Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Elements: Veil of Darkness, Bk 2 by Kate Fuentes Character Interview

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Talon Thorn’s entire world comes tumbling down around him as he experiences the unexpected separation and possible death of his twin brother Gage. He struggles to balance the emotional onslaught of anger and guilt in a life where triumph can fade to cataclysmic despair in an instant.

 
With the ancient prophecy to protect mankind still looming over him, Talon remains confident he can unlock the impenetrable gates to an unknown dimension and free his family from the evil that has held them captive for so long. Reality cross connects with fantasy and shatters the misconception the Earth realm is the only civilization within our universe after Talon uncovers the path to mystic portals.

 
Dark forces remain ever present and are lured by Talon’s fury combined with his supernatural abilities to harness the elemental power of fire along with extraordinary shape-shifting skills. He must embrace the courage to control his amazing gifts and follow the hidden evidence that may lead him to discovering his lost family or deliver him directly to the enemy. Malicious minions have challenged the sole survivor of the ‘Brothers of Prophecy’ and will try to obliterate the only remaining force that can save humanity.

Elements: Veil of Darkness, Book Two



GIVEAWAY
Enter for a chance to win a digital copy of BOTH
Elements: The Beginning, bk 1  and  Veil of Darkness bk 2. Winner gets Smashwords coupon for a download of each book.
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Giveaway ends March 17th 11:59PM Central Time. 



EXCERPT
Elements: Veil of Darkness
Chapter 6
Optical Illusion

“First time in Wales eh?” the cabby drawled with a thick British accent.

“Yes. We are just passing through on our way to Ireland, mate,” replied Maui.

“At’s a shame. No time for some sight see’in’?” asked the cabby.

“Unfortunately no…maybe on our way home we can holiday for a couple of days before heading back. Do you have any suggestions on what we should see?” Maui asked.

The cabby eyed the backseat passengers warily through his rear view mirror. His scruffy brown hair fell over his eyebrows. His face was a bit dirty, with two day old stubble growing over his jaw. When he opened his mouth to talk, the jagged yellow teeth protruded beyond his thin lips.

“Tis a shame really…the town of Holyhead has quite a bit of nice sites. We have a decent football team and a Maritime Museum as well,” replied the driver, “What did you say you do?”

“I didn’t say,” Maui plainly stated.

Talon quickly looked at Maui and answered the cabby’s question. “We are…well, he is an archeologist studying ancient ruins. We are headed to Ireland to look at some of the stone structures. I’m his intern trying to gain a little bit of experience before I go on an exchange program next year for school.”

Talon lifted his hand to Maui in a motion to calm down just below the backseat and out of view of the driver.

“Archeologist, eh?” said the cabby skeptically, “If you don’t mind me sayin’, you don’t look like a scholarly fellow, well with all the marks on your face.”

Maui intensified his gaze and drew in a deep breath to calm himself. The pungent smell of fresh tobacco and coffee wafted through the cab with undertones of male sweat.

“While some may appreciate your obvious comfort with vocalizing your opinion, I for one do not! You’ve forgotten that I didn’t ask nor do I care what your observations of my artistic choices may be,” Maui said.

The driver did not meet the cold stare waiting for him in the rearview mirror but kept his eyes on the road ahead. The remainder of the drive was uncomfortably quiet, aside from the slight sounds of a sports broadcaster reporting an English football game, in which Manchester United was winning.

The cab ride seemed to drag on and was taking them through a series of sharp turns and detours.

“Excuse me sir?” asked Talon, “How far are we from the pier?”
“Not at all far…we’re nearly there,” replied the driver.

The car entered a slender tunnel and came through the other side into an abandoned parking lot. The driver stopped the car and let the motor idle while he sat quietly in the front.

“What’s this place?” asked Maui as he looked at the desolate backdrop of buildings with broken windows and boarded up doorways.

The driver opened his door and got out of the vehicle.

“Stay here!” whispered Maui. He carefully opened his door and followed the cabby.

“Don’t come any closer mate or she’ll kill the boy,” sneered the cabby.

Maui quickly turned and saw a woman standing on the other side of the car pointing a gun directly at Talon.

“You’re making a big mistake! Call her off or you both end up hurt. Tell her to drop the gun. This is your first and last warning,” Maui offered.
The driver laughed aloud and walked to the trunk of the car. He opened the back and began rifling through the suitcases. “There’s nothin’ here but clothes and ole’ books! I thought you said they’d be loaded!” the driver yelled.

Maui turned to look at the woman who had not taken her eyes off Talon.

“Hey! I’m talkin’ to you! What’s the matter?” asked the cabby to the woman.

The lady stood as still as stone. Talon stared straight into her eyes and was motionless as well. Maui had inched closer to the driver and had approached within a few feet without being noticed. He reached out and quickly wrestled the cabby to the black top. The woman was startled by the commotion and gasped aloud. The gun was torn from her hands out of thin air. Talon had
used his telekinesis to retrieve the pistol from her grip. In an instant, he was out of the cab and running after the woman. It didn’t take long to catch her and he whipped her around to face him.

“What do you want with us? What kind of set up is this?” Talon asked.

“Don’t take offense to it sweetie,” the woman said demurely. “We run scams on tourists all the time. This just wasn’t our day. You can’t be angry with me for trying to make a living can you?”

“Ever try making an honest living?” asked Talon sarcastically.
He eased his grip on her arms and turned to yell at Maui, but she slipped out of his grasp and started to run again. Talon took a large step with his long legs and grabbed her hand to yank her back.

“Whoa! Where do you think you’re going?” Talon said.

A look of sheer horror swept over her face as she looked down at Talon’s left hand. She was staring at the scar on his palm that was left by the branded scald from his sword.

The day his brother disappeared and just before the battle between Maradati’s army began, Talon and Gage discovered an old chest filled with family journals and antique weapons. The boys had accidentally come across missing heirlooms and a piece to their mysterious family puzzle. While Gage read the journals, Talon had picked up one of the mystical swords and was immediately branded with his family crest on his palm after repeating one of the passages from the books. Gage had also received the same scar and both were instantly bonded to the two swords for life. Talon now bore the flesh colored scar on the inside of his hand.

“You bear the crest,” she whispered with wide eyes of disbelief.
Talon glanced down at his hand and back to the woman. “How do you know about this?” he asked as he squeezed her wrist.

The woman vanished in the blink of an eye and Talon grabbed at the air clumsily. He turned in a complete circle and looked around for the woman. Far across the empty lot she reappeared, made eye contact with Talon and then she was gone again.

CHARACTER INTERVIEW

Today I am pleased to chat with twin brothers, Talon and Gage. Both share the limelight in Kate Fuentes new series called Elements.  So let's get started. Ok?
Question #1: Tell us about your family: 
The twin brothers laugh together, then point to one another. “He should go first,” they respond simultaneously. 
“Okay, I will go first,” Talon responds. 
“I’m the youngest twin and the best looking,” he chuckles then shoves his elbow into his brother’s side. “Obviously you can see we are fraternal twins, not identical, and our personalities are on opposite ends of the spectrum. My brother Gage is slow and dimwitted while I carry the family intelligence…I’m kidding, just trying to get underneath my brother’s skin. All joking aside, Gage has a calm personality and is extremely clever. I tend to be high energy and I like to do practical jokes. We were born in America, but grew up in New Zealand and have a very unique family circle. Our father, Gable, is a single dad but had some help from our sassy nanny Leia in raising us. We were also lucky enough to have a mentor slash bodyguard who we fondly regard as our Uncle Maui. You might be asking yourselves why we need a bodyguard, but as I stated before, our family is…unique. We have a relatively simple lifestyle and stay to ourselves on the ranch most days. There is an occasional visitor from time to time, sometimes they are well received, other times not so much.” Talon finishes with a sly smile. 
Question #2: Scariest moment of your life?

The brothers pause momentarily and Gage begins to speak. “I’d have to say the day I was separated from my brother and taken to a strange place where I did not know a soul. I was alone, scared, and unsure how I was going to get back.” 
Interviewer: Do you remember that day Talon? 
“I don’t like to talk about that part of my life. It was a dark and depressing time.  I’d rather discuss something else if you don’t mind.” 
Question #3: What do you do to unwind or relax? 
“Part of our daily life includes physical training and stamina exercises where we learn several combat techniques and the history behind the acts. This is probably the area in which we differ from other teens our age, but for me personally, this is a great part of my day that helps me to release any tension I had built up or stress I may have been carrying. I also like to dabble with my…um…abilities, that tends to relax my nerves as well,” finished Gage. 
“I like to ride horses and throw sharp objects at straw targets. I also like to catch things on fire…in a good way,” replies Talon as he laughs at the interviewer’s facial expression. 
Question #4: What one word best describes you? 
“Loyal,” Talon replies.
“Honest,” Gage says. 
Question #5: What is your favorite meal? 
“I have to tell you, I’m more of a junk food eater most of the time. I have a terrible sweet tooth and try to stay away from anything good for me. Leia, the family nanny I mentioned before, tries to get me to eat things that are good for me, but I try and steer clear of that mess if I can help it. I have to say barbeque ribs, hands down!” Talon says confidently. 
“I’m more of a health fanatic and I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, I stick to mostly poultry and fish meals with occasional lapses with carbs. On rare instances, I have been known to eat chili cheese dogs or I ask Leia to make me a turkey cheeseburger meatloaf with bacon pieces. Talk about heaven!” replies Gage. 
Question #6: Do your friends think you’re an introvert or an extrovert? 
Gage answers, “We live a quiet, secluded lifestyle. We are homeschooled and don’t have a lot of friends that come out to the ranch. We mostly just hang out with each other,” as he points to his brother. 
“He’s definitely an introvert,” Talon responds, “I’m the extrovert!”

Question #7: What would we find under your bed? 
“A worn-out suitcase, probably a couple of mis-matched socks, an old wrestling poster, and an empty bottled water container,” Gage answered. 
“Let see…an entire world of dust and debris, not to mention some questionable substances of unknown origin from late night snacks that have dropped under there. I wouldn’t recommend venturing into that danger zone,” Talon says. 
Final question #8: What are you passionate about these days?

Both young men answer simultaneously once again, “Family!” They look at each other and laugh aloud. 
Talon responds, “I’m just happy to be able to be with my family every day and have a good time learning to become better at harnessing my specific skills without going into an internal meltdown…literally. It’s not easy having a superpower built up inside of you itching to get out every time you blink your eyes. It can be exhausting!”  
“I’m eager to learn all I can, about anything I can. I love to learn about history and different areas of martial arts. As my brother and I stated, family is a big part of our lives. We have a great life and we have a good time just being us!” Gage replies with a smile. 
You’ve just been introduced to Gage and Talon Thorn, characters from the young adult fantasy book series, Elements. The novels follow the lives and experiences of fraternal twin brothers born from an ancient prophecy with extraordinary elemental powers. They learn to harness their special gifts while trying to live a normal life. An evil emperor seeks out the young brothers to annihilate them and crush the so called prophecy from becoming reality. The emperor wants nothing more than to destroy humanity and take the Earth realm for his own. Gage and Talon must control their mystical powers and try to stop the dark force from dominating the world. On their journey, the brothers discover there are portals to unknown dimensions hidden in remote locations, and they have to find a way to keep the wicked king locked out of their world or risk losing everything.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR


My name is Kate Fuentes, author of a young adult fantasy series called Elements. I modeled the characters after my two sons and created the fantasy realm as a story to read to my children at night. I'm fascinated at the enormity of endless imagination that we humans are capable of having, and enjoy being able to write fiction for others to appreciate as well. 

My series includes: Book one, Elements: The Beginning, released in April 2011 and Book two, Elements: Veil of Darkness, released in December 2011. Book three, Elements: Kingdom of Aqueous is scheduled to release in the spring of 2012. I plan to continue the installments and have not decided how many books will complete the series.

I attended college in Arizona and transferred to California where I finished my studies in business marketing and advertising while progressively composing short stories in the foreground. I am quite passionate about writing but also enjoy helping those that are underprivileged, forgotten, and oppressed by working in a global reach department during the week in the hopes that I may bring attention to the causes which will, in effect, inspire others to volunteer or champion for those less fortunate locally and around the world. 

I like to meet other people from diverse cultures and backgrounds and hope to one day travel to various locations and countries to volunteer in different areas where I'm needed. 

I am happily married to my junior high sweetheart and we have two glorious children. We appreciate our time spent with one another and always make sure we set aside a day for family fun night. 

I enjoy family game night, playing competitive sports, sarcasm and snark, photography, and I love to travel. I have a STRONG appreciation (not obsession: wink, wink) for shoes and have justified the number I've obtained as 'collector items' to my understanding and patient husband. Many of my closest friends don't know I secretly enjoy reading a dictionary and thesaurus for fun (now they do...) and I would play trivia every night of the week if I could. I LOVE JEOPARDY! 


To order theElements books, visit the webpage at www.katefuentes.com. Book one, Elements: The Beginning. Book Two, Elements: Veil of Darkness.
To contact the author, Kate Fuentes, visit the following social media sites:



Elements: The Beginning, Book One

                                 AMAZON  BARNES&NOBLE  GOODREADS  SMASHWORDS


Elements: Veil of Darkness, Book Two  

                               AMAZON  BARNES&NOBLE  GOODREADS  SMASHWORDS


EXCERPT
Elements: The Beginning
Chapter 8
Choose Wisely

As the sun began it’s decent to rest peacefully through the night, it sent vibrant shades of rose, orange and yellow backlit by a hue of purple sky before the night took hold of the evening. Maui had started a small fire for the group to sit around. Bats were darting through the yard before going out to hunt their prey. The birds no longer monopolized the forest canopy with their incessant chirping but slept quietly in their nests. Occasionally a set of glistening eyes could be seen on the outskirts of the yard enlightened by the glow of the fire. The slight rustling sounds from the nocturnal animals began as their nightly rituals commenced.



Teek began with a series of questions directed at Maui regarding the special gifts each boy had and the regimen of training they were receiving. He was pleased to hear how Maui had been training the twins with Maori traditions and weaponry. Maui briefly told Teek about the dream and what had happened to the boys when they were younger so he could have the entire background of the twins’ life.
"They must prepare to undertake their spiritual training now," said Teek.
"Do you think they are strong enough to begin that type of mental regiment at their age?" asked Maui.
"Their inner strength is powerful. I can feel the enchantment of their spirit with my own. I have never felt this type of magnetic pull from anything in all my years. There is a low surge of energy and power simmering within them both. The force lies dormant because they have not awakened it to its full potential. Their age has nothing to do with what they are capable of accomplishing."
Teek pointed to the twins "You have only scratched the surface of your capabilities. Your skills and talents can be polished to become a magnificent force, but only if you take full responsibility to use your gifts for the purpose of good. Your gifts are to be used to conquer evil and the dark spirits encircling our dimension, not to be tampered or played around with. God would not have blessed you with such powers if he did not expect your loyalty in return."
Teek motioned toward a small box that he had brought with him and asked Maui to pour out the contents on top of a tree stump sitting by the fire. Four rocks toppled out of the box of different sizes and textures. The fire leapt upward in a roaring motion and made a hissing sound when the stones hit the surface of the stump. Both boys jumped and looked wide eyed at Teek.
"Our people have had these crystals for many, many years. It has been said they were a gift from above to protect us from the dark one. No one has ever been able to awaken the stones. Our
elders have passed down the story of the stones from generation to generation with the oath to keep them hidden and safe until the prophecy comes true."
" What prophecy?" asked Gage.
"Our ancestors have been telling the tale of two brothers who will come in the year of many storms. Tsunami’s, hurricanes, torrential rain and flooding began to inflict the earth thirteen years ago. The storms devastated many countries and brought havoc to people throughout the world. It was during this time the elders looked back into our archives to see if the prophecy could be coming true. Not long after, I received a letter from Maui concerning brothers, twins, who had special gifts visiting from America. I have been following your progress and have been waiting patiently for our time to meet. I do not think your appearance in New Zealand is a coincidence. It’s time now to see if you are indeed the brothers that our prophecy speaks of," said Teek.
"Gage, please come forward and choose a stone."
Gage looked over the rough cut stones that appeared to be black diamonds. They had a smoky outer layer with a blackened core. Gage held the first stone in his hand and felt a strange pull from his chest like a taut wire had been plucked. The gem felt a tiny bit warm, but then the heat left as quickly as it came and so did the pull. Gage replaced the stone and picked up the smaller one next to it.
The rock had a smooth surface similar to a river rock. The color was slightly different than the others but not at first glance. As Gage moved the gem between his hands the rock began to vibrate and coolness seeped through the rock immediately to his hands, arms and chest. His body felt weightless like he was floating. Gage looked down automatically to see if he was still on the ground. His heart began to beat irregularly. There was a strange sound that filled his ears. He could hear the call of the ocean waves just like when you hold a shell to your ear. An overwhelming calm and peacefulness flooded over him. He no longer felt the rock in his hands but through his entire being.
The others had been watching his reaction patiently and curiously. A few moments had passed and Gage began to tell everyone what had just transpired. He was moving the gem effortlessly across the top of his fingers as he spoke. From his index, to the middle finger, over his ring finger, to his pinky then brought the rock in his palm and started all over again.
"You have found your kindred element. Water is a part of you and can be willed to do what you ask of it," Teek said.
"Keep the gem close to you at all times. You will soon learn to understand how your mind and body cooperate with the spirit world of water."
"That explains why I could breathe in my dream when I touched the water. It revived me. I could feel its power ripple through my veins then the sensation of air filled my lungs. Amazing!" Gage said as he held the stone.
Teek turned slightly toward his right so his profile could be seen by Talon.
"Talon, you must now choose. Let your mind relax and welcome into your heart your destiny."
Talon looked over at his brother and then to the gem in Gage’s hand. He rose slowly from his seat and waved his hand across the rocks. The stones began to tremble and move as Talon’s hand came closer. He could feel the heat from the object as if it had been sitting inside a fire pit. Talon was not afraid to grab the rock and grasped the stone in his hand. He winced automatically thinking the rock was going to burn him. Surprising, he looked down to see the gem did not scald him, in fact he felt nothing but the weight of the rock in his palm. The texture was porous and light. The center began to change color to a vibrant red and appeared to be moving inside the center of the stone in a swirling motion. The fire began to rise from the fire pit in small blasts like a furnace. Sweat began to bead his arms and face. Steam was rising from the hand that held the stone. Gage took hold of his brother’s arm only to quickly let go again.
"Ouch! You’re burning up!" Gage yelled.
"I feel fine other than a strange tingling sensation over my skin," said Talon easily.
"Your spirit is fire. It is a difficult element, not to be taken lightly. You must learn to be patient and accept the fire into your heart. Do not push when you feel your fire spirit pull," said Teek.
"When I placed my hand above Talon’s rock before, I could feel a strange pull but then it disappeared. Why would I be able to feel his spirit element?" asked Gage.
"You are bonded as brothers, but even more so because you are twins. You share a unique connection and sometimes that link will cause a temporary exchange or shift in the feeling of your own element, but I don’t think you are able to harness each other’s abilities. From this point on, it’s all new territory for every one of us. We haven’t experienced the magnitude of your powers and we must all learn as we go."
"We have a long and treacherous road ahead of us now. You have many things to learn about the spirit world. We will be opening portals to places you have only heard about in legends. Caution will have to be our first priority. There are numerous evils who will be curious about your gifts and now that we have awakened your spiritual elements, you will not be easily hidden from danger any longer. Tomorrow I will seek the protection and prayer from the other elders over us all. It will be wise to dig deep into the history and heritage of your background. Your ancestral lines will have much knowledge about your special abilities. The type of gifts you have does not magically appear, years of proper lineage and distinct bloodlines have been protected to produce an impenetrable and unstoppable force. A force that could be used as a weapon for humanity. We have come to the point of no return."
"So basically what you are telling us is that we are comparable to a titanium lined nuclear bomb filled with mass destruction that can obliterate the entire universe?" Gage said sarcastically.
"Don’t forget about the greedy, scum sucking demon who would like nothing more than to crush our handsome little skulls with his decrepit hand of doom, along with his revenge seeking son with a score to settle with the Thorn brothers," Talon said with a smile.
"Yeah, that too," Gage retorted.
To order

Elements: The Beginning in ebook form go to www.katefuentes.com or any online resources. Choose ISBN # 9780985280215







Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Morning Afterlife by Sonnet O'Dell : Review

The Morning Afterlife
If remembering could bring about the end of everything, would you still try?

Karrin wakes up on the side of the road with selective memory loss; she knows her name and age but nothing more about herself. She walks the highway back to a town to find all but a few people have disappeared and that there are strange but beautiful beings hunting them down. It seems to her that some great apocalyptic event happened but she just doesn't remember it.

Karrin however is in more danger than she realizes as someone in her new group of friends is more deadly to her than those hunting them down. When she finds one of them, a young man roughly her own age named Gabe injured, she goes against all she's been told and helps him. Gabe in return wants to help her, help her to remember. Karrin's memories, however, could put her in even more danger and bring an end to everything she now holds dear.





 
MY REVIEW
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This short novella tells the story of a young woman who wakes up disorientated and with amnesia, alongside a road. She remembers her name, but everything else is lost to her. Walking down the road, she comes to a town that seems somewhat familiar to her and meets a small group of people in the otherwise deserted town. The group takes her in, warning her to be careful because there is another mysterious group whose aim seems to be to kidnap vulnerable, careless survivors.



This is a haunting, beautifully rendered tale that throws a solid punch at the end. I wish it had been longer and fleshed out with more character back story, but that is just because Sonnet never fails to amaze me with her creativity and imaginative subject matter. I did not want the adventure to be over. Pick up this bittersweet story and discover for yourself Sonnet’s gift of fluid prose.



Reviewed by Laurie-J
Night Owl Reviews


View all my reviews

Monday, February 27, 2012

A White So Red by Krystal Jones : Sneak Peek

A White So Red, a gothic retelling of Snow White




Download soon for free (limited time)
Take back what is yours.
Seventeen-year-old Snow’s life changed forever the night her stepmother, the Queen, sent her huntsman to cut out her heart. Fleeing for her life, Snow runs to the Silver Forest, a place as dangerous as it is enchanting, and begins an adventure she could never have dreamed.
With no one at her side but a rowdy band of carnivorous dwarves and an arrogant, rogue prince who’s too handsome for his own good, Snow must confront the challenge that’s been laid before her: Kill the Queen, and take back the kingdom that should have been hers.
But if she is to succeed, Snow will have to tap into a powerful, ancient form of magic, one that may have been sleeping inside her all along.
A White So Red is a dark, sexy retelling of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
Sign up for Krystal's free email newsletter to be notified when this title becomes available for download.


INTERVIEW



What are the most important attributes for remaining sane as a writer?



 1) Get organized and stay organized. There is SO much that goes into the writing and marketing process, it's easy to lose track of everything, especially if you're juggling a day job and a family on the side. I have two separate planners, one for my daily writing goals and the other for "everything else." At the start of each week, I'll write in each day's goals, and review them each night before I go to bed so a plan is fresh in my mind the next morning.

2) Be patient. You can't move an entire mountain, rather go at it one shovelful at a time. One of my teachers told me that on a day I was feeling particularly gloomy because I didn't think I was making enough progress. It takes time to be successful. Somedays, it will feel like it's not really going anywhere, and you ask yourself, "Why am I doing this again?" Just be patient, work steadily and smartly, and realize that someday it will all come together and you'll marvel at just how much you've accomplished.

 3) Don't let the doubters get you down. This goes for your inner critic. It's true, we really can be our own worst enemies, especially when facing a lot of opposition to a dream. Just keep at it. A lot of times when someone tells you something can't be done or it's impractical, they're only saying so because they've never attempted what you're trying to do, rather they're going off of heresay. People don't take risks because they're scared. Be fearless and follow your dreams.



What group did you hang out with in high school?



I was actually always a bit of a loner, a quality that stuck with me through college. I was also shy, though I've grown bolder over the years. I don't want to say I was an outcast, exactly, but I didn't really fit in with one particular group of people. My small cluster of friends shared that quality with me. I've never been afraid to be by myself. I've always had a very active imagination, preferring to spend time in story worlds rather than my own reality, and I think that offset some people from wanting to get to know me better.



What would you consider to be the best book you have ever read?



Honestly, probably Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner. Admittedly, I picked it up from the Adult Fantasy section solely for the gorgeous cover (and the fact it was cheap). The story is based on a 13th century ballad, and Kushner's voice reflects that time period. It's elegant, otherwordly, what my grandmother would call "old timey." The voicing took me a few chapters to adjust to, but the lyricism of her tale is absolutely gorgeous. You get this rich, fantasy world that I haven't been able to find in many other novels. I think sometimes authors get so worked up in trying to make the writing sound "pretty" that they forget to actually tell a story, or the story's so cut and dry, there's really no voicing. This book blends both together perfectly, making for an extraordinary reading experience. No wonder it won the World Fantasy Award!



Where do you dream of traveling to and why?



I would love to visit Scotland and see all the old castles and churches. My family has some Scottish ancestry, too, so it would be neat to see the remains of my old clan's castles. I'd also like to visit Venice and Milan, for their musical history. Athens is another place I'd love to visit, for its history (I love Greek mythology, so it'd be cool to visit its birthplace). For America, New York City is at the top of my list solely for the purpose of seeing Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.



When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?



I like to write of a morning, when my mind is fresh and I'm not stressed out. The ideas seem to flow better. I try to write at least 1,000 words per day, which generally takes me little over an hour to accomplish, depending on if I have an outline or not.



What do you think makes a good story?



Everyone will have a different opinion on what a good book is. Some people I know loved books I hated. For me, a good book is having two main ingredients: 1) rich characters; and 2) a fully realized world for them to inhabit. When I read, I want to be completely transported, to forget about real life. I want to be so attached to the people in the books that I won't want to leave them behind. I've always been attracted to "milleau" stories, or books with a large, fascinating world for you to explore. I think that's why I enjoy Clare's Mortal Instruments, Kagawa's Iron Fey, and Rowling's Harry Potter books so much. It's not "here."



ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

Krystle Jones was born and raised in the small, southern town of Tullahoma, Tennessee. Reading and writing have been lifelong passions of hers. In addition to being a novelist, she is also an award-winning flutist, and moonlights as a voice actress. Her voice can be heard in the popular online game, Alice is Dead 3.


Read more about Krystal Here.

Connect with Krystal:

website  |   blog  |  Goodreads  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  email
 
THANKS FOR LOOKING!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Love's Eternal Embrace by Karen Michelle Nutt : Review

Love's Eternal Embrace
Her direct look set his blood coursing through his veins, hot with lust. Wed her or ravish her seemed to be one and the same as his thoughts pictured her in his bed and beneath him.

As if she could read his mind, her full red lips curved. "You look like a strong and able man."

Her gaze traveled the length of him in appreciation. It was too bold a gaze for a woman who was untried. Liam was pleased rather than not. Someone should know what they were doing in the marriage bed. The church may condemn such pleasures of the body, believing bedding a woman should be left for child bearing, but he didn't believe it for a moment that the maker of man would not want his creations to enjoy each other. Why bestow the magic of touch if they were not meant to reap the rewards. Nay, his God gave man a special gift. The sin was only in the act of abusing it.

His gaze traveled over her, admiring her curves, the smooth porcelain color of her skin. This woman was meant for pleasure, giving and taking. He must convince her to be his.

My Review 
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Sir Liam Cantwell and his squire take respite from their long journey in a small, remote hamlet. While supping in the common room of an inn, the knight is warned to beware the nearby forest, because a demon resides there.

Glamis Drui is cursed. Keeping to herself in the dark forest, she longs for companionship, but it seems she is doomed to her solitary life. Men foolish enough to trespass on her domain rarely escape her ravenous clutches.

When Sir Liam encounters the beautiful enchantress he is overcome with desire for her and a need to protect the lovely maiden. Even though her eyes glow strangely red at times, he never fears her, for he has faced death many times before. She, in turn, is drawn to his purity and fearlessness. The story artfully weaves the tale of their sensuous attraction, while each of their pasts is slowly revealed. Happiness seems assured until Liam’s brother arrives with unexpected and unwelcome tidings.

I love the dark, gothic tone that complements the overall story so well. There is a mystical feel to the sensual encounters between Liam and Glamis that is poetic and inspiring. Occasionally, while reading, I encountered a few awkwardly constructed sentences, but I think that was, most likely, the author’s intent, given the medieval setting. More unsettling, for me, was the overuse of the word “strands”. Many appropriate synonyms could have been substituted to describe Glamis’s rich, lustrous hair, without sacrificing any of the tale’s tender beauty. I enjoyed this story; the gothic elements combined with the sweetly sensual, forbidden romance make this an engaging read.

Laurie
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More
 



View all my reviews

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Blood Avenged by Gabrielle Bisset : Interview



                             Sons of Navarus Book 1
I am everything you desire. I am vampire.

Powerful and manipulative, Vasilije does as he pleases. A vampire beholden to no one, he takes what he desires, drinking deeply the pleasures this life has to offer.

When one of his own is staked, Vasilije must travel to New Orleans to exact his revenge. There he meets Sasa, a beautiful woman who arouses him like no other has for centuries. Vasilije’s need for vengeance is equaled only by his passion for her, but what he finds in his revenge is just the beginning...

Novel length book
Adult sexual situations and language


  Kindle  |  Nook

INTERVIEW

Where do you dream of traveling to and why?

I'd love to travel throughout Europe.  My son and I are talking about taking a trip next year to England, France, Italy, Spain, and Morocco.  I have had a love affair with Europe ever since I was a child.  When I was in my 20s, I moved to Germany with my first husband.  It was so beautiful there.  For me, as a history teacher, Europe has such a rich history.  Not surprisingly, many of my stories are set, at least in part, in Europe. 


Tell us about your current release.

My current release is Blood Avenged.  It's the first book in the Sons of Navarus series.  The main character, Vasilije, is 400 year old vampire who is a complete hedonist.  The world is his oyster.  When one of his favorite vampires is staked in New Orleans, Vasilije travels there to exact his revenge and meets Sasa, a woman who enchants him more than any woman for centuries.  As they unravel the mystery around who killed his vampire, Vasilije and Sasa come to realize that his death was just the beginning of what will change the vampire world forever.

I was lucky enough to travel to New Orleans last Halloween and do firsthand research on the settings in the book.  It was tremendous fun to do on-site research for one of my books, and hopefully I'll get to do it again.

Tell us about your next release.



My next book is the second book in the Sons of Navarus series, Blood Betrayed.  The main character, Saint, is a relatively young vampire, only turned on the battlefield during the First World War. Nicknamed Saint because he won't sleep with any of his vampires, he's haunted by the loss of the woman he loved just after being made vampire, a woman named Solenne.  With the changes in the vampire world, he's been marked for death, and only Solenne can help keep him safe.  But that can only happen if he can finally get over the past and trust her again.


This book is set in southeastern France, a beautiful region that lends itself to the themes of the book.


When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?

Because I work during the day, I write at night after I get home.  I measure my writing by pages since I write everything longhand first, so I keep myself to the pace of writing at least four pages every day. Sometimes that takes an hour or two, but sometimes it takes four or six hours.  Those longer stretches usually leave me pretty exhausted the next day!

What do you think makes a good story?

No matter what genre, a good story has to engage the reader.  In that I don't mean a hook.  Far too often, I see others using gimmicks to get readers to want the book.  That may get them to buy it, but they won't like it.  Gimmicks don't work.  What does is a plot that is interesting, characters the reader can love or hate, and a conflict that keeps the reader wanting more. Above all else, a fiction author must give the reader a reason (or several) to not put down their book. The writing must be good, of course, but without a great plot, conflict, and characters, it doesn't matter how good the writing is.


Plotter or Pantser? Why?

I am a committed plotter.  For me, writing must be logically organized if I'm to produce anything that makes any sense.  I did try the panster idea once, but it made a mess out of my story.  I require order to make sure that everything turns out well.  I outline the entire story beforehand, often taking weeks to do, but once I begin writing, it flows very well. 

What books have most influenced your life?

I loved reading as a child.  I read the Nancy Drew stories and loved the idea of a young woman solving mysteries.  Then I graduated to Agatha Christie mysteries, loving Hercule Poirot.  Finally, I moved on to Doyle's Sherlock Holmes mysteries.  I loved how each of these had such vivid settings and plots, so these have definitely shaped how I read and write.

Then I went to college and fell in love with the classics.  No surprise, I became an English lit major.  Shakespeare, Moliere, Twain, Wharton, and Fitzgerald all made me fall in love with reading again, this time in a different way that required me to think more.  I think all these books have influenced me in ways I probably can't even imagine, but I suspect the influence comes out in my writing.


If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?

Currently, I'm in the middle of the Sons of Navarus series.  As romances, they first and foremost are focused on the romance of the hero and heroine of each book, but the non-romantic storyline involves a power struggle in the vampire world.  The law and order vampires, greedy and manipulative beings called Archons, have begun a takeover of the vampire world to ensure their total control.  They must eliminate the Order of Macaria, made up of the most ancient and revered of all vampires, but standing in their way are the protectors of the Order, the Sons of Navarus.  They must decipher the prophecy foretelling of the Archons rise because if they don't, there will be no way to stop them from taking over the entire vampire world.


Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?

I love getting up early and getting things done before the world really comes awake, but I'm a night person by nature.  I find that I feel great early and then get a second wind right after dinner, but the time between around noon to four in the afternoon is brutal for me.  Not even energy drinks can help me then.

Are the names of the characters in your novels important?  How and why?

I had an English professor in undergraduate school who stressed how names were often keys to a character's traits, and I firmly believe that names can be quite useful in characterization, whether because of meaning or just the sound of a name.  For example, the main character in Blood Avenged is a powerful vampire sire (one who turns humans into vampires) named Vasilije.  Even if a reader doesn't know his name means "king", he or she can tell by the sound of the name that he's sensual.  The villain in Blood Avenged is a character named Tatiana.  Even though the name might not necessarily mean anything negative, just the sound of it indicates she's powerful. 

I have a baby book of names I use and a website with evil names (no kidding!) for my villains.  I take great care with names, so generally, either the meaning of the name can tell a reader something about the character or the sound of the name can. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

An avid reader of all types of books, I read my first romance even before I was a teenager. I must have been a very precocious young lady! I still remember the book, if not the title. It was about a Southern man during the years before the Civil War and his illicit affair with one of the slaves of a woman he "frequented". I remember vividly reading the word "manhood" often in the book, and the slave's name was Sukie. Isn't it amazing what the mind can remember?

Fast forward a couple dozen years and I'm a college history instructor. I still love history as much as that romantic young woman did, so I teach it to college students, and the romantic streak has never gone away. Now I get to do things that have to do with my other favorite love: romance novels.

The idea for my first book came to me in a dream. I know that seems almost cliched, but it did. I woke up one morning after having an extremely vivid dream and began to jot things down that I was able to remember. Days later, I had the first pages written and the ideas that I had dreamed about had become the characters in my first book.   READ ON

Gabrielle

Romance...from sensual to decadent...whatever your desires

Website:
Gabrielle Bisset
Blog: Gabrielle Bisset: A Writer's Blog

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My books:
Blood Avenged-Available now
Blood Betrayed-Coming this spring!
The Victorian Erotic Romance Trilogy
Destiny Redeemed
THANKS FOR LOOKING!