Sunday, July 31, 2016

Ten Lives - a witty science fiction adventure by Christian Terry




I always enjoy a science fiction adventure with comedy, similar to that of Douglas Adams. In today's Author Spotlight I met just such an author, Christian Terry, who discussed with me his fantastic new science fiction novel, Ten Lives.

What is your book about?

After agreeing to hunt down an ancient relic on an alien world Mike Wesley may have gotten more than he bargained for: the mark of the hero which gives him ten extra lives to live. Between the deadly booby traps and the cute, cuddly murderous cat creatures that inhabit Kelenia, he’ll need each one of his new lives if he wants to make it back home to Atlanta in one piece.   

What inspired you to write this book?   

My love of videogames and adventure stories inspired me. The idea of being able to die in a videogame then comeback to life like nothing happened and then save the world, always made me giggle.

Who is your favourite, and least favourite, character in the book? 

I think Mike is my favorite character, his voice and his sayings are unique and I don’t think I’ve heard another character trash talk the way he does, plus he’s from my city and there aren’t a lot of heroes or heroines represented in any media. My least favorite character is Ariel…because reasons.

What draws you to this genre? Do you write in any other genre? 

I’ve always loved science fiction since I was a kid. From Star Wars to Stargate , writing this story is like me giving back to the genre that helped give me a great childhood. Writing to me is almost like playing with action figures. No other genres, not yet.

Is this a standalone book, or can we expect more? 

There will be a sequel.

Tell me about you and what drew you to writing? 

Are there any authors who inspired you to become a writer yourself? I think it has been a part of me at an early age. I think I wrote a novelization of the Ninja Turtles movie without ever seeing it…good times. I loved Michael Critchton, Anne Rice and Eric Nylund.

Other than your own book, what is your favourite novel? 

On A Pale Horse by Piers Anthony, I read it whenever I can.  Very imaginative stuff.

Have you written other books we should know about? 

Not yet.

If you could advise aspiring writers on only one aspect of authordom, what would your advice be? 

Be patient, nothing good ever comes from rushing. Let the story flow out of you,don’t force it. Never force it.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was a well edited, very entertaining story.

Where can we find your book?

Kobo   
Smashwords    

Where can we find out more about you?

Twitter @christerry4000



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Beginnings - A paranormal fantasy for young adults by J.S. Frankel



It is my absolute pleasure to welcome back author J.S. Frankel to my blog. I have to say, I'm thoroughly impressed by the sheer volume of his work since we last met. It shows his true passion for writing. In today's author spotlight, we discuss his new book, Beginnings (The Nightmare Crew #1) a Young Adult/Paranormal/Fantasy/Action.

What is your book about? 

Beginnings is the first novel in The Nightmare Crew trilogy, a YA Action/Paranormal novel that details the adventures of a young orphan and runaway named Paul Wiseman. He’s young, fairly street smart, but one night he runs into a gang and is rescued by a young woman…who really isn’t a woman, but a lab-created vampire. 

Here’s the synopsis from the FinchBooks.com website:
Being an orphan is no fun. Having no friends isn’t much fun, either. When Paul Wiseman, seventeen, runs away from an orphanage to try his luck on the mean streets of New York, he finds himself trapped and almost beaten to death one night.
Rescued by a vampire named Angela, Paul goes to her small house in upstate New York where he meets her friends—Ooze, a sentient water being, Sandstorm, who uses his sandy body to blind his opponents, and CF—short for Cannon Fodder—a zombie.
The four of them become the Nightmare Crew—beings created by a scientist to fight against the lawless elements of the city. In joining them, Paul finds a family, friendship and maybe even love.
However, the company that allowed the creation of these beings wants them back, and they’ll stop at nothing to retrieve what they believe to be their property. It soon comes down to a battle between those born and those createdand it’s up to Paul to fight for the only family he’s ever known.

What inspired you to write this book? 

I’ve always loved the classic monsters—zombies, werewolves, vampires—but, as you know, the market is glutted with novels about them. I always swore I’d do something different, and I have. However, one day, when I mentioned this ‘glut’ to my wife, she said, “Why not do them all?”
Bingo! That’s what I did, and now the book is out.

Who is your favourite, and least favourite, character in the book? 

Believe it or not, it’s not the main character, Paul Wiseman, although I enjoyed writing him. It’s Angela, the female vampire he falls for. She’s beautiful, intelligent, skilled at fighting, but she’s also somewhat na├»ve and innocent.
She desperately wants to find a family, the same as Paul does, and by making her strong, though vulnerable, I think I’ve created a solid character. I actually make my female characters stronger than the male ones. It gives them an ideal to strive for.

What draws you to this genre? Do you write in any other genre?

I love writing YA. It has a freshness and immediacy to it, and I also love writing action scenes. Someone once commented that everything I write plays out like a movie. That’s exactly what I want them to think when they read my novels…it’s a movie that hasn’t been made yet.
As for writing in other genres, I have written one adult paranormal novel, What She Saw, but I think I could have written it better. I’m never satisfied with what I write, anyway. I always think that I could do the job better…and this is after the book comes out!

Is this a standalone book, or can we expect more? 

It’s the first in a trilogy. It will be followed by Law and Order, and finally, Integration. All of them will be out later on this year.

Tell me about you and what drew you to writing? Are there any authors who

inspired you to become a writer yourself? No one inspired me, per se, but there are a number of writers I admire. Robert S. McCammon is one, N.K. Jemisin is another. I also like Ursula LeGuin, Niven and Pournelle, and Stephen King. 

Other than your own book, what is your favourite novel? 

Probably Gone South, by Robert S. McCammon. He’s known more for his early horror novels, but Gone South mixes action with horror and human drama. A longish read, it’s never dull.  It remains a great read for me and speaks of the human heart.

Have you written other books we should know about?

This is my author’s page on Amazon.com.

I’m especially proud of the Catnip trilogy (and #4 and 5 will be out this year, a two-part story arc). I’m also quite proud of Picture (Im)perfect, a YA Romance novel, the only romance novel I’ve ever done. It’s an unusual story between a straight guy and a transgender girl, but I found it quite rewarding to write. Twisted is another favourite.


If you could advise aspiring writers on only one aspect of authordom, what would your advice be? 

To never give up; that’s what it’s all about. It’s hard to write, no doubt. It’s harder to come up with a great idea and write about it and make it interesting and topical. But it’s a very rewarding feeling once the novel is completed.

Where can we find your book?

Where can we find out more about you?




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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

JK Rowling's new book hits the muggle shelves this weekend.



Psst, have you heard the fantastical news through owl post? I have and I can tell you that YES, it's absolutely true. Another great adventure from JK Rowling is making its way into our muggle world on Sunday, 31st July. In case you hadn't guessed, Hogwarts is huge in our house as you can see from my 11 year-old's birthday where we decked the house out to look like Hogwarts.

So, in order to celebrate, I thought it would be a good idea to brush up on some of my spells. You never know who you might meet on your way to collect Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I hear those Dementors are still on the loose in the muggle world. Better to be safe the sorry.

A warning for first years and wizards with Ron-like wands... Books and Authors is not responsible for backlashes, mispronunciations, or wizards up to no good. Try these at your own risk


AccioBrings an object to you
AguamentiCreates a gush of water from the tip of the spell caster’s wand
AlohomoraOpens locks
ApareciumMakes invisible ink become visible
Avada KedavraThe Unforgivable Curse; Kills your opponent; taken from “Abra Cadabra”
AviforsTurns things into birds
AvisMakes birds fly out of the end of your wand
BombardaCauses a small, locally contained explosion.  To make a bigger explosion, one could use “bombarda maxima”
ColloportusCloses a door and binds it so that it can’t be opened.
ConfringoAKA the Blasting Curse; Causes the item targeted to explode
ConfundusConfounds your target, or makes them temporarily confused
ConjunctivitisDamages the eyesight of your opponent, making them seem to have pink eye
CrucioThe Second Unforgivable Curse, the Cruciatus Curse; Tortures your opponent mercilessly
DeletriusErases the last spell cast by a wand so that it can’t be discovered
DensaugeoMakes teeth grow out of control
DiffindoMakes seams split open, severs an object into two pieces
DissendiumOpens a specific passageway into a cellar, may be useful in other instances; may be only a password
DuroTurns an item to stone.
EnervateMistaken spell. Changed to Rennervate.  Used to wake up a stunned person
EngorgioMakes an item larger, as in swollen
EpiskeyHeals relatively minor wounds.
EvanescoCauses an item to immediately dissolve away, as if it had never existed
Expecto PatronumCreates Patronus
ExpelliarmusDisarms the target of the spell, such as knocking their wand out of their hand
Fera VertoTransforms animals into water goblets!
FerulaBinds a broken limb with a splint and bandages, tightly wrapped
FideliusAllows a secret to be hidden within the secret keeper’s soul; very powerful spell
Finite IncantatemStops any spell
FlagrateAllows the user to write or draw in the air with fire
FlipendoAlso knows as the Knockback Jinx, pushes or flips something backwards
FurnunculusCauses a person to break out in boils
GeminioCreates a duplicate of an item (a twin, as in the zodiacal sign Gemini).
HomorphusMan-Shape; makes a werewolf or person disguised as an animal resume their human shape
ImmobulusImmobilizes the target
ImpedimentaPuts up an impediment that slows down something or someone that is coming toward you
ImperioThe third unforgivable curse.  Allows the user to assume complete control of another person
ImperviusRepels water from a surface
IncarcerousConjures up ropes, which then bind an opponent
IncendioLights a fire
LegilimensAllows the user to gain access to another’s mind and memories
LevicorpusTurns your opponent upside down and dangles them in thin air
Liberacorpus“Liberates”, or frees a body that has been caught up by the levicorpus spell
Locomotor MortisThe Leg-Locker Curse; locks an opponent’s legs together
LumosCreates light, usually by making the tip of the wand glow.  More light can be created using “lumos maxima”
MobiliarbusUsed to move a tree from one place to another
MobilicorpusUsed to move a body from one place to another
Morsmordre or MorsmordeUsed to summon the Dark Mark
MuffliatoCauses a buzzing noise to surround a limited area so that those in the area can carry on a private conversation
NoxExtinguishes light, used to douse the light created by “Lumos”
ObliviateMakes a person “oblivious”, erasing their memories of an event
OrchideousConjures a bunch of flowers from the user’s wand
Petrificus TotalusTotal petrification; petrifies an opponent totally
Point MeThe Four Point Spell; makes the user’s wand act like a compass
PortusTurns any item into a Portkey, which can then be used to transport a person or persons to another location.
Prior IncantatoReveals to you the last spell that a wand was used to cast
ProtegoProtects the user, and sends a spell back on an opponent
QuietusMakes things quiet, used to muffle “Sonorus”
ReducioShrinks an item
ReductoBlasts solid objects into pieces
RelashioReleases something from being constrained or held
RennervateWas originally “ennervate”, but corrected by author; means to energize or wake up
ReparoRepairs broken items
RepelloRepels something
Repello MuggletumMakes an area invisible to Muggles
RevelioCauses something that is hidden to be revealed
RictusempraCauses a person to curl up in laughter, as if being tickled
RiddikulusMakes a boggart assume a “ridiculous” form, thereby making it funny instead of terrifying
Salvio HexiaUnclear; seems to strengthen other protective spells, or to deflect any hexes cast toward a specific location
ScourgifyUsed to clean dirt or other material off of a surface
SectumsempraCauses lacerations to appear all over an opponent’s body, as if they had been cut by an invisible sword
SerpensortiaConjures a snake
SilencioMakes the target of the spell unable to make any sound.
SonorusAmplifies the user’s voice
StupefyStupefies an opponent, or knocks them insensible temporarily
TarantallegraForces an opponent’s legs to dance uncontrollably
TergeoScours something clean
WaddiwasiRemoves a stuck object, as in a wad of gum that is stuck in a keyhole
Wingardium LeviosaAllows the user to make an object levitate

PS I reckon JK Rowling should utilize this Pokemon Go tech and create a wizarding one with interactive wands.... ohh could you imagine seeing a dementor floating outside your window at night ... I'd def buy that.

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