Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Series Spotlight + Giveaway: Brandi Kennedy's Selkie Trilogy - Book One: "Selkie"

A bit about the series: The Selkie Trilogy is a series of sequential romantic fantasy novels. Each book in this series follows the last, with each new book continuing the story from the last. These books are best enjoyed in order of publication, and this series contains mild/moderate sexual content.

Annie Jacobs's marriage fell apart, leaving her heart and her trust broken. Even her friends couldn't ease the pain of betrayal and eventually, Annie packed up her life and moved on. In peaceful Bar Harbor, Maine, Annie is finally able to find solace. She makes new friends, she finds a new routine, and she begins to pick up the shattered pieces of her confidence. Just when Annie thinks she's found contentment once again, a series of chance disasters threatens her new life -- and nearly ends her life entirely. When the man who saves her turns out to be something more than Annie ever would have expected, her life is thrust once again into turmoil. A near-death experience takes Annie into an entirely new world, one she would never have believed existed. It seems like death has its sights set on Annie for sure this time, and a war is closing in. Even immortality may not be enough to save her now.*Version*=1&*entries*=0;jsessionid=6DF7D248247B6BB79254AAF2CFD3C520.prodny_store02-6?ean=2940152260366#productInfoTabs

About Brandi

Brandi Kennedy is an American writer who is finally living her childhood career dream. As a child, books were her world, and through adulthood the love of words has never changed.  A woman of varied interests, Brandi loves photography, music of all kinds, knitting, crochet and of course, mothering her two young daughters.

Currently, she finds her home in the heart of Knoxville, Tennessee, among the mountains and the members of her extended family, where she spends her days at the computer, bringing fresh and incredibly real characters to life.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Guest Post: Patricia Leslie on "Rebuilding Past Worlds"

If you're like me and enjoy a bit of history with your fiction, then you’re probably interested in the research side of writing as well. There are three important factors in writing historical fiction; the level of accuracy, level of detail, and character development in a time gone by.

If you're going to include facts that can be checked make sure you check them yourself first. Sure as shooting, if you don't and you're wrong someone will take great pleasure in letting you know. Also, it interrupts the flow of reading and you want your Reader’s total involvement from page 1 to page end. Avoid this by checking your sources. Primary sources are best, but that's not always possible so creditable secondary sources are the next best thing especially if you can find several and they all agree.

When it comes to detail I go for way more than I will need so that I am generally informed on a topic. I find this helps the storytelling. It also gives me other topics to write about for articles and short stories. The vast majority of that detail is kept away from the story. Exposition can be so boring and can make the writer sound like a know it all. Readers want stories not an over abundance of fact.

For characters to move freely around the world you've recreated, they need to respond in a natural way to everything that their time period throws at them. This means the writer needs to know about clothes, the look of the buildings and streets, current affairs, rules and regulations, and customs.

 It's a lot to learn, but looking up old maps and heritage buildings can give you streetscapes, layout and the feel of architecture and interior design. Local government and State archive websites are great for this.

For fashion, I research online through Pinterest (check out my board for my current work) and go to exhibitions of vintage clothing so I can really get up close to see fabric and style detail and colour.

For dialogue and writing styles, old newspapers and journals can give you a gist for language and its uses, and stories written in the time period (1700s onward in particular) are great for picking up the nuances as well as localised observations. But don't take them as a primary source. They can be a window into the past but are not history textbooks.

Here's my recommended reading list for Australian research based in the 1800s:

·       Lady Audley’s Secret (not Australian but a good read, free and something a little different from Jane Austen)
·       Trove (newspapers, journals, books, images)
·       National Trust Australia
·       Dove Maps of Sydney

These may not be the period or location you're interested in but they show just a glimpse of what is easily found online.

Patricia Leslie is an Aussie urban fantasy author with Odyssey Books. Her novels, TheOuroboros Key, and, A Single Light, deal with the major issues of today like mystical
magical beings living deep in Colorado's Rocky Mountains and hungry vampire-like spiritsdevouring the population of southern Sydney. Evil powers abound in her next novel set in
Sydney and Scotland in the 1800s. Patricia enjoys the research as much as the writing so payno mind to middle aged women with cameras wandering around Sydney. It could very wellbe Patricia Leslie hunting down heritage buildings and their stories.

Drop in on Patricia's strand of the World Wide Web and catch up on her adventures or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Author Spotlight and Giveaway: Tracy M. Joyce

Tracy M Joyce is an Australian author of speculative fiction. Her epic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Altaica, is published by Odyssey Books. Tracy has long been a fan of the fantasy genre, but particularly likes novels that deal with deep characterisations
and that don’t flinch from the gritty realities of life. This and her fascination with the notions of ‘moral greyness’, that ‘good people can do bad things’ and that we cannot escape our past provide the inspiration for her writing. Combine that with her love of history, horses and archery and you have Altaica.

She grew up on a farm in rural Victoria, in a picturesque dot on the map known as Glenburn. She spent half of her childhood riding horses and the other half trying to stay out of trouble—the only way she did that was by reading books and writing stories. She now lives in Melbourne with her husband, two cats and two (very) lazy greyhounds.

Tracy holds a BA (Hons) from Monash University, spent many years in a variety of administrative
roles and fortunately never gave up on her childhood dream to become a writer. In her spare
time she tutors a select and unlucky group of students in English.

Altaica (The Chronicles of Altaica Book 1)

'Look at her – she’s Hill Clan. Even the Matyrani don’t like them …' 

Isaura – little is known about her race, but much is whispered. Born to refugees, she grows up enduring racism and superstition within a community that fears her. She has few friends, and those she treasures. Trapped, she longs for escape to a different life.  

Escape is only the beginning of her troubles. Having fled an invading army with her friends, Isaura is faced with heinous choices in order to survive. Secrets from her past emerge to torment her and threaten to destroy all she holds dear. Her struggles forge a bond with an ancient power – a power which may transform or consume her. Old hatreds and superstitions are renewed and at her most vulnerable she learns the true nature of those around her.  

Her only hope lies in a foreign land – a land rich in tradition; ruled by three powerful clans. A land with a history marked by warfare; where magic as we know it does not exist. Instead what is here, in abundance, is a more primal power.  

Survival carries a high price.  

Welcome to Altaica.

Asena Blessed (The Chronicles of Altaica Book 2)

At the whims of Gods and Men…

Isaura has emerged from the spirit realm forever altered. No longer a pariah, she embraces the future offered in Altaica, but learns that her survival has come at a price. Her transformation is the perfect weapon for Elena to use against her.

The mysterious Asena and the Lady vie for Isaura. Caught between two ancient powers, Isaura must try to make her own path.

Master spy Vikram launches a counterinsurgency against Ratilal and Faros, weaving innocents into the plot to bring him down. Ratilal prepares to wage war against Karan and Baldev. Desperately, he seeks clandestine means to wreak revenge on them in the very heart of their territory, with devastating results.

With enemies nearing, Isaura must learn to master her powers. Aid arrives from the most unlikely source—one who knows no rules and respects no one.

Having run from one war she will not run from another…

The battle is joined.

Connect with Tracy... 

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