Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tima Maria Lacoba: Author Interview & Spotlight

Tima is a great friend and a fantastic writer. I am so happy to be able to feature her on Fantasy Fun Reads!

Book Description:

Being unable to age is just the beginning.

What if you had the power to lift an ancient curse but at a frightening price? Primary school teacher Laura Dantonville's ordinary life comes to an end when she learns her family's ancestral legacy, and a shocking secret that explains her strange inability to age.

Propelled into a violent underworld ruled by magic, murder and mystery, and stalked by vampire clans who covet the rare gift her blood bestows, Laura has to consent to the protection of a guardian – Alec Munro, powerful leader of the Dantonville clan. Despite a powerful attraction between the two, she discovers a far more intimate association between them is necessary if she is to end the curse that has plagued her family for centuries.
With time running out, Laura must decide to which world she belongs – human or vampire? Can she tread a delicate path between the two? Or will her fate – and that of her family – be decided by her police detective boyfriend Matt Sommers who is determined to destroy anyone who stands between him and Laura?


I spun around to face him, but as I was still out of breath all I could do
was stand there, with my hands clenched by my side, and glare at him. He
moved away from the door and came slowly toward me. I took a step back.
‘It occurred to me I don’t like the idea of becoming a single mother,’ I
managed to say between breaths.
‘You should have thought of that sooner.’ He pulled his T-shirt over his
head and dropped it on the floor.
I stared open mouthed at his chiselled body, the rippling muscles of his
torso and the sword and serpent tattoo on his left breast. It was identical to
the image on the stained glass window. On impulse, I reached out and
touched it.
‘All the men have one. It marks us as belonging to Luc’s clan,’ he said.
‘Does he have one too?’
‘Yes.’ The look in his eyes intensified. ‘Keep touching me, Laura.’
My hands traced the hard planes of his chest, stomach and the
delectable trail of dark hair that disappeared below the tops of his jeans.
‘You told me never to touch you again. You still feel that way?’
‘If I did, I wouldn’t be agreeing to this. It’s only sex, nothing more. A
means to an end.’
‘Did I promise anything more?’
No, he didn’t. This was, as he so succinctly put it, a business

Buy Links:
Check out the reviews on Amazon (US)! 95 reviews and a 4.6 average...

Amazon (UK) -
Amazon (CA) -
Amazon (AU) -


Author Bio:

A former ancient historian and archaeologist, Tima Maria accidently smashed a 3,000 Egyptian vase while on her first dig! Her supervisor made her glue it back together again. It took a week. From there she went on to specialise in late Roman-British archaeology, and the military forts along Hadrian’s Wall, because buildings don’t smash as easily. Now she’s combined my love of history with another passion – story-telling – to create a dark tale of Roman soldiers who’ve waited nearly two thousand years to be released from an ancient curse.

Tima has always been a storyteller, but it wasn't until five years ago that she seriously ventured into writing. The result was Bloodgifted. In 2011 it was shortlisted in the Atlas Award and eventually came fourth place. In 2012 it was listed among the top ten in the Choclit Search for an Aussie Star Competition. In 2013, she was offered a publishing contract but declined in favour of going indie, preferring the idea of being in charge of her own creation.

Bloodgifted, Bloodpledge and BloodVault and the first three books in The Dantonville Legacy series. She also intends to satisfy her fans requests by writing individual books on the other characters in the series. So Terens, Cal Jake and Sam will each have their own story.

Tima currently lives on the Central Coast, an hour's drive north of Sydney in Australia. Her little house is surrounded by bushland, possums and seed-dropping Rosellas on one side, and waterways on the other.
Between bouts of writing, she can be found in the kitchen baking yet another chocolate recipe. This activity is responsible for forming more gothic, urban fantasy stories in her mind for future books.


1. I get the impression that the Australian author community is different than the American one, perhaps more close-knit than ours. I also see you attending many events down under. Tell us about being an Australian author.

It’s a much smaller community, but daily growing. Oddly enough, I have more American writer friends than Australian, and I think that is primarily because of social media – more Americans are active online than Aussies. I could be wrong, but that’s what I seem to be seeing.
Either way, the world is a small place now and I enjoy interacting with everyone.

2. Urban fantasy & Gothic Romance are two genres that seem to be confusing to some. What is your view of these genres?

These genres are so interchangeable that sometimes it’s hard to separate the two.
Classically, urban fantasy may have romantic elements but the story does not revolve around it. It’s the quest, the journey that maintains the plot, and the scenes normally take place in an urban setting – a city – hence the term Urban Fantasy. HEA (happily ever after) is not guaranteed.
In a romance, be it gothic or paranormal, the story pivots around the romantic couples and their growing relationship. Traditionally, it’s meant to lead to a HEA.
I love both genres, so much so, my series is a combination of both.

3. What are you currently working on? Is there an end in sight for your current series?

Right now, I’m working on Book 4 in my Dantonville Legacy Series – BloodWish. It will be the last in this particular series that revolves around the two MCs (Laura and Alec) as it brings their story to a satisfying conclusion.
But, saying that, the series will continue under the title, the Dantonville Chronicles and will concentrate on the other characters readers have come to know – Alec’s friends. So Terens, Jake, Cal and Sam will each have their own books.

4. Tell us about your publishing experience. Did you try to find an agent or publisher first or did you always want to self-publish?

Almost from the day I started writing, I’d decided to become an indie author. Not that I have anything against traditional publishing, (some of my best friends are traditionally published) but I couldn’t be bothered waiting months, even years, to hear back from publishers after submitting my manuscript. Mind you, I did submit to a few publishers just to see the response. After my fifth submission I was offered a publishing contract. I was shocked! Unfortunately the contract did not suit me so I politely declined.
I have not regretted the decision.
It’s a lot of work being an indie author as all the work rests on your shoulders, but it’s rewarding knowing you’re in charge of your creation and only you know what’s best for it.

5. What have you learned as an author since you published your first book that you wish you knew just starting out?

Where do I begin?
One of the most important lessons I learnt is to have a good marketing plan. You can have the best book in the world but if it’s not visible, it won’t sell. Create a marketing plan to suit your budget. Check with other authors to know which book promo sites are the best, and advertise with them. Stay within your means. There are a lot of great book blogging sites with a massive list of subscribers out there, which don’t cost the earth.
And don’t give up. Keep writing.

Follow Tima at these places....

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sharing a Mother's Joy

My mom loved to read. That's how I learned the joy of reading. Growing up, I read what she read. I still have the above paperback set of Ian Fleming books. Bond, James Bond. We both loved these books. She loved Harold Robbins, so I loved Harold Robbins. Robert Ludlum, yep, loved him as well. Many, many books she would read and I would follow in her footsteps. It's where I got the joy of reading.

Then I passed that joy on to my younger sister and she would read the books that I read. By that time I was into Science Fiction and Fantasy books.  Heinlein, Zelazny, Bester, & Andre Norton were some of the great authors I was reading at that time.  My mom and my sister supported me so much when I became a published author. They were both so proud of me.

I miss Mom more than I can properly say. I hope she is reading up in heaven now. Today is her birthday and I would have gotten her a book and probably a book of crossword puzzles. We used to do the crosswords in the local paper together every morning. She loved words and she was a lot better at it than me. She could knock out the hardest ones in a matter of minutes.

Happy Birthday, Mom. Save me something to read, would you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Kevin M. Smith: Author Interview & Spotlight

Please welcome to Fantasy Fun Reads, Kevin M. Smith, author of Human Chess.


The Sting meets The UFC and whether the promoter, the con man, or the fighter should run the league. Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is often described as human chess, emphasizing not the blows landed as much as the movements leading to make one's opponent "tap out"-a final act of submission. Daniel Mills employed the same philosophies in running successful long cons. Mills, a former fixer and now down-on-his-luck nobody has to return to a life which caused his fall to protect the family that abandoned him. His ex-wife's nephew is a rising MMA star whose promoter may not have his best interests at heart.


The conversation ended. Blood returned to the face of the man who called me here. Still not extending a hand, he sat and spoke in a much friendlier tone. “So, Daniel…how’d everything go last night?”

“It was a viewing. Grand fun was had by all,” I said, trying to veil my contempt.

“Yeah.” He sighed as he massaged his temple with his thumb. “Did you check on Andrew like I asked you to?”

“I didn’t have to. He came to see me.”

This surprised him, “Does he remember you?”

I shook my head. “He came to see his aunt while she and I were talking.”

This made more sense. He motioned for a glass of water. “Did he appear to be okay?”

I looked blankly. “From what I saw he looks in shape. I didn’t have him run any calisthenics or sparring drills, but my impression is that he’ll be ready.” The water came and with it a pill. He swallowed both in one swoop and slammed the glass into his desk blotter. “Just give me a straight fucking answer, will you?” He shook with exasperation. “How is he dealing with the death? Is his head in the game or do I pull him from the card?”

I was surprised. I expected to be spoken down to throughout our discussion. Ever since he got the best of me, Joe Morrissey never regarded me as his peer. I was forever his underling. In this case an employee assigned to provide information about a former relative. Twice now he’d blown up on people using vulgarities. He prided himself on never using crude language.

He continued to look through me. I thought about what this meant. Finally, I made a clicking noise as I spoke. “It’s hard to tell. Some people need to get right out there to keep from grieving. Others can’t get past what’s happened and don’t know that until they’re already in the ring.”

“I know that Daniel! That’s why I sent you. You read people better than anyone I know.”

I gave it to him straight. “We heard both of you at the press conference. He’s calm. He appeared to me that he’s focused. Yeah. Let him fight.”

“You’re sure?”

“You saw him yourself. You read people as good as I do.”

Buy on Amazon....


1. What inspired you to write Human Chess?

My wife’s cousin was the Lightweight Champion for a Mixed Martial Arts promotion and when he lost his title they refused to give him an immediate rematch. As he came up for contract renewal, he signed with a larger promotion and the first league misrepresented facts in my opinion to keep him from moving on.  It cost him a year of fighting (and earning a living to provide for his family).  They had to sell some investments even. Someone asked me, “What would I’ve done?” and my con-man brain started to build an answer.

2. It looks like this is a mixed genre book, not only about MMA but with mystery and suspense elements. What are some of your favorite books and authors?

The "Victor Carl" series by William Lashner (Bill is my favorite author).  "Con Ed" by Matthew Klein, "The Godfather" by Mario Puzo, "The Count of Monte Cristo" by Dumas.  “Alex” by Pierre Lemaitre was simply the most amazing book I’ve read in the last five years because he makes you run the gambit of every emotion for each character in the story. I write to hopefully be that for someone else.  He has a new book "Blood Wedding" that comes out in September.  I acquired an Advanced Reader Copy and can't wait for others to read this gem so I can talk to someone about it. 

3. You have an amazing number of great reviews! What is the secret?

I think a great book needs a combination of awesome characters, sharp dialog, and compelling themes.  You can get a slight reprieve if you can hijack your audience and steal them in a direction they didn't see coming.  Gillian Flynn's "Gone Girl" was an interesting story as I was married five years, (Just like Nick and Amy) so I was vested. But when the “reveal” hit, I was EXCITED to learn what was next.  So, the secret is writing with respect of the audience and the terror of letting them down.

4. What are you currently writing? Is there a sequel in the works?

Originally Human Chess was to be a "one-off".  I had a completely different plot line that I was excited about.  I had about 120 pages written and the story happened in real life, so I put in a drawer until I can find a new take.  My agent asked me to create a sequel in case the book showed an audience so "Smash and Grab" is written and going through edits right now. A third book as well as a separate series are now in the outlining and character profiling/settings stage

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

That acceptance of a novel is still about a year away from seeing the light of day as a finished work. (Friends and parents are unrelenting asking about it and then doubting that you really will be published)

Follow Kevin at these links

Sunday, July 17, 2016

That day Jane & Jill met Jewel: Excerpt

In Jane, Jewel is introduced as a teen witch who helps Jade, Jane, & Jill out of a tight spot. Jewel's parents are later killed in a car crash and Jade & Jane become her adoptive parents. What could possibly go wrong? This is an excerpt from Jane, where Jewel is first introduced....

 Jill perked up as a young teenage couple approached from our target building. We could tell they were a couple as they managed to rub shoulders a few times crossing the street. Jill whispered that they were a pair of young witches. As they entered the patio area, the girl looked over at Jill curiously. We had a couple of seats available and they plopped down across from us.
“Mind if we join you?” the girl asked.
I could tell she was the leader of this couple. The young man was still looking at Jill. She was obviously Fae, pure blooded, her snow white hair coming out from beneath the baseball cap failing to completely hide her pointed ears and regal features.
“Certainly,” Jill said. “We could use some company.”
“I'm Jewel,” she replied. “This is my friend Ben. We don't see too many Fae around here. Your magic is like a bright light, it's really incredible.”
Nothing shy about this girl, I thought, looking at Jill to see how she would respond.
“Nice to meet you both,” she replied. “I'm Jill, but you probably know me as the Winter Queen. This is my friend, London Jane. You probably know her as the day-walking vamp that has been in the news lately.”
I gave Jill a quick glance as we exchanged handshakes across the table.
“Oh wow, this is too cool,” Jewel said. “Something told me to bring my yearbook with me this morning. Now I know why.”
Ben had his hand to his forehead. I could tell he was a little embarrassed. “She gets an autograph from just about anyone she thinks is anyone interesting,” he said. “This is our last year of regular school. They’re shipping us off to witch school in the fall.”
Parents or mentors train witches when they are young. When they get to High School they start their formal witch training. That would mean these kids were probably only around fifteen or sixteen years old.
“I have the perfect spot for you guys.” Jewel said, opening her yearbook up and flipping through it. I could tell each page had quite a few autographs. It was obvious this was something she was really into.
She stopped on the page labeled supe city club, and turned it around so we could sign.
“Happy to do that,” Jill said, smiling. She signed Jill with the Winter Queen written right under her name and the royal seal of the Winter Court magically appeared below that.
“Showoff,” I said. I signed as London Jane and wrote day-walking vamp under my name. I could tell Jewel was pleased.
“To think I had to drag Ben out of his apartment this morning,” she said.

Get Norma Jean's School of Witchery, Book One: Jewel

Amazon Links:

Monday, July 11, 2016

Laura Quinn: Author Interview & Spotlight

Please welcome Laura Quinn, author of Punk Charming, a retro romance.


1986 – Shoulder pads are big, hair is bigger, and American college student Kate Spenser is set to embark on the biggest adventure of her life. Having been accepted to a summer study-abroad program in Oxford, England, Kate travels to Europe for the first time. The eighteen-year-old is psyched about a summer of exploring countries on her own, experiencing new cultures, and perhaps meeting a charming young man along the way. Armed with a French-English dictionary and her Walkman loaded with Duran Duran, Kate is ready to start her adventure in France. Little does she know what awaits her when she arrives, and how she must use her wits to escape peril in Paris. Fortune favors Kate when she meets her Punk Charming, and it’s love at first sight. Now, if she could only find him again! James Barrington meets his soul mate while on the run from Paris. Mis-cues and sabotage prevent him from reuniting with Kate, but he can never forget her. If only he had told her the truth before it was too late. Or is it? Can true love conquer all?

Check out the video trailer....

Excerpt 1:  Lame Pickup Lines in 1986
A single word soared above the general chatter and music, snagging James’ attention. Someone at the far end of the bar ordered a snakebite. James leaned on his barstool and strained to hear the rest of the conversation.
“You ought to try one, it isn’t as sweet as cider and not as bitter as lager,” the voice continued. “It’s just the right blend, like you and me, baby.”
James tracked the voice to a gangly young man, sitting at the edge of the tall oak stool. He wore baggy electric-blue parachute pants and a grey wool jumper with a slight tear in the left shoulder seam. His pallid skin tone was magnified under black-rimmed spectacles, which looked as if they may have belonged to his father. He was delivering lines to a curvaceous blonde in a raspberry leather mini-dress, perched atop the neighboring stool.
Undaunted by the lack of response, the pursuer slicked back a wave of dark hair from his forehead and continued, “I’m David and I bet your name is Angel, because your body is heavenly!” He intended to initiate a provocative brush of his foot against hers. Instead, his battered white trainer knocked off one of her mock-crocodile stilettos.
The young woman smiled politely, and excused herself. She slid down from her stool, returned the shoe to her manicured foot and pretended to join a group of friends in the opposite corner of the pub. Moments later, she accepted a Babysham from an older man, who was layered in enough gold chains to make Mister T jealous.
“You don’t know what you’re missing! Scientists are the business now,” he shouted futilely in her direction. “Remember, Time Magazine replaced its 1982 Man of the Year with the PC as Machine of the Year. Times are changing!”

Buy it here....

Author Bio:   Laura Quinn is passionate about writing and traveling, and is happiest when combining the two. She is well-trained, and often outsmarted, by her beloved dog and cats. A former user of pay phones, paper maps and VHS players, she now embraces technology…and is a Pinterest addict with over 26,000 pins. Laura is a forever fan of Duran Duran (30+ years and counting!), from Walkman to iPod. She holds a Master of Liberal Arts degree from the University of Chicago and teaches creative writing at local colleges.  Laura welcomes visitors to her website at or email at


1. An 80's retro/contemporary romance? I love the concept. What inspired you to write this book?

Just like the main character, Kate, I studied at Oxford University during the summer of 1986. The spark of an idea for this book came to me then (probably while enjoying a snakebite at the Eagle and the Child Pub in Oxford). Although it took a while (a few decades!) to materialize, the story absolutely had to be set in the 80s - the days of glam fashion, big hair, pay phones, VHS players, the Walkman, and mixtapes.

2. What are you currently working on?

I'm currently working on two novels. The first is a sequel to Punk Charming and the second is a new mystery series.

3. What authors/books inspired you when you were growing up? 

As the daughter of an English teacher, and an English major myself, I was fortunate to be exposed to brilliantly written books by authors spanning many eras and nationalities. I gravitate towards stories that transport me to new places, make me love (or hate) the characters, and teach me something new. Shakespeare, Orwell and Poe are some of my very favorites, and I can read their works again and again and again. My grandmother instilled a love of English mysteries in me, and passed along her cherished collection of Dickens' classics.

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

It has been such an exciting journey! One thing I wish I knew was how much time is spent for book promotion. Had I known this, I would have pushed myself to finish writing the sequel before Punk Charming was published. The carefree days of writing are in short supply now, so I have to be better at structuring my time.

5. List three great things about your book that might convince a reader to give your book a try?

I'm going to rely on the comments I most often hear from readers to answer this one:

1. It is set in the awesome 80s! Punk Charming is chockablock with 80s pop culture, so you can have fun reliving the decade in all its neon glory, or, if you missed it, get a sense of what it was like to live in the pre-Internet age. Each chapter begins with a song title that was popular at the time, and relates to that section of the story. With songs such as: Pet Shop Boy's "Love Comes Quickly", Madonna's "Live to Tell", Arcadia's "The Flame" and Bananarama's "Venus", you may find yourself singing along. Even the Bears' Super Bowl Shuffle makes an appearance.

2. Punk Charming takes place across Europe, with scenes in Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Vienna, London and Oxford. Many readers have asked me when this will be made into a film (all offers accepted!). The locations would be stunning on the big screen! Until then, I hope the pages will transport you to these amazing cities. Take a virtual global culinary tour with croissants, patatas bravas, Cava, Vienna coffee, trifles and a 99.

3. The story is a fun escape. Punk Charming is a love story at its heart, one that focuses on the characters and their journeys through life and love. Readers cheer for Kate, an American New Waver, and James, an English Punk...and they love to hate David, an English astrophysicist. There are some furry characters involved in the plot too, including a felonious feline, a curious kitten and a puckish puppy. You'll even pick up some great new drink recipes including the illicit snakebite and summer favorite Pimms and lemonade.

You can follow Laura Quinn at these places...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

K.M. Hodge: Author Interview & Spotlight

Please welcome K.M.Hodge, author of Red On The Run, a crime & suspense thriller.

Red on the Run Blurb:
…because sometimes all you can do is run.
In search of redemption from his sordid past, FBI Special Agent Alex Bailey takes on a new secret mission and partner, Katherine Mitchel. Before they are assigned their first case, Katherine uncovers damning evidence against a major crime ring, known as The Syndicate. The group, which controls the police; Congress; even the FBI, will stop at nothing to protect their interest. With his partner’s life threatened, Alex secretly has her placed in the witness protection program. But there is no hiding from The Syndicate. In what becomes the most dangerous investigation of his career, Alex must ask himself how far he is willing to go to stop the Syndicate and keep Katherine safe?

Buy On Amazon:

K.M. Hodge Biography:
K.M. Hodge grew up in Detroit, where she spent most of her free time weaving wild tales to spook her friends and family. These days, she lives in Texas with her husband and two energetic boys and once again enjoys writing tales of suspense and intrigue that keep her readers up all night. Her stories, which focus on women's issues, friendship, addiction, regrets and second chances, will stay with you long after you finish them. When she isn't writing or being an agent of social change, she reads Independent graphic novels, watches old X-files episodes, streams Detroit Tigers games and binges on Netflix with her husband. She enjoys hearing from her readers, so don't be shy about emailing her or saying hi on social media: Facebook,Twitter or Google+. 

You can sign up for new release emails and a chance to get free books at:


1. What books or authors inspired you growing up to write in the Thriller/Suspense genre?

I read a lot growing up but the authors that stick out in my mind are Nancy Drew, Christopher Pike, John Saul, and Robin Cook. I loved trying to figure out the mystery as early as possible. Whenever I watched suspense movies with my family I would irritate them by figuring it all out and spoiling it for them. I really can't imagine writing anything else.

2. Tell us about your publishing experience and how you ended up with a publisher.

Well I self-published my first novel, Seasons, which was the first book in my Syndicate Trilogy. A friend of mine read the book and said that I should try and submit it to Evolved Publishing. I sent them a copy and they asked me to sign the Trilogy with them and I did. We just republished Seasons second edition with a new name, cover and scenes. It is now called Red on the Run. I also co-write my Book Cellar Mystery Series with Melissa Storm under the Blue Crown Press Imprint.

3. What have you learned since your first book published that you wish you knew when you first started out?

I wish I had known a million things. My writing has improved by leaps an bounds and my brand platform is steadily growing as new readers discover my work each day. So in the end it all comes out in the wash. However, I really do wish I had spent more time honing my craft and not just throwing the book up on the "zon" without having a professional editor go over it. What do I mean by professional editor? Someone who edits fiction books! Not an English teacher or non-fiction editor. My advice for those starting out is to find a way to pay the front end cost of getting their manuscripts professional editor, who they have vetted, and to pay for a professional cover. I use Mallory Rock and she is all kinds of amazing.

4. What are you currently working on? Is there a sequel coming in the future?

I have four open projects right now. The ones I am spending the most time on is the sequels to my two series. Book #2 of the Book Cellar Mystery Series, Texas and Tiaras, is going to be out by the end of the summer and the sequel to the Syndicate-Born Trilogy will be out at the end of September. I also have two novella's in the works. Never stop writing!

5. Tell us three things about your writing that might inspire a new reader to give this book a try.

1) I write suspense for women. I give voice to the joys and sorrows that women all over the world face every day.
2) I spend a lot of time fact checking and speaking to people who are experts in their field to make sure that everything is just right.
3) I have been told by readers that I have well thought out and developed characters. The kind that stick with you long after you stop reading. I get a lot of e-mails with time stamps that are in the middle of the night or wee hours of the morning. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Indie Pride Day Sale: C.L. Schneider

Better grab them quick (All books on sale today only). Here is a link to the series on Amazon

The Crown Of Stones Series

This time last year I did an interview with C.L. Schneider Here