Toni Lesatz: On Being an Award-Winning Blogger, Author, and Her Love/Hate Relationship with Halloween

There was no way I could do this annual post without including Toni. Not only is she a fellow author and blogger, award winning I might add, she’s also my Internet friend. We all have them; that friend you met online and wished they lived next door.

When I was starting out as an Indie Author, Toni one of the first Bloggers to take a chance on reading my book and leaving me a review. That might not sound like a big deal to some, but for a fledging author, it’s big news! Especially when that blog is My Book Addiction.

My Book Addiction started 4 years ago this week! Happy Blog-iversary, Toni! Tired of food blogging, Toni started a book blog and the rest is history. I think it was the right decision considering how many followers she has and winning, not one but two, awards at UtopYA. Just like with anything an artist creates, her blog is her “baby.”

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Toni Lesatz is a wife, mother, author, reader, blogger, gamer, coffee addict, and lover of the culinary arts. Her short stories, Ashes to Ashes and Dead World, published in fall 2014. She is currently writing full-length novels to continue both stories, as well as a YA dark fantasy book.

Toni lives in Michigan with her husband, children, and her dogs – Lucy (Chihuahua) and Harley (GSD). If she’s not writing or curled up with a book, you’ll most likely find her playing with her kids, baking cupcakes, or killing zombies.

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After Tomorrow Anthology on Goodreads

Author Questions

A. When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

T. I knew I wanted to be an author when I was about twelve years old. I carried a notebook around with me, always jotting down short stories and writing poetry.

 A. In what genre do you write?

T. Horror, post-apocalyptic, and paranormal

 A. Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

T. Science Fiction, but I’m too afraid I’ll screw it up. Ha!

 A. What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

T. My writing process is a mess. 🙂 I’ve tried outlining, and sometimes manage to do it successfully, but I’m more of a just-start-writing kind of girl. I hate writing by hand now, which I wouldn’t have guessed when I first started writing. All of my writing must be done on a computer.

A. Who are your writing inspirations, famous or not?

T. Jonathan Maberry, Melanie Karsak, Claire C. Riley, Colleen Hoover

A. How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?

T. Sometimes I don’t do any research. Some stories just pour out effortlessly. I was, however, writing a YA dark fantasy novel that is now gone forever because my computer died and I didn’t back it up. *queue the ugly cry* That book included a great deal of research. More than I’ve ever done for any project. I get a bit weepy whenever I hear about the area my story was set in, or get Facebook notifications from the gallery I handpicked from Google maps. I’d love to write it all over again, but I’m not quite ready to climb that mountain just yet.

A. Oh man, that sucks! I too have lost a good bit of writing due to technology (or maybe it was me) failing. It will make you cry!

A. Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

T. I do not listen to music. I write in absolute silence. While I love music and find it very uplifting, it distracts me when I’m writing.

A. When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

T. Spending time with my husband and kids doing just about anything is fun for me. We spend a lot of time at church, and love to spend the day shopping – even if it’s just window shopping.

A. What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

T. The most exciting experience was being published. There’s no feeling more intense than the adrenaline rush mixed with nausea that washes over you in huge waves the night before a release. It may be a tie between that and attending UtopYA in Nashville for the first time and winning two awards for my book review blog.

A. I remember that! You do have an amazing blog so it was well deserved!

A. Who created your amazing cover art?

T. I had nothing to do with the covers for either anthology, but my next cover will be created by Lori Parker at Contagious Covers.

A. I love Lori’s covers! She’s the best!

Halloween Questions

A. This is a Halloween blog post so you must tell us, do you enjoy Halloween? Why or why not?

T. I love Halloween and hate Halloween. Ha! I love the idea of Halloween, but hate that it’s usually cold and raining here in the Metro Detroit area. It also upsets me that stores sell kids Halloween costumes for $50 each (minimum) for two hours of use, and it’s usually something that’s inappropriate or it’s too cold to wear without a coat over it anyway. But I love baking pumpkin seeds (hate carving pumpkins) and I enjoy handing candy out and checking out the costumes.

A. Do you have any Halloween traditions?

T. Baking pumpkin seeds happens every year at my house.

A. What is your favorite scary movie and/or book?

T. The most current movie to scare me was The Conjuring. An older movie that scared me is the first Nightmare on Elm Street.

Books? Wow, there are just too many to start listing them. I love the horror genre, so I spend a lot of time with my nose in horror books.

A. Most importantly, what is your favorite Halloween candy?

T. Hmm. I don’t know. My daughter’s can’t eat peanuts so, as parents, we have to eat the Reese’s cups and Snickers bars for them. Hehe. I love candy corn, but can only tolerate a handful before nausea sets in.

A. Reese’s rocks! 🙂

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Happy Little Horrors Anthology on Amazon

Reader Questions

A. What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

T. Jonathan Maberry and Isaac Marion

A. Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?

T. I don’t understand the question. Ha! There’s no way I can pick just one book. One book that comes to mind is We are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt. It has nothing to do with horror or Halloween, but it has stuck with me since reading it in 2014. As an author, I wish I could write something like that.

A. What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

T. I would LOVE to see Until the End of the World by Sarah Lyons Fleming made into a movie. I’d also love to see The Harvesting by Melanie Karsak and Odium by Claire C Riley. Oh, and Donners of the Dead by Karina Halle.

I’ll stop now. So sorry. 🙂

A. As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

T. Sex, for no reason at all. I’m not a fan of adult books, honestly. I love middle grade and YA books. I realize there is sex in YA, but it’s not over-the-top sex just to have sex on a page.

A. I agree! Why does it have to be over the top anyway? *shrugs*

A. If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

T. I used to try to be a trooper, but I have so many books that if I tried to finish every book that didn’t interest me, I wouldn’t only have to leave my TBR list to my children in my will, I’d have to leave it to their children as well. Ain’t nobody got time for that. 😉 Ok, I never say that. I don’t know why that just came out.

A. Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

T. I read a lot of different genres. Horror, paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, contemporary, romance. I have to mix it up now and then or it gets stale.

A. Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

T. I used to be a book-in-my-hands reader, but now if I have the hard copy it sits on my shelf to look pretty next to all of my other books and I will buy the Kindle version to read.

 Random Questions

A. Favorite movie?

T. Star Wars (most of them)

A. Favorite TV show?

T. The Walking Dead

A. Love this show. Even when it rips my heart out, I love this show.

A. If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

T. Hummus and garlic paste with fresh, warm pita bread.

A. What’s your favorite dessert?

T. Lemon anything and Crème Brule

A. What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

T. John Mark McMillan, Bethel, Twenty One Pilots

A. What’s your hidden talent?

T. It must be hidden really well. I have no idea. Sleeping for long periods of time? Binge-watching shows on Netflix? Oh, I can paint my nails on both hands without issue!

A. You can paint your nails on both hands without a problem?! Tell me your secret!

A. What is your dream vacation?

T. Anything that doesn’t involve camping! Lol. I’d love to travel to overseas. I’ve never left the states.

 

Contact Information:

Author Name: Toni Lesatz

Blog: My Book Addiction http://mybookaddiction.com 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tonibookaddict/

Twitter https://twitter.com/Toni_BookAddict

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8936634.Toni_Lesatz

Book Links:

Happy Little Horror: Freak Show – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23381058-happy-little-horrors

After Tomorrow Anthology – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23718387-after-tomorrow-anthology

 

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Rhiannon Frater: Zombies, Vampires, and Ghosts, Oh My!

Asking Rhiannon Frater to be a part of this Halloween themed Author feature was a no-brainer. Her book, The Living Dead Boy, has stuck with me from the moment I turned that last page. The world(s) and characters she creatures is evidence of her immense talent. I have been a fan of the zombie genre for so long that it’s hard to surprise me, much less, impress me. When a friend (thanks Elyse) suggested this book I went into it with an open mind, but still not expecting much. I was so wrong! The story was fresh and mature despite the young age of the main character. I became an instant fan. There is much more to her writing credits than zombies. What else does she write? You’ll just have to find out!

Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor) as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog). She was born and raised in Texas where she currently resides with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets). She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dyeing her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes. She’s the co-host of the ZCast, a Z Nation Fan Podcast.

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Here are some free books by Rhiannon. Thanks for sharing these with us!
The Tale of the Vampire Bride – http://bit.ly/talevb1
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In Darkness We Must Abide- http://bit.ly/RFindarkness1

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Author Questions

 

A. When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

R. From the moment I understood what a book was. So…toddler age? As soon as I learned to talk I was telling stories. As soon as I learned to write, I was writing stories. I was born to do this.

A. In what genre do you write?

R. I write under the umbrella of speculative fiction. I used to classify myself as more of a horror writer, but the genre, as defined now, leans more toward the slasher/gore type stuff. That isn’t my style. I don’t like writing for shock value. I love writing about people facing horrific situations, and fighting back.
So which genre do my books fit into? I’ve had long discussions with readers, and have discovered that they slot my books it different genres. Urban Fantasy, paranormal fantasy, dystopian, post-apocalyptic, science fiction, and even paranormal romance. I honestly think the only series I’ve written that fits paranormal romance is In Darkness We Must Abide, but people interpret the books as they see fit.

So I wave the speculative fiction flag and let readers decide for themselves.

A. Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

R. Well, I used to say science fiction, but I’ve now written a few books that fit into that genre. It is my first love, and I have a soft spot for it. I love writing stories with something otherworldly in the mix. I’m not really interested in genres outside of the ones I’ve already explored. I’ve had requests for erotica and romances, but those are just not my thing.

A. What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

R. I dream a story. I write down the details I remember in Workflowy. I let the idea germinate. When the time is right, I flip on the movie screen in my mind, watch the action, and type it out in yWriter. I don’t outline, I don’t plot. Whenever I hit a snag, I ruminate while playing Guild Wars 2. I try to write every day when working on a book because that’s the best way to keep the story flowing. I now keep Pinterest boards for my works in progress, and I noticed that really helps anchor me solidly to the world of my imagination.

Long, long ago, I wrote by hand, and destroyed my wrists and my basal thumb joints. I can barely write by hand anymore, so I’m strictly an ergonomic keyboard girl.

A. Writing can do a number on your wrists! 

A. Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

R. The Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Agatha Christie, and Neil Gaiman.

A. How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?

R. It depends on the book. If they take place in the modern world and in Texas, it’s pretty easy to just bang that out on the keyboard. The Pretty When She Dies trilogy and As The World Dies trilogy were a lot easier to craft because they both fit that criteria. The Mesmerized was inspired by my honeymoon in Las Vegas, so I kept images of the strip and a map on my screen while writing. The Vampire Bride Dark Rebirth trilogy was a lot more demanding because it takes place in Eastern Europe during the Regency Era. I did probably a year of research before I even started the first book. My husband often helps me with weaponry and tech. Though my science fiction books are pure speculation of the future, I do try to base it off of stuff in development now.

A. Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

R. It really depends on the book. For Pretty When She Dies it was a lot of PJ Harvey, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, and music like that. For my recent book, The Lament of the Vampire Bride, it was the Jane Eyre soundtrack. It’s always changing, book to book.

A. When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

R. I binge-watch television shows with my hubby, read, play lots of video games, and hang out with loved ones. I was really ill last year and still recovering, so I’ve been a homebody. I do hope to get out more and do some traveling when I’m back to normal. I miss the convention circuit.

A. Conventions are so much fun! I hope you get back to it soon. 

A. What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

R. I was invited to the South Dakota Book Festival, and that was just an amazing experience. I was interviewed on television about my books for the first time, sat on some panels, did my own presentation, and did a mass book signing. For some reason, that weekend made me feel like a “real” writer.

A. Who created your amazing cover art?

R. Claudia McKinney of PhatPuppyArt has done a lot of my covers, including the ones from Permuted Press. My Tor covers are done in-house by their art department. My foreign editions are also done by my publishers’ art departments.

Recently, my husband has been creating covers for my indie books.

A. Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?

R. Well, I love Felicia Sullivan. She’s an amazing editor. And Kody Boye always makes my indie books look amazing. He’s an awesome formatter.

A. Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.

My newest release (as of October 25th) is Lost in Texas: The Living Dead Boy 2. It’s the sequel to The Living Dead Boy. It’s a zombie book geared at all ages. I would describe it as the Goonies versus the zombies. I wrote the first book for the youngest zombie fans, but adults really love it, too. The books are about Josh, a twelve-year-old zombie fanatic, and his friends. They’re part of the Zombie Hunters Club, and love all things zombie. When the undead invade their school, the kids have to rely on their knowledge of zombies to survive. Though the books are not as gory as my adult zombie series (As The World Dies trilogy, The Last Bastion series), they’re pretty scary. I’m currently working on the third book in the Living Dead Boy trilogy, Journey Across Zombie Texas, to round out the series. After that, I may take a break from zombies, and write a gothic horror novel.

A. I’m so pumped for book 2 for The Living Dead Boy!

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The Living Dead Boy on Amazon

Halloween Questions

A. This is a Halloween blog post so you must tell us, do you enjoy Halloween? Why or why not?

R. Halloween is a way of life for me. I love it. I’m Goth so it’s basically Christmas for me. Furthermore, I was married on Halloween so it has additional importance.

A. Married on Halloween!? That’s awesome! 

A. Do you have any Halloween traditions?

R. My hubby and I usually go to a nice dinner together, and if it’s on the weekend, we hit the local goth club. If it’s a weekday, we usually watch a Halloween themed movie like The Nightmare Before Christmas.

A. Do you believe in the spiritual realm?

R. Absolutely. I have zero doubts about that.

A. Have you ever had an encounter with a ghost or something happen that you just explain?

R. Yes. More times than I can relate. I lived in two haunted houses. After a while, the paranormal stuff became normal. I remember we had guests over one day and were chatting in our living room. From the kitchen came the sound of every single dish, pan, glass, silverware, etc., falling out of the cabinets. It was deafening. But to my family, it was the same old, same old. We ignored it because we knew if we went into the kitchen nothing would be out of place. Our guests were surprised when we shrugged off the noise. They ignored us when we said it was nothing, and ran to the kitchen. When they saw that not one plate was out of place, they freaked out and fled. And never came back.

We just carried on as usual.

A. That’s freaky! 

A. What is your favorite scary movie and/or book?

R. I have too many favorite scary movies to pick from, but the scariest book I read was Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. I couldn’t sleep with the lights off for a few days after finishing it.

A. I’ve never read the book, but the 1979 movie really freaked me out! 

A. Most importantly, what is your favorite Halloween candy?

R. I avoid sugar, but I used to love candy corn.

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Pretty When She Dies on Amazon

Reader Questions

A. What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

R. Anne Rice. Without a doubt.

A. Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?

R. Jane Eyre because of Jane Eyre. Jane is just an amazing woman, and one of the first feminist characters I read about. She’s wonderfully complicated and smart. I just adore her.

A. What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

R. I regard films as alternative universes to books. In a way, they’re fan fiction films. The one book I really wanted to see as a film is now in production. That’s The Gunslinger by Stephen King.

A. As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

R. I have a long list. LOL. I really hate when author’s make a woman angry all the time with a chip on her shoulder to make her appear “strong.” No, that just makes her an asshole. I hate when a plot depends on a misunderstanding that would be resolved in a one minute conversation. I also don’t enjoy books that depend on violence for shock value, or use rape of a woman as a plot device so the male character can get revenge.
A. I agree. I don’t think like senseless, unnecessary violence. 

A. If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

R. Life is too short. I have learned to walk away. As a writer, I’m aware that a book is not for all readers. Each one has its own audience.

A. Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

R. The books I read for enjoyment have a supernatural or science fiction element. When I research, I cast a wider net.

A. Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

R. Since I wrecked my hands by handwriting my first books in my teens, I use a Kindle. It’s a lot easier to hold. The last time I read a regular book, I was in so much pain I had to buy the Kindle version to finish.

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Pretty When She Kills on Amazon

Random Questions

A. Favorite movie?

R. Night of the Living Dead, Aliens, Rear Window, That Touch of Mink, Mad Max Fury Road, and so many more.

A. Favorite TV show?

R. Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

A. If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

R. My mom’s spaghetti and meatballs.

A. There’s no cooking like mom’s cooking.

A. What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

R. Chocolate gelato served in Italy. Nothing compares.

A. What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

R. Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, Depeche Mode, and PJ Harvey are default.

A. What’s your hidden talent?

R. I’m a damn good shot with a pistol.

A. What is your dream vacation?

R. Venice in October. I can’t wait to go back.

A. Me too! 

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Pretty When She Destroys on Amazon

Contact Information:

You can find her online at:

Website: rhiannonfrater.com

Twitter: twitter.com/rhiannonfrater

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rhiannon.frater

Tumblr: http://rhiannonfrater.tumblr.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=340109912&trk=spm_pic

Google+: https://plus.google.com/113336058823746385572/posts

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rhiannon-Frater/e/B0027DLFL6/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2310121.Rhiannon_Frater

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/rhiannonfrater/

Email: rhiannonfrater at gmail.com

 

 

T.K. Bradley Talks About Her Debut Novel, Shade (Shade Chronicles)

I’m really excited to introduce you to author T.K. Bradley, my first author interview for this month! If you read my previous post then you know that I’ll be featuring authors throughout the rest of October. I met T.K. through a mutual friend and while we’ve never met in person (you know, that Canada/America distance thing) I found that we have a lot in common. For one thing, we have great taste in friends, great taste in zombie shows, and we both love to write!

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There isn’t much to be said about T.K. Bradley. She lives north of The Wall, in the great white expanse of Canada, with her husband and two children. She has a variety of pets, all with ridiculous names that only children can be blamed for.

Shade is her first publication, so please excuse her stumbling. Even authors must learn to walk before they can run.

T.K. is the author of Shade (Shade Chronicles Book 1), a Post Apocalyptic/Sci-Fi Thriller.  

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Lakes evaporate. Plants die. Skin blisters. All from a sun that now burns too hot.

If James hadn’t made his wife a promise to stay alive at all costs, he would have given up long ago. All he has in life is a small group of survivors, and his little sliver of shade. But there are worse things to fear than the light. In order to survive in this cruel world, James will have to live by two rules.

Hide from the light. Fear the night.

 

Author Questions

 

When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

My earliest story was a Cinderella retelling, fully illustrated of course. I was probably around 9 or 10? While my artistic skills left something to be desired, the editing was atrocious, and it was essentially plagiarized from my favorite book, my mother told me it was the best book she had ever read. It’s amazing how a little bit of positive reinforcement can drive a person to do even the most impossible things.

In what genre do you write?

Though my reading tends to be eclectic, my writing tends to lean towards science-fiction, fantasy, and horror. I love writing scenes that get the heart pumping and the imagination turning!

Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

I have a confession to make… I have a soft spot for angsty romance. Love triangles, forbidden romance, star-crossed lovers; I want it all! I’ve never felt brave enough to attempt putting that kind of angst into my stories yet, because I’m terrified that I won’t get it just right. One day maybe…

What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

All of the above? I haven’t had any particular writing method win out over the others yet. They seem to be in a bit of a cage-match at the moment. Recently, I’ve tried dictating my story, but there’s one major flaw; there’s no backspace key, no delete, AND typos! The OCD in me is slowly being driven crazy, one homophone at a time.

Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

I hope this doesn’t sound pretentious, but I don’t know that I could pinpoint just one or two authors and say, “Them! They made me who I am today!” Whenever I read a book that resonates with me, I try to hold a part of it inside, for as long as humanly possible. Then, when I’m trying to write a scene, I think about what kind of emotion I’m aiming for, and delve into my “previous-reads” file.

How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?

A lot of my stories are post-apocalyptic or alternate realities, so research is difficult to do. I do spend a lot of time looking at maps and finding the right geographical locations. I use my family vacations as fact-finding missions… does that mean I can write them off as a business expense? 😉

Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

Absolutely not! Total silence, please! It is one of the major barriers I run into while writing. I try to encase myself within a soundproof bubble, that seems to be largely invisible to my children. Writing outside of the house is similarly distracting. I get my best writing done after everyone has gone to bed. It’s a good thing that I need fewer hours of sleep than the average human. I’m able to run off anxiety and caffeine.

When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

Netflix and chill. Coffee and book. Couch and nap. These are the real-world power couples.

What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

If I’m being honest, I would say being interviewed is right up there! My professional writing career has just begun, so every step I’ve taken has been a first. Everything is shiny and new! The best experience so far, though, was probably when my parents surprised me with a box full of paperbacks. My first story was so short that I hadn’t planned on getting any printed, but they went all ninja, and enlisted my best friend’s help to plan the best surprise ever.

Who created your amazing cover art?

Ooh! I love that you asked this! My cover art was done by Lori Parker at Contagious Covers. She had asked me what I was looking for, and she suffered through my vague descriptions. She came out with the most eye-catching piece of art I ever could have hoped for! She’s a magician!

Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?

As a hard-core introvert, I’ve found it incredibly hard to break out of my shell. There have been members of the book community, however, who just won’t let me hermit. Toni, over at My Book Addiction, has been so great with her support. Erin Hayes, an amazing author in her own right, has also given me gentle nudges towards human interaction. Lori Parker, author/cover artist/best friend in the world, has been more aggressive with her help, and I literally wouldn’t have published my first book without her.

Also, a huge thank you to every single reader who has given my story a shot! I know it’s a little scary to try a new author, so I genuinely appreciate every page-turn.

Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.

I’m currently writing Prey, the next story in the Shade Chronicles. It takes place before Shade, telling the story of a young teenage girl, who has lived in an enclosed compound for over a decade. When she finally sets foot outside, with her father and brother, she finds that the world as she knew it is dead. The sun is hot enough to blister skin and bleach the earth, but there is something even more dangerous at night.

 

Halloween Questions

 

This is a Halloween blog post so you must tell us, do you enjoy Halloween? Why or why not?

I like Halloween, in theory… but I’m also ridiculously lazy about it. I take my kids trick-or-treating, and I’ll even throw on some face-paint. That’s the extent of my effort.

Do you have any Halloween traditions?

Since we’re out most of the evening with the kids, by the time we get home we only have a handful of people come to our house. Those few, those lucky few, get a stupid amount of candy. It is my goal to have zero candy left at the end of the night, but we also don’t want to run out. It’s a bit of a game.

Do you believe in the spiritual realm?

Hmmm, that’s a tough one. Yes? I definitely believe that there is more to this world that what we can see or explain. I’m not ruling anything out, just in case. You can be sure that if there is a spiritual realm, I’m going to be rocking it!

Have you ever had an encounter with a ghost or something happen that you just can’t explain?

I’ve heard plenty of stories, but I only have one thing that has happened (though more than once) that I guess could be called second-sight. Once, it narrowly avoided a car crash, so I’ll gladly take that kind of phenomenon!

What is your favorite scary movie and/or book?

I can’t say that there are many books that have scared my pants off, but movies are a different story entirely. I’m a “watch with the lights on” kind of girl. I may have paused The Ring a few times to catch my breath, and I had to keep my eyes closed when I was watching Blair Witch because I got motion-sickness (although I think that made it scarier, since I had no idea what was going on). I really love cheesy gore, though! Nightmare on Elm Street is a classic go-to. I also giggle uncontrollably when watching The Walking Dead. Love it!

Most importantly, what is your favorite Halloween candy?

Anything with sugar. Although, I swear my kids’ candy tastes better than mine. I’d better test it.

 

Reader Questions

 

What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

I am an awful fangirl. I mean, I’m really not good at it. I tend to get awkward, and sweat uncontrollably. The author I was most excited to meet was Julie Kagawa, and I was so happy to find that she was really down-to-earth.

You mean… authors are just like regular people?

Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?

My favorite book is probably The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham. We’re talking old-school, here. Written in 1951, it has largely fallen out of popularity (imagine that), but I will gladly read that book a dozen times more.

What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

I’m all for film adaptations, especially for books I will never read. No offense to Nicholas Sparks, but I’m not a fan of his books. His movies, however, are angsty-romance gold!

As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

Cliches are a book’s instant death, in my opinion.

If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

Super good question! I used to stick it out, push through to the end. But then I realized something; life is short and I’m wasting my time! It seems ridiculous to look at your life and mourn the loss of time because you won’t get all the books read. On the other hand, if that’s all you regret, it’s a life well-lived.

Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

I definitely read a full-genre spectrum, though I sometimes do it in bursts. I read only mystery books for about three years straight, and actually toyed with the idea of writing a mystery novel. Then one day, I woke up and realized that I was exhausted by mystery novels. I quit, cold turkey. I actually haven’t picked one up in over five years. Right now I’m reading contemp romance, science fiction, and a lot of dystopian.

Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

Both, but if I can get my hands on a physical book, I prefer having something tangible. They just take up so much space! I’m at the point of over-stuffed bookshelves spilling out onto the floor.

 

Random Questions

 

Favorite movie?

Princess Bride

Favorite TV show?

Depends on what I’m binge watching at that moment. Let’s go with Penny Dreadful.

If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Does dessert count as a dish?

What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

Those cheap chocolate bars they sell at the grocery checkouts. I just can’t seem to say no.

What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

I’ve been a Beatles fan since I was seven, and I’m so proud of my younger self for having such good taste.

What’s your hidden talent?

It wouldn’t be hidden if I told you…

What is your dream vacation?

Hiking the Milford Track in New Zealand. Now I just need someone to bankroll that vacation.

 

Contact Information:

Author Name: T.K. Bradley

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TK-Bradley-335823076763695/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15224205.T_K_Bradley

Book Links: http://a.co/2ufVaNc

 

 

Call For Submissions-What Lurks in the Dark Anthology

What Lurks in the Dark

Halloween Anthology

 

Authors A.G. Porter and E.A. Kelso are compiling a Halloween themed anthology and we want to add your story to our collection!

You’ve heard the stories, read the books, and watched the movies, but we want to know which classic monsters keep you up at night.

Is it vampires, werewolves, zombies, or maybe even ghosts?

Whatever it maybe, we want your take on these classic ghouls. Tell us what monsters lurk in your darkest fears!

But, here’s the deal, it has to have a modern twist or a new spin.

Meaning, it can range from having your monsters set in the modern world or something we’ve never seen before.

Submission Open: February 1, 2016
Submission Close: June 30, 2016

Release Date (Estimation): October 1, 2016

 Payment: $10

Length: Max 15,000 words

*Will accept Horror, Supernatural, Science Fiction, Fantasy, or anything relating to a classic monster theme.
NO EROTICA
PG-13 Rating

 Submission Guidelines:

1. Word document submission
2. Times New Roman
3. Font Size 12
4. Double spaced
5. In subject line: E&A’s Halloween Anthology, Title of your story, Your name
6. Email to: whatlurksinthedarkanthology@gmail.com

*Any manuscripts submitted incorrectly will be rejected
*We reserve the right to refuse any story submitted without explanation

What Lurks in the Dark

Friday Favorites-Unleashed by Janae Mitchell

Better later than never with this Friday Favorites post! Hey, I was Christmas shopping, give me a break. 😉

So, what am I crushing on this week? That would be Unleashed by Janae Mitchell. While I do love Janae herself, I’m going to spend most of this blog post talking about her book.

Janae Mitchell

Janae Mitchell

I like spooky books, like the sort of spooky books that make you stay awake at night thinking that the shadow in the corner of your room is something far more sinister than just a curtain or a hastily discarded sweater. However, I didn’t think Unleashed was going to mess me up this bad.

I’ll start from the beginning. I actually read this book on my Kindle. My hubby was watching something on T.V. (probably sports) so I ventured off to the room so I could read a bit before bed. There I was, lights off, all alone, reading a book about demons!!!

Yeah, I wasn’t expecting that at all. I knew it had something to do with ghosts because there is the word “Ouija” on the book cover. However, I wasn’t expecting to read about a demon while I was in a dark room, all by myself! Let’s just say I stayed awake a lot longer than I had planned with the covers pulled up really close to my chin.

I got a signed copy!

I got a signed copy!

There have been a lot of books that have scared me silly, but not like this book. I think it’s because things like this really freak me out, but also because Janae is a really is an amazing writer! This book was me dipping my toe into the literary world of Janae Mitchell and now I’m ready to dive right on in.

I’ve actually been to a Convention with Janae, we’ve become Facebook pals, and I saw her at another convention a few months ago. There I able to obtain a signed copy of Unleashed. Let’s just say I’m so excited about this. Not only is she easily one of my favorite new authors, but she’s a good person too. I mean, she’s a southern like me, has amazing hair, and is obsessed with Harry Potter. You can’t get any better than that.

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You can tell by the inscription that she has a great sense of humor. Or, at least I hope that’s what that was… 😉

My Review: Don’t read this book in a room with all the lights turned off when you’re by yourself. I made that mistake and freaked myself out! I’ve read a lot of creepy books, but this one just takes creepy to another level. I think it’s because I’m a very spiritual person and I believe you shouldn’t mess with the other side if you don’t know what you’re doing. Actually, you shouldn’t mess with it at all. That’s what two friends, Jailyn and Prestley, do when they decide to play around with a ouija board. Jailyn has this off feeling about it from the beginning, but doesn’t listen to it and from that point on they welcome in a darkness that changes their lives. Besides the creep out factor of the book I really enjoyed the characters that Janae created. Jailyn, who is telling most of the story, is likable. She has sort of a dry sense of humor and I found that really relatable. Prestley reminded me of the rowdy one, but she wasn’t annoying at all and by the end of the book she had my heart. She went through some rough stuff. The girls fit perfectly together and you could see why they were best friends. The bad guy, not that I’m going to give anything away, was bad in every way possible. He was sick, twisted, disgusting and freaked the heck out of me. I know I’ve said that a million times, but it’s true! If you like freaky, creepy books then you’ll love this one.

Where to find Janae:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JanaeMitchellAuthor

Blog: http://www.janaemitchell.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/janaeiswriting

Amazon: Janae on Amazon

Local Authors Expo at the Birmingham Public Library

Hello y’all,

This Saturday I’ll be in Birmingham, AL at the Local Author Expo at the Central Branch of The Birmingham Public Library. It starts at 9:00AM and is ends at 3:00PM. From what I understand there will be over 100+ authors at the Expo of all genres! This event is going to fantastic!

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Some of my authors will be there! Here are a few you need to check out!

Author Ashley

Ashley Chappell is a YA author of many talents and sweet to the core. She also writes satire and if that is your thing then you must check out Of War & Taters! It is hilarious! Not only does Ashley write, but she, I and several other superduper ladies are heading up the first ever literary festival in Huntsville, AL this year. It is the Rocket City Lit Festival (RCLF). Ashley has put in many, many hours to make our festival dreams come true. We are a team, but every team needs a great leader, she is definitely ours and boy has she done the most amazing job! If you want to know more about the RCLF then just follow these links:

https://www.facebook.com/RocketCityLitFest

http://www.rocketcitylitfest.com/

RCLF

Amazon Page for Ashley:

http://www.amazon.com/Ashley-Chappell/e/B00AQIN99U/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1423105365&sr=1-1

 

Kyle Hannah

Kyle Hannah is one of those gentleman who is just that, a gentleman. He has a love for history, which translates well into his Time Assassins series. Time Assassins is a time traveling adventure like no other; just imagine having the job of protecting our history?!? Being in the military for over 28 years you would think that Kyle would be this hard-nosed, rule following and hard to talk to sort of guy, but in truth, he’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Still, there isn’t a shy bone in his body! 😉

Amazon Page for Kyle:

http://www.amazon.com/R.-Kyle-Hannah/e/B00876V5LW/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1423105619&sr=1-1

 

Keeton

B.J. Keeton is the phenomenal steampunk author of the Nimbus series and Birthright, the first in his science fiction trilogy. B.J. wears many hats; he’s not only a writers, but also a teacher and a runner. He has impressed me with his ability to mesh his love of all things geek with a healthy lifestyle. The dedication that it takes to write, get your health under control, teach and just mange your day-to-day life is astounding! If it sounds like something you’re interested in then check out his Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/geekfitnessnet?fref=nf

Amazon Page for B.J. Keeton:

http://www.amazon.com/B.J.-Keeton/e/B00C896UU0/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

 

Amy Leigh Strickland

Amy Leigh Strickland is well known for her Olympia Heights series and for a good reason. My stepson is currently on the first book of the series, Olympia Heights: The Pantheon, and is enjoying it immensely. When I first met Amy at the Alabama Phoenix Festival last year on the panel we shared, my first thought was, “Who the heck is this girl, where did she come and why do I love her brain so much?” Amy is so well spoken, spunky, witty and downright adorable.

Amazon Page for Amy:

http://www.amazon.com/Amy-Leigh-Strickland/e/B006LM3ZUS/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 

Brian Weimer

Brian Weimer was another author I met at the Alabama Phoenix festival. We were both new to the convention scene so we became fast friends. His book, Nexus, caught my attention right away and after the convention I started reading it and devoured it within a few days! I probably could have read it in sitting if I didn’t have to do inconvenient things like eat, sleep and work. The novel took the supernatural and science fiction and blended the two in a way that I hadn’t seen in long time or ever really. I am eagerly awaiting the sequel to Nexus, Brian!

Amazon Page for Brian:

http://www.amazon.com/Brian-Weimer/e/B00KQO36DI/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1423105773&sr=1-1

New Author, J.S. Pray and the Upcoming Multiceptional

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J.S. Pray is one of the authors I was really looking forward to having on my blog when I started this Blog Fest. For starters, he’s an upcoming author with a lot to say. Secondly, I’ve known him since forever. He and I went to school together, were band nerds together and he and his lovely wife, Stephanie, are great friends of mine. It’s surreal to know that there is another writer coming out of a small Alabama town that most people don’t even know exists. It makes me proud that he is striving for his dreams and that he has such great support from those who love him.

J.S. Pray is a husband, father, author, gamer, and Netflix junkie. He is currently writing his debut NA novel under the working name Multiceptional, and plans to have it in the hands of readers by mid-summer 2015.

Author Questions

Tell us a little about yourself and why you wanted to start the daunting, yet rewarding task of writing a novel?

Back in high school, when I was taking freshman English Literature, my teacher really liked my writing and she would send my work into competitions and wouldn’t let me know until I won something. That was the first time I thought “Hey maybe I could be good at this.”   I really have my freshman English Literature teacher to thank for helping me realize I had a talent for writing. (What it Mrs. Hudson?)

What has been the one thing that has fueled your passion as a writer?

Mainly just the buzz I get from it. After I write for an hour or more, I’m more sociable. It may sound strange but I’m not nearly as surly after I have a good writing session. (I know what you mean!)

Tell us what genre you plan to write in and why.

Right now I’m more interested in NA (New Adult), urban fantasy, epic fantasy, survival horror/post apocalypse, but I’m very open minded. I want to write what I would like to read. So if your looking to read manga or erotica, I am NOT the author for you. 

Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

Suspense…I think that finding the balance to putting your readers on edge would be interesting. 

What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

I use a computer for writing just because it’s faster, but for general note taking I like pen and paper. (Always keep a journal with you)

Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

I would have to say Nathan Fillion because of the way he pulls off his wise cracks in his films and shows is interesting to me. Also Piers Anthony because of his play on words. Lastly, Stephen King because he is the king. (Nathan is the best!)

How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?

I’m still researching as I write and situations come up and I’m not familiar with. I’m constantly researching and asking questions about things that haven’t ever happened to me but happen to my characters.

Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

To turn a phrase from the Dos Equis man “I don’t always listen to music when I write but when I do it’s things like Celldweller, Lindsey Stirling, and District 78”. (Oh Lindsey! Her cute little face and twinkle toes just makes me smile)

How do you deal with self-doubt, writer’s block and all the other issues that an author faces?

I actually wrote a blog entry based on this very subject. But personally, after the proper amount of self-loathing, usually just sitting my tuchus in the chair and put fingers to keys. Past that, just taking a break to play with the kids can usually get the ole juices flowing. (That’s right, just do it!)

When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

Well, being a dad and husband occupies my other spare time other than writing but I do thoroughly enjoy lounging around watching some youtube, and I am definitely a Netflix and Hulu junky. And once in a blue moon I get to play a split screen co-op game with my boy along with going and cheering on his soccer team.

What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

Honestly, probably this interview! (He is too sweet!)

Who created your amazing cover art?

Right now what I am working with I created but I am not against getting some secondary cover art done for my print version of the book.

Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.

Right now I’m working on a novel under the working name of Multiceptional. Right now it is coming together to be a tale about a young man coming into full adulthood in a time when the U.S. government is in an era similar to the Roman Empire after moving the capital to Constantinople. Oh yeah, and some people may have super powers! (I can’t wait to read it)

Why did you choose a kickstarter campaign to fund your novel and where can we find more information about donating?

Short of finding the pot-o-gold at the end of the next rainbow I see, my WIP may see a physical printing maybe about the time my children are looking into buying their children their first cars (they’re all under the age of 10). Also, I’m not getting any younger. I would like to enjoy any minuscule bit of success I may have in writing while I still can write. Publishing is expensive as anyone who has traveled this road I’m setting myself on well-knows. So if anyone feels like it would be something they could sink their metaphoric teeth in then please go to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1355162928/multiceptional-urban-fantasy-with-a-super-powered to check it out and receive updates. (Help a brother out!)

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Reader Questions

What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

Peter Clines definitely and Tad Williams to a lesser extent.

Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?

There is no way that anyone who has ever read more than a handful of books can narrow it down to just one so here goes: The Ex Heroes series by Peter Clines becauses its frackin awesome. The Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn Trilogy by Tad Williams because the epic transition you take with the protagonist from the beginning to end is what literary professors should be teaching their students to recreate. The $64 Tomato by William Alexander because it’s honest, down to earth and doesn’t need flowery language to be a page turner. That is just a start but I will stop there. (More books to add to my never-ending reading list)

What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

Definitely Ex Heroes but only if the studio would be willing to dump more money into it than they would ever get back.

As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

Ok there are a few things: Being overly descriptive, having characters that appear and are described in great detail but then never recur, and typos; I know sometimes it can’t be helped when its 7500 words long but when you’re in a flow reading a page turner and you have to stop and reread a sentence several times because of a repetitive word or misspelled word it hinders the flow and the ambiance the author is trying to create.

If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

I usually pry open the jaws of my literary mind and force feed it like a baby bird! And yes it is just as painful as it sounds.

Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

I like to read around just for the fact that once you read in a lone genre for an extended amount of time, no matter how much the author doesn’t want it to seem derivative it always seems to become derivative to the reader. 

Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

I don’t have anything against either but I personally prefer book in hand. Downside, my house will only hold so many books. (Smell those pages)

Random Questions

Favorite movie?

Favorite movie of all times would have to be Sphere (Loved the book)

Favorite TV show?

Walking Dead, Bones, Sliders, Criminal Minds, Firefly, Sherlock, Stargate, the first season of SeaQuest DSV because after that the writing really went to poo. Oh and an oldie but a goodie, The Pretender (You’re speaking my language) 

If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ribeye Steak (MED-RARE) with au gratin potatoes

What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

Hand’s down, Cadbury eggs!!! (Yum!)

What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

Breaking Benjamin, Volbeat, anything with a heavy rhythmic guitar line and operatic vocals. (Love me some BB)

What’s your hidden talent?

Ok, so my wife is actually asking me this conversational style and filling it in for me while we’re sitting on the couch and I can’t attest to this myself but my two kids both just lept up and said that I had to say that I am a great Dad. I guess in this day and age you could actually consider that as a talent. (Awe!)

What is your dream vacation?

28 days in New Zealand, the adventure capital of the world. (Take me with you!)

Contact Information:

Author Name: J.S. Pray

Blog: www.jsprayspeaks.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006074299478

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JSPray03

Book Links: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1355162928/multiceptional-urban-fantasy-with-a-super-powered

Author M. Pax talks The Rifters and Urban Fantasy

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M. Pax is author of the sci-fi series, The Backworlds, and the new adult urban fantasy Hetty Locklear series. Browncoat and SG fan, she’s also slightly obsessed with Jane Austen. In the summers she docents as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory where the other astronomers now believe she has the most extensive collection of moon photos in existence. No fear, there will be more next summer. She lives in stunning Central Oregon with the Husband Unit and two lovely, spoiled cats.

M. Pax isn’t leaving you empty handed! She is giving away 2 ebooks and 1 audio book from her works. Enter here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5c01ba8211/

Author Questions

When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

It’s always been part of me. In high school, I used to write stories about my friends and I, a running soap opera, and I’d stick the installments in their lockers. In junior high I either wanted to be an aerospace engineer, a horse trainer, or a writer.

In what genre do you write?

I write mostly speculative fiction, science fiction and fantasy.

Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

Yes, I’ve begun work on a historical fiction series, and I’d like to try my hand at womens fiction.

What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

I start with jotting ideas in a journal. Each project gets a journal. When enough of the ideas and research have gelled, I’ll type a draft tagline, blurb, and an arc for each major character in the story. Those are at the top of my document. At the end of my writing session, I print out what I wrote. Later, I hand edit it and make a very brief sketch of the next couple of chapters.

This makes for a slow first draft, but it’s how my brain works. I do more outlining than I used to. I find I write more during each session if I do the brief scene sketches.

Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

Definitely Arthur C. Clarke, Frank Herbert, Kurt Vonnegut, and Ray Bradbury. Thomas Hardy had a big impact on me and Hermann Hesse. I read a lot of classic literature.

How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?

Research is one of my favorite parts to writing. I love learning new things. I put quite a bit of research into every book. First off, there’s the science. With The Rifters, one of the characters is an actual historical figure. So, I read several biographies to get into his head as best as I could.

Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

No, I prefer silence. However, there are often cats yipping at me.

When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

I volunteer at an observatory in the summers as a star guide. The reward is looking through the big telescopes. What’s out there is so amazing.

Husband Unit and I like to watch bad sci fi movies, and we enjoy exploring the wilds of Oregon. I like taking a lot of pictures. It takes us 3x as long to get anywhere as other people, because I have to stop every five miles or so to take photos.

What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

Hearing from fans is the best and most exciting part of being an author.

Who created your amazing cover art?

Erin Dameron-Hill of edhgraphics handles all of my graphic needs. http://edhgraphics.blogspot.com/

Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?

Kelly Schaub is my awesome editor. She keeps me from creating Sharknados, and a huzzah to my author pack, Untethered Realms. We have an anthology coming out October 14th, Twisted Earths.

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Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.

I just released the first two books in a new urban fantasy series, The Rifters and The Initiate. The stories are set in the fictional town of Settler, Oregon. There’s a misplaced outlaw from 1888, a misplaced librarian newly transplanted from New York City, quirky residents, a secret society, a rift, beings from other worlds, and a rift.

Reader Questions

What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

Is it possible to raise Jane Austen from the dead? I took a workshop from Ursula K. Le Guin a few years back. Awesome. It’d be cool to hang out with John Scalzi, Stephen King, and Neil Gaiman for an afternoon. Oh, I’d love to meet Tanya Huff, Margaret George, Tanya Huff, Peter Hamil, and Peter Mayle. I should shut up now…

Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?

2001: A Space Odyssey. It made me think and wonder. The sense of awe inspires me every day.

What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

There can never be enough movies based on Jane Austen and her work. Other than that, I’d love to see Tanya Huff’s Confederation novels on screen. Fantastic series.

As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

Predictability.

If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

I used to be a trooper. Now I put it down.

Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

I read around.

Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

Both, but I’ve grown to prefer my Nook. However, the big publishers charge too much for their ebooks, so I opt for paperbacks there.

Random Questions

Favorite movie?

The new Star Trek.

Favorite TV show?

Firefly

If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Lasagna

What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

Ice cream

What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

Elvis Costello, Muse, The Cure, and Radiohead

What’s your hidden talent?

I don’t like baking, but I bake a mean pie

What is your dream vacation?

Iraq, to see the ruins of the ancient cities of Sumer and Babylon… if they still exist. Second, is the Alsace region in France/Germany.

Contact Information:

Author Name: M. Pax

Blog: http://mpaxauthor.com/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mpaxauthor

Twitter https://twitter.com/mpax1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5081223.M_Pax

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mpaxauthor/

Book Links:

The Rifters [Free until end of the year Amazon / AmazonUK / B&N / Smashwords /Googleplay / iTunes / Other

The Spooky Cool and Multi-Talented Jenn Maimone on her Alpha Wolf Series

jennifer-maimone-author (1)Hi!  I am Jennifer Maimone (last name pronounced my-moe-knee).  I was born in Southern California and grew up as the youngest, and only daughter, of three kids to some really awesome parents.

I really started to get into the paranormal in the 6th grade when a friend showed me a book about unsolved mysteries and the supernatural. At that point, I never thought such things could actually exist.  I was hooked on learning whatever I could about the supernatural from  that moment on.  I remember how, in high school, the girls (I went to an all-girls school) would avoid me during Halloween-time because they thought I was able to do ‘witchy’ things.  I won’t lie, it was very amusing to me.  But, to be fair, I always made sure to reassure to the fact I never practiced the occult — only researched.

I graduated from college in 2009, and later that year became a special effects makeup artist for independent films.  I started my own freelancing business as UnmaskedFX, and have been approached a few times by the FaceOff TV program to be part of their show.   I am a bit camera shy, so I am still unsure if I want to.  Maybe next year!

I started writing Alpha Wolf Series: Demon’s Prize in 2012.  It isn’t the first thing I have ever written, but it is the first one I have ever published.   The other stories I have written in the past were based on ghosts, vampires and creatures whose faces are actually masks.  I hope to one day finish those other works and to see them printed alongside the Alpha Wolf Series.

Guess what? Jenn will be at Pancakes & Booze Art Show TONIGHT! She will be giving away (at the event ONLY) this awesome piece:

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You can find out more information here! https://www.facebook.com/events/673049362743408/?notif_t=plan_user_invited

Giveaway! Jenn is giving away a poster and two wood burned plaques. Enter below:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5c01ba8210/

Poster

                    Poster

Wood burned carvings

                  Wood burned carvings

 

Author Questions

When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

Strange as it is, I never woke up one day thinking, “I want to be a writer.” Instead, I always knew I wanted to be able to make the things from my imagination come to life. That is why I not only write but also do special effects makeup, wood-burned plaques, sculptures and more. My need to let out what I see in my imagination has led me to many outlets, and writing is one of them.

In what genre do you write?

Mostly paranormal fiction, in new adult.

Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

I would love to do some sci-fi, but I am not as passionate about that as I am about the paranormal (even if alien abductions are technically considered part of the paranormal realm).

What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

When it comes to my writing process, I start off by imagining what will happen in my book. While imagining, I am usually driving around in my car, listening to my music. I love movie scores, so when I am imagining a scene, I use my music like a background soundtrack to the movie happening in my head. From there, I outline on my computer what happens in the story from beginning to end, as detailed as possible. This way, if I get writer’s block, already know what needs to happen and can keep writing.

When it comes to actually writing out my chapters, I tend to jump around between a notebook and my computer. That way, whenever creativity strikes, I am prepared.

Who are you writing inspirations, famous or not?

My #1 inspiration would be Cate Tiernan, author of the Sweep Series. Those books had a big influence on me while in high school, and to this day are still a personal favorite of mine. As you can guess, the Sweep series are a paranormal, Young Adult fiction that is based on witchcraft. What inspired me was the fact the stories were believable, as if they could actually happen in real life. It was also very clear that Cate put a lot of research into her book, making sure the things she had her characters go through were realistic and true to the Wiccan way of being.

Another influence would be Carrie Jones. She is the author of the NEED series, and she always makes time to write back to her fans. She even made time to give me some much needed advice when I first started writing my book and was lost about what to do. I wrote to her and a few days later, much to my surprise, I had a detailed reply! It inspired me to be just as responsive to my own fans.

How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?

I’ve loved the paranormal since I was a young girl, so I primarily used the knowledge I had gained since then. I did, however, do a bit of research when it came to the Egyptian gods, and prehistoric history of ancient wolves. I also did research into Wicca, wanting to make sure I was respectful and close to the truth as possible when it came to my character, Isabel.

Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

Most definitely! It is a key factor to my writing since I use it like background music for a movie. I will sometimes play one song over and over again, replaying the scenes in my head until I have it give me goose bumps. That’s when I know I have the scene the way it needs to be and will write it down later. I usually listen to Varna, Nightwish, movie soundtracks and Broadway show tunes.

When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

I have fun hanging out with my guy, Matthew, or my friends. We will just go out, find something fun to do or make an adventure of our own. Life is short, so whenever I have a chance to live it, I make sure it’s an adventure. If I am in my apartment, doing not much of anything, I put on my music and sing. I am an okay singer, but I don’t care. I love singing show tunes – my favorites being The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Repo! The Genetic Opera and Fiddler on the Roof.

What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

Hearing from fans what they thought of the book, and their eagerness to get the sequel. Like any artist, I have an ego, and so I am extremely thrilled whenever someone tells me how much the appreciated my writing and are left wanting more.

Who created your amazing cover art?

I did! I taught myself how to do Photoshop and how to use the proper settings for a book cover. It took me three months, but I finally got the cover exactly as I wanted it.

Is there an artist, book blogger, editor or anyone else that you want to give a shout out to?

YES! Shout out to:

Carrie Jones, author of the NEED series

Tiana Woods, lead singer and songwriter for the VARNA

Amy Farrar, editor for my series

My family, my aunt Elaine, and my amazing boyfriend Matthew for all their support

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Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.

I am right now working on two pieces of literature. I have a short story, titled Thirst, and the sequel to Demon’s Prize, titled A Cursed Soul.

In Thirst, there is a man who has hidden himself away from society, deep in the forest. He has isolated himself, wanting to find peace, but is tormented every waking hour with an insatiable hunger. It is a hunger that presses at him; telling him to consume the flesh and blood of others. The man knows he shouldn’t, but no matter how much he tries to resist, he always gives in. It is too pleasurable not too. He is always hungry…

In A Cursed Soul, Doctor Brent Carson, has been taken to hell by Irate, a demon who plans to make him be his greatest prize for his trafficking sales. Angela Dane and her friends Tony, Chrissie and Nathan do not know what to do, but it is Isabel, a witch with a secretive past, who says she can bring him back. The four friends insist on going with her to hell, and after some persuasion, she eventually agrees, but it isn’t long before everyone becomes suspicious of her.

Once entering hell, the friends notice how every demon and corrupted soul they come across either hate or are petrified of Isabel. They demand to know what is going on, but Isabel threatens to leave them behind if they don’t stop asking questions about her. All but Tony back down. Meanwhile, Brent is trying to find a way out, but is met with brutality and torture. He fights back, but Irate is determined to break his spirit, by any means necessary.

Reader Questions

What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

Cate Tiernan, and probably Terrance Zdunich. Zdunich is the author and illustrator of Repo! The Genetic Opera, God and the Box, The Molting, and The Devil’s Carnival. Most of these works of his have been transformed into musical on stage and film (with him as producer, and key actor). I am a big fan, and would definitely geek out if I met him. Respectfully and with composure, of course…

Hands down, what is your favorite book of all time and why?

Sadly, I will have to give it a three-way tie between Blood and Chocolate, the whole Sweep Series and the NEED series.

Book Marks

Book Marks

What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

That is hard to say, since there are many times when a movie does not do a book justice. I remember when one of my favorite werewolf books, Blood and Chocolate, was turned into a movie and how they rewrote the whole story. The villain was now a barely shown character, the hero was now the villain, the way the protagonist-turned-antagonist found out his girlfriend was a werewolf was also rewritten. It was just bad.

There are good eggs and bad eggs, but I say if you plan to make a movie out of a book, you should do it justice and keep true to the story as much as possible. At most, make sure it’s something the author approves of.

As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

When the book takes forever to get to the point, has dull description, or when there is no character development. My attention needs to be grabbed the moment I read the first chapter, and I don’t want to put my time towards something that isn’t stimulating. I have actually stopped reading halfway through a book if it gets too boring. I get easily distracted when bored, so when reading, I look for something that will keep me enthralled.

If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

I give it away, return it or donate it. There are a few I plan to one day try finish again, but once I am bored with a book, it is hard to get me back into it.

Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

I mainly like paranormal fiction, but I also like reading history books. Other than that, unless it is important to my research, I will stick to movies.

Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

100% book in hands. Don’t get me wrong, I can see how handy an e-book device can be, but I love walking into my apartment and seeing my shelves of books. It makes me feel at home.

Vendor Booth

                           Vendor Booth

Random Questions

Favorite movie?

Yeah, I cannot just name one. So here is a list!

Predator, Phone Booth, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Star Wars IV, V and VI, The Crow, What Dreams May Come, The Labyrinth, Beauty and the Beast and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Favorite TV show?

Again, I will have to give you a list. Asking me what my favorite TV show and movies are is like asking me what my favorite food is. It depends on my mood 😀

Grimm, Supernatural, American Horror Story, Gargoyles (BEST ANIMATED SHOW TO EVER EXIST!!), Batman the Animated Series (close second to Gargoyles), and Frasier.

If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Sushi….pizza…No, sushi…..Or pizza….

What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

Hmm, first thing to come to mind is ice cream, but you can’t properly enjoy ice cream without chocolate chip cookies.

What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

Nightwish, and Varna. After that, I am all about show tunes and movie scores.

What’s your hidden talent?

I can do the Predator’s clicking growl perfectly.

What is your dream vacation?

New Orleans during Mardi Gras, and then again in Halloween.

Contact Information:

Author Name: Jennifer Maimone

Facebook: www.facebook.com/alphawolfseries

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlphaWolfSeries

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22043864-demon-s-prize

Book Links: www.alphawolfseries

Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/AlphaWolfSeries

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Alpha-Wolf-Demons-Jennifer-Maimone-ebook/dp/B00KVUK6I0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411262914&sr=8-1&keywords=Demon%27s+Prize

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/demons-prize-jennifer-maimone/1120138331?ean=2940150421394

Get ‘Wither’ed with Multi-Genre Author, Amy Miles

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Author Amy Miles has always been a bit of a dreamer.  Growing up as an only child, and a military brat to boot, she spent countless hours escaping into the pages of a book, only to spend the following days creating a new idea of how to twist up the story to make it unique.

Since becoming a mother, Amy has slowly nourished her love of the written word while snatching writing time in the midst of soiled diapers, tumbling over legos and peering around mounds of laundry and dishes that never seem to go away.  Once her only son started school, Amy was free to let her fingers dive into dark mythology, tales of betrayal and love, and explore human nature in its rawest form.  Her love of seeing the world from a different angle bloomed.

Amy is the author of several novels, including her popular young adult immortal books, The Arotas Series, which are an Amazon and iBooks bestselling series.  Unwilling to be defined by any one genre, she proceeded to flip over to a science fiction/fantasy based idea with her Rising Trilogy. She then dove into contemporary romance with her novel, Captivate and explored the depths of her own faith with In Your Embrace.

She is currently working on completing her Immortal Rose trilogy, a prequel to her Arotas novels.  She has also embarked on two new journeys this year, one in the form of a co-written banshee trilogy, The Hallowed Realms, which is currently represented by GH Literary and she breached another genre with her upcoming adult horror novel, Wither.

Amy is giving away an ebook copy of Wither! Enter here:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5c01ba828/

She even has this awesome book trailer to give you goosebumps.

Author Questions

When did you realize you wanted to be an author?

I think most authors will tell you that they’ve always know they would be a writer. Its in our blood. We write because if we don’t, bad things could happen haha. Being an author is a different story. It was always a dream of mine, but until the indie world began I never really held out much hope of standing out in the traditional world.  I’m very thankful for the opportunity this new indie community had allowed for my family and I.

In what genre do you write?

I’m one of those writers who loves too many genres to be labeled by one. I started out with my Arotas Series in the paranormal realm, then hopped to sci/fi fantasy with my Rising Trilogy.  After that I tried my hand at contemporary romance with Captivate and wrote an inspirational romance, In Your Embrace.  My two newest ventures are delving into mythology with my co-written banshee novel, Netherworld and my first horror zombiesque novel, Wither due out for Halloween.

Is there a genre you haven’t written in, but want to?

Not yet, but if I think of one I’m sure I’ll jump to that one next!

What is your writing process? Such as, outlining, freehand, computer vs paper and pen?

Of the 12 books that I’ve written so far, only one was fully plotted out.  Typically I know a beginning and the end but the middle is up for grabs. And by grabs I mean the characters steal away my control and I’m just flailing helplessly after them.  They lead the story. I just relay it.

I’m totally a computer person. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve lost notebooks in my house. I have dozens of them in pretty much every room of the house for when a new idea hits me. Then I lose said notebook and tear apart my house in search of it.

How much research, if any, did you have to put into your novel(s)?

It really depends on what the book is. Typically I do basic research on the location.  I try to keep it as legit as I can so that people living in these places wont email me with a “what the heck. That is so not in my town.”  For other books I’ve had to do extensive research.  For my Immortal Rose books I wrote from 1600’s Transylvania and had to learn about the country at that time, the wars going on, the clothing, the major events. For my horror novel, Wither, I did a lot of digging into science. As a professed NON science lover that was hard but I loved the premise of the book so much it was worth it to me.

Do you listen to music while you write or edit? If so, who do you listen to?

NO!  I can’t have any sound. Literally.  I wear ear plugs to keep even the sound of the tapping keys out. I know…I’m weird.

When you’re not being an amazing author and writing away, what do you for fun?

I love to hang out with my husband and son. We travel a lot, lounge by the pool, go golfing, play pool.  Just be a family.

What has been the most exciting experience for you since starting your writing career?

Getting emails from readers is always a highlight for any author, but when you get a message from a teen that you’ve inspired to either start reading or grab a pen and craft their own stories, that’s the best feeling. I write because I love to do it. If I can allow one person to escape reality even for a few hours then I’ve accomplished my first goal.  If I can encourage a future writer, all the better.

Who created your amazing cover art?

Michelle Monique has created most of my covers. She is brilliantly talented!

Wither_Ebook Cover (1)

^The cover is flippin’ awesome!^

Give us a brief description of your WIP (work in progress) or your newest novel.

My newest novel, Wither is the darkest book I’ve ever written. It is my take on the zombie craze.  To be honest, zombies freak me out! Truly. I have nightmares about them, but I had several people begging me to write my own take on the genre so I figured I’ve give it a go.  In doing so I knew that I had two rules: 1. I cant have then mindless eating machines.  2. I can’t kill kids.

With that in mind the idea for Wither was born.  A point of view that twists the enemy around.  What if its not the zombies we have to fear, but the humans instead.  Or more specifically human nature.

Reader Questions

What author would you geek out over if you met them in real life?

I’m a HUGE James Dashner fan. Love his Maze Runner series so I’d love to meet him in person and pick his brain.

What book would you like to see in film or do you believe that books should be left alone?

Books are rarely better in movies, but I did love the Harry Potter series on the big screen.  The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings has been brilliantly done.

As a reader, what about a book turns you away?

The first chapter. I NEED action.  If you can’t grip me in the first chapter I’m done. There are some books that I’ve forced myself to continue reading because people swore that it would get better but I believe a book should start off strong.

If you find you can’t get into a book, do you put it down or be a trooper and finish it?

Nope. It’s gone. There are far too many great books out there for me to discover so why waste my time on one that’s not my cup of tea?

Do you stick to one genre or do you like to read around?

I predominately read what I love to write: paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian, urban fantasy and mythology. I will occasionally pick up something not in those realms but those are my go to.

Are you a book-in-your-hands reader, e-booker, or both?

I prefer an old fashioned book to an ereader, but I do love carrying hundreds of books with ease. It’s a toss up.

Random Questions

Favorite TV show?

The Walking Dead, Elementary, Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, X-Files…seeing a pattern here?

What’s your favorite candy/dessert?

Hands down my biggest nemesis are cupcakes!  White cake, white gooey sweet frosting.  Heaven in a little cup!

What band or musician can you listen to over and over again? You can list more than one.

Daughtry. Safety Suit. Lifehouse. Nickelback. Linkin Park. 80’s rock bands

What is your dream vacation?

I want to tour Italy and Greece.  I’ve been trying to get that trip arranged for the past two years but work just keeps getting in the way. But in 2015 I get to mark one of my bucket list locations off by going to Australia for 3 weeks for a book signing. I’m wicked excited about that!

Contact Information:

Author Name: Amy Miles

Blog: www.AmyMilesBooks.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmyMiles

Twitter https://twitter.com/AmyMilesBooks

Ebooks available on all ebook platforms