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Author Interview: A.M. Harte

A. M. HarteWhile I’m busy with NaNoWriMo, I’m happy to host A.M. Harte on her virtual blog tour, promoting Above Ground. Enjoy:

1. You mention Above Ground is the first in a new dark fantasy series. How many books do you expect the series to run?

In my mind, the main series has always been a trilogy. The second book will be called Between Worlds; as for the third, the title’s as yet undecided. But I do have a rough outline of what is going to happen in all three books.

I do also intend on writing side novellas set in the same universe. I have two of these planned, but who knows? I could write more.

2. You’ve crafted this novel over the course of more than three years. When did you know you were ready to let it go?

I still don’t! I knew it would be hard to let go of something I’ve worked on for so long, so I just forced myself to set a publication deadline and worked towards it. Otherwise I’d spend far too long tinkering away.

3. What inspired the story?

A number of things. A nightmare provided the original spark of an idea. My imagination inspired the first couple of chapters. My sister inspired me to continue writing, and my webfiction readers inspired me to finish. It’s been a collaborative effort!

4. Do you still write your own webfics?

At the moment, no. I do intend to serialize the sequel to Above Ground when I start writing it, but I don’t have a timeline yet. I can only handle one project at a time!

5. You stay busy with editing, podcasting, and qazyfiction. What’s your favorite thing to do in dealing with all these various forms of words?

Definitely writing. It’s my first love, and what got me into all the rest. Editing is a (pleasurable) job and podcasting is hilarious silliness, but writing will always come first.

6. What inspired you to start indiebookreviewer.wordpress.com?

When I first started hunting for book reviewers to review my zombie anthology Hungry For You, I quickly realized how much of a job it was to check each individual site and verify if they accepted not only just my genre, but also small press or indie works. Then I figured that if a list of indie reviewers would be useful for me, it would be useful for other authors as well, so I put it online.

7. What would you consider success with your first novel release?

Success is such a hard thing to quantify. From a numbers point of view, it’d be great to match (or exceed!) Hungry For You’s sales. From a qualitative perspective, it’s all about the reviews and audience reaction. I guess I’ll have a better idea of what success means to me in a few months’ time.

8. Which countries’ chocolates have you not yet eaten?

Haha! I’m actually right at this moment nibbling on my first Ukrainian chocolate. It tastes fairly similar to Polish chocolate, from what I can tell.

Unfortunately there are still innumerable countries whose chocolate I haven’t sampled. I’ve tried chocolate from all of Western Europe, North America, Argentina, Japan…. Eventually I aim to get around to each country.

9. What is your favorite genre, and the best examples of books in that genre in your opinion?

Ooh, tough question. I read quite widely; my favorite genre depends on my mood. I guess I most prefer speculative fiction, whether science fiction, fantasy, horror, magical realism….

10. Your day job is in publishing; do you aspire to being able to quit that some day, or is that just another reflection of your obsession with words?

Well, I work in financial publishing, which isn’t quite the same as fiction! One day it would be amazing to be a full-time author, but I know that is fairly unlikely to happen. Besides, I like all aspects of publishing, so since I have to have a day job to pay the bills, there’s no other industry I’d rather work in.

11. Author’s Choice: What question did I miss that I should have asked?

What superpower would I like to have?

The answer is most definitely shape-shifting.

Above Ground TourFrom Nov 1st to 30th, there’s a blog tour with prizes up for grabs. Don’t miss out! Sign up for the Facebook or Goodreads event!

Above Ground by A.M. Harte

The first glimpse of sun may be her last.

When Lilith Gray goes above ground for the first time, she hardly expects to stay there — much less be trapped on the surface with no way home.

Hunted by trackers and threatened by the infected, Lilith is on the run, desperate to return underground. Her only hope for survival lies with a taciturn werewolf with a dark agenda of his own.

Lilith’s old carefree life has been reduced to one choice:

Adapt. Or die trying.

Ebook: Print: Extras:
Kindle US
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Release Day Party with Jennifer James

Today, my online friend and critiquer Jennifer James is celebrating the release of her second book, A Long Time Coming. She’s a busy lady this month, having just also released Love Kinection. Hop on, and enjoy the ride for her latest release day event. 🙂

LONG TIME COMING is my new book from Etopia Press. It’s written from the male point of view, and is full of fun, exhibitionist, naughty sex between two people who’ve had the hots for each other for years. And they’re finally in a *cough* position to act on their desires.

Rob Williams grew up fantasizing about his older sister’s best friend Joey Sanchez. His desire for her has never diminished. In fact, it’s grown to downright painful proportions. Now a young, workaholic attorney married to his job, he finds being home and confronted with the one woman he’s always wanted and never gotten to have–damned annoying. It’s making him quite grumpy.

Joey Sanchez spent many hours hanging out at the Williams’s place. A successful pharmaceutical rep, she’s independent, vivacious, and has no qualms about going after what she wants. She’s watched Rob grow from a gawky teenager to high school and college soccer star with no shortage of girlfriends. Her ties to Rob’s older sister Marcie always kept her from making a move. But Marcie’s getting married and Joey’s still single. And she’s tired of keeping her desires to herself.

EXCERPT:

A Long Time ComingThis scene takes place with Rob (hero) getting ready to leave his parent’s house and go stay at a hotel for the rest of the weekend. Joey (heroine) is trying to convince him to stay. She has no qualms about fighting dirty, and when Rob’s sister Marcie, her fiancee Jeff, and his parents get involved, well, he’s terribly outnumbered. 🙂 

“Yeah, for you maybe.” A splash to his right indicated Joey had climbed from the pool. “What are you up to?”

“Why so suspicious?” She closed the distance between them, putting extra swivel into her walk. When she stood six inches away, she stopped and wrapped his T-shirt in her hand. “At least give me a kiss before you go.”

His eyebrows rose in surprise.

She went on tiptoe, bringing her breasts into contact with his chest, and let her free hand rest on his waist. “What’s the matter? You chicken?”

“Never.” The teasing goaded him into capturing her lips with a slow, sweet kiss. A surprised sigh left her at the first contact, and she relaxed into him. He moved his head to change the angle of the kiss, and right before his lips touched hers, a sharp shove in the biceps and a leg behind his knocked him off balance, sending him tumbling into the pool with Joey.

The sound of teasing shouts and clapping reached him even under the water. When he came up for air he expected to see his sister or Jeff standing next to the pool. Instead, he spotted his mother, bent double and cackling.

“Did you get the picture Gary?”

Rob swiveled his head around and noticed his father standing on the patio, hoisting a camera in one hand.

“Even better, I got video.” His father peered down at the camera, pressed a few buttons, and gave him a thumbs-up. “Nice technique, son. Very well done.”

Rob shook his head and squeezed the bridge of his nose. Unbelievable.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

HOW TO WIN!

I’m giving away a copy of LONG TIME COMING and a set of Romance Trading Cards. (First prize gets the book, second prize gets the cards.) Anyone who enters the Rafflecopter will also be eligible to win the Grand Prize bag of Naughty Smex Beam Supplies. What’s in the bag? Oh, you know, just a whole bunch of stuff you need to get your weekend off to a right and tight start. 😉

ABOUT JENNIFER JAMES:

Jennifer JamesFor a girl whose first book was called “The Scariest Forest Ever,” the jump to romance may seem to be a far one. But a love of happy endings and the stories she kept making up in her head for strangers on the street lead to an unhealthy amount of time spent behind the keyboard typing away and giggling mischievously over sassy heroines, sexy heroes, and healthy sprinklings of geek humor.

With time split between a day job staring at teeth, two little girls, college courses, workaholic husband, and too many voices in her head, Jennifer still finds time to sneak off and devour all the books she can find – even if it means hiding in the closet to read them.

She insists on her jokes being dirty, drinks spiked, and tattoos placed in intriguing, muscular places you can only find when the clothes come off.

FIND HER ONLINE:

Website: http://www.authorjenniferjames.com/
FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-James/212335188856799?ref=hl
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/644267.Jennifer_James
Twitter: @JenniferJames34
Blogs I contribute to: Paranormalists http://paranormalists.blogspot.com/
Love Scenes and Wet Dreams: http://lovescenesandwetdreams.wordpress.com/

Character Interview: Discord Jones

Arcane SolutionsI was amazed at the number of people who were interested in the character interview I did for WLC this weekend, so was talking with my favorite publisher, author Gayla Drummond, about it. Since we were in the mood and having fun with IM, I asked if I could interview her character, Discord Jones, of Arcane Solutions. This is what she had to share with us:

What’s your favorite movie?

Gone with the Wind

What’s your happy place?

Halfway through a half gallon of Rocky Road

Do you ever think about going to college?

Not really. Too much trouble being around large groups of people…and college students are NOT thinking about classes very much.

Do you ever think about what might have been, had you not been saddled with your gifts?

Well, sometimes, I guess. Maybe I’d have ended up being a midwife. Mom would love that.

How much of what you do is motivated by keeping your folks happy?

As far as the job goes, nothing really. Not telling Mom about the scary parts, totally.

Do you ever worry that those missing years will mean you are some kind of Peter Pan recreation–you won’t ever finish growing up?

Yes, I do. It’s very confusing to wake up three years older and not have gone through those years. I think I’m probably pretty immature for my actual age a lot of the time.

I just don’t know how to be the age the calendar says I am. Yet, anyway.

Any plans on radical action to “finish” your growing up?

I don’t think so. I spent a lot of time trying to learn to control my abilities, and that was enough to have to deal with as far as growing up was concerned. Everything else can just happen as it does. Maybe I’ll always act a little younger than I am. Then again, they say you’re only as old as you feel you are, right?

What about the relationship question… You seem a little conflicted about the “boyfriend” appellation. What worries you about that?

Well, I’ve always seen it as you go out a few times, get to know the other person, and then both decide a steady relationship is a good idea. That’s not what happened with Nick. I’m kind of embarrassed about being so quick to jump to the sexing with him.

But he is really cute.

Bossy, but cute.

You mention about being open-minded about shifters. Do you think he had some unfair mojo to get you to make that move?

No. I’ve been around some other shifters before he was hired. None of them made me drool.

Do you think you’ve discovered all your psi talents yet?

I’m guessing not, since precognition popped up. It would be nice if that was the last one, but it would be pretty cool to have transvection too. That’s the flying one. I haven’t figured out how to use my telekinesis to move myself yet.

I can move something, and hold onto so that I move too. But can’t fly.

Some vampires can, so it wouldn’t be fair if I never get to.

It would be more awesome to find a flying unicorn though.

I wonder if those are real?

What do you wish hadn’t been written into your character?

Probably stuff I don’t know about yet? [laughs] No, I know! My tendency to forget stuff I mean to ask people about. I need to start carrying a little notebook or something.

What do you like best about yourself?

My amazing fashion sense. Oh, wait…

Um, I don’t know.

I guess the fact I have never cut and run. Unless everyone else does too.

What do is your dream outcome for your life’s story?

I don’t want to be famous, so that’s out. Um, just to be able to look back and feel I was good at doing the right thing.

And didn’t end up a vampire.

That’s important.

Do you worry about burn-out with the pace of adventures your job sends you on? Can you see yourself doing this for the rest of your life?

There’s enough variety I don’t think I’ll get burned out any time soon. Chasing down cheating spouses would be icky, not to mention boring. I’ll probably do it as long as I can, which could be for the rest of my life, if I get better at controlling my abilities the older I get.

Anything else you want to share with us?

I know awesome people. And Leglin. Leglin’s super awesome. All of you should come visit us in Santo Trueno!

About Gayla Drummond:

My author is this freaky woman who lives in Texas and has waaay too much time on her hands. She has horses, a pack of pups, and an addiction to Dr Pepper.

To Purchase:

Release Date: January 25, 2012
Word Count: 70,589
Ebooks available at: Amazon: US / UK / DE / ES / FR / IT /Apple (iTunes) / Barnes & NobleSmashwords
Price: $ 2.99
Paperback Price: $ 7.99 (CreateSpace or Amazon)

4.8 star average on Smashwords.
4 star average on Goodreads.
4 star average on Amazon(US).

Author Interview: Tracey Sinclair

 This author interview comes to you on my birthday, as a way of me being lazy, not having to actually blog on my day of being me-centric.

😉

Tracey found me and left a review request that pushed all the right buttons for me, so expect to see that coming soon as well. When I investigated and discovered her blog, I knew I had to interview her too. She’s been blogging for quite a while, so has let a few secrets slip over the years, some of which she’s willing to share in this interview.

Tracey Sinclair1. You mentioned once that you couldn’t recite Shakespeare in Klingon. If time and other factors weren’t an issue, is there a made-up/fantasy world language you would like to learn? Which character would you want to talk to in that language?

To be honest it’s not something I would do: I understand those authors and readers who feel it adds veracity to a universe but it’s not for me – I have enough trouble with real languages!

2. You’ve been blogging since 2009; how has that impacted your novel-writing schedule?

Well, in some ways it hasn’t – my first two books were published a few years before I started blogging. But I went through a phase where I was starting to find writing a bit of a slog, and blogging became a way of just writing for the fun of it, without being weighted down by worries about whether it would be published, whether it was ‘good enough’ – which I found reignited my passion and made me more productive, so it’s had a positive influence on me. Also, blogging about science fiction and fantasy gave me the confidence to write about it more; I don’t think I would have written Dark Dates had I not been writing at Body of a Geek Goddess.

3. You say there are Roma in your family history. How has that inclination toward the supernatural played out in your stories?

I’m wary of any suggestion that Roma = interest in/belief in the supernatural, and no one in my family is particularly traditional anyway, so I don’t think there’s any real connection. I think it’s more that as a child I was drawn to those kinds of stories, so it’s natural that that has played out in later life.

4. Also on the topic of personal history… Blue? From head to foot? This is a story we have to hear!

Oh, dear, no, the story of how I once accidentally dyed myself completely blue is one I only share after a couple of glasses of wine. And this was before Avatar came out, so I couldn’t even pass it off as failed cosplay. Trust me, though – not a good look!

5. You have a lot of foodie inclinations; have those seeped into your writing at all?

I think it’s not that I’m a foodie – in fact, most of my friends would laugh at the very suggestion – but I’m fascinated by the social and emotional rituals around food. I’m lucky enough to know some great cooks – some of whom are also amazing food bloggers – and I love being cooked for, but I think a big part of that is the nurturing aspect of someone taking the time to prepare a meal for you. One of the characteristics I share with Cassandra from Dark Dates is a complete lack of domesticity being drawn to it in other people. In the book, as her relationship with her assistant Medea changes from professional to personal, and they become friends, I think she’s very drawn to the comfortable domesticity of Medea’s life because it’s lacking in her own, and I think that’s reflected in a lot of my relationships. Nothing makes me happier than sitting around someone else’s kitchen table!

6. You’ve regularly posted about your love of Star Wars/Game of Thrones/X-Men. If someone held a gun to your head, which one would be the one you couldn’t live without? Do you have an analogous series in written form?

I think at the moment Game of Thrones simply because it’s a new and unfinished universe to me, and I’m desperate to know what happens! In terms of books, I would probably say the Terry Pratchett Discworld novels and the Jim Butcher Dresden Files. I love series like the Harry Potter books, where you really care about the characters and what happens to them.

Dark Dates7. What prompted you to write Dark Dates?

It actually started as a short story I wrote to cheer up a friend who loved vampires. I liked the idea of an ancient vampire looking at the modern world, including its fascination with the supernatural, and being slightly nonplussed by it. That sort of coincided with me feeling frustrated at the kind of books I was finding in the genre: I couldn’t seem to find anything where the heroine wasn’t completely kick ass – which I love, but isn’t exactly relatable – or drippy and annoying. I wanted to write a modern, fun, flawed heroine, the kind of woman we could happily have a girls’ night out with, and who had a job, and friendships, and wasn’t all about just falling in love with a vampire. I was also keen to write a book set in London, because I think it’s such a fascinating city with its juxtaposition of history and modernity, and I thought it would make a good backdrop to characters who are centuries old but exist in a very modern world.

8. How many books do you anticipate this series will run?

At the moment it’s going to be at least 3 – I’m just finishing the second draft of the sequel and that leads into another book – but after that I’m just going to play it by ear. I tend not to plan miles in advance, more see how things unfold (and, of course, it depends a little on if anyone wants to read them!)

9. In your experience, do you prefer indie or a more traditional publishing path? Which would you recommend to new authors?

I think the best route, still, is the traditional one – get an agent, get a publisher – simply because that’s still the most efficient way to get into bookstores and to make money, and without that network in place it can be very hard to promote yourself. But obviously that’s an increasingly difficult route: agents and publishers are very risk adverse these days, and much less likely to take a chance on an unknown author. Self-publishing is hard work, simply because you have to do everything yourself, which can take a huge amount of time, and require skills that many writers struggle with, like marketing, so I think if you want to go down that route you have to be willing to devote a lot of energy to things that you may not be that keen on doing. But I think we are in an interesting period for publishing, and that may be changing – so I think that indie publishing is a fascinating space to be
in at the minute.

10. What made you decide to self-publish this one?

Partly because it wasn’t a fit with my existing publisher, and partly because I was struggling to find an agent – the feedback I was getting was very much along the lines ‘we really like it, but vampires are over’. I thought that rather than wasting the next six months sending it out and simply hoping it would end up on the right desk, I’d take matters into my own hands and put it out there and see what people thought. Plus I think because so much of my work these days is online, the immediacy of digital publishing appealed to me hugely.

11. Author’s choice: What question should I have asked, but didn’t?

Haha, I think you covered it all pretty well! In fact I’m slightly scared by how thorough your research is…!

Author Interview: Tricia Stewart Shiu

Please enjoy this interview with Tricia Stewart Shiu, author of the paranormal YA novel with a literary bent Moa. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $600 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, 5 autographed copies of Moa, and 5 autographed copies of its sequel, Statue of Ku.

 

1. The Moa Book series has a metaphysical theme. Do you have any expertise in this area?

I am an energetic intuitive and have a talent for creating powerful healing essential oil blends and gem elixirs. The unearthing of these talents occurred as I embarked on a metaphysical journey, which included studies in mediumship, pagan and Huna rituals as well as an energy healing technique called “Crystalline Consciousness Technique.” I also studied a variety of shamanic clearing methods and healing rituals.

2. You get pretty heavy into the metaphysical. Are you, in fact, a witch?

Like, Hillary, I question who I am on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. For centuries, women have been persecuted and even killed for being labeled a witch. I have studied many forms of healing rituals and magic and discovered that I have talents for using essential oils and crystals for the highest good. Others, who have witnessed the results of my practices, have called me many things: healer, shaman, and yes, witch. I choose not to accept any of these names but to embrace all of them as one growing changing name—wishealer or heshitch—to coin a phrase…or maybe not. As I discover more talents, gifts and unique parts to myself, this unusual word is sure to undergo a metamorphosis and may grow to the size of Moa’s real, and quite lengthy, Hawaiian name.

3. What are your favorite books and how have they touched you as a reader?

Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” The books/stories that touch me most echo the theme of humanity and self discovery and include a sense of adventure and wonder. Ray Bradbury’s short story, Frost and Fire is a shocking, but tender story about a boy’s journey into a world where people only live eight days. James Joyce’s Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man inspired me to unleash my inner censor and allow my truth to shine though my writing. If I could wish anything for those who read my books, it would be the gift of self acceptance and self acknowledgement.

4. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?

Good question. I went back into my notes and discovered that it took me exactly three months and ten days to write Moa from beginning to end. That seems to be my average writing speed, three months. My aunt Rebecca Gummere is my editor extraordinaire. We have developed a comfortable and productive working rhythm that balances creativity and structure and brings such joy and enrichment to the work.

5. Who designs the covers for your books?

The brilliant and talented Sydney Shiu took the cover photos when she was six during a trip to Hawaii. Scott Torrance brought his years of experience in photographic art and design to the layouts.

6. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The time between stories is the most challenging for me. When I am inside a story and writing I am filled with peace and joy. When I finish and have to leave that world, I mourn the loss of this comforting place–the same is true when I finish reading a great book. Nevertheless, I believe that this sadness brings with it a great opportunity and depth of creativity and I wouldn’t change a thing about the process.

7. Any take-away message you want readers to grasp?

Each of us has at least one divine gift to remember. The moment we wake up and retrieve the memory of who we are and what we are here to do, that’s when the adventure begins.

8. When did you first consider yourself an author?

I was in middle school and read James Joyce’s Portrait of an Artist for the first time. About an hour later, I was overcome by an urge to write, an impulse I readily indulged. Time stood still, I still can’t quite remember what happened during that frenzied period of first creation. All I remember is coming to with pages upon pages filled with words in front of me. It felt incredible to express myself so freely. I’ve never looked back.

9. Did you start out writing novels?

No. I started out writing short stories when I was young. Then when I began acting, I wrote one-woman shows and plays, eventually combining my efforts of performance and writing in a piece called Doing Lunch which made it’s way into a short film trilogy directed by Hal Trussel. That film won “Best Dramatic Short” at the Houston Film Festival.

10. What was your main source of inspiration for the Moa book series?

When I was five, I was visited by a vision. I’ll never forget it, I was running down the stairs and the entity, a girl with dark hair, stopped me in my tracks. The spirit said that I would go through a deeply challenging time in my life, but would resurface, later in life, with unimaginable joy and fulfillment. That vision stayed with me. In middle school, I would sit quietly at my desk adding up the years to figure out exactly when my life would turn around.

And then I forgot. I got busy, my work and the stress of family life took over and I was completely overwhelmed and in desperate need of a vacation. My husband, daughter and I decided to go to Hawaii.

When the plane landed in Honolulu, I remember feeling the difference in the atmosphere as I disembarked. The air made me somehow, remember that there was a part of me that knew…something…what was it?

Never mind, I was in Hawaii it was time to see the sights! So, I sped off to see Diamond Head, Waikiki Beach and then headed home for an afternoon nap before an evening luau. As I drifted toward sleep, I heard my name being called. In my mind’s eye, I saw a beautiful young woman with dark hair, who said her name was Moaahuulikkiaaakea’o Haanaapeekuluueehuehakipuunahe’e—Moa for short.

And then I remembered.

 

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Moa and Statue of Ku eBook editions have both been dropped to just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing either of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $600 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:

  1. Purchase your copies of Moa and Statue of Ku for just 99 cents
  2. Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
  3. Visit today’s featured social media event

About Moa: Eighteen-year-old, Hillary, anticipates adventure as she embarks for trip to Honolulu, but gets more than she bargained for when Moa, an ancient Hawaiian spirit, pays her an unexpected visit. Get it on Amazon.

About Statue of Ku:  The second book in the Moa Book Series, “The Statue of Ku” follows Hillary and Moa as they jet to Egypt on the Prince’s private plane to reclaim Moa’s family heirloom, the inimitable statue of Ku. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Tricia Stewart Shiu combines her addiction to the written word with her avid interest in the healing arts and all things metaphysical in her novels Moa and Statue of Ku and looks forward to finding new ways to unite her two loves. Visit Tricia on her websiteTwitterFacebook, or GoodReads.

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