Thursday, April 24, 2014

Stalking Rachel Starr Thomson: Outside the Author's Studio

I recently sneaked past the Canadian Mounties to peek in the frosty windows of interviewed author Rachel Starr Thomson, an author I had the good fortune of being introduced to last December during the #31AuthorHunt. Here is what I discovered about Rachel . . . outside the author's studio! 

OF SPECIAL NOTE: hey, you speculative fiction lovers out there! Two of Rachel Starr Thomson's series' "book one" titles are currently FREE on Kindle (as of 4/23/14) links below by the images!


Serena: What is your favorite memory from a writers’ conference or event:

Rachel: That would be the feeling of joy that came over me when I realized, as a young twentysomething, that I was no longer a teenager and this was not school or anything like school. That I could, in fact, be late to sessions or walk out early or bring my tea into the room and nobody would care. It was brilliant. And may or may not have resulted in my skipping half the conference to do, er, other stuff.

Serena: Heeheehee! You rebel, you! Now quick! Name three things on your desk:

Rachel: I would answer this question if I could see my desk, but it is currently buried under an avalanche of paperwork, and I haven’t seen it since last fall. My desk is in my office, which is in a big brick building in my backyard. It’s terribly inefficient to heat, and since I live in Canada and this has been the winter of the Polar Vortex, I have been working in my bedroom, in a rocking chair, pretty much since mid-November. Today it is sunny and a degree above freezing, so I have hopes of seeing my desk again soon.

4/23/14 This book is FREE for Kindle right now!
click here to get Exile by Rachel Starr Thomson
before the deal ends!
Serena: Your desk sounds a lot like mine at the moment! If you could spend one week within the world of one particular novel, it would be:

Rachel: Narnia, no question—because as a child I lived there much of the time in my imagination. I probably love Middle-earth more than Narnia, but returning to my childhood imagination sounds amazing.

Serena: I would totally go to Narnia. But I think I would want to stay more than a week! But if you were in Narnia for a week, who would trade places with or assume the identity of?

Rachel: Nobody. I would be my own self and no one else, as I feel it’s safer that way and probably more fun.

Serena: Very cool, Daughter of Eve! What’s your definition of a perfect day (besides all the fun one might have in Narnia, of course)?

Rachel: Have you ever seen the title sequence for the Peter Rabbit series of cartoons that ran in the 90s? The one where an actress playing Beatrix Potter walks through this gorgeously green and sun-drenched English countryside while Miriam Stockley sings “Perfect Day” in the background? 


Rachel: That is a perfect day.

Serena: Sweet. I've never heard that song before. It's lovely! If you could hang out with one of your characters for one week, who would it be?

Rachel: My favourite character at the moment is one of the heroines of my work-in-progress, The Prophet Trilogy (specifically, I’m writing Book 2: Comes the Dragon). Her name is Flora Laurentii Unfortunatia, Flora the Unlucky, and we would be friends. We would eat fabulous Middle Eastern food together and I would tell her how much God really likes her.

Serena: I am totally intrigued by a character with that name and story! And speaking of unlucky . . . I'm kind of a loser when it comes to DIY projects. Do you have a favorite DIY success story?

Rachel: Once I milked a cow and was really good at it. I have never let anyone forget this. I’m not sure if that’s what’s meant by the question, but that’s my answer.

Serena: Successful release of milk from the original sourse seems pretty DIY to me! If you could pick one of the following people to have on staff for a year, which would it be: Housekeeper, Personal Chef, Personal Trainer, or Chauffeur?
4/23/14 This one is also FREE for Kindle now
Click here to get WORLDS UNSEEN by Rachel Starr Thomson
at Amazon before the deal ends!

Rachel: Personal chef, absolutely. And then I would keep him on for the rest of my life. Because I love to eat, but I don’t so much love to spend time cooking.

Serena: I am with you there! I hate to cook. I would much rather spend my time reading a good book! Speaking of which, would you name three of the authors who have influenced or inspired you?

Rachel: C.S. Lewis, Stephen Lawhead, Lloyd Alexander. Also every other author I ever read as a kid (there were hundreds).

Serena: Can you name the most worn-out book from your childhood?

Rachel: Hundreds . . . I read too many books to wear one out.

Serena: So back to the food . . . *stomach growls* What is your favorite ethnic food?

Rachel: Probably Thai. Specifically coconut chicken soup (tom kha gai). But I really like all the foods.

Serena: I've just started experimenting with Thai food (not a lot of ethnic food choices where I live!) and I'm finding it . . . interesting. I'm not sure I would want to go to Thailand to eat it, though. I'm a sucker for clearly labeled ingredients, lol! What is one place you dream of visiting?

Rachel: Scotland! I have been all over the U.S. and Canada, and touched down in Asia, but I have yet to visit the UK or Europe. Scotland, being the land of my ancestors and darned romantic in all the best ways, is the place I’m most eager to see. I will walk through the countryside on a perfect day.

Serena: Oh, me too! I would love to visit Scotland! I think fantasy authors have a soft spot for Scotland and Ireland. But before I start dreaming about my "someday" trips, can you tell me the best thing you’ve ever heard from a fan?

Author Rachel Starr Thomson
Rachel: That my books have drawn them closer to God in some way or made them see their own lives differently. I love that. Also, one of my readers connected with her future husband when he read a review she wrote of Coming Day, one of my books. He said he realized while reading it that their hearts were really similar and he could get serious about her :).

Serena: OH MY GOODNESS that is the B-E-S-T, most romantic story I have every heard from an author! Thank you so much for sharing it with us! 

If I went back in time and asked the 4 year old YOU what you wanted to be when you grew up, what would she say?

Rachel: She would say she wants to be a writer. So that’s pretty cool, I think.

Serena: Very cool, indeed! Thanks for letting us stalk you, Rachel! It's been fun.

Author Stalkers can also find Rachel Starr Thomson on
Twitter: @writerstarr 

and at her website: www.rachelstarrthomson.com

Monday, April 21, 2014

Inside the Character's Brain {featuring Tomas Solandis, hero of LADY MOON by Rachel Starr Thomson}

A special thank you to author Rachel Starr Thomson for acting as the intermediary between EIR and Tomas Solandis, the subject of this interview,who is also the hero of her novel, Lady Moon. Thanks, Rachel!

And now join me for a little trip... Inside The Character's Brain!


Hi, Tomas! And welcome to EIR. So first off, we need to know what you look like. If someone compared your appearance to a celebrity, they would say you look like: 

Tomas: A sunflower. Is that not a celebrity?

Errr... okay. *Serena chews lower lip and then shrugs and grins* Moving on. What is your favorite famous (or not so famous) quote:

Tomas: “Good riddance!” Not so famous, I suppose, but it’s what my lifelong enemy said after sending me home to marry the woman I love. Can’t blame me if I sense a certain pleasing ring to the words.

Totally understandable! *grins* I like how you think. Can you name one or two of your pet peeves?

Tomas: I am not overly fond of dragons. It used to be destiny was my least favourite thing, since mine was to die fighting a really unpleasant fellow. But somehow love got all mixed up in there and changed things, and I’ve taken a shine to destiny after all.

Awwww. Sweet! If you were a Superhero, what would your Awesome Superhero name be be and why?

Tomas: I’ve oft been called “Sun God,” though I don’t like it as I am not a god and am not especially pleased even with being an Immortal.

Intersting... Describe where you are during this interview:

Tomas: Sorry, not at liberty to disclose that. You see, Celine—that’s my wife—might read this, and she does not like me to do what I am doing at the moment.

You know this is public forum, right? You probably just got yourself into all sorts of trouble. Err, nevermind. Do you enjoy the spotlight, or are you more of a behind-the-scenes type?

Tomas: My dear woman, try as I might, I have never in my life managed to stay behind any scene whatsoever. I always end up right in the middle of it, and I carry the light within myself.

Well I suppose that is rather handy. You didn't strike me as a shy sort of fellow. So how about kisses in the rain? Do you find them romantic or impractical and foolish?

Tomas: I hope the goofy grin on my face answers that question satisfactorily.

Indeed! And maybe you should hope for some rain when you get home? Since it seems you might be in a bit of trouble now, it might behoove you to be a bit romantic with Celine, eh? Turn on that old sunshiny charm, eh? But while you're away from home, tell me: Would you bungee jump? Skydive? Karaoke?

Tomas: No! Never. I would especially never bungee jump. Celine, my dear, if you are reading this, know that the chances of me jumping off a bridge in the next, say, fifteen minutes is only slightly above total nil.

Why do I have a feeling . . .  nevermind! Next question! Are you an animal lover? If so, what kinds?

Tomas: We have these curious cats in my world, pyrolines we call them, that feed on fire. I like them a good bit more than dragons. And I’ve had a soft spot for wombats, small ones, ever since one helped change my destiny.

Your world sounds pretty cool. What’s your definition of a perfect day on your world... or elsewhere?

Tomas: I once spent thirty days watching Celine languish on the moon—she languishes so beautifully—and every one of those days was pretty close to perfect, even if she did end them by throwing a scrub brush at my head.

Sounds like you two have quite the interesting relationship! Tell me about one lousy job from your past:

Tomas: Being destined to fight and defeat a nasty Immortal called Ignus Umbria was not, as I think I’ve mentioned, my favourite task. But it didn’t turn out so badly after all.

What's the best advice you’ve received:

Tomas: “If you really want to jump off that bridge, just do it. You don’t have to tell Celine anything you don’t want to tell her.” I thank you for that, friend Tereska.

Oh, dear. Well, Readers, I guess that's all the time we have, because Tomas has suddenly disappeared over the edge of the--. Nevermind. 

Here is a little bit about the book, Lady Moon, to whet your reading appetite!

When Celine meets Tomas, they are in a cavern on the moon where she has been languishing for thirty days after being banished by her evil uncle for throwing a scrub brush at his head. Tomas is a charming and eccentric Immortal, hanging out on the moon because he’s procrastinating his destiny—meeting, and defeating, Celine’s uncle. 

A pair of magic rings send them back to earth, where Celine insists on returning home and is promptly thrown into the dungeon. Her uncle, Ignus Umbria, is up to no good, and his latest caper threatens to devour the whole countryside. He doesn’t want Celine getting in the way. More than that, he wants to force Tomas into a confrontation—and Tomas, who has fallen in love with Celine, cannot procrastinate any longer. 

Lady Moon is a fast-paced, humourous adventure in a world populated by mad magicians, walking rosebushes, thieving scullery maids, and other improbable things. And of course, the most improbable—and magical—thing of all: true love. 





Rachel Starr Thomson is also the author of Taerith, The Seventh World Trilogy (Worlds Unseen, Burning Light, and Coming Day), and other novels and short stories.

You can find out more about Tomas, the novel LADY MOON, and author Rachel Starr Thomson in these places:
Twitter: @writerstarr

Author website: www.rachelstarrthomson.com



Friday, April 18, 2014

Serena shares the COVER REVEAL (+GIVEAWAY!) for Eyes of E'veria, book 3: THE SEAHORSE LEGACY!

I've been really excited to share this book cover with all you EIR readers! 

This cover has been, to date, the most intensive (and expensive!) and time-consuming book cover creation process EVER in the history of the Eyes of E'veria series. From multiple photo shoots to capture that perfect shots (Thank you Lincoln, Matt & Delaney!) to combing through Photoshop brushes for effects, to trying, with my non-artistic brain, to describe "my vision" to my ever-so-patient-even-when-super-pregnant graphic designer, this cover was a ginormous pain in the patootie to get "just right." BUT-- I am thrilled with the end result! 

Here it is, at long last 
*drumroll, please*


e-book version coming late May 2014
Coming to paperback late July 2014


And here is a little bit about the book!



a Pirate
bound by a centuries-old oath

a Knight
determined to prove her calling

a Legacy
demanding surrender

As Keeper of the Seahorse Legacy, Cazien de Pollis is a King among pirates, divinely appointed to dispense justice on the seas. Bound by the sacred oath of a long-dead ancestor, he must fulfill a contract to wed the green-eyed Oracle’s Daughter named therein—or risk losing everything he and his people hold dear. But at nineteen, with the identity of his betrothed only recently revealed, Cazien resents the contract—and the urgency within him to see it satisfied.

Erielle de Gladiel returned from the quest for the Remedy, changed. Not only are her formerly-blue eyes now a brilliant shade of green, but she must don gloves to hide inky evidence that her prophetically-bestowed title, the Oracle’s Daughter, demands more from her than the task already completed. Erielle’s dearest-held dream is realized when she is knighted by her King, but unbeknownst to her, that very honor jeopardizes the prophesied purpose to which she and Cazien have been called.

Just as Cazien summons the courage to collect his bride, dark rumors and darker deeds crawl up the coasts, calling its guardians, the Seahorse Pirates, into action—and Cazien away from Erielle. But even though the Oracle’s Daughter knows nothing of the contract to which she has been consigned, Cazien’s enemies have somehow learned of his interest in Erielle. And if they reach her before his ancestor’s weighty oath is executed, the Seahorse Legacy will be forfeited . . . and darkness will be given reign.

Subtly paying homage to several classic tales including Peter Pan, Robin Hood, The Little Mermaid, Much Ado About Nothing, and even The Three Little Bears, THE SEAHORSE LEGACY begins an epic re-imagining of the classic Grimm fairy tale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses which will conclude in Eyes of E’veria, Book 4: THE SUNKEN REALM.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Serena Chase lives in Iowa with her husband, two teen daughters, and one very spoiled (but really adorable) dog, Albus. A frequent contributor to USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog, she also writes for Edgy Inspirational Romance. Serena has served as a youth leader for high school students at her church, coaches her local high school’s Color Guard, and drinks entirely too much coffee between these and her daughters’ activities. You can find Serena on Facebook, Twitter @Serena_Chase, and Pinterest.  Visit her website www.serenachase.com


GIVEAWAYS!
This one (below) is just for EIR readers. Winner will be picked using random.org:


This one (below) is for ONE grand prize winner, picked using random.org, from all entries to this Rafflecopter from each participating blog on the Cover Reveal Tour!



Friday, April 11, 2014

NA* Cover Reveal! RESISTANCE by Jaye L. Knight

*for those of you who are not yet familiar with the category "NA", it stands for "New Adult" and generally refers to a story featuring main characters whose age is in the post-high school adult range, usually between ages 18-24, though that range is flexible a year or so in either direction.)

ABOUT THIS BOOK:
“Don’t you know? Animals like you have no soul.”
Could God ever love a half-blood all of society looks upon with such fear and disdain? Jace once believed so, but when a tragic loss shatters the only peace he’s ever known, his faith crumbles as the nagging doubts he’s tried to put behind him descend on his grieving heart. With them come the haunting memories of the bloodstained past he longs to forget, but can never escape.

Taken from home at a young age and raised to serve the emperor, Kyrin Altair and her twin brother live every day under a dangerous pretense of loyalty. After her unique observation skills and perfect memory place her into direct service to the emperor, Kyrin finds herself in further jeopardy as it becomes increasingly difficult to hide her belief in Elôm, the one true God.

Following the emperor’s declaration to enforce the worship of false gods under the penalty of death, many lives are endangered. But there are those willing to risk everything to take a stand and offer aid to the persecuted. With their lives traveling paths they never could have imagined, Jace and Kyrin must fight to overcome their own fears and conflicts with society as they become part of the resistance.

Drum roll, please! 
Here is the promised
COVER REVEAL!


Kindle release date: May 20, 2014

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
JAYE L. KNIGHT is a 25-year-old independent author with a passion for writing Christian fantasy and clean NA (New Adult) fiction. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God's love shines as a light to offer hope.

Jaye is a homeschool graduate and has been penning stories since the age of eight. She was previously published as
Molly Evangeline. You can learn about her latest writing projects at www.jayelknight.com
.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Stalking Katherine Reay: OUTSIDE THE AUTHOR'S STUDIO

Today we are crouching behind a potted fern chatting the author whose debut novel, Dear Mr. Knightley took the world (and my story-loving heart) by storm! Let's give a warm, slightly-stalkerish EIR welcome to ... Katherine Reay!!

Serena: Welcome to EIR, Katherine! Our readers love stalking authors to find out what makes them tick. Tell us, what is the best book you’ve read (so far) this year? 

Katherine: So many… Which one do I pick? Which one do I pick?...  Really… Can’t decide…

Serena: Okay then... perhaps you could tell us where you like to read all these books from which you cannot choose a favorite?  

Katherine Reay's cozy library... and Trip.
Katherine: In my “library.” (see picture, right) Isn’t it perfect? The dog must be there too. That’s “Triple Grande Non-fat Extra Foamy Latte,” by the way, but we just call him “Trip” – thank goodness. J

Serena: Heh-heh-heh. Great dog name! I'll admit I wonder about the "foamy" part -- but I do NOT need you to elaborate, just in case it involves things people might step on in your yard. *winks* What is your favorite place to write?

Katherine: My desk. I will always work there if I have the chance. I think it’s the polka-dotted pig in the multi-colored boa that inspires me… (see photo a bit further down, left)

Serena: Do you listen to music while writing? 

Katherine: No. It would conflict with all the chatter.

Serena: Name the one place you insist must be kept clean: 

Katherine: The small bench in our shower. Drives me nuts when the kids don’t put their shampoo and conditioner back on the little shelf. Is it so hard?

Serena: Sounds like that could rank amongst your pet peeves! What is another? 

Katherine: When my kids say “yes m’am” but really have no intention of doing what I’ve asked – EVER J

Serena: Favorite Superhero: 

Katherine: Superman. 

Serena: Why?

Katherine: He can do anything. J

Serena: Quick! Name three things on your desk: 

Katherine's fave place to write.
Katherine: A polka-dotted pig lamp with a multi-colored boa. A small paper-mache bicycle with two happy riders from World Bicycle Relief and a few tubes of NUUN (electrolyte hydration tablets.) Love my desk!

Serena: Ice Cream, Fro Yo, or Gelato? 

Katherine: Gelato. Chocolate. Yum.

Serena: Chocolate: Dark, Milk, or White? 

Katherine: Dark. And by the way – “white” is not a chocolate. It’s an odd albino confection of little distinction.

Serena: AGREED!!! What’s your definition of a perfect day (besides unlimited quantities of dark chocolate, which is something that always figures into my definition of that day...)? 

Katherine: April 2. Not too warm. Not too cool. Perfect for a light sweater. (I completely stole that from Miss Congeniality and it still cracks me up.)

Serena: Oh, yeah. I love that movie! If you could hang out with one of your characters for one week, who would it be? 

(check out that review quote at the bottom!)
You can find Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay at Amazon
and other retailers of really awesome books
Katherine: Ashley Walker from Dear Mr. Knightley. She’d be highly entertaining.

Serena: She would be. Totally! What is your all time favorite TV show? 

Katherine: Lois and Clark. That’s probably where I decided Superman was the BEST!

Serena: Makes sense! Do you have a favorite DIY success story?

Katherine: I wallpapered the bathroom in our first apartment and was super proud until my husband pointed out that I’d hung the pattern sideways.

Serena: Oops. What matters is that you liked it, I say. Besides a professional wallpaper installer, if you could pick one of these helpful people to have on staff for a year, would you choose to employ a Housekeeper, Personal Chef, Personal Trainer, or Chauffeur?   

Katherine: A housekeeper, especially if she/he does laundry and windows.

Serena: Tell me about one lousy job from your past: 

Katherine: I spent afternoons in high school filing slides at a plastic surgeon’s office. Wow, those pictures really stay with you.

Serena: Ewwww. I bet! and... ew. What is the best writing advice you ever received? 

Katherine: Trust your voice; trust your reader.

Serena: Love it! Name three authors who have influenced or inspired you: 

Katherine: Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis and Susan Cooper.

Serena: I love all of those!!! I discovered Jane and Susan in adulthood, but ... YES! So speaking of books-gone-by, what is the most worn-out book from your childhood?

Katherine:  I can’t spell. I carried around a spelling dictionary in middle school. I found it at my parent’s house last week…. Good times, good times. J

Serena: What is your favorite technological advancement?

Katherine:  Spell check. I can’t spell.

Serena: What is your favorite ethnic food? 

Katherine: Indian.

Serena: I've been hearing that from several authors lately! Interesting... I just tried cooking a lentil curry for the first time and loved it, so now I want to try more Indian food! What is one place you dream of visiting: 

Katherine: Middle Earth.

Serena (laughing): and here I thought you would say "India" !!! If I went back in time and asked the 4-year-old YOU what you wanted to be when you grew up, what would she say? 

Katherine: Air Force Pilot

Serena: Cool! Adventurous! And speaking of adventure, where can other adventurous Author Stalkers can find you?

Katherine Reay
Katherine: My website www.katherinereay.com and also Twitter: @katherine_reay and Facebook: www.facebook/katherinereaybooks

Thanks so much for letting us stalk you! 

READERS! In case you haven't read Katherine Reay's insanely awesome debut novel, Dear Mr. Knightley, click HERE to check out my review.

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