Monday, August 31, 2015

Jennifer Anne Seidler: Author Interview & Spotlight



Please welcome to my blog, Jennifer Anne Seidler, science fiction author of Dry Land.

Blurb:

When mankind toys with nature, nature fights back. Astronaut Ted "Shakespeare" Hardiston is setting off on the adventure of a lifetime -- for the rest of his life. He reluctantly leaves behind his wife, an android/human hybrid, to command the first base on the surface of the moon. Ted and the crew of Space Shuttle Liberty complete their mission, gifting the Moon with gravity and an atmosphere. In doing so, they cause mass destruction on the Earth below. By Ted's side during this ordeal is Codie-5, another hybrid and a genetic duplicate of Ted's wife. Ted, Codie, and the crew must work fast and make sacrifices to save the world -- and for Ted, to return to the love of his life.

Excerpt:  

I twisted my body around, easing back on the suit’s throttle, and watched, with a combination of fascination, awe, and abject terror as Liberty coasted in its lower orbit away from us.

I stayed there for a long moment, my arms waving as if I were swimming, treading water in the wide oceans of space. The Earth curved beneath me in a striking parabolic arc -- the whites of the clouds and the blue of the oceans, the greens and browns of the land, and the purplish mist of the stratosphere simply drew out the deepest awe within me; took my breath away in a metaphorical sense.
We passed over Europe. I caught sight of England, and gasped. I always did. Couldn’t help myself.
The moon lay behind me, immense, bright, shining silver and grey and white; the faintest rainbow of sunlight shimmering at its north polar region.
This was, and always has been, the most beautiful thing mankind could ever see, and I was blessed and deeply honoured to be able to see it.
“Singh to Hardiston,” Jeremiah said. “It’s weird out here, isn’t it?”
“I think it lovely,” I replied. “If I had the time and the means I’d float out here as long as possible. Maybe forever, if I could.”
“You’re an odd fucking bird, Shakespeare.”
“You’re only noticing that now, Singh?” I laughed. “Engage your thrusters, friend, we’ve a moon to transform.”

Video Trailer:

You can get Dry Land here:

Amazon
Audible

Bio:  

Jennifer Anne Seidler lives with her husband, three children, dog, chickens, rabbits and one very cute (according to her daughter) hamster on the shores of the scenic Wisconsin River. She is an alumna of Millikin University where she studied theater and creative writing, as well as DePaul University where she earned her Juris Doctor. She is a brown-stripe belt, next stop black belt in American Taekwondo. Jenn's technical and scholarly work has been printed in publications such as the DePaul Law Review, the FDCC Quarterly, and Fire and Arson Investigator. Jenn has been writing stories for as long as she can remember, but "Dry Land" is her first foray into the world of published fiction.


Interview:  

1. Your book looks really interesting. It's the kind of "real" Science Fiction I rarely see anymore. Tell us about your early reading influences and what led you to write in this genre.


Thanks! I don't know if Dry Land really stems from any of my early reading influences. Those were mostly Nancy Drew and Meg mysteries. :) But more recently I've read a lot of Diana Gabaldon and Jasper Fforde. What I enjoy about those is they are reality based with a dose of fantasy mixed into it. It's as if they take our world and make it more interesting, peel those layers back. I really enjoy reality based sci fi. Most recently, I read "The Martian" by Andy Weir (albeit I read it after I released Dry Land) and that story was exactly up my alley. While I do love, and I mean love, the made up worlds, the stories that take our world and envision a future (such as Star Trek) and that are rife with possibilities are the stories that really draw me in.

2. I notice you have some terrific reviews and a lot of them are verified purchase. What's the secret?

I don't know if there's a secret. :)  Perhaps it's because the book is priced as low as it is (only fair as it's a novella), or that I've had a few successful weekends of free giveaways using the KDP Select feature. Dry Land did get to #2 in Science Fiction Romance and #3 in Hard Science Fiction free during their free weekends. Many of the reviewers did download Dry Land during those periods. I've been really happy with the reviews thus far. Even the negative reviews have been really, really helpful to me -- especially those that pick apart the science. 

3. What led to your decision to self-publish. Did you try to find an agent or publisher first?

I did not. I looked into self publication from the get go. Maybe with my next one I'll try to find an agent, but I really wanted the control over the work and the writing and the editing process. I know that the marketing and sales is a tradeoff, but I never really went into this venture to make a mint. I wanted to do something for me, something I've always wanted to do in writing and publishing a book. And I did just that. :)

4. What have you learned since you first published your book that you wish you knew beforehand?

Going off the last answer... just how much work goes into the marketing aspect of it. But it's fun. 

5. For those that are reading about your book, what would you say to them to try and convince them to give it a try?

It depends on who is asking. I like to think that there is at least something to appeal to lots of readers in my story - whether they like space travel or artificial intelligence or intrigue or global disaster or romance or a little sex, or politics, or terraforming, or humor, or a good cry, or that moment when you scream at me - "oh no you didn't!" (quoting Cheri Lasota, LOL). There's a lot packed into a shorter read or listen. I know it could have been longer, but I wanted to create something someone could be immersed in for a few hours and let it stick with them for longer. I can only hope I've done it.

Follow Jennifer:  






Monday, August 24, 2015

T.H. Morris: Author Intervew & Spotlight



Please welcome to my blog, T.H. Morris, paranormal author of The 11th Percent.

Blurb:

Jonah Rowe has an uneventful life. He is always bored, can’t see the point of anything, and just wishes that something in his life would turn out right. He gets his wish in rude fashion; his uneventful life takes a turn for the weird when he discovers that he is an Eleventh Percenter, an ethereal human who can influence and interact with the spirit world. As he discovers more about his true nature, he makes new friends, learns new truths, and juggles his “normal” life with his new life in fellowship with spiritual beings. His survival depends on his successful handling of all three.

Buy Links:




 Bio:   

T.H. Morris is a lifelong writer who was born in 1984 and raised in Colerain, North Carolina. He has been living in Greensboro, North Carolina for the past twelve years. He has been writing in some way, shape, or form ever since he was strong enough to hold a pen or pencil, but the expectation of securing and maintaining a traditional 40 hour job was the expectation of all around him. 
The call of writing never diminished, though, and soon became too powerful to ignore. Morris began writing The 11th Percent series in 2011, and published book 1 in the series, The 11th Percent, in 2014. He still resides in Greensboro, with his wife of six years.
Interview:
1. Paranormal fiction is an interesting genre. What books influenced you growing up and what made you decide to write in this genre? 

Paranormal fiction is indeed an interesting genre! Growing up in rural North Carolina, I heard a myriad of ghost stories via word of mouth or library books. I think that the one that had the largest impact on me in my youth was a book named Ghostly Terrors. It frightened the heck out of me at the time, but MAN if those stories weren’t fascinating and gripping! As for writing in the paranormal genre, I gave it a great deal of thought, but didn’t have a story on the horizon mentally. When my book idea came to me (courtesy of a seven-hour, uninterrupted dream on February 19, 2011), it happened to be paranormal fiction. I didn’t decide to write in the genre. The genre chose me!

2. Tell us about your publishing experience. Did you try and find an agent or publisher first or did you always want to self publish? 
When I finished The 11th Percent, I queried agents. To say I got a great deal of rejections is a gross understatement. Most of the rejections had the same recurring theme: my story didn’t fit their mold. I’m not putting words in their mouths, either. “Despite its poise and polish, this isn’t the right fit for us.” “You’re a talented writer, but this material doesn’t quite fit our agency.” “The concept is interesting, but not a good fit for our list.” They go on and on. It was demoralizing, and kind of heartbreaking. But then I read something that shifted my entire perspective. It was a quote from an indie writer who’d crowdfunded a novel. She said in her post “If your material is judged based on marketability and not artistic merit, then you need to re-evaluate the avenue in which you are attempting to showcase it.” It changed my life and viewpoint. So I made the decision to become an indie author that day, and I’ve been one ever since.

3. Is there a sequel in the works? What are you currently working on? 
I am working on Book 3 as we speak! It is named Lifeblood, and will be Book 3 in my The 11th Percent Series (it was preceded by The 11th Percent, which is Book 1, and Item and Time, which is Book 2). I am hard at work on it, and am shooting for a November 29th release! I am also working on a collaboration novel with my close friend and fellow author Cynthia D. Witherspoon, which mashes up our respective universes in an action-packed flash fiction effort. That book, entitled Grave Endowments, will be released on the winter solstice!

4. What have you learned since you first published that you wish you knew when you first started? 

I definitely learned a great deal about the mechanics and inner workings on self-publishing. That’s a huge deal. But I think the main thing that I’ve learned is to continuously stoke the market, but do so in a way that forges bonds, creates new relationships, and makes people feel honored and welcomed to be in your movement. So many artists will pimp their purchase links for reviews and buzz in a manner that is impersonal, mechanical, and brusque. It’s like they’re saying “Here is my work. Read it and review it. Thanks.” That is not the way to go. I’ve learned that the best way to build up your brand as a creator is to build up others. If authors grow as a collective, out works do as well. It has definitely been a learning path since I published The 11th Percent, but one that I wouldn’t change for the world.

5. For those reading about you and your book today, what can you say to them that might convince them to give your book a try? 

Okay, Rose, this one will be a little longer than the other questions, but that’s all well and good. I believe that the selling points of The 11th Percent include:

The DEMOGRAPHIC AND RANGE- Is it just me, or are a lot of paranormal fiction books centered on teeny-bopper kids? If the Twilights and Vampire Academies exasperate you, then my main character, Jonah Rowe, is just for you. I deliberately aged him beyond adolescence! People tend to forget that we’re still growing even after we’ve “come of age.” Fantastic and unconventional things can still happen to people, even once they’ve reached adulthood—something I’ve illustrated throughout my story.

The SETTING-The Eleventh Percent mainly takes place in the sleepy, fictional, rural town of Rome, North Carolina. It’s an amalgamation of the types of towns I’ve known all my life—small, quaint, and quiet. The sweet tea flows like water, butter and biscuits are not only a requirement but a staple, and family is at the center of it all. Plus, everyone knows everybody’s business. But in the small town of Rome, some secrets have been very well-kept.

THE MYSTERIOUSNESS- There are many people in this world who are different, individualistic, peculiar, off-beat, or simply don’t fit the molds that have been put in place in this world. And I have always believed that nothing is wrong with that. Everyone is different, but despite our variations and circumstances, we are all still people with talents and attributes to contribute to the world. I hope to illustrate this fact with my words in these books.

The HUMANITY- The characters in my story are remarkable and supernatural humans, but they are still human. They still have to contend with all the everyday things all people have to, in addition to these realities brought about by their abilities. My story merges the ordinary realities of everyday stressors and strife with the extraordinary dynamic of paranormal phenomena.

The CONCEPT-Many people believe that no idea is original. If you leave it at that one simple phrase, it’s rather confining and cynical. I think that the focus shouldn’t be so much on the idea so much as the expression of that idea. So, I like to say, “An idea may not be original, but the expression of it is!” My book is an original twist on your everyday ghost story.

And I would finish off by telling them welcome to my world and enjoy their stay!


Cover Reveal!!!!!!




Yes, Book 3 is coming soon!  It's another great cover and the set together looks fabulous...


Please follow T.H. Morris at his Amazon Author Page HERE for news on all of his books.

You can also follow him at these links


Last but not least, check out this fabulous review of The 11th Percent by The Minter Book Reviews





Friday, August 21, 2015

Why yes, I read YA!


And I am not ashamed!

I love teen reads.  As I was writing Jane, I introduced a teen witch called Jewel that played a minor but important role in that book.  My beta reader, Hans Markus, told me he would love to see Jewel have a greater role. I got thinking about that and decided I would spin off that character into a new series, set in the same world as Jade & Jane.

I like strong female leads that kick butt and take names but sometimes these young adult characters are full of self doubt and unsure of what they want.  It's one thing that disappoints me sometimes when reading young adult books. I wanted this series to be different from that.  If any of you have read the YA series Virals by Kathy & Brendan Reichs, the main character in that series, Tory Brennan, is the type of heroine I was aiming for. She is confident and the leader of the pack.  Headstrong and intelligent, she's not afraid to take chances.  If you have not read that series, I highly recommend it.

Norma Jean's School of Witchery was born from that desire.  I was aiming for a Harry Potter style school set in the world of Jade and Jane, but aimed at older teens and adults and with a strong female lead.  There is a good bit of romance in this book, more so than in Jade.  I channeled my inner teen when I wrote it and the result of that was more romance.  There is no explicit sex in Norma Jean's or in any of my books and I would rate it suitable for older teens.

A lot of readers of Norma Jean's School of Witchery go back and read Jade, Jane, and Jill.  What has surprised me is that not a lot of the Three J'amigos readers go ahead with Norma Jean's.  I think it's that #YA label that stops them from giving it a try.  If that's holding you back, you are missing out on a really fun read.  I urge you to give my book a try.

Buy it here:  Amazon Link Norma Jean's School of Witchery

A presidential election. A witch with a target on her back and a magical arrow. A shadowy government agency made up of witches with unusual abilities. A game called Witch Pong. The Mighty Thor?

See how it all comes together in a school you will never forget.



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New Release: Breaking Faith by Joy Eileen





It's now live!!!  Joy has been a great friend and avid supporter of my writing efforts and I am so happy to finally be able to return the favor by promoting the release of her debut novel, Breaking Faith.
Amazon
iTunes
B&N
Kobo

Faith made the mistake of giving her heart to someone who didn’t deserve her. After making the decision to leave, she sought refuge at a bar full of misfits. They accepted Faith without question, and now they protect her as if she's family. While putting the pieces of her life back together, she fights to keep her broken heart from falling for the moody lead singer of the JackholeS. A man named Kill. Killian has his own demons to battle, yet Faith brings out his protective side: a side he thought he’d buried long ago. Can Faith and Kill trust each other long enough to leave their pasts behind and find love? Or is the past too overpowering to allow anyone a chance at happiness?


WARNING: This book contains explicit non-consensual sex scenes. It contains strong language and adult situations. This book is not intended for anyone under 18. This is a series so this book does not end with resolution. Don't worry the second book is already done and the third is being created.







Excerpt:

Realizing I was half naked and pressed against him, I slowly backed away. The immediate sadness from the removal of his electricity was staggering.
His grin disappeared, and the laughter in his eyes was replaced with desire. I could see why girls all over Portland were infatuated with him. Just one fierce look, and I wanted to wrap myself around him until you couldn’t tell where he stopped and I began.
I took the step I had just taken away from him back toward him. We both inhaled sharply when our bodies collided.
He pulled in his bottom lip, raking his teeth over it until it popped out. My attention became rapt on his bottom lip and I wanted to bite it like he had just done.

The wet heat between my legs was on fire, and the only way I could think of getting rid of the burning ache was to have him buried deep within me. The look in his eyes, before my attention went to his lips, showed he was thinking the same thing.
My tongue darted out, and he groaned, making his chest rumble. The sound caused my nipples to pebble, aching along with the rest of my body for his attention.
He lowered his face to mine until our foreheads touched, our lips a breath away. Both of us were panting, the dull pain between my legs caused me to press my thighs together, trying to gain friction to help with the need building inside of me.
When I was about to break and press my lips to his, Kill turned around and stormed away, leaving me confused and unsatisfyingly hot.


Add to your TBR on Goodreads HERE

Follow Joy Eileen:  Twitter Facebook 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Cover Reveal: Dutch by Madhuri Blaylock


I'm so happy to be able to share this cover reveal with you for Madhuri Blaylock's first book in her new series, Dutch.

Synopsis:

Dutch
The Keeper Series Book One
Arrogant, handsome, and detached, deadly assassin Dutch Mathew has an insatiable appetite for bourbon, cigarettes, and women. A Keeper for The Gate, the shadowy organization designed to control Death and her Poochas, those reclaimers helping the dead cross back to life, he has three simple rules for anyone sharing his bed: no talking, no kissing, no touching.
Juma Landry is all about talking and kissing and touching. The more talking and kissing and touching, the better.
And as one of Death's Poochas, the best in fact, she is Dutch's next assignment. He is tasked with ending each and every one of her nine lives but with her sharp banter, beautiful smile, and hips made for all kinds of wickedness, she isn't going to make that easy.


Set in New York City and Trivandrum, Dutch, The Keeper Series Book One, is a unique and sexy urban fairytale - a must read for anyone who likes their raunch with a twist of romance and a hint of magic. Watch for it to hit shelves October 12th, 2015.


Genre: Erotic Romance
A dark raunchy romance

You can pre-order Dutch here:


Add Dutch to your TBR list here:



 
Author Bio:

Madhuri is that Indian girl everyone thinks is Black, or Spanish, or Black and Spanish. She’s from down South, has lived in the New York City area for more than twenty years, and is proof that you can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl.

She loves Old Scout bourbon, tattoos, french fries, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, her mom’s Indian food, all kinds of naughty, filthy things, Friday Night Lights, coffee, and Martha’s Vineyard. She can wiggle her ears, flare her nostrils, and curl her tongue.

She is an introvert who can fool people into thinking she’s an extrovert, all the while wishing she was home alone, not having to speak to a soul, lost in a fantastical world of her own creation.

As the great Charles Bukowski said, she writes because it comes bursting out of her. She cannot stop it, nor does she want to.

She’s the author of the paranormal romance trilogy, The Sanctum, and the upcoming erotic romance, The Keeper Series. In a past life, when she was much sweeter and kind of shy, she developed and published the middle reader series, Ayesha’s Teenage Survival Files.

She does other things to pay the bills.



There is a Giveaway!!

Enter here:


You can follow Madhuri at these places:



Sunday, August 16, 2015

Ross Simon: Author Interview & Spotlight


Please welcome fellow Eternal Press author Ross Simon to my blog.  Ross is the author of Red Dahlia, a horror novel.

Blurb:

When he retires from the First World War to a colonial Indian life of peace, Commodore Clifford Selickton RN is unaware of the blood about to be spilled through that which he unleashes.  Selickton takes a beautiful young priestess, Virhynda, for a wife, and they bear a darling little child…a child who, horrifyingly, is prophesized to become the very incarnation of the dread Kali-Ma, East Indian goddess of blood sacrifice.  The mind-bending examples they witness of random people receiving their doom are, in fact, only preludes to the hideous, demonic goal of the Blood-Mother: conquest of the earth, to cover it in a maelstrom of hellish flame and mangled flesh that will consume all mankind.  Worst of all, Kali aims to achieve this by striking at the very heart of the civilized world…and it might take a miracle from the Hindu gods themselves to stop her once and for all.

Excerpt:

Viry had actually taken the baby, and some supplies and food for her, and called for a motor-cab that took her to an inn at Gurgaon, the city about halfway between Delhi and the secret temple of the Kamatra. From there, she would plan to return to the temple, if only long enough to ask her aunt, Sri Virvhedi Sajangpur, for advice on what they should do about this whole mess that had Clifford half out of his mind.
Virhynda had a relatively decent night’s sleep with little Alise next to her in the bed, only having to wake up twice, once for a feeding of Alise, and again when the child’s diaper needed changing. She woke up the next morning assuming that she would carry on with the day as she had planned.
“Wake up, little Alise,” she purred to the baby, drawing the sheets off of her. “We have an early time to go from—”
Suddenly, she noticed how Alise was dressed. The night before, Virhynda could’ve testified that she’d put her into a thin cotton baby smock for sleeping. As it was, now—she was clad in a little union suit.
The same union suit that a year before, Viry had just finished and yet had to throw out—because it got a stain of blood on it, Viry’s own blood.
Yet, here it was. Alise was wearing it. Worst of all, the large, dark bloodstain was still there.
Alise was smiling at her mother, kicking her little legs.
Virhynda’s mind became electrified with terror. She drew back, not knowing what in Shiva’s name to make of this. The—
It—
She—
Horrified, her head spinning, Virhynda jumped out of bed and ran to the telephone. She started to hyperventilate as she dialed the operator, and only as calmly as she could then, asked for the British Ministry in Delhi.
Viry had to wait a minute before getting through to the Ministry. During that time, she looked back at her daughter, in that bloodstained little suit—she had to close her eyes and look away from that garment on little Alise. For some reason, the baby herself was just happy and cooing, wiggling her little limbs.
As soon as she got through, Viry said to the deputy minister who answered: “Hello…could you perhaps inform me as to where Commodore Clifford Selickton might be in the city of Delhi?”
“He was here yesterday evening, Miss,” said the deputy, “but he left quickly, and we haven’t seen him since. We couldn’t tell you where he may have gone.”
“Look,” suggested Virhynda, her patience starting to ebb, “could you have the Royal Constabulary look around for him? It is of the utmost importance that I see him on a certain matter.”
“Perhaps we could, Miss, but we do know he was looking for a local Swami named Gudhlash Dharvanu. We also don’t know where he is, although if you do, you could—”
“I do not know where Swami Dharvanu is either!” she began to shout. Viry looked back again at Alise, then back to the telephone. “The Royal Constabulary is going to have to—”
She suddenly did a double take, back at Alise. The baby had crawled over to the bedside, and taken from a vase on the nightstand one of a bouquet of dahlias, locally grown flowers—Alise had knocked over the vase onto its side, spilling the dahlias, though the vase hadn’t rolled onto the floor yet—and was clutching it in her little hands.
These dahlias were an ordinary shade of blue, as most were, but the one Alise was clutching, Viry thought for an instant—and then, looking again, knew—was slowly turning blood red.
Virhynda dropped the phone receiver.
Alise wasn’t bleeding at all, on the dahlia or otherwise. There was just a spontaneous shade of red, like blood, growing over the petals of the dahlia, spreading over it, until—just like the stain on little Alise’s suit—it was completely bright red.
Viry could only watch, shaking.
“Hello?” said the deputy minister, still on the phone. “Hello?”
As Virhynda watched, a red drop of color—like blood—dripped off of the dahlia and onto the bed.
Cowering away in sheer horror, Virhynda put her face in her hands, sobbing, hyperventilating. This can’t even be real—
Finally, from the nightstand, the vase rolled off onto the floor, and shattered with a pop and tinkling.
Viry slumped onto the floor, into a dead faint.
And little Alise, Shiva knew, just kept on smiling.

Buy it here:





Bio:

ROSS S. SIMON, born Sam Ridings in La Cross, Wisconsin in 1979, spent the bulk of his childhood in Winona, Minnesota, before moving at age nine to Santa Cruz, California, where he still lives today. He graduated from Soquel High School in 1997, and from Cabrillo College in 2006, the latter with an Associated Arts degree in Basic Liberal Arts. Mr. Simon is the author of two previous horror works, The Snow, published by Eternal Press in 2012, and Red Dahlia, published by Damnation Books in 2013, as well as two self-published short stories, “Vein Transplant” and “By A Bloody Head.” His hobbies include pinball gaming, collecting pop memorabilia, and reading very interesting novels of various genres.

Interview:

1. You are the first Horror/Dark Fantasy author I have featured here. Tell me about writing in that genre.  Where do your ideas come from? Do you scare yourself sometimes?

Writing in the horror genre takes having been scared by life a good deal, though not so much that you can’t take one step further in life, of course. I’ve experienced some frightful elements in the media growing up; scary movies, TV shows, and even some frightening real-life events, such as the realization that when others taunt me about having no friends when I was growing up, they may well have been right. However, I doubt that last part. I don’t scare myself much, however; although if I come up with an idea similar on an invisible “fright scale” in my head (though it’s very abstract) to what I’ve experienced growing up in the media, I know I’ve got a winner.

2. What books or authors influenced you growing up and what led you to become a writer?

I knew in school and at home when I was young that I had a naturally good talent for weaving stories, and in all genres at that, not just horror. What motivated me in horror were the media exploits of Clive Barker, Dean Koontz, and most of all, His Majesty. You know who I’m talking about here. The guy who originally Carried on.

3. Tell me about your writing process. Do you have a set time or word count goal for writing?

I write in occasional bouts most every day, and when I do, it’s in randomly decided quotas of either pages and lines, or bunches of lines, decided by either numbers on a calculator, or rolls of multi-sided role-gaming dice. I know…how geeky can you get?

4. What are you currently working on now? Do you have any other books coming out in the near future?

I’m continuing to exercise my writing talents by composing short horror stories, and loosely seeking here and there for potential publishing anthologies for them, until Damnation Books’ editors get back to me on my third horror opus: “Arthur O’ The Bower.” This is a thrilling fright-yarn set in Scotland, more or less in the modern day, about a wind-demon wreaking terror; it’s inspired by the archaic British-Isles children’s rime of the same subject.

5. What have you learned about the writing and publishing business that you wished you knew when you first started out?

The publishing grind has had few actually unpleasant surprises for me, considering; one thing I should’ve taken into account, at least, was that one has to promote their books online a good deal about their consignment in local bookstores. That I didn’t do that, resulted in no sales at my local print bookshops of print copies of my books.

6. For those reading this today, what would you say to them that might convince them to give your book a try?

All I can say in regard to “Red Dahlia,” my sophomore work, is that you can take my word for it: it’s a good and scary read. Also it’s by the author of “The Snow,” which is an even better and scarier read, some might say.

Follow Ross here:


Monday, August 10, 2015

Tom Fallwell: Author Interview & Spotlight



A Whisper In the Shadows is a fantasy full of magic and adventure and suitable for teens and adults.

Blurb:

Baric is one of the famous Rangers of Laerean, a group dedicated to protecting the people of the Lands of Hir. Assigned to a task with a beautiful and exotic Vaar'da assassin called Whisper, Baric promises to help her solve the mystery of her recurring nightmares that are eating away at her soul and filling her heart with fear and despair. The quest becomes more complicated when those nightmares lead them to an artifact of ublelievable power that threatens the entire world they live in. The quest soon becomes a dangerous mission for the renowned Rangers as a small group undertake a mission into an area of Hir that men do not travel, where monsters roam and thrive. They must delve deep into the bowels of an active volcano, Mount Scorch, to stop the impending disaster that looms before them. Into the very heart of the territory ruled by the demonic Manenase. The fate of their world depends upon the courage and skills of the group of Rangers and their Vaar'da companion. Can they survive the quest and stop the impending devastation? They must solve the mystery of ... A Whisper In The Shadows.

Excerpt:

Leaning on the port-side rails, Baric and Whisper could see the coast of Vaar'da in the distance. The ship always sailed with the coast in plain view. Those that ventured away from the coast, into the open sea, were either never heard from again or returned telling tales of fearsome creatures that lurked within the ocean's depths. Even pirates seldom sailed beyond sight of the shore.

“Ship ahoy!” came a cry from the lookout. 

Turning, Baric saw the Captain racing up the ladder toward the helm, so he and Whisper followed. 

“What is it, Captain?” Baric asked as he moved up beside Captain Ril, who was standing at the bow, looking off into the distance with his long spyglass.

“It's a pirate schooner,” sighed Ril. “Likely she has around seventy-five hands. We’re not a merchant vessel, so she may pass on by, but we best be ready.”

“How many guns do we have?” asked Baric.

Ril lowered the spyglass. “We only have two guns. Both are 24-pounders, though.”

“Let's get them ready, just in case,” noted Baric.

Ril nodded and shouted orders to the crew to ready the guns on the starboard side, turning the Albino Shark to cruise closer to the coast. 

Baric borrowed the Captain's spyglass, keeping an eye on the pirate ship, which appeared to be turning towards them. Whisper had said nothing, but was looking thoughtful.

“She's likely as not got four to six guns,” said Ril. “We’re larger and have more crew at least, if it comes to that.”

“It appears they want to dance,” said Baric, returning the spyglass to Ril.

“Aye,” he agreed, “it appears she does at that. I can see six guns. They mean to broadside us on our starboard.”

“Wait,” Whisper interrupted. “I have an idea.”

“What’d you have in mind?” asked Baric curiously.

She looked up at Baric and smiled slyly. “A sea serpent.”

“A what?” asked Captain Ril. 

“A sea serpent,” repeated Whisper. “Or at least, an illusion of one. I can try to get them to turn before they can fire, giving us a free shot at their stern.”

Ril grinned. “I like it.”

“I'll get the guns ready,” said Baric, heading down the ladder to the main deck.

Whisper stayed on the bow with Ril while Baric helped push the two now-loaded guns to the starboard side, pointing them through two circular openings below the rails. He then signaled to Whisper that they were ready.

The schooner bore down on them, a faster and more maneuverable ship, approaching within seven hundred yards.

“Their guns are 6-pounders,” said Ril. “This’ll be close.”

As the schooner came abroad, Whisper began reciting a litany of arcane words and weaving her arms around each other like snakes intertwining in a dance. As she did so, her pale blue eyes seemed to glow and her voice sounded distant, as the magic flowed from her inner will to become the visible illusion she desired.

The pirates suddenly found themselves facing a giant serpent, rearing its head from the sea in front of them. As they hoped, the vessel swiftly turned away from the Albino Shark and back toward the open sea, putting their stern toward Baric and his two gun crews.

“Fire!” yelled Ril, and the two huge guns unleashed a volley with a deafening boom. One cannonball punched a hole in the stern of the schooner, about a foot above the waterline. The second, however, hit the stern below the waterline and it was evident the enemy vessel would now be taking on water.

Ril figured they could now outrun the faster but now-crippled ship and ordered full sail. Baric returned to the bow and stood by Whisper and Ril as they watched the sluggish and listing schooner fade into the distance. Ril turned to Whisper with a big smile.

“My thanks to you, lass,” he said with evident gratitude. “I didn't fancy losing any of my crew to them brigands. That was a fine idea you had.”

“My pleasure, Captain,” said Whisper with a gentle smile.

Ril looked thoughtful. “I should get Mannrol to learn that spell.” He went down the ladder, seeking his ship's magician.

“Good work, Whisper,” Baric said with a smile. “That was quick thinking.”


Whisper beamed, enjoying the compliments and attention.



Buy It Here:



Bio:

Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1951, Tom Fallwell spent much of his career as a software developer and programmer. Now retired from that field, he has taken up writing, which he had always loved to do, but did not have the time to indulge himself in. Now he is writing the stories he had always wanted to write.

Still living in Oklahoma, Tom is active in church, running the sound system and sometimes teaching adult Sunday School. He has always had a love of fantasy and science fiction, both in reading and in movies. His love of story-telling came as a result of playing table top role playing games with friends, in which he created adventures for the other players to experience.



Interview:

1. Magic and Adventure is a great combination in fantasy. What books influenced you growing up?

I was most heavily influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings) and Robert E. Howard (the Conan novels and stories). I read many other authors as well. I was very enraptured by the worlds these authors created, the detail that they provided about their worlds, dealing with language, politics, social biases, maps, and development of the world as a whole that was always just behind the character development of the story. Heroic adventure is a genre that I most associate with, loving to read such stories as much as creating them.

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

I am currently working on book #2 of a trilogy that introduces the world of Hir and the Rangers of Laerean. The first book, A Whisper In The Shadows is currently available. I am currently working on Where Shadows Fall. I have not yet decided on a title for book 3. This trilogy sets up the world of Hir with the political, social and major players for an ongoing series of stories that I plan to tell about the Rangers of Laerean. They are the heroes of legend in Hir, but all heroes have villains to deal with, and that is what this trilogy will establish. Basic, heroic, good vs. evil adventure.

3. Tell us about your publishing experience.  Did you hope to find a traditional publisher or agent or did you always plan on self publishing?

I originally, when I wrote my first book, Dragon Rising, considered traditional publishing channels, but quickly saw how difficult that would be. At my age (64), I mainly wanted to get my stories into the hands of readers, so I decided to take the Indie Author route. Also, there was little cost involved, and I did not have the means to spend much, so self-publishing seemed the ideal solution.

4. What have you learned about the business of writing and publishing a novel that you wished you knew when you first started?

I had always thought I was good at editing. I was mistaken. I quickly learned the importance of having an editor go over my work. I was surprised by the number of errors found in my first book (which I have since corrected most). I discovered that even self-publishing has costs. Publishing free is possible, but to publish books of quality requires more, and I want my books to be of high quality. I discovered many other self-publishing authors and learned quickly, fortunately. But I do wish I had investigated more before I put out my first book.

5. What would you say to somebody reading this today that might convince them to give your book a try?

I write to tell my stories. It is a great pleasure and joy to find someone has read and enjoyed my books. I realize not everyone will like them, but if the reader is one who enjoys the stories that I do, the ones filled with heroic adventure and fantastic new worlds, then I am sure they will enjoy what I have written. Read a memorable adventure filled with magic, fantastic creatures, legendary heroes and manipulative villains, all for little cost. A story that will inspire and remain with you.

You can follow Tom at these links...

Facebook
Goodreads
Twitter
Amazon Author Page






Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Excerpt #3 from Norma Jean's School of Witchery, Book One: Jewel



Excerpt from Norma jean's School of Witchery, Book One: Jewel
“This a friend of yours, Wyatt?” his Mom shouted, looking like she was about to lose it.
“Yes, Mom,” he said, but he didn't sound too happy about it. Nothing I could do, things were about to get worse.
I reached the house and went around the side of it, still flying, with the truck bouncing up and down and hit the edge of the woods, turning the lights off at the same time as I jerked the truck left, right, and left again, weaving between the trees I knew were there only from my gift. It was pitch-black dark in the woods. The only lights came from the dashboard. Limbs were slapping against the truck on both sides and the sound of small bushes we were running over scraped against the bottom of the truck. A loud snap and a crack appeared in the front window on the passenger side.
“Trust me, Wyatt,” I shouted above the noise and his Mom's now also sobbing, pleading demands for me to stop.
“Her eyes are closed,” screamed his Mom. “We're going to die!”

Teaser 

A presidential election. A witch with a target on her back and a magical arrow. A shadowy government agency made up of witches with unusual abilities. A game called Witch Pong. The Mighty Thor?

See how it all comes together in a school you will never forget.

Buy it on Amazon



Monday, August 3, 2015

Morgan Straughan Comnick: Author Interview & Spotlight


Spirit Vision is a YA paranormal romance.

Blurb: 

If God gave you a mission, would you answer His call?
The Lord has given Stary, a high school freshman, a mission: extinguish the evil residing in the murderer of two teens—Maren and Umbra. Stary never imagined that her strange visions meant that she was the Spirit Warrior for God and now with her powers activated, she must train to use them and try not to get caught by the murderer who has the ability to hide and conjure up the dark powers from the fallen angel himself—Lucifer. If Stary fails, not only will she lose her life, but Maren and Umbra will lose their entry into heaven and the world will be exposed to the madness of the murderer for the next forty years until the new Spirit Warrior is born.

Buy Links:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
iTunes


Bio: 

Educator of young minds by day, super nerdy savior of justice and cute things by night, Morgan Straughan Comnick has a love for turning the normal into something special without losing its essence. Morgan draws from real life experiences and her ongoing imagination to spark her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys doing goofy voices, traveling to new worlds by turning pages, humming child-like songs, and forcing people to smile with her "bubbliness." It is Morgan's mission in life to spread the amazement of otaku/Japanese culture to the world and to stop bullying; she knows everyone shines brightly.

Interview:

1. I see your book is classified as Young Adult Christian Fantasy and I also noticed you are a teacher. Have any of your kids read your book? What age levels would you recommend read your books?

I classify my book as a YA paranormal/romance, but it has been noted as Christian Fantasy and I have been in top lists in that category! Ha!
Yes, I have had a good number of my middle school students and family and co-workers read it. I would recommend it for ages 14 to 18, but I have elements from many different genres and nods to my hometown in there, so older audiences can find something to enjoy about it. Adults have told me they like it as well.

2. What books or authors influenced you growing up?

I struggled with phonics when I was younger, having to take special classes in elementary school for two years. I liked the American Girls series a lot growing up. Lurlene McDaniels was the author who hooked me into reading and Stephanie Meyer made me see how magical storytelling can be when you are no longer a child. Now, I'm a good and avid reader.

3. What inspires you to write and what messages are you trying to impart in your books. 

I was a shy child, naturally and due to bullying, so writing was my way to express my emotions. And, over time and thanks to my 9th grade language arts teacher's motivation, I saw the art in words, stories fueled by my over active imagination. I had a story to be told, characters to share with the world. I will be the link to their tale. I want to also inspire others to never give up on theirs dreams, especially my students. It took me a while to find a publishing company, but I kept trying. With passion, determination, and hard work, you can make your dreams come true.

4.  Is there a third book planned?  Tell us about what you are working on now.

The third book is finished and called, "The Power of Mortals." It will be out at the end of this year. 
I just started edits on my second poetry and short story collection, "Fallen Star Dust." I am also working on some independent short stories, website/blog updating, and writing the manuscript for "Spirit Vision 4."

5.  For those reading this today, what would you say to them in order to convince them to give your books a try?

Stary wants to welcome you to the start of the encounter that will change her destiny forever; becoming God's Spirit Warrior. Spirits, supernatural powers, murder mystery, genetic experiments, school life, teenage drama, friendship, self-discovery, humor, and nerd references. Share her story!


Check out all of Morgan's books on her Amazon Author Page

You can follow Morgan at these links