Tag Archives: magic

Author Showcase – Tricia Copeland (Kingdom of the Damned: Kingdom Journals series)

Volume 1 (Kingdom Journals)

Alena’s story -$0.99 in ebook, Free on Kindle Unlimited)

He wouldn’t understand. He didn’t live in a pretend world. In truth, he did. Most beings, pure humans, walked around thinking they were the only type of people that existed.” –Alena

As a creature forbidden by both vampire and witch cultures, Alena is forced hide her identity. Her mother moves them from city to city searching for answers. When Alena finds Hunter everything changes. She believes their bond may be the. But her mother finds Theron, an equally handsome and mysterious suitor. Will the truth of his intentions be uncovered before it is too late? Or will her Mother’s kingdom be reduced to embers?

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 Volume 2 (Kingdom Journals)

Camille’s story – Free on Kindle Unlimited

“… the previous night’s vision, or whatever it was, ended with a name I heard clear as day, as if the people were in my room. Ivy, the girl and boy recited together.” – Camille Could her dreams be real? Is she the key to freeing witches from their curse? Of course not, right? Thinking that her only chance at a normal life lay in a new treatment, Camille joins Dr. Antos and a group of teens for a month long camping trip in Iceland. There she meets Jude, a fellow schizophrenic. Dr. Antos invites Camille and Jude to extend their work with him on the island of Sardinia. Camille is suspicious of Dr. Antos’s intentions but her dad goes missing, leaving her no choice but to travel to Italy. Is she walking into a lion’s den or has her illness invaded her reality?

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Volume 3: (Kingdom Journals)

Jude’s Story: Free on Kindle Unlimited

Jude only knows one thing: he must rescue Camille. It doesn’t matter what must be done to save her from the evil coven, he will do it. But once she’s recovered, what will his role be? How does he fit into the trinity’s prophecy? Find out in this urban fantasy adventure novel that finds the Kingdom Journals characters traversing the globe in search of Camille, and the key to breaking an age-old curse.

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~ Newest Release! ~

Volume 4: Anne’s Story

Kingdom of the Damned is a stand-alone prelude to the Kingdom Journals Series.

“…he that believeth not shall be DAMNED” – Mark 16:16

In 1557, witches burn her home and family. She escapes with the help of a family friend and they hide among humans. At seventeen, another atrocity ignites Anne’s passion for justice. Circumventing the globe, she seeks to unite the vampires and build peace. Powerful enemies amass against them, but her friends number many, including a surprising and mysterious hero. In a war for survival, love feels extravagant, and heroes don’t always prevail. Can she best her enemy and find happiness at last?

 

 

Foreword

The LORD God said to the serpent,

“Because you have done this,

cursed are you above all cattle,

and above all wild animals;

upon your belly you shall go,

and dust you shall eat

all the days of your life.”

Genesis 3:14

 

The Edict of Châteaubriant, signed 27 June 1551 by King Henry II of France, censored Protestant rhetoric and enabled seizure of funds for punishment. The Edict of Compiègne, of 24 July 1557, allowed the death penalty for crimes of heresy. The witch community, garbed in the Catholic faith, hunted and killed vampires under the guise of bringing the pagans to justice.

 

CHAPTER ONE

Mabon – The Fall Equinox – 21 September 1557, France, during the reign of King Henry II

 

A vampire has memories from the time they are born. I recall my mother’s face and her warm skin, the sound of her voice. I’ll see you tonight in your beautiful red dress. I love you. She kisses my forehead.

In the evening, I slide the garment over my head, and Elizabeth curls my hair with a hot iron rod. She fits the sash around my waist and into a large bow on my back. I sit in a chair, waiting for the sun to set as she dresses her children for the party. Her daughter Elle twirls in a circle, making her skirt fan out. Even though Elle is older, I am as tall as her, because she and her brother, Hank, are halflings.

Hank is two like me, but not as big or smart. He fiddles with his collar buttoned tight around his neck. As the sky grows dark, I climb atop the chair near the window, impatient to be united with my family and to begin the festivities. An orange glow rises over the hill where my house lies in the next valley. The color looks different than any sunset I remember.

I run to Elizabeth. “Elizabeth, the sky.”

“What child?”

“Come see.” I grab her hand and pull her to the window.

As I push up on my toes to look out the glass, I see flames shooting above the ridge. Men carrying torches summit the hill and race towards us. At one’s signal, they circle the house, making a ring around Elizabeth’s cottage.

“Finn!” Elizabeth yells.

“There’s no way out.” Finn’s eyes dart around the room. I can smell the fear rolling off his skin.

Elizabeth points out the window to a tall tree. “When we open the door, run.”

Wide-eyed, I nod. Elizabeth scoops up Elle, and Finn grabs Hank. Opening the door, they sprint towards the forest. I dart off in the opposite direction. A large dog barks on my heels, but I am fast and reach the tree before the animal overtakes me. Low branches form stairs, and I jump to the first. I feel a tug at my skirt and hear it rip as I reach for the second limb. I catch it and swing to a higher branch. The beast jumps and yelps, but I focus on the limbs above. The branches become thinner, and the space between them shorter as I climb, hand over foot, until I feel the trunk sway with my weight.

Looking down, I see the men with the torches have surrounded Elizabeth and her family. Flames close in on them, engulfing the group in smoke. A bitter smell assaults my nose. The men douse the flames, and when the air clears, I see forms lying on the charred ground. I watch as the men retreat, leaving Elizabeth and her family lying atop the charred grass.

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Tricia lives in Colorado with her family and four-legged friends. She writes young and new adult fiction including fantasy, paranormal, dystopian, and romance titles. If not out on the trail, you can find Tricia on your favorite social media!
Find Tricia and her books at www.triciacopeland.com or on your favorite social media.

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Author Showcase – Jeffrey L. Kohanek (The Arcane Ward: Wardens of Issalia, Book Two)

A dark enemy rises, driven by radical beliefs and armed with destructive weapons. The Wardens must respond.

Urgency forces ICON to accelerate the training of their new recruits, for a new Empire has captured the eastern kingdoms and seeks to conquer all of Issalia. Although a raw and untested squad, the Wardens might be the only hope of stopping this imposing threat.

Everson is a gadgeteer, tasked with harnessing a magical power source. Leveraging his brilliance, he enhances existing machines and creates new inventions that astound his superiors. His next amazing discovery might save lives…or it could destroy them.

Destined to become an espion, Quinn hones her skills in preparation of her first mission. Intense training, combined with her fierce determination and fearless nature, transforms her into something more…something lethal. However, skills of a different nature are required when she finds herself alone and surrounded by enemies in a land far from home.

Joined by magic-wielding royal twins and a small group of veterans, these individuals shall become Issalia’s shield against monsters and tyranny. Regardless of what occurs, ICON must remain vigilant, for the machinations of their enemy extend far beyond what anyone suspects.

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Parker Thanes pushed the tavern door open, stepped inside, and was greeted by a cacophony of cheers and laughter. The smell of salt air mixed with stale beer and unwashed bodies made him grimace. I don’t understand why she likes these places.

He pushed through the crowd as he headed toward the bar. Jostled sailors, spilled drinks, and a trail of curses followed in his wake. Ignoring the upset men, he scanned the crowded tavern until he approached his destination.

A hefty woman in her middle years stood behind the bar. The brunette filled a pair of tankards, turned, and placed them before two bearded men, one of whom had a pale scar on his tanned face, the wound running from his forehead to his cheek. After pocketing two coppers, she shifted her focus to Parker.

“Hello, Tess,” Parker greeted the barkeep.

“I’m glad you showed. Things are getting out of hand.”


Parker frowned. “Where is she?”


Tess flipped her head to the side. “Around back. You might want to hurry.”


Stifling a sigh, Parker forced his way around the far end of the bar. He turned the corner and found a thick crowd – the source of the cheers that arose earlier. Another round of shouts erupted, fists pumping into the air. He forced his way into the mass of bodies, emerging to find the back area open but for two people.

A man – tall and sinewy, with shorn dark stubble on his head and cheeks – stood facing a woman. She was short, even for a female. With blond hair that ran to her shoulders, she was dressed in a simple tunic, cinched at the waist with a studded belt. Her brown breeches were tucked into tall black boots, each with a knife strapped to them, matching the knives strapped to each thigh. Between the two was a round table with a dozen mugs on it. The man lifted a mug and drank, foam running to his chin as he chugged the ale. When finished, he tipped the mug upside down and slammed it on the table, where it joined the other empty tankards. Cheers rose up from the crowd while the man shook his head to clear it.

As the crowd quieted, the woman grabbed the last full mug and lifted it to her lips, emptying its contents without pausing for a breath. When finished, she lowered it, stumbled, and blinked, her blue eyes glazing over. A mixture of laughter and mutters came from the crowd until she flipped the mug over and slammed it down beside the others.

The man scowled, twisting a tanned face marked by a gold ring through one nostril. “Now, we will see who is better.”

He pulled a dagger from the sheath on his hip and gripped it by the blade. Turning away from the crowd, the man cocked his arm back and threw the knife, striking a hair below the intersection of an X carved into a wooden post fifteen feet away. He drew and threw another knife, which landed just above the first, the two hilts touching one another. When he turned back, his grin revealed the noticeable gap of a missing tooth.

“Your turn, Tenzi. Let’s see if a sodden girl like you can even hit that post.”

The woman moved toward the man, stumbling as she pushed him aside. As Tenzi stared at him, swaying, a satisfied smirk crossed the man’s face.

“Watch this,” Tenzi mumbled.

Her eyes seemed to transform, her half-mast lids narrowing with intensity as she stared at the man. Tenzi spun about, her hands a blur as a dagger appeared in each and flew toward the post. Without pausing, she unleashed the daggers strapped to her legs and they joined the first pair. A bend and a flick sent the two knives from her boots into the post. She then reached behind her back, pulled a blade from her belt, and flung it.

The seven knives perfectly formed an X, with the last blade landing directly on the intersection of the carved target, somehow fitting between the man’s two thrown blades. The crowd fell silent, the moment lasting a few breaths before loud cheers and shouts erupted. Heads shook in amazement as the men and women surrounding Parker began exchanging coins from bets placed.

Tenzi held her open palm toward the man. “Pay up, Ridley.”

The man snarled. “Leave off, Tenzi. I’m keeping my silver.”

In a flash, Tenzi had a knife in her hand and pressed against the man’s throat. “Didn’t know I had a blade strapped to my upper back, huh? I find it wise to always have an extra, just in case.”

With narrowed eyes, Ridley glared for a long moment before his lips pressed together and he slowly dug out a coin purse. Tenzi pulled the blade away and held out her other hand. After setting five silvers in her palm, he shook his head.

“Another ale and I would have had you.”


Tenzi smirked, gripping the coins in her fist. “Perhaps. Not today, though.”


The crowd began to disburse with many heading toward the bar for another drink. Parker shifted closer to Tenzi, frowning at her grin.


“Why do you spend time in these seedy places?”


Tenzi shrugged. “A girl’s gotta have a little fun now and then.”


Parker snorted. “I know you. Nothing you do is little.”


She moved toward the post and began retrieving her blades. “Why are you here? I thought you were staying on the ship tonight.”


“I was, but Joely and Hex came back early. They said that four others got into a fight at The Wind Sock tavern and were arrested.”


Tenzi slid two daggers back into the sheaths on her thighs, rolled her eyes, and grabbed the last three knives. “Again? Why can’t they stay out of trouble?”


Parker raised a brow. “I wonder who may have taught them to cause trouble.”


“You’re hilarious.” Tenzi slid a knife up each sleeve and waved toward Parker. “Let’s go. It looks like Ridley’s silver is going toward bail money, straight from him to the city coffers.”

Parker turned and squirmed through the crowd with the much smaller Tenzi in his wake. When he stepped out into the alley, the noise of the bar quieted and was replaced by a distant boom, followed by shouts and screams. With a furrowed brow, he led Tenzi down the alley and to the lit street.

People ran past in all directions, some heading toward the city wall, others toward the docks. Cries filled the air only to be engulfed by the boom of a distant explosion.

“To the docks!” Tenzi broke into a run.

Parker ran after her as she weaved her way through the foot traffic and around carts. They emerged from Downside – the portion of the Sol Polis that lay between the city wall and the docks – and found people crowding onto the pier. A flash of green flames erupted from a ship moored to the docks. People on the pier screamed and tried to reverse direction as the flames on the ship turned from green to orange.

“Flashbombs!” Parker shouted. “Someone is launching flash bombs!”


“That was a fleet ship,” Tenzi said. “We have to get the fleet out of the harbor.”

Fighting against the crowd, Parker and Tenzi pushed their way through oncoming traffic and onto the pier. An explosion blasted water into the air, sending two nearby ships rocking as seawater rained down on them. Running, Parker led Tenzi down the pier, running beside a handful of sailors trying to get to their ships.

“Why did we have to moor on the end this time?” Parker groaned as he ran.

They ran past the ship on fire. The flames had burned the length of the mooring rope and were licking the post tied to it. An explosion to the other side knocked them off their feet, Parker almost falling into the water as he gripped the pier edge. He sat up and turned toward the ship that had been struck. A wall of green flames raged upon it, turning orange as it spread. Burning debris lay scattered on the pier. Body parts as well. Tenzi cried out and frantically swatted the smoldering leg of her breeches.

Parker’s focus shifted toward the shoreline, and he saw armed soldiers running toward the pier. His eyes widened and he grabbed Tenzi’s wrist. “We need to run!”

Following his gaze, she saw the force collide with the crowd, cutting through them without resistance. Parker and Tenzi scrambled to their feet and ran toward the ship at the end of the pier. While Parker had never moved faster, he seemed be running in slow motion, the distance between him and the ship closing at an agonizingly slow pace. Until, finally, they reached it.

“What’s happening?” Shashi called out from the rail.


“Sol Polis is under attack.” Tenzi shouted. “Make ready to set sail!”


Parker reached the plank first and ran up it, heading straight for the pilot deck. Behind him, Tenzi shouted.


“I need Stein. Is he here?”

“Yes. Below deck,” Joely replied.

“Get him up here. Now!”

Sailors scrambled about the ship, some untying it from the mooring while others began preparing the lines. Parker turned toward shore and found dozens of armed men charging the pier.

Joely reappeared with Stein in tow, the latter rubbing sleep from his eyes.

“Stein. We need to take down the pier before those men reach us.” Tenzi pointed toward the soldiers and Stein’s jaw dropped. Without a word, he ran down the plank.

Parker unshouldered his bow and drew an arrow. He nocked it and prepared to fire. His gaze landed on Stein and found the man kneeling on the pier, tracing a rune with a chunk of glowstone. An explosion sent a thump into Parker’s chest as a wall of green flames blasted from the nearest ship. Again, flaming debris rained upon the pier and into the sea. Stein scrambled to his feet and ran up the plank as the enemy soldiers stormed down the pier. The moment Stein was on board, Shashi kicked the plank aside and it fell into the water. With its lines untied, New Horizons, the flagship of the Kalimar Navy, drifted from its mooring.

“Climb the rigging!” Tenzi called orders as she scrambled to the quarterdeck. “Raise mainsails!” She turned to Parker. “I’ll steer. You shoot.”

Nodding, he shifted away from the wheel and shot, the arrow arcing before it fell. A soldier in the vanguard stumbled to his knees and was bowled over by his companions. Another arrow launched as the rune on the dock began to glow a bright red. The rune pulsed while a third arrow found a target, striking a soldier who spun around and fell into the water. A fourth arrow struck an enemy soldier in the throat as the force reached the end of the pier. Archers stopped and raised bows toward the ship as the glow beneath them faded, the rune falling dark.

In a violent blast, the closest half of the pier exploded, launching debris and bodies into the air. Parts of both rained into the sea while angry red energy crackled and sizzled in glowing bolts that arced across the broken pier and the surface of the water. The portion of the pier that lay closer to shore remained, as did the soldiers who hadn’t made it any further.

As New Horizons gained speed and sailed out from Sol Polis, another explosion emerged from within the city. Based on its location, Parker surmised that the tower of flames came from the citadel. The city was lost. The capital of Kalimar had fallen in surprise attack. Again.

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** Keep scrolling for more reading material! **

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Jeffrey L. Kohanek grew up in rural Minnesota where comic books sparked his young imagination, inspiring fantasies of heroes with super-powers saving the day. His tastes later evolved to fantasy epics featuring unlikely heroes overcoming impossible odds to save worlds born from the writer’s imagination.

Now residing in southern California, Jeff uses that imagination to weave tales of engaging characters caught in fantastic plots to inspire young adults and the child within us all.

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Author Showcase – Sorchia DuBois (Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen)

Zoraida Grey needs help. With the witchy Logan clan holding her best friend hostage in a haunted Scottish castle, she can’t trust anyone—certainly not beguiling but dangerous Shea Logan. And Al, her overprotective boyfriend, doesn’t believe in magic.

Only one creature strikes fear in the blackened hearts of the Logan witches. Trouble is Jock disappeared five centuries ago leaving a trail of destruction across the Gulf of Mexico. Now he’s stepped into a steaming pile of Voodoo.

Can Zoraida drag wayward Jock back to Scotland? And what’s she supposed to do with two men who promise completely different futures?

A Scottish wizard, stripped naked and painted blue—a Voodoo priestess bent on immortality—a yacht-load of Caribbean pirates. What can possibly go wrong?

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ExcerptFrom Chapter 7: Azili’s Little Shop of Hypnotism

 

Her dry, cool hand on my arm guides me through the store, steadies me when I trip on uneven boards, pulls me through the blue-curtained doorway. Red lips blow sparkling powder from long, elegant fingers. The particles hang in the air, spinning and swirling. I inhale instinctively.

My knees give way and down I sink. Down onto the red velvet chair. Past the weathered floorboards, down into the silt and mud of the Delta. Down to the center of the earth. Satin folds of mesmerizing ensorcellment coil around my shoulders, pulling me deeper still into the space between time. Reality wastes to silence.

“Don’ fight, my girl. You can’t do it. Let it take you,” she whispers. We face each other, sitting in matching red velvet chairs. Our knees touch. She holds my hands, massaging my palms with her broad thumbs.

Fresh sweat pops out on my forehead. The powdered drug slows my heart, my breathing, my mind. Each second stretches into infinity. Colors spiral around a green face. My eyelids weigh fifty pounds each. I yield to the irresistible need to let them slam shut. Cigarette smoke on her breath. A cold hand on my forehead. I’m helpless, bound, and sedated.

This won’t do.

My toes dig deep into the rich Mississippi silt and curl around the bones of the earth. Ancient, patient life grounds me, reminds me who I am. A molecule at a time, I transmute the drug to saline, a trick I did not learn in high school chemistry. A trick I didn’t know I could do. The effort leaves me gasping but my mind is once again my own. I open my eyes.

“You got de juju in you, bébé.” Azili laughs, red lips wide, teeth white. Her coils tighten. “But I got de juju in me, too.”

This time, I can’t keep her out. Like rising floodwaters, she seeps into every corner. A scream gurgles in my throat and dies.

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 ~~ Check this out, too! ~~

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Granny’s dying, but Zoraida can save her with a magic crystal of smoky quartz. Too bad the crystal is in Scotland—in a haunted castle—guarded by mind-reading, psychopathic sorcerers.

Getting inside Castle Logan is easy. Getting out––not so much. Before she can snatch the stone, Zoraida stumbles into a family feud, uncovers a wicked ancient curse, and finds herself ensorcelled by not one but two handsome Scottish witches.

Up to their necks in family intrigue and smack-dab in the middle of a simmering clan war, Zoraida and her best friend Zhu discover Granny hasn’t told them everything. 
Not by a long shot.

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Award-winning author Sorchia Dubois lives in the piney forest of the Missouri Ozarks with seven cats, two fish, one dog, and one husband.

A proud member of the Scottish Ross clan, Sorchia incorporates all things Celtic (especially Scottish) into her works. She can often be found at Scottish festivals watching kilted men toss large objects for no apparent reason.

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Author Showcase / BOOK GIVEAWAY – Jeffrey L. Kohanek (A Warden’s Purpose)

 ~~ Who’s ready to win a SIGNED BOOK courtesy of Jeffrey L. Kohanek? ~~

 

~~ PRIZE  ~~

Two schools: One of magic and science, the other focused on military excellence. A dangerous undercurrent flows within both…dark and deadly.

 

Everson is brilliant, ingenious, and yet, he feels broken. Cursed with a disability, he dreams of nothing more than being useful. Quinn is bold, defiant, and will do anything to protect her brother. When Everson is accepted to an academy of magic and engineering, Quinn enters a school of combat in order to join him in Fallbrandt. However, things within the fabled institutions are not what they seem. Beneath a mantra of good intentions and the objective of a better future, spies and conspiracies lurk.

Quinn finds herself embroiled in a struggle she doesn’t understand, one that has dire consequences as her training shifts from difficult to deadly. Her relentless determination and will to survive might be enough, if she only knew whom she could trust.

Within the other school, Everson learns about a dangerous power known as Chaos. Unable to wield this magic, he instead focuses on melding Chaos with science, dreaming of inventions that would shape the future. Perceptive, imaginative, and curious, his endeavors lead him to a discovery that could change the world…and then he discovers the truth.

 

 —>Read the first three chapters today!<—-

 

(Amazon reviewer) Shelly in Sunny San Diego rated it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.
The characters and action scenes are particularly written, the entire book is well written. Glad this is a series, as I look forward to more adventures with Quinn and Everson and friends. Wonderful is this tale that makes you feel a part of the story, not simply and observer. Try this book and join in the fun!
 
(Amazon reviewer) Roger & Jean Fauble rated it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.
My third read from author Jeffrey L. Kohanek was amazing, a 294-page thrill-a-minute read, even better than the first two books by him I read! I’ll be reading more from him as soon as I get more!
 
(Goodreads reviewer) LooseBoots rated it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.
I am always apprehensive when I read a new authors book. With this one I need have no qualms.
Brilliant read. Brother and sister join an academy, both schools linked . One for engineering and one warrior. Both have an interesting journey that culminates in an exciting climax that hints at further wondrous adventures.
Full of magic, mayhem but all in all it’s an enthralling read.
Highly recommended.
 
(Goodreads reviewer) Angie Watson rated it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.
I loved this book. The concept of magic, engineering and military skills, all having a strong place hooked me from the start. The style of the narrative was interesting, mixing the memories of Quiin & Everson with their interrogations. I don’t want to give any spoilers, so won’t go into details, but if you like epic fantasy, you’ll love this book. I highly recommend it.

 

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Ladies and gents, in celebration of Jeffrey L. Kohanek newest series, A Warden’s Purpose, he is offering ONE LUCKY CONTESTANT a SIGNED PAPERBACK COPY

To enter, all you have to do is leave Jeffrey a comment or question on his feature from NOW until Monday 11:59 p.m., central time

On Tuesday, (July 24th), I will randomly select a winner and he or she’s name will be announced on a comment. 

We ask that you PLEASE FOLLOW the blog posting so you will receive a notification when I make the happy announcement.

 

**Due to shipping costs, only residents of the continental United States will be eligible to enter.**

 

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“For the inside scoop on my latest projects and for advanced access to reader giveaways, subscribe to my author newsletter at www.jeffreylkohanek.com” 

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Author Showcase / Interview & BOOK GIVEAWAY – Jim Proctor (Freedom: A Futuristic Fantasy)

Howdy and welcome to Kam’s Place, Jim Proctor! 

 

  1. For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?

(Jim)  I’ve been a laboratory scientist and engineer for the past 38 years. I’ve been married for almost 35 years, and my wife and I have four kids. The youngest is 22.

It’s hard to say when I got my start in the writing business. I think I started writing my first novel around 2007 or 2008. I spent more than four years writing it. I had this idea that I would send it off to a publisher and they would love it. They would send me a check for a bunch of money, and I’d be an author. Then I heard about this thing called self-publishing and I jumped into it. I cut a lot of corners, and the book sucked, though I didn’t realize it at the time. I wrote a short story and another novel, both of which also sucked.

It was then that I reached a low point in my life. My sister was dying of cancer. I was in poor health and dealing with constant pain. It was all too much for me. I unpublished all my books and vanished from indie book community for almost two years. Then I got the itch to write again. I decided, if I was going to do it, I needed to take it a lot more seriously. I wrote a new novel (which had grown out of the horrible short story I had unpublished). I hired a professional editor. I hired a professional cover artist. I began to think of myself as an author when I published Veronica Phoenix.

Somewhere in there, I started in the writing business.

(KAM) I’m truly sorry for all the pain and suffering you’ve experienced in your life. My thoughts are with you. 

 

 

Carl Wilkins, a successful man with a thriving business, loses everything and has to start over from scratch. His dogged determination quickly deteriorates when he finds that even his reputation is gone. With barely enough money to buy a cheap bottle of booze, and no prospects for employment, things look bleak until he receives an unusual job offer from a stranger who turns up just as Carl hits rock bottom. The perilous space salvage job is more than just a chance to rebuild his broken life. It is also a chance to strike back at SACOM, the people who ruined him. Carl, the best space salvage operator in the star system, bets his life that he can complete the job. Setting out in the Phoenix, a specially modified space freighter, Carl begins a dangerous mission to find and collect missing cargo pods from the dense asteroid belt. Struggling to remain alive in the belt while avoiding detection by SACOM ships, Carl learns that he may have as much to fear from the people who hired him as he does from SACOM. His chance to rebuild his life turns into a desperate race across the galaxy in hopes of finding a safe haven where no one will ever find him.

 

 

 

  1. All writers fear the dreaded “block”. Please tell us how you handle it.

(Jim)  I don’t really dread writer’s block. I write when the story is ready for me to write it. Sometimes that means writing every day for months on end. Sometimes the story just doesn’t fall into place. When that happens, I spend more time reading. The story always comes back to me to be written. You can’t force it. I can’t, anyway.

 

 

  1. Will you please share with the visitors what genre(s) you write? Also, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?

(Jim) I mainly write Science Fiction and Fantasy. When I’m not writing, I work on old cars and I read.

 

 

  1. I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?

(Jim) Most people who know me, know I write. When I first started, I wrote under a pen name and I didn’t tell many people. It was a bit surreal. I don’t know if I thought I was going to become famous and I didn’t want people to know who I really was, or if something else made me use a pen name. When I came back to writing, I used my real name. My friends and coworkers know I write.

(KAM) That’s great! 

 

 

  1. Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.

(Jim) Not in any order… J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter F. Hamilton, Julie E. Czerneda, Isaac Asimov, Terry Pratchett, John Varley, Lia Fairchild, Jon Messenger, Bart Hopkins, D. Hart St. Martin. There are many more.

 

 

  1. If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?

(Jim) Oh, I love this question. I would love to see Veronica Phoenix and Search for the Phoenix go to the big screen. I know that’s two books, but they are really one story. Or, two stories running side-by-side.

Casting… hmmm… If I could choose, Megan Carson would be played by Gina Torres. General Lance Nelson would be played by LL Cool J. Carl Wilkins would be played by Bruce Willis. Nolan Peters would be played by Peter Scolari. Georgia Bennet would be played by Sigourney Weaver. Some of these actors are too old for the parts, but I find it hard to accept that. After all, I’m still a teenager.

 

Fighting to remain one step ahead of SACOM, Nolan Peters and Megan Carson investigate the mysterious disappearance of their friend, Carl Wilkins. During the investigation, Nolan struggles with his growing affection for Megan, while she tries to cope with the recent death of her husband. Will the strain bring them together, or drive them apart? 

When the pair uncovers evidence of a treasonous conspiracy that threatens the stability of all human worlds across the galaxy, they reluctantly put their trust in a SACOM investigator and a hard-nosed Army general to root out the conspirators. Will their trust prove to be their undoing… or prevent a galactic-scale military coup?

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  1. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.

(Jim) I started writing a post-apocalyptic story with a science fiction premise. Unfortunately, it isn’t going very well. I’ve written the first three chapters, and it is too much scifi. The post-apocalyptic crowd doesn’t like a lot of scifi in their stories. I am taking a short break, and then I will turn three long chapters into a short opening chapter. That’s the part I am having a hard time with. Then chapter two will start right in with the post-apocalyptic stuff.

 

 

  1. Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?

(Jim) All my books are available on Amazon for Kindle and in paperback. I would suggest reading Veronica Phoenix before reading Search for the Phoenix. You can read Freedom: A Futuristic Fantasy before or after the Phoenix series.

 

 

  1. Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?

(Jim) I can be found on Facebook (facebook.com/IndieAuthorJimProctor) and on Twitter (@AuthorJProctor). I have a web site, as well: AuthorJimProctor.com, though I must admit I have fallen a bit behind on updating it. I need to remedy that.

 

 

  1. Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.

(Jim) I’ve been involved with the indie book community for several years and I must say, I have met a lot of wonderful people. Most are friendly and helpful, as well as supportive. A few… not so much. I ignore them. Usually you can spot the ones to avoid. Their facebook page is all “Me-me-me, I’m so wonderful.” Anyway, I want to say to everyone who has helped me, been supportive, promoted me, “Thank you.”

 

 

~~ Closing remarks ~~

Thank you Jim for answering a few questions for us and also for allowing ONE LUCKY VISITOR a chance to WIN a signed book by you. 

Now, who’s ready to win a prize?! (keep scrolling for details) 

 

 

 

~~Time to check out the prize!!~~

Jazeen is a prisoner—not in a jail or a dungeon, but in her own home. Her parents, guilt-ridden since the death of their oldest daughter, have taken overprotective to the extreme, never allowing her out of the house except to attend school. 

Trapped and frustrated, Jazeen only wishes to be free. When a familiar bird taps on the metal of her balcony, compelling her outside to investigate, she’s hit by an almost jealous yearning when it spreads its wings and soars away. Despite knowing her mother would disapprove, she climbs onto the railing, staring out at the vastness of the stars. It’s then she hears it… the thrum of an airship. 

Mistakenly under the impression Jazeen is about to jump, the eccentric airship pilot throws her a rope. In an act of defiance… or perhaps desperation… she grabs it and climbs onto the ship’s deck, sending her life in an entirely new direction. The dangers of the world, once no more than vague concepts, suddenly become very real. 

Thrust into a reality where magic isn’t make believe and witches do exist, Jazeen isn’t sure if she has what it takes to protect her newfound freedom, but she isn’t about to give it up without a fight.

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Venandi reached the next pad where a large passenger airship was tied up. A ship like this would have a captain, a first mate, one or two pilots, as well as stewards and a cook. With a crew of that size, it was a pretty safe bet that the first mate would slack off as soon as the captain was out of sight. He would promise the captain that things would get done, and then he’d delegate everything to his underlings.

Venandi studied the people milling around the airship. One man was doing a lot of pointing and barking out orders—probably the ship’s captain. Beside him was another man who seemed to be trying to look important while staying out of the captain’s way—likely the first mate. He would be the man to talk to once the captain left the area. Captains weren’t generally forthcoming with information when questioned by strangers. First mates were more talkative when their captain went away. They tended to be self-important, considering themselves just one step away from being a captain without having much in the way of real authority aboard ship. They were the ones who would tell you where their wealthy, invalid grandmother lived in exchange for a modest bribe. If money didn’t work, offering to buy the mate a drink or four often did. They were especially loose with information after several drinks. Venandi waited, being careful to move about casually so as not to appear to be watching the crew. Soon, the captain finished giving orders and walked away toward the town. The first mate, looking both annoyed and relieved, began yelling at other crew members as well as port workers assigned to their pad. Then, having relieved his own stress, he sat on a crate and watched as everyone worked. Venandi walked along the pad and approached the man.

“Nice ship,” he said.

The first mate looked up, grunted something under his breath, and went back to watching the crew work.

“Do you frequent the ports here along the coast?” Venandi asked.

The man looked at him and said, “Can’t you see I’m busy? I have a lot to get done before the captain comes back. Get lost.”

“Please, accept my apology. I didn’t mean to interfere with your important work. Being first mate is a tremendous responsibility. You practically run the ship from bow to stern while keeping the crew in line and working hard,” Venandi said.

“That’s right. And what do I get to show for it? Crap wages and derision from the captain, that’s what.”

Venandi sat on a crate nearby. “Exactly! That’s why I just walked away from the ship I was serving on. The captain started bossing me around as soon as the ship touched down, telling me to do this and do that. And then what does he do? He turns to leave, no doubt planning to find a bar stool that needs warming. Well, I’ve had my fill of that. I told him off and walked away. You should have seen the look on his face.”

The man smiled and nodded. “Good for you. So, are you looking for a job on another airship?”

“As a matter of fact, I am. Not just any ship, though. I have an old friend by the name of Angus Beaph who runs his own airship. I worked for him years ago. Leaving his ship was the biggest mistake of my career. I’d like to find him and see if he’d be willing to give me another chance.”

“Where’s he fly out of? Can’t say I recognize the name. Is it a passenger ship? I know most of the passenger ships in these parts,” the man said.

“No, it’s a private ship. He mainly does charter operations for small groups. You know, fishing trips, sightseeing, that sort of stuff.”

“Well, the name still doesn’t ring any bells. What’s the ship look like?” the man asked.

Venandi leaned closer and said in a hushed voice, “It’s a nuclear-electric ship. It has big engine pods with the electric motors coupled directly to the props. It has a red balloon and a light blue composite hull.”

“I might have seen a ship like that a time or two. What’s it worth to you?” the man asked.

Venandi smiled. “My future livelihood might depend on me finding that ship and getting my old job back. I would be extremely grateful for any information that might help.”

“Well, I could probably spare you a few minutes of my time if you’re buying. My captain always goes to The Wheelhouse Tavern when we’re here. I know another bar where we could talk in peace.”

Venandi stood. “Lead the way.”

“Extremely grateful, you said?”

Venandi nodded. Digging in his pocket, he pulled out two gold coins, looked around to see if anyone was watching, and handed them to the first mate. “That’s just the down payment. When we get to the bar, I’m buying.”

The man smiled and stood, slipping the coins into a pocket. “Follow me.”

The man led the way through the port and along the edge of town. He entered The Flight Deck, a rundown dive across the street from the port’s maintenance hangars. This was a bar where men and women with greasy hands and stained overalls would hang out. No airship captain would set foot in here, except maybe to find a delinquent crew member and drag him back to the ship.

The bar was dimly lit, crowded, and loud. Six pool tables were in use to his right. To the left, a wall lined with dartboards had a large crowd of spectators. The rest of the room was filled with tables from the front wall to the bar at the back. The first mate made his way to an empty table in the far-right corner beyond the pool tables.

Venandi sat across from him. “You said you’ve seen my friend’s ship.”

“I might have,” the man said. Waving to a man wearing a stained apron, he offered no more information. The man in the apron approached.

“What can I get for you gentlemen?” he asked.

“I’ll have a beer and a shot of whiskey. The good stuff, understand?” the first mate asked.

“Yes, sir.” Turning to Venandi, the waiter asked, “And for you?”

“Same thing,” he said as he handed the man some money.

The man counted the bills and slipped them into a pocket of his apron. “I’ll get your drinks right away.”

“You were telling me where you saw my friend’s ship,” Venandi prompted.

“Let’s see if the beer and whiskey jog my memory,” the mate said.

Venandi smiled. “I’ve already paid for the first round in advance.”

The mate smiled and nodded. “Ain’t the first round I’m worried about.”

The waiter returned. He set two tall mugs and two shot glasses on the table.

Venandi pulled out a wad of bills and handed them to the waiter. “This is for the next three rounds.” Turning to the first mate, he asked, “Are you satisfied?”

The mate nodded. “Make sure you’re back with the next round before this one is done.”

The waiter nodded and walked away.

“Now, my friend’s ship?” Venandi asked.

“We sometimes take folks over to a resort on the South Sea. I’ve seen a ship like you described a couple of times. Odd thing is, it’s never running along the coast. Mostly it’s going out to sea or coming back in.”

“That’s interesting. What’s out there in the sea?”

The first mate shrugged. “Don’t know. On the chart, there’s some small islands off the coast, but none of them have cities. They’re all too small. Can’t imagine he’d be going to one of them.”

“And where is this, exactly?” Venandi asked.

“Head over to Rockport on the south coast. Buy yourself a chart of the area. You’ll see the islands. There’s seven or eight of them scattered around the sea.”

“Thank you. You’ve been most helpful,” Venandi said as he stood.

“Hey, we still have three more rounds coming,” the mate objected.

Venandi smiled. “I need to go, but I’ll tell you what. You can have six more rounds on me.”

The first mate smiled. “It’s been a pleasure doing business with you.”

Venandi nodded, then turned and hurried out of the bar. 

 

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Ladies and gents, in celebration of Jim Proctor’s latest release, Freedom: A Futuristic Fantasy, he is offering ONE LUCKY CONTESTANT a SIGNED PAPERBACK COPY

To enter, all you have to do is leave JIM a comment or question on his feature from NOW until Tuesday 11:59 p.m., central time. 

On Wednesday, (June 27th), I will randomly select a winner and he or she’s name will be announced on a comment. 

We ask that you PLEASE FOLLOW the blog posting so you will receive a notification when I make the happy announcement.

 

**Due to shipping costs, only residents of the continental United States will be eligible to enter.**

 

~~ Don’t Forget~~

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