Friday 27 January 2017

Q & A with S. Shane Thomas

A Paleolithic fable
by S. Shane Thomas 

Dangerous magic wielders invade the Stone Age to replace humanity with a species fit to serve their kind. One man was sent to stop them and a group of misfits join the struggle for existence. Archaeology and cryptozoology meld into high fantasy.

Kindle Edition, 263 pages

Find it on Goodreads

Read It & Reap:  July 23, 2017

Distant Origins
by S. Shane Thomas

The human race discovered the lost city of Atlantis buried in the ocean. The ancient civilization was more than a city, it was a colonial starship. Mankind formed LARC- the League of Atlantis Reborn Colonies, reverse engineered Atlantis’s design, and launched a half million colonists toward a new home.
After living aboard the LARC1 colonial starship for twenty-five years, humanity encounters other species, dangerous forces from Atlantis’s creators, and mankind’s distant origins. Separated from Earth, the colonists must embrace mysterious relics to fight forces ancient men called gods.

Kindle Edition, 376 pages

Find it on Goodreads
Amazon  Barnes & Noble

Read It & Reap:  July 25, 2017

Connect with S. Shane Thomas:

Q & A with S. Shane Thomas

Tell us a little bit about your main characters. 
One story revolves around seven point of view characters. Seven! Am I nuts? Yes. A Paleolithic Fable is set in the Middle Paleolithic era, a time in Earth’s history more commonly referred to (outside the diet) as the Stone Age. At that time, our ancient ancestors, the homo sapiens- humans lived in small communities using tools, dying their garments, performing rituals to the remains of their dead, and interacting with a variety of other hominins that did too. They had an experience very similar to Tolkien’s Middle Earth.

Bobby is a human from Earth’s near future who shares a body with Nabu, an alien artificial intelligence that allows Bobby to Skinchange, and make the one way journey through time to stop a couple rogue Anki from using magic to unmake humanity before the species civilized. He’s got a lot on his plate. If Bobby doesn’t stop these guys there is a chance that his home and everyone he ever knew won’t exist. Then there’s the fact that he’s actually just a laser printed copy and the real Bobby is out there, hopefully, and gets to keep his wife and kids.

Acacia is a Swapper. Swappers are ancient Homo sapiens that roam from Africa to Mongolia trading with the other races of human. Her family was murdered by a group of Icehunters who keep her and some others like they are a circus sideshow. She’s dealing with some anger and fear issues.

Thokmay is an outcast member of the Firebringer tribe. We call them Homo erectus. They are one of the most ancient hominins and brought fire to the other races of human. He is especially talented at communicating through mana, the life essence of everything, our electromagnetic energy. Thokmay broke from tradition once too often for a community that is very set in their ways. Now he feels like he won’t fit in anywhere.

Silaluk is an Icehunter warrior maiden. She and her toddler son, Qannik, are what we call Homo Neanderthals. While all Icehunters are strong, the women make better warriors as they can access superhuman strength under duress. Silaluk is the mightiest warrior because she’s got a chip on her shoulder. She meets Bobby and the gang on the way to her mate’s funeral ceremony. Can she get over her loss? Bobby knows martial arts, maybe the warrior woman will tag along.

Yuwa is a member of the Ebu Gogo. We call them Homo floresiensis. These little guys stood about three and a half feet tall, had wrists like chimpanzees to swing in trees with, and had ridiculously long feet. Their brains were only a third the size of ours, but not everyone uses their brains anyhow, right? Yuwa needs to kill a giant stork, King Birdie to become a man. That bird is a Rotbringer, anyhow!

Sachet is a Waterbreather. He is talented at lucid dreaming, or Soulwalking. In time out of mind, his people began living in water, now too much time with the landed humans dries his skin out. Plus the other races of human aren’t conscious of themselves. Sachet must join Bobby the Skinchanger’s quest, the fate of all the races of human depend on its outcome, their fates and his rite of passage. No, Dear Reader, archeologists have never found mermaid bones! I became fascinated by Aquatic Ape theory while researching for this story and we’ll find the evidence one day, right?

Hazi rules a Ghostkin tribe. He likes to spend his days hunting. He and his fellow giants are Homo Heidelbergensis, who are over 7’ tall. Their favorite food is smaller people. Hazi has a vision of Enkara and Namtar, the rogue Anki aliens, and determines they are his gods. Naturally, he packs up the cannibal tribe and hops through a magic portal to experience to fine cuisine of our heros’ realm.

Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?

For two novels, I purchased premade covers that I fell in love with from . For my short story collection and the novel I’m about to publish I started is an awesome picture of space from the Hubble telescope. It’s green, I love green!

There is interior art in A Paleolithic Fable, too. Chad Gomez is my cousin and one of the best sketch artists I know! I hired him to draw sketches of each character listed above, to help readers remember who is who. He did such a great job and had so much fun doing it that we are now working on adapting the novel to web comics. His art is amazing and I’m very glad my story has captivated his imagination. He’ll text me the most incredible character studies! It’s so cool to see my characters in action.

Describe your ideal writing spot.
I travel frequently as an industrial filtration specialist and technical writer, so it can’t always be on my couch, clutching coffee in the dark. I have a routine though, and I’m grouchy when I miss too many days. I wake up at 4 am, clean up and get coffee going. I spend about 40 minutes doing Wim Hof Method breathing exercises and meditating. Here is a link to my blog post that explains why I think meditation improves my writing and life: Then I sit in the dark with 2-3 cups of coffee and write from 5am until 7am. I write short chapters, and each chapter is written in one predawn session.

What is the best advice you have been given?
“Stop thinking, and end your problems” Lao Tzu

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I had military aspirations. There is a branch of the military called GI Joe. An elite anti-terrorism task force that gets to dress however they want and shoots lasers. Cartoons are real, some would say. Well, Sargent Slaughter was a pro wrestler in the World Wrestling Federation, a real man; but he was also a cartoon drill instructor on the GI Joe cartoon. Obvious conclusion, cartoons are real. I spent the first seven years of my adult life dejected and working at Whole Foods. Now I don’t trust anything on television that isn’t a documentary on cavemen, space, or animals.

Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
Paperbacks. Hands down. They are the easiest to hold, LED backlighting strains your eyes, and I love putting the little white lines down the spine! I also read on the paperwhite. I spent a long time in writers workshops reading .doc files off my laptop. Now I don’t even proofread my own stuff on screen. I begin the Createspace self-publishing process and order a proof copy to mark my edits in. I read and write because I love it. I also have a business degree and quality control experience, so I constantly find ways to make the parts I would otherwise struggle through into parts I love.

If you could have any supernatural power, what would you choose and why?
Flight. I love those dreams that gravity simply doesn’t apply to you. I spend three quarters of my flight dreams convincing myself that I have finally awoken to the true reality, the one where I can fly. Then I fly around to nowhere in particular and perch on stuff like a gargoyle would, because who has pressing errands in dreams? Then I wake up and have to walk or drive around. It bums me out.

What book are you reading now?
On paperwhite- Fire and Ice (Icefire Trilogy Book 1) by Patty Jansen

On Audible with my 9 year old- The Dreams of Phillip Aisling and the Numinous Nagwaagan by Brandon Bossee

On Audible by my lonesome- The Road to Nyn: Tales of Gaspar, Book 1 by Nrian Michaud

Hardback when I feel like nonfiction- The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson

Wattpad App on my phone when I have forgotten to bring a book and must wait someplace- Dark Currents- The Emperor’s Edge Book 2 by Lindsay Buroker

On paperwhite, Intermittenly to scope the writing contest competition- Author Versus Author: Tournament 1 It’s a one on one writing duel and a 64 person single elimination tournament. 

Monday 23 January 2017

Q & A with Jennifer Silverwood

Scarred Beauty 
A Wylder Tale #2
by Jennifer Silverwood 

Vynasha has become prisoner with the other wyld beasts of the castle, but she is not alone. In the howling darkness her majikal bond with the Dungeon Master, Grendall, grows, awakening the dormant power in her blood.

Yet as she discovers the true nature of the other beasts, she learns she must embrace madness in order to free them all. Vynasha is willing to do anything to end the curse, even if that means transforming into a monster.

Buried secrets come to light in this seductive sequel to Craving Beauty, the Gothic retelling of the classic fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast, where nothing is exactly as it seems and the heroine must be her own hero.

Kindle Edition, 209 pages
Published December 1st 2016 by SilverWoodSketches

Find it on Goodreads
Amazon  Barnes & Noble

Read It & Reap:  June 8, 2017

Jennifer Silverwood was raised deep in the heart of Texas and has been spinning yarns a mile high since childhood. In her spare time she reads and writes and tries to sustain her wanderlust, whether it's the Carpathian Mountains in Transylvania, the highlands of Ecuador or a road trip to the next town.

After attending three different universities without managing to square a degree, she decided to the next logical thing; become a writer. Always on the lookout for her next adventure, in print or reality, she dreams of one day proving to the masses that everything really is better in Texas.

She is the author of the Heaven's Edge series, Stay and Silver Hollow. To stay tuned, please have a gander at her website:

Connect with Jennifer:

Q & A with Jennifer Silverwood

Tell us a little bit about your main characters. 
Craving Beauty centers around Vynasha, a young woman who has been scarred by the fire that took the rest of her family. She is lost to her past and desperate enough to follow a stranger's advice to venture to the unknown. She meets The Prince, an almost man-like beast who caters to her every whim while keeping her hostage. And beneath the castle is Grendall, the Dungeon Master, who warns Vynasha the Prince is not what he seems.

Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
Najla Qamber Designs has designed all my book covers. She's an Indie author's dream cover designer. Working with her is always a fun collaborative process. I typically throw ideas her way and she brings them to life.

Describe your ideal writing spot.
A cabin in the mountains overlooking a lake.

What is the best advice you have been given?
My dad has a saying, "eat that elephant, one bite at a time." I've reminded myself this every time I start a big project or have a seemingly insurmountable obstacle in front of me. In every situation, you just have to chip away at it, "one bite at a time." Eventually you'll get there.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Before I knew writing could be a real career, I had dreams of being a nurse by day and a concert harpist by night. This was largely due to my mom and grandma having been former nurses, and my dad's concert pianist training.

Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
I love the convenience of ebooks, especially now that I have a busy toddler to chase after. However I much prefer paperbacks. When my kid was smaller it was dangerous putting paperbacks in grabbing range, much to my dismay. Now that he's old enough to play on his own I can sneak in the paperbacks again.

If you could have any supernatural power, what would you choose and why?
I would want telekinesis and astral projection, just like Prue Halliwell in Charmed. (Okay, I know that's technically cheating but Prue got two powers, right?) It would be fabulous to be in multiple places at once while simultaneously keeping my toddler in check.

What book are you reading now?
I'm currently reading The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien. Next I'll be diving into The Lord of the Rings.