Author Spotlight — Ian Nathaniel Cohen

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Today we welcome Ian Nathaniel Cohen. He’s going to tell us a little about himself and his books, so grab a snack and meet your new favorite author.

What genres do your writings fall under? What age group?

My first book, The Brotherhood of the Black Flag, is a historical adventure thriller, mostly aimed at adults, although there isn’t much in it that young adults can’t handle. If I was going to rate it the way you would a movie, I’d give it a PG-13.

 

When and why did your start writing?

 

I’m not exactly sure when I started writing, as I don’t remember not having ideas for books and making various attempts at writing them. However, it was definitely during college that I found myself with enough time to actually write some of them out and share them with other people. The feedback I got was encouraging, and I got more ambitious with the kinds of stories I wanted to tell. It was also during college that I became a huge fan of H. Rider Haggard and Rafael Sabatini, whose writings have had a huge influence on the kinds of stories I enjoy writing. As more ideas for stories and characters popped into my head, I eventually decided to finally take the plunge and try and do something with them.

The same goes for my review blog, The INCspotlight. I’ve always enjoyed writing movie reviews, and I made more than one attempt at getting professional gigs in local and school papers. When I discovered the website That Guy with the Glasses, later Channel Awesome, and I saw that they accepted guest bloggers, I decided to give it a try. All the reviewers on the site had their own niche, and mine was less-familiar classic movies that I didn’t feel deserved to be forgotten about. A lot of these classic works inspired my own ideas for stories, and I guess I see the INCspotlight as my way of paying it forward. I’m no longer with Channel Awesome, but the INCspotlight continues, now hosted on my own website.

What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t writing?

 

I feel like all my hobbies are pretty old-fashioned, now that I think about it. In addition to reading, I’m a huge movie buff, classic movies especially, and I also like listening to old time radio shows (The Shadow, The Green Hornet, Abbott & Costello) and playing retro video games. I like collecting various stuff, such as vintage playing cards (or replicas) and comic books, older ones especially. My favorite kinds of music are jazz, swing, and blues, but I also like classical, folk, and Celtic music, as well as film scores.

What do you hope readers take away from your writing? Is there a particular theme in your work? Does your work have a moral?

 

At the very least, I hope readers find The Brotherhood of the Black Flag to be a fun ride, like a summer blockbuster. Beyond that, I hope that the book’s theme of how blind loyalty leads people to ignore logic and basic common sense will stick with readers. I also hope that my protagonist sets the kind of example more guys need to follow in real life, particularly in the way he tries to respect female characters (I’ll leave it to readers to decide if he succeeds) and doesn’t demand or feel entitled to their affections.

Which of your characters is your favorite and why?

 

Villains are fun to write, especially in adventure fiction where they’re allowed to be a bit over the top, so they’re always among my favorite characters.

What genre is your favorite to read?

 

It depends what I’m in the mood for at any given time. However, anything with sword fights is usually a winner, so historical fiction, heroic folklore, and high fantasy rank pretty highly. However, I like various other genres as well, and I’ll give most things a shot if it sounds interesting.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?

 

I probably would have spent less time agent hunting and explored self-publishing options a lot sooner, given that publishers don’t seem that interested non-series historical adventure fiction. On that note, I probably would have done a better job putting together a marketing strategy, especially given limited time and financial resources.

How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?

 

I use Facebook and Twitter, and I’m a member of various Facebook groups where us rookie authors can share our work and hopefully nab new readers. I’m still working on which ones work the best, though.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

 

For a long time, The Brotherhood of the Black Flag fit that category back when I was trying to get literary agents interested in taking a look at it. Eventually, I bit the bullet and decided to self-publish. It has its disadvantages, mostly having to market it myself and pitch it to total strangers to get them to buy it, but on the other hand, my book is out there and being read and enjoyed instead of taking up space on my computer.

Can you tell us about your book?

 

The Brotherhood of the Black Flag is a tribute to the classic swashbucklers I grew up on as a kid, books and movies alike. It’s set in 1721, the early years of the United Kingdom and the tail end of the Golden Age of Piracy. The main character, Michael McNamara, was an officer in the British Royal Navy before his unjust expulsion, and he falls in with Captain Stephen Reynard, a pirate turned pirate hunter out to earn a pardon. Not really having any other options, McNamara joins Reynard’s quest for redemption, and his travels pit him against untrusting shipmates, bloodthirsty buccaneers, and an international conspiracy that threatens thousands of lives.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

 

When it came to plotting out The Brotherhood of the Black Flag and setting up character arcs, history cooperated with me beautifully. McNamara’s military history has him fighting in real battles during the War of the Spanish Succession and the War of the Quadruple Alliance – even the ship he was on at the Battle of Cape Passaro, the HMS Canterbury, was an actual ship. The same thing happened when it came to figuring out his reasons for leaving the British Isles and moving to Jamaica.

As for whether any of it came from my own experiences, some friends and I have had to go through not being able to follow the career paths they planned to, for one reason or another, and we’ve found themselves asking “well, now what?” It wasn’t planned that way, but once I got the idea that’s what was driving McNamara, it was easy to write him from that perspective.

Also, when I was learning stage combat, I specialized in rapier, and one time, I went up against someone who favored the schiavona. Now, I’m no expert at fencing, but I took lessons for six years, and rapier wasn’t all that different – even the stage combat version. But when going up against the fighting style for the schiavona, the blade comes at you from unexpected angles, and I was stumped. I had no idea how to defend against it or effectively counter-attack. As soon as that bout was done, I thought to myself “one of my characters for Black Flag has to use this sword and fighting style.” I actually consulted with that same guy in said character’s use of the schiavona, and he was very cooperative.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

 

Any scene where I got to write banter was a fun scene to write. I’m also especially proud of McNamara and Reynard’s friendly duel when they first meet. There are a lot of sword fights in The Brotherhood of the Black Flag, and while I’m happy with how pretty much all of them came out, that was my favorite of the bunch.

How did you come up with the title?

 

During the Golden Age of Piracy, pirates were known as the Brethren of the Coast, but also as the Brotherhood of the Black Flag. The latter sounded like a good name for a pirate story (either a movie or a novel), and I just ran with it.

What project are you working on now?

 

I’ve got a bunch of different books of different genres in the works – a murder mystery set in 1930s New York, another one set in Chicago in that same time period that pays tribute to classic pulp heroes, a fantasy series I’m collaborating with my beta reader on, and a telling of the Arthurian legends from the point of view of Sir Gawaine, as well as a couple of graphic novel projects. However, The Sherwood Caper, another historical thriller starring Robin Hood, is the one I aim to finish, given how much of it is already written and planned out, compared to the other ones. I’d always wanted to write a Robin Hood novel, and I was struggling with what direction to take it for a long time until I decided to make it a heist story, kinda like Ocean’s Eleven or The Italian Job. The tone will be similar to Black Flag – realistic, historically accurate, but without making it “grimdark.”

Will you have a new book coming out soon?

 

Um…define “soon.”

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

 

I don’t know if I’ve ever gotten any criticism that was emotionally tough to deal with. The feedback I’d gotten from beta readers and my editor, even when harsh, ended up making the book better, so I honestly appreciated it. I’m sure negative reviews will come, and when they do, I hope I can likewise learn from the criticisms as best I can and try not to repeat mistakes in future books.

The only truly discouraging thing I’ve had to deal with when it comes to reviews (so far) is when they’re arbitrarily yanked from Amazon with no explanation, and Amazon refuses to provide any details – I’ve lost about a third of all the reviews I’ve ever gotten this way. I know many indie authors have had to go through this, more so than usual lately, and it’s tough to deal with. We have to scrape and claw for every review we get, and it’s frustrating to have them taken away and not know why. I don’t think I’ve found any aspect of writing more discouraging and “what’s the point?”-inducing than that, and I know I’m not the only one.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

 

Take your time with your writing projects, and don’t rush them out the self-publishing door. Invest time in character development, world building, and writing craft, and get help if and when you need it. Your story will be all the better for it, and your readers will keep coming back for more. Also, most importantly, when people help you out, even if it’s a small thing, please make sure to show your appreciation.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

 

Thank you to all of you who have taken a chance on a first-time author, especially those who have invested a few minutes of time into reviewing it! I’d also like to thank the folks at indieBrag for awarding The Brotherhood of the Black Flag a B.R.A.G. Medallion – I’m truly grateful for the honor.

Have you travelled to places outside your home town/country? Where did you go? What did you see/experience?

 

I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to travel all over the world, across six continents. When I was a kid, my mom took me on a Robin Hood tour in the actual Sherwood Forest and the Nottingham library, home to the largest collection of Robin Hood books. In college, I participated in the Semester at Sea program’s Fall 2000 semester, literally sailing around the world and visiting different countries along the way. Not only was it genuinely the adventure of a lifetime, but a learning experience and a unique opportunity to bond with people. In fact, I even dedicated The Brotherhood of the Black Flag to my Fall 2000 shipmates.

If you could visit any cartoon world, which one would it be?

Hmmmm…Tiny Toon Adventures, maybe? At Acme Looniversity, the main characters learn the fundamentals of animation, comedy, and cartoon-making from the classic Warner Bros. cartoon stars, such as Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck. I’d love to drop in on one of those classes.

 

If you could visit any fictional world, which one would it be?

 

Middle-Earth, particularly the Shire or Rivendell (although given my height, I’d probably find Rivendell more comfortable). Listening to elven music or ancient tales during a grand feast sounds like a great way to spend a day. Option B would be The Dreaming from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic book series – specifically the Library of Dreams, where you can read all the books dreamed up by authors who never had the chance to write them, including works by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Lewis Carroll, J.R.R. Tolkien, and so on.

Who’s your favorite superhero?

 

I’m a huge fan of most DC and Marvel characters, and I don’t know if I have an overall favorite. Outside of that, I also love Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, Jeff Smith’s Bone, Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo and Kurt Busiek’s Astro City. I need to broaden my range a bit and discover more indie creators – it’s just a matter of having enough time to discover and read them all.

 

 

 

 

 

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Author Spotlight — Michael Keyton

Today we’re welcoming author Michael Keyton. Read on to see what he has to say.

Tales from the Murenger, print 180 dpi‘Tales From The Murenger: Stories to darken the soul’ is collection of the weird and dark, its title inspired by one of Newport’s oldest pubs, likely the oldest with its origins in the C15th.

Most of the stories have been previously published in various British and American anthologies; in fact the first story, Mr Nousel’s Mirror’ was included in anthologist, Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the year for 2011, along with works by Stephen King and Jack Ketchum.

With the various copyrights having reverted back to me I pondered how best to make them earn me a little more money. There was no problem in putting them together in a single collection, for they all had a central motif: every story was set in or around Newport and for good reason.

Newport, or my version of it, has become my ‘Arkham’ the Welsh equivalent of HP Lovecraft’s sinister creation. My Newport is a dark, seedy and magical city, the unimaginable just around the next corner . . . or the corner after that. So far no one has objected to the depiction. Perhaps they agree that ‘dark and seedy’ suggests fertility, and there’s no doubt Newport is magical, if you know where to look. Mind you, with cannibalism, seductive cats, rats where you don’t want them to be, and houses that possess more than your body, you may think twice before visiting the place.

The one problem I did have was choosing a name for the book. Tales from Newport . . . No, perhaps not; Tales from the Transporter Bridge . . . no — but I was getting there. I needed an icon, something everyone in the area would recognise, something once seen you immediately think – ghosts; something smelling of . . . beer. Good beer.

The Murenger immediately came to mind – which is not really surprising. I’ve been drinking there on and off for over thirty years. And what you see on the front cover is pretty much what you see on the street, though I can’t guarantee the ghostly smoke. After that it was a marriage made in heaven. Rob, ‘Mine host’ has a savvy media presence and the relationship became symbiotic—Rob marketing the book and me marketing his pub.

I suppose the point of this short piece – other than ‘selling’ a book – is if you have something on your hard-drive gathering dust, something that has previously been sold but you think deserves a fresh audience—go for it. The other equally important point is the need to think of a marketing angle. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best – especially those conjured up by three or four pints – speaking of which, the kindle version at £2.35 is cheaper than a Murenger Pint of Sam Smiths, the paperback at £5 is about the price of a pint in London.

http://tinyurl.com/zs9vkpk

Author Spotlight – Fiona Hogan

author new picToday we’re shining the spotlight on author Fiona Hogan. Check out her great books below.

About the Author

Fiona Hogan is a writer, blogger, poet and editor living in beautiful County Laois in the midlands of Ireland. She is an Indie author and has four books published on Amazon – The Lights Went Out and Other Stories and What Happened in Dingle under the name Fiona Cooke Hogan, and Death Comes Calling and The Nightmare under her horror name of F B Hogan.

 

Let’s Connect

Find out about Fiona’s books on her Amazon Author Page

She writes about her work, nature, family life and anything that takes her fancy on her blog – Unusual Fiction

You can find her on Twitter and her writing page Fiona Cooke Hogan

She is also an editor and proofreader at The Editing Hub

Her editing page is  facebook – The Editing Hub

 

Books

paperbackThe Lights Went Out and Other Stories

An eclectic mix of flash fiction, short and longer stories. At times humorous, eerie and poignant; a mother burdened by financial troubles shares her problem with a stranger, a young couples’ journey to the airport takes a strange turn, a wedding anniversary in Dingle goes from bad to worse, a small dog is forced to change his ways, and a vampire hiding out in suburbia just wants to be left alone. Dip your toes into this quirky collection and find your favourite.

 

 

what happened in dingle coverWhat Happened in Dingle

Dingle was the place of their honeymoon. Ruth and Neil are back to celebrate a milestone in their marriage, their twentieth anniversary. Enjoy this funny, pub crawl of a tale set in the wilds of beautiful County Kerry.

 

 

 

death comes calling book coverDeath Comes Calling

Death comes calling and decides to stay. A selection of dark fiction for lovers of gothic horror. Pull the shutters and bolt the door. Keep the fire burning and the candles lit. Something is coming. Listen for the knock at the door but whatever you do, don’t let it in.

 

 

UnlucckyThe Nightmare

Seven cleverly crafted tales of gothic and contemporary horror to keep you awake at night. Ghosts and devils fight for a corner in this creepy collection of dark fiction, from the imagination of the author who brought you Death Comes Calling. Do you dare?

 

 

 

 

From the author who brought you Death Comes Calling (1)

Author Spotlight – Sandra J. Jackson

View More: http://anotherperspective.pass.us/sandrajLet’s give a warm welcome to our spotlighted author, Sandra J. Jackson.

Author Bio

A graduate of a 3-year Graphic Design program, Sandra J. Jackson has always been creative, from drawing and painting to telling stories to her children when they were young. Her wild imagination lends itself to new and exciting ideas.

Sandra’s debut novel, Promised Soul, was released in 2015 and Playing in the Rain (Book 1 of the Escape Series) in September 2017 by Fountain Blue Publishing. A short story, Not Worth Saving, was published in New Zenith Magazine’s 2016 fall issue. She also has had several sports articles published in a local newspaper. She holds a professional membership with the Canadian Author Association and is a member of Writers’ Ink.

Sandra lives with her family in a rural setting in Eastern, Ontario. She is currently working on Book 3 of the Escape Series, her first trilogy.

A Little About Sandra

  1. Playing-In-The-Rain-Promo-Paperback_preview smallerWhat genres do your writings fall under? What age group? I consider myself a multi-genre author. I like to read many genres so it’s fun to explore writing them as well. My books are anywhere from age 16 and up.
  2. Can you tell us about your upcoming book? My upcoming book would be book 2 of the Escape Series. The book itself is finished but I have yet to edit it. I am waiting to finish writing the third book and then will edit the second.
  3. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?While most things in my books are purely imagined there is always a little bit of me and my experiences included in my writing.
  4. What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? I suppose that would depend on what book. I have a few favourite chapters in Promised Soul, one of which is a dream sequence. In it the character, Mary, is fighting to keep herself and younger brother and sister from sliding out a hole torn in the side of their ship. For me it’s interesting to write about something I haven’t experienced and yet try and put myself in that position, imagining what it would be like and all the emotions that would go with it. In Playing in the Rain, one of my favourite chapters is when the character April, enters a bedroom after hearing a noise. I won’t go into too much detail as to not give anything away, but again it’s fun to explore.
  5. How did you come up with the title? My titles are derived from the last line of the book. I always have an idea how I want my story to end. I make sure that the last line has a phrase that can be used as the title.
  6. What project are you working on now? I am working on finishing the third book of my Escape series trilogy.
  7. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers? Build your author platform before you get published. Start a blog and get people to know who you are. 2. When you finally finish a book, find an editor to edit it properly. This is not a family member or a friend (unless they’re an actual editor). I’ve been reading a lot of books lately from self-published authors who have not had their work properly edited. As a reader, it is very distracting for me when I read books (even if the story itself is good) that is full of grammatical errors (I’m talking on every page) or isn’t written well technically. There are a lot of technical elements that a writer should be aware of – do the research. I am still learning these techniques and applying them to my own work.
  8. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans? Thank you!!!!!! I appreciate all my readers.
  9. Do you also work a day job? How does it inspire your writing? Yes, I work full time as a financial assistant. So far it has not inspired anything but you never know.
  10. What’s your favorite comfort food? Pasta would be my go to comfort food. I also have a sweet tooth so just about any baked good will do. And chocolate, can’t forget about chocolate.

Promised-Soul-Promo-Paperback smallerAuthor Links

Website: www.sandrajjackson.com

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/sandrajjackson.author

 Twitter handle: @sjjacksonauthor

E-mail: sjjacksonauthor@gmail.com

WordPress link: http://sandrajjackson.wordpress.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sandra-J.-Jackson/e/B00UZJO5DY

 

 

 

 

Author Spotlight-J. C. Steel

Author photoLet’s give a warm welcome to JC Steel, the author in our spotlight this week.

  1. When and why did your start writing? To be honest, I’ve told myself stories in my head as long as I can remember; I just never got around to writing any of them down. I finally started actually writing around age fourteen; I was in boarding school, frankly probably on the verge of washing out due to sheer boredom, and one of my friends asked me why I never wrote any of my stories down so other people could read them. It solved my boredom problem. I scribbled my way through high school, and wrote five novels in five years (and, to everyone’s surprise, passed all my exams). The beauty of the hobby was that to a teacher, a student busily writing a space battle looks remarkably like a quiet, attentive, note-taking student.
  2. What genres do your writings fall under? What age group? I write sci-fi and urban fantasy. I’d say on the whole that the themes are adult; which is no bar to younger people reading the books, but the language and topics aren’t specifically slanted at the younger age brackets, and parts of all of the stories would definitely fall into the PG-13 category.
  3. What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t writing? I read a lot, I play with my cats a lot, and when I have the time and money, I enjoy martial arts and riding (usually not simultaneously). This year I’m hoping things will come together so I can take a week and ride across Iceland – I got to meet Icelandic horses in 2017, and they manage to combine looking ridiculously cute with the kind of instinct for mayhem usually found only in six-month-old cats.
  4. What genre is your favorite to read? I read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy. I scared myself silly with Lord of the Rings aged about seven and refused to go to the bathroom on my own for six months in case a Black Rider came hunting me, but my addiction was firm. I added sci-fi to my habit a couple of years later, when I climbed to the very top of my parents’ bookshelf and came across Anne McCaffrey’s ‘Dragonriders of Pern’ series. I still have that edition of Dragonflight; it’s been through a lot of moves with me.jc-steel-banner
  5. If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change? Yes, absolutely. I wouldn’t waste several years half-heartedly begging publishers and agents to consider at least opening my submission envelopes – I’d go straight to independent publishing and save myself a lot of hassle and postage costs. I love having complete control over, and responsibility for, what I publish and when I publish it. It means whatever goes out into the world is completely mine.
  6. Can you tell us about your upcoming book? Actually there are three on the boil right now, I have an extreme case of literary infidelity. I’m working on the fifth book in my sci-fi series, which hasn’t yet confessed to a final title; I’m in the final edit stage on my first urban fantasy novel, Death is for the Living, which is about a team of vampire hunters based on a yacht in the Tropics; and I’m on the first draft of another urban fantasy about a half-siren ‘acquisitions specialist’ tasked to acquire the Peaches of Immortality at their next ripening. I’m hoping at least Death is for the Living will make it out of the door in the next six months, and if I’m lucky, #5 in the Cortii series will publish towards the end of the year.
  7. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?Well, my sci-fi series is set in an interstellar mercenary cult, which would make my past life both terminally interesting and probably admissible evidence J Death is for the Living, though, is heavily based on my childhood. I grew up on a yacht in the Caribbean, and a lot of the settings are drawn from that. The martial arts training comes in surprisingly useful for the fight scenes across both my genres, which means I can call my classes research when asked (it tends to worry people less than calling them stress release!).
  8. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment? I’ve actually been really fortunate with all my books so far; about the worst thing I’m told on a regular basis is that my writing is complex. I’m fine with that; it’s perfectly true. I’ve never had a lot of time for the concept of writing to a ‘grade-level’, and honestly I don’t feel that we, as authors, do society a favour by trying to write to a level of the language geared at 12-year-olds. On the whole, though, the feedback has been remarkably positive. It’s a great feeling if even a few people enjoy the read enough to take the time to go online and leave a rating or a review.
  9. Do you prefer comfortable clothes or dressing nicely? If I didn’t work in a business environment, I would be a jeans and hoodie wearer full-time – and bare-foot whenever I could get away with it. I deeply appreciate clothes that are comfortable, have capacious pockets, and will tolerate a slide on a muddy path followed by a hot wash.
  10. Have you travelled to places outside your home town/country? Where did you go? What did you see/experience? I moved around a lot growing up, and went through a lot of schools before I finally wound up in boarding school in the UK. I’ve spent at least a few months in most of the Caribbean islands, most of the countries of southern Europe, and a couple of weeks in Morocco, Venezuela and the USA. Iceland was my first visit to Scandinavia, and I’m currently living in Canada. I enjoy travelling, preferably away from the tourist routes if I can manage it, and I love learning new languages and trying new foods. I have a friend who holds that someone who learns a new language experiences a whole new life, and I’m broadly onboard with that opinion. I’m hoping to get to the Far East in the foreseeable future; I’ve practiced karate, aikido, and bujinkan for years and never even visited Japan. One of the oddest places I think I’ve ever been was when we sailed across a corner of the Sargasso Sea; it’s basically a huge, semi-stationary patch of floating seaweed in the Atlantic that’s several days’ sail across. The ocean goes from deep blue to a greenish-brownish-yellow and stays like that as far as you can see.

TTH, FS, EA, EC OBC quote desertConnect with JC Steel

Author website: http://jcsteelauthor.com

Newsletter sign-up: https://www.instafreebie.com/free/odlUs

Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/J-C-Steel/e/B00XARD7XC/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/steel_jo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjcsteel/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/j_c_steel/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/JCSteel

 

 

Author Spotlight-Deborah Burnside

23319229_10155727922650102_7205406075011842319_nToday we’re welcoming author Deborah Burnside. Let’s kick back and see what she has to share with us.

Prodigal Hearts had its beginning as a work of fan fiction in 1973, while Deborah Burnside was still in high school. Many years and countless revisions later, it is her first published novel. Firefighters are her heroes now as they were then, and will always be.

 When Deborah was in the second grade, a short essay she wrote as a class assignment was selected for publication in the Whittier Daily News, and she was instantly enamored with the power of the written word. She went on to write numerous creative stories, stage plays, and poetry while still going through school. She worked as a reporter and as the entertainment editor for her high school newspaper, and as a reporter for her college newspaper.

Although Deborah would later forego a career in journalism in favor of marriage and motherhood, the need to write has always remained strong. She finds writing to be highly therapeutic, crediting both it and the Lord for her ability to survive some very difficult years and situations. She continues to devote her creative efforts to fiction novels and poetry, with a few short stories and a couple of worship songs thrown in. Several of her poems have been published in anthologies.

 She is also an amateur volcanologist, having been bitten by that bug in 2004, when Mt. St. Helens was once more in an eruptive phase. She spent eleven days at the Coldwater Ridge observatory with her then-husband, who rests now in the arms of Jesus. Her experiences while on the mountain will surely find their way into some not-yet-written story.

Deborah lives in rural Shasta County, California, with her new husband, Patrick. The couple currently has six cats, but the number is subject to change at any given time. When not writing, she rescues stray, abandoned, and abused animals – primarily cats, but occasionally dogs as well.

You can connect with Deborah at the following links:

FB author page: facebook.com/authordeborahburnside

Website: http://www.authordeborahburnside.com/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/deborahlyn

 

Prodigal Hearts book coverProdigal Hearts

Stephanie Williams and Sam Kendrick may be neighbors, but neither is sure they want any kind of relationship with each other – or with God.

Stephanie is angry at God over His failure to protect her from an assault that almost killed her. Where was the divine protection she had been told was hers as a child of God? Where exactly was He that night?

Sam has turned away from God in the aftermath of a tragic accident that took the life of his best friend. And he wants to know why the Almighty left him alive to suffer the nightmares and flashbacks.

Stephanie’s sister, a teenager with pronounced matchmaking tendencies, is determined to see them heal – together. As these two wounded souls begin to find their way into each others’ hearts, can they also learn to trust again in the One who loves them both?

 

51ZRcIiXYVLA Cousin Scorned

Other than their looks, cousins Connie Sherman and Shellie Cochrane have nothing in common. They don’t like each other. They don’t try to get along. And they never, ever like the same boys.

Until Dave Barbour – and he has eyes for only one of them. Now their unfriendly rivalry is about to crash head-first into the California high desert town of Yucca Valley.

Because hell has no fury like a cousin scorned.

Author Spotlight-L. M. Nelson

Guardian_webcoverLet’s give a warm welcome to author L. M. Nelson, the focus of today’s author spotlight.

L.M. Nelson is certified teacher and CPR/First Aid instructor. She enjoys poetry, music, photography, gardening, and nature walks. Aside from The Guardian and her Scrubs series, she has written several poems, some of which have been selected for literary magazines and published in various poetry collections. She co-wrote the article, ‘Gifted and Talented Education at the Close of the Decade of the Brain’, which was published in Perspectives, an Idaho Association of School Administrators educational journal. She wrote a guest post for Squirl’s On the Spot blog and an article called “Renegade Marketing” that was featured on Book Daily.

L.M. Nelson grew up in California and the Pacific Northwest, but currently resides in South Central Texas with her husband and two children. She is a member of the Texas Association of Authors, the Texas Authors Institute, and the San Antonio chapter of Romance Writers of America.

book links: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078TXDLYX

Guardian_5x8_BW_160jpgThe Guardian

The power of the elements in the hands of a boy.

Devastated by the tragic death of their parents, Camryn and Toby Hunter find themselves alone in the Idaho wilderness. Seeking solace in each other’s company, the siblings have no way of knowing what the future has in store for them.

 When Toby discovers a pair of gold rings, he and Camryn are magically transported into a mystical land they’ve never seen before. Their only known exit is immediately sealed off, and they find themselves surrounded by mythical creatures, a beautiful waterfall oasis, and moss-covered Redwood trees with faces. Named as “the Guardian” by the locals, Toby is faced with a life-changing task. He and his sister can only return home when the elements are reunited and peace is restored to the land of Gelnoff. With only two gold rings, ten days’ worth of supplies, and the guidance of a wise, old Redwood tree, Toby and Camryn begin the journey of a lifetime.

 

Author Spotlight – S. A. Hoag

Renegades: Book 2 of The Wildblood

by S. A. Hoag

 

They made you strong, and smart. We kept you safe, and in the shadows. It took them damned near twenty years to find you. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Uncontrollable. Unpredictable. Dangerous. The Wildblood. Now, Team Three know what they are. Renegades: Book 2 of The Wildblood – Autumn 2016

 

M3

 

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Excerpt

“This is one of three air bursts,” Vance said, indicating the video monitor. It was recording as the airplane banked around to give them a clear view. “It happened early that morning, just before nine. It was a Tuesday. The other detonations were east and south, one directly over downtown Denver, the third at the airport, all within minutes a few minutes.”  He remembered clearly, but recited it like he was reading from a textbook. None of the others were old enough to remember.

 

The first group of buildings were isolated and more than that, destroyed. Melted, irradiated, and nothing that remained looked like it had ever been occupied by a human being. They were twisted and misshapen, matte gray against the distant blue mountains.

 

“Rocky Flats,” Shannon said carefully, concentrating. There were no ghosts, no impressions of the past, crowding into her thoughts. She was glad for that. Being Gen En, genetically enhanced, she could see things not so obvious to others. This place was empty, it was. . . null. The war had been twenty years ago, the voices faded. Now civilization consisted of tiny enclaves, hidden away and carefully guarded against other remnants of humanity. Her home, The Vista, was one of those places.   Vance’s city, Estes Park, was another.

 

“Anything?” Green asked, aware of the possible consequences if she sensed something unusual. He’d been her second, her backup, for years. Today he was piloting, as well.

 

She wrinkled her nose, distracted. “No, nothing that merits mention.”  Flying was an aversion, one she hadn’t been able to avoid recently. They were far from home, wary guests of Vance’s these past few months.

 

“What does that mean?” Cooper asked, the first thing he’d actually had to say during the journey. He’d taken the seat behind Vance and kept to himself. That was his job, to make sure Vance stayed safe and out of trouble. The Vistans were trouble. There were only a few of them, but they were a dangerous few.

 

“It means, she doesn’t see anything we can’t see,” Green offered. He wasn’t Gen En. He was Siksika, a Blackfoot, and a misplaced Vista Security officer, like her. Being her bodyguard, at least for a couple hours, was a duty Green didn’t mind. Capt. Allen, Shannon, was younger, more adept at controlling tricky situations, and his senior officer. Their relationship was far less complicated than most people believed.

 

Vance nodded. He’d been in charge of Estes Park for a decade. The areas south could be troublesome. Most of what had been central Colorado was under his protection, but there was a large and empty landscape where Denver had been. Even the scavengers kept clear. The Vistans and his people weren’t friends, and it wasn’t something he could foresee at any point soon. They might be able to work out a trade agreement despite some stark differences.

 

The Vista was far to the north, past his influence. Having them show up on his doorstep a few months earlier hadn’t entirely been a surprise. They’d been hunting Rafe, Vance’s former partner-in-crime and fellow Gen En. Rafe had proven to be extremely violent, volatile and unpredictable. After years at odds with each other, Vance was resigned to his presence nearby, raiding and ransacking villages. Young, brash, and looking for revenge, the Vistans had accomplished in weeks what he hadn’t been able to do in a decade

 

 

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Renegades: Book 2 of The Wildblood

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LYNY774

Available now at Amazon.

 

Author Info

  1. A. Hoag is an author, lapidary artist, very amateur astronomer (“I just look at the stars, I can’t tell you their names.”), hockey fan, and accidental desert-dweller. Born in the middle of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, she has lived in a number of cities, in a number of states, before crash-landing in the New Mexico desert. Not Roswell, however. Science Fiction has always been her first interest in reading and writing; many other genres sneak into the novels and that’s alright with her.

http://www.topaz08.com

 

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Other Books

 

The Wildblood Series

 

No one remembers what started the war, the big one. It happened too fast, and there were too many lies, for the truth to be known. Civilization stopped, and what came next was fueled by rage and fear.

Twenty years on, a tiny refuge, a place called The Vista, may be one of the last vestiges of humanity. Isolated, guarded, and hiding a dark secret, the people have survived World War Last, and they are content with that. Their children, however, are not. The search for others will send them out into a world they know nothing about, where the line between enemy and ally is blurred. The war may not be over.

 

Backlash, prequel to The Wildblood series. Before Team Three, there was the Blackout. Set on a near-future Earth mostly devoid of humans, this reveals some of the harsh realities facing people of The Vista, and how Team Three began.

When Security faces an unknown adversary that threatens to wreak havoc across what little civilization there is left, they must rely on the unusual abilities of a new team, and hope it’s enough to stop the chaos.

 

 

Before Team Three, there was The Blackout. Backlash, prequel to The Wildblood. Available in paperback now!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0104VMFI4

 

The Vista: Book 1 of The Wildblood introduces Team Three – Allen, MacKenzie and Wade. An elite team of security officers, they’re young, ambitious, and at the forefront of a movement to discover what is beyond The Vista. They also believe they are genetically enhanced, Gen En, a practice outlawed long before they were born. Venturing beyond their valley draws the attention of someone dangerous, someone that shares their past and wants to control their future, or destroy them because of what they might be. The team decide to take the fight away from their home and end up finding new allies – and new enemies.

 

What happens, after the end of civilization? The Vista: Book 1 of The Wildblood. Also available in paperback.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00W6R8WNM

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Hunters Moon: An Urban Mythos Novella

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DMCJ0LM

Lyra Alexander considers herself an archeologist, a job that normally wouldn’t be very dramatic or dangerous. The problem with her job, however, is that she studies vampires. And they aren’t too keen on being studied.

In this world, there are all kinds of creatures prowling in the night . . . Humans are no longer at the top of the food chain.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

Author links – S. A. Hoag

Website – www.topaz08.com

FB Author’s Page – https://www.facebook.com/thewildbloodseries/

Amazon Author’s Page – http://www.amazon.com/S.-A.-Hoag/e/B00WARWIHY/

Blog – https://topaz08.wordpress.com/

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/topaz08/

 

Author Spotlight – Jesper Schmidt

wUfyOMQj_400x400About the Author

I have always loved creating and I suppose that if I was only allowed to choose two words to describe myself they would be, “Focused ambition.” Yet, the art of writing was something that lived a quiet life, in the back of my mind, for many years. It was a dormant desire and, like so many of our dreams, it was placed on a list of things to do later; you know, when time would allow it. And there I left it. Half-forgotten. For a long time.

I have a Finnish sauna to thank for eventually picking it up from that dusted corner and beginning to pour my focused ambition over it. Every summer my wife, two boys and I go to Finland and spend a couple of weeks trying to do as little as possible. In that cottage it is all about slowing down and recharging our batteries. The atmosphere is perfect for it. What it was exactly that sparked my authorship I cannot say for sure – maybe it was just slowing down that gave another perspective? Maybe I was just ready for it? Whatever it was, I am ever thankful that it happened when it did back in 2015. Why wait when you can act today?

Follow me on social media.
YouTube
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Patreon

Learn more about me and my work at www.jesperschmidt.com.

Desolation

2016-580-3d-render-book-transparent-background-181x300“Desolation” is the first book in the fantasy trilogy, “The Keystone Bone”. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but if you like fast-paced fantasy, with dragons, demons, and magic, then you will love “Desolation”.

About This Book

Just as Aea had finally found happiness in her troubled life, everything starts to fall apart. When she discovers that her sister, Isota, is still alive, Aea ventures to save her, well aware that every Duian who leaves the forest realm of Thaduin will inevitably catch a deadly disease, the Field Blight. Aea finds herself in a race against time.

Arkum’Sul really wants nothing but to be left alone. Being the sole survivor of his race, and the son of a dragon god, makes such desires difficult to fulfill.

Meanwhile, Ayida, another Duian, resides in the Bronze Tower, far north of Thaduin, where she has grown to become a powerful spellcaster. However, it requires all of her skills to heal herself of the Field Blight daily. This place is the heart of the Magio Order, a dominant organization of female magic-wielders, where Ayida has tried for decades to ascend from Apprentice to the rank of Sienna… and failed every time. As she makes another attempt, all goes horribly wrong.

Will the world of Erisdün survive as ancient myths and reality become one?

Get it today and experience a struggle like no other.

Fantasy Map Making

3d-render-book-transparent_altHave you ever struggled with map making? To make it compliant with the laws of nature? Or spent countless hours trying to understand geography?

About This Book

In this book we will cover:

Whether maps are important or not and tackle some of the common excuses for not developing one.

What you need to think about before you start your map in order not to make mistakes in later steps.

Discuss your different options for creating the map: from hand drawn over software to hiring a professional.

Sketching your map and making sure that we get the size of the world just right.

Adding continents by understanding how tectonic plates work.
Terraforming your world with the knowledge of how winds and the equator affect the climate.

After having added mountains and deserts, we will include islands and lakes.

And then we make sure that rivers are not breaking the laws of nature.

We add trees, before moving into understanding how the lands will affect the people who live on them and vice versa.
It is then time for countries, borders, and roads.

We then finish up with optional fantasy elements and include the last touches.

Get it today, and design your own world.

 

Author Spotlight – L.J. Clarkson

received_10158017008460431LJ Clarkson has done many things in her time. Making mud pies as an Environmental Engineer. Bossing people around as a project manager. Reducing flood risk to residents affected by floods. But her all time favorite job is telling stories and making others laugh.

 

She counts the following as very special talents: singing out of tune, laughing at her own jokes, reciting useless, but very fascinating facts, and a magical habit of magnetizing food to her clothes. If she were a Mastermind, she’d uninvent early mornings, grammar, broccoli, cleaning and her dog’s fussy eating habits.

 

 LJ is the author of the Mastermind Academy and Heaven and Hound series, and the brains behind Author Resources Database, a promotional site for authors. You can find out more at www.mastermindacademy.net or www.authorresourcesdatabase.com.

 

The Silver Skull by L. J. Clarkson

received_10158014987180431Just when Isabelle thinks things are settling down at Mastermind Academy, they blow up again. The headmaster’s hot on her tail with an investigation that might see her expelled from school. She’s trying to please one friend by staying away from another. Then Lemuria kidnaps her family, and he will kill them, unless she hands over the crystal skull within five days. Getting the skull will not be easy when the one she entrusted it to will not return it. Time is a ticking so she must team up with her new friend to help track it down.

 

Poor Boldrick has had the day from hell. Ridiculed, disrespected, and attacked with a broom, he decides it is time to find a cure to become human again. Nothing he tries works for him, and somehow he’s inherited a spirit from a shaman he visited. In exchange for delivering the spirit’s messages, Boldrick receives a gibberish clue for his quest. But unraveling each clue leads him and his friends deeper into danger. The kind of danger he’s not sure they can get out of.

 THE SILVER SKULL, a young adult fantasy adventure, is book 3 in the Mastermind Academy series.

 Here is the Amazon link https://www.amazon.com/Silver-Skull-Mastermind-Academy-adventure-ebook/dp/B01N0XRVWW/