Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Lost Book of Anggird Now Available!

Picture The Lost Book of Anggird is now available for Kindle from Amazon, and in Kindle, epub, and other electronic formats from Smashwords. And right now, I’m running a special introductory price: through October 31 (Halloween!) you can get Lost Book for only $0.99!

Here’s the scoop on it:

“For Perarre Tabrano, who intends to make her own way through life as an independent woman, the chance to work as a translator of ancient books for the renowned Professor Roric Rossony is the opportunity of a lifetime, even though the Professor is as famous for his difficult disposition as he is for his scholarship. But Perarre quickly learns there’s far more to him than meets the eye, and her irritation soon turns to fascination.

“Professor Roric Rossony, the Vorunne Dominion’s foremost expert on Magical Balance, has been entrusted with a vital task – discovering what is going wrong with the Dominion’s powerful magica. With Perarre’s assistance, he begins investigating the origins of the magica, and discovers that commonly-accepted truths taught for hundreds of years might not be true at all.

“Then Professor Rossony goes too far in his research, delving into lost and forbidden books. Magical disaster strikes, and, overnight, Roric is transformed from respected scholar to the most-wanted criminal in the Dominion. Perarre is now faced with a choice: cling to the safe familiarity of the home she had meant to leave behind forever and the truths that have turned to lies, or join Roric on a long and difficult journey to discover the source of the magica and set right an ancient wrong.”

The Prologue and Chapter 1 are up on the site as a free preview.free preview.

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Author Spotlight: Bebe Knight

PictureIntroducing Bebe Knight, Author of An Element of Time:

1.Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Bebe and I live in Hudson, New York as a stay at home mom to my son. I graduated from the State University of New York at Albany and hold a B.A. in Fine Arts and Art History. I’m also a member of the Romance Writers of America.

2. When did you start writing, and why?

As a child I always wrote short stories and plays that I would perform with my cousins on holidays, but my first serious attempt at a full length novel was in 2009. I decided to take on NaNoWriMo and won the 50K word challenge that year.

3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?
I started writing paranormal romance because that’s what I read. I really got into the genre after it became popular with the help of Twilight and True Blood. After that I started reading every paranormal (preferably vampire) romance I could get my hands on.

4. What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?

An Element of Time was my first release in my paranormal romance series, The Eternal Flame Series. Book Two for the series is in the works right now. I’ve also been working on a young adult screenplay for about five years that I hope finish “soon.”

5. “Welcome To My Worlds”: Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.
An Element of Time brings you a little bit of everything you could ask for in a paranormal romance novel. There are vampires, werewolves, hunters, even witches. I plan to explore all different supernatural beings throughout the series, creating my own unique spin on them.

6. Introduce us to some of your characters.
My main characters in An Element of Time are Veronica Chase and Mackenzie Jones. Veronica just lost her family and is on the hunt for the werewolf responsible. In the meantime, she’s taking on any case she can get; including hunting down a coven of vampires. That’s where Mackenzie comes in. He’s just your typical bartender in a small upstate NY town. Well, as typical as one can be for being a vampire. Mackenzie’s mundane days in Burnstead come to an end when in through the doors to his bar walks Veronica. Walking through the door to his bar, and into his heart, Mackenzie allows love to take the wheel for the first time. There’s just one slight problem. She’s there to kill him.Mackenzie allows love to take the wheel for the first time but there’s just one slight problem. She’s there to kill him.

7. A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.

An Element of Time is set in two fictional towns: Burnstead which is a small city located in upstate New York and Madison, a quaint little town in Western Mass. Both are based off of real places, but I decided to change the names to change their appearance slightly.  

8. Blog/site link, and where your book is available.
Website | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Cafepress

BUY LINK: http://amzn.com/B00FDXZYIM

An Element of Time COVERAn Element of Time

Eternal Flame Series: Book One
By: Bebe Knight
Released September 24th, 2013 through Solstice Publising

A vampire and a slayer walk into a bar… Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but for Veronica and Mackenzie, it’s the beginning of the rest of their lives…

The world has seen its fair share of evil, but Veronica Chase had no idea such monsters truly existed. Werewolves, poltergeists, witches… even vampires. Ignorance was bliss. But her reality was crushed on that horrid day her family was taken away from her. Now, Veronica has devoted her entire life to hunting those very creatures, searching for the werewolf pack that murdered her parents in hopes of finding her abducted sister. Nothing will get in her way of settling the score for the hand she was unjustly dealt. That is until her newest assignment brings her to her knees.

After one hundred and eight years on earth, Mackenzie Jones thought he had seen it all. With the exception of daylight of course, but that’s what comes with the territory being a vampire and all. Perpetually damned to live his life as a bartender in the shadows of the night, nothing has sparked his interest lately. Just once he wished something exciting would happen in his mundane life. Little did he know, his wish was about to come true. Walking through the door to his bar, and into his heart, Mackenzie allows love to take the wheel for the first time. There’s just one slight problem. She’s there to kill him.

Author Info

Bebe Knight, author of the Eternal Flame Series, lives in Upstate NY with her husband and son. Writing has always been a part of her life whether it be books, plays, or handwritten letters to friends and family. It’s a dream come true for her to be able to share her stories with others.


Book Review: The Cost of Haven

PictureThe Cost of Haven, by F.F. McCulligan

Story: * * * *
Characters: * * * * *
Writing Mechanics: * * *

Traditional fantasy set in a world that is being overrun with evil forces and vast armies of the undead, where even the afterlife is at risk. A former knight, a former pirate turned “trader” (aka smuggler), his butler, and a mysterious masked guard join forces with a troop of dragon riders and a group of refugees to take on corrupt rulers and try to hold off the undead armies threatening to overcome one of the three cities left standing in the known lands.

I really enjoyed the main characters in this book. Each one is individual, well-rounded, and engaging, and, unusual in a lot of fantasy, they’re all adults of mature years. I especially enjoyed the touch of romance between two of them; even people with some gray in their hair can still fall in love! The villains were deliciously nasty.

It’s filled with exciting fight scenes (that are also kind of gross; they’re battling against “rotters” aka zombies) where you don’t know how the main characters will ever get out of it, but their courage and cleverness serve them well.

Some of the fights and battles do seem to go on kind of long, and sometimes it’s kind of hard to tell what’s happening. There are places where the writing could be clarified a little, and also some issues with comma usage.

Overall, The Cost of Haven is a fun and exciting fantasy about the battle between good – if ordinary – people and the relentless forces of evil with enjoyable characters, and an ending that leaves you wanting more.


Sneak Peek Sunday 10/20: Urdaisunia

Here’s another peek inside Urdaisunia for Sneak Peek Sunday! Rashali is on the run from some nefarious men [Zashtag is the goddess of birds, Rashali’s patron goddess]:

PictureAS SHE FLED, Rashali didn’t dare stop to look for signs of pursuit. The Kai-Kalle had warhorses; once the Kifa and his men escaped from the attacking birds, it wouldn’t take them long to catch up with her. But by the time she had put several miles between herself and the Kifa’s camp, there was still no one following her. Had the birds pecked Helku, Jeru, and their men to death? She could only hope, she thought with vicious pleasure at the idea. Gods preserve her from ambitious, lecherous men.

Her satisfaction at the fate she imagined for Jeru and Helku dimmed as she continued running. The relentless sun beat down without mercy, her mouth and throat were parched, and her stomach was knotted from hunger. Running into the desert with no water or food wasn’t the most intelligent thing she had ever done, she thought, but Zashtag had given her this chance and all she could do was throw herself on the goddess’s mercy and take it. Surely the goddess hadn’t helped her escape only to let her die of heat and thirst in the desert.

After a few more miles, though fear still urged her on, Rashali finally couldn’t take one more step. She dropped to the ground in the meager shade of a thorn tree. Despite the heat, she was no longer sweating—a more alarming sign than hunger, thirst, and fatigue combined. She pulled the shimmering feather from the stitching at the hem of her dress. Zashtag, you did not bring your daughter this far only to let her perish, did you? Zashtag, help me!

In response to her prayer, there was only emptiness; something that had always been there before, unnoticed, when she prayed to the goddess was now noticeable by its complete absence. True fear gripped Rashali’s heart—had the goddess indeed abandoned her? She closed her trembling fingers around the feather. “Help me!” Her voice came out as little more than a dry gasp.

To her left, a flock of small birds suddenly rose into the air with a rush of wings, and circled in place. It was probably nothing, Rashali told herself, trying to suppress the flare of hope she felt at the sight, but she was in no position to ignore any possible sign from the goddess. Stumbling on shaking legs, still telling herself it was nothing, she ran to where the flock was circling.

There, amidst a jumble of rocks on a low hillside, a stream sprang from the earth and flowed less than an arm-length before disappearing underground again. Rashali fell to her knees and drank of the cool, pure water, forcing herself to take only small sips so that she wouldn’t upset her parched, empty stomach.


For more sneak peeks, check out the Sneak Peek Sunday blog!


Lost Book of Anggird Playlist and Progress Report

Picture Quick progress update on The Lost Book of Anggird: I’m on the final proofread now, and still hopefully on track for a release on the 25th. It’s a long book so the formatting’s going to take a while, but I think I’m allowing plenty of time. In any case, it’ll definitely be out by the end of October. Be sure to sign up for my email newsletter if you want to be alerted to the release date and for a special limited-time low introductory price!

I’ve also added a Spotify playlist to the Lost Book of Anggird book page. This one features songs by Muse from their album The Resistance, some dance/electronica from Blaqk Audio (a side project by Davey Havok and Jade Puget of AFI), and desert-flavored symphonic metal from the Tunisian band Myrath.

Coming soon, watch for the free preview of Lost Book!

Finally, on a different subject, if you liked my Billionaires, Bad Boys, and Bondage series of blog posts, check out Camille Laguire’s take on the theme. She’s taking an in-depth look at cultural archetypes as shown through classic movies, her own books, and other sources, and it’s a really interesting series.


Sneak Peek Sunday 10/13: Urdaisunia

(Just catching up on a couple of posts I forgot to re-post over here!)

Here’s another quick peek inside Urdaisunia for Sneak Peek Sunday! Prince Eruz has just explained to Rashali that the Sazars conquered Urdaisunia because the mountains where they had lived could no longer sustain them and they were in danger of dying out. Rashali is unsympathetic. [note: Kuz is the god of sorcerers.]

Picture“So you traded your own hunger for that of the Urdai, and you took all our work, all the fruits of our learning and labors, for yourselves—the dams and canals, the great temples, the palace, even these gardens. You Sazars have no skills or knowledge to make such things, so you had to steal them from us. You didn’t even have writing until you began using ours.”

He flinched slightly, his pride clearly stung by her contemptuous words. “We do have skills and knowledge of our own.”

“Making swords,” she said. “And breeding and training warhorses. Nothing like this.” She indicated the Jewel with a broad gesture of her arm. “You could never make something like this. Even now, you depend on Urdai slaves to maintain the gardens.”

“Not entirely.” Eruz stopped beside one of the low trees with thick hand-shaped leaves—a nariyi, it was called—and plucked a tightly-curled bud from it. “We have skills besides those of warfare.” He looked intently at the nariyi bud, then whispered a few words and blew lightly on the bud. Slowly, the green sepals unwound from around the five thick white petals, which unfolded into a bowl-shaped blossom. The flower’s sweet, rich scent filled the air. “Here,” Eruz said. He took Rashali’s hand and placed the flower in it. “We worship Kuz more than the Urdai do, and he has given us a number of gifts.”

If she hadn’t seen it for herself, she never would have believed it. She looked up at him, her hand still in his, at a loss for words to respond to the wonder he had shown her. “That—that was—”

He bent his head down and covered her mouth with his.


For more sneak peeks, check out http://sneak-peek-sunday.blogspot.com/!

Character Interview: Perarre

Picture Here’s Perarre, from The Lost Book of Anggird, to tell you a little about herself:

1. What is your full name? Is there anything significant about your name?

My name is Perarre Tabrano. There’s nothing significant about it; it’s just a regular Essan name.

2. How old are you?

I am 22 years old.

3. Tell us about your family. What do you like and not like about them?

I’m the youngest of ten children. My father died several years ago, and my mother Malia still runs the Golden Hare, our family’s inn, in Madena, a small farming village in Essa Province. I don’t get along well with my mother, but that’s at least as much my fault as hers. I was not an easy child, and by the time I came along I think she was tired. I’m very close to my oldest sister, Samale, and she’s really been more of a mother to me. Her husband, Luka, is an amazing man, and they have seven children. If anyone was meant to have a lot of children, it’s them.

4. Who was your first kiss, and what did you think of it?

My first kiss that counts was a boy not long after I came to the University of Vorunne City when I was 13. I’m afraid I don’t remember his name, but I certainly liked it, better than I thought I would.

5. What is your occupation?

I am a translator of ancient, middle, and modern Vorunic and Lazivanic languages. I’m also a Reader, which means I’m able to read thoughts and emotions left behind on objects by people who handled them previously. This is a very useful skill for a translator, as you can probably imagine, especially if the document I’m translating is an original and not a copy. Being able to tell what the original author meant, what he was thinking and how he felt as he was writing, makes my translations a lot more accurate and meaningful.

Right now, I’m finishing up the second year of a three-year Assistantship, which is a program that graduates of the University can enter to gain further skills in their fields and to get good references from Masters and Professors on their dossiers, which gives you a big advantage in getting future employment. After I complete my Assistantship, I hope to be able to get a position with the Foreign Service, preferably one where I’ll actually be posted in a foreign country. I want to travel to as many places and see as many different things as I can, the more exotic the better.

In fact, as soon as we’re done here I’m supposed to meet with Professor Rossony – yes, that Professor Rossony – to interview for a position as a translator for him. I’ve heard he’s a sanctimonious prig and almost impossible to get along with, but a good reference from him will totally make my whole career. Keep your fingers crossed for me to get the job!

6. What are your best and worst qualities?

I’m smart, I’m a hard worker, and I take pride in my work. I’ve got a good sense of humor, and I’m friendly. As for my worst qualities, I tend to react emotionally instead of thinking things through, which has gotten me into more than a little trouble in the past. I’ve done some pretty stupid things because of that. Also, I chew my fingernails when I’m concentrating, and I’m not very good at being neat and tidy, and sometimes I’m kind of a smart-mouth.

7. What quality do you value most in a romantic partner?

I’m not looking for anything permanent, and I had enough of people trying to make decisions for me and control my life before I came to the University. So I’d like a man who’s willing to let me be myself and be independent, who won’t try to tie me down. He needs to have a good sense of humor. Looks aren’t as important, but I do prefer men who have something unique about their appearance. Beautiful eyes and a good strong nose especially catch my attention.

And – am I allowed to say this? – I like a good time in bed with a man who doesn’t have to be skilled as long as he’s enthusiastic and we’re both having fun. It’s been a while since I’ve found anyone who interests me, though. Which is probably just as well; I’ve had a few close calls with that kind of thing, with guys who weren’t as nice as I thought they were and with being afraid I was pregnant. So for now, I’m just concentrating on my career.

8. What is your favorite thing to do?

I love to read, and I love good food (that is, anything but what they serve in the Assistants’ dining hall!), and I really enjoy my work.

9. What is your greatest fear?

That something will happen to force me to leave the University and go home and live the life there that my parents expected me to. Especially if it involves marrying him. Ugh.

10. What is your most treasured possession?

My independence.


Author Spotlight: Margo Bond Collins

PictureIntroducing Margo Bond Collins, whose novel Waking Up Dead is being released today (October 8)!

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
In my other life, I’m a college professor; I teach English courses online. I live in Texas with my husband and our daughter and a number of thoroughly silly animals. Waking Up Dead is my first published novel. My second novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press. I got the offers to publish the two novels in the same month. That was officially the best month of my life!

2. When did you start writing, and why?

I’ve always wanted to write. For as long as I can remember, I have made up stories. When I’m driving (which I find immensely dull), I amuse myself by making up characters and figuring out ways to make their lives difficult. The first story I remember writing was basically fan-fiction of The Wizard of Oz. I wrote it in long-hand in a yellow legal pad. I’ve been writing ever since.

3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?

I write all kinds of things! I write heavy-duty academic articles about eighteenth-century British literature and I write lighter academic articles about popular culture, particularly supernatural television shows. In my fiction, I write paranormal mysteries, urban fantasies, and contemporary romance. I love figuring out a character’s motivations and watching while the story unfolds in front of me.

4. What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?

Waking Up Dead will be released on October 8, and it is about a young woman from Dallas who dies and wakes up as a ghost in Alabama. Legally Undead is the first of the Vampirarchy series, set in the Bronx in New York, about Elle Dupree, a reluctant vampire-hunter, and it is due out in 2014.

5. “Welcome To My Worlds”: Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.

In Waking Up Dead, Callie Taylor doesn’t know why she wakes up as a ghost in Alabama, but once she sees another woman murdered, she knows she has to let someone know what happened.  Her world is very much like our own, except she can’t figure out how and why she ended up where she did. She’s stuck as a ghost in small-town Alabama, a place she never even visited when she was alive.

Picture6. Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?

Callie’s the narrator. She’s basically a light-hearted person, despite being in a terribly strange situation and having experienced pretty much the worst things possible. She befriends Ashara, a young African-American woman who is one of the few people who can see and hear Callie. Ashara’s outspoken grandmother Maw-Maw encourages the two of them to work together to solve the mystery of a local woman’s death.7. A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.
As I was writing Waking Up Dead, I had to find out when the thousand-dollar bill was discontinued. It was last printed in 1946 and totally discontinued in 1969.

8. Blog/site link, and where your book is available.

Amazon

Connect with Margo:

Email: MargoBondCollins@gmail.com
Website: http://www.MargoBondCollins.com

Twitter  @MargoBondCollin | Google+ | Goodreads Author Page
Facebook Author Page
| Facebook Novel Page | Tumblr | Pinterest

Be sure to add Waking Up Dead to your Goodreads bookshelves: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18428064-waking-up-dead


Book Review: Untethered

Picture

Untethered, by Katie Hayoz
Kyra’s Star Ratings: * * * * * all around

As if high school, her parents breaking up, and her mother’s health food “cooking” weren’t bad enough, Sylvie Sydell finds herself slipping out of her body at unpredictable moments. As her life goes from bad to worse, those moments of astral projection become a refuge… until she discovers the dark side of her strange talent.Normally, I’m not drawn to YA books (I finished high school 33 years ago and have no desire to re-visit those years) but this book kept me up half the night reading because I had to find out what happened. The characters are well-rounded and engaging – even the popular clique kids aren’t just popular clique kids but multi-dimensional individuals, and the adults in the story are also well-done, with their own personalities and heartbreaks. The plot is suspenseful and the stakes rise at every turn. Sylvie goes through a tremendous growth cycle, from being the insecure weird girl at her school to depths that eventually horrify her to a kinder, broader view of the world and, especially, of herself. A lot of the other characters also go through a lot of growth and change.The writing style is smooth, clear, and evocative. There’s also a good bit of humor – I enjoyed Sylvie’s jaundiced view of high school and everything connected to it, and her descriptions of her mother’s cooking.All in all, an excellent and enjoyable book.


Character Interview: Professor Roric Rossony

Picture Introducing Professor Roric Rossony, the (reluctant) hero of The Lost Book of Anggird.

1. What is your full name? Is there anything significant about your name?

My name is Roric Rossony. I chose this name for myself, as the name I was given at birth would not be appropriate for my situation in life. ‘Roric’ is the Vorunnic form of my given name, and ‘Rossony’ is the surname of an explorer from the Vorunne Dominion whom I read about and admired as a boy.

2. How old are you?

I am thirty-five years old.

3. Tell us about your family. What do you like and not like about them?
I have been estranged from my family for twenty-three years and would prefer not to speak of them. Though I will admit to some regret at not having my younger brother in my life.

Perhaps the closest thing I have to family now is my friend and mentor, Professor Delric Baldrin, who was my teacher of Balance Theory when I was a student.

4. Who was your first kiss, and what did you think of it?

I long ago came to the decision that carnal urges and appetites, and the feelings that can lead to them, are incompatible with the life I wish to lead. In short, I have never kissed anyone.

5. What is your occupation?

For the past twelve years, I have been a Professor of Balance Theory at the University of Vorunne City. My duties include presenting lecture courses on various aspects of magical Balance, leading small seminar groups for advanced students both from the College of Magecraft and the College of Scholarship, publishing books and scholarly articles on Balance Theory, and conducting research into magical Balance. My expertise covers the full range of Balance Theory, also taking in such subjects as mathematics, natural history and philosophy, and magical philosophy. I have a particular interest in the design and Balancing of magical devices, though that is only a small part of my work.

6. What are your best and worst qualities?

I believe that my best quality is that I am meticulous in all aspects of my work, paying great attention to detail and always striving to produce work of the highest quality and scholarly integrity. As for my worst quality, I am told that I am fairly rigid in my attitudes and habits, to the extent that I have garnered the rather unflattering nickname ‘Broomstick Rossony.’ I suppose there might be some truth to that, but my habits and routines have served me well so far, and I see no reason to change.

7. What quality do you value most in a romantic partner?

Please see the answer to question number four. I am not seeking a romantic partner; I am quite content by myself.

8. What is your favorite thing to do?

I find my work to be tremendously fulfilling, in all its aspects – teaching, researching, and writing. I did rather enjoy making the flameless magical lamps that I use in my rooms and that have been adopted for use in other areas of the University, such as library storage rooms.

9. What is your greatest fear?

[this question was left blank]

10. What is your most treasured possession?

Rather than any material possession, I treasure my good name and integrity as a Scholar and Professor.