Category Archives: Author Interviews

Book Blitz: Day One by Summer Lane

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Day One

Day One (Zero Trilogy #2)
Summer Lane
Releasing: 20th March, 2015
WB Publishing
Genre: Dystopia
Age: Young Adult

Summary:

The apocalypse took everything from Elle: her family, her world and now…her friends. After escaping the ravaged streets of Los Angeles, Elle finds herself stranded alone in California when her friends are kidnapped by a new and dangerous enemy.

Determined to rescue them from a horrible fate, Elle begins her trek across the unforgiving desert, into the mountains, and into Slaver Territory.

All is not what it seems. Death lurks around every corner. Enemies are everywhere.

With the help of a new and brave companion, Elle fights against all odds, clinging to hope and life.

Day Zero is behind her. Day One is before her.

The end of the world is just beginning.

A Young Adult Apocalyptic Survival Story – ties into the international bestselling Collapse Series.

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Author Interview: Joel Ohman

Author Interviews

Meritropolis

Meritropolis
Joel Ohman
Published: 8th September, 2014
CreateSpace

Summary:

The year is AE3, 3 years after the Event. Within the walls of Meritropolis, 50,000 inhabitants live in fear, ruled by the brutal System that assigns each citizen a merit score that dictates whether they live or die. Those with the highest scores thrive, while those with the lowest are subject to the most unforgiving punishment–to be thrust outside the city gates, thrown to the terrifying hybrid creatures that exist beyond.

But for one High Score, conforming to the System just isn’t an option. Seventeen-year-old Charley has a brother to avenge. And nothing–not even a totalitarian military or dangerous science–is going to stop him.

Where humankind has pushed nature and morals to the extreme, Charley is amongst the chosen few tasked with exploring the boundaries, forcing him to look deep into his very being to discern right from wrong. But as he and his friends learn more about the frightening forces that threaten destruction both without and within the gates, Meritropolis reveals complexities they couldn’t possibly have bargained for…

Meritropolis is now on sale, marked down from it’s regular Kindle price of $5.99 all the way to $.99! Until December 2nd you can pick up this book for that steal of a price and you can do it here! Now you can check out this interview from the author Joel Ohman who wrote the book critics are calling “The Hunger Games meets The Village with a young Jack Reacher as a protagonist”, and stay tuned for the giveaway below! We’ve got an autographed copy, and a $100 Amazon gift card. Continue reading

Book Blitz and Author Interview: Frost by Kate Avery Ellison

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Frost

Frost (The Frost Chronicles #1)
Kate Avery Ellison
Published: 28th March 2012
Genre: Dystopia
Age: Young Adult

Summary:

In the icy, monster-plagued world of the Frost, one wrong move and a person could end up dead—and Lia Weaver knows this better than anyone.

After monsters kill her parents, Lia must keep the family farm running despite the freezing cold and threat of monster attacks or risk losing her siblings to reassignment by the village Elders. With dangers on all sides and failure just one wrong step away, she can’t afford to let her emotions lead her astray. So when her sister finds a fugitive bleeding to death in the forest—a young stranger named Gabe—Lia surprises herself and does the unthinkable.

She saves his life.

Giving shelter to the fugitive could get her in trouble. The Elders have always described the advanced society of people beyond the Frost, the “Farthers,” as ruthless and cruel. But Lia is startled to find that Gabe is empathetic and intelligent…and handsome. She might even be falling in love with him.

But time is running out. The monsters from the forest circle the farm at night. The village leader is starting to ask questions. Farther soldiers are searching for Gabe. Lia must locate a secret organization called the Thorns to help Gabe escape to safety, but every move she makes puts her in more danger.

Is compassion—and love—worth the risk?

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Book Blitz and Author Interview: Worlds Collide by S. M. McEachern

S. M. McEachern

Worlds Collide
S.M. McEachern
March 3rd, 2014
Clownfish Publishing

In a desperate attempt to escape execution, Sunny O’Donnell and Jack Kenner find a way out of the Pit and into a world still believed to be toxic with radiation. Under the brilliant sun for the first time in their lives, they not only discover that the earth has healed from nuclear war, but there are people outside the Dome.

In Worlds Collide, the second book of the Sunset Rising trilogy, Sunny and Jack must continue a life of subterfuge in order to stay alive and find a way to free the Pit. But in their attempt to save the urchins, they uncover the horrifying truth about President Holt and the evil he could unleash on the world.

Excerpt from “Worlds Collide” (Book 2 “Sunset Rising” series) by S.M. McEachern

The drops soon gathered speed and turned into a downpour, as if someone had turned on a showerhead. It made a drumming noise against the hard-packed earth, which came as a surprise. I had no idea rain made a sound.

Everyone on the training field carried on as though there wasn’t a storm in progress. Dena continued with her tour. It wasn’t until a flash of light lit up the sky that Dena said it was time to go inside. The unexpected flash was blinding, but it was the booming noise that followed that sent me careening into Jack’s side. For just an instant I wondered if it was an attack.

Jack’s shoulders shook with barely concealed laughter. I shot him a look. “As if you’ve ever been in a storm,” I said.

The trek back up to the courtyard was a little trickier on wet ground. As we went, the lightning became brighter and the thunder louder. Jack’s sunglasses weren’t much protection. I never thought I’d be relieved to go back inside a mountain again, but I was.

Pausing inside the entranceway to shake the water off, I took in the big empty room—what was once the lobby of the hotel. The grotto was made entirely of stone tile with high arched ceilings. The ghostly outlines of bygone furniture hinted that the hotel was once quite grand, but now crumbling tiles and dark stains ground into the stone had robbed it of its beauty. I rubbed the toe of my boot against one of the dark spots, wondering what it was.

“Human misery is a stubborn stain,” Dena said. “A lot of skeletons were found here, the floor darkened by their decay.”

A shiver went down my spine when her meaning registered. How many people had sought refuge here after the war, only to die a slow horrible death? Were they from the valley? Were they the same people who had been turned away from the Dome by the bourge? The stains of decay were everywhere. For a moment I closed my eyes against the mental image of what they must have had to clear out of here in order to reclaim this building.

Behind me the door opened and a few people entered the lobby. They glanced in our direction and continued to the far side of the room.

“The entire hotel is built inside the mountain, hidden to the outside world,” Dena said.

I watched the small group open the bags they carried and spread out blankets on the floor.

Jack pointed to the artificial lighting. “You’ve made your own light?”

Dena smiled. “It’s not nuclear science. It’s just a filament.”

Jack looked a little embarrassed by his question. I had thought the same thing until Jin-Sook had corrected me. As much as I professed that these people weren’t heathens, I still made assumptions about them, as though they wouldn’t be as smart as we were. But as we walked through the reclaimed ruins, I was reminded of the ingenuity of the human spirit. As someone who came from the Pit, this was not something I should’ve forgotten.

Author Interview: S.M. McEachern (“Sunset Rising” series)

2014 has been a big year for your writing career. Can you tell us a bit about that?

Yes, it has been big a year for me. For one thing, I published the second book of the “Sunset Rising” series, entitled “Worlds Collide”, last March. I was happily surprised when it rocketed up the Amazon ranking chart and maintained a spot in the top ten Amazon action and adventure romance bestseller list for months. That in turn attracted new hybrid-publisher Vook to ask me about acquiring the Sunset Rising series. After a few phone calls, many emails, and a lot of deliberation, I signed with Vook. I’m very happy I did.

I’m also working on the third book of my series, tentatively titled “New World Order”, which I plan to release in January 2015.

In the past, you’ve blogged about enjoying being an indie author, but you signed with Vook?

I have to admit, I do like having control over my books. When I want to do a promotion, or put the books on sale, or give the books away if I want to, I don’t have to ask permission from a publisher. I can just do it. So yes, when Vook first approached me I was hesitant to sign with them. However, Vook is a different kind of publisher; they are a “hybrid publisher.” They provide an enhanced publishing platform with ongoing marketing support via proprietary software that tracks ebook sales so authors can make better and more informed marketing decisions, and authors retain all copyrights and control over their books.

I officially joined them in July and I have received so much more than they promised. Vook is a dynamic, enthusiastic team of individuals that have partnered with me to bring my series to readers through all ebook retailers at affordable prices. Good for authors and good for readers! And as a company, they’re growing and constantly investing in themselves and their authors. For instance, they recently acquired their first publishing imprint, Byliner. I’m really excited to be a part of Vook, because I truly believe they are the future of publishing.

Your third book of the “Sunset Rising” series, tentatively titled “New World Order”, will be released in January?

That’s the plan. I’m madly writing everyday and no longer take weekends off! Not that I mind. Writing a book is like reading a good book; I don’t want to put it down. And this third book has a LOT going on. It’s definitely the most action-packed of the series, with minor characters from the first two books sharing Sunny’s spotlight.

You do a lot of world-building in the series. What’s your process for creating a post apocalyptic world?

In a nutshell, research and imagination. I love research because not only does it give me a good, solid foundation to begin my stories, but it also ignites my imagination.  It’s kind of like taking what is and projecting what can or could be. So I read a lot of non-fiction articles and I also reach out to experts, most of whom have been really happy to help me. Dr. Bergren of the National Institute of Nanotechnology and Chris Kratt of the Wild Kratts have been two super helpful resources. I’ll be doing an interview with Chris this weekend, talking about what a post apocalyptic creature world might look like, and will have it up on my blog by September 18th if you’re interested in checking it out.

Is your third book the last one of the “Sunset Rising” series?

The series was named for the heroine, Sunset O’Donnell (Sunny), and the first three books are told from her point of view (spoiler alert: there’s another person sharing the story in book 3!). But as I said above, I’ve gone to great lengths to create a new world. I can definitely see more books told from other characters points of view as they reinvent their civilization and explore a post nuclear earth. And with recruiters, scorchlanders, and northerners out there, who knows what they’ll find…

Note from author:

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog and giving me the opportunity to talk about all the exciting things happening with the “Sunset Rising” series. For anyone who hasn’t read the series, the first book “Sunset Rising” is on sale everywhere for just 99 cents from September 16-24, 2014. I also have seven satellite stories (short stories based on the series) posted on my blog you can check out here:  http://smmceachern.com/category/satellite-stories/ The first six stories were written in between books one and two; the seventh story is more recent and picks up between books two and three. I always love to hear from readers, so if you do check out the series, please feel free to get in touch and let me know what you think!

Cheers – Susan (aka S.M. McEachern)

Book Blitz: Phantom’s Dance by Lesa Howard

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phantoms dance

Phantom’s Dance
Lesa Howard
Release Date: 1st March, 2014
Boot in the Door Publications
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Retelling
Age: Young Adult

Summary:

Christine Dadey’s family uprooted their lives and moved to Houston for her to attend the prestigious Rousseau Academy of Dance. Now, two years later, Christine struggles to compete among the Academy’s finest dancers, her parents are on the brink of divorce, and she’s told no one about her debilitating performance anxiety and what she’s willing to do to cope with it.

Erik was a ballet prodigy, a savant, destined to be a star on the world’s stage, but a suspicious fire left Erik’s face horribly disfigured. Now, a lonely phantom forced to keep his scars hidden, he spends his nights haunting the theater halls, mourning all he’s lost. Then, from behind the curtain he sees the lovely Christine. The moldable, malleable Christine.

Drawn in by Erik’s unwavering confidence, Christine allows herself to believe Erik’s declarations that he can transform her into the dancer she longs to be. But Christine’s hope of achieving her dreams may be her undoing when she learns Erik is not everything he claims. And before long, Erik’s shadowy past jeopardizes Christine’s unstable present as his obsession with her becomes hopelessly entangled with his plans for revenge.

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Author Interview

I’m not good with interviews. The problem is I have an extremely eclectic personality—emphasis on extremely—so it makes it difficult to answer some of the questions asked.  But before I try, be aware Lesa Howard is a pen name, so you may see my website and contact information with the name Lesa Boutin, or even Lesa Howard Boutin. They’re all me.  Did I mention I’m a Gemini, which is represented by twins? Add to that my eclectic tastes in everything from books to food to home décor, and I could easily be described as octuplets rather than twins. That said, here’s my attempt to answer a few author questions.

Did you always want to write?

I didn’t start writing until I was thirty. I’d dreamed of it, though, since tenth grade when I’d written a short story which scored the highest in the entire sophomore class. The teacher had raved about my imagination and the twists and turns in the story. So much so that I was kind of surprised because I assumed everyone daydreamed like I did.

So why did you wait so long to start writing?

I wanted to be a grown-up, which when I look back on it is crazy, but I married and had children before pursuing a career. And even then I secretly dreamed of writing for a looong time before ever acting on it. I was terrified of letting anyone read what I wrote. Plus, I thought I’d be laughed at for reaching for something outside the realm of my abilities.

Umm, that didn’t really answer the question as to why you waited so long to start writing. 

For me, writing turned out to be a lesson in getting to know myself, and along the way I discovered something that completely changed who I am, at least who I thought I was. When I finally decided to wrestle my fears to the ground and choke the ever-loving-life out of them, I started attending writing conferences, taking lessons, learning everything I could about the craft, but I still had these horrible doubts about my grammar. I never worried about coming up with a story or having writer’s block. My imagination is just too wild for that. But I knew that if there was anything holding me back it was my grammar. It’s not that I didn’t know the “rules” but sometimes I had trouble executing them. At this point, I’d been immersed in the education field. I planned to get a degree and teach junior high. Yeah, you read that right. I could be reduced to a quivering mass when posed a grammar question, but I was working toward becoming a teacher.

Then at some point, I can’t remember exactly when, but whether it was a series of events or conversations with other educators, I had an epiphany. I realized without a shadow of a doubt that I had a learning disability and it had a name, Dysgraphia. When I read all the symptoms of the disorder I was shocked. I’d suffered, dealt with, almost every manifestation on the list of warning signs since elementary school. The National Center for Learning Disabilities defines Dysgraphia as: a learning disability that affects writing, which requires a complex set of motor and information processing skills. Dysgraphia makes the act of writing difficult. It can lead to problems with spelling, poor handwriting and putting thoughts on paper. People with dysgraphia can have trouble organizing letters, numbers and words on a line or page.

I already know what you’re next question will be.

Why on earth do you want to be a writer if you can’t do it?

I did try not to. Honestly I did. I was going to school to teach math, or science, or maybe even become a librarian. I even have the student loans to prove it. But I couldn’t get away from writing. Finally, I had to say, “To hell with it! I’m already broke. Might as well be broke doing what I love.” And I have been blessed along the way to connect with people who help me. I rely heavily on my critique partners and beta readers. They help me spot the mistakes I overlook. Sure, that’s what an editor is for, but I’m still obsessive about trying to get it as right as I can on my own. So whether it’s an issue of incorrect punctuation (I seriously love commas) homophones (pair or pear?) or missing letters (appl) I will keep writing. Even if I’m the only one who ever reads it.

lesa howard

About the Author

I’m not the typical author. I didn’t always enjoy reading or writing. While in school, I found it to be a chore I’d just as soon skip. I would rather have been daydreaming, my favorite past time. It wasn’t until I grew up and didn’t have to, that I realized reading was fun. I soon discovered that reading fueled my daydreaming. So, remembering a short story I’d written in high school, I began imagining expanding that story into a book. Before long I found I had loads of ideas for not just the short story but other books and stories as well. Fast forward a few years, a lot of studying about writing, practicing my writing, studying some more, taking classes from people who knew what they were doing, studying and practicing yet more, and ta-dah, author! In the same way I had learned I loved reading, I learned I loved writing, too. It’s just that writing is a lot harder than reading.

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Author Interview: Matthew J. Beier

Author Interviews

Matthew J. Beier - Author Photo

Cover Image - The Confessions of Jonathan Flite

A week and a half ago I got the chance to do an author interview with Matthew J. Beier, author of The Breeders and the upcoming novel The Confessions of Jonathan Flite, the first book in a seven book series. It came about because I was given the chance to receive a review copy of The Confessions of Jonathan Flite and I was given the option that if I request it to do an interview with him. Naturally, after looking up both books, and finding that the synopsis of Jonathan Flite was intriguing to me, I wanted to interview the author.

1. Tells us a bit about yourself and your background.
I was born and raised in Duluth, Minnesota, a small city on the western edge of Lake Superior. I’m the third of four kids, and we grew up in a very Catholic family. It was a rather closed-minded environment, but it set me on a developmental path toward examining belief systems, origins of ideas, and the nature of so-called “social norms.” I attended film school at Chapman University in Orange County in 2003, but after becoming disenchanted with Southern California, I moved back to Minnesota in 2005. While I never planned to live in Minnesota again, I spent eight more years there working day jobs, writing books, and doing photography on the side. In 2013, I picked up and moved back to California—this time, to the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. I’m very glad I did, because I finally love where I’m living.

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