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Cover reveal for C.L Schneider’s new fantasy book!

As a huge fan of Schneider’s Crown of Stones trilogy, I am so excited about her upcoming release! It is the first in the Nite Fire series, entitled Flash Point. The Crown of Stones series first caught my eye due to the stunning covers of all three novels.

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So, I’ve had very high hopes for this latest cover. And it doesn’t disappoint! Take a look at this beauty:

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BLURB

Nite Fire: Flash Point

Slated for execution, shapeshifting assassin, Dahlia Nite, flees her world to hide in the human realm. As payment for the shelter they unknowingly provide, Dahlia dedicates herself to protecting humans from what truly lives in the shadows. Moving from town to town, she hunts the creatures that threaten an unsuspecting human race; burying the truth that could destroy them all.

But the shadows are shifting. The lies are adding up. And when Sentinel City is threatened by a series of bizarre brutal murders, light is shed on what should never be seen. The secrets that have kept humanity in the dark for centuries are in danger of being exposed.

Wrestling with a lifetime of her own deceptions, Dahlia investigates the killings while simultaneously working to conceal their circumstances. But with each new murder, the little bit of peace she has found in this world begins to crumble. Each new clue leads her to the one place she thought to never go again. Home.

 

EXCERPT

His roar blew the hair back from my face. His oddly pliable jaw opened with a wet crack of cartilage. Dropping, extending past throat, then chest, the square edge of his jaw came to rest even with the center of his abdomen. Outlined by fleshy lips, the dark maw within held an inner ring of uneven teeth, all stained with a deep red grime. Pushing out from their center, the del-yun’s gray tongue ejected like a whip. A heavy discharge of green followed. Hitting the floor in front of me with a moist splat, the glop of saliva gurgled and smoked as it devoured the concrete. A smaller rivulet of smoke curled up from the front of my left boot, where tiny beads of the creature’s spit were eating through the laces.

“Come on,” I groaned, “not the boots…” Bending, I slid my knife in behind the black crisscross. In the corner of my eye, I saw his tongue emerging again.

I broke the lace with a quick yank.

Flinging off the still-bubbling piece as I straightened, I flung the knife next. My throw was directed at his tongue, hoping to sever the bit wagging down over his teeth. But at the last second, he moved. My weapon sailed past his tongue, in through his wide mouth, and impaled his left cheek. The tip of the blade pushed out with a spill of yellowish blood and sliced tissue.

I raised a finger. Fire trickled from my nail. It slid off the side of my hand and onto the floor. Watching its journey, the del-yun knew: one little touch was all it would take. His blood would catch like kindling, and my fire would follow it down inside him like a flame on a fuse.

 

*Flash Point will release in paperback the last week of February with a pre-order for the ebook to follow.

 

BIO

L. Schneider is a New York-based author of adult epic and urban fantasy. Born in a small Kansas town, she grew up in a house of avid readers and overflowing bookshelves. Her first full-length novel took shape in high school, on a typewriter in her parent’s living room. Schneider’s epic trilogy, The Crown of Stones, tells the story of Ian Troy, a man born with an addiction to magic. Nite Fire: Flash Point is the first book in a fast-paced urban fantasy series with shapeshifters, dragons, and parallel worlds.

Learn more about C.L. Schneider and her work at clschneiderauthor.com where you can read reviews, excerpts and sneak peeks, and subscribe to her newsletter. An active part of the indie author online community, you can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Google+, where she is often found chatting about books, zombies, coffee, and the daily ups and downs of writing.

 

Links

Website http://www.clschneiderauthor.com/

Twitter  https://twitter.com/cl_schneider

Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/CLS.Author

Google# https://www.google.com/+CLSchneider

Goodreads  https://www.goodreads.com/goodreadscomCLSchneider

Universal Link to Crown of Stones Trilogy  http://mybook.to/COSTrilogy

Amazon Author Page http://author.to/CLSchneiderAmazonPg

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Soren, Genesis and Origin on their way!

It’s all good news this week as three of my current works-in-progress are coming along nicely.

Today I received the news that my next full-length novel The Shield of Soren has finished proofreading and is ready to progress to publishing. It will be released next month.

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I also had an email from my fabulous editor to say that my novella in the same series, Genesis of Light, has been through the second stage of editing. Not only that, but the complementary novella that goes with it, Origin of Shadow, is also currently in editing!

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The first book in the series, A Chronicle of Chaos, is available now: http://mybook.to/ChronicleofChaos

Or, you can get a free preview of the first few chapters here: https://instafreebie.com/free/oMsTt

How I boosted my mailing list subscribers from 96 to 973 in a few days

Last week I was struggling along with just 96 subscribers to my mailing list. This week, after just one giveaway event, I am sitting at a beautiful 973 subscribers. How did I do it? with the help of this wonderful marketing opportunity:

https://www.authorsxp.com/for-authors/events/mailing-list-builder

For $45 I signed up and entered two free e-copies of my book A Chronicle of Chaos into their fantasy giveaway. People were then asked to sign up with their email addresses for the chance to win all 30 authors’ books.
I’m usually skeptical about paying too much for promotions so I thought I’d just do this once as a trial. I was so impressed with the results and it took very little time and effort on my part. I cannot recommend it enough!
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Author gives readers something new to sink their teeth into/ Michael J Elliot, Indie Author Extraordinaire

To Write Is Right!!! My World as an Author, reader and Marketer.

2016-11-06-13-57-58***Michael J Elliot has worked his literary magic again with Choice Cuts-A Bite From The Dark Realm. Join me in this post while we learn a bit more about him and his works.

***On Halloween 2015, Aussie horror writer launched his first collection of shorts, Portraits Of Dread. His first work was very well received and gained him some very favourable reviews. Now, exactly a year later, Michael is set to chill his readers again with his new collection, Choice Cuts-A Bite From The Dark Realm.
As Michael explained, “This is another eclectic mix of stories, from dystopia, to good old fashioned horror. I hope I’ve created a nice mix for my readers. I’ve tried to add that unexpected twist and the wry humour which readers have told me they enjoyed in my first collection.”
STORIES INCLUDE:
PENANCE
Deep within the bowels of an ancient mountside convent, Sister…

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#Kindle Book Review, #NaNoWriMo and more projects than I know what to do with!

So, I’ve been pretty quiet lately. Why, you ask? Well, I’ve been super busy. Here’s what has been happening with me lately:

  • My first novel, ‘The Phoenix Project’, got through to the final round of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category of the Kindle Book Review! I am incredibly proud of this achievement, and even if I don’t win, it is such an honour to have come this far. I will find out the result on November 1st. Eeek!

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  • November 1st is going to be an important date for me, because not only will I find out the winner of the Kindle Book Review, but it is also the first day of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I have never taken part in the proper NaNo before (although I did complete Camp NaNo – the mini version – this year.) So, for the month of November, I will be attempting to write a complete new project of 50,000+ words from scratch. Though I am mid-way through another book at the moment, I’ve decided to start a new story from my fantasy series – The Light and Shadow Chronicles.

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  • I have so many projects in the pipeline at the moment that it’s difficult to keep up with it all! I’ve created a spreadsheet of my books and the progress I’m making. My next book to be released will be The Shield of Soren (the adult version of ‘Soren’). Following that will be ‘Genesis of Light’.

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5* to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I simply couldn’t believe the sheer amount of ‘wow’ moments in this book! I read it in the space of 20 hours (which is quite impressive for a slow reader like myself!). From page one I was obsessed and thoroughly engrossed in the plot and the characters. It has the familiar old feeling of Harry Potter but with new characters in the forefront. It was amazing to see old characters back and to learn where they have gone and what they have done with their lives. Some of their stories brought a huge smile to my lips, while others made me gasp with disbelief or even wallow in pity and sadness.

This book made me feel a lot of things and at times I was fearful of turning the page in case something horrible happened to the new characters I have fallen in love with, or the old ones I’ve now fallen in love with all over again. The book is very cleverly written and allows readers to witness some old moments from the original books again, while turning others on their heads and giving alternative possibilities for if events had turned out differently. Brilliantly put together and an absolute pleasure to read. I am whole-heartedly back into obsessive Harry Potter fandom, and I have two new favourite characters. Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy have stolen my heart.

View all my reviews

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5* to Rise of the Elohim: The Spirit of Iris by Rocky Rochford

Rise of the Elohim - The Spirit of IrisRise of the Elohim – The Spirit of Iris by Rocky Rochford

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This fun, action-packed middle grade fantasy was a wonderful adventure. Crammed full of goblins, magic and sword fights, I was gripped from start to finish. The characters are wonderfully imagined (I particularly loved Izal and Zach) and the plot is simple enough to be followed by children, but involved enough to entertain adults as well. Another great piece of work by Rocky Rochford!

View all my reviews

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I Love The Corps

Today I am delighted to be hosting Christopher Dean, creator of the tabletop RPG ‘I Love The Corps’. (You can find out all about this awesome game here: http://www.ilovethecorps.com/)

He currently has a kickstarter campaign running to make the money needed to produce the awesome art needed for the project. Any help you could give would be enormously appreciated:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/222832406/i-love-the-corps-an-action-horror-and-military-sci

Without further ado, I hand over to Christopher to talk about his journey from games creator to writer:

From Writer, to Everything Else

chrisfaceMy name is Christopher (Chris, unless I am being formal) Dean, and I am currently ‘living the dream’ I have had for a long time, and facing the reality of actually knowing I will see books with my name on published.

The books in question are the three core books for ‘I Love the Corps’, a military sci-fi and horror role-playing game I designed. (For the uninitiated, think Dungeons and Dragons, but replace wizards fighting goblins with diehard marines vs alien monstrosities, and you have the right idea.)

I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I have been able to write down my ideas into coherent stories, but there were two major things that put me off really trying to get into it as a young one. Reason the first: though I am a fantastic ideas man, I could never, ever finish off a big story idea before more popped into my head. Reason the second: the concept of how you ‘get into it’ generally involved having a portfolio to present to people, and due to reason 1, I never really tried hard enough to make this happen.

When I hit my late 20s, realisation dawned on me: I had been successfully telling and giving others the chance to contribute to and complete my stories for the entire 16 years I had been largely Games Mastering role-playing game campaigns. 12 years ago was when I first created the game that became known as I Love the Corps as a very basic, largely free-form game. Why did I create this game? Because I wanted a system that did brutal, gung-ho, action, sci-fi horror, just like the movies, and I could not find one that did what I wanted, the way I wanted.

573e82b0fbe567228e4fb5325cdd0a8b_originalIt still never occurred to me I should do that as a living. What caused that realisation?

Other people. I have been running the game at conventions for the last three years, and the first time I did it, people wanted to buy it, and were confused and surprised when they couldn’t.

This gave me the drive to finally believe I could be a writer (I find that rarely ever comes on its own, as we artistic types are highly self-critical, it seems. I need a kick. Or several.)

But RPGs are big tasks to undertake, especially when you’re a largely one-man team writing, producing and coordinating freelancers and volunteers to do all of the things you can’t do, to turn it into a set of books which make a pen and paper game.

weighted-gauntlets-v2I quit my full time day job in June 2015; I had changed jobs, to a job that should have been less hours, and turned out not to be, and consumed too much of my time to allow me to write in my spare time, so I decided to get this darn game finished, living off savings.

I spent the first four months as a writer largely doing 50 hours weeks of writing, writing, writing. And because this is a game we’re talking about, this involved weekly playtesting, leading to finding lots of flaws, leading to more rewriting. Then the books went out to editors, and there was something of a lull. But then I was still testing and changing things, and when the proofs came back, it wasn’t just a case of correcting mistakes, but moving around so much of the text content, to make it readable as a book and usable as a game. But come January 2016, the big writing stuff was mostly done. Then, it was onto the hard, stuff, the Other Stuff.

interplanetary-insertion-craftI launched my Kickstarter in August. Everything leading up to that time was getting ready for it. So much of that time was research, research, research. I went to some conventions to showcase the game, which consumed a lot of time to prepare. A long period was spent coordinating finances and budgeting, working out what money I needed to raise to make the books a reality and the amount of art needed. Some RPGs get away with cheap and sparse art, but I had a backlog of people who wanted books comparable to books made by massive teams, the games they largely played, and though I could not compare to them, I spent many months finding and gathering artists, commissioning pieces and being lucky enough to get art of a quality far beyond my expectations.

And then, there’s the promotion; constantly, posting, blogging and trying to get notice on the vast of the internet. Making contacts, accruing favours, getting music, help from people to make videos… the list goes on. Now the Kickstarter is going, several hours a day are just spent reading and sending e-mails. It is exhausting. I don’t feel like I have got to be a writer for a long time, or at least, not a writer of games or fiction.

razor-ant-finalDo I regret it? Certainly not. I spent a large part of my life thinking my only skills, my creative skills, were not the skills I could get a rewarding career, and now, through committing myself to a passion project, I have not only improved my writing talents, but also learned a whole host of other skills that could allow me to continue on in the RPG industry (if Kickstarter is well received, books are enjoyed by backers and there is a future for selling the game after that) or could otherwise allow me to try another host of jobs. I have also earned a massive amount of respect from what I have been able to do with my dedication and perseverance through some hard times.

But, at the end of the day, I love my writing. There are so many ideas in my head, books to be written, and games to be made. So it is a burning hope of mine that I Love the Corps can succeed beyond the short term success of its successful Kickstarter launch.

When all this is said and done, it will be nice to sit down and just be a writer again, if just for a bit. Which is a wonderful thing to say. Despite everything else, I am a writer now.

Here’s those links again:

http://www.ilovethecorps.com/

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/222832406/i-love-the-corps-an-action-horror-and-military-sci

 

 

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Exciting times for D.M. Cain!

Well, summer 2016 has been a busy one. As a primary school teacher I have six weeks summer vacation in which to catch up with all the writing and editing I can’t do in the school term.

So, what have I been up to in these six weeks?

Aside from looking after my hyperactive, cheeky little 5 year old son, I’ve been away on two holidays – Snowdonia in Wales, and a cruise to the Norwegian fjords. Both had beautiful, mountain scenery – just what I need to get my writer’s inspiration flowing.

These two breaks, as well as a significant amount of time at home have allowed me to achieve the following:

Camp NaNoWriMo

My editor (and awesome friend) Pam Elise Harris asked me this July to take part in Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)  I was terrified of the concept of only having one month to complete a writing project, but I decided to go for it. As it was my first challenge, I set myself a manageable target of 20,000 words and started a brand new novella entitled ‘Origin of Shadow’.

I am delighted to announce that I managed to completed my target! I now have a shiny Camp NaNo winner’s certificate to be proud of!

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This story was written to complement Genesis of Light – a similar sized novella. Each of these novellas tells the story of the origin of one of the armies in my Light and Shadow Chronicles series. Origin of Shadow lets readers in on the secrets of how the Brotherhood of Shadow were formed.The two novellas will need to go through editing but I hoping to release them sometime next year (My cover designer, Irina French, is due to start work on the covers shortly!)


Author talk at Newbold Verdon library

On Wednesday 10th August I gave my first ever author talk at my local library. I did this 2.5 hour presentation/interactive Q&A with a fellow author named Stewart Bint (we live 500 yards from each other!). It was so much fun and the engagement from our audience was wonderful! I am pleased to say I even managed to sell a few copies! I can’t wait to do more events like this in the future.


#Writestorm marathon day

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July 31st was our first #writestorm marathon. Facebook group ‘The #Awethors’ (of which I am co-creator) joined in with a 24 hour writing marathon. People were not required to write all day (that would have been crazy!) but they were asked to select certain hour long periods entirely dedicated to adding words to their current Work-In-Progress. The #writestorm methodology is a concept developed by talented author Andy Mengel, which involves short, intense periods of writing which are timed and structured. This method allows authors the chance to blast out a high word count without distractions, and helps to feed motivation in the next writing session.

The event was a huge success! Between us we managed to write 41,000 words! No small feat of accomplishment for 24 hours. We’ll be sure to run more events like this in the future.

For more about the #writestorm process – check out the official handbook:

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GRAB YOUR COPY HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

 


I’ve finally finished the first rounds of edits for The Shield of Soren!

The next novel in my Light and Shadow Chronicles series is ‘The Shield of Soren’. The books in this epic fantasy series are not chronological so this new installment could be read before or after the first release ‘A Chronicle of Chaos’ (available to buy here – just saying…) There are some characters who will appear in The Shield of Soren whom you might know from A Chronicle of Chaos: Raven, Deacon, Callista, Vincent, the mysterious tattooed man in black…

Now I’ve finished first round of edits, the book will be heading back to my editor for round 2 and I am hoping to be finished editing by the end of 2016, with a view to release in 2017.


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What writing advancements has this summer brought for you?

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Scars and Souvenirs by Rocky Rochford

Rocky Rochford is a close friend of mine and a very talented multi-genre author. His highly anticipated newest release ‘Scars and Souvenirs’ is a collection of 10 short stories.

Releasing August 26th

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Author: Rocky Rochford

Title: Scars & Souvenirs

Series: None

Genre: Emotional Thriller

Book Content Rating: Adult!!! Contains swearing, scenes of death, depression and suicide.

Tag-line: “Darkness has many forms and Mares is its playground.”

Blurb:

Every scar tells a story, a tale of loss, or a tale of regret. The scars on my arms an echo of when times were hard. The scars on my eyes of the dreaded horrors I can never unsee. The scars on my soul a lasting memory of the sins that tore my soul apart. The scars on my heart from a love forever lost. The scars on my wrists, the end result of a failed attempt to end a life of brokenness. Each scar is a story.  A story begging to be told.


 

The following is an extract from the Devil Came to Drag Me to Hell

“You will bleed. You will cry. You will love and you will say goodbye to all those you hold dear. Life is repulsed by shadow and you reek of it. I look forwards to watching the show.”

His words made perfect sense.

Of course they would—they were my own.

Words I would tell myself when I was all alone.

The Devil knows all.

Especially the one that sits on your shoulder.

In the depths of your soul.

“Your wound isn’t deep and the knife didn’t hit anything vital. You will go on to live, knowing this is what you do to people. The poison that flows through your veins always finds a way to push those you hold dear away, no matter how hard you try to cling to them. You are the villain, John, and the villain is destined to fail.”

He reached out and grabbed me. His hands on my throat squeezed and then he began to drag me. The world I had left returned.

As did the sound of my heart beating.

And the air in my lungs.

My eyes opened.

I gasped.

The Devil had come to drag me to Hell, but like he said for the likes of me. There is only one kind of Hell, the life of an endless nightmare I live on a daily basis.

He dragged me back to my old life.

A life of scars.

****Here concludes today’s extract, for more check out the full collection when it releases next month. ****


Rocky Rochford Biography

Author Shot - Rocky Rochford 2015 Rocky Rochford is your standard guy, if your standard guy scuba dives, partakes in underwater photographer and is a wake-boarding, adventure seeking, sword collecting, marine conservation supporter. After living life on the road and the places between, he finally settled down but not without benefiting from all the lessons life had to teach him.

Self-professed “Student of Everything, and Master of Nothing,” Rochford does not choose what he writes, but writes what chooses him, be it fantasy, crime, poetry, philosophy or even adventure. Life is a journey we all get to experience, just like a good book.

Every read into another of his typed works is another trip into the imagination of his mixed up, crazed and deranged mind and this year along those works include the likes of full novels and novellas such as:

London CallingLondon Calling – a Deep Water Novel (Spy Thriller)

Don’t Even Blink – Part of the Don’t Turn Around Trilogy (Horror)

Wait and Bleed – The Don’t Turn Around Collection (Horror collection of the entire Don’t Trilogy)

And now The Eye of Mares – Book 2 of the Rise of the Elohim Chronicles (Illustrated YA fantasy adventure)

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Other works released by him, are a number of short stories pertaining to horror, paranormal and romance, as well as other works released as part of an anthology:

The Devil You Know (Paranormal short)

Salt in the Wound – Part of the Entwined Saga (Paranormal short)

The Food of Love (featuring Him & Her) – An Anthology by Solstice Publishing (Romance filled Anthology)

Him & Her (Romance Standalone release)

Don’t Say A Word (Horror)

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Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Volume II (featuring The Devil Before) – An Anthology by the Solstice Shadows (Paranormal themed Anthology)

Awethology Dark (featuring Ghosts) – An Anthology by the #Awethors (Adult stories pertaining to a darker theme)

The December Awethology Dark Volume (featuring Seven Years Bad Luck) – An Anthology by the #Awethors (Adult stories pertaining to a darker theme, set around December)

 

****Welcome to the World of Rochford****

Social Media Links:

Rocky Rochford’s website: rockyrochford.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IamRockyRochford/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RockyRochford

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7310280.Rocky_Rochford

Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Rocky-Rochford/e/B00O3AA3KU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1449272442&sr=8-1

 

Rochford writes a little something for everyone, so if Scars & Souvenirs isn’t your cup of tea, you can guarantee one of his many other works will be!