Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Interview with J. Barton Mitchell {Book Trailer + Giveaway}

What inspired you to write The Razor?

Hi Emily, thanks for having me and talking about my book.

Oh man, all kinds of things. First off, I’ve always had a love of pulpy, B-movie type Sci-Fi. Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. I’ve also always had an equal love of militaristic, gritty science fiction (like Starship Troopers), as well Sci-Fi Horror, so The Razor is kind of exploring and balancing all those sub-genres, hopefully in a way that’s cohesive.

Also, the book was a chance to have a narrative where pretty much all of the characters are villain or anti-hero archetypes (which I also dig a lot) and to try and find original takes on them.

How long did it take you to write your book?

This is my fourth novel, and it took me the longest of any of them, almost a year and a half. I’m not sure what to attribute that to, but this book also has the most POV characters I’ve ever had (six), so I think juggling all those different story lines was challenging.

How long have you been publishing your work?

My first novel came out in 2012.

What does your writing environment look like?

You know, I have a pretty cool office setup at my place, but, really, I tend to write out. Coffee shops, restaurants, bars, hotel lounges. There’s something about having the buzz of people around that not only energizes me but focuses me as well. It’s like environmental Adderall.

Do you have any routines to help you write?

Many! I need them to not end up playing computer games all day.

I started as a screenwriter, and so I think very cinematically usually. One thing I do when starting a project is to create a movie trailer for it in my head. I have a giant playlist I keep adding to on iTunes for trailer music, and I find one that fits for the tone of the story, and then I start imagining a trailer, like you’d see at the movie coming attractions.

If you think about movie trailers, they do a lot of useful things. Give you the tone of the movie. Give you the main characters. Give you the gist of the story. Give you one or two surprises. So it’s a very useful exercise. You have to really know your story to make a good trailer.

Whenever I sit down to write, the first thing I do is put my headphones on and play that trailer in my head a few times. It gets me excited about the story all over again, but it also keeps me honest. 

Watching that trailer in my mind is like taking the temperature of the project. Am I sticking to the vision? Am I hitting the beats the trailer promises? Am I delivering what I really want? It’s kind of like a compass for navigating the story building process.




J. Barton Mitchell is giving away 8 signed copies of The Razor!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author

J. Barton Mitchell lives somewhere between Santa Fe, NM and Austin, TX. He’s developed properties for Warner Bros, Twenty First Century Fox, Valve Software, and Boom! Studios, and is a published author of four novels. His third novel, VALLEY OF FIRES was awarded Best Science Fiction Novel of 2015 by the RT Book Review, and his fourth novel, THE RAZOR, will be published by TOR Books this fall. Interact with him at www.jbartonmitchell.com.



Monday, December 3, 2018

Author Interview with Shannon Condon

What inspired you to write Spider’s Web? 

Spider’s Web is the third book in the Magdalena Series. When I began with Finding Magdalena, I didn't know it would turn into a series but Maggie emerged into such a strong character that I felt her story needed to continue. After The Brotherhood, I was on the fence about continuing but I had several readers asking for another Maggie book. I was excited because I already had a story line in mind. Spider’s Web contains a lot of twists and turns my readers may not see coming and definitely leaves room for a fourth installment. 

How long did it take you to write your book? 

It took me about six months of intense writing. I had the story and the characters worked out in my head but I wanted this story to be fast paced and tight. I didn’t want to my readers to feel like they could put it down and walk away. It was important to me that the reader was fully invested in the characters and the storyline. 

How long have you been publishing your work? 

I began publishing in 2015 and Spider’s Web is my third book. 

What does your writing environment look like? 

I usually write in my bedroom, sitting up in my bed, snuggled under my covers at night when my house is quiet. If I can find quiet during the day, I will sit in my big chair and ottoman in the family room, surrounded by pillows and my laptop. 

Do you have any routines to help you write? 

I start every book in my head. I work out the characters and storyline before I start typing. This allows me to run through several scenarios and see how I would take them through to the end. Of course, my storyline is flexible and does change as I write but it happens organically. I also start writing at page one and write straight through to the last page. I want to see how the story will unfold for the reader so I don’t move around in the book when writing.

About the Author 

Shannon Condon is the mother of three boys and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. She graduated from the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. She loves to travel and is fascinated by history.  She has always wanted to be a writer and with the publication of the Magdalena Series: Finding Magdalena, The Brotherhood and now Spider's Web (release date  November 30, 2018), she has brought that dream to fruition.

Barnes and Noblehttps://bit.ly/2R0DGGk



Friday, November 30, 2018

Book Blitz: Above the Fog by Karen Lynn Nolan

Above the Fog
By Karen Lynn Nolan
Genre: Fiction (Southern/Appalachian)

About the Book

Growing up in a coal mining camp is difficult enough. But, when Coreen Shell’s abusive father makes a promise for her thirteenth birthday that could destroy what’s left of her life, she resorts to a desperate prayer to a God she’s not sure exists. The next day, a flood washes through the coal camp, like a backhanded answer to her prayer. Coreen, her mother, and her crippled grandmother next door must climb the mountain to find refuge in a nearby church. Then, news of a murder changes everything, in a way Coreen never imagined.

Will Coreen and her damaged, dysfunctional family conquer the lies, secrets, hardship, and hatred … or be destroyed by them?


About the Author 

Karen Lynn Nolan is an award-winning writer of Appalachian fiction, mystery/suspense, and narrative nonfiction. Her years in the eastern Kentucky mountains instilled a love of storytelling, mystery, humor, stubbornness, and deep faith. Contact her at karenlynnnolan.com.

Links:






Excerpt:


If there really is a God, then let the roof of the mine collapse on Daddy today and send him to hell, where he belongs.
Coreen plucked a chenille thread from the faded bedspread and flung it into the dark space behind her cot. Tears blended with sweat and slid across her face. Stained curtains fluttered as a steamy breeze blew down the holler, through the coal camp, and into the dining room that served as her sleeping quarters.
The room seemed gloomier than usual. Dark shadows lurked in the corners and threatened to swallow up the buffet, discarded by a family who could afford something better. Its sagging drawers and chipped paint made her sad. The shadows closed in on her too as she lay on the metal cot, tucked into the corner like the Christmas gift nobody wanted.
Springs squeaked as Coreen turned away from the room and stared out the window. Mountains rose in every direction, like prison walls around the mining camp. She ran her fingers across a fresh bruise. If only she could escape. Especially today. Especially after what he did this morning—and what he said he planned to do tomorrow. But no matter how hard she tried, no answer came to mind.
A low rumble echoed through the hollers. The odor of dirt mixed with coal dust seeped through the window. A storm was coming. Coreen twirled her ponytail, nearly the color of the faded-yellow chenille bedspread beneath her, and wrapped it into a bun. A gust of wind whipped the curtains into the air, slapping her damp skin in a torturous dance.
A raindrop plopped onto the tin roof, then another and another until the sound resembled an approaching coal train. The intensity mirrored Coreen’s anxiety. She lay there listening, thinking about a solution to her problem, dreaming of a happy ending—until her eyes flickered and closed.

* * *

A boom exploded. Windows rattled and the cot shook. Coreen shot up with a gasp. An eerie yellow tint filled the room. Her heart pounded. “Mama? Mama? Where you at?”
All was silent except for the rumbles of thunder and the concussive pounding of rain on the roof. Across the room, light framed the door to her parents’ room. She listened. No sounds inside the house. Did it mean he wasn’t home yet? Was she safe for now?
Lightning sizzled outside her window and filled the house with pulsing flashes. A gust of wind picked up the rain-soaked curtains and slapped Coreen across the face. The thunder cracked with such violence, it seemed to lift the house into the air and drop it.
“Mama!” she screamed as terror wrapped itself around her.



Monday, November 26, 2018

Book Blitz: The Soul Dweller by Stephen Paul Sayers

The Soul Dweller
By Stephen Paul Sayers
Genre: Horror

*NEW RELEASE*

An ancient evil has returned... and it comes for the children.

A battle between good and evil rages across otherworldly dimensions. Caretakers protect earthly souls--jumpers hunt them as prey. RG and Kacey Granville have made it their life's mission to intercept and defeat these dark forces, but nothing could prepare them for the malevolent spirit they're facing--a deadly jumper, plucking children from their homes, taking them back in time to a hidden corner of the past...

... adding them to his collection.

In a heart-stopping trek across time, the team must risk it all and jump seventy years into the past to rescue the innocent--and hope their mission isn't a one-way ticket into history. And if they're to save the children, they must halt an unspeakable evil that will stop at nothing to protect its 'precious' souls.

The second installment in the Caretakers Series, The Soul Dweller brings every child's nightmare to life and puts a face to that monster in the closet.   

Pick up A Taker of Morrows (Book One) for $0.99 on Amazon, Nov. 26 only! 

About the Author

Stephen Paul Sayers is a college professor and best selling author of supernatural thriller and horror fiction. His debut novel, A Taker of Morrows, was published by Hydra Publications in June 2018. The second book in the Caretakers series, The Soul Dweller, is set to launch TODAY, November 26. His short fiction has appeared in Unfading Daydream and Well-Versed

As a research scientist, Stephen yields to the left-brain world of data analysis and statistics by day, but releases the demons in his slightly twisted right-brain by night. It gets strange around dusk when neither side is fully in control. He makes his home in Columbia, MO and Plymouth, MA—not far from the Cape Cod locations he writes about in the Caretakers novels. Throughout his journey, he has accumulated five guitars, four herniated discs, three academic degrees, two dogs, and one wife, son, and daughter. But not necessarily in that order. 

For more about the author, visit https://www.stephenpaulsayers.com or reach out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stephenpaulsayers; Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/SayersAuthor; or Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/stephenpaulsayers


EXCERPT


You wonder sometimes. About a face.
Someone passing you on the street, in the subway or airport, a face you’ve never laid eyes on before and will likely never see again.
So many different ones, with welcoming eyes, maybe an intimidating scowl…or a false smile, a distracted glance, a courteous nod, a lustful once-over.
A face can communicate some things…but not everything. No face reveals the true world lurking behind it. It hides things no one could ever see.
No one but Robert Granville, that is. “RG” could see it all.
The thoughts of unsuspecting strangers streamed through their well-constructed facades and into RG’s mind like blinding sleet in a winter storm. Their truths…well, don’t you look like shit today, honey…their sins…you still have time to hide the body where no one will ever find it…their pleas for help…don’t let him track me down again. Don’t let him find me here, please God
Who would have guessed looking into RG’s face that he sheltered some of the darkest secrets of the universe behind his brown eyes and kind smile, secrets nobody could possibly fathom.
Who would have guessed that he had discovered a battle between good and evil raging outside life’s boundaries, one determining the fate of earthly souls, where ‘caretakers’ protect the living and ‘jumpers’ hunt them as prey; that his loving wife, Kacey, could glimpse the future in her dreams and change it, and transport herself into otherworldly dimensions; that his long-dead father and caretaker, Morrow, had saved him from a collision course with a ruthless and vengeful jumper from the afterlife.
No one could glimpse that in his face.
RG stared at the familiar curves and lines reflecting in the bathroom mirror as he braved another day, another chance to mull over the abrupt, life-altering events that had upset his world, turned him upside down and inside out, and redefined his life. And he was nowhere near wrapping his head around it. Life had tried to settle back into some variance of normal, the entire last year shifting him back to a steady acceptance of lost ground, unfavorable notoriety, and the need to claw his way back out of the trenches.
Shuffling into the bedroom, RG ran a hand through his thick hair to flatten it down, what Kacey lovingly called his wavy brown garden of weeds, then stretched through a silent yawn. He

paused a moment and traced his wife’s face and body contours with an appreciative gaze, part of his waking ritual he had yet to kick. With a spate of freckles across her nose and a river of near-auburn hair spilling over tan shoulders, Kacey Granville could send his heartbeat rocketing with a simple glance, or laugh, or a million other things she drew from her arsenal to paralyze his senses. And each passing day brought with it something different, something else to trip the switch and increase the palpitations. If a cardiologist wired him up and monitored him throughout the day, the wild swings in rhythm would force the doc to send for an ambulance before he had finished his first cup of morning coffee. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Author Interview with Loren Mayshark

What inspired you to write Inside the Chinese Wine Industry?

The book grew out of some freelancing work that I was doing.  I started writing for an online Chinese travel blog and learning about the Chinese wine industry. I became completely fascinated with the subject. I read everything I could get my hands on about the industry and became more entranced. While doing this research, I wished that someone had written a more comprehensive overview of wine in China. When I could not find what I was looking for, it served as inspiration to write the book I had sought. I hope that it will be useful and fulfilling for others with similar inclinations.

How long did it take you to write your book?

I the idea came to me in early 2016 and I did not complete the book until the end of summer so it took over two and a half years.

How long have you been publishing your work?

I had been published as a freelance writer before but my first book, Death: An Exploration, came out on New Year’s Day of 2016.

What does your writing environment look like?

I have been able to produce steadily by making writing never seem like a big deal. So I use cheap notebooks and disposable pens to do most of my writing. Part of this approach is the ability to write in any environment whether it is on a bus, in a cafe, or sitting on the couch while people around me are watching television. I think of myself as a bit of a chameleon when it comes to what I write and where I write it; so far it has served me pretty well.

Do you have any routines to help you write?

I write nearly every day (I occasionally take off a Saturday or Sunday) but almost every day is different depending upon my work and family responsibilities. I usually will do what needs to be done during working hours which can stretch anywhere from 7 AM to 10 PM. After I finish for the day, and relax for a while, I generally do writing that I want to do which is usually some combination of journaling, free writing, or working on fiction projects.


My thing is just to get something down on paper to initiate the first draft, even if I think it is terrible. Once I have a start, the juices will hopefully begin to flow eventually. Then I have something I can edit and work into the next draft. Editing is a discipline that I have worked hard to cultivate, but it is still something I am trying to get better at.

About the Author

Loren Mayshark studied Chinese art, religion, philosophy, and history while earning a B.A. in history from Manhattanville College in New York.  After graduation, he attended The Gotham Writers Workshop and the prestigious New York Writers Workshop. He has written about the Chinese wine industry for The Jovial Journey and Sublime China.  

After college, he supported his itinerant lifestyle by working dozens of jobs, including golf caddy, travel writer, construction worker, fireworks salesman, substitute teacher, and vineyard laborer. Predominantly his jobs have been in the restaurant industry. He cut his teeth as a server, maître d’, and bartender at San Francisco’s historic Fisherman’s Grotto #9, the original restaurant on the Fisherman’s Wharf. While working with a colorful crew of primarily Mexican and Chinese co-workers.

He spent much of his young adult life exploring the wine industry from Sonoma Valley to the North Fork of Long Island, immersing himself in vineyards and learning valuable lessons. He has traveled extensively in South America, Europe, and Asia.  He presently splits his time between Western New York and Sweden.

His first book, Death: An Exploration, won the 2016 Beverly Hills Book Award in the category of Death and Dying and was a finalist for book of the year in the 2016 Foreword INDIES Awards in the category of Grief/Grieving (Adult Nonfiction). Inside the Chinese Wine Industry is his third book.
 
For more information visit his website: lorenmayshark.com.
Keep up with him on Twitter: @LorenMayshark

Author Website Book page: http://bit.ly/LmaysharkWB

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2PlLUuF


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Book Blitz: Inside the Chinese Wine Industry: The Past, Present, and Future of Wine in China by Loren Mayshark

Inside the Chinese Wine Industry: The Past, Present, and Future of Wine in China
By Loren Mayshark
Genre: Nonfiction

Book Description

The wine business is one of the world’s most fascinating industries and China is considered the rising star. A hidden secret, the Chinese wine industry continues to grow at an amazing pace and is projected to soon enter the top five producing nations, supplanting long established countries such as Australia. Inside the Chinese Wine Industry: The Past, Present, and Future of Wine in China takes you through the growing Chinese wine scene.

Wine has had a meteoric rise in China over the past two decades. The nation is projected to become the second most valuable market for wine in the world by 2020. One recent study concluded that 96% of young Chinese adults consider wine their alcoholic drink of choice. Not only does Inside the Chinese Wine Industry explore current expansion and business models, it journeys back to the past to see where it all began.

There are more than seven hundred wineries in China today. Although it’s bit of an oversimplification, the vast majority of the wineries fit into one of two categories: the larger established producers who churn out mostly plonk to meet the growing demand for inexpensive wine and the newer wineries that try to cater to the tastes of the wealthy Chinese with money to spend on luxury goods like fine wine. In the words of wine guru Karen MacNeil, author of The Wine Bible, “The cheap wines from the very large producers have mostly verged on dismal.” However, this should not be considered a blanket statement regarding every wine from large producers. Also, she has positive reflections regarding the level of wine produced by “cutting-edge wineries” which she finds “far better.” How good are they? MacNeil asserts: “Some of these wines are so good they could easily pass for a California or Bordeaux wine in a blind tasting.”

About the Author

Loren Mayshark studied Chinese art, religion, philosophy, and history while earning a B.A. in history from Manhattanville College in New York.  After graduation, he attended The Gotham Writers Workshop and the prestigious New York Writers Workshop. He has written about the Chinese wine industry for The Jovial Journey and Sublime China.  

After college, he supported his itinerant lifestyle by working dozens of jobs, including golf caddy, travel writer, construction worker, fireworks salesman, substitute teacher, and vineyard laborer. Predominantly his jobs have been in the restaurant industry. He cut his teeth as a server, maître d’, and bartender at San Francisco’s historic Fisherman’s Grotto #9, the original restaurant on the Fisherman’s Wharf. While working with a colorful crew of primarily Mexican and Chinese co-workers.

He spent much of his young adult life exploring the wine industry from Sonoma Valley to the North Fork of Long Island, immersing himself in vineyards and learning valuable lessons. He has traveled extensively in South America, Europe, and Asia.  He presently splits his time between Western New York and Sweden.

His first book, Death: An Exploration, won the 2016 Beverly Hills Book Award in the category of Death and Dying and was a finalist for book of the year in the 2016 Foreword INDIES Awards in the category of Grief/Grieving (Adult Nonfiction). Inside the Chinese Wine Industry is his third book. 

For more information visit his website: lorenmayshark.com.
Keep up with him on Twitter: @LorenMayshark 

Author Website Book page: http://bit.ly/LmaysharkWB


Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2PlLUuF


Saturday, October 13, 2018

Author Interview: Aldrea Johnson {The Battle for the Four Realms: Dragon Bone}

The Battle for the Four Realms: Dragon Bone
By Aldrea Johnson
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult/Fiction

Brief Description

Siblings Aliedori and Maldar, heirs to the throne of the Southern Realm are attacked by an unseen assailant while camping in The Sacred Forest. Aliedori's brother Maldar and his golden dragon, Keidrop, are trapped by a powerful binding spell; a spell that leaves Aliedori strangely unaffected. In an attempt to track down their unseen attacker Aliedori uses her natural gifts and casts a "Seeker" charm enabling her to pursue a chase to a shadowy figure through the dark woods until he mysteriously disappears without a trace...and the adventure begins!

As the trio sets off in the direction the mysterious figure disappeared they encounter mysterious creatures formed from dark magic, a mage powerful enough to incapacitate dragons and other threats only ever spoken of by the Chronicler.

As they journey East more of the Chronicler's prediction come true, Aliedori's destiny lay ahead along with ... the battle for the four realms!



Interview with the Author

What inspired you to write The Battle for the Four Realms?
I had this story in my head for a very long time; it feels very different from the story that first took hold of my sixteen year old imagination all those years ago. The main protagonist was always female, the prettified forest, old gnarled and cursed was also always there, and there was a prince to be rescued. I completed the first chapter at sixteen in an old school exercise book, and kept the rest in my head for a very long time.  What inspired me to write The Battle for the Four RealmsMy sixteen year old self, who loved to read, but could never find books that reflected or represented how I or my friends looked.

How long did it take you to write your book?
A very long time; as I’ve said the story has been going around my head in one form or another for a very long time.  In actually it took me about two years to write, about six months to pluck up the courage to get it edited and about six to eight months to agree to send it to Imzadi Publishers

How long have you been publishing your work?
The Battle for the Four Realms is my first work to be published

What does your writing environment look like?
I usually sit in my living room, with my laptop on my lap and write; sometimes I sit at the kitchen table. A lot of Battle was written at my kitchen table, and my kitchen and garden even makes an appearance in the book.

Do you have any routines to help you write?
I don’t have a routine; I am very undisciplined and can go for weeks without writing a single word. At other times I often sit up until 2/3am writing because ideas are flowing and I know if I go to sleep all my creative juices will sleep also.

About the Author

I was brought up on stories, tales of adventures of far off places, of princesses in peril and their princes rescuing them, they filled my head and sparked my imagination from an early age. I have very fond memories of “Lloyd Brown” or “Lloydy” as he was known to us children, telling the most wonderful stories. The only time he didn’t stutter was when he was telling stories, I would travel with him to those far off places from the Grimm fairy tales and just around the corner of the “Anansi” stories of Jamaican fables, these were amongst my favourites. By the time I had to swap the Jamaican sunshine for the winter “watery” sun of England at the age of almost eleven years old. My head was already crammed full of stories to accompany me on my very own adventure to far off England.

I may have spent my formative years in the Jamaican country side with the wild green woods and perfectly clear rivers but I grew up in London. Long winter days and darkened evenings would find me with my head in a book, the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Arabian Nights and closer to home Enid Blyton’s Famous Five were later replaced but not forgotten by Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast, and Sterling E Lanier’s Hiero’s Journey.

I was a shy introverted child but while at school I was regarded as one of the “cool” kids; I was a real Jamaican with the accent to prove it.  Libraries became my playground; they helped to fuel my imagination where adventure after adventure played out again and again in my head.  I could be anywhere, any place, anytime from my little corner of the local library. I lived in my head; my stories gave me  a sense of belonging, they sustained me and now somehow one of my adventures found its way onto the page and is about the be shared with others.

Website: www.imzadipublishing.com