Thursday, 28 March 2013

Welcome To My Stop On The Blog Tour For RAPTURE by Phillip W Simpson

Welcome To My Stop On The Blog Tour. I am lucky enough to be able to bring you my Review and a Guest Post from Phillip.

Publication Date: September 1st 2011
Source: e-copy provided by RABT for review purposes

The Rapture has occurred, just as the Bible predicted. The faithful have risen up to Heaven. Those left behind are in a living hell. 

"Earth burns, hell-like in its oppressive heat. Every volcano in the world has erupted, and tsunamis and earthquakes continue to devastate the planet. Clouds continually rain ash onto the scorched landscape, sparking fires all around. Plants and animals are dying. Food is scarce. The night sky is devoid of stars, and the moon - when it can be seen - is the colour of blood. 

The remnants of humanity fight for survival. Most have fled the cities and now hide in caves deep in the mountains. By night, demons stalk the Earth, capturing the remaining humans and killing them - if they're lucky. The less fortunate are converted to worship of the Devil, and ushered into endless hell. 

Eighteen year old, Sam (short for Samael) was raised in the town of Jacob's Ladder, Utah. It is appropriately enough near to a place of natural scenic beauty called Devil's garden. He finds himself alone, unable to rise up with his family because he is half demon. His mother, a devout Christian, was seduced by Satan and conceived his child. She smuggled the boy to an old friend Hikari, a Japanese sword master and demon expert. Since then, Hikari and his daughter, Aimi, have been all the family Sam has known. 

Now they're gone, and Sam must set out on the mission Hikari charged him with long ago: to help all the humans left behind. Armed only with his beloved Japanese swords and his wits, Sam wanders the post-apocalyptic world alone, separated forever from everyone he loves. Cursed by his demonic heritage, he must now embark on a quest that will take him across the US to the City of Angels. 

There he will confront his destiny. There he must fight to save a friend ... and the souls of the living"

My Review:
*I Hereby Award This Book 5 Wings*

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if the Rapture finally happened and all the believers would ascend to Heaven whilst all the non-believers would remain on Earth or go directly to Hell? Are you yourself a believer? I personally am not, so I guess my place would be Earth if I was lucky and Hell if I wasn't. Or should that be the other way round? Is being in Hell the better option? I'm really not sure. At least in Hell I'd know where I stood. Sadly it's not that easy for Sam.
Sam has been prepared all his life for the fact that when the Rapture comes around, he will be left behind on Earth whilst his mentor Hikari and his daughter Aimi will ascend to Heaven where they belong. They've been devout believers all their lives and so when the time comes, they will have to leave Sam behind.
But it's not for the reason you think. He's not a non-believer. He's grown up just as devout a believer as Hikari and Aimi. No, the reason why Sam will be left behind is because he is a Demon and Demon's cannot take places in Heaven.
I know what you're thinking, why would Hikari raise a Demon? Well truth be told, Sam is half-demon. His mother was a human who was seduced by a Demon. So it's not actually Sam's fault, nor is it due to his lack of Faith. Hikari brought the boy up to be loving and kind, to put the thoughts and feelings of others ahead of his own at times.

When the Rapture comes, Sam is distraught that Hikari and Aimi have indeed vanished without a trace. He knew it was coming but nobody could say when, so although he was prepared long term - he wasn't prepared for it to happen on that day.

Before the Rapture, Hikari taught Sam to be a good swordsman and to dispatch of his enemies quickly and efficiently. Who are his enemies? Other Demons of course. 

So we follow Sam on his journey and see him having to dispatch many Lemure. The world seems over-run with them. Most are easily cut down and when they are, they turn to piles of ash. The Astaroth are a little harder but still no match for Sam and his perfectly honed abilities. He is very proficient with the two swords he wields. 

Along the way, Sam meets up with a group of people who are holed up with supplies at Black Ridge. Their leader Adam wants to know why he should help Sam get to his destination in LA. Sam tells him that he is a half-demon and that his mission is to kill the Antichrist. That's good enough for Adam and after a long fight in which they dispatch many more Lemure, Adam tells Sam he can help him reach his goal. 
Joshua was part of Adam's troop at Black Ridge, but he knows the way to LA and he knows Sam too, from school, though they weren't friends - Sam had never had many friends growing up, most thought him too strange and avoided him. But Joshua volunteers to go along with Sam and they take a vehicle and some supplies and set off on the road.

Along the way to Vegas - which is where they have to go in order to get to LA - Sam and Josh are confronted by a group of people who want to steal the vehicle and supplies from them. [note; this was a very good scene] They leave with everything intact and a new member to their motley crew, Grace. She was being treated badly by the people in the town and needed to get away. 

Along the way, the encounter more Demons and dispatch of them with relative ease. Everywhere is destroyed - homes are torn apart, vehicles are abandoned on the road, people have either gone to Heaven or Hell. It isn't until they get to Vegas that they encounter the strangest of things. You'd think that Demons are the strangest thing, yet you'd be wrong. 
Once in Vegas, the streets are calm. There are no Demons. People are milling around going about their day-to-day business.

[spoiler well and truly removed]

As you follow Sam on his journey, you are sucked in as though you are experiencing it all with him. Phillip W Simpson is a great author who knows how to captivate his audience. Whether you are a believer or not, you get drawn in and you don't get thrown back out until the end. Phillip knows just how to keep you in suspense and the end was an enormous shock for me. It was a thoroughly enjoyable book and I can't wait to be able to find the time to read book 2; Tribulation.

Thank you to RABT for supplying the review copy of this book and thank you to Phillip for writing it.

Thanks most of all to all of you who came by my stop on the tour. Read on for some advice from Phillip...

A day in my writing life:

I teach during the day and my wife and I have a young son (Jack), so I don’t have much time during the week. To be honest, I’m too tired when I get home to summon up the creative energy you need to write a novel. During school terms, I write in the weekends. Usually both days. I can get on a bit of a roll then. In the holidays, I’ll write every weekday for about the same time. I have the weekends off.
I write in the garage. I can’t concentrate inside. As I try to tell other people – I’m immersing myself in a world. If you talk to me or otherwise distract me, the world image I have before me has an annoying tendency to disappear.
If I write for a whole day, I’ll usually get about 4,000 words done. That’s 20k a week. You do the maths – you can have a whole novel written in about 4 weeks. Of course, it may be terrible, but that’s what the editing process is all about. For preparation, I get on the rowing machine in the morning and listen to my ipod. That’s when I do most of my thinking. I visualize the scenes in my head and the exercise clears my head and gets me charged up. I probably drink about 3 cups of coffee in any given writing day. I’ll start writing at 8am and write solidly until lunch when I’ll have half an hour off. I find it doesn’t pay to have too much of a break – especially if I’m really into the creative process. I’ll start writing again in the afternoon and usually finish around 4pm. I don’t like to work much past that otherwise I don’t get to spend any time with my family. Besides, I’m pretty shattered by that point and my writing gets lazy. I do find it hard to sleep after a solid day of writing – I’m usually too worked up and I often go to bed thinking of better ways to write the scene. My wife tells me she talks to me in the evenings and I answer her but I often forget can’t remember the conversations (it gets awkward when we’re preparing to go out for the weekend and I say ‘where to?’ and she of course says ‘we’ve talked about this.’)

Ten things you didn’t know about me:

I used to be an archaeologist and a museum curator
I used to own a comic shop
I did kung-fu for six years
All my tattoos are of comic characters
My son has the same birth mark as me on the back of his head
I was in the army
I’ve walked to Machu Picchu in Peru and trekked in the Himalayas. I also ran with the bulls in Pamplona!
My most favorite noise is rain on a tin roof
My favorite movie of all time is probably the Fifth Element
I’ve been published by several mainstream publishers but I’m now an indie writer for my commercial fiction

Pet peeves of the publishing industry:

In the course of my writing career, I’ve had almost 50 books published by mainstream publishers. Publishers include Penguin, Macmillan, Pearson, Oxford University Press and Cengage. These, admittedly, are mostly educational books for children and books to help teachers teach the writing process.
In terms of my commercial fiction, I’ve recently become an indie writer. My Rapture Trilogy was published by Pear Jam books, a small publisher based in New Zealand. I got my rights back in January, 2013 and decided to go Indie because of the trouble a small publisher faces in terms of distribution. They struggle to get their books in mainstream bookstores. Many of these bookstores are reluctant to take on stock not produced by a major publisher.
Not only that, but my books are difficult to buy in print where they need to be – the U.S.  The Rapture Trilogy is set in the States and I believe the content appeals more to American audiences than any other. It’s also difficult to get reviews in popular review spots such as newspapers, magazines etc. I had many reviews by bloggers and in all fairness, bloggers target my demographic much better. It’s a fantastic way to get word out to potential readers. But still – it would be nice to see my books in the review pages in the Sunday papers.
There are so many good books out there by small presses and indie authors but many people have never heard of them. I believe the industry is changing however – for the better.  Indie and self published authors have a lot more control now, especially with the advent of the e-book and the ability of these authors to sell their books on-line. Mainstream review sources are starting to sit up and take notice but it’s still very difficult. Kirkus, for instance, offers a review service for Indie authors but it’ll cost you. From memory, I think it costs around $500 for a Kirkus review. I know it’s impractical for them to review every book but it would be nice if they offered the same free service they offer to mainstream publications. Perhaps when a book has received enough attention, Kirkus could produce a free review. Maybe the criteria could be a certain amount of reviews from bloggers or a certain amount of ratings from sites like Goodreads. Food for thought.
Regardless, I have fully embraced my Indie status and I’m looking forward to publishing my next few books myself. With Apocalypse, I will have five novels available as e-books. I’ve got one chapter book that I want to put up as well as two picture books. In addition, I’m currently working on my sixth novel. It’s going to be a busy year!

Author Bio:
Phillip W. Simpson is an author of mostly children's books - both fiction and non-fiction.

As well as being a writer, he is an elementary school teacher. Career highlights include being in the
army, gaining a Masters in Archaeology, owning a comic shop, becoming obsessed with martial arts
and oriental weapons and turning down a job at the British museum.

His YA novel RAPTURE (the first in the Rapture trilogy) was released Sept 1st, 2011 by Pear Jam
books. RAPTURE is a dystopian/post-apocalyptic story about the end of the world featuring demons,
angels and a half demon protagonist caught in the middle. RAPTURE was shortlisted for the Sir Julius
Vogel award for best Youth novel.

Book 2, TRIBULATION, was released in December, 2012. The final book, APOCALYPSE, will be out
early 2013.

On a personal note, he is married to Rose, has a son (Jack) and two border terriers, Whiskey and
Raffles. He loves fishing, reading, football (soccer) and single malt Whiskeys.

Buy Links 


Tribulation (Kindle Version)

Thank you Phillip for taking time out of your busy day to talk to us.
Thank you to everyone who came by to read my review. I hope to see you all here again soon!

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