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

 

2015 Year in Review, Dancing into 2016

Hi all!

So I know I’ve been kind of absent this month, and mostly that was just me being the usual speed-of-light blur that I’m known for. Post NaNoWriMo, I had a ton of work to make up for in daily life, so I ran through that and have just now come down from the big spin. But, now that Christmas is done (Happy Holidays!), my 33rd birthday is here (Happy Birthday to me!) and 2016 is on the horizon (Happy New Year!), I always like to take a minute and look at how much things have changed in a year.

Highlights of 2015

  • IMG_2318I signed a contract for my series! So, things may be a bit delayed from my original August release, but that’s because I switched publishing companies in the middle of the process. It was a difficult but necessary decision to make, and while it set things back a little, The Order of the Key is still going strong and will be on bookshelves and hopefully chilling in your e-reader in 2016. So, stick with me. 2016 is going to be a banner year! I am also over halfway through writing Book 2, so things for the Keys and Guardians series are going well and moving right along.
  • Speaking of which, if we’re going with firsts, this is the first time I’ve ever edited a manuscript for a publisher, and it has been insane. Bang your head into the wall, pull your hair out of your head, angst-ridden crazy, but we’re about halfway through the muck, and the product has been incredible. I’m in love with what we’ve done so far, and damn…my editor is right when she’s right, you know?
  • lastcover1My husband, Ismael, signed his book series! Fans of the blog know just how invested I am in my husband’s work (we work as a team, are each other’s first editors, and brainstorm out most of our work together). Obviously, he is more excited than I am, but I am still over the moon! Soulless, Book 1 of the Soul Broker series, is in final edits and due out early in 2016. Life just got very different for both of us, as I’m sure you know.

 

  • Logan is kicking butt at First Grade and has decided he wants to be a writer too. We’re not expecting anything, but he’s pretty angry he can’t publish a book now, because Mommy and Daddy are, so why not? One day, kid. Or maybe not. You decide.
  • Once we both got picked up for series with Fantasy Works Publishing, I also took a job with them, and I’ve been having a grand time with my newfound duties. I’ve been working in acquisitions, as a content editor, and I’m about to strike out in a new branch – I will be running the soon-to-open audiobook branch of the company. So keep an eye open for that. You can get an idea of all of the wonderful things FWP has to offer at http://www.fantasyworkspublishing.com
  • Lastcover I mentioned my content editing above, and I’d like to introduce you to the book I’ve been editing. If you like horror and dark fantasy, you will love following the twists and turns of Gage Greenwood’s first novel, In the Eyes, In the Shadows. We’ve been having a great time working on his novel, he is extremely talented, and a breeze to work with. I know you all will fall in love with his book just like I did, so follow him for news on its release. You’ll be seeing it in 2016 as well.

What’s New in 2016

  • Aside from all the release dates and pending projects? Well, I’m still writing Book 2 of the Keys and Guardians series, The Lost Key, and I’m also going to try to shop out my last remaining short story, One Headlight. It’s been a busy year, and I let that one fall by the wayside. Either way, with book signings and marketing on the horizon, I have a good feeling that 2016 will have a crazier and much longer list of highlights than this year.

Alright guys, that’s what’s up with me! How is everything with you? Post below so I can get a look at what everyone has been up to and what is to come!

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/

Distinguished Press Presents…Embers!

Hi everyone! One of my Distinguished Press sisters, the wonderful Karyn Pearson, is releasing the final part of the Hellfire Trilogy, a YA/NA post-apocalyptic supernatural series, on February 27th and in honor of that release, I would like to introduce you to The Hellfire Trilogy, and most importantly the final installment, Embers. Check out the whole trilogy, now.

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It all begins with a Spark . . .

10991114_10203424246597345_1656051139744020148_nArdentia, a demon hunter with a demon’s spirit bound to her own, goes on a journey to restore honor to her mother’s name. One by one, she hunts down the Saligia, who are responsible for her family’s curse. The closer she gets to bringing the Seven Deadly Sins down, the higher the chances are she’ll lose herself along the way. As the demon inside her, Noxius, awakens and grows stronger, it will only be a matter of time. Ardentia faces but one choice—trust the demon to help her break the curse, and pray he doesn’t betray her in the end.

. . . and blazes into an Inferno . . .

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A new threat has emerged. Belial, one of four Crown Princes of Hell, has risen. The Crown Prince intends to free the rest of his brothers. If he succeeds, he will raise Lucifer from his centuries’ long slumber. Belial will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. His influence even extends past the defenses of the holy city of Salvatio. The Crown Prince must be stopped before the last great defense of mankind falls. Ardentia stands to answer the call. She knows the task alone will be dangerous, and that she could easily die in the attempt. But the threat of certain death won’t sway her. She and Noxius will do whatever it takes to thwart Belial, regardless of the consequences, even if those consequences mean paying the ultimate price.

. . . leaving behind a world of Embers  . . .

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Though she won the battle against Belial, the war for mankind has just begun. Lucifer is rising. With each passing day, time runs out for the human race. In sixty-six days, the fate of the world will be decided. But before Ardentia can focus on saving the world, she must save her demon. Noxius is dying, and his only hope for survival is to return to his own body. Ardentia must brave the horrors of Hell and its armies to reach Noxius’ court. If she manages to survive, she’ll still need to face the Lucifer, and something far worse—a foe far greater than the Devil himself.

Embers is available for presale now at Smashwords and Amazon now. Check it out and prepare for more Distinguished Press releases in the coming weeks on this blog. I can’t wait to share all of these amazing new releases with you!

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Author Bio

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Karyn Pearson is the author of the Hellfire Trilogy and Arcturian Bloodlines. She is a full-time pet parent of her two dogs Nikki and Jamie. Karyn has a B.A. in Anthropology and has explored dozens of cultures in her studies, but has imagined countless more. She enjoys reading, playing action RPGs, and plotting the next adventure for her characters whenever she has a spare moment free of the dreaded and undefeated “puppy dog eyes attack.”

Her upcoming project will be the first novel of a new vampire series, Arcturian Bloodlines. When she’s not writing, Karyn can be found playing with her puppies or Googling various dangerous topics for novel research that make her constantly question why federal agents haven’t yet knocked down her front door.