Friday, 29 April 2016

Q & A with H.D. Gordon

The Halfling (The Aria Fae Series #1)
by H.D. Gordon 

Being seventeen and an outcast is hard. Being seventeen and only half human is harder.

When Aria Fae gets cast out of the Peace Brokers, a secret supernatural organization that’s trained her since infancy, and is left to fend for herself in the human world, she finds herself in Grant City, intent on attempting a normal human life.

As a Halfling, Aria has abilities that are a little underused in the flower shop she lands a job at. And when her new friend Samantha Shy enlists Aria to help investigate her mother’s death, the two girls decide to become vigilantes.

A new drug called Black Magic is running rampant in the streets of Grant City, turning people into supercharged maniacs. With Sam’s mad computer skills, and Aria’s Faevian abilities, they may be just the heroes Grant City is in need of.

Or they may find out they’re in way over their heads, and their mutual crush on the same guy is the least of their worries. 

Paperback, 1st Edition, 319 pages
Published March 3rd 2016 by Black Quill Publishing

Find it on Goodreads
Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Read It & Reap:  October 25, 2016



H. D. Gordon is the author of young adult and adult fiction. She has independently sold over 40,000 e-copies of her books worldwide, and has an eclectic taste in genres.

H. D. is a poet, a mother, a philosopher and an earth-lover. She believes our actions have ripple effects, and in the sacred mission of bringing love and light to the world.

She loves big dreamers, animals, children, killing zombies, eating dessert and old souls. 

She is 26 years old and resides in southern New Jersey—which she insists is really quite lovely.


Q & A with H.D. Gordon

1. Tell us a little bit about your main characters. 
Aria Fae is the main character. She's the hero and the narrator. She's a seventeen-year-old girl who's half-human/half-fae, but who was raised in the human world by an organization run in a military-type fashion. 

In some ways, Aria is very much a normal teen—she likes video games and wears skate shoes and has a current-day humor about her. 

In other ways, however, she's an outcast—different from everyone around her. As a Halfling, she's got certain abilities that make a "normal" life impossible. We meet Aria just as she's been cast out of the organization that had provided her entire way of life. 

She's now alone in the human world. 

At the new high school Aria is attending, she meets Samantha Shy, a sophomore with mad computer skills, and the two turn into a sort of vigilante team, taking on the issues in Grant City.

While there is certainly some romantic interest in book one, the story really focuses on Aria's and Sam's budding friendship, and they get themselves into some serious trouble.

2. Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
My covers are done by Deranged Doctor Designs, and I can't say enough great things about their company. The process is a breeze with them, by far the best experience I've had concerning cover art (they do the awesome promo art for me too) in all my thirteen books. They're a team of professionals and artists who know their stuff, are accommodating, and more than reasonably priced. Here's the link if you're interested: http://www.derangeddoctordesign.com

3. Describe your ideal writing spot.
My ideal writing spot has little to do with location or scenery or anything like that, and very much to do with the state of mind I've trained myself to fall into. I'm a single mother of two (which I seriously LOVE so much) and so I can write with my girls running and jumping and screaming around me, with the television on, or in complete silence. It's about narrowing my focus, about being able to divert attention and come right back to the page. And morning time is best for me, after a good night's sleep.

4. What is the best advice you have been given?
The best advice I've been given has been to myself. That may sound silly, but let me explain. Writing is a solitary profession at its core, and there will be times when you get so low you'd swear hell was above you, and no one can pull you out of that but you. In the words of RA Salvator, If you can quit, then quit. If you can't, then you're a writer. 

That, and always strive toward constant improvement and growth, in all aspects of your product. I'm always trying to get better formatting, cleaner writing, better advertisements, images, and covers. Especially as an indie, and the primary creator of my books.

5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I didn't know. I always wrote. Like, always. But I never really thought about doing it for money. As a child, I was oversensitive, prone to anxiety and depression, and writing was what I did when the world made no sense, or was threatening to break me. Now that I'm older, and better at life in general, I write for myself and others. I feel as though writing was always where I was meant to end up. Like the inevitable return home.

6. Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
I feel like the default answer to this is paperbacks, but in honesty, the advent of e-books has changed my whole life. I probably wouldn't be published without them, and no one will have ever read my work but my mom. Also, I'm a big fan of trees, and even though I love a beautiful paperback as much as the next nerdgirl, I like that e-books don't require any tree-chopping. So, boom! I'm a rebel! Give me the e-books!

7. If you could have any supernatural power, what would you choose and why?
I think I would choose super speed. One, because The Flash and I are totally in love (or it could just be me) and two, because it would offer the ability to manipulate time, which is both terrifying and irresistible.

8. What book are you reading now?
I just started Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children, since the movie is coming and I like to read books before the movies come out, and I like it very much so far! Excited to keep going.




Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Q & A with Sophia Whittemore

The Funnyman
by Sophia Whittemore

It isn't a laughing matter when Diana starts to see things in the mist which other people don’t: monsters, gods, and deadly shadows. Yet now she sees another thing, the world of the Impetus, a reality where humans are enslaved and the once-beautiful gods are actually tyrants. Diana must find a way to escape before the exiled king Fear, a vengeful murderer, hunts Diana down It isn't a laughing matter when Diana starts to see things in the mist which other people don’t: monsters, gods, and deadly shadows. Yet now she sees another thing, the world of the Impetus, a reality where humans are enslaved and the once-beautiful gods are actually tyrants. Diana must find a way to escape before the exiled king Fear, a vengeful murderer, hunts Diana down to get back something she's stolen from him. But will her growing feelings for the Prince Isak, the oddly sullen god of comedy, draw her into an all-out war?

Kindle Edition, 167 pages
Published March 2nd 2016 by Clean Reads
 

Read It & Reap:  October 18

 
Sophia Whittemore is a multiracial author with an Indonesian mother and a Minnesotan father. She penned THE FUNNYMAN during her sophomore year of high school at Benet Academy and published it as a senior. Her love for the English language manifested itself in eighth grade when she went to the Scripps National Spelling Bee and has continued with other languages such as Spanish and Indonesian. Her prior publications include "A Clock's Work" in a Handersen Publishing magazine, "Blind Man's Bluff" in Parallel Ink, and winning awards in the Best Midwestern Writing competition for high school writers. She currently resides in Chicago, Illinois with her family and food- loving mini schnauzer called Tiger. Drawing on inspiration from her two cultural backgrounds, Sophia lives a life playing tennis, traveling, and writing about her dual life experiences through other characters in her works or on her blog.

Website:
http://sophiawhittemore.com/
Amazon:
https://t.co/BN6JwGu5eN
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophiawhitte
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Authorsophia...
Instagram: @authorsophiawhittemore
Google + : Sophia Whittemore, Author
Tumblr:
http://authorsophiawhitte.tumblr.com/
Pinterest: @AuthorSophiaW
GoodReads: Sophia Whittemore

 
Q & A with Sophia Whittemore 

1. Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
Well, I have two main characters. You have the teenage Diana Cato of half-Indian descent who has an artistic soul while still being strong-willed. She walks the line between gods and men, curious about the secrets hidden within her past. Then there's Prince Isaakios, the boy king who seemingly doesn't want to inherit the throne, choosing to flirt his way across the Earth with human women instead. But there's also a deep pain hidden within him, some dark past that Diana senses within him. She wants to heal him, and he wants his freedom. But freedom from what or who?

2. Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
My cover artist for "The Funnyman" was Amanda L. Matthews, who my publisher Stephanie Taylor found through Clean Reads. The process was smooth and transitioned well from my mind to the picture. I emailed them details about the picture I had in my head about my characters and the theme and mystique I wanted surrounding it, and everything was put together perfectly. It's startling to see how the images and descriptions inside your head translate in the real world, but it's well worth it.

3. Describe your ideal writing spot.
My ideal writing spot is next to an open window, with sun filtering down onto my laptop and journals. My books surround me, a smell of light perfume in the air. Summer croaks gently outside, the wind wafting inwards along with the light of an benevolent sun, the warmth of midday.

4. What is the best advice you have been given?
"It's gain theory. You have everything to gain, and nothing to lose. So go for it."

5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to work in Hollywood. Only later on did I discover how my love for the silver screen translated into a love for the stories on the silver screen to a love for writing those stories down onto paper. I love stories, any kind, scripts or novels or poetry. They're all wonderful to me. 

6. Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
They're different mediums. Hardcovers put less strain on my eyes. However, if I want to "binge read" and check out as many works as possible in a short amount of time, then Ebooks are the way to go. And if you have the right reading device for you, there's no strain on your eyes at all. There's a whole literary world at your fingertips, and there's something very appealing about that. Although, you can't go wrong with tradition, either.

7. If you could have any supernatural power, what would you choose and why?
I would want the ability to travel into the worlds of movies and books and poetry. I'd love to see a fictional or historical world that's hidden inside a book simply because it would be pure magic! I can't say how I'd fare against an Orc or Darth Vader though. Hm...

8. What book are you reading now?
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
 
 

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Rogue by Julie Kagawa

Rogue (Talon #2)Rogue by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I am a big fan of Julie Kagawa's writing. I loved her Iron Fey series and Blood of Eden series so when she wrote a series about dragons I knew I had to read it. Rogue is the second book in that series and I was lucky enough to receive a copy from NetGalley for review. I would advise reading the first book Talon before this one.

Rogue begins where Talon ended. Ember Hill escaped from Talon, the dragon organization, with the help of Cobalt a rogue dragon and Garret, a St. George solider whose mission is to kill all dragons. Garret went against all of his training to save Ember’s life. Now, it is her turn to save his since he is scheduled for execution due to his betrayal of St. George. Can Ember save Garret before it is too late?

Rogue is an action-packed story with love, loyalty, hatred and betrayal. Who will Ember choose Cobalt who appeals to her dragon side or Garret who stirs emotions she didn’t know she had? Love triangles don’t bother me and to be honest I wasn’t sure who Ember should choose either. I enjoyed learning more about both Talon and St. George also why Cobalt decided to go rogue. This was an enjoyable read and I am looking forward to the next installment.



View all my reviews

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Q & A with S.B. Roozenboom

Xenophobia
by S.B. Roozenboom

It's been two centuries since the Telumiras arrived and settled on Earth, changing everything —including the genetic makeup of humans.

Living in the section of land occupied by her own species, Ness Kimler tries to be a normal teenager, worrying about her career and finding a mate—questions to be answered at her upcoming graduation.

But before that happens, Ness accidentally crosses the Great Fence separating humans and Telumiras. For 200 years, the barrier has been in place, preserving the peace on a planet divided between two species.

What she finds is that the Fence isn't just about keeping the aliens in—it's about keeping the humans out.

And Ness Kimler just broke the rules.

Paperback, 279 pages
Expected publication: August 16th 2016 by WiDo Publishing

Find it on Goodreads
Buy it on Amazon

Read It & Reap:  October 20, 2016

Born to the great northwest, I grew up submerged in fairytales, monster stories, and legends. At seventeen I wrote my first book, which later became the YA epic fantasy, MARKINGS. My other works include YA paranormal novels PREDATOR GIRL and my self-published novel, A TASTE OF SILVER.







 Q & A with S.B. Roozenboom

1. Tell us about your main characters.
Xenophobia follows the story of Ness Kimler, a teenager living in the New USA, one of few nations left after the war between aliens and humans in 2012. While the wars ended two hundred years ago, she is faced with her own battle of trying to decipher her cryptosyms -- the symbols in her skin that will determine her future -- as well as dull her constant fear of the Great Fence, the border that separates humans from alien life. Everyone tells her she shouldn't fear the Fence as it is well monitored and enforced, but if that was the truth she would never meet Tevire, an alien boy who has trespassed onto her side of the world. 

2. Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
WiDo Publishing has designed all of my book covers (with one self-published exception) and they have always done a beautiful job. The first time I saw my book cover for Xenophobia I was sitting behind my desk at work and squealed like a piglet, much to my coworkers' surprise, because I was finally finished. After 3 years of writing and rewriting and fighting to make the book as amazing as possible, Xenophobia was about to become a reality. It is truly a phenomenal moment.  

3. Describe your ideal writing spot.
Well, i don't quite have one yet! I used to type my books on the office computer in our family home where I could really think and plot out the perfect story, but since our family is broken apart now I've chosen to move out into a house of my own. The house is still new to me, but I'm thinking my new writing spot is going to be on my bed with my lap desk :)

4. What is the best advice you have been given?
I think the best advice I have ever received was, "Do it. Do it because you want to. Do it because you can." After my family fell apart, in a way I often felt disabled in life. Not only physically, but mentally. I told myself I couldn't do things because of A, B, C, D, etc... I'm slowly reminding myself I can do all the things I want to do. If I want to get up and go for a walk, I can. If I want to garden even though it's raining, I can. If I want to write a new book, I can. The only person that stops us from making our lives the way we want it, is ourselves. It boils down to us and our choices. If we want to build a better life, we can do it. It's not always easy (actually it can be extremely hard) but nothing is impossible.

5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was a funny because I always thought I would grow up and be a clothing designer. I was a writer even as a kid but I had convinced myself I would never be good enough to be published (heh) so I had to have another career option... I actually did grow up to be a designer, except I design and sell jewelry, not clothes.

6. Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
My heart will always be in the real thing-- I want to touch my books, smell them, turn them, experience them in a way you never will with ebooks. However, I can say as a rising author it is better to be in the ebook business. You will make more money and you will have a lot more resources.

7. If you could have any supernatural power, what would you choose and why?
Gosh, I don't know how I would pick one! I suppose I would be something elemental, a white witch sort of being with control over the elements maybe? Either that or I'd like to have the ability to talk to animals. Maybe then I could convince my chihuahua to stop peeing on my kitchen floor. Hah, hah.

8. What book are you reading now?
So much has been going on in my life I haven't be able to finish anything I've started. I think the most recent book I finished was Hyperbole and a Half, an illustrated memoir by Allie Brosh. That has to be my new favorite book ever! It was so funny, so poignant, and so revolutionary for the nonfiction market. I highly recommend!



Thursday, 10 March 2016

Q & A with S. Jane Gari

Losing the Dollhouse
by S. Jane Gari 

When nineteen-year-old Jane finally works up the nerve to expose the truth about her stepfather's sexual advances, her mother is outraged. But not at the stepfather. Her mother takes his side-a betrayal that threatens to destroy the family and leaves Jane struggling to forge her own identity as she enters adulthood. Once marriage is on the table, Jane packs up her life and resolves to stare her demons down. Losing the Dollhouse offers a slice of dysfunctional Americana complete with divorce, stepfamilies, eating disorders, mental illness and the search for true love. 

Paperback, 238 pages
Published February 2nd 2014 by Touchpoint Press

Find it on Goodreads
Amazon   Barnes & Noble


Read It & Reap:  September 18, 2016



S. Jane Gari lives in Elgin, South Carolina with her husband and daughter. Her nonfiction has been nominated for three Pushcart Prizes. In addition to her upcoming memoir,Losing the Dollhouse, she has also co-written Flush This Book, a collection of humorous essays.





                                    Q & A with S. Jane Gari

1. Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
Losing the Dollhouse is a memoir, so I had to craft real people into characters, including myself. I wrote the first few drafts for myself and then edited with the reader in mind. Readers wouldn’t know anything about the details I take for granted, like the mannerisms and physicality of people I’ve known all my life. The main characters are my mother, stepfather, father, stepmother, sister, husband, and me. The central relationship in the memoir, however, is between my mother and me and how we navigated life after I disclosed my stepfather’s ongoing sexual advances and she took his side. My mother was the kind of mom who played with me, listened to me, read to me every night, and cheered me on. I was a sensitive, artistic kid and young adult. Her betrayal is something I still struggle with.

2. Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
Brett J. Miller (http://www.bjm-bookdesign.com) designed the cover for Losing the Dollhouse. I thought the cover should have a dollhouse on it, but he felt we should go for something to solicit a more immediate visceral, emotional response. Once I saw what he had in mind I could see he was right. As much as we don’t like to admit it, books are often judged by their covers—that’s what draws somebody in to pick up the book and give it a chance. 

3. Describe your ideal writing spot.
My ideal writing spot is the table in my kitchen under the skylight on a warm day with the door to my screened-in porch wide open. It’s the best of all worlds—an ergonomic setup with fresh air pouring in. I get to enjoy the feel of being outside without the direct glare from the sun on my computer screen (and without the bugs).

4. What is the best advice you have been given?
“To thine own self be true.” It’s one of my favorite quotes from Hamlet. Ironically, my mother used to say it to me all the time. Ultimately that advice led me to write Losing the Dollhouse.

5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a ballerina until ninth grade. Then I set my sights on being an English teacher and a writer. But I still go to the ballet as a spectator.

6. Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or eBooks?
I still prefer a hardcopy of a book in my hand, especially if it’s a nonfiction book I’d like to browse through later for references. I taught high school English for years, and I love to look through my copies of novels with copious notes in the margins. My Kindle saves me from stockpiling thousands of books, but I’ll always love my “real” books best.

7. If you could have any supernatural power what would you choose and why?
I’d want the power to heal myself and others. I think it would be the most practical and the most gratifying.

8. What book are you reading now?
I just started The Stone Necklace by fellow South Carolina author Carla Damron.




Thursday, 3 March 2016

Q & A with A.J. Norfield

Windcatcher 
Stone War Chronicles #1
by A.J. Norfield 

Far away from home, under the command of his brother, Raylan and his squad must retrieve an ancient relic stolen from their kingdom’s trading partner—the Tiankong Empire. 

Traveling deep into unknown enemy territory to complete their mission, Raylan learns that the ancient relic holds unexpected life; a creature buried in legends, one not seen in their world for more than two hundred years. 

With their enemies closing in, Raylan and his friends search, desperately, for a safe way home. Danger lurks around every corner: Warriors larger than any man, predators stalking them through the night and soldiers determined to hunt them down. Leaving them all little choice, except to keep moving as they strategically plot—and skillfully fight—their way back to those awaiting their return. 

ebook, Kindle Version, 386 pages
Published October 30th 2015 by LowSea Publishing

Find it on Goodreads
Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Read It & Reap:  June 26, 2016

About the Author
A.J. Norfield lives with his loving family on land but below sea level. He tries not to worry too much about climate change and the melting of the polar ice caps. His wife and two rascals of children keep him engaged and grounded in life while he pursues goals of publishing a story that has been stuck in his head for years.

As a longtime forest and mountain enthusiast, he often wonders about his flat surroundings and how to escape them. In his free time, if available at all, he enjoys a wide variety of gaming, reading/writing, drawing and socializing. His interest in (dragon-fantasy) novels has followed him throughout his life ever since he was young enough to read. It was this interest—with a number of broken nights thanks to his daughter’s sleeping schedule—that eventually lead to his current undertaking to write his own dragon-fantasy series ‘The Stone War Chronicles’ and put it out into the world.

Inspired by established names like Anne McCaffrey, Terry Goodkind and Naomi Novik—to name only a few of many—he is ready to show the world what he has to offer.

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14586355.A_J_Norfield

Q & A with A.J. Norfield

1. Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
Raylan find himself in a situation, he doesn’t necessarily wants to be in. Drafted into the kingdom’s army, he was weeks away from returning to his beloved seas…until he was sent off under the command of his brother; to retrieve a stolen relic from their kingdom’s trading partner—the Tiankong Empire.

He’s a curious person, with a positive look on life. He enjoys the world around him, but values his freedom. He would rather not have the responsibility of anything if he can avoid it. But that promptly changes, when he discovers what the relic truly is and all of a sudden his priorities in life change drastically.

The bond with his brother, Gavin, was strong when they were young. But, at the time, Raylan always felt he stood in the shadow of his more responsible brother. Over the years, since Raylan left his home to sail the seas, the bond deteriorated, but to him it seems even now that Gavin’s shadow still falls over him to keep him down.

The rest of the cast is build up from different backgrounds. A strong female presence is there in the form of Xi’Lao, ambassador of the Tiankong Empire, although she might not entirely be what she seems. The archer duo, who both grew up in the northern forests, an escaped slave that has not seen his home for almost seven years. There is plenty of them to like (and some to dislike!). To meet them all, I would invite everyone to read the book and see for yourself.

2. Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
With the risk of falling for the years old self-publishing mistake: I designed my own cover. I have dragon icons in mind for each of the five books that I am writing in the series. Each book introduces a new “main” character and dragon. I found it a great challenge to see if I was able to come up with something interesting. I recently did a revamp of the original cover and with the help/feedback of the Goodreads community (awesome people) I ended up with a cover that I’m very happy with.

I do think I will eventually let the covers be redone, perhaps in celebration of the third book coming out, but that will not happen for a while. In the meantime, I hope that people find the cover intriguing enough to check out the book and enjoy the story that I have written for them.

3. Describe your ideal writing spot.
At home I really only have one writing spot. The attic, behind the computer. Hot in the summer, cold in the winter. Sounds horrible, right? But, it’s a good spot, with two kids running around the house and a full time job, it’s a place to get some peace and quiet, even if there’s not a lot of time to spend on writing. The challenge is to get into the zone, to hit that spot where your fingers will flow and the text comes out without (much) effort, before my face hits the keyboard because I fall asleep.

Although, now that I think about it there is one other spot, where I do love to write: The exit row in an airplane. Enough legroom to open my laptop, earplugs and a seven hour flight, it really does wonders for my story progress. 

4. What is the best advice you have been given?
On the point of writing, the internet is full of good advice. Character development, avoiding writing pitfalls, you name it.

In life I have been lucky to have met many people that cared about me, each providing their own kind of wisdom to me. I have learned to listen to my wife on parental advice, she is such a great mother. I have learned to listen to my kids, who see the world through such different eyes still.

Still if I would have to pick, I would say ‘respect’. Respect yourself and respect others. If you do not wish something to happen to you, do not do it to someone else. We are all very different, which is a good thing or else the world would be a very boring place.

5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I have had ranges of ideas about what I would like to be. I loved to draw, but was not very good at it. Professional gamer, or programmer, digital artist. At one point I even wanted to be a pastry-chef. As I grew older, I found biology one of my main interest. Animal behavior and large physiology kept me interested through a study of wildlife management. I worked as a falconer in a zoo for some time—a period I hold very dear in my life. The interaction with those animals now founded the base of how I perceive the bond between dragon and humans in my books.

For years I had the idea in my head to eventually write a book, but I never knew the story. And I guess that wish—to tell a story—has been in me from the start, as I recently found old comic drawings that I did when I was much younger. I kept it to show my kids later, when they will ask the same question: “Dad, when did you want to become a writer?”

So now, with my non-profit job in conservation, my knowledge on the animal kingdom and the story that came to me years ago, I spend my time writing, and discovering about writing, and publishing. It’s like a whole new job next to my normal job, and can sometimes be quite a lot to take on. Still, I feel good about the creation of the first book and I look forward to completing the other four in the series that I have in mind…now if I only could find the time!

6. Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
Paperbacks for sure. I actually do not own an e-reader myself. I have been thinking about it for years, but the smell of paper is just too charming for me to move away from it. Hardcovers are beautiful, but paperbacks are travel books. I always have one with me on my trips abroad, mostly Discworlds novels, although I am sad to say, I only have one left in the series to read now…

7. If you could have any supernatural power, what would you choose and why?
Indestructible. It would mean I have a great skill to use in protecting and saving others from danger. Although I would love to fly as well, or have laser eyes…and adamantium claws! Errr, do I really have to choose? ^_^ 

8. What book are you reading now?
Blood of Tyrants by Naomi Novik. I love the Temeraire series, such great bland of history and my favorite fantasy genre, dragons. I have to admit, though, that I have not picked it up in quite some time…as I feel I need to stay away from other dragon fantasy novels, in order to keep my own storyline as pure as possible. The fact of which annoys me to some extent, because I am curious to see how the story plays out for Temeraire and Laurence.



Q & A with Gary Ross-Jordan

Crescendo! 
Austerley & Kirkgordon, #1
by G.R. JordanGary Ross-Jordan 

A long forgotten manuscript of music. A genius professor hungering for the dark creatures which drove his studies. A Russian vamp with an icy touch. A government agent pulling everyone's strings. And a former bodyguard trying to hold onto his marriage amidst Eldar creatures threatening the end of the world.

Join Austerley and Kirkgordon on a hunt for Eldar music of a long forgotten race. From America to Russia and across the British Isles, two broken misfits try to pull the world back from a cosmic disaster while keeping at bay their reciprocal loathing.

Paperback, 260 pages
Published October 25th 2015 by Carpetless Publishing



Find it on Goodreads
Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Smashwords

Read It & Reap:  September 11, 2016

Currently working on a fantasy novel about paranormal investigators and a story about mermaids appearing off a remote Scottish island both to be published under G R Jordan. Gary first published "Four Life Emotions" a poetry book followed by a Christian work of short allegorical stories called "A Darker Shade of Light."

Previously he spent his time at Loughborough University masquerading as a chemical engineer but ultimately playing American football, Gary worked at changing the shape of cereal flakes and pulled a pallet truck for a living. Watching vegetables freeze at -40'C was another career highlight but currently he is one of the few remaining "blind" air traffic controllers. Having flirted with most places in the UK, he is now based in the Isle of Lewis in Scotland where his free time is spent between raising three young children with his wife, writing and caring for a small flock of chickens. Luckily his writing is influenced by his varied work and life experience as the chickens have not been the poetical inspiration he had hoped for!


Q & A with Gary Ross-Jordan

1. Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
Well, like any good duo, I have two opposites in Messrs Austerley and Kirkgordon. Austerley, formerly Professor Austerley of Miskatonic University, is a genius when it comes to Occult Affairs. He's ever eager to find out about anything strange and is fascinated with persons, places or objects from other worlds. All his life he has been in the darkest libraries and the weirdest places building up an encyclopaedic knowledge of everything unholy and terrifying. For this cat, curiosity always gets the better of him.

His counterpart, Kirkgordon is a former bodyguard. Proficient archer and protector, his former experience with Austerley has given him a loathing for anything strange and their coming back together has each of them at each others throats. Unfortunately for them, their joint skill sets are a perfect match to deal with the forthcoming darkness and they have to rely on each other as the world depends on their getting the job completed.

And just to stir things up a little more, Austerley's former lover, Calandra turns up. She's an 800 year old former shieldmaiden who is now literally ice cold after she was cursed by a witch. When she feels attracted to the married Kirkgordon and he fights his reciprocated feelings, the partnership is threatened as personal takes precedence over professional.

Through a journey around the globe, they are pushed, pulled and prodded until they have to face an unspeakable demon on a remote Scottish island.

2. Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
Jake Caleb Clarke (Jcalebdesign.com) is my cover artist, a guy who I have found to be energetic and passionate about his work. I live in the UK and Jake in the USA so communication is by email with Jake being some 6 hours behind time-wise. I'm really not talented in the graphics sense and so I try to give Jake the ideas and essence of the story, usually by giving him highlights of the second or third draft. At that point I try to go a little hands off and let Jake push ideas forward, trying to maximise his talent and not throttle it with my preconceived thoughts.This generally produces graphics I hadn't thought of and it's just a case then of honing down the images and making sure they stand up with the text in the book.

One of the things I have found as an author, and indeed really the CEO of the whole publishing process, is that the one thing you need to succeed at making a great book is talented, enthusiastic people around you to pick up the areas where you either have no or limited talent. Fortunately in Jake, I have someone with bags of both talent and enthusiasm.

3. Describe your ideal writing spot.
I have three children and am soon to have a fourth which means our house is pretty busy. So I don't have a consistent place to write. Generally the view doesn't matter to me but there are three things that do:
1) There is someone there who knows how to make a good coffee! It is my fuel and is like my comforting companion when I am writing. If the coffee is poor then I struggle to focus, it is the potion leading me into the zone.
2) I generally don't like complete quiet so I enjoy coffee shops or places where people are sporadically trundling in and out. I think it helps me to focus but also makes the odd little thirty second break a real diversion. Total silence has never worked for me.
3) A steady table. I usually write on my tablet with a little keyboard I have in the cover that wraps around it. And there is nothing more off putting than a table than rocks back and forward.
Outside of these things I am happy writing wherever. I try and not have too many essentials as it provides a barrier to getting on and writing.

4. What is the best advice you have been given?
Just write, as it's the only way to learn. Neil Gaimen says this in various comments as does Stephen King. And they are right. There is no other way to practise this art we call writing than to simply write. By all means read up on the art but you have to write, even if it is tripe at times. It's how we learn.

5. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I'm forty-two now so you are really testing the grey matter. From the dark recesses I remember always being fascinated with aeroplanes. I used to make crude model ones with my Granddad and also spend hours on the Air-fix model kits. I never quite made it to being a professional pilot but I did spend some fifteen hours in a Tomahawk aircraft on the way to becoming an air traffic controller.

But as a teenager I was always writing, mainly poetry and I think life experience has taught me about people and allowed me to flourish into the novel writing.

6. Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or eBooks?
Apologies to all you modern people but it has to be in the solid form. There is something about holding a book and seeing your progress as you turn it sideways. And the flick of the pages with that smell a new book has does it for me. As to whether it's a hardback or paperback, a paperback to hold and read but a hardback always looks better on the shelf!

7. If you could have any supernatural power, what would you choose and why?
Excepting perfect animal attraction to the opposite sex, which all us guys think we have but so few rarely exhibit, it would have to be teleportation. My favourite character was always Nightcrawler from the X-men, strange and weird but incredibly fast and agile. I think I just like the little guy who can rip into the big men.

8. What book are you reading now?
I'm currently reading "Population" by Elizabeth Stephens for the read it and reap program and enjoying it. There's a possibility at at the end of the year I may be looking to write a post-apocalyptic adventure, so this is one of my books in the genre I've decided to read. I'm also reading Baden-Powell's "My adventures as a Spy" which is quite an eye opener into an old profession. In order to gain a deeper perspective into character, I like to mix it up between fiction and non-fiction.