Sunday, 28 August 2016

Sunday Showcase: Meet Paranormal Author Susan Stielow



1. What inspired you to write in your genre?
To feel what it’s like to be young again. That’s why we have so many adults reading YA books these days. To remember what it was like to meet our first love, or first crush. Or to be the underdog who saves the day. Writing YA keeps me young at heart.

2.  If you write a series, how many books can your readers expect?
Three for the Bloodborn Series (Books 1 & 2 are already out) and three to four more in a new series I will be working on after book 3 in the Bloodborn series is finished.

3. How and why did you choose your book cover(s)?
I knew early on that I wanted my covers to match a scene from the books. But since I have an ancient computer, and no clue how to use photo-shop, I sought out the help an amazing cover artist.

4. If you had the chance to spend the day with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
That’s easy, Damen Kingston. He’s nice to look at, funny as hell, has the voice of an angel, and let’s not forget, a bad-ass vampire.

5. Are there any books or authors you admire?
Oh, God yes! Too many to list, but a couple of my ultimate favs is J.R. Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Darynda Jones and her Charlie Davidson - Grim Reaper series and of course J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter series. I mean seriously? Who doesn’t love her.

6. Do you have a favourite movie or TV show?
XFiles I have been a huge fan of for years, but right now Supernatural and Penny Dreadful are my favs.

7. What do you find the most challenging thing about being an author?
Self doubt. That little demon will get me every time. When he creeps in I will stop writing and walk away for a few days and refresh myself.

8. If money was no object and you could travel to any place in the world for your dream vacation, where would you go and what would you do?
Australia. Steve Irwin is my hero, and it’s always been a dream of mine to visit the Australia Zoo. I balled my eyes out the day Steve past away. It was a very emotional day for me. He was a great man.

9. Tell us about your publishing experience. Did you always intend to be traditionally published or indie published?
Being a writer isn’t easy. Especially when it comes to publishing houses. I tried traditional publishing first. They can be brutal to a new inexperienced writer. I submitted my query letters, my 3 first chapters, and so on; that the publishers ask for. At first I received no responses. Then the rejection letters starting rolling in. And when they say you need a thick skin for this business, they’re not kidding. Some letters were nice and even gave some advice. While others were downright mean. It was tough to take. I started to doubt my writing and whether my story was even good. It wasn’t until a friend read my book and loved it! So I looked into self-publishing and never looked back.

10. What have you learned as an author since you published your first book that you wish you knew when starting out?
Don’t trust ANYONE! Your book is your baby. Do your research when it comes to editors, cover artists, and so on. There are a lot of scammers out there that unfortunately, I fell victim to. Always remember that you get what you pay for.

Book 1 - Bloodborn


Book 2 - Scarlet Butterfly 

 

Buy Links - Amazon 

Get your copy of this fabulous series.









Monday, 22 August 2016

Sunday Showcase: Paranormal Mystery Author Pamela Winn



1.How and why did you choose your book covers?
I try to find covers that are linked to the story without revealing too much. For the books “Viewings”, “At Hidden Lake”, and “Wings to Whispers”, I drew the covers myself. Some day I may go back and do that for all of the 40 books.
2. If you had to choose a recipe that reflected one of your books, what would it be?
Definitely I would have to find a recipe for the short story collections “Visitations” and “Wings to Whispers” A heavenly dessert, because the books are both collections of loved ones who have passed away and are trying to reach us from the other side.
3. If you had the chance to spend the day with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
I would say Joshua in the book “Obligations”. He had a near death experience that took him to the other side and back again. Something evil followed behind. Now, Joshua can see spirits and people’s auras. I am fascinated by auras and think it would be amazing to be able to see them and decide what they truly mean. If we could see a person’s aura we would have an idea about what makes them tick. I think sitting down with Joshua as he learns about not only auras, but communicating with spirits, or angels, would be fascinating. I hope readers feel that when they read the story.
4. What do you find the most challenging thing about being an author?
That would have to be promoting. Trying to get your book out where others can find it and grab it to read is a challenge. I am not a salesman and had no idea how to even do this. Luckily for me, I had other authors to help and a son that is computer savvy. A skill I lack. If I didn’t have to promote I would be happy to just write. After 40 in 45 months, I think that part of this journey has gone well and I love the amazing reviews I have received.
5. If money was no object and you could travel to any place in the world for your dream vacation where would you go and what would you do?
I have two places I would love to see, first Ireland and then Australia. Both places seem to me to be fascinating and rich with scenery. I would love to sit and write books in either place. I think the scenery in the books makes the story interesting. I am lucky to live in North West Montana filled with Lakes, Trees and Mountains and use the landscape in a lot of the books. I also have lived in Utah and Idaho and add those locations in a few. In the book “Tunnels”, the group travels down a highway from Montana to Idaho, a road I have traveled often. In the book “Mystic Valley” the location is a place in Utah I know the government did a lot of hiding of secrets. So, I used that location to set up the sci-fi conspiracy. In “At Hidden Lake”, I used Montana because I watched a TV special about how Hitler may have hid gold and treasure near Glacier Park, Montana, where I live.
6. Tell us about your publishing experience. Did you always intend to be traditionally published or indie published?
I thought about traditional publishing, but because I write books so quickly, I decided to indie publish. It seems to be the best for me. If I had to wait for a traditional publisher to get back to me, I would probably still be on book one and my nerves would be shot.
I am just blessed to have great readers who will read one book, like it, and then go back for another. That is such a compliment and repeat readers have a special place in my heart. I have been very lucky with reviewers. With over 360 reviews, only 4 have been below a three. Five have been threes, and the rest four and five stars, that is awesome and inspiring.  If readers would like to see the 40 books, they can find them on Amazon

You can find Pamela Winn at Goodreads  Amazon Author Page 


A gift was passed down from her grandmother, all her life Andrea Moore has been able to see spirits. Now, her grandma has passed on, but Andi still talks to her. When Deputy Vaughn Walker asks Andi to help solve the mystery of four women who have disappeared, Vaughn, Andi and her friend Nate are going to find those from the other side influence this life and some spirits are pure evil. They also find themselves in the middle of the epic battle of good versus evil.

Buy it here:  Amazon 

 Paperback available at Barnes and Noble 

 
 

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Sunday Showcase: Paranormal Romance Author Maggie Anderson



1. What inspired you to write in your genre?
When I was fourteen, our English teacher asked us to read Dracula for a review. As we’d read a couple of Shakespearean books prior, I thought it would be just another unenjoyable book that I couldn’t get my head around. I was WRONG! I was seduced by Bram Stoker’s unorthodox, charismatic character and have loved all things Vampire ever since.

2. If you write a series, how many books can your readers expect?
I do write a series. The Dark Legacy urban fantasy series. At this stage, I’m writing book four and my continue to write more because I love the characters, but I’m taking a break after this book to focus on others I’ve had simmering in my head for a while now.

3. If you had the chance to spend the day with one of your characters, who would it be and why?
If I had a chance to spend a day with one of my characters it would have to be Reece Daniels. He stepped up and took over Dark Legacy, when Andre was meant to be the lead character, and has continued to stand out in all of the books so far. He has morals and believes in treating people right. He also has a lot of courage. Some of which he doesn’t even realize he has.

4. Are there any books or authors you admire?
I love the Alex Cross series of books by James Patterson. They tell a thrilling tale and pull you into the story. I also love the Addison Holmes series by Liliana Hart. They’re quirky and Addison is a likeable, amusing character with a certain amount of bravado when she needs it.

5. What is one of the biggest misconceptions that you think people have about authors in general?
I think people tend to think authors have it easy and make a lot of money from their writing. Some do, yes. The lucky ones. But most of us are doing our best to get our books into the hands of readers and not able to make a living from what we love the most. Being an indie author is hard-going. People think writing is a hobby. I’ve had friends say that to me. It’s not! It’s long hours of researching, writing, promoting, marketing, social networking and more!

6. If money was no object and you could travel to any place in the world for your dream vacation where would you go and what would you do?
I’ve always wanted to visit Machu Picchu. To be able to stand on the landscape of a village thousands of years old would be incredible! I think it would be a spiritual journey, a place to connect with your inner self.

Maggie is the author of several books:

Dark Legacy
Once Bitten
Soul Chaser
Driving Me Crazy
Love's Twist of Fate
A Night of Passion
A Night of Passion: Clean Romance Edition

Her newest release is Soul Chaser, Bk 3 in the Dark Legacy series.

 
In the city that never sleeps, a gypsy has seen Reece’s future. Someone he loves will die!
A romantic Vegas getaway turns into another paranormal nightmare for Reece when Charlotte is kidnapped from the airport. Who has taken her and why?
The PI and his team work around the clock. Time is ticking. Sent on a wild goose chase across Sin City by the unknown assailant, can they find her? Is the unidentified body of a Jane Doe lying in the County Coroner’s Office Charlotte? Are they already too late?
A series of unorthodox deaths forces Sheriff Lozano to enlist Reece’s help. He’s heard rumors about the private investigator and wants to find out if they’re true. Can they work together to solve the mystery of the murders? Will Reece let the sheriff in on what has happened to his fiancée?
As the two cases collide, Reece takes matters into his own hands and enters the subterranean world beneath Las Vegas alone. What has he discovered? And what ancient evil is he hunting?

 

EXTRACT

 
The dark tunnel seemed endless as Reece raced along it, peering over his shoulder wondering if the creatures were still in hot pursuit. He had to find a place to hide until the sun came up. The stark white beam of his flashlight app bobbed against the graffitied walls as he ran, but within seconds the glow faded, flickered and died, leaving him in total pitch black. Reece lurched to a stop and smacked his phone against his hand hoping it would jolt a few more seconds of life into the battery. It didn’t. “Shit!”
His heart rose in his throat and he sucked in a strangled breath, unable to inhale a full ribcage of air. The claustrophobic atmosphere was thick around him and he felt like he was suffocating. How did they find me so fast? He thought he’d have more time.
Manic laughter resonated out of the deep shadows in the underground drains and Reece’s eyes darted around the gloom. They were almost on top of him.
He broke into a panicked run, stumbling over broken concrete, cans, bottles and other rubbish strewn along the fetid, damp passage. He tripped on something soft and landed on top of it, the small amount of oxygen he’d managed to inhale whooshing out of him with the heavy thud. Feeling around, unable to see, and his brain making the connection, Reece felt buttons, material, a hand, a face… a sticky wet crater where the nose had been. Another face… holes where the eyes should have been. Bodies!
Bile gushed up his throat and he staggered to his feet, his heart beating so fast it felt like butterfly wings against his ribs. He spat the bitter liquid onto the ground and rushed into the shadows. He had to find a way out or somewhere to hide before they reached him or he’d be another rotting corpse amongst the body count. 

Want to read more?  Here's where you can find it:

Sunday, 7 August 2016

From Keepers to Canines - Meet Author Angel Waggoner

1. How and why did you choose your book covers?
For The Maze Series books, the covers chose me. By the time I finish writing each book, I have a pretty good idea how I want the cover to look. Then I send pages of descriptions, sample photos and everything I can find, about every detail that might be helpful to my cover guy and he pieces it all together. We usually Skype a conversation and numerous emails and messages go back and forth throughout the process.
Here’s my cover guy, check him out.  Jamie Noble at http://www.thenobleartist.com
For Pawper to Pedigree, Jamie came up with the cover. I knew I wanted a matted, muddy dog and a well-groomed dog on the cover. He sent back the initial sketch and I loved it!

2. Are there any books, or authors, you admire?
Janet Evanovich the Stephanie Plum Series is my all time favorite. The best audio books for road trips with my mom. We’d be laughing so hard, we would have to pull over. If I could be half that funny with my books, I would be a very happy author.
I have Excel spreadsheets full of authors I like, just to keep track of them. My memory has never been able to keep up with me and I am the spreadsheet queen.



3. If you could co-write a book with anyone of your choosing, who would it be and why?
Janet Evanovich, of course! It might take awhile to finish because I picture us laughing hysterically and getting off track numerous time. Pour my sense of humor into a blender; add a generous portion of Janet’s humor, drop in a few ice cubes, a splash of hot sauce and the book would have people rolling. Serve with cheese doodles on the side, please.

4. What do you find the most challenging thing about being an author?
Marketing and promoting; getting my books into the hands of readers. I’m not a salesperson and to be honest, I’ve never cared much for pushy salespeople. So this is a scary new adventure for me. How do I sell books? How can I entice readers without scaring them away? I’m still trying to figure this out. I have met numerous authors via social networking and this seems to be the hardest, most frustrating part of the process. Luckily, those authors are willing to share their ups and downs, successes and fails. The Author Professional Coop is a fantastic group that is happy to answer questions from us newbies. I’ve learned so much already, but have a very long way to go.

5. If money was no object and you could travel to any place in the world for your dream vacation; where would you go and what would you do?
I would love to backpack New Zealand, visit all the places where they filmed The Hobbit, and scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef. I want to live in the Shire. At 5’ 3”, I think I’m small enough to fit. That’s the nerd in me, coming out.

6. What have you learned as an author since you published your first book that you wish you knew when starting out?
Everything! I made so many mistakes at the beginning because I knew no one who knew anything about publishing a book. Yepper, I paid a publishing company to publish my first book, The Keeper. Stupid! Flushed that money down the toilet and took me 2 years to pay off the debt. However, once I published that first book, I started running into authors everywhere. They are the most helpful group of people. Very giving with their time, information, and advice on what not to do. Of course, I was doing all that wrong stuff. Live and learn, and don’t look back. Focus on the here and now, and the very near future. Outside of that, you can’t do anything about.
I had no idea how many authors there are out there, all over the world. I’m not a technology person and was avoiding it prior to my first book. That’s when I was forced into technology. The drawback was that I didn’t know any techno geeks and shelling out more money I didn’t have was not an option. On my own, I learned about Facebook, Twitter, and built my own website. This might sound like a little thing to most people, but for me it was a big step. Before this, I only used my cell phone to make and receive phone calls. So I had a lot to learn.
My advice to other up and coming authors: just jump in. You will make mistakes, learn and move on. Yes, it is scary; putting yourself out there, but you will meet so many people just like yourself. We are all trying to get our stories out there while dreaming of a full-time writing career. If you never try, then you will never know. Unless you are one of the lucky few, it’s a difficult dream. You WILL work hard, you WILL have doubts, you WILL loose sleep, you WILL cry, you WILL be exhausted, you WILL love the creative process, you WILL hate all that other stuff that takes you away from writing. However, the sense of pride that shoots through you when a reader tells you how much they loved your book, makes it worth the journey.

Good luck, have hope.

   
 Trying to build a mobile dog grooming business can be difficult when your bus is most likely stolen, your flamboyant cosmetologist keeps people guessing as to his sexual orientation, you are dating the cop who arrested your last boyfriend, and you can hear what dogs are thinking. Luckily, for Marnie, her clientele has eclectic tastes and she discovers there is a lucrative market for her dog whisperer gift.
From country dogs to city dogs, pedigrees to mutts, Marnie and Aaron take on new clients while helping owners reach a deeper connection with their pets.

Buy it here 




Determined not to spend the rest of his life trudging off to a job he hates, Gabriel leaves home in search of adventure. Lost in the Maine wilderness and accompanied by his critical inner voice, he begins hiking on a mountainside path unaware that he is about to discover his destiny.
After entering an ancient maze, Gabriel is transported to another world where he is introduced to Kieran; fellow traveler, best bud and serial killer. Soon, Gabriel realizes that Kieran is an outcast whose resentment toward him peaks when on of Kieran’s conquests is offered up to Gabriel as a potential wife. Having other ideas, Gabriel escapes the arranged marriage just in time to meet a Druid girl who opens his eyes to the wonders of nature. An ensuing battle against Jaguar Warriors forces Gabriel to do something he abhors in order to survive; kill.

In this adventure/fantasy tale, a young man takes an epic journey of self-discovery that comes full circle when he realizes that the grey, stone walls of the maze have been manipulating him all along.  Buy it here


In book 2, Gabriel, Gideon and the maze set Ann up for an adventure with her friends Jace & Meridia reluctantly following. In the underwater city of Jeritza, Ann feels as if she’s come home while Jace flounders in the water and Meridia continuously causes trouble.
While the city’s leader, Ian, is immersed in territorial negotiations with the crustaceans, Meridia has a brief affair with the enemy’s interpreter that endangers the Jeritzian way of life and Ann. When battles ensue, the three friends fight along side the city’s residents and the multitude of local sea creatures that have come to drive the Crustaceans, and their human slaves, from their home.

As love blossoms between Ian and Ann, Jace and Meridia realize they will soon have to leave their friend and seek out their own adventures in the maze.  Buy it here 


Extract from Pawper to Pedigree

“Any idea how to get skunk stink out of the inside of a dog?”
“He ate the skunk?” Aaron asked, his face crinkling with distaste.
“Not the skunk, but the—well—you know.” Marnie pinched her nose. “He just farted and it is noxious. Any suggestions?”
        Aaron took several steps back. “Gas-x? Breath mint? Industrial strength enema?” he offered.

Extract from The Keeper

     Sleep was soon upon me, and then the dream began. Alone in a bathroom I did not recognize, I stood over the sink. In the mirror, a rusted claw foot tub lurked behind me as I stared into the eyes of my reflection. It was me, yet at the same time, it was not. I had never seen this look of confidence on my face before.
     “What are you looking at?” I scoffed at my reflection.
     “Nothing much,” replied the face in the mirror, though I knew I had not formed the words. I jumped, shuffling back. The tub clipped me at the knees and sent me tumbling into an abyss. I grabbed for the shower curtain, but it tore away and engulfed me on my descent.
     “I’ll catch up with you later!” the image in the mirror called out with a laugh.

Extract from Underwater City

“Allow me to introduce you to your dental hygienists extraordinaire.” Kyla positioned herself as if showing off a new car on a game show. “Hawk and Spit. Taa, daa!”
The shrimp performed acrobatics in the mini aquarium before returning to their positions near the surface where they snapped to attention. All legs on their right sides, saluted Ann.
“Did you say Hock and Spit?” Ann asked her nose crinkling as she peered in at the swimmers for a second time.
Kyla giggled. “H-A-W-K,” she spelled out. “See the wings on his back?”
Hawk obliged Ann by turning around and sure enough, there they were. Thin, white scars etched the shrimp’s exoskeleton in the shape of wings. “Wow,” Ann exclaimed. “Was he born with those?”
“Nope. When Hawk was a wee bitty thing, he thought he could fly,” Kyla explained. “One day, he decided to prove it by climbing to the top of a beached coconut. Unfortunately, his attempt at a running leap off said coconut resulted in him tripping, slipping and sliding down the side of it on his back. Though his injuries were not life threatening, he did walk away with those scars and that is the story of how Hawk earned his wings.”
Ann shuddered. “Ouch.”
Hawk appeared unfazed. He bobbled in the tank, flexing his legs as if to say, flesh wound; feel these muscles.
The girls laughed openly at the shrimp’s antics.
Meanwhile, Spit had moved out of the way and perched on the top spire of a miniature replica of Cinderella’s castle that occupied the center of the aquarium. His front two legs tapped with impatience.
“And Spit?” Ann pressed. “How did he get his name?”
“My boy Spit is a real spitfire. No patience and quick-tempered.” Kyla crooked a finger at Spit and he hurried forward. “He is also a practical joker. You have to watch him every minute.” Kyla bent close to the aquarium. “Now, you mind your temper with our guest,” she instructed.
Spit nodded.
“And keep your practical jokes to a minimum. At least until Ann gets adjusted to her new surroundings.”
Spit nodded again. Hawk joined his friend at the castle, bumping into him in his haste. Spit’s tail flicked out, spinning Hawk end over end.
“Spit!” Kyla admonished. “This is exactly what I was talking about.”
Swimming over to Hawk, Spit hooked a leg around his friend and pulled him toward the surface. Once there, Spit patted Hawk on the head with one of his antennae and then spread wide all of his claws and legs as if asking, better?