Author Spotlight – Jacob Rundle

Author Spotlight - Jacob Rundle

Introducing Jacob Rundle

I proudly served in the United States Navy for eight years. After my time as a Navy Sailor, I decided to move to New Orleans to start a new life. I worked mundane, retail jobs in the Crescent City until I decided to pursue my passion of writing. And now, I am finishing up my debut novel, and it’ll be released February 2019.

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

I love everything to do with the Fantasy genre. The world has so much going on currently, and we all need an escape. I don’t love just one sub-genre of Fantasy. They all have a place in my heart.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

My debut Novel, Augur of Shadows, is a twist on the idea that the universe is maintained by ethereal beings who are omniscient. My main character, Henri, starts having prophetic dreams of an evil the predates anything anyone or any being has ever encountered. The Primordial Evil makes its way to the Earth to devour it in entirety. With the guidance from other spiritual beings and deities, Henri and his two friends, Etlina and Siméon, venture on an adventure to complete a task that will bring forth an event that’ll aid them with the future evil.
My writing process is quite different than other writers. I outline the big ideas and characters, and while I am writing, I allow the story to flow and to take its own form. I always keep in mind, “if I was in this world, how would it go”.

Who is your intended readership?

Personally, my intended readership would be everyone. Now, officially, my novel falls under the Young Adult/New Adult areas, so the age range from 12-25 years-old.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

Growing up, I always had so many stories in my head. My mother always wanted my brothers and me to embrace our imagination. I allowed my own personal self-doubt and fear prevent me from writing the novel that I have always had in my head. Now, I am embracing my passion for creative writing, and I have learned so much about myself.
Since I have embraced my love for putting words to paper, I am always jotting down notes about new stories, characters, etc.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I have alway loved Stephen King, Anne Rice, JK Rowling. Currently, I am really enjoying the works of Jenna Moreci and Vivien Reis. They have written so beautiful work.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

The biggest piece of advice would be to just start writing those words. Your first draft will not be the best, but who cares. Getting that first draft completed is an amazing accomplishment, and you should be proud. Don’t worry about editing, revising, or anything else you worry about. Secondly, you must believe in yourself. You can do it. You can write the story in your head. Thirdly, surround yourself with positive and motivating people.

Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?

As I was editing Augur of Shadows, I got into my main character’s mind, and I started to think that I was Henri, realizing that that wasn’t the case at all.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

I love to beta read for other authors. It motivates me to better my writing and critical analyzing skills. Besides reading, I love to study foreign languages and cultures. There is so much knowledge in this world, why wouldn’t I want to learn it all?

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

I am currently writing Book 2 of the Destined Series, and I am participating in National Novel Writing Month, and my project will be the first book in a new series that I will be putting out later next year.

Augur of Shadows: Book 1 of the Destined Series

The Destined 1 - Augur of Shadows

When grief stricken seventeen year-old Henri starts having prophetic dreams that tell of a future where he and his two friends, Etlina and Siméon, are burdened with the responsibility to bring about a cataclysmic event in order to save the entirety of existence from the primordial evil. Through the guidance of otherworldly beings, Henri and his friends venture on their paths to fulfill what is needed to ensure the survival of the universe.

With their intertwining endeavors, Henri and the others venture on

exploits through lands of myth and mystery. In the process of fulfilling their obligations, they begin to form a much-needed bond, which helps propel them forward to do what is needed to guarantee existence in the future. Will Henri and his friends achieve what is necessary to save the entire universe and reality itself?

Buy Now: E-Book

Join The Giveaway

Prizes Include: An exclusive poster, signed paperback, AOS tote bag, AOS coffee mug and a custom bookmark.

Step 1 -Pre-Order the ebook

Step 2 -Confirm you pre-ordered

Author Pages:

Amazon

Where to find Jacob Rundle:

Website (The Writer’s Alley), Twitter, Instagram, Blog (Author Jacob John Rundle Blog), Facebook

Advertisements

Author Spotlight – Katherine Gilbert

Introducing Katherine Gilbert

31 Days Of Halloween - Katherine Gilbert - Author Spotlight

Katherine Gilbert was born at house number 1313 and then transplanted to a crumbling antebellum ruin so gothic that The Munsters would have run from it. She has since gained several ridiculously-impractical degrees in English and Religious and Women’s Studies. She now teaches at a South Carolina community college, where all her students think, correctly, that she is very, very strange, indeed.

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

The decaying nineteenth-century mansion in South Carolina I mention in my bio was so creepy many people simply refused to enter it. They were the smart ones. About ten years after I finally managed to escape it, I was told by a family friend that it had burned down. He was quite surprised, when I laughed in hysterical relief. Since then, I’ve been fascinated by the gothic and paranormal, although I demand large doses of humor to make life worthwhile.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Lydia, the main character in Protecting the Dead, has spent the first 18 years of her life being raised by parents who intended from the start to sacrifice her to a demon, so she’s got some definite social anxiety disorder issues she’s having trouble overcoming. She’s decided the way to be happy is to just be the most normal person possible and ignore anything weird or strange. Since she ends up getting a job at a supernatural apartment complex filled with werewolves, cat people, ghosts, vampires, and many other creatures of the night, this isn’t easy for her. Her attraction to her angelic boss doesn’t help matters, either. It’s really a character’s journey from an uncertain past to a future where she starts to realize that embracing weirdness can lead to happiness.

Who is your intended readership?

Hoo boy–where to start? First off, I don’t do dark or gritty. To my mind, life has too much of both those qualities as it is. There are also too many unpleasant people out there in the real world either causing or enjoying the suffering of others. I’ve never wanted to spend my free or dream time with them, so (while this type may show up as a villain) they will never be my protagonists. I actually like a character I can, well, like. In other words, if you root for Sauron over Frodo or Aragorn, I’m not the writer for you.

Two of my greatest loves, as well, are humor and the weird or paranormal, so that kind of tells you something about what you should be expecting (well, if you toss in that there are romances, too). My writing is full of strange, funny, quirky characters in weird, paranormal situations.

Another aspect of my writing is kind of a quirky spirituality. Nothing in my novels will resemble any religion you ever heard of. There are both angels and demons in Protecting the Dead, but they probably won’t fit most preconceived religious notions. Still, I’d rather create worlds where the protagonists and their friends are working toward seeing good happen in the world and helping out all those around them.

It was only after my novel was published that I came to realize how much it doesn’t seem to fit most people’s expectations. If you approach it solely as a romance, the protagonist’s journey is really only partly about her relationship, so this may throw you off. If you approach it solely as urban fantasy, it will seem weirdly humorous and light. If you expect it to be a typical (i.e. rigidly codified Christianity) inspirational, your brain will probably explode. My sister attempted to define it once as an inspirational comic paranormal urban gothic romance. I guess I’d just say it the way I do in my newsletter. My writing is for those times you want humor, romance, and the paranormal–and you aren’t willing to settle for just one.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I actually started out as a fan fiction writer for a show I was obsessed with. At first, the stories all filled in the blanks left by the episodes, but, once the show ended a few years later, I branched out into alternate universe stories. I realized through these that I was actually able to create my own plot and characters. In fact, the characters always know where they’re going, even when I haven’t a clue. I just need to get the time to put my fingers on the keyboard and let them tell me what they want written about them.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

There are a lot of favorite authors for me, but Terry Pratchett probably comes out on top. He mixes humor, fantasy, the supernatural, and real-world truths and concerns with absolutely seamless brilliance. I’ve reread some of the Discworld novels so many times I’ve nearly memorized them.

As to my inspirations, there are a couple. First, my sister listens to every chapter as I write and is unbelievably supportive. It’s wonderful to have someone who really gets me listening to what I’m working on. Second, a lot of my novels come from either dreams or the seed of a real-life encounter. Protecting the Dead was inspired by a run-down apartment complex my sister and I visited. When she asked about the tenant turnover, she was told, “Oh, our residents never leave.” Thus, my brain started sizzling. Third, though, are just the characters themselves. When I finally published this first novel (after years of trying), a friend asked me why I never gave up. I told her truthfully that I couldn’t betray my characters that way. They wanted their story told, so I needed to do what I could to see that that happened.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Mostly, as I said above, if this is something you really want to do and the stories are just burning in your mind, don’t give up. This is true even when: you’re halfway through writing and either realize you have no idea where this story is going or it takes off in a sudden new direction you never expected; agents and publishers are thoroughly uninterested in your work; you’re bogged down in editing which seems to be driving you close to madness; the thought of trying to “create a platform” for your published work makes you want to hold your head; nobody’s buying your book; or some of those few who review it just say some version of, “Whuh?” Trust in your characters; do the best you can for them and yourself, and, whenever possible, help out others, as you go along.

Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?

In Protecting the Dead, there’s this little old Jewish woman who keeps popping up in Lydia’s dreams. For the longest time, I was as clueless as she was as to who this old woman was and why she kept invading my story. It was only partway through a chapter about halfway through the novel that it finally dawned on me who she was (although, to avoid spoilers, I won’t explain further).

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

My hobbies are mostly mundane (tv, movies, books). As to what I’m passionate about, I suppose spending time with my sister and friends. I love to go on small adventures somewhere beautiful or strange, whether it’s a place I’ve never seen before or one I’ve been to any number of times. Honestly, too, even if my sister and I go nowhere, just spending time laughing and talking with her is one of my greatest joys. I utterly, thoroughly scored in the cosmic sister lottery, and I always enjoy my good fortune.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

I’ve got one book I’m writing and another I’m editing. For the one I’m editing, it involves magic and some demonic secrets in an antebellum mansion on the Battery in Charleston, SC. Sometimes hidden family secrets can reach out to grab you.

Protecting the Dead

Protecting the Dead-Cover

After a childhood filled with demons and her devil-worshiping parents, Lydia longs for a quiet, normal life, a safe haven somewhere blissfully dull. Being the manager at the Roanoke Apartments seems to fit that bill. But Lydia soon learns that you can’t leave the past behind so easily. She finds herself faced with unclogging drains for werewolves, conducting nightly vampire counseling sessions, and caring for two talkative cats. Then there’s the

distraction of Geoffrey, the hottest, and most angelic, boss anyone ever dreamed of. As if that isn’t enough, the demon who nearly killed her shows up to finish the job. So much for a peaceful, simple life…

Buy Now: E-Book, Paperback (Coming Soon)

Author Pages:

Amazon, Smashwords

Where to find Katherine Gilbert:

Website (Facebook)

Newsletter Sign-Up – More in Heaven and Earth–If you sign up, you’ll receive behind-the-scenes tidbits, news, and some links to current contests, usually once per month (unless there’s special news to announce).

“31 Days Of Halloween” 2018 Is Here!

31-days-of-halloween-2018-banner

It’s time for the annual “31 Days of Halloween” event to kick off, and I’m amazed, as ever, how many authors have signed up. It’s also wonderful to be introducing you to some of these writers for the first time.

Here’s a list of the posts going up over the course of the next month, with links to each. Some of the posts have yet to be completed, so I’ll update the links on this page as each is scheduled. Check back daily.

Please keep in mind, the posts will not be available until after 8am EST each day. So, if you want to be sure you don’t miss any, click that follow button in the sidebar, or sign up for email notifications.

DateScheduled PostAuthor
131 Days of Halloween (This post)Timothy Bateson
2#Teaser Tuesday “Under A Hunter’s Moon”Timothy Bateson
3Book Spotlight – “The 13: Tales of the Macabre”Stephanie Ayers
4Author Spotlight – Katherine GilbertKatherine Gilbert
5Famous Witches/Warlocks Through The AgesTimothy Bateson
6Book Spotlight – “Souls of the Dark Sea”Anita Stewart
7Pumpkin Carving For All Experience LevelsTimothy Bateson
8All The Colors Of Halloween (Themed Art)Timothy Bateson
9#Teaser Tuesday “The Lupine’s Call”Timothy Bateson
10Book Spotlight – “The Liminal Hymns”Anais Chartschenko
11Of Hauntings and Hoaxes: The Historical Basis for “No Rest for the Wicked”Phoebe Darqueling
12“Wolves In The Desert” – Giveaway OpensTimothy Bateson
13Book Spotlight – “Rheia”Cassandra Page
14Storytime: “Tap Tap Tap”Lyssa Medana
15Book Spotlight – “Carousel of Nightmares”Kerry E.B. Black
16#Teaser Tuesday “Wolves In The Desert” #1Timothy Bateson
17How the real world shapes fiction and vice versaHeidi Angell
18Book Spotlight – “Instinct”Anna Hub
19Halloween Costumes (Thanks To Photo Manipulation)Timothy Bateson
20“Wolves In The Desert” – Giveaway Winners AnnouncedTimothy Bateson
21My Top-10 Halloween MoviesTimothy Bateson
22Book Spotlight – “Nemesis”Elle Cross
23#Teaser Tuesday “Wolves In The Desert” #2Timothy Bateson
24Book Spotlight – “Tales From The White Hart”Lyssa Medana
25Book Spotlight – “The Greatest Of Books”Rosa Marchisella
26Book Spotlight – “Wolves In The Desert” (Release Day)Timothy Bateson
27Short Story: “After Dark”Timothy Bateson
28Book Spotlight – “Unconfined Delusions”Angela L Lindseth
29Book Spotlight -“Battlefield Love”
Skyler Andra
30#Teaser Tuesday “Wolves In The Desert” #3Timothy Bateson
31Book Spotlight – “Clay & Blood”Rebekah Jonesy

Author Spotlight – JK Allen

JK Allen

Introducing JK Allen

JK Allen began writing the day after she learned to write and hasn’t looked back since. Her work is featured in several anthologies and Angelborn is her debut novel. She loves all genres, but especially loves YA and fantasy, and can often be found lost in a book. Or on Facebook.

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

I received my degree in Creative Writing in 2010 and got really serious about my writing. It’s been a dream of mine to be an author and I’ve been working hard to make my dreams come true ever since. Common themes in my writing include identity, everyday magic, and the kind of courage found in ordinary people.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

High school is all about boy meets girl, girl gets demon mark, and girl discovers she’s half angel at least that’s how it is for Ginny Gracehurst. Ginny gets caught up in a world she never knew about after getting a demon mark. Now she needs to figure out who she is and how to stay out of the hands of a powerful half demon hell-bent on using her for his own plans. Can she keep herself and her loved ones safe?

Who is your intended readership?

Anyone who loves YA and urban fantasy.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote my first story when I first learned how to write and never stopped. I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until I was older, but I was always writing something. Poems, songs, short stories, I always had a pen in my hand. Writing has always been such a big part of me.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I love such a wide array of authors from Jane Austen to JK Rowling. I feel there’s so much to learn from everyone.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Write first, edit later. It’s so important to just create first before putting on the more critical hat of editor. Just get the draft down. You can perfect it later.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

I love drawing and painting when I’m not writing. Being creative really fuels me. I also adore reading.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

The sequel to Angelborn, Heavenfire, is slated for an April release. Right now it’s with the publisher waiting to get edited. I’m excited to keep the story of Ginny going.

Angelborn

High school is all about boy meets girl, girl gets demon mark, and girl finds out she’s half-angel. At least that’s how it is for Ginny Gracehurst.

Sixteen year olds have a lot going on in their lives, and Ginny is no exception. Grades, homework, pimples, oh and now the sudden appearance of a demon mark. And discovering her father, who she thought was dead, is actually the great angel Grace. Who is very much alive.

With unforeseen powers growing, she has to figure out who she really is. While also staying out of the reach of a powerful half demon who is hell-bent on bending her to his will. The Alliance, an organization that is supposed to help people like her, is threatened by her potential gifts. They are more invested in their own hierarchy than in upholding their divine mandate. It’s up to her and a new friend, Aiden, to protect not just herself, but the ones she loves.

Buy Now: E-Book

Author Pages:

Amazon

Where to find JK Allen:

Website (Facebook), Twitter, Instagram, Blog (Hijinks blog), Facebook

Author Spotlight – Assaph Mehr

Author Spotlight - Assaph Mehr

Introducing Assaph Mehr

Assaph has had his nose in a book since he was five, so it wasn’t surprising that he turned to writing. All those years reading on ancient Rome, sci-fi, fantasy, and mysteries while practicing various martial arts, travelling the world, and working odd jobs lead to some interesting combinations in his stories.

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

G’day!
I read voraciously and eclectically, but I grew up of classic Sci-Fi and Fantasy. I also read a lot of mysteries, and was joyous when I found the sub-genre of historical mysteries.
I always dreamt of seeing my name in print, but that seemed something for retirement. Until one day, rather randomly, that I started to write. And haven’t stopped.
Considering my reading tastes, I write what I want to read – a mash-up of Ancient Rome detective and Urban fantasy.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

This is the second Story of Togas, Daggers, and Magic. It tells of Felix’s second big case, where he was hired by a rich landlord who found tenants are abandoning his apartment buildings, spouting tales of horrific events and whispering that the old gods – the numina – came alive and cursed the buildings.

Felix, dressed in a toga and armed with a dagger, is neither a traditional detective nor a traditional magician – but something in between. Whenever there is a foul business of bad magic, he’s hired to sniff out the truth. Now he must separate fact from superstition – a hard task in a world where the old gods still roam the earth.

The stories are set in a fantasy world. The city of Egretia borrows elements from a thousand years of ancient Roman culture, from the founding of Rome to the late empire, mixed with a judicious amount of magic. They are the cases of a cynical, hard-boiled detective dealing with anything from daily life to the old forces roaming the world.

Who is your intended readership?

If you like Urban Fantasy such as Harry Dresden and are curious about historical settings, or – conversely – if you love works of Roman detectives such Lindsey Davis and Steven Saylor and are open to supernatural and fantasy elements – this is the book for you!

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

Pretty soon after starting reading, which was before the official age to get a library card. I did end up getting my very own library card, reading voraciously, borrowing my sister’s card so I can start reading the adult fantasy shelf, and reading even more.

I haven’t planned on being a writer, until – decades later – my wife said she ran out of things to read. So that evening I started writing a story that has been kicking around in the back of my head. Thus Murder In Absentia was born. By that point I was fairly certain I not only want to, but am, a writer.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I don’t think there’s enough space to list them all here…

On the Roman historical fiction side, probably Colleen McCullough, Steven Saylor and Lindsey Davis stand out. The last two also cover historical mystery novels, and I will only add the amazing Boris Akunin for his incredible Erast Fandorin series.

On the fantasy side too many to mention, from classics like JRR Tolkein and Fritz Leiber, to modern authors like Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett.

There are other historical fantasy detectives out there too… I’ll mention Barry Hughart, with Bridge of Birds – one of my all-time favourite books!

What advice would you give beginning writers?

If you want to write, write.
Unless you park your ass in a chair and put words on a page, you won’t get anywhere.

If you want to write well, read.
Read voraciously, in and out of your genres. Read anything that catches your fancy (and thing why). Read about writing. And then go and write.

If you want to publish, persevere.
If you’re going the trad route, it takes a lot of submissions, a lot of rejections, and a lot of time. So take a deep breath, keep writing, and keep submitting.
If you’re going indie, do it properly. Get yourself proper editors, proper cover designers, and proper book producers. Play to your strength, and pay for professionals to cover gaps.

Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?

My wife is too scared to read my books, so she reads them only during daylight hours.
Also, Felix (my cat) is responsible for Felix (my protagonist). Because he walked into the room and sat behind my computer when I was thinking what to name him.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

Family, martial arts (30 years of practicing various arts), reading, avoiding yard-work, dealing with invading Australian wildlife. You know – life.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

Currently writing a novella in the Stories of Togas, Daggers, and Magic series, and then it’s on to the third full-length book! Titled In Victrix, the novel sends Felix into the lives of gladiators and women in the republic.

In Numina

This is the second story of Togas, daggers, and Magic – for lovers of Ancient Rome, Hardboiled detectives, and Urban Fantasy.

A rich landlord finds tenants are abandoning his apartment buildings, spouting tales of horrific events and whispering that the old gods – the numina – came alive and cursed the buildings.

Enter Felix, a professional fox. Dressed in a toga and armed with a dagger, Felix is neither a traditional detective nor a traditional magician – but something in between. Whenever there is a foul business of bad magic, Felix is hired to sniff out the truth. Now he must separate fact from superstition – a hard task in a world where the old gods still roam the earth.

In Numina is set in a fantasy world. The city of Egretia borrows elements from a thousand years of ancient Roman culture, from the founding of Rome to the late empire, mixed with a judicious amount of magic. This is a story of a cynical, hardboiled detective dealing with anything from daily life to the old forces roaming the world.

Praise for the Stories of Togas, Daggers, and Magic series:
“Mehr creates a vivid cast and an equally vivid setting in which magic just seems to fit in perfectly.”
— Richard Knaak, NYT best-selling fantasy author of Legends of Huma

“Mehr’s imagined world based on ancient Rome feels at once familiar and dreamlike.”
— Ruth Downie, NYT best-selling author of the acclaimed Medicus series of Roman mysteries

Buy Now: Paperback, E-Book

Author Pages:

Amazon

Where to find Assaph Mehr:

Website (Felix the Fox Mysteries), Twitter, Instagram, Blog, Facebook

Author Spotlight – Ed Ireland

Introducing Ed Ireland

Ed Ireland was born in Philadelphia in 1954. In January of 1955, the hospital he was born in was torn down. Presumably, they didn’t want anything like that happening ever again.
In 1972 he joined the military where his wanderlust surfaced. He has called many places home while on his way to his current place in Miami. He claims his penchant for wandering is now at an end here in the shadows of Hemingway.
On the personal side of his life, he is a rabid Philadelphia Eagles fan, a self-confessed video game addict and a proud supporter of wildlife issues.

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

Well, I’m the very proud father of 2. I enjoy gardening, cooking, and photography. I despise writing, but you know, the voices won’t let it rest. I wish I could say I was one of those precocious child writers who pushed their first novel at 4, but it just ain’t so.
I didn’t start writing until much later. About 40 years later. The voices were polite then…now they’re just demanding. I’ve asked for a divorce but they say no.
Anyway, I mentioned that I am involved in animal rights, and I am. I wish I could open my home to any and all animals that need help, but that’s what they call a zoo and you need special permits and stuff. And way more room than I currently have. So I work primarily with one group of animals, wolves.
Wolves suffer relentlessly. They are persecuted by those who just can’t or won’t understand them. I try to educate and a portion of my sales goes to a wonderful lady on Long Island who sends mine and the thousands of other donations to wolf sanctuaries across the nation. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure Tim doesn’t have enough web space for me to go on anymore.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

My book is entitled “The Last Ranger of Sarn”, but it’s not quite my latest. Last Ranger was previously released by a new publishing company that promised the world and delivered a small dog park instead. But, I have taken it back, re-edited line-by-line, added a bit of new content, and recovered it.
It’s a classic epic fantasy with clear-cut villains and heroes. It follows the MC, Vespias from birth. I show her as a real person who has a typical child’s life. Then, an event changes her. Her story begins to take a dark turn, but with help and love from her family, she takes her lessons from the dark and moves on to a better time.
A better time that’s not to be had unfortunately. Hers is a story about normal, average people thrust into extraordinary circumstances. A person either rises to meet the challenge or doesn’t. But just because that ordinary person rises, it’s not a guarantee of winning.

Who is your intended readership?

My fellow geeks of course. I’m practical about it. I don’t expect my book will find its way into the boardroom of Chrysler or the pulpit of Saint Rita’s church. But, if you like adventure, if you like action, if you like romance, horror, and/or philosophy, then you’re my target audience.
My book isn’t YA, not that I even know what the hell that is anymore. It’s got mature moments. It has some adult language. It also has a good story behind it. It introduces characters that I’ve nurtured for years and presents them in a way designed to make you care about what happens.
This is the start of a series, so I need readers who are willing to become friends with my people. I can promise, they won’t let you down.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I still don’t want to be a writer. Writers do stuff. They walk around in fancy “smoking jackets” while they puff on pipes. They drink brandy. They have Irish Wolfhounds.
I quit smoking, my best jacket is in storage since it never gets cold enough to wear it here, and I have a Saint Bernard and a Pit-mix. My dogs aren’t regal, they’re goofy.
My problem is these stories that keep popping in my brain. Sometimes I can will them off, but other times…they are as persistent as a crack-head who saw a dollar bill in your hand. To make matters worse, and Tim can back me up on this, I have an old Cuban lady named Marisol as my muse. She just keeps pushing and pushing…

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

My inspiration was the first writer I ever read, J.R.R. Tolkien. I think that having him as inspiration is about the only thing I’ve done right. I also very much enjoy reading Gregory Maguire. Now, if you don’t know who he is, just avoid the dirty looks Marisol and I are giving and listen.
He wrote Wicked. Not the popular yet silly Broadway musical, but the book Wicked, The Life and Times of the Witch of the West. It’s a dark, political look at Oz before Dorothy arrived and started killing people. In that first book he taught me this; every tale has two sides to it. I try to incorporate that into my books. Yes, one side may be good and the other evil, but there can also be similarities to each other. Or sometimes, maybe good is not all it’s cracked up to be.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Stay with it! They say you don’t really get good until you’ve written a million words. I don’t know what my excuse is, but I know I refuse to give up. Don’t begin with the idea of becoming an international darling before you’ve even finished your first work. In my case, I write because I need to get these stories out.
Do I want to be on the NY Times Best Seller List? Of course, but if just one person buys my book and lets me know they liked it, then I’ve done my part.

Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?

No. Nothing amusing ever happens to me. Ever. Well OK, sometimes. Like when we went to go buy a puppy. We went with the plan of getting a Chihuahua or a Dachshund. We looked at them both and just out of curiosity, my wife wanted to see the “cute, little fuzzball Saint Bernard pup”. She was adorable, performing all the requisite puppy tricks to steal your heart.
Now mind you, I wanted a dog I could walk around the mall with. You know, while wearing a fancy smoking jacket and puffing on my pipe. Instead, I have this gigantic beast…she’s just under 7 months old and already tipping the scales at 80 lbs…who could drag me around the mall with little effort.
I know, what a madcap life I live.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

My Philadelphia Eagles. I’ve suffered with this team all my life and they finally gave me a Super Bowl win! Dilly dilly!!!!
I’m also on the threshold of another life first achievement, buying a home. Once established in said home, I can start up that garden for real, instead of a few potted plants. I’ve already got the plans for all the veggies, blackberry and raspberry bushes and banana trees ready to go. And what goes hand in hand with all this fresh, healthy stuff?
Cooking. I love to cook. So much so that I’m also planning a cookbook with my Grandmother’s old recipes. But, I also have my vices. I spend too much time on video games. I’m addicted. But, it could be worse I guess.

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

Next up is a complete edit to the 2nd book in the series, “Blood Moon Sacrifice”. The third book is already underway, and then there’s the cookbook. Marisol has been kind enough to keep throwing plots at me so who knows which one she’ll pick to antagonize me with.

The Last Ranger of Sarn; The Journals of the Huntress

The Last Ranger of SarnCastia is shrouded in hate. Darkness advances in the wave of undead that sweep across it. Undeath it seems, comes in many forms. The slow, shambling, unspeaking horror that makes the living run. However, it has other faces.
Faces of friends and neighbors. Faces of children and elders. Faces of loved ones.
Extraordinary times call for heroes, but who are they? They can take on their own faces, like war-hardened generals, mystics and wizards, or the bravest of soldiers. Heroes are those special enough to stand in the face of death and smile. There are other heroes as well.
Heroes that call on love and hope to help them stand and face the terror. The unassuming butcher or blacksmith who fights to keep his or her family alive. Sometimes, it is a young girl, thrilled to plan for her wedding. A wedding that will have to wait until the undead are no more. It may be that the most unlikely of heroes come from the most unlikely of places.
This is the story of one such hero. Vespias never wanted the war to turn its ugly head towards her lands. It came nonetheless. She is the last person who should fight, but without her knowing, life has prepared her for these moments. It has secretly forged a hero from the mundane and ordinary. A hero that might just win the war and return her world to normal.
Or not.
The Last Ranger of Sarn brings you into Vespias’ world. It tells her story and holds nothing back. These journals of hers compliment the story, showing what she felt at the time. They appear throughout giving the reader a glimpse into her mind. A glimpse into what it takes to be a hero. A glimpse into what heroics cost and a sense of wonder if the cost was worth the end.

Buy Now: Paperback, E-Book

Author Pages:

Amazon

Where to find Ed Ireland:

Website (Ed Ireland), Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook

Author Spotlight – Lori Drake

Introducing Lori Drake

Lori Drake writes from her home office and assorted coffee shops around Austin, Texas. When not busily writing or editing, she enjoys reading, video gaming, fiber arts, and playing with kittens. These are all mutually exclusive activities, no matter what the kittens would have you believe.

Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

I’m a red-headed scorpio, so my mom had her hands full when I was a kid. Writing has always been a part of my life, though I went long periods where I didn’t write anything. I wrote my first novel in 2008, and I don’t know if I’ll ever go back and edit it for publication, but I’m still rather fond of the story.

I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and two full grown cats that we still think of as kittens. My husband calls them “kittens-not-kittens.”

I have no children, so my books are my legacy. Think about that the next time you dog-ear a page. Just kidding! Buy the books, and do whatever you want with them. But definitely read them. I do recommend that.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

I just released the third book in my Grant Wolves series, Grave Threat. It’s my favorite of the series so far, and it really challenges Joey–the female protagonist–to step up to the plate while her Alpha is out of commission. Joey is such an interesting character. She’s not your average smart-mouthed urban fantasy heroine. She has a lot of attitude, but she’s still figuring out how to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. In book one, we found out that she was sheltered for most of her life, not even trained in fighting the way her older siblings were. Since then, she’s grown into an “heir apparent” role, but she’s never been truly tested until now. It’s a trial by fire, and she learns a lot of lessons about how hard it is to make those tough calls she’s always been so quick to criticize in the past.

Who is your intended readership?

My readers are those misfits that love a good werewolf story that doesn’t revolve around an alpha looking for a mate. They don’t mind profanity, and enjoy a diverse cast of characters. (While my protagonists are straight–as far as I know, anyway–there are gay & bi supporting characters.)

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’m not sure! It was never a big dream of mine. Writing was always something I enjoyed doing, but I wasn’t able to see myself doing it professionally for a long time. I always worried that if I did it for a job, I wouldn’t love it as much. It wasn’t until 2017, when I was preparing to launch my first book, that I thought, “You know what? I can do this.” I haven’t looked back.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

Music inspires me. I’m always listening to music while I write, and I make playlists for all of my books while I’m writing them. I fill them with songs that remind me of characters, scenes, or themes from the book. Once the book is released, I like to share those playlists in my newsletter. I like the idea of people listening to them while they read.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Don’t be afraid to share your work with someone. Write in a vacuum, but don’t edit in one. My writing grew in leaps and bounds when I joined a critique group, and it also helped to boost my confidence.

Do you have any amusing writing stories or anecdotes to share?

My best friend is terrified of werewolves. Seriously, she won’t read books about them or watch movies featuring them because the whole messy in-between of bones cracking and human faces growing snouts just wigs her the hell out. I purposefully designed my werewolves as creatures whose transformation was magical rather than physical. There are no snapping bones, contortions, or half-man, half-wolf forms. The air shimmers, and poof! That human is now a wolf. Finally, a werewolf story she can handle.

I dedicated my first book to her. She cried when she found out.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Any hobbies?

Hm, what to mention that isn’t in my bio… tea! I love tea, especially loose leaf tea. The coffee shop where I frequently write won me over with their wide assortment of loose leaf teas. I prefer black over herbal, and nothing too fruity.

I’m also a bit of a weather geek. I took a few meteorology classes in college and I find it completely fascinating. I’d like to go storm chasing one day, and I don’t care what anyone says… Twister is a great movie. (Rabbit is good, Rabbit is wise.)

I also volunteer with my local animal shelter as a foster mom during kitten season, because KITTENS. Need I say more?

What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal?

Okay, just between you and me… I’m currently working on a spin-off featuring a popular side character from the Grant Wolves series. The only hint I will give is: He’s not a wolf.

I guess that was two hints.

Grave Threat

Mind control is a terrible thing to waste.

Joey and Chris are finally settling into something remotely resembling normal in their new hometown. It’s great, aside from being in separate packs.

But when Joey’s Alpha is kidnapped, it’s all wolves on deck, and what begins as a ride to the rescue devolves into the road trip from hell. The situation only gets worse when Chris, too, is taken.

Now Joey is left seeking allies in unfamiliar territory while the captives fight for their free will as well as their freedom. Can Joey reclaim her loved ones before they’re lost to her forever?

Grave Threat is the action-packed third installment of the gripping Grant Wolves series. If you like strong women, powerful magic, high stakes, and underdog tales, this is the book for you!

Buy Now: Paperback, E-Book

Author Pages:

Amazon

Where to find Lori Drake:

Website (Lori Drake’s Website), Twitter, Facebook

Subscribers to Lori’s newsletter receive exclusive sneak peeks, playlists, free books, release dates, and other insider info.