Final Day of the Tour Guest–KJ Hawkins!

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KJ Hawkins

Today is the last day of the Magic of Solstice Fantasy Writers’ Blog Tour! I’ve saved the best for last and would like to welcome KJ Hawkins to my blog today.

Tell us about yourself. Where you’re from, etc.?
Hello everyone! It is a pleasure to be here. Tell you a bit about myself? Hmmm…well first off KJ Hawkins is my pen name. I was originally going to write under my true name, but decided I wanted to separate myself from my writing. I am also a graphic designer and want to keep my business self away from my creative self, if that makes any sense.

Besides being an avid reader and fantasy lover I am a normal 24 year old woman. I have two cats, and two dogs that preoccupy my time. They are my babies so I spend a lot of my time taking care of them. I could probably drone on and on about boring things about myself. However I think the most interesting thing about me is my writing and the worlds I have and will create. If you want to get to know me more you will have to pick up one of my stories/books and join me on the ride to discovery.

What is your most recent project?
This last April my short story Trisha’s Escape was published in DKC’s anthology The Magical Muse: A Collection of Fantasy Stories. This short story is an introductory piece to my first novel in my Half-Blood Academy Series. There is going to be a total of nine short stories that will be gathered officially into an anthology in the near feature. As for the book series I have yet to figure out how many novels will make up the series, however The Seeker’s Core is going to be the first in the series. I hope to publish it in 2016.

Tell us a little bit about it.
Trisha Solveig lives in Nazi Germany and finds herself on the road to a concentration camp. She thinks facing imprisonment is going to be hard wait till she faces off against Sergeant Smith.

When demons from the pit rule the camp and a demigod is thrown into the mist. She will have to find a way out and hopefully be able to handle the truth of her heritage in the process.

Did you choose writing or did writing choose you?
I would have to say that my heart chose writing.

Welcome fantasy author Cheri Schmidt!

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Cheri Schmidt

Today, I’d like to welcome fellow fantasy writer Cheri Schmidt! Let’s learn a little more about Cheri.

Cheri is the bestselling author of Fateful. Think “The Vampire Diaries meets Jane Austen.” Fateful is followed by Fractured, Forever, and The Order of Curse-Bound Knights. And she has one other book in another series out entitled, Fair Maiden.

Her Fateful Series has been a bestseller ever since she published it, and well over a 150 thousand copies have been downloaded worldwide.

Cheri will say that her head is a very crowded place, and she wishes she could write faster. She will also tell you that if you do not like glittering fairies, hot vampires with British accents, knights in shining armor, the dashing Mr. Darcy, girly-girls who wear skirts, modern-day vigilantes, or large amounts of snogging, then perhaps her stories are not for you.

Currently she is working on The Trapping Club, a sequel to Fair Maiden, a contemporary/spy romance series, and a Steampunk series.

Cheri’s Books:
01Fateful-cheri- 2500

The Order of Curse-Bound Knights (book 4 in the Fateful Series)
Blurb:
A dying knight, the infamous Sir Maximilian…
A curse saves him. That curse makes him even more dangerous…and he likes it. To him, a new life as a vampire is an appealing thing.
The man who turned him into this great, fearsome warrior tasks him to watch over and protect his mortal daughter, Nadia. But the beautiful Nadia puts Max’s skills as a knight to the test, captures his heart, and bewitches him with eyes of emerald green. A power more potent than any magical curse.
Inspired by ballads of Robin Hood, Nadia is a bit too rebellious for her own good. And with a kind heart, she is much too trusting and forgiving for Max’s peace of mind, because those attributes get her into a great deal of peril. Deadly creatures surround her—some of them are there to protect her and some want to lure her into a trap—and she has no idea…
But can a knight in shining armor heal a lady’s heart when her love for the legend of Robin Hood is used against her?

Kindle Link: http://www.amazon.com/Order-Curse-Bound-Knights-Fateful-Vampire-ebook/dp/B00WTNE5ZC/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430591196&sr=1-7&keywords=cheri+schmidt

Fateful, book one in the Fateful Series, is available for Free download and Whispersynced. This means you can pick up Fateful for free for Kindle and then get the audiobook for only $1.99!!!
Blurb:
For Danielle Darcey, when the sun sets in London the magic begins, but just as that magic begins, Danielle’s fairytale romance ends…because the hero of her story is a vampire.

Welcome Fantasy Author RJ Mirabal!

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It’s my privilege to welcome RJ Mirabal today as part of the Magic of Solstice Fantasy Writers’ Blog Tour! Let’s learn more about RJ.

RJ Mirabal

Q:Did you choose writing or did writing choose you?
A: I don’t know who choose whom, but from my earliest memories I have loved stories. And once I realized the difference between realism and speculative stories, it was the “weird” ones that had me hooked, first as a reader and then in my own childish creations. By junior high, I wrote a few little science fiction, adventure, and fantasy stories. So it went from there. Only the need to have to make a living in my adulthood kept me from a serious focus on writing, though I did try hard in my twenties, but the market was hard to break into at that time. Retirement from teaching has finally allowed me the freedom to write.

Q: What do you find so appealing about writing fantasy?
A: I can create my own world and do all the research “between the ears.” Library research was always like pulling teeth without anesthetic for me, though I still do some in terms of the more realistic parts of my stories, but now the Internet makes it easier.

Q: What authors make you want to be a better writer?
A: Isaac Asimov, JRR Tolkien, Tony Hillerman, Rudolfo Anaya, Agatha Christie, William Shakespeare, Arthur C. Clark, Edgar Allan Poe, Charlotte Bronte…. I could go on and on.

Q: Do you have any traditional fantasy tropes that you like to use? What inspires your world building?
A: I have included the hero, the dark lord, world building, created races, good vs. evil, the quest, and magic into my published book as well its sequels, but I’ve tweaked them quite a bit to make them my own.

My hero is an apathetic alcoholic, the “dark lord(s)” are actually less-than-impressive leaders of a not totally evil race, the quest is fairly standard, but magic is downplayed as a power of limited scope. My races are all a little odd and rustic, but the world I have built is my pride and joy.

I have used an alternative New Mexico as a high desert setting elevated to mythic heights—literally. The Medieval European type setting has been done to death. Since I grew up in New Mexico and always found it to be a unique and fascinating place, it only seemed right to make it a major part of my fantasy stories.

Magic of Solstice Fantasy Writers’ Blog Tour-Welcome Jan Marie!

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Jan Marie

Our Magic of Solstice Tour continues with Jan Marie! Let’s learn more about his wonderful writer.

Q: Tell us about yourself. Where you’re from, etc.?
A: I’m a mom, writer, and lover of books.

Q: What is your most recent project? Tell us a little bit about it.
A: Currently working on Book 2 of Angelic Confessions. Its been a bit difficult as my twins are in their terrible two’s. Finding time to write is like finding a needle in a haystack. I also freelance write as a book reviewer Currently reading Exiles Redemption by Lee Dunning.

Q: Did you choose writing or did writing choose you?
A: I think writing chose me. I was very shy growing. I was the quite one. I found out I could talk without saying a word with writing.

Q: What do you find so appealing about writing fantasy?
A: In the world of fantasy anything can happen.

Q: What authors make you want to be a better writer?
A: I can not remember them all! I learn something from every author I read that makes me want to work harder on my craft. Indie author Renee Scattergood comes to mind. I like her writing style and her sense of business. She inspires me.

Q: Do you have any traditional fantasy tropes that you like to use?
A: No, I go against them. I try I know I fail sometimes and use them.

Q: Do you have any weird writing rituals?
A: Doing dishes. Oddly I do my best writing while doing dishes.

Q: What inspires your world building?
A: Art does. I love to look at fantasy art. It sparks my mind.

Bio:
Jan Marie is an established online article writer. Mostly self trained with only attending one Rock Valley College writing course she first broke into the comic book writing scene where she worked with new independent companies as head script writer. She then moved into freelance writing having been published by various online publishers and also was featured in FATE magazine. She also hosts her own Review business blog site Authors and Angels where she host reviews and interviews of fellow indie authors. She now has written her first fantasy romance novella “Angelic Confessions.”

Jan Marie Book
Angelic Confessions
“In a world where the Father created all I was born…an angel. A new breed I was meant to overthrow the children of heaven. To prevent this I was taken, and raised as Father’s own.

Introducing C. B. Mac Gillavry!

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pic C.B. Mac Gillavry

The awesome C.B. Mac Gillavry is here today to talk about all things fantasy. Please welcome C.B.!

Q: Tell us about yourself. Where you’re from, etc.?
A: I live in Europe, I love books and I live and breathe for books, when I’m not working.

Q: What is your most recent project? Tell us a little bit about it.
A: I’m currently editing a novel and a novelette and writing another novelette, all at the same time. Only because I don’t really have the time to look after all my projects properly. My writing means very much to me, it’s what keeps me grounded and sane, so I’ll just keep writing like this until I earn enough to quit my day job.

Q: Did you choose writing or did writing choose you?
A: The writing chose me from a very early age, like for so many of us. It’s always a matter of perseverance really.

Q: What do you find so appealing about writing fantasy?
A: It may sound corny, but it’s the magic. Most people would kill to have a magic wand or the power to change things in the blink of an eye. Well, fantasy gives me unlimited powers: I decide who gets to do magic and who doesn’t, I say what kind of magic and how it’s used and in the end it’s magical to me.

Q: What authors make you want to be a better writer?
A: At the moment I’m lucky enough to be in touch on a regular basis with excellent writers in the Indie scene and they all stimulate me so much, they all make me want to be a better writer. Some of them are on this very tour, and once again I feel honoured for the incredible chance to tour with them.

Q: Do you have any traditional fantasy tropes that you like to use?
A: My target is a young adult audience, so the Bildungsroman is a consequential choice. My main character is growing into adulthood, she has to understand how the world turns around and where she’s allowed to stand. And then there’s the love thing. I’m a huge romantic, I need the romantic love story and I honestly see romantic love stories where they probably don’t exist. Or maybe they do. Anyway, I smuggle first loves and new loves and mending broken hearts in my writings. Let’s face it, there is nothing like a broken heart to turn everything upside down in life!

Magic of Solstice Fantasy Writers’ Blog Tour-Debbie Manber Kupfer

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Debbie

Today, I’d like to welcome multi-talented author Debbie Manber Kupfer! Let’s learn more about Debbie.

1. Tell us about yourself. Where you’re from, etc.?
I grew up in London, lived in Israel and the East Coast of the US before moving to St. Louis about 16 years ago. I live with my husband, 2 kids and the real ruler of our household our kitty, Miri Billie Joe. When I’m not writing fiction I write puzzles for magazines.

2. What is your most recent project? Tell us a little bit about it.
I’ve just finished the first draft of P.A.W.S. 3 (currently called Maze of Shadows, but that might change). In it Miri visits Israel to try to discover the history hidden in the book she received in Argentum. We also go back in history to World War II Europe to the time when Max and Celia first escaped from the Nazis.

I’m also currently working with a local artist on a picture book, Adana the Earth Dragon, that all being well will be released in the fall of 2015.

3. Did you choose writing or did writing choose you?
Oh definitely it chose me! I’ve been writing ever since I was small – I even wrote a series of “books” while I was in school in exercise books. They were really silly, but back then of course I thought they were wonderful.

4. What do you find so appealing about writing fantasy?
The wonder of it. My characters can truly go anywhere and do anything when there’s magic involved.

5. What authors make you want to be a better writer?
Number one at the moment – Neil Gaiman. I adore his books and if mine could be even a fraction as good then I feel I’d have achieved something great.

6. Do you have any traditional fantasy tropes that you like to use?
Well not really as I write urban fantasy set in our world.

7. Do you have any weird writing rituals?
Just that I need gallons and gallons of hot tea with milk in order to get my brain moving. Oh, and I reward myself with a dark Hershey’s chocolate kiss if I reach my daily word count.

Bio:
Debbie Manber Kupfer grew up in London and lived in Israel, before somehow ended up in St. Louis, where she works as a puzzle constructor and writer. She lives with her husband, two children, and a very opinionated feline.

Magic of Solstice Fantasy Writers’ Blog Tour-Joshua Robertson!

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Joshua Robertson

Today I’d like to introduce you to dark fantasy all-star Joshua Robertson! Joshua, please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am originally from Kansas and I currently live in Alaska with my wife and children. I started writing snippets of fantasy and horror around the age of nine, had a collection of poetry and short stories by fifteen, and had completed my first fantasy novel at seventeen. Recently, I have published a couple of books and started my own small press, Crimson Edge Publishing Company.

What is your most recent project? Tell us a little bit about it.
I have recently published Melkorka in January 2015, the first book in the dark fantasy series, Thrice Nine Legends. I am extremely excited about this novel and have received some great reviews. I also published A Midwinter Sellsword in February 2015. Gladiators and Thieves comes out June 2015. I have several WIPs, including the sequel to Melkorka, titled Dyndaer. I am also co-writing another novel within Thrice Nine Legends called Anaerfell, to be released October 2015.

What do you find so appealing about writing fantasy?
Writing a fantasy novel for me is like taking a vacation. It is what I like to do in my free time, and it is the one thing that I never want to retire from. It gives me the opportunity to escape into a world of my own creation. It is like playing make-believe as a child, and I think that is something that every adult wishes they could do again.

What authors make you want to be a better writer?
It sounds cliché, but J.R.R. Tolkien has always been my favorite writer. I have read everything he has ever written and I often go back to read it again. I like his way with words, descriptions, and the intricacies in his characters. There are other authors that I read occasionally, but none have matched the enchantment of Tolkien.

Do you have any traditional fantasy tropes that you like to use?
I am sure that there are some found within my novels, but I honestly try hard to challenge about any fantasy trope I come across. I like to write about powerful women, flawed characters, and unlikely heroes. There are enough farm boys out there that find out they are the sons of powerful gods, and suddenly go out to rule armies and nations. I like to focus on what has not been done quite so much, sticking with a realistic and gritty tone.

Magic of Solstice Fantasy Writers’ Blog-Lee Dunning!

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Today, it’s my privilege to introduce fantasy author Lee Dunning. Lee was a good sport and decided to answer my questions about writing. Read more below!

Lee 2

Me: Tell us about yourself. Where you’re from, etc.?
Lee: I’ve lived in about nine different states, but most recently I’ve wasted away in Arizona. The Pacific Northwest is still my favorite part of the country, so I plan to relocate there within a year or so.

I love animals, and when I have the finances I contribute to some of my favorite causes, like the Save the Manatee Club. I share my home with five cats. They make me laugh several times a day—when they’re not driving me mad. Three of the little buggers were adopted from the Siamese Rescue of Southern California.

I’ve always loved to write and draw. My artsy inclinations don’t make for practical finances however, so for the past 20 plus years I’ve worked in IT. About two years ago I went back to school to study accounting (I’m sick of IT). I just graduated with my new education in May of this year. Now I have to find work again. Boo!

Me: What is your most recent project? Tell us a little bit about it.
Lee: I just finished the second draft to my story ‘Exile’s Gamble’. It’s the sequel to ‘Exile’s Redemption’, part of the ‘Chronicles of Shadow’ series. It takes off pretty much right where the first book ended. It sees a lot of changes for the original characters, and introduces some new characters. We get closer to knowing who is behind the original attack on Second Home, K’hul discovers some terrible information, Raven embarks on a crazy quest to bolster the elven army, and W’rath continues to drive everyone crazy.

Me: Did you choose writing or did writing choose you?
Lee: Hmm, probably a little of both. I’ve always liked reading, and storytelling games like D&D, so the two make for a logical launch point for me to explore my own stories. My strongest subject in school was always English, I actually enjoyed writing assignments, so stepping up to novel writings didn’t take much prodding.

Me: What do you find so appealing about writing fantasy?
Lee: I like not being tied down to the mundane world. I like spending my time with crazy, obnoxious elves. I like exploring the possibilities beyond science.

Me: What authors make you want to be a better writer?

Magic of Solstice Fantasy Writers’ Blog Tour– Allison D. Reid!

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Allison Reid

It is Day 6 of the Magic of Solstice Fantasy Writers’ Blog Tour, and I’d like to welcome a very special guest today, Allison D. Reid! Allison’s passion for medieval history and fantasy was sparked by writers like C.S. Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, and Lloyd Alexander. She also spent years living in Europe, captivated by its ancient towns, cathedrals, and castles. She received her B.A. in writing from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. Her first published work, Journey to Aviad, is a Christian Fantasy novel—the first in The Wind Rider Chronicles book series. Many of her short stories relate back to the world of her books. Allison has two young daughters, runs a small business with her husband, and also provides editing services to other independent authors.

Learn more about Allison’s books–and where to find her–below!

Allison Reid Book Cover

Journey to Aviad
Threatening clouds and fierce storms besiege the city of Tyroc. More frequent and powerful than ordinary storms, young Elowyn, a weaver’s daughter living in the outskirts of the city, senses something disturbing and unnatural about them. She soon realizes that the storms are but a warning sign of much more frightening things yet to come.

Terrifying wolf-like creatures emerge from the depths of the wilderness at the bidding of a dark master. His name found only among the crumbling pages of ancient texts, the re-appearance of Alazoth and his Hounds is a dark omen for the people of Tyroc and beyond. Only legends remain of the heroes and prophets whose blood was shed ages ago to banish him into the abyss, which should have remained his prison for all time. How he has been released is a mystery, but all the old stories agree that death and destruction are sure to follow.

With the Hounds inching closer each day, the city of Tyroc caught up in religious and political turmoil, and her home life no less turbulent, Elowyn has nothing left to rely on but her meager courage and a budding faith in Aviad, the Creator. She and her sister, Morganne, set out on a remarkable journey that challenges everything they have ever known about themselves, the world, and the path that Aviad has laid out for them.

Buy Links:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Journey-Aviad-Allison-D-Reid/dp/1456329650/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1430609919&sr=8-1&keywords=Journey+to+Aviad
Barnes&Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/journey-to-aviad-allison-reid/1107518297?ean=9781456329655
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/3497109
The Learned Owl Bookshop: http://www.learnedowl.com/book/9781456329655

Allison Reid Book Cover 2

The Magical Muse

Stories of fantasy ranging from dark, to light and inspiring, bring life to this anthology. The creatures featured throughout, both good and evil, display the devastating or wonderful personalities they were given by the authors who created them for your enjoyment.

Magic of Solstice Fantasy Writers’ Tour-Louise Findlay

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It’s the kickoff of the Magic of Solstice Fantasy Writers’ Tour! Today I’d like to welcome fellow fantasy writer Louise Findlay. She was a good sport and agreed to answer a few questions about writing and being a fantasy author.

Rebecca: Tell us about yourself. Where you’re from, etc.?
Louise: Well I’m from drizzly Scotland. Funnily enough it rains a lot. I think England steals all of our good weather as it’s always dismal there on the seldom occasion we get good weather, lol.
Rebecca: What is your most recent project? Tell us a little bit about it.
Louise: Well my most recent recent story is for school. I’ve got to write a short story. It’s in a very brief stage where I Louise Findlay Image 2have a basic idea of a person who has control of plants/vines and transmits a virus that poisons/turns people into a plant. There will also be a vampire which with their different biology reacts differently to this virus. Vicious Vines is my working title but I think it will change.
Rebecca: Did you choose writing or did writing choose you?
Louise: I think I chose writing really. I’ve always enjoyed writing stories and building on my skills there is fun.
Rebecca: What do you find so appealing about writing fantasy?
Louise: It is quite a broad genre and it also has many sub-genres, paranormal fantasy and urban fantasy to name a few.
Rebecca: What authors make you want to be a better writer?
Louise: Renee Scattergood and KJ Hawkins.
Rebecca: Do you have any traditional fantasy tropes that you like to use?
Louise: Well good vs evil is one I use regularly though sometimes I have a creative backstory for my villains (see guest post for Joshua Robertson.)
Rebecca: Do you have any weird writing rituals?
Louise: Not really. I generally write my longer fiction solely on my laptop and with my short stories/poetry/fanfiction I sometimes jot down notes on my iPad on Evernote and pen and paper to copy to my laptop later.
Rebecca: What inspires your world building?
Louise: I don’t do that much world building since most of my stories are short or poems.

Louise’s Bio:
Louise Findlay writes fantasy (generally short stories) and inspirational poetry. She enjoys reading and writing about mythological creatures such as angels and demons but has a soft spot for vampires. Louise is currently in the midst of writing a vampire novella about two vampire clans whose deputy’s clash in a big way, entitled A Spy in the Sagax Vampires.