Thursday, September 29, 2016

Crystal Marcos Tour Stop

I'm honored to be a stop on Crystal Marcos's blog tour.
Novus (The Cresecren Chronicles #1)
by Crystal Marcos
Genre: YA Dystopian
Release Date: August 18th 2015

Summary from Goodreads:

~"Official Selection" Winner in the E-Book Young Adult category, 2015 New Apple Book Awards!~

~Winner Best Books in the Young Adult category, 2016 Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards!~

~"Honorable Mention" Winner in the Sci-fi category, 2016 New York Book Festival!~

~B.R.A.G Medallion Honoree, 2016 indieBRAG!~

~"Honorable Mention" Winner in the Young Adult category, 2016 Hollywood Book Festival!~

~Bronze Medal Winner in the Young Adult - General category, 2016 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards!~

5 Stars -I would recommend not starting Novus (The Cresecren Chronicles, Book 1) by Crystal Marcos if you have anything planned for the rest of the day, as you will most likely not want to put the book down! . . . It's the kind of book whose characters you miss when you finish the book. -Readers' Favorite

Ideal for Hunger Games and Divergent fans, Crystal Marcos delivers Novus, a riveting novel set in a dystopian future of action-adventure, suspense, and romance. Intriguing characters and a gripping storyline keep the reader turning page after page.

Being a teenager is hard enough. And what if your life’s path is predetermined? On top of that, you aren’t even Human?

Cayden was given life as a Cresecren. He expected to live out his days with the dysfunctional Human family he was assigned to serve. One fateful night, however, landed him in Gavaron, the home of maimed, elderly, or defiant Cresecren.

Beyond its borders is the Den, an area much more dangerous than he ever imagined. Now seventeen, Cayden unwittingly becomes involved in a conspiracy and is one of a handful of survivors fleeing a deadly attack. They set off on a perilous journey in search of refuge and the truth. Along the way, Cayden begins to comprehend the difference between fully living and merely surviving, while trying to balance his emotions and a forbidden love. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Interview with horror writer, Israel Finn.

Today I have the honor of talking to a great horror author, Israel Finn. His collection of horror stories are fantastic and I highly recommend you pick it up. 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a horror writer living in southern California with my wife, and my dog, Sammy.

Does your wife share the same passion for horror as you?
Absolutely! I corrupted her early on!

What type of dog?
He's a Westiepoo. That's white west highland terrier and poodle mix.

Dreaming at the Top of my Lungs is one of the best indie books I've read this year. Tell us about the stories that are in it.
They're all very dark, psychological horror. Or most anyway. Water and War is more of an allegory, and an homage to Ray Bradbury. But all the stories have some deeper message. I wasn't really trying to do that consciously, but it just came out that way. Because, you know, wherever you go, there you are. And thanks, by the way!

Which story out of that collection is your favorite?
Stranded. No question.

And why is that?
I've always loved time travel stories. Can't get enough of them. Stranded is a bit of a twist on a time travel story. It's more of a time "stay" story. But the concept of playing with time is still there. It also has that message in it of "be careful what you wish for" which I love.

Why the horror genre?
It's the best there is, in my opinion. It can have elements of all the other genres and still remain true to itself. Horror goes deeper. It explores the nooks and crannies of human psychology, people's deepest fears and anxiety. Kafka said, to paraphrase, if a story doesn't wound you, if it doesn't draw blood, then there's no reason to tell it. Horror draws blood.

Great answer. Was there an author that influenced your writing?
Stephen King would have to be my greatest influence. But also Bradbury, Matheson, and McCammon, to name a few.

What was you first Stephen King book?
My first was my favorite. The Stand.

The second author I've interviewed who'd said that book. Fantastic read.
Yes it is. I've read it probably five times.

How do you go about planning out your stories? Or, do you write them on the fly?
Somewhere in between. I try to remain as much of a pantser as possible, because it's more fun to write that way. I get to be surprised along the way. But some stories demand a degree of outlining, depending on how complicated they are. 

Any rituals?
Not really. I just get up in the morning, eat some cereal, have a cup of coffee, walk the pooch, then start in

What are you working on now?
A novel about a man who is given the power to travel through the multiverse, and who has to stop another man from destroying it.

Sounds interesting. That will be placed on my TBR list. When is it expected to be released?
My plan is around Halloween to be finished with the first draft, so hopefully sometime after the first of the year.

What defines horror the best to you? Gore, or plain old creepiness?
Definitely creepiness. The late 70s and 8os slasher flicks hijacked the genre for a while, if you ask me. Blood is easy. Try scaring people without gore. It's harder. But it's almost always better. It's like Hitchcock said about the turning of a doorknob being scarier than actually seeing what's on the other side of the door.

Very true. You think that is missing in today's horror? The Exorcist still creeps me out today when I watch it. You don't see that much now a days.
I think it's making a comeback. You can only see so much blood and gore before you get desensitized to it. People want good stories, with strong characters. I love The Exorcist too, by the way. 

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and chat, but before you go, what's the one horror movie you've watched so many times you know it by heart?
Stir of Echoes. LOVE that movie!! Thanks for having me. This was fun! 

You can find Israel on social media.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Interview with Carol Sabel Blodgett

Today I had the pleasure of talking to the witty, Carol Sabel Blodgett.

First off, tell us a little about yourself.
I'm from the Midwest. I'm remarried because divorce is so much fun. I have three kids. One is sixteen and just went to military school. Loves it. Weird. My twins are eleven. I live outside Tulsa and moved here from SE Iowa a few years ago. And I just went indie and I’m very excited to be making my own decisions. 

You just went indie. So you were with an agent before?
An agency, yes. 

Why did you decide to leave?
We had MAJOR creative differences. Rather than editing and working together it was "slash this, cut these chapters, this is ridiculous, why would you write this? This is low class and crass..." I was looking to work with someone, or a couple of someone’s, not be brow beat over my work. It didn't start out that way but it wasn't long. 

In other words, full control over your work.
I guess so, yes. I can compromise, no problem, but name calling has no place. I have a new team and I can't tell you how easy it is to work with people who respect you. 

What was the first book you published?
Wanderer. Book One in my series. There are 5 total. 

Have you completed the series?
Book 4 is 3/4. Book 5 will go quickly because I know exactly what I’m doing. 3 is in editing right now. 
Tell us a little about, Wanderer.
My story centers around three characters. My lead male is Seth, he's not been able to die and has no idea why he's able to keep going hundreds of years after everyone he's known has kicked off. Erica is just a regular girl who's anything but regular, though she doesn't know it yet. Roe is the one who's followed Seth all his life, her only ambition is to have him to herself. They all meet up and it hits the fan amid revelations of Seth's past and Erica's present.  Though the end has a twist no one has seen coming, thank God.

Sounds very interesting. When can we expect to see the book?
It was released almost two years ago through my agency. Captive is my second in the came out last month. 

Did you plot out the series, or did you write on the fly?
I write it on the fly. I know where I want to start and how I want it to end but the guts get made up as I go. It's never failed me. I can't make a grocery list, I go blank, so I try to outline my own work is suicide.

I find out that if I try to plot out a story, you think of something better as you write.
I completely believe that. 

What was your influence in writing?
I think my influence was just to get it out of my head. I had my twins and I became so busy with life that when they went to preschool I had all this time and all these things in my head. I paced my house for some time because I knew that once I sat down to write that I would be all in forever and I didn't want to give myself over to that because it's so much work and is just exhausting but finally one day I sat down and pulled up a page and went like gangbusters and haven't stopped. It keeps me up at night and I get very little sleep these days because writing is calling and I answer it. Writing owns me. I think that's the only way we can do it.

Do you have any writing rituals?
Sure do. I have to write a chapter if I sit down to write at all. At least one. I give it a day and go back to reread it and fix it up and start on the next chapter. If I get discouraged, I have various other works I’m in the middle of so I have something to go to and still work. Maybe give me some better perspective when I go back to my main project.

Every writer is fueled by coffee. Are you one of them?
Surprisingly, no. I love coffee, but I'm too lazy to make it. I go for the readily available milk. Right there, in the jug. No thinking necessary. 

What do you find hardest since becoming an indie?
Honestly, just learning how to download or upload my work. It's so peaceful to not have anyone to fight with that I wish I had gone indie first. 

One movie you need to stop and watch when it’s on.
16 Candles

Book that you've read more than once?
The Stand, Stephen King, not the puny one, the 1,100 pg. one.

One of my favorites. The movie was decent.
It was. I watch it when I come across it too. Every single time.

Silliest thing you've ever done?
Tried flirting (when I was 17) with hot college guys on a motorcycle at a stoplight and ran into the car ahead of me. I was trying to look sexy and look over my shoulder as I pulled away and they sat in the turn lane but my light hadn't changed and then I was stuck beside hot college guys while the driver surveyed her damage. It wasn't anything she was worried about and she didn’t' call the cops. 

I would call that an epic fail :)
It's a great story to tell and it's mine. I love it now, but I didn't tell anyone for YEARS.

Thank you very much for taking time this evening, Carol.
Thanks for wanting to do this! I appreciate it so much.

You can find Carol on her social media links.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Blog Tour Stop with Sean Kerr

Sean Kerr is the very talented author of the, Dead Camp series. He stopped by to talk about his books, and his love for B&W B movies.

First off, tell us a little about yourself.
I'm a 46 year old gay man, living in Cardiff, Wales, with my husband of 28 years, Derek. I have a small Interior Design business with my amazing business Partner, Jayne, and we have been going for eleven and a half years. I have very little time off, and little time to myself lol, so that make it tough for writing, but writing is my first love so I use up every spare moment that I can. I am proud to be an author for Extasy books, a wonderful publishing house who are a joy to work with. I love writing, reading, my PS4 of which I'm an addict. I’m a mad Doctor Who fan and I love all the old black and white B movies. I'm also a huge film buff, and my favorite film of all time is Alien.

A PS4 addict. What's your favorite game?
Mass effect 1, 2 and 3 on my PS3, and the Watcher 3 on my PS4. I am desperately waiting for Mass Effect 4 which is coming out early next year. So excited lol. There will be no writing done when that comes out I can tell you!

What's your favorite old B&W B movie?
I have to give two here, because really they belong together. Frankenstein and the Bride of Frankenstein. I absolutely love those films, and I think that James Whale was a genius!! The monster is so beautiful, and Boris Karloff plays him with such dignity and pathos, and it is a performance that I don't think has ever been beaten in that roll.

Great choices. They don't make movies like that anymore.
Hell no, more is the pity. I have to say though that I am a big fan of Victor Frankenstein that has just come out on Blu Ray, and I thought it was a stunning film. 

How did you get into writing? What made you wake up and say, "I'm going to write a book."
When I was 8, my aunt bought me a very old copy of Bram Stoker's Dracula at a car boot sale. I read that book so many times over that school holiday, and it really set my imagination alight. I started writing stories then, and have done so all my life. But life got in the way, and I found myself in a position where I had to work at a very early age in order to eat and live. It was only when I settled down with my husband 28 years ago that I started to write again, but not seriously, more to keep my mind active. But a few years ago, I had this idea while watching a war film, and I found myself wondering what would happen if Vampires were involved. My love of the original Dracula made me want to write my own version of the myth, so Dead Camp was born. I worked for two years writing those first two books, and I loved every moment of it, including the vast amount of research needed. It took me to another state of mind, in that suddenly, more than anything, I really needed to write, I really needed to tell the story and I really wanted to be published. I wrote to over 200 agents, all of whom said no. I was about to give up, and I thought I would approach a couple of publishing houses direct. I wrote to 6, and within three weeks had three offers of contract. Now, my every spare moment is writing, and I love it, every single bit of it. I never thought anyone would read my work, and I never thought I would be published, so this has been an absolute dream come true, and it has only been six months since Dead Camp 1 came out, and already I have made some amazing friends and readers, and it is building all the time. If I could give up my full time job and write every day I would, in a heartbeat, and who knows, maybe one day I will be able to.

Tell us about the Dead Camp series.
This is my take on the Vampire myth. I was very conscious that there are a lot of vampire books out there, but I wanted to put my spin on the genre, give it a home steeped in history. I wanted to explain why there are different types of vampire, good looking, ugly, those who can walk in daylight, those who can’t, why they exist in the first place and the history surrounding them. I'm also a bit of a conspiracy freak and I am fascinated by Religion, and Hitler with his fascination of the supernatural. So I was watching this war film, and the idea germinated. I started to research various aspects of religion and Hitler, and I found out all these amazing things which just happened to fit in very neatly with the mythology I was trying to build. So Dead Camp is about an ancient Vampire who has no memory of ever being human, and it follows his journey as he finds out the terrible truth about who he was, and how he came to be. He is forced to get involved in World War two, and it is then that he has to face his past. The arc of the five books is really about forgiveness, and tolerance for that which is different, something that echoes my own life and experiences. The books take place in World War 2, the crucifixion, Victorian London, and they will end with the downfall of Hitler. They are a complex series of interconnecting stories, each relevant to the other to tell one enormous. And I have loved every single moment of writing them! 

Sounds very interesting. The next book in the series is coming out soon?
It is yes, book 3. It is currently with my publisher in edits, and the cover is being designed. This was the hardest one to write so far, because the subject matter is very contentious lol. I know this one is going to raise many an eyebrow. This book is where the answers start to come thick and fast, and they are shocking. I nearly shied away from it, I nearly changed the core idea in this book because I was nervous of it, but as I was writing, it just felt right, and I went for it big time. I am fascinated by religion, even though I am not religious myself. So this book was a tough write, but I am particularly proud of it, especially the last chapter which absolutely broke my heart to write. But this one is going to be an exciting one, and I can’t wait to see the reaction to it, and all the 'Oh My God' moments.

To you, what are the upsides and downsides of being a writer?
The best part of this process, apart from the wonderful reactions to the books, is the people I have met as a result. I can’t begin to tell you of the wonderful friends I have made as a result of this. I had no idea of the audience for this kind of book, I wrote it thinking I was writing for gay men, but oh no, the vast majority of readers are women, wonderful women of all ages, and I am so very proud to be a part of that audience. I have found people to be incredibly kind, and generous, and so very supportive. That has been an absolute joy for me. The down side? It’s tough coming home shattered from work every night and then turning on the computer to work. I find that I’m writing until late in the night, and then I can’t sleep because my mind is on the go all the time. One of the hardest thing to come to terms with is my own paranoia about the books themselves, how are they selling, are people liking them, are they reviewing them. I have had to learn to put that aside, and just get on with it, but I can’t help looking on Amazon US and UK to see if new reviews have gone up, and to I drive myself insane with it.  I have to learn not to worry about that side so much, and to get on with the job of telling stories, but, you know what it’s like, we just can't help worrying about it lol.

Last question, and an important one. Rank the Alien movies.
LMFAO!!!! Ok, so, here goes. Alien is number 1, the best sci fi horror movie of all time. Aliens is number two, definitely the best sci fi action movie of all time. Now, this might be a bit controversial, but I really like Alien 3. I have two versions of the film, the theatrical cut, where Ripley has the chest burster come out at the end, and I love that version. I also have the director’s cut, which is a very different film. So alien 3 is my third. Alien resurrection. Oh dear. They turn Ripley into a monster, and I'm not that fond of it, or that pink monstrosity at the end that gets sucked out into space. Dreadful film, and definitely deserves to be last for me. And don’t even start me on Prometheus lol! 

In the words of Bill Paxton, "Game over, man."
Thank you Sean for taking time today.
LOL, and thank you so very much my friend for giving me this opportunity, and for your amazing support and help to all authors. You are a wonderful, talented man, it is my honor to be your friend.

Thank you very much, Sean. You can find Sean's books and social media links below.

Extasy Books Links
Dead Camp 1
Dead Camp 2

Amazon US Links
Dead Camp 1
Dead Camp 2

Amazon UK Links
Dead Camp 1
Dead Camp 2
Social media links
And this is the link for the Dead Camp 3 teaser trailer

An excerpt from, Dead Camp 3

Running, again. All my life, running. Paderborn forest flashed by in a blur of verdant violence that hurt my retinas it looked so lush, so majestic, all so fucking beautiful. It made my skin crawl. Everything around me looked so bloody…green. That was Eli’s thing, not mine. I preferred the immutable hardness of concrete, the undeniable strength of steel, give me brick and marble as opposed to never-ending trees and grey mountains, anytime.
    While Eli cowered from the world surrounded by the thick stone walls of Alte, I hide amidst the pumping hearts of the living, yet we both remained fugitives against our own history. The truth, that thing that I feared for so very long, finally there for all to see, fucking us in the ass. History now hammered at our door, and nothing could keep it at bay.
    How much did my blood reveal? How much of the truth did he drink? The look on his face as my blood hit the back of his throat, it burned my flesh away to reveal the liar he always suspected me to be. I saw it in his eyes, it blossomed there like a bad joke, the dawning realization of all that I had kept from him, the sudden knowledge that I made him.
    Still, not all the truth filled his mouth. That shit storm would come soon enough, more crap than I could shake a stick at. Everything that happened in Judea, everything that transpired in London, all of it, all of it there for him to see at last. A stranger once told me that the truth would eventually bleed out, no matter how far from Eli I ran, and there I stood, bleeding.
    “Don’t let me go back to Eli,” I asked of him.
    “You love him that much?”
    “Yes.” I did love him that much, enough to spend twenty-six years entombed in a block of ice.
    It was my choice, my decision. To remain free meant returning to Eli, for I could not resist his pull any longer, and they would have followed me, as they always followed me, straight into the arms of my beloved Eli. I could not allow that to happen. I had to protect Eli at all costs.
    Centuries of love, and still not enough time. A man must know his worth. A man must know his own name. A man must learn the truth of his own heart. I remained but a teacher, and Eli my pupil, and now I would have to set him free.
    My God, had it come to that? The end, finally here? The weight of history pounding at the door, I could hear it, I could feel it tearing at my skin, trying to get in, telling me that it was over, that Eli no longer needed me. Time. Fucking time. Endless bloody time. Now, there was none. I was free, running through the forest towards him, towards one of the most important figures that history had ever known. So yes, the time had come, my freedom proved that, but it was the pain in my heart that told me so.
    I stopped, my world spinning around me in a dizzying frenzy of utter panic. Bile filled my mouth. The final end. History, about to convulse in agony, and we would be at the centre of it.
    They would be coming for me. They would be coming for Eli. They would be coming for the Spear.
    I felt the cold fingers of fear grip my chest and squeeze my heart with cruel intent. The pain, so sharp, so terrifying, ripped through my body until I lay on my knees gasping, trembling, blinded by agony and helpless. My hands dug into the nearest tree, fingers digging into the bark, digging into the wood, until the sap ran freely over my knuckles, the tree indelibly wounded, as I myself lay ineradicably wounded. The thing, the splinter, moving inside me, burning its way through me, seeking out my Vampire heart, ate away at my resolve, and offered me visons of a past mortality.
    Blood drawn to blood. History drawn to history. Death drawn to death.
    I heaved myself to my feet, determined to move, determined to go on. There was still time, time for me to tell my story, time for me to lay it bare before the one I loved. Time for him to forgive me.
    For so long I denied Eli my blood, but in that one moment of pity, as he lay on that hill above the ruins of the camp, tired, desperate, I allowed him to feed. My blood is strong, the strongest of us all, and it filled his mind with so much information, all of it so fleeting and momentary, a cacophony of images that would burn anyone less than he. Thank fuck he did not have time to see it all, not there, on that mountainside under the shadow of so much death, it would not seem fitting somehow.
    It would not befit the man that he used to be.
    I feared what it would do to him, the knowledge of his own identity. If he had looked into my blood long enough, he would have seen the burden of his own dark history staring back at him, and I feared that it would destroy him now as surely as it destroyed him then, all those years ago in a world that did not know any better. It remained a burden that killed a part of me with every passing day. I lost Eli on the day I turned him, and from the moment that he first looked upon me with his Vampire eyes, I knew that he could never truly be mine. Another owned his heart, and the truth of it tortured me for hundreds of years. Eli was but on loan, until the day that another should claim him as their own.
    That stranger in Rome, he knew, he knew this day would come -- he knew everything, that funny little man who became my friend.