Saturday, 21 July 2018

Great Summer Read Countdown Blitz Day 12




I am a children’s author, but up until a few years ago, I was a journalist and editor. Something rather unexpected sparked my new career as an author—a family trip to Egypt with my mother and two young nephews. We had a great time and I thought I’d write them a short story as a different kind of souvenir…. Well, one book and a planned book series later, I had changed careers. I have now published Book 3 (The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper) in my MG adventure series Chronicles of the Stone, with many awards for the first book, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, and a few for Book 2, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, and one already for Book 3! I also teach online novel writing for aspiring authors and I find that very satisfying. Relaxation time finds me enjoying something creative or artistic, music, books, theatre or ballet. I love doing research for my book series. I love animals and have written two animal rescue stories. I have two adorable (naughty) little dogs called Chloe and Pumpkin, and a beautiful black cat called Bertie.





In this exciting Middle Grade adventure set in Egypt, a 5000-year-old mystery comes to life. A scruffy peddler gives Adam and Justin Sinclair an old Egyptian scarab on their very first day in Egypt. Only when the evil Dr. Faisal Khalid shows a particular interest in the cousins and their scarab, do the boys realise they are in terrible danger. Dr. Khalid wants the relic at all costs. Justin and Adam embark upon the adventure of a lifetime, taking them down the Nile and across the harsh desert in their search for the legendary tomb of the Scarab King, an ancient Egyptian ruler. They are plunged into a whirlpool of hazardous and mysterious events when Dr. Khalid kidnaps them. They learn more about the ancient Seven Stones of Power and the mysterious Shemsu-Hor. They must translate the hieroglyphic clues on the underside of the scarab, as well as rescue the missing archaeologist James Kinnaird, and their friend, the Egyptologist Ebrahim Faza, before time runs out!





Author Interview:

1.     What is your favorite book that is not yours?
That’s such a hard question that I can’t answer it. I have a number of favourites in a variety of genres. I keep rereading them. That worries me a bit… I am busy rereading an old favourite by Michael Crichton, titled Prey.
2.     Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favorite to write?
I have a lot of fun writing Regency romances (historical) under a pseudonym, Arabella Sheraton. Arabella is not just a pseudonym; she has emerged as her own personality (also a bit worrying) and is a very prolific writer (8 books!) – more so than ordinary old me. She has had umpteen interviews and I am obliged to do all her marketing. Arabella’s books are a lot of fun – romantic romps, lots of witty repartee and many extraordinary capers that heroes and heroines of yesteryear are involved with.
3.     When did you write your first book and how young were you?
Apart from writing nonsense poetry for family members and short stories when I was a kid, my first real book was The Secret of the Sacred Scarab and how I wish I had started it years earlier ... but my nephews wouldn’t have been born and they wouldn’t have been there to inspire me.
4.     If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?
Terry Pratchett, the author of The Discworld series. I have read them all, many times, and his creativity never ceases to inspire and amaze me. Plus, his subtle dry wit is also hilarious. He was a great observer of human behavior. I was devastated when he passed away. The world has lost a great writer.
5.     How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?
My first book/s (including Arabella’s) took a couple of years. Now I am better at organizing my research and writing so a Middle Grade adventure takes about 18 months, with research and editing etc., and a Regency romance takes about 8 months. My fastest MG book was my most recent one The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper. My fastest Regency romance was Married at Midnight.
6.     What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?

I like to enjoy the sunshine, the good weather, the feeling of being relaxed, sitting on the patio with something cold and delicious to drink, and a book, of course!






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Friday, 20 July 2018

Great Summer Read Countdown Blitz Day 11



Catina worked her way through college as a TV reporter and a dating game show host. She's a sucker for Young Adult romance stories (both real and make-believe). She has a panache for match-making and loves that many of her "set-ups" have resulted in marriages. 

After spending most of her adult life in Las Vegas, Catina traded in tumbleweeds for earthquakes and now lives with her husband and four children near San Diego, California. If she's not home, chances are you can find her at the beach, Disneyland or In-N-Out Burger.

Angela Larkin writes clean teen romance and is a big fan of kissing (in life and in books). She's been a gold miner, a pool cleaner, a mannequin dresser, and a teacher. She's lived a true romance: meeting her husband in a case of mistaken identity. They recently moved with their four children from the sparkling city of Las Vegas to the shade of the North Carolina Pines. Chances are, she's reading past bedtime.






"Dangerous. Wrong.
She could be so close to finding out who I really am, and I don't want to think about how badly that could damage her. If I have any conscience, I'll turn and run. But I can't let her go."

Presley Hale has no idea the guy she just told off in the school parking lot died in a drowning accident four months ago. Why would she? It's not like she knows she can see the dead. Stunned by Presley's sixth sense, Landon Blackwood rethinks his planned departure and begins tracking her to find answers to their mysterious connection.

When their complicated relationship turns dangerous, they learn that tampering with the boundaries of death comes with consequences. Can Landon save Presley from the insidious spirits who have marked her for death, or was their love doomed from the beginning?



The next book in this Series is available this September!





Author Interview:

Catina:
1.     What is your favorite book that is not yours?
a.     Where She Went by Gayle Foreman
2.     Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favorite to write?
a.     Yes, YA Romance and Middle Grade Fiction - I'm having a really good time with my current Middle Grade Work in Progress
3.     How young were you when you started writing?
a.     I wrote  news stories for television and print to pay my way through college, but didn't start writing a novel until I was in my early thirties
4.     If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?
a.     I'd have to meet Laura Ingles Wilder! Can you imagine the stories she'd have to tell?
5.     How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?
a.     The first novel took way too long, only because I wasn't sure if it would ever become a reality and didn't push myself hard enough. After securing a publishing deal and being offered the sequel, my writing sped up tremendously! The fist one took years, the sequel took months.
6.     What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?

a.     Hands down, spend time with my four kids, preferably reading to them trying new recipes or lounging at the beach!

Angela Larkin

1.     What is your favorite book that is not yours?
a.     I've re-read Dairy Queen by Katherine Gilbert Murdock 4 times! So funny and romantic!
2.     Do you write in multiple genres?
a.     Which genre is your favorite to write? Thus far I've only written contemporary YA romance, but would love to take a stab at New Adult and Historical.
3.     How young were you when you started writing?
a.     My first revenge story was called "How Matt Got Fat". I wrote it about my first grade classmate who snubbed my romantic overtures.
4.     If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?
a.      John Steinbeck was the first author to BLOW ME AWAY.
5.     How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?
a.     I've only written one book without my co-author and the first draft took four months.
6.     What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?

a.     I love to work on my fear of sharks to the point I can go in the ocean above my knees and actually float! If I can't conquer the fear that day, I love to ride beach cruisers on the boardwalk.





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Thursday, 19 July 2018

Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz Day 10




Stephen R. Watts was born and raised at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains in Northern Utah, where he developed a love for stories at a very young age. Having spent his adolescence creating alternate worlds where he could escape the hardships of mental illness, Stephen wanted nothing more than to grow up and write his own epic tales capable of entertaining readers in ways that reminds them of their untold worth. Stephen’s debut novel was a fourteen-year labor of love, and when he isn’t studying story craft he can be found traveling the world or spending quality time with his family in Salt Lake City.






When sixteen-year-old Harius is chosen to guard a mystic key and sword, he’s sure there’s been some mistake. Protecting the divine relics requires the celestial flame, a power that only mystic warriors can wield. And while Harius is training to become such a warrior, he’s lacked the faith needed to access the flame ever since his mother’s tragic death.

Despite his doubts, Harius accepts the calling at a time when evil forces threaten to destabilize his world. As the son of his nation’s most controversial leader, Harius soon becomes a delegate to a foreign land filled with technological marvels capable of saving his ancient race of winged men. Acquiring the necessary tech won’t be easy, though, as the king of this land won’t share it unless Harius uses the celestial flame to rescue the royal family from a foe out to conquer the realm.

With so much resting on his fragile faith, Harius fears he will ultimately fail. Yet, amid all the danger he will learn that the relics he guards hold the secret to not only restoring his faith, but to revealing his untold destiny.




Author Interview:

1)     What is your favorite book that is not yours?

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. The author’s narrative style and unique point of view of one of history’s most savage wars provided a fascinating look at human existence, reminding me as the reader that it’s not where you come from, but who you are as an individual that defines the quality of your character.

2)     Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favorite to write?

Since the only books I’ve written so far have been for an epic fantasy series, I will have to say that this is my favorite genre to write. I do love science fiction, though, and wish to one day try my had at writing a sci-fi trilogy I’ve been playing around with for a while now.

3)     How young were you when you started writing?

I would say that I first tried my hand at writing novels when I was in middle school, though I’ve never finished any of those books. As far as creating stories, though, I can recall imagining a slew of epic tales as far back as the second grade.

4)     If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?

Of all my favorite authors, I would say I would want to meet Charles Dickens above all others. His novels, such as “A Christmas Carol,” are rich with symbolism that speaks about humanity in ways that transcends the time period in which it was written—and that is something I’ve aspired to achieve in my own writing.

5)     How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?

As far as rough drafts  go, the fastest I’ve ever written a book was a month. It was during an advanced fiction writing course I took in college, in which the professor had me and my peers simply write the book without editing it. The manuscript I churned out for that course turned out to be my debut novel, which took six years and many revisions to get it ready for press. (Don’t ask me how many revisions it took, for I stopped counting after fifteen.)

6)     What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?


Road trips/travel. I love visiting new places I’ve never been before, and when I can afford it I will take entire weeks out of my schedule to go on a trip that not only feeds my need for adventure, but also provides me with experiences that help me improve my stories.





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Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz Day 9



Adam Gowans is the youngest of five Air Force brats, out of which his siblings have voted him the weirdest. He loves anything that deals with stories, including movies, novels, television dramas, music, video games, manga/manhwa, and webtoons.

In his mid-twenties, he lived and taught English in South Korea for four years before returning to the States to live, like many LDS authors, in Utah.

His first novel is On Angelic Wings, which has a planned sequel, but the sequel will be released after two other novels that are calling for his attention.





Ever since magic caused his mother's death, Ha-Neul, crown prince of Balhae, hates witches and the magic they wield. He has instituted harsh laws against all magic users.


Lisa is a young witch working undercover as a servant in his palace, hoping to gain freedom for her people. The last thing the two expect is to fall in love. But when Ha-Neul learns that Lisa is not only a witch, but the daughter of the Prince of Vires, land of witches, he banishes her. Distracted by heartbreak, he is caught off-guard by a military coup.

In hiding and on the run, Ha-Neul swallows his pride and travels with his siblings to Vires, planning to beg Lisa's aid, only to learn that she has mysteriously vanished.

Now his only hope in reclaiming his kingdom and reuniting with Lisa lies in the remote Northern Mountains, a country no one has ever penetrated and rumored home of a powerful magic source. There, Ha-Neul learns that a being powerful beyond comprehension has been carefully guiding his destiny. But if Ha-Neul can't let go of his hatred of all things magic, and accept the new path offered to him, it will mean the destruction of his entire world.




Author Interview:

1.     What is your favorite book that is not yours?
Pride and Prejudice. I read it once every year.
2.     Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favorite to write?
I don’t. I’m not sure why, but I prefer to write stories with science fiction and fantasy elements, though I do have ideas for an alternate history novel and others that take place here on Earth.
3.     How young were you when you started writing?
I started writing in the 8th grade, so I was fourteen.
4.     If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?
I have three, two present and one past. J.K. Rowling, Rainbow Rowell, and Jane Austen
5.     How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?
At least a year or more. Raven’s Eye took me less than a year to write though.
6.     What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?

Stay indoors as much as possible. I’m a bit of a homebody, and introvert. I also don’t like the summer temperatures of Utah.





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Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Great Summer Reads Countdown Blitz Day 8




William C. Tracy is a North Carolina native and a lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy. He has a master’s in mechanical engineering, and has both designed and operated heavy construction machinery. He has also trained in Wado-Ryu karate since 2003, and runs his own dojo. He is an avid video and board gamer, a reader, and of course, a writer.


In his spare time, he wrangles three cats. He and his wife enjoy putting their pets in cute little costumes and making them cosplay for the annual Christmas card.

You can visit him at williamctracy.com.




On a bright August day, the sun disappears.

Sam van Oen barely escapes freezing to death in his house, as his watch stops and fire ceases to burn. He is pulled into the Nether—a nexus between ten diverse alien cultures—where he meets two maji who can control the musical foundation of the universe. While coping with anxiety attacks prompted by his new surroundings, Sam must learn to hear and change the Symphony, and thus reality, in order to discover what happened to his home.

Sam is surrounded by aliens, both strange and familiar. Soon, he meets sister and brother twins, also new to the Nether, who support him during his anxiety attacks. Sam finds he is attracted to both of them, and does not want to choose.

But more freezing voids like the one that started his journey are appearing, and Sam’s chances of getting back are fading. The Assembly of Species is threatening to dissolve and the maji are being attacked by those they protect, while rumors grow of an ancient, shape-changing species of assassins, returning to wage war.

The Dissolution is coming.




Author Interview:

1.     What is your favorite book that is not yours?
a.     That’s a hard one. It changes because I keep coming across really great new books. If I have to pick one I come back to again and again, I’d go with Sir Terry Pratchett’s Small Gods, with Pyramids being a close second.
2.     Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favorite to write?
a.     Yes and no. I generally write Science Fiction and Fantasy (which I consider to be the same genre) but within that umbrella, I’ve written a space opera, an epic fantasy, a coming-of-age adventure, a political thriller, a mystery, a superhero story, a time travel story, a collection of alternate reality short stories, and a mid-grade adventure. My favorite genre is probably the adventure-style stories. They flow a lot easier, and I enjoy the sense of wonder while I write.
3.     How young were you when you started writing?
a.     About 14. I noodled around with creative writing, then didn’t do much in college, then picked it back up after I started my day job.
4.     If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?
a.     Sir Terry Pratchett, because by all accounts he was a very kind, genuinely witty man, and Jules Verne, because I’d love to know how he came up with his ideas.
5.     How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?
a.     This depends on size and topic. I wrote The Seeds of Dissolution in almost exactly one year, from start to publication date. However one of the other books I have out to agents has taken about 2 years, on and off, and I’m still not sure it’s right. They’re both similar in length.
6.     What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?

a.     Tend my garden, and harvest and eat the different fruits I grow (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, and pears). I also enjoy the summer con schedule. I’ll be attending 5-6 cons this year between June and September.




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