This is What I’m Reading – Unhappenings by Edward Aubry

UnHappenings

Blurb:

When Nigel Walden is fourteen, the UNHAPPENINGS begin. His first girlfriend disappears the day after their first kiss with no indication she ever existed. This retroactive change is the first of many only he seems to notice.

Several years later, when Nigel is visited by two people from his future, he hopes they can explain why the past keeps rewriting itself around him. But the enigmatic young guide shares very little, and the haggard, incoherent, elderly version of himself is even less reliable. His search for answers takes him fifty-two years forward in time, where he finds himself stranded and alone.

And then he meets Helen.

Brilliant, hilarious and beautiful, she captivates him. But Nigel’s relationships always unhappen, and if they get close it could be fatal for her. Worse, according to the young guide, just by entering Helen’s life, Nigel has already set into motion events that will have catastrophic consequences. In his efforts to reverse this, and to find a way to remain with Helen, he discovers the disturbing truth about the unhappenings, and the role he and his future self have played all along.

Equal parts time-travel adventure and tragic love story, Unhappenings is a tale of gravely bad choices, and Nigel’s struggle not to become what he sees in the preview of his worst self.

 

Okay, yes. I bought this one because of the cover. And because it was free. Two qualities I look for in a book-mate.

So… I liked this one.

A lot.

I didn’t think I would as it deals with time travel—something which generally goes over my head, so the fact that I was (mostly) able to keep up with what was happening while NOT being able to put down the book says good things for this story.

Meet Nigel. Poor, uber-depressed Nigel who keeps having all his good things undone. First loves, award-winning physics papers, MIT acceptance letters—all taken away as if they’d never happened. Over and over and over again. Life for Nigel, as we know it, sucks. So when he’s offered the chance to jump into the future, our main boy takes it. Hopefully stuff will be different there. Hopefully he won’t have to keep losing the things (and people) he loves. And there he meets Helen. Sweet, wonderful, one-of-a-kind Helen. A Helen fifty years his junior.

*the emotions*

In this future—his future—we find out why things have been going so horribly wrong for Nigel. We see a lot of what could-have-beens, what could-still-happens and all the scary in between. We meet a villain, a friend, and a cast of supporting characters you hope you don’t get too invested in because they might go poof! any day.

Like I said, time travel confuses me. I can sort of follow along, but our boy did a lot of jumping. There was this present and then this new one and then this other new one and it took a lot to keep up. I don’t read many (or any) time travel books, but as far as this one goes, I think it was done pretty well. I didn’t spend pages reading the scientific explanation of how this works or what made that possible. There was a little, sure, but not an overabundance of jargon that had me snoozing. (Sometimes I did skip ahead because, hey, let’s get to the good parts, right?)

Helen.

Falling in love with someone fifty years into your future has its own issues. Throw in that villain I mentioned earlier and shit is about to get real. I think Helen is the one thing that kept Nigel (and me) sane from all the craziness that ensues. She’s a great character, loves our boy, and is strong enough to fight through the trials that lie ahead. From a romantic perspective, the author nailed it. I rooted for the couple, cheered when things went right and balled when they didn’t. Which means I was invested. And as a reader, that’s what you want to be.

I’m surprised I liked Unhappenings. It gets a little heavy in parts and I kind of wanted to flick Nigel in the face a few times, but I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a book with a lot of action, urgency and second, third, and fourth chances. Not into time travel? Skim those parts. They’re just a backdrop to an epic love story.

#FirstLineFriday CAW (Chapter 3)

FLF

I’m taking a cue from Joleene Naylor on this one.

#FirstLineFriday is the end-of-a-week posting of the first line (or two) of a published story, potential story, or a work in progress. It’s a great way to get feedback on your work… or to stalk other writers and see what they’re doing. Whichever 🙂 Leave a link to your blog in the comments or on Rami Ungar’s, who started this super nifty concept.

This comes from the third chapter of Crusade Across Worlds, the fourth book in the Arizal Wars Series, releasing this June.

This is your final test, Fallon. Once you pass, you will be allowed to return and assist the Arizals in preparation of Reuzkimpart’s invasion.

 I tug the blindfold tighter.

If you don’t know who the Arizals are or what Reuzimpart’s invasion is, you should catch up. You can get the first book for FREE on Smashwords here.

What do you think? You like? You don’t like?

What’re your first couple lines?

#FirstLineFriday CAW (Chapter 2)

FLF

I’m taking a cue from Joleene Naylor on this one.

#FirstLineFriday is the end-of-a-week posting of the first line (or two) of a published story, potential story, or a work in progress. It’s a great way to get feedback on your work… or to stalk other writers and see what they’re doing. Whichever 🙂 Leave a link to your blog in the comments or on Rami Ungar’s, who started this super nifty concept.

This comes from the second chapter of Crusade Across Worlds, the fourth book in the Arizal Wars Series, releasing this June.

“Nhazual spots something over my shoulder. I look, but there’s nothing there – only the Nerwolix forest, blurring and fading into itself.

If you don’t know who Nhazual is or why she’s in the Nerwolix forest, you should catch up. You can get the first book for FREE on Smashwords here.

What do you think? You like? You don’t like?

What’re your first couple lines?

They Write the Books – Samantha Gregory

It’s been a while since I did one of these, but since this is a new year of starting awesome things (and following through with them) I present to you the second edition of “They Write the Books.”

Today we’re talking with Samantha Gregory, fantasy & horror author.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am an author, journalist and a blogger. I’ve been writing since I was about seven and I love horror and fantasy books. I love reading and always try to help other authors when I can. I was first published in 2012 when I was 26. I now have 8 books available and several more due out this year.

How did you get into writing?

I loved making up stories in my head as a kid. I would watch TV shows and if I didn’t like how they ended, I would make up an ending in my head. I started writing ideas down in notebooks after that.

How did you come up with the idea for your story?

I knew that I wanted to write a zombie novel, but I couldn’t decide if I wanted to write about the start of an outbreak or the aftermath. I started two stories and labelled them After and Before on the computer. Eventually I decided to make them bookends of the same story. How the outbreak began and what life was like after. My main character in After is called Jenna and she is trying to take care of her mother and herself. The country is ruled by the Alliance, soldiers who ‘keep the peace.’ Jenna finds herself pulled into a decades old conspiracy about the zombies and who created them.

Who are your favorite authors?

Kelley Armstrong and Stephen King. I love Kelley’s world of supernatural creatures and I’ve always been a huge fan of King.

If you could only recommend one book, which would it be?

Probably Bitten by Kelley Armstrong. It’s the beginning of a great series and a TV show too.

*Bonus * What one person (living or dead) would you share a meal with? And why?

I would have to say – someone who has lived a really exciting and interesting life because I love hearing stories. They don’t have to be famous, I like hearing about people’s adventures.

Sloan Street's Samantha Gregory with her debut novel launch in the Island Arts Centre US0913-401PM Pic by Paul Murphy

Sloan Street’s Samantha Gregory with her debut novel launch in the Island Arts Centre US0913-401PM Pic by Paul Murphy

S.K. Gregory was born in Lisburn, northern Ireland, in 1985. She studied Media Studies in college and worked for a local magazine after leaving school. Her debut novel Daemon Persuasion was published by Mockingbird Lane Press, January 3rd 2013. She has been writing since she was a child and loves the horror/fantasy genre. Her favourite authors are Kelley Armstrong and Stephen King. Her latest novel Queen of Hell: Hell Hath No Fury is available now.

After SK Greg

Connect with S.K Gregory!

www.storyteller-skgregory.weebly.com

www.twitter.com/sam_skgregory

****** Be sure to visit Samantha’s blog for a chance to win a digital copy of Before, After and to have YOUR name featured in the final book Viral!!!

#FirstLineFriday CAW (Chapter 1)

FLF

I’m taking a cue from Joleene Naylor on this one.

#FirstLineFriday is the end-of-a-week posting of the first line (or two) of a published story, potential story, or a work in progress. It’s a great way to get feedback on your work… or to stalk other writers and see what they’re doing. Whichever 🙂 Leave a link to your blog in the comments or on Rami Ungar’s, who started this super nifty concept.

This comes from the first chapter of Crusade Across Worlds, the fourth book in the Arizal Wars Series, releasing this June.

“I can smell them.

Horrops have that odor—dirt mixed with something sour and stale. Like too much raw meat. Or death.”

If you don’t know what a Horrop is, you should catch up. You can get the first book for FREE on Smashwords here.

What do you think? You like? You don’t like?

What’re your first couple lines?

 

IWSG – I need your help!

I know this is a blog hop. I get how this works (it only took me a couple of months of stalking IWSG to figure it out) but now I need some help. Your help.

I’m releasing the fourth book in my series in June.

*ECSTATIC HAPPY DANCE ENSUES*

…and I actually need to market this time.

*stops dancing*

*hangs head*

*ugly sobs*

It’s cliché at this point in the industry to say I have NO idea what I’m doing. But I’ve picked up a few things and I know—I KNOW—I should probably do a new-release blog hop. I’m just kind of confused on how. How do I set this thing up? Do I contact each individual blogger I want to be featured on? Do I put out an announcement or blog about it here? Do I tip the man with the magic beans or kidnap a student on their way to Hogwarts? How?? How do I do this?

When you’ve released your book with a blog hop, how did you go about it? How far in advance did you set up the author interviews / guest posts/ other things I don’t even know exist? And did you do it differently if there were previous books in the series? I am completely and *utterly* lost and barely being able to operate a computer (let alone this blog), any help/advice/drink recipes would be greatly appreciated. 🙂

The first Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writers Support Group! It’s a place for writers of all stages to get together and express their fear, doubts and worries, and also to encourage, inspire and befriend 🙂 If you’re interested in not suffering through it alone anymore, I’d suggest checking us out here.

*Compliments to Alex Cavanaugh who started this awesomeness!