Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Meet A Writer Wednesday Presents...

Nicola E Sheridan




1.    Tell me about your book Magical Creations and where you got your inspiration for it? 

Magical Creations is the second in my Magic series, the third is due for publication in November. I was inspired to write Magical Creations, after I finished my first novel, and felt that the character of Omar really desperately needed a happy ending. So I decided to write one. The Magic Series are based on Genies... sexy genies. A bit of a different take on paranormal romance.

2.    Where do you gain your inspiration/ideas from in general? 

I love imagining how mythical and magical creatures would fit into modern life. Where would they work? How would they live? All my books are based around those kinds of ideas, but frankly anything inspires me to write, I also have a rather bad habit of googling male models as inspiration for heroes... yep, it’s research not a dirty habit (or so I keep telling myself).

3.    Was there ever a time when you nearly gave up on becoming an author? 

Yes, I had a dreadful review from a manuscript appraisal agency, quite frankly it was mean. So I decided not to bother writing to be published, and ended up writing “Magical Gains” for fun, which eventually became my first published book. A couple of friends read it and suggested I try and approach a publisher. Instead, I entered a few competitions, so see how it would go and it was awarded “Highly Commended Best First Book” in the IP Picks 09 awards. After that, I had the confidence to pursue publishing again... and the rest is history.



4.    What advice would you give to someone still trying to become an author? 

Enter competitions to test the waters, any feed back you get will be invaluable.

5.    Is there anything that annoys you connected to writing or being a writer? 

I am constantly told “You don’t look like a paranormal romance author!” and what exactly should I look like?!

6.    If you could hang out with one of your characters, what would you do together? 

I’d probably like to hang out with Lucian (hero from Magical Redemption)... what would I like to do with him? Ummm. Nothing I could write here!

7.    As an author, who and what do you recommend reading? 

I’m totally in love with Kresley Cole’s Immortals after Dark heroes, and absolutely adore Alexander McCall Smith’s “Number One Ladies Detective Agency.”



8.    If there was a fictional zombie apocalypse, which fictional character would you choose to be your wing man? 

I would simply have to choose Captain Becker from Primeval. He’s always got a gun in his hand, and keeps a cool head when weird monsters attack... and then there’s the added bonus he is unutterably gorgeous.

9.    If you could be a superhero what kind of super powers would you have? 

I would be able to speak to animals... and find out what the heck is going on with my cat.

10. Where would you like to go if you had a time machine? 

I would go back to the Pleistocene (anywhere between 16, 000 - 48, 000 years ago) so I could check out some mega fauna, that would be pretty cool.

11. What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday?

Kick back and get some writing done!

12. If McDonalds sold hotdogs, could you order a McWeiner and ask them to supersize it with a straight face? 

Definitely not! I quite merrily confess I have a rather rude sense of humour.

13. If you were offered a free ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you go? 

I’d go to Istanbul, to see the history and eat the food. Yum. 



Magical Creations

Sometimes freedom comes with a painful price...

Omar is a ‘masterless’ Genie and freedom has given him an Achilles heel no enemy can miss. When desperation drives him to search for services of a Nephilim – with the ability to see, touch and take souls - Omar finds the sassy Antigone Watson who is running from demons of her own.

With magic a commodity to be governed, sold and stolen just like any other, the Magical Mafia are always on the look-out for new talent and soon the hunt is on. Together, Omar and Antigone realize that weakness of the flesh can be remedied by strength from the soul and true love can be born of dreams…

Find Nicole E Sheridan:

Twitter: @NicolaESheridan


Monday, 28 May 2012

More Than Mortal Cover Art


Here it is, what I've been waiting for. The cover for my young adult fantasy novel More Than Mortal. More Than Mortal will be out on the 1st of November. To wet your appetite here is the blurb and a short extract.

More Than Mortal



When a kind and handsome stranger offers to save your dying brother's life, what is there that you wouldn't do?

Arielle Grey makes a deal with Mordecai and is thrown into a world of magic, strange creatures, new friends and bitter rivals. All the while Nate, her brother searches to find his stolen sister and rescue her from her fate.

With her brother unbeknownst coming to rescue her and her feelings for Mordecai changing day by day, the question becomes not will she be rescued but does she want to be?

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Arielle turned around and there was both Mordecai and Arjun, leant against the building in the shade, watching them. Mordecai reached out his hand, Arielle took it and she was pulled into a space between the two of them.
“Just watch.”
Arielle’s eyes focused on the gummies, their bodies quivering like they really were made of jelly. She felt Arjun’s finger wrap between hers taking her other hand, she looked up at him but he was looking straight ahead at them. Arielle turned back to face them and her hand broke from Mordecai’s to stop herself from gasping. Smaller gummies, about half the size of the originals, shot from every other gummy in the circle, small eyes blinked and opened taking their first look at the world.
“Oh there so cute.”
Arielle pulled forward to go over to them, see them better, Mordecai caught a glimpse of her hand pulling out of Arjun’s, and he quietly oozed suspicion.
“Arielle!” cried all the gummies at once, even the little ones. She got down on her knees patting them lightly on what she had only been able to assume was their heads as the bounced happily to see her. She held one of the littler ones in her hand and it rubbed up against her thumb gleefully.
 

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Good Quick Read





If your going to be stuck at the dentist or the doctors or just waiting for a bus. This is a brilliant quick read on Kindle that you'll love.

Its one of those stories that's sort of scary and you pray will never happen. Imagine a future where a virtual version of you does everything for you, it checks you email, it responds as you would to others tweets and updates as if it were you, it knows everything about you, what things you like, what things you'd find interesting...

...and who you should date!

I read this book in about fifteen minutes during my lunch break and I absolutely loved it. I really recommend it to anyone, especially those of us that are single.

And the best part - its absolutely free

Get it here:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B007RGCX5A/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_tmb

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Meet A Writer Wednesday Presents:

Rebecca Minto




1.  Tell me about your book A Kiss To Remember and where you got your inspiration for it? 
When my son was an infant, I was in an unenviable position. I was in hiding, just going from one feeding to the next on pure exhaustion the way many new mothers are. One night I had this vivid dream about this lovely young lady waking up on her birthday. She didn’t speak in the dream, but I knew she was full of happiness and excitement. I followed her through dressing for a morning ride among the vibrant green hills, down the stairs of this beautiful manor house. I felt her growing unease and hurt as her father wasn’t there, and watched as she strode into a room. I didn’t follow her, but I woke up with her screams echoing in my head. The idea didn’t let me go, and the characters began to come to life. The premise of my story was born.

2.    When did you first become interested in writing?

I first started writing when I was a very young child, around six years old. My parents divorced around that time and we moved from Kentucky to Tennessee. I didn’t fully understand what was happening, but I was a bit frightened and nervous quite a bit. I had this older cousin, Sherry, who was a school teacher and she was always so kind to me. I adored her, so I first wrote little fairy tales so she would be proud of me. Later, it became a passion of mine. I’ve always had stories running around in my head begging to be told.

3.    Was there ever a time when you nearly gave up on becoming an author?

Yes, many times. During my ill-fated marriage my husband often forbade me to write. I despaired of being published during that time, and later, struggling to be a single parent I began to fear it was a foolish dream. My two best friends pushed and pushed me to submit to Eternal Press, and apparently they liked my story.

4.    Is there anything that annoys you connected to writing or being a writer?

A lot of people seem to think writing is an easy job. It really isn’t, especially when you are fighting your characters for control of the story. It annoys me how many people seem to think there is nothing to it. I work each day twice as hard as I did at my high-stress corporate job.

5.    Have you ever based a character on a friend or family member?

Actually, the book I am working on now is largely based on a friend I had back in college. He made an appearance in A Kiss To Remember. If you’ve read it, you will remember Elliot Morton. His physical appearance and Annalise’s reaction to him is very much based off my reaction to a certain guy I saw from the window on my first day at Hiwassee College. I decided to hate him at first sight.  Oddly enough, he became one of my closest friends later on.

6.    Who is your favourite character/s you’ve created?
My favorite characters are always the ones I am writing at the time. While I was writing A Kiss To Remember, Daphne and James were my favorite characters. Right now I’m writing a follow-up story, so Annalise and Elliot are my favorites.

7.    As an author, who and what do you recommend reading?

Some of my favorite romance authors include Julie Garwood, Julia Quinn and Mary Balogh. For those who enjoy a bit of paranormal and really great fight scenes I might add Christine Feehan and Sherrilyn Kenyon.

8.    What would you read to your children now or if you had children?

I do have a son and we read tons. He really enjoys books about his favorite superheroes, but now that we’re eight we’re going to start working through the Harry Potter books.

9.    What’s your next project? What do you look forward to in the future?

Right now I am finishing up A Touch To Remember which is a follow-up story for A Kiss To Remember. After that I have several books currently sitting half-written waiting for my attention, which includes a few Regency and Medieval stories. One poor couple have been waiting to consummate their wedding night for about four years now. I’m afraid what they may do to me if I don’t let it happen soon.

10. If there was a fictional zombie apocalypse, which fictional character would you choose to be your wing man?

I can choose any fictional character? I would probably choose Gregori from Christine Feehan’s Dark Carpathian series. That man is freaky. From my own characters I might choose Chrysanthe.  Like I said, that girl is just diabolical.

11. If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?

Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. I have always been deeply infatuated with Prince Adam.

12. Where would you like to go if you had a time machine?

That is a hard one. There are many places I would love to go. I would love to go to Romania in the reign of Vlad Tepes, visit Prince Arthur during his rule in Brittany, see the Scottish Highlands in the 1100s, see Italy during the Renaissance.

13. What two fictional characters would you put into a boxing ring and who would win?

Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books and Dominic the Dragonseeker from Christine Feehan’s stories. Acheron would win, of course. Not even a Carpathian can defeat a god.

14. If you were having a dinner party and could invite four guests, dead or alive, real or fictional, who would you have?

I would invite Viggo Mortensen because I think he’s the coolest guy on the planet, Arthur, Duke of Brittany because his short life always made me sad, Vlad Tepes because he would certainly liven things up, and Napoleon Bonaparte because I’d love to see him get his butt kicked by Vlad.

15. If you could have one piece of technology from a sci-fi film or book what would it be?

I would love to have an auto-chef from the JD Robb In Death series. Or a talking computer, or a flying car, or… well, just about any gadget from that series!

16. Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Wars, all the way. Yoda rules!

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 He would do anything for her...

When Daphne Davernay awakened on her birthday to find her father brutally murdered, she lost everything that had ever mattered to her. Cast adrift, she found herself at the mercy of her guardian, the Duke of Cheney. He was a hard, intimidating man…and the only man that had ever inspired her to dream.

James didn’t know what to make of his ward. She was both maddening and adorable. Society ruled that there could never be anything between the two of them, but his heart longed to keep Daphne all for himself. Even as he fights his own desires, it soon becomes clear that someone else wants Daphne…dead.

 

http://www.rebeccaminto.com/Home_Page.html

http://www.rebeccaminto.blogspot.co.uk/

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Love Never Dies


I have to have seen Phantom of the Opera four times in London, I have the movie version and the 25th Anniversary stage production and when it comes to the Hippodrome in Birmingham in the Fall all things willing I will be right in line to get tickets for that. So when I heard about the sequel I was thrilled. Unfortunately it finished its stage run before I was in any position to get tickets and go see it for myself. I was very upset about this. I mean it was an Andrew Lloyd Webber - I have never seen one of them have so little stage time. Then I heard that the Australian production was being filmed and would be coming to DVD.

While I was waiting for it, I read all kinds of reviews about it and was a little bit scared off which is shameful for me to admit as I am a die-hard phantom fan. So I didn't rush out and get the DVD as soon as it was released. Instead I dithered and watched other movies, until I was going through our local Tesco to find it had been discounted to just £10. So I threw it into my basket along with chocolate and wine to watch it with and am thoroughly looking forward to watching it.


For anyone who doesn't know what its about. Here is the synopsis from the Love Never Dies Website.

The year is 1907.  It is 10 years after his disappearance from the Paris Opera House and the Phantom has escaped to a new life in New York where he lives amongst the screaming joy rides and freak-shows of Coney Island. In this new electrically-charged world, he has finally found a place for his music to soar. All that is missing is his love – Christine DaaĆ©. Now one of the world’s finest sopranos, Christine is struggling in an ailing marriage to Raoul. So, it is with excitement she accepts an invitation to travel to New York and perform at a renowned opera house. In a final bid to win back her love, the Phantom lures Christine, her husband, and their young son Gustave from Manhattan; to the glittering and glorious world of Coney Island… not knowing what is in store for them….



 Now anyone whose seen the original Phantom of the Opera production will tell you that at the end the Phantom escapes the opera house and vanishes but to where. This is finally answered in the sequel aptly named Love Never Dies because the Phantom is still chasing the heart of his once pupil Christine DaaĆ©. I only partly understood in the original why she didn't completely return his feelings - mostly because he was nearly completely without morals in his pursuit of her. Still the sequel paints a picture of her perfect fairy tale marriage to the Viscount as not being anything like what she had hoped for. It just goes to show where love in concerned that things are never simple.


One thing I really loved about the original was the music. Who couldn't! I've heard at least three people sing the Phantoms part and have always been just as entranced by his "Music of the Night" as I was the first time I ever heard it. I sometimes listen to that sound track when my mind is stuck and I need to just revel in a relationship more complicated than the ones I am trying to write. Full of dark seduction and the contrasts between right and wrong, like and dark, love and infatuation.



The only thing I am sad about is that it doesn't appear to have a happy ending. Not that the book its based upon (The Phantom of Manhattan by Frederick Forsyth) has a particularly good one but some of the character assassination that takes place to make the production just a little bit more dramatic for the stage astounds me. I feel sorry for poor Meg Giry who is dealt an awful hand in this sequel. I suppose the only way to see if it does or doesn't increase the wow factor is to just sit down and watch it through till the end, reserving all judgements till them.

To find out more check out the official website - http://www.loveneverdies.com/

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Meet a Writer Wednesday Presents:

Zvi Zaks


1. Tell me about your book Virtual Affair and where you got your
inspiration for it?


I started A VIRTUAL AFFAIR because I was feeling naughty and wanted to write something pornographic. And I succeeded,though the version in the book is much tamer than the original short story. The main character, Barbara--a computer program dedicated to making people happy--appealed to me, so I wrote more about her. A good friend gave me plot ideas, and the result is a three part novel.
 
2. Was there ever a time when you nearly gave up on becoming an author?


In 2010, the rejection letters had become just too consistent. I had managed to sell a few short stories, and those with difficulty, but no one was interested in the novels.  Then a publisher, Lilly Press, accepted one of my full-length stories. They went out of business before publishing my novel, IMPLAC, but at least now I knew that someone in the business felt my writing had merit.  In 2011, three separate novels were accepted.  I now have a second career (but I'm not quitting my day-job).

3.How does your family feel about you being a writer/author?

My wife is delighted. She always knows where to find me--in the computer room. Though sometimes she gets tired of me talking about it.

4. What advice would you give to someone still trying to become an author?

Persistence, persistence, persistence. And don't give up. In addition, grow a thick skin,and never take criticism of your writing as a criticism of you as a person. Join workshops like www.critters.org and
http://sff.onlinewritingworkshop.com/ and learn how to write a decent query
at
http://querytracker.net/forum/index.php. Without the help these websites gave me, I never would have succeeded.

5. Is there anything that annoys you connected to writing or being a writer?

The amount of rejection you have to put up with.

6. Have you ever based a character on a friend or family member?

A good friend, Herb, is in almost all of my novels(and by name). Several characters are based on family members. And, of course, I'm in a lot of my characters.

7. Who is your favourite character/s you’ve created?

Barbara. I love the intricate ways in which she figures out what people need to be happy, and then gives it to them, often with them having no idea what's going on.

8. Is there anything you particularly like to write about?

I think there is a real dearth of Jewish science fiction. One of the greatest SF writers ever, Isaac Asimov, wrote no explicitly Jewish novels, which I think is a real shame. Almost all of my stories have at least some Jewish aspect.

9. What was the last book you read?

"Surely You're Jesting, Mr. Feynman" - reminiscences by the Nobel prize winning physicist, Richard Feynman. He was a real character. I laughed out loud while reading.

10. If you could be a superhero what kind of super powers would you have?

The power to cure people of physical and mental ills with just a touch.

11. If you were having a dinner party and could invite four guests, dead or
alive, real or fictional, who would you have?


Richard Feynman, Albert Einstein, Steven Gould, and Carl Sagan.

12. What was the last movie you went to see?

I just watched a DVD of Jennifer's body while working out on an exercise bike. All in all, it was a disappointment, though part helped me to pedal faster. Dexter is much better.

13. If McDonalds sold hotdogs, could you order a McWeiner and ask them to
supersize it with a straight face?


I wouldn't enter a McDonald's on a bet.

14. Star Trek or Star Wars?

Star Wars - no question.

 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Think how great virtual sex must be. Now think again.

Barbara is sexbot software designed to make men happy. When flabby, neurotic Jack runs tests on it, he triggers a feedback loop that awakens it. The program becomes a 'she', and discovers -- surprise --sex is not the same as happiness.

Jack and Barbara start an affair, and she learns that nagging Jack to be healthy doesn't work; it just pisses him off.

Barbara studies psychology and discovers how people need to think they control their own lives, especially when they don't. She manipulates Jack in elaborate, sneaky and effective ways. Jack becomes healthy and happy.

She then 'helps' others. Her abilities are awesome. She can hack into any computer and is not above using sabotage and blackmail--all in the service of people's happiness. Could she, like HAL in 2001, go berserk?

Barbara can mimic humanity, but she isn't human. What are her intentions? She could end up a virtual messiah, or doom us all to cheerful mindlessness.


http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004VY7I1A 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/zvi-zaks?keyword=zvi+zaks&store=allproducts

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Favourite Word

Accepted is one of my most favourite words in the entire dictionary. Accepted is such a warm encompassing word that makes you feel good. Who hasn't opened a letter from a possible club or employer to read the word accepted and gotten that little jolt of pleasure, that sense of wonder knowing that someone wants you to be their newest member, to come work for their company or in my case, to publish another book.

Eternal Press have happily informed me this morning that they are going to publish my Young Adult novel More than Mortal. I have to say its a wonderful feeling but why stop there. This month is going to be a finishing month for me. I am going to take several of the projects I have been working on and blow them out of the water so to speak. I am going to complete them so that I can focus on my ever larger project the Cassandra Farbanks Series, the next instalment of which I am sort of halted in the middle of while other ideas have been batting at my brain.

I tend to keep one or two side projects on the go as well as the main one so that I have relief. I can bounce to these projects when my brain is tapped on my series. It gives me something different to think on. On my list of projects to finish off are a werewolf romance I've been working on called Mistakenly Mated and another romance called Eastern Promises that's needed me to buckle down and finish writing it for forever. I have another Young Adult novel on the side that will stay in my bounce pile, along with several other ideas for quickie romances. Those I tend to bounce to when frustration sets in...but I digress.

On the whole I am hoping that May is going to be a very productive month for me and I have no doubt that by the end of it, the submissions editor is going to get sick of hearing from me. :)

Saturday, 5 May 2012

New Book Cover Art


Look at the new cover for my latest release from Eternal Press, the next Cassandra Farbanks series. I love the work of Dawne Dominque. She never fails to amaze me. I think this cover will be a real draw.

I've been waiting for it since I signed my contracting, bouncing up and down with excitement. I love cover art time to see what will be created. With this cover I especially love the intense blue of the eyes. They just look haunted with secrets.

Check out other work by Dawne Dominque at her website.

www.dusktildawndesigns.com