20 Random Hobbies of Mine

I’m a woman of many talents and interests. I know that some of these will be pretty random, but maybe we have something in common. I mean, it’s always nice to talk with others who share an interest in the same things you do, right?

Okay, so here it is. My big ol’ list hobbies.

  1. Writing (duh)
  2. Reading (double duh)
  3. Doing word games like logic games, crossword puzzles and more.
  4. Watching tv shows like Game of Thrones, Vampire Diaries, Forever, Pretty Little Liars, and more.
  5. Painting
  6. Drawing
  7. Sculptures
  8. Scrapbooking
  9. Origami and other paper crafts
  10. Jigsaw puzzles
  11. Solving riddles
  12. Graphic design
  13. Throwing knives (this is where it starts to get interesting)
  14. Metal detecting
  15. Historical research
  16. Thinking up business ideas (Yeah, I do this for fun!)
  17. Playing video games
  18. Clothing design (not so much anymore, but I used to do this a lot)
  19. Sewing (I like to make purses and small things)
  20. Random arts and crafts

So what about you? Do you have any hobbies you’d like to share? Do you enjoy some of the ones I’ve listed?

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Ring in the New Year with a helpful course for writers

A friend of mine has been working very hard on building this amazing course for writers. If you’re looking for a way to improve your writing practices in 2015, check it out and take advantage of the early-bird pricing.


 

Find Time to Write

This is for the writers out there who want to make 2015 their best writing year EVER…

You want powerful? This is it.

This course is for the frustrated. The fed-up. The “I can’t possibly write another book because I’m too busy marketing” folks.

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Those two full-time authors designed this course to help YOU find time to write in your everyday life. It’s full of time management mastery, mindset shifts, and lightbulb-epiphanies. Complete with a companion Facebook group for networking and support, this course will change how you operate your writing business.

Earlybird special pricing available until December 31. The live-run course will begin in February 2015 with a free email-based 2-second tips mini-class leading up to it.

You do NOT want to miss out on this one. It’ll change your writing life.

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December Fantasy Calendar + Giveaway + Free books!

All year we’ve been featuring some amazing fantasy books in our desktop calendar series. For December, we wanted to remind you of all of them. These will make perfect gifts for yourself or a friend. Some of them are even free or only $.99! In the spirit of the season we’re also having a little giveaway, so don’t forget to enter at the bottom of the post! Thanks for a wonderful 2014!

December

Click here to get the full size image!

A look back at the previous Calendars for 2014:

Note: These are reusable! Each image only has the name of the month, so feel free to grab these for 2015 if you missed out this year! Just click here to be taken to the page where you can download all the high-resolution images!

January copyAurora Sky: Vampire Hunter

Only $.99!

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Northern Bites (Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter #2)

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Stakeout (Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter #2.5)

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Nikki Jefford:

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February copy

Five: Elemental Enmity Book 1

Get your free ebook copy!

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Dark Matter: Elemental Enmity Book 2

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Genesis: Elemental Enmity Book 3

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Horizon: Elemental Enmity Book 4

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Christie Rich:

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March copy

Darkness of Light (Book One)

Get your free ebook copy!

Amazon

Fire in the Darkness (Book Two)

Amazon

Stacey Marie Brown:

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April copy

Lichgates (Grimoire Saga #1)

Get your free ebook copy!

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Treason (Grimoire Saga #2)

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Heritage (Grimoire Saga #3)

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Illusion (Grimoire Saga #4)

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S. M. Boyce:

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May copy copy

Silent Orchids (The Age of Alandria #1)

Get your free ebook copy!

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Veiled Shadows (The Age of Alandria #2)

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Daegan (The Age of Alandria: A Companion Novella)

Only $.99!

Amazon

Morgan Wylie:

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June copy

Daughter of Chaos

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Jen McConnel:

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July

What Kills Me

Get your free ebook copy!

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I Am Forever (The Sequel to What Kills Me)

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Wynne Channing:

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August

The Flower of Hell (Short Story Companion to A Prescription for Delirium)

Only $.99!

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A Prescription for Delirium (Van Helsing Organization #1)

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Noree Cosper:

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September

Where the Carnies Are

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Kayla Curry:

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October

Empath (Flawed Book 1)

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Outsider (Flawed Book 2)

To Be Released 2014

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Pulled (A Flawed Short Story)

Only $.99!

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Becca J. Campbell:

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November

Vaempires: Revolution (The Evolutionary War-Book 1)

Only $.99!

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Vaempires: White Christmas (The Evolutionary War-Book 0)

Only $.99!

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Vaempires: Zombie Rising (The Evolutionary War-Book 2)

Only $.99!

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Thomas Winship:

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And now for the Giveaway!

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Blogger Book Fair! Speculative Fiction Event | MR Graham

It’s the last day of the Blogger Book Fair! All week I’ve featured authors on my blog for the event. If you didn’t know already, I’m the organizer, and I can’t wait to show off some of the authors.

Today, I’m featuring MR Graham. I met MR Graham a little over a year ago when we did a fun Halloween Blog hop together. She’s totally awesome and I can’t wait to read her work. Check it out and don’t forget to enter the giveaways below and visit the BBF website for more.

In the Shadow of the Mountains (The Books of Lost Knowledge)

Supernatural/Paranormal | Young Adult

Shadow redoIn the twilight of the year 2003, a stranger arrives in the tiny town of Burns, Colorado. Whispers begin to fly as bodies appear, savagely mutilated, throughout the neighborhood, and the responsibility falls on two monstrously unprepared high school students to uncover the truth before the undead can destroy their hometown.

Chris Doyle is a slacker and a sci-fi geek, barely eking through his senior year of high school; Aaron Margolis is a child prodigy who could have graduated at age twelve if his parents had let him. They have never had anything in common until a woman is murdered and Aaron comes asking for Chris’s help – he is seeing Texans who cannot be real.

Then the high school’s English teacher disappears and is replaced by Daniel Leland, the sharp and reclusive newcomer, a man already convicted by public opinion. He says that he is a hunted man, and Aaron believes him, but Chris is not as sure. Doubts or no, Chris has no choice but to join up with the teacher when his best friend is kidnapped by superhuman forces, but this adventure is nothing like his comic books.

Buy Links:

FREE!

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The Medium (The Books of Lost Knowledge)

Supernatural/Paranormal | Adult

the medium large titleLenny is good at teaching physics. He is good at fixing things, making friends, and not attracting attention. He is good at being a medium, helping spirits pass beyond the Veil. But as a vampire incapable of violence, he has always been a bit of a joke.

All it takes is a drink in a hotel bar, a stumble into the wrong place at the wrong time, to run him afoul of Sebastian Duran, a lunatic who controls other people’s minds better than he can control his own. Torn away from everything he knows, trapped and starved and under constant mental assault, Lenny’s best hope is Kim Reed, a wizard tasked with bringing down Duran. Kim cannot believe that Lenny is evil, but neither can she hide him, and while she battles for his freedom, Lenny is forced to confront his own potential for monstrosity.

Buy Links:

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The Medium Excerpt

Lenny is good at teaching physics. He is good at fixing things, making friends, and not attracting attention. He is good at being a medium, helping spirits pass beyond the Veil. But as a vampire incapable of violence, he has always been a bit of a joke.

All it takes is a drink in a hotel bar, a stumble into the wrong place at the wrong time, to run him afoul of Sebastian Duran, a lunatic who controls other people’s minds better than he can control his own. Torn away from everything he knows, trapped and starved and under constant mental assault, Lenny’s best hope is Kim Reed, a wizard tasked with bringing down Duran. Kim cannot believe that Lenny is evil, but neither can she hide him, and while she battles for his freedom, Lenny is forced to confront his own potential for monstrosity.


Author Bio:

writerlyMR Graham is a native Texan who traces strong cultural roots back to Scotland, Poland, and England. A mild-mannered Latin teacher during the day, Graham transforms at night into a raging Holmesian loremaster and rabid novelist.

Though passionate about all scholarship and academia, Graham’s training and true love lies with anthropology, particularly the archaeological branch.

Also, steampunk and vampires.

Connect:

Website | Twitter | Facebook


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Interview

When did you start writing?

Like quite a lot of other authors, I started writing pretty much as soon as I could hold a pen. In second grade, I filled something like eight black-and-white notebooks with a hideous, rambling Mary Sue epic directly ripping off the Unicorns of Balinor series. A couple years later, I followed it up with a hideous, rambling Mary Sue epic directly ripping off Star Trek: Enterprise, and in high school, I began the hideous, rambling Mary Sue epic that eventually matured into the Books of Lost Knowledge. It’s been an arduous evolution.

What inspires your writing?

Everything. I carry a little notebook with me everywhere I go and jot down ideas as they hit me, be they from scenery or peoplewatching or just words in my head. I will also say unashamedly that I am inspired by the fiction I read or watch, and that a lot of my ideas are composed of preexisting tidbits, rearranged to form something new.

What is the best part about being a writer?

The best part so far has been the mind-blowing realization that there are at least a couple of people out there chomping at the bit to know what happens next, whether Lenny and Kim are going to be okay, what happened to Daniel to make him the way he is, whether there’s something bigger going on in the shadows behind the action… These characters aren’t just in my head, anymore. There are other people – besides me and a few immediate friends – who care about the figments of my imagination.

I remember a few very special books that made me cry, or scream in frustration, or jump out of my chair in triumph, and it’s a sort of puzzlingly ecstatic feeling that I may have written one that does those things for someone else.

Is there something special or unique about you or your book you’d like to tell us about?

I’m not all that special. I live in a pile of books – some of which I wrote myself.

I’d like to think that my books are special. My approach to paranormal fiction isn’t quite like any I’ve seen before. That is to say, My Vampires Are Different. They’re not especially sexy, though they can be quite evil and quite dangerous or painfully inept. They’re just flawed individuals trying to survive a flawed world.

Blogger Book Fair! Speculative Fiction Event | Ashley R. Carlson

It’s day four of the Blogger Book Fair! All week I’ll be featuring author on my blog for the event. If you didn’t know already, I’m the organizer, and I can’t wait to show off some of the authors.

Today, I’m featuring Ashley R. Carlson, author of the upcoming novel, The Charismatics. As I’ve talked with Ashley more and more since she signed up, I’ve come to learn more about her and her work. She will be releasing her first novel soon and we’ve featured a sneak peek here today. Check it out and don’t forget to enter the giveaways below and visit the BBF website for more.

Cruel (Short Story)

Dystopian | New Adult

Cruel Cover 3The day every child on Earth disappeared, Aveline and her family were thrown into a hellish existence that the world should’ve seen coming. The adult population was never given a choice: most men were possessed by the demon spirits of Cruels with women becoming their prisoners. Now Aveline’s mother is sick with fever, her older sister’s gone missing, and she has to sneak into the Cruel-infested city of Yearn to try and save them. When she catches the eye of a sadistic and reckless Cruel leader however, Aveline must use every ounce of strength and wit she has to escape his brutality, ultimately being faced with the toughest question of all: how far is she willing to go for humanity, even if it means dying to see it restored?

Buy Links:

FREE when you sign up for my Newsletter.

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Teaser from Cruel:

It’s been two years since the Regime took over, turning this country into something unrecognizable. I’m almost certain my sister was captured last week.

“I still don’t like that you’re going alone,” Tarrant says as we stand over my mother. I squeeze the rag and dribble cool water on her face; my mom bats it away.

“You wouldn’t be doing me any favors by coming and you know that,” I say, looking over at him. Beams of light stream down into the tornado shelter, illuminating dust particles and his strained expression.

I lean down and murmur a quick goodbye into my mother’s hair, but she’s too delirious at this point to hear me. I hand the rag to Tarrant and grab my tiny backpack from the ground. Nodding to the others, I climb the steps out of the shelter as he follows me.

“Wait a second,” Tarrant says, following me through the trees. I ignore him, swallowing hard. He finally grabs my arm.

“Have you thought about my proposal?”

“I don’t have a lot of time right now—you said so yourself—and the sun is setting already,” I give as my answer.

“But I need to know,” Tarrant continues. I finally look at him, the man I’ve fallen for against my better judgment, and let him embrace me.

“Yes, all right? My answer would’ve been yes, if things were different,” I murmur into his shoulder, wetting the fabric with tears. “But marriage these days is absurd, assuming I even make it back tonight—”

“Don’t you say that,” he says. “You are coming back, and when you do, I want you to be my wife.”

“Why? So we can suffer that much more if I’m taken as one of their slaves? Or you’re found and tortured long enough to give up my whereabouts? It’s dangerous to even consider it.”

“Those monsters took our homes, our families, our goddamned bodies for themselves. You’re going to let them take away the decision to love each other too?”

“They haven’t taken that away,” I say, as quiet as the rustling leaves overhead.

Tarrant breathes hard and cups my face in his calloused hands, leaning down to kiss me. His lips are familiar and soft, and a sob wells in my chest at the thought I’ll never feel this again.

“I have to go,” I say as I push him away gently. Tarrant stares at me, still clinging to my hands. It must be difficult for him to let me go into the Cruel city of Yearn without his protection, but he’s an escaped prisoner and therefore a target.

“I’ll see you soon,” he says with vehemence. “I love you.” I don’t respond, the words sticking in my throat. I turn and run.

Fun Fact about Cruel:

In my short story “Cruel” as well as my other works, I want to explore the dark sides of things. Having a background in psychology and spending some time working with mentally ill individuals has shown me the horrors that many people have experienced, and continue to on a daily basis.

I feel that it is important to address and bring light to those issues, even in an entertaining setting such as a book with fantasy elements. Thus, I infuse the issues of abuse, power struggles, spiritual warfare, and other subject matter in my work. My utmost goal is to write an entertaining, enthralling book, but it is many times going to carry those deep issues beneath the surface.


The Charismatics

Fantasy | Young Adult

THE CHARISMATICS 2An arranged marriage. A corrupt government known only as Legalia. A forbidden spiritual realm. Duchess Ambrosia Killaher was just seventeen years old when exiled to Shinery—a city of snow and darkness—to marry a man who despised her, finding her only solace in an invisible companion named Roan.

Now, as the poor starve in the streets below and rebellious acts become a frequent occurrence, Shinery holds its yearly celebration to commemorate Legalia’s rule. But when Ambrose catches a government official using a strange device on a servant, she is thrust into a secret world of the supernatural—one she never knew existed. With the help of a handsome stranger, Ambrose begins to learn of the past Legalia has covered up, and the terrible things they have in store for the future.

Releases December 13, 2014:

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Interesting Information about The Charismatics:

The Charismatics is very dear to me–it is my debut novel, something written over the last three months during a very transitional period in my life. As I wrap up completion with it, I realize that I subconsciously infused numerous elements of my favorite books and movies into the book, including magical creatures (Ella Enchanted), a strong heroine (Ever After), steampunk and spiritual elements, and a talking animal friend (The Golden Compass), and a surprise ending (The Harry Potter series).

The Charismatics is very much its own storyline, but I think it’s pretty exciting to realize that all of the favorites stories that shaped my love for reading and writing found their way into my novel, on their own.


Author Bio:

Me headshot-Ashley is a fantasy author, freelance editor, editorial intern for Midnight Publishing, and editorial contributor for Arizona Foothills Magazine.

-Ashley is currently working on a steampunk fantasy novel series and plans to release Book One in Fall 2014.

-Ashley grew up and currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona (or the “bowels of Hell” as she affectionately refers to it during the summer months). She dreams of the greenery and water of the Pacific Northwest and plans to move there some day.

-Ashley is the proud mother of three animals-a neurotic German shepherd that follows Ashley everywhere she goes, a serene mutt from Mexico, and a cat that gives new meaning to the word “bitchy.”

-Ashley enjoys Yelping for local restaurants, fostering kittens from nearby shelters, and watching the Real Housewives of…anywhere.

-Find Ashley on Twitter (@AshleyRCarlson1), Google+, or check out Ashley’s blog at http://www.ashleyrcarlson.com for updates on her book, thoughts on writing, and thoughts on life! (And she doesn’t mean Tinder, or online dating, or dating in general…no. None of that.)

Connect:

Website | Twitter | Facebook


Giveaway

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Interview:

When did you start writing?

I have been writing fiction haphazardly since I was in high school-having about five half-started novels to my name until November of 2013. I participated in NaNoWriMo 2013 and it ignited a dormant passion in me from that point on. I sort of feel silly for not having realized it sooner, maybe when I could’ve gone to COLLEGE for it (instead of psychology).

What inspires your writing?

Music! Since childhood, certain songs would send me strange reveries, imagining scenes that would take place to the melody. I like to listen to music while I’m writing, always playing songs that evoke the sort of emotions I want to weave into my book.

Also, moments from my past experiences. I think that it is important-even when writing fantasy, which I do-to remember what human emotions feel like. THAT is never going to change, no matter what setting you are in. Love, heartbreak, jealousy, parenthood, the list goes on. When I remember what it felt like to experience those feelings, I am inspired to include that in my writing.

What is the best part about being a writer?

Personally, the best part of being a writer is writing something and when it comes time to re-read, I’m surprised and entertained, as if I didn’t write it myself. For me, writing is almost an out-of-body, spiritual experience, in that I don’t necessarily remember what I’ve written. When I am able to go back and say, “this is good,” or “I want to genuinely keep reading this scene,” I know I’ve done something right.

Is there something cool, special or unique about you or your book you’d like to tell us about?

Something cool about me? I love helping animals and organizations that need it! I have a charity page on my website with links to each one, and ask every self-published author interviewed on my blog to provide their recommendation for a charity to support. Anyone is free to recommend one as well, just email me at ashleyrcarlson13@gmail.com!

I’d like to start an animal shelter one day, or offer a lot of support to existing ones to spread awareness and give animals the loving home they need.

Regarding my dystopian short story, “Cruel,” it’s a fast-paced story with romantic elements, dangerous encounters, and the ultimate sacrifice. Read and enjoy!

Something else cool about me? Well, maybe this isn’t cool, but I love Jennifer Lawrence a freakishly large amount, and animals as well.

I also love to hear from readers, and writers, and anyone, really. Please contact me anytime via my email, ashleyrcarlson13@gmail.com, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. I quit my job to write full-time until I ran out of money, and I’ve managed to make it last for four months and write a novel in that time. This is my dream, and I am honored to share it with anyone willing to read. Thank you!

Blogger Book Fair! Speculative Fiction Event | Emma L. Adams

It’s day three of the Blogger Book Fair! All week I’ll be featuring author on my blog for the event. If you didn’t know already, I’m the organizer, and I can’t wait to show off some of the authors.

Today, I’m featuring Emma L. Adams, author of Darkness Watching. I haven’t met Emma before the event, but from the cover and blurb of her book, I want to know more! Check it out and don’t forget to enter the giveaways below and visit the BBF website for more.

Darkness Watching

Supernatural/Paranormal | Young Adult

Darkness WatchingEighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she’s losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.

Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere – little knowing that it isn’t coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.

All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life – but demons never give up, and their focus on Ash has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she’s looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.

In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be…

Buy Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Darkness Watching Excerpt

A stream of faint winter sunlight shone through gaps in the blinds that covered the windows, lighting the myriad dust motes in the air. I sighed and tilted my head back, rubbing my temples to keep my eyes from closing. I could feel a headache building.

A pair of eyes appeared amongst the rafters and stared right into mine. They gleamed violet, with vertically slit pupils like a cat’s. They blinked, looking down at the confusion below. Then they locked back onto me.

Once, when I’d cut my finger on a kitchen knife, I’d gone into shock and nearly passed out. My vision turned blue around the edges, and everything acquired an odd, blurred quality. Right now, looking into those sinister, alien eyes, I felt exactly the same.

I’m going mad. It’s not real. Cara’s superstitions have made me start seeing things. That, or the lack of sleep.

I’d stopped breathing. Sweat beaded on my forehead, but, at the same time, I felt cold all over, cold as the frigid December air outside. As if fresh snow covered me, slowly seeping into my skin through my hoodie and jeans. Like the kind of paralysing chill I associated with that moment in horror stories when someone saw a ghost.

Was it a ghost? I’d always thought ghosts would look… human. If I believed in them—which, up until now, I thought I didn’t.

All around me, the other students chatted and laughed. No one screamed, cried, or ran for the doors. It was as though my own private bubble of horror enclosed me like the cage I’d envisioned earlier. Trapped.

I heard a faint whisper, almost like a breath: “Ash.”

I would have screamed if I’d been capable of making a sound. I knew beyond doubt that those eyes and that voice belonged to something that wasn’t human.

The eyes blinked again, becoming part of the shadow once more as the hall lights came back on. For a moment, a swathe of blackness remained in the rafters, like a single patch of mist left behind after a fog has lifted. Not a single speck of dust disturbed the area around it.

Then it vanished.

I still couldn’t breathe. Those cold eyes remained imprinted on the insides of my eyelids—light purple, glowing, and staring.

Staring at me.


 

Author Bio:

Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing bizarre, fantastical stories. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also entertained her creative writing group and baffled her tutors by submitting strange fantasy tales featuring dragons and supernatural monsters to workshops. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, Emma refuses to settle down and be normal. When not embarking on wild excursions, she edits and proofreads novels for various publishing houses and reads an insane number of books. At the age of 21, she signed a publishing contract with Curiosity Quills Press for the first book in her creepy urban fantasy Darkworld series. DARKNESS WATCHING was published in October 2013, the first in a five-book series. She also writes adult crossover urban fantasy featuring magic, monsters, and a ton of inappropriate humour.

Connect:

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$30 Amazon Gift Card

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a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Interview

When did you start writing?

Writing and stories have been part of my life from as long as I can remember. I’ve always written, but it was when I was ten that my teacher first suggested that I could be a writer. And that was it: I knew what I wanted to do with my life! But it wasn’t until I was 14 or 15 that I started writing novels, and I was 18 when I first started submitting my books to agents and publishers. I signed my contract to publish DARKNESS WATCHING with Curiosity Quills in February 2013, while I was in my third year at university, and I haven’t looked back!

What inspires your writing?

I get my inspiration from everywhere! I read extensively (often a book a day), I travel, I research obscure topics. I always ask questions, and I look for the strange in everyday life!

What is the best part of being a writer?

Getting paid to make things up and see my daydreams play out on the page. Now that’s real magic!

Blogger Book Fair! Speculative Fiction Event | Garrett Robinson

Woops, forgot to put in the intro the first time around.

It’s the Blogger Book Fair Speculative Fiction event! All week I’ll be featuring author on my blog for the event. If you didn’t know already, I’m the organizer, and I can’t wait to show off some of the authors.

Today we have Garrett Robinson. I found Garrett through the podcast he does with two other authors. I’ve also read some of his work, which I’ve loved, and I plan to read more. (This guy is a machine when it comes to putting out new stuff. I can’t keep up!) Don’t forget to enter the giveaways below and visit the BBF website for more.

Nightblade

Fantasy | New Adudlt

3D Volume 1Everyone begins their life dreaming of the great person they could become, only to have those hopes battered and broken by the world around them. The world tells them they’re not special. Family convinces them to abandon their goals for the safe route, the sure route.

Loren has been born to cruel parents and raised in an obscure village. She’s long resigned herself to an unremarkable life under the sway of a father who beats her and a mother who sees her only as means to a dowry. Loren’s dreams have almost burnt out—until fate rekindles their spark into a flame that will consume the world.

SOMETIMES ALL WE NEED IS A PUSH.

When Loren meets the fugitive wizard Xain, she dares to hope again. Escaping her village, she finds the nine kingdoms more complicated and dangerous than she could have imagined. But at long last, she’s ready to face the challenge or die in the attempt.

Loren has reclaimed her dreams—this time for good. Armed with only her wit and her courage, she will do anything to become the woman she’s always wanted to be: Nightblade, the most renowned thief in all the land.

Buy Links:

Only $.99!

Amazon | Other Formats

Nightblade Special Offer

From November 10th through November 14th, you can pick up Nightblade, the first book of the Nightblade Volumes, for only $0.99 on Kindle! What’s more — if you finish and review Nightblade, I’ll send you a FREE ebook copy of Mystic, the second book in the series! Just fill out the form at http://garrettbrobinson.com/free-mystic.

99 cents and a review — two books. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Nightblade Excerpt

Loren imagined she could feel her father’s eyes on her back as she ran. Her steps came faster and faster still, but soon Xain began to tire and flag behind her. She had to slow her pace to match him, and every step seemed an irredeemable loss.

“You must hurry,” she said. “He will find us.”

Xain did not bother with an answer. He could move no faster, and they both knew it. After a time his ankle caught upon a protruding root and he stumbled, and in that moment her father struck.

He leapt from the shadows between two thick oaks. His hand lashed out, cracking against Loren’s cheek. She fell to the ground with a cry and struggled up before he could pin her down. But he did not come for her. When she rose she saw him atop Xain instead, wrapping an arm around the thinner man’s throat. Xain’s face turned red and edged toward purple. He fought to bring a hand around, scrabbling for her father’s face, but her father caught the hand and twisted it, prompting a screech of agony.

Hearing that cry of pain, Loren’s mind turned to ice. Never had her father hurt another in her presence—except when he fought her mother, and Loren only wanted each to hurt the other as much as possible. But now her father threatened to crush the life from her one chance, the only man who Loren had ever truly thought could save her from the life of pain and obscurity she feared.

Icy rage turned white-hot, and Loren drew the dagger. She leapt at her father with the blade held high. But her father saw her coming and released Xain, scrabbling to his knees and away from her wild swing.

He rose and roared like a bear brought to bay. The sound dampened Loren’s sudden burst of fury, and she hesitated a moment. That moment was enough, and like a snake her father lunged. One hand gripped her wrist to hold the dagger helpless. His other hand curled into a fist that he drove into her face.

Stars erupted at the edge of her vision, and Loren doubled over. Her father squeezed her wrist until the dagger dropped to the grass, then let her follow it. She gasped at the pain in her eye, blinking as she fought to clear her vision.

“Spawn of soiled seed,” said her father. “You have been a plague and a pox upon me since the day you first clawed air into your lungs.”

He kicked her. The hard leather of his boots felt like a tree trunk. She screamed, trying to roll away, but he only kicked her in the back.

She could not see. She could not think. Where was she? Who was this man, and why did he want to hurt her so? Why did some part of her mind scream that he should love her, pick her up and cradle her in his arms and promise to take the pain away? Instead he only gave her more.

Her eyes fell on Xain, who crouched several yards away. The wizard’s lips moved, and his eyes began to glow. He held a hand curled at his side, and Loren saw the flash of fire within it.

“No!” she cried. “Don’t kill him!”

Xain froze. His lips stopped moving, and the fire wisped out in his palm.

The shout drew her father’s gaze. His ugly, beady eyes fell on the wizard, and his lips split in a grimace, revealing spots of blood.

He leapt catlike upon Xain and bore the wizard to the ground. This time he wrapped his hands around Xain’s throat, digging his fingers in deep. Xain’s eyes bugged forth as though they would burst from their sockets. He gasped a phrase, and blue lightning sprang into being, but it vanished before he could unleash it.

Loren’s heart broke. Xain would not have been here if not for her. He might have died on the way to Cabrus, and he might not. But she had brought him to this place and then brought her father’s wrath, and now Xain would die for it.

She could not allow it. She saw the dagger lying near her fingers, and thought of her childish dreams. Nightblade could not allow it.

She fought to her knees. Her bow still hung on her back, and by some grace of the gods its string was whole. Her fingers felt like wood, but she forced them around the bow’s haft and pulled it free. Shakily she brought an arrow to string and half-drew, then took two stumbling steps forward. This time her father had eyes for nothing but Xain.

Loren kicked as hard as she could, and something in her father’s face broke under her boot heel.

He fell away, rolling over and over to put distance between them as he screamed in rage. In a blink he regained his feet, but there he paused. Loren’s arrow rested at full draw, aiming straight for his heart.

Slowly, her father’s hamfist hands came up on either side of his head. For every inch they climbed, the fury in his eyes redoubled.

“No more,” said Loren. It came out as a whisper. “No more will you torment me. I am leaving, father, and I mean never to return.”

“You mean to defy me?” said her father. “You will do your duty as a daughter or—”

She pulled just a little harder on the bow, gaining another inch of draw. Her father’s voice fell to silence.

“You have never done your duty as a father,” she said. “I feel I owe you nothing.”

“You owe me everything,” he said. “I could have killed you in the cradle. I could have killed you when I woke up today, and moved my bowel on your corpse. I made you, and now I see I made you worthless.”

“Then when I leave you shall suffer no great loss,” she said.

She felt that his words should have stung, but she was beyond them. They were only a stronger flavor of the same things he had said all her life. And in this moment, now that another fate beckoned her, she stood under his sway no longer.

Xain had finally regained his breath, and he came to stand at her side. He muttered, and as his eyes glowed white a ball of lightning hovered in his grasp.

“You think you can escape me?” her father said, changing tack. “I learned these lands years before I spilled you between your mother’s legs. Nowhere in Selvan can you hide from me. Ready yourself for sleepless nights by a bright fire. For if you close your eyes in sleep, if for even a moment you let yourself sit in darkness—”

Loren loosed the shaft. It sank into her father’s thigh. He collapsed to the ground without a scream, but with a gut-deep grunt of pain.

“Chase us now,” said Loren.

She turned and walked away from him, stopping for only a moment to retrieve the dagger and replace it in its sheath. She did not turn to see if Xain followed her, but after a moment she heard footfalls behind her.

Her father’s hateful screams followed them for a long while.

Interesting Information about Nightblade

The Nightblade Volumes are a WEEKLY serial — I publish a new 10,000 word episode every Friday at 12:00pm PST. Every eight episodes compose one book, which is published as a complete work in ebook and paperback.

Nightblade is the first book in the series. The second book is Mystic. Those who like Nightblade, and want to keep reading, can go review it on Amazon. If they fill out the form at http://garrettbrobinson.com/free-mystic, I’ll send them an ebook copy of Mystic for FREE.

Readers can also subscribe to the series. For ebook enthusiasts, this is THE CHEAPEST way to read! Pay $2.99 a month, and I’ll send you an episode every week — TWO WEEKS before it’s published to Amazon! It’s cheaper than buying the episodes individually, and it’s even cheaper than buying the volumes!

You can check that out at http://garrettbrobinson.com/nb-sub

*****

Nightblade is a very special story to me. It comes to me so easily because I feel like I’ve only recently emerged from my own personal journey into adulthood. Though the setting, the place, and the person are different, this is MY story.

I love that the coming of age story is so universal, that you can put it in any setting and any genre and it still works. It doesn’t matter that Harry went to Hogwarts and cast spells (although that was cool). What mattered was that he suffered through what we ALL suffer through — that terrible, wonderful time between childhood and adulthood, when you don’t really know what’s going on and you’re trying to figure it all out.

Loren, the main character of Nightblade, is going through the same thing. Loren has dreams. BIG dreams, dreams she’s never given up on no matter what. Her parents have beaten her and told her she’s worthless. The world has tried to convince her that her goals are hopeless. But the spark won’t die.

I think we’ve all been there at one point. Haven’t you? Some people give up. Who can blame them? It’s a cruel world. It’s certainly easier to give up, to go with the flow. I legitimately cannot fault someone who chooses to do that.

To be perfectly honest, it’s not worth it to keep fighting. You will suffer so much. You will go through so much pain and lose so much that is dear to you. Only the mad even attempt it, because only a tiny portion of them will ever succeed. The rest will die broken and alone in the corners and back alleys of the world.

And yet, we do love the stories about the ones who win.


Author Bio:

Garrett Headshot SizedGarrett Robinson was born in Los Angeles, California. Throughout his childhood and into adulthood, he was encouraged to learn by his parents, who not only ensured he had access to thousands of books whenever he wanted, but who traveled with him around the world and helped him do so once he was out in the world on his own. Throughout high school, Garrett excelled in creative writing, churning out millions of words and far surpassing all of his classmates.

After school, Garrett discovered a love of, and has had a budding career in the independent film industry. In today’s digital age, however, he has discoverd that new creative models are necessary to succeed. To that end, he has begun turning all of his film ideas into self-published books, in hopes of drumming up support and readership for the stories he has created.

Connect:

Website | Twitter | Facebook


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Interview

When did you start writing?

I began writing as a teenager, scribbling fan fiction from my favorite science fiction and fantasy stories. But it took my mother’s passing at the age of 25 to convince me that if I didn’t try, honest to God, to make it as an artist, then it would never happen.

I published my first book in December of 2012, and since then I’ve put out more than a million words in fantasy, sci-fi, thrillers, comedy and horror.

I don’t plan on stopping.

What inspires your writing?

I think the most exciting phrase a writer can ever utter is, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if…?”

Ideas are all around us. Sometimes they come from things we wish we saw in the world more often. Sometimes they’re just things that are really, really cool. A girl who sees thoughts when she makes skin contact. A guy who becomes a zombie, but can still think. Kids who become wizards in another world when they sleep. A girl who wants to make it in the big time — but in a fantasy setting.

No idea is a bad story idea. Find out what’s important to you, and construct a story around that.

What is the best part about being a writer?

Anyone who’s published a book knows what a rush it is to hear from your readers. The best writers write from inspiration. They write the sort of story that THEY would want to read. There’s nothing more gratifying than hearing, from a complete stranger no less, that they were personally touched by your book.

Blogger Book Fair! Speculative Fiction Event | Robin Lythgoe

Hello everyone! Today is the beginning of the Blogger Book Fair Speculative Fiction event. All week I’ll be featuring author on my blog for the event. If you didn’t know already, I’m the organizer of the event, and I can’t wait to show off some of the authors.

First up we have Robin Lythgoe, author of As the Crow Flies. When I received her entry I was instantly drawn in by the cover of her book. Isn’t is fantastic? I just love the aged look and the black contrast. Don’t forget to enter the giveaways below and visit the BBF website for more.

As the Crow Flies

Fantasy | Adult

AsTheCrowFlies_600x800For a thief, getting caught is never a good thing. Getting caught by a wizard is even worse.

‘One more job’ meant that Crow, a notorious thief, could retire with Tarsha, the woman of his dreams, but ‘one more job’ may just mean his life.

When he sets out to abscond with that last brilliant treasure and seek a life of ease and pleasure with the jewel of his heart, Crow seriously underestimates his mark, the Baron Duzayan. Under threat of death by poison, Crow is coerced into stealing an improbable, mythical prize. To satisfy the wizard’s greed and save the life of his lady love, he must join forces with Tanris, the one man he has spent his entire career avoiding.

But what’s a man to do when stealing that fabled prize could level an empire and seal his fate?

From a dungeon black as night, to the top of a mountain peak shrouded in legend, a man’s got to do what he must.

Until, of course, he can think of a better plan…

Buy Links:

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As the Crow Flies Excerpt

I had scarcely stepped out into the street with my handsome new acquisition when I was abruptly and rudely accosted. Two hulking pieces of manhood caught me by either arm, and I nearly lost both my hat and the burlap sack of supplies I carried. Lifting me right off my feet didn’t trouble either of them, and while they whisked me off down the street, I took a moment to recover my breath, my composure—more or less—and to study their identities. “Do I know the two of you?” I inquired politely while they plowed through puddles I would have chosen to go around. The first splash caught me rather by surprise, but I had the forethought to lift my feet for the second. No sense getting wetter when there was an alternative.

“Raza wants to have a chat with you,” the bruiser on my right informed me.

“Jolly for him. Would you be so good as to put me down? I think I remember how to walk.”

“We’ll help.”

“You’re too kind. Really.” I looked from one to the other, but they showed no sign of responding to gentle persuasion and we were making good speed down the street in a direction I had no desire to go. So I held on tight to my belongings and stuck my foot between the legs of the less chatty fellow on the left. He went down in a heap, and I went with him, rolling half onto him. The other man swore and scrambled, trying not to fall, too. I helped him out as best I could by swinging my sack at his head. There were a pair of grappling hooks in there, a climbing rope, metal cleats, and other sorts of paraphernalia a thief might find handy on the job. It knocked him backside over teakettle, which was rather satisfying and alarming at the same time.

Both my delight and my worry at the damage a hook might have caused were arrested by an arm around my throat.


 

Author Bio:

Robin_0123_pp_250Robin Lythgoe was born in Maryland, but spent several years in Oregon and did a short stint in upstate New York before moving to Utah. She married an artist, and together they have four wonderful children. Reading and writing have always been a part of her life, and she is particularly drawn to fantasy. When she was growing up her mother often led expeditions to the library, from which the entire party invariably returned laden with a stack of books guaranteed to make the arms longer. Robin read everything voraciously, and when she finished her stack, she’d start on her mother’s… and then her sisters’. Today she writes tales about wizards and magic, fantastical places and extraordinary journeys.

Her novel, “As the Crow Flies,” was selected as a Kindle Book Review, 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semifinalist.

Connect:

Website | Twitter | Facebook


 

Robin is also doing a giveaway! Enter below!

Giveaway

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$30 Amazon Gift Card

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$20 Amazon Gift Card

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Interview

When did you start writing?

When I was a child—but I didn’t get serious about it until my second child was born. I suffered Bookus Interruptus until I kicked that sorry disease to the curb.

What inspires your writing?

What doesn’t? Music—yes, most especially—and chocolate, movies, books, the news, pictures, conversations… I love that inspiration is all around me, and all I have to do is open my eyes, pick something, and turn it over in my head until my imagination grabs it and runs like crazy.

What is the best part about being a writer?

Exercising my imagination and creativity. What a blast!

Is there something special or unique about you or your book you’d like to tell us about?

I am evidently fluid in the language of Snark. And so is Crow, the main character of my book!

Winner takes all giveaway!

WOW! Check out all these awesome books!

Rainy Kaye had an awesome idea for an epic giveaway and I wanted in. There are so many awesome books in this giveaway, and of course, Where the Carnies Are is included. The giveaway is easy entry through rafflecopter, so scroll down and enjoy the beautiful covers before entering the giveaway of a lifetime. You can win enough ebooks to keep you happy for a very long time.

Scroll to the bottom to enter to win all 28 ebooks! There’s a little of everything, for a total of over $85 worth of ebooks. Winner takes all!

summoned_cover_final_bigger the forever girl sunbolt magicless misfortune the polaris uprising the zodiac collectr prophecy girl no good deed his source hidden gene cards fearless and feminine famine echoes fairy texas robot awareness sac sex ray specs copper ravens carnies redcap baba ali a home for jesse radiant shadows killing jena crane tort wally

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Fantasy Calendar featuring Thomas Winship + Giveaway!

It’s 2014 and we’re celebrating with an awesome fantasy themed calendar. This calendar is for the background on your computer and you can get this month’s image below.

Each month will feature a different book or series, so if you want to challenge yourself, try reading each book or series that is featured before each month is over. The series for November is the Evolutionary War series by Thomas Winship. He will be giving away a set of Vaempires eBooks. Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter below!

November

Click here to download the full size image. Then set as your background!


New Release!Roadside Assistance Cover

Roadside Assistance (Short Story)

For Hannah, a long trip home seems a small price to pay for a little peace … until her journey takes a turn for the worse. Now, injured and alone, she must test the limits of her courage, endurance, and love.

Amazon


Vaempires: Revolution (The Evolutionary War-Book 1)Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00024]

It is the morning of Princess Cassandra’s sixteenth birthday. Everyone’s attention is focused on the heir to the vampire throne. World leaders, the rich and famous, and VIPs from every corner of the globe have gathered in the nation’s capital to celebrate the momentous event.

Cassandra’s boyfriend, Daniel, is late for the party. He’s still outside the city when all hell breaks loose. What he believes is an act of terrorism proves to be a full-fledged revolution. Væmpires–former vampires who mutated into warm-blooded creatures with an insatiable hunger for cold blood–have launched coordinated attacks across the globe, with three goals: the eradication of humanity, the enslavement of vampires, and the ascension of væmpires as the dominant species on the planet.

The vampire and human leaders are killed. Cassandra is missing. Daniel is the acting king. Desperate to find the princess, Daniel and his friends fight their way across the besieged city. With the hopes of the free world resting on the shoulders of four vampire teenagers, væmpires unleash their secret weapons: a new breed of væmpire that is far deadlier than any ever seen before.

What can four teens do against an enemy that can shape-shift, fly, and walk through walls?

Amazon | Other Formats


Vaempires: White Christmas (The Evolutionary War-Book 0)Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00012]

It’s almost Christmas. With the global holiday days away, the people of the world should be turning their attention toward celebrating peace and goodwill, but tension between humans, vampires, and væmpires is at an all-time high. Desperate for solutions, King Brant schedules a secret summit deep in North America’s Northern Forest. Along with Queen Anne, Princess Cassandra, Daniel’s family, and the human president and First Lady, the vampire leader seeks to reaffirm the ties between humans and vampires, while brainstorming ways to respond to the growing hostility among væmpires.

Meanwhile, Daniel and Cassie’s relationship is at an all-time low. The princess is still reeling from her breakup with Vielyn, and Daniel doesn’t know what he should or shouldn’t do to help. Little does he know that the summit will be flooded with surprises–guests, allegations, accusations, proposals, and even Christmas Eve revelations–but not all of the surprises will be pleasant.

Amazon | Other Formats


Vaempires: Zombie Rising (The Evolutionary War-Book 2)Vaempires- Zombie Rising Cover

The tale of the Evolutionary War resumes in Væmpires: Zombie Rising.

Væmpires have taken control of twelve major cities. Their leader, Vielyn, seeks the atomic weapons that will bring the rest of the world to its knees.

Vampire forces are reeling. As Linq and Ray race to the royal estate to rendezvous with Cassandra and Daniel, the princess is captured and Daniel falls.

With the fate of world shifting to their teenage shoulders, Linq and Ray must deal with tremendous losses while battling a most unexpected—and undeadly—new foe.

Amazon | Other Formats


Vaempires (The Evolutionary War-Book 3)

Coming Soon!

2015


Author Bio:

Thomas Winship lives in New York. He currently serves as MBA Director for a private liberal arts college in southern New York, where he also teaches courses in English Composition, Communications, and Business. Prior to this, he spent fifteen years working for a global pharmaceutical company, specializing in organizational development, talent management, and training.

Tom writes in his spare time. His first novel, Temporary Insanity, was a 2008 finalist in a national contest but failed to garner industry attention. Væmpires: Revolution, his second novel (first in the Væmpires series) and Væmpires: White Christmas were published in 2011. His latest work, Væmpires: Zombie Rising, was published in late 2012.

He is an avid collector of books, comic books, music, and movies. His interests are diverse: on any given day, Tom is likely to be found watching a horror movie, attending a hard rock concert, or enjoying a Broadway show.

He is currently working on the next installment of the “Væmpires” series.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

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