Monday, August 31, 2020

Swan Songs of Cygnus: The Weight of Black Holes by Vincent Hollow #poetry

What is your “day” job if you are not a full-time author?

- I would love to be an astronaut. Float around in a space station, explore/discover distant worlds, possibly even colonize a planet. The math and physics, I'd have to get used to, but that would be a dream for me.

If you wrote a book about your life what would the title be?

- I don't think i could ever write a book like an autobiography. Technically, every book I write is about my life in some way, just in a poetic, fictional sense, so you could say each book is a different volume in what is essentially an autobiography. But I suppose if there was to be a universal title, I might choose something like "Asylum".

What is the hardest thing about being an author?

- Staying motivated, lack of inspiration, and distractions.

What is the best thing about being an author?

- When people read my work and are emotionally moved by it.

Have you ever been starstruck by meeting one of your favorite authors? If so who was it?  

- I dont know if I was star struck because I was so young when it happened, but I met Shel Silverstein a few years before he died and even though I was shy and didn't say too much, it was a great experience.

What were some of your favorite books growing up?

- Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King, The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker, The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

What books are currently in your to be read pile?

- Dead Astronauts by Jeff Vandermeer, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker

Which do you prefer ebooks, print, or audiobooks?

- Print books. Nothing beats holding a physical book; the sound of the pages turning, the aroma of older books, and not needing a power source to be able to read it.

Swan Songs of Cygnus
The Weight of Black Holes
Vincent Hollow

Genre: Poetry
Publisher: Writers Republic
Date of Publication: January 8, 2020

ISBN: 9781646201167
ISBN: 9781646202294
Number of pages: 154
Word Count:  8275 words
Cover Artist: Tom Nicosia

Tagline: "How far would you go?"

Book Description:

Side A: horizon

Mourning the death of his love. A bereaved astronaut signs up for a deep – space mission to reunite with her ghost.

Even if it means becoming a ghost himself. Traveling at the speed of light. The astronaut jettisons through the solar system. Pausing only to gaze at its celestial splendor.

Cast under the grandeur of the planetarium. Seeing her apparition in every sphere…

Amazon    BN    Writers Republic

About the Author:

VINCENT HOLLOW is an astro-poet and interstellar storyteller living aboard the space vessel, Aquarius. Shooting from the star system to star system. Vincent spends his time gazing out into the universal abyss and the depths of himself where he hopes to find his place in the cosmos through the words he weaves in the fabric of spacetime.

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Thursday, August 27, 2020

Interview The Witch with Nine Lives by B. Austin #authorinterview #paranormal #urbanfantasy

- If you wrote a book about your life what would the title be?

I’ve lived such a dramatic life starting from birth, it seriously takes 6 books to write my life story. I’ve written two so far in my series, Memoirs of a Bigamist’s Daughter: The Bigamist, My Father and House of Sticks, which only takes me to age 11, when my father abandoned us. I’m working part-time on the 3rd book, entitled After Daddy Left, which leaves me an orphan at 16. The next book I’m writing is After Mama Died. The last 2 books in the series are My Life as a Computer Scientist and My Life as a Web Developer.

- What is the hardest thing about being an author?

I’m prolific and being frustrated that I can’t write faster to complete all the books that I have planned or already partially written.

- What is the best thing about being an author?

Creating the story and hearing the characters speak to me. I have an outline and story, but the book astonished me as the pieces come together and surprise me.

- Have you ever been starstruck by meeting one of your favorite authors? If so who was it? 

I wasn’t star-struck, but I once met Tony Hillerman at an Albuquerque Restaurant. He had been my husband’s Journalism professor, and he was kind enough to give me a quote for my book Return of the Bones. Now, what I do regret is not going to one of George R.R. Martin’s book signings at Page 1 Books in Albuquerque. The store was like 15 minutes from my house, and I drove by it five days a week going to and from work. I had not read his books then. I’m now a big fan of Game of Thrones. 

- What book changed your life?

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux convinced me to become a writer. The book moved me to tears and angered me that Hollywood had turned a beautiful love story into a monstrous horror film. This was before Andrew Lloyd Weber did justice to the book.

- What were some of your of favorite books growing up?

I had such eclectic tastes from Gone with the Wind to the classics like Rebecca and Wuthering Heights. I was always in Honors English and we read all of the classics. I loved Charles Dickens.

- What books are currently in your to be read pile?

I used to read about 3 or 4 books a week but right now I don’t have a pile because I’ve got so many books I have to write. I’ve created the covers for all of them, like 35.

- Which do you prefer ebooks, print, or audiobooks?

I prefer print books for research and ebooks for entertainment. Lately, I’ve gotten into audiobooks, in so far as I’m having my older books narrated. I already had two and I’m releasing another then end of August. A narrator is currently narrating the first book in A Dysfunctional Family of Witches and then will begin The Witch with Nine Lives right after. The witches make the best audiobooks out of all of them. They’re fun to listen to. 

- If you could live inside the world of a book or series which world would it be and why?

Well, the Twilight Series is interesting, but being a vampire forever in high school, and the stuff and the way they eat, yuck! I hated high school. I would like to live in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series. It would be pretty cool to hitchhike around the universe to different worlds. All you need is a towel, and you’re good to go.

The Witch with Nine Lives
A Dysfunctional Family of Witches
Book One
B. Austin

Genre: Paranormal, Urban, YA, Horror
Publisher: Spellbound Books
Date of Publication: 8/27/2020
 Number of pages: 263
Word Count: 58,319

Cover Artist: B. Austin

Tagline: The Tie Between Two Powerful Sisters is Tested when Secrets, Lies and Magic is Revealed in a Dysfunctional Family of Witches.

Book Description:

Medea turns into a cat at night, due to her mother's curse. Her mother, Dima, has a shapeshifting stone. She is 130-years-old but appears to be 18, nearly the same age as her two daughters.

Nikki works as a maid, rather than in the family witchcraft business of fortune-telling, seances, and other witchery-for-hire. She was born a Marilyn-Monroe lookalike. Despite her beauty, jealousy eats away at Nikki because her mother and sister have magic. Nor is Nikki allowed near the books of spells, enchantments, and potions Dima stole from Russian monks.

Medea is tortured by a secret that can destroy the sisterly tie between her and Nikki.

Unknown to her family, Nikki, is developing a magical gift which she cannot control, a sorcery that will threaten Medea and pit two powerful sisters against each other.

The Witch with Nine Lives
A Dysfunctional Family of Witches Excerpt


Nikki held her dead sister in her arms, a cat named Medea. It was only because of her youngest daughter, well now her only daughter, that their mother attended this makeshift funeral. Dima should be working. Luke Air Force Base in Glendale was open. There was money to be made dancing with solders. Most paid good money for Dima to gaze into a crystal ball and tell the men their futures.
Bah, this is a waste of my time, having a funeral for Medea. Dima frowned at the dead Abyssinian cat. The different-colored eyes were glazed over in death and the tongue was hanging out. Dima turned her head away. She felt guilty for having cast a spell on her oldest daughter to begin with. It was for her own good. She may have been just a teenager, but the mafia wanted her dead.
Almost 24 hours passed since Nikki found Medea dead in the backyard. The girl had run into the house screaming, carrying her dead sister in her arms, the cat’s arms dangling and the head hanging. The eyes were open and still. Nikki had been hysterical until Dima slapped her.
Once more, Nikki cried over her furry sister. The girl seemed to like her sister more now that Medea was dead.
Dima yanked a shapeshifting stone from her pocket. She ordered the stone to shapeshift into a shovel. She then dug a small grave.
Nikki gently placed her sister in the small, shallow grave.
The emotional upset of seeing her eldest daughter lying dead with a pile of dirt beside the open grave, caused Dima to transform from a sexy, 18-year-old to her true self, a 130-year-old hag. Quick, she grabbed the shovel which then melted into her hands and reformed as the shapeshifting stone. She clutched the stone and spun until she was once more an 18-year-old beauty.
It was almost midnight at the small, private Russian Molokan Cemetery located at 75th and Maryland Avenue in Glendale, Arizona. There was a full moon, so there was plenty of light shining on the grave.
“Why couldn’t we have a coffin?” Nikki again asked.
“Your sister always liked the dirt. Remember how she would dig with her claws?” Dima said.
“Yes, but that was so she could use the bathroom outside,” Nikki pointed out.
“Well, you really shouldn’t cry over a sister who used her tongue as toilet paper,” Dima said. “Medea was inferior.”
Nikki glared at her. “Medea was a cat because of you.”
“Well, if Medea had not been an outdoor cat, but stayed indoors, she might have lived a few years longer, if not for you,” Dima said.
Now, it was Nikki’s turn to look guilty.
The moon moved directly above them, signaling that it was now midnight.
Dima screeched and pointed at the grave. Moonlight was shining on the cat, which had transformed from a brown Abyssinian cat into a black kitten.
“Medea’s come back to life!” Nikki clapped her hands with joy.
Dima, on the other hand, was so shocked that she dropped Pompeii, her shapeshifting stone. She again transformed from a young woman to an ancient one. Her boobs were sagging past her waist. Her hair was but a few sparse white hairs. Dima lifted her head so that she could see because her wrinkly eyelids blurred her vision, not to mention the cataracts; oh, the cataracts, and the arthritis in her gnarled hands. Her back was hunched over. Dima ached with more than a century and a quarter of living, and none of it as the granddaughter of Catherine the Great of Russia. Dima was born with signs that she would be a witch, which freaked out her royal family, so her bastard mother threw her away.
Well, enough of bad memories. Medea was reborn!
The kitten sat up and stretched, arching its back. She wasn’t exactly a newborn kitten. Medea appeared to be the size of a four-month-old kitten.
Dima stooped to pick up the shapeshifting stone.
The kitten was faster and jumped on the stone, sitting on the rock.
Dima jumped out of the way because the kitten scratched at her ankles.
Dima growled low in her throat. “I see dying hasn’t improved your bad manners, Medea. You are still headstrong though you must weigh all of three pounds. Move, or I’ll smack you with a newspaper.”
Seventeen cats, some old, some young, surrounded them, hissing at Dima. Of course, the cats attended Medea’s funeral. She was their leader.
Traitors, Dima thought. The older cats had once been loyal to her, but that was before she turned her daughter into a cat.
Dima took a step back. Medea may have been reborn as a black cat, but her eyes were still the same, one eye being amber in color and the other eye emerald-green. The two different colors were a sign of magic. Medea was still a witch and power still flowed in her kitty veins.
The kitten laughed. “Come now, mother,” Medea said in a kittenish, human voice. Medea apparently had the memories of her past life. “It won’t hurt you to stay your own age, for an hour or so. This is my wish for my birthday.”
“You don’t get a second birthday,” Dima snarled.
“Yes, she does,” Nikki protested. “Medea has now been born twice.”

About the Author:

Belinda has fun creating both researched and original magic in her books. She grew up in New Mexico, a Southwestern state known as the Land of Enchantment with a long history of Native American and Spanish witchcraft. Growing up, she heard spell-binding tales about magic and real witches, magic sometimes witnessed by family members. Belinda has a friend in Albuquerque who is a modern-day witch. Belinda is a former Software Engineer / Web Applications Developer. She has a degree in Applied Mathematics. She did not have to do research when it comes to dysfunctional families. Her father was a bigamist with two wives and two sets of children.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Interview - Blood Prophecy Three Queen’s Ascension by Barb Jones #bloodprophecy #paranormal

- What is your “day” job if you are not a full-time author?

I’m an IT Consultant.  I love working with organizations in helping them with leadership, communication, Software Quality Assurance, Agile Training and more.  Because it can be stressful, I love to write and use my creative side.  It’s like a yin/yang with me between IT and Writing.

- If you wrote a book about your life what would the title be?

I would have to say the title would be “Born Through Legends”

- What is the hardest thing about being an author?

The hardest thing about being an author is dealing with the writer’s block or sometimes the needed time to pause for a moment to gain perspective to continue the journey.  There are times when I start one of my characters a certain way and as that character develops, I feel the need to evolve them in something more or different.  It’s like the character grows with me, as I grow.

- What is the best thing about being an author?

The best thing I have to say about being an author is really developing a storyline that fans would love.  I love the idea of creating a world that would come to life for my fans so that they can perhaps escape into that world.

- Have you ever been starstruck by meeting one of your favorite authors? If so who was it?

I haven’t had the pleasure yet of meeting one of my favorite authors, but I was in process of going to meet Andrew Gross before COVID 19 struck as he was here in Florida for book appearance.  There are so many I would love to meet and hope to one day.

- What book changed your life?

Oh my, please don’t laugh.  I have loved the book “Atlas of World History” ever since I read it.  Combine that with Edith Hamilton’s book on Mythology, I have been forever changed with a love of history and mythology.  Sometimes, I just re-read them for fun.  But these two opened up other worlds in reading for me that just expanded on my life.

- What were your some of favorite books growing up?

I love anything to do with Camelot, Kings and Queens (especially the Tudor History, Romanov History), and action books.  

- What books are currently in your to be read pile?

I just started reading “Dreadnought: Britain, Germany and the Coming of the Great War” by Robert K. Massie.  

- Which do you prefer ebooks, print, or audiobooks?

I must honestly say that I prefer print books.  There’s something about the feel of the paper while you read.

- If you could live inside the world of a book or series which world would it be and why?

It’s funny because it’s not something I mentioned before in this interview, but I would love to be part of Chris Kuzneski’s Payne and Jones’ world.  These two men not only save the world, but they make jokes while doing so.  It brings a light of humor in a dark situation and that is sometimes what we need in this world.

Queen’s Ascension
Blood Prophecy
Book Three
Barb Jones

Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: World Castle
Date of Publication: August 17, 2020
ISBN:  9781953271013
ISBN:  9781953271020
Number of pages: 236 pages
Word Count: 86107 words

Cover Artist: Steven J. Catizone

Tagline: Bloodshed. Heartbreak. Revelation.

Book Description:

When the darkness was compelling and the heart knew no bounds, was there really a right choice? With Michael’s life hanging in the balance, Amber had a choice: save her star-fated love or keep on the crusade to unite the magical community.

For Amber, her fate was sealed even before her birth and it was her destiny to fight the great battle ahead of her. But, when it came to her heart -- her friends, her great love -- Amber’s torn. Not only was she the Queen, but she was a human in every sense of the word. She was vulnerable. And so the very people -- Chloe and Michael -- that gave her strength, quickly became her weakness. It wasn’t her fault she loved too much, was it?

Nevertheless, the Tall Dark Man had set a plan in motion that could threaten the very existence of the Blood Prophecy. Would he gather his dark forces and succeed in destroying Amber once and for all? Or, would she assemble her powerful friends and save the world?

Amazon     BN

Malakai, Seattle, Present Day

With the betterment of both Michael and Rae, Malakai was glad that they were well and fine; nevertheless, he needed some time to decompress. All the magical commotions that had occurred were too overwhelming for him. He needed some sort of release.
He enjoyed the brisk jog in the park, as he cut through the sharp wind of the cold night. But this did nothing to lift his spirits. He was happy that Amber’s smile finally met her eyes. That was all he’d ever wanted for her: happiness, that’s it. There was nothing more he could ask for—she was his priority. Yet, in the back of his mind, as in his heart, he couldn’t help but believe the ancient legend that he’d heard so long ago was the certifiable truth, as it was written in Eschmun’s scroll.
…her fate is tied to the true alpha of the wolves. A blood drinker will stand formidable, but it is the nature of the child to call upon the true alpha and bring him to the queen’s inner heart.
Could this be the truth? he often wondered as he traveled the world collecting artifacts and evidence supporting this notion. Yes, he’d crafted a reliquary, quite accidentally, and people assumed it was to keep the magic insulated, away from the humans. But that wasn’t the case, at least not for him.  He so wanted to believe, just from the sheer fact that it was said in the scroll. But Malakai was a man of logic, driven by cold hard data. Although wanting to romanticize that his destiny was tied with Amber’s, he needed confirmation. He wanted validation for the strong emotions he was feeling. 


Zaraquel, Seattle, Present Day

Walking the cemetery grounds as she so often did without the knowledge of her parents, Zaraquel wandered at a leisurely pace. She whipped out her phone and checked the time, which read midnight. Her brow quirked in confusion, as she had expected Loquiel some time ago. With her long hair styled in two braids and her bright red coat to keep her warm, she sat down on a bench.
She was elated that her best friend, other than the one that was currently running late, was alive and breathing. Rae had given Zaraquel a terrible fright, for she had never known the death of someone close to her heart. She shook, not from the cold, but from remembering the tragic vision she had of Rae’s demise.
A throaty growl awoke her from her thoughts. She heard the fast footfalls of someone, something, running toward her, and she put her fight training to use. Zaraquel spun around, so much so that her wings unfurled. But that did not deter the undead man from attacking her. His decaying flesh was a sight she instantly wished she could unsee, but she had to fulfill her duty and protect the people, which meant ridding the world of this monster.
She punched him in the stomach as her father had taught her, but that did nothing to stop him from throwing his fists at her. She dodged his poor attempts at aiming for her and grabbed his arm, twisting him around so he fell to his knees. Her weight on his back caused the corpse to fall to the ground. It growled in anger, shaking its head savagely, as if it couldn’t wait to get back to its feet. Zaraquel, however, had plans of her own. She stood briefly to step on his neck to keep him from moving, and whispered a spell she’d learned from a book.
“Capite obtruncato intestinisque extractis.”
She heard the cracking of his bones, the stretching of his skin; with a pop! his head flew off, gore spattering in every direction. His body went limp, as it was before he had risen from the ground.
Zaraquel sighed in frustration as she walked off, disappointed from another unnecessary and unjustified kill. She continued to walk the grounds and felt a rush of warm wind, the kind she felt every time Loquiel was near. She turned and there he was, right behind her.

About the Author:

Barb Jones was born in Hawaii, a place rich with culture and storytellers. As a little girl, scary tales about vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, and witches were her favorite kind — much to her mother's dismay. Her love for the supernatural never went away, even after moving to Seattle, far from Hawaii's majestic beaches with unusual colors. Despite the unmatched beauty in Hawaii, Seattle stole Barb’s heart and it’s here where her stories took on a new form, in a book of her own: The Adventures of Little Arthur and Merlin the Magnificent. 

Then, the idea for The Blood Prophecy came while she was sleeping. In a dream, Barb saw a unique storyline involving all the races and an epic battle of good versus evil. It was a modern-day plot with a three-thousand-year-old prophecy, The Blood Prophecy. Barb finished the first book in 2014, The Queen's Destiny. Two years later, she released The Queen's Enemy, and the third book in the series, The Queen's Ascension, arrives on August 17, 2020. 

She is not only a paranormal thriller author but an IT professional and mother of two fantastic children.  Today, she resides in Florida but is still a Seattle girl at heart.

Author Interview - Pumpkins and Party Themes 50 DIY Designs to Bring Your Halloween Extravaganza to Life By Roxanne Rhoads

- What is your day job?

I’m a book publicist. I set up virtual book tours, events, and social media promotion for authors.

- If you wrote a book about your life what would the title be?

Stuck in the Liminal 

- What is the hardest thing about being an author?

Balancing time to both write and promote.

- What is the best thing about being an author?

Creating something out of nothing, starting with a blank page and turning it into a book. Words are magic.

- Have you ever been star struck by meeting one of your favorite authors? If so who was it?  

Oh yes, several times. Some of the most notable are Kim Harrison, Laurell K Hamilton and Jeaniene Frost.

When I met Jeaniene Frost and gave her my name to sign my book, she said “Oh I’ve heard of you,” and I almost died. She had heard of me!!!

- What book changed your life?

Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice is what really started my love affair with vampires.

- What were your some of favorite books growing up?

I read everything I could get my hands on. Mysteries and Gothic Romances were my favorites. I loved the Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Trixie Beldon mysteries.  I searched the library stacks for anything that had ghosts, witches, and other paranormal elements.

- What books are currently in your to be read pile?

So, so many. Currently I’m reading The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. All of them. Back to back, with a few other books in between so I don’t burn out.

- Which do you prefer eBooks, print, or audio books?

Nothing beats the feel of a print book and I will always cherish my print books but I’ve switched over to mainly eBooks now because of my vision. Reading eBooks on my tablet’s Kindle app allows me to read without any external light, I can adjust the backlight on the screen, and I can enlarge the font for easy reading.

50 DIY Designs to Bring Your Halloween Extravaganza to Life

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Skyhorse 
Release Date: August 11, 2020
ISBN-10: 1510751165
ISBN-13: 978-1510751163

Book Description:

Bring your Halloween party theme to life with these quick tips and tricks!

Pumpkins and Party Themes features ten unique party themes with five do-it-yourself pumpkin designs for each theme. The pumpkin projects have a variety of decorating ideas that include carving, painting, and mixed media craftiness and easy-to-follow steps on each creation. Author Roxanne Rhoads also includes quick ideas on how to bring the theme to life through d├ęcor, costumes, and activities. These fun party themes range from gothic elegance to Edgar Allan Poe, under the sea, let's get literary, and more!

With beautiful full-color images to illustrate the tools needed, steps to follow, and final products, this book makes for the perfect gift for Halloween enthusiasts and party hosts alike!

Amazon      IndieBound      BN      Kobo     Chapters     

About the Author:

Roxanne Rhoads is an author, book publicist, mixed media crafter, and lover of all things spooky.

Her books include the Amazon Bestseller Haunted Flint and Pumpkins and Party Themes : 50 DIY Designs to Bring Your Halloween Extravaganza to Life.

She is the owner of Bewitching Book Tours, a virtual book tour and social media marketing company. She operates a Halloween blog- A Bewitching Guide to Halloween and sells handcrafted jewelry, art, and home decor through her Etsy store- The Bewitching Cauldron.

When not reading or writing, Roxanne loves to craft, plan Halloween adventures, and search for unique vintage finds.

Amazon Author Page

A Bewitching Guide to Halloween

Author Website  

Bewitching Book Tours  

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