Thursday 12 October 2017

Q & A with Alexandrea Weis

Magnus Blackwell #1
by Alexandrea Weis, Lucas Astor

Hell has a new master. 

In the late 1800s, handsome, wealthy New Englander, Magnus Blackwell, is the envy of all.

When Magnus meets Jacob O’Conner—a Harvard student from the working class—an unlikely friendship is forged. But their close bond is soon challenged by a captivating woman; a woman Magnus wants, but Jacob gets.

Devastated, Magnus seeks solace in a trip to New Orleans. After a chance meeting with Oscar Wilde, he becomes immersed in a world of depravity and brutality, inevitably becoming the inspiration for Dorian Gray. Armed with the forbidden magic of voodoo, he sets his sights on winning back the woman Jacob stole from him.

Amid the trappings of Victorian society, two men, bent on revenge, will lay the foundation for a curse that will forever alter their destinies. 

Hardcover, 295 pages
Published January 17th 2017 by Vesuvian Books

Find it on Goodreads
Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Read It & Reap:  October 12, 2017

Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans. 

Connect with Alexandrea Weis
Goodreads  *  Website  *  Facebook  *  Twitter

Q & A with Alexandrea Weis

Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
The main characters in Damned are Lexi Arden and Magnus Blackwell. Damned is the journey of a ghost and his road to redemption after living a less than honorable life. Magnus Blackwell haunts his abandoned mansion, Altmover Manor. One day the house is bought by an architect and his fiancé, Lexie Arden. A woman with an ability to see the dead, she and Magnus begin a strange relationship that takes them across the country from Maine to New Orleans. They unravel secrets, and become part of the voodoo culture in New Orleans, ultimately uncovering a new destiny for both of them.

In your opinion, what makes a good, strong lead character?
Believability. If a reader can relate to the character, if they feel like a person they would see on the street, meet at a party, someone who shares common flaws with everyone else, they can accept them.

 What or who do you see as influences on your writing style?
I think every person I have known and book I have read influences your style. And the inner voice. The running dialogue in your head sets up how your words transcribe onto the page. 

 Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas?
All the time. The best stories hide in the past. I have a few books written about characters from history, legends, or myth.

 What is the best writing advice you have been given?
Keep writing. Every writer will tell you this, and it’s true. You have to keep writing to get better and to find your voice. It takes time.

 If you could have any superpower, what would you choose and why? 
The power to heal. I’m a nurse and have witnessed so much pain and suffering. That would be the best power to have.

 What do you do to unwind and relax?
I am a permitted wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, so when I am not writing I care for orphaned and injured animals. I love animals, and anything I do with them helps me to relax. 

 What book are you reading now?
I’m not reading now, but writing. I’m finishing up the next book in the Magnus Blackwell Series, Bound. It will be out in fall 2018.

Tuesday 3 October 2017

Q & A with Pete Planisek

Frankenstein A Life Beyond  (Book 1 of 3)
The Resurrection Trinity
by Pete Planisek 

Ten years after the loss of his entire family to madness and death, Ernest Frankenstein finds himself compelled to return to the city of his birth, Geneva, in order to discover if his elder brother, Victor, might still be alive. Only Victor can provide the answers to questions, which have long plagued Ernest. The quest for answers will force Ernest to confront demons, both internal and external, from his past, which refuse to be at peace and which ultimately will endanger both he and his new family. Hunted across Europe their only hope may lie with a French spy, Ernest’s childhood friend, and a mysterious gypsy girl whose people believe that Ernest will lead humanity to its salvation or final destruction. 

Frankenstein A Life Beyond (Book 1 of 3) The Resurrection Tirnity by Pete Planisek is a direct sequel to Mary Shelley’s iconic story, Frankenstein, which examined Victor Frankenstein’s quest to both create and kill an unnamed creature that ultimately destroys all but one member of the Frankenstein family, Victor’s brother, Ernest. Frankenstein A Life Beyond explores many of the issues left open by the original, while establishing new characters and mysteries.

322 pages
Published August 1st 2012 

Find it on Goodreads
AmazonBarnes& Noble * Apple/iBookstore * Smashwords * Kobo * Enceladus Literary

Read It & Reap:  

Book 1 October 1, 2017
Book 2 October 3, 2017

Pete Planisek lives in Columbus, OH, where he teaches English, runs Enceladus Literary LLC, and is co-host of an entertainment podcast called Hindsight is 20-20. He received his Masters from Ohio University where he founded a student literary arts magazine called Recently Eclipsed. He has published newspaper articles and is a member of Independent Book Publishers Association. He served for seven years as adviser/co-adviser to a NCTE award winning student literary arts publication. He has published two novels in his Resurrection Trinity series titled Frankenstein A Life Beyond (Book 1 of 3) and Frankenstein Soul's Echo (Book 2 of 3) and a children's chapter book titled Princess Bella and the Dragon's Charm, which won a 2016 Silver Honoree IBPA Benjamin Franklin Digital Book Award.

                                        Connect with Pete
                                        Goodreads * Facebook * Twitter * Blog

Q & A with  Pete Planisek

Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
Frankenstein A Life Beyond (Book 1 of 3) The Resurrection Trinity is really a story about family, trust, and justice.  These are issues the main character, Ernest Frankenstein, must confront after ten years of trying to out run his family’s dark past.  His young Irish wife, Ailis Tierney Frankenstein, who is key to Ernest’s personal rebirth, must confront choices that may destroy both herself and her unborn child.  Her mysterious half-sister, Abrielle, must decide if she is more loyal to her spy masters in Napoleon’s Imperial France or to the family that abandoned her. 

Victor Frankenstein’s creature seeks justice from Ernest Frankenstein and will draw Ernest and his family into a deadly war between two rival groups of gypsies who fight to control the outcome of an ancient prophecy involving Ernest and the creature.  One of these groups is led by an imposing gypsy named Jal, whose daughter, Baseria, has been rejected by her people but may hold the key to humanity’s salvation or final destruction.

Frankenstein Soul’s Echo (Book 2 of 3) The Resurrection Trinity continues and expands upon the storyline from the previous novel.  Ernest must now journey northward to the creature’s stronghold and confront his complex relationship with it, Baseria, his past, and face grim realities that will determine his future.

Meanwhile, Abrielle is forced to return to France in an effort to secure the safe return of her niece.  Fractured by untold loss, she must navigate an uncertain future and balance the complex needs and demands of duty to herself and family, Jack Clerval’s unique situation, and an unforeseen love. 

Ernest and Abrielle are surrounded by enemies, short on time, and possess only their flawed hearts to lead them, as they struggle to fulfill a shared promise as they fight to reunite family and to discover a path beyond the unrelenting forces of darkness.

In your opinion, what makes a good, strong lead character?
A relatable character, that faces clear conflicts that the reader can both understand and increasing relate to as they progress through the story.  If the character is underdeveloped or isn’t one the reader can relate to then the reader is unlikely to care about their struggles.

What or who do you see as influences on your writing style?
I find inspiration from a diverse set of experiences, resources, artistic mediums, and a desire to explore the possibilities of being an author. I never know where inspiration will come from but I know now it’s important to embrace it when it does because you never know where it will lead you as an artist. I’ve also learned to trust myself more than I once did by trying to judge less and listen more, be it to people or my own instincts as an author. My writing style comes from a diverse tapestry of artistic voices and styles.

Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas? 
I revisit real events, legends, myths, and classic literature on a regular basis as I find them the Rosetta stones of storytelling.  My Frankenstein Resurrection Trinity series and most of my free short stories (visit demonstrate this. If you’re going to tell new stories, expand on existing ones, or blaze new trails in storytelling, it is best to understand what came before.

What is the best writing advice you have been given?
Your worst story is the one you don’t write. We grow by practicing and expanding our skills as writers. If you’re not writing, you tend to stagnate.  Not everything you write will be brilliant or will be something you want to publish but everything you write can help you to mature as an artist.

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose and why? 
These may sound incredibly lame but I’d say the ability to get more people to empathize with others is my most desirable superpower.  We seem to be living in a time when this is unfortunately in short supply. Think of how many problems could be addressed, problems solved, or pointless conflicts could be avoided if more people were empathetic to their fellow human beings as we journey through this reality.

What do you do to unwind and relax?
Be close to family and friends, hike, bike, paint, photography, write, hang out with friends, cook, garden, discover new artists, brew beer, play with my pets, pursue dreams, support others in my community, challenge myself to discover new interests.

 What book are you reading now? 

I have to praise Montana 1948 by Larry Watson as my most enjoyable read this year (it’s an older book but definitely worth the read).  Before the end of the year I want to complete A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis and am currently reading a book I’ve been wanting to get to for years,  the 2011 Pulitzer Prize Biography winning nonfiction work Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow. 

Genres: Fiction, Literary fiction, Horror, Historical fiction, Romance fiction, Sci-Fi fiction
YouTube book trailer:

Book page for Frankenstein A Life Beyond: 

Monday 2 October 2017

Q & A with Amanda J. Evans

Save Her Soul
by Amanda J. Evans 

Can Evil Survive When Love Exists?

Almost a year after the brutal murder of her sister, Kate’s world is anything but ordinary. Consumed by the rage in her soul there's nothing she won't do to get her revenge.

Drake’s no ordinary guy. Dead for nearly 500 years, he’s been tasked with saving Kate’s soul but he has a mission of his own: to ensure she gets what she wants so that he can take her soul to hell. He’ll stop at nothing to see her succeed, but their fates are tied and love may stand in his way.

As secrets are revealed, can one cursed soul end it all? Is love strong enough to overcome evil and break the curse that binds them both?

Paperback, 295 pages
Published July 15th 2017 

Find it on Goodreads
Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Read It & Reap:  November 30, 2017

Amanda J. Evans writes paranormal and fantasy novels as well as children’s stories. Amanda lives in Oldcastle, Co. Meath, Ireland with her husband and two children. She was published in several journals and anthologies in 2016. Her first novel Finding Forever was published in 2017 and her forthcoming title Save Her Soul will be released on the 1st August 2017. Amanda has also secured a publishing deal with Handersen Publishing for a children’s book and this will be released in the fall, 2017. Amanda is the author of Surviving Suicide: A Memoir from Those Death Left Behind, published in 2012. You can find out more on her website. 

                                      Connect with Amanda
                                       Website * Facebook * Twitter * Google+ * LinkedIn * Instagram * Goodreads

                       Q & A with Amanda J. Evans

Tell us a little bit about your main characters. 
My main characters in Save Her Soul are Kate and Drake. Kate is a very strong character and grieving deeply after her younger sister is murdered. She knows who did it and her need for revenge is what drives her. She has a plan, she’s been training her body to fight, and she is hell-bent on seeing the man responsible for her sisters take his last breath at her hands. There is nothing that will stand in her way. She has closed herself off to everything and lives only to take her revenge. 

Drake has been dead for 500 years and is taken with saving the soul of Isteria. Isteria was cursed with evil and in a bid to save her, the guardians cast a spell that had her reincarnating over and over again until they could find a way to break the curse. Isteria has now reincarnated as Kate and Drake’s mission is to save her and prevent Kate from killing and unleashing the evil that is trapped inside her. Drake is a tortured character and as we go through the book secrets are revealed and he struggles to come to terms with what he learns. 

Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
My cover for this book was designed by Krys at TakeCover Designs. It was actually a pre-made that I fell in love with because of the red glow around the female. I got in touch with her and she agreed to add a male character to the cover and I had the perfect cover for my book. 

Describe your ideal writing spot.
I handwrite everything first so my ideal spot would be sitting on a beach with the sun beaming down. Most of the time though, I write in my office. I do take my notebook with me to hairdressing appointments and in the car if I have to pick my children up from school so I can get some writing done while I wait. 

What is the best advice you have been given?
To just go for it. I’ve always wanted to be a writer but lack of confidence and fear got in the way. Last year a friend told me to just go for it and I did. It’s been a whirlwind ever since and I’ve loved every moment of it. 

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
As a child, my dream was to be a famous author. I wrote my first book when I was eight and even sent it off to Penguin. I also received a rejection letter. I used to write new episodes for all my favourite TV shows. Life changed when I hit my teenage years and my father took his own life. After that, I wrote to express the emotions that I couldn’t deal with so it was mainly poetry and short morbid pieces. 

Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
I love paperbacks. I just love looking at them, filling bookcases with them. In saying that, most of my reading is done on my Kindle. I love that I can adjust the size of the writing and fit so many books into one tiny device. I love both really.

If you could have any supernatural power, what would you choose and why?
Oh gosh, I really have to think about this one. I was going to say flying so I could go wherever I want, whenever I want, but I think I’d prefer to be a sorcerer with real magic powers so I could create anything I want and cast spells for everything. 

What book are you reading now?
I’m currently reading The Girl in Between series by Laekan Sea Kemp. I’m just finished book 2 of the 4 books and they are amazing. The author’s writing is excellent and it’s a storyline I haven’t read before.