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A scorned minotaur wreaks havoc in The Minotaur King from Stuart Thaman

Thanks for being with us today, Stuart!

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.  What’s your education, if it’s relevant to your writing?

Hey, my name is Stuart Thaman, and I’m a best-selling author from Kentucky, though I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. I attended Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan, and I received a BA in politics, a BA in German, and a concentration in classical political philosophy. I’m currently in my second year of law school as well.

That’s really interesting to me–I’ve been a lawyer for 30 years (now retired), and found that the call for creative solutions that comes from lawyering also helps in the creative writing process!

My background helps my writing quite a bit as I believe the hard work and extreme academic environment provided by Hillsdale College has shaped me into the self-starter that I am today.

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

I do drink a good deal of coffee, though I enjoy tea as well, especially mint tea.

Tell us about your latest publication.

PerfectThe Minotaur King is my latest release, and it becomes available on September 1st. The short novella is my first published novella. Set in the world of The Goblin Wars, it follows Qul, a would-be royal guard of a minotaur clan and his ultimate rise to power through the mountain ranks.

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

Qul has a pretty cool backstory that I just barely touch in The Goblin Wars book 2, and I really wanted to flesh it out to give readers an idea of what he was like before they meet him as the bloodthirsty king he is in Death of a King.

How would you best describe your books?

I write epic and heroic fantasy. This is a layout of the covers of the Goblin Wars series–I love it! 

All 3 no TextWhat is your favorite genre to write? To read?

I read mostly horror and sci-fi with just a little bit of fantasy, though my writing is the complete inverse. Fantasy is just so much more fun to write than it is to read.

 

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

I’ve always wanted to be an author. That much I knew from when I was little. And the best thing about writing is getting to craft the most grandiose, over-the-top scenes I can imagine and bring them to life.

I also love meeting fans at conventions—I hate driving to conventions.

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

I’m a mod over at www.reddit.com/r/selfpublish, a community of 14,000 self-published and indie writers.

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

Oh yes. I always listen to music. Usually, and more so when I’m writing a battle scene, I listen to Sabaton. Other favorites include: Unleash the Archers, Epica, Dimmu Borgir, Kamelot, Arch Enemy, and The Agonist.

 

Tell us a little about your path to publication.

My first book was written for National Novel Writing Month. I got an offer on the manuscript through some personal connections, and that proved to largely be a scam. But regardless, I had my foot in the door. That gave me a platform to approach larger publishers.

How did you finally find a publisher? How did you receive the Call?

I met Tony Acree, the owner of Hydra Publications at an author fair in Indiana. Wehydra were on a panel together and seemed to have very complimentary personalities, and I had been sitting on a horror manuscript (eventually turned into For We Are Many) at the time, so it made sense to submit to Hydra. Luckily, they accepted me!

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

The Minotaur King has some cool aspects. At its core, The Minotaur King is about a lost love and a delusional minotaur who thought he had the queen’s eye. It also tells a bit about manipulation and how those emotions can be turned to pure rage and then molded to something useful.

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

I have another full length novel coming soon: The Chronicles of Estria Part One: Blood and Ash. The book is a bit of a departure for me, though it is certainly epic fantasy. Blood and Ash follows Lina Arias, a princess who forsakes her family and crown in favor of fangs and dark, evil magic. The Chronicles of Estria is a series that goes along with the tabletop miniatures game Chaos Wars, produced by Iron Wind Metals.

Up next I’ll be at Cincy Comic Expo in September and Lexington ScareFest after that. I can’t wait!

What would you like to tell readers?

Keep the fantasy alive!

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Love means never having to say you’re sorry you’re alien–SFR Brigade Presents

asmalldegreeofhope3So excited! It’s my first time posting at the SFR Brigade Presents event! Today I’ve got a snippet from coming-soon novel A SMALL DEGREE OF HOPE, a story with a new kind of shapeshifter love interest–an alien reptile:

***

His were words similar to others she’d heard from boys over the years, girls too. Best Friends Forever. I’ll love you until the end of time. We’ll never be apart. Many different phrasings, never really thought through, just offered as temporary comfort.

But Griff? She’d risk her life that he truly meant every word. What a glorious being he was. And how lucky she was to have him standing by her. As she held him, his skin rippled. Startled, she pulled back.

“Do not be alarmed, Kylie,” he said from a human mouth. He had returned to his disguised state. “I wish for your comfort. I can maintain this form for now.”

Guilt dripping over her like chilled honey, Kylie turned away from his earnest gaze. She wanted to apologize, but she couldn’t find the right words.

He pulled her close, tilting her face up with one hand. “When humans wish to express their emotion for someone, they do it in this manner.” He kissed her. “Like this?” he whispered.

“Just like this.” His mouth soft against hers, his taste was reminiscent of his musky scent, slightly spicy and alluring.

***

To find more SFR snippets from authors around the world, visit the SFR Brigade site here.  For more information about this book which will be available in ebook JUNE 3, click the tab above or visit www.lyricalpress.com.

And now, Hydra author Erin Danzer!

What Inspired Into the Spiral

 There were several things that went into creating my upcoming novel, Into the Spiral. The first was that I needed to take control of my life again instead of letting life pass me by. I was at a low point in my life, but when I made the decision to once again pursue my love of writing and make it more than just a hobby, something changed within me; I had purpose again. That revelation led to, “I want to write a book, or series of books, as good as or better than Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments.” If you haven’t read those novels yet, I highly recommend them; I can’t say enough good things about the action, adventure and romance within their pages.

 The next thing that came to mind was spontaneous combustion. I wanted to write a novel about a teen girl on the verge of exploding due to her familial obligations and what little control she feels she has over her life. That’s when Ronnie stepped into my life. Here was a girl who, on her fifteenth birthday, goes to get a tattoo as rebellion against her mom’s overbearing presence, her older brother’s shadow, and a best friend who doesn’t realize how much she’s in love with him. Later, it was pointed out to me that Ronnie’s physical appearance was inspired by a girl I worked with, a very good friend of mine named Lindsay. What do you think?

 

   

Gavin, the half-human alien who is sent to Earth to retrieve Ronnie, was inspired by pretty much every book boyfriend I’ve had in the last two years. I wanted someone with a little snark, a good heart, extremely handsome and kickass moves. Admittedly, Jace Wayland is at the top of the list for inspiration for Gavin’s character.

My artist, Amanda Pfender, used Gaspard Ulliel as inspiration for Gavin’s picture from the description I’d given her: “Ronnie looked and gave a little wave before turning to walk into her room only to find her way blocked by yet another guy. This school seemed to be crawling with hotties! This one was only a few inches taller than her, kind of short for a guy, with straight black hair and dark slightly slanted eyes. He wore black cargo pants, a black t-shirt that did nothing to hide his six-pack abs, and black combat boots. He looked her up and down and arched an eyebrow as he stepped aside.”

How do you think Amanda did?

 (from    http://www.ohlalaparis.com/ohlalaparis/gaspard_ulliel/   )

 

One final inspiration comes from my dad. While writing the novel, I knew Gavin was from another planet but because he is half-human, I didn’t think of him as an alien. Only until it was pointed out to me, did I realize I was writing a sci-fi/fantasy novel. I say this inspiration comes from my dad because he is still big into science fiction and fantasy type things, such as Dragon Riders of Pern, Issac Asimov, Star Trek and much more. I grew up surrounded by those things, so I guess it is only natural that they eventually seep into my writing.

 I hope you all have enjoyed getting to see what inspired Into the Spiral and will join Ronnie and Gavin on their adventure this November. Thank you, Babs, for having me today!

Erin Danzer wrote her first book at 10-years-old for a Young Authors competition, where she was awarded an Honorable Mention and discovered a passion for the written word. She’s written several novels and short stories since that spark ignited. She writes a monthly short story serial, The Cassandra Serafin Chronicles, posting alternately on her blog and in Literary Lunes bi-monthly online magazine. Erin resides in Racine, Wisconsin, with her husband, two children, and their cat.

 Thanks for visiting, Erin! Glad to have you. Best wishes with this lovely story.

Hydra Publications blog hop! Come meet the authors and books of Hydra Publications this week!

Looking forward to hosting Amy McCorkle (Monday), R.S. Hunter (Tuesday, Dianne Gardner AND Beth Ann Masarik on Wednesday, Missy Goodman (Thursday), Erin Danzer (Friday) and Rachel Hunter (Saturday). Please stop by every day and check out their books and personal stories, leave comments, let them know how much we all appreciate writers.

 I will then be featured on Monday at the blog home of Tony Acree, Tuesday with Tricia Ballad, Wednesday at Melissa Goodman’s, Friday with Michael Turner and Saturday with James Peercy.  So you’ll get to learn a little bit more about me and how LOVE ME, KISS ME, KILL ME came to be created and published. This is a small publishing house, but it’s growing by leaps and bounds, publishing a lot of fantasy and paranormal romance-type books, many of which had been on the Amazon top 100 lists. Don’t miss your chance!

One little, two little, three little space pirates…. SFFS 8-18

Well, if you’ve been following the TRIAD snippets, you know that space pirates are on the horizon, and at least one space battle is bound to ensue.

The snippet today is from one of those battles, one which has a costly ending for the young alliance of the Khimeyr, Solarii and Dragonfleet. But when you stand to lose it all, there’s nothing else to do but fight:

Unfortunately, the pirate weapons were heavier, causing greater damage. Both Pomeroy’s and Catava’s ships took hits which sent them out of the rotation on long ellipses, taking time to recover before rejoining the battle. Trezanna made a run herself, feeling her heart pound as she passed between the lines of fire, trading shot for shot, the roar of the weapons under her rumbling through her feet, her ship bouncing around as her shields bore the brunt of the assault.

Passing behind them to circle round, she avoided most of the fire from the rear turrets and headed back toward the front in a smooth arc. McKinley’s Amazon launched one of the prototype weapons at the pirate ship nearest, and Trezanna was thrilled to see it penetrate the shields and hit the hull with such force it seemed palpable even inside her cockpit. Winston and Hussard tag-teamed the other Arkosian ship, taking turns on the offensive, blasting, then darting quickly aside. Xiu followed them in, but as Trezanna watched, suddenly swung wide, making a large detour around the pirates. A glance at rear sensors revealed eight ships coming at great speed along the route the pirates had come.

More pirates?

Who’d fooled who here?

Read more about the book at the tab above. Several other snippets from this book have been posted in weeks and months past; please do check them out! TRIAD is available now from Dragonfly Publishing, Inc. , at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, and through most other sources. Order it in paperback from your local indie bookstore. (Yay, indie bookstores!!)

For more science fiction and fantasy snippets to round out your Saturday, check the main page at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday, and find little bits of stories from SFF authors from around the globe!

And a bonus–here’s a sneak peak of 2013’s HORIZON SHIFT–first in a sci-fi series beginning next year!  Can’t wait till this series rolls out because I love these characters. 🙂   I know you will too.

BLURB: Captain Temms Rogers uses a bit of untested alien technology to escape a  space battle, nearly destroying his ship in the process. When he wakes up, he discovers his crew decimated, his ship badly damaged, and he has no idea where he is. Even once he gets his equipment working again, he finds himself in an area of space no one of his faction—maybe his whole race—has ever been before. Lost, and alone.
Not quite alone.
His former commander Jal Burko, bent on revenge, hasn’t given up the fight, determined to punish Rogers for the rebellion he led. Desperate, the clock ticking, Rogers enlists an assortment of people to help him rebuild and repair his ship, many of them misfits who deserve a second chance, each with a special talent to share: a runaway bride, a
17-year old navigation whiz sold into slavery, a cocky xenophobic engineer, a pair of genetically engineered lizard-humans. He even finds a friend aboard he never expected.  A chance meeting with an economic power called the Consortium brings Rogers powerful friends, and the key to putting the clues together. But the appearance of a strange autistic boy, abandoned in the Doubtful‘s cargo bay, becomes the catalyst that may save the ship and its crew from
Burko’s single-minded hatred when all else fails.

Welcome home….NOT. SFFS for August 11, 2012

I got such a great response for my little spitfire Estrella last week, I wanted to give another slice of her life again. Not only has she discovered, in last week’s snippet, that the Khimeyr are back, but this week she discovers that the commander is not who she thinks at all. Her world is in serious WTF mode, and she needs to take action. But what?

ESTRELLA returned to her base, flying blindly, jumping at every shadow. Gus reported the withdrawal of the Khimeyr from Dragonfleet space leaving the main Dragonfleet missile launcher destroyed, but that wasn’t what tore at her gut. She hadn’t anticipated them. She, who had always been one jump ahead of everyone else.

She was in a rare state of anxiety by the time she came in to land the Talon. Catava and Qiao, conspiring against her, her former comrades-in-arms, traitors, traitors…

She pulled up at the last minute, swerving into an alternate vector, flying past the boundaries of her base, punching up one land map after another onto her glowing monitor, scanning until she found it. There. She launched a barrage of laser fire at a building on the ground, utterly destroying the remains of the house where Catava’s father had raised his family. If she wanted it back now, she could have it—in molecules.

I have to hand it to her, the woman knows how to get things done. On the other hand, it’s not always great to run a government on impulse, and pretty soon it’s going to catch up with her.

Read more about the book at the tab above. Several other snippets from this book have been posted in weeks and months past; please do check them out! TRIAD is available now from Dragonfly Publishing, Inc. , at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, and through most other sources. Order it in paperback from your local indie bookstore. (Yay, indie bookstores!!)

For more science fiction and fantasy snippets to round out your Saturday, check the main page at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday, and find little bits of stories from SFF authors from around the globe!

You know what they say about a woman scorned…SFFS for August 4

This week, we have another excerpt from TRIAD, introducing the third commander, Estrella Drake of Dragonfleet. She is, shall we say, volatile?  Nothing a regular dose of psychotropic meds couldn’t handle, but she doesn’t believe in such things. All she wants is to be the ruler of the universe. Is it so much to ask?

Estrella Drake tapped the tip of her carved black dagger on the wooden table, trying to comprehend the implications of the Khimeyr return. Luca Strada and his people, incapable of living under her rule, now enjoyed Solarii hospitality?

It made no sense.

The tapping grew more agitated until the dagger actually stuck into the tabletop. The petite brunette growled and leaped to her feet, hurling her cup behind the bar, where it broke with a satisfying crash.

Her early morning patrol of the borders of Solarii space had revealed the presence of  Khimeyr ships. The blaze of her anger had burned so hot that none of her people had dared venture uninvited into her private chambers.

A black leather jumpsuit held her slim body close, the familiar feel comforting her. The broad mirror on the far wall reflected the flash in her dark eyes, her hair pixie cut so she required little physical maintenance, unlike the other social butterflies of the Dragonfleet females. She looked like she meant business, all the way to the tips of her polished black boots.

Does she play well with others? I can assure you she does not.

Read more about the book at the tab above. Several other snippets from this book have been posted in weeks and months past; please do check them out!  TRIAD is available now from Dragonfly Publishing, Inc. , at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, and through most other sources. Order it in paperback from your local indie bookstore. (Yay, indie bookstores!!)

For more science fiction and fantasy snippets to round out your Saturday, check the main page at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday, and find little bits of stories from SFF authors from around the globe!

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