Author Interview: William Schlichter #Tuesdaybookblog #scifi #horror #authorinterview @BHCPressbooks

Today I’m fortunate to present William Schlichter author of Sci-fi and horror.

Hi, William, thanks for agreeing to this interview!

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

William_Schlichter_BHC_WebI’m from Missouri. I’m originally from an hour south of St Louis, and now I call Springfield home.

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

Strong character driven stories, quick moving, and short chapters or breaks.

They need to bring forth an emotion in me. I want to care about what happens to the characters. I must care about the characters.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

Star Wars.  I was three and a half years old and my parents took me to see Star Wars at the drive-in. It’s my earliest full memory and I knew after watching this spectacle I didn’t want to be Han Solo or a Jedi I wanted to create those kinds of stories.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I teach high school and college so during the school year I write when I can.  I write in my creative writing class when the students write in class. But I have a daily goal of a 1000 new words.

In the summer, I get up and write as close to a 1000 words as I can then swim a mile, go to the gym and finish my thousand words.  Now, if the Muse flows I’ll keep going and I will drain the well. I finish a story idea; if I don’t it plagues me. Demanding to be written down.  I will edit older works after my 1000 words. I read. Riding the bike at the gym is a great time to read and since I travel I listen to a lot of audiobooks. 

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

The story flows throw me much like a movie and I paint a picture on the page like a movie.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

400_Miles_W_Schlicter_C2No Room in Hell: 400 Miles To Graceland –  a post-apocalyptic horror/thriller. Not your typical zombie adventure.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

I didn’t write the first No Room in Hell to enter the mass market with a zombie book because it was a popular bestselling subject. I wrote the story one to cover events no one else covers in all the zombie books I have read or watched and two I wrote the main character as the nameless figure. It was a challenge to write this character. A challenge I gave myself and based on feedback readers liked it or thought it was an interesting approach.  It reaffirms a writer must know the rules before breaking them but when a rule is broken and it works it is rewarding.

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

The opening of SKA due out in 2018:

SKA_William_Schlichter_Web“That’s a lot of money—do you want me to do something for it?”

            Even on my limited salary, a Jackson wasn’t a grand gesture. I’ve bought books costing more. The girl was messed up, and not just for thinking the twenty dollars I handed her was worth her doing something, but she had a hospital ID bracelet and a red medication allergy band on her wrist.

            She asked me to watch her bag while she went and bought cigarettes—one of those plastic clothing bags hospitals give out. She’d be back, then I could take her someplace.

            Despite her haggard appearance, her round face was pretty. Hospitals tend to fatigue people. They want you to rest, but constantly wake you up to check your vitals.

            Returning with a green pack of smokes, she bubbles with excitement. The cheap pint she tried to hide might have helped. The seal already busted. She didn’t notice me observing her slip it in the hospital bag. If I wasn’t convinced she was an addict, I knew now. Curiosity overtook me. Stirring overwhelmed me. The sexual ones were obvious, at least to me, but something deeper wanted me to keep this girl.

 Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

Enter_the_Sandmen_W_Schlichter_FC_WebMy next novel is a standalone thriller SKA: Serial Killers Anonymous where a collection of serial Killers form a self-help group in order to curb their urges. They examine their acts and one in the group is not who they pretend to be.

The third book in my sci-fi series The Silver Dragon Chronicles: The fifth Planet will continue to follow the crew’s exploits as they attempt to stop the Sandmen.

And my dark and gritty zombie apocalypse series No room in hell will see book three as well. I have a working title but it might give away the shocking twist at the end of book two.  Just know no one is safe.

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

The gym, travel and Stephen King’s On Writing.

You can’t write without your health or experience the world, even if you only travel to the adjoining state. Changing your comfort zone makes all the difference, and of the dozens of books about how to write I’ve read or bought, his is the one I quote to my writing students the most.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

http://www.bhcpress.com/Author_William_Schlichter.html

https://twitter.com/wmschlichter

https://www.facebook.com/wmschlichter/

https://www.instagram.com/wschlichter

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Book Spotlight: The Vault by Brian Harrison #newrelease #Tuesdaybookblog #Tuesdayteaser #familylife #contemporaryfiction

The Vault

Why would a multibillionaire create a customized vault that is controlled by watch mechanics inside and have a self-destruct mechanism inside to destroy the billion dollars worth of artifacts inside?

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Simple, because he can.

On paper, Sam Montgomery is your typical eccentric philanthropic pharmaceutical billionaire whom has literally mailed five dollars to everyone in the US so they can “pay it forward.” But what people didn’t know when made a rare public appearance was that he was announcing he had leukemia. And more shocking was that when he said, “I’d rather die than give my sister the opportunity to save my life,” no one even knew he had a sister.

Elena Diamante nailed the sit-down interview – at his small home on the tiny island of Antikythera in Greece. She was only planning on getting the scoop about Sam and his apparently estranged sister but she was also going to be the first journalist to see inside Sam’s custom-made vault. It was built using watch mechanics, so it was completely self-sustained, and only opened once a year. It was even rumored that if it were ever tampered with, everything inside would be destroyed in a custom acid.

Come to find out for Elena, there would be one item inside Sam’s vault that could save his life, or end it even quicker, it was just a matter of whether or not the vault would open in time.

The vault explores Sam’s family dynamics and how they inspired him to become the successful man he is. The story is also told using Sam’s own family photos growing up, as well as text messages and Facebook/Twitter. There are even hyperlinks within the novel as “Easter Eggs” for those readers that want to explore even more of Sam’s personal life, further blurring the lines of fact/fiction.

Author Interview: Mary R. Woldering #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present Mary R. Woldering author of Children of Stone.

Hi Mary, thanks for agreeing to this interview.

10014489_228282274027119_1981351165_oQuestion 1) What part of the world do you come from?

The United States

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

Strong characters and their interaction with each other

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

I don’t recall. I just wrote a story when I was about 14.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Chaotic and full of distractions, but I manage.

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

No idea what you would consider interesting or a quirk. I do a lot of research & Googling.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

Opener of the Sky – Book 3 of the Children of Stone Series.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

That I have very few readers. I think the story is a great one and so do my few readers, but news of the tale is just not spreading.

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

Sure! I preceded it with the blurb.

Children of Stone Book 3 – Opener of the Sky

I had grown fierce and hard
Thrilled by death, torture, blood…
the madness of it when I tasted its warm saltiness
A warrior god.

… from the poem Howl by Mary R. Woldering (as told by Raemkai-2012)

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Marai, a former shepherd, who discovered a fallen ‘star’ and was gifted with amazing abilities by the unearthly Children of Stone, has been separated from those he loves.

Turned sojourner, he begins a desperate mission to find them, but the spectre of wickedness and corruption is never far behind and his journey to wisdom becomes even more uncertain.

While Opener Of The Sky, the third book in the Children of Stone series, is the continuing story of Marai’s magical search for his companions, it is also the story of Maatkare Raemkai, a sadistic shape-changing warrior-prince, whose twisted relationships once propelled him into power, then nearly destroyed him.

Through sorcerous manipulation of the women Marai loves, he has planned his own revenge. The sojourner Marai is just in the way.  Will he be too late to save those he loves or will he welcome them in victory?

In this excerpt from Sokor and Khmenu, Ariennu and Naibe attempt an escape from the clutches of their captor Prince Maatkare one day away from the king’s palace. He, being part wolf/dog tracks them, manipulating them into the very temple where he offers sacrifices. He’s intent on teaching them both a lesson.

(Reader’s note. Ariennu is nicknamed MaMa and Naibe is called Baby, but they are not mother and daughter.) 18+

 

Ari stared at Maatkare Raemkai as he chatted, noticing Deka sat next to her prince oblivious to the surroundings. She had done the same thing in Little Kina Ahna when everyone had lived with Marai.  That much of her personality had not changed. For Ari, Maatkare was much more interesting.

So good looking though. He was even fun to drink with last night before it got to be too much; watching him show off for his men. Ariennu mused, a slight smile on her lips. Maybe not the worst idea in the world, except having to share him. And whatever he did to Naibe this afternoon was uncalled for, knocking her out like that.

She paused, tucking in her thoughts, when she saw the prince glance her way as if he had heard every one of them.

The signal to Naibe was a yawn.

Ari leaned to a servant.

“Where is your privy? My friend and I need to…”

The servant glanced at the priest who spoke to the prince.

Maatkare, his eyes glimmering a little in recognition of something, motioned for an older guard to follow them. He raised a forefinger, then lowered it in a quiet but mystical gesture.

Don’t be gone too long, ladies. His thoughts whispered as he pulled Deka a little closer.

The shaded stall with an open half wall provided just enough room for a person to squat. After a moment, Ari rose and gestured to Naibe that it was her turn:

I’m going to cover myself and stand over you. If you just concentrate on getting to the king and not being seen, I think it’ll work.

She wrapped the prismatic illusion around herself like goddess Nut’s mantle, hugging Naibe up into her arms and slipping away past the guard who paced just a few feet away.

As soon as she reached the causeway to the river, she let Naibe down and dropped the illusion. The two women gasped and then caught their breath, shrinking back into the shadow. Once there, they tried to get their bearings.

“Do you think he saw which way we went?” Naibe whispered.

“No, but we have to keep moving down the river. I’m sure the guard has already told…Oh Goddess…fast. The bastard knows already.”

Ari stopped and crouched with Naibe as guards with bobbling torches erupted from the gate to priest’s house.

“Bring him out here. Stupid bastard let them run off.”

Prince Maatkare.

Storming by.

He whirled as two men dragged the guard who had been set over the women out to the wall near the water in the causeway channel.

Naibe and Ariennu crouched lower, wrapping secrecy around themselves.

“Highness. They used sorcery. Gone in a flash.” The guard pleaded, then accepting his fate, whispered: “Have mercy…”

“I do have mercy on you, because you have served me well.” The prince replied. “And I have mercy on your children.”

The shup sound of a blade striking hard into a body was followed by a groan. A shadow drifted over the three figures who supported the fourth, followed by a snapping sound. It meant the man’s neck had been broken in a quick gesture of mercy.

Ari clapped a quick hand over Naibe’s mouth to keep her from squealing aloud in horror.

“Take our unfortunate old friend to the open edge of the water. He has been given a message for Lord Sebek. What you men will know” the hand gesture again, as if he was imprinting the men with a different story, “is that as he was chasing the women, slipped at the muddy bank and the crocodiles got to him before we could. I will write a message to his family of his noble deeds in my service and award them his pension. Be careful of the crocodiles yourselves. They can be keen on those who break the rules or bear tales.” He grew silent as the guard’s body was carried away.

Ari faded herself into the color of the wall. She couldn’t make out everything the prince was doing but it seemed to be additional ritual gestures, followed by the spiritual howl of a wolf-dog. It grew in piercing volume overtaking Ari’s heart and filling her heart with uncustomary terror.

Naibe’s mouth opened in a silent cry.

Maatkare stopped, as if he noticed, and sniffed the air.

For a moment, Ari thought she recognized the flash of shiny fang teeth in an eerie grin but realized it was an image of warning he had conjured up so that he would appear as a beast before her eyes.

I know you are near, ladies. I can smell your scents. Because you decided to run away, you now see a little more of how I am. I will find you before dawn. I hope the chase will leave me feeling less upset by that time. The prince’s thought voice was calm and unruffled, just as it had been when he spoke to the unfortunate guard. He moved back up the causeway, scenting and searching for them.

As soon as Ari saw he was far enough away to appear the same size as a shabti doll, she silently grabbed Naibe and darted around the perimeter of the priest’s home and into the first entrance they could find that didn’t seem to be part of the building complex.

The path became a shrouded tunnel.

Ari saw two sentries at the open gate entryway.

Another temple, maybe? She thought, hurtling by the men with Naibe in tow. The sentries stirred as if they sensed something, stared at each other, then they closed the gate behind the women who were still moving deeper inside the passageways. Ariennu relaxed, her image becoming visible. She waited with Naibe in the dust and dark, while they caught their breath.

“Killed the guard, the bastard did, just to teach us a lesson. He set the whole thing up, because he knew we were up to something. I don’t even think N’ahab would have done that, goddess curse his soul.” Ari spat at the ground, then pulled Naibe to the left branch of the path when they came to a division.

The new hallway was close and torch lit with paintings on the walls. At intervals there were more paths and arched hollows that became other tunnels, but Ari was certain they would find the way out of the other side at any moment.

A right then another right then a left. Um. She paused to stroke the stone in her brow, hoping to clarify any message her Child Stone transmitted.

Where am I supposed to go? Damn. I’m going to get us lost. She froze. City of the Dead, Sokor. A Labyrinth, and I led us both in here.  She turned to Naibe. “Let’s just try to be calm and quiet. They will help us. They just have to.”

“Um, Ari…” Naibe paused, her hand staying the older woman’s hand. “You do know where you are going don’t you?”

“I just know we have to go deeper in. I can still feel his thoughts, Babe. He’s looking around down here…tracking us. He can smell us. If we keep moving in where the burial boxes are, there are enough of them and dust in the twists. I want his nose confused over what he thinks he smells. He can’t stay past dawn. Sooner or later he’ll have to give up on us and keep moving up the river. He’ll have to leave us.  Then we can get out and get down the river to Our Father Menkaure. If he’s going to keep showing me how he is ‘Prince Dangerous’ and killing people over nothing, we’re not safe. I’ll curse my own soul if I ever let some man kill me, whether he was glorious on his couch or not.”

“I didn’t like it, Ari.” Naibe admitted, just above a whisper.

“No? Really? I thought he was one wild hump! That El of his knew how to seek out every single part in my belly and womb like it was made for it. Mmm…Mmm…I wish I didn’t have to get away. I’m getting another itch for it, just thinking about it working me.”

Ari turned every way she could, realizing the underground complex must have been huge. So far she hadn’t found any two passageways that looked alike.

“With me, he put up a wall over his soul instead of becoming open to me. Devils came out of his eyes the more I sent up my loving to him. He just sucked it out and still gave nothing back. It was as if he was broken and couldn’t love me like a normal man. He could give the pleasure twice over to fill in that missing part and I was screaming for it, but then I couldn’t stop thinking of my Marai and how much I missed the real love he had for me…and then I couldn’t breathe. I fainted.”

“No I saw everything he did when you first came in. Read it off your stone when you were crawling around the cabin floor all shocked. Bastard choked you hard enough to end you and then painted night in front of your eyes…said he would drink your heart for saying Marai’s name to him.” Ariennu stopped walking and sat by the wall where five corridors branched out in the dark.

Now which way? She asked herself.

Naibe shuddered as if she wanted to gag in worry.

Ari she tapped the nearly imperceptible rise in the middle of her forehead just at the top of her nose. “Come on little one… some help here. Show me those little balls of light Marai told us about that led him in the dark to your boat of wonders so long ago, if this is still real…”

“It’s alright MaMa.” Naibe petted Ari’s shoulder.

“Still my fault we’re having to run like this. We should be at the palace soaking in asses milk, not having to get away from someone who’s no better than a slave master.” She saw the small lightened area in one of the corridors. “There. That way. I see those lights, I think. We have to go.” Ari got to her feet and pulled Naibe up.

After a series of twists and turns and more walking, the elder woman slowed, realizing the lights might have been an illusion born of her own fatigue.

 

Push on if you must

Or stay

Or go this way

 

A voice exploded just under her brow. It was louder than the usual whisper-like singing to which she had become accustomed.

“Finally! Ouch, damn. Naibe, watch your step, there’s something back here. I thought it was a wall but there’s something out in front.” She murmured, then felt the lid of a low stone box with some carved object on top.

A Stone box. It’s like my dream when I saw Marai lying dead in that black box somewhere. She felt for the edge for a moment but realized the box in her dream had been plain and slick to the touch. This one was smooth but not as finely polished

“I can feel a draft coming over the top so maybe it’s in front of a hall that leads us out of here the back way.” Ari couldn’t see much in the dark until she paused and became calm enough for her eyes to switch into a kind of night vision.

In the back, a niche containing a platform for offerings. Something furred, broken and wet with gore lay in the dish. Her hands leapt up away from whatever it was as if they had been lightning struck. Atop the lid was a carved image. She felt the shape: Animal. Legs, haunches, muzzle and upright ears of Wepwawet as Guide of the Dead.

She gasped, realizing the irony of the place she had entered with the younger woman. The prince’s words from late last night rang in her ears.

 

I’m the Lord of the Dead by the Blood of Aset…the Lord of the Dead

 

She remembered the revelry of the party, and the way a very drunk Maatkare cried out his howling lament about his ill-fated marriage to the king’s daughter. Women always tryna put a collar on me.

That was the moment she knew she had to get him away from the king’s private area and onto his boat.

Well damn me she thought.

Ari suddenly realized the prince was here on more than business. This was a centering and safe place for the disciples of Wepwawet who presented as a wolf/dog.

He must be from the wolf school with all his skill with a bow, the howling, the…Oh goddess…shape shifting that’s so fast no bones bend or skin stretches…he just is. I led us both to his safe space…He came here to cleanse himself? Our dinner host was his witness while we were cleaning up?

Ariennu sensed something wasn’t right in the tonality of the Children’s voices. Sounds like a man imitating…like…She tensed, all the hair on her arm rising as she heard the great wolf/dog’s panting approach to the opening of the chapel.

The sound of his clawed feet tip-tapped on the hardened earth floor of the path. The panting merged into an evil titter; breathing in the dark; a faint growl that grew stronger and more threatening.

 

Push on if you must

Or stay

Or go this way

Either way leads to pain

You see, I know what they sound like,

Your little friends

These voices in your crystal eye.

 

The black furred hand/paw touched her arm just before it faded into illusion.

“MaMa!” Naibe cried, panting. “He’s finding us. Hide!” Naibe ran around the stone box. This time she grabbed Ari and hid in her cloaking arms. The women clung to each other, wide-eyed and silent. Before the shroud of silence covered them, Ari saw the silhouette of a black wolf/dog thin like smoke. In its place, Ari thought she saw a gold armlet flashing in the slight available light of a distant torch.

Oh. He’s here? She hardened her resolve, crouching and ready to fight.

In the distance, the women heard a faint scampering snapping, growling, yodel-howling, circling and finding the way.

They’re coming Ari. Dogs…He has power over dogs. He’s sending dogs. Naibe grabbed Ariennu harder, as if it would help her gain more invisibility.

I know Baby, I know…the elder woman listened silently for a long time as the sounds circled, grew louder and finally paused outside the room where they had become the most confused.

Footsteps.

Maatkare stood in the doorway, golden wrist and arm bands glimmering in ambient torchlight.

“I know what you tried to do.” He began to pace, trying to seem thoughtful “Maybe I would have done the same thing too if I had been in your situation. But now you’ve caused a good man to die, because you outwitted him with your little trick.”

The sound of dogs growling grew louder.  His thought voice growled too, half human half dog as if he had become one of them.

Easy brothers…he started, then spoke aloud “Perhaps I should let them come at you. They are my trick, Red Sister. See if you like it.” Maatkare’s dark hand swept the air in front of him. Ari sensed an almost-whisper.

Suddenly, black ravenous shadows emptied past him around his torso and over his shoulders; into the chamber pouncing, snarling and biting. Ariennu felt herself knocked back hard by the weight of several animals standing around and towering over her. She shrieked angrily, struggling against their bodies.

“Call them off! Damn you!” she swung, kicked and shoved, but accomplished nothing.

 

“You’re afraid…tsk, tsk…fearless Lady Ariennu…worried by some puppies.”

 

“Am not…get them off me…”

 

“About to soil yourself, you naughty ka’t” he chortled, toeing the threshold and gesturing. “Just a very small sample of what I can do, if you come to annoy me.”

Puppies?  Ari froze, her eyes clearing a little.

The clawing and biting beasts had become gregarious, yipping puppies. They frolicked happily about her prone body then left, heading past the prince and out the doorway as they vanished.

It had been a magnificent illusion.

 

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

The last 2 books in the series Book 4 “Heart of the Lotus” and Book 5 “The Lake of Memory” plus some spin-offs in other time periods including a Steampunk Crime novella “Miss Hattie and the Hoppers” and an autobiography of sorts. There are other plans in other times and places.

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

Createspace covers. They are very professional looking.

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Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Mary-R.-Woldering/e/B00OND7QMU/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

Website:  Palace intrigue, murder, madness, confusion, bizarre twists and plot turns…dangerous hookups, evil geniuses, punk sorcerers, traitors…

https://www.maryrwoldering.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChildrenofStone

Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/ChildrenofStoneNovels?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

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Author Interview: Stephanie Ayers #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present Stephanie Ayers, author of The 13: Tales of Illusory.

Hi Stephanie, thanks for agreeing to this interview!

11224037_860439547360338_7629373995538696974_oQuestion 1) What part of the world do you come from?

I call the east coast of the United States home. I live in Virginia, closer to Washington, DC, though I crave a home in the mountains. 

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

To me, a good story is well-told with vibrant images that play like a movie in my head as I read. To me, it’s when I’m reading and the whole world disappears… that is good story.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

I have been writing as a child. My dream to be famous started with writing, then singing, then acting, then singing, and I have found it most peaceful to write. The inspiration behind my first published book was a publisher’s admission that she loved it after I wrote a blurb to it. It began as a serial on my blog.

 Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Honestly writing takes a back seat right now as we work on building our publishing house up. I’ve been doing a lot of focus with graphics, but writing is still instrumental to all I do. It must be creative, and that is a successful day.

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Hmmm… some would say love stories with a twist, but my writing quirk is probably more along the lines of all the headless or beheaded characters in my stories.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

The 13: Tales of Illusory is a collection of short horror stories.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

I’m always surprised by people’s interest. I’m in my own little world, just being me, so when people step up, it’s always the biggest surprise. It’s also a surprise how well received my book cover is.

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

Sure…this is from Wade, Haunted:

The 13

The front door of the white house opened with a squeak that made Wade’s heart skip a beat. His eyes closed, and the dusty silence of the long empty house accosted him. Nothing disturbed the air, not even the buzz of appliances. Sensing the vacancy, he opened his eyes. A photo album s

 

at on the rickety coffee table just beyond the front door. His stomach clenched. Hesitant eyes searched the room as he moved towards the table, noting the crumbling paint on the walls and broken bricks of the fireplace, but he switched direction at the last minute. Despite the dead silence, he needed to know there was no one there. His feet carried him through a small opening and into the kitchen.

Cobwebs crowded dark corners, and a spider web covered the base of the sink. The stale odor of disuse exuded from the refrigerator as he opened it. Nothing there but more cobwebs. He coughed and closed it. A glance out the window showed him a yard filled with unruly weeds and tall, browning grass. He followed a short hall to a closed door. Inside the closet a few musty jackets hung on metal hangers and dust coated the floor.  

A short staircase with an ornate brass bannister loomed opposite the closet. He ascended, the ominous creaking and sighing of the steps disturbing the silence. Wade’s heart plunged to his belly. He raced to the top looking over his shoulder every other step. Once he reached the top, an open foyer looked down into the front room. With bated breath he investigated the rooms behind him and found most of them empty. He flipped the light switch in the bathroom out of habit, and a pasty white face stared at him from the mirror. Startled, he jumped and his heart quickened, until he realized it was his reflection.

Wade’s fingers trembled as he turned the knob of the last room, and the door opened without noise. Rose pink covered the walls, and gold-framed landscapes of mountains and sunsets hung on either side of an elaborate oak dresser. A large gold headboard disappeared behind a yellowed rosebud coverlet. A layer of age and abandonment coated everything. He shut the door, a sense of intrusion replacing his dread, and moved to the railing. The album winked up at him from the coffee table, drawing his attention. His curiosity aroused, he worked his way to the front room.

A cloud of dust exhaled from the couch as he sat. His hands quivered as he opened the cover; he took his time pouring over each page. Pictures of a handsome family rose from the pages. A sincere-faced father draped an arm across each son’s shoulders. A beautiful woman stood beside him, cradling an infant in her arms. As their story unfolded, the family appeared less and less, until only pictures of the woman remained. Loneliness seeped from her eyes, and he wondered what had happened to them.

With his eyes in a half-squint, he concentrated on the surrounding room, searching for a clue. A dark stain on the wall near the baseboard caught his attention. Hot breath blew against his neck. He turned and startled. The woman from the pictures sat next to him. Her ruby lips pouted coyly. Her blonde hair twisted seductively down her body, drawing attention to her full breasts. They pressed against her tight top as she leaned forward, teasing Wade with her closeness.

“What brings you here, lover?”

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

I have a holiday children’s story and two fantasies in development, along with another short story collection and a few stories I’d like to flesh out and use in a collaboration with my best friend and writing partner, A.L. Mabry.

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

Getting copies of my books and smelling that new book smell when I open the box.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

I’m all over social media. The absolute best way is to follow my blog or my author page.

Most of my other haunts are with the handle “theauthorSAM” and I’m on Instagram as my graphic’s page, OWS Creative Studios. You can also contact me through OWS Ink and find out about any new books by subscribing to the newsletter

Author Interview: Gina Dewink #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present Gina Dewink author of Time in My Pocket.

Hi Gina, thanks for agreeing to this interview.

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

ginadewinktimeinmypocketI was born and raised in Minnesota’s heartland, except for a slight detour to Wisconsin for a few years. Think corn fields, hotdish and lakeside cabins. 

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

That’s a terrific–and subjective–question. To me, a good story is something that centers around fascinating characters.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

The first book I completed was in high school, and my inspiration was just the urge to write. I completed two complete novels after that, but I never attempted to do anything with them. Time in My Pocket is technically my fourth novel. I’m not sure why I knew it was different from the others, but I knew right away. I have always been intrigued with time travel. After being a stay-at-home-mom for a year, I was craving time with my creative side again. I was inspired to write this book after I couldn’t find any stories combining my love of old Hollywood with the sarcastic “mom blog” tone I love to read.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Oh, there’s no doubt my plate is full! My littles are now 4- and 2-years-old. I’m a part-time stay-at-home-mom with them. I also work part-time as a Communications Manager at an international nonprofit. In addition, I am an active freelance writer for several local magazines and online mediums. Every moment is a chance to compose sentences and scenes in my head. When I’m really working out a scene, I make ridiculous absent-minded mistakes like shampooing my hair twice or driving right past a turn!

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Ha, maybe that my passion extends to the keyboard. When I was writing the last few chapters of Time in My Pocket, I typed with such gusto that I hammered out 14,000 words in one day, and BROKE our laptop’s spacebar! (And that wasn’t the first time that’s happened…)

Mackenzie: Ha! I can relate to that. I broke the P key on my laptop. I took it into Apple to get it repaired, and alas, broke it again the next day.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

PocketebookcoverMy debut novel is Time in My Pocket. It is a sci fi time travel adventure that published on September 1, 2017.

The tagline says it all: She woke up in 1947…in someone else’s body.

When a sarcastic mother of two is offered the chance to go back in time through an antique locket’s mirror, she is told she must look past herself. But when she does, she escapes the confines of her (imagined) domestic prison and comes face-to-face with the reality of life in the 1940’s – glamour, communism, smallpox and all. Now she must find a way to return to life before falling through the mirror. Humor, history and sci fi coalesce in this breakout novel, TIME IN MY POCKET.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

I learned so many surprising and wonderful things about the 1940s! But one thing that will stick with me forever is that, if rumors are to be believed, Alfred Hitchcock did not have a belly button. Yes, that’s correct – no navel. Apparently, he had several stomach surgeries and it was removed during one of them.

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

Sure! I feel this little blurb gives a taste of what it would be like being a millennial trapped in the 1940s. Everything would seem so foreign!

She unclipped her nylon stocking and rolled it to her knee. I couldn’t look away. Not just because of my disbelief, but also because her legs were unreal. Like didn’t physically look real. From the land of photoshopped celebrities, I was almost disheartened to see that it indeed was physically possible to have legs that looked that good.

“Great gams, eh?” Sis said to my opened-mouth gape.

“Unreal…”

“This is just her lamplight gig. She’s a professional roller skater.”

I whipped around to face her. “That can’t be real.”

Her laugh was full of glee. “Sure it is. She’s hired to do a choreographed skate around tennis courts, parking lots, lobbies – she’s big in the party scene. Unique, graceful entertainment, wouldn’t you say?”

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

I’m still actively freelancing for several mediums, but as for another novel – I hope to write another. But we’ll take it one book at a time for now.

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

Another terrific question. I hired a cover designer and an interior designer. I would say I am happy with the money I spent on both. They made the book beautiful and real. I feel better having people buy a book they enjoy having on their bookshelf.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

I’m active on my Facebook author page (https://www.facebook.com/ginadewinkauthor/), as well as on my website (https://ginadewink.com). You can also catch me on Twitter and Goodreads.

Thanks for having me!

Gina

Author Interview Andy Peloquin #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present Andy Peloquin, author of The Last Bucelarii and Queen of Thieves series.

Hi Andy, thanks for agreeing to this interview.

Hello? Is this microphone on?

Heh, thanks so much for having me!

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

andyOh boy, straight to the tough questions! To sum me up: Born in Japan to French/Canadian/American parents, lived in Mexico for 15+ years. Basically, I’m from everywhere and nowhere.

10 Things You Need to Know About Me:
  1. Hot wings, ALWAYS!
  2. I never forget a face, but rarely remember a name.
  3. I’m a head taller than the average person (I’m 6′ 6″)
  4. Marvel > DC
  5. I was born in Japan, and lived there until the age of 14.
  6. Selena Gomez, Skrillex, Simon & Garfunkel, Celine Dion, and Five Finger Death Punch are all in my writing playlist.
  7. Aliens are real, but it’s self-centered of us to believe that they would come to visit Earth.
  8. Watching sports: suck. Playing sports: EPIC!
  9. I earned a purple belt in Karate/Hapkido/Taekwondo.
  10. I dislike most Christmas music, aside from Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

An intriguing, realistic character with relatable problems, forced into impossible circumstances, making difficult choices to achieve outstanding changes, even if only one person’s life is changed. 

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

I come from a very creative family, so the innate desire to create new things is in my blood. But I was always fascinated by the darker side of fantasy societies: thieves, criminals, assassins, thugs, and the underbelly/dregs. I wanted to write a story about a killer who you, the reader, could root for. You may not agree with his actions (killing), but you can understand and empathize with them. Thus, the Hunter of Voramis was born!

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I get about 2 hours of writing time per day, with a bit more on the weekends. I’ll usually sit down at roughly the same time every day and not stop writing until I finish the chapter, scene, or important part of the story. That usually is anywhere from 1,500 to 2,500 words per day. Given the extra time I can set aside Friday and Saturday, I’m sometimes able to hit 20,000 words in a good week.

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I HAVE to have at least one of three things: Winterfresh chewing gum, a coffee/hot chocolate/chai tea/something hot and sweet to drink, and a little cookie/pastry. As long as I have one of the above, I can get into the groove.

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

Thief of the Night Guild CoverThe latest book is Thief of the Night Guild, the second in my dark fantasy Queen of Thieves series. It follows Ilanna, a thief through the month she spends planning and executing the first bank heist ever accomplished in the fantasy world.

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

I learned SO MUCH in this particular book. I had to research lockpicking, vaults, safes, metalsmithing, basic chemistry, and more. This was also my first serious stab at romance (and not your usual kind!), so it was a fascinating chance to look at the dynamics between people to make a believable romantic interaction. Turns out I have NO idea what real romance is like!

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

Absolutely! This is a snippet from the third and final book in the Queen of Thieves series, titled Queen of the Night Guild:

Ilanna’s hand darted to her sword. The pain of her scorched flesh didn’t stop her from drawing the blade.

“Wait!” Master Gold’s voice cracked like a whip. “Follow me.”

He scurried from the Council Chamber. Ilanna fell in step behind him, her eyes wary. Chaos reigned in the Night Guild. Cries, shouts, and the clash of steel echoed off the earthen walls of the tunnels. Yet Master Gold led them away from the tumult.

“Where are we going?” Ilanna demanded. “We need to fight.”

“No, we need to hide.”

Ilanna jerked to a stop. “What?” Fury burned in her chest. “We’re under attack, and your first thought is for your own skin?”

Master Gold shook his head. “Think about it, Ilanna. I am Master of the Night Guild. What will happen to the Guild if I am killed, or worse, captured?”

“But we don’t know who’s attacking us!” Ilanna half-turned toward the sound of fighting. “We have to find out more.”

“Does it really matter?” Master Gold’s jaw muscles worked. “Either the Duke’s Arbitors have found our tunnels, or the Bloody Hand has. There’s no heroism in dying today.”

Ilanna clenched her fists. “Damn it, Master Gold! We have to help.”

“No, we don’t.” The Guild Master shook his head. “We need to be safe. House Serpent and House Bloodbear were formed for just this eventuality. They’ve enough fighters between them to drive out a small army.”

“They’re going to get killed!”

“And they’ve known that since the first day they were chosen by their Houses. Just as you knew what would happen if you were caught in the wrong mansion.” He gripped her sword arm. “But I must live. If we are to recover from this, we will need a clear head and a firm hand to direct our next step. You know as well as I that there is no one better-suited to leading the Guild in a time like this than me. If that means I must act the coward and hide, so be it. I do it for the Guild.”

Ilanna looked in his eyes. His expression showed no sign of fear, only the cold pragmatism that had made him such a useful ally. He spoke the truth. That didn’t mean she had to like it.

“Well, you may be comfortable running and hiding, but I stand with my House!”

“With those hands?” Master Gold’s voice grew harsh. “You can barely hold that sword without wincing. You wouldn’t last two minutes in a fight.”

Ilanna wanted to argue, but the pain radiating from her scorched palms forestalled her argument.

“If you will not listen to reason, you will obey a direct command. Protect me, Journeyman Ilanna of House Hawk. Protect your Guild Master. That is an order.” Master Gold’s eyes narrowed. “And before you protest, remember that you are still a Journeyman. You have not yet been released from the oaths you swore to your House, to the Guild. To me.”

Ilanna growled low in her throat. “Damn you, Master Gold!” She had to heed his command.

“Let’s go.” Master Gold jerked his head down a side corridor. “To my office.”

The Council Chamber stood a few hundred paces from the Guild Master’s quarters, on neutral territory belonging to none of the Houses. Master Gold and Ilanna covered the distance in less than a minute.

“Secure that door.” Master Gold instructed.

Ilanna threw the deadbolt. The door, built of solid Ghandian blackwood, would keep out anything short of a battering ram.

“Now what?” Her gaze darted around the room. If they dragged Master Gold’s enormous desk in front of the door, it could buy a few more minutes.

“This way.” Master Gold strode over to a bookcase, upon which sat seven golden figurines: a hawk, a serpent, a scorpion, a bloodbear, a fox, a hound, and a grubber mole. The Guild Master pulled on the hawk. Something clicked, and the bookcase slid to one side, revealing a darkened tunnel beyond.

“Secrets within secrets, Ilanna.” The Guild Master pointed to the alchemical lamp that hung on the opposite wall. “We’ll need light.”

Ilanna darted across the room and lifted the lamp from its sconce. Once inside the hidden passage, Master Gold pressed on a stone and the bookcase slid shut without a sound.

Ilanna held up the lamp. The tunnel ran for ten paces before turning a corner. “Where does this go?” she whispered.

“To the sewer tunnels beneath the city. And to the chambers of every House Master.”

Ilanna’s eyebrows shot up. “What?”

Master Gold grinned and shrugged. “There is much about the Night Guild known only to myself and the Masters I trust.”

“Master Hawk?”

The Guild Master nodded.

Relief flooded Ilanna. “So he’ll be safe.” Master Hawk could hide until the Serpents and Bloodbears dealt with the threat.

Master Gold’s expression darkened. “You’ve known Jagar Khat for years.” Sorrow filled his eyes. “Have you ever known him to back down when someone threatened his House?”

Ilanna’s gut clenched.  Master Hawk would be the first to face whatever came through the doors of the Aerie. He would protect his House, the cost be damned.

Master Gold’s hand gripped her shoulder. “You can’t go out there. You can’t save him.”

Ilanna whirled. “Damn you, Master Gold!” She drove a fist into the earthen walls.

The Guild Master’s voice dropped to a whisper. “He’ll survive this. He has to.” He spoke as if trying to convince himself.

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

SO MUCH! Once I finish this final book in my trilogy, I’ll set to work on other stories: dark fantasy romance, military fantasy, literary fantasy, a dark fantasy murder mystery story featuring this character Ilanna (from the Queen of Thieves series) and the Hunter of Voramis (from my The Last Bucelarii series), and many, many more. I may even wander into the Urban Fantasy genre to put out a few short stories, novels, or even a trilogy.

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? 

A pair of glasses. Heh, it sounds silly, but I refused to wear glasses for a year or two after I needed them. When I finally bit the bullet and bought a pair, it made all the time I spent on my computer so much less exhausting.

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

You can find me EVERYWHERE as Andy Peloquin. I’ve added all my links below—feel free to check them out, join the club, and enter my dark fantasy world!

Website: http://www.andypeloquin.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndyPeloquin
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andyqpeloquin
Fan Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1383986274994456/
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8KnIEoUDWRJkAhJ16CN5Dw
Reader List Sign-Up: http://andypeloquin.com/join-the-club/
Fantasy Fiends Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheFantasyFiends/
Follow on BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/andy-peloquin

 

Author Interview: C H Clepitt #Tuesdaybookblog

Today I’m fortunate to present C H Clepitt, author of a variety of works, including The Book of Abisan and I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse.

Hi, C H, thanks for agreeing to this interview.

Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?

I’m from Bristol in the UK, famous for the Clifton Suspension Bridge, The balloon fiesta and Wallace and Gromit!

Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?

Well drawn characters and an exciting story. The characters have to be real for me to enjoy reading it, and I think the situations can be utterly ludicrous as long as the characters react plausibly.

Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?

It’s a bit corny, but I actually had a very vivid dream, which basically told me the plot of the first four chapters, and it just went from there! My inspirations come from things I feel passionate about, and in recent years my writing has become much more political.

Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

A bit erratic! In an ideal world, I would be nocturnal, but as the rest of the humans are not, I am forced out in daylight, but really, I get my best writing done at night. I try not to schedule it, though, as I find it hard to be creative on demand, so I just go with the flow.

Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I guess that I play out entire scenes in my head before writing them. I go for long walks just letting my mind play them out, then I mull them over for days before writing them down. My process takes a while!

Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.

I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse – satirical sci fi.

Heels Text Meme

Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

Badgers make great spirit guides, and all the readers love a badger!

Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

I am currently working on the sequel to I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse, and have attached a teaser for you!

Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?  

Cape Meme (1)

Well, I am finishing up edits on Everything is better with a Cape, and hope to have it available for pre-order in less than a month, and am working on a new fantasy book called The Smuggler’s Daughter, which I am currently posting on newsnibbles.co.uk as I write it. The first two chapters are up there. Alongside that, I am working with another author to create a fantasy magazine, we have so much content and I am really excited that people are soon going to get the chance to see it.

Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

Reckon my Chromebook! It is so battered now, but it still works better than any other computer I’ve ever had, and I can just carry it around and write whenever and wherever I like!

Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

I have a website, chclepitt.com, or I’m on Facebook @CHClepitt or Twitter @BadgersTweetToo. Stop by and say hello, I love meeting new people.

chclepitt