Tag Archives: great book covers

Aaron Dries: Author, Filmmaker, Artist! Meet at Virtual Party for Release of A Place for Sinners

It’s the new wave!! Virtual parties!! For an author, it lets them reach all their friends and fans internationally!! How cool is that to be able to party across the miles??

In this upcoming case, for instance, of award winning horror author Aaron Dries who is from Australia, we all can’t pile in a car, a plane, a boat, and well….go for a two hour book signing party can we? We could, but that might get rather expensive.

So, we’ve got a fun VIRTUAL party you can drop by for on Hook of a Book Facebook page to help congratulate and celebrate Aaron’s new release from Samhain Horror, A Place for Sinners! We’ve got some books and an original piece of Aaron’s artwork to giveaway also, courtesy of Aaron. THANKS AARON!!

Here is the awesome cover, isn’t is gorgeous? Don’t be fooled, the book is SCARY and will leave breathless.

A Place for Sinners

You can read more about Aaron and his new book after the party details…..

DETAILS ABOUT PARTY

The virtual party sponsored by Hook of a Book (www.facebook.com/HookofaBook) page takes place on the actual wall of the Facebook page (not on the invite wall if you have a FB invite) from 9-11 p.m. US EST or 1 p.m. Australian time. The cool thing is that we’ll be talking across two days….I’d come just to say you accomplished being in Friday and Saturday at the same time….though you’ll leave which much more, like getting to know Aaron!

Attendees are able to ask Aaron any questions they want by PRE-ASKING or asking during the party via an email submission which will then be posted by the moderator to the Hook of a Book wall. Attendees can see questions answered and be able to comment.

Aaron is a wealth of knowledge on books, TV, film, art…..you genuinely don’t want to miss this chance to pick his brain. You’ll learn a lot and get some great opinions!

HOW TO ASK QUESTIONS

Please pre-ask questions using email listed below or Erin will also take limited questions during the party which will go in a queue to be asked in order received. Email Erin at hookofabook@hotmail.com (subject: Dries question). Again, emailing a question enters you or you can email just to enter to win.

The night of the event you can also inbox message Erin Al-Mehairi on the Hook of a Book Facebook page (below) if you can’t email and it will go into the queue.

Please, NO attendees should post questions to the wall of the party just because it gets too confusing. If questions appear on the wall, Erin will put in to the queue and then re-post the question as a status. Authors won’t answer those, but will wait for them to be re-posted and then answer. However, you can post to the wall to say congratulations and authors can comment on that too.

GIVEAWAY

We’re giving away some books too! Copies of choice of his books in e-format will be up for grabs. All that ask questions will have a chance to win or you can email to enter!

For the grandprize, the award is a signed paperback copy from Australia PLUS his original black and white artwork piece he drew for A Place for Sinners. That is a HUGE prize, right??!!

ARTWORK GIVEAWAY

The giveaway of the original painting created by Aaron, which is titled “They Closed In,” can be seen at the link. It’s black and white watercolors on paper. It depicts a scene from the first chapter of the book. See all his promo art for the book at the link…

http://www.aarondries.com/apps/photos/photo?photoid=189540354

“Amity was trapped, her back flat against the cave wall. The dogs glared at her with candle-flame eyes, flickering with the potential to burn and cause pain. The dogs had claimed her as their own. Coveted her. Her blood was a sweetness they found favorable, and they were desperate for more.” – A PLACE FOR SINNERS by Aaron Dries

REFRESH YOUR BROWSER!

Please remember that refreshing your browser is very important to see all questions and answers ongoing during the event. Also remember to be patient. The moderator, Erin, is constantly working in the background and will be taking your emails, inbox messages, posting questions, and monitoring the party all at once.

You can RSVP or see more about the event here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/629992483758374/

You also have to “like” the Hook of a Book page here: www.facebook.com/HookofaBook

About Hook of Book Facebook Page

Like the Hook of a Book Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HookofaBook! We post reviews and interviews from this site there, but it also gives us the opportunity to talk books with you more, feature upcoming covers and releases, post free or discounted books, discuss literature, and showcase books we have on list to review.

Oh, for the Hook of a Book! Blog is an extension of Hook of a Book Services of Addison’s Compass Public Relations. We do book publicity, editing, proofreading, developmental consulting, media relations, press releases, and more.

A PLACE FOR SINNERS, SYNOPSIS

A Place for SinnersSometimes, survival is a sin.

Amity Collins has been deaf since she was seven. That was the day the wild dogs attacked, fighting for her bones. The day her father died. This trip to Thailand is exactly what Amity and her brother, Caleb, need—freedom… As their boat slits through saltwater, Amity, Caleb and the other passengers are having the time of their lives. They watch the island emerge on the horizon. Its trees twitch, as though impatient or hungry. Within its shadows, secrets best kept hidden will be unearthed. Sacrifices will be made. Terror will reach out to grasp Amity, as real and frightening as what’s lurking in the dark.

AARON DRIES, BIOGRAPHY

Aaron 1In 1984, Wes Craven unleashed Freddy Krueger on the world. That year also saw lonely children riding Luck Dragons in “The Neverending Story. And somewhere between these two pop culture events, there was the (relatively) unnoticed birth of a ginger-haired child. Aaron Dries.

Raised in a small New South Wales town in Australia, the former video store clerk, pizza delivery boy, retail specialist, aged-care nurse, document scanner, video editor, commissioned artist and amateur filmmaker always had a strong interest in creating stories. Were it hand-drawn X-Files comic books or home-made movies starring himself and his family (the best of which had Aaron running over a friend with a lawnmower, followed closely by a remake of “Scream” starring his brother as Drew Barrymore), there was always something in the works.

Aaron graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Communication under his wing, majoring in creative writing and video production. As a filmmaker, he won a number of awards for his short films at home and abroad, including Best Film at the Newcastle Film Festival for “Placebo,” coinciding with the publication of his earliest stories in literary magazines.

His first novel, HOUSE OF SIGHS was originally written under the title “Disunity” for the Leisure Books / Rue Morgue/ Chizine Publications FRESH BLOOD Contest. The premise of the novel stemmed back to a local murder that took place in Aaron’s adolescence. A mother on his pizza delivery route shot and murdered her husband and children before turning the gun upon herself. As was the case with everyone who read about the incident, Aaron’s mind churned with questions of morality. Why do bad things happen to good people? What is the origin of evil? What makes apparently sane people do insane acts? These questions would become the genesis for HOUSE OF SIGHS some years later.

Promo1

When he is not writing, Aaron Dries is thinking about writing, or upcoming film projects. He is also an avid traveler. The first draft of his debut was written over a three month period on a borrowed semi-functional laptop whilst living in overseas hostels.

People often ask Aaron, “Why horror? Why aim to terrify and disturb people?”

To this he has very little justification. “I guess I write horror because it pays better than jumping out from behind doors and scaring people- although I’ve got no plans to stop doing this either.” Aaron’s second book was the highly-acclaimed THE FALLEN BOYS, which was voted as one of the Best Horror Novels of 2013 by Fearnet.com, alongside works by Stephen King and Joe Hill. Also available is AND THE NIGHT GROWLED BACK, a disturbing novella set in the Icelandic wilderness. His third novel is A PLACE FOR SINNERS, which is garnering glowing praise.

Drop Aaron a line at www.aarondries.com. He won’t bite. Much.

Promo2

BOOK TRAILERS

Here is the link to his Youtube channel, which is where all of his book trailers and multimedia are kept. AND THEY ARE AWESOME!!!
http://www.youtube.com/user/aarondriesdisunity/videos

BUY LINKS

Samhain store Aaron Dries purchase link: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/aaron-dries-pa-1699.html

Get on discount in e-book and paperback for limited time!

Amazon author page with purchase links: http://www.amazon.com/Aaron-Dries/e/B008GXNU64

2 Comments

Filed under Book Parties

Interview with the Intelligent and Humorous Anna Belfrage, historical author of The Graham Saga Series

Today, I have an excellent exclusive interview with Anna Belfrage, author of The Graham Saga series, the newest release being book three, called The Prodigal Son. Make sure to sign-up for the giveaway for a copy of the book, following the interview. Enjoy my discussion with Anna, she’s so insightful and humorous! You’ll love it!

Hi Anna! So happy to have you on Oh, for the Hook of a Book today for an interview! You’re an absolute delight and I bet readers are going to have as good a time reading our interview as I will have hosting it. How are things? You’ve been so busy producing your book series, have you had time for anything else?

Anna: Hi Erin, I’m so thrilled to be here – I feel quite honoured to have the opportunity to chat with you like this. As to how things are, well it’s all a bit hectic – but fun hectic. However, if you ask my family they might grumble, along the lines that their mother & wife spends too much time in front of her computer, too little in the kitchen.

Erin: Ah, well let’s relax and have a tea party then, shall we? What’s your choice of tea (Anna replies that she likes black tea, no milk) and I’ll make up a pot. Let’s splurge and eat something yummy while we’re at it too! Let’s get our discussion started!

Q:  When were you first inspired to write? Given your day job, how did you decide it was time to let your creative side out for all of us to enjoy?

A: I was first inspired to write when as I child I read a book (by Henry Treece I think) where the ending was not to my liking. I’m a bit of a sucker for some sort of a happy end – it doesn’t have to be an uncomplicated happy end, and there may be sorrows and losses along the way, but still, some sort of “phew, they made it!” feeling is important to me. This is why – dare I admit it? – I always peek at the last page to reassure myself the characters I’m rooting for will be okay. Makes it a bit difficult to read George. R.R. Martin, let me tell you! (But I do)

As to my day job, I am fortunate enough to have a demanding, challenging job that keeps me on my toes and allows me to grow. Yes, I have a number of time conflicts, but now that my children are more or less grown up, I invest the time I used to spend on them at my writing desk. I escape into my bubble of make believe for a couple of hours and reappear refreshed and energized – well, sometimes I reappear a bit too late, like three a.m. which makes next morning somewhat heavy, but the sheer joy of writing makes it all worthwhile.

Q:  How did the idea form for you to write A Rip in the Veil, your first book that started your Graham Saga series, which is just now publishing Book Three, The Prodigal Son? Were at first just set to write one book and it became a series? Or did you always have a series in mind?

A: Alexandra Lind has been in my head for very many years. She’s danced through my brain and in her wake came Matthew (happy sigh) and a whispered account of so many adventures my mind suffered a minor quake. So when I started writing A Rip in the Veil I already knew one book wouldn’t be enough.

Q: How much do you control the characters in your novel as you write and how often do they lead you to where their story needs to go?

A: “Control?” Alex laughs and shakes her head. “You have no idea, do you Erin? We lead Anna quite the merry dance, we do!” Well; maybe not as merry as all that, because I do have a general blueprint of how the story is going to develop, but my characters do have a major influence on events. I have spent a lot of time with Matthew and Alex, I know where they’re going, I know where they’ve been, and still there are moments when they act in a way that surprises me but which, after having considered it for some minutes, makes absolute sense.

In book two, Like Chaff in the Wind, there is a scene where Alex feels obliged to taunt Matthew into a rage to break through the walls of silence he is building to protect his vulnerable and ravaged inner core. The fallout was not quite what I had expected… (And Matthew prefers not to think of it – at all.) In book three Captain Leslie decided to reappear, riding down the lane with perfect timing. I was very happy to see him – as was Alex – especially as he goes on to play an important part in all the subsequent books.  

Q:  Has it been an easy story to tell in the sense of it flows pretty easy on paper? I know you have several planned in the series (all with great covers), have you already written them all or do you have it all scheduled out? Can you talk about what is coming up in the series?

A: It’s an easy story to write, definitely. The problem lies in pruning it, because there are so many potential side stories, so many cameo characters that could grow into something more. And yes, I have already written them all – but that doesn’t mean I am finished as I have a LOT of editing left to do.

As to where the future books will take us, we will follow the Graham family to Maryland and their new life there, we will spend some time in London, traipse down to the West Indies to rescue a family member and return to Scotland with a  detour through Seville. Religion remains a recurring theme and in Maryland the relationship between colonists and Indians play a central part. One of Mercedes’ magical paintings will resurface, causing considerable chaos, and to top it all off both Matthew and Alex will come face to face with people from their past – not all of them friendly faces.

Q:  Speaking of covers, you have some of the most beautiful covers! Did you have a hand in designing them?  Do you think covers help sell books?

A: Why thank you! The credit resides with Oliver Bennett at GB Print. I will waffle on about what I want – I have a very clear image of what I want and sometimes I’ve sent him a sketch – he will think for a couple of days, and voilà! a new cover lands in my inbox. It’s sort of amusing; Oliver is a young man, far from the intended target group for my books, and yet he immediately gets it, now and then adding details to make the whole even better. I think a good cover snags the eye, thereby generating the initial interest that is a prerequisite for a sale.

The Prodigal Son

Q:  Who is your favorite character in any of your books so far? And why?

A: I am rather in love with Matthew. (“What?” Alex scowls. “Hands off, lady!” “Fine,” I mutter, “it’s not as if I have a chance anyway, is it?” “Nay, not as such,” Matthew says, gathering Alex to his chest. He winks at me, that long mouth of his quirking into a smile. ) I like his steadfastness, his convictions, the stubborn streak in him that Alex finds enervating. I like how vulnerable he can be at times, that he admits to being frightened, that he recognizes how dependent he is on his Alex. (“Shush,” Matthew mutters, “she doesn’t need to know, aye?” Alex hugs him from behind. “I already do,” she says, kissing his nape. “Besides, it’s mutual.”) I have really enjoyed working with a male POV – I think it has deepened my understanding of men in general.

Q: What has been your favorite part of writing this series? (I know, when those voices talk to you..ha!)

A: Yes, the voices in my head do add an extra dimension to my life. 🙂 Actually, I really enjoy following Matthew and Alex through their lives, being at their side as their family expands, holding their hand when they suffer loss. Through them I have learnt so much; about life in the seventeenth century, about the sheer courage required to set off for a new life in the colonies, about love in all its varied forms, about faith and determination – and about myself.

Q:  What has been your biggest challenge?

A: As a writer of Historical Fiction, I think the biggest challenge is to always remember that it’s the characters, not the historical events, that must be the backbone of your book. Readers relate to people, not to dates, and no matter how much facts you load your work with it won’t fly unless there’s a human interest. There is a constant temptation to show off, to add a paragraph or two describing just how the cider press works, or how the honey is separated from the honeycomb, or how the maple syrup is kept simmering for hours on end over open fire. The thing is, most of the readers don’t care! Having said that, most readers are quick to spot an anachronism, so whatever you do include must be correct, so I don’t have Alex wandering out to collect eggs in in December – hens don’t lay eggs between November and March – nor do Matthew’s breeches have zippers (duh!).

Q:  What is your favorite historical time period? Do you have another time and place you’d like to write about outside of this series? If you could time travel yourself, where would it be to?

A: Well, obviously I have a thing about the 17th century – it is something of a breaking point between old and new. Many of the foundations upon which our modern societies are based saw the light of the day in the 17th century, starting with the Bill of Rights approved by the English Parliament in 1689. Also, I am rather fascinated by the religious conflicts that dominated the century.

I am also very interested in the medieval period and have a draft for a story set in early 14th century in England. Also, I have a fascination for the period of the Reconquista in Spain (15th century, mainly) and especially in the Andalucía region.

If I could time travel I would love to spend time with Henry II of England. And with Llewellyn Fawr. And with Robert Bruce. And with Isabel of Castille. And with Henry of Navarre. And with St Catherine of Sienna. And with Cardinal Richelieu. And with my favourite Swedish king, Gustavus Adolphus. Sheesh; I’d have one major jetlag after all those trips back and forth!

Q:  Do you think that it’s possible to time travel now or in the future? What kind of impact might that have on the future if we mess with history?

A: No, I don’t think time travelling will ever be possible – unless one resorts to magic, and one should never discount magic, should one? If it were possible, I think we would all be very tempted to tamper with history. Assassinating Robespierre would seem a good idea to avoid the terror he unleashed on Paris in the aftermath of the revolution. Drowning Hitler as a baby seems a good idea, and as to Lenin and Stalin… The problem with this is that we have no idea what the consequences would be if we did away with all these baddies. An excellent novel about the potential disaster caused by time travelling is Stephen Fry’s book Making History.

Q:  Are there any famous women in history that you’d like to write about in a novel or one that you admire?

A: I have a thing about Queen Christina of Sweden. I’m not sure I admire her, but she did know how to cause quite the ruckus – imagine that; the queen of staunchly protestant Sweden abdicated AND converted to Catholicism. I do have a WIP in which Queen Christina figures quite prominently. Otherwise, my admiration is mostly for the women who lived “ordinary” lives, who fed their children, held their families together, who followed their men across the seas to unknown lands. I cannot begin to comprehend just how brave these pioneer women were!

Q:  What advice do you have for women writers? How can they fulfill their writing dreams and make time for family and other obligations as well?

A: Difficult question: it is always a question of priorities, isn’t it? If you’re in that stage of your life where you have young children and have to combine this with a full time job I don’t think you should even try – it is difficult enough to juggle kids and work and your relationship. For many years all I did was write notes to self on scraps of paper, in notebooks – but I did write those notes! Once the children got older, I set aside “me” time for my writing – and made it clear to my family this was very important to me. Unless you consider it important enough to set aside time for it, no one else will take your writing seriously.

Q:  Do you have any other projects you are working on or plan for the future you haven’t already discussed?

A: Well, I did mention the book with Queen Christina in it, didn’t I? My lead character is a young woman called Sofia Carolina who decides she deserves a new start in life and finances this by nicking a nobleman’s family jewels. Off she goes, the enraged nobleman comes after, and things would not have ended well for Sofia if it hadn’t been for Jon Darrow, a disillusioned royalist who has been forced into exile and earns his living through various … err… creative endeavours.

Q:  Who are your writing mentors? Who inspires your writing? And who are some of you own favorite authors?

A: I don’t have any mentors – but I have a handful of people who support me and cheer me on, first and foremost my husband. Inspiration comes from various sources, but my children have definitely contributed to the Graham children. My favourite authors… now that is a long list! I read voraciously, across all genres, but if I restrict myself to the Historical Fiction genre the authors I always return to are Sharon Penman, Edith Pargeter, Barbara Erskine (especially her early books) and Pamela Belle. And yes, when in need of a special treat I will re-read my favourite passages in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.  

Q:  Where is the most beautiful place in the United Kingdom?

A: Given that I’m not British, I probably haven’t seen ALL the beautiful places in the UK, no matter that I’ve spent a lot of time there. However, I would argue that the Aber falls (Afon Rhaedr fawr) close to the A55 on the northern coast of Wales is a spectacular spot.

Q:  And last but not least, what kind of food gets you through marathon writing sessions?

A: Chocolate. Tea. More chocolate. Unfortunately carrots don’t do it for me…

Q: Where can readers connect with you?

A: On my website, www.annabelfrage.com, or by commenting on my blog, annabelfrage.wordpress.com. I am also on facebook and on twitter, @Anna_Belfrage.

Q:  Where is the best place to purchase your books?

A: They’re actually available on most online bookshops, but I tend to recommend Amazon, Barnes& Noble and Trobador.co.uk.

Erin:  Anna, thank you so much for coming by my site, it’s always a pleasure to get to speak with you. Best wishes on your writing!

Anna: Likewise Erin – and thanks! And hey, if you’re not having that last slice of chocolate cake, can I have it?

Erin: I’ll split it with you. *wink*

Giveaway~

The giveaway is for one copy of The Prodigal Son and open internationally.  To enter, please comment below in the footer, email me to hookofabook(at)hotmail(dot)com, or on the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HookofaBook. In all cases, you must leave your email so I can contact you if you win.

Extra entries: +1 for following this blog, +1 for recommending the blog, and +3 for “liking” the above mentioned Facebook page. Good luck and let me know which extras you do.

 THE PRODIGAL SON, Synopsis~

The Prodigal SonPublication Date: July 1, 2013
Matador Publishing
Paperback; 392p
ISBN-10: 1780885741

Safely returned from an involuntary stay on a tobacco plantation in Virginia, Matthew Graham finds the Scottish Lowlands torn asunder by religious strife. The government of His Restored Majesty, Charles II, requires all his subjects to swear fealty to him and the Church of England, riding roughshod over any opposition.

In Ayrshire, the people close ranks around their evicted ministers, stubbornly clinging to their Presbyterian faith. But disobedience comes at a price – a very steep price – and as neighbours and friends are driven from hearth and home, Alex becomes increasingly more nervous as to what her Matthew is risking by his continued support of the clandestine ministers – foremost amongst them the charismatic Sandy Peden.

Privately, Alex considers Sandy an enervating fanatic and all this religious fervour is totally incomprehensible to her. So when Matthew repeatedly sets his faith and minister before his own safety and therefore per extension her safety and the safety of their children, he puts their marriage under severe strain.

The situation is further complicated by the presence of Ian, the son Matthew was cruelly duped into disowning several years ago. Now Matthew wants Ian back and Alex isn’t entirely sure this is a good thing, watching from a distance as her husband dances round his lost boy.

Things are brought to a head when Matthew yet again places all their lives in the balance to save his dear friend and preacher from the dragoons that chase him over the moor.
How much is Matthew willing to risk? How much will he ultimately lose?

Will she find him in time? And if she does, will she be capable of paying the price required to buy him free?

Author Anna Belfrage, Biography~

Anna BelfrageI was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result I’m multilingual and most of my reading is historical – both non-fiction and fiction.

I was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Instead I ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for my most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career I raised my four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive … Nowadays I spend most of my spare time at my writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and I slip away into my imaginary world, with my imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in my life pops his head in to ensure I’m still there. I like that – just as I like how he makes me laugh so often I’ll probably live to well over a hundred.

I was always going to be a writer. Now I am – I have achieved my dream.

www.annabelfrage.com

Link to Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/theprodigalsontour/
Twitter Hashtag: #ProdigalSonTour

The Prodigal Son Tour Banner FINAL

4 Comments

Filed under Q and A with Authors