Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Lineup

Fire Blog Tour

Tour special: 100 followers giveaway

1 April - Blkosiner's Book Blog Guest post & giveaway
2 April - The Cult of Me Guest post
3 April Random Smiles Interview & giveaway
4 April Characters who didn't make it into Fire (will be posted here)
5 April - Books and Insomnia Review & giveaway
6 April - YA Book Crazy Guest post & giveaway
7 April Roxy (will be posted here)
8 April - The Cellophane Queen Post & giveaway
9 April Covers (will be posted here)
10 April Hello, Chelly Review, guest post & giveaway
11 April Brae (will be posted here)
12 April Writing Online (will be posted here)
13 April Fire, the original opening (will be posted here)
14 April Water sneak peek (will be posted here)
15 April - Team Nerd Reviews Review
16 April - Jessy's Bookends Review, interview & giveaway
17 April - From the Shadows I Review Review & interview
18 April - Team Nerd Reviews Interview
19 April - Team Nerd Reviews Guest post
20 April - Mad Geek Girl Review, Interview, giveaway
21 April - Starlight Book Reviews Review, guest post & giveaway

1 day to go

The Fire blog tour starts tomorrow! We will be kicking off with a guest post and giveaway over at the lovely Blkosiner's Book Blog! I will be posting daily updates with a link to the blog stop and highlights of what to expect, so keep checking back for more information.

Everything has been very busy for the past week: I'm mid way through editing Water, busy with wedding plans and (as if I didn't have quite enough going on at the moment..) I'm also buying a house! For the next two weeks, this tour will be a top priority though - just bare with me if posts are a little bit briefer (it will be because I'm busy researching carpets or finding poems for my ceremony!)

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Amazing Reviews

So in the past couple of days, Fire has been given two five-star reviews! Reviewer response in general has been amazing, but reading these two on the same day made me incredibly happy and I thought I ought to post a few highlights from them here:

Review One - Book Addicts Not-So Anonymous

"Easily one of the best books I've read this year.  Fire sucked down the rabbit hole and later spit me back out."

"I could not for the life of me, put book this book down."

"When you first meet Brae, you're just a little blown away (pun intended.)"

Check out the full review (with a few fun gifs) here

Review Two - Girl in the Woods

"This book left me with my mouth wide open and my eyes bulging out of my head"

"I'm crying again... Please don't do this to me anymore. I beg you... The book was way better than I expected. It was plain awesome. Come along and join the pool party. My tears are enough to make a pool now."

This one was also accompanied by a picture of Blair Waldorf, making it a real winner in my eyes. You can (and should) check out the full review here

Given that we are now only eight days away from the Fire blog tour, it's great to be getting such amazing feedback on the novel and has really made my weekend (along with possibly finding a house!) And to top it all off there's snow outside at the moment. Overall, I'm one very happy author!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


If I could be anywhere, right now, it would be on Tresco in the Isles of Scilly, a small group of islands off the coast of Cornwall. The weather is typically British - think mostly wind and rain, but also a lot of sunshine - yet the view out of the window is far more tropical. My very favourite place to write is curled up on the window seat of the cottage my family stay in, looking out across the sea. It was easily the inspiration for the Brizan Realm (the realm associated with water) in Fire and was also the image I was picturing when I first began to write the series.

The story initially began with Jasmine, barefoot on a beach, looking out to sea and waiting. When I began, she didn't have a name, and I wasn't even initially sure what she was waiting for, but waiting she was.

She was filled with a mixture of excitement and anticipation, but also fear and anxiety - because something had changed, something that would make the return she was awaiting bittersweet. She had a secret.

From there, the rest of the story emerged: Realms at war, Protectors with power over the elements, and Fire's second protagonist, Roxy.

I have been going to the Isles of Scilly since I was a young child, and have always found them a great source of inspiration, for various stories and scenarios. I think that is probably because they’re so cut off from the rest of the world – there are no cars on Tresco, but there are tractors and golf-buggies and lots of lots of boats. Going to sleep at night, I could look out the window and see the islands’ lighthouse, Bishop Rock, in the distance, the last landmark before America.

Tresco offered me a setting that was completely removed from my everyday life. It encouraged me, from an early age, to remember that the monotony of school and suburban life wasn't the only way to live, which is crucial for writing fantasy, which is so often about escapism.

Writers such as Michael Morpurgo (War Horse, Private Peaceful) have found inspiration on the islands and it also the focus of beautiful artwork.  I think that, as a writer, or artist of any kind, having a location like the Isles of Scilly, that you can draw on and picture on those dull days when you’re sat at your desk typing, is invaluable. It doesn't have to be a remote island retreat though; it could be anywhere that’s special to you.

The world I have created in the Elements of Power series is not as idyllic as the Isles of Scilly. It’s far darker, more fractured and flawed. But I like to think that, on a first glance, at least, it is visually as beautiful, and is very much somewhere that I would like to be.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Character Focus - Cinaer

The more I write about Cinaer - Fire's Helian antagonist - the more I love him. Don't get me wrong - he's the bad guy, I don’t like him, but I do absolutely love writing about him. When Cinaer is in a scene, anything can happen; usually, the darker, the better.

But he didn't start out that way. In fact, in my first draft of Fire, Cinaer didn't exist at all.

Avery was a triplet: she had a brother, Riley and a sister, Darcy. Darcy was quickly dropped in favour of a guy as a potential love interest for Roxy, called Josh. Josh and Roxy were partners in crime, and had great fun planning what they were going to do to the Arcans. But still, the Helian group didn't work. Josh was too nice and Riley just wasn't needed; having them there didn't make the story better and that, really, is the most important factor to consider about a character.

To fix it, I dropped both characters and brought in Cinaer.

Cinaer was a little bit like Josh, but I renamed him using a name from a previous, abandoned idea, since the name sounded so Helian (cin, as in 'cinders'). He was supposed to be bad, but in a Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl kind of way; still attractive, still redeemable. He remained this way until I had a draft perfected enough to show to someone else, although I still wasn't completely happy.

Then my first reader told me that Cin wasn't mean enough - he shouldn't be the bad guy in need of saving - he had to be the guy everyone needed saving from.

And it proved oh so easy to make him that way. Cinaer isn't redeemable, he isn't likeable - he is the extreme version of what it means to be Helian - so convinced of his own superiority, his sense of his own entitlement, that there isn't space for any goodness. Cinaer became less 'cinders' and more 'sin'.

Many of my favourite characters are like this: Umbridge from Harry Potter being a perfect example. I focused an entire chapter of my University dissertation on Umbridge - for me, she is far darker and more menacing than Voldemort, Lestrange or Malfoy. This is because she is completely fueled by her desire for power, it overcomes any sense of morals or ethics - any regime will do, no matter how corrupt. Stephen King called her "the greatest make-believe villain to come along since Hannibal Lecter"

Right from the opening chapter of Fire, Cinear is in opposition to Roxy. They have an uneasy truce for most of the first book, but it quickly deteriorates. And by Air? Well, you're going to have to wait and see. But I think Umbridge would definitely be on his side...

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Blog Tour!

Fire Blog Tour

The Fire blog tour will run from  Monday 1 April to Sunday 21 April 2013

Enter a world where it's normal to spark flames in your fingertips, or produce gale-force winds with a flick of your wrists.

But is control over the elements a gift, or a curse?

Roxy thinks that she is in control of everything: with flames flaring at her fingertips and an equally fiery attitude, what more could she need? Then she meets Brae, a prince from a rival Realm, who turns her assumptions of superiority upside down.

Jasmine has none of Roxy’s confidence or intensity. But she does have a secret - and Brae - and she’s not going to give either up willingly.

Offered for the tour:

  1. An e-copy (mobi or epub) of Fire for review
  1. An e-copy (via smashwords) for a giveaway
  2. An interview or guest post by the author (if desired)

If you would like to take part in the Fire Blog Tour, please email me at

Tour Stops

1 April - Blkosiner's Book Blog Guest post & giveaway
2 April - The Cult of Me Guest post
3 April - Random Smiles Review, interview & giveaway
4 April
5 April - Books and Insomnia Review & giveaway
6 April - YA Book Crazy Interview & giveaway
7 April
8 April - The Cellophane Queen Post & giveaway
9 April
10 April - Hello, Chelly Review, guest post & giveaway
11 April
12 April
13 April
14 April
15 April - Team Nerd Reviews Review
16 April - Jessy's Bookends Review, interview & giveaway
17 April - From the Shadows I Review Review & interview
18 April - Team Nerd Reviews Interview
19 April - Team Nerd Reviews Guest post
20 April - Mad Geek Girl Review, Interview, giveaway
21 April - Starlight Book Reviews Review, guest post & giveaway

Fire Blog Tour