Book Spotlight – “The Smoke in His Eyes” by Shane Wilson

Book Spotlight - The Smoke In His Eyes by Shane Wilson

Book Blurb

When TJ—a musical prodigy—witnesses a traumatic event as a child, his senses are overrun with intense hallucinations. Over the years, his visions increase in frequency and intensity, but he hides them from those he is closest to, including his best friend and musical partner, Lila, who challenges TJ to reject formulaic creation in order to create something beautiful and unique. But when Lila signs a record deal, TJ feels left behind and alone with his art and his visions.

That’s when TJ meets an artist named Muna. In his eyes and visions, Muna is made of smoke, and as this magical woman helps him learn how to manage his visions and how to translate what he sees and hears into music and lyrics, she begins to disappear. His journey into Muna’s past is a journey to discover where inspiration originates and what happens to an artist when that inspiration is gone.

Buy Your Copy Now! E-Book, Paperback

Join The Book Tour

Shane Wilson is also doing a book tour to coincide with the book’s release… Here are some of the places you can find him as he travels:

  • June 8 – THE SMOKE IN HIS EYES RELEASE PARTY, Gallery 208 in Fayetteville, NC
  • June 22 – Books and Other Found Things in Leesburg, VA
  • June 23 – Books-A-Million in Sterling, VA
  • Sept. 22 – Book ‘Em North Carolina in Lumberton, NC
  • Sept. 29 – Fredericksburg Book Fest in Fredericksburg, VA
  • Oct. 13 – Crystal Coast Con in Cape Carteret, NC
    More dates TBA

Check out Shane’s Facebook page for more information, event updates, and links to the events…

If you have the chance to catch Shane at any of these stops, please say “Timothy Bateson from Ramblings of an Author” sent you…

From the Author

Shane Wilson is an award-winning author of magical realism and low fantasy. His two novels, A Year Since the Rain and The Smoke in His Eyes are available through all major retailers. He has also published short fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. He maintains a blog that focuses on a variety of topics including publication.

Shane has a Master’s degree in English from Valdosta State University and has taught English at community colleges in Georgia and North Carolina. He has been teaching for nine years. He is currently pursuing his MFA in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University.

Where To Find Shane Wilson

Twitter, Facebook, E-mail, Instagram, Blog (Virtual Napkins: Cocktail Napkin-Inspired Musings and More from Author Shane Wilson), Website (Shane Wilson, Author)

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Book Spotlight – “Under Everest” by D.H. Dunn

Book Spotlight - Under Everest by DH Dunn

Book Blurb

HIGH ADVENTURE. HIGH FANTASY. HIGH ALTITUDE.

Nima never intended to be a climber, an explorer, or a hero. She never expected to see magical wonders or nightmarish abominations. She was simply a Sherpa trying to save her family, her quest sending her higher and deeper into Everest’s icy grip.

When she falls through a mystical portal, Nima finds herself caught in a magical war raging beneath the highest mountain on Earth. Accompanied by her friend Drew Adley, she will have to contend with mad sorcerers, monsters out of legend, and the great mountain itself.

Their only route home blocked and with dangers coming from every side, Nima and Drew will have to use all their skill and bravery if they are ever to escape the horrors that lie in the depths UNDER EVEREST.

Buy Your Copy Now! E-Book

From the Author

I’m a former sailor in the U.S. Navy and spent many years in various civilian technical jobs. That work has taken me all over the country and all over the world, allowing me to lead more than a few fantasy adventures myself.

The work that I hope to produce here I feel falls into the category of fantasy adventure, with a side of epic, thriller, and maybe a little character drama as well. Everything you will read from me is work I wanted to read too – that’s what got me working on these projects in the first place.

Where To Find D.H. Dunn

E-mail, Website (D.H. Dunn), Newsletter

Tom Wolfe on “Time”

Tom Wolfe - Time

It’s Time To Redesign…

I know that the title of this post might be a bit confusing, but those of you who’ve been over to my website recently, you might have an inkling as to it’s meaning.

Timothy Bateson - Sci-Fi & Urban Fantasy Author (1500x500 Website Banner)

This is an idea of how things used to look on my website…

It’s Time To Update My Website

I’ve come to consider certain aspects of my site to be a little to static, like the heading, buttons. But other aspects of the site were over complicated, such as some of the page designs.

Because I use Weebly to create my website there are some built-in limitations to what the designer will allow me to do without adding in HTML code blocks.

So here’s a quick look at some of the things that are changing.

New Page Layouts

I’m also updating the general design of my site, because there are a lot of very different page designs being used.

When I first started setting up the site, I wanted to keep things simple. But then I decided to add book pages, character pages, and other features. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to keep things simple, because I ended up adding way more details than were really needed.

The image to the left shows just how much information I tried to provide about the characters. There’s a brief introduction to the character, a quote from them, a description of them, some background details, and a list of friends, book appearances, and other links.

It’s just too much information…

Well, that’s all changing. The pages are going to be massively simplified where necessary, and only contain information that’s actually relevant. Instead of giving a break-down of the character’s appearance, I’ll be working on getting some better images (which might take some time).

A New, Bolder Site Header Image

This is among the biggest changes, and it helps give a feel for the overall design of the site.

Here’s the old header design, which I actually liked a lot.

And here’s a look at the new site header.SiteBanner_h500I found the basic banner image over on Deposit Photos, which is a stock image site. That gave me the black background, the red chevrons and the chrome edging.

Because I liked a lot of the elements of the old design, I kept the city skyline, and the wolf-moon logo, and superimposed them over the image I’d downloaded. A little messing around with layer transparencies, and adding text in matching colors gave me a result I’m very pleased with.

 New Style Buttons – With Roll-Over Action

I also discovered that there were buttons available that mirrored the banner design, and the came in two different (but very compatible styles). In this case, I was able to just add the text layers, and align them to the same position on the button (to maintain a consistent arrangement).

Smashwords_normal_h250

Smashwords_rollover_h250

Because I had two different designs, I wanted to make them interactive, and  knew there had to be a way to swap one image for another with HTML code.

After some digging around online, I found several options and decided to animate the buttons with roll-over effect. The button without the chevrons is the button displayed on the page, until you move your mouse pointer over it. Unfortunately, I can’t reproduce that effect in a blog post, so you’ll have to check out on my site.

Bringing It All Together

Here’s a look at how everything comes together.

This is the new, simplified, book page, and I have to admit, I love how easy it is to read, compared the the previous format.

The buttons that link to each of the book retailers look amazing down there at the bottom.

As I release more stories (or appear in more anthologies), the only thing that’s going to change about these page layouts is the presence (or lack of) of a review quote, and the location (and presence) of the relevant buttons.

For example, “Evaline Transcendent” (my science fiction story) is only available at Amazon. So the buttons for the other retailers are under a “coming soon to these retailers” heading.

Moving Forward

There are still a lot of changes coming to the site, as I update all the pages, and simplify things.

Please drop in at my site and drop your thoughts into the comment box.

Book Spotlight – “Moss and Clay” by Rebekah Jonesy

Book Spotlight - Moss and Clay by Rebekah Jonesy

Book Blurb

A reckoning is at hand, and Gillian will be judge, jury, and executioner.

Moss, clay, and blood–that’s how her life began. Crafted by the goddess Danu, she’s nothing but a doll until Mab, Queen of the Fae, gives her not only life, but a mission. Gillian must track down the rogue fae in the Americas and bring them under Fae Law.

And they have no idea what they’re in for.

Moss and Clay is the delicious introduction to the Mab’s Doll series by Rebekah Jonesy. This dark yet snarky urban fantasy adventure will leave readers longing to see the justice Gillian metes out.

Meet the next generation of the ancient Aos Si Fae today!

Buy Your Copy Now! E-Book

Join Rebekah Jonesy & Other Authors On Facebook

Join Rebekah Jonesy, and a host of fellow authors, while they celebrate the pre-release of Moss & Clay.

This is a Facebook Takeover event, where you’ll get to meet some great indie authors, take part in chat, competitions, and more… (All the times below are in MDT, so please check your local timezones), or the event itself.

  • 8:00 AM Rebekah Jonesy opens the event up
  • 10:00 am Heidi Angell to talk about Mab’s Doll
  • 1:00 pm Amanda Mabry
  • 3:00 pm Heidi Angell Clear Angell Chronicles
  • 4:00 pm JK Allen to talk about editing Moss and Clay and give us a sneak peek of Angel Born, her own urban Fantasy novel coming in the fall.
  • 8:00 pm Rebekah Jonesy wrap up

From the Author

Rebekah Jonesy knows stuff about things and isn’t afraid to talk and write about it. Outside of the literary world, she is a mad scientist cook, gardener, Jill of all trades, and military spouse. Inside the literary world she is a devourer of books, publisher, and mentor.

“Rebekah has the best kind of rabies” – JD Estrada

Where To Find Rebekah Jonesy

Twitter, Facebook, Blog (Heart Strong), Website (Facebook Group, Bekah’s Books), Newsletter (Bekah’s Books)

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!