Monday, August 26, 2013

Author interview: Daniel Black

Be Careful What You Wish For: Saga of the New Gods by Daniel Black

The time has come, Hell's gates shall be thrown wide and the power of creation shall run rampant upon the earth.
In this, the first book of the “Saga of the New Gods,” a group of young college students bring about Armageddon in the most literal sense of the word. With a simple wish upon a unique wedding band given to him by his love, Michelle, Adam unleashes a power that could – if left to reign unchecked – destroy the entire world…
The story begins with a couple of young women, Chelsea and Michelle, bearers of a tragic past, fighting to create a future for themselves. They travel to an old pawn shop in the town of Athens, Ohio, and purchase a ring for Michelle to give to her love, Adam, in the hopes of becoming his wife. A poorly timed wish after the gift of the ring has dire consequences however, as magic enters the world. All that they know, or have known, begins to come unraveled as first their comfortable existence in this bucolic town is ripped from them, then their future. They reach their moment of greatest despair as one of their number flees, another lays near death, and another sleeps in a state akin to a coma… In this moment of vulnerability a man arrives offering a glimmer of hope, Mathew Banks, a federal officer, arrives with the dawn to take them to a place of safety and security. But what is secure when the very laws that govern reality begin to unravel? What is safe when those who watch over you risk change from day to day, moment to moment, and even those who are your closest friends deceive you and risk more than your lives, but the very souls that make you who you are?
This first story tells the tale of the creation of this new world, as the series continues you will rise to the heights of this world and others, and to the very depths of hell.

Daniel has joined us for an interview:

 When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
My primary interest in becoming a writer originated in elementary school. When I was going to elementary school, they discovered I had a learning disorder, which was later classified as Autism. They also discovered I had a rather higher than normal IQ. So they sent me to a special school on Pearl Harbor called Assets.

At Assets, I met Mrs. Chuck Lee, a school teacher. As a class assignment she had everyone in the class write a short story, just four pages, but even so short a paper was torture for me. You see, part of my learning disability was that small motions caused sharp pains in me, so writing, literally, hurt. However, as soon as my pen touched the page, and I began writing the story, my imagination jumped up and took over, before I was done I had written a sixteen page story instead of the four page short story originally assigned, and from that day on, I was a writer.

 How many jobs did you have before you became a writer?
This is a difficult question to answer. I have always been a writer, ever since elementary school. So I will change it just a bit too; how many jobs did I have before I became a full time writer?

I have had many jobs, from demolitions to real estate, and from the vice president of a corporation to a bouncer in a seedy strip joint. I only recently left a career as a medical courier to become a full time author, and I prefer it greatly.

 How long does it take you to write a book?
Now that I am a full time author, about six months, sometimes it runs a bit longer, sometimes shorter, but over all about six months.

 What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I’d have to say it’s that my characters act like real people. I am an avid reader, and one of the things that has always bothered me about the characters in books is they are too... steadfast... the good guys are good and honorable, the bad guys wear metaphorical black hats and eat babies and kittens. My good guys have issues, my bad guys are trying to do good as they see it, and everyone makes excuses for what they do. I don’t know if this is necessarily a quirk, but it is one of the basic tenants of my writing style, my characters are real, real people in incredible situations, but real nonetheless.

 Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?
From everyone I meet. I have said this in comments on Facebook, and in conversations with people, I draw inspiration from real people because my goal is to make my characters feel real. People don’t do bad things because they have some sort of diabolical hunger to wipe out mankind, they do it because they want power, or wealth, or even just attention. The overall impression I have gotten of humanity is that for the most part we are scared and lonely; this causes us to lash out at people who we are jealous of because we interpret them as not being scared and lonely, further scaring them and making them feel alone. It is a vicious cycle, and one of the horrors of our existence.

The good guys in my book are that way because they have one another, and (somewhat) trust one another.

 How do you decide what you want to write about?
Well, for the foreseeable future I will be writing about my fantasy world “New Earth” where the events of the “Saga of the New Gods” take place. I have ten novels already in mind for this world, broken into three trilogies and a standalone novel.

I will also be offering up my world to other fantasy writers at a later date, as I could no more tell all the stories in “New Earth” than I could in the old one.

 What books have most influenced your life?
This is a long list *Chuckle* I have read more than ten thousand novels, as well as several thousand nonfiction text’s, including two versions of the dictionary (was stuck on a ship with nothing to read, was horrible, the plot was predictable, very few surprises).

If I had to choose one author that has had the greatest impact upon me though, I would have to say that would be Robert A. Heinlein. RAH was the first author I ever read, and I devoured everything he wrote, including his nonfiction work.

 What are you reading right now?
I just finished rereading the “Drizzt Do’Urden” novels by R.A. Salvatore, and am now going on to reread “The Dresden Files” by Jim Butcher.

 What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I enjoy reading; spending time with my wife and my cat’s, lazy Sunday morning’s watching television and laughing about Sheldon and Leonard, playing video games with my wife, playing pen and paper role playing games with a small group of friends, or going to the movies. My life is very quiet, and mostly sedentary.

A sedentary sleepy existence is pretty much my idea of heaven at this point. In the past my life was very active, frequently terrifying, and always interesting. My old life has left me with a great deal of knowledge (much of which I wish I could unlearn), a great many scars-of both the visible and non visible variety-and an abiding wish to make the world a better place.

I can only hope that my old life will improve my novels, and make them more enjoyable for the reader.

 What is your favorite comfort food?
Anything that has enough caffeine in it to jump start an elephant, and Lefse, which is a Scandinavian pastry made from potatoes.

 What do you think makes a good story?
Everyone has their own reason for reading, their own idea of what makes a story engrossing. For me, it is when I can see myself in a character, can become the character as the story plays out behind my eyes.

 Who would you consider your favorite author and why?
Again, long list; but if I had to choose one, it would have to be Robert A. Heinlein. The books he wrote were about people, people in unusual situations, people from the point of view of a different time, but people.

Fun random questions:
• dogs or cats?
I am an animal lover, I presently have two cats, one of which is curled up beside me as I write, and we are planning on getting some dogs here soon as well. Pet’s make everything better.

• Coffee or tea?
Coffee. I drink Tea on occasion, but I make it so strong that it tends to come out as black as coffee (see question above on comfort food).

• Dark or milk chocolate?
Milk; not because there is anything wrong with dark chocolate, I just think it is a bit bitter for my corn syrup saturated palette.

• Rocks or flowers?
Rocks, definitely rocks, they don’t die, they look good in my rock garden, and I don’t have to go outside and tend to them.

• Night or day?
Night, though this one is not by choice; I was wounded while in the military in a most horrible manner, and the majority of my body is covered in scar tissue. This has resulted in my body not being able to regulate heat well. I am good so long as the temperature doesn’t get above eighty, but above that I become very ill.

• Favorite color?
I know, I know, it’s not a color, but I like black.

• Crayons or markers?
Erm... keyboards?

• Pens or pencils?
Pencils, I like being able to go back and erase something if it doesn’t look right.

More about the author:
Hello, my name is Daniel Black.
My wife and I currently broil... I mean live... in the city of Austin, TX, with our one and a half cats, Anya, and Bella.
2012 was an incredibly busy year for me. At long last I was finally able to become a full time author, I got married to my lovely Kimberly, and sadly, my mother lost her fight with cancer after two years of struggle.
But that is depressing; on to happier things...
I write primarily Fantasy, though I also have a Science Fiction novel in the works. My Fantasy is a harsher, grittier, form of Fantasy than most. I write about real people in fantastic situations, I draw from psychology texts in order to properly portray reactions to situations, as well as experiences in my own life and imagination to help.
There's not much more to say, but that I intend to keep on writing until they nail shut my coffin, same as The Master writer Robert Jordan, and here's hoping with equal success.

Click HERE to buy your own copy.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Blog Tour: Kindred and Wings by Philippa Ballantine - - - tourwide giveaway

This virtual book tour is presented by Bewitching Book Tours.
Click HERE for more tour information.
Welcome to The Wormhole and my stop on the tour.
It is my pleasure to feature:
Philippa Ballantine and Kindred and Wings.

About the Author:

Born in Wellington, New Zealand, Philippa has always had her head in a book. For this she blames her father who thought Lord of the Rings was suitable bedtime reading for an eight year old. At the age of thirteen she began writing fantasy stories for herself.

She first earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Political Science and then a Bachelor of Applied Science in Library and Information Science. So soon enough she found herself working in the magical world of libraries where she stayed for over a decade.

Her first professional sale was in 1997, and since then she has gone on to produce mostly novel length fiction. In 2006 she became New Zealand’s first podcast novelist, and she has voiced and produced Weaver’s Web, Chasing the Bard, Weather Child and Digital Magic as podiobooks. Her podcasts have won both a Parsec Award and a Sir Julius Vogel award.

Philippa is the author of the Books of the Order series with Ace- Geist, Spectyr, Wrayth and Harbinger coming in July 2013.

She is also the co-author of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series with Tee Morris. Phoenix Rising debuted in May 2011 and The Janus Affair came out in May 2012. Phoenix Rising won the Airship Award for best written steampunk, and was the number eight best Science Fiction book of 2011 according to The Janus Affair was the seventh most popular science fiction book of 2012 on The series continues with Dawn’s Early Light in December 2013.

In addition she is also the author of the Shifted World series with Pyr Books, with the first book Hunter and Fox released in June 2012, and the second Kindred and Wings scheduled for August 2013.

When not writing or podcasting, Philippa loves reading, gardening, and whenever possible traveling. With her husband Tee and her daughter, she is looked after by a mighty clowder of five cats in Manassas, Virginia.


Twitter: philippajane


Kindred and Wings
A Shifted World Novel Book Two
Philippa Ballantine

Genre: Epic fantasy
Paperback: 390 pages

Publisher: Pyr
August 6, 2013

Book Description:

On the back of the dragon Wahirangi, Finn the Fox flees the world he has known. As he sets out to find the brother he never knew of, he still holds in his heart the memory of the Hunter. He has denied his love for her, but he cannot deny it forever. In the halls of the Last Believers, Talyn begins to uncover her own mysteries, but her lust for the death of the Caisah is still strong and clouds her vision.

She must choose her path, as the Seer of her people or as the assassin of the overlord. Meanwhile, Byre, Talyn's brother, must venture into the fiery world of the Kindred, to rebuild the pact that his ancestors made. He will risk everything he is as he forms a new pact that will change his people forever.

Dragons and myths will be reborn, as the Hunter and her Fox face each other once more.

Amazon BN

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 5, 2013

S.R. Johannes' Street Team - - - Mission One.

Hi guys!
 I have some pretty exciting news! One of my favorite authors, S.R. Johannes, has just launched a new street team.   What is a street team? A street team is a group of fans or supporters who rally behind an artist, band, or author. Street teams provide ways for us fans to help spread the word about the books and authors we love. Plus as a bonus most street teams offer really neat perks for being a part of the group. Think of it like your book club, but cooler.   Why should I join Johannes' street team? Because Shelli is awesome! But if that is not enough for you here are a few of the perks that come with being a street team member:
  • A special welcome pack - which includes a "cool" badge for your blog along with bookmark, pen, signed bookplates, press kit on the book, and more.
  • A free ebook of your choice with a chance to win more.
  • Monthly missions - A monthly drawing for members only if you complete the special mission. The prizes will include book gift cards, books, ARCs, query critiques, and other fun stuff.
  • Receive 1 ebook and or swag pack a year for a giveaways on your blog.
  • Coffee talks - come visit me at my appearances and hang out for coffee afterwards.
  • And MORE (check out Shelli's blog for the full list!)
  How can I join Johannes' street team? That's pretty darn easy! If you are already a fan of Shelli's book all you have to do is fill out the sign up form and join us over on our special Facebook group. All of the details are listed here in Shelli's blog post.

About Untraceable: Untraceable
Title: Untraceable
Series: The Nature of Grace, Book One
Genre/Keywords: Contemporary Thriller
Length: 315 pages Extras: Blog Tour
Release date: Print: November 29, 2011 – ebook: November 15, 2011
ebook ISBN: 978-0-9847991-0-7
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-9847991-2-1
Summary: Grace grew up in the woods. When her forest ranger dad disappears on patrol, she fights town authorities, tribal officials, & nature to prove he’s alive. Torn between a hot boy and cute ex, she heads into the wilderness to find her dad. Soon, Grace is caught in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. It will take more than a compass and motorcycle for this tough heroine to save all she loves.   Praise for Untraceable:
"This thrilling story is a dramatic entanglement of mystery, deception and teen romance. The action flows like a brisk mountain stream interspersed with rapids, holding suspense to last page." - Kirkus Reviews
“Johannes has done a marvelous job of creating a suspense-filled mystery with surprises that keep you guessing all the way to the end. Untraceable is a thoroughly engrossing and riveting page-turner.” - IndieReader
"This story is action-packed and very funny in some parts. There is even a bit of young romance...There is a strong message of wildlife conservation, so it is somewhat educational in that aspect." - Readers Favorite
"Grace is a spunky, independent, nature girl who doesn't need a boy to save her. With wilderness survival, a juicy love triangle, and more twists and turns than a roller coaster, this fast-paced novel had me holding my breath until the very last page—and still begging for more!" -Kimberly Derting, author of Body Finder series (Harper Teen)
About the Author:
JohannesS.R. Johannes is the award-winning author of the Amazon bestselling thriller series, The Nature of Grace (Untraceable and Uncontrollable). Unstoppable (book 3) is scheduled for September 2013.
S.R. Johannes is the YA advisor of ALLi and a winner of the 2012 IndieReader Discovery Awards (Young Adult category) as well as a Silver medalist (2nd place) in the IPPY awards for YA Fiction. She was also nominated for 2012 Georgia Author of the Year (Young Adult category), a Finalist in The Kindle Book Review's Best Young Adult of 2012, and a YA Finalist in the US Book News Best Book of 2012.
After earning an MBA and working in corporate America doing marketing for over 15 years, S.R. Johannes traded in her expensive suits, high heels, and corporate lingo for a family, flip-flops, and her love of writing. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her dog, English-accented husband, and the huge imaginations of their little prince and princess, which she hopes -someday- will change the world.