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Author Spotlight: The Sand Prince (The Demon Door Book One) by Kim Alexander

Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! Kim Alexander is returning today to share the new cover for the first book in The Demon Door series, The Sand Prince. Before we get to the book and new cover, let’s learn more about Kim!

Kim Alexander grew up in the wilds of Long Island, NY and slowly drifted south until she reached Key West. After spending ten rum-soaked years as a DJ in the Keys, she moved to Washington DC, where she lives with two cats, an angry fish, and her extremely patient husband. She began writing when she ran out of authors to interview (and they pulled the plug on her channel, Sirius XM Book Radio.)

Kim was in her twenties when she finally read a book not prominently featuring spaceships and/or wizards. Turns out Jane Austen was pretty funny!

The Sand Prince is Kim’s first novel and begins a fantasy series called The Demon Door. Her husband tells her she needs to write at least ten more books if she intends to retire in Thailand, so thank you for your patronage.

If you’d like to know more about Kim, keep reading for an interview below.

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About the Book

Two worlds, bound by magic, divided by a door.

On the war-ravaged demon world of Eriis, Hellne, the fierce young queen, fights to keep her people alive…

On the green and gentle human world of Mistra, the demons have faded into myth. Only a handful of old men and children still guard The Door between the worlds…

Rhuun, the Prince of Eriis, uncovers a forgotten book written by a human, sparking an obsession with the other world. When he is forced to flee Eriis, he must escape through The Door or pay the price in blood.

The humans of Mistra are not what Rhuun was expecting—and one insufferable young woman in particular is about to find out that the demons of Eriis are not mythological after all…

Get it today on Amazon!

 

 

Keep reading for an interview with the author:

What genre do you write?

I write epic fantasy. I love exploring other worlds.

Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with? If so, what is it?

I have a short novel about to come out which is my first stab at fast paced urban fantasy–it was a lot of fun to write! It’s called Pure and it’s a re imagining of The Unicorn in Captivity.

How long does it take you to write a novel?

Because this is a full-time thing, I can write a long novel in less than a year. When I say ‘long’ I mean roughly 120,000 words. I can do a shorter one (35,000 or so) in about four months.

If you could be one of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?

My MC’s best friend Ilaan, a demon of Eriis, is extremely clever, has an unusually high degree of power, is in a happy relationship with his boyfriend, and is an all around badass and pleasure to be around. At least in book one.

What authors have most influenced you?

Let’s see….Anne Rice for deliriously lush prose, Frank Herbert for world building, China Mieville for fearless writing, Neil Gaiman for being alive in the world…I could go on (and on!)

If you could choose an author to be your mentor, who would it be?

My last career was to interview authors for Sirius XM Book Radio. I was fortunate enough to have literally hundreds of mentors (whether they realized it or not.)

What is the best compliment you’ve ever received as an author?

Someone on Goodreads compared my work to Katherine Neville, who is a hero to me. Honestly, all compliments are welcome. I still cry when I get good reviews. We’re sure not in this for the money! (Yet.)

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?

You can’t fix what you haven’t written. Sadly, I can’t remember who said it, but it’s the truest thing in the world.

What made you decide to self-publish?

My publisher (Booktrope) went out of business! I got my rights back and got back to work. It’s not easy but I certainly don’t do it alone. I have an editor, Carly Bornstein, who knows what I mean even when I clearly do not, and a writing girl gang called The Fictionistas. You have to have a team!

Are you a pantser or outliner?

I’m a pantser. And now that I’m wrapping book 3 of my series and diving into the fourth and final book, I’m kid of regretting that decision! I finally broke down and put up the serial killer wall of post it notes and string in my office.

Have you ever gotten an idea for a story from something really bizarre? Tell us about it.

My series, The Demon Door, has at least 40 named characters, two worlds, multiple time lines, tons of politics and world building, and is hugely difficult to boil down to an elevator pitch. I joked with my editor that my next book would be about time traveling crime fighters. One thought led to another, and I actually started writing that series. (It’ll have to wait to see the light of day, though!)

What are you working on now?

Book three of The Demon Door series. It’s called The Glass Girl. Everyone cries.

What was the hardest part about writing your latest book?

Figuring out where on the ‘stage’ all the characters are at this point, who knows what, when they learned it, what they’ll do with it, and how many of them to kill off.

Blog Tour: The Fell by Lyndsey Harper

 

Let’s welcome Lyndsey Harper with her first “official” novel, The Fell, book 1 in The Naetan Lance Saga.

Lyndsey is a brilliant author you’ve likely never heard of, Superwife, and award-winning mother living life in leggings in the expensive and overcrowded state of New Jersey. She is fluent in Spanglish and Sarcasm and enjoys watching Arrow, Supernatural, Psych, and The X-Files repeatedly. You can find her either in the grocery store buying laundry detergent, Tylenol, and cat litter, hovering near her Keurig coffee brewer, or shaking her fist at the heavens in front of her computer. Occasionally, you may spot her on the beach or out shopping (when she actually has money to spare). However, you should avoid approaching her at such times as she is likely enjoying a rare moment of relaxation and can become moody if interrupted. If you decide to engage her during any one of these activities, approach with caution and a sizable cup of Starbucks in hand to avoid any ill effects.

More about Lyndsey…

How old were you when you started writing?

When did you know you wanted to be an author? I have been writing ever since I can remember. It started with a newsletter I wrote each month for my next-door neighbor about my pet rabbit, and then turned into poetry, fan fiction, songs, and eventually original work. I didn’t always want to write, though, despite my natural inclination toward it. My mother saw my future in writing well before I did. When I was younger, writing wasn’t glamorous enough for me. I thought it would be a boring career choice. Can you imagine, writing as a boring occupation? (LOL) It wasn’t really until high school that I embraced writing fully.

What inspired the current or most recent story you’ve completed?

There were a few inspiration sources for “The Fell,” namely “The X-Files” for its grit and mystery, and the conflict of defining truth. I also drew inspiration from “Star Wars,” and ancient Greek tragedies for character interactions, some themes, and backgrounds. I looked a lot to Scandinavian and Nordic geographies and cultural elements while writing, and that is reflected a lot in the story.

How often do you write?

I just committed to a personal 1k A Day goal for writing in 2017, so if I keep on track, the answer should be every day. I’m sure life will happen, and days will be missed, though.

Do you have a muse? If so, please elaborate. If not, what inspires you?

There are a lot of people in my life that act as mini muses for me. There is something about them that speaks to me – their look, their voice, or their hobbies or habits. When I can, I also people watch; studying the way people conduct themselves in various situations fuels my inspiration.

How do you come up with your character names and geographic location / business names?

Naming comes from a combination of research and browsing. I pick names that speak to me, either for what they remind me of, or for what they mean. About 90% of the time, I used a slightly different method for naming the creatures in my story: I would look at what animal or insect was the closest to what I saw in my mind, and see the number of syllables each name had. Then, I would base the new name off of a characteristic of the “real” animal or insect, using however many syllables I had. If I didn’t apply that method, then the names derived from just a characteristic, or from completely unrelated “nonsensical” words that stuck with me for whatever odd reason. For locations, I based a lot of the geography off Scandinavian and Nordic landscapes, so I played with consonant and vowel arrangements often seen in those areas.

Do you have any “must haves” to help you write? (i.e., a full cup of coffee, a view of the ocean, etc.)

A full mug of hot coffee. An absolute must. If someone wants to provide me a view of the ocean, though, I would certainly be grateful.

What is the quirkiest thing you do or have ever done when writing?

I have had my husband stand in and move through physical motions with me, especially for a battle scene. It really helps to make sure the movements are realistic. I also read dialogue aloud a lot, which is a little embarrassing.

If one of your books became a movie, who would you choose for the “perfect cast” of main characters?

If we’re basing it off looks, I’d choose Penn Badgley to play Leer (permitting he changed his hair color, of course), Kaya Scoldelario for Astrid, and Colin O’Donoghue for James. But whoever is able to capture the real essence of each character would be perfect. 😉

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About the Book

After the brutal death of his mentor, Leer Boxwell’s only desire is vengeance. However, his belief that the murderer is the mythical Grimbarror has made him the laughing stock of the Vale. When Leer witnesses the beast steal away the princess in an unexpected attack on the royal city, he volunteers to hunt the creature. Battling self-doubt and ridicule, while struggling to control a mysterious power within that he does not fully understand, Leer must decide whether his convictions are worth the sacrifice the Fell demands.

Get it today on Amazon!

Keep reading for an excerpt:

A hush fell over the inn; the fiddle music screeched to an abrupt halt.

Bilby’s eyes narrowed. “What did you say?” he asked.

“I said,” Leer repeated, “I wish to know everything you know about the Grimbarror.”

Callous laughter exploded through the men and few barmaids present, ripples of mockery piercing Leer’s ears.

“You well-washed loon,” Bilby cackled, slapping his knee through his amusement. “You wish to hear fairy tales, is that it?”

Leer’s jaw flexed as he clamped his molars together. “I seek the truth.”

“Hah!” Bilby screeched. “Would you like a cup of warm milk to go with your bedtime story, Boy?”

Leer squeezed his eyes shut briefly, trying to push away the reverberating voices around him. “Are you, or are you not, the Marcus Bilby that Finnigan Lance spoke of?” he demanded. “The one whose life he saved?”

Another wave of eerie silence fell over the inn. Bilby leaned in, gripping the table with white knuckles. “What name did you say?” he asked.

“Finnigan Lance,” Leer enunciated.

“Curse you for speaking that name,” Bilby snarled, spitting on the ground.

“Cheating scoundrel, he was,” a man bellowed from the rear of the crowd.

“Nothin’ but a drink bloated habbersnitch.” another agreed.

“You’d better have good reason for speaking that name in this place, Boy,” Bilby warned, leaning forward.

“He wasn’t a cheat,” Leer snapped. “You peddled furs with him. You worked with him, and he saved your life from insurgents. And I do believe you owe him a favor.”

A murmur trickled through the crowd, sending Bilby into visible panic as his peers reacted to the revelation.

“And what?” Bilby retorted with a scoff. “Lance has come back from the dead to claim it?”

Leer’s jaw flexed. Finnigan’s death was still fresh in his mind; it had not been long since he found his bloodied, mauled corpse. “Nay. You’ll pay your debt to him through answering my questions.”

Bilby’s eyes narrowed. “And just who are you to lay claim to any favors?”

Leer held his gaze. “His son.”

Blog Tour: The Glass Thief by John Ryers

 

Today I’d like to welcome dark fantasy author, John Ryers, who has just released his debut novel, The Glass Thief!

John is a graphic designer by day, and graphic designer by night (depending on the client), but most importantly, he’s a writer at heart. His dreams include writing for a living, experiencing virtual reality on a Matrix-esque level, and flying unaided (or possibly via really sweet jetpack).

John writes all genres but prefers Dark Fantasy over most anything else. This is due in part to the fact that he likes it the best, and because it’s awesome.

John prefers blue cheese over cheddar, cats over dogs, and will attempt to answer any question with sarcasm whether appropriate or not.

He completed his first novel, The Glass Thief, in 2017 and you should buy it. Or don’t. He’s not the boss of you.

More on John…

Has any of your other work been published yet?

I have had a couple short stories published in anthologies. You can find links to those stories on my website at: www.johnryers.com

Did you self-publish or use traditional publishing?

The Glass Thief will be self-published. I see advantages on both sides of the coin regarding traditional or self-publishing, but opted for self-publishing in order to control my rights, cover art, interior design and marketing strategies. As a self-publisher, I can decide the when and where of how I promote my books and that sense of control is very important to me.

What would you say motivates you to keep writing?

I need to tell my stories. I have to get them out of my head and onto a page. There are some I never show to anyone but myself, and some I feel have a message others might gain something from. It’s this creative form of communication that keeps me going and gets me through the days when the words are difficult to get out.

What is your novel’s genre? Would you say there is a sub-genre? What makes yours different than other books in the same genre?

My genre is Dark Fantasy, and I’ve been told I could classify it under the sub-genre of Heist/Swashbuckling Fantasy. I think my narrative style makes it a little different than the usual dark fantasy tales. It is set in the middle ages but I use anachronistic language that borders on contemporary, and I also implement technology that didn’t exist during that time period such as magical firearms and a steam-powered suit of armour in one particular scene.

What inspired The Glass Thief?

I think I pulled the inspiration for The Glass Thief from my own past, in that, I was a very different person a decade ago than I am today. A lesser person so to speak. The Glass Thief is a story about betrayal and redemption, and I wanted to write a story that showed no matter what your past entailed, you always have the power to set things right, if you truly want to.

What is your method of writing?

I’ll start with a brief sentence or two outlining each scene I plan to write. Once I have this very rough roadmap, I’ll start writing out the scenes for a first draft. I write in order, so I can maintain the pace and flow in my head as I go. After the first draft, I’ll write a revised draft (which is the longest part) and correct all the plot holes, remove redundant or useless scenes and add more scenes where necessary. After that draft, I’ll write a third in which I add in foreshadowing and tie certain later events back to the beginning for a more organic feel. The fourth draft is after my betas get through it and the fifth and final is the polish that goes to my editor.

Do you only write during a certain time of day or in a certain location? If so, do you make yourself stop after a certain time?

I’m a graphic designer from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm, so I always arrive at work an hour early to write. I have twin 4-year-olds at home that make writing at night a near impossibility. So once my hour at work is up, that’s usually it for the rest of the day.

If you could be one of your own characters for a day, who would it be and why?

I think I’d like to be Arisee Moonwater, despite her being the opposite sex. She lives in a secluded forest all to herself and gets to hang out with wildlife amongst the trees all day. Sounds relaxing to me.

What is the oddest thing you have ever researched for one of your books?

Probably how long certain poisons take to end a life. There’s a lot of herbalism in my stories and some of those herbs aren’t very nice to ingest. I wanted a variety of different types of poisonings to add authenticity to that aspect of the story. I’m sure I’m on several watch lists now.

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About the Book

A debt is owed.

Del Kanadis–indentured thief to the King of Fires–desires freedom above all else. When given the opportunity to repay his debt with a single job, he begrudgingly accepts, believing it to be a fool’s errand. His task: infiltrate a secluded village rumoured to hold a relic capable of defeating the Fire King’s enemies.

Living amongst the townsfolk and gaining the trust of those in charge, Del quickly discovers they know more than they’re letting on, and that perhaps the relic truly does exist. Upon discovering their ultimate secret, he realizes winning his own life back could come at the cost of everyone else losing theirs.

Get it today on Amazon!

Keep reading for an excerpt:

“Don’t run,” Arisee whispered.

It was like she could see the list of options scrolling through Del’s mind. Running away being at the top of the list. Screaming or soiling oneself tied for second place and wishing for a pair of loaded glasslocks came in third.

Arisee shifted her feet and crouched into some sort of exotic combat stance suggesting she’d be making a stand, and since Del’s ankle had so conveniently betrayed him on the way here, it seemed he’d be making a stand too. A weaponless, armourless, hopeless stand most likely ending in a gruesome death.

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