Catrin Russell

🖤 Write, read, review, repeat 🖤

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Author Interview: Merri Halma

Check out this author spotlight for fantasy writer Merri Halma!

You can find all the links for where to find her 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!

Thank you for having me. I’m Merri Halma. I’m originally from Central Washington State.  I now reside in the Treasure Valley in Idaho with my husband and son. I’ve been a writer since I was eleven years old. I write fantasy with metaphysical visionary elements. I have four novels out in the Indigo Travelers world and a paranormal/romance called The Haunting of Powell Hall.

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 spring and summer because the days are warm. I rather be warm than freezing in the snow and ice of winter.

Cat or dog?
Cat, most definitely. When I was a kid, we had dogs. I showed them in 4-H and AKC. After I grew up, I fell in love with cats because they are more independent and love on me in a way that dogs don’t.  Though, I miss walking an animal. My son tried to lease train one of our cats when we first adopted him. But he was too old. He just flopped down in the street and wouldn’t move any further. We were disappointed. When I think about it, it is quite funny. I should have taken a photo of that.

Library or museums?
I like both. I could spend hours in each place because they both inspire me to dream. Museums house art, history and I can learn about civilizations that thrived eons ago. I can also learn about artists that might not have gotten the respect and admiration of their time, like Van Gogh. I can do the same in a library. In addition, I can sit in a study room or at a table and write or roam the floors looking at books and researching in subject possible. Both are places to inspire dreams and stories.

Witches or wizards?
I would say it is a tossup. Though, I do lean towards Wizards because they encompass so many possibilities, like education, wisdom and knowledge of ancient paths or civilizations. Though, witches have the same possibilities, it is just their true stories have been tainted with undermining the wisdom of the divine feminine. Witches or crones used to be the women in the village or tribe that kept the knowledge and stories of how to heal, travel between worlds and which herbs and plants to use for healing. As civilizations matured and grew more male centered, the knowledge of wise woman became feared. There needs to be a balance – Witches and wizards can be either gender.  

Mountains or beaches?
I love mountains because of the beauty of the majesty of them rising above the flat lands. Though, I also love beaches, even though I haven’t been to a true beach since I was five years old.  I love being by bodies of water, even if it is man made.

Plotter or pantser?
I’m a mix of the two. Though, I lean towards panser. I usually have a rough idea of what I want to happen, and get started on it, then pause, do more research and go back to write more.

Pen and paper or computer/phone?
I like to use the computer to write. I store my manuscripts on USB drives. My husband complains that I have too many of them, but I do label each one.

Standalone or series?
I have one standalone book, Haunting of Powell Hall and one series that will have four books in the main series (The Indigo Travelers) and three companion novels.  I have one companion novel (Lynx on Fire) and I’m working on the second companion novel.

Book or ebook?
I prefer to read books. It is hard to be reading on an e-reader tablet. I like flipping paper pages, too.

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

I usually go to the fantasy /science fiction genre. I love dragons, comedy, like Terry Pratchett, Discworld, and series like Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson. Though, almost any book with a dragon and other magical beings are good, too.

4. What do you write?

I write Fantasy with metaphysical/visionary elements in it. My target audience is middle grade/YA.

Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!

I’m currently working on the second companion book in the Indigo Traveler world. It’s called Ian Temple and the Search for the Wisdom Trees. It centres around Ian Temple, who hears the call of the trees, but wherever he goes, he cannot find them. Then a strange cat shows up in his backyard and tells him he is an Indigo teen, but Ian doesn’t understand. The strange cat offers to introduce him to others who are indigos, too, that can help him. Meanwhile, the shadow people in Arbor are destroying the Banyan Trees. Ian sees the shadow people out of the corner of his eyes. One tells him not to pursue looking for the Wisdom Tree Temple, but if he does he will die.  But the trees need him.  I don’t have a release date, yet.

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

My latest link is Lynx on Fire, An Indigo Travelers Companion Novel.

Lynx stares into the bonfire flames, seeing a young werecub being bullied by his oldest brother. Later, he dreams of that cub being burned alive and grizzly bear dancing around the flames, eager to see the cub punished for being a demon cat without a soul. Lynx tries to safe the cub, but whenever he gets close, he sees himself on flames, whimpering, “I’m not a demon cat.”  Lynx, a shapeshifter who prefers to look like a Main Coon cat, doesn’t know his true shape since he doesn’t remember his world of origin. A bear who thinks he’s a god seeks to give Lynx the soul he is missing. Lynx ends up in world of werecats and more bear gods. He learns he must go through an initiation of fire to become his true self. Will he become the demon others believe him to be? Or will he harness the flames to become something else?

https://amzn.to/39IrXrz

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 first character originally was based on my son when he was younger. As I wrote and developed Xander Veh, he took on a life of his own. Though, there is likely more a part of myself in each of my characters, with a few exceptions.

 The book I am currently writing started with one line from the Moody Blues Tuesday Afternoon: “The Trees are calling (or drawing me near) to me. I got to find out why.” I wanted to know why the trees are calling to the person in the ballad. 

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

I’m usually up early- 6:00 am or earlier- feed my two cats, do some other necessary things and fix myself breakfast and then sit down to read that morning Doonesbury strip and scan Facebook and scan the news headlines, than log off those sites and start writing. I’m trying to spend about two or more hours writing and thinking about what I’m doing. Then I do household chores and run errands before trying to figure out dinner for the evening.

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

Read those Writer’s Digests your dad ordered for you when you were a teen. Try harder. Embrace your desire to write and be published and see it as possible. Ignore those who say you cannot do it or make money at writing.

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

https://www.facebook.com/authormerrihalma

https://twitter.com/MerriHalma

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/merri-halma

https://www.instagram.com/merrihalma/

https://amzn.to/3l8nS28

Monday update!

🌸 March has been nice and (relatively) warm so far, but the kids have been ill again and that never helps productivity levels 😬

🌸 But I’ve managed to proofread book 4. The only thing left to finish is the blurb… Oh, the bane of my life, up there with marketing and elevator pitches 😂

🌸 But ahwell, every little thing is a success in itself 🖤

Author Interview: Anne C. Miles

Check out this author spotlight for fantasy writer Anne C. Miles!

You can find all the links for where to find her 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 Anne C. Miles and I wrote a book called Sorrowfish. I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid, but then realized that meant I would have to go to space, and I have an irrational fear of being sucked into space. So I studied languages and design instead. I have two grown children and 4 grandchildren who I spoil whenever possible. I play violin (badly) whenever possible. I started learning so I could write my books.

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 because that is when the magic happens.
Cat or dog? Dog. Dogs are angels sent by God to help us through this world.
Tea or coffee? Coffee. In a vat.
Library or museums? Library because pictures and objects tell stories but not complete stories. We need words to translate those stories into the hearts of those who would find them.
Mountains or beaches? Beaches. I love the mountains but nothing beats the ocean.
Plotter or pantser? Pantser. No way am I smart enough to come up with the story on my own. I must be guided.

3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?
The Hero’s Journey, which is trite, but it is what I like. 

4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!
I write Fantasy. I am also finishing a ghost writing project, a memoir. The memoir is the life of the man who founded Marion Medical Mission. They build over 3000 wells a year in Africa with the help of the villagers, who maintain them after the mission leaves. It’s a fascinating story. I’m concurrently writing book 2 of my fantasy series, the Call of the Lorica.

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 called Sorrowfish. It just came out on audio and I also published a Spanish version recently. It’s a portal fantasy about a bard, a wizard and a college student from Kentucky. The magic system is musical and there is also a dragon. You can learn more about it at www.sorrowfish.com It won Best Fantasy in the Indies Today Awards in 2019.

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 had this idea about songs in my head. I realized, many times they actually pertained to what was going on in my life whenever I heard them. I named the source of the songs “Cosmic DJ.” Eventually I developed the idea out and The Call of the Lorica is the result.  My children and my (now deceased) dog also inspire me. My dog was an old soul and very wise and playful. He was a shih tzu and I miss him terribly.

7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!
I try to write at least 500 words per day. I still have a day job, so sometimes it isn’t possible, but that is my goal.

8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to become an author, what would it be?
Be patient. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!
My blog is  www.annecmiles.com
The book site is www.sorrowfish.com
My Facebook Page is https://www.facebook.com/loricaAuthor
My Instagram is https://www.instagram.com/loricaauthor/

3 books, 2 offers!

🔥 NEW RELEASE – LIMITED OFFER 🔥

The Path of Salvation, the 2nd book of The Light of Darkness, is now released!

Purchase it now, while on a week-long limited offer for only $2.99!

Find it here: https://buff.ly/3podVk8

The Power of Conviction, the 1st book in the series, is also on offer during this time, available for $0.99!

Check it out here: https://buff.ly/2LUjOXC 🖤

The Light of Darkness is perfect for readers who enjoy visceral, gripping epic fantasy tales with dark undertones.

But beware! The series is intended for a mature audience, containing sensitive subjects including violence, torture, consequences of sexual abuse, emotional scars, mature language, and steamy scenes 🔥

For those new to the series, here is the blurb for The Power of Conviction (book 1):⠀

Darkness creeps across the Midlands. Only the Priesthood can stand against its terrifying presence.

Trained in the arts of the Light, the priests tread a bloodied path through the scores of demons, seeking to rid the world of their unholy presence. The fight against demonkind grows increasingly perilous, threatening the Priesthood’s very survival.

Priestess Anaya stands resolute in her conviction. Despite the dangers she must endure, her faith in the Goddess and Her divine supremacy remains steadfast. She intends to follow the commands of her High Priest, no matter how gruesome.

Then comes a day when all her beliefs are challenged.

A fateful meeting with the elusive demon, Samael, opens the doors to doubt. Anaya begins to question the very foundation of the Priesthood and the preachings of the Goddess.

Could they be wrong about demonkind? Is her purpose in life truly for naught?

And don’t forget! Book 3 is available for preorder! The Resurgence of Light (The Light of Darkness, # 3) releases on the 7th of April.

Find it here: https://buff.ly/3pudZhW Pst!

The two prequels – Righteous Dawn (origin short story) and The Redeemed (novella) – are FREE to download if you sign up to my newsletter! ✉️

Check them out here: https://buff.ly/2Lc7GQS Lots of love, and stay safe 😘❤️

Author Interview: William David Ellis

Check out this author spotlight for fantasy writer William David Ellis!

You can find all the links for where to find him 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!

William David Ellis is an award-winning author.  Other than that, he is the son of an English teacher, the husband of an English teacher, and the father of an English teacher. In spite of them, he occasionally punctuates.  He has written fantasy novels, and short stories. He writes in East Texas dialect (which covers a multitude of grammatical short comings!)

Novels:

  • Dragons and Romans 
  • The Harry Ferguson Chronicles:
    #1 The Princess Who Forgot She Was Beautiful
    #2  Dances With My Dragon
    #3 Kisses of My Enemy (which reached the high mark of being ranked #1 in Christian Fantasy on Amazon)
    #4 Rivals the fourth book and latest in the Harry Ferguson Chronicles
  • Sherlock Holmes series:
    #1 Angels Saints and Sinners the Conversion of Sherlock Holmes.
    #2 Sherlock Holmes The Long Game

David  has a wife and six adult children, two master’s degrees and a doctorate. He raises honeybees, and gathers a lot of his stories from a small café where he just sits and listens and laughs. He was a third grader when he wrote his first novel. It was three hand written pages. It didn’t sell well. He writes because he loves words and stories, when he discovered people loved his story telling, he took the risk and started writing to publish.

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? Dog but not all dogs, if they can be attached to a mop handle and mistaken for the end you stick in a bucket, they do not qualify as dogs. We own a German Shepherd, and after you have earned one of those dogs affection nothing compares. However a big black cat with definite panther genes adopted us three years ago. The dog had learned via nose scars to respect her
Library or museums? Museums I love history and artifacts
Hunter or gatherer? Gatherer, I used to own a blackberry U Pick farm and I still raise honey bees.
Plotter or pantser? Panster until I take a wrong turn then I have to back up switch to the left side of my brain and plot my way home.
Pen and paper or computer/phone?  Years ago I started with pen and paper, and would type the manuscript afterwards, I have learned, and it was a difficult process to type and think at the same time. I use my computer exclusively now.
Standalone or series? Every author starts with a stand alone, then proceeds to a series, and eventually a couple of series. Sometimes the story wont end with a single novel and you have to write to see what happens.
Book or ebook? Ebook the world changed and we have to adapt.

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

One with an intriguing cover that is unique, I have seen enough abs and buxom lasses to last a stinking life time.

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

I write rural fantasy and sherlock Holmes fiction. I am writing my third Holmes novel and my fifth rural fantasy. The rural fantasy is seated in East Texas where I live, and was born in a local café as I listened and laughed at the stories the old codgers told. My latest W.I.P.s are about half way done. I am stalling on the rural fantasy, because it is probably going to be the last in the series, and I Hate to let them go.

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

Harry Ferguson has a problem. Dragons have blown into his sleepy East Texas town.  And it’s all his fault.  a spellbinding tale full of twists, tears and laughter

Now here’s what happened…

 Harry, along with the love of his life princess Sarah,  is thrown through time, and spat out a thousand years into the future. He lands in a small town in rural Texas. But that’s just the beginning of his troubles. Not only are Harry and Sarah far from when they were, Harry is now an old man. Perhaps even worse, Sarah has become a six-year-old girl with no memory of their past and the dragon that has vowed to kill Harry has followed them down through time and wants Sarah as his bride.

One thing is for certain, Moab, Texas will never be the same again.

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 read so many authors, but I really enjoy Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. I like the protagonist vulnerability. I am also a fan of Shards of honor, by Lois Bujold first in The Miles Vorkosigan series. I don’t listen to music while I write, it hinders my concentration so no help there, ahh, hmm films, I love old Sherlock Holmes movies.

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

Haha.. routine what is this thing you call routine?  I get my daily chores done and then my coffee made and then I read over what I wrote the day before. I ask myself what needs to happen next?, what could happen next?, and what twists can I play with? Then I check my word count and start writing, the word count is an important motivator for me. I like to have 2k days, I usually don’t, because I have a life and can’t write all day long. But when I am snowed in like I am at the moment I can get close to a 3k day,  now I am not talking about a clean manuscript thoroughly edited, hardly. That is rough draft, terrible punctuate and lots of plot holes, but it is forward motion.

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

Publish on Amazon in 2007.

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

https://www.amazon.com/William-David-Ellis/e/B07BVG8S8K/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

https://williamdavidellisauthor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/William-David-Ellis-Author-109138023953127/

NEW RELEASE – The Path of Salvation!

🔥 NEW RELEASE – LIMITED OFFER 🔥

The Path of Salvation, the 2nd book of The Light of Darkness, is now released! Purchase it now, while on a week-long limited offer for only $2.99!

Find it here: https://buff.ly/3podVk8

The Power of Conviction (Book 1), is also on offer during this time, available for $0.99!

Check it out here: https://buff.ly/2LUjOXC⠀

The Light of Darkness is perfect for readers who enjoy visceral, gripping epic fantasy tales with dark undertones.

But beware! The series is intended for a mature audience, containing sensitive subjects including violence, torture, consequences of sexual abuse, emotional scars, mature language, and steamy scenes 🔥

Blurb for The Path of Salvation (Warning! Spoilers!):

The stench of death in the interrogation cave no longer disturbs the High Priest. Nor do the horrific screams of the demons within.

He drives his priests with fanatic fervour. They gather more prisoners for his demonic experiments and slaughter any demon that gets in their path. Not even young demon children can escape his righteous wrath.

As her beloved Temple village transforms into an army training camp, Anaya finds herself increasingly torn. Especially since her past encounter with the elusive demon Samael has brought unexpected consequences.

She seeks a course to deliverance, to cleanse her blood-stained soul.

Back among his brethren, Protector Prime Samael fights his own battles. Breaking the rules and acting on instinct has cost him dearly. A primordial bond now sings in his veins, and he fights against its unyielding call.

Torn in between resentment, desire and need, he must pave his own path, in pain, suffering and sorrow.

Past horrors return to haunt the present. Ancient prophecies are brought to life. In the centre of it all, two paths forged, one of darkness, another of light.

Where will the Goddess lead them?

Also:

Book 3, The Resurgence of Light, is available for preorder!

Find it here: https://buff.ly/3pudZhW

The 2 prequels – Righteous Dawn (origin short story) and The Redeemed (novella) – are FREE to download if you sign up to my newsletter!

Find them here: https://buff.ly/2Lc7GQS

March is here!

🌸 March is here!! That means it’s officially spring, right? 😅

🌸 Sure, we’re still buried in snow here in northern Sweden, but at least the outdoor temperature is a little more manageable 🤣 That’s enough for me 😁

🌸 So, what about progress on my books? Well, lately it’s been slow but steady wins the race 🙈 Almost proofread book 4, and I’m nearly 2/3 through writing book 5 (55k words). Just gotta keep writing a bit each day and I’ll get there… eventually 😂

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