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

Schedule for Cleveland ConCoction 2017

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I’m looking forward to returning to Cleveland ConCoction for my second year (March 10-12)! It’s a great mix of literary, media, gaming, and costuming focus, with something for everyone. It’s also my favorite con in terms of they way they are set up to promote authors, with an Author’s Alley where the con sets up it’s own bookshop so authors don’t have to lug their books around all weekend, and where authors can hang out and meet fans during downtime. I was so pleased to be invited back.

Let me know in the comments where you’ll be at this con so I can be sure to say hi! Or, here’s my schedule so you know where to track me down.

Friday

  • 12:00 PM: Author Perspectives on Fan Fiction
  • 9:00 PM: What is Urban Fantasy?

Saturday

  • 12:00 PM: Vampires, Werewolves, and Gods — Rewriting Legends
  • 2:00 PM: Author Showcase — Reading from the Steel Empires series, following by time for signing
  • 9:00 PM: Why Villains Matter

Sunday

  • 11:00 AM: Post Apocalypse — How Will It End?

 

Review: TAKEOVER by Anna Zabo

takeoverDisclaimer: I consider the author a friend and have promoted her projects on my blog. However, I purchased this ebook for full price.


I’ve had this book on my Kindle forever, and while had previously read and greatly enjoyed another novel by Zabo, I wasn’t sure whether my love of her urban fantasy would translate to love of real-life romance. However, I recently interviewed her on my blog and one of her answers piqued my interest. A main character from the first book in this series also shows up each of the subsequent books, and I just had to see how that happens. Continue reading

February Wrap-Up & March Goals

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Steel Empires classing up the joint at AWP.

Whew, this month flew by (and not just because February is a short month). While things continue to be rough and stressful in the larger scheme of things, I’m pleased with what I accomplished in my own small corner of the world, and I’m looking forward to whatever is next.

I’d also like to take a quick moment to thank all of you. I have no way to tell how many of the subscribers to this blog are here because they are fans of my writing, here to follow my book reviews and my support of other authors, or both. Earlier this month I did a two-part holiday special, giving some details and background info on two of the romantic pairings in my books. I held my breath in case of negative feedback in the case of Kane and Archer — but absolutely none came! Thank you for being awesome, being accepting, and loving my guys as much as I do.

Okay, enough mushy stuff. Let’s get to work. Continue reading

Review: THE EIGHTH by Stephanie M. Wytovich

eighthDisclaimer: The author and I share a publisher for her poetry collections and I consider her a friend. However, I purchased a hardcopy version of this novel for full price.


I hate starting reviews with “I don’t usually read this genre, but…” In this case, however, it’s 100% true. I’m not a horror reader (or viewer). It’s not my chosen form of escapism. However, I’ve been in love with Dante’s Inferno since the first time I read it in high school, and I because I’m lucky enough to know this author personally, I was intrigued by Wytovich’s version of Hell.

I could have easily devoured this book in mere hours, but I took my time in order to stop and reflect on a regular basis. Comparing The Eighth to Inferno does both books a disservice, because they both serve very different purposes. In Inferno, you shadow Dante and Plato through a sterile museum tour filled with curiosities and historical tidbits. In The Eighth, Wytovich drags you kicking and screaming in Paimon and Arazel’s wake, thrusting you into the gory trenches, forcing you to be a participant rather than a spectator. Not only is it a different view of Hell, but it’s a more visceral experience that provides its own agony and depth. Continue reading

Author Interview with Anna Zabo

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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

Author Interview with Lew McIntyre

Today I’m happy to feature an interview with debut novelist Lew McIntyre. Besides my usual desire to support indie writers, I was intrigued by the unique premise of this historical novel and had to know more.


eagle-and-dragonABOUT THE BOOK

The Eagle and the Dragon takes the reader on an epic journey of thousands of miles by sea and land across three continents. When Senator Aulus Aemilius Galba is tapped to lead the first Roman mission to China, he anticipates an easy path to fame and fortune. Gaius Lucullus sees a bright military future, but his reluctant centurion Antonius Aristides would rather be somewhere else. Translators Marcia Lucia and her brother Marcus were taken from their village in China to serve the Han court, abused and despised, hiding a horrible secret. A notorious Arab pirate, with a Roman price on his head and crucifixion in his future, shadows the entourage, seeking the wealthy prize of their treasure-laden ships. But Fate has other plans for these unlikely companions, sending them together on a journey that will take them thousands of miles by sea and land across the tapestry of the mysterious worlds at the close of the first century. From the storm-tossed Indian Ocean to the opulent Hanaean court, from the wild grassy steppes north of China to the forbidding peaks of the Pamir Mountains of Bactria, they fight for their lives, hoping to find the road that will lead them back to Rome.

Amazon


What was your biggest inspiration for writing a work of historical fiction that hasn’t seen much representation?

My current work in progress actually began in 1995 while reading an historical book, The Ancient Mariners, by Lionel Casson, which described the Romans reaching the court of China around 166 AD. Apparently the emperors even knew each other’s names, indicating previous contact. This set my imagination ablaze when I learned from other sources that this definitely  was not the first such expedition. I set out to write a short vignette on how two Roman soldiers, part of my fictional expedition in 100 AD, would find life in China so different in culture from their homeland. From that few pages was born The Eagle and the Dragon: A Novel of Rome and China. That same book, and others, gave me a grasp of the complex network of trading routes that spanned the Indian Ocean in that era, the sophisticated ships they built, and complex social, cultural and linguistic problems they would have to solve, and that kept the firing burning… basically at every step of the way, I had to ask myself, “Now what problems would I encounter doing that?” This was quickly followed by “Now how in the hell would I solve those problems with just first century tools at my disposal?” As I wrote this novel, it often seemed at times that I was taking dictation from my characters! It was a labor of love twenty years in the making. When I was finished, I read Rome and the Distant East: Trade Routes to the ancient lands of Arabia, India and China, by Raoul McLaughlin, which I read after I completed my work; he stated that the 166 AD mission was to seek the alliance of China with Rome against Parthia, modern day Iran and Iraq! This verified what I had hinted at was one far-fetched objective of my fictional mission, to determine if that could be a possibility, or if perhaps Rome should settle their differences with Parthia and ally with them against Han China! Continue reading

Review: “28 Teeth Later” (a PRISON DAD short) by Cristin Kist & Jeffrey Gritman

28-teeth-laterDisclaimer: I am friends with the authors of this short story. However, I purchased the ebook version for full price.


I  have not yet had a chance to read either of the Prison Dad collections that I own, but this short story was a delightful introduction to the world. I was promised ridiculousness, speculative fiction references, humor, and vague body horror, and that’s exactly what I got. This short read flew by, inspiring both giggles and “geeps!” Continue reading

Holiday Romance Special Part 2: Victory & Mikelos

SteelVictoryARC_cov.inddAs promised, the husband and I shared a delicious meal of Indian food in front of the TV last night to celebrate Valentine’s Day. We watched another few episodes of The Grand Tour and then went to bed early.

Today actually marks 8 years since we officially started dating! Not because of the holiday, but because in 2009 I had agreed to pick him up from the airport after a 2-week class in California, and he had a Valentine’s Day bouquet delivered to my apartment that morning as a thank you.

But you’re not here for my sappy love story. You’re here for the much more interesting one between Victory and Mikelos, who were introduced in Steel Victory. Vampire and daywalker will return for their own adventure this summer in Steel Empires #3: Steel Blood, but for now, here’s some backstory and behind-the-scenes info to tide you over.

How and why did they meet?

After the drama (and trauma) of the Last War, Victory settled in Limani with her progeny Jarimis. She helped Jarimis’ daywalker open a bar, supporting Allesdandra’s dream. One day, in walks a human man she recognized from back in Europa, a former concert violinist.

For 200 years, Mikelos had lived as the daywalker to his musical partner, the vampire and cellist Connor. When Connor disappears without a trace, he leaves his old life behind, escaping into anonymity in Limani. Or so he thinks.

When Mikelos is mortally wounded defending Allesandra, Victory turns him back into a daywalker to save his life. Continue reading