Saturday, September 21, 2013

A GOOD READS to Remember!!

Proudly Present
Authors V.L. Dreyer
and C.S. Janey
Happy Reading! 

Synopsis One:  Character Perspective
 The virus came from deep in Africa.

By the time they had a name for the disease it had wiped out half the continent. Within a year, it had decimated our world. Our species is on the verge of extinction. Only a few of us have survived; those of us lucky enough to be born with a natural immunity to the plague. We scavenge amongst the ruins of our old civilizations, picking out a living from the devastation.

Ten years ago, I watched my family die one by one. Now, I am alone. The year is 2024; it has been a decade since the virus reduced humanity to a scattering of survivors strewn out across the world.

The rules that governed our society are gone.

Without laws to protect the innocent, I have seen the worst of humanity throughout the years. Now, I have found a new family who are determined to show me the best. But a fresh mutation of the virus has started turning the harmless, pathetic infected into monstrous predatory creatures bent on our destruction; even the wildlife is turning against us.

We are forced to leave our home and flee for our lives. It is only through unity that we stand any chance of survival. Enemies wait around every turn. For the sake of our children and our children’s children, we must find some way to survive and flourish again. If we fail, then the human species will cease to exist.

My name is Sandy McDermott, and I am a survivor. This is my story.

Synopsis Two: Story Overview

The virus came from deep in Africa. By the time they had a name for the disease it had wiped out half the continent. Within a year, it had decimated our world. Now, ten years on, our species is on the verge of extinction. Only a few of us have survived; those of us lucky enough to be born with a natural immunity to the plague.

Sandy McDermott is one of those survivors. In the wake of the disaster, she lives a solitary existence without human contact. A lone woman in a world without rules swiftly becomes easy prey. She has been a victim before, but she will not let that happen again.

One day in the heat of summer, Sandy suffers a terrible injury while scavenging for supplies. Alone and in pain, she must make the hard decision to give up her safe, lonely existence and seek help. Every moment of her past has told her that the only thing that can come from other people is pain and death, but she must put aside her terror and search for the medication she needs.

She makes it to an old hospital, where a surprise encounter with another lone survivor brings about two unexpected revelations, one good and one bad. The good is finding a group of kind people that are willing to help her, and ask nothing in return. A group that includes someone that Sandy thought was dead.

The bad is discovering that the virus has begun to mutate. The previously harmless undead are turning into something much, much more dangerous.

One way or another, the survivors must mutate as well. They must find a way to recover from the disaster, before humanity and everything that it has achieved is lost forever.
Synopsis Three: Author's Foreword
There has been some confusion regarding whether or not this book is zombie horror. I don’t want anyone to buy it, then get upset because it’s not what they expected. The Survivors is kind of a genre-bender. It’s a little bit apocalyptic, a bit dystopian, a bit science-fiction, and there’s even a dash of romance in there for spice. Yes, it does have a few zombies, but the zombies are not the focus of the story. They are merely an element of the environment.

The story takes place in the Waikato region of New Zealand, ten years on after a killer plague erased the majority of our species from the face of the earth. 99.5% of humanity is either dead, or has been reduced to the (mostly) harmless, lumbering undead. The few people lucky enough to be immune to the disease have spent the last ten years struggling to live amongst the ruins of a dead society.

For some people, the time hasn’t been so bad. For other people – like our heroine and narrator, Sandrine McDermott – the last ten years have been a living hell. Without rules to keep people civilized, there’s nothing to keep a lone female safe except her own wits. Sometimes, that’s just not enough.

Life has not been kind to her. In fact, it’s safe to say that fate’s been kind of a bastard. However, it’s also a whimsical bastard. When Sandy injures herself and is forced to go looking for the medication she needs to survive, she finds herself on the receiving end of kindness in the last place she expects. She’s forced her to reassess her place in the world, and her own humanity.
The Survivors is a four-part tale that follows Sandy’s evolution from the psychologically-damaged wreck that she at the beginning of the story, to the true heroine that we need to preserve our species from extinction.

Somehow, some way, she must go from being one of the hopeless wanderers, to being our hope for a new tomorrow.

This book is written entirely in New Zealand English, which is an offshoot of British English.
Victoria L. Dreyer (preferred name Vic) was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. She grew up in a home that valued literacy above all else, and she learned her love of books during childhood.

At the age of 14, she penned her first novel in the form of the original draft of the yet-to-be-published “The Gyrath’s Gate Chronicles,” which is in the process of being adapted to graphic novel format. Since then, she has written and illustrated five graphic novels, dozens of short stories, and goodness knows how many discarded manuscripts.


Shortly after high school, she co-founded the graphic novel publisher Blue Scar Productions with the aid of Alexandra “Blue” Saunders. Between the two of them, they recruited sixteen volunteers united by their love of comic books. Although Blue Scar Productions ceased to operate as a commercial entity in November 2011, Ms. Dreyer has since gone on to pen numerous novels under her own name, and her pen name Abigail Hawk. Her preferred genres are science fiction, post-apocalyptic survival and romance - and sometimes all three at once.

Due to a medical condition that has made it impossible for her to work her day job, Ms. Dreyer has pushed through to release her first two novels, The Survivors Book I: Summer and The Immortality Clause. Never one to let something like a little hearing loss get her down, she is now focused on her writing, some freelance work for Grinding Gear Games, and maintaining the Goodreads group "Some Like It Hot".

She enjoys talking to her readers, and actively encourages all authors to be receptive to feedback, both good and bad, because it's the only way that they'll learn their craft. She enjoys helping new writers join the community, and through "Some Like It Hot" has been working hard to develop a safe, interactive community between writers at all stages of their careers, and the readers that are their life-blood. 

"The first task of every author is to evoke emotion in their reader. You may laugh, or you may cry; you may love me, or you may hate me. So long as I make you feel something, I know that I'm doing my job." - V. L. Dreyer

1.  Not only are you an author, but you’re the moderator for the great romance group on entitled Some Like it Hot!  How do you find the balance?

The group practically runs itself.  I just jump in a couple of times a day, post on the active threads, and occasionally post a picture of a sexy guy.  It was hard work when I first took over, but now that it's settled down into a comfortable routine, it's just become part of my day to day life.  I get up, I check my email, I check my Goodreads notifications, etc.

2. When it comes to creating your characters, where do you draw your inspiration from?

A multitude of places, but most of my basic concepts come from dreams, or from ideas that come to me on the verge of sleep.  I usually just start with a very basic concept, and work from there.  For example, with The Survivors, the only idea I had when I started writing was that I wanted to write a love story set against a zombie apocalypse.  I had no idea where it was going to go, what the characters were going to be like, or even what kind of zombie apocalypse it'd be.  The characters often seem to build themselves, from a tiny, formless cell to a full-grown entity before I quite know what's happening.

3.  What part of the writing process do you dislike most, and why?

Editing and proof-reading.  I love my editor, but it's very tough being critiqued.   Young writers often ask me how I can tolerate it, and I tell them the truth:  I can't.  I just go away and cry a bit, then come back and go back to work.

4.  Why makes your writing style unique?

To be honest, I don't know if I have a writing style, or if it's unique.  I'm not concerned about style, or art, or being different.  I just want to tell a story.

5.  How long does it typically take for you to write your novel(s)?

A month.  No, seriously.  Then it takes six-eight months to edit the blasted thing.  Haha!  I tend to go mad when inspiration hits, and write 10,000 words a day until it's done.    I started The Survivors on December the 1st 2012, and finished it just before midnight on December 31st 2012.  Then it was released on the 1st of August 2013, because that's how long it took to do the rest of it!

6.  How many years have you been writing?

I'm about to turn thirty, so about twenty-five years.  I popped the ol' writing cherry when I first started school, and just never really stopped.  I penned my first full length novel when I was fourteen, then moved on to writing graphic novels for a long time before I decided to focus on my medium of choice.

7.  What do you do when the writer’s curse strikes—meaning, ‘writer’s block,’ if you’ve ever experienced it? 

That depends on what kind of place I'm in emotionally.  I'm not afraid to admit that I've suffered from extreme depression for a very long time - a lot of creative souls do - and sometimes when I'm at the bottom of that black place, the only way to get back out is to let time heal you.   When I'm not in the black place, I set myself goals.  I sit down and say "I'll write 250 words today" or "I'll proof-read one chapter today", and then when I'm done I'll reward myself with something that I actually want to do.  I find that helps me not lose my place, and at least get some little thing done.

8.  With a woman as busy as you, what do you enjoy doing when you’re not slaving away at your keyboard in the writer world?

I work full time, believe it or not.  I'm kind of like Batman, only blonde.  I currently work as a moderator for the amazing company Grinding Gear Games, which means I do in-game customer service.  That's right, I go from writing stories, to writing to customers.  There is a bit of a story behind that, though.  I was working in a call centre, when I was diagnosed with a gradual process disease called Meneire's Disease.  It inhibits my balance, causes fits of dizziness and nausea, and will gradually rob me of my hearing.  When they told me that what I had was quite advanced, and unusual because it effects both ears, I realised that I had to take action.  I've spent the first twenty-eight years of my life just cruising, doing whatever, with the distant dream of being an author.  What the specialist didn't realise he was telling me on that day was that I couldn't keep cruising, and that I would have to start making plans for the day when I can no longer hear at all.  So, I started writing in earnest.   In June this year, the condition advanced to the point where I could no longer keep working in the call centre, and I had to resign.  Finding the job with GGG was an amazing stroke of luck, but it's still my dream to be able to make a living from being an author.  The only difference is that now I'm on the way to making that dream a reality.

9.  As an author, one of my biggest hurdles to get over is being a perfectionist.  What obstacles do you have to constantly work through as you write?

I'm ADHD and OCD, so everything has to be perfect, but not for very long!  Pretty similar to that perfectionism thing, actually.  I'll finish one draft, think it's absolutely perfect, then I'll go back and read something, hate it, and have to do it all over again.  The final scenes of The Survivors Book I were re-written about eight times before I settled on the final draft - and I think I only settled on that because it was a week before going to print!

10.  If you could be any character you’ve created, which one would it be and why?

I would say Sandy from The Survivors because I'm in love with her boyfriend, Michael, but she has too much of a dark past for me.  So, I'll say Anya Karekanova, from Love Thy Enemy (The Immortelle #3).  Sexy, intelligent, immortal, half-shapeshifter and half-sex-demon, and she has three very hot men in her life.  Mmm-hm, yes please. 

  (or through the contact form on my website)


Stefan never thought she’d come home…
After five long years, she’s within his reach and he’s determined to find out what she kept hidden from him, while hoping that his own secret won’t tear them apart again.

Simon never expected to fall in love with her…

Asking her out had been impulsive, but suddenly the Doctor is falling for this woman who makes him ache like nobody else ever has and he’s determined to make her his.

Elizabeth never knew she’d feel so strongly for two men…

Torn between the love of an ex she pushed away in the past and the love of a new man that makes her feel alive again, she must make a decision that will ultimately result in a broken heart for one of them.

When tragedy strikes, will she be confident in her final decision?
Surrender To You is not a love triangle. It's a tale of past love, new love and the choices Ellie made that led her there. It might make you cry, so keep a tissue nearby!

Disclaimer:  Contains Mature Content and Adult Language; Suitable for 17+.


C.S. Janey is a big fan of romance - writing and reading. Born in the USA, she is the mother of one, currently spends her days writing, reading, attending college to receive her BBA in Accounting, and protecting her son from himself as he pretends that he is a superhero.

"Surrender To You" is her first contemporary adult romance novel. Intended to be the first of a series, the story can be enjoyed as a stand alone. The two following will include secondary characters introduced in the first.

She also has many other works in progress and hopes to share them with the world soon.

1. When creating a spicy love scene, do you like to listen to music to get you in the mood?

I suppose I do, technically. J But really, I listen to music 24/7, sometimes even while I’m sleeping. I can’t really say there is anything specific I listen to while writing a love scene.

2. Did you go to school to learn creative writing or are you a natural born talent?

Natural born, in my opinion. Obviously school helped in refining my writing, what with all those research papers we had to write! But I’ve been writing since childhood and even have things I wrote as a teenager. Of course, those will never see the light of day because I’ve definitely come a long way from then, as well!

3. When thinking about the writing industry, what part of the business do you find the most difficult?

Definitely getting the word out about my book. When I published, I had a good amount of followers, but even then, trying to gain traction to even get the book out there has been difficult! The great thing is, though, that the indie community is amazing and so supportive. So that makes up for everything.

4. What does your writing bring to the table to make a reader want to place their feet underneath and read?

I believe my writing is surprising. I write like I love to read. I don’t mind tiny amounts of description, but when I see walls of text, I just skip over it in a novel. I like lots of interaction between characters, plenty of dialogue and just enough description to know who is there. I suppose I see my writing like I see the world – what I am aware of and involved in and nothing else. So I’d say my writing is very real – we don’t often know what is going on beyond our own observations, and I’m not one for flowery, flowy language that is often prevalent in romance novels. Not that anything is wrong with it – I just don’t think it’s necessary for me and my novels.

5. What made you decide to write Romance versus other genres?

I love romance. I have since I was a kid and love stories make me happy. Reading happily ever after stories always made the world a little less harsh. As I’ve gotten older, I realize the world doesn’t work that way but there is just something about a love story where they end up working the hard stuff out that just makes my heart squeeze!

6. How many years have you been writing?

Hmm, I honestly can’t say. I know I’ve written since I was a kid, but when exactly I am unsure of. But I am 28 so I’d guess about 18 years at this point!

7. If there was any part of the writing process you could do away with, what would it be and why?

All the different formatting I need to do to put it up on different places. I had many different formats, all of which had different requirements and stuff and I found it all exhausting! Making sure they all look similar was a pain in the butt. So it would be nice if it were just universal!

8. Is there a particular time of day you enjoy writing or a particular season?

No particular season and not really a specific time of day either. I write when the characters speak to me but if I could pick, it would be when my son is sleeping so I get the most done. But oftentimes, it’s just whenever I can find the time and peace and quiet to get it done.

9. Do you have a creative formula you must adhere too, or do your stories come to you easily?

I do not plan at all. I write whatever comes out and in whatever order at that. I have many stories going at this point and I hop between them as the story comes out. I have many story ideas – almost too many – and look forward to the day when all of them are written!

10. If you could be any character you’ve created, which one would it be and why?

I really can’t choose. However, Ellie’s story is loosely based on something that happened to me, and I wanted it that way because the experience was very real, as was how she (and therefore I) reacted to it. To answer your why – I think having truly experienced that made the story that much better.



Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet
Literacy Makes the World Go 'Round!