Interview with P.S. Bartlett, Author of Demons & Pearls

Demons_&_Pearls_Cover_for_Kindle

Welcome back. I’m pleased to share P.S. Bartlett’s interview with you, and look forward to hearing your thoughts.

An Interview with P.S. Bartlett

Pirate meHow old were you when you wrote your first piece?

I honestly don’t remember but I started very early writing poems. I used to make my own greeting cards as a child, complete with illustrations. I thought I would grow up to work for Hallmark.

What made you write it?

Lack of money I suppose and having plenty of ideas and art supplies.

What have you written since then?

Poetry, short stories, plays and in recent years, novels. I am about to publish my fourth novel in two years.

What was the inspiration for your current book?

My favorite inspiration; PIRATES!

Tell us a little about it, and where it’s available.

I’ve developed a pattern of what I call writing backwards. It sounds a little crazy I know but twice now, I’ve written a novel and instead of moving forward in time, I want to go back to the beginning and find out what makes my characters tick and why they became who they are.

This story is the beginning of Ivory Shepard. Ivory is a fictional character but the things she goes through and the life she lives as she is becoming the woman she ends up being, is authentically pirate based. Ivory and her cousins are orphaned at a young age during a Spanish raid on Charles Towne, South Carolina and left to fend for themselves. They end up surviving and doing well for themselves until one night, the pirates show up.

This book chronicles the lives of the four cousins as they embark on a journey to Port Royal aboard a pirate ship and what comes after. The next book in the series, Jaded Tides, will follow them even further into their lives as pirates.

Is there a particular place or setting where you get your writing ideas?

The easy answer is no. I can get ideas anywhere from sitting and watching television, reading or driving in my truck. It’s storing it all in my memory until I can get to my computer that is the challenge.

What made you choose either traditional or independent publishing?

I tried to go traditional but I was rejected so many times I can’t even remember. The only book I submitted to agents was my first novel, Fireflies. Fireflies went on to win awards, including the silver medal in paranormal fiction from Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews and Awards. I guess agents don’t always get it right.

If you had to choose the most important element in an author’s platform, what would it be?

Good relationships with other authors and peers in the industry. I have made friendships and connections with people that I believe will be life-long. We support each other through ideas, suggestions and encouragement, as well as advertising and social media.

What mistakes have you made in regards to publishing and marketing your work, and what will you do differently in the future?

I’m not sure if I’ve made any mistakes other than paying a good deal for certain types of advertising on book web sites. Other than that, my mistakes have all been learning experiences and we all have to make them in order to find our way.

Do you have an idea for your next book?

I actually have two books in the works right now. The first is jaded Tides, which is the second book in the Razor’s Adventures series and it is almost half written. The second is collaboration with another writer on another book that will be a part of the series but will focus on a different main character. I don’t want to give any more away on that one though!


Thanks for stopping by. If you have any further questions for P.S. Bartlett, please leave them in the comments. I’m sure she would love to hear from you.

Mel

Introducing Demons & Pearls by P.S. Bartlett

This is the first of two posts focusing on P.S. Bartlett and her new release – Demons & Pearls. Later this afternoon I will be sharing an interview with you, but for now – here is information about the exciting new novel, which includes a sneak peak. Enjoy!

Title: DEMONS & PEARLS
Author: P.S. Bartlett
Release Day: April 14th, 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction/Adventure/Romance

Demons_&_Pearls_Cover_for_KindleBlurb-
Had I known the repercussions of murdering the captain of a pirate ship, I may have taken the time necessary to rethink the act. As if I’ve ever had a choice that didn’t involve a fight or at the very least, defending myself against some man, hell bent on destroying me or my kin.
All we wanted was our freedom. All we found were demons disguised as men.
A woman pirate needs friends, big strong male friends, to survive in this unforgiving land of thieves and murderers—at least until she gets on her feet. Of course, trying to find one person you can trust is like finding an oyster with a perfect pearl in it—you have to break a few shells and get your hands dirty. We were lucky. I found the biggest, baddest and most honorable man in the Caribbean and he just happened to be in the pearl business.

Author PhotoAuthor Bio:
I was born on Valentine’s Day a long, long time ago in South Baltimore, Maryland, less than a mile from Fort McHenry and Federal Hill. I’m a very simple person. I love my life and am always striving to make it better for myself and my family.
I write, I draw and I still work full-time. I’ve been married for 20 years and together we have two sons, a daughter, three beautiful granddaughters and a ten year old Maine Coon cat named Columbus.

Links:

Web Site: http://psbartlett.me/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSBartlett

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

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7012732.P_S_Bartlett

Instagram: Author_P.S.Bartlett

Amazon

Thunderclap

Sneak Peak

Caught in the middle of the Golden Age of Piracy, four young women, led by their eldest cousin, Ivory Shepard, have escaped a pirate raid and bought passage aboard a pirate ship to Port Royal, Jamaica.
With no more than their smarts and their will to carry them, they end up caught in a battle for their lives. They have been betrayed by the ship’s captain and unfortunately realize that as women, they are worse off in this new world than they were in the old one.

This is their story as told by Ivory Shepard, also known as…The Razor.

Chapter One
~No Quarter~

Had I known the repercussions of murdering the captain of a pirate ship, I may have taken the time necessary to rethink the act. However, as I stood over the bloody, lifeless body of Captain Christopher Barclay, as well as no less than seven of his crew, as usual it was too late to change my mind. Change my mind, indeed. As if I had a choice.

As if I’ve ever had a choice that didn’t involve a fight, or at the very least, defending myself against someone hell-bent on destroying me or my kin. I must always follow my instincts, regardless of the fallout of my actions. Had I not done so, I most certainly would not have lived to see the rest of this unspeakable day.

I pleaded with the Captain not to kill them all. If he’d have only been more of a man and less a murderous monster, perhaps this day may have ended for him as he lay down at last, safe and whole in his bunk. Alas, this was not to be. Instead, the surge of the battle within him overtook his senses, and he snatched me by the back of my neck.

“Miss Shepard, take your ladies below. And should these swabs be foolish enough to fight back, and God forbid we lose this fight, kill your cousins… and then yourself. Trust me, you’ll not wish to draw breath should that pack of dogs board us.”

“I’ll send them below, but I’ll not pass up the chance at last to show your own pack of dogs who I am.” What the hell was I thinking?

“It’s your pretty head. If the first sight of a sail dropped you to your knees, let’s hope you can stay on your feet when they bare their fangs and lunge at your throat.”

“I’ll live, Captain. And perhaps you haven’t noticed, but they’re not ladies anymore. Today shall prove that.” We’d spent weeks in rags, cleaning up after pirates, listening to their vile comments, and working as virtual slaves in order to secure our passage to Jamaica. I wondered constantly why we hadn’t been violated yet, but I held onto the hope that a pirate could in fact, keep his word.

Perhaps I’d had enough and was ready for a fight. Considering I had fallen to my knees when I heard the call of “Sail!” and had shaken like a leaf at the sight of these men scrambling about, loading guns and making preparations for a fight, one would have thought I’d have run and hidden with my cousins. But, no; as usual, I had something to prove.

“Such a shame to waste such charms. Look at you,” he said, taking me roughly by the jaw with his filthy paw, from which I jerked free instantly. “You’ve lost your youthful glow to the harsh wind and sun, and if you ever had a tender inch, you’ve buried it beneath the vines of bitterness you’ve wrapped yourself in. Tell me, Ivory, who did this to you? Who plucked the rose and left the thorns?”

“Those who would step over that gunnel will meet my blade before another unwanted and indecent hand breaches my striking distance. I’ll remove that hand and take his arm as well, and if that doesn’t stop him, his head.”

“Such a tragedy you are, and since I’ve my own tragic story to write, it’s time to give back to the world what she’s bestowed upon us, my dear. Ready the guns! Do not fire until I give the order! She’s no fucking good in a million pieces!” Barclay roared over our heads as he raced, broadsword in hand, to the stern and stood at her highest point.

“Shepard, get your skinny ass up here! You want to be free?”

“I will be free!” I shouted at him. There was no turning back now.

“Bring her around! We’ll rake her from the bow and then take her from the starboard side!” He barked to the helmsman. I’d never heard this voice before. It wasn’t a voice. It was the roar of a mighty lion, and the mere sound of it vibrated through my skin.

As his call to arms passed through me, a deafening hum pierced my brain and I sheathed my sword and cupped the sides of my head, in an attempt to silence it. When I let go, the only sound I heard was my own heartbeat, which I imagined was well over one hundred beats per minute. In the background, strangled beneath the thumping drumbeats that felt as if they were about to split my chest, were the thunderous cries of the crew. The muffled screams and fearsome bellows of men in search of blood and fortune were barely audible behind the wall of my excruciating terror.

I glanced up and over the side, watching as the panicked crew of our prey scrambled wildly about, dodging the incoming gunfire, obviously unprepared in both arms and numbers for such an assault. Unable to believe what I was seeing, I lowered my hands for a moment and swallowed hard. I watched in horror as the first man at the rail of our prize lost the left side of his skull in a spatter of bone and bloodied skin. The gun flew from his hands, and his feet left the deck simultaneously, sending him bouncing backwards out of this life and unnaturally into the next, as nothing more than a heap of dead flesh.

I think I screamed and then felt a pop deep within my eardrums. All at once, the echoes of deadly battle at last bashed their way in. Gunfire and the thumps and clinks of grappling hooks dropping to the deck in preparation to make capture were sharp, and what I could clearly see and hear was matched sight for sound at last.

“Fire!” Barclay ordered. All five guns kicked back with a deafening boom, shaking the Demon Sea. I lost my footing from the jolt and coughed hard repeatedly as gunpowder and choking smoke filled the air. As we came about to the starboard side of what was obviously no more than a merchant ship, the smoke cleared in the windy spray, and Barclay called to hold fire. I looked across the water to find all those left standing shoulder to shoulder on their deck. Their arms were raised and their meager weapons lay at their feet. The damage done by what I knew to be chain shot—Barclay’s preferred method of maximum devastation—left blood, flesh, and splintered wood as far as my eyes could see.

“Take her lads; she’s all ours!” Barclay shouted as he sheathed his sword and snatched me by the back of my neck again. “Look, girl! Do you see those twenty or so swabs with their tails tucked in their asses? I’m about to give the order of no quarter. Do you know what that means?”

“No quarter?” I asked, shaking free of his grip and pushing him off as I backed away in horror. “Why? They surrendered, and yet you’d…”

“That’s right, lass. Kill them all,” he growled with a smile.

“That’s a coward’s maneuver, Barclay. Those aren’t pirates; they’re sailors trying to make a living.”

“We’re about to take their living. What will they have to live for, once it’s ours?”

Barclay’s eyes shined, and at last I could see the monster he truly was. I pulled my sword and pointed it at him as I lowered my head and looked up into his cold, dead eyes. “Call them off. Take the loot and let the living go,” I commanded. Once again, I had no idea what I was thinking. This was none of my affair, and yet something in me couldn’t bear the thought of what he planned to do.

Barclay burst into laughter. “Hold your claws, little kitty, before I rip them out and feed you to the dogs!”

“We’ve been here before, remember? This time, I won’t stop when I pierce your yellow hide.”

“Oh, but you will,” Barclay said with a smooth purr. Then, a thick forearm clamped around my neck from behind and pulled me off my feet. I dropped my sword and dug my nails into my assailant’s hard flesh, and I kicked him again and again. The more I resisted, the more his grip tightened against my throat. The man twisted and turned, causing me to swing from the neck down like a clock’s pendulum. With a loud pop and a violent jerk, his arm pulled free, and I was sent flying hard against the boards, flat on my face and struggling for air.


Don’t forget to stop by this afternoon when I will be interviewing P.S. Bartlett.

Mel

Interview with Karen Mann – Author of The Woman of La Mancha

Karen Mann, author of The Woman of La Mancha and The Saved Man, kindly agreed to an interview. Here is what Karen has to say about her writing process.

karenmannphoto-2Interview with Karen Mann

What is your first memory of writing?

In third grade, my best friend got in trouble with the teacher, and I thought my friend was treated unfairly. I wrote a play, like a court-room scene, that explained the incident as I thought it really happened. I can’t remember now if I had the courage to even show the teacher, but I do remember writing made me feel as if I had some power and had control over the situation, even though that situation didn’t have anything to do with me.

When and why did you begin writing?

I loved to read as a child, and I believed I could create stories, just as the authors I read did. But I had a feeling I wasn’t any good at it, and I didn’t know how to get better. I don’t think I even realized there were classes for creative writing when I went to college. I was in my late thirties when I decided that I had to find a class that would teach me how to write because I wanted to write.

Do you have a specific writing style?

All of my ideas for my manuscripts come to me in connection with some experience I have. My mind leaps from the experience to an idea for a novel. When I begin writing, I hear the characters talking and I see scenes and events in the novel. I have ideas that seem unrelated to anything I have written before, so I think my writing style changes from manuscript to manuscript.

How did you come up with the title?

The Woman of La Mancha is a companion book to Don Quixote, which has been brought to stage and screen under the title of The Man of La Mancha. My title seemed a natural for the woman’s story of Don Quixote.

Are your characters or scenes based on someone you know or events in your own life?

All of my characters have parts of me or parts of someone I know. Sometimes I take physical characteristics from someone I know but the character’s personality might be completely different or pieces of other people I know or characters I’ve met in other books. What has been interesting to me is that the tiniest experience in real life might find its way in a book and that’s helpful because you can flesh out characters or scenes based on your experiences but the story comes from your imagination. Using your own experiences is time-saving because you don’t have to make up everything about the book. The experiences get woven in.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Sena Jeter Naslund, award-winning author of the modern classic Ahab’s Wife and eight other books, is my mentor and colleague. My first creative writing class was taught by Sena. She challenged me from the beginning to improve my writing. Even after I was no longer her student, she would give me writing assignments that I took very seriously. I’ve been to dozens of her talks about her books and every time I hear something new about how to be writer or how to be a good friend to writers. Dozens, maybe hundreds of people, would say Sena was their mentor because she has taught hundreds of students. She is warm, intelligent, and generous, and there is much to learn from her and from her writing.

Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers?

If you like historical fiction, I think you’ll like The Woman of La Mancha, which is set solidly in sixteenth-century Spain, the time of the end of chivalry, Cervantes and Shakespeare, and the settling of the New World. There is a knight who quests after his maiden. And a maiden who is lost and needs to be reunited with her family and her knight. It explores the contemporary questions of how we treat one another and how we take ownership of our own lives. The book is tongue-in-cheek and serious at the same time. There is romance and sadness. The story is mysterious and true-to-life.

Do you suffer from writers block?

I don’t really believe in writer’s block. If I sit down to write, I can write. It might not be very good, but I can write until it gets better or I can go back and revise. Although I make this statement, and I have to say, I’m stuck on a manuscript that I am writing right now, but it doesn’t feel the same as writer’s block. I can’t write on it because I haven’t figured out the story all the way through and I’m not sure how to proceed. This has never happened to me. With all my other manuscripts the story came to me as I wrote it. The story is a dystopian sci-fi set 70 years in the future. There has to be a world war or something; maybe I just can’t write about that.

What was your favourite chapter to write?

Chapter 24 “in which Guido is challenged by Honor” was my favorite chapter to write in The Woman of La Mancha. One of the scenes came to me totally unplanned and unexpected. It wrote itself as smooth as butter (much of it coming in iambic pentameter which has mostly been edited out). When you are writing like that it’s the best high in the world. The chapter expresses the core of several themes of the book: the roles of the sexes, equality of women, and honor. It a chapter that I love but cannot read from at a reading because it gives away too much of the plot and needs a lot of set up for it to make sense.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given by another writer?

There is a difference between true to life and true to fiction. The funniest, saddest, most outrageous things—the things we think will be the most interesting in our novels—that happen in real life often do not work in fiction. We have to be able to let go of the intersection of our life and our story in order to write the best fiction.

Is there any advice you’d like to share?

Do not shy away from revision. Take advice from your readers if they say something is confusing or doesn’t make sense, fix it. Be willing to delete your most favorite scenes for the sake of your writing. Avoid didacticism and sentimentality, which is easy to do if you avoid abstractions and write scenes, dialogue, and characters that are fresh and evoke honest emotions and vivid scenes.


Karen Mann is the author of The Woman of La Mancha and The Saved Man. She is the co-founder and Administrative Director of the low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program at Spalding University (www.spalding.edu/mfa). She is also the managing editor of The Louisville Review, a national literary magazine since 1976 (www.louisvillereview.org). Having lived in Indiana most of her life, she now lives in San Jose, California. See more about her books at www.karenmannwrites.com.


coverauthorbuzz-2The Woman of La Mancha, a companion book to Don Quixote, tells the woman’s story of Don Quixote by recounting the story of the girl he called Dulcinea, the woman he loved from afar.

It’s 1583. An eleven-year-old girl wakes in the back of a cart. She has lost her memory and is taken in by a kindly farm family in La Mancha. She adopts the name Aldonza. She doesn’t speak for quite some time. Once she speaks, there is a family member who is jealous of her and causes a good deal of trouble, even causing her to be forced to leave La Mancha in tragic circumstances. Having to create a new life in a new location and still unaware of her birth family, she adopts the name Dulcinea and moves in the circles of nobility. While seeking her identity, she becomes the consort of wealthy men, finds reason to disguise herself as a man, and learns herbal healing to help others.

There is a parallel story of a young man, Don Christopher, a knight of King Philip and the betrothed of the girl, who sets off on with a young squire, Sancho, to find the girl. Christopher’s adventures take them across Spain and force him to grow up. Does he continue the quest to find his betrothed or marry another and break the contract with the king?

Both young people have many experiences and grow up before the readers’ eyes. Floating in and out of each other’s paths as they travel around Spain, will they eventually find each other and be together?

Author Spotlight: New Release by Charles E Yallowitz – Sleeper of the Wildwood Fugue

LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE:
SLEEPER OF THE WILDWOOD FUGUE
LIVE on Amazon Kindle!

Art by Jason Pedersen
Art by Jason Pedersen

The final champion stirs and reaches out to any who can hear her voice. Yet all who heed her call will disappear into the misty fugue.

Awakening their new ally is only the beginning as Luke, Nyx, and their friends head south to the desert city of Bor’daruk. Hunting for another temple once used to seal Baron Kernaghan, they are unaware that the game of destiny has changed. Out for blood and pain, Stephen is determined to make Luke wish he’d never set out to become a hero.

By the time the sun sets on Bor’daruk, minds will be shattered and the champions’ lives will be changed forever.

Don’t forget to mark it as ‘To Read’ on Goodreads too!

Charles E. Yallowitz
Charles E. Yallowitz

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: Legends of Windemere
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

Read the Previous Volumes of Legends of Windemere!!!

BEGINNING OF A HERO

PRODIGY OF RAINBOW TOWER

ALLURE OF THE GYPSIES

FAMILY OF THE TRI-RUNE

THE COMPASS KEY

CURSE OF THE DARK WIND

Meet Michael, everyone! The delightful archangel, brought to you by Patricia Josephine

perf6.000x9.000.inddThere is only one path.

Born mortal along with his three brothers, Michael is an Archangel with a specific role: hunt fallen angels and send them back to Hell. He is determined in his mission, never straying from his appointed path, until he meets Lake Divine, and discovers there may be more to his beliefs than blind duty.

But Lake is not who he seems. Offspring of a human and a fallen angel, a Nephilim, Lake must choose his own destiny: give in to the coldness and embrace the dark, or seek the light and rise above the sins of his father.

Two paths lay before them, but only one has the potential to destroy them both.

I shared the cover for Michael, Path of Angels a few weeks ago, and I’m thrilled to announce that Michael’s story is now available on Amazon.

As a release week treat, Patricia shared a character interview with us. So, here’s Michael!

1. Let’s start with the basics. Tell us a bit about yourself and what makes you tick.

Michael: I am a reincarnated archangel. It s my duty to find fallen angels and send them back to hell. There’s not much more to my life than that.

2. Do you have any hobbies, favorite TV shows, books? Anything you fangirl/boy over?

Michael: I suppose I’d sound like a religious fanatic if I said the Bible. It’s not my favorite book anyways. When I was younger I was a big fan of The Hobbit. Always imagined going on an adventure. Which I am on now. There’s no dragon at the end of this journey though and I’m not sure it will ever end.

3. What is one thing from your past you’re most proud of?

Michael: There isn’t one thing I can specify. My past is full of few regrets and lots of happy memories.

4. Let’s play favorites:

Pepsi or Coke?
Michael: Coke. Fizz lasts longer.

Pie or Cake?
Michael: Cake. Got some?

White or dark chocolate?
Michael: Dark. Mmmm.

Playstation 4 or Xbox 1or WiiU?
Michael: Haven’t played any of those. Too busy hunting fallen angels.

Paperback book or ebook?
Michael: I prefer the feel of a real book in my hands.

Summer or winter?
Michael: Summer. The grass, the flowers, it reminds me of Heaven.

Puppies or kittens?
Michael: How can you chose? They’re both cute and cuddly.

Vampires or werewolves?
Michael: Werewolves. They seem the lesser of the two evils.


About the Author:

PatriciaLynneAuthorPicPatricia Josephine never set out to become a writer. In fact, she never considered it an option during high school and college. She was all about art. On a whim, she wrote down a story bouncing in her head. That was the start of it and she hasn’t regretted a moment. She writes young adult under the name Patricia Lynne.

 

Patricia lives with her husband in Michigan, hopes one day to have what will resemble a small petting zoo, has a fondness for dying her hair the colors of the rainbow, and an obsession with Doctor Who.

Links:

Twitter

Website

Google+

Wattpad

Goodreads

Finding a Writing Community – Guest Post by Karen Mann

coverauthorbuzz-2

Finding a Writing Community
By Karen Mann

We know writing is a solitary occupation. Writers are often introverts and like being alone. But most of us don’t want to keep our writing to ourselves. We write in hopes someone will read our writing. It’s important to find a writing community with which to share your work. If publication is your goal, you’ll want to get opinions and tips from other writers before sending out a submission or approaching an agent or editor. Here are some tips for finding a writing community that benefits you.

Find a writing group. Writing groups are usually 4-6 people who meet regularly and exchange writing. Members critique other members’ work, and members revise based on suggestions. Check your community news for local groups, or search online to find one in your area. Writing groups are usually free to join unlike the next suggestions.

Go to a writers’ conference. A writers’ conference offers various features, such as talks by authors, agents, or editors; mini-classes; workshops; manuscript critiques; plus connection with other writers. Writers’ conferences often have themes, such as mystery, romance, fiction, screenwriting, etc. Newpages.com has a list of writers’ conferences and events under Writers Resources.

Take a writing class. You may find courses through adult education, community colleges, or universities. If you take a class to improve your writing and find a community, enroll in a local class rather than taking an online class.

Join a writing association. Many states or large cities have writing associations that offer many opportunities for writers. Search for lists of writing associations, and you’ll find one near you. Associations often have conferences, classes, groups, and readings.

Attend an MFA in Writing program. MFA in Writing programs not only give you the chance to work with an author instructor, but also a chance to cultivate a community with others who have a passion for writing just like you. Low-residency MFA in Writing programs allow adults to improve their writing by earning a degree without moving to a college town. Each semester begins with a residency, usually 7-10 days, after which students return home to study through an exchange of writing, or perhaps online workshops, with an experienced mentor. Through an alumni association, MFA program connections last longer than you’ll be a student; they can last a lifetime. You’ll make friends who not only share your love of writing but also care about you.

Finding a community is essential to nurturing your love of writing. Take a break from the writing and find some writer friends—for critiquing, for a literary discussion, for sharing, or maybe just for lunch!

karenmannphoto-2Karen Mann is the author of The Woman of La Mancha and The Saved Man. She is the co-founder and Administrative Director of the low-residency Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program at Spalding University (www.spalding.edu/mfa). She is also the managing editor of The Louisville Review, a national literary magazine since 1976 (www.louisvillereview.org). Having lived in Indiana most of her life, she now lives in San Jose, California. See more about her books at http://www.karenmannwrites.com.

About The Woman of La Mancha:

coverauthorbuzz-2The Woman of La Mancha, a companion book to Don Quixote, tells the woman’s story of Don Quixote by recounting the story of the girl he called Dulcinea, the woman he loved from afar.

It’s 1583. An eleven-year-old girl wakes in the back of a cart. She has lost her memory and is taken in by a kindly farm family in La Mancha. She adopts the name Aldonza. She doesn’t speak for quite some time. Once she speaks, there is a family member who is jealous of her and causes a good deal of trouble, even causing her to be forced to leave La Mancha in tragic circumstances. Having to create a new life in a new location and still unaware of her birth family, she adopts the name Dulcinea and moves in the circles of nobility. While seeking her identity, she becomes the consort of wealthy men, finds reason to disguise herself as a man, and learns herbal healing to help others.

There is a parallel story of a young man, Don Christopher, a knight of King Philip and the betrothed of the girl, who sets off on with a young squire, Sancho, to find the girl. Christopher’s adventures take them across Spain and force him to grow up. Does he continue the quest to find his betrothed or marry another and break the contract with the king?

Both young people have many experiences and grow up before the readers’ eyes. Floating in and out of each other’s paths as they travel around Spain, will they eventually find each other and be together?

Bound by Fate – Episode 7 of the Shadow Stalker Series by Renee Scattergood

It is my great pleasure to introduce Episode 7 of the Shadow Stalker series by Renee Scattergood. In Bound by Fate, we follow Auren into unknown territory as she undergoes compulsory treatment within a Reconciliation Centre. It is an emotionally fraught episode, with danger at every turn. Just when it seems that Auren might find her loved ones and gain information to help fight against the war, her worse nightmare comes true – her true identity is discovered. It is an episode which will leave your hungry for more.

 
E7 KindleAuren escapes the Dark Isle to find things are worse on Appolia than she imagined. Very few have survived the invasion of the Galvadi Empire, and even her best friend, Jade, has gone missing.

While attempting a rescue, Auren is captured and faces abuse and torture at the hands of her enemies. She knows as long as she can hide her true identity, she might succeed in helping the Coalition, but one of the Galvadi knows she is the delohi-saqu. For his silence, she is forced to pay the ultimate price.

Purchase at Smashwords

Shadow Stalker: Bound by Fate (Episode 7) Excerpt
By Renee Scattergood

Once inside the office, I closed the door behind me and felt my way to the computer. I didn’t want to risk turning on a light, so had to figure out how to turn on the machine in the dark. As it turned out, the computer was in standby mode. It came to life as soon as I touched the screen. I’d used similar computers in school, so it wasn’t difficult to navigate. It was simply a matter of finding the right file.

I spotted one labeled “Residents”. Really? They called their prisoners residents? I opened the file and, sure enough, I found a list of detainees assigned to this reconciliation center, which was apparently called, Brynn. I scrolled down, barely breathing when I came to “Z” and saw my father’s name. He was here. They were keeping him in a cell in block D. I was in E block, which meant he couldn’t be too far. I felt a nagging pull in my gut, but I dismissed it as the effect of knowing my father was close by.

As I was closing the folder, another file labeled “Shadow Stalker Attenuation” caught my eye. I opened it and saw a folder labeled “Recinder”. A recinder is a circular collar worn on the neck by shadow stalkers. The alloy, Beryllonium, contains properties which interfere with a shadow stalker’s ability to use their powers. All captured shadow stalkers, if not sentenced to death, are fitted with a recinder. Once locked in place, the recinder cannot be removed unless cut with a specific tool.

I flicked through the file. Apparently, the alloy was also used to make weapons against the shadow stalkers, something Kado had referred to. If I could somehow get the information to the Coalition, there was a chance they could find a way to counter it. But I knew my time had run out as soon as I heard voices in the corridor. I switched the computer to standby, wondering at the pull inside me. It was stronger than before. I hesitated in the dark, reluctant to reenter the shadow world, especially after reading about the recinders, and the alloy used to make them.

The door swung open before I made my decision, and by then it was too late. They saw me before they switched on the light. Two guides stood in the doorway, gazing at me from beneath their robes.

“Well, well,” one of them said, dropping his hood.

It was Makari. But how? And why was he dressed like a guide?

“If it isn’t my little lizard.”


Renee ScattergoodRenee Scattergood, author of the fantasy series, Shadow Stalker, and novella, Demon Hunt, lives in Australia with her husband and daughter. Aside from writing, she loves reading (Fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter. Find out more about her, and sign up for her newsletter on her blog: http://reneescattergood.com

Author Pages:

Renee Writes: http://reneescattergood.com/ – my personal website and blog.

Renee’s Author Spotlight: http://reneesauthorspotlight.blogspot.com.au/ – a blog where I feature indie and small press authors.

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00NTJY1W2

Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/rscatts

Social Media:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/reneescatts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReneeScatts

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/118427336236369690813/+ReneescattergoodAuthor/posts

 

 

 

Take Me Tomorrow – Review

takemetomorrow
Click on the image to be taken to Amazon and get your copy!

Two years after the massacre, the State enforces stricter rules and harsher punishments on anyone rumored to support tomo – the clairvoyant drug that caused a regional uprising.

But sixteen-year-old Sophia Gray has other problems.

Between her father’s illegal forgery and her friend’s troubling history, the last thing Sophia needs is an unexpected encounter with a boy.

He’s wild, determined, and one step ahead of her. But when his involvement with tomo threatens her friends and family, Sophia has to make a decision: fight for a future she cannot see or sacrifice her loved ones to the world of tomorrow.

Review

Take Me Tomorrow is the kind of tale you want to finish in one sitting. It is so easy to get lost in the excitement of Sophia’s journey. Told in first person, Sophia’s voice is so engaging she gets in your head. She faces danger and uncertainty at every turn, and you’re right there with her until the end.

The setting is an intriguing one, throwing the reader into unfamiliar territory and because you’re already invested, this adds to the feeling of uncertainty when Sophia’s world is turned upside down. It is a marvellous mystery, a real page turner. Even the chapter headings are a hook, teasing the reader into one more taste!

Take Me Tomorrow deals with difficult issues in a rather unique way. The author flips these topics on their head, forcing her readers to think about immigration and drug addiction from an entirely different perspective.

At its heart, it is a story of friendship and survival. Those friendships are expertly told, so that each character stands out in their own right. It is a highly enjoyable read.


You can find out more about Shannon and her work here.

Take Me Tomorrow by Shannon A. Thompson

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Today I have the great pleasure in welcoming Shannon A. Thompson, author of Take Me Tomorrow and Minutes Before Sunset (part of The Timely Death Trilogy). Shannon kindly agreed to an interview, and I thoroughly enjoyed our discussion. Later today I will be providing a review of Take Me Tomorrow, but for now, here’s Shannon to tell you a little more about it.

 

 

Interview with Shannon A. Thompson

I read in one of your articles that, growing up, most of your friends were guys. I can relate to that. Do you think that’s why you felt so comfortable writing about male experiences? Because you shared a number of close friendships at a pivotal age?

It’s difficult to say why I write more about males than females, but on top of being friends with more males, I was also (mainly) raised by males. My mother died when I was eleven, so I spent most of my teenage years with my father and my brother and my brother’s friends, so I gravitated toward befriending more males. So, yes, I think growing up around males has affected my writing in the sense that you will see more males around the females, and you will see males that are simply just friends with females (no romantic feelings), not just because I feel comfortable writing stories that way but also because I think it’s important to show those relationships in fiction since male-female friendships get a lot of judgment in society. On that topic, I wrote an article called Why Most of My Characters Are Male: http://shannonathompson.com/2014/10/08/why-most-of-my-characters-are-male/

Thanks for sharing the article. As I said, I can relate to your experiences, and I agree that it’s important to reflect positive male-female friendships. You certainly did that in Take Me Tomorrow – I enjoyed the dynamics of the group. The ending left me wanting more (in a good way!) How many novels will be in the series?

There are three novels in The Tomo Trilogy: Take Me Tomorrow, Take Me Yesterday, and Take Me Now. That being said, my original publisher for this series closed down, so these books are no longer under a contract. I do have a new publisher – so there is still hope for this series – but for now, I’m concentrating on re-releasing The Timely Death Trilogy with Clean Teen Publishing, and I will keep everyone updated about all of my novels via www.ShannonAThompson.com

I’m sure I can speak for my readers when I say, we’ll keep our fingers crossed that the new publisher offers a contract for The Tomo Trilogy. You mentioned in an article that the idea came to you after a discussion with your father. Did this include the characters or did they only begin to take shape when you decided on the plot?

The characters definitely came later. My father and I were discussing drugs and addiction and what it might look like in the future if we keep treating drugs and addiction how we treat it now. Drugs and addiction is very close to my heart. My mother died of a drug overdose, so I spent many years of my childhood trying to understand drugs – legal and illegal – and how they affect society. This post is probably the most important post I’ve written about Take Me Tomorrow: Why I Write About Immigration, Drugs, and Addiction: http://shannonathompson.com/2014/07/18/why-i-write-about-immigration-drugs-and-addiction/

I can image that the series is close to your heart. I enjoyed the article. You found a unique way to tackle the subject of immigration and drug addiction. 

Let’s talk more about your process. Do you plan out a novel (or series), or do you take a more flexible approach?

I am definitely a planner, but I like to look at novel writing as a road trip. I have a beginning, ending, and a few spots in-between in mind, but I am always up for a detour. The characters are always in charge, and they often change my plans, but I do have a detailed plan before I begin. I even write a screenplay before I write the novel. 

I love the idea of writing a screenplay, that’s certainly one way to get your characters communicating! One thing I found compelling about the novel, was undoubtedly the mystery. It was a definite hook. Did you struggle with the balance at any point, or did you know exactly when to drop vital information?

The mystery happened naturally. It’s confusing for me to say this, but since I knew more than Sophia, it wasn’t really a mystery to me. In fact, many times I was fighting myself because I wanted to include more information. In fact, originally, Noah told half of the story, but he was either on drugs – and didn’t make sense – or sober – and told too much – so his parts were ultimately cut out in order for the rest of the trilogy to make sense. The next two books, for instance, explain the massacre, how Phelps came into power, and who Sophia is – all of which were things that I think people expected in the first novel (and, trust me, I wanted to include it). But The Tomo Trilogy is written a little backwards. It’s set up so that the first novel is in the present, the second novel is in the past, and the third novel is in the future, and there’s a reason for the lack of information. I promise. I can actually admit that many of my novels work this way. Call it my style. But The Timely Death Trilogy had much of the same mystery in the sense that the creatures existence isn’t explained until the last book, but there was a reason for it, and that reason couldn’t be said earlier or it would’ve ruined the entire story. 

Well, it was certainly an exciting journey, and you have me intrigued. You’ve talked about your planning, but what does your writing schedule look like? Tell us a little about your habits.

My writing habits recently changed because I went through a huge transition. I moved to Missouri, and I started editing and marketing book reviews for authors full-time via my Services (http://shannonathompson.com/services/). Currently, I write on my days off in a local coffee house. I’m working on an exciting project too! And it’s nice to have a giant cup of Americano coffee next to me while doing so.

That certainly is a big transition. I’m sure the authors you work with are grateful for your support. It must be an interesting balance between editing and writing. Speaking of which, how long does it take you to write the first draft?

That depends on what someone considers the first draft. I spend a couple of months (sometimes even years) just letting an idea unfold in my head, but I consider the first draft the prose part, and that takes me anywhere between 3 and 6 months, but – again – I have a ton of planning before that, not to mention a practical screenplay. Writing is different for everyone. I try not to worry about how long it will take. I only try to enjoy it and be honest to the characters and tale.

That’s the most important thing, I think – enjoying the process. It reflects in the story itself, which benefits our readers.

Thank you so much for agreeing to the interview, Shannon. It was lovely to learn more about the novel and the experiences which influenced the series.


Shannon recently revealed her cover for the second edition of Minutes Before Sunset, book one in The Timely Death Trilogy.

CoverTwo destinies. One death.

“Her kiss could kill us, and my consent signed our death certificates.”

Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.

Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Shadow Stalker: Destiny Reconciled Part 2 (Episode 6)

Shadow-Stalker-ButtonIt’s Shadow Stalker time! Episode 6 is out today, which is the second part of Destiny Reconciled. You’ll find all the relevant links below. But first, Renee would like to share with you some of her writing experiences.

My Five Biggest Distractions While Writing

By Renee Scattergood

I have ADHD, so I am very easily distracted. Quite often I need to multitask just so I can distract myself from the distractions. Some are just unavoidable, though, and they seem to get to me regardless of what I do. Here are five of them:

1) My daughter. She is probably the biggest distraction I have. She has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and ADHD as well, and right now I am the only person she seems to want attention from. That means every time she needs something, even if her dad is available, she insists on coming to me. Anyone who knows about ASD knows it’s hard to sway a kid like this once they get something in their head, and you learn that they have a reason for it, even if you don’t know what that reason is (in other words, they’re not doing it to annoy you…in fact, that is something they would never consider doing). So I try to encourage her to go to her father, but if we start hitting the meltdown yellow zone, for now I have to just humor her and take care of things myself.

2) Outside noise. Any little bit of outside noise is a distraction to me, whether it’s a car going by, the ice cream truck, or kids playing. Generally I have to wait for the noise to pass before I can concentrate on writing again.

3) The clouds. Yes, the clouds. If I can see the clouds through my window while I’m writing, they will distract me. I love watching the clouds and the minute I see them passing by, I either have to turn myself around or allow myself to succumb to the momentary distraction until the cloud finally passes. Sometimes I get some good ideas while cloud watching, though, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

4) My husband. If he finds something cool on the internet he just has to show me right there and then. No, it cannot wait. I’ve even told him to email things to me and I’d look at it when I’m done, but no. It’s easier for him to just tell me about it right then. Sigh…

5) My own thoughts. You know, it just happened right after I wrote that. LOL My brain is always going a million miles a second, and it’s hard for me to keep up sometimes. Most of the time multitasking helps with this, but other times even that’s not enough. I might have other things on my mind, in which case I will need to take care of those things first, or I’ll never be able to write. Other times the story I’m working on plays through my head so quickly, I can’t keep up with the typing. I can end up three or four chapters ahead before I realize I’ve got to catch up with the actual writing.

There are other things that distract me as well, but these are my five biggest distractions. What things distract you from writing, or doing what you’re supposed to be doing?


Renee ScattergoodRenee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She has always been a fan of fantasy and was inspired to become a story-teller by George Lucas, but didn’t start considering writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing fantasy. She is currently publishing her monthly Shadow Stalker series, and she has also published a prequel novella to the series called, Demon Hunt. Aside from writing, she loves reading (Fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter.


Destiny Reconciled Part 2

Cathnor has been arrested by the Council of Elders and everything is out of control on the Dark Isle. As the future Foramar of the shadow stalkers, Kado is determined to return to his village and help his people, but he won’t risk Auren being captured.

On their way back to the village, Kado prepares Auren for the possibility that she may have to leave the Dark Isle without him, but will Auren have the strength and courage to leave her foster father behind and face her destiny alone?

Author Pages:

 Renee Writes: http://reneescattergood.com/

Renee’s Author Spotlight: http://reneesauthorspotlight.blogspot.com.au/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00NTJY1W2

Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/rscatts

Social Media:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/reneescatts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReneeScatts

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/118427336236369690813/+ReneescattergoodAuthor/posts