Catrin Russell

🖤 Write, read, review, repeat 🖤

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Author Interview: Belart Wright

Check out this author spotlight for Belart Wright!

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

My name is Belart Wright, the offspring of some fantasy author’s imagination. He thought he was clever by mixing up his own name to create my first name and referencing his profession to create my surname.  As a mere construction, I am an author in the Sci-Fi, LitRPG, GameLit, Fantasy, and Horror genres.  I also like videogames and lukewarm tea!

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?

It’s typically Winter for me, but that’s starting to change now that I have an automobile. I like the two in-between seasons.  Between Fall and Spring, I think I’m more of a Fall guy.  It’s even got two names, how neat is that.  Maybe we should split the difference and call it Fallumn, no?

Plotter or pantser?

I’m non-ironically both, in equal measure. As a matter of fact my MBTI is equally split at INFP and INTP so I’m very active in both the thinking and feeling parts of my personality.  I plot out my entire book and then break that down further into chapters. I’m not overly detailed but I can be.  The trick is that I allow my characters to smash through my chapter outline whenever they feel like it which usually enhances the story.  I can’t seem to control them so they just kind of do what they want and I have to course correct and write around them all the time. Oy!

Pen and paper or computer/phone?

Nothing trumps pen and paper.  I’ve felt like such a stranger working strictly from my laptop these last few years.  I decided to do so for efficiency’s sake since I often had to transcribe my novels from my notebooks to my laptop.  The writing flow generated from notebook work is unmatched for me.  My next project will thankfully take me back to my pen and paper roots. It’s not the most efficient, but nothing beats it.

Standalone or series?

I’ve been writing series for a few years now and while I’ve always liked series and other types of longform storytelling, I had only envisioned that a select few of my projects would be series.  I have a newfound respect for standalone books now, since I believe there’s something a little more pure about them.  I have a few fun series still in the pipeline, but once those are done I’m more interested in writing standalone stories.

Hero or anti-hero?

I sometimes trick myself into thinking I’m more of an anti-hero guy but I really tend to like heroes that look like anti-heroes—the dark, brooding, and gothic types.  Batman is a good example of that.  Don’t get me wrong, many of my favorite characters are indeed anti-heroes, but there’s something about the selfless and self-sacrificing type that I find incredibly noble.  Maybe it’s the fact that they’re selfless and self-sacrificing … yeah that’s it! 

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

The hidden protector & hidden society tropes usually get me good especially in Urban Fantasy stories.  I like when there’s a whole world of danger and adventure that’s hidden in plain sight that most mundane folk aren’t aware of.  Harry Potter was one of the first books to introduce me to this decades ago but it was prevalent in many cartoons and anime from my childhood.

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

The genres most comfortable to me are Dark Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, Action/Adventure, Urban Fantasy, LitRPG, and GameLit.  My stories typically cross genres, taking bits and pieces from everything I like.  My latest project, Hell’s Glitch is a great example of this.  Most of my other upcoming projects such as a WIP visual novel currently codenamed Stone Heart will also cross genres.

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

I’ve so far published 10 books, but I’ve removed them from the digital storefronts in order to focus on strengthening my brand and marketing strategy.  I’m currently relaunching my most popular series Hell’s Glitch which had a great run when it was first published in 2016.  It’s been off of digital bookshelves for over a year now.  I’d like to get a much better version of the story in the hands of even more people in 2022. You can find the preorder for the book at https://kdp.amazon.com/B09MKTK4LM with the scheduled publication date being May 25, 2022.

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 inspiration from every part of my brain which was inundated with cartoons, videogames, anime, movies, books, and comics growing up. I pull a ton from childhood, but with something like Hell’s Glitch I drew heavy inspiration from the videogames, books, and anime I’ve consumed as an adult.  The works of George R. R. Martin, J.K. Rowling, Kentaro Miura, Norihiro Yagi, abec, Reki Kawahara, and Hidetaka Miyazaki all influence Hell’s Glitch for instance.

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

My routine seems to change from project to project.  I just write whenever I can, wherever I can, with whatever I can get my hands on.  I’m getting back to writing consistently which hasn’t been easy these last few years so I think I can and should develop a consistent routine.

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’d tell him to work on what he likes and stay consistent with it.  If I had more time, I’d also break down all the publishing/marketing/formatting knowledge I’ve gained over the years. It’d be nice to have that earlier in life.

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

Thank you!  You can find me at all those fancy links below or email me directly at belartwrightlitrpg at gmail dot com with any questions, comments, or concerns regarding my work.  Take care!

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/Belart

Youtube: https://bit.ly/2BW6wld

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BelartWright

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/OccultLitRPG/

Author Interview: Jon Cronshaw

Check out this author spotlight for Jon Cronshaw!

You can find all his links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out his 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 a full-time SFF author based in Morecambe, a small coastal town on the west coast of England.

I’ve had a zig-zag career which has included working as a music writer, a political reporter, and an art history lecturer.

I spend my days writing and wrangling my nine-year-old son.

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!

Cat or dog? Dogs are better than cats in every way *ducks to avoid flying objects* :p

I’m severely visually impaired, registered blind, and I’ve worked in partnership with a guide dog since 2009.

Both of my guide dogs have given me a level of confidence and independence I don’t get when using a cane…or a cat. 

Tea or coffee? As a stereotypical English gentleman, it has to be tea…followed by coffee…then another coffee…and tea. That reminds me, I need a cuppa. 


Library or museums?
Difficult to say, as I love them both. But if I had to choose, nothing inspires me like exploring a museum.

I recently took a trip to Egypt and found myself in awe all the way round the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

So many objects I’ve seen in museums have sparked ideas for my fiction.

Witches or wizards? I’m a huge Terry Pratchett fan, so whenever I think of witches and wizards, I can’t help associating them with the inhabitants of the Discworld.

The wizards come across as a dusty old bores who are only interested in magic as an academic discipline to be performed only in ivory towers.

Witches help people. They’re practical and blunt, relying more on ‘headology’ than magic.

But when they do need to use sypathetic magic, it can be more powerful than any wizard.  

Book or ebook? I can’t read print anymore due to my eyesight, but I can manage with ebooks.

Plus, there’s the added bonus of an ebook not being made from pulped trees. Actually, I’ve changed my mind. Can I pick audiobooks? Last year I listened to more than 150 audiobooks. They’re my favourite form of entertainment and I usually have a novel and a non-fiction book on the go at any one time.

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

I like stories about wronged heroes overcoming the odds, of characters who live by a guiding principle that ends up getting them in trouble.

Anything fantasy with thieves, assassins, and other scoundrels get added to my seemingly infinite TBR list.

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

I write SFF. I wrote five post-apocalyptic novels, two novels about coming to terms with going blind, twenty-one higjh fantasy novellas, and one high fantasy novel.

I’ve promised myself that I’m going to stick to high fantasy from now on.

I’ve built a world that excites me that can be the playground for so many different types of story.

My current project is called Trial of Thieves and is the second book in my Dawn of Assassins series.

I have to admit that I love the interplay between the two main characters, Fedor and Lev.

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

Dawn of Assassins (book 1 of the assassin fantasy series).

Two friends. A master assassin. One deadly choice.

Fedor and Lev are thieves…not killers.

They lead a desperate life in the tunnels of Nordturm, conning and stealing to buy their next meal.

But when an assassin recruits them against their will, they are forced into a life they do not want and cannot escape.

If they leave, they will die. But if they stay, they must kill.

Can they survive the master’s relentless evaluation?

Is loyalty stronger than the will to live?

Will their friendship last the ordeal?

From the best-selling author of The Ravenglass Chronicles, comes a new thrilling adventure featuring a new cast of unforgettable characters.

You’ll love this high fantasy series, because these unlikely heroes have a story you won’t be able to put down.

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!

Living with the reality of a pandemic taught me a lot about myself and about where I draw my inspiration.

I definitely draw from real life, from people I meet, from places I visit.

Although I read a lot of non-fiction books about history, culture, and philosophy, nothing compares to feeling the wind on your face, or hearing the sounds of a city.

In terms of fiction influences, there are too many to name, but I love writers like Robin Hobb, Scott Lynch, Michael J. Sullivan, and Bernard Cornwell. 

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

I try to write every weekday between 9.30am and 2.30pm. That can include standing at my desk and hammering out the words, or sitting in a local hotel bar outlining the next book on paper.

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?

Start sooner. Don’t wait for everything to be right. It won’t be.

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

You can find all my links at https://joncronshaw.com

I’ve also been recording a weekly audio diary since October 2017.

You can find Jon Cronshaw’s Author Diary wherever you listen to podcasts, or visit https://anchor.fm/joncronshaw

Do you like boxsets?

🌷 My first boxset is soon to be released!! 🥳🎉

🌷 Yes!! You heard that right. Books 1-3 of The Light of Darkness series will be made into an ebook boxset, scheduled for the 24th of May 😍🙏 I don’t have a preorder link yet, but I will supply it as soon as it’s ready 🥰

🌷 QOTD: Do you like boxsets?

🌷 I love them 😍❤️

Author Interview: Jamie McFarlane

Check out this author spotlight for Jamie McFarlane!

You can find all his links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out his 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 Jamie McFarlane aka James Greenwood and I’m a multi-genre author who is probably best known for writing thrilling science fiction adventures. Having graduated with a MS in Mathematics, I focused my first career on software development. Later in life, I discovered the revolution occurring with Amazon and other independent author platforms and my life changed direction almost overnight.

With kids having moved out of the house, I discovered if I wrote on nights and weekends, I could finally fulfill a lifelong fantasy and publish the stories that had previously just been rolling around in my head. I was as shocked as anyone when readers who I had never even met started reading my books and even more importantly asking for more. Well, if ever there was a feedback loop I wanted part of, that was it. Five years later, I set aside developing software and started writing full time, never to look back.

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? Autumn is my favorite season. The summer’s heat is gone but there’s no reason to head inside. There’s nothing better than tromping through the woods with my wife and my dog running around like a lunatic (for clarity, just my dog doing the running).

Cat or dog? Dog. I’m all about having a companion who will jump in the truck and get dirty down by the river or just to run out and grab a cup of coffee.

Tea or coffee? I like both, but I’d struggle to live without coffee.

Morning or evening? Morning brings the promise of a whole new day. I love that hour before sunrise when everything is still possible.

Library or museums? Library. I’d read all day if given the option. When I got Covid, my biggest concern was loading my Kindle.

Hunter or gatherer? I’ve been a hunter and recognize the value but it weighs on you. We spent a whole lot of time searching the woods near our cabin for mushrooms this last year. I enjoyed that a great deal.

Witches or wizards? Wizards with long gray beards and pipes filled with mysterious plants.

Ninjas or pirates? Pirates. Yar!

Mountains or beaches? Mountains when I was younger, beaches with drink service now that I’m older.Plotter or pantser? So far down the pantser path I can’t even respected a three bullet outline.

Pen and paper or computer/phone? Electronics are my thing. I find writing with a pen laborious but can type nearly as fast as I can think.

Standalone or series? Series all day long. If a character doesn’t have to live with her decisions, it’s just less interesting.

Book or ebook? eBook for sure. I’m just tired of paperbacks slapping me in the face when I fall asleep.

Hero or anti-hero? I love them both, although most of my anti-heroes turn out to just be well disguised heroes.

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

I get stuck on coming of age tropes. I love to read how a younger person’s decisions shape their life story and how that growth helps them overcome challenges previously overwhelming.

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

I’ve written YA Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Action Thriller, Gamelit/LitRPG and Science Fiction. Currently, I’m finishing up Book #20 in the Privateer Tales series, which I’ve been writing for 7+ years. I’m also working on a LitRPG – Wizard Prince. Both of these will be available roughly around April.

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

Junkyard Raiders – Junkyard Pirate #5.

Dumped on a backwater planet, heroic old vets will risk everything to take a stand against vicious alien invaders.

Link: https://fickledragon.com/junkyard-amazon

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!

Today, Star Wars is so overdone it’s hard to understand just how exciting it was when first released. I remember being completely blown away by the movie. I still draw inspiration from those feelings.

Robert Heinlein, Jerry Pournelle, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov were the authors I read as a kid.

More recent inspiration was the TV show Firefly. Seriously, why did they stop making that show?

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

I write on Wednesday and Thursday with the stated objective of writing 3, 1100 word scenes each day. The day does not end until that’s completed. If for some reason I don’t get my words in, I’m back at it on Friday. I don’t allow excuses from myself on this. This stems from a knowledge that if I keep this pace, I can produce four 24 chapter books each year.

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?

Get started earlier.

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

I’m not the best socialite in the world. https://fickledragon.com is my website. I blog sometimes. https://facebook.com/groups/JunkyardInsider is my reader’s group. https://facebook.com/JamieMcFarlaneAuthor is my author’s page. If you really want to know what’s shaking, though, I’m all about my email newsletter. Sign up for that at my website.

SALES ALERT!!

Sales alert!!

The first 3 books of the completed Light of Darkness series by Catrin Russell are on sale between the 17th and the 21st of April!

The series is perfect for readers who enjoy visceral, gripping high & epic fantasy tales with dark undertones and romance!

As humans engage in a sweeping war against demonkind, a Priestess of the Light is forced to choose between heart and duty.

Fate, prophecies, and an impossible love will blur the very line between good and evil.

The Power of Conviction, FREE (Amazon worldwide): books2read.com/ThePowerOfConviction

The Path of Salvation, $0.99 (UK/US only): books2read.com/ThePathOfSalvation

The Resurgence of Light, $1.99 (UK/US only): books2read.com/TheResurgenceOfLight

Link to the entire series: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08TQJNT3Y

Author Interview: Cami Murdock Jensen

Check out this author spotlight for Cami Murdock Jensen!

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!

Cami Murdock Jensen grew up in Spanish Fork, Utah, fostering two passions: science and the fine arts. As a senior in high school, she won the Sterling Scholar in science and cloned DNA to compete on the state level. One year later, she wrote the score for her first children’s musical, “Robin Hood: Tales of Ye Merry Wood”, which she later published. She has since dedicated years to teaching, writing, composing, and directing, as well as studying the genetic defect that runs in her family. Cami has six amazing children who have battled leagues of demons and a husband who is a much better hero than any prince.

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? Spring. It’s warm, but there aren’t any bugs yet. Plus, the blossoms are gorgeous!

Cat or dog? Hmm. I think I’m more about the personality of the animal. I do gravitate toward cats, though. As is evidenced by my books’ sciftans, Grimmal and Lumi.

Tea or coffee? I’m a water girl. Water with lemon. I sing a bit, so I’ll do a ginger tea with honey and lemon when I’m sounding scratchy.

Morning or evening? I like evenings, but ironically, my best working hours are in the morning;

Library or museums? Ooo. Tough one. Both. Love books, but I love art and science, too.

Hunter or gatherer? Gatherer, but I stop short of hording.

Witches or wizards? Wizards! Male, female, and magical creature wizards!

Ninjas or pirates? Ninjas. I admit it. My kids got me hooked on anime.

Mountains or beaches? Mountains. Utah mountains are glorious. Besides, I’m scared of sharks.

Plotter or pantser? Pantser – I love creating as I go. I rough out my stories on walks with my daughter or while I’m doing housework. But I really like letting the story take me along with it.

Pen and paper or computer/phone? Computer. My handwriting gets sloppy after a few minutes.

Standalone or series? They both have pros and cons. Standalone satisfies my love for a fast read, but series give ample time for seriously deep character development.

Book or ebook? Personally, I love hardback books. But most of our sales are ebooks. Old fashioned meets new-fangled.

Hero or anti-hero? Hero all the way. I hate tragedies. I appreciate an anti-hero, but it just isn’t my style. 

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

YA fantasy is a given, but I also like mysteries. Fantasy with a mystery will catch and hold me to the bitter end. I have to know how it ends. I often guess the outcome, but I’m thrilled when I don’t.

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

YA Fantasy Adventures that are clean, fast-paced and have themes and values for today’s teens. Currently, I’m finishing the 5th book in my first Arch Mage series and looking to start a new series this year.

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

Arch Mage Agnes Ann Cavanaugh, the only wizard to be born on our planet since magic was banned thousands of years ago, travels to the mystical planet of Fourth Earth. There, she works with her friend, the siren king, Rein, to unite the warring tribes of Fourth Earth and accomplish the fourth task foreseen in her prophecy. The task proves harder than she thought. With desperate shortages of magic and territory, the local tribes are more interested in their own survival than her prophecy. But if she can’t unite the tribes, it will open the gate for the true threat. A murderous, overpowered genie bent on enslaving the universe. Fourth Earth: A YA Fantasy Adventure to the planet of Mythical Creatures – book 4 in the Arch Mage Series.

https://amzn.to/3EULIbo

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!

Mostly my kids, kids I teach, and kids I know. I frequently write books to address problems they are struggling with. In addition, everything I see may find a moment in my character’s lives. Like the big tree with pink blossoms that grows on my mom’s house. Or the dream I had about a supernatural forest that uses emotion to lure in its prey.

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

I like to crawl out of bed, let my dogs out, grab a quick breakfast and type in my bathrobe until my brain won’t think anymore. Then I start my day around noon or one.

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?

Go to a writer’s conference. Learn what works, what sells, and how to avoid intellectually pompous wordiness. Then, just do it! Have fun putting your creative ideas into a complete story.

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

https://www.facebook.com/CamiMurdockJensen

https://www.instagram.com/camimurdockjensen/

https://twitter.com/CamiMJensen

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19234046.Cami_Murdock_Jensen

http://camimurdockjensen.com/

https://www.amazon.com/Cami-Murdock-Jensen/e/B07SHJLWJ7

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/cami-murdock-jensen

https://sendfox.com/CamiMurdockJensen

https://www.facebook.com/groups/601908053680219

Book Review: God King Rising

📚 Review time! 📚

📚 God King Rising by Jeffrey L Kohanek

📚 My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

And what a thrilling start to a fantastic series it is!

I’m just going to say it: Hats off!! Because, people – Kohanek does it again!

Following the events of Fate of Wizardoms, God King Rising takes off running, grabs you by the throat, and hauls you through battles, intrigue, magic and more, without ever letting go! Trust me when I say, you are in for a daring ride, full of action, twists and turns, whether you like it or not!

The descriptions are just right, vivid without being distracting, the prose is on point, and the world-building is fabulous. The characters are relatable, distinctly different from each other, and already established ones (from Fate of Wizardoms) team up with new participants on what looks to become another quest to save the world!

With its perfect mix of humour, romance, action, and magic, Fall of Wizardoms has something for everyone. I wholeheartedly recommend it!

Note 1: Although Fall of Wizardoms works as a new entry point into this world by Kohanek, I believe one gets the best experience by first reading Fate of Wizardoms.

Note 2: As this was an audiobook, I will also point out that the narrator Travis Baldree does an absolutely stunning job. My mind was readily blown listening to this volume!

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