Cover Reveal – C.L. Schneider

Cover Reveal

I’m excited to share with you the cover for my upcoming release! After completing the Crown of Stones Trilogy last year, I wanted to do something different. And this series is it! Flash Point is the 1st book in The Nite Fire Series, a fast-paced, entertaining urban fantasy full of action and mystery. Nite Fire centers on the character of Dahlia Nite, a shapeshifting creature-hunter from a parallel world—ruled by dragons.

FlashPointFinalFullCover.jpg

BLURB

Nite Fire: Flash Point

Slated for execution, shapeshifting assassin, Dahlia Nite, flees her world to hide in the human realm. As payment for the shelter they unknowingly provide, Dahlia dedicates herself to protecting humans from what truly lives in the shadows. Moving from town to town, she hunts the creatures that threaten an unsuspecting human race; burying the truth that could destroy them all.

But the shadows are shifting. The lies are adding up. And when Sentinel City is threatened by a series of bizarre brutal murders, light is shed on what should never be seen. The secrets that have kept humanity in the dark for centuries are in danger of being exposed.

Wrestling with a lifetime of her own deceptions, Dahlia investigates the killings while simultaneously working to conceal their circumstances. But with each new murder, the little bit of peace she has found in this world begins to crumble. Each new clue leads her to the one place she thought to never go again. Home.

EXCERPT

His roar blew the hair back from my face. His oddly pliable jaw opened with a wet crack of cartilage. Dropping, extending past throat, then chest, the square edge of his jaw came to rest even with the center of his abdomen. Outlined by fleshy lips, the dark maw within held an inner ring of uneven teeth, all stained with a deep red grime. Pushing out from their center, the del-yun’s gray tongue ejected like a whip. A heavy discharge of green followed. Hitting the floor in front of me with a moist splat, the glop of saliva gurgled and smoked as it devoured the concrete. A smaller rivulet of smoke curled up from the front of my left boot, where tiny beads of the creature’s spit were eating through the laces.

“Come on,” I groaned, “not the boots…” Bending, I slid my knife in behind the black crisscross. In the corner of my eye, I saw his tongue emerging again.

I broke the lace with a quick yank.

Flinging off the still-bubbling piece as I straightened, I flung the knife next. My throw was directed at his tongue, hoping to sever the bit wagging down over his teeth. But at the last second, he moved. My weapon sailed past his tongue, in through his wide mouth, and impaled his left cheek. The tip of the blade pushed out with a spill of yellowish blood and sliced tissue.

I raised a finger. Fire trickled from my nail. It slid off the side of my hand and onto the floor. Watching its journey, the del-yun knew: one little touch was all it would take. His blood would catch like kindling, and my fire would follow it down inside him like a flame on a fuse.

*Flash Point will release in paperback the last week of February with a pre-order for the ebook to follow.

C. L. Schneider.jpg

BIO

  1. L. Schneider is a New York-based author of adult epic and urban fantasy. Born in a small Kansas town, she grew up in a house of avid readers and overflowing bookshelves. Her first full-length novel took shape in high school, on a typewriter in her parent’s living room. Schneider’s epic trilogy, The Crown of Stones, tells the story of Ian Troy, a man born with an addiction to magic. Nite Fire: Flash Point is the first book in a fast-paced urban fantasy series with shapeshifters, dragons, and parallel worlds.

Learn more about C.L. Schneider and her work at clschneiderauthor.com where you can read reviews, excerpts and sneak peeks, and subscribe to her newsletter. An active part of the indie author online community, you can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Google+, where she is often found chatting about books, zombies, coffee, and the daily ups and downs of writing.

 

Links

 

Website http://www.clschneiderauthor.com/

Twitter  https://twitter.com/cl_schneider

Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/CLS.Author

Google# https://www.google.com/+CLSchneider

Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomCLSchneider

Universal Link to Crown of Stones Trilogy  http://mybook.to/COSTrilogy

Amazon Author Page http://author.to/CLSchneiderAmazonPg

SciFi Blog Tour – Heather Hayden

Today I’m interviewing Heather Hayden for the SciFi blog tour! I’m excited for this because I love the cover. 🙂

 

Bio:

Though a part-time editor by day, Heather Hayden’s not-so-secret identity is that of a writer—at night she pours heart and soul into science fiction and fantasy novels. In March 2015 she published her first novella, Augment, a YA science fiction story filled with excitement, danger, and the strength of friendship. She immediately began work on its sequel, Upgrade, which continues the adventures of Viki, a girl who loves to run, and her friend Halle, an AI. Her latest release is a short story “Beneath His Skin,” which is part of an anthology her writer’s group put together called From the Stories of Old: A Collection of Fairy Tale Retellings. You can learn more about Heather and her stories through her blog and her Twitter, both of which consist of equal amounts of writerly things and random stuff she’s interested in.

from-the-stories-of-old-3d-small
Questions:

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t dwell on the dark times. When things get rough, reading and writing will help you make it through. Don’t abandon your books or your stories, because that will only make it worse. Do things for yourself, not just for others. It’s not selfish, it’s taking care of yourself. Run on the beach at night. Take long bike rides. Read.

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

It depends on the book. A short story might get a few days or a week. A novel might get a month or even longer, in some cases. Augment didn’t have that luxury because I had a strict 6-month window in which to write, edit and publish it. But its sequel, Upgrade, had a gentler deadline and took closer to ten months to complete the first draft.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

Eventually I would like to earn my living through writing. Though it may take a few years to reach that point (or longer), it’s how I want to live. I’m not looking to become the next J. K. Rowling or anything, just earning enough to afford an apartment or a house, food, and travel; that last is especially important, since I want to see the world, and plane tickets can get pretty pricey depending on the destination.

I’m not as proliferous (yet, anyways) as other writers I know, who can release an amazing book every few months, but I’m working hard and eventually I hope to reach that goal. I’ve already released Augment, a YA science fiction novel (2015), and From the Stories of Old, an anthology with other writers (2016). I hope to release Upgrade early this year, with other publications later in the year.

What drew you to write science fiction?

Ever since I was a child, fantasy has fascinated me. When I started reading science fiction, I found it just as captivating. For that reason, I read both genres and also write both genres. Augment, in particular, drew a lot from my knowledge of computer science, genetics, and implant technology. Augment was my Senior Project (a requirement for graduation at my college), and in it I combined all my passions—for writing, for science, for science fiction. I’d written science fiction before, but never to the level of technical detail thatAugment required. It was challenging, but also rewarding.

What hobbies do you have, other than writing?

My hobbies tend to vary, depending on where I am and who I’m with. Sometimes I enjoy beading—usually making bracelets, since the loom I use is small. Other times I spend more free time gaming—often Minecraft, but also a variety of RPGs and 4X strategy games. Or I might play a lot of the card game Magic the Gathering. I’ve done knitting (scarf), crocheting (afghan), and cross-stitching (various projects) in the past, too. As a bookworm, I also read a lot, but I don’t consider that a hobby—more like sustenance for life.

Author Interview – James Moran

Today’s SciFi Interview 🙂

Jim is a random guy on the Internet who accidentally fell into this whole “writing” thing. He is terribly inexperienced in virtually every aspect of the writing endeavor, and is currently just making things up as he goes. What fun! He has a blog.

http://www.anexecutorswork.com/

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

In my current work, Focus, I’ve really got a party of four. But if I had to pick single main character, a first among equals, It’d probably be Adam. He and his companions, as an experiment, are press-ganged into learning how to wield an extra-dimensional power. (It’s a long story. Ha! And the story is called Focus.) In Adam’s case, he learns to focus this power in a way that nobody has ever seen before. Since he knew nothing of this power before the experiment, he’s as ignorant of this new aspect as everybody else. Learning what this new aspect of power is, wondering what it might be, fearing what it might be, is a major driver of Focus.

 

Along the way, Adam compensates for the ignorance of his potential abilities via the exploration of more mundane approaches to problem solving. This causes a stir all its own, and this “stir” becomes the driving force for the next story.

 

But of course he doesn’t do it by himself. His companions are as much a part of the story as he is. He just happens to be the source of conflict.

How much research do you do?

My research efforts are all over the place.

 

One of the great things about soft science fiction is that, to an extent, you can just make things up as you go, as long as you stick to the rules that you’ve defined. I don’t have to research my magic system, I just have to invent it.  On the other hand, I do have to follow those rules, and those rules have to make sense, or it’s just chaos. And really, I strive for at least a passing relationship with reality wherever I can’t avoid it.

 

And boy, do I try to avoid it. For instance, my spaceships need to travel interstellar distances, but the narrative requires consistent time scales between planets. So my ships need what I like to call LANGADAR drives. (Let’s All Not Give A Damn About Relativity.) Because I didn’t want to do all the research into the physics of light-speed travel, I eschewed faster than light travel (travelling the entire distance from A to B at some crazy-impossible velocity) for jump drives (disappearing from point A and appearing at point B instantaneously). Voila! No time dilation. No red-shifting. None of that.

 

On the other hand, for Focus, I needed a selection of naturally occurring, relatively basic molecules. H20 of course, and N2, but Fe2O3 also plays a part, and others will later. For Dissonance, I needed an imposing piece of heavy equipment that could reasonably walk on feet instead of roll on wheels. So I learned quite a bit more than I expected to about tunnel boring machines. Just a couple of examples among many.

 

So my research comes in fits and starts, and only as necessary. But it’s very much something that happens.

 How often do you write, and do you have a special time during the day to write?

They say that you should write a little each day, and they’re right about that. I write at least a little every day. It’s not always on my main work in progress; often it’s user documentation, or a critique of somebody else’s work, or a random blog post, or correspondence with somebody. But I approach every writing endeavor as something that should be done well, and that should hold at least a baseline interest for the reader. Proper punctuation, proper grammar, a decent progression of ideas. A narrative that holds together. Even if I’m texting someone, I do my best to observer proper grammar and punctuation. I loathe txtspk.

 

I’d estimate that I write at least three thousand words a day in various formats. Probably more, on most days.

 

If you want me to limit my answer strictly to my works in progress, I don’t write every day, but I do write multiple days a week. I don’t really have a special time of day, but I find that I can better accomplish different tasks at different times of day. I do a lot of plotting and troubleshooting during my commute to my day job, to the point where I rarely listen to the radio. On weekends, I find myself most motivated in the early morning or in the early afternoon. If I have a serious case of writer’s block, I’ve found that relaxing late in the evening with a laptop, a whiskey, and a comfortable chair can work wonders.

 

I don’t exactly have a significant depth of experience, but I’d say that when I seriously buckle down on a work-in-progress effort, I’ll get anywhere from five to fifteen thousand words a week. It mostly depends upon how much “free” time I have.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

This probably comes down to personal preference. For me, it doesn’t play an important part, because I’ve read any number of books now where the scene depicted on the cover doesn’t actually happen in the story. That’s annoying.

 

On the other hand, the cover art plays a part. It’ll (usually) at least tell me what kind of book I’m looking at. For instance, if I’m in an airport bookstore scanning the rack for a last-minute something for the flight, I’ll steer away from any covers sporting a fainting damsel clutching a shirtless Fabio. That scene may or may not happen in the book, but I don’t really care, because that’s not the book I’m looking for.

 

So, yeah. Judging a book by its cover plays a part in the initial winnowing process, at least for me. But only at that very high level. Otherwise, I could hardly care less. Good cover art is certainly fun to look at, but bad cover art just gets me reading the book’s blurb sooner.

What is your favourite motivational phrase?

Quit whining and do your job.

Author Interview – H.T. Lyon

I’m catching up on Author Interviews, and here’s this weeks great guy, please check out his blog, it’s really interesting, and thoughtful.

Author Name: H.T. Lyon

Blog Site: https://beyondescapevelocity.wordpress.com/

Q&A:

Q: How often do you write, and do you have a special time during the day to write? 
A: I write when I can. Having Google Docs (and before that One Note) is a great way to make writing portable. I should be able to pick up a device and get writing but I do seem to need some quiet space to get into it. Nanowrimo was a great motivation to get writing. I’d write in my lunchtime and in the evening and whenever I could. I hit the target and it’s the most productive I’ve ever been. I try to write once a day but sometimes only manage once a week. If there was any chance I could make to my writing, it would be to write more often. Style be damned if you don’t have the words to start with!

Q: For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?    
A: Personally, I’ve grown up with paper books so I am more comfortable reading them. I would prefer to be more comfortable with ebooks though. They are more environmentally friendly and also, it would be nice to be more comfortable reading using the platform I primarily intend to publish in. Weight for weight, the ebook has the advantage. You could take one paper book on a long plane flight but for the same weight, 1,000 ebooks. I can and have read books in ebook format and enjoyed them immensely. The main difference I find is that I am a lot faster when reading a paper book.

Q: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing as far as content?  
A: The number on challenge for me is injecting personality into my characters. I really struggle there, I want them to pop out and I haven’t managed to get into the space where I can get into the moment and inhabit a character shoes, especially where the character is unlike myself. I do find the best way to get over this is to carry on with the draft and let the actions define the characters. The needs of the plot eventually sorts this out for me! The thing I then need to deal with is their voice. It’s not point the villain and the hero having the same speech patterns!

Q: Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?    
A: The first story I remember reading that had a major impact on me was Lord of the Rings. It was a massive book and I tried several times to follow in my brother’s footsteps and read the damn thing but I could never really get it started. Then one day I flipped to page 119 (I think) and was immediately in the battle for Weathertop from then on, I made it all the way through and had enough context to get through the beginning again! What I took from it was an amazement that someone could create a world like that and an amazement that I could get lost in it. I think my friends heard about the book for months after that!

Q: Did you have any ideas about being a writer that becoming a writer changed?  
A: I always thought that writing was a job like being an accountant, people would learn to do it and then become good. Being around writers online has certainly been an education. Even the experienced of us struggle. Its the ultimate creative exercise. You can become better at it but it will always be something that is hard. For anyone standing at the edge and wondering whether to give it a go, I encourage you to do so. It only takes one positive reaction and it all becomes worthwhile.

About H.T. Lyon.
I am aspiring writer of science fiction. A futurist with a keen interest in where our society is heading, I tend focus most of my attention on stories that examine the direction our society is taking or that shows where we could end up. Optimistic my nature, I believe that one day we will look to settle the Solar System as we outgrow our planet and some of my stories examine how this could look. Currently, I have a number of novels underway and some short stories. My aim is to get one of these up and published before the end of the year around the other commitments that exist in my life.