Guest Post by Harvey Lincoln, Author of 33 Ermine Street

On Writing 33 Ermine Street 

When I first started writing ’33 Ermine Street’ I intended to not only develop a strong storyline, but to create a central theme and develop the characters around it. In practice this meant spending the first six months doing nothing else other than sticking post-it notes against a cupboard door. Each note contained little parts of the story, character ideas and settings etc. When I felt I finally had what I wanted I started to type up small and very rough parts of the story, alongside doing quite a bit of background research to fill in any contextual gaps. In the end this process resulted in a 60-page outline of what was going to be the novel ’33 Ermine Street’.

I guess it sounds like a very methodical approach to writing, and I’m sure many writers would choose a very different approach to mine. My background as a designer was probably the reason behind this. People often think that being a designer is all about coming up with the most amazing ideas together with other free spirited designers. Well, it’s not really (sorry). It’s fun but it’s also hard work. Hard work that starts with research, endless sketching and keeping focused on the result you were aiming for all that time.

It was these skills that mostly helped me out with writing the novel. But there were more needed to complete it. I discovered how difficult it was to describe a scene the way I had it in my mind. In that sense, sketching it out is a lot easier. Words form an endless array of variables that you need to keep tuning until you get what you want. That was by far the hardest thing I learned.

Another thing I noticed, was how attached you get to the characters. Shen with his strong will, Alfred – the grumpy old man from down the road, and Sandeep – the local shopkeeper who was always ready to offer his advice. Although the characters are entirely fictional, they have all become dear friends of mine.

I truly hope that some of you will get to know them too. And when you do I hope you enjoy reading ’33 Ermine Street’ as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

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About the Book

“Religion is a human invention – love isn’t. It lives inside every person, no matter who they are, or what they do or do not believe in. Love is the only thing a person truly needs to believe in to receive love in return.”

Being an only child growing up in a Chinese immigrant family, Shen lives a relatively quiet and sheltered life in comparison to most other British teenagers. His parents, who ended up running a small Chinese restaurant, work tirelessly to make sure their only child is given the opportunities that they missed out on in life.

It’s a day like any other, when Shen becomes witness to a traumatic incident on his usual route to school. From that moment on, his peaceful and uneventful teenage life takes a drastic turn as he struggles to cope with the grim memories of that fateful morning.

Shen embarks on a very personal journey in an attempt to understand what happened. In the weeks and months that follow, he finds himself hurled into a turbulent world driven by fear, prejudice and social injustice.

33 Ermine Street is a touching yet confronting novel, set against the backdrop of a heavily polarized Britain.

Purchase Link:

amazon UK

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http://www.33erminestreet.com

About the Author

Harvey Lincoln was born and raised in the south of The Netherlands. He lived there for many years before moving to the UK in 2002 where he studied for both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Graphic Design. He has since returned to The Netherlands where he lives together with his English wife.
33 Ermine Street is his first novel.
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Wolf, in League by AF Henley: Blog Tour and Giveaway

The greatest gift of doing a blog tour is being able to touch base with old friends, and Cinderella Stories and I go back a long way. That’s one of the great things about the Internet, isn’t it? Being half a world away doesn’t really mean a thing when it comes to associates and acquaintances, and that is truly a blessing. So it’s an honour to be back as a guest and a friend, and I’m looking forward to sharing with you all the newest release in my Wolf series: Wolf, in League. For those that are joining the tour for the first time, welcome! And for those who have been here before, it’s amazing to see you again.

As I’ve done with the rest of the tours for these Wolf releases, this blog tour and giveaway is all about teasers. Tiny teasers, to be most accurate, which I like to think of as nothing more than a “bite” to whet your “appetite” for the rest. But before I let you get to it, I want to let you know about the giveaway that comes along with the tour. Follow through to the end of the post to learn how you could win your very own signed, print copy of Wolf in League, a “crystal and silver” diamante Howling Wolf Pendant, and a $20 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market.

And now, the teaser, and an inside—or should I say outside—look at the GDBCG…

Tiny Teaser: Post 2

It wasn’t the stars that drew him here in the wee hours of the morning, though. It was the bats. There was something about the construction of the Center that drew a bucket load of bats, not that Matthew could have said what it was. The thing he found most interesting about the phenomena was that one could find them swooping and swaying around the building’s concrete block walls and its flat, thermoplastic roof at times other than the hour or so between dusk and darkness. Common sense told Matthew it had to do with insect population, reflective lighting, and a lack of predators, but the owls and hawks that were common to the area made that last reason somewhat unlikely.

Who really knew, though? Maybe the same things that kept the doctors peeking covertly at dark shadows kept the smarter birds of prey away as well. Regardless, Matthew found himself staring at the tiny, black, soundless beasts for stretches of time that surprised him when he finally thought to check his watch. For creatures of the night with all kinds of Hollywood superstitions behind them, they were surprisingly peaceful to watch.

He’d just told himself that he’d better be heading back in when a sound seemed to brush past his ear. He cocked his head, paused, and listened. He almost thought it could have been one of the bats, drawn by the light or maybe the scent of his cologne, but if it had been a bat, then it was one of the most talented bats in history. Because there’d been something awfully weird in the way it had sounded. If he’d been asked to say what that oddness was, he would have had no choice but to admit—foolishly, really—that he’d heard someone speak. His name, even. Which was more ridiculous than imagining someone had spoken in the first place. He was six stories off the ground. He could see every inch of the otherwise empty balcony. Besides, there was no one else on the level Matthew occupied but for a security guard who had been half-asleep, if not completely asleep, when Matthew had walked past him twenty minutes ago; Matthew had checked the sign-in roster just to make sure because he’d wanted to have a chat with one of his colleagues regarding a certain finding Matthew had stumbled across the night before. And there were no after-hours visitors allowed, without exception. Even during the day, not even an expected guest would get past the security gate without a badge—a badge which automatically added their name, picture, and personal details to the roster so that anyone who was anyone would know where they were allowed to be and where they were not. If there was someone out in the darkness whispering his name at barely audible levels, it had to be one of the bats. Or a very talented deer with the ability to fly.

Matthew flipped up his collar, shook his head and turned back to the door that he’d left propped open behind him. The doors were all glass. The windows were glass. Glass, glass, everywhere glass. He’d often figured it was there for security more than just an effort to soften the rest of the cold concrete building. After all, it was easy to see through; nothing could hide behind a glass door. It was also reflective.

So when he saw a face—a smirk, bright eyes, sharp cheekbones—shining back at him, Matthew startled. He whirled back to face the balcony.

There was no one there. Just the stars and bats above him, and the trees, manicured lawn, and fading gardens below him.

Wolf, in League Excerpt
© AF Henley, 2016

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Blurb

Wolf, in League

It’s been months since anyone at the Committee has had any contact from the O’Connell family or their pack members, and they are not happy. Suspicious of the activities that took place in D.C. and determined to find out what the wolves are up to, the Committee recruits one of their newest residents, Doctor Matthew Dietrich, to play the part of neighbor and infiltrate the family.

Matthew has always been a keep-to-himself kind of person. Though idealistic and optimistic, he prefers to work in solitude, at night, while he researches the findings that he hopes will one day change the world. When he’s approached by the executives of the Center, he has no idea why they’d choose him. And to say he is skeptical over the concept of men that can shift into wolves would be an understatement. Until he meets his new partner, the man that will play the part of his “husband” in the Committee’s scheme, Doctor Gavin Strauss.

Genre: Gay, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Notes: Wolf, in League contains some explicit and violent content

Book 3 in the Wolf series

Purchasing Link – save 15% by preordering your copy today! Discount available until October 10th

The Giveaway

On behalf of the tour, please join the giveaway by taking part in the Rafflecopter below. The prize consists of a signed, print copy of Wolf in League, a “crystal and silver” diamante Howling Wolf Pendant, and a $20 gift certificate to the Less Than Three Press book market.

For all the terms and conditions, please check out the t’s and c’s posted on the Rafflecopter.

** Please note that this giveaway is being offered tour-wide and there will be one winner awarded for the entire event.

ENTER RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY HERE:

Again, a great big thank you to Cinderella Stories for having me today. And my thanks to you as well for joining in. Best of luck with the giveaway and I hope you enjoyed the post!

Until next time,

AF Henley ❤

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About the Author

Henley was born with a full-blown passion for run-on sentences, a zealous indulgence in all words descriptive, and the endearing tendency to overuse punctuation. Since the early years Henley has been an enthusiastic writer, from the first few I-love-my-dog stories to the current leap into erotica.

A self-professed Google genius, Henley lives for the hours spent digging through the Internet for ‘research purposes’ which, more often than not, lead seven thousand miles away from first intentions but bring Henley to new discoveries and ideas that, once seeded, tend to flourish.

Henley has been proudly publishing with Less Than Three Press since 2012.

For more information, please stop by for a visit at afhenley.com.

Book Review: The Year We Became Invincible by Mae Coyiuto

ISBN13: 9789712731488
Publisher: Anvil Publishing, Inc.
Format: Paperback
Pages: 179 pages

Dear Future Reader,

If you’re reading this book, it’s either:

1. You’re my future partner

2. I’m famous and my writings have been immortalized

3. You’ve violated my privacy and these are not meant for you

Let’s hope it’s not the last one. Before this year, I had my life all planned out. This book contains the story of the year that changed my life (well, my life so far). It’s the year I learned how to be invincible. That wasn’t really specific, but I guess you have to read on to see what I’m talking about.

Love,

Camille

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About the Author

Mae, or more formally known as Samantha Mae Coyiuto, wrote her first story at the age of six. She learned to love the art of illustrating and writing for children’s books. She first released a series of three children’s books: Fantastically Funny Tales, Friendly and Magical Tales, and Hilarious Animal Tales.

In 2010, she released her first YA book containing a series of short stories in her book Flight to the Stars & Other Stories. But after publishing Flight to the Stars & Other Stories, she realized that she wanted to pursue writing for the YA genre. Thus, the birth of The Year We Became Invincible.

Currently, she flies back and forth between the Philippines and California, where she is currently finishing her degree in Psychology. She hopes to finish sometime soon and is looking forward to a life of constant surprise.

To learn more about Mae and her stories, you can follow her on Twitter @maecoyiuto or check out her website maecoyiutowrites.com.

You can buy Mae’s book here:

http://www.anvilpublishing.com/shop/the-year-we-became-invincible/

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My Review
Warning: Contains Spoilers
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟out of 5 stars

The Year We Became Invincible by Mae Coyiuto is one of my favorite reads this year. Admittedly, I got nervous after reading the blurb at the back of the book. Because I didn’t like it. I thought its beautiful cover was overcompensating for the book’s story or lack of it (Being an avid reader, I have learned that beautiful covers didn’t mean beautiful stories lol). 😀 Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised and I’ve never been so happy to be proven wrong.

This book, written in epistolary form, is an amazing read. It is about high school student Camille Li writing to her “Future Partner” about her daily life, her ups and downs, worries about the future, and her love problems. The story is realistic and highly relatable. Most of all, Mae Coyiuto’s writing style reminded me of the books shown below which I loved reading when I was sixteen. 😀 Heh. Mae was probably not born yet at the time. Lol.

For such a fast read, The Year We Became Invincible is packing with a lot of life lessons. I loved a lot of one-liners unfortunately I was reading this on a moving bus on my way to an orphanage so I couldn’t jot down the quotes. But here are some I found during my quick scan:

“Imagine emptying the contents of your garbage can. Then, pile on another hundred pounds of trash. Pour buckets of the nastiest leftovers you can think of. Finally, top it all off with a layer of crap. Then, imagine being underneath that whole pile. I guess that’s the only way I can really describe how I feel right now.”

“Don’t let the disillusion of your dreams ever stop you from dreaming.”

“You know when you’re a kid, a lot of people keep telling you ‘you’re the future’ or ‘you can do anything’. I started to doubt all of that when I grew up. Reality becomes clearer when you grow up. You start to set these limits — these limits that dictate who you should be and what you should do. These limits build up over the years, and you don’t want to think beyond them. You don’t want to go beyond because it’s terrifying. You don’t know who you become past these limits, and that’s really terrifying. I felt that fear during our adventures, but I learned that it’s okay to be scared. Fear is okay if you don’t let it take over. When I did things despite that fear, that’s when all these limits didn’t matter. For the first time, I actually believe that I can do anything… I’m INVINCIBLE.”

“I’m the type of person who likes planning. When you have a plan, it says if you follow this one direction, everything’s going to be okay. The problem is life doesn’t have one direction. Sometimes, you never know where to go or even how far you’re going. Maybe instead of planning my life, it would be better to add life to my plan.”

“There are some people who know exactly who they want to be, and there are some people who have no idea. I’m still trying to figure out which one of the two I fall under. I don’t have all the answers right now (I actually have more questions than answers), but what I do know is that I’m lucky to be loved. ”

“Some whole families are not that whole, and some broken families are not that broken.”

Okay so these last two quotes… I love it because it reminded me of my sister and me and how we look out for each other. My elder sister is refusing to undergo an operation (she’s very, very scared) and I have to remind her that I, too, have her back.

“Your little sister will always look out for you.”

“I’m looking out for you, too.”

We may not realize our goals in life the way we envisioned it to, but it’s not the end of the world. Every time we stumble and fall, we can just get up and try walking again. Or, in Camille’s case, dancing. 🙂

Five stars to The Year We Became Invincible. It’s a book I’m sure I will reread. ❤ Shout out to Mina for my copy of this book. Thank you again! 🙂