Author Spotlight – Missy Sheldrake and Her Newest Release

On this past week’s podcast, fantasy author Missy Sheldrake came on, and we had a great conversation.  You can check it out here if you haven’t listened to it yet.

Today, I’m pleased to announce that her newest book is now live!

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Here are links to the purchase the book on Amazon and learn more about it on Goodreads.

Like an excerpt?  Read one here!

Below, you’ll find a number of wonderful digitally painted illustrations from this new volume.  More can be found on her website’s illustration section.

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Author Bio:

Missy Sheldrake is an author/illustrator who has been conjuring images of fairies in one form or another since she was very young. The wind in the trees and the rich scent of forest earth are her most treasured sources of inspiration, and on most mornings you will find her wandering the wooded paths, dreaming of the next adventure she hopes to put to the page.

Missy was born in Connecticut and attended Western Connecticut State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Art with a concentration in painting and illustration. Even then, in her free time, she was writing. She moved to Northern Virginia several years ago and lives there now, on the outskirts of Washington D.C., with her true love and their son. She published her first novel, Call of Kythshire, in March of 2015 and intends to keep writing as long as the fairies allow it.

Links to the Previous Volumes in the Series:

Call of Kythshire (Book One):
https://amzn.com/B00UVLQWGY

Call of Sunteri (Book Two):
https://amzn.com/B0187IG3HK

Snowberry Blossom (Perma-free holiday short story):
https://amzn.com/B0196P041O

Books-Banner

Author Social Media Links:

Website: http://missysheldrake.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/missysheldrake

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/m_sheldrake/

Tumblr: http://etsyfairydawn.tumblr.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/MissySheldrake/and https://www.facebook.com/muralsbymissy

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13672249.Missy_Sheldrake?from_search=true&search_version=service

Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B00UVLQWGY

Good luck, Missy, with the launch!  May the fairies bring good luck.

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  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
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Interview With Author Coreena McBurnie

Today, I’m delighted to present to you a recent interview I did with mythological fantasy author Coreena McBurnie.  She interviewed me on her blog a few days ago, so today, I get to return the favor.  Coreena is also interested in appearing on the weekly podcast, so watch for those details soon.   But without further ado, read on below for further details on how she successfully turned a Greek myth with controversial content into a young adult novel, what she wished she’d have known before starting her author’s journey, and where she’d go if she could time travel for one day. 

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How did your book come to be?

I have always had a great love of ancient Greek mythology and studied Classics in university. While there I read the Oedipus plays by Sophocles. I was immediately taken with Antigone, Oedipus’ daughter — she’s strong, stands up for herself, and does what she thinks is right even in the face of death. When I was looking for a novel idea several years ago (because I was participating in National Novel Writing Month — a challenge to write a novel in November), I thought it would be fun to write about Antigone. I wasn’t sure how to go about it, especially as a young adult novel because some of the subject matter is delicate (i.e., she’s the child of an incestuous relationship), but finally decided just to tackle the story head on and not to make any apologies for what is the in the myth. Once I did that, Antigone found her voice very quickly.

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What’s it like to tell other people you’ve written a book?

It’s an interesting thing, this sharing of a story that is a part of you, but then it’s out there for the world to see and critique. I’m quite an introverted person, so I actually don’t bring it up much. I get really nervous when I tell people, but so far, everyone is very supportive and happy for me.

If you could share a meal with any of your characters, who’d it be and why?

Antigone. I think she’s fun and amazing. And how great would it be to participate in an ancient Greek feast?

What are your influences?

I love the ancient Greek and Roman stories and they inspire a lot of my writing. My favourite book is probably Homer’s Odyssey. Growing up I loved CS Lewis’ The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe series, along with anything by Agatha Christie or Douglas Adams. Recently, I’ve read Kristin Cashore’s Graceling series, Neil Gaiman, Rick Riordan, Eoin Colfer… One of the things I’ve really been enjoying is reading so many new and innovative indie authors.

Your hobbies?

Hobbies… Well, I love to read and I’m trying to learn to paint a bit, though this is more of a creative exploration than a mastery thing. I enjoy being outside around trees or water. I also have three kids, so is taxi driver considered a hobby? And recently I’ve become addicted to Supernatural on Netflix.

How do you find readers for your books (i.e. your audience)?  Friends?  Family?  Social media contacts?  Local library?  …?

This is my first published book, so I am still working on that. Family and friends are definitely my first readers. I’m having a book launch party in a couple of weeks, which hopefully will attract some attention where I live, and I’ve donated a copy to my local library. I’m also working on social media by reaching out to book bloggers who might be interested in reading my book and offering them review copies. So far, all of this is slow, but building (I hope).

What’s one (doesn’t have to be just one) thing you wish you could have told your pre-published author self?

Get beta readers sooner. I spent a lot of time editing and perfecting things, just to have the beta readers point out changes that needed to be made, and then I had to change everything again.

Your spirit animal is _____ and why.

A black jaguar — I dream about them a lot and love the protective, shadow qualities of a jaguar, especially a mother. When I am stressed out, I imagine a black jaguar looking out for me. I know it’s strange, but there you are.

How do you feel about clowns?

Really not my thing, they’re kind of creepy.

You see your book being sold on ebay.  You are ______ (fill in the blank).

Happy. Someone read my book and thinks it has enough value to resell it. Now maybe someone new will read it, someone who might not have otherwise found my book.

Your superpower of choice is:

Flying. I would love to see the world from high up, like birds. There is also a certain freedom to flying that is enticing, being able to go anywhere, any time.

Now imagine you’re a time traveler for a day.  Where and when would you go? 

To Alexandria right before they burned the library and find a way to stop that somehow. Can you imagine what was lost there?

Thanks for having me here today, it was fun! I love to connect with other authors and readers, so feel free to email me: coreenamcburnie@gmail.com

Other ways to connect with me:

Website & Blog: Coreena McBurnie

Facebook: Coreena McBurnie, Author

Twitter: @CoreenaMcBurnie

Goodreads: Coreena McBurnie

Amazon: Coreena McBurnie

Tumblr: Coreena McBurnie

Newsletter: Coreena McBurnie

Thanks, Coreena, for joining us today!  Congratulations on your debut book and wish it the world of success.  Looking forward to having you on the podcast!

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Blog Tour Con’t: Featured Author – Joshua Robertson

This blog recently hosted three authors in the #NYNB2016 blog tour.  I’m going to continue the author-featuring with this post, though it technically isn’t part of the past tour (though it could have been).  Today, we’ll be taking a look at epic fantasy author Joshua Robertson’s work, especially his book launching today, Dyndaer, Book 2 in his Kaelandur Series.  (Pictures below direct to Goodreads.)

DyndaerCover

Book Spotlight _ Dyndaer

Dyndaer Excerpt One

A woman, unlike any Branimir had ever seen, emerged from the crowd and occupied the remaining chair. The bow slung over her shoulder, and the quiver on her back were the last things Branimir noticed. She was shorter than most Anshedar with an oversized head, a scrawny neck, and a sickly, thin frame. Yet her skin, smooth and colored a reddish brown, darker than Branimir, caused him to lean toward her. A sash, red as blood, hung across her shoulder, angled over her small chest.

She sat with her back stiffened and chin jutted forward. Pushing long black strands behind her ears, she introduced herself, “Hanna Bretka, daughter of Briv, from Danduher in Haemus Mons.” She sloshed her mug onto the table after taking a gulp.

“Branimir and Dorofej,” Bran said, “And, excuse my asking, but what are you?”

Her eyes swelled like an owl, a circular black center and the rest filled with a cerulean orb. The colored ring twinkled like the Ojenek in his pocket. “What do you mean what am I?”

Adamus and Dorofej merged in laughter.

“Kras,” she said, “I am a Lilitu. How would you not know my kind? The Kras frequent trade with the Lilitu in Halderon.”

Branimir rubbed the back of his neck with a crooked smile, and meekly shrugged. He could not take his eyes off of her.

What are you?” Adamus repeated, wiping a tear from the corner of his eye. “Best thing I have heard in two months. Having you travel with me never tires, Hanna.”

“Glad to please you, Adamus,” Hanna muttered, rolling his name off her tongue. “Is this why we detoured to Cavell? I thought we were aiming for debauchery, not expanding on our alleged friendship.”

Here’s what one pre-release reader thought:

… Robertson writes unlike any other author I have read. He engages the reader quickly to draw them in, and keeps them there! There was even a part in the book when I was reading where I found myself in the story with the characters. I subconsciously slowed my breathing and was afraid to make any noise because I didn’t want the characters to get caught! I have never felt that way in reading before. I was speechless after reading it.

Dyndaer Excerpt 2

“You told me that I would never find joy,” Branimir went on. “I can’t help but think the rune staves might be right, mainly when I think of these past several weeks.”

“Oh.” Dorofej shuffled out from the shadows, rejoining them near the fire. He appeared disgruntled, despite his words. “We have shared pleasant times together, yes? I say, do not sum up all arduous times to be grievous.”

“I was only telling you what I was seeing,” Drak explained. “I did not mean anything by it.”

“All the same, your words have stayed with me,” said Branimir, scooting over to make room for Dorofej.

“I say, Hanna did warn us that we may create our own future by thinking that we know what to expect, yes? Emotions can create your reality if you are not careful,” Dorofej softened his gaze.

Drak sniffed through his nose. “The rune staves tell what will happen. Branimir cannot change it, no matter how he feels about it.”

Dorofej furrowed his brow. “Know that for certain, we do not. Regardless, whether our paths are fixed or not, we choose how we walk them. Dangerous, it is, to find comfort in sadness. Leads only to more sadness, it does.”

“I like that thought,” Drak granted, and then grinned wide. “Feelings are unseen and untouched by anyone or anything. Fate cannot tell you how to feel.”

Branimir held his face, pondering the wisdom of the two. “Telling yourself how to feel seems easier to think about than to do.”

“Such is the task of the living, yes? I say, our minds are riddled with grand ideas and limited enthusiasm to see it done. Driven towards the things we wish to avoid, men are. Drink, does the drunkard; fight, does the warrior; and on and on, it goes.”

“Is it not what they want?” Branimir asked.

Dorofej lifted his eyebrows, “What do you want, Branimir?”

“I want…” Branimir may have never thought about the question before. He had always been entertained with trying to survive, the question of what to live for was beyond his knowing. Yet, upon taking a moment to think, the answer was not hard to come by. “I want happiness, Dorofej.”

Dyndaer Buy Links

Amazon

Smashwords

Barnes and Noble

Website

As you can tell from the pictures above, there are a number of other books in the series – Book 1: Melorka, as well as the stand-alone volume, Anaerfell.  If you enjoy Joshua’s writing, as his readers seem to do, you’ll want to check out his extensive back-catalog of books!  And, for the authors among you, make sure to check out his youtube podcasts (link below).

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Dyndaer Excerpt 3

The demons of the Netherworld chased him. Four-legged, wolf-like creatures, known as Dreka, rammed their goat horns at Branimir. The gray, wrinkled skin clung to their gaunt frames. Thin lips were stretched back giving sight to the rows of teeth on the tops and bottoms of their bloodied gums.

Branimir tumbled, swinging his weapon and feeling it tear through flesh as easily as a hot blade through frost. For a moment, he may have heard Dorofej’s riddlesome voice—no, his cry—but Branimir had not the time to listen. Bran had to scramble, and sneak, and stab.

And stab. And stab. And stab.

The urgency of the battle and the demons thumped inside of his head.

“Stop!” A familiar voice, again, cried in desperation.

Crimson splattered his vision as his dagger cut through skin once more. His blade loved the taste of blood; he felt the need to drench it again.

Pain stung his leg, but it was quickly forgotten as demon after demon lunged for him. The Dreka were ever persistent in their attack. He spun, and twisted, and disappeared to avoid every demonic beast soaring through the air, vicious teeth aimed for his throat. They would not reach him. For a moment, he thought he saw a flash of Hanna’s wide eyes, but they looked unfamiliar. Treacherous. Evil. Besides, his dagger was already cocked behind his ear and he felt incapable of restraining himself.

Author Bio

Joshua currently lives in Alaska with his wife and children. In 1999, he began crafting the world for Thrice Nine Legends, including Melkorka and Anaerfell. He is also the author of the A Midwinter Sellsword and Gladiators and Thieves in the Hawkhurst Saga. His short story, Grimsdalr, is inspired by the tale of Beowulf.

Social Media Links

Amazon

Goodreads

Facebook

Twitter

Youtube – The Writer’s Edge – for all you authors out there, check out this podcast Joshua and his fellow authors have.  Here’s a link to an episode where they discuss how to write a fantasy novel:

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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).

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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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Launch Day is Here!

It’s finally here!  The 3rd edition of The Thirteenth Hour is finally official.  I created a new trailer, which you can see below:

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There are currently three book giveaways going on now, two on Amazon and one on Goodreads.  Check them out for the chance to win some free books!

Amazon Giveaway for the print edition of The Thirteenth Hour

Amazon Giveaway for the print edition of A Shadow in the Moonlight – ending 1/18/16

Goodreads Giveaway for the print edition of The Thirteenth Hour open on 1/16/16

Other ways to get a sample of the book and see if the writing style is to your taste:

->download a sample on amazon

->download a free copy of the prequel, A Shadow in the Moonlight, on Smashwords or Amazon

->download a free copy of the standalone short story, “Falling Leaves Don’t Weep” (may contain vague, obtuse spoilers) on Smashwords

->email me for a sample chapter @ writejoshuablum@gmail.com

->email me @ writejoshuablum@gmail.com if you’d like to review the book – you get a gift copy for free.

->download the first 15 episodes of this podcast on itunes (granted, an earlier draft of the book, but it’s all there, start to finish), where you can also check out the weekly podcast, now on episode 22!

Interested in purchasing a copy?  Go here.

Stat tuned for more info over the next week!

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Amazon Giveaway for Two Copies of The Thirteenth Hour

Win a copy of the 3rd edition of The Thirteenth Hour direct from Amazon by participating in this free, no-purchase-necessary Amazon Giveaway, now live, until 1/171/5.  Two winners will be selected at random (according to some Amazon algorithm) from a pool of up to 5000 people.

Here’s the giveaway link:
https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/3a7e4f1045b8b0b9

Good luck!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #21: Special Edition

Episode #21: Special Edition for the Third Edition Launch

https://archive.org/download/13thHrEps16On/13th%20hr%2021.mp3

Today is another special edition of this podcast, discussing the upcoming launch of the 3rd edition of The Thirteenth Hour (special editions are longer – this one is 30 minutes – and less frequent; the other special edition is the episode on A Shadow in the Moonlight for subscribers of the mailing list – see link below for free access).

The following links are referenced in the episode.  i.e.:

-Talking about how the book came to be in print (unofficially) as early as 1998:

https://13thhr.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/the-evolution-of-the-thirteenth-hour-in-print/

-Illustration updates to this newest edition: 

https://13thhr.wordpress.com/2015/10/11/the-evolution-of-a-thirteenth-hour-illustration/

Like the above link, here are a similar progression of images showing the creation of an image (this time of King Darian) from sketch to computer edited image:

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-The saga of cover creation:

https://13thhr.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/work-in-progress-new-thirteenth-hour-drawing/

https://13thhr.wordpress.com/2015/11/21/whats-in-a-cover/

-And what you can do to personally support the launch:

https://13thhr.wordpress.com/2015/11/21/help-support-the-thirteenth-hour/

-Other ways to get a sample of the book and see if the writing style is to your taste:

->download a sample on amazon

->download a free copy of the prequel, A Shadow in the Moonlight, on Smashwords or Amazon

->download a free copy of the standalone short story, “Falling Leaves Don’t Weep” (may contain vague, obtuse spoilers) on Smashwords

->email me for a sample chapter @ writejoshuablum@gmail.com

->email me @ writejoshuablum@gmail.com if you’d like to review the book – you get a gift copy for free.

->download the first 15 episodes of this podcast on itunes (granted, an earlier draft of the book, but it’s all there, start to finish).

So, lots of ways!  Best wishes for the new year!

As always, thanks for listening!

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