Sunday, July 31, 2016

Second Chances series: Tour the book locations in Icarus Rising - Chateau de Chenonceau

The first book in my new series, Icarus Rising, will be coming out soon. Icarus, who flew too near the sun and fell to Earth, is given a second chance at life by Zeus. He and Eve, owner of the bookstore where he ends up working, end up doing some traveling for a quest.
The first place they visit is the Chateau de Chenonceau, a lovely estate in the Loire Valley of France. The current Chateau was built in the early 16th century and extends over the River Cher. 
The original owners defaulted to King Francis I when they couldn't pay their debts to the crown. In turn, his son, Henry II, gifted it to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. You can still see many Greek mythological themes derived from Diana's name (after the Roman name for Athena). After the king's death, his wife, Catherine de Medici, forced Diana to give her the chateau and made many improvements. She also tried to stamp out her rival's presence, but you can still see intertwined letters of D, H, and C representing the husband, wife, and mistress.
This is the period I used to represent Icarus and Eve's quest in Icarus Rising. This picture of Catherine de Medici features as a clue in the story.  
The Five Queens’ bedroom is named in memory of Catherine dé Medici’s daughters, Queen Margaret
(married Henry of Navarre in 1572, who became King Henry VI in 1589, she agreed to have the marriage annulled in 1599) and Elisabeth of France (wife of Phillip II of Spain), her daughter-in-laws, Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots (wife of King François II), Elisabeth of Austria (wife of King Charles IX) and Louise of Lorraine (wife of King Henry III). All stayed here at one time during Catherine's lifetime.
Later the Chateau was used by other Queens and nobility. During WWI it was used as a hospital ward. In WWII the Chateau was used as a bridge between Nazi-occupied France and the 'free zone' on the other side of the river. Today it is a place for tourists to admire as one of the top spots to visit in France.

I will continue to feature locations from the book on this blog along with other tidbits from the book.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Book Review: Graveyard Rose by Ginny Clyde

Graveyard Rose is the first book in The Rose Chronicles. It is a quick read and is a really good story for someone who likes fairy-tale retellings.
This one seems to be based on Beauty and the Beast with some interesting added characters like vampires and werewolves added in. Lenara Garrickson comes from a family of Guardians. Now her father is retired and her young sister is ill, so it is up to Lenara to venture into the woods to get the ingredients needed for her sister's medicine. Meanwhile, the Guardians are fighting an infestation of werewolves.
There's some interesting backstory incorporating Vlad Dracula, or Drakian as he's known here. There's also Lenara's involvement with Stephan Jaegerson and her subsequent disillusionment. The author has blended different elements to make a new and interesting retelling of the old fairy tale.

Link to Amazon

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016

New Release: Free of Asenten (Zelia the Phoenix of Hope Book 1) by Zora Marie

The fate of nine realms rests on the shoulders of one desperate girl with a daunting power and a harrowing choice: to be the cause of great suffering and despair? Or be banished from the first place she felt secure since being a small child, and back to the world from whence she came? When the wizards who created her fear that their creation was tainted, the Phoenix of Hope could become the Phoenix of destruction. With time running out, the wizards’ worst fears are careening in.

“I do not see how, even now, you should be dead,” he said standing back on his heels with a puzzled look.

Perking its ears forward a buck came up and smelled her. Turning he said, “I do not know about this one, she speaks our language, but she smells funny.”

When the screams of the last Darkan came to an end, Zelia put out the flames as she fell to her knees, drained of energy. The trees still moaned in pain though they did not blame her, she had kept the flames from scorching most of their leaves.

Despite all odds against her, including lightning strikes that fried multiple computers, Mother Nature couldn’t keep Zora Marie from getting this story out for the world to see. She is a Jill of many trades who has done everything from bottle-feeding calves and being a midwife for a wide variety of animals to making picture-perfect wood burnings and yarn from her home raised angora fiber. Numerous hours have been spent in engineering and shop classes, absorbing all the knowledge her fantastic teacher had to offer. She spent so much time hunting, trapping, and fishing with the guys that she earned the title of ‘river rat’, and yes, that is a compliment. Her skills at hauling hoop nets into the boat and filleting fish have surpassed even the most experienced men on many occasions.
Hanging out with the guys has had its ups and its downs, but you can be sure it’s produced some awesome stories. For example, she can honestly say that the worst thing she has ever eaten was a skunk. Yes, you read that right, nothing like a big game cookout for the guys to have a little fun and feed everyone skunk rump roast. In case you’re wondering, they taste the same as they smell and leave a lovely aftertaste that spoils your beaver pot roast and barbecue.
Her time on the river and in the woods opened her eyes to one simple fact: it’s the simple things in life that ground us. Things like the peace that comes from watching the sunrise as a young mink plays in the shallow stream nearby or the chirping of crickets as the night sky lights up with the stars of distant galaxies.
With all that said, she hopes you will follow her and Zelia on this crazy journey we all call life.
Thank you for reading!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Book Review: Piercing the Darkness by Aaron-Michael Hall

Piercing the Darkness is the last book in the The Rise of Nazil trilogy. It's a stunning conclusion to this excellent fantasy series with many of the characters I've grown to love showing up to add more to the story.
The children of the Chosen take center stage here. It is their turn to fight the darkness of the powers of Sanctium. An unexpected event occurs when one of the cousins with the blood of Oisin is turned to the dark side and the other forces and prophecies that were set in play in the first two books come into effect.
I still had plenty of Pentamir and Brahanu, Dani and Zeta, and the other characters I love to read about, but there are some new and interesting people added into the mix. The cousins though are the heart of the story: Raithym, Tardison and the others, and it is they who must save the land with the help of the Guardians.
This was a satisfying conclusion to this epic series. I heartily recommend you get all three books and binge-read this series.

Link to Amazon

Friday, July 22, 2016

Book Review: The Warp in the Weave by Jane Thornley

I've had this book on my TBR pile for a while and finally had the chance to pick it up and read it. I admit I didn't read the first book in the series (though I'm going back for books 1 and 3 now), but I found that this works well as a standalone story.
Phoebe McCabe is part-owner of an antique store in London that specializes in carpets among other objects. Phoebe is also on Interpol's radar due to her brother, Toby, and her partner's son, Noel, stealing a treasure (in the first book). She's determined to bring them to justice because of their treachery.
However, Phoebe is drawn back into intrigues as her shop is broken into and she discovers a secret left by her brother. This sets her off on an adventure to Istanbul and a reunion of sorts.
The story is well-written and Phoebe is an interesting character, a bit impetuous but loveable all the same.  Besides her interest in fiber arts (I learned a lot about carpets), Phoebe is a knitter and uses the craft to calm herself when things get too crazy. As I said above, I'm going back for the other books in this intriguing mystery series.

Buy at Amazon

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Cover Reveal: Flare by Rabia Gale

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today! I'm delighted to reveal the cover for my upcoming release, Flare, Book Two of The Sunless World, an epic fantasy series with a steampunk flavor. Flare COVER REVEAL
Rafe and Isabella are back
The mages of old saved their world, but left it in eternal darkness. Now it’s time to bring back the light. After two years of training his magical gifts, Rafe returns home to a land wracked by war. Desperate states struggle to protect their resources of luminous quartz. Magic pulses and earthquakes devastate a world on the brink of extinction. Rafe's old enemy Karzov has gathered a band of prodigies obedient to his will. He seeks the power of the ancient mages for an audacious and sinister purpose. It's up to Rafe and his ally, Isabella, to stop him—and undo the mistakes of the past to put their world right again.
Flare will be out in September 2016!

The Sunless World series

The Sunless World BLOG
"Quartz: The Sunless World introduces a rich and credible backdrop to the adventures of her characters, with a deadly political mire underlying the bright colours of high society." - By Rite of Word Reviews
"This story is fast, fascinating and highly recommended." - review
The Sunless World series begins with Quartz (Book One) and Flux (A Sunless World Novel).

About the Author

Rabia Gale Headshot I create weird worlds full of magic and machines, and write characters who are called on to be heroes. I'm fascinated by light and darkness, transformation, and things that fly. Giant squid and space dragons appear in my work—you have been warned! A native of Pakistan, I now reside in Northern Virginia, where I read, write, doodle, avoid housework, and homeschool my children. Find me online at: Website:

Cover Reveal: Playing Fate by Leigh Ann Lunsford

Cover Reveal
Title: Playing Fate
Series: Endgame Series #1
Release Date: August 1, 2016
Presented By: Itsy Bitsy Book Bits


Deacon Douglas has it all. A loving home, good looks, a fast track to the major league.
But then he makes a mistake. A mistake that would derail most, but not him. He takes the challenge, turns the mistake into another accomplishment. His life it altered – for the better.
Saylor Lewis is just a girl. A girl she doesn’t even know. Always the good girl, never rocking the boat, never living for the moment. Until she attends college – out of state.
He’s wide open; she’s hidden away. He wants her. She just wants success.

She fights. He fights harder. He fights dirty. They each have an endgame . . . will it be each other?

Goodreads TBR:


Author Bio:

Leigh Ann Lunsford is stay at home mom turned author. She writes Romance/New Adult and loves her happily ever after in all books and movies. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs in Fleming Island, Florida. When she isn’t writing or reading you can find her stuck in front of really bad reality shows or watching Sons of Anarchy. Leigh Ann has a filthy mouth and a huge amount of sarcasm that knows no end. She hopes to give the voices in her head an outlet with many more novels to come.

Stalker Links:

Facebook Author Page:

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Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Vacation in Western Maine

The Antrim Cycle books take place in the Western Maine foothills. While I haven't used a waterfall (yet) in any of the stories, this is a great day trip for a vacation day this summer.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Cover Reveal: Grey by Kade Cook

Grey will be released August 15th. Check out the excerpt here: Grey

A supernatural, thriller, urban fantasy novel.

All the truths of her life were born from the promise of a lie.

A lie that could change everything.

Gabrian Shadwell studied hard and kept her nose to the grindstone in order to live the successful full-life most humans strive for. The problem is, she isn’t exactly human.

After protection wards and cloaking spells are cast to suppress any evidence of magic that may be running through her veins begins scratching it way through the surface, Gabrian fumbles with the unnerving discovery that she can see hazy energy fragments emanating from her clients’ bodies. What is even more shocking is she yearns to devour it. Her perfect straight-forward life as a normal mundane human is just a façade that’s coming to an end. She is comprised of the things spine-chilling nightmares are made of.

With no possible way to return to the simple life she once knew, she struggles to concede to the fact the calm reality of her world has shifted and is now crawling with Borrowers, Mages, and Shadow Walking-beings. But Gabrian’s unyielding thirst for knowledge pushes her to dig her claws in and gain control over her gifts as an energy-lending Borrower—essential for her to survive and earn her place amongst them.

Her chaotic journey of self-discovery takes her from the pan and throws her right into the fire when the tainted eyes of the self-righteous Elders in the realm turn against her. The silken-tongued devil that lurks within the darkness of the realm seems to be the only thing with an empathetic concern towards her—for a price. Her soft-hearted will combats with her logical inner voice about who is really telling her the truth. She tastes the sweet and sours of deception in the air from both sides, but she must choose which force will reign over her freedom thus deciding how tight her shackles will be on the new path she will walk upon.

It is an inner battle she must fight in order to uncover the ugly answers she seeks, and along the way, Gabrian will fall face first into an important and absolute truth—sometimes the only difference between a Borrower and a Vampire is hope.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Cover Reveal: Aboard Providence by Keely Brooke Keith

Book Info:

Title: Aboard Providence
Author: Keely Brooke Keith
Publisher: CrossRiver Media Group
Released Date: October 20, 2016
Pre-order Link: CrossRiver Media

One Sentence Summary:
A voyage aboard Providence changes Jonah’s plans, but can it change his heart?

In November 1860, Jonah Ashton is determined to finish his studies at Penn’s Medical School before rumors of Southern rebellion erupt into all-out war. When he learns his father has joined a group of Virginia families planning to sail from America to form a new settlement elsewhere, he travels to his family’s estate intent on saying goodbye. However, when an accident leaves his father in need of a physician, Jonah agrees to serve as ship’s doctor, but he resolves to return to medical school as quickly as possible.

While aboard the Providence, Jonah falls in love with former classmate Marian Foster. Despite their love for each other, Marian has no desire to return to America with him.

After an arduous voyage, Providence runs aground on an uncharted land in the South Atlantic Ocean. While the rest of the settlers celebrate finding the land they wanted, Jonah takes off to explore the island and he soon discovers a startling truth that changes everything, but can it change his heart?

Quotes about the book:
“A delightful adventure reminiscent of Swiss Family Robinson, Aboard Providence is one of those novels that will stick with me because I feel I’ve lived it. A captivating, well-researched, and deftly written tale I can confidently recommend to a wide range of readers.” –Heather Day Gilbert, author of Amazon Norse bestseller God’s Daughter

“With vivid settings and multi-layered characters, Keely Brooke Keith whisks her readers off on a page-turning journey, not just across the ocean, but within the heart. You won’t be able to put Aboard Providence down until the final word is read and then you will long for more.” –Brenda S. Anderson, author of the Coming Home series

“A blend of history and romance with a compelling inspirational message, Keith expertly weaves an intriguing tale. Fans of the Uncharted Series won’t want to miss this journey.” –Heidi McCahan, author of Unraveled

“Keely Brooke Keith is a master storyteller, weaving adventure, love, and wonderful characters into a vivid story that will take readers on an unforgettable voyage to a new place. Full of inspirational messages and tales of God’s love, readers will find themselves longing for more. Keely’s story teaches all of us that the journey is just the beginning!” –Christina Yother, author of the Hollow Hearts series

Author Info:

Author Bio:
Keely Brooke Keith is the author of the Uncharted series (Edenbrooke Press) and Aboard Providence (CrossRiver Media). Her novels are known for blending genres in surprising ways. When she isn’t writing stories, Keely enjoys playing bass guitar, preparing homeschool lessons, and collecting antique textbooks. Originally from St. Joseph, Missouri, Keely resides with her husband and their daughter on a hilltop south of Nashville where she dreams up stories, hoping to encourage, comfort, and inspire readers. She is a member of ACFW.

Social Media Links:

Find Keely’s books online:

Giveaway Info

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Book Review: Conquest: Rise of the Fifth Horseman by Richard M. Mulder

Conquest: Rise of the Fifth Horseman is the first book in the Fifth Horseman series. It's a fast-paced fantasy that melds a lot of different concepts fairly successfully.
The story starts with Allan, a corporate lawyer, proposing to his girlfriend of four years, Lily, in a very awkward scene in a restaurant. Lily is an agent for the NSA and though she loves Allan, her job (which he knows nothing about) would interfere in a marriage between them.
As it turns out, neither Allan or Lily are what they seem and I mean that in a metaphysical sense as the reader soon discovers. Mr. Mulder has woven in strands from both the Old and New Testaments, dragons, conspiracy theories, nano technology, myths and legends about  such diverse historical figures such as Elijah, Tamerlane, John the Apostle, and Noah to a cohesive adventure story.
Allan and Lily must save Earth from a soul-sucking creature while passing through portals to another world. I admit I was a bit confused about the logistics here, but it doesn't really matter to the story. There is a lot of violence, some gratuitous in my opinion, and I wasn't especially happy with the ending, but I look forward to the next book because, in the main, this was a good story that kept my interest. I recommend it to readers looking for something just a little different from the usual.

Conquest: Rise of the Fifth Horseman is on sale now and you can buy it here Amazon

Monday, July 11, 2016

Book Blitz: Mending Her Heart by J. Lee

Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Book Blitz
Title: Mending Her Heart
Series: The Barrelhouse
Author: J. Lee
Release Date: March 19, 2016
Length: 242 Pages
Presented By: Itsy Bitsy Book Bits
Elsy Waters thought she was a strong person. Her fiancé makes her question all of the strength she thought she had. When her cousin comes to the rescue she is thankful to have him back in her life. What she does not plan are the feelings for his sexy; tattoo covered bearded best friend and business partner, Dino. She tries to deny the connection that she is always feeling when she is around him. Dino makes that near impossible with his soulful voice, his concern for her safety, and him always being a permanent fixture in her life. He breaks down barriers she has placed around her heart. Will he be able to mend her heart? Just when she thinks that she has left her past behind it catches up with her. Will she be strong enough to stand up for both her and Dino?  
Goodreads TBR:
Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand. Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand. Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand. Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.
Author Bio:
J. Lee lives with her husband and two children on the coast of sunny Florida. In her spare time she loves to read, listen to music, and watch a good movie
Stalker Links: Facebook Author Page:
Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

Cover Review: I Was, Am, Will Be Alice by Elise Abram - excerpt, guest blog, and giveaway

blog tour banner
alice blue cover Book Blurb When 9 year old Alice Carroll disappears during a school shooting she is left wondering if time travel is all it's cracked up to be. Genre: YA, Contemporary, Science Fiction, Time Travel, Girls & Women Pages: 310 Release Date: 12 July 16
Winner of the 2015 A Woman's Write Competition for fiction!
When Alice Carroll is in grade three she narrowly escapes losing her life in a school shooting. All she remembers is the woman comforting her in the moments before the gunshot, and that one second she was there, the next she wasn't. It's bad enough coming to terms with surviving while others, including her favourite teacher, didn't, let alone dealing with the fact that she might wink out of existence at any time. Alice spends the next few years seeing specialists about her Post Traumatic Stress as a result of VD--Voldemort Day--but it's not until she has a nightmare about The Day That Shall Not Be Mentioned, disappears from her bed, is found by police, and taken home to meet her four-year-old self that she realizes she's been time travelling. Alice is unsure if her getting unstuck in time should be considered an ability or a liability, until she disappears right in front of her high school at dismissal time, the busiest time of day. Worried that someone may find out about her problem before long, Alice enlists her best friend (and maybe boyfriend), Pete, to help her try to control her shifting through time with limited success. She's just about ready to give up when the shooter is caught. Alice resolves to take control of her time travelling in order to go back to That Day, stop the shooting, and figure out the identity of the stranger who'd shielded Alice's body with her own.
 Buy Links: Buy I Was, Am, Will Be Alice at Amazon, Google Play, iTunes and Kobo.

Excerpt: Excerpt from I Was, Am, Will Be Alice
Alice is 9
The first time it happens, it happens like this: I'm huddled beside the bench in the grade three cloakroom, head scrunched against my knees, hands clasped behind my head. I hear the shots, three of them, and I swear my heart stops pumping each time. There's a woman next to me, kneeling, whispering in my ear, telling me it's going to be okay, but I'm either too frightened or it was too long ago to remember exactly what she says. Her hand grips my shoulder firmly, and there's a familiar quality to her voice that's somewhat soothing. The man's heels clack into the cloakroom and the gun cracks as he readies it for the next shot. The woman stands and I can tell by the air she moves with her that she's taken a step toward him. Her lips make a wet sound as if she's parted them, and she draws in a breath as if to speak, and then the gun booms─it's deafening─and she goes down. I scream and I go away. When I come back the woman is gone. So is the man with the gun. The classroom door opens with a whoosh. My breath catches in my throat and my heart thumps in my chest and I hear shoe clacks again…

Guest Blog: Read-Alikes Read-Alikes My latest novel, I Was, Am, Will Be Alice releases the week of 12 July 16. In the book, 9 year old Alice Carroll disappears from her classroom during a school shooting. She later learns she is able to time travel when under extreme stress, a situation she is determined to learn to control in order to go back to the day of the shooting to save the lives of her teacher and classmates and to discover the identity of the woman who sacrificed herself so Alice could live. Here are some excellent read-alikes, books with similar themes or in similar genres that have inspired me and my writing, especially with respect to I Was, Am, Will Be Alice. If you liked these books, you are sure to love Alice (and vice-versa): time travelers wifeThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger Life Henry, Alice travels through time, but due to a different genetic anomaly. Also like Henry, Alice's episodes of time travel centre around the most traumatic event in her life - being caught in a school shooting. Unlike The Time Traveler's Wife, Alice eventually learns how to control her traveling and tries to use it to prevent the shooting from happening. The novel is not primarily a romance, but rather, a coming of age story in which Alice learns that the curves life has thrown her do not have to define her. It is about a young girl coming to terms with her disability and using it to empower herself. alice in wonderlandAlice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Names and phrases were borrowed from Alice in Wonderland, but aside from my Alice feeling as if she's stepped into the bizzaro world of the looking glass, the story does not compare. I include Wonderland in this list with the hope that it might inspire my readers to go back and take a look at the classic work that inspired me, if not the story.     shining-girlsThe Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes In The Shining Girls, Kirby is the victim of a time traveler. She uses her traumatic event--nearly being murdered by serial killer, Harper--and her job as a reporter, to turn the event around and bring her attacker to justice. Like Alice, Kirby uses the curves life has thrown her to empower herself and overcome her past. In The Shining Girls, it is Harper who does the traveling through a door in a magical house. Kirby is assisted by fellow reporter, Dan, in her investigation and there are hints of a romance, much like Alice is assisted by Pete, and there are hints of a romance.   lovely bonesThe Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold In The Lovely Bones, Susie is raped and murdered. She spends the book in heaven, looking down on her friends and family as her murder investigation unfolds. Susie must come to terms with her death as she hopes her murderer will be caught. As the story progresses, Susie comes of age as she accepts her fate and learns of a clue that has been uncovered that will ultimately lead to the capture of her murderer. Alice is very much alive throughout the novel. The parallel here is the trauma and the need to come to terms with how the character's life has changed as a result of the trauma. As the character comes of age, she learns to use her trauma as a tool for empowerment, rather than defeat. half life of molly piereceThe Half-Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno Molly suffers from split-personality disorder. The book opens with a trauma - Molly witnesses a boy on a motorcycle as he is hit and killed in a car accident - and she doesn't know what to make of it. Because life around her goes on and each of Molly's personalities are only aware of half of it, she must learn to overcome her disability in order to figure out who the boy on the motorcycle was, to regain her memory, and to get better. In other words, like Alice, she must also learn to come to terms with her disability, and she eventually uses it to piece her life together, thus empowering herself so she can get well.

Author bio and photo: About Elise Abram: meElise Abram is high school teacher of English and Computer Studies, former archaeologist, editor, publisher, award winning author, avid reader of literary and science fiction, and student of the human condition. Everything she does, watches, reads and hears is fodder for her writing. She is passionate about writing and language, cooking, and ABC’s Once Upon A Time. In her spare time she experiments with paleo cookery, knits badly, and writes. She also bakes. Most of the time it doesn’t burn. Her family doesn’t seem to mind. Social Media Links: Here's where you can learn more about Elise and her writing:
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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Author Interview: D.L. Gardner, author of Ian's Realm Saga

With a passion for a good wholesome story D.L. Gardner also (Dianne Lynn Gardner) dives into the adult and young adult fantasy genres. She is both a best selling author and an award winning illustrator who lives in the Pacific Northwest, USA. Dianne loves a book that ignites imaginations, strengthens friendships, spurs courage and applauds honor. Though she targets her stories for young adults, her books are enjoyed by all ages.

Dianne was born in Ohio and raised in southern CA. She attended Northern AZ University and later continued her education in the Pacific Northwest. She's an oil painter, book illustrator, screenwriter and filmmaker. She writes under the names of D. L. Gardner and Dianne Lynn Gardner. Her dystopia novel Altered has hit the best sellers chart and her underwater romance, Pouraka is sure to spark interest. Newest to her collection is the hilarious vampire satire, An Unconditional Mr. Peadlebody.

Twitter: DianneGardner
Facebook: Facebook profile
Wattpad: DianneGardner
Smashwords:  (on sale in July)

Tell me about your fantasy books and where did you get the ideas for the books?

Ian’s Realm Saga is a story about a young man and his father as they discover a portal to another world through their computer. When they enter this magical land of pristine beauty, but deceptive evil, they are separated by sorcery and Ian is thrust into slavery by a dragon worshipping people and finally banished into the wilderness where he meets his enslavers’ enemies. As Ian grows older he battles the dragon, and seeks the mystery behind the twelve year old boy with a magic dagger.

Could you describe the mundane details of writing: How many hours a day to you devote to writing? Do you write a draft on paper or at a keyboard (typewriter or computer)?

I write my drafts on my computer. When I’m writing the draft I try to write at least 1500 to 2000 words a day, and that’s pretty much the same for rewriting and editing. I’m lucky in that I don’ t have another job. Writing and creating is what I do, so I can spend 4 to 8 hours a day writing easily, sometimes more.

What’s more important: characters or plot?

That’s a hard question because you have to have both, a good plot and intriguing characters. However, my stories are pretty much character driven. I think a somewhat shallow plot can be supported by well-rounded and deep characters, but I don’t think you can depend on just a good plot and have shallow characters. In fact, when I begin my outline, I start with character analysis. I don’t mean physical traits, but rather what’s inside them, their soul, what makes them who they are and why. Everyone in my novels has a backstory and sometimes I’ll write short stories about them as a blueprint.

How hard is it to establish and maintain a career in fiction writing?

If you mean financially? Next to impossible. I have a friend who has been an author with the big publishers for over ten years now and she is just now considering quitting her day job, and even still she’s doubtful. You have to have a passion to be a writer and more so a story teller. It has to be in your gut or you’ll be disappointed. You just can’t do it for the money alone unless you work ‘for-hire’.

You also write screenplays? Tell us about that.

I collaborated with a friend on a feature length screenplay of one of my novels (Cassandra’s Castle) two years ago and it came in as a semi-finalist out of 2400 entries. Needless to say I was encouraged. Since then I’ve entered the tough climb of filmmaking and instead of using that screenplay I’ve written a TV series, which we are currently seeking funding for. Just today I learned that the Pilot script for the series that I wrote won 2nd place at a film festival in Ohio (and the trailer came in first place). I’m also in the process of writing a stage and screenplay of my novel An Unconventional Mr. Peadlebody, the first act of which also won Best Mystery at a screenplay festival here in Seattle. I’m beginning to think there is more opportunity for writers in filmmaking, though I’ll never stop writing novels.

If you were to name one piece of clothing that describes you, what would you say?

It would probably have to be some sort of leather tunic. Loose and comfortable, rugged and fit against the weather, hard to tear with your bare hands (you’d better come at me with a sword- haha, I fence). Not real pretty, but gets better with age!!

If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?

Oh my! How about The Trials and Tribulations of an American Female ? I just made that up. I have no idea.

You have to wear a t-shirt with one word on it for the rest of your life. Which word do you choose?


Have you ever jumped out of a plane? If not, would you?

Absolutely not. I know. I should be braver than that but the risks I take are much more subtle and never are associated with fast falling movement.

If you could meet anyone from history, who would you meet and why?

C.S. Lewis. The man was a genius, filled with love and faith and wisdom and a child’s heart. I would love to chat with him, listen to his stories and his advice. Perhaps he’d even critique my work. That would be awesome.

Sing in the rain or dance in the streets?

Singing in the rain.

Name 2 things you consider yourself to be very good at.

I’m good at seeing talent in others. It’s why I’ve been able to get a wonderful crew and cast together for our production, and I’ve been thanked many times by young people for helping them see their gifts and encouraging them to develop them.

I’m also good at seeing and mixing colors. I’m an oil painter and even my students tell me they are amazed how well I know color. It comes natural to me.

Name 2 things you consider yourself to be very bad at.

I can’t make money.

Also I’m not a good housekeeper even when I try. That darn spot never wants to go away, it just jumps on to something else.

You are planning the most awesome dinner party of your life. Which 3 celebrities/historical figures (past or present) would you add to your guest list to keep the dinner talk interesting?

Johnny Depp, C.S. Lewis, and Winston Churchill.

Tell me about your next project?

I’m in the process of getting my novel Cassandra’s Castle ready for publishing.
Cassandra’s Castle is book 5 of the Ian’s Realm Saga, and it’s about Ian’s daughter, who years after her father returns, finds the portal to the Realm while taking photos with her cell phone. She time travels to another world and ends up in a turn of the century rebellion.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

New Release: Sir Percival and the Nightmare by Jason Pere

"A Nightmare has no power in a home where children are loved"

A heartwarming tale from author Jason Pere about the bravest teddy bear you will ever meet. "Sir Percival and the Nightmare" illustrates the importance of being brave for young and adult readers alike. Jason brings his unique style of storytelling to the table to reinvent the Children's literary genre.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Author Interview: Jenna Whittaker, author of Watership

My name is Jenna Whittaker and I am an Australian author who has been writing fantasy, science fiction, and horror novels for as long as I can remember! I have self-published 2 novels--1 science fiction and 1 fantasy, have finished the first draft of a 3rd, a dystopian fantasy (to edit and then publish later this year) and finally am currently writing the first draft of a 4th, another fantasy, about half-way done.

Check out my author blog:

1.                   Tell me about your fantasy books and where did you get the ideas for the books?
I have two novels that are published--one is fantasy, and one is science fiction. Both of these novels’ inspiration came from my dreams! I have a word document of everything that inspires me, and collect up a bunch of ideas that seem to fit together…put it in another word document and start the story!
My fantasy novel is the first one I ever wrote and finished, and is a tale of a world with a dimension of the gods, a man who is born in that dimension and sent to earth, a genetically engineered machine from the future that wishes to destroy his world, and more!
My science fiction novel is my second one, and tells of the last survivors of the human race, hiding inside the hollow earth, watched over by Crawlers--and eventually sent out into space to find a new world.

2.                   Did you have any goals for this collection when you wrote it — to get published, or just to finish, etc.?
I have always written because I love it, and because I think my brain would explode with ideas if I didn’t get them down! The feeling of accomplishment of having finished a novel was all that my goal ever was, but being published--even self-published--is even better.

3.                   What authors do you like to read? What book or books have had a strong influence on you or your writing?
I have a huge collection of fantasy (and some sci fi) novels, and I have always read them ever since I was young. I think that is what influenced me to start writing; first with cliché fantasy, and finally developing my own author’s voice and style into something unique!

4.                   Could you describe the mundane details of writing: How many hours a day to you devote to writing? Do you write a draft on paper or at a keyboard (typewriter or computer)?
I use my laptop and Microsoft Word--I don’t use anything fancy. Doing it by hand would probably kill me, though printing out a completed first draft and editing it in hard copy--heck, seeing the pages there, in real life, of what I’ve written is amazing enough--is useful. I have a goal of about 600-800 words per day on a draft, and that usually takes me about 30-60 minutes. It’s not long, but I find if I push myself to keep going, it slowly gets less fun and more like toil, with the words coming with more difficulty and eventually not really looking forward to it at all. I’m not writing as a job, I’m writing because I enjoy it!

5.                   What’s more important: characters or plot?
Both. I start with a plot and I fill it with characters that fit, but others do it the other way around. Honestly, a unique and fascinating plot goes hand-in-hand with well-written characters. If one of those aspects falls flat, so does the novel.

6.                   If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
Probably: ‘Why the Hell are You Reading This? Lady Didn’t Do Much Interesting’ with a subtitle of ‘You nosy bastard’. Yup, I think that’s perfect!

7.                   Have you ever jumped out of a plane? If not, would you?
I have! I wanted to for years, but I finally did it for my 18th birthday. It was amazing. I’ve always been a bit of a thrill seeker in some ways, and the complete opposite in others! I’ll go skydiving or abseiling off a cliff, but I’ll balk at doing something new in front of people, or public speaking…

8.                   Sing in the rain or dance in the streets?
How about dance in the rain? :D

9.                   Do you scream on roller coasters? Do you lift up your hands?
Nope. I’ve been on a rollercoaster, but I prefer to enjoy the ride, instead of spending the time shrieking! Each to their own.

10.               Tell me about your next project?

Currently I have 2 work-in-progress novels, another fantasy (kind-of sequel to my first fantasy, Dreamscape--same world, set 100 years in the future) and a dystopian fantasy (in an entirely unrelated universe). I finished the first draft of both, have their blurbs and covers ready…just waiting on beta reader feedback, doing my final edits…then I’m publishing them too!

Jenna's latest book is Watership. 

The world was dying, so scientists worked to create a safe haven in the centre of the earth; hollowing it out for the future generations to live safely.

When the creatures created to watch over the people detected the failsafe program had activated, and that their hollow world was about to collapse, they took them to a sentient, biological spaceship, set with the coordinates to take them to a new world.

But with the aliens who helped the scientists in the past having come back to change the course of the ship, things soon spiral out of control.

Buy on Amazon

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see other posts about Jenna and her books:

Saturday, July 2, 2016

New Release: Advantage by Jerusha Moors

A Sweet Regency Romance

Jamie Lennox, Duke of Carlisle, is looking for a wife, but has been turned down twice. Turning to work to distract himself, he decides to visit the rundown estate in Devonshire that he recently inherited from an elderly cousin.
Eleanor Mortimer is the vicar's daughter in the village of Sourton. Her father recently passed away and Eleanor knows that the new lord will be appointing someone in his place and she will have to leave the only home she's ever known.
Jamie has the advantage of her in station and background, but does Eleanor have an advantage in love?

Friday, July 1, 2016

Release Day: Parallel by Shana Chartier

Parallel by Shana Chartier has been released and is on sale at Amazon

Interactive Ramblings is the perfect mix of drawing the reader into the action and giving the author a writing adventure they won’t soon forget! Our innovative project will include six parts of 10,000 words apiece, each one continuing where the previous one left off. As they are completed, the sections will be published in e-book format and made available for $0.99. In between each installment, there will be a round of voting so the readers can decide how the next part of the story will be written.

Ava has finally found true love with her boyfriend, Mason, and her life is absolutely perfect. Until one night, during a casual kayak ride, the two of them are pulled into a whirling vortex under a bridge, and Ava is thrown into another universe where unicorns and fairies exist in the human world. With her alternate-universe self, Avalon, and an annoying hunter named Hunter, Ava must find a way to get back through the portal and to Mason. She is able to access another portal with the help of a witch, but when Avalon and Hunter tag along, there’s no way of knowing where they’ll end up next.