Wednesday, June 25, 2014

@CarinKilbyClark on "Motherhood Did Not Change Me" #Parenting #NonFiction #AmWriting

What writing are you most proud of?
The writing I’m most proud of is a piece I wrote for the Huffington Post, Motherhood Did Not Change Me, It Made Me – of which an expanded version also became a part of the motherhood anthology New Life Within. It was such a personal piece about my experience with motherhood and how it shaped the person that I am today.
What are you most proud of in your personal life?
I’m most proud of the great example I have set for my children. As a single parent who first became a mother at the age of 17 and is divorced, there are many reasons why life could have gone a different way. But I never let my circumstances hold me back. Or determine what I was capable of achieving. I already see this same value at work within my children. And that makes me so very proud.
What genre of books do you adore?
I adore transformational books. I am a huge fan of continuous evolution. I look back, even a year ago, and I can see how much I’ve grown and changed. I love to read books that have advice, strategies, and tips on how to make the transformations in your life that are necessary for continually growth and self-development.
How did you develop your writing?
I developed – and continue to develop – my writing by studying the craft. Everything in writing is a learnable skill; and something that you can get better at with practice. Whether it’s crafting compelling headlines or telling really great stories, your writing is something that can be improved with practice.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I get my inspiration from life. From actually living – experiencing various situations and interacting with people. I write about what I’ve dealt with personally, so my writing is always inspired by my life.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
My family is ultra supportive. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without them. They are my cheering section and my sounding board – letting me pick their brains, get feedback on my writing, and share my dreams.
Do you plan to publish more books?
Yes – I’m currently writing my first major book, Live Joyous Mommyhood, for release in late 2014/early 2015. I will soon begin writing my first Memoir, titled the same as my blog Memoirs of a Clueless Woman, for release late 2015.
What else do you do to make money, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…
I have a full-time job (that I love) as an Analyst and I also run two businesses – Clue Consulting, LLC which is a content marketing strategy and media publishing company, and The Mommyhood Mentor where I work with mothers on how to balance priorities, reduce stress, and experience happiness in motherhood.
How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
I guess I’m a bit “old-fashioned” because I still love to write with paper and pen. I have several notebooks that are filled with all the different story ideas, book outlines, and projects that I’ve started. Because I’m normally on the go, I write from just about anywhere. From my desk, to my bed, on the bus, and everywhere in between.
Every writer has his or her own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
For me, success in writing would be one person who reads a story or book that I’ve written and who feels something; hopefully positive, but something nonetheless. If I can touch at least one life, and inspire someone to make a change or help someone to realize the happiness within, then I feel successful in writing.
Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?
Time Management Made Easy for Busy Moms offers five simple, yet effective, tips for moms who want (need) to take control of their time so they can get more things done. I wrote this book at the request of many readers and friends who would always ask me “how do you do it all?” As a mother of three very active children who works full-time and runs two businesses while also managing to get out for a girls night every now and then, I get asked all the time about my time management secrets. A few people even asked me to write the book on what works for me. Thinking there may be other moms out there that could benefit from my methods, that’s what I did.

Do any of these excuses sound familiar?

I’m just too busy
I have too much on my plate
There’s never enough time
I have to do it all
I don’t know how to manage it all

If you answered yes, then prepare to put an end to the overwhelm once and for all. In Time Management Made Easy for Busy Moms, Carin Kilby Clark shares five simple tips that moms can implement right away to improve how they control their time and get things done.

Time Management Made Easy for Busy Moms offers insight into the one major block that prevents us from maximizing our time, gives readers practical information that is easily applied to everyday life, and helps you along the path to your “aha” moments about how and why you’ve been ineffective in managing your time; and how to to finally put time in its rightful place {on your side, of course!}.

As the mother of three very active children who also works full-time, runs a business in her “spare” time, publishes a lifestyle & parenting site, manages a growing motherhood community, and regularly contributes parenting advice to many popular sites in the parenting/family life niche, Carin’s advice is solid; based on methods that she has successfully implemented in controlling her time and getting things done.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Parenting, Relationships
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Carin Kilby Clark on Facebook & Twitter

Friday, June 20, 2014

@KentBurden Points Out the Insidious Thief in a Writer's Office #AmReading #AmWriting #NonFiction

If you’re a writer beware. There is an insidious thief lurking in your office just waiting to steal years off your life. What makes this killer so diabolical is just how in innocuous it is, so much a part of your life that you probably barely think about it. Yet using this regularly may be as bad as smoking cigarettes for your health. What is this silent killer ninja? Your office chair…that’s right your office chair. For us writers our office chair can feel like home. It’s the place where you go to get your creative juices flowing, the spot that allows you to disappear into another more exhilarating and exciting world, the place where dreams are realized and made real. But new research has exposed the seedy underbelly of our beloved office chair (actually lounge chairs, sofas, loveseats and benches as well).  New research proves that sitting for extended periods of time increased your risk of getting diseases like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, obesity and certain forms of cancer and that doing 30-60 minutes of exercise a day wasn’t enough to counteract the damage that sitting does. Further more people who sit more during the day were heavier than people who moved around and spent more time standing during the day regardless of how much they exercised. Oh the horror!
The scourge of “sitting disease” can strike anyone. My good friend Jeanne Kalogridis who has also written under the pen name J.M Dillard is A New York Times Best Selling author who has written 37 novels and counting tells this story.
“When I was on a book deadline it wasn’t unusual for me to sit and write for 6 or 8 hours at a stretch without getting up and it seemed like I was always on a deadline.” This is pretty typical for a professional writer. Deadlines are a fact of life and the bottom line is an author has to do what it takes to deliver the manuscript on time. But Jeanne began to notice that her weight was creeping up and she didn’t feel as energetic as she used too. “I tried to exercise on a regular basis but nothing I did seemed to help” says Jeanne  “it was really frustrating, I felt like I was doing all the right things but I wasn’t getting the right results”
That was when Jeanne hired me to be her personal trainer. According to my records after we began working Jeanne lost 20 pounds, not bad but her goal had been 30 and no matter how hard we tried we just couldn’t get rid of those last 10 pounds. Jeanne was one of my “problem clients” As a trainer you always have clients that trouble you. They work hard in their sessions, say their doing all the things you tell them to do on their own, insist they are sticking to their diet program, but never can get to the weight loss goal they set or they can’t seem to get their blood work numbers were they need to be. I always chalked it up to the “they think they are but there not syndrome”. Many people fool themselves into thinking they are doing things that they aren’t actually doing, you’ve seen it. The person who says they eat healthy but over the course of the day eats 20 mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from the office candy dish and then scarfs down half a quart of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey Ice Cream while watching Game of Thrones just before bed. But that’s not the vibe I got from Jeanne she was dedicated and motivated.
Jeanne was especially troubling because we worked together 4 days a week for an hour and a half a day, more than enough time to reach her goal, yet it remained elusive. This was in 2001.
We were never able to get rid of those last ten pounds and it bothered me for years.
Fast forward to 2010 and while working at a high end California spa, I was sitting at my desk in my office reading a popular men’s magazine (I was on my break– I swear) when I came across an article that said new research proved that sitting for extended periods of time was as bad for your health as smoking cigarettes and could cause weight gain no matter how much exercise a person did. I immediately thought of Jeanne.
If you’re not a big time professional New York Times bestselling author (yet) this may be an even bigger threat to your health and wellbeing. Since most aspiring writers also have to hold down “day jobs” then write that hot new novel after they punch out, the time spent in the chair may be even higher. The desk job has become the norm in America and across most of the Western world. Many of us are virtually chained to our desks, working on our computers, answering emails, teleconferencing and doing Skype meetings. For most, the only reason to get up out of our chairs is to take a quick bathroom break, and then it’s back to the desk to type up that report or send out that follow-up e-mail. According to a poll of 6,300 people by the Institute for Medicine and Public Health, Americans spend an average of 56 hours each week just sitting. That’s up by eight percent in the last twenty years. We are also contending with longer commutes to work, leaving us sitting in our car fighting traffic for longer periods of time each day, and causing us to be more sedentary than ever before. If you’re a writer working on that incredible novel that will get you out of that dead end job, coming home after a hard day’s work often means sitting back down in front of your computer for three or four more hours. While this is clearly admirable and absolutely necessary to bring your dreams to life it may be playing havoc with your health.
So what’s a writer to do? In my book Is Your Chair Killing You? I show you just how to combat sitting disease and improve your health and help you lose weight. Best of all the cure is actually super easy, can be done almost anywhere and takes as little as 8 minutes a day. In this ground breaking book you will learn how to stay active all day long and still be productive and actually improve creativity. So buy Is Your Chair Killing You? and you can finish that novel and still live long enough to enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Sitting for extended periods of time is as bad for your health as smoking cigarettes. And exercising for 30-60 minutes a day isn’t enough to undo the damage from extended periods of sitting. Is Your Chair Killing You reveals shocking new research showing that sitting for long periods greatly increases your risk of developing obesity, heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer. Our bodies were designed to move constantly over the course of the day, but most of us sit for hours a day at work and at home! Fitness and wellness expert and award-winning author Kent Burden has created brief, simple movements you can incorporate into your daily life to combat the damaging effects of sitting. These simple movements, done standing for 1-5 minutes each hour will burn calories, energize and refresh you, and you won’t even break a sweat; you’ll even improve your back pain. This book is a how-to for weight loss and disease prevention. Read this book–you’ll be healthier in as little as 8 minutes a day.
Nominated for the Dan Poynter Global Ebook Awards and won honorable mention at the Los Angeles Book Festival
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Non-Fiction
Rating – G
More details about the author
Connect with Kent Burden on Facebook & Twitter
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Thursday, June 19, 2014

@Ted_Tayler Sheds Some Light On Outlining vs. Pantsing #AmWriting #WriteTip #Thriller

When I first looked at this question I immediately thought that I was a ‘Pants’ kind of guy! I’ve told you elsewhere about how ‘The Final Straw’ was written, so for any new readers I’ll just prĂ©cis my experience and leave them to search out the full story if they have a mind to.
I had a few rough ideas for a novel, a middle and end for sure, but not much of a beginning. I hadn’t thought about how to get my characters to the tipping point that led on to the murder and mayhem I had envisaged for the end of my story. I knew my main character was an ‘oddball’, someone who didn’t fit into society in any meaningful way, so I typed ‘Colin Bailey was invisible.’ as my opening sentence.
The floodgates opened and the rest of the book followed; no outline for how the plot line might progress, the original female lead character was sidelined. She still appeared in the book and then disappeared as I had imagined in my fledgling rough ‘outline’ but the actual ending was totally different to the possible finale I had jotted down in my half a page of notes.
I loved the freedom it gave me. Even though it was my first attempt at a novel I knew that my characters would take me wherever they wanted to go and my job was to go wherever that led me.
When I came to write ‘Unfinished Business’ I had the beginning and some of the early events already of course because it followed on from the first book. Several of the characters returned, ten years older and there were loose ends that Colin Bailey needed to sort out. So on this occasion I prepared a FULL page of notes for my outline and although I wrote the chapters that followed with the same freedom, I did have signposts along the way that steered me towards the final confrontation between good and evil that I had sketched out in my notes.
So I appear to use a little of both options then? I looked at my twelve short stories last night to try to remember how I had tackled those. ‘A Sting In The Tale’ was a bit of fun really, it started as an exercise to introduce myself to members of a local writing group. I wrote a couple of stories with an unexpected twist at the end because poetry wasn’t really my bag! Guess what I realised when I trawled through the book? There were some that I can recognise now are formulaic and it’s easy to spot what the ‘Sting’ will be and others are more ‘free form’ and might keep the reader guessing until the final page.
Unconsciously, I seem to use both options in my writing; a ‘loose outline’ and a ‘seat of your pants’ option!
The only thing I can be certain of is that I have never had a complete plan and never would! It would restrict me too much; I want to have the freedom to be character driven and go where they take me, that way if I can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen next and how it’s all going to end, then nor are my readers! That’s got to be an author’s ultimate aim surely?

The sequel to the award winning ‘The Final Straw’ sees Colin Bailey return to the UK after almost a decade abroad. With a new name and a new face he still has scores to settle. His meticulous planning takes him ingeniously across Scotland and the North of England ticking names off his list with the police completely baffled. 

DCI Phil Hounsell pitted his wits against Colin before and so he is sent to Durham where he teams up with super intelligent young DS Zara Wheeler; together they track their man to Manchester and then eventually south to Bath. 

The final scenes take place on the streets of the Roman city; Phil Hounsell’s family is threatened and in a dramatic conclusion reminiscent of Holmes and Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls, the two men struggle above the foaming waters of the historic Pulteney weir. 
Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre – Thriller
Rating – PG-18
More details about the author
Connect with Ted Tayler on Facebook & Twitter

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Getting to Know Richard Parry (Night's Favour) @TactualRain #AmReading #Fantasy #Thriller

What book genre of books do you adore?
It always comes back to speculative fiction.  Whether it’s about star ships, dragons, vampires, ghosts, or werewolves, I’m there.  A good speculative fiction work takes the story of people and tests it against some really significant problems and challenges.
It’s easy to fall in love.  Is it easy to fall in love in a zombie apocalypse?  It’s easy to buy someone a coffee.  Is it easy to share your meal with them at the end of the world?
That kind of thing really gets me going.
What book should everybody read at least once?
The Cloth Merchant’s Apprentice, by Nigel Suckling (
It’s a bit of a rare book today — it’s one of my treasured paper artefacts.  There are still some copies kicking around used online, and I’ve just checked Amazon — it’s out there (  It reminds me of Gaiman at his best, a story that’s gentle and startling, much like Stardust.
This book taught me that you can have adventures and romance together, and that the way a story is told is a tremendous amount of the beauty in it.  The book is honest and respectful, fun and soulful in equal measure.
I will never part with it.
Is there any books you really don’t enjoy?
Anything that’s “YA.”
Wait, don’t go.  It’s not like that.
“YA” is not a genre, not really — it’s a descriptor for a group of people who are trying to find their way in the world like the rest of us.  They’re people, clever and intelligent, and want to know more about which way is up.  They have the best parts of enthusiasm and the worst parts of inexperience.  Saying you’ve got a genre for “YA” is like saying you’ve got a genre for Czechoslovakia.
Is “YA” the best we can do when we’re trying to sell a vapid vampire romance?  I get that a vampire romance can be awesome, so let’s — as storytellers — respect our audience and encourage the brain over the beast.  Let’s not tell stories that feed on our insecurities and baser nature.
One of my favourite quotes here comes from a Master™, Stephen King.  Love or hate the man, but he’s written a lot of stuff about a lot of things.  It’s hard to cite the original source, and maybe it’s urban legend, but it feels right:  “Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend.”
Contrast with King’s example of Rowling, or Le Guinn’s Earthsea series, and you can see the gap.  It’s totally possible to write for a younger audience and respect them.  I’d like to see more of that respect when we’re telling stories to our next generation.  After all, these are the people who will be our leaders and change the world after our footprints are gone.
What do you hope your obituary will say about you?
That I lived well, that I did things that were right despite that they were hard, and that I was a good friend, husband, and human.
And that I had one foot in Heaven before the devil knew I was dead.
It’s kind of hard, though.  There’s a way you’d like your life to be like, and then there’s how the world around you impacts on the edges of that.  You’ve got people at work, or people in your social club.
Everyone knows that special person in HR.  You know what I mean.
I’d like all those people, and my friends and family too, to think that I made the world just a little bit better while I was on it.  If that was said at my obituary, that’d be enough.
Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I was born in the Philippines.
Yeah, I love whipping that one out.  Truth be told I didn’t spend much time there — my parents yanked me back Stateside when I was about two years old, give or take, so my memories of the place are just a couple of scattered images.  A garden.  A few people, one of whom I was sure was my nanny.  Nothing bad — it’s a place I’d like to go visit again, with full expectation that I know nothing about it.
Speaking of Stateside, I spent some of my formative years in the US, largely at the edges — Los Angeles and New York City.  I remember sunny places where there’d be a jalopy with the roof cut off, and winters so cold that your face hurt.
I really don’t want to live somewhere where the air makes your face hurt.  What the hell is this, Pluto?
After my folks split up, we drifted across the US for just a little while, touching down in Connecticut before heading to New Zealand.  I’ve spent most of the rest of my life here in little Aotearoa.
When I got here, there were only two TV channels.  There were only cartoons on a Saturday morning.  That’s bullshit, plain and simple.
Despite my initial poor reaction to the backwater third world country that I thought I’d arrived in as a kid, I view New Zealand as my home.  I’ve travelled to a few places, Australia of course, Japan, Italy, America a few times, and the odd resort location to drink cocktails out of a coconut.
I don’t like Fiji.
People around me still think I have a little bit of an accent, and wonder where I come from.  I sometimes wonder that as well, and I like that I can lend a few different voices to my writing.
How did you develop your writing?
By abuse, mainly.
When I wanted to get serious about it, my little brother stepped up and threw me into a writer’s group — run by a pro, and it was more of a critique group than anything else.
Here’s the thing: when you write something, and you put your thoughts on paper, you think it’s awesome.  I mean, it probably doesn’t need any editing, and can go straight from your brain to the printing press at a mega publisher.  The people who aren’t getting published?
Hacks.  All of them.
Then you join a writer’s group, people who really just want to write good stuff, and wow — you will begin to understand just how much you suck.  It’s not like these people sit there and tell you that you suck, but the variety of feedback will show you gaps you never even knew you had.
So yeah.  I wrote a lot, about a lot of different things.  Sure, I was working on Night’s Favour, but I also wrote a few short stories, and some radio plays, and the odd poem or two.  All under the watchful gaze of my writer’s group, who were hard and soft, gentle and stern, but above all else, faithful to making me a better writer.
Other than that, I wrote.  I wrote around the edges of my life, and thought about writing when I wasn’t writing.  Mostly dialogue, but also about scenes, and the way things would play out.
And then I wrote some more.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
It’s possible our house was built on an old industrial spill, with some toxic chemicals that leached up through the loam and into our very bones.  If that’s the case, I’ve been super unlucky with living in houses built on old spill sites, because I’ve had weird ideas since as long as I can remember.
It could have easily have been something baked into the old Crayola crayon set I had when I was a kid.  It’s hard to be sure — was there ever a recall?  How do they make those colours?
I read a lot.  I watch a lot of movies.  I talk to people who read a lot and watch a lot of movies. I like taking something that’s a little familiar to people — say, a nice werewolf legend — and then sprucing it up with a bit of industrial magic, a virus or two, see where it goes.
Ideas are not something I’m short on.  How many of them are good ideas is probably a bit subjective, but I feel like I could sit down and write books until the end of my days, until the tips of my fingers were worn away, and not hit the bottom of the barrel.
I just want to do those ideas justice.  I want the stories to be fun and insightful — I don’t want to start writing without a good idea about the story that wants to be told.  I try and ask myself, what makes this story different?
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
Getting published, by a long shot.
Marketing, there’s some dudes out there who can help you, if you’re unable to do it yourself.  Lots of companies and people exist with a special flare for this — heck, this interview here is a great example.  Generous people, with a real talent for helping you get visibility?  They’re out there.
Writing is probably the easiest part, for a writer.  If it’s not, you might be in the wrong profession.  I don’t want to come across as conceited, but this is the thing we’re doing here.
The publishing part is still shrouded in mystery.  I figure I’d have a better chance of getting a deal with Tor if I did some Pagan rituals in my back garden: it’s not like the path is clear.  Every so often a major publisher will throw open their doors: Angry Robot, or Harper Collins, or whatever.  This is rare, though, and you’re up against a fair level of noise in that funnel to get noticed.  I can just imagine some poor bastard at Angry Robot, trying to sift through the manuscripts, and in a fit of rage dumping their entire desk into the trash.  If you’re that guy, I’m sorry.
To get a real shot, it feels like you need to get a good agent, and finding a good agent is just as hard a tower to climb.  There’s no easy path, no three-step process, no recipe for how to bake that cake.
I suspect this is in part why I lot of people go indie.  It’s not that indie makes you more successful, but with indie you get your product out there, and people can actually read it.  And they can read it before one of our Earth years have passed.  Fuck sake, but have you seen some of the publisher submission timelines?  6 months before they let you know if they like it, and another 18 months before it’ll be on a shelf.  And a lot of contracts are really unbecoming, very biased in favour of the publisher.  There’s no partnership there, no win-win, and there’s a real problem in a contractual relationship where both parties aren’t out for the equal success of the other.  Publishers?  If your contracts look like you’re treating your writers like cattle to be farmed, they’re going to stampede away.
Compare that to click-to-print with an indie system, and you can see the attraction.  Maybe your book isn’t at your corner store, but unless your surname is King it’s probably not going to be anyway.
I digress, but yeah: publishing.  I think that’s still an area needing a bit of work.  And there’s tremendous opportunity here: you see companies like Penguin and Random House merging in response to market pressure.  People are going to crash and burn in this new future we’re already inside.  And yet: publishers are uniquely suited to be able to still serve as a robust quality gate for content, if only they shift the model significantly in the favour of win/win for authors and themselves, think about the outcome for the customer, and adopt a more rapid distribution system.  Sure, I’m simplifying for the sake of a pithy paragraph, but the success stories of the next five years will be told by publishers who’ve made the shift from their traditional model.
What marketing works for you?
Generally, it’s been word of mouth, and reviews.  The more reviews, the better the success, but those only start with a few people who know you, willing to give you a shot.
You’d be surprised how many people who know you are really uncomfortable with reading your stuff.  What if they don’t like it?
I try and let people know there’s no obligation, that not every book is for everyone.  I get that it’s creepy and weird to write a review for someone that you know.  You give a four-star review to them, and suddenly the de-friend you on Facebook, kill your cat, and burn down your house.
It should have been five stars, asshole.
I get that.  But it’s still great marketing, to have people in your corner, telling people about this great new read they found.
It makes sense: of the last ten books I’ve read, eight of them were recommendations by people I know.  I learn their tastes, where those tastes align with mine, and pick a book based on what they say.  Sometimes I’ll get a book by randomly surfing through Amazon’s recommendations, but that seems fraught with peril, noisy, and subject to some weird analytics that I don’t quite grok.
Do you find it hard to share your work?
Those first drafts, sure.  I’ve got some beta readers who are awesome, there is no amount of money or sexual favours that can make up for the first drafts some of them read.
Once the draft starts to gain a bit more coherency, I find it easier to share — I’m proud of the thing I made, and I’m happy to put it out there.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
Beyond all reason and sanity, yes.
Some of the people I know kind of tilt their head sideways when I tell them I’m a writer, that I write novels, and they kind of say, “Really?”  Like it’s a thing you catch from doing unwholesome things in Thailand.
But those people aren’t really friends, more acquaintances.  Friends and family have my back, fully, and do things that are unexpected.  They send me articles on writing, or publishing.  They share their thoughts and ideas with me, and listen with endless patience about my ideas.  They’ll read excerpts that I throw at them and provide feedback.  I can bounce off half-formed ideas and they’ll be there with a catcher’s mitt, ready to help even though it’s not quite fair, that they don’t have all the pieces.
Speaking of patience, they are all enthusiastic about my next work, and claim impatience for it to be delivered.
It helps.  It helps a lot.  It’s fair to say that I write for me, because it’s a thing I enjoy and that I want to do.
But I can’t help but think that my stories want to be read by other people.  And if my friends and family like those stories, even if the rest of the world doesn’t?  It’s okay.  That’s enough.

Valentine’s an ordinary guy with ordinary problems. His boss is an asshole. He’s an alcoholic. And he’s getting that middle age spread just a bit too early. One night — the one night he can’t remember — changes everything. What happened at the popular downtown bar, The Elephant Blues? Why is Biomne, the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, so interested in him — and the virus he carries? How is he getting stronger, faster, and more fit? And what’s the connection between Valentine and the criminally insane Russian, Volk?
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Action, Thriller, Urban Fantasy
Rating – R16
More details about the author
 Connect with Richard Parry on Facebook & Twitter