Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Global E-Book Award Winner Suzanne de Montigny

Fantasy, that world that exists in an author’s mind to share with readers, one that transports us away to another time, another place, another culture. Award winning author, Suzanne de Montigny talks about her tween novel, The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy, winner of the Global E-Book Award for Best Fantasy/Alternate History. And she says she’ll give a free copy to one lucky person who leaves a comment at the end of the blog. Welcome Suzanne. Please tell us about your novel.

Thank you, Victoria. The story began as an off-shoot of a class project in grade six. I was fascinated with horses, but never got one, and so I wrote about unicorns instead. The project got an A, and the teacher made me read it to the rest of the class. I always kept this little novella with me for some reason, and I guess the reason was I was meant to write a new unicorn tale to share later on in life.
The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy takes place 12,000 years ago when all the beasts of the earth dwelled together, unicorns, lions, dinosaurs…you name it. They were all there. When the great stallion is summoned to the dinosaur’s valley, he and his son Azaria meet Darius-the-seer, a young dinosaur who foretells a cataclysmic event. Disaster strikes in the form of a great asteroid and the unicorns struggle to survive. But nothing compares to the coming of the creatures-that-walk-on-two-legs, the humans. Their leader, Ishmael, will stop at nothing including extinction in his pursuit of the healing power of their horns. If you want to watch my booktrailer, here’s the link:
That sounds fascinating, Suzanne. How did you come up with such ideas?
I haven’t a clue. They just came as I wrote. I liked the dinosaur from my original story, and so had to figure out a way to make unicorns and dinosaurs hang out. Thus the asteroid that destroys the entire dinosaur population except for Darius. When the humans arrived, my imagination went absolutely wild. Suddenly there were ghosts and rotten teenagers, and gosh, all sorts of things. I went nuts. That’s what I like about writing. I tell people it’s like reading a really good book except that you’re writing it. I have a few events in mind to guide me as I write, but the rest just kind of happens.

How did you feel when you received word you had won a Global E-Book Award?
I found out at about 10:30 at night right before going to sleep. I squealed with delight and jumped up and down. Of course I couldn’t sleep for hours afterward. It’s just so nice to be recognized for all my hard work.
Are there any other unicorn stories on the horizon?
Yes, I’m working like a mad woman to rewrite an earlier version of the second of the series. This book takes place 60 years into the future when the Legacy of Azaria has been twisted to suit the corrupt leader of the herd. Terrible things happen at his hands, or I mean hooves, and Ulysees must search for the truth before it’s too late. And just to give you a hint, Darius-the-seer is found again!
Where can we get a copy of your novel?
Thanks Suzanne. This has been really interesting. Readers, don’t forget to leave a comment to win a copy of Suzanne’s novel.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Children's Adventures With Value

I’m Victoria Roder, children’s author of adventures with value. I have been invited to join the Children’s Author Blog Hop by fellow author Cheryl Malandrinos.

What are you working on right now?
A time traveling tale from AJ, a twelve-year-old boy’s point of view. Travel back in time to small town USA during the civil rights movement, to Nazi Germany during WWII and to a time when Dragons ruled the land.  

How does it differ from other works in its genre?
AJ has a unique traveling partner.

Why do you write what you do? 
I write adventures that I would have loved to read as a young reader. My middle grade novel Sled Dog Tales revolves around “The Golden Rule and is a fast paced training and sled racing adventure with a misfit husky. Coming Soon from DWB Children's Line.

In The Curse of King Ramesses II, two best friends spend an exciting night in a haunted museum and learn a lesson on owning up to mistakes and making amends. Wild Child Publishing.

In my picture book An Important Job to Do: A Noah’s Ark Tale a small mouse learns that regardless of how we look, God has a job for each of us.DWB Children's Line.

What is the hardest part about writing? 
Finding enough time to write and editing manuscripts. I should have paid more attention during grammar lessons in school. 

What is something unique you want readers to learn about you? 
I enjoy shooting bow at targets and I like to take my dogs out for ice cream.

Now I am tagging fellow author Debbie Roppolo the author of  Amelia Frump.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Welcome Author Donna Del Oro


by Donna Del Oro

June 28 was the release of LIES IN WAIT, Book Two in the Jake Bernstein FBI Mystery-Thriller series.

    Writing this prescient story last year was a challenge. I read scores of books and articles about Islam, Muslims in America, the Qur’an, the history of Islam and the FBI’s undercover and intelligence strategies in counter-terrorism. I even learned some Arabic. What I learned, however, was both enlightening and chilling. If only Americans realized the dangers we all face…
     The FBI is aware of these dangers but often they are hamstrung by the very rights we all enjoy. Since October of 2011, the FBI can no longer conduct undercover operations in American mosques and CAIR (Council for American Islamic Relations) advises all American Muslims to report any contacts initiated by the FBI. So in the past two years, the FBI’s ability to develop confidential informants has been severely limited. This was one of the reasons why the Boston FBI couldn’t prevent the recent Boston Marathon bombing.
     My hero, Special Agent Jake Bernstein, isn’t so hamstrung. I’ve taken dramatic license in this novel, LIES IN WAIT, and have allowed him to go undercover into a mosque suspected by our country’s Counter-Terrorism Center to be harboring a jihad recruiter and terrorist organizer. In doing this, I wanted to portray the unusual stresses and challenges that undercover agents endure to further ensure the safety of us all. As an agent who speaks Arabic but has a Jewish heritage, Jake faces extra challenges. He finds himself overwhelmed with both feelings of guilt and empathy. His internal struggles and deep sense of duty cause a rift between him and his girlfriend, Meg Larsen (from Book 1, A BODYGUARD OF LIES).

My most interesting day of research was at a Silicon Valley mosque, the largest in Northern California. Our tour guide was a former engineer who has lived in this country for nearly forty years. I think moderate, peaceful Muslims want what all of us want, a world in which their children can thrive. On another level, there is a current of secrecy that many guard zealously. I won’t say anything more except that my eyes were opened to the strange and often secretive world of Islam in America.

Here is a little from my soon to be released novel LIES IN WAIT.

For love of country or love of a woman?

These are two of the choices FBI analyst/undercover specialist Jake Bernstein faces when he goes undercover for the Joint Counter Terrorism Center. His mission: Go to Silicon Valley and identify the masterminds behind what the JCTC chief believes is a coordinated terrorist plot that may involve five American cities. As a disaffected, biotech scientist, Jake is recruited and tested in a harsh, brutal way. But slowly, the pieces of a possible terrorist plot begin to emerge. Still, the entire puzzle eludes Jake. To stop the deaths of thousands of lives, he must gain access to the terrorist cell's inner circle and learn the details of their plot.

For months, he doesn't break cover, all the while knowing that his lover, Meg Larsen, is living and studying in San Diego, an hour's flight away. He fears he'll lose her while waiting for his case to break open.

In his desire to see Meg, he breaks cover one time and flies to rendezvous with her in San Diego.  The terrorist cell discovers this and puts Jake to the ultimate test of loyalty. To prove his devotion to radical Islam, Jake must do an unthinkable task. If he cannot do this, his undercover operation will fail.

As the cell lies in wait for the final, deadly call to action, Jake must make a fateful decision. Do his duty, expose the plot and save thousands of lives? Or save Meg? Of course, he must do his duty. But can he survive his attempt to do both?

Here is Book One in the Jake Bernstein FBI Mystery-Thriller series

Lady Justice has a long memory as FBI analyst Jake Bernstein investigates a suspected Nazi spy wanted for war crimes.

A BODYGUARD OF LIES is a riveting blend of romantic thriller, mystery and WWII espionage. A Jewish-American FBI analyst, Jake Bernstein, is recruited by MI-5 to go undercover and investigate a naturalized American grandmother. The elderly woman is suspected by MI-5 of being a notorious Nazi spy wanted for war crimes. Jake Bernstein runs into a series of complications: This spy knows a secret that could endanger the British royal family; his attraction to the old woman’s beautiful granddaughter; an Irish, neo-Nazi group tries to kill him; and all the while, a clever, cagey old woman stands in the way of justice.

To read an excerpt from A BODYGUARD OF LIES, please click HERE.

Learn more about Donna Del Oro on her website.

Buy Link Lies in Wait 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

When is a Vampire not a Vampire? Welcom Tony-Paul de Vissage

Q: When is a Vampire not a Vampire?
A:  When he's an Aventurieri!

Humans call them vampires; they call themselves aventurieri.  They have their own feudal-based government and laws more stringent than their human brothers, based on a much harsher religion.  They do not kill humans for their blood but have a retinue of servants who supply them in exchange for their protection.  Faithful retainers are rewarded with enthrallment bestowing an elongated life span.  Their religion has given them a Prince--the Domnitor--and the myth of the Intemplare, a one-eyed king who will deliver his people from the tyranny of their ruler while betraying them to the world of humans.  They fear humans and even those who live in the outside world do so in disguise and caution.  They also have their feuds, romances, insecurities, and secrets

And then....in 1793, their Prince orders his assassin to punish an aventurieri who has broken the Law...and that single act begins a series of events sending the assassin's eldest son on a journey of revenge and self-discovery. It takes him from Transylvania to the Hellfire Clubs of Vienna to a French marquise’s bedchamber...and eventually brings about the fulfillment of the legend of the Intemplare.


Commanding them to partake of all that was offered, he climbed the dais to his own seat.
            The girl was sitting on a stool at the head table.  As Marek slid into his chair, she stiffened and turned to face him.
            Gods, she looks terrified.  Must be her first outing.
            He smiled to put her at ease, "Good evening, Nurliu," using that little affectionate because she was the prettiest female he'd seen in a very long time.  He placed his forefinger under her chin, tilting her head slightly.
            She relaxed just a little, smiling timidly.  "Good evening, Your Lordship."
            Marek leaned forward to kiss her.  She started to pull away, then forced herself to be still. 
            The next moment, he nearly recoiled as her fresh, unsullied scent flowed over him.  What the Hell--?  Taking her in his arms, he pressed a kiss against her bared shoulder, inhaling deeply the delicate female fragrance of her skin.
            "You're human," he whispered the words into her ear so no one else could hear.   "How'd you get here?"
            Releasing her, he leaned back to look into her eyes.  He was startled to see that they were a blue so pale as to be almost colorless.  How could those fool soldiers see those and her red hair and think her one of us? 
            No aventurieri had eyes that color.
            "I-I'm the kitchen maid for Madame Lubos." She avoided his gaze.  "I heard her girls talking about what they would be paid for tonight, and I-I wanted the money!"
            "You'll have to earn it," he told her solemnly, already envisioning her naked in his bed and surprising himself with the thought.
            Her chin went up, though it trembled slightly.  "I'm quite prepared to do that, my Lord!"
            "Good!"  Marek turned away, seizing the leg of a roasted bird on the platter before him and wrenching it free of the carcase.  "You'll get your chance soon enough!"
            He bit into the drumstick, hearing a slight gasp behind him.  He swallowed and looked at her, asking sardonically, "You didn't know we ate food, also?  Did you think the meals you prepared were just for Madame Lubos' human customers?"
            Pulling a silver of meat from the bone, he offered it to her, and after the slightest hesitation, she opened her mouth, allowing him to place it on her tongue.
            Chewing daintily, she swallowed and ate the second piece he held out also.  She selected a pitted cherry from a bowl of fruit next to the fowl, but as she started to eat it, Marek caught her wrist, bringing it toward his mouth.
            "I have a particular weakness for cherries."  He bit the little fruit off the stem and released her hand, wondering why she blushed so.
            In spite of that, she smiled a little easier and picked up another cherry, rubbing it across his lips and smearing them with juice.  He ate that one, too, and for several minutes, was content to sit there and eat the fruit from her hand.  Her fingers became stained and he licked the juice off them, his tongue lingering against her fingertips.
            When he kissed her again, he could taste her own sweetness under the flavor of the cherry juice.

The Shadow Lord is the first in the Second Species series, with a release date of Hallowe’en. It will be published by Double Dragon Publishing (Canada).

You can find out more about Tony-Paul and his novels at:

Twitter: @tpvissage

Author Bio:

Tony-Paul de Vissage is a Southerner of French Huguenot extraction, whose first movie memory is of viewing the old Universal horror flick, Dracula’s Daughter, on television, and being scared sleepless--and that may explain a lifelong interest in vampires. 
This was further inspired when the author encountered a band of transplanted Transylvanian vampires sightseeing in the South.  Thinking nosferatu were getting a bad press and in need of some favorable publicity, he decided to do what he could to change that attitude through his writing.  Though it may be argued his efforts have probably done the opposite, no vamp has complained…yet.