Monday, June 27, 2016

Meet My Main Character: Jade


Meet my main character, Jade from my novel, Jade.

Jade reminds me of Anita Blake in many ways. Not only does she kick ass, she has all these fabulous talents and powers, drawing from many supernatural creatures like vamps, shifters, witches and Fae. She has been called the mutt of the supernatural world. How she got that way is part of the mystery and surprise that is revealed in the book.

She is also like Bruce Wayne. Her real nature is hidden even from her friends and is only gradually revealed. And she is rich, seriously rich. That's part of the fun as well. She loves buying clothes, and she always goes for the best.

Despite her money and her various talents, she has some flaws. Her body needs a lot of fuel and will tolerate only certain things. Red wine is one thing she likes. She orders wine by the bottle, not the glass. Dark coffee and dark chocolate. A good breakfast for Jade is a six shot espresso and a chunk of chocolate. Steak. Jade likes her steak crispy on the outside and red and juicy on the inside. And of course, blood, human blood. Just about anything else will make her violently ill. If she doesn't get fed on a regular basis she gets weak and sometimes passes out.

She can't drive worth poop. Despite her great reflexes, eyesight, hearing, and reaction times, she has this problem with running into and over things. She had to use her magic to cheat in order to pass a driving test. One of the many humorous things in Jade is a car chase in which she is driving. I call it adventures in driving. Too funny.

Jade is very naive. She is not used to socializing and makes many mistakes in her relationships. From a romantic point of view she is very innocent. Jade has never been kissed. She thinks she is in love with a shifter bear and does everything she can to be like him in order to attract his attentions. Of course what happens instead is they become best buddies. I think one spoiler everyone knows by now is that she gets the vamp girl instead. That relationship will continue to grow in Book 2 (Jane).

Jade makes friends easily and is very loyal. One of the main themes in Jade is friendship. To find out more about Jade you will have to read the book. I think you will be surprised as her secrets are revealed.

Teaser:

4 LOLs, 5 WTFs, & 6 OMGs Surprises, plot twists, & shockers keep coming ♥

Blurb:

Meet Jade Smith, a magical mutt with a mission. A detective partnered with a shifter named Rolfe, she’s on the case to solve a slew of murders: Vamps are killing humans, and nobody knows why. When London Jane, the most powerful vamp in town, is implicated in the murders, Jade knows something isn’t right. Together with Jill, the Winter Queen of Faerie, Jade and Jane take their investigation underground. On the run, with nowhere to hide, they uncover a secret that could destroy Faerie, as well as the human realm. Will Jade stop the killer in time? Or will she be the next victim?

Magic, mayhem, and mystery abound, and the odds are stacked against them; it’s three against three hundred.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Andy Peloquin: Author Interview & Spotlight


Ready for some Dark Fantasy with a bit of Sword & Sorcery? Please welcome Andy Peloquin, author of Blade of the Destroyer.

Book Blurb:

The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer
The Hunter of Voramis is the perfect assassin: ruthless, unrelenting, immortal. Yet he is haunted by lost memories, bonded to a cursed dagger that feeds him power yet denies him peace of mind. Within him rages an unquenchable need for blood and death.

When he accepts a contract to avenge the stolen innocence of a girl, the Hunter becomes the prey. The death of a seemingly random target sends him hurtling toward destruction, yet could his path also lead to the truth of his buried past?

Excerpt:  

A chill hung in the night air, and sweat dripped down the nameless nobleman's back, soaking his thick tunic. He clenched his fists to still his shaking hands. His nondescript clothing blended with the rough crowd of the Blackfall District, and yet he felt eyes upon him, following his every step.
He cast anxious glances around the darkened alleyway, searching for a sign of…what?
By Derelana, why do I fear so?
Perhaps it was the terror of a moonless night, or the instinctive fear dredged up at the thought of meeting the legendary Hunter of Voramis.
He chided himself. Fuck me for a jumpy little princess!
He would rather be somewhere else, anywhere else, but here. He had no desire to face the creature the mothers of Voramis used to threaten their children into behaving. His mother had used those legends to frighten him, and he had developed a healthy fear.
Get it together. You have a job to do. Get in, get it done, and get the fiery hell out of there!
The doors to the dilapidated tavern swung shut behind, but none of the handful of patrons at the tables paid him any heed. He slipped a pair of copper bits into the bartender's hand.
"Top of the stairs, door at the end of the hall," the portly pub landlord drawled as he made the coins disappear.
The stairs creaked dangerously as the noble climbed, but he forced himself to place one foot in front of the other. The smell of mold filled his nostrils and threatened to make him sneeze. Swallowing hard, he stared at the door at the end of the darkened hall. It looked like something out of his nightmares, and it made his blood run cold.
"Hello?" he called in a weak voice as he entered the room.
He saw no one in the gloomy darkness, and breathed a sigh of relief as he closed the door behind him. Believing himself alone, the noble took deep, calming breaths.
"What brings you to the underbelly of Voramis, little man?" The voice sounded far too close for the nobleman's liking.
He leapt backward, a feminine squeak bursting from his mouth. His back slammed against the door, knocking the breath from his lungs.
Fucking Hunter!
The nobleman struggled to regain his composure, trying to ignore the thick drops of sweat rolling down his face and coating his palms.
"I-I-I h-have a c-c-commission for you, er, Hunter, sir," he managed to stutter.
"Tell me more," the Hunter said in a rough voice. He stepped forward, pulling back his hood.
Scars crisscrossed the dark face, twisting his upper lip into a perpetual sneer. Heavy brows hooded his dark eyes, and his crooked nose had been broken and badly set. A scarlet ribbon bound his midnight black hair, which hung in long, greasy strands.
Bloody twisted hell, no wonder he hides himself. I would too if I looked like that!
The nobleman realized his mouth hung open, and snapped it shut. He belatedly tried to hide his revulsion at seeing the Hunter's grim visage, but knew it had shown through.
The dark figure with the horrible face waited in silence, clearly unaffected by the nobleman's disdain.
"My, er, master," stuttered the shaken man, gulping as he spoke, "requests your services in a matter of a…er… delicate nature."
The Hunter raised an eyebrow. "Your master understands that delicate situations cost more?"
"Of course, sir, er, Hunter. I have more than enough to c-cover any extras beyond your usual fees." The nobleman removed a leather purse from his cloak. His hand trembled as he passed it to the Hunter, who balanced it in a burn-scarred hand.
"Good. It will suffice." The purse disappeared into the Hunter's cloak with a movement that caused the noble to jump. His cheeks burned with shame, and he saw mockery in the Hunter's cold eyes. "You have the other item?" the Hunter demanded.
"Of-of course," the noble stammered. He fished around in his robes for a moment before producing a handkerchief. His fingers brushed dangerously close to the Hunter's hand as the assassin took the kerchief, and the aristocrat's skin crawled.
"I-I hope it is enough," the noble whispered, the fear in his voice audible. "It was all my master could procure."
The Hunter's rough fingers traced the initials embroidered in one corner of the delicate cloth. G.D.
"It will do," the Hunter rasped.
"So you will take the job? You'll make the coward pay for his affront to my master? The swine—"
The Hunter cut him off. "I care little for your master's reasons why, as long as his coin is good. The job will be done." He pulled the hood up, obscuring all but his mouth from the nobleman's view. "Does your master have any special requests?"
"No," the noble replied. "He simply wishes for the job to be done before the Feast of the Mistress, and would prefer the target die in his own home. It is to send a message, you see, to all the nobles of Voramis that—"
"No details, fool," the Hunter growled, interrupting him. "They matter not."
The nobleman stiffened, offended at the Hunter's interruption. The muscles in his back went rigid, and he somehow summoned up the courage to glare at the Hunter. One look into the dark hood, however, and his pride deflated.
"Good." The Hunter's mouth twisted into a horrifying semblance of a grin. "I will contact you when the job is complete."
Shuffling nervously from foot to foot, the noble called upon all of his limited courage and limitless self-importance to stand tall, when he wanted nothing more than to flee. He thought he detected a smile twitch the corner of the Hunter's lips.
"Have the rest of the sum at hand," the Hunter grated. "I will expect it once I have carried out the contract."
"Of-of course," the noble said, "I will…"
He trailed off as he found himself talking to an empty room. The Hunter had simply disappeared, startling him and leaving him feeling like a fool.
Long moments passed before the noble regained his shattered composure. The darkness of the room haunted him, and his eyes darted around as if expecting to see the Hunter standing there once more. His breath came in ragged gasps, and every muscle in his body tensed in fear.
"Fucking Hunter," he cursed in a quiet voice.
He wiped sweaty palms on his fine robes, and his hands shook as he reached for the doorknob. His fear diminished with each shaky step toward the dim light of the stairwell, his relief growing as he stepped into the smoky alehouse taproom. Ignoring the few patrons sitting and drinking, he stumbled into the cool Voramis night.
He breathed deep, filling his lungs with the foul-smelling air and letting the chill calm his nerves.
"Fucking Hunter," he repeated. The curse helped to restore some of his shaken confidence.
His sweat-sodden robes clung to his body, causing him to shudder and pull his cloak tighter. The heavy garment offered some protection from the cold, but the noble knew it would be hours before he would be able to sit without feeling a stab of panic.
With his attention consumed by his desire to leave the stinking alehouse and the horrific memory of the Hunter's scarred visage behind, the terrified man failed to notice the dark figure sitting on the inn rooftop. Midnight black eyes followed the noble's steps, and a scarlet ribbon fluttered in the breeze.

Get it here:

A faceless, nameless assassin. A forgotten past. The Hunter of Voramis--a killer devoid of morals, or something else altogether? (Blade of the Destroyer--dark fantasy with a look at the underside of human nature)

  
Bio:



Andy Peloquin--a third culture kid to the core--has loved to read since before he could remember. Sherlock Holmes, the Phantom of the Opera, and Father Brown are just a few of the books that ensnared his imagination as a child.

When he discovered science fiction and fantasy through the pages of writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs, J.R.R Tolkien, and Orson Scott Card, he was immediately hooked and hasn't looked back since.

Andy's first attempt at writing produced In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent. He has learned from the mistakes he made and used the experience to produce Blade of the Destroyer, a book of which he is very proud.
Reading—and now writing—is his favorite escape, and it provides him an outlet for his innate creativity. He is an artist; words are his palette.


Interview:



1. Dark Fantasy and a heroic anti-hero, what led you to write in this genre?

I love fantasy as a genre, but I find that a lot of fantasy novels fail to take into account just how harsh and unforgiving life was for the common man in medieval times. Dark fantasy (grimdark, really) has that gritty, grim tone that I love. Plus, it's so much fun to put my characters through the grinder when I'm writing a book with the outset of "this is going to push him/her to their limits and beyond".

As for an anti-hero, I've always been fascinated by the darker side of human nature. I, like all humans, have to fight the urge to punch someone in the face when they're an a******e. Writing a character that gets to do that is a TON of fun. To make him realistic and someone you can root for, I had to give him just enough heroism. It's a beautiful balance, one I relish exploring.

2. It looks like you have gotten a lot of great reviews. What's the key to getting reviews?
I've given away A LOT of copies of the book to people, asking them to write an honest review. From 1 to 5 stars, it doesn't matter, so long as the review is constructive and honest. Plus, I've been lucky enough to have my book bought by people who love to write reviews.

3. What are you currently writing? Is there a Book Two on the way?

Oh absolutely, and a Books 3 through 6! Book Two is sitting in the publisher's hands as we speak, and I'm coming down the home stretch on Book 3. The rough draft of Book 4 is written and with alpha readers. I intend to have all six books written and submitted by 2019.

Plus, I'm working on a separate series set in the same world, but with a different character--a young thief girl instead of a half-demon assassin. A different side of the criminal world, but with the same gritty tone.

4. It looks like you are a hybrid author, both self-published and traditionally published. Tell us about your publishing experience.

I self-published my first novel, In the Days, but in doing so, I realized that I'm not perfect. I can't write, edit, and proofread. I knew I needed people to help me make my books as good as they can be, so working with a publisher has ensured that my work goes through as many edits/proofreads as possible. The end result is MUCH better for it.

Most of the marketing is still on my shoulders, but that's to be expected. However, in working with a small indie press, I've come to understand that my goal is NOT necessarily to make money, but to put out great books and get them in the hands of as many people as possible. That means working with a large press--my ultimate goal.

5. What have you learned since publishing your first book that you wish you knew just starting out?

Be patient. I blasted through my first book in 3 months--from first draft to self-publishing. I worked way too many hours, pissed off my family, and essentially rushed through it. While the book is still a creation I'm proud of, I'd do it differently now. I've learned to take my time to make sure the books are really good.

6. I'm intrigued by your main character, The Hunter of Voramis. What makes him tick?

The Hunter is a very complicated person, yet simple at the same time.

He has a need to kill, thanks to his dagger. If he doesn't feed it, it becomes like a migraine headache mixed with internal voices. He has become an assassin as sort of a coping mechanism. He gets paid to kill, and he finds peace from the dagger.

But the life of an assassin has made him an outsider. He has no place in the world, and so he feels isolated and alone. He wants to belong, but cannot. So it's really the story of a man trying to make a genuine human connection with people who are nothing like him. A problem I can definitely relate to.

He's no hero, but he has decency in him. He's the shadow between dark and light--to quote one of my favorite songs "On the wrong side of Heaven, but the righteous side of Hell".

Follow Andy at these places...



Monday, June 13, 2016

Illusional Reality On Sale June 13th-19th



From a review of Illusional Reality by Karina Kantas....

"When I started reading Illusional Reality, I was instantly sucked in and couldn't put it down. I absolutely loved the story from start to finish. I could totally see this as a movie like The Hobbit or Lord of The Rings. What a great world the author created!"

Check out the Video Excerpt!


Buy On Amazon here...

For a limited time, get this book for only 99 cents!!!!



Illusional Reality romantic fantasy.

‘Romance, Magic, Action…Illusional Reality has it all.’ Emily Woodmansee

Nobody expects to stare death in the face only to find out your entire life is a lie. Rescued by Salco, marketing executive Becky finds herself in an unknown magical world filed with happy people that try to forget their land is on the brink of destruction.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

This one is about me


My Goal:  To have fun writing fun books to read.

My Writing Style:  Not much pretty prose or flowery fluffiness, pretty much non-stop action and fun.

My Dream:  To be able to write full time.

Reading Order:  The chronological order is Jade & Jane, followed by the Norma Jean's School of Witchery series, Jewel and Ghost School. My current work in progress (Jill) will bridge the gap between the Three J'Amigos and Norma Jean's School of Witchery. The way I have written these books you can however, start with Jewel & Ghost School and then read Jade & Jane to get the back story on Jewel's adoptive parents, Jade & Jane.


In order for me to achieve my dream, I will need to sell some books so expect to see some promotions mixed in with my writing related posts, author interviews, and spotlights.

Buy Links....


Monday, June 6, 2016

Clive Culverhouse: Author Interview & Spotlight


Please welcome Clive Culverhouse, young adult/fantasy author of The Legend Of Heliodor: The Crystal Spirits.

Blurb


Imagine growing up with an ancient sacred legend only to find out you're in it; your life would never be the same again. Who would you trust with your secret? That's what happened to Kyan as he was born into a world of powerful crystals and frightening Fire-Tongue dragons. Now he must decide who to trust. 

The Legend of Heliodor is known throughout the land; taught and embellished by the mysterious and scary Professor Cinnabar. A scruffy, young boy called Kyan finds himself thrown into the magical story and becomes the legend itself as a dangerous quest falls upon him to bravely battle evil and try to re-unite two crystal spirits parted by a powerful King a thousand years ago. The crystal spirits must come together again or the once wealthy realm faces a violent destruction from the crystal spirit and the Fire-Tongues. 

It is widely known, from ancient times to today, that crystals have special powers about them whether for healing, guidance or protection, but now those powers are taken to the next level in this amazingly enchanting tale where gemstones, magic and alchemy come to life in spectacular fashion. 

Colourfully glistening, exciting and magical fantasy fiction for teens and young adults, although let’s be honest, we all like magic and adventure, we’re all young at heart no matter how old we are. 

A wondrous world of lively breath-taking gemstones awaits you…

Book excerpt

Cinnabar was sitting on a rickety old wooden chair; his cluttered desk behind him swamped under a small untidy stack of dusty old books and some rather odd bits and pieces that looked like antique laboratory equipment and ancient scientific instruments that would have been more at home in a museum or in an alchemist’s or wizard’s lair. In front of him was a small group of young children who were sitting cross-legged in a cosy huddled bunch, all staring up at him intently, transfixed and hanging on to every word the wise old man spoke. He knew all of the children in the town; he had blessed them all as and when they were born, as he had blessed all of their parents before them. His aged, experienced and knowing face, together with his husky voice was almost hypnotic to the children, eager to learn and take in what was being taught to them with such passion.
“… and hundreds of years ago,” explained Cinnabar, “a powerful beast, a huge mighty dragon gave two crystal stones to a poor man who he knew to be good and honest”. Cinnabar’s story-telling voice carried the words with such enchantment that the children seated before him could almost envisage the wonder of the ancient times ….

The mighty dragon towered over the meek, poor man who looked up at the beast with fear and dread. This terrifying, colossal creature could kill him where he stood with one breath of his fiery roar if he so desired. Armour of reddish reptilian scales, razor sharp talons, dagger-like teeth and his enormous tail, struck fear into all who saw it. The remarkable beast stood over sixteen feet tall and had a long, powerful, serpent-like body with giant wings stretching out from its back. But as the poor man found the courage to gaze up at the dragon, he stared into its menacing orange eyes and the more he stared, the deeper he could see. As if he was looking beyond the reptilian eyes into the depths of the dragon itself, into its very soul. The poor man had never seen eyes like it before. At one point he felt as though he was falling through space, a magical cloudy soup made from the colours of the dragon’s eyes and as he fell deeper and deeper within the dragon’s gaze, he began to feel that there was no danger after all. He was reassured, safe and protected, becoming as one with the dragon. The powerful beast that towered over him seemed no longer threatening or terrifying.

“Never look a Fire-Tongue directly in the eye!” Cinnabar boomed as his softened voice erupted with a force that made all the youngsters jump as they remained seated in their semi-circular huddle on the cold wooden floor. “They will hypnotize you, they will fool you into a false sense of security, and they will put you under the dragon’s spell so that he owns you and controls your every move.

Buy on Amazon here:
Amazon US
Amazon UK


Bio


I’m a first time author and this, my debut novel, is now a self-published ebook on Amazon Kindle. I enjoy writing in a detailed and descriptive style of imagination and fantasy, exploring the far flung realms of mystic, magical lands of forgotten times.
As time aplenty found me while injured out of my career as a Paramedic, I set to work on creating the mysterious world from the swirling ideas of my mind. Since leaving the ambulance service I have retrained as counsellor and I do voluntary work co-running a mental health support in my area. But it is writing and creating stories that I wish to pursue.
I live with my wife and two children in Lincolnshire, England.

Interview:

1. What authors and/or books influenced you growing up that led you to write in the Young Adult Fantasy genre?

Let me first thank you for giving me the opportunity to answer your questions. Actually although I write in the fantasy genre, when I was growing up I read Stephen King, Clive Barker and in particular James Herbert and Dean Koontz so the giants of horror! But I always wanted to create my own world and I was impressed with Tolkien’s world. I also like the way JK Rowling ran a magical world alongside our own. Creating a fully working made up society was something I always wanted to do and also having magic but a magic that would be logical and reasonable, I’m not keen on magic being used for magic sake. Although it’s all fantasy and make believe, for me it still has to be understandable and work logically. So I created the magical world of Heliodor, my book being The Legend Of Heliodor: The Crystal Spirits. I set the level for older children, teens and young adults because I wanted my children to understand the story I was telling.

2. I noticed you have a collection of short stories set in the same world that recently published. Tell us a little about that book.

Well after creating the world of Heliodor, I had the idea to expand on its depth by showing that there were stories, folklore and myths that the people of Heliodor grew up with. I thought that it would make a nice companion book to the main story and also provide a chance to delve a little further into this curious world. For example in the main book, The Crystal Spirits, I referred to a myth that a giant threw some trees and where they landed they grew as tall as the giant. So in my short story book Tales From The Realm I told the full story of the giant and those trees. Also I found it a great way to play around with various writing techniques and formats. And so some stories are in normal prose, some are told in poetic verse, there’s a tale told with letters between two people plus fairy tale style stories and even one in a nursery rhyme style. I had great fun writing in ways I wouldn’t otherwise have done.

3. Did you always plan on self-publishing or did you try to find an agent or publisher first?

I sent The Crystal Spirits to agents first as was the advice in the writers yearbook at the time but of course rejection letters flooded in! I found out the option to self-publish and liked the control an author would have. Very hard work though, writing the book was the easy part, marketing it though… well… not so easy!

4. What have you learned since you first published that you wish you knew starting out?

Probably everything! I tend to do things in the wrong order and end up making a lot of work for myself. So in true ‘me’ style I published my book then found out stuff I should have done before publishing! There are pros and cons for self-publishing so I would suggest researching first to find them out and also get important thing in place before you do so. Things like the book cover and the blurb should be sorted before you publish, which of course I did after!

5. What's next? What are you currently working on?

So next for me is I’m currently working on the next part of the story following on from The Crystal Spirits.

6. Tell us three great things about your book that might convince a reader to give it a try.

Like I said earlier, I have created a fully functional working world that is completely different to our own that can deliver some incredible magic the like of which has rarely, if ever, been seen before!
The whole story is based on an ancient legend. We’ve grown up with the Bible and the stories it tells so imagine what would happen to you if you found out you were a part of it with a vital part to play in it. Well that is what happens to Kyan, my main character.

I think lastly I would say that I have delivered an exciting caper that is fun but also with underlying aspects that we in our world can relate to. There are messages buried within the story, above all the message of belief in oneself that if conquered we can take on the world. This is something I feel passionate about as I also work in mental health and have suffered myself with debilitating depression.

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