🖤 Write, read, review, repeat 🖤

Author: CatrinRussell (Page 2 of 33)

Book hangovers, anyone?!

🍁 I usually feel okay about finishing books/series, only suffering from book hangovers on an odd occasion, but damn… When I finished my WIP a few days ago, the last book of The Light of Darkness, I ended up with the worst case of book hangover I’ve ever suffered 😂 I’m so upset I’ll never write about these characters again!!! 😭 I love them all so much, and I’ll miss them like crazy!! ❤️

🍁 But… Yay me, for finishing the book, I guess 🤣❤️🎉

Author Interview: Kimberly T. Hennessy

Check out this author spotlight for Kimberly T. Hennessy!

You can find all her links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out her books!

1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!

Hi, my name is Kimberly T. Hennessy. I live in the suburbs of Montreal. I was born on a cold January 13th with snowbanks as far as the eye could see, in a small town called Île Bizard, which translates to weird island. I’ll admit the ominous allure is tempting, but there’s nothing grim about me.

After completing my Bachelor’s in Psychology, and then my MA in screenwriting, I embarked on this wild journey to create a world with characters that appealed to me, shall we say a mature woman with an odd sensibility for impending death and mayhem?

Don’t be fooled! Dubbed the Slow Writer, I’m wide-eyed and quirky with a side of kook, but I gravitate towards dystopian stories for their doom and gloom, and well, because they’re cool and human foibles intrigue me.

I write because otherwise the stories in my head would never let me get another moments sleep.

2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!

Winter, spring, summer or autumn?
I love all the seasons because they each offer something. Autumn because the leaves here in Québec are spectacular during the fall. It’s impossible to describe the smell of winter to someone who hasn’t lived it. Although I have tried in my book. When you first detect it, you know winter is here, and cosy fireplace tea is knocking at your door. Spring is always a thrill because it feels like out with the old and in with new. We feel like anything is possible, and lastly summer is the best because heat.

Cat or dog?
Big dogs. They have so much love and devotion in their fluffy goodness.

Morning or evening?
Mornings. Towards the end of the day my brain is mush.

Hunter or gatherer?
I’d like to say both, but my book and most of my writing features hunters.

Mountains or beaches?
Beaches are more exotic to where I live, since we have some mountain ranges nearby. So if I have to pick one, I would definitely sit by the sea.

3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?

My tastes are wide-ranging. I like to switch it up. Some days romantic comedies, other days a coming of age, or a vampire might catch my attention, but I definitely gravitate towards world building stories that transport me to a different time and place. Certainly dystopian, but also historical, and political always get my attention.

4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!

I’m currently writing book 2 of The Pogrom War series as a follow up of my first book.

I’m also set to write three screenplays for three different producers in the next year. So I’ll be very busy, and I’m penning my first historical fiction based on a screenplay, I wrote several years ago set in Ireland and Canada. Although I wish I could give more details, I will be releasing it under a pen name. I also do freelance copywriting on the side, so I think 2021 will fly by.

5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!

My first book is a dystopian sci-fi\fantasy, set in a post-apocalyptic world. The main character Eira flees her evil captor King Lorcan only to fall into the hands of this odd underground sect bent on reviving the old SIDHE religion. Eira is at the centre of their revival but must give up her humanity to save the sect and her unborn baby.

It’s a mash up of tribal history and artificial intelligence.

6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!

My environment is my main source of inspiration. When I write I can see, and feel where I am. I mostly draw from the area where I live and extrapolate from there. As for my characters I love to really dig deep into their psyche, which is my psychology background. I love to understand where their angst is coming from, and why, although I don’t go into depth explain it because I don’t want to force feed my reader. I want them to unravel the puzzle on their own, and come to their own conclusion.

7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!

It’s simple. I get my kids ready for school, do my morning workout, and write for a couple of hours, then in the afternoon, I tackle any other work deadlines if I have some, otherwise I finish paperwork and any other household issue that requires my attention.

8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to becoming an author, what would it be?

Your first draft isn’t your book. You will edit, edit, edit until your blue in the face and it will never be perfect, but you have to put it out there. The next one will be better, and better.

9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!

https://kimberlythennessy.com/https://www.amazon.com/Kimberly-T.-Hennessy/e/B08CJBQ1NV

Author Interview: Jenna O’Malley

Check out this author spotlight for Jenna O’Malley!

You can find all her links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out her books!

1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!

Hello, lovelies! My name is Jenna O’Malley, the Soul Writer. I’m a Cat Mom, wife, teacher, indie author, book vlogger, podcaster, gamer… a bard of many pens, I suppose. I write stories that address every day and contemporary issues while blending in some of the nerdiest references.

2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 (or more!) of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!

Winter, spring, summer or autumn?
AUTUMN—thank goodness, I can start baking!

Cat or dog?
Cat… Mom! lol

Tea or coffee?
Coffee in the morning, tea in the evening.

Morning or evening?
I’m a morning person, for better and worse.

Library or museums?
It depends on what I’m researching, but probably museums in Europe.

Hunter or gatherer?
Gatherer.

Mountains or beaches?
Beaches, even though I live in the mountains. I love visiting Mother Ocean.

Plotter or pantser?
Plantster: I do a little bit of both.

Standalone or series?
Series for writing fiction, but I’ve read some wonderful stand alone.

Book or ebook?
I prefer to hold a book; it’s a tactile and textures thing for me with the experience.

3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?

I tend to read fantasy novels to unhealthy levels, and the same can be said for paranormal romance. Give me a series with a leading set of characters that absolutely wreck my heart, lol.

4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!

My debut series, The Arsinoëphorus Alliance, launched on Valentine’s Day 2021 with Book 1: Bound by Fate and Blood. Book 2 comes out on September 6, 2021. I have a teaching memoir and a second series in the works.

5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!

The Arsinoëphorus Alliance (Book 2): Bound by Oath and Heart comes out on September 6, 2021! It picks up a few months after Book 1 ends, so we’re in Fall 1665. Ian and Nephtyri remain the “main couple” for the plot’s throughline, but we really come to know Bjorn and Rochelle on a much deeper level. Please read the blurb below:

Fractured by betrayal at Sancta Terra, the Arsinoëphorus Alliance scatters. The five, remaining Elders split Ian and Nephtyri, not realizing their sunwalker has a new secret to hide. Though the couple can visit one another in dreams, a life apart tests their bond early. A quest to find Ian a weapon to match his powers binds him to his adikous naiha and reveals not all mythical creatures are lost.

Rochelle adapts to a lesser role as Shifei under the pressure of Bjorn’s presence in his halls at Amaranth. With the help of Aryeh and other Elders from afar, they plot to save the Alliance without their new Uran Shifei-ra’s guidance. Suspicious of their actions, Nephtyri heightens the search to free her lost grandmother from the Hunters’ captivity. Allegiances are stressed as the dead walk and the living fight to thrive.

6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!

I draw a lot of inspiration from my husband and daily life. At the same time, I’ve read a lot of J. R. Ward, Anne Sexton, Tolkien, Shakespeare, and Robert Jordan. I think the poetics and sarcasm of the mix definitely wore off.

7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!

I teach full-time virtually, too. With the beginning of the school year, my schedule is changing quickly. I’m trying to write a minimum of 1,000 words a day to my current draft WIP and edit one chapter from a previous book. Marketing consumes my life for hours each day.

8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to becoming an author, what would it be?

First and foremost, I’d tell my inner critic to take a hike sooner. I’d also focus on slowing down a little more and refining my pre and post production process, and she should, too.

9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!

www.jennathesoulwriter.com

www.facebook.com/jennathesoulwriter

www.instagram.com/jennathesoulwriter

Author Interview: H. L. Burke

Check out this author spotlight for H. L. Burke!

You can find all her links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out her books!

1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!

I’m having an identity crisis since I usually start off by saying I’m a mother and military wife, but my husband has retired from the Marines now, so I’m like, “Dang it, can’t use that any more.” Still a mother though my daughters are semi-feral. I’ve moved around a lot in my adult life (see Marines), but we’ve recently settled in Oregon where we have two dogs and a spoiled brat cat who thinks he’s a baby. I write eclectic fantasy in multiple subgenres.

2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 (or more!) of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!

Cat or dog?
I love my border collie, but I’m totally a cat person. I just always have been. There’s something that goes either very wrong or very right in my brain when I see a cat and I just lose all sense of composure. Most cats tolerate me, so there’s that.

Tea or coffee?
Both depending on the time of day. Definitely coffee in the morning. Tea usually in the afternoon and herbal tea in the evening … by herbal tea, I mean fruit tea, by fruit tea I mean grape juice … by grape juice I mean wine.

Hunter or gatherer?
Gatherer. I always roll the gathering professions in RPGs because I like picking up shiny things.

Mountains or beaches?
Mountains. Marines tend to station themselves near bodies of waters (something about amphibious landings), so as a wife of a recently retired Marine, I have lived next to oceans more often than not for most of my adult life (San Diego, Iwakuni, Pensacola, Oceanside over the first 12 or 13 years of our marriage) so I’m a little “over” beaches. I also like trees which are more likely to be around mountains.
Plotter or pantser? I’m kind of a hybrid and I like to stay very flexible. Generally speaking, I think about a book for a while then when I feel I have a grasp at it, I write down a scene by scene synopsis as fast as I can before I forget any of it … but I always give myself permission to change things up or flip the script at any point if something isn’t working in my original plan.

Pen and paper or computer/phone?
I am a fast typer so computer, which is the only way I can keep up with myself, but NOT phone. I am terrible at using a tiny phone screen to write. I don’t even prefer to text if I have to say more than a few words. It takes even longer than writing it out long hand. I HAVE done it a few times (when my phone was all I had available and I had inspiration I just couldn’t leave for later), but it’s never my preference. Most of the time I’d rather do pen and paper over phone.

Standalone or series?
As a writer who has somehow gotten herself caught up in writing a superhero series that has expanded to include two different spinoffs, hints at a multiverse, and potential for a lot of more stories within the world, it’s kind of ironic that I do really prefer standalones. If it’s not my husband, my kids, or my cat, I kind of have commitment issues, I guess, and I get bored easily so if I look up a book and find it is volume one in an ongoing series, I get cold feet. Like do I really want to commit to all that? I also love writing standalones because they are “one and done” and I can move onto something else without feeling guilt about abandoning them … that said, as mentioned, currently writing series that seems to never end, so I guess I do like both in certain circumstances.

3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?

Cats. I am honestly very into quirky stuff, so I’m not so much looking for tropes as opposed to trope twisters or something “unique.” The quickest way to draw me in is to give me something I haven’t seen before … or to put a cat on it. I like cats.

4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!

I mentioned that I was eclectic, right? By that I mean “easily distracted by shinies.”

Because of this my portfolio is super varied. I have romantic fantasy, epic fantasy, Steampunk, Gaslamp, YA fantasy, Middle Grade Fantasy, Fairy Tale, and now superheroes. The superheroes have been my focus for a little shy of two years now. I have seven books in that series, and I just finished another book (which will be out October 9th) in a YA spinoff in the same superhero universe. The theme for the overall series is “supervillain rehabilitation” so it features supervillains who are in the process of trying to leave the life and turn themselves into heroes.
The main series has a more traditional superhero plot with a healthy side of romance, but the YA spinoff revolves mainly around 16-year-old Jake who was raised in his uncle’s supervillain gang but upon capture by superheroes is sent to a camp for at risk superpowered kids instead of prison. There he starts making friends for the first time in his life, learns about the true meaning of family, and struggles with his loyalty to his gang.

5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!

The last book I released was actually book 5 in the Supervillain Rehabilitation Project series, and almost all the details about it would spoil things that happen in books 1 through 4, so I’ll just tell you a little about the series. The SVR series takes place in a world where superheroes have their own government agency and teams that go up against supervillains. An idealistic heroine named Prism wants to restart her late father’s legacy project (the Supervillain Rehabilitation Project) and she does this by recruiting Fade, her father’s former student who relapsed into supervillainy after her father’s death, to join her team of heroes. The series grows from there with new villains added along the way and with new challenges to the team.  Series link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B089VYG9W5

6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!

Nothing consistent. Ideas are not a problem with me. I get those going about my day to day life all the time. I have a book that was written because it was cold one night and so I lay awake thinking what would it be like to always be cold, what if a person couldn’t make their own heat and had to steal it from others, what if they could freeze people at a touch. I have at least two books that were written because a friend sent me a funny picture or meme. I have others that were based on vending machines, random historical facts, and stuff my kids said.
I try not to draw direct inspiration from other works of fiction because I like complete ownership of ideas, but I know that brains don’t exactly work that way. I’m sure everything I absorb goes into my head where it gets mixed up and blended and mixed around so things that seem to pop out of no where probably had roots in things I’ve read, watched, experienced and they’ve just become unrecognizable. The fact that I’m writing superheroes right now probably has a lot to do with how much MCU content I’ve absorbed in the last decade or so.

7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!

It’s change a bit since my husband’s retirement. I actually picked up a full time day job recently, since he’s home to deal with the kids and even cooking and cleaning (he’s actually a better house husband than I ever was a housewife. I hate cleaning with a passion. I’m like the reverse of that meme where authors clean their houses to avoid writing. I will write whole books to avoid washing the baseboards).
My day job is work from home, so I usually am doing that until about 4pm then I’ll log off, help my husband with cooking dinner if he needs assistance (a lot of times he’s already got it done), then I’ll sit and write a thousand words before I give myself permission to play video games (currently got myself back into World of Warcraft: Burning Crusades. I have a gnome mage named Pryzzm and she just earned her epic flying mount. Super epic.). It takes me between a half hour and an hour to write 1000 words. If it is going well, I’ll keep going and write more. Other days I’ve just got enough energy to squeak over 1000 words and then go hide in the Outlands on my mage.

8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to becoming an author, what would it be?

I wouldn’t. It would ruin the fun. Like I’m kind of an impulsive person who just jumps into things without a lot of preplanning (I call my learning style “push all the buttons and see what happens.”), so yeah I made mistakes along the way, but I wouldn’t want to deprive myself of the experience of making those mistakes.

9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!

twitter.com/hlburkewriter (for random snarkiness and occasional book snippets)
facebook.com/hlburkewriter (for longer form random snarkiness, occasional book snippets, and #dailydragon posts where I share my favorite dragon related finds)
my website (and mailing list) for news and deals www.hlburkeauthor.com
my instagram for #TheodoretheDragon awesomness instagram.com/burkesdragons
and my reader group if you want to be the first to hear about beta and ARC reading opportunities as well as my day to day struggles and weekly live videos. https://www.facebook.com/groups/hlburkereaders/

Author Interview: T. D. Fox

Check out this author spotlight for T. D. Fox!

You can find all her links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out her books!

1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!

A world-romper from the Pacific Northwest, T.D. Fox supplements a hyperactive imagination with real life shenanigans to add pizzazz to her storytelling endeavors.

Armed with a bachelor’s degree in Intercultural Studies, her favorite stories to write usually involve a clash of worldviews, an unflinching reevaluation of one’s own internal compass, and an embrace of the compelling unease that arises when vastly different worlds collide. When not recklessly exploring inner-city alleyways during midnight thunderstorms in the States, she can be found exploring rainforests without enough bug spray somewhere along the equator.

2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 (or more!) of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!

Cat or dog?
Big dog wins over cat, but cat wins over little dog 😉

Tea or coffee?
Coffee!

Morning or evening?
Evening, 100%

Library or museums?
Library

Hunter or gatherer?
Hunter! I grew up hunting with my dad in the wilds of Eastern Oregon 😊 Nothing quite like waking up at 4am to watch the sun rise through a silent forest with a 30.06 over your shoulder

Witches or wizards?
Wizards

Ninjas or pirates?
Ooh, that’s a tough one – ninjas

Mountains or beaches?
Mountains

Plotter or pantser?
Planster 😂 I might have a threadbare plot, but the characters always run away with it and warp the story into whatever they want. I’ve learned to hold it loosely haha. 

Pen and paper or computer/phone?
Computer/phone – I have whole scenes typed into the tiny notepad on my dinosaur phone, lol

Standalone or series?
Series! I love to hangout with my characters for as long as I can

Book or ebook?
Hmm, another tough one. Books smell better, but ebook since I like to read in bed with the lights off lol

Hero or anti-hero?
Anti-hero, definitely. 😉

3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?

Enemies to lovers, always; enemies to friends, enemies to allies… seeing a trend? Lol Any time characters have to fight their preconceived worldviews or biases, or learn that their perspective needs to change – I’m a sucker for that; I think it’s my Intercultural Studies degree showing.

4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!

I write urban science-fiction/fantasy! Basically, out-of-this-world fantasy stuff happening in this world, within the boundaries of what we know but pushing them, hard. It’s really fun.

My current project is something I’m more excited about than pretty much any project I’ve worked on so far! (Even The Walls of Orion, shh, don’t tell my readers who love that series best). This one is a four-part saga about a girl working for a counter-terrorism agency who has to strike a deal with a terrorist in order to stop a genocide from happening. Set in a world of humans and Shadow Walkers–ice people ready to rebel against a society dominated by humans for too many millenia–this series explores prejudice, war and revolution, and how far a good person should be willing to go for the good of those under the boot of oppression. The Shadow Walkers saga will have action, romance, suspense, a wide cast of characters, and in-depth world building rich with folklore and pseudo-scientific magical elements woven together.

5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!

My most release is the concluding sequel to my The Walls of Orion duology, titled City of Loons. For those who haven’t read the first book, I don’t want to spoil anything, so here is the back-cover blurb for book one!

Orion City has been on lockdown for ten years. Courtney Spencer, a disillusioned barista doomed to live a “normal” life in a quarantined fishbowl, is certain she’ll never see over the Wall again.

Until one rainy evening, Courtney unintentionally befriends W, an eccentric customer who leaves a switchblade in the tip jar. The unexpected acquaintance soon opens the door to a frightening string of questions that flips everything she knows upside down. Stumbling into a world of secrets, lies, and disturbing truths, Courtney grapples with a burning temptation to look again at the Wall. Surrounded by citizens trained to ignore its looming shadow, Courtney no longer can.
Intrigued and terrified to expand her world, Courtney finds herself toeing a knife’s edge between the law and justice, learning quickly that the two are not always compatible.
She wants to cling to her morals. She also wants to stay alive. But most of all, she wants to see a certain customer again, despite everything in her whispering W is dangerous. 
In a gritty urban clash of hope and fear, passion and survival, The Walls of Orion explores the edges of light, dark, and the gray in between.

Ironically, I began writing The Walls of Orion in 2016, and finished April 2019, almost an exact year before my country, city, and friends got plunged into a very real pandemic lockdown.  

Luckily I haven’t had to live in a city with a two hundred foot concrete wall around it and indefinite curfews, but my real life experience of quarantine while polishing up the final drafts of this heartchild for publishing certainly felt surreal after the last four years of extensive research on, “How would a mysterious pandemic be handled on a city level? A national level?”

Imagine my surprise, (on top of all the other emotions that come with a pandemic) when in the middle of finalizing my story’s publication, real life beat me to the punch. Find The Walls of Orion on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, I always try to keep it cheap! 😊 https://www.amazon.com/dp/1952112427

6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!

I’m the most inspired by music. I have playlists for every story I write, and often every character (some with more songs than others!) For example, my Walls of Orion playlist has hundreds of songs on Spotify:

Whereas my Shadow Walkers saga has so many songs that inspire me that I’ve had to split them up into playlists for all of the characters. One character alone (Nyal) has over 600 songs just for him! :O

7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!

I need to get a better writing routine, honestly, because I am such a sporadic and spontaneous person in general it’s very hard to nail myself down into a daily schedule. I work several day jobs to keep the bills paid, so I have to squeeze writing sessions between shifts or onto my days off. I’m trying to stick to a goal of writing a certain amount of words a week (although I haven’t met that for a little while in the craziness of launching my duology). My favorite and most productive times to write are when I can get away to a coffee shop, plug in my headphones and just sit down and tune out the world. I get my best writing done also when I accidentally pull all-nights because my characters keep talking to me when I’m trying to sleep 😂 Though I don’t recommend letting your characters bully you with inspiration in the wee hours of the morning very often; it’s bad for your health, long term.

8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to becoming an author, what would it be?

Oh, man. I think the most important thing I would tell myself is: enjoy the process. Enjoy what you’re doing, and don’t let yourself forget why you started in the first place. When editing overwhelms you, or you feel insecure looking at other authors taking off and thinking you’ll never reach their level, come back to your own characters and remember why you want to write their story. I love writing. If I’m stuck on a desert island somewhere, I will be entertained, because I will be telling myself stories until the day I die. This is the most important thing to remember.

Do what you love, and it doesn’t matter how much “success” you may or may not find in the material sense. I may not ever get to #1 on the big charts, but I love seeing my readers’ faces light up as they fall in love with my characters as much as I did—that’s why I write. I’m invigorated by the idea of sharing the worlds I’ve made, and seeing someone be inspired by them.

9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!

I’d love to connect! 😊 Sign up for my newsletter at www.tdfoxbooks.com and get exclusive short stories, sneak peeks of my upcoming novels, art, and be the first to know when a new story drops! I’d seriously love so much to connect with you!

Also you can follow me on social media:

Instagram –      @tdfoxauthor

Twitter –     @tdfoxauthor

Facebook –     T.D. Fox

www.tdfoxbooks.com

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