Jade Kerrion’s New Release – Eternal Night

Eternal Night ebook

“What makes Kerrion’s writing so compelling is the beautifully flawed characters that find themselves in unexpected relationships…these kind of character level conflicts make Kerrion’s writing so deliciously addictive.”—Noor A Jahangir, Author of The Changeling King

“Everything you want in a great story. Love, intrigue, action, betrayal, and understanding.”—Ch’kara Silverwolf, Author of Daughter of Light and Dark

Alone for a millennium, since a human murdered her beloved consort, Ashra, the immortal icrathari queen, rules over Aeternae Noctis, the domed city of eternal night. Her loneliness appears to be at an end when her consort’s soul is reborn in a human, Jaden Hunter, but their reunion will not be easy.

Icrathari are born, not made. If Ashra infuses Jaden with her immortal blood, he will be a vampire, a lesser creature of the night, a blood-drinker rather than a soul-drinker.

Furthermore, Jaden is sworn to protect his half-sister, five-year-old Khiarra. She is the child of prophecy, destined to end the eternal night and the dominion of the Night Terrors—the icrathari and the vampires.

As Ashra struggles to sustain her crumbling kingdom in the face of enemies without and treachery within, Jaden fights to defend his sister and unravel a greater mystery: what is the city of eternal night, and how did it come to be?

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

READ AN EXCERPT

With Tera beside her, Ashra strode forward. A wall of vampires parted to reveal the other two icrathari, Siri and Elsker. A dark-haired human slumped at Elsker’s feet, his wrists cuffed behind his back. Ashra stifled a chuckle. Surely Tera was overreacting; the human was by far the weakest creature in the chamber.

Tera knelt down, wrapped her fingers into the human’s hair, and pulled his head back. The human’s face was handsome enough—the slash of his cheekbones accentuated his perfectly proportioned, sculptured features—but taken as a whole, he was not compelling enough to justify the fuss.

Ashra shrugged. “You’re wasting my time, Tera.”

Apparently undeterred, the icrathari warlord shook the human hard. His eyes flashed open. They were brilliant green, the exact color of the emerald ring Ashra wore on the index finger of her right hand. His gaze was unfocused, and the reflexive narrowing of his eyes matched the clenching of his jaw, hinting of wrenching pain.

Tera looked up and met Ashra’s gaze. “Taste his soul.”

Ashra recoiled, her upper lip curling in disgust. She had no desire to taste a human’s soul. Over the centuries, humans had grown weak, their small lives consumed by superstition and fear. It was better to live on the edge of perpetual starvation than fill her hunger with the pitiful excuse humans called a soul.

“Go deep,” Tera said.

But why? Ashra’s brow furrowed. She glanced at Siri and Elsker, but the two icrathari shrugged, apparently no more clued in than she was. She looked back at Tera. The icrathari warlord known as Ashra’s Blade was the epitome of calm understatement. If she was so insistent, she must have had a reason.

Ashra knelt beside the human. Without flinching, she placed her hand against his muscled abdomen. It was bloody, his flesh ripped by a vampire’s talons.

The man tensed at her touch, and his eyes flared wide with agony when her soul-sucking powers leeched into him. His breath came hard and fast, his chest heaving with the effort as he twisted in Tera’s unyielding grip, trying to break free.

Ashra’s eyes narrowed. The human was weakened—tapped into his life source, she waded through his dazed thoughts and shivered from the echo of each spasm of pain that wracked his body—but still, he fought Tera on the physical plane and Ashra on the psychic dimension, denying her access to his memories and to his soul.

She frowned and slammed her will against his, tearing an anguished scream from his throat, but still, his will did not crumble.

Askance, Ashra looked at Tera. “Did you taste him?”

Tera nodded. “It wasn’t hard the first time; he didn’t know what to expect, but apparently, he does now and is doing a fine job of fighting back.”

Was that grudging respect she heard in Tera’s voice? “Does his soul really matter?”

The icrathari nodded again.

Ashra’s shoulders shifted with the motion of a silent sigh. His resistance left her with little choice. She leaned forward and glided her lips over his in a whisper of a kiss.

Human myths spoke of succubi and incubi—demons that, with a touch, could stir lust in their unwilling victims. All myths were based in reality. The maddening beauty and soul-sucking powers of the icrathari had spawned the legends of succubi and incubi. With a touch, the icrathari could lure their victims into a state of sexual ecstasy, bending the will and baring the soul.

The human tensed against Ashra, resisting the intimate contact. She almost recoiled. Had the centuries dulled her innate powers? Surely she had not forgotten how to lure a man.

She closed her eyes and remembered love.

As always, Rohkeus’s fine-featured face—those beautiful gold-flecked green eyes, so unusual for an icrathari, and teasing smile—came to the fore. With a dreamy half-smile, she deepened the kiss, driving the memory of love before her like a sharpened stake.

At last, the man relaxed, succumbing to the kiss. She leaned into him, heedless of his crimson blood staining her white gown. He was warm, feverish even. Just skimming over six feet, he had more than twelve inches on her, but his physical strength, compared to hers, was puny. She was well aged; over four millennia old, she was the oldest of the icrathari and the strongest. She could have broken his neck with as little effort as a human child snapping a twig.

Her hand trailed across his muscled torso. He made it easy for her to be gentle. His body trembled as if he longed for her. His mouth was hungry for her kiss. He arched up against her, as if craving more. His need was like a living creature, wild and aching for her touch.

Eyes closed, Ashra shivered. Only one other person had desired her as much.

And he was dead.

She forced her way through the memories of pale bodies tangled upon cool silk sheets. When her soul-sucking power leeched out, it found no opposition. Images of the human’s life rewound in a blaze of vivid sights, sounds, and sensations.

Ashra looked up at Tera, her smile little more than a barely perceptible curve of her lips. “He fancies himself the protector of the child of prophecy. Was she among those taken tonight?”

Tera nodded.

Ashra chuckled, the sound without humor. “It’s a pity her genetic heritage wasn’t sufficiently superior to prevent her from being culled.”

“There’s more. Go deep.”

She pushed past the blackness at the start of his memories, expecting deeper darkness. Instead, the colors shifted into shades of ochre and gray. Memories, older than his body, resided in his soul; memories of an Earth long since lost to them—a planet surrounded and nourished by water; images of tall buildings glistening beneath a benevolent sun, and of thriving cities filled with the bustle of humans; memories of quiet and intimate conversations beneath a silver moon, the same silver moon that now graced Malum Turris with its light, though a thousand years older and viewed only from beneath the protection of the dome.

She saw herself as he must have seen her, a much-younger icrathari, still hopeful for the future, never realizing that the Earth they had all known and loved was irretrievably lost. Had she ever looked that vulnerable? Had her smile ever been so beautiful, so filled with love as she looked upon—

Rohkeus?” Oh, blessed Creator, was that stricken whisper her voice?

~*~

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

Connect with Jade Kerrion at: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon

Time to Review and Renew

free-happy-new-year-2014-clipart

Now that I’m in the down period before the start of 2014, I thought it a great time to look over the past year and the goals I set for myself. If that doesn’t discourage me, I’ll move into the new and renewed goals for 2014.

The Writing Goals for 2013

  1. Launch Trails in the Sand Done3-D1web
  2. Finish Safe HarborThis didn’t happen, but I’m working on it and changed the title to Native Lands.
  3. Publish a book of essays on my travels. I already have a name: Odyssey to Myself –  I have a file started and introductory chapters are forming, but still lots of work to do. Hopefully, I will get it done during the winter months.
  4. Pull together all of my gardening blog posts from my blog “Living Lightly Upon this Earth” into a bookDone. I published From Seed to Table in May 2013.S2T-5
  5. Read the pile of books on my desk, both fiction and nonfictionSome of the pile is still there, but I’ve made a dent. I’m also working through all the books on my Kindle. And I’m attempting to show self-control by staying away from bookstores.
  6. Establish myself as a bestselling author – I suppose in some altered reality, I could claim this title. I’ve made it to the No. 1 slot on Kindle during my free day offerings. I don’t think that really counts, but it’s something. I continue to add followers to my twitter account (more than 2,000 followers at @PCZick), I have three Facebook fan pages now: P.C. Zick Author, Florida Environmental Novels, and Civil War Journal. The pages continue to gather followers. Combined they represent nearly 1,000 “likes.” Each week I receive several more followers to my two blogs: Writing Whims and Living Lightly. I try not to obsess over the numbers but the last time I checked I had more than 500 “real” followers of my blogs.

So those were the goals of the past year. Even though I marked two and a half of them in red, I’ve at least made progress on them. In addition, I did one major thing this year that never made it into the goals because a year ago, I didn’t know that I would put together the Civil War journal of my great grandfather, but I did just that and published it in October as Civil War Journal of a Union Soldier. I’m very proud of that labor of love.Civil War Kindle CoverI also re-released a novel from 2003. A Lethal Legacy is a psychological thriller and still one of my favorites.LL_PBOOK005

With that out of the way, I have some new and old goals for 2014.

1. Establish myself as a best-selling author – I’m going to keep this one on here until it happens in a real universe. There are sidebar goals to achieve toward this end:

  • Market all of my books through free websites, social media, and paid advertising only after researching the outcome.
  • Continue building social media relationships. I’m better on Facebook than Twitter but I keep trying. For now, I’m concentrating on those two giants before expanding out. However, I believe Google is coming on strong so I will keep my eye tuned there.
  • Continue writing my blogs to give my followers something interesting, intelligent (most of the time), and worthwhile to read. I will continue Author Wednesday and Book Review Friday which are a delight to do while helping my fellow authors. I plan to get back on a regular schedule with Living Lightly.
  • Most importantly, I will continue to write and publish.

2. Finish writing Native Lands and publish it in 2014 – I’m not quite ready to make a date commitment yet, but I will in a few months.

3. Publish Odyssey to Myself – Goal for publication: March 2014. We shall see.

4. Work on new travel blog, P.C. Zick Travels – I already have this set up for photos and essays from my travels, but I need to work on it more and then promote for followers.

5. Establish my editing and formatting business – This is something I’ve put off while working on my books, but I will soon be offering my services in a formal way. I’ve been editing fiction and nonfiction for years but went away from it when I started my journey as an Indie Author. A former client, Leona Bodie, hired me to edit her new book this year and now another fellow writer has hired me to format her book of Cuban recipes for Create Space. I’m excited about getting back to helping others realize their own writing dreams.

6. Start a new work in progress by the end of the year – I have two or three ideas floating around, and I keep jotting down ideas.

So that’s it for me this year. These are all reachable goals and help me clarify my focus.

Happy New Year to you all. I’m so grateful to all of you who follow this blog and who take the time to comment and “like” my posts. Thank you.

What are your goals for 2014?

Last Minute Gift Suggestions

DSC03109Happy holidays to you all. The days for shopping have dwindled down to hours, but there are still gifts to be given in the form of eBooks for new Kindles and hard copy books that might arrive a bit late but still appreciated.

Today I want to give you a little help in the last minute hustle to keep you off the roads and out of the busy malls. These are my recommendations for buying books from authors I’ve featured on Author Wednesday and reviewed on Book Review Friday in 2013. Enjoy! Just click on the links below to read interviews and reviews. You’ll also find links to the books in interviews and reviews. Also check out all the other authors I’ve featured here since March. I look forward to reading their books in 2014.

*Rachelle Ayala

Author Wednesday, March 6

Author Wednesday, November 27

Reviews of Rachelle’s books – Hidden Under Her Heart, Knowing Vera

*Darlene JonesAuthor Wednesday, April 3

Book Review Friday – Embattled by Darlene Jones

*Mary GottschalkAuthor Wednesday, April 24

Book Review Friday – Sailing Down the Moonbeam by Mary Gottschalk

*Michele Shriver 

Author Wednesday, May 22

Author Wednesday, October 23

Book Review Friday – After Ten by Michele Shriver

*Christina CarsonAuthor Wednesday, June 5

Book Review Friday – Suffer the Little Children by Christina Carson

 

*Francis GuenetteAuthor Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Book Review Friday – Disappearing in Plain Sight by Francis Guenette

*Lori CraneAuthor Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Book Review Friday – Elly Hays by Lori Crane

 

*Denise Kahn Author Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Book Review Friday – Split Second Lifetime by Denise Kahn

 

*Sarah Mallery Author Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Review Friday – Unexpected Gifts by Sarah Mallery

*Christoph Fischer
Book Review Friday – Sebastian by Christoph Fischer
*Revital HorowitzAuthor Wednesday, July 31
 Book Review Friday – Daughters of Iraq by Revital Horowitz

There are so many talented authors out there today, published traditionally and independently, and I hope you give the gift of reading this holiday season and in 2014. Happy and peaceful holidays to you. Thank for reading and following my blogs.

???????????????????????????????Click on the photo of my books above and take a peek at my author page on Amazon.

Author Wednesday – P.C. Zick

???????????????????????????????Welcome to a special edition of Author Wednesday. Since I didn’t have any authors lined up for the last two weeks in December, I thought I’d take a chance on answering my own interview questions. I found the experience slightly weird, but fun. Here goes. Patricia welcomes her alter ego, P.C. Zick, to Author Wednesday.

Welcome, P.C. You’re looking mighty fine this morning. I know you’re a great admirer of Rachel Carson (Silent Spring). She once said she never chose a subject because as a writer, the subject chose her. Describe a time when a subject chose you.

I saw a docu-drama based on Rachel Carson’s life, and when the actress portraying her spoke the line about a subject choosing the writer, I cried. It described perfectly how I feel about my writing, particularly fiction. My husband, the engineer, was with me and for the first time, he understood my writing passion. I thought I’d have to explain to him why I was crying, but when I turned to him, he had tears in his eyes, and I knew he understood. Sometimes a line will come to me during sleep. That happened with Tortoise Stew. I woke one morning with the first line in my head without even knowing I was going to write a novel about Florida developers and environmentalists gone mad. The line was “The bomb sat in a bag on Kelly Sands’ desk for an hour before she noticed it.” I even had the character’s name choosing me. That remained the first line of the book throughout all the revisions. My latest novel Trails in the Sand came to me in a similar manner although I changed the first line of that book many times. However, the first line, “My family didn’t understand when I married my sister’s husband,” remained a part of the plot of the book.

What messages or themes do you try to convey to your readers?

I like to write about redemption to show it’s never too late to turn a life around to the positive aspects of life. I suppose some of that comes from being raised by a mother who was certain she—and our entire family—was cursed. I’ve fought my whole life to break out of that syndrome. I hope to make a difference through my writing and life, and even though my mother died in 1998, I think I’m trying to show her life is much better when living on the light and positive side. Trails in the Sand contains elements of that message. I also try to convey the importance of communication. Often times, we don’t express our deepest thoughts to those that matter and it results in all sorts of complications. Expressing our truths to those we love is the best legacy we can leave.

How does setting play a role in your books?

I lived in north Florida for thirty years. For several years, I worked as a reporter and covered several small towns on the brink of entering Florida’s out-of-control land grab and development. There are so many characters weirdly real in Florida, and the setting is sometimes magical, sometimes frightening, but most of all interesting. Plus, using the weather as a plot device is one of my favorites. Hurricanes and tropical storms are good for building tension. I’ve developed a new genre—Florida Environmental Novels—and I plan on continuing as long as the ideas come to me.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on my next Florida novel, Native Lands, which delves into the disappearance of a whole tribe of Native Americans after the arrival of the Spanish. The novel goes between the past and the present day as an international conglomerate attempts to turn Florida—from the Everglades to St. Augustine—into one complete living environment. It stresses the concept of connection between people and between ecosystems. It also showcases the traditional thinking of development in Florida, which is to destroy the natural environment to build a fake environment for people to enjoy. Disneyworld is the shining example of this concept in central Florida just north of Lake Okeechobee and the gateway to the Everglades. Also, I’m pulling together a series of my travel essays for Odyssey to Myself, which I hope to publish in the coming months.

Are your books traditionally or self-published? Why did you choose one over the other?

When I first started out writing novels, I went the traditional route. Small publishers picked up my first three books. I even had an agent for a few years. It sounded so professional and successful to say, “My publisher” or “My agent.” But the reality is different because nothing happens unless the author is willing to get out and sell her books, no matter who publishes it. And the amount of money given over to agents and publishers is far too much based on the amount of work required by the author. I dropped out of this world around 2007 after publishing Tortoise Stew. I probably sold 500 books of my first novel A Victorian Justice after literally pounding the pavement and setting up book signings. It was exhausting work, and I only received a pittance in return. I tried half-heartedly with A Legal Legacy and Tortoise Stew, but I lost enthusiasm for book signings. The toll was far too high for the return. So I kept writing, but I didn’t enter into the query, rejection, query cycle. In 2011, I decided to enter into the new revolution of Indie Authors and eBooks. I reissued A Lethal Legacy and Tortoise Stew. I published the novel I wrote from 2007-2009, Live from the Road, and then this past year Trails in the Sand. I’ve also published two nonfiction books, From Seed to Table and Civil War Journal of a Union Soldier. I’ve sold far more books by sitting in my lovely office as an Indie Author. I love the freedom it offers me, and it fits my personality. It’s not for everyone, but for me, it’s perfect. I work well on my own, set deadlines and keep them, and continue to write. At this point, I can’t imagine going the “traditional” route again. Someday soon, the Indie Author path will become the “traditional” way of publishing.

What book are you reading right now?

I’m reading Anya’s Story by Julia Gousseva on my Kindle. I’m also reading a book on starting an editing business online, which I’m in the process of doing right now. I have at least fifty books in the queue on my Kindle. I have a shelf lined with books to be read. And I’m reading passages from several books on Florida and its environment. I’m never without a book in hand. I love my Kindle because I can slip it in my purse easily and take it wherever I go, but I still get a thrill from reading hard copy books.

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Happy Holidays to you and yours. Remember to think about gifting some Indie Author books that I’ve featured on this site. Most of the books are in eBook or paperback form. There’s some real talent out there and most of us do it because this thing called writing has chosen us, and it won’t let go. Happy reading.

Patricia (and P.C.)

The Threads of a Novel

It’s been a good month for working on my new novel Native Lands. I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I started this book back in 2006. Back then, I called it Connecting the Dots because that’s what I wanted to do in the novel: I wanted to connect people and environments to show how interconnected we all really are. That’s still one of my themes, but I’ve added another dimension by creating a storyline from Florida’s past and a race of people who disappeared two hundred years after the arrival of the Spanish to Florida’s shore near St. Augustine. Recently, the story of Locka and Mali and the members of the Timucuan tribe have been living with me.

While on vacation in Florida, I wrote in my novel notebook whenever a vision would come to me. I was staying near the village of Seloy where a tribe of Timucuans lived for thousands of years. I wonder if that made the presence of these characters so real to me. Since the first time I read about these Natives and their disappearance, I’ve wondered how an entire race could no longer exist. How could that happen?  Timucuan

Now I have four threads running in the novel. Logistically it becomes a nightmare without careful plotting and planning. For the two weeks of vacation, I devoted myself solely to writing the story of the Timucuans from 1762 forward. That would put them in the waning years of their existence, if the storybooks are accurate.

This past week while brainstorming how to handle the confusion, I decided to separate the four threads before I begin the weaving of the tapestry. (I probably overuse this metaphor, but somehow I always envision writing as a quilt hanging on the wall. As one piece it represents the whole picture, but taken apart, it’s actually made up of many fine pieces of thread.) I decided to concentrate on the first third of the quilt, so I pulled the individual stories into their own files.

near the village of Seloy

near the village of Seloy

The story of the Timucuans is one file; the present day St. Augustine another; the present day Everglades another; and the evil consortium trying to ruin it all in another. The present day threads must all weave together cohesively with dates of storms as they move throughout the entire state. That’s right, I’m using the powerful elements of Florida’s climate as a plot technique. The past section must contain parallels to the modern day. If I’ve confused you, you can only imagine my state of mind prior to pulling the whole thing apart.

This week I’ve carefully been going through each of the parts. It’s an amazing way to look at the novel, which I’ve never done before. It’s much easier to adjust and see the whole picture while I’m looking at the individual parts. Even if you aren’t writing such a convoluted plot, this technique might work for you, too. Most novels have many subplots intertwining to help build tension.

Today I put the parts together, which makes up the first third of Native Lands. I fit the pieces together as I would the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The pages are printed, and I’ll spend the next week reading and thinking about the next steps in the story.

I tend to know where I want to go with a novel, but I don’t know how I’m going to get there until I start moving through the plot, conflicts, setting, and characterizations. Right now, I know how I want all this intrigue to finish, but I haven’t a clue how I’ll pull it off. The key is not to panic from the not knowing.

Native Lands is my sixth novel, and I’ve learned a few things along the way. Most importantly, I’ve learned to relax into the writing, and all the rest will fall right where it’s needed.

That’s the quilt I wrap myself in whenever I doubt that the tapestry will come together into one cohesive whole.

The first thread of Native Lands

Locka sharpened the tip of his rivercane spear with an oyster shell he dug out of the mound near the waters of the Tolomato River. The oyster provided his village of Seloy with food, and the shells served many purposes such as honing the point of the rivercane so he could spear food or spear the enemies that threatened his people. Locka preferred using it to kill deer or alligator, but if he had to keep his tribe safe, he would kill the white man who threatened his tribe daily.

The mound on which he stood contained the shells of the seafood from many generations of his people. From his perch, he could view the river that flowed south to the Spanish settlement of St. Augustine. At one time, his ancestors worried about other tribes attacking them. Now Locka’s village remained on a vigilant lookout for the Spanish who persisted in their efforts to drive his people away from their native lands. Despite the small size of these invaders, their guns and cannons out powered the spear Locka sharpened. Yet, he’d managed to kill his share of those who came near his village. Now a new threat loomed with the arrival of another type of white man who came from an island across the ocean.

Book Review Friday – Disappearing in Plain Sight

Disappearing in Plain Sight - coverDisappearing in Plain Sight by Francis L. Guenette (see Author Wednesday interview with Ms. Guenette) is a beautifully executed novel about wounded souls attempting to heal and find their path in a life that hasn’t been kind—so far. The wounded bodies and minds converge in one lovely and isolated spot on Crater Lake on Vancouver Island off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. It’s the ideal spot to disappear in plain sight.

The title reminds me of times in my own life when I felt as if I was melting into the corner as life went on around me. It’s not a pleasant state unless done by choice.

One line in the novel resonated with me, “When people talked and gathered he simply disappeared.”

The main characters inhabiting the less social side of Crater Lake disappear in plain sight, and no one even notices.

No one notices, that is, until they all come together in plain sight of one another, and there in the safe cocoon of Crater Lake, they are all finally able to offer their pain, sympathy, and kindness to one another.

Ms. Guenette meticulously describes the scenery, particularly the home and gardens of Caleb and Izzy, where a door always stands open. I saw myself in that setting, entertaining in the gardens, holding book club discussions in the living area, and drinking wine in front of the small fireplace set on one of the decks overlooking the lake.

The point of view shifts from each of the main characters allowing the reader a full view of all the perceptions, misconceptions, and relativity of opinions based on the hurts and secrets of lifetimes touched by far too much sadness.

However, in learning about the characters, I became lost in their stories and rooted for all of them, most of whom are underdogs. Even the seemingly perfect Izzy garnered my sympathy for her life of unspoken desires and motivations.

The tension builds as love triangles and quadruples entanglements intensify. Unrequited love explodes as the layers of love peel away.

Life continues beating its heart even though we might disappear in plain sight at times. However, the tree that falls in the forest really does make a noise, and in the right place in time, others come running to help as happens in this novel. One of the characters says, “We don’t give up on each other anymore. . .” and that is the ultimate lesson of this novel.

Disappearing in Plain Sight reminds me that it’s never too late to start over and things in the short term that seem utterly hopeless turn to gems in the long run if only we see it through those times when it simply seems we’ve disappeared.

I recommend this novel that delves deeply into the human psyche and soul to give hope to all who only have to turn the page to become immersed in life at Crater Lake.

Click on photo to go to Amazon page

Click on photo to go to Amazon page

Author Wednesday – #Cover Reveal

White-Swans-FINAL-B&NToday I welcome Annamaria Bazzi, an author who’s visited me before. Also I’ve been on her blog for her Round Table Chat with authors. Annamaria is about to release the next book in her White Swans Series. Today I’m pleased to reveal her new cover for the book as well as an interview that she conducted with one of her characters who lives in her mind. I certainly know what that’s like, and I hope you enjoy the conversation on this installment of Author Wednesday.

By Annamaria Bazzi

Writing is a lonely road traveled by people whose imaginations scream for release, where stories form, characters are born and the life of the creator changes forever when the words are written down.

Almost two years ago, a beautiful face with no name materialized in my head. The young girl sat at a window, sad, staring into the landscape. She existed but never spoke to me, until one day she screamed for me to tell her story.

“My name is Kendíka,” she said, in a soft enticing voice. From that moment on, I lived and breathe Kendíka. This is a story whose ending I still don’t really know, but at least book one is completed and ready to be edited.

I must say, when Kendíka introduced me to Charles, her guardian, I too fell in love with the man who’s gentle, kind, protective. He had many of the qualities for a good husband. Would he be one? Time will tell.

Since the initial short story, which has turned into a novel, Kendíka has come to life. She has her own Facebook page and manages her own website. I must admit, she’s a rambunctious teen and at times gets out of hand with her demands. Still, I can’t blame her for urging me to hurry up and publish White Swans A Regency World. She’s ready to capture a fan base while I’m still struggling to make sure every word brings meaning to the story.

Kendíka – Hello folks, I see you’ve met Annamaria—

Annamaria – What are you doing here? This is my guest post.

Kendíka – Maybe so, but I think I can attract more fans than you can, so you should let me out of the bottle.

Annamaria – [stares dumbfounded] You just love to steal the show, typical teen behavior-someone who believes the world revolves around her.

Kendíka – Oh, but it does! That’s what you adults fail to understand. You’ve had your chances, now the world belongs to me, to the young. We are the future.

Annamaria – Yes, it’s just like I say, give that little inch and they’ll yank a yard out from under you.

Kendíka – What are you talking about?

Annamaria – Never mind. How have you come to help me?

Kendíka – I just want to tell folks about my story, my world, and my website. Is that a crime?

Annamaria – No, my dear, go ahead. I’m curious to hear what you have to say.

Kendíka – The book is still being work on, you know edits and stuff like that to make it a better read. She does work hard, but it seems to me the book is always in a transition state, never done, always being worked on.

Annamaria – What do you mean always being worked on?

Kendíka – Well, you’ve taken it from being a collection of short stories to a full-length novel, you’ve revised some of the shorts and incorporated them into the novel, so, yeah, you’re always doing something to it. I also think you started advertising and mentioning the book too early in the game and your strategy could backfire on you.

Annamaria – You’ve got a point there, but I still hope folks will enjoy the twists and turns in the book that micmicks a world in the Regency Era.

Kendíka – What’s up with that? Why couldn’t you keep it in the twentieth-first century?

Annamaria – The Regency Era is such a romantic and idolized period and the fashion so different. It’s a period filled with excitement.

Kendíka – [rolls her eyes] It’s a very restrictive era for women where men are in control of everything. How can that be romantic? Besides, this book is a fantasy not a romance novel.

Annamaria – Before the situation breaks out into one of our arguments, I believe it’s time to thank our host.

Kendíka – Thank you so much, Patricia, for hosting Annamaria and me.

Patricia – It’s always a pleasure, Kendíka and Annamaria. When you two get together there’s no room for a third voice to speak, except in the pages of the White Swan series. Congratulations on your impending release. I hope you’ll drop by after it’s published.

Give the Gift of Reading

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This morning as I prepared the Author Wednesday post for the week, I thought about my own life as a writer. What have I accomplished this year? I often times think I didn’t do much as I faced harsh treatments for seven months. But I gathered all the books I’ve put out in eBook format and in paperback. I placed them under my Christmas tree and sat back amazed. I published five books this year (Live from the Road went live in 2012). Two of the books (A Lethal Legacy and Tortoise Stew) were re-issues, but I still did the formatting for all versions.

Books still make wonderful presents in this world of eBooks. I hope you’ll consider giving gifts from Indie Authors such as myself. I feature authors each week on Author Wednesday and review when I can on Book Review Friday. Take a look at some of the offerings because I’m continually amazed and pleased to read some great books from Indie Authors. The only way this form of publishing can succeed is from excellence in production of works and from sales from readers. The genres are varied as are the writing styles and plot twists and turns.

A few promotional things I have going on this month:

Civil War Journal of a Union Soldier – The Kindle version is available at a discounted price for the next week on Amazon. Check out the book trailer for this – it’s my first one. Rob Hess at Elite Book Design created this stirring video. He was a dream to work with, and I love what he did with the story of my great grandfather.

Rafflecopter contest going on for autographed copies of Trails in the Sand and Live from the Road over at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews.

Most of all, I wish for you a safe and relaxing holiday season. So many times, we get caught up in the bustle and pressure that we forget to enjoy this time of family and love and celebration.

Book Review Friday – Unexpected Gifts

UG_Smallery61912Unexpected Gifts by S.R. Mallery lives up to its name. And the wrapping on that gift peels off layer after layer until the final beautiful gift reveals itself.

The book takes the reader on a journey through one young woman’s legacy left by her ancestors. Sonia feels adrift in her life as she continues her relationship with an up and coming rock star and pursues her degree in psychology.

Starting with her parents’ lives in the 1960s, she goes back through the years of the twentieth century as she “unwraps” the gifts left her. It’s not always a glittering and shiny gift, but there’s always a secret revealed as Sonia applies the lessons from her parents, grandparents, and great grandparents to her own life.

The book revisits some of the most significant events of the 1900s going back to its earliest years. Immigrants and Ellis Island; Detroit and the assembly line; the Great Depression and the climb out of it; women’s suffrage; the rumblings of race relations prior to the Civil Rights Movement; Woodstock and Vietnam—it’s all in this gem of a book.

Ms. Mallery shows the connection to our family ties and the lessons that should be learned from the painful experiences of those who went before.

I felt the scenes with Sonia’s great aunt Adriana were the strongest ones—or at least the ones that held an important meaning for me. Adriana is caught up unwittingly—or so it seems—in so many important causes in the first half of the century. Yet, Adriana’s sensibilities are all there in the movements, but not finely tuned until she experiences firsthand what it meant to be black in the United States. She relates through the prejudice she witnesses and through her own experiences as a woman as she fights for the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment.

The most compelling part of Unexpected Gifts comes from the perspectives presented. We are shown the worst side of the characters through the eyes of another. Then a short while later the perspective switches as the author changes point of view. Then we begin to understand, if not wholly condone, the behaviors and thoughts behind some of the worst characters. Sam, Tony, and Andrei, the fathers in each of the decades portrayed, are human, fallible, and often times cruel. But when the telescope delves into their minds, the reader is shown that judging others without living their lives, does a great disservice to us all as humans. Ms. Mallery shows us that the ones to suffer the most are the ones inflicting the most harm on others.

If you love history, particularly of the twentieth century in the United States, and if you love family sagas that connect the generations, then Unexpected Gifts is the perfect read, and the perfect gift to give someone unexpectedly.