Sunday, January 30, 2011

Encrypted by Lindsay Buroker

Professor Tikaya Komitopis isn’t a great beauty, a fearless warrior, or even someone who can walk and chew chicle at the same time, but her cryptography skills earn her wartime notoriety. When enemy marines show up at her family’s plantation, she expects the worst. But they’re not there to kill her. They need her to decode mysterious runes, and they ask for help in the manner typical of a conquering empire: they kidnap her, threaten her family, and throw her in the brig of their fastest steamship.

Her only ally is a fellow prisoner who charms her with a passion for academics as great as her own. Together, they must decipher mind-altering alchemical artifacts, deadly poison rockets, and malevolent technological constructs, all while dodging assassination attempts from a rival power determined the expedition should fail. As if Tikaya didn’t have troubles enough, her new ally turns out to be exiled fleet admiral, Federias Starcrest, the man who recommended taking over her nation. To trust him could be a mistake; to fall in love with him would be a betrayal to her people, her family, and the fianc├ę she lost in the war. Those runes cloak more than mysteries, however, and he may be the only one who can help her unravel them before their secrets destroy the world.

About the Author:

I've been writing fantasy novels and short stories since I was seven. I've been finishing them since... well, that's a more recent development.

I'm a professional blogger for my day job, and I live in the Seattle area ("area" is code for 'I couldn't afford a house within twenty miles of the city limits and my neighbors have alpacas'). I have two vizslas who are as spoiled as most people's kids. Occasionally they let me leave the house to play tennis, go to the coffee shop, or take a yoga class.

My "Goblin Brothers" short stories are available on Amazon, and the first novel featuring those characters will be out in 2011. I have two more fantasy novels coming for the Kindle. Check back!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dragon Academy by Diane Nelson

With high school finished for the summer, Nick looks forward to visiting his aunt and uncle in New Jersey. What awaits him is a heat wave like no other - and the last two Greywings on the planet. Nick has an innate ability to train horses but will he be able to translate his amazing skill to these teenage dragons?

The steaming soup of mid-summer heats up tempers and tests resolve as Nick vies with fellow trainers, Keith and Maxie, for mastery over their new charges. The dragons, Nikita and Michael, typical teenagers themselves, have other ideas.

Nick treads a torturous path through a minefield of competing demands: the expectations of his aunt and uncle, recalcitrant horses, the Academy’s female students and the overwhelming egos of Nikita and Michael. One small mistake erupts into a conflagration that hurls everyone into a race against time and forces of nature.

About the Author:
Diane Nelson has been writing for over 25 years across a variety of genres - dark urban fantasy,paranormal romance, science fiction, humor and cross-genre erotica. Her completed works include The Guardian Chronicles (paranormal), Mounted Exercises (short stories), Dancing in the Dark: An Anthology of Erotica and Sculpting David (contemporary romance novella). Due out soon: Flashes Through Time - a collection of flash fiction, shortie short stories, poetry, and more, all funny, fantastical, and perfect for a lazy day at the beach, curled up on the sofa or a break from that report [you know you want to].

Dragon Academy is her third full length novel.

Diane is a lifelong equestrienne who has competed in dressage and distance riding. Her love affair with dragons began as a young child and continues unabated. She lives in Pennsylvania with her son, horses, cats, chickens and a family of friends and supporters who provide not just inspiration but absolute belief in her characters and stories.

To learn more about Diane and her books, visit her website!

Dawn's Review: Seems like the theme for this week is dragons. I can't complain. I love dragon stories. This was a really fun read, and I wish the kids had signed up for Diane's tour. They would've really enjoyed it. (Diane may have to watch for them to review it later on, because I'm sure once I tell them about it, they'll want a chance to read it themselves!) The book itself was wonderful, with an interesting and unique plot. I enjoyed how easy it was to follow and it had me hooked from beginning to end. I can't wait to see what else Diane has in store for us.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Royal Dragoneers by M.R. Mathias

Michael has been a busy boy this week, what, with two blog tours running back to back. Which has kept us busy over here as well. Luckily, Michael's an awesome writer and we don't mind burying ourselves in his books. So we are happy to present another of his books and another of his blog tours!

Hold on to your dragon! You're about to journey through a brave new world of hearty survivors straight into a dragon riding, troll fighting adventure for the ages.

After struggling for more than two centuries to tame the inhospitable, dragon infested Islands where they washed up, the descendants of the survivors of a lost passenger ship are now striving to tame the Mainland they have found.

But the Goblin King, an Ivory antlered demon called Gravelbone, has a different plan for the men who are invading his territory. He and his Nightshade are rallying the trolls to defend their lands.
With the help of the dragons, goblins, and orcs they plan on rendering the wall the humans have built useless, so that they can drive man back to the islands from where they came.

When stubborn King Blanchard finally accepts that the kingdom really is under attack it may be too late, and the only ones who can save the people on the Mainland have been locked away in the dungeon.

Join some brave young men and their mentor, a grizzled old King's Ranger, and a particularly clever young magic wielding woman, as they traverse the wild frontier, and sail to King's Island to warn the King of the warring trolls. Then hold on for your life as you tear through the pages, because the pure blooded dragons they have befriended have another plan all together.

This full length novel is 115,000+ words, over 300 pages.

About the Author: Please see our previous post.

Dawn's Review: Seriously, who doesn't love dragons? Good dragons, bad dragons. They're all great, aren't they? But if you really want to read about dragons, then you must read Micheal's books. This is not just another story about dragons. It is a wonderful tale that you will be sure to enjoy. Having read a few of Michael's books, I've really come to really enjoy his style of writing. It's both entertaining and engaging. This book certainly does not dissapoint and I can't wait to read more of his work.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Reining In Winner

The winner of the giveaway for Reining In by Dawn Judd is John Pearson. Congratulations John. I will contact you for your mailing info.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Butcher's Boy by Michael Robb

We are hosting Day 4 of Micheal's blog tour. I think this is our first horror book we've hosted on the site and I'm thrilled about it. I love horror. It's my favorite genre. So I'm happy to present The Butcher's Boy by Michael Robb.

Thirty-one years ago, William H. Buxly aka "Buxly the Butcher" went to trial for killing his entire family. He was found guilty, and sentenced to die for those crimes. Now, Janet Hale, a recently divorced nurse, has purchased the house unaware of the brutal murders that took place there so long ago.

From the moment she, her eleven-year-old son, and his overprotective Rottweiler move in, things start to happen. A strange man is caught lurking in the back yard, and the only neighbor turns out to be a crazy old widow. But not everything is going wrong. One of the men who helped them unload turns out to be a well-built charmer and Janet likes him enough to start dating again, leaving a sitter to watch over her son.

When Michael, and his dog, Lucy-Fur, learn firsthand that their home is haunted by one of the victims of the Butcher's grizzly act, Michael scours the internet and the local library to find out what happened back then. Maggie, the sitter, brings over a Ouija board and they learn the hard way that more than one dark spirit is on the haunt.

Can Lucy-Fur protect her boy from the ghost that wants to possess him? Can Michael fight through the madness and terror to find out what really happened? If he does, maybe the tormented souls can be put to rest so that his mom can keep the house she loves so much. If he fails, he just might become one of them. With the help of Maggie, and a burned out house painter named Oliver, Michael is going to try. The problem is, not everyone is who they seem... even the dead.

The Butcher's Boy by Michael Robb - Take a slow ride into terror!

***Content Warning: This IS NOT the over-gory sort of thrasher-horror novel, but it does touch on some unsettling subject matter and should not be read by children under the age of 17.

About the Author: Michael Robb Mathias has made a name writing epic fantasy novels under the pen name M. R. Mathias. Amazon, and Barnes & Noble Bestselling e-books such as:
The Sword and the Dragon & The Royal Dragoneers have taken on a life of their own as masterworks in the fantasy genre.

Michael's newest release, The Butcher's Boy, is not a fantasy. It is a terrifying Haunted House/Murder-Mystery/Chiller.

In order to maintain a distance from the YA fans of his popular Dragoneers Saga, this frightening tale has been released under the pen name: Michael Robb

The Butcher's Boy is part of this month's sponsorship contest, so if you purchase it before the end of January, you qualify to win a $50 Amazon Gift Card. Click here for details.

Dawn's Review: Of course I love a good ghost story, but this is so much more than that. The ghosts of the past aren't the only mystery entangled within the story and it doesn't take long to figure out that something is amiss. Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down. Every time I thought I knew what was going on, I realized there was so much more to it. Truly a brilliant piece of work.

P.S. The product placement of The Royal Dragoneers was a hoot! Thanks for the laugh Michael!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Shifters of 2040 by Ami Blackwelder

Ami is kicking off her blog tour today, and we get to be the first on the list. Since Ami has been on our blog a few times, I thought it would be fun to do an interview with her. As always, we enjoy having her here. Thanks Ami.

Breakout Books: Shifters is the prequel to The Hunted of 2060. That being said, do you think people can read it without reading Hunted first?

Ami: Definitely. The books are written to make sense individually, much like Star Wars. The first two books, Invasion and SCM go together and the next two go together, Shifters and Hybrids and then the last two go together, Hunted and Revolution. So, i would advise to read them in sets if anything. But you can choose whatever order you like.

Breakout Books: Is it more difficult to write a prequel?

Ami: No, I found the writing cathartic. Delving into the characters gave me so much more to work with for other prequels and the final sequel.

Breakout Books: Are there any characters that we will recognize from Hunted? Do we get a better look at who they are and why?

Ami: Definitely, we drop into Melissa Marn and Bruce's life and get to know them quite well as well as touch on Melissa's father (Colonel Marn) and their relationship. We also get a better look at Unseen and Diamond and their relationship. We meet April and Arquet's shifter father too!

Breakout Books: I know from experience that working on a series really pulls you into the world of your characters. Will you be sad when this series if finished?

Ami: YES:) I have fallen in love with so many of my characters!

Breakout Books: What was your favorite part of working on this book?

Ami: I love so many parts. Getting to know Arken, Melissa, Bruce, even the General Raul in SCM comes to life as a more softer character that you care for....Of course, April and Arquet I will miss terribly, but I will dive into their relationship more in Revolution, or should I say feud.

Breakout Books: Do you have any new projects in the works? If so, what can you tell us?

Ami: I am working on SCM of 2030 and than Invasion of 2020 and then the final book Revolution of 2060. After that series I will finish Inquisition of Innocence for my Elfin Romance saga. In 2012 I have a few projects in mind, but i will save those for later. Think...time travel, romance, angels, DNA, get the picture....I am all about the Science Fiction and Fantasy. But there will be one contemporary cultural novel: Glass Tears based in Tibet. I do one historical/cultural/
contemporary maybe once a year.

Breakout Books: Tell us something interesting about yourself that we don't already know!

Ami: I have a cat named Lotus whom I bought while in Thailand teaching. So, now in America I have a real Siam cat:) Siamese.

Ami's new book, The Shifters of 2040 can be purchase on Amazon Kindle for $2.99.

Product Description

America 2040.
Three Species. Divided Lovers. The Race is on for Planet Earth.

Summary: Set in Alaska in 2040, Melissa Marn and Bruce Wilder must work under the iron fist of the SCM, while still trying to maintain humanity. Discovering a world of shifters and hybrids, the scientists must struggle with human prejudice and betrayal. With the original ancestors, dubbed shifters, still living on earth, humans are in the midst of a fifteen year old war. As the eldest hybrids, Unseen and Diamond, learn about humans the hard way, with the loss of loved ones and sacrifices, love on planet earth proves challenging.

With underlining themes of how prejudice breaks human connections and animal/wildlife conservation, this novel which has received rave reviews will leave the reader flipping through the pages.

About the Author

I am a forbidden romance writer in the paranormal and historical romance genre. My unique experiences allow me an original perspective and a plethora of ideas to entertain readers. I grew up in Florida and went to UCf. In 1997 I received my BA in English and teaching credentials. I decided to travel overseas and teach and have worked in Thailand, Nepal, Tibet, China and Korea. Thailand is considered my second home now. I have always loved writing and wrote poems and short stores since childhood; however, my novels began when I was in Thailand.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Crystal Facade by Debra L. Martin

Today is day 4 of Debra's blog tour, and I'm excited to be hosting today. Here is the schedule for the rest of her tour. Check it out. Today we are going to do something a little different. Debra has written a little about what it's like to co-write with another author. Enjoy!

THE CRYSTAL FACADE is the second installment of the "Rule of Otharia" trilogy.
Royal Otharian twins Darius and Dyla Telkur have a big problem: they know too much. While fleeing from a telekinetic assassin in a failed coup to seize the Telkur throne, they defied a centuries old quarantine order and traveled to the strange planet called Earth where they made a shocking discovery that native Otharians are living and working on the forbidden planet. While there, the twins run afoul of a criminal overlord who bears a striking resemblance to their own beloved Grand Duke, the most powerful man on Otharia. Simply returning to their home world doesn't end the twins’ troubles, because there are people at home who know the secret too, a secret so powerful it could topple the hierarchy of the royalty itself.
When Dyla's dream visions of the London crime boss portend an imminent threat to her family, she has no choice but to secretly return to Earth and seek answers. Who is this crime boss, what’s his connection to Otharia and why does he look like the Grand Duke? What the twins don't realize is that they're walking into a conspiracy that involves a centuries old interplanetary diamond smuggling operation between the two planets. Crystals as they are called on Otharia fuel their PSI powers and controlling the flow of crystals is the ultimate power.
Assassins on both planets are on the move, and their target is the elimination of the Telkur twins. Everything is connected, but time is running out. Darius and Dyla must unravel the mystery and discover the identity of the malevolent mastermind trying to destroy them before Dyla's worst nightmare comes true.

About the Author:

Science fiction and fantasy author who started writing with co-author, David W Small in 2006. Writing with a co-author is challenging in itself, but when 1 author lives on the East Coast and 1 lives on the West Coast, the challenges are a bit more daunting, but because we live in an electronic world of email, Instant Messenger and Skype, the partnership is totally workable.They have 2 science fiction novels, "Quest for Nobility" and "Crystal Facade" of the RULE OF OTHARIA trilogy available for sale as well as two novellas "The Right Path" and "Path to War" in the DARK FUTURE series.

Debra L Martin Interview for Dawn Judd, Breakout Books

Dawn, thank you so much for hosting me on this stop of my blog tour.

You're very welcome. We're excited to have you here. You write with a collaborator. Can you tell us about your process?

First, I’d like to share a little known fact about my co-author, David W Small. He’s my brother so we have the advantage of knowing each very well. We share a love of fantasy, science fiction and action adventure books. We’ve spent many years passing books back and forth to each other.

We started writing together in 2006 after we couldn’t find anything new to read. We thought perhaps we’ve try our hand at writing and our career was born. We both live on opposite coasts and our writing process has definitely evolved over the past four years. With email, Instant Messenger and Skype we are able to keep in touch to plot out the next scene, chapter, or action sequence. We’ve found through trial and error that what works the best for us is to do edits/additions in real time. We send chapters/scenes back and forth to each other for comments and changes. It’s always a wonderful surprise to see what kind of twist Dave has put on a chapter I’ve sent him especially when I thought I knew what was going to happen. That keeps our writing exciting for me.

I asked Dave what he would like to add and here are his thoughts:
Probably, number one is the flow of extemporaneous ideas when we chat through Instant Messenger. We are at our best when we 'talk' through ideas and scenes. The flow back and forth is almost electric; when we get going, it is like pistons firing, one idea after another and another.

One of the most important things is that both Deb and I have agreed to check our egos at the door. We tend to disagree a lot about different ideas and so we have to convince the other which idea is best. If you can’t justify it, it doesn’t get included and, of course, to quote Tom Hanks, "There's no crying in writing." I am probably the most argumentative person around and Deb balances that quite nicely. She is the best writing partner I could ever have.

Without a doubt though the most interesting and exciting part for me is when we finish a major edit and include it in the main file. It makes me realize that we are definitely making progress on our book.

Can you tell us about your novels?
Dave and I have written two full-length novels in our RULE OF OTHARIA series, Quest for Nobility and The Crystal Facade. The books revolve around royal Otharian twins, Darius and Dyla Telkur and their struggle to maintain control of the throne of Telkur. The reader delves into a world of PSI powers [telepathy, empathy, telekinesis], betrayal, intrigue and murder. There is an evil mastermind bent on eliminating the twins and, of course, there is a deliciously evil telekinetic assassin. There is also a connection back to Earth which Darius and Dyla uncover. To unravel the mystery, they must shift through the clues from the Arthurian legends of Merlin and the Lady of the Lake.

We also have two novelettes in our DARK FUTURE series, Path to War and The Right Path. The stories are set in a bleak post-apocalyptic world where only the strongest survive. Food and water are scarce and gangs roam the streets preying on the weak. System cops try to keep the peace any way they can but it’s not always pretty.

How do you research the science in your science fiction?
Dave and I both like to have the science we use in our books grounded in reality. For example, in our Otharia books, we use “crystals” to enhance PSI power. We wanted these "crystals" to be something that people would recognize easily and so we chose to use diamonds as the model. Anyone who has purchased a diamond knows that diamonds are rated by 4Cs - cut, clarity, color, and carat. We enhanced the 4C rule and had the Otharians discover another intrinsic “C” within the nature of a diamond: conductivity, the 5th C. This 5th C is what fuels their PSI abilities. Every Otharian wears a personal crystal to strengthen their particular PSI ability and the largest 10K crystals open the Duchy portals for interplanetary travel.

What will your readers like about your work?
I think readers will enjoy our novels because we create fast moving action-packed stories. We strive to keep the reader turning the pages through tension, challenges and the conflicts our characters face.

What inspires your stories?
I get inspiration from many things from catching snippets of conversations during the day to reader comments on my blog and forums. It’s amazing how you can spin a story from one seemingly innocent comment.

Where can we find your novels?
In the US, my author page at Amazon is:
In the UK, my author page at Amazon is:

I blog at Two Ends of the Pen where I host author interviews, guest posts, and do book reviews. I also try to visible as much as possible on the internet and frequently comment on forums such as

You can find me here:

What is your current WIP?
Dave and I are actually working on two manuscripts at the moment. One is a new fantasy involving assassins, witches, twin girls and an ancient prophesy. We hope to finish this in 2011. The second project is another novelette in the DARK FUTURE series tentatively titled, Zia’s Path.

Thank you for joining us Debra. We wish you the very best of luck!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Winner, Winner!

Here are the winner's from this week's sponsor giveaway.

  1. Jan Niblock
  2. Gabrielle Campbell
  3. Claudia Sabillon
  4. Karen Wojcik Berner
  5. Will Price
Watch your inboxes for your Amazon alert. Congratulations and enjoy your copy of The Mengliad by Jana Janeway.

Up next: One of our authors, Tracey Alley, is currently in the hospital in serious condition. All of us are really pulling for her. I thought it would be great for her to wake up to some new sales so I am going to sponsor next week's newsletter in her name. I will be giving away 5 kindle copies of Tracy's book, A Very Hairy Adventure in next week's newsletter.
If you haven't already subscribed to our newsletter, now is your chance. Don't miss out on our weekly sponsor giveaways and our monthly giftcard drawings!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Giveaway: Reining In by Dawn Judd

Today starts my one week Blog Tour and to kick it off, I am giving away a paperback copy of Reining In. (for those of you who already have it, sign up anyway. I'll substitute a copy of Phantom Rising, the second book in the series) Just comment below to enter! Drawing will be next Saturday.

Khalida is a five thousand year old vampire. As technology and national security become more prominent, it becomes harder and harder for her to hide her secret from the world. In order to remain undetected by humans, she creates a network of people whose only job is to hide her identity.

But these aren't just any group of people. They are the best of the best, brought to her by chance; tied to her by a bond stronger than any she's ever known before. Being discovered by the human world isn't Khalida's only concern, however. She has made enemies in the vampire world.

When she makes a mistake that exposes her to those who want to take revenge on her, she is tossed into a whirlwind of death and destruction. She has to find out who is killing the humans who have become her family, and save those who remain.

Khalida has spent her entire life trying to protect the people she loves, but ultimately, she will have to decide between the ghosts of her past and the people who have put their lives on the line for her. Her decision may haunt her for the rest of her life.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cameo the Assassin by Dawn McCullough-White

Dawn's blog tour is well under-way and I'm excited to get to be part of it. I enjoyed reading her book and hope that the rest of you will as well. Be sure to visit the rest of the stops on Dawn's tour.
The Kingdom of Sieunes is rife with taverns, dirty streets, and clay pipe smoking citizens all toiling to feed their families and keep themselves in something little better than rags. With a foiled revolution just ten years prior still burning in the hearts of many, the royals enlist the aid of assassins to keep things in order.

The townsfolk entertain themselves by dreaming of better times to come and regaling in stories of the undead said to walk the graveyards at night... and of Cameo the killer with corpse-like eyes... Scarred and jaded Cameo is one of the most effective assassins in the employ of the Association, moving from one mission to the next as long as the alcohol keeps flowing.

Her acceptance of the murder-for-hire lifestyle is thrown into doubt when she meets a local highwayman with a penchant for fine clothes and women, and then she begins to think about breaking with the company but no one ever breaks with the Association under good terms.

About the Author:

Dawn McCullough-White writes mainly dark fantasy and horror. Her novels tend to favor the use of anti-authority anti-heroes as the main characters, most commonly with a strong, female protagonist. She uses abusive, and historical themes throughout her work.

Dawn was born in 1969, in Rochester, NY, and began writing prose at age 14. Ms. McCullough-White is married and has a young son. She is fascinated by history and social psychology. She is a vegetarian and animal lover. Her favorite drink is Gew├╝rztraminer. She's fan of Alice in Chains, U2, and Stabbing Westward, her favorite books include The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, and The Social Animal by Elliot Aronson.
Our Review:
This was an exciting adventure that made it hard to put the book down. I actually fell asleep reading it because I just didn't want to stop. (made for some interesting dreams) I love these kind of stories and this one is one I can see becoming one of my favorites. I really can't wait to read the second book in the series. If you're looking for adventure with a twist, this is definitely a must-read!!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Crimson-Eyed Dragon by D.M. Trink

School is over for the summer! All Jared wants to do is sleep, swim, and delve into as many computer and video games as possible. Life has other plans for him, however, and everything transforms one fateful afternoon when Jared accompanies his mom to an antique shop.
He is inexplicably attracted to a magnificent silver dragon statue with eyes that glow like precious rubies. When Jared brings the statue home, he initiates a chain of events that catapults him and his friends Griffin and Chase into a great adventure solving the mystery of the crimson-eyed dragon. Joined by Chase’s sister Amber, the teens discover that the statue holds a vital clue to the previous owner’s life. They embark on an innocent quest, but the secrets that unfold lead them into unimaginable danger that could ultimately destroy all of their lives.

Author Website:

About the Author:
Author Delyse Trink grew up in Greenfield Park,Quebec where she got her CEGEP degree in Economics. She later moved to Ontario, Canada and received her college degree in X-ray Technology in which field she worked at for many years.
She enjoys travelling,gardening and reading.
Her love of reading romance novels inspired her to write her first romance novel Wrapped in a Rainbow.
She has received an Editor's Choice Award for an anthology submission.
Her novel The Crimson-Eyed Dragon is her version of a modern-day Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew type of story. She next hopes to write a mystery/suspense novel based on her experience working in the medical field.

Dawn's Review:
My first read for 2011. I had the honor of hosting this book for Kindle Kisses a while back, so I thought I better go ahead and read it myself. So glad I did. This was a really fun book. It kind of reminded me of The Hardy Boys or Encyclopedia Brown, with a fun mystery, and a cast of curious young adults. The plot was well thought out and the whole book was entertaining. I think it would be a great book for all ages. I'm interested in seeing if Ms. Trink decides to turn this into a series. I think it would do really well.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Winner, Winner!

Here are the winner's from this week's sponsor giveaway.
  1. Dana Taylor
  2. Karen Berner
  3. Alicia Romano
  4. Gabrielle Campbell
  5. Jan Niblock
Watch your inboxes for your Amazon alert. Congratulations and enjoy your copy of Portal by Imogen Rose.

The winner of our monthly drawing for the Amazon gift card was Barbara Pappan. Congratulations Barbara.

Up next: I will be giving away 5 kindle copies of The Mengliad by Jana Janeway in next week's newsletter. If you haven't already subscribed to our newsletter, now is your chance. Don't miss out on our weekly sponsor giveaways and our monthly giftcard drawings!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Interview with J.C. Phelps, author of Color Me Grey

I have the honor of jump-starting the Color Me Grey Blog Tour. J.C. Phelps was kind enough to answer a few questions for us. I hope you all enjoy her interview as much as I did. Color Me Grey is a great book and made my top 5 list for 2010, so if you haven't read it yet, you really should go check it out!

Breakout Books:
When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? Was it something you always knew, or something that came to you later in life?

J.C. Phelps: I think it's something I always knew. Though, I've always been afraid to write because I used to think you had to be smart to be an author. Now that I've written three books, I know better.

Breakout Books: How did you decide on your subject matter? Is there anything you contribute to inspiring this story?

J.C. Phelps: I didn't really decide on the subject matter. It just - happened. My books are strongly character driven so everything revolves around them. But, I did receive some inspiration from a Janet Evanovich book in which she has a very incidental character who I thought was the coolest.

Breakout Books: Do you think you will write similar books, or are you looking forward to a new subject matter?

J.C. Phelps: I am trying to write a fourth book in the series but I am looking forward to trying my hand at something else. I've always wanted to write fantasy but now I'm leaning more toward a true thriller or mystery or even something paranormal.

Breakout Books: What is the most exciting thing that has happened with this series?

J.C. Phelps: Well, finishing each book is always high on my list of exciting but Color Me Grey made it to the Quarterfinalist stage in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards for 2010. And probably THE most exciting thing is finding readers that enjoy it. There is almost no better feeling in the whole world.

Breakout Books: I know that book 4 is in the works, and you have said you have a lot of work to do on it, but do you have an idea of when we can expect to see this one? Anything you can tell us about this book?

J.C. Phelps: I don't want to be a party pooper, but I'm not sure it will ever be done. I want to finish it and I am working on it. But when it comes down to it, I will not promise anything until it's in the hand of an editor who has already told me the story is viable.
Is there anything I can tell you about this book? I suppose it should be something interesting. Ha! Here goes... As it stands, I've killed someone off. It's someone other than a bad guy but now the scene doesn't quite work with the story. If I can slip it in there, the poor guy will meet his maker.

Breakout Books: Being from South Dakota myself, I'm familiar with the area you live in. Did you have the Black Hills in mind when you wrote the training scenes at the cabin?

J.C. Phelps: I'm at home in the hills so when I was writing about the cabin I did have them in the back of my mind. Yet, everything is in miniature around here (I love it) and the other mountain ranges out there are much more awesome. (I use the word awesome here not as what it has come to mean but what it says in the dictionary... Causing awe... Extremely impressive or daunting) The Black Hills are a very tame wilderness.

Breakout Books: What was the hardest part about becoming an author?

J.C. Phelps: The hardest part about becoming an author was sticking to the books to get them finished. But I'm finding it harder to STAY an author by marketing and promoting those books.

Breakout Books: Do you have any advice for new authors?

J.C. Phelps: Don't give up! I read somewhere that Margaret Mitchell wrote steadily on Gone With the Wind for about ten years. We all know how popular that is.

Breakout Books: Tell us something interesting about yourself that we don't already know.

J.C. Phelps: Me? Interesting? Ha! Well, our local 4th of July fireworks display is held on my father's land - where I live - and it's been said to be better than the one held at Mt. Rushmore! I helped set it all up. (Not the actual display but the fact that it's held here)

Breakout Books: Who is your favorite traditional author? Indie author?

J.C. Phelps: This is the hardest question you've asked me! My tastes are eclectic and change from moment to moment. Piers Anthony, and Robert Heinlein instantly come to mind for the traditional authors. Oh and Mark Twain and Edgar Allan Poe and the list goes on... but the Indie authors are even harder to list. I've been reading 5 Indies to every 1 traditional in the past year and I've actually enjoyed every book I've read. Karen Cantwell, author of Take the Monkeys and Run and The Chronicles of Marr-nia has to top the list right now, but I will say that Dawn Judd's Network series is pretty dang good! And NO I'm not saying that because you are interviewing me. I say it because out of all the Indies I've read in the past year yours and Karen Cantwell's books have stayed with me.

Breakout Books: I know you have a book signing coming up real soon. For your local fans that might want to attend, can you give us the details?

J.C. Phelps: The signing is January 14th, 9:00-5:00 and 15th, 9:00-Noon at the Piedmont library during one of their book sales. There will be at least five local authors there and possibly seven. Even if you don't want to meet your local authors they should have a ton of good books for sale at great prices. Come out and help support your local library!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog! I hope you, you're family and everyone reading this has a great new year.

Thank you Jean for the interview (and the compliment. I'm blushing) I'm hoping to be able to attend Jean's book signing myself. If I make it, I'll be sure to share any pictures!

This week's featured author: Susanne Lambdin

Susanne's love for Star Trek took her to Los Angles in the late '80s. She is best known for her 'based in part' contribut...