Emmanuel M. Arriaga ~ Author Interview

Emmanuel M. Arriaga grew up in the inner city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From a young age, he was obsessed with fantasy and science fiction. Breaking the shackles of a low-income life, Emmanuel developed an interest in science, technology and engineering. He went on to graduate from Pennsylvania State University with a Master’s in Information Science.

For almost a decade, Emmanuel has sought to share his vivid imagination with the world, learning the art of story crafting and eventually becoming an award-winning author. With a love for travel, gadgets and volunteering, Emmanuel is enjoying life and helping others.

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Author Interview

Do you read yourself and if so, what is your favorite genre?

I’m an avid reader, I think it’s hard to be a good author if you aren’t. I love science fiction and fantasy, although I have historically biased more toward fantasy than science fiction. I grew up reading epic fantasy novels and that influenced much of my early writing. I love the intersection of magic and technology, it’s an area that is hard to write without falling into the trope of technology until we need to do something impossible and then magic to save the day. I love the novels that build strict rules into their magic that fit nicely into a sci-fi world based on science. In these instances, magic moves away from being this deus ex machina and instead complements the story because you know the limitations of what is possible. The old Star Wars expanded universe is a great example of this.

Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?

This depends on what type of writing I’m doing. If I’m creating a new story or a new chapter, I write best with music. I have tailored pandora radio stations specifically for writing. Certain kinds of music really get my creative energies flowing and I fall into a trance like state that allows me to do my best work.

If I’m editing, I need silence, this is mainly due a habit I have of reading things aloud to make sure it flows wells. I view creating something from scratch as fun, editing as work. Don’t get me wrong, I love editing, but I also view it as work and don’t attempt to tackle it unless I have a higher level of energy than I typically need for writing.

Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?

I focus my attention on a single book until I’ve completed that specific draft (i.e. 1st draft, 3rd draft, etc.) and then I’ll switch to another novel to be able to come back to the prior novel with fresh eyes. This usually means I have multiple novels in different stages (e.g. 1st draft complete of novel a, 3rd draft in progress for novel b, 5th draft ready for final review of novel c, etc.)

I try and do a minimum of 5 or 6 drafts before I’m ready to move something to the publication stage with a professional editor. Usually with each draft, I have different goals in mind, so subsequent drafts are typically handled much quicker, requiring less edits.

If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?

This is a hard question to answer. I think the only answer I can give is for shared creative universes, things such as Forgotten realms, Blizzard entertainment, Star Wars, etc. It would have been cool to be tasked with creating the war of the ancients in the world of warcraft universe. We all had a rough idea of what happened during that time, but the novels really did a great job defining the details and building up a narrative for the events leading up to destruction of the well of eternity. Having some set event that you’re responsible for building up to and being given the creative freedom to define the events surrounding what happened would be an interesting experience. It would be a bit hard for me because nothing in my writing is sacrosanct, so I could change a major plot point or story idea because I come up with something better. Having this restriction would be a new experience.

I do plan to play around with this concept in prequal novels within my Foundra Universe, major events have already been established in my current novels, so going back and writing about those events will force me to do this.

Pen or typewriter or computer?

Computer hands down. I’ve been using a computer for most of my life and was an early internet user back in the 90s so my typing speed surpasses anything I could do with pen or typewriter. I grew up having debates on AOL instant messenger which trains you to type fast and accurately.

Tell us about a favorite character from a book.

One of my favorite characters in the book is a side character named Marcus Henson. He’s this big genetically enhanced super soldier who is a tempest on the battlefield and incredibly powerful. He’s also super friendly and like a big teddy bear off the battlefield which endears him to many of the main characters. I’ve had a lot of different plans for Marcus but his primary story arc ultimately plays out in Pride of Ashna. I’ll be honest and say it wasn’t originally what I had planned for him when I dreamed up his character back during the creation of the first novel, but I think fans will understand why I decided to take his character in this direction. This is an example of where the character spoke to me through the writing process and ultimately made a decision that was different from what I had in mind and I just went with it.

What made you want to become an author, and do you feel it was the right decision?

Funny enough, becoming an author was never a dream of mine growing up. It was never a career path that I considered or something that I intended to work toward. I went to college, got a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in a completely different profession that I still enjoy to this day. What ultimately led to me writing goes back to a conversation I had on a school bus in my senior year in high school.

I had a friend who I rode the bus with who was as much into fantasy and sci-fi as I was. We used to talk all the time about different books we were reading or things that interested us (we were also into yu-gi-oh cards which was the style at the time). One of the final days before the end of the school year, I started sharing with my friend this sci-fi universe that I had been daydreaming about since I was younger. I went into detail, outlining the major characters, this futuristic society, and the history of this galaxy. It was the first time I had ever shared my private imagination with another human being, and it filled me with excitement. He was hooked on every word I was saying, and I started drawing attention from other students on the bus. I didn’t realize it at the time but many years later after the rush of college was over and I was a working professional in the career I had chosen, that moment came back to me with crystal clarity.

I realized that I was a storyteller and that my imagination was meant to be shared with others. I immediately started writing down that universe and years later, it culminated in what became my first book, Foundra. I also started writing down every dream I had, every moment of inspiration and instance where my mind started crafting unique stories or situations. Writing things down enabled me to retain the moments of inspiration so I could come back later and do something with them. Looking back, I also give lots of credit to my creative writing teacher in high school. That was the most enjoyable class I had in high school which should have been a sign to me at the time! It was in that class that I learned the process of taking creative inspiration and putting it into words. I don’t remember her name, but I wish I could chat with her today and share what her teaching enabled in my life.

A day in the life of the author?

My day is complicated, I have two young boys who are bundles of energy that constantly crave attention. I also hold board positions for non-profits and have a full-time job in the technology industry that demands a lot of my time. Being an author usually fills just a couple hours (if I’m lucky) of my day. The only rule I have is write every day, whether that’s 30 minutes or 4 hours is up to the random nature of my days!

Advice they would give new authors?

Two main things, one for authors who have yet to finish their novel. Finish that novel, get it over the hill. Sometimes people get stuck on chapters and let that stop them from finishing their novel. I think in those moments, you need to write something down, even if it doesn’t fully capture what you’re trying to accomplish and make a note to yourself to come back to it. It’s more important to get to the end of the novel and officially notch off your first draft than it is to leave it in an uncompleted state. Editing is always easier for improving something than working with nothing.

For the new published author, welcome to the world of marketing. You’ll need to get good at this to be successful. I’m so sorry. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that what you wrote will immediately draw readers and make you successful. This is rarely ever the case. You must get good at selling, which is hard if you’ve never sold anything in your life. It’s even harder to sell your own work for some reason, I think this has to do with rejection and us personally feeling rejected when people aren’t interested in something we’ve poured our hearts and souls into. You must get over that and move on, they aren’t rejecting you, that specific book just may not be for them and that’s okay.

Describe your writing style.

Editorial reviewers have commented that my writing has deep thematic threads woven into my prose that is commonly lacking in sci-fi. This is probably due to the way my brain works, everything is interconnected for me and I’m a natural systems thinker. It’s how I remember things and I’m not surprised that this comes through in my writing. Those reviewers have also mentioned that my writing is “smart and clean, with expositional elements slowly introduced throughout the prose, rather than the author subjecting readers to lengthy passages of procedural information,” which I interpreted as I don’t have the bad habit of dumping information on people to “catch them up” so I can continue telling a story. I hate it when authors do that in books, and I usually don’t retain all of whatever it was they just tried to dump on me.

Personally, I just try to relay the movie that’s playing in my head as I write, and I focus on improving the prose more and more until it flows as naturally as I envisioned it. I’m constantly looking at ways to improve my writing and love working with experienced editors who are just as passionate about my books as I am.

What makes a good story?

A good story is one that makes you feel something. You can have the most interesting characters, the most impressive plot, or the most technically proficient writing in the world. But if your story doesn’t elicit an emotional response, it’s forgettable. I have teared up at certain scenes that I’ve written in my books and even gotten angry at characters as situations have unfolded. I put emotion into my stories, and I care about what happens. It’s not just a narrative, it’s a view into another world with characters who have their own lives with motivations, desires, and fears. I think the best storytellers are ones who make you forget that it’s not real.

What are they currently reading?

Right now, I’m reading The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. It’s been on my list for awhile as I was a huge fan of the Mistborn series and his other works Elantris and Warbreaker. I’m also on a quest to read as much classic sci-fi as I can and just recently finished I, Robot by Isaac Asimov.

Emmanuel is the author of the Science Fiction, Space Opera Series: Foundra!

Foundra (Foundra Book 1)

The Huzien Empire has existed for 80 millennia and a powerful invisible force known as the enesmic permeates every aspect of the Twin Galaxy.

Neven is an engineer working for the pinnacle of scientific achievement known as the MinSci on the Huzien homeworld of Thae. His genius draws the attention of one of the immortal Founders and he finds himself drafted into the military as part of an elite group of special forces known as the Founder’s Elites. Not given much time to adjust, his team is called to investigate stories of otherworldly creatures attacking fringe colony worlds.

Soahc is the most powerful wielder of the enesmic in the Twin Galaxy, he’s also incredibly cocky. That is until he senses a powerful shifting in the enesmic that he can’t explain. Terrified that something is horribly wrong, Soahc leaves his comfortable planet and hitches a ride with Neven and the Founder’s Elites as they investigate the carnage on the fringes of the empire.

Neven, Soahc and their allies discover something ancient from another plane of existence. Something that exposes the fragility of their galactic empire as they fight to survive annihilation from enesmic beings.

Pride of Ashna (Foundra Book 2)

In the Outer Rim, a lawless region of space filled with violence, a young girl vows vengeance against the marauding pirate bands who brutally murdered her family.

After enlisting with the zealous matriarchal Ashna Maidens who attempt to police the Outer Rim, Serah’Elax quickly becomes a powerful weapon.

Meanwhile, a ruthless pirate band has taken over a cruise ship deep within Alliance space. They run into unexpected trouble when they encounter a few members of the highly trained force of military specialists known as the Founder’s Elites, who happened to be vacationing on the vessel. Disturbed by the boldness of the pirates, the Alliance tasks the rest of the Founder’s Elites with dealing a powerful blow to the marauders, who normally operate in the Outer Rim, once and for all. However, they quickly discover that things in the Outer Rim are not as expected.

The young warrior and Founder’s Elites must come together to face an extradimensional threat left over from the Rift War that seeks to turn the last bastion of safety in the Outer Rim into something that could threaten the entire Twin Galaxies. Will the new allies have the cunning necessary to defeat this insidious threat or will it tear the Ashna Maidens apart from the inside?

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

I am excited to have been able to interview Emmanuel M. Arriaga, author of the Foundra series.

An Interview with The Brummet Media Group!

Lillian and her husband Dave are the team behind Brummet Media Group, high-fiving cheerfully as they pass each other on the way from checking off one item or other from their long to-do list.

Their business includes Dave’s music studio and percussion accessory products and graphic design work as well as numerous award-winning non-fiction books and popular blogs. Today we help them celebrate their latest book release – From One Small Garden, offering over 300 delicious, nutritious recipes!

Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation?

Here at Brummet Media Group Dave and I wear many hats. Dave is a drum teacher, hosting workshops and private lessons in the Angle Hill Studio located in the lower half of our home. He also designs drum and percussion accessories (watch for our new online store later this year) and he offers drum repairs. When we have enough excess supplies he tours as many school music rooms as he can, volunteering his services to improve their percussion situations. Dave is also involved in a couple of small bands, one provides rock tunes for parties and the other provides background percussive music for smaller and quieter gatherings and events.

I assist Dave where I can in his endeavors and I manage our 2 blogs, deal with members of the media and manage our social media as well. I take care of appointments, greeting new students, cleaning common use areas before and after every appointment/meeting/jam. I am a passionate gardener and sell some of my excess seeds, plants and preserves (jams, jelly, syrup, dried herbs, relish, etc.) in the corner gift shop we set up in the studio or via online FB groups for local gardeners. I’m also a homemaker, managing almost all the household duties – Dave does his fair share of repairs, manly maintenance, walks the dogs, vehicle and appliance maintenance, all that kind of manly stuff. I used to be so much more energetic and once ran online talk radio shows, and did reviews professionally, but now-a-days I have slowed down to a pace I can easily manage.

What is your family like?

I have 2 older brothers who each bore 2 sons and I have one Aunt from my mothers’ side and her family. Larry is a business owner, installing kitchens in high-rise buildings in the Vancouver area (BC, Canada). My other brother works in pest management. My aunt is a retired nurse, actually she taught other nurses. They are all people I admire, for different reasons. Larry is very proactive and motivated about running a business and being a great father. Gary is the brain of the family, knows a lot of languages is constantly involved in some form of education and has travelled a great deal. My aunt was very accomplished in her career and I really admire how high she climbed, how professional she is, how supportive she has been in our lives. We all live very far apart and so FaceBook messaging and emails are pretty much our level of communications. I’m pretty hard to get ahold of by phone because I don’t answer it when I’m involved in something and I’m often involved in something. lol

If it doesn’t bother you, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?

My mother kept us fed and clothed, she hid our poverty from us – but it was a difficult upbringing. She married 4 times, but found happiness in her 4th marriage. All us kids were on our own too young, 14-16 years old, and we all have had to deal with various damage due to traumas we experienced in our youth. I think we’ve turned out ok though. 🙂

Do you have any hobbies, other than writing? What do you enjoy doing?

I love to read – too much. That’s why my eyes are fading on me. ugh. Therefore, I’ve turned to audio books for the most part via YouTube mainly and have thoroughly enjoyed this variation of experiencing books.

I spend a lot of time gardening, preparing for garden season, dreaming about gardening and dealing with garden harvests. My dogs are the love of my life (besides my handsome hubby of course)… and kitty Korma too.

My favorite activity is simply being in the yard, or on the deck, listening to the world and watching the busy bees.

What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?

I suppose if I was to change anything about myself it would be my impatience with others and my impulsive desire to accomplish something constructive. It is hard for me to relax. In fact, relaxing is very hard work… unless it is a summer day and I have a cold drink in hand. I’d also erase the Anxiety Disorder I suffer from.

What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?

I had been encouraged by teachers, friends, family, but never took it seriously until 1999 when I started to look at writing as a real career that I could actually participate in. It took a lot of courage to submit work, at first, but over time I came to know what I could offer, where I shone, and focused on that.

What is your greatest fear?

The thought that my husband will die or become chronically ill is so terrifying. We both dealt with caregiving for our parents and watched them suffer. My mother committed suicide over her chronic illness and depression. I came to depend on my husband more and more as time passed – I can’t imagine life without him. I’ve had a few friends pass away recently, leaving the other spouse behind and it brought such dramatic changes to their lives – including selling their home and belongings and relocation. Yeah, that is my greatest fear.

Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?

This question actually made me laugh out loud and now my dogs are looking at me like “What? Crazy lady!” I guess I interrupted their nap. They are being so good, letting me work on this without interruption. Yes, I have 3 bookshelves filled with books I have read more than once, some of them a dozen times. Tolkien’s series, of course… I’ve worn out several copies – they started to fall apart and so were replaced… a few times. Startide Rising, Ovum Factor, Troll Hunters… I’ve read these at least a half dozen times.

Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?

No. I never have chosen a book based on the cover, or by reveiws for that matter. I found most reviews are not unbiased, those seen online are often friends or family or paid reviewer services. That’s not to say there are not legitimate reader reviews out there – of course there are as we have pages and pages of reviews on our site showing this. However, even if a review is legit – it is only an opinion. Books, like art, are so very personal. I’ll give any book a chance as long as it is not romance, erotica, political, racist, is well written, and if it holds my attention beyond the first chapter then I’ll finish it.

What is your favorite film based on a book?

African Queen is my favorite movie -based on a book – Rat Race is my favorite comedy though. There’s a great book made into a movie staring John Travolta: Battlefield Earth. Also I loved the movie: Enemy Mine.

Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest book release and your writing process.

Tell us about your most recent book release.

Thank you for asking this. From One Small Garden – Over 300 Delicious Nutritious Recipes is loaded with interesting historical and nutritional information, this is more than just a recipe book – it is a way of treating yourself to the healthy delicious rewards of one small garden. It also encourages purchasing locally produced foods, visiting farmers markets, reduces food waste and helps people save money too. 

Available @:  AMAZON USAhttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B08T7YRHPN  – OR AMAZON CANADAhttps://www.amazon.ca/dp/B08T7YRHPN

How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)?

Dave is our book cover designer – he also creates our ads, audio, manages the website, comes up with imagery for our blogs and for the media, and for all our publicity from bookmarks and flyers to magazine photos.

The way Dave explains it: “The significance of the book is to guide others on how to cook some great food with fresh wholesome ingredients that you could potentially grow yourself or get from a local market or farm gate. I intentionally designed he cover to catch the eye of gardeners and portray the journey from harvest to plate. From One Small Garden’s cover was a process that evolved over the years. By the time the final title was decided on the concept of what we wanted to portray was clear – How to cook with fresh produce. If you look at the front cover closely, in the background is an image of our actual garden ghosted out with dishes of prepared food in the foreground – from the garden to plate in a sense. The back cover concept is similar but with images of our freshly harvested produce in place of the food dishes. All from one small garden – is what we have lived for the past 30+ years as a life style and a health choice and we know it saves a bunch of money while having you eat like royalty. “

Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)?

I tend to listen to music that will not distract me – so no rock, no lyrics, nothing too sleepy either. Sometimes I’ll put on a fireplace track from YouTube or Netflix and just let that run in the background.

How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?

Towards Understanding came from the journey of moving past the trauma of a difficult childhood and learning my life could have value, that I could contribute something valuable in this world. Rhythm and Rhyme came from our experimentation with creating rhytmic poetry. Trash Talk came from the fact the series deals with helping people realize the value of their waste, and how to manage it and save a heck of a lot of money. Purple Snowflake Marketing came from the concept of making your business marketing efforts stand out like a purple snowflake in a snowstorm of others who have the same aim as you. And From One Small Garden was chosen for our collection of recipes because it is based on the harvests we have gotten from our garden space.

What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?

I think I use a little of both methods. I tend to rush out my ideas on paper and then organize it. I’ll think about choosing a writing style based on who I’ve determined the reader will likely be and then plot and plan where to go from there. I never write to the reader, talk above them, talk at them, lecture them… I try to come across as if we are visiting and just having a great conversation… but that takes knowing your audience.

Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing?

The greatest challenges for me come from a slight dyslexia issue. I write sentences backwards, sometimes a bit Shakespearean, and I have trouble spelling words when I am in a hurry – I’ll write them how they sound. So I have to be very careful, slow down, re-read, read out loud and then have hubby proof what I’ve written. It takes longer, and can be frustrating as I can lose patience with myself… but it has not been a roadblock.

Are you a self-published/Indie author or did you publish through a traditional publishing company?

Both. Originally, back in early 2000, we went with traditional publishers, then small publishers, and today we are self-published through Amazon. Authors have to be flexible in this ever-changing career. They also need to be proactive in learning their craft and the business activities it involves. It isn’t always advisable to go out pn your own as a new author, having a publisher that walks you through the process is beneficial. However now that we have been in the world of writing for 22 years, and have worked as members of the media as well, we feel we have a good handle on the situation and can manage our work ourselves.

What’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?

My eldest brother (Larry Towne) gave me great business advice when we were first starting out, and in one of our conversations he said something along the lines of: “figure out how you can stand out like a purple snowflake in a snowstorm of others who are trying to reach the same goals as you are”. Perhaps my approximation of what he said is not an exact quote, but it was the best advice I ever heard. The best marketing plans will include the answers to: What makes you different, special, worth listening to, worthy of their time, and how can you become memorable to them? Anyway, that advice led to the title of our Purple Snowflake Marketing writer’s advice book. It is in fact a compilation of all the business and media experiences, all the best information we gleaned from numerous courses, conversations, interviews and individual research for over 2.5 decades… all in one book. While the last release was back in 2012, it is still relevant today – in fact it is the guide I follow for every new book, service or product we release.

What advice would you give someone who wants to start writing?

Never make anyone work for anything. Know what the next stage is, what you need to prepare, have it ready before going on to the next step. Have everything you do link back to your blog, website, social media, etc. Treat your writing as a business, keep books for the taxes and learn about the various write-offs you may be able to take advantage of.

Where can your readers follow you? Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts.

Visit the Brummets via any of the following links:

Blind Date by Raquel Anne #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Blind Date (Perfectly Stated Series) by Raquel Anne ~ Genre: Contemporary Romance

Life for Rory Pehrson had taken many unexpected turns, but never in a million years could she have predicted that she’d be raising her sister’s baby at the age of thirty. To top it off she had to live with the man she held most responsible for every bad turn in her life that had happened in the last six months.

When Rory’s boss-slash-bestie decides to voluntell her that she’ll be joining a dating site with her, Rory concedes only out of pure exhaustion. What she doesn’t know is that this single act will take her on one more major life roller-coaster.

In the end, Rory must make an ultimate decision that could finally break her and leave the remnants of her spirit in tatters…or mend her, heart and soul.

**Only .99 cents!!**

Goodreads * Amazon

Introducing Raquel Anne, the romantic side of author Rachel A Olson.

Rachel A Olson resides in rural Northwestern Nebraska, along with her husband, three children, two cats, and a yellow lab. She is a bit of a workaholic with a full-time day job, working as a freelance graphic designer and formatter in her spare time, as well as squeezing in her writing. Rachel is also passionate about her faith and stays involved in her church as much as she can. She enjoys the quiet outdoors, loves to travel, and often craves spicy foods. She considers herself to be a helper by nature and wants nothing more than to see other artists succeed in the areas they are most passionate about.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Would you like a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Blind Date by Raquel Anne.

Blood At Dusk by Brenna Harlow #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Blood at Dusk (The SoulBlood Series Book 1) by Brenna Harlow ~ Genre: Vampire Paranormal Romance

Will she forgive him of his sins, or fight their bond until her last dying breath?

Kora was left alone when the world crumbled, and the bloodsucking monsters invaded.

The vampires killed her family, her friends; everyone she had ever loved.

She waited for the moment they would enter her hideaway and snuff out her miserable existence for good. They never came though, and the revelation that she would be alone was too much… until she saw him.

Aldeon finds himself in a world that isn’t his own.

A place filled with so much of the crimson liquid that keeps his species sane, that even he cannot resist feeding.

Dhampirs have been ravenous for eons, delving into madness as their minds grew weak with hunger. But now he is full again, left to await the time when the others return to their senses and join him.

A single scent dissipates all of his newfound revelations, and suddenly the tantalizing aroma is all that he can think about.

Everything changes when he gazes into the terrified eyes of a human woman, and another instinct takes hold.
Protect. Serve. Mate.

“Adult fans of Twilight and Darklight by Bella Forrest will love this new Vampire Paranormal Romance.”

Content Warning: This book does contain mature themes, such as but not limited to; sexual content, suicide and suicidal ideations, violence, and strong language. Not suitable for ages under 18+.

Goodreads * Amazon

Brenna Harlow (if that’s even her real name) lives happily in her own fantasy land, drinking way too much coffee and reading an endless amount of smutty paranormal romance. She joined the land of the living only to share her love for the creatures of the night, and henceforth has claimed her throne at the Kingdom of Vampires and Fated Mates.

You can find Brenna in any coffee shop that provides free Wi-Fi, drinking her triple shot espresso and stabbing her keyboard to death.

Facebook * FB Group * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Would you like a chance to win a paperback of Blood at Dusk + Swag Pack or a $15 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Blood At Dusk by Brenna Harlow.

Guest Post – Author interview with Brenna Harlow!

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Brenna Harlow (if that’s even her real name) lives happily in her own fantasy land, drinking way too much coffee and reading an endless amount of smutty paranormal romance. She joined the land of the living only to share her love for the creatures of the night, and henceforth has claimed her throne at the Kingdom of Vampires and Fated Mates.

You can find Brenna in any coffee shop that provides free Wi-Fi, drinking her triple shot espresso and stabbing her keyboard to death.

Facebook * FB Group * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads


  • Where were you born/grew up at?

Born and raised in Northern Georgia, on the cusp of Alabama and Tennessee. I’ve lived in North Carolina briefly, but otherwise I’ve stayed close to my roots. Would I love to move to the snowy mountains of Colorado? Yes. But could I manage being that far away from my family? Eh, probably not.

  • What do you do to unwind and relax?

I read, and read, and read. Or I’ll fill the tub up and soak in a hot bath. If my kiddo is at her grandparents, I’ll stay in until the bath water gets cold and then fill it back up again. Something about the hot water calms my nerves, and it’s easy to immerse myself into my books.

  • How to find time to write as a parent?

Simple, write while she plays, eats, and sleeps. Haha. We take walks, and go outside. I read her bedtime stories at night, and watch Disney movies with her. She knows when Mommy is working she has to go and play with her millions of toys inside of her bedroom.

  • What inspired you to write this book?

I would say that reading a million books with tropes that I loved inspired me to write one of my own. Also, vampires have always and will always be my favorite creatures of the night. I cannot help it. It’s ingrained in my soul. I grew up on Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, The Vampire Academy, True Blood… I may or may not enjoy blood and biting tropes LOL.

  • What can we expect from you in the future?

I have the next two years pretty much outlined. So this year, I will be releasing the first FIVE books in The SoulBlood Series, one surprise novella that links to The SoulBlood Series, and one super secret anthology project. I’ll be releasing a demon romance standalone in 2022, and finishing off the SoulBlood Series (seven books total). We’ll see what happens after that. 🙂

  • What book do you think everyone should read?

I always, always recommend anything by Ruby Dixon. If you are new to her, please go pick up Ice Planet Barbarians. It’s the start to my ALL TIME favorite series! If you aren’t into sci-fi romance, you can try out her Fireblood Dragon series!

  • How long have you been writing?

I, like many others, have been writing since childhood. I think it all started when I was in middle school, and I became obsessed with the now-famous Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer. I wrote my first original story, about fated mates and high school romance, around that time. I started taking writing seriously in 2019, when I started writing on Wattpad for practice and found out that my writing was actually not that bad and something other people might enjoy.

  • Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?

Um, yes! Of course I read, how in the world would I get better at my craft otherwise? My go-to tropes are fated mates, captive romance, protective/possessive alpha males, anything with vampires, blood bonds, yadda yadda. I’m a hardcore romance reader and writer, through and through.

  • Do you have a favorite movie?

I don’t have a single favorite movie, but I have a favorite genre/sub-genre of movies. Any guesses? Haha, I love horror. Way over the top love, lowkey obsessive. If I don’t indulge in at least one horror flick a week, then something is wrong. My favorite sub-genre of horror is creature films, whether that be zombies (my all-time fav) or aliens, vampires, werewolves, etc.

  • As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

As a person, my spirit animal is most certainly a raccoon. Funny story, I actually rescued and rehabilitated one as a teenager. They’re kind and very similar to a cat, though a little less domesticated. But as an author who writes about vampires, I’ll go with a bat as my spirit animal. Anything that sucks a little blood and only comes out during the night totally fits my aesthetic.

  • What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?

I do a ton of market research before writing. I’ll pick up a few top sellers and read them, analyze the tropes, and find out what makes readers gravitate towards that particular book. I’m an avid reader, so my market research is normally just my leisure reads. Before I begin plotting, I outline my characters like crazy. If they are professional NASA scientists, then you best believe my search history is all about what the heck a scientist at NASA does. Most of my plot is all about romance, suspense, and horror/tension. I don’t need to do much research on that, but places, environment, weather conditions… Yeah, authors do a ton of learning with each new project.

  • Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely. Writing good books is a profession. I am constantly learning new things about the craft and the business side of this career, but it has never been ‘just a hobby’ for me. (Okay, maybe when I was a kid it was a hobby, but not anymore.)

  • Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?

I prefer to write listening to sounds. I have a playlist that I listen to on Spotify called ‘Lofi Beats for Ghosts’ and it has single-handedly gotten me through almost every draft I have ever written. When I go in to revise and do line edits, I normally turn on my WIP playlist. Current band obsessions are Haley Henderickx, Big Thief, Modest Mouse, Fleet Foxes, Grouper, and a ton of other indie rock/folk tunes.

  • Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?

I’ve found that I work best when focusing on one book at a time. I normally section out blocks of the month and devote those days/weeks to my WIP. Same goes with revising, if I’m editing one book, I find it difficult to be drafting another. I’m just weird like that.

  • If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?

I’ll most certainly get tons of shade for this, but if I could take Stephanie Meyer’s place and write Twilight the way it should have been written, i’d do it in a heartbeat. Or maybe Rachelle Mead… Her Vampire Academy series gave me life while I was in middle school. Props to her!

  • Tell us about a favorite character from a book.

So when I was in my late teens, I read a book called Stray by Rachel Vincent. It’s a steamy paranormal romance about werecat shifters, and the FMC Faythe Sanders gave me so much life. She’s strong, knows what she wants (kinda), and kicks ass. It’s so hard to pick a single favorite character from all of the amazing books I’ve read, but she is high on my list.

  • A day in the life of the author?

*Opens front door* Hello, and welcome to a day in my life. *Gestures wildly to the debris of toys that cover the living room, put there by one tornado of a toddler.*

In this home, we drink coffee non-stop. Here, have an espresso. *Shoves cup of triple shot into your hands* Let’s get on with the tour! Oh, don’t mind my messy bun and leggings, I always look like this.

Here is where you’ll find my computer, which currently has sixteen tabs open, most of which serve as a distraction from the writing I need to be doing. Never mind all that, hows your coffee? *Child screams in the background*

You get the gist.

  • Advice they would give new authors?

Just don’t stop, and do not get caught up in all of the marketing advice that can easily consume all of your time- time that would be better spent just writing the damn book. Write, and write more, and for the love of all things holy, please do not create your own cover. Yes, you need an editor. Yes, you need a marketing plan- but only once you have the book! Or multiples, if you want to try your hand at rapid releasing. Do NOT get caught up in all of the marketing tactics like I did. Yes, you need to know them. However, you don’t need to know them all in the first month. Slow down.

  • Describe yourself in 5 words or less!

Witchy, Moody, Anxious, and Nerdy.

  • Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?

Why yes, I’m glad you asked! Sometime at the end of the year, I have plans for a novella featuring my two main characters for book one. 😉 I’ll leave it up to the imagination on what exactly it’s about, but here’s a clue. “Happily Ever After can be rounded, by two.”

  • Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in (Name of book)?

Of course! Book one, Blood at Dusk, follows the life of a woman named Kora and a Vampire named Aldeon. Their paths cross, of course. (It wouldn’t be a love story without that, haha). Kora was a Senior at Nashville State Community College before the end of the world came. She was a vegan, bookworm, and partied with her sister on the weekends. Nowadays, she deals with a lot of anxiety and grief (as to be expected).

Aldeon is a vampire from the world know as Azure. He doesn’t remember how he, or his people, got to earth. His mind has cleared from the fog of bloodlust, but his species is still mad, tearing through the human and animal population on this new planet. He wants to help the, but when he meets his fated mate- a human, he has to choose. Save her, or stay true to his kind.

  • What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

My most favorite thing about writing this book was sharing my struggles with a select group of writing friends. They have grown into an amazing community who lends a helping hand to all those who need it. Without them listening to my endless rants, I don’t know what I would do. I especially wouldn’t have been able to get this book written without my amazing friend and critique partner, Winter. I owe this all to her.

  • How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?

The concept for this series was a combination of reading a dragon series that I loved (the male main characters inspired my dhampirs’ protective/possessive/alpha nature) and a dream. Daydream might even be a better world. For a whole month, I would lie in bed and visualize the scenes, and then the next day I would write them. It really was a beautiful process.

  • If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Psh, I already have. I wrote this book in a month, and then rewrote it completely a few months later, and then sent it through betas and rewrote pieces of it again, and then changed things one more time before my editor got ahold of it. It’s as good as I can make it at this point.

  • If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Kora would most certainly be Emilia Clarke, and Aldeon would probably be… Hm, maybe Joseph Morgan with long black hair. *shrugs* Aldeon is a hard character to cast.

  • Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Yes, for sure. My books are not meant for young readers, and there are very mature themes involved. Also, I hear a lot of smack about ‘weak’ heroines. Let me be clear, my characters may seem weak in the beginning (I mean they’ve survived an apocalypse, I feel like they deserve a little credit for that already) but each and every one of them turn their weaknesses into strengths by the end of the book. This is called a character arc and for me, it’s important.

  • What is your favorite part of this book and why?

Haha, all of the steamy scenes are my favorite. And anything with heightened emotion. The dream about Cece (my FMC’s dead sister) made me cry on my first reread, and then the scenes with Aldeon when he’s super sweet and loving towards Kora… ❤ Heart melts.

  • If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

I would say Aldeon, because he’s a hottie, but I feel like that betrays my sisterhood with Kora. I’m weird and totally think of her as a BFF. So, I’d choose to spend my day with her. Maybe we would go and scavenge a book store, or talk about all of the beauty in life. I think she would appreciate that conversation.

  • Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?

They come from my imagination, though I feel like I may inject parts of my self into them at times. Like Kora enjoys books and is an animal lover. Those are totally quirks of mine. She’s also a little bit softer spoken, which is totally me. Aldeon is super protective, and overthinks sometimes. Also me.

  • Have you written any other books that are not published?

Yep! I’ve written 4(ish) that have never been published, and three novels that were published using my legal name. I’ve unpublished those books, and hope to one day rerelease them under this pen name. 🙂

  • If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?

Blood orange, or maybe strawberry lemonade. Or forest scented, mixed with a tinge of vanilla.

  • What is your writing Kryptonite?

Nitro Cold Brew from Starbucks. And I need to have a candle lit before I begin writing. Don’t ask me why, I just do.

  • What is your writing process? For instance, do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first? What are common traps for aspiring writers?

I do a basic outline. I like to know what ‘beats’ I need to hit, and I know how the story starts and ends. Those points never change while I draft, but before each chapter, I do a summary. Things change while I write, but I roll with it. I’m not sure what I would do without a simple outline.

  • How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It takes me a month on average to write my first draft. Most of my drafts tend to be around 45-50k. After that, I’ll decide how much needs to be rewritten and then focus on that for another month. At that point, the manuscript is normally clean enough that I can manage a couple of weeks of self edits before sending it to my editor. From the first line to hitting publish, it normally takes 2-3 months. (That is for a full length novel.)

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Brenna Harlow, author of Blood At Dusk.

Soul Symphonies by Stephanie Ayers #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Soul Symphonies (Children of Chaos Series) by Stephanie Ayers ~ Genre: YA Supernatural, Coming of Age

Rhyme has a secret. Something magical happens every time she plays her violin. But until she meets Cath, the newest student in her school, she thought the secret was hers to bear alone. Cath is a beautiful and talented boy she can’t help but fall in love with. Can she trust him with her secret?

Cath’s flighty parents decide it’s time for him to face the real world. When he meets the equally talented Rhyme in band class, his self-confidence is shaken, and his life is turned upside down. Questions play like a concerto on repeat through his mind. Who is she? Where did she come from? Why is she so different from everyone else? Outcast, bullied, and determined, Cath will stop at nothing to find the answers, even if it means tearing her apart.

Growing up is hard. Growing up fairy is even harder.

Goodreads * Amazon

Stephanie Ayers is the word whisperer where horror and fantasy collide. An international bestselling author with a trunk full of tricks thanks to a checkered past, she haunts Irish castles and snowy mountaintops in her dreams while living the unicorn life in Ohio disguised as a human. When she isn’t listening to the voices in her head, she spends her days as a mom, gramma, cat mom, avid flea market shopper, and Netflix binger, while avoiding housework and zombies at all costs.

To find out more about Stephanie’s daily living and all about her books and writing, subscribe to her newsletter: https://www.subscribepage.com/o6e0l9

Her favorite quote is: “The blank page is a canvas on which the writer paints a story.”-Stephanie Ayers

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Would you like a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Soul Symphonies by Stephanie Ayers.

I’ve Started A Podcast…

NINA SODEN – #TheRedheadedAuthor Speaks… I’ll be sharing readings of some of my micro-stories; talking about my experiences as an indie author; the writing process, self-publishing, marketing ins and outs, and my latest work(s) in progress. I’ll also be interviewing other guest authors to bring in a different perspective.

BREAKER * PocketCasts * Google Podcasts * radiopublic.com
COMING 4/30/2021
COMING 5/7/2021

Be sure to subscribe to the Podcast, so you never miss an episode!

MOB RATBAG by L.R. Starr #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Mob Ratbag by L.R. Starr ~ Genre: New Adult Romantic Suspense

Rat ta tat tat. I’m just a ratbag on a bike. 
Living for the freedom of my wheels. Boston.
She’s my turf and I ride her like a well-tricked pony.
I ain’t doing sh*t wit my life and I ain’t shit.
Money, bikes, cars, girls, and four years at Lexington private school.
My destiny is already carved out for me, but what if I don’t wanna?
Then Chantelle came along… The goody-two-shoes from the Eastside. She ain’t like the others looking for a bad boy like me.
She’s no pushover and I like that.
She loathes me and it makes me want her.
I’m gonna make her mine, except I got this little family business problem…
Once you’re in the ‘familia’ there’s only one way out, and if I’m gonna get the girl…

Come join the emotional ride through Lexington private school to see if Chantelle and Sam can make it through. 

**Only .99 cents!!**

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L.R. Starr is a lover of mysteries, witty dialogue, suspense, romance, and fantasy. If you like to travel through your books strap in for the ride she’ll take you across the country.

When she’s not I’m writing she’s usually exploring, and coming up with yet another devious plot or pursuing her other love which is painting and drawing. Enjoy the bedlam friends!

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Would you like a chance to win a Mystery Swag Box? Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about Mob Ratbag by L.R. Starr.

Everdal Update #8…

Update #8 April 28, 2021

GENRE: YA/NA Fantasy
Status: Writing First Draft
Days in current Status: 93
Days of actual writing: 19
Current Word Count: 40,890
Current Chapter Count Complete: 16
NEXT STEPS: Complete first draft - Estimated completion date: 5/31/2021

What Happened?!?!

I haven't written a single word in two weeks...

My minds been muddled.
My mouth has gone dry.
My eyes can't see and my body aches.

Words come in overloading waterfalls.
Images crowd my vision.
Time passes to quickly and I can't catch up.

Tonight, I tell myself.
Tomorrow, I say.
14 days gone already, how many more can I chance?!
Photo by Sam Kolder on Pexels.com

Chasing the Sun Duet by Kaci Rose #giveaway

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. That means, when you purchase a book using an Amazon link on this site, I earn an affiliate commission. All commission earnings go back into funding my books; editing, cover design, etc.

Sunrise (Chasing the Sun Duet Book 1) by Kaci Rose ~ Genre: Contemporary Romance

When you’re labeled as a Hollywood Playboy, you can’t do anything right.

I can’t go out for a simple drink without the press having a field day.

And I definitely can’t help my coworker’s wife home when she gets too drunk without the studio threatening my contract.

My manager decides to send me across the country to a small beach town. He rents out the whole Sunrise inn since it’s the off-season, and I’m told to stay out of trouble.

When a steady relationship seems to be the only way to save my career, can I convince Lin, the curvy bombshell inn owner, that pretending to be my girlfriend will be a great PR move for the inn too?

And to make matters worse, a storm washes out the only bridge, leaving us stuck together on the island.

Too bad my heart didn’t listen that this was just a fake relationship.

With my job in Hollywood and my heart at the Sunrise inn, what the hell am I going to do?

This is a Steamy, Fake Relationship, Small Town, Beach Romance. No Cliffhangers. 
This is Book 1 in the Chasing The Sun Duet. 
As always there is a satisfying Happy Ever After.
If you love steamy romances with insta love, hot love scenes, a bad boy, small towns, and beaches, then this one is for you.

Goodreads * Books2Read * Amazon

Sunset (Chasing the Sun Duet Book 2)

No matter what I’m not opening up my heart again, even if he’s great at warming my bed.

Jasper blew out of town taking my heart with him. He swore he’d never come back. Last I heard he was some famous chef in a big city.

Then I’m at the farmer’s market and there he is in vivid color. So, I do what any sane person would do, I throw a kiwi at him and leave.

Then a storm blows in washing out the only bridge off this island and now we are stuck together.

To make matters worse? My chef quits and the only option I have is to bring in Jasper per his mother’s suggestion.

Oh, and our mayor is trying to turn our small town into a major tourist spot, my best friend is in a fake relationship with a Hollywood Movie Star, and I just saw Jasper with his shirt off.

How did my life get here?

No matter what I’m not opening up my heart again, even if he’s great at warming my bed.

This is a Steamy, Small Town, Beach Romance. No Cliffhangers. 
This is Book 2 in the Chasing The Sun Duo. 
As always there is a satisfying Happy Ever After.
If you love steamy romances with insta love, hot love scenes, small towns, and beaches, then this one is for you.

Goodreads * Books2Read * Amazon

$25 Gift Card to eBook Store of choice  (Amazon, Apple, Google, Kobo, Barnes and Noble) Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Kaci runs on coffee, chocolate, and Oreos. She loves her book boyfriends with tattoos, muscles, beards, and a little dirty.

Kaci loves romance books and has been jotting down ideas since she was in high school and is now putting the ideas down on paper. She believes in satisfying, happily ever afters with a lot of steam on the way.

She was born and raised in Southwest Florida but is wholeheartedly a mountain girl. She has been reading as many books as she could get her hands on since grade school and loves to travel when she gets the chance.

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I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about the Chasing the Sun Duet.