Author Interview Winter Wolf Release

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Today is the release for WINTER WOLF, a paranormal/urban fantasy by author R.J. Blain. The cover looks amazing, and the author gave me some of the most thorough interview responses ever, so I’m thrilled! My questions are bolded, author’s responses are in regular font.

What’s the hardest part of being an author?

This is such a hard question, because all of it is challenging. When writing the draft, I want to tell a good story. When I edit, I want to turn the good story (hopefully good story…) into a great one. I want to make my characters interesting, enjoyable, and touch readers. I want people to walk away with something—even if it is amusement over some of their antics.

But a lot needs to be done to accomplish that. Winter Wolf is 124,000 words long. That is, for the curious, 686 thousand characters. It’s a staggering amount of work checking over every single one of those characters for mistakes. My advance reviewer copies had seven mistakes caught after they went out. (I might have wept and kicked my feet.)

There are more buried in those words, ones I may never catch. It is painful, spending hundreds of hours over months working on a novel for there to be errors—despite the amount of time I spend ruthlessly hunting them down.

It’s true what they say about authors being too close to their work. I often do not see many errors because I know what the words are supposed to be, not what they are. That’s why I have so many editors.

But they miss things too. Ultimately, it is my responsibility to find every mistake and fix it. It’s a pretty notable burden… but one I want to carry. I want every book I write to be better than the last one. Not everyone will like my books or my style. That’s impossible. But I want those who do like it to have something they truly enjoy, free of errors. (I chase impossible dreams.)

Can you give us a short synopsis of Winter Wolf?

I get asked this question a lot, and I keep trying to find a new, interesting way to answer it—that isn’t just copy pasting from the back of the book. It’s a bit of a game with me.In the case of Winter Wolf, I can get away with this game because it’s such a diverse novel. I like twisty, knotted intrigues and action-packed thrillers. I like stories that make readers think. I like dragging readers along for the roller coaster ride. Winter Wolf isn’t as… challenging of a novel as I normally write.

Winter Wolf is the story of a woman who is forced to turn her cowardice into courage, to turn her prejudices into supporting alliances, and heal the pain of abandonment into strong familial ties, no matter what the cost to her.

It is the story of a woman who is forced to set aside everything she values, risking it all for the chance of saving the family she had abandoned years ago.

It is the story of a wizard who must use all of her powers to try to save a race on the brink of extinction due to a plague without a cure—and live despite the fact there are those who would kill her for simply existing.

What inspired you to write this book?

Where do I begin with this? There are so many factors in what made me want to write this book. I am really interest in infectious illnesses. (I know, it’s a weird, morbid thing to be interested in…)

I love turning the mundane into the magical. I enjoy thrillers. I enjoy reading about characters like Nicole, people who are forced to find their limits and boundaries for the sake of others.

Nicole was so hard for me to write because she’s so very different from me—and I’m glad. Writing her forced me to look at the world a different way, and I really came away with a lot from the experience… even when there were times I felt hopeless about whether or not I could actually write the book. I had to lean on my editors a lot for her characterization. I also had to talk to a lot of people who share traits with her, to learn and understand what type of person she really was.

I still don’t know if I did her justice.

There are so many ‘what if’ questions I pursued in this book I’m not even sure I could pick out which one was the most important and relevant.

I came away regretting that Nicole, while an important player in the Witch & Wolf world, isn’t going to be the star of the next novel. That story belongs to someone else. That’s one thing that is hard for me about the Witch & Wolf stories—most books are from a new character’s point of view, although the other characters join forces as the story progresses.

Blood Diamond features many of the major players from both Inquisitor and Winter Wolf. I’m really excited to start working on it sometime in 2015. (I’m crossing my fingers I can have it ready for publication by November of 2015.)

My traitorous fingers doubt me, though, as they’re determined to have the release date be 2105.

How many hours per day do you spend writing?

14+ hours, 5 or 6 days a week. I will take a few days off here and there to make up for the crazy schedule. Sometimes, I will take a week or two off at one time when I need a break. Writing is hard work, and once I get involved with a novel, I don’t like stopping. I like being in the flow of a book, so days off break that flow. Sometimes I end up not taking a single day off for an entire month or two, especially if I am near deadline time.

The end result is often a short temper and tears. My friends are often very gracious, especially near the time for a new release.

Which reminds me, I need to buy them all a cake. (Because I can’t bake.)

Name your top five favourite books.

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb (I shamelessly confess to crying multiple times during this book.)

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

This is where I stopped and had a complete and total brain malfunction. Because it amuses me, I am going to write the first thing that popped into my head.

“A book about those people who did that thing.” (The book is actually called “Resenting the Hero” and the author is… Moore. Something Moore. And I can’t remember the author’s first name. I’m so sorry. But it’s a really funny, witty, exciting book!)

I’m cheating with this, and listing two complete series. I also confess math is hard… 1, 2, 3, 5… something like that.

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

The Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs

Now, as for why I love these books? The characters intrigue me—especially in the case of Fool’s Assassin. They make me laugh or cry with the characters. Most laugh, though. I’m not much of a weeper… except in the case of Fool’s Assassin.

They make me care for these characters. What else can I love more? Not much. I lovingly recommend these titles and series to fantasy lovers.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on my Requiem for the Rift King series; it is my epic fantasy series, featuring the story of Kalen, the Rift King. It is also the story of Breton, Kalen’s Guardian and adopted father. The series is the story of kingdoms at war, and a threat that can—and will—destroy them all if they can’t put their petty fighting aside. The skreed don’t care for the world of men, and in their hunger and desire to simply return home, they’ll do anything—even the genocide of an entire race.

Storm Surge, the second volume, will hopefully be released sometime in early 2015. I’m also hoping to finish The Tides of War, book three of the series, sometime in late 2015 or 2016.

There are so many novels I want to write and simply not enough time to write them all!!

About the Book

Winter Wolf Cover Art by RJ BlainTitle: Winter Wolf

Author: R.J. Blain

Genre: paranormal / supernatural suspense / thriller / murder mystery / urban fantasy

The Hunted Wizard

When Nicole dabbled in the occult, she lost it all: Her voice, her family, and her name. Now on the run from the Inquisition, she must prove to herself—and the world—that not all wizards are too dangerous to let live.

The savage murder of a bookstore employee throws Nicole into the middle of Inquisition business, like it or not. Driven by her inability to save the young man’s life, she decides to hunt the killer on her own. Using forbidden magic to investigate the past, she learns that the murderer is in fact a disease that could kill the entire werewolf race.

Forced to choose between saving lives and preserving her own, Nicole embraces the magic that sent her into exile. Without werewolves, the power of the Inquisition would dwindle, and she could live without being hunted.

Nicole’s only hope for success lies in the hands of the werewolves she hates and the Inquisition she fears, but finding someone to trust is only the beginning of her problems. There are those who want to ensure that the werewolves go extinct and that the Inquisition falls.

But, if she fails to find a cure, her family—including her twin sister—will perish…

Author Bio

RJ Blain author profile pictureRJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

When she isn’t playing pretend, she likes to think she’s a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband. She is currently on a quest for a new warrior fish.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.

Favorite Books & Series

In no particular order:

Anne McCaffrey’s Pern
Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar & Gryphon Series
Jim Butcher’s Codex Alera & The Dresden Files
Brandon Sanderson’s Elantris
Patricia Briggs’ Alpha and Omega, Dragon Bones, & The Mercy Thompson series
Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time

Links

Google+
Twitter
Facebook
rjblain.com
witchandwolf.com

Available At:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Winter-Wolf-Witch-Book-ebook/dp/B00N1BXDMW/

iTunes Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id912946393

Author Interview Loving is Good Tour

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I’m interviewing Brenda Moguez, author of new adult / sweet romance “Loving is Good”. I hope you enjoy the interview.

What’s the hardest part of being an author?

Aside from the obvious, which includes riding the query coaster, self-marketing, being less of an introvert, finding balance and maintaining harmony with the beast that drives most writers, the hardest part is seeing past the uncertainty that plagues all creatives and keeping the faith in yourself. Rejection is a harsh mistress and most of us mere mortals struggle to overcome the emotional tsunami that follows a Dear Author, no thank-you, letter.

 

Can you give us a short synopsis of Loving is Good?

Celia’s life is off track and not going according to plan. Instead of attending graduate school and living La Vida Loca, she’s back home, working as a romance advice columnist—a job she has no first hand experience for—and working part time for a family business, and dodging come-hither glances from Gabe Mercer. He is trouble with a capital T, and has reputation for collecting hearts. Celia can’t seem to resist him, especially since he has a habit of showing up wherever she is, challenging her to take a chance. Her head screams caution, but her heart is doing the happy dance, which makes her wonder if Gabe isn’t the bad boy he pretends to be. With only her heart to lose, Celia takes a gamble on love.

 

What inspired you to write this book?

The lyrics to an old Spanish love song, Volver, Volver. It means going back. The song’s essence is about a lover wanting to return to a passionate love affair after it is over, how the heart cannot stop yearning for what was lost. It’s madness to do so, but the heart doesn’t always care. Celia, the heroine of Loving is Good, came from there. I saw her sitting in front of her laptop dishing out advice to the brokenhearted when she herself was lost in in her own struggles with love and life.

How many hours per day do you spend writing?

I don’t have a specified time of day or hour goal. I strive for 1,200 + words. Since I have a day job that funds the incidentals—mortgage, utilities, and food—I tend to squeeze time in between meetings, during a lunch break, and some time after dinner I resume what was started earlier in the day.

Name your top five favorite books.

This is a surprisingly easy question for me..

Eight by Katherine Neville

Désirée by Annemarie Selinko

Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

What are you working on now?

While waiting impatiently to hear back on a completed novel riding the query coaster, I’m working on a new WIP. It’s a story about a recent college graduate, Lucia, who falls for a summer fling. She realizes on the day of her wedding to the irresistible, older, Colin Ainsworth, that all she knows about love is what she learned watching the Disney channel. She manages to get through the ceremony wondering what awaits her. After being whisked off to London and getting caught up in an international scandal she is forced to ditch her compliant nature. Discovering she’s gutsy and has opinions comes as a surprise, which transforms the young woman who struggled to say I do. But finally comprehending the true meaning of love, what it takes to overcome the tribulations, and that passions can get lost in the weight of life, nearly breaks her spirit. But being a Disney graduate of romance, she finds her way back.

That’s the story so far, but I never know how a story will unfold until I get through it.

 

What do you consider the most beautiful thing you’ve written?

I am old school and enjoy writing letters even though most are crafted on a blank Word document. I’m not sure I can pick one. I’d say it’s a toss up between three things: a goodbye letter to my father, the confession of love to the lover who never left my heart, and a book I penned last year called Nothing is Lost In Loving. Great question, by the way.

Loving is Good

perf5.000x8.000.inddTitle: Loving is Good

Author: Brenda Moguez

Genre: Sweet romance / new adult

Celia Mendoza is not living La Vida Loca. She put her graduate studies on hold after her father died. Now she dishes out advice in her e-zine column, Luna Love, Loving is Good. The problem is, she hasn’t had a second date or a kiss in over a year. Then Gabe Mercer, a modern-day Adonis, shows up, daring her to take a chance. The string of broken hearts in his wake turns Celia off, but his relentless encouragement to pursue her dream of becoming a serious journalist contradicts his reputation, making it hard to fight the pull of his topaz, come-hither eyes. He’s everything Luna Love tells her readers to take a chance on, but Celia can’t decide if a chance encounter is worth the gamble. But life has a will of its own, and hers is pushing Celia to accept the uncertainty and run towards her destiny.

Author Bio

moguez_headshotBrenda Moguez lives in San Francisco. She writes fiction with quirky, strong women, with non-formulaic endings because life isn’t always perfect. She writes by the light of the moon and between conference calls. She has aspirations for a fully staffed villa in Barcelona and funding aplenty for a room of her own. When she’s not working on a story, she writes love letters to the universe, dead poets, and Mae West. You can find her at http://www.brendamoguez.com and https://www.facebook.com/BrendaMoguez, where she explores passionate pursuits in all its forms.

Links

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Loving-Good-Luna-Brenda-Moguez-ebook/dp/B00MG7JL2I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408220319&sr=8-1&keywords=brenda+moguez

Barnes and Nobel

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/loving-is-good-brenda-moguez/1120060641?ean=2940149624850

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaMoguez

Twitter:  @BrendaMoguez

Email: brenda.moguez@gmail.com

My website:

http://www.brendamoguez.com

Promo Post She Who Fights Monsters

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About the Book

SheWhoFightsMonsters_2frontTitle: She Who Fights Monsters

Author: Kyoko M.

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance

Jordan Amador. 23. New Yorker. Waitress. Investigator for souls with unfinished business, also known as a Seer.

Michael O’Brien. 25. New Yorker. Lead guitarist. Commander of Heaven’s Army.

The dynamic supernatural duo is in the middle of trying to solve a deadly case. Someone is methodically hunting down and murdering Seers one by one. After six months with no leads on the killer, Jordan and Michael are forced to work with their worst enemy—the archdemon Belial: a self-professed Prince of Hell who is dead set on stealing Jordan for himself. However, with the archdemon’s help, they pick up on the trail of the serial killer and plan to stop him no matter what the cost.

When the shocking truth behind the murderer’s identity is revealed, Jordan begins asking herself if she is still fighting for the good guys or has she become one of the monsters she is desperately trying to stop?

Author Bio

Professional portrait of me copyKyoko M is an author, a fangirl, and an avid book reader. Her debut novel, The Black Parade, has been on Amazon’s Bestseller List at #5 in the Occult Horror category. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Lit degree from the University of Georgia, which gave her every valid excuse to devour book after book with a concentration in Greek mythology and Christian mythology. When not working feverishly on a manuscript (or two), she can be found buried under her Dashboard on Tumblr, or chatting with fellow nerds on Twitter, or curled up with a good Harry Dresden novel on a warm central Florida night. Like any author, she wants nothing more than to contribute something great to the best profession in the world, no matter how small.

The Black Parade, the first novel in the series, is free from August 22nd, the starter date of the tour.

Links

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/misskyokom

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/She-Who-Writes-Monsters/161227150647087

Tumblr: http://www.minaminokyoko.tumblr.com

Website/Blog: http://www.shewhowritesmonsters.com

Interview with Mayra Calvani

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Interview with Mayra Calvani, author of Dark Lullaby

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, and Bloomsbury Review, among many others. When she’s not writing, reading, editing or reviewing, she enjoys walking her dog, traveling, and spending time with her family. She’s currently touring the blogosphere to promote her supernatural thriller, Dark Lullaby.

Website www.MayraCalvani.com

Blog www.thedarkphantom.wordpress.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/mayra.calvani

Twitter https://twitter.com/mcalvani

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/272703.Mayra_Calvani

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Lullaby-ebook/dp/B005UI7FOG

Interview:

What is the hardest part about being an author?

As writers, we work on our own. We don’t have a boss threatening to fire us if we don’t show up every morning, so I’d say the hardest part is being disciplined and keeping focused on the work at hand and, above all, not procrastinating. I have to create all kinds of systems around me to keep myself disciplined. I’m terrible at being disciplined, but I’m pretty good at self-imposed discipline. I set an intention before each writing session, I keep 4 planners and lists, I use timers, I make people hold me accountable, I set myself deadlines and at times commit to paying people money if I don’t meet those deadlines, that sort of thing.

Can you give us the synopsis of your book?

Sure, here it is:

At a tavern one Friday night, astrophysicist Gabriel Diaz meets a mysterious young woman. Captivated by her beauty as well as her views on good and evil, he spends the next several days with her. But soon he begins to notice a strangeness in her…especially the way she seems to take pleasure in toying with his conscience.

The young woman, Kamilah, invites him to Rize, Turkey, where she claims her family owns a cottage in the woods. In spite of his heavy workload and the disturbing visions and nightmares about his sister’s baby that is due to be born soon, Gabriel agrees to go with her.

But nothing, not even the stunning beauty of the Black Sea, can disguise the horror of her nature… In a place where death dwells and illusion and reality seem as one, Gabriel must now come to terms with his own demons in order to save his sister’s unborn child, and ultimately, his own soul.

Is this part of a series or a stand alone?

It’s a stand-alone.


How many hours do you write per week?

It has taken me a long time to find my natural rhythm and to face the fact that I’m not one of those super prolific writers who can cough up a whole novel in 3 months. I’d love to be one of those! But I’m not. My inner critic is always present, agonizing over each word, each sentence. I can’t help editing as I write. So right now it takes me about two years to complete a novel. I write in the mornings. I set my timer and work in 90-minute increments. So I’ll do 90 minutes, then take a break to do some housework or run an errand, then come back and do another 90 minutes, and so on. If I’m in the zone, I’ll keep at it for 3 hours or so without stopping, but on average, I write 2-3 pages a day, or 10-15 a week.

Of course, I work on other things besides my novel. I’m currently putting together an anthology as well, so afternoons are for that, along with my freelance publicity work, which sucks up a lot of my time.

I’m always experimenting with ways to speed up my writing process and shut up my inner critic, like taking part in fast-draft workshops and Nanowrimo, but usually the end product are pages and pages that require heavy editing or that I have to delete.

What is your favorite book in the same genre as yours?

I love Come Closer, by Sara Gran, and everything by Alexandra Sokoloff.

What are you working on now? 

I’m currently working on two projects: one is a YA psychological/supernatural thriller; the other an anthology titled, Latina Authors and Their Muses, forthcoming by Twilight Times Books in the spring of 2014.

Dark Lullaby

darklullaby_facebook_webTitle: Dark Lullaby

Author: Mayra Calvani

Genre: Supernatural/psychological thriller

At a tavern one Friday night, astrophysicist Gabriel Diaz meets a mysterious young woman. Captivated by her beauty as well as her views on good and evil, he spends the next several days with her. After a while, however, he begins to notice a strangeness in her…especially the way she seems to take pleasure in toying with his conscience.

The young woman, Kamilah, invites him to Rize, Turkey, where she claims her family owns a cottage in the woods. In spite of his heavy workload and the disturbing visions and nightmares about his sister’s baby that is due to be born soon, Gabriel agrees to go with her.

But nothing, not even the stunning beauty of the Black Sea, can disguise the horror of her nature…In a place where death dwells and illusion and reality seem as one, Gabriel must now come to terms with his own demons in order to save his sister’s unborn child, and ultimately, his own soul.

Author bio

grandplacesmallA native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, and Bloomsbury Review, among many others. When she’s not writing, reading, editing or reviewing, she enjoys walking her dog, traveling, and spending time with her family. She has travelled extensively and lived in 3 continents, but now calls Belgium her home.

Visit her website at www.mayraCalvani.com. For her children’s books, visit www.MayrasSecretBookcase.com.

Links

Kindle Store: http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Lullaby-ebook/dp/B005UI7FOG

Giveaway

Mayra was kind enough to offer a copy of her non-fiction book “The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing” and a $25 Amazon Gift Card for a giveaway during the tour! Fill in the Rafflecopter form below to participate!

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Book Review The Awakening & Other Stories

Cover ArtTitle: The Awakening & Other Stories

Author: Emma Meade

Genre: Paranormal

Rating: 4 stars

The Awakening & Other Stories by Emma Meade

Put on the kettle, close the curtains and curl up by the fire. Dive into 8 short tales, each with a slice of the paranormal.

Ghost Story – Who is the shadow in the window of the abandoned house, and what or who is he waiting for?
The Awakening – It’s time for Sabrina to wake up and face the light.
End of the Line – Cassie wants to die. When midnight rolls around, she stands on the tracks waiting for the train to come.
Milsa Loris – The once magnificent kingdom of Milsa Loris comes alive one night each winter. The King’s witch is brewing up a little magic, sure to make the soup all the tastier.
The Old Vampire – Hailey spent her life dreaming of a dark prince falling in love with her. He never showed up, until now.
The Knocking – Alison’s grandfather has one eye on the next life. After all, he’s heard a lot of rapping at his door lately.
The Boy on the Beach – Kate’s grandmother warns her about the boy with the green eyes. Will she pay heed?
Snowglobes– It’s busy at Calvin’s Cabins this Christmas. Eddie and Maggie are a young couple in trouble. Not to fear, Calvin is always ready to lend a hand.

I decided to read The Awakening & Other Stories because it was a short read. I’m not usually too keen on anthologies, but I thought: what the heck. I’m glad I read this one. All the stories were short and to the point, and I could easily read through them within my breaks. They were delightful and scary, but not that scary that I had to crawl under my bed and hide. Just more like fun-scary.

Instead of giving my opinion on each story, I’m going to talk about the most memorable ones, which would be “The Awakening”, “The Old Vampire” and “End of The Line”. “The Awakening” was brilliant from start to end, and for me, the most powerful and memorable story in the book. I thought about this story for a long while after I finished reading. “The Old Vampire” was another excellent read that haunted me for long afterward. I didn’t find this one that scary while reading it, but the more I thought about it afterward, the scarier the story became. “End of the Line” was a nice thrill-ride, and probably the story that scared me the most in the entire anthology.

“The Knocking” was my least favorite. It was predictable, and the story took a lot of build up to get to the end of what was basically, a very simple story.

I like the author’s creativity and writing style. She has a very to-the-point writing style, and that’s always enjoyable in short stories. If she has another anthology coming out, I will definitely pick it up since I very much enjoyed this one.

Author Bio

Author PicEmma Meade lives in rainy Ireland. She loves vampires, slayers, witches, ghosts, aliens & shadow men (or at least the youngest of the Shadow Men), and regular people who live extraordinary lives (think Slayerettes and you’re on the right track).

Books, DVDS & TV show boxsets take up lots of space in her home, and she collects all the Point Horror books she can get her hands on.

Writing supernatural stories and watching marathon re-runs of Buffy are some of her favourite ways of escaping reality.

Connect with Emma

Blog: Emma’s Ramblings on Supernatural Fiction emmameade.com

Website: emmameadebooks

Twitter

Goodreads

Facebook

Amazon

Buy Links

Amazon.com

Amazon.uk

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

iTunes

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