Tuesday, November 11, 2014

My Demonic Ghost blog tour - Interview & Giveaway

Book Info-
Title- My Demonic Ghost: Banished Spirits
Series-My Demonic Ghost Book #1
By- Jacinta Maree
Genre- YA Paranormal/Ghosts
Published By- Staccato Publishing

Rachael has traveled to Whitehaven to visit her father, a trek she can not help but dread given his recent descent into madness. Upon her arrival she realizes his deterioration has not only been mental, it’s been physical as well. His death comes as no surprise, but what she discovers soon after, is shocking when his burden becomes hers.
Lock is a banished spirit who must attach himself to a human host in order to hide from those who would drag him back to hell to be destroyed. When he meets Rachael he finds more than a host, he finds an ally.
Together they must defeat each of the seven sins in order to guarantee Lock's safe passage into the Third Realm, a loophole in creation that would allow him to escape hell and have peace at long last. Through their unlikely friendship, other banished spirits flock to them in hopes of a peace they hadn't dreamt possible.

Book Info-
Title- My Demonic Ghost: The Reapers
Series- My Demonic Ghost # 2
By- Jacinta Maree
Genre- YA Paranormal/Ghosts
Published By- Staccato Publishing

The day you die is meant to be the end, but for 18 year old Jordon Hastings, his death was only the beginning.
In a dark and twisted world, lost spirits known as Reapers remain behind after death to help collect the spirits from the realm of the living. A new Reaper, Jordon struggles to accept his fate and lingers in the shadows of his mortal life. But when a demon wolf starts to live through his shadow, hunting his family and friends Jordon has no choice but to leave. As soon as he accepts his new role the truth behind the relationship between Reapers and Angelic Hunters is revealed. His loyalty is tested, making him choose between a corrupted God and a single Banished Spirit.


Welcome back to Worlds of Wonderment Jacinta!

Thank you, always so happy to be here.

How would you describe your My Demonic Ghost series to potential new readers?

I like to think that My Demonic Ghost is a unique telling of a classic demon vs angel story, it is open age so anyone can enjoy it and it’s an exciting mix between adventure, fear and romance. My Demonic Ghost follows the stories of three different spirits and one very unfortunate host, Rachael who is currently 15 years old in book one. Each book is written following the perspective of a different class, first we have Banished, then the Reapers and lastly we have the Hunters. It was really fun to write because each story has a completely different belief and different understanding of the other classes and the world around them, allowing the reader a fresh outlook with each book.

Does Hunters differ from the previous MDG books at all?

Book three: Hunters & Creators swings back to Rachael’s POV where she's entering her University life in a completely different setting from Whitehaven. Unlike Book one and two where we watch from the Demon’s side, this time Rachael chooses to help the angels and therefore opens up a completely different set of problems. Friends become enemies and enemies become friends, it completely turns the series on its own head. All of the characters are more mature and seeing as this is the last book, all of the unresolved problems and broken relationships have to come to a conclusion.

Banished, Reapers and Hunters & Creators are very a unique concept, how did you come up with the initial idea?

Well, the initial idea for the entire series came to me when I was in high school studying in my Philosophy class. My teacher was teaching us about Descartes and his theory of consciousness, which got my mind spinning up all these different possibilities about the unknown. The way I’ve broken up by the series in three books came to me as I wrote. Originally, Banished Spirits was on its own for a very long time before The Reapers had even started. Which made it increasingly difficult to interweave Reapers through Banished later on.

Did you find one book harder to write than another?

The Reapers was definitely the hardest book I had to write out of three. Mainly because I was speaking from a POV I never really practise, which is Jordon an 18 year old male turned Reaper. Secondly, I had to write Reapers in a way that it made sense as a stand-alone, but also worked as part of a series. Thirdly, Reapers’ timeline works before, during and after the first book, so timing scenes and character reappearances were incredibly difficult.
Banished Spirits was my initial inspiration outbreak and I didn’t have any plans for publication, so time limitations and other publication related stresses weren’t a concern. Hunters & Creators was stressful as I had to tie a very complicated story with complicated relationships together within a certain time frame and in a believable manner.

Evan (Lock) and Jordon didn't have the best home life, do you think it helped shape their characters as Banished and Reaper?

I think it is very important to see Evan’s/Lock’s life growing up, as it gives his reactions, his issues with trust and yearning to be accepted an even greater depth and understanding. We were lucky to not only be able to watch his childhood but to also see how that affects how he treats others and how he views himself. Along with the bad, there’s also the good with Locks’ and Rachael’s budding romance that transforms him away from his arrogance and selfish personality and into a loving and strong character. It’s also great to watch a character that was originally so small, weak and invisible have such an amazing impact on others in a positive way. Same with Jordon, his undying devotion to protect his brother spreads out to such an impressive scale that all creatures and spirits alike flock to his cause. Jordon’s love towards his brother becomes a beacon for others.

Hunters is your third book published, what have you learned about writing over the last few years?

I’ve learnt that there is a lot of work to do beyond publishing, like marketing and tours and give aways. Writing and publishing is just the beginning, I didn’t realise the amount of constant work that followed the publication. Not that I’m complaining, I love it. As I’m with Staccato Publishing, I am very fortunate as to have other authors around willing to help me. I’m still experimenting with finding my voice, so with every book I write my writing style changes a little bit.

Did you receive any advice in the beginning that has helped you write your books?

My first book was written purely for my own entertainment, and no one had read it until I decided to get it professionally edited. When it came to writing, I always wrote my own way and in my own style. Sure, my teachers taught me the basics of the English structure, but no one taught me how to write a story. I found my own way.

Is there anything you are currently working on that you can share with us?

I would love to, at this very moment I am writing a fantasy short story with a group of other amazing authors. I’ve also just finished my manuscript for a dystopian supernatural I’ve called Soulless, which revolves around a future where reincarnation exists. I’ve got a steampunk supernatural as well, called Time Weaver, which revolves around the idea of exchanging wishes for time. I’ve been quite busy.

Are there any other genres you'd like to write? If so, why?

I’m a big supernatural fan, but I also love dystopian and fantasy. I think the only genre I am yet to write properly would be horror. My long nights of horror movie marathons has definitely been great research, and I really think I would be able to write something incredibly scary.

Was there a reason you chose to write YA or was it just the way the story progressed?

Originally I wrote YA because of the character’s ages. Both were young and Lock was based off the character Casper the Friendly Ghost and Peter Pan, which are very playful, innocent and has a small hint of naivete. At the beginning of the novel I was tempted to change the characters and age them into young adulthood, but I feel that if I did that I would’ve lost a lot. I love the contrast between them and the world they live in. They are young and innocent but the world is dark and corrupted.

If any of your novels were picked up, what type of platform would you like them to be expanded on? E.g. movies, anime, games.

Umm… definitely a gaming platform. I’m a massive gamer so if any of my books were to be turned into games, I think I would pass out from my constant, high speech squealing. Alternatively, I’m a lover of animations, so even if it was turned into an animation movie like Monsters Inc, I would be very, very happy.

Favourite movie?

My favourite movie so far has been How to Train your Dragon. It’s a toss-up between movie 1 and 2.

Favourite book?

I loved the assassin series by Brent Weeks, so incredible.

Favourite holiday destination?

Hands down, Japan. I don’t know what it is but I love everything about their culture and life style.

Ice cream or chocolate?

Chocolate, of course. Chocolate would be my answer to really any food question.

About the Author-
Self confessed chocaholic, Jacinta was born and raised in Melbourne Australia with her loving family of five. Even as a child Jacinta had an itch to write. Writing was the one constant hobby she clung to, also trying her hand at piano, flute, tennis, horseback riding and drama.

Jacinta works full time in the family business and spends her afternoons either playing basketball, reading, writing or hanging out with friends. She is always happy to try something new; getting her real estate license, practicing ninjitshu, Zumba and parkour to name a few.

For her future, Jacinta sees herself writing. It is a large part of her identity and something she hopes to continue. Aside from her love of stories she loves Japan and its unique and beautiful culture and history. From their delicious sushi dishes right down to their wooden sandals and kimonos. She is also a huge cat person and loves to snuggle up in front of the fire for a good movie or book. Her favorite genres are paranormal and fantasy but she also loves anything written by thriller writer, Stephen King.

Social Media Links-

Giveaway Info-
1 hard copy My Demonic Ghost book 1
1 hard copy My demonic ghost book 2.
$5 amazon gift card.
A Key chain and magnet.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 29, 2014

Series Review: My Demonic Ghost by Jacinta Maree

Title: My Demonic Ghost - Banished Spirits
Author: Jacinta Maree
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: 23rd July 2012
Publishers: Staccato Publishing

Rating: 5 stars

Available from: Amazon AU 
Source: Author

Rachael has traveled to Whitehaven to visit her father, a trek she can not help but dread given his recent descent into madness. Upon her arrival she realizes his deterioration has not only been mental, it’s been physical as well. His death comes as no surprise, but what she discovers soon after, is shocking when his burden becomes hers. 

Lock is a banished spirit who must attach himself to a human host in order to hide from those who would drag him back to hell to be destroyed. When he meets Rachael he finds more than a host, he finds an ally. 

Together they must defeat each of the seven sins in order to guarantee Lock's safe passage into the Third Realm, a loophole in creation that would allow him to escape hell and have peace at long last. Through their unlikely friendship, other banished spirits flock to them in hopes of a peace they hadn't dreamt possible.


Jacinta Maree has created an engrossing and inventive series with My Demonic Ghost. It's a refreshing YA series and such a unique take on the afterlife.

Book one, Banished Spirits centers around Rachael and Lock. An unlikely pair who are thrown together with the death of Rachael's father. After a rocky start they slowly begin to trust each other. Rachael is young, brave and selfless. After hearing Lock's story and the world he, and now she, lives in, she decides to help him. I'm not sure I'd be so forgiving and understanding in her position. She probably agrees a little too quickly, but after seeing her father deteriorate I think she wants to be free of Lock as soon as possible. Lock is very disgruntled and petulant, and he doesn't treat Rachael very well. I didn't like how he always told Rachael how unimportant she was. Although, as the story progresses I began to understand that he just wanted to be accepted and free. He's been beaten down, but I loved watching him strive to be a better person. 

Banished Spirits is creepy and imaginative, each of the seven deadly sins are described in detail and they are definitely horrifying. The world Maree has created is dark and unforgiving. You might want to leave the lights on for this one.

Title: My Demonic Ghost - The Reapers
Author: Jacinta Maree
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: 17th September 2013
Publishers: Staccato Publishing

Rating: 5 stars

Available from: Amazon AU 
Source: Author

The day you die is meant to be the end, but for 18 year old Jordon Hastings, his death was only the beginning. 

In a dark and twisted world, lost spirits known as Reapers remain behind after death to help collect the spirits from the realm of the living. A new Reaper, Jordon struggles to accept his fate and lingers in the shadows of his mortal life. But when a demon wolf starts to live through his shadow, hunting his family and friends Jordon has no choice but to leave. As soon as he accepts his new role the truth behind the relationship between Reapers and Angelic Hunters is revealed. His loyalty is tested, making him choose between a corrupted God and a single Banished Spirit.


The second installment in Jacinta Maree's My Demonic Ghost series, The Reapers is just as captivating as book one. The Reapers is set before and during Banished Spirits, and in this book, we follow Jordon and his journey as a Reaper. In this book we get a bigger view of the incredible world Maree has created. I was quite sad when I found out who Jordon was and how he related to Lock. Jordon finds it difficult to assimilate to his new life and drifts through his previous life. His demon wolf, Raix, doesn't help matters. They are bonded and are supposed to carry souls to what is classed as hell. Raix isn't fond of his new master and defies Jordon every chance he gets. 

The Reapers immerses you in suspense and being able to see a wider view of the different realms Maree has created keeps you glued to the pages. Some characters from Banished Spirits make and appearance, and you get to see how their stories and worlds intersect. Lock started something big and now Jordon has created his own rebellion. There are a lot of twists and turns, and everything flows together very well. I loved reading how Jordon finally realises he can help so many other souls, banished and reaper alike. It gets very interesting when he accepts who he now is. Maree has an amazing ability to draw you into her world and make you feel for her characters. I am looking forward to the final installment in the My Demonic Ghost series, Hunters. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Cover Reveal- A Little Faith by Emma James

Title: A Little Faith
Author : Emma James
Publication date: 9th October 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

I had no idea a carefree island vacation would tear my life apart.
But now it’s time to put my walls up, make them impenetrable.
It’s the only way to survive.

Six Years Later…
Harley, the protector. Retro, the straight shooter.
Keanu, the funny bone. Levi, the model. And Text, who can’t seem to find himself.
All their lives were permanently altered by one event.
With a pact made, these five best friends need something from Faith.
Is she ready now to give them what they have been waiting for?

Join Faith as she goes on an emotional and heartwarming discovery where all may not be what it seems.
But with every ending, comes a new beginning, a second chance.
You just gotta have A Little Faith...

Welcome to Ocean Beach.
You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”
~ Bob Marley

Emma James lives in Queensland, Australia with her smexi husband ,three children and a big black labrador. Life is busy and most entertaining in the James household. She often bounces ideas off her family and gets very creative responses. She loves to read as much as write. Daytime for writing, night time for reading.

She hopes to surprise you with her debut book, A Little Faith.

Twitter : @emmajamesbooks
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/emmajamesauthor?ref=hl
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8415027.Emma_James

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Interview with Rebecca Laffar-Smith

Welcome to Worlds of Wonderment, Rebecca. For those who have yet to hear about your novel, could you tell us about it?

Sure! The Flight of Torque is a paranormal fantasy about a young reporter, Tori, and her guardian angel, Lucas. Tori is captured by the Nagaran, a sinister cult of snake worshippers. Lucas, also captive and now seriously injured, is unable to prevent the cult taking Tori for a ceremony of ritual sacrifice. Thankfully, rather than dying from the ritual like those before her, Tori becomes Serpenthropy, a human able to transform into a giant serpent. Unable to control her serpent form, Tori is taken over by the creature. It acts from basic, animal instinct and is prone to violent anger and lust.

The Flight of Torque explores Tori and Lucas’s experiences and internal struggles as Tori tries to reclaim her body and find a cure for what she has become, and Lucas fights a growing sense of helplessness and failure as a guardian angel unable to protect his charges. The forbidden bond forming between them complicates matters and raises the stakes as both realise that they’d sacrifice themselves to save the other. At every turn Tori and Lucas discover new secrets about the Nagaran and it’s connection to Tori’s family and the Angel Hierarchy.

Is The Flight of Torque part of a series? If so, what do you foresee for the series?

Yes. The Flight of Torque is the first in what I currently see as four books. Book two is actually a prequel that goes back a generation to follow the experiences of the Sacred Mother, a being worshipped by the Nagaran as the first Serpenthropy and mother of the Nagaran Royals, men who go on to father the Children of the Nagaran. While in book-world-time it comes before The Flight of Torque, it’s intended to be read after, as some of the secrets revealed in the first book will be the story and action of the second.

Following that I’ll be returning to where The Flight of Torque ends (or shortly after) as Tori and Lucas continue to unravel issues within the Nagaran and the Angel Hierarchy. I don’t want to spoil the ending for those who haven’t read The Flight of Torque yet so I’ll say no more, but I’ve already started to outline that book and I’m very excited about discovering the story as it unfolds on the page.

Finally, there will be a fourth book where Zara and Crey are the main characters. I’m not too sure what will happen there yet, only that they’re demanding a book of their own.

It’s possible more books in the world will evolve as I write the sequels so I won’t say four is it, but it’s definitely more than enough to be going on with right now. Especially since I also have other book projects in the works and I coordinate Write Along The Highway and the OzNoWriMo Young Writers Program for West Australian writers. There are never enough hours in the day to write everything I want to write.

Can you describe your main characters in five words?

Wow, this one is difficult (mostly because I write long, so boxing them up into only five words is very challenging).
Tori: Independent. Passionate. Determined. Courageous. Stubborn.
Lucas: Compassionate. Loyal. Honourable. Timeless. Wounded.

How does the fantasy world you've created differ from ours?

Maybe it doesn’t… At least, I like to think of it that way. Everything within the world is just like our real world today. There are mobile phones, suburban houses, sprawling cities, towering skyscrapers, bustling police stations and news offices, stylish sedans and compact hatchbacks (including an Easter-egg-style nod to the first car I ever owned, a little blue Kia). As I was writing it I used a lot of the real world around me here in Perth, Western Australia, but I also wanted to make it unidentifiable so that most readers could feel like it could be an urban environment near their own home.

The fantasy comes from the presence of angels and serpenthropy. And I like to think, maybe such things are possible in our real world, like an undiscovered world of supernatural beings existing under the surface of what is collectively accepted as normal. Who knows? Maybe there is a cult of snake worshippers living in a segregated community underneath an old, abandoned church somewhere.

Have there been any authors that have influenced your writing?

The author who had the most influence on me as a writer is fellow Australian author, Traci Harding. I read
her Ancient Future Trilogy when I was a teenager and was struck by the way she introduced metaphysical and spiritual concepts through fiction. She made things that were often considered rather airy-fairy at the time something that could be embraced.

I remember reading her book and realising that fiction is a great medium for introducing spiritual and esoteric beliefs in a way that won’t cause readers to close their minds to possibility. I decided that’s what I wanted to do as a writer. I wanted to use my fiction to explore the wonder and ‘magic’ that exists in the world and use fiction as a gateway to explore my own beliefs and share those beliefs with others.

Having said that, The Flight of Torque is not in any way preachy. The only truly “spiritual” or religious aspect of the book is the presence of angels, guardians who watch over and protect mortals. Beyond that the themes that came out were to do with inner strength, self-love, and acceptance. I found Tori’s experience with the serpent within her was almost metaphoric for my experiences with Bipolar and so, rather than looking at more new-age concepts, I explored the journey she’d take facing the darkness within.

Where did the inspiration for the Flight of Torque come from?

Actually, I owe this book to a cherished friend of mine who I’ve never met in person. Forge (to whom the book is dedicated) is a fellow Australian author living across the other side of the country in Victoria. He and I ‘met’ on Writing.Com and in December 2006 we decided to co-write a story. The story evolved through brainstorming sessions via Yahoo messenger and emails. We wrote alternating scenes and together a basic outline and few thousand words evolved.

The alternating scenes technique we used as co-writers was actually what lead to the alternating point-of-view (POV) in The Flight of Torque. When we co-wrote, I wrote POV Tori and Forge wrote POV Lucas. The way the story unfolded from two points of view, with the opportunity to experience both Lucas and Tori’s inner thoughts and feelings, was something I was very strongly drawn to and I continued that when I wrote The Flight of Torque. As you read you’ll find some scenes are written in Tori’s POV. The reader experiences some of Tori’s thoughts, internal dialogue (when she’s arguing with the serpent form), and her feelings. In other scenes readers experience what Lucas thinks and feels. It gives us a greater sense of connection with the main characters and allowed me to do things within the story that I could not have otherwise done.

In early 2007, Forge found he couldn’t continue with the project it idled for a long time, but I found myself constantly drawn back to it. The characters wanted their story told. Many months (possibly years?) later I contacted Forge to find out if he would mind if I continued to develop the story as a solo author. I had no idea how far the story would diverge from its beginnings.

The original story Forge and I outlined together had dragons, and stolen eggs, and sonic weapons, and an epic adventure up a mountain, and lots of cool stuff that never made it into the final book. In fact, almost nothing remains of that original outline, but it was the seed that would, over the eight years that followed, evolve into the Blood of the Nagaran series.

Having said, “almost nothing remains”, there are two sequential chapters in the book that remain from the very first pages written way back in 2006. I rewrote the Lucas scenes so it had my writer’s voice rather than Forge’s, but the actual story elements are very similar to the original draft. Early readers have mentioned that they absolutely loved these chapters and found them the most effortless and enjoyable to read. I wonder if any readers can guess which chapters they are? Drop me an email or catch me on Facebook or Twitter to let me know which chapters you think they are.

If you could choose anyone to portray your characters, who would they be?

I always pictured Tori as Jessica Alba, particularly from her role as Max Guevera in the T.V. series, Dark Angel.

While I was writing the book, Lucas was played by Paul Walker. After Paul Walker’s death in November 2013 I had a short bout of writer’s block as I struggled to recast him in my mind. Then I was watching Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant on Fiction Unboxed as they talked about casting their characters. They cast based on roles rather than the real life actor. So, they might cast Sean Connery, but a young Connery like in his James Bond days rather than the older actor he is today. This idea of casting to the role they once played rather than who they are today helped me get past that block and keep writing. Still, when a big production company buys the rights we’ll need to find someone for the role and I still haven’t recast him, so I’d love reader’s suggestions for who they’d cast as Lucas in The Flight of Torque movie.

Crey de Luca Vento is Orlando Bloom as Will Turner (Pirates of the Caribbean); Zara is Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games); Tempany is Kate Hudson (the glamorous, elegant Kate we see at award ceremonies rather than the rather aggressive and very modern female heroine she often plays in romantic comedies); Michael is Hugh Jackman as Leopold in Kate & Leopold (but more sullen and aloof); and Marlena is Michelle Trachtenberg as Georgina Sparks in Gossip Girl (but older and with a wash of crimson hair dye).

I actually have photographs in my Scrivener file (I use Scrivener for Mac but you can get Scrivener for Windows too). I like to pick out pictures that have the look, hairstyle, makeup, etc. that I feel most closely represents the characters in my mind. It helped to have that tangible reference to come back to because sometimes I’d take long breaks from the book and it became fuzzy/blurry in my mind; the photographs helped ground me back with the characters. One of the first things I did in July, when I began preparing the outline for the sequel, Birth of the Sacred Mother, was cast my characters and add pictures to their character profiles.

Thanks so much for giving me an opportunity to talk about The Flight of Torque. I’ve enjoyed sharing my experience and loved running with the questions you’ve asked, Jo-Anne. I hope we’ll have a chance to do this again some time. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from readers. I’ll hang out in the comments but also invite conversation on The Craft of Writing Fiction on Facebook.

Rebecca Laffar-Smith is a science fiction and fantasy novelist. Her debut novel, The Flight of Torque, is available now as eBook and Paperback. You can try before you buy with a Free Flight of Torque Sample copy on your choice of eReader device or app.

FYI: Some of the links included in this interview are affiliate links. All products are honestly recommended by  Rebecca but in the honour of being open she would like to acknowledge that she will receive a small commission on any sales made following these links.

When investigative reporter, Tori, chases the story of an underground smuggling network, she stumbles into something significantly more sinister. Instead of the illegal trade of exotic reptiles, she finds a temple of devout snake worshipers. Taken by the cultists, Tori is subjected to a savage ritual and irrevocably transformed. Now something dark and primal slithers within her. 

Lucas, charged with Tori’s protection, struggles against an overwhelming sense of helplessness. He should be stronger, faster, and more powerful than any human, but in the past twenty years all of his charges have been murdered. Their deaths and his failures linger in his nightmares. They writhe in his mind like the chilling sense of brooding hunger that floods Tori’s thoughts. 

Filled with violent rage and dark jealousy, the cult’s High Priestess rears up between Tori and the truth. The only thing protecting Tori from the long, cold embrace of death is the darkness within and the tingling warmth and light of her guardian angel.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Review - Lead by Kylie Scott

Title: Lead (Stage Dive book 3)
Author: Kylie Scott
Age Group: New Adult
Release Date: 29th July 2014
Publishers: St. Martin's Griffin

Rating: 5 stars

Available from: Amazon AU
Source: Publisher on Netgalley

As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, whether it's booze, drugs, or women. However, when a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call about his life and lands him in rehab, he finds himself with Lena, a new assistant to keep him out of trouble.   

Lena's not willing to take any crap from the sexy rocker and is determined to keep their relationship completely professional, despite their sizzling chemistry. But when Jimmy pushes her too far and Lena leaves, he realizes that he may just have lost the best thing that ever happened to him.


Lead is such a fantastic read. Each book in Kylie Scott's Stage Dive series just gets better and better. What I loved about Lead was how the romance was drawn out; Lena and Jimmy seem to fight over everything, they don't even seem to like each other all that much. Nothing was rushed and I felt so much more anticipation while reading. Their chemistry is combustible when they finally decide to do something about it.

Being able to learn so much about Jimmy and Lena first was great. Lena is witty and sarcastic, always countering his bad moods with humour. She's able to see past the cocky facade Jimmy has, to the vulnerable man inside. I loved that Lena was a bigger girl, she felt more real. Especially when she talks about her body image and that she loves pie a little too much. I love how she's never afraid to speak her mind.

As the story progresses we learn more and more about Jimmy and why he is the way he is. It's easy to see why Lena falls in love with him. Of course, he also gives you plenty of reason to want to smack him upside the head. I think Jimmy has to be my favourite of the Stage Dive boys. He's got a hard shell, but once you get past it you find he's  sweet and sensitive. The fact that he's basically sex on legs doesn't hurt either. He certainly knows how to use his hands and mouth. 

Lead does not disappoint. Kylie brings her trademark humour to the pages, along with a healthy dose of emotion and steam. I'm really looking forward to seeing how she's going to top this one. I can't wait for Ben's story in Deep. Bring on 2015!

Before He Was Gone by Becky Wicks - Excerpt


When her rock star boyfriend breaks things off out of the blue, Alyssa applies to hit reality TV show Deserted and to her shock she gets through. Abandoned on a remote island with a bunch of strangers and none of the luxuries she’s become accustomed to, it’s not long before an undeniable attraction to the mysterious Joshua starts complicating things even further.

Joshua's different to everyone she's ever known - a traveller, a man with no plan, a world away from the celebrity life she's left behind. As a series of challenges test their wits and weaknesses, things start heating up in paradise, but in a game designed to break people down, it soon becomes clear that Joshua is hiding a painful secret - one he won’t risk anyone finding out. 

Struggling to know where she belongs, Alyssa will have to choose - a life she once loved that wants her back, or a brand new reality that heartbreakingly may just have its limits.

I watch Joshua pick up the spear again. The lion roars at me from his arm as he pulls the fish off the end and walks to the shore to wash them off. My eyes trace the lines of his shoulder muscles. I flashback to last night… and this morning. We couldn’t get beyond PG-13 before the cameras arrived, circling the rocks in the water again like sharks. 
I wasn’t exactly applying logic to my actions last night, though. Kissing him took me to another planet entirely. What if the entire U.S just saw me crushing this sand couch and now they’re watching me standing here, acting like I have no clue what happened?
Journey glowers at me. Joshua doesn’t turn around. Owning up would be the right thing to do in any regular situation, yes, but everyone knows the second a couple hook up on Deserted, the others turn against you. You’re viewed as a threat. I need to think. I need to talk to him, but he’s turned around now and he’s still not looking at anyone. Maybe we shouldn’t have stayed out so late, but the more we talk the more we have to say. We’d only been asleep a couple of hours before he was waking me up and taking me spearfishing.

Between dives this morning, Joshua told me about a guy he worked with once, out in Arizona, who lived in the desert because he was afraid of some watery abyss:
‘You know, eighty percent of all life on this planet is under the ocean,’ he said, his flecked eyes boring into me under the sun. ‘The world’s biggest waterfall, the biggest mountain range...’
‘Yup. And there’s more historical stuff down there - more planes and boats and secrets than in all the museums in all the world,’ I said, remembering my facts from school. ‘We know more about space than the sea,’ and he grinned. I could tell he was struggling not to kiss me and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t kind of thrilling, being desired yet unattainable at the same time.
‘True. But this guy was terrified, seriously terrified that some alien force is going to come out of the ocean someday. I helped him build a bunker, so he’d be safe.’
‘I kind of want to meet this guy,’ I told him.
‘No you don’t, he’s crazy.’
‘Why were you there?’ I asked him.
‘I had nowhere else to be,’ he said.
I feel my pulse race again. Shan’s right, Joshua’s a dark horse for sure. For all he says to me now when we’re alone, there’s so much he’s not saying in front of them and it’s pissing people off. But there’s something that’s hurting him; I can’t get it out of my head. Joshua told us how Mike was defensive ‘cause of his fears, but I’m guessing at times he’s exactly the same. Whatever made him speak up against Stephanie’s beliefs stems from something he’s struggling with, alone.
I look on as he strokes the excess sand off the fish with his fingers carefully, stares out to the horizon. Maybe I’ll never know what’s haunting Joshua. What if he does get voted out next? The thought sends a bolt of dread through my core but I force my head back on straight, tear my eyes away from his body. I have to stay sharp. I’m not here for a guy. I’m here for a million dollars.

I’m a writer, originally from the UK. Since graduating Lincoln University with a degree in Media Production I’ve lived and worked in London, New York, Dubai, Sydney and Bali, and at the moment I’m alternating between the UK and the US, trying to figure out where I belong.