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Interview with author JA Armitage #DarkLegends

 

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Two of Clubs by J.A. Armitage

@armitageauthor

Award-Winning and Int’l Bestselling Author

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Fifty-two weeks, four royal families, one war.

Week one – January 1st – January 7th

Rose (The Two of Clubs) is the youngest of all the Royals of Vanatus, and she has a lot to prove. Born a princess, but with the heart of a warrior, she struggles to keep her two lives separate. By day, a perfect princess, but in the dark of night, she slips out to practice being all she ever wanted to be, a warrior like her brothers. When a dragon kidnaps some children from the royal castle, she must act quickly, but the snap decision sets off a chain of events that lead to the first war in the history of Vanatus, spelling disaster for both her and her family.

Follow the lives and loves of the fifty-two members of The Houses of Club, Heart, Diamond and Spade in real time as they struggle to maintain peace in the world of Vanatus.

This is a New Adult fantasy series set over the course of one whole year. This particular book is the first in the series and is set over the first week from New Year’s Day to 7th January from the eyes of Rose Club. Each book in the series will be shown through the eyes of a different character, all within the world of Vanatus. Each book can be read as a standalone book (no cliffhangers), but the overall arc of the war will play in the background throughout.

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J.A. Armitage

Featured Book: Two of Clubs

Hi, I’m so excited to be amongst some amazing authors in this box set. It’s like finding myself at a party with Tori Amos providing the music, Jamie Oliver cooking the food, Stephen Fry sat at one side and Jack Black on the other.

How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing? I first hit the publish button in January 2014 but I’d spent a whole year writing my first book before that. Nowadays I write much more quickly but back then it was a slow process. It probably didn’t help that I was single parenting two very young children and being a surrogate for a friend. It was a lonely time so I wrote when the kids went to bed. My life is pretty great now and I’ve brought my writing with me into the good times.

How did you come up with this storyline? I’ve always loved fantasy so it was a no brainer that I’d write fantasy sooner or later. This particular story came to me as more of a concept than a story later. It occurred to me that there are 52 weeks in a year and 52 cards in a pack. One card for each week. I then thought that it would be pretty cool to write a story about the cards. In my book the cards are Royals. This book follows the Two of Clubs as she accidentally starts a war between the four ruling families, The Clubs, The Hearts, The Diamonds and The Spades. Each book is written as a different member of each family. Each book is a stand alone but they follow the arc of the war as it unfolds. Each book has seven chapters – one for each day of the week. Eventually, I hope to have 365 chapters over 52 books!

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing? I love writing. I wasn’t much of a writer as a child but I was a voracious reader. I read to escape reality. I write for the same reason but I get to chose what direction the characters go in. The worst part for me is the lack of time. I want to write more and more and more!

What inspires you to write? Nothing inspires me to write as such. I just have stories rattling around in my head all the time, fighting to get out!

How did you conduct your research for The Two of Clubs (War and Suits book1)? 30 years of reading other author’s work. As it’s a fantasy, I’ve made up a lot of stuff. You’ll meet new creatures and new food and new customs amongst other things.

What are 3 of your favorite quotes from The Two of Club? Thinking about it…

This is my favourite bit: ~ “She’s a Heart!” I stated the obvious, knowing that Tarragon was fully aware that she was a Heart, and that was more than likely the reason he’d bedded her in the first place. ~ “Isn’t this whole party thing to get the clans together so we can cooperate and live in a peaceful land? This is why we all come together at this time of year.” He gave that leisurely grin that women of all races seemed to fall for. It wasn’t going to work on me, though. I was mad! ~ “Yes, but I don’t think that you are supposed to come together quite so literally!” “Or quite so many times,” grinned Tarragon.

More Favorites from Two of Clubs: The Heart District is awesome in a steampunky kind of way – I’m not saying any more – You’ll just have to read it.

What would your friends say is your best quality? I don’t give up. Actually, that’s what I say my best quality is. My friends would probably say my best quality is bringing them cake and wine! (If you can call that a quality!)

Are reader reviews important to you? My reviews keep me going. It’s amazing just how much some nice words from a complete stranger can pick me up for the rest of the day. They inspire me to keep going.

What do you do when you don’t write? I’m a graphic designer and wedding photographer as well as a mother. I also renovate houses. My favourite hobby is sleep lol!

Tell us about your other books? I have a Paranormal Romance series called Guardians of The Light which begins with a girl in a locked room. Her biggest problem isn’t the door, it’s what lies beyond. Talking of locked doors, my next series (The Labyrinthians) features plenty of them in the form of an underground maze with danger lurking around every corner. Finally, I’ve started a Cozy Mystery series (Murder at The Bite Cafe) which I hope to write book 2 in next year once I’ve written the first twelve of The Clubs stories.

If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know what would it be? I love getting emails oh and I’ve crush on Jack Black…shhh, don’t tell everyone! Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy the book. If you sign up to my mailing list, I’ll let you know about an exclusive competition I’ll be running throughout the whole series of War and Suits books. author-bio1 j-armitage1

Born in a small town, J. Armitage longed for adventure and travel. Age 20 she moved to Dublin, then to San Diego, then Sydney and back to California where she did a brief stint working at Universal Studios being a minder to Sponge Bob.

Once back in Britain she got married, had babies and decided to write about the adventure she was now missing out on. She works full time, is a mum to three kids and has had a surrogate baby. She has skydived twice (and survived), climbed Kilimanjaro and hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. She has also worked as a professional clown and banana picker amongst other jobs. Somehow she finds time to write. J. Amitage’s second book, Infinite Spring, was nominated for a iFestival of Reading Award. Socail Links.jpg

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Interview with JA Culican #DarkLegends

 

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The Keeper of Dragons, The Prince Returns by J.A. Culican

@jaculican

YA Fantasy and Int’l Bestselling Author

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A mystical calling.

On his 18th birthday, Cole’s learns that he is a dragon fated to save all that was deemed true. Destiny. Cole’s life spirals into an uncontrollable battle for life or death. First, he learns that his family isn’t really his own and his birth parents are dragons. With that legacy comes a special calling; devoting an eternity to protecting all true beings from creatures bent on controlling the Earth and bringing an end to dragons. Danger. As the newly-minted Prince of Ochana, Cole is also the Keeper of Dragons and his first task is to keep the nefarious farro-fallen fairies-at bay. With no formal training, no control of his mahier-dragon magic, and fear like he’s never experienced before, will Cole be able to reach outside of his human side and embrace his destiny in time to defeat the farros? Join bestselling author, J.A. Culican on an epic fantasy adventure fans and critics are calling a world of magic, and comparing to Robert Jordan.

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“Let’s go.” Jericho commanded, clearly displeased with my train of thought.

I nodded and followed after him, but my mind still raced. What would happen now? How was I supposed to protect everyone? As we strode through Ochana, I looked around at the other dragons, mostly Siens, who had no idea they were in any danger. The dragons laughed and chatted like it was any old day, and any old time, not one fear. They continued on with their usual activities; setting up and running their open-aired market stands, puffing out large flames of fire with their mouths so they could cook meals for each other, flying low in pods as they soaked up the glory and beauty of Ochana. And each of these dragon’s lives were in my hands. I needed to get my head on straight.

“Finally.” Jericho stated.

It was only one word, but enough to blaze a fire inside me. If this were all true, I had to find strength. I needed to train. I needed to know what I was up against. I turned to Jericho as we walked through town. “What other creatures can wield mahier?

“Only dragons. But there are other creatures that wield different forms of energy. Depending on the creature, each have their own names, but in human terms, I guess you would call it magic.” He shook his head in nausea, as if he detested human words for dragonic considerations.

“These creatures, what are they?”

“We need to focus on the others that would help the Carnites. There aren’t many, Carnites on their own are easily defeated, and not easy to form an alliance with. But two creatures come to mind, farro and elden. We need to make contact with them. Get a sense for what they’re worth-”

We arrived at command, which interjected Jericho’s vocal declarations. I thought about the farro and elden. I had never heard of them, ever. I concocted all sorts of images for what they could look like, maybe large brown beasts with razor sharp teeth and monster claws, the kind of evil creature that would haunt a small child’s nightmares and make them too frightened to rest their head on a pillow ever again.

At least we knew where to look for these magical imps, but what would happen when we found them?

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J.A. Culican

Featured Book: The Keeper of Dragons, The Prince Returns

Hi all!! My name is J.A. Culican. I am a mom of four, a teacher and I write YA fantasy novels!

How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing? I’ve always enjoyed writing. I published my first novel The Keeper of Dragons just last year. The reactions I’ve received from fans all over the world has been amazing! I decided to publish this book particularly for my kids. My oldest begged me for the book. So of course I wrote it for her.

How did you come up with this storyline? It was a story I made up as a bedtime story for my children. It evolved from there and The Keeper of Dragons was born.

What inspires you to write? My kids, and their love of all things magical.

How did you conduct your research for The Keeper of Dragons? It’s purely a fantasy novel, so not much research was needed. I did have to double check geographical facts around the world. Those facts I double checked by visiting the country or cities websites.

Favorites from The Keeper of Dragons: My main character is relatable. He is just an average/typical 18 year old. Who wakes up one morning and finds out that nothing about himself is typical.

What would your friends say is your best quality? Laid back. I’m a go with the flow type of person.

Are reader reviews important to you? Yes. Obviously it’s great when someone loves you books. On the flip side when I receive a negative review it gives me a chance to reflect and grow within my writing.

What is your writing process? I just write. I don’t outline or plan. I literally just sit down and go.

What do you do when you don’t write? I am at teacher by day and a mom to four kiddos. I am also the President of a non-profit organization Puzzle Peace United. This organization helps families with children on the autism spectrum. www.puzzlepeaceunited.org

If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know what would it be? I’m just like everyone else!

Wow, thanks for having me! To find out more about me, check out my website www.jaculican.com.

author-bio1 jamieculican1

J.A. Culican is a teacher by day and a writer by night. She lives in New Jersey with her husband of eleven years and their four young children. She spends her evenings at home, with her family, watching Harry Potter and Star Wars. When not home you can find her at the soccer or field hockey fields, rooting her children on.

J.A. Culican’s inspiration to start writing came from her children and their love for all things magical. Bedtime stories turned to reality after her oldest daughter begged her for the book from which her stories of dragons came from. In turn, the series, The Keeper of Dragons was born.

jaculican2

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Interview with author Kevin McLaughlin #DarkLegends

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By Darkness Revealed by Kevin McLaughlin

@KOMcLaughlin

Award-Winning and Int’l Bestselling Author

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Ryan Blackwell thought to escape his magic by burying himself in the military college at Northshield, Vermont.

But Northshield University has a secret: a nexus of magical power that people will kill to possess.

Hiding his power becomes impossible. Instead, he finds himself in the midst of a deeper and more dangerous sorcery than he has ever encountered before.

Things spiral out of control, and soon only Ryan’s wit, will, and the talent he once hoped to leave behind stand between a nightmarish creature and everything he cares for.

There is more to Ryan than meets the eye. But even with the powers he controls, can he stand against this darkness, or will it swallow him whole?

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Kevin McLaughlin

Featured Book: By Darkness Revealed

Hi and hello! Very excited to be here with you today. For those who don’t know me yet, I’m a Boston writer of science fiction and fantasy. I’m an amateur astrophysicist and play with swords in my spare time as well, so my hobbies line up really well with my line of work. When I’m not hitting friends with sticks, I might also be sailing. Or writing. More often the latter than the former, but I enjoy both.

How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing?

I came by writing naturally: my mother made me do it. No, not quite! As a kid I used to fall asleep listening to my mom writing fiction at her typewriter, tack-tack-tacking away while listening to some movie soundtrack or another. Taking up the craft was so natural that I wrote my first short story at age 7. It took second place in a local writing competition. I’ve pretty much been involved in telling stories in one format or another ever since.

How did you come up with this storyline?

By Darkness Revealed is close to my heart, because it’s personal. I went to Norwich University as a cadet – that’s the well I drew from to paint a good picture of cadet life for the protagonist. Obviously the ‘Northshield University’ in the story is a fictional place, but much of the feel I captured in the story was drawn from the real college.

As for the storyline itself?

Again, a lot of it is drawn from reality. No, people were not actually slinging bolts of magical energy around campus (not that I was aware of, anyway!), but the real world Norwich is an unusual place with all sorts of magical legends and tales.

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?

For me the best part is telling the story, hands down. When I get into a really good flow state, I might be typing as much as three thousand words an hour. Just letting the story spill forth onto the screen. Those moments are a bit like singing, or dancing, or sailing, or martial arts forms… It’s like meditation where the mind is active and burning at full speed. Where you have complete focus on the task and everything is moving in synchronicity.

The worst part?

Edits. We hates them, my precious. When I’m done telling the story, I am *done* telling the story. I don’t really want to read it over for errors and nit-picking bits. I do, of course. And I have a great editor who finds what I miss. But this is my least favorite part.

What inspires you to write?

I like telling stories. I really like telling stories for a living. I really, REALLY like running my own business telling stories for a living. There’s no other career out there which I get as much satisfaction from, where I feel so complete working. If I wasn’t writing fiction, perhaps I’d be making up stories for film or for video games or something else entirely… For me the telling of exciting stories is more central than the medium I use.

How did you conduct your research for By Darkness Revealed?

I cheated. I do this often. Writers have two choices when it comes to research. They can set a story someplace they have never been, in a land or culture they don’t know at all – and then have to research the heck out of it. Or we can write a story set someplace we either know really well, or which we are making up entirely. Or both. For this book I did both. I set the book at a fictional university in a fictional town, and then painted the fictional place with real-world experiences from a similar place. So, I cheated. No research. Zip. This is how I write most of my books, actually.

What is your favorite quotes from By Darkness Revealed?

One of my favorite elements created just for By Darkness Revealed is Kittybreeze. She’s a little air spirit with very feline traits. When I was young, someone wrote a wonderful short story for Dragon Magazine that I adored about an old wind mage who was looking for an apprentice. The girl – who ended up getting the job – was overjoyed by the cute “puppy breeze” that the air mage had as a pet/servant. The boy scoffed, saying that must be the least of the spirits the master controlled. The master replied that sometimes you need to measure worth not in terms of power, but instead with regard to faithfulness, trust, and long years of loyal service. I loved that story. Still do. Kittybreeze is something of an homage to that author. (I just looked up the piece. It was “Master of the Winds” by Sharon Lee, back in Dragon Magazine #84.)

What would your friends say is your best quality?

I would not presume to ask. I’m rather blessed with a few very good friends. I like to think that I add as much value to their lives as they do to mine. Being a friend is a give and take sort of thing.

Are reader reviews important to you?

Is this a trick question? *chuckle* If I say no, then I encourage no one to ever review me. If I say yes, then I am paying too much attention to them… I read every review of every book I have out. I listen for comments about what people liked, and what they did not. I strive to use my reviews as a tool to grow and learn from. I do not generally respond to reviews directly, but rest assured I read them all. Even the harsh ones! Because there is certainly something to learn there as well, even if the lesson was simply that *that* book did not reach *that* reader in a pleasing manner. As writers, when we stop learning and growing and improving, it’s time to hang up the keyboard. Reviews are one such tool for growth.

What do you do when you don’t write?

What is this “don’t write” thing of which you speak? *laugh* I write almost every day. I’ll cross half a million words of new fiction this year. A little secret? (Whispers:) I’m shooting for a million next year! I love taking long walks through Boston with my fiancee as well. It’s not unusual for us to walk five miles on a nice day, sometimes as much as ten. Just exploring, seeing the city, the people, the places. Boston is always in a constant process of endless change. It’s fascinating. I fight with swords – steel and rattan alike. In armor, thanks. It’s my current martial art; I’ve done a few other martial arts in the past, but lately I am finding it harder to keep even this one up. I spend time with my children, who are growing bigger and older each year. I want to make as many memories with them as I can, so I will have things to cherish as they outgrow their youth, although hopefully not their childhood.

Tell us about your other books?

The Blackwell Magic books are six titles so far. There may be more books about Ryan Blackwell coming in the future, but for now I think the series may rest a bit. I’ve also written three novellas called in a mini-series called “Raven’s Heart” set in the same universe. I have the rough outline of an epic fantasy series as well. If it comes to be, then it will very much interest Blackwell fans.

I’ve also written a few science fiction books – four so far in the “Adventures of the Starship Satori” series, and two in the “Accord” series – "Accord of Honor" and "Accord of Mars”. I tend to write science fiction set in the near future, using technology and society just beyond where we are today. “Over the Moon” is a science fiction romance which could take place just five years or so from now. Perhaps ten.

If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know what would it be?

C.S. Lewis once said “Since it is so likely that (children) will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.” I believe that same sentiment applies equally to grownups. We hear so much about the darkness of the world, these days. We read about the cruel. We see videos of the unjust. We are deluged with stories of the most horrific elements of human nature. But that is *not* all that humanity is and can be. I write stories about people who have failings, and make mistakes. Yet at the end of the day they strive to overcome those things and act in a heroic manner. To show the best part of what it is to be human. My heroes are there to shine light on our better natures, and to give us all hope that we can be better than we are.

Thanks for having me! This has been fun. I hope readers enjoy the boxed set enormously. If anyone has questions about my work, please do drop me a message via email. I don’t always answer right away, but I *do* answer every fan email that I get personally. (email hidden; JavaScript is required) Thank you for believing in us enough to stick with this whole interview! Above all else, thank you for reading. At the end of the day, readers are why we write. *fini* author-bio1 kevin-mclaughlin1

When not practicing hobbies which include sailing, constructing medieval armor, and swinging swords at his friends, Kevin McLaughlin can usually be found in his Boston home. Kevin’s award-winning short fiction is now available in digital form at all major ebook retailers. His urban fantasies “By Darkness Revealed” and “Ashes Ascendant” are available in ebook and print. His latest stories, the “Adventures of the Starship Satori" and "Accord" science fiction novels are ongoing.

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Interview with Author Laxmi Hariharan #DarkLegends

 

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Redemption by Laxmi Hariharan

@HariharanLaxmi

Award-Winning New York Times and Int’l Bestselling Author

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Mikhail Anton Ray: I needed her to fulfill my destiny but she became my life.

Leana Iyeroy: I’ll never submit to a vampire or another shifter – but he is so much more than either. Micah must mate with wolf-shifter Leana to harness their collective energies, and overcome the vampire built mind-net that has infiltrated the humans robbing them of their emotions. But when Leana’s ward is kidnapped and used against them, the future of humanity is at stake. excerpt1

Mikhail looks at the shifter girl as she passes by him, so close that if he put out his hand he can touch her cheek. Touch that skin shining with sweat, and pale under her tan as if it’s taking all she has just to keep the pain at bay.

She adjusts the strap of the scabbard that crosses between her breasts, and his eyes fall on the rise-fall-rise of her chest. Over the swell of the vest that stretches tight across, outlining her nipples.

And despite the fact that she doesn’t even notice him, despite the fact that he’s surrounded by jostling crowds, Mikhail finds himself aroused.

Heat twists his gut with such suddenness that he gasps.

It’s the second time he’s surprised himself in the space of an hour. The first was when he’d seen the girl fall to the ground in the cage… and not move.

He was sure she’d be up on her feet and downing her sword at the brute hybrid coming at her, but she hadn’t.

She’d just lain there still, so still he’d been sure she had been hurt badly or worse that she’d been killed. And before he could stop himself, before he’d even known what he’d been doing he’d run through the crowd, breaking through to the front and then he’d felled the guard at the entrance to the cage with one blow. Had taken the keys from him, unlocked the gate, slammed it behind him and had run towards the fallen figure all in a matter of seconds.

As he’d leant over her she’d moaned and something tightly clenched inside him had relaxed.

She was alive. author-interview1

Laxmi Hariharan

Featured Book: Redemption

Hello from London :)

Hello and welcome, Laxmi; so nice to have you here. How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing? I’ve been writing since very young and with intent from 2003. Published my first book in 2011

How did you come up with this storyline? I wanted to write a paranormal story with a difference. Set in a futuristic Bombay where I grew up, dystopian, yet intense and romantic. Borrowing from the threads of Indian mythology yet spanning both Eastern and Western cultures.

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing? Writing helps me plumb the depths of my consciousness. By understanding character motivations I understand my own.

What inspires you to write? The ‘aha’ moment from breaking a character and rebuilding him or her back and understanding why they do what they do. And hence understanding why I do what I do in life.

How did you conduct your research for Redemption? I look for the key emotion that will be the theme of the book. In this case it was Leana and Mikhail finding Redemption. Leana putting an end to the cycle or the curse that has plagued her ancestral line for centuries.

What are 3 of your favorite quotes from Redemption? Opening of Redemption is my fave: One of us is going to die. He looks at me, the beast. Wolf. Man. Wolf? He’s both. He’s neither. He’s just like me.

More Favorites from Redemption: I’ll give you a poem from Feral, the first book in this series for the main character of Feral and later Taken is a soldier poet You are the only person I wish I had never met. I suspect if you knew you might have more respect for me now than you did then. So strike a fracture through this glass this view this thing that shimmers like doubt between us, break it apart with your hands.

What would your friends say is your best quality? My persistence

Are reader reviews important to you? Yes they are hugely important in discoverability especially on Amazon. But I am too scared to look at them. I don’t want to get too demotivated by the not great ones or too affected by praise either. So instead I look for feedback from my beta readers who are amazing.

What do you do when you don’t write? I like to be active – work out, yoga, walking in London and gardening and spending time with my film maker husband watching films and series.

Tell us about your other books? Feral the first in the Many Lives Series is my favorite. About Maya a wolf girl who leaves her mate Luke to go in search of her blood family. Only to uncover secrets.

If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know what would it be? That I hope my words will move them and help them understand themselves better. That I hope they will see a bit of themselves in my characters.

I hope you’ll read Feral the first book in this series. If you join my newsletter you’ll get Feral for free.

author-bio1 laxmisigned1

Laxmi Hariharan is a New York Times bestselling author of Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy. She writes fast-paced urban fantasy romance.

About the Many Lives Universe

The Many Lives series begins in present day Bombay when a tsunami wipes away much of the city. Post-tsunami Bombay of the future is one of the most prosperous cities in the world. On the other hand, successive economic downturns have stripped most Western cities, including London of wealth, pushing many to seek a new life in the East. Refugees from Europe now pour into Bombay, into the camp nicknamed the Jungle. And no one is safe from the growing menace of the merciless human-wolf hybrid shifters and vampires. Each book in the Many Lives universe is a stand alone in the series. A possible progression is as listed below

Many Lives Main Series

1. Feral

2. Taken

3. Untamed

4. Redemption

Many Lives Prequel Series

1. Awakened

2. Origins

3. Chosen

Many Lives inspiration Novelettes

1. Exhale

2. Ugly

Join her newsletter to get her best three novelettes free here http://smarturl.it/Laxmi

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Interview with Marilyn Peake #DarkLegends

 

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Shade by Marilyn Peake

@MarilynPeake

Award-Winning and Int’l Bestselling Author

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SHADE: Girl on a hero’s journey, going from smart-ass to badass.

Thanks to her offbeat mother, Shade’s full name is Galactic Shade Griffin. Having a name like that while being the new girl in school is pretty much catnip for bullies. The summer before Shade’s junior year of high school, her mother breaks up with yet another boyfriend and moves them once again to a new town. This time, they move into a dilapidated old house where Shade has an entire attic bedroom to herself—at least until she discovers it’s haunted by the ghost of a teenaged boy named Brandon Yates. When Shade’s best friend goes missing, her life becomes even more complicated. With the help of Brandon who’s struggling with his own issues in the world beyond, Shade faces the question of whether or not she has what it takes to become a true hero.

Although this novel deals with a number of serious issues—drug and alcohol abuse, cutting, and disturbing world events—it’s primarily a novel about a teenaged girl finding out who she really is and that she’s capable of so much more than she ever thought possible. SHADE is a YA Paranormal Mystery novel. excerpt1

Shade and her friends interviewing Gabriella Underwood, a local psychic, at her home in the YA Paranormal Mystery novel, Shade, by Marilyn Peake.

George started. “How long have you been a psychic?”

Lame! Lame! Lame! I wanted to crack myself over the head with the walking stick leaning against the wall next to the fireplace.

Gabriella Underwood had grace and style. She answered, as though honored to be interviewed, “I’m not sure, exactly. I think I was born a psychic or came into it at a very young age. I didn’t know what it was, though, or had any sense of its power, until puberty.” She laughed. “Isn’t that the way for all of us, though? Innate forces move within us and make their grand entrance at puberty. Then it’s up to us to make sense of them and become the people we were meant to be.”

At the mere mention of the word puberty, I blushed a million shades of color, I’m sure, running the entire spectrum from pink to crimson red. I looked over at the flames roaring in the fireplace. I didn’t look up to see if George and Kailee had also reacted with embarrassment and shame. Yeah, seriously, me as an old soul? I couldn’t even hear the word puberty without thinking about sex and blushing in shame.

Gabriella continued as though nothing were amiss. “At three years old, I had a frightening dream that my grandfather had died. The next day, my grandfather passed away. When I was four years old, I fell into a daydream and imagined that my mother had taken ill. The following week, my mother found out that she was pregnant. It was a rough pregnancy and in the last few months of it, she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. It haunted me as a child that maybe I had caused the death of my grandfather and the illness of my mother that could have affected the birth of my baby sister. But I always tucked the fear in the back of my brain and told myself it was all just a coincidence.” She paused. Took a sip of hot chocolate. “Oh my, that’s good chocolate. A friend in Europe sent it to me.” Another sip. “But then, when I was around thirteen years of age, I started ‘seeing’ all kinds of things before they happened. Also, details about things after they happened, details that no one else knew about. I saw a vague mark on my best friend’s forehead that no one else could see. It was kind of like a black smudge, kind of like the ash that Catholics get on their heads before Lent. No one else could see it. Seven months later, Sophie was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.” Gabriella stopped speaking for a moment and looked away, lost to memory. She returned her gaze to ours and smiled weakly. “It took me years to recognize that what I had was a gift. But a gift without a voice. As long as I was frightened by it and refused to give it voice, I could help no one. If I could find my voice, however, I might be able to inform people of things I could see that would help them.”

Kailee asked the next question, “When did you come out?” She blushed. “I mean, when did you come out as a psychic?”

Gabriella beamed. “Coming out is a great way to phrase that! I got teased so much as a kid just for being different and for having the strange name of Gabriella Underwood, you have to believe I was scared to death to tell people I could tell the future. When I finally did, it was an act of coming out about who I really was.”

I had found a kindred spirit, weird name and all. Although I have to admit, compared to Galactic Shade Griffin, I thought of Gabriella Underwood as a completely normal name—not as American-flag-and-apple-pie as Mary Jane Smith, mind you, but not anywhere near as freakish as the odd name foisted upon me.

Gabriella continued, “Years later, when I was eighteen years old and coming into full possession of my powers, something happened that finally convinced me I had to stop hiding what I had.” Gabriella stood up. She added a few more logs to the fireplace. She stirred the ashes.

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Marilyn Peake

Featured Book: Shade

Hi, everyone! I’m so happy to be here!

So glad to have you join us, Marilyn. Let’s get right to it! How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing? I started writing seriously in high school. Back then, I wrote poems and short stories. I also wrote articles for three local newspapers and had some poetry published there. When I was in graduate school, I actually enjoyed writing my thesis. In 2002, I published my first novel, a children’s fantasy adventure novel titled THE FISHERMAN’S SON.

How did you come up with this storyline? For my YA Paranormal Mystery novel, SHADE, which is my book in the Dark Legends Collection, I first came up with the main character, Shade. I really like her. She’s spunky and brave. When her very difficult and chaotic mother moves them to an old rundown Victorian house, I knew there would be a ghost there. That happens early on in the story. I outlined the novel before starting to write, so I also knew what the major mystery in the story would be and why it was important to the ghost to help Shade solve it.

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing? The best aspects are creating new worlds and storytelling, sharing those stories with readers and hearing from readers who enjoyed them. The worst aspects all involve sitting for too many hours and pushing myself too hard – not exactly recommended by health experts and it’s not great for one’s social life.

What inspires you to write? Really great books, movies and TV shows. Those always inspire me and get me excited about writing my own stories.

How did you conduct your research for SHADE? I Googled articles on quite a few subjects from ghosts to psychics to criminal investigations.

Are reader reviews important to you? Yes, they really are.

What do you do when you don’t write? I love hiking, traveling and photography. One of my favorite things to do is travel photography. I also love spending time with my husband and grown sons. Recently, I discovered the computer game, NO MAN’S SKY. (I have 10,000,000 credits in that game!) I also enjoy reading books and watching movies and TV shows.

Tell us about your other books? Altogether, I have 31 publications, mostly Science Fiction and Fantasy. That includes novels, novellas, novelettes, short stories and a couple of nonfiction books. My most recent books that I’m really proud of are my MUTATION Z Apocalyptic Zombie series and my SHADE series. When the SHADE series is complete, it will have six books.

If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know what would it be? That it means a lot to me when readers enjoy my books and I love hearing from readers.

I really enjoyed this interview! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. I did! It was a pleasure getting to know you better!! Good luck with the new release. author-bio1 marilyn-peake1

Marilyn Peake is the author of both novels and short stories. Her publications have received excellent reviews. Marilyn’s one of the contributing authors in Book: The Sequel, published by The Perseus Books Group, with one of her entries included in serialization at The Daily Beast. In addition, Marilyn has served as Editor for a number of anthologies. Her short stories have been published in seven anthologies and on the literary blog, Glass Cases. AWARDS: Silver Award, two Honorable Mentions and eight Finalist placements in the ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards, two Winner and two Finalist placements in the EPPIE Awards, Winner of the Dream Realm Awards, Finalist placement in The National Indie Excellence Book Awards, and Best Horror Award in the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards.

Author’s website: http://www.marilynpeake.com

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Interview with Author Monica Corwin #DarkLegends

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Soulless by Monica Corwin

@Monica_Corwin

Award-Winning and Int’l Bestselling Author

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In the late 21st century, scientists created a serum that gave every person nine lives, also known as souls. Flush with expendable life, Earth collapsed into war and anarchy, leaving the Catholic Church to step in and take control. In a world where the stealing of souls is big business, it takes people like Constance Grace, detective in the Soul Theft Division, to hunt the criminals down and strip them of their remaining souls.

When social-climbing con man, Noah Hannock, plunks himself on the church’s radar, he becomes Constance’s problem. With a brand new partner, Mikon Cross and seven of her nine given souls remaining, Connie has to enter high society under a too-familiar alias to tempt Noah into her web.

While the chemistry between Connie and Mikon is scorching hot, the reality is they don’t trust each other. Each with their own secrets to protect, the hunt for Noah Hannock threatens them both. The only way they can survive is if they learn to lay themselves, heart and souls, on the line for each other.

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Monica Corwin

Featured Book: Soulless

Hello everyone, I’m so thrilled to be here. I can’t wait to tell you about Soulless, which was previously published as Soulless. If I get too excited and ramble please feel free to direct me back to the questions.

Hey, Monica! How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing? I started writing when I was a little girl but didn’t start actively writing looking to publish until my early 20’s. Almost six years now.

How did you come up with this storyline? Well, like a lot of my stories I get the main idea from a dream. But, it was after I watched a movie about time…and how people’s timers were on their arms. That gave me the idea for the souls to add into the world I had already built around the dream.

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing? The best is interacting with readers. I love hearing about books and how much they loved my work. Most of the time I assume I write books and no one ever reads them. It’s nice when someone proves me wrong. The worst aspect is marketing. It’s not something I have gotten figured out. It doesn’t help that I’m awkward as hell though.

What inspires you to write? Lots of things can inspire me to write. Most of the time is a book, or movie, or watching a show about a character who has reaching their goals…it makes me want to push toward my own.

How did you conduct your research for Soulless? I mostly had to do a lot of research on the Catholic Church which was both frightening and fascinating.

What are 3 of your favorite quotes from Soulless? ~ “He watched as she pulled her unruly mane up into a messy bun on top of her head. Every time he saw her do it, he couldn’t help but think it was a move specifically designed by women to turn men on.” ~ “I’m going to pout now because I wasted a perfectly beautiful dress on such a craptastic night…” ~ “If heaven and hell could merge it would live in such a moment."

What would your friends say is your best quality? Oh man…probably my loyalty. I am devoted to those I care about and would give them anything in my power, including a kidney, to help them.

Are reader reviews important to you? Um…I will say they aren’t important to ME but they are important. I think when a book is done it is no longer the writer’s…it belongs to the reader, as do reviews. Those reviews aren’t for me, or about me, they are for the reader.

What do you do when you don’t write? Uh read, a lot. I also fix typewriters. I know, I’m a dork.

Tell us about your other books? I write mainly paranormal romance with strong heroines and unique worlds. My other series, Revelations, centers around female four horseman of the apocalypse.

If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know what would it be? I adore you. Even if you hate my work I thank you for giving that time to read it. Thank you for giving it, and me, a chance.

Thank you so much for having me and listening to me ramble. XOXO Monica

author-bio1 blue_logotrans1 Monica Corwin is a writer attempting to make romance accessible to everyone, no matter their preferences. As a Northern Ohioan, Monica enjoys snow drifts, three seasons of weather, and a dislike of Michigan, despite her complete disinterest in football. When not writing Monica spends time with her daughter and ever growing collection of tomes about King Arthur.

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An Interview with Emma Nichols #DarkLegends

320b1-14424914_1738835249713749_1093634480769649466_o1by Rebecca Hamilton, T.F. Walsh, Monica Corwin, J.L. Weil, Laxmi Hariharan, JA Culican, Muffy Wilson, GK DeRosa, Marilyn Peake, Kevin McLaughlin, Carissa Ann Lynch, Vivienne Savage, Anna Hub, HJ Lawson, Emma Nichols, Shelley Munro, J.A.Armitage, Leilani Love, Demelza Carlton, Xyla Turner, D.S. Murphy, J.T. Williams

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This Collection is packed with more than 20 full-length Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reads from New York Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors!

Don’t miss this collection of more than twenty unique twists in paranormal romance and urban fantasy, providing over one million words of supernatural suspense that will transport you to new worlds with smoking hot action and heart-throttling adventure!

The DARK LEGENDS boxed set includes: Mermaids, Sirens, Shifters, Vampires, Dragons, Sorcerers, Warriors, Angels, Faeries, Demons, Witches, Psychics, Ghosts, Mythology, Folk Tales, Legends, Dark Magic, Time Travel, and More!

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Rebecca Hamilton T.F. Walsh with Demon’s Mark Monica Corwin with Soulless J.L. Weil with White Raven Laxmi Hariharan with Redemption JA Culican with The Keeper of Dragons, The Prince Returns Muffy Wilson and The Para-Portage of Emily GK DeRosa with Wilder: The Guardian Series Marilyn Peake with Shade Kevin McLaughlin with By Darkness Revealed Carissa Ann Lynch with Midnight Moss Vivienne Savage with Making Waves Anna Hub with Beyond the Shadows HJ Lawson with New Order Emma Nichols with Blood Moon Shelley Munro with Claimed & Seduced J.A.Armitage with Two of Clubs Leilani Love with Violca’s Dragon Demelza Carlton with Ocean’s Gift Xyla Turner with Broken Treaty D.S. Murphy with Scarlet Thread J.T. Williams with Winemaker of the North

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Blood Moon by Emma Nichols

@EmmasErotica

Award-Winning and Int’l Bestselling Author

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Autumn and her boyfriend were on the outs. After six months together, he’d decided they weren’t compatible. Determined to prove him wrong, she agrees to go hiking one October weekend. While she pictured a romantic stroll around the lake, he booked them a grueling weekend in Yellowstone, where he promptly humiliated her, dumped her, and left her all alone in the wilderness. Yet again, she’d fallen for a guy who treated her like a project. All she wanted was love and acceptance. By the time Autumn dried her tears, snowflakes covered the trail, darkness had fallen, and her demise appeared imminent.

Ronan Cormac had some decisions to make. Though he’d become one of the most sought after agents in Hollywood, years of superficial relationships had worn him down, making him long for a meaningful connection. In other words, the wolf shifter was ready for a mate and LA made it impossible for him to find one. When his sister called him home for a family emergency, Ronan rushed back to Yellowstone. In order to save the Druids, his pack, he’d have to find a mate and become the Alpha before the Blood Moon.

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Emma Nichols

Featured Book: Blood Moon

Hullo! Care for a spot of tea? Sorry, I’ve been watching a lot of Penny Dreadful on Netflix in preparation for my next series. Okay. Never mind. I watch it because it’s dark and different and every once in awhile I need some downtime.

How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing?

Well, I first published in June of 2013. Inspired by the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, I wrote the naughtiest story I could think up. Sin at Sea spawned The Sinful Series, and I was hooked on the whole process. How did you come up with this storyline? While scrolling through Facebook one day, there was a video about wolves returning to Yellowstone. The wheels started turning. What if they weren’t really wolves, but wolf shifters who saved the park? The Druids were born. What are the best and the worst aspects of writing? I love coming up with the story ideas. The hardest part is working through all the plot holes to make the story work.

What inspires you to write?

I have to. Seriously. If I take too much time off from writing, I feel it. Writing keeps me balanced. It has become part of my identity. Some people exercise, I write. If I didn’t write, I’d eat more. No one wants that.

How did you conduct your research for Blood Moon?

I watched videos, I surfed the net. Good times. What would your friends say is your best quality? My sense of adventure. Okay…I love to travel. Is that the same thing?

Are reader reviews important to you?

Reviews are everything. I’m lucky to have built a really wonderful tribe named Emma’s Elite. I share a FREE book every week. They read and review. I recently published a book they helped create through a series of polls.

What do you do when you don’t write?

I’m all about some travel. I prefer cruises, which is why my first book was set on a cruise ship and the rest of the series were all destination romances. In fact, I’m eyeing a 10-day cruise in May.

Tell us about your other books.

As of today, I have four series and five standalones. They’re a variety of genres, like romantic comedy, romantic suspense, paranormal, and contemporary romance. The settings vary, although most of my recent stuff is set in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I live, and the surrounding areas. I write about whatever interests me at the time and try to create characters readers can relate to.

If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know, what would it be?

Chocolate should be a food group. White chocolate is blasphemy. My life should have more wine in it. Thank you for hanging out with me today. I usually have these conversations over sushi, so I’m going to go get some now. No reason for both of us to miss out. Have a wonderful day! author-bio1 emma1

What made her decide to be an romance author?

Simple. How else was she going to parlay her two favorite past times into a career? Emma is single and loving it. Like her first character, Alysin, Sin for short, she doesn’t believe in settling or in settling down. She loves to indulge in her passions whenever the mood strikes and enjoys keeping all of life’s cliche moments spicy.

Known for her sense of humor, Emma surrounds herself with friends whose antics often become the source of book fodder. Her ideal situation would be to explore the Caribbean while writing. She pursues that dream daily.

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A Paranormal Excerpt by Anna Hub #DarkLegends

Beyond the Shadows by Anna Hub

@AnnaHubBooks

Award-Winning and Int’l Bestselling Author

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What if your shadow was the gateway to a sinister new world?

Selena Parker’s journey into the unknown begins in her dreams, but the consequences are carried back into her conscious life and she soon realizes paranormal forces are at work. Her shadow has become more than just an image; it is a gateway to a sinister new world where mysterious creatures roam and she is confronted by danger that challenges her will to survive. She finds the man whose fate is linked inexplicably to her own but she knows nothing of him and doubts his true nature. Her only option is to place her life in his hands while they search for a way to stop the shadows claiming them forever.

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At first, I couldn’t breathe, and once again my skin stung as though an unseen force might rip it from my body. I clamped my eyes shut and waited until the stagnant feeling in my lungs dissipated.

Darkness surrounded me, and the sound of crickets clicking became louder, as though they had paused upon my arrival and were beginning to relax. The forest floor was soft and moist, sinking as I crouched. I checked the ground was stable before I stood up and found my balance. The crickets stopped again. No other threatening sounds reached me and yet instinct warned me danger was nearby. Something wet crawled over my foot. I struggled to withhold a scream as I jumped to the side. Another warm body collided with me and a hand curled over my lips before I could cry out.

“Shh.” Warm breath exhaled over my neck.

I struggled to break free, but the hand tightened.

“Who are you?” he whispered.

I couldn’t reply. He shuffled to the side dragging me with him as he moved. The trees rustled, and the light of the moon crept in to join us. We were surrounded by dense foliage, too conveniently wrapped around to have grown that way naturally. He released, and pushed me away in the same movement and finally I saw his face. Brayden. He looked completely different to the man unconscious in the hospital bed. His eyes were sharp—almost accusing.

“How did you get here?” he asked.

“Do you remember me?” He stared at me with fierce eyes, and I struggled to continue. “You spoke to me in the restaurant.”

“How did you land here?” his voice came out cold.

It didn’t matter where I’d landed, I needed to know why this was happening. “You warned me about this—about the shadows—”

“Tell me how you passed here.”

"I went to visit you in the hospital.”

“You shouldn’t be in the hospital. You shouldn’t be here.”

I edged further away. “I didn’t know what else to do.”

Suddenly his back straightened, and he leaned outside to check our surroundings. Seconds past and he gradually turned back, his gaze resting by my feet. “If they find you they’ll kill you.”

He must have been talking about the men with the grey eyes. “What are they?”

“I don’t know.”

The crickets chirped again. “The other day I was chased by one—”

He nodded.

“You were there,” I prompted.

“It’s not just them, the ones with the grey eyes. There are animals too.”

Eventually, he leaned back against a tree; his demeanour flat. Shouldn’t he be eager to hear my story? Didn’t he want to share information so we could find a way to save ourselves? Instead, he closed his eyes, as though he had nothing else to say.

I stepped forward. “You grabbed me when I was being chased. Why did you do that?”

“Your shadow is the only way to escape,” his voice hollowed out—detached.

“Did you push me through it on purpose?”

“The more the shadows take you, the faster they come back for more. The only way to escape is to force yourself back through.”

In the darkness I could barely make out my own hand, there was no shadow. Did that mean there was no way to go back? My chest tightened as I realised I would be trapped with this stranger until morning hit. Back in the hospital, it had been late in the afternoon. Soon the sun would set there and perhaps that was when morning would break here.

I couldn’t help wondering if I’d made a mistake coming here. There was something about him that made me uneasy. Not just his silence but the impression that he was lost. Both physically and mentally. Although his posture had been tense under the moonlight, he didn’t actually seem afraid. Not the way I was—with wide eyes and shaking hands.

He turned, his eyes wandering blankly before they focused. “Soon it will be morning; that’s when they hunt. As soon as the sun hits, you need to force your way back through your shadow. Throw yourself at the ground, as hard as you can. The longer you spend here, the harder it is to go back.”

I blanched. I’d waited for the shadow to take me from the hospital. I’d almost come by choice but that only made things worse. “And then what?”

“Then you hide from them.”

My lungs swelled with air, but I couldn’t force myself to exhale. “But I can’t. It doesn’t work.”

“There’s no other way.” He took my hand abruptly. I wanted to pull back, but he held on too tight. “I’ll try to come back with you.”

“Where are we going?”

He pushed the ferns aside and held a finger to his lips for silence. “We can’t stay here.”

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Interview with author Anna Hub #DarkLegends

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Anna Hub

Featured Book: Beyond the Shadows

Hello readers! I’m a paranormal thriller author from Perth, Western Australia (yes, I have a funny accent) and I’m so excited to be involved in the Dark Legends boxed set. There are so many amazing authors in this project, I can’t wait to unleash it upon the world!

Welcome, Anna! How long have you been a writer and how did you come to writing? When I was a child I wanted to be an author, but as I grew up society somehow managed to convince me it wasn’t a good career choice. So when I left high-school, I studied nursing instead but as soon as I started working in that field, a deep sense of dissatisfaction stirred in me. Something was missing and that sense of being lost led me to my first novel. The more I wrote, the happier I became and I haven’t looked back since. Now my motto is: if you can’t do it with passion, don’t do it at all!

How did you come up with this story line? Shadows are constantly used to represent fear of the unknown in an audience, whether it be via movies, music or performance. I felt drawn to them because they can evoke such powerful emotions. I wanted to work on something dark and mysterious but not just to scare, rather to use as a contrast for the light. I thought, what if there was a good reason to fear your own shadow? What if it was the gateway to a sinister new world? The idea would leave my protagonist completely powerless, because no matter how fast she ran or how hard she tried to escape it, her shadow would always be one step behind her. I wanted to take her to the very edge of her survival ability, then give her the strength to overcome it. Because that’s what we all do in life, we fight to survive the bad things that happen to us.

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing? Writing a book is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and that never seems to change, whether it’s my first or my sixth novel. Because every book is different and they can’t be written the same way. Some days it really does feel as though every minute is just one tiny step in an impossible journey. But although it can be torturous, that is exactly the same thing that makes it so incredibly rewarding! It’s not worth winning if you don’t have to fight for it. All the frustration, long nights and aching neck muscles make the words ‘The End’ feel like such a victory. It’s within the struggle that there’s glory!

What inspires you to write? I’ve always been in love with dark concepts of ghosts, witches, magic and demons. I want to believe the supernatural exists in our world, even though we can’t see it. Writing books is the best way for me to find myself in their world. It truly is like living multiple lives at once. And I find the more I write, the more I learn about myself. It’s a way to digest the things that are happening in my life. Things that make me happy, things that break my heart and things that inspire me to be a better person.

How did you conduct your research for Beyond the Shadows? I had so much fun researching for Beyond the Shadows! I used a combination of Google searches and library books. My favourite was an SAS survival guide. So if the zombie apocalypse comes, you want to be with me. I know all about how to find food in the wilderness!

What is your favourite quote from Beyond the Shadows? “You spend so long fearing it,” his gaze lingered on his shadow, “but everything here is opposite. The very thing that brought you nightmares can be the thing you hope for.”

What would your friends say is your best quality? I’m a good listener and a loyal friend. Once you’ve got me, you’ve got me for life :)

Are reader reviews important to you? Reader reviews are so important to me. When you think about it, creative jobs are one of the few career choices where you don’t have a boss telling you how well you’re performing. I rely on readers to be honest in their feedback because it helps me learn and grow as a writer.

What do you do when you don’t write? I love picnics with my boyfriend, BBQs with friends and we have the most beautiful beaches in Western Australia so I love being there too. I also love love love yoga. It’s been a part of my life for many years now and I find it keeps me balanced both in mind and body. And of course, I love reading in the bath!

Tell us about your other books? Beyond the Shadows is the first book in a four part series, The Shadow Series. I also have a standalone paranormal thriller about ghosts, called The Ninth Hunter. And at the moment, I’m working on a YA novel about grim reapers.

One thing you’re sure to find in all my books is a unique take on mythology or a completely new concept all together. I love to explore uncharted ideas, although it can be torturous to edit, it’s totally worth it. Readers often comment on the depth of imagination that goes into my world building, and it’s so much fun to write!

If you could share one thing about yourself that you would like readers to know what would it be? I already mentioned this in one of my earlier answers but I love to preach passion. I live my life by this concept but I think we should all find something we can fall madly in love with. Whether it be cooking, sport, reading, painting, whatever! Find something that makes your heart sing and give time to it. The riches of happiness are far greater than anything else.

I absolutely love meeting new readers and fans of the fantasy/paranormal genres so we can share book recommendations. So don’t be shy, come and find me through the social media links!

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Anna Hub is a paranormal/thriller author from Perth, Western Australia. She qualified as a nurse in her early twenties but in 2007, decided to chase her childhood dream of becoming an author instead. Since then, she has surrendered her heart and soul to writing. Although terrified of horror movies, Anna loves to write on the dark side and explore uncharted mythologies. She believes our imaginations are infinite and inside the pages of a book, there is no limit, no exact destination and our minds are free to exist in many worlds.

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Dragon Excerpt by Leilani Love #DarkLegends

 

Violca’s Dragon by Leilani Love

@leilanilovebook

Award-Winning and Int’l Bestselling Author

 

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Violca Grey knows life can change instantly. Two years after her parents’ sudden death, Violca is left raising her four younger sisters. She doesn’t realize that their lives are all in danger from something that may not be human.

Chase Reed knows the Grey sisters possibly hold the key to his fate. He is determined to get close, protect them and bring them to his Dragon King. Together, Chase and Violca not only have to protect their families—they also have to fight against their rising feelings for each other. But what Violca doesn’t know is that once a dragon decides he wants something, there is no stopping him from getting it.

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Standing in front of her, he looked her over and when she finally looked up at him, he noticed that her violet eyes were darker as she looked at him angrily. “I didn’t ask you for your help,” she snapped.

Chase knew that smiling at her right now would not help him, nor would telling her she looked beautiful when she was angry. Watching her breasts rise and fall as she breathed, her violet eyes sparkle with anger, and the straight line of her lips, he fought the urge to kiss her. “You didn’t, but that doesn’t mean I want to see you hurt.”

She glared at him. “Why’re you here? What do you want with me?”

Chase stepped closer to her and reached up to touch her cheek, dropping his hand when she seemed to flinch before he could touch her. “I’m here because I wanted to make sure you’re safe.”

She snorted at him and he couldn’t help but smile at the unfeminine sound. “That’s not what I meant and you know it.” She pushed her hair back from her face and looked up at him, her voice lowering to almost a whisper, “Why did you kiss me? Was it just to get close to me?”

Chase saw a flash of hurt in her eyes and he stepped in front of her, cupping her cheek, making sure she looked at him when he answered, “I kissed you because there was no way I could be near you and not.”

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