Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

DAY 3 OF KAMYLA'S 1ST TRIP GIVEAWAY




                                                      Have you ever visited Universal?

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Interview With Author Claire Buss

Photo courtesy of: Claire Buss


Claire Buss loves cake, Victorian Sponge to be precise. She says it's a classic cake but when made well it's truly scrumptious. She has a wonderful sense of humor that comes through in her writing and her website.

When she's not eating cake, Claire pens award-winning books and poetry, bakes, and dotes on her two young children. She lives in London with her family.

Now  that I've introduced you to Claire let's get to know her a little better.


Pin Me Please!

Hello, Claire, welcome to Lemon Drop Literary. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview.
Thank you for having me.

What inspired you to be a writer?
I have always loved stories and reading as many books as possible, being transported to other worlds with new people and new possibilities.

I always said I would be a writer but then I did nothing about it until 2015 when I saw a poster in my local library for a free writing workshop. I took the course and entered their writing competition placing second overall with my debut novel, The Gaia Effect.


Photo courtesy of: Claire Buss

Is writing your full-time profession?
I'd love to say writing is my full-time profession and I certainly do try to write as much as possible.

But I'm also a stay at home mum to my little boy, Leo (5) and my little girl, Anabelle (1) so my writing time tends to be crammed into small opportunities at random times in the day!

How long have you been writing?
I've always written - funny stories when I was young, angsty poetry as a teenager, a few dabbles with fantasy ideas in my twenties and then actually committing in my thirties.


Photo courtesy of: Claire Buss

Have you won any awards?
The Gaia Effect won the Raven Award for Best Sci-Fi Fantasy Novel in 2017, The Rose Thief won a Golden Squirrel Award for Best Book Cover 2018 and Tales from the Seaside won Reedly's Top 50 Indie Books of 2018 (it placed 26th overall).


Photo courtesy of: Claire Buss

How many books have you written?
I've written two books so far in The Gaia Collection, my hopeful dystopia series - The Gaia Effect (2016) and The Gaia Project (2018). I wrote the first draft for the third book in the series, The Gaia Solution, during NaNoWriMo in November 2018 so hopefully I'll be editing that later this year.

I've written two collections of humorous short stories, Tales from Suburbia (2017) and Tales from the Seaside (2018).

I wrote a humorous fantasy book called The Rose Thief (2017) and I‘m currently working on another book in that world, The Interspecies Poker Tournament.

Then I released a collection of flash fiction called The Blue Serpent and Other Tales available for free when you subscribe to my newsletter.

I also wrote four poetry books last year which will become part of a larger series. So far I've got Little Book of Verse, Spring Fling, Summer Dreaming and Spooky Little Book of Verse and I hope to add more in the near future.


Photo courtesy of: Claire Buss

I've had two short stories published, Underground Scratchings in Tales from the Underground from Inklings Press and Patient Data in The Quantum Soul from the Sci-Fi Roundtable.

Last year, my fellow author CH Clepitt and I edited and released a Christmas anthology called the Sparkly Badgers' Christmas Anthology which also includes our co-written short story A Badger Christmas Carol.

Which genres do you write for? 
So far I write hopeful dystopian, humorous fantasy and satire plus the poetry but I‘m sure that will expand!


Photo courtesy of: Claire Buss

What do you find most challenging writing for these genres?
To be honest, I don't really think about the genre I'm writing in. I write for the characters and the story they're trying to tell. I do read a lot of sci-fi and fantasy, they are my go-to genre but I do try to read wide as well.

I think the most challenging thing in any genre is to be wary of tropes and specific cliches unless of course you are using that to your advantage. The thing with writing is someone, somewhere is always breaking the 'rules'.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but the most important thing is that the writing feels real to you.

What are you working on now?
I have just realized that my planned novella, The Interspecies Poker Tournament, doesn't quite work yet so I need to expand it into a novel. Which isn't a bad thing except for those readers who are waiting to read it! I'm actually looking forward to getting stuck in and expanding the universe.

Last year, during NaNoWriMo, I wrote a very rough draft of The Gaia Solution which will be the third book in my Gaia Collection series and I hope to get going with the revision later this year.

I'm also planning to release another free book of flash fiction this year, title to be decided!


Photo courtesy of: Claire Buss

Where do you find inspiration for your characters?
I do a lot of people watching, but not in a creepy way! My characters tend to tell me what they want to say. I'm a discovery writer so I never know what's going to happen until I write it.

I don't model my characters on anyone in particular but I think I do get a lot of inspiration from the people around me. Whilst I don‘t like being the centre of attention, I quite enjoy being on the sidelines and watching others interact, it's great dialogue fodder.

What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work?
I think the most rewarding experience has been when I was in the library and my little boy said 'Mummy, your book is on the shelf.' Sure enough it was. He's so proud of me, that's a very motivating and humbling experience.


Photo courtesy of: Claire Buss

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?
Just do it. Cliche I know and you should probably avoid those but if you want to write, write. Don't worry too much about genres or tropes or what you should or shouldn't be doing.

If you love writing that's what you should be doing. There's a whole host of advice out there for what you should be doing and how you should be writing. I would say take the things that make sense to you, leave the things that don't.

If you try something and it doesn't work, that's alright. You can't do everything all the time. The main thing is that you enjoy the writing experience.

Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know about you?
If you read one of my books, please post a review. It helps others decide whether they want to read it or not and that is so important.

I work really hard to juggle family life and try to keep the writing and marketing going so I really appreciate knowing that someone has read my book.

I plan to keep writing for lots more years to come, I've got lots of ideas, I just need to resist the urge to write them all at once!


Photo courtesy of: Claire Buss

What message are you sharing in your books and poetry?
Friendship, love, looking after our planet, the importance of family, being a mum, hope and a healthy dollop of humour.

What are your favorite books/authors?
The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, The Rivers of London series by Ben Aaronovitch, the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett, everything Robin Hobb has written. I think it's fair to say I love fantasy books!

What are your favorite movies, TV shows?
Oooh I love this question. Favourite movies are the LOTR and The Hobbit trilogies, The Princess Bride, all the Disney animation movies, Constantine, The Matrix, Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, The Never-Ending Story, Flight of the Navigator oh I could go on and on and on!

TV shows - I'm a big fan of anything Joss Whedon wrote so Buffy, Angel and obviously Firefly among his other shows. The dialogue and character interplay is so good in those shows.

Currently we are enjoying the Marvel and DC TV shows as well as things like Suits, The Good Place, Orange is the New Black.

There is so much choice out there we've gotten very behind on shows we used to watch because there is always something new popping up. I would like to add that I've got two active lists on my iPad - one for TV shows and one for movies so I don't forget to watch things that look interesting.

When you're not writing where can we find you?
Usually in the midst of a huge pile of Legos or trains! #mumlife

Do you have a website/Facebook page, etc?
Here are my social links:




Where can we find your books?
All my books are on Amazon - www.tinyurl.com/ClaireBussBooks

Thank you, Claire, for spending time with us to share your story. We wish you continued success and lots of luck!


Photo courtesy of: Claire Buss




















                       

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Guest Post Rosemary A. Johns: Vampire Mage



                     VAMPIRE MAGE (REBEL ANGELS FOUR) by Rosemary A Johns



VAMPIRE MAGE is a new novel in the addictive #1 bestselling urban fantasy/paranormal romance series REBEL ANGELS by USAT Bestselling author Rosemary A Johns!

It contains epic battles, steamy love scenes, magic, vampires, angels, shifters, and a badass heroine. Dive into the action-packed magical ride with irresistible vampire and angel lovers and a supernatural world like you’ve never seen it before…and binge read your next series on Kindle Unlimited!
http://viewbook.at/VampireMage

In the supernatural war of angels vs vampires, magic is a savage prince.
Nothing could’ve prepared Violet for initiation into the Legion of the Phoenix. Perilous. Nightmarish. Deadly.

If the training doesn’t kill her, the sly hot shifter probably will for not saving their world from the fanatical cult leader. The lone female apprentice mage, Violet is trapped in the Brotherhood with an army of angels brainwashed to annihilate vampires.

When three wishes offer her deepest desires, she should know better than to trust them. Even if she lives through the hellish magic Initiation alongside the harem boy angel, she still must face the vicious Mage Challenge. If she doesn’t, the seductive vampire geek she loves will be kept forever as their pet, whilst her snarky angel lover will be executed, only to be resurrected as a slave.

Violet must fight beside her monstrous half-brother, the prince, who hungers to force the world to kneel…or battle against him to become a hero to those she loves. Either way, dangerous magic is unfurling inside her, and new realms are about to open that threaten them all…
FACEBOOK EASY SHARE:


ღ˚ •。* ˚ ˚✰˚ ˛★* 。 ღ˛° 。* ° ˚ • ★ *˚ .ღ 。
˛˚ ░O░N░E░-░C░L░I░C░ K░░N░O░W░!░˚ ✰ ★ VAMPIRE MAGE
˚. ★ ˛ ˚ ✰。˚ ˚ღ。* ˛˚ 。✰˚* ˚ ★ღ ˚ 。✰ •* ˚ " ✰


In the supernatural war of angels vs vampires, magic is a savage prince.
http://viewbook.at/VampireMage

Nothing could’ve prepared Violet for initiation into the Legion of the Phoenix, or being trapped in the Brotherhood with an army of angels brainwashed to annihilate vampires.

Even if she survives alongside the harem boy angel, she still must face the vicious Mage’s Challenge. If she doesn’t, the seductive vampire geek she loves will be kept forever as their pet, whilst her snarky angel lover will be executed, only to be resurrected as a slave.

Violet must fight beside her monstrous half-brother, the prince, who hungers to force the world to kneel…or battle against him to become a hero to those she loves. Either way, dangerous magic is unfurling inside her, and new realms are about to open that threaten them all…

“I am blown away! This series is full of action, snark, and love. Each book has such epic battles, trials, and emotions but I swear that this is my FAVORITE book... In no way can someone read ANY of this series and not be drawn in! Absolutely amazing!” – Rebecca, Goodreads, 5 Stars
http://viewbook.at/VampireMage

ONE-CLICK YOUR COPY OF THIS BUFFY MEETS LUCIFER ADVENTURE TODAY!

TWITTER EASY SHARE:
“This series is addictive!” Discover the magical USA Today Bestselling world of REBEL ANGELS in the new release VAMPIRE MAGE: if three wishes offered your deepest desires, would you trust them? http://viewbook.at/VampireMage #amreading #paranormalromance #NewReleases #BookWorm #vampires






EXCERPTS:
1.
“You’re in Hogwarts the X-rated version but you can learn here. The Slytherins, who treat me as the class mascot, see you as a champion.” Ash reached as if to touch his gold collar, but only hovered his fingers over the front of it, afraid to touch: it flared warningly, and he winced. “I’m the creature, not you. I wish I could be more than that, and I was once. But I’ve played the pet before and I can do it now, if it means that you’re free.”

I rocked, light-headed, whilst static crackled up and down my skin, spitting to escape and blast the world for letting Ash believe that.  “Family means,” I replied, each word as sharp as a polished shank, “that I love you.”
Ash blinked at me.
Then I dived at him, howling with violet and black that blurred the kitchen to nothing but Ash, Ash, Ash…

I snatched him by the shoulders, tumbling him over, until we were yanked by the chains at our throats with mirrored yelps. Then I straddled him, licking down the line of his long neck, whilst he gasped.

My steel nails shot out, gouging thin lines down Ash’s chest. He whined, arching into their touch, as I groaned at the intensity of the sensation: trembling shocks that radiated from their sensitive tips. I quaked, biting my lip at the overload. My wings burst to flames at the rush.

Then I lapped at the trails of crimson, juddering at the bursts of rich power and longing.
Home.
Hell, Ash’s blood was home, and I hungered to drink every drop of him and live in his scarlet…
My eyes widened.

Ash’s dazed gaze focused, as if he’d caught my thought, then he slammed his lips against mine: hard and possessive. His fingers tangled in my hair, holding me still. Here was the dark solider of the Under World, who’d dominated the Devil’s Trident in a dance with death that’d paled even mine.

No one’s pet.

I burnt to sear away the mages’ touch on him, the lonely days, and his doubts, as well as to prove my love, which tottered new born. I crawled over him, stroking his right wingtip, before sucking it hard between my lips.

Ash’s back bowed, as he howled. Yet then he snatched my hand, sucking my claw into his mouth.
Electrified, it was my turn to howl, as I closed my eyes, slamming my other fist, nails out, screeching across the slate. The winding coils from my gums to my wings built to a wailing crescendo, until finally nothing but black…


2.
I knelt next to Mischief, pushing back his hair. “What about your magic?”
He flinched. “The infernal brand will always be with me, but the witches’ deaths have freed my magic.” He met my gaze, levelly. “I may not kneel for you, but you have my eternal gratitude for unbinding me. For a magic user that means I’m coupled to you in ancient customs, which are stronger than any oath. In every way, I am yours, queen.”

I stared at him, shaking at his intensity and the way my silver reached to his, stroking and intimate.
Yours…

When had Mischief called me queen? It hadn’t felt as if he’d been calling me his queen but acknowledging I was worthy of the title. And why should that matter so much that my eyes burned with tears?

At last, Mischief knocked his forehead gently against mine. “Come now, let us return to trading insults and blows or we’ll spook your faithful lovers. Do you imagine these chains will fall from us by fairy wishes?”
I smirked. “You’re rusty. You’ll have to up your Snark-O-Meter.”
His eyes glinted. “I do so love a challenge.”


3.
“I’m not adorable,” the Cat Vampire hissed, “I’m Tiger.” He nuzzled his chin against the studs in Rebel’s jacket, scenting them. He peeked at Mischief. “And I’m not the one with sparkly hair, angel.”
Mischief arched a brow. “Meow, the cat has claws. I hope he knows that I scratch back?”



TESTIMONIALS:

“Rosemary A Johns scores another home run. Rebel Angels has piqued my imagination page after page, book after book. Go ahead and treat yourself today and jump into the world of Rebel Angels along with the rest of us.” – Books, Books, and Ahh Books Blog
“You'd think kicking butt and taking names in heaven and hell would be enough, but no: Violet and her fam must also suffer the whims of a great mage. Secrets are revealed and new adventures are to be had. Love this series!” – Goodreads, Lori, 5 Stars



Saturday, January 5, 2019

Interview With Author Rosemary A. Johns


Photo courtesy of: Rosemary A. Johns

Everyone loves a rebel, most especially Rosemary A. Johns. A self-proclaimed rebel, Rosemary's best-selling and multi-award winning fantasy novels are chock full of rabble-rousers, villains, and anti-heroes who fight in epic battles.


Rosemary lives in Oxford, where she enjoys listening to music, reading and cultivating her inner rebel.

Now that I've introduced you to Rosemary let's get to know her a little better.


Pin Me Please!


Hello, Rosemary, welcome to Lemon Drop Literary.


What inspired you to be a writer?
First, thanks for having me on Ellwyn!
I’ve always loved reading, and Oxford (where I live) has a rich history of fantasy writing. My parents allowed me to read their fantasy and science fiction books as well as explore our local libraries from a young age.

Yet I call it being compelled to write: I have a world inside my head that plays out – I see my stories like films and it’s a compulsion to write them down. I was a playwright before, as well as an actor and director, so writing has always been a part of me.

Is writing your full-time profession?
Yes—as well as being my passion!

How long have you been writing?
When I was eight years old, I wrote my first novel. My first short story was published when I was fourteen. I then wrote plays and owned a theatre company before turning to novels. 


Photo courtesy of: Rosemary A. Johns

Have you won any awards?
Yes, and I’m always honoured, whether they’re from the industry or voted for by readers. In theatre, you have immediate feedback (I loved acting in comedies for the buzz of making people laugh!), but when you write you only have awards or reviews to get that response, which is why they’re precious.

Recent awards include: Silver Award in the National Wishing Shelf Book Awards. Finalist in the IAN Book of the Year Awards. Runner-up in the Best Fantasy Book of the Year, Reality Bites Book Awards. Shortlisted in the International Rubery Book Awards.


Photo courtesy of: Rosemary A. Johns

How many books have you written?
An award-winning trilogy called REBEL VAMPIRES, which is a twist on vampire mythology with a sexy British vampire anti-hero at its heart.

Two novellas in USA Today Bestselling boxed sets.

Also, a USA Today Bestselling five book series called REBEL ANGELS, which is about an epic war between angels and vampires, with an unexpected heroine at its heart. It’s a sort of Buffy meets Lucifer, where vampires and angels are locked in a deadly war. Half vampire/half angel but raised by humans, Violet is caught between both sides… who want her back.


Photo courtesy of: Rosemary A. Johns

Which genres do you write? 
My genres are fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal normal romance and dark fantasy.

What do you find most challenging writing for these genres(s)?

Writing is about truth and emotion: it doesn’t matter if you’re talking about angels or the breakup of a marriage in 1950s America.

The trick is to find the universals and how it connects to the reader by putting all of yourself into the book—even the dark places—and shining a light on emotions, so that the reader sees themselves.

So, when I write fantasy, it’s magical and thrilling… but it’s also about trust, abandonment, fathers and daughters, love and what home means.

It’s not challenging, but it’s my one fundamental rule: where’s the truth. This probably comes from being an actress!


Photo courtesy of: Rosemary A. Johns


What are you working on now?
The fourth book in the REBEL ANGELS series is about to release on the 8th January: VAMPIRE MAGE. When three wishes offer Violet’s deepest desires, she should know better than to trust them. But can her shifter, vampire, and angel lovers save her from the dangerous magic unfurling inside her, or is LOVE the most dangerous magic of all…?

 I’m just starting to work on the fifth book in the series and it will be epic…


Photo courtesy of: Rosemary A. Johns

Where do you find inspiration for your characters?
Light, in REBEL VAMPIRES, is a savant vampire who remembers everything as he lives over the centuries, and this is both a blessing and a curse.

The idea was inspired by my son who’s an autistic savant. Another character within the book is an autistic vampire, and one thing I always do within my books is reflect society across all spectrums—and as the heroes. Yet apart from his savant ability, Light’s voice sprang complete into my head.

Maybe because of my theatre background, voices usually come to me first, then I work on the character: how will they move? What clothes would they wear? What music would they listen to?

In REBEL ANGELS, Rebel, my punk Irish angel, sprang alive as soon as I knew these background details.


Photo courtesy of: Rosemary A. Johns

What has been your most rewarding experience since publishing your work? 
My Rebels! I have a fan group and street team called the Rebels, and they’ve been an incredible support, especially at more difficult times that all writers face, such as being trolled.

I receive messages and fan art around both series and hearing how much a book means to someone or has helped them is massively rewarding.

Light in particular has made a difference to people who have felt alone, a misfit, or the outsider (which is all of us at one time or another!), but he’s become the hero despite it and so he’s helped them through dark times. Books and characters have done that for me. I love Light and Violet, and my hope is that readers will as well!

You can apply to join Rosemary’s Rebels here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/698811356958470

What advice would you give to authors just starting out?
Only write what you’re truly passionate about. Publishing is a difficult business, but if you start from the point of truly caring about what you write, then it’ll see you through.

Is there anything else you'd like your readers to know about you?
You can sign up to my *VIP* newsletter here with news of my releases, promotions, and the free novella ALL THE TIN SOLDIERS: https://mailchi.mp/rosemaryajohns/subscribe-rebel-newsletter

This is where you can follow me or drop me a line!
Twitter: @RosemaryAJohns

What message are you sharing in your books?
I’m a subversive artist—this means I challenge society’s lies: disabled people can’t be successful, money makes you happy, or men must be more dominant than women.

At the heart of my Rebel books are the themes of freedom, choice, and diversity. But it’s not a message, rather it’s themes: a reader can make up their own minds.

What are your favorite books/authors?
I have SO many… I read every day!
My favourite book is The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice. I was a teenager when I read it for the first time.

It had a major impact because I realized you could write a beautiful monster who knew he was a monster. But have the reader still love him and be unable to put the book down. It inspired my love for the antihero. When I’m compared to Anne Rice, therefore, it’s extra special!

What are your favorite movies, TV shows?
Movies are a big inspiration for me: acting, writing, and directing… they’re all crafts. I love studying what works (or doesn’t!) and why.

I’m also into bingeing on boxed sets. There are incredible TV shows in fantasy, paranormal, and sci-fi: Buffy was my original love!

Thor: Ragnarok and the Guardians of the Galaxy films probably come the closest to my sense of humour..!


Christ Church, Oxford, UK
Photo courtesy of: Wikimedia

When you're not writing where can we find you?
I’m a British author. I went to Christ Church, which is the college where they filmed Harry Potter, and I still do events and readings sometimes in Oxford. I also do events online, so you can find me wherever you are in the world!

Where can we find your books?
You can find them on Amazon: on Kindle, paperback, and audio book. You can also download them for FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited!

Here are the links:
BOOKS IN THE REBEL VERSE by ROSEMARY A JOHNS:
REBEL ANGELS:
VAMPIRE HUNTRESS: viewbook.at/VampireHuntress
VAMPIRE PRINCESS: viewbook.at/VampirePrincess
REBEL VAMPIRES TRILOGY:

Thanks, this has been awesome!
You’re welcome. Thank you, Rosemary, for taking the time to share your story with us. We wish you continued success and lots of luck!


Photo courtesy of: Rosemary A. Johns