Enter the Magicians

Three Mages and a Margarita Book Cover Three Mages and a Margarita
The Guild Codex: Spellbound #1
Annette Marie
New Adult, Urban Fantasy
September 14th 2018
Broke, almost homeless, and recently fired. Those are my official reasons for answering a wanted ad for a skeevy-looking bartender gig.

It went downhill the moment they asked me to do a trial shift instead of an interview—to see if I’d mesh with their “special” clientele. I think that part went great. Their customers were complete dickheads, and I was an asshole right back. That’s the definition of fitting in, right?

I expected to get thrown out on my ass. Instead, they…offered me the job?

It turns out this place isn’t a bar. It’s a guild.  And the three cocky guys I drenched with a margarita during my trial? Yeah, they were mages. Either I’m exactly the kind of takes-no-shit bartender this guild needs, or there’s a good reason no one else wants to work here.

So what’s a broke girl to do? Take the job, of course—with a pay raise.

Note: The three mages are definitely sexy, but this series isn’t a reverse harem. It’s 100% fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy


In the words of:

Annette Marie

  1. Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

The Guild Codex series was spawned entirely from a single idea: a human who found herself working for a guild. What crazy adventures would her magical customers drag her into her? What would they be like? And what would she be like—a girl without magic who could hold a job among the magically gifted?

I couldn’t let the idea go, and before I knew it, the characters had taken form and the world was half built. The Guild Codex offers the same fast-paced, high-adrenaline adventure and complex magic of my other books, but my approach differed a bit. Three Mages and a Margarita is all about fun and sass—a lighter read with as much humor as action.

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

Every book and series is different, but in the case of the Guild Codex series, I started planning about two years before Three Mages and a Margarita came out. I was already working on the Spell Weaver trilogy, so the shiny new idea had to take a backseat, but in my downtime, I developed more about the characters and world. I have pages upon pages of notes, both handwritten and typed up.

  1. How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?

As a fantasy/urban fantasy author, I haven’t often needed to take my research beyond reference books and Google, but I did reach out to a police department with a question about their uniforms. Calling them was too terrifying, so I fell back on Facebook. They answered my question in less than a day. Don’t be afraid to reach out! Most people are happy to help an author with their research.

  1. Which author had the most influence on your writing? Your writing style? Your writing genre?

I’ve been influenced by many authors, but the first one to really strike a chord with me was Anne Bishop and her Black Jewels Trilogy. I love her writing style, the depth and complexity of her characters, and the way she can shift seamlessly from dark, poetic prose to laugh-out-loud humor. Her books are ones that stay with you long after you finish reading them.

Author Bio

Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

http://www.authorannettemarie.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8546572.Annette_Marie

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnnetteMarie

 

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S’More – not a pudding

Love You S'More Book Cover Love You S'More
(The Campfire Series Book 3)
Beth Merlin
Adult, Comedy, Contemporary
Firefly Hill Press, LLC
(25 Sept. 2018)

Having successfully designed the wedding gown of the century, Gigi Goldstein is on top of the world – that is until it all suddenly comes crashing down around her. When the paparazzi captures her and Perry Gillman in a compromising moment the night of the royal wedding, she finds herself entangled in a scandal of global proportion. Convinced her carelessness has ruined every relationship in her life, she’s surprised and moved by her boyfriend, Gideon’s, sudden proposal of marriage and accepts it without a second thought.

Four months later, Gigi’s living at Badgley Hall contemplating an entirely new kind of life, while guilt, regret, and obligation keep calling her back to her old one. Will Gigi stay in South Gloucestershire, marry Gideon, and become the Countess of Harronsby?

Or, will unfinished opportunities and an old flame bring her back across the pond to confront her past and reclaim her future?

Love You S’More – the author speaks

 1. How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

I do a lot of my research on the fly. I usually decide on the story element I need and then go in search of the thing that fits the bill. For example, in Love You S’more, Gigi chairs the Met Ball. I wanted to find something that would tie the Met Ball to Perry and Elizabeth. I stumbled onto a famous gown, the Rainbow Portrait Gown, worn by Elizabeth I that I could use in the story to bring Perry and Gigi together. I ended up doing a ton of research on the dress to make sure I got the details just right. The real Rainbow Portrait gown was unfortunately destroyed a few hundred years ago, but it was a fun element to use in the book.

  1. What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

As a writer who didn’t have the budget to fly to London to research S’more to Lose and Love You S’more, the Internet was certainly my best resource. I scoured different sites to learn things like how many steps there were up to the Whispering Gallery in St. Paul’s Cathedral or what’s included in the Downton Abbey Tour. I think as writers we are living in very fortunate times, so much information is right at our fingertips.

  1. Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

Unfortunately for me, it does not…and I haven’t been able to quit my day job yet. 😊 The challenge, of course, is finding time to write while having a day job. I write early in the morning, late at night – basically any time I can squeeze it in.

  1. What is your favourite genre?

I love historical fiction, anything that has a sweeping epic sort of feel appeals to me like Gone with the Wind, North and South, The Thorn Birds, Game of Thrones. I’m a very fast reader, so I actually like when a book is a few hundred to even a thousand pages. Of course, I am also a huge fan of chick lit.

  1. If you could recommend a living author – who would it be? A dead author?

Anyone who wants to write “chick lit,” should start with Jane Austin. She nailed the genre before it even was one. Her books have some the best sexual tension and relationship plot devices of anything that’s ever been written!  In terms of living authors, I love Meg Wolitzer, Ken Follet, John Irving, and Sophie Kinsella.

  1. What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

Parts of some of my short stories from when I studied Creative Writing in undergrad have ended up in the Campfire Series. One story in particular had a lot of the themes from One S’more Summer and I borrowed some dialogue I liked. The rest are in a folder in a box in my attic. I pull them out for ideas from time to time.

 

Author Bio:

Beth Merlin has a BA from The George Washington University where she minored in Creative Writing and a JD from New York Law School. She’s a native New Yorker who loves anything Broadway, rom-coms, her daughter Hadley, and a good maxi dress. She was introduced to her husband through a friend she met at sleepaway camp and considers the eight summers she spent there to be some of the most formative of her life. One S’more Summer is Beth’s debut novel.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36603938-love-you-s-more?ac=1&from_search=true

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0764HVZ4S/

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-you-smore-beth-merlin/1127182226?ean=9781943858156

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/love-you-smore/id1308724265?mt=11

https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/love-you-s-more

http://www.bethmerlin.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16493075.Beth_Merlin   https://www.facebook.com/bethfmerlin/

https://twitter.com/bethmerlin80

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What Trouble? The Author Speaks

Nothing But Trouble Book Cover Nothing But Trouble
Irresistible Billionaires #1
Ashley Bostock
contemporary fiction, romance, Adult,

Billionaire CEO Michael Vilander needed just one date. Creating a fake profile on his own matchmaking website may not have been his brightest move. But then Sophia Baldwin’s arresting face pops up on his CHAT NOW feature. Not only is she gorgeous, but after spending half the night exchanging messages with her, he finds her to be naive, innocent and way too sexy.

Twenty-four-year-old Sophia Baldwin is barely able to make ends meet. Caring for her sick grandmother prevents her from having a normal life—aspirations of attending college full-time to become a nurse are on the back burner—but then she meets the charming and dazzling Clint on an online dating site. When he asks her to the Denver Arts Foundation’s Annual Valentine’s Day Gala, she’s confident things are looking up.

Once Sophia learns that her hot date is none other than website mogul Michael Vilander, she’s definitely not mentioning her night job. What’s a lie by omission anyway? After all, it’s only one date…Until Michael’s ex flaunts her fancy engagement ring in Michael’s face and something compels Sophia to announce her and Michael’s engagement. AKA, fake engagement. They agree on one month to pretend they’re in love before all bets are off.

Pretending to be in love with a sweet and sexy billionaire, but not actually falling in love, ahem, how hard could it be?

An Interview with Ashley 

Author Bio:

Ashley Bostock is a Colorado Native and currently lives in Nebraska, with daydreams of moving back home. All her books feature sexy-as-hell heroes and strong heroines. She loves reading any chance she gets – Jill Shalvis, M. O’Keefe, Rachel Gibson, Karen Robards and Jennifer Probst are some of her favorites! Ashley loves traveling – in a wanderlust’s eyes, she’s hardly touched the world but to those that rarely travel, she’s been everywhere. Thailand, Cambodia, Japan, Turks & Caicos, Russia, China, Tahiti, Vietnam and Scotland, just to name a few.

Ashley is addicted to Instagram – if you want to follow her there: www.instagram.com/ashleybostock

If you want to stay in the know about new releases and receive EXCLUSIVE content, sign up for Ashley’s newsletter at this address: https://www.subscribepage.com/ashleybostock

http://www.ashleybostock.com/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/12492128.Ashley_Bostock

https://www.facebook.com/authorashleybostock

https://twitter.com/_AshleyBostock

  1. How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a note book where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

Well, depends. If I get an idea for a book or series but am currently writing a different book or I’m mid-series with something else, I take notes and write things down to go back to at a later date. The second I find a series or book to write, it sort of makes the decision for me as I’m writing book one. Like whether or not there is going to be a book three or book five. I think about what tropes I would like to see in the books. I enjoy friends-to-lovers and enemies to lovers as well as fake relationships turned real. This is if I’m mid-series. If I’m not, then I write whatever my heart is telling me to write. That could be notes I’ve taken previously, stories that I’ve maybe written the first ten pages of, or it could be a completely new idea that I have no notes for! I use a notebook to keep ideas in and note cards for scenes/plotting while I’m writing.

  1. Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

Not for me it hasn’t yet. It’s a slow process that takes a lot of work and dedication. It only happens overnight for very few people! Check back with me about how long it takes – I’m currently on my fourth year of self-publishing.

 3. What do you read when you are ill in bed?

I enjoy reading romance novels. Authors from the Avon line are usually my favorite: Jill Shalvis, Sophie Jordan, Lori Wilde and Rachel Gibson. I also enjoy reading romantic suspense – Karen Robards and Tess Gerritsen.

  1. What is your favourite genre?

Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance as well as Romantic Suspense. Those are my top three.

 

  1. Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why?

Again, going back to the Avon line, I think my writing is influenced by those authors. However, I do like my sex scenes a little more explicit and spicier. I love the way those authors write. I just read Sophie Jordan’s Beautiful Lawman and I couldn’t put it down. I read it in a day. I strive to accomplish that for my readers.

 

  1. What have you done with the things you wrote when in school?

I still have the things I wrote from high school. A lot of poems and some short stories as well as class assignments that I’ve kept.

 

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When being apart is not as good as being together

Better Together Book Cover Better Together
One Fond Embrace
Crista McHugh
Crista McHugh
(1 July 2018)

Hawaiian rancher Alex Kahale needs a temporary wife to close a deal that’s vital to the welfare of his herd. Thankfully, he’s already married to a woman stole his heart in less than a week, even if that same wife filed for divorce a few days after they said their “I dos”.

Rising country music star Britney Moore had a wild fling with a cowboy in Las Vegas a year ago which ended in a drunken drive-through marriage. Once she returned to Nashville, she filed for divorce to save her squeaky clean image. Besides, spontaneous marriages never last, and she knows better than to risk her heart on Alex. But no matter how many requests she sends him, he refuses to sign the papers. Then he sends her an intriguing offer. Come to his ranch on Kauai and pretend to be his wife for two weeks for business purposes, and he’ll sign the papers.

As much as Britney tries to resist his charm, Alex manages to tear down her defenses one by one until she falls for him all over again. But when the press finds out about her secret husband, will their revived romance be killed by the tabloids?

 

I’d love to go to Maui.

And I have heard about the cowboys but didn’t realise the following:

British Captain George Vancouver brought the first long-horned cattle to Hawai‘i in 1793 as a gift to King Kamehameha I. The grateful king placed a kapu (Hawaiian code of conduct)—carrying a death penalty—on their slaughter so they could multiply on Hawai‘i Island. Soon, there were enormous herds terrorizing everything in their path.

To contain the wild-eyed beasts, Hawaiian royalty summoned the seasoned cowboys of Old Mexico to the islands in 1832. The dashing vaqueros quickly taught Hawaiians how to tame the unruly bullocks. It’s thought the Hawaiian word paniolo originates from the Spanish word, español. These early island cattlemen are credited with supplying beef to the hordes of prospectors during California’s Gold Rush.

All this comes from the tourist board information. and makes the island even  more attractive.

But setting aside the location of the novel, the actual storyline followed the usual romance tropes. In that boy meets girl. They have a whirlwind romance. They break up for some reason. They meet again and…

But this is OK if the writing is good enough and the actual characterization makes you want to continue reading. Which it did in this case.

I found this a sweet novel with good ideas and nice writing style. Not the most difficult of reads, but good for light reading on planes and beaches.

 

 

 

Author

Crista McHugh is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLING author of fantasy and romance with heroines who are smart, sexy, and anything but ordinary. She also writes fantasy with a little less kissing and bit more action (outside the bedroom) as C. A. McHugh.

Growing up in small town Alabama, Crista relied on story-telling as a natural way for her to pass the time and keep her two younger sisters entertained.

She currently lives in the Audi-filled suburbs of Seattle with her husband and two children, maintaining her alter ego of mild-mannered physician by day while she continues to pursue writing on nights and weekends.

Just for laughs, here are some of the jobs she’s had in the past to pay the bills: barista, bartender, sommelier, stagehand, actress, morgue attendant, and autopsy assistant.

And she’s also a recovering LARPer. (She blames it on her crazy college days)

To be the first to know about her latest releases or to be entered into exclusive contests, please sign up for her newsletter using the contact form on her webpage:

www.cristamchugh.com.

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When there is more than you think: Dawn explains

More Than Us Book Cover More Than Us
Dawn Barker
Women’s Fiction, Family Drama
Canelo
21st May 2018
Kindle

When parents disagree on how to care for their child, is it justifiable to take extreme measures?

Emily and Paul have a glorious home, money in the bank and two beautiful children. Since leaving Scotland for Paul to play football for an Australian team they have been blessed. But sadness lies behind the picture-perfect family - sixteen-year-old Cameron has battled with health troubles his entire life. There's no name for what he has, but his disruptive behaviour, OCD and difficulty in social situations is a constant source of worry.

When Paul's career comes to a shuddering halt, he descends into a spiral of addiction, gambling away the family's future. By the time he seeks help, it's his new boss Damien who recommends and pays for a rehab facility.

While Paul is away, Emily has to make a tough decision about their son. She keeps it from Paul knowing he'll disapprove. And when a terrible accident reveals the truth, Paul takes his son and goes on the run, leaving Emily to care for fourteen-year-old Tilly, who unbeknown to her parents is fighting battles of her own.

Can the family join together for the sake of their loved ones, or will their troubles tear them apart?

 

Dawn Barker explains Autisim and the book

First of all, thank you for having me on your blog today. I’m very excited that More Than Us is out now!

Thank you also for asking me to explain a little bit about some of the mental health conditions that are central to the characters in More Than Us. For those who haven’t read it yet, More Than Us tells the story of a family who must make drastic decisions about the mental health treatment of their son, and then deal with the fall-out for their family, and particularly their children, when the parents have completely opposing views about his psychiatry treatment.

One of the main characters in More Than Us is a teenage boy named Cameron. Cameron has always been different to his sister, and different to the other children around him. He was harder to manage as a baby and toddler, with behavioural issues and struggles at school. His mother is sure there’s something wrong with him; his father thinks he’s just a child and shouldn’t have to be the same as everyone else.

I chose to write about this issue in the book as when I’m not writing, I work as a child psychiatrist here in Perth, Australia. I therefore see every day that diagnosing behavioural and emotional difficulties in children is not as straightforward as diagnosing a medical illness: there’s no blood test or scan that can tell us what’s ‘wrong’ and we depend on information and observation from many places to help formulate a diagnosis and tailor treatment, both psychological and sometimes, medication, if appropriate. Also, children are developing and changing all the time, and so are their symptoms.

In More Than Us, Cameron doesn’t fit neatly into any box. He has features of an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, and he also has features of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Over many years, other symptoms appear that seem to relate to ADHD, or anxiety, or depression. This again, is not uncommon in my day to day work.

In child psychiatry, symptoms often overlap. For example, an Autistic Spectrum Disorder involves symptoms of not only social difficulties, but also restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder involves, amongst other symptoms, repetitive compulsive behaviours that may appear to parents, or teachers, as restricted behaviours. The two conditions, however, are very different, as is their treatment. To complicate things, children may have both conditions, and in fact many mental illnesses commonly co-occur with others.

I see children with social difficulties all the time in my practice, and Cameron in More Than Us struggles to relate to his peers at times. It had been suggested when he was younger that he may have an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, which, by definition, involves difficulty in social communication. However, he doesn’t quite fit in that box.

Other mental health disorders can create social difficulties too: someone with OCD may be so preoccupied with their worrying, obsessional thoughts and completing their compulsions that they can’t concentrate on social interactions; someone with ADHD may struggle to control their impulses or their attention on conversations; someone who is depressed will be so flat in their mood that they don’t have the energy or motivation to relate to others.

I wanted to explore in the book how all of our behaviours exist on a spectrum, from what we would class in our society as ‘normal’, social and confident children, to those people whom we see at work or school every day who don’t fit the norm. They may be ‘quirky’ or a little odd, or avoid social interactions, or just seem to not understand social communication. That’s not necessarily an illness or mental health condition and diagnosis depends on a really careful and thorough history and observation of a child and family over time. Not every child who has social difficulties has an autistic spectrum disorder, and diagnosing children is complex.

I hope that readers of More Than Us can put themselves in the place of Cameron’s mother and father, and consider what they would do in that situation, if Cameron was their child. After writing the book, it has become even clearer to me that there is no right or wrong answer, and no right or wrong way to raise your own child, but even if parents disagree about treatment, or any aspect of parenting, they mustn’t forget that the most important thing is to ensure that their child is happy and thriving, regardless of their own views.

Thanks again for having me on your blog today and I hope your readers enjoy More Than Us.

Links to Book:

Amazon (UK)

Kobo (UK)

Google Books (UK)

Apple Books (UK)

Author Bio:

Dawn Barker is a psychiatrist and author. She grew up in Scotland, then in 2001 she moved to Australia, completed her psychiatric training and began writing. Her first novel, ‘Fractured’, was selected for the 2010 Hachette/Queensland Writers Centre manuscript development programme, was one of Australia’s bestselling debut fiction titles for 2013, and was shortlisted for the 2014 WA Premier’s Book Awards. Her second novel is ‘Let Her Go’. Dawn lives in Perth with her husband and three young children.

Twitter: @drdawnbarker

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