Tag Archives: paranormal fiction

A Grave Inheritance, Second in Historical Fantasy Series, Leads Celtic Goddess Descendant to Victorian London

02_A Grave Inheritance_Cover

Review~

When I read Kari Edgren’s A Goddess Born, the first book in this series, earlier this year I fell in love with it. You can see my review of that here. Not only do I like historicals, but I love paranormals/supernaturals (especially those with mythological components) and though I don’t normally like all kinds of romance, I do like them when they are not sappy or southern, so to speak.

So, when A Grave Inheritance, book two in the series also called Goddess Born series, became available to me for review, I was anxious to read it. It pretty much picks up where A Goddess Born leaves off, yet takes us to new places and on an action-adventure that kept me turning the pages. If you haven’t read the first book, she does do the usual back telling in a way that you’ll still enjoy the story, but both books are so good, you might want to go back and read the first one. They’re in digital format, so they are relatively cheap enough to buy the whole series.

In this second book, she takes her protagonist Selah (who is human, but with some powers of the supernatural, as she is descended from a Celtic goddess). Kari escorts her, and readers, back to Victorian England and ingratiates us to all the atmospheric details that emanate from that time period. She writes with a vivid and lively pen in a way that swept me right into the tale. Her descriptions are lovely and sweet-tasting, her sentences lovely. She’s one of those writers that treats writing like a work of art.

She’s labeled New Adult, but she crosses many boundaries. Without the paranormal element, she’d be historical romance. And really, to me, it’s more supernatural historical fiction! They are clean, which is the way I like my romances too (I’m not a prude either!). They essentially are good for young adult readers, too, and I’d love to share these with my daughter at some point. If you are buying for YA, they are good for 18-25, but younger also based on their interest and reading level. They are a sophisticated break from some of the dystopian, vampire, zombie, and etc. novels. I’d say they are wonderful for those young readers who like mythology, and in my case, adults too.

They do have enough meat to be read and enjoyed by adults, unless you like strictly old school Harlequin or erotica romance. But see, it’s the kind of meat that, personally, that I love in a book.  A great plot, magical story, courageous and kind main female, and a dreamy, but decent man who treats the woman as equal all score high marks with me for this book. The characters have challenges and conflicts to face, giving the reader twists and turns to enjoy, and this creates an exciting tale–one that had me sliding past each page of my Kindle with fervor.

I love Kari’s original tale and her ancient supernatural elements. I think that A Grave Inheritance was even better than the first, bringing more suspense and drama and great sense of time and place as they head to 18th Century London. I liked the villains she portrayed and the introduction of more with goddess-like powers.

I am super happy Kari chose to write this series; it has taken me to my fun place of reading magic and mythology and Old Word tales mixed with love and adventure. I absolutely can’t wait to read the next one. Highly recommended for any weekend night you have free! It will enchant you in a way that will lead you to read it very quickly.

A Grave Inheritance, Synopsis~

02_A Grave Inheritance_CoverPublication Date: December 1, 2014
Carina Press
eBook; ASIN: B00OHV6MFA

Series: Goddess Born
Genre: Historical/Paranormal/New Adult/Romance

Selah Kilbrid may descend from the goddess Brigid, but her heart beats—and breaks—the same as any human. Yet enduring the scorn of London’s most noble lords and ladies is a small price to pay for a chance at true happiness. Selah would endure much more for love, and her betrothed, Lord Henry Fitzalan, is prepared to challenge anyone foolish enough to stand in their way—even another goddess born.

But when a captivating young gentleman draws Selah into a world shadowed by secrets, she is forced to confront her darkest fears. What if some differences are too great to overcome and a future with Henry is doomed from the start?

With these doubts threatening her impending marriage and the very last of Brigid’s fire draining from her soul, a violent attack on an innocent child pushes Selah to the very edge of her power. She must find a way to cross into the Otherworld and regain her strength—or forfeit the streets of London to death and disease.

Buy the eBook~

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

Author Kari Edgren, Biography~

03_Kari EdgrenKari Edgren is the author of the Goddess Born series. In 2010 and 2011 she was a semifinalist for the Amazon Break Through Novel Award. In 2013, she was a RWA Golden Heart finalist.

Ms. Edgren enjoys writing both historical and contemporary fiction, so long as there’s a spark of paranormal. She resides on a mountain top in the Pacific Northwest where she spends a great deal of time dreaming about the sun and torturing her husband and children with strange food and random historical facts.

For more information please visit Kari Edgren’s website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Sign Up for Kari Edgren’s Newsletter.

Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/agraveinheritanceblogtour/

Hashtags: #AGraveInheritanceBlogTour #GoddessBornSeries #Historical #Paranormal #Romance #NewAdult

Twitter Tags: @hfvbt @KariEdgren @CarinaPress

04_A Grave Inheritance_Blog Tour Banner_FINAL

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Sinister Entity by Hunter Shea Will Having You Seeing Double and Collecting the Series

sinisterentityLooking for a book to completely freak you out and make your hair stand on end? Hunter Shea’s Sinister Entity will make the hair on your arm stand up too! You’ll start taking a closer look at yourself in the mirror, for sure. Or do a double take over your shoulder at anyone having a tiny resemblance to you as you walk down a busy street. That’s right, you might never look at yourself the same way again. And if you think someone can’t bother you anymore once they’re dead, think again….

Shea is a master at paranormal storytelling. He dives in head first with research and logical explanations through his protagonist, Jessica. First a child in his debut novel, Forest of Shadows, she carries on her family’s ghost hunting traditions when she appears thirteen years later in Shea’s short story, The Graveyard Speaks, and kicks the proverbial butt of a harassing ghost. You can see my reviews of Forest of Shadows and The Graveyard Speaks by clicking on the titles.

Jessica appears shortly after The Graveyard Speaks in the sequel Sinister Entity, where she continues to receive people’s pleas for help through her paranormal website.  She takes their issues head on in order to rid them of their dilemmas. It’s exhausting work, but someone has to do it and she’s the very best. She’s great at putting the puzzle together as to why the paranormal activity is happening and what things need to be put in order for it to stop.

And Jessica’s cast of supporting characters, what’s left of her family and a new friend Eddie, really assist the story and provide her some logical and emotional support.  All good ghost hunters need a wing man, right?  Eddie was a great introduction to Jessica’s life. 

No matter how hard the work, she always solves the mystery and defeats the evil, while also embracing some of the good that functions within the paranormal world. Shea always does a superb job of showing us both the dark and the light sides within all things paranormal.

Though these two books and the short story can be read stand alone, they are also connected through Jessica. And in fact, Shea hopes that Sinister Entity is the start of a new series with her that really takes on exciting and original paranormal cases like book shelves haven’t seen before.

You might be scared to meet the ghost of yourself, or as we find out in Shea’s Sinister Entity, it could be a comfort, but either way the thought of your doppelgänger is probably quite unnerving, right? This time a beautiful girl named Selena has a terrible issue that Jessica wraps her brain around solving. Does the spotting of Selena’s double mean she is destined to die soon? Who is trying to hurt her?

Hunter Shea said it best on his release day blog as to why he chose the subject of doppelgänger to build his thriller Sinister Entity on:

“Now, what does this all have to do with doppelgänger? It turns out, quite a few notable people in history, from Percy Shelley to Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln, have had encounters with doppelgangers…sometimes with disastrous results. Doppelganger is German for ‘double walker’. It’s literally a paranormal double of a living person. The whole phenomenon has fascinated me for years. So I did what all writers do; created my own doppelgänger and had it take one on.”

I loved reading about doppelgängers as I didn’t have much prior knowledge beforehand. Without giving the plot away, I loved what he did with the doppelgänger character. I also loved the story line he chose as to who was actually haunting Selena and loved when Jessica knocked them out of the park at the end.

Hunter Shea does it again for me by bringing me book candy. He brings me his smooth and easy writing style, well-developed and emotional characters, hauntingly good paranormal dilemmas, and enough gusto to scare me out of my seat. I wouldn’t read this alone and especially not in the dark, unless Jessica is nearby of course. She’s the best ghost hunter out there right now.

Sinister Entity is another Hunter Shea book that has been added to my collection of best-loved frightening books.  He’s an excellent writer with fresh new tales that will haunt your mind. I recommend buying it today!

Stay tuned as upcoming within the week is an exclusive interview in which Hunter Shea bears his soul…. and we’ll be giving something away!

Sinister Entity, Synopsis~

sinisterentityHow can you escape the ghost of yourself?

The Leigh family is terrified. They’ve been haunted by the ghostly image of their young daughter, Selena. But how can that be, when Selena is alive and well, and as frightened as her parents? With nowhere else to turn, the Leighs place their hopes in Jessica Backman, who has dedicated her life to investigating paranormal activity. Accompanied by a new partner who claims to be able to speak to the dead, Jessica will soon encounter an entity that scares even her. And a terror far worse than she imagined.

Released on April 2 from Samhain Publishing (www.samhainpublishing.com):

http://store.samhainpublishing.com/sinister-entity-p-7234.html

Also, pick-up or order either at your other favorite retailers nationwide!!

The Graveyard Speaks Short Story, Synopsis~

the-graveyard-speaksThe dark, moaning apparition that rises from the same grave night after night has chased away even the most skeptical cemetery caretakers. Only one ghost hunter has the will to face the unknown, but at what price?

The Graveyard Speaks is your introduction into the mysterious and at times dangerous life of the paranormal’s most powerful spirit explorer. Read it with the lights on, and if you’re brave enough, follow the trail to Sinister Entity. This isn’t ghost hunting you see on TV!

Get The Graveyard Speaks by Hunter Shea FREE on Samhain’s site (www.samhainpublishing.com) NOW, you’ll need to register with the site for free and put in cart for free, but you’ll pay zero…well, because it’s free. 🙂

http://store.samhainpublishing.com/graveyard-speaks-p-7337.html?osCsid=c73c83f40f523c3f9ceb87b1517a0d6d

Also, find it on Amazon and take it to the top! http://www.amazon.com/The-Graveyard-Speaks-ebook/dp/B00BUKRALG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365912237&sr=8-1&keywords=The+graveyard+speaks

Hunter Shea,  Biography~

I’m the product of a childhood weened on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. I don’t just write about the paranormal. I actively seek out the things that scare the hell out of people and experience them for myself.

My novels, Forest of Shadows, Evil Eternal , Swamp Monster Massacre and Sinister Entity are published through Samhain Publishing’s horror line. I live with my family and untrainable cat close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits.

I’m also proud to be be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with my partner in crime, Jack Campisi. Our show is a light hearted approach to dark subjects. We explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun.

Feel free to contact me any time at huntershea1@gmail.com. Writing is lonely work.

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Forest of Shadows by Hunter Shea Made My Skin Crawl in Fright! Preparing for Upcoming Spring Releases

Do shadows lurk around the corner of your home? Press against your window, claw at your door? Does evil claim your territory for their own devices? No, well….you’re not having any fun then.  I suggest you get your fix like I did by reading Forest of Shadows by Hunter Shea. 

Until you pick up your own copy, or possibly win the giveaway mentioned below, maybe this blog post will entertain you.  Lurking shadows of the night won’t envelope you just from reading this post, BUT if you don’t read it you’ll miss the review of one of the best scary stories I’ve read in years.  Published by Samhain Publishing’s horror line, Shea is one of the best writers currently out there and I don’t say that lightly.

Here’s the synopsis~

forest of shadowsThe dead still hate!

John Backman specializes in inexplicable phenomena. The weirder the better. So when he gets a letter from a terrified man describing an old log home with odd whisperings, shadows that come alive, and rooms that disappear, he can’t resist the call. But the violence only escalates as soon as John arrives in the remote Alaskan village of Shida. Something dreadful happened there. Something monstrous. The shadows are closing in…and they’re out for blood.

AHHHHHHH……right?

Reading Evil Eternal by Shea first, I was not sure what to expect from Forest of Shadows since Evil Eternal is a rip-roaring bloody demonic action adventure.  I know Shea is a big fan of ghost adventures and the paranormal, so I was hoping this was some kind of ghost story I could really settle down and get goosebumps from. I wasn’t disappointed!

Primarily taking place in an extremely remote town in Alaska that is more like a makeshift modern Native American village that belongs to the dump, Shea takes time to develop his characters and the town’s visual details.  But not in any way that makes the story seem slow or going nowhere…in fact, he builds his characters and his suspense like a master professional with just enough alluding paragraphs, chapter endings, and out of nowhere sentences that made me jump out of my seat or my spine tingle.

His verbiage is supreme goodness, his prose so smooth like ghostly vapors, and his foreboding and mystery perfectly ominous and flawless. I was SUCKED right in and couldn’t stop turning the pages. I refused to want to stop reading to do normal tasks such as shower or eat. 

His protagonist, paranormal hobbyist John, and his young daughter, Jessica, hail from New York and take up residence in this unlikely outpost based on a ghost hunting tip from a resident intelligent Indian delinquent who has a fancy for the local librarian and unexpectedly encounters a strange phenomena in John’s soon to be home. But this town doesn’t like white folk, or outsiders, and furthermore, doesn’t like its secrets told or history uncovered.

I really enjoyed how Shea was able to write a clean novel, without a lot of crass sex or bloody gore. When he did write some in during the bursting at the seams finale, he did so in a way that shocking and fast-paced.  He was toying so much with my emotions that I barely saw the blood I knew must be there as I was focusing on feeling for the characters.  I won’t give the ending away, but he had me guessing till the last.  It was redemptive and sad all the same, with a message of good vs. evil you won’t want to miss.

He was able to scare the living daylights out of me–had me listening to the creak of my house stairs with more than passing notice and out my back window at night, even walking and looking over my shoulder–by utilizing straight-forward story telling at its finest. If you are a fan of authors who write augur ghost stories, then Shea is a must read and I recommend him highly.

Forest of Shadows has a sequel coming out this Spring from Samhain called Sinister Entity. Shea also has written a novella called The Graveyard Speaks, which is a prequel to the sequel. (Yes, you can laugh at that). To make it more confusing, it’s a sequel to Forest of Shadows, but also a stand-alone and the start of a new series.  The Graveyard Speaks takes place some 13 years after Forest of Shadows ends and one month prior to Sinister Entity.  Shea utilizes one of his most endearing main characters from Forest of Shadows for Sinister Entity.

We’ve got a lot of cool things coming up from Shea, including an interview this month where he divulges more to me than he ever has during an interview. It’s one you’ll want to be on the watch for. We’ve also got reviews and news of these new Spring releases coming up with giveaways on tap!

The Graveyard Speaks Novella (Short Story)~

the-graveyard-speaksThe dark, moaning apparition that rises from the same grave night after night has chased away even the most skeptical cemetery caretakers. Only one ghost hunter has the will to face the unknown, but at what price?

The Graveyard Speaks is your introduction into the mysterious and at times dangerous life of the paranormal’s most powerful spirit explorer. Read it with the lights on, and if you’re brave enough, follow the trail to Sinister Entity. This isn’t ghost hunting you see on TV!

Get The Graveyard Speaks by Hunter Shea FREE on Samhain’s site (www.samhainpublishing.com) this April (or pre-order now), you’ll need to register with the site for free and put in cart for free, but you’ll pay zero…well, because it’s free. 🙂

http://store.samhainpublishing.com/graveyard-speaks-p-7337.html?osCsid=c73c83f40f523c3f9ceb87b1517a0d6d

Sinister Entity~

sinisterentityHow can you escape the ghost of yourself?

The Leigh family is terrified. They’ve been haunted by the ghostly image of their young daughter, Selena. But how can that be, when Selena is alive and well, and as frightened as her parents? With nowhere else to turn, the Leighs place their hopes in Jessica Backman, who has dedicated her life to investigating paranormal activity. Accompanied by a new partner who claims to be able to speak to the dead, Jessica will soon encounter an entity that scares even her. And a terror far worse than she imagined.

Pre-order now, it releases in April from Samhain Publishing (www.samhainpublishing.com):

http://store.samhainpublishing.com/sinister-entity-p-7234.html

Also, pick up or order either at your other favorite retailers nationwide!!

MY BLOG GIVEAWAY~

forest of shadowsHunter Shea is giving away one (1) ebook copy of Forest of Shadows to any reader that comments with email below, comments to my (www.facebook.com/almehairierin) Facebook page, or emails me directly at hookofabook(at)hotmail.com just in time to get it prior to the new books releasing!

You have until 11:59 p.m. EST on March 15, 2013 to enter to win! 

For extra entry, follow my blog and let me know. For +2 extra entry, follow Shea’s Facebook page and let me know.

THIS WEEKEND ONLY~MARCH 1-3, 2013~HUNTER SHEA’S FACEBOOK FAN PAGE BLITZ:

From now until Sunday, he’ll send a free copy of his story, The Dig, to any new fans of his Facebook page. If they drop a note there that they were referred by an existing fan, he’ll send that fan a copy as well! Make sure you say Oh, for the Hook of a Book! sent you! Here is the link to his fan page–

https://www.facebook.com/#!/huntershea1?fref=ts

About The Dig~

While digging in the Mongoloian heat, Felicia Tang enters an archaeological mystery. What looks like a normal burial mound is actually the entrance to a centuries old chamber housing countless urns within rough hewn niches. Who built the vast chamber and why? What remains lie within the urns? Most of all, what is still very much alive in the dark?

Hunter Shea, Biography~

hunter-headshotI’m the product of a childhood weened on The Night Stalker, The Twilight Zone and In Search Of. I don’t just write about the paranormal. I actively seek out the things that scare the hell out of people and experience them for myself.

My novels, Forest of Shadows, Evil Eternal , Swamp Monster Massacre and Sinister Entity are published through Samhain Publishing’s horror line. I live with my family and untrainable cat close enough to New York City to get Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits.

I’m also proud to be one half of the Monster Men video podcast, along with my partner in crime, Jack Campisi. Our show is a light-hearted approach to dark subjects. We explore real life hauntings, monsters, movies, books and everything under the horror sun.

Feel free to contact me any time at huntershea1@gmail.com. Writing is lonely work.

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New Crime Novel with Paranormal Twist: Lis Wiehl and Pete Nelson

It seems everyone has always loved a good crime and/or mystery novel, right? The current reading trend has paranormal romance and supernatural horror also flying off the shelves. This new novel I’m reviewing, Waking Hours:  An East Salem Novel by Lis Wiehl with Pete Nelson, couples both genres together into a fiction novel of suspense that will leave you hanging at the very end and wanting more.

Former NFL player Tommy Gunderson, turned Private Investigator-in-Training, and Dani Harris, psychologist working for the District Attorney’s office, take on a shocking murder case of a teenage girl. With the murder stemming from a local high school party, it seems odd that none of the other party attendees seem to be able to remember what happened that night.

Tommy and Dani were once Homecoming King and Queen, but things were left unspoken and they haven’t seen each other since. When they meet again on this case, both are unsure of each other’s feelings.  As this case draws them closer, they both discover supernatural elements occurring all around them. For instance, why does Dani awake every night at 2:13 a.m.? Why are her dreams so apocalyptic? And why does Tommy feel like he is being watched at certain times? What incomprehensible forces are at work in this town?

The novel does a great job intertwining crime with a mystic story line. The paranormal element will leave you spooked and wanting to know more. It was an easy read, yet I found myself not really getting interested until about Chapter 19, almost halfway through the book. At that point the crime, and the paranormal elements, got much more interesting. Though the author took time to introduce the characters, I felt it wasn’t fast paced enough for me, or maybe in relation to other books I’ve read recently. However, many people might love the book the way it is and I try to realize that sometimes authors take it slow to build up suspense. The later half of the book was pretty decent and a quick read. The ending saved the book for me, as I finally started to get spooked, began to wonder about the supernatural occurences, and saw the proverbial fight against good and evil come in to play.  The theme of the heavenly versus the demonic always interests me and it’s why I love some of these Christian books that Thomas Nelson publishes. I am extremely intrigued now to read the second novel, as this book totally left a huge cliffhanger regarding the events happening in the town of East Salem.  I’ll want to read the second novel due to this. It would be an easy entertaining read for you to settle in with and might spook you a little if you aren’t used to reading horror or paranormal already.

I am not a huge fan of Fox News, who Lis Wiehl works for, and do not endorse her or the show or their statements, but the book was purely an entertaining read and she seems to have been able to use some of her former prosecutor skills to pen the crime scenes. Wiehl has another crime fiction series published with another supporting author as well, but I haven’t read any of those to compare this too.

Here is the Book Jacket Synopsis of Waking Hours: An East Salem Novel~

All towns have secrets. Some have demons.  Welcome to East Salem. A deceptively sleepy town where ancient supernatural forces are being awakened.  A local high-school girl is found murdered in a park amid horse farms and wealthy homes of northern Westchester County, New York. The shocking manner of her death confounds the town and intrigues forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris, who is determined to unravel the mystery. All the suspects are teenagers who were at a party with the girl–yet none remembers what happened. Could one of them be a vicious killer? Or is something more sinister afoot–something tied to an ancient evil?

But it’s not just her waking hours that challenge Dani. Each night, her eyes open at 2:13 due to troubling dreams. Dreams filled with blood, water, and destruction. Is it a clue–or a supernatural sign?

Across town, former NFL linebacker Tommy Gunderson finds his state-of-the-art security system has been breached by an elderly woman. Mumbling threats in Latin, she attacks him with an uncanny, preternatural strength. Before he has time to process the attack, someone close to him is implicated in the girl’s murder at the park. He agrees to help–and finds himself working with Dani, the only girl who could resist his charms years ago when they were in high school.

A heavy darkness is spreading. Yet a heavenly force is also at workIt will take astute analysis and forensic skills to solve the crime. But Dani and Tommy suspect there’s more the mystery than murder, more to their growing friendship than chance… and more to the evil they’re facing than a mere human killer.

Waking Hours is available as of Oct. 3, 2011.

You can learn more about Lis Wiehl at www.liswiehlbooks.com.  Pete Nelson is an established and acclaimed author. He lives with his wife and son in Westchester, New York.

****************

I was sent this book from Thomas Nelson publishers as part of their BookSneeze Book for Bloggers program. The statements are totally my own opinions and they only asked that I give an honest review in return for the book.

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Interview with Indie Author Caroline Barnard-Smith and a Sneak Peek at “Jinn Nation,” her new vampire novel.

Today my blog is a stop along the “Jinn Nation” Book Tour of UK-based author Caroline Barnard-Smith.  I’m happy to share with you an excerpt of the her newest book and an interview with this Indie author, giving you a little taste into her juicy vampiric mind! We even are giving one e-book copy away to a lucky reader!

 

 Win a FREE E-book!!!

You can win a free e-book of “Jinn Nation” (in any e-format you choose) by reading this entire blog and leaving your comment in the comment section of the blog, by commenting to @ErinAlMehairi on Twitter, or by commenting on Faceboook under the post of this blog on my wall (www.facebook.com/almehairierin). At the end of the week, winner will be randomly drawn from the comments and name and info will be given to the author. Please be sure I know how to reach you if you comment or you will not be eligible.

Read an Excerpt from “Jinn Nation”

Once, the vampire Dylan had feared nothing and no one. He’d rampaged throughout the world on a seemingly never ending quest to fill his eternal years with the finest, most outrageous extravagances; with exquisite, soft-limbed young women and copious amounts of rich, vibrating blood. But life, however full of joy, inevitably changes.

Finding himself alone for the first time in his long unlife, Dylan turns to the preternatural race of savage creatures called the jinn – a path that inevitably leads him to Christa, a strangely childlike woman with the power to control minds and read thoughts. Mutually intrigued by each other, they set out on a blood-soaked road trip that crosses the United States and the Atlantic Ocean, finally leading them beyond the world itself to the mysterious fae kingdoms of the Inbetween.

Click on the excerpt link to be sucked into the story of “Jinn Nation”~ You don’t want to miss this!!! Jinn_Nation_-_Excerpt 

Interview with author Caroline Barnard-Smith

It has been so nice to meet you Caroline. I am very curious about your book and your host of anti-heroic vampires!

Q:  What makes you love to write stories of vampires and bloodlust so passionately?

A:  I think it’s the sense of freedom that attracts me to vampires. They’re not a part of society, they live on the fringes where they can go where they want, be who they want, eat who they want.  There’s also the rock star element, of course. Vampires are bad through and through (or at least they should be) and there’s something innately sexy about that.  As a writer it also gives you permission to be bad, which is far more fun than it probably should be.      
 
Q:  Have you always been writing this genre, or has it been a migration?
 
A:  I started out writing straight urban fantasy, spurred on after reading the newest book by an established urban fantasy author and realising it was so awful, I was sure I could do better (I’m not naming any names but trust me, it was bad!) I never actually found out if I could do better because that particular early novel will spend the rest of it’s sad life buried on my hard drive, but raw and ridiculous as that book was, full of witches and wizards and fairies and elves and anything else I could plagiarise from my favourite fantasy novels, it taught me a lot about the craft of writing. It taught me how to explore characters, how to plot and how to get to the end of a long project, so I actually owe that little book a lot.  

Q:  Tell me about your idea and the creation behind your newest novel….
 
A:  When I started all I had in my head was a scene in the middle of a nighttime American desert where two people, two people with secrets, met in a bar.  I started writing and before long the story turned into a sort of bloody travelogue across the United States and beyond, taking in many of the places I wished I could see but couldn’t afford to visit.  I’ve already talked about the freedom that vampires represent and there’s no freer place than the open road (if I’m to believe the movies, anyway), so putting the two together made Jinn Nation an immensely fun book to write.

Q:  What do you want most for your readers to take away from your book? How do you want them to feel?
 
A:  I know it’s a cliché but I really do write the books I’d like to read, and that certainly doesn’t involve gutless vegetarian vampires who sparkle in the sun; so I suppose I’d like readers to come away from Jinn Nation thinking, “Finally! Someone’s given Dracula his balls back!”  I’ve also tried hard to make my female character, Christa, less of a moaning, pining bore than many of the female characters I see in paranormal fiction these days.  The women in these books are always bemoaning their tragic, fated love lives or readying themselves to jump over some metaphorical cliff at their supernatural boyfriend’s command. They’re too Mary-Sue-like, ie. they’re ridiculously attractive, have every super power under the sun and are probably black belts in karate for no goddamned reason. I desperately wanted to stay away from this, even though Christa does have quite considerable mental powers… Hopefully, readers will think that I’ve succeeded.  

Q:  What was your debut novel, Dunraven Road, about and does it tie in with Jinn Nation?

A:  Dunraven Road does loosely tie in with Jinn Nation because the vampire Dylan stars in both novels, but that’s really where the similarities end. Dunraven Road is a close, oppressive novel, with the action mostly confined to just one street (hence the title!), while Jinn Nation is far broader, global even, and has lighter moments. I wasn’t planning to write about vampires when I started my debut novel.  I set out to write about the experience of living in a small town in your twenties and somewhere along the line, an ancient brotherhood of vampires appeared and forced me to include them.  The vampires were definitely the villains in that novel, leaving the reader to root for the hapless humans who happened to stumble right into their diabolical scheme, but Jinn Nation saw me going back to a format first made popular by Anne Rice that I hold dear to my heart: the vampire as anti-hero.        
 
Q:  What are the differences between traditional publishing and indie publishing? What are the benefits of indie publishing? The hardships?

A:  The biggest difference must be that you have to do absolutely everything yourself, or at least hire someone to do it for you. I’m very lucky to have an excellent proofreader, but after my manuscript came back from her I had to edit my work thoroughly, checking spelling and grammar as well as making sure the plot actually hung together. I then had to learn how to format my work as an ebook and a paperback to be published through a print on demand service. The only aspect I had to draft in extra help for was the cover, because I’m completely hopeless with Photoshop.  A traditional publisher will do all these things for you, but they also don’t give you much control. They might demand changes to your manuscript and you certainly wouldn’t get any input into the typesetting or cover design.  All of this is a lot of hard work, but personally I’ve found the experience immensely satisfying.  The paperback proofs of Jinn Nation were delivered just the other day and being able to hold that beautifully printed book in my hands and think, “I did that”, was fantastic.          
 
Q:  Would you like to tell me about your craft business? Is it just as dark and juicy?

A:  Sadly no! It’s completely different from my literary work. I taught myself how to knit in my early twenties because I wanted something to do with my hands so that I’d stop biting my nails. Since then I’ve become good enough to start writing my own patterns and these are what I sell at CazzCraft.co.uk, along with knitting supplies such as bamboo needles and stitch markers. It’s been a lot of fun and once I’m finished promoting Jinn Nation, I really should get back to work on it and write some new patterns!   
 
Q:  How do you juggle being an author, an artist, and a mom?

A:  Well, my daughter always comes first of course, and then I have to do everything else in moderation. It’s fairly easy to continue pursuing my personal projects at the moment because the Sprogling is only 4 months old. She sleeps a lot of the time or is content to sit with me while I work (one-handed) at the computer, but I’m sure this will all change once she starts running around!   
 
Q:  I hear you have a radio show, what should listeners expect from the show and how do we tune in?

A:  Yes, I had my very own radio show 🙂 It was called Write Around Devon and it aired on my local community radio station once a week. I loved doing it because it was basically just me playing my favourite songs and talking about my favourite subject. I even got to interview quite a few local authors. I gave it up when I was pregnant before I grew too big to fit under the desk (hehe) but I’d love to return to it one day.

Thank you Caroline for sharing about your book and offering advice to us!  Wonderful insight!! You’ve been awesome to talk to and I wish you much success. Stop by again!

For more information on Caroline and her books, go online to:  http://www.carolinebarnardsmith.co.uk and visit her blog at: http://barnardsmith.wordpress.com.

Contact Caroline online also at:

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Caroline-Barnard-Smith/83412182938

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/CazzySmith

How do you buy “Jinn Nation”?

Paperback – https://www.createspace.com/3565931

Amazon Kindle USA – http://www.amazon.com/Jinn-Nation-ebook/dp/B0058OE3JC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1309947539&sr=8-1

Amazon Kindle UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jinn-Nation-ebook/dp/B0058OE3JC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=digital-text&qid=1309947612&sr=8-1

Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/70355

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