Meet Penny and Matiu from HOUNDS OF THE UNDERWORLD!

Hounds of the UnderworldThis Wednesday, a new novel from the writing team of Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts will be released from Raw Dog Screaming Press! They quickly embraced the spirit of family that I love about RDSP, and jumped on the idea when I suggested a bit of cross-promotion since our newest books are arriving a week apart. Today, I’m interviewing their main characters, while they’re returning the favor with Victory on their blogs!

Hounds of the Underworld (The Path of Ra Book One) is now available for pre-order. I’ll post my review of this excellent near-future supernatural noir murder mystery on Wednesday!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Raw Dog Screaming Press


ABOUT THE BOOK

On the verge of losing her laboratory, her savings, and all respect for herself, Pandora (Penny) Yee lands her first contract as scientific consult to the police department. And with seventeen murder cases on the go, the surly inspector is happy to leave her to it. Only she’s going to need to get around, and that means her slightly unhinged adopted brother, Matiu, will be doing the driving. But something about the case spooks Matiu, something other than the lack of a body in the congealing pool of blood in the locked room or that odd little bowl.

Matiu doesn’t like anything about this case, from the voices that screamed at him when he touched that bowl, to the way his hateful imaginary friend Makere has come back to torment him, to the fact that the victim seems to be tied up with a man from Matiu’s past, a man who takes pleasure in watching dogs tear each other to pieces for profit and entertainment.

Hounds of the Underworld blends mystery, near-future noir and horror. Set in New Zealand it’s the product of a collaboration by two Kiwi authors, one with Chinese heritage and the other Māori. This debut book in The Path of Ra series offers compelling new voices and an exotic perspective on the detective drama.


[Note: The characters in the following interview refer to me as Hanna, my real name.]

What’s your favourite place to be?

Penny: My favourite place? The lab. Without question. Partly because it’s mine — well, it will be just as soon as I can pay Dad back the money I borrowed to set it up. Even a standard benchtop DNA sequencer will put a big hole in your bank account, let alone the consumables. Anyway, the lab is my space. I love everything about it: the straight lines of the epoxy benches, the waft of cold air when I open the cold store, and the scent of Decon cleanser. I guess that’ll be the potassium hydroxide. I share the lab with my technician, Beaker. Beak came with me when I left LysisCo, my last place of employ, and he’s a real asset to Yee Scientific, although he will insist on hanging his lab coat on the wrong hook.

Matiu: Tough question. I haven’t got a favourite place so much, unless you count being behind the wheel. I like it because… going places, you know? Being on the road, the hiss of the tyres, scenery drifting by. I like driving, and I’m lucky, I know, because of my dad and the job and all, but, yeah, that’s my time. My favourite “place”, know what I mean? I like it, because it gives me a little bit of peace and quiet, in my head. Time to think for myself, without anyone else… getting to me.  Continue reading

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Sunday inspirational interview at the Tower of the Archmage: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #7

One of my life goals is to eventually see the Steel Empires series adapted into a table-top RPG. A lot of my history and passion for gaming has gone into this series, which the Tower of Archmage captures nicely in it’s Sunday Inspirational post, featuring an interview with me! A quick look:

Let’s jump right into it: How has gaming influenced how you write?

JLG: As a table-top gamer since high school, I think the other players have influenced me more than the mechanics of gaming itself. Gaming involves working together with other people to solve problems, so I’ve never been one for the “lone wolf’ protagonist. My characters are surrounded by friends and loved ones and allies of convenience, who must all work together to solve conflict or escape their current situations. The variety of characters, played by such variety of people, that I’ve experienced over the years definitely helped me realize that relationships are just as important as plot.

If you’re interested in gaming, be sure to follow the Tower of the Archmage blog for all sorts of cool tips and ideas!


Tomorrow, it’s Victory’s turn in the spotlight — she’s being interviewed at the blogs of fellow RDSP authors Lee Murray and Dan Rabarts. Meanwhile, I’ll be interviewing the main characters of their upcoming novel, Hounds of the Underworld, which releases this Wednesday!

Author Interview with Sara Dobie Bauer

Earlier this month, I reviewed a fantastic paranormal romance called Bite Somebody, which was equal parts adorable and hilarious. Tomorrow, the sequel comes out! To celebrate, I’m interviewing author Sara Dobie Bauer today, but be sure to check back here tomorrow for my review of Bite Somebody Else, which is currently available for pre-order.


bite somebody elseABOUT THE BOOK

Imogene helped her newbie vampire friend Celia hook up with an adorable human, but now Celia has dropped an atomic bomb of surprise: she has a possibly blood-sucking baby on the way. Imogene is not pleased, especially when a mysterious, ancient, and annoyingly gorgeous vampire historian shows up to monitor Celia’s unprecedented pregnancy.

Lord Nicholas Christopher Cuthbert III is everything Imogene hates: posh, mannerly, and totally uninterested in her. Plus, she thinks he’s hiding something. So what if he smells like a fresh garden and looks like a rich boarding school kid just begging to be debauched? Imogene has self-control. Or something.

As Celia’s pregnancy progresses at a freakishly fast pace, Imogene and Nicholas play an ever-escalating game of will they or won’t they, until his sexy maker shows up on Admiral Key, forcing Nicholas to reveal his true intentions toward Celia’s soon-to-arrive infant.

World Weaver Press | Amazon | Kobo | Nook | iBooks


Vampire fiction comes close to overwhelming the urban fantasy genre these days. What unique spin do you put on “vampirism” in your books to keep things fresh?

My unique spin is comedy. I don’t take anything seriously. Like, anything. I’ve been reading vampire literature since I was too young to be reading vampire literature. (I’m pretty sure my twelve-year-old teenage girl hormones were unleashed via Interview with the Vampire.) I love the old tropes — the charisma and mystery of classic vampires. Because I love the tropes, I had fun tearing them apart. Imogene and Celia are totally insane, ridiculous, and non-mysterious vampires. They get into awkward messes and have stupidly hilarious adventures. There’s even a semantics discussion: “Are we dead or undead?” I had a blast writing this series, and people have a blast reading the books. It’s escapism in the most snort-laughing of ways. Oh, and there’s a bit of sex — although even the sex is filled with miscues, accidental feet to the face, and broken fingers.  Continue reading

Author Interview with Shaun Hume

Shaun Hume reached out to me a few weeks ago regarding a possible review for his book (he complimented me on my book covers, which is the fastest way to this author’s heart) (other than salty black licorice). Unfortunately, I was unable to fit him into my schedule, but I was still intrigued enough that I had to know more!


ewan pendle and the white wraithABOUT THE BOOK

Ewan Pendle was weird. Really weird. At least, that’s what everyone told him. Then again, being able to see monsters that no one else could wasn’t exactly normal.

Thinking he has been moved off to live with his eleventh foster family, Ewan is instead told he is a Lenitnes, one of an ancient race of peoples who can alone see the real Creatures that inhabit the earth. He is taken in by Enola, the mysterious sword carrying Grand Master of Firedrake Lyceum, a labyrinth of halls and rooms in the middle of London where other children, just like him, go to learn the ways of the Creatures.

Paperback | eBook


Since your reviewers bring up the Harry Potter connection, I think the most important thing potential readers might want to know is how are your books different from the Harry Potter universe?

Maybe the most important world difference between Ewan Pendle and Harry Potter is the lack of magic. Magic does exist in the world of Creatures and Lenitnes, but it’s a relatively new discovery. While it certainly is an emerging aspect (hence the rather newly formed Witch Clique), few people understand it, and even fewer can perform any magic at all.

The other main difference would be the number of strong and unique female characters. I’m a massive HP fan, and love it dearly, but there really aren’t many girls within the story who take on much of a narratively propelling role. In my story it was a conscious choice to create more female characters, purely because I find them more interesting to write. This, I think, gives much more scope to the story and its characters.  Continue reading

Author Interview with Casey Matthews

Today, I’m happy to introduce you to an author writes books that look like the daydream that every qualified nerd has had once upon a time. Check out the Pygmalion Fail series by Casey Matthews and take a short peek into this particular nerd’s brain!


Pygmalion Fail trilogyABOUT THE BOOKS

The Accidental God (Book 1): The world of Rune is just a series of fantasy paintings, or so Isaac Myers assumes; he’s even started adding some new art of his own to the seemingly abandoned project.

He learns better after a frustrating night of gaming with his best friend, Dak, culminates in a one-way trip to Rune itself—where fearsome creatures are intent on eating or otherwise destroying him, impractical armor keeps female warriors off the battlefield, and both a foppish overlord named Dracon and a masked samurai named Ronin (because of course) seem to think Isaac is terribly important.

Rune is real, all right. And it’s a damn mess.

Mistakes Were Made (Book 2) | Only Broken Things Are Free (Book 3)


“Real-life nerd ends up in fantasy world” is almost a trope in the realm of humor fantasy. What sets the Pygmalion Fail series apart?

I’d say it’s a staple trope — moreover, it’s super popular within the portal fantasy sub-genre. My series derives some of its humor from the fact it’s the protagonist’s own universe he falls into; it’s as much about a creator’s antagonistic relationship with his creations as it is about a nerd trapped in a fantasy world.

But Pygmalion is a cut above the average for its lightning pace and, as my editor put it, the “joyful spirit of invention” at the trilogy’s heart. The emotional center is really a bromance, the story of friendship between my protagonist — Isaac — and his best friend Dak. I think my book somewhat subverts the “power fantasy” trope where the hero becomes the most powerful, most important force in the world — not that Isaac doesn’t stumble across tremendous power, but this story is equally about the screw-ups he’s ultimately responsible for and the allies he relies on for their own unique strengths. This is a story about a guy who became a god very much by accident, and then has to learn he’s not the center of the universe. To that ends, there’s a lot happening in the allies’ subplots.  Continue reading

Author Interview with Jennifer Loring

Late last year I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing a novella for a holiday anthology, “No One on Earth” (part of Starstruck Holidays). Today, I’m happy to revisit this sexy speculative fiction story through an interview with author Jennifer Loring.


no-one-on-earthABOUT THE BOOK

Jon, a psychic since childhood, has never felt at home in the world, even less so after his lover died on Winter Solstice a year ago. Since his abilities failed him when he needed them most, he turns to alcohol and rejects his family’s assertion that he is a Star Child—an alien/human hybrid. When Jon’s sister suggests he should look into the legend of Handsome Fellow, Jon decides that if he cannot find happiness himself, he will bring it to others.

Erukkass’ people, a species of interdimensional aliens, have been observing Earth and interacting with humans for so many centuries that some Native American tribes believe their ancestors originated from the stars. After his lover passed away in what appears to be a medical accident, he accepts a scientific mission… but not for the reasons his government expects. He has located his beloved on another timeline, in another universe—ours—and he will not leave without him.

Jon returns home from work one evening to find a gift of his own—a strange young man waiting for him. Erukkass unveils one stunning revelation after another, including the truth behind his lover’s death and the nature of time itself. Can he and Jon forge a future together, or will two timelines that have always intersected, no matter when or where, finally be forced to diverge?


The mixture of themes for the Starstruck Holidays anthology is pretty unique. Did you already have your story written, or did you write it specifically for the anthology call?

I wrote it specifically for the anthology. That’s not something I do very often, but the call intrigued me enough to give it a shot. Plus, I really wanted to write something about indigenous culture. It’s largely untapped aside from some of the more horror-oriented legends like the skin-walkers and the wendigo. Continue reading

Author Interview with Anna Zabo

DailyGrind_Blog_tour.png

As part of the Daily Grind blog tour, I’m pleased to sit down with author Anna Zabo to talk writing, coffee, and fashion!


ABOUT THE BOOK

A man discovers that love can show up when you least expect it—and in a much different form—in this piping-hot romance from the author of Due Diligence and Just Business.

Brian Keppler, owner of Ground N’At, the coffee shop beneath SR Anderson Consulting, doesn’t have time for a relationship. His most recent girlfriend broke up with him because he’d become married to his shop, which is falling apart without his favorite barista, Justin.

As he struggles to stay afloat, the arrival of handsome British high-tech whiz Robert Ancroft becomes another complication. Rob quickly becomes a fixture at the shop with his sharp wit and easy charm, and Brian soon finds himself looking forward more and more to Rob’s visits—to the point where his heart skips a beat when he walks in.

But will Brian be able to come to terms with his previously unexplored sexual identity and find happiness now that he has a chance?

Ebook available at:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Barnes and Noble | Books A Million | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

Audio book (read by Iggy Toma) available at:

Audible | Amazon | Tantor Audio


Daily Grind is book 4 in the series that began with Takeover. How is this book different from the previous books in the series? How is it similar?

It’s different in that it’s a little slower and sweeter than the other books. Not to say that it isn’t sexy…but Brian and Rob spend a lot of time on page getting to know each other. There’s also far less kink involved, and more exploration. There’s less tech, too, since the focus is on Brian’s coffee shop.

It’s similar in that all the books revolve around work and especially high-tech in some way. In this case, Rob is a CEO of a robotics firm. Brian, though not a geek, is a business owner. The person that ties all the books together is Sam. He’s been in every single one, and this one is no exception. Continue reading