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Interview with author JA Armitage #DarkLegends

 

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Two of Clubs by J.A. Armitage

@armitageauthor

Award-Winning and Int’l Bestselling Author

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Fifty-two weeks, four royal families, one war.

Week one – January 1st – January 7th

Rose (The Two of Clubs) is the youngest of all the Royals of Vanatus, and she has a lot to prove. Born a princess, but with the heart of a warrior, she struggles to keep her two lives separate. By day, a perfect princess, but in the dark of night, she slips out to practice being all she ever wanted to be, a warrior like her brothers. When a dragon kidnaps some children from the royal castle, she must act quickly, but the snap decision sets off a chain of events that lead to the first war in the history of Vanatus, spelling disaster for both her and her family.

Follow the lives and loves of the fifty-two members of The Houses of Club, Heart, Diamond and Spade in real time as they struggle to maintain peace in the world of Vanatus.

This is a New Adult fantasy series set over the course of one whole year. This particular book is the first in the series and is set over the first week from New Year’s Day to 7th January from the eyes of Rose Club. Each book in the series will be shown through the eyes of a different character, all within the world of Vanatus. Each book can be read as a standalone book (no cliffhangers), but the overall arc of the war will play in the background throughout.

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J.A. Armitage

Featured Book: Two of Clubs

Hi, I’m so excited to be amongst some amazing authors in this box set. It’s like finding myself at a party with Tori Amos providing the music, Jamie Oliver cooking the food, Stephen Fry sat at one side and Jack Black on the other.

How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing? I first hit the publish button in January 2014 but I’d spent a whole year writing my first book before that. Nowadays I write much more quickly but back then it was a slow process. It probably didn’t help that I was single parenting two very young children and being a surrogate for a friend. It was a lonely time so I wrote when the kids went to bed. My life is pretty great now and I’ve brought my writing with me into the good times.

How did you come up with this storyline? I’ve always loved fantasy so it was a no brainer that I’d write fantasy sooner or later. This particular story came to me as more of a concept than a story later. It occurred to me that there are 52 weeks in a year and 52 cards in a pack. One card for each week. I then thought that it would be pretty cool to write a story about the cards. In my book the cards are Royals. This book follows the Two of Clubs as she accidentally starts a war between the four ruling families, The Clubs, The Hearts, The Diamonds and The Spades. Each book is written as a different member of each family. Each book is a stand alone but they follow the arc of the war as it unfolds. Each book has seven chapters – one for each day of the week. Eventually, I hope to have 365 chapters over 52 books!

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing? I love writing. I wasn’t much of a writer as a child but I was a voracious reader. I read to escape reality. I write for the same reason but I get to chose what direction the characters go in. The worst part for me is the lack of time. I want to write more and more and more!

What inspires you to write? Nothing inspires me to write as such. I just have stories rattling around in my head all the time, fighting to get out!

How did you conduct your research for The Two of Clubs (War and Suits book1)? 30 years of reading other author’s work. As it’s a fantasy, I’ve made up a lot of stuff. You’ll meet new creatures and new food and new customs amongst other things.

What are 3 of your favorite quotes from The Two of Club? Thinking about it…

This is my favourite bit: ~ “She’s a Heart!” I stated the obvious, knowing that Tarragon was fully aware that she was a Heart, and that was more than likely the reason he’d bedded her in the first place. ~ “Isn’t this whole party thing to get the clans together so we can cooperate and live in a peaceful land? This is why we all come together at this time of year.” He gave that leisurely grin that women of all races seemed to fall for. It wasn’t going to work on me, though. I was mad! ~ “Yes, but I don’t think that you are supposed to come together quite so literally!” “Or quite so many times,” grinned Tarragon.

More Favorites from Two of Clubs: The Heart District is awesome in a steampunky kind of way – I’m not saying any more – You’ll just have to read it.

What would your friends say is your best quality? I don’t give up. Actually, that’s what I say my best quality is. My friends would probably say my best quality is bringing them cake and wine! (If you can call that a quality!)

Are reader reviews important to you? My reviews keep me going. It’s amazing just how much some nice words from a complete stranger can pick me up for the rest of the day. They inspire me to keep going.

What do you do when you don’t write? I’m a graphic designer and wedding photographer as well as a mother. I also renovate houses. My favourite hobby is sleep lol!

Tell us about your other books? I have a Paranormal Romance series called Guardians of The Light which begins with a girl in a locked room. Her biggest problem isn’t the door, it’s what lies beyond. Talking of locked doors, my next series (The Labyrinthians) features plenty of them in the form of an underground maze with danger lurking around every corner. Finally, I’ve started a Cozy Mystery series (Murder at The Bite Cafe) which I hope to write book 2 in next year once I’ve written the first twelve of The Clubs stories.

If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know what would it be? I love getting emails oh and I’ve crush on Jack Black…shhh, don’t tell everyone! Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy the book. If you sign up to my mailing list, I’ll let you know about an exclusive competition I’ll be running throughout the whole series of War and Suits books. author-bio1 j-armitage1

Born in a small town, J. Armitage longed for adventure and travel. Age 20 she moved to Dublin, then to San Diego, then Sydney and back to California where she did a brief stint working at Universal Studios being a minder to Sponge Bob.

Once back in Britain she got married, had babies and decided to write about the adventure she was now missing out on. She works full time, is a mum to three kids and has had a surrogate baby. She has skydived twice (and survived), climbed Kilimanjaro and hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. She has also worked as a professional clown and banana picker amongst other jobs. Somehow she finds time to write. J. Amitage’s second book, Infinite Spring, was nominated for a iFestival of Reading Award. Socail Links.jpg

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Interview with author Kevin McLaughlin #DarkLegends

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By Darkness Revealed by Kevin McLaughlin

@KOMcLaughlin

Award-Winning and Int’l Bestselling Author

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Ryan Blackwell thought to escape his magic by burying himself in the military college at Northshield, Vermont.

But Northshield University has a secret: a nexus of magical power that people will kill to possess.

Hiding his power becomes impossible. Instead, he finds himself in the midst of a deeper and more dangerous sorcery than he has ever encountered before.

Things spiral out of control, and soon only Ryan’s wit, will, and the talent he once hoped to leave behind stand between a nightmarish creature and everything he cares for.

There is more to Ryan than meets the eye. But even with the powers he controls, can he stand against this darkness, or will it swallow him whole?

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Kevin McLaughlin

Featured Book: By Darkness Revealed

Hi and hello! Very excited to be here with you today. For those who don’t know me yet, I’m a Boston writer of science fiction and fantasy. I’m an amateur astrophysicist and play with swords in my spare time as well, so my hobbies line up really well with my line of work. When I’m not hitting friends with sticks, I might also be sailing. Or writing. More often the latter than the former, but I enjoy both.

How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing?

I came by writing naturally: my mother made me do it. No, not quite! As a kid I used to fall asleep listening to my mom writing fiction at her typewriter, tack-tack-tacking away while listening to some movie soundtrack or another. Taking up the craft was so natural that I wrote my first short story at age 7. It took second place in a local writing competition. I’ve pretty much been involved in telling stories in one format or another ever since.

How did you come up with this storyline?

By Darkness Revealed is close to my heart, because it’s personal. I went to Norwich University as a cadet – that’s the well I drew from to paint a good picture of cadet life for the protagonist. Obviously the ‘Northshield University’ in the story is a fictional place, but much of the feel I captured in the story was drawn from the real college.

As for the storyline itself?

Again, a lot of it is drawn from reality. No, people were not actually slinging bolts of magical energy around campus (not that I was aware of, anyway!), but the real world Norwich is an unusual place with all sorts of magical legends and tales.

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?

For me the best part is telling the story, hands down. When I get into a really good flow state, I might be typing as much as three thousand words an hour. Just letting the story spill forth onto the screen. Those moments are a bit like singing, or dancing, or sailing, or martial arts forms… It’s like meditation where the mind is active and burning at full speed. Where you have complete focus on the task and everything is moving in synchronicity.

The worst part?

Edits. We hates them, my precious. When I’m done telling the story, I am *done* telling the story. I don’t really want to read it over for errors and nit-picking bits. I do, of course. And I have a great editor who finds what I miss. But this is my least favorite part.

What inspires you to write?

I like telling stories. I really like telling stories for a living. I really, REALLY like running my own business telling stories for a living. There’s no other career out there which I get as much satisfaction from, where I feel so complete working. If I wasn’t writing fiction, perhaps I’d be making up stories for film or for video games or something else entirely… For me the telling of exciting stories is more central than the medium I use.

How did you conduct your research for By Darkness Revealed?

I cheated. I do this often. Writers have two choices when it comes to research. They can set a story someplace they have never been, in a land or culture they don’t know at all – and then have to research the heck out of it. Or we can write a story set someplace we either know really well, or which we are making up entirely. Or both. For this book I did both. I set the book at a fictional university in a fictional town, and then painted the fictional place with real-world experiences from a similar place. So, I cheated. No research. Zip. This is how I write most of my books, actually.

What is your favorite quotes from By Darkness Revealed?

One of my favorite elements created just for By Darkness Revealed is Kittybreeze. She’s a little air spirit with very feline traits. When I was young, someone wrote a wonderful short story for Dragon Magazine that I adored about an old wind mage who was looking for an apprentice. The girl – who ended up getting the job – was overjoyed by the cute “puppy breeze” that the air mage had as a pet/servant. The boy scoffed, saying that must be the least of the spirits the master controlled. The master replied that sometimes you need to measure worth not in terms of power, but instead with regard to faithfulness, trust, and long years of loyal service. I loved that story. Still do. Kittybreeze is something of an homage to that author. (I just looked up the piece. It was “Master of the Winds” by Sharon Lee, back in Dragon Magazine #84.)

What would your friends say is your best quality?

I would not presume to ask. I’m rather blessed with a few very good friends. I like to think that I add as much value to their lives as they do to mine. Being a friend is a give and take sort of thing.

Are reader reviews important to you?

Is this a trick question? *chuckle* If I say no, then I encourage no one to ever review me. If I say yes, then I am paying too much attention to them… I read every review of every book I have out. I listen for comments about what people liked, and what they did not. I strive to use my reviews as a tool to grow and learn from. I do not generally respond to reviews directly, but rest assured I read them all. Even the harsh ones! Because there is certainly something to learn there as well, even if the lesson was simply that *that* book did not reach *that* reader in a pleasing manner. As writers, when we stop learning and growing and improving, it’s time to hang up the keyboard. Reviews are one such tool for growth.

What do you do when you don’t write?

What is this “don’t write” thing of which you speak? *laugh* I write almost every day. I’ll cross half a million words of new fiction this year. A little secret? (Whispers:) I’m shooting for a million next year! I love taking long walks through Boston with my fiancee as well. It’s not unusual for us to walk five miles on a nice day, sometimes as much as ten. Just exploring, seeing the city, the people, the places. Boston is always in a constant process of endless change. It’s fascinating. I fight with swords – steel and rattan alike. In armor, thanks. It’s my current martial art; I’ve done a few other martial arts in the past, but lately I am finding it harder to keep even this one up. I spend time with my children, who are growing bigger and older each year. I want to make as many memories with them as I can, so I will have things to cherish as they outgrow their youth, although hopefully not their childhood.

Tell us about your other books?

The Blackwell Magic books are six titles so far. There may be more books about Ryan Blackwell coming in the future, but for now I think the series may rest a bit. I’ve also written three novellas called in a mini-series called “Raven’s Heart” set in the same universe. I have the rough outline of an epic fantasy series as well. If it comes to be, then it will very much interest Blackwell fans.

I’ve also written a few science fiction books – four so far in the “Adventures of the Starship Satori” series, and two in the “Accord” series – "Accord of Honor" and "Accord of Mars”. I tend to write science fiction set in the near future, using technology and society just beyond where we are today. “Over the Moon” is a science fiction romance which could take place just five years or so from now. Perhaps ten.

If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know what would it be?

C.S. Lewis once said “Since it is so likely that (children) will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.” I believe that same sentiment applies equally to grownups. We hear so much about the darkness of the world, these days. We read about the cruel. We see videos of the unjust. We are deluged with stories of the most horrific elements of human nature. But that is *not* all that humanity is and can be. I write stories about people who have failings, and make mistakes. Yet at the end of the day they strive to overcome those things and act in a heroic manner. To show the best part of what it is to be human. My heroes are there to shine light on our better natures, and to give us all hope that we can be better than we are.

Thanks for having me! This has been fun. I hope readers enjoy the boxed set enormously. If anyone has questions about my work, please do drop me a message via email. I don’t always answer right away, but I *do* answer every fan email that I get personally. (Kevins.studio@gmail.com) Thank you for believing in us enough to stick with this whole interview! Above all else, thank you for reading. At the end of the day, readers are why we write. *fini* author-bio1 kevin-mclaughlin1

When not practicing hobbies which include sailing, constructing medieval armor, and swinging swords at his friends, Kevin McLaughlin can usually be found in his Boston home. Kevin’s award-winning short fiction is now available in digital form at all major ebook retailers. His urban fantasies “By Darkness Revealed” and “Ashes Ascendant” are available in ebook and print. His latest stories, the “Adventures of the Starship Satori" and "Accord" science fiction novels are ongoing.

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Interview with Author Monica Corwin #DarkLegends

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Soulless by Monica Corwin

@Monica_Corwin

Award-Winning and Int’l Bestselling Author

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In the late 21st century, scientists created a serum that gave every person nine lives, also known as souls. Flush with expendable life, Earth collapsed into war and anarchy, leaving the Catholic Church to step in and take control. In a world where the stealing of souls is big business, it takes people like Constance Grace, detective in the Soul Theft Division, to hunt the criminals down and strip them of their remaining souls.

When social-climbing con man, Noah Hannock, plunks himself on the church’s radar, he becomes Constance’s problem. With a brand new partner, Mikon Cross and seven of her nine given souls remaining, Connie has to enter high society under a too-familiar alias to tempt Noah into her web.

While the chemistry between Connie and Mikon is scorching hot, the reality is they don’t trust each other. Each with their own secrets to protect, the hunt for Noah Hannock threatens them both. The only way they can survive is if they learn to lay themselves, heart and souls, on the line for each other.

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Monica Corwin

Featured Book: Soulless

Hello everyone, I’m so thrilled to be here. I can’t wait to tell you about Soulless, which was previously published as Soulless. If I get too excited and ramble please feel free to direct me back to the questions.

Hey, Monica! How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing? I started writing when I was a little girl but didn’t start actively writing looking to publish until my early 20’s. Almost six years now.

How did you come up with this storyline? Well, like a lot of my stories I get the main idea from a dream. But, it was after I watched a movie about time…and how people’s timers were on their arms. That gave me the idea for the souls to add into the world I had already built around the dream.

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing? The best is interacting with readers. I love hearing about books and how much they loved my work. Most of the time I assume I write books and no one ever reads them. It’s nice when someone proves me wrong. The worst aspect is marketing. It’s not something I have gotten figured out. It doesn’t help that I’m awkward as hell though.

What inspires you to write? Lots of things can inspire me to write. Most of the time is a book, or movie, or watching a show about a character who has reaching their goals…it makes me want to push toward my own.

How did you conduct your research for Soulless? I mostly had to do a lot of research on the Catholic Church which was both frightening and fascinating.

What are 3 of your favorite quotes from Soulless? ~ “He watched as she pulled her unruly mane up into a messy bun on top of her head. Every time he saw her do it, he couldn’t help but think it was a move specifically designed by women to turn men on.” ~ “I’m going to pout now because I wasted a perfectly beautiful dress on such a craptastic night…” ~ “If heaven and hell could merge it would live in such a moment."

What would your friends say is your best quality? Oh man…probably my loyalty. I am devoted to those I care about and would give them anything in my power, including a kidney, to help them.

Are reader reviews important to you? Um…I will say they aren’t important to ME but they are important. I think when a book is done it is no longer the writer’s…it belongs to the reader, as do reviews. Those reviews aren’t for me, or about me, they are for the reader.

What do you do when you don’t write? Uh read, a lot. I also fix typewriters. I know, I’m a dork.

Tell us about your other books? I write mainly paranormal romance with strong heroines and unique worlds. My other series, Revelations, centers around female four horseman of the apocalypse.

If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know what would it be? I adore you. Even if you hate my work I thank you for giving that time to read it. Thank you for giving it, and me, a chance.

Thank you so much for having me and listening to me ramble. XOXO Monica

author-bio1 blue_logotrans1 Monica Corwin is a writer attempting to make romance accessible to everyone, no matter their preferences. As a Northern Ohioan, Monica enjoys snow drifts, three seasons of weather, and a dislike of Michigan, despite her complete disinterest in football. When not writing Monica spends time with her daughter and ever growing collection of tomes about King Arthur.

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Be a LEGEND. Get your copy now!

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An Interview with Emma Nichols #DarkLegends

320b1-14424914_1738835249713749_1093634480769649466_o1by Rebecca Hamilton, T.F. Walsh, Monica Corwin, J.L. Weil, Laxmi Hariharan, JA Culican, Muffy Wilson, GK DeRosa, Marilyn Peake, Kevin McLaughlin, Carissa Ann Lynch, Vivienne Savage, Anna Hub, HJ Lawson, Emma Nichols, Shelley Munro, J.A.Armitage, Leilani Love, Demelza Carlton, Xyla Turner, D.S. Murphy, J.T. Williams

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This Collection is packed with more than 20 full-length Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reads from New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors!

Don’t miss this collection of more than twenty unique twists in paranormal romance and urban fantasy, providing over one million words of supernatural suspense that will transport you to new worlds with smoking hot action and heart-throttling adventure!

The DARK LEGENDS boxed set includes: Mermaids, Sirens, Shifters, Vampires, Dragons, Sorcerers, Warriors, Angels, Faeries, Demons, Witches, Psychics, Ghosts, Mythology, Folk Tales, Legends, Dark Magic, Time Travel, and More!

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Rebecca Hamilton T.F. Walsh with Demon’s Mark Monica Corwin with Soulless J.L. Weil with White Raven Laxmi Hariharan with Redemption JA Culican with The Keeper of Dragons, The Prince Returns Muffy Wilson and The Para-Portage of Emily GK DeRosa with Wilder: The Guardian Series Marilyn Peake with Shade Kevin McLaughlin with By Darkness Revealed Carissa Ann Lynch with Midnight Moss Vivienne Savage with Making Waves Anna Hub with Beyond the Shadows HJ Lawson with New Order Emma Nichols with Blood Moon Shelley Munro with Claimed & Seduced J.A.Armitage with Two of Clubs Leilani Love with Violca’s Dragon Demelza Carlton with Ocean’s Gift Xyla Turner with Broken Treaty D.S. Murphy with Scarlet Thread J.T. Williams with Winemaker of the North

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Blood Moon by Emma Nichols

@EmmasErotica

Award-Winning and Int’l Bestselling Author

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Autumn and her boyfriend were on the outs. After six months together, he’d decided they weren’t compatible. Determined to prove him wrong, she agrees to go hiking one October weekend. While she pictured a romantic stroll around the lake, he booked them a grueling weekend in Yellowstone, where he promptly humiliated her, dumped her, and left her all alone in the wilderness. Yet again, she’d fallen for a guy who treated her like a project. All she wanted was love and acceptance. By the time Autumn dried her tears, snowflakes covered the trail, darkness had fallen, and her demise appeared imminent.

Ronan Cormac had some decisions to make. Though he’d become one of the most sought after agents in Hollywood, years of superficial relationships had worn him down, making him long for a meaningful connection. In other words, the wolf shifter was ready for a mate and LA made it impossible for him to find one. When his sister called him home for a family emergency, Ronan rushed back to Yellowstone. In order to save the Druids, his pack, he’d have to find a mate and become the Alpha before the Blood Moon.

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Emma Nichols

Featured Book: Blood Moon

Hullo! Care for a spot of tea? Sorry, I’ve been watching a lot of Penny Dreadful on Netflix in preparation for my next series. Okay. Never mind. I watch it because it’s dark and different and every once in awhile I need some downtime.

How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing?

Well, I first published in June of 2013. Inspired by the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, I wrote the naughtiest story I could think up. Sin at Sea spawned The Sinful Series, and I was hooked on the whole process. How did you come up with this storyline? While scrolling through Facebook one day, there was a video about wolves returning to Yellowstone. The wheels started turning. What if they weren’t really wolves, but wolf shifters who saved the park? The Druids were born. What are the best and the worst aspects of writing? I love coming up with the story ideas. The hardest part is working through all the plot holes to make the story work.

What inspires you to write?

I have to. Seriously. If I take too much time off from writing, I feel it. Writing keeps me balanced. It has become part of my identity. Some people exercise, I write. If I didn’t write, I’d eat more. No one wants that.

How did you conduct your research for Blood Moon?

I watched videos, I surfed the net. Good times. What would your friends say is your best quality? My sense of adventure. Okay…I love to travel. Is that the same thing?

Are reader reviews important to you?

Reviews are everything. I’m lucky to have built a really wonderful tribe named Emma’s Elite. I share a FREE book every week. They read and review. I recently published a book they helped create through a series of polls.

What do you do when you don’t write?

I’m all about some travel. I prefer cruises, which is why my first book was set on a cruise ship and the rest of the series were all destination romances. In fact, I’m eyeing a 10-day cruise in May.

Tell us about your other books.

As of today, I have four series and five standalones. They’re a variety of genres, like romantic comedy, romantic suspense, paranormal, and contemporary romance. The settings vary, although most of my recent stuff is set in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I live, and the surrounding areas. I write about whatever interests me at the time and try to create characters readers can relate to.

If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know, what would it be?

Chocolate should be a food group. White chocolate is blasphemy. My life should have more wine in it. Thank you for hanging out with me today. I usually have these conversations over sushi, so I’m going to go get some now. No reason for both of us to miss out. Have a wonderful day! author-bio1 emma1

What made her decide to be an romance author?

Simple. How else was she going to parlay her two favorite past times into a career? Emma is single and loving it. Like her first character, Alysin, Sin for short, she doesn’t believe in settling or in settling down. She loves to indulge in her passions whenever the mood strikes and enjoys keeping all of life’s cliche moments spicy.

Known for her sense of humor, Emma surrounds herself with friends whose antics often become the source of book fodder. Her ideal situation would be to explore the Caribbean while writing. She pursues that dream daily.

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Interview with author Anna Hub #DarkLegends

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Anna Hub

Featured Book: Beyond the Shadows

Hello readers! I’m a paranormal thriller author from Perth, Western Australia (yes, I have a funny accent) and I’m so excited to be involved in the Dark Legends boxed set. There are so many amazing authors in this project, I can’t wait to unleash it upon the world!

Welcome, Anna! How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing? When I was a child I wanted to be an author, but as I grew up society somehow managed to convince me it wasn’t a good career choice. So when I left high-school, I studied nursing instead but as soon as I started working in that field, a deep sense of dissatisfaction stirred in me. Something was missing and that sense of being lost led me to my first novel. The more I wrote, the happier I became and I haven’t looked back since. Now my motto is: if you can’t do it with passion, don’t do it at all!

How did you come up with this story line? Shadows are constantly used to represent fear of the unknown in an audience, whether it be via movies, music or performance. I felt drawn to them because they can evoke such powerful emotions. I wanted to work on something dark and mysterious but not just to scare, rather to use as a contrast for the light. I thought, what if there was a good reason to fear your own shadow? What if it was the gateway to a sinister new world? The idea would leave my protagonist completely powerless, because no matter how fast she ran or how hard she tried to escape it, her shadow would always be one step behind her. I wanted to take her to the very edge of her survival ability, then give her the strength to overcome it. Because that’s what we all do in life, we fight to survive the bad things that happen to us.

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing? Writing a book is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and that never seems to change, whether it’s my first or my sixth novel. Because every book is different and they can’t be written the same way. Some days it really does feel as though every minute is just one tiny step in an impossible journey. But although it can be torturous, that is exactly the same thing that makes it so incredibly rewarding! It’s not worth winning if you don’t have to fight for it. All the frustration, long nights and aching neck muscles make the words ‘The End’ feel like such a victory. It’s within the struggle that there’s glory!

What inspires you to write? I’ve always been in love with dark concepts of ghosts, witches, magic and demons. I want to believe the supernatural exists in our world, even though we can’t see it. Writing books is the best way for me to find myself in their world. It truly is like living multiple lives at once. And I find the more I write, the more I learn about myself. It’s a way to digest the things that are happening in my life. Things that make me happy, things that break my heart and things that inspire me to be a better person.

How did you conduct your research for Beyond the Shadows? I had so much fun researching for Beyond the Shadows! I used a combination of Google searches and library books. My favourite was an SAS survival guide. So if the zombie apocalypse comes, you want to be with me. I know all about how to find food in the wilderness!

What is your favourite quote from Beyond the Shadows? “You spend so long fearing it,” his gaze lingered on his shadow, “but everything here is opposite. The very thing that brought you nightmares can be the thing you hope for.”

What would your friends say is your best quality? I’m a good listener and a loyal friend. Once you’ve got me, you’ve got me for life :)

Are reader reviews important to you? Reader reviews are so important to me. When you think about it, creative jobs are one of the few career choices where you don’t have a boss telling you how well you’re performing. I rely on readers to be honest in their feedback because it helps me learn and grow as a writer.

What do you do when you don’t write? I love picnics with my boyfriend, BBQs with friends and we have the most beautiful beaches in Western Australia so I love being there too. I also love love love yoga. It’s been a part of my life for many years now and I find it keeps me balanced both in mind and body. And of course, I love reading in the bath!

Tell us about your other books? Beyond the Shadows is the first book in a four part series, The Shadow Series. I also have a standalone paranormal thriller about ghosts, called The Ninth Hunter. And at the moment, I’m working on a YA novel about grim reapers.

One thing you’re sure to find in all my books is a unique take on mythology or a completely new concept all together. I love to explore uncharted ideas, although it can be torturous to edit, it’s totally worth it. Readers often comment on the depth of imagination that goes into my world building, and it’s so much fun to write!

If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know what would it be? I already mentioned this in one of my earlier answers but I love to preach passion. I live my life by this concept but I think we should all find something we can fall madly in love with. Whether it be cooking, sport, reading, painting, whatever! Find something that makes your heart sing and give time to it. The riches of happiness are far greater than anything else.

I absolutely love meeting new readers and fans of the fantasy/paranormal genres so we can share book recommendations. So don’t be shy, come and find me through the social media links!

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Anna Hub is a paranormal/thriller author from Perth, Western Australia. She qualified as a nurse in her early twenties but in 2007, decided to chase her childhood dream of becoming an author instead. Since then, she has surrendered her heart and soul to writing. Although terrified of horror movies, Anna loves to write on the dark side and explore uncharted mythologies. She believes our imaginations are infinite and inside the pages of a book, there is no limit, no exact destination and our minds are free to exist in many worlds.

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Interview with Leilani Love #DarkLegends #99cents

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Leilani Love

Featured Book: Violca’s Dragon

Hello everyone. Nice to meet you.

Hello, Leilani! How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing? I’ve been writing for about seven years. I moved to a very small town in Oregon. I had enough time to start reading again and one day…started writing

How did you come up with this storyline? My witches are born from my dreams while my storyline came from research on dragons.

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing? The worst part of writing is editing. Not my strong suit. I wish you just wrote your rough draft and it was done and magically edited itself. Favorite part of writing is coming up with my characters and my storyline. I fall in love with all my characters.

What inspires you to write? The voices in my head of course. Just kidding, there is something that makes me feel complete when I write. My imagination has always been over active so now it has an outlet.

How did you conduct your research for Violca’s Dragon? I researched dragons. The dragons I went back and forth on and looked up different myths. I end up settling on the Greek’s version of dragons. What would happen if the God’s didn’t kill the dragons after they helped killed the Titans? What reason would they have to spare their lives? And if the Gods did keep them around…would they let them stay as big and powerful?

What are 3 of your favorite quotes from Violca’s Dragon?

Chase saw a flash of hurt in her eyes and he stepped in front of her, cupping her cheek, making sure she looked at him when he answered, “I kissed you because there was no way I could be near you and not.”

Chase knew that smiling at her right now would not help him, nor would telling her she looked beautiful when she was angry.

Chase smirked, looking down and she noticed a small tent forming under the blanket. Violca felt her cheeks heating up, and clearing her throat, she tried to hide her embarrassment when he announced, “As you can see I’m already up. But if you’d like, I’ll join you downstairs in a few minutes.”

More Favorites from Violca’s Dragon: Fun scene between Chase and one of his best friends: Chase headed over to his bag, and grabbing a shirt, pulled it over his head. “Put your shirt on Scott, before you scare the kids.” Scott chuckled, flexing. “You’re just worried that Violca will have a hard time keeping her hands off the guns.” Chase snorted. “Guns, really?”

What would your friends say is your best quality? Sarcasm and shenanigans of course.

Are reader reviews important to you? Of course. Writing for the most part is very solitary and you wonder if anyone is going to read your book, let alone like it. Reviews and messages from people who enjoyed my book make my day and encourage me to keep going.

What do you do when you don’t write? I have two boys that keep me very busy and a day job. I also read and love to go hiking.

Tell us about your other books? The other books I have written are part of the same series. Showing you more of this world and other characters that lives all tie together in some way.

Thank you guys for taking the time to get to know me a little better. I hope you guys all have a wonderful day!

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Leilani Love is a proud mother of two very active boys. She loves traveling to new places and meeting new people wherever she goes. Thus far, Leilani has visited Paris, DenBosch and Amsterdam and hopes to one day return. On her next trip she hopes to be able to make stops in Scotland and Italy. Currently residing in California, she has also lived in Hawaii, Florida, Alaska, Virginia, Texas, Washington and Oregon. She loves to read books and has a passion for various genres. Her love affair with dragons began when she was young and she still dreams of having her own dragon and Black Panther. For now, she is content to write about them in her books.

leilani-kassandraswolf3001

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Interview with author H. J. Lawson #DarkLegends #vampire

 


 H.J. Lawson

Featured Book: New Order

Hello…

Hello, Hayley, welcome. So happy to have you here today, so let’s get started. How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing?
I’ve been writing for two and a half years. I had a story in my head and just couldn’t get it out of my head. Since that day I’ve had more ideas everyday.

How did you come up with this storyline? 
I liked the idea of a new twist on a vampire story, one in which the vampires aren’t the really enemy, but the government is. 

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing? 
Best is getting lost in a world, researching new ideas. Worst is all the ideas! I really have too many, I could write a new book every day if I had time.

What inspires you to write?
Readers, I love reading reviews and reading how they enjoyed the adventure that I took them on.

How did you conduct your research for New Order?
I research locations, characters, and vampires. 

What would your friends say is your best quality?
That I never give up.

Are reader reviews important to you?
That’s why writers write, to entertainment readers.

What do you do when you don’t write?
I work as a designer, and in my free time  hang out with family and like watching movies.
Tell us about your other books? I’ve got a fun adventure time travel series, science fiction, thriller, I have a book for everyone.

If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know what would it be?
I’m hoping one day my dreams will come true and I will be a full time author living in Spain, enjoying time with my family.

Thank you so much for sharing a little piece of yourself with our readers and fans. We loved having you here today.
Happy reading.
Thank you
Hayley

 

 
H;J. Lawson is an English author who currently resides in New York. When she’s not writing, she spends her time watching movies and hanging out with her family. She is the author of the following young adult books: The War Kids Series and The Sanction Series.

 


 

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The Grand Gesture in Romance Novels

It’s my pleasure to welcome Ines Johnson today. She’s here to talk about her new release Pumpkin, a Cindermama story.

Ines writes books for strong women who suck at love. If you rocked out to the twisted triangle of Jem, Jericha, and Rio as a girl; if you were slayed by vampires with souls alongside Buffy; if you need your scandalous fix from Olivia Pope each week, then you’ll love her books!

Aside from being a writer, professional reader, and teacher, Ines is a very bad Buddhist. She sits in sangha each week, and while others are meditating and getting their zen on, she’s contemplating how to use the teachings to strengthen her plots and character motivations.

Ines lives outside Washington, DC with her two little sidekicks who are growing up way too fast.

Now it’s on to The Grand Gesture…

Traditionally the Grand Gesture is known to be a common plotting point in romance stories where the hero does something bold or gives up something big in order to show the heroine that his love is true.

In Pride and Prejudice, Darcy puts aside his contempt of Wickham to help save Lydia’s reputation. This grand gesture is what finally convinces Elizabeth to take his hand.

In Twilight, Edward’s grand gesture, the thing that shows his true love of Bella, is when he sucks the poison out of her wrist without killing her.

For more on grand gestures, we’ll turn to the hero of my latest release, Pumpkin: a Cindermama story. This romance is a fairytale retelling of -you guessed it- the Cinderella story.

EXCERPT

The Mistress of Ceremonies hurried through her introductions and then the microphone was in Manny’s hand, but he didn’t take out the notes of his prepared speech.

Pumpkin"Many of you knew my mother," he began. There was a murmur of nostalgic assent throughout the crowd.

"You may not know that after her diagnosis, she spent most of her days watching romantic comedies. She believed she could laugh the illness out of her body. Her favorite moments in these films were something called the Grand Gesture. That scene just after all hope is lost because one of the lovers, normally the guy, has done something stupid that’s led to the end of the relationship. So he thinks up this bold, romantic move to get the woman back."

A glance around the room told Manny that he held the largely female crowd in rapt attention.

"An example of a grand gesture would be a guy telling his estranged wife that she completes him in the midst of an angry mob of women. Or rescuing her underwear from the class geek and returning it to her at her sister’s wedding. Or holding a boom box over his head, in front of her bedroom window, early in the morning, while blasting the song that was playing as he deflowered her."

A different wave of nostalgia swept through the crowd this time as they remembered these treasured moments of Hollywood cinema.

"In the real world, some people might call these behaviors creepy, or stalker-ish. But not my mother. She loved them. She believed in love, believed that when you loved someone you said it loud, you showed it often, and you never gave up."

Manny paused here, partly for effect, mostly to collect himself as visions of his mother’s joyous face played in his head. He rubbed the heel of his hand against his chest.

"The national divorce rate is 50 percent."

There was no surprise in the room, where most of the men were older and the women on their arms were younger.

"There’s never been a divorce in the Charmayne family. Not one recorded anywhere in our family line."

The sparkle of young women’s eyes threatened to blind Manny from where he stood on the stage.

"What that means is when a Charmayne gives you their pledge, they are committed."

The decision was a split second one, but once Manny made it he stuck with it. He stepped around the podium, mic in hand and dropped to one knee. The gasp of every woman in the room was near deafening.

"To earn your vote, I will do whatever I have to, including blast Peter Gabriel in the streets. Charmaynes don’t quit. I’m committed to this, to the people of this town. I hope that I can count on your vote."

The room erupted in thunderous applause, and the women’s eyes sparkled even brighter.

We’ve seen literary heroes perform the feat of a grand gesture near the end of the tale. In Pumpkin: a Cindermama story, my hero Manny talks about this moment in the first act. I take a moment early in the book to teach the reader the rules of the grand gesture in this speech so that they are prepped for later in the book when I break these rules in favor of a more non-traditional grand gesture near the end of the story. To find out who messed up and how they declared their love in a grand way, pick up the book.

Interested in learning more?

Here’s the blurb:

Single mother Malika “Pumpkin” Tavares lost faith in fairytales after she fell for a toad. Now she believes she’s not cut from the storybook, heroine cloth and searches for Mr. Good Enough amongst the sidekicks and supporting men of the town.

Love at first sight isn’t a cliche for town royalty Armand “Manny” Charmayne. For generations the Charmaynes have spotted their soulmates by seeing a golden aura the first time they laid eyes on The One.

When Manny meets Pumpkin he sees…nothing, but sparks fly off the richter scale. The more he gets to know her the more he considers defying fate, if only he can convince her to take a chance on love again.

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Thirteen Ways I Learned to Write About Sex

I’m thrilled to welcome Marian Perera, a fellow Samhain Publishing author. She’s celebrating the release of her paranormal fantasy romance, The Highest Tide and has a fun post about sex. Smile with tongue out

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen ways I learned to write about sex

Thanks for hosting me, Shelley! I like interesting lists, so when I found your blog I read through all the Thursday13 posts first. Those gave me the idea of this guest post.

But here’s the story behind it. I grew up in the Middle East, in a devoutly religious family, a sex-segregated school and an extremely conservative country. How conservative? If a couple kissed on a TV show, this was cut out before the show was broadcast. So speaking of kisses, my first had to wait until I went to college in the States. I was that sheltered.

And now I write romances with explicit sex in them.

Of course, this transition from saint to sinner didn’t happen all at once. So here are a few of the steps I took to become an enthusiastic proponent of the open-bedroom-door policy…

1. Read every romance novel I could lay my hands on, from Sweet Savage Love onwards.

2. Bought and read Stacia Kane’s book Be A Sex-Writing Strumpet. The book is so blunt it overcame a lot of my inhibitions.

3. Reminded myself that it’s not about what I’ve been taught, or what my family believes. It’s about what’s right for the characters and the story.

4. Reminded myself that my editors have read hundreds of steamy romances, so there’s no need to be embarrassed if they refer to certain, uh, technical aspects of the scenes.

5. Kept sex scenes in-character. If the couple enjoy verbal teasing, there can be a rest in the action where they playfully spar with each other.

6. Put the characters in unusual locations. Not only is this fun, I get to think about where they could have sex long before they reach that point. Cave on a deserted island? Got it. Inside a hollow baobab tree? Came out earlier this year.

7. Pushed my personal envelope. Most of my romances are a slow burn where the sexual tension builds up until the characters finally give in. With The Highest Tide, they got their clothes off in the first chapter—and had good reason to do so.

8. Used sex to heighten the characters’ emotional struggle. At the end of The Coldest Sea (coming out later this year), the heroine has settled down with a job she enjoys, and she reluctantly tells the hero, a freighter captain, that she can’t just leave to marry him. So he makes love to her in an intense, the-last-time-we’ll-have-each-other way. The story ends happily, but I milked that scene for all it was worth in terms of heartache.

9. Read some really bad sex scenes. It’s good to know what not to do—for instance, I don’t believe it’s ever arousing to mention the heroine’s urethra.

10. Learned to drop the occasional f-bomb. I don’t use this word very often, so when it occurs—especially when the hero says it in a sexually charged moment—it packs a punch.

11. Held true to my convictions. I believe that even in fiction, when a woman says no, a man should back off (unless they’re play-acting or the scene is written as assault). So I’ve written hot makeout scenes which stopped when the heroine remembered a good reason not to go further. That made it even better when she did want it.

12. Figured out how to incorporate contraceptives into fantasy romance. Or, if they’re not used, to show why not. One of my heroines is infertile, and knows she is, and doesn’t end up with a surprise baby at the end.

13. Wrote sexy fanfics. Less pressure there. Plus, they were Transformers fanfics. If I can write about giant robots having sex, I can write about anyone having sex.

Bio : Marian Perera started reading fantasy at 6 when she found a huge hardcover copy of The Lord of the Rings. Her parents replaced that with a more age-appropriate paperback of The Hobbit. Later she discovered another book with an adorable bunny rabbit on the cover. Yes, that was Watership Down. She had to wait ten more years for romance novels, but once she discovered those she never looked back, and now combines the two for maximum fun.

Marian was born in Sri Lanka, grew up in Dubai, studied in the United States (Georgia and Texas), worked in Iqaluit and lives in Toronto. For now. With five hot fantasy romances published by Samhain and Loose Id, she’s just getting started. She blogs at Flights of Fantasy, is on Twitter, has lots of excerpts on her website and still writes the occasional giant-robot-smutfic with no guilt whatsoever.

The Highest Tide

BLURB:

One touch, and the tide isn’t all that’s rising. When brothel health inspector Jason Remerley finds a uniformed woman waiting impatiently in the Velvet Court parlor, wanting to hire a man’s services, he’s struck by lightning. His intense, immediate attraction compels him to pretend his way into her arms.

Enough silver, and most men forget about Captain Lera Vanze’s half-burned face. She senses something off about the handsome, ill-dressed prostitute who sells himself so cheaply. But with his first touch, goose bumps turn to shivers of desire—right before the truth drives them in opposite directions.

Her fury is still simmering when they face each other in a more “official” capacity. She’s joined a warship to stop a terrorist only Jason can identify. Though trust is scarce, they’re swept away in a tidal wave of murderous plots and an explosive attraction that could leave them marooned in an emotional—and very real—minefield.

Warning: She knows how to wield her sword, he knows just how, when, and where to apply his…mind. Contains deception in a brothel, sex in a cave, a shark with a bad habit, and one very large wave.

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Tales of Christmas Past

Christmas Gifts

 

I’m visiting Joan Reeves today and showcasing my recent release Merry & Seduced. I’m also reminiscing about Christmases past. Check out my snippet plus the posts of the other authors at 12 # Authors Reflect on Christmas

Get in the Christmas mood!