Blog Archives

A Combination of Folklore

David A. Combs Author Interview

Ascension follows a teenage girl from a small town who discovers her destiny is to become a guardian with powerful magic and fight an evil demon. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?  

The story actually began with Anne-Marie.  She started as a character in a video game my family plays, and with time, her role became that of the “witch in the woods”.  I imagined her as an ageless guardian who watched over the generations of her family, always close by, but keeping her distance all the same.  In developing the story, I wanted the secondary Main character, Angelica, to be far enough along the family tree that when Anne-Marie revealed that she was Angelica’s 10th great grandmother, the significance of the relationship would stand out stronger.  Shade, the Father of Nightmares, grew out of a combination of folklore.  I knew his title first, so I wanted a villain who embodied different scary things.  A touch of Little Red Riding Hood, werewolves, zombies for the decay of his muzzle, and the patient confidence that his evil schemes would outlive the foolish mortals who might oppose him.  He never anticipated Anne-Marie’s vow upon her own Ascension to the mantle of Guardian to grant her near immortality and tie her life force so strongly to his own.

Angelica and Anne-Marie are strong, intelligent, and powerful witches. What was your inspiration for the characters and their relationship?  

The story was always going to be about love of family and the duty to protect those dearest to us.  I have two children of my own, and I think a lot of Anne-Marie’s devotion came from the relationships I have with my kids.  Angelica’s wit and boldness certainly comes from the day to day antics of my teenagers and their friends.  

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

I find that I often write about the idea of an unsung hero protecting the innocent from the dangers that they may not even know exist.  Anne-Marie begins her journey simply trying to take care of her own family, but finds herself thrown into a much larger fight.  There are moments where she thinks of turning her back on the responsibility she has assumed, but knows that if she doesn’t make the stand, then not just her loved ones, but the entire world could fall to Shade’s threat.  

When will book 2 be available? Can you give us an idea of where that book will take readers?  Guardian, Book 2 of the series is available now.  In 1671, Anne-Marie must flee from Shade’s enclosing grasp.  As the demon’s power grows, and new enemies arise, lashing out not just at the young woman, but at those she holds dear.  In present day, Angelica slowly recovers from her battle with Aiden Carmichael, but her impetuous actions have caused the veil between the realms to tatter, and she soon discovers her most beloved sanctuary has become the Father of Nightmare’s hunting ground. 

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Instagram | Website

Angelica Brighton is a typical 21st Century High School senior – a diligent student, a track star, and surrounded by good friends. Life on her family’s farm is tranquil, happy, and prosperous. The arrival of a mysterious letter turns her world upside down, unveiling a destiny that leads her into the ancient heart of the nearby forest and face to face with the local urban legend of her sleepy New England town.

Anne-Marie Carmichael is a compassionate and hard working wife and mother from the late 17th century. Determined to save her family’s struggling farm from financial ruin, she enters into a hasty bargain that unwittingly turns her into a soldier in a war that has lasted for millennia. Imbued with the primordial magic that extends her life and grants earth shattering power, the fiery natured farmwife must recruit the children of her family for generations to come to stand against the demonic Shade, Father of Nightmares.

As the barriers between our world and the Realm of the Demonkin falter, Anne-Marie must awaken in Angelica the might that lies dormant in the Blood of the Firstborn and shape her into the weapon that fate has called for her to become. For only the Witches of Pioneer Vale can hope to win the battle that threatens to destroy not just the pastoral community that Angelica has known her whole life, but existence itself.


Ascension: The Witches of Pioneer Vale by David Combs is a tale about Anne-Marie Carmichael, a loving wife and mother who is highly capable and willing to go to great lengths to protect her loved ones and her farm. The story originated in 1671, and Anne-Marie’s resources are limited, so she makes a pact with supernatural forces to become a protective guardian of powerful magic. Unfortunately, evil doesn’t stop, and Shade, a demonic wolf, lurks in the shadows, looking for a chance to cross over from his realm into this world to destroy it.

In the present day, Anne-Marie seeks to make an alliance with her descendant and meets a sociable, athletic girl, Angelica Brighton, with a great natural talent for magic. They must work together to uphold their family tradition as guardians, protect the world from the shadows, and fight for everyone and everything they love. I really enjoyed the dynamic of the characters. Anne-Marie is powerful, knowing fully well the dangers they face, whereas Angelica has a biting wit and cunning nature, despite lacking experience. Throughout their journey, protagonists abruptly step out of their comfort zone and take on great responsibility without hesitation.

The combination of two vividly distinct personalities was a great feature of this story. Combs shares two perfectly intertwined stories, with entertaining shifts from the past to the present. The story pace was excellent and fluid, keeping you attentive and eager to turn one page after the next. Ascension: The Witches of Pioneer Vale by David Combs is the first book in a series, and I look forward to reading the next volume.

Pages: 251 | ASIN : B07YT1LM4W

Buy Now From Amazon

A Villain’s Point Of View

Marc R. Micciola Author Interview

Ascension follows the leaders of the different races of Midstad, who are fighting to free their homeland from the evil that is taking over. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

I tried writing a short story from a villain’s point of view a few years before I started writing Ascension and I liked it so much that I just kept expanding the story and the world until I had this massive playground to pick where I wanted to play. Ascension was where I chose the story to start.

Did you plan the tone and direction of the novel before writing or did it come out organically as you were writing?

Some of the story was planned, I’d say the main plot lines at least. A couple things changed and a lot was added but I would say the tone and direction were fairly planned out before I started writing.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

A big theme that I tend to go to with all my stories is mental health and the realistic effects it has on a character. I also really enjoyed showing how a villain thinks, and how different villains can be villainous for different reasons. Some may not even really be evil at heart, it’s just the cards they were dealt. Character development is a big theme with my writing as well, and I like to think that every character moves in a direction throughout the story. No character remains fully the same. That goes for the world too! I count my world as a character, making sure it changes along with the characters.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Well, right now I’m working on a collection of short stories as a small project before getting to work on the third and final book in this series! Vengeance, book two, is already available on Amazon. The goal for book 3 is fall of 2023!

Author Links: Twitter | | Website

Book One in the Age of Shadow Saga

Many years ago, every race in Midstad came together to imprison a dangerous foe; however not everyone supported this decision and some swore in secret to set Him free one day.

Now, nearly two hundred years later the world is prospering during its longest age of peace. Elves are hidden away in their forests, dwarves live deep within their mountains, and humans have come together in a way which has never been done before. Life for every race is peaceful, until a mythical cult, The Black Light, makes their name heard in every corner of Midstad.

One violent day of assassinations sends elves, dwarves, and humans alike into a panic. The Black Light has shown themselves to be more real than many would have wished them to be, and they have named their leader; Iver, an heir to one of the human kingdoms.
Einar, son of the King of Hestferd, and his allies scramble to devise a proper response to this act of war. Their biggest worry? A name shouted by the assassins; Kemryr, the great foe who was imprisoned centuries ago. Many believe him to be nothing more than a myth nowadays, but myths seem to be becoming very real as of late. Einar’s father wishes to learn more, and so he turns to a secret friend for help. Together, Einar and his father seek out answers while Iver and his followers continue to carry out their plan in the hopes to reach their ultimate goal.


Ascension, by Marc R. Micciola, is the first book in the Age of Shadow Saga. This story follows the leaders of Midstad as they fight to gain control of the empire.

The novel begins with Otti and The Black Light. Otti is determined to get her beloved, Kemryr, back from imprisonment. She works with Iver to bring people to their forces, The Black Light, and gain control of the kingdom. Einar, Prince of Hestferd, and Elouera, the Queen of Skedia, work together to protect the kingdom from The Black Light. When Karina, Queen Eloueras’s daughter, is targeted by an assassin, the Hestferd rulers help the family hide with elves. Her family’s safety is instrumental in maintaining control of the kingdom and preventing The Black Light from taking over.

The writing style in this book is excellent throughout. Multiple POVs give depth to the story. Each character has its own development and storyline. Having numerous POVs allows the reader to understand the overall plot. The development behind Einar’s character was the most interesting to read and essential for the story to move forward.

This captivating book had a lot of varying elements for the first installment in an upcoming series. I wish there was more background information and world-building given to the reader so there is a better understanding of the world the author has built. There were bits and pieces of background given with each character’s POV, but it’s like putting together a puzzle.

Ascension is a riveting adventure and dark fantasy novel that gives readers a sense of nostalgia for similar worlds that are seen in Lord of the Rings or Wheel of Time. As the first book in the Age of Shadow Saga, it pulls the reader into the world created by Micciola, and they will be waiting for the next installment to see where the action leads next.

Pages: 303 | ASIN : B08BTMF46Z

Buy Now From Amazon

Complicated, Strange, and Fun

Kevin James Breaux Author Interview

Kevin James Breaux Author Interview

Two Polluted Black-Heart Romances follows the lives of a vampire, fairy and mummy as they try to escape the wrath of a paranormal group bent on revenge. What was the initial idea behind this story and how did that transform as you were writing the novel?

This was a follow up to One Smoking Hot Fairy Tail. In that story, the main character is hunted for her wings. The otherworldly world I created, opens up and you get a glimpse inside. In this new novel, I wanted to show a much deeper look insider. And I wanted to show how complicated, strange, and fun, some of the lives of these otherworldly creatures can be. My initial idea was to have something very large for all of them to be afraid of. But then I wanted something even larger to be out there to make the original big thing look small. Imagine if you were afraid of Godzilla and then an alien that could swallow the planet showed up. Yeah, something like that. J

The characters in this novel, I felt, were intriguing and well developed. Who was your favorite character to write for?

I always enjoy writing Sabrina London, the female lead. She is constantly growing and learning from her mistakes….her many…many mistakes. I also enjoyed writing for Joe, the new guy. The sentient slime character. He’s fun and funny. He also provides good contrast to the other characters and otherworldly races.

What draws you to the fantasy genre? When you start writing is this where your stories go naturally, or do you have the intention of writing fantasy?

I am drawn to the fantasy world. Totally. I prefer writing in a realm where anything and everything is possible. But I think my writing is secretly fueled by things more…steamy. When I watch a fantasy show on TV and it is devoid of sex or sexuality, I tend to feel empty. But when you give me something like Game of Thrones or Spartacus, which are filled with all sorts of naughtiness…then I feel like the story is complete.

If Hollywood came knocking, who would you cast to play your characters?

I love to cast my books. I do so on all my blogs and on my FB pages. For Sabrina, I think of Joanna Krupa as being exactly what she looks like. But as an actor I would cast Beth Behrs from Two Broke Girls or Jessica Sipos from Ascension. I would pick Beth because she is pretty and statuesque and funny. AND she pretty much already knows how to play a spoiled rich girl who had a fall from grace. So it makes total sense. I would pick Jessica because she has the sex appeal to play Sabrina.

For Moselle there is only one choice: Priyanka Chopa, from the TV show Quantico. When writing the books, I imagined a Sofia Vergara type of woman. But I think Priyanka is an even better fit now, and could pull off looking like an ancient Egyptian in flashbacks.

Cade…well, I have a image of him in my head. Slight built. Looks out of time. Like one of those classic Hollywood guys; James Dean at his peak. I always say it would be hard not to pick Ian Somerhalder, but he has already done this role. Still, I like him as an actor and he is the right body type and look.

Hollywood rang my doorbell once. But I was not dressed, and by the time I got to the door they were gone…

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am writing book three in this series. THREE BURNING RED RUNAWAY BRIDES. It will be released in late 2018.

Author Links: Website | GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook

Welcome to Los Angeles—but not the LA you know. Here, humans coexist with vampires, mummies, fairies, and other nonhuman entities. Everyone’s just trying to get by for the most part—but some are having more difficulty than others.

A vampire named Cade, a fairy named Sabrina, and a mummy named Moselle are on the lam after exposing the existence of the Otherworldly Assembly, a shadowy organization of paranormal beings. The assembly has sent terrifying assassins called wraiths to exact revenge. The nonhuman trio is in for a real horror show, and they don’t know the half of it—another threat looms, and its destructive ambitions are vast.

Meanwhile, a human named Jackson is recovering from a near-death experience. Old memories and new loves flood his brain, and he’s having trouble finding an outlet for all these feelings—that’s when Sabrina the fairy catches his eye.

Two Polluted Black-Heart Romances, a fast-paced adventure filled with high stakes and unexpected twists, continues the action-packed saga that began with One Smoking Hot Fairy Tail. When unimaginable dangers threaten the planet they all share, humans and nonhumans find a common cause and must work together to prevent disaster.

Buy Now From

%d bloggers like this: