The convention season is in full swing!

April was the beginning of my 2018 convention season. I couldn’t think of any better way to kick off an extraordinary year than attending JordanCon. It’s my favorite convention honoring the literary works of Robert Jordan and his Wheel of Time series. This year, Brandon Sanderson attended, and it was phenomenal. If you are in the Atlanta area and haven’t attended JordanCon yet, add it to your itinerary for next year. You won’t be disappointed.

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Not only did I enjoy mingling with my JordanCon family and chatting with Brandon Sanderson, but I also met two fantastic authors I’ve known only through social media. Morgan Smith (my amazing editor) traveled from Canada, and Tom Fallwell (a co-author on an upcoming epic) traveled from Oklahoma. I’m hoping this won’t be the last time that they visit.

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I was pleased to meet a few local authors I know as well. Mark McCray (adult swim), JD Estrada, and VR McCoy attended for the first time, too.

Check out the JordanCon WEBSITE for information about next year. Whether you love art, novels, gaming, or cosplaying, this is the family friendly event you’ll want to be a part of!

WhoLanta 2018

WhoLanta was my second event of the year. Although it was slower due to numerous uncontrollable issues (one dealing with horrible construction), I had a wonderful time and look forward to next year. Some of my vendor friends and I enjoyed visiting the Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey display. They have some exceptional props from Dr. Who and more.

To find out my schedule for the year, click HERE. A few events aren’t listed, but I’ll be updating soon. Come and visit me at OutLanta and TrekLanta soon! I’ll be paying homage to Nichelle Nichols (as Uhura) and might bring my bat’leth in case I need to battle more Klingons! As they say, “Heghlu’meH QaQ jajvam.” Just kidding.  Qapla’!

 

Author Interview: Makayla Love

Sanctuary

Author Spotlight

Makayla


Makayla Love
 
is an aspiring Harley Quinn-esque super villain who has decided to spend her time between nefarious schemes by writing paranormal novels in her lair somewhere in the general Kansas area. She enjoys sit-coms and doesn’t have enough shelf space for her ever multiplying collection of books.

Author Interview 

How long have you been writing?

Jeeze, so far back I can hardly remember. It goes all the way back to when I was a little kid sitting in my fifth grade class with a notebook writing Harvest Moon fanfictions. I remember once writing a horror story (albiet a terrible one) and binding it together with cardboard I found around the house and some string. I think I tried to illustrate it with a “how to draw anime” book I had at the time but I might be getting two memories mixed up with that one.

do remember, though, that in sixth and seventh grade I had this red notebook that I wrote (again) Harvest Moon fanfiction in, and all my friends loved it. They passed it around to each other whenever I finished a new chapter and would beg me to write more. That’s one of my fondest memories of my middle school days, and probably one of my best memories in my life so far. I’ll always be grateful to my friends for that early support.

What is your favorite genre to write?

I actually had this conversation with my husband not that long ago. I dabble in a lot of different ones, but I think horror and romance are my favorites. I say horror and romance, instead of just picking one, because those two are so tightly neck-and-neck for the number one spot that I don’t think I could choose only one. All of my stories, no matter the genre, always have romance because I’m a sappy romantic at heart. But I also feel like a story has a hard time holding my interest if there isn’t some viseral horror in there as well. So the more those two work together the happier I usually am with a project.

Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I’ve never tried straight-up YA. Not YA fantasy, not YA horror, not YA romance (though, again, knowing me it’ll get in there) but like Young Adult-Young Adult. The trials and tribulations of growing up as a kid. I’ve tried to try it before but never really stuck to it, but I keep wanting to stick to it. I think its because I know virtually nothing about the genre besides what I’ve read in other books, and even then I haven’t read that many YA books. I feel like I have this instinctive urge to talk down to them when I know thats rediculous. It might have something to do with the fact that I don’t think I paid any attention at all during my teenage years.

Please tell us about your book.

“Sanctuary” is the second book in the Titanomachy series, which is a steampunk/post-apocolyptic series I’ve written. It follows Shiloh and Rilei Beaumont through their adventures in a war-ravaged future. The culture of the Victorian Era was never given up and was, instead, incorporated into the war between genetics and technology.

Here is the excerpt for Sanctuary:

“Shiloh isn’t adjusting well to her new life in Ironbridge. Life isn’t how she always imagined it would be, and every day is harder than the last.

Things only get worse when a small family on their way to a settlement called “Sanctuary” shows up on Shiloh’s doorstep looking for an escort the rest of the way.

But Sanctuary isn’t all its supposed to be. When they find themselves trapped, every second becomes a fight for survival. Can they find a way out before one of them falls to a mad tyrant? Or will their little group be broken up forever?”

Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

Although I know a lot of people probably pick their main character as their favorite, I think my real favorite is Garth. He’s got such emotional depth that I find my heart breaking for him every time I think about his wants and his goals and his hang-ups. Despite how he acts, he’s a beautiful human being and (being the way overly emotional person that I am) I’ve found myself crying for him more than once.

My least favorite is a tie between Hiram Jefferson and Victor Beaumont, which shouldn’t be that surprising given that one of them is the major villain. Neither is completely clean in this story. Neither is really the hero. With them it’s a question of “who is the least at fault here?” because both had a hand in making the world what it is now. They both believe they’re right and won’t give it up, both believe what they’re doing is for the betterment of humanity even as the world collapses around them, and both are willing to sacrifice anything and everything to defeat the other.

What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Keeping things in sequential order. I always have a problem with stories where there’s an overall plan thats kept secret from the main characters, but is fully in the mind of a character I can’t get into the head of. I love them, but they’re a challenge for me to do in a way that I feel is believable. Luckily I managed to make it work in this one, I think.

Another problem I had was Shiloh’s depression. Whether people believe it or not, depression is a real problem child to translate onto paper. Especially when you know that some people might read it who have never felt it before. I had to toe the line between believably depressed and not having her come across as whiny. I feel like that worked too. Otherwise it would still be in the editing phase and not published yet.

What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

My writing routine is fairly simple. I have to write before I go to my day job or else its just not going to happen that day. Half the time its because I come home exhausted and end up going to bed about an hour or two after I eat dinner. I’ve been trying to fix it so that I wake up earlier in the day and have time to work, since I’ve noticed I write better if I do that anyway (even if I have the whole day to write and don’t have to work.)

I need music to work, and that’s usually a challenge because it has to be the right music. Sometimes it has something to do with getting the atmosphere right, and other times it’s just putting my head in the right space to do something worthwhile. I never know what the song is until I found it and sometimes that can be kind of a challenge.

How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

“Sanctuary” didn’t take nearly as long as the first book, “The Gilded Cage.” It maybe took a few months to write. I think I finished it in April of last year, and just put off the editing for several months. Truth is I think I halfway forgot I still had to edit it—but once I remembered, I sat down and did it in maybe a couple of months. Maybe less than that. Then I put it out!

Can you tell us about your editing process?

My editing process has gone through something of a metamorphosis since I started publishing again. For a while I did it just reading through the whole thing and using my best judgement, then I tried this app called “Hemmingway App” that goes through and helps you find words that could be better or sentences that sound bad or paragraphs that could be parred down. I liked that app for a while, but it stopped working for me when I had to switch to “OpenOffice” instead of paying for a full subscription to Microsoft WORD (cause at the time we weren’t making the kind of money that would allow something that expensive), so I had to go back to where I started, and that’s where I am now. I just read through the whole thing and pick out things that sound funny to me or that I think I can do better.

Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

Yes, “Sanctuary” is the second book in my Titanomachy Series. “The Gilded Cage” is the first.

There’s a very specific reason why I chose to call my series the “Titanomachy” series. In Greek mythology, the “Titanomachy” was a ten-year series of battles fought in Thessaly, consisting of most of the Titans fighting against the Olympians and their allies. My books stretch it out to two centuries and the “Titans” are Hiram Jefferson and Victor Beaumont. I just felt like it really captured the essence for what this series is really about.

Jeeze, I have no idea how many books will be in this series. It’ll probably depend on how many of my ideas for it I can pack into how many books. I’ve been able to work several into the third and fourth books, so there will be at least four, but beyond that we’ll both be surprised!

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Don’t give up! No matter what, keep going! I can’t count how many times I’ve almost given up because it was hard, but I’m so glad I didn’t. Write for yourself and no one else. Tell yourself a great story and worry about the other stuff later. Don’t panner to the popular genre at the time because that changes like the winds, and don’t let self-doubt get you down! I can’t tell you how much time I’ve wasted on self-doubt.

If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

  1. Edgar Allan Poe
  2. Anne Rice
  3. David Moody

What inspired you to write your book?

This is the second book in my Titanomachy series, and it didn’t occur to me until it was too late that maybe I should’ve done this with the first book (“The Gilded Cage” ) first, but with this book I really wanted to explore the psychological trauma Shiloh experianced thanks to the events of the first book, and how hard it can be to adjust to a new situation when you’ve been sheltered all your life. But, more than anything, I wanted to show someone overcoming that sort of thing.

Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I’m working on a lot of somethings right now. A couple of one-shot books that aren’t related to any of my series at all, the third book in both the Lost Angels series and the Titanomachy Series (the book after this one), and just toying around with a few other things that probably will never see the light of day.

For more information about Makayla or her novels, you can visit her WEBSITE, AMAZON, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, or TWITTER.

 

 

Book Tour: MIDLIGHT by Autumn Grace

Midlight

 

MIDLIGHT

YA Science Fiction

If the daylight doesn’t kill you, the diurnal ones will. But when death is the one requirement to be transitioned into a mechanized Hybrid, why spend another night lost in the dark?

 Deadly radiation has forced the population to become nocturnal in an effort to avoid the mutilating effects of daylight. While this helped for a time, rogue groups began neglecting these practices, increasing the death rate and the need to finalize a procedure to bring the dead back to life. This controversial advancement became means for prosperity to President Umber as he took over the growing city of Umber Heights.

 Five years ago, Bain woke up on the side of the road with no prior memories. After three years of serving as a brutal Corsair for Ailand’s ruthless leader, Beckett, Bain cuts ties with his current life. He must revisit his estranged friend in his safe coastal town with the proposal to join him in Umber Heights, the only place Beckett and Umber’s feud prohibits Beckett from entering. Bain and Argon struggle to get their relationship back, cautiously diving deeper into their romantic feelings while trying to balance conflicting personalities and Bain’s lack of readiness to open up.

 Now in Heights seemingly for good, Bain must determine if the lines of right and wrong really do gray when it comes to protecting human life over man-made creation. 

Author Bio

Autumn Grace grew up in New England with her mom, older brother, younger sister, and her identical twin. Her aim is to bring diverse characters outside of genres they have identified with to promote equality and acceptance. She’s drawn to retro-futuristic concepts and is obsessed with robots and aliens.

Purchase MIDLIGHT HERE

New Year Reflections

2018

Wonderful New Year wishes to everyone!

I’ve made a post regarding my fantastic convention year in Atlanta, GA. I was blessed to meet some wonderful creatives and a few of my favorite professional actors and authors. Being a panelist with Christopher Paolini and Michael Livingston at DragonCon was a great way to end this busy year. However, meeting Colin Baker (Dr. Who) and J.G. Hertzler (my favorite Klingon, Martok, from DS9) was an extra special treat!

Year End Review

Some unexpected honors also helped to make 2017 a memorable year. My debut novel, The Rise of Nazil, is a Readers’ Favorite award-winner, and my Science Fantasy Duology (Rites of Heirdron and Orbs of Trenihgea) won two gold awards as well. Being recognized for my novels is a humbling and fulfilling experience. It’s difficult to share my work with the world, and I’m overjoyed that readers relish each well-crafted tale and email me expressing their love (or loathing) of the multilayered characters and the worlds in which they live.

2018

Thank you to everyone who purchased, read, and reviewed my novels. With the vast amount of literary works available to you, it’s an honor to have my novels selected and loved.

Enjoy this exciting holiday season and GREAT success in 2018!

2017 Conventions

 

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(Christopher Paolini, Michael Livingston, and Aaron-Michael Hall)

DragonCon 2017

2017 has been an interesting and busy year! After relocating to Georgia, I wasn’t certain what I’d be doing as far as my novels and conventions. I didn’t know that I was moving to a convention paradise.

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It’s taken some time to get my bearings, but I’ve enjoyed numerous conventions this year. If I had the energy, I would’ve attended more. However, I’m not as young as I once was, so I’ve narrowed down my list for next year. I’ll probably add one or two as the New Year begins, but I’m not planning on attending more than ten in 2018 (this doesn’t include signing events).

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My first and favorite event next year is JordanCon! If you’ve never attended this fantastic convention, you’re missing out. Do yourself a favor and visit their WEBSITE. They still have vendor space available and very reasonable convention passes. 2018 is JordanCon’s tenth anniversary, and I can’t wait to celebrate with each and every one of you.

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If I haven’t met you at a convention yet, you can check my schedule HERE. I’ll update it in January so you’ll know where I’ll be. I’d love to meet and chat with you. If you’re bringing coffee, I like cream and three Splenda!

Enjoy a few of 2017’s convention memories.

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Expo 3-2017 - Copy

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Book Tour: Power Struggle by Carolyn Arnold

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One hit man who’s back for revenge.

One detective who’s not going down without a fight.

It’s been ten months since Detective Madison Knight almost died at the hands of Russian Mafia hit man Constantine Romanov. She hasn’t seen hide nor hair of him since he escaped police custody and fled to Russia soon after his arrest, except now her latest murder investigation gives her reason to believe he’s back in town. Seeing as the victim is the man who killed her grandfather, her perspective may be a little skewed, but with the MO smacking of Constantine and the victim’s connections to the mob, she finds it hard to be objective. Still, she’s doing her best to consider all the evidence.

When she receives a threatening letter from Constantine, however, her suspicions are confirmed. And he’s made it abundantly clear that not only does he plan to finish what he started but he has her family and loved ones in the crosshairs, too. Madison vows to do whatever it takes to save them, but as the hours race by, the body count rises. And the stakes only get higher when Madison’s sister, Chelsea, goes missing.

Now, Madison’s only play is to take Chelsea’s disappearance for what it really means: Constantine is calling Madison out for one final showdown. And they won’t both survive…

Author Bio

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

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Book Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Power Struggle (Detective Madison Knight series)

Death was not discriminatory, but murder was certainly selective. At least that’s what Major Crimes detective Madison Knight had learned in her twelve years with the Stiles PD.

She looked down at the male victim. He was single, fifty-nine, and lying on the king-size mattress in his master bedroom. Silver sheets were covering him to his hips, leaving his upper body bare and exposing multiple stab wounds to his chest and abdomen. Blood was everywhere, staining the bedding and spattered on the walls and ceiling.

Normally, being immersed in such a messy murder scene would make Madison’s stomach churn. She’d most certainly feel a burning drive to get justice for the victim. But this time, she was devoid of emotion, flatlined like the man on the bed. If anything, there was lingering bitterness and underlying anger. Because she knew the victim. Jimmy Bates. The man who had killed her grandfather.

Because of Bates, her mother had lost her father as a teenager and her grandmother had to bury the love of her life before Madison was even born. And all this because Bates’s father had been the numbers man for the branch of the Russian Mafia that operated out of Stiles, and Madison’s grandfather, a police sergeant, had put him away.

Madison pinched her eyes shut briefly. A darker part of her was finding some sort of redemption in the fact that Bates had exited the world not of his own volition. Just as he had snuffed out her grandfather’s life, someone had taken Bates’s. A working out of Karma as it were…

“Are you all right?” asked her partner of seven years, Terry Grant. He had a light complexion and never had a blond hair out of place, always ran before breakfast, was a loving husband and father to a baby girl named Danielle. He was three years younger than Madison’s thirty-six.

She turned to see that he hadn’t come into the room alone. Higgins, the first officer on scene and her former training officer, stood next to him. Both men had given her time to be alone with the scene and Bates after learning the vic’s identity.

“I’m fine.” Her response had come out way too quickly to be believable.

She looked back at the body. Both his arms were over his head and tied to the barred, wooden headboard with zip ties. She let her gaze trail down to his ankles, to see if those were also restrained, but they were still covered. She’d have to wait until the scene was processed to find out.

Given the number of stab wounds he had, though, it was likely that both his arms and legs had been bound, which indicated that the killer knew where to strike to delay death and invoke torture. While the former indicated a professional, the latter suggested the killer may have been after something.

Madison scanned the room. A television was mounted on the wall at the end of the bed, and it was on at a low volume and tuned into a popular crime drama.

Odd how reality can mimic fiction.

“Winston should have sent someone else.” Higgins sounded apologetic for the Major Crimes sergeant’s decision to include her in the case.

She met his gaze and dismissed his comment with a wave. “He probably didn’t even know the ID on the vic when he made the call.” She returned her gaze to Bates, analyzing whether he’d paid and suffered enough for his wrongdoings. In life, he’d served a full twenty-five-year sentence, but when he’d gotten released nineteen years ago, it hardly seemed like enough punishment. Was his murder finally enough to satisfy her personal scales of justice?

As her mind relaxed, and she took in the scene, she sensed a familiarity about it. The numerous stab wounds, the bound wrists…

The woman was laid out on the couch, her arms open wide, one resting against the back of the sofa, the other raised in the air, its wrist twisted back at an unnatural angle. Her torso was stained red with blood, which extended to the sofa and the floor. It was as if a can of red paint had been dumped on top of her.

“It looks like she was stabbed dozens of times. The killer must be a professional, too.”

At the time, bile had risen in Madison’s throat. The odor, the sight—it had been all-encompassing.

The woman’s name had been Lillian Norton, and the man who’d killed her had been a Russian Mafia hit man by the name of Constantine Romanov—the same hit man who had almost succeeded in raping and killing Madison ten months prior. Lillian’s longtime boyfriend had worked as an attorney for the mob, and she’d been tortured for information.

With Bates’s father’s involvement with the Russian mob, as well, it didn’t seem like it could be a coincidence that Bates’s murder resembled Lillian’s. And all the stab wounds, the bondage, the time it would have taken, and the seeming lack of concern over getting caught fit with Constantine’s personality. But if Madison was going to entertain the idea that Bates was killed by the hit man, that meant—

God, no, please don’t tell me he’s back.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:

Website – http://carolynarnold.net/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.

Book Tour: FRAMED by Wayne Kerr

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Toronto’s newest homicide detective, Reggie Swann, seemed to have it all: great career, handsome husband and plans to start a family, until she was framed for murder…

A cop has very few friends in prison.  After surviving ten brutal years behind bars, Reggie’s conviction is finally overturned thanks to her tenacious mother, a new forensic test and a very clever lawyer. She quickly discovers that getting her old life back won’t be as easy as she hoped. To many, she was still as the media had dubbed her: ‘Black Swann – murderer and cop-gone-bad’. The Toronto Police Department still considers her to be a suspect, Reggie’s husband has remarried and the real killer is still on the loose.

Before Reggie can return to Toronto and solve the crime that ruined her life, she reluctantly agrees to investigate a murder in her home town of Penticton, only to discover the two cases which are separated by ten years and five provinces might somehow be connected. Will anyone believe the wild theories of the disgraced detective?

The real murderer does. He framed her once, this time Reggie Swann must die!

Wayne

Canadian author, Wayne Kerr, was born and raised in the small town of Biggar, Saskatchewan (New York is big, but this is Biggar).  He married his high school sweetheart, Marlene, thirty-nine years ago and has lived happily ever since.  They resided in the United States for the past twenty years, but recently returned to Canada and now call the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia home.  The writer honed his story-telling skills while keeping his five younger siblings and later his daughter entertained during long cold winters.  When not reading or writing thrillers, Wayne is probably hiking, biking or playing tennis.

For more information on the author and his books please visit his WEBSITE, TWITTER, or AMAZON.

 

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Author Spotlight: Dr. Wesley Britton

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Dr. Wesley Britton

Besides his 33 years in the classroom, Dr. Wesley Britton considers his Beta-Earth Chronicles the most important work he’s ever done. “I suppose an author profile is intended to be a good little biography,” Britton says, “but the best way to know who I am is to read my novels.”

Still, a few things you might like to know about Wes include the fact he’s the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in the media, most notably The Encyclopedia of TV Spies (2009). Beginning in 1983, he was a widely published poet, article writer for a number of encyclopedias, and was a noted scholar of American literature. Since those days, for sites like BlogCritics.org and BookPleasures.com, Britton wrote over 500 music, book, and movie reviews. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio’s Dave White Presents for which he contributed celebrity interviews with musicians, authors, actors, and entertainment insiders.

Starting in fall 2015, his science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles, debuted with The Blind Alien. Throughout 2016, four sequels followed including The Blood of Balnakin, When War Returns, A Throne for an Alien, and The Third Earth. Return to Alpha will be the sixth volume of this multi-planetary epic.

Britton earned his doctorate in American Literature at the University of North Texas in 1990. He taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College until his retirement in 2016. He serves on the Board of Directors for Vision Resources of Central Pennsylvania. He lives with his one and only wife, Betty, in Harrisburg, PA.

Series Promo

The Blind Alien is a story with a highly original concept, fascinating characters, and not-too-subtle but truthful allegories.  Don’t let the sci-fi label or alternate Earth setting fool you–this is a compelling and contemporarily relevant story about race, sex, and social classes.”

–Raymond Benson, Former James Bond novelist and author of the Black Stiletto books

Book One, The Blind Alien, came out in Sept 2015 – Book Six is due for release before Christmas 2017.

Wes-1The epic opens when Malcolm Renbourn, a young history teacher, walks into an ordinary bank on an ordinary day. Suddenly, he feels excruciating pain. Unexpectedly, he loses his sight and discovers he has been drawn against his will across the multi-verse to a slave-holding country on a parallel earth. He doesn’t understand a single word he hears, but he soon comprehends that he is the focal point in the quest to end a plague that kills three out of four male babies their first year on Beta-Earth.

Branded state property, he must escape, but where can a blind man in a strange world dominated by desperate scientists run? And on a world where polygamy is the norm, how can Malcolm Renbourn adapt into becoming the husband of five independent wives who never expected to be the mothers of a generation a planet hopes will carry the genes that will change everything. And that’s just part of the story.

Much of Malcolm’s background was drawn from my own life, especially his blindness and the treatment he endures because of it. Some of his more bizarre encounters actually happened to me, many of them quite comical. People have asked Malcolm and me all sorts of strange questions over the years—Do blind people sleep with their eyes open or closed? How does a blind man aim properly in toilets? Did I know I had a beard?

Of course, most of the book is pure imagination, as in the ghastly plague that kills three out of four male babies their first year, resulting in Beta-Earth’s culture of polygamy. Hence, Malcolm’s growing tribe of wives and children.

Here are a couple more reviews for Blind Alien which is available for only $0.99 for a limited time.

 “An excellent work of new SF that hearkens back to the classics of Asimov and Heinlein. Told from the viewpoint of the different characters, it is a tale of a man from our earth (Alpha) being unwittingly transferred to a parallel earth (Beta) where he must learn to adapt to new cultures, attitudes, languages at the same time as coming to grips with the loss of his sight. Each of the characters are fully developed and well defined and being able to hear their thoughts about each encounter brings a richness to the narratives. Politics, religion, social mores and relationships are all examined from both without and within.”—Dave Massengale, Amazon review

“Spymaster and imaginative author, Dr. Wesley Britton has another big hit! His book takes the reader on a compelling journey of an Alpha earthling who has been spirited to planet Beta. Science-fiction, yes, but much more. The book explores science, medicine, commerce, education, spiritual life, family life and sex on an alternative planet which at times is insightful and hilarious in its comparison to our own Earth. In an ingenious way, Dr. Britton has created a new grammar and vocabulary to continually intrigue the reader. A true winner!” –Bobbi Chertok, Amazon Reviewer

Explore Beta-Earth with Tribe Renbourn as the “Alpha Man” and his wives face irresistible prophecies, island tyrants, the curse of the “Plague-With-No-Name,” and a horrifying death-trade.

Just when Tribe Renbourn is certain they’ve found sanctuary in the country of Alma, they must battle a mutant girl from the aristocracy, a lecherous prince, a theocratic church, and take sides in a world-shaking civil war.

After leading a fleet of exiles from the Alman civil war, Tribe Renbourn becomes embroiled with a duplicitous island royal family, the fight to end the “Plague-With-No-Name,” the invasion of a deadly foe, and the demanding will of the harsh goddess of Beta, Olos.

Forced to leave Beta-Earth behind, six members of Tribe Renbourn are forever transformed when they travel across the multi-verse to be captives of a very different kind of humanity of pairs and must lead the rebellion of the single-bodied “nams.”

Forty years after Malcolm Renbourn was drug across the multi-verse, two of his children from Beta-Earth, and two from Cerapin-Earth travel to our planet where they encounter a world suffering from biological war, climate change, religious zealotry, and fear of what these aliens might bring to a suffering humanity.

For more information regarding Dr. Wesley Britton or The Beta Earth Chronicles, please visit his WEBSITE, BLOG, or FACEBOOK.

 

Series Promo

Author Interview: Bill McCormick

Bill

Author Spotlight

Bill McCormick

Today, I’m pleased to welcome author Bill McCormick to the Desu Beast Blog. Bill is definitely one of my most colorful guests with an outré sense of humor. Yes, he makes me giggle (and sometimes blush).

Can you begin by telling me a little bit about yourself?

I’m slightly stunned by the fact I’m alive, as is anyone who’s known me for a while. I’m 56 years old, started selling fiction when I was 49, and keep checking every day to see if this is all some cruel joke. I spent decades in the music industry, starting as a musician and working my way into management, eventually running an indy label that was distributed by Warner Brothers. One amazing lawsuit later, it involved the use of our copyrights and not anything we did wrong, I found myself out of work and getting divorced. So, I figured I had nothing to lose. I started taking the voices in my head and sharing them with people. So far, it’s working out pretty well.

That’s amazing. After sharing an author panel with you, I know how personable and humorous you are. So, music to novels. Let’s find out more about that.

  1. Have you always wanted to be an author?

No. When I was a little kid, I wanted to be a circus ringmaster. I just thought it was cool there was a job where you got a uniform, got to be in parades, and did no discernible work.

  1. What inspired you to write your first book?

Drugs. Lots and lots of drugs. Also boredom. I’d been writing nonfiction about the music industry and pop radio for a while: mostly because I toured with bands and did a specialty show on ABC-FM here in Chicago from 1986 to 1991. Those are not unrelated. Touring and talking to yourself is a great gateway to getting stoned as hell.

  1. What genre(s) do you write?

Humorous dystopian sci-fi. I’m not sure it’s a real genre, but it’s what I write.

  1. What is the name of your latest novel?

The Brittle Riders.

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  1. How did you come up with the concept for your novel?

Well, as I mentioned above, I spent all of the 80’s, and the early part of the 90’s, stoned off my ass. When I was touring I would get bored and watch the landscape pass by. Since the majority of America is farmland, I’d look at lots of cows and horses and stuff. I started wondering what would happen if they gained sentience. One thing led to another and I had the plot for The Brittle Riders.

  1. Once you had the plot was it easy to write the book?

Oh, hell yeah! This was the early 90’s. I took all my notes, cobbled an outline, and crafted a 1,400 page magnum opus to fantasy. It had a Sword of Truth … you know what, let’s not talk about that. God gifted me with a paper shredder and I was able to save humanity goo-gobs of literary agony. Quite honestly it was so bad that, had it gotten released, I may never have gotten laid again.

Years later, drug free and reasonably sane, I had started getting my short stories published. I ran across my notes on The Brittle Riders and saw some stuff that was worth saving. I kept the titular characters, one villain instead of a dozen or so, and came up with a single story arc. After that I let the characters guide me. I was hoping to get a novella out of it and ended up with a trilogy. Hopefully, in this case at least, bigger is better.

  1. Who is your favorite character and why?

That would be Sland. He’s rude, violent, insecure, and capable of more than he’s comfortable admitting.

  1. Who is your least favorite character and why?

I really don’t have one. My girlfriend hates Xhaknar because he’s so violent and self serving. But I can’t hate something that fell out of my brain. Tumors and all he’s a part of me.

Trilogy

  1. Which character do you relate to the most and why?

Oolnok. His whole life is spent watching the events of the novel happen around him. He’s not a warrior, not a leader, he’s nobody and everybody all in one. That’s a lot like any of us. We’re not ruling the world, or saving it, we’re just doing what we can to keep a roof over our heads, not piss off whoever’s in charge this week, and make sure our families are protected and safe. He, literally, has nothing to do with the story and yet people seem to like him as much as I do.

  1. Is there a certain message that you desire your readers to grasp?

In the Bible we’re promised a world without end. There’s nothing in there that says humans are guaranteed any part of that.

  1. What books have influenced you the most? Why?

Oooh, toughy. Walter Miller Jr.’s A Canticle for Leibowitz for its glorious look at how religions develop, Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy on how we perceive authority and reality, Octavia Butler’s Patternmaster for its ability to use poetry as prose (a staple of hers), and others. I would also toss in Harlan Ellison’s Repent Harlequin Said the Tick Tock Man, even though it’s a short, for its passage about using jellybeans to overthrow a government.

  1. Who are a few of your favorite authors?

The ones I just named, obviously. I’d add Arthur C. Clarke, David Brin, Anne McCaffrey, Lara Elena Donnelly who recently caught my attention, and there are many more.

  1. With what author would you love to have a conversation?

Is this one of those living or dead questions? I usually prefer the living since the dead don’t talk much. I guess I would pick Vandana Singh. I’d like to know how a native Indian came to encompass Whitman’s bromide, “I am large, I contain multitudes.” Also I want to pick her mind about several of her shorts.

  1. Any future projects you would like to talk about?

A few. I just licensed my IP for Legends Parallel, Pestilent, and Bob: Sins of the Son, all graphic novels and comic books, to Nerdanatix for development into video games, animated series and, some day hopefully, live action films or television shows. They will also be developing spin off properties for younger audiences since all my stuff is rated “M” for Mature. That’s not as crazy as it sounds. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was flat out murder porn when it came out. A tweak here and a tweak there and you know what happened after that. And it’s far from the only title to successfully make this transition. Legends Parallel already has two issues out and the other two titles are slated for release in 2018. I did the deal based on the scripts and the quality of the work of the artists involved. I also have the prequel/sequel to The Brittle Riders coming out next year. It’s called Goptri of the Mists and it’s even more twisted that TBR. And, as usual, I can also be found in numerous anthologies.

  1. If you could start again, is there anything you would change in your latest book?

I get asked this a lot and can’t really think of anything. I know nothing’s perfect, but I was allowed to do with this trilogy many things other authors might not be offered. I was even allowed to change the structure of the prose from book to book, starting with Present Perfect and then devolving to a traditional past tense narrative as the story develops. That was purposeful. In the first book the titular characters ignore their pasts, which suck, and don’t believe they have a future since everyone they love is either dead or in exile. As they develop so does the surrounding prose.

 

Brittle Riders Teaser

  1. Is there a short excerpt of your current book that you would like to share?

Sure. Because I’m an asshole, and have played one on TV, I’ll share a scene from Book III.

Worlds can change on the tiniest thing. History, written by the winners, tends to edit out the minutiae and record the broader stories. One item that historians would edit out happened now. Which is a shame, because without this event the rest would never have happened.

Nature called and it was Sland’s turn to answer. It was almost even-fall and they could hear the survivors setting up camp on the shore. They’d decided to wait until breaklight to see who was alive and in charge and then figure out their next move.

Sland cared about none of this, although he was aware of it all. He just wanted to find a quiet tree and loose his bowels. He walked a considerable distance from their camp, found a suitable tree, and was just finishing with the last wiping leaf when he heard a harrumphing sound behind him. He slowly rose while pulling his pants up and turned. He was faced with a nice array of weapons, any one of which could kill him instantly. He finished buttoning up and realized that this might be his last moment on Arreti. If so he wanted to go out with a laugh. He stood as tall as he could, expanded his chest and bellowed.

“I am Sland, prince of the Temple of Azarep, blooded warrior of the Brittle Riders. I have come to Kalindor to meet Quelnerom in ritual battle for the throne.”

Yep, that should be good for a laugh. He smiled as he gently stepped away from the steaming pile and waited to be executed. Instead some of the weapons waggled for him to move forward and others waggled for him to put his hands above his head. He complied with both wagglings.

They did not remove his weapons. His gun was still holstered on his thigh and his sword was still sheathed on his back. His many knives were still hidden all over his body. Not that he saw any way of using them without being killed instantly but he noted it since it was odd that he still had them.

They led him to the shore and into the middle of their makeshift camp. He could see they were all wet and tired. They didn’t look good at all. Of course, being blown out of a perfectly good ship and then swimming a kay or so to shore will do that to a brand.

He assumed the reptiloid wearing more feathers and glitter than the rest was Quelnerom. He was dry and reasonably unruffled so Sland figured he must have ridden in one of the boats he saw dragged up on shore. He’d only heard him described but this brand seemed to fit the description. One of his captors reeled off his bona fides as he’d given them and then they all stepped back a respectful distance.

Sland chuckled to himself. He sincerely doubted that Quelnerom would follow through with anything other than having him killed where he stood. Well, it was fun while it lasted. Quelnerom stood and stared at him.

“You carry a sword. Is it for decoration or can you use it?”

Sland was astounded. Geldish was going to kill him if he survived this.

“The sword has been blooded.”

Quelnerom nodded appreciatively. “Remove all your other weapons.”

Sland did as he was told and that took a bit. When he was done his gun, holster, and eight knives lay in a neat array to the side. The reptiloids looked as though it were a small’s illusion show as each knife appeared from a different place. He stepped back to the center of the group and looked at Quelnerom.

Quelnerom was handed a sword and he aimed it forward in the ritual salute. Sland, seeing no option, unsheathed his sword and crossed his with Quelnerom’s.

Quelnerom nodded and lunged.

  1. Do you have a favorite quote from one of your novels?

Apocalypses are funny that way. The second I wrote it I knew I had a tagline for the series.

  1. Do you have any advice for up and coming authors?

Vodka makes the world better. If you’re single groupies, preferably rich ones, are a good call too. I would also suggest they write everything. Speeches, ad copy, out of genre stories, anything and everything. Even if they never come back to those methods again they’ll be better writers knowing them.

  1. Are there any future events you would like to announce?

Yessiree Bob. Or, Yessiree Aaron-Michael, as the case may be.  I’ll be appearing at the Motor City Black Age of Comics convention on November 18th at Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan.

Thank you for visiting the Desu Beast Blog. I have my copies of The Brittle Riders and can’t wait to get started! I’ll be stopping by your booth during the Virtual FantasyCon. Great Success!

For more information about Bill McCormick, please visit his WEBSITE.  You can see him in person at the Motor City Black Age of Comics, and virtually at the current FantasyCon event on FACEBOOK.

You can enjoy a recent panel discussion on What Makes an Epic Saga featuring Bill McCormick.

Virtual FantasyCon 2017

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Are you ready for the Virtual FantasyCon of 2017?

The convention last year was a blast, and they’ve really made some exceptional upgrades for year three. If you love great fantasy and sci-fi (and science fantasy), you need to check out the readers’ corner page for the VFCs. Why? Because there are tons of games, free books, giveaways, and links to all of the participating author’s pages. Do yourself a favor and check out this virtual convention!

It wouldn’t be a convention without awards! The VFCs announced their winners and I’m honored to have been nominated in two categories and won the GOLD! Check out all the winners on the contest page.

First Place Gold-1

For more information, you can visit their WEBSITE, READERS’ PAGE, and AWARDS PAGE.