Tag Archives: Fantasy

Interview with C.H. MacLean, author of ‘Two Empty Thrones’

C.H. MacLeanTo young C. H. MacLean, books were everything: mind-food, friends, and fun. They gave the shy middle child’s life color and energy. Amazingly, not everyone saw them that way. Seeing a laundry hamper full of books approach her, the librarian scolded C. H. for trying to check them all out. “You’ll never read that many before they expire!” C. H. was surprised, having shown great restraint only by keeping a list of books to check out next time. Thoroughly abashed, C. H. waited three whole days after finishing that lot before going back for more.

With an internal world more vivid than the real one, C. H. was chastised for reading in the library instead of going to class. “Neurotic, needs medical help,” the teacher diagnosed. C. H.’s father, a psychologist, just laughed when he heard. “She’s just upset because those books are more challenging than her class.” C. H. realized making up stories was just as fun as reading, and harder to get caught doing. So for a while, C. H. crafted stories and characters out of wisps and trinkets, with every toy growing an elaborate personality.

But toys were not mature, and stories weren’t respectable for a family of doctors. So C. H. grew up and learned to read serious books and study hard, shelving foolish fantasies for serious work.

Years passed in a black and white blur. Then, unpredictably falling in love all the way to a magical marriage rattled C. H.’s orderly world. A crazy idea slipped in a resulting crack and wouldn’t leave. “Write the book you want to read,” it said. “Write? As in, a fantasy novel? But I’m not creative,” C. H. protested. The idea, and C. H.’s spouse, rolled their eyes.

So one day, C. H. started writing. Just to try it, not that it would go anywhere. Big mistake. Decades of pent-up passion started pouring out, making a mess of an orderly life. It only got worse. Soon, stories popped up everywhere- in dreams, while exercising, or out of spite, in the middle of a work meeting. “But it’s not important work,” C. H. pleaded weakly. “They are not food, or friends, or…” But it was too late. C. H. had re-discovered that, like books, life should be fun too. Now, writing is a compulsion, and a calling.

C.H. lives in a Pacific Northwest forest with five cats, two kids, one spouse, and absolutely no dragons or elves, faeries, or demons… that are willing to be named, at least.

His latest book is the YA fantasy, Two Empty Thrones.

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About the Book:

Two Empty Thrones 2With her powers growing every day, fourteen-year-old Haylwen Rightad thinks she’s safe in the magical forest. And now that she finally has the friends she always wanted, what is there to be afraid of?

But she’s not out of the woods yet. Old enemies rip through her beloved forest, threatening to haul Haylwen and her newfound friends away. Their safety shattered, Haylwen and her friends are suddenly at each other’s throats. Is the friendship she worked so hard for already ruined, or is there another, unseen enemy at work?

Haylwen and her brother must unmask this mysterious enemy before they can fight it off. But even if all their enemies are destroyed, the King of the magic users will stop at nothing to ensure he’s still in power when the dragons take over the world. And he’s hidden an enemy where Haylwen would never think to look.

If no one is what they seem, who can she trust?

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What made you decide to become a published author?

I don’t know if I really decided; it was more like I just realized who I was. I sat down, just to consider if I could write something real, you know, something I would want to read. I didn’t think I had an idea at all. All at once, like a pop-up window, an image replaced the page in front of me. Words flowed onto the page. Hours flew by until I snapped out of it.

Later, I went back to read it. It sounded nothing like the boring or sloppy stuff I have to push through to read, but engaging and dynamic.

Then came the choice part: work hard and give something to the world, or not?

Would you consider your latest book, Two Empty Thrones to be a one of a kind? How so?

Combining ancient elements in new-age application and emotions driving a fast-paced plot, Two Empty Thrones is unlike anything I’ve read. It sounds familiar, with words like prophecy and magic. But the sound of a horse’s whinny you heard turns out to be a zebra-pegasus with a hidden agenda. (That character isn’t in this book, but could be.)

Where is your writing sanctuary?

I live in the forest, down a tree-hugged drive. At the end, it curves like a smile, giving shade and shelter from the rain. Noise of the ordinary muted by distance, imagination can frolic in magic and wonder.

What do you believe a writer should not do as far as getting his or her book published?

Two things are key. One, know publishing is a long process that involves more work than you think. I am sure everyone is familiar with that story. Two, trust yourself. I hear stories of good writers trodden down by watching their creative work be dissected, sterilized and jammed into a glass jar in an attempt to be published. Editing and the process are important and we can all improve, but you should be happier on the other side.

What inspires you?

I have no idea where the actual need or urge to write comes from. I’m sure there is some biochemical or psychological explanation, but saying it’s a calling works for me. But the actual inspiration to do all the hard work comes from hearing how other people enjoy it. To think I can be part of what makes life fun and interesting for people is such an honor.

What is one thing you learned about your book after it was published?

How much other people liked it. Until you hear from people you don’t know, it doesn’t seem real. Finding out that people think it’s great brings my childhood love of books full circle, and inspires me to do more and provide a better experience for others.

Why do you love to write YA fantasy?

Fantasy allows a unique exploration of an unlimited set of potential conflicts. In fantasy, reality is bound only by imagination. In the same way, young adults face life-changing decisions for the first time, on the edge of first discovering who they really are. They create themselves, only limited by their own minds.

But that’s more why I love to read fantasy and YA. I don’t set out to write in a particular category and just write the stories as they come to me.

You’re concocting a recipe for a best selling book. What’s the first ingredient?

Love of reading. It’s like water to life—it’s not living, but it lets everything else mix together. Without that, you have a dry and lifeless book. If the book can reignite that love for the reader, almost anything else can work. Title, plot, character, even language might be completely different from one best-seller to another, but the love will always be there.

What’s one fun fact about your book people should know?

While I intentionally didn’t include dry explanations, I found out a good deal of its magic aligns with in-this-world fact. I keep finding things in other research and say, “Hey, that’s in there!”

Aside from writing, what’s your passion?

I have many passions, with reading and writing as obvious ones. Being active in mental, physical and metaphysical arenas is what fuels all my fires. Trekking through the woods or cleaning up the forest, working to realign natural energies with my own, that’s what recharges me.

What’s next for you?

The third book in the series, We the Three, keeps me up at night begging to be finished, it’s so close to done. I am hoping to release it in the spring/summer of 2015.

I also just finished writing an intense book entitled Fire Above, a story about a young man who dared to dream and started the first human-dragon war. It is currently going through the first round of edits.

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Interview with C.H. Maclean, Author of ‘One is Come’

C.H. MacLeanOur guest today is C. H. MacLean, author of the YA fantasy, One is Come. To young C. H. MacLean, books were everything: mind-food, friends, and fun. They gave the shy middle child’s life color and energy. Amazingly, not everyone saw them that way. Seeing a laundry hamper full of books approach her, the librarian scolded C. H. for trying to check them all out. “You’ll never read that many before they expire!” C. H. was surprised, having shown great restraint only by keeping a list of books to check out next time. Thoroughly abashed, C. H. waited three whole days after finishing that lot before going back for more.

With an internal world more vivid than the real one, C. H. was chastised for reading in the library instead of going to class. “Neurotic, needs medical help,” the teacher diagnosed. C. H.’s father, a psychologist, just laughed when he heard. “She’s just upset because those books are more challenging than her class.” C. H. realized making up stories was just as fun as reading, and harder to get caught doing. So for a while, C. H. crafted stories and characters out of wisps and trinkets, with every toy growing an elaborate personality.

But toys were not mature, and stories weren’t respectable for a family of doctors. So C. H. grew up and learned to read serious books and study hard, shelving foolish fantasies for serious work.

Years passed in a black and white blur. Then, unpredictably falling in love all the way to a magical marriage rattled C. H.’s orderly world. A crazy idea slipped in a resulting crack and wouldn’t leave. “Write the book you want to read,” it said. “Write? As in, a fantasy novel? But I’m not creative,” C. H. protested. The idea, and C. H.’s spouse, rolled their eyes.

So one day, C. H. started writing. Just to try it, not that it would go anywhere. Big mistake. Decades of pent-up passion started pouring out, making a mess of an orderly life. It only got worse. Soon, stories popped up everywhere- in dreams, while exercising, or out of spite, in the middle of a work meeting. “But it’s not important work,” C. H. pleaded weakly. “They are not food, or friends, or…” But it was too late. C. H. had re-discovered that, like books, life should be fun too. Now, writing is a compulsion, and a calling.

C. H. lives in a Pacific Northwest forest with five cats, two kids, one spouse, and absolutely no dragons or elves, faeries, or demons… that are willing to be named, at least.

His latest book is One is Come.

Visit his website at www.chmaclean.com.

What made you decide to become a published author?

Growing up, books were happiness, motivation and inspiration for me. (They still are, of course.) When I realized I had a great story, I thought of how many other people would love to read it. If I could give back to the stories what they gave to me, if I could give something to the readers out there, I knew I had to.

One is ComeWould you consider your latest book, One is Come, to be a one of a kind? How so?

I read a lot, and haven’t read anything just like it. It holds a scent of familiarity, but its combination of flavors is special. The combinations of magic and modern, ancient elements and new-age application take several writers and genres and mix them in a great combination. I also love how the story flows through character’s deep emotions but does so in a fast-paced plot.

Where is your writing sanctuary?

At the end of our lane, a little curve turns into a dead end. The trees cast shadows at all times of the day, slivers of sun sliding slowly past. It’s a tiny magical space in the middle of utter ordinariness.

What inspires you?

Unfortunately, almost anything. I see a story in the curve of a neck, the purring of a cat, or a flowering tree’s spicy-sweet aura.

Why do you love to write YA fantasy?

I love fantasy for having room to explore everything new again, for allowing world-building and touching the childhood space where all of life is magic. YA similarly finds characters at a crucial life step, the special tipping point between being someone’s child and being your own person. But that’s why I love reading the genre. I just write the stories in my head, which happen to be YA fantasy.

You’re concocting a recipe for a best selling book. What’s the first ingredient?

Desire, drive, motivation, whatever you want to call the energy that keeps the characters moving. That same energy is also needed to keep the writer moving and focused on the story for the readers.

Aside from writing, what’s your passion?

Reading, of course. I also enjoy being active in nature, whether hiking or gardening.

What’s next for you?

Two Empty Thrones, the second book in the Five in Circle series, is scheduled to be released in July. I am currently writing the third book in the series and hope to have it completed by this winter. I also just finished writing my first draft of Fire Above, a story about the young man who dared to dream and started the first human-dragon war. It should be out in the winter.

 

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grydscaen by Natsuya Uesugi Book Blast – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

ABOUT GRYDSCAEN

Title: grydscaen

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy

Author: Natsuya Uesugi

Publisher: Xlibris

EBook: 288 pages

Release Date: July 21, 2011

Follow the lives of the main characters as they come together in the backstory to grydscaen:retribution, the fi rst volume of the grydscaen saga. Faid is tired of life on the run in the Echelons, trying to keep his psychic power in check, he founds the Packrats establishing a safe haven for psychics. As a hacker he uses his jack to support his neurocyne habit. Lino is recruited by the Psi Faction and is sent on a mission to kidnap Faid. Riuho, Lino’s half brother becomes a prisoner of the Elite military and they experiment on him, train him and subject him to mind control, then send him out on a mission. On his return, Riuho is set on escaping and recruits Faid who hacks into the Psi Faction systems. They escape and return to the Packrats leading up to the start of grydscaen:retribution.

Xlibris

Pump Up Your Book and Natsuya are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • 1 winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive each of the prizes
  • This giveaway begins April 28 and ends on May 9.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on May 10, 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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The England Operation by Peter Swarbrick Book Blast – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

ABOUT THE ENGLAND OPERATION

Title: The England Operation

Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Author: Peter Swarbrick

Publisher: iUniverse

EBook: 360 pages

Release Date: May 16, 2012

In the year 1141, civil war rages in England. Robber barons pillage and loot, while rampaging armies terrorise the countryside. But never fear: the peacekeepers are coming. The Organisation of Nations of the World (known in Latin as ONO) launches the England Operation to sort everything out. In this world-turned-upside-down satirical take on the peacekeeping industry, rich and powerful African businesswomen and politicians collude with Norman overlords to steal England’s most valuable natural resource—sheep—as the hapless international troops who are supposed to stop the war sink ever deeper into the swamp of violence and corruption that is twelfth-century England.

iUniverse

Pump Up Your Book and Peter are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • 1 winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive each of the prizes
  • This giveaway begins April 28 and ends on May 9.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on May 10, 2014.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Pump Up Your Book & Devine Destinies Announce The Samsara Chronicles Virtual Blog Tour 2012

The Samsara Chronicles Blog TourJoin Diana Kemp and Gabriella Bradley as they tour the blogosphere June 1 – August 31 2012 on their first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book! Diana and Gabriella will be promoting their series, The Samsara Chronicles (Devine Destinies), and have agreed to give away not only a Kindle Fire but also a $50 Gift Certificate to the person who comments the most on their 3 month blog tour. There’s also an incentive for blog hosts, too! The blogger who receives the most amount of comments will also win a $50 Gift Certificate. If you don’t have a Paypal account and would like to receive your gift certificate from Amazon, that can be arranged, too.

About Diana Kemp

Toronto native Diana Kemp is a multiple award-winning screenwriter and author with one hundred and thirty film festivals and screenwriting competition awards/placings to her credit. She is the co-writer of an NRL (Naval Research Lab) documentary (http://www.nrl.navy.mil/media/videos/nrl-extended-video) produced by David Bellino of Second Wind Films.

Graduating with honors from Cal State Long Beach, she began a writing career at the age of seven that culminated in a diversely prolific collection of science fiction, horror and fantasy short stories, numerous short and feature screenplays and three science fiction novels, two of which include The Samsara Chronicles co authored with Gabriella Bradley.

In addition to serving as Executive Producer and Producer on a variety of projects with Michael Gianfriddo, her credits include Blink Black Ops (http://pro.imdb.com/title/tt2083939/) and her 3-D science fiction show, Trapezoid, (http://pro.imdb.com/title/tt2160425/), which is in pre-production. .

Diana founded Shadowland Productions and Edge Media with producing partner Michael Gianfriddo and holds positions as CEO and Chairman in addition to serving as an executive for Dominant Entertainment. She oversees all development, production and management for each company.

She is represented by industry veteran Sherry Robb of the Robb Entertainment Group.

About Gabriella Bradley

Gabriella Bradley lives amidst rugged mountains. She more than often has a grizzly in her backyard searching for food. Other critters that visit on a regular basis are cougars, coyotes, squirrels, raccoons.

She has been a writer all of her life, though only ventured into erotic works in 2003. The Samsara Chronicles was born through psychic channeling. Many of the scenes in these books were inspired by David—possibly a writer during his life, a guide from beyond that visited Gabby. During the course of his visits, he told her to involve Diana.

Gabby’s hobbies include hiking, gardening, swimming, sewing, embroidery. Favorite movies are old timers like Gone with the Wind, Spartacus etc. Favorite music is Abba. Besides all that, she owns and directs a busy company and its staff.

http://gabriellabradley.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/gabriellabradley

https://twitter.com/#!/GabriellaBrad

About The Samsara Chronicles

The Samsara Chronicles is a continuing series of futuristic/fantasy books which include Eos, Nadir, Covenant, Itineras, Tempest, Maestrom, Exodus, Nirvana, Netherworld, Bloodline, Entity, Kindred, Nexus, and Equilibrium.

To find out how you can participate in this gigantic tour or find out how you can win a Kindle Fire for your very own, visit http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2012/05/11/pump-up-your-book-presents-the-samsara-chronicles-virtual-book-publicity-tour-2012/.

Pump Up Your Book is an innovative public relations agency specializing in virtual book tours and online media marketing for authors. You can visit our website at www.pumpupyourbook.com.

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EPOCH

EPOCH

Author: Timothy Carter
Rating:
Publisher: FLUX, an imprint of Llewellyn Publications
Reviewed by: Cheryl C. Malandrinos

EPOCH by Timothy Carter is one of the funniest books I’ve read in years. And I knew it would be, just by its back cover blurb–which takes the Biblical Book of Revelation and tells you that the apocalypse isn’t playing out the way it is written.

At fourteen years old, Vincent Drear is already living a hellish life. Thanks to his parents, his brother Max, and their dedication to the Holy Triumvirate, Vincent spends his days saving souls and protesting movies about boy wizards. Problem is, Vincent isn’t buying what the Triumvirate is selling these days and he ends up locked in the family’s basement chapel for punishment a lot of the time.

While at his school’s science fair, Vincent spots an elf who tells him the Triumvirate are right about one thing: the end of the world is coming–and it’s coming in 48 hours!

The elf elicits Vincent’s help to save the world from being eaten alive by hungry demons as soon as the epoch ends. To do this, Vincent must find the Portal Sites, which everyone can use to escape from the demons. But the Portal Sites are going to close soon and anyone left behind becomes demon food. Vincent’s next problem, the demons are after him; the elves jam a bug up his nose which forces him to do everything they tell him to–like beat up his best friend, Big Tom–or risk excruciating pain; the elves and the pixies are both trying to find the Portal Sites, but they hate one another; and Vincent has to try and avoid Barnaby, the school bully, who loves using Vincent as a punching bag, while trying to figure out if Barnaby’s father’s company, the Alphega Corporation is involved in any of this.

Vincent is in a race against time as one obstacle after another wastes precious moments that could save the lives of everyone that Vincent holds dear.

EPOCH by Timothy Carter provides a unique outlook on the End Times, and does it with a heavy dose of humor. His characters are funny and sarcastic, but in the end most of them are trying to do the right thing–save lives (whether that be their own or others.) Vincent is a truly sympathtic character who is at the mercy of his parents’ and brother’s beliefs in the Triumvirate, and Carter does an excellent job of portaying–with humor–what a belief system taken to extreme measures can do. It is Vincent’s decision to do whatever it takes to save people’s lives–including going against his family’s beliefs–which makes him stand out…and he does it at great cost.

This book could have used some minor editing, but the story captured me so deeply that almost nothing could pull me away. Carter knows what he’s doing when it comes to writing for the teen market.

EPOCH by Timothy Carter will find its place among other fictional works about the End Times, and it will stand out because Carter dared to be funny about it.

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