“The Prophet” NEW RELEASE!

Woo-hoo! It’s finally done.

Starting today, if you sign up for my mailing list (and if you’re already on my list, you should be getting a link soon) you’ll receive a free, brand new, exclusive copy of The Prophet (The Kota Series Companion Story).
This is the story of the prophets who originally wrote the Kota prophecies. It’s a prequel of sorts, so you can jump into The Kota Series world for the first time OR read for surprises if you’ve already read the series.

TProph

Mind your own dystopia.

Hazen Stephenson grew up pampered, and he knows it.  But he’s never had it easy. Hazen’s nightmares aren’t merely products of his imagination, and he wrestles daily with guilt, responsibility, and questions of fate.  Setting off across the globe, he meets people he’s dreamed about and changes their lives…for better and for worse.

Then he meets Renny Nado, who never dreamed her Creative Writing degree would amount to much.  But a people called ‘The Kota’ say her gifts point to an important destiny, and she must convince Hazen of their purpose.

Meanwhile, the world is full of pain, hate, and political upheaval. Should they accept what the Kota say about the future and their place in it?  Or should they keep their heads out of the clouds?

Want to read it? 

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A Fairly Fairy Tale – Cover Reveal!

I’ve been busy, busy, busy finishing up my first Fantasy story (since I decided to get the book out in time to be a Christmas gift to my new nieces.  Shh!  It’s a surprise!).  It’s finally about ready to go, so I wanted to give everyone a first look at the cover!
I’ll also post sneak peeks at chapters and illustrations this week, so watch for those!

AFFT Kindle Cover.jpg

SYNOPSIS:

Once upon a time and with surprising frequency, dragons kidnapped helpless princesses.  As the ultimate romantic gesture, heroic princes fought the dragons and saved the damsels in distress.

At least, that’s the story you’ve been led to believe.  But here’s a little secret:

Sometimes the dragon saved the princess from the princes…

In the kingdom of Marshwood, everybody lives happily ever after – orphans, stepmothers, everybody.   King Wesick is wise and beloved.  Queen Mattea is beautiful and kind.  Prince Nolan is handsome and brave, and his sister Littagale is smart and talented.  But when it comes time for Princess Littagale to marry, suddenly the dragon Tor flies down from Mount Shadow, kidnaps the princess, and flies her to his dark lair.

“Oh, no! The horror! Who will save her?” cry the townspeople.

With great fanfare and the cologne of testosterone, princes from near and far arrive in Marshwood and vow to rescue the princess – in exchange for the honor of becoming her husband and inheriting the kingdom.  The townspeople rejoice, place bets, and everyone waits to see who will defeat Tor and save Princess Littagale.

But what secret is Queen Mattea hiding?  And why does Tor have a spa in his lair?

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW!
http://bit.ly/AFairlyFairyTale

Release date & Paperback available:   12/20/2016

#AuThorsday with James Quinn

11863451_1633298326926481_3931834120665565634_nToday I’d like to welcome James Quinn, thriller writer and author of A Game for Assassins and Sentinel Five

Can you give us your quickest description of your books?

The Gorilla Grant books are old school Cold War espionage books but with a violent and gritty element to them.

Having read your first book, that’s a good sum-up.  What are you working on currently?

I’ve just finished book 2 in the series, Sentinel Five, which is set in Asia.  My next few months are going to be geared towards promoting that.  Then a break and next year I’ll begin book 3 in the series.  This is the one I am looking forward to the most….it’s my most personal book….but still with lots of action in it.

Good planning!  What is your favorite scene you’ve written?  Can you give us a peek?

My favorite scene that I’ve written so far is actually one of the final scenes from Sentinel Five.  It’s a violent scene and then ends with some tender interaction between Gorilla Grant and a “female” character.  I won’t spoil it, read the book, but it’s an emotional scene from my point of view.

What is one bit of advice you’d like to share with writers?

Don’t publish too early!!  Make sure you are happy with it first.  Then give it to a professional editor, they see things that you don’t.  That was the main problem with my first book, A Game for Assassins, I was too keen to get it out and I was just winging it.  It was only when I signed up with a publisher (Creativia) that the production values really started to kick in.

What is one question about your books that you wish more people would ask?

Honestly, I’m just glad that people take the time to buy and read them.  But if I was pushed I would have to say I would like readers to ask more about Gorilla’s background.  I mean…C’mon guys…I’ve dangled lots of little clues in both books….you have to search them out to be sure….but there is a whole back-story just waiting to be unpicked by an inquisitive mind.  Some people have asked and emailed me questions about him though to be fair 🙂

Interesting…  🙂  Who inspires you to write?

I have favorite writers certainly, John LeCarre, Ian Fleming, Stephen King, and they are always good motivation.  But really I am inspired by people around me, people who battle through against overwhelming odds and fight against any kind of injustice.

In a perfect world where you could cast your book for a movie, who would you pick for your main characters?

When I first wrote the books I always imagined a young Bob Hoskins as Gorilla Grant, that rough edged manner.  Then that changed, maybe Bob would have played an older Gorilla.  Now I’m torn between Tim Roth, a brilliant actor, and a lesser known UK actor from Liverpool, by the name of Stephen Graham.  Both are tough little men, very charismatic, working class heroes.  So they are the ones that I would pick….I’d even run their firearms training for the movie myself just to hang out with either of them  😉

Love Tim Roth.  And that’s a pretty good plan!  When you get stuck in your writing, how do you make yourself keep going?

I tend to write in bursts…a week here, a week there…then nothing for a while.  I don’t try to force it.  I let it happen organically.  If nothing is coming to mind I will stop and go for long walks, or go and train, anything to distract me.  So far this has worked.  Then slowly…the ideas start to work themselves out.  It’s not perfect but it suits me.

That seems to be a common approach for many authors.  Do you use your personal experiences in your writing?

Oh absolutely, very much so.  Because of my job a lot of the technical scenes in the books are taken from my role as a security consultant/investigator.  So if you read a scene that has surveillance aspects, or operating in a covert role in a non-permissive environment, or anything related to firearms/unarmed combat work, then it’s a fair bet that I’ve done most of that.  Art imitating life I guess.

You certainly have a great history of experience to draw from when writing thrillers!  Is there anything you’ve read that made you jealous you didn’t think of it first?

There is a little known book by the Scottish writer, the late William McIlvanney, called The Big Man (it was also a movie with Liam Neeson).  Such a perfect book. It deals with tough issues.  It’s a great crime novel, but it’s also about family and community.  So, that one definitely.  It had such an impact on me when I read it, but as for being jealous….Elmore Leonard.  If I can write character dialogue even half as good as him by the end of my life I’ll die a happy man!

Thanks, James, for sharing!

a1xk6esneil-_ux250_WHERE TO FIND James Quinn:
Website:  www.JamesQuinn.webs.com
Goodreads:  James Quinn
Amazon Page:  James Quinn
Facebook:  James Quinn

#TheFourFriday – Luke as Whitewolf

Every Friday, I’m posting something about how the real life “The Four” overlap with the fictional four Kota Warriors.
As some of you know, The Kota Series is based on what “The Four” (myself, my brother, and our childhood best friends Kaly and Luke) played as kids.  Each of us is represented by one of the four Kota Warriors (Bullseye, Rave, Tigris, Whitewolf).  So, I’ll be sharing personal quirks that carried over into fiction, fun/weird stories we played as kids, our childhood drawings, pictures related to The Four and The Kota, etc.
Should be fun, and it’ll give you an idea of how weird or little minds were as we created this story that, years later, turned into my book series.  🙂


This week, Luke as Whitewolf.
Obviously as kids we all have ideas about who we’re going to be when we’re adults – what we’re going to look like, what our jobs will be, how successful we’ll be, etc.   One thing I love about how Whitewolf turned out (via fiction) is that he really basically is Luke.  Bullseye is a lot more of a burdened mess than I am.  Rave is a lot more action-driven and crazy than Christian.  Tigris is a lot more anxious and bossy than Kaly.  But Whitewolf and Luke both turned out to be pretty…normal, in the best possible way.

Also, there’s the not-insignificant detail that Luke LOOKS the most like his alter-ego.  Maybe not quite as tall or quite as muscular, but he’s certainly closer than any of the rest of us.  And certainly closer than I could’ve guessed from the chubby little toddler I could hardly lift.

While developing his character for the original Book 1, I’m not sure if I was conscious of the similarities or not.  But, thinking of real-life Luke when writing Whitewolf later helped me keep him “real” and relatable.  Of all 4 Warriors, I picture Luke the most when I’m writing his fictional replicant.  And I definitely hear his voice when Whitewolf talks, especially when he calls Tigris, “Sis.”

The Four

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