bec2012_TNBec Stafford interviews Paul Weston as part of her HAZE book tour.

 

 

paula-weston1. The last time we spoke with you, you’d just released book 1 of The Rephaim, Shadows. Can you tell us a bit about the journey so far and what we can expect from book 2, Haze?

Of course – and thanks for having me again. I don’t want to give too much away, but I can tell you that Haze has a couple of fairly significant plot developments from a series perspective. It picks up a few days after the end of Shadows, and a few things happen early on that set Gaby on a collision course with the Outcasts.

This instalment is primarily driven by Gaby’s search for her brother, Jude, but it also focuses on her own soul-searching about who she used to be, and what that means for who she is now – and how that affects her relationships with everyone else.

She learns more about the Outcasts, and she and Rafa discover a new threat that changes everything for the Rephaim. There are more twists, more swordfights and more heated moments between Gaby and Rafa (romantic and antagonistic!). And you might have heard there’s a bit of a cliffhanger…

 

weston_haze2.   Paula, The Rephaim series includes a number of supernatural creatures, including (half) angels and demons! If you could be any of these creatures for a day, which would you choose and why?

Out of that choice, I’d have to say I’d choose to be one of the Rephaim (half angel). Mostly because of their ability to ‘shift’ (be anywhere in the world in the blink of an eye), which would make travelling so much easier and less expensive! They can also look after themselves in a fight. The downside is the whole ‘why do we exist’ dilemma, and the possibility that they have to fulfill some epic destiny to atone for the sins of their fathers.

 


3. You’ve told us how much you enjoyed creating Rafa’s character and how much fun he’s been to write. Well, we know what a huge hit he’s been with your female fans, in particular. Why do you think he’s so appealing, and did you base him on anyone from reality?

Ha – no, he’s not based on anyone in reality. I’d like to think Rafa appeals to readers because there are a few layers to him, and he shows different sides of himself with each book. I wanted to introduce him as a typical bad boy/smartass and then peel back the layers to show why he acts and reacts the way he does. Yes he can be a bit of a dick at times, but there are reasons why he responds to Gaby so erratically. He has a long and complicated history with her but because she doesn’t remember it, she treats him differently, which confuses the hell out of him. I like keeping him off balance. I also like the fact he’s a brutally efficient fighter, because it makes it interesting when he can’t solve a problem with his fists or a sword. Over the four books of the series, his growth curve is almost as big as Gaby’s.

 

4. Which of your fictional characters Burns Brightest in your mind and why? (We’ve asked you this one before, and you said it was Rafa. Has that changed? If not, who’s next in line?)

Rafa is still fun to write (as are all the characters, actually), but now that I’m deeper into the series I can’t escape that Gaby definitely burns brightest for me. It’s not just that I’m viewing the world and the story through her eyes – it’s also because so many of her questions and reactions reflect my own.

Thanks for the great questions!



Joelene_tnJoelene Pynnonen says: Money drips through your fingers like water in Sydney. After shopping in Brisbane, Sydney feels like a surfeit. The stores are bigger, there are more of them and there are sales everywhere.

 

 

hachettesydney2014 015Bel and I were lucky enough to meet up with Jorge from Spotlight Report during our visit. Because of his local expertise, I discovered two stores that were probably my favourite part of the trip. Utopia is the self-proclaimed Home of Metal, and lives up to its name. The staff are friendly and almost scarily knowledgeable about the local and International Heavy Metal scene. Within twenty seconds of me asking, they had found a reasonably priced album for my incredibly hard to buy for baby brother.

The other store Jorge told me about is one that I will be visiting every time that I go to Sydney in the future. Basement Books is buried in a passageway out behind Central Train Station. At first glance it looks like a little hole-in-the-wall bookstore. As you get closer, however, it expands into a verifiable Aladdin’s cave of wondrous things. The store stocks a wide range of art supplies and canvasses as well as books of every major genre. All at unbelievable discounts. Obviously I spent my time there combing through the fantasy and YA sections. Had my luggage allowance been more extravagant, I dread to think of how badly my credit card would be suffering right now.

hachettesydney2014 034After a five-hour day at Paddy’s Markets, my cards were depleted enough. For anyone who hasn’t had the chance to visit Paddy’s Markets, it is one of the places to go in Sydney. A labyrinth of stalls selling all sorts of things, everyone is bound to find a bargain here. From costumes to unusual pieces of jewellery, fresh fruit to ornamental swords, handbags to Australian memorabilia; Paddy’s has it all. Located in the heart of China Town, it is a short distance from the beautiful Chinese Gardens and is surrounded by some wonderful Asian restaurants. Bubble tea is also abundant, so there are many and varied reasons to visit.

There are a lot of great things to buy in Sydney, but it is also a beautiful city. I’d recommend walking rather than catching a bus or taxi. There are some truly amazing churches and old buildings that you may miss out on if you’re in a rush.



isabella rose taylorIsabella Rose Taylor

Isabella began creating fine art when she was 3, sewing at 8, and by the age of 13 she had a clothing line contract deal with Nordstrom.

The girl knows how to dream big and stand her ground when her business advisors may be steering her in a direction she’s not be comfortable travelling.

Biography-wise there’s not a lot of information available, but there’s a TEDx talk worth watching.

Isabella’s also on all the social media platforms, and her website is wonderful.

httpv://www.isabellarosetaylor.com/about/

There’s also a Dwen session which is rather enlightening.

 

Cecilia Cassini

cecilai cassiniCecilia Cassini is now 14 but began re-purposing clothing and sewing her own designs at age 6. She was followed around by a German film crew for the TV show Confessions of a Fashionette for the Style Network at age 12.

This young lady is extremely community minded, donating clothing for less fortunate kids to have a great outfit on their first day of school. A percentage of her Trunk show profits goes to homeless shelters.

When she’s not aiming for A’s in school she’s designing clothed for Hollywood’s A listers. Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus and Kelly Osbourne are just a few celebrities she’s dressed.

There is quite possibly even less information about this dedicated young woman online, but I have a strong suspicion we’ll be hearing more about her in the near future.

Here’s an old clip of her debuting on the Today Show.

 



Lisa-Smith_tnLisa says: This recipe is perfect for those days, when you’re really busy or when you just don’t feel like standing in the kitchen all day! I usually have some potato salad to go along with these delicious ribs, but of course you can do it your way! Enjoy!

 

ribsIngredients:

  • Baby Back ribs
  • Salt & pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup barbeque sauce
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar

Directions:

This is honestly one of the easiest recipes ever, just make it in the morning, and have it ready for dinner!

In a small bowl combine the ketchup, barbeque sauce and brown sugar.

In your crock pot, season your ribs with salt, pepper and garlic powder; as much or as little as you like!

Brush your ribs with your ketchup mixture, making sure to use all of it! I know this mixture sounds a bit weird, but trust me, it’s REALLY good!

On high, allow your ribs to cook for about six hours, checking in every once in a while. Once your ribs are completely cooked, and falling apart, add some more barbeque sauce, and they’re done!

This recipe is perfect for those days, when you’re really busy or when you just don’t feel like standing in the kitchen all day!

I usually have some potato salad to go along with these delicious ribs, but of course you can do it your way! Enjoy!



Mandy Wrangles_2_tnUp, Up and Away (almost!). I’m going on an adventure. Well, not just me. My whole in-law family – sixteen Wrangles in one place. Eight adults and just as many children. Could be scary, but definitely fun.

 

 

hot dogsWe’ve been counting down to this big trip for years and years now; we wanted to wait until the youngest grandchild was old enough to remember the holiday of a lifetime. Problem was, we all just kept on having kids. These days, the youngest family member is almost six and the oldest nudging his late 60′s.

So where are we off to? The United States. Yep, Disneyland, New York, Vegas and Hawaii with a few more stops in between. I’ll be blogging my way around, testing plenty of iconic food, and reporting back here. I’m looking forward to the Hot Dogs (and corn dogs) in Central Park, as well as checking out the famous New York cronut. Clam Chowder in San Fransisco, tacos in San Diego.

So who’s got some tips for me? We’ll be checking out plenty of street food as well as some fine dining. What fabulous American food must I absolutely try?

 


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