Tag: Fantasy

NETHERWORLD: Book One Chronicles of Koa

NETHERWORLD: Book One Chronicles of Koa

NETHERWORLD by K.N. Lee

 

The Book

I recently finished K.N. Lee’s NETHERWORLD, the first book in her Chronicles of Koa series. Angels versus Vampires.

The Hook

The opening for the book is an instant hook, the characters entertaining and engaging. The writing isn’t as smooth as I’d prefer, but from start to finish I couldn’t stop reading.

The Story

The story is about a Korean half-vampire named Koa who works for an angel named Halston. Together, their job is to keep the human population safe from Netherworld vampires.

The only catch is two-fold, Koa’s mother is trapped inside a cat’s body and the only one who can release her is an imprisoned Netherworld vampire prince. A prince Halston and Koa must go to Netherworld to rescue and bring back to the human world.

The Stars

NETHERWORLD by K.N. Lee, the first book in her Chronicles of Koa series, a glowing 4 out of 5 stars! 
Interview w Fantasy Author Carol Marrs Phipps

Interview w Fantasy Author Carol Marrs Phipps

Please welcome brilliant author Carol Marrs Phipps from the writer team of Carol Marrs and Tom Phipps

 

Hello Carol, welcome and thank you for doing this interview- 

Aside from all the help and support you’ve given me regarding my own work, I know so little about you. Would you mind sharing a little about your background? Where are you from? How did you and your partner/husband Tom Phipps get started in writing? Have you always written fantasy?

About the Author

Carol Marrs Phipps – I am a mother, grandmother, wife and doting pet owner. I say this first because my husband is always telling me that if I didn’t have anything else, I would mother a rock   Apparently my students agreed with my husband, because when I still taught elementary school, many of them often referred to me as “mom” rather than Mrs. Phipps.

My pets include six cats, a cockatiel, a raven and a blue-fronted Amazon parrot. (Though, anyone who has ever hand-raised a parrot understands they are far more like having another child, than a pet, particularly if they talk). 

I also love the outdoors where I enjoy walking, hiking, swimming, biking and picnics in the woods. Movies, traveling and family get-togethers are also an important part of my life.

 I was born and began life in Trenton, Missouri, but my parents moved to Illinois when I was very young. My husband Tom and I lived in the Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada) where we taught on a number of Native American Reservations until we decided to move back to Illinois.

The Evolution from Teacher to Writer

Carol Marrs Phipps – I haven’t taught since our return, concentrating on our writing instead. Tom is retired from teaching, but now has a part time job (three 12 hr, days a week).

I am a fantasy writer and a dreamer. I love to weave the visions which play out in my imagination into fantastic tales for my own amusement and the enjoyment of others. If not writing I am a voracious reader.

I had a number of short stories I had written for my creative writing classes and the yearly anthology which I read to my husband and step children. Tom was impressed by my writing and encouraged me to take it up again.

Since writing had always been my first career choice, I was easy to convince. However, I discovered along the way that Tom also had a great writing talent, though he was more of a non-fiction writer. We soon decided that combining our skills would make some realistic fantasy stories that all ages could read and enjoy. Thus, we became a team.

The Troll Language

I just finished Elf Killers and like with WHAM!, could not stop reading. My only pause in the book was trying to decipher the troll language. That is until I found the glossary. Big help, by the way! Thanks for adding it.

How did you come upon the troll language or was this something you created?

Carol Marrs Phipps – Yes…and, no. As I mentioned earlier, Tom and I spent the bulk of our teaching careers on the Native Indian Reservations. The troll language evolved out of native Navajo…with some creative adjustment, mostly exchanging one consonant for another. The word meanings, however, remained the same for our book.

Elf Killers and Other Stories

Regarding Elf Killers, your world creation was highly detailed, your adventure compelling and fast paced, and your characters so fun to read, I absolutely lost myself in the book. Such an amazing story. Is Elf Killers a standalone novel or do you plan a sequel

Carol Marrs Phipps – Again I must answer yes…and no to your question. Although ELF KILLERS is our first published work, it was not actually written first. Tom and I had written four or five of the HEART OF THE STAFF books before we decided to do ELF KILLERS.

In STONE HEART, the 3rd book of the HEART OF THE STAFF series, the elf killer trolls are actually introduced, and they appear in each book of the series thereafter. ELF KILLERS is more or less a prelude to the series, even though it is not so labeled. Most of the trolls and elves from the series appear in ELF KILLERS, too.

Then in WHAM! the readers who have read ELF KILLERS and/or the HEART OF THE STAFF series will discover in book 2 of the TIMEWALKER series, that the troll barber is a descendant of Thunderman Veyfnaryr. Yes…all of our books are “connected”. WHAM!, book 1 of the TIMEWALKER series takes place 700 years after the HEART OF THE STAFF series, but you’ll find some of those “eternal” fairies and long-lived elves cropping up from time to time.

What other books have you written?

Carol Marrs Phipps – To date we have written: ELF KILLERS, GOOD SISTER, BAD SISTER (book 1 of HOTS), THE COLLECTOR WITCH (book 2 of the HOTS), STONE HEART (book 3 of the HOTS), THE BURGEONING (book 4 of the HOTS), THE REAPER WITCH (book 5 of the HOTS), DOOM (book 6 of the HOTS), the HEART OF THE STAFF: complete appendix (a companion book for the boxed set, HEART OF THE STAFF: complete series. Amazon would not allow us to attach the appendix to the boxed set because they said their policy did not allow a work of that size to be sold for only 99 cents. At he time we were adamant about the 99 cent price as we were still relative unknowns and we hoped to develop a bit of a readership.), and WHAM! (Book 1 of Timewalker)

What is your favorite genre to read? Write?

Carol Marrs Phipps – Fantasy is my answer to both questions.

Regarding your series, Heart of the Staff, please tell us a little about it?

Carol Marrs Phipps – The HEART OF THE STAFF series is a true epic fantasy saga which spans four complete generations in the life of a wizarding family.

Two evil sorceresses are on a path to rule the entire world; one from the shadows and the other from the throne she “inherited” early by killing her adoptive parents, the former king and queen, shortly after her sixteenth birthday. The wizarding family, headed by the most powerful wizard in the land, Razzmorten Dewin , who had previously lived in a  peaceful, even idyllic land, now find themselves and their very world in great peril.

In Closing

Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with me, Carol. I know you’re short on time. Is there anything else you’d like to add:

Carol Marrs PhippsThanks the opportunity, Ingrid. Yes, there is.  To wrap up, I offer the following reader review for this series:

“I very highly recommend this “Heart of the Staff” epic

fantasy series. If you like fantasy stories, set in a time

of kingdoms and castles, loaded with evil witches, wizards,

elves, fairies, trolls, unicorns, dragons, kingdoms with

marching armies of war, this series has it all. I absolutely

loved these books!!”

A Great Announcement!

Many thanks to Author Carol Marrs Phipps for joining us! I have long admired her marketing efforts on Twitter, creating these elaborate detailed and colorful posters.

 

Click on this pic and get a great Christmas Wonderland Surprise!

 

Here’s one she designed for me –

 

For more on Carol’s great new venture, stay tuned for next week’s post!

and for more about Carol and Tom Phipps and their marvelous stories, use the following links –

Amazon                         Niarg Website

Twitter                           Smashwords

Facebook                       Goodreads

About Writing, One Should Never

About Writing, One Should Never

Tweet or Comment While Writing…

Because one just never knows who’s in the driver’s seat –

When I started writing this morning, this great quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald appeared on my desktop. Seconds before, I had vowed to stay off social media and get serious about finishing my novel in progress. When I saw this quote I realized the wisdom of my decision.

I mean with all these characters running around inside my head, I never know who’s tweeting or commenting. And to be honest, some of “them” are just plain scary…

A good example would be from my novel, MY FATHER’S MAGIC..
Would you really want this guy to respond to your post?

“Hmm, yes. Fear me, Esme. Good, be very afraid.” His voice seemed to vibrate.

What is he doing? He sounds like— What the—

Okay, Esme, calm down. This isn’t good. Panicking won’t help. Deep breath. Okay, what is the last thing you remember? I was at the penthouse, trying to find my father’s—

No. Not the Book of Spells. If Geoff has that book—

I’m not a praying person, but at that moment I prayed to whatever powers existed, please save me. In the background, I could hear heavy breathing and that squeaking noise Geoff makes when—

Or what about?

“Natasha.” The harsh, graveled voice confirmed my worst fears as I turned to face the drooling mass before me. “What have you been up to, Natasha? I could taste your emotions from down the hall.”

I will not be afraid. I will not be afraid. I will not—

Would you really want either of these two villains responding to your tweets or Facebook posts?

I mean, this guy (below) has responded for me in the past and I had some serious explaining to do afterward:

From my upcoming novel, working title REVENGE:

“With that I heard a chirp, much like I once heard a parakeet do in a pet shop. I glanced over at the large onyx eyes. “Was that you?” My eyes once more on the road, I switched lanes to pass a truck, another chirp and telepathically I heard, “Yes.”

“Wow, you are full of surprises. Aren’t you?” Another chirp made me smile. I was glad for the company.

Nothing like a little “chirping” to your friends…

 

 

 

Interview – SJ Hermann’s SPLINTERED LOVE

Interview – SJ Hermann’s SPLINTERED LOVE

Please welcome SJ Hermann, Author of  the MORIUM Trilogy and SPLINTERED LOVE –

 

SPLINTERED LOVE

Thank you, SJ, for joining us. The anthology Splintered Love is brilliant, but quite different from your Morium Trilogy with its focus on school bullying, I’m wondering where the concept for your collection of short stories came from?

Thank you, Ingrid, for having me on your blog.

I wrote Splintered Love after I finished the book of the Morium Trilogy, Dark Horizons. I wanted to try my writing skills on something more mature. Something that everyone deals with at some point in their life, and that is love. Most romance novels today all end in happy endings. I wanted to turn that around. All but one of the stories in Splintered Love have a happy ending.

As far as the concepts for each story, I just sat down in front of the computer and started typing, not really knowing where each one would go. All I knew was that they would have a supernatural / paranormal theme. I wrote them by the seat of my pants and wanted them to each leave a questions for the readers or having moral questions.

Leap of Faith – Could one find true love again and if you can, what if it came from an unusual place.

Inner Beauty – Today’s society is based on a person’s looks and not what they carry on the inside.

Desperate Souls – What would you be willing to give up for love?

Reckless Thoughts – You find your true love, then you carelessly throw it away.

Forever Love – Love is eternal.

I was lucky enough to have a great group of romance writers help me through my first stint as a romance writer. It’s their quotes you see at the beginning of each story.

Thanks, SJ, you answered another question I’ve had for the longest time. “What about those quotes?”

So, did the writers read your short stories before writing their quotes?

Yes. They were an important part in bringing each story together.

You certainly seem to have a knack for writing the darker side of love. I enjoyed them all, each so different and every one with surprise twists and turns.

Thank you.

I also noted what you said about moral questions, this seems to be an ongoing theme for you. May I ask where that comes from?

I have no idea, lol. When I start writing, I don’t have the idea to toss in morals into my stories, they just seem to evolve with the story. I shouldn’t say that. Inner Beauty was written for anyone who sees only what’s on the outside, and not the beauty of a person within. The other four in Splintered Love just came to be morality tales by the time I finished writing them.

Well, this formula definitely seems to work for you! I sincerely hope to see more of the same in the future. Speaking of which, haven’t you just put out a new book based on one of your Splintered Love stories?

Yes, it’s called Eventus and it follows the same formula as, Reckless Thoughts. Actually, Eventus came before Reckless Thoughts. I reworked the ending to follow the romance theme of the anthology. To go further, the book I am currently working on titled, Perfect, is about a teen who is born nearly omnipotent. As he gets older, he gains more abilities. He suppresses his powers until a tragic event happens. After that, he doesn’t give a damn about anything and he uses the powers for his own amusement. It goes into depth about the main character in Eventus / Reckless Thoughts as we watch him grow from an innocent child into a monster.

It’s something about having godlike abilities that can make one hell of a story and that’s why I’m drawn to it.

THE MORIUM TRILOGY

Speaking of topics you’re drawn to, I recently got a chance to listen to your interview with Laney Smith on BlogTalkRadio from October of last year. Such an emotionally powerful interview.

I especially enjoyed the discussion on the Morium Trilogy and how you’ve used it to encourage a focus on bullying. As someone who was bullied most of her school years, I must ask, how do you feel being bullied has changed you?

Thank you for listening. I thought really hard if I should bring out my demons for all to hear. Laney is such a fantastic host it made it easier. For the longest time, even after the bullying had stopped, I would say my Junior year, the emotional scars stayed with me. My self-esteem was in the toilet. I had no confidence in anything I did. Thirty years later, I still suffer from depression and anxiety with bouts of self-harm. Writing has become a tool for me to release some of what I’ve kept locked away, which is probably why my writing is dark in nature.

In what ways do you feel your writing has helped you?

It’s an outlet to convey how one (myself) deals with emotional problems. I can write about it and yet, I hope, don’t come across as being preachy. Devin is Desperate Souls was/is essentially me. Living in darkness waiting for a glimmer of light to shine through the darkened skies. Now, in the story, it was Moira that’s the glimmer of light. Where in me, it’s the writing.

And what reactions have received to your “bringing out your demons”? I hope supportive!

They have been positive. The main reason I decided to come out was to show that men do suffer from depression and self-harm and not solely focused on women.

We all have our demons. Without my going into specifics and as one who has revealed his demons, what advice would you offer people like me? People who’ve been buried under this crap, afraid of their “shadows” so to speak?

Find a creative way to step out from the shadows. For me, it’s not only through writing, but with art as well. I understand how difficult it is to express your inner feelings for fear of being called weak, especially if you’re a male. There are so many great resources to turn to for help.

Thank you, SJ. I appreciate your advice.

 

DIGITAL ARTISTRY

Before this interview I did get a chance to check out your artwork on your website and FineArtAmerica.com . I really enjoyed your digital art pieces, especially Spring Serenity and Calm and your use of color in By Dawns Early Light is amazing. Just briefly, because are running out time, how did you get started in digital art?

Thank you. I actually started art back in, I would say, sixth grade when I started drawing hockey logos. From there my drawings became of cartoon and animated characters. It was during those times that my eye got trained to draw what I saw. I slowly drifted into landscapes with charcoal and graphite, then to pastels. It wasn’t until the last few years that I moved into digital art. Some say that digital art is not truly art. I beg to differ. It’s using your creativity to create a painting. The same rules apply whether it’s by traditional, or digital.

One last question, aside from your next novel, Perfect, are there any other upcoming projects you’d like to mention?

I am currently working on the screenplay for the first book in the Morium trilogy. Once that is complete, I send it off to my producer and the long process of having it turned into a movie begins.

A movie? How exciting for you, SJ! I think it’s every author’s dream to see their “baby” on the big screen.

In closing, Thank you, SJ Hermann, for joining us.

Thank you, Ingrid,  for having me.

Readers, to learn more about Author SJ Hermann, please check out the links below.

Also, as a special treat, SJ has given us an excerpt from his short story, “Leap of Faith.” One of my favorites from his book, SPLINTERED LOVE.

 

LINKS FOR SJ HERMANN

Website: www.authorsjhermann.wordpress.com

Twitter: @Writing_Novel

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SJ-Hermann-250758318466659/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/s.j.hermannwriter/

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+SJHermann

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9784255.S_J_Hermann

 

 

 

An Excerpt from SJ Hermann’s Leap of Faith

An Excerpt from SJ Hermann’s Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith 

A splintered love story

Coming soon to Amazon

He reached under the bed and took out a small silver box graced with a darker shade of a silver band just above the opening. For a fleeting moment, she pondered how many times he had rehearsed this scene in his head, but as soon as he flipped the lid open the thoughts vanished. Wishing she could see the ring through the tears, she fell to one knee.

“Lisa Fielding. My devotion. My love. My soul is yours, and I would be honored if you take my hand in marriage and be my wife.”

Author S.J. Hermann

 

5 Stars for The Nightmare Birds !

5 Stars for The Nightmare Birds !

And this is why I interviewed Author Amie Irene Winters…

My Amazon review of The Nightmare Birds –

“A must read for fantasy lovers who love adventure!”

“WOW, the first book in this series was great, but The Nightmare Birds was so much better! LOVED the surprise ending!! Now I can’t wait to read the next book.

Original plot, unusual, captivating, memorable characters and story line. A must read for fantasy lovers. I wish I had time to give a more thorough review. I’m just not doing this book justice. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.”

That’s my Amazon review for The Nightmare Birds, the second book in Amie Irene Winters’ fascinating STRANGE LUCK series. Below is a partial recap of my interview with her earlier this month:

“There are three books planned in the Strange Luck series. In Book I, Strange Luck, eighteen-year-old Daisy Darling uncovers a world built using stolen memories.  It is in this world that Daisy discovers that she possesses unexplainable and unique abilities that she uses to battle the dark forces at play.

Book II, The Nightmare Birds, flashes forward to Daisy at twenty-one-years-old and uncovers more of her strange abilities and how they tie in to her heritage. In the process, Daisy uncovers the truth about the mysterious Theater of Secrets – long thought a dark legend by many, but known as a frightening reality to those who truly know its powers.  As Daisy assumes her new role as ringleader, she not only discovers a surprising connection between herself and the previous ringleader, but also the haunting truth behind the theater’s limitless power.

I’m working on Book III, A Darling Secret, right now. It’s expected to be released in winter 2017. You can sign up for my newsletter here to be notified about new book releases and special promos.”

 

 

Amie Irene Winters, Author of Strange Luck and The Nightmare Birds

Amie Irene Winters, Author of Strange Luck and The Nightmare Birds

Our guest for today, Amie Irene Winters, author of bestselling novels, Strange Luck, and Nightmare Birds.

Amie, congratulations on becoming an Amazon Bestseller! If you had one word of advice for struggling writers, what would it be?

Thank you! It was a long-time goal of mine and it feels very strange now that it’s finally happened.

Here’s my best advice for struggling authors:

  • Don’t ever give up writing! It’s okay to take breaks from your book. It’s normal to feel burned out. It’s normal to be upset if you get a rejection or bad review. The good news is that it does get easier with time and experience. At the end of the day the most important thing is focusing on your craft.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. Every author and book is unique, so one type of marketing technique might work for one author, but not another. It’s all trial and error. Just don’t get too caught up in the marketing and repeatedly changing things. Writing a stellar book should be your number one priority.

I was privileged to recently read Strange Luck, a fun, truly unique and original tale. What I found the most striking was the Darling shop for haunted “junk.” There has to be a real-life story behind this idea. Please tell!

I’m so glad you enjoyed Strange Luck! Yes, there is a real-life story behind it. That being…I love to antique! My antiquing addiction started when I was a little girl and my parents would take me to garage sales and antique fairs. Oh, the wondrous things I would see and learn! Each object was a unique piece of history, and sometimes the story was more intriguing than the actual antique.

A lot of the antiques in the Strange Luck shop were inspired by real things I’ve seen or read about over the years. For example, the fortune-telling cricket is real! Well, sort of. Growing up, my parents had a little cricket statue in our living room. When I got older, I asked where it had come from and my mom told me it was given to her by my great grandma who said it would bring their home good luck. I always thought that was neat, so when it came time for me to live in a house of my own, my mom gave me the cricket. Since then, it’s traveled across the country with me and it currently resides in my living room.

You can learn more about some of the peculiar antiques of Strange Luck here: http://www.amieirenewinters.com/antiquesofstrangeluck.html

–  Fascinating! Being a lover of owls, I especially like the owl clock.

I read in your bio that you have a Masters Degree in Environmental Leadership, my immediate thought was, “Wow, such a big step from that to writing,” but as I think back at the fantastical adventure in Strange Luck, I have to ask, “How did your background influence your writing?”

Yes, it was certainly a leap, but the experience has definitely influenced my writing. They say to “write what you know”. Since I’m an outdoorsy girl, I found it easy for my protagonist to be one, too. Daisy’s a bit of a tomboy who loves hiking and camping. The trails she hikes and places she goes are based on some of my favorite real-life places in California.

With that in mind, do you ever write outside? And if so, do you have a favorite place to write?

Not really. I’ve found it difficult to find a good spot that isn’t distracting. I also primarily work on my laptop, so I’m always battling with the glare from the sun. Occasionally I’ll write ideas in my notebook outside, but that’s only during the beginning stages of drafting a book.

I believe you’ve written a sequel to Strange Luck, “The Nightmare Birds.” The description on your website looks enticing. What can you tell us about the book and where do you see your series going from here?

Yes. There are three books planned in the Strange Luck series. In Book I, Strange Luck, eighteen-year-old Daisy Darling uncovers a world built using stolen memories.  It is in this world that Daisy discovers that she possesses unexplainable and unique abilities that she uses to battle the dark forces at play.

Book II, The Nightmare Birds, flashes forward to Daisy at twenty-one-years-old and uncovers more of her strange abilities and how they tie in to her heritage. In the process, Daisy uncovers the truth about the mysterious Theater of Secrets – long thought a dark legend by many, but known as a frightening reality to those who truly know its powers.  As Daisy assumes her new role as ringleader, she not only discovers a surprising connection between herself and the previous ringleader, but also the haunting truth behind the theater’s limitless power.

I’m working on Book III, A Darling Secret, right now. It’s expected to be released in winter 2017. You can sign up for my newsletter here to be notified about new book releases and special promos.

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00XZ88V5A

Blog: https://golden-cricket.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aiwinters

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13851542.Amie_Irene_Winters

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amieiwinters/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmieIWinters

Website: http://www.amieirenewinters.com

 

Amie, thanks so much for joining us today. It was truly a pleasure, and best of luck with your writing. I look forward to reading Nightmare Birds. Such an amazing cover!

And to my readers, thanks so much for joining us here on “Please Welcome!” Again, our guest today was Author Amie Irene Winters. Her books are available in both ebook and paperback format. Check out “Strange Luck” you’ll be glad you did!

Our guest next time on “Please Welcome!” will be SJ Hermann, author of the Morium Trilogy and my personal favorite, Splintered Love.