A Tourist’s Halloween Guide to Bad Blood

g1510984England has a rich heritage and, especially in London, you’ll find it difficult to spit and not hit something centuries years old – BTW, you might get arrested for that, so do check around before letting rip with the salvia!

London is a busy city where there are too many people and far too many construction sites. Our Tube (Subway) is unnaturally warm, and our roads are naturally congested. But none of this matters in my YA horror novel, Bad Blood. It’s hard to care about temperature and traffic when you’re hip deep in snarling smelly zombies.

Bad Blood is told first person from a vampire’s point of view. Britannia is the very essence of Britain; she has protected it many times in the past, and now finds herself taking on that role again to save survivors of a fast-paced zombie outbreak that hits the UK. The first book happens mainly in London – so let’s take a tour of some Bad Blood hot spots:

The Statue of George IV, Trafalgar Square: erected in 1843, this bronze statue of King George IV astride his faithful steed looks out over the world famous Trafalgar Square. Used as higher ground by Britannia when she is sniffing out un-infected humans to feed on, this statue gives her the space and time she needs to locate her next meal.

The Natural History Museum: A beautiful, elaborately designed building established in 1881; filled with knowledge, dioramas and now zombies. Britannia has an epic struggle on her hands here, and not just with the hungry undead hordes that were given free admission!

Madame Tussauds: Originally set up by wax sculptor Marie Tussauds in 1884, there is more blank-eyed scary looking celebrities here than on any red carpet event. But Bad Blood takes you deeper into the bowels of this tourist attraction, delivering you a fast-paced confrontation in the Chambers of Horrors.

Double Decker Red Buses: The Red Double Decker bus is an iconic symbol of London and is used by the vampires and the human survivors to flee the city and also to indulge the vampire’s competitor natures!

Now you know the stops, why not jump onto the Bad Blood bus and let it take you sight-seeing through the zombie ravaged streets of London; the price of admission? Well, Britannia only asks for your blood…

Evernight Teen   Amazon US     Amazon UK   Barnes & Noble   Nook    Amazon Canada   Amazon Australia 

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Doing the zombie shuffle – Zombies in YA literature

img_0443_v2I find zombies scary – there I admit it. I always have done. And I can tell you why; we are just one mad scientist away from zombies becoming real. Zombies worry me, and movies aside, they are certainly not new to literature.

I read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein at school. It’s only when you get into the nitty gritty of this book you realise it was one of the first ever zombie novels. The creature, albeit more sentient than your average ‘braaaains’ screeching shuffler, is a re-animated corpse. Considered a ‘flawed creation’ by Dr Frankenstein, the creature has to contend with some serious abandonment issues, loneliness (after all zombies are pack creatures) and some rather vengeful thoughts. All in all, the zombie in question doesn’t act much like the zombies we’re use to today.

Moving quickly through the years to Carrie Ryan’s Forrest of Hands & Teeth we find Mary, the protagonist, struggling to free herself from a predictable YA love triangle while avoiding the ‘Unconsercrated’. The name of the zombies in itself echoes the book’s theme of religion; but apart from that, they seem to lumber around the forest being said hands and teeth. The zombies provide only one author objective: they are the threat that seeks to harm the main characters. The only zombie character that comes to ‘life’ is the fast and slightly vengeful, Gabrielle – who seems to retain some of her former personality and is hell-bent on killing Mary for allowing her to die.

Darren Shan’s Zom B uses zombies to unite its characters. One of the themes of this book is racism and yob-like behaviour. Although by its title, it’s a zombie book, the shambling flesh-munching creatures serve as danger and a catalyst for character development. They unite the survivors – regardless of their misguided beliefs.

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion did something extraordinary with zombies – he made them the romantic lead. The book is written the first person from R’s point of view. It was a bold move that paid off and put zombies in a different light altogether. After that, Lisa Habel’s Dearly Departed also took zombies firmly into the romance genre.

Now it would seem that zombies are not just evolving but contorting into a new type of ‘monster’. Maybe it would be more accurate to say they are going back to their gothic character-driven roots. Who’s to say that if Dr Frankenstein had given his monster a bride that it would have gone very differently for him, and his loved ones.

As a YA urban fantasy writer, I love zombies, and am, to a degree, guilty myself of simply inserting them into my story as a wall of rotting flesh that relentlessly rolls towards my heroes – I did, though, introduce a new dynamic in my series, Battle of the Undead. It’s vampires VS zombies. So what happens when a vampire becomes infected? A Vambie or a Zompire? Find out now with the first in the series, Bad Blood:

Evernight Teen   Amazon US     Amazon UK   Barnes & Noble   Nook    Amazon Canada   Amazon Australia 

Halloween advice – surviving the zombies!

dsc00127We have a fascination with zombies, in my opinion, they are the most realistic monster lurking in the horror aisles of your local book shop. They are us. They could happen. Vampires, werewolves – well, as Disney put it ‘It’s a small world after all’ so we’d know about them already. In a time when people post what they had for breakfast on FaceBook, these creatures couldn’t hide for long. But zombies …there are more dead bodies crammed into the earth than live ones walking on it.
So how could it happen? Mostly in zombie stories the survivors rarely find out how they ended up nose to nose with re-animated flesh-munching corpses; they’re far too busy trying to stay alive than to discover the undead root of the problem. To me, the most believable way of this happening is a scientifically created disease, perhaps something similar to rabies.

Okay, so it’s happening, the dead are rising. In theory, this wouldn’t be an instant issue; it would probably take 2 or 3 days for the undead crap to hit the fan. In that time you’d see more violent news reports than usual. There would be odd hashtag threads on twitter about attacks and infection. They’d be YouTube videos popping up with alarming regularity featuring police show-downs with crazed, bullet proof psychos. It would be a slow but steady stream of bloody violence.
Now, if hunky British survivalist Bear Grylls has taught us anything, it’s that to survive in a harsh environment, we need to ensure we have three things: food, water and shelter. You need to be fed and rested to be able to keep one step ahead of the zombie hordes so, to survive, your priority would be to find a safe place to hole up, preferably which contains food and water too. We’ve all seen the potential trolley of problems with picking a shopping centre for this – it’s too big, you can’t defend it. So somewhere, perhaps like a small supermarket that’s doors could be barricaded, would work well.
The next question you have to answer is: do you buddy up, or go it alone? There are dangers with either, but I tend to think the buddy system was practicality designed for zombie attacks, so buddy up! Just be cautious and ensure your buddy is someone you can trust. You don’t want to test the theory ‘to survive – you only need to run faster than your friend, than a zombie horde in pursuit!’
So, you have a group of people you can trust; you’re holed up in a defend-able, solid building stuffed with food and drink – now what? Well, to be honest, you wait it out. When comparing a zombie outbreak to a disease of similar ilk, it would all be over after 21 days. After that time, those who were infected will have eaten their whole available food source, they’ll start to starve and, even zombies need food to keep going. After hearing the last animated corpse scratch and moan at your door, you give it another day before emerging. Then with other sensible survivors start to rebuild, and I guess figure out how it all went horribly wrong in the first place.
Just, remember the rules that horror movies have taught us over the years: Don’t open the door for anything/ anyone. Slug anyone who looks like they’re going to panic and rip out through your barricade. Ration the amount of sugary items you consume (Although I actually believe that you can never eat enough chocolate). Always carry a weapon. Check your buddies for infection. And always, always… hang on there’s a new #infection tag infesting Twitter…Right, I’m off down the local supermarket; you can join me if you like, but make sure you get there before I barricade the door!

If you like your zombie uprising with a dash of vampires, then check out Bad Blood today for your Halloween read:

Evernight Teen   Amazon US     Amazon UK   Barnes & Noble   Nook    Amazon Canada   Amazon Australia 

Rule Britannia – examining the main character of Bad Blood

britBad Blood is a vampires VS zombies horror set in England. Told first person from a vampire’s point of view, I knew as the writer; I needed a certain type of character who could tell the story, engage with the reader and survive the zombie hordes as they drag their rotten asses through the burning streets of London.

Britannia is over 4 hundred years old and was born Brianna. Daughter of a wealthy merchant she lived like a princess and was set to marry the love of her life… when Nicholas the vampire saw her. He kidnapped her, made her a vampire against her will, murdered her fiancé then kept her captive for 20 years in a crazy attempt to woe her. When she was finally free, she swore a vendetta on Nicholas and evolved from spoilt little Brianna to the blood-guzzling, ass-kicking, England protecting, Britannia.

Her lost love was a soldier in his majesty’s service so Britannia declared herself a secret protector of the realm, fighting in every war and falling ever deeper in love with the memory of her dead soldier. That love is reinforced on an almost nightly basis with her daydreams. She might be lying in wait on the roof of a West End Theatre to kill Nicholas’ newest vampire, but be imagining herself inside with her fiancé, enjoying a show. The mirror of a violent vampire dreaming she’s a bored housewife is held up throughout the book and is both an endearing and dangerous quality for a character to have.

She’s spent centuries learning to fight, to use her strengths and weakness as assets. Her favourite book is the Art of War, and she prides herself on winning every battle. She’s competitive, stubborn and amazingly loyal – but all that comes with a price. She still needs to drink human blood to survive, and when she does, she considers it the natural order – she certainly isn’t the guilty type. The vampires in Bad Blood have no glamour abilities. They cannot read people’s minds, and they certainly cannot make a bite in the neck painless. Usually when they feed they kill, but now zombies are fighting with them to be top of the food chain, they’re on a more ‘little and often’ diet and have to change their behaviour to survive.

Bad Blood is fast paced, and both humans and vampires get a lot of horrific problems thrown at them – I had to make sure Britannia was equipped to deal with these problems, to cut them up with her trusty scythes, and shoot them right back to where they came from.

So why not order a copy of Bad Blood today and let Britannia take you by the hand and give you a tour of the zombie-ridden streets of London and beyond. Don’t worry about the undead clawing to touch your pretty flesh; she’ll protect you. There’s only one thing that she asks in return…your blood.

Want a Halloween read? Pick up Bad Blood today: Evernight Teen   Amazon US     Amazon UK   Barnes & Noble   Nook    Amazon Canada   Amazon Australia 

Author interview swap with Cynthia A Morgan

morgan-3Tell us about your publishing journey…

I started out publishing my book, Dark Fey The Reviled, through Kindle Direct Publishing.  It was the easiest and fastest avenue to get my work ‘out there’, but I quickly realized that patience merits a far better publishing experience.  Though I subsequently released my second book, Dark Fey Standing In Shadows, via KDP as well, I shortly thereafter withdrew both of them when I signed with a publisher, Creativia.   I have found their SEO marketing expertise far superior to anything I could have accomplished on my own, but maintain my Indie Author freedom, which appeals to be greatly.  I have the best of both worlds!


What do you love about being an author?

I love words, love painting pictures with lyrical expressions and detailed descriptions that transport readers wherever I wish to take them; so for me, being an Author is my calling.  I have found the poetry I write touches people in ways I could never plan or anticipate and that is an immense blessing for a writer.  I also love the freedom to do what it is that I enjoy, while earning a few pennies from it.


If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

 It would more than likely be one of my own, I have to admit; as I do find them endlessly fascinating, but if I didn’t, my readers would not either.  So I would have to say Gairynzvl or perhaps Evondair, or both…and we would enjoy a vegetarian meal of some sort beneath the eaves of the forest.


If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

I will confess, this is something I’ve actually thought about, because I have been told by more than a couple of readers that they can see Dark Fey as a movie.  I tend to envision actors I am familiar with, like Tom Hiddleston as Gairynzvl, Scarlet Johansson as Ayla, and perhaps Chris Hemsworth as Mardan; however my characters are young, early to mid 20’s, so better suited might be Jennifer Lawrence as Ayla, Liam Hemsworth or even Jack O’ Connell as Gairynzvl and Freddie Stroma as Mardan or perhaps even better as Evondair.


Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?  reviled-awards

The nice thing about vampires is you can have it both ways, really :)


If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

My interests have always centered around Regency Period England (the early 1800’s).  I am actually working on a historical romance set in this period, so I would love to visit to gain a better understanding of the constraints of the day, which were many, and the culture, which was quite different from ours today.


What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner? 

We Create our own Reality through what we Say and what we Believe.  The Power of Positive Thought truly does Move Mountains.


If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why? 

That’s easy, I’d be a Fey, of course, because I would love to live in Jyndari, even in its darkest moments, and have the gifts, not only of Flight, but the ability to read another’s thoughts, wield magic or bend light.  It would be amazing.


Where do you write best?  

Always at my laptop, in my writing room, often with music playing that is ethereal and mystical, rhythmic and very frequently tribal. Delerium gets played repeatedly, especially when I’m working on Dark Fey, or Brunuhville.


What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

I recently read The Eternals by Richard M. Ankers, a vampire tale set in the distance future with a dystopian flavor and steampunk twists that really captured my imagination and left me anxious for book two of the trilogy, which is being released this autumn. His strong lead character was irresistible! (who just happens to be both sexy and a blood-thirsty vampire)


standing-in-shadows-w-5starIf you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

 I love writing, it doesn’t really matter what genre it is.  I have a work in progress that is Historical Fiction/Romance; I have written YA Romance/Fiction; Dystopian/Sci-Fi and even Children’s stories.  Of course, I also write poetry.  If it involves words, I will (most likely) write it.


Where can fans find you online?

All Things Dark Fey Website http://allthingsdarkfey.wix.com/feyandmusings 

Blog / website: www.booknvolume.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MorganBC728

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

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cynthey728

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-Morgan/e/B00JYJ0NEG

Dark Fey The Reviled on Amazon/Kindle:    https://www.amazon.com/Reviled-Dark-Fey-Book-ebook/dp/B00RZMVNQQ
Dark Fey The Reviled on Amazon UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dark-Fey-Reviled-Cynthia-Morgan/dp/1505413230

Readers Favorite 5-Star Review:  https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/dark-fey

Dark Fey Standing In Shadows on Amazon US –  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018HF4HSA

Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B018HF4HSA

Readers Favorite 5-Star Review:  https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/dark-fey/1

 

Links to:

 Delerium – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_xNJfMq1l3ce9_K8Esj7nw

Brunuhville –  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZg2-TZBGrwRbuettVf10uw

The Eternals by Richard M Ankers https://www.amazon.com/Eternals-Richard-M-Ankers-ebook/dp/B01FVCE7O

Interview with Wattpad author Angela Merlo

meTell us about your writer’s journey…
It’s really hard to keep this answer concise. It’s been a long journey, a sad journey, one connected to my personal struggles with anxiety and depression. Fast forward through all of the, I can say that in the spring of 2014, I had an unfinished manuscript that I’d been playing with for years. An author I admired and a few other people were impressed by it and encouraged me to get serious about finishing and promoting the project.
Later that year, I joined Wattpad and began syndicating chapters of my novel, Devil’s Lake. I was a bit sheltered from other author’s ideas and ambitions about success on Wattpad.  I was easily impressed, and kept waiting for the chapter that would have zero reads, or the day the book would stop ranking. I suppose that’s my whole strategy for being happy. Anticipate the worst so that you’re expectations are always exceeded. Maybe that’s why I always get anxious when I’m tempted to raise my expectations and hopes.

My journey hasn’t been like some of the authors I’ve admired on Wattpad, but I still appreciate the successes I’ve had. Devil’s Lake reached #4 in its genre about a month after Wattpad began featuring it. It occasionally makes it back into the top ten or very near there. I’ve been aiming to self publish a paperback for awhile, all without the anticipation of making any real money off of it.  I’ve still tended to have that pessimistic approach of “Throw it out there without expecting a bite. Maybe something will surprise you.”

But with that said, I have been growing a little more confident and did recently write a story for the #OnceUponNow contest. Honestly, it’s the most light-hearted work I’ve written that I actually think is good. Amazingly I like my characters. They’re just a little eccentric in a fun way, rather than the dark and depressing way I’ve always defaulted to. Maybe that’s just a reflection on how much I’ve grown since I began writing Devil’s Lake. I don’t know. I am excited about the contest though and feel more enthusiastic. Even though I feel prepared for it not making it, it doesn’t feel as threatening to hope for it. So that’s got to be a good thing.

What do you love about being a writer?newdevil2
I think it’s more about being in love with the story and characters you’ve developed than with anything else. I am always surprised when I hear so many authors complain that they hate editing. I enjoy editing far more than I do drafting. The story and characters are far more fleshed out in you mind by the time you complete a draft than when you have a mere outline.

I once had someone point out to me that this might mean I didn’t spend enough time planning the story and developing the characters before I began writing. That may be true. Devil’s Lake especially has involved lots of rewritten chapters and revisions. It’s been a learning process even with the planning I did ahead of it.

I do think I could write a story faster and more organized than this one was (if I’m passionate enough about the project to start it), but I don’t think any author magically gets there by attempting to restrict themselves from the path of mistakes. Those paths teach you more than merely “what not to do.”

What’s been the best part of being on Wattpad?

The community is amazingly supportive, and its a good place to build your initial band of followers and supporters. Recently I became a part of the Wattpad Community Toast Group on Facebook. It’s still pretty new. It started with RK Close organized an online toast for Juliet Lyons to celebrate sending off her manuscript to her publisher. Primarily it’s about toasting book launches.

Largely it seems that the most successful writers on Wattpad don’t just have talent but really network together to help each other. Even when it comes to the #OnceUponNow competition I’m competing in, there’s a supportive vibe and I think the platform is really designed to encourage that sort of interaction rather than to look at each other as mere competition.

But I suppose maybe what I love about Wattpad is the access to readers. I love getting comments from my readers. I get teary-eyed just thinking of the number of people who’ve read my work. I’ve never had this many people read my work willingly.  Friends and family always seem to afraid they’ll hate it. They’ll read three sentences and tell you it’s wonderful and then go on about having no time to read. At least that’s been my experience.

Wattpad has given me a great boost in self-confidence. I’m so happy people enjoy my work.

onceuponnowIf you could have dinner with any authors, who would it be and what would you eat?
Oh goodness! I haven’t a clue. I’ll say this. If I could get a phone booth time machine and do a Bill and Ted, I’d gather up GK Chesterton, CS Lewis, and JRR Tolkien, put them in a pub and just listen to them talk. Maybe I’d throw in Flannery O’Connor as well, but I’m not sure she would stay.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

Do you mean do I prefer Dracula or Twilight? I’ve only read the first Twilight book. It’s not as terrible as some people make it out to be. Certainly the level of it’s success is a head-scratcher. It’s not that good. I’ve also never been that much of a Dracula fan. I like Carmilla better.I’d say, though, it was really the early 90’s re-revival series that really got me first into vampires. At 10 years old, I did find Barnabus frightening, and yet by the time the show got to his relationship with Victoria Winters, I really wanted them together. I loved his internal battle.

In high school, my favorite author was LJ Smith. The Vampire Diaries were originally published in the early 90’s, so by the time I started reading her work, she was publishing “The Night World series.” Everyone loved Ash Redferd, but I still loved Poppy and James’ story over any of the series. Poppy had pancreatic cancer and was dying. James, the vampire, was offering to save her life.

I’d say, I don’t think it’s either/or.  It’s both. Meyer’s vampires, especially as they come across in the film, aren’t scary for reasons beyond the romantic elements.


Where can fans find you online?
They can find me on Wattpad at www.wattpad.com/light-in-darkness (or just search @light-in-darkness).
They can friend or follow my personal author profile on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AMerlo.light .
My blog is angmerlo.wordpress.com . My twitter handle is @AuthorMerlo though most of my posts are fed from Facebook. Twitter frustrates me to no end.

Interview with Medeia Sharif

my headshotTell us about your publishing journey…

It took me a long time to break in. I queried for thirteen years, for several manuscripts, until I found the agent who sold my first book. After that agent and I parted ways, I’ve had subsequent books and short stories published through small presses.

What do you love about being an author?

I love creating stories. I can’t imagine not writing. Then to have people tell me that they enjoy my work is uplifting.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

I’m a fan of Erica Jong’s Isadora books, so I’d have dinner with Isadora Wing. I’d go with Thai, since that’s my favorite restaurant food.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?

I have no idea. I don’t watch many TV shows or movies, so I’m out of touch with today’s celebrities.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

Since I lean towards horror, I’d say blood hungry monsters.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I’d love to visit the 1960’s and 1970’s (although I was born in the latter part of the ’70s). I find the societal changes during those decades fascinating. I also like the music, fashion, and entertainment of that time.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

To get involved. I did many things alone and in a bubble when I would’ve learned things faster by working with and receiving support from like-minded people.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

I’ve always been fascinated by vampires since an early age, so I would choose that creature. From shows to movies to books, they’ve always captured my imagination.

Where do you write best?

My home office space. Sometimes I write somewhere else in my home or at a public spot, but that space is where I write the most.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

The last book I read was Kelly Hashway’s Out of the Ashes. It’s book 2 in a paranormal YA series. It has mystery, romance, and so many other wonderful elements.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

I’d love to try writing one of those sweeping speculative fiction series that run into 3 or more installments, either paranormal or sci-fi. I’ve had ideas for them, but never planned them out.

Where can fans find you online?

I have a website, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads page.

evernight covers

Interview with Marcus Damanda

at the deskTell us about your publishing journey…

I have a box of rejection letters that I could use to wallpaper the Taj Mahal. I have been taught humility by several hundred agents and publishers that have psychologically flogged me for decades, all while wearing black hoods and going bare chested. In 1989, I got my first agent—and promptly refused a publication contract with Doubleday because they insisted I re-write the second half of the book. I figured I’d have another offer within weeks. My next offer came in 2007. A painful lesson, but I have learned it well.

What do you love about being an author?

The fancy cars, my house in the Catskills, my pet leopard—oh, wait. I have none of those things. I love starting with an idea and slowly watching it fill in. I write almost nothing in sequence, so for me, it really is like watching the picture in a jigsaw puzzle emerge from scattered pieces.

If you could have dinner with any literary character, who would it be and what would you eat?

Hannibal Lecter. No, wait. I withdraw that comment, too. Serious answer: Father Karras from The Exorcist. We’d have Italian with a nice red and talk about what it felt like to confront the Devil. Now, if you’re asking me about a DATE with a character, definitely Clarice Starling from The Silence of The Lambs. Hm—noticing a pattern here.

If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?salvationstate1l__68237.1452817734.432.648

If THE SALVATION STATE was made into a movie, give me Willow Shields as Rebecca, the preacher’s daughter on the run, and Asa Butterfield as Daniel, the atheist outcast.

Vampires – do you prefer them as sexy leads or blood hungry monsters?

15% sexy leads, 85% bloodsucking monsters. That about sums up my vampires in THE FOREVER SHOW and TEETH. Bottom line, if they’re not scary, they’re not vampires.

If you had a time machine, which era would you go back to and why?

I’d set my time machine for “repeat” and stay in 1985 forever. Everybody have fun tonight, Everybody Wang Chung tonight. Seriously, the 80s were so freakin’ happy for me. I mean, like, totally.

Definitely not going back anywhere in time that does not have indoor plumbing, cable TV, and a 7-11 on the corner.

What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?

That’s tough for me, because I was given so much good advice that I totally ignored. Having said that, I do wish someone had advised me to do as I was told as a young writer—that it’s not the world’s responsibility to make you rich and famous, that your dream is no one else’s responsibility to realize for you.

If you were a supernatural creature, what would you be and why?

This is where I expect a lot of people would expect me to say “vampire.” They really are a lot of fun to write about. But if I could be a supernatural creature—say, one with immortality, good looks, superhuman reflexes, et cetera—make me a Tolkien elf every day. I’d be able to sing better, my hair would be awesome, I’d be able to drink without impairment to my permanent health, and I’d be one of the good guys—a wins-all-around type of situation.

51Yx2B16qTL._OU01_AC_UL320_SR214,320_Where do you write best?

The only place I write is at the modest little table-desk at the man cave by the sliding glass door with Shazam the cat on his perch to my left. Having said that, my favorite environment to write in is one with a good wrath-of-God thunderstorm flooding my downhill neighbors’ basement—I’m sorry, was that aloud?—or else the quiet of early morning before the sun comes up.

What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?

The last series I finished was the Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman, and the last individual book I finished was Time Runs Away with Her by Christine Potter. Very different types of books—pure dystopia on the one hand and paranormal teen romance on the other—but both completely blew my mind.

If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?

I typically write horror and—these days—dystopian science fiction. One day I plan to go back to my roots and go full-on swords-and-sorcery again, like I did when I wrote for no one but myself and my pre-teen friends.

Where can fans find you online?

https://www.facebook.com/MarcusDamandaAuthor

https://twitter.com/MarcusDamanda

www.marcusdamanda.com

Buy links:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=marcus+damanda

www.evernightteen.com

http://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_hp_tseft?advsearchKeywords=marcus+damanda&filterby=field-keywords&x=0&y=0

 

 

Book Spotlight: Traitors’ Gate (Battle of the Undead Prequel) by Nicky Peacock

traitorsgate1sWant to know how the Battle of the Undead started? Well, download you FREE copy of Traitors’ Gate today. A historical urban fantasy that stars some familiar faces from Bad Blood and Bad Timing, and some not so familiar ones.

Download here…

Battle of the Undead: prequel

Only time will tell who the traitors really are…

Sixteen-year-old Lucinda is getting the home-coming from hell. England is in the grip of the War of the Roses and her tyrant father has promised her hand to a vile man three times her age. In need of aid, she seeks sanctuary with an old childhood friend only to find him accused of treachery and harboring a supernatural secret. All too soon Lucinda is caught in a fight that’s not her own but, to be with the man she loves, she’ll gladly take up arms.

When you stand at Traitors’ Gate, keep the vampires close, and the zombies as far away as possible!

14+ due to violence and adult situations

Excerpt:

I rush into the dining room like the wind on a stormy night, gaining a withering look from Mistress. Black who is seated at the table along with my father and a strange man.

“And this is Lucinda,” my father says pointing at me. The man next to him gets up and smiles at me. He bows slightly and takes my hand in a sweaty grip. He drags his moist lips over my palm in what I assume is a romantic gesture. I look over at father, who doesn’t seem to care.

“This is Lord Appleby. He has a large estate in Dorset.”

“Dorset? My, that’s quite some way away.” I try to smile at him, but fail miserably.

“Yes, you’ll love it there.” Lord Appleby sits back down to the right of my father and Ms. Black physically moves me to the seat across from him.

Lord Appleby is painfully thin with almost black eyes and a complexion liked a cooked frog. I imagine him putting his arms around me, and I shiver; it would be like being enclosed by a sallow fleshy girdle. The dinner slowly marches through seven courses, every one of my favorites from Mistress. Leighton’s repertoire, but each plate is tainted by the obvious conclusion to my homecoming: my father has sold me and didn’t even have the decency to tell me beforehand. I’m to become Lady Lucinda Appleby, the sixteen year old wife to a forty year old man who eats with his mouth open and, as he’d gotten drunker through the evening, and has become more and more leery, regardless of Mistress Black or my father’s presence.

The moment I finish chewing the last piece of the cheese and bread I stand up.

“I’m tired from my journey, so I will bid you goodnight, father, Lord Appleby, Ms. Black.” I nod to each of them and turn to leave.

“Wait,” my father says, “Lord Appleby would like a turn around the garden with you.”

I glance toward the window. It must be at least ten o’clock and is pitch black outside.

“Now?” I ask.

My father narrows his eyes at me.

“Oh please, yes. I so love a garden at night.” Lord Appleby jumps to his feet and moves to my side. He’s protecting me. Have I misjudged him? I take his arm and we head into the garden.

Outside, the chill of the night air pinches at my bare arms. I look at Lord Appleby in his lovely warm cloak, but he makes no move to offer it to me in any kind of gentlemanly gesture.

“And these are the white roses,” I say. “My father planted them for my mother.” I linger at the small patch of buds that I remembered as being much bigger, fuller, and more fragrant.

“Ah yes, we are all white roses here,” he says with an exaggerated wink. He’s referring to the House of York. A war has been raging for quite some time between the white rose of York and the red rose of Lancaster, each backing a different king for the throne of England.

We make strained small talk for a while longer as we walk farther away from the lights of the house. Suddenly he stops and grabs my elbow, spinning me round so my body is flush against his.

“I do hope you are amenable to this arrangement, Lucinda,” he says.

I try to pull back, but he’s stronger than he looks and holds me firm. “Please let me go.”

I look up into his eyes and see a slight madness there, a malevolence that I hadn’t noticed before.

“Let me go!” I say again.

“Just a kiss,” he whispers and lowers his lips to mine.

I pull my head back so that he lands his kiss on my chest. I’m unsure as to whether that is worse than his mouth on mine. His grip on me tightens and he begins to slobber rough kisses over my collarbone, while his hand frantically pulls up my petticoats ripping into them as he does. I scream, but no one comes. I struggle and pull back as far as I can from him, falling halfway out his grasp. A wild look crosses his face and he raises up a hand and slaps my cheek. The blow makes me stagger backward, out of his clutches. He stares at me for a moment. I kick him in the crotch. He doubles over with a strained groan. I run.

battle covers

Interview with Amy Braun

61dUIvsTGwL._UX250_Amy Braun and Crimson Sky– MINOR SPOILERS BELOW

When you began writing Crimson Sky, did you know the direction the series would take?

Yes and no. I had an idea of what I wanted the characters to achieve, but I had no idea how they would get there. I didn’t really know what Claire’s key from her mother would be used for, and I was still working on the history between her parents and the Hellions. But the more I wrote, the better understanding I had of the series and how it should progress. Hopefully readers will want to continue reading into the second book, which will be just as exciting as the first.

What were the challenges in writing Crimson Sky?

To be honest, I don’t remember the story being that challenging as compared to some of my other work. Oh, there were times where I had to sit back and really think about what I was doing, and the research was bland as ever, but I knew I had to move past the roadblocks and just get the story done. The more I wrote, the more eager I was to reach the end, just to see how it ended.

What inspired the design of Westraven?HANDOVER Ebook Crimson Sky 6x9in

One of my favorite movies is The Lord of the Rings. They’re beautiful films and the set design is incredible. I loved the look of Gondor, and I actually based the setting of Westraven off that city. A flatter, less medieval version to be sure, but I liked the idea of a crumbling city of white stones. I have another steampunk series planned that follows the more traditional ideas of a derelict steampunk town, but I didn’t want to write the same setting for two very different series’. I also think that Westraven’s stony, broken look gives a certain, haunting echo to the story, and I think a lot of readers will like it. There are still places in and outside of Westraven that haven’t been seen yet, and I can’t wait for readers to see them.

Why did you choose vampires as the monsters?

It’s true that vampires are overused in fiction. It’s not something that’s lost on me. But the thing with vampires is that they’re such a changeable species, and when you stick to the tradition (more or less), they will always be terrifying. I modeled them after the vampires from Thirty Days of Night– they hide in the shadows, are super fast and savage, and have their own, animalistic language. I can’t read those books or watch that movie without getting chills when I see those vampires. Plus, I like the idea that even after its destruction, the Hellions continue to suck the life out of Westraven and its inhabitants. That definitely seems to raise the stakes.

What can we expect in future books in the series?

Dark Sky will be a collection of three full length novels and two prequel novellas when it’s all said and done. Right now, the sequel, Midnight Sky, is scheduled for release in August 2016, with the novellas to be released in October and December. The final novel is scheduled for February 2017. Midnight Sky will have a lot of surprise reveals and twists, and an ending I seriously doubt anyone will expect. There will also be a lot more chemistry and interactions between Claire and Sawyer, which I think will leave a lot of readers happy. The novellas will focus on the secondary characters, Gemma and Nash, and chronicle their adventures before they joined Sawyer’s crew. I won’t say anything about the third and final novel, because I don’t want to give anything away, but let’s just say that things are going to get dark for our heroes, and they’ll finbigd themselves in places they never expected. And that’s a good thing, because you can’t write a steampu
nk pirate story without some wild adventures.

What’s the one question you dread in interviews?

I’ve been forced to re-write a couple of my stories and push my deadlines back, and while the question hasn’t been asked yet, I dread the day someone asks “When can we expect Book Such And Such,” and I have to awkwardly answer that it needs to be delayed another year because I have to start from scratch again.


Which book do you wish you’d written and why?

All of my favourite books are ones that I’ve drawn inspiration from, and I know that I would never have been able to replicate all the ideas the author came up with. They’d have had some amazing idea that I would have completely glossed over. Having said that, I gotta go with the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep. Among my favourite books of all time, I love how Estep is always able to create an exciting new story with beloved characters. It’s the series that made her famous among urban fantasy lovers, her heroine is absolutely fantastic, and her fight scenes are always inventive. All of this has earned her legions of followers and fans. I won’t lie and say I’m not a little jealous, but she’s earned her success.

Who is your favorite villain and hero?

Oh man, this is tricky. As far as mythology goes, I’ve always loved Loki. He’s the ultimate trickster. No one can tell what’s going on in his head until they suffer because of it. Not to men10458353_710110392358355_3367924262463058476_ntion that he’s hot as hell with Tom Hiddelston playing him. As far as book/TV villains, I have to go with the villains from Game of Thrones. They’re exquisitely crafted, and even if it makes you sick, you understand them. Which makes their actions all the more horrifying.

What are you watching on TV at the moment?

I actually haven’t had the time to catch up on the many, many, many TV shows I’m behind on, but I’m going between the new seasons of Supernatural and The Walking Dead right now. I feel behind because I’m busy writing, but hopefully I can find the will to take a day and unwind to watch what Sam/Dean and Rick/Daryl get up to, hopefully before Facebook spoils me.

A genie pops out of a lamp, what’s the first thing you wish for?

A publisher to sign me on for a book deal that will let me quit my Real Job and allow me to write full time. Alternatively, more time so I can write all the books I want to write and turn my dream into a career. Outside of writing, I’d probably ask for an endless supply of money to travel the world and see all the cities and countries I’ve always wanted to see. Wait, that’s three wishes. Can genies still give out three wishes?

About Amy Braun

Amy’s current work includes the full length novels Demon’s Daughter, Dark Divinity, Crimson Sky, and Path of the Horseman, and the novella Needfire. She has short stories in various horror and urban fantasy anthologies such as Call From The Grave, Hotel Hell, Survivalism in The Dead Walk: Volume 2, Dismantle in The Steam Chronicles, Lost Sky in Avast, Ye Airships!, Secret Suicide in That Hoodoo, Voodoo, That You Do, Bring Back The Hound in Stomping Grounds, Charlatan Charade in Lost in the Witching Hour, and her award winning short Dark Intentions And Blood in AMOK! Amy can be found online through her frequently updated blog, Literary Braun (literarybraun.blogspot.ca), as well as on Twitter (@amybraunauthor) and Facebook (facebook.com/amybraunauthor).

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