Awesome Sci-Fi novel klaxon!

If you're into sci-fi/ supernatural thrillers and are looking for a new read - look no further, The Voice In The Mirror has landed, and is now available to buy on Amazon. The author, Sooz Parnam-Harris, is inviting fans to submit designs for the cover artwork, for the chance to have their design featured on a special edition new print run of the book. Click here to see some already submitted designs, for inspiration. To find out how to enter, click here.

Let me know what you think of the book (drop me a comment), and good luck to all entering the competition! :)

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Guest Post: E-Books: the Digital Publishing Revolution (by G. R. Yeates)

Hello there. If you are reading this, you may be doing so on a computer at home but you may also be using your Android, iPhone or iPad, am I right? Handheld devices have been the 'home' for most of our personal media (films, television and video games) for some years now but there has been one omission until recently, and that is the book. You have no doubt heard about the e-book and may even own a Kindle where you can download e-copies of your favourite books but what does this digital revolution in publishing mean for the new writers out there? And what are the benefits for you as a reader? Bear with me, and I will let you know.

Digital publishing means that, for the first time, self-publishing is a viable and low-cost venture. I have been self-publishing for just under a year and, in that short space of time, I have published work that has been critically-acclaimed and I have had short stories accepted for anthologies where I am being published alongside authors who inspired me in the first place. And I have also made some money as well, not a lot, I'm not writing this from the comfort of a Maida Vale apartment, but that will come in due time. The reason it will come is because by self-publishing through platforms such as Amazon and Smashwords, a writer is entitled to royalties of up to 70% whereas before it was 30% or less.

Now, it is my responsibility to promote myself obviously as I do not have the support of a publisher's marketing department, which some would see as a disadvantage and yes, once upon a time it was. But today, we have the ever-growing social networks through which writers can get in touch with readers on a personal basis, I talk to my readers and receive feedback from them every day. I am bypassing the traditional stumbling blocks where a writer's exposure was limited by their not having an agent, not being with a large publisher or not being reviewed by the right critics. Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Googleplus and Pinterest amongst others I am slowly and steadily building my presence and making a name for myself online. If you are a writer and you are reading this, you can as well. Yes, it takes time and you'll have to cut down on sleep and up the caffeine intake for some late nights but put the effort in and you will find that you reap rewards in every respect.

So, if you are a reader, what is in this for you? Well, you get to choose from a whole host of writers who would otherwise not have been published and usually at a low price compared to what the big publishers would charge you. Most newcomers to digital publishing start off pricing their work between $0.99 - $2.99 and, with Amazon's KDP Select program, you can pick up great new fiction for FREE. Every writer who signs up for this program is given five promotional days where their book is listed for free - I have signed up, used it, gained reviews and watched my monthly income go up because of it. The writers you follow also have much more freedom as, traditionally, once you were known for writing a particular genre, that was what you wrote and opportunities to break out were few. Now, digital publishing means that a writer can write in the genres they please and thus get in touch with a readership that might have been previously denied to them. Also, dear reader, watch this space as the next place e-books will go from being free is to being sponsored and being available through a range of subscription programs. The literary equivalent of Netflix and Spotify is not so far away and the winners in this revolution will be us, the writers, and you, the readers.

G.R. Yeates is the critically-acclaimed author of the Vetala Cycle trilogy. He has been accepted and published in small press anthologies including Phobophobia from Dark Continents Publishing and Horror for Good from Cutting Block Press. His new novel, Hell's Teeth, is now available:

Amazon UK Amazon US You can find out more about the author and his work at: http://www.gryeates.co.uk

Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Book)

Plot An expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem.

Review From the age of 14 I spent many a geography lesson daydreaming about the smouldering Mr Darcy, and how he might perhaps see sense and ditch Lizzy Bennett, leave Pemberley on his trusty steed, and rescue me from my dragon of a geography teacher, whose idea of fun was to memorise a ridiculous rhyme defining what a 'contour line' is.

Needless to say, Darcy never showed and I failed Geography. But I always kept a special place in my heart for Austen's timeless love story, which is why I couldn't believe my ears when I heard that someone was going to rework the classic novel to include zombies! LA TV comedy writer Seth Grahame-Smith was able to rewrite Austen's novel because it is now out of copyright – fair play, I say – why didn't I think of doing anything like that?

After reading the opening line,"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains", I could tell this was going to be one of those 'marmite' novels that you will either love or hate. The story opens with a zombie attack on the quaint village of Meryton where the Bennett family lives. Set in the same time period as Austen's tale, the novel explores all the trials and tribulations of the young Bennett sisters' quests to find suitable husbands, with some much needed zombie action thrown into the mix for good measure.

According to Writer Grahame-Smith, around 85% of his version is the original text, which sounds rather a lot, but once you read it you'll realise just how mammoth his task of editing and reworking was, because the finished result is so different from Austen's original.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies uses some clever genre plot devices to spice up the original novel, including the Bennett sisters substituting reading and playing music for sparring with martial arts experts in the far east and becoming trained assassins, with the sole purpose of defeating the zombie army waiting to attack.

There are quite a few bloody, graphic zombie confrontations throughout the novel (some complete with illustrations!), however, as an avid gore fan, these much needed zombie attacks seemed too frequently interrupted by lengthy dialogue and plot developments that were almost redundant, given the zombie context version of the tale. I felt I was constantly counting down the pages until the next eye-gouging, beheading or gutting which were too seldom to make Pride and Prejudice and Zombies a great triumph. To say that I was expecting a lot more, blood, guts and suitably gross adjectives is an understatement, and in that respect I was left feeling a little unsatisfied by the end. Perhaps, being a hardcore horror fan, I was expecting a little too much. If you are a horror fan and have yet to read Austen's Pride and Prejudice, or an Austen fan and have yet to see a zombie film, then Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is the perfect halfway house.

Also, look out soon for the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies on the big screen - it is rumoured that Hollywood is currently engaging in a massive bidding war over the film rights!

Buy 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' on Amazon.co.uk