google-site-verification: google935433b691795853.html KRISTY BERRIDGE: 2012-04-22

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Book Review: Ever Essence by David Hollands Curran

Let me start by saying that I wanted to read Ever Essence because I personally know the author, and I was dead set curious about his writing skills and the avenue this story would take. Admittedly, this book is right outside my usual desired genre of reading. I've never really been a science fiction/futuristic reader. I adore vampires, werewolves, horror and a bit of paranormal romance.
So, when David Hollands Curran was offering readership in exchange for a review, I jumped at the opportunity, my curiosity would finally be sated. And, now that I have finished reading Ever Essence, I can honestly say that the final chapters were gripping, fast-paced, and had me turning the pages at an alarming rate to get the answers I'd been seeking throughout.
Ever Essence is a very intelligent novel with a wide use of vocabulary, well constructed sentences, and a story line bordering on the impossible. I felt as if I were transported to another time. Not so much the future, but perhaps the present in an alternate universe that was smacked with a 'Get Smart' vibe. The characters were consistent in mannerism and speech, their interactions in some cases mechanical but oddly in keeping with this seemingly emotionless environment.
The plot is phenomenal, clustered by pretzel style twists within the overall scheme of design. I constantly found myself re-reading pages to grasp a better understanding of what was going on. To say Ever Essence is fast-paced is an understatement. There is barely a moment's rest for all characters concerned, and the ever-thickening plot made me scratch my head to the meaning behind every decision, every line of conversation, and every locale explored. To that end, I found it almost trying to get through the first half of the book. It felt like it was an endless exploration of lies and a cluster of strange encounters with scientific creations. Expectation brought about disaster after disaster with subterfuge the answer to behold, and yet, suddenly the characters were in the same position yet again, a different set of circumstances, and a seemingly unending plot of intrigue to unravel.
However, though I found this portion of the novel to be somewhat trying in its constant movement and seemingly endless pursuit of non-answers, I finally reached those last climatic chapters where all mystery began to be interpreted. I started to question some of the characters, and re-assess if I had misinterpreted some of the dialogue, getting excited as the truth worked its way to the surface.
It's almost impossible to give an overview of the story as there is far too much information to relay. But I can say that no one is who they seem, clones may just take over the world, scientific experimentation reaches a whole new level of disgrace, and political agenda proves yet again to be the motivator of destruction.
I rate this book three out of five stars and recommend it to anyone who enjoys dystopian, science based, politically driven novels - very well written and an asset to the author.

Synopsis: Imagine living longer, being healthy and having a youthful appearance for hundreds of years. How would you spend your extra time? Would it change your thinking? Would it enable you to achieve impossible  dreams? Become part of the movement, the excitement and fascination. 'Ever Essence' will change your life too.

Kristy :)

Friday, 27 April 2012

Follow Friday #30

Happy Friday everyone!
Yes, it’s that time of week again where bloggers unite to participate in the Follow Friday venture. The idea behind #FF is to promote traffic to your own blog, make new friends with other like-minded bloggers and discuss new and interesting topics each week.
Participating is simple. First you need to follow my blog because I’m totally awesome, then you can follow me on Twitter @kristyberridge (actually you don’t have to do this, it’s wishful thinking), but do follow my blog or assassins will get you …
Then you must follow our illustrious hosts Rachel of and Alison of If you want more details on how to enter your own blog in the follow and hop, all directions are on their webpages
Now, once you’ve followed, check out my answer to this week’s questions and don’t forget to leave a comment so I can do the right thing and follow you back!

This week's question: Have you had a character that disappointed you? One that you fell in love with and then 'broke up' with later in either a series or a stand-alone book? Tell us about him or her.

My answer: Kudos, Parajunkee for picking Anita Blake. Talk about a whiplash of hypocrisy, I couldn't agree more! Anita Blake was empowerment for women, serious vampire killer, and extremely choosey when it came to her men. Now she's forgotten her natural talents in lieu of metaphysical ones, sleeps with vampires rather than staking them, and still spends far too much time arguing with anyone who'll listen about her sex life! 

But, although this is definitely my pick too, I will say in Richelle Mead's Succubus series I was mad keen for Seth for a while. I backed that mortal through thick and thin, and then I fell for Roman, the bad boy half angel introduced early on into the series. For a while I was totally barracking for him, but I suspect more than anything for a change of pace and to tickle my fancy. Naturally, I came back around to Mr.Right (Seth) again, but it still didn't stop me from wanting the bad boy. Typical.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Kristy :)

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Author Interview: Madison Daniel

Today I want to introduce talented author and musician, Madison Daniel, the creator of the 'Ember' series and what looks like the pursuer of many interesting future projects that I will undoubtedly be reading!
Now as you all know, I recently read Madison's latest novel 'Ember' (you can read my review here), and I thoroughly enjoyed reading young adult fiction interlaced with drama, romance, and supernatural activity - all from the male point of view! And yet despite rolling violence, action, magic, and love poetically congealed into one enjoyable read, I was taken by the author's clear love of music, and his brimming enthusiasm for life. How could I not want to interview someone who is so active in the writing community, and also a massive supporter of my own debut series The Hunted?
So, I decided to get inside Madison's head and ask him a few of the questions I was curious about. Yes, it's true I have no decorum, especially on the last 'technically' unlabeled question, but I had to know. I am thoroughly weird like that. So here goes;

1. Can you tell us briefly what ‘Ember’ is about and your inspiration for writing it?

MD: Ember is my homage to young love, music and 80’s movies! It’s the emotional story of Max Valentine, a hotheaded fire-starter who is searching for a new start and dealing with a past mistake. A mistake that shapes his fiery existence. On this journey he meets two young women. Asia the cold and beautiful bad girl. She is Max’s opposite. His “fires” other half. And Samantha the sweet and artistic girl next door. She may be Max’s savior and possible soulmate. The story is filled with action, teenage angst, heartbreak and music.

2. Who is your favourite character, and if you pitted them in a fight against another supernatural character, who would you choose to ensure a good slam down?

MD: I LOVE to write Asia Michaels the rainmaker. She’s beautiful, angry, spoiled and a complete bad @ss! I’d love to see her bring the smack down against Storm from the X- Men. Let’s face it, two hot girls fighting in the rain! That’s a win in my book! Ha!

KB: I read this answer to my husband who cracked up laughing, and then proceeded to nod in appreciation. I suspect wet t-shirts may have crossed his mind and ideas that Madison might just be a naughty genius.

3. If you could have any supernatural power, what would it be and why?

MD: The power to sparkle in the sunlight! Wait a sec...that’s already been done? Crap. Alright, I’ll choose “flight”...I guess... :(

4. Your two female interests in the novel are Asia and Sam. If you had to pick one of them to be stuck on a deserted island with, who would it be and why?

MD: Holy moly that’s tough...they’re complete opposites. I guess it depends on if the option of escape is possible or not. If it’s possible, then I choose Asia. She would be able to use her “gifts” to get us off the island somehow. She would make the days and nights fun and sexy BUT eventually she’d get tired of me and my whining about “seafood again” for dinner...ugh! She’d probably kill me. So escaping the island would be a must. If escape is not an option, then Sam. In the long run she would probably make the better “life companion.” She’s smart, comforting, artistic and would be the best choice to grow old with.

5. When writing, do you have any food that you just can’t live without munching on during the creative process?

MD: I’m completely addicted to Chinese food! Noodles, spicy chicken, delicious beef...dang it! I’m getting hungry just answering this question! An ice cold Coke is usually within the near vicinity too.

6. You’ve just been convicted of murder and sentenced to death, what is your last request?

MD: I just want to dance.

7. What is the number one song on your playlist right now, and don’t tell lies if it’s ABBA :P

MD: Luckily, ABBA is my 2nd, 3rd and 4th picks! Whoo! Dodged that bullet! Ha! Ummm...according to my iTunes “Top 25 Most Played” playlist, it’s a tie with “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye and “Eye” by Smashing Pumpkins. They each have 48 plays. Rock on!

8. What other projects are you currently working on?

MD: Too many! Ugh...I need more time! Let’s see, there’s the sequels to Ember. “Downpour” (book 2) is being readied for its late holiday release in November 2012. “Aftershock” (book 3) is in the middle of a second draft. (Trying to get it done...)
I am finalizing the last edit and amazing cover for my NEXT big series called “13 Breaths.” It’s the first in a trilogy.
I have a horror story that I keep trying to find time to work on called “Still.” And I have a half dozen short stories that I am trying to find the best way to release to the public. Probably put them out in an anthology or two that might be on the horizon.
Other than that, I’ve been writing music (for book trailers), practicing my movie editing techniques (for book trailers) and just started painting again. OH! I almost forgot...there’s a secret project that I am putting together with my fellow writer and Dark Prince (Nathan Squiers) that just might change the comic book world!

9. If given the opportunity, would you like to see ‘Ember’ as a TV show or motion picture?

MD: As long as they were filmed like music videos with an emotional edge, I could go either way. I’m not picky! Just show me where to sign! I think I’d prefer the movie version. Each book in the Ember series has been written as if you were watching a movie. BUT if done epic, sweeping TV series would be amazing. Ember is scheduled for a total of 6 books, so there would be plenty of chapters to pick from for TV episodes.
Kristy, you’ve read Ember, which do you think fits best?

KB: Hmm, I want movies and action figures. Wouldn’t Max Valentine make the coolest lighter ever? LOL

10. Who are the people that inspire you the most? (I must be listed somewhere on that list)

MD: Kristy Berridge, Kristy Berridge, Kristy Berridge and 80’s cartoons! Bwahahahaha! (In that exact order!)

KB: Excellent answer. No prompting from me there at all … :P

11. Any last thoughts or weird comments you’d like to leave behind?

MD: First off, thank you for having me! I am a HUGE fan of your blog! It’s one of the few that make me laugh constantly and fills me with knowledge! Second, I would like to leave you and your followers with this...

... “Wise man say, forgiveness is divine BUT never pay full price for a late pizza.”

*          *          *

Okay, so I was going to end the interview there, but then one last question was gnawing at me … Is Madison Daniel a scruncher or a folder? Yes, these are the weird and wonderful thoughts that tunnel through my mind. I apologise.
Alas, I am personally a scruncher because I prefer bulk to tidiness. I come from an entire family of folders, so I’m often the odd one out because of my expedient use of the lavatory without the need for ‘origami’ time.
So I am pleased to say that Madison and I are kindred bathroom spirits, and here is the unofficial question and answer to prove it. I wasn’t going to post it, but Madison’s answer is bloody priceless!

Hehe – looking forward to reading your answers. I wanted to ask if you were a scruncher or folder, but my hubby jokingly punched me in the arm and told me to mind my own business.

MD: Scruncher all the way! I’m a rockstar baby! I AINT GOT TIME TO FOLD!!! You’ve been warned...

LOVE IT! And love Madison Daniel. It is my recommendation that you get that kind of attitude into you right now, head over to Amazon, and pick yourself up a copy of this great read … ‘Ember’. And thank you, Madison for taking the time to answer my crass-ass questions!

Kristy :)