Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Book Spotlight: To Drown A Man

I have a spotlight for you today, on the poetry collection To Drown a Man by Tyler James Russell. Enjoy.


To Drown a Man by Tyler James Russell




To Drown a Man is a sincere, plainspoken collection about fear, vulnerability, and radical honesty. At once delicate and visceral, the poems chronicle the long gauntlet from a life of secrets to a life of intimacy. Exploring the meaning of redemption and shame as related to the personal, the marital, and the spiritual, these poems read like chunks of ore being burned of their dross.


To Drown a Man is available at:








About the Author



Tyler James Russell is the author of To Drown a Man (2020), a poetry collection, and When Fire Splits the Sky (2022), a novel, both from Unsolicited Press. A high school English teacher and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of British Columbia, he now lives in Central Pennsylvania with his wife Cat and their children. His other work has appeared in or is forthcoming in Riddle Fence, Montana Mouthful, the Sepia Journal, and Solum, among others, and was a nominee for the Rhysling Award. 


You can find him at Tylerjamesrussell.com, or on Twitter at @TJamesRussell.

Sunday, 10 January 2021

Cover Reveal: The Silk Thief

Today I have a cover reveal for the humorous urban fantasy novel, The Silk Thief (The Roshaven Series Book 2) by Claire Buss, plus a sneak peek at the book as well as the preorder link. Enjoy.


The Silk Thief (The Roshaven Series Book 2)

**COVER REVEAL**

 



Fourteen, heir to the Empire of Roshaven, must find a new name before Theo, Lord of neighbouring Fidelia, brings his schemes to fruition.

Not only has he stolen Roshaven’s trade, but he plans to make Fourteen his own and take her empire in the bargain.

Her protector, Ned Spinks, is plagued with supernatural nightmares whilst his assistant, Jenni the sprite, has lost her magick.

Can they figure out how to thwart Theo’s dastardly plan before it’s too late for his city and her empire?

The Silk Thief is the second quirky magical mystery adventure set in the Roshaven series of humorous fantasy novels. If you like the wit and humour of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, then you’ll love The Silk Thief.

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY: mybook.to/SilkThief

 The book releases June 4th 


More About The Roshaven Books


The Rose Thief, The Roshaven Series book 1

Someone is stealing the Emperor’s roses and if they take the magical red rose then love will be lost, to everyone, forever.

It’s up to Ned Spinks, Chief Thief Catcher, and his band of motley catchers to apprehend the thief and save the day.

But the thief isn’t exactly who they seem to be. Neither is the Emperor.

Ned and his team will have to go on a quest; defeating vampire mermaids, illusionists, estranged family members and an evil sorcerer in order to win the day. What could possibly go wrong?

Available in paperback and ebook everywhere: https://books2read.com/u/bQaxw6


 


The Interspecies Poker Tournament, Prequel Novella to The Rose Thief

Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher, has a new case. A murderous moustache-wearing cult is killing off members of Roshaven's fae community. At least that's what he's been led to believe by his not-so-trusty sidekick, Jenni the sprite. She has information she's not sharing but plans to get her boss into the Interspecies Poker Tournament so he can catch the bad guy and save the day. If only Ned knew how to play!

Available in paperback and ebook everywhere: https://books2read.com/u/m2Vk0R






Ye Olde Magick Shoppe, a Roshaven short story

Join Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher, and his sidekick Jenni the sprite in this short story about an unwanted magick shoppe.

This free short story is available in ebook everywhere: https://books2read.com/u/4XXPw1

 






What Readers Say About The Books

“Loved the quirky banter!”

“Entirely delightful and captivating.”

“A wonderful tribute to the Late Great Sir Terry.”

“If you are a fan of the discworld you will love this book.”

“A hilariously thrilling fantasy mystery.”


 ~*~

About the Author


Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet based in the UK. She wanted to be Lois Lane when she grew up but work experience at her local paper was eye-opening. Instead, Claire went on to work in a variety of admin roles for over a decade but never felt quite at home. An avid reader, baker and Pinterest addict Claire won second place in the Barking and Dagenham Pen to Print writing competition in 2015 with her debut novel, The Gaia Effect, setting her writing career in motion. She continues to write passionately and is hopelessly addicted to cake.

 

Social Media Links

Facebook: www.facebook.com/busswriter

FB Group: www.facebook.com/groups/BussBookStop

Twitter: www.twitter.com/grasshopper2407

Instagram: www.instagram.com/grasshopper2407

Website: https://clairebuss.co.uk/

Blog: https://www.butidontlikesalad.blogspot.co.uk



Thursday, 17 December 2020

Interview With Author Michael James

Today I have another author interview, this time with Michael James who is here to talk about his writing and urban fantasy. Enjoy.


Interview With Michael James


Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself?

My name is Michael James, and I’m an indie author. I started writing when I realized my dream of becoming a billionaire crime fighting ninja detective was probably not feasible and I needed a fallback plan. My first book, "Trapped," was nominated for the Michael James award for outstanding books written by Michael James and placed second. I’m still quite proud of that.

I live in Canada with my family. When I’m not writing, I do Canadian things - saying sorry a lot, being polite, talking about the weather, you know how it goes.


Could you tell us a bit about your latest book? 

My latest book is called The Hotel at the End of Time. It’s like if Jason Bourne and Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy had a baby and then that baby was raised by Dr. Who. It’s about a woman who escaped the Hotel and their efforts to get her back. 

It’s not your typical Urban Fantasy novel. There are no werewolves or vampires or monsters. It’s a very real story that happens to have some light-to-medium amounts of magic. But even the magic system is flawed and problematic; there are no easy solutions in this book.



How long have you been writing, and how many books have you published to date?

I’ve been at this for a few years. I think I started in 2017 or so. This is my second book, my first is a horror-thriller called “Trapped”, about a group of people trapped inside their houses after an alien attack. 

I like putting normal, non-heroic people in extraordinary situations. None of my characters are good at fighting, or have impressive powers, or anything like that. They’re people doing the best they can in terrible situations.


What did you find most challenging about writing your book?

I am a big believer that any element introduced in a book has to tie into the central narrative, but I’m also an exploratory writer. I usually have a couple of big set pieces planned, but not the clear path between them. Because I believe everything needs a purpose, this can result in a lot of rewriting to make it all seamless for the reader.

I end up backtracking a lot. Like something will show up in the third act and I realize I haven’t done the work to make that thing land, so I need to go back and add elements.


What is the hardest part of writing Urban Fantasy fiction? 

Inventing, and then sticking to, the rules of the fictional universe. I find it so frustrating when writers cheat and break their own rules. You see this in some stories where the author will introduce a plot-solving McGuffin and then never reference it again (I’m looking directly at you, Time Turner from Harry Potter). 

Most readers in this genre are obviously willing to suspend disbelief, but as a writer, I need to respect their time and make sure I don’t break any of the rules I invented. This can lead to some pretty challenging spots when I realize I’ve written my characters into circumstances that are awful to get out of. 

But hey, that’s the fun. Figuring out how my characters can exist in this fictional world and the implications of living there.


What advice would you give beginning writers?

It’s so trite and I get so tired of hearing this. But it’s true. Write. Do ever wonder why this is always the advice everyone gives? Let me tell you why.

The truth is, it can take forever to find your voice, and your voice is the most important part of your writing. Only you can sound like you and once you do, you’ll have unlocked your potential. But when you start, you don’t really sound like you. Not yet. You sound like a mash-up of all your favorite authors that you’re trying to emulate. And that’s great! But you need to write long enough that you figure out your own unique quirks, your own flourishes that let people know they’re reading your book. 

The only way to get through this is to write. There’s no shortcuts in this career, no list of bullet points you can follow. You have to put in the hours and write.


Why did you write this book? What was your inspiration?

I got a little tired of the “smirking, quirky female-MC” trope, where it seemed like every book in this genre was quip-happy protagonists who loved werewolves. To be clear, I’ve read a ton of books that follow that pattern, and I mostly love them, but I was looking for something a little more grounded. I couldn’t find anything, so why not write one? 

Vain, my main character, is not perfect. She’s got serious scars leftover from the Hotel, and she’s exhausted from being hunted. I tried to make her as human as possible. She makes a lot of mistakes. Half the other characters in the book hate her. She’s filled with self-doubt. 

So mostly, this book is a great alternative if you’re looking for something a little different in the Urban Fantasy genre, something that doesn’t include hot, sexy vampires or hot, sexy werewolves.


What did you enjoy most about writing your book?

I know I’m not supposed to laugh at my own jokes, but I think this book is incredibly funny, and writing the jokes was my favorite part of the process. I love writing that can make me laugh, and even though I alternate between comedic and darkly serious, I try to make sure the reader will get at least one full laugh from each chapter.


What’s your next project? Any upcoming book secrets you care to reveal? 

The sequel to The Hotel at the End of Time, tentatively titled “The Elevator to Everywhere.” I’m about halfway through it and hope to have it released this year. My goal is to complete this three-book series by the end of the year, although we’ll see if I’m able to pull this off. Fingers crossed!


For more on the author check out his website: https://authormichaeljames.wordpress.com/


The Hotel at the End of Time


Vain is the only person to ever escape from the Hotel at the end of time. On her way out, she took their prized possession: A Padlock that grants immortality.

They will do anything to get it back.

The forces of the Hotel are aligned against her: mundane items turned into weapons; a group of multi-dimensional felons collectively named The Wyatts; and their leader, Trick, a mild-to-medium psychopath with a fondness for impractical jokes.

Everything changes when Vain meets Emma, a timid grad student with impossible and terrifying powers. Together, they are propelled into an adventure that will see them battle the Wyatts, blow up several objects of significant value, and quite by accident, discover a way to stop the Hotel.

Even with Emma, Vain has a lot of problems to deal with.

She’s exhausted from being hunted.
Stopping the Hotel might kill them.
She has a hangnail.

But Vain is resourceful. Vain is clever.

And she always has a plan.


You can find The Hotel at the End of Time at Amazon 


Saturday, 5 December 2020

Book Spotlight: The Sigil: A Novel

Today I have a book spotlight for you on the upcoming LGBTQ and dark urban fantasy novel, The Sigil by Shakeil Kanish and Larissa Mandeville. The book is currently on preorder and will be released this coming March. Enjoy.


The Sigil: A Novel by Shakeil Kanish and Larissa Mandeville



Lake’s brother Devlin was murdered right in front of him. Simply because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Or was he? Why, then, does Lake think Devlin knew he was going to die before they ever set foot in the gas station that night? As he obsesses over his brother’s death, Lake begins to uncover a hidden world full of forbidden magic and growing danger. Now he’s stuck, caught between the world that his brother was meant for and his own. Lake is beginning to realize that no one and nowhere is safe.

Nova Rathers may not be especially powerful in the Mage world but she makes up for it with a magical bag of snacks and a body constructed by the Gods to slay. Desperate to be more than her lineage, she finds herself teamed up with a group of misfits and, in her mind, the weakest creature of all - a gida...a powerless human. Together, they start to unravel the lies that built their world and continue to hold it hostage. Nova’s last year at Breyburn Academe was never going to be easy but she had no idea that it could ever get this bad.

Lake, Nova, and their newfound friends are about to find the truth behind what has been hunting them. But knowing is only half the battle. Even if they survive, will the rest of the world remain standing?


You can preorder it on Amazon
Or from the publisher, Three Furies Press




About the Author


Shakeil Kanish loves to write, which, considering you’re holding his book, makes perfect sense. The Sigil is his debut novel and he’s super excited about being an openly gay author and getting the chance to write about an openly gay protagonist. He feels it’s something sorely missing from the writing world, and he wants underrepresented kids everywhere to be able to root for a new type of hero. He loves playing video games and enjoys snacking down on apple pie, as any sane person should. You can become his best friend by asking him to duet any song from the Greatest Showman. No, seriously, please do it.

Thursday, 29 October 2020

Book Spotlight: Plank Children

Today I have a book spotlight on the horror novel, Plank Children by Michael Schutz, plus an excerpt. Enjoy.


Plank Children by Michael Schutz



Miles Baumgartner lost his boyfriend. His house. His job. Worst of all, he lost his nephew when Ian—his almost-son—died, crushed to death in a car accident nine months ago.

So how is there a recent photo of Ian on Facebook?

A series of lies and half-truths leads Miles far north to a long-abandoned orphanage. Secrets slink within St. Hamelin’s shadowed halls, and when Miles starts piecing the truth together, the horrors that walk within its rooms tighten their grip.

They say that time heals all wounds, but time is running out for Miles. How can he start his life over now, knowing what really happened to Ian and the children of that unholy place? To have any chance, he must escape before dark forces curse him to walk eternally with the evils inhabiting St. Hamelin’s.


You can check out Plank Children on

Amazon or Three Furies Press


Excerpt

The door whisked shut, sealing Miles into a dark cavern of a room. On the one side, ten metal bathtubs ran the entire length on dappled vinyl flooring, each one growing less distinct farther down the line. At the nearest tub, he bluffed. “I see you guys.”
His voice evaporated into the high ceiling.
What looked like high-sided, steel kiddie pools stood in the gloom on the other side. Goose-neck faucets.
Why did an orphanage or reformatory need a hydrotherapy room?
In the shadows at the far end, indistinct shapes rose and fell—the kids climbing into tubs and scooching down.
He summoned his teacher voice. “Stop fooling around.”
But what if they weren’t just messing around? Starting toward them, his stomach flopped with that sinking feeling he always got whenever stepping over that little gap from a jet bridge onto a plane.
“I mean it.”
That didn’t even convince himself. He passed empty tubs and tanks, and his teeth chattered as the temperature dropped. A figure slumped in the steel tank next to him, and Miles jerked backward, cursing. A shirtless boy stared with hollow eyes; shuddery breaths shook the slats of his ribcage.
“Are you okay? Kid?”
From the front of the room came a squeak like a shoe on a gym floor.
The tubs he’d passed had been empty, but now another emaciated boy stood inside of one, watching him. Across the aisle, a youngster with skin the color of sour milk planted his hands on the lip of a high-sided tank. As he pulled himself up to climb out he slipped, and again that squeal as his feet skidded on the smooth inner sides.
How had he missed these kids?
Both the others swung their legs over and out from the tubs. Their skin had a grainy quality like old Seventies’ films. The boy with struggling breath lurched away from his tub, his hips and legs misshapen as if they’d been broken and put back together wrong.
Beastly thing: and he looked as if he was wet all over: and I’m not at all sure that he was alive.
Three new boys in strappy tee shirts and boxer shorts emerged from between tanks, and limped on malformed legs toward him. Some weird interplay between light and shadow gave the illusion of transparency as they advanced, dripping on the floor.
Impossible.
Overtired, that’s all. He wasn’t actually seeing through them.
Except he was. Right through the boys’ bodies to the walls.
Will-o’-the-wisp flickered over the remaining tubs, the tanks, and through that spectral light incorporeal boys sat up, stood up, climbed out. A waif two tubs away turned his tousle-haired head.
Miles froze. “That’s a really good trick, guys.” He sounded stupid. This wasn’t a trick.
A kid in the tank next to him blinked rapidly. Dark bags under the boy’s eyes distorted his face into a skull with gaping empty sockets. His voice croaked. “Tear us apart.”


About the Author




Michael Schutz was born and raised in the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, where the macabre tales of Ray Bradbury and Stephen King kept him warm at night. He’s seen way too many horror movies to be healthy. He is the author of the novels Plank ChildrenEdging, and Blood Vengeance. His short fiction has been featured in Crossroads in the Dark II, III, and IV, Ravenwood Quarterly, Dark Moon Digest, and Sanitarium. He lives with his naughty cat-children in northern California. You can keep tabs on him at http://michaelschutzfiction.com

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