Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Rochelle Campbell: Author Spotlight

This week's spotlight is on author Rochelle Campbell.  Many of you may know her as the Indie author that led us in the recent #IndieRoar promotion, giving some much needed attention to the Indie Author community and some really great books. It's only fitting that we spotlight a couple of her books as well. Rochelle has been very active in the #IndieBooksBeSeen movement and I'm sure you will want to check out her books.

Bio:  "The main thing about me? I've been writing since I was 12. The first complete story (including obligatory bad plotting) was in the 5th grade. A superhero with a gynormous head and a penchant for cursing up a blue streak (sorta like Will Smith's Hancock...) saves the day by melting glass when all of city's water was stolen by 'the bad guy'. [Uh-huh. Steven Spielberg watch out.] 

Yet somehow, my teacher Mr. Lustbader, felt I had talent. Now, innumerable years later, I am still putting pen to page and fingers to keyboard. As many writers do, I started off with short stories and have now moved into novels. My first novel, "Fury From Hell" is a paranormal cop thriller set in Brooklyn, NY. Two fast-talking, irreverent cops -- Jennifer Holden and Betty Feinster -- are out saving lives and ridding the streets of Brooklyn from a demonic Fury.

Writing makes me feel alive. It allows me to express the crazy side we all have within us. Writing is my way of staying sane. So, for me, writing is a process; not a problem. 

If you give my stories a chance, I know you will enjoy the reading ride!"

Fury From Hell is a paranormal thriller about good vs. evil. Here, the good is in the form of Detective Jennifer Holden, a homicide cop that is haunted by her own personal demons of a murder she committed when she was just a teenager. The trauma she suffered at the hands of social agency after agency hardened Jennifer into a staunch atheist making her gun and her bank account the only things she truly believes in. 

Here is what Rochelle says about the next book we are spotlighting....

"Writing has been a ‘thing’ I’ve done for well over 20 years.  I started off in journalism and was bitten by the fiction bug in college.  Through a series of fortunate events, I found awesome writing mentors that I studied with for two years and began formulating plots that did not have holes!  Then, one day, I after having written only fiction, I felt a yearn to write about something I was passionate about but was in the realm of the real world.  That was how Making Dollars & Sense Work was born."

You can check out all of Rochelle's books on her Amazon Author Page.

You can follow Rochelle at these places.

Let's all return a favor and Roar for Rochelle!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

C. L. Schneider: Author Interview and Spotlight

This week I am pleased to interview Epic Fantasy author C.L. Schneider.  Magic Price is the first book in her trilogy, The Crown of Stones.

Blurb:  For ten years Ian Troy has been running from the blood in his veins and on his hands.
Born of the Shinree, a fallen race reviled for their inherent addiction to magic, Ian is no stranger to scorn. His people, drugged to suppress their magic, are bred and sold as slaves. Some are granted conditional freedom, but only to serve the ruling races. Possessing the magic of a soldier, Ian was conscripted into the Rellan army at a young age and made to fight in their longstanding war against the brutal Langorians invaders.As the years dragged on and the death toll climbed, he tried to believe as his Queen did, that they could win without magic. She was wrong. Defeat was imminent.
Pushed to the brink, Ian defied orders and turned to The Crown of Stones, an ancient Shinree relic of untold power. Ignorant of the crown’s true purpose, he harnessed its magic and brought peace to the realms—but at an unthinkable price.
A decade later, Ian is still haunted by that tragic day. Having turned his back on soldiery and magic, he lives in self-imposed exile. He drowns his addiction with guiltand his guilt with wine.He struggles to leave it all behind.
But the past is catching up.

Buy Links:  Amazon eBook
                    Amazon Paperback

Bodies pressed in on me on all sides. More were piled up beneath my feet. The grass, gorged with assorted fluids and trampled remains, squished under my boots as I carved open my opponent’s chest, pushed him aside, and moved onto the next.
 There was always a next. The Langorians were a swarm…an inexhaustible, savage, mindless swarm. And we had no choice but to become like them to survive. To become animals, going at each other, mechanically pushing against the tide, battering whatever stood in our way with whatever we had; clubs, axes, swords, knives—our bruised, bleeding bare hands. Fighting for days, months, years, striving to hold out against an enemy that knew nothing of mercy, an enemy stronger, and far more brutal than us, we’d become something less than we were.
And we were still losing.
I grabbed the Queen’s arm and steered her out of the fray. “We can’t take much more of this.” Needing to be heard, I drew her closer. “We should pull back.”
“Pull back?” Queen Aylagar Arcana yanked herself free. She gave me a wild, defiant look. Full of passion and reckless resolve, it made her exotic features come alive. “My order stands. We press on, Troy. As always.”
 I shook my head. “Our numbers are dwindling too fast. We can’t win this.”
 “We can and we will.” Aylagar raised a hand. She touched my face and the sound of metal clashing and men screaming seemed to fade away. Brushing back the blood-splattered white strands that had come loose from my braid, she ran a finger down the strong line of my jaw. “Trust me, Love. The Langorians will not have Rella.”
“How can you still believe that?”
“Because I must.Because I have faith.”
“Ayla…” I stopped myself. Then I started again. “I saw the messenger arrive from Kabri. I know he carried orders from the King. You can’t keep ignoring them.”
“I can. And I will.” She dropped her hand and backed up. “My husband is a fool. I don’t care how many messengers he dispatches from his throne, he is not out here. The blood of these men bathes my skin, not his. This is my war, Troy. Mine!” she cried. “We fight. We die. We go on until we prevail—by my command. I will not surrender. That is the way of it. That is the only way.”
My throat went dry at the fire in her. The way she stood, outlined by the backdrop of chaos, flanked by the crackling flames that consumed our camp, with sweat beading on her dark skin and battle-lust glazing her stare, I wanted to pull her into my arms. I wanted to go back to this morning, on the furs of her tent, when Aylagar’s flawless, ebony skin was on me. Where status and race didn’t matter and death felt far away. Mostly, I wanted to believe her, as I had so many times, that every battle brought us closer to victory. That persistence was our greatest strength and it would carry us through.
But this was it. King Draken of Langor was throwing everything he had at us, making one final push to wipe us all out. To once and for all, lay claim to the land his forefathers had sought, and failed, to conquer. Surrendering was unacceptable; she was right in that. Yet, Aylagar had lost her way. Somewhere along the line, the outcome had stopped mattering to her as much as the fight, and my affection, my awe of her, had blinded me for far too long.
“Give me the order,” I demanded. “Let me shift the odds.”
Her dismissal was quick. “No.”
“We can’t keep going like this, sword for sword, day after day, until there’s none of us left. Let me cast hell down on these black-hearted bastards.”
“I have given you my answer. And it is no different than the last hundred times.”
I moved closer. “You know what I can do. My magic can give us an advantage the Langorians can’t match. We can stop this fucking, never-ending war, Ayla. We can stop it together, with steel and magic. If you’ll just—”
“You are Shinree,” she hissed. “Your kind are meant to do as they are told. Yet, after six years in the ranks you still push for something that I will never bend to.”
“Then you’re as big a fool as the King.”
Her hand that, only a moment ago, had caressed me, struck my face. “My husband forced your service in this army upon us both. And from day one, when you stood in my tent, a young man, eager to please, drooling with the urge to cast, I made it plain that this conflict would not be solved with magic. It’s dishonorable. I don’t trust it. I forbid it. Now, you are my best soldier. I have given you free reign in my bed, but not out here. Not in battle. Ever. Is thatclear?”
Staring at her, my heart went cold. “I don’t think I can do this anymore. Fighting as half a man. Ashamed of what I am because you say it’s wrong. I’m not just a soldier.” I held up the sword in my hand. I called to the stones embedded in the leather-wrapped handle and they began to glow. Their vibrations pressed in through my skin, down into my veins, and the uncertainty washed away. “I’m a Shinree soldier.”
“Put that magic away,” she scolded. “Do you want to kill us all?”
 “I can control it.”
“Can you?” Her eyes were harsh. “Can you promise that when your spell steals the strength it needs to be born, that it won’t steal from one of my men? That it won’t steal from me? Your magic is a disease, Ian. Your need for it, your addiction, clouds your judgment. It threatens us all and undermines my orders.”
“Your orders,” I roared, “contradict my duty to keep Rella safe. I’ve tried to pretend they didn’t. I’ve tried to be what you wanted. But I can’t. I’m Shinree, Ayla. I am magic. And if you don’t untie my hands, we will all die here today.”


1. I got my love of reading from my mother who also had a large selection of books around the house. When did you realize you were hooked and what book(s) did that for you?

With my parent’s diverse ‘library’ at my disposal, I was an early reader. By late into middle school I had dipped into nearly every genre. I adored mysteries, especially gothic. But what I was drawn to that age were the classics. My parents had a beautiful set. They were leather bound with gold on the edges of the pages, and silk ribbon bookmarks. I remember loving those books; the feel, the smell. The look of them lined up on the shelf. Gone With the Wind, Jane Eyre, A Tale of Two Cities, Anna Karenina. There were more. I don’t believe I read the entire set. But those were the books that cemented my love of reading.

2. What made you decide on fantasy and particularly, epic fantasy. Can you tell us the difference between epic fantasy and regular fantasy?

Since childhood I’ve had fascination for all things medieval, mystical, and supernatural. I started going to the Renaissance Fair when I was 8 or 9, I think—in costume, of course. I was the only girl in school who would actually admit to being crazy about sci-fi. In high school, the story of King Arthur captivated me. I read every incarnation I could get my hands on for a while.But it was at age 18 when my brother gave me a copy ofThe Mists of Avalon that I was truly drawn toepic fantasy. It struck such a chord with me. I read it twice in a matter of months.  That was the book that made me want to write fantasy over other genres.
Epic fantasy is generally described as a novel set in an entirely imaginary world, completely unlike our own, with environments and societies that are fully explored and realized. As a rule, the story is lengthy and evolves over multiple books. It often includes a large cast of characters and sweeping battles or a journey across multiple realms. The plot is complex and game-changing, leaving the story-world altered on a grand scale and the characters evolved. 

3. How is the third book in your series coming along?

Right now, I’m nearing the end of my first revision of the 3rd book in The Crown of Stones trilogy. It’s very bittersweet, wrapping up this series. It’s been a long journey. I’ve lived with these characters for so long. Yet, at the same time, I’m looking forward to something new.
I’ve already received some feedback on the first half of book 3, which is always exciting. I’ve also recently been in touch with my cover artist and communicated exactly what I’m looking for. He blew me away with the covers of the first two, so I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

4. Tell us about your initial publishing experience. Did you try to find an agent or publisher, or did you have it in your mind all along to do it by yourself?

It was always my intention to go the traditional route. I’d carried a dream with my since I was 16 of walking into a bookstore and seeing my book on the shelf. So when I finished Magic-Price, I did my research, sent out my query letters, and held my breath. Over the next year and a half I had some interest. I had agents who asked for outlines. Some wanted a short synopsis, some wanted long. Some wanted to read the first 10 pages. Some rejected it outright. It was an exciting time. One man, who was the agent for fantasy at the time, actually sent me a personal response. He said he was intrigued by my query. I stunned. There might have been dancing.
Ultimately, he passed on the manuscript. While he liked my story, he felt “the writing wasn’t quite up to the level he needed for today’s competitive market.” I was disappointed, but I agreed with him. Deep down, I knew it wasn’t ready. I knew I could do better. So I purchased stacks of books on the craft of writing and dove in. I read them all, cover to cover. Then I started revising. I cut thousands of words. I rewrote the entire beginning, improved my characters, and tightened the plot.
The whole time I was reworking the manuscript, my good friend Dawn was pushing me to self-publish. Ebooks had exploded onto the scene. Fantasy was moving into the mainstream. She loved my story andthought I was crazy for waiting on an agent or publisher. Her reasoning was, if I published Magic-Price as an ebook, and it did well, I might attract the attention of a traditional publisher. I couldn’t argue her reasoning, but I wasn’t ready to give up. My dream was to hold my book and see it on a shelf. Not a Kindle.
Finally, one afternoon, I decided to humor her. I pulled out the laptop and headed to Amazon, fully expecting to tell her once again that I wasn’t interested. That’s when I foundCreateSpace. I immediately recognized their print-on-demand self-publishing services and Kindle conversion as the best of both worlds. Not only could I fulfill my dream of a physical book, I could have an ebook, and sell both on Amazon. I created my account that day and never looked back.
Self-publishing was one of the best decision I’ve ever made. It has been an amazing experience for me I have control over my work. I’ve learned so much, and met some amazing people. Readers all over the world have read my words. And I have two beautiful books on my shelf.

5. What do you know now, having published two books, that you wish you knew when you first started?

There are multiple answers to this question. I feel like I’ve learned things with each book, and I don’t expect that to stop anytime soon! One thing that stands out at this moment, though, is the rewards of getting an early start with social media.
I knew I would need to establish an online presence. I knew I would need to market/promote. But I gave no thought to doing so more than a couple of months ahead of time. I also had no idea the tremendous personal benefit I would gain simply from connecting—or how much I would enjoy it.I’d always believedother authors would be the competition, and would treat me as such. That I would feel like a tiny, insignificant row boat drifting oarlessin avast ocean full of yachts. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Once I left my uninformed, lonely little comfort zone, Idiscovered a community that is generous, helpful, full of encouragement, and incredibly supportive. Icouldn’t imagine now going without the regular sharing of knowledge and ideas, the jokes and tips. The tweets/posts/etc., and the people who write them, have become a part of my writing experience. Some have become my friends.
It would have been a huge help to have formed such connections earlier,while I was still working on my manuscript.On the good writing days, I believe it would have encouraged me to finish faster. On the bad ones, I could have used some of those tips and jokes.
It is a vast ocean, but one thing I’ve learned: it’s no fun sitting in the boat alone.

6. For those that are reading this now, what can you tell them about your series that might convince them to give it a try?

The Crown of Stones is an epic fantasy, but I believe it appeals to a broader audience than just the rabid fantasy fans. The story is fast-paced and character driven, and geared toward mature readers (not YA). In telling itfrom the first person POV of our flawed, tortured anti-hero, Ian Troy, my goal is to drag you into the book and make you feel it. I don’t want you to read about Ian. I want you to be Ian. I want readers to discover all the good and the bad his world has to offer right along with him. And in a land that’s been plagued by war and slavery for hundreds of years, there’s a lot of bad.
I’ve also taken an abnormal approach to magic using, making itnot a revered power, but acrippling and deadly addiction. Ian’s entire race is born with this addiction and he enjoys the pleasures that come with casting, as acutely as he feels the pain of his cravings and his guilt.
I’ve had quite a few readers and reviewers admit they don’t normally read fantasy. Having expected long drawn out meanderings and hundreds of pages of backstory and world building, they were pleasantly surprised how much they enjoyed the story—and how quickly they were turning the pages.
I know the Crown of Stones is not for everyone, but I’m grateful for those that give it a try. Afterward, come find me. I’d love to know what you thought of it.

Bio:  Born in a small Kansas town on the Missouri river,I grew up in a house of avid readers and overflowing bookshelves. When I was sixteen I wrote my first, full-length novel on a typewriter in my parent's living room. My main focus is adult epic fantasy, but I also write urban fantasy, and the occasional science fiction or post-apocalyptic story.
I am proud to be a self-published author and a member of the #indiebooksbeseen community. My goal as a writer is to stir emotion and make the reader feel, whether it be good or bad. I believe in writing fearless, and that telling a story as it is meant to be told, is far more important than word count.
The Crown of Stones: Magic-Price is my first published novel. The second book in the trilogy, Magic-Scars, was released earlier this year.

You can follow C.L. Schneider at the following Links:


Monday, June 15, 2015

Patricia Lynne: Author Interview and Spotlight

Being Human by Patricia Lynne

This week's spotlight deals with my favorite genre, urban fantasy with a focus on vampires. 

Blurb:  For Tommy, the only thing he needs to do is survive.

But surviving isn’t that easy. The hunt for blood is tricky when humans fear the night. Vampire Forces, a special branch of police who hunt the undead, are determined to turn every vampire to ash. Desire sits on the edge of his mind, urging him to become the monster humans believe he is.

Tommy can only trust his twin brother. With Danny’s help, Tommy must navigate the human world he’s forgotten. He’ll discover friendship and betrayal, find that the worst monsters are very human, and understand that family means more than blood.

As the number of humans that mean more than a meal growing, Tommy learns there’s more to life than simple survival. Sometimes being human doesn’t mean being a human.

My brother held out the brown bottle, his arm wavering. “Take a drink.”
I shook my head, lips pressed together.
“Come on, take a drink.”
“Because I want to know if you can,” he sighed.
I leaned away from the bottle. The odor rising from it reminded me of a homeless human. “I don’t care if I can.”
“It's not like it can kill you,” he insisted and started laughing. “Can't have liver failure,” he continued, laughing more. “Or die from alcohol poisoning.” He was roaring with laughter now.
I scowled at him. “You've been drinking this stuff, haven't you? You reek like it.”
He stopped laughing, giving me a serious look. “Yes, before you showed up I was in the next dorm having a few beers with my classmates. Is that so wrong?”
“I don't know, is it?”
“Only because I'm under twenty-one,” he idly replied and took a drink. He held the bottle back out. “Don't make me force you with your name.”
I eyed the bottle, then him. We no longer looked identical. His hair had grown and his body was no longer lanky. Filled out was the term he used, flexing a few muscles as he grinned at the mirror. His voice was richer and deeper. He did something I'd never do.
He aged.
Three years had passed. Three years since I had been turned and murdered our parents. Three years since our aunt and uncle tried to separate us.
As far as they knew, they succeeded.
Now he attended college, living in the dorms and only calling our aunt and uncle once a week to let him know he was okay or going to visit. There was still a song and dance he had to play, but it was less restricted.
I was less restricted too. The dorms were open to me. I could enter any I pleased; no one needed to welcome me. My brother thought it was because the dorms were public buildings, and with so many humans coming and going, whatever kept vampires out was broken.
The human students knew I was there. In the first week, while my brother was asleep and I explored the campus, finding routes to and from my resting place, I stumbled across a human. She snapped a picture, then ran off while I blinked at the spot in my vision. The next day he said a girl approached him, asking why he was dressing like a vampire and scaring people. I don't know if I made things worse for him or not, but I found the human again and told her I wasn't the human she thought I was.
A fist pounded on the door and I was out the window in a heartbeat. “Yo, Danny,” a voice called. “There's a party in Street Hall, tons of beer and girls. You coming?”
“Just a sec,” my brother replied. He leaned out the window with an amused look. “I gotta go, but I'll be back before the sun rises.” He set the bottle on the window ledge. “Have a drink on me. Peace.”
Then he was gone, happily chatting with the human.

Buy Links:

Bio:  Patricia Lynne never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn't regretted a moment. She writes new adult under the name Patricia Josephine.

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.


1. I love vampire books and I see your book features a vampire but it doesn't look like your typical vampire story.  Did you have that in mind when you started writing this book?

Yup. I love vampire stories, but after Twilight, there were a lot of brooding, sexy vampires. While I like those stories, vampires were losing their monster status. I wanted a vampire story where the vampire wasn't afraid of getting flesh stuck in his teeth. Although, Tommy isn't the bad guy. Or is he?

2. Tell me about your experience as an Indie author from writing to editing and publishing.

Usually an idea hits me out of nowhere. Anything can inspire it. I get a bit obsessed––despite not always knowing how the story will go. I am a panster. Once the first draft is done, I set it aside for a while before diving into edits. I'll usually do four or five passes before sending it to beta readers. Then I do more passes before hiring an editor. Commas are my bane. I'm getting better, but I still doubt each one. At some point during this time, I hire a cover artist. Eventually, I randomly pick a date. Then it's all about generating interest until that moment I hit publish. I go hide under the bed then. I think my experience with each book is pretty common for authors.

3. What are you currently working on?  Is there a sequel in the works?

I have a New Adult story with a zombie main character I'm working on. I haven't figured out a title yet, so I've been calling it MmmBrains. There's also vampires, werewolves, and fairies in the story. As of right now, it's a stand alone.

4. What are your favorite books and authors. 

I love Kerrelyne Sparks and Heather Brewer. Both write vampire stories. I actually won a 6 foot signed poster from Kerrelyn.

5. What can you tell readers about your book that might convince them to give it a try?

If you love getting into the head of a vampire or any creature that's not human, then I have the books for you. And if that doesn't convince you, I'm sending Tommy after you. Read or else he will bite.

I hope you guys will give Being Human a try!

You can follow Patricia at the following links:

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Kara Jorgensen: Author Interview and Spotlight

Can you say Steampunk?  I am very excited to feature my first Steampunk author, Kara Jorgensen.

The Winter Garden is her latest release and it is Book Two in the

The Ingenious Mechanical Devices


All it took was a potion and a drop of blood to tie Emmeline and Immanuel's souls.  When Immanuel brought the young medium back from the dead, he never expected to be kidnapped from the Bodlein Library and held captive by a man who desires the secrets of restoring life. Just when hope seems lost, Immanuel and Emmeline escape but find the mad nobleman's reach lies far beyond the walls of their prison. With the help of a dandy and a physician, Immanuel and Emmeline set out to save themselves and the secrets of life and death.

You can buy a copy here:  Amazon: The Winter Garden
Book One is available hereAmazon: The Earl of Brass

Check out those fantastic reviews while you are there!!!

1. Tell me about steampunk. It's a fairly new category and you're the first author of that genre I have featured.
Steampunk is a genre that spans a wide range of time periods, geography, and styling. The general idea is Victorian inspired stories where the internal combustion engine has been replaced by the steam engine as the main power source, and the stories look at how this will alter history. Some stories take place in Victorian England, others in the American West or even India. Some writers make fantastical new worlds that dabble in Lovecraftian scifi while others edge toward realism, whether it's set in the past or future. It's a broad genre with lots of nooks and crannies left to be explored.

2. I see this is the second book in your series.  Does it work as a stand alone or do you suggest starting with the Earl of Brass?

The Winter Garden, along with every book in the Ingenious Mechanical Devices series, is a standalone. Most of the characters in The Winter Garden are brand new, but there are characters who reoccur from book one. As with most writers, I would prefer my readers go in order, but it definitely isn't necessary and it won't take much away from the story. Starting with book one will give a greater insight into some of the characters who crop up during book two. Each book takes place within the same world and share characters at times, but the storylines tend to not overlap.

3. What is your writing routine and do you have a set schedule to write?

I'm still working on that. Currently, I'm in graduate school, so my writing schedule is thrown off by papers and things I have to read for class. What I like to do during the summer is read and plot earlier in the day and write in the evening/night. Before I start writing, I need an outline of what the chapter should or may cover. Without that, I tend to flounder and not get much done. At night, I make myself a cup of coffee and reread and edit what I wrote the previous session. This gets me reacquainted with my work and gets me ready to write again. With any luck, I get words on the page before I start to nod off.

4. What are you working on now?

Currently, I am working on book three of the Ingenious Mechanical Devices series, which is entitled The Earl and the Artificer. It will involve Eilian and Hadley, who are the stars of The Earl of Brass, as they venture to Eilian's ancestral home in Dorset. The story involves a very strange house, an ancient plant long-thought extinct growing in a greenhouse, and a murder. Most of the characters in this book are new apart from our two heroes. Book three will hopefully be out by Winter 2015 or Spring 2016. I also plan on writing a book of novellas and short stories and then book four, which will involve the characters from The Winter Garden.

5. For those who are reading this what can you tell them about steampunk and specifically your books that might encourage readers to give them a try?

I would say that even if steampunk is a genre you haven't read before, it isn't much different from historical-fantasy or fantasy in general. If you like Victorian fiction or fantasy that creates new worlds, I would say give it a chance. Every writer puts their own spin on it, so even if you have read one steampunk book and didn't like it, they're all different and you may like another author better. I like to take modern problems and put them in a new context to encourage my readers to think about how this problem affects their own world. My books feature women struggling to find their place in society, men who feel they do not meet society's expectation, LGBT characters, and of course, the occasional dastardly villain. While I like to tackle issues, I also love a bit of fantasy. There are underground cities that store information on crystals, Spiritualist mediums who talk to ghosts, and a soul-stealing and -imparting machine all within the same series.

Kara Jorgensen is an author and professional student from New Jersey who will probably die slumped over a Victorian novel. An anachronistic oddball from birth, she has always had an obsession with the Victorian era, especially the 1890s. Midway through a dissection in a college anatomy class, Kara realized her true passion was writing and decided to marry her love of literature and science through science fiction or, more specifically, steampunk. When she is not writing, she is watching period dramas, going to museums, or babying her beloved dogs. Her poems have been featured in Selfish and Literary Orphans.

You can follow Kara at the following links:

Friday, June 5, 2015

Cover Reveal: Scarlet Butterfly by Susan Stielow

As if mourning the violent loss of her first love Liam Kingston wasn’t enough for Gracie Ambrose to deal with, she must now learn to accept her new Bloodborn abilities, and battle her growing thirst for human blood. To say Gracie was emotionally overwhelmed is an understatement. Especially when her dreams of Liam feel all too real. Things quickly take a turn for the worse when Gracie loses control over her thirst for human blood. She ends up nearly taking the life of someone she deeply cares for, and unintentionally forming an unbreakable blood-bond that leaves her vulnerable and exposed. Now teetering on the edge of sanity. Gracie embarks on a dangerous journey into the heart of New Orleans, where she seeks out those responsible for Liam’s death. She winds up finding more than she bargained for when she discovers a secret about herself that could change the course of everything. Putting the lives of her friends and family at risk, she takes matters into her own hands by seeking the help of a Royal Vampire Prince, to help her protect the people she loves the most. With his assistance, she will go undercover as a Scarlet Butterfly into the biggest and bloodiest vampire event of the year - The Scarlet Ball.

I have been waiting for this one ever since I read the first book almost two years ago. This one is scheduled for release this fall so if you want to start a good series with a book that is perfect for summer reading go and get the first book Bloodborn by Susan Stielow.

Get Bloodborn Here

While you are there check out my 5 Star review of Bloodborn

My Review

I can't wait to read Scarlet Butterfly...

Monday, June 1, 2015

Simon Coates: Author Interview & Spotlight

My series featuring Indie authors continues today with Simon Coates, author of The Discovery of Love.

Story introduction:
The story is based in Simon's local area (North East England - Teesside/North Yorkshire). The central premise is of an event in the 24th century that is available only to wealthy individuals, of which Remus Tallantyre is one. He has domestic staff, but Remus is nasty and selfish; two of his staff members fall in love, but are unable to form a relationship due to the house rules laid down by Remus. So the story is about frustrated love and affection of two people. Then, the 'event' that is only possible for rich people in the future happens and turns everything on its head...
Here is a short excerpt from the story - one of the chapter introductions:
Destiny works in strange ways. A person with all the material wealth in the world cannot change it. What happens, happens, and you just have to go with it, powerless to do anything about it. When things go wrong you are in the lap of the gods, and you hope they are on your side.

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1. It looks like this is your first book. How has it gone so far and what are you working on now?

All my stories are around a fiction concept of what life might be like in the 24th century. I think of ideas of events and things that could happen then, and from there the stories are formed. It is different to the usual sci-fi fare such as aliens invading Earth, spaceships going light speed, etc, more focusing on what could actually really happen. The possibilities of stories are endless!
The Discovery of Love is not my first book. That was a spaceship racing diary - to cut a long story short (forgive the pun) it is a year in the life of a full time racing pilot competing in the major sport of the 24th century, Formula X Spaceship Racing; think of Formula One, but spaceships instead of cars. I have since unpublished this one, as I feel it needs pictures, which is what I am doing at the moment; or rather, my artist who has taken the task on. The final result on this will make the book look absolutely amazing. I have seen some of the pictures, and they are utterly breathtaking!
My first book actually published was Bike Racing into the Red, a cycling story of an amateur bike racer taking on the highest mountain in the known universe, Olympus Mons on Planet Mars. The idea is that if we lived there, as I have suggested is the case in my potential future, then this colossus would be the target of extreme sportspeople looking for the ultimate challenge. For this story, I was delighted to get the services of one of the greatest British road racing cyclists Paul Curran, who won many championships, including two gold medals in the 1986 Commonwealth Games.
Book sales have been good. I am constantly promoting it at events in the local area. I get very few downloads from the Kindle version, as people I meet tend to prefer a signed physical copy.

2. Who are some of your favorite books and authors?

Well funnily enough, I have never written up until I got the idea for this future concept; I haven’t read much either! That is changing now as I am getting involved with authors on the internet and local to me, so I am reading more. So unfortunately I don't have a favourite as such!

3. What made you decide to write Science Fiction?

The idea of living in the 24th century seemed like a fun thing to do; it just happens to be this genre. What is quite striking to me is that the stories come out in a way where you would think it is the present day; or indeed from a century ago, as The Discovery of Love focuses on the relationship between a housemaid and a butler, serving their boss, so it has a bit of an English Classic feel to it which I find rather interesting, but makes total sense in the context of the story.

4. What have you learned from writing and publishing your first book that you wished you knew beforehand?

Where do we start? I have learnt so much in the past year or so. One of the big things is to realise that you are an author for only a very short period of time; once you book it is written, you then need to sell it. So you then become a book distributor, marketing manager, accountant, etc as I am self published. So it is learning what I need to do to sell the book. I am getting a substantial awareness of what events work better than others. On a writing side, getting a book professionally proof read is essential. Also - and people will hate this - avoid the internet publishers. I have seen books printed by CreateSpace and Lulu etc and they are clearly of a very low quality; you can tell the books produced this way over others very easily. This is OK if you want to give your book to friends and family, but if you want to sell your book to the public, then you need to look elsewhere. I have a local book publisher who prints my books and the quality is fantastic; it is not just the general look and feel, it is the fact that I can have one to one meetings with the publisher himself and this ensures the book is produced to the highest standard. Ultimately we are on bookshelves against the books produced by he big names, and having a really high quality book in look and feel is very important, otherwise you are already on the back foot...

5. For those that are reading this that are new to your work, what can you say to them about The Discovery of
Love that might convince them to give your book a try?

It is a love story, but in no way a typical romance at all; firstly, there is no sex, as this would destroy the story. The title is The Discovery of Love. The two main characters are in love; that is obvious; so they have already found it. The discovery needs to be done by someone else… it is a story that has a really powerful message about what life is and what love actually is…


Simon is 41 years old and lives in Middlesbrough, North East England, UK. Keen bicycle racer, competing up to National Championship level. Rode the British National Hill Climb Championship in 2013 which led to the idea for Bike Racing into the Red!

You can follow Simon at the following links: