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

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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.

Author Spotlight – Vivienne Savage

Introducing Vivienne Savage

Vivienne Savage is the pen name of two best friends who write everything together. One works as a nurse in a rural healthcare home in Texas and the other is a U.S. Navy veteran. Both are mothers to two darling boys and two amazing girls.
All of their work varies in steam level, so pop by the VS website for details on which series is right for you!

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

Hi! Two of us plot and write our books together because we’re big friends. We met each other in an online roleplaying game about Harry Potter back in 2011 and have been pals ever since. Then one day, we realized we had too many stories to keep between the two of us and a writing career was born.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

My most recent book is The Hidden Court, part of the Paranormal University series. It’s about a young woman named Skylar who is the descendant of Cinderella’s faerie godmother, and chronicles her journey through magic school and learning to become her own person.

And about being true to yourself. Skylar doesn’t actually want to be a faerie godmother. In my paranormal universe, magicians, shifters, and vampires get to become sentinels, which are basically magical FBI agents who police the supernatural world.

It took us two years to build the world up and write the first book. We also outlined books 2 and 3 at the same time.

Who is your intended readership?

Anyone who likes modern fantasy but doesn’t mind some swearing and violence.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I started writing when I was about 9. My parents bought me a Mac and I’d sit on my computer writing up awful stories.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I’m a horror fan. Stephen King and Anne Rice have been inspirations since I was in single digit years. My mother never cared about the content of the books I read, as long as i read them and enjoyed it. I (Nicole) and Alisha can say the same thing about both our moms and credit them for fostering our love of books.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Accept that your earliest works will suck, but look forward to improving and getting better.

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

Nicole has a pair of green cheek conures named Sunrise and Moonbeam. Sunrise hated her teenage son for two years, for no actual reason. If he gives the bird a snack, she’ll snatch it from him, throw it down, then bite him.

Alisha came to visit and had the honor of meeting Sunrise once, of course, and Sunrise hated her until Allie opened a container of yogurt. The bird loves yogurt, and came over to be friends with her until the yogurt was gone.

Our male protagonist, Gabriel, has a pet sun conure named Amaterasu who loathes Skylar. We totally added her into the story in honor of Sunrise.

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

I play video games, read, and play with our animals. We’re both big gamers, but we’re also moms so we do that crap too XD

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

Finishing up a sci-fi romance series and the next Paranormal University novel! We’re on the final chapter. Home stretch, home stretch, home stretch!

The Hidden Court

TheHiddenCourtSkylar’s only dream since childhood has been to become a sentinel, a supernatural agent trained to fight paranormal threats. Unfortunately, it’s a role assigned to non-fae only, and she’s doomed to a life of babysitting privileged mortals.

When her first year at the PNRU begins, it doesn’t take long to discover the magic school has serious issues. Between the rogue vampire attacks in Chicago and a rising student body count, she is convinced something sinister is at large. Too bad the indifferent university staff disagree.

Befriended by a shifter who is as frustrating as he is attractive, Skylar soon finds herself trapped in the middle of a centuries-old feud and forced to take matters into her own hands… before her first year away from home becomes her last.

Check Out My Review: (Read on Amazon)

This book is a great read, and the romance element just adds to what would be an otherwise great story.

Starting a new school can be difficult enough, but when you’re going to a school for supernatural students things are always going to be a little different. I loved how each of the races had a unique perspective on not only each other, but the history of the magical world, and the events that are going on around them.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a suspense story without something going on to raise the tensions between the various races, or the individuals, and the author delivers on this in a wonderfully entertaining way.

What really surprised me though, is how much I came to care for the supporting cast of characters, just as much as I did for the protagonist and the love-interest. There is a great variety in the characters, and each of them has qualities that set them apart, as well as compliment each other.

I received a copy of this book as an Advanced Reader Copy, in return for an honest review, but I’ll definitely be adding more of this author’s work to my collection…

Buy Now: E-Book

Author Pages:

Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo

Where to find Vivienne Savage:

Website (Vivienne Savage, fantasy author), Twitter,Instagram, Facebook

Author Spotlight – Anna Applegate

Introducing Anna Applegate

Anna Applegate is a paranormal romance and urban fantasy author. Her debut trilogy, The Ariya Adams Trilogy, is available now. She started out as an avid reader who kept finding that she wanted an extra scene, or alternate ending in the books she was reading. After being challenged to try to write her own story, the words poured out of her and she has pursued writing ever since.

Anna loves reading, romance of ALL kinds, sappy chick flicks, paranormal literature, shooting stars, Disney, nerdy fandoms and having an imagination.

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

So, hello! 🙂 My name is Anna Applegate. I live in rural Pennsylvania with my husband and four incredible kiddos. When I’m not writing, I’m a marketing assistant and meeting/conference planner. I’d love to someday be able pursue writing full time. I have a coffee addiction that I refuse to try to break and enjoy thinking that I can actually sing during my commute to and from work each day.

I’ve loved reading my whole life and I’ve always had an active imagination. I’m a big fan of happy endings in the books I read, which makes me a sucker for any kind of romances — paranormal, historical, time travel, fantasy, etc. But I do love other genres as well! I’m a big fan of people doing what they are passionate about and dreaming big so that is what this writing journey has been about for me.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

My latest book was Sacrificed (Book 3 in the Ariya Adams Trilogy). It was released this past December (2017). The Ariya Adams Trilogy was my first debut into the writing world. I started back in 2012 and published Protected (Book 1 in the Ariya Adams Trilogy) and Awakened (Book 2 in the Ariya Adams Trilogy) back in 2013. I went on an unplanned writing hiatus and desperately missed it.

I finally got around to finishing Sacrificed last year and was so excited to get it out to everyone! I had some wonderful people reaching out and checking on the progress, even after that 4 year gap! So it felt wonderful to finally get that out.

I was definitely sad to say goodbye to Ariya and the gang from the series. They were the first characters I really wrote, and they’ll always have a special place in my heart. Ariya Adams is a college aged student, in her final year at Kingsbrook College. She learns quickly that her life is not at all as normal as she thought it was. The trilogy is a paranormal romance / urban fantasy mix, but I also have suspense and some mystery in there. One day I would love to write a historical romance, and I was able to add in some modified history into the Ariya Adams Trilogy with information about a bloodline of Protectors. Protectors are a group of vampires, and you can learn all about who they are, what they do and their history in the trilogy!

The trilogy has a variety of paranormal creatures in it including vampires, werewolves and warlocks. The series takes place in a few different locations, the school where our main characters attend, Germany, Colorado and a few others. There’s daring escapes, kidnappings, romance, mysteries, suspense and big bads that you love to hate! Plus, the trilogy is full released now and available on Amazon and it’s a part of the Kindle Unlimited Program!

Who is your intended readership?

I’ve noticed a wide range of ages and backgrounds in my readers lately, which has been incredibly fascinating to me. I feel like I write the books that I want to read. I’m in my early thirties and a Mom, so I enjoy escaping to another world sometimes. My books are written with characters who are college aged and older. I’ve noticed that there is a definite increase in my readers who are 35-50. So I feel like I write for other people who like to get away into the pages of a book — whether it’s getting away from job stress, kiddie stress, whatever stress. I feel like while the sexual content is mild in this upcoming book, there is some violence (not intense, and not very graphic).

In my previous trilogy, The Ariya Adams Trilogy, there was sexual content and violence, so I’d say that trilogy would be for 18+.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I had taken a Creative Writing elective in High School and I loved every minute of it. I had such an easy time with assignments, at least the ones where we got to write fiction! So I always enjoyed writing. I never thought in a million years I’d have my work out there, or write a book for that matter.

I had graduated college and was working for a wonderful company with a few other women my age. We all had similar reading tastes and devoured books. I was reading 2 books a week, and that was on a slow week for me! I just couldn’t read enough. I was starting to sound like a broken record with my friends at work, telling them — well what if this had happened? Or I wish they would have explored this part more. Finally, one day one of my friends said, well if you think you can do better, try it! We all laughed, and I went home that night and thought about it. I did NOT think I could do better by any means, but I thought to myself that it might be fun to try to write.

Before I knew it, I had 60,000 words of a book. I felt a spark I had never felt before inside of me and suddenly, all I wanted to do was think about my story and find out where it was going (remember, earlier I let you in on my secret that for my first 3 books, I had NO PLAN! haha). I had started reading an H.P. Mallory Book, Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble (Book 1 in the Jolie Wilkins Series). In the back I saw a note that she was an Indie Author / Self Published. I had no idea what that meant and I looked into it. She had written a Self Publish Guide, which I bought and suddenly the Indie Author world was opened before my eyes! I hopped into a Facebook Group, met my two writing sisters who provide critiques and motivation for me and have become dear friends, and I haven’t looked back! I had a bit of a hiatus during my trilogy (well, longer than a bit, but life got crazy). But now, I’m back to writing and excited to be pursuing my passion again.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

It’s so hard for my to pick favorite authors. Being a part of B2BCYCON this year, I saw so many Fantasy works. It reminded me of my childhood. Growing up, my parents read me books like The Hobbit. My childhood fear wasn’t monsters under my bed, it was Gollum. I was terrified, and still to this day I get goosebumps hearing “My Precious.” I have always enjoyed reading, and I think it’s because my parents instilled that into me at a young age. As I got older, my Mom would read me the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries, and when I started reading more on my own when I was older, I gravitated towards Agatha Christie novels. So fantasy, mystery, suspense, those books grabbed me and shaped what I loved to read. When the paranormal romance genre took off, I think really when I was in college I got into it the most, I loved everything about the genre and the books I was reading, because I felt like it was capturing everything I had loved mixed together in one genre! Some of my favorites in the genre I write would have to be Amy Bartol and H.P. Mallory. But really, in this age of self-publishing, I am constantly discovering new authors who grab my attention. This world is FILLED with talented people and I love that there are so many who are willing to share their stories with us. I am first and foremost a reader!

What advice would you give beginning writers?

I went through a really hard time in my life right as my second book in my trilogy was coming out. I had been on a roll when I first started. I was so excited about writing and discovering this entire new world I hadn’t known existed. But then life happened, like it so often does. I went through some very hard personal times, then went through some happy times, then became a Mom and that changed everything. Suddenly, I let my writing go altogether. People would ask me occasionally when the third book was coming out, but I had been so far removed from everything that I let doubt overtake me completely. I thought no one would care if I didn’t write it, that it didn’t matter. I had such bad writers block, I thought I was done. Plus, I kept using the excuse that I didn’t have time. But then I started talking to some small business women who broke everything down into simple facts. I had a woman ask me if I had enjoyed writing. YES! Had it made me happy? YES! Could I find 30 minutes a day to write, everyday? Uhhh…I hesitated. She made it even more simple … Was I willing to make writing a priority? I had to think about that. I needed something in my life again for me, and writing had given me such a wonderful outlet. I was able to meet new people, and connect with new friends and create whole new worlds in my mind. It is such an amazing feeling. So I said YES! And guess what? I may not have had 30 minutes a day to write at first, at least I didn’t think I did. But I could find 30 minutes 3 times a week. So I did that and soon enough, I was in the groove. I had created a habit out of writing, and I stuck with it. Even if I got 2,000 words out and had to delete all of it later, I was writing again. For me, I just need to get the words out onto paper. Then when I edit I can tweak and idea, erase stuff that was garbage and rewrite it. But if I can break past that initial barrier and just get the words down, it usually makes the rest of the process easier! And I DO have the time — that’s 1 less TV show, or setting my alarm a little bit early 3 days a week. Writing is my passion, and I needed to make it a priority again, schedule time for it like I was doing for everything else!

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

I wish I had something interesting to share here 🙂 I love a pretty boring “Mom” life, Tim 🙂 haha I’ll have to start thinking about how to spice things up haha!!

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

I’m a nerd at heart, so when I’m not writing, I’m probably binging on shows like Doctor Who, Timeless, or other Netflix / Hulu shows, or reading 🙂 I have four wonderful kids who keep me quite busy as well — two of them being twin toddlers, so the opportunity for hobbies was pretty much eliminated when they were born. I’m slowly working back up to having some again, i.e. writing. My other hobbies will have to start developing again as my kids continue to grow up!

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

I just finished Book 1 of a Duology! It’s a paranormal romance / urban fantasy, with vampires and some other creatures that I can’t give away just yet. It also includes vampire hunters! Book 1 is titled “A Hunter Within.” I’m shooting for a July 2018 release, and will have more information on the specifics of that date in the next few weeks. Right now the first draft is done and I’m working through edits with my beta readers and writing sisters. The book will be officially off to my editor on June 8th!

I loved writing this one. It by far was the quickest I’ve written a book. I started this past January and the first draft was completed and sitting at around 80,000 words by the last week in March. I used an outline for the first time, and as much as fought writing that way, I may be hooked now! I previously wrote a paranormal romance trilogy, The Ariya Adams Trilogy. For that one I just sat down at my computer and typed away, no plan, nothing. For this book, I tried to approach it with a bit more organization, and it worked out as far as how quickly I could get words to paper. I did want it to be a stand alone book, however it morphed into two books as I wrote, and I didn’t want to fight it! So I’m really excited about this book and its release!

The main character is Jules Parker. She’s reserved, only keeping a few close friends, the main two we get to meet early on. She’s a bookworm in her last year of college studying to become a Research Scientist. We start the book off seeing her in an internship she’s worked hard to obtain at a prestigious company. The problem is, the company has some secrets that Jules discovers early on that make her wary. She lives with her Aunt and has since she was a child and her parents died in a car accident. There’s definitely some mystery around this one, I’d like to think some suspense, and then of course romance and lots of paranormal!

Protected (Book 1 in the Ariya Adams Trilogy)

Protected-ebookShe thinks she’s a normal college Senior. He knows she’s anything but.

Ariya Adams has no idea she’s descended from blood so powerful and rare that her life is infinitely more precious than any ordinary woman’s—especially to James Rymer.

James enters her life and stirs up feelings she can’t explain. He becomes a part of her world almost overnight, but Ariya senses he’s hiding something, and she’s determined to figure out what it is.

When “normal” becomes a thing of the past and fantasy enters Ariya’s reality, she’s soon faced with dangerous revelations, the least of which is that everyone she loves has been keeping secrets from her. With a paranormal evil she’s only beginning to comprehend threatening her and her friends, Ariya will have to choose between duty and love. Through it all, she’ll learn to never underestimate the power of blood.

Read the series fans are calling “captivating,” “page-turning” and “not your typical vampire story.”

Buy Now: Paperback, E-Book

Awakened-ebook sharpenedSacrificed 4 ebook jpegThen continue to read the rest of the Trilogy with “Awakened” and “Sacrificed”

Author Page:

Amazon

Where to find Anna Applegate:

Website (AnnaApplegate.com), Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook

You can also reach out to Anna on her personal Facebook

I also have a Facebook Reader’s Group that I can interact with everyone a bit more personally than on my Facebook business page.

Join the Readers Group here

Signup for Anna’s Reading Nook (Newsletter)

Here I host exclusive contents, giveaways, updates on my writing and upcoming events AND each month I have a Reading Corner where I talk about my current reads and a book that’s on sale!

Right now I’m hosting an EXCLUSIVE Character Contest for people who are a part of my Newsletter Subscription list. The winner will have a character named after them in my upcoming novel.

The next Newsletter is going out April 24th and it will have the last chances to enter for that opportunity, with the contest closing on May 8th.

Signup Now!

Author Spotlight – Lesley Donaldson

Introducing Lesley Donaldson

I love creating fantastical worlds with compelling characters who take you on a journey away from the stress of your everyday life. My debut fantasy, “The Queen’s Viper”, was a Semi-Finalist in the 2016 Kindle Book Awards. If you like your stories so realistic you feel like you’re there, I’m sure you’ll love this grim-dark blend of historical and contemporary fantasy.

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

My stories take you to times and places that no longer exist… or do they? I love writing stories that blend real events with magic and supernatural elements, often with dark humour or tones.

The stories I write range in genre, from magical fantasy and adventure, to horror and space opera (the latter being in development). For me, creating compelling characters we love, or love to hate, is the most important part of the creative writing process.

My debut fantasy, “The Queen’s Viper”, was a Semi-Finalist in the 2016 Kindle Book Awards. I’m pleased to announce that I’m inviting fantasy readers to be in the sequel, “The Wrath of Atticus”, or to create a character with plot involvement for the conclusion of the series. My Kickstarter campaign offers all the details: http://bit.ly/WrathofAtticus.

I’m a hobby medievalist, a nurse, a special needs parent, and an often companionable wife.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

I wrote a blog post talking about real historical artifacts that I integrated into Viper’s story. http://writerlesleydonaldson.com/tudor-artifacts-fantasy/
Originally, Viper didn’t have a name. Then I came across a less than flattering image of Queen Elizabeth I holding a black snake (which had been painted over by white roses to hide it). Viper’s name and her role in history fell into place.

My latest book, “The Wrath of Atticus”, is the sequel to “The Queen’s Viper”.

Viper is a villainous protagonist caught between the mystery of her immortal past and the malice of mortals in the present. Her journey is a re-imagining of Celtic folklore in a seamless blend of historical and contemporary fantasy for a mature audience.

The first book follows Viper across two timelines: Tudor-Elizabethan England and modern London. Viper stumbles across the young Tudor Princess Elizabeth and a Crown Jewel that unlocks Viper’s repressed memories. To secure a path to her past, Viper ensures Elizabeth’s safety, setting the threatened princess upon the Throne of England. Viper’s journey leads her to Annys, the unforeseen enemy who imprisons her for 400 years.

Then, in 2012, Viper is inexplicably freed from her magical prison. With the help of her Foundling Owain, and his eclectic cadre of helpers, Viper sets off for revenge upon the descendants of those who imprisoned her, starting with Queen Elizabeth II. All the while, a malicious figure exerts his influence from the shadows.

Will immortal Viper overcome the power surging within herself even as Queens of Britain try to control her?

In the sequel, “The Wrath of Atticus”, anti-hero Viper may have forgotten her past, but it’s about to catch up with her. Grudgingly obligated to help mortals prepare for a prophesied war, Viper’s torn between helping her allies and pursing her own, selfish interests.

Visions of the past reveal that the mysterious Atticus has hunted Viper since the Iron Age, when Viper aided in Queen Boudica’s rebellion against invading Romans.

Before Viper uncovers the truth about Atticus, an assassin arrives from Veyandra, the Otherworldly home Viper has never seen. He gives her a warning she can’t ignore. Viper must choose her path before new enemies determine her untimely fate on the summer solstice.

Who is your intended readership?

Speculative fiction readers, mature audience

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

My entire life has been about stories, even when I took a detour and studied/worked in nursing. My first story was at the age of 3 about a cat named Dimples. If I wrote that story now, Dimples would be a bio-hacked lab cat subjugating humankind for their own good.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

This question is always hard for me to answer, because I find so many authors and series enjoyable to read. Stephen King and Dean Koontz have a lot of room on my shelves. I also like Shirley Jackson and Robin Hobbs. Lately, I’ve spent more time reading Canadian authors.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Read a book twice: once for fun, and the second for dissecting what made it work. Learn the strategies of crafting before you let your imagination loose. Many of the emerging authors I speak too have lots and lots of creative ideas, but lack the skill to integrate them into a publishable story.

Give yourself lots of time and push your creativity.

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

I love travelling with my family, and when time allows, I throw on garb and re-create certain aspects of medieval history. No plagues please!

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

My Kickstarter (http://bit.ly/WrathofAtticus) had a huge boost within the first 24 hours. Even though it’s successfully funded, I’m taking backers on the journey to the $3000 stretch goal so I can release a book of short stories for free.

The short stories represent my range and tone, from fantastical (plus or minus monsters) to slipstream. My editor and I are bantering titles about. The current working name is “The Crying Leaves”.

The Wrath of Atticus

Immortal anti-hero Viper may have forgotten her past, but it’s about to catch up with her. Grudgingly obligated to help mortals prepare for a prophesied war, Viper’s torn between helping her allies and pursing her own selfish interests.

Visions of the past reveal that the mysterious Atticus has hunted Viper since the Iron Age, when Viper aided in Queen Boudica’s rebellion against invading Romans.

Before Viper uncovers the truth about Atticus, an assassin arrives from Veyandra, the Otherworldly home she has never seen. He gives her a warning she can’t ignore. Viper must choose her path before new enemies determine her untimely fate on the summer solstice.

 

Check Out The Kickstarter Campaign

Author Pages:

Amazon, Smashwords

Where to find Lesley Donaldson:

Website (Lesley Donaldson – Author of Speculative Fiction), Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Blog (Lesley Donaldson – Author of Speculative Fiction), Facebook, LinkedIn, Newsletter (Escape for Free!)

Author Spotlight – C.J. Rose

Introducing C.J. Rose

RoseAnn Labriola, penning as C.J. Rose. I was born and raised here in Illinois, not far from Chicago. I am a hairstylist, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management.

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

I am a hairstylist, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. I have a select group of friends that I care deeply for and together we make up a merry band of board gaming nerds.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

The Ultimate Companion Cookbook-You will find some of yummiest recipes this side of the dimension. Each Character, each book, each actor, and each staff member has a recipe dedicated to them. Each chapter is a different adventure, from soups and salads, to desserts and drinks. Dive into the bbq lamb chops, or take a sip of the magic cocktail. Each one will entice your taste buds and bring you to a new world full of tastes and smells.

Who is your intended readership?

This book is written and designed for people of all ages. I wanted to write something the everyone could enjoy.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I have always loved writing, whether it was poems, song lyrics or stories. I decided it was time to sit down and put my thoughts to paper of a story concept I have played with for long time. In the process, it developed into the full length version that I am proud to call my first published book, Bridge of the Gods – A Generation Son Chronicle. Now I have 3 novels in the series as well as a companion cookbook.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

Growing up I was never a fan of reading. It wasn’t until senior year when I took a novels class that I started to find enjoyment in it. One of the novels we were to read was Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It was then that I realized that the reason I didn’t enjoy reading was because I was reading the wrong thing.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Don’t give up. Write for yourself first, then your audience. If you get stuck, don’t be afraid to take a break from it and come back.

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

I have a major love for musical theater and just recently finished directing my first children’s musical (Madagascar Jr.) I am now in Hunchback of Notre Dame.

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

Book 2 (To Rescue a King)-France, 1633; a time when ladies wore tight corsets, men’s boots came to their knees, and weaponry was a common accessory. In book 2 To Rescue a King, Come along with Luthor and Gwen as they travel back to a world here hygiene wasn’t the greatest, but parties were incredible. Fresh off the battle with Hera, Luthor finds himself teaming up with four of history’s most loyal and trusted men. With a new team of heroes, it’s a race to the finish in order to save the one true king.

Generation Chronicles: Bridge of the Gods


Bridge of the Gods is the first book in the Generation Chronicles series. It focuses on Luthor and Gwen. Here is the blurb: Luthor McAlester is a teenage boy living in San Diego, California. His father died when he was a child. Leaving him to become man of the house, living with his mother and younger sister. On his 18th birthday he discovers a power that has been held dormant until now. He is unsure what to do with it in the absence of this father’s guidance. His best friend Gwen, who claims to be oblivious, knows more than she is telling. Can Luthor figure out how to use his power and help the Gods like they ask with just the help of his best friend? Or will the lack of guidance from his father prove to be more than young Luthor can handle?

Buy Now: E-Book, Paperback

Where to find C.J. Rose:

Twitter, Facebook, E-mail, LinkedIn, Instagram, Blog (C.J. Rose Author and Blogger), Website (Facebook Street Team)

Author Spotlight – Cassidy Taylor

Introducing Cassidy Taylor

Cassidy Taylor is a fantasy author who studied English and Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It was there that she found her niche in children’s literature, and won the Bill Hooks Award for Young Adult Fiction in 2007. Her first novel, When Rains Fall, is forthcoming in December 2017. The prequel short story, The Dry Season, is available for free on Amazon.

She lives in beautiful North Carolina with her husband, two kids, two dogs, and one cat who thinks he’s a dog.

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

I’m a paralegal by day, writer by night. I’m currently editing my debut novel, When Rains Fall, scheduled to release in December 2017. I also do editing work for authors through Dragon Realm Press.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

My latest story, The Life & Death of Cora Svanros, is available exclusively in Mirrors & Thorns: An OWS Ink Anthology. It is set in the same world as my upcoming novel, When Rains Fall, and loosely based in Greek and Norse mythology.

Cora Svanros, a self-sacrificing slave girl with an iron will, wants nothing more than to protect her little sister. Sold into slavery after the death of their mother, she’s spent the last eight years being tortured by a cruel young chief with an unusual ability. When a seer tells her that to defeat him, she must pluck three feathers from the Crow of Malos, she knows she must try, even if it means dying to get what she needs.

If you like fierce female characters, a bit of magic, and a smoldering god of death and darkness, this is the story for you.

Who is your intended readership?

My stories would be perfect for readers of YA fantasy comparable to SJ Maas or Morgan Rhodes. I have big, complex worlds and character-driven action that wouldn’t be complete without a splash of romance.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was a writer before I could read. One of my earliest memories is making up a story to the Peter Pan picture book when I couldn’t find anyone to read it to me. I wrote through school, majoring in English and Creative Writing in college. I lost focus for a couple years when I graduated and got a desk job, but I’m back at it, more determined than ever.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

Strangely, some of my favorite authors are contemporary writers. Sarah Dessen (who was one of my professors at UNC), Jennifer Weiner, Rebecca Wells, and Becky Albertalli. If I were to narrow it down to fantasy authors, my faithful go-to’s are SJ Maas, Morgan Rhodes, Shannon Hale, and Kristin Cashore.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Read widely and write often. You won’t improve without either of those things.

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

When I’m not working or writing, I’m reading. I read at least 50 books a year, but this includes audiobooks that I listen to during my commute. I also have two young, active children, so I spend a lot of time reading in the gymnastics lobby or during soccer practice.

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

My debut novel, When Rains Fall, will be out in December 2017. It’s the first in a new YA fantasy series. You can add it to your to-read list on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36154732-when-rains-fall.

“When rains fall and tides rise, you must decide on which shore you stand.”

Sibba Hallowtide has never felt like a Fielding, but fierce loyalty to her mother has always kept her close to home. When tragedy strikes, Sibba suddenly has a chance to leave the Fields in search of independence. But unless she can rescue her brother and return him to his rightful place as chief, the duty of clan leadership will fall onto her shoulders.

Rayne Crowheart is not just any rebel, but the daughter of the Casuin emperor, estranged from her family from the time she was only 12. Now, five years later, with the training of an assassin, she returns home on a mission to kill the crown princess—her own little sister—and hand the country over to the rebels. That is, until she makes an unexpected ally who gives her hope there might be another way.

Sibba wants nothing more than to be free, but her journey to save her brother reveals that instead, her destiny may lie in a land across the sea. A land rife with turmoil, rich in magic and revenge, where a new queen is about to take the throne.

Two girls, two worlds, and one destiny collide in the first installment of this new fantasy series.

Mirrors & Thorns: An OWS Ink Anthology


Where the fairy tales ends and the reflection begins….
A dark fairy tale collection from the twisted pens of:
J.M. Ames, Kerry E.B. Black, J.K. Allen, C.L. Bledsoe, Lucy Palmer, Stacy Overby, T.S. Dickerson, Edward Ahern, Melanie Noell Bernard, S.L. Scott, Sarah Nour, Paul Stansbury, Cassidy Taylor, and J. Lee Strickland.

Buy Now: E-Book

Author Pages:

Amazon

Where to find Cassidy Taylor:

Website, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Newsletter (The Reading Warriors), Facebook