Silent Expectation

Looking out the window, I wonder if it’ll come in time. I sit here waiting. I look absently outside as if I could spot the arrival of good news, and somehow looking will make it happen sooner. I’ve been here long enough, and I’m ready to leave. The constant weight of not knowing where you’ll be going, or when, can drive a person crazy. You try to find ways to pass the time. I’ve spent many a minute staring at the cracks of the dirty floor, seeing if they form shapes or images. Almost like watching clouds, but less interesting. All I really want is to hear the news, and no matter how much I try to think of anything else, all I’m really doing is wishing it’ll come soon. It has to, because I need it.

I hear a noise down the hall, the sound of boots hitting the floor in a steady thump thump thump, and for a moment my heart skips a beat. Maybe this is it. Maybe now is the time. But the hope is quickly crushed as I see the grim looks on the faces of the men standing at the door. No news is good news is how the saying goes. But for me it definitely isn’t good. Surely something would’ve come down the line by now. They were so sure. They told me they would have it sent quickly, and everything would be fine. I felt the urge rising up to scream. THEY PROMISED! THEY PROMISED ME!

But that would’ve done me no good. These men could do nothing for me. My screams would only make this trip all the worse, and that’s not how I wanted to leave. I knew why I was here. I knew what people said. What they thought. I knew where I was going. Was there any point in fighting it? No reason to be demanding answers when I already had them, regardless of whether or not it was what I wanted, or if it was actually true. Does truth even matter? Everyone has their own truth. All I wanted was my good news. What I wanted, regardless of truth.

As the men reached out, not to grab me in any way, but to guide me out and point me in the direction I was to be led, my heart began to pound. The rhythmic even thumping of their boots hitting the floor was out of sync with how I felt, and it made my skin crawl realizing how uncaring the world was around me. I could feel that scream attempting to claw its way back up my throat. Choking on the words that wanted to burst forth. Maybe if I had the right words right now, I could change my fate. I could make the difference. Who needs someone else’s word when my own words should be enough? I’ll tell them. I’ll tell them what they need to hear, and perhaps they’ll listen to reason. Maybe I could stall. Word should come soon. News comes eventually. It all has to make it here at some point. I could stall.

But I don’t have any words.

I’m choking on the screams clawing up, and the sobs I’m swallowing down, and the constant struggle to calmly walk forward, because this has to happen. I glance out a passing window in the vain hope of seeing the approach of a newcomer. If I could spot someone maybe they’d pause. Stop and think and give me one more minute. What is another minute, after all? They couldn’t deny me one more minute.

But I see no one, and no words come, and no cries escape as the sound of footsteps carry me ever forward.

They sit me gently down, and back away. No words. Just the silence as everyone knows what’s coming. A nice-looking gentleman steps towards me, though the look on his face isn’t exactly pleasant, it’s not too grim either. I think he’s attempting to look calm, as if that would make me feel better. I feel a slight pinch, and it’s as if all the stress is pressing down as exhaustion sweeps over me, and the urge to fight is slowly washed away. The room is silent. Everyone simply waiting for the predictable results.

I hear a rustle outside, and footsteps by the door, and someone breathing hard. Muffled sounds, and one voice raises up a bit more, and the other simply states, “I’m sorry. It’s too late.”

I should feel crushed. Despair. The cruel twist of fate that the news came too late for me. But I don’t. It was only a small chance to begin with. With that I exhaled my last breath, wondering what would come next.

The Rising Tide

She dragged herself to bed to the sound of the storm hurling water at her windows, battering them until they shook. She had hoped to wait it out, but her mind was too tired to stay up any longer, and the thunder had at least begun to fade away. She tucked herself into bed as the clock radio glared 11:47 in angry red lights, as if accusing her of ignoring the time when she should’ve been thinking about how early she had to get up the next day. A sigh of relief escaped her as she easily slid into dreams.

Maybe it was a sound that woke her, but she couldn’t say for sure, it was just that she was suddenly awake. The rain was steadily falling outside, but nothing like it had been when she fell asleep. Rolling over to check the time, the absence of a red light was unsettling. Straining to listen only made the silence more deafening as there was no grumble of the air conditioner, no hum of a struggling refrigerator, and not the faintest glow from any of the numerous digital clocks or flashing computer lights that infiltrate every home. Just unending darkness. As she strained to hear anything past rain pinging on a metal roof, the swishing sound of water flowing became more apparent. The sort of splashing rolling spread of water that you get from a toilet overflowing, but there were no toilets running.

Sitting up in bed her feet hit the floor only to be met with the uncomfortable feel of wet carpet. Automatically pulling the lamp’s pull string, she mentally smacked herself as she recalled the power was out. Instead she reached into the top drawer of her nightstand for the tiny flashlight within. It was a gift from her dad from years back. A practical gift from a practical man. Christmas often came with gifts of pocket knives, screw drivers, and every other accoutrement needed to fill a tool box, and all of which came in handy at some point. As the thoughtful Christmas gift clicked on, the warm memories were quickly dashed aside as the light gently danced across water flowing in from the living room.

She immediately jumped from the bed, her footsteps squishing into the black abyss of rising water and drowning carpet. The light only continued to splash about on the ripples of the unwelcomed water that was sneaking in under the front door. Turning about, her light could just reach the backdoor to show that it had been unable to keep the intruder out either. Her panic was rising as fast as the water, and the sound of the rain only made them both grow.

Wrenching open the hall closet, she yanked out her rain boots and slammed her soaked feet inside, feeling only slightly better at having accomplished something. Glancing out the window only revealed more darkness. She had nearby neighbors, but their power was out too. Maybe they were still asleep, unaware of the rising tides. Maybe they had woken up already and left the area, leaving behind the last oblivious resident. Should she risk opening the door to trudge out into the unknown?

Straining her eyes to catch any glimpse of movement or light, she found only raindrops and darkness. Didn’t they always warn against crossing waters like this, because of how fast it may be moving, and unknown ground beneath. Her car was small and low to the ground, there was no way it would do well in an attempt to escape. She knew her home was on a slight hill, meaning the roads were far more flooded than her floor was. Was that a light out there? Her eyes ached from staring so hard into the nothingness. There it was again. A glimmer of light.

She didn’t want to risk opening the door, but she could throw up the window pane in the kitchen. Yell for help. They should hear her. The rain wasn’t too loud now. Even as it still fell. Each drop was just another layer of fear.

The window opened; she was met with cold water running from the roof, rushing to join its kin inside. Taking in a cold damp breath she screamed help as loud and as long as she could. The banshee wail was met with an even fiercer scream of wind that stole it away, and pushed her further inside. Who would’ve thought you could drown while standing in a mere foot of water, but the rain shoving its’ way into her mouth and stealing her voice was giving her the choice to drown or run from the single flash of hope in the darkness.

She choked and sputtered, but held back the tears. She wouldn’t let her fear and misery add to the rising tides. But she struggled to take a step. Her mind spinning and searching and finding no answers. She had to decide which risk she should take. But the rain was deciding it for her, and she only just wanted to breathe.

Staying on Top

Book 1: Catching a Man by Elizabeth Corrigan

Staying on Top  description:

Kadin Stone should be over the moon—or at least one of the two moons that grace the sky of Valeriel City. She has a great job working as an aide for one of the best homicide detectives in the city, and her boyfriend is on the verge of proposing. Getting married means she’ll have to give up her day job, but wedding bells have been her life goal for as long as she can remember. But she’s not happy, and she can’t quite figure out why.

Until Duke Baurus DeValeriel walks back into her life.

Kadin cleared Baurus of a murder charge six months ago, and she thought that was the last she’d see of him. After all, they move in completely different circles. But Baurus has need of a homicide detective after a rising film star dies at one of his parties. He’s convinced Kadin is the only one who can solve the case. Kadin’s only too happy to lend her expertise, but as the case progresses, she gets the feeling that Baurus wants more from her, and she’s not sure what she has to offer.

As the case leads Kadin from one tawdry secret to another—secrets only she seems capable of uncovering—she questions whether marriage is what she wants out of life. But it’s not always easy to decide whether to follow your dreams or follow your heart.

Book 2: Staying on Top  5 STARS

Having absolutely loved the first book, there’s always that worry that the next one won’t quite live up to the standard, or be a bit repetitive. Happily, this one blew it out of the water. It was the same characters from last time, so you get to know them even better. Kadin is still a detective’s aide, and still learning the job which I liked. Even though months have passed, and she was a huge part of solving that first case, we don’t see her suddenly transformed into Sherlock Holmes, even if she’s still brilliant at reading people and putting the clues together. Baurus was an interesting addition to Kadin’s circle, because I didn’t really think much of him in the first book. He was just a suspect and so not allowed to know about him, but seeing him in this one really gave him a new dimension in how he’s trying to change and become something more than he might have once been, and it makes him so likeable. But that’s like Olivan, who honestly irritated me a bit in the last book, but he is also further developed into someone who pulls off the comic relief role, while also being a real friend to Kadin. Of course the true excitement is the case. Magic is back, and in a new way, and it leads Kadin even further down a path that makes you wonder exactly who she is and what she may be capable of. Though I’m glad the magic is still more of a backdrop, and it’s mostly focused on the hard-boiled detective side that gives it that 50’s feel in a world that is so similar and so different that it sucks you in completely.

Frat House Confessions: Ridge by Bethany Lopez COVER REVEAL!!!

Today we are sharing the cover reveal of FRAT HOUSE CONFESSIONS: RIDGE by Bethany Lopez.

It is a contemporary romance, standalone title you won’t want to miss.

It will be releasing on

June 24th. Preorder your copy now.

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Pre-order Now!

Amazon | Apple | Kobo | Nook | Smashwords

Universal Link

Frat House Confessions: Ridge by Bethany Lopez

Releasing June 24

Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

She has a broken heart and revenge on her mind…

Last year Karrie was riding high. She had a boyfriend she loved, a softball scholarship, and the best roommate a girl could have.
When it turned out her man was a lying, cheating ballsack, she may have gone off the rails a bit.
Now, it’s a new year and Karrie’s ready to build herself back up and move on to bigger and better things.
Still, a little revenge would go a long way in helping the healing process.

He’s got a plan for revenge that will suit them both…

Ridge is used to being the BMOC. Sergeant of Arms of his frat and the ability to land any chick within snapping distance has made life pretty easy for him.
His home life is another story. He and his brothers are in the middle of a battle between his socialite mother and asshole father.
Ridge is looking for a stand-in to placate his mother and her matchmaking ways, and he has a feeling he’s just met the girl he can perfectly mold.

This makeover has nothing to do with love and everything to do with Karrie and Ridge using each other to get what they want. What starts as a ruse soon becomes an attraction they cannot deny. When it’s all said and done, they’ll both have more to confess than a need for revenge.

Pre-order Now!

Amazon | Apple | Kobo | Nook | Smashwords

Universal Link

Add the book to Goodreads

 

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Bethany Lopez is a USA Today Bestselling author of more than thirty books and has been published since 2011. She’s a lover of all things romance, which she incorporates into the books she writes, no matter the genre.
When she isn’t reading or writing, she loves spending time with family and traveling whenever possible.
Bethany can usually be found with a cup of coffee or glass of wine at hand, and will never turn down a cupcake!

AUTHOR LINKS:

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Simon Markusson has been INTERVIEWED!!!

1. What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?

I opted not to use a pen name, though I probably should have! Simon Markusson sounds quite cumbersome and mismatched, doesn’t it? Kinda like Todd Messerchmitt or something… No, that actually sounds cool. I should so have used Todd Messerschmitt!

I’m a complete publishing newbie so my online presence is pathetic. I really have to start working on that. Instagram @markussons and an old Twitter account @smarkusson That sounds like a Pokémon…

2. Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing.

It contains a lot of reading! I also have some more physical interests like exercise and motorcycle riding. I’m a bit of a health nut. Oh, and of course I binge watch tv-shows like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Stranger Things. It’s getting harder to stay in shape! I’m also a working journalist…but I guess that belongs to the world of writing as well.

3. How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.

I’ve been writing since high school and have a lot of ideas and projects that have been maturing for a long time. Mostly fantasy and sci-fi.

4. What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…

I read David Eddings and Robert Jordan when I was a kid, and they’ve had a huge impact on me. I totally grew up with The Wheel of Time series! In high school I started reading George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire (and yes, it was because of Robert Jordan’s blurb!). That really opened my eyes to a whole new world of grit, violence and intrigue (in a literary sense, don’t worry!). I’ve been hooked since.

5. Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up…

Yes! I’ve just released the first book of my epic (and humorous) fantasy series The Queen Beyond. The first book is called The Unchosen, and the story follows a rather cynical farmhand, Nathelion, who is mistakenly identified as a hero foretold in prophecy. The thing is that he doesn’t believe in magic, ancient evils and all that mumbo jumbo, he’s just looking for a way to leave his life of drudgery behind. Unfortunately, his little white lie might just cause the end of the world.

The series is planned to be a trilogy. I’ve already written the other two books (first drafts), and plan to release them with maybe a year or so between each book.

6. How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?

I guess it all starts with an idea that won’t leave you alone! I certainly daydream a lot. In a way, that is to constantly be writing. The act of typing it down isn’t the hard part. I don’t systematically create outlines or character profiles, but they do live a life in my mind before I sit down to write it all down.

7. What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?

My strength lies in evocative writing. My chief weakness is probably language-related. I’m Swedish so English is not my first language, but I still prefer to write in English (it’s much more versatile!). I definitely make sure to enlist the help of skilled editors!

8. After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?

I’m new to this so it’s trial and error for me! I’m currently trying out Amazon’s advertisement services and I’m reaching out to potential ARC readers! (thank you ARC readers, you’re the best!)

9. What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?

Be ready to change your opinions about how to go about doing things!

The Bride Program

The Bride Program by Dane Griggs:

Maya Arnold was leading a normal life, working and helping care for her sister, until the Cerasteans arrived. Offering a cure for cancer if enough women volunteer as brides, Maya jumped at the chance. Saving her sister was her only goal. She never expected to actually fall in love with an alien, or find best friends in the other bride volunteers.

Since the mysterious destruction of Ceraste, Commander D’Avii and the surviving males have been searching the galaxy for a new home. Finding Earth and its women was a miracle. Like most Cerasteans, he finds humans to be fascinating creatures — none more so than bride volunteer Maya. His attraction to her is instant and intense. Still he knows Maya can never choose him, a warrior, with so many higher-caste scientists seeking their own mates. To do so would shame the scientists and tear the last of his people apart. Yet he aches at the loss of something he never even had.

BOOK 1: The Bride Program  3 STARS

This was a fun quick read. Maya was an every day girl that you could really relate to, as well as the friends she makes of the other brides and the girls night out sort of fun they enjoy. Though I think D’Avii’s chapters were better in a way because of his view of the world and learning about the culture he comes from. I loved the plot of this, with the aliens making themselves known to the world and trying to find a way to save their own race while bettering ours. But I also liked that they didn’t necessarily see themselves as better than humans, and even often commented on the ingenuity of people. The whole interaction between the brides and the aliens was really sweet, and good to see them interacting and learning about each others cultures. Developing real bonds and friendships with each other. However, I do feel like a lot of it was rushed a bit. There was a bit of the meshing and changing to fit the new world that went a little too smoothly that felt unrealistic. I wish it would’ve been developed more, and considering how short the story was it definitely could’ve been. But considering how this is clearly set up to be a series, I can’t wait to read more and hope to learn more about what’s going on on earth and the changes that have been made and the people who are still adjusting to this new discovery.

The Dark

I awoke to the sounds of distant screams echoing painfully off the building walls. I opened my eyes to find an unending darkness. At least I believe I opened my eyes; maybe I was blind. But the world here felt much too cold and empty, as if light had never entered this forbidden place. The cacophony of screams stabbed through my body, my bones rattled with them, and my heart began to pound so fast I could barely breathe. What was this place? What was happening out there? Unable to see even the slightest glimmer of light made the impenetrable darkness a physical force drowning me in its’ own mystery, though being able to see whatever tortures were befalling those elsewhere probably wouldn’t make me feel any better. I tried to take a deep breath to remain calm and reasoning, but found myself choking on the dry fetid air.

I was unbound, but felt inexplicably weak as I shakily rose to my hands and knees. I ran my hand along a floor that had the rough gritty feel of a concrete slab. All directions were the same in the dark, but I did the best I could to crawl in a straight line towards anywhere. My hands and knees felt raw and frozen as they scrapped across the floor, while I seemed to be getting nowhere but closer towards the blood curdling screams that ended so abruptly I feared I’d gone deaf. I had thought the screaming was the most terrifying aspect about this place, but the silence was even more sinister. Silence was filled with watchful eyes that were laying in wait, knowing I was doomed but allowing me the hope of an escape that could never happen. The silence strangled me until I didn’t think I would ever be able to breathe again. What was out there? Then I hit a wall.

I almost couldn’t stifle the shout of relief that bubbled up in me. How ridiculous it was to be happy over the feel of a wall, but it was something in this vast nothingness. I pulled myself to my feet, and moved towards the right until I found the most beautiful thing in the world, a door. I grabbed the handle, ready to exit this nightmare, when the thought of the unknown gripped me with fear. I didn’t know what was on the other side. I barely even knew what was here with me, but nothing in here had hurt me yet. This door, however, could lead to anything. I just stood there waiting.

That’s when the skittering began. It felt like it was coming from the other side of the door, but maybe it was inside with me as well. I spun around, peering fruitlessly into the dark until I couldn’t just stand there anymore. I finally slammed through the door into a blinding light, but I never even got to see what was on the other side as I was yanked back into the room I’d just escaped, and now it was my turn to scream.

Michael B. Koep has been INTERVIEWED!!! on the Creation of the Newirth Mythology Trilogy

The Final Installment in The Newirth Trilogy is now out in The Shape of Rain.

Question: The fantasy genre is a crowded market, can you tell us what sets The Newirth Mythology apart?

Michael B. Koep: The Newirth Mythology invites the reader to accept the story as a reality. From the very start I wanted to play with the idea of myth and truth to see if I could figure out how the power of a story can change one’s nature, perception and behavior. Myth and fantastic stories have captivated, entertained and sculpted entire cultures throughout history—gods, heroes, wars, magic and the like— The Newirth Mythology contains elements of classic fantasy, but so, too, it is filled with a modern perspective—modern characters that must come to terms with the reality of myth in all of its manifestations. For me, I’ve not encountered a story like it before. 

Question: Which elements of the books are your favorite, and are they the same elements readers most connect with?

Koep: I love that the centerpiece to the entire story is a story itself. The words of a Poet that can alter existence—change history— a sought after book—a journal with a frightening supernatural element that characters are willing to risk their lives to obtain. Like a kind of Holy Grail, words are the quest and the curse. The settings align themselves within this theme as well. Battles are fought within medieval libraries—discussions of art and writing transpire over writing desks and ancient tomes—characters travel to the the exotic locations of myth: the Pyramids of Giza, the canals of Venice, the Aegean Sea. Lastly, the reader is invited to enter into the story and attempt to balance between what is real and what is fiction. The Newirth Mythology is a story about story.

Question: Was it important to you to have a compelling female character join Loche as a major protagonist, or did it just happen?

Koep: When I was on a national book tour in 2015 for Part Two, Leaves of Fire, I was scheduled to sign at bookstores during late afternoons in the heat of the summer for several months all across the country. As you can imagine, bookstores at that time of day in that time of year are not especially busy. However, the majority of bookstore visitors, I noticed, were thoughtful, intelligent and witty women ranging in ages between 29 and 60. Some stops on a book tour can be tedious and extremely lonely—but from one signing to the next, these same types of women (book lovers) always took the time to talk with me, share some of their favorite books (while we chatted they often carried an armload to take to the register) and stories about their families and their kids while taking a sincere interest in my work. Their presence made the sometimes alienating book tour not so lonely. When the time came to begin work on Part Three, The Shape of Rain, I found myself wanting to craft a character that these women would love. A thoughtful, bookish type with a dash of sardonic wit, a bit of loneliness and a thirst to learn more about the world and the people in it. Professor of Mythology, Astrid Finnley became an amalgam of these bookstore dwelling women.

Question: Tell readers a little bit about your process. A fantasy epic of this scale involves a lot more than just honing your craft as a writer. What was it like to do so much world building?

Koep: The world of the Newirth Mythology is both modern psychology and medieval epic. It is hard rock music and soliloquies delivered with a nod to Hamlet. It is a new myth told by a modern prophet. An ancient language and a pop song all in one.That seems like a lot—but for me, the process was much like throwing my favorite things and interests at the wall and keeping the things that stuck. Strangely enough, most everything stuck. I believe I managed to weave these relatively disparate elements together because I am involved with each in one way or another. Since I was very young I have harbored a love for myth and fantasy. At twelve I began working on what would later become the language of Elliqui (an ancient tongue of a forgotten immortal race). With that came the necessary step of creating the mythology that would be the foundation of this race’s belief system. Meanwhile, twenty years ago, I cofounded a fencing consortium to appease that weird place in me that has always wanted to learn the sword. The experience has not only fed my love for duels and things medieval, but it has also provided for me the rare occasion to raise a glass of ale or scotch at a tournament and deliver a Shakespearian speech or a poem or drunken toast with big words and pithy sentiment (with a sword dangling at my side, of course). In college I loved psychology, philosophy and literature. Most of all, Poetry. To this day I am a touring rock drummer and lyricist. Music has taken me all over the world. It has also taught me the importance of a well crafted pop lyric or a hooky melody. It has taught me to connect art to an audience. In a lot of ways, the world of the Newirth Mythology wasn’t really world building—it was rather me attempting to capture the world in which I live.

 

Michael B. Koep has been a college educator, an international touring musician and a dynamite

waiter. He is still an author, a swordsman, an avid world traveler, a visual artist, and a professional

rock drummer. Koep has climbed the pyramids of Giza, fenced an Italian master, and done battle with

the infamous North Korean propaganda loudspeakers by aiming a massive PA across the DMZ and

taking a drum solo. Winner of a Costello Poetry Prize, he lives in North Idaho with his son in a house filled with books, vinyl records, paint brushes, maps and musical instruments.

Connect with Michael B. Koep at MichaelBKoep.com, Twitter.com/MBKoep and

Facebook.com/AuthorMichaelBKoep.

The Newirth Mythology Trilogy is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and wherever books are sold.

Publisher Will Dreamly Arts, located in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, is committed to producing

works that possess an artistic standard defined by originality, integrity and excellence in

the craft of fiction, poetry and nonfiction.

Connect with Will Dreamly Arts at WillDreamlyArts.com, Twitter.com/WillDreamlyArts

and Facebook.com/WillDreamlyArts.

Uninvited Quests

Uninvited Quests  by  Lex Wilson  description:

She’s a half-human paladin on an apology tour for a (formerly?) evil god. He’s supposed to be someone else’s squire.

It’s up to them to save the kingdom. But first…

Another sidequest?

Lucan and Manrel have a mission to slay the Dragonqueen and prevent worldwide doom. But when the hero-less squire and his oddball companion hear rumors of a legendary sword, they decide they can handle two missions. It doesn’t take long for them to realize the dungeon holding the weapon is teeming with goblins, ooze monsters, and other terrifying creatures…

Just when everything seems lost, Lucan and Manrel stumble upon not a blade–but a powerful paladin. Sure, she’s sworn fealty to an evil god, but she may be their only hope to survive their quests. Can Lucan and Manrel convince the unstable warrior to join their side and save the world?

Uninvited Quests  3 STARS

This was a humorous and completely nonsensical book. I’d almost say young readers but there are a few things that might would be questionable for such. The best part is the play on words, from the meanings to the spellings, it’s all well done. The actual plot itself though is a bit meandering, and rather slow moving in its way. The long internal monologues were fun but they did slow things down. However each of the characters are unique, and bring their own twist to the story. The way Brae talks about Skurok, the god she’s supposed to be a follower for and trying to spread the news that he isn’t quite as evil anymore, is the best part. In the end though it was a bit hard to get through. I enjoyed it when I was reading it, but it wasn’t the sort of book that I was jumping to see what happens next.

Sarah Ashwood has been INTERVIEWED!!!

1.      What’s your name? Where can we find you? Blog? Twitter? Facebook?
 
Hi, my name is Sarah Ashwood, and I write a blend of fairy tale/portal/epic fantasy. I don’t blog, but you can find me on my website, Twitter, and Facebook.
2.      Tell us a little about your life outside of the world of writing.
 
           Well, I’m a homeschooling mom of three boys. I’m also a runner. I’m planning to do the Tulsa Run 15k this fall. I’ve done 15ks before, but not this particular one. I’m married to an asphalt plant operator and I literally never know from one day to the next what time he’ll be home, because there are no set hours in a job like his. Especially this time of year, in the summer. I’m a writer, of course. So far my published works include a fantasy novella, Amana, my Sunset Lands Beyond trilogy, several short stories in various anthologies, and now my brand new Beyond the Sunset Lands series.
 
3.       How long have you been writing? What genres have you written? They don’t have to be published.
 
I’ve been writing for around fifteen years. Mainly I write fantasy, and that’s what I’m published in. I’ve also written two historical fiction novels, and they’re with an agent right now. Crossing my fingers on that!
 
4.      What has been the greatest influence to your writing? Other authors, life experiences, etc…
 
I would say reading, music, movies, and watching people in the world around me. Fairy tales and Disney movies, as well. As for authors, C. Greenwood is a favorite.
5.      Are you currently writing anything now? If so tell us about it? If not make something up.
 
                I’m working on a fun YA Fantasy/Fairy tale novel, Knight’s Rebirth, which is set to debut before Christmas 2018. It’s the story of a famous knight, Sir Buckhunter Dornley, who is content to live alone until he meets the charming and outrageous Princess Mercy. When he discovers Mercy is threatened by a deadly curse, how far will he go to break it?
 
6.      How do you typically begin your projects? Do you create outlines and character profiles or jump in head first with the initial idea? And do you focus on just one at a time?
 
I am very much a pantser. Usually I have an idea, a vague plot in my head, and I run with it, letting it unfold as I write. In the past I would work on more than one project at once, but now I find I do better focusing on only one book at a time.
 
7.      What aspect of your writing do you consider your strength? Your weakness?
 
Hmmm. I’ve gotten compliments on my descriptive skills and world building. As for weaknesses, being repetitive. Also overuse of colons.
8.      After publishing, the next trouble facing writers is marketing. What do you typically do when marketing your novel? Do you have tips you’d like to share?
 
Ugh, this is such a huge learning curve! I started out buying promos from promotional sites. Then I switched more toward newsletter and newsletter swaps. Right now, I’m trying a combination of those things. If I find the elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I’ll let you know!
 
9.      What advice would you give a writer who is starting out?
 
I’d tell them the best advice I’ve ever seen, and that is to write. Just write. You can polish it later, but you can’t polish what isn’t written.