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Author Interview Amelia, The Merballs and The Emerald Cannon

Have you been writing for a long time? 

Yes, mainly for fun initially.  I wrote my first novel when I was eleven.  I’m not sure what happened to that book, it disappeared at some point!  Since then I’ve wrote a few other books, but as a hobby and not with any intention to publish them.  Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures has been my first adventure in the publishing world!

 

What inspired you to start a writing career? 

I just kept having ideas and eventually decided to start developing these ideas into books.  With Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures, I really felt inspired to write an exciting series that would connect children to space in a fun and engaging way.  Uglesnoo¾the friendly alien from Pluto¾ just popped into my head one day.  From that start I added Amelia and the quest that takes him and Amelia on tremendous adventures throughout the whole solar system!

 

 

Is your book a stand-alone, or is it part of a series? 

Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon, is the third book in Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures; a series of ten books for children, set in outer space.  Although it’s the third book, it can be read as a stand-alone, as there is information in the first chapter with brief reminders of the quest and what has happened in the previous books.  Readers will learn from all the books that Uglesnoo’s sister is very sick. The only thing that can cure her is a repelling crystal from the planet Neptune. In order to get the crystal, Amelia and Uglesnoo need to obtain many items from various different planets, the Moon and even the boiling hot Sun!

 

How does your book stand out from others? 

Every book is set on a different planet, or moon and Sun.  I like to mix a few facts about the planet within the fantasy.  In Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon, kids will learn a few facts about Mercury.  Then there is the challenge, which is different on each planet.  For example, on Mercury they have to get five pairs of flying shoes, which is not an easy task.  Every adventure has tests and lots of problem-solving for both Amelia and Uglesnoo.

 

Are any of your characters based on real-life people? 

Uglesnoo ¾my main alien character from Pluto ¾and most of the aliens are entirely imaginary.  But Amelia, the young heroine in my series was initially inspired by both of my daughters. She has my eldest daughter’s ability to think quickly and solve puzzles. Then I gave her my youngest daughter’s strong sense of adventure and curiosity about the universe. I also added other traits to Amelia. She has many fears which she needs to conquer in order for her and Uglesnoo to get the repelling crystal; the one thing that can save Uglesnoo’s sister and the reason behind the whole space adventures quest.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 

Write as much as you can.  Put your work away for a while.  Review and edit.  Do this multiple times.  I’d also really recommend having a professional editor review your work, before you decide to go down the publishing route.  It really highlights your strengths and weaknesses as a writer and shows you what you need to work on.  Persevere, be tenacious and open to constructive criticism.  But most of all enjoy the process, because you are putting something unique and creative out into the world! 

 

About the Book

Title: Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon

Author: Evonne Blanchard

Genre: Children’s Books

Amelia and Uglesnoo land on Mercury.  They meet the Merballs, the friendly aliens that live there.  All goes well, until an asteroid hits their planet. Amelia and Uglesnoo find themselves in deep trouble. How will they convince the Merballs of their innocence? And how will they manage to collect the flying shoes, escape Mercury and continue their quest to save Uglesnoo’s sister?

 

Author Bio

Evonne Blanchard was born and raised in England. She met her husband, an American whilst they were both volunteering at a children’s orphanage in Guatemala.  The writer lives north of Boston, Massachusetts with her husband and their two daughters, Lydia and Gwendolyn.  Other additions to the household include a crazy puppy called Bailey, a lovely cat called Arthur, and lots of fish!

The author has been fascinated by space ever since she was a little girl, mesmerized by clips of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walking on the moon. As a teenager, War of the Worlds, by H.G Wells became one of her favorite books and she adores the movie Mars Attacks.

When it came to creating her own aliens, the author decided on the warm and fuzzy type, rather than the war-like Martians. Uglesnoo, her main alien character is from Pluto. He’s very friendly and nice but a little crazy too! This was the beginning of Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures, starring Amelia and her alien friend Uglesnoo, from Pluto in a series of ten exciting space adventures for children, ages 5-10.

Uglesnoo’s sister is very sick.  The only cure is a repelling crystal from Neptune.  To obtain the crystal Amelia and Uglesnoo must travel to the Moon, Sun and all the planets in the solar system.

Evonne’s favorite planet -or to be more accurate dwarf planet- is Pluto, because it has a blue sky and glaciers just like Earth! She was not happy when Pluto was downgraded. Uglesnoo, her alien creation from Pluto is still mad at the decision.  “Pluto is the most important place in the solar system.  It’s where everyone goes for their vacation!” He agrees with Alan Stern, a leading NASA scientist, “This definition (of Pluto as a dwarf planet) stinks…!”

The author is currently working on the fourth book in the series, Amelia, the Snapperjacks and the Molten Maze.  This book is set on the Sun.  How will Amelia and Uglesnoo manage to land on the boiling hot Sun, trade with the aliens, find the jars of Snapperjack honey and continue their quest to save Uglesnoo’s sister?  Find out… in Amelia’s next amazing space adventure!

Book One: Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace

Book Two: Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage

Book Three: Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon

Curious about the series? Click here to find out more:

https://ameliasamazingspaceadventures.com/the-series

 

Links

Book One: Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Barnes & Noble

 

Book Two: Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage

Buy on Amazon

 

Book Three: Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon

Buy on Amazon

 

Website: https://ameliasamazingspaceadventures.com/

 

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Author Interview Memoirs of a Road Warrior

Author Interview

Have you been writing for a long time?

I have been writing for about two and half years; soon after retiring from sales. I have written one book and many short stories.

What inspired you to start a writing career?

I took a creative writing course about three years ago.

Is your book a stand-alone, or is it part of a series?

If my book is successful then there may be 2 prequels.

How does your book stand out from others?

It is a humorous book about business in the 1980’s. It tells you how not to run a business.

Are any of the characters based on real-life people?

Yes but I can’t say whom.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

My advise to aspiring authors would be to get published by a good publisher so that company will provide the marketing and promotion for you.

About the Book

Title: Memoirs of a Road Warrior

Author: Fred Klein

Genre: Humor

Andrew Livingston, a young, naive college graduate gets a job as a sales engineer for a crazy company. Set in New York in the corporate raider 1980’s this humorous book is a recounting of all the strange history of a high-tech company with an eccentric CEO.

This character gathers together a strange assortment of employees who endeavor to manufacture and sell their products to an equally strange collection of customers. The book tells of their amusing conflicts and experiences throughout the decades.

Follow the company’s encounters with Chinese agents, horse trailers, rocket fuel disasters, con-men, bedbugs, and airplane crashes. Learn how not to run a business!

 

Author Bio

Fred Klein is a new author of his humorous novel MEMOIRS OF A ROAD WARRIOR. He was a sales engineer for 30 years selling scientific instruments throughout North America. He is a private pilot, a drummer in a band, and presently lives with his wife in California. Fred is not a natural comedian but funny things always see to happen around him.

 

 

Links

Amazon.com: Amazon

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Author Interview Everything Under The Sun

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Author Interview

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

 I don’t have a favorite – I have several! Anne Rice and Neil Gaiman I have admired for many years. I love Rice’s deep, descriptive style and Gaiman’s unique ideas. But I also love Paullina Simons and Cormac McCarthy – there are just so many! And, of course, there’s J.K. Rowling, but I don’t really have to name her, do I? Isn’t she everybody’s favorite by default? 😊

 

Which do you prefer: ebook, hardback or paperback?

 Definitely paperback, hands down. I have a Kindle and it’s just not the same. Hardbacks can’t be held comfortably (yes, I bend the spines! I’m totally guilty!). I can’t imagine a world without physical books. It’s depressing to imagine, actually.

 

What is your favorite type of food?

 Mexican!

 

Who is your favorite book boyfriend?

Shura. 😉

 

Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?

Of course, I love to read. I also love the outdoors (hiking, swimming, biking, tennis, etc.), and binge-watching television series’.

 

Is there one book that has had an impact on not only your writing, but on you personally?

 That would be THE VAMPIRE ARMAND by Anne Rice. It’s a book that I’ve read four or five times and the one that really inspired me to try to become a published author.

 

If the Earth suddenly became uninhabitable, would you rather live under the sea or in space?

 In space! I’m obsessed with the Universe. Besides, the thought of living in the ocean sort of terrifies me.

 

What was your favorite pastime as a kid?

 Playing in the wooded creek at my grandparents’ house in Greer’s Ferry, Arkansas.

About the Book

Title: Everything Under The Sun

Author: Jessica Redmerski

Genre: YA/NA Crossover; Dystopian

Thais Fenwick was eleven-years-old when civilization fell, devastated by a virus that killed off the majority of the world’s population. For seven years, Thais and her family lived in a community of survivors deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. But when her town is attacked by raiders, she and her blind sister are taken away to the East-Central Territory where she is destined to live the cruel and unjust kind of life her late mother warned her about.

Atticus Hunt is a troubled soldier in Lexington City who has spent the past seven years trying to conform to the vicious nature of men in a post-apocalyptic society. He knows that in order to survive, he must abandon his morals and his conscience and become like those he is surrounded by. But when he meets Thais, morals and conscience win out over conformity, and he risks his rank and his life to help her. They escape the city and set out together on a long and perilous journey to find safety in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Struggling to survive in a world without electricity, food, shelter, and clean water, Atticus and Thais shed their fear of growing too close, and they fall hopelessly in love. But can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?

 

 

Author Bio

Jessica Redmerski is a New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, international bestseller, and award winner, who juggles several different genres. She began self-publishing in 2012, and later with the success of THE EDGE OF NEVER, signed on with Grand Central Publishing/Forever Romance. Her works have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Jessica is a hybrid author who, in addition to working with a traditional publisher, also continues to self-publish. Her popular crime and suspense series, In the Company of Killers, has been optioned for television and film by actor and model William Levy.

She also writes as J.A. Redmerski.

 

Links

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Buy from Amazon (eBook)

Buy from Amazon (Paperback)

 

 

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Release Blitz Fool’s Gold

Teaser

Thrown together by necessity, united by love, Melissa and Sebastian must unravel a murderous scheme threatening to tear them apart.

About the Book

Penniless and estranged from her wealthy family in New Orleans, Widow Doña Melissa Bertrand de Cabrillo must barter her way from California to Louisiana in order to save her niece, even if it means posing as the wife of a perfect stranger.

Gold miner and banker Sebastian Henderson needs to find a wife soon . . . or at least a woman willing to play the role. Doña Melissa provides the perfect solution, but sharing a cabin with the tempting southern belle proves more challenging than their bargain—and more dangerous—after a passenger aboard their steamship is murdered. Melissa is convinced the death is connected to her family’s events in New Orleans.

Thrown together by necessity, united by love, Melissa and Sebastian must unravel a murderous scheme threatening to tear them apart.

Author Bio

Cari Davis is an award-winning author of historical romantic suspense, writing tales of love, crime, and adventure in 19th Century America.

Links

Buy on Amazon

Website: www.cari-davis.com

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/CDavis1851

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/CariDavisWrites

Giveaway

Win a $10 Amazon gift card to celebrate the new release.

Go here to participate in the giveaway.
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Book Excerpt Feathered: Swan Maiden Book 1

Book Excerpt

I move to sit up but my limbs feel off-kilter. Since waking, I’ve known something is wrong with me. I don’t know what, but something’s happened to my body. It takes me a few minutes to work up the courage to look down, and when I finally do, I’m greeted with a shock that nearly kills me for the second time today.

I scream. I want to run. But it’s hard to escape when the only thing you’re running from is yourself.

In place of my arms, white, feathered appendages stretch out to my sides: wings. And where my feet once were, orange flaps of rubbery skin now take their place. I appear to be some kind of . . .

“Ah, Princess. I see you are awake.”

My eyes—feeling strangely out of proportion on my new face—narrow at the familiar voice. Only one person I know uses that nickname.

“Elward,” I say. Well, that’s what I mean to say, but what comes out is more of an angry honk. “I should’ve known you’d be behind this.” I still have little control over my new body, but manage to turn my head towards the man in the velvet waistcoat. His face is twisted into the same smug smile he gave me at the guillotine. He understands my animalistic noises just fine.

“Behind what?” He raises a straight black eyebrow. “I believe I have just saved your life, Princess.”

“By doing what?” I squawk back. “Turning me into some sort of . . . duck?”

Elward rubs at the stubble on his chin—a gesture I’ve always despised. I wish he wasn’t so young—then I might hate him a little less. As it is, our proximity in age only heightens my dislike for him. To think I might have anything in common with the sorcerer is enough to make me want to retch.

“The term, my dear, is swan. There is a big difference. I transferred your soul into its body. I found it dying on the bank. Some sort of heart disease, I think. Be thankful it wasn’t a skunk I saw first.”

“You turned me into a swan?” I blink. “A dying swan?”

If I still had hands, they would be clawing through my hair by now. Well, feathers. Curses, has my whole identity been stripped from me?

 

 

About the Book

Title: Feathered: Swan Maiden – Book 1

Author: Rachel Wollaston

Genre: Fantasy

The light and the dark were never meant to be separated.

When her bargain with a malevolent wizard goes terribly wrong, Marion DuVal finds herself trapped between two forms: a beautiful but darker parallel of herself, and a swan. Somehow, she must adhere to the wizard’s wishes, but it’s hard to perform epic magic when your feet are flippers and your neck’s the length of a small fishing pole. Caught up in a lie of royal proportions, her task is to get close to the queen, and such a thing is difficult when a certain handsome prince keeps getting in the way.

One girl; two identities. Marion must stop the darkness inside her before it’s too late.

Based on the classic tale of Swan Lake.

 

Author Bio

Born and bred in Gloucestershire, UK, Rachel Wollaston is a huge lover of all things fantasy. From an early age, her dream was to be a fairy, but the pay was no good, so she decided to become a writer instead. A Creative Writing student, Rachel is the author of young-adult fantasy and loves to build worlds that she wishes she could be a part of.

Besides writing, Rachel also enjoys a range of other artistic hobbies, including dancing, drawing, and an unhealthy amount of arts and crafts. You will almost always find her with a cup of tea and a cat watching old ‘70s comedies.

 

Links

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Guest Post Just Like The Bronte Sisters

Every Woman Has the Same Story

By Laurel Osterkamp

Okay, so you recently had a baby and you’re having trouble getting your groove back. Your kind husband (who is also your doctor) rents a summer house with this huge nursery, but the nursery isn’t for the baby; it’s for you. You’re to stay in the nursery, day in and day out, and because you need “rest” you’re not to read, write, workout, care for your baby, or do anything at all interesting. Your one diversion is to stare at the nursery’s ugly yellow wallpaper, until you begin to believe there’s a woman trapped behind it. And then, your purpose is to free that woman, but what you don’t realize is that you’re really trying to free yourself.

It could happen, right?

I’m of course referring to the famous short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper.” Maybe you once read it in a high school lit class? In my latest novel, Just Like the Brontë Sisters, “The Yellow Wallpaper” is briefly mentioned, when one of my main characters, Jo Beth, is stir-crazy and paranoid during her pregnancy bed-rest. I also just had my high school AP Lit students read “The Yellow Wallpaper”, and write an essay on it. AND I just finished The Widow’s House, by Carol Goodman, who uses The Yellow Wallpaper as inspiration for her entire novel.

So, the story has been on my mind.

And here’s my conclusion: While the author, Charlotte Perkins-Gillman, never achieved brilliant-author-status like Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, or Daphne Du Maurier, she did accomplish something big. She created an “everywoman.” We hear about “everyman” in literature: that universal male character we can all relate to, because his struggle is our struggle. Well, I’m not the first to believe that a man’s struggle is different than a woman’s, and the reason Perkin’s-Gillman never gave her main character a name is because she is everywoman.

Now, I’m not saying we’re all destined for insanity, or to be locked in a poorly decorated room by our controlling husbands. But I do believe that every woman’s story has a shared element. We’re looking to free that person inside us, the one who is trapped by society’s constraints, people’s expectations, or our own poor choices. Every woman’s story, on some level, is about empowerment and finding our voice. Because, as women, we are expected to make other people happy first, before satisfying our own yearnings.

All my books have been about women and empowerment. None of my characters are victims, and only a few are insane. And I should add, there is a lot of great fiction out now, with kick-ass female protagonists, truly empowered gals we’re rooting for from page one. BUT, at the very least, those kick-ass protagonists must struggle to hold onto that empowerment.

It’s not their fault. And it’ the reason “The Yellow Wallpaper” is still referenced today. We’re all looking to find that woman inside us, and to keep her from creeping away.

About the Book

Title: Just Like The Bronte Sisters

Author: Laurel Osterkamp

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Sisters Skylar and Jo Beth adore skiing and they virtually share the same soul. After an accident, Jo Beth flees to Brazil, leaving Skylar behind in Colorado to obsessively read the Brontë sisters. While abroad, Jo Beth meets Mitch and her life takes some unexpected turns, until tragedy leads free-spirited Mitch right into Skylar’s empty arms. With their Heathcliff/Catherine romance in full swing, Skylar wants to trust Mitch, but did he harm her sister? Loving Mitch could make Skylar lose everything. Just Like the Brontë Sisters is an unconventional romantic page-turner inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel, full of magical realism, literary references, a ghost, and some healthy doses of suspense.

 

 

Author Bio

Laurel Osterkamp is a Kindle Scout/award-winning author of women’s fiction and suspense. Her “day job” is as at Columbia Heights High School, where she teaches creative writing, college writing, and AP Lit. She resides in Minneapolis with her husband, two chatty children, an overweight cat, a gecko, and a hissing cockroach (don’t ask). Her other loves include chocolate, jogging, and boots.

 

Links

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Guest Post Killers, Traitors & Runaways

Guest Post: Editing

When I wrote Outcasts of the Worlds a couple years ago, it was a very informative experience into the Wonderful World of Editing. Or, if you prefer, a self-inflicted Hell!

 

Talking about my editing process is almost tantamount to talking about my writing process. Almost any given day, if I’m writing, I start out by editing.

 

When I sit down, I seldom crack into a new scene right off the back. I first open whatever I did yesterday, and generally load up whatever music I was playing as well (I’m a big fan of video game soundtracks, as they provide good atmosphere while generally remaining tonally consistent).

 

It’s a this point that I reread what I’d written the day before, and doing so helps in two ways. The first being, it helps me get back in the mood before writing something new.

 

The second, and this is the important one: I’m going in with fresh eyes. I find when I’m writing, I tend to overlook the minutea of the things needing to be fixed. Sometimes this is little errors. Sometimes this is sentances, or paragraphs.

 

But the main rule is I don’t move forward until I’m content with what I’m leaving behind.

 

If every the story gets stuck, I’ll fall back much further than just the previous scene. I might roll back to the start of the chapter, the previous chapter, or even the whole book, depending on how far along I am.

 

This approach has resulted deleting whole scenes, and sometimes a chapter’s worth of work. I regret nothing.

 

Of course, this is the front half. My biggest concern once I finish a book (I’ve done two now!) is trimming the word count as much as I can, especially since I already write Very Long Stuffs. I’ll take brevity where I can get it.

 

The editing process, especially in working with my actual editor, has made me approach everything with an economy of words in mind. I.E., if I can, cut down to seven where I first used twelve, fifteen where I used eighteen. Ten to nine. Trim where I can.

 

The funny thing is, this process bled back into the second book when finding a character’s voice. Shea is a new character, appearing a third or so of the way in. With this interest in trimming words in mind, and having a few characters who are already a bit flowery, I decided to go the opposite with Shea.

 

Everything she says is parred down, as much as possible, while striving to retain the original meaning. So, for example, a line in chapter seven probably started something like:

 

“That’s a daft plan. You know that, right?”

 

And ended up like:

 

“Daft plan. Know that, right?”

 

The final word count for Outcasts was approx. 140,500. Give or take. One of my main goals with, Killers, Traitors, & Runaways, my second book, was to get a lower word count in.

 

And I succeeded, by nearly a thousand. As long as my works have been, I try to make everything that stays in count for something.

 

Or be funny. Funny is good too.

 

About the Book

Title: Killers, Traitors & Runaways (Outcasts of the World II)

Author: Lucas Aubrey Paynter

Genre: Cosmic Fantasy

As reality nears its final days, worlds fall to ruin. A benevolent god is shackled, and when freed, will create a new one … allowing only the pure of heart. A company of seven have united on a bloody quest to stop him, but have little hope of emerging victorious.

The outcasts are adrift—they have a mission but no means to fulfill it. Airia Rousow, the fallen goddess who set them on their path, is gone. Guardian Poe, her intended successor, believes deification will absolve him of his sins and his remorse alike. And Zella Renivar, daughter of the Living God, is still hunted by her father’s agents, drawing danger on them all.

Trapped in this storm, Flynn is able to find and open the ways between worlds, but cannot discern which path is the right one. Since losing the trust of his closest friend, the temptation to fall back on his former, deceitful ways grows with every crisis he faces.

These are heroes not of virtue, but of circumstance—and it will fall on Flynn to keep them all together.

 

 

Author Bio

Lucas Aubrey Paynter hails from the mythical land of Burbank, California, where there are most likely no other writers at all.

Back in 2014, he published Outcasts of the Worlds, and he’s now releasing its follow-up, Killers, Traitors, & Runaways.

A fan of gray-area storytelling and often a devil’s advocate, Lucas enjoys consuming stories from a variety of mediums, believing there’s no limit to what form a good narrative can take.

 

Links

Website: http://www.lucaspaynter.com/

Amazon

https://www.facebook.com/lucas.paynter
https://www.facebook.com/outcastsoftheworlds/
https://twitter.com/OutcastsWorlds

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