Interview with Helen Harper

Today, I’ve got author Helen Harper here visiting us to answer a few questions about herself.  She’s an urban fantasy author with five different series (Blood Destiny, Bo Blackman, Highland Magic, Dreamweaver, and Olympiana), for a total of twenty-four books published so far.  The novel I will be highlighting in this post is Gifted Thief of the Highland Magic series. You can find out more details about it at the end of the post.  There is also a giveaway opportunity you don’t want to miss!

Now, on to the interview…


What is the longest you’ve ever stayed awake? Why?

I had the journey to hell once from Scotland to Japan. I was a poor student, traveling there for a semester of study – and I was very green. I took the overnight bus to Heathrow (twelve hours, no sleep), discovered my flight was cancelled when I arrived at the airport but managed to get a seat on an alternative flight to Tokyo (another twelve hours, no sleep), had to wait at Narita airport for a connection (ten hours, no sleep), arrived in Osaka without realising there was a domestic airport AND an international one – and I was being picked up by the university at the International one. I eventually broke down over my suitcase in floods of tears at the main Osaka train station because I didn’t know where I was going or where I was. I think I probably tagged in at around 60 hours by the time I worked everything out and found a bed. It was horrific.

What is your current country of residence? Have you visited other countries?

I’m from Scotland originally and I currently live in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia – but not for much longer! I’m returning to the UK on November 15th and it’d be fair to say I’m terrified. I’ve lived abroad now continuously for almost twelve years and they always say it’s harder going home than it is going away. I’m fully expecting large amounts of reverse culture shock!

I’ve always had itchy feet – I took a gap year and taught English in Thailand when I was 18 and then moved to Tokyo when I was 28. I lived there for four years before switching to Malaysia. It’s a great hub for travel around South East Asia. If more people travelled, then I truly believe that the world would be a better place because we’d understand each other so much more.

Do you have pets? If so, what kind and do they help you write your books?

I have three cats and one dog. For a long time, my house has been a never-ending carousel of various animals and I am a self-confessed cat lady! I’ve had Scout the longest. She’s hopelessly neurotic but she came from a local shelter as an adult cat. She has visible scars around her legs so her life was obviously once not very nice at all. Then there’s Mavis, Scout’s nemesis. She was an abandoned stray at the school I used to work at. She was hit by a car so I took her in while she recovered from a broken hip and she’s never left.

Lara Croft (who’s named that for a reason!) was a stray on my street who kept coming by and refusing to leave. And finally Marlowe the dog who I adopted from a local rescue group. He’s 18 months old and completely dippy. They’re good company when I’m writing – apart from when the cats decide to park their furry arses on the laptop, of course – and Marlowe gives me reason to get dressed and venture outside during the day, otherwise I might never manage it! I think they’re going to find the cold of the UK a considerable shock to their tropical systems…

pet-pic(Marlowe and Lara Croft)

What genres of books do you like to read?

Everything. Although fantasy has always been my go-to genre, I’ll happily curl up and read just about any book. Reading is just such escapism. With TV or films, my mind often wanders or I’ll get up and have whatever’s on as just background noise. But with a book, my absorption is total. All my strongest memories as a kid revolve around books (I can still my remember my pure, unadulterated joy when I was handed an Enid Blyton book – my first without pictures!). The last book I read was a spy thriller and the one I’ve just started is a family drama. I’m very proud that for the first time in three years, I’ve gotten my TBR list down to under a hundred. I doubt it’ll last though!

Name a few of the TV shows you like to watch.

My top show of all time is The West Wing. I could (and do) watch it over and over again but I have to admit that Buffy The Vampire Slayer comes a close second. I’m also a total sucker for reality shows like Survivor and The Amazing Race (but don’t tell anyone – I like to pretend I’m cerebral!). If there’s one show that I’ve not heard much buzz about and that I’d like to recommend as I think it should be on everyone’s list, it’s Sense8. Partly because of the sumptuous locations and cinematography but also because the storyline is just wonderful.

What would be your weapon of choice if society crumbled and it was each man/woman for themself?

That one’s easy – the pen. A sword might have more immediate impact but the pen is what will allow any society, no matter how devastated, to survive beyond the initial apocalypse. It can help people to avoid past mistakes, learn from history, acquire knowledge for survival … and if all else fails I can stab someone’s eyeball with it.

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Thanks so much for visiting with us today, Helen. I loved hearing about all your pets and world travels.  You’ve led an amazing life!


AUTHOR BIO

helen-author-photo

After teaching English literature in the UK, Japan and Malaysia, Helen Harper left behind the world of education following the worldwide success of her Blood Destiny series of books. She is a professional member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and writes full time although she still fits in creative writing workshops with schools along with volunteering to teach reading to a group of young Myanmar refugees. That’s not to mention the procession of stray cats which seem to find their way to her door!

Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland. She currently lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with far too many cats – not to mention the dragons, fairies, demons, wizards and vampires that seem to keep appearing from nowhere.

You can visit her at her website here:  helenharper.co.uk

Or stop by her Facebook page here:  www.facebook.com/HarperFire


GIVEAWAY

Helen has been generous enough to offer five ebook copies of Gifted Thief to individuals selected at random from the comments.  Be sure to leave a comment below no later than Wednesday, November 9th for your chance to get a copy.  Winners will be contacted soon after that.


giftedthief-coverBOOK SUMMARY:

Orphan. Runaway. Thief.

Since the moment I was ripped from my mother’s womb, I’ve been an outcast amongst my own kind. The Sidhe might possess magical Gifts, unbelievable wealth and unfathomable power but I don’t want a thing to do with them. I ran away from their lands in the Highlands of Scotland when I was eleven years old and I’ve never looked back. I don’t need a Clan. I’ve got my own family of highly skilled thieves who mean more to me than any Sidhe ever could.

Unfortunately for me, the playboy heir to the Moncrieffe Clan has something I desperately need. To get it back, I’m going to have to plunge myself back into that world, no matter what the consequences may be. I suppose it’s just as well I have sense of humour. I think I’m going to need it.

It’s available on Kindle Unlimited here.

 

Interview with author Dannika Dark

Today I’m pleased to bring you an interview with Dannika Dark.  She is an urban fantasy/paranormal romance author with fourteen books currently available between her Mageri series (UF) and Seven series (PNR).  Dannika has been kind enough to answer a few questions below.  Whether you’re familiar with her work or not, this is a great chance to learn more about her.

I’ve also highlighted the first novel in her Mageri series titled “Sterling” at the bottom of this post so those new to this author can learn more about it as well.

*****

If someone was willing to pay you a million dollars cash to run down the street naked, would you do it?

No. There are too many people with cell phone cameras. If I could choose the street and it be a desolate country road, abandoned since 1932, then yes, I would run down THAT street naked.

What genres of books do you like to read?

Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, some Horror, autobiographies, and a lot of books in the humor section. The more offbeat and crazy the humor, the better.

Name a few of the TV shows you like to watch.

I have an unhealthy obsession with Vikings. I love historical or fantasy shows, so I’m also addicted to Game of Thrones and Outlander. I binge watch a lot of TV during writing breaks. Classic shows I love are the original Twilight Zone, Honeymooners, Seinfeld, Three’s Company, and Family Ties. Sitcoms aren’t what they used to be, so I tend to watch a lot of them that ran from the 60s to the 80s. That might have something to do with why there are so many scenes in my books that are situational comedy.

What would be your weapon of choice if society crumbled and it was each man/woman for themself?

Probably one of those Medieval broadaxes with two blades. A gun would be more practical, except that I’d eventually run out of ammo. Fewer people might mess with me if I had an axe swinging from my hip.

What is your favorite meal (including side dishes)?

Wow. This changes from time to time, but I’d have to say homemade lumpia and fried rice. My mom tweaked the recipe over the years after living in the Philippines, so nobody makes it better.

If you could witness any event in history, what would it be?

Probably the last day of the dinosaurs. That would be a two for one since I could see dinosaurs and a meteor crash into earth. Just so long as a I have a magical bubble protecting me from becoming dino-food or a pile of ash.

Name a mystical creature you wish you could have as a pet.

A centaur. There is no other answer. And he might resemble Jason Momoa just a little bit.

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Thanks so much, Dannika, for participating in this interview.  I would love to see the last day of the dinosaurs as well and if you get a centaur that looks like Jason Momoa I’d have to come over to visit, lol!


AUTHOR BIO

Dannika Dark is the USA Today Bestselling Author of Urban Fantasy Romance and Paranormal Romance books. Her books have sold more than 1 million copies worldwide, and she is a 2016 Audie Awards finalist.

Dannika was born on a military base in the U.S. and spent her youth traveling abroad. She developed an interest writing poetry and song lyrics early on, eventually gravitating toward a job that involved writing procedural training documentation. In her spare time, she wrote novels before she decided to pursue a career in publishing.

In addition to writing about supernatural worlds, Dannika is passionate about graphic design and creates all her own covers and series art. When not working, she enjoys indie music, movies, reading, Tex-Mex, strawberry daiquiris, heaps of chocolate, and unleashing her dark side.

All of her published books to date are written in the same universe and contain material suitable for adults only.

You can visit her at: www.dannikadark.net


USATODAYBOOK SUMMARY:

STERLING (Book 1 of 5) Series complete.
USA TODAY BESTSELLER.
IMMORTALS LIVE AMONG US.

Zoë Merrick lived an ordinary life until the night she was brutally attacked. She narrowly escapes death, rescued by Adam Razor, an ex-soldier who offers her friendship and a place to stay. But something else is different. Zoë is unable to control an unexplainable energy coursing through her body.

Justus De Gradi is a man who can teach her that control. She meets him by chance – a man who’s handsome, arrogant, and not entirely human. He reveals that she’s a Mage – an immortal made of light, not magic. Zoë must now make a choice: Rebuild her life in the human world with the man who saved her, or live with Justus and learn how to use her extraordinary gifts. Justus has sworn an oath to protect her life, but can he guard her from the one man who has a right to claim it?

Zoë learns the price of freedom…and the value of loyalty.

“My eyes may not know all of you, but my heart does. I loved you before I was born, and I will love you long after I pass from this earth.”

+ Cliffhanger-free
+ Contains strong language and appropriate for adult audiences
+ This series contains epic love stories, twists, explosive conclusions, and happy endings

Purchase links:

Amazon
B&N
iBooks
Kobo
Google Play

Interview with author Colleen Gleason

This week I’m pleased to have Colleen Gleason with us this week to answer some questions and tell us about her latest book promo.  Actually, she answered ALL the questions on my list so you’ll get to learn plenty about her!  Colleen writes in multiple genres including paranormal romance/urban fantasy, historical paranormal romance, historical romance, steampunk, YA, action/adventure, and romantic suspense. She’s published over forty novels and novellas to date through traditional publishers and as an indie author.

The series I’m highlighting today is The Gardella Vampire Hunters series (historical urban fantasy).  The first three novels are in a boxed set for only 99 cents through Saturday, July 16th.  Don’t miss out on your chance to grab them!  You can find out more details about her series at the end of this post and the links to the retailers where it is available.  There is also a giveaway so don’t miss that either 🙂

What is the longest you’ve ever stayed awake? Why?

Over twenty hours. When I flew overseas and was DETERMINED not to succumb to the temptation to go to sleep when I landed in Europe in the morning. It was HELL. I need my sleep.

What is your current country of residence? Have you visited other countries?

I live in the Midwest United States, in the “Mitten” state.
I’ve visited the following countries: Tahiti, England, Mexico, Italy, France, Germany & The Cayman Islands.

 

What is your beverage of choice when you first wake up? What happens if you can’t get it?

Tea. Any kind of tea. I particularly like a matcha green tea latte, made with either skim milk or almond milk. YUM.
I don’t want to tell you what happens when I don’t get it. It’s not very pretty.

 

Do you have pets? If so, what kind and do they help you write your books?

I have a German Shepherd dog named Frodo (Mr. Frodo to you!), and a Papillon named Ranger. Frodo doesn’t do much to help me with my writing, though he has made appearances in my Marina Alexander Adventures Books as the rescue dog named Boris (and he’s camera shy, so I don’t have very many good pictures of him). On the other hand, Ranger is more cat than dog. He doesn’t do much but sleep, and he usually naps in his bed in my office when I am writing.

FrodoRanger

If someone was willing to pay you a million dollars cash to run down the street naked, would you do it?

Yep. No problem. I have stripped naked and joined a group of strangers sitting in a natural, outdoor hot springs pool just outside Albuquerque….so for a million bucks—no problem. Of course, I suppose it depends which street you want me to run down….Nah. I’d do it even if it was Broadway!

What genres of books do you like to read?

My favorite genre to read (currently) is historical mystery. I don’t generally read in the genres in which I write (ie, Paranormal Romance/UF, or YA), but I do also enjoy historical romance and some contemporary romance.

What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Stripping naked in front of a bunch of strangers and climbing into a natural hot springs pool on a mountainside (see above).

Name a few of the TV shows you like to watch.

Sherlock. Oh, Sherlock. And Sherlock. Did I mention Sherlock?
And when that’s not on, I am watching Gilmore Girls to catch up for the new seasons (my daughters love it). I also enjoy Mercy Street and Murdoch Mysteries and Agatha Christie’s Poirot, as well as Person of Interest and Friends reruns. And Miss Fishers’ Murder Mysteries. And also I have been known to watch Sherlock.

What would be your weapon of choice if society crumbled and it was each man/woman for themself?

My rapier wit!
Um, hm. Probably my excellent cooking. And the way I choose and pour a bottle of wine. I figure, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and I’m a lover not a fighter (though I write about kickass women….).

What is your favorite meal (including side dishes)?

Wine. Good pizza with lots of veggies and greens (I’m vegetarian). Pasta aglio olio. Malai Kofta with naan and raita and mmmm…cheesecake (fluffy and whipped, not flat and dense). And wine. Vegetarian nachos with lots and LOTS of cheese.
I love food. Love it.

If you could witness any event in history, what would it be?

I’d like to have been around when Jesus walked and preached.

What is the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?

Blood sausage. And I didn’t ever eat it again. (That was before I was vegetarian.) Oh, and a whole cuttlefish.

If money were no object, what kind of car would you get?

A Mercedes SUV.

Name a mystical creature you wish you could have as a pet.

A Phoenix.

What would be your ideal writing retreat?

Somewhere isolated by water—preferably a private ocean front or lake front—with a well-stocked fridge, wine cellar, tea selection, personal chef (only when I need him/her), fireplace, comfortable bed, and perfect desk/writing set up. With wi-fi that only works after I’ve written my words for the day, and friends and husband who only materialize when I’ve done my work for the day…with a patio that over looks the water and has a forest around it. And is quiet. And probably in the autumn or late summer.

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

Sitting on my large pontoon boat (my “floating living room) and having my husband drive me around our very quiet, very small and clean lake and just chatting with him about our day….and/or going on the paddle board around our lake and enjoying the sights, the nature…and/or swimming in the lake (see above).

Apparently, I have a thing for water.

 

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Thanks so much, Colleen, for visiting us today and answering all those questions.  You’ve certainly gotten around the world, and you’ve done some things I haven’t done!


AUTHOR BIO

Colleen Gleason author pic

Colleen Gleason is an award-winning, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who has written more than 40 novels in a variety of genres.

You can visit her at:  www.colleengleason.com or www.facebook.com/colleen.gleason.author


GIVEAWAY

Colleen is giving away free ebook copies of DARK ROGUE to 10 winners.  Leave a comment below if you would like a copy and I’ll pass along your name and email to her so she can send it to you.  Only available to the first ten people who comment requesting it.


The Gardella Vampire Hunters boxed set cover

BOOK SUMMARY:

The award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Colleen Gleason’s International Bestselling Gardella Vampire Hunter Series.

“Sophisticated, sexy, surprising!”
— J.R. Ward

“One of my favorite vampire series!”
–Jeaniene Frost

“Colleen Gleason’s irresistible…series is deliciously dark and delightfully entertaining.”
—Chicago Tribune

“Gleason’s publishing debut turns vampire stories—and romances—on their ear.”
—Detroit Free Press

Beneath the glitter of dazzling nineteenth century London Society lurks a bloodthirsty evil…

Vampires have always lived among them, quietly attacking unsuspecting debutantes and dandified lords as well as hackney drivers and Bond Street milliners. If not for the vampire slayers of the Gardella family, these immortal creatures would have long ago taken control of the world.

In every generation, a Gardella is called to accept the family legacy, and this time, Victoria Gardella Grantworth is chosen, on the eve of her debut, to carry the stake. But as she moves between the crush of ballrooms and dangerous moonlit streets, Victoria’s heart is torn between London’s most eligible bachelor, the Marquess of Rockley, and her dark, dangerous duty.

And when she comes face-to-face with the most powerful vampire in history, Victoria must ultimately make a choice between duty and love.


PLEASE NOTE: The Gardella Starter set is only 99c through Saturday, July 16th, and then on the 17th it goes back to its $9.99 price.

Purchase links:

Amazon
B&N
iBooks
Kobo
Google Play

July updates

I hope everyone is having a great summer (or winter if you’re in Australia).  I’ve got a few updates for you all including a price promotion, upcoming author interviews, and news on future books.  First off, though, I want to thank everyone who has picked up a copy of Dancing with Flames and especially those who have been kind enough to leave reviews.  All the feedback has been wonderful so far, and I’m glad everyone is enjoying the new Dragon’s Breath series book!

As of now until August 31st, Amazon UK is running a £0.99 summer price promo on Stalked by Flames.  If you haven’t already picked up your copy and you shop on the UK site, this is the time to grab it.  *UPDATE* It appears it is .99 in the other European countries as well so those of you in Germany, France, etc can get the ebook copy at a discount too.  I’m not sure if this includes VAT or not since that won’t show from my computer in the U.S.

Also, I am beginning a series of author interviews for popular writers who have novels in the same genres as I do.  There will be a different author featured each Friday.  I will be putting them on the spot, giving them a series of fun questions to choose from such as “What is the longest you’ve ever stayed awake?”, “What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?”,  and “If you could witness any event in history, what would it be?” and plenty more.  Each one will vary a bit depending on which questions the author chooses to answer, but I hope this gives you all an opportunity to meet new authors or get to know the ones you already follow better than before.

Some of them will also be doing giveaways with their interviews that you don’t want to miss!  Below is the schedule for July and August, though there are more set to come after that which I’ll announce when the time gets closer:

July 8th- Christine Pope
July 15th- Colleen Gleason
July 22nd- Dannika Dark
July 29th- Hailey Edwards
Aug 5th- Anthea Sharp
Aug 12th- Donna Augustine
Aug 19th- Carolynn Gockel
Aug 26th- Jovee Winters

 

As for news on Forged by Flames (book 3 of the Dragon’s Breath series), I am looking at a release date around October 27th, 2016.  This isn’t quite set in stone yet, but that’s what I’m shooting for at the moment. I’ll keep you updated as I make progress with the novel.  Also, there may or may not be a Christmas novella to come after that in December *wink, wink* where we have some post-apocalyptic festivities with the Dragon’s Breath series characters.

Vlog for last week’s Q&A session

For those of you who are interested in watching the video with me answering fan questions about the Sensor Series (there are spoilers if you haven’t read Darkness Clashes yet), I’m posting the link below where you can watch it.  Tomorrow I’ll contact winners from among those who participated in the original Q&A post so I can work out getting their prizes to them.  If you enjoy the video style Q&A please let me know in the comments section and I’ll consider doing more of them in the future!

http://sheerak.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/susan-illene-video-blog-for-the-sensor-series/