Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What Does Home Mean To You?

Today, I posted on Rachel Horowitz's blog, Fantasy Unbound as part of my virtual book tour. Head over there and comment if you want a chance to win an e-copy of A Ranger's Tale. Click HERE! (*18 and over only at this site*)

Here is a snippet of that post, so head over to Rachel's blog if you wish to read the rest. Enjoy!


Home

      Such a simple word. Home conjures up different memories and emotions for everyone. We might look back on our childhood home with nostalgia and a smile. Perhaps you remember the smell of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies when you arrived home from school. Mom and Dad read you bedtime stories and prayed at the dinner table. You remember potlucks and camping trips, tickle fests and lazy summers.
               
      To read more, click HERE.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Encouragement, Anyone?

Here's the guest post I wrote for the Noracast today. If you want a chance to win a free e-copy of A Ranger's Tale, head over there and comment. Click HERE!



Encouragement   
       
  In 2 Corinthians 13:11, St. Paul instructs us to “encourage one another”.  In fact, the Bible mentions encouragement several times. You probably hear the word often, but what does it mean, really?

Dictionary.com defines encourage as: to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence.

In a world where the majority is constantly seeking to look out for “number one”, encouragement is sometimes hard to come by. There are people out there, sadly, whose greatest joy seems to be tearing down someone else for their own gain instead of building them up, let alone inspiring them with anything. It’s common in the writing business and everywhere else.

For more of this post, click HERE.

I'm at the Noracast today!!

Today, it's all about encouragement at Nora Weston's blog. Head over there, read my guest post and excerpt, and tell me about what encouragement means in your own life. I'm also giving away a free e-copy of A Ranger's Tale!

Click HERE!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Today's Stop: Just Views



I'm over at Just Views today. Read my scintillating interview and say hello as the book tour for A Ranger's Tale continues.

Click HERE!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Review of "Coming Home" by Anna James

Buy Coming Home at Melange Books!
It's been two years since Christine Kincaid fled to London after seeing her sister in the arms of her fiance, James. Now, she's back, after much soul-searching and a surprising reunion with some long-lost family. She realizes now that she may have made a mistake and is determined to try to win James back.

James Buchanan didn't know why Christine left as suddenly as she did, but it hurt him to the core. Their relationship before that had been a little rocky. He felt Christine was focusing too much on her career and not enough on their future. But, he never banked on her leaving him like that. Now that she's back, he's torn between his love for her and bitterness over her sudden departure.

In this contemporary novel by Anna James, there is a classic timeless love story, inter-weaved with some dramatic family scandals. Both main characters were easy to relate to, but I really wanted to just sit the two of them down and make them talk it out. It seemed that both Christine and James had a stubborn streak a mile wide.

Their families (apart from the back-stabbers) were endearing, and their interactions were written with great clarity. The romance was sweet when James and Christine would let their guards down long enough to allow it. There was one love scene that was pretty hot, but not too graphic. Lovely setting for it, I might add!

If I had to nitpick about anything, I would have liked the obstacles between them to have been a little more challenging to overcome. Otherwise, Coming Home was a great story--a fast, compelling read that kept me turning the pages and rooting for James and Christine to finally make their way home to each other.

You can find Coming Home by Anna James at Melange Books! Pick up your copy today!

Melange Authors Weekend Getaway--Nights of Passion Blog

We'll be here all day, folks! Head on over--first six people to comment will win SIX free e-books!



One download of A Ranger’s Tale by Mysti Parker

One download of Outpost Epsilon by Herbert Grosshans


One download of A Knight For Loving by Ellen Margret


One download of Guardian 2632 by Nora Weston


One download of The Best Selling Toy of the Season by Elaine Cantrell

One download of Coming Home by Anna James
Don't delay! Get thee now to: 
Comment to win!! Or just stop by and say hello. Have you hugged an author today?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Join me Saturday at the Nights of Passion Blog

I'll be stopping by with some of my fellow authors from Melange Books (Click on the names to see our author pages):









Come on out for this all-day event Saturday, April 23. Read our fabulous excerpts, AND comment for a chance to win e-copies of some awesome books! See ya there!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Book Tour Day Three

I'm over at Illusions of Intimacy on my journey through blog-land. Head on over to find out more about the fantasy world of Tallenmere, the place my characters call home! I'm also giving away a free .pdf to one lucky commenter on that post.

Click HERE.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Guest Post by Author Michael J. Lee

On behalf of Bewitching Book Tours, please welcome Michael J. Lee, author of My Frankenstein!  

***One lucky commenter will win a free Kindle e-copy of My Frankenstein. So, please leave a comment (preferably with your e-mail) if you'd like a chance to win! I'll draw a winner on Friday, April 22.***


Now, let's give Michael the floor. Take it away, Michael!

What I Learned From James Patterson

Short Chapters.

Short chapters keep you reading.

You finish one in a few minutes and think to yourself, “That wasn’t so bad. I should keep reading.”

Next thing you know you’re in too deep and you can’t stop even if you wanted to!

In all seriousness I never thought much about chapter length or marketing myself as an author until a few years ago. That’s when I stumbled upon a NY Times Magazine article about Mr. Patterson. I’d heard the name before and new he was pretty successful. But I was shocked to learn how successful. I’ve long held a Jeet Kune Do philosophy with regards to writing; absorb what is useful. And who couldn’t use a career like Patterson’s?

Regardless what you think of his writing and his use of collaborators, I still have to admire the man’s savvy. The publishing game has become primarily a marketing game and Patterson is one of the very few authors with a true marketing strategy. While some authors cling to their publishers and put themselves completely in their hands, Patterson is directing his books’ PR blitz himself. It’s a model other writers should pay attention to. Obviously most of us have a lot less money to play around with but it’s very empowering to decide your own marketing strategy. Empowering and terrifying.

But what I also took away was the idea of using shorter chapters to keep the reader engaged. At first it seems like a simple idea. That is until you actually try to pull it off yourself. It’s really much harder than it sounds. You have to come up with 100 different cliffhangers for a given story. That does take real imagination.

So here’s to you James Patterson. Thanks for the insights and the tips. I’ll be sure to make the most of them!



Michael Lee is a script consultant, judge and entertainment blogger for The Wrap.com and has lived in Detroit, Connecticut, Ohio and Los Angeles.


To learn more about Michael, visit his blog:




****
Now, check out Michael's latest release and remember to leave a comment for a chance to win a Kindle copy!


In a small village in early 19th Century young Eva is enthralled by the new young baron, Viktor Frankenstein.  Viktor promises to transform the traditional little town into a beacon of science and gives the book loving Eva access to his fantastic library. Eva becomes his student and assists him in a secret experiment, though she is kept in the dark about its ultimate aim. Soon after that Viktor introduces Eva to his “cousin” Adam. Adam is horribly disfigured with stitches running across his face. Viktor claims he is mute and simpleminded, but Eva takes pity on him and sets out to teach him to speak.…

What follows is a combination of tragic romance and classic horror as Eva is pulled between Viktor, who grows jealous and takes murderous steps to ensure his secret, and Adam, who possess tremendous strength 
and rage yet deep inside is innocent and vulnerable.

In his debut fantasy novel, Michael J. Lee retells the classic story by Mary Shelley as a dark romance with steampunk overtones.

Buy your Kindle copy now at Amazon.com Click HERE and at Amazon.co.uk Click HERE.



***Watch this fantastic trailer!***


Monday, April 18, 2011

Kickin' Off the Virtual Tour Today at Fangtastic Books!

Come say hello and read my interview at Fangtastic Books!

Click HERE.

Comment (with email) if you want a chance to win a .pdf of A Ranger's Tale. I'll be giving one away at each stop. Plus, from ALL comment received during the tour, ONE lucky person will win a signed print copy!

Hope to see you on the blog tour!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Current Book Tour Schedule for "A Ranger's Tale"



Starting tomorrow, I'll be traveling around the blogosphere promoting my debut novel, A Ranger's Tale. A big thanks goes out to Roxanne at Bewitching Book Tours for scheduling all these lovely stops.



Here's the run-down of where I'll be. If anything changes, I'll update you, and I'll update daily on each stop. Please drop in and say hello whenever you can.

I'll also be giving away lots of e-copies during the tour and one print copy when the tour ends. Look for me at these fine blogs:


April 18 Interview and Tour Launch at Fang-tastic Books 
Also a post at Write at Home Mom sometime this week
April 20 Guest Post Illusions of Intimacy
April 25 Interview and Review at Just Views
 April 27 Guest Blog at Fantasy Unbound
April 29 Guest Blog and Review at The Australian Bookshelf
May 3 Interview Jacqueline Paige 
Wednesday May 4 for a guest post, ebook giveaway and review WOW from the Scarf Princess
May 5 Inteview
May 6 interview
May 9 interview- received questions
May 10 Guest Post
 May 13th Sugarbeat's Books

May 16 Manic Monday Guest Post
May 16th Guest Blog at The Top Shelf
May 18 Guest Blog and Review at Bitten by Paranormal Romance
June 15 ParaYourNormal Blog Talk Radio Show
Wednesday at 3:30 pm PST / 6:30 EST

Friday, April 15, 2011

An Interview with Author J. Andrew Jansen

It's Friday. It's interview #24. It's up-and-coming novelist and critique partner extraordinaire J. Andrew Jansen! Take a moment and check out his blog HERE, where he talks about his own writing journey. He's got some really interesting posts that outline his current editing process. He's writing a super fantasy novel that I've been lucky to be part of in the critiquing process.


Welcome to Unwritten again, Andrew! Kick off your shoes and sit a spell. Tell us about what you do when you're not writing  or thinking about writing.



By day I am a mild-mannered industrial programmer.  If you've ever watched shows like "How It's Made", I write the software that controls the machines that makes things in factories.  I have software making everything from Honda Odyssey minivans to Twinkies to Yoplait Yogurt.  I get to see things that very few others do.  Earlier this week I was standing next to a 2800 degree F oven filled with molten glass.  I really love that aspect of my job, and will be sad to see it go when I am a multi-millionaire published author.


I'm also the father of four kids ranging from 19 to 11, arranged boy, girl, boy, girl.  I recently celebrated my 16th wedding anniversary.  Needless to say, all of this keeps my days filled.  I do make a point of blocking out 2 hours a day from 9pm to 11pm to do my writing, however.  I can't imagine anything getting done on my story if I didn't, and recommend making that commitment to anyone who is serious about writing.  My creative time is while I am driving, which gives me my material for when I sit down to write.


The "About Me" section of your blog describes a line that spawned your current story. Want to tell us about it and how it evolved from there?



Ha.  Keep in mind that when this happened, I was not a writer, didn't write anything, didn't even really read for fun anymore, because I am always having to do research on equipment I am working on.  In that mindset, here is the story.


I woke one morning with a phrase stuck in my head.  "Llaewyn stopped running.  He knew he was going to die."  I thought nothing of it as I had never met this Llaewyn guy, and went about my day.  The next morning, it was there again.  And again.  And again.  Finally, I wrote it down, thinking that surely it would leave me alone after that.  No such luck.  Google documents will not give me a date, but it does tell me that I first sat down three years ago and wrote out 934 words about an elf, Llaewyn, being hunted down and killed by an orc named Gelrog to recover a magical stone.  The two characters remain in the story today, but nothing of that scene remains.  In fact, Llaewyn and Gelrog don't even meet directly.


Thus began a long and winding journey through many iterations of story lines.  I have plenty of stuff written that just doesn't fit the current plot.  All of it has been a learning process, though very little has been, or will be, shared.  When I joined Critique Circle, my skill level rose exponentially, because I met people that were willing to tell me very pointedly what I was doing wrong.  As an added bonus, I have started reading fiction again.  My shiny new kindle gets about $25 to $30 per month of new content.


What is the tentative title of your novel right now? And can you tell us about the editing process you're employing with it?



My current working title is "The Priestess, the Protector".  My editing process was fairly unfocused at first, mostly consisting of fixing things pointed out by critique partners.  Then I read "Story Engineering" by Larry Brooks. It laid out a road map of how stories flow, where plot points belong, how scenes work, and so on.  I have been using a slightly modified version of his checklist for each scene as I edit my story.  It takes longer to do, but I think the quality that comes out of it is much higher.  I have a link to the book on my blog.  My latest entry in my "How I Edit" series is here: 
 http://jandrewjansen.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/next-pass-efficiency-and-effect/
and contains links to the other installments.  


I've seen a few of your other projects. Can you tell us anything about them?



I have two other pieces that I am currently claiming to be short stories.  One is called Elfling, and is set in the same story world as TPtP, although it takes place roughly 50-ish years prior.  One of the running jokes in fantasy fiction is that you never see young / child elves.  I decided to run with that and explain the secrecy of infant elves couched in the story of a father's effort to protect his newborn daughter from enemies inside their society who would separate them, then from enemies both real and imagined as he tries to keep her safe to adulthood.


The other is called The Host (which has to change, as I think I just saw a movie trailer with that name).  It goes in a completely different direction and is set in a more modern time frame and in our world.  An alien craft lands and takes over the mind and body of a teenage boy.  While the alien adapts to it's new host, it looks for a way to contact the fleet and call down the invasion.  The boy's younger brother learns what is happening though, and he and a friend work to stop the alien from contacting home.  



Both are fairly early in the writing cycle.  I have put them to the side for now as I finish editing TPtP.


What / who do you like to read?



Long, long, LONG ago, when I was young, I was heavily influenced by Terry Brooks.  I read the Shannara series back when there was only three (Sword, Elfstones, and Wishsong).  David Eddings was also a favorite with the Belgariad.  Katherine Kurtz with Camber of Culdi and Stephen Donaldson with Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever.  Those four authors firmly established my love of fantasy. Asimov was also big, and got me interested in science fiction.  Finally, Stephen King's early work fascinated (still does, actually) me with his ability to look inside a persons mind and find those dark corners and passages, then pull them out.  I have often said that a lot of his work is more about chronicling a characters descent into insanity then it is about gore.  His newer work I am less excited about. 



Here it comes to save the day...the random question's on its way! If you could be the villain in any film or book, who would you be and why?


A villain.  That's hard, because the primary requirement for me would be that the villain doesn't end up dead at the end of the story!  I guess following that logic, I will pick Randall Flagg.  The dude has some SERIOUS mojo going on, and always manages to slip away in the end.  Plus it has been fun watching King pull that character together across several story lines, adding bits and pieces to him as he goes.


Finally, Mr. Jansen, would you share a short excerpt of one of your stories?



I think you have read enough of my stuff to know I don't do short very well.  Nonetheless, I will share the first half of the opening scene of "The Priestess, the Protector".


       Mirian stepped up to the altar.  The blood-spattered bowl in the center held just a few fresh drops.  Disappointing.  With that small a sacrifice, it's no wonder the others aren't better healers.  High Priest Vaktril's brown eyes brooded at her from across the altar.  Beside him, Prophet Neijen, his face solemn, held a small knife out to her.  Without changing his expression, he winked.
       A smile tugged at the corners of her mouth for an instant before she caught herself.  Vaktril's lips vanished as he pressed them together harder.  Behind her, the crowd of villagers and temple workers shifted in their seats, creating a constant murmur of creaking wood and muttering voices.
       Mirian reached across the altar and accepted the knife. A bone handle balanced the thin metal blade extending three inches from the end. The blade was more of a flattened needle than a knife, thin and narrow, designed to perform this one task only. Mirian held the blade in the flame of the Candle of Purity on the altar, letting it lick around the steel. With the knife purified, she rested the tip against the palm of her right hand. She closed her eyes and tilted her head back. Her stomach danced with exhilaration. A surge of energy coursed through her, the goddess blessing her.  The pungent smell of incense filled her nose.  Her pulse raced.  Her grip tightened.  A deep breath.
       She plunged the knife through her hand.  


Thanks for coming by, Andrew. I'll be the first in line to buy your novel!



Thanks for having me over, it's been a blast. Do you have any more coffee?


Do I have any more coffee?? That's kinda like asking Bob Barker if I should spay my dog. :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Review of "Rogue for a Night" by Jenna Petersen

Jenna Petersen brings yet another hot escapist read with Rogue for a Night. This regency historical romance is a rather short read, but full of steamy romance that I just couldn't put down.

Lucinda Stoneworth is a lonely widow of London's high Society, who lost her beloved husband two years prior. She's now raising their two young daughters on her own. Her late husband's twin brother Nicholas (Stone), and his wife Jane invite her to stay with them at their country home for a while. She reluctantly leaves her children with their grandparents and joins them.

Ronan (Rage) Riley, who lived a previous life alongside Stone as an underground boxer, is now living among the aristocracy. As Stone's estate manager, he is begrudgingly obliged to attend the social functions of his employer. Of course, he is present when Lucinda arrives at the country estate. He's always had an eye for her, but never acted upon it while Lucinda was married (and obviously in love with) her husband.

From their first reunion, the two of them share an immediate attraction, and begin a secret affair during Lucinda's stay at the estate. Both of them know that Society's expectations say a woman of her status and a man of his should not be together. But, when they realize how much they love each other, they both have to choose whether to follow their hearts and ignore the social stigmas.

As with all of Jenna's reads, the writing is fluid, the love scenes are steamy, and the romance is heart-warming. If I had to nitpick something, I would have liked them to overcome a few more obstacles and perhaps utilize Rage's former boxing talents a little more.

My verdict: If you want a fast, compelling, hot romance, pick up Jenna Petersen's Rogue for a Night, available in Kindle version on Amazon.com and in Nook version at Barnes and Noble. You won't be disappointed.

A Review of "Guardian 2632" by Nora Weston

Buy it now at Melange Books!
 Dr. Zane Grayson leads a secret government agency called Guardian TMF. They are tasked with monitoring events from the past in the hopes of changing them to improve the future. Dr. Grayson developed laws that ensure no one makes unauthorized scans of the past, or they will face possible execution. The problem is that Zane himself is caught up in illegal time surfing. It's become an obsession, an addiction, and when he stumbles upon a woman named Juilia while he's scanning 1998 Pittsburgh, he knows without a doubt that they share a connection...except he doesn't recall ever seeing her before.

While dodging his girlfriend Marrissa, corrupted TMF Elites, and mutated Merc soldiers, Zane keeps scanning Julia's life, only to learn that she's suffered from an abusive marriage and had a child. Worse yet, her lousy husband, a dirty cop, made one bad decision too many. He and Julia were both killed by a drug dealer's thugs.

Zane now must move mountains to ensure he gets back to 1998 and saves Julia before it's too late.

I'm normally not a sci-fi reader, but this tale, with its strong romantic plot, kept me interested. The author really brought the futuristic details to life in all the technology. Ms. Weston writes the technological aspects clearly, so that even sci-fi novices like myself don't fumble over them. My favorite was Gabriel, Zane's interactive computer. He had a snarky attitude all his own.

Of the few things in the story I could nitpick about, one was the dialogue. Much of it was expository, revealing information that could have been told more effectively in narrative. Though, at times, Zane's dialogue did help to show his obsession in finding Julia. Also, there was an interesting twist near the climax, but I kept expecting another twist at the end that didn't come.

My verdict: I enjoyed this read about a man who will do anything to save an innocent life. The characters were well-defined and complex. The emotional undercurrent was strong, and I hope to read more of Nora Weston's work really soon! Pick up your copy at Melange Books today!

A Review of "Purrfect Voyage" by Ruth J Hartman

But it now at Amazon.com!
Kitty Carter has a problem. It's a four-legged one by the name of Arthur, her precocious black cat. Kitty's a writer, who has a children's series featuring said cat on his many adventures. This time, she's on a research trip to a boat dock in Alaska and finds herself chasing Arthur, who in turn has chased a mouse onto an empty yacht. Kitty, loving cat-mom that she is, follows him into the yacht, trips, bangs her head, and is out cold.

Enter Arthur Katz(whom Kitty later dubs George)--a man who is yacht-sitting for his friend, John. Arthur's been out buying supplies so he can deliver the yacht to John in Hawaii. Arthur works long, long hours and is really looking forward to a two-week voyage of nothing but relaxing and fishing. Imagine his surprise when he finds Kitty just waking up from her tumble a few hours later. Of course, the two hit it off while forced to spend two weeks together out on the open ocean, but they've got a few hangups from past failed relationships that might just keep them apart.

This hilarious story from Ruth J. Hartman kept me laughing at all the antics between cat and his chosen humans. I've not enjoyed a cat-themed story so much since "The Cat Who..." series by Lillian Jackson Braun. Kitty and George are characterized perfectly. And not just their names...I mean, if Kitty marries George, she will be Kitty Katz...no, these two have some pretty funny exchanges, along with a scary scene when George has to save Kitty and Arthur both from drowning.The writing is clear, fast-paced, easy-to-read and the story is just fun.

My verdict: Purrfect Voyage is a sweet, funny romance suitable for all ages. Grab your copy at Amazon.com today!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

An Interview with Author Gerry Huntman

Read more about Gerry HERE!
Welcome to Wednesday, and author interview #23, better known as Mr. Gerry Huntman, author of the debut Middle Grade novel, Guardian of the Sky Realms. You can visit Gerry's website, The Chronicles of Evyntyde, HERE. He writes some fabulous speculative fiction (a few of which I've read and loved), which you can see in the Bibliography section of his website. Go check it out!


Thanks for coming by, Gerry! Here's what I know: You hail from Melbourne, Australia, work for IBM, and are the chief editor for IFWG publishing. Please elaborate on these endeavors from the Land Down Under. What makes IFWG Publishing different from other publishing houses out there?



I have worked in the IT field for more years than I care to remember and I have worked with IBM for a little over 5 years. I work as a consultant in IT Infrastructure and it is very rewarding. Basically, I help other companies mature their systems. If I have to have a day job to support my writing aspirations, this is the one to have for me. 


A few years ago I befriended through the Internet three other authors - Esme Carpenter in England, Randy Knowlton in Missouri and Warren Goodwin in New Jersey. All very talented authors, and we mourned how hard it was for us, as well as other writers that we know, to get into publishing. While we couldn't change the world, and we also didn't quite get our model right at the start, we ended up forming a company that at least helps some writers with talent, to achieve publication. We are speculative fiction publishers but we also wander off those genres on occasion. This is a hard business and it is a long haul for us, but the pleasure is in seeing folk with talent go up a rung or two in the ladder to professional authorship.


One of the wonderful things that I have discovered working with IFWG Publishing is a validation that I'm not a bad editor at all, and in fact having edited something like 12 novels over the last year and a half, have improved dramatically. This is a skill that is handy as a writer, and is something I can cherish, and use, for life.


Tell us about your recent release, Guardian of the Sky Realms, soon coming up on my TBR list. What inspired the idea for this book and how long was the process?



Buy your copy HERE!

Guardian of the Sky Realms was born from something quite small and trivial. I participate in monthly short story writing challenges among some of my peers in a private wiki site and Randy Knowlton posted a great painting entitled "Wings". I was immediately inspired to write a short called "The Painting" that became, basically, the prologue of Guardians. It was one of my most well received shorts back then, and it certainly begged to become a bigger story. While the short really focused on the main character's discovery that she was not really human, the novel spends more time on her agonizing about losing the humanity she once had. Apart from the tons of adventure, of course! 


I wrote the short in August 2008 and let it linger for a long time. Early in 2010 I decided to write it and it took about three months, including rewrites and editing. When I decided it was ready to be published, I made sure it cut the grade for IFWG Publishing, and then it went through the usual editing proofing stages. I have to say there was one delightful story attached to this journey - I got in touch with the artist who did the painting that inspired me in the first place - Penina Gal from the US. She was chuffed with what I had to say, and agreed to allow me to publish the painting on the cover of my novel. Amazing symmetry.


What advice would you give to other writers who are working on their first novel?



Whew. This is a tough one. Writing is a very hard business. Even if you publish, the journey is still in its infancy. 


Writing is like any discipline, it needs to be developed over a lengthy period of time with lots of hard work - especially practice. Even when you feel you have written something well, you will later look back and say "I improved at that point, but I have gone up several notches since then". You need good, honest and skilled friends to give you feedback. Learn from them. Read other authors' works - you need benchmarks work with. Join a critic group with other authors. Finally, when you want to publish something - perfect it. Do everything you can to make it perfect. And when you finished it and submitted it, whether it was successful or not, go to your next project and write something better.


Can you tell us about any current writing projects?



I wrote a short story called The Comfort of Beanbags - a dystopian young adult story. I like it, still do, but it had one weakness - I tried to pack too much in one short piece of fiction. I am working on turning it into a novella. I have an epic fantasy that I wrote quite a while ago which I want to revise - mainly because I have grown so much since then. I have a sequel nearly done which I will pick up again. Finally, I have a modern day scifi - almost Michael Crichton style - which I would like to outline this year, and write next. I also have a collection of short stories set in the same fantasy world as my epic - in fact I published two of them in SQ Magazine and Planet Magazine - which I would like to polish and publish as an anthology. Busy :)



Bet you thought you'd get away without a random question. Nope. So, what is the weirdest food you've ever eaten?


The weirdest food I ever at was alpaca, when I was in the city of Cuzco, just before I walked the Inca Trail. It was yummy - in a lovely sauce.


Finally, Mr. Huntman, would you share a short excerpt of a published work or a work in progress?



Might as well journey back to Guardians. Here is the latter stages of the prologue:


       “A beautiful work, no?” came a deeply masculine voice from
behind her.
       She started in surprise, but she didn’t move an inch. She was
now frozen with fear.
       The voice came again, this time a little closer. “Do not worry. I
am a stranger in this gallery as well. I too have an…affinity with the
painting.”
       A sweat bead ran down Maree’s neck. She found the courage to
turn around. A tall man stood before her, no more than five feet away.
He had short cropped hair—light but the exact color was unclear
in the shadows. His eyes seemed pale, perhaps gray; his face was
thin but his body seemed full and fit. It was hard to tell what age he
was; perhaps in his late twenties, possibly older. “I suppose you are
wondering why I am here?”
       Maree’s voice was weak, still with fear. “I…I suppose so…”
       “I too wanted to see the painting. I have looked upon it before
but never tire of viewing the captured emotions on the canvas.” He
slipped past Maree and came within a few feet of Wings in Despair.
       “Do you mind?” he asked, pointing to her torch.
       She complied, standing next to the stranger, and illuminated
the painting.
       The mysterious visitor’s voice seemed to mellow, almost break
with emotion. “This is the story of Alanar, Guardian of the Northern
Sky Realm, and his share-heart, Mirriam. They were Protectors and
fought the daemons of the Fire Lands valiantly, never allowing the
enemy to taint the Homelands. Protectors always work in pairs, as a
team.” The stranger started to cry, not vocally, but allowing the tears
to cascade down his cheeks. “One day a stray arrow dug deep into
Mirriam’s breast, cleaving her heart. Alanar was devastated, and he
caught her as she fell and carried her in his flight to the Homelands.
       “This painting captures the moment when Mirriam’s body was
caught. It faithfully portrays the agony of Alanar, his yellow-tipped
wings rippling in the wind as he concludes his terrible descent. The
swirling colors reflect the awful light of the Fire Lands but they also
depict Alanar’s darkened heart. I look upon this work and I cannot
but weep.”
       Maree heard his words and they all rang true to her. How could
this be? she asked herself, for this was but an artist’s fantasy; and yet
she now realized why she was drawn to the painting. There was some
inherent truth on the canvas. Something that needed to say something
to her. She also began to weep.
       His hand gently clasped her shoulder. “You feel this too?”
       She could only nod. Words were too difficult.
       “And why?”
       She shrugged her shoulders. She still couldn’t speak.
       “Come with me.”
       Maree turned to the stranger, looking up at his face. She saw
compassion in him, and yet they only met a few minutes ago. Maree
wanted to instantly reply ‘yes’, but all she could do was stare at him
quizzically.
       He laughed while he cried. “Look at the painting again.”
She did. The swirling colors suddenly seemed to have a life of
their own; they actually were swirling. The tall man’s hand was still
on her shoulder, and it ever so gently urged her to move toward the
canvas, but not forcibly.
       She didn’t know why but she allowed herself to fall into the
painting, and then, without warning, she unfurled her expansive,
blue-tipped wings, and flew into the maelstrom of colors.
       He never let her go.
       “It has been a long time, Mirriam.”




Thank you so much, Gerry for visiting Unwritten! I wish you oodles of success!


Thanks Mysti. I really appreciate you allowing me time on your great site. Cheers.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

And the Winner of Friday's giveaway is...




Hotcha12, who continues her winning streak! I'll have Mila contact you to send your copy. Thanks for participating and enjoy!!

Guest Post by Author Fiona Dodwell

***Fiona is giving away two copies (one print and one e-copy) of The Banishing! This contest is TOUR-WIDE, and a winner will be chosen from ALL comments at the end of the tour. Please remember to leave your e-mail to enter!***



On behalf of Bewitching Book Tours, I am proud to welcome Fiona Dodwell. Please give her all your attention as she presents:




Demons of Humanity

      Fiona Dodwell is an author from the UK who writes dark fiction. Her latest release, The Banishing, is a novel exploring demonic possession and domestic abuse. Here she talks about her latest release - and her thoughts on the demonic.

            I grew up fascinated by the idea of evil. When I was a teenager and first watched The Exorcist, I was awe struck by the idea that we, as human beings, could be taken over by an evil presence. I studied the alleged phenomena of demonic possession and found myself gravitating towards an idea that had never occurred to me before: what if demons didn't take over humans to scream and vomit and swivel our heads – what if demons can worm their way into human nature itself, in a far more subtle way?
            I think Hollywood and the aid of special effects has wounded our perception of evil over the years. We are constantly bombarded with visions of blood, violence and gore, but surely, if we are to study the roots of demonic possession, we find that evil can take a strong foothold in our lives in  a much more subtle, sinister way.
            When I wrote The Banishing, I wanted to explore the idea that evil can be planted in our lives without the drama and theatrics we have come to see at the cinema. What about the man who constantly commits adultery despite the loving wife at home? How about the young mother who injects illicit drugs into her veins? And, relevant to The Banishing, what about the man who was once a loving, committed individual who suddenly has a compulsion to hit his wife? To abuse her?
            That's what planted the seed that eventually flourished into my new novel. I wanted to take the well-known idea of possession and view it from a different take. Are we all at risk of spiritual oppression? Are the bad choices we make more meaningful than we realise? Is there a celestial war going on, where Satan and God fight for souls?
            Or are humans capable of becoming dangerous and evil through their own doing?
            The Banishing explores these themes, and if you'd like to find the answer to one character's journey into evil, you can purchase a paperback or e-book copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Damnation Books.

You can find out more about the author at:

Book Description:
When Melissa first notices the change in her husband - subtle at first - she thinks it may be the stress of moving into their new home. Or working long hours. But soon her husband turns into something far darker, far more sinister. Who or what is the dark shadow living beneath her husband? What is haunting him? Melissa must quickly find the answer to these questions, because Mark is changing, and fast. Soon her fight will be for her life, as well as for her marriage.
Genre: Horror



Author Bio:
Fiona Dodwell lives in the UK with her husband. She has studied an unusual mixture over the years, from film studies, theology and drama to psychology.
She grew up with a deep passion for horror, both in film and literature, and greatly admires the works of Stephen King, Susan Hill, Adam Neville and Bill Hussey.
She began entering fiction contests at a young age, winning several, and had some of her poems published.
Her first novel to be published, The Banishing, is a dark story exploring demonic possession and domestic abuse. She is currently submitting her second novel, The Obsession, for possible publication and is enjoying writing her third.

www.fionasfiction.wordpress.com