Author Spotlight – Renee Scattergood

Introducing Renee Scattergood

Renee Scattergood, author of the dark fantasy serial, Shadow Stalker, lives in Australia with her husband and daughter. She loves reading, watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter.

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

I live in Australia with my husband and daughter. I’m originally from the US, but I met my husband online and came out here for a visit. We were married three months later and I’ve never looked back.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Currently, I’m finish up my Shadow Stalker serial. It’s about a girl who is destined to enslave her world, but she is determined to make sure that doesn’t happen. Of course, sometimes there are some things we can’t control. Really it’s her struggle to create her own destiny. Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6) is available free in most online retailers for those interested in checking it out.

Who is your intended readership?

This is a hard one to answer. I guess dark speculative fiction is the best way to describe it since it has a mix: a dark fantasy with elements of science fiction and thriller. It’s been described as having futuristic technology in a primitive world. There are also some themes (such as torture), which may be uncomfortable for some readers. It’s recommended for mature young adult readers and up.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I have always loved telling stories, but it never occurred to me to be a writer until I was in my mid-twenties. I was in college and my English instructor suggested I get some of my work published. Before that, I had always done badly in English, so writing wasn’t something I would have ever considered.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I’m inspired by various people for different reasons. Terry Goodkind inspires me by getting me into a creative mood. J.K. Rowling inspired me with the way she maintained control of her work and didn’t sell out simply for a shot at glory. And there are many indie authors who inspire me every single day to keep doing what I’m doing.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Something I was told, and it’s turned out to be the best advice I’ve ever gotten, is to keep writing. If you finish your first book and it doesn’t sell well, keep writing. If your second doesn’t sell well, keep writing. And don’t keep yourself in a shell either. We live in an age where authors don’t have to be hermits. The internet gives us a limitless platform for connecting with our readers (and potential readers). So get yourself out there and let people see who you are as a person as well as an author!

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

I really haven’t had much time for hobbies. I used to love doing crafts, but arthritis keeps me from that now, and I have an autistic daughter as well who keeps me busy. I love watching movies and reading though.

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

Well, I am starting work on a new serial. It’s basically the shadow stalkers’ origin story. And I’m working on my first novel series as well. It’s called A God’s Deception. I’m still working out the details of the story still, but I think the title tells a lot. 🙂

Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6)


Auren learns she is destined to enslave the people of her world, and Drevin, emperor of the Galvadi Empire is determined to end her life before it happens. Her foster father, Kado, has sworn to protect her and trains her as a shadow stalker. But her training is cut short, when their people are overrun by the Galvadi Empire. Now she has to find a way to help her people without succumbing to the prophecy.

Buy Now: E-Book

Author Pages:

Amazon, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords

Where to find Renee Scattergood:

Website (Renee Writes), Twitter, Pinterest, Blog (Renee Writes), Facebook

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Author Spotlight – Stephanie Ayers

Introducing Stephanie Ayers

A published author with a knack for twisted tales, Stephanie Ayers is the Executive Creative Director of OWS Ink, LLC, a community for writers and readers alike. She loves a good thriller, fairies, things that go bump in the night, and sappy stories. When she is not writing, she can be found in Creative Cloud designing book covers and promotional graphics for authors.

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

What can I say? I am me, and that is all I am. I’m quirky, weird.. I talk to myself. I have 8 children altogether, cats, dogs. I’m married. I met my best friend through a writing group who paired us up as writing partners and we started a writing community in 2015, and have grown into a publishing house more recently. I enjoy book creation from cover to formatting, and am currently more interested in designing than writing. I am a fierce football/soccer/basketball mom. and I decompress by reading, playing Oz: Broken Kingdom, or watching tv/movies. I am one of those “I like anything” types who listens to all types of music and reads all types of books. I am easy to get along with, suffer depression and anxiety, am diabetic and deaf, and very passionate about my friends and my family.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

I found myself to be fond of writing short stories vs the traditional novel. I like the brevity and the ability to turn the tables with unexpected twists. The 13 is definitely a book full of twisted stories. It began as a collection of soul collector type stories and turned into a different project as I hand selected each story from my library and polished them to a shine. It starts with my favorite poem, Soul Survivor, and moves to a camera with ill intent, a haunted house, an electric chair, supernatural creatures, evil pixies, gypsy magic, ghosts, and a serial killer or two. it’s hard to narrow down the characters as they are all lively on their own, but perhaps Mr. Worthington , Logan, and Abigail are 3 of the best. You’ll have to decide for yourself.

Who is your intended readership?

This particular book is definitely intended for an adult readership, and one that loves horror, macabre, and good twists. This book has a little bit of everything wicked in it, from stolen children, to sexual predators, to seductive ghosts, and much of everything in between. It’s definitely not a read for the squeamish or the easily frightened. If you’re not into horror, this is not the book for you. It’s well and above Til Death Do Us Part, as I have learned to let many of my inhibitions go in order to tell the story the way it deserves to be told. That said, there isn’t a lot of slasher type gore within the pages. They are more psychological terrors than anything else. A lot of What If? and real possibilities went into the creation of these stories.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote my first story in 3rd grade. The teacher read it aloud to the class as an example of how stories should be written. This definitely made me write more. Life got in the way for a while and I stuck to mostly poetry writing in my late teens through my 20s. When I became a single mom, the writing took a backseat. It was not until 2010 when I started my blog that writing became a thing for me again, and when I wrote my first story for the first time in forever via The Red Dress Club writing group, my soul was complete.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I don’t have one favorite author, I have several. Stephen King is an author I read a lot of as I grew up, and he has probably had the most impact in my writing style. I also love Terry Brooks and his Shannara series, Tolkien with the Lord of the Rings, both of whom play a role in my fantasy writing. My current favorite reads are from indie authors like Andy Peloquin, EC Jarvis, John Ryder, and A.L. Mabry.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

“The blank page is the canvas on which a writer paints a story.” Stephanie Ayers. “A single letter cures the blank page.” Stephanie Ayers.

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

I used to run a blog called The Scoop on Poop. The premise was a humorous look at the daily life of my family as a special needs mom with kids in a large age gap and coparenting.

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

I am passionate about suicide prevention. As a former suicide candidate myself, and mother to a suicide candidate, and after losing a beloved friend to suicide, it is one of my highly passionate parts of my life. The other parts I am passionate about are my graphics and my family. Wanna meet my momma bear? Mess with my family.

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

While I am busy reworking websites, creating book covers, and formatting books, I am also working on getting book one in my fantasy series The Master of the Relics ready for editing. I need to add the finish to Elven Games, and finish writing my novella, Say Say Oh Playmate. And then, I have another story collection I want to put together titled Cheap Thrills. I keep busy, but it’s the only way I stay sane.

The 13: Tales of Illusory


Can you survive all 13?

13 enchanted horrors. 13 spine-chilling tales. Down down in the depths they fell, bodies in the dark of a liquid hell. Can you survive all 13?

Buy Now: Paperback, E-Book

Author Pages:

Amazon, Smashwords

Where to find Stephanie Ayers:

Website (Stephanie Ayers: word whisperer, coffee guzzler, creative ninja), Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook

Author Spotlight – Rosemarie Cawkwell

Introducing Rosemarie Cawkwell

Writer, book blogger, and mad as a hatter, I’ve done a few different things over the years, before mental illness cut me down and forced me to look at what I really should be doing with my life. The answer is writing (and reading, and writing about reading).

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

Where do I start? I was born, I grew up…I wrote, and read, and wrote some more. I tried being ‘normal’, but it made me ill, so I stopped and thought I’d see where it led. It led first to book blogging and then to the serious endeavour of writing novels.

I’m mentally ill, and I don’t care who knows it; I’m very literal and can’t stand scientific and historical illiteracy. Someone really needs to explain social rules to me because I get myself in so much trouble…I’m autistic, although that’s currently unofficial but I’m in the process of getting that changed.

I grew up and have lived most of my life in Northern Lincolnshire; I like it here. I went straight from school to university in Durham to study Chemistry, and ended up studying Earth Sciences and Biology too. Since then I’ve worked at a theme park, cut grass for the local council, been a lab technician, worked in a fish factory and offices. None of them really suited me and to stay relatively stable I started a blog and reviewing books in 2011.

Getting seriously ill in January 2015 was, in retrospect, the best thing that could have happened to me. I can’t do ‘normal’ jobs – my mental health always suffers – and being around other people for more than a few hours at a time exhausts me to the point that I have to spend days recovering. Unable to work I started seriously concentrating on my writing. I now have two complete novels and several more in progress. I have brief plans for even more. I’m also completing a distance learning creative writing course and an MA in Creative Writing. I do rather overload myself when I find something I enjoy. That’s why I have a stack of books to review that never seems to get any shorter…

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

I published my first book, Hidden Fire, in May 2017. It happened rather suddenly. I’ve been working on a series of fantasy novels for several years and the first was complete, had been read and edited, and a cover designed. With it all coming together, my plan to publish on my birthday in June was scuppered by my ignorance of CreateSpace. So it was accidentally released in May, a month and a half early.

The book is the first of four set in the world of Erce. The main character is a privileged young woman called Elizabeth (Lizzy) Albon who has to learn that the world doesn’t revolve around her, while surviving assassination and kidnapping attempts. When her friend Gos goes missing while spying in the Belenosian Empire, Elizabeth and her cousins sail to the rescue, and find evidence that a neighbour is planning to attack their home island of Albon.

Lizzy has been hanging around in my brain for several years and made her first appearance in a short story in 2013. The story expanded back and forth in time and became a part of the second book of four. She is wilful, bossy and not nearly as smart as she thinks she is, or would like other people to think she is. Lizzy develops over the course of the novel, slowly learning to understand herself and her place in the world.

While she is the main character, Lizzy is also part of an ensemble cast of characters, including the world of Erce. From the start the ‘Fire’ series, set in the Northern Isles and partially in the Belenosian Empire, has been a small window into the greater world of Erce, and so far I have written a short story and part of a novella exploring other parts of the world. These stories are tangentially related to the events of ‘Hidden Fire’ and the other Fire novels. It is a world like any other, where magic is real but attitudes to magic differ by nation and region.

My writing has been heavily influenced by those master world builder Terry Pratchett and J.R.R. Tolkein. For me, the world has to be fleshed out, although it can develop and reveal itself slowly, as I explore it with different stories and characters.

Who is your intended readership?

Women who love fantasy. Hidden Fire appeals to teenagers, but some of my readers are nice ladies in their eighties who don’t normally read fantasy.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I can’t remember a time when I haven’t written stories of one form or another, I wrote my first novel at twelve, It was a terrible attempt to write something Enid Blytonish for a modern audience. My parents bought me a type writer and then complained because I’d stay up all night tapping away at it, I have stories popping into my head all the time, I have to write them down, or at least an outline. It’s a compulsion.

I knew at 14 that I wanted to be a writer, but got steered into something more ‘sensible’ by teachers and careers advisers. I should have ignored them and saved myself the two decades I lost.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I read so many authors. My favourite, go-to, always reliable, is Sir Terry Pratchett; His Discworld series cheers me up, makes me laugh and helps me find perspective. He was a very wise man and much missed by his readers. I also enjoyed his collaborative books with Neil Gaiman (Good Omens) and Stephen Baxter (The Long Earth series). They are refreshing.

When I was a teenager my favourite author was Tamora Pierce; she had a great influence on my writing style and in writing my current series of fantasy novels I’ve noticed her influence and inspiration. That formative reading, about young women making a path for themselves continues to influence me.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Sit down, put pen to paper, and write.

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

I’m studying for an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Lincoln. Most people do the course over a year, because of my disabilities I’m doing the course over two years. After the first few weeks a group of us formed who travelled on the same train to university every Wednesday morning. We would have a brilliant time, talking all the way from Grimsby to Lincoln, some real nonsense came out of our mouths but some of it was golden. There was a lot of discussion of our writing but also random film facts, stories of our past adventures, terrible puns and mince pies. A week before we finished for the Easter break we all realised we had missed a trick, we should have been recording a podcast the entire time. Polling for names, we came up with the sensible ‘Six Writers on a Train’, and my contribution ‘Six Idiots on a Train’. Opinion was divided over which was the most appropriate,

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

I embroider and sew, crochet and cross-stitch. I like to create, whether on paper or with fabric and thread. I also like to garden. I read voraciously, too and like to listen to true crime podcasts. I sometimes try to do all of these at once. I don’t recommend doing more than two things at once though, or it gets confusing.

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

Of course there’s the rest of the Fire Series, and the Tales from Erce novels, novellas and short stories, but my next big project is a series of crime novels set in Lincoln. There will be horrible murders aplenty and I’ll hope to tackle a few social issues too. Many of my characters in my fantasy series are LGBTQIA+, and that will continue in my crime novels.

Hidden Fire


Hidden Fire is a fantasy novel, the first of four set in The Northern Isles of a world called Erce, in which a young woman, LIZZY FITZALBONI, discovers herself and her place in the world. Privileged form birth, she must learn that not everyone exists to make life easy for her, while navigating a complex political world where many would like to see her dead.

The Northern Isles are four islands to the west of the great continental empire of Belenos. Midway between Belenos and the western continent of Camar, they are key trading ports, controlling the supply of furs and oils from Camar to Belenos, and of silks and spices back to Camar. When the islands go to war everyone suffers. Lizzy FitzAlboni is the illegitimate child of the King John VII of Albon. His political marriage to Jocinta Tarjani, the granddaughter of the ruler of the second largest island, Sumoast, has always been rocky. When Lizzy is kidnapped just before her 21st birthday evidence points to the queen and her kinsmen in Sumoast. Jocinta is exiled back to her family. In Albon, political and religious currents awaken as religious authorities object to the queen’s exile and the people agitate for further reform of the political system. Lizzy becomes involved, while raising her brothers. When her friend Lord Gos Val goes missing while on in Belenos, Lizzy and her friends must investigate, but are too late to prevent the war everyone knows is coming.

Buy Now: 24 Hour Flash Sale – 8am, August 28th 2017 through 8am August 29th 2017

Paperback, E-Book

Author Pages:

Amazon

Where to find Rosemarie Cawkwell:

Twitter, E-mail, Blog (Rosie Writes), Facebook

Author Spotlight – Claire Plaisted

Introducing Claire Plaisted

Claire Plaisted is an Indie Author and Small Indie Publisher. Claire works each day helping Indie Authors get their work together in a professional format. She assists them to publish their books online. Claire also writes and has twenty six books published so far.

At present Claire is working on updating her books in between working with various clients writing different genres.

Claire is a positive role model and will help where she can, or direct you to those who are more experienced. You can contact Claire on the attached links.

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

I wasn’t an early reader. Books didn’t interest me much. I loved to climb trees and go on bike rides down the country lanes in England. I discovered books at the age of twelve and haven’t been without one since. In fact I used to go read in a tree at the back of my parents house.

Though writing isn’t a passion it is a journey of learning and I’ll admit to enjoying most of it. I suppose part of the joy is using computers which I was denied as a teenager. I had wanted to be a computer tech, though my mother reckoned it was a fad…. ooopps

I love computing. I enjoy writing, blogging and especially helping others. I blame my parents for that too – the helping I mean.

Since living in New Zealand I have changed as a person. Marriage of 25 years, four children and several cats later, my cultural understanding and heritage has changed and grown.

Meanwhile…will someone tell my muses to get their backsides back to New Zealand so I can write. Thanks

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Enchantments is a Young Adult Fantasy where a seven 21yr-olds are chosen to fight the Shadow Master. This first book is introducing you to all the characters and their animal energy. In the following series of four books will follow the journey of the characters and their strengths and weaknesses.

Watch out for the purple headed guy Kendall.

Who is your intended readership?

I am a multi genre author…so my reach is for all readers or those who need to be read to. For Enchantments it is aimed at 15 upwards.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I fell into writing due to waiting on documentation for a family history book I was creating for a client. I opened a document and the muse took over. That particular book is yet to be published

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

C S Lewis and the Narnia Series. I love these books, it doesn’t matter what age you are, you can read them and still learn something new. CS Lewis believed in writing a story for children of all ages. To me this means from one – one hundred.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Write a couple of manuscripts before you think about publishing. Find a great editor, join social media, promote you and your work a few months before you publish. Make sure you have a professional format your book. Also learn a bit about marketing, the more you know the better. There are some fab Facebook Groups out there.

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

I have annoying characters who keep barging into my office and arguing over me about whose book I should be writing. It got so bad I threatened to push one (Duggan from Garrett Investigations Bureau) out of a plane without a parachute. It sure shut him up and made his girlfriend laugh.

The thought of having all my characters at a party would be hilarious, especially since I’m a multi genre author.

At present the muses are in the Northern Hemisphere enjoying the sun and ignoring me who is starting to panic here in New Zealand, wondering if I will finish two books in time for December celebrations.

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

Helping other Indie Authors – is my business though hobby wise i enjoy Family History Research which started as a Hobby business. I research and make books for gifts. It’s great fun when I get the opportunity to make one.

I also enjoy my family time. They are amazing

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

Girlie and the Ninja Lady Bugs is the fourth book in Girlie Adventures. This story will cover bullying. 40% of the proceeds will be going to a charity who helps stop bullying in the UK…

I also have Ancient Relics – A Garrett Investigation Novel – book 6 due out in December.

Ghostly Writes Anthology 2017 releasing on All Hallow’s Eve – Multi Authors
Childrens Fairy Tale Anthology releasing December – Multi Authors

Enchantments

The Shadow Realm had found a gap in space and time, a place where they could observe the Human world before they claimed it as their own.

Farron is one of six, chosen to embark of an epic adventure against the Shadow King and his evil Realm; but how can six Humans fight against the perils of the Shadows of Death?

Because they’re not really Human…

First born sons and daughters of the Bul’ith, Farron and the others must accept the truth and the animal energies they inherit, heed the words of their trainers and defeat the Realm of the Shadow King. If they ever wish to restore their world

Buy Now:

Paperback, E-Book (Amazon), E-Book (Kobo), E-Book (iTunes)

Author Pages:

Amazon, iTunes, Smashwords

Where to find Claire Plaisted:

Website (Claire Plaisted), Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Email, Blog (Claire Plaisted), Facebook

Claire Plaisted also runs several groups and a website to assist Indie Authors get their names out there.

www.facebook.com/groups/childrensfairytalesanthology
www.facebookwww.facebook.com/groups/indiepublishingnews
www.facebook.com/plaistedpublishing/
www.facebook.com/groups/ghostlywritesanthology
www.plaistedpublishinghouse.com

Author Spotlight – Connie Cockrell

I had the pleasure of running into Connie Cockrell a little while ago, and we’ve been talking back and forth about setting up an interview swap. What I didn’t realize when we started talking is just how many genres this amazing woman manages to write in.

I know just how difficult it can be to write different genres, but Connie Cockrell seems to find it effortless. Maybe she’ll give us an insight into just how she does it in this interview. How about it Connie?

[Update: I just found out that this post coincides with Connie’s birthday, so please show her some love]

Introducing Connie Cockrell

A 20-year Air Force career, a manager at a computer operations company, wife, mother, sister and volunteer, provides a rich background for Connie Cockrell’s story-telling.

She writes about whatever comes into her head so her books could be in any genre. She’s published sixteen books, has been included in five anthologies and been published on EveryDayStories.com and FrontierTales.com. Connie’s always on the lookout for a good story idea. Beware, you may be the next one.

 

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

I grew up in Gloversville NY and joined the Air Force at eighteen. Lots of life happened the next 20 years, marrying, having a daughter, travelling around the world with the Air Force and retiring after 20 years in the service. Then we retired back to Northville NY where I worked for a computer company then, tired of the snow, moved to Payson AZ. That’s where I started writing on a challenge from my daughter in 2011. I haven’t stopped writing yet!

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

My very latest book is a cozy mystery, Mystery at the Book Festival. It’s book 3 in my Jean Hays series. My last science fiction book is Troubled Streets, book 1 in my Zoe Ohale series.

Zoe Ohale has had a hard life on the streets of Baia Mare, and it’s about to get a whole lot harder.

For Zoe Ohale, life on the streets is hard. Maybe too hard. She is one of the lucky few in the gang to have a place to lay her head, but for the rest an old abandoned warehouse is the best they can hope for to keep out of the rain.

Zoe has debts to pay. On the one side, the Lees are pressuring her to be an informant; on the other, the criminal underworld threatens to swallow her whole. But Zoe would do anything for her gang of orphans, so she shuts up and straddles the line of loyalty between night and day, always teetering on the edge.

But when a new gang of credit thieves comes to Baia Mare, everything is thrown into disarray, and Zoe’s precarious balance starts to crumble. With lies, kidnapping, corruption and even worse in the mix, the city is bound for a descent into anarchy.

Will Zoe find a way to help right a few wrongs? Or will she be the one who ends up needing help?

Who is your intended readership?

Women and girls who are looking for a smart, tough, yet sensitive main character. In the first book, Zoe is 17, so it could be considered a YA story though adults have enjoyed the story, too.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always dabbled at writing. Mostly just a few chapters then I’d toss the whole thing. Then when my daughter challenged me to participate in National Novel Writing Month, she loaned me her copy of Story Engineering by Larry Brooks. He laid out everything in a way that made total sense to me. I started plotting out my story in mid-October and finished that first book by the end of Nano. I was pretty pumped and I’m still going strong.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I’ll have to say the classic scifi authors like Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke and others. Female authors too, C.J. Cherryh, Elizabeth Moon, and so many more. All of my favorites tell compelling stories and with every book, take me on a vacation to far away exotic locations. What’s not to love!

What advice would you give beginning writers?

I’d say find what works for you and follow that. There’s a lot of advice out on the internet about how to be a writer. Some say you need to plot everything out, some say you should work by the seat of your pants. Other advice is to write every day, or edit as you go or don’t edit as you go. All I can say is I know authors who break one or more of all of those rules. Take classes, read craft books and figure out what works for you. You should find joy in writing. If you aren’t, perhaps you’re doing it wrong.

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

Once when my husband I were travelling west along I40 from Flagstaff, I saw a highway sign for Devil Dog Road. What a great name! I had to write a story based on that and I did. It’s in my collection of Halloween Stories, available on most book retailers

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

I like to hike. I belong to a group that goes out and about central Arizona every Tuesday. I also belong to a monthly Bunco group and I started an annual book festival here in Payson.

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

I have several projects in the works. I have completed a first draft of the second Zoe Ohale story, Troubled Campus. It needs a lot of work so I probably won’t publish it until 2018. Coming out soon, though, is the 4th book in my Brown Rain series, Tested. A dystopian scifi series, the books are novelette or novella length so they’re great fast reads.

Mystery at the Fair

Welcome to Greyson, Arizona. Population: One less than yesterday.

When Jean Hays moved to Greyson, Arizona, she thought she’d found the perfect place in which to get away from her sleazy ex-husband and start over, a fresh beginning far from the big city.

But when she discovers the desiccated corpse of local quilting legend Ina Grange in a storage container on the fairgrounds where she’s volunteering, she inadvertently starts uncovering a deadly conspiracy just under the surface of the sleepy town.

Between managing the annual Greyson fair and pursuing the shadowy trail of destruction left by the murderer, Jean has her hands full dealing with drunken brawls and nasty falls, suspicious ex-wives and keen-sharp knives. And that’s not to mention the stubborn Police Chief himself.

Will Jean find the truth before the killer decides enough is enough?

Troubled Streets

Zoe Ohale has had a hard life on the streets of Baia Mare, and it’s about to get a whole lot harder.

For Zoe Ohale, life on the streets is hard. Maybe too hard. She is one of the lucky few in the gang to have a place to lay her head, but for the rest an old abandoned warehouse is the best they can hope for to keep out of the rain.

Zoe has debts to pay. On the one side, the Lees are pressuring her to be an informant; on the other, the criminal underworld threatens to swallow her whole. But Zoe would do anything for her gang of orphans, so she shuts up and straddles the line of loyalty between night and day, always teetering on the edge.

But when a new gang of credit thieves comes to Baia Mare, everything is thrown into disarray, and Zoe’s precarious balance starts to crumble. With lies, kidnapping, corruption and even worse in the mix, the city is bound for a descent into anarchy.

Will Zoe find a way to help right a few wrongs? Or will she be the one who ends up needing help?

First Encounter

Seventeen years ago, the brown rain started falling without explanation, without excuse. It killed everything it touched.

Then, after four years of death and destruction, it stopped just as inexplicably.

Now Alyssa and Kyra, two young women from a surviving community, are sent out into a desolate world to look for other survivors. Between Alyssa’s unique power and Kyra’s roguish skills, they might just succeed. But what they end up finding in the outside world, despite its veneer of civility, may be slightly less human than they had been expecting.

Book Buying Links:

Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords

Where to find Connie Cockrell:

Website, Amazon, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook

Author Spotlight – Andy Peloquin

Over this coming week, I’ll be introducing you to Andy Peloquin, and his works. He’s one of those authors that is very active online, especially in the writer communities. It’s my pleasure to be featuring him over the next few days, as he builds up to the release of “Thief of the Night Guild”, which you’ll be finding out more about below… And lucky you, that’s several days ahead of it’s official release date, of July 18th 2017.

So, without further delay, it’s time for you to meet the wonderful Andy Peloquin…

Introducing Andy Peloquin

I am, first and foremost, a storyteller and an artist–words are my palette. Fantasy is my genre of choice, and I love to explore the darker side of human nature through the filter of fantasy heroes, villains, and everything in between. I’m also a freelance writer, a book lover, and a guy who just loves to meet new people and spend hours talking about my fascination for the worlds I encounter in the pages of fantasy novels.

Fantasy provides us with an escape, a way to forget about our mundane problems and step into worlds where anything is possible. It transcends age, gender, religion, race, or lifestyle–it is our way of believing what cannot be, delving into the unknowable, and discovering hidden truths about ourselves and our world in a brand new way. Fiction at its very best!

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

I was born in Japan to French and American parents, and have lived abroad (Japan/Mexico) my entire life. I’m an odd mixture of bodybuilder/fitness nut and fantasy nerd/comic book geek.

Here are a few more things:

  1. Hot wings, ALWAYS!
  2. I never forget a face, but rarely remember a name.
  3. I’m a head taller than the average person (I’m 6′ 6″)
  4. Marvel > DC
  5. I was born in Japan, and lived there until the age of 14.
  6. Selena Gomez, Skrillex, Simon & Garfunkel, Celine Dion, and Five Finger Death Punch are all in my writing playlist.
  7. Aliens are real, but it’s self-centered of us to believe that they would come to visit Earth.
  8. Watching sports: suck. Playing sports: EPIC!
  9. I earned a purple belt in Karate/Hapkido/Taekwondo.
  10. I dislike most Christmas music, aside from Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Thief of the Night Guild is the second book in the Queen of Thieves series. The first book (Child of the Night Guild) examined the sort of traumas, abuses, and trials that would turn an innocent child into a hardened thief and killer. This second book answers two questions:

  • How does a woman survive in a society dominated by men?
  • What is a mother willing to do to protect her child?

The story follows Ilanna, a third-story thief (cat burglar) in the Night Guild (thieves’ guild). She pulls off her world’s first bank heist by breaking into a secure vault and stealing a fortune in gold and gemstones. It has the feel of a classic heist novel, but with the dark fantasy flair that I love to add to my stories. There’s death, loss, sorrow, betrayal, murder, mayhem, mystery, thieves, assassins, and poisoners—the best of fantasy!

Who is your intended readership?

The target audience is definitely mature adults. The themes in the book are dark and grim, but presented in a fascinating story.

Both men and women will enjoy the story of Ilanna. I wrote her as a character I (a man) would want to read, yet one women of all ages would be able to identify with. She’s definitely more confident in this second book than in the first, as she’s “come into her own” as a thief.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I, like so many other authors, spent a lot of time writing during my childhood and teenaged years. However, it wasn’t until my mid-20s that I realized that it was what I wanted to do with my life. Not just to piddle around and put together a story, but actually turn it into a full-time career.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

I try to “model myself” after Brandon Sanderson and Scott Lynch. Scott Lynch’s characters are so rich and bold and alive, his worlds and stories so rich. There’s an excellence, professionalism, and gravitas to Brandon Sanderson’s writings that I try to infuse into my own.

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Be ready for A LOT of work. The writing process is no more than 20% of what needs to be done to publish a book. There’s the editing, drafting, formatting, cover creation, and all the rest. Then there’s the marketing, outreach, advertising, and everything else that goes into getting your book in front of the right people. Prepare for a solid 10-year investment to turn it into a full-time career. That way, if it happens more quickly, it’ll be a “win”.

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

I’m a pretty hardcore (Marvel) comic geek. I like to get my hands on the latest comics and stay abreast of the latest developments in the story lines of my favorite characters (Deadpool, Wolverine, etc.). I also hit the gym/run daily, LOVE to cook, and enjoy puzzles, watching TV, and reading.

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

In addition to finishing the third book in the series (titled “Queen of the Night Guild”), I’ll be finishing the fourth novel in my The Last Bucelarii series. I’ll also be releasing a collection of short stories titled “Different, Not Damaged”—all featuring different disorders (PTSD, autism, fibromyalgia, etc.) in a fantasy context. Basically, the disorders are what make these characters special, hence the name of the book.

#1 : Child of the Night Guild (Queen of Thieves Book 1)

“They killed my parents. They took my name. They imprisoned me in darkness. I would not be broken.”

Viola, a child sold to pay her father’s debts, has lost everything: her mother, her home, and her identity. Thrown into a life among criminals, she has no time for grief as she endures the brutal training of an apprentice thief. The Night Guild molds an innocent waif into a cunning, agile outlaw skilled in the thieves’ trade. She has only one choice: steal enough to pay her debts.

The cutthroat streets of Praamis will test her mettle, and she must learn to dodge the City Guards or swing from a hangman’s rope. But a more dangerous foe lurks within the guild walls. A sadistic rival apprentice, threatened by her strength, is out for blood.

What hope does one girl have in a world of ruthless men?

Fans of Sarah J. Maas, Scott Lynch, and Brent Weeks will love Queen of Thieves…

Buy now: Ahead of the release of “Thief of the Night Guild” – Kindle

Where to find Andy Peloquin:

Website, Amazon, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook

Oh and one more thing…

Get a sneak peek of “Thief of the Night Guild”

Author Spotlight – Heidi Angell

You’re going to see this lady’s name pop up a couple of times in the next few days, because I’m a great fan of her work. Because of that, I couldn’t help but jump on board when she announced she wanted to do book tour for the release of her latest book “The Hunted”.

Heidi was kind enough to answer a few questions about herself, for today’s slot. And then on the 28th, come back to read her take on “The History Of Werewolves”, a topic we both love discussing…

At the end of the interview is a big banner image, which when clicked will take you to Heidi’s website, where you can check out the other stops on the tour. And don’t forget to check out the books, which I’ve linked to at the very bottom of the post.

Introducing Heidi Angell

Heidi Angell is a bibliophile, lexicomaniac and wordsmith. She is the author of The Hunters Saga, 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.

Goodness, what is there to say? I am a closet introvert, who loves to fangirl over books, movies and anime. We just introduced our teen boys to Firefly and it was AWESOME! I love helping others, sometimes to my own detriment, which is why I have started partnering with other groups (Like Brain to Books and Our Write Side) so that I have other volunteers to help make sure I don’t get burned out.
I am eclectic in my interests, and so my books tend to be pretty eclectic as well.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

My latest book is The Hunted, the second book in The Hunters Saga. This is an urban fantasy/ horror series for those who believe vampires should be killed, not kissed. The Hunted releases February 18th.

Who is your intended readership?

Well, beyond those who believe vampires should be killed, not kissed, the book tends to appeal to fans of action, gratuitous violence (my vampires explode) and who like the idea of vampires, werewolves, immortals, and other supernatural beings as scary. They aren’t necessarily monsters, per se, but they are dangerous! Also, I deal in werewolves, not shifters. This isn’t PNR.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

It really feels like forever. I have always wanted to be a storyteller. My mom has pictures of me when I was no more than 2 or 3, on stage “telling a story”. I could read before I started school, and was a voracious reader, but it wasn’t until my 1st grade teacher used “publishing” a book to teach us about the different components. From then, I was hooked. I wrote my first full-length novel in fourth grade (it was horrible and will NEVER see the light of day!) and have just kept going from there, dabbling in different forms of story-telling, from poetry, to screenplays, to music, and beyond.

Do you have a favorite author, or writing inspiration?

Nope, I cannot pick one. I couldn’t even pick 15! I find inspiration in every story I read, see, hear. That is part of why I started my bookish blog, to share these awesome authors that I am reading and meeting. Also, the fangirling thing. Yeah. Totally the fangirling thing!

What advice would you give beginning writers?

Start networking now. You need a strong tribe to make it as a writer. And that doesn’t mean just networking with readers (though, you definitely should!) You also need to connect with other authors. They will be there to answer questions, to offer support, to read and critique. My top favorite networking groups right now are OWS– run by Amanda Mabry and Stephanie Ayers, B2B CyCon– Headed up by Angela B. Chrysler and run by some incredible volunteers! (like you!), Sci-fan Society – run by Richard M. Mulder, Support Indie Authors, and Beta Readers and Critique Partners–  run by Dianne Wolfden.

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

Fun fact, though I do not recommend taking NyQuil recreationally, you would be surprised the crazy things one writes when one is powering through the soporific effects. As many great writers were known to abuse drugs of one form or another, this is the closest I have ever come to that.  And it only happened about a month ago. But I also learned that one cannot edit when in the same condition. True Story.

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

I actually really enjoy marketing my books. Sometimes more than writing. Now that I am writing full time, I actually have to schedule in writing time because I would just spend all my time marketing if I didn’t. And I LOVE marketing, because to me it is just another form of story telling!

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

Well, I was working on an Infection story, but I have this little novelette in Romance (GASPS! I know, I can’t believe it either!)that is kind of demanding my immediate attention. You can learn more here.

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The Hunters Saga

#1 The Hunters: For those who believe vampires should be killed, not kissed.

What 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 group’s 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?

The Hunted: Now The Hunters become the hunted.

The highly-anticipated sequel to The Hunters Saga. 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. Things are going better than expected with Avie, then the Counsel comes after them. Now the hunters have become the hunted.

Buy Your Copies Of “The Hunters” and “The Hunted” NOW!

Where to find Heidi Angell:

Learn more at her website www.heidiangell.com

Want to get to know Heidi better? Follow her on Goodreads, Instagram, or join her e-newsletter to get weekly emails that show Heidi’s reader side with author interviews, book reviews, and other awesome bookish fun!

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