Top Ten Freebie Week


This is a weekly Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish Where Fellow Book Bloggers Share Their Top Ten of The Given Subject.

Top Ten Things I Love Most about Harry Potter


The Magic

You can not beat the magic in Harry Potter. It hasn’t come close to any other book or movie every created in my opinion. It is juts a whole world which I would die to be part of. I have no idea why Harry and Ron complain so much about homework, I would give anything to study magic just for a day. The whole essence of the Harry Potter series is made of magic, the pages must have been soaked in it. It isn’t just a story, Harry Potter is a way of life, it has saved many lives through Lumos and enriched others with the very stories themselves. You can’t say that isn’t magical. I do not think my life would be the same without these stories, my childhood would have been very different.


J. K. Rowling

Isn’t she just the most wonderful woman? A role model for any young girl out there aspiring to be a writer or otherwise. I mean she even gave up her billionaire status due to giving so much money to charity and she even started up her own organisation Lumos to help Children. It isn’t just the wonderful world that she created that makes her so great, it’s her enthusiasm to go above and beyond for her fans and to use her celebrity status for good. She is one of the reasons Harry Potter with live on for years and years, especially because even she doesn’t want the magic to end. With Pottermore, fantastic beasts and cursed child, her legacy is going to live on for generations.


The Characters

We can learn something from every single character in this series. My personal favorites are the twins, Hermione, Dumbledore, Draco, Snape and Lupin but every single character holds a small place in my heart, even Voldemort. Hermione was my first favorite, as I grew up with her as my role model. I can relate to her even now as I turned into a school loving book nerd in the end anyway. I wanted to be her so much as a kid, however as I got older and more books and movies come out I began to get sympathetic for some of the more darker characters such as Snape and Draco. But I will always love the comedy as much as the dark so the Twins and Dumbledore never fail to make me smile, Ron too although I did find myself annoyed with him at times. Finally we have Harry, a voice that has been in my head since childhood and a voice that never really left me. They are more than characters, they were childhood friends that never left and role models that can be aspired to much more than any average pop star out there today.


The Lessons

Harry Potter is full of lessons to be learnt and ways to deal with tough times. It teaches a child that although things can be rough, you can get through them and it teaches children how to deal with loss. One of the more important lessons that this series gives is how to be imaginative and it fills a child’s mind with magic and adventure. The Quote

“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times. If one only remembers to turn on the light”.

Is a mantra I have lived by for years, I even have it as wall art, hanging above my bed. I have been through some tough times personally and this quote has always reminded me that it will get better and to stay positive. It was an important lesson that I learnt when I was young, but has inspired me every since.


The Memories

I have very fond memories of this series, from my childhood especially. It began with the first book which I was given by my aunt when I was 6. I was so determined to read this book on my own at that age that it took me over a year. But I managed and from that moment I gained a love for reading that I never lost. I also remember reading the books at school after I had finished the syllabus reading by Year 3. My teacher just let me read Harry Potter instead and it wasn’t until I was about 11 that I actually read anything else. I also have fond memories of the first movie, when it came out I was terrified of Voldemort and I could never watch the scene where Quirrel unwrapped his head. I always had to look away. The next best memory I have was writing my first fan-fiction Gold and Silver which was about Harry Potter, it was such a fun experience alone but my readers also gave me the confidence to actually believe I could be a writer one day, and I will never forget that. Finally I have the wonderful memory of going to the studio tours (the second time) on a coach trip with a huge group of my family, I got to act as unofficial tour guide for those who didn’t know much about Harry Potter and it was so much fun. I just have so many great memories because of Harry Potter.


The Fan-fiction

Harry Potter Fan-fiction is just the best. I personally prefer Drarry, Dramione or Snape (in various ships) so if anyone has some particular Fan-Fictions they can recommend on Wattpad, I am open to suggestions. I am especially looking for a good Wolfstar FanFic or a Dumbledore and Grindelwald fic.

Here are a few of my own personal favorites.

Drarry – A Love Triangle

A Man Can Change

Drarry One Shots

Descendant of Merlin


The Tales

The tales in Harry Potter are so original, but so classic at the same time. They are genius. They are like classic mythological fairy tales, but so unique at the same time. My particular favorite tales told in Harry Potter were The Quest for the Stone, The Triwizard Tournament and the Hunt for the Horcruxes, especially when they went to Gringotts and to the ministry of magic. What were you favorite story-lines?


The Studio Tour

The studio tours are just a dream come true. Whether it is looking at props and costumes, flying on a broom in full robes, trying butterbeer and the ice cream (mmm amazing…) or spending a fortune in the shop. It’s literally every potter fans heaven. I read something on the internet once (that I can’t find again now) that I may do if I have children one day. Because the children do not get their acceptance letters (Still waiting for mine) you write them a letter saying they are going to the studio tour on their 11 Birthday. When you are there sort them into a house and buy them robes of that colour, let them choose a pet and then a wand. This would be the ultimate Harry Potter dream and I would love to do that for my kids too, it is a lovely idea.


The Musical

Have you seen A Very Potter Musical? No, Then click this link now and thank me later. If you have, let me know what you think. I actually believe that it is literally the best thing in universe.


The Fandom

Potterheads are the best. We have the most imaginative, dedicated fandom of them all (no bias of course). We band together through everything and that is particularly demonstrated when Alan Rickman sadly passed, and everyone at Universal Studios Harry Potter World held their wands in the air out of respect for one of the greatest men to grace our screens.


Top Ten Favorite 2016 Releases So Far This Year


This is a weekly Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish Where Fellow Book Bloggers Share Their Top Ten of The Given Subject.

Top Ten Favorite 2016 Releases So Far This Year


The Siren


Author: Kiera Cass. Status: Read. Release Date: January 26th 2016.

Love is a risk worth taking.

Years ago, Kahlen was rescued from drowning by the Ocean. To repay her debt, she has served as a Siren ever since, using her voice to lure countless strangers to their deaths. Though a single word from Kahlen can kill, she can’t resist spending her days on land, watching ordinary people and longing for the day when she will be able to speak and laugh and live freely among them again.

Kahlen is resigned to finishing her sentence in solitude…until she meets Akinli. Handsome, caring, and kind, Akinli is everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. And though she can’t talk to him, they soon forge a connection neither of them can deny…and Kahlen doesn’t want to.

Falling in love with a human breaks all the Ocean’s rules, and if the Ocean discovers Kahlen’s feelings, she’ll be forced to leave Akinli for good. But for the first time in a lifetime of following the rules, Kahlen is determined to follow her heart.

This book is fantastic, there have been quite a few siren or mermaid books released lately but the lore and mythology in this is refreshing and new. I would give it a go, especially as it contains a complex set of emotions that will catch you off guard.


The Trials of Apollo


Author: Rick Riordan. Status: Read. Release Date: May 3rd 2016.

How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favour.

But Apollo has many enemies – gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

See my review for this book Here 


The Crown


Author: Kiera Cass. Status: Read. Release Date: May 3rd 2016.

When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illéa to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty-five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairytale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more impossible—and more important—than she ever imagined.

The thrilling finale of The Selection series centering around America’s daughter Eadlyn. Full of politics, romance, suspense and love this series will always be one of my favorites and I am sad to see it end. There will be a review for this book coming soon.


Midnight Bites


Author: Rachel Caine. Status: Owned. Release Date: March 1st 2016.

MIDNIGHT BITES, the new Morganville Vampires short story anthology! It will bring together almost everything that I’ve written in short form about Morganville … though I did leave out some of the original “diary” entries that appeared on an earlier version of the Morganville website, simply because they were just scenes and not stories, and were generally really short snippets. This is all short fiction, and it’s been carefully organized into the timeline, so you can read from the earliest adventures (some of which belong to vampires) all the way through some post-Daylighters goodies.

MIDNIGHT BITES includes a total of more than 50,000 words of brand new content, which makes me very happy indeed (and I hope will also make you happy, too). From stories featuring our favorite bunny-slipper-wearing mad scientist to a mystery solved by police chief Hannah Moses, I think you’ll find this is a diverse group of stories that will shine a little more light in the murkiest corners of Morganville.

I was so excited when this book was released. I never did want to let this series go but I have never been a fan of reading on my computer. So when I heard that the short stories Caine writes for her website were being put in a book… I brought it instantly.




Author: Gena Showalter. Status: Want to Read. Release Date: February 23rd 2016.


Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live—after she dies.

There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.

In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t home to the boy she’s falling for? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…

How beautiful is that cover! The concept of this book seems interesting, half paranormal and mythological, half dystopian.


Every Heart a Doorway


 Author: Seanan McGuire. Status: Want to Read. Release Date: April 5th 2016.

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

A little Alice in wonderland, a little peter pan. This book looks interesting, what happens when the children return from the other worlds? That is a part of the story we are rarely told.


Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here


Author: Anna Breslaw. Status: Want to Read. Release Date: April 19th 2016.

Meet Scarlett Epstein, BNF (Big Name Fan) in her online community of fanfiction writers, world-class nobody at Melville High. Her best friends are Avery, a painfully shy and annoyingly attractive bookworm, and Ruth, her weed-smoking, possibly insane seventy-three-year-old neighbor.

When Scarlett’s beloved TV show is canceled and her longtime crush, Gideon, is sucked out of her orbit and into the dark and distant world of Populars, Scarlett turns to the fanfic message boards for comfort. This time, though, her subjects aren’t the swoon-worthy stars of her fave series—they’re the real-life kids from her high school. And if they ever find out what Scarlett truly thinks about them, she’ll be thrust into a situation far more dramatic than anything she’s ever seen on TV…

I am a fangirl and a fanfiction writer so I was automatically drawn towards this book. It seems like it will be full of drama so I am looking forward to reading this one day.


Down with the Shine


Author: Kate Karyus Quinn. Status: Want to Read. Release Date: April 26th 2016.

Make a wish…

Lennie always thought her uncles’ “important family legacy” was good old-fashioned bootlegging. Then she takes some of her uncles’ moonshine to Michaela Gordon’s annual house party, and finds out just how wrong she was.

At the party, Lennie has everyone make a wish before drinking the shine—it’s tradition. She toasts to wishes for bat wings, for balls of steel, for the party to go on forever. Lennie even makes a wish of her own: to bring back her best friend, Dylan, who was murdered six months ago.

The next morning gives Lennie a whole new understanding of the phrase be careful what you wish for—or in her case, be careful what wishes you grant. Because all those wishes Lennie raised a jar of shine to last night? They came true. Most of them came out bad. And once granted, a wish can’t be unmade…

Once again, what an amazing cover, those colours are stunning! This book is intreging as it seems to be a little fantasy and a little 16 Wishes. *Sings* I see trouble ahead…


The Hunt


Author: Megan Shepherd. Status: Next in series. Release Date: May 24th 2016.

They’ve left the cage—but they’re not free yet.

After their failed escape attempt, Cora, Lucky, and Mali have been demoted to the lowest level of human captives and placed in a safari-themed environment called the Hunt, along with wild animals and other human outcasts. They must serve new Kindred masters—Cora as a lounge singer, Lucky as an animal wrangler, and Mali as a safari guide—and follow new rules or face dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, Nok and Rolf have been moved into an enormous dollhouse, observed around the clock by Kindred scientists interested in Nok’s pregnancy. And Leon, the only one who successfully escaped, has teamed up with villainous Mosca black-market traders.

The former inhabitants of the Cage are threatened on all fronts—and maybe worst of all, one of the Hunt’s Kindred safari guests begins to play a twisted game of cat and mouse with Cora. Separated and constantly under watch, she and the others must struggle to stay alive, never mind find a way back to each other. When Cassian secretly offers to train Cora to develop her psychic abilities—to prove the worthiness of humanity in a series of tests called the Gauntlet—she’ll have to decide fast if she dares to trust the Kindred who betrayed her, or if she can forge her own way to freedom.

I have read the first book in this series, it was pretty good. A little slow to start, ameture and predictable at first and it was rather expensive at £11 when I purchased it. But the twists at the end were surprising and unpredictable and they caught me off guard. The ending left a lasting impression on me and that is why I am excited to read the squeal now. Although I will not be buying it at full price again.


Time Stoppers


Author: Carrie Jones. Status: Want to Read. Release Date: May 3rd 2016.

Annie Nobody thought she was, well, nobody, living in a nowhere town where nothing goes her way. Day 1 at her newest foster home proves to be dreadful, too… and things get even worse when she’s chased by something big and scary that definitely wants to eat her.

Luckily for Annie, not everything is what it seems, and she gets swept up-literally-by a sassy dwarf on a hovercraft snowmobile and taken to Aurora, a hidden, magical town on the coast of Maine. There, she finds a new best friend in Jamie Hephastion Alexander–who thought he was a normal kid (but just might be a troll)-and Annie discovers that she’s not exactly who she thought she was, either. She’s a Time Stopper, meant to protect the enchanted.

Together, Annie and Jamie discover a whole new world of magic, power, and an incredible cast of creatures and characters. But where there’s great power, there are also those who want to misuse it, and Aurora is under siege. It’s up to the kids to protect their new home, even if it means diving headfirst into magical danger.

I am a huge fan of Carrie Jones’ (see my interview with her here) debut series Need (Find the review of one of the books here). So this book is the next logical step (I still need to read After Obsession too though). I love reading about magic and fantasy creatures such as dwarfs and trolls so this is right down my street.

Let’s Get 10 Know You: Michele Barrow-Belisle

Interview with Michele Barrow-Belisle

Fire & Ice (Faerie Song Trilogy #1)


Goodreads Description

Adventure wasn’t something Lorelei Alundra was interested in. Gifted with two other-worldly talents for singing and healing, she’s always shied away from her gifts and the spotlight, preferring quiet anonymity, over attention and fame. But when she meets the enigmatic Adrius, with his dark and dangerous mystique and eyes that could see into her soul, her uneventful life becomes irrevocably altered.

Adrius turns up in every one of her classes and knows more about her than any newcomer should. Including the condition of her mother who is suffering from a mysterious illness. Accepting his offer to help leads her into a terrifying and thrilling world, where Elves are even hotter than Legolas, and Faeries…. are nothing like Tinkerbell. The two magical beings are fire and ice opposites. One Lorelei can’t help falling for, and the other she’s compelled to be with.

Now she’s trapped, expected to prevent a war between witches and faeries, or forfeit her mother’s life. Nothing is what it seems. Not her family. Not the Fey. Not even Adrius, whose feelings for her balance precariously between desire and danger. Despite her better judgment, she can’t say away from him. As secrets unravel and unsettling truths are revealed, Lorelei must fight to save much more than her mother’s life. One mistake could put the fate of his world, and her soul, in jeopardy.

But hey, no pressure… right.

You can buy the book Here Kindle Edition £1.99 (as of when posted)

Follow Michele on Twitter

Lets get to know you

1. Hello and welcome to The Reading Rose, Can you tell us more about your book please?

Hi Rachel, thanks so much for having me! Well let’s see, Fire & Ice is a young adult fantasy romance. I like to describe it as Phantom of the Opera meets Lord of the Rings. But that might only make sense to me, lol. The story is about high school senior Lorelei Alundra, a girl who can see and heal people’s pain and can sing with the voice of an angel. But because her gifts are controlled by the dark Faerie Zanthiel who gave them to her, she’s spent most of her life hiding from them. Totally content with her semi-normal life, Lorelei is confused by her inexplicable attraction to Adrius, the new guy in her art class who seems to know more about her than any stranger should. Her mother becomes fatally ill and to save her, Lorelei follows Adrius into another realm, full of Elves, Witches and Faeries. She ends up trapped in their world, forced to fulfill a prophecy she wants no part of, or risk her mother’s life. Every shred of her semi-normal life is torn from her, when she discovers the prophecy’s true prediction—that she’s the dark magic Princess destined to destroy their world, and that Adrius is the Elvin Prince destined to destroy her. That’s the gist of it, but its full of subplots and twists that I guess I shouldn’t give away. 😉

2. Out of all your characters, who was the most fun to write and why?

I really love the main character Lorelei. But I had the most fun writing Zanthiel’s character. He’s a Shadow Faerie, dark and kinda badass—but there’s just something about him. I think because the Fey don’t have the same moral codes that humans do, his actions come across as being pretty hardcore. But underneath that icy exterior there’s a being with a huge heart. I just finished writing a novella called Freeze, and it’s his story told in his voice. It was great to delve deeper into his character and really see what makes him tick and why he is the way he is.

3. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

When I first started the story, several years ago, it began as something I could read to my son when he was about 8yrs old. I’d already self-published a series of how-to books by that point. We’d been reading the Magic Treehouse book series together and I had the thought, like many humble authors have at some time, I could write that. And so I started writing what eventually became Fire & Ice. But the story wanted to become so much more than a middle grade novel, so I set it aside for a while. A few years later I came back to it with fresh new ideas for how to shape it into a full length novel. It sort of expanded from there, because once I gave the characters a new lease on life, they wouldn’t leave me alone until I’d finished writing the entire book. Then they went on to insist their story should be a trilogy. So then came the second book and third is underway, plus three side story novellas. Now I’m not sure they’ll let me end things, lol. But I love it. I’m always asking what happened after that?

4. What tips would you give to anyone aspiring to be an author themselves?

I have three pieces of advice for aspiring authors, and it’s the same advice I still live by…
First piece of advice: Start. And then don’t stop. It sounds simple and yet it’s profound. So many people talk about wanting to write a book, but unless you actually start you can never finish. As the queen of procrastination, I was guilty of this myself for a long time. Eventually you have to just do it. Don’t worry about whether it’s any good, just start. Keep going until you get to where you want to go. Then celebrate, decide where you’d like to go next, and keep going.
Second piece of advice: Immerse yourself in the experience. If that means taking writing classes, then go for it. Join writing groups, go to writing conventions, network with other authors. Have a community of people who get it, is not only good for the soul, down the road it can be good for your career!
Third piece of advice: Read. Read read read! Read what you love, read in your genre, read outside of your genre, read what’s hot and selling like of the charts. Just read. It honestly improves your writing.
Just write what you love, relax and enjoy the journey. And to quote something NY Times bestselling author Lori Wilde once told me before I was published: “You can do this.”

5. What inspired your book cover and what do you love most about it?

The book cover was designed by Amanda Matthews of AMDesigns, who does a lot of cover art for my publisher. She’s amazing. I had very high hopes for what the cover art would look like, but I was pretty sure I’d hate it, because I’m so fussy when it comes to imagery. A cover has to set the right tone and mood, convey an emotion and a sense of mystery, and still look stunning and memorable at the same time. She totally nailed it in my opinion. I love everything about it…especially the dress!

6. Why did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve been writing for as long as I could hold a pencil… make that a crayon. I used to make up stories and invent long involved plays for my friend to star in, when I was little. I’ve kept a journal or a diary for as long as I can remember, and the ideas for stories and characters and plots dance in my head constantly. I took a long break from writing after university, but coming back to it again has been like finding a piece of my soul. Once I started writing again, it was like a drug… thoroughly and utterly addicting. And after that it follows that eventually you want other people to read what you’ve written. I guess that’s really how it began for me. I don’t really think there was a clear decision made. I never really work up and said I want to become a writer. I just wrote a book, decided to get it published, and it snowballed from there.

7. What would you say is the best thing about having your own book published?

For me the best thing is listening to the response it gets from other who’ve read it and loved it. The movie deal generated a ton of buzz and of course that part is insanely exciting. But so was every other step in the journey. Landing an agent, selling the manuscript, the audiobook and foreign language deals, all of that was great. But the best is moments like having your book selected by a teen book club. And sitting in the bookstore during their meeting to discuss your book…surrounded by people who adore your character and know them as well, if not better than your do. Now that is the absolute best.

8. What do you like to do in your free time when you are not writing?

I like to read 😉 …bet you guessed that one right. I also love to paint, draw and sculpt in polymer clay.

9. What is your favorite childhood book and why?

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Hobbit and Alice in Wonderland are three of my all-time favorites. As a child I had them read to me, and read them on my own countless times. I’ve always been drawn to fantasy and the idea of stepping into another world full of magic and mayhem. In fact, I’m still waiting for the day that I walk through a door and discover another realm on the other side.

10. If you were stranded on an island which 3 book characters from any series would you want with you?

Oooh, fun question! Let’s see…. I think Aragorn from Lord of the Rings (J. R. R. Tolkien), because it never hurts to have a good-looking future king, who knows how to fight, by your side. Hermione from Harry Potter (JK Rowling), because she’s brilliant and knows like every useful spell. And Zanthiel from Fire And Ice (yours truly), because it never hurts to have two good-looking future kings who know how to fight, by your side. Plus he’s got that whole shadow-Faerie-dark-magic thing going on.

Thanks so much for the chance to drop by and chat with you Rachel! It’s been a lot of fun!

Thanks for Joining us today Michele and taking part in on of our Lets get 10 know you interviews! Also keep your eyes out readers as Michele has kindly gifted me with a copy of her book so expect a review as soon as I have read it. Thanks again Michele


Let’s Get 10 Know You: Ben Porter

Interview with Ben Porter

In Hell Exhale (BlackCloud Chronicles Book #1)


Goodreads Description

A story driven by greed, revenge and the boundaries that push friendships to there absolute limits. Jennifer finds herself in a world she never grew up in, on the run from a maniacal ruler hell bent on getting to her at all costs. But are things really what they seem, or is there someone behind the curtain pulling the strings, for plans that are much more vile and self indulgent at heart. Will Jennifer be strong enough to stand up for what she believes in when the world she thought she knew comes crumbling down around her and will you be strong enough to stand by her side…

You can buy the book Here Kindle Edition £1.99 (as of when posted)

Lets get to know you

 1. Hello and welcome to The Reading Rose, Can you tell us more about your book please?

My book is about a girl called Jennifer who is absolutely fed up with her life. Every day is the same boring trek just to try to get through to the end. She knows it needs to change. And then when someone offers her an offer she simply can’t refuse everything begins to slowly unravel and turns into a fantastical game of cat and mouse. Jennifer is on the run for reasons she’s not quite sure off, in a world she doesn’t know, trying to get back to her family.

2. Out of all your characters, who was the most fun to write and why?

I think it would have to be Alixander. he is just the ultimate evil and narcissistic villain. He does what he wants, when he wants and kills who he wants regardless of anything around him or the situation he’s in. Which makes it a fun character to write and because he has absolutely no boundaries that also means that the readers never really quite sure what he’s about to do. Even me, I write it and I’m never quite sure what he’s about to do.

3. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

It all started from the first paragraph, that’s the first thing I wrote for the story. But I never planned on it turning into a full novel, that was supposed to be it. I used to write a lot of much smaller things. Stories, poems and things that weren’t any longer than a couple of pages. Often just dramatic and to the point. Writing a novel takes a lot more staying power that I didn’t necessarily think I had. I can’t remember the reason, but whatever it was I just decided to try and take the story as far as I could. Now I’m one book down with many more to come and I haven’t looked back.

4. What tips would you give to anyone aspiring to be an author themselves?

I know it’s cliché, but probably just to never give up. I think that no matter what life throws at you, you should always strive to do something that you enjoy doing and something that’s not necessarily just for the money. Trust me, I know life can be difficult. I’ve had my dark times just like everybody else. But the trick (well at the very least) is to make sure you’re always keeping your head above water, at least for the sanity of your soul. Like me, right now I make practically no money from writing, it’s my hobby. I make my living from my day job and as hard as that can be, I still try to make sure I find time to write. It’s what I enjoy so it also relieves some of the stresses that life often creates for me. So whether it be an author, or anything else under the sun my advice would still be the same. Find something you enjoy and don’t stop doing it.

5. What inspired your book cover and what do you love most about it?

The amazing Yoskay Yamamoto did the artwork for me because I have as much artistic ability as I have flying ability. Which is practically none in case your someone who doesn’t really know me that well, I mean I can sometimes hover for a few seconds but only if absolutely no one is watching me and they just take my word at face value. It turned out better than I could have ever imagined. I’m so happy I got him to do it. I sent him the first few chapters from my book and his inspiration came from a few things that Jennifer talks about. He sent me a few mock ups and I chose the one I liked the most and it really is stunningly beautiful.

6. Why did you decide to become a writer?

I wouldn’t say that I necessarily ‘decided’ to become a writer. It’s just something I’ve always done and something I’ll always do. Whether I make money from it is irrelevant. I’m writing now even though I’m making almost nothing from it. so that won’t change if it suddenly takes off. It just means I’ll be able to spend more time doing it which I would absolutely love.

7. What would you say is the best thing about having your own book published?

I spent a lot of years saying over and over that I was going to do it and it got to the point where I thought that maybe I was just fooling myself into believing that it was something I could achieve. But regardless of what anyone says, it’s living, breathing proof that I could write a book and no one can take that away from me. From the cover to the contents inside it’s something I’m defiantly proud of.

8. What do you like to do in your free time when you are not writing?

Listening to music. I love music in all its wonderful shapes, styles and sometimes grandeur. I listen to anything from rock, pop, country, metal to even classical. It all just depends on what kind of mood I’m in at the time. that and being a full time chef takes up more than enough of my time.

9. What is your favorite childhood book and why?

It’s quite strange, because even though I love writing and I love certain stories I don’t remember being much of an avid reader as a kid. Even now, I much prefer to create stories myself than read ones. But you couldn’t go wrong by reading one of Roald Dahl’s often bittersweet books.

10. If you were stranded on an island which 3 book characters from any series would you want with you?

Okay so I couldn’t think of three but one I would definitely want is the Mad Hatter, obviously I can’t imagine there being much to do on a dessert island. So the mad hatter would at least make things interesting, but I guess maybe the only problem with him would be that you wouldn’t really know at what point you were starting to go crazy. But I can imagine that the idea would get old very quickly. Probably from the very first second you were with him you would think you were crazy.

As Ben Porter felt bad for not being able to choose three characters for the last question he has very kindly provided us with one of his awesome poems as a hidden question 11! Thanks Ben!


She takes her first step out onto the frozen lake,

Wondering just how much pressure it will take for the ground below her to finally break.

She was the first but one by one they’ll follow her down,

And like lambs to the slaughter they won’t even make a sound.

No one knows how she got this far,

Maybe it was by slowly picking apart all the goodness in her heart.

But the children gather round even though they still can’t remember what they came here for,

But all they know for sure is that they all have something missing deep at their core.

So like moths to a flame they quickly move in closer,

They’re the ones that are going to have to pay the price for her not once ever feeling any form of closure.

Her bitter sweet lullaby is always what draws them in,

They hear it everywhere they go until it finally seeps in under their skin.

Then in a flash of light her singing stops and the ice is gone,

And just like anchors they sink to the bottom as she once again continues to sing her song.

The parents are powerless to stop her as every year she trades a hundred lost souls for the chance of finally being free,

But she’s so lost in her desires that I can’t see how this could ever end happily.

Thanks for Joining us today Ben and taking part in on of our Lets get 10 know you interviews!


Let’s Get 10 Know You: Mitchell Charles

Interview with Mitchell Charles

The Kingdom of Oceana


Goodreads Description

SURFER SHARK TAMER FIRE WALKER EXPLORER TEENAGER HERO Five Centuries Ago, On the Island Now Called Hawaii, There was a Kingdom Filled with Adventure, Beauty, and Magic. When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise. As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt-just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? ONLY ONE CAN RULE.

You can buy the book Here Kindle Edition £3.96 (as of when posted)

Follow Mitchell Charles on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads

Lets get to know you

1. Can you please tell us more about The Kingdom of Oceana?

The Kingdom of Oceana takes place in a fantasy world 500 years ago in ancient Hawaii and Polynesia. The story is a sibling rivalry between two teenage Hawaiian princes, told from the perspective of the younger brother, Ailani.

2. Out of all your characters, who was the most fun to write and why?

Prince Nahoa, because he is complex. He’s charming, yet menacing. He has the stone cold manner of a killer, yet he’s a momma’s boy. Also, he’s very curious, so he’s always getting into some sort of dangerous mischief.

3. How did you come up with the idea for the book?

I’ve spent a great deal of time in Hawaii over the past 8 years, and I was inspired by the natural beauty, marine life, and rich culture of the islands.

4. What tips would you give to anyone aspiring to be an author themselves?

Write every day. Have a ritual that you can replicate. I write early in the morning, often starting before 6:00 am.

5. What inspired your book cover and what do you love most about it?

I wanted a surfing inspired cover and when I saw the work of Jay Alders, I knew he was the perfect artist for The Kingdom of Oceana. I love the way Jay paints the ocean and waves.

6. Why did you decide to become a writer?

I wrote The Kingdom of Oceana for my two teenage children.

7. What would you say is the best thing about having your own book published?

I’ve created my own magical world! It’s a great feeling of accomplishment. I’ve just finished the audiobook version of The Kingdom of Oceana with Hawaiian native Rayton Lamay doing the narration. I’m now working on the sequel.

8. What do you like to do in your free time when you are not writing?

I love the ocean, especially SCUBA diving, snorkeling, and sailing.

9. What is your favorite childhood book and why?

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss. It has so many beautiful life lessons.

10. If you were stranded on an island which 3 book characters from any series would you want with you?

Hagrid, from Harry Potter, Katniss, from The Hunger Games, and James Bond.

Thanks for Joining us today and taking part in on of our Lets get 10 know you interviews!


Lets Get 10 Know You: Jeff Lane

Interview with Jeff Lane

One Way


Goodreads Description

Barry Griffith doesn’t know it yet, but tonight is the night fate has chosen to be the night of his death… his murder. At a gas station in the middle of nowhere, late at night, his wife Jenny appears… no car… no coat and looking older than when he saw her last. That’s because this is not the woman he received a good-bye kiss from this morning. This woman has been a widow for over four years and has made an impossible journey back in time to try to stop her husband’s murder. Will they be able to escape the killers or does fate only have one plan… one possible outcome… ONE WAY?

You can buy the book here Kindle Edition £2.99 (as of when posted)

Follow Jeff Lane on Twitter

Lets get to know you


1. Hello and welcome to The Reading Rose, Can you tell us more about your book please?

ONE WAY is what I call a “time travel thriller with heart”. It is the story of a man who is destined to be murdered by serial killers on his drive home from work. Stopping for gas, he unexpectedly encounters his wife, only this woman is from four years in the future and has come back in time in hopes of interceding in the night’s evens to save her husband’s life.

2. Out of all your characters, who was the most fun to write and why?

I think “Jenny Griffith” was the most interesting character to write in this book. Not only had I never written a female protagonist, I also got to write her in two different timelines… two very different stages of her life. I was able to take her on a journey from a happy wife to a grieving widow, through depression and substance abuse as well as discovery of her own power to change the past.

3. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

Actually, the seeds of this idea came from a late night journey home from work. I stopped for gas at a gas station and was gripped by this feeling of potential adventure… of “what if” scenarios. That was the basis of it. Over time it was fleshed out into this escape from killers interwoven with a time travel motif. I have loved time travel stories since I was a kid and couldn’t wait to write one of my own.

4. What tips would you give to anyone aspiring to be an author themselves?

Write. Write some more. Keep writing. So often I hear people talk about being an “aspiring” author. Don’t aspire… just write. And don’t expect your first effort to be a best-selling masterpiece (though that can happen… just ask J.K. Rowling). But do expect to build muscle and hone your craft with each page you write. Also read a lot… multiple authors…and listen to audio books as well as read the written word. Submerging yourself in language as much as possible will really give you a sense of what you do and do not like as a writer and a reader.

5. What inspired your book cover and what do you love most about it?

One of the early (and scariest) scenes that came to me when allowing ONE WAY to marinate in my head was this chase across a frozen lake, a killer behind you, shooting at you… no place to hide, nothing to duck behind. So a frozen lake made sense as the backdrop for the cover. And the One Way sign was part homage to my favorite movie of all time; Back To The Future – notice that the arrow on the One Way sign points to the left… backward, the same direction as the arrow in the Back To The Future logo.

6. Why did you decide to become a writer?

I decided to become a writer out of a frustrated desire to be a filmmaker. I really wanted to create films, but based on time, money, and geographical restrictions, making films wasn’t going to happen at that point in my life. But I still wanted to tell stories, so I used the “canvas” that was most available to me at the time; a blank Word document. Ironically, a ONE WAY film is now in post-production, so in a way I have come full circle.

7. What would you say is the best thing about having your own book published?

The best thing is having people read it and appreciate it. With ONE WAY, I have gotten so many comments about how the story and the characters impacted them and how much they loved the story. That is the best feeling in the world. When someone tells you that your words have not only painted a vivid picture in their head but have also brought them to tears… well, how can it get any better than that?

8. What do you like to do in your free time when you are not writing?

My favorite thing to do with free time is spend it with my family. We love to hike and bike and generally just have fun together. For solo free time, probably reading or watching TV or films. I love stories and story-telling and love to escape into fantastical worlds and adventures.

9. What is your favorite childhood book and why?

My favorite childhood book would probably be series… The Hardy Boys Adventures. I spent many many hours solving mysteries and catching bad guys with Frank and Joe.

10. If you were stranded on an island which 3 book characters from any series would you want with you?

First would be Roland, the last gunslinger from Stephen King’s Dark Tower just in case we needed to throw down with some bad guys. Plus he can light fires, hunt and make “gunslinger burritos”. Second, Eddie Dean from the same series as he would surely keep us laughing. And finally, Hagrid from The Harry Potter series. He could take care of any beasties and be tall enough to pick us some coconuts from the trees. 😉

Thanks for Joining us today and taking part in on of our Lets get 10 know you interviews!


Let’s Get 10 Know You: J. M. Bush

Interview with J. M. Bush

Storm in Shanghai (Mage Father #1)


Goodreads Description

In modern day China, an American expat leads a law enforcement team of Mages and Wizards, whose sole purpose is to keep Magic hidden from the ordinary world. One morning, Jaret King finds Shanghai facing the return of the most deadly magical terrorist in history, a monster who has long been thought dead. Jaret must now continue to keep the secret of Magic concealed from all Regs, including his wife, while attempting to stop this monstrosity − known only as the MAELSTROM − from murdering thousands more innocent people. Of course, once he discovers the motivation driving this violent lunatic, Jaret may have to step in and help complete the Maelstrom’s plan. But if so, at what cost?

You can buy the book here Kindle Edition £2.04 (as of when posted)

Visit his Website

Follow J. M. Bush on Facebook, Wattpad or Twitter

Lets get to know you

1. Hello and welcome to The Reading Rose, Can you tell us more about your book please?

Hi, thanks for having me! My debut novel, Storm in Shanghai, is an urban fantasy that takes place in modern day China, but has flashbacks that stretch from Italy to Vietnam, Croatia to France, America to Egypt… you get the picture, right? These flashbacks reveal little by little the history of magic, and what exactly the differences are between mages and wizards. Jaret King, the protagonist, is the lead agent of a magical police force in China. Day to day tasks include keeping mages and wizards from using spells to take advantage of regs (non-magical people) and to keep the secret of magic hidden from the world. But with the possible return of history’s most violent magical terrorist, Jaret’s job is about to get a whole lot more dangerous.

2. Out of all your characters, who was the most fun to write and why?

Aurora was fun to write because the real life inspiration for that character is so soft spoken and shy, but once you get to know her she is incredibly silly just like the character in the book. It was fun to put her in situations where she could be funny, brave, scared, loyal, or sad because I got to picture the real Aurora doing those things, and it always made me smile.

3. How did you come up with the idea for your book?

The main character is loosely based on my own life as a stay-at-home dad living in China, and having a “secret” life that has very little to do with his daddy duties. Instead of touring China in a punk rock band, which is what I did, Jaret is a mage. Of course, my life wasn’t a secret, it was just vastly different from doing the cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping that filled my days. Dad during the day, punk rock bassist by night. Not only that, but experiencing life as a minority in a foreign country was a heavy influence on writing this book, as well. The isolation and loneliness is briefly touched on in the way Jaret feels, him having the added layer of being a minority within his own people as well – being someone that can control three schools of magic (very rare).

4. What tips would you give to anyone aspiring to be an author themselves?

Just write it. Write it. Write it. Write it. Once you’ve finished, then you can worry about how good it is or isn’t. You can edit it, rewrite it, think about who wants to read it, and figure out which route to go – chasing the elusive literary agent and looking for that golden book deal, or just saying to hell with it and self publishing. That is a personal choice that most authors will eventually be forced to deal with, but I see no reason to worry about that crap before you have a finished book. Write your story. Worry about the rest later.

5. What inspired your book cover and what do you love most about it?

I took the photo during my time living in Shanghai. It is from one of the scenes in the book, a location called Yu Gardens. It’s an iconic Shanghai tourist spot and ideal for spell fight! My lifelong friend Chris Granger at Southern Fried Creations designed the cover around the photo I provided. The colour green plays an integral role in the book, so we thought it fitting to use it for the book’s cover.

6. Why did you decide to become a writer?

I started writing in high school, but was embarrassed by the mocking critique of a friend’s father and decided that I couldn’t take more name calling. I grew up fat and nerdy, so I tried to avoid doing anything that would paint a bigger target on my back for insults to be thrown at. It wasn’t until March 2015 that I decided to start writing fiction again. I had been writing travel stories for about a year prior to that.

7. What would you say is the best thing about having your own book published?

Holding it in my hands, opening the book to a random page, and reading part of something that I created. It’s there forever, good or bad, and I’m proud of every single detail.

8. What do you like to do in your free time when you are not writing?

When not being a daddy and not writing, I like to play the guitar. I used to play in bands, but these days I just relive my rocking youth with an acoustic guitar and some decent singing.

9. What is your favorite childhood book and why?

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Hands down favourite book from my childhood. Why? It’s part of my favourite series, The Chronicles of Narnia, for starters. Also, I love that there is no bad guy… no villain to battle throughout the story. It’s an adventure with bumps in the road and mysteries to solve, but no super-powered evil dude trying to destroy the world. I have two tattoos from that book, the actual boat on my chest and Reepicheep on the calf. So, yeah, I kinda have to choose this as my favourite.

10. If you were stranded on an island which 3 book characters from any series would you want with you?

Bruenor Battlehammer, the most awesome dwarf ever. We could get drunk together and he could teach me how to fight with an axe and shield. Reepicheep, because he is the most trustworthy character in literary history and would do anything for his companions. And Bean from the Ender Saga because he is the smartest dude ever. He’d figure out how to get us off of that damned island!

Thanks for Joining us today and taking part in on of our Lets get 10 know you interviews!