Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

magic and mystery - Blood and Scales: An Anthology

 - by- Allana Kephart & Melissa Simmons, E.C. Hibbs, Jacinta Maree, Victoria Escobar, Susan Burdorf, Luke McCallin, C.L. Matthews, Ruthi Kight, J.K. Radaylac, Bobbie Palmer


Dragons are a race of mythical creatures shrouded in magic and mystery. Whether good or evil, countless stories have been written detailing their majesty. For centuries, mankind has searched for the facts regarding the true nature of these fantastic beasts. 

Today, another quest for knowledge has struck our attention; a cure for diabetes. In this dragon themed anthology, eleven authors have come together to create this collection of short stories to benefit the American Diabetes Association.

Meet an author:
Susan Burdorf is a lover of all things sparkly and can often be found spreading glitter everywhere in hopes the fairies will find her. She grew up reading about the Dragon Riders of Pern and does not understand why she cannot have one of her own. Some day, she is sure, they will find her and then you will hear her laughter in your dreams as she flies overhead. Residing near Nashville TN she spends her days at her normal job, or walking her dog, or stalking the animals at the Zoo in hopes of finding a fantastical creature or two looking for a new home. She asks that you contact her if you find any.

Please tell us about yourself using 3 adjectives, 1 quirk and a pop culture addiction
A: I am tall, willowy, blond, and a liar…now guess which is true…As for the pop culture addiction I love my laptop. I recently was at an event and accidentally left it in a friend’s room and went home without it. Totally a slap myself in the forehead moment because I realized I couldn’t do the daily crossword puzzle or word crack game until I managed to track her down the next day and got my laptop back.

Top 3 Pet Peeves: (In no particular order):
1. People who speed up to pass you and then slow down when they get in front of you.
2. People who are not considerate of others but jump in the line in front of you when it is obvious they should be at the other end of the line behind you (and don’t apologize for it).
3. Shoes that fit when you try them on at the shoe store, but then give you blisters the first time you wear them.

Who do you consider the most swoon-worthy man/woman in the literary world?
A: Neil Gaimen (I would just love to have a serious conversation about writing with him. He has that whole nerdy/sexy Biology teacher in High School thing going on)

How about on tv/in the movies?
A: No one comes to mind.

Top 5 Favorite Things (in no particular order and not counting family which is a given):
1. Hot Chocolate
2. Working with my beads
3. Coming home to my bed after a long trip
4. Clothes warmed in the dryer on a cold winter day
5. The Indie Writing Community which are an awesome group of fellow authors who encourage and motivate me daily with their many kindnesses

What are your thoughts on book covers- in your opinion do they make or break a book?
A: A book cover is window dressing for your book. Just like the pretty polka dot blue and white dress in the shop window says…”buy me and you will have the best day ever, because you will be the envy of every girl at the party, and the boys will all want you” – a book cover is window dressing for your books and says to a potential reader – “Just look at this amazing character, isn’t she/he someone you want to meet? Open the pages…step into the other world…and have the time of your life.” So, yeah, to answer your question – the cover is very important to your reader and if a cover is done in sloppy style, or has a lackluster color scheme, or not the right pizzazz, it will not hold the reader’s attention for long. And if you cannot hold their attention long enough to look at your cover and wonder what is inside – you will never get them to open the pages of your book, let alone buy it. After all, if you cannot invest the money to present the best cover, why should they spend the money to read it?

What’s the last song you listened to?
A: United by Oceans

How do you come up with character names?
A: It depends on the story. If I am writing a story that is about a heroine with a particular trait I may look the name up in a name book to see if the definition of the name matches her qualities. Sometimes I take the name from people I meet who possess some of the characteristics of the character. Sometimes I just pick some names out of the air and just play with the names until they sound right.

How do you come up with novel titles?
A: I have no exact plan. Sometimes I find the titles in a phrase I hear, or a random comment by someone will inspire a title to me. Sometimes I have the idea for a story and match it to the character or a scene in the book. I am working on a book now that involves a child who was saved when the car her mother and her were driving in crashed into a creek. Her mother dies and somehow she survived. The title of the book is simply, “Water Girl” and carries a lot of connotations throughout the book that revolve around water. Simple is best sometimes.

Do you have any advice for anyone that would like to be an author?
A: Yes, just do it. Write. Read. Find a supportive group of people that will tell you honestly when your writing is not at its best, and will help you succeed as a writer. Not every friend is a good candidate for this. They might be jealous, they might not want to hurt your feelings, so be careful whom you pick for this. Attend book conferences and writing workshops in your area if you can. You will learn a lot, and make a lot of friends at all levels of authorship who can help you on your journey, too. And last, be kind to yourself. Writing is not as easy as it appears. Accept rejections as the learning experience they are intended to be, and grow.

This or That
*Morning or Night? - MORNING
*Summer or Winter? - WINTER
*Fantasy or Paranormal? - FANTASY (ELVES ARE JUST SO CUTE)

About the authors:
C.L. Matthews resides in Utah, the state with the best snow on earth. She is not a fan of the snow but loves her state just the same. She is known for her swag business and creative pieces. C.L. Matthews is a college student, swag maker, and new author, it isn't an easy task but she wants to succeed in many things. Her hobbies consist of crafting, drinking coffee until she can't consume any more, and reading until she falls asleep with books in her lap. C.L. Matthews is married to her childhood best friend, she got her happily ever after.

Born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, but with the ability to claim eight states as home; Victoria Escobar writes fiction from her current home in New York. She writes whatever comes to mind and because of such has a variety of genres written including Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, and Contemporary Fiction.

In spare time if not with family, and friends Victoria enjoys curling up with a book from a favorite author with music playing. If not reading or writing she spends time drawing, sketching, crocheting, or some other random art project. She enjoys staying busy, but most of all enjoys staying creative.

Website ** Goodreads ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Tumblr

Self confessed chocaholic, Jacinta Maree was born and raised in Melbourne Australia with her loving family of five. Even as a child Jacinta had an itch to write. Writing was the one constant hobby she clung to, also trying her hand at piano, flute, tennis, horseback riding and drama.

Jacinta works full time in the family business and spends her afternoons either playing basketball, reading, writing or hanging out with friends. She is always happy to try something new; getting her real estate license, practicing ninjitshu, Zumba and parkour to name a few. 

For her future, Jacinta sees herself writing. It is a large part of her identity and something she hopes to continue. Aside from her love of stories she loves Japan and its unique and beautiful culture and history. From their delicious sushi dishes right down to their wooden sandals and kimonos. She is also a huge cat person and loves to snuggle up in front of the fire for a good movie or book. Her favorite genres are paranormal and fantasy but she also loves anything written by thriller writer, Stephen King. 

E. C. Hibbs has lived all her life in Cheshire, north-west England. A lover of stories from an early age, she wrote her first 'book' when she was five, and throughout school was a frequent visitor to the younger classes to read her tales to the children.

Living so near the coast, she loves anything to do with the sea. She studied Animal Behaviour at university and longs to work with marine mammals in the future. As well as nature and animals, she also has a soft spot for history, and loves paying visits to castles, cathedrals and museums.

There are many things she could be without, but writing isn't one of them. She carries a pen everywhere, in case an idea appears, and takes pride in still seeing the world as brimming with magic. Besides writing, she reads obsessively, her favourite genres being the classics and all kinds of fantasy. She also enjoys Disney and horror films, practising Shotokan karate, drawing, archery, and playing with her very cheeky kitten.

Website ** Goodreads ** Publisher ** Facebook ** Twitter ** YouTube

Luke McCallin was born in England, grew up in Africa, was educated around the world, and has worked with the UN as a humanitarian relief worker and peacekeeper in the Caucasus, the Sahel, and the Balkans. His experiences have driven his writing, in which he explores what happens to normal people put under abnormal pressures, inspiring a historical mystery series built around an unlikely protagonist, Gregor Reinhardt, a German intelligence officer and a former Berlin detective chased out of the police by the Nazis. THE MAN FROM BERLIN was published in 2013, followed by a sequel, THE PALE HOUSE, in 2014.

Luke was surprised as anyone that his first book was an historical detective novel, seeing as he'd grown up with Tolkein, Donaldson and CS Lewis and Anne McCaffrey! A dragon story is just the ticket to get back to what he always thought he would write!

J.K. Radalyac lives with her awesome hubby and son in Northern California. Lunch lady by day and blogger by night, she fills the in between times with reading and scribbling down stories. She loves Harry Potter and is a huge advocate of indie authors and never tires of helping them in their endeavors.

Bobbie Palmer lives in Delaware and is very involved with NaNaWriMo and the local writing community. She writes anything from Paranormal to Historical Fiction to kids books.

Ruthi Kight, author of Knotted Roots and Burn Out, is excited to announce her involvement with the upcoming anthology Blood and Scales. The proceeds of which are being donated to the American Diabetes Association. She currently lives in South Carolina with her fiancé and two children, aged 7 and 10 months. After being away from the writing world for a while, she is happy to be back and ready for action. As long as it’s before 8 pm. Once the kids are in bed, all bets are off. The best way to reach her is through projecting mental images while she sleeps…otherwise she will most likely miss your message/text and have to apologize profusely for days. Don’t worry, she loves to hear from readers and friends, but don’t be surprised if you catch her sleeping on the job occasionally. 

Heather Clawson is an incognito Valkyrie who’s been known to defy belief, imagination, gravity, death, and, on occasion, her mother. A big believer in knowing how to do the same things her characters know how to do, she can speak knowledgeably on the subjects of Tae Kwon Do, falconry, sniper shooting, swinging a sword, being chased by geese, creative swearing, motorcycling, origami, and baking.

An aspiring novelist and book reviewer for the San Francisco / Sacramento Book Review, Heather lives on the east coast with her long-suffering husband and two fluffy, mostly-obedient dogs.

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