Author Interview – Heather R. Blair

Today’s Author Interview is with Heather R. Blair. I first came across Heather when I put out an open read-to review request on Goodreads for The Secret Dead.  Heather offered to review it, and had some lovely things to say (which was very soothing for a nervous newbie author).

As with every author who has reviewed me, or taken the time to say nice things about my writing, I took a look at what books she had written. I don’t do reciprocal reviews, or do reviews of anyone who has reviewed my own work, but I do like to support my fellow indies. I’ve also found (surprise surprise) that those authors who enjoy my work often have a similar taste in books. Stalking my reviewers has been a great way for reader-me to discover talented new authors.

At the time, Heather had a book of fantasy short stories out: Shivers, which I read and thoroughly enjoyed.  When I decided to start doing author interviews, Heather’s was one of the first names that came to mind, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that she has had a busy year.

Smoke in Moonlight, the first in her Celtic Elementals series, was released in June, and Phoenix Rising in July.  Even better, the second Celtic Elementals book, Blood In Fire, is out today, so there is plenty for Heather R. Blair fans to get excited about.

And now after a ridiculously long introduction,  take a look at what Heather has to say in her own words:

The first in your Celtic Elementals series was published this year. Can you give me a sneak peek of what’s coming next?

The Celtic Elementals series is near and dear to my heart. I have always had a bit of an obsession with Celtic myth and the chance to put my own spin on it has been intoxicating. The 1st book, Smoke In Moonlight, was all about Lacey Ryan, a young woman who takes a leap of faith and goes to the country she has been dreaming of her whole life — Ireland, of course! She gets way more than she expected when she meets up with Ronan Fitzpatrick, a man under an ancient curse and his odd but sweet family.

The 2nd book in the series comes out 11/20. Blood in Fire is the much darker story of Aidan O’Neill, a vampire with a long and bloody past, who is plagued by a vicious demon and an obsessive goddess. He knows better than to open his heart to anyone, but finds that hard to resist when he meets Heather Kantos, a woman who is fighting darkness of her own.

As for what’s next, it seems like I am always juggling a few projects, lol.

I am already writing my 2nd installment in the Phoenix Inc. series. This series is more UF than PNR and centers loosely around a Chicago foundation established for ‘paras’, a group of people with varied psychic gifts.

I also plan to start the 3rd book in the Celtic Elementals series(Lightning in Sea) in Spring 2015. Hopefully this will take place after a trip to Ireland and the Isle of Mann for research tentavively planned for April. I am SO excited!

Out of all the characters in your books, who is your favourite and why?

Oh god, that is like asking me to pick a favorite child! I am partial to my tortured heroes, particularly Aidan O’Neill from Blood in Fire, and Maxmillian Gray from a couple of shorts I wrote in the short story anthology, Shivers: 9 Dark & Twisted Tales.

What is it that attracts you to writing fantasy?

Control!! lol Seriously, that is a big part of it. There are no rules in fantasy, you make the world as you see fit. And that is a beautiful thing. Plus, I have just adored sci-fi/fantasy my whole life. I love all kinds of books, but that genre will always be my fave.

What has been the best compliment you’ve received as an author?

Every time someone tells me I made them laugh or made them cry or that they didn’t want the story to end. That always makes me glow for days. Writing is all about sharing a piece of your soul, when it comes right down to it. No matter how funny, dark, silly, twisted or sad, it’s always very personal, and having someone accept that and enjoy it, well, it’s the best feeling in the world!

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your books?

I am the perpetual editor, I ALWAYS see things I want to change, lol. One thing for sure though, I would be more fearless. Now, I am learning to spread my wings, so watch out. :)

Who are your favourite authors, and how would you say they have influenced you as a writer?

Argh, another hard one. How much room do you have on your blog, anyway?! :)

Okay, first up has to be Stephen King. I have writers I like better than him, but to me, he’s the master of so much, particularly chacterization. And his book ‘On Writing’ is kind of my writing bible.

Others would include Ursula K LeGuin, C.S. Lewis, Barbara Kingsolver, Sir Walter Scott, Shakespeare, Tennyson, Anne McCaffrey, Robin McKinley, Karin Slaughter, Julie Garwood(her older romance stuff), Jude Devereaux and certainly Nora Roberts, who doesn’t get nearly enough credit, IMO, for just being a damn good writer. Also love her stuff as JD Robb, she is the queen of great female characters and hilarious dialogue. Oh, and definitely can’t forget Madeline L’Engle, Susan Cooper and Morgan Llywelyn, the latter two are hugely responsible for my fascination with Celtic myth and legend.

Roger Zelanzy had a massive influence on me as well, his world building still stuns me every time I re-read the Amber books and I have to say his anti-hero archetypes always make me swoon.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Don’t give up! Writing can be fun and exhilarating, but it’s not easy. You WILL have bad days, you will have AWFUL days, days when you want to chuck the whole thing out the nearest high window.

Don’t do it.

Writing is the ultimate expression of hope; hope that we matter, that our stories are important, that our petty little thoughts have meaning, that our dreams are worth sharing. Don’t ever forget that. (though it might be worth investing in a punching bag you can hang next to the computer for those bad review days!)

SWF:  This last answer from Heather really struck a chord with me. I wanted to give up so many times when I was writing The Secret Dead. One of the things I’ve found hardest about writing is trying to reconcile the words on the page with the ideal in my head. At the end, it was just pure stubbornness keeping me going . So, for all of you still struggling on your first novel, I suggest copying Heather’s words out and sticking them to your computer screen. We’ve all been there. Frustration and bad days are part of the process of becoming a good writer.

You can find Heather on Goodreads, Facebook, or Twitter. Don’t forget to say hello. Us writers love to hear from readers.

Smoke in Moonlight

Amazon UK; Amazon US

SmokeInMoonlight

Ireland.
The misty green land of ‘Lacey’ Solace Ryan’s secret dreams. Lately, those dreams have taken on a dark and tantalizing twist. But that won’t stop her from finally going there herself. What–and who–she finds there will change her life, or end it entirely.
Ronan Fitzpatrick is a man both blessed and cursed. Blessed with a loving and close-knit family and cursed with a burden no man should have to bear. For centuries out of mind, Ronan has been faoladh, the werewolf. The only dark warrior of Lugh the Long Hand, Ronan fights on the side of light, but lives with a darkness threatening to swallow him whole. Only his family keeps him from crossing over and he would do anything to protect them.
Anything.
When his dreams show him an American woman, a woman who can shift the balance within him and in doing so, destroy everything he holds dear, Ronan knows what he must do. Even if it means killing an innocent, he won’t hesitate.
He mustn’t, or everything he knows will transform…
like SMOKE IN MOONLIGHT A book seeped in Celtic and pagan mythology, teeming with shifters, demons, gods and even a vampire, SMOKE IN MOONLIGHT will rip open your imagination to the possibility of other worlds, worlds that will continue to be explored in BLOOD in FIRE and LIGHTNING in SEA.

Blood In Fire

Amazon US, Amazon UK

Blood In Fire

Aidan O’Neill is dangerous. No, make that deadly. A vampire prince who turned his back on his throne, enraging his king and marking himself for death.

Again.

The only thing Aidan dreams about is seeing the sun again. After all, it has been 1200 years. When his best friend stumbles across a secret potion than can grant his wish, Aidan can’t resist stealing it. What happens after may change the world forever.

Heather Kantos is a world-famous model who hides a darkness deep inside her. A darkness she shares with no one.

Until him.

When Aidan and Heather come together, a chain of events begin that will take them all the way from Istanbul to Ireland, from his past to her future, from darkness to light and back again. In the end, will they find what they need in each other?

Or will it all just burn away? Like…Blood in Fire.

 

Phoenix Rising

Amazon UK; Amazon US

phoenix rising

Ten years ago Miles Rousseau and Kelsey Daeger met in Paris—what passed between them there has haunted them both ever since.

When Miles starts looking into a series of gruesome vamp murders that strike close to his heart, his only option is to reach out to Phoenix, Inc.—a foundation for gifted paras—and Kelsey, a pysch-para with the rare ability to track and spy on vampires undetected. He has first-hand knowledge of her skill—because he was her first target.

Kelsey doesn’t know what to think when Miles shows up in her office. Suddenly, the redemption she had long given up on seems tantalizingly within reach….

But Miles isn’t all that is reaching out from the ashes of Kelsey’s past, what their investigation reveals may destroy them both….

If they don’t destroy each other first….

Shivers: 9 Dark & Twisted Tales

Amazon UK, Amazon US

shivers

A vampire who can’t outrun the werewolf she betrayed, a young heroin addict dying to join a very exclusive club, a man who gets on the wrong side of a Navajo skinwalker… From sexy to macabre, from the scintillating to the supernatural, these tales have one thing in common…Shivers!

This collection starts with ON EDGE, Anna is a centuries old vampire running from her past, only to find it stalking her like a wolf through the desert night.

Next, in ONCE IN A BLUE MOON, Diana doesn’t get out much, but when she does it’s one hell of a night.

In SHADES OF WINTER, what will horrors will hunger drive drive young lovers to?

THE FOURTH OF NEVER contains a July 4th show you won’t forget.

Picking up strangers in bars can be a dangerous proposition, even for a vamp in THE GAME.

Childhood friends aren’t what they seem, but the SKINWALKER always knows what’s in your heart.

Riding a train of the damned, an up-and-coming punk singer gets a glimpse of destiny, in 27.

Toby thought the worst thing about his sexy hook-up was her being an Auburn fan. Boy, is he wrong! Will he make a clean ALABAMA GETAWAY?

And diving back into the characters from from the first tale, MAX IN NYC follows Maximillian Gray as he confronts his past. Things are going to get bloody fast.

These 9 dark and twisted tales are full of shifters, vamps, goddesses, zombies, ghosts and a Native American monster or two—and packed with SHIVERS!

And some more updates…

For anyone eagerly awaiting the next Vivia Brisk book, it’s coming. I promise. It’s been written, beta-read, and is currently undergoing editing.  We’re on the last leg.

When I published The Secret Dead, no one cared much about it, other than me. This book is different. I’ve actually got people excited to read it. I’m definitely feeling the pressure to put out a good one, and not let anyone down.

So…no release date yet. It’ll be out as soon as it’s in a healthy enough state to release into the wild. Watch this space.

 

Author Spotlight – Lucas Bale

I first came across Lucas Bale on Twitter before he’d published his debut novel, The Heretic.  We chatted about self-publishing, he bought my book and said nice things about it, and I ended up beta-reading for The Heretic.

I mention this to brag and ensure it is recorded for all posterity that I knew Lucas Bale before he was a big deal. Because I think he will be. Remember you saw it here first.

The Heretic is the first book in his Beyond the Wall series, a magnificent space opera set in a terrifyingly authoritarian society.  The book has a delicious Firefly-ish feel to it, and if you don’t immediately go ‘ooh’, I’m assuming you haven’t seen Firefly.

As a beta-reader, I was lucky enough to get a sneak peak of Defiance, the second in the series which was released yesterday. If The Heretic is good, Defiance is even better. This is the book that made me realise just how talented Bale is. He has a fantastic talent for imagery that makes a fictional planet in a far-future feel like a very real place. He also has a very annoying habit of ending chapters in a way that make me immediately turn the page and go to bed far too late.

If, like me, you’re broke, there’s good news too. The Heretic is  now free for a few days, so get it quick. For those of you still reading on actual paper,  there’s a Goodreads giveaway which will be open until 24th November. And if that wasn’t enough,  new short story What It Means To Survive  is also free.  (FWIW, I’ve read this too, and it’s another I’m adding to your ‘Recommended Reading from SW Fairbrother’ list.)

There’ll be plenty of good deals going. I suggest signing up to his  newsletter so you don’t miss anything.

Once you’ve read his stuff, and got all excited about it, don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon. He’s an indie author, like me, and every review makes a huge difference.

You can find Lucas Bale on Twitter (say hello while you’re there. He’s very nice and unlikely to bite), on Goodreads,  or on his website (while there, don’t forget to check out the incredible spaceship artwork) .

Now take a look below and get a glimpse into Lucas Bale’s world:

THE HERETIC

Amazon UK, Amazon US

Heretic

EARTH IS GONE.

Centuries have passed since the First Cataclysm ended life on the blue planet. Humanity’s survivors are now dispersed among distant colonies, thousands of light years from the barren, frozen rock that was once their home.

A new Republic has formed – one in which freedom no longer exists. In return for the protection of the Consulate Magistratus, citizens must concede their rights absolutely. The Magistratus controls interstellar travel, access to technology – even procreation. Every citizen is implanted with a device to monitor their location, health and nutrition and emotions – perhaps even more. Organised religion is forbidden. All crime is punished by banishment or a lifetime of penal servitude on the Kolyma prison fleet.

And humanity’s true history survives only in whispers of a secret archive.

Yet there are those who preach a new religion and who want to be free.

A REVOLUTION IS COMING…

 

DEFIANCE

Amazon US, Amazon UK

Defiance cover

THE DARKNESS IN THE HUMAN HEART IS INFINITE.

At a time when power means everything, the ultimate power, the imperium, rests with the Consulate Magistratus. The murder of a man in the lowest caste may be inconsequential, but one man, one of the Caesteri who still believes in justice, refuses to ignore it.

The woman he hunts is violent and unstable, and haunted by her own callous ghosts. She will drag him to the furthest reaches of space, where the abyss which awaits them hides an unspeakable truth.

When faced with their own mortality, there is no limit to what human beings will do to protect themselves, their family, their property. The human mind changes when exposed to relentless horror. It becomes dehumanised. The grotesque becomes mundane. There is no pity, no remorse – only instinct. An instinct which cannot be controlled.

The imperium belongs only to those who are strong enough to wield it.

THE WAR TO CONTROL HUMANITY’S FUTURE IS ABOUT TO BEGIN…

 

What It Means To Survive

whatitmeanstosurvive

McArthur’s World is a frozen planet which has been bled dry by mineral mining corporations for three decades. When there is nothing left but ice and snow, the last freighter lifts off carrying away every remaining human being. When it crashes in a wilderness no one has ever returned from, there are only two survivors: a miner who wants to get back to the children he has not seen for two years, and the woman who forced him to come to McArthur’s World in the first place.

They think they’re alone, until the shrieks in the darkness come.

Amazon UK Amazon US

Fall Into Fantasy – The Darkworld Series

Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 13: The Darkworld Series

Prequel Novella: Fear’s Touch

Book One: Darkness Watching

Book Two: Walking Shadow

By Emma L. Adams

This is a standalone novella, intended as a prequel to the Darkworld series. As it takes place one year before the events of Darkness Watching, it doesn’t contain any spoilers (although it does hint at things which will come into play later in the series).

Freakish powers and staring demon eyes aren’t part of Claudia’s plans for the future – and neither is ending up stuck at the gloomy, isolated University of Blackstone. But bad life decisions are the least of her problems, when a split-second decision to help out another magic-user puts her in the crossfire of both the shadow-beasts and the creepy organisation which hunt them down.

Claudia’s never had to worry about making the right choice before, but every decision matters when you have a Darkworld connection. Soon, she’s going to have to make a choice: turn her back on the crazy and try to live a normal life, or take the monsters down.

But in a world where everyone seems to have secrets, can she really trust her fellow magic-users – or even herself?

Now available at retailers! 

Buy it from: Amazon  Amazon UK  Barnes & Noble  Kobo

Add it to Goodreads

Eighteen-year-old Ashlyn is one interview away from her future when she first sees the demons. She thinks she’s losing her mind, but the truth is far more frightening: she can see into the Darkworld, the home of spirits– and the darkness is staring back.

Desperate to escape the demons, Ash accepts a place at a university in the small town of Blackstone, in the middle of nowhere – little knowing that it isn’t coincidence that led her there but the pull of the Venantium, the sorcerers who maintain the barrier keeping demons from crossing from the Darkworld into our own world.
All-night parties, new friendships and a life without rules or limits are all part of the package of student life – but demons never give up, and their focus on Ash has attracted the attention of every sorcerer in the area. Ash is soon caught between her new life and a group of other students with a connection to the Darkworld, who could offer the answers she’s looking for. The demons want something from her, and someone is determined to kill her before she can find out what it is.
In a world where darkness lurks beneath the surface, not everyone is what they appear to be…

Reviews:

“Demons, Sorcerers, evil, and secrets. Could you ask for a better supernatural suspense set-up? The plot is original, and completely gripping. From the first page, this book had me hooked.” – Rose at Desert Rose Reviews

 
“A suspenseful first part to an intriguing new fantasy series.” - Sharon Stevenson, supernatural author
 
“The story is extremely well-written with effortless, flowing prose, and the original magic-user mythology and Darkworld creatures are very entertaining. The author took what might have been over-done premise and twisted it into something very fresh and exciting.” – Lexa Cain, author of Soul Cutter
 
“Emma is an amazing writer. She has become one of my favorites. I couldn’t put Darkness Watching down.” – Diane at A Creative Mind

Buy it from: Amazon  Amazon UK  Barnes & Noble  Kobo
Or add it to Goodreads
 
 

When you have a connection to the Darkworld, nowhere is truly safe.

Ashlyn has found a new home in Blackstone, but when a spate of grave robberies across the country spark fears that someone is practicing illegal sorcery, she comes under the radar of the Venantium, the protectors of the Barrier between her world and the Darkworld, who are suspicious of any sorcerer who doesn’t know their origins.
The trouble is, what Ash does know might just get her killed.
Sufferers of the dangerous condition known as the vampire’s curse are being brutally killed, and the latest victim is Leo’s guardian, the ex-head of the Venantium. Ash determines to help Leo find out what’s really going on, but it isn’t long before events are spiralling out of control. The dead are rising from their graves, and the barriers around Blackstone are threatened by a demon which looks exactly like Ash herself…
 
Coming December 1st, 2014 from Curiosity Quills

Add it to Goodreads

 
ABOUT EMMA L. ADAMS

Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing fantasy novels for children and young adults. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also entertained her creative writing group and baffled her tutors by submitting strange fantasy tales featuring dragons and supernatural monsters to workshops. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, Emma refuses to settle down and be normal. When not embarking on wild excursions, she edits and proofreads novels for various publishing houses and reads an insane number of books. At the age of 21, she signed a publishing contract with Curiosity Quills Press for the first book in her creepy urban fantasy Darkworld series. DARKNESS WATCHING was published in October 2013, and four more novels and a novella will follow. She chats about writing and other book-related things at her blog, From the Writer’s Nest, and looks forward to sharing more tales from the bizarre depths of her imagination.

Find Emma online: Blog  Website  Facebook Page  Twitter

Sign up to Emma’s newsletter to be the first to find out about new releases
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Author Interview – John Darr

TheProtectorsRing-ebook-web_md Amazon US, Amazon UK

Jonah Blackstone just turned thirteen when life gave him the worst gift he could imagine, losing his parents in a mysterious accident. Now he’s been whisked off to live with relatives in a small town in Georgia, where his troubles continue.

Jonah’s harassed by a local bully, encounters Reapers, and pursued by supernatural canines, all while learning to use his growing powers. He eventually discovers why his parents died. They refused to reveal the location of a powerful ancient artifact: The Protector’s Ring.

With the enemy closing in, Jonah must locate the ring to avoid the same grim fate.

I’m excited to announce that the lovely John Darr who has beta-read both my books (and whose feedback made them so much better) has recently released a new novel.

The Protector’s Ring is a YA novel featuring half-Reaper Jonah Blackstone, and is the beginning of what promises to be an exciting new series. The sequel to The Protector’s Ring is  due to be released mid-2015.

John kindly agreed to come along and answer some questions about his writing and what is next for Jonah Blackstone.

What attracts you to writing fantasy and the YA genre in particular? 

I’ve always loved fantasy novels and I’ve read my fair share of YA novels. I particularly like ones that don’t play down to kids or treat them like a grown-up’s idea of what snotty kids are. One reason I’m drawn to the YA genre is because I’m still a kid at heart. As someone who’s discovering his voice in adulthood, I can identify with the quest to discover oneself that many protagonists face in YA novels.

 When did you decide to become a writer?

Professionally I write scripts, both for my own films, and for my work. So I’ve always been interested in telling a story. I supposed my decision to write novels came about 6 years ago. In the quest to write my own original series, I began chaff at the limitations in script writing. I wanted to get the full story and universe down on paper, first. That led me to toying around with writing my ideas in novel form.

My first full novel was for another series, Omega Quest. I used my outline for a two-hour pilot and wrote the novel during National Novel Writing Month (NANOWRIMO). After that, I knew I had to continue and a year later I had the first draft of the Protector’s Ring completed.

While at dinner with a friend, he pointed out that most people focus on either scriptwriting or novels. He wanted to know which I preferred. My reply was I wanted to tell stories. At this moment, the novel allows me the freedom to let my mind go and create the worlds I envision.

 The Jonah Blackstone series has a rich supernatural world with a myriad of supernatural creatures. What made you focus on the Afterworld and Reapers?

I’m a spiritual person and I believe we, humans are more than the physical characteristics. I believe we have a soul and spirit that can connect us in ways you never imagined. And, of course, I’ve wondered about what happens next. I’ve never been a big fan of passing on and reclining on clouds cushy clouds while strumming a harp.

I think we humans have a brighter future and destiny, another reason I like true sci-fi and fantasy books. And so, this idea started as a short story, about a Reaper who rebelled and refused to reap a soul. When I set out to the novel, I originally focused on Jonah’s dad, the rebellious Reaper. But I changed that to his son so the readers could learn along with Jonah.

 Can we have a sneak peek into what’s coming next for Jonah?

Not only will Jonah continue to grow in his abilities, but he and the readers will discover more about the supernatural world.

In the next book, The Seeker’s Compass, Jonah discovers the hidden secret of the birthday gift his parents left him. In the process, he’s introduce to another ruler of the Afterworld, The Grand Oracle, a being just as evil and powerful as the Grim Reaper.

I’m working on a third novel, The Ankh of Life. In it, Jonah will finally recover the blocked memory alluded to toward the end of The Protector’s Ring. In doing so, he’ll discover an enemy very close to home. The Egyptian Wraith returns and provides unexpected aid.

If all things pan out, the fourth novel, The Destiny Medallion, will see Jonah entering formal training to use his powers by going off to a special camp.  While there he’ll meet other young people with various powers and will come face-to-face to with the Alliance Council, the group to which his godfather Marcus belongs.

My future plans also include Jonah meeting the final player from the Afterworld, the Wraith King. He’s mentioned briefly in The Protector’s Ring. So, there’s plenty more to come.

 Who are your favourite authors, and how do you think they have influenced your work?

I like some of the old warhorses like Asimov and Frank Herbert. Today’s authors? Jim Butcher. I loved his Harry Dresden series. Although I’m not a YA Paranormal Romance fan, I actually liked Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia and a Margaret Stohl. Of course, I read the Harry Potter books and made it through most of the Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris. The Harper Connelly series is a favorite of mine.  Again, as a television producer, I tend to favor series over stand-alone books.

If I have been influenced, it’s in the richness of the worlds and the characters’ journeys. I want to capture and produce a same level of depth in the Jonah Blackstone novels.

 What are three things you can’t live without and why?

  1. My creativity and imagination. It’s such a part of me that I’d feel like there was a hole in my very being.
  2. My mobile devices. (Laptop, iPad) In this day and age, I find myself using them more and more to add in my creativity.
  3. Supportive friends. Without them, I wouldn’t be here, doing this interview. They keep me grounded while at the same time prodding me to step into the spotlight. Without them, I would retreat into the safety of anonymity.

Were any of the characters based on real people?

Hmmm.  First of all, Jonah is not based on me. I get that question all the time. : ) In terms of characterization, Jonah’s twin cousins, Robert and Lynn, were based on real twins that lived next door to me, as a child. Aunt Imma was based on a woman from the church I attended. Shhh, don’t tell her.

The physical attributes of some of the other characters are based on real people. Mike’s look and smarts is based on a former student. Something about the oatmeal complexion against a jet black short Afro struck me.

Omar & Marcus: Even though I had Omar’s look, when I saw a stranger who, while walking through the mall concourse, caused everyone to stop to stare, I was floored. Not only was this individual a tall, bald African male, like Omar, but also he dressed like a model. I think that point I gave Omar his day-job as a model.

My own sister, an attorney, influenced my giving Marcus a day-job as an attorney. She reviews many of the estate and child custody issues in the books.

You can find out more about John Darr on his website, or chat to him on twitter.  

IMG_1566_JohnDarrCU

John also offers a Dedicated Reader Service where he will provide constructive feedback on your work. John has beta read both my books, and they are all the better for his insightful comments. I am very happy to recommend him.  You can find out more about this service here

The Alliance of Independent Authors launches the Ethical Author Code of Conduct

 

I'm an Ethical Author

I’ve blogged before about my concerns around ethics and authors behaving badly.  I was really pleased to get an email from The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) this afternoon detailing the launch of their latest initiative – an Ethical Author Code of Conduct.

Jane Steen has blogged about it here, so I won’t repeat the message, but this is overdue and much needed in the writing community. Go ALLi! I’m behind you all the way.

For the record, I officially agree to abide by the below Code of Conduct.

For some reason the Code of Conduct jpeg is horribly unclear on my site, but this is it:

Ethical Author Code

Guiding principle: Putting the reader first

When I market my books, I put my readers first. This means that I don’t engage in any practices that have the effect of misleading the readers/buyers of my books. I behave professionally online and offline when it comes to the following practices in my writing life:

Courtesy

I behave with courtesy and respect toward readers, other authors, reviewers and industry professionals such as agents and publishers. If I find myself in disagreement, I focus on issues rather than airing grievances or complaints in the press or online, or engaging in personal attacks of any kind.

Aliases

I do not hide behind an alias to boost my own sales or damage the sales or reputation of another person. If I adopt a pen name for legitimate reasons, I use it consistently and carefully.

Reviewing and Rating books

I do not review or rate my own or another author’s books in any way that misleads or deceives the reader. I am transparent about my relationships with other authors when reviewing their books.

I am transparent about any reciprocal reviewing arrangements, and avoid any practices that result in the reader being deceived.

Reacting to reviews

I do not react to any book review by harassing the reviewer, getting a third party to harass the reviewer, or making any form of intrusive contact with the reviewer. If I’ve been the subject of a personal attack in a review, I respond in a way that is consistent with professional behaviour.

Book Promotions

I do not promote my books by making false statements about, for example, their position on bestseller lists, or consent to anyone else promoting them for me in a misleading manner.

Plagiarism

I know that plagiarism is a serious matter, and I don’t intentionally try to pass off another writer’s words as my own.

Financial ethics

In my business dealings as an author, I make every effort to be accurate and prompt with payments and financial calculations. If I make a financial error, I remedy it as soon as it’s brought to my notice.

Responsibility

I take responsibility for how my books are sold and marketed. If I realise anyone is acting against the spirit or letter of this Code on my behalf, I will refer them to this Code and ask them to modify their behaviour.

Sorry to to let you all down but…

I was going to be at the Indie Author Fair this Sunday at the Chorleywood Literary Festival, but am going to have to cancel. I’ve had a minor procedure planned for a while (nothing serious), but my local hospital has rescheduled it for this Friday, and I’m going to spend the weekend recuperating.

Don’t let my absence put you off. It looks like it’s going to be a great event, with some fantastic authors. I’m really sorry to miss it. Go along, and let me know how it went!

Fall Into Fantasy – Between

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Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Tour, where we are keeping your mind off any end-of-summer blues and welcoming the cooler weather by introducing you to some incredible fantasy reads to curl up with and giving you plenty of chances to win awesome prizes!

Week 12: The Dark Intent Series

Book One: Between

By Lisa Swallow

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What do you do when you are attracted to two men and both have the power to kill you with a touch or a kiss? Can Rose trust either of them – or anyone in her new life?

Ghosts? Demons? Angels? Or something more? The supernatural you find living and working in this English city are a little different to those you usually find in the genre…

Rose survived the accident that killed her friend. The problem is the life she returns to scares her more than the night she almost died.

When Alek and Finn enter her world, Rose discovers the after-effects of the accident are worse than she thought. The slow recovery and fogged nightmares aren’t the only changes she needs to cope with.

Rose has an immediate and intense attraction to arrogant housemate Alek. This confuses her as much as the chilling effect of her enigmatic work colleague Finn. As Rose struggles to cope with her new life, she learns that her connection to the two men threatens all their futures

Alek has lived years closed off from people. He didn’t expect someone like Rose to come into his life and challenge the reality he grips onto.

If Finn doesn’t fix the mistake he made, his life is in danger. His desire to help and protect Rose makes his task difficult, especially when she’s the mistake he needs to fix.

When Alek’s past catches up, Rose disappears. Trapped between the living and the dead, on the edge of Hell, Rose is unable to find her way back. Alek and Finn could help her – but are they prepared to risk the consequences?

Buy it from: Amazon  Amazon UK  Kobo  Apple  Barnes & Noble

ABOUT LISA SWALLOW

Lisa is an author of new adult romance and writes both paranormal and contemporary, often with a side of snark. In between running a business, looking after her family and writing, Lisa sometimes finds spare time to do other things. This often involves swapping her book worlds for gaming worlds. Lisa is originally from the UK but moved to Australia in 2001 and now lives in Perth in Western Australia with her husband, three children and dog.

Find Lisa online: Website  Facebook  Twitter  Mailing List

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Reader, writer, daydreamer. Author of The Secret Dead.