Preview of Weekend Festivities

This upcoming Monday, on the podcast, fantasy author Angela B. Chrysler, will be on!  She’s been featured on this blog a few times before, and she’s heading up a huge cyber convention that’s also going on this weekend: the Brain to Books Fantasy Cyber Convention, starting this Friday (i.e. tomorrow), 4/8/16.

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Click on the picture above to learn more about this novel on Goodreads.

There’s a massive book giveaway as part of the convention.  You can see the books here.  I’ll be donating an e-copy of The Thirteenth Hour.  You can enter the contest here.

Speaking of which, I’ll have a “virtual booth” at the convention, as well, which will mirror real life, since I’ll be at a library event on Saturday.

I have a free raffle for both events going on using the same Rafflecopter.  You can win one of the three ebooks:

 

 

See you at one of these events!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #29: Censorship, Children vs. Adults, and Raffle Winner

Episode #29: What age group is The Thirteenth Hour for?

https://archive.org/download/13thHrEps16On/13th%20hr%2029.mp3

-I get asked this question occasionally and am still refining my answer, which is generally, “adult, though teens over 16 may enjoy it as well.”  The only ones who generally seem interested in the answer are parents or grandparents not interested in the book for themselves but as a present for the children in their lives.  I feel it’s better to let them know what to expect first rather than have them surprised when little Johnny lets them know that someone in the book said, “oh, shit!”

That said, there are no f-bombs (sort of the king of English curse words), but, in the fine tradition of the 80s movies from which it drew inspiration, there are a few four letter words sprinkled in the text for emphasis.  No one has sex, either on or off the page.  No one loses a head or has organs ripped out.  But there are some fight scenes, as well as some introspective narrative passages on more adult-oriented things like growing older, waxing nostalgic for the seeming simplicity and innocence of childhood, the inevitable regrets along the way, the aftermath of traumatic experiences, the complicated and halting way romantic relationships start, and the struggle to become one’s own person … stuff that may not necessarily be the most interesting to an eight year old.  I sometimes say that if it were a movie, it’d probably get a PG-13 rating, which coincidentally, is what the movie The Martian is rated, and that does have a few f-bombs 🙂

Anyway, sometimes I think we protect children in very weird ways (e.g. banning books and other kinds of media).  But that is a different topic altogether and dangerously close to real world activism, which this corner of the internets strives to steer away from.

Onto other things …

-Although I’ve had guests on the show before (e.g. authors Lo-arna Green and Coreena McBurnie), I’ve not had live guests yet.  That is, until next week, when my brother, who writes about video games, will be joining me live!  We’ll be discussing the video games we tried to make when we were kids (as I discussed previously in this post which has a collection of Tomb Raider sprites I made for a game I never finished).

Starving Artist section: make some passive $$ by watching videos on your phone (you don’t have to watch ’em!) on Swagbucks!  See this guide on Reddit for the apps you’ll need to get in order to maximize your points:

https://www.reddit.com/r/SwagBucks/comments/229bf6/detailed_guide_about_swagbuckscom_for_the_newbies/ 

-Lastly, today I announce the winner of last week’s raffle hosted by Kelly St. Clare, chosen at random by the gods in the Rafflecopter machine:

Jeremy J., you’re the big winner! (You’ll be receiving an email from me with more info).  Congratulations!

As always, thanks for listening!

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Win a Free Copy of The Thirteenth Hour

You can win a free Kindle copy of The Thirteenth Hour in this rafflecopter that author Kelly St. Clare was kind enough to host on her site:

Enter the Raffle Here!

Not sure what this is all about?  Inspired by 80s fantasy, scifi, and teen movies, The Thirteenth Hour is a fairy tale for adults about growing up, staying young, and finding the unsung hero inside.  And you can get a copy free by entering this free raffle.  There are a few little tasks to do that helps determine who wins.  You’ll be awarded points depending on what you choose to do. Some activities are worth more than others. The more points you get, the higher your chances of winning!

For example, tweeting a message earns you 1 point. Leaving a comment below an article on Kelly’s site gets you 2. Subscribing to the free weekly podcast on iTunes yields 3 points, and so on.  You’ll see when you enter the raffle.  All activities are pretty painless, and none require to do anything idiotic like give your phone number, credit card info, or the usual internet marketing rigmarole.

The contest runs for a week, until 2/29!  Good luck!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #28: 80s Movies Part 2 – Teen Movies

Episode #28: 80s Teen Movies, Author Coreena McBurnie Reading

https://archive.org/download/13thHrEps16On/13th%20hr%2028.mp3

Man, this was a super long episode.  I guess I got carried away talking about the 80s teen movies 🙂  Anyway, these were all influences, one way or another, for The Thirteenth Hour and the themes running through the book (i.e. figuring yourself out while straddling the line between childhood and adulthood, then trying to find your way in a seemingly inhospitable world).

-More on the writer of many of these films, the late, great John Hughes, as remembered by a teenage penpal he kept correspondence with for a number of years.

-Movies discussed (that link to Youtube clips):

Sixteen Candles 

-always loved the song at the end (done by The Thompson Twins)

The Breakfast Club

great scene – Bender falls through the ceiling – cracks me up every time!

Some Kind of Wonderful

-Ahh, first kisses.  Something special about them, especially when it’s with a longtime friend.

-As an aside, the John Hughes film Pretty in Pink was similar in some ways, but the genders were switched and had a great ending song by OMD.

Real Genius

-The great ending song by Tears for Fears

-Speaking of ending songs, The Thirteenth Hour is getting its own 80s-style ending song soon!  Details to come.  Watch for it on the soundtrack page on bandcamp!

-Ever want to learn to throw playing cards?  Now you can learn to throw like Logan from The Thirteenth Hour with, well, a handmade Thirteenth Hour throwing card kit.  Available on eBay.

Kelly St. Clare, who recently wrote a post here about her experiences with the social media crowd blasting site Thunderclap, has been kind enough to host a raffle for free copies of The Thirteenth Hour on her site starting 2/22 (today)!

-Guest reading by historical fantasy author Coreena McBurnie from Prophecy, a novel about Antigone, from the Greek myth Oedipus Rex.  Welcome to the podcast and thank you for sharing a segment of your work!

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-Starving Artist section: make some passive $$ by watching videos on your phone (yo udon’t have to watch ’em!) – Checkpoints

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #27: Special Edition – Podcasting for Authors

Episode #27: Podcasting for Authors

https://archive.org/download/13thHrEps16On/13th%20hr%2027.mp3

This is an episode that breaks a little from my so-called tradition of talking about escapist entertainment and discusses things that may actually have, well … practical use to you if you’re an aspiring writer or artist.

This past week, fantasy author Kelly St. Clare was kind enough to host an article I did on podcasting as easily and cheaply as possible.  (If you haven’t checked out her great series, The Tainted Accords, do yourself a favor and do so!)  She, in turn, discussed her recent experience with the social media crowd speaking site, Thunderclap.

In any event, this particular episode touches on some of the material in the post above.  But whereas the post walks you through the creation of a podcast, this audio clip is more of a dialogue about why podcasting may be of help to you as an author/artist and discusses some suggestions about what you can do with it as a platform (e.g. interviews with guests, behind-the-scenes stories, influences, etc).

I reference the article “1000 True Fans” by Kevin Kelly in the podcast.  It’s talked a lot about in marketing circles, and folks like Tim Ferriss often cite it as a model for developing a dedicated following.  On a smaller scale, working towards a dedicating podcast following has the potential to accomplish much the same thing in a way that’s more difficult to achieve with traditional social media, which can be more superficial and ADHDish.

Stay tuned for more on this subject in the future, as well as a live guests on the podcasts!

Lastly, Kelly St. Clare was kind enough to host an upcoming rafflecopter giveaway for The Thirteenth Hour on her site.  Stay tuned for more info in the coming days.

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New Year, New Books Tour 2016 – Featured Author: Malinda Andrews

Today, we wrap up the #NYNB2016 Blog Tour with sword and sorcery fantasy author Malinda Andrews.  (In case you missed the first two, features for authors Joe Jackson and Lo-arna Green can be found by clicking on their names).

book 1 cover

Beautifully drawn and painted artwork from Through the Mountains, Book 1 in Malinda’s Incalescent Trilogy.

Let’s start out with some words direct from the author herself!

Where are you from?

I am originally from Washington state just to the west, across the Puget Sound from Seattle. I remember growing up with the large evergreens, and playing in the parks around Mount Rainier. We moved out to Wisconsin in ’97, and have stayed here ever since. I enjoy having 4 seasons, including the snow!

Tell us your latest news?

My latest news is that the second book in the Incalescent Trilogy, Across the Sea and Hills, as well as a novella titled Fire and Snow are being released the first weekend in February! I should be getting the cover art in the next two weeks.

How did you come up with the title?

Titling works are hard for me. I’m not sure why, even when I wrote short stories for college I always struggled with narrowing down the titles. So with these books I actually googled how to title something. Weird, I know. I decided to go with titles that reflect the physical location of the characters: Through the Mountains, Across the Sea and Hills, and coming in the summer of ’16, Over the Plains. Not the most exciting titles, but they stand out and are easily abbreviated.

 

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Look for these additions to the series coming soon.

 

What are your current projects?

Currently I am working on revisions on the third book in the trilogy (The Incalescent Trilogy which is a part of a series title The Ryder Chronicles), and also on another novella that will hold two short stories to be released with the third book. I also participated in NaNoWriMo for the third time, and wrote the 5th in the Ryder Chronicles series, of which Through the Mountains was the first.

 

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Curious to know more about Through the Mountains**?  Aside from checking out the Goodreads profile by clicking on the cover above on on Amazon (link below), Malinda sent me a sample excerpt that you can check out here.

 

Do you see writing as a career?

Writing is most definitely a career. As an adult it has been the only career I have wanted. I never wanted a big job with a cushy office. I’d rather be at home or the local coffee shop working on my craft and spending time with my characters. I love being able to share my stories with others.

Who designed the covers?

The design of the covers is a template from CreateSpace. Though all the colors and fonts I chose. I have a family friend that is an artist, so I commissioned him to create a one of a kind piece of art for each of the novels. I actually have the first book’s art framed and hanging in my home office.

What real-life inspirations did you draw from for the world building within your book?

I took a lot of archaeology and anthropology courses in both high school and college and studied a lot of different cultures. But the Celtic phenomenon on the European continent as well as the British Isles has probably influenced my world building the most. I use my school reference books to help give my cultures more depth as well as some fantasy writing reference books.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?

I have always wanted to write, but when I was younger I actually dreamed about being an Orca trainer at some wildlife center or Zoo. I love animals. I know some people disagree with the concept of Zoo’s and wildlife parks, but I think when run well and with the animal’s well-being at the forefront, they provide a center of learning for children and adults. Some days, when the writing is hard, I still wonder if I would have been better at that…

What do your plans for future projects include?

Currently I plan to finish the Incalescent Trilogy, and then honestly I might take some time away from the fantasy series and work on a romance that I started during NaNoWriMo in 2014. I enjoy writing across several genres as each has its own unique set of challenges. In November I’ll probably slip back into fantasy and finish out the third book in the next trilogy in the Ryder Chronicles series.

What is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, here on Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?

I blog twice a week, and have started doing a book review (that centers on self-published and small press books) on the first Sunday of each month. I also have a Twitter, an Instagram, a Goodreads account, and a Pinterest. Their links are down below.

Blog- http://malindaandrews.blogspot.com/

Twitter- https://twitter.com/OnADragonsWing2

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/onadragonswing2/

Pinterest- https://www.pinterest.com/Onadragonswing2/

Goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14197340.Malinda_Andrews

 

**Synopsis of Through the Mountains:

To Riona, life was simple. She and her mother lived on the outskirts of a village in the secluded Rhal-Dages Mountains of Bjergen. They grew, or hunted what they could, and traded for the rest. Her best friend for the twenty years of her life, Damien, and his family were there for her without question. At least until a mysterious figure reveals something within her, setting in motion events that sweep Riona into a conflict decades in the making. After another figure’s unexplained visit, Riona is required to accept that the abilities she has had for so long, and tried to hide, come from magic. But since Moriel destroyed the legendary Ryders and their powerful dragons twenty-one years prior, magic was something to be feared by the people. Magic was dangerous, and those using it were sought out and killed. Forced to leave her home, Riona is stalked by nightmarish shadow figures, as she tries to uncover the truth of who she is. Her choices, and discoveries, could mean the destruction, or salvation of the people she loves most.

Here’s an excerpt of what one reviewer on Amazon thought: Written with such care for imagery and with beautifully interesting character details, I can only HOPE that this series/series-to-be will materialize onto the big screen- because it will be AMAZING!!

Check out Through the Mountains on Amazon

Enter this free Goodreads Giveaway for the chance to win a copy of Through the Mountains.  

And speaking of giveaways, remember …

 

BLOG TOUR GIVEAWAYS – FINAL CALL!

Don’t forget to sign up at the Rafflecopter link below for a chance to win some free stuff supplied by the authors themselves.

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6ac455060/

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Thanks for stopping by and helping to support this blog tour!  Many thanks to the organizer, Ama et Bemma, for helping to bring exposure to all us independent authors.

Stay tuned over the next three weeks for individual featurettes on these works and authors on the weekly podcast.

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New Year, New Books Blog Tour 2016 – Featured Author: Loarna Green

If you missed the first stop on the #NYNB2016 Blog Tour, click on this link to check it out.  (There’s also an introduction to the tour on the podcast that came out yesterday.)  We’re switching gears from last time’s focus on epic fantasy toward the other end of the spectrum, in a way, toward books that are more fairytale romance oriented.  As before, book covers link to Goodreads for more info.

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What a great cover!  You can tell by looking at it that it’s probably going to be a romance, but the colorful painted swirls that might be a dress or wings, worn by the dancing woman at the center give it a lyrical quality that suggests it’s something more.

Synopsis:

Jazz lives her life according to colour.
She vibes off people’s colour.
Her world is happy, bright, fluro. Until her sister goes missing, followed closely by her mother.

She moves across the country and starts a new life. Some of it good, some of it a little bad. All of it colourful. It is there she meets a man who makes her question herself, her previous life and where she is going in this one. Jazz wants to move forward but she also can’t forget the mystery surrounding her mother and sister.  

Here’s what one reviewer on Amazon thought about this book:

“All the Colours is the “indie film” of romance novels. There’s no better way to describe it …  If you are looking for a simple plot where the heroine meets the hero and pursues a courtship, this book delivers so much more than that (and probably much more than what you want to sift through.) If you are ready to be engrossed in a book that explores friendships, love and family in an authentic way, you will be very satisfied with this story.  Lo-Arna Green does a superb job of capturing the voice of her characters. The people of her story are believable and vibrant, leaping off the page with so much life force that they seem like people you know personally.  At times, the writing is so honest that it breaks away from the “romance novel” mold completely and evolves into a character study.”

All the Colours on Amazon 

The next book in this synesthesic series just came out (1/7/16) and takes the opposite end of the spectrum – darkness, giving it more a more gothic feel while still the overall character of a fairy tale romance.

All The Darkness 3D Image of Book Cover Black

Synopsis:

Nate knew a life of colour when he had Stella by his side.
Now she’s gone, her life cut short, he sinks deep into darkness when he discovers who is responsible.
He leaves town and leads a quiet life keeping to himself, not feeling he deserves anything more than just merely existing, in all the darkness.

Edie is trapped in her life, made prisoner by those who are meant to love and protect her.
She is drowning in a quicksand she can’t breathe in. She’s lost her voice, her strength, her self-esteem.
When these two cross paths, they’ll both wonder if they deserve happiness. Can they make their way out of the darkness and to happiness with each other?

How do we convince ourselves we deserve happiness? How do we live with the dark acts we have committed?
All the Darkness explores the parts of our minds we try to keep hidden, even from ourselves.

Book 2 in All The Colours series.

Here’s what one reader on GR wrote about it:

“Lo-Arna has again captured the intricacies of her characters, making you hurt and love right alongside them. I especially enjoyed Lo-Arna’s portrayal of Nate, I love his character and admire his loyalty. I think Lo-Arna has written him to perfection.  A must read for those who like their romance with a side of darkness.”

All The Darkness Facebook Cover Art

All the Darkness on Amazon

If these books looked intriguing, you’ll be happy to know that Lo-arna has many more books in the pipeline for 2016!  (You can sneak peak the covers on the Smashwords link below.)  Check out the social media links below for more details:

Website: http://www.lo-arnagreen.com/

Read Lo-arna’s interview at Smashwords

Follow Lo-arna on Twitter @loarnagreen

Facebook: www.facebook.com/loarnagreen

Watch for more discussion on Lo-arna’s work on The Thirteenth Hour Podcast – date pending.

BLOG TOUR GIVEAWAYS

Don’t forget to sign up at the Rafflecopter link below for a chance to win some free stuff supplied by the authors themselves.

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6ac455060/

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Thanks for stopping by!  Next stop on the tour will be Malinda Andrews, author of the Incalescent Trilogy – coming 1/22/16!

Stay up-to-date with the latest blog info at the main page here.  Stay tuned!

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