Off to See the Wizard by Clay Johnson

Posted September 28, 2016

At the end of most heroic quests, after a plucky band of heroes has averted the apocalypse, all is well, and everyone lives happily ever after… (until the next book in the series.) Now, for the first time, readers get an in depth look into what really happens after the quest. This is the collected case file of the Grand Inquisitor’s investigation into the Misery Reach debacle. Read first hand as the participants try to explain their actions and make their case. Did the Demon Lord Krevassius really try to end the world just to impress a girl? Would everyone be better off if the Wizard Galbraith hadn’t invented a quest in order to stave off criticism? And what about an elf queen peeing on a Minotaur? A swordsman’s losing battle with a young raccoon? And the transvestite assassin with a heart of gold?

[goodreviews isbn=”B01BQGGGEK” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]

 


The curse of Cranberry Cottage (Magic Molly) by Trevor Forest

Posted September 27, 2016

Magic Molly Miggins and her family are spending a weekend on the coast at the house of Granny Whitewand’s sister, Willow. Molly is intrigued by the legend of Cranberry Cottage, a house so creepy that none of the villagers will go anywhere near it. The legend says that hundreds of years ago, Cranberry Cottage was cursed by the Black Witch, Belladonna Blackheart who still lives there in the form of a Wraith Witch. Molly, despite constant warnings, decides to get a closer look. When her arch enemy, Henrietta Havelots turns up, things get more than a little serious. Molly discovers that Belladonna is planning to open up the dark, mysterious, Void so that the evil witch, Morgana can return to the world. Can Molly remove the curse and put a stop to Belladonna’s plans, or will the Wraith Witch succeed in her quest to release Morgana and make Molly and Henrietta her slaves.

[goodreviews isbn=”1537456229″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


The Moreva of Astoreth by Roxanne Bland

Posted September 23, 2016

In the world-building tradition of Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey and Ursula K. LeGuin, The Moreva of Astoreth is a blend of science fiction, romance, and adventure in a unique, richly imagined imperialistic society in which gods and science are indelibly intertwined. It is the story of the priestess, scientist, and healer Moreva Tehi, the spoiled, headstrong granddaughter of a powerful deity who is banished for a year to a volatile far corner of the planet for neglecting to perform her sacred duty, only to venture into dangerous realms of banned experimentation, spiritual rebirth, and fervent, forbidden love.

[goodreviews isbn=”B017JY331W” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Author Interview: Roxanne Bland

Posted September 23, 2016

roxanne1) When did you first discover your love for writing?

Writing was a hidden passion for me. I’ve written stories since I was a child, but I didn’t take it seriously, even after I won a writing contest when I was about ten. I wanted to be a musician. Well, that didn’t work out, but though I still wrote little things to pass the time. Then I fell ill, and was basically bedridden for about a month. I started writing—to pass the time—and discovered I loved it. I haven’t looked back.

2) Do you have a favourite place to write?

I write in my office. I have trouble using laptops—the keyboards just seem so small—and besides, my office has a lot fewer distractions. I really don’t understand how people can write in coffee shops, outdoors—too many distractions for me.

3) Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to?

Not really. I just plunk myself down in front of the computer and write.

4) Are there any authors or specific books you aspire to?

I would love to be able to write as fluidly as Edgar Allan Poe.

5) What inspired you to write The Moreva of Astoreth?

In a way, you could say this book was over thirty years in the making. While in college, a friend and I collaborated on a story, the details of which I will not bore you. Years later, I read Zecharia Sitchin’s Earth Chronicles series, in which he posits that ancient astronauts came to Earth, created humans, and founded the Sumerian civilization. Years later, I got the idea to meld the two stories in some way, and the result was The Moreva of Astoreth.

6) Can you tell us a little about your book?

In imperialistic Kherah, gods and science are indelibly intertwined. Moreva Tehi, priestess, scientist, healer and the spoiled, headstrong granddaughter of a powerful goddess, is banished to a volatile far corner of Peris for neglecting her sacred duties, only to venture into dangerous realms of banned experimentation, spiritual rebirth, and fervent, forbidden love.

7) Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?

The hero, Laerd Teger. He can be cold and harsh, but under that exterior is a warm and loving person, whose desire is to protect those he loves. My ideal man, really, which only makes sense since I created him!

8) Does your book contain a message for readers to consider?

About bigotry—it’s a soul crushing affliction. I think that sometimes our bigotries is but a reflection of what we hate within ourselves. If we look at those bigotries, examine them, and face them, perhaps we can practice self-love, and through that self-love, allow real love into our lives.

9) Would you be interested in sharing an excerpt?

“I could have you executed for this, Moreva Tehi,” Astoreth said. My Devi grandmother, the Goddess of Love, scowled at me from Her golden throne in the massive Great Hall of Her equally massive Temple.

Sitting on my heels, I bowed my head and stared at the black and gold polished floor, trying to ignore the trickle of sweat snaking its way down my spine. “Yes, Most Holy One.”

“You blaspheme by not celebrating Ohra, My holiest of rites. And this one was important—the worthiest of the hakoi, handpicked by Me, celebrated with us. ”

“I can only offer my most abject apologies, Most Holy One.”

“Your apologies are not accepted.”

“Yes, Most Holy One.”

“Where were you?”

“I was in the laboratory, working on a cure for red fever. Many hakoi died last winter—”

“I know that,” my grandmother snapped. “But why did you miss Ohra? Did you not hear the bells?”The Moreva of Astoreth

“Yes, Most Holy One. I heard them. I was about to lay aside my work when I noticed an anomaly in one of my pareon solutions. It was odd, so I decided to investigate. What I found…I just lost track of time.”

“You lost track of time?” Astoreth repeated, sounding incredulous. “Do you expect Me to believe that?”

“Yes, Most Holy One. It is the truth.”

A moment later, my head and hearts started to throb. I knew why. My grandmother was probing me for signs I had lied. But She wouldn’t find any. There was no point in lying to Astoreth, and it was dangerous, too. Swaying under the onslaught from Her power, I endured the pain without making a sound. After what seemed like forever the throbbing subsided, leaving me feeling sick and dizzy.

10) What would say has been your biggest challenge and achievement in writing The Moreva of Astoreth?

For me, the hardest thing was dealing with time. The planet where the story takes place has a twenty-eight hour day. I’m so used to thinking in twenty-four hour segments, I had to draw a clock to keep me straight. As always, the achievement lies in finishing the book. I’ve learned it’s very easy to put a work aside and work on something else, and the next thing I know, months have gone by and I haven’t done a thing with the work I’ve put aside.

11) What have you learned about yourself as a writer through writing The Moreva of Astoreth?

That there are some things you write that just won’t work in the story, and you have to be a tough enough editor to pull them out. Save it for another story.

12) Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?

Write. Write as often as you can, every day, if possible. Don’t worry if it’s garbage; that’s called a first draft. Like any other skill, from music to calculus, you must practice if you’re going to make it into something. Read. Read everything that interests you. Take what you like and weave it into your own writing style. That’s how you develop your unique voice.

13) Anything else you would like to say?

Believe in yourself, follow your passion, and one day, you might find yourself living your dreams.

14) And finally, do you have any future works planned?

Right now, I’m working on rewriting my first book, The Underground, to release as a second edition. Then I will continue working on its sequel. And then…


Website: www.roxannebland.rocks (under construction)
Blog: http://roxannebland.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/Roxanne2
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Roxanne-Bland-Author-289392377750996/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RoxanneBland2

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Sacred Planet by Austin Rogers

Posted September 21, 2016

“An ambitious, ardent launch that sets a stellar precedent for installments to follow.” -Kirkus Reviews

Humanity teeters on the brink of galactic war. Only one woman can stop it. Only one man can save her.

After centuries of expansion into the galaxy and no contact with intelligent, extra-terrestrial life, humanity is split into three superpowers, each dominating one of the spiral arms closest to Earth: Orion, Carina, and Sagittarius. Divided along political, cultural, and religious lines, these galactic mega-states have grown alien to each other over time. Inter-arm relations have eroded. Minor differences have become dangerous disparities. Now a ruthless religious faction threatens to plunge the galaxy into a catastrophic war.

Conflict sparks when Sierra Falco, the Carinian prime minister’s daughter, is attacked on her space yacht by a powerful and shadowy enemy. As a popular advocate for peace, Sierra’s loss destabilizes the fragile balance of the galaxy. But her attackers’ plans are disrupted when a rugged band of scavengers stumble across the yacht and jump at the opportunity to make a profit. Davin, captain of the scavenger ship, is caught between the lure of fabulous wealth and the nag of conscience as he is dragged into a conspiracy bigger than he can imagine.

A race begins between those who seek to prevent war and the secretive forces who want to escalate it—apparently with Earth in their crosshairs. In this universe, Earth—the Sacred Planet, the epicenter of human civilization—holds the coveted key to victory. Whoever controls Earth controls the galaxy. Fans of Firefly, Old Man’s War, and the Expanse series will feel at home in the world of Dominion. For a taste of galaxy-spanning adventure and epic space opera. 

[goodreviews isbn=”B01KKXBYO2″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Author Interview: Richard Paolinelli

Posted September 17, 2016

MaelstromRichard Paolinelli began his writing career as a freelance writer in 1984 and his sports writing career in 1991. After retiring he returned to his fiction writing roots, releasing two short stories and a full-length sci-fi novel, Maelstrom. He has since released a sports non-fiction, the first book of a mystery-thriller series and was a part of a Sherlock Holmes anthology.

He currently lives in Thousand Oaks, California.


  • When did you first discover your love for writing? 

I started reading at an early age and we started moving around the country a lot with my dad’s business so to pass the time in the back seat of the car, I started writing my own stories. It just kept growing from there. 

  • Do you have a favourite place to write? 

I have a pretty nice home office setup that gives me a nice environment to write in. 

  • Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to? 

Not really, no. 

  • Are there any authors or specific books you aspire to? 

No one specific author, but I try to take a little bit of what I like most from the writing styles of Frank Hebert, Jack McDevitt, Harry Harrison and Edgar Allan Poe and work it into my writing. 

  • What inspired you to write Maelstrom?

There had been a lot written about the possibility of a meteor striking the Earth and there had been two films, Deep Impact and Armageddon, released. I got to wondering what would happen if someone figured out a way to prevent such an event but in doing so actually caused the very extinction-level event he was trying to prevent. 

  • Can you tell us a little about your book? 

It tells the story of Dr. Steven Collins who devises a way to use the Earth’s own magnetic shield as a way to deflect any foreign object from penetrating the atmosphere. But when he tests the device it tears open a hole in space and time and hurls him forward a century into the future. There he discovers that his creation has very nearly destroyed the Earth and only one million human beings have survived and the numbers are dwindling under the shield as they are trapped underneath it. Collins now has to find a way to shut down his creation and save what is left of humanity. 

  • Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters? 

Man, that’s like asking me to pick a favorite of one of my kids. I am kind of partial to a species of telepathic miniature polar bears that Collins runs into on Europa though. 

  • Does your book contain a message for readers to consider? 

Redemption. No matter how far you fall, no matter how bleak and dire things may seem, there is always a chance to win through as long as you keep fighting. 

  • Would you be interested in sharing a teaser?  

Certainly:

 

“Where am I?” he asked, trying to comprehend what he was seeing.
“You’re still in San Francisco, Dr. Collins, just one hundred and two years later. A lot has happened since you last saw the city.”

“You have a talent for understatement.”

The hellish scene outside bore little resemblance to the San Francisco he knew. There were bits and pieces strewn about, the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance with the northern half of its span missing, a building here and there that he recognized, but precious little else. The rest of the city that was laid out before him was like nothing he’d ever seen.

Where the city had once been a collection of skyscrapers towering above the bay, now there were only a handful of buildings that stood above six stories in height. Instead of reaching for the sky, they were buried into the hills like bunkers. No doubt they were buried into the ground below as well, but he couldn’t tell how far down they went. There were barely any pedestrians on the streets below and even fewer ground cars. Most of the traffic, he noted, was in the air. Flying boxes with windows flashed by in silvery streaks. There was a pattern to their flights, as if there were paved streets in the air.

But the real horror lay in the sky behind the flashing streaks. The sky he grew up under was blue, spotted with clouds and the occasional gray overcast of a storm. The sky he now beheld was an angry orange, as if the atmosphere was on fire, shimmering and dancing in waves and laced with the occasional purplish-white fingers of lighting that ripped through the air. The bolts never struck the ground, silently lacing through the upper layers of the sky. It struck him that the combination of strange colors reminded him of the ball of energy that had formed in his lab just before the explosion. When he could no longer stand the bizarre sight and the sickening hue that it cast below, he let the drape fall back over the window, sealing him away from the nightmare outside.

“What happened?”

“History tells us you did, Doctor,” she answered, “or rather, your shield did.”

“But if there was an explosion, how could it be working like that? The lab must have been badly torn up…”

“It was. In fact the entire building was leveled. There was hardly anything left of it and no trace of your body was ever found. It was assumed that you died in the blast, but apparently that is an incorrect assumption, for here you are.”

“Then how…?”

“How is the shield functioning over a century later, if you never built it?” she finished. “In the aftermath of the accident Microtech’s ties to the military were exposed and you were accused of developing a super weapon. Your brother Scott and your assistant came to your defense and fought to prove that your project was intended for peaceful purposes.”

“That sounds like Scott and Laura, my assistant’s name,” he added for Elizabeth’s benefit. “I had a sister, Mary. Does your history tell you anything about her?”

“It does,” Elizabeth replied, a strange looking passing over her face. “She joined with those denouncing your project. I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be, that sounds like her, too. She never could see the big picture…,” he paused. “Well, I suppose she’s dead now and I shouldn’t speak ill of the dead. Her middle name was Elizabeth. You know, you remind me a little of her.” He paused, again blinking hard against the moisture building in his eyes. “You were saying?”

“Your brother was able to recreate the equipment in your lab with your assis… with Laura’s help,” she continued as that sad little smile reappeared on her face. “He came up with a plausible theory about what you had done to trigger the accident and made some minor corrections. Then, much like you had done, he tested the generator without telling anyone first.

“He intended to show the world that you had been right, that such a shield was possible and that it would do what you had intended,” she continued sadly. “Only he chose to do so on a much grander scale than you had. The shield he generated covered the entire Bay Area, an impenetrable dome centered over San Francisco that extended one hundred and twenty miles in every direction. Your shield.”

“Son of a bitch did it,” Steve muttered under his breath, a look of joy on his face. “The damned thing actually worked!” Then, remembering where he was and what he had just seen, he suddenly sobered. “But how did it lead to that?” he asked, pointing at the window.

“Your first test had every military branch of every government on alert, many still believed you had developed a weapon, others believed you had created a defense that gave the United States an advantage that it would use against other countries without fear of reprisal, ” she explained. “At any rate, when your brother erected the shield over San Francisco somebody, history does not tell us who, hit a button and launched their arsenal of nuclear missiles at the shield. Others launched their missiles in support or in defense against the initial launch and it dominoed from there. Within minutes, every nuclear weapon in the sea, on land and in space had been launched. World War III had begun.”

“Oh, my god.”

The holocaust he had been trying to prevent, the complete extermination of humankind, had happened and it had been he, not some mindless piece of rock from space, who had caused it. He sat back down on his bed heavily, trying to come to terms with what he had been told. But she wasn’t finished with him; there was more to come and he was sure it wasn’t going to be any better than what he’d already heard.

“If it’s any consolation, your shield deflected the missiles aimed at it. The Bay Area was spared death by fire,” she continued. “But the rest of the planet suffered mightily. No corner of the globe was spared from the explosions, the fire, and the fallout that followed. Very few people, we estimate less than a half million, living outside the shield survived. At some point after the missiles struck, the shield expanded to encircle the entire globe. We haven’t been able to determine how or why.”

“It was part of the original programming,” Steve explained, his voice barely above a whisper. “The shield was designed to use the magnetic field to protect the entire planet. It probably expanded in response to the missile strikes and all of the energy being released from the explosions.”

“San Francisco didn’t escape unscathed, as you have noticed,” Elizabeth continued. “For the next ten years the Bay Area was ravaged by quakes, the last one occurred in twenty-nineteen and was so savage that nearly half the population perished. California was split into two separate pieces. The entire Los Angeles Basin is underneath two hundred feet of water….”

On and on she went, reciting the death toll and damage done, how they tried to rebuild over and over, only to have it destroyed by a new catastrophe, until they finally started to get it right in the third decade following the war. A ruling council was in place now and she was its president.

At the end she added that their records showed Laura’s remains had been found at the generator, her body torn apart by electrical discharge. Elizabeth’s security advisor had silently entered the room — when, Steve couldn’t recall — and had kept quiet during her recital. He had offered to show Steve the record regarding Laura’s death, as if Steve would take some pleasure in seeing firsthand the suffering he had caused. Steve declined and asked instead about Scott’s fate.

“No sign,” the advisor answered. “Much like you he vanished and no body was ever found. Perhaps he suffered the same fate as you and he’ll miraculously reappear. Then you both can take a tour and celebrate your wondrous accomplishments for humankind.”

Steve shot an angry look at the man, but otherwise let the comment pass. They were telling him the truth; the view of the outside world left no room for doubt. Billions dead, the planet’s population down to just barely above one million and an entire planet ravaged. Nice going, Steve, he accused himself bitterly.

“There’s more,” Elizabeth added softly. “If you’d really like to hear it.”

As if what he’d heard so far hadn’t been hard enough to take. He nodded for her to go on.

“We have made great strides in extending the human life span in the past few decades to well over one hundred years. Even so, there are only two people remaining who were alive when the war began who are still alive today. I am one and the other is a man named Andras. He’s the other reason why you are not much of a celebrity here.

“He’s out there, on the other side of the shield, pinning us down here and keeping us from establishing colonies on the moon and Mars until we can repair the damage done to Earth and make it livable again,” she explained. “There is one good point about the shield. While we are trapped down here, at least it keeps him out there.”

“The shield was designed to keep objects out, not to prevent objects from leaving,” he said, puzzled. “But I don’t understand; it was also designed to be lowered to allow for spacecraft re-entry.”

“Perhaps,” she conceded. “But that is not how it has functioned over the years. We can send ships through the shield and into space. We’ve even found a way to navigate through the shield to allow a ship to reenter. But the shield cannot be turned off or lowered. Even if we could find a way to do so, we wouldn’t dare.”

“You mean the shield has been up and running non-stop for over one hundred years?” he asked incredulously. “Impossible, it was never designed to do that.”

“It seems your shield has done quite a few things you never intended it to do,” Carel jabbed.

“Intended or not,” Elizabeth interjected, “that is what it has done. There are as many theories as to why it has as there are as to why the shield expanded in the first place. I believe the leading theory agrees with your assessment that of all of the energy simultaneously released by the thousands of missiles caused an arc between the shield and the magnetic field. It seems your generator merely followed its programming once a pathway was established to its intended destination. Now the shield seems to feed off the generator for its energy and vice versa. A never-ending feedback loop of power that has no on-off switch.

“And, as I said, even if we could find one, we wouldn’t dare use it,” she added. “For Andras waits outside that shield and he has sworn to finish the job you started. He went insane shortly after the war, partly from the injuries he sustained, and swore he would have his revenge. We managed to drive him off the planet years ago, but he still remains a very real and dangerous threat to humankind. He looks more like a monster than a man now and he is the reason why we cannot leave Earth.

“We try to establish bases outside the shield, he destroys them. We send emissaries to seek peace, soldiers to destroy him. They never return and he is still there, waiting, probing for a way to penetrate the shield. When he finds a way through, or if it should ever be shut down, we are doomed. We may be doomed already.”

“Why?”

“Because we are slowly dying off,” she answered sadly. “I told you earlier that our population count was a little over one million, that’s down from two million just twenty-five years ago. Attrition and dwindling resources have been chipping away at us. The classroom of twenty-five students you appeared in represents half of the population under the age of fifteen years. We are not reproducing enough to maintain our population, another effect of living a lifetime under the shield. The human race is on the brink of becoming an extinct species unless we find a way to get out from under the shield. The last estimate, provided Andras doesn’t break through first, gives us less than thirty years before the last human being dies on this planet.”

Steve struggled to his feet again and returned to the window. This time he drew the drape back and tied it off to the side. He looked long and hard at the scene outside, at the hellish world he’d created. He’d killed billions, condemned uncounted millions more to an unacceptable existence and how many more had never been born because he’d killed off their parents. He’d even managed to create a pair of monsters, one an unfeeling terror in the sky that kept its victims pinned to the ground and the other an uncaring madman waiting beyond to consume any who managed to escape the first. For some insane reason, a quote from an old book he’d read as a child burst from his mouth as he stared out the window.

“My name is Ozymandius,” he began, his tone thick with bitterness, “King of Kings. Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

 

  •  What would say has been your biggest challenge and achievement in writing Maelstrom? 

The biggest challenge was trying to find the time to write it while working full time as a sports writer and editor and also making sure I was involved in my kids extra-curricular activities at school as they grew up.

The biggest achievement was finally finishing it about 15 years after I had first started on it. 

  • What have you learned about yourself as a writer through writing Maelstrom? 

How to be more disciplined in setting aside time to write and not taking any easy excuse to “write later”. 

  • Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors? 

Don’t worry that not every reader will love your work. No one in the history of writing has ever had a 100% approval rate.  Write what you love to write and never stop just because of someone else’s negativity. 

  • Anything else you would like to say? 

Just that I hope the reader, whether they are reading my science fiction story, my mystery-thriller or sports non-fiction, was entertained. 

  • And finally, do you have any future works planned? 

The second book of my Jack Del Rio series, Betrayals, is due out later this fall as is another Sherlock Holmes anthology that I have a story in. My second sports non-fiction, Perfection’s Arbiter, will be released on October 8th and I am almost finished writing another sci-fi novel, Escaping Infinity, that I hope will be out sometime in 2017.


Website:  www.richardpaolinelli.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RichardPaolinelli1964/

Twitter: @rdpaolinelli

Blog: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8096549.Richard_Paolinelli/blog

 

 

 

 

 

 


Author Interview: Christopher D. Abbott

Posted September 17, 2016

Christopher D AbbottMy name is Christopher D. Abbott and I live in Connecticut, USA. I’ve been in the USA for 6 years–I emigrated from the UK. I’m an author of cross-genre mystery, horror, and fantasy. Hobbies include music (playing and recording), cooking, charity works.


1) When did you first discover your love for writing?

When I was about twelve or thirteen I used to write little stories and staple them into books. My friend and I spent days making a small library of these books for our class mates to read. We had an entire series. Of course they were terrible, but I think I can trace my desire to write back to there.

2) Do you have a favourite place to write?

I’ve travelled around a lot, so I’m quite used to writing wherever I can set-up my desktop. Oddly, I never quite got the hang of or used to a laptop. My most creative time is late at night.

3) Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to?

I prefer solitude and usually listen to music on headphones whilst I write. A fellow author friend of mine, John Templeton Smith, suggested I do this – I thought it was absurd at the time, but the score and tempo of certain music can seriously influence the scene you are writing. I always have my trusty writer’s handbook nearby, and my ever expanding library of plot ideas and notes. Other than that it’s fingers to the keys!

4) Are there any authors or specific books you aspire to?

In every genre there are well established authors whose success you obviously want to aspire to and emulate – my book Sir Laurence Dies has been compared to Agatha Christie in style which of course is flattering – and that’s important when you’re establishing yourself in the genre. I’m known for mystery stories so starting out in fantasy is fresh and new. I’m influenced by a number of fantastic writers, Tolkien being number one, but there isn’t a specific author or book I aspire to.

5) What inspired you to write Songs of the Osirian

Songs of the Osirian started life as a short story entitled Songs of Beast. It was published by Media Bitch Literary Agency and Productions in April 2016. When I first started writing for this allegorical world, I had no idea that it would end up becoming the monster it did.

6) Can you tell us a little about your book?

The story depicts a catastrophic event that wipes out most of mankind. But this event has a science-fiction twist. I envisioned beings from another universe that were so far evolved they were godlike in powers. Over millennia these beings (known as the Ardunadine) developed a transcendent idiolect of symphonic communication – referred to as the Power of Song. This phonological power allowed them to create and weave patterns in the universe, brought to vision by Arrandori–for want of a better reference the “Father of All”–and thus created the universe we live in. The character of Beast is a fallen Ardunadine banished to Earth for unspeakable crimes. As the story unfolds, we discover Beast wove an escape plan into his banishment and although he is cut off from the Celestial Temple of Song, his darkness taints the world in such a way, that what we now understand as evil seeps into its fabric and slowly manifests in all life throughout the planet’s evolution.

Jump forward millions of years and Beast now has an army of dark creatures born of his own dreadful being. Terrible behemoths known as Faulgoth rampage and lay waste to our world with neither compassion nor remorse.

That’s when the Ardunadine, who are forbidden to directly interfere, send the people of Earth teachers known as the Osirian. These beings are equally godlike to man, but lessor in power than their Ardunadine masters, who the Osirian themselves consider divine. The Osirian, led by Osiris, having no direct contact with Man’s enemy, imbue Kings and Queens of the world with the Power of Song, thus enabling them to fight on equal terms.

7) Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?

The Warrior Goddess Neith and the Osirian Akhet are particular favourites. The character of Doctor Mary Wilson has human connection and I’m fond of her evolution. On the side of darkness, there is Sam, Prince of Darkness and Shadows. Some incidental characters that sprung out of the story were developed beyond their intial conception due to the fact that I fell in love with them. There’s Lethor the half-man half-jackal Guardian of the Prison of Song, and Melrah – originally a stray dog – tainted by the living evil that spews from beneath the Earth, he goes on to become much more …

8) Does your book contain a message for readers to consider?

This review gives a good idea of the message within the book.

Reviewed By Ray Simmons for Readers’ Favorite

Songs of the Osirian by Christopher D. Abbott is an epic tale of good and evil. It is a tale of the enduring power of light in a world where darkness is relentless. I like the idea of a force for good quietly teaching men a better way through age after age of the rise and then fall of civilizations. There is a great foreword by Chase Masterson, and I think Songs of the Osirian will reach a lot of eager fans. If a great novel and a great foreword are not enough for you, then there is a bonus short story at the end of the book. The Last of Us by Rob James is a great tale too. Some great Christian allegory here.

What struck a chord for me as a reader was the almost biblical, end of days tones the writing in Song of the Osirian evoked. Christopher D. Abbott knows how to add a sense of drama and high consequence to his clashes between Beasts and the Osirian. The sense of the fall of great civilizations was very strong, but more importantly, the sense that goodness endures was always present too. Complex characters and a plot leading to an epic battle between Good and Evil will make Songs of the Osirian a must-read for fans of epic fantasy everywhere. I especially liked the conversations and scenes where Beast gives his side of the story. He is a little more than just evil incarnate and feels wronged by God and the forces of good.

9) Would you be interested in sharing a teaser?

Absolutely!

‘Poor thing, lost in shadow,’ a voice hissed from around him.
Sam froze.
He searched for the source in his mind, finding nothing but void. He held out his sword, but his reaction was of little use, as he was not sure in which direction he should point it.
Loud cackles reverberated around the cavern.
‘Lost and senseless, that’s just how I like them.’
A different high-pitched voice said, ‘Is it juicy, sister? Will it be sweet?’
Then the first voice said, ‘It is much stronger than a man, I can feel that. It smells sweet. Perhaps it will taste that way, too? I suspect it’s not quite as putrid as the babbling things we caught last night.’
High-Pitch hissed. ‘Shall we not try it, and find out?’
Sam cleared his throat and in a steady voice said, ‘I am neither sweet nor wholesome, vile creatures of rancid odour. You would not want to eat me, for if you were somehow able, Underblade would render you ash before you were able to swallow.’
‘Ah, it speaks.’
‘Very sure of itself it is, too,’ High-Pitch remarked.
The first voice asked, ‘What is Underblade?’
Sam put his back to the wall.
‘You’ll know its sting soon enough. Tell me, what are you?’
‘What are you?’ An indignant voice responded.
‘My apologies,’ Sam said, and meant it. ‘I am the Prince of Shadow, wielder of Underblade bestowed upon me by Beast, lord of all things dark. Brother and servant to Arnold, King of Darkness. I am your destruction, and you shall fear me.’
They laughed.
‘That was a very nice introduction, truly, and such wonderful accolades and titles, Sam of Lies. But I will tell you, since you mention it so, that I know nothing of any beast ruling my darkness, teller of fantasy. Come now, if you are all you say, why do you not see us?’Songs of the Osirian
‘Yes … stand before us, if you can, Prince of Blindness.’ High-Pitch hissed a cackle.
Sam was thoughtful. ‘Oh Mighty Ones, I dare not stand before your grace, for then our eyes would meet, and my Lord was most insistent I bring back the head of anything seen. You seem violent and foul, and I do not wish to appear rude by chopping off your heads, so I choose to keep my sight to myself.’
They hooted and gurgled in delight.
‘You have a good tongue, young one. It flaps like a banner in the wind. It’s a long time since anything caught was so courteous. I like the cut of you, and I shall enjoy eating you enormously.’
High-Pitch said, ‘You say Prince of Shadow? You need no eyes to perceive us, foolish thing.’
‘Well,’ Sam continued, ‘I spent time on my introduction maybe you would grace me with yours?’

There was a dreadful unnerving silence. Odd feelings rose up from the pit of his stomach, into his mouth as bile. Sam spat out the bitter taste. Fear had now frozen him to the spot and he could no longer function. He remained still, his back firm against the wall. Although his courage was gone the ability to reason was still intact, and he fought a hard battle over his mind.
Sam considered possibilities. If he were to exit in failure, having fought hard in attempt, his master might be merciful. But if he were to flee in terror and come before that same master, what might be his response? Sam knew there would be no mercy, for King would deal torment upon him, the likes of which Sam couldn’t conceive of, and that was a far more terrifying thing to fear.
It helped. The shame of weakness boiled into anger, like fire in a cold boiler. Slow, at first to warm, it cascaded through frozen veins melting fears, allowing limbs to move. It didn’t stop there. A chain-reaction within sent strange sensations throughout; they made the skin of his entire body tingle. Fear of unknown voices in darkness no longer held him. The strange warmth of his anger spread through nerves until it reached into his head, stabbing hard behind his eyes.
Sam took a sharp intake of breath. Instinct forced his hand to rub away the pain, and when he removed it, the cavern immerged into focus as new sight filled him with courage once again.
He could see them now; their truth visible in hideous terror. He was deep inside a cavern littered with centuries of waste and filth. The things he saw made him–almost–wish his sight had not been returned. The dread he felt before was nothing compared to the horror now standing in front him: Two giant spider-like creatures with rows of black eyes and sharp teeth. Both as large as houses, they sat on plump bellies. …

10) What would you say has been your biggest challenge and achievement in writing Songs of the Osirian?

Getting the pace of the book right was a challenge. I’m one of those people who struggle with the introduction phase of a book, so I made a conscious effort to try and tighten and get to the action as soon as I could. I think I got the balance right. A lot of my beta readers were very positive about it. My biggest achievement for this one is creating a brand new world that’s all mine.

11) What have you learned about yourself as a writer through writing Songs of the Osirian?

That I can write fantasy fiction far quicker than I can mystery! This story told itself, it amazed me. When I write mystery (especially whodunit style) the preparation and planning, the character twists and developments, the intricate red herrings … all this takes weeks and months to flesh out before I can start telling the story. But with this story, once I’d developed the world and its characters, it went very fast indeed.

12) Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?

Read, read, and read some more … that’s what I was told by my mentor and it’s true. Also, when the moment takes you, write something, anything. Even if you don’t use it, store it in an archive for use later. Don’t throw anything away, ever!

13) Anything else you would like to say?

I was very fortunate and humbled to have a delightful foreword written by actress Chase Masterson, who has most recently been seen guest starring on CW’s The Flash, which won the People’s Choice Award for “Favorite New Drama.” Chase best known for her break-out role on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, one of the highest-rated syndicated shows of all time, Chase is loved by millions of fans worldwide.

14) And finally, do you have any future works planned?

I’m currently working on book 2 of the Songs of the Osirian, and book 3 of the “Dies” Trilogy. I’m also working on concepts for a project with Chase for her charity, the Pop Culture Hero Coalition – “The 1st-ever 501c3 organization to use stories & celebs from TV, film & comics to make a stand for real-life heroism over bullying, racism, misogyny, cyber-bullying, LGBT-bullying, and other forms of hate at Comic-Cons, and in schools & communities” – so I’m pretty busy right now!

osirianeyes



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The Worst Man on Mars by Mark Roman & Corben Duke

Posted September 12, 2016

Hero. Legend. Role model. He is none of those. Flint Dugdale, blunt Yorkshireman and reality TV show winner, seems an unlikely contender for First Man on Mars. The Right Stuff he is not. But the tragic death of the mission’s brave commander has created a vacancy which Dugdale, with his large frame and ‘persuasive personality’, has been quick to fill. He has put himself in charge of Britain’s first group of colonists to the Red Planet.

With a place in History assured, Dugdale plans to see out the rest of the mission drinking lager, eating pies and watching his favourite sports on wide-screen TV.But all is not well on the Martian surface. For five years an advance party of robots with evolving AI personalities have been building Botany Base. They are a long way behind schedule and have made some crucial dimensioning errors. So the base’s rooms are too small, the doors don’t fit, and the lift-shaft is too narrow for the space elevator that is to bring the humans down from their spaceship. Worse, the food supplies sent from Earth have mysteriously gone missing, the drinking-water is muddy, and the Polish builder bots have gone AWOL.

On the eve of the descent to the surface, Dugdale knows nothing of these problems. And he is also unaware that the ship’s scanners have detected living organisms two miles north of the base.It seems there is Life down there. But will it be pleased to see him?

[goodreviews isbn=”B01LDRSEQU” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Maelstrom by Richard Paolinelli

Posted September 11, 2016

Dr. Steven Collins has devoted his life to one cause: finding a way to prevent a catastrophic collision between Earth and an asteroid, like the one that killed off the dinosaurs millions of years ago. Collins spends years developing a shield—a device that uses the Earth’s own magnetic field—and finally reaches the point where he is ready to test it. But when Collins turns on his creation, he rips open a hole in time and space itself that hurls him forward in time, where he discovers to his horror that the device he created has caused the very global Armageddon he was trying to prevent. Collins now must try to undo the damage he has done as best he can. But the few surviving members of the human race are slowly dying off, a century of living under the shield taking its toll, and they cannot leave the planet to try to build a new civilization elsewhere. For just beyond the shield lurks a madman who seeks to dominate the human race or exterminate it.

[goodreviews isbn=”B00JNYQ8WS” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Author Interview: Alex Gates

Posted August 30, 2016

ExtraOrdinary- Alex Gates -eBookMy name is Alex Gates and I grew up in a small town in Northern California. I enjoy a wide variety of things as long they include my wife or some friends. I love the Sacramento Kings and Dallas Cowboys, so you can say a hobby of mine is being disappointed often, which has helped temper my expectations throughout life. I write in the science fiction/fantasy genre because it’s my closest to Narnia, to a new world.


  • When did you first discover your love for writing?

I’ve always loved books, and I remember being young, grade school age, and reading the Scooby-Doo Mysteries. I started writing my own little mysteries. Unfortunately, I never showed them to anyone, including the parents, which meant they weren’t saved. Well, maybe that’s fortunate. I continued dabbling with the pen in high school and college, then decided to write my first novel. It sucked! But I hope to clean it up, add some Mascara, clip its nails, and publish it in the same world as ExtraOrdinary.

 

  • Do you have a favourite place to write?

I wrote ExtraOrdinary on a small desk while sitting on a box. It was the worst. My wife and I had just moved into a new house and had ZERO furniture, so I had to work with what was available. My second novel (not released yet) I wrote on a breakfast nook table, because it was our first real piece of furniture, and I finally had a place to sit. I think my favourite place to write is a comfy chair with a movie or tv show playing the back. Football season starts soon, expect me to get a lot of writing done then, while on the couch, possibly in very little clothing.

 

  • Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to?

No. I’m the worst with routines. I’m not a morning person, so I’m slow at finding motivation and being productive until I’ve had a massive breakfast and copious amounts of coffee. Then I like a little cartoon action to spark the old imagination, or maybe read a few chapters in a book. Unless I’m teaching. Then I write in the afternoon/evening, sometimes in my office, sometimes on the couch, sometimes in bed, or a coffee shop, maybe a bar. It’s quite chaotic to be honest, but it works for me.

 

  • Are there any authors or specific books you aspire to?

I love Stephen King, and would love to write something like the Dark Tower series. I plan to do that on some level with all my books, as he did, connecting each story so they fit in one world. I get such a rush finding commonalities between unrelated books by the same author.

 

  • What inspired you to write ExtraOrdinary?

It was summer of 2015. All these superhero movies were coming out, and I was reading The Amazing Spider-Man, and I connected some thread, put the graphic novel down, and stared at the wall (I do my best creative thinking staring at walls). What if, I thought, superheroes weren’t the extraordinary, but someone without a power? What if the world was filled with super-powered humans, but the hero of the story didn’t have anything? It was the opposite of everything we have been taught to love. The title came immediately. I loved the play on words. The tricky part was figuring out the world they lived in.

 

  • Can you tell us a little about your book?

As mentioned above, the book is about Braiten, the hero. He doesn’t have an ability like every other person on Earth, and must navigate through a post-apocalyptic world destroyed by the corruption power breeds. It also follows Drake, the most powerful human ever, as he struggled with his internal weaknesses. Drake is…. (Read the answer to question 7.)

 

  • Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?

Drake is my favourite character. The most powerful person a world where everyone is powerful, and he is a wreck. He’s scared, insecure, shy, and he doesn’t know how to survive without depending on others. He was meant to be the bad guy of the book. It turned out he wasn’t bad, just scared and alone in a dying world. He’s by no means “good,” but I think that’s why I enjoy him. All he wants is to find the girl he loves, and he pays steep prices for that.

 

  • Does your book contain a message for readers to consider?

I don’t know. I didn’t write it intending to give a message, but if they can take, that’s awesome. Strength and power are two different things? I don’t know. You read it and let me know what you think! That’d be awesome!

 

  • Would you be interested in sharing a teaser? 

When Braiten reached the body, his skin dripped with sweat. The sun was relentless, had been for years, and the black rubber didn’t mesh with his anger, nor did it go along with his thirst. His tongue rubbed against his upper lip like a dry sponge trying to absorb any type of moisture. Sweat dripped from his forehead, chin, and arms, and steam simmered from the tires’ heat.

Braiten settled into a tire, locking his lower legs into the hole to help keep his balance. He knelt and inspected the body. It belonged to a male in his late teens or early twenties, about the same age as Braiten. The dead man’s facial hair was still patchy and scarce. Where his skin should’ve been, bones and scales grew.

“A Survivor.”

A breeze came through and touched his sweat-stained skin like a cold kiss. He shivered despite the heat.

Survivors had the ability to adapt and overcome anything attempting to hurt or kill them, which often came by growing excess body parts or gaining reinforced skin. Because of their disturbing appearance and often unwanted presence, they’d formed a gang and were rarely found alone.

Braiten’s knees popped as he kneeled next to the body. The sunlight reflected from an item in the young man’s mouth. He put a finger on the upper teeth and pulled the jaw wider, then turned his head in a fit of gagging. The rotten stench smelled worse than his dry mouth tasted.

With his head turned away, he inhaled and kept the breath, then faced the boy again. The jaw had locked, and Braiten tried to pry it open. It snapped under his force. Braiten held down vomit from the sickening noise and regained his composure.

I should’ve gone to the bar.

 

  • What would say has been your biggest challenge and achievement in writing ExtraOrdinary?

The biggest challenge was putting together a website to start a little promotion for the book, and formatting the manuscript to look professional on an eReader and paperback. My biggest achievement was doing the aforementioned in a half-decent manner. And publishing a book, of course!!!

  • What have you learned about yourself as a writer through writing ExtraOrdinary?

ExtraOrdinary went through two round of professional edits, by two different editors. I learned I’m patient and flexible, willing to sacrifice my words for the betterment of the story. I also learned I need to start outlining before I begin writing!

 

  • Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?

Write. Then write. After that, write!

Read. Then read. After that, read!

Failure is like an alarm clock, either don’t set it, or hit that snooze button forever so that you can dream and dream until that dream turns to reality.

 

  • Anything else you would like to say?

Thank you to Michelle Dunbar and IndieSciFiFantasy for hosting me. Thank you to my readers for reading. Mostly, thank you to my wife for making my dream possible.

 

  • And finally, do you have any future works planned?

SO MANY!

Book of Raziel: Chapter 1 will be out early 2017. You can go to alex-gates.com and subscribe for my newsletter to get the blurb, cover reveal, and promotional material about that. It is connected to ExtraOrdinary.

ExtraOrdinary Volume 2 will release middle of 2017.

A young adult connection to ExtraOrdinary focusing on the Rulers will be released late 2017.

 

I also have two stand-alone novels and a nonfiction book that I hope to have done by early 2018.


Webstie: alex-gates.com

Facebook: @SuccessFreeLiving

Twitter: @AlexGatesAuthor


ExtraOrdinary- Alex Gates -eBook

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Kissed by the Cowbear by Liv Brywood

Posted August 25, 2016

When Jessica arrives at the Curvy Bear Ranch with her five-year-old son, she never expects to meet sexy bear shifter Clint Wilson. The ruggedly handsome cowboy is everything she ever wanted in a mate. But with a shattered marriage in her past, she’s not sure she’ll ever be ready to commit to someone again. Three years ago, Clint lost his wife to breast cancer. Every time he thinks about moving on, he feels like he’s betraying her memory. But when he meets Jessica, his bear won’t let him ignore her curvy hips and stunning smile. If he can find a way to get past his fear of enduring another devastating loss, he’ll be able to give his daughter Hailey the family she deserves. And maybe he’ll even be able to mend his broken heart. This is the first book in the paranormal bear romance series – Curvy Bear B&B. This is a stand-alone book with NO CLIFFHANGERS. Love scenes are fully realized and at times include explicit language. Intended for readers 18+.

[goodreviews isbn=”B01H7IA2YQ” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Blazing Blunderbuss by Nix Whittaker

Posted August 22, 2016

Hara hasn’t had an easy life. Her father is a con man and she has been forced to dress as a boy most of her life. when she finally gets away from her father she finds that trouble is still with her.

Gideon is a dragon living as a mathematician in the heart of the Wyvern Empire. But even there he isn’t safe. Revolutionaries have kidnapped him. They might have his body but his heart is already Hara’s captive. Now he just has to convince her that he isn’t too much trouble.

Things become complicated when they accidently steal a pirate ship. Throw in a plot to kill dragons and a politician willing to risk the wrath of the empire.

Together they can help each other out of trouble or find it.

[goodreviews isbn=”B01G4KX5L0″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Dragons Among Them by Kyra Jacobs

Posted August 21, 2016

Two secret worlds. One unstoppable passion. A fiery secret that could destroy them all. Prince Zayne Godfrey, heir to Edana’s throne, is betrothed to the lone princess of rival kingdom Forath. While his heart is not in the arranged marriage, he will do his royal duty. When he finds a beautiful stranger cornered by a pack of wolves, he doesn’t hesitate to shift into his golden dragon form to save her. She thanks him by taking one look at him and fainting dead away. Photographer Adelaide Miller is in England for a career-making shoot when a bizarre jogging mishap lands her in a dangerous, medieval-like world of royals, wizards and dragon-shifting men. Her first instinct is to find her way back, but the fire-breathing prince intent on protecting her threatens to melt her heart. Zayne’s burning passion for Adelaide not only jeopardizes the fragile peace between two kingdoms, it uncovers a ruthless plot to destroy his family. Remaining together may change Adelaide’s very definition of home—and expose one searing secret that could forever shift the balance of power in Zayne’s world.

[goodreviews isbn=”B01BMV2F3U” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Songs of the Osirian by Christopher D Abbott

Posted August 21, 2016

From the award-winning author of Sir Laurence Dies, comes this epic fantasy tale of the Osirian return to Earth. It was written … beings known as Servants of Light appeared as gifts to Man. Their majesty unlike anything seen; their Songs so angelic a single melody turned barren soil fertile. They were worshiped and called Osirian. For years they shared knowledge, bringing peace and prosperity to mankind. But when an ancient evil awoke and corrupted the world, the Osirian swapped books for swords and led Man to war. Victory came at a price. The aftermath created disillusioned men and woman who angrily rejected their teachers, and in grief the Osirian disappeared. Their knowledge and wisdom lost to history. But they were all betrayed. The evil remained …

Three-thousand years later, archaeologist Mary Wilson unwittingly assists its resurgence. But this time, the Songs of the Osirian are silent. Foreword by Chase Masterson Chase Masterson has most recently been seen guest starring on CW’s The Flash, which won the People’s Choice Award for “Favorite New Drama.” Best known for her break-out role on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, one of the highest-rated syndicated shows of all time, Chase is loved by millions of fans worldwide. Songs of the Osirian was adapted from the short story, Songs of Beast, published by Media Bitch Literary Agency and Productions Bonus short story “The Last of Us” by Rob James is included at the end of the book.

[goodreviews isbn=”B01HX3V4O2″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


No Good Deed by Mary D. Brooks

Posted August 5, 2016

Eva and Zoe Lambros return to Australia from their journey to Greece and Germany with a renewed purpose and a yearning for children. Their desires for an uneventful family life are short lived. Their plans unravel when Eva is involved in a life-threatening accident that reveals misguided good intentions of the past have shocking repercussions in the present. Zoe is overjoyed to learn that their wish for children will finally be realized when she finds out she’s pregnant but she has to contend with the possibility of losing the woman she loves.

With Eva’s paranormal abilities now more pronounced, can Eva control her gifts or will they result in more damage to an already fragile mind? Eva and Zoe’s lives could never been described as uneventful but faced with yet another life changing course, can they continue to take it in their strides and accept what fate has given them? Truly, No Good Deed goes unpunished.

[goodreviews isbn=”B00YRRIW4S” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


The Path to Dawn (Opal Charm) by Miri Castor

Posted July 21, 2016

Opal is a young girl living in Dewdrop, a bustling suburb southeast of New York. Life is a constant struggle for her, until she befriends newcomer, Hope Adaire. With the girls’ friendship slowly beginning to grow, Opal’s life begins to change in mysterious ways, as the secrets of Hope’s enigmatic life begins to unfold. In the process of taking new paths and unveiling truths, a new world is discovered and with it, the discovery of a Gift a power that can make Opal stronger than she ever imagined. Yet with every truth, lies must be shattered. Now, when Dewdrop and the new world is threatened, this temperamental teen with too much emotional baggage, must learn how to control her Gift, and protect everyone living in her world and the new one—or face the consequences of unmasked truths.

[goodreviews isbn=”B01CN7HOWY” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Ten Things I’ve Learned Since Having a Book Published by Madeline Dyer

Posted June 3, 2016

 

So, a few days ago I celebrated the one year anniversary for the publication of my debut novel, UNTAMED (Prizm Books, May 2015). During that year, I’ve learned a whole bunch of things and thought I’d share ten of them here with you.

 

1: Not everyone realises having a book published is a big deal. 

You feel great about your book being published, but some of the people you excitedly tell just don’t ‘get’ it. You see their faces fall and realise that when you told them you had ‘big news’, they were expecting something much bigger. And it’s hard not to let that upset you.

But writing a book—and getting it published—is a huge achievement. And we know just how many months (and even years) of hard work, sweat, and tears have gone into this… but not everyone gets this.  To some, writing a book is nothing, and publishing it is just a shrug-your-shoulders kind of moment. But you shouldn’t let the reactions of non-knowers (as I affectionately call them) get you down.

Just because someone doesn’t understand that you’ve poured your soul into this book and spent months and months labouring away over it, it doesn’t mean that your achievement is any less validated.

You still rock—you wrote a book! And don’t worry, there’ll be other people who do understand why this is a shout-from-the-rooftops moment.

 

2: A lot of the non-writers who you tell about your novel will suddenly confess their dream to you—that they, too, wish to write a book.

Often this statement is followed by some sort of justifier, that they will write their book ‘when they have time’. And time seems to be the only thing a lot of non-writers think is necessary to have when writing a book…

At first, I was surprised by how many people seemed to think I had managed to write my book because I apparently ‘had the time’ to do so. In their eyes, skill and motivation didn’t really feature that highly. And didn’t they realise that I was busy with other stuff too?

I mean, I wrote the first draft of UNTAMED when I was 18—whilst I was at school and studying for A-levels. And then I worked on in-house edits with one of my publisher’s editors alongside doing my degree. It was tough to fit it all in.

But part of being a writer is having the determination to write, and the determination to find time to write. That fifteen-minute break? Well, I can write a couple of hundred words then. That bus journey? Yes, I can get some outlining done.

Writers don’t magically have more hours in the day than everyone else in the world. We have the same amount of time. But we just have to find the time to write, and we organise ourselves in such a way that we do have time—even if it means less sleep, or not going out to see that film.

I’m a firm believer that if someone’s a writer, they have to write as much as possibly they can. Writers don’t have any choice, and they can’t put off their writing dreams for a more suitable time—say, in ten years. There’ll never be a more suitable time, and writers write whenever they possibly can.

 

3: You also won’t feel like a proper writer.

Even now, after signing a second book deal with my publisher, I still feel like I’m not the real thing. From talking to other writers, it seems the aptly named Imposter Syndrome is common among us all. We all feel like we’re not good enough, and that soon someone is going to realise it—but, according to some, that’s a sign of a proper writer. It’s when you’re certain that your writing is spectacular and that you’re the next J.K. Rowling that you might need to worry…

So, I guess the thing that I’ve learned here is that it’s okay to feel like this. It’s normal. And other famous writers feel like this too.

 

4: But once you’ve got one book published, writing your next can be harder.

I’ve certainly found this to be true for me. Having already had one book published, I feel there’s a great amount of pressure on me to write one that readers love just as much—if not more.

And these expectations we think people have makes writing a follow-up book an incredibly daunting task all of a sudden. And all your doubts about your writing ability come flooding back. After all, what if that first book was a fluke? What if you can’t produce the stunning sequel that you know readers are waiting for?

Well, don’t worry. That’s my answer, and that’s what I’ve been telling myself every time I start fretting. I think the main problem for me is that I’m now comparing my patchy first draft of book two to the final version of book one. And of course, the writing’s not going to be great in a first draft. And there will be holes in the plot, and characters who aren’t that well formed.

But I know I can fix all this. I have to tackle it one step at a time, just as I did when I was rewriting and editing Untamed. And I have to believe in myself. If I wrote one book that readers loved, then I know, deep down, that I can write another, even if my first thought is that I can’t. I’m still the same writer. And it’s all about self-belief and not becoming intimidated by what you achieved before.

So, just write. And get your first draft done. That, for me, is still the hardest bit, and becoming a published writer hasn’t made it any easier.

 

5: Now onto reviews: don’t read them!

Okay, I’m not very good with this one. I know I shouldn’t read the reviews that my book garners, but I just can’t help it. There’s something exciting about realising you have a new review on Goodreads, or Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. And you just find yourself clicking through to read it, whilst anxiously wondering whether the person loved or hated your book.

And there will be some negative reviews. Whether a book is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is, after all, subjective. And you won’t be able to please everyone.

But as soon as you come across a negative review, you suddenly feel as if this review speaks the Ultimate Truth. All the good things you’ve previously read about your book are washed away, and all you can focus on now is the less-than-favourable thing that someone has said. And this really fuels that feeling that you’re not good enough, that you’re not a proper writer… that you’re an imposter.

And it can hamper your creativity.

That’s why I know that no author should read their reviews—and NEVER respond to any. Seriously, don’t.

But, if you must read those reviews then definitely do the next thing on my list.

 

6: Save your good reviews.

Print out a hard copy of your favourite reviews and stick them in a scrapbook. Then, whenever you come across a negative review and end up feeling like you’re the worst writer ever, read through your book of positive reviews. I promise they’ll make you feel much better, and you won’t (hopefully) spend days crying.

But, at the same time, don’t fall back into the trap of reading your best reviews and thinking, ‘but what if I can’t write a sequel that readers love as much as my first?’

So, yes, even your good reviews can be a double-edged sword. They certainly make me feel better and motivate me to write, but at the same time, I worry about disappointing my fans with my next manuscript. Ah, it gets so complicated…

 

7: Finding readers can be hard.

Even when your book is traditionally published, finding readers can be tricky. There are so many books out there competing for readers’ attention that many unfortunately do get lost.

But this is where promotion and marketing come in—trust me, marketing your book is important. And marketing it correctly is even more important.

You need to know your audience, and you need to engage with them. You also need to seem like a real person, so talk about your everyday life and share funny anecdotes. And always engage with your readers as an equal—never talk down to them.

But you also need to make sure that readers can find information about you quickly. A website is a must—and if you can host it on your own domain, even better. You’ll seem more professional that way. And make sure that you have clear links on your website to where readers can buy your book—don’t make it hard for them to find this information.

 

8: The number of reviews you have is important.

Once you reach certain numbers of reviews for a single work, many retailers include your book in different lists—and even on newsletters. So, the number of reviews you have is important. And the more reviews you have, the easier it is to sell your book.

But getting genuine reviews can be difficult, especially when you need unbiased reviews from people who you don’t know. Amazon removes the reviews from reviewers they think know the author, believing these to biased and untrustworthy.

And finding readers who will review your book can be difficult enough in itself. Especially when only around 1 in 100 will write a quick review of your book off their own back.

But book bloggers are great. And there are thousands of professional reviewers and bloggers out there who will write an honest review of your book in exchange for a free copy of your book—and include that disclaimer in their review. Plus, many of these reviews can also be used as editorial reviews, and often you can use snippets from these reviews in your marketing.

And also; NEVER buy reviews. I mean it. NEVER do it. When I hear that others are considering it, I cringe so much. Buying reviews can destroy everything—and cause retailers to block all your reviews (even any genuine ones). Never do it. Your reviews need to be genuine and unbiased, from actual readers who have actually read your book.

 

9: Nothing sells your last book like your next.

This is actually something I’ve read a few times now, in many different places. But it seems to be true. And it makes sense: the more books you have out, the more people will see your name, and the more readers will look for your other works having read one.

So perhaps the best marketing you can do for book one is to produce book two.

It seems so simple, and it emphasises an important part of being a writer—you know, the writing part.  Just because you’ve got one book out, doesn’t mean you need to stop writing. Quite the opposite, actually!

(And again, don’t let you success with one book intimidate you and make you feel under pressure with your second—I’m definitely struggling with this, now that we’re less than months away from the release of my second book… but what if readers really don’t like the direction I’m taking the Untamed Series in?)

 

10: And the final thing to mention here is that reading (and relaxing) is still important.

All writers, whether they publish or not, need to read widely. Don’t stop reading—and having fun—just because you’ve had a book published. Sure, it can be harder to find the time, now that your days (and nights) are filled up with marketing, promotion, answering interviews, writing, editing, researching, and booking events—plus other life commitments!

But you still need to read.

So please, don’t stop. Make sure you have time.

For me, reading is also a way of relaxing. And it is so important. Don’t overwork yourself—you still need some time off. And you still need to do what you love.


Madeline Dyer lives in the southwest of England, and has a strong love for anything dystopian, ghostly, or paranormal. She can frequently be found exploring wild places, and at least one notebook is known to follow her wherever she goes. Her debut novel, UNTAMED (Prizm Books, May 2015), examines a world in which anyone who has negative emotions is hunted down, and a culture where addiction is encouraged. FRAGMENTED (Prizm Books, Sept. 2016) is her second novel.


Guardian by Olivia Arran

Posted May 23, 2016

Who does he think he is?
The wolf shifter at my door. I pegged him as a shifter the second I laid eyes on him. It was the way he stalked into my apartment flexing his muscles and throwing his weight around, his lips curved in a smirk. Acting like he owned the place.

Smoking-hot, alpha jackass.

It was meant to be just a job.
An easy assignment between covert-ops, but there’s nothing easy or run of the mill about Natasha Silk. Human, gorgeous, with curves that make my mouth water, she’s got everything. Money, fame–a perfect life.

One kiss and I’m sure–she’s my mate. But I won’t claim her. I can’t. Because I’m a damaged man, broken on the inside. Dangerous. 

The clock is ticking. Someone is trying to kill her and it’s my job to stop them–not happening on my watch. 

[goodreviews isbn=”B01EVXI6BQ” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]

 

 


The GAIAD by William Burcher

Posted May 16, 2016

In a society increasingly buried under the weight of its own insularity, an ancient and shadowy group selfishly guards a secret with the power to change everything. Tonight, on a stage in front of thousands, one of their members commits a horrible, shocking act. In the audience is Detective Fleur Romano. Bitter and world-weary, she vows to uncover the reasons behind the horror she just witnessed. In the process, she’ll discover that she’s led her lonely life ignorant a fundamental truth, a truth first discovered by a man who walked the earth millennia ago, a man mysteriously familiar.
In this powerful debut, William Burcher is willing to explore unique and fantastic themes with realism and grit. The GAIAD boldly poses big questions. What do we lose, as we separate ourselves from the earth and each other? What would the future hold, if suddenly something changed with that most fundamental of relationships—the one we have with our own planet?

[goodreviews isbn=”B01AMMWTJK” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


The Dragon’s Blade: The Reborn King by Michael R. Miller

Posted May 16, 2016

Dragons once soared in the skies, but that was before the Transformation, before they took human form. Now, demonic forces stand to obliterate them. When left mortally wounded, Darnuir, the Prince of Dragons, can only be saved through a dangerous rebirthing spell. He is left as a babe in human hands.
Twenty years later, Darnuir is of age to wield the Dragon’s Blade. As the last member of his bloodline, he is the only one who can. He is plunged into a role he is not prepared for, to lead a people he does not know. Shadowy demons ravage his new home and the alliance between humans, dragons and fairies has fractured.
Time is short, for new threats and deadlier enemies are emerging…

[goodreviews isbn=”B017UDTDCK” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Author Interview: Greg Spry

Posted May 14, 2016

Greg Spry was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in 1978. He majored in industrial engineering at the University of Wisconsin—Madison before earning a graduate degree in space systems from the Florida Institute of Technology. When he’s not writing the next epic sci-fi adventure, he enjoys playing kickball and cheering on the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. He currently resides in the United States.


1) When did you first discover your love for writing?

In late elementary school, I wrote my first novel, Crystalia, which filled 365 pages of two 5-subject notebooks (writing on physical paper really takes me back). I followed that up with another short novel, Bear Wars, in middle school, and wrote the very rough draft of Beyond Cloud Nine in high school. Further details about my early works can be found at https://www.gregspry.com/earlyworks.php.

2) Do you have a favourite place to write?

I write at my desktop computer at home most of the time. While I’ll occasionally take my laptop somewhere, I find that I’m most comfortable and productive at home.

3) Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to?

My larger publication process for a single book is as follows:
1) Write first rough draft
2) Refine characters/plot, self-edit, and polish second rough draft
3) Submit cover specs to designers
4) Submit chapters to a critique group and/or beta rears for feedback and apply to draft 3
5) Work with a professional editor to apply developmental and line edits (drafts 4 and 5)
6) Cover reveal
7) Have proofreader revise the book, apply changes to draft 6
8) Have beta readers provide feedback and apply to the final draft 7
9) Three-month pre-publication / ARCs / promotion period
10) Publication and promotion

4) Are there any authors or specific books you aspire to?
Arthur C. Clarke. The master had a way of writing easy-to-understand prose and dialogue while still including the hard science. You know he invented the geosynchronous communications satellite, right?

5) What inspired you to write the Beyond Saga?

My primary influence for Beyond Cloud Nine, Beyond the Horizon, and the upcoming final two books in my Beyond Saga actually came from an Anime series known as Robotech in the USA or Macross in Japan and abroad. I wanted to do a similar grand-sweeping, fate-of-the-universe-hangs-in-the-balance space opera series with the beginnings of FTL (faster-than-light) travel, first contact, space combat, time travel, and more. I also draw influence from Star Trek: The Next Generation in that I want the plots to deal with higher-brow ethical dilemmas rather than cliché good versus evil.

I talk about my motivation and influences in more detail at https://www.beyondcloudnine.com/Background.aspx and https://www.beyondthehorizonbook.com/Background.aspx.

6) Can you tell us a little about your book?

My latest release, Beyond the Horizon (Beyond Saga Book 2), is the story of a young ensign who must foil an attempt at genocide during humankind’s first interstellar mission.

7) Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?

I certainly have an affinity for Brooke Davis of Beyond Cloud Nine and her tough demeanor. Lyana, the main character of Destalis (book readers won’t see until after I’ve finished the Beyond Saga), is a self-doubting introvert and martial artist who must get out of her own head in order liberate her home world.

In general, I think it’s important for an author to like their main protagonists. After all, the author has to spend multiple years with each character while writing his or her story.

8) Do your books contain a message for readers to consider?

Always. The main theme of Beyond Cloud Nine and the Beyond Saga is “Would you rather be happy living a lie or be miserable knowing the truth?” The antagonists have a plan to bring about a utopian society for the human race but it requires lies and deception to achieve. Every reader has to decide for themselves whether they think the ends justify the means. The Beyond the Horizon press release at https://www.gregspry.com/pressrelease.php discusses the theme in more detail.

9) Would you be interested in sharing a teaser?

The below excerpt is from the inside flap of Beyond Cloud Nine. In chapter 3, ten-year-old Brooke Davis accidentally kills her father:

I did it. At the age of ten, I killed my father.
It was an accident, but it was still my fault.
Nothing I do can ever make up for the heinous mistake.
But I will spend the rest of my life trying . . .

The canopy blew away from the flyer. A spring-loaded mechanism punched her out into open air.

Brooke plunged and spun out of control. Rushing air pummeled her in the face. Gravity shoved the terror-stricken screams back down her throat.

The automatic parachute blew open, jerking her body upward. Her orientation righted, Beyond Cloud Nineand her descent slowed.

The Little Angel disappeared over the nearest mountain, but she couldn’t locate her father’s chute anywhere in the sky.

Where is he? Didn’t he jump out? Did his seat malfunction?

The wind whipped through her hair. Water trickled through a stream far below her hanging feet. A flock of birds glided past her.

A thunderclap jolted her heart.

An explosion mushroomed upward from behind the mountain, burning the image into her memory forever.

“Daddy!”

10) What would say has been your biggest challenge and achievement in writing?

Publishing my first book, Beyond Cloud Nine, was a big deal as I’m sure it is for most authors. I spent ten years (2004-2014) educating myself and learning how to write until I felt my craft was ready for prime time. Now, my biggest challenge is promotion, and I’m learning more and more each day about how to generate exposure and sales.

11) What have you learned about yourself as a writer through writing your books?

Based on reader and reviewer feedback, I’ve gained confidence and validation in knowing that my books are of sufficient quality to stand side-by-side with many traditionally published works.

12) Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?

Absolutely. My writing process and advice for new authors can be found at https://www.gregspry.com/process.php.

Also, know that the process of being a successful author begins only once you’ve published your first book.

 

13) And finally, do you have any future works planned?

I’m currently writing the third book of the Beyond Saga, Beyond Yesterday, in which Maya heads back in time to figure out how a piece of modern technology ended up 200,000 years in the past. Then the saga will conclude with book four, Beyond Existence, in which Maya must travel to alternate timelines and time periods to prevent powerful exobeings from wiping mankind out of existence. Learn more about the Beyond Saga at http://www.beyondsaga.com.

After the Beyond Saga, I’ll resume work on the first full-length manuscript I wrote as an adult, Destalis. Set several thousand years in the future, Destalis will be the unofficial sequel to the Beyond Saga and finish exploring the concepts introduced in Beyond Existence. I haven’t yet decided whether Destalis will be a single novel or multi-book series. Visit the Destalis official website at http://www.destalis.com to learn more about it.

I also have plans to write a sci-fi comedy series of short stories entitled Bears in Space, the concept for which can be found at https://www.gregspry.com/bearsinspace.php.



Author Links
Website: https://bit.ly/gregspry
Amazon: https://bit.ly/grsamzn
Goodreads: https://bit.ly/gsgoodr
Twitter: http://bit.ly/gstwitr
Facebook: http://bit.ly/gsfaceb
Google+: http://bit.ly/grsgplus
LinkedIn: https://bit.ly/grlnkin
Pinterest: https://bit.ly/gspinit


Beyond Cloud Nine (Beyond Saga Book 1) Links
Website: https://bit.ly/bc9home
Amazon (Kindle): https://bit.ly/bc9kdle
Amazon (Trade Paperback): https://bit.ly/bc9prbk
Goodreads: https://bit.ly/bc9good
Twitter: https://bit.ly/bc9tw
Facebook: https://bit.ly/bc9fb
Google+: http://bit.ly/bc9gplus
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/bc9pinit


Beyond the Horizon (Beyond Saga Book 2) Links
Website: https://bit.ly/bthhome
Amazon (Kindle): https://bit.ly/bthkdle
Amazon (Trade Paperback): https://bit.ly/bthprbk
Goodreads: https://bit.ly/bthgood
Twitter: https://bit.ly/bthtw
Facebook: https://bit.ly/bthfb
Google+: http://bit.ly/bthgplus
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/bthpinit


Pit of Bones by J.C.Redmond

Posted May 14, 2016

Battling Neanderthals in a struggle for the existence of humanity in a time and place that shouldn’t exist was the last thing Jack and Rene imagined when they promised the Professor they would document the existence of ancient human remains – but there they were.

The story: In 1976 a group of cavers discover the location of an ancient pit in a remote cave site – the legendary pit of bones rumored to be filled with ancient human remains that could forever change the story of the initial occupation of North America. A flash flood disrupts the expedition and forces the group to flee before any evidence is gathered. The leader of the expedition is lost and the pit’s contents falls back into mystery. The Professor was part of that expedition, and he knows now, nearly forty years later, it’s time to uncover the truth.

The protagonist: Jack Landry is an investigative specialist with a passion for the past. From his early exposure on how to process an archaeological dig by his anthropologist uncle, to his studies with the eminent Professor Warren Ladell, Jack is knowledgeable, capable and, even more, a skilled outdoorsman use to working in extreme conditions – he’s just the person for the job.

The truth? The truth is that the pit is a portal to a forgotten time, and the life that was lost in the original expedition not only survived, but emerges as a dominate force in an ancient time and place. With a personality bordering on the sociopathic, the villain Scar becomes leader of the fierce Haltook (Neanderthals) and uses their power – and his modern day knowledge – to pursue a twisted idea of payback. Now, they must stop him – in the past, so they can live in the future.

Ultimately, Jack must navigate the strange, lush land of the past, filled with exotic animals of North America’s past, to overcome the corrupt morals and out of control ego of Scar as he schemes to destroy everything humans ever created. By forging alliances with the ancient shaman Dulkuve and the warrior Quantahan of the Ashtakee tribe, Jack, and his modern counterparts Rene, Professor Laddel, and Trip devise a plan to save the future – if there’s time.

Pit of Bones is a sci-fi tale of mystery and excitement that digs through the layers of time revealing dialectics between past and present. Food, pollution, nature, spirituality, and ego are all pulled between past and present. The pit of bones is a story of our beginnings in a new land that informs us about who we are today.

[goodreviews isbn=”B01D92IEU8″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Grave Measures by R.R.Virdi

Posted May 14, 2016

What do shadows darting across the walls, cryptic writing, black fog, and a little girl who can see ghosts have in common? Paranormal investigator and soul without a body, Vincent Graves, has forty-four hours to find out.

To make matters worse, his years of body-hopping and monster-hunting are catching up with him. He’s losing his mind. An old contact has shut him out. To top it all off, something’s skulking through an asylum, killing patients.
Three guesses who might be next, and the first two don’t count. The writing on the wall is not so clear. But one thing is: if he doesn’t figure this out he’s a dead man–well, deader–and a strange young girl might follow. Vincent’s got his back against a wall, and that wall’s crumbling.
Some days it’s not worth it to wake up in someone else’s body.

[goodreviews isbn=”B01DC7OBH0″ buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Author Interview: J.D.Cunegan

Posted May 14, 2016

J.D.CuneganFresh off his debut novel Bounty, J.D. Cunegan introduces his intense follow-up, Blood Ties, a mixture of murder mystery and superhero epic that re-introduces the reader to his comic book-inspired storytelling and fast-paced prose. A 2006 graduate of Old Dominion University, Cunegan has an extensive background in journalism and a lifelong love for writing. Cunegan lives in Hampton, Virginia, enjoys reading, and is an avid auto racing fan.


  • When did you first discover your love for writing?

 

When I was 11, I picked up my first-ever comic book, an issue of X-Men from the Chris Claremont/Jim Lee era. I’d never been much of a reader up to that point, and I certainly had never entertained the thought of writing, but once I got into comic books, it was like a switch had been flipped. By the time I got to high school, I was creating my own characters and crafting stories for them. By the time I got to college, I started studying journalism, and my career as a sports writer kept me writing, even when the creative juices weren’t there. But I’ve been writing, in one form or another, since I was 11 years old, and I have comic books to thank for that.

 

  • Do you have a favourite place to write?

 

I don’t really have a favourite place to write, purely out of necessity. My day job is extremely time-consuming, and it keeps me on the road for days or weeks at a time, so I have to be flexible about when and where I can write. I’ve written in my office, in airports, on planes, in hotel rooms… if I have the time and the space, I can write almost anywhere.

 

  • Do you have a writing routine or process that you adhere to?

 

Much like I can’t afford to have one place in particular, I don’t really have a set routine. I don’t outline my novels beforehand; outside of a general idea of a book’s plot, I’m very much a pantser. It can sometimes make the editing process a pain in the butt, but I find the less I plan, the more freedom I have when writing. Sometimes, that freedom leads to some pleasant surprises – and if I’m surprised as the writer, something tells me my readers will be surprised, too.

 

  • Are there any authors or specific books you aspire to?

 

Not necessarily. If I spend too much time aspiring to be something or someone other than myself, then my work suffers. Reading helps my writing in several different ways, but at no point have I sat down and thought “I want to be the next so-and-so” or “I want to write the next insert-title-here.”

 

  • What inspired you to write Bounty/Blood Ties?

 

I created Jill, the protagonist, when I was in high school… and it’s a character and a universe that’s grown over the years as I’ve grown. Of all the characters I’ve created, Jill is my favourite, so it’s only right that my first published works are with her in them. The cop doubling as a superhero angle had always intrigued me, and I’m glad I get to play around with genre convention a little bit in that regard.

 

  • Can you tell us a little about your book?

 

Blood Ties centers around the mystery of Jill’s father. In the first novel, Bounty, we Blood Ties ebookestablish that Jill’s father had once been a detective, like her, but that he had fallen from grace after being convicted of three murders and sentenced to death. Blood Ties finally answers the central questions: 1) Did Jill’s father actually commit those murders? 2) Will he actually be executed? From there, Blood Ties unravels a grand conspiracy involving a shadowy cult called The Order, and they’re quite intent on making sure Jill doesn’t survive long enough to properly deal with what happens to her father.

 

  • Do you have a favourite amongst all your characters?

 

Jill is the obvious favourite, but I want to point to a character making his debut in Blood Ties: Detective Earl Stevens. He’s a former college football player who’s been on the force for about 15 years, and his dialogue is some of the most unique and colourful I’ve ever written. He’s not a great interrogator, but I found myself writing a few chapters in which Earl interrogated someone, just so I could see what kind of stuff would fly out of his mouth. I wasn’t disappointed, and I don’t think the readers will be either.

 

  • Does your book contain a message for readers to consider?

 

I haven’t gotten too heavy-handed with messages in either Bounty or Blood Ties yet… though through Jill, I do convey the message of even one person making a difference (and conversely, how much can one person really do, in the grand scheme of things?). But my next book, Behind the Badge, will be message-heavy, tackling the issues of police brutality and racism.

  • What would say has been your biggest challenge and achievement in writing these Bounty novels?

 

The biggest challenge is always knowing when the book’s ready. There’s no solid end point when it comes to editing and revising, so it’s hard to tell sometimes when it’s ready to be published. There have been times where I’ve felt my book was ready, only to discover there was a lot of work still to do on it. The line is hard to see, harder to reach, and sometimes, you don’t realize you’re there until you’ve blown right past it.

 

  • What have you learned about yourself as a writer through writing these first two novels?

 

That I can actually finish a project. The last decade or so has been littered with WIPs that held a lot of promise and were just… abandoned at some point. I never even finished the first draft. But now that I have two full-length novels and a digital short (Boundless) under my belt… I know I can see a project through to completion, and that really helps on days in which the words aren’t coming.

 

  • Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors?

 

The best way to improve as a writer is to write. Simple as that. The second best way? Read. Read as much as you can, as often as you can. Don’t just read stuff similar to what you’re writing, either; read everything you can get your hands on. Even reading the newspaper can help. Also, I’m generally loathe to recommend books on writing, but Stephen King’s On Writing is as close to a must-have as it gets.

 

  • Anything else you would like to say?

 

Never sweat the quality of your first draft. You’re not going to be Stephen King or James Patterson on the first draft (hell, Stephen King and James Patterson aren’t Stephen King and James Patterson on the first draft). Trust the editing process. Trust someone else, more than one if possible, to read your work at some point. Another pair of eyeballs will always catch more stuff than you will.

 

  • And finally, do you have any future works planned?

 

Behind the Badge, the third Bounty novel, is set to be released in June. I’m also writing the fourth novel in the series, Behind the Mask. I also have two separate projects in the works: a political thriller titled The Pen is Mighty and a supernatural epic titled Notna. I hope to have all three of those out by the end of 2017.

End with links to Blog /FB & Twitter etc

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JDCunegan/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JD_Cunegan

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14050436.J_D_Cunegan

Website: https://jdcuneganbooks.wordpress.com/

Tumblr: http://jdcuneganbooks.tumblr.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/J.D.-Cunegan/e/B00YNTP4S2/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1433567933&sr=8-1

 


A Facet for the Gem (The Tale of Eaglefriend Book One) by C. L. Murray

Posted May 7, 2016

In a land of eagle-riding knights, bloodthirsty beasts, and a ruthless prince, no border is safe for long. And as smoke billows from the only blockade standing between the great city of Korindelf and certain doom, young Morlen races to escape the inevitable siege. Thrust from the chaos with thousands of snapping jaws on his trail, he discovers that the abilities he’s buried all his life are awakening—and it could not have happened at a worse time.
War has come, and he doesn’t dare rely on his untested talents after stealing the coveted Goldshard, which makes strength and invincibility just a panicked whisper away. His dependency on it carries him through many dangers, until it becomes an enemy far worse than those he must fight hand-to-hand. And the allies he meets on his quest are just as troubled: a legendary warrior too afraid to leave his sheltered paradise, a wizard tormented by his past, and a disgraced king who has lost any hope of saving his people.
A FACET FOR THE GEM is a coming of age fantasy that brings Morlen from distant kingdoms to sprawling airborne battles, into the fiery breath of a stony dragon and side-by-side with a lady knight who is the last person in need of rescue. Follow him as his epic adventures culminate in a final showdown against swords, fangs, and greatest of all: his own fear.

[goodreviews isbn=”B01C9JT5BY” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Beyond the Horizon (Beyond Saga #2) by Greg Spry

Posted May 1, 2016

Ensign Maya Davis has had her sights set on the captaincy of a starship since she launched her first toy rocket into Earth orbit at age four. But not long after she departs the solar system aboard humankind’s first interstellar vessel, New Horizons, sabotage cripples the ship, killing a third of the crew and stranding the expedition light years from home under the siege of hostile forces. Without knowing who she can trust, Maya must risk her life to get the crew home and prevent the genocide of the very exospecies Horizons set out to contact.

[goodreviews isbn=”B01BBIA9DC” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Blood Ties by J.D. Cunegan

Posted April 29, 2016

For as long as Jill Andersen could remember, her father was a hero.
But heroes don’t commit murder, do they? The state of Maryland said Paul Andersen did just that, three times over, and was set to execute him for it. But Jill and the rest of her colleagues at the Baltimore Police Department come across the murder of a law student that leaves her hopeful that she can clear her father’s name.
While Jill and her colleagues work against the clock to clear her father’s name, new players emerge, hinting to a deeper, darker conspiracy than what was previously known. An enigmatic faction known as The Order reveals itself, and the mystery surrounding Paul’s alleged duplicity leaves more questions than answers.
Along the way, Jill must not only face the possibility that her father was not who she thought he was, but she must also face the prospect of her secret being revealed. The stakes are higher than ever in Blood Ties, the intense follow-up to J.D. Cunegan’s debut mystery Bounty.
Can Jill save her father before it’s too late? Will she even want to?

[goodreviews isbn=”B01976J8SW” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Beyond Cloud Nine by Greg Spry

Posted April 22, 2016

Ace star fighter pilot Brooke Davis lives for pushing hundreds of gees in orbital combat, but she’d give it all up in a moment to become the first human to fly faster than light. When Brooke stumbles upon a conspiracy involving terrorists, aliens, and the highest levels of government, she finds their goals seductive but their methods abhorrent. With the moral core of human civilization hanging in the balance, she must risk her shot at history, her family, and her life to prevent the schemers from forcing their nefarious brand of salvation upon the solar system.

[goodreviews isbn=”B00NOFZ16Q” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]


Entertainment on the Train by Richard Kefford

Posted April 6, 2016

[goodreviews isbn=”B01CBJ1UEW” buyinfo=”off” bookinfo=”off”]

My thoughts

Entertainment on a Train is a collection of short stories (and some poetry). I have read the science fiction ones, which is the reason I am sharing this book via indiescififantasy. I have always found Richard Kefford’s writing to be engaging, thoughtful and enjoyable.