Thursday, April 24, 2014

Interview with Susan MacNicol

What inspired you to become an author?

I have a particular fascination for a British actor called Benedict Cumberbatch. I really want one. However that wasn’t going to happen. So I thought, “Right, the next best thing is write a role for him in a book, which someone will find incredibly amazing and want to make a film about it, then we can do a screen play and ask Benedict Cumberbatch to star in the film/TV series.” I kid you not, that was my inspiration. So I created the persona of Bennett Saville, London actor, inspired by Benedict. The story line was inspired by an actual event happening in my home town, when a concrete block was thrown from a motorway bridge onto a woman’s car below. Hey presto. I had ‘Cassandra by Starlight’ my first (M/F) novel.

Do you write in different genres?

I suppose I do. I write M/F and I write M/M now exclusively. I write contemporary Romance, but I write in both ‘worlds’, the real world of real people and events and the paranormal world where fantasy and magyck abound like in Double Alchemy. I’ve also written an romantic erotic crime thriller called Born Human so yes, I definitely like a challenge.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

Definitely M/M. I was hooked on this genre while researching the material for Born Human which has a bisexual serial killer as one of the main 4 MC’s. I needed to understand sex between men, so I read some novels which told me just how that was portrayed and never looked back.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

It was a play on the fact that there were two kinds of magyck at play in this story. One, the actual magyck Quinn has a Warlock, with his Withinner, Taliesin, a sixth century Welsh sorcerer. Two, the magic of love and the sizzling chemistry between two men, Quinn Fairmont and Cade Mairston. Theirs is an overwhelming passion because of the bond they share as Fey beings and because they are meant to be soul mates. So Double Alchemy was born. Alchemy of course is defined as ‘the medieval forerunner of chemistry, based on the supposed transformation of matter. It was concerned particularly with attempts to convert base metals into gold or to find a universal elixir.’ I simply took this definition to another level both emotionally and metaphorically.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I suppose we all sub consciously impart messages in our work. But I don’t set out to do so consciously.

‘Worth Keeping’ was about a man called Nick who was horribly abused who believed he wasn’t worth anyone’s love. And boy, did Owen prove him wrong on that one. This story was about hope, that love is something that can heal.

 ‘Saving Alexander’, the story of another abused man, Alex and his saviour Sage, was also about hope and healing and the fact every person in the world is worth fighting for.
‘Stripped Bare’ was about one man’s unconditional love for another helping him break out of his prison walls and finding love again.

*Sits back and narrows her eyes* Hmm I’m sensing a pattern here. Maybe I do have a message to send. Perhaps the eternal optimist in me is coming out in each book I write. Only the readers can judge that one.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?

There are no real life experiences of mine in Double Alchemy. I have visited the places where the book is set, Hampstead Heath in London, walked by the ponds Cade swims in and soaked up the atmosphere of this beautiful greenlands in the middle of a city. I’ve been to the place where Quinn, Percy and Magnus defeat the Witchfinder General, stood on the marsh flats and seen the skeletons of the boats sunk into the mud. But unfortunately I’ve never been able to time travel like Taliesin, never defeated another Warlock and certainly haven’t faced the trials that Cade and Quinn have to. *Sighs* I wish I could say I had..

What book are you reading now?

I‘ve just finished ‘Always’ by Kindle Alexander (still sniffling after that one, I needed half a dozen box of tissues to mop up the tears) and I’m currently reading a book called Same Page by Lily Velden, with the second in this series , The Race is On, queued up on my Kindle. I like to wait until there are a couple of books in a series then read them together. I’m enjoying it so far, but I’m not too far in yet..

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

I’ve already mentioned my Men in London series. That’s going to take me most of 2014 and the start of 2015 to complete. It’s a six book series of about 50k words in each novella. But I do have a yearning to write a really detailed historical M/M romance, a saga that spans a longer time that my usual books. I haven’t quite decided on the era yet, but I’m toying with Victorian London.

I’m also trying to finish a book I’ve been busy with for a while, a ‘factional’ true life story about a man called Joe Leistman who was a victim of sexual abuse while in the Boy Scouts. Fellow author Sue Brown is co-writing this with me and we’re both excited about it. If you want to find out more about it, you can visit our Facebook Page.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Like any writer out there trying to write and promote themselves at the same time, the biggest challenge is the time to actually write. I love the promotional side of the business. I have made such good friends and had a blast of a time. But I can sometimes get so caught in the Facebook and Twitter activity, writing guest posts for blog tours like this one, keeping my own blog up to date etc that the writing seems to take a back seat. Then when you do sit down and try focus, your mind wanders. So it’s a bit of a battle to create new words when you’re in that mind mode. One needs to give oneself a slap around the back of the head and tell oneself to concentrate on the task in hand.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

I am very fortunate to have an Editor in Chief at Boroughs who is hands on with the cover design and writing the blurbs and key notes. Chris Keeslar is a genius and I love his style on all my covers. He’s done them all to my knowledge, perhaps with a little help from someone, and he has involved me every step of the way. I love my book covers. We get a lot of compliments on them.

Double Alchemy
Susan MacNicol

Genre: m/m paranormal romance

Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group


Book Description:

Powerful yet tormented modern warlock Quinn Fairmont must initiate the silver-eyed Cade Mairston into the world of witchfinders, Withinners, and what can happen when two men fall truly, madly, deeply in love.


In modern London there lurks a warlock, Quinn Fairmont. Dangerous, powerful, tortured, sharing his body with the soul of an ancient Welsh sorcerer, Quinn is never alone—and never wholly himself. He fights against all those who would exploit his kind. He takes pleasure where he can find it.

In the forest of Hampstead Heath, Quinn’s hometown, Cade Mairston appears to him like a waking dream. Lithe, lean and silver-eyed, he evokes feelings in Quinn unlike any other: lust with true affection, immediate and shocking. Cade is clearly more than he seems. And yet, if a man of the world, Cade is innocent. He knows nothing of warlocks, witchfinders or Withinners. He knows nothing of what he is, what he might be, or what he might feel. For him, the story is just beginning. Magyck, peril and passion await.

Available on Amazon

Book Trailer :

About the Author:

Sue Mac Nicol was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. At the age of eight, her family moved to Johannesburg, South Africa where she stayed for nearly thirty years before arriving back in the UK in December 2000. She has written ten novels, two novellas and a screenplay since February 2012 and clearly believes in keeping herself busy. She has found herself wanting to stay in the genre that is M/M Romance so more can definitely be expected.

Sue is a member of Romance Writers of America and Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. She is also a member of a rather unique writing group, called the Talliston Writer’s Circle, which in itself has a story all of its own to tell and lives in the rural village of Bocking, in Essex, with her family. Her plan is to keep writing as long as her muse sits upon her shoulder. Her dream is to one day make enough money to give up the day job and get that big old house in the English countryside overlooking a river, where she can write all day and continue to indulge her passion for telling stories.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Blitz: Dark Light of Day and Fiery Edge of Steel by Jill Archer

Dark Light of Day
Noon Onyx
Book 1
Jill Archer

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Ace
Date of Publication: September 25, 2012

ISBN-10: 0425257150
ISBN-13: 978-0425257159

Cover Artist: David Palumbo

Book Description:

Noon Onyx has been accepted into the prestigious St. Lucifer’s Law School where her mother hopes she’ll be trained as a Maegester. But Noon doesn’t want to control demons, set fires, or destroy things. She wants to become a Mederi so she can grow gardens and heal people.

Noon's best friend, Peter Aster, is an Angel spellcaster who thinks he has the answer to Noon's predicament - an ancient, mysterious, lost spell that can turn Noon into the Mederi she always wanted to be. Only one person stands in the way of Noon's dream - Ari Carmine, a fellow classmate who seems fascinated by Noon's fiery side. 

Fiery Edge of Steel
Noon Onyx
Book 2
Jill Archer

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Ace
Date of Publication: May 28, 2013

ISBN-10: 0425257169
ISBN-13: 978-0425257166

Cover Artist: Jason Chan

Book Description:

Noon Onyx is the first woman in memory to wield waning magic. Her unique abilities, paired with a lack of control and reluctance to kill, have branded her as an outsider from her peers. Only her powerful lover, Ari Carmine, and a roguish and mysterious Angel, Rafe Sinclair, support her unconventional ways.

When Noon is shipped off to a remote outpost to investigate several unusual disappearances, it seems Luck is not on her side. But when the outpost settlers claim that an ancient and evil foe has stepped out of legend to commit the crimes, Noon realizes that she could be facing something much worse than she ever imagined…

About the Author:

Jill Archer writes dark, genre-bending fantasy from rural Maryland. Her novels include Dark Light of DayFiery Edge of Steel, and White Heart of Justice. She loves cats, coffee, books, movies, day tripping, and outdoor adventuring.


Anyone who tweets one of these will be entered to win ANY fantasy book of their choice from Book Depository (so long as Book Depository ships to your address) (up to $10.00). Contest ends on June 3, 2014. One tweet/entry per person.

Lucem in tenebras ferimus. Into the darkness, we bring light.” @archer_jill #DARKLIGHTOFDAY

“When traveling into the unknown, sometimes the biggest danger is the one you bring with you…” @archer_jill #FIERYEDGEOFSTEEL

“One out of every two hunters who follow the Old Trail will not return.” @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Finally! I’m looking forward to seeing Noon embrace her fiery magic. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Ari Carmine is smokin’ hot. I wanna see if Noon can forgive him for that nasty surprise at the end of B2. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

I heard a rumor that Rafe Sinclair makes a wish and I wanna know if it’s granted. @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Nocturo. Tall dark handsome. Heard his scalpel’s put to good use. Is he gonna threaten Brunus w it again? @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

I love the characters, but I’m really just in it for the monsters and magic. Bring on the ice demons! @archer_jill #WHITEHEARTOFJUSTICE

Armageddon is over. The demons won. But it’s not as dark as all that. Parts of it are romantic and sweet. @archer_jill #NOONONYXSERIES

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Spotlight and Except Berman's Wolves by Gretchen SB

Berman's Wolves
Gretchen SB

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Cover artist: Talina Perkins

When a scientist runs an experiment on three separate college campuses that goes horribly wrong, several hundred students find their lives altered forever. They must learn to adapt to their new lives as Werewolves. Immediately after the incident a government program was put in place to keep track of these unwitting subjects. After a year the program falls apart as those in charge argue on how to proceed.

Without the programmers constantly looking over their shoulders the werewolves have now started to organize themselves. Creating their own hierarchy and alliances.

Jack is the Alpha of Pacific Northwest University's pack F. He thought the government had finally taken a step back and let him and the other Alphas run their packs. Recently, however, he has been hearing rumblings about the programmers wanting to reinstate the program. He thought they were just rumors until he finds out one of his pack is being threatened by several of the lab assistants that took part in the original experiment. Now Jack must scramble to find allies and hunt down those threatening his pack. The more he goes looking the bigger the plot becomes.

Available on Smashwords

Berman's Wolves Excerpt One

Lyra knew the Weres who jumped her were members of pack L, former lab assistants of Berman’s from Pacific Northwest University. They hadn’t tried to negotiate this time, but had simply jumped her as turned the corner on her way home from the off-leash dog park in her neighborhood.
As soon as she smelled her attackers approaching, she turned to Hazel and pretended to have lost her cell phone. Hazel hadn’t questioned it, just taken Fizgig’s leash from Lyra’s outstretched hand and continued walking to Lyra’s apartment.
Lyra double-timed it toward the park. She knew her attackers would follow. All she needed was enough distance between them and Hazel. Lyra loved Hazel like family, but the other woman was not a fighter. Hazel would try, but she would only be hurt or used against Lyra. It didn’t really help matters that Hazel and Lyra knew all of each other’s secrets. In Lyra’s case some of those secrets could get them killed.
Lyra knew leading the attackers away from Hazel and the dogs was her best and only option. As the outskirts of the forested trail closed in around her, Lyra spun and braced herself for the attack. She could smell the malicious intent like rotting meat rolling off of them. She had one advantage: they didn’t know how well she could fight. Growing up in a predominantly male social group, Lyra had honed her skills. They thought girls were weak. They would underestimate her.  Lyra gave a small grin as the three Weres came into view around the bend.
Lyra posed as if she’d been off-guard and was helpless, widening her eyes and shrinking away in horror. The tallest guy headed toward her. Lyra counted, waiting until the last second when his arms stretched out to grab her. She roundhouse-kicked him in the head. The Were crumpled. Weres could take and dole out major damage and Lyra was stronger than most. The blow had landed perfectly, and he’d be out of commission for a few minutes.
The other two men didn’t make the same mistake; they rushed her. Lyra backed up. She needed more room than the thin nature trail provided. She was able to get one punch in to the guy on her left before the other man grabbed her.
Panic began to rise as a strong arm banded around her throat. Screaming to herself, she pushed the panic aside. She struggled to remember the course of action for this type of attack. Using the heel of her shoe, she stomped on her attacker’s foot. Inwardly she swore as she connected with a boot—she couldn’t do any damage that way. His arm tightened, and she knew he meant for her to lose consciousness. That would be bad. She felt the loss of breath acutely and Lyra knew she had maybe thirty seconds to get out of the hold before she was incapacitated.
She gave one swift kick behind her as she dug both her thumbs at her throat to relieve the pressure. Her kick hit true and her attacker cried out as her heel connected with groin.
She felt the man back up and she moved the opposite direction, scanning for the Were she’d punched in the stomach. She didn’t see him, not at first, but what she did see made her curse.

About the Author:

Gretchen happily lives in Seattle, Washington where she spends her time creating new characters and situations to put them in. She also enjoys cheering on her local sports teams, even though it sometimes seems they are allergic to winning.

Gretchen has spent most of her life in Washington state. She graduated from Central Washington University with a BA in History and a BA in Philosophy. Though there was a brief stint after college where she lived in Florida and worked for the mouse (Disney World). She loves that Washington provides a large range of activities, from Shakespeare in the park to rodeos.

She has had a love of reading and telling stories as far back as she, or anyone else, can remember.  Currently, she loves to read the same genres she writes. She also loves exploring her home state. At the end of her adventures she unwinds by curling up on the couch, knitting while catching up TV shows via Netflix.
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Interview- HE: A Sexual Odyssey by Stephan Morsk

What inspired you to become an author?  

Reading got me through some tough times, specifically reading about authors.  I decided I admired writers about as much as I admired any profession.  When I was growing up you used to see authors on TV more often, they had a presence and an (often eccentric) personality.  They were looked up to.  Now they’re largely invisible.  I decided I’d like to become one of those guys. 

Do you have a specific writing style?  

My favorite author is Norman Mailer.  I could never hope to approximate his writing style, but have drawn from several writers I respect including Elmore Leonard, Philip Roth, Erica Jong, Hunter S. Thompson.  (I’m dating myself I know.)  The bottom line is you choose which aspect or aspects of writing you think are most important and push them to the max.  I used to think the only essential element in writing was sound.  I submitted a whole collection of short stories called ‘Radish Heart’ to the Flannery O’Connor prize.  I didn’t win, but I respected myself for remaining true to that ideal, even though I’ve moved on from that.  You’ll see some stories like that on my website

Do you write in different genres?  

I invented my own genre term, ‘mysteroticom’ combining mystery, comedy and erotica.  As far as I know I’m the only one doing it.  I do it well.  If I’m not enjoying the writing I know it’s time to change something.  I go for entertainment value, lightening fast reads with horse-like doses of sex, humor, even drugs. 

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?  

‘Mysteroticom’ as I said.  I write in the first person.  Mailer called this his ‘trump card’.  I think it gives an immediacy of experience if you get inside the narrator’s head and know exactly what they’re thinking and feeling.  My novella, “HE: A Sexual Odyssey” is in the third person however which suits its plot line to a tee.  

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?  

It was originally called ‘crispi-sulcans’ which means winding or serpentine in Latin.  But since few people would have any idea of what that meant, I simply changed it to encompass what I felt was the most salient feature, this introverted protagonist searching for Ms. Right and connecting only with his penis.

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?  

I changed it along the way.  Usually I do title my books when I start and stick to it.  The title provides a guidepost for what the book’s supposed to be about, albeit a rather vague one. 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?  

A couple of themes stand out in “HE: A Sexual Odyssey.”  The protagonist, a thirty-ish law student in Manhattan is in search of salvation from his rather isolated existence.  He’s looking for Ms. Right.  Women are largely seen by “HE” as the blessed immaculate deliverance from his cubby hole existence.  The power of women, emotionally and sexually stands out.  Finally, the cruelty of a tornadic vortex of gonzo karma is ever present.  “HE” is thrust into a series of intolerable situations through no fault of his own. 

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?  

Most of it is made up.  Characters are drawn from people in my life past and present but then altered subtly to fit the ongoing landslide of the plot line.  I always visualize someone whether from TV, real life, movies, etc. when I describe a character. 

What books/authors have influenced your life?  

As I said, I’m old school.  Norman Mailer, Erica Jong, Philip Roth, Hunter S. Thompson, Elmore Leonard to name a few.  I haven’t connected with any contemporary authors, probably because I’m too busy writing and don’t have time to read much.  When I go on vacation I bring a book with me.  Usually it’s an old classic and I rarely finish it.  I’m a shamelessly slow reader. 

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?  

Mailer. Read his book “American Dream”.  It reads like genre but is chilling in the anvil-like sense of guilt pervading its pages, its lush descriptives, you name it.  Also read “Tough Guys Don’t Dance.”  Devastating.  By the way he won TWO Pulitzer’s. 

What book are you reading now?  

None!  I’m a sloth in the reading department. 

What books are in your to read pile?  

I’ve never read “The Naked and the Dead,” Mailer’s out of the box hit after WWII.  But I’m not big on war books.  I tried to read “A Visit From the Goon Squad” once but just didn’t connect with it. 

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?  

“Green Light.”  It’s part of a series (As is “HE”) about a screenwriter’s misadventures.  Again the insouciance of blitzkrieg fate shines through, and the adoration of women.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?  

In “Green Light” the screenwriter, a successful guy in his forties outside of LA, meets a woman in a bar. A few days later she shows up at his door.  The next day she leaves but is later found dead.  Wouldn’t you know it?  Shit for karma.  He thinks he knows who the murderer is and gets beaten up over it.  By the way, he has a mammoth penis.  So be it. 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?  

Keeping it always fresh, deliberately humorous and intriguing, always changing to keep the reader (and myself) entranced.  If you try “HE” you’ll see what I mean.  It’s sexy as hell and a lighting fast novella.  (71 pages)

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Mailer’s descriptives, the constant impression of his thought processes, his invincible timing.  He also ran for mayor of New York, made films, stabbed one of his wives, was an alcoholic and spent time in Bellevue.  Harvard grad.  He held his own in an interview with William F. Buckley.  Quite a character to earn two Pulitzer’s. 

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?  

Not at all, except mentally. 

Who designed the cover of your latest book?  

I did with help from Infinity Publishing.  I sort of had second thoughts about it for a while, but now I’m convinced it’s just perfect. 

Do you have any advice for other writers?  

Write, write and then write some more.  Identify what it is in writing that intrigues you and push that aspect to its God forsaken limits.  Then start all over again. 

Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?  

“I Dig a Pygmy” by the Beatles.  Just kidding. 

          Thanks so much for allowing me this time to elucidate a bit about myself and my work.  Follow me on, Twitter (@SMorsk), Facebook.  “HE:A Sexual Odyssey” is available in softcover (Amazon), and e formats Kindle and Nook.  

HE: A Sexual Odyssey
Stephan Morsk

ISBN: 0-7414-8224-X

Genre: erotica

Book Description:

In HE the unnamed protagonist, a law student, is involved with a series of women who either loathe him, try to poison him, save his life or exploit him sexually. The first is the nanny of his ex boss’ kid. She sends him a hateful letter, enclosing a pubic hair and rubbed with pheromones. After observing a woman in a coffee shop whose breasts are ‘freaks of nature’ she leaves a briefcase and departs. He’s unsuccessful in returning it to her, but this karmic event exposes him to a bevy of dangerous and seductive paramours.

Available at  Buy Books on the Web and at Amazon

About the Author:

Stephan Morsk is a mental health professional who writes daily.  He won a 7th and an 8th place in the Writer’s Digest competition 2001 out of a field of 19,000 writers.  He has published a short story and won honorable mentions in other years.  His web site offers a new short story each month.  He is interested in novellas and recently submitted “Parrot Moon” to the Paris Literary Prize.  He’s finished several other short books, part of a four part series including “HE”, “Trashy Novel-A Love Story”, “She” and “I”.  He lives in rural Minnesota with his family.  Favorite novelist, Normal Mailer.  He enjoys exercise and is a reasonable amateur magician.   

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