The Night Parade by Ronald Malfi

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

First the birds disappeared.
Then the insects took over.
Then the madness began . . .

There is a new plague threatening to wipe out the human race…they call it “Wanderer’s Folly”.  It’s a disease of hallucinations, day dreams and nightmares.

Father and daughter, David and Ellie Arlen are on the run right from the start of the book.  Which is followed  by flashbacks revealing the events that lead to David running. The story continues like this, back and forth. David thinks he is protecting Ellie but she is a special girl, deep, insightful and she knows that he is lying to her.  She knows that her father is lying to her about her mother and exactly what they are running from.  Ellie is special….Ellie may be able to save the human race.

This book had me hooked from the beginning, it was eerie and full of surprises.  I have previously read his book “Little Girls”, which was fantastic as well!  The Night Parade could be a thriller or a horror novel, it was both and more!  I cannot wait to dig into some more books by Ronald Malfi, his writing is easy to follow as well as the story lines.  Check him out and all the books including this one that he has written!

The Outliers (The Outliers #1) by Kimberly McCreight

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I didn’t realize until I got this book that I had previously read Kimberly McCreight’s, Reconstructing Amelia!  This book also didn’t disappoint!

Wylie is dealing with the death of her mother in a car accident while also dealing with mental issues. The high school junior has been seeing a therapist since she was in elementary school. Wylie has a tendency to throw up or pass out when the situation gets stressful. Since the death of her mother, she has also developed agoraphobia and has not left the house for weeks.

After getting a strange text from her ex-best friend Cassie begging for help, this ex- best friend sends her boyfriend Jasper to help.   The two get to know each other better as they travel from Boston up into Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine following Cassie’s cryptic clues. Along the way they meet people who help them and people who hinder them. When they find Cassie, they learn that all of their problems are just beginning.

This was an entertaining story about the length someone will go for their friends. It also take sort of a science fiction twist before its cliffhanging conclusion.  This is the first in a trilogy and it did seem like there was a lot of setting up happening for future plots but overall, it made me excited to see where the series goes from here!

Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

With not only an interesting book cover, this was an entirely interesting book!

Mr. Splitfoot alternates between two different story-lines. The first tells the story of Ruth and Nat who live at the Love of Christ foster home. Two teenagers stuck in a religious group home in upstate New York. Unsure what they’ll do when they turn 18 and ‘age out’ of the Love of Christ! facility, Ruth is ready to consider desperate measures to find some kind of future for herself and her best friend. An option turns up when the two meet a traveling con man, Mr. Bell, who suggests that they start profiting off Nat’s reputed ability to speak to the dead – one he’s so far only used to scare and entertain the fellow foster kids at the home. Mr. Bell also comes from an unusual religious background, we learn – his father was the leader of an apocalyptic cult. Is this commonality of experience the reason he’s drawn to Ruth and Nat, or is there a different agenda behind his seeking them out?

The second story-line is told simultaneously with the first, but it takes place years after the first. This story follows Cora, Ruth’s niece. Cora is impregnated by a sleazy acquaintance she keeps named Lord. Shortly after Cora gets pregnant, Ruth shows up wanting Cora to follow her. Something’s different this time though, Ruth just shows up with no car or anything, and she is completely mute, but it’s clear that Ruth wants Cora to come with her. Cora and Ruth set off, on foot, across New York State.

Mr. Splitfoot is a great original story that’s well worth the read if you’re in the mood for something a little bizarre, and that will keep you guessing till the end!

Pax by Sara Pennypacker

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

PAX by Sara Pennypacker is a powerful animal fantasy exploring the journeys of a boy and his fox.

With his mother dead and his father going off to war, twelve-year-old Peter is forced to abandon his pet fox Pax and go live with his grandfather hundreds of miles away.

This gripping story is told in alternating chapters through the eyes of Peter and Pax as they try to survive in their new worlds and reunite with each other. Whether caring for his new companions or treasuring his toy soldier, the author is most successful when speaking through the eyes of Pax.

A beautiful story about a boy, his fox, and the meaning of friendship, loyalty, growing up, and the cost of war. Truly feels like a modern-day Charlotte’s Web. Have Kleenex ready!

The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Before I ever knew what this book was about, I was drawn to the book cover.  The author was inspired to write “The Gates of Evangeline” after a family tragedy and a mysterious dream.  This is also her first novel.  The book is first of three Charlie Cates books. She is currently wrapping up work on the second novel in the series!

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was pretty spooky at times. There was  couple of moments that I actually got chills!  Charlotte is still trying to deal with her grief over the death of her young son Keegan from a brain aneurysm while he was at pre-school.  Trying to move along in her life, Charlie sets out for Evangeline Louisiana with the prospect of writing a book.  Things aren’t going as planned when Charlie starts to dream unusual and horrible dreams that seem to be coming true……

Charlie’s assignment takes her to meet the wealthy, not to mention eccentric, Deveau family. It’s the Deveau’s youngest son who went missing all those years ago and his twin sisters want answers (not to mention publicity).

Along the way, Charlie meets the Deveau’s landscaper. She tries to keep her distance from the mystery man, but she can’t fight her attraction to the handsome man. However, it’s not long before she realizes this is a man with deep secrets.

Charlie’s investigation leads her to the Deveau family secrets, betrayals, lies and murder. As her premonitions get stronger, so does the danger and more questions arise. Charlie is no longer sure who she can trust. One thing is for sure, nothing is as it seems and danger lurks the grounds of Evangeline.

 

 

 

Author Interview… Jonathan Janz, author of “Wolf Land” + Giveaway

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“One of the best writers in modern horror to come along in the last decade. Janz is one of my new favorites.” –Brian Keene, best-selling author

 

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Thank you so much for hosting me today! I’m a husband, dad, teacher, and writer. My wife and three kids are extraordinary, and I love both of my professions. That might be a dull answer, but it’s the truth.

 

Sierra:  When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

 

I took my first crack at writing after I got into a near-fatal car crash during my senior year in high school. The book was horrid. I took my second shot at it when I was twenty-six. That book was less awful, but it still wasn’t good. About seven years ago, I got serious about writing, and though I finished the book (it was called STARLIGHT), no one wanted to publish it. That’s because even though it was better than anything I’d written at that point, it still wasn’t good. So I rewrote it seven more times. In the mean time, I wrote another book called THE SORROWS, which sold in 2011. Then, the one first one sold, as well, this time under the name HOUSE OF SKIN. Since then, things have been growing steadily.

 

Sierra:  Tell us a little bit about your first book or the first book in the series.

 

THE SORROWS was a Gothic horror novel that showed both the influence of Peter Straub and Richard Laymon. Though that’s a strange combination, I think it worked really well for the book. The novel is about a pair of horror movie music composers who travel to a haunted island in the Pacific to find inspiration for the horror film they’re scoring. Readers seemed to dig it at any rate, so I wrote a sequel called CASTLE OF SORROWS of which I’m also very proud.

I also have another pseudo-series called SAVAGE SPECIES. That book is one of my most popular ones; it’s a brutal survival thriller along the lines of the film THE DESCENT. Since people enjoyed it so much, I wrote a prequel of sorts called CHILDREN OF THE DARK that’ll be published in early 2016 by Sinister Grin Press.

 

Sierra: How did you choose the genre you write in?

 

This will undoubtedly sound cheesy, but I’d say that horror chose me. I grew up between an old graveyard and a deep, dark woods, and I spent my childhood terrified of the spirits and monsters that I was convinced resided in those shadowy realms. I write in other genres, but horror will always be my favorite.

 

Sierra: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write?

 

In my most recent novel WOLF LAND, I loved writing the werewolf transformation scenes because they were uniquely compatible with my “approach.” Essentially, I love to subside into the background and allow my characters to seize control of the story, which means the books kind of write themselves. What more natural a scene to write then, than a transformation scene in which an irresistible impulse grabs hold of a character and changes him/her into something else? As liberating as most of my writing feels, those transformation scenes flowed so rapidly out of my fingertips that I could scarcely keep up with the words. There’s one scene in particular in the bathroom of a drive-in movie theatre that exploded onto the keyboard as violently as the blood exploded onto the cinderblock walls of the bathroom. WOLF LAND was a total blast to write.

 

Sierra:  Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

 

Tons of both. I forget who said this, but someone once called a writer “a person on whom nothing is lost.” I like to think I’m that way, watching the world closely, storing away details, and then allowing them to gush forth onto the page. At the same time, there are things I write that have no connection to anything I’ve ever done, seen, or heard. So yeah…both.

 

Sierra: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

 

Stephen King’s THE TOMMYKNOCKERS made of me a reader and a writer back when I was an adolescent, so that one will always have a special place in my heart. A recent book that influenced me was Gillian Flynn’s DARK PLACES. I loved how bold she was and how willing she was to follow her characters into their most depraved thoughts and behaviors. She has a great deal of guts, and I deeply admire that.

 

Sierra: Do you ever experience writers block?

 

Not yet, though I’ve heard enough about it to know how real it is for some writers. Personally, my only problem is having so many ideas and so little time to write them that I get frustrated at having to place wonderful projects on the backburner.

 

Sierra: Is there an author that you would really like to meet?

 

Stephen King. I would kill to meet Stephen King. Okay, maybe not kill, but I’d at least maim. I’ve met many of my writing heroes, but King is the one who showed me the way and is the single most important influence on my writing life. He can have no idea how much influence he’s had on the world, nor could I ever repay the debt I owe him. But I’d still love to meet him.

 

Sierra: Will you have a new book coming out soon? If so, can you tell us about it?

 

I have three coming out in 2016 (and maybe more). The first will be CHILDREN OF THE DARK in March. I’m really jazzed about that one because it’s my first “coming of age” book, and one that I think blends tenderness and savagery really interestingly. The second is EXORCIST FALLS, which is a novel-length sequel to an extremely successful novella called EXORCIST ROAD. The third will be an updated, improved version of a novella called WITCHING HOUR THEATRE, which was the first thing I ever got published.

 

Sierra: If you could go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your first novel or getting it published that you would change?

 

Not really, because I’m thankful for the way it has all happened. If I did go back and change anything it would be spending less time on query letters and worrying about breaking arbitrary writing rules, and spending more time on studying books the way I do now. Reading and examining a story by one of my favorite writers teaches me far more than any other method I’ve tried.

 

Sierra: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

 

Yes. While talent matters, and while there are a great many factors involved in writing, nothing is as important as persistence. I met F. Paul Wilson this summer, and one thing he said really resonated with me. He had a great quote about it, but rather than butchering it, I’ll just paraphrase him: “Everybody wants to succeed, but most writers don’t have the discipline to actually do it and stick to it.” I think that’s the biggest divider; there are tens of thousands—maybe even millions—of people with the talent to write. But the vast majority of those will never succeed because they simply don’t have the discipline, the humility, and the stomach to do it. If I could give any advice, I’d say to disabuse yourself of the notion that you’re owed anything by editors, agents, or readers and that you have to work your tail off consistently for a long time to earn your success. That might not be sexy advice, but I believe it’s true, and knowing that, you can buckle down and do the work. For me, it’s a reassuring thought because I love working for what I get. It makes success that much more rewarding.

 

Sierra: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

 

Jonathan: I am truly grateful for your support, and it means the world to me that you take the time to read my books. I work tirelessly to craft the best stories I can, but that effort wouldn’t matter without readers. So thank you. I deeply appreciate you!

Wolf Land tour graphic

Purchase Links

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Land-Jonathan-Janz/dp/1619231166

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wolf-land-jonathan-janz/1122266491

Samhain

https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5624/wolf-land

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Giveaway!!!

Enter to win ONE (1) print copy signed by Jonathan Janz of WOLF LAND! Click the link to enter. There are several things you can do to get multiple entries each day. Forward any questions to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjMxYWEzMGI1ZDE2MGYyYTgzYjk4NzVhYzhmMTdmOjI2/?

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Click on the book to see my review!

Wolf Land by Jonathan Janz + Giveaway

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“Jonathan Janz is one of the rare horror novelists who can touch your heart while chilling your spine. His work offers incisive characters, sharp dialogue, and more scares than a deserted graveyard after midnight. If you haven’t read his fiction, you’re missing out on one the best new voices in the genre.” –Tim Waggoner Reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Straub’s Ghost Story, this should please readers who appreciate a good haunting.”
—The Library Journal

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I love how authors are bringing back the classic shapeshifer characters.  This book is full of suspense along with your gore and of course a werewolf crisis!

There is a predator on the loose in the small town of Lakeview, which actually brings some excitement to the inhabitants.  All is well until a high school reunion brings together more than just old classmates, along with comes an ancient evil that no one is prepared for.

There’s an attack that doesn’t kill everyone…leaving a few survivors from the group.  Unfortunately we all know what happens when you survive a werewolf attack……the victims are changing and having unimaginable cravings.  Soon the town becomes a wolfland wasteland.

Perfect writing that will have you craving more from this author.  The plot was suspenseful and had me on the edge of my seat.  I was dreaming of werewolves in my sleep!  Highly recommend read!

Wolf Land tour graphic

Purchase Links

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Land-Jonathan-Janz/dp/1619231166

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wolf-land-jonathan-janz/1122266491

Samhain

https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5624/wolf-land

giveaway banner

Giveaway!!!

Enter to win ONE (1) print copy signed by Jonathan Janz of WOLF LAND! Click the link to enter. There are several things you can do to get multiple entries each day. Forward any questions to Erin Al-Mehairi, publicist, at hookofabook@hotmail.com.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjMxYWEzMGI1ZDE2MGYyYTgzYjk4NzVhYzhmMTdmOjI2/?

 

Twelfth Krampus Night by Matt Manochio

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

With Christmas just around the corner, don’t forget to leave candy in your shoes for Krampus!  This was a great book written by Matt Manchio and perfect for this time of year for all readers to enjoy….well only if you like a bit of a scare!

The Bavarian castle under siege by sadistic creatures and maiden Beate must escape it all.  Who is stopping her from leaving you say?  Well Saint Nicholas’s demonic helper, Krampus, and Frau Perchta, “a belly-slitting hag who prowls the countryside during First Night festivities to punish naughty teens.” Beate has no idea why these monsters want her.

This will enjoy you and chill you to the bones this Christmas, keep your noses clean or Krampus may pay you a visit…..

 

We Are Monsters by Brian Kirk + Giveaway

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The Apocalypse has come to the Sugar Hill mental asylum.

Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is a new, fresh and exciting story ready for you to devour!  Brian Kirk’s writing is amazing to say the least.  In “We Are Monsters”, something dark has been released into the halls of the Sugar Hill mental asylum……although they do not have sharp teeth or claws, what you will unravel as you read will have you mind blown.

An extremely paranoid schizophrenic who sees humanity’s dark side has just been admitted to Sugar Hill.  Dr. Eli Alpert is smitten as he has been working on a cure of schizophrenia and a drug that returns patients to their former selves.  Or so they think….the drug is unapproved and the Dr.’s test subjects are living just inside his reach.

Due to some unforeseen side effects of the drug, the monsters inside the patients start seeping out in a dark, inky goo of inner demons.  Leaving Sugar Hill an extremely dangerous place.

This is a very original tale that will keep you enthralled though out the entire book.  A thought provoking and somewhat horrifying novel delivered to us by author Brian Kirk, served on a sterile medial platter for us to enjoy!  Great work, I look forward to reading more from this author!

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Praise for We Are Monsters

“Keep an eye on Brian Kirk. His ambitious debut, We Are Monsters, is a high-voltage thrill, like watching Sam Fuller’s Shock Corridor and Joel Schumacher’s Flatliners on split screens. ” — Jonathan Moore, Bram Stoker Award nominated author of Redheads

We Are Monsters is fantastic — a frightening and intense thriller and one hell of a debut novel. I was blown away. Brian Kirk is exactly what readers need — a talented new voice with original, awe-inspiring ideas that can push the genre forward.”
-Brian Keene, best-selling author of Ghoul and The Rising

“Brian Kirk’s debut We Are Monsters is a smart, elaborate novel that weaves together the best and worst of us. Complex, terrifying, and still humane, this book moved me to both horror and compassion, and that’s a difficult thing indeed. Easily the best book I’ve read this year.” (Mercedes M. Yardley, author of Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy.)

“A tightly woven tale from an author who has a heart, and that makes me excited to see what else Kirk has in store for us. The whole story will have you examining the human race as never before.” (Ginger Nuts of Horror)

“Brian Kirk’s debut novel We Are Monsters is a sure bet. A hippy-trippy jaunt that goes deep into the baser things we keep bottled up… and what happens when they’re freed. Highly recommended!” (John F.D. Taff, Bram Stoker nominated author of The End In All Beginnings.)

“A disturbing, gets-under-your-skin debut novel. I expect to read much more from Kirk in the future.” (Robert Ford, author of The Compound and Samson and Denial.)

“Cleverly told. Psychologically complex.” (Scarlet’s Web)
“A gorgeous display of conceivable terror that resonates long after reading.” (Ranked as one of the Top Ten Horror Novels of 2015 by Best-Horror-Movies.net)

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Purchase Links

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/We-Are-Monsters-Brian-Kirk/dp/1619229803/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Barnes & Noble

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/we-are-monsters-brian-kirk/1121694935?ean=9781619229808

Samhain

https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5494/we-are-monsters

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Giveaway!!!

Click the rafflecopter link below and enter to win a $25 Amazon gift card from Brian Kirk! You can perform several tasks for entering each day here or at each stop that posts the giveaway link. Best of luck!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MjMxYWEzMGI1ZDE2MGYyYTgzYjk4NzVhYzhmMTdmOjI1/?

We Are Monsters tour graphic (1)

 

 

Author Interview…Jason Parent, author of “Seeing Evil”

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There’s not much to tell, really. I work, I read, I write, I go to the gym, and I dream of eating IHOP pancakes. I wish I could tell you I also work for the CIA cracking encoded messages while racing Lamborghinis down narrow mountain roads to lavish villas where I host the world’s biggest shuffleboard tournaments where losing could mean your life. Well, I could tell you that, but it wouldn’t be true. My real life just isn’t that interesting. I have a dog. And I suck at shuffleboard.

 

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Sierra:  When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

 

Jason:  I first started writing in middle school, but none of that could be taking seriously. I tried again in college, and that couldn’t be taken seriously either. Then came law school, where I wrote an as yet unpublished novel on summer vacations (and during boring classes). Hopefully, someday, that will be taken somewhat seriously. Ah, life’s too short to take me too seriously. I tried that once. Didn’t work out.

 

Sierra:  Tell us a little bit about your first book or the first book in the series.

 

Jason:  To date, I’ve written five novels, I’m deep into my sixth, and I have several novellas and novelettes in my possession. I have only published two of those novels at this time and am in no rush to publish the rest (though two are out for consideration). I start with that because although I have not written any series, my first novel (written, unpublished), my second novel (What Hides Within), and my fourth novel (Seeing Evil) feature a recurring character. They are all completely stand-alone books and are genre mashers in different way. Whereas What Hides Within is a horror/mystery/dark comedy mix, Seeing Evil is more horror/psychological/supernatural thriller mix. I think my readers have come to expect one thing from me at least: what I write will be dark and, I hope, always enjoyable.

 

Sierra: How did you choose the genre you write in?

 

Jason:  I don’t. I kind of let the story and characters decide for me. For example, Seeing Evil definitely as some horror elements to it, but primarily we have a detective, a killer, and two kids stuck in the middle. To me, that screams for action, for dangerous situations, for kids in trouble, and (if I’ve done my job right) for readers needing to turn the page to see if they get out of it. Fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller. Then again, most of my horror works also thrillers, so maybe I am defining my genre after all. Horror-thriller, with a reasonable helping of mystery and dark comedy.

Oh yeah… and then there’s the science fiction…

 

Sierra: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write?

 

Jason:  For Seeing Evil, the ending. It contains a sentiment not often found in my work, but somehow seemed fitting here. Other than that, I thought the third chapter worked, a particularly horrendous bullying scene told from the victim’s perspective. It was horrible, but I think holds a mirror to society. I hope I manage to shock readers with the action depicted, but more so with its susceptibility to reenactment.

 

Sierra:  Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

 

Jason:  Yes, what happens to Jimmy in the above-mentioned scene happen to someone I went to school with. Seeing Evil also addresses the issue of gun violence in schools, a topic that unfortunately appears in the news all-too-often these days. Little scenes here and there, bits of dialogue, etc. sometimes are pulled from personal experiences.

 

Sierra: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

 

Jason:  On one novelette, I straight out tried to emulate Poe. I want people to say it sounds like Poe, to have sort of a fond recollection of their times spent reading Poe when they read my story. I am no Poe and don’t claim to rival his greatness or even his last bowel movement’s greatness, but he has influenced me in my desire to write, and I hope to honor his memory by paying homage to him.

 

Sierra: Do you ever experience writers block?

 

Jason:  On a story, yes. Usually at the halfway mark. But there is always another work to work on or a later scene to address. I never have the sort of writer’s block where I have nothing to write.

 

Sierra: Is there an author that you would really like to meet?

 

Jason:  Well, Poe would have been nice. Meeting him now would be creepy, like something out of his stories. King would also be amazing to meet. I grew up reading his books, so he pretty much defined modern horror for me. The body of work he has produced is just unbelievable – hit after hit after hit. He’s definitely the King.

 

Sierra: Will you have a new book coming out soon? If so, can you tell us about it?

 

Jason:  I should have a new novelette coming out very soon. It is a horror/dark fantasy tale that deals with Scottish folklore, but turns it into something completely Jason Parent. I can’t wait for my readers to get their hands on this one!

 

Sierra: If you could go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of your first novel or getting it published that you would change?

 

Jason:  Yes. I think I would like to re-cover What Hides Within and fix some minor pesky issues that have bothered me since publication. Reviews of the book are many and have mostly been great, and I thank all reviewers (good and bad) for them. I lucked out in that the book has achieved success despite those minor issues, but for my own perfectionist peace of mind, I want them fixed and plan to fix them.

 

Sierra: Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

 

Jason:  Find a support group of editors, proofreaders, beta readers, critical reviewers, etc, that you trust. Rely on them. Be there for them too, so they may rely on you. There are good and bad people in all walks of life. Find the good ones. Be a good one.

 

Sierra: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?

 

Jason:  Yes. I may not have the most readers, but I certainly have the best. Those who have followed me since the beginning and those who have joined since, I value your feedback and criticism and will do my best never to publish anything that does not meet (and hopefully exceed) your expectations. I thank you for your support and hope that you will always feel free to contact me for any reason you wish at any of my social media sites.

And thank you, Sierra, for including me on A Simple Taste for Reading! I hope your fans have found this entertaining.

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Click on the book to read my review!