When Lochlann becomes nervous about his upcoming Rite of Wands ceremony, his older brother, Mierta McKinnon, reassures him everything will be okay. But when Lochlann staggers out of his ceremony and refuses to use magic, Mierta is determined to find out why.
Meanwhile, the kingdom of Vandolay is under attack by a dangerous, unidentified creature, and Mierta’s father, Mortain McKinnon, requests his son’s assistance to help aid the injured.
But the people of Vandolay aren’t the only ones Mierta must save when someone he holds dear comes face-to-face with the creature and their life hangs in the balance.
Now Mierta must draw upon his strength and his newly acquired magic skills to defeat a dangerous foe and save everyone from death.
Today I’m fortunate to present Rob Davies, author of The Seventh Life of Aline Lloyd.
Hi Rob, thanks for agreeing to this interview.
Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?
I live in Washington state now, but I was born and raised in a small town called Niles, southwestern lower Michigan
Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?
An argument could be made in lots of areas, but for me the essential element is an engaging and believable character or characters. Storylines will likely follow a more or less predictable path according to genre, but a compelling character the reader connects with (and will invest emotional capital willingly) is often the mechanism that keeps a reader turning the pages.
Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?
I waited a long time before taking the plunge, but to be honest, it was curiosity. I wanted to find out if I was “publishable” and capable of writing stories anyone would enjoy reading. My mother was a librarian and always encouraged my scribblings in childhood, so credit to her for igniting the fire.
Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
On the fly and rarely according to a comprehensible schedule. I still work a day job, so writing is limited to evenings and weekends. The creative force often runs in peaks and valleys, which limits production as well. I hear others insist that writing even a few lines every day is important. Not to me. I write when I have something worthy of writing. I edit differently than I write, which is much more disciplined in terms of time management. Dreaming up stories is a scattered, ‘ride the wave while you can’ proposition in my experience.
Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I can write with music in the background, but it has to be instrumental or orchestral only – no vocals. I prefer looped music, or extended versions (video game ambient music is great for this purpose). Also, I can’t seem to type “this” on the first try – it always starts out as “shit” and has to be backspaced and typed again. I don’t suffer dyslexia, so no idea where that eye-to-hand problem came from.
Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.
The Seventh Life of Aline Lloyd (paranormal romance)
Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
How much I thought I knew about history that, as it turned out, I didn’t. Research hours to writing hours is always a disproportionate ratio slanted toward research, and I considered myself quite versed in the historical elements I needed to tell the story. I was wrong, and that was both surprising and humbling.
Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?
My new neighbor’s interest was obvious, but not as clear was her goal. Vienne said it was terrible of me to say but I felt uneasy at the prospect of a mental patient lurking on the edges of my property. In simple terms, I wondered what the hell she wanted. “Treat her like any other,” Jeremy had cautioned, but that’s not so easily accomplished if she isn’tlike any other.
It seemed useless to worry about it, and I resumed my slow property walks, establishing from Jeremy’s map the neighboring property line I was determined not to violate. Damon’s investment was a rough, dogleg parcel matching the contours of our road on the western side and those of the hill separating it from Aline Lloyd’s farm to the east. It was getting late in the day, but splendid sunbreaks made for a nice stroll through the trees when I decided to aim downhill toward the southeastern corner and the limits of my modest domain.
The ground levels for a while with space between the groves where sunlight splashed across gathered leaves and twigs. I moved through them, dry and rustling with each plow of my boot, uncaring for the noise that echoed beyond. I remember being charmed at the notion of becoming a gentleman farmer until I saw in tangible terms what the process would demand. Taking out the underbrush alone would consume a summer, I reckoned, and that meant time I didn’t want to spend. It wasn’t long before my fanciful idea died out under the weight of cold reality, and standing on a decent-sized plot of land that was suddenly mine brought a strange calming effect I couldn’t help but notice. I bathed in it for a while until the daydream changed abruptly when I could hear the thump of my own heartbeat.
There was no reason or cause; I was at peace, alone and content in that solitude. I didn’t know why—not back then—but I turned left slowly and looked at a precise spot halfway up the hillside. Of course, she was there, motionless and watching me through the trees. She hadn’t made a sound and my line of sight was focused in the opposite direction, but somehow, I knew just where to look.
There is an interesting effect that happens in the ocean when predators hunt the shallow waters of a reef. Sea animals make noise—clicks and pops, squeaks and gurgles—and it is unexpected if you’ve never heard it. I marveled at a sound, shouting out the power of life, while snorkeling ten feet deep along a cliff of coral in the tidal channels of Takaroa when suddenly the water around me changed and went quiet when a sleek, gray shark moved through, perhaps compelling the subordinate creatures to silence (and survival). In the sunlight that poured on an angle through the trees, I felt like that as I stood perfectly still, looking only at her. Was I predator or prey?
I decided to offer a test, an unexpected action that might provoke an interesting response. Instead of a shout or another idiotic wave, I knelt down in the leaves and leaned over a bit to prop myself up with an outstretched arm as one might in the park on a summer afternoon. Would she return a gesture of her own, I wondered, or move down the hillside at the very least? Instead, she did nothing. A test returned in a silent war of wills? It was childish, but I wanted to see how far she would go. Could she be spooked if I called the bluff?
I looked away, only for a second, and when I turned back, she was gone. But as I grinned with a self-satisfied chuckle, a sudden, sharp noise like rocks being clapped together in a slow, deliberate cadence pulled me to my feet when I realized it came from the direction of my house. Without a thought, I sprinted across even ground and the spaces between trees, dodging them like a football player on a straight line for the opening to my weed-covered backyard. I could hear the clacking sound increase in its frequency, as though reacting to my pounding feet. Suddenly the direction changed, echoing downward from the north through trees to my right. As I drew nearer, and the roof of my house came into view, the air went suddenly and deathly still.
I paused where the ground levels off to catch my breath beside the remains of an old, fallen tree rotting on its side among the ferns. The odd sounds seemed frantic and hurried to draw attention but were now only a slight rustle in the leaves as a soft breeze wandered through. I breathed with relief those strange noises had not been made by uninvited visitors at my house. By habit, or maybe instinct, my eyes wandered from left to right looking for something—anything—to account for the sounds. Only the oaks, still holding their brown leaves tightly, looked back at me. The answer would stay hidden, it would seem, but I decided to move up the hill on my next foray to look around and find the source. A mystery to be solved, I thought to myself, but only for the moment.
As I turned to go, she stood in the open a few yards away, and I felt the hair on my neck standing in the shock and wash of adrenaline sudden surprise always brings. It was impossible she could have closed the distance so silently in a tangle of branches and dead leaves, yet she faced me without the slightest sign of fatigue or breathlessness. For a moment there was only the quiet of an undisturbed forest and an awkward pause until she spoke.
“Hello, Mr. Morgan,” she said.
“Evan,” I replied. “You must be Aline.”
Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?
My next manuscript (WIP) is the third book in a sci-fi series and follow-on to my first two books, Specimen 959 and Echoes of Esharam. It will release in mid-2020. After an interesting exploration of romance and paranormal, I will return to my traditional sci-fi genre in the foreseeable future with a second Specimen Chronicles trilogy and two other, standalone novels.
Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
A Pleasure in Words, by Eugene T. Maleska
Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
Enter to win paperback copies of Beauty Is The Beast and Pack of Freaks, 1 wolf plushie, a purple violin journal, and a music note tapestry.
Being alpha isn’t easy.
Gretchen wants a normal life: working in the salon, making music, and settling in with her new pack. If only her wolf side wouldn’t make decisions without her.
She survived betrayal and the fight for her freedom, so relationship issues and a group of fae-blooded circus freaks in her kitchen should be a breeze. But a plea from another pack and the exposure of the fae, including werewolves, to the human world just might tip the scale on her sanity.
Good thing she has good friends, a man who loves her, and music that soothed the savage beast.
Join Gretchen as she gives in to romance, discovers new truths about old friends, and embraces her role as alpha.
Wake the Dead Written by Stacey Rourke Genre: Dark Fantasy Release Date: Feb 28, 2019 Preorder Link: https://amzn.to/2svLLrg
With a touch of her hand, Octavia Hollows can restore life. Yet, she couldn’t save the man she loved from the horrific accident that stole him from her. Octavia thought she could outrun the pain, but ghosts from the past refuse to be silenced. Out of options, she chooses to retrace her wayward journey across the country in search of answers. Surrounded by baffling mysteries of the undead, what she learns about herself along the way might become her greatest weapon.
Seattle, Washington: Land of cloudy skies and a great cup of coffee. Octavia blew into town in search of information, only to get swirled up in a paranormal predicament even she couldn’t fathom. A neonatal nurse is dead, and her young patient is aging at an alarming rate.
Can Octavia unlock the secrets to this confusing curse before time runs out?
Alien Vision presents a collection of short stories and sketches from the Beta-Earth Chronicles by Wesley Britton.
Alpha Tales 2044, opens on Beta-Earth when two genetically-enhanced mutants are forced to recover a stolen secret,the cure to the ancient Plague-With-No-Name that defined a planet for millennia.
Then we jump across the multi-verse to our earth, Alpha-Earth, where police Captain Mary Carpenter infiltrates a gang of White Supremacists who want to purify Texas after decades of climate change and weaponized plagues.
Still on Alpha, we leap ahead in time to 40years in the future where Mary Carpenter joins up with four aliens, two from Beta-Earth, two from Sera-pin-Earth. All four share the same father, The Blind Alien from Alpha-Earth. They’ve traveled across the multi-verse to tell us about their worlds.
But Alphans, scarred by the devastation’s to our world, are unhappy about learning about very different cultures from anything we’ve ever known and especially hearing about multiple deities. So the alien band are forced to go on the run and take sanctuary in a First Nation domed city in British Columbia.
But their sanctuary doesn’t last long. Forced to travel further into the Canadian wilderness, the family encounters a pair of Sasquatch who change everything for them. They learn about the many definitions of what it means to be human.
Alpha Tales 2044, is a collection of stories that are part sci-fi, part murder mysteries, part horror, and part social commentary. But completely full of the unexpected, surprises, and tales, unlike anything you’ve experienced before.
EXCERPT: From Last Night Of The Colective
I vividly remember the afternoon when Jrin Rol, the second-in-command of our security unit, and I stepped onto the ground floor of the Hotel Domino in the new city called Monte Carlo. The hotel was an entertainment center named after yet another Alpha game Malcolm Renbourn had brought to our planet. It should have been named Hotel Backgammon for all the pointed spikes of alternating colors on the floors and walls.
On this day, I was listening to Jrin’s wistful hopes for an extended leave from service so she could deepen her studies in linguistic morphologies, geographic spatial patterns, and other analytical investigative techniques that would make her far more than a skilled expert in stealth and counter-espionage operations. I was becoming more and more impressed with what I heard as we walked into the dining hall.
Then, my blood chilled. In one moment, I felt as if I’d drank a bath shell-sized cocktail of adrenaline and dread. Sitting alone at a table in the corner was First Helprim Kiem Holenris from ital, the supreme head of the Munchen Collective. The last I’d seen of this seeming old crone had been in my offices in Bercumel. On that day, Holendris had let me know my life was on the line if I continued my then-pointless, personal war with my bond-family. For, like her, my genetically-enhanced mutations had come at a cost. The little pills the Collective now provided me slowed the metabolic rushing of time that aged such as us much faster than our years. If I wanted to live a healthy and beautiful life and for a good long time, I needed the pills only the Collective could provide me.
Holendris looked like a woman who’d seen four generations of descendants from her womb. But she was merely the age of my own mother. Like me, her appearance concealed a body of extraordinary gifts. Unlike me, she had started her pill regimen much later in her life than I had, hence her aged face and deceptively marked skin. On this day, while her lips were twisted in an almost skullish smile, her eyes sent a clear message to me across the wide hall of tables and happy noises.
“Child,” they wordlessly told me, “bring your sun-drenched bronze skin and bright,blonde hair over here to me. You must come to me now. A matter of dire importance awaits you. Awaits us.”
I looked to Jrin, who understood my own silent signal. We slowly made our way to the Helprim’s round, polished white table where Kiem studied our movements with practiced eyes. She nodded as we came close and indicated two chairs.
“Sit, little kitty,” she cooed. “Sit, Jrin Rol of the Mask-Painters.”
Wordlessly, we took our places as serving hands quickly brought us trays of beverages. Kiem waited until the hands departed and took a sip of her own red pravine, then said softly, “Thank you for your quick compliance, as what I am here to discuss requires some delicacy.”
Immerse yourself in an extraordinary universe revealed by the most original storytelling you’ll ever experience. “Science fiction yes, but so much more.”
Besides his 33 years in the classroom, Dr. Wesley Britton considers his Beta-Earth Chronicles the most important work he’s ever done. “I suppose an author profile is intended to be a good little biography,” Britton says, “but the best way to know who I am is to read my novels.”
Still, a few things you might like to know about Wes include the fact he’s the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in the media, most notably The Encyclopedia of TV Spies (2009). Beginning in 1983, he was a widely published poet, article writer for a number of encyclopedias, and was a noted scholar of American literature. Since those days, for sites like BlogCritics.org and BookPleasures.com, Britton wrote over 500 music, book, and movie reviews. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio’s Dave White Presents for which he contributed celebrity interviews with musicians, authors, actors, and entertainment insiders.
Starting in fall 2015, his science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles,debuted with The Blind Alien. Throughout 2016, four sequels followed including The Blood of Balnakin, When War Returns, A Throne for an Alien, and The Third Earth. Return to Alpha was the sixth volume of this multi-planetary epic.
Britton earned his doctorate in American Literature at the University of North Texas in 1990. He taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College until his retirement in 2016. He serves on the Board of Directors for Vision Resources of Central Pennsylvania.