Author Spotlight: Raven Williams

Today, I’m interviewing my friend Raven Williams, who writes amazing Fantasy novels. The last book of her popular Realm Jumper Chronicles series is out today! Her work can also be found in A Horde of Dragons, an anthology with five other authors, and a true story called My Brother’s Keeper. She has hosted numerous interviews and marketed other authors, and is instrumental in the administration of Virtual FantasyCon every year. Get to know Raven and her books and find your way to a new series. All seven books, officially no more waiting!

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Q – Welcome Raven. Wow, seven books. How long did it take you to go from start to finish in this series?

A – I started writing the first book, Elven-Jumper in March 2014.  That one took the longest to write and released in February of 2015.  After that, the words continually flowed, and now, two years later around Elven-Jumper’s anniversary date, I’m releasing the last novel, Elven Blood Oath.

Q – Can you tell us a little bit about the series?

A –  When I started Elven-Jumper, the premise was what happened to Elven souls when the Elves died on Earth or other realms.  The first book delves into this the most.  I had originally planned for each book to focus on one character having memories of an Elven life, but during the second book, the characters had another story in mind and hijacked the series.  In Elf-Witch (book 2) they revealed a prophecy and the beginning rumors of a possible war.  From then on, each book features a mated pair and further steps closer to war, culminating with the final battle in Elven Blood Oath (book 7.)

Q – Which book is your favorite?

A— I love them all, but I think my absolute favorite is Elven Dreams (book 4).  The mated couple in that book just manifested more fully than the others.  One thing about the Elder species, they are a reserved bunch and don’t always show emotions like we humans do, so getting them to express themselves even a little was like pulling eye teeth.  However, in Elven Dreams, they were quite expressive and I love how the story evolved.

Q –  I really liked the Archangel Michael, and was it Tabris who was his leader?

A –  Yes, Lady Tabris was originally the leader of the Angels of Light.  Of course, things changed as the stories progressed and she stepped down, naming another to replace her.  In the future, there will either be a novelette or novella expanding on why Tabris stepped down.

Q – Okay, I told you my favorite character. Which is yours?

A – I think Damien (one of the Guardians) is my favorite.  Mainly because he appears to be on the side of Dark, but then we learn more about him and that he’s not as he appears.  His journey is something I can really relate to and I think he’s the one that has come the furthest of all the characters.

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Q – What was your biggest challenge when writing The Realm Jumper Chronicles?

A – Reigning in the characters.  I would plot something, and then they’d run roughshod over me and I’d end up having to not only replot the book I was working on, but subsequent books as well.

Q – You have some companion stories for the series. Tell us a little bit about those.

A –  Right now, I have two companion novellas published, Mixed Blood and Dragons of Pandryl.  The latter one is part of a multi-author anthology, A Horde of DragonsMixed Blood delves into the history of two secondary characters, Solana of the Elves and Izlal of the Guardians and takes place in the distant past.  Dragons of Pandryl tells the stories of the Ancient Dragons and their evolution to the Dragon-Shifters they are today.  I also have two short stories that are part of a Dark Fantasy Tale & Legends Collection, Haunted by Darkness.  Those two are Fall into Darkness, which tells the origins of the demon, Vaduxach, and Rise of the Dark Witch, which tells the origins of Cassie, the Dark Witch aligned with the demon.

Q – I’m crazy about worldbuilding and cultures. Do you have a favorite culture or creature?

A –  I really love the Elven culture.  So many things that the Elves revealed to me resonate with me and I can totally relate to.

Q – Now that you’ve finished The Realm Jumper Chronicles, what can we expect to see from you in the months ahead?

A – I’m working on a new dark paranormal series, Witch Hunter’s Society.  I’ve already released two short stories, Witch Hunter’s Rise and Witch Hunter Ordained, which are part of Haunted by Darkness.  I’m currently working on the first novel, Witch Hunter’s Prey and have plotted two more novels in the trilogy.  I’m also working on the second novelette in my Raven’s Twisted Classics series, The Beast & the Sleeping Prince.  It’s a mashup of Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty, but with a twist.  For those who’ve not heard of this series, the first novelette, Down the Rabbit Hole, released this past October.

Q – I heard there’s a taste of your next series at the end of book seven; Elven Blood Oath. Is that true?

A –  Yes.  The main protagonists of Witch Hunter’s Society make an appearance in Elven Blood Oath.  Of course, for those who’ve read the series, they also know that Daciana made a very brief appearance in Elven Dreams.

Q – When can we expect the first book?

A –  I’m hoping to release Witch Hunter’s Prey late Spring or early Summer.

Q – Where can readers follow you, or learn more about you?

A – Website: http://ravenwilliamsauthor.wix.com/booksandmore

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RavenWilliamsAuthorArtist

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RavenWilliams53

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/b/100047095810006000685/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/ravenwilliamsfantasyauthor/

Tumblr: http://ravenwilliamsfantasyauthor.tumblr.com/

Sign-up for Raven’s Newsletter here: http://ravenwilliamsauthor.wixsite.com/booksandmore/newsletter-sign-up

Q – Do you sell signed books?

A – I do.  There’s an order form on my website:  http://ravenwilliamsauthor.wix.com/booksandmore

Q – Where can we purchase Realm Jumper Chronicles; Elven Blood Oath, or other books from the Realm Jumper series?

A –  All the books are available in paperback and ebook on Amazon and in ebook on most ebook platforms.  For those who love hard covers, I have those available on lulu.com.

Here is the universal link to order Realm Jumper Chronicles; Elven Blood Oath at your favorite book seller. https://www.books2read.com/ElvenBloodOath

Q – Thank you for joining us today. We’ll be looking forward to seeing what you’re up to in the future. Best of luck on your new series.

A –  Thank you.  It’s been a pleasure.


Okay, that’s all for today! If you found Raven’s books interesting, please follow her on social media, and pick up your copy today. As for me, I’ll be back with my next post very soon.

Thanks for reading!

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Author Spotlight: Andrea L. Staum

Today, I would like to introduce you to fellow Fantasy author, Andrea L. Staum. Andrea is here to tell us about the “Dragonchild Lore” series, and about herself. Enjoy!


Blood of the Sire, Book 1 of the “Dragonchild Lore” series: bots.jpg

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When Zabond’s raiders come to the shores of Kalahtaya, Kitra, the village outcast, is sent to find allies by the village’s Elemental Guardians. Forced to travel with the man she accuses of stealing her daughter and a granddaughter she has never known, Kitra soon uncovers the villages long forgotten past, as well as, learns how misguided her own memories have become.

The first book of lore reveals the birth of the Dragonchild and her tie to the Guardians of Kalahtaya.

Daughters of Kalahtaya, Book 2 of the “Dragonchild Lore” series:

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Goodreads

Zabond’s raiders continue to move inland away from Kalahtaya. As the Dragonchild stands in defiance against him, her sisters find their own roles aren’t as simple as they had once been.

Follow as the second book of lore follows Kitra’s granddaughters as they realize their potential in war torn Nivena.

 


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Author Bio:
Andrea L. Staum is author of the Dragonchild Lore series and The Attic’s Secret Novella. She is also a contributor to a wide variety of anthologies in numerous genres. She is a trained motorcycle mechanic, an amateur house renovator, and a record keeper for the characters in her mind. She resides in South Central Wisconsin with her husband and two ‘unique’ cats.

 

Twitter     Facebook     Website


Mini-Interview with Andrea L. Staum

Q. What drew you to writing?

A. I’ve always been writing. My first big venture in writing a book was in middle school. I was a huge reader and loved my English and Literature classes, so it seemed natural.

Q. Tell us one thing you learned, during research or about craft, while writing your latest book.

A. The project that I’m currently working on I’m trying something new with. I’m usually a pantser when I write. I go for it and don’t worry about what is actually being written until the editing stage. This time I’m working on a more structured method. I have a full cast character biography document, a key scenes list that I’m expanding into a detailed outline, and I went through my stock photos to see if I could find images that I identify as the characters. It is a much longer writing process, but it is giving me a new appreciation to those who use this method regularly. It shows me where the glaring plot holes might pop up LONG before the chapter is on the page and gives me time to work them out. Part of the reason for doing this is I’m working on a thriller/mystery and a different type of structure needs to be in place for it to play out than my fantasy stories. I can’t say I’ll use this detailed of a method in the future, but I may hybrid it to suit my pantser nature.

Q. How do you de-stress?

A. There’s such a thing? Aside from writing and reading, I’ve taken to sewing. My grandma taught me how to embroider so I recently made her a peacock lap blanket. I also used a sewing machine for the first time and made a TARDIS cosplay dress that actually turned out. I think the problem is my de-stressors give me more stress. I don’t do easy things. The costume was a six piece one that included a corset, darts, pleats, linings….things a rookie probably shouldn’t go headfirst into, but I can’t go halfway. To relax though, a nice warm bath can definitely help or hot chocolate. Hot chocolate can solve most everything.

Q. What inspires you?

A. I don’t have a specific inspiration. The characters and plots come from what or who’s around me. Random things can make clever stories. Learning about different things can lead to stories. I never expected to write a fairy tale about brownies putting together a motorcycle, but there was an anthology call for fairy stories and I used my knowledge as a mechanic to pull something together. A phrase can spin into something later down the road and I may not realize it when I hear it.

Q. What kind of books to you enjoy reading?

A. I’ve just been introduced to Squirrel Girl comic books and they are fantastic! I don’t really have a genre that I stick to when it comes to reading. I grew up on fantasy and sci-fi. Anne McCaffrey was my ultimate author hero and I think that’s where a lot of my love for fantasy and sci-fi came from. She also had strong female characters and I never realized how important that was while I was reading. I think a big part of what I look for in stories is flawed characters. It makes things so much more believable. I like clever writing.


I hope you had fun meeting Andrea L. Staum! Stay tuned for more posts from me and Author Spotlights in the weeks to come!

Author Spotlight: Christi J. Whitney

Today, I would like to introduce you to a fellow YA Fantasy author, Christi J. Whitney. Christy is in the middle of writing her series, “The Romany Outcasts”. The first book, Grey, came out at the end of the year, and the latest installment, Shadow, will released on June 2nd. In the blog post below, you will learn about both of Christi’s books, get to know a bit about Christi, and read a mini-interview I conducted with her. Enjoy!


Released: Grey, Book 1 of “The Romany Outcasts”:

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YA urban fantasy
Available with: HarperCollins, HarperCollinsUK, Amazon, AmazonUK, Barnes and Noble, iBooks

Sebastian Grey always thought he was a fairly normal teenager – good friends, decent grades, and a pretty sweet job in his foster brother’s tattoo shop.

But when Romany gypsies arrive in town, Sebastian discovers his world is not what it seems. There is an age-old feud between his family and the gypsies – and this isn’t the only secret his brother has been keeping from him. His life is not his own. The girl he’s been dreaming about has just turned up at school, and he feels compelled to protect her at all costs.

Even if that means life might never be normal again.


Excerpt: 

‘Sebastian, are you still there?’

I transferred my phone to my other hand as I buckled the seatbelt. ‘Yeah, I’m here.’

‘Weren’t you listening to me?’ Katie asked.

I paused, trying to remember what we’d been talking about. The two hours since lunch had been a blur, and my brain was mush. ‘Um . . . ’

Katie sighed on the other end. ‘The project Ms Lucian talked about in class today,’ she continued impatiently. ‘When are we going to work on it?’

‘I’m sorry,’ I replied, starting the engine. ‘The pounding in my head’s making it difficult to think.’

‘Another headache?’

‘You know me and sunny days,’ I said dismissively. I stepped on the gas and coaxed my old van onto the road. ‘But about the project. I don’t know if I can do it this week. Can I get back to you?’

‘Yeah, just don’t wait too long. I know we’ve got almost a month to work on it, so Ms Lucian’s not going to cut us any slack, and the rest of our group is totally avoiding me about the whole thing.’

Katie hated procrastinating on anything related to schoolwork. This was probably killing her. ‘Look, don’t worry about it. I’ll talk to the guys, and we’ll come up with a day to work on it. I promise, we won’t let you down.’

‘Thanks, Sebastian,’ she replied, sounding relieved. ‘You’re not nearly as much of an idiot as the rest of your species.’

I chuckled. ‘I think you mean gender.’

She giggled. ‘No, I don’t.’

‘Talk to you later, Katie.’

‘Bye.’

I tossed the phone on the passenger seat and rubbed my temples. By the time I made it through town and steered my van into the parking lot of the Gypsy Ink, my headache had traveled, setting up residence between my shoulder blades. The last thing I felt like doing was homework.

I shuffled through the waiting room, giving a brief wave to Kris, who was busy behind the counter. I’d grab a quick snack and then lay out flat on the floor of the apartment for a while. Just until the aching eased. I paused in the hallway just outside the door of Hugo’s workspace. I didn’t have to say anything. My brother knew I was there.

‘Hey, Sebastian.’ He glanced up from his sketchbook. ‘What’s up?’

‘Do you have any sports cream?’ I leaned against the wall and squinted as a sharp pain lanced through my shoulders. ‘My back’s killing me.’

Hugo’s brows settled low over his dark eyes. ‘In the drawer beside my bed.’

‘Okay, thanks.’

I continued down the hallway, followed by the weight of my brother’s stare. He probably thought I was trying to get out of work, which wasn’t a bad idea. I chucked my bag on the bed and rummaged through Hugo’s nightstand until I located the tube of medicine. I worked the cream into my back, but it felt as if someone was digging long fingers between my shoulder blades, attempting to separate muscle from bone.

I gave up with the cream and stumbled to the bathroom on a quest for aspirin. Just as I reached for the medicine cabinet, another shock of pain doubled me over. I gripped the edge of the counter and straightened. My gaze flicked to the mirror. For a moment, I almost didn’t recognize the face staring back. I was crazy pale, even for me, and my skin made the hazel color of my eyes look dull. But then I noticed something else. Another chunk of gray was poking through my disheveled hair.


Coming Soon: Shadow, Book 2 of “The Romany Outcasts”

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Digital release date: June 2, 2016

The second volume in this incredible YA trilogy.

When stone hearts break they shatter.

Sebastian Grey used to be a normal teenager. Now he’s a creature whose sole purpose is to be a guardian for secretive gypsy clans.

When the Romany gypsies need his help, Sebastian is given a second chance to protect Josephine Romany – the girl he loves. But this is no easy task when some of them think he’s as bad as the shadow creatures attacking their camp.

Yet to keep Josephine safe, Sebastian might have to embrace his darker side. Even if that means choosing between his humanity and becoming the monster everyone believes him to be.

Available for Pre-Order:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

 


Excerpt: 

‘My apologies if Caliban hurt you,’ said the man. ‘It’s what he’s trained to do.’

The men lowered their hoods. It was Phillipe and Stephan – two of Quentin’s Marksmen. They watched me with disgusted expressions as I forced myself to stand. My muscles felt like iron cords.

‘You’ve trained him to attack innocent people?’ I snarled, brushing myself off.

‘Of course not,’ Phillipe sneered. ‘He’s trained to attack your kind.’

My kind.

I really hated that phrase.

I examined my arm. The sleeve of my jacket was ripped, but there wasn’t a mark on my gray skin. My eyes widened. Not even a scratch. But it still hurt like crazy, and I rubbed my arm gingerly.

‘It’s fortunate we weren’t out with the rest of the dogs,’ said Stephan with a cold smile. ‘Caliban here is relatively mild-tempered.’

As if on cue, the dog’s muzzle flashed with sharp teeth.

‘Nicolas asked me to come,’ I said evenly.

Stephan tilted his chin. ‘Yes, we know.’

I was about to get an escort, I realized.

‘Come with us,’ Phillipe ordered.

Stephan slid his bow from his shoulder and fitted an arrow to the string. ‘Caliban and I will follow behind. Just as a precaution, of course – in case you start getting any ideas in that ugly gray head of yours.’

Quentin Marks’ welcoming committee was not something I’d anticipated. I gathered my bags, and Phillipe led our unpleasant little party across the Sutallee Bridge. I unconsciously slowed as we passed over the abandoned mine shaft where Josephine and I had taken refuge so long ago. There was a sharp poke in the middle of my back, right between my pent wings.

‘Move it,’ Stephan said, jabbing me again. ‘We’re already late for lunch.’

I fought the insanely strong desire to whirl around and shove the arrow down his throat. Instead, I bit my lip, tasting blood, and picked up my pace. We reached the iron fence that surrounded the Fairgrounds. Phillipe pulled out a ring of keys and opened the I’d assumed everything would look as it had the last time I’d been within the walls of the Circe de Romany. But there were no tents or pavilions. No rides or decorations, either. Only trailers – along with several RVs, trucks, and buses – arranged in a tight circle, right in the middle of the property.

Their configuration created a large open space in the center of the caravan. Tarps were arranged over tables and chairs. A fire pit had been built, and laundry hung from clotheslines spread between trailers. People bustled around the clearing, preparing for the approaching storm. Another peal of thunder echoed overhead. The clouds had thickened, and the sky looked ready to split apart at any moment.

‘Hurry it up,’ said Stephan with another jab to my back. ‘I don’t intend to get wet.’

Lightning flashed. Women scurried to get the clothes off the lines while men anchored the tarps more securely in the ground. Phillipe led me to a small trailer and flung open the door.

‘Get inside.’

The howling wind was motivation enough – even without Stephan’s sharp arrow in my back – and I scampered up the steps. My nose instantly wrinkled at the unpleasant smell. Phillipe caught my look.

‘The dog trailer,’ he said.

‘Just be glad they’re out on patrol,’ said Stephan with a malicious laugh. ‘They’re quite territorial.’

The Marksmen backed me into the stinky enclosure, weapons drawn.

‘We’ll come for you when Nicolas returns,’ said Phillipe. ‘Until then, welcome home.’

With that, he slammed the door, locking me inside.


Bio:

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Christi J. Whitney is a former high school theatre director with a love for the dramatic. She lives just outside Atlanta with her husband and two sons. When not spending time with them or taking a ridiculous number of trips to Disney World, she can be found directing plays, making costumes for sci-fi/fantasy conventions, geeking out over Doctor Who, and watching superhero movies.

Website      Twitter    Facebook      Goodreads     Instagram


Mini-Interview with Christy J. Whitney:

Q: What drew you to writing?

A: I’ve always loved making up stories in my head, and I used to write quite a bit when I was younger. When I became a high school theatre director, I set writing aside, but I always kept stories in the back of my head. I shared one with some of my students one day, and it rekindled my passion for writing. Being an author and being a theatre director are very similar – both careers have allowed me to create stories and bring them to life, either on the stage or on the page.

Q: Tell us one thing you learned, during research or about craft, while writing your latest book.

A: I learned so much about the Roma culture while doing research for The Romany Outcasts Series, but I also learned how to write for YA. I began as a pretty wordy author in my early days – bogged down with way too much detail. Writing young adult fiction has taught me how to streamline and move the plot and characters along.

Q: What’s next on your To Be Read list?

A: I have way too many books in my TBR pile, but at the top would be An Ember in the Ashes, Mistborn: The Final Empire, Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, and Thorn Jack.

Q: What inspires you?

A: I was definitely inspired by my former students while writing the first two books of this trilogy. But I love sitting down to read or watch good fantasy and science fiction stories. It always recharges me.

Q: What makes a story interesting to you?

A: Stories with unusual, but believable characters always interest me. I’m a sucker for underdog heroes and endearing, slightly awkward sidekicks. I adore transformation tales and stories of self-discovery. At the end of the day, if I can relate to the characters, then I’m going to keep turning the pages.


 I hope you had fun meeting Christi J. Whitney! Stay tuned for more posts from me and Author Spotlights in the weeks to come!

Author Spotlight: Kristin D. Van Risseghem

Today’s Author Spotlight belongs to a good friend of mine, the lovely and talented Kristin D. Van Risseghem. The second book in her Enlighten series, The Passage, a Dance, & a Little White Dress, will be released on April 13, 2016. I originally spotlighted book 1, The Guardian, A Sword, and Stilettos here. Continue on to learn more about Book 2, and about Kristin herself.

Synopsis:

It’s been a week since 17-year old Zoe Jabril found out her best friend is a Guardian Angel, her boyfriend is a Nephilim, and a fellow classmate is a Fairy. What makes Zoe so special? She’s destined to unify Enlightens to battle evil—that is, if Demons don’t kill her first.​

With ‘Project: Enlightens Unite’ underway, Zoe learns the history of the area wolf pack and realizes she’s in a race against time to get her newly discovered talents under control. Despite struggling to fight a mysterious attraction to her new neighbor, rescue her boyfriend from Demons, and travel into Fairyland to convince the Summer King to join the fight, Zoe must still attend high school classes so her nosy parents don’t suspect anything is out of the ordinary before Demons can mount another attack.

Zoe will need all the help she can get, from the most unlikely of sources, if she’s to save her boyfriend’s life and prevent the Devil from escaping Hell on her eighteenth birthday.

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Chapter 1 Excerpt:

ZOE

Last night, a friend of mine rose from the dead—and I was the one who brought her back. So I guess . . . I’m an angel. Or, at least most of my friends think I am.

Even wrapped tightly in the arms of my favorite oversized PINK hoodie, I shivered. It was chilly for mid-April while sitting on my front porch with the sun just coming over the horizon, but that wasn’t where the tremor had come from.

I glanced up, startled by the high-pitched squealing of truck brakes that rang above the music playing from my iPod. The truck turned into the cul-de-sac and careened straight into the next door neighbors’ driveway. What made it really strange was the house had been empty since last October. I could still see the top of the “For Sale” sign on the manicured front lawn. I pulled out my cell phone to text my boyfriend, Shay.

Me: Good morning!

As I waited for a response, a gray uniformed driver open his door and climbed down. He walked to the back of the truck; then multiple doors slammed.

“This furniture goes into the living room on the main level,” a man said.

I didn’t particularly want to be a nosy neighbor, but I couldn’t help myself. I eased higher on the top step, hoping to get a look at the man who seemed to be in charge. His back was to me, so all I could tell was he had short blond hair. He glanced down at something then looked back up, turned, and pointed toward a number of other, smaller trucks in the cul-de-sac parking. More uniformed men jumped out of the smaller trucks and gathered around their boss, waiting for instructions. I had no interest in watching a bunch of people move boxes, so I just stayed on the step and waited for my best friend, Kieran, and Shay.

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PURCHASE LINKS:

Website | Amazon | Nook | Smashwords

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Author Bio:

 Kristin D. Van Risseghem grew up in a small town along the Mississippi River with her parents and older sister. And after receiving a double Bachelor of Science degree from Winona State University in Paralegal and Corrections, she worked as a Paralegal for various law firms around the Twin Cities for 14 years. Then she left the legal field and is now a Senior Buyer for a technology company.

Currently, Kristin lives in Minnesota with her husband and two Calico cats. She also loves attending book clubs, going shopping, and hanging out with friends. She has come to realize that she absolutely has an addiction to purses and shoes. They are her weakness and probably has way too many of both.

In the summer months, Kristin can usually be found lounging on her boat, drinking an ice cold something. Being an avid reader of YA and Women’s Literature stories, she still finds time to read a ton of books in-between writing. And in the winter months, her main goal is to stay warm from the Minnesota cold!

Kristin’s books are published by Kasian Publishing.

Website​|​Twitter​​|​Facebook

Enter Kristin’s Giveaway:

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Author Spotlight: Ismael Manzano

It’s funny. I do these author spotlights every now and then, and while the writers involved are often my friends, I have never done something like this for a person I know better than I know myself, about a book I read in its nascent stages, a story I’d heard about for years in various possible incarnations before it became what it is today. But here I am. My author spotlight today is for my husband, Ismael Manzano, and his novel, Soulless.

Now, below you will find a whole lot of press release type information, and I want you to read it and enjoy it, because it’s good stuff. But before I even get to that, I want to tell you the truth about this book.

I love this book. And not just because it’s my husband’s book. The story is imaginative, and I connected with the characters immediately, particularly the main character, Charlotte. Learning about this world through her eyes has been an exhilarating experience.

But more importantly, I love the writing, the way he weaves words together and takes you on a ride with them. I speak a lot about writing on this blog, but I rarely point out this fact – I am only a writer because I was inspired by Ismael. He not only told me I could, but he challenged me, and he showed me what dedication to the craft looked like, and without him I’d probably still be auditioning for acting jobs with my own stories dancing in my head. I got very lucky. I got to marry my favorite author. And I’m so very pleased to help create some of the fanfare surrounding this book.

So, without further ado, here’s a little about Ismael, and a little about Soulless.


Available Today!

Soulless
by Ismael Manzano

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Synopsis:

The devil’s not the only one buying souls; both sides need bodies to fight their war, and both have something to offer in return. Nearly anything is possible, if you are the type of soul they’re looking for. Charlotte Furio learns this the hard way, when a spirited and mysterious woman named Trisha follows her home one night and gives her ailing father a simple choice: a healthy body for his immortal soul.

His decision introduces Charlotte to the world of soul brokering, and Charlotte is not only drawn to it, but finds she has a knack for it. Having lived the last decade of her life with only one purpose—to care for her increasingly disabled father—Charlotte sees this as her chance to give direction and meaning to her own life, and the lives of other people. To help them as Trisha had helped her father.

This mission is quickly derailed when Charlotte is framed for the murder of one of the brokers’ leaders. Where she once had only one purpose, now Charlotte has two: get her father’s soul back and find a way to prove her innocence before it’s too late.

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Excerpt:

I walked around the car so I could jump into the passenger’s seat, waited for the crowd to thin and calmly—barely holding onto my senses—asked for the knapsack. It weighed nothing, but when I opened it, I found a parchment resting peacefully and eagerly inside of it. The full moon was out, and the sky was cloudless and unobtrusive, so when the pale, silvery light touched the papyrus, it was not reflected but enhanced. Trisha started the engine, and put the convertible’s top up to block the moonlight, then adjusted her mirror. Her face glowed nearly as bright as the papyrus.

The windows were tinted so I felt safe removing the parchment completely from the bag. The second my hand touched it, I felt a rush of something inexplicable, like a jolt of pleasurable lightning traipsing through my nerves and extending outward to the world at large. At first, I thought Trisha had pulled out a taser gun and had shocked me, but nothing hurt. I closed my eyes and allowed myself to enjoy the strangeness of the sensation. Shivers passed through me randomly, tingles that lit my skin. Without knowing how, I knew those shivers were my body’s reaction to people passing alongside the car. It was as if I was connected to the air through which they moved. I heard the wind pushing through the desiccated leaves still clinging to their branches, and it sounded like water rushing around a brook. The smells of the city, even through the confinement of the car, assailed my nostrils as if someone had bottled it up and threw it—concentrated—into my lap.

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PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon | Smashwords | Nook | Kobo

Author Bio:

Ismael_Head shotIsmael Manzano was born and raised in New York City, and has lived his entire life in the Bronx, first with his parents, and then with his lovely and talented wife, Justine, and now with their kinetic maelstrom of a child, Logan.

Ismael is an avid reader of fantasy books, and knew at an early age that he wanted to be a writer. He worked his entire life to hone his craft to achieve the goal of removing the prefix, ‘aspiring,’ from his title, and referring to himself as a writer.

He has written many reviews and social commentaries for the web magazine, G-pop.net. Recently, Ismael has found success publishing his short stories, Playing in Shadows, at This Dark Matter and Cold, published in July 2015, at Grey Matter. In 2015, Fantasy Works Publishing signed his Urban Fantasy series, Soul Broker.

Ismael loves watching historical documentaries and listening to audio lectures about Medieval England, Ancient Rome, and Egypt. He considers himself an amateur historian, and has never met a BBC historical drama he didn’t like. One of his favorite things to do is to watch shows like the Tudors and movies like Elizabeth, and try to pick out the discrepancies between fact and fiction. He also hopes to one day solve a Rubix Cube puzzle, but that dream, sadly, seems to be the greatest fantasy of them all.

Website: IsmaelManzano.com

Twitter: @IsmaelManzano76

Facebook: Ismael Manzano – Author

 

Author Spotlight: Ross Smeltzer

For my first Author Spotlight of 2016, I’d like to introduce you to a friend of mine, Ross Smeltzer, a talented Dark Fantasy writer, whose collection of novellas, The Mark of the Shadow Grove, will be the first release from Fantasy Works Publishing, available January 15th. Pre-order now at the links listed below.

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Synopsis: Daughters of the gathering dusk and students of blackest spellcraft, the women of the Schermerhorn clan are enigmas made flesh. Seers for time immemorial, they are keepers of primeval knowledge.

They are wise in the ways of the Old Religion.

And they are destroyers of men.

Do the women of the Schermerhorn clan drive the men they encounter to their destruction? Or are their actions governed by specters on the periphery of human consciousness?

The Schermerhorn women will soon learn what dwells in the oldest books and what lurks in the flickering shadows beyond the candlelight.

Excerpt:

I saw her close to the fire. I approached her. Instinct—animal’s blood—controlled my fatigued limbs and I felt no fear, though the flames blazed high and the hilltop was forlorn; the night was black as deep water . . . She turned and approached me. “There are no masters here. Only you and me,” she said.

 

PURCHASE LINKS:

Fantasy Works Publishing        |           Amazon           |           Smashwords

 

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Author Bio: Raised in Chatham, New York, a small town in the Berkshires that looks like the setting for a Washington Irving story, Ross grew up surrounded by overgrown woodlands and tumbled-down, derelict farmhouses. He grew up with an awareness that the past was omnipresent, a slyly pervasive power and a subtle influence on the present.

Ross now lives in Dallas, Texas with his patient and endlessly supportive wife, a hopelessly brainless terrier, and an alarmingly unhinged cat. Ross works as a social studies teacher but writes fiction whenever he gets a chance. Sadly, he seems capable only of crafting stories of the weirdest kind. His imagination—apparently corrupted in adolescence by Hawthorne, Bierce, Machen, Lovecraft, and assorted other misanthropes, weirdos, and purveyors of high strangeness—can only manufacture demented little yarns.

Ross’s fiction has appeared repeatedly in Bewildering Stories magazine, Quantum Fairy Tales, and Enchanted Conversation, an online fairy tale magazine.

Find Ross here:

Website: http://fantasyworkspublishing.com/ross-smeltzer.html

Twitter: @RossTellsTales

Author Spotlight: Kyra Dune

Today’s spotlight is my friend, Fantasy writer Kyra Dune. Check out info on her and her latest release below. 

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Author Bio: 

Kyra Dune was born in Oklahoma, but spent most of her life travelling with her family. She is the author of more than twenty fantasy novels, including: Shadow of the Dragon, Elfblood, and Firebrand. As a child, her favorite stories were those that told of ordinary children being whisked away to magical lands. She has yet to find her own secret wardrobe or rabbit hole, but she hasn’t given up the search. You never know what might be waiting over the next rainbow.

Blurb: 

A woman on a mission.

Bound and determined to bring a criminal to justice, Quicksilver will chase him across dimensional space to do it. As a Guardian it’s her sworn duty to protect both realms from the threat he poses. But when she finds herself alone, wounded, and in desperate need of help, she is forced to break a taboo among her kind. In order to save herself from death, she has to drink the blood of a human. What she doesn’t count on, is what happens next.

A man with nothing left to lose.

After the death of his parents, Dustin was left in the care of the foster system, but thanks to a kind hearted social worker he finds himself living easy enough on his own in the house his parents left him. Life is steady, if a little bland, until he stops to help a bloody, naked woman on the side of the road. He has no idea how his world will change with that one simple act.

A chance to mend two broken hearts.

With an undeniable attraction growing between them, Dustin and Quicksilver work to stop the criminal bent on killing them both. But will the unexpected appearance of a pyrokinetic from the second realm be a help or a hindrance?

Promotional Links:

BUY LINK – Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Quicksilver-Dual-Realm-Novel-Novels-ebook/dp/B014LR466Q

CONTACT LINK –
Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/Kyra-Dune/e/B00A5WOHGQ

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Kyra-Dune-136273741952/timeline/?ref=bookmarks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KyraDune
Blog: http://theshadowportal.blogspot.com/
Website: http://kyradune.weebly.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5350164.Kyra_Dune
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kyradune/