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Featured Author Posts

Today is the last day for the Featured Author posts! Thanks to all the authors for their interest and to all the readers for sticking with us this month!

Featured Author: Kira R. Tregoning

September 2, 2014

ABOUT KIRA

Yes, I know this is my own book review blog. I placed myself last in the Featured Author queue for a bit of shameless self promo–and last in order to make sure everyone else got featured first!

My name is Kira Tregoning. I’m a language enthusiast, writer, and book lover. I’m also a big UMD Terps fan.

I read A LOT, and the number of books I have in my living space is a running joke among my family and friends. Mostly I read fantasy, but I enjoy other genres as well, including historical fiction, science fiction, and the classics. I write mostly fantasy books right now, though I have some ideas for expanding into other genres later on.

Website: http://theworldofcora.wordpress.com/

FEATURED BOOKS

Rise of the Aligerai (The Aligerai series, Book 1)

Sita Newbury is more interested in surviving college and making friends than playing with magic.  Her gifts had only ever caused problems, and the wings she had been born with would have sentenced her to a life of scientific study if anyone found out.  But her new college friends reveal secrets of their own, and soon Sita and her friends find themselves in a magical world called Corá . . . and facing enemies more interested in seeing them dead than alive.  Sita must find a way to handle magical tests, magic lessons, revelations about her family, and stop inter-world occultists called Imbri Mors from taking over both Earth and Corá–all while keeping her grades up and herself and her friends hidden.

*This book is permanently free on Amazon and Smashwords!*

Find it on Amazon!

A Shadowed Soul (The Aligerai series, Book 2)

Imbri Mors is in pieces.  Rumors of Darci’s whereabouts and speculation over what she might do next haunt Sita and her friends.  And Owen Madison, Sita’s boyfriend, has disappeared without a trace.  On top of everything else, Queen Catherine takes an interest in the Aligerai, Ka’len increases Sita’s training, and something very strange is happening with Roxie . . . and Alexander Knight makes it clear he would like to cultivate the Aligerai for his own ends.  Can Sita hold her friends and family together, or will they splinter under the pressure?

Find it on Amazon!

INTERVIEW

Why did you choose to self-publish?

I tried to do it the traditional way and went nowhere. So I looked into self-publishing in 2011 and kicked the idea around for almost a year while I did my research into possible distributors and marketing and all that fun stuff. Then I just did it. From everything I read, self-publishing was the way to go. I stood a chance to earn more than I would if I went the traditional route. I still had to do all the leg work, but from my research, traditional authors were having to do that anyway. I figured, why not get paid more for the same amount of work? I’m really glad I made the decision I did. It allowed me to choose my own fabulous cover artist, for example. (Her work is on the second book, not the first! The first book is my own crappy attempt at a cover.)  Self-pubbing allowed me to tell the story I wanted to tell, and since my series is a bit in-between in terms of genre, themes, and character ages, I have doubts now that any traditional publisher would have picked it up.

Which authors or books influenced your writing the most?

Tamora Pierce and Mercedes Lackey, for sure. Then I’d say

What are your current projects / What are you working on next?

I’m about halfway through the first draft of Book 3 of The Aligerai series, which is tentatively titled Into the Light. I’m also working on two other ideas, but I don’t want to spill the beans on those just yet!  I will say they are both fantasy, they’re both novels, and they could potentially turn into series, but I don’t want to make any promises on that front just yet. Let’s get the first books written first!

I’m also getting started on Wattpad, as I would really like to write a serialized story released chapter by chapter. I have an idea I think will work, but I haven’t sat down to work on it just yet. Stay tuned!

Anything else you would like to mention?

I love to hear from readers!  Please, if you like the books, don’t hesitate to contact me and tell me!  Send emails, tweet at me, write reviews, anything at all. I want to hear from you, and I think most authors would say the same. It brightens our days to receive messages of support from our readers.

Featured Author: Austin Bouse

September 1, 2014

ABOUT AUSTIN

Austin is a writer, comic book enthusiast, actor and filmmaker living in central Texas. He is the author of The Lost Princess and Rise of the Dragon Slayer, the first and second volumes of his Young Adult series The Dream Chronicles.

Website: www.austinbouse.tumblr.com

FEATURED BOOKS

The Lost Princess (The Dream Chronicles, Book 1)

Sara Hamilton is not your average fantasy heroine. She likes to wear black clothing, listens to Punk rock, and has a knack for getting in trouble. But when she wakes up in a world called Dream, a world where everything that has ever been imagined exists, everything she thought she knew is turned upside down. With the help of a Dragon Slayer, she must defeat The Dark King and restore order to Dream. All the while battling the darkness within herself. Part Lord Of The Rings, part Alice In Wonderland, and part The Dark Crystal, The Lost Princess is a very new take on a very old story.

Find it on Amazon!

Rise of the Dragon Slayer (The Dream Chronicles, Book 2)

All Arthur Montague ever wanted to be was a Dragon Slayer, a peacekeeper of the real of Dream. Now at the age of seventeen, he is able to pursue that wish by entering the annual Dragon Slayer training course. But when he sent on a mission to capture the evil Lord of Dragons, Arthur soon finds out that being a Slayer might be harder than he thought. Telling the origin of one of The Lost Princess’ greatest characters, Rise of the Dragon Slayer is a story of magic, terror, and what it means to be a hero.

Find it on Amazon!


INTERVIEW

Why did you choose to self-publish?

I found it to be far more easier and creatively freeing than if I went through a regular publisher. I honestly think it’s going to change the way we look at books in the next decade or so.

Which authors or books influenced your writing the most?

The authors that inspired me the most are people like Gregory Maguire, Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Anne Rice, Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, and Lois Lowery. I could go on and on, but those are just a few.

What are your current projects / What are you working on next?

I am currently working on the third volume in The Dream Chronicles entitled The Witch’s Labyrinth. As well as my first horror novel for adults called Blood Trade.

Anything else you would like to mention?

You can purchase both The Lost Princess and Rise of the Dragon Slayer on Amazon and Createspace. You can find me on Twitter: @austinbouse, my Tumblr: www.austinbouse.tumblr.com, or my YouTube channel: SuperStandAlone.

Featured Author: Charlotte Jain

August 31, 2014

ABOUT CHARLOTTE

Charlotte Jain is an Arts graduate from Melbourne, Australia She enjoys long walks on the beach and mango smoothies. In her spare time, she enjoys relaxing on the couch with a good movie and attempting to create MasterChef-style edible masterpieces. Champions: at fire’s end is her first book. She is currently writing the second book in the Champions series, Champions: into shattered ice.

Website: www.charlottejain.blogspot.com.au

FEATURED BOOK

Champions: At Fire’s End (The Champions series, Book 1)

After an eternity of impossible battles between two immortal warring factions, an uneasy truce was reached. Their solution? Send out pairs of mortal champions for one final battle. Winner takes all.

17-year-old April Fall and Kyle Brown are best friends with a dark secret. April and Kyle were bestowed with control over fire and water, and were raised by immortals with a single purpose – win the war.

But, when April and Kyle finally uncover the remaining two champions’ identities, they must launch themselves headfirst into their final battle for survival. Amidst their trials, an immortal stranger brings April more questions than answers, while Kyle must face off against the third champion: his girlfriend, Kim.

With time running out, April and Kyle must harness their elemental controls in their struggle for freedom and answer a single question: what would you do if your opponent was your best friend?

Find it on Amazon!

INTERVIEW

Why did you choose to self-publish?

I decided to launch myself into the deep end a little over a year ago, after years and years (I finished the first manuscript in high school 5 or 6 years ago) toiling with a story I adored but nobody seemed to want (sad face). The idea was to bring my beloved tales to life in someone’s imagination other than my own. Self-publishing has become such an exciting part of the publishing world. Deciding to jump in and trust in myself and my work has been one of the best choices I’ve made.

Which authors or books influenced your writing the most?

Melina Marchetta, Emily Rodda, John Marsden, JK Rowling, Lemony Snicket, Suzanne Collins, Skye Melki-Wegner, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

What are your current projects / What are you working on next?

Publishing Champions: At fire’s end has been such a whirlwind! But there is so much more to get to know about these characters. At the moment, I am brainstorming and planning like crazy for the entire series (5 more books) and getting down to drafting book 2: into shattered ice. We’ve met the characters in book 1, so now it’s time to go a little deeper and amp up the adventure!

Anything else you would like to mention?

Writing my own stories has always been a dream, and now my wonderful team has made it happen – thank you to my team and to the readers! None of this could happen without you.  Although I’m self-published, my team and I strive to create content that can hold its own – quality wise – with books by traditional publishers. Thanks for reading! 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8445150.Charlotte_Jain

Featured Author: Saffron Bryant

August 30, 2014

ABOUT SAFFRON

Saffron Bryant is a young Australian author with a passion for fantasy and science fiction. She began writing at a very early age and hasn’t stopped since.

She has a degree in Biomedical Science (with honours) and is currently completely her PhD at the University of Sydney.

Her first book, The Fallen Star, was released in 2012 after Saffron was forced to take leave from uni while recovering from a brain tumour.

Since then she has released the second book in The Lost Child Saga, The Herald of Darkness, which is soon to be followed by the Hordes of Anarchy.

Saffron is also looking forward to releasing her science fiction series, The Nova Chronicles. If you’d like to get in touch with Saffron feel free to email her (saffron.j.bryant@gmail.com) or connect with her on Facebook or Twitter. Also, check out her blog for books, reviews, and science news: http://saffron.blogcatapult.com/

Website: http://saffronbryant.com/

FEATURED BOOK

The Fallen Star (The Lost Child Saga, Book 1)

The Shard has been stolen.

What would you do if everything you know and love was brutally taken from you? Would you have the courage to stand up and be a hero?

This is the challenge Laila, Sarin and their dragon companions Eros and Fervidious must face. It is up to them to save their people even though it seems everything is against them.

Could you continue the journey, knowing you might not survive long enough to finish it?

Strap on your shield and call up your dragon because it’s time to fly.

Find it on Amazon!

The Herald of Darkness (The Lost Child Saga, Book 2)

Like the calm before the storm the Draconum are thrust from their peaceful oasis into a vicious war. Refugees flood the shores in a desperate attempt to escape the coming darkness and the death it carries.

Allies become enemies and trust becomes a things of the past. Laila and Sarin must wrestle to maintain control as racial tensions and disputes threaten to tear apart their command.

The dragons struggle in a strange new land and no place is safe as the very shadows reach for their throats. What is it about their past which comes back to haunt them?

Astrocytes tries to contain an army which is bent on its own destruction. But how do you find the light in a world consumed by darkness?

The clouds are gathering and no-one can outrun them…

Find it on Amazon!

The Hordes of Anarchy (The Lost Child Saga, Book 3)

The die has been cast and the cards have been dealt, war is unavoidable.

The battlelines are drawn. But what happens when a bigger threat emerges?

Dragon and human must stand together against impossible odds. The power of the Shard is a blessing and curse, it has haunted the army and now it could mean their total destruction.

When the challenges are so great how can anyone overcome them?

Will swords and sorcery be enough?

Does anyone get out of life alive?

Find it on Amazon!

INTERVIEW

Why did you choose to self-publish?

I chose to publish non-traditionally mostly because I’m a control freak. I didn’t like the idea of passing my creation onto some company to look after so I decided to look after it myself. I did submit my book to one agent but when I got the rejection letter back it was adressed to someone else (they’d mixed up our addresses!) I figured that if they couldn’t handle an address then they probably couldn’t handle my novel!

Which authors or books influenced your writing the most?

I’ve always loved reading. I think my writing was most influenced by Tolkein, Raymond E. Feist, and Sarah Douglass.

What are your current projects / What are you working on next?

The final book in the Lost Child Saga; Hordes of Anarchy, is in its final editing phase – it’s currently on preorder and will be published in September. As well as that I’m also working on a science fiction series which I’m super excited about. I feel that females still don’t get a fair shake in sci-fi so I wanted to write a sci-fi adventure with a female lead, along came the Nova Chronicles.

I also really want to write a zombie series… and a murder mystery series (similar to Sherlock)… and about a million other things!

Anything else you would like to mention?

The only thing I’d mention is that I love to connect with readers and writers and I’m always happy to network if anyone wants to contact me.

 

Featured Author: Duane L. Martin

August 29, 2014

DuaneABOUT DUANE

Duane L. Martin began his writing career when he started a classic film review website back in 2002 called B-Movie Central.  Two years later, he would go on to create another website called Rogue Cinema, which is a monthly online magazine staffed by a wonderful team of volunteer writers that’s devoted to film reviews, articles and interviews with film makers and other industry professionals.

An avid reader, he’s been inspired by a wide variety of authors, including Robert Asprin, Jody Lynn Nye, R.A. Salvatore, Ed Greenwood and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  More recently, he’s buried himself in the various series of writers like Jennifer L. Armentrout, H.P. Mallory and Amanda Hocking.

His aunt, a published author as well, once gave him a book on creative writing that changed his life forever.  It was a collection of pieces by various authors, but one piece in particular has always stuck with him.  It talked about how to create characters that feel like real people by giving them real backgrounds, likes, dislikes and personalities.  It inspired him to create characters that feel genuine and real, like people you may know, or people you’d like to know, and helped him take his writing to the next level.

Aside from his writing, Duane is also a musician.  He took his first bass guitar lesson in 1987 and has been playing bass ever since.  He also plays some guitar and a little keyboard.  As he’s always been a great lover of music, he often has it playing quietly in the background while he writes.

Born and raised in Northern California, he would later move to Idaho, where he currently lives with his wife Sharon and their dog Buddy.

Website: http://www.duanelmartin.com/

FEATURED BOOK

coverOrigins (Unseen Things series, Book 1)

When Jarrod Grant was fourteen years old, a portal burst open in his room, and from it a terrifying creature emerged. It grabbed his mother Alicia and his five year old brother Joseph and then vanished with them back into the portal from which it came, leaving Jarrod standing there terrified and alone.

Four years later, Jarrod is now a senior in high school, and no one ever believed his story. The therapists all said that he’d deluded himself into believing it because he couldn’t deal with whatever horrific events had caused the disappearance of his family, and at school he was turned into an outcast because of the stories he’d told the authorities.

That all changed when he met Tina and Sarah. They were the first ones who ever believed his story, and the pair made it their mission to help him find the answers he so desperately needed.

They’re joined along the way by a new friend named Derek, who has a tragic past of his own, and a woman named Patricia who knows things that only a very few others in the world could even dream of. Together they’ll discover the truth of what happened to Jarrod’s family on that fateful night, and it’s a secret that will send them down a path that some of them may not return from.

Find it on Amazon!

cover 2The Hunt (Unseen Things series, Book 2)

ow that they had the ability to travel the dimensions, they also had the opportunity to rescue Jarrod Grant’s family from the troll-like Faranox and the Agaronin slave  masters, but that wasn’t going to be an easy task.

Not only did they have no experience with fighting the Agaronin, but they had never  traveled outside of their own dimension before, and as such, Derek, Jarrod, Tina and  Sarah find themselves flying blind, and everything becomes a learning experience.   Mistakes are made and lessons are learned as they have to kill as many of the Agaronin as they can in order to secure more of of the amulets that allow them to travel to the  various dimensions.

When they get confirmation from a rescued slave that Jarrod’s family are in fact alive,  a plan is set into motion to mount a full scale assault on the Faranox village where  they’re being held, not only to rescue them, but to rescue as many of the other slaves  as possible, so they can be returned to their own families and dimensions.

Find it on Amazon!

cover 3Exploration (Unseen Things series, Book 3)

After a successful raid on a Faranox village in which they rescued Jarrod’s family, as well as a large number of slaves from several other dimensions, Jarrod, Derek, Tina, Sarah and Patricia returned home for a well deserved rest.  Unfortunately, in their line of work, rest is never a permanent state of being, and soon enough they find themselves in the blue fin dimension forging a bond of friendship with its inhabitants, who at first glance seemed like a simple, friendly people living in a tribal society, but appearances can be deceiving and soon enough they learn that there’s a lot more to their new friends than meets the eye.

Find it on Amazon!

INTERVIEW

Why did you choose to self-publish?

Because when I finished the first book in the series, I wanted to get it out there for people to read and enjoy.  If you go the traditional route there’s a specific sequence of events that needs to happen, and it all takes an incredibly long time.  I published the first book in the series on November 23, 2013, and the eleventh book on July 29, 2014, which means I’ve been able to get them out there just as fast as I could design a cover and then write and edit them.  If there’s a mistake that squeaks through during the editing process, I can fix it and upload a new file, whereas with traditional publishing if a mistake squeaks through, you’re basically stuck with it.  That’s not even mentioning the difference in the monetary commissions you get from the sale of your work, which is far greater when a traditional publisher and an agent aren’t taking their share.

Which authors or books influenced your writing the most?

I always read a lot growing up and throughout my life, so I was exposed to a lot of different authors and writing styles.  I guess my influences are largely an amalgam of all of them in one way or another.  I think if I had to narrow it down to one specific one, I’d have to say Robert Asprin, author of the Myth Series, which I’ve read through more times than I can even remember.  There was something about the relationships between his characters, his humor and the logical way he plotted everything out that always really appealed to me.  He would come up with ways for his characters to deal with various situations that I would have never thought of.  In my Unseen Things series, the characters are often facing situations where they need to develop a plan, and I think that the influences I got from the Myth Series helped me tremendously in that area.  Sadly, Robert Asprin passed away several years ago, but the series was taken over and continued by Jody Lynn Nye, who co-wrote several of the books with him.

What are your current projects / What are you working on next?

My current project is Unseen Things book 12, which is called Emissary.  I’m currently just over a quarter of the way through writing it.  I have an idea for book 13 as well, but I’m not sure if I’m going to do that yet or not.  It’s the type of a story that I could do at any point in the series, so I’ll have to see how book 12 ends before I make the decision.

Anything else you would like to mention?

I think there’s been some confusion as to what the series actually is, so I’d like to clarify that if I may.  I realize that the first book (Origins) may come off as a bit young adult in nature because it starts off with the main characters on the first day of their senior year in high school.  I did that because it was necessary for them to meet, and having them meet at school worked out perfectly for that.  However, this is not a young adult series.  It’s a new adult series and geared toward people of college age and up.  By the eleventh book the main four characters are all around twenty-four years old, so there is a time progression that happens throughout the series.

Also, it’s not a series of stand alone books, nor do I spend half of each book explaining what happened in the previous books.  It’s a series in the true sense of the word and the books must be read in order, otherwise you won’t understand the references to things that have already happened, nor will you know the history of what they’ve been through.

The series started out as a contemporary fantasy series, but as it progressed and they encountered more advanced races in other dimensions, it turned into a hybrid series, combining both elements of contemporary fantasy and science-fiction.  That began a bit in book five, but the sci-fi elements come more into play from book eight onward.

The books are available through various online retailers as well as through the official site.  I’ve provided links to the sites where you can purchase the books here: http://www.duanelmartin.com/where-to-buy.html

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