Thursday, May 28, 2015

INterview Half Breed Queen by LA Hendricks



1. What inspired you to become an author?

I love to read. I can churn through books faster than I can find them. And I’ve always loved telling stories and writing. I can see the stories I make up like movies in my head. I finally decided that it didn’t matter if no one wanted to read something I’d written, I was going to write. And now, I’m hooked!

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

The main character’s mother, Andi, is based on my mother. In specific, Andi’s love for cooking and baking. My mother makes the most incredible cakes, though she has never entered baking competition (despite my constant suggestions). The relationship between Marla and Andi is very much like the one my mother and I have. When she read the book, she immediately saw herself on the pages. I think she was pleased.

3. What books/authors have influenced your life?

I’d say books in general have influenced my life. Books represented an escape when I was younger and now, are how I relax. I don’t watch much TV (unless sports are on), so I’ve always got at least 3 books lying around. I go through phases in my reading. I’ll find a new author, fall in love with their genre then gobble up as man as I can before I find someone new or am introduced to a new genre.  

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

Probably Anne Bishop. I love her method of storytelling and world-building. Her books are addictive – I’ve read the Black Jewels Trilogy so many times I’ve lost count. I can fall into the worlds she builds so easily and that is what I want for my books.

5. What book are you reading now?

Dark Witch by Nora Roberts

6. What books are in your to read pile?

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Winter by Marissa Meyer

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

I’m currently editing two books. The first, tentatively titled Amethyst Rising, is the second book in YA/Fantasy The Skatia Narratives series. The second – Wrong Time, Wrong Place – is my first Adult Contemporary Romance novel. It’s also the first in a new series, The Queen City Novels.

8. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read. Read. Read. I learned more from reading other writers, good and bad, than I have in any seminar. I’ll admit to “borrowing” from other writer’s techniques or looking for issues in my writing that I find in others’ writing. It’s so important to read as much as possible to keep your mind sharp and to feed your creativity.

Half Breed Queen
The Skatia Narratives
Book One
LA Hendricks

Genre: YA/Fantasy

Publisher: Illipsium Media

Date of Publication: March 2, 2015

ISBN: 978-09860984-1-3
ASIN: B00U5945FW

Number of pages: 322
Word Count: 72,000

Cover Artist: LA Hendricks

Book Description:

Devastating tragedy puts 14-year-old high school freshman Marla Owens, on a fast-paced journey of survival, revival and coming of age. Driven by a force she can't begin to understand and a burning need to find out the truth, she heads toward her mother’s home in North Dakota. She soon learns more about herself and her family than she could have ever imagined — her mother was royal heir to the powerful Skatian throne! And now the Skatian people need her to protect their world from those who wish to conquer it.

In a classic tale of good versus evil, set on Earth and beyond, a young girl fights to survive to become a young woman—and the reluctant queen of Skatia.  Who can she trust? Will she be able to control her own immense abilities and justified anger to do what’s right? One thing’s for sure: Marla’s not in Texas anymore!


Available at Amazon   BN   iTunes   Kobo

Excerpt #4

“Don't struggle, little heir. I need to take you back alive.” His voice sounded like a snake's slither. He looked at Marla as though she were nothing more than money. His eyes, so pale a shade of blue they seemed white, made Marla shudder.

“Let me go!” Marla tried in vain to yank her arm away from her kidnapper, but he was a head or so taller and much stronger than she. He began to drag her down the street. “Who are you? How did you find me,” she asked through her teeth. People on the street were beginning to stare, but no one seemed inclined to intervene. She was trying hard to hold her temper, but could feel it begin to slip away from her.

“I am Dovidas, little princess. And as for how I was able to find you, your ability’s signature is very distinctive. All I had to do was follow your scent. Practicing all day, like a good little mark. It made my job much easier. I thought you'd have been smarter than that.”

“Please, stop. Let me go.” Marla was dragging her feet, refusing to walk. The man turned and slapped her. He picked her up and tossed her over his shoulder.

“Do not make me kill you, as Jurg had to kill your mother. I do not get paid if you are dead.” He took off down the street once again. There were still people around, but it now seemed they were not to notice them. It was as though the man had made them invisible or something.

Hearing this strange man talk about her mother so carelessly snapped the tenuous grasp Marla held on her temper. She could feel herself morphing, growing even – arms and legs growing longer and more muscular, hands and feet lengthening and becoming claw-like. The man felt the shift in Marla's weight and looked up at her – and dropped her in surprise. Marla hit the ground with a noticeable thump. Her breathing was heavy and labored as her body changed. 

The process took only a minute or two, but Dovidas was so stunned that he couldn't move. The teenage girl he'd taken from outside the restaurant was changing before his eyes. He knew that the clan was from another world, but he did not realize that their human form was merely a disguise, and he certainly had never seen one in their natural form. The girl-beast on the ground before him was exceptionally terrifying, even to one such as Dovidas. He turned on his heel and ran away.

The motion drew Marla's attention. She held her hand, if it could still be called that, out in the direction had taken off Dovidas was running. He stopped in mid-stride, frozen like a statue. Marla stood, stretching out and testing her new body. She slowly and deliberately walked over to Dovidas, enjoying his obvious fear.


About the Author:

LA Hendricks is an IT project manager by day and science fiction/fantasy novelist by night. A longtime lover of words, she reads science fiction, fantasy and paranormal romance novels regularly (when there is time).

When not reading, writing or working, LA can most often be found watching football or basketball with her adorable cat, Mona.





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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Interview and Giveaway: A New Day at Midnight by Michelle Hiscox





What inspired you to become an author?

It started with being an early reader and grade school storywriter. My Granny had a drawer of Stephen King and John Saul books and once I discovered them, I never stopped reading. My love of horror remained steady, soon accompanied by a young obsession with Harlequin romance novels. When I read my first JR Ward novel in my late 20’s, Paranormal Romance became my inspiration. It contained elements of what I love most about the two main genres I read, and I wanted to write my own. It started with a paragraph.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I think I’d describe it as dark, romantic, and emotional. I always write in third person, it’s something I’ve always preferred in both reading and writing. I definitely don’t write feel good, light hearted fare, I try to created charged, intense experiences for the reader.

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

Definitely JR Ward. When I need to get rid of writer’s block or just read something good, I’ll pick a page in one of her novels and read for a while. Stephen King also can’t go without mention, he uses some of the best similes I’ve ever read. His book, On Writing, can teach a lot to the aspiring author.

What book are you reading now?

I’m reading The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks.

What books are in your to read pile?

The King by JR Ward and Revival by Stephen King. It seems between writing and marketing there is little time left for reading unless I make the time. The problem is that once I start I can’t stop until the book is finished.

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

I’m working on Chasing Dawn, the second book in the Hearne Family Saga. It focuses on Nicolai, the youngest brother in the family. I hope to complete it by the end of the year.

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

Luckily no, because world travel isn’t really an option for me. Between the internet, print resources, and imagination it’s possible to create a rich, layered, and authentic setting in a fictional universe.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

Bookkus Publishing gets credit for the design.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Keep writing, keep learning, and accept criticism with a tough hide, keen eye, and grain of salt.

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

I’m someone that will listen to a song I like over and over, and I gravitate toward intense or emotional songs. This is just a sample of songs that inspired me throughout writing A New Day at Midnight.

Clutch – The Regulator
David Gray – Disappearing World
Johnny Cash – Hurt
Lana Del Ray – Video Games, Summertime Sadness
Loreena McKennitt – Dante’s Prayer, The Old Ways, Ancient Pines
Passenger – Let Her Go
John Legend – All of Me
Sam Smith – Stay With Me, Make It To Me
Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson – Winter Song




A New Day at Midnight
The Hearne Family Saga
Book 1
Michelle Hiscox

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Bookkus Publishing

Date of Publication: February 14, 2015

ISBN: 0991709497
ASIN: B00TGOODU4

Page Count Print – 264       
Page Count Electronic – 268
Word Count: 92,691

Cover Artist: Bookkus Publishing

Book Description:

When Merik Hearne finally lays claim to the woman that betrayed him, she inspires much more than his need for revenge—but is her love worth dying for again?

Condemned to play host to a demon, the scarred Romani leader has amassed a fortune with only one goal in mind—to possess Hannah Worthington, the traitorous beauty that has eluded him for over a decade. With an exchange of coin, everything he has been striving for is within reach but nothing is as he imagined. The tender, sharp-tongued woman he encounters tests the bounds of his convictions and he is torn between the promise of reckoning and longing for a love that once destroyed him.

Exchanged for a purse of gold and informed she is to be a slave, Hannah vows she has not survived a lifetime of loss only to wither under the likes of Merik Hearne. And she will do everything she can to make sure he knows it. Despite his overbearing manner, his fierce scars, and her own determination to escape him, she begins to see that something beautiful might lie beneath…something that belongs only to her. She must discover the angle from which the great lord plays before his dark desires consume them both. 

As they struggle to find truth amid pasts marred by sorrow and secrecy, they are unaware that a vengeful apostle orchestrates the rise of a forgotten god—and the end of their chance at a life together.


Available at  Amazon   Amazon.ca   Amazon.co.uk  BN

Excerpt 2

Hannah realized Merik had left her doors unlocked. Again. Did he believe she would stay now that she knew his true name and nature? She dare not utter the real question plaguing her, but it invaded her mind nonetheless.
Is he right? A large ember escaped from the iron latticework in front of the fire, landing on the rug at her feet. She watched it smoulder.
Smoke curled up in delicate tendrils, disappearing before reaching the high ceiling. She stared for several long moments, willing the flame to grow, to consume her. It held the colour of Merik’s eyes, burning gold and crimson. A small flame flickered to life, hungry for progress until she stamped it out with the heel of her foot.
Rising from the fire to flop on her bed, she stopped short as an echo rang through the hall. Certain her battered senses played tricks on her, she pulled back her covers to lay down but heard it again.
Whether it was a call of rage, grief, or agony she could not distinguish. It came from Merik’s quarters, echoing deep within the shadows of the hall. Padding to her door, she warred between anger over his treatment of her and the desire to ease his pain.
She could not ignore the fact he’d told her the truth. Pulling a robe about her shoulders, she kicked off her charred slipper. Without consulting her mind, she made the decision with her heart. She rested her hand on the door, opening the barrier between her and the unknown.
“Shit. Shit, shit, shit. What am I doing? I can stay in my rooms. There is hardly any need to go out there.”
Another tortured cry rose in the air, strengthening her resolve to help Merik.
Lighting a candle, she forced herself to go into the hall. Another cry rang through the air, and as she got closer to Merik’s chamber, she finally understood what he was saying. Her name.
“I’m coming, Merik.” Running to his room, she entered through the open door to see an empty chamber. Desperation overrode the fear hammering her heart against her chest. The room smelled of blood, of sickness. Could Vetala even get sick? Could they die?
“No, please no, not again. Merik? Merik, please call my name.”
He groaned. As she followed the source of the noise, the candle shook in her hand. The hot wax stung her flesh when she stopped several steps in front of a half-open door set in the wall.
“Merik?” The smell of death clung to the entrance and she gagged. The candle wobbled in her hand. She steadied it, saying a quick thanks to God it did not go out. She could not bear to go forth in the darkness without light. Setting the candle on the floor, she swung the door wide. The candle flickered as she picked it up. Fear twisted her guts and no matter how she tried, she could not stop her hands from shaking. She took another step.
“Merik?” It took her eyes several moments to see more than a foot from her face. When she saw him in the dim light, she gasped. He now stood in front of her. It took her several more moments to realize he was not standing of his own volition, but rather restrained by chains embedded in the stone wall. When he lifted his head, she covered her mouth to stifle a scream.
Eyes of molten gold and crimson stared back at her. His jaw and facial bones were distended, his hands curled into claws. The changes were much more severe than the few instances she attributed to the loss of her mind.
“I…I…” Stepping back toward the entrance, her gaze never left Merik’s. She turned her back on him to commence a rather spineless retreat, but could not get her feet to cooperate.
“Hannah?” The voice held much more than pain. What? Desperation? Hope? She could not move as her heart and mind waged war. Despite his appearance, she knew beneath the angled bone protruding from his flesh, his distorted face, and the fangs visible in his mouth, Merik stood in front of her. The man she met a decade before. The man looking at her with the same single focused intensity with which he always did. The man she loved.
Taking another step and hearing nothing but her own harsh breathing, she took one more.








About the Author:

Michelle Hiscox is a Paranormal Romance fan and author who hails from Drumheller, Alberta. The dinosaur bones buried in the hills of her hometown inspired the first stories she ever wrote, and she feels blessed to walk those same hills with her daughter today. Crocus flowers and dust bowls full of cactus never fail to inspire.

While her little girl and husband provides many welcome distractions to writing, it's something she always finds her way back to. Michelle is the proud, and slightly crazy, owner of two dogs and three cats, all animals she loves more than she reasonably should. She's been reading voraciously since she was a child and, one night, pulled her nose from a book to start writing her own.





Amazon Author Page –http://www.amazon.com/l/B00VO2K990

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Release Day Blitz Summer Fire: Love When It’s Hot








Summer Fire: Love When It’s Hot

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: dba 7th House Publishing, Imprint of Andromeda LLC

Date of Publication: May 26, 2015

ISBN: 9781507060469
ASIN: B00U1DZH7C

Number of pages: 1,610
Word Count: 483,000

Cover Artist: Victoria Danann

Description:

20 ALL NEW summer romances by New York Times, USA Today, and National Bestselling authors.

Love when it’s hot? So do we. Especially when we’re writing about gritty alphas, angsty bad boys, sizzling attraction, and unrequited passion. Military, cowboy, biker, humor, second chance love, and more.

SO LOOSEN YOUR BUTTONS, TURN THE FAN TO OSCILLATE, AND JOIN US FOR THIS STEAMY, GROUNDBREAKING BUNDLE OF SUMMER TALES THAT ARE HOT HOT HOT.

1. Gennita Low Sizzle Spies, Lola and Jake, fall hard for each other. Is their love strong enough for one assignment that would risk everything?

2. R.J. Lewis Sinful Two different people from two different worlds find their lives colliding in the most sinful way.

3. L. Wilder Summer Storm VP Guardrail’s life has always been his MC club. It’s up to him to fix a wrong, but he wasn’t expecting Allie to take him by storm.

4. Victoria Danann A Season in Gemini The first time sexy biker, Brant Fornight, saw Garland St. Germaine, he knew she was going to turn him inside out. And she did.

5. Kym Grosso Solstice Burn Love and temptation flare in a tropical paradise. When Chase rescues Penny, she learns to embrace her inner fantasies.

6. Cat Miller Sun Burnt Kesslyn inherits a ranch, but the city girl is unsure she’s up for the challenge. Can her sexy foreman rope her into staying forever?

7. Mimi Barbour Big Girls Don’t Cry He’s everything she’s ever wanted in a man. And she’s nothing like the girl she wants to be. Something’s gotta change…

8. Clarissa Wild Killer Secrets could kill you. He murdered her husband. She’s the prime suspect seeking justice. Only one of them can win.

9. Teresa Gabelman Rodeo Romance Jake McCabe had one rule. Never date a client. Trisha Summers had a new rule. Never date a man again. Rules were meant to be broken.

10. Helen Scott Taylor Irish Kisses Ten years ago he said he loved her, then he left and broke her heart. Now he’s back, and he wants her again, but can she trust him?

11. Victoria James Sweet Surrender Cade showing up on her doorstep is not what Julia wants-but this bad-boy is back and ready to convince her that this time is forever…

12. Mona Risk Husband for a Week A Sicilian vendetta, a fake husband, and a matchmaking grandmother complicate Jonathan and Isabella’s lives. Can love conquer all?

13. Patrice Wilton A Man for Hire Jordon’s ex-boyfriend is bringing home a bride. To save face she hires a hot guy for the weekend. Sparks fly–can this be love?

14. Linda Barlow My Mile-High Mistake Six years ago, she yearned for her sexy, forbidden high school teacher. Now she can’t resist his temptation at 35,000 feet.

15. Joan Reeves Heat Lightning Her husband found her, claimed her, rescued her. His touch makes her throb. Her body knows him, but she remembers nothing about him.

16. Danielle Jamie Tan Lines and Salty Kisses Becca and Parker have a second chance at summer romance. The spark is hotter than a Georgia July. Can it withstand news of his secret?

17. Terri Marie Someone Exactly Like You Cameron Barron’s plan was solid. A few lies, a disguise, and an apology to Chastity Newberry… What could possibly go wrong?

18. Lorhainne Eckhart His Promise A love they thought would last forever. A promise forgotten. Until one summer night.

19. Brandy L Rivers Summer Rhythm Doug never could resist Chloe. She always runs. Will this time be different or is their summer rhythm destined to repeat.

20. Nicole Blanchard Anchor I thought it was a weekend from hell, until he showed me a little piece of heaven.


Available at Amazon   Apple   BN   Kobo


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Monday, May 25, 2015

Two Princes: The Biker and The Billionaire by Victoria Danann




Two Princes: The Biker and The Billionaire
Sons of Sanctuary
Book 1
Victoria Danann

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: 7th House Publishing,
Imprint of Andromeda LLC

Date of Publication: June 16, 2015

Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 90,000

Cover Artist: Victoria Danann

Book Description:

Brigid Roan is a graduate student at the University of Texas. She had no trouble getting her thesis approved, but finding a Hill Country motorcycle club willing to give her access to their lifestyle had started to seem impossible. Then she got a lead. A friend of a friend had a cousin with ties to The Sons of Sanctuary.

What she wanted was information to prove a proposition. What she didn’t want was to fall for one of the members of the club. Especially since she had set out to prove that motorcycle clubs are organized according to the same structure as primitive tribal society.

Brash Fornight was standing in line at the H.E.B. Market when his world tipped on its axis. While waiting his turn to check out, his gaze had wandered to the magazine display and settled on the new issue of “NOW”. The image on the cover, although GQ’d up in an insanely urbane way, was… him.

After reading the article, Brash threw some stuff in a duffle and left his club, The Sons of Sanctuary, with a vague explanation about needing a couple of days away. He left his Jeep at the Austin airport and caught a plane for New York, on a mission to find the guy who was walking around with his face.

Two brothers, one a player, one a playboy, are on a collision course with destiny and a woman who thought she won a prize when she was allowed a look inside the Sons of Sanctuary MC.

Available at Amazon  BN   Kobo   iTunes

Excerpt:

“Sir?” Brash Fornight gradually became aware that someone behind him in the grocery checkout line was trying to get his attention. “Sir?” He refocused and glanced behind him. The woman leaning on a cart overflowing with chip bags and cookie boxes nodded toward the cashier indicating that it was his turn to move forward. Brash looked her in the eye and had to give her props. Most people wouldn’t have the balls to try to herd a guy wearing Sons of Sanctuary MC leather.
The club employed a woman who cooked and did grocery shopping several times a week as part of her job description, but Brash didn’t like to explain his relentless craving for peanuts and he liked being teased about it even less. He didn’t know whether it was the Vitamin B or the fat or just because he liked the taste, but he couldn’t imagine going a day without them.
That’s how he came to be standing statue still In the grocery checkout line, being prompted by some woman with more nerve than sense. While he was waiting, his eyes drifted over the magazine display and settled on the cover of “NOW”, on the Most Eligible Bachelor edition no less. The debonair figure staring back was wearing Brash’s own face and body. He looked different with short hair and a four thousand dollar suit with the shirt fashionably open at the neckline, but the similarity was inescapable.
On impulse he grabbed the magazine and tossed it onto the conveyor belt with his week’s stash of peanuts.
He stuffed the bags into the saddlebags of his bike and roared toward home, nervously tapping his fingers on handlebars at red lights, riding on shoulders to keep from slowing down. He was anxious to get to the privacy of his own room and read about Branach St. Germaine.
Two beers, one jar of peanuts, and one “NOW” article later, Brash was sitting on the edge of his bed looking at the wall, seeing nothing but his own heavy thoughts. He pulled out his phone, looked up a website, and waited on hold for ten minutes to hear the time of the next flight from Austin to New York.

There was a flight to Newark in a little over three hours. He looked at his watch and calculated the time it would take to drive from Dripping Springs at that time of day. As he booked the flight, he stood up, walked to the small closet, grabbed a duffel bag, and began shoving stuff into it. Ten minutes later, he closed his door and locked it, threw the duffel over his shoulder, and headed straight for the office downstairs. He dropped the duffel on the hallway floor beside the closed door and knocked.
“Yeah?” Brash looked inside, glad that his dad was by himself, and stepped in. “What’s up?”
“I’m takin’ personal time, Pop. Gonna be gone for a couple of days.”
“What the hell is ‘personal time’?”
The gruffness made Brash smile. “It means I’m not gonna be here if you call and I’m not tellin’ you why.”
The Sons of Sanctuary President looked up at Brash, over the top of his readers, and narrowed his eyes. “You got a secret?”
“Everybody’s got secrets.”
Brandon Fornight studied his son for a minute. “True enough. Is it the kind of secret that could affect this club?”
Brash shook his head. “Don’t see how.”
“Well, then. See you… When did you say you’d be back?”
“I didn’t.”
“Bein’ purposefully vague, are you?”
Brash grinned. “That’s why they call it personal time. But I expect to be back Friday.”
“You gonna have your phone with you?” When Brash nodded, Bran looked back down at his ledger in a deliberately dismissive gesture. “Well, get outta here then.”
Brash parked his bike in the airplane hangar. The structure had already been on the property when the club had bought it and turned it into a compound twenty years earlier. They used part of it for vehicle maintenance and repair and part for parking.
Some of the guys who were working looked over and shot curious glances his way when Brash threw his duffel into his pickup and started it up, but it wasn’t their way to ask questions. The Sons figured that if somebody wanted you to know something, they’d tell you.
Brash took a cab to a midtown hotel, wondering all the way why human beings would choose to live in such a place. As he slid his credit card across the hotel counter to the agent on duty, he glanced at the name, Brandon Fornight. It seemed unlikely that it was a coincidence that that the mysterious look-alike’s first name began with the same four letters. He ordered room service and pulled out his laptop.
Getting intel on the guy didn’t take advanced ops. Within an hour Brash knew where Brannach St. Germaine worked, what kind of car he drove, what kind of women he dated, who his tailor was, and where he liked to dine. There was no shortage of photos online, but the one that grabbed his attention wasn’t one of the many with starlets or debutantes on his arm. It was the one taken with his arm around his mother as they were arriving together for some red carpet fundraiser. Brash had an almost irresistible compulsion to reach up and touch her face on the screen in front of him.
The knock on the door signaled that room service had arrived. It cost a fortune, but looked and tasted like shit. So he closed the computer and went out for a walk to clear his head and find something edible.



About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling Author, Victoria Danann, is making her debut into Contemporary Romance with releases in May and June 2015, after taking the world of PNR by storm.

Her Knights of Black Swan series won Best Paranormal Romance Two years in a Row (2013, 2014). ~Reviewers Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild.

Victoria’s paranormal romances come with uniquely fresh perspectives on “imaginary” creatures, characters, and themes. She adds a dash of scifi, a flourish of fantasy, enough humor to make you laugh out loud, and enough steam to make you squirm in your chair. 

Her heroines are independent femmes with flaws and minds of their own whether they are aliens, witches, demonologists, psychics, past life therapists, or financial analysts from Dallas. Her heroes are hot and hunky, but they also have brains, character, and good manners – usually – whether they be elves, demons, berserkers, werewolves, or vampires.

The first book of the Knights of Black Swan Paranormal Romance Series, My Familiar Stranger, was nominated for Best Paranormal Romance of 2012 by both Reviewers’ Choice and Readers’ Choice Awards. All of her books have opened on the Amazon Best Sellers list and earned Night Owl Reviews Top Pick awards.

Many have appeared on Listopia Book of the Month as #1 across all genres.

For books published in 2013, Black Swan won three awards.

1. Best Paranormal Romance Series
2. Best Paranormal Romance Novel – A SUMMONER’S TALE

3. Best Vampire~Shifter Novel – MOONLIGHT.

In 2014, Solomon’s Sieve won Best Vampire Novel.

If you’re interested in me personally, I am also a classically trained musician who defected to Classic Rock and that’s my first love. Yeah. Even more than writing.

This is Roadhouse, the very best in Classic Rock, taken near The Last Concert Cafe, Houston Texas, 2011. I was the utility player which means I played rhythm guitar, keyboards, sang backups and a few leads.





@vdanann

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Interview and Giveaway Amaranthine: The Heart of Decompose by Nina R Schluntz


Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?
I think I came up with Amaranthine after I’d written it. I used to use the word Twilight in my titles, but after a certain other set of novels with that title became popular I had to figure out something else. Let the record be known, my first novel came out a year before hers. (smirks)

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

The main characters in my book have pale violet eyes. The same shade as some sunsets, hence the twilight name. Well, since that was out I had to start from scratch. I was googling other names for purple and I came across Amaranthine. It can also be used to describe an undying mythical flower, with purple petals. It was perfect. I modified my novel a little, so my main character had something occur to change his eyes to this color and boom, the name of the book was born. Its an extra good fit, since the character is undead. 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My current stories are an escapism for my readers. I want people who are going through a rough time to be able to pick up my book and be so swept up in the world I've created that they are able to forget about their problems for a while. There’s no hidden message… well, none I’ll admit.

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

Everything is fictional. I tried putting myself into a character once. But then I had to kill them. Or worse, have them do something horrible. And of course, if it’s a character that you like to see yourself in, you don’t want to do that. I learned my lesson and have since distanced myself from all characters. I can’t let my attachment to any of them dictate the plot. 

Same applies if I name a character after someone. Suddenly I’m worried that the person it’s named after will judge me harshly if that character does something foul. There just aren’t that many “good” characters in my books. 

What books are you currently reading?

A wide variety. I recently finished “Wuthering Heights” and “Animal Farm.” The same week I read a male erotica “Curious” and a vampire book “Deamhan.” If something is really popular, I’ll usually give a read, just to learn why it appealed to so many. 

My favorite is watching the movie, then reading the book. I actually did the Twilight books side by side with the movies. My husband would walk into the room and I’d have the movie on pause and I’d be reading the book. He’d say, “You can’t do both!” I’d say, “Yes I can! I read a chapter, then watch ten minutes of the movie.”

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

I have two novels in the works, one might be out by the end of this year. Aurum: The Screams of Decompose...which has more dragons in it than my previous novels. I bet you can guess what color they are.

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

Well, the story of Dee and Harmony continues. Dee is still haunted by his past, mostly by the dragons. More unicorn species are introduced as well, which is a big deal. Until now, the only unicorns in my books have been Dee and his family. I think people will enjoy getting to meet more of them and learn their culture. 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

My books are relatively dark. I worry sometimes that people will judge me for it and think I secretly want to be a mass murderer. But then I read some of the other works out there and think, whew, my books aren’t nearly as dark as I thought! So my biggest challenge is not worrying about what people will think or trying to please any one person.

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

I used to have one. But now I’m finding my taste is constantly changing. I’ll like a book an author writes, but then when I try to read another book they’ve written, I’ll hate it. My world has become a “one hit wonder” when it comes to books. 

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

It would be handy if I could travel into space and find out what that’s like. (laughs) No, traveling doesn’t help me much. But I do research and do my best to make sure my stories as believable. My husband is very good at reigning me and telling me things like, “No your horse, even a unicorn, cannot jump over a forty foot wide river. Make the river smaller or make him fail.” And yes, that scene is in Amaranthine.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

I’ve hired artists in the past, even had my cousin do one of the book covers. My last book, Amaranthine, I actually did myself. I solicited a lot of feedback from people as I made it. 
I was that annoying person who would be out at dinner with friends and pull a sketch out of my purse saying, “Hey guys, can I get your thoughts on this…”

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t be afraid of feedback and getting advice from other authors. The best thing I ever did for myself was join an online writing group. I used to think other authors wouldn’t help me, cause we are all in competition with each other. But the writing world isn’t like that at all. I have yet to find a single unhelpful person. 




Amaranthine: The Heart of Decompose
Nina R Schluntz

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Romance

Publisher: Rainstorm Press
Date of Publication: 19 December 2014

ISBN-10: 1937758532
ISBN-13: 978-1937758530

Number of pages: 230 pages
Word Count: 80,580

Cover Artist: Nina Schluntz

Book Description:

Dragons, unicorns, fairies, zombies… and Santa.

At the center of it all stands Dee, a man immortalized in legend as Decompose. An ongoing war between unicorns and dragons has led to the creation of a plague… a deadly infection Dee is the host for. Not quite human, but not a unicorn either, Dee and the plague form a symbiotic relationship, resulting in immortality of the undead kind.

Every ruling Empire has desired control of Decompose. Controlling the infection means control of the people. An intervention of an old rival, Santa, results in Dee going missing. When he resurfaces decades later, Dee has one goal: locate the mythical cure to his plague.

However, complications of the heart force Dee to decide whether he truly wants to find the cure and give up being Decompose.



Available at Amazon


Excerpt

Jhon.
Dee focused on the name, pulling strength from it. Jhon contained the cure. Dee had to live so he could find Jhon. The cure was his way to correct all the wrongs he had done.
Dee ripped at the flesh surrounding him and clawed his way to the surface. The guts of the creature spilled out onto the ground, and he fell with them. He coughed, spitting out bodily fluids of the creature that had eaten him.
Jhon.
Dee rolled onto his side and threw up. The acidic stomach bile had left him temporarily disabled. His hearing returned before his vision and he heard voices near him.
“That?” A boyish voice asked. “That’s what you call a great and powerful present?”
“Trust me.” Another male voice said. “Throw the net on him and all your wishes will come true.”
“What is he, a genie?”
“You can treat him like one. He will be able to grant your every wish.” The older voice sounded familiar. Air rushed into Dee’s lungs, and his heart gave a painful beat. “Throw it over him now, before his strength returns.”
“Santa,” Dee managed to say. He gritted his newly mended teeth and gave a low growl. What did that man want now?
Dee’s vision returned in time for him to see a large, light- weight fishnet fall over his head and shoulders, covering his entire body. There was something claustrophobic about it. The more he struggled, the more of a mess he made of himself and the net.
“Stop moving around like that,” the boy said. Every muscle in Dee’s body stiffened. “Straighten the net out and get to your feet.” Dee moved as quickly as his wounded body would allow. His skin continued to burn from the acidic digestive juices still covering his flesh. The child before him didn’t look nearly as young as he’d expected. He was a teenager. And a dorky looking one at that, dressed in dark green pajamas with a cowlick on the back of his head.
“Santa, what is this?” Dee asked.
“Show me a trick,” the boy said. Dee obediently raised his hand and created a tennis ball sized orb of fire. It hovered in mid- air a few inches from his hand.
“He can do whatever you want,” Santa told the boy. “He is yours. No one will miss him. They all think he is dead.”
Dee put the fire out and lowered his hand. Fear rose through his healing body as he realized Santa was right. Dee had just crawled his way out of a dragon’s belly. Everyone who knew him thought a giant winged lizard had digested him. Even if someone searched for his remains, they would likely find nothing awry with his missing body.
“What is this?” he asked again.
“You’re my Christmas present,” the boy said.
Santa leaned in close to  Dee. “The boy is clever,  Dee. He caught me in a trap. You wouldn’t want all the children in the universe to miss the joy that Santa brings, would you? Of course, you wouldn’t. Therefore, I bartered with him. I gave him you in exchange for my freedom. You understand, don’t you?”
“You gave me to him as a present? I’m not an object to be owned.”
“Well, let’s be honest here, Dee. Most of your life has been spent in exactly that manner. At least this time your owner only wants you for your power, not your plague. Consider it a blessing—besides you’ll still have my visit to look forward to every Christmas Eve.”
My plague. Dee tried not to cringe at the reminder.
“Can you teleport him directly to the shower? He’s disgusting. My mother will throw a fit if he brings all that goop into the house.”
“Then you’ll take him?” Santa asked, as though Dee were a puppy for sale at the pet store.
“Yeah, he’ll do. Thank you, Santa.”
“I should have thought of this years ago,” Santa said.
“Santa, please,” Dee said. “I have to find Jhon before Emperor Emanuel does. He’s the only one who can cure the plague.”
“I’m sure Jhon will be fine without you, Dee.”



About the Author:

Nina Schluntz is a native to rural Nebraska. In her youth, she often wrote short stories to entertain her friends. Those ideas evolved into the novels she creates today.

Her husband continues to ensure her stories maintain a touch of realism as she delves in the science fiction and fantasy realm. And their kitty, a rescued Abyssinian, is always willing to stay up late to provide inspiration.

Visit her blog; mizner13.wordpress.com for information regarding previous and upcoming publications. She also posts book and movie reviews for a wide variety of genres.







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