Authors

"When it comes to authors,we may hide ourselves from others but within our pages, our true souls emerge." - Nicole Hill
"I want a Vampite of my very own. Until I find him, I'll just keep writing him into existence." -Nicole Hill
" I write like people talk. It may not be perfect but it's damn entertaining." - Nicole Hill

Saturday, June 29, 2013

#IndieSpotlight of Cole Burn Author of The Founding (Vol #1 Hartsdale Academy for Young Women)

Name: 
Cole Burn


The Title of Your Work: 
The Founding (Vol #1 Hartsdale Academy for Young Women)

Where are you from? 
Southeastern Connecticut

In what genre do you write? 
Erotic Romance

What is your book about?
The story line deals with male exploitation and power. Anti-hero, Jonathon Hartsdale, appears to be a perfect gentleman and astute businessman, but on the inside, he is selfish and ultimately cares for his own fantastical sexual gratification above all else. I think at some point in our lives, we've all met a Jonathon. Claire Bowman, his first love, is another asset he plans to win.
The story takes place in a Hudson Valley grand estate, where Jonathon and his cohorts found an academy where students are trained to become the proverbial perfect wife. Please don't feel sorry for the young ladies though, they know what their doing, and have fun doing it!

What is your writing style? 
Do you follow all guides and rules? Synopsis, outline etc. or do you just sit down at the computer and type to see what happens.
In volume one, the story did just write itself. Jonathon was based on a real-life past relationship that I truly believed would turn into a permanent commitment. I was blinded to all the warning signals out of love,or stupidity. However, the sex was amazing. The time spent with him years earlier, provides inspiration for me today. 
With volume two it seems to be a bit more of a challenge. The plot is beginning to twist and turn, I have to plan everything out in advance. I use little hand-drawn charts and references, not very scientific.

Have you ever written anything and thought; "The world has got to see this!"?
No. Not yet any way ;-)
So far, my writing is just for those who enjoy fantasy, romance and sex. For readers who care to; there is room to reflect on the societal expectations and influences placed on women and how they've changed over the past century. Did you know there is actually a web site for women whom aspire to become a “Stepford Wife”. Also, the Christian view on wifely submission is pretty clear and so polar opposite from feminist views. As a seven year-old child, I witnessed Mary Tyler Moore morph from a subservient wife playing Laura Petrie to quasi-feminist, Mary Richards. It was very confusing.
Would make the institution of marriage actually work if wives were subservient, or would the self-sacrifice thwart our lust for life? I've thought long and hard before concluding that I could be a submissive wife, IF, the there were such a thing as a perfect husband. 

Do you have an editor and Cover Designer or do you do this yourself?
My background is in marketing and graphic design, so I enjoy the creative aspect involved in cover design. Family and friends have helped me with grammatical issues.

Who is your favorite author. Not just someone that you read a lot. I wanna know whose book you read that made you suddenly know that if you didn't do this for the rest of your life then you would never be happy.
That is a difficult question. I love reading classical literature, then again, I love the escape that is offered in contemporary romance and humor-laden detective mysteries. I started narrating for ACX when they started up at the end of 2011. I had the opportunity to read Barbara Silkstone's, “Wendy and The Lost Boys”. I so needed that unexpected, healthy dose of belly laughs. Her writing cracked me up, it was sometimes hard to get through a passage. Out take link: http://soundcloud.com/deskofcolburn/dollop-of-cream

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Navigating through the Chicago Manual of Style. Ugh.

Do you write your characters or do they write themselves through you?
I believe they are the results of personal life experience, mixed with a little insanity.

Do you ever write yourself into the characters?
Every character has aspects of me in them.

Is writing your full time job or are you "Keeping your day job"? So to speak. 
I live in story land. Everyday, I am either writing my own story or narrating another author's work.

If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be?
Without question: Daphne DuMaurier.

There are millions of new books released every year. What in your mind makes yours stand out from all those millions in your genre?
Well, though I would like to think of the descriptive sex as being totally hot, I can't say it is the sex scenes that make my work stand out. There is so much talent out there spicing up our lives! I would have to say that perhaps my writing highlights the pure conflict society has inflicts on the female population. Are we allowed to enjoy sex, and if we do so without the institution of marriage, are we sluts?
I believe the upsurge in popularity of the erotica genre may indicate a broader acceptance of women owning their own sexuality. Wouldn't it be nice if erotica wasn't so closeted, ignored by the self-proclaimed elite writing societies. I mean, everyone enjoys sex, right?

In the world of Indie, marketing is very difficult, especially if you don't have the funds to pay for it. Have you found a great free way to market your work that you think other Indies will benefit from? 
Just reaching that point. I am finally twitting, on fb and author central and will definitely share any methods that boost sales and boost the reputation of our chosen genre.

In a bold move, I scanned a sixth grade class picture and posted it to my real facebook profile, which has an obvious link to Cole Burn. Then, I tagged all the pictures and held my breath. Happily, most response has been positive. Who really cares about the silent ones any way? I dare you.

Thank you so much Lady N. for giving me this opportunity. The author support in our community is amazing. 

Links to find and follow Cole's work:


Sunday, June 23, 2013

#IndieSpotlight of Laura Oliva @writermama Author of All That Glitters

Name: 

Laura Oliva

The Title of Your Work or Group: 
All That Glitters, with more soon to come!

Where are you from? 
San Francisco Bay Area, born and bred. Yes, I shave my armpits. No, I do not own Birkenstocks... well, okay, except for ONE pair in high school... 

In what genre do you write? 
Romantic suspense. Everything I've ever written has turned into either a mystery or a love story, so when I sat down to write my first book, it seemed like a good idea to just go with it.

In your own words, what is your book about? If you were not the author and trying to explain this awesome book you just read to a friend, what would you say about it? 
Okay, here's the elevator pitch: Two lifelong runners end up in Nome, Alaska, both looking to escape their troubled pasts. Instead, they find themselves- and love. Oh, and someone who's trying to kill them.

What is your writing style? Do you follow all guides and rules? Synopsis, outline etc. or do you just sit down at the computer and type to see what happens?
Gosh. I guess I follow the rules. Mostly. Kind of. There are rules? I'm a bit of a grammar nazi, I suppose, but other than that I play pretty fast and loose. If it reads right and gets across what I'm trying to say, that's how I write it.

As for outlining, I am a neurotic plotter. I've been writing for years, but had never finished anything prior to All That Glitters. My magic number was fifty pages. Everything would be amazing until I hit fifty pages, then I would fizzle. I never plotted any of these failed attempts. Correlation? Doubtless.

So now I plot everything. I do character arcs, story arcs, plot points, you name it. But I'm not so wedded to them I can't make changes. In fact, I've noticed the first major turning point usually sends the story careening off in some unexpected, awesome direction. 

Have you ever written anything and thought; "The world has got to see this!"?
That's how I feel about the book I'm working on now! It's the first in a trilogy, and it's darker, grittier, and sexier than All That Glitters (which I still love like my firstborn). Beyond that, mum's the word... for now.

Do you have an editor and Cover Designer or do you do this yourself?
I have excellent beta-readers, but alas, no editor. As of now, my budget simply won't cover it. But as soon as I get more financial wiggle room, hiring an editor is high on my list of priorities. Just recently, I went back over All That Glitters to correct a bunch of small, stupid mistakes I had missed the first time around. Yikes! So yeah, an editor would be nice.

The one thing I did spring for was a cover artist. I am lucky enough to have a friend -Zen Mateyka- who is a Graphics Design major and something of a savant. I told him what I had in mind for my cover -look, feel, brand identity, etc.- and he came back with exactly what I wanted. I hope our business relationship continues for a long, long time. 

Who is your favorite author. Not just someone that you read allot. I wanna know whose book you read that made you suddenly know that if you didn't do this for the rest of your life then you would never be happy. 
That's tricky. I don't know if there's just one. Here are a few of my favorites.

- Brian Jacques: author of the Redwall series. The books that made me fall in love with reading as a child.

- Janet Evanovitch: a fairly recent discovery. The Stephanie Plum Novels made me laugh so hard my husband thought I'd gone insane. She showed me just how dark, and simultaneously funny, books can be.

- Sue Grafton: her Alphabet books were my first introduction to detective fiction. They also warded me off the genre forever, because I'll never create a character that can compete with Kinsey Milhone.

- Raymond Chandler: The Big Sleep is both one of my favorite movies, and one of my favorite books. His descriptions of setting are some of the best in modern literature.

If I could plot like Brian Jacques, do humor like Janet Evanovitch, characterize like Sue Grafton, and evoke setting like Raymond Chandler, I'd probably win a Nobel Prize.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Endings. Probably because All That Glitters was the first book I ever finished, I had a devil of a time figuring out how to close it out properly. I'm still having that problem, so I guess endings are just my Achilles heel.

Do you write your characters or do they write themselves through you?
I start out writing my characters, but I know I'm doing it right if about halfway through the book they start talking to me in the shower, at the grocery store, while I'm making dinner. There's no better feeling than when the people you pulled out of your head take on a life of their own. 

Case in point: I was recently doing some character development for the villain I'm currently writing, when all of a sudden he veered completely off-script and got creepy as hell.

Needless to say, I was thrilled! 

Do you ever write yourself into the characters? 
Frequently. I'm a closet-narcissist. 

Is writing your full time job or are you "Keeping your day job"? So to speak.
My day job currently consists of an uneasy balance between writing and being mom to an almost-two-year-old. Depending on the day, it also includes copious quantities of alcohol.

If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be? 
Mae West. Because, I mean, come on.

There are millions of new books released every year. What in your mind makes yours stand out from all those millions in your genre?
Great question! Romance, especially, is a massive pool to wade into. There are a few things I think make my writing unique:

- Grit. As a genre, romance isn't known for being "gritty." I like to believe that's one thing that sets my work apart. My romances aren't about gorgeous, happy people falling in love over mojitos on a sun-bathed beach. They're about severely screwed-up people finding a way to love someone else in a messed-up world.

-Tough people. My characters are tough -the heroines and heroes both. They're good people, but they're not always nice people. So far, readers seem to have really responded to that. After all, aren't we all a little dark inside?

- Setting as character. I put a lot of time and effort into researching/describing setting, and when you read my work, you get an in-depth, full-immersion experience. The setting is as much a player in the story as the characters. That's not just me talking: everyone who's reviewed All That Glitters so far has said the same thing. 

- Quality. Indie publishing is coming out of the closet, but I think a lot people are still expecting our work to be sloppy. We need to prove them wrong. It's why I devour books on the craft of writing. It's why I'm so obsessive about editing. It's why I went back and fixed the first edition of All That Glitters, even though it was a pain. If we want the rest of the literary community to take us seriously, we have to take ourselves seriously first.

In the world of Indie, marketing is very difficult, especially if you don't have the funds to pay for it. Have you found a great free way to market your work that you think other Indies will benefit from? 
One of the more valuable lessons I've learned is that there is marketing, and there is publicity. Marketing is any exposure you pay for -like ads. Publicity is how much buzz you can generate for your work. As Indies, I think most of us focus on publicity, which is good, because all the research out there indicates paid marketing online isn't very effective.

When it comes to publicity, the main thing I focus on is name recognition. I'm still a new author, so it's important for me to let people know I exist, and write stuff they might want to read.

For that reason, I'm all over the Internet. Social media is huge for me. I started building my Twitter presence before I was even done with my first book. I have a Facebook page. I'm on Goodreads. I'm more active on some sites than others, but I try to have a presence as many places as possible.

I also have a blog where I opine on topics relevant to my writing. In addition to introducing people to the themes and style of my work, it's also really good practice. I get market feedback on what people find most interesting, and I've even made some friends! 

Links to find and follow Laura's work:






Wednesday, June 19, 2013

#IndieSpotlight of J. Cameron McClain @jcameronmcclain Author of The Five Watchers

Name 

J. Cameron McClain. You can call me John or Cameron. I picked “J. Cameron McClain” as my author name (branding! Branding!) to avoid confusion with the Die Hard character, and Senator McCain. And yeah, I know, his name is McCain not McClain. Does that stop people from getting confused? No.

And on a side note, I’d like to thank you for hosting me today!

The Title of Your Work or Group
My first novel is The Five Watchers. I have a few others in progress, and my editor is going through a collection of my short stories at present. I’ve completed a draft of my second novel, Alliance. I have a few more waiting in the wings. I explain it as a holding pattern of novels circling around my head.

Where are you from? 
Born in Huntsville, Alabama. Have moved around a lot since.

In what genre do you write?
Ahh, genre. This word fascinates me. I think back to 2011 when I was getting my degree in English, and sat down to discuss genre with one of my professors (this was in connection to my Honors project: a set of short stories). In fact, “Genre” is a relatively recent concept in writing / publishing. You can probably trace the first steps toward the delineation of story into separate genres to the Enlightenment era, when classification systems started to take hold in Western thought. That mischievous scamp Voltaire has a lot to answer for!

I come from a mass communication background, with a more recent layer of education about literature set upon the top, via my academic studies at the University of Hawai’i. I appreciate a good story, and I don’t care to involve myself too deeply in self-definition as a writer in a specific genre, choosing to focus on writing compelling story instead. Though if I had to pin myself down at all, I would probably go with Speculative Fiction as a definition of my works—vague though that definition is. To date I’ve written Horror, Urban Fantasy, Apocalyptic Fiction, Post-Cataclysmic Fiction, Steampunk, Alternative History, Science Fiction and Magical Realism stories.

In your own words, what is your book about? If you were not the author and trying to explain this awesome book you just read to a friend, what would you say about it? 
It’s a quirky, sometimes horrifying read about a group of people selected as contestants to appear a ghost-hunting show, and how they work together to survive the onslaught of a very real and very malevolent entity in the location they’re investigating. 

What is your writing style? Do you follow all guides and rules? Synopsis, outline etc. or do you just sit down at the computer and type to see what happens. 
My head is a multipurpose machine. It is the cauldron in early stages. I simmer stories before starting to write, then when I feel I have enough plot to start assembly, I type out what I have, and begin the formal structuring of the story. From there I typically jump around in the manuscript, filling in scenes as my fancy dictates. Once I have everything down, I create a chapter-by-chapter index containing the characters present in each chapter, and the events that occur in that chapter. This helps me ensure that my POV characters get enough book time, that the plot twists and such have a logical progression, and that I can feel I’ve covered the basic elements of a narrative structure (as in initiating act, plot complication, rising action, climax, dénouement). 

Have you ever written anything and thought; " The world has got to see this!" ? 
My first reaction to this was, “Gee, that would sound a bit arrogant to say,” but then I realized one of my works in progress—Alliance—was written precisely because I feel it makes some very, very interesting connections via and with earlier works on the same subject (vampires and zombies). Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend created some very interesting twists on the vampire theme, and as it turns out, also inspired George A. Romero to write and film his 1968 Night of the Living Dead. Little known fact! And that’s as much of a hint as you’re going to get.

Do you have an editor and cover designer or do you do this yourself? 
I’m a professional writer, so of course I have an editor! (Granted, rent and food is paid for by my other profession—I’m an editor myself—so I am very biased in favor of writers having an editor.) I cannot stress this enough; if you don’t have an editor, find one, before you publish your stuff. 

As for covers: I created the cover for The Five Watchers. Generally speaking, it’s a no-no to do one’s own cover, but I have a couple of decades’ experience in the graphic design field, so I went ahead and took on that task. I came across some photographers of “Urban Decay” that became visual references while writing TFW. One set of photos in particular—a series taken in an abandoned sanatorium by Brandon Merkel—really struck me. I got in touch with Brandon, asked him if I could use one of his photos as part of the cover, he agreed, and I created a design around that. I’ll probably also do the cover for the short story collection my editor is working through now. Alliance will be a big challenge to create, so I’m going to be shopping around for a designer to take on that task. 

Who is your favorite author? Not just someone that you read a lot. I wanna know whose book you read that made you suddenly know that if you didn't do this for the rest of your life then you would never be happy. 
Every time I’m asked that, I complain, so I’m obliged to do so here as well. I can narrow it down to about twenty novels which provided me inspiration, maybe, but fewer than that is like asking a mom with a bunch of children which one is her favorite—while standing in front of all those children.

I suppose Dan Simmons’ Ilium/Olympos novels could be credited for inspiring me to get more serious about writing as well as I could, but Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas sit right next to Simmons’ stuff in terms of inspired storytelling. Neal Stephenson as well. Stephen King’s On Writing was incredibly helpful in terms of the psychology of writing, and Michael Crichton’s Andromeda Strain was extremely influential early on (as in, when I was about ten years old) in terms of giving me a sample template of how a well-thought-out story compels the reader forward. 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finding free time to write. Editing full-time is a rather detail-heavy process, and after ten hours’ work a day or more, it can sometimes be tough to find and draw upon energy stores in order to work on my own stuff. I consider myself very fortunate to not have too many problems writing, when I can actually sit down and write.

Oh, wait! The other challenge is that it takes me about twenty minutes or so to immerse myself in whatever story I’m working on, so when I get interrupted, I get cranky. I guess you’d call it an “In the Zone” thing. It takes some time to get into that zone. A random phone call in the middle of all that can really frustrate me, because I lose the threads and have to reattach myself to the story to continue writing. 

Do you write your characters or do they write themselves through you? 
The latter, for the most part, though more generally, I’d say a fair portion of the story also writes through me, rather than me writing. Particularly in early stages, all I really need to do is try and type fast enough to keep up with the story as it’s coming out. Later on in the process when I switch from art-focus to craft-focus, I start doing more directing of the story and characters in front of me.

Do you ever write yourself into the characters? 
Myself, friends, co-workers, enemies…. It still cracks me up that way back in 2007 when I was just getting rolling on The Five Watchers, I decided to fictionalize myself. Within a few months, I realized that the character was destined to be a jerk, and was going to die. D’oh! 

Is writing your full time job or are you "Keeping your day job"? So to speak.
I edit for a living, so in one sense I’m keeping everything very close to my primary aim of being the best writer I can be. Editing others’ works is invaluable practice in seeing what works in a plot, what doesn’t, how to better assemble sentences and paragraphs, what works best grammar-wise, things to avoid, habits to undo, all that good stuff. 

If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be? 
If we’re sticking to folks I’d love to meet who write, I’d have to go with Samuel L. Clemens. I took Mark Twain for my Single Author course requirement in school, which turned out to be a fantastic decision. Benjamin Franklin would be also be wicked cool to meet. Odysseus too.

There are millions of new books released every year. What in your mind makes yours stand out from all those millions in your genre? 
While The Five Watchers appears to be a straightforward, ghost-hunting-style paranormal adventure at the start, the story expands past those constraints by the end. It becomes a horror-fantasy about the people who have been [SPOILER ALERT!] genetically chosen to fight The Malevolence: the evil entity. I can’t say much more, but I will note that the second book takes the surviving members to Japan, and the third happens in Tel Megiddo (site of the biblical Armageddon). The size of the story, and the amount of history I’m setting into it, make it a cross-genre deal, and I’d say the locations and the themes in the series are, if not unique, at least pretty fresh.

In the world of Indie, marketing is very difficult, especially if you don't have the funds to pay for it. Have you found a great free way to market your work that you think other Indies will benefit from? 
I had a great deal of success in a Goodreads’ “Read to Review” group who provide reviews in exchange for free copies of your work. And talk to people. Twitter, Facebook, whatever social media you use. Don’t just post your sales pitch. Few people are going to read a fifteen-word tweet and go buy a book based on that. “Here, buy this!” is not a particularly compelling reason. I like posting short excerpts from the book to give folks some flavor, and to get them interested in finding out more. 

Links to find and follow his work:




Website: Horri-fi.com is my website-in progress, though it’s not up and running as yet. I’m hoping to get it going by the end of June.



For those who’d like to have a taste of my writing before they commit to a big, chunky, scary book, The Masquerade Crew is hosting my short story “Lazenby’s Aetheriolabe” online. It’s quite different from The Five Watchers in the sense that it’s Steampunk rather than Horror Fantasy, but I like to think that I’m fairly consistent in terms of writing quality, so if nothing else, you’ll get a sense of how I cobble a story together. Here’s where you can have a read:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

#IndieSpotlight of Brandy L Rivers @BrandyLRivers Author of In too Deep

Name: 
Brandy L Rivers



The Title of Your Book: 
In Too Deep (Book 1: Others of Edenton)

Where are you from? 
Sumner, Washington

In what genre do you write? 
Paranormal Romance

In your own words, what is your book about? If you were not the author and trying to explain this awesome book you just read to a friend, what would you say about it? 
Gorgeous brokenhearted werewolf crashes into sexy tattoo artist. She saves him from more than just the vampires. As danger closes in, he’ll try to gain her trust while she tries to push him away. 

What is your writing style? Do you follow all guides and rules? 
Synopsis, outline etc. or do you just sit down at the computer and type to see what happens.
I sit down, start writing and go from there. I outline after the first couple times through and fill in blanks. I’m really not a plotter, although I will try to fit the missing pieces in where I can when I go back through. So yeah, I have no set of guidelines or rules.

Have you ever written anything and thought; " The world has got to see this!" ? 
Not exactly. It was more of, “I really want to share this.” I wasn’t sure anyone would like it at first, besides myself. So far, people seem to like it, which makes me ecstatic. I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but as long as a few people love it, I’m happy.

Do you have an editor and Cover Designer or do you do this yourself?
No professional editor, but I do have help with editing. I did my cover. It’s a combination of an Istock picture, the girl, a wolf I snapped at the zoo, part of one of my tattoos, and the background was from a hunting trip. I played around with paint.net for a few hours and got everything put together how I wanted.

Who is your favorite author. Not just someone that you read allot. I wanna know whose book you read that made you suddenly know that if you didn't do this for the rest of your life then you would never be happy.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I can’t say anyone author made me have to write. I think the fact that I haven’t read anything quite like mine made me want to put my stories out there. It’s not the very first I wrote. I have about 12 manuscripts I need to fix before I do something with them. This was the first one that was the closest, and had several books already in the works to go with it.

 Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
In this book there were a couple scenes I hated writing. There’s a conversation where Fallon and Robert are telling Brody something that happened in the past. The whole thing was horrible. Neither wanted to talk about it, but it needed to be said. So finding the right balance of emotion and fewer details to get it across was gut wrenching. I mean, I could have just flashed back or something, but I really didn’t want to go there. If you read it, you’ll probably understand.

Do you write your characters or do they write themselves through you?
I don’t know. I see my characters, I see the scenes, it plays out like real life in my head. Better than a movie. I see it all.

Do you ever write yourself into the characters?
There are aspects of me in some of the characters. I’m not any one person though.

Is writing your full time job or are you "Keeping your day job"? So to speak.
I’m a stay at home mom. I write to stay sane.

If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be?
Elizabeth of Bathory. I want to pick her brain apart.

There are millions of new books released every year. What in your mind makes yours stand out from all those millions in your genre? 
I ignored the trends. You don’t usually see Druids. Usually it’s the guy who is covered in ink, and it was always Fallon who was the tattoo artist. Brody is an alpha-male but doesn’t mind his woman being a ton more powerful.

Plus, I didn’t write the book to please anyone. I wanted to tell the story I wanted to tell, how I wanted to tell it. Don’t get me wrong, I want people to like it, but I know not everyone will. That’s okay. No one book will be everyone’s favorite and no one person will love every book.

 In the world of Indie, marketing is very difficult, especially if you don't have the funds to pay for it. Have you found a great free way to market your work that you think other Indies will benefit from?
I’m networking, sending my book to reviewers. I post the book on twitter a couple times a week. I keep my facebook page active and have a website. I haven’t paid for advertising or anything, but networking seems to help. I’m still not sure I’m doing it all right, but I’m making it up as I go.

Enjoy this very unique character interview of Brody and Fallon from In Too Deep. 

Preston walked into the ugly ass room in the makeshift Silver Council center that Robert set up for the investigation. He sat down across from Fallon and Brody. The fiery redhead was kicked back, leaning against her man with her feet on the desk. She arched one single scarlet brow.

Brody nodded up at Preston and squeezed Fallon’s shoulder. “Afternoon, Preston.” He turned to Fallon. “Give him a break. He’s just doing his job.”

“And aggravating the hell out of me,” Fallon muttered. “Why did you call us in? You were there?”

Preston sighed and took a seat across from them. “You know its standard procedure. I hate this as much as you do. I just have to take your statement, and give me a little credit here. I am trying to make this painless. I did let you two in here together.”

Brody chuckled and looked over at Fallon. “See, he’s not so bad.”

Fallon snorted but her scowl melted into a smile when her gaze met Brody’s. “He has his moments.”

At one point, he wanted Fallon to look at him the way she looked at her mate, but watching her with Brody made him realize that Fallon wasn’t his. One day he’d find that, maybe with Jamie. “For the record, can you both state what flavor of Other you are?”

Fallon closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

Brody smirked, “I’m a werewolf, and the pack’s second. Fallon is a druid.”

She nodded.

Preston decided to start with the easier of the two. “Brody, what do you do for a living?”

“I’m a motorcycle mechanic.”

Fallon grinned back at Preston. “He prefers Harleys, so don’t bother bringing your Augusta to him. I told you it was a waste of money anyway.”

“It wasn’t a waste. I love that bike,” Preston insisted.

At least Fallon smiled as she sat up and put her feet on the floor. “So you say. You know I’m a tattoo artist. I’ve done most of your work.”

“All the best work,” Preston agreed.

Impatient as usual, she asked, “What else do you need to know?”

“Your official address. I have Brody’s on record.”
“Well, then you have mine.”

Preston just couldn’t help himself, “And your plans on a wedding?”

Brody and Fallon shared a look full of happiness and nodded. Brody looked back at Preston and answered, “We don’t have anything set in stone yet, but Fallon agreed to be my bride.”

For the first time ever, Preston saw Fallon’s cheeks color. “I did. We haven’t had much time to discuss it yet.”

Preston’s eyes nearly rolled out of his head. “You, married?”

Fallon glared back at him. “Yes, married. I finally found the perfect man. Why wouldn’t I?”

He shook his head. “I guess I just never imagined that outcome. What about children?”

“Anything’s possible,” Fallon admitted with a quick smile over at Brody.

Brody’s whole face lit up.

Preston had the sudden urge to flee the room. He felt like he was intruding on some private moment and cleared his throat. “Alright lovebirds, let’s get this show back on the road.”

“Right,” Fallon looked back over. She was obviously happier than any other time he had ever seen her over the years.

Guilt twisted through him, but he had to ask the next question. “Why did you both spare Damon after he threatened your life?”

Brody’s entire demeanor changed. He sat up straighter and his jaw clenched and his darker blue eyes faded to that icy shade of his wolfs. “That was Fallon’s choice.”

She pushed her hands through her hair and looked Preston in the eye. “He wasn’t in control. It wasn’t his fault.” She looked over at Brody. “Don’t worry, baby. I don’t want anything to do with him, but I don’t want him punished when I don’t believe he would have come for me under any other circumstances.”

“I know.” Brody grunted. “But you didn’t have to see him with his hand around your throat, ready to crush the life out of you.”

She pulled his face to hers. “I’m sorry. I just….”

He leaned in and placed a hard kiss to her mouth. “I know. Don’t be sorry. I get to be a little irrational when someone threatens you. You are my everything, Fallon.”

Preston looked away when she leaned in and kissed Brody just as passionately.

“Really, I don’t need the show,” Preston announced.

Fallon laughed.

Brody said, “Sorry.”

“Don’t apologize.” Fallon teased. “Preston can live with it. He’s the one who dragged us out of bed at five in the damned morning.” When Preston looked back, Fallon smirked. “That reminds me though. What happened with Dacia’s Soul Prison.”

Preston didn’t even hesitate. “Robert gave it to the Council for safe keeping. Don’t worry, they won’t let Malachi out.”

Fallon snorted. “I trust you, and I trust Robert, but not the rest of the damned Silver Council.”

Aw, you trust me?” Preston grinned.

“With certain things,” she answered reluctantly. “You managed to prove you have a heart, so don’t go blowing it with the smarmy attitude.”

Brody finally lightened up. “I still don’t see why you’re so hard on the mage. He’s been nothing but helpful since I’ve met him.”

Fallon’s eyes sparked as she glanced over at him. “I will never understand how he swayed you so easily, but trust me he can be a total ass.”

“Yeah, I remember how we met, but he was looking out for you.” Brody nudged her shoulder.

She grinned. “How the hell did I get so lucky to snag you?”

“I don’t know, but you sure did put up a fight, sugar.”

“Ugh, go home now. I think I have what I need,” Preston motioned toward the door. He had to admit, whatever those two had, he wanted his own.

Links to find and follow Brandy's work: 






Monday, June 17, 2013

#IndieSpotlight of Kevin Saito @Kevin_Saito Author of From the edge of Darkness

Name: 
 Kevin Saito


The Title of Your Work or Group: 
 “From the Edge of Darkness”; “Shattered Honor”

Where are you from? 
Long Beach, California

In what genre do you write? 
 Generally horror but I also love to write sci-fi, fantasy, and historical fiction

In your own words, what is your book about? If you were not the author and trying to explain this awesome book you just read to a friend, what would you say about it?
“From the Edge of Darkness” is a collection of 13 short stories. They range from serial killer pieces to ghost stories to creature features. I was pretty much allowed to run amok and just have fun with it. What I like most is that each story is different. There really aren't two in the collection that are alike and I like to think that there's a little something for everybody! 

The forthcoming book, “Shattered Honor” is a whole different animal entirely. It deals with a man who comes home from the war in Afghanistan to a life and a perception of himself that is completely different. He sees this darkness inside of himself and has real trouble letting go of certain events in Afghanistan. They haunt him. Without giving away too much, I will say that they literally haunt him. He feels himself unraveling and his relationship with Shannon beginning to crumble as terrible, dark things appear in his mind. Ultimately, Danny has to either self-destruct or confront his past and travel a darker path in order to break free from his past and rebuild his life.

What is your writing style? Do you follow all guides and rules? Synopsis, outline etc. or do you just sit down at the computer and type to see what happens. 
 Once I have a general nugget of an idea, I will basically just sit down and start hacking. I take notes along the way to maintain consistency (and so I don't forget something important!) but I don't typically do outlines at all. I'll flesh out the idea as I go along and spend some time developing the characters in my head but as far as the writing itself goes, I don't have a rigid structure. That doesn't work well for me so I tend to just start throwing everything against the wall and once I have all the words out, I'll go back and try to arrange them into something pretty. Once that's done, I'll polish it and send it to editors. 

Have you ever written anything and thought; " The world has got to see this!" ? 
 Honestly, no. It's hard enough for me to let friends and family see my work. It takes me a little time to warm up to the idea of somebody actually seeing my work. Once I get used to it though, I'm fine and don't get too heebed out by others seeing it. But I still don't recall ever saying “the world has got to see this” about anything I've written. Guess I need to work on those insecurities a bit, huh?

Do you have an editor and Cover Designer or do you do this yourself? 
 I have awesome folks I rely on for my editing. I know that I'm not a top-shelf grammarian but I do “okay”... but I want to put out good, quality work so I know that I need others to help me out with that. As for cover designs, a good friend of mine recreated a photo I'd found online and thought was perfect for “From the Edge of Darkness” and I'm having the cover for “Shattered Honor” done for me. It's not quite ready yet but I've seen the early stages of it and really love it. I would like to learn how to do my own covers as well though. 

Who is your favorite author. Not just someone that you read a lot. I wanna know whose book you read that made you suddenly know that if you didn't do this for the rest of your life then you would never be happy. 
 Honestly, the first book I read that made me realize I really wanted to write was a book called “Watchers” by Dean Koontz. I think I was like 13 or so at the time and remember being absolutely terrified as I read that book. And I thought that was SO cool. To be able to evoke genuine emotions with just words was a pretty amazing and eye opening thing for me. It really sparked something inside and I realized that I wanted to write.

As far as who my favorites are now though, it's hard to narrow it down to just one person. Stephen King of course. Ernest Hemingway. Edgar Allan Poe, John Irving, Michael Connelly, Margaret Atwood, George Orwell... I could go on. It's hard to narrow it down to just *one* favorite! They all move me in some way and I appreciate them for different reasons!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I think the most challenging thing is to stop letting myself get distracted. Facebook, Twitter, hell even reading news stories is always a nice, big, shiny distraction for me. I need to learn to stay off the Internets when I'm trying to work! As far as the mechanics of it go though, I think my biggest challenge is making sure everything is consistent... if he was using a knife in one sentence, he better not be shooting somebody in the next. Just making sure everything stays consistent is probably one of my bigger hurdles. I sometimes forget things after, you know, posting an update on Facebook. :-)

Do you write your characters or do they write themselves through you?
I would say that they basically write themselves through me, I suppose. I usually get a general idea about them as I start into a story and then things begin to reveal themselves as the story progresses. As I write (and even when I'm not), I'm usually thinking about the story and the people in it. It helps me to add some flesh to their bones. Once the first draft is done, I have a pretty clear picture of them so that when I go back in to do my own round of revisions, I can really nail them down and flesh them out.

Do you ever write yourself into the characters? 
 I try not to. There is usually a disturbingly high body count in my work and I like living. :-) Kidding. I definitely never intend to write myself into my characters. I tend to think my characters are more interesting and compelling than I am. But somebody once mentioned that some of the “issues” some of my characters have really sort of sound like some of my own personal issues. Like fears, bad family relations, and things like that. So I guess that perhaps unintentionally, I do sometimes unintentionally slip something of myself into certain characters.

Is writing your full time job or are you "Keeping your day job"? So to speak. 
Eventually, I would love for writing to be my full-time gig. That is my ultimate dream and goal. So I'm working hard to make that a reality. Until then though, you gotta pay the bills so I slog along in the pit of despair with the rest of humanity.

If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be?
 Hmmmm... one person? Probably Thomas Jefferson. One, I find him an utterly fascinating and compelling figure and I'd love to pick his brain. I have a degree in History so I'm a bit of a nerd when it comes to all things historical. 

There are millions of new books released every year. What in your mind makes yours stand out from all those millions in your genre? 
 That's a good question. I like to think that in my books, you'll find something you can relate to. Though horror has its scares, gore and violence, I try to not be gratuitous or kill just for the sake of killing. I try to create something through my characters that people can relate to. No, perhaps you've never been to war but you can certainly relate to the feelings of loss and the fear of losing a relationship that's precious to you. Perhaps you've never played Russian Roulette but I think a lot of people can understand the feeling of desperation and have to question what they would do if their backs were really up against the wall. Even in the creature features I write, I try to infuse them with real emotions that we can all relate to. I try to make my characters somebody you might know or somebody you can sympathize with. I try to write an honest story that you can really engage with. I actually have seen a lot of horror that basically seems content to go for the cheap, gory scares and doesn't go out of its way to connect with people.

In the world of Indie, marketing is very difficult, especially if you don't have the funds to pay for it. Have you found a great free way to market your work that you think other Indies will benefit from? 
 Honestly, I'm still feeling my way around this. I'm still pretty new to the whole self-marketing and self-promotion deal. “From the Edge of Darkness” and “Shattered Honor” are both being put out by a small Indie house called Fey Publishing. I've loved the experience and love working with them and will do so again but I also want to focus on putting out short story collections as well as novellas and I want to do that on my own. So I'm learning as I go... right now, the only real “marketing tools” I'm intimately familiar with are Facebook and Twitter. Trying to build up something of a readership and get the word of mouth going. It's a slow process but it's one that can build a really solid foundation. I'm also trying to learn new and fun ways to market myself. But like I said, it's a process that I'm only just now really learning.

Links to find and follow his work:

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/kevinmsaito

Twitter: @Kevin_Saito

Blog: www.kevinsaito.com

Website: www.kevinsaito.com


Saturday, June 15, 2013

#IndieSpotlight of Bruce Golden @goldenmissive Author of Red Sky, Blue Sky

Name: 

Bruce Golden

The Title of Your Work or Group: 
Red Sky, Blue Moon

Where are you from? 
I'm a native San Diegan

In what genre do you write?
Speculative Fiction--fantasy & science fiction basically

In your own words, what is your book about? If you were not the author and trying to explain this awesome book you just read to a friend, what would you say about it? 
Ancient aliens cull large groups of humans and their environs, which they convey across the galaxy and transplant onto another world as part of an experiment. Ultimately this great speciation experiment will have unexpected and dire consequences for the experimenters. Meanwhile, on this new world, a group of Vikings evolve over the centuries into a cutthroat corporate culture of racial purists in an early industrial society. They have designs on the lands of a nearby continent where tribes of Sioux still cling to their old ways. And they may not be the only forced immigrants on this planet. War ensues, and at the core of the conflict is a native herb which may be the cure for a disease that ravages the corporatocracy, as well as being the secret to longevity.

What is your writing style? Do you follow all guides and rules? Synopsis, outline etc. or do you just sit down at the computer and type to see what happens. 
I don't follow any rules, but I do have a system that seems to work for me. I do plan out the entire book, but I'm open to new ideas which invariably sprout along the way.

Have you ever written anything and thought; " The world has got to see this!" ? 
Not the world, but I've written several things I think more people should have gotten the opportunity to read...but then, what writer hasn't?

Do you have an editor and Cover Designer or do you do this yourself? 
I've had editors/designers I've worked with in the past, but I'm a professional editor with decades of experience myself. However, it's always good to have more than one pair of eyes look something over. I've also done design work in magazines, and have designed a couple of my own book covers.

Who is your favorite author. Not just someone that you read allot. I wanna know whose book you read that made you suddenly know that if you didn't do this for the rest of your life then you would never be happy. 
Robert Heinlein was my first major influence.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Endings are always tough, and while I excel at dialogue and characterization, I have to make an effort to be more descriptive with my writing.

Do you write your characters or do they write themselves through you? 
I begin them, but they often take over.

Do you ever write yourself into the characters? 
I take bits and pieces of people I know sometimes, but never myself--at least not consciously.

Is writing your full time job or are you "Keeping your day job"? So to speak.
I've made a living writing (or related communications) my whole life, but now I write only fiction--which is not exactly a living, but it's the only work I do these days.

If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be? 
If I could pick only one, probably Mark Twain.

There are millions of new books released every year. What in your mind makes yours stand out from all those millions in your genre? 
The basic idea of transplanting Earth cultures to another world and seeing how they develop is fairly unique.

In the world of Indie, marketing is very difficult, especially if you don't have the funds to pay for it. Have you found a great free way to market your work that you think other Indies will benefit from? 
No great ways, just a lot of little things--I'd say try whatever you can--like doing interviews like this.

Links to find and follow his work:

Facebook Page:

Twitter:
@goldenmissive

Website:

Amazon:




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Friday, June 14, 2013

#IndieSpotlight of Aimee Duffy @AimeeDuffyx Author of Reunited With Red

Author:

Aimee Duffy 

The Title of Your Work or Group: 
My story is a very adult take on Little Red Riding Hood entitled, Reunited With Red. It’s book two in the Once Upon a Twist Anthology.

Where are you from? Does not have to be the name of the place exactly. You can say Hick-ville Florida, for example if you are more comfortable with that. 
Scotland, and my co-author, Michelle Smart whose book in our anthology is called Glass Slippers and Combat Boots, is from England.

In what genre do you write?
We both write steamy contemporary romance, though my books sway more toward erotic romance.

In your own words, what is your book about? If you were not the author and trying to explain this awesome book you just read to a friend, what would you say about it? 
Both books are rewrites of classic fairy tales. Michelle’s is a retake of Cinderella and mine of Little Red Riding Hood. Hers is set in the past, mine the current day, but there is a dark twist in these fairy tales (I don’t want to spoil it for you). Both of us felt fairy tales were a little sexist, where the heroines swooned and the heroes saved the day. In Once Upon a Twist the heroines kick some serious ass and have to fight alongside their men for their lives and their happy ever afters.

What is your writing style? Do you follow all guides and rules? Synopsis, outline etc. or do you just sit down at the computer and type to see what happens. 
I have a good idea of who my characters are before I start the story, but I get straight down and write without a plot in mind. I prefer to let the characters take me where they need to go.

Have you ever written anything and thought; " The world has got to see this!" ? 
*Shameless plug* Yes, Once Upon a Twist. It was such a joy to write for both of us.

Do you have an editor and Cover Designer or do you do this yourself? 
We had our book professionally edited and hired a cover artist. We both wanted the book to be the best it can be.

Who is your favorite author. Not just someone that you read allot. I wanna know whose book you read that made you suddenly know that if you didn't do this for the rest of your life then you would never be happy. 
It’s a toss-up between Marian Keys’ ‘Other Side of the Story’ and Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
If I have a stubborn protagonist or two, it’s hard to push them in the direction I want them to go. I have yet to win that battle.

Do you write your characters or do they write themselves through you?
See 10. I try to write them into the scenes I envision, then they go and switch things up.

Do you ever write yourself into the characters?
I like to think a little of me is in every character, but that’s probably wishful thinking.

Is writing your full time job or are you "Keeping your day job"? So to speak.
I’m a paralegal by day, and I love my job. Unless I got to EL James status, I don’t see me giving it up. Though I don’t write for the money, I write because I can’t not.

If you could go back in time and meet one famous person or legend in history, who would it be? 
Leonardo Da Vinci. I love art, and I am fascinated by his work.

There are millions of new books released every year. What in your mind makes yours stand out from all those millions in your genre? 
There are fairy tale retakes out there, sweet and dark, but Michelle and I have a twist in our stories that we have not yet encountered. We mix humor, dark, sensual, and suspense. Mine even sways toward horror, so says our latest review. We wanted to be original, and keep our own unique voices. I think most will enjoy at least one of the books, because though they are a miss-match of genres, there is something for everyone in Once Upon a Twist.

In the world of Indie, marketing is very difficult, especially if you don't have the funds to pay for it. Have you found a great free way to market your work that you think other Indies will benefit from? 
I think KDP Select opens a lot of opportunities. On free days there are hundreds of sites who will promote your book (given enough time to slot you in). Most of it doesn’t cost a penny. We have not done this yet, but may in the future.

Enjoy the blurbs and excerpts below:
When the sun goes down, guess what’s coming out to play…?

Glass Slippers and Combat Boots

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, the creatures are coming...

In a land run by misogynists, where fair maidens are deemed liable to fall in a dead faint at the sight of blood, Prince Charming is worried – the creatures that have destroyed their neighboring kingdoms are coming for them. He judges it imperative to get all the females to safety, but first he needs to break the enchantment enslaving his One True Love to her hateful home. Oh, and there’s the small matter of the Ball to get through too.

But when the creatures reach them ahead of their expected time, all plans are foregone. Can Ella break her wicked stepmother’s enchantment? Can she save her handsome Prince and the kingdom before midnight strikes? And can she show his soldiers what it really means to kick a monster’s butt? The clock is ticking…

Reunited With Red
Many, many years later…

When Ruby visits her grandmother in the deep, dark forest, she stumbles into a nightmare. Her grandma’s been attacked by a wolf-like creature, and an ancient disease that turned people into monsters is back… and so is the cold-hearted ex she walked out on a year ago. 

Now she has to either accept Jeremy’s help or face becoming a monster herself. Fighting alongside the man she once loved isn’t easy, especially when she discovers there’s more to Jeremy than the cheating bastard she took him for. 

As they fight to survive the disease and save those they love, can they keep from falling for each other all over again?

Glass Slippers and Combat Boots excerpt
“She murdered my father – I can’t prove it but I know it was Christell who put the poisonous spider in his bed. If she could, she would kill me too but my fairy godmother put her own enchantment on me that stops Christell or my stepsisters from killing me. It doesn’t stop them beating me when the mood takes them, but it is impossible for them to decapitate me or remove a limb or stop my heart from beating.”

“Why doesn’t your fairy godmother break the enchantment?”

“Ha!” Ella rolled her eyes and heaved herself up. “I haven’t seen her since my father’s funeral. She’s elderly and very scatty.”

James’s easy-going smile had vanished. His brow had furrowed and he stared at her for long moments before speaking. “Christell’s taking an awful risk letting you into the forest every day.”

“Like most of the humans in this land, she avoids the forest.” She dragged a finger along his stubbly cheek, tracing the long scar that ran along it, a permanent reminder of the war he had been fighting in for King and Country. “But you are braver than most humans.”

Darkness clouded his eyes. “I wish you had told me before… Ella, we need to find a way to break the enchantment.”

“Until my fairy godmother shows up, there is no way. Christell’s magic is too powerful and personal for an unconnected sorcerer to break it.”

“It’s not safe for you here,” he bit out. “I wanted to marry you and take you as far away as I could. It’s not safe here for anyone.”

Reunited With Red excerpt

“Where are you going?” she asked.
“To get the gun. Stay there,” he added when he heard the water splashing around her.

The splashing stopped, and she didn’t speak. He pulled a small torch from his pocket, clicked the button. Nothing happened. Shaking his head, he considered waiting for the clouds to pass the moon so he could see properly. That could take minutes they didn’t have.

Dropping to his knees, he felt blindly around the ground, but it was like looking for a natural blonde at Hugh Hefner’s. Then again, he’d be able to find Red there—or anywhere—even without the gift of sight. She may still be in the water, but he could remember her lavender scent, remember her silky smooth skin. Remember how his body fired up like it had been injected with a semi-lethal dose of hormones when she was in a ten foot radius.

“How…d-do you kn-know it will f-f-follow us.” Her teeth rattled together as she spoke.

Without the heat of his body, she must be freezing. He increased the speed of his search, thought about leaving the damn thing. After all he had plenty more at home, what was one shotgun when he had one in every closet? But keeping her alive for the journey back was more important than keeping her warm.
“J-J-Jer…?”

He considered how much to tell her, after all, he’d signed away the right to be honest with anyone, even the rest of the world when the half-dead creatures started attacking in the night. When he realized what had started it all, he had sworn he would put an end to what he helped create, even though opening his mouth meant he risked jail. Or worse, the other person’s death.

He’d been responsible for enough deaths already.

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