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I’d like to welcome debut author PT McHugh to my blog today. 


PT McHugh didn’t start out as a storyteller. He was, however, born into a family that encouraged imagination. He became a fan of history in school and then went to college to become a construction engineer, to build a world of straight lines, angles, and equations.


He was just as surprised as everyone else when he realized that he believed in magic, and might just know the secret of how to jump through time. Since then, he’s been researching the possibility and learning everything he can about history. Just in case the opportunity arises.


PT was born and raised in New Hampshire and currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, two daughters, and a dog named Bob, daring to dream of alternate worlds and cheering for his beloved New England Patriots.


With a wife, two kids, two dogs, and two cats, and a full-time job, how do you find time to write?

 

This is a great question, and it’s a perfect of example of turning a negative in one’s life into a positive.  I’ve been a chronic insomniac ever since high school. Instead of hitting the pillow and falling asleep, I’d go to bed and stare at the ceiling, worrying about things that in most cases I couldn’t control. Not a good practice, to be sure.  But I’m sure a lot of people out there can relate. Sometimes your brain gets going, and just won’t stop. Game over – you’re up for the night, and it’s going to be awful.

 

Then several years ago, a doctor and friend of mine suggested that instead of thinking of this inability to sleep as a curse, I should treat it as a positive. After all, Benjamin Franklin only got three to four hours of sleep a night, and he seemed to do okay.  Maybe it didn’t have to be as bad as I was making it. With those comforting words in mind, I set out to find a hobby. Something I could do quietly at night in the comfort of my own home.  Something that wouldn’t keep my family up or damage them in any way.  Something that would keep my mind busy and – maybe – be fun at the same time. I couldn’t paint worth a lick, but I always had an over active imagination, and I wanted to do something with it. 

 

So I started writing. A lot of it was bad, and very little of it saw the light of day, but it kept me busy, and it was the beginning of a sometimes beautiful and sometimes terrifying relationship with the written word.

 

When it comes to Stone Ends and Keeper of the Black Stones, the idea started with the realization that most schools weren’t teaching history anymore. At least not to any serious degree. Reading, writing, and linear Algebra were being treated with more importance, and it rubbed me the wrong way. Now don’t take that wrong– I can certainly see why those things are important, but that didn’t mean I liked it. My daughters didn’t know who Napoleon was, let alone Richard III, and they certainly didn’t understand the impact that our founding fathers had on today’s America. We were slowly losing track of our past, and missing out on some really fantastic stories along the way.

 

I was fortunate enough to have a father who cared deeply about history, and who enjoyed telling me stories about what happened hundreds of years ago.  Those stories had caught me in their spell when I was young, and I became fascinated with the idea of the men and women who created them. What were they like? Why had they made the decisions they made? What if I was in that situation?  What would I have done?  Would the world we live in today be the same?

 

From there, it was a quick hop, skip, and jump to forcing Jason into those very situations, and making him – and his friends – decide how they were going to handle it. It allowed me to put myself in those situations, and really live them. Getting to tell kids about history is just icing on the cake.

 

 

Why did you choose YA, and who are your inspirations?

 

“Dad, don’t embarrass us!” Those words are uttered quite frequently by my two daughters, who are both my inspiration and my test subjects in regard to how the younger generation thinks and acts.

 

To be honest, my girls aren’t quite teenagers. Although my twelve year old believes she is in fact going on eighteen, and should have her own apartment and car by now.  Thanks to her, music, movies, texting etiquette, and a refreshed vocabulary for a modern 21st-century teenager are at my fingertips 24/7, providing me with an excellent reference. I just have to look across the table at her to see how a young adult lives and thinks. 

 

Even with all the differences, though – technology, the world, the quicker aging of young people – I’ve come to realize that teenagers now are a lot like they were twenty, thirty, and even forty years ago.  They certainly have more now than I ever did … computers, iPhones, Twitter, Facebook, instant information at your fingertips (remember when you actually had to go to the library to do your research?).  But in the end, everybody’s teenage years contain a lot of the same problems and challenges – relationships, fitting in, questioning authority (parents), wondering what they’ll be when the grow up, wondering whether they even want to grow up (I don’t believe I ever did). And many of us never grow out of those questions. In that way, we’re all still teenagers at heart.  

 

That’s why I chose to YA. I can still identify with so many of those questions, which makes it easier to write. What’s more, I know that those years – the years when you’re so lonely and doubtful about who you are – are also the years when you form yourself. It’s when you have your first love, first heartbreak, dreams, anxiety, fear, euphoria … and all those feelings are compounded by a boatload of testosterone and estrogen. It’s a roller coaster on crack, and we’ve all ridden it. All those ups and downs make for amazing, realistic characters and stories, and I can’t imagine writing about anything else.

 

Now, I realize that I’m forty years old and a lot of people won’t believe that I can remember those years in my own life. But guess what, I do. In fact, some of the characters, the town, and many of the day-to-day situations in my books come from my own experiences.  That means I get to relive my childhood through my characters, and – even better – put them into situations I never had to deal with.   

 

 

Which is your favorite character and why?

 

Ironically, my favorite character in the book wasn’t even in the first version of the manuscript – the one that was signed to Glass House.  When the publisher, editor, and I met face to face, though, I was given a list of ‘notes.’ Top on the list: create a prominent female character to round out the story, and give both boys and girls someone to follow in the story.

 

“So you mean I have to write the entire story all over again?” I asked. 

 

“Yes,” was my curt response. A helpful hint to all of you aspiring writers out there – when you feel like your story is done, you might have to take a deep breath and realize that you might have to write it all again.

 

I argued a bit, because I thought this should be a book for boys, but eventually I realized that my editor knew what she was talking about. And I started writing Tatiana. When I was done, I realized that she was a combination of my wife and my two daughters – tough, sure minded, willful, and stronger than I could hope to ever be.  I have no doubt that the boys reading the story will fall in love with her, and the girls will cheer for her.  She says things that I could only dream of saying, and of course does things that are far beyond my reach.  She was an absolute kick to write, and quickly became one of the characters I looked forward to in every scene.

 

Where will she go in the future? I’m not sure even I know the answer to that – Tatiana has a mind of her own, and a way of dictating her scenes for herself. She doesn’t always listen to what I think, and she almost never does what I think she will. No matter what she does, though, I’m sure it’ll shock and delight all of us, myself and my editor included.

 

 

A Stone Ends Book

 

Jason Evans, a shy, introverted high school freshman, thought that his mundane life was all there was – girls, golf, physics, and the occasional bully. Until he found out about the secrets his grandfather had been keeping from him … a set of stones that allowed him to jump through time … a maniacal madman who used the stones to shape history to his liking … and Jason’s role as one of the few people in the world who could stop that man.

 

Against impossible odds, a fourteen-year-old boy must take up his legacy, learn everything he needs to know within one short day, and travel helter skelter into the Middle Ages, to join Henry VII’s fight against Richard III, end the Dark Ages, and stop the man who now holds his grandfather captive. In this romp through history, Jason and his friends must race against time to accomplish not one, but two missions.

 

Save his grandfather.

 

And save the world.

 

 

To find out more about PT McHugh, please visit http://www.glasshousepress.com

 

Until next time,

Ciao

JET

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Today I have the pleasure of hosting Melissa Mayberry, one of the new author’s under the Novel Concept Publishing imprint.  Melissa’s book Mellifica: Devastating First Love just came out on New Year’s.

1000x1500firstloveJET:  Can you tell us about Mellifica?


MEL: Mellifica: Devastating First Love was written about a difficult time in my life. I could have never imagined the impact that one person had on my life, and it still amazes me that I was able to pull through and grow and learn through the torment that my first love put me through.


JET:  What drew you to romance?


MEL: Romance doesn’t leave you sad; it gives you a happy ending. I’m a complete sucker for happy endings. Mellifica is written as young adult because the true events that this book is based on started when I was sixteen.


JET:  What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication? 


MEL: Writing about personal events can be easy because memories can be more vivid than my imagination. However, when the storyline became heartbreaking, those memories were hard to write about. I found myself visiting old demons that I had forgotten years ago. Writing Mellifica was so emotional for me, and I hope it brings my readers the full spectrum of emotions that it brought me.


JET:  What was your favorite moment in the journey?


MEL: The day I decided to start writing I was excited to be able to create and revisiting some of my memories was special. During the process, I’ve made a lot of new friends and became reacquainted with several old friends. When I finally finished, and it was the best I could do, I was overwhelmed with relief and pride. There is no way to pick a favorite from all of those moments.


JET:  Which authors had the most influence over you growing up? 


MEL: I was crazy about poetry when I was younger, and I also had a somber outlook. So, of course, I loved Emily Dickenson.


JET:  When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?


MEL: When I was in high school, I wrote a lot of short stories, poems and even wrote for the high school paper. The boyfriend that Mellifica was written about, “Arien,” encouraged me to write and we wrote a lot of short stories together. I loved it so much, but years after that relationship I couldn’t continue to write even though many people begged me years ago to write this story. About eighteen years passed, and the true story of “Arien” came to a final, heartbreaking and very ironic ending. The events were just so strange that I knew it was fate telling me that I had to write again.


JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered? 


MEL: There wasn’t a lot that I had to research for this book. All of the information fell in my lap, begging me to put it all together, and I can’t tell the most interesting fact that I uncovered. That would be a huge spoiler for book two! I can tell you that it has to do with a gravestone. It’s interesting to note that there is a website with pictures of headstones. The craziest thing I’ve done was stalk Facebook pages. I even “friended” a certain nemesis—in the name of research.


JET:  Of all the novels and stories you’ve written – which one is your favorite?  Why?


MEL: Of course it’s Mellifica. It’s the first full length novel that I’ve written, and it’s so close to my heart, that it will be known to me as one of my biggest accomplishments. The books are eighteen years of procrastination that I’ve buckled down and accomplished.


JET:  Any advice (from a writer’s standpoint) for the novices out there?


MEL: If you haven’t written in years, make friends with people that practice the art. Without my critique group, I may never have gotten past the first chapter. Having a few very honest people to read your work is more helpful than a thousand people that love you reading it. Keep your skin thick and your determination strong.

 

JET: All right – now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten. . . starting with:  Paper or Plastic?

 

MEL: Paper—you know, book covers!

 

JET: Steak or Tofu?

 

MEL: Both.

 

JET: Beach or Mountains?

 

MEL: BEACH!!

 

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

 

MEL: Hair bands!

 

JET: Leather or Lace?

 

MEL: Both

 

JET: Angels or Demons?

 

MEL: Both!

 

JET: Paper or Digital?

 

MEL: Digital

 

JET:  Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?

 

MEL: Ew. Neither.

 

JET: Twilight or True Blood

 

MEL: AH! Both.

 

JET: Coffee or Tea?

 

MEL: BOTH!!


JET:  Thank you for indulging me.  Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you’re working on now?  What’s next?


MEL: Well, I’ve finished Mellifica Book two. I don’t know what to call it. I don’t know what the cover will look like. So, I’m working on the little things for book two.


While my mind is covering that, I’m also writing a few other things. I’m crazy like that. One story is called Reckless. A woman takes a huge leap of faith and crosses the country for a death defying stunt man. She learns to live life only to figure out she had been really reckless with hers.


Another work in progress is “Critical Access.” It’s a medical romance/comedy. I couldn’t help it, I’m a nurse!

 

JET: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog.  Folks, you can find out more about Melissa Mayberry and her work at the following places:  http://melissamayberry.com

 

Thank you for swinging in today, 

Until next time,

Ciao

JET

 
 

Today I have the pleasure of having Ray Wenck on my blog. Ray was an elementary school teacher for 35 years. He also owned and operated a small Italian restaurant for more than 20 years. Currently, in his retired life, he is a cook at the local casino and is spending his free time working on his next novel. Ray lives in the Toledo area where most of his stories are based.

 

JET: Ray, can you tell us about your most recent book?

 Ray: Teammates is a story of two life-long friends, Danny Roth and Tony Antonelli. They have pasts better left forgotten and have built lives that isolate them from the memories. Their one shared passion is baseball which they still play. It serves as an escape and reminds them of better times in their lives.

 When visiting a teammate at his new bar they interrupt a loan collection by a local mob boss. Stepping in to protect their friend they become targets of the mob and must now fight to survive. With each confrontation the two friends are drawn closer to a world they thought long buried. The question becomes how far are they willing to go to save a friend?

 JET: What drew you to (genre)?

 Ray: I’ve always enjoyed action and thriller novels. Although I started off making this a light adventure I found it really needed more. There are many light moments, especially on the baseball field, but for the most part it is action oriented.

 

JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?

 

Ray: Wow! Good question. I can think of a lot of things but the biggest hurdle was understanding the process. Query writing was the hardest part. I just wasn’t very good at it. You have just a few lines to get an agent or publisher’s attention. There is so much to learn. I found myself wishing I had paid better attention in high school English classes. But I worked hard at improving my skills and it was worth it. I started out being a storyteller and ended up a writer.

 

JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?

 

Ray: I think this might be true for most first time authors, but it had to be when I opened the email from Jayne at Rebel e that offered me a contract. I was all alone in a warehouse working. I took a break and checked my emails and saw one from her and just stared at it. I was afraid to open it. I’d had enough rejections that I created a file to put them in. To that point I’d been having a good day and didn’t want to ruin it so I went back to work. I fantasized over the next half hour what it would be like to get published. Finally I couldn’t take it any more and opened it. When I saw what it was I danced all over that place. Yep, definitely a favorite moment.

 

JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?

 

Ray: I read almost across the board. Mysteries, horror, fantasy, sci-fy, adventure, etc. Growing up I read Tolkien, lots of Star Trek, Edgar Rice Burrough’s John Carter, and more I can’t remember.

 

JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?

 

Ray: I’ve always enjoyed writing or creating stories in my mind, I just never made the time to do it seriously. Now, looking back I wish I would have started twenty years ago. If there’s one piece of advice I can pass along it would be if you want to write, do it. Don’t put it off or it may be one of those things you never got around to.

 

I was lucky. I stopped making excuses and sat down and wrote. I had the best time. When I finished that one I already had an idea for another and started on it the second the first was done. I had no thoughts of publishing, I was just having fun.

 

When I finished my fourth novel I was having a celebratory beverage when a friend asked what the celebration was for. It was the first time I had ever told anyone I was writing. She managed to convince me to let her read one. When she was done she said, “You should get this published.” And ding, the light went on. That was a little more than two years ago.

 

JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?

 

Ray: I always act out fight sequences to make sure they work. In Teammates there’s a scene where Danny hops over a bar from the drinker’s side to attack an armed man. I needed to know if the move would work. Since I owned a restaurant with a bar I decided to test my idea there. I waited until we were closed and the staff had gone before attempting the move.

 

Now, I have jumped that bar twice before from the bartender’s side. Once when a patron was choking and once to break up a fight. That side is lower and I was standing. From the other side I was sitting and there is a step there so the height isn’t as great. It should be easier.

 

I practiced several ways in slow motion before deciding on the best way. I made the move trying to be explosive from the barstool. The stool flew backward, I hit my knee on the underside of the bar, rolled over the top and plunged to the floor. I was stunned. Afraid to move, I realized the next staff member wasn’t due in for another 10 hours. It took a long time to get up and an even longer time to want to try it again.

 

What fact I learned was that I don’t bounce very well.

 

JET: Of all the novels and stories you’ve written – which one is your favorite? Why?

 

Ray: Book four of the Danny Roth series. (The title is still in the works) There was something about this novel that was different. Maybe it was the story line or maybe it was the point where I first felt I was a writer. There was a lot of emotion in this story. There were times where I had to get up and walk away from the screen to regroup and start again. It was the first one that I finished and felt spent. It was at that point I thought I could be a writer. I can’t wait to see that one published.

 

JET: Any advice (from a writer’s standpoint) for the novices out there?

 

Ray: I will pass on the two things told to me that made a difference. One, join a writer’s group if there is one locally. Talk to others going through what you would like to. The local group I found was a chapter of Romance Writer’s of America. Although I don’t write true romance, I have romantic elements. (and now I started a romance novel; who knew) Anyway, they were very accepting and so willing to help. Within about a four month period we had a flurry of sold books. You can also join some writer’s groups online. Good Reads and Absolute Write are two of the many I belong to.

 

The second thing that started me understanding the writing process was going to a writer’s conference. For me it was the James River Writers in Richmond, Virginia. The very first thing I learned there within the initial fifteen minutes was I was no where near ready to publish. It was an eye opening experience but one that set me on the right track.

 

A third thing would be (even though I only said two) do it. Make some time in your busy life to do it; if only for yourself. Who knows where it may lead.

 

JET: All right – now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten. . . starting with: Paper or Plastic?

 

Ray: Oh, save the trees.

 

JET: Steak or Tofu?

 

Ray: I don’t eat much steak, but I’d prefer it over tofu.

 

JET: Beach or Mountains? I’m definitely a mountain man. Go hiking and climbing every chance I get. Love the Smokey’s.

 

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

 

Ray: Tough choice. Like them both but rock wins out. The band I was in played both but much more rock.

 

JET: Leather or Lace?

 

Ray: Depends on who’s wearing it.

 

JET: Angels or Demons?

 

Ray: The angel on my left shoulder says “Angels,” but the devil on my right says “Demon.” I don’t want to make either one mad so I’ll take the chicken’s way out and say “no comment.”

 

JET: Paper or Digital?

 

Ray: Aw man, I love my paperbacks, but I’ve been told I have to step into the now. I still prefer to hold a book then an e-reader, but I have actually downloaded books now onto mine.

 

JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?

 

Ray: You know, I like them both. The B’s are so campy that they can be entertaining, but the silent form really had to be creative in order to demonstrate their emotion and storyline without speaking.

 

JET: Twilight or True Blood

 

Ray: Well I’m going to lose a few people here but I can honestly say I haven’t seen either.

 

JET: Coffee or Tea?

 

Ray: Tea. Loves me some Earl Grey.

 

JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you’re working on now? What’s next?

 

Ray: Currently I am finishing edits on Home Team the third book in the Danny Roth series, and have started a new mystery series about a chef and his ex-cop wife who leave their lives behind and take up residence in Lubec, Maine where they get into all kinds interesting predicaments.

 

JET: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Ray Wenck and his work at the following places:

http://raywenck.com/ or http://www.amazon.com/Teammates-Danny-Roth-Novel-ebook/dp/B00ATCCSOU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356566432&sr=8-1&keywords=ray+wenck

 Thanks for stopping in today.

Until next time…

Ciao

JET

Why reading romance novels makes women smarter…

It might have something to do with women need some enjoyment with their living. The addiction of reading romance novels makes them more enjoyable in living and leads them to a very sharp and intuitive mind. Not only menreading in these books connect to their life and become happy but also in women who become more addict reading romance novel, they become emotional reading books and it leads them to become smarter than men when it comes to relationship.

 

Romance novel is somewhat happening in our real world. This novel has a realistic world not just they are imagination in the book but it has so many meaning to determine. There are so many couple today become cold with their partner but because we now understand the meaning of love, and women become smarter, we consider them the strong foundation of a relationship. They are just only women in the world but they are the combination of man’s living.

 

Many women because of reading novels, they become the adviser of many organization, families, communities, couple and teenagers. Only women understand the way novel works in their life. They can escape problems and conquer all. Most of us go through our daily lives on winding road. We’re fall from every road with so many obstacles that we become hopeless but women overcome all of it. Reading romance is the best appetite for every woman who gives them a new world of hope and excitement. It is just like a challenge for them.

 

Romance novels take everywomanin a imaginary world which motivate them to stand firm. We must understand how women love reading novels because it might be the newest women in the world who needs to be strong, and it is not just like before. Women’s emotions is something we don’t understand what it is but sometimes it enlighten us how they handle this. Teenagers are mostly the fanatic of romance novels and they are so exciting in the inside world of the book.

 

They have the higher enjoyment and happiness. I find that romance novels works in the emotional aspects, that when you are stressed or tired, reading novels help for thinking about what makes for good relationships. It’s one of the best books that emphasizes of being a woman, and to think in a positive manner. Romance novel remind you a similar character that you will change and that’s the meaning that you’ll find happiness.

 

The absolute meaning of everyromance is so different in the real world; it is you who wants to find the exact happiness you have. When I started listening comments of every woman I encounter, being smart people is a reader. They believe that being smart women is not what you fell but what you experience and learn in the past days. Smart girls don’t read romance novels by just only having fun but for learning. Romance novels present the women’s excitement into the next level. It builds a strong relationship and makes women ready to mingle.

 

Authors use every line in a unique and sexually exciting part to build every woman’s mind to take any directions and learning. In the same situation, smart girls not only read romance novels, they also write romance novels. Many women did this to express feelings. We lead the woman in what they want according to what might be helpful for them.

 

Misty Wright, the author of this article, is a contemporary suspense romance author and the founder of iVisionaryMedia.com. Misty has a special surprise for you on 03 Jan and 04 Jan 2013 ONLY…

 

FREE ON KINDLE TWO DAYS ONLY!

JAN 03 & 04, 2012, Misty’snovel :

ASSASSIN’S LOVE

 

“This is more than just an assassin cum romance novel.

 

The novel fabricates the assassin story of a young female assassin, Diane who had learned to kill at quite an early age. However, this unfortunate young woman falls for a man and the novel has much adventure, suspense and thrill in store for the young reader.

 

Diane is an assassin on the run. She’s good at what she does–in fact, she’s one of the best–but sometimes she wishes her life could be different. Convinced that she will die by the hands of another killer, she has anticipated her eventual demise, but will it be sooner than she thinks?

 

When a hit is put on her, she isn’t sure who wants her dead: the man she loves, the family she pledged her allegiance to, or the many enemies she’s made over the years.

 

Living a life of secrets makes it hard to love, but soon, Diane will have to conquer her fears and find her Mr. Right.

 

When she finds him, though, her career as a killer threatens to tear them apart.

 

Will their love bloom, or will the sins of her past come back to haunt her?

 

Will Diane ever escape from her lifestyle of murder with the man she loves?

 

Available as a free download from Amazon!

 

http://www.amazon.com/Assassins-Contemporary-Romance-Novel-ebook/dp/B009225EJ4/

 

To find out more about Misty Wright, please visit her at one of the following places: 

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/MISTY-WRIGHT/e/B008EAP7Y2/

Twitter : @ivisionarymedia

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/pages/IVisionary-Media-Publishing/431494926909711

Website : www.ivisionarymedia.com

 

Thanks for swinging by today and don’t forget to check out Assasin’s Love!

Until next time,

Ciao,

JET

 

Special Guest Interview with Poppet

JET: Can you tell us about your most recent book?

 

Poppet: My newest books came out a few weeks apart as I wrote them the wrong way around. I started writing Indigo Vamporium, was midway when the second book wouldn’t give me peace, so I wrote that (Scarlet Vamporium) and then went back to complete Indigo Vamporium. I released Scarlet earlier than Indigo on fan request. So to me these two books feel like ‘my latest book’ as a unit.

Indigo Vamporium takes my adult series and characters and examines the vampyre family as teenagers. Seithe was the first book in the vampyre series, so I set Indigo Vamporium in the same city to give it continuity as the book revolves around Seithe coming to terms with and trying to perfect his own abilities. He has a lot of responsibility on his young shoulders and doesn’t get on well with his guardian; his father’s brother Venix.

 

In IV he has to dive for hidden halos, has a close call with a ghost ship out on the high seas, is sent into the Vamporium alone to battle the scourge of the underworld, and falls for a local human girl, Tasmin. Ellindt, his twin sister, is on a mission to engage human love and redemption and does what most girls her age do, this has her uncle banishing her to Scotland to stay with her aunt for punishment, severing the close bond Ellindt and Seithe have had since birth. It all falls apart for Seithe and it gets ten times worse when the karma collector kidnaps his human girlfriend.

Book 2, Scarlet Vamporium, follows 17 year old Ellindt as a foreigner in Glencoe, where she meets a wonderful varsity crush. Luckily for her Douglas believes in monsters and beasties because Scotland is rich in tales of the Fey, (the Seelie and Unseelie courts), loch monsters, and has a unicorn as their national animal. It’s a match made in heaven, until her family interferes.

JET: What drew you to paranormal romance?

Poppet: I’ve always found vampyres an intriguing and enigmatic topic.

JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?

Poppet: Lordy, where to begin? I tried to get published MANY years ago, but ran into many roadblocks. I write paranormal fantasy and horror, and when I submitted my books to local publishers was told they don’t publish these genres, I must write for the ‘local’ market. So I thought I’d try overseas, only to be met with the issue that I needed an agent. At that time this country had 2 literary agents. I went to the only one in my ‘state’, only to find out after paying her all the money I had and she’d given me the runaround for 2 years, that she only publishes diaries and autobiographies by famous people. I was so frustrated, the world loves reading romances and, horror and romance are to date the best selling movie genres worldwide, and yet I couldn’t even be heard because of the local clampdown on these genres. I tried my hand abroad, but had not enough money to send the printed MS’s to big publishers, it was only when the publishers started using the internet broadly and widely that I finally had a chance at knocking on doors. I got an agent in Ireland who did nothing for a year and answered my emails to her twice. So I gave up on the agent idea, joined Authonomy, learned A LOT, and started submitting to any and all publishers who allow you to submit manuscript’s unagented. It was a heartbreaking journey, one that often depressed me severely (it seemed so hopeless just because of my geographical location). And often I nearly gave up. It was only the friends I made on Authonomy that kept me going at all. I was even told by a big publisher represented locally that they’d consider my book if a main character was black. They deny it now and I wish I’d kept the email. That shocked me!

 JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?

 Poppet: When Wild Wolf published me. I had a previous publishing contract, but I chose to leave that publisher because we didn’t see eye to eye. I know I sound like a fangirl but Wild Wolf Publishing just gets me, I adore them, and will stay with them no matter how many of my other books make it or break it in the world.

 JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?

 Poppet: Enid Blyton. The Magic Faraway Tree changed my perception of planet earth.

 JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?

 Poppet: When I worked for an ad agency and the creative director (also a film producer) read my work and thought it was good enough. His words encouraged me a lot.

 JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?

 Poppet: I read the Kabbalah, I-Ching, Nag Hammadi texts, dead Sea Scrolls, and five versions of the bible, researched metals, drugs, geography, astronomy, ancient astrology, archeology, the Greek myths and legends, the Egyptian myths and legends, spent 3 months just working out the ancient Greek calendar, read the Popoh Vuh and all the Mayan legends – all for 1 book.

JET: Of all the novels and stories you’ve written – which one is your favorite? Why?

Poppet: Sveta. Because I think the right person for you knows your insecurities and still wants to love you.

JET: Any advice (from a writer’s standpoint) for the novices out there?

Poppet: Never give up. Work at it day and night. Write and write and write some more. Perfect your writing skills, join a group of authors that aren’t afraid to shred your work and tell you the truth, and learn from them. They will remove your ego and polish your writing ability like no other. Only by writing and writing some more will you improve. As Steve King likes to say, the first million words are just practice. If you are good enough, someone, somewhere, will say yes.

JET: All right – now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten. . . starting with:  Paper or Plastic?

Poppet: Paper

JET: Steak or Tofu?

Poppet: Neither

JET: Beach or Mountains?

Poppet: Both (lol). But if I had to pick one, I pick mountains.

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

Poppet: Rock – always.

JET: Leather or Lace?

Poppet: Why do I have to choose? 😛 hmmmm, lace would probably win this war.

JET: Angels or Demons?

Poppet: Both. Demons – but my view of demons is based on their Greek origin. It’s a Greek word spelled Daemon. I have this great OLD book that gives ancient astrology lessons by the different cultures (Persian, Greek etc), and it was in there that I first read the Greek definition of daemon. I love daemons!

JET: Paper or Digital?

Poppet: Both (lol) Damn girl! Digital wins, but I like the everlasting aspect of paper. Where would we be now if the scrolls hadn’t been hidden in caves for thousands of years? When archaeologists dig up your ebook reader, they won’t learn a damn thing.

JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?

Poppet: Silent Films for sure.

JET: Twilight or True Blood?

Poppet: True Blood

JET: Coffee or Tea?

Poppet: Coffee

JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you’re working on now? What’s next?

Poppet: Aisyx, the final installment of my vampyre / neuri series. It’s due out 31st December (after the world ends hahahaha). Call me an optimist, or a non believer in paranoid hype. The first quarter of 2013 will see a number of horrors by me, including Paint (a serial killer), Tithe (a medieval horror on the abuse of religion), Night Blind (more killing and stalking), and a haunting story where antiques end up ruining lives.

Thank you JET!

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Poppet and her work at the following places:

Twitter: @AuthorPoppet

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Poppet/197111090356326

http://authorpoppet.wordpress.com

http://authorpoppet.weebly.com

Other titles by Poppet include Seithe, Venix, Zauran, Sveta, Ryan, Arelstin’s Lair, Scarlet Vamporium, Indigo Vamporium, Darkroom, Erra, Shar, Erra More & the Sibitti, Djinn, Blindsided, Penance, Heresy, Dusan, Fey’s Adventures, The Scorpion’s Sting (Heresy), Solar Eclipse (Heresy), Quislings, Fractured, The Demenion series, Spellbound, and Ruthless.

Until Next Time,

Ciao,

JET

 

I was a kid once, farther back than I want to admit. It was back in the days where television was analog and distorted by poor antenna reception. The invention of the VHS tape seemed like a miracle on par with curing leprosy. Unto this fragile and sheltered childhood entered the movie, Conan the Barbarian. In those 129 minutes, my life was changed.

 

I began to seek out fantasy wherever I could. I started, of course, with the Conan books by Robert E. Howard (and later L. Sprague de Camp and others). I went from there wherever I could, to J.R.R. Tolkien and Terry Brooks and beyond. No matter the story, I was hungry for more. But beyond wanting a rich fantasy life, I wanted to be like the heroes in the stories. As a kid, I’d play and pretend to slay dragons and rescue maidens. Eventually I became too old to do that (especially if I ever wanted to have a girlfriend), but I never forgot.

 

Wanting to be a hero is a part of almost every boy’s upbringing. I won’t dare to guess how many girls these days want to be heroines rather than princesses (my own daughter wants to be a mix of the two). I grew up learning everything I could to make me able to be that guy that can take care of himself and help others when the situation called for it – everything from first aid to joining the military to becoming a competitive powerlifter. I want to be the guy who a mugger will look at and decide not to challenge. I want to be the guy who can rip the door off the crashed car that’s on fire to get the people out. I want to be able to slay the dragon threatening the maiden.

 

With that in mind, my newest book is a high fantasy called Child of Fate. It’s the first book in the Blades of Leander series. The characters are as real as fictional characters can be, with quirks and weaknesses aplenty. They’ve got their talents and strengths just like a regular person, but what’s most important about them is that they’re identifiable.

 

These are the kinds of characters that we like because we understand them. We can remember feeling the same way at times. By living vicariously through the characters in Child of Fate we can answer the “what if” questions.

 

And isn’t it safer to read a book than it is to buy a sword and drive to the nearest national border and start attacking the border guards?

 

I don’t want you getting tazed or enduring a body cavity search, so please consider Child of Fate a safer and more entertaining alternative.

 

Early winters and distant cities make the northern reaches fit only for adventurous homesteaders. Alto is on the verge of becoming such a man when his father is ambushed by monstrous raiders from the mountains.

 

Determined to find help for his father Alto leaves his home behind and sets out with a group of adventurers tasked with learning the true nature of the raids. Help for his family grows more and more distant as the boy is swept up into a budding war with a neighboring nation and the threats of evil forces from the mountains.

 

A fiery-tempered princess from the eastern kingdom falls into Alto’s hands by twist of fate. The fate of two nations rests in their hands, provided they can keep them off of each other’s throats.

 

 

 

Pick up your copy of Child of Fate at any of these sites: 

Amazon 

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

Smashwords

 

To learn more about Jason Halstead, visit his website to learn about him, his books, sign up for his newsletter, or check out some free samples of his books at http://www.booksbyjason.com.

 

Thanks for joining us today!

Until next time,

Ciao

JET

 

Saving Face Blog Tour & Contest

Saving Face is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and Kobo

The Windwalker Serial Killer stalks the inlets of southern Maine for the next beauty to advance his collection and Special Agent Steve Williams is frustrated with always being a breath behind the slippery psychopath. Escalating the pressure, Steve’s adopted sons, CJ and Tom Ryan, take teenage rebellion to an entirely new level, leaving Steve in an explosive situation.

 When the Windwalker slaughters Tom’s ex-girlfriend, taking her face as a macabre trinket, Tom is found on the scene covered in her blood, with her scalped body draped across his lap. Damning evidence against him is unearthed, his father’s secret identity is about to be exposed, and he’s charged with Tanya’s traumatic murder.

 To prove his innocence, their only hope is the worst-case scenario; for the Windwalker to harvest a new face.

 Blog tour dates include the following stops:

 November 7th – http://whiteknightstudio.blogspot.com/ 

 November 8th – http://fantasy-pages.blogspot.com/ 

 November 14th – http://www.bittenbybooks.com/ Contest for $25 Amazon Gift Certificate!

 November 15th – http://tbrtheblog.blogspot.com/ 

 November 24th – http://lisabetsarai.blogspot.com/ 

 November 29th – http://patriciastoltey.blogspot.com 

 November 30th – http://catemasters.blogspot.com/ 

 As new dates are finalized, I’ll add them to the list, in the meantime, swing in on the stops and say hello!

Until next time,

Ciao

JET

 

Interview with Susan Cartwright

Today I have the pleasure of having Susan Cartwright, author of Wolf Dawn and Wolf Revenge, on my blog. 

JET: Can you tell us about your most recent book?

 Susan: Wolf Revenge is the sequel to Wolf Dawn. It is a continuation of the nail-biting adventure of love, spaceship chases, plagues, alien planets, mind control and the wonderful Red Wolves of Opan.

 JET: What drew you to science fiction?

 Susan: Probably watching Star Trek and Star Wars. I read everything from Regency romance, paranormal, thrillers, murder mystery and cowboys – you name it. But I only write the future. I like world building on other planets, and imagining futuristic philosophies and attitudes. For a start in my books humankind has lost the guilt ridden, prudish, impractical responses towards sex

 JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?

 Susan: Overcoming my own barriers.

 

Luke: “I don’t believe it!”

 Yoda: “And that is why you fail.”

 What I like about e-book publishing it is that ANYONE can publish ANYTHING and they don’t have to have approval from publishing “gatekeepers.” Other than vanity publishing, publishers once were to the final authority dictating who could and couldn’t write. Now everyone can write a book. And let the reader decide.

 I was told to write in a certain way to get approval from a publisher. Adverbs were out. That is to say, “He stepped forward gracefully and took her hand…” “Gracefully” would be frowned on by a publisher. Why? I don’t know. I like adverbs.

 I was told to keep a book to 100,000 words or no publisher would publish it. “Wolf Dawn” is about 140,000 words. With e-publishing I was free to write exactly what I wanted, without constraint. Believe me, after trying to meet publishing expectations, this lack of restraint really made my day.

 In the end, I made the decision that I didn’t really need a publisher’s magic wand of approval to feel validated as an author. I just needed to get my book out there. So far, people seem to like “Wolf Dawn.” Many even love it.

 It’s a big jump to make, self-publishing, but it felt good to just go ahead and do it. No regrets so far….

 JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?

 Susan: Readers and fans. How neat is that? I love reader’s comments. Many people love my little wolf story. Readers have also been giving me ideas on further books. For fun I have put some fan’s names as characters in my books. It is a little thank you and fun for them and me.

 JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?

 Susan: Too many to name. I was an introverted child and chronic reader, regularly transporting myself to other worlds.

 JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?

 Susan: When I was first published in 4th grade, but I couldn’t see money in it so like many potential authors, I pragmatically got a well paid career instead, and wrote as a hobby.

 JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?

 Susan: Oh, quantum physics for sure! (Research for Wolf Revenge)

 You see, the act of observing creates the observed.

 The double-slit test uses an electron gun to fire particles at a far wall through two slits. The gist of this experiment is that the particles fired through the double slits always take the form they are expected to take. The observation of the observer is what dictates the electron’s form (whether wave or particle). The electrons actually have no form until they are observed. The act of observing is what prompts them to take on any form at all, and each observer creates something different. It throws out everything we once believe in physical or mechanical physics re: cause and effect. Pretty fascinating stuff.

 

JET: Of all the novels and stories you’ve written – which one is your favorite? Why?

 Susan: Book Two, Wolf Revenge. What is not to like about Revenge? So satisfying! Everyone loves that book best, including the author. In the words of one fan: “Wolf Dawn was enchanting and Wolf Revenge exhilarating!”

 JET: Any advice (from a writer’s standpoint) for the novices out there?

 Susan: The best authors write. Just write, write, write pages and pages per day. You will find your own unique style and become good through practice. Oh, and believe in yourself.

JET: All right – now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten. . . starting with: Paper or Plastic?

 Susan: Paper

 JET: Steak or Tofu?

 Susan: Rare Steak

 JET: Beach or Mountains?

 Susan: Beach

 JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

 Susan: Rock-n-Roll

 JET: Leather or Lace?

 Susan: Leather baby!

 JET: Angels or Demons?

 Susan: Angels

 JET: Paper or Digital?

 Susan: Digital

 JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?

 Susan: Cheesy for sure

 JET: Twilight or True Blood?

 Susan: True blood. I like grit

 JET: Coffee or Tea?

 Susan: Fresh ground coffee. Yum

 JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you’re working on now? What’s next?

 Susan: The next in the series, Wolf War, Wolf Trap, Wolf Trials or Wolf Triumph. I have no end to ideas, and love spending time with my characters.

 JET: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Susan Cartwright and her work over at her website:  http://www.susancartwright.com/

 

Until next time,

Ciao.

JET

 

Sock Puppetry by Dominic H. King

What do 7-time Tour de France ‘winner’, Lance Armstrong, and crime writer, R.J. Ellroy, have in common?

 Well, it would appear they have both cheated to get ahead. Lance Armstrong by doping and R.J. Ellroy by inventing people to favourably review his books and attack those of fellow authors – a practice that has been dubbed ‘sock puppetry’.

 Lance Armstrong has not admitted the offence, but some commentators and other cyclists from his era have sought to defend the practice by stressing that everyone else was doing it and therefore implying that this was the only way he could ever have ‘won’. Whilst in publishing, RJ Ellroy is by no means the only author to have admitted inventing personas and conversations in a bid to boost sales (see Guardian UK article).

As a new author this poses a number of questions for me: Are authors old and new using pseudonyms to get ahead? Do I stand a chance of being noticed if everyone else is artificially building a buzz around his or her work? If everyone else is doing it, does that make it OK for me to do it too?

 Without wanting to sound like a martyr in an industry I have been part of for a nanosecond, I would answer the final question with a firm no. Without specified rules of engagement, any competition becomes meaningless, whether that be slogging your guts out to reach the top of Mont Blanc or the Amazon bookseller list. Full disclosure: I have asked friends who have read my book to tell the world what they think online. True, they doubtless see the book through rose-tinted glasses but, to my mind, this is a world away from posting your own reviews and slating competitors. R.J. Ellroy might well retort that any publicity is good publicity, but it will be interesting to see how these revelations impact on his sales.

Publishing has changed dramatically since the arrival of the digital book, bringing with it the rise of the self-publicist and the peer review. Clearly, sock puppetry is one of the challenges that emerges as authors become their own publicists so I was pleased to find out that Goodreads has a system for identifying the practice and that the Society of Authors would consider introducing a new code if it becomes more widespread.

Ethics can be highly subjective but I think most people would find it hard to justify the actions of anybody, be they a cyclist or an author, who cheated to reach the top. Maybe Lance Armstrong and R.J. Ellroy, let alone Marion Jones and Ben Johnson, would tell me it was all worth it.

But somehow I doubt it.

________________________________________________________________________________

Dominic H. King is author of the Twin World trilogy. Vol1: The Chamber It is available here on Amazon, Amazon UK and Barnes & Noble.

When an unstoppable evil force known only as ‘the Reaper’ seeks to break into Kal’s world, his life becomes intrinsically linked to that of Daine, a ruthless female assassin. Boy and girl must face challenges both together and apart if Kal is to save his father who lies in a chamber far away, and Daine is discover why she has been called away from everything she has ever known.

 

Kal must travel further than he has ever been before, alone, except for the sporadic guidance of his father’s best friend, the mysterious Juquor. Relentlessly pursued by the deadly Arrochom, he must show maturity beyond his years to fight prejudice, solitude and the fears that cramp his every waking moment if he is to find a way back to his father.

 

Daine finds herself in another world, ripped from the comfort of the profession that is all she has ever known, unable even to converse with those around her. Confronted with feelings from a missing adolescence and forced to learn everything she once knew again, she must battle with her gender and revisit painful memories if she is to find purpose and quell the daemons that stalk her dreams.

 

Excerpt:

 

Chapter 1.i

 

“You must get back. The evil one is coming. You must be gone before he arrives.”

 

The old man called to him, but his mind felt heavy and sluggish. Great trees and fields of corn burned. Children ran screaming, their faces contorted with fear. A dark presence rose up, high as a mountain, blotting out the sun.

 

“Do you hear me? Help is on the way but you must get back!”

 

The boy awoke with a start. Cold stone bit into his back and he raised himself onto his hands. As he did so, a flash of pain erupted from his leg and looking down he saw that the right leg of his hair trousers was wet with blood. His vision blurred and he tried to focus on his surroundings. A great stone chamber engulfed him, hollow except for thirteen pillars forming an inner-circle. A shaft of light fell from an unseen hole in the cavern ceiling, flooding the centre of the chamber with a pale, ghostly green translucence.

 

Is it illuminating something? Or someone?

 

An unseen force; a howling, gusting gale battered the depths of his soul. It bounced around the chamber, wailing and screeching, cutting and biting. Yet nothing stirred.

 

Laying in utter darkness some twenty paces outside this circle, the boy groaned, raising into a sitting position and squinted ahead, trying to ignore the throbbing pain in his leg. A man lay prone on the cavern floor; his naked body looked frail, brittle. The boy could make out a deeply lined, lightly bearded face and something stirred inside of him.

 

Was this the man from his dream?

 

Have I been entombed? Or am I dead?

 

He thought he should check on the old man but fear kept him still. 

 

Chapter 1.ii

 

The air was heavier than usual, unwilling to allow either heat or rain to escape. Dark clouds swirled menacingly overhead, as though forewarning her of danger. She had scouted the area and found nothing, but the stillness made her wary.

 

Could it be a trap?

 

She kept her senses sharp and her mind alert for any signs of company. There was only a small window of time to complete the mission. She had to get in and out without being seen. There was no back up, no friends to rescue her if things went wrong. She always worked alone and she liked it that way.

 

She straightened and craned her neck around the low stone hut she had been crouching behind since the sun had gone down. It looked like the Reaper’s army had moved on but a deep sense of foreboding gripped her. She must be gone before they returned. She made one final scan of the area from her hiding place before gliding away across the sodden earth. The evening was stiflingly muggy under the blackened sky, which offered just the faintest tinge of murky moonlight to guide her. She would not make a sound, she had been taught by the best.

 

But then, I am the best they have ever seen.

 

She crept forward with her eyes fixed on the low stone entrance, senses straining for any sign of an ambush. The landscape was bleak and barren. All living things had either escaped or died trying. Charred remains smoldered around her and she tried to block out the stinging, nauseating stench of burnt flesh searing her nostrils as she crossed towards the low entrance to the chamber hewn smoothly out of the black rock.

 

Get in, get out. It was a job. Nothing more. It was how she survived.

 

_____________________________________________________________________________

 

Until Next Time…

Ciao

JET

Starting this week, William and I will be hoping around the web, talking about Don’t Fear the Reaper, writing together and a whole slew of other fun things. Swing in and say hello!

July 27th – http://peacefrompieces.blogspot.com/ Peace from Pieces

July 28th – http://www.ravinaandreakurian.com/ Mommy Adventures

July 30th – http://vidya-booksaremagic.blogspot.in/ Books are Magic

July 31st – http://www.delphinareadstoomuch.com/ Delphina Reads Too Much

August 1st – http://bookloversparadise.blogspot.com/ Book Lovers Paradise

August 2nd – http://wefancybooks.blogspot.com/ We Fancy Books

August 3rd – http://gimmethescoopreviews.blogspot.com/ Gimme the Scoop Reviews

August 4th – http://vidya-booksaremagic.blogspot.in/ Books are Magic

August 4th – http://writersandauthors.blogspot.com/ Writers & Authors

August 5th – http://www.talismanbookpublishing.com/ Talisman Publishing

August 8th – http://catedeanwrites.com/ Cate Dean Writes

August 8th – http://wefancybooks.blogspot.com/ We Fancy Books

August 10th – http://pandorapoikilos.com/ Pandora Poikilos

August 10th – http://JETaylor75.blogspot.com

August 15th – http://www.thebooksnoop.com/

August 20th – http://www.moosubi.blogspot.com/ Moosubi Reviews

August 22nd – http://peacefrompieces.blogspot.com/ Peace from Pieces

August 24th – http://bunnysreview.com/ Bunnys Review

August 25th – http://www.ravinaandreakurian.com/ Mommy Adventures