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Ghost Hunts

S. J. Lomas Author Interview

S. J. Lomas Author Interview

Winter Chills is a collection of seasonal ghost stories that entertain and spark the imagination. How did the stories in this collection come together?

This collection was a collaboration between 4 writers who met through the #WritingCommunity on Twitter. I (S.J.) was in the process of starting up 8N Publishing, and a conversation with D.B. Carter led to the idea for this book. Derek R. King and Natalie Reeves-Billings were invited to contribute because I’d seen some of their work and was very impressed with it. I thought our individual styles would mesh well to create a cohesive overall book.

Winter Chills was born.

The Holiday Party was my favorite story from the collection. What was your favorite story from the book?

Thank you so much! It took me a lot of false starts before I was able to write The Holiday Party, so it really makes me happy to know you enjoyed it so much.

It’s hard to pick a favorite. Each story is special to me for different reasons. I think they all work well together, as a whole, even though we wrote them separately without knowing what everyone else was writing.

I’m very proud of how it all turned out.

What was the inspiration for your story, ‘The Holiday Party’?

I have a friend who’s a paranormal investigator. I’ve gone on a couple of public ghost hunts with him and it was a fascinating and peaceful experience. It really made me wonder ‘what if?’

I took that feeling and tried to apply it to the progression of the story.

Do you enjoy writing short stories, or do you prefer to work on longer novels?

It had been years since I’d written a short story, so trying that out again was a bit of a challenge for me. Every word and action has to count in a short story. You don’t have the luxury of tens of thousands of words to build up to the climax. You only have a few thousand. If you don’t start in the right place, or relay the right events, it won’t work. It was a challenge, but I really enjoyed it.

I’m working on a new series of novels now, but also starting a short story for a future collection. It’s good to keep the writing skills sharp by trying different things from time to time.

Author Links: GoodReads | TwitterFacebook | Website

In the spirit of seasonal ghost stories, this wintry collection will send a tingle down your spine, but may also warm your heart.Six short stories range from waiting for a mysterious midnight train, attending a party with an unexpected guest, a life-changing reunion for a miserable family, receiving a holiday greeting unlike any other, a visit from an unusual group of carolers, and a journey through a blizzard with a twist. Grab a blanket, your favorite hot drink, and settle in for some Winter Chills.

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A Lot of Burning Questions

Misty Hayes Author Interview

Misty Hayes Author Interview

Tree of Souls is the thrilling conclusion to your Blood Dagger series. What were some things you wanted to make sure you wrapped up before the end?

Without giving too many spoilers away (I hope not), I had to make sure I wrapped up Corinth’s (my eighteen-year-old reluctant hero and The Chosen One) journey, first and foremost. He had a lot going on in this last book—Tree of Souls—and he also had a lot of burning questions. Questions about his lineage, the blade he carries, and The Watchers, a group of elite warrior angels. I also had to make sure I gave Larna (my eighteen-year-old protagonist) her day too. It was important to show the extent of her growth at the very end. There were a lot of characters to finish fleshing out, especially Gabriel Stanton (the vampiric bad guy).

I always enjoy the next book more than the last. What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?

Thank you very much! I loved writing all of the books, but the last one is my favorite. The one and only challenge was to just finish it. Tree of Souls is a whopping 640 pages! It was a lot of work.

The emotional turmoil is palpable in this novel. What were some themes you drew on while writing?

Man, there was a lot of emotion running through the entire novel. I felt every bit of it. I guess you could say I drew a lot on life experiences, and how I would really react in certain situations. A good old-fashioned meltdown is never out of the question. It was important to make each scene as believable and fleshed out as possible. Smells and sounds and body language all help pull those together for the reader.

What is the next book or series do you plan to start next?

I just started a spin-off series to The Blood Dagger. It is not titled yet, but I am super excited to see where this new series takes me.

I am also plotting out a seven book series, a mix of Ready Player One meets Warcross. You might have a lot more reading to do in the future.

Author Links: GoodReadsTwitterFacebookWebsite | Instagram

Tree of Souls (The Blood Dagger Book 3) by [Hayes, Misty]

The first vampire.
The last Nephilim.
The end of a saga.

The epic battle between angel and vampire begins in this third installment in the Blood Dagger series. Ever since his meeting with a group of all-powerful angels calling themselves the Grigori went awry, things aren’t looking up for Corinth Taylor or for his best friend, Larna Collins. After Corinth was almost stabbed to death, Alastair Iszler, Corinth’s brother-in-arms, heroically stepped in to save Corinth’s life—thereby sacrificing his own in the process.

Larna, still reeling after losing the love of her life, has only one mission in mind: kill the vampire who tortured Corinth. Sarah. But things aren’t so cut and dry anymore when friends turn into enemies and enemies turn into friends. Trusting Gabriel Stanton, the leader of one of the most powerful vampire clans in the world, might just be enough to cause his downfall by her hands. Especially since she has the worst kind of history with him—the killing-your-father kind.

Will Corinth make it through his transition to become a vampire? Will the Grigori’s plan at world domination come into fruition? Can they pull together in time to stop the threat?

Find out in the last and most action-packed novel in the Blood Dagger series. It will not disappoint. A must-read from start to finish.

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The Henna Witch

The Henna Witch by [Scherzinger, GJ]

Evil is everywhere. The one place we expect to be free of it is in our dreams, but even those are sometimes not free from the grip of terror and the foreboding sense of impending doom. Men and women are waking in cold sweats and glancing about in a feverish daze trying to convince themselves that it was just that–a dream. The most amazing and terrifying part of it all? These men and women cannot free themselves from these larger-than-life nightmares–and they are having identical experiences. Their sleep is no longer safe and their dreams are certainly not their own.

The Henna Witch, by G.J. Scherzinger, is the enthralling account of Ashia Verena’s mission to defeat a sorceress invading dreams and creating a long path of terror among mortals. Ashia, with a massive task in front of her, sets out to do what no other Guardian can. She isn’t alone on her mission, however, and finds herself facing the task of hosting a young girl on a mission all her own.

Scherzinger writes beautifully with vivid imagery and creates details that lead the reader on a fantastic visual journey. What we, as readers, are not able to conjure, Scherzinger lays out masterfully before us. Where some authors of this genre lean toward flowery language, Scherzinger manages to keep his narrative straightforward and simultaneously descriptive and elegant.

As a reader who is more interested in the relationships between characters, I am pleased with Scherzinger’s approach to writing. The Henna Witch is filled with rich dialogue between characters. The author includes dialects that give his characters an added appeal and make it even more likely readers will become lost in the plot.          

I have to note that there were times throughout the book that Hansel and Gretel came to mind. For some reason, the imagery conjured by Scherzinger brings about the dark feel of the age old fairy tale–definitely not a bad thing at all for this fan of grim tales. 

Yet another plus to The Henna Witch is the length of chapters. Scherzinger keeps his chapters concise and brings each one to a fitting end that urges the reader on to the next. The book is overall a quick read and difficult to put down.

The budding friendship between Ashia and O’la is a precious thing. As their travel ensues, Ashia attempts to be both a mentor and a protector. The two grow closer and Ashia shows O’la how to live off the land and become more in tune with the animals. I enjoyed being able to see Ashia’s thoughts as she observes the fruits of her labor with O’la. Her own desire to not mother her too much is relatable.

The Henna Witch is easily one of the most engaging books in the witchcraft/fantasy genre I have encountered. With a surprisingly relatable cast of characters and an engaging and fascinating plot surrounding the phenomenon of dreams, it will appeal to readers across genres.

Pages:  235 | ASIN: B07MHZQLND

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Designed to Frighten

Anita Dickason Author Interview

Anita Dickason Author Interview

Not Dead starts with the abduction of a little girl but slowly builds into something more ominous. How did this idea for the novel start and change while writing?

The doll on the cover exists. It’s sold as a prop for Halloween houses. Several years ago, the picture of the doll standing in a decrepit, ramshackle room was the subject for a short story contest. Intrigued by the image, I entered the contest. While the doll was designed to frighten, I wanted a different twist. That’s how NOT DEAD got started. The original story was 500 words, and the title was Not Dead, Not Dead. I won third place. And, that’s all it took to get me hooked on writing.

I have always wanted to go back to that first story and turn it into a full-length novel. With the foundation of the plot in place, it was perfect for the expansion of the characters, location, and the dolls.

I felt that the mystery and intrigue was built exceptionally well in this novel. What were some goals you set for yourself as a writer for this book?

I enjoy creating a plot with twists and turns that keep the reader guessing, right up to the last page.

This novel highlights how difficult it can be to lose someone. What were some themes you wanted to explore in this novel?

I’m not certain there were any themes. It’s more my law enforcement experience and knowledge that add realism to my plots and characters. As a cop, children were the best and worst of my experiences.

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

NOT DEAD is a deviation from my FBI Tracker novels. For the next book, I am back with the Tracker team in high gear as they deal with espionage and murder. I don’t have a title yet as my titles are inspired by a phrase or idea in the plot. So far, inspiration hasn’t struck, and the file is still titled—no name. My goal is to have it ready to publish by late spring/2020.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Not Dead by [Dickason, Anita]

A small-town Texas cop who is haunted by his past.
A reporter who risks it all, even her life.
A kidnapping that crosses into an unearthly realm.

Focused on the abduction of four-year-old Mandy Norton, Chad Bishop, Meridian’s Police Chief, ignores the twinges of foreboding triggered by an eerie fog that shrouds his town. What he can’t ignore is the editor of the Tribune.

When Ashley Logan becomes embroiled in the search, nothing stops the hard-hitting, investigative reporter, including Chad’s threats to throw her in jail. She’s Mandy’s aunt.

As the mystery of Mandy’s disappearance deepens, unnerving details emerge. Chad refuses to believe they’re connected to his past until the case turns deadly. He’s forced to face the terror that haunts him. It’s waiting in the shadowy depths of the unearthly fog.

This time, it could cost Chad more than his sanity.

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The Chase : Book 2 in The Hunt Series – Trailer

After her rescue from the Hunters and vampire, Maeleigh must navigate between the lies her father has told her with Gearden and the pack’s help. Not only that, but she has learn how to be not just druid, but lycan as well.

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Literary Titan Book Awards January 2020

The Literary Titan Book Awards are awarded to books that have astounded and amazed us with unique writing styles, vivid worlds, complex characters, and original ideas. These books deserve extraordinary praise and we are proud to acknowledge the hard work, dedication, and imagination of these talented authors.

Literary Titan Gold Book Award

Gold Award Winners

The Modronovich Incident (A Thomas Spaulding Mystery Book 1) by [Dean, R.L.]

U-10: The Most Ingenious Technology in the Galaxy by [Miller II, Sam B]Not Dead by [Dickason, Anita]Wind Across the Prairie by [Easterlin, A. E. ]

Crocotta's Hackles (The Incarn Saga Book 3) by [Wibell, Katharine]Best Is Temporary - Be Better by [Jekel, Joe]The Mendelian Protocol by [Finkle, Raymond]

Kill Crime: A Jeff Case Novel-Stunning crime thriller full of twists with an unpredictable ending. Book 1 by [Slavin, Mike]Tree of Souls (The Blood Dagger Book 3) by [Hayes, Misty]Duty and Betrayal: The SS Brotherhood and the NASA Connection by [Oliver, Toby]

Honeycake: Special Magical Powers by [Kalantar, Medea]

Literary Titan Silver Book Award

Silver Award Winners

Murtairean. An Assassin's Tale: A Novel in the Dal Cruinne Series by [Lees, Jenn]The Revenged Queen (The High School Queens Trilogy Book 2) by [Ryan, Zachary]Experiment X: Revolt by [Haase, Nikki]

Marley Faces Reality by [Mooney, Lesley J]Realm by [Weis, Alexandrea]

Raji: Book One: Octavia Pompeii by [Brindley, Charley]Hannibal's Elephant Girl: Tin Tin Ban Sunia by [Brindley, Charley]

 

Visit the Literary Titan Book Awards page to see award information and see all award winners.

Tree of Souls

Tree of Souls (The Blood Dagger Book 3) by [Hayes, Misty]

Larna has endured more than most people and has done so at a young age. She has reached some pretty amazing conclusions about herself and her family. Her life, both figuratively and literally, has been transformed. There is nothing she wants more right now than to find the one person responsible for all the hurt in her life–Sarah. While Larna is fighting the battle to find and punish Sarah, her best friend is waging his own war. Corinth’s war is one most will never see. He is conflicted between his two new worlds–angel and vampire.

Tree of Souls is the third book in The Blood Dagger series by author Misty Hayes. This is the most fascinating of the three books focusing on Larna and her sidekick and best friend, Corinth. Different from every other series with a vampire theme, Hayes’s books provide readers with a more intimate look into the mind of the characters.

Hayes gives readers the best of both worlds as she moves from chapter to chapter, alternating first-person points of view. We are able to clearly experience Larna’s thoughts, her anguish, and her love for her friends in each of the chapters bearing her name. In addition, Corinth has his own chapters in which we are given the opportunity to hear his thoughts and watch all the ways he is slowly evolving. While most of Hayes’s chapters pull readers into the minds of the main characters, Larna and Corinth, she does include chapters that hand readers the inner thoughts of secondary characters like Vinson whose motives are integral to the plot.

Larna is complicated, and I love her. I loved the way Hayes chooses to write this character since her debut in The Outcasts, Book 1 in The Blood Dagger series. Larna, in Tree of Souls, is no less green than she was in the first book of the series. Though she is now experienced in the ways of the vampire, she is still a young girl who is learning, loving, and trying to find her way. She is relatable on many levels and is a huge draw for readers across age groups and genres.

There is some gore, although Hayes handles it in as tasteful a fashion as possible. I am not a fan of the bloody, vulgar, or explicit. Hayes writes any scene dealing with the bloodier end of the vampire world with caution and just enough vivid detail to give readers a solid mental image. Her focus remains on her characters, their reactions, their personal battles, and the secrets they hold. Any reader shying away from books of this genre will be pleasantly surprised by the manner in which Hayes deals with this subject matter.

I highly recommend Tree of Souls to anyone who has read the first two books and has been looking forward to this third installment. It was definitely worth the wait!

Pages: 642 | ASIN: B081QLXMB2

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Ingram’s Nightmares

Douglas Misquita Author Interview

Douglas Misquita Author Interview

Spectre is the thrilling conclusion to your Kirk Ingram saga. Do you feel like you accomplished everything you wanted to with this series?

I know I said ‘thrilling conclusion’ in the synopsis that appears on the back of the book, but I wonder if we’ve seen the last of Kirk Ingram. That said, I feel extremely satisfied with what I’ve accomplished with Spectre, and how it augments the previous two books in the series. For example, in book #1, Haunted, I gave Ingram frequent nightmares, which is stereotypical of a protagonist with a troubled past. But then in Spectre, I used that element and exploded it into an entire book by positing the question: What if Ingram’s nightmares aren’t what they seem? The Kirk Ingram stories stand alone, but readers will appreciate the elements in Spectre that tie them into a trilogy.

How do you think the story, and your writing, has changed throughout the series?

A good aspect of self-publishing platforms is the hassle-free option to update previous books. I have the advantage that my reader base isn’t (yet) in the thousands and millions, so why not make an improvement? When book #2 – Diablo – released, I reviewed Haunted and spruced up the tone of the book, even thrashing sections I saw no point in this time around. I’ve certainly matured as an author. One simple way to see that is the ratings on Goodreads have improved with each book. My plots have always been complex and I’m finding new ways to keep that complexity interesting to the readers. Another constant in my writing nowadays is I always want to educate my readers. Even if my stories are fiction, I set them against the backdrop of contemporary events and locations, so that my readers learn something besides the entertainment value.

This book is exceptionally well written and wastes no time getting to the action. What were some goals you set for yourself in this book?

Thank you for the compliment. Key locales for the book were inspired by a vacation in Italy. I wanted to feature the imposing Christian and Roman edifices. Next, I wanted Ingram to have closure. In Haunted he lost his family; I wanted him to get over his guilt, to live his life to the fullest. I’ve always been interested in history, and Spectre gave me the opportunity to tell a story that converges from two different timelines. And finally, I wanted to write a paranormal story, but one that stands apart from the usual. And I believe, I’ve done that.

What is the next project you’re working on and when will it be available?

Next up, is book #3 in the Luc Fortesque series, Trigger Point. It will be available fall 2020.

Author Links: FacebookGoodReadsTwitter | Website

Spectre: A Kirk Ingram action thriller by [Misquita, Douglas]

More than 2000 years ago, the deeds and words of a Jewish carpenter seeded an ideology that inexorably spread across the known world. Who was he, really? Conspiracies, doubts, faith abound.

300 years later, Constantine marched victoriously into Rome. In a move befitting a shrewd politician, Emperor Constantine sought to legalise the radical religion proclaimed by the hitherto persecuted Christian sect with the ulterior motive of crowning himself godhead of a united empire.
But what if there existed others, who possessed the same powers as the Christ, and threatened the emperor’s new religion, and upset his ambitions?

June 2017: A remote abbey in the Italian Alps is attacked by an ethereal force. Every one of the abbey’s gifted residents is murdered, save for its newest resident, Jovanni Rossi.
A passenger jetliner makes an emergency landing at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport with seven casualties aboard. The perpetrator: former FBI agent, Kirk Ingram.
Seeking answers, Jovanni Rossi and Kirk Ingram must team up and face an incredible reality-altering truth.

Pursued by a vengeful father, a relentless contract killer and a sadistic gangster, the pair find themselves embroiled in a grander conflict between good and evil…

And they are the only people who stand against a dark force arising out of medieval times to consume the Earth!

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Not Dead

Not Dead by [Dickason, Anita]

Mandy Norton loves her dolls. Every day, she likes to play with them in her yard. She names them and serves them tea. Mandy is in her own world–and she is being watched. From just beyond the bushes and out of her line of sight, she is being studied, and her every move is being noted. A man she cannot see is planning to take her from her yard and away from her family. He will use one of her favorite things to bring his plan to fruition–a doll. After carefully selecting a doll that matches her taste, he makes his move, and Mandy’s life and the lives of her family will never be the same.

Not Dead, by Anita Dickason, is the harrowing tale of the abduction of young Mandy Norton and the efforts made to bring her home. Mandy’s aunt, Ashely Logan, becomes involved from the moment she hears that her niece is missing. Ashley, also the editor of the local newspaper, deems herself an investigator and questions the local police department’s ability to handle her niece’s case. As the hours quickly begin to pass, Ashley forges her own path through the town from one suspect to another.

Dickason has managed to provide readers with a tale of horror–every parent’s nightmare. As the story progresses, readers are given more insight into the frustrating and heartbreaking process of trusting law enforcement to bring their daughter home safely. The introduction of Ashley, Mandy’s aunt, is more than helpful in driving home exactly how difficult the process of searching for a suspect can actually be. Ashley is the reader’s guide into the investigation process.

The insight the author gives into the mind of little Mandy’s abductor is chilling. I can’t accurately describe the terror I felt as I read how Mandy’s abductor targeted her and methodically planned her kidnapping. What was even more terrifying was the background information readers are given at the outset–this man is a repeat offender and has honed these skills over time. 

Not Dead, though fiction, provides a thorough look into police procedures and the rigorous work that takes place when a child has disappeared. The bulk of Dickason’s work in this book is focused on the investigation itself and Ashley’s part in that process. As a reader, I would have liked to have seen more of the experience from Mandy’s point of view. From one chapter to the next, readers watch the clues multiply, the suspects narrow, and the case grow closer to a conclusion, but we aren’t as privy to the life to which Mandy is subjected while she waits to be rescued.

Readers who seek a mystery with rich characters and prefer frighteningly realistic plots will be more than satisfied with Dickason’s work. Dickason’s characters are highly-developed and memorable. The twist ending is an added bonus to Dickason’s meticulously crafted mystery. I highly recommend Not Dead to any mystery fan looking for a new author to follow.

Pages: 238 | ASIN: B07ZMHYMDB

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A Potential Enemy?

Roxanne Bland Author Interview

Roxanne Bland Author Interview

The Underground follows a wolf pack alpha male in an alternate Seattle who seeks the downfall of his overlord. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing story?

The Underground was inspired by a single question I asked myself while in a half-fainted state on an uptown city bus with no air conditioning on one oppressively hot and humid afternoon: What would it take for a werewolf to survive in today’s world?

It gave me a lot to think about. Assuming humans are just as hostile to paranormals as they are in the literature, our werewolf’s primary concern would be keeping his true nature secret. Still, he can’t just wall himself away from humans—he needs a job, a place to live, and what have you. Would he have friends, knowing that everyone who crosses your path is a potential enemy? What lies would he have to tell to keep humans from finding out what he is? When the change comes, what does he do? He can’t go hunting humans in the city—that would be suicide. So…what? Those questions are just the tip of the iceberg, as they say.

Parker and Kurt were both well developed and interesting characters. Who was your favorite character to write for?

I really don’t have a favorite between the two. I love all my children equally! What was most interesting about writing the two is how they developed into such different characters. Yes, Parker’s from a rural-esqe part of the southern U.S. and Kurt’s a German aristocrat but it’s not just that. For example, their speech patterns are so different, aside from Parker being a potty-mouth! There’s a formality to Kurt’s speech that’s absent from Parker’s and everyone else. It’s almost as if I don’t have to use dialogue tags or other indicators as to who’s speaking. You can tell when Kurt’s speaking just from his language.

I loved the idea of exotics and the whole world of paranormal creatures you’ve built. What were some themes you wanted to explore in your world?

While mentally building the world for The Underground, I realized that world is our own. Human bigotry against paranormals abounds. Paranormals are hunted by humans and marked for execution. That’s no different than anyone who’s persecuted because of skin color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or identity, or any other difference the majority perceives as dangerous and undesirable. That leads to the question of what would happen if the downtrodden decide they’re not going to take their lot anymore? History tells us the answer. Oppress a people long and hard enough, they will rise up. And the results won’t be pretty. There’s so much more to these themes, too. I’ve even written an essay about it.

Are you still working on the Sequel to the The Moreva of Astoreth? How is that coming along?

Yes, The Moreva of Astoreth’s sequel, When Gods Die, is still in the works. Since Moreva was released, I’ve been assaulted by major real-life issues that necessitated putting Gods on the back-burner. Moreva is getting a major overhaul—new cover and a deep edit—and once that’s finished, I can go back to Gods. Of course, I can’t say for certain when it’ll be finished. Deadlines and me really don’t mix. But the plan is to have Gods published by the end of summer 2020. One reason for taking so long is I have to write a novella, The Final Victim, which I’ve promised to people who sign up for my newsletter. Victim is set in The Underground’s world and bears a strong relation to it but it’s not a part of The Underground’s story. Call it a companion book.

Author Links: Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

The Underground by [Bland, Roxanne]In an alternate Seattle, communities of “exotics”—shapeshifters, witches, elves and vampires—live among the murderous human population and are ruled over by the cruel vampire Master, Kurt. The powerful alpha male of the werewolf pack, Parker Berenson, is one of the Master’s enslaved servants and he would like nothing more than to hasten the downfall of the vampire overlord who stole his love, the beautiful mage Garrett Larkin. But in a night city already on the razor’s edge—in the midst of a spate of bloody murders—Parker’s passionate encounter with a stunning interstellar assassin could upset the very delicate balance and ignite a war neither exotics nor humans can survive.

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