Here is the place to learn about other Authors and their books, as well as reviewers and other fab folks who’re all about books. The plan is to invite guests to post on this page, so we can meet them and greet them. I will probably open this up once a month, unless it proves hugely popular – in which case I will do this more frequently. If you are a fellow author, reviewer, etc, and would like to post here, then please contact me using the contact form; I would love to hear from you.
I am delighted to be able to feature …
Okay, looks like wine and chocolate time with Y and Queen … read on for a laugh a minute with the All Authors Magazine …
All Authors Magazine
“Advocating All Authors, Reaching All Readers”
Website | Facebook | Twitter
Y.: Woot! Woot! Party over here!
Queen: I don’t do parties.
Y: You know what I meant.
Queen: Harmony, excuse us. Just direct us to a comfortable couch (well not too comfortable because Y may fall asleep), some delectable vittles and a good selection of wine.
Origins (How We Met)
Y: Maestro, cue the music!
Melody: So This is Love
Source: You Tube
From the moment I laid eyes on her, I just knew that she was meant for me. There was something about the way she talked, and the way she emailed, that just took my breath away.
All right. I may not be getting this quite right. Queen, would you like to give this a try.
Queen: Let’s try this music!
Melody: Creepy Music Box
Source: You Tube
How did we meet up, you say? Well, it was a dark and stormy night. I was stranded on this abandoned road. It was littered with comma splices, misplaced modifiers, and annoying adverbs. Y was sympathetic to my plight and saved me. It would have been certain death if she hadn’t come along, and we’ve been together ever since.
Okay, that’s not quite how it went.
I decided I was going to start actively publishing. Reflections of Soul hadn’t too long come out, and I sought avenues to connect with other writers. Each person I encountered told me about Goodreads and that I should join some of the groups. One group that caught my attention was the Self-Published/Indie Author Support Group (now known as the All Authors Support Group). I joined it, and there was talk about this All Authors Blog Blitz. The concept seemed simple enough. The administrator, Y. Correa, would match different people up and on that particular day, we would guest post on each other’s blogs. I was intrigued, but I didn’t sign up right away. I was busy with some other things, yet I kept circling back to the announcement. Finally, I decided to hop in, although it was almost at the last hour. The event was wrought with challenges. You had some authors who didn’t want to pair with other authors due to the fact that the genres weren’t in alignment. Then you had others who wanted to limit how many authors they could host, leaving some of us out in the cold. Luckily two people stepped in when my original partner opted not to host me. I really applauded what Y was trying to accomplish: to transcend beyond genre and encourage network. I had respect for her hustle and passion and let her know if she ever needed anything to let me know. It just graduated from there.
The Concept of All Authors Magazine
Y: Well, the concept of All Authors Magazine is simple really. It’s to advocate authors and reach readers.
Several months ago I was mingling in Facebook…
Side Note 1: I’m a self-professed Facebookaholic.
Now, as I was saying.
I was on Facebook looking around, seeing what my friends were up to and caught sight of a conversation about someone being put into a literary magazine. I was happy for that person, but that peaked my curiosity. So I started researching different literary magazines and what they offered. At that time I realized that—as sad as this may sound—everyone was divided. Most of the magazines that I came across were dedicated to a single genre, or a single group, and so on.
Now, as my motto has always been unity, I figured I should make a magazine that’s for everyone. All authors of all genres and all ways of life, as well as everyone that work with books: publishers, cover artist, editors, you name it.
Side Note 2: At this point—when the idea occurred to me—Queen was already working for me. She just didn’t know it yet.
Queen looking around
Queen: Who? Me?
How All Authors Gained a Queenly Chief
(Editor-in-Chief, that is)
Queen: She put a pink Timbaland boot to my head and said, “Do it or else.”
(all right, just kidding)
Real talk. I really liked Y’s vision for the magazine. I knew it was the type of publication I wanted to write for, so it all started with my wanting to be a columnist. She started asking for my feedback on certain elements. In hindsight, the suggestions had an editorial type feel to them, although I didn’t pick up on it at the time. Next thing you know, she’s like, “So how would you like to be my Editor-in-Chief?”
Y: Wait, wait, wait. That’s not entirely accurate. I believe what I said was, “Queen, please check this out for me, Editor-O-Mine!” Sorry. You may go on.
Queen: Well, thanks. *side eyes*
Being a columnist wasn’t a foreign concept to me. I was a columnist for my high school newspaper. In the past, I’ve done newsletter editing for the New Jersey Pride Center and the New Jersey Coalition for Battered Women. I don’t think Y knew of that before. I can’t remember if I have told her about it since. It didn’t bother me that she asked me. I was honored that she asked me, for she really puts a lot of trust and faith in me to execute her vision. I don’t take that responsibility lightly.
Y: I couldn’t do it without you. * wink and smile *
How the slogan came into fruition
All Authors Magazine (premiere issue)
Queen: It was pretty random, to tell you the truth. I was looking at the cover work for Issue One. It struck me how it was different from anything out there. It was quite contemporary and full of personality, just like the creator, and very dynamic, like the authors and readers the magazine wants to reach. I contacted Y and wondered how she would feel about us having a slogan and pitched my thought: “Advocating All Authors, Reaching All Readers.” She was delighted with it. It was developed prior to Issue One officially coming out, but we didn’t really start using it until Issue Two.
Y: It was kind of funny how that happened, because (as she always does) Queen read my mind. In two sentences, she said exactly what I was thinking. I’ve never really been a “slogan” type of person, so I knew what I wanted for the magazine, but it was virtually impossible for me to put it into words.
Hmm. Let me rephrase that. I was virtually impossible for me to put it into few words.
I mean, I’m a writer. Everything I write is long winded.
It was kind of like the time…
No, no. Just kidding. * smiles *
What makes All Authors Magazine So Different?
Queen: Have you ever picked up a magazine and all you see is print, print, and more print? It’s almost as if someone has copied something and pasted it. I’m of the mind that the product one puts out should be reflective of the type of readers you want to attract.
Y: Or picked up a magazine and saw pictures, pictures and more pictures. I mean, it’s a magazine for crying out loud, not a preschool story book! I think that magazines should have a balance of fun and information.
All Authors Magazine Issue 2: “New Beginnings”
Creativity: The presentation of All Authors Magazine is very vibrant: beyond just words and colorful headers. A lot goes into everything from start to finish with the presentation. One example is the construction of the cover. All Authors Magazine aims to match colors with a particular theme (theme incorporation began with Issue Two) and ambiance. With Issue Two, the theme was “New Beginnings.” Although this was our second issue, we were really starting to come into our own as to how we wanted to showcase different segments, and we were beginning to grow in staffing. We wanted to showcase a celebration of not only our beginnings, but any beginnings that any person is going through. The red and white were indicative of Valentine’s Day with the swirls of black being thrown in to still give a bit of unisex edge. That same level of thinking goes into the ads, the background colors used for the articles, and even the fonts.
Transcending Genre: All Authors Magazine does not limit the types of genres listed in our publication. We have four different sections for Books: Recommended Reads, Hot Off the Press (New Releases), Upcoming Releases, and Books Around the World (International Corner). All of those sections have books in different areas: non-fiction, fiction, and all points in between. Poetry works are also showcased in a separate section called Poetry Unleashed, which first got established in Issue Two.
Wonderful Source of “Infotainment”: I know you are wondering what that is. That is the combination of Information and Entertainment. At All Authors Magazine, we believe that a healthy combination of both is a terrific ingredient for a magazine that you want to keep reading. Entertainment can be provided via the wacky questions from “What If” and adventures in vocabulary in “What’s the Word”. Even in informational slots, such as “What Not to Read with Mini Truth” and installments of “A Queen’s Ramblings”, the thoughts are conveyed in such a way where one cannot help but let a chuckle escape. A prime example of this is “George’s Grand Debate” from Issue Two and “9 Reviewer No-no’s” in the upcoming Issue Three.
Introducing Team All Authors Mag!
- Correa: Founder and Creative Architect of All Authors Magazine as well as All Authors Publications & Promotions. She also hosts Y’s corner, including the magazine issue introduction and her alter ego, Mini Truth, comes out to play in “What Not to Read”. She is the author of short stories such as Ryan, The G Particle, and A.L.O.M. as well as the recently released MarcoAntonio and Amaryllis.
Amazon Author Page| Smashwords
Queen of Spades: Editor-in-Chief of All Authors Magazine and founder of the “Poetry Unleashed” magazine segment. She also hosts Queen’s corner, which includes “A Queen’s Ramblings” and any extra subjects she’s called to write about. She is the author of Reflections of Soul, Eclectic (Skin Edition & Beyond the Skin), Spaded Truths: Themes and Proclamations and Private Pain: Amidst These Ashes. One of her future projects includes her transition into short story writing with the collection, Continuous Drips.
Amazon Author Page | Website| Koobug | Facebook |Twitter
Casey Harvell: Casey’s column is the place to go when one wants a glimpse of “All Things Indie.” She is slightly zombie obsessed and known to use the word “boom” frequently. She is the author of many books, including Righteous Decisions & Harsh Decisions (both part of the Decisions Series), Charged (Book one of the Electric collection), and Lingering.
Amazon | Facebook
Rachael Rippon: Rachael shares her book reviews via “Caravan Girl’s Paper Worlds.” She’s researching digital self-publishing for her PhD and has
been living in a caravan for a year but hopes to make the transition to apartment living very soon. She is the author of The Bagman: Book One of the Abigail Cobble Trilogy.
Amazon Author Page | Website
Nicola “Nikki” McDonagh: Go behind the scenes of YA (Young Adult) literature in “Slick Wit Lore”. She has a website dedicated to her experimental photography (Tracerlight) and is the author of Echoes from the Lost Ones: The Song of Forgetfulness and Glimmer.
Amazon Author Page | Website | Facebook
- John Watson: Shares his views on Randomness in Writing. His love for art gave birth to his love of writing and other pursuits, such as martial arts. He’s the author of the YA fantasy series The Chronicles of Irindia.
Facebook | Website
A.J. Lopez: Have a question about writing? Feel free to “Ask A.J.” He’s the author of Purgatory-13 Tales of the Macabre, Floor Four-A Novella of Horror, and the Night Dreams series.
Amazon Author Page | Author Blog
Andi Houtsch: Expand your vocabulary with “What’s the Word with Wordsmith Andi”, who doubles as All Authors Magazine’s Social Media Manager. In addition, she is an aspiring novelist and author with a strong leaning towards erotica, fantasy and genre-blending works. Andi is in the process of finishing her debut novel, an epic erotic LBGT-themed drama She Will Become.
Facebook | Smashwords
Future of All Authors Magazine
Queen: The future is so bright I have to trade my eyeglasses for shades!
Y: Great! Shall I go ahead and get you some sun-block and ice cream too?
Anywhoooo… * side eyes *
Queen IS right though. The future is bright indeed. As for our future issue and endeavors, here’s what we have going on…
About Our Latest Issue
Come check out Issue Three of All Authors Magazine. There’s a lot brewing with the Winds of Change.
- Get up close and personal with Y. Correa as she introduces “Gifted Wind” (Autism Awareness)
- Discover how Poetry Unleashed celebrates National Poetry Month.
- The Royal Truth debuts with comedic detailed analyses of the 9 Reviewing No-no’s.
- Find out about the life changing ability of books in the guest article by Devorah Fox.
- Embrace The Resurgence of Quality as Queen of Spades interviews the creative force behind Koobug.
- Grabs some drinks and snacks for Micro Short Theater (with MJ Holman and special appearance by Synful Desire).
and last, but certainly not least
**Explore the origins of The Glade on Awesome Covers**
From March 1st until March 15th, this informational, fun-filled edition of All Authors Magazine is absolutely FREE! No, your eyes do not deceive you! Yes, we said FREE! FREE! FREE!
All Authors Magazine: Issue 3 “Winds of Change”
All you have to do is click the link above, and you’ll be reading, laughing, and learning in no time!
Y: And don’t miss out on the soon to be incorporated, “All Authors Award of Excellence”. I’M SUPER excited about this project! But, I won’t divulge too much about it. If you want to learn more about it, be sure to pick up Issue 3 Winds of Change.
Queen: All right, Harmony! I think we have made dents on your couch. We will get going now. Thanks for the hospitality.
Y: On that note Harmony, thanks for having us and I do apologize for Queen’s overindulgence on the wine. If I don’t watch her… well, you know. * wink *
Queen: You must have me mixed up. Y’s other nickname is “Queen of Wine and Chocolate.”
Y: But seriously, I can’t thank you enough for having us and allowing us to tell the world a little bit about All Authors Magazine, what we do and what we stand for.
In a word, we here at All Authors Magazine stand for unity.
Unity, in our venture to advocate all authors and reach all readers.
Alrighty … thanks for stopping by guys. Really. I’m just off to, err … do a ‘bit’ of shopping now
Behind the Blog: The Review Board
Greetings, No Labels here! I am the creator and one of the principle reviewers of The Review Board. In this installment of Behind the Blog, you (The Reader) get a backstage pass into my spot.
Background: My love for critique
Okay, confession. I always liked to check out the critics’ reviews when it came to anything—from products and services to books, music, movies, or TV shows. In some cases, the critics were dead on. In other instances, I wondered, “What type of thing did they see which I couldn’t see.”
At times, the very thing the critics gave the worst reputation to became the driving force for the person to question, “Just how bad is this thing?” Moments when the critics’ worst have been the public’s best are what I find the most fascinating.
Ever since I was little, people have sought my opinion on a variety of things. Finally, in January 2013, I decided to just do my own Review Board.
Expansion: Planned or Imminent?
Originally, I set up The Review Board just for fun. I wanted to do reviews separate from my personal blog, No Labels Unleashed, and my author blog, A Queen’s Ramblings. I started getting a lot of feedback from the reviews, and I decided I wanted to do them more often. Yet, I was concerned as to whether I could keep up with the demand for seeing more reviews. I added one person in May 2013, and then one of the other review boards I was a part of decided to merge with The Review Board, adding three more people to the fray. Once The Review Board decided to open its doors for submission, there was a need for more reviewers, and soon, three more people were added to the roster.
Transition: From Random to Open Submissions
When The Review Board was first opened, it was mainly doing works I thought were interesting or random requests here and there. As time went on, I believed I would be doing more of a service to open up The Review Board to open submissions from authors. I knew there were a lot of Read and Review spots around, but I saw a lot of things about various ones that didn’t strike my fancy. Also, at the very moment I was doing the transition, Y. Correa had approached me in regards to her crew merging with The Review Board. It all fit together rather nicely!
What’s The Review Board advantage?
Acceptance: The Review Board accepts all genres. One of the hiccups I have encountered is the lack of review places that are not open to accepting poetry, erotica, or non-fiction as part of their submissions. I really wanted to have a spot that was open to it all and have people on the board who are open to it all as well.
Random or Selective: The Review Board gives a writer the opportunity to select his (or her) reviewer if he so desires. We will try to the best of our ability to accommodate the request. If you would like to meet the board, please click the link below:
Multiple looks (more than likely): Have you ever come to a review site that has lots of reviewers listed, yet in the end you only get one review? At The Review Board, although we don’t guarantee multiple reviews, more often than not, many writers have received them. Not only are those reviews posted on TRB, but those individual reviews are also placed on Amazon and Goodreads. So, if a writer submits her work to The Review Board, and three people get a look at the work, that’s three reviews on Goodreads and three reviews on Amazon. It’s almost has a book club quality feel.
Honest reviews: The Review Board prides itself on honesty. Reviews, even if they skew critical, are posted on our site. Our reviewers cannot be intimidated in any way to change or take down their reviews, and this rule (as well as the consequences) are clearly stated in the guidelines. Yes, we are open to dialogue, even to agree to disagree, but we do not tolerate our integrity being attacked and will take the necessary measures if it appears professional decorum has been breached.
Thorough reviews: The Review Board goes beyond just saying we “like” or “love” something. We take the time to tell you the how, what, and why we like or love something. That way, it gives another person insight as to whether he/she will enjoy a certain book.
No pay, no way: The Review Board does not charge to do a review or an Author Spotlight. Nor does The Review Board take any money to encourage a book to move higher up on the review list.
Stays open: There are so many sites that close once they get backed up, and say that once they get caught up, they will reopen. Some do, only to close up again. Others never reopen. The process of accepting reviews is a cycle, and for that reason, The Review Board opts to stay open. We do express there’s no set turn around time for the reviews in the guidelines as well as the correspondence, leaving it in the hands of the author what he wants to do. If he gets too impatient with waiting, he can contact us to withdraw his work at any time: with the understanding that if he changes his mind, he cannot regain his placement in line. So far, everyone has been rather understanding and patient. In our opinion, this approach is more beneficial than the constant opening and closing.
Reviews and nothing but reviews: Although there has been pressure on The Review Board to include giveaways and book tours, we have opted not to do that but to form a partnership with All Authors Blog. We want to stay focused on providing reviews as well as being fully objective.
Author Spotlight Worthy: When it comes to Author Spotlights, The Review Board does things a little differently. Not only does the review of the author’s work has to skew favorable but the person is selected out of nominations submitted by The Review Board members. It is not automatically given simply because we agreed to review the work.
More News (What’s on the Horizon?)
The Fame and The Shame, a site that provided reviews on products and services, just recently got merged under The Review Board.
The Review Board just recently celebrated its one year anniversary this past January.
2014 is officially booked for reviews. Any requests submitted currently will be added to the 2015 Review Roster.
The Review Board is looking for a few more people to add to the staff. Just click on the link underneath the puppy, and if you or someone you know fits the bill, e-mail us email@example.com.
I just want to thank the wonderful members of the team. Each of them brings a unique style that is and has remained in alignment with the principles of TRB. I couldn’t have made it this far without their support.
I want to thank all of the readers, writers, and everyone in between who have liked, shared and subscribed to The Review Board. The word is getting out. We may be small but we are definitely mighty.
I want to thank the writers who have put their trust in us. It takes a lot to submit your work to someone and get their opinions as to what they think-good, bad, or indifferent. It takes a lot of courage and The Review Board doesn’t take that for granted.
Last but not least, many thanks to you, Harmony, for giving me the opportunity to talk about The Review Board in great detail.
Thanks so much, Monica for joining us here on our guest spot today! It’s been awesome having you, and hearing more about The Review Board. We wish you every success in the future
Author of the Week on GoodReads:
Zoe Cannon writes about the things that fascinate her: outsiders, societies no sane person would want to live in, questions with no easy answers, and the inner workings of the mind. If she couldn’t be a writer, she would probably be a psychologist, a penniless philosopher, or a hermit in a cave somewhere. While she’ll read anything that isn’t nailed down, she considers herself a YA reader and writer at heart. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and a giant teddy bear of a dog, and spends entirely too much time on the internet.
Check out my review for Torturer’s Daughter on my reviews page – a strong 5 stars from me. I’ll be posting a review on the other two books in the series, Necessary Sacrifices and The First Unforgivable Thing, very soon. This is a talented writer you don’t want to miss.
Thanks for stopping by, Zoe, and all the best in your writing career.
Melinda Brasher spends her time writing, traveling, and teaching English as a second language in places like Poland, Mexico, the Czech Republic, and Arizona. Her talents include navigating by old-fashioned map, combining up to three languages in the same incomprehensible sentence, and dealing cards really, really fast. One of her most painful jobs was in a library, because all she wanted to do was explore the worlds created by all those beautiful books. She’s been writing and imagining stories since she was little, and you can now find her short fiction and travel writing inEllipsis Literature and Art, Enchanted Conversation, Go Nomad, International Living, and Leaving Home, an e-book collection of her short work. Far-Knowing, a YA fantasy novel, weaves the tale of two young mage apprentices hopelessly outclassed by their enemy. Visit her online athttp://www.melindabrasher.com.
A YA fantasy novel
When Kallinesha finds the young man with the chain, exactly where her Mistress far-knew him to be, he seems pleasant enough. Nevertheless, he must die.
His smile hides a ruthless killer: the elusive Chaos Mage. Always in the shadows, his ultimate intentions unclear, the Chaos Mage has long terrorized the kingdom, leaving travelers dead on the road, destroying entire villages with summoned wind, and trapping families inside their homes while he consumes them with mage fire.
Kallinesha, apprentice mage and daughter of the High Commander, with duty in her blood and glory on her mind, has no doubt she can defeat him.
Ista, daughter of a city baker, holds no such delusions, but her powers burn brighter than Kallinesha’s, and her beloved Mistress, trapped now in the spell of far-knowing that gave them the Chaos Mage’s location, may remain trapped forever if they don’t succeed. Despite how much it terrifies her, she has to try.
Kallinesha, determined to prove herself worthy of her family name, refuses to admit how badly the Chaos Mage outclasses them, even when he easily deflects their first attempt on his life. Kallinesha presses on, dragging Ista with her through country the Chaos Mage has ravaged and past guards he’s manipulated, until they meet again face to face, and realize what they’re really up against.
A collection of short stories, flash fiction, and travel essays.
Love Mysteries and Thrillers? Read about a blackmailer who makes a mistake, a businesswoman who reluctantly smuggles drugs, an internet romance that may not be what it seems, and a vacationer living in fear on a cruise ship.
Like to Discover New Places and Cultures while you Read? A traveler plays bridge with tipsy Polish retirees, hikes through Mayan ruins in the darkness, and mourns her lost towel.
Short on Time? Try the several pieces of flash fiction, which deliver complete stories in under two minutes.
Fantasy and Science Fiction Fan? You’ll especially enjoy “Ethereal,” where fairy godmother magic comes from an unexpected source. In other stories, a pirate boy finds love, a scientist studies mermaids, and a maiden leaves her tower.
Just Want a Good Story? Feel the pain of a young father leaving home, a jealous sister whose revenge backfires, and a daughter struggling for her father’s acceptance. Enjoy “On the Train to Warsaw,” a contest-winning story about a group of strangers who learn to see each other differently when their train breaks down in the middle of a snowy winter.
A YA fantasy novel
Sent away by her own parents for showing signs of a dangerous and shameful magic, hunted by Emissaries of the Gods who seek to save her soul by killing her body, her only friend a boy who can’t possibly understand the shadows that live in her, Vivi must learn to fight for her freedom and her place in a world she no longer knows.
Matt Galeone currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland and was raised in Seekonk Massachusetts. He is the author of The Champion of Clarendon Ditch (books 1-3) and is currently working on their sequels; The 15th Chair (books 1-3). Matt became a new father on June 19, 2013 with the birth of his son Aaron Christopher. In addition to writing and playing with Aaron, Matt’s other interests include paddle boarding, snowboarding, supporting independent music, photography, reading sci-fi and comic books, traveling to see friends and family, and playing with his cats Oberst and Valentine. He has degrees in English and psychology, a masters in industrial and organizational psychology, and a doctorate in organizational leadership. Matt has noted that his influences include Ender’s Game and its sequels by Orson Scott Card, Y: The Last Man by Brian K Vaughan and Pia Guerra, the music of the independent band Bright Eyes, and the Dark Phoenix Saga by Chris Claremont.
More about Matt’s books:
The Champion of Clarendon Ditch Book 1: The Hatching
Adam Darvin was a normal young man living in a suburb of Clarendon Ditch until the day he ‘hatched.’ Suddenly in a fiery trance-like state, Adam’s incredible powers emerge. The life Adam knew is over in an instant and his entire world will never be the same. Although Adam initially feels isolated by his new powers, he slowly discovers that he’s not alone. Adam meets other would-be heroes Liam Clover and Kerri Ross and develops deep friendships with both. Follow Adam, Liam, and Kerri as they learn more about their powers, discover secrets about their true enemies, and make new allies in what will begin as a fight for knowledge and survival, and soon become an epic struggle to save their world.
The Champion of Clarendon Ditch is a story about heroism, sacrifice, loneliness, leadership, and above all, friendship. It combines the excitement of a super hero comic book adventure with the heart of a character-based and relationship driven novel. With both incredible battles and quieter moments between its characters, the story is as much about super-powered good fighting to overcome an all-powerful evil, as it is about the relationships, growth, love, and loss of its heroes.
See Harmony’s review for Book 1: The Hatching here.
The Champion of Clarendon Ditch Book 2: The Alliance
Adam Darvin and Kerri Ross have finally learned the truth about ACS, the organization attempting to destroy Adam’s and Kerri’s world. Adam is now desperate to rescue Kerri from ACS and ACS leader Javier’s clutches. With his friend Liam Clover and the ACS 5th Columnist Tony Jackson, Adam leads a rescue mission to save Kerri and Tony’s imprisoned allies. Meanwhile, Kerri is hardly content to sit and wait for a rescue. She faces off against ACS’s leader and attempts to battle her own way to freedom. Soon Adam and Kerri are reunited behind enemy lines. They find themselves not only fighting together to escape ACS, but also leading an unlikely alliance of altereds, interplanetary champions, and kids from Clarendon Ditch.
Adam, Kerri, and Liam continue to develop their powers and friendships as they come to terms with their roles in their new world and the war they now must join. The characters grow as they band together to cope with tragedy and battle a new threat that emerges from within ACS.
The Alliance continues the series themes of heroism, sacrifice, loneliness, leadership, and friendship with its more serious and darker tone. The scope of the action expands and the intensity of the relationships between the characters deepens. The heroes soon learn that all they have is each other, and together, they might just be all that stands in the way of ACS taking over the world. Will they be enough?
The Champion of Clarendon Ditch Book 3: The Champion
Olive Anderson has conquered ACS and is close to conquering her world. All that stands in her way is a small but brave Alliance of former ACS students, 5th Columnists, and non-altered kids from Clarendon Ditch. Just as the Alliance needs to unite most, they find themselves fractured and weakened.
Can Liam Clover recover from the brutal torture he endured while imprisoned by Olive as well as his own self-doubt to emerge as a hero, or will he succumb to his inner demons? Kerri Ross learns that she may not be as in control of herself as she thought. Will Kerri become the weapon that Olive uses to defeat the Alliance, or the hero that leads them to victory? Adam Darvin knows that he is becoming powerful enough to destroy Olive and ACS, but he fears that as he loses control of his abilities, he may become more terrible than the enemies he fights to defeat.
Will Adam, Kerri, and Liam save their world, or become the cause of its ultimate demise?
Thrilling and heartbreaking, The Champion, Book 3 of the Champion of Clarendon Ditch series, concludes the series’ examination of heroism, sacrifice, loneliness, leadership, and friendship with tremendous adventure and heart. As the heroes’ challenges intensify, they learn that if they are to succeed, it will not be due to incredible superhuman powers, but rather because of extraordinary, but very human, character.
Ken Mooney was born in Dublin in the middle of the 1980s; he still lives there. He holds a degree in English Studies from TCD, which he totally uses every day during his day-job in TV advertising…totally.
He’s always been obsessed with stories, reading, writing and playing them; that explains the massive collection of books, comics, video games and discarded Word documents. His writing is a combination of all the things that he’s passionate about, all the way through high-and-low-brow.
Godhead is his first novel, an idea that’s been floating around his head for nearly fifteen years; there might even be a (few) sequel(s) if he ever gets around to writing them…
For my review of Ken’s 1st book in the Olympus series please see my review page here.
A J Church
What Amanda has to say: “I’ve always had a fascination with anything involving the supernatural or occult. Vampires, werewolves, witches, demons, angels, ghosts, and other supernatural creatures were the fuel for my youthful imagination. Growing up an Air Force brat, I was always the new kid in school, which meant I spent a lot of time reading and daydreaming about the kind of characters and worlds that made reality seem mundane in comparison. I also admit to a certain fascination with the dark side of humanity. To me, the villain in a story is always more intriguing than the hero, especially when that villain is something that’s not supposed to exist.
“I’m a bit of a ranter. In fact, people who know me tell me I do my best writing when I’m on a rant; hence the mouthiness of many of my characters. I started writing dark comedy as a break from the supernatural stuff, though that seems to find its way in there as well. The first book I ever published, Being John Bland, actually started out as a rant against the banality of working in a cubicle farm, something I had done for sixteen years. There are a lot of nuggets of real life in that book, though I won’t say who or what. As they say, I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you (grins).
“I have two urban fantasy series going right now, The first of them, The Erebus Files, revolves around the fictional city of Erebus, which is actually the main character of the series. Erebus is broken into two parts, Upper and Lower. Upper Erebus was built on top of the original city and is run behind the scenes by some very powerful supernatural beings. The original city, now Lower Erebus, is now the lawless, murky domain of killers, thieves, and other dregs of society, both human and supernatural. Each book in the series features different characters, though their lives are intertwined and move between books. Warning for readers: this series has strong language and graphic violence.
“The first book, Lucid, is about half man, half demon Laec Matthews. Laec has spent most of his life fighting an unsuccessful battle against his inner homicidal demon. Abandoned at birth on the steps of a church and raised by the fundamental minister and his wife, Laec knows there’s something not quite right about himself, but there’s no one volunteering any answers. However, when he’s tapped to find a young girl who’s gone missing, the truth about his own origin and purpose starts coming to light.
“The second book in the series, Red Awakening, was originally written for NaNoWriMo in 2008. I had put the novel aside for a few years, then came back to it and rewrote it to fit the world of Erebus. The main character, Red, is a streetwise thief who grew up nameless, parentless, and homeless in Lower Erebus. She currently makes a living stealing otherworldly artifacts for the rich and powerful, but when she witnesses a drive-by shooting, she finds herself drawn into a battle with beings more powerful than anything she has previously encountered and a revelation about her own origins that will change her life forever.
“I am currently working on the third book in the series, Hazard, which will return to Laec’s story two months after the conclusion of Lucid. There will be a number of characters appearances from the previous two books in this one, as well as a different point of view introduced.
“My second series, The ‘Ru Lexicon, originated with the Sumerian legend of Inanna’s descent into the Underworld and the Being of Light that was created by her father Enki to bring her home. When the being, Asushunamir, is cursed by Inanna’s sister Ereshkigal as punishment for the theft of the Water of Life used to rescue Inanna, the Ina Ezeru, or ‘Ru as they call themselves, are created by the goddess to carry on her mandate to protect mankind against the demons of the Underworld. This series is more of a hybrid of urban and epic fantasy.
“The ‘Ru are a race of immortals cursed to live in darkness and exist on human blood. The series is planned as a trilogy, with each book revolving around one of the three main characters. Book 1, Return of the Light, is the story of Raphael’s transformation from hunted exile to savior of his people. Book 2 will be Elise’s story, and Book 3 will be Rudolf’s. I also plan several short stories about some of the lesser characters, including the backstory on Akim, the father of the race, and how he established the clans and hierarchy of the ‘Ru.
“My plan is to write and publish Hazard and the remaining two books of The ‘Ru Lexicon next year.”
For Harmony’s review of Return of the Light please see my reviews page here. You’ll need to scroll down the list a little way to find it (as reviews are added with the most recent at the top).
Thanks for joining us Amanda and we wish you the best of luck
Michelle Scott received her MFA from Wayne State University. Her stories have appeared in such places as “Tales of the Unanticipated”, “All Possible Worlds” and “Realms”. Straight to Hell, the first book in her Lilith Straight urban fantasy series, will be released from Carina UK on Oct. 24. Michelle lives in southeast Michigan with her husband and three children.
To keep up with Lilith and the other members of the Straight to Hell cast, visit Michelle’s blog,Urban Fae.
Straight to Hell:
I, Lilith Straight, was the woman you always wanted to be. I was married to someone better looking than your husband, we lived in that house you always wanted. Within a year, however, all of that changed. My marriage dissolved, my house burned down, and my job hardly paid the bills. So when I was hit by a car and died, I thought my life couldn’t get any worse. Boy, was I wrong.
Hell was not the place I imagined. It was worse. During my brief stay, I learned some disturbing truths about my family. Most worryingly my ancestor’s deal with the devil promising him every female descendent as a succubus.
So these were my options: Life on earth as a soul-sucking seductress. Or death and pass the succubus baton to my sweet little daughter. There was no choice. Welcome to hell on earth, Lilith. Mother, teacher, wanton she-demon.
Cassandra Jaber’s dream of acting becomes a nightmare when she blacks out on stage during a private audition. She awakes, sore and disoriented, with a three-hour hole in her memory and a crippling fear of the spotlight. Although she tries to piece her shattered life back together, she remains at the mercy of the dark secret locked away in her mind.
But when a mysterious man, who calls himself a guardian of the night, rescues her from a terrifying attacker, Cassandra’s eyes are opened to a fantastic world she never guessed existed. She soon realizes that her midnight rescuer holds the key to her salvation. And her heart.
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/370063
See my review for Stagefright here
The Soulless: The soulless are always hungry.
They prey upon society’s outcasts–the lonely, the desperate, the guilty–feeding upon the rage and lust and fear hidden in these human hearts. Once they find a victim, they are able to erase the boundary between impulse and action, turning an angry thought into murderous rage and a simple desire into manic obsession.
Only one person understands the danger. Evander Calhoun has spent a lifetime protecting his unsuspecting neighbors from these evil spirits, but–after a nearly a century of service–the old man no longer has the strength to continue the fight.
Evander must find a replacement. But, despite the fact that his master was a nearly crippled, illiterate, farmhand, Evander staunchly refuses to consider anyone but a strong, young male for an apprentice. In fact, he is so blinded by prejudice that he is apt to overlook the best chance he has of saving his beloved town.
Pavarti K Tyler
Author of an excellent and hard hitting book: White Chalk. Welcome to Harmony’s Guest Spot. Here is a little bit a bout this talented lady:
Award winning author of multi-cultural and transgressive literature, Pavarti K Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher. She graduated Smith College in 1999 with a degree in Theatre. After graduation, she moved to New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off Broadway. Later, Pavarti went to work in the finance industry several international law firms. She now lives with her husband, two daughters and one very large, very terrible dog. She keeps busy working with fabulous authors as the Director of Marketing at Novel Publicity and penning her next genre bending novel.
And now about her latest book (to be released August 15th) …
White Chalk (Evolved Publishing) marks Tyler’s third full length novel and promises readers familiar with her work the same mind bending experience. Her other projects include: Shadow on the Wall (Fighting Monkey Press) andTwo Moons of Sera (Fighting Monkey Press). Shadow on the Wall has been received many awards: Winner of the General Fiction/Novel Category of the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Winner in the Fiction: Multicultural category for The 2012 USA Best Book Awards, and Finalist in the Multicultural Fiction category for the 2012 International Book Awards.
White Chalk has been hailed as “brave”, “raw”, and “destroyingly beautiful”. In line with novels such as White Oleander, Thirteen Reasons Why and Gemma, White Chalk invites you to witness one girl’s heartrending story of confusion and desperation.
Excerpts from White Chalk:
Too cold for me to be out, drenched in a thin sweatshirt, I trudged home after school. November had betrayed me with its promises of clear skies, and I’d skipped the bus.
Mr. Harris pulled up, his oversized body squished into the too small car. When the window rolled down, warm air tinged with the scent of coffee invited me in.
“It’s a little cold for you to be walking, isn’t it, honey?” He peered out the window, brows pulled high to his forehead, appraising my appearance.
“Can you drive me home, Mr. Harris?” My teeth chattered as I spoke.
“Come on, get in. But you know teachers aren’t supposed to pick up students on the side of the road.” He chuckled softly to himself.
“I know. I won’t tell anyone. Please? I’m just so cold.”
In the car, I kicked my soaked backpack out of the way of the heating vent and slid my feet out of my shoes. My toes had gotten so cold I half wondered if they’d be tinged with black—gangrene setting up shop. I leaned back and closed my eyes, letting the warmth of the car envelop me. When I opened them, I realized Mr. Harris hadn’t started driving again.
Instead, he sat staring at me. Parked in the middle of the road, his eyes roamed my body as I shivered.
Cold? Lust? I didn’t know, but the feeling of power spreading through my chest as he took in the curve of my hips made me bold. I sat up and pulled the wet sweatshirt over my head, revealing the T-shirt beneath.
Mr. Harris shifted in his seat. His gaze fell upon my breasts and the sound of his breath sped up.
“Mr. Harris?” I asked, the temptation of seducing a teacher thrilling me.
“Yeah?” His voice was hoarse.
“Thanks for the ride.”
“What?” His body snapped to attention as he remembered where he was. “Oh, right… um….” He shifted position again.
“Really, I appreciate it.” I laid a hand on his arm and rose up in my seat, leaning forward so I could kiss him on the cheek—innocently, like kissing an uncle or cousin. But I knew it wasn’t, and when I pulled away, the dark intensity of his eyes told of desire I’d only been hoping to find.
I turned down North Stevens and stubbed out my cigarette with my toe. There was still at least half an hour until the wash cycle finished, and the options for entertainment at the Laundromat were limited. I kept walking and came to Play It Again Music. An electric chime rang out, announcing my entrance to a very bald, very tired Cat.
“Can I help you?” Her voice sounded more like a groan than a greeting.
She slowly lifted her eyes from the task of diligently picking off her nail polish. “What do youwant?”
“Nothing, Jesus.” I rolled my eyes and turned to the rack of discount cassettes. Overhead, a low, crooning voice sang, but the tune didn’t match the music, creating a disorienting sound.
I browsed the store for a while, convinced Cat sat glaring at my back. I could feel her eyes burning the skin on the back of my neck. With every step I took, the judgment rolling off her tore at my consciousness. Why did I come here? I seriously must have been brain damaged to think she’d have anything nice to say. I just wanted… I don’t know, maybe to feel as though I wasn’t alone for a while.
When I turned around, she stood leaning against the counter reading a book, completely ignoring me. I looked through some of the used CDs before approaching her.
She peered over the top of her book. “What are we? Friends? Fuck off.”
“What’s your problem, Catherine?” Apparently, sleep deprivation helped me grow a pair of balls.
“Fine. What’s your problem, Cat?”
She dropped her book face down on the counter so her page didn’t get lost, and glared at me.
“Nothing, I just don’t have time for some pre-teen poser who wants to play grown-up. Look, I have a job. Are you gonna buy something or not?”
The music changed to a heavy guitar and female singer. At least this song had a little melody.
“What are you listening to?”
Cat rolled her eyes. “The last song was NickCave. This is PJ Harvey.”
“It’s good.” I shrugged.
“Right, cause you’re all into Indie Punk.”
She snorted her annoyance before picking up her book, but she continued looking at me.
“I don’t know what I’m into really. This is different. I like it.”
“Kid, listening to the same music isn’t going to get Troy to like you.”
I recoiled from her words. “I’m not trying to—”
“Sure, look, Troy’s a nice guy and I see the way you look at him, but trust me—you’re better off with someone your own age.”
“So he can date you?”
“Please. Like I said, he’s a nice guy, but he’s still a kid and you’re a fucking toddler.”
“Whatever, Cat.” I turned my back on her and headed for the door.
She called out, stopping me before I left.
“Don’t try to be something you’re not for someone else. You’ll just end up hating him for it.”
I turned back to look at her, twisting at the waist.
“I don’t really know what I am yet.” I shrugged before walking out and back up the street to the Laundromat.
Class oozed by. The assignment proved easy, but waiting for the inevitable knock on the door, or ring of the teacher’s phone, made the seconds expand exponentially. By the end of the period, I’d half convinced myself I should just go to the office and surrender, admit everything that happened and beg for leniency. But when the bell rang and the frenzy began to herd ourselves into the cattle drives called hallways I had mostly regained control of myself.
Except I never realized that the computer room was in the same hallway as high school English, and I didn’t know that Xiu and Troy were in the same class for fourth period. And I certainly didn’t have any clue about what greeted me when I walked out of my classroom.
Xiu leaned against the wall, its puce green tile doing nothing to diminish her exotic beauty. A languid smile played on the corners of her lips as she tilted her head up, listening to whatever perfectly fascinating thing Troy said.
He had one hand on the wall next to her head, his backpack dangling without fear from his shoulder. His other hand reached up grazed her cheek with the back of his fingers.
Her deep red lips parted in anticipation. Soft almond eyes drifted closed as she stretched her neck to meet his incoming kiss. His hair, pulled back in a dark stripe along the top of his head, shone in the florescent light of high school as he took her lips in his.
I dropped my bag. Stumbling back, I almost tripped over it. I fell along the linoleum floor until my back leaned against the cool tile. Speckles of light shone in my eyes while bile rose in my throat and a wrenching aching heartbreak shook through me, threatening to knock me down and steal my kidneys, selling them on the black market. They weren’t any good to me anymore. Who needs kidneys when your heart’s been removed with a grapefruit spoon?
At the end of the book the author provides resources for the reader, we offer them here too:
Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide: The mission of the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide is to reduce the number of youth suicides and attempted suicides by encouraging overall public awareness through the development and promotion of educational training programs for teens, parents and educators.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Since its inception, the Lifeline has engaged in a variety of initiatives to improve crisis services and advance suicide prevention.
S.A.F.E. ALTERNATIVES®: Our philosophy begins with the assumption that, although temporarily helpful, self-injurious behavior is ultimately a dangerous and futile coping strategy which interferes with intimacy, productivity and happiness. There is no “safe” or “healthy” amount of self-injury. We also believe that self-injury is not an addiction over which one is powerless for a lifetime, people can and do stop injuring, with the right kinds of help and support. Self-injury can be transformed from a seemingly uncontrollable compulsion to a choice.
Self Injury Outreach and Support: As part of a collaboration between the University of Guelph and McGillUniversity, we are a non-profit outreach initiative providing information and resources about self-injury to those who self-injure, those who have recovered, and those who want to help.
See my Review of White Chalk here
This really is a book and an author not to be missed … be sure to look for her on Amazon and check out her books.
Thank you for visiting us Pavarti, and good luck!
We are delighted to welcome …
Author of the excellent Tom Gray Series
Alan McDermott is a software developer from the south of England, married with beautiful twin daughters. When he isn’t creating critical applications for the NHS, he is writing action thrillers.
His first novel, Gray Justice, has been very well received. The sequel, Gray Resurrection, was released in March 2012.
Alan is currently working on his fourth book.
You can follow Alan on Twitter through his @Jambalian account.
What Alan has to say:
I am a software developer from the south of England and I’m married with beautiful twin daughters. Ever since the early 90′s I’ve wanted to write a novel but work commitments (and having my short stories rejected) meant I didn’t pursue that dream. It wasn’t until my daughters asked me for a story one night last year, and having exhausted their books over the previous weeks I made one up, the tale of a magical creature called The Jambalian. Successive nights bought more requests and so I decided to write some down so that Mummy could take a turn, and as I put pen to paper the old desire returned.
I decided to dig out one of my old short stories and showed an updated copy to a colleague at work, another aspiring author. Her response was “You have to get that published!” so I looked into it and came across Smashwords. I uploaded Recidivist and a much shorter story, Night Stalker, with the hope of getting a few sales at 99 cents, but the only way I could get anyone to read them was to give them away.
In the meantime I penned three of the Jambalian stories and uploaded them, but in my heart I wanted to try a full novel, and it was while watching Road Wars on TV that I saw the way career criminals were treated so lightly by the British courts. After a 30 minute chase through busy traffic in a stolen car, the thief – committing crime number 45 – was caught and given a £250 fine and driving ban. I had to wonder what kind of deterrent that was, and the idea formed from there.
From that little seed came Gray Justice, a story I wrote in what little spare time I had. The sequel — Gray Resurrection — followed, then the final book in the series, and I am now working on my fourth book. The rest of my story is yet to be told…
Gray Justice is the fast-paced debut thriller from Alan McDermott. When a killer walks free from court, the victim’s father sees just two options: accept the judge’s decision; or take on the entire British justice system. Tom Gray chooses the latter and his crusade attracts instant worldwide media coverage. It was just what Tom was hoping for, but it brought him a lot more than he bargained for.
Gray Justice is much more than a simple tale of revenge: it’s a rollercoaster ride with an ending you’ll never forget!
I just love this author and his books! Please do check out his books here:
Thank you for joining us Alan, and we wish you the best of luck in the future.
Tara Fox Hall
author of Promise Me Series is joining us on today – check out her latest books and meet the woman behind the stories here.
Tara Fox Hall is an OSHA-certified safety and health inspector at a metal fabrication shop in upstate New York. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a double minor in chemistry and biology from BinghamtonUniversity. Her writing credits include nonfiction short stories, flash, short and novella-length horror stories, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. Her horror stories have appeared in Deadman’s Tome, Flashes in the Dark, Ghastly Door, The Halloween Alliance, Black Petals, SNM Horror Magazine, Microhorror, Dark Eclipse, Cemetery Moon, and various anthologies, including the recently published charity works Fear (Vol. 1) and Shifters. She also coauthored the essay “The Allure of the Serial Killer,” published inSerial Killers – Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). She is the author of the paranormal fantasy Lash series and the paranormal romantic drama Promise Meseries. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.
WHY: I’ve loved vampires since I saw Frank Langella in the first “hot vampire” version of Dracula years ago. That love intensified in my later teens with The Lost Boys, and reading Interview with the Vampire, along with anything vampire I could get my hands on. But I wanted more than the evil monster chasing young virgins; more than the sweet, misunderstood handsome fanged stranger that becomes the perfect mate for the woman who captures his heart after so many lone centuries. I wanted a vampire so well-crafted in detail that I could believe he was real. I wanted something different to happen in the story, other than girl becomes vampire, or vampire becomes dust. I wanted passion, tragedy, romance, suspense, action, and the haunting sweetness of poetry and song floating on a soft night breeze. So I penned my own vampires. Website: www.tarafoxhall.com
What is your name? Do you use a pen name (if so, why?)?
My pen name is the same as my real name: Tara Fox Hall. I thought about using a pen name, but decided I had enough to keep straight already. J I’d likely sign books with the wrong name!
Tell me a bit about yourself:
My bio says it all: Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include nonfiction, horror, suspense, action-adventure, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal action-adventure Lash series and the vampire romantic suspense Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.
What type of genre do you write?
Mostly I write supernatural-related fiction stories, such as the paranormal fiction series Promise Me and Lash. But as per above, I also have written erotica, suspense, horror, contemporary fiction, and non-fiction.
What genre to you personally read?
Thrillers as a rule are my favourite books, the more graphic the better. But I occasionally branch out to YA, historical, romance, graphic novels, action/adventure, westerns and other genres.
Tell me about your latest?
My latest book is Taken for His Own, the fourth instalment in my Promise Me Series. It takes up where the third book left off. Sar had done her best to rebuild her life when her fiancé Theo went missing. She’s partnered with her former vampire lover Danial to raise Theo’s daughter Elle (Elle’s natural mother is dead from childbirth complications). She’s also had a child of her own with Danial, Theoron, and is trying to come to terms with her inevitable turning from human to vampire. When she finds out Theo’s alive, she can’t stop herself from journeying west to find him, and confront him about where he’s been for the last year and a half. This is where Taken for His Own begins. After a passionate reunion and a hasty marriage, the two lovebirds are headed back east. But picking up the pieces is far from easy. While Danial is accepting of Theo’s return, Elle prefers her vampire adoptive father over Theo. More than one enemy is waiting in the wings, making repeat attempts on Sar’s life. Add into the mix Devlin, Sar’s old enemy who’s now turned good guy, and a new paramour for Danial and you’ve got a powder keg primed to explode.
What sparked your passion for books and the art of a good story?
I’ve always enjoyed reading…a very passionate teacher taught me to read my first words in kindergarten, and I began devouring short books by first grade…and novels for YA by third grade.
Is there a particular book that changed or affected your life in a big way? The Hobbit. I like the message; that it’s not who you were or what you can do that influences what you will do, it’s how willing you are to step outside your own boundaries and push for what you think is right.
Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
That it’s never too late to take control of your destiny…and that you are the only one that really ever can. You may not be able to control what happens to you, but you can always control how you react to events. And that it’s important to always try to do the right thing…but that isn’t always possible.
What challenges have you faced in your writing career? Getting published. I spent 4 years getting rejection after rejection from every agent under the sun and also some publishers. But the near misses were the worst, to think that I finally had an agent or a publisher and then to have it fall through at the last moment. Those were the crushing blows. The newest thing I worry about are bad reviews J
What has been your best moment as a writer?
Getting that first acceptance…though every 5 star review is another perfect moment for me. I love getting validation for the world I created. J
Who is your author idol?
Pretty much anyone who is able to write for a living has my respect, as it’s so hard to make a living writing.
Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Bits of me are in all my characters, being my creations.
Do you feel like your dream has come true or is there much more to do?
There is MUCH more to do….I won’t be able to rest easy until all of the Promise Me series is out and sitting on my bookshelf in a lovely row J and after that, I’ll probably say the same until the Lash series is done!
What does your workspace look like?
A jumbled bed with stickies, sheets of notes, crumpled papers that have been imputed into the computer, the phone so I don’t have to get up, a data stick for backup and now a little pad of paper that says “Tara is WORKING” so my husband knows when I’m going to be irritable if he interrupts!
Have you ever had a day when you just wanted to quit?
Of course. Getting my first 2 star review on Amazon made me want to quit. Poor sales in a given quarter makes me want to quit. Having no free time makes me want to quit. But I didn’t survive years of fighting to get my stories out to give up now.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Lately….I sew catbeds for animal shelters, review books, clean, exercise, bake, work my day job, sleep, eat, and do chores like making firewood, spring cleaning, and pet maintenance.
What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
Keeping your perspective that your every little creation is not going to be perfect…or get critical or popular acclaim. Some stories will be better than others. The key is to always try to make the next one better than the last one was.
Did you have a moment when you realized you were meant to be a writer?
Yes. I realized I was good at imagining both sides of a conversation between two characters or more. It’s something that comes naturally and I don’t feel affinity with either character especially, so I can imagine to be both with equal believability. That makes really good dialogue, which is an essential part of any story. The other key part of story is a good plot. When I’m reading what I wrote, I ask myself if I’m interested at every paragraph. If I can’t keep my own interest, how can I expect to keep a reader’s interest? And what a writer wants to produce and what a reader wants to read are not always the same things. To gain—and keep—series readers, you have to give them what they want while keeping enough back to entice them to keep reading subsequent books. I try to do that.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors? Don’t give up until you do what you set out to do.
After this book, what is next? There will be more books in this series. Two more will be out this year—Immortal Confessions and Her Secret—with more in 2014 and 2015, until the series is done. The next installment in the Lash Series, Revenge, will be out this fall, and hopefully my second anthology of short suspense/horror stories will also publish. There will also be the first Promise Me anthology and a Latham’s Landing anthology this fall. A new Lash short story,“Spiritwalker”, will debut in the Shifters charity anthology from Hazardous Press, and I also have a short story called “The Lie” in the upcoming anthology Brief Grislys, both due out in a month or less. I’m also working on a sequel to my transgender short Grow a Pair, and another compilation of BDSM stories for the late summer/fall.
Your website? http://www.tarafoxhall.com
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/tara-fox-hall
Melange Books: http://www.melange-books.com/authors/tarafoxhall/index.html
Where can your book be found?
Melange/lulu link for Print, PDF and HTML copies: http://www.melange-books.com/authors/tarafoxhall/takenforhisown.html
All Romance E-books: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-takenforhisown-1215939-140.html
Barnes and Noble.com: not there yet
Book Title: Promise Me (Promise Me Series #1) – Vampire romance
Format: print and e-book
Date Released: June 2012
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Promise-Me-ebook/dp/B0086G4GDC
Lulu link: http://www.lulu.com/shop/tara-fox-ha…-20146694.html
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Promise-Me-ebook/dp/B0086G4GDC
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/tara-fox-hall
Melange Books: http://www.melange-books.com/authors…all/index.html
Blurb: When young widow Sarelle McGarran finds the vampire Danial Racklan unconscious and hurt in her woods, intuitive concern quickly becomes passionate love. Together Danial and Sar work to overcome their own past heartbreaks, their vastly different lifestyles, and Danial’s relentless enemies. Yet Danial needs more; an Oath of forever. But can Sar give Danial his greatest desire?
Excerpt: “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend you. But I want to be clear that I don’t expect you to give me money because we…because we’re—”
“Intimate?” he supplied with a leer. “Lovers?”
I blushed, glad my back was to him. “Yes,” I said curtly.
“It’s my feelings for you that make me offer. I understand you’re independent and used to taking care of yourself. But I want you to have an easier time of it than you had trying to go it alone. I want to take care of you. It’s your right, as befitting your station.”
“As my lover.” He nibbled the back of my neck, his hands sliding down my arms. “That is, if you still want to be.”
Did I ever. God, his lips felt good. I could feel little pricks where his fangs brushed against me…
Focus! “What about the shirt?”
Danial paused what he was doing. “What about it?”
“Did you take some of my life force? Did you deliberately try to seduce me with a spell to get me to feed you?”
He didn’t reply. I shifted back from the fire and made to get up, but he pulled me off balance and I went down, falling into his waiting arms. I struggled in vain as he rolled me over on the carpet and straddled me, holding both my arms over my head with one hand, while the other caressed my cheek. I fumed as I looked at him above me, his upper half silhouetted by the fire. His eyes sparkled, his face in shadow.
“Now, Sarelle,” he purred, “why would I need to seduce you to get you to feed me?”
He stretched down against me. I felt my body betray my anger as my breasts hardened and my breaths came faster.
“You gave me your blood when I was a stranger, willingly.” He leaned in closer as if to kiss me, but remained just out of reach. His dark eyes were locked on mine, filled with desire and familiar arrogance. He bent down to kiss my throat. “You gave yourself to me a night later, with no hesitation.”
His lips moved to the side of my throat. He ran a fang down my neck. I writhed, both in desire and a touch of fear.
“That was a dream. I knew it—”
“You knew nothing of the sort,” he said, his breath warm against my neck. He drew back and used his free hand to start unbuttoning my nightshirt.
“Stop,” I said, my breath tearing out of me.
“Stop what?” he said teasingly. “You want me, just like you have from the first moment you saw me. I can feel your body beneath mine, aching for me. Just as I’m aching for you.”
He continued unbuttoning my top.
“Stop screwing around! I need to know if you—”
“It was your fantasy. A predictable one,” he said, his hand on the next to last button. He paused to run that hand between my breasts, up to clasp my throat. “But I was never in control of you. I couldn’t feed from you—not that I didn’t try. You seemed so willing to let me. But I couldn’t draw any energy from you and I awoke hungry, almost ravenous.”
“Terian was right—”
His hand tightened on my throat. “Why are you so determined to be the victim? Nothing happened that you didn’t choose to happen.” He gave me a half smile, his eyes growing darker. He brought his hand back to my nightshirt and undid the last button. He pushed my shirt to each side, baring my breasts and my lower body as he gave me a slow savoring look. That nimble hand slid up to grip my neck loosely. I knew he could feel how fast my heart beat. “That you could resist and take control from me in the dream amazed me.” His voice was full of wonder and affection. “No one has ever been able to do that. Not with me. Not in three hundred and seventy-five years.”
Book Title: Broken Promise (Promise Me Series #2) – Vampire romance
Format: print and e-book
Date Released: September 2012
Blurb: Shocked at Danial’s betrayal, Sarelle returns to her old home to consider her options. Yet even as Sar plans a reconciliation with Danial, Terian arrives, confessing his desire. When Theo witnesses Terian and Sar kiss, he angrily confronts Sar, leading to startling consequences. Will Sar’s heart choose Danial, Terian,…or Theo?
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/brok…=9781612354729
“Sar, you were here last night? Ivan said you gave him the ring, but I assumed you came in the day, to avoid seeing me. Angelica said nothing,” Danial said emotionally.
He was suddenly before me, embracing me before I could stop him. Theo moved closer to us, but I told him with my eyes to keep still, and he stopped.
“Sar, I’m so sorry for Angelica, for what you heard,” Danial murmured into my ear. “She is no substitute for you. I will tell her to leave tonight, that she and I are done, and you’ll never have to see her again. Please forgive me,” he added regretfully.
“Aren’t you oathed?” I said nastily, trying to push him away. “That was no mere necklace she was wearing yesterday—”
“No, of course not,” Danial said, hugging me more tightly. “I’ve given her no promise. I’m so glad you have come back to me, my love. I missed you so much. I filled our bed with her because I was so lonely for you—”
“You had sex with her because you were lonely for me?” I said sarcastically.
“Sar, I didn’t mean that, I—” Danial was backpedaling fast.
It didn’t matter; it was too late. “Danial, I told you that I needed time months ago. You said you couldn’t wait for me. I came back because I promised you I would, because I wanted to believe that you would wait. But you didn’t. Please let me go.”
I moved back from him, as he reluctantly let go of me. It was on his face now that he was finally getting it.
“I am not here to offer you another chance,” I said tiredly. “I’m here to end what we had, end it completely. Take off the collar. Take it off me and let me go.”
“I will not, Sar,” Danial snarled, his eyes tinged red again. “You are mine. Mine! I want a life with you too much to give you up now, not when you’ve come back to me—”
“Did you hear what I said?” I shouted at him. “It’s over! Do you think you can hold onto me by making me wear it? It’s too late! You’ve lost me, Danial!”
Danial stood up in a quick motion, the redness in his eyes glowing lightly. “Who have I lost you to, Sar? I thought I smelled some other male’s scent on your body, and in your hair. Whose is it?”
“Mine,” Theo growled. “Because she’s mine, Danial, not yours.”
Book Title: Taken in the Night (Promise Me Series #3) – Vampire romance
Format: print and e-book
Date Released: Late January 2012
Buy links: http://www.amazon.com/Taken-Night-Pr…/dp/B00B97RBGO AMAZON US
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Taken-Night-…/dp/B00B97RBGO AMAZON UK
http://www.lulu.com/shop/tara-fox-ha…BA986B45BE5C02 Print copies-Lulu
http://www.melange-books.com/authors…nthenight.html Melange Books (HTML and PDF)
All Romance E-Books
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/take…all/1114375016 Barnes and Noble
Blurb: When Theo disappears, Sar is left bereft, the uncertain guardian of Theo’s newly born werecougar daughter, Elle. As months pass, clues emerge about Theo’s disappearance, yet the twisting trail ends repeatedly without answer. In her grief, Sar turns to Danial and hesitantly begins to build a life with him and Elle.
Excerpt: “I should go,” Danial said reluctantly. “It’s late.”
I stopped him, my hand on his arm. “Please, stay with me a little while.”
“Sar—” he began warily.
“Please, Danial. I have to talk to you. Come with me.” I held out my hand.
He sighed, and took my hand. I led him below to the bedroom that had been his not long ago. Danial sat on the edge of the bed with me.
“She understands us,” I said quietly. “I didn’t want to talk in front of her.”
“What is it, Sar?” he said tiredly.
“You remember the Hallows party a year ago?”
“Of course,” Danial said with longing. “I remember being so nervous, worried you wouldn’t show. I remember how you looked in the dress, dancing with me.” He paused. “Why do you bring it up?”
“Because you must be going to have another one soon, unless you’re skipping this year.”
“Yes, in late November,” Danial said edgily. “I closed the business while looking for Theo, and am going to reopen it next year. I need the last months of this year to finish up loose ends of old business.” He sighed. “And I need to hire someone to replace Theo, if such a thing can be done.”
“I want to be there, Danial,” I said. “If you would permit me to come.”
“I had hoped you would be,” Danial said, kissing me gently on the forehead. “I wanted to invite you, but wasn’t sure you’d want to—”
“I know you will invite Samuel,” I said forcefully. “I want to question him about Theo—”
His eyes tinted red immediately. “Sar, that is not what I had in mind. I have already talked to him, and he said he did nothing.”
“I don’t believe him, Danial. You weren’t there when he and Theo had words.”
“That doesn’t matter,” he retorted. “He is a Ruler. You cannot question him as if he were a mere human.”
“I certainly can—”
“Sar, I forbid it,” Danial said arrogantly, grabbing hold of me. “And that is the end of it.”
“Who are you to forbid me anything?” I said furiously.
“I’m a man that loves you,” he said furiously back, and kissed me hard, pulling the length of his body against mine as we fell backwards onto the bed.
I struggled, but he kissed me more thoroughly, his lips and body cool against mine. I shuddered in his arms, the feeling of being held and desired making me weak with relief and happiness.
Danial moved, rolling me from my side unto my back, his kisses intensifying. He shifted suddenly, pressing down with his hips. I felt his erection pressing firmly to my belly, and I shuddered, my mouth opening to let out a gasp. He saw the opportunity and took it, sliding his tongue into my mouth to taste me. I trembled, and then kissed him back for all I was worth.
Danial broke the kiss, his black eyes staring at me beneath him as he pulled off his shirt. I arched my back, pulling my sweater off over my head. All I’d needed to do was kiss him, and I wanted him so badly I could taste it.
Book Title: Taken for His Own (Promise Me Series #4) – Vampire romance
Format: print and e-book
Date Released: late April 2013
Blurb: After learning Theo is alive, Sar immediately embarks on a mission to find him. Reunited, the lovers return to New York; Danial, Terian and Theo uneasily combining forces to protect Sar from Al’s assassins still seeking her. But when Sar is taken prisoner in an all-out attack, only one man can save her: her old adversary, Devlin.
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Taken-For-Hi…dp/B00CZ4IGC8/
Melange/lulu link for Print, PDF and HTML copies: http://www.melange-books.com/authors…forhisown.html
All Romance E-books: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/pro…15939-140.html
Barnes and Noble.com: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/take…all/1115457885
“What about what you did to me?” I whispered, gazing at him and biting my lip.
“That wasn’t a whim,” Devlin said, dropping his eyes. “That was my bad judgment. Sadly, it wasn’t the worst mistake I’ve made in my life.”
Devlin didn’t answer. I reached out and took his cool hand in mine.
“When you lead others you must do whatever you have to in order to save your people,” he said with a sigh. “Compromising values should matter less than saving lives.”
“I agree with you,” I said. “If you rule others, you have a responsibility to them above the responsibility to yourself. But even then, I think your family should come first.”
“They should,” Devlin said in a cracked voice. He swallowed hard. “But the past can’t be undone.”
I squeezed his hand. “What happened to Danial wasn’t your fault.”
“Yes, it was,” he said softly.
“How is it your fault?” I said curiously, easing closer to him.
“Because I should have known what the thing was when it attacked. I didn’t know anything back then, except strategy and tactics. I was too concerned about rising through the ranks as fast as possible, so I could leave my family behind and become someone important.”
“What did you want to be?”
“A commander of men, either soldiers or police.”
I was surprised that Devlin would want to uphold the law or spend his life guarding others. Yet it made sense. When he’d taken me from my house years ago, he’d insisted on taking me to Danial, because I wore the choker. He was here putting himself in danger now to keep me safe.
“I knew something had attacked a few people on that road in that last month,” he continued. “I knew that there was a chance we might be attacked transporting the prisoner. But the road was the quickest way to our destination. I’d been assured that if I made the journey in good time, I’d get the promotion I wanted, and Danial would get my old position.”
“You aren’t at fault for what you did. It wasn’t for an evil reason.”
“Yes, I am,” he said despondently. “It was my greed and pride that doomed us.”
Carefully, I reached for Devlin and put my arms around him. He tensed at my touch, then relaxed.
“You did the best you could. You aren’t damned.”
“Yes, I am. You have no idea what I’ve done.”
I shifted uneasily.
“And I wouldn’t want you to,” Devlin added, his arms snaking around me loosely. “My ends have always justified the means, no matter what they were. I’ve done great evil in the hope of averting worse evil. Sometimes it worked and sometimes not. Still, it’s likely that given the chance to do my life over, I’d do the same things, make the same choices. I’d find myself here, at this same point in time, a fallen king.”
“In case you’re wondering,” I said deliberately. “I’m waiting for you to add into your speech somewhere that you regret everything you did to me while you were king…um, ruler.”
“I regret hurting you,” Devlin said quickly. “Yet I don’t regret coming for you that night or taking you to Danial.” He looked up at me. “You might not have gone back to Danial after Theo went missing, if I hadn’t. Theoron might not be here. I can’t regret any action of mine that led to him being born.”
I didn’t reply, considering his words.
Devlin laid his head against my chest, and his arms tightened on me slightly. We lay there like that for a few moments, not speaking, then I slipped into sleep.
I woke sometime later when Devlin stirred. According to the bedside clock, it was almost dusk.
“I have only one regret,” Devlin said finally, propping himself up on his elbow, his expression intent.
“What’s that?” I said, covering my yawn with my hand.
“That it wasn’t me you found in your quarry that night,” Devlin said, kissing the back of my hand with cool lips. His golden eyes locked on mine, transfixing me, as he drew my hand away from my face.
He was going to kiss me. My lips parted as my breath caught in my throat.
Be sure to check out Tara’s blog to see all of her books and novellas.
I am delighted to be able to feature superb poet and writer Queen of Spades.
What Monica has to say:
“If one were to use two words to describe me, the closest thing would be Life Writer. Although I mainly write poetry and prose, I don’t limit myself to a certain style nor a certain subject. I write about what I can relate to or if I can mirror someone else’s experiences.”–Queen of Spades
Monica F. Brown-Martinez began writing under the pseudonym Queen of Spades at the age of eleven. While in her creative writing class in high school, her teacher was very impressed with her writing prowess and encouraged her to be a writer and editor on Tiger Rags, the high school newspaper.
She made her Internet poetry debut in the mid to late 1990′s at Fireseek (later renamed Urban Poetic) where she served as a moderator and was later made into an administrator. In addition, she also branched out to participate in International House of Poets as well as ventured into spoken word with talents featured at Vocalized Ink, House of Ra, and Prysmatic Dreams.
Although some of the poetry organizations are no longer in existence, it didn’t stop Queen of Spades’ desire to promote herself and others. In 2005, she hosted the poetry collective: Soulful Branches-Simply Words as well as the accompanying CD, Soulful Branches: Words and Sounds. In that same year, Queen of Spades came out with her first book, Spaded Truths.
Almost a year later, Queen of Spades came out with her second book, Private Pain,which she deems her “rawest but most necessary work.” A combination of that catharsis and other life events caused her to take a hiatus, not from writing but from sharing her work with the world.
It was late in 2012 that she realized she still had things she wanted to share with the world. She still wanted her words to impact and touch others. After an almost seven year hiatus (May 2013) she has returned with her third poetry collection, Reflections of Soul, which almost didn’t make publication.
Currently, she is finishing up her fourth collection, Eclectic–the standard and deluxe version as well as second (she likes to say new and improved) editions of Spaded Truths and Private Pain. Late next year, she will be releasing her first collection of short stories, Continuous Drips (working title).
In her spare time, she serves as a hostess of two blogs: The Fame and The Shame and The Review Board. The Fame and The Shame is a blog which focuses on the best and the worst in products and services. The Review Board, which she co-hosts with Andrew Boyd (author of Wordplay), gives in-depth reviews on music, movies, and writings, with special emphasis on self-published and independent authors.
Read on for a chance to win a free copy of her newest book Reflections of Soul …
Queen of Spades is having a Lucky Souls contest, a giveaway which gives people the opportunity to win an autographed copy of her book. All of the details can be found by clicking the link: http://www.queenofspadesthepoet.blogspot.com/2013/05/introducing-lucky-souls-contest.html
In addition, she is hosting a sale on Reflections of Soul for those purchasing from CreateSpace directly. The details for that can be found here: http://www.queenofspadesthepoet.blogspot.com/2013/06/reflections-of-soul-paperback-sale.html
Here are details on the book Reflections of Soul:
Places to get Reflections of Soul
Amazon (direct): http://www.amazon.com/Reflections-Soul-Queen-Spades/dp/1483981304
Lulu edition: http://www.lulu.com/shop/queen-of-spades/reflections-of-soul/paperback/product-21030721.html
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reflections-of-soul-queen-of-spades/1115446972?ean=2940044547834
Inspiration is all around but what happens when inspiration from one impacts facets of another’s self? Reflections of Soul takes one on this poetic journey–a voyage coated in bittersweet waves: paying homage to the inspiration while gaining necessary closure on the impact after the bond met its’ death.
Disclaimer: Some of the poetry works do contain hints of dark intense imagery.
From I Cry (for My Child)
I cry for my child
who became an old soul too early.
She knew of betrayal, embarrassment, and responsibility
before she could even say them.
But by the time I knew
everything was moving too fast,
the world made her an adult.
The Creative Progress involving Reflections of Soul:
It has been about seven years since I’ve actively published. Private Pain, although I think the work was needed and necessary, proved to be a lot more exhausting on an emotional scale than originally anticipated. I felt extremely exposed, and I wasn’t sure if I would be that comfortable in sharing in that way again. I did that work, and there were so many things going on in the background. It was a miracle that work even made it into print.
I never stopped writing, although there were moments when the writer’s blocks were expansive. Writing had gotten to the point where it no longer healed me but amplified the pain. I didn’t even want to blog as much.
Once my long term relationship ended, I was running on below E, yet I didn’t know how long it would take for me to even get back to where I was, much less at E. I had lost so much of who I was, and then I wondered if I ever defined who I was to begin with.
Before the relationship became an unstable roller coaster, there was a great deal of inspiration. This drove me to compose a collection inspired by the writings of this other person. These pieces were written in the span of about three months back in the year 2003. After the disillusion of the bond in 2008, I debated as to whether to destroy these pieces, since I could not look at them in the beginning without all of the negative things flowing back in.
Each time I started to, a voice would say, “Queen, don’t do it.”
Then, I would set it aside.
One day, earlier this year, while doing a bit of Spring Cleaning, I discovered the collection again. This time around, I didn’t feel the anger or the twinge of pain. I just felt an appreciation for the work and was glad for the inspiration behind it. I realized I still had things I wanted to say. I also realized the only way I could really put things behind me was to go ahead and publish the work.
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I hope you enjoyed meeting Queen of Spades, and after today her post can be found on my Guest Spot page.
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