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.

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!!**

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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.

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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 Blind Date by Raquel Anne.

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.

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  • 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.

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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.

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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The Soul Warrior by Adrian Rose Spear #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.

The Soul Warrior (Book One) by Adrian Spear ~ Genre: Historical Romantic Fantasy

Follow the adventures of Lorrain McGregor, a young woman whose soul is chosen for a great purpose. When her body dies in 1851, her soul survives to go back in time…to the year 1631 in Jamestown, Virginia. She is faced with many obstacles but there are magical creatures just waiting for her to arrive. Lorrain will realize as a Soul Warrior she has the ability to change the course of history. But for what and why was her soul chosen? As a strong woman who embraces her power and newfound supernatural friends Lorrain demonstrates what a true femme fatale is. Is this a second chance to make right her wrongs? Who will tame Lorrain’s heart? Can she survive what this new life has thrown her way? Come along and find out…

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This is Adrian Rose Spear, author of The Soul Warrior. I was born in Sacramento, California where I had quite a rollercoaster of a childhood. By the time I was 15, I had been in foster care for eight years and was lucky enough to reunite with my biological parents. I worked in grocery stores for most of my working career and doing so helped put me through college. in 2019, I graduated from California State University, Sacramento with a BA in History. Recently, my husband and I moved to eastern Virginia where I have had the pleasure of working at some amazing living history museums. My love of history made an impact on this novel. I truly wanted to make it authentic as possible, with room to allow for the fantasy of course. I have always considered myself a strong, independent, and hardworking woman who has overcome many things and I am delighted to share my imagination with the world!

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I am happy to be one of many tour hosts sharing information about The Soul Warrior by Adrian Rose Spear.

Author Interview ~ Adrian Spear

An interview with Adrian Spear, author of The Soul Warrior!

About the Author

When I was younger, in my teens and early twenties, I found it almost impossible not to share my life’s story. There was reason to be proud- I had survived eight years of abuse at the hands of my foster mother and made it out at age sixteen only to be reunited with my biological parents. But what I had not understood until later is that although my past still gripped my consciousness- it did not define me.

My late teens were extremely rough because I was on a quest to find the love and acceptance I had been denied through the most crucial years of my life. Luckily, my biological parents had stepped back into my life like an anchor and enabled me to slowly heal and grow. I experimented with drugs and put myself in dangerous situations but by the time I had turned twenty-one I knew my life’s purpose was one that involved an education. One of my ways of healing was writing- poetry, short stories, and even journaling. I channeled that into a possible degree at a community college where I started out as an English major, but my love of writing would be challenged after facing the realization that I did not know how to write at college level. Then I took a history class that changed my view and future vision of what I aspired to be. The power of history and knowledge captivated me and soon, I was writing some of the best papers in that class. My college journey was longer than most, but I finally graduated in 2019 with a bachelor’s in history with a focus on public history. Now, I work at the amazing living history museum at Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

Was it easy, no. I worked in the grocery business since I was seventeen and only quit when I got a job as a student assistant in a library and history center for Caltrans. Hard work and perseverance have followed me throughout my life, and it did when it came to my book, The Soul Warrior. The concept was started in 2012 and it was only a year later that I developed all my characters, with sketches, and started an actual storyline. I started writing it almost a dozen times and restarted it just as many times. But it wasn’t until early 2020 when COVID-19 shut down the world and forced me to stay at home-and I wrote. The last chapter, the last paragraph, the last sentence was so amazing to write because it had almost taken me a decade to get this book finished! I am truly proud of the story I created but also proud of the characters I was able to develop. My main character reflects me and all the things I have survived in my life. She was created to be strong and a fighter which is one heck of a combination.

About the book/characters

My book was inspired by many things including some well-known books, movies and television shows. I was a huge fan of True Blood when it came out on HBO in 2008. But what I loved even more was the Sookie Stackhouse novels they were based on. It was from this wonderful series that made my love of vampires and vampiric lore come alive. Besides being sexualized creatures, they are also seemingly misunderstood beings because of how intricate and complex an actual vampire would be. Imagine living for centuries and experiencing the highs and lows that come with being a vampire. They love but also can’t bear to love because it’s almost torture, especially to love a human. They also must experience the sadness of immortality with all their memories, regrets, and dreams to boot. It was from this idea, from this train of thought that produced the beginnings of The Soul Warrior. I knew I wanted a vampire love story but what I didn’t know was how my vampire characters would evolve.

Believe it or not, my book was originally going to take place in the 1850’s with Lorrain’s soul traveling to the future from the 1700’s. But that changed when I decided to take a stab at redeveloping my vampire characters, Xavier and Queen Dahlia. At first, Xavier was just a regular vampire from the time period and not Native American. Queen Dahlia was also not Native American, and she was one of four original Kings and Queens that I later decided didn’t fit into my new storyline. It wasn’t until I began rewriting (again!) and decided to make some changes. I thought making Xavier a Native American would provide a means of tension between Lorrain and him. Then the thought of making Xavier Queen Dahlia’s son came to be and the rest is history- and their stories are revealed much more in my book.


The Soul Warrior is book one in a series. I have started book two which takes place in the 1750’s in Williamsburg, Virginia. I have added a handful of new characters- two of which I will share with you as a spoiler. The first character I will reveal is a young woman by the name of Paisley. She is a fairy from the Royal Territories where she and her twin sister work at a family shop- where they sell handmade items. She has a green thumb as well, very good in the garden and has a love for all kinds of plants. She will join Lorrain in her purpose and become a love interest for another character.

The other character I developed out of pure joy and was extremely happy with how he turned out. Dominic will be introduced almost halfway through and he is a young gargoyle. His natural instincts are to protect the good and pure, so he becomes an asset to Lorrain and her friends. But he is not very easy to get along with and although he is highly intelligent, he is still very much a teenage boy.

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Author Interview – Jillian Boehme

An interview with Jillian Boehme, YA Fantasy Author of The Stolen Kingdom!

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.

What can we expect from you in the future?

More YA fantasy books! And possibly, at some point, some YA SF.

Where did you come up with the names in the story?

I love this question! Names are so important to me. My daughter Maggie, when she was around 10, came up with the name “Maralyth” for one of the main characters in my first novel. (This is one of my favorite things to tell people, because Maggie grew up to be an amazing writer—and that first, horrible novel is what inspired her to write!) “Alac” is just a variant of “Alec”; I like the way it looks with the second “a”. The rest of the names in The Stolen Kingdom are either completely made up or are slight tweaks of names that already exist—“Ellian” is a sort of cross between “Lillian” and “Ellen”; “Nelgareth” is made up, but his first name, Ogden, is real; Zeth is sort of “Seth” with a “Z”, which feels stronger; “Nestar” is a variant of “Nester”; “Doreck” is made up; and “Graylearn” is also my own creation.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Because this book is based on the very first (horrible) novel I ever wrote, I dearly enjoyed delving into the world I’d created so many years ago, giving it more depth and richness—and developing beloved characters into new, stronger versions of themselves.

Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.

If you love a good lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers story, this is for you. Also, if you’re mad about secret magic, spare heirs, and girls who aren’t afraid of trying to steal someone’s throne, you’ll enjoy The Stolen Kingdom!

Have you written any other books that are not published?
Almost a dozen. Writing is not for the faint-hearted!

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

Sage, which is Maralyth’s favorite herb, mixed with a woodsy scent.

What did you edit out of this book?

Oh, my goodness. I edited out both a son and a daughter of Lord Nelgareth, as neither one ultimately had an important enough role to play in the story. So many deleted words!

Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?’-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book.

  • The Stolen Kingdom is based on the first very novel I ever wrote, entitled The Seeds of Perin Faye. It’s a completely different story now!
  • When I was struggling to get the plot right, I pulled out several wooden “Little People” (from my childhood), assigned them each a character name, and moved them around the room, trying to figure out who was supposed to do what.
  • One of my favorite things to do is to have a Barbie and Ken version of my main characters. Maralyth and Alac are currently standing on my desk (you may have seen them on Instagram!).
  • My daughter Maggie is a fabulous writer, and we have the same literary agent! She always reads for me, and her input is invaluable. Sometimes I feel like I can’t write without her!
  • One of the characters in The Seeds of Perin Faye was a tall, Gandalf-y character named Soldan. My husband still does impersonations of Soldan’s ridiculously deep bow. (There is no Soldan in The Stolen Kingdom!)
  • Playlists are extremely important to me. When I first started working on The Stolen Kingdom, I listened to the same music I’d used for The Seeds of Perin Faye. Call me nostalgic! Ultimately, though, it just didn’t work for me. I finally created a new, better playlist that threw me right into the world whenever I sat down to write.
  • Chapter endings take longer than almost any other part of drafting. They have to be JUST RIGHT.

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The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehme #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.

The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehme ~ Genre: YA Fantasy

A bold girl, a kingdom under attack, magic everywhere—I devoured it in one sitting! This book is one wild ride!” —Tamora Pierce on Stormrise

Nothing is quite as it seems in this thrilling YA fantasy adventure by Jillian Boehme, The Stolen Kingdom!

For a hundred years, the once-prosperous kingdom of Perin Faye has suffered under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings. Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner’s daughter, has no idea her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Alac Thungrave, the king’s second son, has always been uncomfortable with his position as the spare heir—and the dark, stolen magic that comes with ruling.

When Maralyth becomes embroiled in a plot to murder the royal family and seize the throne, a cat-and-mouse chase ensues in an adventure of dark magic, court intrigue, and forbidden love.

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Jillian is known to the online writing community as Authoress, hostess of Miss Snark’s First Victim, a blog for aspiring authors. In real life, she holds a degree in Music Education, sings with the Nashville Symphony Chorus, and homeschools her remaining youngster-at-home. She’s still crazy in love with her husband of more than thirty years and is happy to be surrounded by family and friends amid the rolling knolls of Middle Tennessee.

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Would you like a chance to win a $20 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 The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehme.

Author Interview ~ Carlyle Labuschagne

Interview with Carlyle Labuschagne, author of A Beast So Beautiful!

What inspired you to write this book?

My publisher wanted a certain type of book from me to fit into the trend , but after three years it was always something I needed to spend a lot of time on , contemplation, musing and trying to write for the wrong reasons didn’t work for me. My stories have to come from a hidden, scary, and philosophical , mind-bending, and most importantly a profound place inside of me.   

We releases a boxset themed forbidden love , and I transformed that book into the idea I wanted it to be, at first it was a short story but once I got my rights back I fell into a big dark place where creativeness went to die. As a newborn Christian I surrendered this book to God and just like that I was in love and the concept, characters and theme came out that Ive been hiding for a long time. But it was the right time – I can only hope.

What can we expect from you in the future?

OH gosh I have so many series I have not finished , but first I will do the follow up of A Beast so Beautiful. Now that book will be super exciting to write.

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

The broken diaries is a small spin off from The broken novel and a short story about another characters point of view.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in A Beast so Beautiful

King Ivor is an ass, drunk woman and child beater. He is bitter and revengeful on his prince Leif blaming him for the death of Rurith Kingdoms Queen.

Prince Leif has been locked up in a tower for six years after discovering his mothers corpse.

He was created by magic as the king could not produce a male heir.

But magic came at a cost and Prince Leif is half human half something else.

Avelyn is the redheaded beauty taken in by the kingdom to marry the prince. For six years she secretly visits the prince in his tower. She is spirited, direct and a problem solver.

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

They live in my head!!

Where did you come up with the names in the story?

They live in my head!

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Creating characters and worlds and conflict and drama and doomed fates along with tortured lovers.

Tell us about your main characters- what makes them tick?

Ivor – to avenge his wife’s death. Expose his son for the beast he is and steal away his bride as payback.

Prince Leif wants to rule the kingdom with trust loyalty with Avelyn at his side.

Avelyn is driven by seeing Prince Leif take the crown, and because she was tricked into marrying the cruel king seeks out a secret affair with the love of her life. Pushing him towards overthrowing his father.

Who designed your book covers? CHBB publishing – Rebecca Poole

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

Put more humor in it.

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

Yes to look out for details and got to learn more about the English tenses and sentence structures as I am not English myself I learn more with each book.

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

Charlie hunnam

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Without them I would be far from my dreams and leaving my healing words to the masses.

How did you come up with name of this book?

Book titles come easily to me. They just pop in my head. And as the beast has morals and a big heart he is beautiful inside and out.

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

Most of the male leads I pull the ethics and ways and inspiration from my husband – who we have been together since high school and everyday he surprises me with his dedication , his sacrifices and his selflessness.

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?

Oh no we have a lot of fights, but Ive learned to lose control (probably the only time in my life this happens) and let them come and flow and be.

Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.

It’s a faced pace story, a reverse Beauty and the beast that meets Game of thrones – fight for the crown.

Forbidden love

Royal feuds.

An ancient magic that will bring the kingdom to its knees.

I know in my heart that my passion, dedication and prayers for  this book , took a lot of putting myself out there will show in my writing. Because readers can feel the energy and truth in the author’s writing.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

I have written Into the Night my prequel to Dead of night my dystopian romance . It is about 70 percent done.

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


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