Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Interview with fantasy author Joshua K. Johnson

I’m chatting with fantasy author Joshua K. Johnson today about his novels, The Cerberus Rebellion and The Hydra Offensive

As he does a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, Joshua will be awarding an e-book containing short stories set in the same world as the series, The Chesian Wars, to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!

Joshua Johnson is the author of "Gunpowder Fantasy" The Cerberus Rebellion and the creator of the Griffins & Gunpowder universe. When he isn't working or spending time with his family, he writes novels, short stories and novellas.

He currently lives in Northern Illinois with his wife and young children.

Welcome, Joshua. Please tell us about your current release.
The Hydra Offensive is the second book in this series, continuing the story of the nobles of western Ansgar rebelling against their king. It follows several characters as they do their best to help (or in the case of one character, hinder) the rebellion.

What inspired you to write this book?
The whole story idea sprang from a short blurb I wrote a couple of years ago. It was originally a steampunk/futuristic story that morphed into the Gunpowder Fantasy setting I've built.

Excerpt from The Ansgari Rebellion Series:
Magnus reined up his horse in front of the largest tent pavilion he had ever seen.

“And whose tent is this?” The gaudy purple canvas tent structure stood twenty feet at the center pole, at least twelve at the edge and was more than a hundred feet on each side.

“Your Grace, it is mine!” a short man announced and then bowed. “Sir Byron Alfson, of Harristown.”

“Ah, sir, you have me at a disadvantage.”

Magnus inspected the knight with narrowed eyes.

He had a mop of frail-looking brown hair tied into a short ponytail and a narrow nose that was flanked by light blue eyes. He wore a greatcoat that looked like it had been cut from the same fabric as his tent.

Harristown was one of the small villages that had sprouted up along the rail lines that ran from Agilard to Aetheston. The strange grape beer that had made the town famous gave its color to everything the town did. They had even changed their sigil to a purple field with a golden mug.

“This is quite the pavilion,” Magnus continued after a moment. “I didn’t know that the grape beer business had so much money to be made.”

“We do our best, Your Grace,” the knight said. “I hope my pavilion does not offend you, Your Grace. While it is my tent, I have shared it with many of the knights from Lord Tallet’s levies.”

“It does not offend,” Magnus lied. If he had his way, the knights would be sleeping in camp tents with the rest of his soldiers. But his advisors had warned him that not giving the knights and lesser lords their symbols of pride and authority could drive them away. He had been reluctant to accept the counsel, but in the end the tradition of tent pavilions and knightly feasts had been upheld. “Carry on, Sir Alfson.”

“Thank you, Your Grace.” The knight bowed again and disappeared into his purple monstrosity.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I'm currently working on two novels set in this same world. Book 3 of this series is underway and I'm also writing a standalone novel set on the other side of the world and approaching a completely different type of conflict.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I sat down with the intention of putting The Cerberus Rebellion out there for people to read.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I don't write full-time as of right now. I'm currently working 2 jobs and finishing up my BA in English. I've got 2 kids and a sister that lives with me so you can imagine finding time to write is very difficult. I have a couple of times each week that I have set aside for writing (usually on the weekends after the kids are in bed) and I also try to squeeze in some writing whenever I don't have papers to write.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Rock covers of older songs are a wealth of inspiration for me. I have 5 or 6 different story lines that have developed just from listening to these songs.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I've really always wanted to be a writer. I started at the age of 12, scribbling stories in notebooks that are currently piled up in my basement storage room.


Both books are on sale for $.99 during the VBT. 

Thanks, Joshua!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Introduction to Christian fiction author Terri Haynes

Today is a quick introduction to Christian fiction novelist Terri Haynes today.

As she does an introductory virtual tour with Write Now Literary, Terri will be giving away one (1) autographed copy of her novel Captured plus a magnet and a bookmark. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too! The contest ends Oct 9 at midnight.

A little bit about Captured:
FBI agent Will Anderson is working his last human trafficking case before he leaves his painful past. Social activist Savannah Elliott thinks she has escaped hers by helping human trafficking victims regain their freedom. When a case unites them, can they overcome their scars and find love.

Author bio:
Terri J. Haynes, a native Baltimorean, is a homeschool mom, writer, prolific knitter, freelance graphic artist and former Army wife (left the Army, not the husband). She loves to read, so much that when she was in elementary school, she masterminded a plan to be locked in a public library armed with only a flashlight to read all the books and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. As she grew, her love for writing grew as she tried her hand at poetry, articles, speeches and fiction. She is storyteller at heart. Her passion is to draw readers in the story world she has created and to bring laughter and joy to their lives.

Terri is a 2010 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis contest finalist, and a 2012 semi-finalist. She is also a 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarterfinalist. Her publishing credits include Cup of Comfort for Military Families,, the Secret Place Devotional,, Vista Devotional, and Publisher’s Weekly.

Terri holds a Bachelor's Degree in Theology, a Master's degree in Theological Studies and a certificate in creative writing and graphic design, meeting the minimal requirements of being a geek. She and her husband pastor a church where she serves as executive pastor and worship leader. Terri lives in Maryland with her three wonderful children and her husband, who often beg her not to kill of their favorite characters.

Social links:

Buy links for Captured:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author Terri J. Haynes and is hosted and managed by Paulette from Write Now Literary Book Tours. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send an email to Paulette @

Monday, September 28, 2015

Special excerpt from YA/MG novel The Blue Dragon

Welcome to a new week, readers. I’m kicking it off with a special excerpt from the young adult/middle grade novel The Blue Dragon, by Yiola Damianou-Papadopoulou.

As Yiola does a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, she will be awarding a lucky randomly drawn winner with a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Author bio:
Yiola Damianou-Papadopoulou was born in Nicosia and spent her childhood in the Congo and Nigeria. She studied Journalism in Athens and has worked with a number of radio stations, magazines and newspapers in Cyprus. She has published short stories for adults as well as novels. She has also written children’s and young adult fiction.

A little bit about The Blue Dragon:
The Blue Dragon describes the terror of the catastrophic tsunami that hit Sri Lanka in December 2004. The novel focuses on a group of children—Hanseni, and her siblings Awade and Manori, and their friend Nishian—their individual experiences, and how they managed to pull through this horrendous event. Overcoming their fears the children struggle against the forces of nature, fighting against the odds to save themselves and their friends. Their stories portray courage and hope, and demonstrate the inner strength and determination that exists in the human spirit when faced with an unforgiving natural disaster. This emotive and heartfelt story shows how even, in the most terrifying of circumstances, the will to live triumphs.

Excerpt from The Blue Dragon:

Chapter 5: An Excursion
The coach was making its way, belching black exhaust. It went slowly, making short stops so that the children could admire the beautiful scenery along the way. No one was in any great hurry. They went through green tea and coffee plantations; through tiny villages where the inhabitants, barely awake, were setting off to their jobs. The children, in a fever of enthusiasm with their new found sense of adventure, excitedly danced and sang on the bus. Such excursions were rare. Without their families, they were going to experience a new freedom that would last two days!


Buy links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 25, 2015

Interview with noir author Francis H. Powell

The spotlight shines on the noir short story collection called Flight of Destiny by Francis H. Powell today.

What better way to put all my angst into short stories. Born in a commuter belt city called Reading and like many a middle or upper class child of such times I was shunted off to an all-male boarding school aged eight, away from my parents for periods of up to twelve weeks at a time, until I was 17. While at my first Art college through a friend I met a writer called Rupert Thomson, who was at the time in the process of writing his first book “Dreams of leaving”. He was a bit older than myself, me being fresh out of school, but his personality and wit resonated, despite losing contact with him.  I had a stint living in Austria,  where I began writing.  It wasn’t until I moved to Paris, that my writing began to truly evolve.  I discovered a  magazine called  Rat Mort (dead rat) I sent off a short story, in the hope it would match the seemingly dark world the magazine seemed to embroiled in. I got no answer. Not put off I sent two more stories. Finally I got an answer. It seemed the magazine editor was a busy man, a man prone to travelling. It seemed my first story really hit the right note with him. His name was Alan Clark.  I began writing more and more short stories, some published on the internet. A bit later my anthology Flight of Destiny slowly evolved,  published April 2015, by Savant publishing.

Please tell us about your current release.
My book, Flight of Destiny, is a book of 22 quirky short stories. I would say in the current climate It is an unusual book, that bucks the trend. The stories are very dark, but are mixed with an element of satire. My stories are influenced by Roald Dahl’s short stories, I read Kiss Kiss when I was a boy and the format of Dahl’s stories, with a twist at the end, stayed with me over the years. I am also an artist and there are 22 illustrations that go with the stories.

What inspired you to write this book?
I saw an advert for short stories, submitted some work, when the literary magazine Rat Mort finally published my stories, I got hooked on writing short stories and developed a style.

Excerpt from “Snatched”, a story about a man who goes out for a walk with his newborn baby and returns with an empty pram. It is a story about a parent’s worst nightmare, that get worse…

Renton Graverson arrived home with a pram which should have had a baby in it. Instead it contained a gaping void, which he should have noticed long before his hysterical wife pointed it out.

“Where’s Baby?” Nancy, his wife, shrieked.

Renton couldn't answer her. He hadn't the faintest idea. He had presumed the baby was in the pram, fast asleep, though upon further inspection, it clearly wasn't. He raced out the house and retraced his steps, repeating in his head the same words over and over like a dark mantra: Baby's been snatched. Baby's been snatched. Baby's been snatched.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I am mostly working on promotion, but hopefully there will be a follow up to Flight of Destiny

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It is quite hard to say…I am a jack of all trades…I write music…make videos…I paint…make sculptures….I write poetry…I blog…

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
As I explained with the above…I do many things…as well as being a teacher…My day begins early…with my toddler son waking me up…I try to fit in a lot into the day…When I am not teaching my focus is on promoting my book…writing articles for blogs…After my son is asleep I am able to focus on my writing…

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My stories have been described as quirky…I would say one feature of my stories is that they start with a powerful first line…

Opening excerpt from “Bugeyes”
Bug-eyes was destined to a life of toil. As his mother, Lady Harriet Lombard, remarked gruffly when holding her swaddled firstborn, "He has disproportionate eyes," adding tersely, "the child's abnormal."

Opening excerpt from Seed
Captain Spender's wife was ovulating, and her husband was, as always, off somewhere on another "top secret military mission," to which, as ever, she was neither privy to his location or the mission's significance.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Some awful things I am glad never came to fruition…I wanted to be in the army at one point…(now I am a pacifist…)

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I have a friend who seems to have adopted a “personage”…He goes under the name Lord Lupine…He very kindly agreed to do a reading from one of my short stories…Lord Lupine seems to like his sherry…and seems rather debauched…The video is very Monty Pythonesque… My stories are very British in character…So this works very well…
Here is the link…


Thanks, Francis!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Interview with romantic suspense author Tamsen Schultz

Romantic suspense author Tamsen Schultz is here today to chat with us about her new novel The Frailty of Things.

During her virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, Tamsen will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances to win, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Tamsen Schultz is the author of several romantic suspense novels and American Kin (a short story published in Line Zero Magazine). In addition to being a writer, she has a background in the field of international conflict resolution, has co-founded a non-profit, and currently works in corporate America. Like most lawyers, she spends a disproportionate amount of time thinking (and writing) about what it might be like to do something else. She lives in Northern California in a house full of males including her husband, two sons, four cats, a dog, and a gender-neutral, but well-stocked, wine rack.

Welcome, Tamsen. Please tell us about your current release.
Kit Forrester is tough, loyal, and has built a life for herself in Windsor, New York that she truly enjoys. But when she sees something someone is willing to kill for to keep quiet, she suddenly finds that life—and her burgeoning new relationship with (good) mercenary Garret Cantona— is at risk. It’s not at all fair, especially considering she didn’t even realize what she’d seen, but then again, Kit’s never been one to put much stock into what’s fair and what’s not. Together with spies, an alpha male brother with major communications issues, and her sexy mercenary, Kit must decide if bringing closure to many is worth the risk to one—and if it is, how she’ll survive.

What inspired you to write this book?
The Frailty of Things is the fourth book in the Windsor series and given that Windsor is a small town, I thought it might be time to take a break from wreaking so much havoc on the community and set one of my stories out of the area. But, since I like creating a community amongst my characters, I wanted to use someone my readers had already been introduced to. It didn’t take long to settle on Kit Forrester, the international best-selling author and former high flying society girl. Given that Kit’s past hadn’t been explored before this book, I had a freedom to combine my love of travel, arts, and international politics into a story that hops between the US and Europe and has ties to South America. It also gave me the opportunity to delve into the concept of family and betrayal in a way I hadn’t before. To make a short story long, like most of my books, I’m inspired by my own interests. I’m always asking myself “what if,” and Kit’s background, life, and circle of supporting characters gave me the chance to ask that question a lot.

Excerpt from The Frailty of Things:
Garret took a step back and crossed his arms over his chest. “This was your idea, wasn’t it? You talked to Drew?” he asked, a pit gnawing its way through his stomach.

Slowly, she inclined her head.

He locked his jaw to keep from yelling in frustration. Yes, he was upset that she and Drew had worked up this scheme without him, but what caused him even more irritation was the fact that the reality of their situation had just come crashing back down on him and the whole thing, truth be told, terrified him.

He turned toward the wood stove and knelt to add some firewood, just to give himself something to do.

“You’re angry,” Kit said, her voice soft behind him. She hadn’t moved, and for that he was grateful.

After a long moment of silence, during which he shoved a few logs into the burning stove, he let out a deep breath and answered. “At the situation, Kit,” he said, watching the fire dance around the logs, their orange and blue flames licking the new wood as if testing its suitability.

“I am too, Garret. That’s why I suggested the book signing to Drew. I want—no, I need this to end.”

And then he heard it. He heard all the stress in her voice, all the fear and anxiety that he’d recognized and dismissed as they’d been holed up in their cozy little cabin for the past five days. He couldn’t ignore it now, he couldn’t dismiss it and turn their attention to more interesting and diverting pursuits the way he’d been doing. He couldn’t try to make this better for her by forcing it under the rug.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I have a book in editing right now called, An Inarticulate Sea, and it’s the story of Carly Drummond and Drew Carmichael, both of whom are good friends of Kit’s. It’s set back in Windsor but the crime at issue happened many years before. Together with some of the regulars from the Windsor Series, they’ll have to figure out who committed that fifteen year old crime, just what it has to do with the body of a US marshal someone dumped in Windsor, and whether more people are in danger.

I’m also in the process of writing A Darkness Black, Caleb Forrester’s story (he’s Kit’s brother). Remember me mentioning he’s an alpha male with major communication issues? Well, the poor guy is going to meet his match. Catherine, a luxury events coordinator and widow of one of Caleb’s best friends, won’t let him hide anything—which is rather inconvenient when he’s also trying to discover whether or not someone plans to commit a murder during one of her events and if so, how he can stop it.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m not sure there is a right answer to this, but somehow, what I’m about to say seems like the wrong one because the truth is, I still don’t necessarily think of myself as a writer. I’m not sure why—I have five books out and am growing a fabulous reader base, but yet, when asked what I do, rarely do I answer that I’m a writer. I think you’ve just given me something to work on!

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I don’t write full time—I also work full-time negotiating agreements for a large corporation. I’m a lawyer by trade and have spent several years focused on various forms of contract law and negotiation. I’m also a wife and mom (with two boys) so we’re pretty busy around here. As to when I write, the answer to that is easy but not very glamorous—I write when I can. Usually I’ll write in the mornings when the house is quiet, but now that the boys are back in school, the whole house is up at 6am which is not uber helpful. Maybe I’ll be inspired by some of my colleagues and start getting up at 4am

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
So one person’s interesting is another person’s annoying—when I write I need it completely quiet. I thrive in the quiet, but I’m pretty sure my family thinks it’s a bit over the top especially when I leave the house or wear ear plugs. In fact, I dream of owning a pair of those ear-things that flight crews wear. If I had a pair of those, that would be both interesting AND satisfactory. Also, if I’m writing at night I like to sip whiskey. Or bourbon.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer and then a vet and then an astronaut and then a doctor. And then I ended up majoring in philosophy and becoming a lawyer after ditching the diplomat/CIA agent idea. I think it’s no wonder I write—I can still be all those things (if only superficially) without all the time or schooling commitment.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Just thanks! Thank you for taking the time to read this lovely interview and for following the tour. Also, thank you if you’ve picked up any of my books (or are maybe just thinking about it). I love hearing from readers (really, I do) so feel free to reach out and say hi.


Thanks, Tamsen!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Interview with urban fantasy romance author Alisha Costanzo

I have Alisha Costanzo visiting the blog today. We’re chatting about her urban fantasy novel Loving Red.

First, a bit about Alisha:
Alisha Costanzo is from a Syracuse suburb. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she currently teaches English. She's the author of Blood Phoenix: Rebirth, Blood Phoenix: Claimed, and Loving Red, and co-editor of Distorted. Underwater, her new anthology, is undergoing serious edits for its 2016 release. In the meantime, she will continue to corrupt young minds, rant about the government, and daydream about her all around nasty creatures.

Welcome, Alisha. Please tell us about your current release.
Loving Red is a fast-paced, alternating third-person point of view of the kidnapping, escape, and battles between the Celampresians and the Assetato focusing on a newly budding romance between a shifter wolf and a human. Kaia is a strong female protagonist who can hold her own, and Severins is a tough yet sensitive male who defines what it means to be a soldier. Together, they fight for their lives while trying to protect a missing Assetato agent, a shifter bear, the man who broke Kaia’s heart.

What inspired you to write this book?
Severins Bouvier was literally made for Kaia Skarin...on Facebook. Four years ago. For a long while, I was a role-play addict. My second role-play character was the charismatic, perverse bear named Dev Peltier from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series. I loved him. Being him. Unleashing the sex-crazed man in my head. And the females didn’t know what hit them.

I was merciless. (Which is fitting, since Kenyon’s novel featuring him is entitled No Mercy.)

Worse, when Dev met Kaia—Little Red—one of my best friends and writing partners, we created a ton of character couples together. Man did we have chemistry.

He couldn’t fall in love with Little Red, but he did. And a private romance brewed between them that was all too obvious when they flirted on post to the dismay of not only fans, but his mate from the novels.

The solution was Sev, a male fashioned in part after Dev (hence their similar names, look, and general attitude, which I suppose will become more clear in the coming books rather than this one) and in part after my former soldier husband, who makes a cameo in the novel as Private Webb.

Their on-post romance flashed quick and hot without much trouble other than the approval of his four-year-old daughter, Shawna. Much of their book came from outside the posts, but their characters were deep and developed before I tossed them into craziness.

Excerpt from Loving Red:
From Chapter Eight:

Sev’s scent grew stronger before he moved. His soft groan moistened the back of her neck. Hitting a bump jarred Kaia’s head, making her hiss when it met the floor of the trunk.
“Are you alright, beautiful?” Moving behind her, Sev’s arms came around her, settling her ear and cheek against the meat of his forearm.
“I’d say not. I’m trapped in this trunk with you.” Although if she thought about it, Sev tried to save her, or that’s what she assumed. “How did you know they were after us?”
“After you. I just happened to be in the way.”
“Well, how did you know they were after me?” Of course he’d have to correct her. She didn’t let this fluttering overcome her common sense, although she finally understood why women stayed with abusive men. Some kind of compulsion pushed her to sink back into him.
“I could smell them.”
Right. “Is that some type of intuition?”
“You can call it that.”
“Well, can you smell where they’re taking us?”
“Doesn’t work quite like that.”
Harrumphing, more turns shoved and slid them around the trunk. Her life had been pretty boring before Sev found his way into it. How could she be sure this wasn’t his doing? In fact, why wasn’t he trying to escape? Instead, he seemed more focused on making her comfortable.
“Why did they leave your arms bound in front and mine are tied behind me?” The cuffs around her wrists warmed against her skin.
“For speed, I presume. You can never tell how well a sucker punch will put someone down. Here, let me see if I can get you out of yours.” Sev shifted behind her, taking his arms back and following the length of hers with his hands.
Goose bumps bloomed in the wake of his touch.
Get it together, Kaia. You don’t want anything to do with this man.
His fingertips found her cuffs, but he jerked back.
“Well, they certainly covered their bases.”
Shifting, Kaia leaned toward him, although the darkness kept her from seeing more than the outline of his form. “What do you mean?”
“They used silver.” His pause gave him time to find her chin; his thumb traced the dip below her lower lip. “I’m highly allergic.”
A loud bang reverberated through the trunk. “Mate on your own time,” a light and airy female voice called back.
Mate? Did they think she’d get naked and fornicate in a trunk? Well, maybe if she’d been there on her own volition, but not when she’d been kidnapped.
Kaia rolled again, giving her back to Sev. Taking a deep breath, the reality of the situation dawned on her. She lay in a trunk with an abusive man, bound, and awaiting what she could only assume to be torture at best and death at worse. Eyes closed to the darkness, anxiety strangled Kaia, sending her into the type of panic attack she hadn’t succumbed to in decades.
Chest heaved. Breath stalled. Choking on fear.
There had to be a way out of this. Her family had money—not loads, but enough to pay a million dollars. Or she could school them in money laundering if that’s what they needed. She certainly had the skills. But God, what if it wasn’t enough?
A sharp breath punched her in the gut and sent her gasping. Sev’s hands found her shoulders and neck, sweeping away the hair at the nap and leaning in to plant a kiss. His arms circled her once more, and her back met his chest.
“Breathe with me. Feel my chest. Match my rhythm. In. Out. In. Out,” Sev’s whispers repeated, coaching her back to a shallow but calm pace. “There you are, beautiful. Nice and calm.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
Book three in my Blood Phoenix series, which explores the connection between Ria, my vampire-phoenix hybrid, and my super tall, Scandinavian leprechaun, Boden. This gives the novel it’s namesake: Imprinted. After Ria killed a young man she’d pulled into her terrifying paranormal world, she has to continue to prove herself worthy of her vampire status by hunting a pack of wolves. She works to balance her love for the three men that make her stronger, for her best friend’s safety, and for a new renegade she wants to help so badly but can’t. And finally, her quarrel with Felix comes to a head.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It’s funny. I’ve been writing for a long time. My friends and I used to have stacks of stories that took over a complete shelf in my closet. I started my first novel when I was seventeen and rewrote it four times. I spent ten years in college focusing on art and communications and writing, of course. But I didn’t actually think of myself as a writer, a real writer, until I spent a semester editing my thesis for my MFA. The time I spent on tweaking and reading and tweaking and shifting and tweaking taught me how long the process takes and how far beyond the fun, inspiration of discovering a story I must go to advance my narrative. It was work. A lot of it. And I finally felt like a writer.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I do not write full-time, unfortunately. However, I do work with writing full-time. I’m a writing professor at the University of Central Oklahoma, and I teach freshman composition, but not that boring, dull stuff. I like to focus on pop culture and satirical cartoons/stories (South Park, Family Guy, Futurama, Doctor Who, and more), and I have a lot of fun developing my students’ skills. My job is rewarding, and I’m thankful for that. Outside of school, I also have a small press that I run as the editor-in-chief. So I’m engulfed in writing every day.

I tend to write during the summer when I’m not teaching classes, and I participate in NaNoWriMo’s July Camp. This lets me hammer out a novel, edit a novel and an anthology, and weave in some short stories during the span of a year. Carving out time during the year can be difficult, but the stories just won’t let me put them off for long.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m such an academic hippie, and it shows. I comment on the environment and the flaws of humanity as a species, which plays into my major satire-love, so I tend to incorporate references to others’ creations as well, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Twilight, and Dracula, and some less popular allusions that only true vamp geeks get.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I actually wanted to be an art teacher. I suppose I didn’t veer too far off course.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I appreciate and absolutely love connecting with you. Thank you.


Thanks, Alisha! Happy writing.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Featuring the new adult paranormal fantasy novel Phoenix Contract by Melissa Thomas

Welcome to a special feature for the new adult, paranormal fantasy novel Phoenix Contract by Melissa Thomas.

NOTE:  The five books in this series are FREE on Kindle today. Links are below.

During her virtual book blast tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, Melissa will be giving away a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner's choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be enter for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too.

Here’s a bit about Phoenix Contract:
Centuries after the fallen angels left heaven to live among humans, their Nephilim descendants dwell in secret, hidden from the modern world. Once, a charismatic leader known as the Phoenix led their people, but he vanished centuries ago. The few surviving Great Houses are in decline, bickering over petty rivalries while a handful of faithful warriors battle to keep the forces of evil at bay.

Eighteen-year-old Aiden McLachlan devotes her life to her studies and pursues her lifelong goal to become a full-fledged Watcher. But everything she knows of her life is a lie and everyone a liar. Through a strange twist of fate, she finds herself caught up in an ancient prophecy.

The stars predict the rebirth of the Nephilim leader, but the mystery must be unraveled or the Phoenix cannot rise. With a soul-eating demon, a coven of ancient vampires, and a hardheaded Celtic warrior competing to subvert the Phoenix, Aiden doesn't know where to turn or who she can trust.

Excerpt from Phoenix Contract:
Magnus loomed over her, attempting to inspect her injuries. His fingers were hot and alien against her skin, and she flinched from his touch.

“Stay put while I retrieve the crucifix,” Magnus ordered. He moved away from her. A moment later, he returned carrying the crucifix.

Aiden shook her head but stayed still. She automatically tried to place his accent and failed. There were too many layers. “Where are you from? I can’t quite place your nationality.”

“I’m Averni.” He sank to the ground beside her, and those six-fingered hands touched her again, causing her flesh to crawl.

“The Averni were a Celtic tribe,” Aiden said. Her foggy mind recalled little else other than the Averni had been from the region of Gaul before it became France.

“That’d be correct.” The Celt reached out with his strange, strong fingers and pushed Aiden’s head to the side to expose the wound. He removed her hand and examined the bite. His glittering gold eyes were intelligent and inhuman. Up close he smelled earthy and sensual, a suggestive scent which caused Aiden to flush and look away.

“Why is your name Latin?” she asked.

“My mother was Roman. Stay still,” he replied.

“How bad is it?” Matthew asked.

“Not too bad.” Magnus threaded the crucifix’s chain through his fingers so the holy symbol rested in his palm. He opened the silver flask and poured holy water over the crucifix.

Aiden felt excited and afraid and so tense she wanted to crawl out of her skin. “Are you really immortal?”

“Yes,” Magnus said. “This is going to hurt. I’m going to have to hold you down.”

Author bio:
Melissa Thomas breathes life into her dreams, bringing imaginary characters and fantasy worlds into our reality. She loves her characters so much they become her alter-egos, enacting the exciting adventures she envisions for them. She is a resident of San Francisco, California and adores the picturesque city by the bay. Her hobbies include surfing and scuba diving.

Phoenix Contract is her debut novel.


Buy links – the books are free today!
Phoenix Contract Part One
Phoenix Contract Part Two 
Phoenix Contract Part Three
Phoenix Contract Part Four
Phoenix Contract Part Five

Buy the boxed set: $2.99 on Amazon Kindle

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 21, 2015

Special excerpt from fantasy novel The Hydra Offensive by Joshua K Johnson

Welcome to Monday, readers. My special feature today is the fantasy novel, The Hydra Offensive by Joshua K. Johnson.

He’s doing a virtual book blast tour with Goddess Fish Promotions. During the tour, Joshua will be awarding an e-book of short stories set in the same world as his novel The Chesian Wars, to a lucky randomly chosen winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too.

Now for a bit about our featured novel, The Hydra Offensive:
The nation of Ansgar is divided.

In the east, King Eadric Garrard has crushed one rebellion but gets no rest as the rebellion in the West is rapidly spiraling out of control. If he can't get things in line soon, his reign could be at an end.

Raedan Clyve has traveled across the Vast Sea to secure treaties and trade. Unchecked in his studies of magic, his powers are growing beyond his control. The dark path he has set himself on leads to destruction and chaos, but is it too late to turn back?

Kyrie Salas captains the Dragon's Breath, chartered to carry the Western emissaries across the world. She sees the potential in Raedan and seeks to harness it. But will her emotions get the best of her?

War has raged, battles have been fought, and lives lost. But the conflict for the future of Ansgar is just beginning.

Excerpt from The Hydra Offensive:
Peter Wellstone spread his ledgers across one of the tables and opened them, the books seeming to fall open exactly at the right place. The other council members spread their own books and papers. Alden looked stern, reading the reports for a second time.

An uncomfortable silence hung in the air. “Tychor sent a request to his father,” Alden said at last. “He asked for enough timber to build a small city.”

“Bugger,” Peter said. He was responsible for the distribution of supplies and building materials. “I told you that withholding supplies would lead to trouble.”

“There’s no trouble,” Eadric said. Lumber and nails and carpenters to assemble the buildings were in short supply. The rebuilding of the fortresses in Kerberos were more important than comfortable quarters for the army.

“Yet,” Peter added.

“His Grace will not take kindly to having to send supplies to the front,” Sinclair Dohr said. “His letters have been increasingly critical of the war. And he isn’t the only one with those thoughts.”

“He’s an overweight, pompous ass,” Eadric said with a shrug. “No one listens to what he has to say.”

“They may not listen to what he says, but they watch what he does,” Alden said. “If he decides to limit the number of troops that he contributes to the cause, or if he withholds supplies…”

“Then I’ll deal with him like I dealt with Magnus Jarmann,” Eadric said. As if having four of his dukes rise up in open rebellion weren’t enough, he had to deal with the fifth’s complaining and constant second-guessing. It was a wonder that Medwyn Chalmers stayed in his mountainside castle, rather than bringing his “advice” directly to Eadric.

The king stood and began to pace. In the west, lesser lords and nobles alike had been increasingly vocal in their complaints. Lands trampled by armies, cities devastated, warehouses and granaries pilfered.

“He wouldn’t dare join the rebels,” Eadric said. Of all of the men who owed their position to the Crown, Lord Chalmers was chief among them. His territory produced timber and iron in great supply, but it was Eadric’s subsidies and edicts that made those materials the most sought after in Ansgar.

“If this stalemate holds, they may be more likely,” Sinclair said.

“When the snows melt, there will be no stalemate,” Eadric said. “My soldiers will crush this rebellion once and for all.”

The council didn’t move for a long minute.

“Order supplies shipped to the forward camps,” Eadric said at last. “Order them to winter quarters.”

Author bio:
Joshua Johnson is the author of "Gunpowder Fantasy," The Cerberus Rebellion, and the creator of the Griffins & Gunpowder universe. When he isn't working or spending time with his family, he writes novels, short stories and novellas.

He currently lives in Northern Illinois with his wife and young children.

You can visit his website at

Twitter | Facebook | Kobo | Smashwords | Amazon

a Rafflecopter giveaway