Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blogoversary: Author Interview & Giveaway: Richard Kadrey

Hi Everyone,
Today we have an author who has a dark and gritty style of writing that I personally LOVE. and could not put down his first novel

Please Welcome RICHARD KADREY to Blood Rose Books Today!

I like that you have stated that it has been stated on your website that you have “no qualification for anything he does”. Do you agree with this statement? Do you think you had an easier or harder time getting your books published because of this and why?
I was a terrible student and barely made it through high school. The I was tossed out of college. The “no qualifications” line is me encouraging other underachievers to keep working at what they love. A diploma won’t get you published. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with making it through school. I sometimes envy those who did, but being largely self-taught I want other people know that they can do it too.

When you created the Sandman Slim series did you create Stark first or the world?
The genesis of the series is a common one for writers but probably a frustrating one for readers because there was no master plan. The series came from two sentences, each in a different notebook. The first sentence was, “Hitman from Hell.” The second was, “Name for a character: Sandman Slim.” That’s it. After that it was simply a matter of following the logic of where Stark came from, where he was going and what he wanted.

What was the appeal of writing the Sandman Slim series in the Heaven vs. Hell type book?
George Bush gets all the credit for that even though he sure as hell wouldn’t want it. When Bush and his fundamentalist Christian cronies came to power I didn’t understand them so I started reading about the history of the Christianity. That led me to the Gnostics, the heretical Biblical books and the history of the Devil. Over 2000 years there have been a lot of competing theories about how the universe really works. It seemed to me that these stories could form the background for a fantasy story as well as any of the usual fairy and folktales. 

It appears that you have created a new or different structure of Heaven, Hell and how they interact with each other and those people on Earth, did you do any research on Heaven and Hell or created it how you thought it could be?
I did a lot of research. The religious elements that form the story background come from a lot of different religious and magical sects that I tossed into a blender and set on puree. I wanted to create my own mythology within the context of a specific belief system but not be tied to any single line of thought o rules. Partly it was more fun and partly I didn’t want readers to get too far ahead of the story if they figured out certain Gnostic or Kabbalistic ideas. I wanted to be able to surprise everyone, even those who recognized the more obscure bits of religious theory I was playing with.

Stark clearly has the anti-hero thing going for him, what do you think is the appeal of the anti-hero?
I don’t believe in anti-heroes. Few so-called heroes ever set out to be one. Anti-heroes are people who are just a little more vocal about not wanting to be dragged into saving a sinking ship, a busload of kittens of the world.

It has been stated by another reviewer that your books are similar to a Noir style film, do you have any interest in writing and developing a Noir film?
Sandman Slim has been optioned and a screenwriter is working on a first draft of the script right now. I helped develop the screen story but I have no idea if any of my ideas will be in the final script. It’s been fun learning more about how movies are made but in the end the movie belongs to the producers and the books belong to me.

You have a history in comic books and a passion for photography, any thoughts of combining the tow together?
No. When I finish a book my brain is so full of words that I’m almost incoherent. I have to get away from words to I go to photography, a purely visual medium. After a while, my brain fills full of images and I run back to words. Writing and photography are the cure for each other. As for comics, I’m talking over some ideas with a publisher right now but nothing has been signed so I can’t say much more than that.

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
I’m working on the fourth Sandman Slim book right now. It starts exactly 100 days after book three, Aloha From Hell. The next three books are built on a story arc that I hope will rewrite the history of everything in the universe.
What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new one or an old favorite).
The Contortionist's Handbook by Craig Clevenger.

I really want to thank Ricahrd for being part of my Blogoversary. I really enjoy his writing style, honesty, and the characters he has created. Richard's publisher has very kindly donated 2 copies of the second book in the Sandman slim series Kill the Dead (Giveaway information before). To find out more information about Richard and the Sandman Slim book, check out my review of Sandman Slim as well as Richard's website. Thank You once again Richard!

1.  You do not need to be a Follower to participate, but it is always nice for you to join
2. Please Fill out the Form BELOW in order to enter
3. This Giveaway is Open to Canada/USA
4. The Giveaway ENDS on October 7, 2011
5. The winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hrs to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen
6.Books provided by Publisher

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Blogoversary: Author Interview Donna Ball (writing as Donna Boyd)

Hi Everyone,
I am please to introduce an author whose books span a wide range of genres and readers

Please Welcome DONNA BALL writing as Donna Boyd to the blog today!!!

You have written numerous books over the years, yet you have written several of them under different pseudonyms. Why do you use several different names to publish your works?
I write in multiple and widely varied genres—everything from western adventure to supernatural suspense.  Publishers used to believe that readers wouldn’t follow a writer from one genre to the other, so when I switched genres I generally switched pen names.  These days, of course, it’s easy for anyone to Google his favorite author and find all the different pseudonyms, and I have found that there is quite a bit of cross over by readers between my different pen-names.

You write both series and stand alone novels, which do you prefer to write and Why?
That’s a difficult question.  I love writing series, because I can explore the characters’ stories in greater depth if I have several books in which to do it.  The characters really start to live and grow and become part of your everyday life in a series.  However, when the publisher inevitably cancels the series before I have finished telling the story, my heart is broken, my readers’ hearts are broken, and I am tormented by those characters’ untold stories for the rest of my life!  So while series are what I prefer, stand alone books are safer.

Do you remember the first book that you wrote? How old were you and did this inspire you to become a full time writer?
Oh my, that does take me back.  My first “book” was written when I was nine years old and it was a romance.  I suspect it was inspired by one of the soap operas my mother watched.  It received fabulous reviews from family and friends (although my mother, a Southern Baptist, found it a bit racy for her taste), and from that moment on I was hooked.  It’s worth noting that I wrote 20-30 subsequent books before finally writing one that was publishable.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
I think roman a clef would be the hardest for me, because anything that is tied to reality takes the adventure out of writing for me.  Half my motivation for writing is to see what happens next, and if I already know the ending… well, what’s the point?

You also have a passion for expressionistic painting and art, do you find that painting and writing complement each other when you are working on the other?
I use my painting to refuel my creative self.  Writing is enormously stressful, with an extremely long delayed gratification cycle.   I can finish a painting in a few days, or a week, and then I can step back and say “Wow!  Look at that!”  and I have something to hang on my walls.  When I’m not on a deadline (and I actually can’t remember the last time I wasn’t on a deadline) I try to make a ritual of “art Sundays”, in which I take every Sunday off to do nothing but paint.

 When you ventured into the paranormal romance genre, why did you choose werewolves? What inspired you to write about them?
I felt werewolves were the under-explored species of the paranormal genre.  Everyone was clinging to the same tired old myths—the silver bullets, the full moon, the excruciating change from human to wolf, the human-killing, ya-de-ya.  I was determined to take that worn-out construct and turn it inside out.  My inspiration was the simple arrogance of the human race.  What if we are not, in fact, the only sentient species on earth?  What if we’re not even the dominant one?

The Passion focuses on the werewolf culture, what type of research did you do to put so much detail into the werewolf culture?
To be honest, the foundation for the character of the werewolf species I created comes from a thorough understanding of canine behavior.  I had to know who they were and what they valued before I could begin to imagine their culture.  A small example:  domestic dogs value something that is stolen (taken from a human or a fellow canine without permission) far more than if the same thing were freely given.  The lie is one of the most difficult concepts for a canine to master, so it makes sense that in werewolf culture, a well-told lie would also be highly valued.  For the creation of the actual myths and legends that populate The Promise , I am eternally grateful to my former writing partner Shannon Harper  (one half of Leigh Bristol and Taylor Brady) who did all the historical research on that book.

    What was the most important aspect of this werewolf culture, within The Passion and The Promise that you wanted the readers to be aware of?
There were so many things I wanted readers to think about: the duality of our nature, the eternal battle between dark and light, savagery and restraint that exists both in us and in our mythical werewolf counterparts; the fact that the supposed “savage” werewolf actually values human life more than we ourselves do; the modern-day werewolf who has achieved global dominance by choosing, every day, not to succumb to his lower nature (I love the fact that in their culture, a child’s jumping rhyme includes the line “I shall not kill today, my friend, I shall not kill today”.)  But I think the take-away from the entire series is laid out in the prologue of The Passion:  I have known Nature, and I have known Civilization. Civilization is better.

Are you able to share any information on upcoming works or events?
I am delighted to announce, for your Blogoversary, that Renegade, the long awaited sequel to The Passion and The Promise is now ready for publication.  The circuitous (and tortuous!) route this book has taken over the past twelve years would make a book in itself, but  rest assured—every I is dotted and every T is crossed and we are a go for launch.  I will be releasing details on my web site over the next few months but this is what I can tell my beloved, faithful readers: You will be shocked.  You will be horrified.  You will want more. 

What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new book or an old favorite).

Okay, this will sound odd given all of the above but I hate, I mean actively hate what passes for urban fantasy these days.  Having said that, I’ve recently discovered the Iron Druid series by Kevin Hearne, and it’s like ice cream dipped in dark chocolate coated with caramel for me: I totally can’t resist.  Hexed is on my Kindle now, and as soon as I finish all my other proper literary obligations I can’t wait to dive in.

Thank you for including me in your Blogoversary edition!  I am honored. 

I want to say thank you once again to Donna for being a part of my Blogoversary, and for sharing the news on sequel to the Passion and The Promise. I am very excited to see what happens next. You can check out my review of The Passion and stop by Donna Ball's website, for more information on her other books.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Blogoversary Author Interview & Giveaway: Dakota Banks

Hi Everyone,
Today I am very excited to bring you an author that really started me on the path of trying to find new authors who were on the darker side of the paranormal genre,

Please Welcome DAKOTA BANKS to Blood Rose Books today!

You began your writing within the suspense thrillers with a virtual reality science fiction aspect to them and you state you felt hemmed in by reality. Why did you feel hemmed in even by the science fiction genre?
My suspense thrillers (the PJ Gray series by Shirley Kennett, my real name) were intended to give readers a view into the developing world of forensic computer simulation. An elementary example would be a vehicle accident recreation shown in 2D or a 3D rendering on a flat screen. The cars approach the corner, the blue car runs the stoplight, and boom. That’s known as looking through the window virtual reality, meaning the viewer is outside the action and the cars aren’t seen at full size, just two inches long on the screen. In the PJ Gray books I used immersive virtual reality so the viewer becomes an actor in the scene (by wearing special glasses), can manipulate things, and the surroundings appear life-sized. I also enhanced the VR with artificial intelligence, so the computer could run through a homicide simulation using its best guess about how the crime was committed. All of this is what hard science fiction means to me: extrapolating current trends and technology and then looking at the effects on society. But I still kept things feasible and grounded in reality, even if it’s the reality of the near future. 

Then I became intrigued with writing about phenomena that puzzle us now for which there may be no scientific explanations in the future, either because humans are flat-out making this stuff up or because we can’t wrap our minds around them. Examples: remote viewing, seeing auras, the gods and demons of ancient mythologies affecting our lives. That last one was the seed for the Mortal Path books.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
I think horror is truly difficult to write. The Mortal Path books have elements of horror in them, but building an entire book around horror and sustaining the feeling in the reader for more than brief scenes would be tough. I don’t mean slash and splash that is a pale imitation of horror. Anybody could do that.

The paranormal genre has grown within the past 5 years, what do you think it is about your books that have helped them stand out from other authors?
The paranormal genre has come to be almost synonymous with stories about vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, witches, ghosts, and the occasional zombie—especially vampires and werewolves. The Mortal Path books don’t have any of those characters, so they’re bucking the trend. Instead, the stories are based on ancient Sumerian legends come to life. A three-hundred-year-old woman used to be a Sumerian demon’s assassin, but now she’s into redeeming her soul by saving lives instead of taking them. I worried at first if I would find a publisher willing to take a chance on the series, but the HarperCollins’ Voyager imprint was eager to take it on and promote it as a fresh twist on the urban fantasy series.

There are various type of “Monsters” within the paranormal genre, why did you choose to focus on Demons and their Ageless Servants?
The demons I use are the Utukki, straight from Sumerian mythology, with cool names like Rabishu (Croucher), Tirid (Expulsion), and Sidana (Staggers). These demons were tasked with causing chaos, death, diseases, and general evil-run-amuck among humans. I’ve done a lot of research so that my stories fit neatly with the legends but allow me a departure point. The Ageless are my invention. They’re humans who’ve made deals to follow demonic orders (chaos, etc.) in exchange for immortality. This lets me explore evil and redemption outside the usual Judeo-Christian mindset, which means anything goes. So now we’re back to putting things in the stories that aren’t even vaguely grounded in reality. Fun! What’s a sparkly vampire compared to the Demon Rabishu?

The premise of your Mortal Path series is about redemption, what appealed to you about a redemption story?
I wanted to work with a character who was initially good, then became sucked in by evil and gloried in it. She stays young and beautiful, and lives a decadent life, by being a demon’s assassin, always furthering his evil plans. Could I take a reprehensible person like that and convincingly transform her into a seeker of justice and a saver of souls, including her own? Someone worthy of deep
friendship and love? Someone the reader would root for? My character, Maliha Crayne, is a work in progress who can sometimes alienate and go down the wrong path, but readers seem caught up in her quest, as am I.

I know I am interested in learning and exploring more of the Demon world you have created, are we going to see more of Rabishu in the next novel as well as more of the hierarchy of the Demon world?
Absolutely. As more Ageless are introduced, we see the demons they serve, and Maliha will be interacting with Ageless in every book, since she used to be one. There is also a story line that continues in every book concerning Maliha’s quest to collect artifacts that when assembled, can be used to destroy the demons. The idea in the story is that the activities of these demons over the last half a million years have stunted the advancement of the human race. If Maliha succeeds in destroying them and we’re freed—of war, disease, even death—what’s the future of humankind when we can finally express ourselves to the fullest? Okay, it’s a big idea, but this is a series. Series should have big ideas behind them.
Especially within your second book Sacrifice of your Mortal Path series, none of you characters appear to be safe, is this important aspect when writing a storyline and characters that can be hurt or killed off? Are you less attached to the characters because of this?
In the third book, Deliverance, this mortal fear is even more prominent. I don’t think any of the series characters are or should be safe, because of the dark nature of the battle for redemption. I’ve never promised that Maliha will succeed in saving her soul, or in the grand idea of killing off the demons. The odds were stacked against her from the start, and as she ages more and more of the abilities she enjoyed as an Ageless slip away from her. She’s going to have to work for every inch of progress. The friends she’s gathered around her might not all make it to the end of the series. My problem is I’m very attached to all of them. If a character is hurt or dies in this series, you can be guaranteed my tears are already on the page by the time the book reaches you.

You have created a very interesting possible triangle between Maliha, Jake and Lucius. Are we going to see more of the two male characters in future novels?
Yes. Or No....

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
Deliverance, book 3, will be released in March 2012. There’s been a delay between the publication of books 2 and 3 due to my sister’s slide into poor health and passing away. It’s hard to say it even now. She and I were very close and my writing fell by the wayside for a while. My editor was kind enough to work with me on the deadline for book 3, and I hope readers of the series will be patient. 

What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new or old favorite).
I was in the audience at the International Thriller Writers Awards Banquet in New York in July 2011. I heard J.T. Ellison speak as she accepted the Thriller Award for Best Paperback for her book The Cold Room. As I saw her overcome with genuine emotion on the stage, I felt respect flowing from one writer to another—not just from me, but from the whole audience. I have a copy of that book signed by J.T. I haven’t even read Chapter One, but I know it’s going to be great.

I want to thank you to Dakota for agreeing to be part of my Blogoversary and I cant wait to get my hands on the third book in the Mortal Path series Deliverance. If you would like to find out more about Dakota's books, check out my reviews of Dark Time and Sacrifice as well as check out Dakota Banks' Website.. Dakota has very nicely offered a one SIGNED copy (either ebook or paperback, will be winner choice) of the second book in the Mortal Path Series Sacrifice. Thank you once again Dakota.

1.  You do not need to be a follower to participate, but it is always nice for you to join
2. Please Fill out the Form BELOW in order to enter
3. This Giveaway is Open Internationally
4. The Giveaway ENDS on October 7, 2011
5. The winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hrs to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen
6.Book provided by Dakota Banks

Friday, September 23, 2011

Blogoversary Author Interview & Giveway: Richard Doetsch

Hi Everyone,
Make sure you check out all the other interviews and giveaways by checking out the Blogoversary Tab or Picture at the top of the page.

Today we have an author that I just discovered this past year and I am very excited to read more and more of his books.

Please Welcom RICHARD DOETSCH to Blood Rose Books today!

Real estate, Extreme Sports and Writer, these do not seem to have anything in common to the regular individual, however, they are all passions of yours, what do they have in common for you?
They all in one way, shape, or form involve thrills and puzzles. In real estate you have the good and bad thrills of the transaction and the puzzle of trying to figure out how to create deals in volatile markets with people who only have their own goals in mind.
Whether it is skydiving, bunging jumping, or scuba there is an adrenaline component to what I love to do, a thrill aspect that creates a natural high, and a good type of addiction plus I’m always looking to figure out new ways to top myself with excitement.
And writing, for me is trying to capture all of those moments from life melding them into an exciting story, creating intricate puzzle-like mysteries and thrills that keeps the reader turning pages and up all night trying to get to the end before they have to go to work. It’s great fun to jump out of plane and turn that experience into a scene when I get home. Many times, it doesn’t even have to be the jump, or the scuba dive appearing in the story but rather the emotions of it the thrill, the sweaty palms which can be used for so many different scenes and moments

What made you pick up a pen to become an author? Can you remember an experience or a book that inspired you?
About seven years ago, I was looking for a story that was different, that combined certain elements beyond the usual thrills: deeper characters, interesting facts, anti-heroes and a slight tinge of the impossible. When I couldn’t find it I decided to write the book I wanted to read which became The Thieves of Heaven. I was a voracious reader when I was younger of everything from Alistair MacLeane, to Dickens, Ludlum to Twain all of which drove my passion for story. These writers and many like them became my writing school, though I didn’t know it at the time. 

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why? 
I already combine elements of historical fiction with romance, mystery, and thrillers…. I suppose it would have to be a decade spanning drama, one with multiple generations. The stories all have these central arcs but you have to illustrate it over decades or centuries creating characters whose lives can only tell a portion of the story. You can end up with dozens of main characters and that is not an easy task to get your mind around. But, to me, it makes it a challenge and something I would want to try. Previously, I had never seen a book written backwards and thought it would be a terrific challenge to attempt, so I wrote The 13th Hour which was not only one of the funnist things I’ve created but a story that has sold worldwide and will soon be a movie from New Line Cinema.

You have a written a good old fashioned but modernized Good vs Evil tale, what was the appeal in writing this type of story line?
It is the most basic stories and thematically is found in one way, shape, or form in most books. In The Thieves of Heaven, even though Michael St. Pierre is a thief he is still good, he is still the hero but he is painted in shades of gray which, to me, always makes the character more interesting and relatable. The same holds true for August Finster, a man whose darkness is painted with varying colors, who cares for Michael and his plight to save his wife , but who ultimately is only out for himself. So while it is a tale of good vs evil each has certain qualities that you wouldn’t expect in your heroes and villains. 

I know you created Michael St. Pierre as a thief on purpose in order to give him a certain type of skill set outside of the more typical ex-military or law enforcement types, Do you think that Michael’s skill set and anti-hero aspect are more conducive to a thriller series?
I love the anti-hero, the Butch Cassidy Robin Hood type, those likeable characters who, though breaking the laws of the land, heart, and God, still do the right thing. To me the white night, the good sheriff, or the all around do-gooder can become boring, can be predictable. I think as a thriller writer it is my responsibility to entertain, to keep the reader guessing and involved and turning the pages as fast as he can. To get there I need someone who will break the law, who challenges the status quo, who will do anything including breaking the laws of man, the heart, and God to achieve his goal. Besides it makes them all the more fun to write. 

I found Simon to be a very interesting character within the book. He follows God, yet was able to justify killing people as God’s work. Did you want Simon to be a different type of anti-hero, one that came from the church instead of regular society? 
Simon is really an illustration of the type of person who will go to any extreme to defend what he believes in. We all have a strong faith in our beliefs be they religious, political, family; I always love the person who will go to the ends of the earth to put their lives on the line for what they believe in.

Is there something extreme that Michael has attempted that you would like to attempt? 
Actually everything that Michael has done short of breaking into places comes from my life. The opening scene of The Thieves of Darkness where Michael St. Pierre is skydiving onto a 3,000 foot prison mesa comes directly from my life experiences (the prison is creative license), when he is falling from the plane at 13,500 that is not imagination, but reality. If there were no consequences I would love to see if I could break into some spectacular place with high security like The Louvre, The White House, or The Kremlin, it would be such a fun challenge to overcome the various obstacles constructed by the top security firms, to run around some forbidden place in the dark, being chased with no idea if my escape plan would work, to have to think my way out of pending doom.

You give a fantastic description of the Vatican even how many steps it takes to get from one place or another. I know you spend a lot of time researching in the library but have you had the opportunity to visit the Vatican? 
Sadly, I’ve never been there, my kids varying schedules rarely gives us a moment when we can travel as a family to far off places. Though, as a result of my research I could probably tell you about almost every nook, cranny, and artifact as well as any tour guide.

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share? 
My latest Novel, Half-Past Dawn will be released September 27 from Atria/Simon & Schuster. The basic summary is:
Awakening to the mistaken headline that he and his wife, Mia, have been killed, District Attorney, Jack Keeler has only until dawn tomorrow to uncover an ancient mystery hidden in the depths of one of the country's most heavily guarded prisons. A thriller spanning time, an Asian people out of legend, an assassin who will stop at nothing to avenge his death sentence, and a diary who's contents may foretell the future, Half-Past Dawn is a race through the boarders of life and death, insanity and reason, and dreams and reality. 24 hours to find his wife, 24 hours to find his children, 24 hours before fate catches up with Keeler... and the rest of the world. 
I wrote this story in late 2009 as a personal challenge to see if I could keep myself guessing while creating something new and different. As with all of my stories, it's never going where you think it's going though it does travel upon a break-neck rollercoaster and promises as much fun as The 13th Hour.
In addition, the screenplay for my novel, The 13th Hour, is done and will soon be in production at New Line Cinema, and I’m near completion on the screenplay adaptation of my novel The Thieves of Darkness which we will be announcing shortly, though I can say that I’m co-writing the screenplay with a major player in both huge blockbuster films and a big hit TV. And if you weren’t aware, Fox bought The Thieves of Heaven and it was adopted by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver who wrote and produced this year’s Rise of The Planet of The Apes which was fantastic. 

What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new or old favorite)? There are two: Moby Dick, which I haven’t read in 20 years and Ian Fleming’s Moonraker, the only James Bond novel I haven’t finished. For those unaware most of Flemings books have nothing to do with the movies titled after them. 

I want to say Thank You to Richard for being part of my Blogoversary event. Richard has very nicely aggreed to have a giveaway and has some great books offered. The Giveaway is for 1 SIGNED hardcover of  The 13th Hour, 1 SIGNED hardcover of Thieves of Darkness and 1 SIGNED hardcover copy of Half Past Dawn. If you would like to find out more about Richard's book check out my review of Thieves of Heaven and Richards Website. Thank you once again Richard

1.  You do not need to be a follower to participate, but it is always nice for you to join
2. Please Fill out the Form BELOW in order to enter
3. This Giveaway is Open Internationally
4. The Giveaway ENDS on October 7, 2011
5. The winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hrs to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen
5. Books have been provided by Richard Doetsch

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Blogoversary Author Interview & Giveaway: T. C. Lotempio

Hi Everyone,
I am very pleased to have the following author with us today. Her book was one of the first indie books that I ever read and lets just say that I am now hooked.

Please Welcome TONI LOTEMPIO to Blood Rose Books Today

The paranormal genre has grown in the past 5 years. Why did you decide to write within this genre and how do you think your books stand out?
I’ve always been a fan of anything supernatural – my dad took me to horror movies when I was little and I loved, loved, loved the soap opera DARK SHADOWS. I try to put elements in my books that aren’t as commonplace, like voodoo and parallel time to try and set them apart from the normal vamp/were/witch. 

You began your author career with Bound by Blood, which you have classified as paranormal suspense, why did you choose to change to paranormal romance?
I love the mystery/suspense genre, have ever since I started reading Nancy Drew/Perry Mason when I was a kid. But romances sell better, so I made the switch. I’d classify my books more as romantic suspense. There are people who don’t’ think I have enough romance in ‘em.
What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
I think maybe a techno-thriller would be tough to write for me. I’m not very scientific oriented. Throw in stuff about chromosomes and biological splits and I’m totally lost. I’m also not very big on books about war, unless it’s space aliens. Then I might be interested. 

You are a staff reporter and a reviewer for other author’s books, do you think that reviewing other people’s works have helped you become a better author?
Absolutely! I think any kind of writing that you do helps you become a better writer. The more you do something, the better you get at it. 
What do you think that the most important thing for a reviewer to do when they are writing a review for a book?
I think it’s important to keep an open mind and to be very honest in your opinion of the book. I try not to be influenced by other reviews I might have read and to judge it on its own merit.

In No Rest for the Wicca, you have chosen to focus on voodoo, what appealed to you about voodoo over “regular” witchcraft?
I thought the dark side of voodoo, or “hoodoo” as it’s called, might be more interesting to write about – the lwas, or gods, the customs – and let’s not forget the zombies! I thought it might be something different.

Have you had any personal experience with voodoo?
Does buying one of those little dolls made to look like your boss so you can stick pins in it count? LOL. No, I have no personal experience. I did get much more interested in it after I saw the movie THE SKELETON KEY. That was the inspiration for another of my novels put out by Whiskey Creek Press, EBONY.

As an indie author, what has been the most challenging aspect in getting your book out there for people to read?
Finding time to do it all J It’s a lot of work – blog tours, doing interview, etc. Got to juggle a lot when you also work a 9-5 day job.
Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
I’m planning on releasing a Raven Grace novella around the holidays, and next year I’ll be releasing a YA indie with a tie –in to the Dark Shadows Movie in April. Maybe another paranormal/uf, but now that I have an agent I’ll have to wait and see. He’s got first dibs on my new manuscripts! 

What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new or old favorite).
I can’t wait to read Michelle Rowen’s new paranormal mysteries featuring her character from BITTEN AND SMITTEN, Sarah Dearly! Unfortunately they won’t be out till 2012! Right now I’m going through Mary Janice Davidson’s Undead series – I’m up to book five.

I want to Thank Toni, for being part of my Blogversary. You can find out more about Toni's books by checking out my review of her No Rest For The Wicca novel and by Checking out her webiste: Toni Lotempio PNR Author. Toni has agreed to participate in an interview and she is giving away ONE Ebook copy of No Rest for the Wicca as well as ONE Ebook copy of Raven's Kiss. Thank You once again Toni for taking the time for this interview and giveaway, and I'm very excited for your next books.

1.  You do not need to be a follower to participate, but it is always nice for you to join
2. Please Fill out the Form BELOW in order to enter
3. This Giveaway is Open Internationally
4. The Giveaway ENDS on October 7, 2011
5. The winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hrs to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen
5. EBooks are provided by Toni LoTempio

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Blogoversary Author Interview: Kari Stewart

Hi Everyone,
Make sure you check out all the other interviews and giveaways by checking out the Blogoversary Tab or Picture at the top of the page.
Today we have an author who I think took a different approach in the paranormal world and has created a fantastic world and characters.

Please Welcome K. A. Stewart (aka Kari Stewart)  to Blood Rose Books today.

The Paranormal genre has seen a huge increase in authors and books over the last five years, what made you decide to have your first book enter into that genre?
It’s a genre that I love, first and foremost.  I’ve always been a fantasy nut, and  then when urban fantasy started popping up, it just seemed so logical!  Of course,  magic in the real world!  I was really excited to go play with that concept.  I think  I’d have probably written the JJD novels even if UF wasn’t popular, just because  it’s a story I love.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
Keep in mind that this answer is subjective.  There are a lot of things I’m not sure  I could write.  Military thrillers, for one.  Romance, for another.  Not because  there’s anything wrong with those things, but just because that’s not where my  heart is, and I believe that writers should write what they love.  That love shows  through in the quality of the work.

Within the Paranormal genre there are various types of monsters and creatures to focus on, what drew you to and what was the appeal of the Demon aspect?
In Jesse’s world, I knew that I wanted to make it as close to our own reality as  possible, but a little more warped.  Vampires and werewolves running around was  just too much, it wasn’t the feel I was going for.  Demons, on the other hand…  They’re sneaky, they’re subtle, and in the end, we (humans) are simply our own  worst enemy.  You never know when a demon is watching, when the voice you  hear whispering to you isn’t your own.  And I like the creepy-factor in that.  Who  do you trust?

You main character is male, which is growing in popularity, but the vast majority of authors us a female protagonist (as it seems that most people who read this genre are women), what were the pros and cons for you about having a male protagonist?
I actually started the JJD series because my husband wanted to see more male  protagonists.  At that time, the big name in male-lead UF was the Dresden Files,  but after that, you really had to search.  There were others, of course, but they  were far outnumbered by the female leads.  My husband wanted to see a hero  more like him, just a dude who stepped up when life called.  And that’s really  where Jesse came from.  I didn’t think in pros and cons, because I just figured if  one person wanted to see more guys, there were others out there who did, too.   And it turns out I was right.

You have Jesse James focus his talents around the samurai ways, have you done any training in the samurai ways or something similar?
No formal training, no.  The idea for Jesse following the bushido came from my  husband, who has always been interested in that time in history.  In the course of  researching for the series, I’ve gained quite a bit of knowledge myself, but it’s all  from books.  Now, I have gleaned basic fighting techniques from my daughter’s  karate sensei.  I know a lot about sword-making and usage from some friends  (  Things I piece together to get the facts that I need.   Ideally, someday, I want to do martial arts training myself, but it’s one of those  things that I’ll get around to eventually.
I found it interesting that you had Jesse be the character within the book that did not have any type of powers, why did you decide to make Jesse the “weak” one?
I don’t consider Jesse weak.  If anything, he has to be stronger than anyone else,  because he’s working at a disadvantage.  His power comes, not from supernatural  means, but from his force of will and determination.  And I did that deliberately,  because I wanted Jesse to be anybody.  He could be you, or me, or that guy  standing next to you.  He’s just an ordinary guy, who happens to live an  extraordinary life.

As you are a new author on the scene, what was the most difficult experience or aspect you had to get around in order to get your book published?
I actually got really lucky in my journey into publishing. I have friends who have  seen rejection letters numbering in the hundreds, but for me the process went  relatively fast.  The writing and refining of that first book took way longer than  the actual process of finding an agent and getting it sold to a publisher.  If  anything, the most difficult part is inside my own head, that little voice that  always asks “Well, what if you’re not good enough?”  Like I said, we are our own  worst enemies.

Besides reading and writing what are some other hobbies that you enjoy partaking in?
I like archery (longbow or recurve, not compound).  I grew up around horses, so  I’ve always loved horseback riding, but I don’t get to do it much anymore.  I play  World of Warcraft, which probably makes me a pretty big geek.  I still draw and  paint from time to time, though most of my creative impulses go into writing  anymore.  And I collect obscure musical instruments.

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
Book 3 of the JJD series should be out next summer, but I don’t have a concrete  release date yet.  (I don’t even have a firm title yet.)  And I’m currently working  on rewriting a few other works that are unrelated to Jesse’s world, in the hopes  that I can get some other projects into publishing condition.
What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new or old favorite).
Actually, I recently decided that I’m going to re-read ALL of the Dresden Files  novels, so that’s on my to do list.  I’m in the middle of Rob Thurman’s Basilisk at  the moment, and I also have Kevin Hearne’s new Iron Druid series to get into.   And there are a TON of new books out this year that I’m dying to read, so my  reading schedule should be pretty busy.

 I have only read the first book in this series but I was very entertained by the book, and really loved the characters that she developed. It is nice to have some strong Male leads in books these days as everything seems to have strong female lead. For more information about Kari's books check out my review of A Devil in the Detials as well as Kari's Website. Thank you once again Kari for the Author Interview.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Blogoversary Author Interview & Giveaway: L.J. Sellers

Hi Everyone,
Make sure you check out all the other interviews and giveaways by checking out the Blogoversary Tab or Picture at the top of the page.

Today we have an indie author who I was just introduced to a few weeks ago but I am very excited to delve into the next book in her Thriller Series.

Please Welcome L.J. SELLERS to Blood Rose Books Today

Can you remember the first book that you wrote? Did it inspire you further to be a writer?
Indeed, I can. I sat down on August 7, 1989 and started a book called Personal Justice. It wasn’t publishable, but I had a blast writing it and started another one immediately after. I knew then that storytelling was my future and that someday I would make a living from fiction. It took a little longer than I expected, but I got there.

Do you find that having a background in both journalism and editing helps you as an author? How does it help you?
My journalism career taught me sound writing principles, and it also gave me self-discipline. I don’t have writer’s block. I map out my story, then sit down and write it. I may get stuck sometimes with plot issues that need rethinking, or have days that the words are slow, but once I start a story, I usually finish the first draft within a few months. On the other hand, editing fiction taught me to look for the same errors in my own work. So now I self-edit a lot as I’m writing.

What has been your biggest challenge you have had as an indie author?
I have the same struggle as all new authors: to connect with readers and get them to try my books. As an indie though, reaching readers is more challenging because I’m not eligible for review by the major publications, or by some minor ones either, nor can I enter award contests. So indies still face barriers and stigmas that make promotion harder.

Most of your books appear to fall within the thriller genre. With authors like James Patterson and Jeffrey Archer, do you think that it is a harder genre to break into?
Five of my titles are technically police procedurals, a subcategory of the mystery/detective genre, which has plenty of bestselling authors as well. Three of my novels are standalone thrillers, but all very different. Genre novels, compared to literary fiction, are actually selling better as ebooks, so I don’t think my stories face any tougher competition than any other genre. So many people read thrillers that it may actually be easier to find an audience.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
Any genre that I don’t read would be challenging to write in, but for me fantasy would be the most difficult. My novels are all grounded in realism, even my futuristic thriller.
You recently released a book that is outside the thriller genre and moved more towards futuristic thriller genre. Why the change and did you have difficulty changing to a new genre?
After writing five Detective Jackson novels, I needed a creative challenge. I also had so much fun writing from Lara Evans perspective in my last Jackson book I decided she needed her own story. In addition, I’d always wanted to write a futuristic thriller because some of my favorite books are in that genre (The Tomorrow File, The Handmaid’s Tale), and I had been thinking about the future a lot. So all those things came together and The Arranger evolved.

You tackle tough topics in your books. The Sex Club is about youth having sex and about a religious fanatic. How do you find that most readers respond to these topics and why did you choose such topics?
The Sex Club is my most provocative title, and at the time I wrote it, I felt strongly about the subject. I was concerned that abstinence-only sex education would have significant negative consequences for teenagers…and it did. My other novels also highlight social issues I care about, but they’re less political. I chose the crimes and issues I feel most passionately about or am most fearful of. I believe fear and passion are the best story drivers.

You have five books within your Detective Jackson series and you have three standalone novels. Do prefer to write a series or standalone? What are your plans for your new futuristic novel, The Arranger?
As a reader, I like both series and standalones, and as a novelist I enjoy both as well. There’s more freedom and creativity in a standalone, but there’s more structure and comfort zone in writing a series. So doing both is a great mix. The Arranger officially launches next month, and I’m doing an extended blog tour, as well as several promotions aimed at Kindle and Nook readers. I’m hoping to reach a whole new set of readers, but I also expect many of my Jackson fans to try the book as well. My beta readers have already asked if I plan to start a new series with Lara in the future—because they loved it and want more. It was meant to be a standalone, but I’ll keep my options open.

I know that we touched on it above, but could you please give us more information about The Arranger, and any other works or events that you have planned?
The Arranger features Lara Evans from my Detective Jackson series, but it’s set 13 years in the future, and Lara is no longer a detective and is working as a freelance paramedic in a bleak new world. She witnesses a crime, then goes to Washington D.C. to compete in the Gauntlet. There, she spots the shooter lurking in the arena, and soon lands in serious trouble. 

Here’s the short blurb: In 2023, ex-detective Lara Evans just wants to win the Gauntlet, a national endurance competition, but a mysterious assailant wants her dead. Can she stop the killer and survive long enough to claim victory? 

I’m currently working on the sixth book in my Detective Jackson series.

What is one book on your shelf that you cannot wait to read (can either be a new or old favorite).
There are so many thriller and crime fiction novels that look good to me right now, but I just downloaded Before I Go to Sleep, which is about a woman with anterograde amnesia. I find the subject fascinating, and the book has terrific reviews.

I want to that L. J. for participating in my Blogoversary. If you would like to find out more about L.J.'s books you can check out my review of The Sex Club and L.J.'s website. L.J. has also very nicely offered two Ebook copies of the first book in her Detective Jackson series The Sex Club and two Ebook copies of her new book The Arranger. That you once again L. J.

1.  You do not need to be a follower to participate, but it is always nice for you to join.
2. Please Fill out the Form BELOW in order to enter 
3. This Giveaway is Open Internationally
4. The Giveaway ENDS on October 7, 2011
5. The winners will be notified via email and will have 48 hrs to respond, otherwise a new winner will be chosen
6. EBooks are provided by L.J. Sellers