Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Character Interview: Silas Vendine

Silas Vendine teaser
Introducing Silas Vendine from Daughter of the Wildings:

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

The name I go by, the name I chose for myself, is Silas Vendine. My birth name is Siyavas Venedias. It's an Islander name, signifying that I'm descended from one of the powerful mage families that immigrated from the Islands to Granadaia a couple of centuries ago.

2. How old are you?

I'm 32 years old. But I've done some pretty hard living the last five years or so and sometimes I feel a lot older!

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

My family and I parted ways years ago, before I came out to the Wildings. They disapprove of pretty much everything I believe in and stand for, and I feel the same way about them.

If you want facts, the Venedias family is of pureblood Island descent, and is considered one of the elite of the elite mage families in Granadaia. My parents are both powerful mages, of course. My father retired from his seat on the Mage Council several years before I left Granadaia and was replaced by his younger brother. I'm the youngest of nine children, which is unusually large for mage families, and which probably explains a few things about me.

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

I... don't remember. I was pretty young - 14? And I must have liked it because there've been a lot of kisses - and a lot more than that - since then.

5. What is your occupation?

I'm a mage hunter, licensed by the ruling Mage Council in Granadaia to hunt for renegade mages in the Wildings. Since settlers began moving to the Wildings about forty years ago, there have also been mages coming out here in search of riches and power. There are even some who intend to establish their own kingdoms out here to try to rival Granadaia. The Mage Council considers these renegades a threat to their authority; I'm more concerned about the fact that their lawless schemes and ambitions threaten the freedom the Plain settlers have found here.

It's an exciting job, and I'm pretty good at it - I've made a good living from bounties the last five years, and I'm still alive, so you can't ask for more than that. I like it out here in the Wildings. I've got no use for mage society in Granadaia and I prefer the wide-open land and freedom of the Wildings. And I feel like I'm making a difference and living up to my beliefs by protecting the Plain settlers here, even though they hate wizards.

6. What are your best and worst qualities?

Not to sound boastful, but just stating facts, I'm a powerful mage, a good tracker and shooter, and I'm not afraid of dangerous people and situations. I also care about Plain (non-magical) people and I'm willing to fight to protect them even though they hate mages and would kill me if they could.

My worst qualities? I said I'm not afraid; sometimes I'm a little too unafraid for my own good. Some people would describe me as cocky and arrogant. I love women, but I'm not especially good at relationships, which is okay because I don't have room in my life for that sort of thing anyway. And I always lose at cards. I don't know why.

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

I like a woman who is smart and spirited - who can keep up with me. I don't mind some back talk or if she's the one who takes the lead in bed. If she's a good cook, that's a plus, as well. Physically, I like a woman with curves that give me something to hang on to, but the size of the curves is less important than if they're in the right places.

8. What is your favorite thing to do?

I like traveling through the Wildings and seeing all the amazing landscapes out here - everything from deserts to pine-covered mountains. I like riding my horse, Abenar. I like a good fight against a renegade. I like a good tussle in bed with a spirited woman. I like playing Dragon's Threes, even though I always lose.

9. What is your greatest fear?

Losing my freedom and my ability to use magic.

10. What is your most treasured possession?

My freedom, my magical power, my horse, my gun, and my hat. A man can't concentrate properly without his hat.

Watch for Beneath the Canyons, book 1 of Daughter of the Wildings, coming soon! To get the scoop on release dates and special offers, sign up for my email alerts.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Western With A Twist, Part 2: Movies/TV

Welcome to part 2 of the Western With A Twist Blog series, setting the mood for the upcoming release of Beneath the Canyons, Book 1 of my high fantasy-western series Daughter of the Wildings. This time: movies and TV. (Part 1, Books, is here)
[Note: Amazon links are my affiliate links.]

First of all, if you're talking about TV and movies that are sci-fi or fantasy with a western twist, or western with a sci-fi/fantasy twist, you have to include Firefly on the list. I don't know how much I need to say about it, except adventures in space with a wild west feel - guns, fortune-hunters, independent-spirited people trying to make a new start in wide-open territory not necessarily on the right side of the law. I haven't seen the entire series yet, but what I've seen I loved. And, of course, there's the companion movie, Serenity. [Amazon]

The Wild Wild West
Possibly the next most obvious entry is the old TV show, The Wild Wild West. Basically James Bond in the old west (the main character is Jim West; get it?), with lots of cool gadgetry, it also has elements of science fiction and alternate history, and is sometimes considered a forerunner of steampunk. I don't remember watching it as a kid, although I do remember the little animations between segments, but there are some episodes on YouTube so I've been watching those lately. Lots of fun. There was also a 1999 movie version which gets pretty bad ratings, which is too bad because with Will Smith and Kevin Kline you'd think it would be good. [Amazon]

High Plains Drifter
Next up is one of my favorite movies, High Plains Drifter, with Clint Eastwood. Spaghetti western about a Man With No Name who comes into a desolate western town, uncovers its dirty secrets, and punishes it for a long-ago crime. Is he just a wandering Stranger, or is he something more? (The link goes to Rotten Tomatoes because the Wikipedia article was written by someone with a definite bias against the movie. :P) [Amazon]

Cowboys and Aliens
Finally, while we're on the subject of movies, we can't forget Cowboys and Aliens, which I haven't seen but I love the idea. Critical reaction seems to be mixed; some reviewers love it, others just don't seem to get it. [Amazon]

Cowboy Bebop
Next up are two of my favorite anime series. Cowboy Bebop is set in space in the near future, after Earth has been made mostly uninhabitable by a natural cataclysm and mankind has moved to Mars. Lawlessness and corruption are rampant, providing plenty of work for bounty-hunting "cowboys" like the crew of the Bebop: Spike, wisecracking gunslinger/martial artist and refugee from the criminal Syndicate; Jet, tough but tender-hearted owner of the Bebop; sexy Faye, a woman without a past; Ed, the 13-year-old hacker girl, and Ein, the super-intelligent Welsh Corgi. Science fiction/space opera with a definite Wild West feel, an awesome jazz soundtrack, and the famous tag line, "See you, space cowboy." [Amazon]

Trigun is also set in space, on a desert planet where spaceships evacuating humans from a ruined Earth crash-landed. With the destruction of the ships, technology has, for the most part, gone back to the level of the late 19th/early 20th century (with a few things salvaged from the ruined ships and, of course, the Plants that provide the planet with power and water). The society is wild and lawless, and the most wild and lawless of them all is Vash the Stampede, the Humanoid Typhoon, the outlaw gunslinger with a $$60,000,000,000 bounty on his head. Vash believes in Love and Peace, but a darker destiny hounds him across the planet. Along the way, he meets up with a series of renegades, bandits, bounty hunters, and desperados, an intinerant priest who's more than he appears to be, asssorted lovely ladies, and two "insurance girls", investigators assigned to make sure he doesn't prove to be the ruination of the insurance company. [Amazon]

I like to think that Silas Vendine, the hero of Daughter of the Wildings, has a little bit of Spike and Vash in him :)

Cowboy Bebop has bounty hunters, and Trigun has a character with an enormous bounty on his head, and the two come together in possibly the greatest anime music video ever made, Tainted Donuts. To finish off this post, sit back and enjoy some animated Wild West in Space action!
Next time: Part 3, Music.

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Friday, October 17, 2014

Western With A Twist, Part 1: Books

Beneath the Canyons
To set the mood for the release of Beneath the Canyons, Book 1 of Daughter of the Wildings, a high fantasy series set in a world inspired by the wild west, I'm going to take a three-part look at books, movies/TV shows, and music that puts a twist on the traditional western. The mythos of the Old West - the wide-open, lawless frontier, the desolate and mystical landscapes,  the confrontation between good and evil, self-reliance, individual freedom and responsibility, the struggle to survive, and characters who are trying to make a new start in life, or find justice, revenge, redemption, or just a ton of riches, have made for a rich body of exciting stories, and easily lend themselves to other genres. For the "Western With A Twist" series I'll mainly be looking at western mixed with fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction, which also share a lot of the same traits - new frontiers, confrontations between good and evil, the struggle to survive, characters torn away from their origins who are on a quest. But I'll also throw in a few other things as well, to offer up a wide variety of western-themed entertainment to satisfy all tastes! (Note: Amazon links go to all international sites, and use my affiliate link. Image and title links go to Goodreads.)

First up, books.

I've had a hard time finding Western-themed works that fit my definition of "high fantasy" (and the definition I'm using for Daughter of the Wildings): fantasy set in an entirely different world from our Earth, with no reference to the real world, involving magic as an important plot element and a struggle between good and evil. But there are a few that come close, and there's plenty of other stories that fit into the Western With A Twist theme out there; "Weird Western" is a big trend, as is western paranormal romance (my own definition of paranormal is set in our world and dealing with things like ghosts, demons, vampires, etc), western steampunk, western alternate history, and western science fiction. Here's a rundown of some books and a web comic I've found that fit the bill of Western With A Twist. 

The Gunslinger
The Dark Tower series by Stephen King: When talking about western-fantasy, this is the first thing most people think of. I agree, with qualifications. The first book, The Gunslinger, is very much fantasy in feel, and focuses on the western-like world of Roland Deschain. Book 4, Wizard and Glass, which I'm stuck halfway through, is also pretty straightforward western-fantasy. I'm having a hard time finishing it, partly because I know it can only end in tears (I'm all about happy endings) and because the 14-year-old kid having lots of sex kinda puts me off. I'm told Book 5, Wolves of Calla, is more fantasy-western, as well. Books 2 and 3 (which I've read) take on more paranormal and science fiction elements, and spend a significant amount of time in the modern world. Book 2 was good, though not at all western, and more paranormal than straight-up fantasy. The last two books, according to the information I've seen, mainly take place in the real world, and from the descriptions and reviews I've read, the series seems to go weirdly off the rails and this point (Stephen King is a character in at least one of them) and the ending sounds like something that would incite me to heave the book (or my Kindle, as the case may be) against the wall. King's books that I've read tend to have that effect on me, which may be why I haven't read very many. But if you want fantasy-western, The Gunslinger is worth reading. [Amazon]

The Haunted Mesa
The Haunted Mesa, by Louis L'Amour: By one of the grand masters of classic western novels, this book explores what might have become of the lost Anasazi people of the southwest. I consider it paranormal rather than high fantasy, since it's set in our world and deals with things like ghosts and alternate dimensions, but I read it many years ago seem to remember enjoying it a lot, so it belongs on this list as another personal recommendation. [Amazon]

The Alloy of Law
The Alloy of Law, by Brandon Sanderson. Set in the same world as Sanderson's Mistborn series but in a later time period reminiscent of the late 19th century. High fantasy, and definitely with a western-type feel and setting, and has definite steampunk elements. I've enjoyed all of Sanderson's work I've read so far, including this. Personally recommended. [Amazon]

Dragon Wrangler
The Buck Johnson: Dragon Wrangler series by Wyatt McLaren: Cowboys, wrangling dragons. On a distant planet. What's not to love? Short, funny, entertaining fiction that's a perfect blend of western and science fiction (the dragons are actually large flying lizards native to the distant planet). Personally recommended. [Amazon]

The Hunter
The Hunter (The Legend Chronicles, #1) by Theresa Meyers: This was suggested in a thread on Goodreads looked for fantasy-western recommendations. Mainly paranormal romance set in a steampunk version of the real world 1880's old west. Colt hunts for demons and other evil creatures; Lilly is a succubus he summons to help him on a search. She's ordered to take his soul; she has her own plans. I'm currently reading this one, and so far it's lots of fun. [Amazon]

Native Star
The Native Star, by M.K. Hobson: Also recommended on that Goodreads thread. I haven't read it yet, but it's on my too-read list. Also paranormal rather than high fantasy. [Amazon]

Have Gun, Will Play
Not fantasy or science fiction, but also western with an enjoyable twist:

The Mick and Casey stories (Have Gun, Will Play; A Fist Full of Divas; The Curse of Scattershale Gulch, and two stories in the Waiter, There's a Clue In My Soup! collection), by Camille LaGuire. Young married gunslingers Mick and Casey McKee solve mysteries in the old west. Mick and Casey are great characters, the old west settings are beautifully conveyed. If you enjoy putting together the pieces of a mystery in a different setting, try these. Personally recommended. [Amazon]

Bailin', by Linton Robinson. Crime caper set along the modern-day Texas-Mexico border, but with a very old-west feel to it. So funny it had me laughing in the dentist chair while I was waiting for the hygienist to come in and get to work. It has gunslingers, bounty hunters, a desperado in the person of a town treasurer who makes off with the stadium fund, and modern-day banditos (the two-man motorcycle gang Flathead and Bogart, the world's most inept drug smugglers). Also personally recommended. [Amazon]

Next Town Over
Not a novel but a web comic/graphic novel:

Next Town Over, by Erin Mehlos. Follow the mysterious Vane Black as she pursues rogue sorcerer John Henry Hunter across a fictional world based on the Old West. Western high fantasy with a good dose of steampunk, an intriguing story, and really cool art. Personally recommended. Read for free or buy collected volumes for your tablet or in paper
at http://www.nexttownover.net/. (I read them on my Kindle Fire.)

check out Raymond Cook. Straightforward westerns (not with a twist), but I've met the author online and he's a genuinely nice guy and has an inspiring story of following his dreams of writing despite serious injury and disability. I haven't read any of his books yet, but he's definitely on my to-read list.

If you have any recommendations for books that are western with a twist that aren't listed here, please put them in the comments!

Next time: Movies and TV

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Author Spotlight: Kia Carrington-Russell

Possession of My Soul
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi everyone, my name is Kia Carrington-Russell. I am a fantasy/young adult author that is loving the journey my three released books have taken me on. I have many more to come, but thus far I have loved all the people I have met and been supported by.

I love animals, and own a Cavoodle dog, Sia, as well as yin and yang kitties: Forest (black) and Isa (white). They are my biggest cheer team as they always sit with me in my office while I write.
I love food, and probably eat far too much. But hey, food is awesome, so why wouldn’t you? I am competitive, in a harmless way of course. But I may sulk if you don’t let me win at Cluedo (only because if you won, then you must have cheated, because I always win!).

I am slightly clumsy; somehow manage to place myself into awkward situations; possess an airy-fairy demeanor; and have no sense of direction. But I am happy and, well, that’s me.

I’m a workaholic, as I have recently found out. I have a full-time job, a part-time job, and then I write on the side—which is just about every day. I am working hard for what I want to achieve. But I also love painting, photography, and anime. I am a bit of a hippie, I am into my spiritual beliefs, and I like to cook as if I were a master chef (although I take about two more hours than a normal cook would take to finish the dish). I enjoy the worlds of fantasy and cosplaying for events such as Supanova and Manga festivals. Why? Probably because I am a bit of a nerd. I love my family and friends—whom support me dearly—and enjoy dancing as well.

I am appreciative of the things I have and the opportunities I have been given. But mostly I am a dreamer, and I have a determination that will never let me lose sight of what it is I truly aim for: to be a well-known author with the opportunity to meet many of my supporters.

2. When did you start writing, and why?I started writing when I was in high school at age fifteen. I published my first book when I was twenty. Writing was something I had always enjoyed and aspired to do well in, but it wasn’t until the year of 2014 that I really focused on it. I embraced my stories and began to contemplate a career in writing. Apparently my family and friends were waiting for me to take it seriously, as they had always known I would become an author, but said nothing.

Possession of My Heart
3. What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?
I write fantasy because there are no limits or boundaries to my writing. It is so exciting to create a world and then place theory and logic in it as well to convince my readers it is a reality. Although I wouldn’t need much rationality to it all because the genre is so vast, I love to make sense of it. I want to make people question as to whether it is something that is already in our world and if such creatures could exist. It doesn’t matter what genre you write because you can always connect to your reader through the emotions and heart-pounding thoughts of your characters. It is so much fun for me to create a colorful—or a dark—world to surround the reader with. With this I am entrapping them too in my world.

4. What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?I just completed my fourth manuscript, Sia, which is the second in the Phantom Wolf series. In fact, I only sent it off to my amazing editor, Ashley, this week. Currently I am working on creating my two websites: Crystal Book Promoters and Crystal Publishing, so they will hopefully be up and running very soon. I am also trialing my first suspenseful romance and a manual with tips and advice on how to self-publish. I still have many books I want to write over various genres—last time I counted it was over twenty books!

5. "Welcome To My Worlds": Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.I have two series at the moment, and I have two books left to complete in each of them. The most recent book I have finished is Sia. I love this world because the main characters are a half-human, half-wolf race, but they are oblivious to their abnormality. They fear humans, who some even dismiss as a nightmarish legend. If a human kills one of their kind, they are cursed as a Phantom Wolf. When this transformation happens they are fated to kill all of their pack—all their loved ones who are blood linked. They are forever connected to that human and only regain consciousness after they have slaughtered their entire family. The cursed wolf lives a life of unbearable loneliness in an immortal state until the human dies or they kill themselves.

The Phantom Wolves are driven by murderous intent and can’t handle the beast they become after killing their whole pack. I love this concept because it is thought-provoking; it details the lengths that an individual could go to when driven by fear or love. We humans are confident that we are the superior race on this planet—but what if we fell victim to war and slaughter at the hands of an unfamiliar species that feared us. All in the name of fear.

Phantom Wolf
6. Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?
My favorite character so far is Sia; she is an eighteen-year-old who is sure of herself and curious about the world. She constantly tried to prove everyone wrong about their impressions of her as fragile and in need of protection. But on her journey she begins to learn who she truly is. I could find similar characteristics between her and me.

Another favorite character is Scott from Possession Of My Heart: The Three Immortal Blades, my recently released book (October 10th, 2014); he is flirtatious, fabulous and uninterested in most things. But as his traits as an Elemental Breather slowly begin to reveal themselves , he turns into a slightly darker character. He always believes himself to be superior to humans and Shielders. He is sure he is always right and has no issues with torture. His shifting personality really was fascinating to explore; he changed so quickly before me.

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

I love Japanese culture; one of my dreams and goals is to travel to Japan and bathe in their traditional culture as well as their pop obsession. And I love cosplay— oh, I am always excited to see everyone dressed up!

About the Author:

Kia Carrington-Russell is a young author working on her first series: “The Three Immortal Blades”. Kia began writing at the age of fifteen in high school- finding that all her warped and strange dreams were giving her a fantastic new world- and since then she has never looked back.

Kia was born in a small town in Australia, moving around a lot at a young age until finding a stable town where she finished her schooling. Kia found herself enjoying and expressing herself through poetry, short stories and writing, photography, painting and drawing. All these mediums help Kia express the different world that she is so fond of.

In ‘Senior Art’ Kia focused on feminism and female empowerment; exposing through her work issues and concerns that many people would rather just “sweep under the rug”. In one art installation, Kia made a bed out of Pokémon cards- the concept being that when she slept a new world would come to life and it was the only one she saw and constantly lived in. Kia now focuses on her photography, writing and self-help blogs on her website: ‘Precious Living’.

Kia is now keenly working on “The Three Immortal Blades” series knowing that this book has to be shared with the world and that is what she aims to do now.

Kia writes in her Australian home, trying to focus at times on simply what is running through her head, as her cats either terrorize her legs as scratching posts or her puppy barks in her ear for play-time. And as she continues her series, they grow with her book.

Kia is strongly supported by her friends and family and thanks them dearly for being with her along the bumpy road and nothing would please her more than having your support as well.

Where to find Kia:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Phantom Wolf Promo
Phantom Wolf:
Sia is a Phantom Wolf. Neither dead nor alive—and rotting from the inside—she is on the edge of her curse. Once a Phantom Wolf has been created, they hunt their blood pack and slaughter all their loved ones. Except for Sia, who woke years after her death to find herself rampaging through the land on a lonely path. She continues to run from the rival pack that hunts her because she is a Phantom Wolf.
Attracted to a scent, Sia finds her old best friend, who is now a grown woman. Having once saved Keeley, Sia takes the role of protector yet again, despite Keeley’s involvement with the mysterious Alpha, Kiba, and his kin brother, Saith.

An ambush separates the pack and the four of them blindly fight the new warriors that attack them: desperately needing to find out where the attacks are coming from, as Sia has vowed to protect Keeley. But at what cost?

Now being chased, Sia finds herself conflicted by the mortal and spirit world while trying to protect her kin. Sia must confront her fears, as well as the human lover who killed her many years before. It is not only survival Sia contends with, but her own façade that must be broken so that she may find peace within herself once more.
Phantom Wolf is available at:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kia's website

Read on for more information and excerpts from Possession Of My Soul and Possession Of My Heart!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Author Spotlight: Daelynn Quinn

Fall of Venus
Introducing 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.

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 Academy
Neverland 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?


 “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 Return
About 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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Author Spotlight: Hildur Enola

Hildur Enola
Introducing author and video maker Hildur Enola:

My name is Hildur Enóla. I´m an Icelandic self-published author, and I live in Denmark. I run a website, nostripublication.com, with my writing partner, Sirrý Sig., who lives in Iceland.

I write because I like to imagine characters, stories, other worlds, etc.. Without me, they wouldn´t come to life; they would just drop dead like any other ideas. So I guess I´m saving lives, and even whole worlds by writing. My day job never gives me that much satisfaction, but it pays those damned bills, contrary to my more “important” work.

Currently I´m working on a little Halloween book trailer, or a tiny visual novel—we’ll see what it turns into during the next two to three weeks. It´s based on two short stories that I´ve yet to translate into English,  called “Just a Kid” and “Adult. ” Last week, Adult was the third runner up in a short crime story contest—a real boost for my mousy self-esteem.

The story is a bit creepy, and the horror element is more prominent than the actual crime. It´s about a young adult girl who just turned eighteen, and she´s trying to get rid of her mother's corpse. In Iceland this is a crime ;) I guess that´s why  it worked for the crime contest. Anyway, it´s perfect as a base for a Halloween video prank, or book trailer. Of course, it will only be very loosely based on the story. For example, I´m changing the viewpoint from the girl´s to that of the light outside her house to give it a lighter, and more fantasy-like feel. So the video will start with:

Once upon a time, there was an outdoor light. It hung above the door of an apartment building by Hamraborgin.

It´s a kind of a nice and caring outdoor light that tries to be helpful, although it can get jealous and it, can in fact, electrocute those who change the light bulb.

The book trailer is a work in progress, and will be available later this month, hopefully along with the stories, “Just a Kid” and “Adult.”

Last year, I made my first cute and clumsy Halloween trailer:
One Thing Led to Another Here is the link to the book that it´s loosely based on: One Thing Led to Another

We are always adding to our website, so please come and check it out:

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Book Tour Spotlight: Hunters

Here's Aoife Marie Sheridan, here on her book tour with Saskia Book Tours, to introduce us to Abigail, the main character in her new novel, Hunters:

Q: What is the name of your character?A: The Name of my Character is Abigail Thornton. She’s Nineteen and a Demon Hunter.

Q: Is she fictional or a historic person? A: Demon Hunter? Fictional I would say. LOL

Q: When and where is the story set?A: The story is set in our world (Earth). Most of it is set in England and the rest in Rome.

Q: What should we know about her?A: Well Abigail has no living family, she witnessed the death of her mother, then her father and brother but she was saved by Daniel. Abigail has lots of her own demons but she found a way to deal with them, Alcohol. After being taken in by a priest he teaches her to become a demon hunter, and she’s good at what she does. O did I mention that she can see ghosts. :)

Q: What is the main conflict? What messes up her life?

A: Her feelings for Daniel really cause serious problems; he’s her best friend, her savoir in ways.  Yet she won’t let him see how she feels. Abigail’s main fear is of losing one more person that she loves, so she chooses to keep people at arm’s length. Her past comes back to haunt her also, when ghosts start attacking her, and her brother makes an appearance, she can’t cope so she turns to drink but soon everything starts to spiral out of control. So her life is pretty messed up.

Q: What is the personal goal of the character?A: To understand what really happened to her family.

Q: Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?A: Yes it’s called Hunters (Hunters #1). The first chapter you can read for free at http://www.aoifemariesheridan.com/hunters-chapter-one.php

Q: When can we expect the book to be published?A: The release date for Hunters is the 1st of October 2014.

Hunters:Abigail is nineteen. Her job, she hunts demons.

Her life so far has been tough. Having witnessed her family’s death and her mother’s suicide, she’s been taken in by a priest, who believes her when she says that she sees ghosts. Father Peter trains her as a demon hunter with three other members, one being Daniel, who isn’t what he seems.
But when a possession goes wrong, and ghosts start to attack Abigail, the tight rope she has on her emotions soon starts to loosen. Abigail draws the unwanted attention of the Reote, and she finds out a lot more than she was willing to learn.
Knowledge is power, but for Abigail, it’s her undoing, and the only thing keeping her together is Daniel.

Hunters is available at Amazon

Aoife Marie Sheridan About the author:Aoife Marie Sheridan has loved reading from a very young age. Starting off with Mills and Boon's books, given to by her grandmother, her love for romances grew. By the age of 14 she had read hundreds of them.

Aoife had a passion for writing poetry or in her eyes her journal entries. It was something she did throughout her teens and into her twenties. Aoife won first place for two of her poems and had them published at a young age of just nineteen. Realising she needed to get a real job (What writing isn't) she studied accountancy and qualified working in that field for many years, until her passion for reading returned and she found Maria V Snyder. Poison Study, one of her favourite books, has been read and re-read countless times.

Aoife's first book, Eden Forest (Part one of the Saskia Trilogy), came to be after a dream of a man and woman on a black horse jumping through a wall of fire and the idea of Saskia was born. Now with her first novel published and taking first place for Eden Forest with Writers Got Talent 2013, Aoife continues to write tales of fantasy and is currently working on her third book for the Saskia Trilogy amongst other new works.

You can find Aoife at:
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