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Mind Warp? Author tells us…

Warping Minds & Other Misdemeanors Book Cover Warping Minds & Other Misdemeanors
(The Guild Codex: Warped #1)
by Annette Marie & Rob Jacobsen
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
Published by: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Publication date: August 7th 2020

Synopsis: My name is Kit Morris, and welcome to my warped life. Picture the scene: Me, an average guy with psychic powers—not that my abilities are in any way average—just trying to scrape by in a harsh world. So maybe I’ve conned a few people, but did I really deserve to be thrown in MPD jail alongside magic-wielding serial killers? According to Agent Lienna Shen, one-hundred-percent yes. But her hardass attitude and “Arcana prodigy” status aren’t enough to bring down my former best friend, who slipped through the MPD’s fingers and is days away from unleashing untold horrors upon the city. Or he’s going to steal something. I don’t really know. Whatever he’s up to, that’s why I’m sitting in an interrogation room with Lienna. And that’s why I just offered myself as her temporary new partner for the purposes of thwarting my ex-accomplice. And that’s how I’m going to escape. I might even help with the case before I cut and run. — Warping Minds & Other Misdemeanors is the first book in a new series set in the world of The Guild Codex. It can be read on its own or as part of a larger adventure. More series in the Guild Codex world: The Guild Codex: Spellbound The Guild Codex: Demonized

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

I don’t know if I can pinpoint one specific author. Chuck Palahniuk had a lot of impact on my writing for a while, as did Laurence Sterne’s novel, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. Even screenwriters like Aaron Sorkin and Diablo Cody shaped my writing style quite a bit. In terms of Kit’s voice in the Warped series, I’d have to say that Dean Koontz, especially in his Odd Thomas books, is particularly influential.

2. In your opinion who is the funniest author now writing?

Oh, man. I have no idea. I honestly don’t read very many “funny” books. OH, I KNOW: Annette Marie. All the Guild Codex series are hilarious.

3. What, in your life, are you most proud of doing?

I understood Inception on my very first viewing. (As much as anyone can truly understand Inception.)

4. Do you have an unusual hobby? Is it related to the books you write? Or is it for relaxation? Is it dangerous/ adventurous/ requires travel?

I am a very mediocre rock climber. I don’t think that qualifies as “unusual” because I live in Vancouver and everyone here climbs. I really want to write a rock-climbing scene in a Warped book but I have yet to convince Annette that it’s a good idea.

5. Which is your favourite place to visit? Do you incorporate it into your books?

For the last few summers, I have spent at least a couple of weeks in Kananaskis, which is in the middle of the Canadian Rockies. There is a beautiful campground there by a lake, almost completely cut off from the world. There is no wi-fi, no cell phone reception, no TV. It is the perfect place to reset your brain and eat a lot of fire-cooked food.

6. If you could be any fictional character, which would you be? And why?

It’s tempting to pick Dracula because he’s rich and immortal and talks with a cool accent. But then I remembered that he can’t eat garlic, which is an automatic deal-breaker. So I’m going to go with Captain Jack Sparrow. A life of adventure? Sign me up. Be half-drunk ALL THE TIME? Yes, please. Have an incredible fashion sense and eyeliner that never streaks? …why are we still having this conversation?

7. If you could choose to live in another country/town – which would you choose? And why?

Oh, god. I so badly want to travel more. I can’t pick a single location because I haven’t experienced enough places yet! I spent a couple of weeks in Oaxaca, Mexico last year for a film festival and I could see myself living there. The city was stunning, the people were amazing, and the food…sweet mother of taste bud bliss…the food was yumtastic.

8. What would you take on a desert island to read if you could only take 3 books?

I’m going to go ahead and assume I’m gonna be on this desert island for a while and that I don’t require “How to Survive in the Middle of Godforsaken Nowhere” manual…

Does The Lord of the Rings trilogy count as a single book? Let’s say yes. That’s gotta be in there. A good collection of short stories, like The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury or Nine Stories by JD Salinger, would be on the list. I’d have to finish it off with Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Not only is it a long (which is important on a desert island) and beautiful novel, but it is essentially six vastly different stories nested inside one another. They range from a 19th century drama to a 1960s thriller to a post-apocalyptic sci-fi; that kind of variety would hopefully keep me sane while I forage for coconuts, befriend scorpions, and make a man-kini out of banana leaves.

9. What music – if any – do you think inspires you to write? Is it different for each novel or the same?

My writing playlist varies from scene to scene. For action scenes, I love listening to heavy music: Rob Zombie, Underoath, Static-X, Lamb of God, Bring Me the Horizon, and even some Skrillex. When I need something moodier, I’ll listen to Carrollhood, Holy Fawn, a bit of Billie Eilish, or the entire Gone Girl soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. For more general work, I have hours of Odesza and The Glitch Mob to keep me in the zone. While I’m writing this, I’ve got some Missy Elliot going in my headphones.

10. Has the pandemic inspired you with any new stories to write? If so, what is the story premise?

Totally! In order to prevent going stir crazy during isolation, my wife and I created a web series called Max and Mousee. It’s about a woman (Max) who is so lonely during quarantine that her imaginary best friend from her childhood reemerges to keep her company. Hijinks ensue. We made the whole thing with just two people acting as the cast and crew. It was a lot of fun, although there were some challenges. For example, after filming the first two episodes, I realized that I hadn’t changed the batteries in my microphone for like…seven years? So the sound quality is a little gross early on. But we also threw in a couple of Guild Codex easter eggs and references for any readers who come across it.

11. What about turning your best seller into a film or TV series – would you want to write the script or be on the production team? Why? Why not?

Hard YES. Filmmaking is my first love. I’ve done some acting and made some of my own films. One of my dreams is to be a television showrunner. If I got the opportunity be involved in the film/TV adaption of my book, I’d be on that like Jack Sparrow on a fresh bottle of rum.

12. Is it easy to write humour?

I often find it easier to write humour than to be super-duper serious. It’s probably a coping mechanism. Maybe I should see someone about that…

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/AuthorAnnetteMariehttps://twitter.com/annettemmarie

https://www.instagram.com/annettemarie.author/


Author links: 

Rob is a Canadian writer, actor, and director, who has been in a few TV shows you might watch, had a few films in festivals you might have attended, and authored some stories you might have come across. He’s hoping to accomplish plenty more by the time he inevitably dies surrounded by cats while watching reruns of Mr. Robot.

Currently, he is the Creative Director of Cave Puppet Films, as well as the co-author of the upcoming Guild Codex: Warped book series with Annette Marie.

Author links: 

https://www.facebook.com/therobjacobsen

http://www.robjacobsen.net/

https://www.instagram.com/rob_jacobsen/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7067921.Rob_Jacobsen

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Tempt me not?!

Midnight Temptation
Ravens Hollow Coven Book 2)
Shari Nichols
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
City Owl Press
jun 30th 2020

What are the stakes for falling in love?

That’s the question tarot card reader Gillian Howe ponders when she hosts a supernatural speed dating event. Making the perfect match is her passion, too bad she can’t find one for herself. A chance encounter with a wealthy vampire provides her an opportunity to attend an exclusive after-party and prove she isn’t opposed to love. But she finds herself plunged into a secret society of trancing, blood bonds and human escort rings. The night ends in a police raid and of all the vampire detectives in Raven’s Hollow, Garrett Mulroney shows up at the scene. Even if he is scorching, hot, he accused her of a crime she didn’t commit and nearly ruined her life.

Fate has thrown them together again…

Garrett has been down this brutal road before and it didn’t end well. His sire tried to force him into a life of debauchery, but he chose to uphold the law instead. The fact    that the one woman he can’t seem to get out of his mind or out of his lust-filled dreams is at the center of his investigation doesn’t bode well. It’s a good thing she hates his guts, because it helps douse his growing desire for her and focus on the case. But when Gillian’s cousin is kidnapped into the Du Sang Brotherhood, she becomes the prime witness. Now they’re forced to put their differences aside and go undercover by pretending to be a couple. The more time Garrett spends with Gillian, the more he wants her in his life—and in his bed.

Knowing who to trust and who to love becomes a matter of survival, and possibly the only way to take down the Brotherhood.

Book Cover

As this was a series, I decided to set the scene with book 1 of the series.This was useful to understand the background if not the characters per se, as they were very minor in book 1.

I also hoped that the writing would have improved as so often happens, as the authors develops the series and setting. And it had.

But only marginally.

I didn’t feel though that this book could stand alone. It needed to be set within a series. And unlike the work of RJ Blain, these vampires were standard. Mostly blood drinkers of unwilling victims. But with our hero fighting against tis sterotype.

I found the witches rather unconvincing in the spellwork – too simplistic in the word usage – and thus too easy to be misapplied. And their potions were made too easily – lack of effort all round really. Which meant that the story line lacked drama. And I found the ending unsatisfactory.

And is it a vile or a vial? What holds a potion in US spelling? Author please let me know.

As you can’t allocate half points, I’m giving this a 4 when for me it was really 3.5.

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What is a group of Gods called?

The Pantheon Prophecy Book Cover The Pantheon Prophecy
Paladin
A. Maureen Burns
Adult, Fantasy
January 20th 2020

We live in a world where demigods , gods, and Ancients from the Pantheon are sworn to protect humanity. So when an exiled member of the Pantheon decides to kill everyone on earth, a demigod knight is given the mission to stop it with the help of a human.

28 year old book store owner, Elspeth, is about to find out she’s a natural born witch when she’s approached by the immortal knight in charge of protecting her.

Luka has been offered ascension into the Pantheon as a god if he completes his mission and stops the moon from colliding with the earth but his charge doesn’t truly know the first thing about her gift of mind-reading or anything about her rightful place within the Pantheon.

Everyone on the planet will die if Elspeth and Luka can’t find a way to trust in their own abilities and work together despite their growing attraction for each other.

With all of her mind focused on the surface of the moon, Elspeth squeezed her eyes shut and felt the separation of her soul from her body. Space and time were nothing to an immortal soul and she found herself on the moon. The weightlessness was difficult to control and Elspeth felt exposed not having Kali there to guide her. It was just her and Luka and he had never daydreamed so far before so it was new to both of them. For a split second the idea of drifting into space tantalized her. Leave all her problems behind and floating away into nothingness. She stared into the void of distant stars. It pulled her as the ink stain on her soul grew a little larger.

Luka tugged her back from the edge. “Focus Elspeth. Stay with me.”

“I don’t know what just happened. The emptiness pulled me, drew me to it.”

They stood before the large rock on the edge of the meteor canyon and stared into the abyss of the tunnel. It occurred to her that it was a large risk she was taking and there were no second chances if the tunnel tore her apart.

Back in the chair, her breathing became shallow and she was squeezing Luka’s hand tight. Though they both hovered next to the tunnel she could still feel him rubbing the back of her hand with his thumb. Together in their minds, and on the surface of the moon, he turned to smile at her.

“I’m right here with you Els.”

They looked back to earth which was much closer than the last time. The haze of smoke completely surrounded earth and sent tendrils into space. The winds seemed to rage and swirl the smoke so that they could see patches of land. The destruction was catastrophic even if they did have success.

Though their bodies were back in the Citadel, they could see each other’s aura, their essence of the soul. Luka’s aura wasn’t as vivid as hers as he blocked her path to the tunnel. It was ripping into the tunnel.

“Are you sure you want to do this Els?”

“Look over my shoulder Luka. This is not about me anymore, if it ever had been. They need us now. I know you think I can’t do this but I have to give it my best shot. Kali thinks I can and I’m counting on it.”

“I don’t doubt your ability Els. I’m just not sure you have the ability to tap into all of your strength yet. We, all of us, grow into our gifts with time.”

She looked back at earth. “Time isn’t something we have a lot of right now, Luka. I must try. I have to trust that the gods chose me for a reason. I’m doing all that I can.”

Their auras floated together for a moment. Luka reached out to her and grabbed where her heart would be. “I’m here with you Els. That’s all I can do. Let’s hope it’s enough.”

Together at the edge of the tunnel both of their auras began to fray apart and get sucked into the darkness. They were pulled in bit by bit. She felt queasy back in her chair but wasn’t sure if it was a physical manifestation of the trip or the idea of getting torn to shreds. Elspeth had thought it would be a roller coaster of a ride in the tunnel with flashing lights but she was wrong. It was wrong. It was like nothing. No ability to tell up from down or left from right. Not a glimmer of light to guide her way. The tunnel had snatched her from the moon and she was alone while time stood still.

A new fear crept into her because she couldn’t even see Luka in her mind’s eye. There was no physical body to rely on and her soul was floating somewhere and going somewhere else and she had no idea. It was difficult to control her thoughts. Is this what a panic attack felt like? Even without her body, she thought her lungs were getting ripped out of her chest. She didn’t even feel an inkling of a connection to her physical body anymore. She was alone.

Then when she was unsure of how much more she could take, the darkness began to fray into a light and she finally saw the dim shimmer of Luka’s aura. It grew and grew and she focused on him until she felt the binds of the tunnel let her go.

They had landed on a different planet.

Author Bio

Maureen is an Air Force vet and world traveler. When she’s not hanging out with family, friends, and a menagerie of family pets, she’s dabbling in photography. Reading and writing have been a part of her life for just over three decades and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. This is great because this world-creator has dozens of souls living in her head that are waiting to be written down and shared with the world.

http://www.amaureenburns.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18967722.A_Maureen_Burns

https://www.facebook.com/AMaureenBurns

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD7qsb1I2zjNeBOx8jumqyA/featured

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Please Withstand!

Withstanding the Enemy Book Cover Withstanding the Enemy
T.L. Mahrt
Adult, Romance, Suspense
Independently Published
Publication date: January 31st 2020

Emma Andrews was orphaned at a young age with no family to turn to. Tired of the broken foster-care system, and believing it was her only option, she runs to a multi-millionaire with a reputation of hiring young women. It is only then that she learns what real monsters look like…

Emma uses her overactive imagination to help her get through the toughest of days. By daydreaming a life full of love and freewill, she manages her colorless prison, but even in her wildest dreams, she would have never imagined it could become a reality. That is, until she meets Chance, a man willing to lay his life down to save hers.

But what Emma doesn’t expect is to fight her own personal demons—her heart.

EXCERPT

I turn the envelope and tear it open. I pull out a piece of lavender card stock with a note written in the matching penmanship. 

To my beautiful enchantress,

From the moment I laid my eyes on you,

I’ve fallen.

Your sorcery has deep magnetism,

Making you irresistible to me.

For it is you, I have fallen in love with;

I will wait for you till my last breath, that is the spell I’m under.

~Rick~

My heart skips a beat. It’s beautifully written. I never knew Rick was capable of such poetic beauty. It stirs something foreign inside me. I throw the card down. He is a monster and I need to remember that. 

And I know just the way to do that.

I storm into the bathroom, mad at myself for even authenticating feelings for him. I turn on my shower and let the water warm up. I take my clothes off with shaky hands as I mentally prepare myself for what I am about to do. With all my clothes in a pile at my feet, I think, You can do it—remember what a monster he is.

I turn to face the mirror with my eyes closed. Come on, Emma, you can’t forget… One… Two… Three…

I open my eyes to see my full reflection. My hands fly to my mouth to silence my cry. A tear slides down my cheek as I examine my torso. Running a hand across the scars, I can feel the crack of his whip as it tears open my skin. I remember it, I think as the shadowed form of a man haunts my nightmares. It was Rick, it had to be Rick, I think as I hear the shattering crack of the whip through my head. Don’t forget. He is the monster—the shadow.

My mind races as I continue to run my hands down my torso. I—I can’t feel the scars. The skin under my fingers feels smooth as silk, as if the scars weren’t there. I frantically look down to my stomach. I see them—bright red and raised.

My hands tremble as I glide them over each side of my hips. I force myself to look down at the larger scars lying horizontally across each hip.

Why can’t I feel them?

My right thumb rubs across my birthmark on my upper thigh. Inside the heart-shaped mark is a scar that mimics my own heart—broken with no hope of repair. 

He is the monster,I think as I hop into the steaming spray of the shower.

~~~~~~~

I grab a towel and dry off. The library is going to be a great distraction, I think as I wrap the towel around me and make my way over to the vanity—thankful the mirrors are steamed over. 

Absentmindedly, I open the bathroom door and walk toward the closet when I hear voices in my room, causing me to freeze mid-step.

“Oh, Ms. Andrews, I thought you were already dressed,” Brutus announces his presence from behind me. I quickly turn around and hug my towel tighter to my naked body.

My eyes lock with Chance’s. Instantaneously, my heart dips low into my belly. I stand frozen, watching his eyes run down the length of my body, causing heat to catch like wildfire and spread over my chest. I follow the path of his eyes—a slow lazy path down my body. My nipples tighten as he lingers for a moment. His eyes flame as if he can see right through my towel. The wildfire causes my sex to throb. I feel needy and my eyes heat with passion. I take a sharp inhale. 

Brutus breaks the connection. “Ms. Andrews, we will leave immediately,” he says, grabbing Chance by the arm and pulling him toward the door. After Brutus pushes Chance out first, he turns, trying to explain. 

“I’m sorry again. We were trying to get your flowers into your room.” His voice carries around the door as he makes his exit. 

In that moment, I notice the large arrangement setting awkwardly in the middle of my bedroom.

Author Bio

T. L. Mahrt is a former business owner, where she utilized her education in cosmetology, barbering and massage therapy for several years. She was raised on and is currently living on a farm in Nebraska, where you can find her running barefoot in the country side with her loving husband and inspiring children and massive dogs.

After having her son, who was born with Cerebral Palsy, she made the life altering decision to stay home to care for her two children and pursue her love for writing. She has a love for romance and poetry where, her overactive imagination, along with her adventures and up beat lifestyle drives her inspiration for her writing.

T. L. Mahrt has a thirst for knowledge, and is currently working on her Bachelor of Applied Science in Communication Studies degree.

https://www.tlmahrt.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19755994.T_L_Mahrt

https://www.facebook.com/tlmahrt

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Calla and Pixie Land…. Christine talks

Calla Book Cover Calla
(Pixieland Diaries #2)
Christina Bauer
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Monster House books
Publication date: July 28th 2020

Book 2 of the Pixieland Diaries Big news in Pixieland! The Blue Fairy is sending our fave pixie, Calla, and her crush, Dare, on a mini-quest. Unfortunately it’s an adventure that requires a lot of togetherness. We’re talking tons of touching, people. Blue believes that since Calla and Dare are just friends, this situation shouldn’t be awkward. It’s totally awkward. ***A 30,000+ word diary written by Calla***

(Almost) Turning My Work Into A TV Series – My Story

By Christina Bauer

As part of the launch tour for my new book, CALLA (Pixieland Dairies #2), the lovely folks at the Bouncing Tigger Reads asked me to share my experience with turning my work into a TV series. Here goes!

Getting “The Call”

I’ve had a number of folks reach out to me about turning my stuff into a movie or TV show. The closest I got was when a producer wanted to turn my novels, The Fairy Tales of the Magicorum, into a streaming series. The producers and I had some calls, we met for lunch, and then they asked me to write a script on spec (which means for free.) I have no track record in Hollywood, so that’s what I did.

Sales Process

Before becoming a full-time author, I worked in sales and marketing in many different industries. No matter what the area, it all comes down to a matter of numbers. Only a small percentage of opportunities turn into anything. So I didn’t want to get too cranked up about this. Still, the fact that I was asked for a script was a good sign. Also, we got into some details, too. The producer talked about my joining the writing team if the series got picked up. So I started to do some research.

And I fxxking panicked.

What Worried Me

One. Writing TEAM. TEAM!!! That means creating in committee. I hate this.

Two. Right now, I have control over my business. When I want to write a book, I just do it. When you’re a writer in Hollywood, you’re dependent on a ton of other people for your work to reach the public. And you must shepherd your writing through lots of edits that you (let’s face it) probably don’t agree with.

Three. You can make a lot of money. This shouldn’t seem like a negative, but it kind of is. The cash distracts from items number one and two. I’m a self sufficient writer. I pay my bills and run my own show. What do I really get out of more money and hassle? How much is enough?

Four. If I lose control over my work, I could start to suck. Not good.

Overall, I wasn’t crying in my soup when the producer told me that the streaming service took a pass. I sighed, filed the script in a folder deep in my MacBook, and focused on my next novel. Hope my experience helps to illuminate what you may (or may not) want to do with your own writing!

Author

Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press. 

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Stalk Christina On Social Media – She Loves It!

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/546812.Christina_Bauer

https://www.facebook.com/authorBauer/

https://twitter.com/CB_Bauer

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