If there’s one thing I love more than writing, it’s reading Brandon Sanderson. The man’s a genius and this quote more than sums up how I feel when reading his work
As this blog focuses on world-building, I want to share with you my review of a great urban fantasy book I read recently that has excellent world-building – Nite Fire: Flash Point by C.L. Schneider – Enjoy!
A dark, gritty urban fantasy that is reminiscent of Jessica Jones
This book took me a long time to finish, not because I wasn’t enjoying it but because every inch of the world is so rich and loaded with fantastic details which all come together to build an image of this heavy, dark city plagued by crime and a nasty underworld of creature attacks. I was strongly reminded of the Jessica Jones TV show. This book has the same film-noir feel to it – sour, embittered detectives and dark underworld goings-on. The protagonist, Dahlia Nite is also very Jessica Jones – strong, independent and won’t take any nonsense from anybody!
As with all of C.L. Schneider’s work, the plot is complex and well-developed, the characters grey and layered. Nothing is as it seems, and there is always layer upon layer of mystery, intrigue, snappy comebacks and downright brutal violence. Schneider is one of few authors I read who can make my jaw physically drop. She is a master of the epic reveal!
A cracking read – I can’t wait for the next in the series!
More from C.L. Schneider:
This week the incredible J.B. Taylor (author of a whole range of exceptional stories and novels) has released two fantasy stories entitled ‘Wizarding Protection Program’.
Take a look and grab a copy!
Wizarding Protection Program 1
Wizarding Protection Program 1 – Christine is an actress, a breakout star in truth. She never believed in wizards. She never knew of the darkest wizard ever to have existed … Mortem. But Mortem knows of her. Christine is the sole survivor of his assassination of two wizarding journalists that resulted in a destroyed café and many dead civilians. Fearful her rising celebrity will bring his great plan to take over the wizarding world into the consciousness of the public he seeks her out, and Christine is forced on the run.
Wizarding Protection Program 2
Wizarding Protection Program 2 – A disciple of Mortem is on the hunt, killing those who’ve offended him deeply. Christine has survived one dark wizard and is forced to flee yet another. Help proves to come from the strangest of places. And maybe, just maybe, Christine will prove magical after all.
With just 2 days left until my Thunderclap campaign ends, I am still in need of 22 supporters! From July 11th – 17th The Phoenix Project will be on sale for just $0.99 / £0.99 and in order to get this news to as many people as possible, I need Thunderclap’s help.
This means I need as much support as possible. I will gladly return support for anybody else’s campaigns, or if you need shares or tweets etc.
Here is my campaign:
I am so delighted to be hosting the wonderful Megan O’Russell today for her release of ‘Nuttycracker Sweet’. Earlier this year I read her magnificent ‘The Tethering’ so I am always keen to read new works by her. I was lucky enough to interview Megan about herself and this new book.
About the Book
Title: Nuttycracker Sweet
Author: Megan O’Russell
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing, LLC
Release Date: December 8, 2015
Pointe shoes, tutus, and a snowy road trip with the man she hates. What could possibly go wrong?
The plan was simple. Get to Portland, dance The Nutcracker, and don’t murder your dance partner. And most definitely, do not, under any circumstances, fall in love with him.
A snowy road trip strands Elle Grant in a tiny cabin better suited for serial killings than rehearsals for two professional ballet dancers. With no one but the incredibly talented, excruciatingly handsome, and notoriously terrible Zachary Benson and a few taxidermy woodland creatures for company, Elle’s Christmas plans are officially ruined. Can she and Zach learn to like each other enough to dance together? And can Elle get home without losing her heart to the Christmas Cavalier?
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a professional musical theatre performer. I spend most of my time (when I’m not writing) onstage, wearing sequins and fake eyelashes. I spent a lot of time in ballet class when I was little and as a dance major in college, but I never had any desire to be a professional ballerina. Now I’ve finally found a use for all those hours in pointe shoes.
Which books or films inspire your writing?
For Nuttycracker Sweet a lot of the inspiration comes from not only the ballet the Nutcracker, but also the legendary womanizers that filled the ballet world. Mikhail Baryshnikov in the movie White Nights is a great example of how sexy male ballet dancers can be.
Which character from the book would you most like to meet and why?
Ty, Elle’s roommate, just because I think the two of us would have a fabulous time together.
If you could be transported into the world of your story, how would you spend the day?
I would spend my day enjoying Christmas. Either holed up next to the fireplace in a log cabin or enjoying the sights of Manhattan. Either way, I’m a sap for a snowy Christmas.
Do you have any quirky writing traditions or habits?
I make my husband read my manuscripts aloud to me before I’ll even consider submitting them. It really does help with catching mistakes. It could just be the actor in me, but hearing the words read aloud helps me to understand a character’s speech pattern and make sure the story flows properly.
Are you a planner or do you tend to ‘wing it’ when you’re writing?
I know where I’m starting from. I know where I want to end up. But I just sort of wing it in the middle and see where the characters and the story want to go. Sometimes you end up with taxidermy. But that’s what makes writing an adventure!
About the Author
Megan is thrilled to be working with Fiery Seas Publishing! Her other published works include Young Adult fantasy novels The Tethering and The Siren’s Realm. Megan is also a featured author in the Athena’s Daughters 2 anthology of women in speculative fiction.
Megan is a professional performer who travels the country living out a thousand lives on stage. Her wonderful husband and frequent dance partner is always by her side.
For more information on Megan’s books, you can visit her website at meganorussell.com
Remember: Protectors of the Elemental Magic
To celebrate the relaunch of Marnie Cate’s beloved first novel, Remember: Protectors of the Elemental Magic, it will be available on Kindle for $0.99 / £0.99 beginning October 29, 2015 through November 4, 2015
Author: Marnie Cate
Title: Remember: Protectors of the Elemental Magic
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Hiding the truth from you is no longer protecting you. Sit and I will tell you what you need to know.
With those words, the secrets of my great grandmother, Genevieve Silver, were unburied and my role as a protector of the elemental magic was revealed.
My name is Marina Addisyn Stone but Mara is what my friends and family call me. I had always felt that there was something missing and that nothing was permanent. Why would I feel that way? I was being raised with my little sister by my grandmother that loved and doted on me. Then, there was Cole Sands. Who could forget the blue-eyed boy that had stolen my heart? What more could a girl need? I always thought I was just being dramatic and that bad things do happen to people but that is part of life. People die. People go away. Little did I know that with one secret, my life would change forever and my new world would be surrounded by the world of elemental magic?
As I felt my determination build, the mirror in front of me began to change and the reflection filled with rippling water. The image made me think of the choppy water of Sparrow Lake. At first, the small waves were calm but the speed and intensity of each movement of the water grew. I found myself being splashed as the waves grew harder and began to slap against the mirror. Standing up, I moved away just in time to watch the mirror before me shatter and the violent water burst out towards me.
The room began to fill with rushing water. Feeling around the room, I searched for an exit. Behind the shattered mirror, I only found solid rock. Looking to the ceiling, I could see the same hard stone. Feeling the emotions build inside me, I began search the floor and walls around me for any exit.
“Damn! Damn! Damn it!” I cried.
The water did not slow. Instead it continued to fill the room as I frantically searched for my escape. The water soon reached my knees and, what seemed like seconds later, I was wading through waist high water. As the water continued to rise, I was soon struggling to keep my head above water. It was not enough that the water was filling the room so rapidly but soon the water felt alive. The cold waves kept tossing me back and forth as the water rose and I began to feel like I was in a game of Ping-Pong where I was the ball. Soon, I found myself pulled under the icy water and surrounded by thousands of bubbles. Frantically kicking my feet to keep my head above water, I broke the surface.
Remembering the swimming lessons my grandfather insisted on, I thought about the times I spent with my grandfather learning to swim. I began to feel less scared as I recalled his calm voice and gentle words telling me that I would be safe. As I floated in the rising water, it seemed to respond to my emotions. The thrashing became calmer as I focused on my grandfather’s words. My brief moment of peace did not last. Before I knew it, I had almost reached the ceiling that had no exit and I began to panic. At this rate, I would be trapped and drowned in minutes. As if it was feeding off my fear, the water began to toss me around again.
As the water began to rise up my neck and almost over the top of my head, I tried to calm myself. You are the granddaughter of Mae Veracor and the great granddaughter of Genevieve Silver. You are the descendent of strong women. You have nothing to fear. With these words, the water once again calmed and I was able to tilt my head back above the water. How am I going to get out of this?
Remember: Protectors of the Elemental Magic is on sale $0.99 / £0.99 Kindle from Thursday, October 29th to Wednesday, November 4th!
Amazon Book link: My Book
Marnie Cate Biography
Marnie Cate was born and raised in Montana before adventuring to the warmer states of Arizona and California. Her love of Dame Judi Dench and dreams of caticorns and rainbows inspired her to chase her dreams. One great sentence came to mind and the world of elemental magic and the humans they lived amongst filled her mind. With Remember, the story has begun.
Other Works by Marnie Cate
Exigency: Protectors of the Elemental Magic – Coming Soon
The story of Mara Stone continues. Her world was shaken but she is a fighter. Facing new adversaries, Mara is learning what it truly means to protect the magic.
Beginnings: Protectors of the Elemental Magic (Novellette)
The story of Genevieve Silver and the origins of the protectors of the magic. With the balance of the elemental world shaken, four elementals take on the task of protecting the magic.
This month, thriller author James Quinn has re-released his edge-of-your-seat political thriller ‘A Game For Assassins’. This stylish new cover casts the perfect image for such a gripping, dramatic storyline.
I spoke with James Quinn about his book:
In association with my publishers – Creativia Publishing – we have decided to spruce up the cover of AGFA. It was felt that since the interior of the book had been brought up to a high standard in terms of story, proofing and editing, we should also afford the same courtesy to the cover.
What we have now is a stylish, theme orientated cover that oozes “Cold War” espionage and action and which grabs the reader’s attention.
I hope you all approve.
Please feel free to share and thanks for all your help
The assassination of a Caribbean dictator….
The “hit” on a traitor in Beirut……
The brutal murder of a young CIA officer behind the Iron Curtain…..
It is 1964, the height of the Cold War, and British Intelligence is riding high with its top double agent network: Constellation.
But in the secret war fought across Europe the enemy is never far away and soon the agents of Constellation are targeted by an unknown team of assassins. In desperation British Intelligence sends in their best agent to protect the network and hunt down the killers.
Jack “Gorilla” Grant isn’t your typical Cold War secret agent. Short, tough, uncompromising, rough edged. He doesn’t fit in with the elitist spies and debonair intelligence agents. He prefers working at the rough end of British covert operations.
But “Gorilla” is one of the best “Redactors” in the business. He’s an expert at close quarter combat: quick to the draw and deadly accurate when it comes to the elimination of traitors and extremists on behalf of the British Secret Service (SIS). He is soon drawn into a game of cross and double cross where nothing is as it seems and even the most perfect spy can die in a wilderness of mirrors.
“A Game for Assassins” is an action packed edge of your seat thrill ride played out across the global stage of the Cold War.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
James Quinn spent 15 years in the secret world of covert operations, undercover investigations and international security before turning his hand to writing.
He is trained in hand to hand combat and in the use of a variety of weaponry including small edged weapons, Japanese Swords and Hunting Bows. He is also a crack pistol shot for CQB (Close Quarter Battle) and many of his experiences he has incorporated into his works of fiction.
He lives in the United Kingdom and travels extensively around the globe.
For more information check out the James Quinn Website:
Twitter: James Quinn – Author @Ape101Quinn
It’s that day! The day that my two projects – Awethology Dark and Awethology Light – finally go live. Both are available to download for FREE! Who will you support – #TeamDark or #TeamLight? (Or both?)
Download your FREE copy here:
Tomorrow, a completely FREE set of anthologies by the writing group the #Awethors will be released! 49 authors from all over the world have come together to bring out a pair of anthologies of all genres. The anthologies have been split into two volumes – Awethology DARK and Awethology LIGHT – the difference being the content and age rating of the pieces included. (I’m the Dark volume – no surprises there!)
The most incredible thing about these Awethologies is the dedication and commitment of the authors involved (who truly do earn themselves the title ‘Awethors’. Many of them have created banners or postcards promoting their stories within the books, and they look fabulous! So here are a few examples of the incredible designs I’ve seen the past few days:
On the 18th October, The #Awethors facebook group will be releasing two Anthologies which involve nearly 50 authors worldwide.
One of the anthologies is Awethology Dark. This is a set of short stories for adults. (My brand new short story ‘The End’ featured in this one!)
The other is called Awethology Light and is for any age group especially those under 18.
The eBooks of both of these anthologies will be FREE and paperbacks will also be available. Please grab a copy and enjoy all the different genres of awesome indie authors worldwide.
Blurb for my entry – The End
Wayne Dixon, a middle-aged bachelor, is cursed by voices echoing inside his head. They tell him that soon the world will end. It is his duty to the human race to convince as many people as possible that the end is approaching, but nobody will listen to him. As the end gets nearer, will he convince them to join him or will they all be doomed?