#BlogTour #ZooloosBookTours @ZooloosBT / #QandAs : Quest for Atlantis #QuestForAtlantis – Marisa Noelle @MarisaNoelle77

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Quest For Atlantis Tour Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Quest for Atlantis’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Marisa Noelle Author Photo(2)Marisa Noelle is the writer of middle grade & young adult novels in the genres of science-fiction, fantasy & mental health including The Shadow Keepers, The Unadjusteds Trilogy (The Unadjusteds, The Rise of the Altereds, & The Reckoning), and The Mermaid Chronicles – Secrets of the Deep.
She is a mentor for the Write Mentor program that helps aspiring MG & YA authors. With dual citizenship, Marisa has lived on both sides of the Atlantic and uses settings in both the USA and UK as inspiration for her novels.
When she’s not writing or reading or watching movies, she enjoys swimming. In the pool she likes to imagine she could be a mermaid and become part of some of her make-believe words.
Despite being an avid bookworm from the time she could hold a book, being an author came as a bit of a surprise to her as she was a bit of a science geek at school. She lives in Woking, UK with her husband and three children.

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Synopsis :

Marisa Noelle Author Photo(2)MERMAIDS ARE BEING HUNTED…
They are no longer safe in the human world…
When one of her closest mermaid friends is imprisoned in a science lab for investigation, Cordelia insists on taking up the quest to find the lost island of Atlantis, a sanctuary for all the water species. But the island is guarded by the dragon kings, an ancient and formidable race who are determined to keep it for themselves.
Together with her best friends and her boyfriend, Wade, they must travel to distant pockets of the earth to collect the three magical jewels that open the portal to Atlantis.
But no one remembers how the jewels work, instructions are non-existent, and tensions are rife as Wade’s ex-girlfriend, Stephanie, appears on the scene. Plus, Cordelia must learn to harness her own emerging powers and discover if she really is the fire mermaid.
With the support of Wade’s parents, Stephanie is determined to win him back and Cordelia’s heart breaks as she watches the love of her life waver. They must be united in their quest, or the jewels will refuse to reveal themselves.
If they can’t repair their broken relationship and defeat the dragon kings, the mermaids will be captured by the humans and face the threat of extinction.

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Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’ve always been a book worm, but it didn’t occur to me to write until much later. When I struggled with an anxiety disorder during univeristy, I turned to poetry to help me express my feelings and found that when I was writing, I was finally not worrying! After trying my hand at a novel, I realzed I needed tuition and went away and learned how to write. Got bitten by the bug, and have never looked back!

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
My love for books started with Dr Seuss and Richard Scary books my parents read to me as a child. I think Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm was my first independent read. I moved very quickly onto Nancy Drew and devoured all things Victoria Holt. I fell in love with horror when I was around 11 and started reading Dean Koontz and Stephen King. I love anything dark!

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Dean koontz. He’s my favourite author and I find the way he builds tension phenomenal. He writes very short chapters and often has many character POVS, and yet I get invested and care for each character very quickly. I want to know how he does that!!!!

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I’d love to have Silver from my trilogy The Unadjusteds and Katniss from The Hunger Games at the same time. I think they’d get on and I’d love to hear them talk about their experienes together. They’ve both been through hell, so a group therapy session might be called for!

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Nothing particulary different. I need silence – can’t write with music. I like to plot on a a spreadsheet before I start writing. I drink a lot of tea. I like to ensure I have a few blank weeks ahead of me to get down an entire first draft as I hate the flow to be interupted by a holiday or something.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Ha! My ideas come from a combination of places. Often I’ll dream about something I think can work. But as I’m drawn to the darker side of things there is plenty of inspiration out there in terms of books, TV, and personal experiences. My inspiration for Quest for Atlantis comes from my love of the ocean. It’s my happy place. And I love mermaids, any paranormal/supernatural creature. The myth of the lost island of Atlantis has always fascinated me and I wanted to explore where it might be!

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Very much a plotter. I like to mull an idea over for a few months and make notes on a spreadsheet. Then I get to organizing my spreadsheet, making sure I have my character motivations and a scene break down. This can often change as I start writing and the characters take over, but I like to have an idea of where I’m going and what their arcs are. Although my current book, a YA Dracula retelling, is a little looser than usual! I think becuase I’ve been plotting it in my head for most of this year!

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Don’t DM agents on social media and do make sure you follow their submission rules carefully. You dont want to waste your opportunity. Perseverance is key. If writing is what you want, youc an’t give up, but there are different roads to getting here, so be open to different opportunities. Find your tribe. It’s lonely out there. Rejections sting. If you can band together with a group at a similar step in the journey, it’s so much easier.

What are your futureplans as an author?
World Domination. Ha! I am a bit of a hybrind author. So so far most of my books are self-published or through small indie presses. I do have an agent too. I’m currently on sub with my YA cli-fi novel Plastic, that I like to think of as Jaws meets the environment. I have a ton more books planned and written so will continue to go the hybrid way until something gives in the traditional path (fingers crossed). I’m also learnign to screen write and have written the first episode in The Unadjusteds trilogy, which has interest from a producer.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Absolutely. Quest for Atlantis has a Romeo and Juliety story with complicated love triangles and love squares…this is one of my favourite scenes…

“Who can that be?” Dad said, going for the door.
Wade set his jaw into a tight line. He knew exactly who it was.
“I’m sorry it’s early, but I figured they’d be back by now, and I couldn’t wait to see what was happening. My son’s cell phone seems to be switched off.” Christina Waters, Wade’s mother, barged into the house, shooting her son a reproving look. She removed her dark sunglasses and fussed with a silk scarf coiled at her neck. The pattern was of different types of sharks. “Please forgive me.”
Two other people entered behind her. Wade’s sister Marina, who I’d taken an immediate liking to when I met her last Christmas, and a much taller girl I’d never seen before. Woman, not girl. She was simply beautiful, and I hated her instantly. With flowing blonde hair, stylish bangs, legs that seemed to reach all the way to China, and a smile so wide that dimples caused her cheeks to crinkle adoringly, Stephanie Bowers entered my life. Her tan was deep and golden, something I could never hope to achieve with my red hair and translucent skin. She smiled at Wade and held her arms open.
“Wade-y,” she cried.
Wade-y? I narrowed my eyes at this blonde bombshell of charm exploding in my front room.
Wade reluctantly removed himself from my side and went to meet her.
“Stephanie,” he said.
“It’s so good to see you, and my haven’t you grown.” She fingered one of his biceps and then threw her arms around his neck.
Maya’s jaw dropped open and then closed again when I frowned at her. Wade tried to disentangle himself from Stephanie, but she kept her arms firmly wrapped around his neck and let a kiss linger on his cheek. The gall of her.
“Stephanie,” Wade said curtly, a reprimand in his voice, and removed himself from her grasp.
“Sorry, old habits…” she smiled that irritating smile again.
Her eyes came to rest on me, and she offered a hand. I took a few seconds to mark my territory with the wariest look I was capable of, then shook her hand, noting smugly that the smile had slipped from her lips.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Marisa Noelle.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

#BlogTour #ZooloosBookTours @ZooloosBT / #QandAs : Martha’s Cottage #MarthasCottage – Fiona Cooke @cookehogan @SpellBoundBks

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Martha's Cottage Tour Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Martha’s Cottage’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Fiona Hogan Author PhotoFiona Cooke is a writer, blogger and poet living in the midlands of Ireland. She masquerades as a sensible adult and mother to five children and cat but lives and breathes purely for horror.
Fiona writes in a mix of genres and you can also find her collection of humorous and supernatural tales – The Lights Went Out and Other Stories on Amazon under the name Fiona Cooke. Her novella, a romantic comedy set in Kerry, Ireland – What Happened in Dingle, is also available to download on Amazon.
She scribbles random thoughts about nature, her work and anything that amuses her at her blog.

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Synopsis :

Martha's Cottage Tour PosterBe careful what you wish for.
Sarah and Ben Stephens had it all. Attractive thirty-somethings, upwardly mobile; good careers in the city, a sizeable house in the suburbs.
To all concerned it was the perfect picture of marital bliss.
Or was it?
Years of infertility treatment have taken its toll on their marriage. Barely speaking, they’re strangers who share the same bed.
Then the fallout from a surprise birthday party and a lifechanging discovery send Sarah fleeing to the West of Ireland. And there, at Martha’s Cottage, a tiny stone house by the wild Atlantic Ocean, she licks her wounds and must decide on the course of her future.

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Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’m a writer and blogger, living in the midlands of Ireland, in Laois; a tiny county hidden between mountains and forests, filled with hazel, willow and blackthorn, a little bit of faerie.
I write in a mix of genres ranging from gothic horror, contemporary women’t fiction and supernatural tales, to dark faerie and humorous fiction. I’m a little greedy like that. I have two collections of short and longer fiction on Amazon – The Lights Went Out and Other Stories and The Nightmare (gothic horror under my horror pen name F.B. Hogan. My first novel Martha’s Cottage is published by Spellbound Books in Autumn 2022. I am currently writing a screenplay, working on the second novel in the Martha’s Cottage series and attempting to tame a psychological horror that is putting up a bit of a fight.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I grew up on the classics, my summer reading list always including the Brontë sisters, Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy and George Elliot. I’m also a massive fan of gothic and contemporary horror and devoured anything by Lovecraft, Jackson, Bradbury, King, Campbell and Koontz. It’s kind of hard to keep this answer short because I am a product of so many books, especially Tolkien who was most instrumental in fostering in me a love of writing, of nature, of magic and sharp wordplay.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
As mentioned above, I am a bit of Tolkien nut. I’ve even had tea with the Professor in a dream (we were sitting in a Romany Gypsy caravan). There are so many things I would love to ask him about world building, the places that inspired Middle Earth, how to make up an entire mythical language.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
There is a character in The Lights Went Out and Other Stories who who I’d love to invite round, although he might be a tad hard to accomodate. Marcus Black, appears in The Welcoming Committee; an ancient vampire hiding in suburbia. I wrote him very grand guignol, he was fun and of course, vanity itself.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I like to listen to Radiohead’s Kid A and Amnesiac whilst editing, I know the two albums so well they are nearly interchangeable, it adds focus. I write everything long hand and then type it, it’s laborious and I can rarely read my own handwriting but it’s my process and means I am constantly jotting down everything in various notebooks, scraps of paper or my phone. There is method in my madness. I am addicted to stationery and like to use a papermate flexi grip (I buy packets of them). It helps if I have a notebook that feels right, usually A4 sized and hardbound. Lots of coffee and chocolate also help.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Quite a few of my short pieces of fiction are semi-autobiographical, I like to take emotions, feelings and situations I have been in and embellish, manipulate. Inspiration can come from anything, I write a lot of poetry and prose (blog content) that is pulled from nature, especially the forests and the sea. But an overheard conversation, old building, and myth or legend can spark creativity. I once bingewatched a series of horror short films and wrote eight tales of gothic terror in a week.
People shouldn’t be worried although I have killed off a supervisor from my old work place (on paper) and my search history might incriminate me but I’m mostly quite harmless.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m mostly a plotter, I get the idea, plan out the chapters and write, but I can also write short stories with very little planning. Some stories write themselves and then there are the novels that resist all attempts at planning, adding their own character arcs and drama.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
If you want to be a good writer you have to read a lot. Especially in the genre within which you wish to write.
You need to set time to write, it’s a discipline and the more you write, the more you hone your craft.
Do not even attempt to edit your work until the first draft is completed. Then leave the manuscript aside for a while, to perculate. A bit of distance means you return to the edit with a fresh eye. Reading out dialogue is very effective for discovering errors. Always get your work professionally edited, your own work is too familiar, a good editor will spot everything from issues with syntax, development and general grammar.
And don’t be discouraged, coming out of the ‘writer’s closet’ was probably one of the hardest things I ever did. Writing comes from your soul, it’s hard to share it with the world but the positive reviews and comments make it all worth while and spur you on. Just go for it.

What are your futureplans as an author?
At the moment I’m writing a screenplay based on a novella I wrote called ‘What Happened in Dingle’. I’m also editing the sequel to Martha’s Cottage and attempting to tame a psychological horror that’s putting up a bit of a fight.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?

The sun hung high and hot, shining across the Liffey. Through the open office window the sounds of traffic competed with the seagulls soaring above the quays, and on the pavement below pedestrians passed in an everchanging pattern, merging and separating.
Ben finished his sandwich and threw the crumpled wrapper into the wastepaper basket. He yawned and stretched out his legs beneath the desk. He ran a finger around his collar, trickles of sweat had already began to form despite the open windows in the office. Just a few more hours, he told himself and he’d be slipping into the driver seat and cranking up the air conditioning.
The lunchtime sounds of the city had almost lulled him to slumber when the phone in his pocket began to vibrate.
When her picture flashed up on the screen Ben grinned and warmth flooded through him. In his mind’s eye he saw her curled up on the couch in the living room, a book lying beside her. Had she woken from a noonday nap and just wanted a chat? Or did she need him to bring her something back from town? He was already mentally juggling meetings so he could nip out for a bit when he pressed answer. His “Well… what is it now?” was full of laughter. He waited for her answering laugh, eager for the sound of her voice.
But that was all gone now.
Afterwards everything happened with a swiftness that made the following moments seem almost dreamlike.
He managed to hail a taxi and as it pulled away he pulled out his phone and dialled. His call went straight to voicemail. He flung the phone onto the seat where it silently mocked him. Another glance at his watch told him that it was now ten minutes since he had heard anything and the taxi had travelled barely a half mile of the journey. His head was a torment of ever-changing scenarios. What was happening? Was he too late? Please God, don’t let him be too late.
“Can’t you speed up? Please?” He called through the partition.
The taxi driver helpfully pointed out they were in lunch time traffic.
Ben wiped his forehead with the sleeve of his shirt and looked out the window, the lanes were bumper to bumper, he watched a motorcycle courier weaving between cars and wished he was on the back. Even the pedestrians seemed to be making more headway. They were crossing O’Connell Bridge, crawling and stopping. The journey was taking too long. He should be there, he needed to be there by now. But the taxi was crawling, the meter the only thing moving. Crawl, stop, crawl, another red light.
Ben yanked open the door.
“Hey, man, what you doing? You can’t get out in the middle of the road,” the driver yelled.
Ben pulled twenty euros out of his pocket and thrust it at him. He leapt out, already running down Westmoreland Street as the cab drove past. The street was thronged, he pushed his way through the crowds, shirt tails streaming, arms and legs pumping. He urged his legs to work more efficiently as he navigated hordes of tourists and workers heading out for lunch on Dawson Street, just people going about their everyday activities whilst he raced past trying to stop time. He paused for a moment, bent over, lungs burning.
Then he was off again racing past Merrion Square until, at last, looming large and grey in front he saw the corner of Holles Street. He reached the edge of the pavement and with a cursory glance either way launched himself across the road, willing himself up the steps to the hospital and to her side.
He failed to see the van turning in from Mount Street or hear the sharp blast of the horn before he was flipped across the bonnet and came to rest on the pavement beside the steps to the hospital.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Fiona Cooke.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

#BlogTour #ZooloosBookTours @ZooloosBT / #QandAs : Death at the Lychgate #DeathAtTheLychgate – T.A. Belshaw @tabelshaw @SpellBoundBks

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Death At The Lychgate Tour Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Death at the Lychgate’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

TA Belshaw Author PhotoT. A. Belshaw is from Derbyshire in the United Kingdom where he shares a house with his chatty rescue cat, Mia. He writes for both children and adults. A former miner and computer technician, Trevor studied Advanced Creative Writing at the Open University. He is the author of Tracy’s Hot Mail, Tracy’s Celebrity Hot Mail and the noir, suspense novella, Out of Control. Following the sudden death of his wife in 2015 Trevor took a five-year break from writing, returning during lockdown in 2020, when an injury forced him to take time off work. The result of this new creative burst was the Dual Timeline, Family Saga, Unspoken and the Historical Cosy Crime Whodunnit, Murder at the Mill.
Trevor signed his first contract with Spellbound Books Ltd in April 2021. He signed a further mullti-book contract with them in the spring of 2022.
His short stories have been published in various anthologies including 100 Stories for Haiti, 50 Stories for Pakistan, Another Haircut, Shambelurkling and Other Stories, Deck the Halls, 100 Stories for Queensland and The Cafe Lit anthology 2011, 2012 and 2013. He also has two pieces in Shambelurklers Return. 2014
Trevor is also the author of 15 children’s adventure books written under the name of Trevor Forest.
His children’s poem, Clicking Gran, was long listed for the Plough prize (children’s section) in 2009 and his short poem, My Mistake, was rated Highly Commended and published in an anthology of the best entries in the Farringdon Poetry Competition.
Trevor’s articles have been published in magazines as diverse as Ireland’s Own, The Best of British and First Edition.

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Synopsis :

TA Belshaw Author Photo

AMY ROWLINGS RETURNS!
Sunday morning, and the body of Reverend Villiers has been found propped up on the vigil seat in the church’s lychgate. It appears that he has been poisoned.
When amateur sleuth and regular churchgoer, Amy Rowlings arrives she finds DI Bodkin already at the scene. Bodkin tells her about a cryptic scripture reference that has been scrawled in chalk on the stone slabs beneath the body. What the citation hints at, shocks everyone.
Amy, a huge Agatha Christie fan is determined to get involved in the investigation and despite a stern warning from the detective’s boss, Amy and Bodkin team up again to try to solve the most complex murder case he has ever been involved in. When the toxicology report comes back from the lab, the results only add to the mystery.
Meanwhile, Amy looks to her favourite Agatha Christie character, Hercule Poirot for help, and using his techniques, she narrows down the list of possible murderers to just nine suspects.
Can Amy fit together the jigsaw of clues to solve this, the most complex of cases?

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Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
You’re very welcome. Thank you for the interest in my book.

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’m a rapidly aging writer, still struggling to understand where the last twenty years have gone. I’m an ex miner and ex computer repair technician who has had an ambition to be an author since I began to write silly stories as a child. As with most people, work and family got in the way of ambition, but when the financial crash hit in 2009, I found I had a few spare hours to fill every day so I joined an online author review group called Writelink where I found a very friendly bunch of writers of various abilities, some of which are still friends to this day. My first adult novel, Tracy’s Hot Mail was written when I was a member of that group. I used to post it up in installments every week and wait with bated breath for the feedback, most of which was encouraging and supportive. At the same time as posting up the Tracy episodes I was also writing a children’s book that was to become the first in an eight book series. The series was called, Magic Molly and it told the story of a trainee witch who struggled to control the ancient bent and twisted wand she had been given. It was the first of fifteen kid’s books that were published between 2009 and 2015.
Following the unexpected and sudden death of my wife in 2015 and the loss of my muse and number one supporter I felt that I had come to the end of my writing journey and was adament that my noir suspense novella, Out of Control, (which had been published the day before I lost Doreen,) would be my last publication. Fast forward five years and after an injury at work which left me hospitalised for a week and walking like a ninety year old with rickets, I was desperately in need of something to fill the long lonely hours, so, after a heart to heart with my long time editor, Maureen Vincent-Northam who I met on that Writelink site all those years ago, I decided to try to ressurect my writing career by taking it in a completly different direction. The result was the dual timeline, family saga, Unspoken which I wrote during the first period of Lockdown in the spring of 2020. I followed that up with The Legacy and The Reckoning, two books that would form an Unspoken trilogy, then I used Amy Rowlings, one of the minor charactors from that series as the lead in a cosy crime mystery novel set in 1939, Murder at the Mill. My latest book, Death at the Lychgate is the sequel.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I used to love Richmal Crompton’s Just William series and I devoured anything I could get hold of by Arthur Ransome, (Swallows and Amazons,) and Enid Blyton, especially the Famous Five and the Faraway Tree series. As an adult I’ve enjoyed a wide variety of genres from crime to epic fantasy. My favourite book of all time is The Book Thief by Markus Suzak followed by The Lord of the Rings trilogy and frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Agatha Christie. She was the master of the cosy crime genre and an expert in the effects that different poisons have on the body. One of the research books in my collection is A is for Arsenic. The Poisons of Agatha Christie and it was ever present on the edge of my desk when I was writing Death at the Lychgate.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I fell in love with my lead character Alice Mollison when I was writing Unspoken. She is such a strong person, especially for the era. Alice was a teenager at the start of the novel and due to the circumstances she found herself in, had to grow up very quickly. Alice posesses strength and fortitude combined with a feisty no nonsense attitude, especially when men, who saw women as subservient creatures, were trying to tell her what she could or could not do.
Sherlock Holmes or Hecule Poirot. I’d certainly pick their little grey cells. I think tea might last for a couple of days.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I have a daylight lamp on my desk at all times when I’m writing. My desk is in a cubby hole under the stairs so I don’t get a lot of natural light. I also have classical or opera music on the hi-fi. Not Classic FM though, the ads are too distracting. A Google search tab is always open along with an online thesaurus tab. Some days I’m in the chair for up to ten hours so I always have coffee on the go. It is needed.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
The vast majority of my ideas come to me when I’m in that strange dimension between sleep and wakefulness. When I’m writing I almost always wake up with a new, fully formed character, a whole chapter or even the entire synopsis of a novel in my head. Strangely, when I’m having a break between books, this doesn’t happen. When I’m writing, I don’t read or listen to audiobooks as I don’t need other authors to provide a creative fix.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Definitely a pantser. I like to let the characters go where they want to go. I’d feel too restricted if I had laid out a plan to follow. So many of the best scenes in my books have come out of a character taking control of my fingers as I’m typing. There are limits of course. At times I do have to reign them in or I’d never finish a book.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Join a writer’s group if there’s one near you. You will get the chance to read your work in front of other writers and will hopefully get constructive feedback. Always bask in the warmth of the positive comments of your friends and family but try to remember, they’re always going to like what you write whether it’s ready for publication or not.
A well edited, mostly error free MS will give you a far bigger chance of having your book accepted by a publisher. Don’t even think about sending it off as soon as you type, The End, in your novel. Put it aside for a week or two, then go back to read it with fresh eyes.
Don’t over edit. In my opinion you can lose a lot of the freshness and spontinaity if you continually pick at your prose.
Get the first draft written. Then worry about how well it reads.

What are your future plans as an author?
I am in the process of writing the third Amy Rowlings mystery. It’s about a murder at a civic awards ceremony at the town hall. The book is once again set in 1939 before war is declared. It will be called, either The Murder Awards or Murder Bestowed. I haven’t made my mind up about that yet.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Preamble
The parish church of Saint John the Evangelist sits proudly at the centre of the Kentish town of Spinton. Constructed in the twelfth century, the blue-grey church, built from local ragstone, boasts a Norman tower that stood unaltered for centuries, surviving minor earthquakes, violent storms, civil war and mining. Then, in the eighteen-fifties, a Victorian Alderman, aptly named, Mason Meddle, raised the funds to add a clock, a spire and a low, red brick extension (thankfully hidden from view behind the main structure) that was used for Sunday School, Temperance Society gatherings, and until the Town Hall was built some seventy years later, Parish Council meetings.
The surrounding graveyard is split by two paths. The first, the main walkway to the church, is a ragstone-paved avenue that leads from the church’s main gates directly to the vestibule. The second, a winding path made mostly from broken slate and gravel, is accessed from the lychgate, a timber built, gabled structure that has been the dead parishioners’ gateway to the afterlife for centuries.
The lychgate, or corpse gate, was used to shelter the body of the deceased until the funeral service could take place. In years gone by the corpse could rest there for up to two days, accompanied by friends or relatives who would sit on the hard plank seats built into the structure, sometimes as an act of vigil, but often as a presence to ward off the body snatchers that preyed on the poor of the district.

Chapter One

The early morning mist that crawled across the land from the Kent coast, covered the tombstones like a thin grey cloak as a pale, almost water-colour March sun began to rise from behind the church tower.
In the town, men slept off the excesses of their Saturday night drinking while their wives bathed a new black eye or cut lip before starting to prepare breakfast for the family. Children would be scrubbed and dressed in their Sunday best clothes before being packed off to be lectured about their heathen ways at Sunday School. Although most of the working-class adults shunned the church, having far more important things to do on a Sunday morning, it was thought that the weekly disciplined routine was good for the children, though there was the added benefit of getting them out of their hair for an hour.
At nine o’clock precisely, Mrs Rosegarden climbed off her bicycle and wheeled it across the pavement to the church gates. Finding them still locked, she frowned, looked at her wristwatch, then checked the time again by the church clock.
‘Villiers,’ she snorted into the misty air. The aging, but surprisingly sprightly woman turned her bike around and rode across the pavement to the west side of the church where the lychgate entrance was situated.
The brittle haired, bespectacled Sunday School teacher was a woman to be feared, even by the toughest of the ragamuffins that attended her scripture lessons. Quick to anger and swift to punish she patrolled the room like a prison guard. Armed with a bible in one hand and a leather strap in the other, she stalked the three, wooden benches quoting from both testaments, threatening dire consequences, both in the present and in the afterlife for anyone who closed their ears to the word of God.
‘Drunk again, Villiers,’ she hissed as she dismounted by the lychgate. She leaned her bike against the high, stone wall and lifted the catch that secured the rough, wooden pole gates. Pulling them open, she looked through the gabled, porch-like structure to the mist covered tombstones beyond.
Sighing, she retrieved her bicycle and wheeled it over the grey-slab paving towards the gravel path that led to the church.
As she strode under the roof of the lychgate she glanced to her right-hand side where the figure of a grey haired, bespectacled man was slumped on the vigil seat. On the floor beneath the seat, a bible reference had been written in yellow chalk. Romans 13.13-14.
The man’s eyes were open, staring at nothing, his shoulders were hunched and his neck was twisted at what must have been a very uncomfortable angle. His lips were parted and his teeth were bared in a skeleton-like grin.
‘Reverend Villiers!’ Mrs Rosegarden exclaimed. Leaning her bike against the vigil seat on the opposite side of the lychgate, she reached out and grabbed the vicar by the shoulder. When he didn’t respond she shook him. When that failed to rouse him, she squatted down, grabbed the lapels of his grey jacket and shook him again.
As the vicar’s head slumped forward, the Sunday School teacher stood and turned in one movement. Forgetting her bicycle, she hurtled into the main road shouting at the top of her voice. ‘Help… someone help…. It’s the Reverend Villiers. He’s dead.’

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, T.A. Belshaw.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

Talia: Heir to the Fairy Realm (Servants of the Moon and Sun Book 1) #Talia #HeirToTheFairyRealm #ServantsOfTheMoonAndSun – Joel C. Flanagan-Grannemann @ServantsAnd , an #Interview #QandA

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

blog-q&a

Today I’m not on a blogtour, but doing an interview with Joel C. Flanagan-Grannemann, author of ‘Talia: Heir to the Fairy Realm (Servants of the Moon and Sun Book 1)’, to promote this book.

About the Author :

Joel's Author PictureJoel C. Flanagan-Grannemann grew up in rural western Pennsylvania. From a young age, the worlds inside his favorite fantasy books made the lonely times at school more bearable. He wrote all through high school and college, but stopped writing after graduation when work and other responsibilities got in the way. He didn’t understand what was missing in his life till the right set of circumstances allowed an idea to blossom. Now he has published two books, with more on the way.
Together with his wife and editor, Jay-Jay, he runs ServantsoftheMoonandSun.com, where information on all his books and stories can be found. Joel is also active on Twitter as @ServantsAnd.
The Flanagan-Grannemanns currently reside in South Carolina with a coterie of cats.

Synopsis :

Joel's Author PictureTalia — the young, Iridescent-winged Heir to the Fairy Realm — and the Heir to the Human Realm — Prince Bastile — embark on a secret love affair that has wide-ranging consequences for both their worlds. Certain elements within each society hate the other side, and the Realms have a long history of warring with one another. Talia, her maid, her 8 Ladies, and her Heir’s Guard (9 female Fairy soldiers) soon find themselves alone on an adventure through the lands of the Fairy Realm in search of information on a reviled ancestor, the Exile Queen. While Talia has always aspired to bring peace to the two Realms, her evil Aunts (known as the Three Sisters) and others within both the Fairy and Human courts conspire to thwart her ambitions, not understanding the ancient prophecy they are about to set Talia on the path to fulfill.

Amazon

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’m Joel C. Flanagan-Grannemann. I wrote all through high school and college: mostly fantasy, but a lot of poetry in college as well. I stopped writing after graduation because life got in the way. It was always a source of depression for me. I felt like I had wasted all that time in school, wasted any talent I had. Then, in September 2019, I was hit by an idea, and it was the right set of circumstances, as I was in a better place in my life, so I was able to follow through. Now I have two books on Amazon, a story coming out in an anthology in November, and more books on the way.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
It may be cliché to say Tolkien, but it’s the truth. My mom read the classics to me, and then I read them myself, and listened to the BBC audio drama of Lord of the Rings over and over again. Other authors that kept me sane as a lonely, weird kid were Janny Wurst, Tad Williams, and Katherine Kurtz. I also devoured all the Dragonlance/Forgotten Realms books (especially R.A. Salvatore’s Dark Elf series).

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Janny Wurst. Her “Wars of Light and Shadow” series redefined epic fantasy in scope and ambition. Plus, she’s a wonderfully supportive person, as evidenced by her Twitter posts.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I find it hard to separate characters from their books, so this kind of question always gives me pause. How about Faramir, son of Denethor from Lord of the Rings? I always found his journey, living in the shadow of his brother and father, to be very interesting.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Lately I need a quiet space and my phone on silent. I keep getting distracted.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Sort of. I work retail as my full-time job, so I come into contact with a lot of different people. Keeping my eyes and ears open has helped me find little character moments and sparked various ideas. Sometimes it’s just a little thing. My wife (who is also my editor, audiobook narrator, and overall mistress of all things), bought a ring that expands out into a little silver globe. It’s a bit wide and uncomfortable to wear, but I held it in my hand, and that sparked an idea. I wrote three hundred words about how it was a magical item used to open a portal.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Definitely a pantser. I usually have a beginning and a sort-of end I am working toward. It’s the middle that I discover as I go along. It’s a very character-led experience. I let my intuition make leaps and connections between sometimes very different characters and situations. Sometimes I feel like I am just the conduit through which these stories are told. My characters take charge sometimes, and once, I tried to make a plot change, and my main character pushed back. I know it’s just a part of my brain, but she would not let it go. So, I figured a way around.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Like I said above, pay attention to everything around you. That casual conversation in line, how the light hits the road, a foggy morning walking to your car. *Anything* can spark a story, a character, or just a cool moment.
If you don’t have someone in your life who can give you honest feedback, find someone. Hire an editor, join a writing group. Writers can become very close to what they write, and we all need a dispassionate reader to point out plot holes and problems.
Also, find a professional cover artist who knows how to properly lay out and format a book cover for kindle, paperback, and hardback.

What are your futureplans as an author?
Apart from growing as a writer and finding more readers, I am working on the next few books in the “Servants of the Moon and Sun” series. I also have a few short stories, both in my Fairy series and outside, that I would *love* to find homes for.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Here’s a snippet of Talia and Bastile’s moment of no return:

It was dark.
Bastile opened his eyes, and wondered for a moment if he had gone blind. His hands tightened on Talia’s.
Talia spoke a word in Fairy, and a soft, silver Light bloomed above them. They were in a small round room. There was a window, but no door: only a small table, two chairs, and a bed. The smell of age was in the air. Talia gestured, and the window opened. A fair breeze flowed in. On the wall hung a picture in a broken frame. The features of a Fairy Queen could be seen through the dust.
“Where are we?” Bastile asked, looking around with wonder.
“We’re in the Secret Tower,” Talia told him quietly.
Bastile did not let go of her hands. “Are we still in the castle?”
“At the very end, where the walls meet the mountain. This place is forgotten. I only found it via an old scroll I discovered in Miranda’s library. This was where a deposed Queen was kept before she was sent out of the Realm. That’s her picture.” Talia let go of Bastile, and crossed to the picture. She wiped away the dust. A Fairy Queen sat upon the Winged Moon and Sun Throne, with her wings extended. She held a sword in her left hand, and a shield — bearing three waves over a set of wings — rested on her right. Her eyes were stern, and her black hair floated around her, curling over her wings and arms.
“She looks like you,” Bastile commented, coming up behind her.
“I thought so, too. She was Queen until my great-grandmother deposed her. My father is of her line.”
“So, she lived here?”
“Yes. The only way in is that Fairy Ring. I found its description, and the Ring’s Frequency. I, reckless young fool that I was, just jumped in, completely blind. I could have been killed, if anything were wrong here, or if anything in this room had moved.” Talia smiled at the memory of her audacity.
“But you didn’t die.”
“No. Instead, I found a place I could have all to myself. No one knows of this place.” She gestured to encompass the entirety of the room. “You can’t even see the Tower from the ground. It’s covered in a Shadow Spell as old as the castle, and a ‘Look Somewhere Else’ Ward from my great-grandmother.” She moved back to the center of the room. “There’s something we must do first.” She reached out her hands. “Will you Join with me again, and make some more Magic?” There was a wink in her voice.
Bastile heard it, and swiftly took her hands. “Of course.”
“Good. Concentrate, as you did at the Pyre, but this time, picture your light coming down your arms, and joining with the light coming down mine,” she instructed. “Then, expand it out to make a circle, taking in all of the room.”
Bastile nodded, and closed his eyes. Talia closed her eyes, too, and a light bloomed in her chest, visible to her Sight. The silver light grew, and flowed up her shoulders, and down over her arms. It joined the gold light coming down Bastile’s arms, and became a halo that stretched out and touched the walls. Talia moved their still-clasped hands in a circular motion, down, then back up, to end above their heads. The room was now encompassed in a glowing dome.
Talia let go of his hands. “We’re now Warded,” she told him. It had been strange: there had been no hesitation from Bastile, as there had been before. He called a light, and it came. Such wonders with this Human. “Now, no one can hear us — or find us — unless we let them. This is a place outside the Realm. Just for us.”

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up these books and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Joel C. Flanagan-Grannemann.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

#BlogTour #ZooloosBookTours @ZooloosBT / #QandAs : Demon Dagger #DemonDagger – Russell James @RRJames14 @flametreepress

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Demon Dagger Tour Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Demon Dagger’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Russell James Author PhotoRussell James grew up on Long Island, New York and spent too much time watching late night horror.
After flying helicopters with the U.S. Army and a career as a technical writer, he now spins twisted tales best read in daylight, including horror thrillers Dark Inspiration, Q Island, and The Playing Card Killer.
He authored the Grant Coleman Adventures series starting with Cavern of the Damned and the Ranger Kathy West series starting with Claws.
He resides in sunny Florida. His wife reads his work, rolls her eyes, and says “There is something seriously wrong with you.”

Website
Twitter

Synopsis :

Russell James Author PhotoA Demon Hunter with a gift that becomes a curse. A Demon that hunts the hunter. A thrilling tale of darkness and vengeance for fans of the TV series ‘Supernatural’.
“James (Lambs Among Wolves) makes a familiar trope fresh in this gripping horror novel … a thrilling game of supernatural cat and mouse.” – Publishers Weekly
Drew Price has a gift, or perhaps a curse.
When a demon possesses a person, Drew can see the horrific-looking demon that dwells within. This ability has made him a demon hunter, armed with the one weapon that can send these fiends back to Hell; the demon dagger.
A demon named Nicobar sets its sights on punishing this hunter. It starts by taking the soul of Drew’s son, condemning the boy to life as a psychopath.
This fast-paced, chilling novel follows Drew’s attempt to save his son’s soul and then use the blade to end Nicobar’s time on Earth.

Buy Link

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
While I was working as a technical writer, every time I went on a long car trip with my wife, I would start to relate a story idea that I thought would be interesting or a different plot inspired by a movie we’d seen. Eventually she got tired of listening to that and said “Why don’t you write these stories?”
I replied “Because no one would ever pay money to read something I’d written.”
I’ve had that thrown back in my face multiple times since then.
My wife got me into an online writing course for Christmas that year, which led to getting a personal coach, and then another online writing class. While in that last class, I’d had a few short stories accepted for publication. The teacher mentioned that a new horror imprint was open to submissions and the editor was the famous Don D’Auria. I sent in my just-polished manuscript, and to my shock, it was accepted. In 2011, Dark Inspiration became my first published novel.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
At my request, my parents taught me to read around age three, so I got a big jump on it. In first grade, the class read See Spot Run from the old Dick and Jane series. At the end, we started reading it again, which I thought was dumb because I already knew the ending.
I remember loving the Hardy Boys books and being especially proud of them because they were hardcover and didn’t have pictures, which I knew meant they were very adult. I still have those books on my shelves.
Now, I tend to read the other authors who are published by the presses that publish me. They are all quite good and they always reset the bar in my own personal expectations about how good my writing needs to be. I can read anything from Catherine Cavendish, JG Faherty, or Hunter Shea and lose all track of time.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Any advice I’d ask for from an author would probably center more on the business side of writing. I’ve found that the creative part of the process is exceptionally individualistic. Everyone has their own quirks about what makes them more productive. Everyone has a different style that works for them. Advice from any bestselling author on reaching the maximum number of readers would be something I’d love to hear.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I would want to sit down with Marvin Vernon from the new book Demon Dagger. I won’t spoil the surprises with a lot of revelations about his character here. I originally wrote him as a one-scene character to deliver some crucial information to advance the plot. But the more I thought about him, and the more of his backstory developed in my head and on paper, the more interesting he became. He ends up being an integral part of the book from the time he arrives midway through. I really like his outlook on life and how he overcame all the disadvantages he was born into. Everyone will have to read the book to see what I mean.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I write in total silence. This seems odd to the many, many people who want a certain kind of background music, or keep a TV on at a low level for background noise. I find that distracting and can focus better in stillness. My wife is great at understanding this and in helping keep the house quiet on the rare occasions when we are both home and I have a deadline to hit.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Most of the seeds that my stories sprout from come from something I’ve read or something I’ve seen that strikes me as different and worth looking at more. This idea usually gets the story started. The idea for Demon Dagger is the only one that ended up starting a story in the middle.
I live in Central Florida and visit all our great theme parks often. The local myth is that the person in the Mickey Mouse costume is usually female since the character is rather short. That got me thinking that not only do we not know the gender of the person under the costume, we don’t know anything at all. We assume it is a nice, benign person. Being a horror writer, that sent me down the path of wondering “What if they weren’t?” What if this was a malicious person, trying to exploit this moment where everyone has their guard down in what they assume to be a safe place?
Without giving too much away, this became a scene in the center of the novel, where the demon Nicobar uses a costumed character to get close to demon hunter Drew’s son. Having planted this stake in the ground, I then had to work backward to figure out how everyone got there, and then forward to see what unfolded afterward. It was an odd process for me, but I am very happy with the results.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m a total pantser, As a warning to any aspiring writers, it is the least efficient and most frustrating method of writing a novel. I will just start writing and see what happens. As ideas come to me about future events, I will add a future chapter headline that is something like CHAPTER XX- CLARA FINDS THE SPELL BOOK. That way I don’t lose track of little brainstorms. But a lot of times those headlines get erased for new and better plot twists.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
First off, if the desire to write keeps percolating inside you, just give in to it. The drive isn’t going to go away. And then you need to do it. A lot. Every day. Few, if any, can be successful on innate talent alone. It also requires practice and training.
Finally, be prepared for a rejection or two, or maybe a hunderd and two. Many are called but few are chosen. Sadly, lucky timing plays as big a role in success as hard work. Success generally requires both. A lot of authors readily admit that a stroke of luck helped get them to where they are today. The more you submit, the more you write, the better your odds become for being where you need to be when that lucky break happens.

What are your futureplans as an author?
I have two series with Severed Press that have new releases coming. The first one, Atoll X, is a Grant Coleman Adventure. He is a paleontologist who keeps getting roped into expeditions that find giant monsters. In the new novel, he is asked to catalog fossils found on a billionaire’s new South Pacific island resort. But when he and some others are shipwrecked on an uncharted atoll, instead they find deadly creatures that should have been extinct long ago. This book should be out in 2022.
The other series with Severed Press is the Rick and Rose Sinclair Adventures. It’s 1938 and this antique dealer couple turns treasure hunters when the opportunities arise. In their first adventure Quest for the Queen’s Temple, they went in search of the lost treasury of the legendary Queen of Sheba. In the second story, likely out in early 2023, Voyage to Blackbeard’s Island, they’ll be searching for that pirate’s hidden treasure. In all instances you can expect creatures to be defending these prizes and supernatural forces hard at work to do the same.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Here’s the first chapter of the book for you:

Chapter 1

A warm Pacific breeze blew in the scent of eucalyptus and blooming oleander. Sage lent its sweet fragrance to the mix. Greg Wolter inhaled the intoxicating floral bouquet that whispered promises his concrete city could never keep.
Somehow during the early mornings in March, Los Angeles could still smell wonderful, despite hazy air and homeless encampments along the dirty streets. As the day progressed, the belch of diesel engines and the stink of broiling dumpsters would soon foul the air, but for this brief moment, Greg closed his eyes and imagined the paradise this place could have been.
He opened them to the city’s reality. He sat in his wheelchair on one of the sidewalks that snaked through poorly-maintained MacArthur Park. The park was a square island of green surrounded by the city’s tight-packed grid of buildings and streets. A large lake took up one corner of the park, and a few forlorn trees dotted the area. The builders’ early 1900s vision of an urban oasis had not been fulfilled. Handsome beaus did not escort their well-dressed betrothed along manicured paths. Instead, the impoverished from the local area lounged on patchy grass. The tents of the homeless hogged the shade under the trees. Young men in leather and tattoos did a furtive business exchanging small plastic bags for wads of cash.
But Greg wheeled himself here in the mornings because he could catch that glorious L.A. scent and bask in the SoCal sun better than through the window of his tiny apartment. And despite the park’s high crime statistics, no one had ever messed with the old man in the wheelchair. He figured that even the most callous thugs thought it beneath them to rough up a geezer who appeared to have nothing worth stealing.
He spent the time watching people pass by. He looked at them from the waist up, never from the waist down, never at their shadows. The decades had taught him it was less stressful to keep secret the status of strangers’ souls.
The sidewalk in front of him curved downhill to where Wilshire Boulevard cut through the center of the park. The road had been built in the 1930s, proving that city government had been committed to cars over people since the earliest days. Vehicles did a slow roll in the morning traffic and bicycles whizzed by the cars.
Then Greg saw, walking in the crowd, what he feared the most. His mouth went dry.
It walked along the sidewalk on Wilshire. Its human-like head appeared charred, like meat left on a grill for far too long. A blackened, pointed nose stuck out over a wide mouth and elongated ears swept to points top and bottom. Dots glowed red within deep, black eye sockets. Atop its head, twin horns swept out to the sides and then curled inward. A demon.
Its grotesque body proportions made the demon even more repellent. A wide torso tapered to a narrow waist. The skin on the torso was opaque, and beneath it writhed indistinct shapes. But Greg knew just what they were.
Its blackened arms and legs seemed impossibly thin, yet somehow its legs supported its body. The creature’s hands only had three bony fingers and a thumb, with sharp black claws at each tip.
The people around the demon didn’t run, didn’t scream in terror as they should. Because the gift/curse that the old man had was that only he could see the demons as they truly were. The rest of the population just saw the human being the demon had possessed after its escape from Hell. So it walked through the pedestrian crowd unnoticed, just another person on the way to work.
Greg’s bladder seemed to swell to twice its normal size and he fought the urge to pee himself. His age-weakened heart slammed in his chest at a rate it hadn’t reached in decades. Because this wasn’t just any demon walking through MacArthur Park. He recognized the demon as Nicobar.
He dug his nails into the wheelchair’s armrests. Almost thirty years ago, he’d helped end this abomination’s hunt for human souls and sent it back to Hell. Memories he’d long repressed came flooding back. Paralyzing terror, sickening bloodshed, soul-crushing loss. If that creature had returned, it would bring chaos and death to the City of Angels again.
Suddenly, Greg’s wheelchair spun to the right. A Golden Retriever barreled past, dragging a small boy behind him at the other end of its leash. Greg fought to balance his chair as it leaned downhill.
Then a woman grabbed the armrest on his left and steadied the chair. It went still and the humiliated face of a young Hispanic woman looked down at him.
“The dog,” she said. “It is too much for my boy. I am so sorry!”
She released the chair, and for a second kept her hands inches from it, as if it might jump out of control again on its own. When it didn’t, she ran downhill after her son without waiting for Greg’s absolution.
Greg looked back to where the demon had been. It was gone. Lost in the crowd, a crowd that had no idea the evil that walked among them.
He and his demon-hunting partner had beaten Nicobar before. The fight had left his partner dead. Greg had survived, but his injuries had sapped the strength from his legs. That experience had boiled away the courage to hunt down a demon again. He’d wondered afterwards, if they had known Nicobar’s true strength, would they have even considered taking it on?
A much wiser, and much, much older Greg knew facing down a demon now would be suicide. What was a disabled old man going to do all alone against evil so monstrous that it was supposed to be banished from ever walking the Earth? He felt utterly helpless.
He prayed that somewhere out there, a new generation had stepped up to do what he’d once done, that right now they were executing a plan to get that abomination off the streets of Los Angeles.
He had no faith that prayer would be answered.
His lap felt wet. He looked down and saw that he’d peed himself after all.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Russell James.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

#PublicationDayPush #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : The Ultimate Village Game – Beth Merwood @lizcity77

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

The Ultimate Village Game

Today I’m on the ‘The Ultimate Village Game’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

The Ultimate Village Game - BethMBeth Merwood is a writer from the south of England. Her debut novel, The Five Things, was published in 2021.

Social Media Links:
Instagram
Twitter
GoodReads
Website
Facebook
BookBub
TikTok

Synopsis :

perf5.000x8.000.inddRiddled with guilt and tormented by desire, Lucy Short keeps notes about newcomers to the village, but why? The misfit with the rescue dog has a mysterious past. She’s been biding her time, plotting and scheming, and now she’s determined to get what she deserves. It won’t be straight forward. Someone is sure to be watching her every move, and there seems to be something more sinister going on.
Mr. Lester Senior is dead. The family is in turmoil. The future of the famous village treasure hunt is in doubt, but for Lucy a new world beckons. She must stick to her task. The rewards could be huge, but will there also be a price to pay?

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK
Amazon US

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Thanks for having me back on The Magic of Wor(l)ds.

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’ve always written for myself on and off. Three or four years ago, I decided to see if I could publish a novel. My debut, The Five Things was published in 2021. The Ultimate Village Game is my second work.
I come from the south coast of England and now spend some of my time in London and some on the coast.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I like books that allow me to escape into another world, but in a broad sense, meaning that I enjoy various genres. I enjoy literary fiction, magical realism, some suspense, some crime fiction. I also like to have read the books everyone is talking about.
As a child, there were plenty of books in the house. In particular, I remember reading classic children’s stories and mysteries as well as poetry.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
At this moment, I’d say Taylor Jenkins Reid. I’ve not read all of her books, but I think her work is very current.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
It would be interesting to have the protagonist, Lucy, from The Ultimate Village Game to tea. There are all sorts of questions I would love to ask her. She would feel uncomfortable, but the questions need addressing!

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I like to have a few hours a day in a quiet place to concentrate on nothing but writing. If I am able to find that time, I always feel I’ve achieved something. I give myself targets in terms of word counts, but I don’t give myself a hard time if I miss them.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
It’s mainly life in general that influences me. I am sometimes taken with a conversation I overhear or a real life situation I come across. Of course, I’ve only heard or come across a scrap of information, so I work on it, develop it. I am a day dreamer too, and ideas sometimes come into my head that way.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I have a rough idea of what is going to happen, but the story often develops as I write. The characters definitely have their own ideas too, and can take off on their own detours along the way.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Some things that work for me are:
Listen to everyone, don’t be afraid to make changes, but make sure to remain at one with your work.
Read your work out loud.
Leave your work and come back to it a few weeks later.

What are your futureplans as an author?
I’m writing a mystery with a touch of paranormal.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Here is a short extract:

“Did you buy anything?”
“No. Only tea and cake. Oh, and a raffle ticket.”
“Who else was there? Everyone?”
I leaned back against the worktop. “A good turnout. That Amber from the café was there. She was full of herself as usual.”
“There’s something I don’t like about her.” Candy screwed up her nose.
“She was very dressed up,” I said.
“She always is. She goes to the café in clothes you might wear to an opera!”
“She’s new in the village, but she already seems to know everyone.”
“I think she’s only here for the treasure hunt. Mind you, the villagers always say that about people who are new.”
“I suppose they said it about me when I first arrived,” I said.
“But you come from here. You’ve returned to the village. That’s different.”
We spent a little time reminiscing about the treasure hunt. We talked about the most recent hunt. It was always good fun, even though this year’s prize hadn’t been one of the best.
“I wonder what it will be like next year. I’m not sure what’s left of the family will be able to organize much,” Candy observed. “It’s a shame. Some people think there won’t be a hunt at all.”
From what she said, I imagined Candy knew little about the Lesters and the current situation, but then I thought all the locals were keeping their cards close to their chests. People had their own views and their own agendas, they certainly weren’t about to divulge the contents of their minds. That went for me as well. I was planning to keep quiet, lie low, and wait.

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Beth Merwood.

Giveaway :

Win 1 x Paperback and 1 x e-copy of The Ultimate Village Game (Open to UK Only)
1st Prize- Paperback copy of The Ultimate Village Game
2nd Prize – E-copy of The Ultimate Village Game
*Terms and Conditions – Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

BlogTour #RachelsRandomResources @rararesources / #QandAs : Daughters of Paris – Elisabeth Hobbes @ElisabethHobbes @0neMoreChapter_

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Daughter Of Paris

Today I’m on the ‘Daughters of Paris’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Daughters Elisabeth Hobbes photoElisabeth began writing in secret, but when she came third in Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest in 2013, she was offered a two-book contract, and consequently had to admit why the house was such a tip. Elisabeth’s historical romances with Harlequin Mills & Boon and One More Chapter span the Middle Ages to the Second World War and have been Amazon bestsellers and award shortlisted.
Elisabeth is a primary school teacher but she’d rather be writing full time because unlike five-year-olds, her characters generally do what she tells them. When she isn’t writing, she spends most of her spare time reading and is a pro at cooking one-handed while holding a book.
She was born and raised in York but now lives in Cheshire because her car broke down there in 1999 and she never left.

Social Media Links:
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Synopsis :

Daughters Elisabeth Hobbes photoParis 1930s
A promise that binds them together. A war that pulls them apart.
Childhood companions Fleur and Colette make a vow, under the trailing ivy of their secret garden, that they will be secret sisters forever. But as they grow up, the promises of childhood are put to the ultimate test. For Colette is the daughter of the house, and her life is all jazz clubs, silk dresses and chilled champagne, while Fleur is the orphan niece of the housekeeper and doesn’t feel like she belongs anywhere.
Years later, in 1939, life as they know it will never be the same. As the German tanks roll in and Paris becomes an occupied city, the promise they made as children will have consequences they could never have imagined…

Purchase Link

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Thank you for having me on the blog. 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
As well as writing I teach. I’ve been in Reception for a couple of years but am moving to Year 1 in September. It keeps me very busy so sometimes finding the time and energy for writing is a challenge. I also have two teenage children and a husband. We’re all on the Autistic spectrum which makes life interesting!
I started writing around eleven years ago, when my children were younger and I had lots of evenings to myself. I entered a medieval romance into Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest and finished in third place. As well as my books for One more Chapter I have a backlist of Harlequin, Mills & Boon books ranging from medieval to Victorian.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I always loved books set in the past, especially if there was a touch of magic to them. Moondial by Helen Cresswell was a favourite, as was Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park which I discovered on a trip to Australia in my early teens. Around fourteen I discovered the M. Didius Falco series by Lindsay Davis and fell completely in love with the Roman private investigator and his adventures.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I’ve always wanted to write a detective novel because I love reading them but I think plotting would be beyond me so I’d love to ask Agatha Christie for advice.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
She’s an appallingly selfish woman but I think Colette’s mother Delphine would be fun to spend an afternoon with because she’d have some great cocktail recipes and know her way around a plate of macarons. From one of my other books I’d love to have tea with Alice, the grandmother of my main character in Daughter of the Sea. She’s a proper old Yorkshire woman with a practical nature who makes herbal treatments for all sorts of ailments.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I’m very fortunate to have a couple of days a week to devote to writing (though they easily get eaten up by household jobs). I always start them by walking my dogs, Missy and Pixie, then come home for a shower and cup of tea. It’s a good way to clear my head of school related thoughts. I write downstairs in the morning to keep them company but after lunch I head up to my office.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I always tell anyone who asks that I’ll happily put parts of people in my books but I won’t reveal whether they’re the love interest, villain or comic relief.
As far as getting ideas, that’s harder. Daughters of Paris came from loving the city and after I had written a Secret Agent in the book of that name where my British character was living undercover in France, I wanted to see the war from the eyes of someone French. I knew it needed to be told from both women’s viewpoints and their friendship is as important as their romances, if not more.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’d like to be a plotter but things have a habit of getting away from me. I’m a drafter in that I have an idea of the route the story should take, but know I’ll deviate from the map along the way.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
One of the best pieces of advice I had was to write each character’s pov in a different colour so at a glance it’s easy to keep track of whether they’re getting equal page time.

What are your future plans as an author?
I’m frantically trying to finish my WIP which is another book I’ll be releasing as Elisabeth J. Hobbes, the name I use for books with a bit of a magical/fantasy element such as Daughter of the Sea. After that I’ll be returning to Occupied France and a story of two sisters living close to the French/Italian border (in my favourite ski resort).

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Of course!
Colette has been making her way home at night when she is accosted by a German officer but manages to lose him.
This scene leads up to a major turning point for the relationship between Colette and Fleur which has been a little lukewarm since Colette returned from living in England.

She waited a few minutes, crouching behind a fir tree in a pot, before exiting cautiously onto the street and turning down a quiet passage, which brought her out beside one entrance to the Bois du Boulogne gardens. To her dismay, she saw another woman being followed by the same German. From the way she held herself stiffly, arms wrapped about the bag she clutched to her chest, it did not look as if she was happy about it.
They had stopped beside some steps that led down to one of the fountains in a quiet part of the ornamental gardens. In summer it would be the perfect place to meet a lover, but now it was remote and dangerous.
‘I said no. I’m not interested.’
Colette froze as she recognised the voice. The woman was Fleur.
‘But I am. Come here.’ The German pulled Fleur towards him and planted a kiss on her lips. She gave a squeak and pushed him away.
Colette tensed. There was a chance that if Fleur kissed him properly, he would go away, but Colette knew deep down he wasn’t planning to stop at a kiss. She wished she had just gone to the bar with him. She was much more experienced than Fleur was. She stalked towards them.
‘Leave her alone.’

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Elisabeth Hobbes.

Giveaway :

Win a signed copy of Daughters of Paris by Elisabeth J Hobbes (Open to UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions – UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

BlogTour #RandomThingsTours @RandomTTours / #QandAs : Ravenous #Ravenous – H. N. Pashley @hnpashley

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

Ravenous BT Poster

Today I’m on the ‘Ravenous’ blogtour, organized by Random Things Tour.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

Author picH. N. Pashley lives in Norwich, and when not typing furiously can often be found risking life and limb doing partner acrobatics. Ravenous is his first book for adults.
He is also the author of a middle-grade trilogy: Gabriel’s Clock, Sammael’s Wings and Michael’s Spear, under his full name of Hilton Pashley.
Work on ‘Nemesis’, the second book in The Ravener trilogy, is currently underway, and will take the reader to some very dark places indeed.

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Synopsis :

Author pic“I will not flinch in the face of horror.”
It’s 1890, and Ada Phillips, one of the first female medical students in England, fights to stop a masked vigilante from cutting a bloody swathe across London.
In mourning after her mother’s recent suicide, Ada is horrified to discover that the vigilante is somehow connected to her family. Dubbed ‘The Ravener’ by the press, he is exacting brutal vengeance on those who would harm the innocent, excising their hearts and taking a single bite from each.
In both her dreams and waking hours, the Ravener tries to sway Ada to his cause by showing her the suffering inflicted by his victims, but his justifications for murder are at odds with everything she believes in. His reign of terror has to be brought to end, but how, and what if the man behind the mask is much closer to home than Ada realises?
Perfect for fans of Dean Koontz and Graham Masterton, or the Showtime television series ‘Penny Dreadful’, Ravenous is the first novel in The Ravener Trilogy.

Amazon

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’d love to say that I live in a windmill and breed llamas as a side hustle, but the reality is somewhat more mundane. I’m based in the medieval city of Norwich in the UK, and have had careers in both the civil service and the magistracy. When I’m not scribbling away furiously I fly big kites and can be found at a local circus centre, learning partner acrobatics and dangling from a trapeze (really). I first started writing back in 2013 soon after a close friend passed away, and the children’s trilogy that I subsequently created (Gabriel’s Clock, Sammael’s Wings and Michael’s Spear) are in essence a long goodbye letter. I’m very proud of them, and as I have discovered, writing is a beautifully cathartic way to get emotions out of yourself and onto the page. Writing a good story is not easy; it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and having something powerful to drive you forward makes the process much less of a slog.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
In my formative years I loved The Dark is Rising sequence by Susan Cooper (I still have a tattered copy of all five of the books in one volume) and also the truly bizarre world created by Mervyn Peake in the novels Titus Groan and Gormenghast. I loved the way Peake gave his characters bonkers names like Doctor Prunesquallor, Steerpike and Mr Flay, and took a similar approach in naming the characters in my children’s books. I still re-read them occasionally. Now I am older, although not necessarily wiser, I have developed a great fondness for the Shardlake series by C J Sansom. Set in tudor England, they follow the hunchback lawyer Matthew Shardlake, and his efforts to solve a variety of baffling crimes while trying to avoid being sent to the Tower of London. The huge amount of historical research done by C J Sansom is evident in his writing, and I applied the same level of diligence when writing Ravenous, in order to portray late Victorian London in the most accurate manner possible.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I’d love to have a coffee and a natter with Stephen King. His output has been prodigious, and so many of his books interconnect with each other in a myriad intricate ways. The novel IT is probably my favourite scary book, not only because you are faced with a truly monstrous antagonist in Pennywise the clown, but because you really care about the characters who set out to stop him. A reader has to either love or hate characters, depending on their roles in a story; for a reader to be left indifferent to someone’s fate is a disaster. It’s that particular point that I would grill Mr King about, what tricks and techniques does he find useful in ensuring that a reader cheers on the hero/heroine, and boos loudly at those who deserve to come to a sorry end.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone elses, would you like to invite for tea and why?
Going back to question 2, I think I would like to invite Matthew Shardlake over for tea. Despite his physical infirmities which leave him in almost permanent pain, his intellect is never dulled. He’s often shunned or treated with disrespect because of his appearance, but he never lets that stop him in his search for the truth, nor does he allow himself to become overtly bitter or unkind towards others. Given the challenges he faces throughout the various books in the series, I thought it would be nice to pop him in a comfy chair, get him to put his feet up for a bit, and ensure he has an ample supply of sandwiches and small beer while he regales me with tales of his most interesting cases.

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Hah! Yes, I certainly do. Talking to myself, or should I say, talking to the characters that I’m creating, is something I do a lot. Hence I prefer to write in solitude lest someone walk in and call for a mental health professional. I also write to music (film scores mainly) that suits the mood of a scene or chapter. Philip Glass’ score to The Hours is one I use regularly, in fact I’m listening to it now. When writing my very first book, there was one chapter with three fights happening simultaneously between the good guys and the bad guys, and for that I simply put on the music from Pirates of the Caribbean. There’s nothing like pretending you’re a pirate to get the creativity flowing.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I’ve been asked this a lot, and if I am honest the answer is that I don’t really know. A concept tends to just pop into my head, usually starting with a name of a thing, place or person, and a story tends to weave itself out of that. With Ravenous for example, the name of the book came first and I was then faced with finding something to write about. If I’m stuck on something or need a bit of inspiration, I usually sleep on it and in the morning my subconcious often comes up with what I need. Given the dark and dangerous world of late Victorian London, that probably means that you wouldn’t want to bump into my subconscious in an alley. I loved the TV series Penny Dreadful with Timothy Dalton and the astonishing Eva Green, and I wanted to channel the same dark and grimy feel when creating Ravenous. In fact, the character of Ada Phillips, my protagonist, is very much inspired by a young Eva Green. Likewise, my search history on Google while writing Ravenous would probably raise a few eyebrows, it reads like a shopping list for turn of the century serial killers. I tend not to use people in my life as source material in any way (which probably comes of something of a relief to them) although I have used some of their names for characters (with their permission of course).

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
Hmmm, probably a bit of both. You need some idea of overall structure, but I think too much mapping out of what you want to happen can stifle the way a story develops. The most important things in my view are to have a cracking opening to get the reader invested (the old publishing advice of ‘start at chapter two’ is a good one) and to know how the story ends. This latter point is very important, and I wish I had taken it to heart sooner, as it made writing my first book much harder than it should have been. If you know how the story ends, then to a degree it doesn’t matter what interesting detours you take in the narrative, as you’ll end up where you need to be. If you don’t know how the story ends, then you’re effectively rudderless and can end up meandering all over the place to no effect.

Can you give novice writers some tips?
See my answer to question 7 above. Open with a bang and nail down an ending as soon as you can, it will make writing a novel far less stressful. Also, and it is something of a cliché but it’s true nonetheless, write what fires you up, not what you think is in fashion or what you ‘should’ be writing. If that fire isn’t there then chances are you’ll either not finish the book, or it’ll lack some inherent spirit, and readers know when you’re just phoning in a story.

What are your futureplans as an author?
Currently I’m plotting out the sequel to Ravenous and building a fanbase. Given that Ravenous is my first foray as an indie author, as opposed to the traditional route, there is a lot to learn about marketing and all the esoteric wizardry that publishers tend to deal with, so I’ve got my hands full. I’ll be submitting Ravenous for consideration in the Bram Stoker awards this year too, and to even be long-listed would be amazing.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Oh, all right then, since you asked so nicely. The following is a snippet from chapter 7 where the protagonist, student doctor Ada Phillips, meets the masked man who has been haunting her dreams for a second time. Please note that the teaser has been carefully chosen to avoid any spoilers.

Ada reached up and gently touched the man’s mask, running her fingertips down the cheek and across the lips, following the path his knife had taken across her own face. ‘If I lift this, I think I know what I would see,’ she said.
‘And what might that be?’
‘Myself. I have read Doctor Freud’s treatise on dreams, and as terrifying as you first appeared I know what you are.’
‘Do you indeed? Enlighten me, please.’
‘You are not real. You are fragments, a phantom; pieces of guilt and memory given form. You are the part of my mind that wants me to survive, and in order to do that I must be stronger than my mother was.’
‘So you believe you are talking to yourself?’
‘In a way, yes.’
‘And what if I were to say that you are mistaken, that I am something else entirely?’
‘It would only be my own doubts made manifest. I am under no illusion as to the difficulty of what lies before me, but I will prove myself a match for any male doctor, regardless of how many others may wish to see me fail.’
‘It is hard to argue with such logic,’ said the man. ‘You require evidence to refute your beliefs, and I have the means to open your eyes to what real and what is not.’ He stepped in close, enfolding Ada in his arms. Behind his mask she saw the glittering of stars in the void. They filled her vision; she wanted to fall among them, a never-ending descent without care or suffering, wrapped in the comfort and safety of darkness.
‘Know that I love you,’ the man whispered. ‘I have loved you since the day you were born. I have walked beside you all of your life, you just didn’t notice me, until now. We have much to do, you and I. The scales need to be balanced. Twenty were taken and twenty will pay for that crime. Gather your strength, beloved, for you will need it.’

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, H. N. Pashley.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

Countess Jacqueline #CountessJacqueline – Gail Meath @GailMeathAuthor , an #Interview #QandA

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

blog-q&a

Today I’m not on a blogtour, but doing an interview with Gail Meath, author of ‘Countess Jacqueline’, to promote this book.

About the Author :

Award-winning author Gail Meath writes historical romance novels that will whisk you away to another time and place in history where you will meet fascinating characters, both fictional and real, who will capture your heart and soul. The subgenres of her books vary from action-packed westerns, plot twisting murder mysteries and biographies of powerful women who defied the strict rules of society fighting for the freedom of their countries. Her romances may exclude steamy sexual scenes, yet the intensity between heroine and hero will satisfy your deepest fantasies.

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Synopsis :

RESIZEIMG_7012_Lightened(1)Jacqueline, the young heir of Holland, stands in the deadly crosshairs of the most powerful male rulers in Europe. Based upon true events in 1413.
At the young age of sixteen, Jacqueline inherits the countship of Holland and is determined to reign on her own. She disregards her assembly’s demand to choose a husband, then leads her army to victory in their first defensive battle. In response, the all-powerful Duke Philip of Burgundy sends his good friend to Den Haag to thwart her efforts.
Lord Renard Borselen resents being used as a pawn yet agrees to meet with the Dutch assembly. When he sees Jacqueline again, he recalls their first meeting years ago and a spark of excitement catches him, the first since that day. He openly shifts his stance and now there is hell to pay for them both.
As Jacqueline continues her great struggle to retain her title and fight for the freedom of her people against Duke Philip, she is torn between her country and her love for Renard. Will Duke Philip ever relent in his fight against her?

Amazon

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
As a child, I loved to write, but it wasn’t until high school that I realized I had some writing talent. Whenever we were given an essay question, rather than multiple choice, I always passed with flying colors whether I knew the answer or not!

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I enjoyed reading a variety of books when I was younger, yet I never fell in love with any book in particular. Then, my mother introduced me to some classics, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Rebecca, etc., I became hooked on historical romances and mysteries.

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Right now, I would love to chat with Daphne du Maurier and Agatha Christie and pick their creative brainsa, since I’m writing a cozy mystery series.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I wrote two books based on the lives of true heroines in history, and they would be my first choice. As for fictional, I would love to invite Ace, the courageous German Shepherd in my cozy mystery series, Jax Diamond Mysteries. (Although he is based upon my own precious companion, Gretchen 🙂 . )

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I need to have some sort of music playing in the background, never dead silence. Anything from rock and roll to country music. I mentally tune it out most of the time, but here and there certain songs help put me in the mood to write different scenes.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
I love this question! My daughter gave me a sign that’s hanging on the wall beside my computer – Be careful or you’ll end up in my novel. It is SO true. I have never based a character on one specific person, but with everyone I meet, their looks, mannerisms, character traits, and even conversations can come in very handy.

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’ve always been a pantser, writing as I go and letting my characters determine where they end up. I do use a spreadsheet for character descriptions, chapter content, etc., but I usually fill it in as I go or after the chapter has been written.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
DON’T stop writing if it’s what you love and enjoy. I stopped for nearly ten years when life got in the way, and I reget not at least keeping a journal or writing down ideas during those years. DO get very familiar and comfortable with social media. These days, it is so important…and one of my downfalls.

What are your future plans as an author?
I’m currently writing a cozy Roaring Twenties mystery series, and it’s doing well, so I’ll continue with that, but I have started three other historical romance novels, too, so we’ll see which comes first.

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?

Countess Jacqueline, The Hague, Netherlands, 1418

“Your uncle has arrived, Jacqueline,” Halden announced. “He insists upon seeing you immediately, and my attempts to thwart him went in vain.”
Jacqueline contained her anger. Every emotion had exhausted itself and although she knew her mind, her response was void of temper. “Bring him to me. I must straighten the matter out now, to his face, so there will be no misconceptions later.”
Halden agreed with her, yet it wasn’t that simple. “You have proven yourself a bold and daring young woman, but you are no match for the Bishop’s hardened character. Your father took every legal precaution to make sure the countship was passed on to you, but we may need our army to uphold his wishes.” Halden placed a loving hand on her shoulder. “There have been several offers of marriage from surrounding nobility and beyond. I think you should tell the Bishop that you have accepted one of those proposals. Such a statement will give you time to do so at your leisure and crush his hopes of gaining control.”
“I’ll not lie, Halden. Since I have no intention of taking a husband, it would only be a matter of time before my uncle posed the same threat to me. Please, let me speak with him and end this matter quickly.” She stood up and wandered over to the mantle. The Flemish coronet glistened with jewels. She snatched it up and held tight to it while receiving Bishop John of Liege.
“You have my sympathies, dear niece,” the older man said in greeting. “My brother’s death is a terrible blow.”
“Let us dispense with the formalities and cut to the chase, Uncle,” she spouted. “Tell me the true reason you made this rare appearance at Binnenhof.”
His look of surprise swiftly turned into bitterness. “You were always a curt child, speaking your mind without flowery courtesy or respect for your elders.” He turned away from her, gathered his heavy scarlet robe and fell comfortably into her father’s chair.
Jacqueline didn’t take her eyes off her nemesis. The physical similarities between the two brothers discomforted her, the full face, heavy jowls and cleft chin. Yet, she knew it was crucial for her to focus on the character differences instead. “It was written in my father’s Will that I should inherit his title and his domain. Our laws guarantee we uphold those wishes.”
The man’s laughter unnerved her, but it also ended her uncle’s visit more swiftly.
Jacqueline lifted the coronet. “This crown was given to my father, bestowing upon him the authority to rule Holland. It belongs to me now and only the Flemish people have the power to take my birthright away from me.”
The Bishop lost his smile. “You know full well the title rightfully belongs to the next male heir. Since William failed to produce a son, that crown is mine. Fight me on this and there will be bloody hell to pay. I have easy access to a thousand soldiers who will crush your efforts without breaking a fingernail.”
Jacqueline held her stance and placed the crown on top of her head. “Raise the number of soldiers by tenfold, Uncle, and you shall see me wearing this royal symbol still. Whereas the men you gather may fight well, they have no personal interest in the matter. I carry the support of the people and they will protect their homeland far more fiercely. This discussion is over. If you refuse to leave, I shall have Halden summon my knights to drag you away.”
Had her uncle been a dog, she considered with a bit of humor, he would be foaming at the mouth right now. He was so outraged he could barely speak. “You have condemned Holland to a fate of death and destruction. Tell your Jim Crow in the lookout to ready his hunting horn, as my troops shall arrive soon. And watch your own back, dear niece, for you will be my first target.”

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up these books and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Gail Meath.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!

BlogTour #TheBookScenesTours @scenesbook / #QandAs : Happy State #HappyState – Samantha Fitzgibbons @SamFitzAuthor #SamanthaFitzgibbons

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

blog-q&a

Today I’m on the ‘Happy State’ blogtour, organized by The Book Scenes Tours.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

RESIZEIMG_7012_LightenedI am a creative writer and blogger; my fictional writing often reflects real life issues such as mental illness. Rather than try to endure the exhausting and relentless fight with both the ailment and the stigma attached to it, I try to encourage fellow ‘angsty’s’ to embrace their over zealous resident.
My writing largely reflects my multifarious background; a free willed, artistic creative, drawn to a desire to understand the criminal mind. I am nothing if not light and dark, creative and lateral thinking.
I have just completed my debut novel, ‘The Happy State’ which considers a newly independent England and a governmental bid to create a happy state for its people. But when a fanatical neo- Nazi military leader joins forces with a gullible, power hungry leader, it seems that happiness will be sought only by eliminating mental illness for once and for all.

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Synopsis :

RESIZEIMG_7012_Lightened(1)In the midst of martial law, a new government announces a Happy State; a state that promises to focus on the wellbeing of its populace.
Raffela Crowe discovers that her father is suffering from dementia, and will stop at nothing to protect him.
When she learns of a deeper truth surrounding the Happy State, that the government seeks to eradicate mental illness in order to create a pure and perfect race, the urgency to protect her father becomes paramount.
The government will stop at nothing to fulfil its agenda.
Resistance group Freedom has an agenda of its own.n the midst of martial law, a new government announces a Happy State; a state that promises to focus on the wellbeing of its populace.
Raffela Crowe discovers that her father is suffering from dementia, and will stop at nothing to protect him.
When she learns of a deeper truth surrounding the Happy State, that the government seeks to eradicate mental illness in order to create a pure and perfect race, the urgency to protect her father becomes paramount.
The government will stop at nothing to fulfil its agenda.
Resistance group Freedom has an agenda of its own.

Amazon UK

Q&A :

Hi

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂

Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I’ve always written stories, but over the last 2 years I decided to take it more seriously. I used lockdown to submit my story and was blessed to find a wonderful publisher.

Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
As a child, I adored Charles Dickens, believe it or not. I was a huge fan of the classics. I also adored The Magic Faraway Tree. Charlotte’s Web was one of my favourites of all time. It still devastates me now!

Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
Terry Pratchett. Like or loathe his books, he captures a different world like no other. You become so immersed in it that you lose yourself. I’d love to know how he achieved that.

If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
From my own book, I’d choose Alpha. He’s witnessed a lot and braved even more. He’d have some wonderful stories to tell. From another story, I’d choose Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. I’m a sucker for the criminal mind and I’d love to explore his insanity!

Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
Not especially! I love writing outdoors though. It definitely helps me get creative.

Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Personal experience led me to Happy State. I also studied crime and terrorism so it was an amalgamation of all of those. No need to panic. Yet!

Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I plot when I can but generally, I’m a go with the flow. Once I start, I just keep on.

Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
Do wax lyrical. Write everything and edit afterwards. Don’t explain too much. Show not tell is the best advice I’d give any writer. I still have a lot to learn myself.

What are your future plans as an author?
I’ll be working on the sequel to Happy State. Then I have another idea for a thriller!

Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Let’s just say that things are going to get a lot, lot worse in the sequel…

Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Samantha Fitzgibbons.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!