Sunday, January 31, 2016

Go Bananas for the Year of the Monkey Contest #2!

Hi everyone! January is over and I'm happy to announce that the first month of the Go Bananas for the Year of the Monkey Contest was a fantastic success. Congratulations to all of the winners! Now, let's get on to February's fantastic giveaway! Presenting:

This time around, I've got three Kindle edition ebooks of The Eyes of The Sun, the Complete Trilogy up for grabs and four opportunities to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Once again, I'll be offering a free Kindle ebooks every week. Check my author page every Wednesday to see what I'll be giving away. But that's not all! For those who don't want to wait until the end of the month (or those who want their trilogy in three separate books), I'm offering discounts on the original series books throughout the first two weeks of the month. 

Best of luck to everyone who enters! 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Bringing Vampy Back

Okay, not really. Vampires are on the outs again right? I can't keep up with popular culture and what 'the hep kids' are into these days. Heck, I can barely keep up with this blog!

But I got to thinking about vampires again recently. I would say that is partially due to the fact that I am coming to the end of my second supernatural fantasy series (that is, if I haven't fried my computer, but that's another story for another time) and more than a lot to do with my own ways of dealing with aging.

Not that I'm terribly old, but let's face it, whenever the badass female vampire is described, whether she's just turned or thousands of years old, she has the face and body of a fitness obsessed co-ed. Ageist and sexist! I'm only half joking and I'm well aware that my own beloved Lucy was a healthy and attractive twenty-something.  But Lucy wasn't the only badass female vamp from my debut vampire series. There was also Dara.

True confession time: Dara is my Mary Sue. Maybe not so much in the traditional sense. She's not the star, but she's pretty badass in her own right and I deliberately gave her an origin story that begins not with a fresh faced teen, but a world wary thirty-something with health and stress issues. In many ways, she is representative of me and the way I took control of my own life and health (and snagged the dream guy) in my mid-thirties. Surprise, kids! Your twenties suck more than your thirties!

But here's the funny thing about that. Looking back, I have to laugh that I had considered my mid-thirties to be 'old' at all. I wasn't old. Heck, I was barely a grown up. The only difference between my twenties and thirties was better credit. The only difference between my thirties and forties is...

Well, so far, not a whole lot except that I seem to have less patience for things like the news, but I suspect that has more to do with an impending election year than my age. In fact, in many ways, I'm quite better off now than I was in my twenties, which got me thinking. If I were to become a vampire, I'd be cool with being a middle aged vampire.

Yes, I am the type of dork face who contemplates what I would need to do to prepare for becoming a vampire. You'll not be surprised to learn that most authors are dork faces. It's practically a requirement.

Assuming I would be freeze-framed at the moment in my life when I turned, I'd likely want to become a vampire early in the day, not right after waking up, but early enough that I haven't yet begun to pack on water weight from my morning ritual of fifty cups of coffee. Oh, and if I've got to give up coffee for a lifetime of Folger's AB blend (Rich, bold, and full-bodied, but low plasma for better digestion!), forget it. I'm moving on to werewolves or some other timeless immortal lifestyle. Mamma needs her coffee.

Provided my diet is not blood and blood alone, I'd need to have my hair done on this,the morning of my vampiring. I'm not going to spend the next several centuries looking like a frizz head. I'll go all out and pay for the master stylist to give me a nice, classic 'do that will keep me looking sinister, yet intriguing through the ages.

As for the rest, well, I'm not fitness obsessed and there are more than a few squishy places, but I'm okay with that. There are less squishy places now than there were in my roaring twenties, so I'm glad no one turned me into a vampire back then. Imagine that! A pack a day smoker vampire with a crippling venti mocha addiction who gets winded after two flights of stairs! Not the kind of vampire anyone wants to read about.

But a few squishy places now, eh, that I'm okay with. Even better, they aren't going away and they aren't going to grow now that I'm a vampire, so none of that annoying clothes shopping business where I have to worry that the jeans I get might be too tight or too loose in a month depending on if I hit the gym or hit the pizza buffet. Yes, I also need to be able to have pizza in my vampire diet. Would it be weird if I stayed a vegetarian?

Okay, so maybe I've thought a little too hard on the subject. And maybe I'm a little sad that as a middle aged women I have to justify my existence and accept that I am part of the marginalized in mainstream entertainment. But while society might want to keep the young 'uns in the spotlight, I can at least comfort myself in knowing that I would be one bad ass middle aged vampire.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Write On! Indie Author Interview & Book Launch for Radiant Decay

Today is the release day for Radiant Decay, the second book in indie author Charles Hash's The Goddess of Decay series.

I've had the pleasure of reading and reviewing the first book in the series, Nascent Decay, and loved it so much that I jumped at the opportunity to get a sneak peek at the next in series. And let me be the first to tell you, the second book tops the first.

Fans of space opera and sci-fi horror will want to check this series out. Especially since the first book, Nascent Decay, is currently free as part of a launch day promotion.

I had the opportunity to interview the author regarding some of the darker aspects of his books, as well as the darker aspects of writing in general.  See what he has to say below:

Q: Nascent Decay introduces us to Rhylie, who seems to be the protagonist, but you also get into the heads of several characters. Radiant Decay seems to take the head hopping to the next level. Was it always your intention to have an ensemble cast and how do you keep track of your characters?

A: Absolutely, and it is only going to grow from here. I want as many characters as I can handle, and I don't think I've even come close to what I may ultimately be capable of in the second book. The way I deal with the growing cast it is by writing the draft in chronological order, with a rotation on the characters so you never get the same character two times in a row, weaving their destinies together in key moments of the book, often with catastrophic results. I go ahead and plan out for the most part whose chapter goes where, and then I write that chapter's synopsis. This allows me to guide characters together and separately as the plot develops. It helps that each character is very distinct in my own mind as well, influenced by people I've known, and the events of my own life and throughout human history.

Q: This is a dark series. There are many deaths and there are some scenes that are very uncomfortable to read. How do you deal with going into the dark places that most of us shy away from?

A: I'm not sure I go anywhere. I'm a huge fan of free thought and disciplined action. Think whatever you want, but harm no one. I think I just shine a light on the dark, primitive urges to indulge and celebrate and survive that we all possess, behind locked doors and in the dark cells of our minds. My writing is heavily influenced by the tragedies in my own life, as well as those vicariously experienced through peeling away the layers of scabs that cover up the dark underbelly of human history.

Q: Who is your favorite character and without spoilers, why?

A: A year ago? Rhylie. 6 months ago? Mersi. Right now? Adam. Next book, Tus'mun. :D Or Xavana. She's pretty awesome to write. I look at characters differently than most people, instead of being a fan of the heroes, or the underdogs, I like those that make the story churn. Which character inspires the most emotion? Which character always steals the scene? I'm particularly fond of villains, so perhaps I am a little biased.

Q: You once mentioned that this series will have seven books. Is this still the plan?

A: I'd love to write more, but that's all I have ideas for at this point in time. I'd love to turn Rhylie into a Bond-type character that goes on an endless series of adventures, but as it stands I have a definitive end planned to the series. But there could be other stories to tell about the galaxy once Rhylie's story is finished...

Q: I've noticed that you're a fan of literary quotes. What's your favorite quote about writing and why?

A: “If something is there, you can only see it with your eyes open, but if it isn't there, you can see it just as well with your eyes closed. That's why imaginary things are often easier to see than real ones.”
― Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Okay, I don't really have a favorite. But that one is as good as any!

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