Friday, December 20, 2013

NEED A LITTLE MAGIC IN YOUR CHRISTMAS?



TWO GREAT EVENTS THIS WEEKEND!
With Christmas right around the corner, it's a busy time for most of us. And in the midst of all the hubbub, I'd like to give you a chance to curl up--wherever you curl up--with a good book. This Sunday, Dec. 22, Dream Weaver will be free on Kindle. Please, help me spread the word. And I did say 'TWO', didn't I? Keep reading.... 

Any readers who've been around any amount of time, know that I am a HUGE fan of a young writer from England named Sam Whitehouse. Sam is writing an Arthurian Fantasy series called The Prophecy of Three Quartet. His first book, The Keys of Time, is available on Amazon; and the second in the series is coming out this weekend, Dec. 21. I am truly honored to work with Sam on this project. There just aren't enough great things for me to say about Sam and his gift for storytelling. If you're a Harry Potter fan, this series may be just right for you. The story is compelling, the magic clever, and the imagery outstanding! So, I'd like to re-introduce Sam to regular readers, and introduce him to those who are new.

Sam, tell readers a little about yourself. Where you’re from, age….stuff like that.
I’m from Yorkshire in the UK. We’re mostly surrounded by countryside and forests and so there is plenty of epic landscapes to keep my imagination stoked. I’m 19 and currently studying a Creative Writing degree at University. Ever since I knew that people wrote books, I knew that is what I wanted to do. I think if I didn’t write, the ideas, worlds and characters in my head would drive me crazy. My favourite movie is Jurassic Park, I’m a huge Marvel fan and will happily admit to being a Potter geek; my favourite book is either Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows or 11/22/63 by Stephen King. One more thing: this is my favourite joke: a man walks into a pet store and asks the shopkeeper if he can buy a wasp. The shopkeeper says he doesn’t sell wasps. The man replies, “you’re a liar, I saw one on the window.”

**eyes will not roll far enough for that one!** 
In 100 words or less, sell your book series ‘The Prophecy of Three’ to readers.
Everything changed for Simon Falke the first time he fell through the fire... 
For as long as there has been Light, Dark has existed. And now the Dark is growing in power, wielded by the witch Morgana, who wants to eliminate the Light altogether. 
 
Two worlds, existing side by side, will collide. A prophecy foretold centuries ago is coming to pass. Three teenagers will discover untold power, drawn into a war they knew nothing about. They must embrace their new lives and hone their abilities, if they are to save two worlds. 
 
Read the first book in an epic new urban fantasy series that blends modern day with Arthurian myth and legend. 
(I think that might be just over 100)

I noticed you dedicated your first novel to your grandfather. What kind of inspiration did he
Fantastic re-work on cover
give you?
Some of my earliest memories are of my Grandad telling me stories, both from books and ones that he’d made up himself. He’d tell me about creatures that populate the woods near our house. He was the first one to really fire my imagination and ever since I’ve been making up my own stories. If it were not for him, I don’t think the Prophecy of Three Quartet would have ever seen the light.

Choose one character from your books, and describe their personality.
Falamir: He is the wizard who tutor’s Simon, Evelyn and James in their newly discovered powers. He is a descendant of Merlin’s apprentice. He lives in a sprawling mansion. But Simon, Evelyn and James come to realize that there is more to him than a simple teacher. He lost his family a long time ago but won’t reveal anything about them. But as the series unfolds, his past and the secrets that come with it are slowly revealed. I always saw him as a cross between Van Helsing, Aragorn and Sirius Black with a bit of my Grandad thrown in there, too.

What was the most difficult part of your books to write?
Hmm…. I think the hardest part was figuring out the time travel aspects of the first book. It took a lot of thinking about, but I hope that I got it right. But I think the hardest thing to write is going to be the end of book four (the final book) because it’ll have been such a huge chunk of my life that I’ve spent in this world and with these characters that I can’t imagine not spending every day with them.

Are you already aware of how these stories will end?
Yes. I’ve had the entire arc of the series planned out since before I started writing book 1, The Keys of Time. I’ve always known how and where the series will end and what will happen to the characters. As for the end of Demon’s Hunt (The second book, due 21st December) I did edit it slightly. The book ended somewhat differently, but I wasn’t happy with it and so I made a few changes. Along the way the plot my deviate slightly or a sub plot or character may rear its head and demand I write about them.

What projects do have planned for the future?
For the next few years, The Prophecy of Three will take up most, if not all of my time and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Out of all the ideas I’ve had this series is my passion. It was born from a love of myths and legends and fantasy worlds. But I do have a few other ideas poking me to be written. One is a YA sci-fi trilogy about a group of teenagers who wake up on a jungle island with no memories; another is a series about Harry Houdini and demons – which I’m really excited about writing. I also have some ideas for standalone books but everything will have to wait until The Prophecy of Three Quartet is complete.

Can you share your favourite scene from Demon’s Hunt with us?
My favourite scene to write was from the final chapter, the climax. It was the most exciting part to write because even before I’d had the idea for The Keys of Time I wanted to write about the villain of this book. I don’t want to reveal too much and spoil the story, but I’ll say this. We learn more about Merlin and his past this time round.

Anything special you want to share with readers?
This series was born from an abiding love of myths and legends and the fantasy worlds of JK Rowling, Tolkien and Rick Riordan. I have always wanted to create my own world for readers to explore and so I hope you’ll spend a little time in the world of the Prophecy and get to know the characters. Until the release of Demon’s Hunt on 21st of December here is a sneak peek:

Run, just keep running.
Simon’s lungs burned as he ran. It felt as if he’d swallowed a pitcher of boiling water. The back of his throat tasted metallic and his ribs burned, as if someone was ramming a large, hot needle into his side. Cold air parched his mouth and forced tears from his eyes. He’d thought he could lose his pursuer in the thicker cover provided by the leafless trees. But no, the beast still pounded faster and closer.
Simon knew he couldn’t run for much longer, yet the thought of what chased him spurred him on, bringing new speed to his aching legs. His muscles screamed as he mounted a steep hill and his pace began to weaken with the ascent. But he knew he couldn’t let the shifter see the mansion; he had to draw the beast away from it so their location would not be revealed. That was paramount: the mansion had to remain hidden. 
The wind carried Simon’s name, the calls sounding so very far away, distorted and muffled by the rush of air whistling past his ears. Falamir was coming, but how soon would he get here? Simon didn’t think he could run any longer, he knew he couldn’t. His exhaustion was depleting his magic fast and every attempt he made to send force orbs spinning back at the shifter were useless. Most of the spells missed by metres and did little more than enrage the creature even more.  To perform a powerful enough spell he would have to stop and face the shifter, but with it so close behind there would be little time to summon his magic. 
A sense of horror gripped Simon as he mounted yet another steep incline and saw the river come into view. What now? Should he dive in? Take a chance in the deep waters and try and make it to the opposite bank?
 He came to a staggering stop at the edge of the river where the muddy brown water churned furiously, swollen by the heavy rainfall of the past week. It had spilled over and flooded the surrounding fields. The water lapped around Simon’s shoes, quickly soaking them. But he didn’t register the cold. He looked down at the roiling brown water and knew the current was too strong. To risk the river would be foolish. And yet he felt a sudden urge to jump in, anything to escape the wolf, to draw it away. 
A growl issued from behind. Turning quickly on the spot, Simon watched, paralysed with terror, as the wolf slunk slowly forward. Its sickly yellow eyes stared fixedly at Simon, and razor-sharp, decay-ridden fangs dripped with strands of pearly saliva. What could have been called a satisfied smile curled the wolf’s scarred muzzle.
“You will regret ever imprisoning me, boy,” it growled. “I will see to it that you are delivered to my mistress; you and your friends.” 
The shifter padded closer, through the shallow water, triumph glinting in its eyes.
Simon took another faltering step backwards. 

 See! See what I mean?!

So great! Can you share the The Demon’s Hunt blurb?
The Dark is growing in power. Simon, Evelyn and James must fight harder than ever. A powerful new enemy is awoken...

Ancient powers, an inescapable destiny and a powerful witch as an enemy were the last things Simon Falke expected to receive for his fourteenth birthday. But months after discovering that he, along with two other teenagers, are part of an ancient prophecy and must bring about the downfall of the nefarious witch Morgana, life seems more normal. Almost. With Morgana weakened, Simon thinks they might finally stand a chance of defeating her. But then a powerful new enemy rears its head and he, Evelyn and James must unite to confront it.

All the while Morgana grows in power, rallying forces from all corners of the world to join her in the war against the Light.

BUY LINKS
CONTACT LINKS
Sam on Twitter: @SamProphecy 
Amazon Author page: Sam Whitehouse

I hope you will all check into Sam's work. I have HIGH hopes for him! I wish each and every one of you a very Happy Christmas! And a most fantastic New Year!
And as always...
Dare to Dream!
Su

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Is Your Book Listed On eReader Recon?

HAPPY CHRISTMAS! 
...to all who come to visit DREAM WEAVER NOVELS on Blogger! I hope the season finds you all well. Dream Weaver continues to be on sale on Amazon for the holidays. And the voting for the AuthorsdB Cover Art Semi Finals will only be only be open 2 more day, ends Dec. 15. So, if you haven't voted, please go on and do so now and show your support of Dream Weaver and artist Shawn Foote.

THIS WEEKS FEATURE
Now, I'd like to introduce a gentleman I happened across on Facebook. He messaged me about listing my books on his site. Of course, I was curious, so I went on his site and liked what I found. So, I wanted to feature Dennis Larsen and his author promo site eReader Recon.


Dennis, I am sure readers would love to know more about your website, eReader Recon. Tell us about it.
I published my first novel about a year ago and looked for opportunities to promote my work and connect with readers.  It seemed there were roadblocks at every turn; the most common being, not enough reviews or ratings.  As you well know, those don’t come easy and certainly don’t come without some exposure.  When I published my second novel I thought it was time to create something designed for new authors with new release titles.  My site, eReaderRecon.com, is the result of that first inkling.  I offer the service for free, which includes a detailed posting on the site with retail links, a posting on the sister site, www.Facebook.com/eReaderRecon, and occasionally a posting on my blog or Tweet.

The site has been operational for only 5 months and has grown quickly.  Last month we had 26,000 hits and over 700 visits.  I do the design and updating on my own.
 
Nice! How many people are participating so far?
I currently have 80 different author’s using the service with about 100 titles.
 
That's a decent start! How do you promote your site and your authors?
I’ve done no paid advertising of the site.  Most of the promotion is through social media and word of mouth.  Facebook and Twitter have been helpful, as well as sites like MARSocial, Author Alliance, AuthorsDB and others. In addition to the methods above I use to promote books and authors, I also feature a separate title and/or author every few days with a prominent spot on the homepage and extra blog postings and tweets.
 
Wow! It's nice for writers to have someone like you in their corner. Anything else you want readers to know about your site?
Spreading the word is critical if you want to support Indie Authors.  I hope to continue to keep the site free and I am rewarded when an author contacts me with a note about an increase in sales or just excited about having others see their book.
 
You're not just a business man, you're also an author. Tell us about your books.
I’m a partner in two very busy optometric practices and still work five days a week helping people with their vision. For now, books and my writing are a passion but I have to keep the time devoted to both in check. I love to create and always have. Over the years I’ve developed board games, computer games and, in fact, my doctoral thesis was a computer program I designed and wrote that trained a child’s eye movement. Writing has always been an interest but only in the past few years have I found the time to really immerse myself in the art.

My books run a common theme of putting normal, everyday people in very stressed, life-altering circumstances. With Cruel Intent, a romantic crime thriller, places Blanche Delaney, a librarian, in the middle of a crime wave with a trio of men interested in her many assets.  I’m currently working on a new edit of this title for a Second Edition release.  The Living Hunger is a post-apocalyptic title featuring many characters from my lifetime.  My father is the main character, Farrell.  I wrote this book as a way of remembering the type of man he was and some of the things he said and did throughout his lifetime.  I have enjoyed readers being able to recognize family members or people they know in the ‘fictional’ characters.  Many of the events featured in the novel are true, just pitched in a different time and under different circumstances.
I know! Gross but FUNNY!

My most recent project is a pandemic series based in Canada, where I now reside, but I am originally
from Utah and went to school in Oregon.  I also put some medical spin into my stories, which are factually based, so there will be no traditional zombies but I like the idea of keeping a story as close to realism as possible while still keeping the action exciting and on-the-edge.  I wrote this periodical with four female leads, hoping to improve my feminine perspective.  The Raven Falconer Chronicles: Operation Z-Day, has been so much fun to write.

That sounds awesome! I also try to keep the 'realism' in my writing, and some of my characters are based on real people. The stories my protagonist, Emari Sweet gets about her father are loosely based on real life adventures of my own dad as a kid. He keeps me historically accurate.  

I always like to know who a writer's all time favorite authors are and why?

I read all of Stephen Hunter’s novels.  I identify with the characters and enjoy following a single main character through multiple story lines. My second author would have to be Stephen Ambrose. I’m a war history buff and enjoy the emotional and intimate way he brings a true story to life.
 
Any intriguing indie authors that have captured your attention?
I hate to single any one author out.  I have met so many hundreds of authors over the past year and tried to read as much of their work as I can.  Some are brilliant, with the ability to be great, if given the chance to get their work in front of enough readers.  I strive to help them attain this, as well as getting my work out there too.
 
What are your plans for the future for both your writing and your website?
I’ll keep plugging along with the website, adding a few books and authors a day.  I probably won’t be able to handle much more of a pace until I can cut back on my paying profession.  I’m currently writing books two in both The Living Hunger series and the Raven Falconer Chronicles.  I hope to release Day of the Huskers (Raven #2) by the end of this December.
 
Just for fun: If I gave you a feather, a mirror, and a pearl...what kind of story would you write and what would you call it?
I’d write a murder mystery centered aboard a cruise ship with an intentional, tragic outbreak of a rare strain of avian influenza.  A working title might be “Pearl of the Pacific."

Oooooo! You may have to write that one!

I hope readers have enjoyed meeting Dennis Larsen and all of you writerly types will pay him a visit and get your books listed on eReader Recon.

Again, a very happy holiday season to you all. May your season be blessed and you always remember the joy and love in each gift given.

And as always....
Dare to Dream!
Su

Sunday, December 1, 2013

INTRODUCING HORROR/POST APOCALYPSE AUTHOR, STEVIE KOPAS



To begin this post, I'd like to thank all of you who have supported Dream Weaver on Kindle, (it remains on sale for $2.99 for the holidays and $10 for the paperback); voted for artist, Shawn Foote in the AUHORSdB Semi-Finals Cover Contest; and viewed and 'liked' the Dream Weaver book trailer. Your support means the world to me, and I thank you with all my heart!

Isn't she a cutey!
Now, for another first on
Dream Weaver Novels Blog:
Introducing Horror author Stevie Kopas
(and don't forget to enter Stevie's Rafflecopter Giveaway!)
Stevie, your email signature says you are an ‘Apocalypse Enthusiast.’ Tell readers a little about yourself and why you give yourself that handle.

Ah, good ol’ apocalypse enthusiast.  I sure am.  The reason I give myself that handle would probably be because I’ve been interested in the post apocalyptic genre since I was a child.  My dad was always a huge fan of PA films like Omega Man, Soylent Green and The Day After (not to be confused with The Day After Tomorrow…that was not very good lol), so I would watch the movies with him.  Then I got into video games and began reading PA fiction as well as playing and watching…so it’s just always been a big interest of mine.  I just have such a fascination with dystopian culture.



I love it! ‘Soylent Green is people!’ So glad I’m not the only one who remembers the classics like Omega Man, and Soylent Green. I remember watching those movies with mom and dad. But let’s talk about you. In 50 words or less, sell your book to the readers.

The Breadwinner is a post apocalyptic survival adventure that highlights the struggles of ordinary people during the zombie apocalypse, the choices they make and the people they become at the end of the world. 



Dang, you had 16 more words you could use. Nice pitch. So, what inspired you to write your book? And why did you chose horror as your genre?

Horror is my favorite genre of anything; books, movies, television, you name it.  Zombie fiction is such a subtle reflection of the world we live in, so I’m really into it.  The Breadwinner started as a short story and went on to become my first published novel.  It’s the first book in The Breadwinner Trilogy, and people have really great things to say about it.



Great reviews on Amazon, Stevie! Could you share a little excerpt of your book with us?

Sure!  The following excerpt is from Part 2 of The Breadwinner:

They had packed two bags, one for each of them with essential needs and nothing more.  They had barely spoken except agreeing or disagreeing on what needed to be taken.  There was no discussion to be had, they only had to follow their father’s directions, get out of the city, run like hell.  A flip had switched in Veronica and she felt as if she had suddenly aged 10 years.  She saw Isaac slip his phone into his pocket while packing up.  She almost said something but decided against it.  Who am I to take his hope away from him, she thought to herself has she zipped her backpack up, fighting back the urge to be angry at the world for taking hope away from her.  But she came to the realization that things would be like this from now on.  Bad things would happen and bad things would happen fast.  She wanted so badly to be the optimistic girl she had been just this morning, but this morning felt like it was light years away now.  There was a difference between being optimistic and being realistic, she knew that now.  She could hope for the best all she wanted, but if she didn’t think quickly and logically, she would end up like James.  She briefly wondered if her father was somewhere up in the great beyond, rejoined with her mother, waiting for her and Isaac to join them someday.  And then she remembered her life had never been, was not now, and would never be a fairy tale.


Wow, that really captures the feeling of despair. What book(s) would you recommend to your readers?

My favorite book is Swan Song by Robert McCammon.  I would recommend it to everyone.  Other books I thoroughly enjoyed were the Hater and Autumn series, both by David Moody.  The Eden series by Tony Monchinski is also very good.



So, are there any new authors that have caught your interest?

I have been in contact with a great gal named Shana, aka The Bookie Monster.  She reviews authors in the horror/zombie genre and really does a wonderful job of helping them promote their work.  She is also a writer herself and I’d recommend any author in my genre to seek her out for reviews!  One of the authors The Bookie Monster recently reviewed was Jacqueline Druga.  I’d never heard of her before, but Shana had very great things to say so I’m definitely going to be diving into her work pretty soon.



What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on Haven, the second book in The Breadwinner Trilogy.  I’m hoping (with an appropriate life/work balance lol) that I’ll be able to release Haven in February of 2014.  I’m really excited to publish and can’t wait for people to read it.



Just for fun… If I gave you three items, a stone, a marble and a feather, what type of book would you write and how would those objects feature? Even come up with a title if you like.

This is a very interesting question and I love it.  I would probably call the book “Material Entity” and it would be Sci-Fi, probably about three people, scattered across the world in different locations who don’t know they’re part of an alien race that placed them within our society and have the keys (stone, marble, feather) to save the human race.  (Hey, nobody steal my idea, lol.)



Now that readers have been lured from safety, where can they find you to make them scream?

Social media links:







Buy links:






Finally, what one thing could readers do to support you…aside from buying your book?

Of course, aside from buying The Breadwinner, I would ask readers to really support indie authors.  Independent authors work extremely hard at promoting themselves and their work, and a lot of people try to take advantage of that.  I’ve heard from different sources that readers prefer to purchase from big name sites rather than small indie publishing sites like Smashwords because they “don’t trust them”.  But truth be told, without websites like Smashwords, small indie authors like myself would not have the capability of getting their work out there on their own!  Just because someone is not traditionally published, doesn’t mean they aren’t great at what they do.  Indie writers are entrepreneurs!  There is a lot of amazing unknown stuff out there.


Don't forget to enter Stevie's Rafflecopter Giveaway!
Stevie, thanks so much for stopping by for a visit and being the first 'horror' interview on Dream Weaver Novels Blog.


Thanks everybody for stopping by, and again, for your support! 
And as always,
Dare to Dream!
Su

PS...know an author who would like an interview? Have them contact me.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

THE OFFICIAL DREAM WEAVER BOOK TRAILER! Finally! (phew)

DREAM WEAVER is in the semi-finals of AUTHORSdB cover contest! I could use everyone's support to get the artwork by Shawn Foote the accolades it deserves. Please vote today & help me spread the word. AND...AuthorsdB is now accepting entries for the 2014 cover contest!

Proving My Dorkitude!
The first book trailer I saw was for Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver. I had no idea back then that they did trailers for books. So, dork that I am, I thought the author had landed a movie deal. Well, it could happen! Amazing books make amazing movies. And just to prove my dorkitude, when I queried my own story to the agent that reps Maggie, I congratulated her on her author's movie deal. Ugha! No wonder she didn't want to represent me.



Meet Sarah Buchynski
Well, now that Dream Weaver is available on Amazon, I figured it was high time to make the jump into modern book promotion. I found I couldn't use Gary Wright's Dream Weaver song because I'd have to pay a fee...and they ain't cheap. So as much as I love the song, I had to find someone to create a song for me. Enter Sarah Buchynski. Audio engineer major with entertainment business, and recording studio intern, now also working freelance. Sarah and I worked together for several days to knock together a piece of music reminiscent to the original but completely original on its own.

Your Girl?
I know Sarah is interested in composing music for others, so if you're in need of trailer music or want to be one of those really obnoxious website owners that likes to force people to listen your music while they peruse your site, Sarah Buchynski is your girl.

Something New from Su
I'd also like to let readers know that I'm available for manuscript proofreading at a minimal rate of 20 cents per page (a minimum of 10 pages) and book trailers/covers starting at $25. I am not a professional editor by any means so I won't charge the rates they do. But author Sam Whitehouse from the UK was so pleased with my work that he dedicated his second novel to me. As an indie author, I know finding someone who can help you make your story stronger is not an affordable option for most. And finding the time it takes to pull together a book trailer/cover can be daunting. I have thousands of custom photo images to build your story. If you're interested in starting a conversation about your project, please email me at dreamweaver526@yahoo.com.

Thank you all for your time and support of Dream Weaver. The book is ranking nicely on Amazon and I can not complain about the sales.

And as always...
Dare to Dream!
Su