Author Interview: Claire Buss

Today I’m fortunate to present Claire Buss author of The Rose Thief.

Hi Claire, thanks for agreeing to this interview!

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

I’m from the UK, just moved to Southend-on-Sea sAuthor Pico I’m looking forward to being inspired by living next to the seaside!

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

I think a good story needs to capture the reader’s imagination so either a wondrous setting, imaginative storyline or characters that you can really connect with. Ideally all three in one book if possible. What I enjoy the most about reading is forgetting that I am turning physical pages because I am so swept up in the story world.

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

Gaia Raven CoverMy first book, The Gaia Effect, was the result of taking part in a local book writing competition. I saw free writing workshops available at my local library and thought that would be a great opportunity to get back into writing. The workshops led to entry into the Pen to Print Book Competition with an opening chapter. I was fortunate enough to become a finalist in January 2015, all I had to do was write the rest of the book by August 2015! It was an amazing experience and I am so proud of The Gaia Effect, the first of many books I hope.

Tales from Suburbia jpgMy second book, which I released in July 2017, is called Tales from Suburbia and is a collection of short stories, plays and blog posts that intermingle my own personal experiences as a mum, the peccadillos of suburbia and the perils of social media. The subject matter varies from social observation to the humorous reflection of toddler life. Burying my Baby is heartbreaking. One, Two, Cha Cha Cha is hilarious. This collection is full of human foibles and folly and is both amusing and empathetic.

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

I am a stay-at-home mum so it can be difficult to juggle set writing times, it’s better if I try to remain flexible and jump on any and all opportunities to write. I often manage to get an hour in first thing as my little boy is a very early riser, between 5 and 6am usually. He watches Fireman Sam and I work on my latest project. When I am writing first draft I do sit down with a 1000 word daily target in order to make sure I get the book out of my head and onto paper. It’s a case of doing as much as I can, when I can.

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

Hmmm, well I am a touch typist so I don’t have to look at my fingers when I’m typing which my husband finds highly amusing. I never plan, I’ll have a vague outline of the story – only about five lines or so – but absolutely no idea who is going to do what or how we will get from the beginning to the end. I think that’s why I enjoy writing so much because I have no idea what’s going to happen next.

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

My latest book is called The Rose Thief, it’s a humorous fantasy set in a world where magic exists and humans live alongside fae folk.

Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher has a problem. Someone is stealing the Emperor’s roses. But that’s not the worst of it. In his infinite wisdom and grace, the Emperor magically imbued his red rose with love so if it was ever removed from the Imperial Rose Gardens then love will be lost, to everyone, forever. It’s up to Ned and his band of motley catchers to apprehend the thief and save the day. But the thief isn’t exactly who they seem to be, neither is the Emperor. Ned and his team will have to go on a quest defeating vampire mermaids, illusionists, estranged family members and an evil sorcerer in order to win the day. What could possibly go wrong?

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

I am always surprised at being able to string words together. I think because I don’t have a writing plan and never know what’s going to happen back, it’s always impressive reading the first draft for the first time and thinking, wow, I wrote this!

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

 The Rose Thief Cover 1           Ned’s train of thought was disturbed by a blood-curdling scream coming from the direction of the Black Narrows. This in itself was not unusual. Most sounds down the Black Narrows were of the screaming persuasion. It wasn’t a place you visited after dark. Or in the middle of the day. Or ever, unless you were one of the unlucky hundreds who happened to call it home. There was no immediate response so the screamer tried a different tack.

            ‘It’s Two-Face Bob! Eee’s been murdered!’

            That did the trick. Soon the Narrows were filled with onlookers – some brought a stool and a beverage, the forward thinkers of Narrow society – others got stuck in the crowd. The murder alarm had started bonging in the thief-catcher’s office and seeing as the spell that ran the alarm had a bad habit of growing ten decibels a minute, it seemed to Ned to be a good idea to get away from that and investigate. Thief-Catchers were not required to investigate all murders, most were covered by The Guild of Inhumers. There was a monthly newsletter outlining who to look out for. As long as the correct paperwork had been logged and a receipt issued, everyone knew where they stood. They might not like it but at least they knew about it. The murder alarm somehow knew who had receipts and who didn’t. It was spell casting beyond Ned’s blocked ability, he couldn’t even manage the volume control.

            There was a bit of shoving and muttering as Ned pushed his way through the ranks. He didn’t have to look too hard to find the murder scene, all he had to do was follow the curious crowd. A fair number of the shifty looking men in nondescript clothing had come to make sure Two-Face Bob was actually dead. Certain people owed certain things and if his death were true, life had suddenly become a lot brighter. It only took one look to know for certain. One of Two-Face Bob’s faces stared lifelessly at the smog-ridden skies above, both eyes missing. The other face, which incidentally remained on his head, attached to his body, had eyes popping, mouth open as if to scream and a terrified look of fear and shock frozen in place. Someone had clearly taken a violent dislike to Two-Face Bob. Looking down at the separated visages of Two-Face Bob, Ned felt a flicker of unease surge in his stomach. It could be because he hadn’t eaten in the past twenty-four hours. Or it could be because Two-Face Bob had been to see him less than five minutes ago, claiming intel on the Rose Thief. Ned didn’t hold much weight with coincidences. The viciousness of the attack was unusual for the type of murder usually committed in Roshaven. Put that together with Two-Face Bob’s extensive protection system of both magical and mundane origin and it was obvious.

            ‘He’s been ripped apart by a wraith,’ Ned muttered under his breath.

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

I have a short story in the new Inklings Press anthology, Tales from the Underground and one in a brand new anthology called Quantum Soul – both of which should be out by the end of 2017. I shall begin writing the sequel to The Gaia Effect in January 2018 and I have plans to revisit the world of The Rose Thief with some additional stories. I also have a techno-western, a re-imagined fairy tale, a possible multi-book series as well as a second short story collection and a book about my book club. Lots more to come!

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

So far, the best money I’ve spent is to have the cover of The Rose Thief designed by a proper artist who is talented and knows what he’s doing, the wonderful Ian Bristow.

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

You can contact me via Facebook – www.facebook.com/busswriter – or twitter – www.twitter.com/grasshopper2407. I also have a website – www.cbvisions.weebly.com where you can find the sign-up link to my newsletter, the latest news, and other social media links.

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Author Interview: Stacey Rourke

Today I’m fortunate to present Stacey Rourke author of over a dozen books spanning various genres.

Hi Stacey, thanks for agreeing to this interview!

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

A1MziozdK1L._SY200_Born and raised in Michigan, hence my hatred for the cold. I live where the air sometimes hurts my face.

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

Strong character development. I need to feel for the characters, to engage with them to want to accompany them on their journey.  

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

My children. Many literary works still portray women as damsels in distress that need to be rescued by big strong men. For my daughters, I wrote The Conduit, which was the first of many strong female leads I created to empower females of all ages to be the hero of their own story.

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

I do most of my administrative and marketing tasks in the early part of the day, and tackle writing and editing later in the day when my mind is more awake and able to tap into creativity.  

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

I act out a lot of the dialogue to myself, playing the part of every character, to make sure it flows and is believable.

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

Veiled, an urban fantasy novel

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

Vampires and politics really work well together. There are so many jokes about blood suckers I could insert here, but it would almost be TOO easy. LOL!

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

51r8Z4QbRCL“Wait!” Finn attempted to plant his feet with all the weak resolve he could muster. “The puppy, we have to get the puppy.”

“Puppy?” I pulled up short, searching his face for signs he was kidding.

“There, in the corner. Little thing won’t make it much longer if he’s left here.” I followed Finn’s nod to a tiny French Bulldog pup cowered in the corner. Covered in his own filth, every rib was clearly visible through his patchy, black hide. Ears pulled back, his slight frame trembled in a combination of fear and starvation. “He used the dog as an hour glass, taunting me with the promise of a meal if I could just get off the table. He gave the dog water but no food and told me when his time ran out, so would mine.”

“That’s the heartbeat I heard.” Helping Finn lean against the wall, I retrieved the frightened pooch. After letting him sniff my hand, I unhooked the chain wrapped around his neck and carefully folded him into my arms. Pointed ears perking, he thanked me with a feeble lick to the point of my chin. “You slaughtered my entire family, but your soft side comes out for a puppy?”

Giving me a minute to tuck the pup under one arm, Finn eased his weight back onto my shoulders. “No, I’m still starving. I was hoping you would cut the little guy’s throat and let me drink him.”

“I’m not feeding you a dog!” I yelped, tone dripping with disgust. “Ugh … thank you for reminding me why I loathe you.”

“If you loathe me, why did you save me?” Finn asked—his tone not one of accusation, but genuine curiosity.

Shuffling through the shadows of the basement, I tipped my face to the light beaming down from above. “Because, no one gets to kill you but me.”

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

The Veiled Series will continue, as will the other collections I’m working on including The TS901 Chronicles, The Gryphon Series Resurrection, and The Unfortunate Soul Chronicles.  

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

Each time I travel to book events. The opportunity to meet new authors and readers is always an invaluable experience!

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

www.staceyrourke.com,
www.facebook.com/staceyrourkeauthor,
Twitter and Instagram @rourkewrites
Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/stacey-rourke

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Guest Post: Alena Des – Heartless

Treason has consequences and Riley knows them all too well. He has betrayed Lucifer and now he is on the run.

As an Angel of Deception and the son of The Sex Goddess, Riley has always been reckless; and it’s finally catching up with him. With his heart encaged by the Demon Lord himself, he is slowly losing his soul, but when he meets Oriana something in him stirs. Used to women falling all over him, Riley becomes captivated when she is able to resist his charm.

The unlikely pair is thrust together while murder, intrigue, and mayhem runs rampant during a newly raging Vampire war. Can these two souls save each other in a world that’s crumbling around them?

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I created Riley in the second book of my Kings series as a dark angel and the brother of my main female character. He was supposed to be a side character, a character that played his role and then jump back into non-existence. But Riley I created soon became much more. He was rebellious enough to take off on his own, defy my plans for him to be nothing more than a side character. Soon, he was backstabbing me as his creator, talking to my readers, making his secretive connections to a large fanbase. Every time he talked, he was mysterious, manipulative. I knew he was the King of Deceptions and soon began to believe he was playing with all of us.  Readers kept asking:  Is he good? Is he bad? Who is he?

The sexy, humorous and cocky angel soon had my readers panting after him. By the time I was done with my second book, I faced desertion by them unless I wrote his story, the angel who had captivated their hearts.  Oh, well…So, I was stuck with Riley. He almost screamed in my head as I was writing his book. I stopped apologizing to my readers for his vulgarity, rudeness and shallowness. He couldn’t help it, he was the son of the Sex Goddess. And, I was merely his voice. Besides, my readers wanted to know more about him, right? This was it. They were free to hate him.

It didn’t really work that way. Riley effused a natural charm. Who am I kidding? There was nothing natural about it. Women were after him. And he just didn’t give a damn. I almost didn’t like him. Almost. But as I scratched the surface with Riley, I found out so much more about this dark Angel.

I knew I was dancing with death. But I was gonna play the game until it claimed me. And eventually it would. There was no escape.”  

I began to wonder: Who was he running from? And why was he behaving this way? I had to find out.

I needed help to bring out the fun, vulnerable side which was bottled deep down Riley. For that, I needed to save him from himself and from the one who was after him. I found the help I needed in Oriana. The woman who lived among the humans but was so much more. The woman who was immune to his sex appeal. The woman who held her own secrets. I knew she would be my savior. And, she would be his.

“Hi there, luv,” I said, turning on the charm. From up close, she was an even better catch. Though she was shorter and not as curvy as I desired, there was something about her which made me pause. “My name is Riley, baby.”

“Get lost, Riley,” the woman said.

I had misheard her. There was no other explanation.

“C’mon,” I said, making sure I touched her. It was done.

I had her. I was sure. “I’m rather impatient, honey. What’s your name?” I asked, knowing full well I would not remember it a few seconds after she told me. It was still polite to ask.

“My name is Oriana,” she said politely, but I noticed the sarcasm. “Now get lost,” she repeated. I watched in amazement as she raised her middle finger.

She was making a ‘fuck off’ sign.

I was confused. I was shocked. There were only a few things that generated those feelings in me. I was having a truly weird moment right now. I liked it.

I can tell you that this whole book blog is all part of his plan. It is nothing but his masterful Deception. Read him at your expense, available since 15th of September, beware that he is waiting to charm you.  And, no one, but Oriana, is immune.

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Check out Heartless here.

 

Book Spotlight: Sin Eater (The Aria Knight Chronicles Book 1)

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Blurb

Aria Knight has an unusual set of skills: she will hold back the hounds of Hell so you can fly toward the Pearly Gates, and she will wipe your slate clean so that you don’t become karma’s bitch…for a price.

A Sin Eater has to make a living in today’s world somehow.

But when she’s called in the dead of night to perform her rite for a recluse billionaire, she stumbles upon a murder scene, and the evidence points to her.

In an attempt to clear her name and uncover the true culprit, Aria is forced to team up with a private investigator who’s possessed by three spirits, and a handsome wizard who would rather see all Sin Eaters like Aria go extinct.

Aria knows her job is never easy, but now it’s become downright deadly.

SIN EATER is the first book of the Aria Knight Chronicles by USA Today bestselling author Samantha LaFantasie and Alesha Escobar, author of the bestselling Gray Tower Trilogy.

About the Authors:

Alesha Escobar

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I’m a caffeine addict and chocoholic who enjoys reading and writing engaging stories, loveable (and not-so loveable) characters, and expressing my creativity daily. I write fantasy with intriguing characters, action-packed scenes, and always throw in a good dash of humor and romance.

Science Fiction and Fantasy are my favorite genres, but I also adore the classics (Shakespeare, Dante Alighieri, etc.) and I have a soft spot in my heart for Victorian poetry. You can geek out with me all-day every day over these.

Some of my favorite contemporary fantasy authors are George R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan (rest in peace), J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher (Dresden Files made me love Urban Fantasy), and Ilona Andrews among others. I enjoy movies and shows like Sleepy Hollow, Supernatural, Arrow, The Flash, The Avengers…there are too many to name!

I want to read more comics and graphic novels, please shoot a recommendation or two my way (I LOVE the Hellblazer comics, by the way).

Please don’t be a stranger–I want you to kick up your feet, sip your coffee (or tea) and join in on my weekly rants, discussions, and updates.

Samantha LaFantasie
USA Today Bestselling Author and Freelance Editor

61HAxtW11rL._SY200_A Kansas native, Samantha LaFantasie spends her free time with her three kids and arguing with her characters. Writing has always been a passion of hers, forgoing all other desires to devote to this one obsession. She’s primarily a fantasy writer but often feels pulled to genres such as sci-fi, romance, and others.

Samantha became a bestselling author with the Pandora Boxed Set (which includes Made to Forget: Nepherium Novella series–Part One) on both Amazon and USA Today.

Samantha loves to take time to enjoy other activities such as photography and playing her favorite game of all time, Guild Wars 2.

Samantha’s Social Media Links:

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Eater-Aria-Knight-Chronicles-Book-ebook/dp/B06ZZD44YB/

Kobo: https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kobo.com%2Fus%2Fen%2Febook%2Fsin-eater-the-aria-knight-chronicles-book-1&h=ATPypyJSBFLw7AQJX78VGYqozmWq32YmVafpm8NxteUIhOYgY_WLxGfNa6cj3NNBHXRIUT6c2eDHyRbbKt1XR-gx6h8gKwfdRa9MB5wmuL-kRADNSFPEkS1Z_9yzVzaCZFsYl8KxIcAMjQ18WNmg3p2Ui3c

iBooks: https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fitunes.apple.com%2Fus%2Fbook%2Fsin-eater-the-aria-knight-chronicles-book-1%2Fid1229798245%3Fmt%3D11%26ign-mpt%3Duo%253D4&h=ATPypyJSBFLw7AQJX78VGYqozmWq32YmVafpm8NxteUIhOYgY_WLxGfNa6cj3NNBHXRIUT6c2eDHyRbbKt1XR-gx6h8gKwfdRa9MB5wmuL-kRADNSFPEkS1Z_9yzVzaCZFsYl8KxIcAMjQ18WNmg3p2Ui3c

Nook: https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.barnesandnoble.com%2Fw%2Fsin-eater-alesha-escobar%2F1126272657%3Fean%3D2940154139134&h=ATPypyJSBFLw7AQJX78VGYqozmWq32YmVafpm8NxteUIhOYgY_WLxGfNa6cj3NNBHXRIUT6c2eDHyRbbKt1XR-gx6h8gKwfdRa9MB5wmuL-kRADNSFPEkS1Z_9yzVzaCZFsYl8KxIcAMjQ18WNmg3p2Ui3c