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

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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!

Book Spotlight – “Nite Fire: Chain Reaction ” by C.L. Schneider

Book Spotlight - Nite Fire Chain Reacton - C.L. Schneider

Book Blurb

If anyone can tell the difference between monsters and humans, it’s Dahlia Nite. For nearly a century, she’s hunted one to protect the other; safeguarding humanity from the creatures that slip through the torn veil between the worlds—creatures like her. But the lines are blurring. As people begin mutating and combusting on the streets, Dahlia realizes a strange affliction has descended upon Sentinel City. The mysterious ailment strikes all walks of life, from the posh, high-end nightclub district to the homeless community. Its victims, driven to random acts of savagery, are drawing attention too fast to cover up.

Assigned to the case, Dahlia and her human partner, Detective Alex Creed, investigate the deaths. But all they have are questions and bodies, and a public on the verge of panic. Working behind the scenes with her self-appointed sidekick, Casey Evans, Dahlia struggles to discover what, or who, is behind the alarming transformations. As the violence spreads and the mystery unfolds, she wonders: are the victims still human? Were they ever?

Chain Reaction is the second book in the Nite Fire Series.

Buy Your Copy Now! E-Book, Paperback

Chain Reaction will remain at .99 on release day (4/17).
Book #1, Flash Point, will be on Kindle Countdown for .99 starting 4/17.
Both books will return to their regular price of $3.99 on 4/24.

From the Author

C.L. Schneider is an award-winning, New York-based author of adult epic and urban fantasy, including The Crown of Stones Trilogy and Nite Fire. Born in a small Kansas town to a family of avid readers and overflowing bookshelves, she penned her first novel at sixteen on a typewriter in her parent’s living room.

To learn more about C.L. Schneider and her work, visit clschneiderauthor.com where you can read reviews and excerpts, subscribe to her newsletter, and join her Street Team. Connect with her on social media, where she is often found chatting about the daily ups and downs of a writer’s life.

Where To Find C.L. Schneider

Twitter, Facebook, E-mail, Instagram, Blog (Heading Down the Yellow Brick Road), Website, Newsletter (News From the World of C.L. Schneider)

I’m X-Ray’ing My Books – But What Does That Mean?

What is X-Ray for Kindle eBooks?

To quote Amazon:

X-Ray is a unique Kindle eBook feature that allows readers to learn more about a character, topic, event, place, or any other term, simply by pressing and holding on the word or phrase that interests them.

In short, it’s a feature that allows authors to add extra information to their work, that might not relate directly to the story, but give readers an expanded experience.

What Does This Mean For You?

When an eBook has the X-Ray feature enabled, you will see some words or terms highlighted. If you click and hold down on that word, a pop-up will appear with some extra information.

You might have already seen this happening with some books, where articles from Wikipedia pop-up. This is the X-Ray feature working to provide some additional information on the term or word in question.

So Why Am I Talking About This Now?

Well, I just discovered that the feature is available more widely than I thought. While checking my existing releases, in preparation for some possible updates (and maybe new covers), I discovered an ‘Activate X-Ray’ option and went looking for more information.

When I read the description (above), I realized there was a lot of information stored in my head that I could share with my readers.

This is Where You Come In

If you have a copy of “Under A Hunter’s Moon” you’re going to find some new information buried inside.

I’ve added:

  • character background information
  • links to some relevant Wikipedia pages
  • background information on the story’s origins and locations

If you don’t have a copy of “Under A Hunter’s Moon”, it’s not too late to grab a copy…

Not sure about grabbing a copy? Check out the preview below.

After Reading The Story, Let Me Know If There Is Anything Else You Want To Know More About! (Comment Below)

 

A 2017 Round-up 3 of 3 – A Year In The Spotlights

 

In This Post:

  • Books featured in “Book Spotlights” during 2017
  • Authors featured in “Author Spotlights” during 2017
  • Update on the reader survey

I know that this series started as a round-up of 2017 in two parts, but I realized there was so much that happened in 2017, that I really needed more posts…

(And yes, it might even go to 4 posts if individual posts get too long).

So without further ado, let’s take a look at the books and authors that have featured on “Ramblings of an Author” over the last twelve months.

Want Your Book Spotlighted?

Click Here To Fill Out The Form

J.N. Sheats

Heidi Angell 

Andy Peloquin

Connie Cockrell

Claire Plaisted

Rosemary Cawkwell

Stephanie Ayers

Renee Scattergood

Toi Thomas

A.L. Mabry

Patricia Josephine

Cassidy Taylor

Interested In Being In The Author Spotlight?

Click Here To Fill Out The Form

 

I’m Still Taking Views From Blog Readers

A 2017 Round-up 2 of 3 – The Year In Books

 

In This Post:

  • Statistics About My Reading Habits in 2017
  • Fiction Books I Read (and links to my reviews)
  • Non-Fiction Books I Read (and links to my reviews)
  • My Personal Book Releases, and feedback from readers

I know that this series started as a round-up of 2017 in two parts, but I realized there was so much that happened in 2017, that I really needed more posts…

(And yes, it might even go to 4 posts if individual posts get too long).

Target Number Of Books To Read: 25

Number Of Books Actually Read: 37 (28 Fiction, 9 Non-Fiction)

Number Of Pages Read: 7,982

Comment below – let’s see how we all did on our reading targets

5-Star Reviews

4-Star Reviews

3-Star Reviews

Comment Below With Any Fiction Recommendations

5-Star Reviews

4-Star Reviews

3-Star Reviews

Comment Below With Any Non-Fiction Recommendations

Evaline Transcendent

Format: Kindle E-Book

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073G9FPZ8

Released: July 26, 2017

Blurb: Evaline is the shipboard computer on the Miranda Two, a colony ship destined for the planet Karman-III-Delta. She is possibly Earth’s last hope of establishing a working off-world colony. However, her predecessor stopped reporting home, so now she and the colonists must establish what happened to the previous colony.
The Miranda Two has been traveling for twenty years, and now it’s time for Evaline to wake the crew and colonists in preparation or arrival at their destination. Can Evaline and the crew figure out what happened to the Miranda One expedition, and what price will they have to pay for the answers?

Note From the Author: This is the second release of “Evaline Transcendent”, which originally appeared in the “Across the Karman Line” anthology. Since that release, I have revisited the story and expanded on some aspects, and rewritten others. At its core, this is exactly the same story but reimagined for a wide audience.

Originally standing at around 8,500 words, this new release boasts a word count of closer to 14,000. I hope that those of you who have read the original story will discover new aspects to it when reading this version. For those coming to it for the first time, enjoy!

Reviews: 

Love reading! Love reading many things but not science fiction… So it’s strange that I LOVED reading this!!! A short and wonderfully captivating story which REALLY should be made into a movie!!! You’ll see why yourselves – no spoilers here 😉 I’ve just downloaded his other book too YAY 😀

Book Dreams Volume #1 (Brain to Books Anthology)

Format: Kindle E-Book

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075VDXD64

Released: April, 2017

Blurb: Here, we present the talents of assorted artists. In this collection, you will find short stories, continuations, and poems that encompass the hidden treasures of today’s uprising authors. May their words influence you as much as they have influenced mine.

Authors Include: Ani H. Manjikian, Adam Dreece, W.J. Howard, Toi Thomas, Timothy Bateson, Laura McHale Holland, Ash Krafton, Sanzaki Kojika, Tyrean Martinson, C.T. Callahan, Natash Jackson, Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra, Jeanne Richards, Charlene Jones, Angela B. Chrysler

Book Spotlight – “Ghostly Writes Anthology” by Ghostly Writers

Book Blurb

ENTER IF YOU DARE. A new Ghostly Writes Anthology for 2017, gives you sixteen authors from around the world with ghostly stories and poems for you to read. Each short story will take you to a new place, be it the future, present or past.

Plaisted Publishing House is happy to present this book to you – our readers. Please note that all stories are written in the English of the country the Author resides in.

Buy Your Copy Now! E-Book

From the Author

Ghostly Writers are a group of Indie Authors from all over the world who come together to write short stories to thrill and scare you during Halloween. Each year we put together a FREE eBook Anthology with scary tales.

This is our 2nd Anthology and our thrid book (we put together a ghostly anthology for Valentines as well.

Where To Find Ghostly Writers

Facebook, E-mail, Website, Newsletter (Indie Publishing News)