Tag Archives: dystopia

Author Spotlight: B.R. Kingsolver

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Today I’m happy to welcome B.R. Kingsolver, author of the post-apocalyptic urban fantasy Chameleon Assassin, here with Ultimate Fantasy Books blog tours.

Question: Tell us a little about yourself.
Answer: I grew up in Santa Fe, The City Different, in the Land of Enchantment, surrounded by writers, artists, myths, and folklore. I’m a passionate lifetime skier, and our house was seventeen miles from the nearest ski basin.

After living all over the US and exploring the world — from Amsterdam to the Romanian Alps, and Russia to the Rocky Mountains — I trade time between Baltimore and Albuquerque. I have an eclectic education in history, social sciences, nursing, and biology and a Master’s degree in business. I’ve done everything from painting houses to working as a newspaper editor,  making gold and silver jewellery,  to programming computers.

I currently spend my  time writing and working with computers while living nine blocks from the harbor in Baltimore. My main job is servant in residence to a very demanding cat.

Q: When did you start writing, and why?
A: I tried to write a novel when I was fifteen. It was terrible and I was so sure I was a poor writer that I never tried again until five years ago. Now, in my professional life, I’ve worked as a business and technical writer and editor for a long time, but I didn’t try to write fiction. Then five years ago, my partner and I were discussing self-publishing and I mentioned that I had a story I thought would sell. She pushed me to write it, so I did.

Q: What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?
A: Chameleon Assassin, the first book in a series by the same name. The second book in the series, tentatively titled Chameleon Uncovered, is about half written and should be published early in 2017.

Q: “Welcome To My Worlds”: Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.
A: The book is set 200 years in the future. Environmental pollution and climate change have drastically altered the world, and several nuclear wars have damaged the environment further. The book is set in Toronto, but the climate is like south Florida is today. Major parts of the world are so hot and dry that they’re uninhabitable.

As a result of all this, large businesses have taken charge and governments are basically organs of the corporations. There are four main tiers in society, the corporate bosses, those who work for the corporations, a small set of independent business people, and the desperately poor. Many of the poor are mutants.

Q: Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
A: The main character is Elizabeth (Libby) Nelson, a tall (6’2”) 25-year-old mutant who owns a small business as a security consultant. Her main business, though, is as a burglar and assassin. Libby’s main mutation is that she is a chameleon. She can essentially become invisible by blending into the background. She can also psychically project an image or illusion of herself as being anything she chooses. Very handy for a thief.

Libby’s mother is a madam, and her father was a cat burglar and assassin before a fall crippled him. So she’s had an unusual childhood, to say the least. She’s kick-ass, takes no sass, but dishes it out. She’s irreverent, snarky, and has a cutting wit and nasty temper.

She’s also a bleeding-heart altruist who gives a lot of her money away and is fiercely protective of her friends and those who can’t protect themselves.

Q: A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.
A: I envisioned the character of Libby almost a year ago, but didn’t know what to do with her. I was in the middle of writing an epic fantasy/quest novel this past August when I had a story idea for an urban fantasy\dystopian sci-fi  novel and realized it was the perfect story for Libby. I stopped writing the epic fantasy novel in the middle of a battle and wrote the first four chapters of Chameleon Assassin before I went to bed that night.

Where to find B.R. Kingsolver:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Goodreads

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Chameleon Assassin:
Libby is a mutant, one of the top burglars and assassins in the world. For a price, she caters to executives’ secret desires. Eliminate your corporate rival? Deliver a priceless art masterpiece or necklace? Hack into another corporation’s network? Libby’s your girl.Climate change met nuclear war, and humanity lost. The corporations stepped in, stripping governments of power. Civilization didn’t end, but it became less civilized.

There are few rules as corporations jockey for position and control of assets and markets. The corporate elite live in their walled estates and skyscraper apartments while the majority of humanity supplies their luxuries. On the bottom level, the mutants, the poor, and the criminals scramble every day just to survive.

Chameleon Assassin is available at Amazon | Add to Goodreads


Author Interview: Alexandre A. Loch

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Last week I profiled author and psychiatrist Alexandre A. Loch and his novel Laplatia, Or, The City That Could Not Dream. Here he is today to answer a few questions about himself and his writing:

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi all! I’m a psychiatrist with a background in philosophy. I like reading, studying and trying to understand how people and our society work. In 2013 I completed my PhD by studying the stigma of mental illnesses, and I decided I had to write novels. I think fiction is a different means to achieve the truth than scientific writing. By creating fiction you can reach the truth in an artistic and unconscious manner, and then share this truth with your reader.

2. When did you start writing, and why?
I started writing in 2013, after my PhD. I was kind of satisfied with my academic achievements, and I decided I had to do something different. Something to do with the arts. I had lots of things I needed to tell the world, things I could not write in scientific papers. And so my books came out.

3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?
I write fiction with psychological themes. I like to create characters similar to real persons. I put many of the conflicts I see in people, my patients, and myself in my characters, and I feel they need to share these feelings with the readers. In my view when you read a book it needs to provide you a take home message. Or at least cause the reader to reflect on the world he is living in. That’s why I write, to urge people to think.

4. What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Surely the greatest joy of writing is to receive feedback from my readers. I love to discuss my books with them. And it satisfies me more when I see that a person really loved the reading, and that my book changed his life in some way.

5. What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?
My latest book is “Laplatia – or, The City That Could Not Dream”. I have some forthcoming projects but they are still very incipient. I need to shape them to have a better idea of what they will turn out to be in the future.

6. “Welcome To My Worlds”: Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.
Laplatia is a city in the near future where natural resources for the generation of electricity have exhausted. In this society mankind invented machines to capture electricity from dreams and imagination’s brain waves to turn it into society’s electrical power. So, no one can freely imagine or dream anymore. How would it be to live in a world like that? Laplatia resembles our society, where our thoughts are shaped by the mass media culture. We are all sort of Laplatians in some way. And so I reproduce common current existential anguishes people show in our society in the book. It has something of darkness, of desperation, and of self-questioning. It’s an unforgettable journey into our own thoughts to read Laplatia.

7. Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
There is Aaron, who works in one of the facilities that extracts electricity from human brains to turn it into societal electrical power. Though he is married, he is a lonely person, who finds himself trapped in his daily routine. There is his wife Daphne, who thought he was the love of her life but got deeply disappointed after years of marriage. Argos is one of the extractor facility’s leaders. He is a bit arrogant, and very stupid with his wife Ophelia. She, in turn, caught him cheating on her in the beginning of the marriage but still decided to stay with him. She is a very disturbed person who cuts herself to diminish her anguish. There is also a doctor, a drug addict, and so on. Wow, got a little bit excited here but never mind, there are no spoilers, lol.8. A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.
I spent nearly a month trying to write chapter 6! This chapter is one that explains the world of Laplatia. I thought it was filled with too much reflection, that it would bore readers with philosophical writing and reflections, and it nearly made me stop writing the book. Turned out that my beta-readers found that this specific chapter was one of the best chapters of the book! They commented that current writers usually do not explain their fictional world in details, and that in general disappoints readers. That’s an example of how different a writer and a reader can judge a same chapter…

9. Is there a message in your book? Do you want your readers to take something home?
Yes. There are several critiques on the homogenization of our culture. We know how films end, there are sort of “recipes” for writing books and making movies and TV shows. The new is rare. Though much has been debated about canned culture and its consequences, like dehumanization and the distant and impersonal character of human relationships in general, we keep doing things the same. Laplatia aims to provoke those questions in the reader’s mind.

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Laplatia, or, The City That Could Not Dream:
How would it be to live in a city where no one was allowed to use his imagination freely? Where dreams and fantasy had to be used for socioeconomic purposes? Laplatia is a dystopian city in the near future where natural resources for the production of electrical power on Earth have been depleted. With increasing chaos due to this shortage, civilization invented the Extractors, machines capable of extracting human imagination and turning it into Fos, electricity’s raw material. Consequently, citizens were prohibited to “spend useless thoughts,” such as those provided by imagination, dreams, and fantasy, unless they were destined to the Extractors. In this city, we follow the story of seven characters, their anguishes, their relationships, and their solitude. Laplatia is an erratic story that emotionally moves the reader and urges him to reflect about himself and the society. After all, who said one’s thought is free?Laplatia is available at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords |

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About the Author:
Alexandre A. Loch is a psychiatrist who graduated from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, obtaining a PhD degree by studying the stigma of mental illnesses. He also holds a bachelor degree in philosophy, and in 2013, he started his career as a writer. Besides writing, he currently acts as a researcher, having authored many scientific articles published in international journals, and being the associate editor of Frontiers in Public Mental Health.Alexandre always liked to read. Early in his childhood, he read several best-sellers and classics of international literature. His favorite authors are Hemmingway, Dostoievski, Lee Harper, Virginia Woolf, Jose Saramago, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Alexandre also appreciates contemporary literature in Portuguese and in English.

His first released book, Bile Negra (Black Bile), is an introspective psychological fiction about Iago and his soul’s journey through a big city. The book was well received by the Brazilian critic. In 2016, he will release Laplatia (The City that Could Not Dream), in the United States, by Black Rose Writing.

With a shrill style, the aim of the author is to make people reflect upon the ideas presented in his books. His concept of art, which encompasses the art of writing, includes the idea that books should change people.

“I like to make people think with my fictions. A book should provoke catharsis; induce the reader to reflect about himself, his life, and the society he is living in. For that, I usually use a sharp style that touches directly the reader’s soul.”

Where to find Alexandre A. Loch:
Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn


Author Spotlight: Alexandre A. Loch

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Introducing author Alexandre A. Loch and his dystopian science fiction novel, Laplatia, Or, The City That Could Not Dream.

How would it be to live in a city where no one was allowed to use his imagination freely? Where dreams and fantasy had to be used for socioeconomic purposes? Laplatia is a dystopian city in the near future where natural resources for the production of electrical power on Earth have been depleted. With increasing chaos due to this shortage, civilization invented the Extractors, machines capable of extracting human imagination and turning it into Fos, electricity’s raw material. Consequently, citizens were prohibited to “spend useless thoughts,” such as those provided by imagination, dreams, and fantasy, unless they were destined to the Extractors.

In this city, we follow the story of seven characters, their anguishes, their relationships, and their solitude. Laplatia is an erratic story that emotionally moves the reader and urges him to reflect about himself and the society. After all, who said one’s thought is free?

Laplatia on Facebook

Laplatia is available at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

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About the Author:
Alexandre A. Loch is a psychiatrist who graduated from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, obtaining a PhD degree by studying the stigma of mental illnesses. He also holds a bachelor degree in philosophy, and in 2014, he started his career as a writer. Besides writing, he currently acts as a researcher, having authored many scientific articles published in international journals, and being the associate editor of Frontiers in Public Mental Health.Alexandre always liked to read. Early in his childhood, he read several best-sellers and classics of international literature. His favorite authors are Hemmingway, Dostoievski, Lee Harper, Virginia Woolf, Jose Saramago, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Alexandre also appreciates contemporary literature in Portuguese and in English.His first released book, Bile Negra (Black Bile), is an introspective psychological fiction about Iago and his soul’s journey through a big city. The book was well received by the Brazilian critic. In 2016, he releases Laplatia (The City that Could Not Dream), by Black Rose Writing (TX, USA).

With a shrill style, the aim of the author is to make people reflect upon the ideas presented in his books. His concept of art, which encompasses the art of writing, includes the idea that books should change people.

“I like to make people think with my fictions. A book should provoke catharsis; induce the reader to reflect about himself, his life, and the society he is living in. For that, I usually use a sharp style that touches directly the reader’s soul.”

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn


Author Spotlight: Emma Woods

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Today I’m happy to welcome Emma Woods, author of YA dystopian fantasy Beasts and Savages:

1.Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a small town girl from the Midwest, and the oldest of four. Our house was crazy most of the time, with kids playing everywhere, so when I wanted to escape, I’d find a quite place or slip to my room and read. I was a book nerd/marching band geek, and Girl Scout and wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. I went to college to become a teacher, but fate had other plans. I think if I would have taught, I may not have taken the initiative to write and publish, so in a way, I’m happy where I am.

2.When did you start writing, and why?
I’d like to think that writing has always been and interest, or even a hobby I’ve had for most of my life. Does that make me a  lifetime writer? I don’t know, but I didn’t decide to become a published writer until about nine months ago.

3.What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?
I write mostly YA stories, because they are my favorite to read. I love writing because it is my escape. I have all these stories playing in my head. Why not write them down and share them with the world?

4.What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?
My latest, and first, book series is The Beastly Series. Beasts and Savages is the first book in the series. The second book is in the works and coming along nicely, thanks to NaNoWriMo. It is due to be released on April 1, 2016. For the title, I plan to pick three of my best ideas and have a Twitter poll to let my readers pick it.

5.”Welcome To My Worlds”: Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.
The world in Beasts and Savages is one where women and men live in separate communities. The women’s cities are highly controlled and full of technological advances. The men live in small villages in the wilds and rely on women for medications and offspring. When girls come of age, they change into beasts with the sole instinct to hunt, mate, and kill a boy. To keep order, hunts are staged twice a year and most girls only hunt once.

6.Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
Lea is a born and bred hunter, who endures changing into a beast for a few days once a month. When women are in full-on beast mode, their instincts take over and all sense of reason leaves them. They have one goal: to find a boy, mate with him, and then kill him. Lea is able to control her instincts better than most, and refuses to kill.  She also one of a few who remembers changings, which means that she remembers every agonizing movement of her teeth dropping, bristles pushing out of her skin, and sudden sensitivity to light and sounds. I like how she follows her moral compass and isn’t afraid to ask hard questions.

Tanner is a green eyed sweetheart who doesn’t have a clue. Lea is the first girl he’s ever met, and he doesn’t know how to treat her. He’s a bit protective, strong, and isn’t afraid to stand up for himself against other boys, but he does have a fearful respect for his father, Locke. He’s known  as the obedient son. I like that even though he has feelings for Lea, he’s not a push over. When he thinks Lea needs put in her place, he tells her.

Miller is a villain that we come to  understand. Maybe not like, but at least we learn why he’s a villain. He hates Lea, and all women from the start, and does terrible things to her. At one time Miller and Tanner were friends, but the presence of Lea puts a rift in their friendship. I like that he has a back story, a reason for being evil, instead of just being mean because that’s what he knows. But be warned, his reason doesn’t mean you’ll hate him any less.

7.A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.
I wrote five endings to Beasts and Savages, and at the urging of my final beta reader, rewrote the one I had settled on again just 48 hours before I sent it to my formatting person to submit for publishing.

Beasts and Savages is available at:
Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Where to find Emma Woods:
Website | Goodreads | Facebook


Author Spotlight: Shari Sakurai

PictureToday I am happy to welcome author Shari Sakurai, interviewing her character Adam Larimore from her dystopian/sci fi novel, Perfect World:

1. What is your full name? Is there anything significant about your name?
Adam: My full name’s Adam Victor James Larimore. The Larimore family name is very well known due to the fact that my father, Victor James Larimore, was one of the wealthiest men in the country.

2. How old are you?
Adam: I’m 22 years old.

3. Tell us about your family. What do you like and not like about them?
Adam: Father was the only real family I had. My mother was a surrogate and was only interested in the money that father paid her once she had given birth to me. I’ve never met her and nor do I want to.

My father made all of his money in creating computer software mainly for the Government and L.S.A (London Security Agency). We never really got along to be honest. As he paid for my creation he saw me as an investment rather than his son. He was pretty cold towards me most of the time, unless I did something to anger him which I did rather frequently! He was obsessed with his work and we didn’t spend that much time together outside of the office. After learning that I had been created to inherit his company and wealth we fought most of the time. I remember him making more of an effort with me when I was a child, but his business-like approaching to parenting meant that I never really knew him.

4. Who was your first kiss, and what did you think of it?
Adam: My first kiss was with a guy I met in one of the illegal underground nightclubs that I used to go to. Seth I think his name was. We’d been talking for a while and I was sure he wanted to kiss me, but he was kind of nervous about it so I took the initiative and kissed him *laughs* it was kind of awkward as I don’t think he’d kissed anyone before either! We kept bumping teeth and he didn’t know what to do with his arms – at one point he just had them by his sides! It was quite cute but nothing special really!

5. What is your occupation?
Adam: Supervillain! *smirks*

6. What are your best and worst qualities?
Adam: My best qualities are my intellect – I’ve never met anyone smarter than me – and I’m very self-assured and have a good sense of humour.

I can be very arrogant and ruthless, but I would say my worst quality is not being able to deal with my emotions. I tend to hide behind my strong personality rather than talk honestly about my feelings.

7. What quality do you value most in a romantic partner?
Adam: Honesty and openness. Most of the people in my life whom I’ve been closest to have lied to me so I really value someone who can just be honest with me.

8. What is your favorite thing to do?
Adam: I love to visit places of historical importance that were left in ruin by the great tsunamis. I’ve spent quite a lot of time at the ruins of the Tower of London collecting artefacts that had been displaced by the waves and restoring them. I find the past fascinating and it’s really sad that a lot of our history has been cast aside and forgotten in the wake of the disaster.

9. What is your greatest fear?
Adam: That Eric will discover the truth about me and what agreements I made in order to get revenge against Ivan and the L.S.A. I’m terrified of losing him and know that I will if he ever learns everything about my past.

10. What is your most treasured possession?
Adam: It’s a photograph of me and my father. It was taken outside of Larimore Systems’ headquarters when I was about eleven years old. There was a problem with a new program that the company was developing and I had been able to resolve it. He was so proud of me that day. It’s one of the few occasions that I can recall us actually getting along.

PicturePerfect World (Perfect World series, Book 1)

It is the year 2115 and the world is very different. With climate changes, natural disasters and war shaping the landscape, England has become a nation made up of several super cities and wasteland in between.Eric Rawlins is a genetically engineered superhero created by the London Security Agency (L.S.A) to defend and protect the city against both national and international threats. With his superior abilities, celebrity status and beautiful girlfriend, Eric appears to have the perfect life. However, it is an illusion created by the L.S.A in order to control him.

Eric’s nemesis is the charismatic Adam Larimore. The only son of billionaire business tycoon Victor Larimore, Adam is gifted with a genius level IQ as well as the same longevity as Eric.

When the actions of the L.S.A throw the two of them together Eric finds himself questioning everything that he has ever known as well as discovering the true course of events that led to Adam turning to a life of crime. As they become closer Eric realises that the L.S.A may be the real threat to London. But can he trust Adam or is he part of Adam’s plan for revenge against those who have wronged him?

Perfect World:
Amazon | Website

Read on for an excerpt from Perfect World:

Continue reading


Author Spotlight: N.J. Paige

N.J. PaigeIntroducing author N.J. Paige and her novel Rise of the Nephilim: Fire and Blood:


1. Tell us a little about yourself.

First, I want to thank you for having me as a guest on your blog. A little bit about me: well, I’m a mom of two wonderful children and wife to the best husband in the world-my best friend.2. When did you start writing, and why?
This may be a little cliche, but I began in high school. I found it as a way to express all my frustrations as a teenage girl.3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?
My goal is to write across many different genres. However, currently, I find that I’m drawn to Fantasy/Science-Fiction. The most important thing for me though, no matter what genre I happen to be writing in, is to support the foundations that I believe to be the foundations of Humanity-love, empathy, honor.

4. What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?
My latest book is a new series, Rise of The Nephilim: Fire And Blood. Its foundations are love and empathy-two of Humanities foundations I referred to earlier.

Also, you are the first to know, my new release, Code Human, will be out 4/25/2015. Its foundations lie in love, honor, empathy, and I’ll add, respect. Both series have kick-butt heroines who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Rise of the Nephilim: Fire and Blood5. “Welcome To My Worlds”: Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.

Rise Of The Nephilim: Fire And Blood is set in an subterranean world-Babylon, where there are large lakes, cave structures with some modern utilities such as electricity. Think of a medieval village, with some sort of modernity. Its core is beneath New York City. In this world are strange beings-Epochs, Imps, and Fallen Angels, not to mention Nephilims.6. Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
Well, some of my characters are Maxine Lauren-the main charater. Although Maxine has been bullied all her life for her unique features, and has every reason to hate the world, it is her love for her family and for Humanity that will save the world. Also Amand, Maxine’s Fallen Angel father. He is set on destroying the world, for he so hates Humanity, but his love for Maxine, his Sarai, and her human mother, Maybie, is cutting that hate down a little at a time. And I must not forget Mathias, the golden Angel from the Realm of Angels. He is Maxine’s first love. And he is willing to risk everything to protect her and to show his love for her-an unforbidden love.7. A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.
Hmm. A fun fact. Let me think. Well, I have a passion for gardening. And one of my dreams is to one day build a home that is completely off the grid and will provide food for me and my family via greenhouses and so forth. Aslo, I love to hike and do all kinds of outdoorsy stuff.

8. Blog/site link, and where your book is available.
Rise of The Nephilim is available at Amazon.
Where to find N.J.:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter

I want to thank you again for having me as your guest. [Kyra sez: You’re welcome 🙂 My pleasure!]

Read on for an excerpt from Rise of the Nephilim: Fire and Blood:

Continue reading


Author Spotlight: Daelynn Quinn

Fall of VenusIntroducing YA fantasy author Daelynn Quinn:


1. Tell us a little about yourself.

Besides writing novels, I enjoy hiking, running, and occasionally painting. I am a vegan with hippie tendencies, and yes, I like to hug trees. But besides that I have three children – all boys – who keep me busy most of the time. Reading was not always a passion of mine, especially in my youth, so I am adamant on making sure my boys learn the joys that can be found inside books.

2. When did you start writing, and why?

To be honest, it all started with a backache. A very severe backache. About two years ago I somehow managed to injure my back and I was practically bedridden for months. I got tired of watching the television, and my book collection was rather small at the time. I had just gotten my Kindle and had read a few indie books that I had gotten for free from the Kindle store. After a while, I thought, “I could do that! I could write!” So, to keep myself from getting bored, I spent my days lying on the couch with my lappy perched on my thighs, writing a book. After my back healed, I just couldn’t stop!

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

I write about whatever crazy ideas pop into my head. The dystopian genre pulls me in as well as YA/NA because younger characters are so naïve and impulsive – it makes the plot more exciting. What I enjoy most about my writing is coming up with new ideas as I go along. I try to have an outline when I begin, but as I get to know my characters more I have a tendency to stray.

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

I recently released Neverland Academy, a contemporary YA adaptation of Peter Pan and I’m currently working on an untitled work, which will be the frontrunner of a lengthy series in which vampires exploit humans the way we currently exploit animals.

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

Neverland Academy takes place in the real world, so there is nothing terribly exciting about that. But the specific setting is quite interesting. It takes place on an old antebellum plantation on the outskirts of Athens, GA. One of the peculiar things about this mansion-turned-school is that it has hidden tunnels running through the walls and underneath the academy, which was previously used as a station in the Underground Railroad. This is where Finn and his band of outcast boys stay hidden while they pull their pranks.

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

Daphne is a typical rebellious teenager. She reminds me a little of what I tried to be in my youth, but failed miserably because I’m a wimp. She is strong-willed and never backs down from a fight, but she’s also vulnerable when it comes to her heart. Finn is a lovable prankster who refuses to give up his youth. He almost always has a positive outlook on life, which makes him so charismatic among his peers. I love Finn’s charm despite his refusal to grow up.

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

My first book, Fall of Venus, started out based on a dream I had once when I woke up in the woods and had no idea how I got there. That was it. The idea evolved as I wrote and by the time I was halfway done writing it, I had the whole series mapped out in my head.8. Daelynn Quinn’s books on Amazon:
Neverland Academy
Fall of Venus (Fall of Venus #1)
Crimson Return (Fall of Venus #2)
The Trinity (Fall of Venus #3)

Neverland AcademyNeverland Academy:

It was the worst day of Daphne’s life. Not only had her parents moved her from Atlanta to the middle of nowhere, but her boyfriend broke up with her in the middle of a crowded club and her parents grounded her for a month for sneaking out and stealing the BMW. All in one night! If she were back home in Atlanta it would be no problem. She could always find ways of getting around her punishments. But this was rural Georgia. And there was nowhere to go but woods and farmland. That is, until Finn showed up at her window.

Finn was the invincible mascot of Neverland Academy where Daphne’s brothers attended. For the five years since he’d been expelled from the all-boys boarding school, he lived in the old slave tunnels under the former antebellum plantation home. He and his band of outcast boys lived for pulling pranks on the school’s professors, and especially the headmaster, Byron Trappe, who had a personal vendetta against Finn.

Daphne grew to love life under the academy. But there was one problem. She was falling for Finn. Hard. She knew he didn’t want a relationship or anything that resembled growing up. But when the wall she built between them begins to crumble before her eyes, will she stay at the academy and face impending heartbreak? Or will she leave her heart behind and escape the dangers of criminal life, including a perilous encounter with the vengeful headmaster?

Excerpt:

“You’re not a student here,” a voice drifted from behind her as if a breeze carried it through a drafty window.

Daphne jumped nearly two inches off her seat and her heart thumped wildly against her chest. Quickly she hit “Send” and stood, guarding the computer screen. She was shocked to meet face to face with a boy who looked not much older than she. Judging by his stature, tall and athletic, he looked like he couldn’t possibly be young enough to attend, but his boyish face complete with deep-set dimples defied that thought. His hair, black as coal was spiked up in that “just got out of bed” look and he was dressed in a black V-neck tee shirt and jeans, which had worn holes in the knees. She was well familiar with the style, being in the crowd she was in, but this didn’t exactly look like a fashion statement. Especially not with bare feet that looked like they’d been through a few mud puddles since his last shower. It certainly didn’t meet the dress code for Neverland Academy.

“Apparently neither are you,” Daphne retorted, letting her gaze scan him from head to toe, but she refused to meet his eyes. There was something intimidating about this boy. She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but there was something about him that made her incredibly nervous.

The boy smiled, showing off a perfect set of teeth.

“What are you doing here?” he asked, leaning back against the bookcase and crossing his arms in a cocky manner.

Daphne twitched nervously. Surely this guy wasn’t old enough to be a professor, was he? “I was just sending an email. See, my parents haven’t set up the Internet at our house yet and I just needed to get in touch with some old friends from—”

“No not here, in the library. I mean what are you doing at the academy? Don’t tell me Professor Pervpot has changed the rules to allow girls in.”

“Professor who?”

The boy rolled his eyes and sighed. “Trappe?”

“No!” Daphne laughed. “My brothers are starting school here. We came to help them move in and do the tour and stuff, which was incredibly boring, I might add. And speaking of Trappe, is it just me or is he a really creepy guy?”

“Don’t I know it.”

For the first time Daphne met his eyes and did not look away. She was dazzled by the clarity of them. It was like somebody sliced a lime in half and stuck the two halves in his eyeballs, with the flesh facing out. She’d never seen green eyes that looked so bright and clear. She struggled to look away, but couldn’t. His gaze remained on her, audacious and enraptured.

“So you’re into computers, huh?”

“Kind of,” Daphne replied humbly.

“Kind of? Really? What you just did seemed like the work of a seasoned hacker.” Daphne trembled a little. Would she get in trouble? Who was this guy?

“Don’t worry,” he said, catching on to her nervousness. “I won’t tell. What’s your name?”

“Daphne,” she said. She instinctively turned toward the entrance of the library when voices drifted in from the foyer. Daphne could hear the distinct voice of Headmaster Trappe approaching along with her mother’s gentle voice. She turned back to the boy. “What’s yours?”

But he was gone. Daphne walked along the computer tables, peeking down each aisle of bookcases, but the boy was nowhere in sight. He just seemed to disappear.

Crimson ReturnAbout the Author:

Daelynn Quinn was born and raised in southern Maryland where she spent her youth exploring and falling in love with nature in the woods behind her house. She graduated the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in dietetics, which she promptly abandoned to pursue writing. Daelynn’s writing is fast-paced and laced with current issues that concern her. Her first dystopian trilogy, Fall of Venus, focused on climate change and the biochemical industries. Her recently-released YA novel, Neverland Academy, delves into child abuse and negligence. Daelynn is excited to be commencing a new series, which will tear into the animal exploitation industries. While she is not reading or writing, Daelynn enjoys brainstorming while mowing her lawn, cooking healthy meals her kids refuse to eat, and watching old episodes of Mr. Bean with her three boys.Where to find Daelynn:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Author Spotlight: Arie Farnam

Arie FarnamIntroducing Arie Farnam, author of the dystopian fantasy Kyrennei series:

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m originally from a remote rural area in Eastern Oregon. I grew up in a family with somewhat alternative values and an earth-based spiritual bent. I also grew up legally blind. Those two influences collided to give me an education in being an outsider as a teenager. Later, I traveled extensively in about 35 countries, worked as a newspaper correspondent in places like Kosovo, the Ukraine and Kazakhstan, produced documentary films and generally had a very interesting journalistic career. Now, I live in the Czech Republic with my husband and my two small children. I suppose I am still sort of an outsider, because I’m a foreigner and visually impaired and I often hold minority views. But I’ve made peace with that. And hence my books, which partly deal with issues of social exclusion and inclusion.

2. When did you start writing, and why?
I was taught to type by a wonderful teacher when I was in sixth grade. That opened up a whole new world to me. I’ve never been all that good at expressing myself orally and handwriting was always difficult. Typing was like freedom. My imagination and expression ran wild. I have basically written something every since. Sometimes it’s fiction, sometimes newspaper articles, sometimes just very long letters but I have never had to make myself write or suffered from writers block. If there weren’t other necessary and fun things to do in life, I would write all the time.

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

One thing I really love about writing fiction is the feedback from readers. Non-fiction is good too but fiction is really fun to share. Everyone I’ve heard from has been intensely gripped my series and has fallen in love with the characters. When readers tell me that they meant to just read for a bit and then ended up staying up half the night and wandering around at work the next day daydreaming about my characters, all I can say is, “Yeah, I know. Isn’t it bizarre? I had the same problem while writing it.”

Right now, I’m finishing up a series that is something between contemporary dystopia and a fantasy thriller. It’s my first serious work of fiction. I’ve had the ideas and characters and much of the plot since I was a teenager but I always dismissed it as being “too out-there”, “too-intense” or “too” something else. I was embarrassed to let my fantasies loose on the world. I tried to write all kinds of other fiction and was never satisfied. For a long time, I thought that I must just be a non-fiction writer. But then about a year ago, I decided to try writing this story down, even though I never expected to show it to anyone. I was emboldened partly by recent trends in the dystopia genre, which showed me that my story isn’t beyond the pale.

When I started writing it, I was shocked by what happened. I was gripped by what seemed like a “writer’s fever.” I literally wrote for three months straight. I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t sleep. I could barely keep the rest of my life together. In three months, I wrote the rough drafts of three novels. I’ve spent the last few months learning about the new shape of the publishing world, deciding to go independent, creating a website, learning graphic design, editing, editing, editing and seeking out editors and finally publishing and marketing the books. Despite my worries at the beginning, the first book has a five-star average on Amazon.

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

Okay, the series is called The Kyrennei Series.

Book One is The Soul and the Seed. It’s out as an ebook and will be out in paperback within the next few days.

Book Two is The Fear and the Solace. That will be published as an ebook in early October.

The third book, The Taken and the Free, should be launched at a series party on November 8 if all goes well.

I’m also reworking my narrative non-fiction book Border Crossing Lessons. It is sort of a memoir, sort of just a story about incredible people I met and harrowing adventures I had as a shoestring journalist and traveler in my early twenties. That will be out in 2015.

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

The Kyrennei Series is about a fantasy world that outwardly looks exactly like the real world. The difference is that so many of the problems of today’s world that we have a hard time explaining are explained – everything from inter-ethnic wars to high school cliques, as well as political parties, the military industrial complex and corruption. In essence, it’s a whopping good conspiracy theory and it holds water disturbingly well.There is a clandestine force which usurps the wills and desires of individuals, making them fervent disciples of a secret cult of power. A certain portion of the population – including many politicians, business leaders and socialites – are part of what is called the Addin Association.

The Addin is in essence a manifestation of the human desire for power over others. Humans cannot resist the Addin. If the Addin wants an individual, they take them and there is nothing the individual can do about it. Some people can put it off a little longer than others, but in the end, no human can stand up to it. And once taken by the Addin, you desire more power for the Addin and you can take others under its control as well, except that the Addin doesn’t want everyone to have that kind of power and thus only strategic individuals are usually “taken.”

As usually happens in nature, the world started out with something to balance the Addin. There was a race of non-human people, a parallel species to Homo sapiens and those people, known as Kyrennei, could not be controlled by the Addin without their consent. In ancient times, some humans wanted to remain free of the Addin and they asked the Kyrennei for help. The Kyrennei allied themselves with some of these humans and thus came into direct conflict with the Addin. In around 300 CE, the Addin decided that the Kyrennei were a threat to their power and thus began a particularly bloody period of history, during which the Addin tried to exterminate the Kyrennei. By around 700 CE they had succeeded, given that the Kyrennei were not very numerous.

But Kyrennei mystics put in place two important things before they were wiped out. First, they equipped their human allies with a strange sign made up of very subtle gestures, which would disappear from their memory if they were taken by the Addin. Thus, their allies, now called Meikans, would always know who among them was taken by the Addin and who was free. The Meikans, being human, were more able than the Kyrennei to hide and some of them still survive today, hiding from the Addin in the general population and passing down through the generations their special sign, their quiet resistance to the Addin and a secret international Pagan religion.

Secondly, the Kyrennei mystics attempted to hide their DNA, through the use of what appeared to be magic, scattered in dormant genes among humans. There was a prophecy that some day the bits and pieces would come together and the Kyrennei would return. But in the twenty-first century few, even among Meikans, actually believe in such things. True, myths and legends about non-human people with pointy ears and slight stature still abound in many disconnected parts of the world, mystifying folklorists from Ireland to Vietnam, but they’re only old legends after all.

Or are they?

That is the world that the Kyrennei Series opens on. I hope to someday write more books, beyond the initial trilogy, including historical books about how the modern situation came to be.

6. Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
Aranka is “semi-normal” sixteen-year-old girl. She’s a bit awkward and more athletic than most. She doesn’t pay enough attention to fashion or social cliques, so she’s not real popular in high school but she has a couple good friends. Then, some doctors come to her school to administer a surprise blood test and they claim she’s sick with a terrible super virus. Aranka and several other kids are shut away in a quarantine and wake up imprisoned in cages in a warehouse. Aranka doesn’t know the Addin, which holds true power in the world, exists any more than your average kid in twenty-first century America does. And when a young doctor tells her that she is belongs to an extinct non-human race called the Kyrennei, she’s pretty sure he’s delusional. But after a strange illness and gene therapy, she does now have pointed ears and her body has changed in other ways… and the people keeping her in a cage are killing others who look like her.

Kenyen is the young doctor who tries to tell Aranka about the harsh realities of their world. He’s an undercover agent for an international group of outlaws who actively resist the Addin. The leaders of the resistance have prepared him for this ever since he was a kid, including putting him through medical school. The modern study of genetics has given the Addin access to the dormant Kyrennei genes hidden deep within the human genome and they have decided to force the Kyrennei to return on their own terms, so that they can easily eradicate those who defy their power. Kenyen’s mission is to infiltrate the Addin laboratories and participate in killing Kyrennei at first. Then once the scheme has picked up speed, he is supposed to use his inside position to spearhead a raid by resistance fighters that should free a great number of Kyrennei. The problem with that plan – other than the fact that it’s insanely dangerous to try to infiltrate a group that can control your will in an instant if they ever find out you’re not really one of them – is that he’s a doctor and he has to help kill innocent kids. And it’s destroying him.

Beyond Aranka and Kenyen, the main characters are the members of J. Company, a diverse group of resistance fighters. There’s Thanh, the young Vietnamese Meikan outlaw who narrates a good part of the first two books in the series. He’s just an incredibly awesome character and whenever I was stuck for a voice, I settled on him. Then there’s Jace, the Australian mastermind of J. Company. Jace’s second in command is a tough-as-nails, middle-aged Russian lesbian named Dasha. There’s also Cho, a Japanese medical student who’s in love with Thanh; Rick, Kenyen’s Arab foster brother; Kwasi, an East African musician and mechanic; and Radek, a Czech cartographer with a suspicious streak.

The primary bad guy isn’t actually the boss of all the Addin. One problem with the whole Addin puzzle is that there isn’t really a boss. The Addin isn’t just the people controlled by it and can’t be that easily destroyed. But one Addin figure does stand out, at least for Aranka and Kenyen, because he’s the kind of guy who really hates it when someone small and weak stands up to him or makes him look less than invincible. And this guy Bradley becomes obsessed with torturing Kyrennei prisoners, particularly Aranka, because they resist his domination without even trying.

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

Many of the locations in the book are real, so you can read it and have fun navigating with the characters on GoogleEarth.

The Pagan religion of the Meikans is fictional but similar Pagan belief systems now make up the fastest growing religion in the United States.

The Soul and the SeedTHE SOUL AND THE SEED (Book One of the Kyrennei Series)

What if your very existence threatened the heart of power?

It’s the 21st century, right now, in America and on the surface everything looks just fine. But the commonly accepted image of society is an illusion. A clandestine force usurps the desires of individuals, and those who won’t conform must be crushed to preserve the appearance of free will.Aranka is just a sixteen-year-old girl but a fluke in her genes makes her a threat. Those with power will stop at nothing to protect their supremacy. She is kidnapped by doctors who claim she´s sick but it´s only a matter of time before it´s her turn to die.

A diverse band of outlaws from every corner of the globe represent the only hope of resistance. Kenyen, a young doctor, infiltrates to the heart of the oppression but he can’t stop the terror. He just wants to save one life. In the process he uncovers “the Seed,” the first flicker of hope in a thousand years.

“This could be the next big thing! It presents a dystopian, world-shattering vision while taking place in the recognizable here and now. The characters are flawed, angst-ridden, and totally believable. The plot is instantly engaging, carefully laid out, and strewn with unexpected twists. Subtle yet apparent undertones surrounding issues of race, politics, language, geography, and urban vs rural culture all contribute to the rich, aromatic “stew” in which this story bubbles. .” -George Lederer, school librarian and radio actor

“The Soul and the Seed is a well-crafted tale, full of dynamic characters and showcasing some of the best aspects of fantasy literature: world building and meaningful social commentary by way of holding up a fantastical mirror to our own world. This is modern fantasy, with no vampires or werewolves or inane teenage romance, and it succeeds where so many similar books fail.” -Damian Roache

The Fear and the SolaceTHE FEAR AND THE SOLACE (Book Two of the Kyrennei Series)

What if you had to fight a war you knew you could never win?Twenty-two-year-old Cho is temporary commander of the J. Company compound in Montana when disaster strikes. The scouting team in Portland, Oregon has been ambushed on the 205 bridge. If they’re captured, their souls will be usurped by the malevolent Addin Association. Then Cho will be on her own in a secret world war that cannot be won. Two of her closest friends are dead, the man she loves is at the epicenter of the peril and the one who carries the first hope in a thousand years is lost, almost certainly killed in a rain of bullets.

Hope is a fragile thing and fear is constant companion. It’s the twenty-first century, right now, in America, and a clandestine force controls the highest seats of power. It will stop at nothing to stamp out resistance. Meikans like Cho have lived in terror of the Addin for generations and those who dare to stand up to its power are shunned as outlaws by their own people. Then a mere girl fulfilled an almost forgotten prophecy and hope briefly flowered in unlikely places. But does a giant even notice the crushing of a single flower? One girl is easy enough to kill.

The Fear and the Solace will be published in the first days of October 2014.

The Soul and the Seed is available at Amazon.

Where to find Arie Farnam:
Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook