Blog Archives

Meet thriller author Jennifer Anderson!

Thanks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc.

– My name is Jennifer Anderson. I grew up in Southern Illinois in the little town of Eldorado. I currently live in the much bigger small town of Gallatin, TN, just north of Nashville, with my husband of 27 years and an ornery cat. We have two sons, their delightful wives, and three grandchildren.

Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?

– I drink way too much coffee. I used a Keurig for a while, but I really like to have a pot of coffee going so I can warm up my ever-present cup.

Is your education relevant to your writing, or have you branched off in something entirely different to create? How would you best describe your books?

– My degree is in advertising, and my jobs were always about writing. I worked as a copywriter, eventually landing at Nashville’s famed WSM Radio, where I transitioned into writing and producing a nationally syndicated radio show for a decade and a half. But I always dreamed of writing books. I was finally able to do that with my first novel – BUKU – which is a post-apocalyptic, dystopian thriller.

Tell us about your most recent publication/whichever book you’d like to talk about today?

– I am in the middle of writing my first series. BUKU is the first book, and I released the second book in the trilogy this fall. Both books are set in a world overrun by massive beasts which were developed in a lab so that their blubber could be used as clean-burning fuel. However, as often happens when man starts tinkering with nature, things go horribly wrong. A world devastated by these creatures is really just the setting of the stories though. Both BUKU and the sequel BUKU: Sun and Shadows follow a medic named Iris who is trying to save the people she loves while fighting not only buku, but the people who take advantage of the weak for their own purposes.  

What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

– I had a dream – just a short, vague dream – that launched me into thinking about my main character Iris and her love interest Oso. I’ve always loved action-adventure movies and grew up reading Stephen King, so my story naturally developed into a fast-paced thriller with lots of suspense. I think what surprised me was, despite the fact that my books are about a world overrun by monsters,  many readers comment that it’s realistic. It feels like it could happen. That was a big lesson. As long as you keep the characters and their reactions and relationships and motivations real, readers will follow you practically anywhere.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

– Perhaps because it’s the newest, I really love BUKU: Sun and Shadows, the second in the trilogy. My favorite thing about is that my protagonist Iris is brought to her breaking point. The fear she experiences is all-consuming, and she has to push past it by relying on the people she feels she should be protecting, including children. It’s one thing to be strong. It’s another to be weakened, and to do what needs to be done anyway.   

What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

– I love writing a scene that works so well it has me grinning or crying or pumping my fist. Everything is worth those moments. Unfortunately, it takes me a long time to figure out exactly where a story is going. So I procrastinate a lot. I mean, a lot! I am amazed by, and jealous of, writers who can write fast. However, I remember being in junior high, maybe even grade school, dreaming of writing a novel. This is a lifelong dream, so I am keeping at it!

Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

– Several years ago, my pastor started a group for creative people – artists and writers and musicians. We met over lunch once a week. Sometimes we read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Sometimes we shared what we were working on. Mostly we just talked, and it was wonderful therapy for me. A lot of creative people can become blocked – scared of truly exploring what they can do – and that was definitely the case with me. I began writing my first book because of that group and will always be grateful for it. Most of the groups, FB pages, websites I use now are more about marketing and self-publishing.  

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

– Lately, I’ve been going on youtube and playing movie scores while I’m writing. It’s hard not to write dramatic scenes with the music from Game of Thrones swirling around you!

Do you belong to a critique group? What do you find most valuable about the experience?

– I give my book to a few friends I trust to act as beta readers before my final edit, but otherwise, I rely on myself for critique. For years I wrote a radio script that was read by a broadcast duo with big personalities. I think hearing my words read by someone else taught me how to step back and truly examine what I’ve written. The flipside of that is that I am now at a point where I want to write what I want to write, how I want to write it! So no, I haven’t tried a critique group, perhaps to my detriment.

To encourage those still on the path, tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one? What do you think was the key to selling that first book?

– The most encouraging thing about the world of writing these days is that you can self-publish. You can go directly to the readers through digital platforms and never have to convince agents or publishers to take a risk on you. Of course, that also means that you are wholly responsible for all aspects of your book, including getting people to buy it. I self-publish through Amazon. So far, that’s two books and a novella. To make sure those books sell, I invested in a course on self-publishing, bought a few tools of the trade, and I spent quite a bit of money on my covers. So far, it has worked pretty well for me, though those who self-publish will tell you that the way to make money is to write a lot of books. One of these days, hopefully I’ll accomplish that.

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

– I am currently working on the final book of the BUKU trilogy. I don’t have a name for it yet! After that, I am looking forward to trying my hand at a different genre, probably fantasy romance. I don’t really have any personal appearances scheduled, but you can always hit me up on Facebook or Instagram @jenniferandersonwriter.

Anything else you would like to add?

— Just that I appreciate the time and the discussion! Oh, and if you’re interested in free stories, including the prequel novella, subscribe to my newsletter at jenniferandersonwriter.comBUKU: Micah’s Story sets the stage for the trilogy, and I’d love to send it to you. You’ll also get my four best personal stories, including getting married at the Grand Ole Opry and giving a ride to William Shatner, which is a really funny story! Include social media links, bio, etc. J
www.facebook.com/JenniferAndersonwriter

www.instagram.com/jenniferandersonwriter/

jenniferandersonwriter.com
www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Anderson/e/B07FVMDRK1

Jennifer Anderson hails from Illinois — the opposite end of the state from Chicago. There, among the corn fields and coal mines, she grew up exploring new worlds through books, while dreaming of creating her own worlds. With a degree in advertising from the University of Illinois, Jennifer became a copywriter, working mostly in broadcasting. She eventually landed at famed WSM Radio in Nashville, Tennessee. From there, she moved on to write and produce the syndicated radio program “The Crook and Chase Countdown” before deciding to pursue her childhood dream of writing fiction. Jennifer lives in the Nashville area with her husband Mike, where she snuggles cats, neglects housework, and tries to find space for her vintage finds.  

A Halloween like no other?

Please welcome writer Alice Renaud!

I’ve always loved Halloween. In the UK a lot of people don’t, they see it as a brash American import. But the festival of All Hallows’ Eve actually originated in Britain and Ireland, and it’s closely associated with the Celtic folklore I grew up with and from which I draw inspiration for my stories. So on every 31 October I hang up pumpkin lanterns in my front garden and stock up on sweets for trick o’treaters.

But this year? The coronavirus pandemic has put the kibosh on many fun things here. No more parties, no mixing in groups of more than 6, no theatres, no singing in church… There won’t be any trick o’treaters this year, or Halloween parties, or people dressed up as ghouls riding the trains. It would be tempting to just… give up. Treat it like any other night. Hunker down on the sofa in pyjamas and watch TV…

But something tells me that, on the contrary, now is precisely the time to celebrate Halloween. The festival has always been about laughing at the dark… making fun of what scares us… defying the onset of the long, cold winter nights. We need All Hallows’s Eve more than ever. So on 31 October I will put pumpkin lanterns outside. I will buy sweets, even if no one knocks on the door. I may meet up with friends for a Zoom Halloween party. I will find a good horror film to watch. What is your favorite? Mine remains the Exorcist, after all these years, but the recent series of Dracula on the BBC was also brilliant. And what better time to read some great paranormal stories? The third and final book of my supernatural romance series Sea of Love, Mermaids Marry in Green, comes out on 1 November and is the perfect Halloween treat. Read an exclusive excerpt below. You will love the feisty shifter mermaid and her hot warlock, as they seek to capture a water monster in London!

Blurb for Mermaids Marry in Green

Caltha Dooran is the toughest, fiercest shape-shifting mermaid in the western seas. She has three Clans to rule, and no time for romance. But when a warlock, Jonty, turns up and asks her to come with him to London to capture a water monster, she can’t say no. In London, away from her duties, her attraction for Jonty grows… and they soon fall under each other’s spell. But will his past and her responsibilities pull them apart, or can they find the only true magic, the one that binds two souls together?

Buy Links

https://books2read.com/u/3LglAN

Excerpt

A pile of twigs shuddered and slid to the side. Two yellow eyes peered at her out of the tangle of wood and litter. Excitement exploded in Caltha’s chest, rocking her whole body. She’d found him! But she strove to keep her voice low and soft.

“Afanc?”

A reptilian head that looked like a crocodile’s, but smaller, pushed through a plastic bag. The mouth opened, revealing a row of sharp teeth. “Morwenna?” the creature hissed, in Caltha’s language.

She tried to repress the trembling in her body and appear calm so the creature wouldn’t take fright. “Yes, I am a mermaid.” She lifted her webbed hands to show him. The afanc extended a furry paw, tipped with powerful claws. Caltha brushed the damp fur with her fingers. “I’m Caltha.”

The afanc let out a sigh. “Morwenna Caltha,” he said. He stared at her with shining eyes full of hope. “I am lost. Can you help?”

Caltha’s mind went blank with surprise. She’d expected a powerful water monster with awesome magical powers, not this vulnerable animal pleading for assistance.

The afanc stretched his neck towards her. “Please?”

Compassion engulfed Caltha. “Of course I’ll help you.”

The question was how. She’d been so focused on locating him, she hadn’t really given any thought as to what she would do when she found him. She studied his reptilian head and large, furry body. No way would he go unnoticed in a city full of humans. And dangerous warlocks were on his trail. Her mind worked overtime, searching for solutions. Would he follow her willingly, or would she have to trap him? He seemed friendly now, but he might panic if she tried to lead him away from his familiar surroundings. And how could she keep him hidden?

Bio

Alice lives in London, UK, with her husband and son. By day she’s a compliance manager for a pharmaceutical company. By night she writes fantasy romance about shape shifting mermen, water monsters and time-travelling witches. Her first book, “A Merman’s Choice,” was published in January 2019 by Black Velvet Seductions. It is the first book in a fantasy romance trilogy inspired by the landscapes and legends of Brittany and Wales. The second book, “Music for a Merman,” is out now and the third, “Mermaids Marry in Green,” will be released on 1 November. Alice has also written two short stories for BVS anthologies, “The Sweetest Magic of All,” in “Mystic Desire,” out now, and “The Holiday Mermaid” in “Desire Me Again,” out in October. Alice loves reading and writing stories, and sharing them with anyone who’s interested!

Social Media Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AliceRenaudAuthorRomance/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alicerauthor

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alice-renaud-author-4219b6166/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alicerenaudauthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18670218.Alice_Renaud

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/alice-renaud

Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Alice-Renaud/e/B07L52P17B

ADVERSARIES–The Color of Fear series comes to a bloody conclusion #mfrwhooks

A journey 10 years in the making comes to an end for both this author and the characters in ADVERSARIES, being released from Zumaya Publications this week.

This third book takes places over the course of two weeks in St. Louis, which has become to new seat of government for the USA after a terrorist attack sends an airborne plague around the world. The disease targets mainly Caucasians, and many have died. Not so with Gabriel, the self-proclaimed leader who is bent on revenge against the other races he blames for the losses. His army of Angels has gathered, and he is ready for the slaughter:

Gabriel was amazed how quickly the ranks of his followers had grown. When he’d first founded the compound back in Great Falls, Montana, he’d heard whispers within the community that he was a “right-wing nut,” a “neoreactionary,” and even a “mountain Klansman.”
He’d been none of those things, of course.
Or all of them.
He was mostly just looking out for himself and worried about the direction the government was once again taking the country.
Now that he and his followers had emerged from their isolation, he was in exactly the right time and place. People were terrified by a virus that targeted the backbone of America, the White population. The road to his success was traveled by those who’d survived, particularly the Whites with conservative leanings, less education, and anti-elite views.
“We’ve been led in the proper direction, my friends. Coming east from the bunker was the best thing we could have done. These red states have done well by us.” He counted off on his chunky fingers. “Montana, the Dakotas, Nebraska, now Iowa. Soon Kansas and Missouri, too.”
He grinned and wiped his forehead.
“True that more brown and yellow people survived, but it’s the White men and women who made it through who are ready to fight to take their country back.”
And I’m here to guide them along.

Tzu Lin Kwan
Xi San and Valery Paz

His “Adversaries” are Tzu Lin Kwan, who has brought Chinese herbs from Hong Kong for her scientist father to make a cure; Xi San, a pre-med student turned street vigilante; Valery Paz, a Latina Valley Girl who knows how to use a gun; Eddie Garrick, a techno whiz and electrogeek, who has re-animated KMOX radio in St. Louis to gather survivors; Teremesha Johnson, formerly a petty thief, now on his way to genuine hero, house mother Marie Westbrook, and so many more.

Marie Westbrook
Teremesha Johnson
Eddie Garrick

A virtual launch party–with prizes!!– will take place Oct. 9 over Zoom– leave your name below so we can get your email and add you to the list if you’d like to attend!’

Video trailer for the series available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5HtphfL7TE&t=21s

Check out other folks’ books in the blog hop here!

https://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=298519

Come meet Temms Rogers from the Horizon Crossover series!

Thanks so much for hosting me at Romance Lives Forever, Kayelle Allen!!

Introducing Temms Rogers from Horizon Crossover series, by Lyndi Alexander #RLFblog #spaceopera #SciFi

 

And if you haven’t seen it yet, check out the series trailer!

 

Could this be the new Hunger Games?

How does the world end? Let me count the ways…  in Fire? Ice? Wind? Water? So many possibilities.

Windmills1But if the world doesn’t end immediately, what will really count is how we survive.
An old Chinese proverb says: When the wind of change blows some build walls others build windmills.

That’s the opening step of WINDMILLS, a story of survival after the United States is attacked with a bioweapon that genetically sorts out and kills Caucasians.

A year after the first bioagents have been released, 16-year-old Tzu Lin Kwan receives a summons from her father who’s defected to America–bring him Chinese herbs that might stop the mutations and save the remaining population of the world.

Surely he knows this will not be easy. No airplanes. No electricity in a good part of the world, without enough people to keep machinery running even to generate it. The Asians, the blacks, the Hispanics and other ethnic groups begin to find themselves in the majority for the first time. Many changes are on the horizon, if the virus can be stopped.

So, accompanied by her martial arts sensei, she sets out on a hellish boat trip across an uncivilized Pacific Ocean, unaware that their inquiries have alerted the Chinese MSS, their secret service, and an assassin has been set on their trail. Will they even survive to complete their mission?

EXCERPT:  (as Kwan and sensei Zhong get ready to leave Hong Kong)

Li Zhong surveyed the docks out of habit, checking for possible threat. He’d worried that his inquiries had triggered some alarm on behalf of his former masters, even though no one had approached him openly. Then, he chided himself for being too paranoid. Even in a crowd this size, no one seemed to be particularly interested in them. Why should they be? An old man and a boy taking the ferry across the harbor. Hardly remarkable. Which is just how I want it.

They boarded the ferry without difficulty, Kwan rushing onto the upper level that provided a better view, taking a seat close to the rail, her pack next to her feet. He hurried to keep up with her puppy-like enthusiasm. The wind blew warm across the water, ripe with the smell of salt air. It felt good to be going somewhere for a purpose.

He wiped his brow on his sleeve and counted the beats of his racing heart, willing it to slow down. You’re getting to be an old man, my friend. His lips clamped together, he stared at the steel-and-glass buildings of the city as the ferry crossed the harbor, using that concentration to calm himself. Kwan needed him.

He had let that thought drive him though the last two months as the details of this grand mission came together. Determined to make this voyage, she would have gone by herself if he had not accompanied her. The idealism of the young—How long had it been since he’d believed that right would succeed in this life, just because it should? Reality was often quite different. What was moral, or right, often surrendered to a less-noble imperative. Sometimes, it was a financial cause, but more often a political agenda. Like the intent of those misguided souls who’d launched the SH.

While anti-American proponents around the world celebrated the initial attack, the terrorists had not only killed their chosen target but themselves and a major percentage of the non-white population of the world. Sloppy work. That’s what happened when you let amateurs run the show.

Another reason why his presence here was necessary. He could only pray that his aging heart would allow him to continue until the journey’s end. The doctors, both Western and Eastern, had warned him of his limited life expectancy. An old stab wound had never quite healed, the legacy of an assassination attempt years before. But Kwan didn’t know this. And he wouldn’t tell her.

Sneak Peek Sunday BannerWord has it at my publishing house that this trilogy could be the new Hunger Games… strong girls, damaged heroes, determined villains, a cast of interesting and diverse characters with plenty of action and still plenty of heart. It’s a great read for young men and women both. Pick up your copy on June 15!

Find more great snippets this week at Sneak Peek Sunday!

Welcome Hydra author Dianne Gardner!

As part of this week's Hydra Publications author blog hop, today I'm hosting fantasy writer Dianne Gardner and her book Deception Peak.
 

Synopsis

The first book of a trilogy, Deception Peak is a young adult adventure fantasy about a teenager, Ian Wilson, who follows his father through a portal that magically appears on their computer screen. They travel into a deceptively beautiful Realm, where horses run free, the wind sings prophetic melodies, and their computer avatars come to life. But when the two are separated, Ian is abducted by a tribe of dragon worshipers and is forced to find his courage. As he struggles for his freedom and embarks on a perilous search to find his father, Ian meets the true peacekeepers of the Realm. It's then that he learns there is a greater purpose for being there.

Link to the Deception Peak book trailer: http://youtu.be/7nhN62CmJsI

 
And a teaser link as well : http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0090009/photos/77081516@N03/7842689196/

Excerpt:

They came to a bend lined with thick brush that rose over their heads. The passage led them through giant firs into a part of the forest wild with sword ferns and fallen trees.  The rapping of a woodpecker hollowing a rotten trunk echoed through the thicket. The whisper of wind brushed the tree limbs high above his head, causing dots of sunlight to dance on the forest floor. Ian was awed by the forest’s beauty, yet he was terrified by what might await them at the next crook in the trail.

To learn more about this book or the author, Dianne Gardner, see her amazon author page or contact her directly:
 
 
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