Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Holy Smokes (...Batman...), I cannot believe that it has already been 5 years since I started my own book review blog. Seriously where did the time go?? Well it went to reading some amazing novels (and well some not so great ones too) and meeting the ever growing book blog community. Just want to say thank you to all the awesome, amazing and cool people who I have met through this site and others, who share the love of books and want to share it with the world. I also want to say Thank You to all the authors this year who took the time to participate in my Blogoversary event with an Interview and/or Giveaway.
Here's to another Great Year at Blood Rose Books :)
Oh and speaking of giveaways, today is the last day to enter, so get you name in :)
You can find a link to all the giveaways this year HERE

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

George R. R. Martin: A Feast for Crows

I'm going to go with the majority of the population knows that this book is part of the series and how can you really jump in at book four without reading the first three; Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords.

As the dust settles from the previous battles and everyone looks to see where everything will settle, the crows look to pick amongst the survivors for new allies, alliances and ways to gain control and rule the seven kingdoms. In the wake of the battles, new people will rise, fall, suffer and die, only time will tell who will survive the Feast of Crows.

When I first saw the title is made me think there was going to be even more death as that is what I think is implied but comparatively there are not as many as the other books. I think that Martin knew that he had to give the readers a break from all the heartbreak. It was interesting that Martin decided to start the novel off with brand new characters but I guess if you keep killing characters off (especially those that everyone likes), you need to add some new ones in, which is why you get a few more in this book plus some people who were just a side note in previous books have full chapters dedicated to them.

There seem to be a lot of main characters missing within this book and only a few chapters from some characters I have come to love (I have read the book after this and found out that Martin decided that he needed to divide this book into two books in order to tell the story better, which I will agree with now but at the time I was reading this I was like where did everyone go). For me this novel was all about the women characters. They had the most interesting storylines when compared to the men in this book.

I found I liked Brienne more and more in this book but if I have to read "A highborn maid of three-and-ten, with a fair face and auburn hair" one more time I'm going to start pulling my hair out. I want to go back and count how many times she says this sentence as it became so annoying by the end of the book. However, I am really drawn to Brienne's loyalty and never wavering from the task that she is given even if they seem impossible. She has so much honour that she puts all the other knights to shame but this can also be her downfall as well.

I think one of my favourite things in this books is it shows the power of manipulation that Cersie has over people and the plans that she tries to act out. Cersie knows what her powers she has and these mainly stem from her beauty and her body and while she is rash and quick to anger there is no one in this book that is good of as manipulator as her. Men and women no one is really safe from her manipulations once she starts, she really is not even safe from herself.

There is really only mention of the Dragons in this book we do not have any new information about what is happening across the sea and there is no information about Tyrian as well. Only that people are looking and searching for information of both. I know I was disappointed that Tyrain was not in this book, as I found I missed the humour that he provided but as stated above Martin could not have every character in this book.

Well only one more book to go before I have caught up on this series and can start watching the HBO one as I heard that it is quite good, though mixes some of the books together in the seasons. I'm actually surprised that Martin has yet to release the next book in this series as to how popular it is. I just hope it is before I read the last one so I do not have wait along with the rest. This series continues to intrigue and surprise me and if you are a fan of the surviving women in this series you will enjoy this book too.

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Author Interview: Angela Marsons

In the past year I have read some great mystery and thriller novels, however, my Favourite debut author within these genres was Angela Marsons. Her debut novel Silent Scream had the perfect mix of thrills, mystery, great characters as well as what felt like a true to life police procedural (I have also read her second book Evil Games with a review to come but it is great as well). Angela knows how to push the boundaries with the first two novel and each book is not a copy of the other (which we all know can happen in series).

Please Welcome to Blood Rose Books Today:

Angela Marsons

Your first works as an author were self-published, what was the process like from going from a self-published author to signing a four book deal with Bookouture? And speaking with your book deal, I know that it was for 4 D.I. Kim Stone novels but how many books do you imagine the series could go for?
My self-published books were stories that I wrote before I turned to crime, in a fictional sense of course! Both stories burned inside me as I have always been interested in exploring the complexities of relationships.  I didn’t actually try to market the books at all and had maybe a couple of sales each month.  I have been trying for over 20 years to share my work and Bookouture finally gave me a chance to do this.  I was originally signed for four books but am now signed for eight Kim Stone novels.  I have a Kim notebook where I write all my ideas for issues I would like her to explore so there are quite a few ideas to work through yet.

Your series featuring D.I. Stone is within the mystery/thriller genre which is a hard genre to get a following in as there are many well-known and well followed authors within it. How do you think that your novels differ from other authors within this genre?
Oh, good question. I can only really go on what readers have said which is they enjoy the odd splash of humour and the banter between the two main characters.  I think also because I spent many years writing character driven stories it is now second nature to really make the characters as full and realistic as I possibly can, even if they only have a small part.  I still have to know everything about them. 

What do you think are the essentials to make a great crime thriller novel?
I love to read crime too and for me I have to be behind the main character. I don’t necessarily have to like them but I have to understand them.  Another thing I look for is the posing of questions and answers.  One of my favourite books ever is Disclosure by Michael Crichton.  It’s the only book that caused me to call in sick for work as I couldn’t put it down.  After reading it once I had to read it again to understand how he had reeled me in so successfully.  I found that he would only answer one question once he had posed another that I absolutely had to know before putting the book down.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
I think I would struggle to write a horror book.  It is the genre that I am least attracted to reading as I can only read about blood and gore for so long before I am totally inured against it so I don’t think I could write a horror novel.

What I appreciate of your novels so far is that there is never just one case there are always more that require the Detective Inspectors attention, and to me this rings really true to an actual police section. What type of research have you done to ensure that the police environment is accurate?
I used to work quite closely with the police in my old job as a Security Manager but I also have the Police procedure book (PACE Regulations) on my shelf to make sure I get the offences and wording correct.  Anything I’m not sure of I check on the internet to make sure I’m getting the most current information.  I like to have a couple of cases in the books so that if the reader guesses the culprit of the main case there is still a little bit of mystery.

D.I. Kim Stone has found her refuge in salvaging and rebuilding old motorcycles is it you or someone you know that has the passion for motorcycles and restoration of them?
I used to ride a moped for many years but I don’t think that counts! I just knew that anything Kim did in her spare time would have to involve a puzzle of some kind because her brain never stops working and she finds it hard to switch off.  As soon as I thought about restoring old motorcycles I knew that was the right thing for her character.  I like that she rides brand new powerful motorcycles but likes to restore the classics.

In your novel Evil Games, you really put Kim mentally to the test with her battle against a Sociopath, why did you choose Sociopath over Psychopath? I’m attached to Kim as a reader was it hard to put her through that as her creator?
Blimey, that is a fantastic question.  I chose sociopath for a few reasons.  The first is that the association with the term psychopath tends to be that of a violent killer.  That isn’t the picture I had in my head for Alex.  Sociopaths exist in plain sight and are often charming. They are not necessarily killers but they want what they want and will do anything necessary to get it.  I wanted to pit Kim against someone equally as intelligent as she is and I wanted the battle to be more psychological than physical.  It’s interesting for me as her creator to push her character as far as I think I can go. 

Silent Scream and Evils Games are very dark themed novels what appeals to you about the dark and disturbing aspects of human nature?
I’ve always been interested in psychology and behavior.  As a child I wanted to understand the logic and reasoning behind people’s actions.  As I grew up this only intensified and I turned into a real people watcher.  I am totally fascinated by the workings of the mind and love to explore these subjects.  I think also that as I read factual books I am constantly haunted by the ‘ooh, that would make a great storyline ghost that sits on my shoulder.
Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share? I have to ask can you give us a little tidbit of what is coming up in book number three?
Yes, book three is called Lost Girls and will be available on 6th November.  In this case Kim is working against the clock in an intense kidnap situation where the families of two little girls are set against each other in an auction system for the life of their child.

What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new or old favorite).
There are so many books that I want to read but I’m particularly keen to get started on the Justice series by M A Comley.

I want to thank Angela once again for being part of my Blogoversary.I highly recommend her D.I. Kim Stone series as I do not think you will be disappointed with it, the series has become a must read for me and I am looking forward to the next book Lost Girls.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Interview & Giveaway: Emily Goodwin

During the past year I kept seeing a book called Stay by Emily Goodwin and I will admit the cover kind of threw me off a bit as a potential read for me (I'm not the biggest fan of romance novel or erotica novels which is what I thought it was). But I threw caution to the wind and picked up the book. Holy Crap my expectations were blown out of the water, it was such a dark contemporary read that I could not put the book down. This was my introduction to Emily Goodwin and I have not looked back :)

Please Welcome to Blood Rose Books Today:
Emily Goodwin

22837831If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why?
Co-writing with GRR Martin would be an experience, that’s for sure! I’m a fan of HEAs and love stories, and he’s, well, not LOL. It’d be so interesting to see what we’d come up with together.
In your Contagium series, it is all about fighting off the living dead, or otherwise known as Zombies. Zombies have become the new Vampire or werewolf (everywhere you look there is a new Zombie novel/TV show/movie out there) in the horror, paranormal and urban fantasy genres, why do you think that zombies have become so popular? What about the zombie apocalypse appealed to the writer in you?
12954989I actually wrote the story because I wanted to write a love story set in an apocalyptic setting. I personally like the appeal of finding reason to live when everything around you is dead. There is the fun gore, violence, weapon use, and survival skills in post apoc books, but seeing people find that reason to keep going is what drew me into the zombie genre, and I think others look for that too.

What do you think takes a book from just a good scare or thriller to a horror novel? Are there certain elements that you think need to be there to classify a book into the horror genre?
I think that’s a tough thing to categorize, because what scares one person doesn’t scare another. I never intended to write “horror novels” when I wrote the Contagium books, which is very surprising to a lot of people. I do think one thing thrillers and horror novels alike need  is unpredictability and knowing that no one is actually safe—the book world of a horror novel is just as dangerous as it’s real life counter part and anyone can die at any moment.
You began writing your novels in the UF / Horror genres with you Contagium series, Guardian series and Beyond the Sea series but you have most recently released a novel in a contemporary genre, with your novel Stay. What inspired you to change genres?
I’ve always written a romance story in a certain setting (paranormal, mermaid/under the sea, post apoc…) and I just go where my muse takes me. I was a little intimidated by the contemporary genre before, but when the idea for Stay hit me, I couldn’t NOT think about it. The characters begged to be written about, and I ended up loving that book so much. I don’t like to label myself as a genre writer, other than saying all my books will feature some sort of romance because I’m a hopeless romantic at heart.
What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
Anything historical would be the hardest, and I have to give so much credit to those who write in that genre. There is a lot of fact-checking and making sure you get things right for the time period.
I really enjoyed your novel Stay, it had me hooked from the first few pages, however, Stay has been described as being in several different genres, Dark Romance, Erotica and from me personal contemporary thriller and these titles can affect who picks up your book to read it. What genre do you believe that your novel Stay belongs in? Were you surprised to find out that Stay has been banned not once by twice?
13637290I consider Stay a dark romantic thriller. The romance between the two main characters drives the plot and eventually leads to the big turning point towards the end of the book (no spoilers! J) Without the romantic relationship, Adeline would have lost her drive to keep going, so the romance is really important. I don’t consider it erotica, but I can see how the subject of sex trafficking can make it so to some people. I was shocked to see it get banned the first time. I didn’t know books could get banned for dark subject matter that didn’t push extreme boundaries (like incest or child porn). I know Stay is a tough read, but I do not feel it was right to ban it at all. Readers have the right to read whatever they want.
13572568Your novel Stay is about human smuggling/trafficking/forced prostitution, what type of research did you do for this novel?
I spoke with FBI agents from my area who’s focus was on busting human trafficking operation and did a lot of reading on the subject from survivors of trafficking and from organizations that help victims. It’s scarily shocking to know how common this is, especially now that I have a daughter and another on the way!
All of your novels within each series have some dark aspects and elements not just in human nature but dark themes as well, what appeals to you about writing about the darker side of things?
25500532Life is dark. Humans have a dark side. It’s easy to avoid it and look for the sun, but sooner or later the darkness comes out and we have to face it. I like to push my characters to the breaking point and see how they handle the dark times, and how they come out better and stronger. Because without the dark, we wouldn’t appreciate the light.
Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
Yes! My next book is called Never Say Never, and is my favorite book I’ve ever written! It’s a raw, emotional NA romance about finding your own happiness and second chances.
72193 What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think should be a must read for everyone?
The entire Harry Potter series. If you haven’t read these books, I don’t know how you are functioning in life. It’s more than just fantasy. The books cover so much, from friendship to doing the right thing instead of the easy thing. I really think all the books should be required reading in school!

I want to say Thank You once again to Emily for being part of my blogoversary. Today is actually the release day of her latest novel NEVER SAY NEVER and Emily has very kindly offered up a giveaway (INT) for her newest release, so make sure to enter the rafflecopter gieaway below.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Author Interview & Giveaway: Kate Corcino

I am always on the search for debut authors year after year and I love featuring the in my Blogoversary Event. This year I was fortunate enough to find Kate Corcino and her novel Spark Rising. Kate was able to find new elements and ideas in the ever growing dystopia genre which is why her novel stood out for me. I am very excited to see where she takes the series.

Please Welcome to Blood Rose Books Today:

Kate Corcino

If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why?
Honestly, without even thinking, I’d immediately answer Anne McCaffrey. She was an author I began reading in the fifth grade, and I continued to read (and re-read!) into adulthood. She created so many worlds and characters that I immersed myself in for most of my life. I can’t imagine anything more satisfying than being able to experience that creative process firsthand.

You released your debut novel, Spark Rising, in late 2014. Can you tell us the process you went through to get it published? Any advice for other authors out there looking to have their works published? When did you finally realize that you had made it?
Originally, I’d planned to go the traditional publishing route. I had agents interested, though I kept hearing again and again that dystopia was a hard sell. Then I spoke with friends who were indie authors, and I did some research, and I decided that was the route for me. I found an excellent professional editing team with amazing references, hired the best cover artist I could find, and just went for it. Really, that’s the key. Do your homework, whatever the route you choose, and then throw yourself into it whole-heartedly. Don’t cut corners. Do it right, even if you have to save money first or invest years into it.
As far as when I realized I’d finally made it...hmmm. Have I? Ha ha! Honestly, I think I realized I had something special when the first reviews came in and readers who didn’t know me were so overwhelmingly positive. And then when Spark Rising began winning awards...that was when I started to actually experience feelings of “Wow! Is this really happening?”
The Dystopia genre appears to be the genre that everyone is writing in these days (even authors that are well established in other genres), what do you think draws authors to these genres? Why did you decided to release your debut in this genres? How do you believe your novel stand out from the rest of the crowd?
I think Dystopia actually speaks to the part of us that wants to hope. So many think of it as a dark genre, but the stories themselves are usually about a character or group of characters who are trying to overcome that darkness and its effects on their lives. That’s what is at the core of Spark Rising, and it’s why I love writing dystopian stories.

I hear again and again that Spark Rising is different. I think it’s because I wrote what I loved--and I love science fiction, dystopian, romance, urban fantasy, action adventure. All of those things are woven together. There’s even a bit of a dark superhero feel. Spark Rising is also written for the NA/Adult reader instead of for YA, so the story-line is a little grittier, a little darker, a little sexier. I adore YA dystopian fiction, but I wanted to explore more adult themes. I think my readers were ready for that, too.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?

For me, personally, it would be Horror. I’m a chicken. My best friend and my husband both adore scary movies, and they have to force me to go. I love dark themes...but when I write the characters become very real to me, and I’m not sure I want to live in that dark of a place for the time it takes to write a novel!
How do you see the world coming to an end? Based upon Spark Rising would you say that the end will be man-made? Do think we as a species will survive?
I do think the end of the world as we know it will definitely be at our own hands. At this point, even “natural disasters” have been shaped by our mistakes. But I’d like to believe that we will survive, somehow. Again, it’s all about hope for me.
Your concept of Dust and the ability to control it was one of the most interesting powers that
I have read in a long time, where did the inspiration for this power come from? How would you describe Lena’s powers for those who have not read the book yet?
I had a dream about a girl living in an abandoned gas station in the Southwestern US desert, very post-apocalyptic, and she had these powers. As I began to write, the cause revealed itself. So then I had to go back and do my research. Would this hypothetically be possible, and if Her powers were always a part of her. It was my job to make the world of the future fit around this amazing person.

For those who haven’t read the book... Lena Gracey is a Spark. To others on our future Earth, that means that she has the ability to manipulate and create electrical energy. But Lena is self-taught, and she knows that Sparks are capable of so much more. That knowledge makes her dangerous. It makes her a weapon. It makes her a target.

Spark Rising has some darker themed elements in it (slavery, abuse, caste system) what appeals to you about the darker aspects of human culture?
It’s what we do. We are capable of both immense kindness and incredible depravity.

When I was younger, I took a graduate seminar on genocide. It was both fascinating and shattering. I think human beings live on a very thin edge of grey. Darkness is on one side and light is on the other. The interplay between the sides, both individually and culturally, as we fall to one side or the other or attempt to hold on to that midpoint despite the forces pulling at us from the world outside and from within ourselves is where I find compelling stories. What makes one a hero? What makes another irredeemable? How close are the two really? Can someone be BOTH? Hmmm...

Spark Rising is the first book in you Progenitor Saga, how many novels do you have planned for the series? Can you give us a few tidbits about what is going to come next?
I had originally planned five, but then my second book had to be split into two! I’ve gone back and revised the larger series outline and now I expect that the Saga will be three sets of three novels. They’ll all be inter-related and feature the same characters, but each set of three will deal with a specific conflict and can stand alone. That’s the plan anyway.

This first set of three, including Spark Rising and the upcoming Spark Awakening, covers the opening of the revolution and follows Lena’s discovery of the strength of her powers and her innate darkness and how she ultimately chooses to deal with both (hint: that changes throughout the three books!). It’s also a love story about two very flawed people from different worlds trying to figure out what “happily-ever-after” means in a dark, violent world where their choices and the people around them may put them at odds.

And I will say that Spark Awakening, as it is written now, has a fairly significant cliffhanger. But I am focusing on finishing and getting the third book out as quickly as possible!

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
Spark Awakening is coming in the early part of 2016! I’ll be signing at the Deep in the Heart event in San Antonio, Texas in February and my goal is to have it out by then. I’m also hoping to be at RT 2016 in Las Vegas, and I will absolutely be at Utopia Con in Nashville next year.

There will also be a novella from Ace’s point-of-view releasing about the same time as Spark Awakening. I am mulling different ways of making that release special for my readers--it may be a free read somehow. Stay tuned!

What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think should be a must read for everyone?
Toni Morrison’s Beloved. Without question.

I just want to say Thank You once again to Kate for taking the time to do an interview with me. Her debut novel Spark Rising is really really worth a read if you are looking for something new and different in the dystopia genre (which I think we all are). Kate has very nicely supplied some giveaways (INT) below, so make sure you enter so you can try two ways to get your hands on Spark Rising.

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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Author Interview & Giveaway: Michael Buckley

I find that I am still a new reader to the YA genre (as an adult) so I am always on the search for books in this genre that have interesting concepts and premise that allows me to get sucked into the story. For me this past year Michael Buckley's novel Undertow, touched on a topic that I find so interesting, the vastness of the Ocean and how little we really know about it, as well as how little humans have evolved in their thought process even after all these years.

Please Welcome to Blood Rose Books Today

Michael Buckley

If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why? 
There's just no way I could pick one. That's like being a kid in a candy store and trying to find just the right gummi bear. There are people I would love to have written with but not all of them were novelists, like Arnold Nobel of Frog and Toad Are Friends fame or Maurice Sendak. I have always loved John Steinbeck and wonder what he could have done writing kidlit. Maybe Stephen King and I could write a spooky story for children.   

From television production to published author of several series now, did you find the transition to writing for TV to a full book and eventual series challenging? When did you realize that you had finally made it as an author? 
295832Writing for television is so much harder than writing a novel and it's a lot less rewarding. TV is temporary - people don't really cherish episodes of shows the way they do books, and making a tv show is very hard on the ego, too. Everything is done by committee and sometimes the committee is full of morons - ha!  Often times you're trying to make something with a person you don't respect and can't stand and that can be really hard on the soul. I'm not saying there aren't smart people who work in television, but their opinions hold the same weight as all the dummies. It can be maddening. As for making it as a writer I'm not sure I have done that yet.  I'll let you know. 

Your novels are written for either a middle grade audience or a young adult audience, what appeals to you in writing for these age groups? 
My imagination runs down the same roads as a kid's does and kidlit offers me the opportunity to explore nearly anything that interests me. I don't really have ideas for adult novels, anyway. 

Many adults have taken to reading novels that have been classified with the YA designation. Why do you think YA novels are now appealing to adults more? Do you think that this may change some of the overall content of the YA genre? 
6455548I'm sure adults were reading kidlit before Harry Potter, but I think those books had a lot to do with opening the minds and eyes of a lot of adult readers. Since then the doors have been opened to reading whatever you want without shame. A lot of YA is read by adults and not teens so the content is changing and evolving. When I was growing up The Outsiders seemed like a very edgy story but now it's almost quaint. I suspect writers will keep pushing the boundaries of what a YA book can be, but I think it's important for the industry to remember that no matter how many grown ups are reading these books that they really are for kids. 

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why? 
Every book ever written was the hardest book to write for the author so I don't want to say that one genre is more difficult than another. I know from experience that funny is insanely hard and not something everyone can do. Contemporary fiction would be a challenge to me because I don't know how anyone can write a story that doesn't have an explosion or a monster in it - lol! 

23714109Undertow is told from the point of view of Lyric Walker, a teenage girl with a lot going on in her life from Alphas to boys to keeping secret, was it difficult for you to get into a teenage girl’s mindset?  Why did you decide to write from a girl perspective instead of a boy’s? 
A lot of my books feature female heroes so I wasn't too intimidated by writing Lyric. I was more terrified of her age and her emotional state. I've never been a teenage girl, and didn't know a lot of them when I was a teenage boy, so I interviewed a few female writers in hopes of getting some insight. They really helped me understand the complexities of being young and female.  

I think the mystery that is still the Ocean is such a fascinating thing, so it is probably no surprise that my favourite part of Undertow was your concept and creation of the Alpha Race and culture, what in to creating not only the “creature” that the Alphas are but also the culture that they have 
295834I tried to look at the whole thing the way a marine biologist might. What kind of life does the average fish have? It's hunt or be hunted, survival of the fittest, and there's not a lot of sympathy for the smaller creatures. Everything is food, so if people lived beneath the waves why wouldn't they do the same? I got obsessed with websites featuring pictures and film of deep-sea animals. Then, I tried to melt it all into a society like the Spartans, and native peoples of the Americas; warriors and hunter/gatherers and nomadic tribes. I wanted them to feel regal even if they looked bizarre. They needed to not only look odd but have a way of life that was foreign to humanity as well. I needed them to strike terror in humanity, both from what can be seen but also from what we don't understand.  

If you could have some of the abilities or interesting adaptations of the Alphas which would you choose? 
7809221I love the blades that come out of the arms of the Triton. I love the sound it makes but also how dangerous they can be. In the second book, Raging Sea, you learn some new things about those blades and how they are much more than weapons. 

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share? 
I'm plotting out the 3rd and final Undertow book right now but if you want something completely different I have a story in the recently released Guys Read: Terrifying Tales. It's the first scary story I have ever tried to write but don't be surprised if it keeps you up at night.  

What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think should be a must read for everyone? 
235038Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss - for a kids story it's pretty real and sensible. It tells you that life has it's ups and downs and you'll make mistakes but with every step you'll find yourself in places you never expected.

I want to say Thank You once again to Michael for taking the time to participate in my Blogoversary and I ma looking forward to reading the next book in his Alpha series. Michael has very nicely supplied a Giveaway (INT) to go along with his interview, so make sure you enter below :)
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