Friday, November 21, 2014

Interview with Jen Naumann, PARANORMAL KEEPERS


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Paranormal Keepers is the story of a girl who’s convinced there are paranormal creatures after her boyfriend is mysteriously murdered and discovers that they are, in fact, real. Harper gets thrown into a whole underground world dedicated to keeping the secrets of these creatures and is basically made to be a part of it. Although the ending was partially tied up with a pretty bow, I started a sequel (Paranormal Legends) that will take place in New Orleans and I hope to release in 2015.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
I could go on all day about my decision to be an indie author. For starters, I don’t take well to others telling me what I should do and wanted ultimate control in how my cover looked, exactly how my story would go, etc. Also, I don’t have the patience it takes to wait nearly two years for a book to be released as I can crank out three or four. And I wasn’t interested in giving someone else a cut in my earnings when I can do all the marketing on my own.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I try to write every day M-F, even if only a little bit. The two days off can sometimes hurt my flow, so I’ll end up putting some time in on the weekends if a story is really speaking to me. I can only work using very specific playlists that I’ve created on Spotify. Normally soundtracks without words work best since I have raging ADD.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
For the life of me, I can’t seem to make myself create any kind of outline or even a general plan. I think it’s the rebellious side of me that sees it as homework. It makes rewriting a ton of fun, however. I actually get excited to go back and close up the missing links between ideas and scenes, making the story even stronger.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
YES! I can’t even imagine releasing something without a professional editor taking a look and feel anyone who does that gives indie authors a bad name. If you expect people to pay for your work, it better be top notch! I have a few editors I use for different purposes and have been happy with all of them.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
Self-publishing is a TON of work! In addition to writing, you have to market yourself, prepare your book for digital and print, launch release parties, arrange for book signings, and keep up with the latest author trends. It becomes way more than a 9-5 job. It’s truly exhausting! Fortunately there are thousands of other kind authors out there who are always willing to help and share ideas. I have made SOOO many incredibly close author friends from all over the world and don’t know what I’d do without them. It’s a true love/hate career. There are many days than not when I wonder what in the heck I’m doing with my life.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
Most of my books are also available on Nook, Barnes & Noble and iBooks.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I’ve been a somewhat amateur photographer for many years, taking pictures of children, seniors, weddings, etc. and after taking courses through the Academy of Art I like to dabble in graphic design (including creating book covers). I took the picture used on the cover of Paranormal Keepers. I’m also a freak when it comes to music and try to take in as many concerts as possible. Actually, I’m kind of a freak about things in general: The Walking Dead, movies, books, good food, you name it. Guess it’s the passionate side of me that likes to create things coming out.

How about some fun facts-which do you prefer? Dogs or cats, coffee or tea, vanilla or chocolate, morning or night?
DEFINITELY dogs. I have a Shitzu/Yorkie mix named Bellatrix that always brightens my day even though she’s not the brightest bulb. My son has an outside cat and it drives me insane, especially as it hasn’t caught on that I really don’t like it because it leaves little prints on my cars.

NO coffee or tea, only sugar-free Red Bull. I’ve been drinking it for so many years that it doesn’t have any effect on me, only gives me caffeine headaches if I skip my daily can.

CHOCOLATE ALL THE WAY! And I have a serious addiction. Like I should probably join some kind of group. There was a time when I would write with one of those giant, zip-lock bags of M&Ms at my side, but I had to stop when I realized I had gained a ton of weight.

NIGHT! I’m a total night owl and stay up reading way past my bedtime. My husband can attest that I’m not a morning person…he often tells others it’s like waking a sleeping bear.

What’s next for you?
I’m currently involved in a writer’s no-no of juggling several books at once. In 2015 I hope to release the sequels to my YA books Paranormal Keepers and Shymers, in addition to the third book in my NA romance series and a new NA thriller/romance (writing under pen name Jennifer Ann). Did I mention I have raging ADD?

Book & Author details:
Paranormal Keepers by Jen Naumann
Publication date: March 11th 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Everyone thinks Harper Young killed her boyfriend. No one will say it to her face, but the signs are everywhere.

It’s almost been a year since Gavin was torn from Harper’s arms and brutally murdered. The police wrote it off as a freak accident, deciding Harper’s strange testimony was given under duress. But she knows something unnatural was involved and refuses to stop looking until she finds his killer, even if it means her reputation as a senior is ruined. Even if it means there really are monsters living among us.

With the discovery of the mothmen, witches, vampires and all the creatures she always suspected were out there, Harper finds herself amidst a complex bundle of unseen heroes who call themselves “Keepers”, sworn to keep the secret of the paranormal creatures that walk this earth. As she tries to understand what’s so special about her that she’s able to break an old Keeper law, Harper has a baffling vision of kissing a mysterious guy before a blade is brought down on him. Before she can get a handle on her future, she becomes central to a battle between the questionable “heroes” and the evil she’s been training to fight, leaving her to wonder if there’s any way to change the fate that has been foretold before it’s too late.


Purchase:

AUTHOR BIO:
Jen Naumann grew up in southern Minnesota as an addict of such flicks as Indiana Jones and The Goonies until she discovered John Hughes, and spent her high school days locked away writing love stories with a sci-fi twist. Married to a farmer in southern Minnesota, she tries to follow the madness of her four active children while balancing an imagination that never shuts down. As the author of CHEATING DEATH, SHYMERS, AND PARANORMAL KEEPERS, she writes stories with strong female leads who have a good sense of humor and tend to fall in love despite their better judgment. For more on Jen visit her website www.JenNaumann.net.

Author links:

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

#Excerpt: CORAL AND BONE by Tiffany Duane


EXCERPT:

"See who you are," the mermaid whispered. 

Halen's eyes clouded over and when the smoke cleared she found herself standing in an open field. She was dressed in a cotton dress which fell around her ankles. Soft grass tickled her toes. She took a step forward and a flower sprung from the ground beside her. She leaned down to pick the red poppy. As she took another step a flower sprang up from between the blades of grass. Halen smiled. She walked a little farther and with each step a new poppy sprouted and bloomed. She ran faster and the field blossomed under her feet, and when she waved her hand, the entire valley filled with red poppies. She inhaled their sweet scent and when she exhaled, the birds glided in the breeze of her breath through an endless blue sky.

Halen laughed when the wind caught her skirt and swept the fabric up over her head, but when she pushed it down, dark clouds rolled overhead. She took one step forward and the grass beneath her feet sizzled to a crisp. Taking another step, the poppies burst into flames. The fire licked the hem of her skirt and she gathered it up over her knees. Scanning the field, she spotted a boulder; if she could make it there, remove her feet from the ground, she could save the rest of the field. 

She ran in long strides, and with each step, she scorched the ground with her fiery feet. Suddenly, she tripped. Her hands touched down and the ground combusted with a brilliant light. The fire raced through the field, spreading to the trees. The flames reached up, lassoing the birds from the sky, dragging them to the ground. Halen crawled to the rock and hoisted herself up. She stared out to the barren land. "No, no. What have I done?" She clawed the air and the clouds rumbled with thunder. The fire burned hotter and hotter under her flesh. The only way to extinguish the flames was to release them. Tilting her head back, she opened her mouth wide and screamed. What birds had not been burned turned now to black beasts swirling in the torrid sky.



Book & Author Details:
Coral & Bone by Tiffany Daune
Publication date: July 7th 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Halen knows the sparks igniting under her fingertips are dangerous. She has spent her entire life trying to quell the tingly feelings that make her destroy things, but now that she is back in Rockaway Beach, where she watched her father drown, the flames have become impossible to tame.

Halen is trying to hold on, but when she is thrust into a mysterious new world, the underwater realm of Elosia, she unravels the secrets of her past and can’t help but ignite. As she explores Elosia, she realizes her life has been a lie. And when those who have deceived her come to her for help, Halen must choose—walk away or unleash the magick that could destroy them all.

Purchase (FREE from Nov 18-22): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LG0SUE6

AUTHOR BIO
I write stories about magick, love and dark creatures lurking in the shadows. When I'm not lost in Edit Land you can find me reading a book from my towering TBR pile or at the movie theater nibbling licorice. I don't have a lucky number, but my favorite time is 11:11. I completely believe that the fortunes found inside cookies will come true and that you must be careful when wishing on stars. I live on an island, so if you want to visit you'll need a boat, and if you want to survive the passage, be sure to bring candy for the mermaids.  

Author links: 

GIVEAWAY
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#Excerpt: HIGH ANDES by Rolf Margenau


EXCERPT:
The special child seemed almost weightless in his arms as he approached the niche in the rocks where he intended to place her. Ayar continued to gauge his ascent carefully, constantly scanning the path below and the horizon. Special concern was necessary, as the Chimu had not yet settled the war between their nations. They still sent out raiding parties even as far south as Huaraz.

The body of the four-year-old girl he carried was the daughter of Cuca, wife of Maita Capac. Cuca herself was now sick with the plague that lay like a dark hand on the people of the White Mountains. That disease had quickly taken the life of her firstborn, the lively and adored Cocohuay, named for the turtledoves kept in a dovecote outside her window.

The sickness spread almost faster than the noble runners could report. There was news about strange white people at Tumbes in the north. They wore silver jackets and sat on four-legged beasts three times the size of the largest llama. They had huge wooden houses that went on the sea, and sticks that carried thunder.

The plague began at Tumbes, and the wooden houses left two of the strange men there and sailed away. Huayna Capac sent to have them brought to him, but they were lost along the way. Now the ruler’s people in Chavín de Huántar were dying. The embalmer’s services were in high demand.

Cuca called Ayar when her little daughter died. As wife of the regional administrator, Cuca was highly placed and her demands took priority. Not that the embalmer would have denied her. Once he saw the frail little child carefully arranged on the low table among sweet-smelling grasses and flowers, and noted the florid flush of her face and body, his heart went out to the grieving mother. He would do all he could to prepare the little girl.


BLURB:
Wylie Cypher, suffering from a mid-life crisis, decides to challenge fading youth by taking a trekking vacation across the Cordillera Blanca (White Mountains) of the High Andes in Peru with his daughter, Mercy, just graduated from college. It is 1981.

While working with legal clients in Lima, he inadvertently acquires documents that contain explosive and damning evidence about the Peruvian government’s extreme interrogation techniques. He learns that something is amiss when police detain and torture him. He loses his little toe. A series of misunderstandings precipitate a heart-pounding chase across the high mountains as two sets of villains - government thugs and members of the communist guerrilla Sendero Luminoso – seek out the Cypher group with murderous intent. Combat in the thin air of the mountains, deceptions of numerous sorts, hairbreadth escapes, torture, action in underground caves populated with mummies, and unexpected plot twists fill the pages of this book.

It is in the United States’ national interest to observe the growing communist threat in its hemisphere, so C.I.A. agents are involved. While Wylie and his cohorts are running for their lives, the author also reports on international smuggling of historical artifacts, the fate of a 600-year-old child mummy, and the ancient spirit of the mountains, Pachamama.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
The author of Public Information has had a varied career.  He has been a scrub nurse in an operating room, a professional photographer, a soldier during the Korean War, a correspondent for the Pacific Stars and Stripes, an attorney specializing in international corporate law, a volunteer executive running a not-for-profit dedicated to housing the homeless, a manager of large and small businesses and, lately, an author and Master Gardener.  

He first published short stories as an English Major from Yale.  Finding the double-digit pay for that work insufficient to support a wife and one and a half children, he went to law school in hopes of finding better paying work. Fortunately, that proved to be the case.  

When the author discovered that his wife kept all the 300 plus letters he wrote her from Korea, he decided to use that material as the basis for a novel about the Korean War. It was a story he had wanted to tell for many years.

Public Information is based on his experiences as NCO in charge of a combat Infantry Division Public Information (hence the title) Office in Korea.  It tells the story of Wylie Cypher, a hapless young soldier who arrives in Korea in the midst of bloody combat.  Wylie manages to survive his sixteen-month tour of duty as Margenau recounts in gory, ribald, poignant and accurate detail.  His adventures are recounted in military jargon and his sometimes abrasive involvement with the “Army way” describes the good, bad and incredible of life in the military. Along the way, Wylie manages to find and lose love.

Other veterans have found the story authentic and highly illustrative of the background and details of the Korean War.  Publisher’s Weekly commented on the author’s ability to create a sense of time and place.  During the summer of 2012, Public Information became an Amazon.com Kindle best seller.

Pistils and Poetry is the author’s second book.  It is a compilation of Margenau’s favorite Elizabethan poems (Shakespeare, Marlowe, Donne, and numerous others) juxtaposed with the author’s photographs of flowers.  It is a rich and engaging poetry book, enhanced and complimented by luscious photos of flowers.  The book is considered as an elegant way to tease reluctant poetry readers into an appreciation of the beautiful sentiments and language of long ago masters of the English language.

Encouraged by the reception for his first novel, Margenau published Master Gardener, his second novel, in March 2013. It is a story that explores conflicts between the benefits of engineered crops and their potential for ecological disaster.  Wylie Cypher, the hero of Public Information, is now seventy-five years old.   He uses his life and legal experience to defend one of the women in his life, Anne Proctor, against the machinations of malevolent BIG AG.  Senior citizens band together as eco-terrorists to save the monarch butterfly, and Dick Geier, the ruthless and profane CEO of BIG AG, engages in corporate shenanigans that reflect current headlines.  The story is set in Middletown, New Anglia, not too far from Philadelphia, and episodes along the Amazon River in Peru bracketed by episodes along the Amazon River in Peru..

His third novel, published in August 2014, is High Andes. The central narrative follows Wylie Cypher, in his mid-forties and suffering from a serious mid-life crisis, and his daughter, Mercy, as they try to elude various villains chasing them across the White Mountains of Peru. The story deals with armed insurrection by Maoist guerillas, smuggling ancient artifacts, “disappearances” of troublemakers, a five hundred year old child mummy, and the CIA.

Rolf Margenau lives in rural New Jersey with his wife, three dogs, a 1932 Chrysler convertible, and a flower garden favored by monarch butterflies. He is now working on his fourth novel. Tentatively titled National Parks, the story recounts what happens, in the near future, when Congress decides to nationalize America’s National Parks.


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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Q&A with Eden Ashley, BLOOD CHAINED


What inspired you to write your first book? 
I’ve always been a pretty imaginative kid and had this story (more of a daydream) circling in my head for several years that kept growing and developing into something bigger and more complex. But this was pre-Twilight. People weren’t devouring paranormal romance then as they are now. So, after the craze hit, I thought, hey, maybe I’m not so weird after all, and started putting those words on paper…well onscreen!

What are your expectations for the book?
I want people to walk away from this series feeling as if the characters are real to them and really caring about what happens next in their story.

While you were writing, did you ever feel as if you were one of the characters?
Actually, yes. But oddly enough, it’s one of the male characters. York is the outlet for every sarcastic, wildly inappropriate, and snarky comment I’ve ever wanted to make. I put a lot of my own twisted sense of humor into writing his parts.

Do you have a specific writing style? 
From what I’ve been told, my style tends to be very simple but very descriptive at the same time. Readers have said reading my work is like watching a movie.

Do you have any advice for other writers? 
Plan your first book as a potential stand alone novel. Write every day. And don’t give up!

Book & Author Details:
Blood Chained by Eden Ashley
Publication date: November 18th 2014
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Sometimes great evil is necessary to keep what you love most.
After centuries on the run, Rhane can avoid justice no longer. Primes have called him home and now he must finally answer for the sins of his past. But the situation in Rhane’s homeland is far worse than anyone could have imagined, and the judgment Rhane faces is a brutal one. Even relying on the strength of the immortal Banewolf, the man he has become may not survive.
Kali and the other kin work tirelessly to secure Rhane’s freedom, but many obstacles stand in their way. Wesley offers a solution that hinges upon resuming a dangerous search for the Siren’s Heart. Trusting him, she and the kin set out once again to find the elusive artifact, believing Rhane and Warren’s freedom can be bartered in exchange for the statue. But other creatures are searching for the Heart. And with greater resources and a head start, their enemies may reach it first.


Purchase:


AUTHOR BIO:
I'm Eden Ashley and I was born and raised in a small, sunny town in South Carolina. However, it's the thunderstorms that inspire my best ideas. There are few things I love more than curling up with a good book and a cup of coffee on a rainy day, (except maybe chocolate cake. I love cake.) often reading into the wee hours of morning when something really grabs me. I pretty much love anything with supernatural elements, so writing paranormal romance and fantasy romance seems to be a natural fit.

My first novel, Dark Siren, is best described as paranormal romance artfully wrapped within a plot chock-full of action, adventure, and edge-of-your-seat suspense, while the series has evolved to become a journey of redemption and second chances as two characters understand that sometimes committing evil is necessary to protect what is loved most. I took the siren from Greek mythology (and borrowed a little from mermaid lore), creating an entirely different creature, with its own mythology, and one that Publisher's Weekly praised for its passion and complexity. This is not just another werewolf/shapeshifter romance or vampire romance. I think this is a story that both adults and teens can enjoy, full of characters to fall in love with!

I love getting feedback! For the latest news on upcoming sequels and other novels, find me on my website: http://edenbynite.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EdenAshleyAuthor
Twitter: Eden_byNite, for writing tips, publishing help, and daily updates.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Interview with John Wendell Adams


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
If you’ve ever experienced betrayal in the workplace, in a love relationship, or in a family, this book is for you.

Betrayal. It’s an ugly word, and virtually everyone has experienced it in one form or another. The question is, what do you do about it? Seek revenge? Recover and go on? Or allow rage and despair to destroy everything you’ve ever worked for?

In his riveting debut novel, author and longtime businessman John Wendell Adams details the story of a man caught in an ugly web. Jack Alexander has landed a great job as a divisional director of sales in a nation-wide IT company. Hired to turn around a regional disaster, he is rewarded with additional responsibilities. The problem: his vitriolic new boss, a co-worker's unwanted advances, and their secret conspiracy.

Fired from his job, forced to confront both his present and his past, Jack goes
through an emotional tailspin before he is able to reconcile what has happened to
him. Eventually, he’s hired as a vice president with a much larger firm. When his
new company decides to acquire his old one, Jack comes face to face with the two
people responsible for his earlier demise. Meanwhile, he uncovers some illegal
activities that could put the acquisition at risk.

Is this the time for revenge, to right the wrongs that have been done to him? What
should he do? Is it possible to act effectively and also with integrity when
confronted with those who compromised his marriage, his career, and his sense of
self-worth?  It is the first of a new series.

Do you have a favorite character?
Yes…Jack Alexander.  He is the protagonist of the story.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
Yes…we actually had a publisher but a couple of unacceptable things happened and I decided to go in a different direction and go in the self-publishing route.

Are you currently under a traditional publishing contract for future books or do you have manuscripts that you will self-publish? Are you doing both?
We are making plans and moving forward to self-publish our next book which is scheduled to come out late in 2015 or early 2016.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
Yes, we did use a graphic designer.  We worked hand-in-hand throughout the process.  In the end I was happy with the finished product.

Do you belong to a critique group? Have they helped improve your writing?
I was not part of an official critique group.  We decided to ask a collection of people that we trusted.  They gave us valuable input all along the way.  Much of what we received helped us to complete the project.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
A key ingredient for me is the writing process.  Some authors write every day.  Others only write when they get “inspired”.  So, each person is different.  My days are all different.  My day is a combination of writing, reading, planning, investigating, and holding business meetings. I believe that I am the king of multi-tasking. Some days I will allocate several hours to writing, especially when I encounters a story angle that I hadn’t previously considered. Other days I may only devote a short time to the writing process. But my motto is “Make sure you write something every day, however long or short.” I have a habit of completing a draft, giving it to a community of people to read, and not looking at my work for an extended period of time. 

In the end, writing is like your DNA.  Each of us has one that is unique.  Some elements will be the same as others.  Some will be quite different.  It is important to recognize your own and allow it to guide you and your writing direction. Keep Writing!!!

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
I learned that the self-publishing route is very difficult.  It’s not the writing process, it’s the advertising, promotion, and marketing.  I have a business background.  So, for me, it wasn’t as tough as others that I’ve talked to. 

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
Right now, Amazon and my website (www.johnwendelladams.com) are the primary sites for the book.  We are working on others for the future.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
We are currently using email blasts, Facebook, and twitter.

What’s next for you?
I am more than 50% finished with the next novel.  In addition, I’ve announced a series of “betrayal” seminars that we will hold.  These are designed to help people who have been betrayed, bushwhacked, and ambushed recover and move on with their lives.


BOOK BLURB:
Betrayal. It’s an ugly word, and virtually everyone has experienced it in one form or another. The question is, what do you do about it? Seek revenge? Recover and go on? Or allow rage and despair to destroy everything you’ve ever worked for?

In his riveting debut novel, author and longtime businessman John Wendell Adams details the story of a man caught in an ugly web. Jack Alexander has landed a great job as a divisional director of sales in a Chicago-based IT company. Hired to turn around a regional disaster, he is rewarded with additional responsibilities. The problem: his vitriolic new boss, a co-worker's unwanted advances, and their secret conspiracy.

Fired from his job, forced to confront both his present and his past, Jack goes through an emotional tailspin before he is able to reconcile what has happened to him. Eventually, he’s hired as a vice president with a much larger firm. When his new company decides to acquire his old one, Jack comes face to face with the two people responsible for his earlier demise. Meanwhile, he uncovers some illegal activities that could put the acquisition at risk.

Is this the time for revenge, to right the wrongs that have been done to him? What should he do? Is it possible to act effectively and also with integrity when confronted with those who compromised his marriage, his career, and his sense of self-worth?

Adams comments, “I have worked in the corporate world all my adult life and have witnessed or personally experienced the highlights and moral failings that come with it. To put it simply, if you’ve ever experienced betrayal in the workplace, in love, or in a family, this book is for you.”  

 “Betrayal is simply a stunning, must-read work that will transform hearts that are open to receive the life lesson within its pages.” ~ Reader Review

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

John Wendell Adams is the author of “Betrayal”, an exciting novel that exposes some the moral failings in the business world. Set in Chicago, Betrayal is a suspenseful and intriguing page-turner for anyone who has ever been betrayed or bushwhacked in the workplace, a love relationship, or in a family. Earlier published works by John include the series, A Man's Story, a collection of motivational short stories for men.

 With more than 25 years of experience in management, marketing, and sales, having degrees in business and management development, Mr. Adams has held a number of senior leadership positions and assignments, including Aragon Consulting Group and IBM, which stretched across domestic and international markets. These experiences served as a catalyst for his newly published work of fiction.

John has conducted several seminars and speaking engagements around the country. In addition, he is involved in various charitable organizations. He and his wife, Grace, have five children and currently live in Skokie, Illinois. 

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