A lesson I learned in my life is that through all the pain we must discover why life is still precious. At each stage of my life, I did this. It’s the only thing that kept me going to be quite honest. When I tell people the story of my life they ask, how did you stay sane? I only reply, to be honest I have no idea. Three of my kids know about 80% of what I went through and I think that is one of the reason they respect me so much. I took that pain and turned it into love and determination to do better and be better than those before me. I made sure to break as many cycles as I was able to in order to not pass those onto my children.
Pain is different for everyone – whether its inflicted from our parents or friends or the one we love…it happens. It’s what we do with that pain that makes the difference! Take that pain and turn it around for yourselves. Create an environment that is positive and loving and deflects pain and creates a sense of peace for YOU!
Take a moment, breathe in deep and slowly release it. Look around at all the beauty in the world that you have at your fingertips…its there if you just take the time to see it. Let that beauty soak in as joy into your heart. That joy will be what you feed from.
Here is a poem I wrote about Pain and life.
The darkness of the night is brighter than the pain of the soul
You close your eyes and see nothing
No joy, no happiness, no pleasure
Walking lost through the darkness, you can not find your way
Seeing nothing, feeling nothing you just exist…..
Existing is not living~
To live you must open your eyes and see the world in front of you
Take the moment and breathe it in
Allow your soul to awaken and become vibrant with all life can give you
All you have to do is be willing to accept
be willing to try and take that step
See the love that flows like a river around you
Feel the kindness that floats about like the clouds in the sky
Open yourself and live
Fantasy Sci-Fi Support Group Author Interview of Tyler R Lee
Author bio: Tyler R Lee (born 1989) grew up in the small town of Wetumka, OK. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature from East Central University in Ada, OK before moving to the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. From a very young age, Tyler enjoyed writing above most things.
As he made his way through school, he absorbed as much literature as he could, and found he felt most at home with fantasy and science fiction thanks to works like JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and RA Salvator’s Legend of Drizzt series. By the time he made it to college, he had already started on his own collection of short stories and more than a couple of novel ideas. Anxiety and nerves would keep Tyler from sharing with anyone for some time, until October of 2017 when he published his first novel, a fantasy adventure tale titled An Unlikely Company, the first book in the NetherGate Trilogy.
When not writing, Tyler enjoys doing voice work for several projects, running D&D games with his fellow tabletop nerds, gaming, and relaxing with either a good book or a number of great podcasts.
Book title: An Unlikely Company
Genre: High Fantasy
Synopsis: For nearly a century, the country of Oriod has been at peace. However, dark tidings now threaten to tear it all apart as an evil organization known as the Order of the Fallen Light seeks to free their imprisoned master from her cage in the Nether. Woden, a prideful half-orc, Baelor, a surly dwarf, Jokkoa, a whimsical goblin sorceress, and Amrynn, a paranoid elf and her tiger companion are thrown together by chance. With more than a bit of reluctance, the four loners stumble upon this evil plot and discover they may be the land’s only hope, much to their annoyance. At the request of the wizened wizard Grindor, the unlikely company set out to find the four artifacts that defeated the order in the past before the enemy finds them first. However, not only do they have to contend with the dark forces hot on their trail, but also with the complications brought on by their own mistrust in each other. The dark mages, goblin raiders, zealot cultists, and territorial elementals may be the death of them all, if they don’t kill each other first.
Publish date: October 3, 2017
Author Interview Questions: (Please answer the question about your book cover)
Do you have a pen name and why? Tyler R Lee. I don’t like how my first and last name sound together. So, I use my middle initial. Also, it’s a nice homage to favorite authors JRR Tolkien and George RR Martin.
Very nice homage to them. What other writing have you done? I love writing short stories. I’ve had a couple published on Aphelion-Webzine, and I add voice over to several of them on my storytelling podcast, Tales from the Fireside.
Doing voice-overs sounds really fun and a great way to explore yourself and characters. What’s the story behind your book title? An Unlikely Company is the description for what I consider the main group of characters. They have next to nothing in common, and don’t like each other very much. They are, indeed, an unlikely company.
Clever twist on words. How do you develop your characters? I try to make characters that, despite their abilities or the fantasy world they inhabit, have a sense of reality about them. They must be flawed, they have problems. I can’t create a “perfect” character. They are all oddballs or damaged in some way. And that makes them relatable. That makes them entertaining and easy to cheer for, or to hate.
Sounds like you made them more relatable. Have you used any real events or places as inspiration for your writing? Much of my writing is inspired by events that happened to me. It doesn’t translate exactly, but events in my life, my childhood, dealing with depression and anxiety, pain, happiness, it all gets typed out and molded into the story.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to write a book? Quite simply, Do It! That is literally the first step. Beyond that, don’t force anything. Granted, you can’t simply wait for the “best” time to write. You have to sometimes sit down and do it. But, let it come naturally as you write. Move forward from a difficult scene, come back later. Finally, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re your own worst critic.
Wonderful advice, Thank you. How did you go about developing your cover artwork? My cover artist was done by one of my absolute best friends, Nicole Cerritelli, known as Bored Barista on Facebook and Twitter (go find her). She’s an amazing artist who brainstormed with me on my cover after she read the book. I wanted to showcase the five main characters in some way, showing them separately, but still coming together as a unit, and she nailed it.
It’s a very creative cover…not too much and not too little. Nicely done! If you could only take three books with you through an interstellar portal, what would they be? The Hobbit (favorite book), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and The World of Ice and Fire (great encyclopedia on the world of A Song of Ice and Fire).
Who are your five favourite authors? JRR Tolkien, Stephen King, RA Salvatore, George RR Martin, and Edgar Allen Poe.
Oh you have two in common with me! I have been a fan of Poe’s for decades (won’t say how long that’ll give away my age) and RA Salvatorre is one I can reread a hundred times. What is your favourite quote?
“That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.”
What’s your favourite line from a book?
In Game of Thrones, first book of the Song of Ice and Fire series, Bran asks his father, “Can a man still be brave if he’s afraid?” Ned replied, “That is the only time a man can be brave.”
I know for many, that quote touches them deeply. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing? I love gaming. Video games have always been a passion of mine. It’s one of my favorite forms of storytelling. Dungeons & Dragons is a close second, and is a big part of my life. I also love voice acting, and am hoping to make a career out of that if at all possible.
You can be any fictional character for one day. Who would you be? Drizzt Do’Urden from RA Salvatore’s Legend of Drizzt series. He’s a kind soul born of a hateful society, journeying through a world that judges him because of what his people have done. He’s agnostic in a world where the gods make themselves known, not because he doesn’t believe, but because he does what is right and what is kind because he knows it to be right and kind, not because of what a deity tells him. He’s also a badass ranger with lightning fast reflexes, almost unbeatable in combat, and has loyal friends who are also badass.
I’m actually rereading that series now. I absolutely love it. Thank you Tyler for coming by, do you mind a little quick quiz for the readers?
Favourite thing to cook: Chili
Silliest saying: “No Worries.” It’s “silly” because my anxiety constantly has me worrying about everything.
Best holiday spot: My couch. I like to stay in.
Most played song: Probably…Lola Montez by Volbeat
With writing, are you a plotter or (seat-of-your) pantser?: Little of A and a little of B. I usually have a rough outline. But I let my characters tell or show me where they need to go.
Do you prefer to read SciFi or fantasy: I prefer fantasy, but I love both.
Best superpower: Enhanced Equilibrium. The thing that allows Spider-Man, Daredevil, and those types of heroes have so much control over their movements.
Number one thing to do on your bucket list: Guest star on an episode of Critical Role.
It’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the Lounge today! Tyler thank you and I’m sure the readers are thanking you too! Readers, if you’d like to follow Tyler more below are his links!
In our everyday lives we do things that we may not realize. Hurtful things to others without even thinking. Have you ever said there was a job you would not do? Or you won’t sit by someone in a business because they look sketchy or untrusting? Every made fun of someone cause of the way they looked or something was different about them?
Those are the things that are hurtful. One person is only better than another if their soul is more loving, forgiving, and accepting. For NO other reason is one person better than another. No two people are identical. I recently posted about conformity almost killing my soul – and then we have those who “make fun of” others for not being like them. We ARE all on different paths with different goals.
Always remember that the person next to you is a human, just like you!
I remember as a pre-teen there was a guy who bullied me for being “poor” and even went as far one day as throwing trash from a dumpster on me.
Several years later I had grown into a beautiful young woman and ran across him again. I reminded him who I was and he had the nerve to say to me, “If I’d known you’d turn out so beautiful I’d never had done that.” My reply to him, “You showed your true colors and I’d never want to be associated with someone so ugly inside. You missed out on a lot!”
That was just one instance of torment… many others can be recalled from those around me who tormented me with racial slurs because I dated and married outside of my race. As I look back and recall each one, I remember that I am a better person for all they did. It strengthened my soul and showed me how cruel the world could be. Made me teach my children that being opened minded is so important. Being open about ALL differences – beliefs, looks, social stations, rich or poor, city or country – we are all the same and should treat others with the same level of respect we want to be treated with! Always strive to be a beautiful soul.
Not long ago, I wrote a poem with the same sentiment. I’d like to share that now!
My God is peaceful, Therefore I shall be
I respect that you are different.
I respect that you choose a different way of life.
I respect that you do not believe as I do.
Why? Because my God is peaceful, therefore so shall I be.
I will not get angry when you choose a path in life different than I believe.
I will not yell or say hateful things when you behave unacceptably to my beliefs.
I will not turn away from you when you do believe in my God.
Why? Because my God is peaceful, therefore so shall I be.
I will not be hurt when you say I’m loving him wrong.
I will not be hurt when you tell me I should do things differently.
I will not be hurt when you say I am damned for walking a different path.
I will not be hurt when you walk away from me.
Why? Because my God is peaceful, therefore so shall I be.
Under the armor of our skin, do our bodies not contain the same things?
Do we all not bleed the same?
Do we all not essentially function the same?
When I wake, is it not the same sun the brightens both our skies?
When I lay down is it not the same moon that reflects upon our nights?
We are of the same world even if we are not of the same thoughts and beliefs.
When my energy is returned to the world and my body returns to the earth.
I will be remembered for my understanding and respect of the differences of others.
Why? Because my God is peaceful, therefore so shall I be.
Photo credit link
I’ve had it on my mind today to talk about inner peace and how important it is to be true to oneself over anything else and then I saw this graphic (above) and knew this was the topic of the day!
My mind never rests… a troublesome thing but I think it keeps me sane. When I woke this morning, the thoughts of how I’ve changed over the last ten years weighed heavily on my soul, the most positive way possible.
All my life, I’ve been told what to think, how to feel, how to believe. I’ve rebelled against it all and questioned nearly everything all my life! I was that kid that if you say don’t do it, I did it to spite you! I was always considered trouble and never felt like I belonged.
My mother raised me up in four branches of the christian faith all while telling me about the gods and goddesses and incorporating mythology into my everyday life. I yearned for more of the latter all the time. I delve into mythology and found a great love there.
I tried to stay in the “church” and do what everyone wanted of me…but my soul was NEVER at peace. Until the fall of 2010! That is when I left a longterm relationship and moved back “home”. While my boys sat in the second row of our minivan playing and talking I made a personal vow to myself to always and forever be true to myself – whatever that may be. I knew there were steps I had to take to get there so the first things I did was make peace with my demons. Those were the hardest to overcome. It took another year for me to accomplish it all!
My demons included releasing the guilt of not seeing my mother the last few years of her life. She had no idea where I lived, how I was doing, or if I was even alive. I made the choice to stop talking to her and to remove her toxicity from life the day she told I enjoyed being molested as a child and wanted it. So the hurt of that built up inside me for years, but I knew the choice I had made was the correct one. Since she had been out of my life – I felt no guilt or stress for the things she would say to me. It was her death that haunted me for a while, but not any longer.
Another set of demons was that of those who had abused me in some way or another in my life. I had to learn and accept that they were wrong and I was not at fault. Twenty-nine years of my life had abuse of some kind or another in but had anyone stood up for me, loved me unconditionally, and protected me…my life would be so different now.
The biggest demon I had to release was the way I believed in spirituality and religion. I don’t believe the ways I was forced to as a child, how others felt I should as an adult. I feel at peace in nature, surounded by water and the sounds of the earth. I feel at peace believing that balance is the way of the world. I believe in a Goddess and a God that rule together in harmony. I believe in the energy of the world and the things in it. Herbs, crystals, and the moon give me peace and nature replenishes my soul like no other.
So, what did I do? I sat in a room, crossed my legs, and began to meditate. I envisioned a dark room with a door on the other side that I had to get to and go through in order to let go of all the hate and anger I had from my youth and younger adult years. I passed each demon and forgave them. I walked by them in that dark room and when I put my hand on the door that led to my peace and opened it, I felt peace wash over me. this was a very long meditation process!
The love of those who do love me unconditionally I can count on my fingers, but those are the ones I gathered strength from to be who I am today! They know who they are … no names needed.
Slowly I began to examine the ways I’ve felt all the years of my life. My love for things pagan and natural, for the things that gave me the most peace of all. Over the last ten years I have searched my soul, inwardly, for the answers no one could give me before. What I found was that it’s okay to be different than what those around you expect from you! Its okay to believe differently! Its okay to be authentic to yourself above all else because at night when I go to sleep, it is my soul that is at peace!
Not so long ago, I wrote a poem/short that I think sums it all up. I’ll share with you!
Conformity almost killed my soul.
I wanted to be expressive.
I wanted to try things.
I wanted to believe differently.
I wanted to explore the world and all its realms.
My soul was different from those who tried to conform me into their versions of who and what I should be.
I was always trying to be what everyone wanted – my mother, stepdad, friends, family, and lovers.
Always trying to conform to their ideas of what I should be, all the while I was struggling with an inner battle that left my soul restless.
Growing up, I was always told I was rebellious and even as an adult.
Maybe I was, am, maybe I didn’t want to conform to the ideas and molds that life was giving me.
Maybe the shape and direction others wanted me to go was not where my soul was not meant to be – I was unhappy so I “rebelled”.
I became depressed, full of anxiety, lost my self-esteem and confidence.
I had to find myself again.
It was when I quit conforming and removed those who were trying to make me into something, someone, I was not… did I begin to find peace – true peace.
In 2010, I began a journey that led to me, the me I am today – a better me than ever before.
I am free.
My soul is no longer being shoved into a shape in which it was not designed.
My soul is no inhibited from being who it was meant to be.
My soul is no longer being tortured but being nurtured.
My soul is now allowed to walk where it wants, search the ends of the earth, and be at peace.
My soul can now breathe in the world and release its truest nature and expressions – and that is what a peaceful soul is.
I did not let conformity destroy my soul.
Ari Mason is a shunned and exiled witch. She works as a bartender and reads tarot in the park. Neither of which requires her brand of black magic. Which is how she likes it. Ari’s power has always left a trail of death and destruction in her wake, and she’s chosen a path of altruism. By using herbs and plants in her spells, instead of blood, she can help those around her.
As the temperature rises in Houston, so does the body count. But these aren’t regular murders; someone is using old magic to take out humans and witches.
Ari realizes that any witch is fair game and sends out a call for black magic and white magic witches. They must join forces to fight this ancient evil if any of them plans on making it through this Beltane alive.
May Day is the debut novel of RR Born and she did an amazing job starting off! Her character development is realistic. Her ability to tell the story is definitely a gift. The concept of being able to take charge of your own future and destiny no matter the obstacles is a great hidden message that any reader will easily grasp.
Read for the next installment~
Get your copy today on Amazon
Interview of Fantasy Sci-Fi Support Group member Laura Daleo
Author bio: Laura Daleo was born and raised in San Diego, California where she majored in Fine Arts at Mesa College. She is best known for her love of animals and shares her home with three humorous Basset Hounds, Stuart, Morgan, and Dexter, her toughest critics. Laura has held positions in several industries, Restaurant, Telecom, Biotech, Research, and Retail. Throughout Laura’s professional career, she furthered her writing skills by taking courses and by joining writer’s critique groups and Writers Digest. She is now the owner of Story Bound Publishing, a fresh voice in the supernatural realm of ebooks and traditional print, committed to publishing unearthly tales of Aliens, Angels, Demons, Fairies, Ghosts, Shifters, Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, Zombies and all other creatures that go bump in the night.
Book title: Bound by Blood
Genre: Dark Vampire Fantasy
Synopsis: Five years crawled by at a painfully slow pace for young vampire, Beth; each year more agonizing than the next. The powerful unyielding spell which masked Amon’s whereabouts showed no signs of weakening. Influenced by the binding ritual and Amon’s blood surging inside her, Beth will stop at nothing, and risk everything, to find him and turn the tables on Osiris, Isis, and Hathor. In foggy streets of London, lives are threatened by a new breed of hunter, and nothing is what it seemed. Beth once again finds herself surrounded by betrayal. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between Philippe and Amon – knowing that her decision will change one life forever. But whose?
Publish date: originally published 7/2016
Publisher: originally published by World Castle Publishing
Republished date: 3/17/2017
My publishing company: Story Bound Publishing
The wind howled into the dark night, chilling my freshly-warmed skin. As I stood at the rim of the ocean’s cliffs, listening to the whispering waves, I focused on my victim’s vacant stare and wiped his blood from my lips. A single drop tarnished his forehead, and I snatched it up with my tongue. Lowering my head, I whispered, “Forgive me, dear mortal, for though I share your love of life, I must rob you of yours so that I may survive.” Hugging his cold torso against my chest, I kissed his cheek and then tossed him over the cliffs into the pounding surf.
A platinum stream of moonlight shimmered across the restless water, glancing off his body. The waves swelled, swallowing him whole and erasing him from the mortal world, but I couldn’t walk away. I owed the mortal a glimmer of respect; after all, he’d sacrificed his precious blood to feed me. Like a mourner at his grave, I clasped my hands in front of me and stared ahead in silence. I lingered for only a moment longer as a personal task; in truth, it was more of an important ritual, one of self-pity, drunkenness, and shame which required my devotion. This very night marked the fifth anniversary of the spell cast upon Amon, forcing him to bid me farewell. Faithfully I waited for his return, and with each passing year the hole in my heart grew wider, leaving my immortal soul a bit emptier, and the wedge between Philippe and I a bit deeper.
Turning my back on the sea, I drifted along the cliff’s path, crossed the deserted street, and headed for home. As I entered the front door, I cocked my head and listened with my vampire ears. My ritual was private and for me alone. No interruptions. No distractions. No nothing, and especially not Philippe. Again, I took notice of the house. Not a single sound made its way into my ears. Not trusting in them solely, I closed my eyes, lifted my arms, and spread my fingers. No spike in my pulse. No surge in my veins.
Philippe’s blood didn’t stir; but then, could his presence be masked?
I opened my eyes, slipped off my shoes, and tiptoed across the foyer toward the wine-cellar door hidden beneath the staircase. As I descended the steps, I welcomed the cold of the floor against my bare feet. After all, mine wasn’t a body composed of warmth. Beneath my flesh rushed an icy scarlet river, which required human blood to generate any heat.
As I wandered along the cellar rows, I caressed the black and gold bottle necks, searching for Amon’s favorite vintage. Several steps ahead it lay before my gaze. I slowed, but my breath quickened. I removed it from its slot, pressing it to my lips. Amon’s emerald-green eyes, jet-black hair, and bronzed, statuesque face flashed before my eyes. Memories of the dreadful night we said goodbye flooded my mind. Goosebumps pinched at my flesh. I reached out, grasping empty air. His reflection shattered, leaving me alone all over again. A spark of madness singed my brain and I slumped against the cellar wall, gripping the bottle, whimpering. The walls seemed to close in on me. I needed air.
Leaping to my feet, I rushed from the room. I didn’t stop running until the beach’s soft blanket of silver, pearlescent sand tickled my toes. My knees buckled and I sank, sitting inches from the waves. I popped the cork and filled my mouth with wine. I quickly drained the bottle, anesthetizing my pain. I fell backward, spreading my legs and arms across the sand, staring into the night sky. Amon’s image floated above, torturing me. I brushed my fingers over my heart before they fell away and into the sand. “I failed you,” I murmured, gripping a shifting handful of sand. I sat up, flinging it with force and shouting, “I failed you.” Tears stung behind my eyelids and I hung my head so they could fall. For hours, it seemed, I cried…then slowly, very slowly, the wine took hold. I lay blissfully drunk, the empty bottle by my side and my ritual performed.
Footsteps approached, a shadow creeping over me and blocking out the moon. My pulse bounced like a rubber ball. I knew who it was. He always found me, but I didn’t acknowledge him. I kept my gaze focused on the stars.
“Drunk again, Beth,” Philippe said rather than asked, blowing out a groan.
Only then did I meet his gray-blue eyes. He stood over me with his hands on his hips. This was my way every year. Why did he continue to judge me? He had no right, the Amon imposter. If I chose to drown my pain in wine, then so be it. I didn’t need his permission. Deliberately I giggled and said, “Very drunk.”
He glanced over his shoulder and then back at me. “It’s close to sunrise.
I waved him off. “To hell with the sun. Go home if you want. I’m fine right here.”
He looked away from me, pursing his lips and shaking his head. “You know, this woe-is-me attitude of yours is getting pretty old.” He slowly turned his head toward me, a stone-cold expression plastered on his face.
“In fact, I’m quite sick of it.”
I sat up and scowled at him. “Don’t mock my pain. Let me feel wretched and miserable on this night.”
He narrowed his eyes and arched his brow. “The promise no longer threatens us. We have everything we ever wanted. We should be having the time of our lives, but it isn’t just the one night. You live in a constant state of drunkenness and depression. Amon isn’t coming back. Get over it.”
“How can you…? Of all things…,” I stammered, and then collected my- self. “I’m not going to dignify that with a response.”
Good morning Loungers, today we have Laura Daleo with us talking about her writing and herself. Welcome Laura, thank you for joining us and talking to the readers today! Let’s get started, shall we…
What was the defining event that made you start writing?
I was reading Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. When I had finished the 4th book, the 5th book wasn’t due out for an entire year. I couldn’t wait, and the anticipation led me to create my own vampire series, Immortal Kiss.
What a wonderful place to get inspiration from! She is an amazing woman and author! Do you have another job outside of writing?
Yes, I’m an Accounts Payable Manager for a retail chain. I have a team of 10 who report to me. It’s a hectic but fun environment, and I’m able to use my creative brain to automate and streamline internal processes.
Very nice! What are you working on now?
My 5th book, The Soul Collector. My first non-vampire tale, and my first using the third-person omniscient point of view. I normally do first-person. Here’s a sneak peek:
As I lay trapped inside this quiet realm,
My soul adrift, my body earthbound
A magical book guards my flight,
Though will it keep me safe till morning’s light.
Oh that sounds interesting. *makes side note to keep an eye out for that* What’s your writing routine?
I have to start with an iced coffee. There’s something about that drink that feeds my imagination and sets in motion. Of course, my toughest critics are at my side as well. My furry kids, Stuart, Morgan, and Dexter.
Describe your road to publishing your book
My first two books were published by a small press publisher. I felt that I didn’t have the creative freedom with covers, editing, and the time frame in which it took for publication. Once my contracts were up, I chose not to renew and started my own publishing company, Story Bound Publishing. I’m very pleased with that decision. My writing has grown so much since then, as well as all areas of the publishing industry.
How did you go about developing your cover artwork?
I’m an artist. I have that creative brain that never shuts off. I design the images in my head, create a rough draft in Photoshop, and then hand them off to my graphic designer to polish.
Who are your five favourite authors?
Anne Rice, Stephen King, Peter Straub, Dean Koontz, and Justin Cronin.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
I’m big into fitness. I love kick boxing and circuit training workouts. I’m a Photoshop fan. I create all my own covers, teaser posters, and ads. I relax with TV. I have several shows that I’m super involved. I get hung-up on the characters and their lives. To mention a few: The Passage, Lucifer, The Good Doctor, and Manifest.
What’s your favourite pet?
I love all animals, but I am partial to dogs, especially basset hounds. Stuart, Morgan, and Dexter can testify to that.
Do you prefer ebook or hardcopy?
Hands down hardcopy. I love to hold a book in my hands. I also love an impressive library. I think it makes a huge statement about a person.
What’s your experience of the Fantasy Sci-Fi Readers’ Lounge?
I love this group. Most Facebook groups bombard their members with book promos and selling posts, but not the Readers Lounge. It engages with its readers, making them feel welcome and part of the whole process where their voice matters.
Laura, you’ve been a delight to have on, would you mind taking a quick question quiz for the readers?
Favourite thing to cook: Baked Ziti
Silliest saying: It’s not a saying, but I call my dogs toys squeakems
Best holiday spot: Anywhere with friends
Most played song: Me and My Broken Heart by Rixton
With writing, are you a plotter or (seat-of-your) pantser? Pantser 100%
Do you prefer to read SciFi or fantasy: I’m more of a fantasy person, especially dark fantasy and urban fantasy
Best superpower: Mind control
Number one thing to do on your bucket list: Visit Egypt and see the pyramids
Readers, if you’d like to follow and get to know Laura better, below are her links!
Over the last ten years or so I’ve slowly noticed numbness and tingling happening more and more in my legs and now in my arms. I just never paid much attention to it until a few years ago when I was sent to a neurologist over it. I was quickly diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy of no known cause. I’ve now been tested for diabetes three times and its not that.
Last month I had an extensive appointment with a new neurologist and he discovered that I also have muscle weakness and loss of muscle tone on my right side extremities. (I’m right handed and this immediately alarmed me) Discerning to say the least and I didn’t want to believe the doctor. So that afternoon I went to the store to test the theory that my right hand was NOT weaker than my left and sadly it was proven to be true after trying to open several different types of drinking containers. You never realize some things are happening to your body slowly over time until its pointed out to you. He (the dr) ordered a ton of blood work and upper extremities nerve testing. The nerve tests found nothing wrong from the shoulders down the arms so we are still at ground zero with any conclusive diagnosis. I have until my next appointment to find out my bloodwork results.
All while that is happening I have seen pain management for chronic low back pain due to SI joint inflammation and a bulging disc. That specialist immediately saw the muscle weakness during her exam but had no suggestions as to the cause either. I have had an MRI ordered and am waiting to get that scheduled now.
Each day I try to pay attention more and more to the things my body has been screaming at me for years and it’s scary as hell when you don’t know things are happening. Muscle spasms, weakness, tinging, and numbness is just frightening at the end of the day. My physical activity over the last years has slumped and now I may know why… My husband and I recently purchased a 3-n-1 hybrid stationary bike/elliptical so that I can get some exercise in the comfort of our home and at my pace.
This is the journey I’m on as a neurology adventure. I am not able to sit comfortably for more than ten minutes, stand for more than 5 in one spot, and walking becomes excruciating after about twenty minutes. The doctors started me on a new medication to help with peripheral neuropathy and low back pain along with lidocaine patches to give some relief. I can’t open some containers anymore and require more assistance than I ever like to ask for.
All in all, we have zero ideas what is happening or why and hope that eventually some test will be all revealing to us.
The complete Jein’s Journey Series. Calastan, Resolution, and Kyluna along with book four, Twist of Fate are included. Each person has a distinct trait that’s either held in reserve or pursued without inhibitions. For reasons that vary, the latter may seem an egotistic act. However, not for Jein. Taking a path other than the one she believes is right is like betraying her own soul. This series features a young woman who deals with her individuality in admirably different ways. It tells a story of how she accomplishes exceptional feats in a world that draws an unyielding line between men and women. Follow Jein Kyominias, a young woman who does not entertain the established roles other females of the upper class take in her land. Her rearing in a matriarchal society has certain paths laid out. She has chosen to be an elite hunter instead of a mere matron. She is unique in her fondness for activities that are specifically bequeathed for men. She decides she will be different—strong and different that is.
Calastan “Just enough detail to show the wonder but not so much you get tired of reading about it. Jein’s journey is full of depth that you don’t always find.”
Resolution “The land of Resolution is so bright and beautiful and the animals sound absolutely gorgeous. I got lost in the description of the land and its beauty.”
Kyluna “Once I started this series, I could not stop! Can’t wait for her next book. The journey of Jein is one that shows strength and faith. Beautifully done.”
*This series is the one that started my writing career. Seven years ago, I took to my back porch and began writing Jein’s Journey. I find it only fitting that in the very same month that it began only seven years later that I wrap it up with all four books in one. Book four, Twist of Fate, is only available in Aurora’s Time and will not be available at any time separately. If you’d like to get your copy it is available only on Amazon and through Kindle Unlimited.
Ascenders 11:11 Book Four by CL Gaber
n the Midst — a place for those who departed young — there is a fate worse than death. It’s the passing of true love. Tat-covered Daniel Reid’s memory has been erased by his sadistic father. Walker Callaghan must face her destiny alone.
Alliances shift in the fourth book of the Ascenders Saga. Only twice a day at 11:11 — a time when all things converge — is everyone and everything clear.
Forced to run to The Other Side, Walker and Daniel discover the afterlife world they previously knew was only the beginning of the vastness. In a new realm of illusion and deception, there are no rules except one: Rock bottom builds heroes.
Once again Gaber has created a masterpiece. Book four starts right where book three leaves off and takes you through another exciting adventure of Walker and Daniel’s pursuit for justice and happiness. The teenage afterlife story is full of adventure, humor, drama, and emotions that all teens deal with but puts a twist on it that you’d never expect. I won’t give spoilers but I will say if you love a great fantasy adventure this is the series for you!
Get your copy on Amazon today!
Interview of Fantasy Sci-Fi Network Author Charity Bradford
Charity Bradford has been a voracious reader ever since her 5th grade teacher introduced her to the world of books with WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS. She soon became kindred spirits with Anne Shirley and got lost in the worlds of Card, McCaffrey, Bradbury, and Nagata. By college, she was sewing her own Starfleet uniform and developing her alter-ego as a comic book sidekick named Solstice. She lives in Northwest Arkansas with her hubby and four kids. Some of her guilty pleasures include binge watching Doctor Who and Ancient Aliens. Charity also writes clean contemporary romance under the name River Ford.
Book (New Feb 2019): THE HAND OF ATUA
Genre: YA space opera
Eighteen-year-old Amiran is the Hatana’s heir, but he’s vowed to stop his father’s brutal march across the galaxy. Shortly after putting Eleena on the escape shuttle, he’s captured by his father’s scouts. Sentenced to serve in the mines and then the fleet he hates, Amiran holds onto the memory of Eleena’s tearful plea for the god Atua to protect him.
The imminent arrival of the Hatana’s fleet forces young Eleena to leave her parents and flee her homeworld. She does so only when Atua assures her parents are in his hands. Her faith is shaken when days later she learns the fleet destroyed her planet, leaving no survivors.
Separated by space and years, Amiran and Eleena both struggle to overcome challenges. Through it all, they stay connected through a surprising link. Can Amiran find a way to stop the Hatana and save the woman that now means more to him than he ever thought possible?
Publish Date: February 2, 2019
Extract (up to 1000 words):
From Chapter 9: Amiran
The vibrosickness started with a headache and nausea, followed by the inability to sleep. At first, I paced the three steps back and forth across my room. It didn’t bring relief. Eventually, my muscles gave out. I lay shaking on the floor in a puddle of sweat and urine until a guard came in with food. He helped me onto the bed and force-fed me some soup.
It didn’t take long for me to throw it up. That’s when the ship’s medic visited. He had me cleaned and administered meds for the fever and nausea. However, it did no good since the vibrocuffs remained on my wrists.
After two days, I tried to gnaw my hands off. I’d barely broken the skin when the medic returned. He cleaned and bandaged me up before calling the guards in.
By the end of day three, I begged to die. My body had grown so weak I couldn’t lift my head. I lay curled up, eyes shut, praying for release.
“You have to remove the restraints,” the ship’s medic told the soldier yet again.
“Schirra’s orders are to leave him shackled.” The soldier’s voice didn’t sound confident.
“He’s the Hatana Tama, do you want to be responsible for his death?” the medic argued. “Take the blasted things off. The other prisoners don’t have to wear them. What are you afraid of?”
“General Schirra,” he stuttered.
“I’ll do it then.”
Cool hands wrapped around my wrist. The vibrocuffs fell away, along with the electrical current that had been my constant companion. The sudden stillness shocked the tears from me. Sobs of relief followed.
“Not much of a prince is he?” The soldier sounded surprised.
“He’s just a kid. I’d like to see you last three days with these contraptions on.” The medic pressed a hypospray into my arm. Cooling waves flowed through my body. “Amiran, by the time you wake, you should be able to eat.”
They left, and I lay there like a dead dinge. I didn’t have enough strength to climb under the thin sheet when the shivering started.
Time drifted by, interspersed with dreams and bouts of awareness.
Evander walked the corridors of a ship with Eleena’s uncle. The medic came and went, hooking me up to some contraption to feed me. Eleena sat huddled with a blonde girl while a boy glared at them. Ev sat alone in his quarters watching the feed of Manawa’s siege. Men came and went from my room. Eleena cried while her uncle held her.
Did she know about her parents?
It became hard to differentiate between reality and dreams. The medic gave me several shots, and eventually, the headache subsided. My body returned to its normal biorhythm.
I lay in bed, eyes closed, pretending to sleep.
“He won’t be strong enough for the mines. Not without another day or two for recovery.” The medic talked to someone in the room.
I opened my eyes just enough to get a glimpse of the newcomer. It was hard to focus on his face, but I recognized the deep red rank epaulets. The captain looked every bit the military man as the Hatana and the General. He stood taller than the doctor, his arms crossed over his chest, and his brow furrowed in thought.
“We can’t do anything about it. We arrive tomorrow and it’s out of our hands.”
“What if we,” the medic stopped mid-thought and shook his head. “Never mind.”
“Help him the best you can with supplements, but we can’t disobey orders.” The captain’s next words were scarcely more than a whisper. “Not yet.”
I coughed to hide the gasp that slipped out before I could stop it, turning toward the wall in an effort to hide.
The medic touched my arm. “You might as well open your eyes.”
Slowly, I faced the men and struggled to sit up. “I don’t understand.”
The medic helped me lean against the wall. My muscles were still weak, refusing to work properly.
The captain nodded. His eyes weren’t as cold as my father’s or Schirra’s. “If you survive the mines and Schirra’s fleet you might one day. We can’t take a chance on you until then.”
My thoughts moved sluggishly. Possibilities slipping through before I could grasp and make sense of them. I shook my head and cringed as the dull ache returned.
“It’ll come to you.” The captain moved toward the exit. He held up a disk and the door slid open. “Listen for the voice of Atua and you might save us all.”
The medic followed, the door closing and locking behind them.
Listen for the voice of Atua? Even though I’d spoken his name in the trite phrases of my people, I’d never really put stock in a supreme being. My father thought being Hatana made him a god. That was enough to turn me off all the other gods in the universe.
If there really were a god in heaven, why would he let men destroy so many things of beauty?
I sunk back to the pillow, enjoying the coolness against my cheek. It would take more than the captain’s words to turn me toward an imaginary being.
Welcome to another author interview, today we have author Charity Bradford who also happens to be a Fantasy SciFi Support Group member! Come sit and let’s get started…
Cheryllynn: What was the defining event that made you start writing?
Charity: I came to writing through reading and wanted to write by the time I was in high school. However, I didn’t start until after a near death experience in 2002. It all started with the birth of my third child. The doctors missed my sick appendicitis thinking I was labor. Long story short? 1 baby, 1 ruptured appendix, serrated bowels, sepsis, and 2 weeks in the hospital that I only remember through the stories of others changed my life. The fact that we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow became very clear to me and I started writing what would eventually become my first novel.
Cheryllynn: Wow, what a story of inspiration! That sounds so scary, glad you made it through. What other writing have you done?
Charity: I have half of a science fantasy series out, a short story collection, a modern-day fairy tale, and four contemporary romances under the pen name River Ford.
Cheryllynn: What makes your writing unique compared to others in the genre?
Charity: Rules, shmules. I don’t follow them very well, which is why I went Indie. I like to mix a bit of everything in my writing—science fiction elements with touches of magic, I throw in dragons, aliens, space battles, quests and adventure, things like cryogenics and hive minds, but then I also have romance and elements of faith. Perhaps the biggest difference is I write science fiction for my friends who don’t like science fiction. The goal? Convert them, then take over the world!
Cheryllynn: Oh, so we have a rule breaker on our hands! What’s the basic plot of your book or series?
Charity: This book is about two people (a prince and a refugee) separated for years by a great distance but connected by dreams and the desire to stop the suffering caused by the Hatana. It’s about their struggles, fears, and hope leading to their reunion.
Cheryllynn: Sounds like an inspirational story. Have you used any real events or places as inspiration for your writing?
Charity: I read a lot of heartbreaking articles about life for women in refugee camps. The journey of faith these characters travel is based on personal experience as well as that of friends.
Cheryllynn: What do you do when you have writers’ block?
Charity: I have so many ideas in my head I don’t have this problem. Sometimes I get “stuck” on one story, but I simply write on another one and soon find the block dissolves. It does make completing a story slow going sometimes though. If I’m really into a story I might not return to the first one for a while.
Cheryllynn: Describe your road to publishing your book.
Charity: I’m a control freak. So, even though I originally started with a publisher, after several years I hired a lawyer and got my rights back for those books. So now my road is only as hard as I make it.
Generally, I write and revise several times, go through at least two rounds of beta readers and revisions, take it to my writer’s critique group, then hire an editor. Sadly, this last book is still waiting for the editor.
I love being able to choose my own cover art, design the interior, and look at metrics any time I wish. THE HAND OF ATUA is available for KDP, print, and is currently being recorded for audio.
Cheryllynn: How did you go about developing your cover artwork?
Charity: Most of my covers are from selfpubbookcovers.com. I spend hours browsing the site to match covers with my books. I love the freedom to change the writing. Recently one of my novels was translated into Italian and Spanish. I was able to change the cover titles into those languages and re-download at no extra cost.
Cheryllynn: Who would you like to be stuck on a deserted planet with?
Charity: My hubby. Life is so crazy. It would be wonderful to be stuck somewhere with just the two of us. We actually work well together.
Cheryllynn: What’s your experience of the Fantasy Sci-Fi Readers’ Lounge?
Charity: I’m so glad I’ve found the FSFRL. It hasn’t been long, but I love how active everyone is in participating in the discussions. I feel like I’ve finally found my people. You should be warned though, I’m a lurker, only divulging my location and interest occasionally. I’m trying to do better though.
Well, Charity, we do understand and accept lurkers! I’m so glad you stopped by today, really quick before you go… answer some quick quiz questions.
Favourite thing to cook: I’ve found the best gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe in the world. This is also a new development. Here’s the link:
Silliest saying: I’m so not funny. Is there a webinar to help me with this?
Best holiday spot: Right at home with my family with music playing, cookies in the oven, and the fireplace burning.
Most played song: Dear Agony by Breaking Benjamin
With writing, are you a plotter or (seat-of-your) pantser? I’m a plotser. Discovering the story is key for me (pantsing), but I’ve developed a loose form of plotting to speed things along in a more efficient manner.
Do you prefer to read SciFi or fantasy: SciFi
Best superpower: I’ve been told I can give “the look” like a pro. You know, the one that can turn you to stone?
Number one thing to do on your bucket list: I actually have a list. 50 bucket list items to finish before I turn 50. I started the year I turned 40 and have completed 18 of them. You can see them all at: https://50goalsby50years.blogspot.com
Ladies and Gents, if you’d like to learn more or follow Charity, below are her links. I’m sure she’d be happy to have you!
This week marked the push of book #12 for me! This little story first started out as a short story for an anthology, but as time went on the event was canceled. I couldn’t let the story die off, it was too sweet to do that to so I rewrote it, expanding it to a full length story and voila…Bonded was born!
A sweet romance between sprites and humans with a baseball theme aspect!
Cover Designer: Stella Price
Genre: Sports Romance / Urban Fantasy
Growing up without a father was hard for Shae, she never had that bond or love, but her mother made sure she rarely wanted for anything. Shae isn’t one of the girls, she’s one of the guys, and as their prized pitcher, the Pierce Pirates depend on Shae to help them secure their championship titles. One day while playing against a team that if defeated will lead them to state, Shae thinks she sees something shimmering that she can’t explain. Her mother, Rosalyn, knows precisely what they are and hopes her daughter’s bloodline doesn’t allow Shae to the sprites that live among them. Only a few days later, while in the forest…she does, and her life is forever changed when one spunky little sprite captures her heart and they bond after revealing to her that she was one of the Forgotten.
Will Shae be able to figure out why her bonded called her a Forgotten and what that means?
Can Rosalyn keep the secret of Shae’s father or will this new bond reveal it all and turn their world upside down?
Shae’s life will never be the same, will she understand her mother’s choices or hold them against her?
You can get your copy today on Amazon!