Blog Tour: Soul Blade by Aaron Hodges

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Title: Soul Blade

Author: Aaron Hodges

Series: The Sword of Light Trilogy

Genre: Epic Fantasy/Sword and Sorcery

Release Week Price: $0.99

Page count: 300 pages

Soul Blade Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Soul-Blade-Sword-Light-Trilogy/dp/0473375184/

Giveaway: http://blog.ravenpublicity.com/giveaways/sciencefiction-fantasy-win-3-paperbacks-giveaway-kindle-amreading/

Website: http://www.aaronhodges.co.nz

Soul Blade Excerpt Link: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AiW-Qzg6KJmRgbp3yl1h_Rh42xWgcw

Synopsis:

The Three Nations are crumbling.

Darkness is gathering.

And only Eric remains to stand against it.

 

Eric stumbles through the wilderness, searching, hunting – desperate for sign of his sister. But the girl is gone, stolen away by the power of the Soul Blade. With each passing hour its hold on her tightens, her spirit fading before the onslaught of its magic. If he cannot save her soon, it will claim her soul. And he will have to kill her.

 

Meanwhile, Gabriel is locked in the cells beneath Ardath. The darkness presses in around him, absolute, suffocating. Time, hope, sanity, all have long since slipped beneath the waves of his despair. Only it remains – the unrelenting voice of the demon. It haunts the darkness, tempting him with promises of freedom.

How long can he resist its call?

 

Author Bio:

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and see the world. During his travels he picked up an old draft of a novel he once wrote in High School – titled The Sword of Light – and began to rewrite the story. This book, Soul Blade, marks the final conclusion of that epic tale.

author-picture

 

Fans of Aaron can signup for updates and special offers at:

aaronhodges.co.nz/newsletter-signup/

 

 

Saturday Stories 2/27

Hello my friends! Sorry I’ve been so MIA the past two weeks, I seem to have had time getting away from me lately. Though looking back on the month I don’t seem to have really accomplished all that much, but I have been extremely busy. So, let’s figure out how I did and get to the short story reward, like the gooey chocolate at the center of crunchy cake pop :).

To recap my ‘goals’ for the week, you can go watch this video and see what I thought I could do.

Goal Updates:

Writing – 

I was supposed to type up everything I have handwritten and ready to type. Unfortunately my much loved laptop has been a little too loved and my programs are not working as well as they should (and I procrastinated a little) so I only got a few pages of Paulonious Punk taken care of. I did, however, purchase a new laptop so I can move my hundreds of word documents over and get back to writing!

 

Reading –

I completed Truthwitch and gave it a 4 out of 5 stars. The writing is gorgeous and the story is a fast paced thing of beauty. I’ll have a full review up sometime soon(ish).

 

Sewing/Coloring/Exercising – 

I managed to get a princess dress cut out for the little monkey and am going to try to sew it up today around my band practice schedule.

I did not complete the coloring pages, but I did a little more coloring on them and expect to have both completed this weekend.

As for exercising, I was able to go 3 days this week and the other 2 I was very active at home. I also upped my weight training weights to the next level, which made me super excited!

Now on to the good stuff! This week’s story excerpt is from a novel I began several years ago…and then kind of abandoned in pursuit of a different story. Here is the first bit of Sylvester, hopefully there will be more some day.

Sylvester

“I have to.” The words were simple, the gaze steady as Annabelle watched Sylvester pace the clearing. “No, you don’t. Those people don’t even know you, you don’t know them. Why are you so intent on helping those who would cast you aside if they knew who you really were?”

He was irritated, and had a right to be. His girlfriend, the woman who he had been on the brink of proposing to, had just informed him she was going to hop worlds and help people she had never met to defeat some nameless threat. Not only that, but to do what she was planning, she would disappear from their world and become a baby in the other. He might never see her again, all for some people she had only seen in a dream.

“I’m sorry, I have to. I hope you’ll understand someday love. Goodbye.”

Then she was gone. A world away a child screamed into the night. “It’s a girl.”

Chapter One

As a child, Brianna had dreams of another world. One where magic was as natural as air and people watched and waited for her. Somewhere, in the back of her mind, Bri knew these people. Sometimes she could remember their names, and would excitedly turn to them, but she would always wake at this point, dream memories niggling at her brain until she pushed them aside. As she grew the dreams became more in depth, more real. She would wake smelling the scents of otherworldly kitchens, feeling the softness of otherworldly grass.

She began seeing the people from her dreams out of the corner of her eye, in broad daylight. She would sense them watching her, urging her to something she couldn’t understand, or rather, felt as if she couldn’t remember. In defense, she turned to the things all teenage girls find interest in: sports, music, books, friends, and, of course, boys.

If there were those that watched her grow, rejoiced for her achievements, grieved in her failures, that was their business. And if there were those that watched a little more closely than others, whose heart broke a little with each new boyfriend, they did so in silence. All watched with bated breath as she began the path that would lead her to her destiny. Some watched, wishing they could help. Some watched waiting for their chance to foil her fate. None of them, though, could have imagined what would come next.

Author Interview with M.J. Moores

Welcome! It’s Friday, Canadian author M.J. Moores stopped by, and I have questions…that must mean that it’s time for another rousing edition of Author Interview Friday! Let’s get started, I don’t know about you but I’m excited to see her answers!

Melissa6 portrait

  • What name do you write under? Is this a pseudonym? Do you use more than one name when you write?

I made the careful decision to write under the name M.J. Moores. I say “careful” because as awful as it sounds, many readers are still biased toward female authors in my genre. M.J. is my initials and as I did go by that name all during high school it doesn’t feel like a complete ‘cop-out’ to me 😉

 

  • Tell us about the first time you realized that you were an author or were going to be an author.

The ‘big’ moment for me was getting my first set of comments back from my editor. I had paid an arm and a leg for legal counseling before signing on with a small publisher but that just hit the pocket book, not the heart strings 😉 The edit showed me that I had work to do in order to make my publishing date!

 

  • What genre(s) do you write in, and why?

I prefer Speculative Fiction. My first series of books is Sci-Fi/Fantasy with a hint of horror and my next series (for which I’ve already begun book 1) is an Urban/Supernatural Fantasy. I gravitate toward tales of the fantastic because I view reading as an important escape from reality. There’s a reason I don’t watch the news and that same reason applies to the kinds of books I read and write.

 Time's Tempest - Official Book Cover

Now, don’t get me wrong, knowing and understanding current events and the impact they have on daily life is extremely important – but it’s also very depressing. As human beings we thrive on hope. I don’t get that from the news or general fiction; I get that from allowing myself time to explore “what if” in another context and allowing myself to believe that not everything is doom and gloom – or at least it doesn’t have to be.

 

  • What genres are your favorites to read? Why?

 

I love YA and Fantasy (and if the two are combined then I’m in ecstasy). I also have a soft-spot for a well-written memoir. Again, these fall into the same reasoning as above – I don’t want to be depressed when I read, I want adventure, excitement, and more than a little bit of wonder. In my opinion, a good memoir is one that shows you how exciting someone else’s life really was/is, even if they only faced every-day challenges. It’s all about perspective and an author who knows how to tell a good story.

 

  • Tell us about your two all-time favorite characters: 1 that you wrote and 1 that someone else wrote.

Oooo… that’s a tough one! I guess I’d have to say Yelena from the Poison Study series written by Maria V. Snider. I gobble up almost anything Snider writes and became completely addicted to this series. Yelena is the epitome of a strong female character – she’s vulnerable and kick-ass. I know that may sound like a contradiction but her inner fire and resilience in the face of adversity, as well as the fact that she never loses her humanity, speaks volumes to me.

 

As for a favourite character that I’ve written… hmm… I might have gone with the main character, Taya, in my SFF series had you asked me last year, but I’ve discovered a new character – Dray. She’s the lead in my Urban Fantasy series. In some ways she’s like Taya and Yelena but I haven’t figured her out yet. There’s a mystery to her and a real sense of confusion that plays more prominently in Dray’s life than it does in the lives of those other characters (not that there isn’t a lot of confuse there too). She’s got me curious. The “what if’s” surrounding her are at the same time much closer to home and yet much farther away – boy, I do love a contradiction!

 

  • There is a lot of controversy about allowing books to be made into movies (especially when they cut or change large portions of the plot). Would you be willing for your books/stories to become a movie? Why or why not?

Oh, great question! I spent time studying film in university and it has brought me such an appreciation for this medium. Honestly, if any book lover is able to see past the blind love of their favourite book to the reality of what it takes to bring a story to the big screen, they will begin to realize that it’s not about re-creating the book but allowing the essence of it to blossom in a new light.

 

It’s impossible to sell 7 hr long movies on a regular basis and most books, to be done ‘true’, would take at least that long if not longer. I would totally support a major filming company buying the rights to my book(s) – so long as I got final say on the adaptation 😉

 

  • How do you handle writer’s block?

It is not an affliction that has ever plagued me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not bragging here. I do get stumped sometimes, but that just means that I don’t yet know enough about what I’m writing to be able to write it. So, I either do more research or go for a walk/do some mundane house chores to let my mind wander and explore the possibilities. Then, when I feel like I’m going to burst for holding so much information in my mind, I write. It’s making use of my analytic and creative side – always asking myself “what if?”

 

TheChroniclesofXannia3_1400

  • What inspires you?

Curiosity. The need to know and the need to be realistic – LOL! I know! I write SFF 😉 While I’m not what you’d call a “hard” SF writer, I do feel an intrinsic need to make things believable… even plausible based on the general construct of the world around us. That means a lot of research on my end. For my Urban Fantasy series I’ve done a ton of research on myth, fairy tale and creatures of the fantastic. There’s a clear knowledge base of the unknown and absurd that I cannot ignore. It’s not factual per-se but it brings a core understanding to what has come before. Now, I’m not trying to simply re-hash what someone else has done before me – no… I see how I can add a twist that won’t cause die-hard fantasy fans a heart attack but instead, make them cock their head like a dog with curiosity.

 

  • What was the most difficult scene you ever wrote? What made it so hard to write?

Wow. You know, I’d love to tell you it was a death or near-death sequence or the moment when Taya broke down at the fact that even her own mother didn’t recognize her, but the honest truth is that I live for those high-emotion scenes. No, for me I found with book one in The Chronicles of Xanna, the transition from “home” to “other” was a challenge to write. It was the manifestation of the “call to action” for Taya, my female heroine. You see, the important stuff was all in my head – the “implied” information that feels so natural to us as the writer. I had to find a way to bring the proper meaning and weight to this moment without being pedantic or leading. I was having trouble finding that balance between what I knew was right and what my editor was telling me should be happening. But I stuck with it, because I agreed with her – it wasn’t there yet. Luckily, by the final draft and with the addition of a new chapter I nailed it 😉

 

  • How do you respond when people ask what you do, then make that face if you say “I’m an author”?

Generally I don’t get “the face” until they ask me who my publisher is and I tell them I’m self-published… Even when I was with my small publisher (for a short stint) that happened. I don’t think the general public has quite embraced the idea that there are many Indie Authors who produce high-quality books; and so for me, “the face” equates to “so you’re not a serious writer then.” It really depends on the person asking as to which response I give back. If it’s a friend or colleague from another field then I’ll take the time to explain. If it’s someone I’ve only met recently then I won’t waste my time – clearly they’ve already made up their mind.

 

  • At what point would you consider yourself “a successful” author?

 

This is a tough one for me to answer but I think, ultimately, it’s when enough readers have discovered me, and buy my books, where I’m make a small profit from my labour (and when I say small, I mean small but better than breaking even). Then, in doing more than simply surviving as an author but actually living and breathing a workable reality.

 

  • Finally, tell us where to go to find you:

I would love to connect with you and your readers on any of the following platforms:

Author Website/Blog – http://mjmoores.com

Facebook – http://facebook.com/AuthorMJMoores

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AuthorMJMoores

Amazon – http://goo.gl/oUS3B9

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/559531

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Thank you so much for inviting me to chat with you today!

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by! Your answers are thought provoking and fun!

Now for a bit of housekeeping. Next Friday is the 25th and apparently there is some sort of huge holiday going on then?? 😀 As such, I’m not going to posting an Author Interview until the following week. Which means….This segment will return to you in 2016!!

Remember, if you would like to be featured in your own Author Interview then you should give me a shout! I can’t wait to hear from you.

Have a wonderful Holiday everyone!

Two Sides to the Story…

The past few weeks have been a terrible time to live in my head…things felt shattered, separated, and even a bit numb. However, the good news is that it sparked another small bout of creativity. Today I thought I would share that creativity with YOU, lucky friends, in the form of two writing prompts. One is from the feminine perspective, while the other is decidedly male.

If you choose to use one or both, please let me know! If you post them somewhere, leave a link so we can go see how you’ve woven them into your own stories!

Feminine Voice Prompt – I have found that sometimes, when I’m feeling scared, shattered, or hurt, that I do not want to be the strong queen. Rather, I would like to be the damsel in distress who is quickly saved by a dashing prince or brave knight. The problem is that my knight in shining armor is often off fighting his own battles.

Male Voice Prompt – Sometimes this knight in shining armor gig just doesn’t seem worth it. I’m off, minding my own business and slaying whatever I’m after when BOOM! I get in trouble for not being their to save the queen when she suddenly turned into a damsel in distress. How in the world was I supposed to know? Now look, my shield had a bite take out of it and my beard is singed.

Author Interview: Melissa Barker-Simpson

Thank you all for joining us here for another fabulous edition of Author Interview Friday! Today it is my great pleasure to welcome to Melissa Barker-Simpson, author of many genres, into our midst. Let’s get this party started!

  • What name do you write under? Is this a pseudonym? Do you use more than one name when you write?

I write under my own name, and a pseudonym. Though all my novels have an element of romance, I write strictly contemporary romance using the pen-name Nat Hobson (which was my great-grandfather’s name).

  • Tell us about the first time you realized that you were an author or were going to be an author.

Probably the moment I received a copy of my first published book in 2008. It was odd seeing my name on the front. It still feels surreal!

  • What genre(s) do you write in, and why?

My current novel is a fantasy, the one before that science fiction. I also have a crime thriller series, which is what I’m working on at the moment. I’ve always been drawn to science fiction. The first novel I wrote as a teenager was sci-fi, though it will probably never see the light of day!

  • What genres are your favorites to read? Why?

That’s a tough one. I read so many different genres now. It used to be science fiction, but I’m delving more into dark fantasy, and I’ve always been a fan of horror; James Herbert, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Clive Barker, being among my favourites. I enjoy travelling to new worlds and sharing the journey with intriguing characters.

  • Tell us about your two all-time favorite characters: 1 that you wrote and 1 that someone else wrote.

(1) I’ll start with a favourite of mine – Barry Fielding. He was only ever supposed to be a minor character, but his inherent charm convinced me to give him a much bigger role! He’s intelligent, and funny, and more complex than I realised. He constantly takes me by surprise. Barry is getting his own book later this year (to be published next year), so you can expect to hear more about him soon.

(2) Jack Reacher springs to mind (by Lee Child), so I’ll go with him. I’m terrible when it comes to choosing favourites, so instead of talking myself out of the answer, I’ll move on! Reacher is a military man; he’s tough, but fair, and highly skilled. I don’t think he goes looking for trouble, but it finds him anyway.

 

  • There is a lot of controversy about allowing books to be made into movies (especially when they cut or change large portions of the plot). Would you be willing for your books/stories to become a movie? Why or why not?

It would be both terrifying and thrilling to see my characters on the big screen. I enjoy it when books are adapted, interpreted for a different medium, and are able to separate themselves (as much as they can) from the original material. I also enjoy when books, or the essence of them – the characters – are adapted for television. I can see the team I created, Morgan and Fairchild, causing havoc with their own series. But it would be great fun.

  • How do you handle writer’s block?

I don’t really suffer from writers block per se. There are times when I’m stuck with a particular scene, or dissatisfied with my work in progress. At those times I take a step back (some would call it avoidance!). I usually work on something else, until the characters draw me back in and the words start to flow again. I always try to write something.

  • What inspires you?

Other writers; bloggers; my friends and family, and people I meet while interpreting. I find inspiration in everyday situations, and find my mind wandering constantly. I feel fortunate to have so many different characters in my head. They inspire me to tell their story, and connect with others.

  • How do you respond when people ask what you do, then make that face if you say “I’m an author”?

If I’m honest, I still say sign language interpreter when I’m asked ‘what I do’. If I mention the writing, I use the word writer, as opposed to author. The question I dread is ‘what do you write’ or, if talking about a specific book, ‘what’s it about?’

  • Finally, tell us where to go to find you please!)

https://booklaunch.io/mbarkersimpson/thefallen

https://booklaunch.io/mbarkersimpson/changingworlds

https://booklaunch.io/mbarkersimpson/sinsofthefather

https://booklaunch.io/mbarkersimpson/handsofevil

https://booklaunch.io/mbarkersimpson/thefifthwatcher

Blog: http://www.mbarkersimpson.wordpress.com

Website: http://www.mbarkersimpson.co.uk

Email: info@mbarkersimpson.co.uk

Twitter handle: @mbarkersimpson

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/melissabarkersimpson

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/mbarkersimpson

Thank you Melissa! What great responses this week!

Remember, if you or someone you know is an author, illustrator, photographer, agent, publisher, or coffee fetcher who would like their own featured interview here, please let me know!

Have a marvelous day!

Dragon on My Neck – For Teachers!

I am very excited to let you all know that, along with writing, I have now started a TPT seller’s page. This page currently includes reviews and quizzes for Barbara Hay’s The Ill-Gotten Catfish, and Tim Tingle’s How I Became a Ghost, as well as Quizzes, Pronunciation, Writing Prompts, and Lesson ideas for the first 3 chapters of Dragon on My Neck. 

While you can find all of these things on my TPT site: HERE, and find the books on Amazon.com: Here, Here, and Here; I have a special offer for you teachers.

I am well aware of how much money we make, and how much out of pocket most teachers spend to make the learning experience more fun and easier for all those involved. So here’s the deal: If you are a teacher looking to purchase one or more classroom copies of Dragon on My Neck, or an entire set of the Stone Dragon Saga, you are invited to contact me here, or message me via our Facebook page Tyree Tomes. I will give you a large discount on the books and, if you would like, will even have them shipped to my house, where I will autograph them for you before sending them on your class.

If you would like to utilize the quizzes, lesson ideas, and suggested vocabulary sheets I have set up, I will also provide those at a large discount for you! I am really not looking to make a fortune off of these things, I just want to get the books into hands that will enjoy and use them, and hopefully learn something in the process!

If you, or someone you know, might be interested, Please let me know! You can look at a few preview pages on TeachersPayTeachers if you’re curious about the set up.

**UPDATE** I forgot to put this in originally but I am willing to visit your classroom, either in person or through Skype/Facetime calls, and discuss writing, ELA, my books, and even the connections with other topics, such as Science or Social Studies. Possible activities include a ‘special’ lesson for me to teach (corresponding to your content area and current lessons of course), writing with the students, discussing books, discussing Dragon on My Neck (or the other books in the series), and so on. I would like to think that this could be considered a great reward for students who work hard or a classroom reward for everyone making a certain percentage on their quarter grades etc.

Thank you and have a marvelous Day!

HERE YE, HERE YE:

By Royal Decree of King Ferdinand of Realta…that precocious Fairy King…and Elizabeth S. Tyree, the woman who writes his stories, I hereby declare the ONE DAY ONLY, MAD DASH Addition of Dragon in My Yard and Dragon on the Green to the Kindle Free Downloads Library.

That’s right ladies and gentlemen, you read that correctly. For TODAY (July 12, 2015) ONLY all 3 of the currently available Stone Dragon Saga books will be ready and waiting for your download!

Remember, check back in HERE to get yourself entered in that contest!

Thank you for everything, I hope you enjoy! Either way, I hope you rate and review.

Free Summer Stories

All three of my Short Story Sundays books will be available for free download on the Kindle App from RIGHT NOW until Midnight Sunday (That’s 3 full days only folks!)

You can find the Short Story Sunday group, along with the rest of my available work, on my author’s page at:

Tyree Tomes Friday

I want to take this opportunity to remind you that our Spiritual book department (headed by Dr. Wilson Jay Tyree) is giving away e-reader copies regularly. In fact, the true purpose of his books being on Kindle is to give them away and so far Dr. Tyree has managed to pass out 850 digital copies of these books for this fiscal year. Our goal is 2,000 copies this year, so here’s where you come in! You can visit Dr. Tyree’s available book selection at amazon.com/author/wilsontyree and keep up with his free give aways by ‘liking’ our Tyree Tomes page on Facebook. One more thing, if you are a reader in Italy please download something of his! He keeps moaning and groaning that he hasn’t broken in to the market their yet. Thank you!

 

I should also mention here that I am still out there, plugging away at novel #4 and waiting on some new reviews to come in for the other 3 in that series. If you haven’t gotten the books or need to remind yourself of them, my author page is found at amazon.com/author/elizabethtyree and will link you to my four available books. I am, as I said, still awaiting the reviews or blog comments to hear what my new readers think of characters and plotlines, so I can’t tell you much about my popularity right now (hint hint *wink*). As with my father, information on my own giveaways and contests can also be found via Tyree Tomes.

Thank you for all of your support and the time it takes you to read our work. I hope that we continue to earn your readership and loyalty, and that many blessings follow you today.