Dora Machado on The Curse Giver & Inspiration @DoraMachado #Fantasy

Image of Dora Machado

Can you please share with us a little about yourself?

My name is Dora Machado and I’m one of the few Latinas writing epic romance fantasy and dark fantasy these days. I was born in Michigan but I grew up in the Dominican Republic, an island that has a special place in my heart. I’m a graduate of Georgetown University, where I majored in history and got my first taste of the medieval history that inspires many of my worlds. I live in Florida with my wonderful husband and three cats, one of which spends most of the writing day—and night—with me. I have two incredible kids who are out braving and exploring the world. I’m the author of the award-winning Stonewiser series and my newest release, The Curse Giver, my first standalone novel.

How long have you been writing?

In my mind, I’ve been writing all my life, but I really didn’t settle down to write in the full sense of the word until about seven years ago, when, for the first time, I had the time and opportunity to write my stories

When did you decide you wanted to become an author?

Even in my earliest memories, I was fascinated by books. As a child, I made up stories in my mind all the time. My teachers called it daydreaming, but I remember it as character development and plotting. No wonder I had such trouble with sixth grade math!

It took me a long time to realize that those stories in my head were actually novels that needed to be written. By the time I figured it out, I was a wife and a mom and, with a full-time job, I didn’t have the time to write. But as my children grew older and more independent, I realized that my time to write was coming at last. And when it did, I seized it and now I plan to keep at it for the duration.

Do you read much, and if so, who are your favorite authors?

I love to read and I wish I had time to read even more. As a young woman growing up in the Dominican Republic, I was exposed to many different influences.  Books such as A Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosas, and the House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende left lasting impressions. In fantasy, I’m always dazzled by J.R.R. Tolkien, Stephen Donaldson, Frank Herbert, Robert Jordan, and George R.R. Martin. I also like Diana Gabaldon, Colleen McCullough, Bernard Cornwell and Anne Rice.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?

I’m most proud of my kids, my family and my books, in that order.

Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?

Well, I suppose I’m kind of a rare bird, a Latina who writes epic fantasy, an American who grew up in the Dominican Republic. I think my diverse life experiences bring a different perspective to the genre. I’m also an avid traveler and I get a lot of inspiration for my books from my travels. Perhaps because I’m a student of the world at large, I like to inject fantasy with a healthy dose of gritty realism. I’m also a mother, daughter, sister, wife and friend, and I believe that romance, family and complex relationships enrich a fantasy novel and make it real.

What was your inspiration for The Curse Giver?

I was doing research for Stonewiser: The Lament of the Stone, the third book of the Stonewiser trilogy, when I came across a picture of an ancient curse, written on a stone tablet. It was a protective curse, a warning, and it struck me as a very effective way of stopping someone from doing something, an attempt at law enforcement, justice and mind control, all in one.

I started to research curses and became fascinated by how pervasive curses are to the human story. I came across many different types of curses from all kinds of belief systems and from all over the world. Even though they were all different, they were also very similar.

Then one night I dreamed—yes, I know, it’s cliché, but it’s the truth—I dreamed about this bitter lord, the last Lord of Laonia, who was caught in the grip of a mysterious curse that had doomed his line. Based on this powerful image, I came up with my premise and my heroine. In order to save his people from destruction, the Lord of Laonia has to hunt a birthmark and kill the woman who bears it in a very foul, very wicked way—but you’ll have to read the book to find out what that’s all about.

My heroine, Lusielle, bears the mark that the Lord of Laonia hunts. She’s a powerful healer, on the run, accused of a crime she didn’t commit. She’s about to be burned for her crimes, when the Lord of Laonia saves her from the pyre. But he is not her savior. On the contrary, he’s deadly to her. So this is how the story begins, with Lusielle wondering if she should heal the bitter lord who is pledged to kill her and the Lord of Laonia set to kill the only woman who could heal not just his body but also his soul.

What sort of personality does your hero have?

I like to say that Bren is a type-A personality gone desperate. At the beginning of the story, he comes across as arrogant, brash and bitter. In reality, his dire circumstances have forced him to become a person he doesn’t like. As Lusielle soon discovers, beneath all the anger and hostility he is brave, honorable and determined. He will not quit, not even when facing dismal odds and overwhelming force. He is also smart, decisive and loyal. He has a brilliant strategic mind and he is not afraid to challenge injustice and defy tyranny. Above all, he is a good man, fighting extraordinary evil while trying to do right by his people.

What sort of personality does your heroine have?

Lusielle is smart, kind, trustworthy, warm and caring, a true healer in all ways, a healer of bodies, minds and souls. She is incredibly competent at her craft, an excellent remedy mixer who studies her ingredients, understands how they work, and is always trying to create new and more effective cures. She is also resilient, open-minded, and uses her good instincts to see beyond appearances, blind beliefs and assumptions. Perhaps most importantly, Lusielle learns from her mistakes and has the courage to take risks, even when those risks involve the dangers of a forbidden relationship with a cursed outlaw who must kill her in order to survive.

Can you share with us your current work in progress?

I’m currently working on several different projects, including a contemporary dark fantasy with a Latin twist and another standalone fantasy romance that takes place in the world of The Curse Giver. It’s not a sequel, not exactly, but rather a related novel. It’s currently called The Soul Chaser.  Also, the Stonewiser series is coming out in audiobook. The first book of the trilogy, Stonewiser: The Heart of the Stone, is already available at http://www.audible.com/pd/Sci-Fi-Fantasy/Stonewiser-Audiobook/B00F52CJIY/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1379186069&sr=1-1. Take a listen. It’s good, old-fashioned storytelling at its very best.

Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?

Give a new writer a try today. Try something different that you hadn’t considered reading before. Try fantasy, for example, and open your senses to the idea of new and different worlds. Reading is the fastest, most convenient way of traveling, and our minds really need to travel.

Curse Giver

Lusielle’s bleak but orderly life as a remedy mixer is shattered when she is sentenced to die for a crime she didn’t commit. She’s on the pyre, about to be burned, when a stranger breaks through the crowd and rescues her from the flames. Brennus, Lord of Laonia is the last of his line. He is caught in the grip of a mysterious curse that has murdered his kin, doomed his people and embittered his life. To defeat the curse, he must hunt a birthmark and kill the woman who bears it in the foulest of ways. Lusielle bears such a mark. Stalked by intrigue and confounded by the forbidden passion flaring between them, predator and prey must come together to defeat not only the vile curse, but also the curse giver who has already conjured their demise.

Award-Winning Finalist in the fantasy category of The 2013 USA Best Book Awards, sponsored by USA Book News

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Fantasy/Dark Fantasy

Rating – PG-18

More details about the author

Connect with Dora Machado on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.doramachado.com/

 

Advertisements

Author Interview – Colin Falconer @colin_falconer

Image of Colin Falconer

What movie do you love to watch?

I watch what I like to write – the big historical epics – Gladiator, The Last Samurai, Dances with Wolves, Gone with the Wind.

How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they a good thing?

I think they’re great to establish and develop connections with your readers. I love that I can talk to my readers now, it was so much harder than the old days when letters to my publishers would take weeks sometimes months to get to me. It’s also great to make connections with other writers. But I think there’s a real danger of spending all your time on social media instead of spending your time writing books. It can be a great time waster. Most writers procrastinated enough before social media came along!

How do you think people perceive writers?

People either think I spend all day drinking coffee, having deep conversations about Hemingway with John Grisham and driving supermodels around in a Ferrari or they look at me with genuine pity, assuming I survive on benefits. There’s rarely any middle ground.

What’s the reason for your life? Have you figured out your reason for being here yet?

That’s what writing is for.  Picasso said something about creating art to explain life to ourselves. I agree with that.

How do you feel about self-publishing?

I love self publishing. I have all my backlist re-edited and online now and it wasn’t available before, especially in the US. I can also publish ISABELLA instead of waiting for over a year for it to come out, I have control over marketing – though I don’t have the same marketing muscle, but hell, if the publisher only uses the muscle for a handful of authors, what difference does it make?  – and I can control the cover. I don’t get the editing but my current trad published book required very little so I’m confident I can go on my own these days.

Isabella

She was taught to obey. Now she has learned to rebel.

12 year old Isabella, a French princess marries the King of England – only to discover he has a terrible secret. Ten long years later she is in utter despair – does she submit to a lifetime of solitude and a spiritual death – or seize her destiny and take the throne of England for herself?

Isabella is just twelve years old when she marries Edward II of England. For the young princess it is love at first sight – but Edward has a terrible secret that threatens to tear their marriage – and England apart.

Who is Piers Gaveston – and why is his presence in the king’s court about to plunge England into civil war?

The young queen believes in the love songs of the troubadours and her own exalted destiny – but she finds reality very different. As she grows to a woman in the deadly maelstrom of Edward’s court, she must decide between her husband, her children, even her life – and one breath-taking gamble that will change the course of history.

This is the story of Isabella, the only woman ever to invade England – and win.

In the tradition of Philippa Gregory and Elizabeth Chadwick, ISABELLA is thoroughly researched and fast paced, the little known story of the one invasion the English never talk about.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Historical Fiction

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author

Connect with Colin Falconer on Facebook & Twitter

Website https://colinfalconer.wordpress.com/

Author Interview – Ava Zavora @avazavora

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?

I proudly call the San Francisco Bay Area my home. This region is so beautiful that it has become the primary setting for my first two published novels. Like Stephen King, who sets his novels in his home state of Maine, I feel most comfortable writing about a place I not only love but with which I am familiar.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

People in my life, strangers, the news, perhaps an overheard conversation in a cafe all have the potential to inspire me. I am a rapacious people-watcher and perk up when I hear or see something “novelesque.” Also, I get many of my ideas from reading nonfiction, such as memoirs and science books. Truth is stranger and more entertaining than fiction.

If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?

There is an early scene in the musical Moulin Rouge where Ewan McGregor’s character is pounding away on his typewriter in a Parisian garret while a troupe of bohemian performers dance in the room above him. Sad to say, that wildly idealized picture has always been my fantasy of a writer’s life.

If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?

I would kill to have been invited a real, one-of-a-kind gathering. Lake Geneva, June 1816. Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, and John Polidori were in a candlelit room together while a thunderstorm raged outside. They challenged each other to write a ghost story. Byron started reciting “Christabel” by Coleridge, which so frightened Shelley that he ran out of the room. Polidori was inspired to write the first English language vampire story called The Vampyre. And Shelley’s girlfriend, Mary? That night she came up with the beginning of a little something called Frankenstein.

Have you met any people in the industry who have really helped you?

My current editor, Orry Benavides, and I met in Facebook and were part of the same authors group. Although we have very different styles of writing, we clicked on an artistic level. So when it came time to choose an editor for Dear Adam, I trusted no one but Orry. He did a phenomenal job.

DearAdam

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Contemporary Romance

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author

Connect with Ava Zavora on Facebook & Twitter

Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.

Getting to Know #Author Rayne Hall @RayneHall #Horror #WriteTip

Image of Rayne Hall

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?

I grew up in rural southern Germany, near Lake Constance, the Black Forest, the Hegau Mountains and the Swiss border. I’ve travelled a lot and lived and worked in many countries – including China, Nepal and Mongolia  – and the experience of these landscapes and cultures has definitely influenced my writing. The story Turkish Night, for example, is inspired by bellydancing in Bodrum, while Black Karma is set in Nepal.

Now I live on the south coast of England, in a dilapidated town of former Victorian grandeur, near roaring waves clashing against chalk cliffs, cemeteries clustering around ancient churches, and medieval castle ruins washed by rain. All these places feed my imagination, and you will recognise some of them in Thirty Scary Tales.

 Where do you get your inspiration from?

Most of my horror story ideas come from my own fears – things that frighten me, places that creep me out, nightmares that keep me awake at night. Thousands of ideas flutter around in my head at the same time. Sometimes, two or three of those ideas click together like jigsaw pieces, and that’s when a story starts to form. The location is almost always one of the first pieces to click. I like to set my stories in unusual, atmospheric places.

The stories in Thirty Scary Tales are definitely inspired by places where I’ve lived and travelled – the streets of Nepal, the cliffs on the English coast, the stone circles of Cornwall…

Do you plan to publish more books?

I’ve had about fifty books published (under several pen names, in several genres, by several publishers, in several languages) and I’m definitely not going to stop now!

I’m already at work on several new titles: Writing Dark Stories for my bestselling series of writing craft books, an anthology of dragon fantasy stories, a collection of steampunk stories, another collection of horror stories, a sequel to my bestselling dark epic fantasy novel Storm Dancer, and more.

What other jobs have you had in your life?

While I’ve been writing professionally for over thirty years, I’ve also always done other jobs at the same time: teaching adult education, journalism, magazine editing, consulting… even weird things like belly dancing and tarot reading. I was  a museum guide,  development aid worker, a trade fair hostess, a bilingual secretary and an apple picker.

Sometimes the writing has been my main job, sometimes a sideline, but I’ve always written, and I’ve always done something else. I need the variety.

The great thing about these jobs is that they feed my fiction.  In the Thirty Scary Tales collection, the story Turkish Night is about belly dancing, and The Painted Staircase is about a guided museum tour, and they ooze authenticity.

If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?

Hmm – if there’s a programme combining archaeology, ancient history, mythology and literature?

How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?

I find switching between different ways of writing stimulates my creativity. Sometimes I use a laptop, sometimes I type with an Alphasmart, sometimes I write by hand. For longhanding, I like ruled hardback A5-sized notebooks and coloured gel pens.

I write at a desk at home, in quiet coffeeshops and (weather permitting) in parks or on the beach.

Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?

Thirty Scary Tales is a collection of creepy, atmospheric, unsettling stories. They’re the suspenseful, psychological, disturbing kind of horror, not the violent gory kind. However, I wouldn’t recommend the book for young readers without parental guidance.

It’s a compilation of volumes 1-5 of the Six Scary Tales series. For this book, I wrote a paragraph  for each story about where the inspiration came from. Fans tell me they love these insights into the author’s mind.

The collection includes some of my most popular stories, including The Bridge Chamber (which some readers say still scares them years after reading it) and the award-winning Burning.

What’s your next project?

I’m always working on several projects at once. Right now, I’m revising a steampunk story about a werewolf  in a funicular railway car and a fantasy story about an introvert dragon. I’ve started another book for my bestselling series of writing craft books for authors, a practical guide titled Writing Dark Stories. I’m also writing a sequel to my bestselling dark epic fantasy novel Storm Dancer. And of course I’m writing more horror stories! I like having several projects on the boil at once, so I can switch between them and never get bored.

When and why did you begin writing?

When I was six, I told the teacher that the stories in the school book were stupid and I could write better ones. She challenged me to write a story about a letter’s adventures from writing to delivery. When I handed it in, she was startled that a six year-old could write so well. Of course, she didn’t know I’d had the help of my older sister. From then on, when the other kids had to read the dull pieces for their homework, she often assigned me to write stories, and I soon learnt to do it without my sister’s help.

When did you first know you could be a writer?

As soon as I discovered that there were people who wrote books I wanted to become one of them.

Who designed the cover?

I commissioned an artist, Xteve Abanto, to paint an image for Thirty Scary Tales. I didn’t want the usual blood-dripping axe and gory grinning head so often seen on horror covers, because my stories aren’t violent and gory. Creepy, atmospheric, spooky, attractive, eerie, scary… that’s what I asked Xteve to convey visually. He came up with this head of which he says “It scared the shit outta me.”

Which of the stories in Thirty Scary Tales is the scariest?

For me personally, it’s The Bridge Chamber. It scared me so much while I was writing it, I had to stop for several days before I found the courage to continue.

Do you get nightmares?

To a horror writer, nightmares are a gift. What frightens us in our sleep is surely going to scare our readers when they’re awake.  I use the dreams as raw materials for stories, changing the plot to make it plausible. However real dreams feel when we have them, in the cold light of day the events aren’t always believable, so I change them. However, I try to stay faithful to the core idea of the dream, and to capture that scary feeling.

Several stories in Thirty Scary Tales are inspired by nightmarish dreams, including The Painted Staircase where I dreamt that I was getting pulled into a shipwreck painting.

Where do you write?

I live in a seaside town in the south of England. My writing desk faces the window, so on sunny days I see the sun dancing like diamond sparkles on the sea surface. In the autumn, I watch the storm whip the water into a dark frenzy beneath angry clouds. Often, the view is mist-veiled or streaked with the rain’s silver drizzles.  I love the sounds of the wind lashing against the wall, raindrops drumming on the glass, and seagulls screeching in the wake of the dawn fishing fleet.

I also write outdoors when I can, taking pens and a notebook with me to parks, gardens or the beach. Coffeeshops are also inspiring places to write – I confess that I often eavesdrop on other people’s conversations and use them as inspiration for the stories I write.

What’s your favourite social media network?

Twitter. I’m very active there, sharing #writetip tweets and interacting with my fans. Unlike many people, I’m genuine. I don’t use any kind of auto-tweet, auto-thanks, auto-retweet, auto-response and such, and I don’t post constant buy-my-book tweets.  I respect my followers, and they appreciate it. I have over 40,000 followers, and I value every one of them. If you tweet that you’ve read this interview, I’ll follow you back: @raynehall.

Thirty Scary Tales

Thirty creepy, atmospheric stories by Rayne Hall.

The horror in these stories is spooky, creepy, unsettling and sometimes disturbing. It is not very violent or gory; however, the stories may not be suitable for young readers without parental guidance. PG 13.

This book is a compilation of volumes 1-5 of the Six Scary Tales books. It includes the acclaimed stories Burning and The Bridge Chamber.

All stories have been previously published in magazines, ezines, collections and anthologies. British English.

Stories in collection include:
The Devil You Know, Greywalker, Prophetess, Each Stone A Life, By Your Own Free Will, The Bridge Chamber, Only A Fool, Four Bony Hands, The Black Boar, Double Rainbows, Druid Stones, Burning, Scruples, Seagulls, Night Train, Through the Tunnel, Black Karma, Take Me To St. Roch’s, Turkish Night, Never Leave Me, The Colour of Dishonour, Beltane, The Painted Staircase, I Dived The Pandora, Terre Vert and Payne’s Grey, They Say, Tuppence Special, Disturbed Sleep, Normal Considering the Weather, Arete.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – Horror

Rating – PG-13

More details about the author

Connect with Rayne Hall on Twitter

Getting to Know #Author J.L. Myers @BloodBoundJLM #PNR #YA

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/G/01/ciu/76/59/2171cba245260ad8986c39.L._V380953060_SX200_.jpg

Tell us about your family?

My family consists of my husband and my son. I still have both my parents (divorced back when I was 4) and a step mother…not the evil kind, she’s actually am amazing woman. I have a number of half and step siblings, 2.5 sets of grandparents still alive, and so many aunties and uncles that I couldn’t count or even name them all. Though to my defence, some live in the Europe and I’ve only met them back when I was one.

How do you write – lap top, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?

I write everywhere and on whatever is available for me to write on. If I plan to write I’ll usually use my laptop and get comfy on the couch. On the flip side, if I’m writing new ideas about new stories or characters, I’ll grab my notebook and pen down the details. I have also gotten used to carrying pens and blank sheets of paper or tiny notebooks with me at all times when I’m out. For some reason, and usually when I’m driving, amazing and awesome things occur to me and I just have to pull over to write them down. These things range from scenes I’m currently working on to completely new ideas for a character or plot.

Where do you get support from? Do you have friends in the industry?

I am slowly meeting new people in the industry from other authors to editors etc. In the future I hope to have a great network of friends who I can offer support to and them to me. Right now though my main support comes from my family, my biggest cheerleaders being my husband and 4-year-old son.

How much sleep do you need to be your best?

Years ago I used to need 9+ hours, and even that were never enough. Fortunately these days 6-7 hours is plenty and instead of waking groggy and wanting to keep dozing, I’m instantly into my day.

Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge and thank for their support?

I’ve said it a million times, and will probably say it a million more. Thank you to my loving and supportive husband and 4yo son. The birth of my son and suffering postpartum depression was the catalyst that ignited my need to write, to have an outlet to work through pain and darkness. Even at 4 his support through excitement means the world to me. And my husband is my rock and the confidence I need when mines lacking. Without them I wouldn’t be where I now am today.

Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?

I think success in writing is putting yourself out there and being able to touch the lives of random strangers with your writing. You don’t have to be J.K. Rowling or a New York Times Bestseller. For me, just knowing I’ve reached an audience and have people who love what I do is true success.

It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?

I combine a concoction of social media, free eBook promotions, and am now launching this book tour. Other things I do is keep my website up to date, post author blogs and book news from my website, connect with readers and other authors, and get my book on as many online sites as possible, like Goodreads, which is also a great place to let readers know about your work. Marketing is a continual process, and I am still learning and discovering new ways to find people who’ll love reading my books.

Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?

What Lies Inside is about Amelia’s development from believing she’s human to accepting that she is and always has been a vampire. The novel delves into Amelia’s self-alienation in believing she’s not worthy as a person, and the progress of finding total and accepting love with a guy who was raised to hate and kill her. Elements of betrayal play along with Amelia’s self-discovery and a surprise twist turns her journey into a battle of life and death…

Why did I write What Lies inside? Following the birth of my son, via emergency C-section and with the onset of postpartum depression after many resulting issues, I got heavily back into reading. It was my escape from reality. The only problem was that the stories I was reading didn’t speak to the pain I was feeling. So I had an idea, a last stitch effort to reach out for something to hold on to.

This was my light bulb moment.

I would write my own story, the story I wanted and needed to read, and a story where the turmoil of my current and previous struggles were the driving force.

That day the first words to What Lies Inside were written, and something amazing was started. More than an escape, the determination to write this story gave me a purpose. It became a channel to take everything I was feeling—the anger, the regret, the despair, the betrayal, the disappointment and the loneliness—and turn it into an outlet that helped me through one of the darkest periods of my life.

For the full blog article visit: http://bloodboundnovels.com/where-it-all-began/

When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?

I love to read, paranormal romance currently, but also urban fantasy and any kind of supernatural themed books, especially series. I’m much more likely to give a new book a go if it’s a series over a stand-alone. I also get into shows like TVD, Supernatural and The Gates, though with always feeling the itch to keep on writing, I don’t take too much time out to watch these shows. Writing always comes first.

Do you have any tips on how writers can relax?

Find a book, TV show or movie that you love, take a load off and let your mind recharge. Spend time with family and away from your writing. Even though for me this doesn’t stop me thinking about whatever writing I’m currently working on, it usually gives me perspective and new insight by giving my mind time to discover little writing gems rather than trying to force them. Also I find that if I’m tired and getting stuck, I can sit and go around in circles for ages and get nowhere. Making time to walk away and relax always gives your muse the space and creative power to find the answer you’re looking for.

How often do you write? And when do you write?

I write just about every day, though I’ll usually have Sundays off. I tend to start writing in the mornings straight after breakfast, when yesterday’s ideas have had time to stew and my hand is itching to kit a keyboard or pick up pen. Each day I set goals, either word count, number of scenes or chapters, depending on whether I’m writing draft or doing revision and rewrites. I try to take a break around every two hours, and on days when my son’s at kindergarten I can keep going until mid afternoon, which is usually when my brain is feeling pretty fried and fatigued.

Do you have an organized process or tips for writing well? Do you have a writing schedule?

From taking the revision course How To Revise Your Novel, I have developed processes that have vastly improved my writing, especially from first draft. In the beginning I split a story idea into scenes and write a single sentence that encompasses what’s important in that scene. When I have all my scenes down to sentences I’m ready to start writing with a clear idea of the whole story that I’m trying to tell. There are many other aspects and steps I go through from draft to final book, and I strongly recommend Holly Lisle’s above course if you’re a writer who’s finished a book and needs help with revision. She also has other writing courses and they are all worth a look at.

Sometimes it’s so hard to keep at it – What keeps you going?

My love for writing and having set a goal to complete the Blood Bound Series is one major thing that keeps me going. The other is the readers. Every time I get an email, review or new website subscribers, I am reminded that there are people out there that love what I’ve created and can’t wait for the next instalment.

What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?

I hope that apart from loving the story I have created along with my characters, that people will find a deeper connect with their own lives. I hope people will see that even when everything is falling apart that there is still hope, that being different (no matter how much) doesn’t make you less of a person, and doesn’t mean you don’t deserve love and acceptance. I hope people come away feeling like they do have someone in their life that has and always will be there for them, and that no matter what, they will never be alone. But in the end I hope people find their own meaning in what I’ve created, a positive that can change, influence or help an area of their lives that they’re struggling with.

What Lies Inside

Amelia Lamont never asked to unleash her inner vampire

Amelia’s normal teen world is shattered when a terrifying nightmare awakens the monster inside her. A newfound, insatiable thirst for blood that leads her to drain the school quarterback is only the beginning; she’s horrified to discover that her family and best friend Kendrick have been harboring the secret all along. And is the strangely alluring boy who seems hell-bent on curbing her murderous, blood-filled desires a friend, or foe?

To escape detection Amelia and her twin brother Dorian are forced to move to a new town, and the challenge of a new, exclusive high school where nearly every classmate smells like prey. Including the irresistible Ty, who seems hauntingly familiar, yet darkly menacing …

Amelia’s disturbing dreams and entanglement in a web of forbidden romance render her increasingly powerless against the chilling lies and secrets of vampire power struggles. And, as she soon discovers, vampire politics mixed with outlawed love can be a lethal cocktail.

Falling in love may just cost Amelia everything: her friends, her family…even her life

Move over Twilight, True Blood and Underworld! J.L. Myers’ first book in the Blood Bound series will have you swooning for more!

Warning – This book contains some language and sexual situations.

YA/ Vampire/ Paranormal Fiction

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – YA Paranormal Romance

Rating – PG-13+

More details about the author

Connect with  Jessica Myers on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://bloodboundnovels.com

Author Interview – Harriet Hodgson @healthmn1

Tell us about your new book.

Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss is my latest book. It’s a concise grief recovery resource for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one or friend. From the first page to the last, Happy Again! assures the reader that happiness is possible and lists proactive steps he or she may take to achieve it. This is my 32nd book and I’m proud of it.

Tell us a bit about your family.

In 2007 my family changed after four family members — my elder daughter, father-in-law, brother, and former son-in-law – died within nine months. My daughter died from the injuries she received in a car crash. None months later her former husband died from the injuries he received in another car crash. His death made my twin grandchildren orphans and my husband and me GRGs, grandparents raising grandchildren. The twins were 15 ½ years old when they moved in with us. Today, they are 21 years old and seniors in college. Nurturing, caring and loving my grandkids has been the greatest blessing of my life.

How do you work through self-doubts and fear?

One week after my daughter died I turned to my occupation, writing, to recover from multiple losses. In fact, I made a promise to myself: “I will write my way through grief.” I’m a health and wellness writer and his promise changed the focus of my writing to grief recovery. Eight grief resources have come from this promise. More important, I’ve met national grief experts and many other parents who have suffered the death of a child. No doubt about it, my life is richer because of these people.

Why do you write?

I write to learn new things and figure life out. As a non-fiction writer, I’m always researching and reporting on topics. In other words, I’m learning constantly and I love it.

Location and life experiences can really influence writing. Tell us where you grew up and where you now live.

I grew up in Great Neck, Long Island, the location of the United Nations before it moved into New York City. Some UN delegates sent their children t the high school I attended and I enjoyed meeting them. I attended Wheelock College in Boston, MA and took my graduate training at the University of Minnesota. Rochester, MN is my current home and I love it. Patients come to Mayo Clinic, Rochester from all over the world.

happyAgain

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Non-fiction

Rating – G

More details about the author & the book

Connect with Harriet W Hodgson on Twitter

Website http://harriethodgson.com/

Author Interview – Pepper Winters @PepperWinters

What are you most proud of in your personal life?

Being able to say I’m a published writer and chased my dream and never gave up J Cliché I know but completely true.

What books did you love growing up?

I loved Diana Gabaldon—the Crosstitch series. I also loved Jean M Auel—Clan of the cave bear. They were just such fabulous series that I fell in love with the characters

Who is your favorite author?

Laini Taylor for her style of writing. I adored her book—Daughter of Smoke and Bone

What book genre of books do you adore?

I’m going through a contemp romance stage at the moment, but I LOVE darker readers, paranormal, urban fantasy. Everything goes really, but sci-fi. I’m not a lover of aliens J

What book should everybody read at least once?

Tears of Tess J Some shameless self promotion. On a serious note…probably The Great Gatsby J

Tears of Tess

Tess Snow has everything she ever wanted: one more semester before a career in property development, a loving boyfriend, and a future dazzling bright with possibility.

For their two year anniversary, Brax surprises Tess with a romantic trip to Mexico. Sandy beaches, delicious cocktails, and soul-connecting sex set the mood for a wonderful holiday. With a full heart, and looking forward to a passion filled week, Tess is on top of the world.

But lusty paradise is shattered.

Kidnapped. Drugged. Stolen. Tess is forced into a world full of darkness and terror.

Captive and alone with no savior, no lover, no faith, no future, Tess evolves from terrified girl to fierce fighter. But no matter her strength, it can’t save her from the horror of being sold.

Can Brax find Tess before she’s broken and ruined, or will Tess’s new owner change her life forever?

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords

Genre – Dark New Adult Contemporary Romance

Rating – PG-18

More details about the author

Connect with Pepper Winters on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.pepperwinters.wordpress.com/

Author Interview -Tarah Scott @TarahScott

What color represents your personality the most?

Purple

What movie do you love to watch?

My favorite movie is It’s a Wonderful Life.

How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter?

Are they a good thing? Love social media! Facebook and Twitter have been very good to me.

If you could do any job in the world what would you do?How do you feel about self-publishing?

I think self-publishing is wonderful. Some of my books are self published. The trick is to treat self publishing with the same professionalism you would if you were traditionally published.

How important are friends in your life?

Friends are very important to me. We all need good friends.

Do you find the time to read?

I sure do, though not as much time as I’d like.

What is your favorite quality about yourself?

I’d say my determination.

My Highland Lord

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Historical  Romance

Rating – R

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Tarah Scott on Facebook, Tarah Scott’s Reader Group & Twitter

Website http://www.tarahscott.com/

Author Interview – Jim Musgrave @OMalley_Mystery

Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?

I wrote this trilogy because I wanted to get into the Steampunk genre.  Therefore, the first three books in the Detective Pat O’Malley historical mysteries bring my sleuth ever closer to meeting the main adversaries, the Steam City Pirates.  Technically, only the third novel, Jane the Grabber, features an authentic Steampunk villain, but all of the novels do feature elements present in the genre and aficionados will appreciate them as well.  I hope my marketing campaign will introduce new readers to this interesting genre of fiction, so I can gain a following all my own.  Please read my blog post on this topic.

Do you have an organized process or tips for writing well? Do you have a writing schedule?

Writers can watch for my daily “Sweet Writing Tweets.”

What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?

I hope my readers will enjoy learning about history as they are entertained.  I spend many, many hours on historical research for accuracy.  I weave it within the plot like a fine tapestry, and the result (hopefully) should be an overall feeling of satisfaction by the reader.

What’s your favorite meal?

Chinese food, specifically my own version of Chicken Chow Mein.  Y’all can write to me for the recipe.

What color represents your personality the most?

Red

Jim Musgrave

Here are all three suspenseful mysteries in one book!

Forevermore, the first mystery, was a #2 bestseller in Amazon’s Historical Mystery category. It has received outstanding reviews from readers, and it establishes Pat O’Malley as a detective sleuth par excellence. The second mystery, Disappearance at Mount Sinai, continues the development of the characters amidst an excellent caper. The third mystery, Jane the Grabber, plunges O’Malley into the middle of the Steampunk world, and it marks a turning point in the novels to come.

Forevermore Synopsis:

“Musgrave mixes accurate history with a spell-binding plot to create an amazing who-done-it! Watch for more Pat O’Malley Mysteries.”

In post Civil War New York City, Detective Pat O’Malley is living inside Poe’s Cottage in the Bronx. O’Malley is haunted by Poe one night, and the detective finds a strange note. As a result, O’Malley decides to prove that Edgar Allan Poe did not die in Baltimore from an alcoholic binge but was, instead, murdered. O’Malley quickly becomes embroiled in a “cold case” that thrusts him into the lair of one of the most sinister and ruthless killers in 1865 New York City.

Jim Musgrave’s “Forevermore” is a quick read in four acts that will keep your mind razor sharp trying to solve the mystery of Poe’s murder. Pat O’Malley must first find out how to become intimate with females before he can discover the final clue in this puzzle of wits, murder and romance.

Disappearance at Mount Sinai Synopsis:

What if the anti-Semites, racists, and terrorists wanted the final revenge following the Civil War? How do you stop them from committing the worst atrocity?

It’s 1866 in New York City. Civil War Vet and Detective Pat O’Malley’s biggest case returns him to the deep, dark South to search for the kidnapped wealthiest inventor and entrepreneur in America. But the widening gyre of anti-Semitism and racism pulls him down into the pit of hell itself. Disguised as an Oxford England Professor, O’Malley infiltrates the anti-Semites’ group and travels with his partners, Becky Charming and his father, Robert, down to a Collierville, Tennessee mansion.

At the crux of this case are a Jewish father and his five-year-old son, Seth. They have developed a unique bond that relies on Jewish folklore and a belief that they are Mazikeen, half-angel and half-human, born from the loins of Adam’s strange female cohorts during the 130 years he was banished from the Garden. Will O’Malley find Dr. Mergenthaler before it’s too late? What does this world-wide eugenics group have planned for the mongrel races? Read Jim Musgrave’s Disappearance at Mount Sinai, the second mystery in the series of Pat O’Malley Mini-Mysteries.

Jane the Grabber Synopsis:

What was it like before women were given rights to determine their own destinies? How was abortion and birth control used in the 1860s? What happens to a society when the last sexual taboo is permitted? Find out in the third mystery in the Pat O’Malley Historical Steampunk Mystery Series, Jane the Grabber.

Buy Now @ Amazon @ Createspace

Genre – Historical Steampunk Mystery

Rating – PG13

More details about the author

Connect with  Jim Musgrave on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://contempinstruct.com/Forevermore/

$250 Amazon.com gift card giveaway

Author Interview – D.A.& M.P. Wearmouth @dampwearmouth

Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?

M – Building up experience of writing to improve after each book.  A successful trilogy followed by a new book.

D – Creating something that you can be proud of, and that others can hopefully enjoy. I’m sure there are thousands of undiscovered books out there, that are equally as good as most things in the top one hundred on Amazon.

It is vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing, tell us about your marketing campaign?

M – We tried to get some traction initially by marketing to friends and family alongside other ebook promotions.  We reduced the price to 99p and the book ranking seemed to cause further momentum.

D – Exposure on the Amazon rankings is pretty key, but it’s quite hard to achieve. I think having an eye catching cover, a blurb that creates interest and a good value price are three key elements to having a successful campaign. Hopefully the right readers are targeted by placing the book in the correct Amazon categories, and also placing the book in the right genre when submitting to an online advertiser.

Tell us about your new book? What’s it about and why did you write it?

M – First Activation is an EOTWAWKI thriller.  It’s about two characters who find themselves thrown into the new world and change due to circumstances and experiences.  We wanted the story to be unveiled so that the reader only knows what the narrator, Harry, knows.  It’s a journey that the reader takes with Harry through his here discoveries and more will be revealed as the next book progresses.  Harry doesn’t assimilate everything along the way so there are breadcrumbs for the careful reader.

D – Pretty much what Marcus says, we wanted to come up with something original. There’s a risk involved when doing this, but so far people have seemed to enjoy the story. We’ve had a lot of questions about when our second book is coming out.

If you could have a dinner party and invite anyone dead or alive, who would you ask?

M – Tony Blair to try and penetrate his politician outer layer.

D – Winston Churchill, he was supposed to be great fun over dinner and loved a decent drink. I’d love to know what drove him.

When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?

M – Socialising, golf, movies.  I’m also in Harrogate Round Table which involves charity work.

D – Going out to eat and drink with family and friends, I live for it.

Do you have any tips on how writers can relax?

M – Put down the laptop and go outside.

D – Clear you head of any thoughts surrounding post-publishing until you finish the final draft.

How often do you write? And when do you write?

M – Intensely during periods and then intermittently.   No particular time as it has to fit in with life in general.

D – I’m also a bit of a binge writer, I can write for five days running, knocking out fifteen thousand words, then close the laptop for a few days and clear my mind.

First Activation

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Horror/Science Fiction

Rating – R

More details about the authors

Connect with  D.A. & M.P Wearmouth on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://dampwearmouth.com/

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.