Daughters of Destiny Release Day – Author – Raven Oak

Introducing Raven Oak –

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Bestselling science fiction & fantasy author Raven Oak is better known for her novels Amaskan’s Blood (EPIC Awards 2016 Finalist, Ozma Awards 2016 Finalist), Class-M Exile, and the collection Joy to the Worlds: Mysterious Speculative Fiction for the Holidays (Foreword Book of the Year 2016 Finalist). She spent most of her K-12 education doodling stories and 500 page monstrosities that are forever locked away in a filing cabinet. When she’s not writing, she’s getting her game on with tabletop games, indulging in cartography, or staring at the ocean. She lives in Kirkland, WA with her husband, and their three kitties who enjoy lounging across the keyboard when writing deadlines approach. Raven is currently at work on Amaskan’s War and The Eldest Traitor.

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Reviews of Amaskan’s Blood:

“With a ferocious-yet-fragile heroine, resonant themes, and a sweepingly gorgeous backdrop, Amaskan’s Blood delivers food for thought and frank enjoyment.” –Maia Chance, author of the bestselling Fairy Tale Fatal series

“An exciting epic fantasy filled with intrigue and layers upon layers of well crafted secrets and lies.” 4 out of 5 stars. –Stephanie Hildreth of 100 Pages a Day

“Holy crap, this is good!” –Seattle Geekly

Facebook Author Page: http://facebook.com/authorroak
Goodreads’ Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/raven_oak

Daughters of Destiny Release Day – Author – Devorah Fox

An Interview

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  1. The Redoubt is the latest in The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam. What’s background to that series?

It began as my National Novel Writing Month project in 2010. That was the first time that I entered the writing marathon NaNoWriMo challenges writers to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I was successful and found it a great way to get a novel started. The other books in the King Bewilliam story have all started as NaNoWriMo projects. The Redoubt was my fourth NaNoWriMo marathon in 2014 and I plan to participate in NaNoWriMo 2015.

  1. You’ve worked on other projects besides the King Bewilliam series.

I have. I am thrilled to have my short story, “Turning the Tide,” in the company of work by talented, bestselling authors Samantha LaFantasie, Alesha Escobar, Timothy C. Ward, H.M. Jones, and Alice Marks. We all contributed to Master of Time, A Science Fiction/Fantasy Time Travel Anthology. I was delighted to discover that I can write short fiction. When I first set out to write fiction I wrote novels, largely because I was trying to write the book that I most wanted to read. Later as I joined writers groups I became in awe of authors who wrote short stories and managed to achieve so much with so few words. It’s a very different craft from novel writing. I was thrilled to find that I could say what I wanted to say in less 2,000 words.

  1. How do you balance your schedule between writing/editing/marketing?

I wish that I could say that I have achieved balance. I spend entirely too much time on marketing and not nearly enough on writing and editing. It’s a truism that if we spend all our time on marketing and none on writing we’ll have nothing to market, but it’s hard to decline the opportunities that come my way.

  1. What’s your favorite social media network and why?

I would have to say Facebook. I find it’s a good way to stay in touch with friends whom I don’t see in person because of time or distance. OK, let’s be honest: it’s because it’s chockablock with cute cat photos and videos.

  1. Of the marketing techniques you’ve tried, which have been most successful?

If sales are the measure, the most successful marketing I’ve done has been book launch signing events at the Port Aransas Art Center. I very much appreciate the support of the Art Center and the Texas Coastal Bend community.

  1. Where would you like to see your writing career in 5 years?

I have so many works in progress. In five years I would hope to have finished Books Five in The Bewildering Adventures of King Bewilliam epic fantasy series and A Whale of a Tale, a spin-off from my contemporary Coastal Texas thriller “Naked Came the Sharks” that I’m co-authoring as well as a sequel or two to that book. I’ve revived a novel that I started in 1993 and I’d like to finish that. I have several detective-series drawer-stuffers that I’d like to dust off and get between covers. I’m a huge “Warehouse 13” fan and I have three pages of ideas that would make great short stories in the steampunk genre. And, Sir Maxwell, a character from the King Bewilliam series, wants his own book. I think it would make a great Young Adult story.

  1. If this was your last interview ever, what would you really want to say?

Thank you, everyone who has read my work and asked for more. It’s your encouragement that tells me that writing is what I ought to be doing, as opposed to brain surgery or mixed martial arts.

 

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Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/H5IW8oVJCnQ

The Redoubt: Voted #35 of 50 self-Published books With Reading 2016.Having bested beast, man, and even his own failings, King Bewilliam has regained his throne, reunited with his sons, and restored his embattled kingdom, yet something is lacking. When a crippling famine threatens the Chalklands’ very survival, his vassals propose a risky plan to seek aid from a distant ruler. King Bewilliam strikes off on a perilous journey to the island empire of Sea Gate accompanied by a cadre of loyal knights and nobles who are unaware that the plan will reunite the king with a spurned lover.

  • This is why we read fiction. In the King Bewilliam series, Devorah Fox has created a world of adventure, intrigue, fancy—and dragons. The reader is drawn in as King Bewilliam tests his heart, mind, and ability for invention to reclaim himself and his place in that world. These stories are wonderful and imaginative—and fun.—Michael Stephen Daigle, author of the Frank Nagler mystery series.
  • Your book kept me quiet company during a harrowing time at Hospital with congestive heart failure. I hope that next book can be read in less stressful moments. Thank You! Thank you for a “quiet story” which I could read and enjoy with serenity.—David Abbe

 

Sharable Links

What Makes it a Fantasy?: http://www.masqueradecrew.com/2013/11/what-makes-it-fantasy-syndicated-from.html

The Sophomore Curse: http://www.indiepubchat.com/sophomore-curse/

SciFi Blog Tour – Alasdair Shaw

Introducing –

Alasdair Shaw grew up in Lancashire, within easy reach of the Yorkshire Dales, Pennines, Lake District and Snowdonia. After stints living in Cambridge, North Wales, and the Cotswolds, he has lived in Somerset since 2002.

He has been rock climbing, mountaineering, caving, kayaking and skiing as long as he can remember. Growing up he spent most of his spare time in the hills. Recently he has been doing more sea kayaking and swimming.

Alasdair studied at the University of Cambridge, leaving in 2000 with an MA in Natural Sciences and an MSci in Experimental and Theoretical Physics. He went on to earn a PGCE, specialising in Science and Physics, from the University of Bangor. A secondary teacher for over fifteen years, he has plenty of experience communicating scientific ideas.

 

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Where was your favourite reading spot as a child? Where is it now?

Then and now it is curled up in bed. Warm, cosy, and immersed in whatever world the book describes.

If you won ten million dollars tonight, what would you do?

Buy land with caves that currently have poor or non-existent access. Manage the land as nature reserves, with access consistent with conservation.

Set up a scholarship for true all-round students – high academic performers across arts and science as well as taking part in outdoor activities, music and sport.

Move somewhere nearer the mountains.

 

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When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

I have a pretty good idea before starting. However, they do take on lives of their own, especially when they start interacting with other characters and the situations they find themselves in. A recent new character, Alexandra Seivers, was originally written as a man, but by I was halfway through The Perception of Prejudice she just had to become a woman. Hopefully I managed to correct all the ‘he’s and ‘him’s.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I write on a computer. As I have the files on Onedrive they are shared automatically between my PC, two laptops and Surface. Wherever I am when I find I have a little while to write I can access them.

Recently I have been taking a notebook with me when I go out walking. Sitting on mountains jotting down bits of a book is somehow very satisfying, even if my pen hand does get ridiculously cold. I take particular amusement form the fact that the notebook was part of a prize I won for ‘major contributions to A level and GCSE Physics publications’ (the several hundred pound cheque was the more exciting part when I opened the envelope).

Dictation seems to be popular nowadays, especially with the advances in speech recognition on computers. I find I cannot write well without having the text in front of me, and the many inaccuracies of homophones and punctuation seriously bug me. Also, I constantly edit as I go along, and rarely have a whole sentence in my head before it goes down. I have considered dictation might be useful when I am driving, however, so might try that out at some point.

 

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Is being a writer a gift or a curse?

Given the two options, I’d say gift. Anything that allows you to communicate and share ideas and passion is a good thing.

 

The Two Democracies: Revolution science fiction series starts with Independence, and continues with Liberty and The Perception of Prejudice. His second novel, Equality, will hopefully be released in summer 2017, followed by Fraternity the year after.

 

You can sign up to Alasdair Shaw’s mailing list at http://www.alasdairshaw.co.uk/newsletter  and see what else he gets up to on his website at http://www.alasdairshaw.co.uk.

The Two Democracies universe intersects with our own at https://twitter.com/IndieAI and https://www.facebook.com/twodemocracies.

 

AudioBook Review – Secret of the Old Ones

I’ve lots on my reading list at the moment, but I had to take a little time out for this and it really didn’t disappoint. What I’ve come to learn of the genre and gotten to love is how some writers can blow it out the park. Not only with the in-game mechanics and deep worldbuilding, but with character and story.

Awesome e-book and a great listen while on the go!

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Luck Stat Strategy: Secret of the Old Ones, Book 1 | [Blaise Corvin]

“Fantastic!…. more please!”

This genre is fast becoming something I’m really starting to enjoy. These books take me back to my youth where some of the best times of my life where involved rpg and more with my friends.

So, my review follows. –

I never like looking over ‘synopsis’ or other bits of information and I did know that Blaise had posted parts of this on his site and even with his paetron. I’ve done my homework since I listened to Delvers, besides following Jeff’s Soundbooth Theatre and hearing parts of this audio over on there. So I’d some idea on what I was getting into even though I started it straight after a sci-fi.

This story starts off with some great action, there’s no slow build, we’re literally thrown in at a point where some people might think our MC’s already won the online game, so what am I reading on for, but don’t be fooled.

The deep world building and rich descriptions shine in here from that first few scenes, and I have to admit, that I thoroughly enjoyed this a lot more than his first novel. Maybe this is because as with everyone we all grow as writers the more we actually write. I don’t know, it just seems to me that there’s much more passion in here.

Where Blaise takes the MC from the opening is not only very interesting, but it’s also a journey that you go on with Trent/Vale inside the game and out of it because this is a very well balanced novel, with defined scenes from both parts of his life.

As the plot develops the contrast and reality of what happens to Trent in-game soon crosses over to his real life. These scenes to me really added to sympathising with him, his friend Bart and in the situation that they soon find themselves in together inside the game.

I found there were several nice plot twists and turns that I hadn’t guessed were coming. The other characters that were brought in, added not only the gaming mechanics that come with the genre, but they brought with them their own purpose, agendas and reasoning. This changed things up a lot and Trent had to make some quick decisions. I could get behind his way of thinking for some, but there was also one thing he missed and it came back to bite him in the backside.

Overall, so far this has been one of the most enjoyable books in this genre that I’ve had the pleasure of listening too. Jeff delivers on so many levels that he’s very hard not to enjoy. I think his female characters are so believable I find it hard to not picture another person in the booth with him doing the recording. (having seen it for myself I know his voices are all his own) and the accents are divine.

An excellent audiobook and the start of a series that I really think is going places. If you’ve not already checked it out on amazon, go do so now.

Thank you for the entertainment, and hurry up with more!

AudioBook Review – Paragons

Sometimes you know a review gets stuck in the weird thing that is audible limbo! and this one was there for a week or more. But here it is – finally! I think there was one more! haah will go route it out.


 

Sigil Online: Paragons | [Jeff Sproul]

“Good listen, but needed a bit more…”

I’m still pretty new to LitRPG and this is mostly brought on by facebook and the fact I’m a huge Jeff fan, so taking that into account, I’ll post my review.

Jeff did a really great performance with this, some really good female characters as usual, Brenda and Laura for sure. Even with Chace and Aaron, and then Riley as well. I don’t know how they put it all together, but with a Voice actor like Jeff there’s something worth listening to in all the stories he’s done.

So, a little bit of feedback on story. I enjoyed the story don’t get me wrong, but there were some things that just left me feeling a little cold, and miffed. I get that the MC – Riley as Radiance was an ass and being knocked down a peg or two really was tough. But as a character, he didn’t really seem to grow so much and there were many times throughout the story that I wondered why he never thought about certain things, why other characters never got a mention until it seemed it was past late. Some small parts of seeding in his thoughts here and there would have really benefited the story, no matter how much of an ass he was, no one just doesn’t think about certain life events for so long or more so people, things like that play on your mind no matter who you are, or what you’re doing.

Having said all that, and no spoilers for anyone else. There were some things I personally guessed really early on, maybe that’s just my film background, I’m not sure, so I did think that was a little bit of a letdown, not too sure what the writer might have done to aid that. Building their characters up some more, inside the game and out of it might have helped. I understand that maybe LitRPG’s just want to be inside the game but for a real story to take place, there are things we do, on a day in day out basis that are interesting. That needs to be said and done.

Not a bad length, but I think it could have been longer, with better set up and story building. There’s so much potential I’m still interested to see where this one goes, and what they do with the next ‘game upgrade’ so I’m not lost on it, like I have been with others. I’ll be looking out for more, and will poke about to see any ebooks 🙂 thanks for the entertainment.