Thursday, October 31, 2013

New Release & FREE ebook - Hunter (Order of the Spirit Realm #2) by K.C. Blake @KasiBlake




Hunter
Order of the Spirit Realm #2
by K.C. Blake

Blurb:  Hunter begins with Bay-Lee in Maine, living a normal life—sort of. It's impossible to completely banish the supernatural when your boyfriend is a ghost. Nick insists he isn't sticking around to haunt her. According to him, he wants to protect her. But that doesn't make sense. Why would he be concerned about her when it was her fault he'd died? 

She's in History, taking a test, and Nick pops in with a warning. The Order (monsters living in the Spirit Realm) have put a hefty bounty on her head. Nick wants her to go home to her father in New Zealand where she will be safe, but she's determined to graduate from the school in Maine. Everything seems to be fine. Why should she run from something that 'might' happen?

Then a reaper tries to collect the bounty.

Bay-Lee will return to her father's school and begin her training anew, despite the fact Nick's brother doesn't want her there. An old enemy returns, and a familiar student threatens her relationship with Nick. It doesn't help that Nick thinks he should leave her for her own good. Surviving is her number one priority. Keeping the love of her life at her side is a close second. Together, they will battle reapers, their inner demons, and each other in this YA paranormal romance with bite. 



Catch up with the series
Book 1 Bait is FREE!!!


About the Author:  K.C. Blake is a ninja on the keyboard.  When she’s in her office, no one dares disturb her.  What they don’t realize is she’s not even in there.  She’s in another world fighting vampires, falling in love with a creature of the night, and slaying monsters.  Only her cat knows where she goes and what she does, and Blanca isn’t telling.

Born and raised in California, K.C. fell in love with books at an early age.  Writing has always been her dream job.  She now lives in the mid-west on a farm with cows, ducks, cats, and a dog.

Connect with K.C.:


My Thoughts - This series looks like a great read!!  I haven’t read it yet, but I’m definitely going to :)  What do you think?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Prism Book Tours Flash Bookblast - Order of the Seers by Cerece Murphy @CereceRMurphy

To post this Bookblast (html) and add your Social Media to the Rafflecopter, email Laura at BurgandyIce(at)Live.com with "Flash Bookblast" in the subject line!

Order of the Seers (Order of the Seers, #1)  The Red Order (Order of the Seers, #2)

Order of the Seers FLASH Bookblast!!  
Win $25 Amazon Gift Card below

What would you do if you held
infinite power
in the palm of your hand?

Order of the Seers begins with the journey of Liam and Lilith Knight, a brother and sister who are hunted by The Guild, a ruthless world organization that seeks to capture and exploit Lilith's unique ability as a Seer to envision the future. Soon after they are forced to leave their home, Lilith and Liam discover that she is not alone. Other Seers like Lilith are routinely kidnapped and enslaved by the Guild for the purpose of consolidating wealth and power around the world... see more on Goodreads

In The Red Order, Book II in the Order of the Seers Trilogy:

The Lost Seers embark upon a world-wide mission to save their kind from the tyranny of the Guild and unveil their greatest weapon -  Developed in secret, The Restoration Project has the potential to awaken the supernatural ability within every man, woman, and child on earth and bring down the very foundation of the Guild’s power and authority.

But the Guild has other plans. Driven by the necessity for control, Crane Le Dieu creates The Red Order... see more on Goodreads.





Order of the Seers
Chapter 1: The End

Sunday, June 22, 2008 

Liam was losing his patience. “Aw, come on! Are you serious? You can’t
want to ride this thing again!”

Instead of answering her older brother, Lilli remained in her seat as
the Ferris wheel conductor looked on expectantly, hand outstretched and
waiting for another two tokens.

The way Lilli’s skinny arms hugged her book bag while she stared
blankly at the pressed metal floor of their “Fairy Land Caboose” made it
hard for Liam to stay angry. The sight of her looking so dejected softened
him enough to give the conductor his fifth set of tokens in less than 45
minutes. Liam settled back into his seat just as the lap bar clamped down
uncomfortably against his thighs.

“Lilli, say something. Why’d you drag me out here if you were just gonna
sulk? I hate the carnival, you know that.”

“I know something… okay? Just… trust me. We have to stay here.” Her
voice was so low he could barely hear her over the wind-up music that was
blaring from the overhead speakers.

“Did Mom say something to you?”

Lilli responded to his question with silence and a barely discernable
shake of her head back and forth. He tried again.

“Lilli! Did Mom…?”

“Yes,” she snapped.

They both fell silent again as Liam took in the latest weird thing of the
day. Lilith Knight, or Lilli as she preferred to be called, had always been
strange. Even when she was five, she could beat Liam at chess lazily, without
even thinking about it. She would find things and give them to you before
you asked for them. Before you, or even she, knew why. Up until recently,
he thought she was just a freak. No biggie. All little sisters are like that, he told
himself.

It was only in the past few months that his perception of her began
to shift, after her prediction that he would catch his new girlfriend, Krista,
kissing his teammate Lance in the locker room after their championship
game. At the time, he’d brushed off her premonition as meddling. Krista
wasn’t even his girlfriend and his team was 1-1 with the whole basketball
season ahead of them.

He’d forgotten her warning completely until two months later when he
ran back into the locker room after winning the championship to get the
jacket he’d left behind and immediately smelled Krista’s perfume. When he
found them, two thoughts overshadowed the scene unfolding in front of
him. The first was that what they were doing wasn’t really “kissing,” though
he could see how a sheltered thirteen-year-old would describe it that way.
His second thought was that Lilli was right; she was exactly right. He was so
stunned by Lilli’s accuracy that he didn’t even bother to disturb them, leaving
his new ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend to their business. From that
moment, Liam understood that Lilli wasn’t just a freak, or more accurately,
that she wasn’t a freak at all. She was special…gifted.

The sound of Lilli’s sniffling followed by the trembling of her body
as she began to cry uncontrollably broke the long silence that had fallen
between them. What the…, Liam half-mumbled as his mind swung from
irritation to absolute bewilderment. Slowly and deliberately, Liam moved his
palms down the front of his face as he fought the urge to shake the truth
right out of her and end whatever this was. But he couldn’t. She’s so brittle
already, he thought, without any idea as to why. So instead, he reached out
to envelop his sister in his arms, trying to soothe her and comfort her from
some unknown force.

“Lilli, it’s all right. I’m sorry, okay? Don’t cry. Just… tell me what’s going
on. Why are we here?”

Continue Chapter 1 of Order of the Seers HERE.  Read Chapter 1-2 of The Red Order HERE.


My name is Cerece Rennie Murphy, but, among my 5 siblings, I am known and teased by my superhero name, Wonder Worry, (and yes, I am a little worried about your reaction to what I just said). While in my youth, I used my superpower to whip minor setbacks into epic tragedies in 60 seconds flat, I no longer have the time to hone the skills I once possessed, which were handed down to me VERY CAREFULLY by my mother and her mother before. 

Instead of spending my days imagining worst case scenarios, I am now on the front lines of true disaster prevention – treading the fine line between boo-boos and permanent brain damage, fighting crimes of curiosity, omission, absent-mindedness and sleep deprivation. I carry others down the winding, bumpy road of youth that starts out at the nexus of unique and brilliant but intersects with narcissistic serial killer at some distant point I hope fervently to avoid. As you might have guessed, I am a wife and mother of 2 small children. Luckily, my family lights up the sky so I never stumble too hard or lose my way.

I would lament the luxury of needless worry, but alas, I don’t have the energy. As I write this, I am losing a battle fought between my trusty sponge and a hardened glob of half-eaten cheese that traveled from the kitchen to the living room rug in the palm of a very small, but mischievous hand. Its stronghold on the fibers suggests occupancy of at least 2 days, but I’ll never know for sure. Rather than despair, I’ve chosen to retreat to my keyboard, noting that I have won the war - most of the rug is un-cheesed. 

Before I worried. Now, I write. 

I look forward to slowly, quietly, in my own shy way, becoming a part of this community. If you would like to get to know me and my work a bit better, you can visit me... 


Join The Ominous Tour December 10 - 25 with Prism Book Tours


Giveaway:
October 27 - November 10

Re-Usable Bag


1 Winner - Gift Package: Re-Usable Bag, Bookmark and signed print copies of Order of the Seers & The Red Order (US only)
1 Winner -  $25 Gift Card
5 Winners - eCopy of Order of the Seers
5 Winners - eCopy of The Red Order

International Giveaway (except "Gift Package"), must be able to receive winnings, must be 18 or older to enter. See additional restrictions in Rafflecopter.

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Juniper Grove Book Blitz & Giveaway - River of Bones by Angela J. Townsend @AngelaJTownsend




River of Bones
by Angela J. Townsend

Published:  Oct 30, 2013 by Clean Teen Publishing

Word Count:  50,000
Genre:  YA Horror
Recommended Age:  14+

Synopsis:
When 17-year-old Dharma Moore moves to Bayou country so her scam artist mother can work as a Paranormal Investigator, she discovers more than ghosts haunt the abandoned plantation they now call home. Centuries ago, a voodoo curse was placed on the swamp waters surrounding the old plantation by a murdered slave. A terrible curse that snares Dharma. To save herself, she must face the terror of the haunted waters, find the dead woman's skull and convince the slave's soul to release her from its torments. However, there is more to this curse for Dharma personally than anyone else knows as she discovers an ancient secret that links herself to the property—a secret kept from her by her own family. To survive, she must accept the help of locals and to learn to embrace the truth—that magic is not only real, but that it can be very, very deadly!



About the Author:
Angela Townsend was born in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Missoula, Montana. As a child, Angela grew up listening to stories told by her grandparents, ancient tales and legends of faraway places. Influenced by her Irish and Scottish heritage, Angela became an avid research historian, specializing in Celtic mythology. Her gift for storytelling finally led her to a full time career in historical research and writing. A writer in local community circulations, Angela is also a published genealogical and historical resource writer who has taught numerous research seminars. Currently, Angela divides her time between writing, playing Celtic music on her fiddle, and Irish dancing.

Angela's first novel, Amarok, was published through Spencer Hill Press in 2012. Her newest novel, Angus MacBain and The Island of Sleeping Kings, was signed for publication with Clean Teen Publishing and released in September 2013. Her most recent young adult horror novel, River of Bones, is scheduled to release late October 2013.

Angela resides on a ranch, in rural Northwestern Montana, with her two children Levi and Grant.



Excerpt from River of Bones by Angela J. Townsend:

Wolf stared at the ceiling, his brow creased. “What's that?”
“I don't know. I heard it just before you came in. I was going to ask you to come with me to check it out.”
He walked from the kitchen to the foot of the stairs and peered into the dark stairwell. I put Benny into the playpen with his sippy cup and toys before following Wolf up the stairs. Just as we reached the landing, the hollow footsteps sounded again. Wolf glanced over his shoulder and whispered, “It might be the pipes rattling. Old houses can make all kinds of random noises.  Stay close and let’s do some exploring.”
We checked out each room, finding nothing but dust and building materials from half-finished renovations. Then we came to the second staircase, which led to the third floor. Steep and narrow, it swept much higher than the one leading to the second floor. I held tight to the handrail, following Wolf to the third floor landing. Five doors, all closed, lined the narrow hallway, two on either side and one at the end.
“Let’s hurry. I have to get back to Benny,” I said, taking a giant step and tripping over my own feet. I landed hard, spraining my wrist.  
“Are you all right?” Wolf said, scooping me up. I started to dissolve in his strong arms. He stared into my eyes for several seconds, then grabbed my hand and placed it against his lips. His mouth parted under my hand and his breath danced across my fingertips. I could hardly breathe. Heat seared into my face.
“Yeah, I'm okay,” I said softly.  I pulled back my hand–my body tingling in places I didn't know I had.
The footsteps sounded again. Wolf helped me to my feet, his eyes wide and alert. “It’s coming from down the hall. Stay behind me.”
We tiptoed to the end of the hallway to the last door. Wolf gripped the glass doorknob. “Who’s in there?” He called. A faint flutter or shuffle could be heard on the other side of the door. Wolf turned the handle, but it wouldn’t budge. “It’s locked.”
Whispering voices traveled under the threshold. Footsteps sounded again.
“Open up, we’re coming in!” Wolf said. He glanced at me, his eyes hard. “I’m gonna break it down. Stand back.”
I took a step away and Wolf shoved hard on the door. It flew open and every ounce of me begged for it to be closed again.




Clean Teen Publishing Links:

Giveaway Details:
There is an international tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:
·      GRAND PRIZE:  eBook copy of River of Bones, bookmark prize pack, $10 Amazon Gift Card.



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cover Reveal - Firstborn by Ryan Attard @Enkousama

Author’s Note Firstborn

As an avid reader of fantasy and fiction books, Ryan got tired of waiting for his favourite authors to publish their next novels and decided to simply entertain himself instead. He would then spend the next 3 years learning in excruciating detail how come it takes authors such a long time to write a book that they can live with.

Ryan lives on a tiny island, sometimes not even shown on maps, where his only friends are animated drawings and disembodied voices. And since everything in the outside world is boring to him, he took a journey inwards with some of his own made up characters.

Enter the Legacy Series, a story about a cursed wizard with a huge magical handicap, a talking demonic cat and an evil twin sister as they save the world from evil in its various forms.

The name Firstborn has a quintuple meaning: Erik is a firstborn son, the main villain is considered a firstborn in biblical terms, the book is the first of the series and it is also Ryan’s first ever book. There is also another meaning but he cannot reveal it without divulging a secret which would unravel the end of the series.

According to his colleagues, manager and whip-bearer, Ryan is horribly addicted to what he does. He writes and writes and writes; sometimes forgetting to do those silly things like eat or sleep. Sometimes he looks up and wonders where last night’s starry skies have gone and why are there so many people walking on the street. Sometimes he deludes himself into taking a break, by going to a movie or listening to an album – but when he does, he is watching and listening, absorbing ideas and inspirations. Sometimes he even watches you, waiting in the shadows, in darkest recesses of your mind.

Ryan would like to declare that he should not be taken seriously. He is one of those annoying and slightly insane people who have conversations with wisps of air and write their Author’s Note in the third person.

Connect with Ryan:

Now on to the cover reveal….



Firstborn
by Ryan Attard

Book Blurb:  Meet Erik Ashendale, wizard.

He solves all kinds of problems of a magical and freaky nature.
Especially when it comes to hunting down the supernatural.

So when he and his talking cat are asked to protect a girl who’s being chased by a big-time demon, they can hardly refuse, especially when the rent's due.

Once the fight takes shape, Erik and the rest of his unlikely companions have to pit themselves against the elemental forces of good and evil: angels, demons, a Japanese monster, 1/7 of the Deadly Sins, talking pets . . . and even a morally ambiguous twin sister gets thrown into the mix.

In order to stay alive, Erik must deal with his terrible past and the secrets of his family. And he must never forget the most important rule of his twisted world: Nothing is ever what it seems.

 My Thoughts - Between the cover and the blurb, this is sounds like it is going to be a great read.  Look for a review coming soon :)


Monday, October 28, 2013

New Release Review - The Coward's Way Out by Kallysten @Kallysten



The Coward’s Way Out
Ward of the Vampire #4
by Kallysten

Goodreads blurb:  When she was first trapped in the Ward mansion, an unwanted guest to millionaire and vampire Morgan Ward, Angelina could think of nothing else but how to break the compulsion that kept her prisoner. Her reluctant warden was certainly sexy and intriguing, but his standoffish behavior was outputting to say the least.

After a couple of weeks, however, after several ‘mind-trips’ into a fantasy reality in which Morgan is a perfect gentleman – and perfect lover – Angelina finds herself falling for him and struggling to understand why he tries so hard to push her away. How can a man be charming and attentive one minute… and yet deliberately infuriating the next?

A visit from Irene, this time more interested in a stroll down memory lane than in murder, starts to explain Morgan’s fears. But can Angelina break down his barriers before it’s finally time to leave, or will his past prove to be too deep of a wound to heal?



About the Author:  Kallysten is a writer of romance novels and short stories, most of them with paranormal elements.

Her first eBooks were published by Linden Bay Romance in 2005. The defunct Venus Press subsequently published a few of her short stories. Because so many of her stories are linked as series and part of the same universe, she decided it would make sense to have them all in the same place, which is why she self-published, first with the co-op Alinar Publishing and now on her own. When she sees calls for submissions that speak to her muse, she sometimes tries for them, and was published this way by Samhain and Torquere.

Connect with Kally:


My Thoughts - 5 out of 5 unicorns - I loved it!!!
**Ebook gifted to me by author for an honest review.

Okay the cover doesn’t do anything for me, but the story more than makes up for it so do not judge this book by its cover. 

This is the best of the series so far :)  I loved everything except when it ended where I silently screamed NOOOOOOOOO!!!  I’m a horribly impatient person and now I have to wait.  It was the perfect place to end it, but Kally totally left us hanging.  I have no idea what will happen next which is awesome but torture all at the same time.

Angelina is an awesome leading lady, and I love how Kally has her sort of narrating her own story.  Kally’s writing is beautiful and gets you totally wrapped up in the story.  Angelina is strong even when scared.

In this story, we learn epic amounts of information about Morgan and why he’s the way he is.  We also learn quite a bit more about Stephen and how he came to work for Morgan.  And Mother, well let’s just say I do not like her at all.

If you have been reading this story, you definitely do not want to miss this story.  I highly recommend this series to all the paranormal romance fans who love vampire stories or of course if you are a Kallysten fan. 

Check out my reviews of the rest of the series: Ward of the Vampire (Book 1)

Interested in reading??

Entangled Covet Release Day Book Blast @entangledpub & Kindle GIVEAWAY @KT_Clapsadl



Covets have all the sexiness, emotion, and happily ever after that readers have come to expect and love from Entangled. They are firmly grounded in the contemporary world, but each novel brings in supernatural twists, breaking the contemporary and paranormal rules, alike. To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books you’ll be coveting next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, LIKE their Facebook page, and join the Book Club.

Today I'm happy to be featuring Covet's October releases!!




Bad Cop by Angela McCallister
Bad Mouth Sequel

A cop who tosses the rulebooks to get his way…

Vampire Ian McCready doesn’t care for Alice Capshaw’s opinions about his version of justice. Her humanity makes her off-limits, but that does nothing to lessen his overwhelming desire for her. To Alice, Ian is just another bad cop as detestable as the one who destroyed her family. She’s attracted to him, yes, but he threatened his way into her agency’s murder case and has too many secrets.

When a new case resurrects ghosts Ian believed long dead and buried, his law-bending ways might result in his execution. The second Alice becomes a target, his cold heart flares into blinding existence. But following the law for her sake may end with devastating results.



Four Weddings and a Werewolf
Seattle Wolf Pack #2

To have and to howl…

Logan Black, former Marine and bodyguard for the Seattle Wolf Pack, hates weddings and has no plan to walk the path to matrimonial misery. But when he’s hired to protect a hot-to-trot wedding planner with a werewolf stalker, he’s forced to put his feelings aside. Not such an easy task when the damsel can turn him on with a single smoldering glance.

Wedding planner Veronica Vale knows werewolves exist, but hates them. One bit her sister, changing their lives forever. When a sexy Marine shows his gorgeous face at one of her wedding appointments, Veronica finds it hard to focus on the task at hand.

The chemistry drawing Logan and Veronica together seems fated, but with Logan’s playboy attitude, Veronica’s hatred for werewolves, and a stalker lurking in the shadows, these two need more than passion to keep them together.





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My Thoughts - Oooo I want to read Kristin Miller's book :)  Looks good :)  I will have to look into book 1 too :)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Review & Giveaway @CleanTeenPub - Flame Caller by Jon Messenger @JonMessenger


Flame Caller
World Aflame #2

by Jon Messenger

Goodreads blurb:  THE EARTH GIVES WAY TO THE SEA,
THE SEA BOWS BEFORE THE WIND,
THE WIND FEEDS THE FLAME,
THE FLAME BURNS THE WORLD OF MAN DOWN TO THE EARTH.


White Halls is no longer a sleepy little town. Its houses lie smoldering on their foundations. The residents take refuge in their homes, afraid to leave. And the town’s prodigal son and newest Wind Warrior, Xander Sirocco, has fled.



Xander survived the first assault on his life by the Flame Caste, but it’s at a great personal cost. He and Sammy are left to bury his family and tend to his grandfather, who lies in a coma.



With the weight of the world on his shoulders, he can’t help but feel the fight against the Fire Caste is hopeless. It seems that way, that is, until he learns of a secret race of Elementals, embodiments of the elemental powers that the different castes wield. With the power of the Elementals comes a chance to save not just the Wind Warriors and Sammy, but the world itself.



Emboldened, he sets off to find the Wind Elemental and with it, the hope for his survival. Too bad no one has seen the Wind Elemental in generations and now thinks she’s just a myth. As he quickly learns, however, the Fire Elemental isn’t a myth. It’s real and it has a secret plan for his girlfriend. 

And it won’t stop until Xander is dead.


Grab your copy of Wind Warrior – The Novella for FREE on Amazon!

 About the Author:  Jon Messenger (Born 1979 in London, England) serves as an United States Army Captain in the Medical Service Corps. Since graduating from the University of Southern California in 2002, writing Science Fiction has remained his passion, a passion that has continued through two deployments to Iraq, a humanitarian relief mission to Haiti, and an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan. Jon wrote the "Brink of Distinction" trilogy, of which "Burden of Sisyphus" is the first book, while serving a 16-month deployment in Baghdad, Iraq.  Wind Warrior is Jon Messenger's break through novel published through Clean Teen Publishing. Jon Messenger has won a readers choice award as well as the Clean Teen Publishing writing contest for his Novella of Wind Warrior, which is also featured in Wonderstruck.

Connect with Jon:

 Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Website

My Thoughts - 5 out of 5 unicorns - I loved it!!!

***Received this ebook from Clean Teen Publishing for an honest review

Okay I mentioned this before, but the cover on this book is awesome.  It works and attracts you to the book.  I love everything about it!! Marya rocks at making covers for Clean Teen!!

Jon tells us a fabulous story.  He has a way with words that you feel that you are right there with the characters. 

Xander is a great hero though I did want to slap Xander a few times when he was having a pity party to snap him out of it and was mad at him a time or two, but I’m not telling you why because it would spoil the adventure for you. 

Xander’s friends Sammy, Sean, and Jessica are still integral parts of his life, but everyone is having a rough go in this book.  The Fire Caste is causing havoc and turmoil for everyone.  Xander feels the pressure from everyone to save humanity.

I have no idea where the story is going which is frustrating but awesome at the same time.  The ending was awesome and infuriating all at the same time which again I won’t tell you why because it would spoil your adventure.  The book was over much too quickly, and now I’m in another holding pattern because I want book 3!!  Jon, please hurry, I gots to know what happens next!!

If you read Wind Warrior, you have to read this one too!  And to all my friends out there who love books about elemental powers who haven’t read Jon’s books yet, what are you waiting for!! 

I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves a good adventure story!!

Interested in reading??


Still not sure, grab your copy of Wind Warrior – The Novella for FREE on Amazon to try the series!

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win:
  • Reader's Choice of Wind Warrior or Flame Caller
  • Wind Warrior and Flame Caller bookmarks
  • Authors are our Rockstars bracelet

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More from Clean Teen Publishing:


   



Saturday, October 26, 2013

Tour de Blogg Interview & Giveaway - M.P. Ness @Michael_P_Ness, author of White Leaves


Interview with M.P. Ness by Charline Ratcliff for Tour de Blogg

Hi Michael, thank you for being willing to share your story with us today. I’m sure your friends, family, and fans are interested to learn some of what makes you tick. J

Charline: So, I see in your bio that you mention you share the same birth month/day as Leonardo Da Vinci. You also comment that you feel you “own a share of the creative spirit for which the renaissance master was known.” Your comments lead me to believe that you have a certain respect/awe for the man and his accomplishments, and if so when did that start, and why?

Michael:  I’d say you’re very perceptive, Charline. 
   
Da Vinci was the quintessential Renaissance man. He could, and did, do it all. 


Few, regardless of their talents or medium, will ever be called “master.” Art itself is a mountain, virtually impossible to scale to its pinnacle. We will always be trying to be better at what we do, and we will never be perfect in our endeavors. That’s part of the philosophical beauty of the arts in general. Art is a way of life. It’s a mode of living toward continual self-improvement. But, Da Vinci, is hailed as a master, and after study, I’m comfortable saying that title is most likely true and fitting. Few others can say as much…

Prior to discovering our shared birthday, (now known as the American Tax Return deadline day,) I already had aspirations of being a Renaissance Man. I drew, I painted, and I sculpted. I wrote stories and poetry and songs. I philosophized; I had a craftsman’s background in construction, I enjoyed landscaping and architecture and I even played musical instruments a bit. So naturally, when I discovered that birthday connection, late in my tenure at the Art Institute of Seattle where I was working for a Bachelor’s in Animation and Applied Media Arts, it did become a sort of fixation. Da Vinci became a subject of intent study.

I felt proud to share such a celebrated artist’s birthday, and I found it interesting that two people separated by so much time and geography, could share such proclivity toward similar interests and abilities. Then, (no less curiously,) my own son, M.P.N.2., was due on my birthday as well. Unfortunately, he was induced two days early, on a Friday, the 13th.

Spooky…but true.

Charline:  Michael, allow me to continue a moment longer in the Da Vinci theme to ask: do you feel that your acquired knowledge about Da Vinci helped open the “creative” side of the world for you?

Michael: Given that discovery came so late, some seven years after I had already taught myself to draw, had been writing for as many, and had sought schooling to further those abilities, it had less of an impact than it might have, had I discovered it in my earlier creative years. I was already at the point where I knew I wanted to do everything. I wanted my creative control/director position, and I wanted to produce the stories I’d worked on for so many years prior.

However, in terms of focusing more on finer arts and expanding my abilities to include a wider variety of mediums and subjects when I should have been focusing on my animation studies, it certainly did have an impact. I began to see things differently, more mechanically, and from there my understanding of rendering complex three-dimensional subjects on paper took a dramatic leap. Not surprisingly, my animating skills improved as well. I literally began to set the grading curve in my respective 2-D traditional animation courses. Unfortunately, my desire and enthusiasm to draw frame after frame after frame, in what equates to endless hours of work for mere minutes and seconds of footage, took an opposite turn.

I decided then to simply write, and execute visual art by commission, (I’m always for hire,) and to compliment my storytelling. Art became a secondary passion. Writing remained dominant.

Many tell me that I should be composing Graphic Novels, given the multi-threat trait. I agree; I should be. However, one key element yet escapes me: page by page composition. It’s something I’ve always attempted, but never quite gotten the hang of. Perhaps one day I will commission a graphic novel artist to work with me on creating those types of books, as I hold a healthy respect for the graphic novelists and comic book artists/writers out there. They can do it all.

Charline: You know Michael; I was intrigued to read that you are a “sometime” musician. Does this mean you play an instrument and/or sing? If so, what instrument? I’m sure some of your readers/fans would also like to know if you have given up performing completely, or is there a possibility that they might see you out on a Karaoke night... *chuckle*

Michael: I was in boys’ choir in grade school, and I’m also told that I have a pleasant speaking voice. However, I do not sing anymore. Except in the car... Or sometimes randomly with my iPod when I’m really in the zone as I work on a painting.

In truth, the “sometime musician” means I used to play a fair amount of Bass.  Unfortunately, there’s only so much time in a day, a week, or a lifetime. Between the time demands of writing and art/art school, I knew I had to put music aside. It was a third passion, dominated by two bigger brothers.

Music is one of those things I can do, and I enjoy it, but it just isn’t my passion. Nothing equates to simply disappearing for hours into the imagination as you write a story.

Charline: Michael, you’ve shared that you’re an artist, and that you studied at the Art Institute of Seattle. You also mentioned that while you were there, you were inspired to write your debut novel series: E.L.F. White Leaves, the first book of your fantasy series is now out, and I’m curious what it was about the Seattle locale and/or experiences that brought this book series to fruition?

Michael: It was a newspaper stand, actually. On the sidewalk, right outside the AIS campus in Belltown, Seattle was a headline that snared my attention. Being a longtime fantasy reader, there’s no way I could have missed it.

“ELF burns down housing complex,” the headline read, in big, bold, blue font.

At the time, I had no idea what ELF meant, but it wasn’t something one would expect to see on a REAL newspaper headline. I bought the paper, read the article and discovered ELF: the Earth Liberation Front.

Based primarily the Pacific Northwest, the Earth Liberation Front is a hierarchy-lacking extremist-activist organization. They’re Eco terrorists, and not many people are familiar with such a concept. I know I certainly wasn’t.

These activists are in favor of defending nature, but in the long run their methods are misguided. They firebomb resource companies and housing developments and the like. They actually do more harm than good.

However, to me it was a story.  My initial question that struck me upon reading that headline was: “What if it WAS real elves that had burned down that housing complex? How would it play out? Why would they do such a thing? And how had no one ever seen one before?”

After stewing on the idea for a while, I then attended a PNWA, (Pacific Northwest Writers Association,) conference in Seattle where I pitched the raw, unwritten idea to urban fantasy author, Richelle Mead, during an urban fantasy seminar she was co-teaching. Frankly, I owe Richelle a huge thank you. I didn’t even write urban fantasy. No one in the entire seminar wanted to speak up about their stories when she and her co-host opened the floor to pitches; so I stepped up with nothing to lose and spilled my raw but coveted concept. She said something to the effect of: “If you can write it, you’ve probably got a sale on your hands there.” That was all the encouragement I needed. I at last decided to write it.  So thanks, Richelle!

I sat down, and the story literally almost wrote itself. I just did the pen-work. The rough draft, (135k words/29 chapters,) took me exactly 30 days. It just poured out, and just in time for the original version to take a place in my schooling, which at the time was the only way I was getting any writing done at all. Art school is no joke. The workload is staggering. So, I completed it for a screenwriting class under tutelage of Seattle’s well known, John Keister, (the 206 & Almost Live - sketch comedy shows,) who was teaching at the AIS at the time. He liked it enough that I decided I’d make it a book one day.

One day has come and gone. And so it is.

Charline: Michael, as a writer, why did you choose the fantasy genre?


Michael: There are several reasons, really. The funny reason; I’m an escapist writer, so for me its therapy.

I love to daydream, and fantasy reading/writing affords me that. I love immersing myself in other worlds. I think it keeps the mind sharp and helps with problem solving/thinking outside the box.

Mostly, though, I write fantasy because I’ve always been a fantasy guy. I initially started reading for personal enjoyment as a child, but only about animals. I had checked out every non-fiction book there was on dinosaurs, sharks, snakes and all the creepy crawly things little boys find fascinating, and I knew all the facts about all those animals. I was a sponge. But then that blasted, (but holy,) Book Mobile came to school early in the 4th grade. The first fantasy I ever read was one I bought there with my own coin.

The cover art sucked me in. It was Terry Brooks’ “The Talismans of Shannara” which is book four in his second Shannara series. I didn’t know that, and didn’t care. The image struck me enough that I had to know who the one armed man was and why he battled against an excellent rendering of the grim reaper who rode a unique, particularly vicious, looking lizard/cat sort of steed.

I razed that book to the ground, I read it so fast. I got to the scene that the cover art depicted, and I never looked back. The following year, I’d read every single Shannara book there was.

Why Fantasy? It captures me. It really does.

However, I have many stories I will prepare throughout the years to come, and not all are fantasy.

I also plan to write my mother’s memoir/biography with her. She’s led a…particularly brave life, and despite lifelong hardship, her kindness, generosity, patience, and understanding still know no equal in my eyes.

Charline: I did note Michael, that “White Leaves” has a rather stunning cover. It definitely attracts the appropriate attention for the fantasy genre. As an artist, did you design/draw the cover yourself, or did you come up with the concept and allow someone else to put your graphic vision to paper?

Michael: See, now you’ve totally touched on a topic I can really blab about for far too long. I’ll try to restrain myself. Firstly, I’m proud of it. I did indeed do the artwork, and I’m glad you like it. So far the response to the imagery as a cover has been wholly positive.

The cover started as a quick scene-sketch intended to help my creative juices by giving me a visual rendering of the awful “Powers” called: Traemin and Gane. I’d tinkered with various concepts for the cover art: a simple silhouette of a modified Seattle skyline to include a gargantuan tree, a simple, stylized, bold, flourish-styled tree in silver on black, as well as a few other ideas. However, after having created the current cover image, I couldn’t imagine anything else ever being the cover.

Personally, I am a fan of “scene” covers. I think this style provides a better idea of the story, especially since you’re looking right into one of the moments in the book as soon as you see the cover.

Artistically, I like to render photorealism with pencil/pen, but when it comes to digital and book covers especially, I really enjoy that roughly hewn, concept-art, sketch-quality painting that you see in the White Leaves cover. It just seems to feel more alive than a picture perfect rendering. So, I will most likely continue that trend; at least for the E.L.F. series, as I also like uniformity in series covers.

Image style and selection really get quite interesting when you take a look at the studies of why, and how, that loose style actually affects the imagination of a viewer/reader, as opposed to using photographs, like a romance novel might. Covers are all about establishing a connection with the internal individual. The more realistic something is, the more external, objective, or “out there” the subject is to your viewer. The more simplistic, vague, or stylized something is…the more a viewer can see of themselves within it, or of it within themselves. This is why Comics and Anime and Manga-novels and Cartoons are all so effective. Simplification and stylization…

The best example is a smiley face, because you cannot NOT see a smile when you see two dots and a curved line put together. There are many who may even have a difficult time NOT seeing a face in their car’s headlights, bumper or grill arrangement. Take the Volkswagen Beetle. Did you ever see such a smiley, happy, friendly looking car? No. Why is that? The designers in old Germany wanted to build an affordable vehicle that every commoner could own and love. Their vision worked flawlessly.

This concept also works with sports cars. How many of them just look plain old beastly, aggressive, and mean? There’s a reason for that beyond simply being aerodynamic. It’s a style choice, made specifically to appeal to a type of person who has a set standard of pre-existing interests.

This study was something I learned during my AIS tenure. You can find more about it in a brilliant book, “Understanding Comics,” by graphic novelist/comic artist and writer, Scott McCloud. It’s a comic book about making comic books. Some of his concepts are quite enlightening, and I highly recommend it, even if you aren’t an artist, but especially if you’re thinking about creating graphic novels.

But I digress…to continue with the matter of connection.

As an artist, I like to show works in progress. I’m not shy about it, and I don’t secret away my upcoming book covers to do special-event cover-reveals. I like others to be part of that creative process. And in my opinion, if they get glimpses as I go, they can get more excited about it. I like to think others become more connected that way. As again, it’s all about establishing that connection. And that doesn’t only apply to the visual. We writers pour a great deal of ourselves into our words, and I like to know that others know I’m in total creative control, and that you readers are getting the purest look at me and my vision of my tales as you possibly can.

Case and point, let’s connect a moment. I’m actually in the process of creating the cover art for “Blighted Leaves;” book two of E.L.F., lately.  I take a certain measure of delight in revealing the fact that the sequel and its cover-art were both inspired by…chocolate chip cookies. Yes, chocolate chip cookies.

But that’s crazy talk! You might exclaim. The title is “Blighted Leaves,” and it’s darker than the first book by far. How could it be inspired by something so sweet and decadent and frankly harmless as freshly under-baked chocolate chip cookies?

To which I can say…because, E.L.F. was originally just going to be a stand-alone story. I wrote it in school. It had a single direction and a single dimension at first. However, one day I saw an image on a plate of chocolate smears left behind by fresh chocolate chip cookies. I sketched it because I though it looked a little like a monster, and I thought I could improve upon that happy chaotic accidental image. Sometime later, that sketch triggered a connection with White Leaves, and E.L.F. literally came to life as a whole world of stories.

The point, all triggered by your connection/reaction to the original cover art, Charline, is this… Everything about my books is done by me. As I said before, I like that unrestricted creative control. I believe an artist‘s vision is best when pure. So, with the exception of my wonderful Editor, Maryanne Torgerson, (who may actually be available for hire to other Indie authors,) the book’s entire coming to fruition has been done by my own two hands.

Charline: In closing Michael, what would you say is next for you once the E.L.F. series is finished? Another fantasy book/series? Or focusing on turning your books into blockbuster movies? 

Michael: Well, Hollywood might be a little way off yet. One needs some renown and credibility, not to mention inclusion in the Screenwriter’s Guild, before seriously tackling that mountain. So, for now, I simply plan to write books. But I would very much like to see my stories on screen. That’s why I write them. I see them. And that’s how I write them.

They’re literally written to be seen. Whether that comes by imagination or by film is merely a matter of timing, and perhaps a little luck.

I’m a very visual and linear writer. The visual aspect definitely comes from the artist part of me, and the linear is exciting because I never know how a story is going to unfold. I get to discover it just as much as a reader might. I think it creates a visceral experience in the reading, much like how the rough-hewn imagery of the cover creates a more living feel.

At any rate, E.L.F. wasn’t the first story I ever wanted to tell, and it won’t be the last. It’s just the first one to make it to the chopping block.

I have a much…larger higher-fantasy saga to tell under the working title of “The Winds of Arillus,” the first book of which will be called “Pheinixfall” for reasons which will eventually become apparent. But that won’t be until after I release a few of the E.L.F. tales. And there are a number of unique standalones, or potential other series that I’d like to delve into. For now though, it’s straight-ahead, full-steam with E.L.F.

Aside from that I’m also in cahoots with a small contingency of other Indie authors, creating a network around our personas rather than our writing genres. The publishing industry as a whole is like a newborn all over again. The environment we are coming up in is radical and fresh, and authors all over the world have to rethink outside the box, just how best to appeal to the right readers to make their careers. So, we considered this and decided to approach it from a new perspective.

We decided to appeal to people and readers with similar interests as our own, as opposed to people who specifically read fantasy, or thrillers, or sci-fi-noir-gothic-grind-house-multi-genre-fusions. Since our interests are part of ourselves, and thus come out in our stories, we believe a fantasy story can appeal to someone who happens to like the same music as the author, even if that reader wasn’t into fantasy prior to finding our work. We’d like to think this is a radical and fresh way to approach our own collective marketing. It may well be crazy enough to change the dynamic; given time…if you consider that it’s the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world that actually end up doing so.

Our take…? The authoring world doesn’t have much, if any, in the form of rock stars. As unconventional individuals with interests in some really cool things out there in the variety of mediums that entertainment takes, we collectively agree and suppose a new breed of young author is rising, and fast.

We aren’t your stereotypical authors. We’re people with interests just like the readers out there. We’re into the edgier side of life, and that comes out in our work.  So we’re building a network geared toward the hard and fast, full-throttle, and unique type of stories we tell in a variety of genre fictions.

I’d like to mention and suggest readers also take a gander my fellows in this venture. Thriller Bestseller, Charlie Flowers, whose “Hard Kill” has rocketed to chart topping, and Fantasy Author, J.L. Hickey whose “Secret Seekers Society” series is climbing the sales charts quickly, are on board -just to name a few. But there are more, many more, and I think there’s a large a number of us out there worthy organizing our efforts. Naturally, we’ll have more information on that when it gets a little more developed.

Pardon the name, but we’re a little unapologetic about our personas, and we’ll be operating under #BadassAuthors soon.

So, on that final note, I would also encourage other Indie authors who might be a little bit badass in their personal life and interest, and who aren’t afraid to show it, to get hold of me. We have the perfect place for you! Thank you, so much, Charline!

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About the Author:  Born in the Midwest, I share my birthday with Leonardo Da Vinci, and seem to share a bit of that creative monster's spirit.

I paint, draw, write, sculpt, and more.  I'm extremely prolific when I don't have life and day-jobs tying me down.

I published my debut novel, E.L.F. vol. 1, White Leaves, July 1st, 2013, and hope to release the sequel, Blighted Leaves, sometime early/mid 2014

White Leaves is currently available at all major online retailers in both print-paperback and eBook forms.

I do my own cover-art, book-trailers, formatting, and marketing.  It's tough, but a thoroughly engaging ride.

I've also done logo, cover art, and animations for local Seattle area musicians, other musicians elsewhere, luthiers, videographers, authors, and retailers.

Connect with M.P. Ness:


White Leaves (E.L.F. #1)

Goodreads blurb:  Shannon Hunter, an eco-terrorist member of the elusive Earth Liberation Front (E.L.F.) from Seattle, discovers real elves bent on more than petty sabotage...
Plunged into the a world teeming with magic she never really imagined to exist, Shannon discovers the terrible reality left to both Mankind and herself. The Elves have decreed - "Mankind stands upon its own terminus, heedless of ruin" - and its high time the real protectors of nature strike back.
The only person able to do anything to prevent a supernatural war mankind cannot hope to fight; Shannon must find a way to overcome her misanthropic ways, and prevent the Elves from making a mistake that threatens not only Mankind but all life on earth.

The contemporary fairy tale, "E.L.F." is set in a dystopian vein, somewhat akin to the Harry Bates' classic, "The Day the Earth Stood Still", only fantasy, not Sci-fi, and with far more epic action.

The Createspace Print Edition comes completely edited, with fully glossary of terms and pronounciations, and chapter 1 of "Blighted Leaves" (E.L.F. #2)

Interested in reading??
Receive a 50% discount on his book during the tour. The offer code is for Smashwords.com coupon code XS87Y.