By day, wizards rule the world. At night, warlocks seek to destroy it. Now, one boy will challenge them both.
Eli never wanted to be a rebel. All he wants is an end to the famine and war threatening his community. To save his mother and baby brother from marauding warlocks, Eli is forced to make a heartbreaking decision. He must travel to Terra Magicae, the mysterious land of the wizards, to study magic. In exchange, the wizards will protect his family, but this protection comes at a price: once Eli enters the Grand Wizardry Academy, he may never come home.
Full of lush landscapes and magical marvels, Terra Magicae is more wondrous than Eli ever imagined… and more dangerous. At first, Eli’s struggles to fit in at the Academy seem ordinary. But the more he questions the wizards, the more he suspects a sinister purpose behind their bizarre rules and tests. For a dark secret lies at the heart of this mystical land, one so terrible it threatens not only the students at the Academy but the lives of everyone Eli loves.
To save them all, Eli must step into the midst of the battle between the wizards and warlocks and defy both sides. He must become the rebel he was always meant to be.
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A. A. Warne writes elaborate, strange, dark and twisted stories. In other words, speculative fiction. Located at the bottom of the Blue Mountains in Sydney, Australia; Amanda was born an artist and grew up a painter before deciding to study pottery. But it wasn’t until she found the art of the written word that her universe expanded. A graduate of Western Sydney University in arts, Amanda now spends her time wrestling three kids and writing full time.
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I was never really interested in books as a child. I had a few stories read to be here and there but nothing grabbed my attention. I loved art and I always believed I was going to grow up and become an artist. I studied painting and pottery after high school and I love creating sculptures. But as I became a mother, these messy arts were not practical. My baby hated to sleep. She rather stay awake all day and play with me. So I put aside my art while she was young.
For a creative being, this was not a good idea. A creative person MUST create. My friend noticed that I was struggling and she threw a book at me. Twilight. I laughed. I didn’t read! But she made me read all of it. And I did. Then I went out and brought book two, then three and by the time I finished reading book four, I starting brainstorming ideas for my own book.
The best part about writing is there are never ending possibilities.
It started as a way to be creative but it wasn’t until I spoke to a friend about the story I was creating and she encouraged me to keep going. Since then, I haven’t stopped.
I now write everyday and clock forty hours a week, writing, brainstorming, researching and now publishing.
What is something unique/quirky about you?
Even though I have a great life, wonderful family and seriously interesting kids, I often live inside my head. If I’m not researching something strange or wacky, I’m creating it mentally. Stories have been a huge part of my life, especially as a kid. I always had a movie playing in the background while I was painting or creating some time of art. Little did I know, that as I listened, I was developing skills that helped me discover the structure and the composition of a story. Now it has become something natural that ticks over in the back of my mind while I focus on characters, worlds and what’s happening for them.
Tell us something really interesting that’s happened to you!
I met a wonderful author who is just as wild and crazy as I am, Michelle Crow. She lives on the opposite side of the planet and as soon as we met, it was like we had always known each other. In fact, we’ve gone onto writing a book together, she has been my bridesmaid, and we plan on visiting one another so many times in the next couple of years. She is the one who gave me the Madame of Darkness title. Even though we live in two different countries, that hasn’t stopped us from talking everyday, knowing what’s going on in each other’s lives, and supporting one another in writing.
What are some of your pet peeves?
Contradictions! I can see them a mile away. But don’t get me wrong, I do them myself. There’s nothing like saying I’m going to eat clean and healthy but then I buy chocolate… okay, I know that’s a contradiction, but I have weaknesses too!
Where were you born/grew up at?
I live at the bottom of the Blue Mountains, in Western Sydney, Australia. I am third generation in this town and we don’t have plans on moving anytime soon. Western Sydney is a large place, with the majority of Australia’s population here. I can see the mountains from my home, and yes, they are blue.
Who is your hero and why?
I do love superheroes and anyone super-human. But in real life, it’s the everyday person. Each and everyone does amazing things. Look after sick parents, survive a horrific car accident, go on adventures and to me that is amazing. We live our lives and we’re not amazed by our own steps we take across the planet. So for me, a hero is someone who sets a goal and walks the path until it’s achieved. If we get knocked down, fail, detoured, or sidetrack but get back up and keep going, that’s even more amazing and that’s what I define as a hero – someone who achieves their inner purpose in their life.
What kind of world ruler would you be?
Oh rulers! I actually hate that word. It means to stand over a group of people and dictate their lives. Instead of that position, I prefer leader. Leaders mean so much more. A leader can also be part of the team. If a leader is part of the same team, and not above them, then they can ensure that freedom remains possible so that we can chose how to live our own lives. Leaders can be pushed aside and replaced, questioned and scrutinized – anyone who has that position should always be questioned at the very least. A ruler doesn’t have that same scrutinization which is sad because it trickles traits into a society that will easily diminish the importance of a group. Together humans are strong and we’re even stronger when we work together harmoniously.
At the age of 18, Esperanza Ignacio begins her college years at an upscale Los Angeles art school, where she studies to fulfill her long-term dream in Animation. But she soon learns the truth to the old folktale: “you can take the girl out of the barrio, but you can’t take the barrio out of the girl.” Even though she’s getting financial aid, Esperanza works a part-time job during her break from classes just to make ends meet. Her roommate, Anna, is what she calls a “chicana from Beverly Hills” because of the rich daddy and the new car she got for her quinceañera.
Things get a little confusing for Esperanza when an old friend comes looking for her, hoping to start a meaningful relationship. But is Carlos the right guy for her? She never even considered him to be anything more than a friend since high school. Then comes Jake, a gorgeous mechanic, who shares her passion for books and loves her for who she is. What’s a girl to do?
Strength and determination help pave the way for the future. And, as she approaches her graduation, she is faced with a difficult decision: should she leave Los Angeles and leave behind her family, her home, and everything she’s known? Ever since she was born in the California barrio of Hawaiian Gardens, she’s always had to look over the fence, wondering what she’s been missing. Now she’s taking a flying leap over to see what’s beyond the little barrio. What’s beyond her family, her friends, and her past? What’s beyond the little nothing town, where dreams don’t exist? What’s beyond The Gardens? Is it life, love, a future? The story of Esperanza is finally concluded in this wildly entertaining and heart-warming sequel.
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Sandra C. López is one of today’s influential Latina authors in Young Adult literature. Her first novel, Esperanza: A Latina Story, was published in March 2008 WHILE she was still in college. Since then she has published several other books, including the Single Chicas series. She was named as one of “2011 Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch” by Latino Stories, and her book, Beyond the Gardens, was a Silver Medal winner of the 2016 Global Ebook Awards in Multicultural Fiction and won first place in the Int’l Latino Book Awards. She also works as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. Art, literature, and travel are her passions, and she aims to keep doing them as long as she can. For inquiries regarding events and projects, please contact her directly.
Q: First, tell us how you came to be a published author and how you came up with the idea toprovide reviews to authors.
A: I wrote my first novel, Esperanza: A Latina Story, WHILE I was still in college. The book follows the story of a 14-year old Mexican-American girl trying to get out of the barrio and make something of her life. Full of humor and refreshing dialogue, this book was voted as an inspirational favorite by teen readers. Shortly after that, I wrote the sequel entitled Beyond the Gardens, published in October 2009.
In the second book, the lead heroine gains new confidence and strength as she learns the hard way that “you can take the girl out of the barrio, but you can’t take the barrio out of the girl.”
I write stories with strong and independent female characters that I, myself, would like to read about. When I’m not writing, I get my fill on reading for the enjoyment as well as to improve my craft. Like every published author, I was emailing book bloggers, asking them to please review my book. But, like querying to a publisher, most of them were unresponsive and some weren’t interested. And, of course, I used paid services that would list my book in their newsletters, reaching potential readers that may or may not review my book. That worked out okay. But let’s face it: getting reviews is tough. It’s hard when your book isn’t well publicized and no one is willing to give it chance. That’s what started my book blog. Initially, it started as just a blog for my own personal reviews on books that I read. At that point, I started taking requests from authors and publishers. My own personal review would be free, but, of course, like every other blogger, I only chose the ones that I wanted and rejected those that I didn’t. Yes, my readings tastes are pretty open in a wide variety of genres, but there are some that just don’t really interest me (i.e. westerns, politics sports, etc.) So how do I help those rejected authors get reviews? After all, I couldn’t possibly review them all. That’s when I came up with the idea of starting a book club of readers and a review program to supply authors with more reviews besides the one that I give them. Readers can sign up to get free books from authors, and authors can get reviews for their books. It’s a simple, easy, and convenient program. And it’s working!
Q: How can this review program benefit writers?
A: The review program allows authors to list their books and reach a wide range of readers. It’s been a hit so far! About 85% of participating authors get at least 1 – 2 reviews on Amazon, and we receive over 50 reviews a month from readers. And the best part about it is that we offer free ways for authors to list their book in our program. As an author, I totally understand that budgets can be tight, which makes it harder (maybe even impossible) to promote your books. Most authors shy away to any promo service when there’s a price. What better price is there than FREE?
Q: What do you think is the most important aspect of a book to make it sell?
A: The story itself along with a fabulous cover is definitely important. But probably the most important would have to be reviews. Let’s face it: reviews are the life blood of any book. More reviews equal a greater online exposure and a higher sales ranking, which, could result in sales. My book, SingleChicas, has over 70 reviews, and that has given me more royalties on Kindle sales. The reviews made the difference because before I got no royalties, and now I’m surprised to actually see one come through knowing that I didn’t do any promotion. Book reviews are definitely the key thing here.
Q: How is your author review program unique?
A: My review program is unique because I offer a free option for authors, and I do that because I want authors of all kinds to get a fair chance at getting reviews for their books. Every book deserves a review. These are HONEST and LEGIT reviews. There is no buying reviews here. Readers are free to choose any book and reserve the right in whether or not a review gets posted. It’s all strictly voluntary and 100% honest.
Q: Are you working on any projects at the moment?
A: I am currently working on Book 2 of the Single Chicas series, which is a series of short stories focusing on funny, zany, and wildly entertaining chicas.
Q: How can authors and readers sign up to your review program?
The quiet town of Craven Falls is depleting in population. One by one…
Scarlet Fitzgerald thought it would be fun to play a game on Laura Stevenson, a nobody at Craven Falls High. But what happens when the game unleashes buried secrets Scarlet doesn’t want anyone to know? Secrets that could get someone killed, including herself.
Three can play a game, but one of them ends up dead…
Would you like a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card?Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
Donna M. Zadunajsky started out writing children’s books before she wrote and published her first novel, Broken Promises, in June 2012. She since has written several more novels and her first novella, HELP ME! Book 1 in the series, which is about teen suicide and bullying.
Fly Away by Kristen Hannah, Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks, Misery by Stephen King, These Hidden Things, Before She was Found, and One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf, A Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
What book do you think everyone should read?
Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky
How long have you been writing?
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
As I write.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
I do lots of research, though it depends of the plot of the story. In Family Secrets ‘Secrets and Second Chances’ Book 1 was about breast cancer and the main character worked for NASA, so a lot of research was done to know her education and what she was about to go through with the cancer. Every book is different.
Do you see writing as a career?
I do and hope that one day I can make a living just writing. It’s like having coffee in the morning. I can’t function unless I write something each day.
What do you think about the current publishing market?
I wish there were more literary agents that could and would give us self-publishers a chance. Just because we self-publish our books doesn’t mean they are poorly written. I spend a great deal of money having all my books edited very well before I publish them. The book cover is very important to me as it is the first thing you see before picking up the book and reading the summary. I am one who based a book on its cover.
Do you read yourself and if so, what is your favorite genre?
I love to read books. I read every day. Mystery book and YA romance stories. Oh, and books based on real life events.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
Write in silence because I get lost inside my head and I can’t think with interruptions.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time?
One, usually, but if an idea comes to me, I will write it down.
If you could have been the author of any book ever written, which book would you choose?
Pen or typewriter or computer?
What made you want to become an author, and do you feel it was the right decision?
I love to write stories. Yes, I do believe it’s the right decision because only I can write the stories I’ve written.
A day in the life of the author?
I get up at 5 a.m., write until 7 a.m. get ready for work, leave the house at 7:20 a.m. Come home at 5 p.m. Shower, cook, watch some TV, read and go to bed around 9:30 p.m.
Advice you would give new authors?
Read and write as often as possible
What makes a good story?
The plot and characters
What are you currently reading?
The Upside of Falling by Alex Light
What is your writing process? For instance, do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
I have a plot that comes to me and then start writing and let the rest come to me.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Not having enough time to write in a day.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I’m an original writer
If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?
Start writing in high school. Take more creative writing classes
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
“Unlike some writers, I was not born knowing I would be a writer. But hindsight shows me every moment of my life was all in preparation for this job. In 2002 I suddenly had the time and the means to begin the process of learning the craft. Amidst all the conventions and seminars and on-line classes, a level of ability was born. At the same time, the characters began popping up in my head along with their stories.
“I continue writing because readers say my stories give them something to think about. THAT is all the encouragement I need.
“Follow my lead, and I will take you to worlds ancient and contemporary for adventures of the heart, mind, and spirit.”
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Surviving attempted murder by genetic modification left FBI Special Agent Dreya Love with a new life. Now she just has to stay alive.
Agent Dreya Love prefers to work alone. But when her friend, a senator’s daughter, is killed, she’s forced to partner with Detective Rhys Morgan, or get assigned to ‘the backside of hell.’ More deaths with bodies matching their first victim brings Interpol Agent Quinn Kingston to the team. As their investigation uncovers a secret genetic research program, a government cover-up, and a warning to ‘walk away,’ the case turns deadly. The hunt for a killer, a boutique drug, and an unearthly ingredient unite these three in ways they couldn’t imagine. Soon, they discover the truth leads to a hell they never knew existed.
On a black-ops space station, a blood thirsty dragon shifter goes on a killing spree–until Dreya and her team get in the way. Welcome to the backside of hell—Draco Station. On Draco Station, an ultra-secret installation over the planet Draco Prime, mining Vulkillium is a mega billion-dollar business. But to work the surface you need a special kind of human—a Draco Demon. When bodies start turning up on the space station, Dreya Love and her team set out to investigate, and come face to face with Dr. Anthony Lazar. Dr. Lazar is brilliant. Unfortunately for humanity, he’s also insane. He has a vision of humanity’s future and the tools to implement his twisted ideals. After all, he is smarter than God. A madman, a dragon with dreams of blood and fire, and a sheriff with a grudge—all complicate the search for answers. If Dreya’s not careful, she and her team could end up dead … or worse. Follow Special Agent Dreya Love and her men, Rhys Morgan, and Quinn Kingston as their lives change and entwine … forever … in ways they could never imagine. Dana Lyons combines crime mystery, reverse harem, and shape shifters for an exciting out-of-this-world paranormal romance … with a double dash of the unexpected!
A serial killer is murdering for love, and he has Dreya Love in his sights. There’s no going back. Martin Nash was once seven years old and longed for words of love from his mother. At thirty-five, he knows he’s never going to hear them from her. But he’s willing to kill for as long as it takes … until someone tells him the words.
As Dreya, Rhys, Quinn, and Simon discover the dangerous position they’re in by being Noble, they search for a way to fit exceptional into their everyday life. While old habits provide a never-ending challenge going forward, no one would go back.
Nobility transformed them and their lives. Nobility, a genetic modification created by Dr. Anthony Lazar, uses latent animal DNA to cage the human ego and bring mankind a higher moral code free of envy, greed, and jealousy. Noble means possessing an exceptional character in the face of adversity. Dreya, Rhys, Quinn, and Simon discover being Noble and exceptional in a human world isn’t easy.
In the midst of this uncertainty, Dreya puts herself in the line of fire with a serial killer who has a fetish for eyeballs. What she doesn’t know is … Nothing is safe and nowhere is private. It’s not a good time to have secrets.
A haunted forest, a broken man, a pack fighting for survival. Can Dreya and the boys heal Quinn’s pain, or is staying a wolf the only answer for him? Sasha Ivanov, sold as a young boy into slavery, becomes a monster in the relentless drive to never be a victim again. Deemed the worst of the worst by Dr. Anthony Lazar, the geneticist who wants to remake the human race, Sasha discovers he will never be the same. Quinn Kingston knows what Dr. Lazar can do from personal experience. But as a Nobilized and highly evolved human, is he able to forgive Ivanov of the most heinous acts?
They can save each other, but can they save the world?
Simon and the team pursue a betrayal from his past and stumble upon a diabolical plot for global genocide. As they endeavor to stop this, clues lead them to a prominent list of participants … all above the law.
In this thrilling final book in the series, the team comes to understand what it means to be a pack … and to be Nobilized.
Find your heroes in this reverse harem, shifter, crime thriller series. A strong intelligent woman, three alpha males, an inseparable pack. If you want deep romance slow burning until it catches fire, with enough twists to keep you on your toes, you’ll love Dreya Love!
Magic and mayhem are his middle names. Figuratively. Not literally. He’s not sure he even has a middle name, let alone two.
Rod’s a trickster by trade, magician by hobby, and thief by night. But when an old friend hunts him down and asks a favor, he can’t refuse. Mostly because she’ll likely try to kill him before asking again. But also because it presents a very interesting puzzle: to hunt down what a half-elf, magic weapons, and a killer-led cult of shapeshifters have to do with each other.
Lucky for him, Rod has the ability to be in three places at once. The problem? Even he can’t always tell which him is the real him.
From an early age, K. Stevens devoured all things magical and mystical. To this day, she hesitantly struggles to keep one foot in reality while the rest of her remains firmly rooted in the fantastic and insane. In 2015, she finally worked up enough courage to share her stories with more than just her family, and was encouraged by the fact that she wasn’t eaten alive for it. She may be the crazy lady that talks to bugs and stares incessantly into the sky, but don’t mind her. She’s just thinking.
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At the time of writing this, I have no idea what’s happening. I don’t know if we’ve flattened the curve, or if things have increased. I don’t know the nation is on lockdown or if we’re coming out of the fog. I just don’t know. Hopefully, things have come right and this post is recently outdated. A late call, if you will. I’m known for those, lol.
But a call for hope is never outdated, in my book. Hope, peace, and balance. While we can always see the things that are missing, the things that can rob us of the positive, it gets harder and harder to see the things that remain to give us stability; a roof that doesn’t leak, enough food for the day, and the thing that’s started to prevail the most right now: options.
At the time I write this, several businesses are down. Closed their doors. Several people are on lockdown, either self or forced isolation and practicing social distancing. What this has done, however, has provided the luxury of options; businesses that can’t close are finding ways to keep going through options; you can still have things delivered, can still do online transactions, can still find entertainment digitally. A local restaurant started selling bread, meat, and cheese alongside their sandwich delivery. Parents are giving kids options on how to continue learning with quarantine schedules, creative tasks, and at-home projects. And despite distancing, meet-up groups are flocking to digital platforms to keep in touch and are more intentional about following up with each other.
I suppose my encouragement, coming to you from the latter-half of March is this: there’s hope in options, and there are always options. Options on how to see something, options on how to respond, options on how to act. You can’t control the world, but you can control your world.
Seek out the options. Find the hope.
You’d be surprised how many pirate ships can fit into a magical underground harbor. It was laughable how much Miles’ ship looked like a toy boat compared to the mechanical wonders surrounding it. The huge slats of wood on either side and bottom of his ship didn’t help the notion. It was considered “old-fashioned” to still have a wooden hull — not to mention dangerous if there wasn’t an ample amount of protection behind it. Apparently Miles happened to be an old-fashioned type of guy.
The wood was old, but had a bright sheen to it as if Miles had gone over it was some sort of gloss. One could only hope it was for protection and not decoration. It had a pointed nose and a narrow rudder, the sides bulging and creaking as it teetered in place. Large metallic fins stuck out from either side with a single larger fin protruding from the deck, and all three were pulled tight against the ship, resulting in the ship looking even smaller.
To be honest, it looked kind of like a giant fish.
As if its size and shape weren’t enough to make it stand out, two cannon noses poked out near the front like a pair of empty eyes while something akin to a huge sniper barrel rested on the deck.
Miles motioned to an old rope ladder clanking along the side. He flashed a mischievous smile to Olyvia, who was clearly uncomfortable with the whole affair and rethinking her deal.
Bright lights. Curtain calls. A cruel and unsuspected murder
What is the price of success, and are you willing to pay that price? These are questions F.R. Merrill poses in her debut novel, The Final Act, a thrilling work of suspense set in Broadway.
F.R. Merrill takes us into the life of an assistant producer, Faith Straton who is just one step from bringing her Native American production to Broadway. As she inches closer to her dream, however, things start falling apart. A friend is lost forever, and Faith Straton discovers she is a target for murder.
A professional storyteller and short story writer of more than 15 years, F.R. Merrill’s first novel promises to be a gripping page-turner that’ll not only entertain and thrill readers, but also enthrall them with fascinating insights into Native American culture. The author’s mastery and understanding of human nature and motivations arms the book with all the necessary elements to be a memorable and touching read with valuable life lessons that we can apply to our own lives. The Final Act will have you confronting many of the most difficult questions that plague our times – from the value of financial success and popularity to the importance of other people in our lives. It’s certain to earn a spot as one of the most meaningful and most enriching books to be published this year.
As an unpublished manuscript, MURDER IN MOSAIC won in the Amsterdam Book Festival. The third in the Straton trilogy, before Amanda Straton entrenches into a new life in Florida, she takes time to visit her parents and a friend in Washington, D.C. Then it’s off to Italy to study mosaics. Unprepared she faces the dark force that pursued her in her youth. Evil returns with a vengeance. At the end, the ultimate question that remains, who will pay evil’s demands?
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F. R. Merrill, author of the Straton Trilogy) The Final Act, Crossroads, and Murder in Mosaic, and storyteller since 1993 bases her stories on adventures from cycling across the U.S. in several directions, cycling the Almafi Coast, cycling from Vienna to Budapest, cycling the Himalayas in Bhutan, and more. She hiked the Camino Del Norte in Spain in 2006, and since childhood has always painted and sculpted. She’s devoted to studies relating to her Native American heritage, and spiritual understanding.
Merrill is married, lives in Melbourne, Fl., assists The Special Spotlight Theater, (helping the challenged build pride through dance), and is a member of the Florida Historical Society, Brevard Cultural Alliance, and Zonta International (fighting against human trafficking).
When Lochlann becomes nervous about his upcoming Rite of Wands ceremony, his brother Mierta McKinnon reassures him everything will be okay. But when Lochlann staggers out of his ceremony and refuses to use magic, Mierta McKinnon is determined to find out what really happened.
Meanwhile, the kingdom of Vandolay is under attack by a dangerous, unidentified creature, and Mierta’s father, Mortain McKinnon, requests his son’s assistance to help aid the injured.
But the people of Vandolay aren’t the only ones Mierta must save when someone he holds dear comes face-to-face with the creature and their life hangs in the balance.
Now Mierta must draw upon his strength and his newly acquired magic skills to defeat a dangerous foe and save everyone from death.
2019 Author Academy Awards: Top 10 Finalist – Fantasy
2018 Literary Classics Awards Gold Medal Winner: Best Young Adult Fantasy Novel
2018 Imadjinn Award for Best Fantasy Novel
2018 International Book Awards Finalist in the Fiction: Fantasy
2017 Foreword INDIES Book of Year Awards Silver Medal Winner: Fantasy
Mackenzie is the award-winning author of the young adult fantasy series The Rite of Wands. A storyteller at heart, she loves to inspire the imagination. Mackenzie makes her home in Michigan, where she is currently penning her next adventure.
Kiki – Ellis Atwood is the devil. Ok, maybe that’s too harsh. Ellis Atwood is ruining my life. First, he demolishes a perfectly good wedding trellis. Second, he destroys a gorgeous doggie wedding that I spent ages planning. (I kid you not.) Third, he makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, and that is not ok. I prefer the cold and harsh way my fiancé makes me feel so much better. (wait, that didn’t come out right.) Fourth, and there is a fourth, he gets me all wound up and flustered. And last, when he unexpectedly kissed me it made me forget my own name, or the fact that I’m getting married…in a month. Please someone help me out. I’m a mess. Worst part is, Ellis isn’t the bad guy I first thought he was. And being forced to spend time with him is making me realize that he needs my help more than anything. So what’s a girl like me to do?
Ellis – I’m only in town long enough to figure out a plan with my brother on how to save our brewery from the awfulness that is my father. Oh and be in a wedding. Where I may or may not be crushing a little too hard on the bride-to-be. (spoiler alert, I’m crushing hard.) She’s really cute. Like seriously. And she has the cutest job, she’s a dog wedding planner. (I kid you not.) I can see why Henry loves her. I can see why everyone loves her. I can see why I’m falling for her. I’m usually not a relationship-type guy. Call it picky or whatnot, but usually I get bored easily. So, my plan is simple. Spend as much time with Kiki (soon to be Faniki, I know) and hopefully get bored with her adorkable smile and sexy legs that go on for miles. Then, I can save the brewery, be the best man of the wedding, and get my butt back to Chicago and away from the happy couple.
Logan Chance is a USA Today and Top 20 Amazon Bestselling Author with a quick wit and penchant for the simple things in life: Star Wars, music, and smart girls who love to read. He was nominated best debut author for the Goodreads Choice Awards in 2016. His works can be classified as Dramedies (Drama+Comedies), featuring a ton of laughs and many swoon worthy, heartfelt moments.
I will be giving away 1 hardcover and 1 kindle e-book of JQR by Joey Rodriguez!!! Just fill out the entry form below to be entered to win.
The giveaway will run from Tuesday, April 7, 2020 – Thursday, April 30, 2020. I’ll notify the winners via email, so be sure to include your email when you enter!
Author Bio:Joey Rodriguez lives in New York City with his beautiful, supportive wife*, Lauren, and their Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Joon. Join Joey and Lauren each month for Pupcorn And A Movie, a podcast where he tries to convince her to watch the scariest movies of all time! *she suggested I include this very important note.
After their home is destroyed by an atomic blast, an android and his best pup set out to find his human parents and piece together the remnants of a nation-wide invasion. Lost in their own backyard, our heroes must battle unknown forces both foreign and domestic, using the skills, and wit, of their favorite Saturday matinee heroes. Spills, chills, and thrills leap from the page in the explosive saga of “JQR”, an adventure sure to tickle even the bravest of readers!
Hardcover Synopsis: An old enemy has returned. Dormant for only two decades, the rising sun stormed the beaches and the wide avenues to avenge their defeat. Just a boy and his dog; he a nearly obsolete model, her a pure breed. Left to fend for themselves during the invasion, JoJo, as his family affectionately called him, must wrestle with his metal construction, his childish memories, and the fact that he will never become human. His father’s own experiences in the Last Great War, painful and victorious, have bred fear, doubt, and distrust in them all.
But the world has been far from kind, the survivors hoarding their resources, firing blindly into the atomic remains of what they had proudly cultivated. Lost now in a world he thought he knew, his family’s shadows fading quickly, there is much to learn about the hierarchy of man and where a small android and his loyal best friend fit in.
Let’s start by finding out a little bit about you…
What is your name and do you write under a pen name? Joey Rodriguez (no pen name).
Where do you call home? New York City
Obviously, we know you are an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? By day, I work as a Fund Development and Communications Director for an international non-profit.
Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hard-covers or audio-books? I prefer hardcover books, but if I have to travel, an e-book is much easier to take along!
Have you ever read a book just based on its cover? Absolutely! I think we all have this habit. The cover is what draws you in and forces you to turn it over to read the synopsis. I think more importantly, if the back cover provides enough to spark adventure, then it is easier to take a chance!
What is your favorite book genre at the moment? Historical non-fiction.
What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why? The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson. His research is always very interesting and he manages to weave two seemingly unrelated stories into a thrilling conclusion.
What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format? 1453 by Roger Crowley in paperback.
Let’s shift somewhat and talk about your latest story.
What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or fewer words, what would you say? My new novel is called JQR and it is about an android and his dog searching for his human parents after an atomic bomb destroys his home.
Is the above book part of a series? JQR is a standalone novel.
How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book(s)? I designed the cover myself. In the hardcover version, if you open the dust jacket fully, it reveals the pincer-like hand of the main character. I wanted the cover to invoke the pulpy, dime-store novels of the 50s and 60s that promised spills, chills, and thrills.
Did you listen to any particular songs while writing your book(s)? I actually created a Spotify playlist of music that influenced the writing and the events of the story itself: http://bit.ly/JQRSpotify
How did you come up with the title for your book(s)? The title of the novel is a hint to the main character’s background and the habit we have of naming our electronics with acronyms or unit numbers.
In your latest novel, who is the lead character and can you tell us a little about him/her? The lead character is JoJo, an android programmed with the memories of a little boy. He is precocious and adventurous, influenced highly by his father and the music, television, and cinema of the 50s and 60s. His companion is his dog, Pickles, who acts as a burden of responsibility and a vessel to rest his emotions and fears.
What is your character’s greatest strengths? His wit and quick thinking!
And what are his/her greatest weaknesses? Because his programming limits him to the mind of a child, he is naïve in the many ways in which the world can be cruel. He trusts implicitly in many adults and uses the wisdom of the movies to guide his decisions. He has not yet learned how to compartmentalize and analyze his surroundings to better survive.
What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has? His sincerity and his willingness to step-up. It’s a natural trait inherited from his parents that slowly boils to the surface as he realizes what the world has become without him.
Will readers like or dislike this character, and why? I hope the readers like JoJo! He guides the reader through the entire novel and his coming-of-age and adventurous streak will help to define the rules of the world that he lives in.
What first gave you the idea for your latest book? I have always been interested in the Atomic Age and the exciting twists and turns that design, fashion, music, and movies took since the end of World War II, and I really wanted to explore what a semi-post-apocalyptic world would look like if the mid-1960s suddenly became the entry point for a new order. I had been looking for a way to write a sort of road trip-like story about a boy and his dog, and I thought using a robot and his dog could be a great way to explore artificial intelligence and how memories can be interpreted as well as explore the bonds between humans and animals, and humans and semi-inanimate objects. I am also a big fan of Westerns and Japanese cinema from the 50s and 60s, and to be able to use that as a backdrop was really exciting.
Let’s talk now about your writing process.
What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter? I usually start with the cover image first! I try really hard to make each print version of my books a unique experience. I select the font, the look, the overall design to invoke old paperbacks, or literary classics. It helps set the mood for the entire work. Then, I usually do a bit of research on certain topics that I know I’m going to write about. Then I’ll do a rough outline in bullet form. I usually know how the story will unfold, how many chapters there will be, even before the actual meat of it comes together. I generally only write exactly what I want to say on the page. I know some people write, and write, and write, but I am more selective. What comes up on the page is usually my intended choice, and I rarely deviate except to make sure the character’s voices are unique or if my language is borrowing one or two many phrases or words that sound redundant.
Have you come across any specific challenges in writing or publishing? What would you do differently the next time? Not particularly. Although finding time to write is always difficult! A majority of this book was written on the subway to and from work.
Are you a self-published/Indie author or did you publish through a traditional publishing company? I am self-published, but do it through my own company Not Your Platypus.
If you’re a self-published/Indie author what made you go that route instead of the traditional publishing route? As a graphic designer, I wanted a lot of control over the presentation of the book. A hardcover or paperback helps invokes a certain kind of pastime, and I just remember all these classic covers of books when I was a kid that made me want to pick up a particular work. This way, I could design everything and create the experience that I wanted the reader to have. I had wanted from the outset to be in charge, because I knew how the process worked and knew how to lay out a book, etc.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start writing? I was always inspired by “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote because he found a way to turn a real event into something that read like fiction. I think finding a style or voice first is key when beginning your writing journey. I also read a lot of indie books to research what I did and didn’t like about the genre I was writing in. Trust your voice, because there are so many books out there that read the same exact way!
Where can your readers follow you? Please list links to any applicable websites and/or social media accounts. You can follow me using the links below!
WINNER of Best Horror: Occult novel in the 2019 AMERICAN FICTION AWARDS. HONORABLE MENTION in the 2018 SPR BOOK AWARDS
The lurking shadows feasted on the weak, infecting those who cared little to resist. Their possession drove them to madness, spewing the vitriol of the King. Iconography, scripture, prayer, these proved helpful, driving the demons back with that which they sought to deflect. There were those, though, who sought to raise the clawed hands of evil, to benefit their own pleasures, to steal power, to ensure everlasting life.
Unrelated victims, their numbers erratic, were left empty for others to find. A warning at first. Letters followed; instructions, ingredients. Soon, a trumpet call for the hidden to feast on the carrion, to rise to the mountains and perform the sacred ceremony. In the bowels, past the Gates, they would enter the sanctuary of the rotten mutt, sacrifice the Mistresses, and call upon a dark presence.
The feathered wings of their past had unfurled slowly; three children, running from responsibility, finding solace in justice and servitude, drowning in the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. They too were called, the memories rotten but the sensation still fresh. Back to where it began, now; a truth they wished to ignore. Forced to descend into their own sins, they discovered the truth of their origin, a single moment shaping their whole lives, leading them all back into the familiar embrace of the Devil.
Seven crews had come before her, each one trusted with the same mission. A substance, a source, a beacon of light, growing somewhere in the universe. There were warnings, collateral damage on a massive scale, and the oppression and opposition that came with this new discovery. They had chosen her out of necessity from the dust that had settled after fear and anxiety had run high.
She had lost everything. She was a heathen, an unfit soul, plagued by visions and a violent conscience whose influence stretched beyond the limits of her mind. Now, out here in the void of space, she must fight to survive against the elements, her inexperience, and those who wish to protect the universe from her mission. She must push forward to fulfill her own sense of worth and to appease those that have sent her here to search for an unstable gift that may finally grant her freedom.
The dust had fallen recently, a larger deposit than the prior season. A great indicator of how harsh the winter will be, tales were told that these early flakes were born from spirits who have been allowed to pass on without proper burial, those who ascribed to a life of greed, of thievery, of boiling pitch. The Civil War had ended over two decades’ prior, yet the country’s hunger for new land and new people failed to cease.
Ila had returned home, a native daughter of the North, just west of the border. It had been nearly a decade, but she sought refuge now to clear her mind of the fog-swept bay. The judgment from a pistol deep in the tundra, however, forced her to forsake all that she had chosen to forget about her past: the lessons of her elders, the teachings of the forest. Her loyal pack of eight were split in the haze of the attacking force, barreling upon the mountains, the plains, the rivers of her territory, spilling blood and siphoning the ground of its lucrative plasma.
Alone and without direction, each member of her pack that ventured out into the wilderness that early morning faced the rising tide of the spirits of the forest. Their inner yega, their instinctive souls, were bared to each other, their forms otherworldly. Her purpose, though only an outsider by her own consideration, in their eternal struggle would not reveal itself to her in a simple, feverous dream. For the evil of humans would soon rear its head, obstacles of heritage, of conservation, of belief, of kinship, and of war thrown from its claws, attempting to destroy her very existence.
Matthew Stott writes strange stories. Influenced by the likes of seminal TV show ‘Doctor Who’, and writers Neil Gaiman and Stephen King, he crafts stories full of creep, wonder, and adventure. Matthew is not a murderer.
David Bussell is a winner of the P.G. Wodehouse New Comic Writer Award. David is an avid fencer, and a committed comic book fan. Rumours that David was conceived on an Indian burial ground remain unfounded
Promises, rules, bones; Erin Banks will break them all.
Unscrupulous and lethal, Erin has everything she needs to be an assassin in a world full of mobsters, monsters, and magic.
She wasn’t born with powers, but thanks to her Uncanny Ink—arcane tattoos that transform her body into a magic-fuelled killing machine—she’s more than a match for anyone dumb enough to stand between her and getting paid.
Fresh out of prison, Erin wastes no time getting back to what she does best: running down wanted men and claiming their bounties.
But when a powerful demon lurking in a black cathedral hires her to round up an errant soul, the creature offers a reward far more valuable than money…
He offers Erin the key to unlocking her tragic past. The key to the mystery surrounding her long-lost brother.
Magic, scares, and acid-tongued snark collide in this thrilling urban fantasy series set in the Uncanny Kingdom. Buried secrets and whiplash twists will keep you riding the edge of your seat. Read Bad Soul now for a pulse-pounding tale you won’t be able to put down.
Praise for Bad Soul:
“Bussell and Stott deliver a dark and gripping read in Bad Soul, marking Uncanny Ink as a must-read series for urban fantasy fans.” ~ Readers’ Favorite
“The writing is very colorful with lots of British slang and strange and seedy characters. The plot is fast and furious with unexpected developments and exciting scenes. A nice piece of gritty urban fantasy.” ~ Kasey’s Book Nook
“Hits the ground running and doesn’t stop.” ~ Sean Cunningham, Author of the Hawthorn House series
“Bussell and Stott deliver a dark and gripping read in Bad Soul, marking Uncanny Ink as a must read series for Urban Fantasy fans.” ~ Inspired Chaos
“Smart, funny, irreverent with tons of action… [Bad Soul] has it all in spades.” ~ K. Bird Lincoln
I’ve always found authors who partner in their writing endeavors to be intriguing. For this reason, I was so excited to get to interview David Bussell and M.V. Stott.
How long have you been writing? Writing together; getting on for 12 years now. Wow, 12 years. When we say it like that… yeesh.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book? A fair chunk, particularly in regards to locations and setting. We really hope that authenticity is reflected in the body of our work, because we’ve read some Urban Fantasy books set in England that were written by writers on the other side of the pond, and… oh boy… not good.
Do you see writing as a career? Very much so, and a fulfilling one at that. The idea that people are willing to lay down money for the stuff that spews from our brain meat never gets old.
Do you write one book at a time or do you have several going at a time? If possible, we like to work on at least two at a time. That way, instead of messing around on social media, we can make another book our method of procrastination.
What made you want to become an author and do you feel it was the right decision? David wrote a short story in primary school that ended up in the school library; the rest just snowballed from there. Matt has wanted to write since he first started complaining about his beloved Doctor Who.
A day in the life of the author? A constant vacillation between numb butt cheeks and trips to the fridge.
Describe your writing style. Lean. Fast. Irreverent.
What makes a good story? At this point, with the endless barrage of quality content we’re exposed to every day, anything that can take root in the audience’s head and still be there a year from now.
What are you currently reading? David is reading Junji Ito’s Tomie. Matt is reading Terry Pratchett’s Mort.
What are common traps for aspiring writers? Making too big of a deal of the effort that goes into writing a book. Sure, it’s a slog, but once you’ve reached the top of the mountain, you realise it ain’t so bad. The trick is to get up that mountain and move on to the next one as soon as possible. Because the truth is, unless you’re one of the rare few who writes a sublime work of genius on their first outing, it’s going to take more than one mountain before you write anything worth reading.
What is your writing Kryptonite? A truly great Netflix series.
Do you believe in writer’s block? Writer’s block is a luxury that independent authors don’t really have.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be? Buy shares in Apple. And get a damned hair cut.
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Get the Rest of the Series Below!
Bad Blood: An Uncanny Kingdom Urban Fantasy (The Uncanny Ink Series Book 2)