Tuesday, March 31, 2015

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: "The Gods Must Be Us" by Dr. Dennis N. Clegg

Synopsis:

Fiction often introduces us to possibilities that redirect how we live. The enjoyment of writing a novel of alternate possibilities for how doomsday predictions might play out stepped into an enormous real life challenge as fictional possibilities were put to the test in reality.
The information carried in these scenarios of how survivors overcome themselves to access their original abilities is entertaining; yet for those ready to un-morph into the divinity of all of us, it is a manual for transformation.
Ponder whether we are creatures of circumstance or creators of circumstance as you go on a journey of possibilities that might awaken something you didn’t know was asleep in you.



About the Author:

Dr. Dennis loves weaving life experiences and love of flying, into stories that inspire practical mysticism. A Ph.D. in alternative healing, energy medicine facilitator, energy psychology facilitator, sexual health facilitator, clairvoyant, psychic, and dowser; he shares his expertise with the power of our core relationship with energy and working with non-incarnate beings.
His esoteric nature is grounded and balanced by being a private pilot, boater, electrician, mechanic, builder, repairman, and small business owner. He embraces that which is practical for everyday living from the part of life commonly called spiritual, yet for him, everything is spiritual and duality (separation) is a state of mind.
He presents and facilitates on a variety of subjects, further developing insights, principles, and competencies expressed as the lifestyle incorporated into The Gods Must Be Us.




Purchase Links and Social Media Links:

Balboa Press
Amazon
Facebook
Twitter
Official site

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: CJ Anaya

1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?

I actually started out as a singer/songwriter. I was signing my CD's at the same time that one of my dear friends, Jennifer Griffith was doing a book signing at the same establishment. The fact that someone I knew was an author stirred a dream I had kept to myself for most of my life, and I soon found myself quizzing her on the steps she took to getting published. She invited me to join American Night Writers Association, and my writing improved from there. I was also introduced to agents, publicists and other award winning authors through conferences and networking which this writing group offered. It was a dream come true, really. I had spent most of my life fantasizing a better scenario for whatever life offered me, it just made sense to turn those fantasies into full length novels and get them published.

2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?

 Oh man, I just did a blog post on this one. If anyone is interested you can visit this link here. http://www.authorcjanaya.com/blog/mvc-and-world-book-day-my-story 
But to sum up the main highlights, I really enjoyed mysteries of the Nancy Drew variety as a young girl, and then I branched out as I got older. I love light, fluffy, romantic comedies and books that make you take a deeper look at humanity and our own imperfections. I'm inspired by authors who write about things that may be hard to hear, and authors who simply give me an opportunity to escape for a while to be entertained. In short, I enjoy reading most anything so long as it is well written and doesn't include things that I wouldn't allow a teenager to read.

3. What was the inspiration behind your novel The Healer?

I have crazy dreams, and this instance was no exception. I had a dream about a spirit trapped in a Japanese statue, and when I woke up I could not get the dream out of my head. I had so many questions about the whole thing...seriously, it was driving me crazy. So I wrote down all of my questions and then I started answering them, and pretty soon I realized I had the basis for a great series.

4. Will we ever see these characters again in the future?

I am planning on doing a spin-off series with Angie. If I tell you what it is about it will spoil things for readers of The Healer series. Just know that Angie is going to get her time to shine as well.

5. Why did you make her a healer?

I lived in Brazil for two years serving a mission for my church and during that time I became extremely ill and had to return home. The next three years were a bit of a nightmare. There were no doctors anywhere who were able to tell me what was going on with me. I had chronic fatigue, pain and crazy anxiety. Since western medicine failed to help me I turned to natural methods and learned quite a bit in the process. It is important to seek out help from others, but self-healing is an art that I think everyone should take the time to learn. Hope is able to teach other people's spirits to heal their bodies. It is something I wish I could do in real life.

6. Were any of the characters personalities or emotions taken from real life?

Angie is my best friend Jen. It is the way we interact with one another. I have a great relationship with my parents, and I really feel like that should be more prominent in young adult books these days. So Hope's father is essentially her hero.  Kirby is based off of a young sweetheart I went on a few dates with in high school and who gave me rides to school every morning. I was one year older than him, and I always felt fiercely protective of him on some level. Tie and Victor have traits that my husband has, which is why I like them both so much. Even I had a hard time deciding who Hope would end up with.

7. What other genres would you like to try your hand at?

I plan on doing a mystery series with Angie. Man I am so jazzed about that concept.  I would also like to do some romantic comedies.

8. What would you do if what you were Hope?

If I was Hope I would spend my days saving the world from every illness known to man. I probably wouldn't even stop to take care of myself which is why it is so good that I have a husband who tells me to eat when I forget, brings me water when I get dehydrated and sends me to bed when I've been on the computer too long.

9. What is it about Japanese culture that made you use it in The Healer?

It honestly had everything to do with my dream. Since the spirit I dreamed about was trapped in a Japanese statue I had to figure out what kind of circumstances could have placed that spirit there. I knew absolutely nothing about Japan, but I knew the best place to start looking around would be in their myths and folklore. I learned about kami, and the different roles that the gods played in Japanese culture. I found similarities that crossed other mythologies in other cultures, and what really peaked my interest was when I came across the god of love and marriage and they described him as being fair with light hair. Interesting. The story grew from my research.

10. You cast your story on your website. Did you always have these people in mind when you were writing the book?

I had a few in mind, but some came to me as the story developed. 

11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?

I would like to have a few series under my belt with the love songs that I have written for my characters recorded and available for people to listen to in conjunction with the books. I would also love to be able to write some stand alone novels and just relax without feeling that gnawing pressure of deadlines. Eventually, I will go back to self-publishing. I need creative control.

12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?

Going crazy. I truly feel like this is my calling in life, though there are plenty of things to take up my time. I'm extremely active in my church callings, I am super busy with four kids, and I still sing and write music. So there is plenty to do, but I would go crazy if I didn't have an outlet for all of the stories in my head.

13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?

 I am currently working on the third book in The Healer series and once I get finished with the rewrites I am going to let it breathe for awhile and tackle a fun anthology project with a few other author friends.

14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?

Oh man. I would so love to work with Richelle Mead. Seriously, I'm convinced that lady can do no wrong. I would also love to join forces with J. K. Rowling who would no doubt dance circles around me in the writing department.

15. Thank you for participating in the interview. Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?

I trained to be a professional ballet dancer when I was younger.
I am a sucker for Sesame Street. 
Hugh Jackman is my celebrity crush...oh how I love that man. No worries. My husband already knows.





Find Ms. Anaya online via:

Official site (includes Twitter and Facebook)
Amazon 
ReverbNation 

Monday, March 30, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: "The Healer (The Healer Series Book One)" by CJ Anaya

A girl, a prophecy and two warring gods equals destiny! 
Seventeen-year-old Hope Fairmont longs for a normal teenage life, but with a gift like hers, normal equals healing illnesses and injuries instantly. Keeping a secret like that isn’t easy, but a small town is the perfect place for her to heal those who can’t heal themselves, and an even better place for her father, James Fairmont, to hide his daughter from the rest of the world. 
Life takes an unexpected turn when two handsome strangers move into town and begin unearthing other secrets concerning Hope's future and past, revealing to Hope that her gift for healing may be the fulfillment of an ancient, Japanese prophecy gone wrong. 
Staying away from these mysterious newcomers would be the smart thing to do, but Victor's gentle, easy manner, and Tie's mixed signals and strange mood swings draw her hopelessly closer to revealing the secret she and her father have been so desperate to hide. 
Hope's life is complicated further with visions of a previous life and the arrival of an unknown enemy sent to assassinate her before she learns what she is truly capable of. 
With the support of her father, the fiery loyalty of her best friend Angie, and the child-like love of Kirby, a ten-year-old patient, Hope must fight against the forces of a relentless demon god while unwinding the tangled pieces of her past, proving to herself and those she loves that destiny isn’t determined by some cosmic reading of the stars, but by the individual choices one makes.


A new way to write paranormal young adult. CJ Anaya created a lovely cast of characters, whom I found to be more detrimental to the plot than the plot itself. The supporting characters, Angie, Kirby, Tie and Victor (not to mention Hope's father) are all delightful and bright, even when the story gets dark. I loved Angie and want to see more of her in future books.

Kirby is a delight, as I know sick children are much more mature, due to their ordeals most kids don't go through. He's definitely my favorite character of all.

Plus, there's great opportunity here for a love triangle between Hope, Tie and Victor, and new OTPs to be created. Tipe? Hoptor? Just tossing out ideas!

The plot is very interesting, mixing Japanese mythology and Western ideas to weave a magical web around you while you read. YA books can be repetitive and predictable, but not The Healer. It's original with a great narrative. Ms. Anaya has a great "voice", one that keeps your interest from page one. It's also not very childlike. Adults could easily get into the story, too! 


4/5--great for teens and adults!


Purchase The Healer internationally on her official site: http://www.authorcjanaya.com/

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: "Raising The Stakes" by Karen Rock





Hiding from the world… 

Tucking herself away in the Adirondack woods was supposed to keep Vivienne Harris safe. From dark memories of the Bronx, from danger, from entanglements. But when an orphaned bear cub raids her pantry and conservation officer Liam Walsh appears with news of poachers nearby, her private, peaceful world is turned upside down!

Suddenly two forces are drawing her out—Button, the cub who needs her help, and Liam, the man who's dead set against her rehabilitating the bear. If she can just win Liam's support, Vivie knows she can give Button a good life. And maybe find the courage to embrace a future with Liam…


“What about the cub?”
His gaze swerved to hers. “I’ll have to put it down if I can’t find the mother.”
Vivie clutched the back of a chair, lightheaded and nauseous. “What? No!” How could he say that so casually? 
“I’ve called around and our wildlife rehabilitators are overloaded. Since the cub is too young to fend for itself, the humane thing to do is—”
“Kill it?” she stormed, interrupting. “How is that humane?” The cub’s frightened eyes came to mind and she backed up against the pantry door. Officer or not, he wouldn’t take the bear. Stop her from helping. It’d come to her home. Had sought refuge here.
He pulled off his hat and rubbed his forehead. “Ma’am, I don’t expect you to understand. But you need to trust me and move aside so that I can do my job.”
“Not a chance,” she ground out, wishing her pepper spray wasn’t across the room.
“Please be reasonable.” He raised his eyebrows, looking harmless. His holstered weapon told a different story.
Maybe she could reason with him, though she’d failed before. There had to be a way to save the cub. “How do you become a wildlife rehabilitator?”
He drew in a long breath and crossed his arms over his chest. “Pass a certification test then work under the supervision of a rehabilitator for six months.”
Tests. She hated them. Had only ever done well on presentation-style exams in culinary school. Still, for the baby bear...anything. “And when is the next one?”
“In a week.” He made a vague motion in the air with his hand. “Look. I’d be happy to discuss that with you another time, but the cub might be suffering. Please step aside so that I can take it.”
She raised her voice over her drumming heartbeat. “I’ll pass the test. Get certified.”
He ran a hand through his hair, making the curl-tipped ends stand up. “You’d have to study hundreds of pages of online material. It’s not easy. Trust me. I took it and barely finished my apprenticeship before my academy training started.”
“So you’re a certified wildlife rehabilitator? You could care for it.”
His chin jerked. “I already have a job.”
Her mind shifted into overdrive, churning up possibilities. “Not next week. You said you’re on vacation. You could take her while I study for the test.”
He blew out a long breath. “I don’t have an enclosure—something you’ll need along with someone to supervise you.”
She tried to come across as commanding, though at five-foot-three inches that was always a challenge. “You could help with both.”
He shook his head, his earnest expression replaced with a wash of annoyance. “Out of the question. There are too many ifs in that idea.”
She tried keeping the heat out of her voice. The DEC. Always so difficult. Especially Walsh. “Why? I’m sure you could call in a favor. Ask one of the rehabilitators to find temporary space for the cub. Then I’ll pass the test and, with your help, be approved to care for it. Don’t you want to do the right thing?”
Wasn’t that his job?
“I do. Which is why I’m taking the bear. Now.”
“Not a chance. You’ll have to go through me first.” She hated to sound dramatic, use a cheesy line from bad TV, but there was no other way to say it.
A crease appeared between his brows, his eyes scanning hers. Finally, he released a long breath.
“How about this—I’ll take her to the vet where they’ll check her jaw, give her some food and a safe place to stay, temporarily, while I continue investigating.”
She considered, wishing she could trust him. But after her dealings with him before, her faith was on the short side.
“Let’s try this,” she countered. “I’ll go with you and stay with the bear until you come back. Then we’ll talk about what happens next.”
He settled his hat back on, pinching the indented top. “There’s no reason to get more involved, ma’am.”
She pulled out her cell and tapped in Maggie’s number. Someone could come by and pick up the pies. Another worker would be called in for an extra shift. The Homestead would manage without her today. She wasn’t leaving the cub’s side until she knew it’d be safe—from nature and the DEC.
“It’s much too late for that, Officer Walsh.”
She studied him for a long, heavy moment, then moved aside. If the cub’s mother was dead, then she’d take on the role.
And nothing was more ferocious than a mama bear…


Karen Rock is an award-winning YA and adult contemporary romance author. She holds a master’s degree in English and worked as an ELA instructor before becoming a full-time writer.  Currently she writes for Harlequin Heartwarming and has published five novels with them. Her first novel for the line, WISH ME TOMORROW, has won the 2014 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, the 2014 Golden Quill Contest and was a finalist in the Published Maggie Awards. The first novel in her co-authored YA series, CAMP BOYFRIEND, has been a finalist in the Booksellers Best and Golden Leaf awards.

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Quarterly Newsletter:  http://bit.ly/1rcOVJK
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Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1reobGf
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BOOK TRAILER/COVER REVEAL: "Give Me Your Answer True" by Suanne Laqueur


Link to book information: http://www.suannelaqueur.com/gmyat-main/

Book Description/Synopsis:
Following her award-winning debut novel The Man I Love, author Suanne Laqueur now gives Daisy Bianco a chance to tell her story.

It’s been three years since an egregious error of judgement cost Daisy the love of her life. Erik was a conduit to her soul but now he’s chosen a path of total disconnection, refusing to speak to her. Alone and shattered, she attempts to take responsibility for her actions while building her career as a professional dancer in New York City. But Erik’s unforgiving estrangement proves too much for her strength. Plagued by flashbacks to the shootings at Lancaster, she falls into a dangerous spiral of self-harm, cutting into her own skin as a means to atone. Only the timely appearance of an old friend, John “Opie” Quillis, saves her from self-destruction and gives her a chance to love again.

Laqueur skillfully weaves flashbacks to the years at Lancaster with Daisy’s present life. Supported by John’s patient affection, she works to separate her evolution as an adult from the unresolved guilt and grief of her youth. As her professional accomplishments lift her out of depression, Daisy learns to hold onto her accountability without letting it become her identity. Years pass and she builds a beautiful life filled with dance and friends. Lovers come and eventually go, leaving her on her own with the old thought: Come back to me.

In this parallel narrative, Laqueur peels open the beloved characters from The Man I Love to reveal new and complex layers of vulnerability. The scars from the shooting are deep and pervasive within this circle of friends. Like Daisy, they evolved without being resolved. Because when questions from the past go unheeded, you alone must find and give your answers true.

See some of the sights and sounds of Give Me Your Answer True on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/slaqueur/give-me-your-answer-true-sights-sounds/

Amazon link to The Man I Love: http://www.amazon.com/Man-I-Love-Suanne-Laqueur-ebook/dp/B00L2H6CSO/

Sunday, March 29, 2015

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: "The Cemetery Boys" by Heather Brewer

Part Hitchcock, part Hinton, this first-ever stand-alone novel from Heather Brewer, New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series, uses classic horror elements to tell a darkly funny coming-of-age story about the dangerous power of belief and the cost of blind loyalty.
When Stephen's dad says they're moving, Stephen knows it's pointless to argue. They're broke from paying Mom's hospital bills, and now the only option left is to live with Stephen's grandmother in Spencer, a backward small town that's like something out of The Twilight Zone. Population: 814.
Stephen's summer starts looking up when he meets punk girl Cara and her charismatic twin brother, Devon. With Cara, he feels safe and understood—and yeah, okay, she's totally hot. In Devon and his group, he sees a chance at making real friends. Only, as the summer presses on, and harmless nights hanging out in the cemetery take a darker turn, Stephen starts to suspect that Devon is less a friend than a leader. And he might be leading them to a very sinister end...




The Cemetery Boys will be released as a hardcover book and ebook on March 30th. Purchase it at your local bookstore or via:

Amazon
Add it on Goodreads

Or visit her official site for all other online retailers!

Friday, March 27, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: David Swykert

1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?

I think it happened in my early twenties. I read a poem by Tennyson, Flower in the Crannied Wall. It impressed me, how much writing can impact thinking, and I wanted to do that. 

2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?

I read Mark Twain’s Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn when I was young.  As I got older I read Hemingway and loved how his spare style could arouse emotion. I’ve  always looked to get that same power without excessively overwriting.

3. What was the inspiration behind your novel The Pool Boy's Beatitude?

They say write what you know. I worked in law enforcement, I’ve known a lot of under the radar kind of people. And I know about addiction, and treatment, and in spite of being in law enforcement, I have done a little jail, similar to Jack in my story. I’ve never cleaned swimming pools for a living, but I had a house in the suburbs at one time with a nice pool. So I know how to take care of one. And who doesn’t want to meet the love of your life, that one person that just stones you, as Sarah does to Jack Joseph in the story.

4. Can you tell the readers a little about your previous work?

Before being a 911 operator I worked in logistics for the CSX Railroad, and I also investigated accidents and managed a safety program.

5. How has being a 911 operator influenced your writing career?

I have written, previously to the Pool Boy’s Beatitude, a couple of crime novels, two of which are in print, Children of the Enemy and The Death of Anyone. Knowledge of police procedure, the court system, jail, and even treatment were subjects I had knowledge of. 
This enabled me to write the crime stories authentically and helped with the jail chapters in Pool Boy.

6. Did you ever put yourself in the stories in any way?

I think there are elements of the writer in all of a writer’s characters. The people in your stories come out of your head, you incorporate differences, but there is a little of you in all of them, even cross gender characters.

7. What other genres would you like to try your hand at?

I’ve written in four different genres, YA, Romance, Crime and Literary. I think I have a good science fiction novel in me. I’ve published a few short pieces that are science fiction. You can look up online: The General Theory of Non-Existence or The Androgyny Chip.

8. What character of yours, if any, would you like to trade placea with any why?

Jack Joseph, he’s found the love of his life and is living as we all should.

9. You say you're a wolf expert. What is it about the species that intrigue you?
 
That the perception of them is so far from the truth. They’re like foreign people, who you don’t think you have anything in common with, until you get to know them, and find you a share lot in common. Wolves are not the violent predators or evil as they’ve been portrayed for centuries. Wolves have strong familial bonds, they mate for life and they care for their 
young. We’re supposed to be more intelligent, yet we have a seventy percent divorce rate and over half of our children growing up in single family homes. On the personal side, wolves are quite shy and retiring as opposed to aggressive. I raised a pair of wolf hybrids, had them for eleven years. They are not real trainable, aren't any good as watchdogs, but they are very affectionate once they begin to trust you. 

10. Would you like to see The Pool Boy's Beatitude as a film? If yes, who do you want to see your characters?     

I write every book, as did Elmore Leonard, as if I was watching a movie. So, yes, and a young Jack Nicholson could play the role effectively, but today I think I’d go with Matthew McConaughey.
        
11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?

 I don’t plan ahead much. I have a couple of stories in mind right to write. My career, I’d like to think I’m the next JD Salinger, but most likely I’ll still be doing blog posts and interviews. And you know, that’s just fine with me. 

12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?

Arresting people. Joking. Seriously, retired and traveling a little. I can’t imagine myself not working on a story.

13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?

I have two novels with a female narrator, based on a real person who lived in a ghost town on the Keweenaw Peninsula. Maggie Harrington is about a young woman trying to save a pack of young wolves from a bounty hunter back in 1892. I wrote second novel about her, Alpha Wolves, an am currently working on a third, where she is now an old woman and living alone. She imagines her wolf has come back to her and she needs to protect him from the son of the bounty hunter who still hunt wolves like his father did.

14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?

It makes me sound arrogant, but none. I always look for a unique voice for my narrator and I don’t think you can work with a collaborator and maintain that. I had a great editor, from Rebel e Publishing, Jayne Southern, who did the final edit of the novel. I live with my other editor, Donna Vitucci, Google her name and you can see some of her work. Donna helped me shape the novel through the editing process of the first draft. 

15. Thank you for participating in the interview. Can you please leave the readers with three  things that may surprise them about you?

1.       I love cats.
2.       I like to cook. A chef would be my second career choice.
3.       I’m looking to publish Maggie Elizabeth Harrington in Israel, already have a translator, Nurit Dekel, who is a professor and a Linguist, and a strong advocate for my work.




Find Mr. Swykert online via:

Twitter
Smashwords

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: SM Spencer

"DESTINY" from SM Spencer's All Shadows Trilogy will be FREE on Amazon from April 13th through the 18th! Link to her Amazon page is below!



1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?

I think the desire to be a writer started in my teens. I read a lot and would often get caught up in the characters, living their stories long after I’d finished the books. I had a great deal of respect for authors that could do that, and I wanted to be like them.

2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?

Daphne du Maurier, Mary Stewart, J.R.R. Tolkien and Ray Bradbury were among my favourite authors when I was young.
I go through various genre moods. I devoured Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia (didn’t everyone?) but also enjoy finding an author with a continuing series, like Patricia Cornwell, John Lescroart and Janet Evanovich. I particularly enjoy a good mystery/thriller with a romantic element.
At this very moment I’m reading fellow indie authors, from both the Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC) and indieBRAG Medallion.

3. What was the inspiration behind the Absent Shadows Trilogy?

I was working around the corner from Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Markets, up near the Flagstaff Gardens. Walking around at lunchtime, I started sensing that I was smack dab in the middle of the perfect setting for ghosts and vampires—and the story just developed from there.
Of course, the late night ghost tours I’d done in the area, where I’d learned the history of the cemetery under the market’s carpark and about ghost sightings all throughout the area, really helped. And like many, I was caught up in the resurgence in popularity of vampires.

4. Will we ever see these characters again in the future?

Probably—the continuing story is bubbling away in my mind, and when it’s ready, it’ll surface.

5. You grew up in San Francisco but live in Australia. Has your location influenced your writing at all?

I think everyone’s writing is influenced by their surroundings and their perceptions of their environment.
Writing Lili in the first person was easy for me because in some ways she was living what I’d done. I think it would be pretty difficult for someone to write a story set in Australia if they didn’t live here.

6. Were any of the characters personalities or emotions taken from real life?

Aspects of the characters were inspired by people I’ve known, but none are meant to be anyone in particular.

7. What other genres would you like to try your hand at?

I’d like to have a go at a rural romance and also science fiction (the thought provoking eerie sort).

8. If you could trade places with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

Crystal. I loved writing her. She is caring, and beautiful, and gentle and all things feminine. But at the same time, she is strong and powerful, and not to be messed with. She is Aphrodite and Athena wrapped up in one awesome little package.

9. What is it about vampires that made you decide to use them as your "main creature"?

Mostly, I think it’s a bit of that beauty and the beast thing—seeing through the horrible exterior to the goodness that dwells deep inside. You have this hero who is handsome and charming, but also deadly, dark and powerful. And the heroine sees all sides of him and falls in love with him.

10. Would you like to see the Trilogy as films? If yes, who do you want to see play your characters?

Of course! Abigail Breslin would make a lovely Lili and perhaps Liam Hemsworth would make a charming Sam. But without a doubt I would pick Lucy Liu for Crystal.

11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?

I love where I am right now. It’s taken me a lot of years to get here, and I’m savoring the ability to progress my journey toward becoming a better writer. I hope to continue with my writing, as well as encouraging and supporting other indie authors.

12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?

Gathering inspiration so I could start writing again.

13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?

I’m currently working on a rural romance, but I’ve also got a science fiction story that’s been writing itself for a few years. And of course, the continuation of Absent Shadows—those characters are very much alive and their on-going story is constantly building.

14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?

Oh, this is really hard. As already mentioned, I have the utmost respect for the creative skills of the late authors Ray Bradbury, Daphne du Maurier and J.R.R. Tolkien. If meeting with them meant that even the smallest portion of their talent rubbed off onto me, I’d be thrilled.

15. Thank you for participating in the interview. Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?

Growing up, my favourite TV shows were Dark Shadows, The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits. I loved all things paranormal, and one side of me truly regrets not doing a degree in parapsychology.
My favourite food, and the one I’d chose if I could only have one for the rest of my life—tortilla chips (or as we say here in Australia, corn chips)! And a bit of salsa on the side, please.
My favourite sound—a kitten purring. There is, quite simply, nothing better. Well, perhaps there is one better sound … the soft uttering of the words ‘thank you’. And I’d like to say them to you, Kelly, for providing this wonderful opportunity for me to connect with you and your followers.





Find Ms. Spencer online via:

Amazon
Facebook (LIKE page)
Goodreads

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Cheryl Mackey

1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?

I have been a writer my whole life, though in my own way. I didn’t take myself or my dreams seriously until after college, however. I write because I can’t stop the stories. They fill nearly every waking moment of my life. If I didn’t have an outlet my brain would explode!

2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?

As a preteen/young adult I read the typical young teen novels like Anne of Green Gables, Ramona Quimby, A Wrinkle in Time. I really found author soul mates in Madeleine L'Engle, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Beverly Cleary, and Judy Blume. Their characters were so rich, and so unique, in how they felt like outsiders, that I really identified with them. 
Today I read mainly fantasy, science fiction, and space opera. I am a huge J.R.R. Tolkien geek, and I named my son after Isaac Asimov. Does that say anything?

3. What was the inspiration behind your novels The Unknown Sun and The Immortals?

I’d come up with the basic story long ago, as a young teen. I think it came to me in a dream. From there it expanded, grew, and evolved. I purposely waited to write them. I knew I had to grow up more as a writer, to become better, to be able to do justice to such a rich and deep mythos.

4. Since The Immortals says part one, can I ask how many books will the series spawn?

Currently I am looking at shaping it into 4 parts total (give or take). Currently the remaining chapters are in one giant book, but instead of keeping it as one book, I wanted to show the characters and world in a series of “snapshots” that hit key plots points on the way.

5. Why did you decide to write a story about an orphan (Moira)?

To be honest, she was orphaned because of who she is. And who she is a secret still xD

6. Were any of the characters personalities or emotions taken from real life?

Actually yes, I will say ALL the main characters are based on detailed personas created by my husband, 2 friends, and myself. They are my inspirations and now I joke that they are famous xD

7. What other genres would you like to try your hand at?

I have a disturbing itch to try my hand at space opera.

8. What would you do if you were Moira?

If I were Moira, I would do my best, but I would be honest with myself. I am not strong, not brave, not battle savvy, but I would know that I would die to protect those I love.

9. You say you love music. How does it influence your writing?

Music does two things. It provides a filter so I don’t hear my kids screaming and throwing bananas at each other, and it provides inspiration. I can’t usually listen to music with words or I will end up writing down the words in the manuscript...or dancing in my pj’s using my hairbrush as a mic.
I love to listen to “epic” music or what’s also called “trailer music”, which is the music from movies, tv shows, and video games. My favorite group is Two Steps from Hell and in particular Thomas Bergersen, who is co-owner. He wrote an entire album that can practically be the soundtrack for The Unknown Sun! I really recommend checking them out here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TwoStepsFromTheMusic

10. Would you like to see The Unknown Sun as a film? If yes, who do you want to see play your characters?

I would, but I would be afraid of someone else ruining my story irreparably. That being said, I do love a lot of movies that made it to the big screen, even some not well received.
I have a few ideas for characters that somewhat fit the bill: Moira would be Britt Robertson, Bel would be Ben Barnes and Airi I haven’t found yet. Who do you think?

11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?

In ten years I am still writing. Maybe a little faster than now, but I imagine I will have 3 full series of books out and finally be working on that space opera!

12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?

If I wasn’t writing (an author) I would be working in the book business somehow, someway. A bookseller, an editor, etc.

13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?

Currently I am working on The Immortals Part Two, which continues the quest of the companions on a new quest. The stakes are higher and they must find out who is really friend or foe.

14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?

J.R.R. Tolkien, Patrick Rothfuss, and Isaac Asimov. The three would be a great mix of fantasy and science fiction!

15. Thank you for participating in the interview. Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?

~I visualize each scene in extreme detail. Extreme. I freeze it in my mind and can rummage through it like it was 3D. I pull sensory items...sights, sounds, smells, physics, etc...out and try to translate the vivid sensations to paper. Doesn’t always work, by the way.
~I am horribly allergic to lavender. The smell gives me an instant migraine and I get nauseated.
~I can read two pages at the same time. One page with each eye. I am a very fast reader this way and can get through a 400 page book in 3 hours if undisturbed (don’t often do that anymore, getting too old I guess).




Find Ms. Mackey online via:

Official site (has all social media links)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

DOUBLE BOOK REVIEW: "The Unknown Sun" & "Immortals: Book One: Shadows And Starstone" by Cheryl Mackey

The Unknown Sun Review:

Seventeen-year-old Moira is haunted by the accidents that claimed her parents and sisters. When a strange boy who seems to know too much about her past attacks her, Moira fears death will come for her a third time. She is rescued by twins Airi and Belamar, the winged heirs to the throne in Skyfall, and taken to safety in their world. 
But Skyfall is dying, and the Immortals who had protected Airi and Belamar's world have been missing since the Great War. Moira, Airi, and Belamar must find a journal left by the twins' deceased mother, Tanari, that tells of a prophecy that must be fulfilled to free the Immortals known as The Unknown Sun so that Skyfall can be saved. 
Deeper, darker, secrets unravel around the three friends as a revolution threatens their quest and the boy who tried to destroy Moira on Earth hunts them. Tanari knew more than she had let on, and within her journal a story is more than it seems, the past foretells the future, and a far-reaching plan is unveiled. 
Why did Tanari reach across time and space to entrust a simple human girl with saving Skyfall? Who are the mysterious “Four” mentioned in the journal? And why does another Immortal want her, and The Unknown Sun, dead?

The Unknown Sun reminded me of a mashup of Tolkien and Star Trek. It felt futuristic yet ancient, and was extremely vivid. It's been a while since I've reaf anything so visually stimulating.
I like Moira as a character. She's someone who went through Hell and kept on going, even when she could've given into depression. She's as resilient as anyone could be expected to be in light of her circumstances.
The world that Mackey created is lovely, filled with mystery and unique creations that keep your eyes glued to the page. There is no faulting her imagination. Half of the mainstream fantasy writers could only dream of doing so well.
The plot is well thought out and keeps steady through the book, ending in a way that makes you crave more. My only issue is with the excessive description of how things are said, or exactly what Moira's body was doing. I always prefer to have to imagine in my kind how things were said and expressed. It's a frequent issue I have, not just with this book.
But that aside, The Unknown Sun is a beautiful story, written in a way that just flows and will attract readers of all ages.

4/5--beautiful work!









The Immortals: Book One: Shadows And Starstone Review:

A thousand years ago the gods known as The Four created the Immortals to protect and defend their world against an invader known as the Dro-Aconi—and then vanished. Left to fend for themselves, the three races of Ein-Aral and the Immortals banded together to save the world. 
Part One: Shadows and Starstone 
Ivo, Jaeger, Jadeth, and Emaranthe must protect a desert village and its hoard of Starstone, a power source that can aid the Dro-Aconi’s plans for the dominion over Ein-Aral. Can the companions battle inner demons long enough to defeat legions of enemies and keep the enemy from seizing the Starstone? 

This book is a tie-in with The Unknown Sun, answering some questions the precious book left us with and providing more insight into the mysterious Four we read about. I liked this much better than the other, believe it or not. When it comes to epic fantasy worlds like what Mackey created, the inside workings of its characters and leaders always intrigues me the most, like The Simarillion by Tolkien.
This story takes you inside Skyfall, inside the minds and hearts of its leaders. It's written just as beautifully as Unknown, but with more thought, despite it being only half the length of it. It's proof that shorter can be sweeter, and that fantasy is not a dying genre.
Now...let's start casting the films, shall we? Because I know I'm not the only person who is dying to see what this amazing world looks like!

5/5--a great, quick story.




Purchase both books on Amazon!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

PROMO BLITZ: "Seams In Reality" & "Cracks In Reality" by Alex Siegel






Young Adult Fantasy / Thriller
Date Published: Sept 26, 2014 & December 25 2014

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SEAMS IN REALITY is the first book in the Seams in Reality Series.

As a freshman in a suburban college near Chicago, Andrew leads a mundane life until he meets a professor named Tonya. She is secretly a master sorcerer, and she invites him into a conspiracy of magic. Only those few who possess exceptional talent may join. A resourceful young woman named Charley has the same supernatural gift. She accompanies Andrew on his journey into a dark profession, and romance quickly blooms between the young apprentices. When Andrew meets Blake, a sorcerer who knew his grandfather, Andrew becomes embroiled in a game of lies and treachery. Blake's thirst for power leaves a trail of casualties, and in the end, only Andrew can stop him.

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CRACKS IN REALITY is the second book in the Seams in Reality Series.

The Vault is a fortress in the desert protected by the United States Army, and it contains the most dangerous, forbidden secrets of sorcery. Blake, master sorcerer and fugitive from justice, has a plan for robbing the place. He will create a tangled web of lies to trick the Army into delivering the treasure into his hands. He intends to use the stolen knowledge to destroy his enemies and become the most powerful sorcerer on Earth.

Two apprentices are on a mission to kill Blake. Andrew is a war mage, a genius at psychic combat. Charley is a young woman who commands physical sorcery. Their instructor, Tonya, will turn the two teenagers into warriors capable of defeating Blake, if they can endure the extreme mental and physical tests.

Tonya's training is just the beginning for Andrew and Charley. They must discover Blake's hidden objectives, and they don't have much time. A government agency called the Bureau of Physical Investigation has the same assignment, but the agents are unprepared for the dangers they will face. Other surprising threats await the apprentices as they pursue their enemy along a trail of bloodshed.




About the Author


Alex Siegel grew up a math and computer geek. At the age of twenty-five, he received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell. He continues to make a good living as a software developer in Chicago. In his late twenties, he took up creative writing as a serious pastime with the intention of eventually making it his career. This goal has been elusive, but failure is not an option. In 2001, his wife gave birth to triplet boys. People often ask him how he still finds time to write. In 2009, he began the Gray Spear Society series, and he hopes it will be his key to literary fame.

Author Links


Purchase Links

Amazon


Giveaway
$10 Amazon Gift Card


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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Vincent Macraven

1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?

I started to write in my  twenties  with a love for the written word and a good story. I became a writer with a love for  a story that could add richness as mine was with books. As well as a love for the creative process that is boundless, a story could go anywhere, anywhere, no rules, no boundaries.

2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?

When I was really young I didn't read. It was only later on did I start. An inspiration was " To Kill A Mockingbird." by Harper Lee which I read in a day. Thanks to my father. Then I fell in love with reading. Today I read mostly Literary fiction, horror and the classics.

3. What was the inspiration behind your novel Unsettling?

What inspired me to write "Unsettling" was my love for horror and the need to write about the darkness. To push it, to see how dark I could actually write.

4. Can you briefly tell the readers a little about your other works?

My other works range from short story collections that are filled with horror, literary fiction, thrillers and even romance. Some are reflections about life, touching on religious issues as well as mental illness. I have one book of poetry. And a novel, Testament of the dead, about a haunting, driving one to well deserved madness.

5. Everyone treats horror differently, and likes it for different reasons. Why does horror resonate so much with you?

I think I like horror because it has always been a part of mans soul. From Cain and Abel and mans first murder. The darkness has always been. A source of mystery and fear not knowing what is next and what one will find. When reading horror the mind expands with anticipation dripping with imagination with what is coming next? The fear as primal an emotion as love. And the darkness in one's mind waiting to be exposed in the light in a good story, great stuff!

6. Were any of your characters personalities or emotions taken from real life?

No characters but the emotions and fear, we all have ghosts and demons.

7. What other genres would you like to try your hand at?

I think I am writing in all the genres that appeal to me, I don't know if I would be any good at science fiction.

8. What would you do if you wound up as one of your characters in the three novellas that make up Unsettling?

If I were a character in my books I think I would keep my eyes closed, move forward and aim for the heart.

9. Your bio says you're also a musician. Does music influence your writing at all?

I think my music only influences me in the sense that I like everything in music from Led Zeppelin to Beethoven to Hole and Dave Brubeck. As in books anything from horror to literary fiction. From Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oats to Ayn Rand and Victor Hugo.

10. Would you like to see any of the stories in Unsettling as a film? If yes which one, and who do you want to see play your characters?

I would love to see any one of them in a film with anyone.

11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?

To be honest I have no clue, hopefully happy with a little success and maybe a film or two.

12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?

If I weren't writing I would probably be playing music or painting, which I still do sometimes.

13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?

Right now I am writing a novel about a teenager whose drug use has taken a dark turn with bad trips on acid, paranoia and demons abound.

14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?

I would have loved to have collaborated with Dostoyevsky for his rich understanding of the depths of the human emotion and condition and Edgar Allan Poe for his rich understanding of the darkness and his mastery of the words.

15. Thank you for participating in the interview. Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?

I had to go to summer school for English or not graduate, I'm a poor speller and I'm a paranoid schizophrenic.




Find Mr. Macraven online via:

Amazon
Kirkus

Monday, March 23, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: "Unsettling" by Vincent Macraven

[This book consists of three novellas, but I'm reviewing it as a whole rather than in three separate parts. Also, it is for readers 18+, due to violence, language and general fear.--KSR]

It starts with "Where The Dead Dwell", a take similar in plot as The Haunting of Hill House, or with the aspect of the Marsden House in 'Salem's Lot. A house where bad things have happened, and it turned the house's energy evil. A type of story that I, personally, don't think authors write about often enough.
The second story is "Watching Black Mountain". It's about a man named Zachariah who, from a twisted childhood, thinks he is God and forces others to believe the same.
The last (and shortest) also deals with religion, "The Devil Incarnate". It deals with a detective who is being haunted by the ghosts of children who had been murdered in what looks like a Satanic ritual.

Each story is unique, but each written with the author's particular style. You know from the first sentence that you're reading a Vincent Macraven novel. He's a new breed of horror novelist, focusing on religion and evil energy but also adding in the human condition, how nature and nurture could be the undoing of a person. Or a place, even.
These stories are not for the faint of heart. Usually I write an 18+ warning for novels of a sexual nature. This time I'm warning readers because these stories are dark, black as Hell. Frightening, even for me, and I am not easily unnerved.
All of the themes here have been written before, but not in this way. If other authors have danced on the edge of darkness, Macraven jitter-bugged his way right down into the inky depths. While I don't think that a good horror story needs excessive violence to be frightening, some stories are complete only when sincere depravity is evident, and these are the latter type of stories. The language drags you in, and the imges make you afraid to go to sleep at night.
Vincent Macraven is the next big thing on horror, that's for sure!

4/5--will keep you up at night!





Purchase Unsettling via:

Amazon
Barnes And Noble
Goodreads

Saturday, March 21, 2015

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: "Mentor Me" by Ken Poirot


Amazon Bestseller!


About the Book

Happiness. Success. Motivation. Influence. Inspiration.

Groundbreaking Practical Self-Help, Mentoring, Coaching, Personal Success, Business Guide.

We all want to have success and happiness in every area of our lives, as well as be a positive influence and inspiration to other people. But too often, we get lost in our resolutions to do just that, having no idea where to start or how to get there.

This book is the perfect guide! Fun, Concise, Succinct, Proven, and Filled with Wisdom!
Successful mentor and coach Ken Poirot provides answers and walks you through in this groundbreaking book, Mentor Me: GA=T+E—A Formula to Fulfill Your Greatest Achievement!
Finally a Real-World Practical Self-Help, Mentoring, Coaching, Personal Success, Business Book!

In Mentor Me, you will discover:
- How to formulate a plan to achieve your dreams
- Your personality style and how it relates to the personality styles of other people
- How to most effectively learn new information, motivate yourself, and others
- The two most powerful words in the English language and how to put them to work for you
- The best-and most effective-way to handle any conflict in life
- And so much more...

Mentor Me delivers what other books only promise: real-world strategies, techniques, and information that produces effective, tested, and proven results!

Easy-to-implement directives and personal life illustrations combine to provide readers with the pathway to success they have only previously dreamed about.

There are also some fun "smile" moments included along the way...
Begin reading and following the plan found in Mentor Me today and step-by-step, you will transform your life!

A Fun and Simple Self-Help, Mentoring, Coaching, Personal Success, Business Book!






Purchase Mentor Me





The Author

Ken's Website /  Blog / Twitter / Wikipedia / Goodreads / Facebook Pinterest /Google+

Ken Poirot grew up on Long Island, New York in the quaint village of Northport. After graduating from 
Cornell University with a B.S. in Microbiology, he moved to Houston, Texas to pursue his
Ph.D. studies in Cancer Research at MD Anderson Cancer Center through UT Health Science Center. Upon receiving a US Patent for his research, Lipid Complexed Topoisomerase I Inhibitors, he left graduate school for a career in financial services.

     Over the last two decades, he worked for many of the top financial services firms--some better known New York Stock Exchange-listed companies like American Express, Charles Schwab, Merrill Lynch (now part of Bank of America), JP Morgan Chase, as well as some smaller New York Stock Exchange-listed companies like Cullen/Frost Bankers (NYSE: CFR) and Guaranty Bank (now part of BBVA, NYSE: BBVA).

     As the Senior Vice President and Sales Manager for Frost Investment Services, the brokerage division of Frost Bank (NYSE:CFR), he led his department to four consecutive years of double- digit revenue growth, increasing revenue by over 83% while substantially increasing the profit margin from approximately 27% to 37%. During this same time period, his financial advisors increased their individual production from an average of less than $25,000 in revenue per month to over $41,000. He achieved similar results at various other firms, including Guaranty Bank and JPMorgan Chase, consistently increasing the sales of his territories/producers by double-digits as a regional manager and personal/professional coach.


Follow the entire MENTOR ME Tour!

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Friday, March 20, 2015

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Timothy J. Lytle

1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?

I've always been an avid reader since I was a child.  I think the writing bug really took hold when my dad brought home our first PC (Apple II+ if memory serves) and I was able to type up and see the stories in my head printed out.  At that point I took a writing course through the mail (these were the ancient times prior to the internet) and gained the confidence I needed to keep going.  In high school I received a writing scholarship to college which really cemented the fact that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?

Terry Brooks 'The Sword of Shannara' was the first book that kicked off a long obsession with fantasy novels.  Stephen R. Donaldson, Anne McCaffrey, Larry Niven, and Raymond Feist were early influences.  In my twenties Clive Barker's Weaveworld and Imajica as well as Harlow Ellison's short stories and Neil Gaiman's early work really broadened my horizons.
These days I'm much more into science fiction.  Peter F. Hamilton, Vernor Vinge, and Stephen Baxter are all amazing authors.

3. What was the inspiration behind your novel Universe Ocean?

I wrote the bulk of the outline while on vacation in the Florida Keys; the ocean and nature has always been a huge influence on my writing.  Being entirely immersed in that environment opened my mind up to many of the ideas in this novel.  Then while researching some of the science that would become the backbone of this universe, I came across a novel called "The Hole in the Universe" by K.C. Cole.  If there was a companion novel to Universe Ocean, this would be it.  In fact, I would recommend anyone interested in space and physics read her book whether or not they find my novel appealing to them.

4. Will we ever see these characters again?

I've got some ideas for a stand-alone sequel planned, which will take place in the same universe.  There are many ideas for these alien species that I would like to continue exploring.  Though if any of the characters from the first novel will make a reappearance remains to be seen.

5. How did you decide to create what is, essentially, your own version of the universe?

It started with the basic premise of wanting to take people on an adventure while at the same time expanding their paradigm of the universe.

6. Were any of the characters personalities or emotions taken from real life?

I think everything a writer experiences comes out in their writing in one form or another.  If I had to point to one specific thing I would say there were some experiences I was going through with my ex-wife at the time that got woven into the conflict between Pedn and Toak.

7. What other genres would you like to try your hand at?

For now I'd like to continue exploring science fiction.  The genre provides a good canvas for me to explore the ideas currently bouncing around in my head.  If anything, I'd like to branch out into writing for video games some day.  I've seen a lot of great writing emerging from the video game industry in the last couple of years.

8. What would you do if you were Harlow?

"Just keep swimming."

9. Do you, personally, think that there might be life on other planets?

I think the universe is such a large place that to say there positively isn't would be narrow-minded.  However, for personal religious reasons I don't believe there is, at least not anything that is self-conscious.

10. Would you like to see Universe Ocean as a film? If yes, who do you want to see play your characters?

I think the novel is too long and covers too many ideas to be encapsulated into a film.  A five year television series might work.  There are so many aliens involved that any qualified actor could play them.  Ben Browder as Harlow would be amazing.

11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?

I was diagnosed with Cervical Dystonia in 2007 so the speed at which I am able to write is limited.  I usually become so immersed in the project I am currently working on that I don't look much beyond that.  Right now that is the sequel to Universe Ocean.

12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?

Most likely something to do with computer programming or drumming.  My passion for music has at times overtaken my love for writing.

13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?

A stand-alone sequel to Universe Ocean, tentatively titled Clear Darkness.

14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?

Shakespeare, Hemmingway, Joyce.  Vernor Vinge.  I would give my left cheekbark to sit down for five minutes with K.C. Cole.

15. Thank you for participating in the interview. Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?

I play the drums.  I have Cervical Dystonia (https://www.dystonia-foundation.org/what-is-dystonia).  I spend way too much time playing video games.

Thank you so much for your time.  Interested readers can find my book at most online retailers, visit me at www.universeocean.com or follow me on twitter @universeocean.