Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney

Black Dawn CoverThe end of an Empire, the rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory’s arrival she will discover she is the long-lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

 With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

 Some things are better left in the shadows.

Black Dawn is another fabulous book by a fellow Cleans Reads author Mallory McCartney.  I would give this book four stars because I loved the amount of detail and backstory of each character. The author did a great job creating the new world of Kiero with problems of their own.

There are three main characters in this book, Emory, Brokk, and Memphis who have all been friends growing up in a military-style academy. When the book starts out, Emory is living on Earth as a normal human but Memphis and Brokk kidnap her from the life she knows to throw her into Kiero and a kingdom she barely remembers. She goes through the process of recovering her memories while training with her powers she forgot about.

There’s a ton of action in this story with multiple point of views. This is the kind of book you want to concentrate on to get all the little clues, but if you like paranormal, fantasy, or young adult you will like this book!

Enter to win a signed copy of Black Dawn HERE.

Mallory McCartney

Mallory McCartney currently lives in London, Ontario with her husband and their two dachshunds Link and Lola. Black Dawn is her debut novel, the first in a series. When she isn’t working on her next novel or reading, she can be found dog grooming, book shopping and hiking. Other favorite pastimes involve reorganizing perpetually overflowing bookshelves and seeking out new coffee and dessert shops.

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

You can purchase Black Dawn below:

BAM | Chapters | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

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Read a short excerpt!

Memphis cocked his eyebrow at her. “We are the only ones left strong enough to give Adair a run for his money. We fight now for all the innocent lives he took, for shattering your parents’ legacy. We fight for them, for their love, and for our freedom.”

Emory sighed, letting his words settle in her core. Stillness seemed to suffocate them in the cell as bomb after bomb was dropped above ground. In that moment an absurd idea struck her and she bit her lip, feeling exposed. It was worth a shot—after all, how much time did any of them have?

She glanced sideways at Memphis. He looked like a carving out of marble, flawless and jagged, capturing such a unique beauty she couldn’t tear her eyes away from it.

She noticed the corners of his lips turning up as he asked, “What?”

“You know what I do when I feel really stressed about something?” Emory had his full attention now. “I dance like no one is watching or ever will.”

Confusion clouded his face. “Dance?”

She truly beamed up at him now. “Oh Commander, seeing as we have a bit of time trapped in here with each other, do I ever have a proposition for you.”

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You can find the tour schedule HERE.

Chapter-by-Chapter-blog-tour-button*I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my thoughts or review in any way *

 

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The 2017 Ultimate Reading Challenge

I came across a Facebook post by The YA Gal about a reading challenge, and it looks so fun! So, I’m going to pledge to try my hardest with completing this reading list. See below for more!

untitled.pngI plan on blogging about my reading progress and letting everyone know what books I’ve read.

Can you accept the challenge?

January Nanowrimo

Most writers partake in the November grind of Nanowrimo and each ynanoear, I set my heart out to writing something new. But each year I fail. It makes me laugh thinking about it. November for me is a busy month, as is December. So this year, my friend Alyssa and I have decided to do our own Nano in the month of January. It’s going to be a fresh start to the new year with a new story to work on and motivation to sustain us the rest of the year. We hope. January seems like a good month to do Nano since we can never accomplish the 50,000 word goal in November.

What do you think?  Can you commit to writing 50,000 words in January in support of a fresh writing start of the new year?

Now that I’ve committed to this, I’ll tell you a little something about what I plan to write. There are actually two stories I want to get down in 2017.

The first is a young adult dystopian called THE FOG.

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In a communist country where the government chooses who you are and how you live, Keltie Robinson and her criminal family of four thrive as assassins underground with the rest of the Revolutionaries. Keltie’s life has been a steady stream of training and missions since they moved underground, and now she wants out. To escape life in the United States, Keltie and her family must travel through the deadliest fog anyone’s ever seen. Only passing through to the other side will give them access to freedom and a new world they’ve all dreamed of.

 

And the second book is a new adult, romantic suspense called BLEEDING ALONE following my debut novel Bleeding Hearts, published in August of 2016.

Ruby Mae Lavender, an art student at VCU finds joy in creating contemporary paintings to display all around campus. When one of her pieces catches the eye of the misrepresented museum curator, Josh Moore, she is enthralled by his praises. Not only is he handsome and kind, he will also help her get noticed in the art world. As Josh and Ruby Mae start their relationship as business colleagues and as a couple, they start to uncover dark secrets about one another. Can Ruby Mae forgive Josh for the past he knew nothing about until now, or will she dismiss him like she has with her previous boyfriends?

Will you take the plunge with us and write 50,000 words in January?

Book Review: The Duchess Quest

duchess-quest-coverDainy doesn’t know that she is the lost Duchess of Jordinia, believed to have been assassinated fifteen years ago. Nor does she know that her uncle has implemented an illegal contest to seek her, offering her marriage hand as the reward! Though at odds, three clashing rivals – including a noble giant, a forest dweller and a thieving rake – voyage together by woodland, prairie and sea to recover the lost royal, notwithstanding the assassins and spies at their tail. Soon, young Dainy is swept into a comically complex romantic quadrangle as each suitor competes to capture her heart. Charmingly romantic and bursting with political intrigue, startling twists and vivid characters, readers of romance and fantasy alike will adore this original yet timeless tale of swashbuckling adventure and unlikely love.

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I would give this book four stars! There were many things I enjoyed about The Duchess Quest including the author’s writing style and attention to detail as well as the plot of the book. The names were somewhat hard to pronounce, but I came up with nicknames to make the story flow more easily. I liked how the book jumped from character to character with each chapter. I also enjoyed how the author wrote the action scenes. Everything in this book came together nicely. Congrats to the author for her publication. I would read more from this author.

Anyone who subscribes to the author’s monthly newsletter will receive a free eBook of The Duchess Quest.  Please visit:  www.ckbrooke/vipclub ckbrookeauthorphoto

C.K. Brooke is a 2015 Shelf Unbound Notable Indie author with a five-star rating by Readers’ Favorite. She holds numerous fantasy and romance publications with 48fourteen, Limitless Publishing, and Elphame Press. Her lifelong passion is books – reading, writing, editing, publishing and blogging about them. When not blissing out in literary land, she enjoys info-tainment podcasts, singing, songwriting and playing the piano. She lives in Washington, Michigan with her husband and young son. Visit her at CKBrooke.com and subscribe for a FREE eBook!

Please follow C.K. Brook on social media!

 Website   Facebook   Twitter   Goodreads   Amazon   48fourteen

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Author Interview: Jordan Elizabeth

Here’s another great author interview with interesting answers. Check out Jordan Elizabeth’s new book KISTISHI ISLAND!

Serena has always been plagued by imaginary friends… But what happens is they aren’t imaginary?

Serena Cole can kick serious butt thanks to young women only she can see. School bullies aren’t a problem, but Serena’s mental health might be. To shield Serena from a dark secret, her family tries to convince her that her friends are imaginary.  Fleeing her distrustful aunt, Serena joins her mother on an archeological dig at Kistishi Island. There, Serena discovers an ancient scroll and realizes her invisible friends are goddesses native to the island, and they are in danger of enslavement for their abilities. Only Serena can save her friends if she can discover the past her family has hidden her entire life – the reason why only she can see the goddesses.

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What inspired you to write this book? I wrote this book during college. I was studying childhood education, and one textbook discussed how healthy it is for kids to have imaginary friends. I started to think about what it would be like if you were a teenager and still had those imaginary friends.

That sounds really cool! How long have you been writing? Forever! When I was an infant, my grandmother wrote my stories for me. Eventually I started writing my own in notebooks, but my handwriting is atrocious. My stories really took off when I got my first computer.

Are you an outliner or pantser? Definitely a pantser! I never know how the book is going to end until I reach the final page.

Although I love outlining, I completely understand how your stories will take you on a roller coaster ride. Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block? I take a walk. Even just a walk around the block inspires me to continue the story, or sometimes to start a new one.

What are your hobbies aside from writing? I love to make jewelry and paint.

We have so much in common! I love to paint and make jewelry. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before? A haunted castle in Europe. I can just imagine all the stories it would inspire.

If you were just given an Island, what would you name it? And who would live there with you? Kistishi Island! Serena’s imaginary friends would live there with me…and it would be awesome.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? I have no idea! I love food. I guess tofu? People think that’s very odd (but it is one of my favorite foods).

Tofu is the staple of every vegan and vegetarian. There’s so much you can do with it! If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be? Clark Treasure from TREASURE DARKLY. Is it bad to have a book-crush on your own character?

img_7391Do you have any advice for other writers? Don’t take rejection personally. Everyone likes something different. It can feel crushing, but you have to find the perfect place for your writing.

Jordan Elizabeth writes down her nightmares in order to live her dreams. When she’s not creating art or searching for lost history in the woods, she’s updating her blog. Jordan roams Central New York, but she loves to travel. Follow her on Facebook!

You can purchase here and read the first chapter of Kistishi Island below:

Chapter One

“How are your imaginary friends?” Serena read aloud from the black marker scrawled on her locker. Her dry lips stuck together with each word as the sarcasm stung her mind. The janitor might scrub the permanent marker, but it would always remain a faint reminder of how much people ridiculed her. The washed out marks from last week, “Schizo,” “Fake,” and “Your imaginary friends hate you,” still showed up against the brown metal.

“Aw, someone cares about my day.” Krieg hovered behind, picking fuzz off her dress. “You should answer them. Write ‘Krieg says hi’ underneath.”

The last thing she needed was people knowing how much she still communicated with Krieg. Serena glanced down the hallway, but the students strolling by didn’t look her way. Who could have written the graffiti? Roxanne? Her hand trembling, Serena spun the combination on her lock and jerked open the dented locker door. The hinges rattled.

Did it hurt them if she had an invisible friend? As she exchanged a textbook for her social studies notes, someone bumped her butt. She lost her balance, flinging out her hand to grab the locker.

“Whoops,” a boy said and snickered.

Serena’s cheeks burned as she stuffed her supplies into her messenger bag. One more hour of high school and she could go home. Tomorrow she would bring another marker to scribble out the words that branded her.

Krieg leaned in close enough for Serena to smell her peppermint bubble gum, and said, “Bludgeon them. It’s the only way to get them to shut up.”

“No one’s talking about me right now.” Serena’s sneakers squeaked against the tile floor as she ducked into the classroom. Afternoon sunlight reflected off faded Holocaust posters on the off-white walls.

“It’s annoying when you allow the little rodents to torment you.” Krieg stuck her tongue out at the few students settling into their seats. “Where are the beheadings and crocodile pits? How about some maiming? I want to hear screaming and bones crunching.”

“This is the suburbs in the twenty-first century. People don’t do that stuff here.” Serena took her favorite seat in the back near the globe and opened her messenger bag to remove her notebook. Glancing around the room at the few students, she smiled. Since the teacher hadn’t arrived yet, she could grab a few minutes to work on her novel. Hopefully, the story would be done by her mother’s next visit. Look what I did, Mom!

“Whatcha doing?” Krieg leaned her hip against the desk and rearranged the pleated folds of her silk stola. Beneath the sleeveless dress, she wore a turquoise tunic. A thin silver belt fastened beneath her breasts, and another clasped around her narrow waist.

“I’ve got an idea for chapter seven of my Jennifer Erik story.” Serena pressed her pen to a clean page. “Jennifer’s going to be caught by a gargoyle.”

Roxanne stalked from two rows over and blinked her glittered eyelids at Serena. “Did you just call me a gargoyle?”

Serena tightened her fist around her pen. “No.” Her throat constricted. Why does Roxanne always have to single me out?

Roxanne yanked Serena’s black notebook from the desk; the metal spirals scraped against the hard surface. Serena’s pen slipped from her hand and struck the tile floor, the sound eerily loud.

Fail. She hadn’t made it through that last hour of the school day. “I wasn’t talking to you.”

“Who were you talking to? Your imaginary friends?” Roxanne bent the notebook, her biceps flexing beneath the short sleeves of her skull-and-crossbones T-shirt.

Serena cringed. Even though she would still be able to read the words, her stomach twisted into a knot. It wouldn’t be the same as having the pages crisp, new.

“I told you to bludgeon everyone before they could start on you.” Krieg rubbed her knuckles together.

“Forget to do your homework again?” Roxanne asked.

“It’s not my homework—”

“Maybe they should put you in Special Ed.”

Blood drained from Serena’s head, her heartbeat ringing in her ears. Classmates stopped getting out supplies from their backpacks to stare. Of course Roxanne would have to bring that up.

Serena toyed with her nose ring to calm her nerves. I will not fight back.

Krieg flounced across the room to push Roxanne’s baseball cap off her desk and jumped aside when a boy almost walked into her. He stopped to pick up the hat, and Krieg pointed at his bottom as he bent. She lifted her foot in a mock kick. “You know you want to.”

Serena drew a deep breath, dragging her gaze away from Krieg and back to Roxanne. “Please give my notebook back.”

One, two, three… uno, dos, tres… Her last psychiatrist promised counting in foreign languages would help her calm down faster because it took more conscious thinking to do it.

Her pulse still pounded.

Serena wouldn’t react. She knew better. It was just a spiral notebook.

Roxanne, standing over Serena’s desk, thumbed through the pages, tearing the college-ruled paper with her thick fingers. “Your handwriting sucks.” Needles scraped across Serena’s skin with each rip.

“Do something.” Krieg punched her fist into her palm.

Four, five, six… no, Serena would not talk back. Seven, eight, nine… she wouldn’t say anything this time. Ten, eleven, twelve… maybe she could still make it through the final hour.

“What is this crap?” Roxanne ripped out a page. Smirking, she crumpled the paper and tossed it at the garbage can in the back of the room.

“Don’t let her ruin your story.” Disgust coated Krieg’s words; she spat them out as if they were spoiled milk. Eyes narrowed, Krieg brushed her hand across Serena’s shoulder. Electricity shot through her body, arching her back.

“Give it back!” Serena launched to her feet. No, not again. She grabbed the notebook with two hands while she jammed her shoulder into Roxanne’s sternum. The force knocked Roxanne backward, but she clung to the notebook, dragging Serena with her as she hit the floor. Roxanne rolled until her muscled frame pressed against Serena’s ribs, forcing the breath from her lungs. Serena squirmed to get away, bumping her leg against a desk. She wouldn’t fight, didn’t want to, couldn’t, not here, not again…

Krieg’s voice echoed in her mind. Squelch her. Tie her to the rack.

“Cool. A fight.” A girl sitting across the aisle from Serena laughed.

I don’t want to fight. Krieg’s electricity still burned Serena’s veins, muting her urge for peace. Even if Serena didn’t win, she wouldn’t let Roxanne walk away without a few bruises. Maybe Roxanne would finally quit bullying her. Then Serena would never have to fight again, no matter how much the urge overtook her.

“You think you’re better than the rest of us?” Roxanne bared her teeth. “All alone back here, just because your mom was in National Geographic?”

She wrapped her legs around Serena’s, and they rolled. Serena’s back hit another desk leg. Pain flared along her nerves. A few quick twists of her hands on Roxanne’s head, and Serena could have broken her neck the way Krieg had taught her, but she stilled. Perspiration broke out across her forehead as she forced herself not to move.

“Fry her.” Bloodlust tainted Krieg’s voice. Her unbound hair hid her face, purple eyes peeking out.

“You gotta see this,” a girl said from the other side of the classroom into her cell phone. “Roxanne took on Serena!”

 

Check Out High Summons

Good afternoon everyone! Today I have a very special book to present to the world. High Summons is an amazing first book in the series Warlock of Rochester published by Clean Reads!

Jon Blythe is sick of waiting for his Yoda. After years of hiding his magic, he’s ready to retire from his mortal life, drop out of college, and jump into the world of demon hunters. He just didn’t really expect a bleach blond bookstore clerk with light up toys for weapons. Unfortunately, Jordan is Jon’s only hope. When rogue magic users come tocleanreads.png Rochester with a malicious plan, the odd couple strikes out to save the day. Jordan might not be what Jon expected, but between demons and Econ homework, the demons win every time. Wild nights drag Jon further from normal into the world where his father vanished. Maybe he’s becoming an addict. Maybe magic just comes with a price. Either way, he’s hooked.

If that doesn’t get you interested, I don’t know what will!  Eli Celata was born in Rochester and is currently attending Binghamton University as a doctoral student. Follow Eli on Goodreads, Twitter, and WordPress.

You can now purchase this book on the links listed below:

Amazon   Kobo   Smashwords   ITunes

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Sunshine Blogger Awards

Victoria Greenwell tagged me in the Sunshine Blogger Awards along with 10 other lovely bloggers.  Thank you so much for tagging me! So, what do I have to do?

Here are the rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award:

• Thank the person who nominated you.
• Answer the 11 questions you’ve been asked.
• Nominate 11 other bloggers, making sure to let each one know that they are nominated.
• Ask the nominees 11 questions.

Below are the questions I received:

  1. If you dress up for Halloween, cosplay, or other less commonly accepted occasions, describe your last two costumes. Okay, last Halloween I was half a vampire. Yes, I mean half. I painted my face, wore fake teeth, and wore a cape. But underneath that cape, I was a normal human, jeans and a sweatshirt. Then last June, I went to a ren faire and fully dressed up as a forest princess.danaren
  2. What movie or tv show would you consider a guilty pleasure? I love any variation of Cinderella!
  3. If you could live in any fictional world (whether it’s yours or someone else’s creation), where would you live and why? I kind of want to live in Shadowland. It’s a world, total opposite of ours that my sister and I made up. It rains upside down and the drops are black. And trash grows into brick buildings and disappears. Cool? I think so. I’d want to just see the world I’d created.
  4. You’ve been imprisoned for high treason and have been sentenced to death and there is no chance that the governor is going to call. Describe in detail your last meal. I think I would just want a pineapple upside down cake.
  5. Answer one of these or both: Name your favorite Doctor on Doctor Who. Name your favorite James Bond. Daniel Craig. Hands down.
  6. If you could choose any piece of music or song to be your theme song, what would it be? My Day by Danielle Bradberry.
  7. Concerning sleep, do you consider it a wondrous thing that you just can’t get enough of, or are you one of those “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” people? I love sleep but I am also one of those “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” people.
  8. Has any character that you’ve created ever done anything that took you by surprise? Yes! Cami from Bleeding Hearts is one character I couldn’t control! She tends to make some decisions that I wouldn’t necessarily make.
  9. Describe something from a movie, book or tv where you would have written it better. I actually don’t think about writing things better. Authors and screenwriters have their own way of doing things and I don’t feel like I could do better than them. 🙂
  10. Are you a shipper? If so, name some of the ships that you love. (For example, if you watch the Flash and you think Barry and Caitlyn should get together, that means you are shipper for SnowBarry.) I have a wonderful Ship name for two of my characters in my book Bleeding Hearts. Issami! Read to find out who they are!!
  11. Sentence fragments. Love them or hate them? I actually like them. I feel like they serve a purpose but don’t over use them!

So, there are my 11 questions answered. Now, here are the questions I’d like answered:

  1. What is your middle name?
  2. When did you first learn how to ride a bike?
  3. Are you the kind of person that likes to plan things or go out on a whim?
  4. What is your favorite thing to wear?
  5. Name a country then explain why you named it?
  6. What is your occupation?
  7. If you could own only one animal, what would it be?
  8. Which element do you relate to the most? Why? Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Spirit.
  9. Are you planning any vacations this year? If so, where?
  10. Name your favorite book?
  11. Lastly, do you believe that there are aliens in space?

 

Okay, the people I tag are:

Alyssa Filly – https://dreamsandreads.wordpress.com/

L.K. Kuhl – http://kuhlreads.blogspot.com/

Kim Kasch – http://kimbrakasch.com/

Skye Hegyes –  https://skyehegyes.com/

Angelique Anderson – https://authorangeliqueanderson.wordpress.com/

Wendy May Andrews – http://www.wendymayandrews.com

Ginger Solomon –  www.gingersolomon.com

J.L. Salter  – http://taketwoonromance.weebly.com/jls-blog.html

Nicole Zoltack – http://NicoleZoltack.blogspot.com

Lora Palmer – http://lorarpfictionblog.blogspot.com

Wendy Knight – http://wendyknightauthor.blogspot.com/

Meet Bill Blume

Everyone has heard of vampires. Everyone knows that there are vampire hunters. But what you don’t know is that Gidion is one kick-butt vampire hunter. Here’s what Gidion has to deal with in his first book

Hunting vampires is a Keep family tradition. Dad quit the business over a decade ago when Mom was killed, so Grandpa has been teaching Gidion in secret to take up the hunt. As Gidion closes in on the local coven, he discovers their plans to kill one of his teachers and a girl from another school. One of his best friends might be the key to finding the vampires’ lair… if he can be trusted.

Bill-Blume-Canal-Walk-Headshot-01As a Richmond-bound author, Bill Blume is a member of James River Writers and hosts a local writing group at the Urban Farmhouse in Midlothian every Thursday from 6-8 pm. I’m happy to say I am part of that group and have met some amazing people there.

Bill, what inspired you to write your first book?  I was about 40,000 words into another manuscript, and everything was working for me. One (BIG) problem: my relationship with that story was toxic. It tapped into a lot of bad things in my life at that time. I even smashed a wooden sword against a tree in my anger at one point. My wife helped me through that time with one question: “What is it you really want to write?” I’d always known the answer.  I wanted to write the best damn vampire hunter novel anyone had ever read. That book was Gidion’s Huntbill blume Gidions-Hunt-cover

It sounds like you already knew what you wanted. How long have you been writing?  I got the urge to write back in high school, so that makes it a lot longer than I probably should admit (it’s more than a quarter century). My biggest struggle as a writer in those early days was born from trying to write a novel before I’d really done much reading. Except for comic books, I was a terrible reader until my senior year in high school.

Are you an outliner or pantser? I’m more pantser than outliner, but I’m more of a hybrid. I usually know a few key moments I’m writing to in the book, but I let my characters lead me there naturally. If the characters make it clear they need to go a different plot point than I originally intended, I’m willing to change it. For my second book, Gidion’s Blood, I was forced to outline the first half of the book, though. It’s only told from Gidion’s point of view, so I needed to create a timeline of what would be happening so Gidion would also be reacting to the actions of the vampires hunting him instead of the vampires simply responding to what Gidion was doing. That added a lot more tension to the story.

How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?  It varies a lot for me, but both of the first two books in the Gidion Keep, Vampire Hunter series were written over the course of a little more than a year. That’s somewhat deceptive, though. A lot of that time included periods where I wasn’t able to write at all. For the second book, I even lost a month, because I’d broken one of the fingers in my left hand.

It varies for me too. Sometimes you get a story that just won’t leave you alone and you can write on it for hours on end, then there are the others. Lol. Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?  Writer’s Block can come from different places. Sometimes it’s a scene where you’re pushing your characters into doing something that’s wrong for them. When that happens, try to look back and figure out what other paths your characters might take. Odds favor you’ve recently taken a wrong turn in your manuscript. I actually wrote a goofy set of blog posts about that. Just don’t panic. Sometimes the answer is much simpler than you might think. (Blog Posts: https://billblume.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/that-manuscript-is-wrong-for-you/, https://billblume.wordpress.com/2014/06/11/dont-be-a-taylor-swift-writer/ )

What are your hobbies aside from writing?  I’m addicted to fantasy football, so much so that it’s tough to write during football season. A co-worker got me hooked on it back in 2009. I now run several leagues, and my favorite is a league with comic book themed teams. There are two divisions, one for Marvel Comics and the other for DC Comics. My son has even owned a team in that league for several years; he takes great pride in beating me when he does. I only play for pride, though. Playing or money would be too stressful.

pariscataWhere is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?  I want to visit Paris. While the food would be fun, my real reason is to visit the Paris Catacombs. There’s a whole culture down there, and I’m determined to take Gidion Keep there in one of his future adventures, but that’s a long ways off.

I’ve always wanted to go to Paris. France is so mesmerizing. So, if I randomly gave you an island, what would you name it? And who would live there with you?  I would name the island Iridia. The name comes from a kingdom my wife and I created for a fantasy novel that we wrote together (I’m hoping it will eventually get published). My wife loves beaches, so naturally, I want her there. Our kids would get to visit. The list of friends I’d let come there would be too long to write here.

Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten.  The weirdest thing? I might be blocking the memory of something, but the first thing that comes to mind is pork cheeks. They are SOOOOOO good! One of my favorite restaurants in Richmond made them, and they were tender and delicious, like little balls of beef stew without the veggies. Some people might consider octopus weirder (I love octopus!), but I think it’s a toss-up.

I’m not sure I’m brave enough to try those. If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be?  Just one?! GAH! I don’t think I can answer that. That’s like trying to pick a favorite child. No way. I suspect the answer would be Gidion Keep, but that feels a bit like a copout. Besides, I already have two teenage children to deal with. A third would be too much.

Do you have any advice for other writers?  The most important thing is to get your butt in the chair and get it done. It’s too easy to prioritize your writing as something less than important in your life, but sometimes your time to write needs to get the top spot. I’ve neglected my wife and kids, taken time off from work to write instead of going on vacation. I’m blessed with a family that understands why I do it, and they even encourage me to get out and write sometimes. If I don’t get to write, I can turn surly. They’d rather I go write and come back more pleasant.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?  I’m in the middle of two projects. I’m waiting to hear back from my beta readers on a non-Gidion Keep, young adult novel that is an epic fantasy reimagining of Red Badge of Courage. While I loved that book in high school, so many others hate it. That divisiveness makes it perfect for a reimagining. While I await my beta readers’ responses, I’m doing research for another young adult urban fantasy that will be set here in Richmond, but this won’t be a Gidion Keep novel. All I’ll say about that bill blume Gidions-Blood-front-coverfor now is that my research is focusing on schizophrenia.

Thanks for chatting with me, Bill. If you are interested in purchasing Gidion’s Hunt, please do so on Amazon or get an autographed copy at Fountain Bookstore.

For the purchase of Gidion’s Blood, you can go to Amazon or for an autographed copy, go to Fountain Bookstore.

Keep in touch with Bill Blume on social media: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

 

 

 

AUTHOR CARYN MCGILL

What’s so special about today? It feels like another plain Friday, but it’s not. Someone’s celebrating their birthday, people are buying new homes, starting new jobs, publishing their first book. Someone out there is having the best day of their life! 

June 10th is a great day to read, to write, and to learn about another great, talented author. Today I’m introducing Caryn McGill, my new friend! 

Caryn McGill has immersed herself in a lifelong study of religion, astrology, reincarnation, and past-life regressions. This otherworldly journey coupled with her decades spent teaching science has produced her debut novel, The Wives of Lucifer. Born on New York’s Long Island, Caryn McGill resided on its bucolic East End until a recent move to Richmond, Virginia, where she’s currently finishing her second novel.

Let’s get to know more about her!carynbookcover

The WIVES OF LUCIFER is published by The Wild Rose Press.

Olivia loves her new immortal life, her friends and especially Drew; she never thought she’d fall in love on the other side of death. But when Olivia learns she bears the mark of Lucifer and has powers that tie her to the Underworld, she worries that perhaps she’s done terrible things in her past lives and dark secrets are being kept from her. And those damn wives, what do they want from her? Olivia endures unspeakable tragedy in The Wives of Lucifer and when she discovers what fate has in store for her…she suddenly understands that being immortal doesn’t guarantee you’ll live forever.

Caryn, what inspired you to write your first book? I had a curiosity about death at an early age after my little brother died. My imagination has always toyed with what happens after we die. I finally had to write it.

How long have you been writing? I’ve been writing for eight years. I never intended to be a writer but I unexpectedly found myself possessed by this character. It felt like I channeled her. I know…weird.

Are you an outliner or pantser? I’m definitely a pantser. I write scenes without much regard for the overall plot. I eventually put them in order and weave in details and background to make the story flow.

How long, on average, does it take you to write a book? I usually finish a first draft in about three months. I then rewrite for six to eight months before I’ll let anyone read it.

When did you first consider yourself a writer? I first considered myself a writer when I went to a pitch conference in New York City and editors/agents were interested in my manuscript. Until that point I thought I was chasing an unrealistic fantasy.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block? I don’t really suffer from writer’s block I suffer from “editing block”. Writing the story is fun, but editing can be torture. I find putting the story away for a few weeks helps. When it starts to niggle at me again, like an old friend I miss, I get excited about rewriting.

What are your hobbies aside from writing? I’m a glass fusion artist. I make plates and other decorative wares for the home.

 

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before? I’d love to visit Alaska. I love the cold weather and find the flora and fauna of the northern latitudes fascinating. I incorporated this biome in my debut novel by making hell a frigid tundra.

You were just given an Island. What would you name it? And who would live there with you? I’d name it Peace Island. Only pacifists would be allowed. No intolerance would be tolerated! (I know, kind of an oxymoron.)

Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten. I went to a Chinese New Year celebration once. We had jellyfish and sea urchin. Not a fan of either…

carynart3If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be? One of my antagonists, Ravana. Although she’s scary, she cracks me up with her wit and sarcasm. I’d love to take her to a party.

Do you have any advice for other writers? My motto is “Never Stop Dreaming”, because if you dream it, it can come true. I never thought I’d sell a book to a traditional publisher.

That’s great advice! If you want to stay updated on Caryn and her books you can follow her on FacebookTwitterWebsiteWriteonsisters Blog.

You can also purchase The Wives of Lucifer on Amazon or Wild Rose Press.

Thank you so much for talking and answering all my questions. I can’t wait to read your book!!

If anyone else has a suggestion for an interview, please let me know!

A Look Inside Author L.E. Fred’s Head!

Recently, I’ve made so many new friends including several authors from one of my publishers, Clean Reads. It’s great to get to know new people and check out what they are working on. Today I’d like to introduce L.E. Fred! LE Fred

L. E. Fred is a YA author so wrapped up in her own worlds, that she had to write them all down. Beginning her journey with Devon’s world, L. E. Fred writes books to inspire young adults to find their hidden potential and become the hero they wish to be. With stories ranging from fantasy, to sci-fi, to even a splash of romance, L. E. Fred writes for the young adults she admires and wishes to inspire. Her stories are heavily influenced by her love for travel, and every new experience inspires another story to tell.
L. E. Fred currently lives in New Orleans (not for long!) with her family and red, fluffy dog.
lefredL.E. can you tell us about your upcoming book?   My recent release is Reverie, the sequel in my Lucid series. Reverie continues the adventures of Devon, Kyle, and Mitch as they face the perils of the Dream World to save both the real world and the people of the Dream World.
Can you tell us a little bit about the series?   Lucid is a YA fantasy series about a 15 year-old boy Devon who’s been tasked with saving the world. One night, he dreams about being on a spaceship. He sees other people on the spaceship, but he thinks nothing of it. The next day, he sees on the news that people are being put into inexplicable comas all over the world. He recognizes some of the coma victims from his dream and knows he must figure out what’s going on. What starts as teenage curiosity becomes a fast-paced adventure in a fantastical dream world.
Wow! That sounds awesome! What inspired you to write your first book? Lucid was inspired by my own personal struggles with sleep paralysis. That’s when you wake up mid-dream unable to move. It’s usually accompanied by some pretty freaky hallucinations which can lead to some scary moments. I always wondered what would happen if I was unable to wake up, which led to my fabrication of a separate Dream World.
Very interesting! So, how long have you been writing?   I’ve been writing since I was in 6th grade. I still remember being assigned my first creative writing assignment. What was supposed to be a 2-page story turned into a 14-page novella. I still have plans on turning that story into a novel!
L.E. are you a full-time or part-time writer?  And how do you find or make time to write?   Well, I’m no J.K. Rowling…yet. So writing isn’t my day-job. I have many passions, though, so I don’t mind sharing my writing time. I treat writing like a workout and discipline myself to do it every day. Some days are better than others, but if I’m writing, I’m happy.
Okay, one more question before we get to the fun ones. How do you get through the dreaded writer’s block?  Writers block is just a fancy word for being LAZY! No, seriously, it is an obstacle I’m suffering with as of late. I find experiencing new things like traveling to a new city or even visiting a new coffee shop jolts me back into a writing mode. I love experiencing new things, and getting out of my comfort zone usually sparks some new material.
dog
That sounds like excellent advice. Now, the most important question of the day: Do you have any pets? (You know us writers like to keep furry friends.)   I have a fluffy red dog named Ragu. He’s my partner-in-crime 🙂
Aw! He sounds so fun!  Tea or coffee?    Wine 😉
Fair enough. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?   I’ve always wanted to go to Dublin. I studied abroad in the UK, but I never got the time to visit Ireland. Since half my family comes from the Emerald Isles, I know I gotta get over there!
Oh, I’d love to go there! If I told you that I was buying you an island, what would you name it? And who would live there with you?   I’d name my island Fabrica, and I’d invite all of my friends and family to have a massive beach party for forever and ever!
Party on L.E.’s island! And lastly, what do you do for fun outside of writing books?  Aside from writing, my big hobbies are singing and playing guitar. I’m a professional singer, and I play guitar at a local bar. I also cosplay and make my own costumes of my favorite video game and anime characters. It’s so much fun to be a character for the day!
I’m a big fan of Renaissance fairs. I know how fun that can be!  What are you currently working on so we have an idea for the future?   My current WIP is an urban fantasy that takes place in my hometown, New Orleans. It deals with a mixture of mythology tied in with the changes taking place in the Big Easy. I love playing a tourist in my own hometown to do research!
lucid
Your life sounds so fun! If you want to keep in touch with L.E. Fred you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
To get your hands on the Lucid series, you can find them here: AmazonB&N,  Smashwords, Kobo, and iTunes.
To purchase Reverie, find them here: Amazon and Smashwords.
I hope you enjoyed this interview. Please contact me if you would like to see a certain author or creative person interviewed. Next week I will be talking with Artemis Grey!