Tag Archives: Fantasy Fiction

Living Like A Vampire Blog Tour – Day 7

Day 7

I’m sad that the Blog Tour is almost over, but I have one nice stop for you at the funny Amanda’s Go Book Yourself, a bookish blog. I have a guest post there about the history of vampires on the silver screen. Go check it out and tell me who your favorite vampire is.

Go Book Yourself a bookish blog.png

A BIG THANK YOU to the amazing Kelly Lacey from LOVE BOOKS GROUP who was so kind to help me out last minute organizing my Blog Tour. I couldn’t have done it without her! Big hug, girl. You are one amazing woman! xx

LoveBooksGroup.png

If you’ve missed any of my Blog Tour stops, here they are again:

Day 1 – Joyful Antidotes

Day 2 – B for Bookreview

Day 3 – The Midnight Review

Day 4 – Over the Rainbow Book Blog

Day 5 – Nemesis Book Blog, MADEUP Books and Parenting, and Tangents and Tissues

Day 6 – Chat About Books

Day 7 – Go Book Yourself

Thank you so much, lovely ladies, for participating in my Blog Tour! A special thanks to Kirsty and Cassandra for taking the time to read my book (so appreciated!), and to Kerry, for interviewing me. You have made my first Blog Tour extra special!

Thank You.png

Well, that’s it, folks. One more day that my books are available for 99c/99p, so grab your copies while you can!

Last Promo Day_W700.jpg


 

Another 5 star review!

 

B2_180810_W700

After a bit of quiet since its release, I received an amazing review for Book 2 in the Suckers Trilogy! Here it is:

5StarReview.png

I was initially pulled in by the title of this book, “Raising A Vampire.” I’d also read a glowing review of the first book in the trilogy. I decided to check out book two. I wasn’t disappointed. In fact, the storyline, character development, and constant twists and turns held my attention to the end.

I found the traumatic situations that Kate and her family encountered were presented in a way that was entirely realistic. I appreciated Kate’s relationship with her special daughter who is a “sucker.” Her interaction with her child comes from a place of respect and as much wisdom as Kate can muster. Her daughter’s reactions are also genuine and described in a way that was perfect for a child who embodies a very intense physical and emotional makeup.

There are many dilemmas in the story that Kate has to face. One major quandary is choosing between two men. As both men vie for Kate’s love, I felt her turmoil. The situation was very difficult because each man was unique and compelling in his own way. Kate’s emotional confusion and responses are portrayed in ways that are poignant and at times, heart-wrenching.

This is a well-written book that I found very difficult to put down. I was happy that there were resolutions to many of the issues raised in the book. However, after becoming invested in the lives of Kate and her family, I was left with a desire to plunge into book three, the final installment in the trilogy.

Thank you so much, Sandy! You made my day! Love you to bits for taking the time to read and write such a wonderful review on top!

Now, my dear reader, yes, you who is reading this. Did you read and review Book 2, Raising a Vampire, yet? Why not? It’s on sale for 99c/99p at the moment but only for a limited time. Grab your copy now! Here, on Amazon, Kobo, or Nook.

 

Meet the Author… S.S. Bazinet

Sandy Bazinet writes about vampires. That was enough for me to ask her for an interview! It appears that, like my own stories, her vampire stories are about being human and about relationships. Stuff to make you think. I also love her book covers. Let’s find out how she got into writing about vampires.

S.S. Bazinet

SS_Bazinet_300x300

Biography

Sandy Bazinet grew up in Kansas, spent many years in the Baltimore, Maryland area and currently lives in New Mexico. After raising a family, she found out that she loved computers and worked in website design. Since 2008, she’s been passionate about writing. Her books include The Vampire Reclamation Project series, the Sentenced to Heaven series, as well as the YA thriller, My Brother’s Keeper, and a dystopian novel, Dying Takes It Out of You.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love walks in the desert, working jigsaw puzzles, and graphic design! Graphic design is particularly nice when I’ve been writing all day and need to switch to a different way of expressing the artistic part of myself.

What is your favorite childhood book, and why?

A favorite was and still is Mr. Snitzel’s Cookies, by Jane Flory. It has a wonderful message. Do what you love and you’ll succeed!

Do you remember the first story you ever read and the impact it had on you?

SS_Bazinet_DyingIt wasn’t the first story I read, but I read Wuthering Heights when I was about twelve years old. I think the intense, emotional states of the characters impressed me the most. I still feel that strong character development is a must in the books that I write.

If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be?

I’d tell my younger self to stop worrying about getting everything perfect, to relax and have more fun with life and writing.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Energizes!

Have you thought about joining with another author to write a book?

Actually, my two grown daughters and I used to have a writer’s meeting once a week via a conference call. After a while, we decided to co-author three stories. Each week, one of us would write a section of a story and then pass the story on to the next person. It was great fun and also challenging since we each had a knack for leaving our section on a cliffhanger. We enjoyed the process, however, the stories got so complicated that we never completed them.

What gives you inspiration for your books? How did you come up with the idea for The Vampire Reclamation Project series?

Actually, I had writer’s block for many years. I took writing very seriously, and I think my mind’s ideas about how to write got in the way of my creative side. In frustration, I finally threw up my hands and decided not to worry about what I wrote. I decided to just write for the fun of it.

With that thought in mind, I sat down with a pad and pencil. I didn’t have a clue about what to write or what my story should be about. And I’m so grateful that I was in that open, receptive state. A story began to flow in on its own, a story about a wonderful angel named Michael and a desperate vampire named Arel. After that, I had to start writing at the computer because I couldn’t keep up with pad and pencil.

SS_Bazinet_MyBrotersKeeperDo you try to be original in your storytelling or to deliver to readers what they want?

Nope, since I gave inspiration permission to lead the way, I have never tried to steer the stories I write. I’m always as surprised as any reader as the story reveals itself. Maybe that’s why writing is so enjoyable for me.

Do you want each book to stand on its own or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

In my series, The Vampire Reclamation Project, each book is complete in itself, but the characters change and grow as the series progresses. In that way, they build on each other.  In my other books, the stories are always able to stand on their own too.

How do you select the names of your characters? Are your characters based on real people?

None of my characters are based on real people. A couple of times, it took a little longer for a name to come in, but most of the time, I begin to write about a character and a name pops in on its own.

What was your hardest scene to write?

The worst scene I had to write was one in which one of my main characters remembers a past life when he was burned at the stake. I don’t like violence or writing about violence so that was very hard to write. Thankfully, the brutality was kept to a minimum.

Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?

Sorry, but that’s like asking me to name a favorite child. I love them all.

When you develop characters, do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

I start out with a blank slate. I don’t know who or what will populate a story. My characters are in charge and definitely develop as the story progresses. For instance, in the vampire series, the main character, Arel, is suffering from low self-esteem when the story begins. He’d had a very abusive childhood that left him nearly crippled with fear. However, as he’s helped by his angelic mentor, Michael, and some humans who “adopt” him, he comes out of his shell.

In each book, Arel becomes more himself, and we learn just how strong and gifted he truly is. However, in the last book, Tainted Blood, his attempts at finding the perfect partner were hard for me to watch and write. I felt like the protective mom who’s observing their adult child flounder. However, I never have to worry. My stories have a way of working out in the end. Thank goodness!

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I read my book reviews, but I try not to assign much weight to a negative one. Everyone has their perspective, and I respect that. What really helps is that I love writing, and I’ll write no matter what someone else thinks about my books.

What writing/publishing wisdom would you bestow upon new writers?

Don’t try to rush anything. Take your time and make sure that your book is the best it can be before you publish it. Make sure it’s well edited. Also, find a good designer for your cover! A cover is the first thing a person sees when they look at your book.

What is something memorable you have heard from your readers/fans?

One reader said that my story helped them to reexamine their own life. They found comfort in the characters finding ways to give themselves a break and live happier lives. Another reader said my story gave them the courage to carry on in very adverse circumstances.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment as a writer?

In a world that is often stressful, I love the idea of providing people with stories that they can enjoy. If in some small way, I can contribute something positive and inspiring to others, I feel doubly blessed.

Thank you, Sandy, for sharing your answers with us. I can so relate with the non-planning way of writing. It is so much more exciting to wake up and not know what is going to happen next. And what great comments by your readers! It is a huge boost when you learn that you have had such a positive influence on someone 😀 .

Where can we find you online?

Email: ssbazinet@gmail.com

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Amazon Author page

The Vampire Reclamation Project series has five books now. Check them out!



 

My Darker Side of Fiction Experience

I was on such a high after attending The Darker Side of Fiction book signing event last Saturday, but I crashed on Monday and Tuesday afternoon (I had an appointment I couldn’t get out of on Tuesday morning). Two days of people-ing takes its toll on me:). The event was organized by Hourglass Events ladies Jo Curtis PA and Rachel Brightey PA, and these two ladies did a fabulous job! The venue, The Bull Hotel in Peterborough, was awesome, the organization run as smooth as a well-oiled engine, and the people I met were fantastic!

Getting there

My husband and I flew to Birmingham on Friday evening (leaving our teenaged kids at home for the first time. They didn’t set the house on fire!). We could have driven, but it would have been an eight-hour drive. As my husband still has to work (I’m afraid someone has to), we just didn’t have the time for this, so I didn’t expect to earn our expenses back. The reason for going was to show my face and get my name out there. I did have a pre-order form and had four orders of all the books of the trilogy beforehand which was great. As we were flying, we had a limit to what we could bring, but we managed to bring another five sets, some short story bundles, and some extra copies of Book 1.

20181006_141944_H525
Showing off my wonderful assistant

 

On Friday evening, we arrived in Birmingham, picked up our rented car, and drove to Peterborough. We arrived at the Bull Hotel at 11pm and went straight to bed. I wanted to be ready for the long day. Unfortunately, I didn’t sleep the night before, and I didn’t sleep well that night either. Whether it was caused by the high temperature in the room, the hum of the air-conditioning, or the hard mattress (yes, I’m a bit of a princess in that respect), or plain excitement, I will never know.

20181006_000047_W700
The Bull Hotel

The Big  Day

The next morning we got up at 8am. The signing started at 10am, and this would give us enough time to have breakfast downstairs, get dressed up for the occasion, and set up the table. I was so glad I brought my husband as an assistant with me as he was such a great help. I couldn’t have managed without him! Before the doors opened, I went around the other authors’ stalls, to see what they had and what they priced everything. As this was basically my first signing with more than one book and with accessories, I had no idea about this. I had brought several price tags and put the ones down that I thought were a fair price.

20181006_101554_W700
The Darker Side of Fiction, well… half of it 😀

They had sold ‘only’ seventy tickets (apparently they’re used to more), but there was a continuous stream of buyers walking past the tables. Some bought a whole set of the trilogy, some bought the short story bundle, some immediately walked past as soon as they saw my books were about vampires. It was fun to chat with the people who stopped at my table. My husband, bless him, was a better salesperson than I’ll ever be and often could win people over to buy something. All in all, I sold over thirty-five books which was great! Here are some piccies with visitors and myself.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In the afternoon, there was a raffle with proceedings going the Samaritans, and many fantastic prizes were picked up.

20181006_122216_W700
The excellent prices of the raffle!

The doors to the signing closed at five and we quickly packed up. I put our names down for the evening ball, but we had a few hours to spare. We headed into the city center of Peterborough beforehand but unfortunately were a few minutes too late to enter the Museum of the Moon exhibition. Instead, we walked around the cathedral and learned about its architecture through the multiple information boards. When we got back to the hotel, I managed to fit in a quick nap before we headed downstairs for pre-dinner drinks. There were a magician and a photographer.

20181006_200421_W700
Our table companions Katie and Ben. Sorry, Lou and John; your photo turned out blurry!

Sunday in Birmingham

The next morning we drove back to Birmingham to visit the Newman Brothers coffin museum. They actually didn’t make coffins there, but the furniture, i.e. the handles and metal plates that they put on the coffins, as well as the shrouds the dead are put in. We had a fun guide and it was interesting. After a quick bite, we managed to meet with a fellow author, Iain Pattison/Jay Raven, who is from Birmingham. Unfortunately, time was short and so was our meeting. We could have talked for hours. Birmingham is a beautiful city and I hope to be back there one day. Here are some photos from this beautiful place.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

20181007_160228_W700
Jay Raven and me

Getting Back

Our trip back home was less relaxed as the way to Peterborough. Our plane was delayed for an hour and once back in Aberdeen, it appeared that both the headlights of my car had given the ghost. The ride home hence was a bit of an adrenaline ride, tagging behind people who did have lights, but we made it home safe. All in all, what a ride! What a fantastic weekend!

 

My interview with Dr DJ JoN will be airing soon!

Remember I mentioned I was interviewed by Dr DJ JoN last week? Well, I just got the heads up that the interview will be aired on Flobcast Radio within the next hour! Don’t worry if you’ll miss it as it will be repeated Monday, Wednesday, and Friday next week a during the 1-3pm (EST) timeslot (early in the slot).

The website to go to is:

Flobcast

You only have to click on the play button on the website to hear the radio station.

I haven’t heard it yet, so I’m going to listen too!

BookFunnel Giveaway!

Paranormal_Reads_Giveaway.png

Searching for a thrilling selection of new reads? Why not pick one of the Amazing twenty-four FREE novels from this Paranormal Reads Giveaway (including Living Like A Vampire!)?

Click here to take your pick!

This giveaway ends August 3.

This Giveaway includes Book 1 of the Suckers Trilogy

Living Like A Vampire
Living Like A Vampire; Book 1 in the paranormal Suckers Trilogy full of romance and suspense, by Jacky Dahlhaus

BookFunnel Giveaway!

Paranormal_Reads_Giveaway.png

Searching for a thrilling selection of new reads? Why not pick one of the Amazing twenty-four FREE novels from this Paranormal Reads Giveaway (including Living Like A Vampire!)?

Click here to take your pick!

This giveaway ends August 3.

Living Like A Vampire
Living Like A Vampire; Book 1 in the paranormal Suckers Trilogy full of romance and suspense, by Jacky Dahlhaus

Meet The Author… Vanessa Ravel

Vanessa Ravel is an author I met on the Dark Fantasy Books website. She is a far cry from the standard girl next door and I expect her book, Four o’Clock Alice, isn’t any different.

Vanessa Ravel

Vanessa_Ravel

You are an epidemiologist by trade. Do you still work as a scientist or are you now a full-time writer? Does your work feature in some way in your book?

I still do consulting and medical writing on a freelance basis, which allows me to devote time to my real passion of writing fiction. Funny enough, after all my schooling, epidemiology doesn’t at all figure into Four O’Clock Alice, but I do have some ideas stewing on the back burner where I might be able to use my public health background. 

Why do you write dark fantasy?

Horror is my favorite genre, but I’m not really a fan of gore or graphic violence. I like writing about ugly things in the most beautiful way possible, so I think dark fantasy allows for that outlet over horror. To me, writing delicate prose about vile things is more shocking than any gorefest because, strangely enough, there is beauty in vile things. There is beauty in everything. You just need to find the right words.

Four o’Clock Alice is your debut novel. Did you intentionally write a novel or does its creation have a different story?

I did set out to write Four O’Clock Alice, although the original idea doesn’t at all resemble the finished product! The impetus for writing was a series of personal tragedies which afforded me the perspective to ‘write what I know,’ not in a sense of ever having been in any of the characters’ situations per se, but nonetheless being newly able to empathize with those situations.

How old is Alice and what is the target audience for your novel?

Although the book starts with a ten-year-old Alice and follows her until she is 17, I would not say this is necessarily a book for that age range. I believe the target audience for my novel is adult, although the older ‘young adult’ market (say, 14+) would sympathize with Alice’s coming-of-age situation.

 

Four_OClock_AliceCan you give us a quirky detail about Alice that doesn’t feature explicitly in your book?

Her second toe is longer than all the others. But don’t tell anyone; she gets enough hassle for having the touch of death.

What can people expect when they read your book?

You’re in for a surreal trip down the rabbit hole! Four O’Clock Alice examines the human condition from a unique perspective, and the book takes a surprising twist. There are certainly aspects of horror as the antagonists run the gamut from Lovecraftian creatures to evil overlords to flesh and blood humans (in my opinion, the scariest type of monster).

You have a lot of dogs. Please tell us more about them. Do they feature in your book?

I currently have four small dogs: Anaïs the dachshund (11, she may be short, but you’re still beneath her); Zoë the mutt (9, says she’s Chihuahua-beagle-dachshund, but she won’t show us her papers), Dolce the Chihuahua (7, she’s only comfortable if she’s sitting on another dog’s head); and Penny the schnauzer (6, if there’s a worm on the ground, she’ll roll on it). While my dogs don’t personally appear in my book, their humanity—particularly that of my beloved Dudley who passed in 2014—is largely what inspired me to write about what makes us human.

Are you working on another book? If yes, what’s it about, and could you give us a little ‘preview’?

My upcoming release will be a short story collection called Demon Dance: 10 dark stories to rattle your psyche. This book will be a big divergence from Four o’Clock Alice in genre and in tone, and can be classified as more horror/speculative fiction than dark fantasy. The 10 standalone stories examine the boundaries between personal demons and the ones that come from Hell. Here’s a preview from The Wild Hunt:

The rumbling intensified. Thunder? No—hooves. Dozens of them. Moving fast. Shaking the room. Then an additional sound rode in on the heels of that stampede. Howls and yips punctuated by agitated pants echoed through the night. As the racket came to a crescendo of howls, whinnies, and neighs, the glass French doors to the terrace exploded, and Marcus dove behind the couch. The late December air blew a rare handful of snow flurries onto the brand new pine floors. A dark form eclipsed the streetlight pouring in through the broken French doors. Horses chuffed. A hideous stench mushroomed into the lounge, provoking Marcus’s gag reflex. He peeked over the couch at Vesta. “What is that?”

Thank you so much, Vanessa, for letting us know a bit more about Four o’Clock Alice and your dogs. Please give a cuddle to all four of them from me 🙂 I’m looking forward to reading your book one day.

Vanessa_Ravel_Books

Four o’Clock Alice is available on Amazon.