Friday, July 18, 2014

Indie Author Spotlight ~ J. Aleksandr Wootton

Welcome back everyone! 
Thanks for stopping by to check out the latest installment of my Indie Author Showcase. 
Today Wolf Majick Reviews is happy bring J. Aleksandr Wootton to the spotlight. I have had the pleasure of reviewing both novels in his series, although I can't seem to find the review post for the second one. (I will keep looking and post a link later) Anyways if you enjoy Fairy lore or anything about the Fay you should pick up this series.

A little about J. Aleksandr Wootton

J. Aleksandr Wootton is a Virginian and a bookworm, in the Tolkienic meaning of 'worm' as 'dragon' - he hoards books in shelves and spare rooms and likes to sleep surrounded by them.

In his spare time he chairs the Folklore Studies department at Lightfoot College, where his research focuses on post-war Faerie.



WMR: First off could you explain to our readers a little about the “worlds” you have created?

Jack: The world I've been exploring in my Fayborn series is an awful lot like our world. The only difference is - and I bet you didn't know this - most of us have fairies somewhere in our family trees.

See, centuries and centuries ago the Fay nearly destroyed their world, Faerie, in a civil war. The survivors fled to our world, and have been living and fighting here in hiding ever since. You can't record anything true about them - old enchantments keep that from happening - but most fairy tales and folk legends were true histories of real events, real meetings between humans and fay, until somebody wrote them down.

So we're not completely sure what happened in the past, but we do know one thing - there are thousands of Fayborn refugees here on earth - some who know their heritage, some who don't - and they need to get home, to heal Faerie, before their power and legacy fades away completely.
WMR: Is there anything you hope readers will take away from your work?
Jack: I hope they have fun getting caught up in Petra's adventure... and I hope they enjoy meeting their old friends from beloved classics and familiar fairytales for new adventures. 
I hope the Fayborn series helps readers take a second look at the everyday world around us - there's more magic here than we give it credit for.
WMR: How long have you been writing?
Jack: Since I was 8 years old. I published my first novel in July 2012, though I've published shorter works before that.
WMR: Do you have a favorite character to write? What about the hardest character?
Jack: Sometimes the characters you didn't create yourself are the most challenging - it's great to spend time with them again, but you've also got to be sure you understand them well enough so that they stay "true to themselves" for readers. Toad from The Wind in the Willows and Wormwood from The Screwtape Letters both have parts to play in the Fayborn series, and I've enjoyed writing them very much.
But of course, I have soft spots for my own characters, especially Petra, my protagonist - a girl who turns out not to be ordinary. Petra suddenly discovers that fairies are real, that they need her help... but helping them might mean becoming a slave, forever, to the man who's been stalking and harassing her family since before Petra was born.
WMR: Where can readers find more information about you and your books?
Jack: My website, www.jackwootton.com
WMR: Do you have any suggestion for aspiring writers?
Jack: Read good writers; read what good writers write about writing; and write, write, write.
One really helpful resource I was introduced to recently is the podcast Writing Excuses - I highly recommend it!
WMR: What is the hardest thing about being a new author?
Jack: Figuring out the right balance of marketing/outreach for published projects while forging ahead with new writing projects. There's no trick to it - you just have to keep up with both!

J. Aleksandr Wooton's Work

Her Unwelcome Inheritance  (Fayborn, #1)
Paperback ISBN: 978-1491291009
ebook ISBN: 9781301949687
August 18 2013

The Eighth Square  (Fayborn #2)
Paperback ISBN: 978-1492860945
ebook ISBN: 9781301752799
October 8 2013

A First or Final Mischief  (Fayborn, #3)
Wootton's current project - coming soon!
Release Date TBA

Forgetting: impressions from the millenial borderland
Paperback ISBN: 978-1494448318
ebook ISBN: 9781311237439
December 10 2013

Friday, July 11, 2014

Author Spotlight : Kate Evangelista

Well its Friday again so you know what that means…
Wolf Majick Reviews would love to welcome Kate Evangelista author of New Adult, Romance and YA Novels , to our Indie Author Showcase.


A little about Kate
When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department and never looked back. Today, she is a graduate of De La Salle University - Manila with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature. She taught high school English for three years and was an essay consultant for two. Currently she writes full-time and is based in the Philippines.

I was excited to have Kate take part in my Author showcase after having read her novel Taste. Now I haven't gotten a chance to read her other work but I absolutely loved Taste and can't wait to read a few more by her. Being a good sport Kate even took the time to answer a few interview questions :)



WMR: First off could you explain to our readers a little about the “worlds” you have created?

Kate: There are so many of them. Where to start? The real deal is each world belongs to the characters. I build them based on the descriptions my characters give me as they tell me their story.

WMR: Is there anything you hope readers will take away from your work?

Kate: Enjoyment. When I write, my hope is my readers will enjoy the stories of my characters. Reading is an escape. When readers pick up one of my books, I hope I can give them that.

WMR: How long have you been writing?

Kate: Of and on since high school, but professionally? A little over five or six years. Time moves so fast, I can’t seem to keep track anymore.

WMR: Do you have a favorite character to right?

Kate: Bedlam. You will meet him in my NA novel coming out from Entangled Embrace called Impulse. Watch out for that one. It’s a wild ride.

WMR: What about the hardest character?

Kate: It would have to be Phoenix from my debut novel. I wasn’t as confident as a writer then so I think I didn’t do her justice.

WMR: Where can readers find more information about you and your books?

Kate: My website is the best place to start: www.kateevangelista.com

WMR: Do you have any suggestion for aspiring writers?

Kate: Finish the manuscript. Remember, there isn’t a story if you don’t finish what you’re writing.

WMR: What is the hardest thing about being a new author?


Kate: All the waiting. Looking for an agent involves waiting. Looking for a publisher, too. Then there’s the waiting involved when you’re getting ready for publication. Basically, lots and lots of patience is needed when you’re a new author.




Check out Kate on the Web at
www.kateevangelista.com
Twitter
GoodReads
FaceBook

Friday, July 4, 2014

Author Spotlight : Rivka Spicer

Well here it is the first Indie Author spotlight and who better to start us off than one of my favorites Rivka Spicer. I was lucky enough to "meet" Rivka through email when she asked me to review the first in her Masquerade series. The novel was fantastic and since then I have had the joy of seeing her work blossom into the full catalog it is today. Now I haven't had a chance yet to read the last in the series but I'm sure its going to be great.


My Reviews of Rivka's work

Masquerade

Carnevale

A little about Rivka in her own words….

I'm a bestselling author living in the Highlands of Scotland. I've been writing and publishing for more than two years now and I'm still as much in love with it as I was when I first set out. Before that I was writing for my own pleasure and the books are best left forgotten! I actually have a fiction graveyard in my craft room known as the drawer of forgotten dreams for all the books that don't make it past first or partial draft stage. I also do work as a freelance editor for other authors and I'm in the process of setting up a digital publishing imprint. Other than writing, I have way too many hobbies. I make textiles and jewellery and I'm always on the lookout to try new things. I'm an avid reader of most genres. I love jelly beans and Christmas and singing too loudly when I think no-one can hear me. This is usually the part of the bio where people say they live with their husband, six kids, twelve cats, two dogs, pet mouse and twenty exotically coloured birds of excessive plumage. That's not me. I'm a single girl, happily chasing my dreams.

My books - 
Masquerade
Carnevale (Masquerade series)
Obsession (Masquerade series)
Sage (Last Ancient series)
Marked (Last Ancient series)
Summer Loving
The Broken Souls
Beautiful of Heart (novella)
I'll have two books coming out in the next couple of months (hopefully! One is with an agent right now) - A Kiss from the Grave and Bloodlines.

Excerpt's (we are lucky enough to get two!)


A Kiss from the Grave:
(In this scene the two main characters are doing their first overnight ghost hunting mission together. Kat is an experienced investigator and Mike is a journalist that's along for the ride.)

“Is it a cold spot?” Mike was getting excited and could barely stay still as she shrugged.
“I’m not sure what it is. Let’s go and see what’s underneath this.” They went back down the stairs and into the dining room, which was directly under the master bedroom. She pointed the camera at the ceiling and the same pattern appeared. “That’s exactly the same shape and place, isn’t it?” She scrolled back on the video feed to compare the images. “I think I’ve figured out what it is.” She led him back upstairs into the bedroom and made him crouch down, holding the thermal imaging camera, so she could rummage in the backpack, a torch gripped tightly in her teeth.
“What’s that?” He asked, as her hands reappeared holding a new instrument.
“It’s a tool to measure humidity.” She let it calibrate to the room and then bent down and waved it over the area. The reading spiked and, in the faint light from the read out, he could see her teeth sparkling. “It’s a water leak. It must have come either from the wall or the ceiling and it’s reading as cooler than the surrounding area because it’s waterlogged.” Returning the humidity meter to the backpack, she pulled out a digital thermometer and held that over the patch. It read three degrees cooler than the rest of the room.
“That’s enough to be noticeable.” Mike didn’t need to ask to know what she was trying to prove. “That must be why the contractors were experiencing cold spots.”
“Especially given where it is.” She rose to her feet and pointed at the windows to either side. “It’s in a corner of the room that isn’t going to get sunlight, but is perfectly positioned to catch breezes from the windows. At least we can debunk that one.” She returned the thermometer to the pack and took the thermal camera back from him.
They did a slow sweep of the last bedroom and nothing appeared on the screen, so they decided to put that camera away. They were heading down the stairs when there was a blood curdling scream that echoed through the house.
“Holy shit!” Mike leapt, startled, and almost wet himself. “What the fuck was that? Kat! What the fuck was that?” She’d paused on the step and tilted her head to listen, but she appeared calm. A couple of moments later the scream sounded again and Mike thought he was going to have a heart attack. His adrenaline was spiking and all the hairs on his neck were standing up. “What the fuck?” He shrieked hysterically.
“It’s a vixen.” She calmly continued on down the stairs. Mike could barely hear her through the blood rushing in his ears.
“Is that a certain kind of ghost?” He gasped.
“No, you idiot.” She stopped on the bottom step. “It’s a female fox.”
He could see her shoulders shaking with laughter as his legs went boneless with relief. “I’ve never heard a fox sound like that. I thought they barked?”
“Male foxes do.” She was still chuckling. “Vixens scream. I’ve heard it before.”
“Oh my god.” He didn’t think his legs were going to hold him up any longer and he half sat-half collapsed on the step. “I actually thought I was going to wet myself for a moment there.”
He thought she’d make fun of him, but instead she came back up the stairs. “Lower your head between your knees.” Her voice was gentle and he complied, grateful for the soothing hand she placed on the back of his neck. “Just breathe through it. It is really scary the first few times it happens. I still freak out sometimes, but I’ve got a lot of experience to call on. The first time I heard that sound I went running from the house I was investigating and Chris had to persuade me to go back in with the lure of chocolate. I wasn’t laughing at you for freaking out; it was the image of a ghostly fox in a skirt that tickled me.”

There's a book trailer for the book here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TBIqLjg_Z0

Bloodlines:
(This is a YA post-apocalyptic reimagining of A Handmaid's Tale)

Noises in the hall let us know that it is time for dinner and we reluctantly get up. I check my face isn’t still blotchy from crying and he straightens his clothes from lying on the bed. It is strange to see him in ordinary clothes, not in his green and red uniform. As we head down for food, I laugh as I tell him that his clothing reminded me of Christmas the first time I saw it. He didn’t know that people still celebrated the old festival. He slips an arm around my waist as he tells me we can celebrate it every year together and I shake my head at his optimism, but I am warmed inside.
We join Asten at his table and over food I ask him if he would mind coming up to our room after dinner. He readily agrees, although I suspect he thinks I want some sort of advice that I am too embarrassed to ask of Kael. The thought makes me feel strange. After the panic of the morning, the defiance of lunch time, the exhaustion of the afternoon and then the trauma of the papers, it had almost slipped my mind that I am to sleep with Kael tonight. I don’t know if he expects us to do the deed and despite my deep affection for him, I’m not sure what I want. This all still feels too new and too fresh, but then I think back to that night at the way station when he kissed me and we almost burned out of control. If he kisses me like that again, will I even want to stop him?
He catches me eyeing him speculatively across the table and his gaze heats. I want to look away but I can’t. Something about him just draws me in. I am reminded of this concept of gravity, that the natural way of the world is to fall. I think this must be what love is – you meet a person and they become your solar mass and you hurtle into togetherness because you cannot break the bounds that form your orbit. It strikes me that the gravity of love is a state of being. You cannot break away because you cannot turn it off. You meet, you love and you fall. It is the way of the world.
“What are you thinking about?” He asks and he is smiling. I know it’s because it reminds him of our journey to the Enclave when he was forever asking me where it is I go when my thoughts drift away.
“I was thinking about gravity and solar mass.” I say and conversation around us falls silent as everybody turns to me with incredulous looks on their faces. “In relation to love.” I try to qualify the statement. “It was a metaphor.” Silence still reigns and the faces are now reflecting confusion.
“What she’s trying to say is that she’s thinking about love.” Kael rescues me, capturing my gaze again. “She’s thinking about a love that is so boundless it has the power of the sun.”
I am about to protest that he wasn’t entirely right with his explanation, but I see his lips quirk and I know he knows that he was off the mark. It was just his way of moving the conversation forward. A chorus of sweetness ripples around the table and I blush. It’s a unique experience to feel like being the smartest person in the room also makes you the biggest idiot in the room.



Guest Post by Rivka Spicer

Wolf Majick Reviews is very happy to have a very insightful guest post by non other than Rivka Spicer.



They say that everyone has a story in them and I have no doubt that it's true. The first thing that everyone says to me when they learn that I'm an author is some variation of "I've always wanted to be a writer" or "I've got this story I want to write". Usually I try to encourage them, giving them tips and advice on writing discipline and directions to head in, but for the vast majority of them, it's futile.

Writing can be the most rewarding, amazing and life-changing experience. It's also really hard work. That's why most people never write the book that they've been dreaming of.  If writing isn't your life, if you don't live and breathe with your characters and dream of doing it full time one day, chances are you won't make it. Writing takes discipline, creativity, boundless enthusiasm in the face of rejection and a skin thick enough to resemble well-tanned leather. It's not the easy path.

All that said, I'm still going to keep giving advice because I hope that one day my words will inspire someone who will go on to complete that book. I want to give a person who writes that step up in the world so that they, in turn, can pass on what they've learned. So here, for all future generations of writers, are my top five pieces of advice:

1. If you want to be a good writer, you must learn to read. I don't mean reading as in basic literacy, I mean reading as in understanding the structure of a book. You need to get your head around the concept of a character arc and the separate acts of a story (Intro/event - conflict - resolution). You need to spot the scenes that are superfluous to the story so that you don't make the mistake of filling your own novel with pointless words and dead end subplots. The absolute best way to learn this is by reading the work of others - start from the worst of the unedited rubbish out there and work your way up to the polished creme de la creme and see if you can spot the differences between them.

2. No-one is great at writing when they start out. My early books are absolutely cringeworthy. The few authors that write exquisitely on their first time out of the stable are an extreme rarity. You just have to persist. Keep writing and keep learning. Keep polishing. It's like most things in life - the more you do it, the better you get at it. As a subplot to this thread, I want to tell you not to be so hard on yourself. Every author that I know has a critical self-doubt issue, to the point that it's absolutely crippling to some of them. Whenever I upload a new book, I have to retreat into hiding with excessive amounts of chocolate and tea and hibernate until the first reviews come in and I know I haven't failed the world by producing something sub par. If you're struggling with your self-doubt, go back to something you wrote six months or a year ago. I guarantee you'll be surprised by it. Even if it's rubbish (as first drafts often are) every now and then there'll be a turn of phrase that's so exquisitely perfect it'll blow your mind that you were the one that wrote it. You are capable of astonishing beauty if you don't smother it with your self-criticism.

3. Write the story that grabs you by the heart and won't let go. Every now and then you'll get an idea that just won't stop running through your thoughts. It'll take on a life and magic all of its own, until you're spending most of your waking hours plotting it out. When you get one of those ideas, DROP EVERYTHING ELSE AND WRITE IT. I don't care if you're halfway through another novel, or you're editing, or it's not the next thing on your writing schedule; you need to write that book. The reasons are many. Writing is a long process. If an idea is speaking to you that loudly, chances are it's going to keep you engaged for the months it's going to take you to get it down on paper. There's no greater risk to the unfinished novel than boredom. When a book has that kind of magic, your readers will know. The books I got excited about and wrote in a frenzy are my best sellers, without fail. If it's engaging you, it'll engage them.

4. Don't expect to become a bestseller, or even to do particularly well. I haven't looked at the figures for a long time, but they estimate that for the world of self-publishing it takes an average two years to make it to the top of the game, with a minimum of 15-18 books under your belt, and that's only a handful of writers. Very, very few make it up there. Most people can expect to have middling sales and that's okay. If you want to have any kind of moderate success, you really have to work at it. Build your online platform, send out ARCs to blogs and sites for review, organise or attend conventions and launches, write press releases, put up posters, join your local writing groups...whatever you do, really work at it. A good marketing campaign can only go so far, though, and what I'm going to tell you next is probably the most important thing anyone will ever say to you in your career as an indie author.

5. THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR GOOD WRITING. You can have the best marketing campaign in the world and if the book isn't up to scratch, you'll still get nowhere. You might not crash out into the world in a blaze of stunning glory, but slow and steady will win the day. If your book is good, people will recommend it to their friends and it will spread exponentially. The last estimates I read showed that the single most important factor in the purchasing of a book was the recommendation of a trusted friend. I know you're all thinking of at least one book (possibly trilogy!) that are incredibly badly written that have gone stellar. The truth is that you can't account for an unusual phenomenon like that and neither can you rely on it. If you can find a surprisingly popular niche market and take it by storm, all power to you, but it's a risky game to play. When I say "good writing" I maybe don't mean what you think I do either. Yes, having gorgeous prose and deep characters is optimal, but the books that spread like wildfire are the ones that sock the reader in the chest with emotion. They're the books that are utterly absorbing, that made their readers laugh and cry and get so caught up they could forget about the world for a while. If a book can make you feel, REALLY feel, it's already halfway to you passing it on to someone else. I bundle editing in with the good writing category too - even if a book is emotionally involving, if it's littered with spelling mistakes, plot holes and continuity errors, it'll put people off. You need to spin the magic and then polish it before you send it out into the world.

In closing, I realise I've made writing sound like a grim career choice, but it's genuinely not. I just don't want you to make some half-hearted attempt and then wonder why it's not working. Writing is a commitment and some dreams are worth the elbow grease to chase. I live and breathe books - when I'm not writing or working, I've got my nose glued to my kindle or that pages of a book. If you can write a book and write it successfully, it'll be the most amazing thing you've ever done. You'll make so many wonderful new friends. There's nothing quite like the feeling you get when a total stranger sends you an email telling you that you've affected them profoundly. And maybe in three years time, you'll be where I am - handing out advice to people who are just starting on the way up. When you do, please think of me fondly!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Wizard World Philly 2014

I know its taken a bit to get this up but I had to let everyone in on what a fantastic time I had this year at Wizard World Philly. Being my second Wizard World I came into it knowing what to expect this time around. Of course there were long autograph lines and tons of vendors. We saw some great costly and even met a few Whovians from around the country. 
What this Wizard World had that the last one did not was appearances by non other than Matt Smith and Karen Gillan. Now if that isn't enough to make you catch your breathe Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk were also present. It was my dual costly dream! (Since we always do Doctor Who and Firefly) Unfortunately Nathan Fillion and both Doctor Who characters were far to high priced for me to get an autograph but I was able to attend a Matt & Karen panel that made it all worth wild. 
I was also able to meet Alan, who was so unbelievably nice, and loved our costumes. Since one of my Cosplay buddies is in love with Sebastian Stan I also managed to meet him when she got her autograph. 
Overall it was a lot of fun but I do recommend saving your money and buying the VIP pass. Everyone who I spoke with that had one said it was totally worth it. I was also glad I brought my zoom lens because I was able to get some creepy pictures of Nathan Fillion and David Boreanaz since we weren't able to get very close to them!
I will be posting more photos via Tumblr this week :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Indie Author Spotlight

Ok so I know I've said this before but I am really going to focus on getting more posted to this blog moving forward. Keeping that in mind I have decided to dedicate each Friday in the summer to some of  the most hard working Authors out there. So step on back each Friday starting July 4, 2014 to meet some of the internets new and up and coming Indie authors! 

I am happy to announce that the first author 
will be Rivka Spicer. If you are long
time reader of this blog then you've heard that name before. Rivka is the author of a fantastic
self published Vampire series, Masquerade. Be sure to check it out.

Now if you are a self published or new author I do still have slots available. Feel free to message me if you are interested.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Jaguar Hunt ~ Terry Spear

Jaguar Hunt (Heart of the Jaguar, #3)Jaguar Hunt by Terry Spear
My rating: 4 of 5 stars




I received this novel to review from Netgalley and was very excited to get a chance to read it. Terry Spear has vastly become one of my favorite shifter romance authors and her new Jaguar series is fantastic.

Summary

An agent and a jaguar-shifter chase trouble, and each other, through the jungles of Belize

Agent Tammy Anderson has a reputation: she prefers to work alone. So when she's paired up on a mission with jaguar-shifter David Patterson-who's only recently been released from jail-to say she's less than thrilled is a understatement. Until she realizes that this sexy agent has what it takes...
Soon, what started as an "easy" mission to locate a missing jaguar takes the pair to Belize, where they're chasing down two renegade teen shifters who know more than they're telling. As the action heats up, can they keep their minds on the job and off each other?


My Take:

As usual Terry Spear has built her storyline with solid and likable characters. They are off on an interesting adventure trying to help both a missing jaguar and some teens who may have been gotten caught up in the mess. Tammy is a strong willed and independent female who does her job and doesn't want to be strapped down with a partner. David is an equally strong willed man who learns to admire and trust his new female partner. As the mystery unravels and passion ignites you will find it hard to pull yourself from the pages of this one!

Excerpt

“Good night.” David closed his eyes, but he couldn’t stop taking in deep breaths of her jasmine soap and she-cat scent mixed into one delightful fragrance. He couldn’t ignore the beat of her heart - or his - that told him he was way too turned on, and that she was feeling the same way. He couldn’t help feeling the heat of her body and wanting to ratchet it up a few degrees, starting with a kiss.

A kiss. Hell, he’d never gone to bed with a woman when it meant total hands off. But lips...they didn’t count, did they?

She’d closed her eyes, but she wasn’t sleeping. She hadn’t pulled away from him, giving him her back. That meant something. Didn’t it?

He could ask. And she could say no.

He could kiss her, and when she got ready to slap him, he’d tell her it was a good-night kiss. And it would be. Unless she wanted more.

He could get lucky and she’d kiss him back.

Somehow it didn’t seem right to go to bed with a woman and not at least kiss her good night.

She opened her eyes to see him looking down at her - well, he was judging her lips, but when they curved up a bit, he lifted his gaze to meet her eyes and saw she was watching him.

“What?” she asked.

He couldn’t say it. David Patterson, who had no trouble interesting women in kisses and so much more, couldn’t say it.

“Don’t...tell...me. You want a good-night kiss,” she said, but he wasn’t certain whether she was offering or...not.

Not about to lose the opportunity, he placed his hand under her chin, lifted her face, and waited only the briefest period for her to pull away if she wasn’t in the mood for this. When she didn’t, he leaned down and kissed her mouth.

Buy Links

Barnes and Noble - http://bit.ly/QuCsmn

Author Bio

USA Today bestselling author Terry Spear has written over two dozen paranormal romance novels and medieval Highland historical romances. In 2008 HEART OF THE WOLF was named a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. A retired officer of the U.S. Army Reserves, Terry also creates award-winning teddy bears that have found homes all over the world. She lives in Crawford, Texas.

Social Networking Links

Website: www.terryspear.com  
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