Author Interview with Allan C. R. Cornelius

I’m always thrilled to support fellow graduates of the Seton Hill University Writing Popular Fiction program, even if I’ve never had the opportunity to meet them in person! Today, I’m happy to host dark fantasy author Allan Cornelius and ask him some questions about his debut novel.


Whispers at the AlterABOUT THE BOOK

When you’ve done the unthinkable, what wouldn’t you do to make it right? Lie? Steal? Kill?

For thirteen years, Steven’s mother is all he’s known. Then he plays an unintended part in the resurrection of Ssanek, a long-dead god. Now Steven must decide between abandoning the world to its fate, and risking those he cares for in a hopeless bid to banish the dark god

Meanwhile, half-elven Christabel searches for a way to bring her mother back from the dead while fighting those at the palace who see her human heritage as poison. Her only hope is Ssanek. Will Christabel be willing to give what he asks in return? After all, every wish has a price. And Ssanek’s price is blood.

Separated by thousands of miles, these two strangers must fight an evil that twists the very hearts and flesh of anyone who follows it. But only together will they find the strength to defeat what neither could overcome alone.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo


Tell us a bit about what sets Whispers at the Alter apart from other dark fantasy tales!

I would have to say it is the emphasis on the characters themselves.  I’ve always been attracted to stories that were about more than just something bad happening to the protagonist and her friends, them struggling, and then just more bad happening to them.  The darkness in Whispers at the Altar comes as much from within the protagonists themselves as it does from without.  At its heart, it is a story about two vary similar people, who experience similar loss, and their internal struggles to overcome and move past that loss.  The internal journey of all of the characters, protagonist and antagonist alike is what has always attracted me to writing.  Continue reading

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For Love the Bell Tolls: Author Interviews

Today, I’m pleased to spotlight a new anthology featuring some fabulous authors. These gothic romance short stories will have you quivering (in whichever way you choose to interpret the phrase) in your hot apple cider!


For Love the Bell TollsABOUT THE BOOK

Six haunting stories of love with a paranormal twist, including a traditional nineteenth century possessed house, lycanthropy and voodoo, zombies, a soul-stealing journal, a reaper for death, and a bargain with the fey folk. This book will tempt you to give in to your darkest desires.

Featuring Cara McKinnon, Sheri Queen, Serena Jayne, Read Gallo, Kylie Weisenborn, and Heather Sheldon.

Kindle | iBooks | Nook | Kobo | Google Play


I asked the For Love the Bell Tolls authors to tell us about the characters in their story, particularly their favorites and least favorites. I also asked them about coming up with the character’s names and the title for the story. That can be a difficult process sometimes.  Continue reading

Steel Time Blog Tour Round-Up

Steel Time Jacket.inddThe difficult part of launching a new book while also traveling out of town to an enormous convention is that it’s difficult to promote the blog tour posts that I organized at the same time. So, here’s a handy round-up and GIANT thank you to everyone who supported Steel Empires Book 4: Steel Time by sharing information or hosting me on their blogs! Check out the posts below for some cool behind-the-scenes details about my life and writing process, excerpts from Steel Time, a character interview with Toria, and pictures of my adorable cats.

COVER REVEAL

BLOG TOUR

BOOK SPOTLIGHTS

Thank you so much to everyone who helped boost the signal about my latest book!

Author Interview with Jessica McHugh

By now, you all know that I’m a total wuss. I don’t like jump scares. I can do gore in movies/on television because I desensitized myself through a research binge on practical effects, but there’s no protective layer between the visceral on the page and my imagination. So while I desperately wanted to read Jessica McHugh’s latest novel, Nightly Owl, Fatal Raven, to support my friend and fellow Raw Dog Screaming Press author…I “noped” right out of there at about the 20 percent mark on my Kindle. This book is raw, evocative, and fabulous. You should go read it to make up for my inability to finish it!


Nightly Owl Fatal RavenABOUT THE BOOK

Since the rise of The Council, an oligarchy of despots and deviants, the legendary Capesman undertakes daily soul collections from Cartesia’s wasteland cities and battlefields. He also frequents Malay Prison, where a vigilante named Shal plots her escape. Armed with a thirst for vengeance and a sharp Shakespearean tongue, Shal must navigate a maze of trauma to save Cartesia and protect her sister from the brutal machinations of Chancellor Doa.

It will require all of Shal’s strength and cunning to resurrect her former army, battle the betrayals of the past, and avenge her father’s death. Will she survive long enough to see the Council fall, or is the Capesman coming for her next?

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | From the Publisher


This novel has a long and storied history. I know you’ve probably shared it a million times by now, but do you mind humoring me?

I was twenty when I jotted down my first notes about what would become Nightly Owl, Fatal Raven on the guest checks at a sub shop called Bubba’s. At the time it was called A Mover of Stones but still focused on the character Shal, who ultimately leads a revolution against a corrupt government. As I developed Shal and the world of Cartesia, the book changed into From the Herald’s Wearied Eye and became an ultraviolent tale about trauma and revenge. It was published by Reliquary Press in 2009, and I thought that was where the story would end. But when that contract ran out, I took another look at the story and realized there was a better way to tell it. While it’s still violent, I brought more thoughtfulness and maturity to the rewrite. In the end, out fluttered Nightly Owl, Fatal Raven, and I was so overjoyed that Raw Dog Screaming Press wanted to take it on. The concept of “home” is extremely important in this novel, so the fact that the novel itself has finally found its proper home is a wonderful feeling.  Continue reading

Author Interview with Shannon Eichorn

To celebrate the release of her first novel, I was delighted to interview author Shannon Eichorn about topics near and dear to both of our hearts. If you’re at DragonCon this weekend, be sure to track her down in the armory and pick up a copy of Rights of Use for yourself!

For those of us not at DragonCon, Rights of Use is now available for pre-order at the link below! The book comes out tomorrow, so there’s no time to waste!

Look for my full review on Wednesday — this is definitely one book you’re not going to want to miss.


Rights of UseABOUT THE BOOK

In the 1960s, Project Blue Book assured America that no aliens visited its amber waves or shining seas.

Thirty years later, Project Black Book knows better and has the flying saucers to prove it, but they still can’t stop the body-possessing Kemtewet from scooping their pick of young women from Earth to host an alien queen.

Sarah Anderson yearned for an escape from her new life in Pennsylvania, but not for this: being kidnapped by aliens and faced with a choice between having a Kemtewet queen erase her brain or sharing her body with a Gertewet insurgent. Unless the Air Force can rescue her in time, it’s either death or a chance to make a difference in the galaxy, because with Sarah, the Gertewet have one last shot to end the Kemtewet Empire and free billions of humans subject to their body markets.

In a war over consent, only some things are black and white.

Amazon | Goodreads


UFO sightings are one of my favorite mysteries, so your riff on “Project Blue Book” is one of the things that attracted me to your book. Do you believe that aliens have ever visited Earth?

The universe is so vast, and chemistry and life are at once so predictable and so surprising. Everything we know says it’s so unlikely that aliens have ever visited Earth. Space travel is harsh. Wide-open nothingness lies between stars, and everything we know about physics says that it’s going to take decades to get from one system to another — if there’s even life on the other side. If it’s even life that humans can communicate with.

I don’t think aliens have visited Earth, but I don’t know all the facts. Maybe I’m wrong. At the very least, I would love to see first contact in my lifetime.  Continue reading

Author Interview with Nancy O’Toole Meservier

Since I was lucky enough to read an advanced reader copy (ARC) of Red and Black, I knew I had to know more behind the book! This is a fantastic debut novel — I hope you’re inclined to pick it up after reading this interview with the author. You can find my review of the book here.


Red and BlackABOUT THE BOOK

Dawn Takahashi knows a thing or two about superheroes, from the fictional ones that populate her favorite comic books, to the real-life vigilantes who keep people safe. When she’s granted an impressive set of powers of her own, she dives right in, eager to prove herself as Bailey City’s first legitimate superhero. Dressed in red and black, Dawn spends her nights jumping from rooftop to rooftop, apprehending criminals with a smile. But by day, she finds her interactions marred by crippling social awkwardness.

Alex Gage is used to life giving him the short end of the stick, from his working-class upbringing, to the recent death of his mother. He works hard to support his younger sisters, hiding his anger and frustration behind laid back charm. It’s this charm that first draws Alex and Dawn together, but their secrets may tear them apart. Because while Dawn protects the city against threats, Alex unknowingly undermines her efforts by working as a henchman for Calypso, a mysterious woman who can make anyone loyal to her with a single touch of her hand.

It’s the classic story of boy meets girl. And hero versus villain. Where only one side can win.

Amazon | Goodreads


You’ve called this book an urban fantasy with superheroes. What will appeal to fans to both genres?

I feel like I’m cheating a little bit here, because the urban fantasy and superhero genres are already so closely related. Both typically feature a modern day (usually city-like) settings and fantastical elements. Combine this with the fact that the supernatural aspects of urban fantasy worlds are often hidden, and many urban fantasy characters already have something like secret identities.

Red and Black was born out of my love for both genres. It has the taping of a superhero story, including superpowers, masks, and codenames. At the same time, it’s structured much like my favorite urban fantasy books. This includes a first-person perspective, quick pacing, and a prominent secondary romance.  Continue reading

Author Interview with Sara Dobie Bauer

There’s nothing better than when a fabulous author is also a lovely person and friend. I’ve been hooked on Sara Dobie Bauer’s writing since I first read Bite Somebody, and her darker work is just as enticing. Today, I picked her brain about her latest release, Escaping Exile.


Escaping ExileABOUT THE BOOK

Andrew is a vampire from New Orleans, exiled to a tropical island in the 1800s as punishment for his human bloodlust. During a storm, a ship crashes off shore. After rescuing a sailor from the cannibals native to the land, Andrew becomes fascinated with his brilliant, beautiful new companion, Edmund.

Edmund is a British naturalist who has sailed the world seeking new species. Intrigued by creatures that might kill him, immortal Andrew is this scientist’s dream-but so is making his way back home. Edmund will fight to survive, even while wrapped in the arms of a monster.

As light touches and laughter turn to something much more passionate, the cannibals creep ever closer to Edmund. Can the ancient vampire keep his human alive long enough to escape exile and explore their newfound love, or will Andrew’s bloodlust seal his own doom?

Amazon | Nine Star Press | Goodreads


Writing fiction set in a historical time period always requires research. What’s the coolest thing you learned while researching for Escaping Exile, whether or not that detail made it into the text?

This is going to sound so geeky, but… the clothes. Escaping Exile takes place in the years between 1820 and 1830. It was a time when fashion for men was changing, so some men still wore breeches while others wore trousers (basically Capri pants versus pants that went all the way to the floor). Although there aren’t many clothes in the first book of The Escape Trilogy (that may or may not be a sex joke), clothes become a thing later when Edmund wears more modern attire and Andrew, as an ancient vampire, is more old school. Edmund even goes so far as to avoid cravats! It was quite scandalous for a man to show so much neck … especially when he hangs out with vampires all the time.  Continue reading