Saturday, 30 May 2015

Shadow Stalker: Turning Tides by Renee Scattergood

Renee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She has always been a fan of fantasy and was inspired to become a story-teller by George Lucas, but didn't start considering writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing fantasy. She is currently publishing her monthly Shadow Stalker series, and she has published a prequel novella to the series called, Demon Hunt. She is also working on a new series, Savior of the Serpent Isles. The first book, The Galvadi Invasion, is due to be released later this year. Aside from writing, she loves reading (Fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter. Find out more about her, and sign up for her newsletter for a free copy of her latest episode of Shadow Stalker: http://reneescattergood.com

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Renee Writes - my personal website and blog.

About Shadow Stalker: Turning Tides (Episode 9)


Makari has finally come to realize Auren is not the delohi-saqu, and his father, Drevin, Emperor of the Galvadi, has been wrong about her all along. He goes to Zain, Auren's father, for help to heal Auren's mind after he had wrongfully broken her. Now Makari vows to protect Auren and help her escape, but she refuses to leave without her father.

Auren and Makari's love for each other grows, and the connection they share deepens. They have to be careful, however. Spending too much time together is causing the other guides to grow suspicious. Makari's loyalty is tested, and he is forced to do something he swore he'd never do again.

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Excerpt from Shadow Stalker: Turning Tides (Episode 9)


The only time [Makari] shut me out was when he had to participate in a cleansing session. The knowledge that it had never been necessary, and the fact it was his father's way of brainwashing people, weighed on him greatly. It was why he didn't want to involve me. He didn't want me to see him hurting others. It didn’t change how I felt about him, nothing could, but Makari feared it would taint our connection somehow. Of course I could always see it in his mind afterward, but I never said anything.

"Isn't there any way you can avoid it?" I asked him one afternoon.

"No. Some of the guides are growing suspicious. I'm afraid it won't be long before someone decides to investigate or test my loyalties."

I hadn't realized how bad it was for him. "We've been so careful though."

"I know. It's nothing we're doing wrong. Some of the guides are naturally suspicious, and the time I've spent with you is not normal. It's not unheard of for a guide to focus attention on a person who is difficult, but because of my reaction to you in the office that night, I may have given away the fact that we knew each other."

"Oh, the lizard comment?"

Makari nodded. "That, and my familiarity with you, yes. I wasn't trying to be careful then because I had every intention on turning you over to my father. Eventually. Had I known what would happen, I would have been more discreet."

I shrugged. "You can't change the past."

"No, but Auren, you have to promise me something."

"Okay," I said, though I didn’t like his tone.

"If something happens, I’ll send you a warning through our connection. If that happens, you have to promise me you’ll leave Nadiria and go back to Kado so he can keep you safe."

I rolled my eyes. "I don't need anyone to keep me safe, Makari. I'm not helpless."

"I know that. But I promised your father I'd protect you," he said, gripping my arms. "If I send you a warning, it will be because they know you're here and that I've betrayed them."

"So, I'm supposed to run and leave you to your death?" I said, my chest constricting. "I can't do that. I can't live without you."

"Then leave and trust that I can take care of myself."

"What if they put a recinder on you? What if they put one on me?"

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Shadow Stalker: Broken (Episode 8) by Renee Scattergood

Renee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She has always been a fan of fantasy and was inspired to become a story-teller by George Lucas, but didn't start considering writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing fantasy. She is currently publishing her monthly Shadow Stalker series, and she has published a prequel novella to the series called, Demon Hunt. She is also working on a new series, Savior of the Serpent Isles. The first book, The Galvadi Invasion, is due to be released later this year. Aside from writing, she loves reading (Fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter. Find out more about her, and sign up for her newsletter for a free copy of her latest episode of Shadow Stalker.




Connect with the Author

Renee Writes - my personal website and blog.
Renee's Author Spotlight - a blog where I feature indie and small press authors.

About the Book

Auren finds a way to escape the pain of her torture, but when Makari realizes it's preventing him from "cleansing" her, he finds ways of randomizing the pain to keep her present. Still, she does not succumb to the torment.

When Makari can't get through to her, he decides Drevin, the emperor of the Galvadi, is right. Auren is the delohi-saqu. Now Makari is no longer concerned with cleansing her because the delohi-saqu cannot be cleansed. He resorts to more sadistic methods to extract information about the Coalition. If Auren can't resist, her friends and hundreds of innocent people will die.

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An excerpt from Shadow Stalker: Broken (Episode 8)


Makari leaned over me, placing a hand on the side of my face. His eyes bored into my, imploring me to give him what he wanted. "Please, Auren. Tell me where they are."

"You know I can't. I can't betray my people."

He sighed. "Just remember you brought this on yourself. I've tried to make this easy for you. You promised to accept the cleansing, and yet you have fought me at every turn."

My eyes widened. "I didn't hide in the shadow world. I did exactly what you asked."

"No, you didn't hide in the shadow world. You just found somewhere else to hide." He sighed. "Maybe it's not your fault. Maybe it's just in your nature as the delohi-saqu."

"Stop calling me that," I shouted. "I agreed to wear the stupid recinder if you promise not to tell your father where they are. If I knew you would go to them, that you would help them, I’d tell you.” I grasped onto the small silence. “If I'm wearing a recinder, I can't hurt anyone, right?"

"So you're admitting to who you are?"

I groaned. "No, Makari. I'm just trying to help my people. I can see you don't want to do this, so why can't we find another way?"

"Because I don't trust your intentions, Auren. It could be a trick, or an effort to buy more time so you can make your plans. Besides, the Coalition won’t trust me. They might kill me on sight."

"They don't know you. You could tell them you're a shadow stalker, or take me with you. If I’m wearing the recinder…"

Makari shook his head. He had already made up his mind. I needed another tactic.

"If they know I’ve been captured, they have likely moved."

"They're limited on where they can go now, Auren. Even if they have moved, you can give me a starting point. I've been trained to track in ways you couldn't possibly imagine. I will find them."

His words made it clear he had no knowledge of my training, or that Kado was a shadow warrior. My skills probably exceeded his, but I had no intention of telling him that.

"Tell me, Auren. We don't have to do this."

"Yes, we do. You will never believe me, and I will never betray the people of the Serpent Isles." I closed my eyes. This was it. The beginning of the end.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Magical Muse Collection Anthology - Interview with Andrea R. Cooper



Andrea R. Cooper found the characters she once imagined as a child calling her back to their fantasy worlds of danger, romance, and bewitchment. Her stories, stoked by these familiar friends, reignited a bonfire of love and enchantment. Her novel, The Garnet Dagger received the UP Author’s 2013 Seal of Approval. For more visit www.andreaRcooper.com

Connect with the Author


About the Anthology


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.

Alexis Lantgen brings a twist to the story of a fairy changeling, showing a dark evil intent behind this mythological practice.

Andrea R. Cooper turns a dark fantasy tale into a lyrical piece that tests your understanding of your own mind.

George L. Duncan features a creature many never saw coming as the source of justice in a corrupt world.

Dark fantasy takes a humorous twist with Oz Durose, who introduces us to a new type of zombie that makes you regret deleting the files off your very own computer…readers beware!

Mythological hounds are a foreshadowing of doom for one man seeking refuge from their deadly chase. Allison D. Reid brings a tale of adventure as seen through the eyes of the hounds and their mysterious master, born from the darkness of hell.

Demons lurking throughout this tale bring a monster into the world. A demi-god finds out her fate as KJ Hawkins spins a tale of triumph and fear.

Matthew Frassetti presses the will of a man trying to save his lover from the hands of a demon. The bonds of friendship between man and beast are tested as this tale of adventure takes a twist.

Brendan Carroll brings a brilliantly fun, entertaining story to life, showing how in the midst of everyday beauty, time simply passes when you least expect it.

Khushi Agarwal tests the power of Christmas cheer with elves on strike. Will Christmas come on time, or will it be ruined for all?

The holidays are here as D.B. Mauldin brings a hard working elf into the spotlight for a special Christmas festival.

Buy the Book


Interview with Andrea R Cooper


Why did you decide to be a writer?

I've always been a storyteller. The kids in school would come up to me at recess and after school and ask me what we were going to 'play' that day. I created the plot and the characters.
Later, the characters and stories wouldn't leave me, and I no longer had a cast of friends willing to play them out - so writing them down became the next progression.

What is the biggest obstacle you face as an author and what do you do to overcome it?

Letting others read my writing. I was a recluse, as far as my writing, for years. Never letting anyone read it except a few people. When I got published, I realized not everyone will like my stories, but many will - so I write for myself and for the readers who enjoy my writing. 

What is your writing process?

Sit down at the computer and write. No outline. No lining up pencils. With three kids: two under the age of six and a full-time job, I don't have time except to park myself in a chair and write whenever I have time.

What are your goals as an author? Where do you see yourself in five years?

My goals are to have more books published and to develop more as an author. I've learned so much in the two years since I've been published that I wish I could re-write my debut novel.

In five years, I hope to have a wider fan base and make it to the best seller list.

Do you have any advice for other indie authors?

Read, Write, Repeat. Join a critique group. Find beta readers (they are worth mountains of gold). Create your online social media presence now as a writer, don't wait until you're published.

What made you decide to self-publish?

I'm a hybrid author. I have both self-published and traditionally published novels. I think it's the best of both worlds.

I self-published because I didn't feel like my debut novel, The Garnet Dagger was complete. That readers would want to know more about the characters: Brock & Celeste. However, my publisher wanted a new novel showing new characters and their HEA. So I self-published Cursed Book 1.5 to continue the story for readers who wanted more of the original characters. After that, I saw how easy it was to self-publish. (I just wish I'd self-published ten years ago :)

What are you working on now?

I'm working on War of Darkness Book 3 in the Legends of Oblivion series, Captive Hearts - Book 2 of the Stolen Hearts series, Viking Blaze the final book in the Viking Fire series, and new paranormal romance series.

Yes, I write sporadically. Usually, not this badly, but readers want the next book in many of my series so I'm writing as fast as I can - which means jumping to another novel when I get stuck.

Does your family support you in your writing, or are you on your own?

My husband and sister are very supportive. I appreciate the time and brainstorming they've done with me.

What genres do you write?

Fantasy, paranormal romance, historical romance, and romantic suspense.

Is there a genre that you've been wanting to experiment with? If so, what is it and what attracts you to it?

Romantic suspense. A few months ago, I published my first novel under this genre: Stolen Hearts Book 1. 

It attracts me because I want to know more of the suspense in a novel when I read. The idea came to me when a friend and fellow author said I was a suspense author in hiding. So I experimented with Stolen Hearts and am also working on Captive Hearts Book 2 in the series (among other stories)

What fears do you have about writing and being an indie author? How do you cope with your fears?
I don't have any fears until I start reading reviews. I take the overly positive ones with a grain of salt, and the bad ones have me running for a glass of wine and a chocolate cake.

Have you ever had a particularly harsh critique? How did you handle it?

Yes. I took it personally and it upset me for days. Then I got a positive review that had little to do with the story or my writing - but how the book made the reader feel/remember something positive in their life.

So now the harsh critiques still bother me, but I'm able to get over them. It helps to read the bad reviews of my favorite authors. Not everyone will love everything written.

When did you first consider yourself an author?

When my first novel was published. Until then, I only thought of myself as a writer.

What book or series do you enjoy reading over and over again?

Funny thing is, I can't read a book twice. I already know the story and there are so many books and good stories and not enough time to read them all.

I only read mine and other authors (for edit and beta reading purposes) more than once. I've tried re-reading a favorite book, and I have to move on to something new.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Magical Muse Collection Anthology - Author Interview with Alexis Lantgen

Alexis Lantgen is a musician and writer who holds a master’s degree in music performance from Florida International University, as well as a Bachelor of Music in viola performance and a Bachelor of Arts in Letters (Magna cum Laude) from the University of Oklahoma. She performs on violin and viola in orchestras including the Wichita Falls Symphony and the San Angelo Symphony. Currently, Alexis teaches private violin and viola lessons, and in the past she's taught eighth grade English and ESL in Dallas public schools. Her first novel is a YA Urban Fantasy about a young African American boy with special powers who must save his sister from an evil voodoo sorcerer. She hopes to finish revising her first draft by January 2014. In addition to her novel and short stories, Alexis writes poetry and a blog.


Connect with the Author


About the Anthology

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.

Alexis Lantgen brings a twist to the story of a fairy changeling, showing a dark evil intent behind this mythological practice.

Andrea R. Cooper turns a dark fantasy tale into a lyrical piece that tests your understanding of your own mind.

George L. Duncan features a creature many never saw coming as the source of justice in a corrupt world.

Dark fantasy takes a humorous twist with Oz Durose, who introduces us to a new type of zombie that makes you regret deleting the files off your very own computer…readers beware!

Mythological hounds are a foreshadowing of doom for one man seeking refuge from their deadly chase. Allison D. Reid brings a tale of adventure as seen through the eyes of the hounds and their mysterious master, born from the darkness of hell.

Demons lurking throughout this tale bring a monster into the world. A demi-god finds out her fate as KJ Hawkins spins a tale of triumph and fear.

Matthew Frassetti presses the will of a man trying to save his lover from the hands of a demon. The bonds of friendship between man and beast are tested as this tale of adventure takes a twist.

Brendan Carroll brings a brilliantly fun, entertaining story to life, showing how in the midst of everyday beauty, time simply passes when you least expect it.

Khushi Agarwal tests the power of Christmas cheer with elves on strike. Will Christmas come on time, or will it be ruined for all?

The holidays are here as D.B. Mauldin brings a hard working elf into the spotlight for a special Christmas festival.

Buy the Book


Interview with Alexis Lantgen


What is the biggest obstacle you face as an author and what do you do to overcome it?

My biggest obstacle is finding enough time and energy to write! I teach violin and viola, play in symphony orchestras, and care for a vivacious toddler. I'm very happy, but at the end of a busy day it's hard to focus on writing. I overcome it by sneaking little bits of writing time in throughout the day--during my breaks at work, when my daughter is napping, in the evening if I'm not too tired. I focus on the time I have, and forgive myself if I can't write for a day or two. I think the most important thing is to keep going. Success comes from perseverance!

Do you ever base your characters on people you know?

Yes, but I try to change details. The hero in my (currently unpublished) novel is based on one of my favorite students.

What are you working on now?

I just finished a non-fiction article for Renaissance Magazine, and I'm working on a new Fantasy novel (or possibly novella). While my first novel is YA, this time around I'm writing a very adult fantasy about a woman who's burned in an acid attack on her wedding day.

What genres do you write?

I write scifi/fantasy, but I'm curious about all genres. I think it's good to explore outside of your reading/writing comfort zone--it gives you a more diverse set of tools, and can make for exciting genre crossovers. I'd never read a Western novel until recently, but now I'm reading Lonesome Dove. It's different, but in a good way.

What is the worst writing advice you've ever received?

I get sick to death of hearing endless variations of "write everyday!" That's great for people with lots of free time, but people with jobs and families shouldn't feel terrible about not being able to write all the time. Do the best you can with the time you have, and don't let anyone shame you or discourage you. Besides, most of the people who give this advice seem to spend most of their "writing" time on twitter.

If you could choose an author to be your mentor, who would it be?

Ursula LeGuin. She writes such deep, philosophical, fascinating stories, but they're also so enjoyable to read. I love her books! Based on her writing, she seems like a wise, thoughtful person.

Are you a pantser or outliner?

Both. I carefully outlines my first novel, and I'm writing my second one by the seat of my pants. Some days I miss the comfort of an outline, but with my new story I'm trying to just follow my main character on her journey.

What book or series do you enjoy reading over and over again?

I've read "Harry Potter" so many times! I'm looking forward to reading it again with my daughter when she's old enough--I'd love to see her fresh perspective. Robert Graves' "I, Claudius," is another favorite, and a great book for anyone interested in violent politics or ancient Rome. I love re-reading Jane Austin as well--she's got such a flawless eye for human nature.

How many books do you have on your "to read" list?

Tons. I have books piled all over my nightstand and stuffed into random places all over my house.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I like to get out and explore. I love going for long walks in the park, or finding a new restaurant, or visiting a museum, or taking my daughter to the zoo. I like to take in the culture of the city I live in. My husband and I also love Renaissance Faires!

Friday, 1 May 2015

Magical Muse Collection Anthology - Author Interview with D.B. Mauldin

D. B. Mauldin is a professional writer and blogger with several articles, poetry, and short stories in publication. You can read her work at Mama Bear Musings. D. B. Mauldin is currently working on a book of short stories.

About the Anthology

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.

Alexis Lantgen brings a twist to the story of a fairy changeling, showing a dark evil intent behind this mythological practice.

Andrea R. Cooper turns a dark fantasy tale into a lyrical piece that tests your understanding of your own mind.

George L. Duncan features a creature many never saw coming as the source of justice in a corrupt world.

Dark fantasy takes a humorous twist with Oz Durose, who introduces us to a new type of zombie that makes you regret deleting the files off your very own computer…readers beware!

Mythological hounds are a foreshadowing of doom for one man seeking refuge from their deadly chase. Allison D. Reid brings a tale of adventure as seen through the eyes of the hounds and their mysterious master, born from the darkness of hell.

Demons lurking throughout this tale bring a monster into the world. A demi-god finds out her fate as KJ Hawkins spins a tale of triumph and fear.

Matthew Frassetti presses the will of a man trying to save his lover from the hands of a demon. The bonds of friendship between man and beast are tested as this tale of adventure takes a twist.

Brendan Carroll brings a brilliantly fun, entertaining story to life, showing how in the midst of everyday beauty, time simply passes when you least expect it.

Khushi Agarwal tests the power of Christmas cheer with elves on strike. Will Christmas come on time, or will it be ruined for all?

The holidays are here as D.B. Mauldin brings a hard working elf into the spotlight for a special Christmas festival.

Buy the Book



Interview with D.B. Mauldin


Why did you decide to be a writer?

As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a writer.

What is the biggest obstacle you face as an author and what do you do to overcome it?

My age. Life circumstances demanded that I drop out of college and go to work full time, shortly after my high school graduation. There was no time for writing for years. When I felt ready to go back to writing, the internet had been born and I had access to all kinds of writing information.

What inspires you to write?

My imagination, nature, and my grandchildren.

What are your goals as an author? Where do you see yourself in five years?

The sky's the limit! Seriously, I would love to have at least three novels under my belt in five years.

What are you working on now?

I'm currently working on my own anthology of short stories and my first fantasy novel, (not yet named). I would love to publish at least one, if not both of these, near the end of 2015.

Does your family support you in your writing, or are you on your own?

My husband is my biggest supporter.
What genres do you write?

Fantasy and Paranormal Romance

Is there a genre that you've been wanting to experiment with? If so, what is it and what attracts you to it?

I would love to experiment with a good mystery/thriller. It is a genre that I enjoy reading, so I assume that I would enjoy writing it too.

Are you a pantser or outliner?

I'm a bit of both. I usually outline at the beginning, but if something feels right I will deviate from the original outline and write from the seat of my pants for awhile.

What book or series do you enjoy reading over and over again?


Jean M. Auel's Earth's Children series.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I enjoy gardening, being in nature, reading, and spending time with my grandchildren.

Do you write about real life experiences, or does everything come from your imagination?

So far, my short stories have been written from my imagination. I do have some real life experiences that I would like to turn into women's fiction at some point in the future.

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