Friday Reveal: Scepter of Fire by Vicki L. Weavil

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Today Vicki L. Weavil and Month9Books are revealing the cover and first chapter for SCEPTER OF FIRE, a companion novel in the CROWN OF ICE Series! Which releases October 18, 2016! Check out the gorgeous cover and enter to be one of the first readers to receive an eGalley!!
 
Here’s a message from the author.
 
Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Steadfast Tin Soldier,” SCEPTER OF FIRE is a companion book to CROWN OF ICE, my retelling of “The Snow Queen.” It takes place a few years later, in the midst of an invasion by a power-mad foreign emperor, and includes most of the characters from CROWN OF ICE.
 
However the protagonist in SCEPTER OF FIRE is someone new—17yo Varna Lund, an ugly duckling among swans, who’s certain her destiny lies in taking on the mantle of village healer after the death of her aged mentor. But when a young soldier enlists her aid to care for his injured friend, Varna and her sister, Gerda, are catapulted into the war that has engulfed their country.  Forced to flee enemy troops with her sister and the two soldiers, Varna must also evade her mentor, Sten Rask—revealed to be a powerful mage seeking the enchanted mirror hidden by a former Snow Queen.
 
To protect the mirror, and their country, Varna,Gerda, and the soldiers join forces with a sorceress, an enchanted reindeer, a brilliant scholar, and a young woman traveling with a wolf. But Varna faces a terrible temptation. Promised beauty and power by the devilishly handsome Rask, she must choose—achieve her own desires, or protect a society that has never embraced her.
The Cover:
I love how this cover matches the cover of CROWN OF ICE, and yet is different enough to set the books apart. Both feature striking young women, but whereas CROWN is glazed with icy blue tones, SCEPTER is saturated with reds, golds and other fiery hues. If you look closely, you can even see flames reflected in the girl’s eyes—very appropriate for a book that deals with sorcerers who wield fire. Although the cover model is not an “ugly duckling,” she does accurately reflect the protagonist during one portion of the book, which I will not reveal at this point due to “spoilers”! 

 

Title: SCEPTER OF FIRE
Author: Vicki L. Weavil
Pub. Date: October 18, 2016
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback & eBook
Find it: Amazon | B&N| TBD|Goodreads
Sharp as pine needles, and twice as bitter, seventeen-year-old Varna Lund’s determined to become a healer. At least patients don’t care about her looks, unlike the young men who spurn her for eighteen-year-old Gerda or even her younger sisters. An ugly duckling among swans, Varna hopes to bury her passionate nature in useful work.
Her healing skills are put to the test when Varna encounters Erik Stahl, a young soldier who’s deserted the battlefield to carry his injured friend, Anders Nygaard, to safety. Varna, enlisting the aid of Gerda, cares for Anders in secret.
But a brutal betrayal catapults the four young people into life on the run, where Varna discovers her old mentor is actually a powerful wizard. Seeking the enchanted mirror hidden by a former Snow Queen, the wizard hopes to use Gerda as a pawn in his plan to aid the invading emperor.
Other forces ally against the wizard, including an auburn-haired sorceress, an enchanted reindeer, a brilliant scholar, and a young woman traveling with a wolf. Along with the soldiers and Gerda, they vow to prevent the mirror from falling into enemy hands. But tempted with promises of beauty and power from her now devilishly handsome mentor, Varna must choose between her own desires and the good of a society that’s never embraced her.
Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling” and “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”, SCEPTER OF FIRE is a companion book to CROWN OF ICE.

 

 

Vicki L. Weavil was raised in a farming community in Virginia, where her life was shaped by a wonderful family, the culture of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and an
obsession with reading. She holds a B.A. in Theatre from the University of
Virginia, a Masters in Library Science from Indiana University, and a Masters
in Liberal Studies from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. After
working as a librarian at the NY Public Library at Lincoln Center, and the
Museum of Television & Radio (now the Paley Center for Media) in NYC, she
is currently the Director for Library Services at the University of North
Carolina School of the Arts.
Vicki loves good writing in any genre, and has been known to read seven books in as many days. She enjoys travel, gardening, and the arts. Vicki lives in North Carolina with her husband and some very spoiled cats. A member of SCBWI, Vicki is represented by Fran Black at Literary Counsel, NY, NY.
Where you can find Vicki: Website| Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads| Tumblr


 
1 winner will receive an eBook of CROWN OF ICE & an eGalley of SCEPTER OF FIRE (when available), International.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Q&A- Christa Wojciechowski

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(reblogged from Keystroke)

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Christa Wojciechowski, a writer and internet genius. Between writing her blog, reading, and working, she writes some pretty awesome books, which you can read more about below!

Christa Wojciechowski Profile pic med

Q: How long have you been writing? Why did you start?

A: I’ve been writing all my life, as soon as I could scratch out a story with my crayons in elementary school. I wrote picture stories about animals and rhyming poems. As I got older I began keeping journals.

In high school, I passed around outrageous short stories to my friends. Then I went on a long break from anything creative throughout my twenties. I was too busy partying to write, but I accumulated a lot of interesting material during this time.

After moving to Panama, I rescued a pelican who eventually was killed by my own dogs. It was tragic, and I finally felt this compulsion to write about him. That broke the ice, and then I wrote The Wrong David, which I published a few years later. But it wasn’t until November 2011 that I wrote my first full-length novel for NaNoWriMo. Since then, I just kept writing and now I can’t stop!

Q: What inspires your writing? Do you have a muse?

A: I’m kind of a muse whore. They all come and go. My muse could be a writer, a painting, an actor, or a song of some kind that gets me going for a particular story. I‘ll wear that muse out during my writing process. I conjure it up everyday, doing my best not to lose the magic between us.

Unfortunately, these relationships are short-lived. It’s like when an addict builds a tolerance to their drug of choice. You just can’t get a buzz anymore. Then I have to let the muse go. It’s always sad and scary, but I have to keep the faith that I’ll find a new one, maybe even a better one.

Q: You offer several services including beta-reading, social media marketing, and eBook and Print formatting and publishing. How did you get started in this business? What about it do you like?

A: My career in internet marketing began when family members asked for help building websites for their small businesses. I wasn’t a pro or anything, just more computer literate than the rest. My aunt soon introduced me to Hubspot, and I went through all of my social media training through them. Then I enrolled in Google Analytics training and passed the SEO certification. Most everything I taught myself. There is such a wealth of free information and eCourses on the internet now that you can learn anything! Now I’ve got tons of experience under my belt, which is not something taught anywhere and is the most valuable asset of all.

Although I would’ve never expected a future in social media, I feel this career was my destiny. Living in Panama and traveling a lot, I have the freedom to work from anywhere. It also gives me the luxury of setting my own schedule so I can have time to work on my own projects. I’m developing an eCourse to teach others how to work as digital marketers from home or anywhere. You can sign-up for the beta course at http://workinginyogapants.com

Q: You moved from the United States to Panama. What was that experience like for you?

A: I’m not going to romanticize it. It was very difficult. As much as I love new places and new adventures, I missed my family a lot. I had to learn the language and how to understand a culture wholly different from mine.

Luckily, I’m an introvert and don’t mind keeping to myself, but excessive isolation isn’t good for anybody. You start to get weirder and weirder, especially when you spend most of your time with characters like mine.

Despite the challenges, it was worth it. Panama is a veritable paradise. The ocean, the mountains, and the city are all within a day’s drive. The beauty here is lush and wild and it never ceases to blow my mind. I’ve lived here for almost ten years now. It is my home, but I don’t recommend it for everybody.

Q: You are a yogi. When did you start doing yoga? How has it changed or influenced your life?

A: I always wanted to try yoga and was envious whenever I saw people performing these beautiful asanas. Would you believe I learned yoga from the internet too? My parents were the best and supported me through years of ballet when I was young. After so much conditioning, my body is hooked on having some sort of physical discipline. Yoga is also crucial to fighting backaches and stiffness from sitting at the computer too long. Yoga has changed my life in many ways. I’m stronger both physically and mentally.

I would suggest Yoga with Adriene for beginners. She’s a total dork and so much fun. Yoga Today can take you up to a more advanced level. Their instructors have an amazing way of describing how you should be aligning every muscle, bone, and tendon in your body. I just started a new one called Yogea that is very expressive and takes you out of the usual traditional poses. It’s great to get the creativity flowing. You can find them all on YouTube or their own websites.

Read the rest of the interview here.

 

 

Creative Resistance: Why SOBSF Con is good for the “Conscious” Community

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(reblogged from Chronicles of Harriet)

Conscious 1The Black Arts Movement was the artistic branch of the Black Power movement. It was started in Harlem by writer and activist Imamu Amiri Baraka. Time magazine describes the Black Arts Movement as the “single most controversial movement in the history of African-American literature – possibly in American literature as a whole.”

Both inherently and overtly political in content, the Black Arts Movement was the only American literary movement to advance social engagement as an essential ingredient of its aesthetic. The movement broke from the immediate past of protest and petition (civil rights) literature and dashed forward toward Black Power.

SOBSF ConIn a 1968 essay, “The Black Arts Movement,” Larry Neal proclaimed Black Arts the “aesthetic and spiritual sister of the Black Power concept.” As a political phrase, Black Power had earlier been used by Richard Wright to describe the mid-1950s emergence of independent African nations. The 1960s’ use of the term originated in 1966 with Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee civil rights workers Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) and Mukasa Dada (Willie Ricks). Quickly adopted in the North, Black Power was associated with a militant advocacy of armed self-defense, separation from “racist American domination,” and pride in and assertion of the goodness and beauty of Blackness.

Creative Resistance involves a wide variety of artistic forms: music, memes, posters, banners, plays, street theater, poetry, animation, fiction, comic books, fashion, film and much more. Art adds vitality and energy to advocacy and reaches people at deeper emotional levels, conveying what cannot be said with the mere recitation of facts.

SOBSF ConArt is a tool for outreach. Inviting people to participate in art builds on issues that they care about and provides an opportunity to build relationships.

In the process of creating art there is a tremendous opportunity to build deep support for the issues the movement is working on.

Art is good for our communities and artistic collaboration is a bonding experience. We make art together, not just because of the changes it can bring to the world around us, but because of the way it changes us internally. The relationships built create community and solidarity that is essential in a successful social movement. The art that is created reaches out to people who see the protest, installation or other event. All of this adds up to empowerment of the individual, community and movement.

In this respect, art is a catalyst, on multiple levels, for change.

SOBSF ConTo be effective in our activism it is not enough to provide facts, figures and graphs and reach people in their heads. In order to change people, we have to reach them at a deeper, more emotional level.

Throughout history, the most effective political activists and revolutionaries have married the arts with campaigns for social change.

Think of the iconic photos of us being attacked by dogs and having the fire hoses turned on us; of police brutalizing and murdering us throughout our sojourn in America. These iconic images will be carried with us forever because they reached into the depths of us.

Another powerful artistic tool is music. Music draws people in and can open the door to a movement’s message. From hip-hop to jazz to soul, there is musical activism. Music is also a tool for creating solidarity and confidence as activists face difficult situations.

Read the rest of the post here.

 

Not the Hot Chick Boxed Set by N. Raines

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Not the Hot Chick: Complete Boxed Set
N. Raines
Publication date: April 26th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Contains Not the Hot Chick, Not the Stand In, Not the Friend with Benefits and Not the Placeholder

No one would call curvy Layla Messner hot. Sweet and smart, yes, but not hot. All that changes when she meets sexy bartender Cam. This bundle contains all four of parts of the Not the Hot Chick serial featuring a BBW heroine with heart and a hero with plenty of substance beneath his seductive style. Contains hot hook-ups, bitchy neighbors, ice skating blunders and—just possibly—love to last a lifetime.

This boxed set contains the complete Not the Hot Chick series.

Sign up for Nona Raines’s newsletter and get the first book (Not the Hot Chick) in the series for free!

Please sign up here: http://eepurl.com/bYePvP

Not the Hot Chick (Book 1 in the Not the Hot Chick series) Blurb:

Can she be the hot chick for just one night?

No one would call curvy Layla Messner hot. Sweet and smart, yes, but not hot. She doesn’t stand a chance with Cam, the sexy bartender with the teasing grin—especially since her neighbor Jessi has him dead in her sights. Jessi, who is every man’s centerfold fantasy. All Layla has to look forward to is another night with her trusty vibrator.

But when his hook up with Jessi tanks, Cam looks to Layla. He wants her. Here’s her chance to take what she wants and finally be the object of desire—the Hot Chick. If she says no, she may regret it forever. If she says yes, one night may not be enough.

Please note this is a serialized romance. Not the Hot Chick is Book 1 in the series.

Goodreads / Amazon / Kobo / iBooks / AllRomance

EXCERPT FROM BOOK 1:

Jessi Wallace eyed the cute bartender’s butt the way a hungry cat might eye an unsuspecting bird. She actually licked her lips. “I am so going to do him.”

Layla Messner held back a sigh, took another sip of her lemon-drop martini, and asked herself for the sixth time that night, Why am I here, again?

She should have known better than to accept Jessi’s invitation to go out tonight. They weren’t really friends, just across-the-hall neighbors in the same apartment complex that housed many of the Buff State students here in Buffalo, New York. She and Jessi would nod and smile when they passed each other, occasionally stop and chat, but they’d never partied together. So it had been quite the surprise when Jessi tapped on her door two hours ago with a smile and an invitation: “Feel like cutting loose tonight?”

Silly Layla, thinking Jessi was trying to be friendly. More likely, she just wanted a wingman—or wingwoman in this case—and had no one else to step out with.

Jessi leaned over the bar provocatively in her low-cut top, calling to the bartender and pointing to her empty glass. “Can I have another down here?”

Oh, God, she was actually batting her eyelashes. And the way she was leaning to flash her cleavage, it was a wonder her boobs didn’t fall right out onto the bar.

Layla glanced down at her own chest, pulling back her shoulders. Her boobs weren’t so bad, even if they weren’t shown off as blatantly as Jessi’s. Layla knew she had nothing to be ashamed of in that department. If anything, she’d been generously blessed.

The problem was, she was a little too blessed in other areas as well. “Curvy” would be a kind description. “Chubby” might be more to the point.

Jessi, on the other hand, had a body that was every guy’s wet dream. She had big breasts and a tiny little waist that curved out to a rounded pair of hips. The tight, short skirt she wore had every guy in the room craning his neck for a second look at her ass.

The place was pretty quiet for a Friday night. But then again, it was the weekend before spring break, and much of the college-age crowd that usually frequented the Shamrock had already left town. Layla had a four-hour drive to get to her parents’ house and was wiped from spending the day with a class of hyper first graders. Morning would be soon enough to make the trip home.

The bartender ambled down their way and gave them both a smile. “Ready for another, ladies?”

Layla’s heart warmed at the way he included her in the offer. He didn’t just ignore her, the way some guys did, to focus on her prettier companion.

Jessi smirked and tapped the rim of her glass. “I’d like another Hard Fast Screw please.” She practically purred the order for the Shamrock’s variation of a screwdriver.

“You got it.” He directed his gaze at Layla, and her heart gave a little flip. It was too dark in the bar to tell what color his eyes were, but she knew they were beautiful. Just like the rest of him. Dark hair, a buff body, and a gorgeous face. High cheekbones, a straight nose, chiseled lips. Those lips moved, but Layla was too mesmerized by his looks to pay any attention to what he was saying.

She blinked. “Uh, excuse me?”

“He asked if you want another drink.” Jessi’s cutesy moves were forgotten as she gave Layla the death stare. Don’t poach on my territory.

As if. Still, a girl could dream, couldn’t she?

Is the door locked-

 

Author Bio:

N. Raines (who also writes as Nona Raines) is a former librarian who lives in upstate New York with her many pets. She’s currently working on her next novel between walking the dog and shooing the cats off the laptop. Her erotic romances are published with The Wild Rose Press and Loose Id. Her transgender romance His Kind of Woman was nominated for the 2014 DABWAHA sponsored by the Dear Author and Smart Bitches, Trashy Books review blogs. Her most recent work is the romance novella Write to Me and the transgender romance Her Kind of Man.

Website / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Smashwords Shares 5 Ways to Succeed with Self-Publishing in 2016

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(reblogged from Inkless: A Writer’s Blog)

Self-publishing is a pretty tough game for most authors, but as the industry matures and best practices start to emerge, we’re starting to learn more about what makes a self-published title sell.

Each year, Smashwords parses its sales data to give the rest of the world a little glimpse into what works for its best-selling authors. To absolutely nobody’s surprise, the fifth annual survey revealed that romance, erotica, and young adult fiction are the top sellers for the digital self-publishing platform.

These categories are so popular, in fact, that romance titles (adult and young adult combined) make up more than seventy percent of the top 200 best-selling titles, Smashwords CEO Mark Coker said.  Seventy percent.  That’s a pretty steady paycheck for the seamstresses that have to repair all those ripped bodices.

Fantasy clocked in as the fourth most popular fiction category in 2016, which I can only assume is due to the fact that we’re the only other genre that talks about bodices a lot.  Fantasy novels made up 4.22 percent of the best sellers this year.  Meanwhile, Sci-Fi titles only scooped up a measly one percent of the marketplace.

best sellers

This may seem kind of depressing for those of us who are not big fans of the romance genre, but there are some concrete reasons why these authors have such huge success.  And, as Coker points out, it’s possible that the wild success of these authors can teach us some lessons about how they garner such legions of loyal fans.

“Romance writers are typically ahead of the curve when it comes to adopting new best practices,” he said, “and certainly this is underscored by their early adoption of series writing, free series starters and preorder usage.”

So what are some of the key tactics that best-selling writers employ, and how well do they work?

Racking up sales before release day

Preorders are especially important for boosting a book’s chances of success, the survey found.  Average earnings for books that were available for preorder were 6.7 times greater than books that only banked on a big release day.  More than half of the top 200 books in 2016 were available for pre-order.  Of the top 200 pre-order books, 78 percent were romance titles.

“Every preorder gains you incremental benefit in terms of expanded readership, and over the course of years this incremental benefit compounds upon itself like a great investment.  This is because the more readers you gain, the easier it becomes to gain even more readers because fans breed more fans through word of mouth,” said Coker.

That’s also why social media is so important.  Unsurprisingly, the top 100 authors were much more likely than others to have a good website, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account.

social media

But this may be more of a correlation-not-causation scenario.  I know plenty of authors who tweet like crazy and constantly post to their Facebook pages but remain unsuccessful – and that’s probably because they don’t know how to use social media wisely.  Spamming your Twitter followers with cringe-worthy self-promotion tactics won’t get you anywhere.

Read the rest of the post here.

 

How To Self-Publish In India With Rasana Atreya

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(reblogged from The Creative Penn)

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India is an exciting market for indie authors and today, Rasana Atreya gives an overview of the publishing landscape and outlines tips for self-publishing in India.

In the introduction, I talk about the death of Prince and the need to reflect on our mortality and what will make up our creative body of work. I mention the Tim Ferriss podcast with BJ Miller on learning how to live when faced with inevitable death, and also the interview with Austin Kleon on Unemployable podcast.

Plus my launch of Destroyer of Worlds, an ARKANE thriller, set in India; and the Smashwords indie author survey results, with a lot of great actionable tips for authors; and returning to direct sales with Selz.com. You can now buy my ebooks direct from me, the author :) I’ll blog more about selling direct in coming weeks.

This podcast is sponsored by Kobo Writing Life, which helps authors self-publish and reach readers in global markets kobo writing lifethrough the Kobo eco-system. You can also subscribe to the Kobo Writing Life podcast for interviews with successful indie authors.

rasana atreyaRasana Atreya is the bestselling author of Tell A Thousand Lies, which was also shortlisted for the 2012 Tibor Jones South Asia award. Her other works include The Temple Is Not My Father and 28 Years A Bachelor. She is also the Alliance of Independent Authors‘ India correspondent.

You can listen above or on iTunes or Stitcher or watch the video here, read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and full transcript below.

  • Why English is the unifying language in India, and the size of the English-speaking population in India.
  • On the types of books that sell in India and the focus on print rather than ebooks.
  • rasana atreya bookCover design for the Indian market.
  • Ecommerce in India and the importance of mobile.
  • The expense of print on demand in India.
  • The vanity presses that are springing up in India.
  • The age of the market, and the popularity of WhatsApp and Facebook.
  • How book marketing is done in India, and the stigma against indie authors that still exists.
  • How indie authors can try selling the Indian rights to their books.
  • Rasana’s predictions on the future of digital publishing in India.

You can find Rasana at www.RasanaAtreya.com and on Twitter @rasana_atreya

Read the transcript or listen to the podcast interview here.

 

Check This Out: A Wish After Midnight and The Door at the Crossroads

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(reblogged from El Space )

 It’s always great when friends introduce you to their friends, especially if those friends are authors. Thanks to Lyn Miller-Lachmann, I learned about Zetta Elliott, an educator with a Ph.D. in American Studies from NYU, who also is a playwright. Awesome, right? And she’s written several books for children, including Bird, her award-winning picture book. Zetta is a hybrid author—one who has been traditionally published and indie published. She’s here because of her young adult time travel series, the first two of which are A Wish After Midnight and The Door at the Crossroads.

DSC0178129775224After I chat with Zetta, I’ll fill you in on a giveaway. So for now, grab a cup of coffee or tea and hang out with us. We won’t bite. Much.

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El Space: Four quick facts about yourself?
Zetta: I’m an immigrant [from Canada]. I’m a Scorpio. I’m middle-aged (43). I’m a medieval geek.

El Space: How did you get started writing speculative fiction books for children and teens?
Zetta: I guess the seed was the fantasy fiction I read as a child—mostly British, entirely white. Ducks believe the first creature they see at birth is their mother and they pattern themselves after that creature. Well, I read so much fantasy fiction about faeries and dragons and wizards that it wasn’t hard for me to “go there” when I started writing for kids in 2000. That was my imprint and it took a long time for me to hybridize those Western conventions so that the genre worked for me and my young readers of color.

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El Space: What inspired you to write a time travel series? Which time period, if any, would you travel to if you could?
Zetta: Learning about Weeksville inspired me to write Wish and Crossroads. I was still new to Brooklyn, and when I learned about the historic free Black community—second largest in the U.S. prior to the Civil War—I knew I wanted to make that history relevant to teens. I was writing my dissertation on racial violence and also wanted young readers to know that wasn’t limited to the South, so the novels became an opportunity to talk about domestic terrorism and the NYC Draft Riots.

Weeksville1

Weeksville in Brooklyn (New York)

Life was pretty rough for women in the past, so I don’t know if I’d want to trade this era for another. I was obsessed with Ancient Egypt as a child, though, so if I had some type of perfect immunity that’s probably where I’d go.

Read the rest of the interview here.

Guest Blog: “Worldbuilding the Uncanny Valley: Walking the Line Between Real and Fantasy” By Brandon Drag

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(reblogged from MightyThorJrs)

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As part of my Guest blog series for authors and fellow bloggers I am proud to present another guest blog spot. Brandon Draga author of The Summerlark Elf, The Missing Thane’s War, and now The Council of Tymenthia (The Four Kingdoms Saga Book 3) has been kind enough to write a guest blog post for MightyThorJRS today. I am very excited and I would like to thank Brandon for the opportunity to host this Guest Blog. 

The Council of Tymenthia (The Four Kingdoms Saga Book 3) is DUE OUT 5-3-16!

So go grab a copy!

“Worldbuilding the Uncanny Valley: Walking the Line Between Real and Fantasy”

By Brandon Draga

 

Earlier today, a fellow writer friend tweeted out some inadvertent advice, stating that whenever he’s in a writing rut he has a propensity for delving into some research on his writing subject, claiming that this helps to reignite his inspirational flame. Now, while I’m a firm believer that writing techniques and rituals can be as diverse as the writers to whom they belong, I absolutely agree with my friend on this point, at least personally. In fact, over the course of writing The Council of Tymenthia I underwent several day-long research sabbaticals, looking up everything from weaponry to period-correct military slang.

Also language. I had a lot of fun researching languages.

During one such research day (read: six hour YouTube binge session), I found myself descending into the rabbit hole that is the evolution of the English language. It turns out that, in and around what would have been the Arthurian period, English sounded a whole heck of a lot like Icelandic; barely recognizable. Neat, huh?

Kinda makes you think, though, about all those portal fantasy/time travel movies and books where modern-era characters are transported back to the dark ages. I mean, aside from likely being immediately cut down by some poor dirt farmer who thought them a demon, someone speaking modern English would sound to said dirt farmer like they were speaking in tongues!

These are the things that keep me up at night, everyone.

The fact also happens to lend itself to the question of dialogue in fantasy fiction, and from there into the greater question of fantasy worldbuilding. This, in turn, leads us to right now, this blog post that you’re reading.

So it feels a lot to me like the fantasy genre as well as its readers have really reached a level of maturity where, above all else, a story’s believability must be watertight. People are simply not willing to suspend their disbelief the way they once did, or at least not in as great numbers.This can lead fantasy writers into one of two different camps of realism, and I thought it might be fun to take a look at them.

Read the rest of the post here.

 

Safe with You by Sophie Lira

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Safe With You
Sophie Lira
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: April 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Olivia Simon is starting over in the Big Easy. Her new job as a yoga instructor means she gets to pursue her passion, while giving her the motivation she needs to get back on track. But she’s scared. Really scared. Scared her abusive ex-boyfriend will find her. Scared of all things that go bump in the night… and day. She knows her ex will have a claim on her future happiness unless she can find her own peace. Which starts with Kyle.

Kyle Avery, a former college baseball player on the brink of going pro, is also starting over. His dream since Little League was shattered when a jealous rival went too far in a pre-season game. After a few surgeries, all Kyle is left with are a few rods in his leg, a rebuilt knee, and no idea who he is without baseball. But when he trades center field for a yoga mat, he finds solace in a way he never imagined. Kyle knows there’s something about Olivia. Something he needs to move forward.

But Olivia loves to run, and it’s too soon for her to be playing house. Olivia and Kyle want to invest in each other, but the secrets they’ve kept take a dangerous turn when Olivia’s past returns with a vengeance. Devastated and helpless, Olivia wonders who she can really trust, and Kyle questions if he was ever able to keep her safe.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“You’re killin’ me, Simon.” I lower the bat and look at the imaginary watch on my wrist. “I don’t have all day.”

She sticks her tongue out at me and pitches a floater. It comes toward me in slow motion with a million arrows begging me to launch it into next year. My mind switches off and instinct takes over. Before I can think, my left heel rises off the sandy dirt and I raise the bat back farther. I crush the ball so hard I almost expect the casing to fly off. The sound of contact reverberates and explodes like a strike of lightning splitting a tree. Olivia’s head arcs with the ball and follows it as it lands about ten feet beyond the right field fence.

“Nice throw!” The swing takes my breath away completely. I almost need to use the bat as a cane for support. A familiar smile flows across my face and the rush comes back as if it never left … the rush of playing and knowing this is what my life was meant for. The hole in my heart starts to close and the missing piece reappears as quickly as it went.

“Kyle!” She runs over to me with the same amount of wide-eyed astonishment I think is all over my face. “That was incredible! Your stance, your follow-through, everything was perfect. For someone who hasn’t played in a few years, you’re pretty awesome.” She sighs and the most beautiful smile stretches across her face.” (Kyle, Chapter Six)

 

Author Bio:

Sophie is represented by Julia Weber & will be publishing her first novel, SAFE WITH YOU, on 04/26/2016, by Swoon Romance

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Mr. Perfect by J.A. Huss

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Mr. Perfect
J.A. Huss
Publication date: April 27th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance

Wanting the perfect man doesn’t make me crazy. I just know what I like.

A powerful billionaire in a suit wasn’t even my first choice. Mcallister Stonewall was never on my radar, I didn’t even know he existed.

But I do now.

His hands are all over me at work. The heat of his chest pressing against my bare back as he bends me over the desk is the only thing on my mind.

He is my most forbidden desires unleashed. He is my new secret obsession. He is my Mr. Perfect.

Until the moment I realize… There’s no such thing as perfect.

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teaser

EXCERPT:

“We own most of the land in the Tech Center. My father bought up the land thirty years ago before any of this was here. And we lease it out.”

Jesus. What kind of money is that? I can’t even begin to understand it.

“Anyway,” Mac says, standing. “I’m waiting in here for a reason.”

“Is that right?” I stand up too, but my heart beats a little faster when I take him in. He’s wearing a dark gray suit today, a blue shirt that is so light it’s barely a color, and another brilliant cerulean-blue tie that makes his matching eyes shine as they stare into mine.

I don’t know why, but I step backwards. His full attention on me suddenly feels more like a force than a look. He steps forward, hands reaching for me. I bump against the wall, no escape, and then he fists the front of my blouse and rips it open, revealing my silk cami.

My mouth opens in surprise.

He rips the cami apart too. And then, with one forceful whoosh, both garments are lying in a puddle of fabric on the floor.

“What are you doing?” I yell.

The intense stare turns to a boyish smile. “I’d like you topless for breakfast. And I get to call the shots for our dates.”

“Why do I even bother with you? Just why?” I refuse to cross my arms and cover my tits. Fuck him. Just fuck him. “Every time I start to think you’re not a pig, you go and do something like this.”

“It’s fun, right?” His smile never cracks.

“No,” I say. “It’s humiliating.”

“Your tits are nice, Ellie. You should not be ashamed of them.”

“I’m not ashamed of them—”

“Good. Because I’d like to stare at them while we have coffee and discuss our date tonight.”

A knock comes from Mac’s office and I might have a panic attack that someone will come in and find me bare like this.

“Hold that thought,” Mac says, leaning down to kiss my lips. “Breakfast is here. Sit,” he says, pushing on my shoulders until I slump into the window seat again. “I’ll be right back.”

And then he enters his office, pulling our connecting door closed.

I listen to the conversation in there as I look down at my clothes. What the hell was he thinking? The cami is dust. Ripped straight down the middle. At least the silk button-up shirt is only missing all the buttons. I can probably tie it around my waist to make it out to the parking lot, but—

There’s a jingle of a cart and plates. We have… room service? What kind of company has room service?

I guess I’m not all that surprised they have it up here. We have several restaurants on campus. The Atrium has a cafeteria. Maybe this came from the cafeteria?

Mac is laughing on the other side of the door, then I hear a polite thank you just before the sound of a closing door.

The connecting door swings open again and Mac is there, a wide grin on his face. “I hope you like pancakes.”

“This is not happening.”

“Oh, this is happening, Miss Hatcher. You are sitting here.” He points to the middle of the window seat as he pushes the cart towards me.

“I have no clothes, Mac. You ripped my cami. I’m going to have to tie that over-shirt on and go home to change. In fact,” I say, reaching down to get my blouse and pull myself together, “I’m not coming back. I’m done. Just when I think you’re a human, you act like an ape.”

“Would you just relax, Ellie?” He rips the shirt from my hands, balls it up, and then tosses it in the air, where it arcs perfectly and sails into the new trashcan that matches the desk. “Three points,” he says.

“It’s like you live in your own world or something. I think it’s funny that you accused me of living in some delusional fantasy, but you, Mr. Stonewall, you’re a raving lunatic who thinks the world is his asylum.”

“I’m going to take that as a compliment. Now sit. I’ve got it all under control.”

EXTRA!!

COVER REVEAL – MR. AWESOME:

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Author Bio:

JA Huss is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty romances. She likes stories about family, loyalty, and extraordinary characters who struggle with basic human emotions while dealing with bigger than life problems. JA loves writing heroes who make you swoon, heroines who makes you jealous, and the perfect Happily Ever After ending.

You can chat with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AuthorJAHuss), Twitter (@jahuss), and her kick-ass romance blog, New Adult Addiction (www.newadultaddiction.com).

If you’re interested in getting your hands on an advanced release copy of her upcoming books, sneak peek teasers, or information on her upcoming personal appearances, you can join her newsletter list (http://eepurl.com/JVhAr) and get those details delivered right to your inbox.

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