Blank: Madam Doesn’t Like That

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Zhanna Hamilton and her science fiction novel, Blank: Madam Doesn’t Like That.

Author’s description

The Blank Series:

A former human turned military spy bot escapes the oppressive Solar Government, leaving behind a secret that turns order into chaos. Now, she’s being hunted.

Blank: Madam Doesn’t Like That (Short Story 4 of The Blank Series):

An unexpected visit from sex bots turns into a secret mission with deadly consequences.

Guest Post

In my books I’ve always had one minor character who insisted on playing a larger role in the story. When I get the chance to ask another author if this happens to them, I always do. Enjoy Zhanna Hamilton’s answer. It appears her secondary characters misbehave worse than mine.

Razor debuts in my science fiction story, The Blank Series, as an untamed and uninhibited sex bot from a luxury strip club called the Golden Ratio. In the second installment of this femme fatale scifi series, she’s a vixen with her eyes set on Arlo Fuentes–who only comes to the nightclub to find out why his former-human-turned-military-spy-bot girlfriend left him.

It turns out, Razor has plans beyond chasing unavailable men.

She’s a fiery female force who helps the resistance against the totalitarian government, all while toying with men for her own amusement. When she coaxes me to write her, I already know it’s going to be spicy.

Razor practically cartwheels into her scenes with a “fun first, work later” attitude. I’m still discovering her limitations, because she rarely has them. This sex bot’s feral nature has helped her step into a bolder role than I initially intended for her. She’s unapologetic and willing.

Willing to do what, you ask? Anything, apparently.

Now that she’s established herself as an unconventional asset to resistance movements, I can’t help but think the Blank universe would be a bit boring without her.

I can already feel her positioning herself for a spin-off series, but I told her not to push it. For now, she’ll have to be content with wreaking havoc in the cyberpunk reality of The Blank Series. She’s convinced me that only a wild bot like her can help topple governments while in heels and still have time to torment her boy toys.

The Author’s Story

Zhanna Hamilton is a science fiction writer and the creator of The Blank Series. In May 2019, she released the first installment of the scifi series on Wattpad, “Blank: Begin Again,” which has been named in the top 100 list of femme fatale stories and chosen as an “Undiscovered Stories” Wattpad Pick on the independent storytelling platform–home to 90 million readers worldwide.

Find the Author

Readers and future readers can follow Hamilton on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ZhannaHamilton.
Follow The Blank Series on Wattpad: https://bit.ly/TheBlankSeries
Follow Zhanna Hamilton on Wattpad: https://bit.ly/ZhannaHamiltononWattpad

Read the Book

Read “Blank: Begin Again (Short Story 1 of The Blank Series)” on Wattpad:
https://bit.ly/Blank-BeginAgain
Read “Blank: Where Do Machines Go When They Die? (Short Story 2 of The Blank Series)” on Wattpad:
https://bit.ly/WhereDoMachinesGoWhenTheyDie
Read “Blank: You Heard Me (Short Story 3 of The Blank Series)” on Wattpad:
https://bit.ly/YouHeardMe
Read “Blank: Madam Doesn’t Like That (Short Story 4 of The Blank Series)” on Wattpad: https://bit.ly/MadamDoesntLikeThat
The book will be Free during the tour.

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $75 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

There, on the grey bricks of a side street building was a graffitied image of blue hair and red lips. The first image bots see when they contract the Code. A look cloned by thousands who swore they were the real Blank.

He went somewhere in his mind, searching for a memory of her. A happy one. They all seemed sad now.

Where are you?

He looked away from the wall–but he couldn’t escape her. The farther they went, the more propaganda popped up. Painted on windows. Wrapped around poles. Scribbled on sidewalks.

BLANK IS AN ALIEN! BLANK IS A LIE! BLANK SHAPESHIFTS! LONG LIVE BLANK! WHO IS BLANK?

Zen met his eyes in the rearview mirror.

“Forget her,” she said. “You’re parallel lines now.”

He wanted to forget. To leave her behind as anonymous wall art.

How?

Thank you!

Zhanna Hamilton — we appreciate your sharing your book Blank: Madam Doesn’t Like That with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

The Hotel (Series)

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Michael James and his urban fantasy series, The Hotel.

Author’s description

The Series

No one has ever escaped from the Hotel at the End of Time. Until now.

Vain only wants to be left alone, but the Hotel has other plans. Forces will align against her: a group of multi-dimensional felons collectively named The Wyatts; and their leader, Trick, a mild-to-medium psychopath with a fondness for impractical jokes.

The only way forward is to go back. Back to the one place in the world she swore she’d never return.

Back to the Hotel.

 The Hotel at the End of Time

Vain is the only person to ever escape from the Hotel at the end of time. On her way out, she took their prized possession: A Padlock that grants immortality.

They will do anything to get it back.

The forces of the Hotel are aligned against her: mundane items turned into weapons; a group of multi-dimensional felons collectively named The Wyatts; and their leader, Trick, a mild-to-medium psychopath with a fondness for impractical jokes.

Everything changes when Vain meets Emma, a timid grad student with impossible and terrifying powers. Together, they are propelled into an adventure that will see them battle the Wyatts, blow up several objects of significant value, and quite by accident, discover a way to stop the Hotel.

Even with Emma, Vain has a lot of problems to deal with.

She’s exhausted from being hunted.

Stopping the Hotel might kill them.

She has a hangnail.

But Vain is resourceful. Vain is clever.

And she always has a plan.

The Well at the Bottom of Everything

Vain thought destroying the Portal to the Hotel at the End of Time would mean freedom for her and Roman, but her happy ever after is coming to an end.

A horrible mistake and a stray bullet force her to infiltrate the Hotel and contend with a new and terrible power: The Well at the Bottom of Everything.

Friendships will be tested. Loyalties will be broken.

The Hotel will have its revenge.

The Funniest Answer Award Goes to …

In my books I’ve always have one minor character who insists on playing a larger role in the story. So when authors visit this blog,  I love to ask them if there was such a character in their novel.

Well, sooner or later I was going to ask that question to someone like Michael James. I suspect he frustrated many a teacher during his childhood by refusing to take their very serious questions seriously.

Please enjoy his hilarious response. (I did!)

Speaking of secondary characters, this is probably a spoiler, but the ghost of John Milton lives in my books and I cannot shut him up. I don’t mean this in a literary sense; John Milton is not a character in the novel. I mean that reading the story literally summons the ghost of John Milton who will come live in your home.

On the surface, I’ve written a simple story about a girl with no memory who escapes a Hotel at the End of Time that uses humans as batteries to power itself. It’s a simple tale, almost a trope for how often this story shows up in popular literature. I’d like to think I put a unique spin on the genre. But where was I? Oh yes. John Milton.

How was I supposed to know that writing this book would represent the exact perfect sequence of words required to summon John Milton to your home? I honestly had no idea.

Things you can expect from the ghost of John Milton:

1. Tons of talk about Paradise Lost. We get it dude, you wrote a classic. Move on.

2. Cheats for Skyrim. Dude is a huge Skyrim fan. Apparently they have Skyrim in Hell. Oh, PS, John Milton is in Hell.

3. Really terrible dating advice. Wear hats? What does that even mean John Milton?

Anyway, so yeah. He really ended up taking over. But to be clear – John Milton is not in my book. Just he shows up when you read it. What is in my book is laugh-out-loud humor, non-stop action, memorable characters and just about the best possible time imaginable.

 The Author’s Story

Michael James spent his formative years writing, and when he wasn’t writing, he was writing. A mistaken belief that a “real” job would be more satisfying led him down a dark path that did not involve writing but did involve meetings. Fortunately, he has since course-corrected and is back on the right (write? Ha!) path. The Hotel at the End of Time is not his first book, but it is the one with the most Hotels in it.

He lives in Canada with his family. When he’s not writing, he does Canadian things – saying sorry a lot, being polite, talking about the weather, you know how it goes.

Find the Author

Website: https://www.michaeljamesauthor.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MikeJamesAuthor
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMichaelJames
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mikejamesauthor/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Michael-James/e/B07P8GJS8K

Buy the Book

The Hotel at the End of Time: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08QG59SXL
The Well at the Bottom of Everything: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B095CL2T6H

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

From The Well at the Bottom of Everything

“Can you unlock the phone?”

“I think so.” She pecked at the phone with her nose.

“Why don’t you have face recognition turned on?”

“I don’t like my phone judging me. I need to put on lipstick before I text? Come on.”

“That’s not how… it doesn’t matter. Is your code one, one, one, one? You need to change that.”

“This is the exact correct time to have that conversation,” she hissed. Her screen flashed with a green text bubble.

“It’s Roman,” she said. “He’s asking where I am.”

“Tell him to bring Emma and come save us. Actually, I don’t care if he comes. We need Emma.”

“Hey, Siri,” Vain whispered at the phone. “Call Roman.”

“Calling: Rome.” Siri’s robotic voice blared from the phone and Vain cringed. She stopped moving and waited for the Wyatts to come beat the crap out of them. Thankfully, they were still arguing and didn’t hear.

“Don’t call Rome. Turn your volume down.”

“Turning down volume,” whispered Siri. Better. Stupid phone robot.

“Call. Roman.” She spoke slowly, so stupid Siri would do better.

“Calling. Row Man’s boating supplies.” Vain hissed at Siri to hang up.

“Text him back,” Mark said, sounding frustrated.

“Siri. Respond to Roman. Wyatts. Come rescue.”

“Texting. Roman. Whites come stew.”

“We’re going to fucking die,” Vain said.

Thank you!

Michael James — we appreciate your sharing your series, The Hotel, with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.
And thanks for the excerpt and the guest post. They both made me laugh so loud my husband came out to the porch to make sure I was okay. (He doesn’t think I am and now he blames you. )

A Link Between Two Worlds

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Gabriella Kikwaki and her bilingual middle grade fantasy series,  A Link Between Two Worlds.

Author’s description

A three book bilingual series

Book 1:
Two worlds, one goal. The story will all be revealed. Hey, my name’s Alaura. In this story, I found out that there’s a parallel universe to Earth’s called Aliese. I also have a long-lost relative, my sister Alia. But not everything is as great as it seems; there’re evil forces called the Gaulris out to destroy the worlds with their leader, Lord Zefron. My friends, my sister, and I must find a way to stop this force before they reunite the two parallel universes, which will be total destruction.

Deux mondes, un objectif, l’histoire va être révélée. Bonjour, mon nom c’est Alaura. Dans cette histoire, je découvre qu’il y a un univers parallèle à la planète Terre qui s’appelle Aliese. J’apprends aussi que j’ai une soeur, nommée Alia, perdue depuis longtemps. Mais tout n’est pas aussi beau qu’il n’y paraît, il y a également les forces du mal : les Gaulris et leur roi Zefron. C’est pourquoi mes amis, ma soeur et moi devons arrêter le roi Zefron avant qu’il ne réunisse les deux univers parallèles, ce qui serait une destruction totale.

Book 2:
The future is never a straight path.

Hey, my name is Alia. In this story my friends, my sister and I find out that we cannot destroy Lord Zefron because of his mechanism. We also find out the exact date that the parallel universe will merge. We later make it to Bartha’s place. She has a solution to how we can stop the universes from reuniting. But with every good thing comes a price to pay. We collect a load of items to prepare ourselves for this mission. So, we need once again to find a way to save the galaxy before the total destruction caused by the parallel universes.

Le future n’est jamais un chemin droit.

Hey mon nom est Alia. Dans cette histoire mes amies, ma soeur et moi ont découvert que nous ne pouvons pas détruire Le roi Zefron à cause de son mécanisme.

On a aussi découvert la date exacte à laquelle les deux univers parallèles vont se réunir. Quand nous sommes arrivés au château de Bartha, Bartha avait une solution comment empêcher les deux univers parallèles de se réunir. Mais pour toute bonne chose il ya un prix à payer. Nous avons donc collectionné beaucoup d’objects pour préparer à cette mission. Une fois de plus mes amies, ma soeur et moi doivent trouver un moyen de sauver la galaxie avant que les univers parallèles causent une destruction totale.

Book 3:
A light in the darkness . . .

Hey, my name is Lily and in this volume the nightmare truly begins. So, I, Alia Reven, and the rest of the group finally prepare a plan to stop the two worlds from merging. We had everything planned out, or so we thought . . . When The Telepathies sisters did the spell of Senyria, they awakened a hidden dark force that is out to destroy the world, which goes by the name of the black mist, or Devoile. Friends get possessed, new worlds are unlocked, hidden mysteries are discovered, and, worst of all, our friends, the world and realms are all in danger, ’cause in this volume the nightmare begins!

Une lumière dans le noire . . .
Bonjour mon c’est Lily et dans cette tome le cauchemar a commencé. Alors moi, Alia, Reven et tout le rest du groupe ont finalement trouvé un plan pour arrêter les deux mondes de se reunir. Nous avons prevu chaque etape ou on pensait avoir . . . Quand les soeurs Telepathie ont fait le sortilège de Senyria, elles ont révélé une nouvelle force du mal qui s’appelle la brume noir ou Devoile. Nos amis deviennent possedés, deux nouveaux mondes se montrent, des secrets inconnu sont révélé mais la plus mauvaise. Nos amis, l’univers et tout le monde sont en danger car dans cette tome le cauchemar a . . . vraiment commencer!

Guest Post

When I asked author Gabriella Kikwaki to tell us how much vocabulary she had created for her fantasy world, and what she used to guide the creation of her words, I didn’t know she was a middle grade student writing for other middle graders. Given how new she is to the field of writing, her answer is particularly impressive. And I think she does a great job of describing how we all create words.

The followings are most of the magical words I created:

  1. Syneria or Senyria: an ancient spell that can break the fabric of space but the price to pay would be to lose your life (from volume 3 and 4 of the ‘’A link between two worlds / Un lien entre deux mondes’’ bilingual series )
  2. The amulet of Elesca : an amulet that wields the power of time (from volume 4 of the ‘’A link between two worlds / Un lien entre deux mondes’’ bilingual series)
  3. The amulet of truth: an amulet with the power to deflect what has already happened (from the upcoming book ‘’A twisted destiny’’ go to my author website to find out more about this book)
  4. The forest of Everbloom: an enchanted forest on the planet Aliese, where many exotic and mystical plants bloom (from volume 1&2 of the bilingual book series ‘’A link between two worlds / Un lien entre deux mondes’’ )
  5. Devoile : a character made of black mist or rather is the black mist, with a dreaded evil that spreads within. (from volume of the ‘’A link between two worlds / Un lien entre deux mondes’’ bilingual series.)
  6. The kingdom of Aliese : a mystical planet that somehow seems caught in between the 21st century and medieval times. It is also a planet where many magical creatures live. Finally, it is one of the parallel universes of the story ‘’A link between two worlds / Un lien entre deux mondes ’’.
  7. The planet Moria: the magical planet that was divided into two worlds, has existed for millions upon, billions of years. This planet appears to never lose energy as if it was made to last forever. Finally, this planet was home to the strongest of magical species in the worlds (From the ‘’A link between two worlds / Un lien entre deux mondes’’ bilingual series).

Those vocabularies are products of my imagination. They may or may not already exist. The inspiration I got to come up with these words, are the most random things you could ever do……I just started saying mystical names I’ve never heard of before, for example:

  1. Zadrome
  2. Erius
  3. Destir
  4. The planet of Dynamuness

I just created those four words (that don’t exist as far as I know). As you can see, I just randomly think about it and then write it. In conclusion, my inspiration comes from my own mind.

The Author’s Story

I am an eleven-year-old girl from Ontario, Canada. I speak both French and English. At the age of 11 I wrote my first book in a series called A Link Between Two Worlds. I like gymnastics, dancing, singing, swimming and drawing characters. I also love writing fantasy stories. One day I decided to write a story about a magic galaxy, friendship, hope, courage and fantasy.

Je suis une fille de 11 ans. Je viens de l’Ontario, Canada. Je parle le français et l’anglais. À l’âge de 11 ans, j’ai écrit le premier tome de la série Un lien entre deux mondes. J’adore chanter, nager et faire de la gymnastique. J’aime aussi dessiner des personnages et raconter des histoires originales et amusantes. Un jour, j’ai décidé d’écrire une histoire sur une galaxie où se mêlent magie, amitié, courage et de la fantaisie.

Find the Author

WEBSITE: https://authorgabriellakikwaki.com/
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/alinkbetweentwoworlds
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/authorgabriellakikwaki/

Buy the Books

Book 1: A Link Between Two Worlds / Un Lien Entre Deux Mondes : Volume 1 & 2
AMAZON.COM
https://amazon.com/dp/0228845793
KINDLE https://amazon.com/dp/B08VFFH61P
BOOKSHOP https://bookshop.org/books/a-link-between-two-worlds-un-lien-entre-deux-mondes-volume-1-2-9780228847410/9780228845799
INDIGO CHAPTERS https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/a-link-between-two-worlds/9780228845805-item.html
BARNES & NOBLE https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-link-between-two-worlds-un-lien-entre-deux-mondes-gabriella-kikwaki/1138748934
BOOK DEPOSITORY https://www.bookdepository.com/Link-Between-Two-Worlds–Un-Lien-Entre-Deux-Mondes-Gabriella-Kikwaki/9780228845799
SMASHWORDS https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1066776
APPLE BOOKS https://books.apple.com/us/book/a-link-between-two-worlds-un-lien-entre-deux-mondes-volume-1-2/id1551859521

Book 2: A Link Between Two Worlds / Un Lien Entre Deux Mondes : Together Forever / Ensemble Pour Toujours – Volume 3
AMAZON.COM https://amazon.com/dp/0228849241
KINDLE https://amazon.com/dp/B091JGLY7H
INDIGO CHAPTERS https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/a-link-between-two-worlds/9780228849254-item.html
BARNES & NOBLE https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-link-between-two-worlds-un-lien-entre-deux-mondes-gabriella-kikwaki/1139273729
BOOK DEPOSITORY https://www.bookdepository.com/Link-Between-Two-Worlds–Un-Lien-Entre-Deux-Mondes-Gabriella-Kikwaki/9780228849247
RAKUTEN KOBO  https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/a-link-between-two-worlds-un-lien-entre-deux-mondes-1
SMASHWORDS https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1077525
APPLE BOOKS https://books.apple.com/us/book/link-between-two-worlds-lien-entre-deux-mondes-together/id1561858856

Book 3: Releasing soonA Link Between Two Worlds / Un Lien Entre Deux Mondes : The Nightmare Begins/ Le Cauchemar Commence

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

The story of how it all began

Alaura — Wow, where is this place?

Elesore: this is the kingdom of Aliese. Welcome.

Alaura and Reven: Wooooooooooooooooooow! Reven — This is like a dream but real, and wait, how are we still alive? We’re in space with no air! We could die any second.

Elesore — Aliese has its own air source, but only those who receive its magical essence can stay alive.

Alaura — Wait, so we have magical essences?

Elesore: Yes, Alaura. The princess has been waiting and searching for you ever since.

Alaura — What do you mean? I don’t even know her.

Elesore — Are you sure about that?

Reven (whispers) — Hey, Alaura, this is a really big change. An hour ago we were regular high school students, and now we have, umm, made-up magical powers or something.

Thank you!

Gabriella Kikwaki — we appreciate your sharing your series A Link Between Two Worlds with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Frostborn

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Michael Haddad and his young adult fantasy novel, Frostborn.

Author’s description

The Frostborn—the one destined to end the war, the one blessed by the magic of Aether—was supposedly nothing more than a hopeless fairytale, a myth lost to time. But as the centuries-long war between the kingdoms of Eljud and Surtrol forces Elias Jökull to evacuate his village, a run-in with the fearsome Gjallarhorn army awakens within him a dormant power long since forgotten by the people—a power signaling the existence of the Frostborn.

With such critical news, hope of victory against Surtrol becomes contagious, yet Elias’s former life of slavery leaves him apprehensive about lending a hand to his own flawed kingdom. Even still, knowing the world will soon be in search of him, the newfound Frostborn must choose his allegiances quickly. And after encountering a ranked Surt captain, he does just that.

But while acting as a double agent, feeding intel to Eljud’s southern enemy and working both sides of the same border, his conflicted self struggles to anchor his loyalty to a single kingdom as buried secrets begin to unearth.

The incessant clash between the north and south is soon coming to an end and Elias will have to find a side to stand on. The hard question is: which side? Everyone wants the Frostborn for themselves, but for how long can Elias let the world string him along?

Grabbing a Moment in the Spotlight

In my books I’ve always have one minor character who insists on playing a larger role in the story. So when authors visit this blog,  I love to ask them if there was such a character in their novel. It turns out this happened in a big way in Frostborn, but Michael Haddad warns you that this answer is somewhat of a spoiler for his book.

This has happened quite a few times and I’m glad it’s not just me! When creating my standard cast of characters, I had planned for an obvious protagonist (Elias) and a secondary character that is significant enough to debatably be the second protagonist (Katerina). If I considered this as a tier list, below them is a group of minor secondary characters who appear in a handful of scenes. Just to warn you, what I’m about to say is a spoiler so don’t read further if you plan to dive into my novel.

One of Katerina’s peers, General Eira, is a compassionate and respectful character who does her best to please those around her. She rarely speaks out of turn and never argues against higher authorities. I never intended her character design to grow much from that, but when finalizing the plot, she somehow pushed through to earn a massive spotlight in the final arc of the story. During the siege on the city, Eira not only switches allegiances, but also unleashes a dark, otherworldly power to defeat the opposition and put an end to the bloodbath. It’s such a jarring revelation when the readers see that the demon-like wraith plowing through the battlefield is actually the sweetheart general they’ve known for years. In that moment, Eira took the spotlight and even confronted the main antagonist when the protagonist couldn’t. I enjoyed the contrast and decided to keep it.

From then on, I used the Norse goddess Hel as a frame of reference for Eira’s character design because Hel is a symbol for the duality of the universe and that juxtaposition only adds to the depth of my story. There are other characters who’ve done the same, but not to this extent.

 The Author’s Story

Hardworking university student and recent John Abbott College graduate, Michael Haddad doubles as a fiction author of the fantastic who throws himself into his own writing—who can’t stop imagining new worlds, new ideas, new characters. His passion for roleplaying games has earned him his fair share of teasing, but he’d be lying if he said it didn’t open his imagination. When not at his computer, typing away, Michael is often with his friends and family, losing terribly at tennis, hunkering down for movie marathons, and trying to get a good night’s sleep. As someone born and raised in Montreal, he is no stranger to having ice rinks for streets and snow up to the knee—but that’s nothing a warm cup of coffee can’t beat.

Find the Author

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Michael-Haddad-Author-106283484884430
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/mhaddad_author/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21313196.Michael_Haddad

Buy the Book

AMAZON.CA — https://amazon.ca/dp/0228849640
AMAZON.COM — https://amazon.com/dp/0228849640
BARNES & NOBLE — https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/frostborn-michael-haddad/1139075432
BOOK DEPOSITORY — https://www.bookdepository.com/Frostborn-Michael-Haddad/9780228849643

Win the Book

Michael Haddad is running a Goodreads ebook giveaway for Frostborn. Enter at  https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/325053-frostborn

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

The Gjallarhorn positions her weapon above her head.

The hand-axe plummets with a snap of her wrist.

Dalia has her arms up, but she knows they will be paper under the sharp edge of the axe. The life of a slave is not easy, yet Elias made it bearable. Seeing him with his ghostly face half in the mud, beaten down by someone who is supposed to protect the kingdom, enraged her. At this point, it is no longer a matter of survival. This is what has to be done. She needs to show the people of Brimir the corruption that spoils the ranks of the Gjallarhorn Army. Her death may inspire a movement of change. The chances are slim, but it is all she has left to give her life some droplet of meaning, of purpose.

Seconds pass and the axe has not run her through. She opens her eyes.

Elias is up on his feet, his fingers curled over the hand-axe’s blade, locking it in place. The shackles once constricting his wrists are busted and Rayna’s eyes grow wide, her jaw stuck in alarm. “How? You were as good as dead.”

“Elias?” Dalia says.

There’s no answer. His face is empty of emotion, with an expression as rigid as stone.

Rayna releases her weapon, stepping to the left then bolting forth, her fist ready to hit. Elias reacts, moving with a dexterity Dalia has never seen. He shifts his weight, using the back of his hand to guide the Gjallarhorn’s strike past his flank. He then tosses the axe away to free up his other hand and at a dizzying speed, he rams Rayna’s throat with the heel of his palm. The impact unleashes a blast of icy wind that rockets Rayna into the crowd, knocking over people nearby.

Dalia brushes her tears away and struggles to stand with her quaking knees. “Elias, what are you doing?”

The winds start to roar, loose snow picking up from the earth in a flurrying storm. The gales rotate around Elias and the very mud he once laid in has frozen over into a sheen of ice. The remaining Gjallarhorns circle him, fighting against the blustering wind as they close in.

Thank you!

Michael Haddad — we appreciate your sharing your book Frostborn with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

The Clockmaker’s Tale

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Ian Williams and his science fiction story collection, The Clockmaker’s Tale.

Author’s description

In The Clockmaker’s Tale: and other stories, Ian Williams takes us to the near future and beyond. From a moon base where androids conduct experiments on human test subjects, to futuristic tours of the ocean depths that hide a terrible secret; from a society governed by harsh rule of law that is enforced by AI, to a humble clockmaker tempted by the promise of increased productivity through technological augmentation.

Covering issues such as environmental decay, the end of facts and proven truths, our growing waste problem, and humanity’s tendency to divide when we should come together, this collection of six science fiction stories relates as much to our time as it does to the many possible futures.

Planning for a Character’s Future

In my books I’ve always have one minor character who insists on playing a larger role in the story. So when authors visit my blog, I love to ask them if they’ve encountered such a character.

Ian Williams has encountered a couple of them, and one has even shaped his plans for future writing! He says …

Each of the six stories included in The Clockmaker’s Tale: and other stories was meticulously planned out in advance, so there really wasn’t room for characters to ‘misbehave’. I wanted to tell tight stories that had room only for what was required to share my views of current issues. That meant every character needed to stick to their roles and not deviate.

That is not to say that I haven’t been tempted to expand a character’s role. For example, in the story 10,000, many minor characters could tell their own stories in much greater detail. Each of these test subjects has lived through something quite horrific and getting their views on it would be interesting. Who knows, perhaps I will revisit a few of them in the future.

However, in previous projects, I have certainly encountered smaller characters that I have enjoyed writing so much that I just had to make their roles bigger. One of the most satisfying of which was a character from The Sentient Trilogy, called Phoenix. In book one she exploded onto the page with all the attitude in the world. She was fierce but also fragile.

I enjoyed writing the Phoenix character so much that not only did she become as important as the main protagonist, but she also became the main focus of book two. I felt that nagging sensation that this character had much more to say. So, I relented, and the trilogy was made better for it. She brought a much needed second view of events, one which came from an entirely different upbringing to that of the other characters in the story.

There is, however, another character that I feel that same nagging sensation over. In the story, Last Bus to Freedom, there is a character simply called Boy. In this story, Boy is secondary to the main protagonist, who the story follows. His role was as an apprentice to the much older Jason. Except, now that this story has been told, I still want more from him.

That is why I have made plans for his future. I would love to revisit Boy at a much later point in his life. I’d explore his time after the events of Last Bus to Freedom and find out what kind of man he has become. Did he learn all he could from the others or continue to make the same mistakes as before? And what of the war that rages in the story? Did it ever end?

So, I suppose you could say that Boy is refusing to remain a smaller character. He wants to be written about again because I want to write about him again. After all, that is the greatest of feelings for writers; that sensation of infinite stories and infinite people to fill them with. My only hope is that each of my characters gets to tell their story in the end. And I, for one, will look forward to writing them.

The Author’s Story

Ian Williams is a Science Fiction writer from the UK. He lives in a small town not far from London. Ian had a short career in the UK Court Service but was forced to quit that job when his medical condition worsened. Now, from the comfort of his wheelchair, he writes the stories he has always wanted to read. His writing spans lightyears of space, to near-future Earths; from small changes to society, to entirely new civilisations.

Find the Author

Author Website: HOME | Ian Williams Sci-Fi Author (ianwilliamsauthor.com)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Ian-Williams-Author-Page-1552239548176515/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/iwilliams235

YouTube:  

 

Buy the Book

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091FYYFBZ

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Returning to his briefcase, Alexander produced a card from an outside pocket. “Here,” he said, holding it between two of his fingers.

George took it and looked it over, now realising there was a sales pitch to follow. He’s better at this than I am, he had to admit. At the top of the textured card was the name of a company he was certain he knew but couldn’t quite place. “ACC?”

“Adaptive Cognition and Cybernetics. We specialise in cutting-edge, next-generation, technology. Our latest product was made for people just like you, who need more hours in a day than the good Lord provides.”

I left my work for this? George was less than impressed. “Thank you, but I…”

“Before you say no, how about I show you what I’m talking about?” Alexander picked up his briefcase and walked to the counter, where he placed it down and clicked open the catches. He kept his back turned until he was ready to present his product.

When he turned, George was immediately drawn forward, to inspect the object himself. He was fascinated by the curved design. It had a snowy-white casing, with delicately printed calligraphy underlined by a sweeping blue line, and a tiny, built-in, LED screen. It appeared as well-made as any of his clocks. Such a high degree of engineering, yet it remained a simple-looking thing.

“This,” Alexander said, not quite ready to hand over the device, “is our latest model. It’s called a Work Buddy.”

Thank you!

Ian Williams — we appreciate your sharing your book The Clockmaker’s Tale with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Facets of the Past: No Dark Deed Goes Unpunished

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Monique Gliozzi and her supernatural thriller novel, Facets of the Past: No Dark Deed Goes Unpunished.

Author’s description

When Hank Gild is given the opportunity to take up his dream job, he accepts the offer with excitement. As a tour guide at the historical imperial castle on Lake Starnberg, Hank delights his guests with stories of the late Bavarian emperor-his antics, his precious artifacts and the mystery shrouding his death in 1886. But it seems that not all the castle’s visitors are of pure heart. Before long, Hank is forced down a path of greed, deception and danger with no way out. A once happy and simple life unexpectedly becomes a treacherous nightmare. Who can he trust? Can Hank save himself before learning the ultimate lesson?

You be the Judge

In my books I’ve always have one minor character who insists on playing a larger role in the story. So when authors visit this blog,  I love to ask them if there was such a character in their novel.

Monique Gliozzi gave it some thought and decided she had one but the reader needs to decide how big a role her intruder got. It’s an intriguing response and one I’ve never gotten before. Read on to see what I mean.

Historically in my previous novellas, I’ve always had a main protagonist and created the plot around them, weaving different characters into the story line. Facets of the Past is no different. The main players are Hank, our hero, Karl and his niece, the evil villains and masterminds behind the treacherous deed that Hank finds himself embroiled in. Early in the piece we meet Helena, an official of the museum (imperial palace) who helps Hank become accustomed to his responsibilities as a tour guide. Initially, I thought of leaving it at that, but something told me to create a little more of a role for her, which would bring more depth to Hank’s character. So after some soul searching, her persona became more involved with the plot while still remaining in the wings of the story’s suspense. You might be asking yourself, is there a little romance between the two? Well I will let you decide and be the judge of the path I chose for them.

The Author’s Story

Born in Dublin, Dr Monique Gliozzi, a graduate from the University of Western Australia medical school, has a keen interest in forensic sciences and psychiatry. She works as a psychiatrist in Perth, with ties to the UWA School of Psychiatry, where she has had a role as a senior clinical lecturer. Her love for teaching granted her a nomination for an Excellence in Teaching Award in 2016.

Monique also holds an interest in aviation. She trained at the Royal Aero Club of Western Australia, where she obtained a commercial pilot license. Following this, Monique completed her instructor rating and is now working on a casual basis as a senior flight instructor.

Monique rekindled her passion for writing starting with the fictional thriller Foresight, followed by Hunted and ghostly encounters in Vestige. Her latest book, Diversity, is a compilation of entertaining short stories of different genres.

Find the Author

WEBSITE  — https://moniquegliozzi.com/
BLOG — https://paranormalpsychiatrist.com/
FACEBOOK — https://www.facebook.com/moniquegliozziauthor
INSTAGRAM — https://www.instagram.com/monique.gliozzi/?hl=en
TWITTER — https://twitter.com/GliozziMonique

Buy the Book

AMAZON.COM — https://amazon.com/dp/0228848903
INDIGO CHAPTERS — https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/facets-of-the-past-no/9780228848929-item.html
BARNES & NOBLE — https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/facets-of-the-past-monique-gliozzi/1139129049
RAKUTEN KOBO — https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/facets-of-the-past
SMASHWORDS — https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1076824
APPLE BOOKS — https://books.apple.com/us/book/facets-of-the-past-no-dark-deed-goes-unpunished/id1561052315

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Sliding behind the tapestry immortalizing the king’s coronation, then positioning my flashlight to take full advantage of its beam, I went to work. The old lock cracked within seconds. The click echoing around the room appeared loud to my already adrenaline-laden senses. With a heart pounding like a jackhammer, I reached for the handle, savoring the feeling of cold brass against my clammy palm. The little secret door was finally ajar.

Anyone familiar with old doors would know that they never open quietly, their hinges invariably will creak. This one was no different. A rush of cold musty air rushed past me. Shining the torch, I could see that behind this partition was a short narrow corridor leading to a set of steps. Glancing at my watch, I noted there was still time before a second security sweep would be needed.

Tentatively, I walked into the unknown, first tackling the corridor and steep set of winding stairs to another locked door. As I prepared to pick its lock, images of an archaeological expedition crossed my mind – Tutankhamen. The oppressive musty air, steep dark tunnels and unlawful intrusion were some similarities taunting with my moral compass. I hoped that there were no microorganisms in this space causing a mysterious and deadly affliction or, worse, a curse.

Sweat built on my brow, the tools slipped from between my moist fingers, but eventually I opened the second door, revealing yet another very long tunnel. The ceiling was arched and low, suitable for anyone of shorter stature than my six-foot frame. As I walked bent over like the hunchback of Notre Dame, I calculated the approximate length of this tunnel to be eight hundred yards. Finally, reaching its end, another door beckoned to be unlocked. Putting my skill to good use, within seconds I found myself in a small underground room.

Shining the beam around the space, a sense of uncanny familiarity befell me. Then, at the far end of the antique wine cellar, I recognized a set of wooden steps. I was in the cellar of my cottage! Relieved at having completed this little adventure unscathed, I decided to retrace my steps back to the castle.

“I’ve been waiting for you, Hank!”

Startled, I spun around, my flashlight catching a dark hooded shape emerging from the shadows.

“Who are you? How do you know my name?” The harshness of my tone barely disguised my fear. The figure slowly stepped toward the middle of the room, his head bowed and face still concealed by the hood of what appeared to be a monk’s habit. He stood in silence.

“Who are you?” I demanded. Then, slowly lifting his head toward the light, revealing a sunken midface, sharply jutting jaw, a long beaked nose, and black penetrating eyes, the stranger answered, sending a chill down my spine.

“Call me the Handyman.”

Thank you!

Monique Gliozzi  — we appreciate your sharing your book Facets of the Past: No Dark Deed Goes Unpunished with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

The Lockdown Tales

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Alan Whelan and his contemporary fiction novel The Lockdown Tales

Author’s description

Seven women and three men leave the city to avoid a pandemic. They isolate together in a local farm, where they pass the time working, flirting, eating, drinking, making music and above all telling stories. It happened in Florence in 1351, during the Plague, and gave us Boccaccio’s Decameron.

 

Seven hundred years later, in Australia, it happens again. The stories are very different, but they’re still bawdy, satirical, funny and sometimes sad, and they celebrate human cleverness, love, courage and imagination.

 

“Alan Whelan brings us a clever, sensual and sometimes poignant collection of stories that would make Boccaccio proud”

– Tangea Tansley, author of A Question of Belonging

 

“An old frame for a sharp new snapshot of contemporary Australia”

– Leigh Swinbourne, author of Shadow in the Forest

Creating Characters

I tend to have minor characters who surprise me by insisting on a larger role in my story. I’m always curious as to whether other authors experience this, so I asked Alan Whelan if there was such a character in one of his stories. Here is his surprising and well thought out answer.

I once set out to see what would happen if I let my characters take the reins.

I was starting a historical novel, set in Victorian London. I put my cast in a drawing room together. Most of them were real historical figures, so they obviously had a life outside my book.

I had a direction I wanted to go in, but I let the characters say and do what they were likely to say and do.

So they made conversation, they drank tea and ate muffins, and one of the men started flirting with Ellen Terry, the actor. After I’d written twenty pages of this, I found that … nothing had happened. They were still lounging about in comfortable chairs in a nice drawing room, thanks, and in no mood to go out and have adventures.

So I saved some of the better lines of dialogue and started again. This time I made them get to work. They had things to do if I was to have a story, and I was going to make them work for their existence. I’d give them motives for their actions, but their actions are up to me.

After that experiment I decided that the “I just let the characters lead me” approach is not for me.

The question, for me, is who or what a character is. Like most writers, I expect, I create my people by making composites of two or three people I know, taking bits from each, and then I give them characteristics, experiences, attitudes, habits of speech and so on. So I tend to work out the plot and the characters at the same time.

I usually have an outline of the story I want to tell, and the people in the story have to be people who are likely to do the things that happen in the story. I make their actions as psychologically plausible as I can, and then they do what I say they do.  

Still, I’ve had minor characters turn into major characters, when I hadn’t expected that.

I might have a passing stranger insult the hero so he’s in a bad mood when he meets the heroine. Originally that person is a minor character, probably slightly comic, and I expected they’d only have that walk-on and get-off part.

Then it occurs to me that the story would be stronger if there’s a character hanging around the edge of the action, always saying the wrong thing and being clumsy: spilling drinks on people and generally getting in the way. It adds an extra thread in the story that makes the rope stronger. Also, you can show important things about your lead characters by showing how they react to this nuisance.

So that minor character acquires a more detailed description of his (let’s make it “his”) appearance. I’ll tell the reader what he wears and how he moves. His speech will become more idiosyncratic.

I’ll provide him with a reason for being grumpy and clumsy. Is it a new baby? Lack of sleep? Or illness, or a wound? Maybe he’s got Achilles tendon trouble so he has to hobble everywhere, which can be exhausting and it always hurts, just a little.

But that process isn’t exactly a matter of a minor character demanding more time. It’s more that as the writer I realise that the other characters need him to react to, and maybe the story structure needs him, and it opens the possibility of having a story element that is funny or sad, or both at once, which I like.

So it’s not so much that a character bursts onto the page (or computer screen) fully formed, demanding attention. Not in my writing, or not very often.

Sometimes, if I’m very drawn to a particular character after just one paragraph’s acquaintance, I start looking closer, and suspiciously: that’s one of the signs of a stock figure.

For me it’s more that as I decide to make more use of a small character, I give him or her more depth and weight so she or he can sustain that more prominent role.

Tasso said that the only beings that deserve the name of creators are his God and writers. He actually said “poets”, but let’s extend it to prose writers as well. Writers are our characters’ unknown gods. We make them the way they are, and we set them on their way, both the lead roles and the minor roles.

About the Author

Alan Whelan lives in the Blue Mountains of NSW, Australia. He’s been a political activist, mainly on homelessness, landlord-tenant issues and unemployment, and a public servant writing social policy for governments. He’s now a free-lance writer, editor and researcher.

His story, There Is, was short-listed for the Newcastle Short Story Award in June 2020, and appeared in their 2020 anthology. His story, Wilful Damage, won a Merit Prize in the TulipTree Publications (Colorado) September 2020 Short Story Competition, and appears in their anthology, Stories that Need to be Told. It was nominated by the publisher for the 2021 Pushcart Prize.

His book The Lockdown Tales, using Boccaccio’s Decameron framework to show people living with the Covid-19 lockdown, is now on sale in paperback and ebook.

His novels, Harris in Underland and Blood and Bone are soon to be sent to publishers. He is currently working on the sequel to The Lockdown Tales and will then complete the sequel to Harris in Underland.

Alan Whelan co-wrote the book, New Zealand Republic, and has had journalism and comment pieces published in The New Zealand Listener and every major New Zealand newspaper, plus The Australian and the Sydney Morning Herald.

He wrote two books for the NZ Government: Renting and You and How to Buy Your Own Home. His stories also appear in Stories of Hope, a 2020 anthology to raise funds for Australian bushfire victims, and other anthologies.

Find the Author

His website is alanwhelan.org.
He tweets as @alannwhelan.
His phone number is +61 433 159 663.
Enthusiastic acceptances and emphatic rejections, also thoughtful questions, are generally sent by email to alan@alanwhelan.org.

CONNECT WITH ALAN WHELAN
WEBSITE: https://alanwhelan.org/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/alanNwhelan
ADD THE LOCKDOWN TALES TO YOUR GOODREADS SHELF
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56931387-the-lockdown-tales

Buy the Book

AMAZON.COM: https://amazon.com/dp/022884052X
AMAZON.CA: https://amazon.ca/dp/022884052X
AMAZON AUS: https://amazon.com.au/dp/022884052X
KINDLE: https://amazon.com/dp/B08SCQ132Q
BOOKSHOP: https://bookshop.org/books/the-lockdown-tales-disobedience-love-patience-and-other-stories-9780228840534/9780228840527
INDIGO CHAPTERS: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-lockdown-tales-disobedience-love/9780228840527-item.html
BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-lockdown-tales-alan-whelan/1138592053
BOOK DEPOSITORY: https://www.bookdepository.com/The-Lockdown-Tales-Alan-Whelan/9780228840527
KOBO: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-lockdown-tales
SMASHWORDS: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1063049
APPLE BOOKS: https://books.apple.com/us/book/lockdown-tales-disobedience-love-patience-other-stories/id1548072263

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

She drank, then coughed. I wanted to put my arm, or perhaps both arms, round her, but it seemed opportunistic. I should just be there, being supportive and putting no extra responsibilities on her.

I heard guitar notes from the house. It was less skilled than what we’d become used to, which meant that Bran was playing. I suspected that when we returned inside Grace and Danny would be gone. Danny’s room was the furthest room from Amelia’s. They’d be there.

Amelia sighed. She’d probably had the same thought. At last she said, “Actually, though, I’m still glad I’m here. This is a lovely place. And these are good people. If we have to be locked down, I can’t think of a better place to be.”

“Yeah. I have no idea what happens now. Yesterday I tuned into the news, for the first time in weeks. None of it’s good. I’m pretty pessimistic, to tell the truth. There’s a second wave. And maybe years to wait for a vaccine. Or even an effective treatment.”

Amelia nodded. “In Boccaccio his people went back to Florence after just 15 days. In reality, that would’ve been too soon. They’d still have been at risk. We might have to be here for months.”

“I’m not going anywhere. Nor’s this place. And I’m not tired of anyone yet.”

Amelia smiled. “Well, I’ll have to try not to be tiresome. I may be doing more work, I mean academic work, from now on.”

I nodded. “Sure. You can borrow my office. Anyway,” I inclined my head towards the house, “let’s face the music.”

We walked from the vast comfort of a sky that didn’t know us or care, to the warmth, where people did both.

Thank you!

Alan Whelan — we appreciate your sharing your book The Lockdown Tales with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Magical Beasts Series

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Geoffrey Saign and his YA fantasy series Magical Beasts.

Author’s description

Samantha and Jake fight to save their poisoned parents, and instead find themselves in a battle to save the parallel magical world of KiraKu. The two teens discover they must defeat the Evil One—a diabolical master of deception—or their own world will fall too. Samantha must master the mysterious supernatural staff, WhipEye, and find out if she has what it takes to fulfill the prophecy of the true guardian. In a final battle, reminiscent of Lord of the Rings, the two teens will have to risk everything, or lose it all. For Fans of Fantastic Beasts, Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, The Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings.

~ Magical Beasts is now in development for a major motion picture. ~

Getting Surprised by your own Characters

In my books I usually have one minor character who insists on playing a larger role in the story. I’m always curious as to whether other authors experience this, so I asked Geoffrey Saign if he had any such characters in his Magical Beasts series. Well it turns out he had a lot of them! Read on for his interesting answer.

Yes!!! Vampire bat Queen Valera in Book 4, Guardian The Stand, the only book she’s in, is in 5 short scenes. Yet she is so fundamentally important to the story, to the main character, and to the fate of an entire world, that it cannot be overestimated. Plus she is super powerful, mysterious, and interesting! An immortal, she can kick butt, and has no patience for stupidity. But she empathizes with the hero of the series, Samantha (Sam) Green and doesn’t want her to die. When this character first appeared, I had a vague idea about her. Then I loved her immediately and needed to put her into three more scenes. I was so enthralled with her, she came into the climactic ending too.

The same thing occurred in the other books in the series, where a character began as rather mild and ended up as wildly important. In Book 3, Guardian The Sacrifice, the same thing occurred with the Beister, a maniacal killer with huge secrets in his past that directly affected the main character in a shocking way. In Book 2, Guardian The Quest, Drasine, the golden dragon had a significant role, was mysterious, and very powerful. And in Book 1, Guardian The Choice, Heshia, a minor character at first, again became wildly important for the main character, even though she was only in 4 scenes.

Heshia, Drasine, the Beister, and Queen Valera all had a major impact on the main character, the plot, and the ending. They all made my writing more exciting and fun to complete, and the stories richer.

About the Author

Geoffrey Saign’s love of wildlife led him to write the award-winning fantasy series, Magical Beasts. He often experiences the magic of nature and wildlife while hiking and swimming. He has a degree in biology and has assisted in field research on hummingbirds and humpback whales. Geoff loves to sail big boats, hike, and cook—and he infuses all of his writing with his passion for nature. As a swimmer he considers himself fortunate to live in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota. See what he’s up to at https://geoffreysaign.net/magical-beasts

Find the Author & Learn More

Bookbub — https://www.bookbub.com/authors/geoffrey-saign
Goodreads—Magical Beasts Book 1—Guardian The Choice — https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50094484-guardian
Website — https://geoffreysaign.net/magical-beasts-fantasy-book-series/

Buy the Book

Book 1 is FREE April 12-18
Book 2 is 99c April 12-16

Kindle/KU/Paperback Series page — https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07ZR6VDJ8

Audible — https://www.audible.com/pd/Guardian-The-Choice-Audiobook/B081PVPNLN

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

From Guardian The Sacrifice, Book 3

She peers into my eyes. “What are you willing to do to save your friends? To save the love of your life?”

I slump. Desperation and hope fill my voice. “Anything. Everything.”

Her hands drop away from my face. “Kneel before me.”

I slump down on one knee and lower my head. The woman is power mad, like the crazy kraken Gorgon, and the Evil One. I bite my lip.

“I’m not like either of them,” she says tersely. “This is your test, not mine. Look at me when I speak to you.”

Unable to keep the anger out of my eyes, I lift my head and stare up at her. She reminds me of Tris, able to see what I’m thinking just by looking at me. “Why are you doing this? You’re the Black Dragon. A caretaker. Why are you hurting us?”

She ignores my questions. “You and your friends will bring the Beister to me. Agree to this or you’ll never see your friends again.”

When I think of Mom I have to fight back tears—I don’t want to give the Black Dragon any satisfaction. But I do wish I knew more of Mom’s life as an Original. “How do we find the Beister?”

“Answers are coming. For now, get out of my sight.” She grabs my arm and in one fast, twisting motion she tosses me out over the river.

Before I hit the water, I see her turn and walk off the bridge. I sink sluggishly as if in slow motion. My arms and legs won’t respond when I try to swim to the surface. I tell my limbs to move, but they won’t. Starved for air, I gulp water instead, my lungs choking on it. Sunlight sparkles on the surface above me, and then I’m descending into oblivion.

Thank you!

Geoffrey Saign — we appreciate your sharing your Magical Beasts Series with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Looking for More?

This week I’m featuring two more YA fantasy books on my blogs. Check out The Virus of Beauty (post goes up Thursday 4/29) and my review of A Fairy’s Quest.

 

Where Your Treasure Is

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author M. C. Bunn and her historical romance novel, Where Your Treasure Is.

Author’s description

Feisty, independent heiress Winifred de la Coeur has never wanted to live according to someone else’s rules—but even she didn’t plan on falling in love with a bank robber.

Winifred is a wealthy, nontraditional beauty who bridles against the strict rules and conventions of Victorian London society. When she gets caught up in the chaos of a bungled bank robbery, she is thrust unwillingly into an encounter with Court Furor, a reluctant getaway driver and prizefighter.  In the bitter cold of a bleak London winter, sparks fly.

Winifred and Court are two misfits in their own circumscribed worlds—the fashionable beau monde with its rigorously upheld rules, and the gritty demimonde, where survival often means life-or-death choices.

Despite their conflicting backgrounds, they fall desperately in love while acknowledging the impossibility of remaining together. Returning to their own worlds, they try to make peace with their lives until a moment of unrestrained honesty and defiance threatens to topple the deceptions they have carefully constructed to protect each other.

A story of the overlapping entanglements of Victorian London’s social classes, the strength of family bonds and true friendship, and the power of love to heal a broken spirit.

Who Wants Well-behaved Characters?

In my books I usually have one minor character who insists on playing a larger role in the story. I’m always curious as to whether other authors experience this, so I asked M. C. Bunn if she had such a character in her novel, Where Your Treasure Is? (And if she didn’t, I wanted to know how she got the characters in her head to behave so well!)

It turns out her book is full of unexpected characters! Read on to learn the rest of her fascinating answer.

If our characters behaved, we wouldn’t have any stories!

Actually, during the first draft of Where Your Treasure Is, a host of characters completely blind-sided me. Though I never planned per se to write a romance that only focused on the lovers, I was unprepared for the world that opened up around them while I wrote their story. There are Winifred’s cousins, young and old, her Uncle Percival and his manservant Morrant, her staff in the town and country—and George Broughton-Caruthers, her handsome, devilish neighbor. Court is a gang member and horse racing enthusiast. His cronies are other prizefighters, cardsharps, gamblers, prostitutes, and circus folk.

The beginning of Winifred and Court’s story came to me in a flash, as did its end. What I had to find out was what happened in the middle. Every time I sat down to write, thinking that I was about to get back to my lovers, all these characters popped out, and the plot, with all its twists, followed them. What was really strange was how familiar they all were. Dorothy felt like that the entire time she was in Oz. Mentally chasing after these characters through London’s streets and around the Norfolk countryside, so did I.

Yet it was Beryl Stuart, Court’s half-sister, who added a richer, darker layer of complications to a plot that could otherwise have easily been summed up as “lonely rich girl meets poor bad boy” and “the course of true love never runs smoothly.” Because of their differences in social class, Winifred and Court were going to have a rough time of it, no matter what. There’s a dark current that flows out of Court’s world into Winifred’s long before their love story begins, though neither one of them is aware of it. Beryl and her friends bring a second love triangle into the plot, which leads to the next book in the series, Time’s Promise.

I’m also deeply fond of Court’s friend Sam Merton, a boy with a love of firecrackers, rip-roaring yarns, and penny dreadfuls, and Winifred’s memoir-writing uncle, the old adventurer Sir Percival and his manservant Morrant.

About the Author

C. Bunn is a writer of Victorian romance and historical romance novels, a singer (in the indie rock band Mister Felix), and a songwriter. She holds an English degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and a master’s in English from North Carolina State University.

“I’ve always loved writing. It’s a joy to do what makes me happy and to share it.

“My father was a great story-teller. He read to us at the dinner table and passed on his love of history. He’d haul me out of bed in the middle of the night if there was a great old movie on the late show, and family trips always included visits to historic sites. His father was born in 1888, and I have Granddaddy’s letters to his bride-to-be in my dresser. I’m working on the story of Daddy’s first ancestor in America. It’s set in Jamestown, 1690. My mother’s grandmother was placed in an orphanage after the Civil War because her father died on the way home, so I always felt that connection to and had a curiosity about the past. Both of my parents read to me before I could walk. Daddy gave me Dickens, Twain, and Stevenson. Mama put the dictionary in my hands and let me watch I, Claudius  and Shoulder to Shoulder when they first aired on Masterpiece Theatre. She told me I’d be a writer one day.”

Acting was another girlhood passion. “I wanted to play all the characters in the books I’d read, or in the stories I made up, like Dickens and Louisa May Alcott did. I also wanted to be an archaeologist because we knew one who worked on digs in Israel. There was never a time when I wasn’t making up a story, and it was always set ‘a long time ago.’ What I really wished for was the car in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, so I could fly back in time and see what it was actually like for women in Victorian and Edwardian England.”

When she’s not writing, she loves reading long old books. “I love Anthony Trollope’s series, and Anna Karenina. Of more recent vintage, I really enjoyed The Forsyte Saga and The Raj Quartet.”

Her idea of a well-appointed room includes multiple bookshelves, a full pot of coffee, and a place to lie down and read. To feed her soul, she takes a walk or makes music with friends. “I try to remember to look up at the sky and take some time each day to be thankful.”

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and their dog. Where Your Treasure Is is her first published novel.

Find the Author

Website https://www.mcbunn.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mcbauthor/
Instagram https://www.instagram.com/mcbunnauthor/
Twitter https://twitter.com/MCBunn3
Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/bunn6220/

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

Chapter 2. A Fool and His Money Are Soon Parted

Approaching the right turn that would take him to Swift Street and the Royal Empire Bank, Court Furor concentrated on traffic. Cold bit his cheeks and hunger gnawed his belly, but he ignored both through force of habit. The soles of his boots were thin and his gloves pointless…No point worrying about what the day would bring, never mind the next one…He was a man of no prospects and no property but preferred to think of it as freedom from responsibility…It was no secret he fancied himself a bit of a lad though he wasn’t overly tempted by long, romantic entanglements. An hour or two with a willing girl would suit…

He directed the horse to a slow walk, trying to secure a place in the queue for the curb. In the gleaming brougham beside him sat a woman, her face hidden under an enormous, bright green hat trimmed with black ostrich feathers. Her driver signaled, and Court tugged his reins…Though a thick veil covered her face, Court caught a glimpse of golden hair, coiled in heavy masses on her shoulders. The wind lifted the edge of her mantle, and he was briefly amazed by the brilliant green of her dress…She’d obviously never missed a meal in her life.

********

Suddenly Geoff and a woman appeared at the bottom of the stairs…Their progress was impeded by the woman’s wildly kicking little boots. Her struggles and the flashes of her bright green and purple silks made her look like an exotic bird thrashing in Geoff’s arms….

Geoff…thrust the woman at him…the woman struggled and kicked…and cried for help. Involuntarily, he clapped his hand over her mouth. She only screamed louder.

“Shut up, you fat sow!” Geoff swatted her across the temple….

The woman’s eyes rolled and she went limp.

Court howled in dismay and caught her… In his arms, she was a mountain of soft cashmere and folds of velvet. Her mantle fell open, and her scent hit him. Lilies and some dark, exotic spice. It was so unexpected and heavenly that the alley and the hackney disappeared. Even his panic was gone.

“…We can’t take ’er!”

Geoff clicked off the safety and waved the pistol under Court’s nose. When Court did not let go of the woman, he pointed the pistol at her head. “I ain’t arguin’! Drive!” He slammed the cab door…

His heart hammering, his head whirling, Court untied the horse, swung up onto the box, and grabbed the reins. As he turned the cab into the street behind the bank, yet another fire truck raced past. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! They were in for it now.

Thank you!

M. C. Bunn — we appreciate your sharing your book Where Your Treasure Is with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.

Moscow Nights

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author R.W. Buxton and his urban fantasy/paranormal romance novel, Moscow Nights.

Author’s description

Erin is desperate to save Gerry from shadowy forces that would do anything to prevent him from fulfilling the prophecy. But when she arrives, he’s with another woman and the worst thing is it’s Tina, his former partner at the FBI.

Can she convince him the threat is real, and not just to him, but Mary his young daughter.

Halfway around the world ominous figures hiding in the night plan the unthinkable and Gerry is the only one that can stop them. The threat is genuine but will he believe her? Will he believe in the prophecy? 

Erin must face her own past, a past she thought was over. It opens old wounds that send her careening on a path of destruction. Can she overcome them in time to save Gerry or will she lose everything because of a deep-rooted hurt that can’t be healed?

Guest Post

I love to ask other fantasy authors how much vocabulary they created for the book of theirs which I’m featuring. Author R.W. Buxton surprised me with his answer of  “one word.” Read his interesting explanation of why.

This is an easy one… Just one. Day-walker, a person with vampiric powers that aren’t undead and can survive the sun. Although in this book I break the rule, I guess you’ll have to read it to find out how, and why.

In urban fantasy, in general, I don’t see the need for the creation of many new words. After all, it’s set in the world we are all familiar with. A world we can reach out and touch every day. Sure there are fantastical creatures like vampires, werewolves, or ghosts, but they don’t require that many new words. There is one exception to this, and that’s urban fantasy that involves the Fae. For me, these usually cross over into the realm of true fantasy novels. In this sub-genre I find there is a good deal of new vocabulary and of course new worlds, or should I say realms.

Not that the first draft of Capital Thirst, my first novel, didn’t have its fair share of new vocabulary. After I posted that draft to an author critique site, I received overwhelming feedback that it wasn’t necessary and confused the reader. It disheartened me. I worked hard to create that vocabulary to build a mystic vampire world. Not to mention it was my first novel, and I wanted everyone to love it.

After much thought, I decided these other authors were probably right. It wasn’t necessary, and I wanted the book to take place in the real world, albeit one with vampires. So I took it out.

There is clearly a time and place for creating new vocabulary. Science fiction or pure fantasy, for example. But in the end, it just wasn’t necessary for the type of writing I’m doing. Overall, it just confused things.

About the Author

I love a good paranormal read, something about the un-dead haunts the fringes of my mind. Mix in romance, love, loss, and you have a great story.

I voraciously read everything, fiction, and non-fiction but always find myself turning back to the darker stories. I’ve always wanted to write and the dream became a reality with Capital Thirst, and the remainder of the Erin Kingsly novels.

I spend most of my days designing and building websites, but my free time is devoted to my wife, family, and cats. Yes three grown children and three cats. Things can be hectic.

For fun you might find me driving winding roads with the top down or out photographing nature.

Find the Author

Website — RWBuxton.com
Facebook — R.W. Buxton – Home | Facebook
Twitter — RW Buxton Author (@rwBuxtonAuthor) | Twitter
Bookbub — https://www.bookbub.com/authors/r-w-buxton
Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19658320.R_W_Buxton
Goodreads — https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48481089-capital-thirst
Allauthor — https://allauthor.com/author/rwbuxton/

Buy the Book

NOTE: The book is on sale for $0.99.

Amazon — https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KXG6CWS
Apple — https://books.apple.com/us/book/moscow-nights/id1527771232
BN — https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moscow-nights-rw-buxton/1137483626
Kobo — https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/moscow-nights-7

Yes, there is a giveaway

The author will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter here to win.

This post is part of a tour sponsored by Goddess Fish. Check out all the other tour stops. If you drop by each of these and comment, you will greatly increase your chances of winning.

My Favorite Excerpt

The car roared into the small town. She turned down the main street and headed for the road out of town. Free from the town’s confines, the country road that led to the highway lay ahead of her. She floored the gas pedal. The scream of the engine thudded in her ears. She pushed in the clutch without letting off the gas and crammed the car into a higher gear. The tires chirped as the car surged forward. She calculated in her mind that the drive with traffic took an hour or a little less. She had to do it tonight in record time, less than thirty minutes. Trees blurred past the window. The ramp to the highway now loomed ahead of her. She pressed the brake and downshifted to take the turn. The car slid but held the road. On the highway she could let the car loose. She prayed she would make it in time.

Lights flickered past in a constant succession as she tore down the highway. She glanced at the speedometer. She was nearing 190 kilometers per hour. It wasn’t all the car could do, so she pushed harder. Her head swam with images of Gerry as he faced Dumitru alone. The possibilities of what might happen to Tina.

Thank you!

R.W. Buxton — we appreciate your sharing your book Moscow Nights with us! Best of luck with sales, and with all of your future writing.