Meet Sarah Cradit: author of The Storm and the Darkness

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I caught up with Sarah and asked her a couple of questions. This is what she had to say.

AW: Where were you born, where do you live?
SC: I was born in Washington state, and currently live in Oregon. However, I’ve lived all over the US.

AW: Are you married, children, animals?
SC: Married to my high school sweethearts 🙂 No kids, but we do have a dog, two cats, and two bearded dragons that keep us entertained.

AW: What do you do when you are not writing?
SC: Not much! Between my day job, and writing, it doesn’t leave much time for anything else. Like most writers, I read quite a bit, and I do love to travel.

AW: What other projects or books do you have lined up?
SC: I’m currently participating in the July Camp NaNoWriMo session, where I am writing the first draft of Book 6 of The House of Crimson and Clover Series (titled, The Starlight Awakening). In August, I will start the heavy edits for Book 3 (The Illusions of Eventide), with hope to publish by January.

AW: Your favorite author and books?
SC: I’m a huge fan of Anne Rice, and her novels have inspired my writing perhaps more than any other writer. My favorite book of all time, though, would have to be War and Peace. I consider it the framework for dimensional, complex characters. The character of Adrienne Deschanel was loosely based on Natasha.

AW: How do you come up with this amazing characters and conflicts? Like for instance how did you come up with The Storm and The Darkness?
SC: I’m always fascinated with complex character development. It’s interesting to me to try and dissect why people do the things they do, especially when they behave exactly the opposite of what you would expect. Everyone does things for a reason, and sometimes that reason can be interesting enough to build a story around. The Storm and the Darkness specifically came to me when I passed a house, off a wooded highway, that looked as if it was isolated from all the world. Then I imagined, what if someone, foreign and unfamiliar, ended up stranded there? Then what? From there, the story blossomed. That wooded area became an island in Maine, and that foreign and unfamiliar stranger morphed into Ana. The world slowly built up around it, and became what it is today.

AW:Where did writing start with you. When did you developed a passion for it?
SC: I started writing when I was 7, and never really stopped. I’ve always loved creation, and world-building, so for me, writing is a natural way to do that. For instance, the Deschanel and Sullivan Genealogy Project I’ve worked on has over 200 unique entries. For me to enjoy what I am writing, there must be a larger, deeper ecosystem beneath.

AW: Where can people get intouch with you.
SC: Blog: http://sarahcradit.wordpress.comFacebook: http://www.facebook.com/houseofcrimsonandcloverTwitter: https://twitter.com/thewritersarahGoodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6914411.Sarah_M_Cradit

AW: Where can people buy your books.
SC: St. Charles at Dusk
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Charles-House-Crimson-Clover-ebook/dp/B005RT0ZKE
BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/st-charles-at-dusk-sarah-cradit/1106036490
The Storm and the Darkness
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Storm-Darkness-Crimson-Clover-ebook/dp/B00DS86XU2
BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-storm-and-the-darkness-sarah-m-cradit/1115922678
Both books are also available on Smashwords, Itunes, Sony, Kobo, etc.

Thank you so much Sarah for taking the time to have a small chat. I wish you all the best with your writing and your novels.

Kind wishes everyone, and please support our authors.
Adrienne Woods

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Review: The Storm and The Darkness by Sarah Cradit

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Ana Deschanel fled New Orleans for Maine after a terrible mistake leaves the lives of everyone she loves in the balance. Almost immediately, she realizes that not all is at is seems on the remote Summer Island. After a terrible storm leaves her both injured and stranded with her neighbors, the St. Andrews brothers, terrible situations begin to unfold around them.

Cloud Words: gifts, Maine, alone, snow storm, rescue sex, conflict.

For this entry I’ve decided to read Sarah Cradit’s novel The Storm and The Darkness.
Wow, what a wonderful read. The story follows a couple of characters and what I liked was how Sarah did it. She divided very short chapters in between these characters and therefore didn’t jump in between character and left the reader confused.
Ana, Jon, Finn, Nicolas, Oz, Augustus, and Alex are the characters we follow.
Ana and Jon is two peas in a pod. They are both thinkers and not say much, closed off to others and hard to show their emotions to the people they care for. I’ve always wondered what was up with people like this, because I’m totally the opposite. Sarah has portray them so well and I really found myself in their heads, which cleared up a lot of things for me. Finn is Jon’s brother who loves the ocean and also fall in love with Ana. His the opposite of his brother and Ana sees him as her light, where Jon is her darkness. Nicolas is Ana’s cousin and also the only one that gets her. I have to warn you, he likes to curse, but an amazing character and I thoroughly enjoyed him. Oz, Collin, is her boyfriend from her childhood, that dumped her for being closed off and married her cousin, and Nicolas’ sister Adrienne. Oz also carries a deep secret with him that will get revealed in the story. Augustus is her father a very wealthy business man, and last Alex. I’m not going to say anything about Alex because I will give everything away.
The story is full of conflict, secrets, murder, problems with accepting one self and gifts. Yes, gifts.
Sarah is a gifted writer, who’s characters are different from one another as day and night, well crafted and as real as you and me. She write in accents with dialogue and I love that.

Now what I didn’t like about it. Some of her chapters, although small, don’t have any dialogue and consist of memories from the past and back story, which does slow the pace down a little bit for me.

Still, loved this book and I would recommend it to everyone that wants to read a good story full of human problems with a twist.

Sarah I thoroughly enjoyed it, and good luck with your writings.

Kind wishes,
Adrienne.

Meet the author of Resurgence: a short story collection: Sacha Valero

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So I’ve asked Sacha a couple of questions and this is what he had to say.

AW: Where do you live? Are you married, have children, or animals?
SV: I’m a single male and live in Costa Mesa, CA. I have no children or pets although I have nieces and nephews. I love dogs but sadly cannot own one where I live.

AW: What do you do when you are not writing?
SV: When not writing I hit the beach, read, cook, and exercise. I also determined that for the rest of the year I’m only going to be reading books that have not been reviewed and leaving one in the hope to help out other indie authors.

AW: Where did writing start for you?
SV: I started writing shorts for a girl I used to date and every day I’d give her another part of the story.

AW: How did you com up with the Resurgence collection, especially the different species we meet in this collection?
SV:As for the Resurgence series it started as smuggler/legitimate cargo hauler working with the seedy underside of society trying to undermine a very oppressive government. I realized though that it needed some back story and ended up explaining how humans first got to the Varna galaxy and how did it became so oppressive. The word Varna according to Hinduism is a caste system which is essentially how the galaxy is run.
I’m a big fan of astronomy and while I don’t personally believe our planet has been visited by aliens I absolutely believe intelligent life exists. I’ve named the different species based on whatever humans have named the planets that they’ve been found on i.e. the little orange Halon are from the moon Halon.

AW: What are your favorite book, authors?
SV: Favorite authors are Robert Heinlein, Carl Sagan, Asimov, and the other biggies of science fiction along with the brilliant historical fiction author Wilbur Smith. My favorite books are The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (Heinlein), Birds of Prey (Wilbur Smith), and The Bicentennial Man (Asimov).

AW: Where can people get in touch with you
SV: I can be reached through my website http://resurgenceseries.com/
Twitter: @SachaValero1
FB: Sacha Valero
Blog: http://sachavalero.blogspot.com/ —-This blog isn’t about writing it’s just my personal ramblings on current events and other whatnot.
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/SachaValero

AW: Other projects you are working on?
SV: I have two ideas for novels that I’m tossing around but I won’t begin those until I’ve finished with Resurgence which will be a while. One thing I really don’t like about a series is when a writer goes off and does something else be it a novel or short story. I really believe that you owe it to your readers to finish telling the story they’ve dove into before venturing off into other areas.

A NOTE FROM SACHA:
Again, thanks so much for the review and the constructive criticism.

Sacha

There you have it, another author. So please check out his sites, since there are more stories in the free arcs for fiewing, and grab your copies of the RESURGENCE Collection.

Till later, and kind wishes.
Adrienne Woods.

Review for a short story collection Resurgence by Sacha Valero

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Word Cloud: Varna Sapce Station, Galaxy, Xylone Techology, Uumshar, Chatoans, Halan, Arsus, Celestra, Tryloanians, Ah-Hiana, Bend time.

For my second review I’ve chosen a short story collection called Resurgence by Sacha Valero.
CONTACT is the first part, and stand at 51 pages. An easy read for Sci-fi lovers. Now I have to admit, I’m not a fan of Sci-fi but to my surprise I was pulled in to this one.
It follows a couple of crew member on an expedition to find other worlds. We meet Lawkins, Kaitlyn, Dr. Davis, just to name a few. Their ship foun and alien city, and when they explored the city, the crew came under attack. Sacha’s action scenes were done beautifully and you are hooked. A couple of important characters were killed during the first part, but that is what I like from a story, even if Sci-fi or fantasy, you need that bit of realism.
The first part end with Lawkins and a couple of rescue crew members being transported to safety, where they meet little orange creatures with huge green eyes.

The second part is LONG LOST COUSINS. It carries on where Sacha stopped at the end of part one, and is a mere 41 pages long. These short stories are easy to revour in a couple of hours.
We learn that the human race are no longer alone. We meet the Chitoan’s, a warrior race who’s first instinct is to attack.
The Varna Space station sits near the galactic centre and the story follows as such.
The Chitoan’s are threatened with the humans, and numerous attacks broke out between them, which the humans get the upper hand, but each time the Chitoans learn from their mistakes.
We get introduced to more characters, Lt. Thinley, Captain Willing (which was introduced in the first part too), just to name a couple. The missing explorer Hecules, a ship lost for six hundred years were finally found by the Varna Space Station. It’s crew still alive which leaves their captain, Jax more than six hundred years old.
We meet the Uumshar, a very peaceful race and get to see what happened to Davis that was taken in the Alien city in part one.
Sacha ends part two with another ship getting attack.

I just want to give it to Sacha, that his action scenes are really done great.
I only read the first two parts as that is what time allows me, and the Resurgence collection left me with a small feeling of Star Trek. It has that same structure and think fans of Star Trek might love this collection of stories.

Now what I didn’t like about the stories. Sacha lacks ability in the writing mechanics, especially his dialogue, which is written in one. There is no indication of breaks between characters speaking and it leaves the reader at times a bit confused. It would be an even easier read if that small part is fixed. He needs a good proof reader too for that little mistakes the author’s eye can’t easily pick up.
Now writing mechanics aren’t the end of the world and it’s something that can easily be fixed.

Even witht the things I didn’t like, Sacha is a really talented story teller and his imagination, once again, over exceeded my expectation. I’m definetely going to keep my eye on this author. He is a diamond in the ruff.
Sacha’s stories can be found on Smashwords and he has four free story arcs on his website http://resurgenceseries.com/.
Lovely story Sacha, and please keep an eye out for the next entry which is all about Sacha Valero.

Kind wishes,
Adrienne Woods
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Review on Paul Cude. Author of Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past

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MEET PAUL CUDE:

I’ve had a small interview on the Author of Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat of the Past and this is what he had to say.

AW: Where do you live?
PC: I live in the beautiful city of Salisbury in England, famed for its stunning cathedral and wonderful water meadows. Also, it’s only about nine miles away from Stonehenge.

AW: Your family and status?
PC: I’m happily married to my beautiful, kind and wonderful wife Rachel who works so hard, not only at her day time job, but at editing my books for me. Without her, none of this would have been possible. I have two fabulous children, and I’ve been lucky enough to look after them as they’ve grown up, right from when they were born, and I still do, even now. The eldest is ten, the youngest seven.

AW: Any animals?
PC: Sorry, no animals at the moment. We don’t live in a very big house, so space is at a premium, and it’s pretty crowded with all four of us, and what feels like a million books. Maybe in the future.

AW: Why did you choose the name Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past for your first novel?
PC: The whole story came to me in a dream one night, and in the dream, I could see the main character in his dragon form, with this very clear marking of a bent whistle, etched on his scales……hence his name…..Peter Bentwhistle. Whenever I think of him, that’s the first thing that pops into my head. As for the ‘threat from the past’, that’s more about the opening part of the book, that in my mind loops around and connects to the very ending, while still leaving a few unanswered questions for the readers to think about. All will be revealed, some in the not too distant future.

AW: When did you decide to become a writer/where did the passion for writing start?
PC: I can remember having a distinct passion for writing around the age of nine or ten. I used to be glued to comic books, and let my love and imagination for the Star Wars universe, then quite new, run away with me. But it was at about that time that I found my love of hockey, and so from then onwards all I ever wanted to do was chase the stupid ball about with the stick as part of a team. Much as I still do now, despite my age. As for my current writing, the dream came to me in the form of one long story in my head. I told my wife, and she insisted I must write it. At the time I just laughed her off. But over a period of months, I would dream little updates, or amendments to the story, so much so that in the end, I had little choice but to put it all down in words. First I taught myself to type, and that took about three months. After that, it was finding the time to get the words down on the page, which is still pretty much the same challenge today. Thankfully my family are very understanding, but really the only time I get to do much writing is in the evening.

AW: How did you come up with the story? All the detail of the laminium ball games, mantra’s, grotto’s, dragon cities, etc.
PC: Most of it comes to me while I’m asleep. I think a lot of the influences are just based around my life…….all the crazy things that zip in and out of my head. Hockey obviously plays a big part in the book…….who’d have thought, dragons playing hockey…..unreal. But the rest…I like to read a lot, so influences there are Terry Pratchett, the Harry Potter books, the Star Wars universe – I’m sure a great deal of what’s in my book can be traced back to all of these and more in some way, shape or form. I have a love of gaming, when I have time. I’ve played some online games in the past……..again, most have dragons and those kind of figures in them. Haven’t played for many, many, many months due to time constraints, family life and trying to get my next book finished. As well, on occasion, the writing, or the words, who knows which one, just suddenly takes over. It’s happened on a few occasions, I’ve sat down to start to write, and the words just flow out. You think half an hour’s passed, and you look up to see that it’s been nearly three, you’ve written three or four times what you’d hoped, and the story has either gone off at a tangent, or gone briefly in a different direction all together. Not once have I disliked any of the work that’s come out when this has happened.

AW: What other projects are you working on?
PC: In looking after my kids when they’re not at school, working at a different school as a teaching assistant, most of the cooking and cleaning, I’m trying to finish the next book in the series. The next book is called ‘Bentwhistle The Dragon In A Chilling Revelation’, and so far I’m on just over 190,000 words, and about a chapter and a half from the end. It follows on from the first one, with most of the same great characters, but what I’m really proud of are some of the new ones introduced. Often I’ve thought about which new character I like the best, and strangely, despite there’s always one I think outweighs all the others……I can never choose between them. As well as this, during the last three months, I’ve skipped ahead, due to some more of my dreams, and have written over 50,000 words of the third book in the series. So lots of writing, and linking all of the little things in each book, from characters to plot lines, together.

AW: I see that Bentwhistle is a series, how many books are you planning to write in this series?
PC: It’s hard to say. When I set out writing the first book……….I naively had it all planned out…..ten chapters, each of ten thousand words each. But from experience, I know that I, and probably everyone else, just can’t write like that…..so it’s hard for me to predict how long it will take me to get to the end of the story that I just have to tell. If I had to take a guess, I’d say six books at the moment. But it could be a book one way either side of that.

AW: Where can they find your books?
PC: My book is currently available as an ebook, free for a limited time from Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/286035 in most formats. It is also available on Amazon as a paperback as well as the kindle version. At the moment you have to pay for the kindle version, but hopefully in the next week or so, that will be free as well across all of the Amazon sites.

AW: How can people get in touch with you? Twitter, website, blog, face book page, goodreads etc.
PC: My book has its own website http://www.bentwhistlethedragon.co.uk/ I also have my own blog at http://www.thesoberhockeyplayer.co.uk/which includes all aspects of my life, writing, hockey, books, and anything that I’m up to. The Bentwhistle facebook page can be found at https://www.facebook.com/Bentwhistlethedragon?ref=hl and I’m always looking to interact with friendly new people on twitter. You can find me @paul_cude

AW: Favorite books from other authors? Just name a few.
PC: I’m a big fan of the Star Wars universe as I’ve already mentioned, so pretty much anything from the expanded universe there. As well, I enjoy reading books by Terry Goodkind, Dan Brown, Christopher Paolini, Trudi Canavan and Robin Hobb to mention but a few. But my favourite author has to be Terry Pratchett. The plot lines, characters and humour are just FANTASTIC! I urge you to read at least one of his books…..you will absolutely love it. The ones I like the best are all to do with the guards of Discworld. If I had to recommend one to book of his to read, and I’m finding that really difficult because there are so many that I love, it would have to be ‘The Fifth Elephant’. Even as I’m sitting here typing this now, I’m laughing out loud at one particular part of the book that always has me crying with laughter…..no mean feat. How many books have you read that can make you do that? Well this one does, and it’s not the only one of his. Anyhow………..read it and enjoy!

Thank you Paul and to all my readers, please show your support and get your copy of Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past.

Kind Wishes till next time,
Adrienne Woods

Review for Bentwhistle the Dragon in A Threat from the Past

676bdd98d460da39c9398f910c77e598d0b79d32-thumbWord Cloud: Dragons; nursery rings; laminium ball; mantra’s; grotto’s; enchanted necklace; dragon holiday camp; king’s guards.

As for my first entry I’ve chosen Paul Cude’s novel, and it’s all about dragons.

The story begins with a history lesson. It threw me off a bit when I realized at the end of chapter one that is was only a lesson, but Paul revealed it at the end of his novel why he started with George and the dragon.

Peter is the Main character and we follow him through and amazing underground world where dragons live. We get to meet his two best friends; Richie, a beautiful dragon with an attractive human body who likes to use her dragon strength. She’s a bit of a rule breaker and does it in such a way that she doesn’t get caught. Peter is secretly in love with her. Tank is his other friend, and like his name; he’s a block of a human who plays rugby and love everything connected to animals and plants. He works with mantra’s which is like spells, but just more complicated.
We experience a game of laminium ball, which is a dragon sport and visit the grotto’s when a close friend and colleague of Peter pass on.
Paul’s imagination creating this world went beyond my expectations.
The inner conflict Peter struggle’s with makes the reader connects with him on a very deep level.
The action and main plot comes in the form of Manson, a real evil and creepy guy that makes Peter’s live and work environment a living hell.
The end has an amazing twist and one I didn’t figure out till the end, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Now for what I didn’t like about the novel, and I do this with all my reviews.
The chapters are extremely long and due to Paul trying to show us everything from the world he created, some scenes felt stretched out and like an info dump. He tells a lot which slow the pace down during the first half of the book. Even due to what I didn’t like, I still recommend the Bentwhistle series to everyone that loves dragons, fantasy and those that like to explore something new. His imagination and story telling is enough to sell and buy the book.

Great read Paul and I wish you all the success with the Bentwhistle series.

You can find The Bentwhistle Dragon in the Threat from the past on Smash words.

Keep a lookout for the review on Paul Cude himself.

Kind wishes
Adrienne Woods

Welcome

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Welcome

Hi my name is Adrienne Woods. I would like to introduce myself and what I’ve planned with my blog.
This blog is purely to help out new authors. To get their books out there and to help them get more publisity.
I’m an author myself and my epic fantasy for YA known as the Dragonian series. The first book in this series are called Firebolt and it play off in a magical realm hidden on earth. I will post more about the Dragonian Series closer to the release date and will launch a giveaway on my blog.

As of new authors who would like to get their books reviewed, please feel free to leave me a comment and I will try my best to get it out there for you.

Please help me by following my blog and buy the books that will be up on here soon.
Support an author and lets keep books alive.

Regards,
Adrienne Woods.