Wednesday, October 30, 2013

IN VEIN! A Vampire Charity Anthology. HAPPY HALLOWEEN IN VEIN GIVEAWAY!



Short description

“In Vein” is a vampire charity anthology book where 100% of the proceeds will go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital! With over 18 Authors, you’re bound to find a few vampire stories you’ll love. 

An extended description

“In Vein” is a vampire charity anthology book where 100% of the proceeds will go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital! With over 18 Authors, you’re bound to find a few vampire stories you’ll love. From devious vampires, to vampire moms, a child vampire, teenage vampires, King and Queen vampires, a vampire slave girl, a vampire mob, a Red necked vampire, driving vampires, an Eastern European angel of pain, a vampire poem, a dug up coffin, a Dental Hygentist, a sad vampire tale and a vampire that helps a young cancer boy. Like I said, something for everyone! Did I mention it’s all for charity? The kids, people, the kids! 

Adult-content rating: This book contains content considered unsuitable for young readers 17 and under, and which may be offensive to some readers of all ages.

The participating Authors are:

Jodie Pierce (Author of the Vampire Queen series)~*~Tara Fox Hall (author of Promise me and Lash Series)~*~Mark Knight (author of Blood Family, Quest for the Vampire key)~*~Ann Snizek (author of the Tunuftol series)~*~Mark Mackey (author of Possession of Nicole Gardens)~*~Zoey Sweete (author of The Draven Witch Series)~*~Autumn Starr ~*~Geoffrey Porter~*~Frank Franklin~*~Jay Wilburn~*~Errick Nunnally~*~Samuel Southwell~*~Lourna Dounaeva~*~Mathias Jaanson~*~TP Keating~*~T.G. Reaper~*~Laurie Treacy~*~Charie D. La Marr~*~


I must say th
at I have read MANY books by almost all of these authors and they are AMAZING writers/story-tellers, They all truly draw a picture in your head while you are reading, like a movie playing. LOVE THEM ALL!!!


Buy Links





~*~GIVEAWAY!!~*~


 Now onto the GIVEAWAY! One of the AMAZING authors of this anthology, Jodie Pierce, has graciously donated her latest book, Crime Bites and So Do I, to a random commenter on my blog. So get your comments in before November 2nd, will choose a winner on the second and go go go get this book, it is for an AMAZING cause!


Saying Goodbye Without Saying Hello by Raebeth Buda, A True story of a mother's love and grief.



Saying Goodbye Without Saying Hello 
  by RaeBeth McGee-Buda
Genre: Nonfiction/Christian/Grief & Loss
Audience: Adult
Formats: Paperback and Ebook
E-Cover By: RaeBeth McGee-Buda
Paperback Cover: Marcy Rachel
Editor: Lee Ryder
ISBN-10: 1484801466
ISBN-13: 1492110884
Date Published: October 15, 2013

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Synopsis:
The journey of pregnancy brings hope, joy, and love for the expecting mother. The hope of giving birth to a new life. The joy of feeling this new life grow inside of her. The love that starts with a test that doesn't ever end. Dreams for the unborn child flood the new mother’s mind, as well as those around her. Each step of the pregnancy is a cherished moment. The anticipation of meeting her cherished baby builds from the very first month and ends after birth.
This is the story of one mother and how a few words changed her life forever. How a piece of her faded when she heard these words: “There’s no heartbeat.” When RaeBeth Buda laid in the hospital in labor, she and her husband heard those dreaded words.
What happens when all of those dreams are shattered in a moment’s notice? How does one cope with the loss of their child? This is the story of their journey and of the devastating grief of the loss of her daughter, Dakota Emily Buda.

*******Interview

What inspired you to write Saying Goodbye Without Saying Hello?
This story is based on my real life. Every aspect of this book is something I went through. In May 2013, I gave birth to my forever sleeping daughter. While in the funk of grieving, I began reading books based upon the same thing I was going through. When reading Jamie Gibson’s My Angel, I realized I needed to write my story. I needed to bring awareness to what I am going through. I need to help people understand what angel moms go through. This was the reason why I wrote my story.

How long did it take you to complete the entire writing/publishing process with your book?

I began writing Saying Goodbye in June. I had it completely written and edited by the end of September. Then, published in October. So, four months total.

What are your hopes with your book?

I want to reach out to other angel moms to show that they are not alone and I want to help those who weren’t put on this path within life to understand. There’s so many people who have no idea how the lives of angel parents change when they lose their baby. I want to help spread awareness for Pregnancy and Infant Loss. Those are my hopes and goals.

Do you have another work in progress?

I do. I’m going to venture away from my normal and go for a paranormal story. I’ve titled it Forbidden Destiny. I’m unsure of when it will be released but as I mentioned it’s a work in progress.

What is it like being an angel Mom now?

The best way to explain it has been mentioned within my third vlog on YouTube. So, it’s best that I refer your readers there. This video explains most of the remaining questions that were attached to this interview. Such as, What is life like now that you’re an angel mom? And, How do you cope?

*******

Small Teaser

Shortly after our perfectly imperfect wedding, my husband and I headed off to our honeymoon. We were thrilled. It seemed like things were finally falling into place. He had a great job and we were happy. The honeymoon was amazing. We decided to take a trip to the Pocono’s for the most amazing time at the most beautiful and entertaining resort we could find...Pocono Palace. I felt like a princess. We overly enjoyed our honeymoon. We took walks, played games in the game room, and made some memories would will last a lifetime.

Of course our honeymoon went by too quickly and after two weeks, we headed home. I was glad to though because I was missing my daughter. She’s an amazing little girl who has one heck of a sense of humor. She brightens our world. There’s not a day that goes by where she doesn’t make us laugh or make our hearts melt. Her personality is amazing and her outlook on the world is impressive.

Let me introduce to you our princess, Emma. She’s our world, our breath that we breathe, and we love her more than life itself. She’s a daddy’s girl and isn’t your typical little child. She loves to get down and dirty with her daddy when working on cars, but won’t hesitate to spend the day getting her nails painted with Mommy.

When we got back from our honeymoon, life went back to the way it was. Emma started first grade and Greg went back to work. I had a book I needed to finish writing. I tried so hard to finish this book but out of the blue, I started to get sick. My stomach would hurt and I was exhausted. Several weeks went by and I didn’t seem to be getting any better.
Then it came to me, I might be pregnant.

*******

Review:

I was brought to tears with this book, I did not expect to be moved the way I was but I cried so hard, especially at the part where they had to tell their daughter Emma about her baby sister going to live with Jesus. It was heart wrenching and I cannot imagine what this author and more importantly this mother has gone through.
I followed her pregnancy like many others on Facebook did. I have been a fan of Raebeth for a while now, when I first read her Silenced series, I fell in love with her and her writing skills. I was so happy for her to be having another baby to share the love that she carries with her at all times with, She is one of the most amazing ladies and we can all see her strength and love now through this book. 

*******

About the Author:

RaeBeth McGee-Buda was born in southwestern Pennsylvania in 1987, the second daughter of Rachel Yost and Arthur Curtis McGee. RaeBeth grew up loving to read and write poetry, as well as short stories. Her childhood dream was to become a teacher. Rae Beth's dream of writing was created in her eleventh grade literature class where writing became her passion.
She graduated from American Intercontinental University in 2010 with her associates in business administration. She enjoys spending her time writing and feels that connecting with readers is her main goal. 
RaeBeth married in August 2012 to her husband, Gregory Stephen Buda Jr. and resides in a small Pennsylvania town of Fairchance. RaeBeth is a full time mother of one beautiful little girl and a mother to an angel in heaven as of May 27th, 2013.


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Author Stalker Links:



Email


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Giveaway


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Friday, October 25, 2013

SPOTLIGHT of ZOEY FOSTER and her book Her Love Ran Crimson

Author Spotlight

Zoey Foster ~ Her Love Ran Crimson

Teaser & Book Trailer

 


Maddie has been through more tragedy than most people would ever see in their life. She has given up on living, and only living to breathe. With nobody on her side, she has been marked as the cause of her mother’s death and lives with this guilt every day. She is close to giving up until she sets her eyes on the one person who doesn’t look at her with disgust.
Jase is the new guy in school, he was transferred to a new school after moving out of his father’s house into his mothers. But Jase knows about Maddie and knows about her past. He thinks he can keep this a secret. When the truth comes out will they be able to survive their worlds being turned upside down? Will their connection be strong enough to make it through?
    ________________________________________________________________________________

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BOOK TRAILER

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Author Bio

Zoey Foster lives in Southern California with her Husband and 3 Sons. When she is not writing, you can find her on Swoon Worthy Books posting updates on books and Authors, and let’s not forget about the Man-candy and just having a bunch of fun. She is taking her passion for books and making it her reality in writing her debut novel Her Love Ran Crimson. She loves interacting with others talking about great Books and Book Boyfriends. You can find her at the links below always encouraging people to have a fun time and live in the moment. She has a weakness for Sour Patch Kids and has inappropriate fun when she is having her wine at night tweeting her thoughts. She also likes to make up words. The best word to describe her is Winetastic!



STALKER LINKS

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorzoeyfoster?ref=hl
Twitter: @AuthorZoeyF
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7102575.Zoey_Foster
Goodreads Book Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17970981-her-love-ran-crimson
Blog: http://zoeyfoster.blogspot.com/
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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Villere House by: C.D. Hussey and Leslie Fear

Villere House is one of the most intriguing, roller coaster-like, voodoo performing, and absolutely poetic books of 2013.Written by C. D. Hussey and Leslie Fear



Schedule
Oct 22
Cajun Book Lover
Oct 23
Mistress of the Dark Path
Books to Breathe
Oct 26
Obsession is a Book
Word
Oct 27
Tammy & Kim Reviews
Not Everyone’s Mama
Oct 28
Phenomal Reads
Oct 29
Ezrabet’s Enchantment
Oct 30
Flirty & Dirty
Life As Their Mo
Oct 31
Beauty, Books & Brains


Recommendation from Travis Garvis Graves
"This epic tale spanning past and present will have you on the edge of your seat. Set in a world of Voodoo, spirits, and the historic locale of New Orleans, Villere House is deliciously spooky and romantic."
~ Tracey Garvis Graves, author of the New York Times bestseller, On The Island and Covet.



Synopsis:
College senior, Lottie Boyd, expects to drink too much while on spring break in New Orleans. What she doesn't expect is to be haunted. Or fall in love. But that's exactly what happens.
It starts with strange, vivid dreams about a 19th century widow so desperate to save her sick little girl, she's willing to do anything--even if it involves the black magic of Voodoo. It doesn't end there. Voices, ghost sightings, familiarity with things and places she couldn't possibly know. All leading her to the Villere House of Voodoo and the young Creole owner, Xavier Villere.
Xavier is compelled to help and is drawn to Lottie in a way he's never known, but skepticism of his family's century-old link to Voodoo and the occult keep her at arms length. If he can only come to terms with his heritage, he might be able to help solve the mystery of the widow plaguing Lottie's dreams. And maybe even find love in the process.
Note: Villere House is an adult romance and not suitable for readers under 18.




~EXCERPT~



Xavier continued to stand there, trapping her in the bathroom. His eyes lingered on her and he looked like he wanted to say something. Lottie wanted to ask, but her words were as trapped as his.
 
Finally, he pushed off the jamb. "Well, I guess I should let you try to get some shut-eye."
 
She could only nod and follow him back into the bedroom with the massive, gorgeous bed.
 
"Need anything?"
 
A couple of silk scarves tying her wrists to one of the posts.
 
"Bourbon?" He prodded.
 
"I think I'm good. Thanks."
 
"I won't be far, so if you change your mind..."
 
It was possible she was imagining it, or hopelessly optimistic, but she thought she saw a glimmer of her own desires reflected in his dark brown eyes.  He was lingering...
GIVEAWAY!!

Stalk the Authors…I mean connect to the Authors:


Purchase Links:


Thank you so much!!!


The Gals at The Indie Bookshelf

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Eden Forest interview




Title: Eden Forest
 ~*~
Author: Aoife Marie Sheridan
~*~
Publisher: The Universal Publishing Group
~*~
Published: September 28, 2012


BLURB: 


Sarajane Anderson is your regular twenty one year old. With family, friends and a normal job. She also happens to be the only person who can save Saskia, a world parallel to earth.When Sarajane is taken to Saskia, she could never have imagined the reality of the world she steps into, a world where magical abilities are in everyone's possession.She must face a father she never knew, a world that is beyond her belief. A guardian who captures her heart, and a darkness that wants to take it.On this journey Sarajane discovers her magical abilities and realizes they come with a price. Sarajane is truly tested, as her loved ones are put at risk. The question she must ask herself is, how do you choose who lives and who dies?









Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Firstly reading was something I always did and I started off with mills and boon's books, they were given to by my grandmother, so my love for romances grew, by the age of 14 I had read hundreds of them.

I always had a passion for writing poetry (in my eyes my journal entries). It was something I did throughout my teens and into my twenties. I won first place for two of my poems and had them published. I studied accountancy and qualified working in that field for many years, until my passion for reading returned and I found Maria V Snyder. Poison study is one of my favourite books and I have read and re-read countless times.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I read, I have about twenty books to read at the moment as I am behind on them. I have a review site called www.reviewoffantasy.com where I post all my reviews. I always appreciate the support from indie authors and they have been fab, so I love to give back, and reviews I feel are the best way to support authors.

Do you have a day job as well?

Yes unfortunately I do, so it really doesn't give me much to write, but every free second I have is dedicated to my first love writing.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I started writing about two years ago now, and it took me nearly a year to write my first book. I feel this was because I didn’t write to publish so I was doing it for myself. Now that I know people are awaiting the next instalment I try to complete it sooner.

How did you choose the genre you write in?

I just love fantasy and the impossible. I have never read a book that is based in reality, I Don’t see the point we live in reality (well most of the time). So it’s so much more fun to be able to write about magic, immortality and my favourite creating worlds.

Where do you get your ideas?

My first book Eden Forest (Part one of the Saskia Trilogy) came to me after a dream of a man and woman on a black horse jumping through a wall of fire and the idea of Saskia was born.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?

No. I don’t have much time to write, so when I do sit down I am practically busting at the seams.

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

It’s a bit of both, I wrote Eden Forest to help me deal with two deaths I experienced in the same year. So I took a lot of my emotions and placed them in the book, replicated some of the things I seen that surround death. So it is fantasy but my life and experiences are entwined in it also.

Will you have a new book coming out soon?

Yes City of Secrets should be released soon; I am just going through the final edits before it’s published.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

O the toughest was a review that I got, it was my first and I really hope only one star review. I re-read it so many times, and still walk away screaming, but it’s something I have to learn to deal with as all writers do. The best compliment, well I am blessed I really am, I’ve had a few amazing readers love my work, two in particular were from Ireland and they got my first book Eden Forest off friends, one contacted me and wrote a piece about my book, to show me how much he loved it, that is still on my blog, the other was a young girl who told me my book was un-put down- able and arrived into my work so she could meet me in person. I am still smiling from both encounters. What more does a writer want.




Author's Info:

Aoife Maire Sheridan is twenty eight years of age. She lives in Kells, Co. Meath, a small town just outside Navan. Aoife was raised in Navan but left with her family at the age of sixteen. Aoife has always had a passion for writing but mostly poetry. This is her first time to write a novel. 
Aoife Marie Sheridan studied Accountancy and qualified as an accountant technician. She worked in this profession for several years but with the economic downturn she was made redundant. 
Aoife Marie Sheridan now works in retail as well as spending endless hours reading and writing.


Author Links: 
Twitter ~*~ Facebook ~*~ Website ~*~ Blog










Paper Copy 
a Rafflecopter giveaway




Ebook
a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Gemini Rising Virtual book tour

YA Paranormal Romance/Sci-FiDate Published: 4/13/2013


Angry at the human race and its methodical destruction of her resources, Mother Earth recruits souls who have just left their bodies to serve Her, and turns them against humanity. A powerful, rising force proceeds to carry out Mother Nature’s plan to systematically destroy towns, cities, states… and eventually, the world. Amidst the chaos, a forbidden relationship between a human girl, Violette, and Onyx, a lead Gemini, begins. They will both find themselves in the middle of a revolutionary war that will either save, or destroy our world.





Virtual Book Tour
 September 30 - October 25


September 30 - Reading Addiction Blog Tours - Meet and Greet
October 1 - Rose & Beps - PROMO
October 2 - Living in a Book World - Review/Interview
October 3 - The YA Lit Chick - PROMO
October 4 - Books and Tales - Guest Post/PROMO
October 5 - Mom With a Kindle - Guest Post/PROMO
October 6 - Texas Book Nook - Review
October 7 - Alway's Jo Art - Guest Post/PROMO
October 8 - Dalene's Book Reviews - Interview/PROMO
October 9 - A Life Through Books - Review
October 10 - Deea's Book Blog - Guest Post
October 11 - Just Julie - Interview/PROMO
October 12 - My Reading Addiction - Review
October 13 - These Are But Shadows - Review
October 14 - Jessi Jabbers - PROMO
October 15 - My Little Cosy Corner - Review/Interview
October 16 - Mia Hoddell - Guest Post/PROMO
October 17 - Lov Liv Life Reviews - Guest Post/PROMO
October 18 - Must Read Faster - PROMO
October 19 - Drunkin Space Penguin - Interview/PROMO
October 20 -Read Books and Live Green - Review
October 21 - Once Upon A YA Books - Review
October 22 - Ali's Books - PROMO
October 23 - Lee Ryder Author - Review/Interview
October 24 - As You Wish Reviews - Review/Guest Post
October 25 - RABT Reviews - Review




Jessica O'Gorek


I was born in Chesapeake, Virginia on April 19th, 1979. I was raised within the American Indian religion and was taught great respect for the earth and all its living beings. Powwows, sweat lodges, vision quests, you name it, I’ve done it. I was the weird kid who would confront kids on the playground in elementary school when they squished a bug. I would very sincerely tell them what they were doing was morally wrong and then I would pray for the bug to come back as a butterfly in its next life.

​I grew up admiring my father, Barry Weinstock, as an author. He took me around the country to different places so he could research and write his Wilderness Survival books. One of his greatest works, “The Path of Power,” was written with a great medicine man, Sunbear.

When I was twelve I started
 hand writing novels. My first one was two thousand pages. My dad always encouraged me and would rave about my writing. He gave me the confidence I needed to keep writing and follow my dream. My daughter, who is twelve, is currently working on her first novel. I hope to continue the legacy.
                                                         



Stalker Links  Website ~*~ Facebook ~*~ Twitter ~*~ Blog ~*~ Goodreads                                                           



BUY LINKSAmazon ~*~  Barnes N Noble 




Thursday, October 10, 2013

Order of the Dimensions author interview and my review

BEFORE READING ANY FURTHER!! please go to this link and download this book FOR FREE until October 31st and the author will donate 1$ for each download to the Susan G Komen foundation. GO GO GO!!!
Free Download, each download will raise 1$ for the cure


BLURB

When Jane Kremowski first began her graduate studies in physics at Madison State University in Wisconsin, little did she know where her work would take her. Now, she is embroiled in a multitude of dimensions all leading to different outcomes. She and her colleagues therefore must act wisely in order to take and keep away the Order of Dimension from falling into the wrong hands for the sake of her loved ones.






INTERVIEW

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I just received my doctorate in biostatistics last year and now work at a comprehensive cancer center in Chicago.  My family originally immigrated here from Poland and my parents, both doctors, have always instilled a love of science in me.  I also like going out with family and friends to concerts, movies, or just out to dinner..
Do you have a day job as well?  I'm a biostatistician but would like to be an author when I grow up :)

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book? My first book took about eight months to write but after receiving input from reviewers, I have now re-written the story a third time and hope it's an improvement.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?  I try to start with an outline but then it all goes to pot so I just go with the flow :P

How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre? Right now, I'm promoting via facebook and twitter and emailing different bloggers but I'm still trying to figure out what works best.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? Some of my stories are definitely anecdotes from real life which I exaggerate to make more exciting.

Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with? In my sequels, I do expend on the role of one of the characters in the first book and what she does plays a huge part in how the story will end, but I'm keeping all that a secret now :)

What sort of Starbuck’s coffee would your characters order? Simple coffee, complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-
half-caff-nightmare? Hmmm ... good question.  I'm thinking Randy might just take a black coffee in the dimensions where he is a pilot to stay awake, Jane might like a Tazo green or mint tea after a long day in the lab, but Anton would go for a difficult expresso something ... of course!
Are you a person who makes their bed in the morning, or do you not see much point?  I just like to think that my bed is already made in one of my other dimensions!

What would YOU like your readers to know about this book or you in general?  Just hope they enjoy the story ... and perhaps become a bit of a science geek because of it.
Have you ever gone out in public with your shirt on backwards, or your slippers on, and when realizing it, just said screw it?  I was once having lunch with my friend Erika and my skirt fell off.  It was when I started losing weight but unfortunately did not get a chance to update my wardrobe yet.  We did get a good laugh out of it though!


AUTHOR INFO


Irene Helenowski, the author of “Order of the Dimensions”, is a statistical analyst at an academic medical center in Chicago and recently received her doctorate in biostatistics. She also enjoys going to movies and concerts in her spare

time.





Stalker Links


BUY Links



REVIEW

 I tell you I adored the book! I was like omg what dimension are we in now, did she switch again, oh oh the flash of light wonder where we are going to end up again! I was ALL over this book. I have always wondered if I had another me somewhere else in the world or outer world and This just makes me wonder even more if something like this could be true and how cool would that be! Are you living a better life in a different dimension, what about your friends and family, do you still have the same friends or different ones, same love interest, married to someone you would NEVER dream to be married to? well that is what happens in this book, it is an amazing trip around many dimensions where the heroine of the story see's how differently her life can be in each one. Some are better than others and some are imaginable. twists turns and darkness awaits you at every page turn! a must read for sure!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tour De Blogg, White Leaves (E.L.F. Vol 1) Interview and Promo post.




Excerpt


When she opened her eyes again, she found herself looking not on a field of fire and machines. There were no bodies, no agents - nothing but herself in a chair. She was just seven years old. A late evening in the office at Hunter Industry’s yard unfolded before her, looking just as it had more than eleven years ago…


She sat in a high-backed office chair with her back to one cozy armrest and legs dangling over the other, peering rather disinterestedly out a nearby window gone dark with the late hour. Halfheartedly she followed the reflected proceedings behind her without seeming to do so. Below she also studied the many spotlights and headlights of dozens of crews going about their business.

On a far hill in the dark whose trees were yet standing, out where no crew should be working and no road did wander, she thought she saw a new light. It came and went in just a silver flicker, but it was there sure enough.

Her large brown eyes perked up and she studied intently, letting the meeting behind her lose focus as she stared through it to beyond. The image of her father blurred and the darkness prevailed. But the silver light did not come again.



Interview with M.P. Ness by Charline Ratcliff for Tour de Blogg




Hi Michael, thank you for being willing to share your story with us today. I’m sure your friends, family, and fans are interested to learn some of what makes you tick.


Charline: So, I see in your bio that you mention you share the same birth month/day as Leonardo Da Vinci. You also comment that you feel you “own a share of the creative spirit for which the renaissance master was known.” Your comments lead me to believe that you have a certain respect/awe for the man and his accomplishments, and if so when did that start, and why?

Michael:  I’d say you’re very perceptive, Charline. 
   
Da Vinci was the quintessential Renaissance man. He could, and did, do it all.
 

Few, regardless of their talents or medium, will ever be called “master.” Art itself is a mountain, virtually impossible to scale to its pinnacle. We will always be trying to be better at what we do, and we will never be perfect in our endeavors. That’s part of the philosophical beauty of the arts in general. Art is a way of life. It’s a mode of living toward continual self-improvement. But, Da Vinci, is hailed as a master, and after study, I’m comfortable saying that title is most likely true and fitting. Few others can say as much…

Prior to discovering our shared birthday, (now known as the American Tax Return deadline day,) I already had aspirations of being a Renaissance Man. I drew, I painted, and I sculpted. I wrote stories and poetry and songs. I philosophized; I had a craftsman’s background in construction, I enjoyed landscaping and architecture and I even played musical instruments a bit. So naturally, when I discovered that birthday connection, late in my tenure at the Art Institute of Seattle where I was working for a Bachelor’s in Animation and Applied Media Arts, it did become a sort of fixation. Da Vinci became a subject of intent study.
I felt proud to share such a celebrated artist’s birthday, and I found it interesting that two people separated by so much time and geography, could share such proclivity toward similar interests and abilities. Then, (no less curiously,) my own son, M.P.N.2., was due on my birthday as well. Unfortunately, he was induced two days early, on a Friday, the 13th. 
Spooky…but true.

Charline: Michael, allow me to continue a moment longer in the Da Vinci theme to ask: do you feel that your acquired knowledge about Da Vinci helped open the “creative” side of the world for you?

Michael: Given that discovery came so late, some seven years after I had already taught myself to draw, had been writing for as many, and had sought schooling to further those abilities, it had less of an impact than it might have, had I discovered it in my earlier creative years. I was already at the point where I knew I wanted to do everything. I wanted my creative control/director position, and I wanted to produce the stories I’d worked on for so many years prior. 
However, in terms of focusing more on finer arts and expanding my abilities to include a wider variety of mediums and subjects when I should have been focusing on my animation studies, it certainly did have an impact. I began to see things differently, more mechanically, and from there my understanding of rendering complex three-dimensional subjects on paper took a dramatic leap. Not surprisingly, my animating skills improved as well. I literally began to set the grading curve in my respective 2-D traditional animation courses. Unfortunately, my desire and enthusiasm to draw frame after frame after frame, in what equates to endless hours of work for mere minutes and seconds of footage, took an opposite turn. 
I decided then to simply write, and execute visual art by commission, (I’m always for hire,) and to compliment my storytelling. Art became a secondary passion. Writing remained dominant.
Many tell me that I should be composing Graphic Novels, given the multi-threat trait. I agree; I should be. However, one key element yet escapes me: page by page composition. It’s something I’ve always attempted, but never quite gotten the hang of. Perhaps one day I will commission a graphic novel artist to work with me on creating those types of books, as I hold a healthy respect for the graphic novelists and comic book artists/writers out there. They can do it all.

Charline: You know Michael; I was intrigued to read that you are a “sometime” musician. Does this mean you play an instrument and/or sing? If so, what instrument? I’m sure some of your readers/fans would also like to know if you have given up performing completely, or is there a possibility that they might see you out on a Karaoke night... *chuckle*

Michael: I was in boys’ choir in grade school, and I’m also told that I have a pleasant speaking voice. However, I do not sing anymore. Except in the car... Or sometimes randomly with my iPod when I’m really in the zone as I work on a painting. 
In truth, the “sometime musician” means I used to play a fair amount of Bass.  Unfortunately, there’s only so much time in a day, a week, or a lifetime. Between the time demands of writing and art/art school, I knew I had to put music aside. It was a third passion, dominated by two bigger brothers.
Music is one of those things I can do, and I enjoy it, but it just isn’t my passion. Nothing equates to simply disappearing for hours into the imagination as you write a story.

Charline: Michael, you’ve shared that you’re an artist, and that you studied at the Art Institute of Seattle. You also mentioned that while you were there, you were inspired to write your debut novel series: E.L.F. White Leaves, the first book of your fantasy series is now out, and I’m curious what it was about the Seattle locale and/or experiences that brought this book series to fruition?

Michael: It was a newspaper stand, actually. On the sidewalk, right outside the AIS campus in Belltown, Seattle was a headline that snared my attention. Being a longtime fantasy reader, there’s no way I could have missed it.
“ELF burns down housing complex,” the headline read, in big, bold, blue font.
At the time, I had no idea what ELF meant, but it wasn’t something one would expect to see on a REAL newspaper headline. I bought the paper, read the article and discovered ELF: the Earth Liberation Front.
Based primarily the Pacific Northwest, the Earth Liberation Front is a hierarchy-lacking extremist-activist organization. They’re Eco terrorists, and not many people are familiar with such a concept. I know I certainly wasn’t. 
These activists are in favor of defending nature, but in the long run their methods are misguided. They firebomb resource companies and housing developments and the like. They actually do more harm than good.
However, to me it was a story. My initial question that struck me upon reading that headline was: “What if it WAS real elves that had burned down that housing complex? How would it play out? Why would they do such a thing? And how had no one ever seen one before?” 
After stewing on the idea for a while, I then attended a PNWA, (Pacific Northwest Writers Association,) conference in Seattle where I pitched the raw, unwritten idea to urban fantasy author, Richelle Mead, during an urban fantasy seminar she was co-teaching. Frankly, I owe Richelle a huge thank you. I didn’t even write urban fantasy. No one in the entire seminar wanted to speak up about their stories when she and her co-host opened the floor to pitches; so I stepped up with nothing to lose and spilled my raw but coveted concept. She said something to the effect of: “If you can write it, you’ve probably got a sale on your hands there.” That was all the encouragement I needed. I at last decided to write it. So thanks, Richelle!
I sat down, and the story literally almost wrote itself. I just did the pen-work. The rough draft, (135k words/29 chapters,) took me exactly 30 days. It just poured out, and just in time for the original version to take a place in my schooling, which at the time was the only way I was getting any writing done at all. Art school is no joke. The workload is staggering. So, I completed it for a screenwriting class under tutelage of Seattle’s well known, John Keister, (the 206 & Almost Live - sketch comedy shows,) who was teaching at the AIS at the time. He liked it enough that I decided I’d make it a book one day.
One day has come and gone. And so it is.
Charline: Michael, as a writer, why did you choose the fantasy genre?

Michael: There are several reasons, really. The funny reason; I’m an escapist writer, so for me its therapy.
I love to daydream, and fantasy reading/writing affords me that. I love immersing myself in other worlds. I think it keeps the mind sharp and helps with problem solving/thinking outside the box.
Mostly, though, I write fantasy because I’ve always been a fantasy guy. I initially started reading for personal enjoyment as a child, but only about animals. I had checked out every non-fiction book there was on dinosaurs, sharks, snakes and all the creepy crawly things little boys find fascinating, and I knew all the facts about all those animals. I was a sponge. But then that blasted, (but holy,) Book Mobile came to school early in the 4th grade. The first fantasy I ever read was one I bought there with my own coin. 
The cover art sucked me in. It was Terry Brooks’ “The Talismans of Shannara” which is book four in his second Shannara series. I didn’t know that, and didn’t care. The image struck me enough that I had to know who the one armed man was and why he battled against an excellent rendering of the grim reaper who rode a unique, particularly vicious, looking lizard/cat sort of steed.
I razed that book to the ground, I read it so fast. I got to the scene that the cover art depicted, and I never looked back. The following year, I’d read every single Shannara book there was.
Why Fantasy? It captures me. It really does.
However, I have many stories I will prepare throughout the years to come, and not all are fantasy.
I also plan to write my mother’s memoir/biography with her. She’s led a…particularly brave life, and despite lifelong hardship, her kindness, generosity, patience, and understanding still know no equal in my eyes.

Charline: I did note Michael, that “White Leaves” has a rather stunning cover. It definitely attracts the appropriate attention for the fantasy genre. As an artist, did you design/draw the cover yourself, or did you come up with the concept and allow someone else to put your graphic vision to paper?

Michael: See, now you’ve totally touched on a topic I can really blab about for far too long. I’ll try to restrain myself. Firstly, I’m proud of it. I did indeed do the artwork, and I’m glad you like it. So far the response to the imagery as a cover has been wholly positive. 
The cover started as a quick scene-sketch intended to help my creative juices by giving me a visual rendering of the awful “Powers” called: Traemin and Gane. I’d tinkered with various concepts for the cover art: a simple silhouette of a modified Seattle skyline to include a gargantuan tree, a simple, stylized, bold, flourish-styled tree in silver on black, as well as a few other ideas. However, after having created the current cover image, I couldn’t imagine anything else ever being the cover.
Personally, I am a fan of “scene” covers. I think this style provides a better idea of the story, especially since you’re looking right into one of the moments in the book as soon as you see the cover.
Artistically, I like to render photorealism with pencil/pen, but when it comes to digital and book covers especially, I really enjoy that roughly hewn, concept-art, sketch-quality painting that you see in the White Leaves cover. It just seems to feel more alive than a picture perfect rendering. So, I will most likely continue that trend; at least for the E.L.F. series, as I also like uniformity in series covers.
Image style and selection really get quite interesting when you take a look at the studies of why, and how, that loose style actually affects the imagination of a viewer/reader, as opposed to using photographs, like a romance novel might. Covers are all about establishing a connection with the internal individual. The more realistic something is, the more external, objective, or “out there” the subject is to your viewer. The more simplistic, vague, or stylized something is…the more a viewer can see of themselves within it, or of it within themselves. This is why Comics and Anime and Manga-novels and Cartoons are all so effective. Simplification and stylization…
The best example is a smiley face, because you cannot NOT see a smile when you see two dots and a curved line put together. There are many who may even have a difficult time NOT seeing a face in their car’s headlights, bumper or grill arrangement. Take the Volkswagen Beetle. Did you ever see such a smiley, happy, friendly looking car? No. Why is that? The designers in old Germany wanted to build an affordable vehicle that every commoner could own and love. Their vision worked flawlessly.
This concept also works with sports cars. How many of them just look plain old beastly, aggressive, and mean? There’s a reason for that beyond simply being aerodynamic. It’s a style choice, made specifically to appeal to a type of person who has a set standard of pre-existing interests.
This study was something I learned during my AIS tenure. You can find more about it in a brilliant book, “Understanding Comics,” by graphic novelist/comic artist and writer, Scott McCloud. It’s a comic book about making comic books. Some of his concepts are quite enlightening, and I highly recommend it, even if you aren’t an artist, but especially if you’re thinking about creating graphic novels.
But I digress…to continue with the matter of connection.
As an artist, I like to show works in progress. I’m not shy about it, and I don’t secret away my upcoming book covers to do special-event cover-reveals. I like others to be part of that creative process. And in my opinion, if they get glimpses as I go, they can get more excited about it. I like to think others become more connected that way. As again, it’s all about establishing that connection. And that doesn’t only apply to the visual. We writers pour a great deal of ourselves into our words, and I like to know that others know I’m in total creative control, and that you readers are getting the purest look at me and my vision of my tales as you possibly can.
Case and point, let’s connect a moment. I’m actually in the process of creating the cover art for “Blighted Leaves;” book two of E.L.F., lately.  I take a certain measure of delight in revealing the fact that the sequel and its cover-art were both inspired by…chocolate chip cookies. Yes, chocolate chip cookies.
But that’s crazy talk! You might exclaim. The title is “Blighted Leaves,” and it’s darker than the first book by far. How could it be inspired by something so sweet and decadent and frankly harmless as freshly under-baked chocolate chip cookies?
To which I can say…because, E.L.F. was originally just going to be a stand-alone story. I wrote it in school. It had a single direction and a single dimension at first. However, one day I saw an image on a plate of chocolate smears left behind by fresh chocolate chip cookies. I sketched it because I though it looked a little like a monster, and I thought I could improve upon that happy chaotic accidental image. Sometime later, that sketch triggered a connection with White Leaves, and E.L.F. literally came to life as a whole world of stories.
The point, all triggered by your connection/reaction to the original cover art, Charline, is this… Everything about my books is done by me. As I said before, I like that unrestricted creative control. I believe an artist‘s vision is best when pure. So, with the exception of my wonderful Editor, Maryanne Torgerson, (who may actually be available for hire to other Indie authors,) the book’s entire coming to fruition has been done by my own two hands.

Charline: In closing Michael, what would you say is next for you once the E.L.F. series is finished? Another fantasy book/series? Or focusing on turning your books into blockbuster movies? 

Michael: Well, Hollywood might be a little way off yet. One needs some renown and credibility, not to mention inclusion in the Screenwriter’s Guild, before seriously tackling that mountain. So, for now, I simply plan to write books. But I would very much like to see my stories on screen. That’s why I write them. I see them. And that’s how I write them. 
They’re literally written to be seen. Whether that comes by imagination or by film is merely a matter of timing, and perhaps a little luck.
I’m a very visual and linear writer. The visual aspect definitely comes from the artist part of me, and the linear is exciting because I never know how a story is going to unfold. I get to discover it just as much as a reader might. I think it creates a visceral experience in the reading, much like how the rough-hewn imagery of the cover creates a more living feel.
At any rate, E.L.F. wasn’t the first story I ever wanted to tell, and it won’t be the last. It’s just the first one to make it to the chopping block.
I have a much…larger higher-fantasy saga to tell under the working title of “The Winds of Arillus,” the first book of which will be called “Pheinixfall” for reasons which will eventually become apparent. But that won’t be until after I release a few of the E.L.F. tales. And there are a number of unique standalones, or potential other series that I’d like to delve into. For now though, it’s straight-ahead, full-steam with E.L.F. 
Aside from that I’m also in cahoots with a small contingency of other Indie authors, creating a network around our personas rather than our writing genres. The publishing industry as a whole is like a newborn all over again. The environment we are coming up in is radical and fresh, and authors all over the world have to rethink outside the box, just how best to appeal to the right readers to make their careers. So, we considered this and decided to approach it from a new perspective. 
We decided to appeal to people and readers with similar interests as our own, as opposed to people who specifically read fantasy, or thrillers, or sci-fi-noir-gothic-grind-house-multi-genre-fusions. Since our interests are part of ourselves, and thus come out in our stories, we believe a fantasy story can appeal to someone who happens to like the same music as the author, even if that reader wasn’t into fantasy prior to finding our work. We’d like to think this is a radical and fresh way to approach our own collective marketing. It may well be crazy enough to change the dynamic; given time…if you consider that it’s the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world that actually end up doing so.
Our take…? The authoring world doesn’t have much, if any, in the form of rock stars. As unconventional individuals with interests in some really cool things out there in the variety of mediums that entertainment takes, we collectively agree and suppose a new breed of young author is rising, and fast. 
We aren’t your stereotypical authors. We’re people with interests just like the readers out there. We’re into the edgier side of life, and that comes out in our work.  So we’re building a network geared toward the hard and fast, full-throttle, and unique type of stories we tell in a variety of genre fictions. 
I’d like to mention and suggest readers also take a gander my fellows in this venture. Thriller Bestseller, Charlie Flowers, whose “Hard Kill” has rocketed to chart topping, and Fantasy Author, J.L. Hickey whose “Secret Seekers Society” series is climbing the sales charts quickly, are on board -just to name a few. But there are more, many more, and I think there’s a large a number of us out there worthy organizing our efforts. Naturally, we’ll have more information on that when it gets a little more developed.
Pardon the name, but we’re a little unapologetic about our personas, and we’ll be operating under #BadassAuthors soon.
So, on that final note, I would also encourage other Indie authors who might be a little bit badass in their personal life and interest, and who aren’t afraid to show it, to get hold of me. We have the perfect place for you! Thank you, so much, Charline!

Bio


Born in the Midwest, I share my birthday with Leonardo Da Vinci, and seem to share a bit of that creative monster's spirit.

I paint, draw, write, sculpt, and more.
I'm extremely prolific when I don't have life and day-jobs tying me down.

I published my debut novel, E.L.F. vol. 1, White Leaves, July 1st, 2013, and hope to release the sequel, Blighted Leaves, sometime early/mid 2014

White Leaves is currently available at all major online retailers in both print-paperback and eBook forms.

I do my own cover-art, book-trailers, formatting, and marketing.
It's tough, but a thoroughly engaging ride.

I've also done logo, cover art, and animations for local Seattle area musicians, other musicians elsewhere, luthiers, videographers, authors, and retailers.


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