Friday, March 28, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Uzuri Wilkerson, author of the Bitten series!

Read on for an exclusive interview with Uzuri Wilkerson, author of the Bitten series.

RM: Thanks for taking time to answer our questions! Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Uzuri. I live in Boston. I love writing. My vampire series is my first foray into the publishing world. I write (and read) in a variety of genres. It’s all about if the plot sounds interesting and if it’s written well. Besides writing, I have two jobs to pay the bills.
RM: What prompted you to take up writing?
I don’t know where it started. But I do remember one day, after finishing a novel about a girl fighting hard to keep her family together, figuring out that I wanted to be published. I wanted to have an actual book and I wanted others to experience it, too.
RM: What genres interest you the most in books?
I tend to go for modern-day thrillers and mysteries, especially ones with a supernatural bent but not exclusively.
RM: Who are your favourite authors?
I like Stephen King, Dennis Lehane, and James Patterson. I’ve liked some books by Carl Hiaason, Tess Gerritson, E. Lynn Harris, Dan Brown, and Patricia Briggs. And I would be interested in other books by J.K. Rowling and Suzanne Collins, since I really enjoyed and connected with their series.
RM: Is there a specific reason for choosing to write about vampires?
I like their mystery, long lives, and that they tend to have supernatural abilities. Drinking blood and/or killing people is kind of second. That adds to each character’s development—like, how they deal with feeding and if they kill.
RM: What is one thing you feel strongly about? The one topic that will always elicit a reaction from you?
I absolutely hate when people litter. I don’t get the thought process of, “I’m done with this. Okay I’ll drop it out my car window.” I guess it’s just ingrained in me to throw away my trash in a receptacle instead of on the ground. People who litter fascinate and anger me beyond belief.
RM: Have you travelled outside your country? If yes, what are your favourite nations?
I studied abroad in Spain, once in high school and then in my junior year of college. It was great. I also got to visit London. It was really overcast that day but I still enjoyed it. I have a very long list of other places I’d like to travel though. If I ever become rich, traveling is top on my list of things to do.
RM: What is the most comfortable position you choose to write?
On my couch, with a cushion between my lap and laptop.
RM: If you weren’t a writer, what other profession would you have been in?
I think I’d like to make music videos. I always get these exciting, out-of-the-box ideas for songs that I never see realized because entertainers stick to the norm…
RM: Do you have a few words to tell to budding writers?
Keep writing, every day. Oh, and get a good external drive. I can’t say just how devastating it is to lose work if your computer crashes. So get an external drive and back it up regularly.

RM: Thank you once again. Your answers were as interesting and enthralling as books from Bitten!

Sour By Uzuri Wilkerson: Book Tour


Witnessing a brutal murder at work is only the beginning of Celia’s problems.  The fact that the victim is a vampire only proves to complicate her life even more.  The vampires of New England have always had an undetected existence among humans but with the unprovoked death of one of their own, the lust for revenge has begun.
Celia’s concerns are magnified once a hunter from Dallas arrives in town.  With Jay’s sexy smile and rugged ways, Celia finds herself wanting to spend time with him despite being mysteriously linked to the nest that is threatening to become extinct if Jay gets his way.
When four bodies are found drained of blood, Jay teams up with a local bunch to take out all the undead, which, coincidentally, includes her boyfriend, Victor.  Celia won’t stand to see anything happen to Victor… but refuses to see Jay hurt either.  Confusion, lust, rage and violence intertwine as worlds collide. Celia will soon discover that her neat little existence is not what it seems as her cryptic past and present start to unravel.
  • ISBN-13: 978-061563891-1
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Aziza Publishing
  • Publication date: 06/04/2012
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 416

  • ISBN-13: 978-098817670-6
  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Aziza Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/12/2012
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 360

          A vampire/ supernatural creature themed story always leaves much space for imagination. The creator can just touch upon the folklore and build the story according to their creative ingenuity. But even then, there has to be a match between the ‘facts’ and the ‘myths’. ‘A vampire cannot go in the sun’ is fact, whereas ‘being bitten by a vampire does not necessarily change you into one’ is a twisted version of a myth. The first instalment of the Bitten series books, Sweet, follows just this premise.
          The author has taken the life of a curly haired bartender who has a vampire boyfriend. The usual ‘knowing that boyfriend is a vampire’ part of revealing shock is absent. Celia knows what she is getting into. Then come the ‘hunters’ who are out to destroy all vampires. But Celia worries for her bloodsucker boyfriend, and simultaneously feels eager to spend time with the gorgeous, manly hunter. In this confused triangle comes another problem that Celia must overcome with the help of both Jay and Victor.
          The plot is the usual, the characters are defined well, though sometimes the author expects us to follow the story when characters jump out at you. For the initial hundred pages, the book gives a feel of being a sequel to some other book where all the characters (who jump into the story here) are explained. But the story speeds up later on and we can relax and follow the line. The lead is relatable, the scenes are graphic. The author’s imagination is a colourful painting whose outlines have already been defined one too many times by others before her.
Rating: 3.5/5



Sharing blood with a vampire can be exhilarating. You experience a high like no other. You feel invincible. The encounter changes your world.
It can also be deadly.
After a traumatic incident with the rogue vampire Milo, Celia agrees to let Victor taste her. They enter into a bond like no other. When their connection allows her to witness things that she wouldn't normally see, Celia begins to doubt her decision to share his blood. Victor has never seen Celia's uncanny gift in another human, prompting him to search for a way to harness her abilities.
In the meantime, Celia finds herself watching her back for dangerous vampires hungry for her scent; her cousin's arrival in town begs many questions; a badly-injured newborn vampire and a pushy new coworker cause her to question her relationship with Victor.
All of your favorite characters return in this racy and thrilling second volume of Uzuri M. Wilkerson's Bitten series. Sweet introduced you to Celia's complicated relationship; Sour reveals the consequences.
  • ISBN-13: 978-098817677-5
  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Aziza Publishing
  • Publication date: 07/16/2013
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 476
          Sour- the vampire legend that started out sweet, with all the exciting highs one gets from being in a relationship with a vampire turns sour, once the human shares blood with one. I guess that is because it is the taste of blood – sour.
          Being bitten by another vampire who has wrong intentions on her, Celia finally agrees to what she has been refusing all along. She agrees to share the blood of Victor, to help her overcome the impurities of sharing with Milo, a rogue vampire. But this time around, just when she started getting comfortable sharing blood with her boyfriend (Ahem!) and dealing with the visions that came as a bonus, Celia encounters another set of creatures she thought belonged to only legends.
          Then there is another group now hunting vampires of which her cousin is a part. We could only pity Celia who has no respite from the constant problems rushing at her from all corners of the world. The Bitten series does not disappoint its predecessor and is steadily in the line of Twilight series. Vampire boyfriend, human woman, shape shifter friend, and other ignorant humans. The underused legends are awoken once again. (used bottle, new wine.)
Rating: 3.5/5 (Both only for the writing style and the interesting turn of events.)


Uzuri Wilkerson was born in Atlanta, Georgia.  Her family moved to Boston when she was nine years old.  She is the second oldest of five.  She has always had a love of storytelling.  When she was younger, one could always find her with a notebook filled with poems and short stories.  She enjoys reading a variety of fictional genres, including chick lit, paranormal, and thrillers.  She’s also an avid television junkie.
Uzuri studied screenwriting at Wellesley College, where she learned to craft short scripts and videos.  After graduating, she eventually moved back to fiction.  She completed Sweet in 2009—the first volume of the “Bitten” series about a turf war in Boston between vampires and hunters.  She signed on with Aziza Publishing during the summer of 2011.
Even today, one could find her with a notebook filled with story ideas.

To book an author signing or guest blog post, please contact Uzuri at:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Guest Post By Stephen Collina, author of Muffin Man

Stephen Collina, author of Muffin Man, writes on 'inspiration' and the spark for his first novel! Read on - Team Readers' Muse


How does inspiration for a thriller occur?

Finding inspiration for a thriller was, in my experience at least, neither a simple nor a single event. Yes, of course at some point there was the decision to focus on a particular issue. But complications of plot, nuances of character and matters of fact such as the existing political situation in the relevant location meant that the initial moment of “inspiration” had to be tempered at once with a large dose of reality – considering implications, thinking through possible plot lines, etc - before any further step towards a keyboard was taken. In fact the story resulted far more from a considered decision than from a moment of inspiration.

With my second novel “Muffin Man” I specifically wished to write a political conspiracy. I thus spent a great deal of time thinking and researching various political scenarios and settings about which I could write, before settling on the selected one. These included an Iranian setting (which I eventually used in just one chapter), a European setting (unused) and even an Australian and Indonesian one (also unused).

The initial but long-considered “inspiration” for that story was a feeling  - maybe even a conviction - that no matter how unpalatable the thought may be to Americans, their counter-intelligence services must have known of the 9/11 attacks in advance, even if they had few or inadequate details.  Furthermore it was in the interests of those counter-intelligence services to not declare their foreknowledge of it: at the cost of only a momentary embarrassment, the threat from Al Qaeda has subsequently justified a vast increase in their surveillance capabilities and expenditure.

Therefore the conspiracy chosen was a long-term deception of the American people regarding the use or otherwise of covert action, and the resulting manipulation of many countries’ politics. It was the observation that such a conspiracy must have occurred over many years and been set up several administrations earlier, that led to the timeframe for the novel and its starting point.

To complicate matters of inspiration even more, I wanted to write a conspiracy novel but not one in the fast-paced, shallow-character sense.  I wanted the story and therefore the conspiracy to emerge from the characters rather than being driven by events. Hence the novel is much more about the people involved in the formation and establishment of the secretive organization than it is about events, describing what their ordinary and less-ordinary lives must be like or have been like, and what led them to become involved.

There was one final source of inspiration: at least some of the participants would have been coerced into joining, using either a sexual transgression or the threat of a drug dealing-related conviction. Both ideas are used in the story.

By contrast to all the above, the idea of writing my first novel came to me easily and in an idle moment. This was a history piece set in an area that I knew well close to my birthplace. Once started the story pretty much wrote itself through recall of various characters and events from my early childhood, using them to describe just how alien that old, isolated world of the 1950s has become. And the idea for my third novel was borne of a fascination with two events: the crossing of the American West in the 1840s, and my perception of our society’s current lack of direction or purpose.

The word ‘inspiration’ seems much more fitted to the course of those than it is to the conspiracy thriller, at least as written by me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Guest Post by Alistair McGuinness author of Round The Bend

We at Readers' Muse thank the author and the tour organizers for giving us such a wonderful guest post with real pictures! Read on! - Team Readers' Muse.

My first visit to Africa was two decades ago and with the eagerness and budget restraints of youth, I decided to forego many luxuries in a quest to experience “the real Africa.” This is how I managed to find myself on an overland truck with backpackers from across the world, as it headed across east Africa in search of adventure.

On my arrival in the Serengeti National Park, our guide had warned us that lions were active in the area where we would camp that evening. I must have looked shocked, as he singled me out among the new arrivals and called out, “Don’t worry Bwana, you are too skinny for Tanzanian lions. Just stay in your tent all night and they will leave you alone.”

The lions did come. They waited for nightfall and prowled throughout the camp; their primal grunts waking every backpacker as they scavenged amongst the rows of dome tents. By dawn the only evidence of the nocturnal activity was a fresh set of lion paw prints embedded in the moist red earth.

I had only been in Africa for two days and was still in shock. Not by the lions stalking the campsite, but by the friendliness of the people, the big skies, stunning sunsets and chance encounters with wild game during our drives into the bush .

Africa is like that. It is different each day.

Whether you want the creature comforts of safari lodges, with poolside bars and air-conditioned rooms or are after a simple camping expedition on the plains of Africa, the choice is yours. Before leaving the Serengeti I took the decision to experience a dawn safari by hot air balloon. As we floated over the parched savannah, we discovered a herd of elephant following ancient game trails to distant lands in search of water. The magical sight of vast herds of migratory wildebeest on the horizon was a highlight of the short trip and once we had landed, porters were on hand to serve a champagne breakfast.

Years later I returned once more to Africa and found myself in a remote campsite called Ngepi, tucked deep into the heart of the Okavango Delta. It is here that I share my story.

“By late morning we were en route by speedboat to the edge of the delta. Traditional poler guides were waiting to transport us into the heart of the Okavango wilderness on traditional canoes (mokoros). The speedboat could not outrun a churning mass of black clouds, which hit us mid-way through an open lagoon. Lightning crashed into the bush, followed by trumpets of thunder and thick drops of rain that lashed against our small craft.
The storm retracted as we reached our destination, a brick building hidden behind reeds. Nestled neatly on the embankment sat a row of wooden mokoros. Our guide, “BT,” advised us that silence was key to appreciating the experience. With this valuable strategy he pushed off from the banks with a long wooden pole and transported us to paradise.
Papyrus reeds towered over us as we glided through clear waters. At each turn we discovered small lagoons, littered with speckled green lily pads, while the air hissed with dragonflies darting across the millpond. The afternoon was a sensual daze, interrupted by treks onto low-lying islands in search of distant game, which shimmered on the horizon. Open-billed storks churned through mud in search of fresh water mussels, ignoring chatter from white-faced ducks that nested nearby. Before dusk we made camp on a small island, cooking stew on an open fire and constructing a shelter of tarpaulins draped from branches. The sun dripped below the horizon, coating the lingering clouds in a velvety sheen, and our world turned to darkness.
We lay flat on our backs, gazing into the furthest corners of the universe. Orbiting satellites inched their way across the night sky, competing with shooting stars that streaked across the heart of Africa. Our guides called us back to the fire and served hot tea. One traveller suggested we sing traditional songs. Kiwis gave a passionate display of the “Haka,” followed by a belting rendition of “Waltzing Matilda” by the Australians. The British contingent managed a half-hearted attempt at “Old McDonald’s Farm.”
Our river guides disappeared into the bush, emerging to re-enact an ancient elephant hunt. One guide had tied a thorny branch into his short hair and crept behind the dwindling fire. His soft voice echoed across the embers as he mimicked a male elephant searching for food. A hunter emerged from the darkness armed with a spear, his lean features contorted by the snatching light of the flames. He crept towards the feasting elephant, stabbing at shadows. The elephant collapsed and the hunter danced in celebration, his arms thrust towards the stars, chanting for the spirit of the great beast to be released.
A dawn start was required to get back to Ngepi campsite. The rising sun carpeted the delta in a kaleidoscope of pink as we stood on the edge of the island. Our guides paddled into view, their dark silhouettes in stark contrast to the blaze of vibrant colour bursting across the waking horizon. No one wanted to leave, but we had to and by noon we bid farewell to our guides. We all agreed on one thing: one night in Okavango was not enough.”

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Round the Bend by Alistair McGuinness : A book tour, review!

DISCLAIMER: This review is *intentionally* not written in our usual format. This book is different and therefore requires a different review.

For an exciting guest post by Alistair McGuinness with real pictures from his travels, keep following Readers' Muse!

TITLE: Round the Bend
AUTHOR: Alistair McGuiness
GENRE: Travel, Adventure Travel, Living & Working Abroad
we got this book as a part of a virtual authors book tour.
From Luton to Peru to Ningaloo, a Search for Life After Redundancy
Three things happened simultaneously. The lioness charged, Alistair fled across the parched savannah and his wife screamed for him to run faster. Stuffed deep inside his tattered rucksack was a guidebook containing advice on what to do in wildlife emergencies, which he planned to read if he survived the next thirty seconds. Future plans to climb Kilimanjaro, teach English in the Amazon and live in Australia were temporarily forgotten as he turned to face the pouncing lioness, thinking back to the words of advice from his mother-in-law. “Don’t do anything silly, and look after Francine.” From deep underground in a remote Bolivian mine to the scorched Australian outback, Round the Bend is an adventure travel story. It explores the turbulence of redundancy, the excitement of travel, the anguish of leaving home and the challenges of starting a new life in Australia.
          It is not every day that one comes across such an unique book. Round the bend shattered all my expectations I had in a typical book of such genre. It is an open, clear and straightforward journal, a record of experiences in travel.
          Listening to first hand experiences from far off relatives who went on wild safaris has always been a pastime of mine, and this book seemed just like that. The author has managed to capture in words the thrill of the jungle, the roads, the climate and the people. There is a little of everything in this little book.
          From self deprecating casual style of writing to the inevitable descriptive phrases, the book has every element to keep you in its hold. The best experience can be obtained by realizing that this book is, indeed, a travelogue and not a piece of fiction.
          Split second decisions and long thought out conclusions are all used simultaneously in this thrilling tale. Along the travel of Alistair to Australia, we learn not only about exotic countries, we also learn about learning to move out of base, learning to take split second decisions, learning to appreciate life and finally, learning to deal with life by its horns!
          The only wanting thing in the book is a lag in certain places could have been reduced.
          Go for this if you like to have adventures in your armchair. It doesn’t get more descriptive than this!
 Readers’ Muse rates this at 4.2/5
Alistair grew up in the UK in a town called Luton, which lies 30 miles north of London. Family holidays were spent in County Donegal, Ireland, staying with his Grandmother in their large family home where she had once raised fifteen children.
It was these annual trips that made Alistair realise his Great Uncles were SeanachaĆ­s (Irish story tellers). After a few pints of Guinness in the family bar, brothers Barney and Francis would entertain the evening crowds with their recitations of life in rural Ireland. As their rustic voices carried across the crowded room, Alistair would watch and listen as the animated tales mesmorised the overseas visitors.
44 countries and four decades later, Alistair now calls Australia home and in the tradition of Great Uncles Barney and Francis, loves to recite stories. He lives between the beach and the forest with his wife, two young boys and a fun puppy called Peppi. After decades of adventurous escapades Alistair is calming down and has decided to write more and bungee jump less!
He works as a Business Improvement Specialist and has just spent three years as a fly in fly out employee at a remote iron ore mine site in Western Australia. As a trainer and facilitator, he has worked in Europe and Australia and is passionate about helping people and organisations to become successful.
A fun family day for Alistair would be fishing from the local jetty with his boys, taking the puppy for a walk along the beach at sunset and cooking a scrumptious curry in the evening with his wife.
An ideal adventurous day for Alistair would be a days walking and scrambling in the Lake District with friends, followed by a visit to a village pub nestled deep in the English countryside.
FORMATS AVAILABLE: Print & eBook, 256 pages

Monday, March 17, 2014

Book Tour, Review and Giveaway! In Pursuit of a Lesser Offence: by Sujata Parashar

About the Book:

A chance meeting between Avinash Vyas, a married man and Sangeet Mishra, a young divorced woman turns into something more than what they had ever wanted or asked for. Both part ways, nurturing a dislike for the other in their hearts. They meet again under different circumstances. Their prejudices keep them away until both learn that they had committed similar offences in the past that had not been fully dealt with. It was a past they wanted to avoid. What was their offence? Why do people marry? What is the relevance of the institution of marriage in modern times? Bestselling novelist Sujata Parashar's third novel attempts to answer these questions and more as she takes you through the intricacies of modern day relationships.


A soft romance novel, ‘In Pursuit of A Lesser Offence’ is about Love, Life, infidelity and extra marital affairs. The book emphasizes on the concept of true love. It follows the path that people make mistakes and they can be corrected in life. It is a newly explored concept, which follows the love of two people, already married to two different people. Though the line is typically ‘Love starts from a clash’, the story is woven differently. Sangeet and Avinash do not fall for each other that easily, but once they come through a few months, they realize their love for each other and get together, each getting in the other, what they always wanted!

The plot is well thought out, because there is nothing outlandish or unbelievable in it. The characters are human, well sketched and predictable. The story setting is not exotic but gives an everyday feel. This story might happen to anyone you know. a little more depth could have been given to the love aspect of Sangeet and Avinash. The way the chapters have been split up is brilliant, and the unexpected climax gives a good turn. Overall, there is content for you in this book if you enjoy your romances and mushy love stories.

The book had a compelling summary that led the reader to expect a bit more spice in the story, and that is a teeny weeny disappointment there. But the story does teach about existence of true love and preaches that a divorce is not the end of the world, which is a good concept. It is a good one time read, that will leave a few deep thoughts in your head and give certain altering pushes to your ideas about love and life.

Buy Links:
Flipkart I Homeshop 18 I Amazon India

About the Author:

Sujata Parashar is a best-selling novelist, poet and activist. Her debut novel, In Pursuit of Infidelity (2009) was a bestseller. The second in the series, In Pursuit of Ecstasy (2011), was long listed for The Economist Crossword Book Award 2012. In Pursuit of a Lesser Offence, completes the ‘pursuit’ series. Her book on poetry, Poetry Out and Loud, was awarded the first prize in 2012 by Butterfly and the Bee, a literary agency.

Website I Goodreads

Tour Schedule:
3rd March - DDS @ b00k r3vi3ws

1 Paperback Copy of In Pursuit of a Lesser Offence by Sujata Parashar (Open to Indian Residents Only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Boost!!! The Montana Gallagher Collection!

The Montana Gallagher Collection Book Boost & Giveaway!

"Where words, romance, and adventure meet."

About The Collection
BOOK ONE - Gallagher's Pride
She was on a quest of discovery. He was on a quest for revenge. Together they would discover a second chance. Brenna Cameron travels from Scotland after losing someone she loves in search of family she didn't know existed. Alone now in the world, Brenna makes an arduous journey, following the trail of discovery to Briarwood, Montana. Here she meets Ethan Gallagher, and the rest of the Gallagher clan. Only with their help is she able to discover lost family, heal old wounds, and embark on a treacherous confrontation with a man who destroyed her family. As head of the Gallagher clan, Ethan has more than enough to occupy his thoughts and time he didn't need the complication of Brenna Cameron and he certainly didn't need the trouble that came with her. Ethan takes on the unwanted duty of self-appointed protector to the headstrong Scot, only to discover there is such a thing as second chances and more to life than revenge.
BOOK TWO - Gallagher's Hope
She sought a new beginning.He sought what he didn't know was missing. Together they would discover hope in unlikely places. Isabelle Rousseau must escape New Orleans and the memory of her family's tragic loss. With her younger brother in tow, she accepts a position as the new schoolteacher in Briarwood, Montana. Desperate to keep what's left of her family together, Isabelle joins her life with a stranger only to discover that trust and hope go hand in hand. Gabriel Gallagher lived each day as it came believing he had everything he could possibly want . . . until a determined woman and her brother arrive with a little luggage and a lot of secrets. It will take a drastic choice to protect her and give them both hope for the future.
BOOK THREE -  Gallagher's Choice
He finally had a family to call his own. She now knew what it meant to risk it all. Together they had a chance to find peace at last. Eliza Gallagher is tough, resilient, and rides a horse like she was born in the saddle. All necessary qualities for someone who runs a cattle ranch. She had more to avenge than any of them and she was counting on those skills to finally find the justice they all sought -- until she realized it could cost her everything and everyone she loved. Ramsey Hunter finally knew what it was to have a family and what it took to keep that family together. He knew coming back wouldn’t be easy, but he never imagined what he would have to risk to keep it. Eliza got him home; now Ramsey has to do whatever it takes to save her life and help bring peace to Hawk’s Peak.

About The Author

MK McClintock published her first novel, Gallagher's Pride, in July 2012, and followed one month later with the release of her second book in the same series, Gallagher's Hope. Her third novel, Alaina Claiborne, was published in January 2013. Gallagher's Choice, the third book in her Gallagher Series, was released in August 2013. She is now working on her next story. 
McClintock dreams of a time when life was simpler, the land rougher, and the journey more rewarding. With her heart deeply rooted in the past and her mind always on adventure, she lives and writes in Montana. 
McClintock is a member of Romance Writers of America, Montana Romance Writers, and Women Writing the West. 

Connect with MK!
Website  *  Goodreads  *  Facebook  *  Pinterest  *  YouTube  *  Amazon  *  Blog

The author is giving away these fabulous prizes!
Prize 1 - $50


Prize Two
*Any entrants for the gift card. For the book set and blanket, US winners only.*