Apr 232014
 

Just a tee-hee  moment.

As I’m working on the new look for West of Mars, I’m doing some surfing and checking out  my own books at the various retailers. I was in the Kobo store when I noticed that Trevor’s Song is listed as both fiction and non-fiction, at least in terms of in-store rankings (and that it’s ranked higher in non-fiction).

It’s a flattering thing, really, that people think Trevor Wolff is a real character. After all, as a writer, that’s my aim: to create characters who live and breathe.

Somehow, though, I never meant it to be taken quite like this.

 

Apr 212014
 

Ask and my readers come through! Of course, as always, there are openings… the calendar isn’t full quite yet, so if you’ve got a new release, stop on in for your chance in the spotlight.

Today, we’ve got Haley Whitehall, who’s written a historical romance set in one of my favorite time periods (yes, I’m serious and no, I don’t know why): the Civil War.

Soldier-in-Her-Lap-Cover

You’d think that’d make a song hard to pick, right? Well… wrong! Check it:

 

I’d like to thank Susan for letting me step into the spotlight. I’ve never done a one-question interview before and I feared it would be a difficult question. Thankfully it wasn’t! I think of my new historical romance release Soldier in Her Lap as the Civil War era version of Cinderella. The first song I thought of was one connected to Cinderella: A Twist in Time – I Still Believe – by Hayden Panettiere from Cinderella 3.

 

The steamy romance in Soldier in Her Lap is far from Disney rated, but Sophia Carpenter’s hard life, strong-will, and rose-colored glasses make the book Disney worthy. After her mother dies Sophia is left running the Georgia dirt farm by herself while her papa drowns himself in a whiskey bottle. Her papa chased off all the men who tried to call on her sentencing her to a lonely life of chores. Most of the men in town enlisted in the army once the War Between the States broke out making it nearly impossible for Sophia find a husband. Then one night Lucas comes to her rescue.

 

Sophia’s papa tries to keep her and the handsome Confederate soldier apart. However, Lucas has promised to take Sophia away from her life of drudgery and she believes in their destiny together. Through many trials Sophia does not give up on love.

 

While Lucas may not be the Prince Charming she expected, he is determined on earning her heart and the courageous suit of armor she imagined he wore.

 

Sounds super, huh? I totally want to read this!

 

Here’s the back cover copy:

 Trapped by her alcoholic, abusive father, Sophia Carpenter longs to escape her life of drudgery on her father’s dirt farm in Clark Springs, Georgia. Making matters worse, her father’s scared off every man who tried to call on her. She longs for freedom, but with the Civil War raging, even fewer men are available to fulfill her dreams—unless a soldier landed in her lap.

 

Conscripted into a war he never wanted to fight, Lucas Grady is tired of battle and refuses to lay his life down for a lost cause. After a musket ball tears through his leg, he deserts from the ambulance wagon rather than risk a field surgeon’s saw. He barely makes it to Sophia’s farm before collapsing.

 

The wounded soldier’s arrival seems like a dream come true, but first she must save him from his injuries—and her father. As forbidden attraction blooms between them, they will have to struggle to survive. Can their love overcome so many obstacles or will they become another casualty of the War Between the States?

 

Buy Soldier in Her Lap

Decadent Publishing

Amazon

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble

Smashwords

ARe

 

Haley loves to connect with readers. You can find her here:

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Apr 142014
 

People sometimes ask me what’s the purpose of a writer’s group in today’s world. Why not connect online and be done with it all?

Because there’s magic when you can connect in person and realize the person you’ve gotten to know online is so much more interesting in person.

Blood and Iron cover

Such it is with my buddy Jon Sprunk, who is a true writer pro and a super dude. And he’s got a new book out, as well. Which means he’s taking a turn in the spotlight.

Jon, what song makes you think of your book?

Answer: “Revelations” by Iron Maiden. I’m a child of the 80′s metal wave. This song in particular evokes the majesty and mystery that I tried to put into every line of my new epic fantasy, “Blood and Iron.” But, of course, I’m not writing just for the metal crowd. This new series is about the clash between rival cultures, the friction between social strata, and the real price of liberty. You won’t elves or unicorns within its pages, but you will find magic, the kind of elemental sorcery that can destroy as well as create. I hope you’ll give it a try.

 

Wait. He said IRON MAIDEN??? Duuuuuuude. I told you he was cool, didn’t I?

Now, after all that, you totally need to know what Blood and Iron is about.

This action-heavy EPIC FANTASY SERIES OPENER is like a sword-and-sorcery Spartacus set in a richly-imagined world.

It starts with a shipwreck following a magical storm at sea. Horace, a soldier from the west, had joined the Great Crusade against the heathens of Akeshia after the deaths of his wife and son from plague. When he washes ashore, he finds himself at the mercy of the very people he was sent to kill, who speak a language and have a culture and customs he doesn’t even begin to understand.

Not long after, Horace is pressed into service as a house slave. But this doesn’t last. The Akeshians discover that Horace was a latent sorcerer, and he is catapulted from the chains of a slave to the halls of power in the queen’s court. Together with Jirom, an ex-mercenary and gladiator, and Alyra, a spy in the court, he will seek a path to free himself and the empire’s caste of slaves from a system where every man and woman must pay the price of blood or iron. Before the end, Horace will have paid dearly in both.

 

Jon’s gotten some good reviews on this already, especially about his world-building, and especially from some of the industry’s big names in reviews. How can you ignore that??? You can’t, I know, so here are some buy links:

Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Books-A-Million
Indie Bound

Get to know Jon. You’ll be glad you did.

Jon’s website
Jon’s facebook fan page
Jon’s twitter

Apr 122014
 

I can hear you. “Come ON, Susan. It’s April. If I look at when you published your other books the past couple of years, it’s about the time for your annual birthday book release. So where is it???”

It’s coming. Just a delay because we’re going to put new covers on Demo Tapes 1 and 2 and bring you Demo Tapes 5. They’re all being professionally formatted, too, so they’ll look better on your readers.

Print versions will follow at some point. I’m not sure when.

And I’m not sure when the special surprise will follow, either.

Truth is, not only have I asked a lot of my cover designer and my formatter, but I’ve been kind of unmotivated this year. I’m so focused on editing and other behind-the-scenes the work here at West of Mars that my own writing has fallen by the wayside. I’ve learned an invaluable lesson about my writing, and I’ll bring that to you in a longer, more thoughtful post that any of you are free to send to Passive Guy.

Hang tight. More Trevor and Mitchell is on the horizon, and I particularly like Demo Tapes 5. But then, I like them all. While DT1 is still my all-time favorite, it’s hard for me to choose the runners up. Go and weigh in with your favorites — both collection and outtake — in the comments. I’d love to hear what you have to say.

 

Apr 072014
 

There’s nothing like an old friend when it comes to one of life’s most comforting friends, and Maria Savva definitely fits the bill around here. Not only a fellow music lover, Maria and I share a love for many, many bands.

Remember a few weeks back, when I was impressed we had a three-peat author in the Featured New Book Spotlight? Maria puts that to shame — she’s here for her fifth time. I kid you not.

The new book is called Far Away in Time. Far Away In Time

Purty cover, huh?

So, Maria, what song makes you think of your book?

Echo Beach, by Martha and the Muffins

Although none of the stories were inspired by the song, when I finished writing the story ‘Far Away In Time’, I think I may have leaned more towards that title because it reminded me of the song by Martha and the Muffins. I’ve always loved that song, especially the intro, the saxophone, and the bit at the end ‘Far away in time’! It’s always conjured up a sense of nostalgia when I hear it.

When I realised that the title I’d chosen had a connection to the song, I noticed that one of the other stories had the word ‘Echoes’ in it and another had ‘Beach’. That gave me the idea to find out some more about the actual song and see if I could add a few links to the song throughout the book.

I looked on Wikipedia and found out some facts e.g. the names of the people who wrote the song, the name of the beach that possibly inspired the song etc. I then added a few bits to some of the stories.

For example, I have a character called Martha in the story ‘A Sign’, and many of the other characters in the book are named after the people who wrote the song or sang it at some stage e.g. Toyah.

I also have a character whose job is an ‘office clerk’ in ‘Echoes of her Dreams’, just like the person the song was written about.

When you read the book, perhaps you’ll spot some of the other links! :)

Need a summary?

Our lives are a series of stories, and we are the characters with the starring roles. The memories, regrets, secrets, and struggles that fill these pages are at once unique and relatable. These stories belong to us all.

Eight unforgettable tales reaching out to a place Far Away In Time…

Buy a copy — Amazon only, though.
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon FR
Amazon DE
Amazon IN
Amazon AU
Amazon BR
Amazon IT
Amazon ES
Amazon MX
Amazon JP
Amazon CA

Want a gander at the book trailer? Sure you do!

Connect with Maria:
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