IAM Interview with…Mariana Llanos

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Returning today as our guest is Mariana Llanos, author of the Tristan Wolf series. Yesterday we featured an excerpt from her latest book A Planet for Tristan Wolf, today we’re learning about the lady herself in an author interview…

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Mariana Llanos

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Tristan Wolf and A Planet for Tristan Wolf are unique books that spark creativity and imagination in children, and transport grown-ups to that place in time where they could be whoever they wanted to be.

What are you working on at the moment – do you have any other books in the works?

I am working on two stories: The Wanting Monster, a fun story about a little boy that wants everything, and The Staircase on Pine St., a touching story about a girl and her grandfather, who suffers from Alzheimer’s.

What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?

At some point in my life, I wanted to write a new script for a Star Wars movie … now that I come to think about it … I think I should’ve!

What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?

This year I’m looking forward to catch up on my reading, especially some classic literature … I love classics! I have lined up some Hemingway, Wilde, Woolf and Shakespeare so far.

Favorite quote from a movie?

“I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”-Casablanca

“I love you” “I know”-The Empire Strikes Back

***

About the Author Mariana Llanos writes poetry and short stories since she was very young. In her native Lima, Peru, she explored her interest in the performing arts. She now lives in Oklahoma with her husband and their three children, who inspire her to create touching stories. She works at a preschool where she likes to motivate children through music and art. Her first book, Tristan Wolf, was published early in 2013 and it’s getting great reviews. Now, in A Planet for Tristan Wolf, Mariana takes us one more time to the world of this imaginative boy and his adventures. The art of Rocio Perez Del Solar makes this a beautiful book that will spark creativity and entertain children and adults alike. As Mariana would say: “Let your imagination go wild!”

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Amazon “A PLANET FOR TRISTAN WOLF”: http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Tristan-Wolf-Mariana-Llanos/dp/1492747181/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392952974&sr=8-1&keywords=a+planet+for+Tristan+Wolf

Amazon “Tristan Wolf”:http://www.amazon.com/Tristan-Wolf-Mariana-Llanos/dp/148205308X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392953445&sr=8-1&keywords=tristan+wolf

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

Website: www.marianallanos.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/marianallanos

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/marianallanos

Blog: http://www.marianallanosauthor.blogspot.com

 

IAM Excerpt from…A Planet for Tristan Wolf by Mariana Llanos

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Our guest author on Indie Month for the next couple of days is Mariana Llanos, author of the Tristan Wolf series. Check out the books and an excerpt from one today, then find out more about the lady herself in our author interview tomorrow!

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  Tristan WolfA Planet for Tristan Wolf

Tristan Wolf is back! And this time he’s not alone on his adventure. After fighting with his  brother, Billy, Tristan and his best friend, Red, run away… to another planet! They want to start over with a new life, in a new place, far away from angry brothers. But this new planet is strange. There are no plants, no parks, and no sun. And Tristan can’t figure out exactly why everyone there is a strange shade of green. But the strangest part of all is the way everyone reacts to Red. It’s like they’re scared to be around him! Tristan will learn that nothing is at it seems in this crazy, extravagant planet! Now he must race to rescue himself and his friend, and get them both back to Earth, before they’re stuck on planet Orb forever! With colorful illustrations and the story line full of surprises, this will easily become one of your children’s favorite stories in no time! Tristan Wolf fans and new fans alike will fall in love with this tale of a young boy, his relationship with his family, and his wild imagination!

 

frontcover

A PLANET FOR TRISTAN WOLF EXCERPT

MARIANA LLANOS

Illustrated by

Rocio Perez del Solar

When Tristan opened his eyes, the world was still swirling around him. He stood up to look out the window. His body felt light and slow. He knew he wasn’t on Earth anymore. The almost perfectly-round blue planet was spinning in the distance, and Tristan, inside his spaceship, wiped a tear off his cheek.

He knew he’d have to land soon; he didn’t have enough fuel for a long trip. He didn’t have enough food either. Whatever he had he’d have to share with his best friend, Red, who was traveling with him. Just a few chips, bacon bits, an apple, and half of a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich … that’s all they had left. Red had such a big appetite that Tristan was afraid they’d run out of food before they found a new home.

Home. That word seemed so cold now. It wasn’t sweet to Tristan, not anymore. Not after that big fight with his brother. Billy had gotten so mad at him! And it wasn’t even his fault… it was Red’s. Billy let Tristan look at his baseball trading cards, instructing him to put them away when he was done, but Tristan forgot and left them on the dining table. Somehow, Red got ahold of Billy’s favorite and most expensive card and completely destroyed it.

“Why did you do that?” Tristan asked Red in disbelief, but Red just turned around and looked away. He looks kinda sorry, Tristan thought.

Oh, Billy was so mad at them! He called Tristan all kinds of hurtful names. He yelled and kicked and even pushed Tristan to the floor. When Tristan threatened to tell Dad, Billy just looked at his brother and Red with a cold and hateful stare and yelled, “Get lost! Both of you!”

And that’s what Tristan and Red were doing. They were getting lost.

“I don’t think Billy likes us anymore, Red.”

Red opened one eye, closed it without making a sound, and rolled back to sleep. Outside, the cold, dark universe kept on doing its thing: planets were spinning, stars shining, black holes forming, big bangs exploding. Tristan watched a moving light sweep across his window. “A shooting star!” he yelled. “Come, Red, let’s wish for something special!” Red lazily got up and sat next to Tristan, looking up at their little skylight.

“I wish,” started Tristan, “to find a good home … and for me and Red to be loved and safe.”

“Grff!” Red said in what seemed to be agreement. And with that he turned his nose towards Tristan and started licking his leg.

“We’ll be all right, Red,” Tristan promised and lay back down on the sleeping bag floating nearby. Red, his loyal dog, wagged his tail and seemed to smile.

***

About the Author Mariana Llanos writes poetry and short stories since she was very young. In her native Lima, Peru, she explored her interest in the performing arts. She now lives in Oklahoma with her husband and their three children, who inspire her to create touching stories. She works at a preschool where she likes to motivate children through music and art. Her first book, Tristan Wolf, was published early in 2013 and it’s getting great reviews. Now, in A Planet for Tristan Wolf, Mariana takes us one more time to the world of this imaginative boy and his adventures. The art of Rocio Perez Del Solar makes this a beautiful book that will spark creativity and entertain children and adults alike. As Mariana would say: “Let your imagination go wild!”

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Amazon “A PLANET FOR TRISTAN WOLF”: http://www.amazon.com/Planet-Tristan-Wolf-Mariana-Llanos/dp/1492747181/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392952974&sr=8-1&keywords=a+planet+for+Tristan+Wolf

Amazon “Tristan Wolf”:http://www.amazon.com/Tristan-Wolf-Mariana-Llanos/dp/148205308X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1392953445&sr=8-1&keywords=tristan+wolf

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

Website: www.marianallanos.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/marianallanos

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/marianallanos

Blog: http://www.marianallanosauthor.blogspot.com

 

IAM Interview with…Kim Smith

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Our guest author for Indie Month today is Kim Smith, author of An Unexpected Performance and several other adult fiction books. Let’s find out a little more about the lady herself in today’s spotlight interview.

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AUPsmallIf you could have any superpower, what would you choose?

I would totally be able to fly. It has been a dream of mine many times. It feels so weird to be shooting through the air and have the ability to look down and see the world below. It would enable me to get, quite literally, a bird’s eye view of the places I want to visit and write about.

Night owl or early bird?

Early bird. I can accomplish more in the hours before dawn than all the others during the day. It may be because I can feel free to focus on whatever task I am doing. Other times, people, and ‘have to do’ things hone in on my time.

One food you would never eat? Chocolate covered insects. No way.

Your most unusual or random habit? Petting my dog with my feet. She loves the constant stroking and her fur feels good. It’s totally weird, but wonderful.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

A drama award, a theatrical mirror, and two teens destined to be great actors if their roles don’t get them killed first.

 

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

http://www.kimsmithauthor.com

http://www.facebook.com/mkimsmith

http://www.twitter.com/mkimsmith

Kim’s Radio Show-Writer Groupie – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/writergroupie

Amazon link for Kindle

Amazon link for paperback

IAM Interview with…Mari Wells

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Our guest author for Indie Month today is Mari Wells,introducing herself through one of our quick ‘This or That’ interviews. Enjoy!

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Pirates or Zombies?

Zombies, I’m writing a novel right now about Zombies. I like the monster aspect of them, and their history is quite interesting. My Husband keeps asking me to write about Pirates though, so many soon. I do have an idea or two for a Pirate story.

 

Popcorn or Chocolate?

Chocolate, always hands down Chocolate. You can’t add popcorn to coffee or ice cream. Raspberry popcorn doesn’t sound as good as Raspberry chocolate. Popcorn truffles just turns my stomach.

 

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?

When I was little, I wanted to be a mom, and a poet. Some really mean teachers in middle school told me I couldn’t ever be a poet. I believed them for a really long time too. (For that matter, they told me never to pursue a career in writing.) I believed that for a long time too.

 

What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?

Hmm, I’ve had lots of crazy ideas. One idea I’m currently playing with takes what society considers as okay for men/ no no’s for women and trades their places. There’s some taboo subjects in this idea and a lot of comedy. Another idea is a mermaid who works for a fishing company or a sushi shop.

 

Reading or Writing?

Reading or Writing is another hard question. I personally think you can’t have writing without reading. Both are my favorite pass times, they take me from this boring world and let me hang out with my own and other’s imaginations.

 

Good Book or Good Film?

A good book. I’ve never been in movie fog for weeks, but I’m often in book fog for that long. Movies also “spoon feeds” me, I like to imagine what a character looks like or what the setting looks like.

 

Vampire or Angel?

Vampire! I like my angels. Angels are cool and if you can create a good “Bad Boy Angel” I’m a content reader, but Vampires have me 99% of the time. There’s something about vampires that stop my heart. Vampires have been my thing since I was a little girl, and they always be my thing.

 

Drive or Be Driven?

Be Driven, I freak out when I drive. If cars get too close to my sides or ride my tailgate. I get all shaking and have to pull over and let someone else drive. Driving is usually at the root of my panic attacks.

 

Early Bird or Night Owl?

I’ve been an Early bird and a Night Owl. I’ve burnt the candle at both ends too. However, as far back as I can remember I’ve been a Night Owl. Night Owl is my favorite, there’s nothing like being awake late at night writing a paranormal story. 😀

 

Quiet Night In or Out On The Town?

This one was the easiest question of all, No Doubt about it, Quiet night in. I’m the kind of girl that would rather curl up with a good book (or writing utensils) than go out to party. If I really have to, I’d watch a movie (Young Frankenstein anyone?) and cuddle on the couch with the whole family than be out on the town.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Google +

www.mariwells4@gmail.com

IAM Interview with…Jewel Thief, Michael Crandon

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Look whose back again! Our indie guest today is author Hazel West, who is joining us for a very special feature: interviewing jewel thief Michael Crandon, the lead character from her latest book… A Company of Rogues.

We’ve featured Hazel several times before on the blog, reviewing her books, as well as in interviews, so it’s a great pleasure to have her join us again to share her latest book with us – we hope you enjoy her character interview as much as we did, it certainly got me wanting to read the book! If you’d like to know more about Hazel, check out our previous features with her here.

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Company of Rogues coverMichael Crandon used to be an impeccable thief, never leaving a trace and never getting caught–that is until he takes a job with a flamboyant millionaire, Charles Randall who has got it into his head he wants the Dalton Emeralds, famous for belonging to Elizabeth I herself. When the heist goes horribly wrong and Michael is forced into hiding, he decides to swear off thieving and turn to more cultured and safe pursuits, such as knitting and drinking tea–oh, and consulting for other thieves on the side; he has to make a living somehow, after all. Then his comfortable world is turned upside down when the Emeralds are stolen and his old partner tells him Randall is out for his blood thinking him responsible. And as if that weren’t bad enough, he’s found himself forced into the company of a young, naive con man who’s got himself mixed up in the mess as well. Reluctantly, Michael agrees he has no choice but to find the Emeralds himself before Randall exacts his pound of flesh. Along with Reilly, the young grifter, Justine, a romance writer and Michael’s lady love, and Victor, the huge, yet friendly, Russian pub owner, Michael conducts this unlikely company of rogues to the ultimate goal of finding a peaceful existence once again–if that could even be possible for the ever unlucky Michael Crandon.

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Hi Michael, thanks for stepping out of the pages of A Company of Rogues to be with us today, it’s been a while since we’ve interviewed a character. So, let’s get started – can you describe yourself to me?

Describe myself? Very well. I’m a middle-aged, retired jewel thief, now running a consulting business for other thieves when they need help on a heist. I’m rather plain in appearance, nothing special—no flash and dash like everyone seems to think jewel thieves should have—and I rather like a good cup of tea and knitting at the end of the day.

How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change?

Well, as of now, I finally have a somewhat normal and peaceful existence, and I’m quite happy with it. I run my own business and have plenty of time for the things I like to do, mostly living a peaceful life while knitting and drinking tea as well as pursuing my relationship with Miss Aberline. Yes, it might sound a bit dull, but if you’ve had the misfortune I have in my life, then you would understand my love of the mundane.

How do you feel about your family, now that you’re an adult?

Unfortunately I didn’t really get to live with my family as long as I should have. My mother died when I was very young and I don’t remember her, but my father always told me she was a sweet and loving woman—whether or not that was actually true, I liked to believe it. And my father was killed when I was thirteen so I had to fend for myself on the streets after that. I did love my father, and even though he wasn’t able to provide everything for me I never thought any less of him. I could have had it a lot worse.

What do you want from life?

What do I want from life? Survival! Peace from my past and those who come with it and also eventually a life with the woman a love. I hope to quit the criminal business as soon as I get enough funds to live happily away from it all.

How do you fall in love? At first sight? Over a long period?

I hate the idea of love at first sight. I really do. How could it be possible? And I really hate talking about it. And yet, I can’t deny that when I first met Justine Aberline, I knew I loved her. But it wasn’t just love at first sight fairy tale tripe either, it was just that we knew we belonged together. She read me and I couldn’t let her get away then, could I? But after our initial reaction, yes, our love has grown. It’s only a natural occurrence.

How do you decide if you can trust someone?

Well, first off, it’s a good thing if they don’t instantly try to kill me. Besides that, I am not much in the habit of trusting anyone unless I have known them for a long period of time and even then I can only count the number of people I trust on one hand. Being a thief and having to work with questionable characters has taught me how to read people and most of all not to trust anyone when it comes to money or power.

What really moves you, or touches you to the soul?

 I don’t like to say much about that. I’ve been so many years pushing my feelings aside, I hardly knows what moves me anymore, and I don’t like people to pry into it!

 What do you consider your special talent?

Well, if I do say so myself, I was a very good jewel thief and still am when I want to be. I never got caught, and only got on the wrong side of the Yard when I took on inexperienced partners who messed up an entire heist—thus forcing me to retire prematurely.

What do you wish your special talent was?

Hmm, that’s a tough one. I really would like to be better at fighting. I’m rubbish at it and I end up getting beaten a lot for my troubles. Now, don’t get me wrong, I try to avoid a fight if at all possible, but when there’s no way out, I would like to be able to hold my own.

What are you most proud of about your life?

Very little. Nothing in fact, apart from Justine. She’s truthfully the only good thing in my life.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done? Why?

When I was young, my family could barely scrape up enough money for one square meal a week, so I got in with some bad people and did some illegal things for them (moving certain items) but messed up and ended up getting my father killed for it. I’ve lived with that every day since.

 (The first book of Michael’s series “A Company of Rogues” will be out September 2014)

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DSCN1821_3 About the Author 

Hazel West lives in Florida and took up writing mostly as an excuse to stay out of the heat. Apart from being an Indie author, she also enjoys reading, drawing, drinking coffee, and knitting and crochet. A lover of all this historical and a good deal of folklore and mythology and enjoys seeing how those things can be written into stories.

And here are Hazel’s answers to our tough, but fun, Gimme 10 ‘mini interview’ – each question has to be answered in ten words or less. Let’s see how it goes…

Where do you find your inspiration? Everywhere, anything has been known to inspire me

 

  • What is your favourite aspect of A Company of Rogues?

The characters are thieves and cons but yet good people.

 

  • Who is your favourite character from A Company of Rogues and why?

Reilly. He’s adorable, and if flawed, a good kid at heart

 

  • What are you working on now?

An urban fantasy about the descendants of legendary Irish warriors.

 

W

  • hat do you love about most about writing?

Crafting characters that can become real to the reader.

 

 

 Want to know more? Check out the links! 

Blog: http://hazelwest.blogspot.com

Tales From a Modern Bard (short stories/fiction): http://talesfromamodernbard.blogspot.com

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

Pintrest: http://www.pinterest.com/artfulscribbler/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5289626.Hazel_B_West

You can find all my books here: http://hazelwest.blogspot.com/2013/03/purchase-links.html

It’s Here! Indie Author Month 2014

Guest Feature

It’s here!

Welcome to our third Indie Author Month! It’s come around quickly, hasn’t it? So, over the next few weeks we’ve got a whole load of new books, authors and characters to introduce you to – so sit back, grab a cuppa and enjoy meeting our 2014 Indies! Mel x

‘Bad Monsters’ Blog Tour – Interview

Bad Monsters -- Blog Tour Banner

Back in February we told you that we’d be hosting a special event in March for author Clinton Harding, as part of the blog tour for his latest book Bad Monsters. Well, today is the first day of the tour (click the banner to go to Clinton’s own website and find out more about the book) and we’re kicking off our week of features with one of our ‘This or That’ interviews with the author himself…

Hero or Villain?

My first impulse is to shout hero. Who doesn’t want to save the day, kick some evil ass, and get the girl and the key to the kingdom/city? Then again, the villain gets to be angsty and brooding and is excused for being angry at everything. Plus, there is always a chance a villain can be redeemed and that is a good story, usually. So… Yeah, villain it is.

Pirates or Zombies?

I’ve always been partial to the dashing, swashbuckling rogue. Then there’s the booty… get your mind out the gutter! Let’s go with the pirate. Arrrgh!

Cruiser or Racer?

I’m always going fast. Racer.

Minimalist or Hoarder?

Depends. I need order in my chaotic life. It’s how I write, with detailed notes, charts, and a plan. Yet I hoard novels, comic books, and other cool things. As long as the things are cool, hoarding is acceptable. Plus! Having a huge e-book collection is completely acceptable because that obsession of mine no longer takes up valuable house-space… so says my wife.

Sprint or Marathon?

Life is about the journey, not the destination. Although I’m always rushing to fit everything into my day, sometime it’s nice to relax and the let the day just be. Plus, movie marathons are awesome!  

Popcorn or Chocolate?

Mmmm… popcorn. I’m not much for sweets. Plus, the smell of soy-butter and freshly popped kerns takes me back to my last years in high school when I worked at the local movie theater. Good times.

Half-Empty or Half-Full?

Life is better when the glass is half-full. Then there are those half-empty days.

London or New York?

Never been to either city but I want to visit both. London is higher on my to-do list since it seems much more magical and filled with a richer history.

Cats or Dogs?

Dogs are man’s best friend.

Apples or Oranges?

Apples. Less messy and thus more portable.

Classical or Pop?

Classical. A short piece of classical composition is able to capture more emotion than most flavor-of-the-month pop music. Feelings are good.

Hogwarts or Mallory Towers?

Not sure what or where Mallory Towers is, before my time I guess. Put Hogwarts up against any place and I’ll always choose to head to magical boarding school.

Hermione or Ron?

Hermione. She was always the person Harry could count on. Seems like Ron was always in a mood and running off to sort his own insecurities, you can count on Ron to return but what if one day he comes running back a minute too late?

Cause or Effect?

By nature I’m a worrier. I’m always concerned with the effects of my actions or the reactions to what I write.

Heads or Tails?

Can I flip a coin?

Facebook or Twitter?

Twitter keeps my ramblings to a minimum.

Elf or Dwarf?

Dwarf. These characters tend to possess more ingenuity and they have great beards too.

Text or Talk?

I’m an introvert at heart. Texting allows me to socialize in comfort. It’s quick and I can think about exactly what I want to say.

Reading or Writing?

I should be writing more than I am reading. Writing is more productive for my goals. I write so others may read.

Good Book or Good Film?

Good books always last longer for me and are more fulfilling.  

Vampire or Angel?

There’s something about angels. Perhaps it’s that they’re tragic creatures. Not human. No souls (in most iterations and mythology). Cast aside by their creator in favor of fault-prone (sometimes atheist) monkeys. Monkeys who only ask “save me” or “I need” or “I want” from guardian angels. We’re sitting on a powder keg ready to blow and release razor-sharp wings and heavenly maces of death. Forgot the zombie apocalypse, I’m waiting for pissed-off angelic beings to snap and come down from on high to kick my ass!

James Bond or Jason Bourne?

Bond will always be the superspy. He’s the original suave man-of-action. I’ll have to go with Daniel Craig as my favorite Bond as he’s how I always pictured the character after reading a couple of the Fleming novels.

Drive or Be Driven?

I usually need someone to drive me, especially on long trips. I tend to fall asleep when driving long distances, the cadence of the road always relaxes me. Plus! When I’m not sleeping I can read. I have no problem reading while in the car.

Summer or Winter?

Winter. There are only so many pieces of clothing you can take off when it’s hot before you start offending the Puritans. When it’s cold, you can bundle up with as many blankets as needed. The winter is more romantic too.

Early Bird or Night Owl?

I’m forced to be both. My day job has me up before the rooster at 5:00AM so I can race the sun to the office. Then at night, when everyone is in bed, I get my chance to write. My true nature is as a night owl, those hours of quiet when everyone is in bed.

Quiet Night In or Out On The Town?

Always a night in. Good books. Movie marathons. Board games and video games. Throw in some good friends and you have a good time or enjoy the quiet of solitude. There’s so much to enjoy.

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About Bad Monsters

In Clinton D. Harding’s debut novel “Our Monsters”, Jon Graves and his friends escaped their parents and the military, leaving behind the only home they’d ever known, the small town of Carpenter. But their freedom is short lived as they find themselves in more danger than before they left Carpenter.

“Bad Monsters”—the second book The Our Monsters Chronicles, released March 2014—picked up where its prequel ended. Jon and his friends are on the run and hunted and by General Mauser and his military dogs. Jon can practically feel them breathing down his neck, as the jaws of the military dogs snapping at his heels.

Synopsis Blood is spilled, friendly and not, and now Jon must answer his friends’ questions sooner than later, or risk one of those friends dying. He’s just not sure he’s the person to be deciding their fates or if he, Alice, and George are fully prepared to walk away from their normal lives. 

A farm in northern California may serve as salvation to this scared, but brave, group of teenagers. However, can they trust the inhabitants they find there, who themselves have a history with Carpenter? If Jon can talk his way past the shotgun in his face, he might just discover what he and his friends need; answers about the history of Carpenter, the hybrids, the powers the teens borrow from their hybrids and who are the true monsters. In all this confusion and danger, Jon may also find a young woman who can help heal the wounds left by Mikaila when she left him and the group.

 Pick up “Bad Monsters”, the second installment in The Our Monsters Chronicles, is now available and can be found in e-book and paperback form at major online retailers: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords.

About the Author When Clinton D. Harding is not busy wrestling and taming wild Scottish Terriers in wilderness of Oxnard California, he’s using a magic pen he pulled from a stone to craft new worlds filled with fantastic beasts and evils that need fighting. He is also the author-publisher of The Our Monsters Chronicles, a YA series of novels that combines fantasy/sci-fi elements with horror chills. For more information about Harding and his creations visit his website, like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, or become a fan at Goodreads.

Horrorfest Interview…Author Nicky Peacock

Today we’re welcoming horror author Nicky Peacock for an interview…

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Nicky PeacockNicky is an English author living in the UK. She writes both YA and adult horror and paranormal Romance. In her spare time she runs a local writers’ group and can be found online through the links at the bottom of the post.

 What do you like about writing horror, over other genres?

There’re so many more options available to a writer when you throw horror into the mix. Ghosts, vampires, witches, zombies, werewolves, angels and demons – they are all great characters before you even start creating the character itself. They can also do things that normal people can’t, and this adds more facets to your story-telling.

 Which authors inspire you and your writing?

I have so many, and they change constantly. There are loads of established writers such as: Poppy Z Brite, Rachel Caine, Rachel Vincent, Charlaine Harris, Keri Arthur, Kelly Armstrong, Karen Marie Moning, I could provide a massive list! But there is also some great new talent out there too. When it comes to inspiration, I’m inspired by anyone who takes the time to tell a good story, who puts effort into their prose, editing and imaginative concepts.

 Any spooky real –life experiences that have influenced you?

I have had a few spooky experiences – the first ghost I ever saw was that of an old man who lived across from me as a child. I saw him in the window looking out at me in this bright red jumper. I was a bit of brat back then so stared right back at him – the odd thing was that he seemed to disappear right in front of me. I ran home to my mum, to tell her how rude he was to stare at me. She told me that I couldn’t have seen him as he’d died the day before.

 Reveal.50ShadesDo you believe in ghosts?

Yes, but no. I don’t think everything is paranormal and a lot of experiences can be explained away with natural occurrences. There are a few things though that simply cannot be rationalized.

 This or That: Zombies or Vampires?

I do love a good vampire paranormal romance and a gory zombie horror. I kind of like them both – for very different reasons though!

 It’s your fantasy Halloween party – who would you invite into your haunted house, and why?

Hmmm, I’d have to have all my friends and family there. No matter what we do we always have a blast. I’d like to scare the bejeezes out of my older brother, as he’s pulled some frightening shenanigans on me in the past.

Alexandra Skarsgard in his True Blood Viking prince costume wouldn’t go a miss either!

 This or That: Night owl or early bird?

I’m an early bird who is training to be a night owl as well. I recently stayed up 23 hours straight to get a manuscript finished. I do not recommend it – I actually slept more the next day to make up for it – so really didn’t gain any time in the long run.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your books?

I need the money! LOL just joking – I’ve got a number of stories in anthologies which range from paranormal romance to horror – so there’s plenty of variety and dark, sticky thoughts to get your reading fangs into!

 Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book?

I do love to listen to music when writing, it’s especially helpful when writing dramatic or emotional scenes. I always try to put up a playlist of the songs I listened to when writing particular pieces – they can then become kind of a soundtrack.

 What are you working on at the moment – do you have any other books in the works?

I’m a multiple manuscript kind of girl so I always have a couple of books going at once. I write both YA and adult and am trying out the new NA too.

 What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?

There’re all pretty crazy! I did have a brain storming session with my young nephews recently which came up with a goblin family that eat car tires (the flavor dependent on the color of the car) – I’m unsure as to how to work that in somewhere though! LOL

 What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?

Don’t eat yellow snow! Just kidding, although that’s still good advice. It’s probably to just keep trying till you succeed. There is a famous Thomas. A. Edison quote I live my life by. When attempting to invent the light bulb he was asked what it is like to fail 10,000 times – he replied, ‘I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.’ Every failure is still a step toward success. You just have to keep walking.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Website for my Writers’ Group: http://www.creativemindswriting.co.uk

IAM Book of the Day…A Case of Poisons, Hazel West

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Our featured author today is Hazel West – you may remember her from our February feature on her novel On a Foreign Field. Her latest book A Case of Poisons is due for release on 3rd June, today you can find out more about her in one of our special ‘This or That’ interviews.

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Hero or Villain? Sometimes, really awesome villains are harder to lose than really awesome heroes.

Pirates or Zombies? Pirates! And no, I don’t care for zombie pirates overmuch.

 Popcorn or Chocolate? Chocolate, extra dark.

London or New York? London!

 Classical or Pop? Classical; seriously most of my favorite music is way older than me.

 Elf or Dwarf? Well, if I narrow it down to Orlando Bloom or Richard Armatage, then I’m afraid I would have to choose Dwarves.

James Bond or Jason Bourne? Jason Bourne—love a guy who gets the job done without being constantly distracted by the local female life.

Early Bird or Night Owl? Night Owl, but does it still count on those nights I stay up till dawn working on something?

 

About the Author

I’m Hazel B. West, a self published author who currently has four published titles Freedom Come All Ye, Ballad of the Highwayman, On a Foreign Field, and By Blood or By Bond (along with it’s companion backstories) and the upcoming Anthony Maxwell steampunk mystery series. I love English, Scottish and Irish history, and use my research to write historical novels.

 Apart from being a writer, I love to read, sketch, listen to music as well as play my instruments, and drink coffee. I’m a history buff and bibliophile and would love to hike in the mountains if I didn’t live in Florida.

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A Case of PoisonsAnthony Maxwell is a private investigator, a consultant for the mostly incompetent inspectors at Scotland Yard, on occasion a writer, and always a lover of coffee. He has been working small cases for several years to pay the bills when he’s introduced to the first multiple murder case of his career early one morning, when a witness catches a man trying to unload a body to bury in a nearby graveyard. Soon the first body is joined by three more in the course of a single morning and Anthony knows this is no ordinary serial murder case. And why is the murderer targeting beggars and urchin children? If that wasn’t cause enough to worry, all the victims are covered with horrible wounds and show signs of exotic poisoning. Anthony, along with his partners Tobias—an ex-broadsman and well-know charmer—and Scamp—a street smart and talented young woman—work to find out who is murdering the helpless beggars and children in such horrifying ways. The first book in this new Victorian steampunk series takes the three companions to the limits of their abilities as they go up against canny murderers, bruisers who appear invincible, anarchist groups, and even ancient British royalty in the biggest case Anthony Maxwell has ever worked in his career.

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

Blog: http://hazelwest.blogspot.com

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

Pintrest: http://pinterest.com/artfulscribbler/

Anthony Maxwell’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Anthony-Maxwell/978987912241341

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17557133-a-case-of-poisons

Purchase Links: http://hazelwest.blogspot.com/2013/03/purchase-links.html

IAM Interview…Richard Phillips aka Richie Earl

Guest Feature

Guest Feature

Our featured author today is Richard Phillips. This morning we featured a preview of his second book Return to Finndragon’s Den, which launches today – now you can find out more about him in one of our special ‘This or That’ interviews.

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Finndragon Banner

 

Half-Empty or Half-Full? Half-full every time. I’m an optimist and always look on the bright side.

Cats or Dogs? I just love dogs. I have a rescue dog named Benson who’s nearly 10 years old now. Many of the characters in the Tales of Finndragon series are based on people I know, and there’s a dog called Bones who’s based on Benson.

Heads or Tails? There’s a saying where I come from: ‘Tails never fails for Wales.’

Reading or Writing? There’s never enough time in the day to do both. At the moment writing is taking up so much of my free time, that I haven’t read a book for a about a month.

James Bond or Jason Bourne? I must be the only person who doesn’t like James Bond. I can remember watching Roger Moore use a load of crocodiles as stepping stones when I was kid. I thought it was so unrealistic. I like stories, however fantastical to be believable, with rules that can’t be broken.

Summer or Winter? I love the sun, but unfortunately winter seems to last twice as long as summer in Wales.

City or Country? I live in a town, but the countryside is literally on my doorstep. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve spent many happy days exploring the wonderful landscape. I drew inspiration for my novels from the ancient site of Morlais Castle, a 13th century castle within 2 miles of my home. There is very little trace left these days.

Early Bird or Night Owl? I’ve always been an insomniac, even more so since I started writing, often staying awake past 2am. The trouble is I have children to get to school and a day job which gets me out of bed by 7am.

 

About the Author

My name is Richard Phillips and I write Young Adult Fantasy novels, under the pen name Richie Earl. I self-published my first novel, The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse, as an ebook on Amazon in December 2011 and recently on Smashwords. It is the first book in a two part series entitled Tales of Finndragon. I had an offer of a publishing deal from a small Welsh publisher, with regards to book 1 over sixteen months ago, but I haven’t signed as yet. The publisher applied to the Welsh Book Council for a grant to help with the cost of publication, which was declined last summer.

 

Any reader who likes to lose themselves in a fantastical new world will fall in love with The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse. The protagonists are ordinary children without any special abilities, longing to find their missing father and resume their normal family life. The children discover an ancient scroll relating to a fifteen hundred year old Welsh legend and another clue of a photograph in their father’s belongings. So they set off to find him in the cursed Kingdom of Morgannwg. Their epic quest brings them into contact with medieval knights, wizards and magical creatures. It is a story of heroism underpinned by family values. Book 1 has a cliff-hanger ending, leaving readers thirsting for more. I am sure that fans of Harry Potter would be enthralled by these books.

 

I have to admit that I was very naive when I first self-published. Over the last twelve months I have started to build my platform, and I now have a growing presence on Twitter (@finndragons), Facebook (Tales of Finndragon)and Goodreads. As well as the two novels, I have two as yet unpublished children’s picture books written in verse and a collection of poetry.

 

The second book, Return to Finndragon’s Den., is out on 29th May. It will be released as both an ebook and paperback, with a paperback version of book 1 also to become available. I’m also preparing separate versions of both books for the US market.

 

I am 47 years old and have worked as a Registered Nurse since 1985, currently employed by the Welsh Blood Service. I am married with three young children and managed to write my novels despite my hectic work and family life. My children were the inspiration for these books, and I based the leading characters on them.

 

I enjoy running, having completed the past two Cardiff Half Marathons. I also enjoy cycling when I have the time and I recently been joined by my two youngest children on a regular 10 mile ride.

 

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Want to know more? Check out the links!

 

The Legend of Finndragon’s Curse on Amazon

 

Return to Finndragon’s Den link will be available from May 29th.

 

Twitter @finndragons

 

Facebook Tales of Finndragon

 

Goodreads