Book Spotlight – “Zombies From Space…and Vampires” by Angela B. Chrysler

Book Blurb

Alien invasion? Zombies? Vampires!? I don’t think so!

Aria was an average 19-year-old with average problems. Average was quite realistic until zombies landed their UFO in her backyard. If Aria wants to survive, she’ll need some help, and who better than a pirate captain, a steampunk inventor, a bazooka wielding slayer, and a deranged Englishman who insists he is Doctor Who?

Stuck in a war between vampires and zombie-walking Weeches, Aria and her eccentric crew take a stand for mankind as they fight for their right to survive. Hey, if you have to slaughter zombies and vampires, why not enjoy it?

Buy Your Copy Now! E-Book, Paperback

From the Author

Angela B. Chrysler is a writer, logician, philosopher, and die-hard nerd who studies theology, historical linguistics, music composition, and medieval European history in New York with a dry sense of humor and an unusual sense of sarcasm. She lives in a garden with her family and cats.

Where To Find Angela B. Chrysler

E-mail, Website, Newsletter

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Author Spotlight – Heidi Angell

Heidi Angell is a prolific writer, with several series already under her belt, and a number of projects on the go at any one time.  There is something for almost every reader of the paranormal in her collection, from the “Clear Angel Chronicles” (a paranormal detective series) to “The Hunters” (straight up urban fantasy).

I caught up with Heidi, by email, during a very busy time for her. But she was kind enough to take some time out from preparing for an upcoming release, and answer some questions. So without making you wait any longer, I’ll hand off to Heidi…

Introducing Heidi Angell

Heidi Angell is a bibliophile, lexicomaniac and wordsmith! She is the author of The Hunters Series, The Clear Angel Chronicles, and The Hell School Series. She also created Royal Prince Vince, and Creative Exercises to Inspire.

When she is not reading and writing, she can be found spending quality time with her lovely family camping, hiking, swimming, or watching movies.

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

I am a pretty eclectic person. I like a lot of different types of books, movies, music, subjects and even types of pets. I like what I like and sometimes (without meaning to) I can let my opinion railroad other people. I really don’t mean to. I walk a very fine line between being assertive and aggressive. I am also a very direct person and if I hurt people’s feelings I want them to let me know because nine times out of ten, I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

I am avidly working on the second book in The Hunters series, which is about a group of vampire hunters. In The Hunted (tenatively slated for release in September) We follow Fury, Havoc and Screvin as they track down the Werewolf who turned Screvin and try to help her come to terms with what she is. But then the Counsel comes after them. Now the hunters have become the Hunted.

Who is your intended readership?

Everyone who loves strong female characters, and who believe that vampires should be killed, not kissed.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I get asked this one all the time! I have always been a story teller, even when I was too small to remember. I began writing stories in earnest after my first grade teacher had us “publish” a book to teach us the different parts of books. I was bit. I dabble in other forms of story telling, such as acting, poetry and music, but writing always brings me back.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

So very, very, very many! I love prolific authors such as Clive Cussler, Shakespeare, Sue Grafton, Alexander Dumas, and am trying my darnedest to follow in their footsteps.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Focus on writing. Join critique groups, share your work, hone your craft. Write every day. That is what writing is really all about. Don’t let yourself get lost in all the rest of the mess.

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

Reading, of course 😉 I also love to swim, hike, binge-watch TV and movies, and do as much of that as possible with the fam.

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

Ha ha, well that is a magical question! I am actually letting people vote on what project I tackle after The Hunted.

Heidi Angell is asking readers to pick her next project!

With a number of potential projects in the pipeline, Heidi is asking for readers to vote on what they would like to see next.

Take a few moments to check out her list, and pick the project that gets you the most excited.

Click Here To Vote

The Hunters:

#1 : The Hunters

fe563d_c87f0eb7196d8398ebb5c5e025048adfWhat would you do if you found your town had been infested with vampires? For Chris and his brother Lucas, the answer was simple enough: you fight back. Gathering a small band of other people in their town who have been affected by the vampires, they begin a resistance. But after a year of fighting, they have only managed to kill a handful, while the vampire leader has turned five times that many.

Then two enigmatic strangers appear, changing the groups lives even further.

Fury and Havoc. They call themselves hunters, and want no part in this little band of heroes. Ordering them to lay low, the duo vow to rid their town of vampires. When Fury is injured, Chris aides these strangers, entwining his future with theirs.

Now that the vampires know the hunters are here, and that Chris and his friends have helped them, the group is in more danger than ever before. Lucas is torn between protecting his new family from the vampires, and protecting them from these seemingly inhuman beings who say they are there to help.

After all, what beings could be so powerful as to scare a vampire?

You can purchase from most major retailers, on Smashwords in any e-book format, or follow the link for the paperback.

Clear Angel Chronicles:

#1 : Elements of a Broken Mind

Grant Anderson is a small-town detective whose job was quiet and easy, until three girls end up dead. A serial killer is stalking the young ladies in his town. Without the high tech equipment of big cities at his fingers, Grant must rely on good old-fashioned police work; but with no discernible pattern and no clues to follow, the case seems to be grinding to a halt.

Then Grant gets a visit from a mysterious young woman. Who is Clear Angel? What is her connection to the case? If Grant is to believer her, then he must accept that she has “seen” these things. But Grant is a professional. He cannot believe in psychics! Yet when another girl goes missing, and Grant’s search is yielding nothing he is desperate enough to try.

Clear Angel has always been special. Seclusion has kept the nightmares at bay. Then the nightmares begin again. Are they premonitions of events to come? Are they the sick fantasies of a madman?

Then one evening she runs into a stranger and finds out that not only are they real, but they are happening here in her home town. After a lifetime of running and hiding from what she can do, she is now forced to reach out to the most unlikely person in an effort to save innocent girls and perhaps the world.

Grant and Clear team up to stop a madman bent on the destruction of the world. As their feelings for one another grow, they try to deny them. But when Clear goes missing, Grant must face his feelings and save her before it is too late.

You can purchase from most major retailers, from Smashwords for all e-reader styles, or follow the link on Smashwords to purchase in paperback.

#2 Angel’s Dance

angels-dance

Psychic Clear Angel hasn’t seen or heard from her one-time lover Detective Grant Anderson since their first case wrapped up six months ago, and that is perfectly fine with her! But when he shows up on her porch in the rain and in tears, she cannot hold her ground. No matter how she feels about Grant and her “gift”, she can’t ignore the visions already pouring in.

Grant knows that he is no good for Clear, and has respected the distance she has kept. But when his daughter goes missing and the Chicago police have no leads, he turns to Clear and her unique abilities.

This next adventure puts Grant and Clear in close quarters as they find themselves once again fighting their feelings for one another. Thrust into the dark underworld of performance art, they strive to track down a ballerina who keeps taunting Clear in her visions. As they delve deeper into one studio, the grisly visions that haunt Clear may be more than she can handle. Can Clear hold it together to help find Grant’s daughter before it is too late?

Available at most major retailers, from Smashwords to choose your preferred e-book style, or follow the link to buy the paperback.

Where to find Heidi Angell:

Pinterest, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, Facebook

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Author Spotlights – Is it too early to declare a success?

Timothy BatesonRecently I started a new slot on my schedule, with the purpose of introducing you to some really great authors in the indie market.

I’ve posted two spotlights since opening up my Mondays to this new feature, and already I’ve seen a huge increase in traffic to my blog. In fact, the post I did for Felicity Banks is already proving to be one of my most viewed posts, with over 50 hits on the day it went live… And it’s still receiving regular visits.

So, while it’s early days in the series, I’m going to be keeping a very careful eye on the numbers. And I already have several authors lined up for the upcoming weeks.

I’ve absolutely loved getting the interviews back from the authors I reached out to, because we all do things a little differently, and have different experiences to share. So I want to openly invite all authors in the paranormal, urban fantasy, sci-fi, fantasy and steampunk genres to reach out and contact me if interested in claiming a slot. I’m more than happy to even work the author spotlights into a series, like I did recently.

Email me for the interview questions, with the subject line “Author Spotlight Request”. If you are interested in doing an extended series, let me know 🙂

Midweek Mumbles: Guest Post “Interactive Fiction” by Felicity Banks

Felicity Banks - Author Pic

Now, I don’t do guest posts very often, but when I do, I like to think it’s more than worth it. So today, I’m closing out a short series of posts with yet another entry from the amazing Felicity Banks.

If you read my Book Spotlight on “Heart of Brass”, and the Author Spotlight on Felicity, you’ll know that she mentioned interactive fiction a number of times. As a childhood fan of the old “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, I was intrigued enough to ask her to write a post about it.

Writing these kinds of stories takes far more planning and work than anything I have ever attempted, so I was interested in what her process was.

I hope you enjoy reading what Felicity had to say about this type of story, and there are a lot of links that you can check out.

What is interactive fiction?

Choice-based interactive fiction (as opposed to Parser interactive fiction, which has puzzles) is exactly like a normal story except the reader gets a say in where the story goes. That can be as minor as choosing how to feel about an event (does the hero panic? Do they worry about their friends? Do they wish they were stronger or smarter?), or as major as traveling to a completely different country for part or all or the story.

A lot of choice-based interactive fiction is similar to Choose Your Own Adventure novels, except modern interactive fiction is usually 100% digital and released as an app rather than an e-book. This has led to a culture in which a lot of IF lets the reader choose their own name, gender, and even sexuality. Suddenly every character is a strong female hero!

When did you realise you wanted to write interactive fiction?

January 2015. My health was declining and I realized I wasn’t going to be able to go back to work in child care. A friend told me about Choice of Games offering a $10,000 advance based on an outline, so I sent them my writing CV. We sent my pitch and outline back and forth a few times before they rejected it—but by that time I’d already written most of the book!

I finished Attack of the Clockwork Army, and Choice of Games put it on their Hosted Games label, meaning that I’d get royalties only. No-one had heard of me and I’d never sold an interactive story before, but it earned me about $2000 anyway. I was stunned that there was such a market for interactive books, and I had an excuse to write more. I now work for Tin Man Games, which is a truly fantastic and internationally-famous Australian game company. They’re also a lot of fun to work with.

Subscribe To Felicity’s Interactive Fiction…

apple (subscription to either story gets you both)

https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/choices-and-the-sun-went-out/id1004909104?mt=8

android (you buy or earn Story Passes that you spend on either story)

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=au.com.tinmangames.choices&hl=en

Do you have a favourite author of interactive fiction?

I like Brendan Patrick Henessy (Birdland), Eric Moser (Community College Hero 1), Kevin Gold, (Choice of Robots), and anything by Emily Short (except for Galatea, which is probably her most famous work).

What advice would you give beginners to interactive fiction?

If you’ve written a few novels and you want to earn money, start by sending your writing credits to Choice of Games. If you’re fascinated by the form, jump into Twine and have a play (Birdland was written in Twine). It’s free and takes about ten minutes to get started. If you’d like to test the waters, try entering a contest: The Windhammer Prize entries have to be both short and printable rather than digital. Introcomp is specifically designed for unfinished games. The Spring Thing welcomes beginners (they even have a “Back Garden” so critics know to mind their manners and be gentle with new people). The IF Comp is so huge a large number of reviewing blogs organize their year around it.

Be warned that the IF Community has an extremely deep (sometimes bruising) tradition of reviewing. It’s normal for even the best games to draw both praise and criticism, and for some games to be roundly condemned (especially in the IF Comp). On the other hand, I placed 7th in the IF Comp in 2015, and was offered three different paid jobs as a result!

If you want to learn about the world of IF, then read blogs and games (most of the competitions above are publicly judged, so go play!)

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Choices: And Their Souls Were Eaten is a serialized story that releases a new section each week (the first week is free, and continuing the story costs a few dollars). Readers can choose to turn the music and sounds on or off. If they have an apple watch, it can play a crucial role in the story (spoilers!) or they can switch off that function.

The main character has the magical ability to carry the souls of the deceased (a form of magical last rites). They have a duty to face dangerous training, which they’ve avoided for some years. The story begins when the main character is on the cusp of adulthood. A powerful woman guesses they have magical talent, and demands their help. At the same time, an immortal white bear is stalking them. One way or another, they have to face their fears. Their life changes forever as a result.

They’re soon swept up in an international war between the living and the dead.

It’s a steampunk story set in the same magical steampunk universe as my novel Heart of Brass, but without any overlapping characters or plot (so no spoilers). Choices: And Their Souls Were Eaten is set in a steampunk 1830s Europe, when Queen Victoria was a teenage princess and the power of steam was changing everyday life forever.

Any upcoming book secrets you’d care to reveal?

Hmm… let’s just say that roughly two-thirds of readers will accidentally kill someone important.

For More About Felicity Banks, and her writing…

Check out her blog @

felicitybanks.wordpress.com

Author Spotlight – Felicity Banks

Today sees the first of my new Author Spotlights, and I’m proud to introduce a new author to the Steampunk scene.
Felicity Banks is an Australian author who just released her first book, “Heart of Brass”, which I featured here on Saturday.

Introducing Felicity Banks

Felicity Banks is a Canberra author specialising in fantasy and interactive fiction, including several Choose Your Own Adventure-style stories that take place in the same magical steampunk universe as Heart of Brass. All her interactive fiction is listed under “Felicity Banks” at http://ifdb.tads.org/ and most of her interactive fiction can be read as an app.

Heart of Brass is her thirteenth completed novel, her third novel accepted for publication, and her first novel to be published.

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

I’m an Australian fantasy writer, which is why my book is set mainly in Australia. If I had a superpower (other than flying, because who wouldn’t pick flying?) I’d like the ability to pause or speed up time as required. And to never get sick. Super strength might be nice too. Did I mention flying?

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Emmeline Muchamore is a well-bred young lady hiding explosive family secrets.
She needs to marry well, and quickly, in order to keep her family respectable. But when her brass heart malfunctions, she makes a desperate choice to steal the parts she needs to repair it and survive.
She is unable to explain her actions without revealing she has a steam-powered heart, so she is arrested for theft and transported to Victoria, Australia – right in the midst of the Gold Rush.
Now that she’s escaped the bounds of high society, iron manacles cannot hold her for long.
The only metal that really matters is gold.

Who is your intended readership?

Theoretically it’s for young adults, since it’s fast-paced and the main character is barely an adult herself. I happen to like reading young adult fantasy books, so that’s what I write.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was seven years old the first time I attempted to write a novel. It featured cats, naturally. I have two children of my own now, which has given me a new perspective on the many illegal activities of my heroines. My daughter is four, and an excellent storyteller. She once told me she couldn’t go and wash her hands because there was a bear in the hallway. That was the beginning of many hours of free entertainment for me. My son is two, and loves the absurd and fantastic. He once drew a picture of me with wings, so I could fly.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I adore Garth Nix’s Abhorsen series, Pamela Freeman’s Castings series, Philip Reeve’s Larklight trilogy, anything by Gail Carriger, Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series, the Narnia series by CS Lewis, the Samurai Kids series by Sandy Fussell, anything by Naomi Novik, the Quarters series by Tanya Huff, the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter, the Woodcutter Sisters series by Alethea Kontis, the Fairyland series by Catherynne M. Valente, the Wind on Fire trilogy by William Nicholson, and so on!

What advice would you give beginning writers?

One word: Don’t. If you’re writing as a hobby for you own amusement, that’s fine. But it’s a terrible job to have, especially if you ever want to move out of home or support a family.
A lot of people will reject your work, too—probably for many years. If the word “No” doesn’t make you want to write more than ever, then any artistic career is going to hurt you badly.
Of course I don’t expect you to listen to advice like that—I certainly wouldn’t.

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

I have a friend with insomnia. I like to email him questions at 3am like, “If you had to convince a medieval army to surrender using only an ipad and speakers, what song would you choose?” or “How long would it take to turn an adult male body into an edible stew?”

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

Do children count as a hobby?

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

My next project to be released is an interactive steampunk tale set in 1837 Europe (especially the UK), set in the same universe as HEART OF BRASS but a different time and place. It’s a subscription story, with a section released each week until the end. The reader has to make choices along the way that change their experience and ability. It will be an app released through itunes and Android by the Australian company Tin Man Games, and it’s called “Choices: And Their Souls Were Eaten”. If all goes well it’ll be released on August 17. I’m still working on it, which means I can incorporate some reader feedback into the story.

The Antipodean Queen:

Heart of Brass

Emmeline Muchamore is a well-bred young lady hiding explosive family secrets.

She needs to marry well, and quickly, in order to keep her family respectable. But when her brass heart malfunctions, she makes a desperate choice to steal the parts she needs to repair it and survive.

She is unable to explain her actions without revealing she has a steam-powered heart, so she is arrested for theft and transported to Victoria, Australia – right in the midst of the Gold Rush.

Now that she’s escaped the bounds of high society, iron manacles cannot hold her for long.

The only metal that really matters is gold.

Amazon, Kobo, Odyssey Books

Where to find Felicity Banks:

Blog, Twitter, Email, Facebook (for the official book launch)

Interactive Fiction

Book Spotlight – “Heart of Brass” by Felicity Banks

Overview

Emmeline Muchamore is a well-bred young lady hiding explosive family secrets.She needs to marry well, and quickly, in order to keep her family respectable. But when her brass heart malfunctions, she makes a desperate choice to steal the parts she needs to repair it and survive.She is unable to explain her actions without revealing she has a steam-powered heart, so she is arrested for theft and transported to Victoria, Australia – right in the midst of the Gold Rush.Now that she’s escaped the bounds of high society, iron manacles cannot hold her for long.The only metal that really matters is gold.

Where To Buy:

Amazon, Kobo, Odyssey Books (publisher)

From the Author

Felicity Banks - Author PicI’m an Australian fantasy writer, which is why my book is set mainly in Australia. If I had a superpower (other than flying, because who wouldn’t pick flying?) I’d like the ability to pause or speed up time as required. And to never get sick. Super strength might be nice too. Did I mention flying?

Watch for the upcoming Author Spotlight on Monday August 29th, for a more in-depth interview with Felicity.

Subscribe to updates from Felicity by emailing her with the subject line “Subscribe”.

Links

Blog, Facebook (for the official book launch)

Interactive Fiction