, hoping to capture Quantum or worse — kill him. To further complicate matters, The Loop itself is doing everything it can to stop Quantum from finding the hidden logout point by turning everything in the virtual dreamworld against him.

With time running out, will Quantum break free from his digital coma before he’s captured or killed by the Reapers? Who is Frances Euphoria, and what does she actually know about how long Quantum has been trapped?

Technology meets Groundhog Day.  I like it. I’m trying to read a little more in the science-fiction branch, and at less than 200 pages, I think I can manage this no problem!

Verdict: Keep


5  Red Sister – Mark Lawrence

Red Sister

Goodreads – Red Sister

I was born for killing – the gods made me to ruin.

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth. Sweet Mercy hones its novices’ skills to deadly effect: it takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist.

But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls as a bloodstained child of eight, falsely accused of murder: guilty of worse.

Stolen from the shadow of the noose, Nona is sought by powerful enemies, and for good reason. Despite the security and isolation of the convent her secret and violent past will find her out. Beneath a dying sun that shines upon a crumbling empire, Nona Grey must come to terms with her demons and learn to become a deadly assassin if she is to survive…

I loved the Broken Empire series. On that and faith alone, I decided to get a copy of this book, in the hope it will be just as good as his other books. I’m sure it will!

Verdict: Keep


6  Blue Skies – Matthew Mather

Blue Skies

Goodreads – Blue Skies

Olympia is a high-powered New York advertising executive with perhaps the chance of a lifetime when she lands the biggest account of her life – the new Cognix synthetic reality promotion. The stress, however, is killing her, and she desperately needs relief from the distraction of everything and everyone around her…

All of the Atopia stories begin at the same moment in time so that you can start by reading any of them, and then read the others in any order you choose to slowly reveal the mystery and terrifying danger that connects them all. Atopia is a near future world without borders that balances on the brink of post-humanism and eco-Armageddon.

I must have added this on a whim because I genuinely don’t even remember looking at this before. I have a lot of great books on the list so I’ll put this aside for now.

Verdict: Go


7  The Keeper of Lost Things – Ruth Hogan

The Keeper of Lost Things

Goodreads – The Keeper of Lost Things

A charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel of of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.

Lime green plastic flower-shaped hair bobbles—Found, on the playing field, Derrywood Park, 2nd September.

Bone china cup and saucer-Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.

Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidentally left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.

Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.

Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.

As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice’s redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?

Full of character, wit, and wisdom, The Keeper of Lost Things is a heartwarming tale that will enchant fans of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Garden Spells, Mrs. Queen Takes the Train, and The Silver Linings Playbook.

I can’t help but think that this sounds like a lovely read. To my mind, it’s the kind of book I expect you would want to read to wind down. It doesn’t sound like it will be heavy reading (and trust me, I read my fair share of those) but that makes a refreshing change once in a while.

Verdict: Keep


8  King Arthur’s Rise: The Forgotten Emperor Omnibus – Paul Bannister

King Arthur' Rise

Goodreads – King Arthur’s Rise

Paul Bannister’s epic Forgotten Emperor series tells of the legendary rise of the British Emperor. Books 1-3 are now available in this special omnibus edition.


Carausius’ father was a respected warrior chief, a leader of men. But just a boy, Carausius witnesses his violent death.

As the boy grows into a man and then a soldier, he dedicates himself to the cause of Rome.

As a centurion in the Empire’s mighty Army, he earns the respect of his men. But, just like his father before him, he is surrounded by enemies.

Will Carausius emerge victorious and earn the greatest title of all. Or will he meet an early, violent death, as his father did before him…?


The Roman fleet has been defeated and the threat of invasion removed.

Arthur Britannicus has taken the throne as Imperator – Emperor of Britain.

However, as the threat from Rome retreats, the intimidation from Saxon warlords intensifies.

Arthur must draw his sword and muster his forces again if he is to keep his island under British rule…


Britain has lost its battle with Rome and the city lies in ruins.

But the Romans, under threat in their homeland from barbarian invaders, have retreated.

Arthur Imperator must reunite the fractured British tribes to lead them back to victory – and reclaim the kingdom.

Can Arthur persuade Rome’s enemies to join him and create a strong enough force to take down Gaul?

Or will Maximian’s might once again prove too strong for the British people…?

The verdict I have come to has actually surprised me. As stated above, I love historical fiction, but I think I am going to take these off the list for now and maybe come back to them later on. It isn’t one of the periods of history I find myself drawn to, but maybe is something to explore in the future?

Verdict: Go


9  Hild – Nicola Griffith


Goodreads – Hild

Hild is born into a world in transition. In seventh-century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, usually violently. A new religion is coming ashore; the old gods’ priests are worrying. Edwin of Northumbria plots to become overking of the Angles, ruthlessly using every tool at his disposal: blood, bribery, belief.

Hild is the king’s youngest niece. She has the powerful curiosity of a bright child, a will of adamant, and a way of seeing the world—of studying nature, of matching cause with effect, of observing human nature and predicting what will happen next—that can seem uncanny, even supernatural, to those around her. She establishes herself as the king’s seer. And she is indispensable—until she should ever lead the king astray. The stakes are life and death: for Hild, her family, her loved ones, and the increasing numbers who seek the protection of the strange girl who can read the world and see the future.

Hild is a young woman at the heart of the violence, subtlety, and mysticism of the early medieval age—all of it brilliantly and accurately evoked by Nicola Griffith’s luminous prose. Recalling such feats of historical fiction as Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter, Hild brings a beautiful, brutal world—and one of its most fascinating, pivotal figures, the girl who would become St. Hilda of Whitby—to vivid, absorbing life.

This is the kind of historical fiction that I like, (as well as the Victorian period). There’s actually a lot of historical fiction on this list at the moment, I notice.

Verdict: Keep


10  Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer

Goodreads – Strange the Dreamer

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

I currently have the hardback of this sat on my bookshelf, and since getting a copy I have heard wonderful things about it. I can’t wait to dive into this either!!

Verdict: Keep


Have you read any of the books on my list or are they on your list too? Have I made any mistakes? Any comments are much appreciated!!

Rebecca mono