Monday, December 5, 2016

Q&A with Brooke Stanton, THE ADVENTURES OF NATALIE BLOOM


The Adventures of Natalie Bloom
Brooke Stanton
(Bloom Sisters, #2)
Publication date: December 2nd 2016
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

Natalie’s dreams are about to come true. She’s found the perfect spot for her new restaurant and a perfect business partner to make it happen – gorgeous Luke Hawker – until she discovers things are not as they seem. Luke has run off with her money, leaving her dreams crumbling around her.

With Max Euston – her friend and secret crush -alongside her, Natalie must race against the clock to find Luke and get the money back before it’s too late.
With twists and turns, Natalie won’t know who to trust (or love) until the very last page.


Here are some bonuses if you buy the book between Dec 2and Dec 6:
1: 75% off the retail price
2: entrance into an exclusive giveaway for a $50 Amazon Gift Card
3: A FREE, advanced copy of The Downfall of Catie Bloom
The bonuses will be available in the table of contents under Bonus when you buy the eBook.
Q&A with Brooke Stanton

Tell us a little about yourself.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I used to keep notebooks filled with short stories starting in middle school. If I’m going to be completely honest they were filled with some pretty risqué stories. I was young and didn’t know much about romance or sex, but my aunt wrote romance novels and I used to sneak and read them, so I tried to emulate her. I didn’t really understand the subject matter. I don’t think I’d even kissed a boy, yet. Once I got to high school, I wrote more mainstream fiction in my spiral notebooks. They were never for anyone to see. Just my own enjoyment. I went to a performing arts high school and funnelled my creativity on stage at the time. But I always knew one day I would publish a book.

Why do you write?
I write for the same reason I used to get on stage and sing and act. It’s cathartic. I love diving into different stories and characters. It makes me feel alive.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?
To have the freedom to write what I want in many different genres. I hope my readers love my books as much as I love writing them.

What has been the hardest part of building your career?
Being patient!

Which writers inspire you?
Jojo Moyes, Emily Giffin, Meg Cabot. All their stories and characters are interesting and unique and I love how their stories unfold. The love stories feel authentic and there’s always a bit of fun and laughter.

What have you written? (Include books, novellas, short stories, poems, blogs, awards or anything of interest).
My debut novel was the award-winning RomCom, The Misadventures of Catie Bloom. My follow-up novel is The Advenutres of Natalie Bloom, which is the second book in the Bloom Sisters series (but can be read as a stand-alone). I have a blog on my website that focuses on my writing career with day-to-day life anecdotes. When I was trying to get preggers, I had a humor blog called Vagina Vacancy. I also contributed to Natural Awakenings magazine and wrote a column for examiner.com.

What inspires your ideas?
Everything! No, really. I never know when an idea is going to hit; I could be on a plane, in a car, watching a movie, reading the newspaper, about to fall asleep. My phone is filled with notes of story ideas. I have at least a dozen. And they will all be written.

Are there any correlations between the books you write and your life experiences?
The Adventures of Natalie Bloom was largely inspired by my yearly trips to Red Frog Beach in Panama. My parents own a place there and it’s a beautiful, unique, inspiring location. The wheels in my head were turning every time I went down there and out of that came this book.
My novel, How to Survive New York on Three Dates a Week (co-written by Corinne Barlow), is the most biographical. Most of the stories are pulled right from our lives. It’s scheduled to be released in early 2018.
All my books have a few anecdotes I took either directly from my life or my friends. If you know me, read carefully…you may find a bit of your life staring back at you!

Do you work from an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?
I used to write and see where the story took me. But I found writing for discovery without any kind of outline takes too long. Now I write a short outline before I write any book. It has done wonders for the speed in which I can write a book now. And there’s still a lot to discover, even with an outline.

Tell me about your most recent release.
It’s a romantic adventure about discovering what you and what you’ll do (and won’t do) to get. It’s a bit of romance, adventure, and mystery all tied together. Natalie Bloom discovers to get what she wants she has to fight for it and not be afraid to get hurt…a hard thing to do for all of us.
Is there a message in your novel that you hope readers will grasp? I don’t focus on a message as much as I focus on giving my readers something to indulge in, like sneaking a pint of rocky road ice cream and savouring every morsel as it slides down. But the most prominent theme in Natalie Bloom is not letting fear get in the way of living your life – stand up for what you want and go out and get it, no matter what the obstacles.

Any new projects we should look out for?
The third and final book in the series, "The Downfall of Catie Bloom," is coming out in the summer of 2017.

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AUTHOR BIO:

After her own misadventures in New York City, LA, and London, Brooke Stanton now lives in sunny South Florida. She’s an award-winning author who has contributed to Natural Awakenings Magazine, wrote a column for Examiner.com, and is the author of The Bloom Sisters series. Visit her website brookestantonbooks.com.

Get a FREE copy of the prequel, IGNITE, here: http://ilovemyfans.info/ignite-download/








Friday, December 2, 2016

Interview with Stacy Renee Keywell, POPPIES FOR CHRISTMAS

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
"Poppies for Christmas" is about a young, up-and-coming DJ named Dexx who falls in love with a beautiful girl on the dance floor, Poppy, while he spins his music. He finds out she has a boyfriend, a gorgeous model, but decides to pursue her anyway. He winds up spending Christmas with the most picture perfect family you can imagine, but as he chases love, he also discovers a lot about himself. This is a story about acceptance and love, and brings a voice and a love story to those individuals that rarely get one in literature, like young adults with autism. Is it part of a series? Not yet, I but I’ve had some requests to continue the journey of Poppy, Dexx, and the Davies family.

Do you have a favorite character?
Currently, in my novel "Poppies for Christmas," Declan is my favorite character. He is such a brave, persistent, beautiful person. He has so many amazing talents, I really admire him. I also enjoy Poppy, she is so positive and peppy, and Declan’s sister Denver who yearns for true love, and that happily ever after we all chase. As far as favorite characters outside of my own writing? Yes, tons. Probably too many to mention.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
When I write, I make myself comfortable in my bedroom. I hang out on the floor with my notebooks, and a bunch of pillows. I have a window the size of a wall that faces the woods. Since I live in Michigan, I watch all of the beautiful seasons go by, as the trees go from green to snow covered. I stare at the cute animals that wander by; the deer, coyote, wild turkeys, and colorful birds. I spent a lot of time daydreaming. Once I start writing, I’m stuck inside the story in my head. It is like watching a movie. I record what’s happening as I see it. I write everything long hand on a series of notebooks before the type my first rough draft. It’s easier for me, spell check stops my creative flow. I enjoy the silence, but also work with music. Since Dexx is a DJ, I listened to a lot of electronica, dub step, EDM, and techno music while I worked. I also keep the Christmas tunes coming. Declan’s favorite is Christmas Canon by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I do outline the story, only I outline it in my head. I write down the basic storyline in my notebook, then live off scraps and sticky notes to add to the story. Before I begin writing, I basically know the beginning, middle, and end of my novel. I know where I want to go, but doing a traditional outline is not my style. There is definitely an inner muse who actively composes ideas 24/7. And the pathways around my story usually hit me at odd times; in the car, in the shower, while I am falling asleep. Those ideas are written down and stuck in my notebook. Revelations about the character can happen spontaneously, and I love those moments of epiphany.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I am on Facebook, facebook.com/stacyreneekeywell. I also have a web site, stacyreneekeywell.com. Along with my traditional author Facebook, my daughters and I started a movement which is featured in Poppies for Christmas. You can find our page on Facebook, facebook.com/projectlovewithoutlabels. I am on twitter, twitter.com/keywelluvsbooks. You can find me on google+, and good reads. Since this is not my first book, you can find several articles on me as well in different publications.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
I not only find it difficult to juggle my time between marketing, and writing, I find it hard to juggle my entire life. I am a teacher, I have spent over twenty years in the classroom. I work full time. I am a wife, and mother of two young children. I cook every night, help the kids with their homework, and oversee the household. I host holiday parties, plan weekend and vacation activities. I also have several hobbies I like to explore beyond writing. It is a lot to handle. Ha, ha, I am exhausted! Plus, marketing is the most difficult task. I was once told that writing the book is the easy part, the rest is a tremendous trek up an enormous, never ending mountain. Boy were they right about that!

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
I have done both self-pub and traditional. I would love to give advice to all new authors. Never quit! Keep on climbing that never ending mountain. If you have that dream of writing a book, keep on going. You can do it. You can always find me on Facebook or gmail through my website for support. I love to mentor, and be that incredible cheerleader for all.

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
I have so many passions hobbies it’s hard to have the time to pursue them all, but I do try! When I am not writing, I love to devour books. I will read several at a time to catch up the new releases, popular reads, and old classics. Traveling is my passion. Since I love to explore different cultures, when I am not traveling, I go to unique stores and restaurants in the area. I never stay put. Every weekend I visit different parks, botanical gardens, museums, see movies, or attend art fairs. I also don’t mind staying home and being a homebody. I enjoy cooking for my family, listening to music, and hanging out watching TV on the couch with a big bowl of ice cream. In the end, the most important passion is my family. I love my two daughters dearly, and spend as much time with them as I can while they are young.

Some fun facts about you, which do you prefer – dogs or cats? Chocolate or vanilla? Coffee or Tea? Talk or Text? Day or Night?
These are fun, but it is so hard to choose when I am the type of person who just loves so many things. My one daughter loves cats, and my other loves dogs, so I am torn. But it was hard enough to take care of my fictional dog Dancer in "Poppies for Christmas," so no pets for me. I could eat chocolate all day long, especially if it is in the form of ice cream, or a peanut butter M&M on a spoon dipped in peanut butter with a large glass of milk. But, I teach French, so I am a sucker for French vanilla anything. Coffee is another one of my passions. I love all types, from frequenting the little unique coffee shops that put the hearts in the lattes, to the popular brands. I drink coffee daily. But, my love for Alice in Wonderland temps me to have those yummy tea parties. I love talking, I do it all day long, so I usually talk to my text if I need to text. I really, really want to be a night person, I love the night. It is spooky, so romantic. But I am too much of a morning person, I have to get up so early, and I am most productive in the day. See? I told you I would have a hard time choosing, but I loved the question anyway.

What’s next for you?
I also have a children’s story, Poppy and the Pesky Pudding Problem, as a backstory and companion piece to Poppies for Christmas which I am trying to market along with my new novel. In my spare time, I am currently writing a new book, part romance, part fantasy. I hope to finish that project in 2017. Then, maybe another Poppies novel. I’ve had a few requests to continue the journey through the life of Poppy and the Davies family. 


Poppies For Christmas
Stacy Keywell
Publication date: November 15th 2016
Genres: Romance, Young Adult

A celebration of love without labels. It’s easy to be brave with you by my side!
Popular DJ Dexx finds himself positively smitten by the precociously pristine Poppy Paris. Too bad she’s already taken by an older boy, Declan Davies, a beautiful model with a thriving career, and a perfect family.

By a dreamful stroke of chance, Dexx finds himself invited to spend Christmas at the Davies home by a gorgeous girl, granting him the opportunity to pursue the precious Poppy. But in his quest to win her over, he unlocks a world of imperfection and insecurity, where people are picked on for their disabilities, speech, appearance, and eccentricities. For Poppy and her friends, love trumps labels, and everyone deserves a brave friend to stand by their side. What gifts will Dexx discover this Christmas? Will he ultimately find true love, or will he discover something even greater?

You are invited to read a powerful story about living with autism, but not letting it define you, about being bullied, but carrying on with determination and grit, and about having dreams, but not giving up in the face of adversity. Come celebrate something beautiful with Poppies for Christmas.




Author Bio:
Stacy Renée Keywell enjoys spending time misusing, mispronouncing, and misspelling languages, especially in her native tongue, English. When she is not stargazing or daydreaming she creates adventures for her family to conquer. Besides following her whimsical dreams, Stacy likes to sing to the music in her head, dance poorly, and compose non-sensical words. She is also the author of Forbidden Sky- Book One of the Dark Wing Series. Stacy resides in Michigan in a little house in the woods with her husband, and two daughters.




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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Interview with Adnan Alisic, UNFORGIVING


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
UNFORGIVING is a contemporary YA story (first in trilogy), inspired by that little boy who was killed by the Serbs soldiers; in real life he died, but in my book he managed to escape and survive in that forest for many years. Later, he was found by an American diplomat who adopted him and brought him to the United States. For years he struggled to adopt to a civilized life, and after finally learning to control his rage, he sees a monster who murdered his family. And that’s how the book begins: in the first chapter the boy ruthlessly murders those people.

Do you have a favorite character?
Besides Meho, Bucky in UNFORGIVING  is my favorite character. He is tiny, smart motor-mouth who believes he can do anything. He lives in his own world, the world where good guys always win, and if you're his friend, he'll do anything for you. He'll lie for you, cheat for you, steal for you, and he'll always find a rational justification for everything.

But if you're his enemy, or enemy of his friend, he'll hate you with blood-spilling rage.
What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
I queried about 50 agents and all of them said no. So if I couldn't get traditionally published, there's always another way. And with today's technology, it's easy to get self-published. The downside to that is, since anyone could get published, there's a lot of crap out there.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I like to snap my headphones on, grab a pen and notebook and just write. That is one way to escape this place. I aim for one page a day, but when inspiration strikes, I don't stop until everything is spilled onto the paper.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I never outline. My outline is the first draft. If I get an idea for a specific scene, I would scribble it down in my notebook, and then during the rewrite I would insert it at the appropriate place. Sometimes there would be many scenes, and second rewrite would seem like aranging a giant puzzle.

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
Self-publishing is a wild ride. If you don't have money or resources, you gotta do everything yourself. After finishing your job as a writer, you gotta switch hats and become editor, designer, publicist, marketer, and many other things.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I have about 10,000 followers on Facebook, so I use it as my main platform. I also have a Twitter account, but I dont use it as much as Facebook. Before publication, I'll be using a book tour with Xpresso Book Tours and actively seeking reviews.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
There are only so many hours in a day, and when you're doing everything yourself, something's gotta give. When I'm actively marketing my book, I gotta admit that I'm neglecting my writing. At least the physical part. I believe as a writer you are always writing, because those characters are in your head and you're always thinking, 'What would he say? What would he do? How would he act?'

Publicizing your book is a tough act, and I see why many authors don't like it. You gotta be actively involved with the public, shouting, selling, and promoting your book. And since many of the authors are introverts, it's a tough job for them.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Persistence is the key. Read and write. Never quit. Read biographies from famous authors and you'll see what kind of game this is. Steven King's Carrie was rejected 30 times. If he stopped submitting, we would never know who he was.

What’s next for you?
I am currently finishing MEHO, a second part of UNFORGIVING. It is quite unique because it's written from a perspective of a five-year-old Meho. My plan is to publish it before the end of 2017, and the last part by the end of 2018.


Unforgiving
Alisic Adnan
Publication date: January 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

12 years after surviving horrific massacre, 15-year- old Meho commits ruthless murders and sets in motion the event which could change the world order.
The murders are followed by the trial of the century, where media vilifies Meho as a psychopath, mass murderer, and a monster — all under the influence of FBI, who are trying to conceal the identity of the victims and protect the National Security.
The only person who believes that Meho is innocent is his 10-year-old brother Bucky, who will turn heavens and earth to free Meho. After learning the truth, Bucky is devastated, but not all things are as they seem, and the truth will be revealed at the very end.





Author Bio:
After witnessing terrible war atrocities, Adnan Alisić escaped from Bosnia and came to Phoenix, Arizona where he became a successful businessman. Entangled in a gambling addiction, he was forced to execute this sensational casino heist. He can be reached at Alisic.adnan6@gmail.com or www.AlisicAdnan.



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Friday, November 25, 2016

Interview with Madelle Morgon, CAUGHT ON CAMERA


Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Caught on Camera, Hollywood in Muskoka series, Book 1, is a New Adult romantic comedy. Rachel (22), a chambermaid at a Canadian luxury resort, is asked to stand in for a missing bridesmaid at an A-list actor’s private wedding. Rachel falls in love with a groomsman, Mickey, who thinks she’s the bride’s cousin. Their path to love is as rocky as the beautiful Muskoka lake district—playground of the rich and famous. Many Hollywood celebrities own beautiful summer homes in Muskoka for the privacy far from the paparazzi. Goldie Hawn used to own a multi-million dollar Muskoka lakefront property.

Subsequent books in the series follow the same upstairs/downstairs trope—local people in the service industry fall for vacationers who make Hollywood movies; e.g., a screenwriter, producer, director, stunt professional, and more. Research into the various careers in the industry is fun because I absolutely love movies and am fascinated by filmmaking. I also studied screenwriting and writing romantic comedy with the goal of writing fast-paced stories that are full of heart and humor. I figured that I may as well write a series with the elements required for a movie or a six-episode TV series!

Have you ever had a minor character evolve into a major one? Did that change the direction of the novel at all?
I actually wrote the second book in the series, Sex and the Screenwriter, first. The heroine is Catrina, a security guard who falls for a visiting Hollywood screenwriter. Then I went to an RWA conference and all the advice was to write a series to maximize sales. So I returned home and Catrina became a secondary character in Caught on Camera, now the first book in the series, along with members of the wedding party who will each have their own story.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing; i.e., querying agents/publishers?
Prior to the digital revolution, responses from traditional publishers took forever. I waited over a year for a “no thanks” response from Harlequin. In contrast, I received relatively speedy responses from an editor at Ellora’s Cave Publishing Inc., who offered to publish the second manuscript I submitted—Diamond Lust, a romantic suspense—under its former Cerridwen Press imprint. Digital-first presses such as EC opened the door to many new authors who would otherwise have waited years to be traditionally-published, if ever. Eventually I got the rights back, changed the cover, and indie-published it as Diamond Hunter in 2015.

What factors influenced your decision to self-publish your book(s)?
I decided to go indie for several reasons: I’m not getting any younger, I would need to put a lot of time and money into promo either route, bookstores are closing so there is limited shelf space for print books of debut authors anyway, and the prices charged by some traditional publishers for ebooks are extraordinarily high, in my view. I wanted to be able to set my own prices. The biggest reason: a traditional publisher would not accommodate my playlist/soundtrack approach. Embedded in each ebook are links to YouTube videos or iTunes songs (iBook version). Paperback readers can access my YouTube playlist from my website.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I need to focus when writing, so playtime for me is seeking out a video/song on YouTube that matches the emotion I’m going for at that point in the story. A musical note together with the song title within the chapter indicates when to listen to each song on the playlist.

Caught on Camera’s overarching theme song is Michael Bublé’s Hollywood. It reflects the book’s upbeat, fun energy and lyrics that describe how you can become anything you want to be! “You can find it in yourself.” Check out the full playlist on my website.


Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I’m a plotter. For me it’s necessary because storylines of each book in the series have to tie together. Bridesmaid and actor Tiffany’s story threads through each book until she gets her own happy-ever-after at the end of the series.


Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
I learned so much from my Ellora’s Cave editor, and that experience convinced me of the value of working with professional editors. My developmental editor (a screenwriter) and copy editor are fiction authors as well. I shared Caught on Camera’s editing journey in Editing your Book blog posts.

Besides Amazon, are there any other sites where your books are for sale?
Caught on Camera ebooks are promo-priced at 99 cents on Amazon | iBooks | Kobo. The print version is available on Amazon.

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
The first book is for practice. Don’t indie-publish your first novel. I know it’s tempting and so easy to do, but few writers have the craft knowledge on their first attempt. Your second and third books will be so much better. Diamond Hunter was my fourth full-length novel. The first three were learning experiences, although I thought they were absolutely wonderful at the time, and even had contest win validation for the third. Don’t publish until a professional editor or a multi-published author in your genre with 4 and 5 star reviews says your book is ready for the world. Poor reviews can be devastating to sales and haunt indie-authors for decades.

What’s next for you?
Sex and the Screenwriter, Hollywood in Muskoka series, Book 2, a hot contemporary romance, will be published in 2017. When Hollywood screenwriter Chett de Groot invites Catrina to rehearse role-playing love scenes in costumes from old movies, she discovers how satisfying acting can be. Soon she’s ad-libbing passionate lines in scorching “performances”. But when Chett exploits her secret, Catrina realizes the emotional pain from her past is nothing compared to the agony of betrayal.




Caught on Camera
Madelle Morgan
(Hollywood in Muskoka, #1)
Publication date: September 9th 2016
Genres: Comedy, New Adult, Romance

To achieve her dream of working on Hollywood film sets, star struck chambermaid Rachel Lehmann needs $35,000 for film school tuition by the end of the summer. When she’s asked to fill in for a missing bridesmaid at a movie star’s wedding, it’s her big chance to take candid photos of celebrities and sell them to the entertainment media. Then groomsman Mickey McNichol, agent to the stars, sweeps her off her feet.
Mickey’s bitter experience is that everyone in show business fakes emotions. When he falls for the stand-in bridesmaid, he thinks he’s finally met a beautiful woman he can trust. But if Rachel betrays his friends’ privacy, Mickey will ensure she never works in Hollywood.

Author Bio:
Madelle completed four novels before Ellora’s Cave Publishing Inc. contracted to publish her debut romantic suspense, Diamond Lust—republished as Diamond Hunter—and a sexy, short free read, The Next Big Thing, in 2010.
When Madelle realized her author voice is more suited to light, humorous contemporary romance, she went waaaay back to her teen years for the Hollywood in Muskoka series setting.

Madelle, her sisters, and assorted pets enjoyed idyllic summers at a lake in the District of Muskoka, Ontario, Canada, named by National Geographic Traveler magazine as one of their top 20 Best of the World Must-see Places.

The Muskoka lakes’ forested shorelines are dotted with palatial properties owned by wealthy families and Hollywood celebrities. At sixteen, being neither rich nor famous, Madelle worked briefly as a chambermaid at the now-closed Delawana Inn, a local resort.
Madelle is retired from an engineering career in the federal public service and lives in Ottawa, Canada’s capital, with her husband. She tries to keep fit with cycling, Pilates, and yoga, and dreams of owning a waterfront cottage. Or at least a pool.

She tweets and posts on Facebook and Goodreads about Hollywood, filmmaking, Muskoka, and, of course, writing. She blogs the second Tuesday of the month at romancingthegenres.blogspot.com and occasionally on her own website.


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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving 2016

Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. Take time to be with your family and friends and let them know they are loved. Let's try to put aside whatever differences we have and try kindness instead. 2016 was a tumultuous year and here's hoping things will calm down so we can all enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving.

For all the service men and women who won't be home this year, I thank you all for your service. You serve so we can be protected and enjoy freedom. There is no greater sacrifice in my book. So, an extra big 'THANK YOU' to you.



Wednesday, November 23, 2016

#Excerpt: SHADOW FALL by Audrey Grey


Shadow Fall
Audrey Grey
(Shadow Fall, #1)
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: November 22nd 2016
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

The asteroid hurtling toward the earth will kill billions.
The Emperor and his Gold Court will be safe in their space station, watching from the stars. The Silvers will be protected underground. But the Bronzes must fight it out at the Shadow Trials for the few remaining spots left on the space station.

When an enigmatic benefactor hands Maia Graystone a spot in the Trials, she won’t just get a chance at salvation for her and her baby brother, Max: She gets to confront the mother who abandoned her in prison, the mad Emperor who murdered her father, and the Gold prince who once loved her. But it’s the dark bastard prince she’s partnered with that will make her question everything, including her own heart. With the asteroid racing closer every day, Maia must trust someone to survive.

The question is who?



You can get your copy now for the special release price of 99 cents, and be sure to meet us at the Facebook Party happening right now!

EXCERPT:
My legs wobble as I step into the now lukewarm water. I sink to the bottom. Tiny bubbles escape my nose as I watch all the ugly remnants from the last seven years leave my body.
Lungs burning, I rise and come face-to-face with Pit Boy.
I glare at him. “You really have to work on the knocking thing.”
Despite the fact that I’m indecent, his attention never falls from my face. I almost wish it would, just to give me a break from the intensity of his focus.
“I only get a few more hours to be the ‘one-eyed freak’ from the pit. Might as well take advantage.” He doesn’t dare crack a smile, so it’s hard to tell if he’s joking or serious.
“Don’t worry. In my heart, that’s exactly who you’ll always be.”
His words remind me that soon we’ll be reconstructed using forbidden nanotech. But it won’t just be our flesh they’ll reengineer. It will be our brains, too.
I don’t foresee my rewiring being too complicated, but Riser needs to upload almost twenty years of false memories. That will be tricky and time-consuming.
And time is the one thing we don’t have.
Riser flicks his gaze to the mirror. He lifts a hand, touches the patch of mottled flesh where his eye should be.
“How did it happen?” I ask.
“Careful, my lady.” His gaze settles on my face. “You’re beginning to sound like you care.”
I roll my eyes. “And I thought I was lacking in conversational skills.”
He focuses his attention on the graffiti sprayed across the mirror.
“It’s written language,” I blurt, even though all I want to do is end the conversation so Pit Boy can leave. His presence unnerves me more than the other Pit Leeches ever could. “It’s how we communicate.”
“I know what it is.” He examines his jagged thumbnail. “I just . . . can’t read it.”
“It’s just stuff about the Chosen. You know, insults.” The populace is finicky. As much as they love watching the Chosen with their petty intrigues and court life, they would be just as happy to see their heads on a pike.
“Chosen?”
Time to explain what you are, Everly, Nicolai’s voice grates inside my head. Riser’s eyes flutter just enough that I know he’s heard Nicolai’s voice too.
You do it, I think, watching Riser’s reaction. But his face remains emotionless; either he’s a good actor or only Nicolai can hear my response.
“The Royalist astronomers discovered the asteroid twenty-one years ago,” I begin. “It’s actually a slow moving planet called an earth-crosser, meaning its orbit and ours intersect every twenty-thousand years. Usually it’s too far away to affect us, but this time it will pass close enough to wreak havoc and make the earth uninhabitable for years.” I stir the water with my big toe. “Before I was born, the Emperor decided that creating a population of genetically superior humans would be a great idea, you know, just in case the Caskets don’t work or the asteroid does more damage than predicted.”
Riser’s hyper-focused gaze bores through me. “You’re one of them?”
“Yes.” I run my hand through the filthy water. “But my father’s a Bronze, so even though my mother comes from a Gold House, the Emperor only allowed them one Chosen instead of the customary twins. So it’s just me . . . not Max.”
“What makes being Chosen so special?”
“I don’t know . . .” I bite my lip, trying to remember everything my parents told me. “My genes are perfect, I guess.”
For some reason, talking about my body makes me remember that I am naked in a room with a boy. As if reading my mind, Riser slowly lets his gaze fall, his expression both curious and unapologetic as he takes me all in, his thoughts cryptic.
“What are you staring at?” I blurt, smashing my breasts beneath my hands. Not like there’s much there to cover. “Haven’t you seen a naked girl before?”
A smile twitches his lips. “Not one that’s genetically flawless.
“It doesn’t work that way! You can’t just look at us and tell. We look like everyone else—”
“No.” Riser shakes his head, a dark swath of hair covering his damaged eye. “You don’t. Whatever you are.”
“You must be happy . . . about our reconstruction, I mean,” I mumble, trying desperately to change the subject. “They’ll fix your eye . . . and . . . and all those horrible scars.”
I freeze as he slides off the counter, unable to look away as he hooks one finger beneath his shirt and lifts.
Scars ravage his anemic body in varying shades of red and silver and white. Some deep and pitted like the craters of a far-away planet, others smooth and neat. One particular nasty scar carves down his shoulder, tunneling across his chest and stomach. A fresh red wound nestles just below his throat.
He carefully touches the long ugly one. “I’m not ashamed for surviving.”

Author Bio:
Audrey Grey lives in the charming state of Oklahoma, with her husband, two little people, and four mischievous dogs. You can usually find her hiding out in her office from said little people and dogs, surrounded by books and sipping kombucha while dreaming up wondrous worlds for her characters to live in.


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Monday, November 21, 2016

Interview with Rosemary A. Johns, BLOOD SHACKLES


Do you ever wish you were someone else? Who?
Firstly – thanks for having me on your site today!

When I was a child, I’d daydream I was someone exciting like a British spy:  a James Bond type. Always in peril. Always fighting villains. And always quick with the one-liners. I guess it’s not a surprise that now I write urban fantasy with a thriller edge. Except with vampires. And Light? He’s more leather jacket than black-tie. More pint than vodka martini. And he definitely doesn’t need a license to kill.

What did you do on your last birthday?
Had a wild party, danced all night and ate a huge chocolate cake with candles. Did you spot the lie in the last sentence? OK…lies. Plural. Three of them… I wrote. Like most days. But I did get cake. It wasn’t chocolate. Inside I died a little.
I always say please feed me reviews because they’re better than chocolate. See how much I love reading your reviews?

What part of the writing process do you dread?
None of it. If I dreaded it, I couldn’t do it. If anyone thinks this is the easy option, they don’t know what goes into it. I’m passionate – all right – obsessed with writing. I always have been. It tells the stories, which are rushing through my mind, like…speeded up movies, which I need to get down. Before they’re lost. I only write about what matters to me. I care about it. It’s from my…whatever it is that wiggles inside us. Deep down.

In the first book in my new fantasy series Rebel Vampires - Blood Dragons - the idea was sparked by my autistic son, who has a photographic memory. Light – the Blood Lifer in both books – has one too. I wondered what it would be like to live through the centuries witnessing glorious wonders and devastating horrors. And remembering everything with the clarity of a photograph.

Rebel Vampires is set in the supernatural world of Blood Life, where vampires are both predator and prey. I love vampires. But I wanted to write a vampire book for adults. Where they were not simply the hunters but also the hunted. Vampires, rebels and romance. Don’t leave out the romance.

In this latest book – Blood Shackles – the idea was sparked by freedom. Or the loss of it. Human trafficking and slavery. But what would happen if it was the Blood Lifers, who could be trafficked? Like Taken with vampires.

I was also fascinated by the different types of freedom we have. Mental, as well as physical. How we give it up when we’re in love – or how love can free us.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Touch wood – I’ve never suffered so far. My brain’s too busy. If you’re authentic to who you are – and what you want to write – writer’s block is less likely. Know yourself and all that. It’s not easy but you have to stick to what you believe in. Write what you want to read. I love intelligent, dark, subversive books. With antiheroes at their hearts. So that’s what I write.

Tell us about your latest release.
Blood Dragons (Rebel Vampires Volume 2) is the standalone second book in my new fantasy series.

It explores a hidden paranormal world in London, where vampires are both predator and prey. It’s a story of redemption and love in a divided world beneath our own. Blood Lifers are a camouflaged species, who use venom to paralyse and mimic heart attacks in First Lifers (humans). Yet they fear the First Lifers they prey on.

I loved the idea of a novel, which was written from the vampire’s perspective in the style of a slave journal.  But which also had a British vampire front and centre. The ultimate anti-hero. A vampire book truly for adults.

What happens when SPARTACUS meets VAMPIRES? Welcome to the Blood Club…



BLURB:
WELCOME TO THE BLOOD CLUB

Light is a Rocker Blood Lifer with a talent for remembering things. He’s meant to be the predator. It’s been that way since Victorian times. But not now. Not since someone hunted him. Enslaved him. Ripped out his fangs. Who are these ruthless humans? Who’s their violent leader? And who betrayed the secret of the Blood Lifer world?

WHERE THE PREDATORS

London, Primrose Hill. Grayse is the commanding but alluring slaver’s daughter. The enemy. She buys Light, like he’s a pair of designer shoes. So why does Light feel so drawn to her? Especially when his family is still in chains. Will he risk everything – even his new love – to save them?

BECOME THE PREY

Does a chilling conspiracy lie behind it all? A stunning revelation leads Light to an inconceivable truth. If he can face his worst terrors, he can save his family and his whole species from slavery.

Maybe he can even save himself.

The third book in the series, BLOOD RENEGADES, will be out Spring 2017.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
ROSEMARY A JOHNS is a traditionally published author of short stories under the name R. A. Johns. She is the author of Blood Dragons the compelling first installment of the Rebel Vampires series.

Rosemary A Johns wrote her first fantasy novel at the age of ten, when she discovered the weird worlds inside her head were more exciting than double swimming. Since then she’s studied history at Oxford University, run a theatre company (her critically acclaimed plays have been described as "uncomfortable, unsettling and uneasily true to life"), and worked with disability charities.
When Rosemary’s not falling in love with the rebels fighting their way onto the page, she heads the Oxford writing group Dreaming Spires


To sign up to Rosemary A Johns’ VIP Email Newsletter with news of hot releases, promotions and the free short story “All the Tin Soldiers”, click here: http://eepurl.com/bQ0kMX

Twitter: @RosemaryAJohns

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