Friday, April 11, 2014

Faery Realms - Ten Magical Titles *AVAILABLE SOON*

FAERY REALMS - TEN MAGICAL TITLES

A New Book Bundle Available Soon where Ebooks are Sold!




Hello Readers!
 
It has been so very long since I've posted on my blog, and I must apologize for that.  These past several months have been busier than ever, and I've been working on two major projects that have taken up much of my time.  The first project, of course, was finishing up Lorehnin, the latest novel in the Otherworld series.  Lorehnin is now available where ebooks are sold and I'm working on getting the paperback ready to go.  You can read an excerpt on my Otherworld Trilogy page and the links to where you can purchase Lorehnin can be found on my Reading Guide
page.

 
My next announcement is about my latest collaboration project. I have teamed up with nine other fae-themed writers to put together a brand-new, mega bundle of faery books!  Faery Realms will be available next week and includes authors Tara Maya, Terry Spear, Alexia Purdy, Anthea Sharp, Rachel Morgan, India Drummond, Dana Michelle Burnett, Julia Crane, Talia Jagar.
 
Ehriad will be part of this bundle, so if you've been meaning to get around to reading those scenes from Faelorehn told from Cade's perspective, now's your chance to do so and get nine other titles for just $0.99!  Faery Realms will be on sale for a limited time only, so be sure to look for it this weekend and early into next week.
 
 FAERY REALMS: TEN MAGICAL TITLES (Multi-Author Boxed Set, novels & novellas)
*Purchased individually, these books cost over $15 – List price $9.99 – Save 90% – Now on sale for only .99 cents!*
 
Enter the magical realms of Faery with these ten award-winning, bestselling fantasy authors. Each title in this sampler collection offers a new and different world full of mystery, love, and most of all, fae enchantment~
 
Over 1400 pages of stories, with *exclusive* titles from Alexia Purdy, Tara Maya, and Anthea Sharp! Together, these books have over 250 5-star reviews on Amazon and 150 5-star reviews on B&N
 
~Best for ages 13 and up~

THE FAERIE GUARDIANRACHEL MORGAN
Kickbutt faerie Violet is about to graduate as the top guardian trainee of her class, but when an assignment goes wrong and the human boy she’s meant to be protecting follows her back into the fae realm, a dangerous plot is set in motion. (298 pages)


THE WITHERING PALACE (A Dark Faerie Tale 0.1) – ALEXIA PURDY *Exclusive Content*
Untold darkness rules the Unseelie realm of the Land of Faerie. Hidden in this vast area, Aveta, the future queen of the Unseelie Army, perfects her gifts over lifetimes. Learning that magic isn't the only way to manipulate the world around her, this naive girl grows into a woman of strength and cunning, ultimately becoming one of the most feared leaders in Faerie.


DARK PROMISEJULIA CRANE & TALIA JAGER
Rylie’s life is turned upside down when a stranger knocks on the door, claiming to be her real mother. Soon she will have to face the terrifying fact that not only is she a faery, but one that has been promised to the dark prince. (240 pages)


FEYLAND: THE FIRST ADVENTUREANTHEA SHARP
High-tech gaming and ancient magic collide when a computer game opens a gateway to the treacherous Realm of Faerie. Jennet Carter never thought hacking into her dad's new epic-fantasy sim-game would be so exciting... or dangerous. But behind the interface, dark forces lie in wait, leading her toward a battle that will test her to her limits and cost her more than she ever imagined. (65 pages)
 

BLOOD FAERIEINDIA DRUMMOND
Unjustly sentenced to death, Eilidh ran—away from faerie lands to the streets of Perth, Scotland. When she discovers a human murdered by one of her own kind, she must choose: flee, or learn to tap into the forbidden magic that cost her everything. (264 pages)


HOOD & FAE (Daughters of Red Riding Hood) – TARA MAYA *Exclusive Content*
Roxy Hood is just trying to make ends meet to pay her mom’s medical bills. Sure, Roxy takes on some jobs of, ahem, dubious integrity, like pretending that she can speak to the dead. But hey, that’s harmless. It's not like a malignant ghoul is going to attack her. Or a sexy billionaire will show up trying to buy her red jacket. Or a werewolf will attack Granny Rose. Because that would be whacked.

 
THE DARK FAETERRY SPEAR  USA Today Bestselling AuthorAlicia can recognize the mischievous fae when they show up to "play" with the humans. Only now she's faced with one highly annoyed dark fae and she's certain he knows the truth about her. She can see him, which means her life is forfeit. (184 pages)

EHRIAD – JENNA ELIZABETH JOHNSON
Cade MacRoich is Ehríad, an outcast of Eile. While hunting Otherworldly monsters in the mortal world, he discovers Meghan, a young woman whose magic seems very familiar …

Three scenes from Faelorehn – Book One of the Otherworld Trilogy, told from Cade’s perspective. (84 pages)

ONCE (Gypsy Fairy Tale)DANA MICHELLE BURNETT
Harmony's life will never be the same... Every day is just as normal, and just as boring, as the one before it... And then the Carnival comes to town. Suddenly, Harmony’s small town world is overtaken by the handsome Kieran and she discovers that not all fairy tales are pretend. (140 pages)

FAE HORSE: A Faery Tale – ANTHEA SHARP *Exclusive content*
Accused as witch, Eileen flees for her life. When a strange black horse appears, her only hope of escape, she mounts it—to discover the cost of her ride may be more than any mortal could bear. (20 pages)


SELECT REVIEWS:

“It was fast paced, entertaining, witty, and even swoon-worthy at times. Rachel’s characters were fun to follow, and Violet is sarcastic and strong and a force to be reckoned with—everything I love in a female lead.” –Cover2CoverBlog review of The Faerie Guardian

“Turmoil, heartache and unexpected romance - all three are immersed into this tale of the Fae.”— Craving YA Reads review of Dark Promise

“The plot was fast paced and interesting … I can’t recommend the rest of the trilogy enough.” –The Mad Reviewer on Feyland: The First Adventure

"All in all, this is hands down one of the most unique Fae stories I have ever read before- India Drummond has truly created a beautiful world." –Avery’s  Book Nook review of Blood Faerie

“Enter the World of the Fae: Magical worlds aren't just for young adults, I enjoyed this tale and look forward to reading the other books in this series.” –ParaNormal Romance Reviews  of The Dark Fae

“I thought this was a great, quick summer read! Great story combined with bits of mythology and Irish folklore. I read the entire trilogy in a few days.” –Kristin David on Ehriad

"Once I started this book I could not put it down, I had to know what happened next." ~ Amazing Book Come To Life review of Once (Gypsy Fairy Tale)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Twelve Days of an Indie Author's Christmas: Year 3

It is becoming a tradition of mine to post this every year around Christmas, for both my fellow indie author friends and for my readers, just for fun ;).  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Winter Solstice, Festivus, Hanukkah or any of the other wintertime holidays, I hope this list brightens your day a little :).

The Twelve Days of an Indie Author’s Christmas

On the First Day of Christmas, my readers gave to me:
A fan letter with a smiley :)

On the Second Day of Christmas, my readers gave to me:
Two new blog followers

On the Third Day of Christmas, my readers gave to me:
Three website views

On the Fourth Day of Christmas, my readers gave to me:
Four compliments about my series

On the Fifth Day of Christmas, my readers gave to me:
A five star review!

On the Sixth Day of Christmas, my readers gave to me:
Six books shared with friends

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, my readers gave to me:
Seven likes on Facebook

On the Eighth Day of Christmas, my readers gave to me:
Eight Twitter followers

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, my readers gave to me:
Nine brand new readers

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, my readers gave to me:
Ten adds on Goodreads

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, my readers gave to me:
Eleven friend requests

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, my readers gave to me:
Twelve ebook sales

Monday, December 9, 2013

Lorehnin Cover Reveal and First Chapter!

Well, here it is!  The long-awaited cover reveal for the next Otherworld installment: Lorehnin.  I just read through the first chapter for the second time, and will be continuing with the rest in the upcoming days and weeks before sending it off to my editor and eventually my beta readers (so basically, don't be too terribly shocked should you stumble upon a typo or several).

Lorehnin tells Robyn's story, almost two years after graduating high school and saying farewell to her friend Meghan (whom you should all know from Faelorehn, Dolmarehn and Luathara ;)).  Robyn leaves her old life behind and becomes a college student, determined to make something of herself.  Unfortunately, her connection to the Otherworld didn't end with Meghan's retreat into the magical realm, and her neat little plans for the future will be tested as both enemies and allies from Eile invade her world . . . As you can tell, I still haven't written the blurb yet, but hopefully you get the gist :).

And now I present to you both the cover and the first chapter of Lorehnin.  Enjoy!!

-J.E. Johnson

 
 
Chapter One
Disturbance
I didn't hate my job at the Green Tea Leaf.  Really, I didn't.  But some evenings even waitressing in this little hidden gem of San Luis Obispo could be unbearable.  It was Thursday night, which meant the streets were crawling with people at the farmers' market, and it was rush week.  Every last perky sorority girl and conceited frat guy was out prowling the masses pressing all the young, impressionable people they saw into uncomfortable conversations complete with big, fake, bleached-toothed smiles and forced enthusiasm.  And for some ungodly reason, one of these girls was pestering me.
Okay, there were two things very wrong with this situation.  First, I was in no way, shape or form impressionable.  In fact, I think I was born with my opinions already intact.  Yup, I'd been forcing my independent nature on the world even before I could talk.  And secondly, anyone with half a brain could tell, on looks alone, that I was not sorority girl material.  My black hair was more than a dozen shades away from being platinum blond and the streak that was currently dyed electric violet only accentuated that fact.  Furthermore, if the small assortment of silver hoops in each of my ears didn't scream rebel, then my lovely little collection of tattoos sure did.  They had been a birthday present to me, from me, as well as a nice way to remind myself that, thankfully, I no longer lived under the tyranny of my rigid, stodgy foster parents.
That's right, the day I turned eighteen they'd met me in the living room with all my bags packed and ready to go.
"If you continue to live this ridiculous lifestyle of yours and refuse to accept our rules, then we can no longer support you," my father had said as my mother watched on in stone silence.
At least the woman had had the decency to look regretful.  Fortunately, I'd already enrolled in classes at Cuesta, the local community college which was much more affordable than the better-known Cal Poly, and had narrowed down a few possible apartments in San Luis.  Okay, they were more like economy sized closets than anything else, but they would suit my simple needs and that was all my meager student loan could afford anyway.  Finding a job had been tougher.  Just when my stubborn insistence to keep face started to falter, I'd stumbled upon the Green Tea Leaf and the help wanted sign.  It had been a gift from the gods of outcast orphans.
A bark of laughter from one of the tables snapped me back to the present and the grinning blond hovering in front of the serving counter.  I arched one of my eyebrows, the one not pierced, and drew in a deep breath that I hoped would encourage patience.
"So, I think you'd be a wonderful addition to Delta Sigma Lambda," the bright-eyed blond chattered.  "Here's a flier with a list of our upcoming activities."
Gritting my teeth and trying not to be rude, I reached out a hand and took the neon pink paper and skimmed it as the girl studied my black and silver nail polish and equally dark eyeliner.  For the first time since entering the Tea Leaf her lips twitched in uncertainty.
That's right Barbie, you picked the wrong victim.
My eyes raced across the list of vomit-inducing social events.  A barbecue with one of the frat houses, a themed pool party where the guests were encouraged to dress as movie stars from the fifties, a scavenger hunt that included visiting all the bars in town . . .
Ugh.  Not a single one of these "Nights of Fun" appealed to me.  I sniffed and snapped the flier back at the girl.  She actually squeaked and jumped an inch.  Time to turn on the famous Robyn Dunbarre charm I’d often used in high school.
"Thanks, but no thanks.  I'm a neo-pagan and I prefer to spend my evenings sacrificing small animals and chanting to the gods while drinking blood and dancing naked around a bonfire.  Unless you have some of those activities planned, I don't think I'll be joining you."
The girl's blue eyes widened and her jaw dropped open.
I simply crossed my arms and smiled as she made a beeline for the exit.
"Dude, Robyn," Jonathon, one of my coworkers, whispered, "I know Margie thinks you're the long lost troubled niece she never had, but one of these days she's going to hear one of your snide remarks and then you'll be busted."
I snorted and tossed my hair, cut shorter than it had been in high school.  Margie was the owner of the Green Tea Leaf.  A sweet, middle-aged woman who enjoyed a diverse work force and supplying the local college kids with something other than fast food and alcoholic drinks to keep them energized.  The Tea Leaf was an organic cafe as well as a gift and book shop, and much of its wares and fare leaned toward the more eccentric types, such as myself.
"You know, what I said was only half true," I responded with a sniff.  I turned and regarded Jonathon, his brown eyes skeptical behind tasteful, wire-rimmed glasses.  "I don't really dance naked or perform animal sacrifices or drink blood."
"Too bad," he muttered as he got back to making a cappuccino for one of our patrons.  The machine hissed, blasting steam into the decanter of milk, almost covering up his next words.  Unfortunately, I heard him.  "I wouldn't mind seeing that . . ."
"Jonathon!" I gasped, smacking him with a towel.  "There are rules in the work place about sexual harassment you know!"
Jonathon’s eyes widened in shock and I could have sworn he would've fainted had I not smiled and said, "I'm kidding!  I know you didn't mean it."
He cleared his throat and finished up with the drink he was preparing.  "Sorry," he muttered, trying to recover from his embarrassment.
I reached out a hand and squeezed his thin arm.  He towered over me, but then again, most people did.  Jonathon, however, was a beanpole: all height and no muscle.  And he was probably the only friend I had in the world at the moment, except for Margie and Kelly, the other girl who worked here in the cafe.
When Jonathon gave me a sheepish smile, I turned back to my work.  Now that the sorority recruiter was long gone, I went back to stocking the shelves.  Most people loathed this part of working in the service industry, but to me it was a nice reprieve from dealing with the public, especially if we had recently received a new shipment of books.  As the smooth new age music played in the background and mingled with the sputtering of the coffee machines and the chatter of warm, conversational voices, I let my thoughts wander.  Yes, I only had my colleagues to call my true friends, but that was because those I had known in high school had either gone off to college far away from here or, in the case of my friend Meghan, had gone to live in a different world entirely, and I mean that literally.
I paused in the process of placing a box of organic loose leaf tea onto one of the shelves and drew my hand down to touch the cool metal band around my neck.  The necklace, well, torque technically, had been a gift from Meghan and her husband, Cade.  I gave a short snort.  It was still hard to think of Meghan as happily married to the hottest guy I'd ever seen.  It was even harder to imagine she was living in the Otherworld, a place I'd been semi-obsessed with for years.  All throughout high school I'd been the one in our little group of friends that had been into Wicca and anything pagan.  Of course I had never really believed the Otherworld existed.  To me it was more of a spiritual place one might be able to reach in the afterlife.  Turned out I was wrong.
"Robyn, could you help me at the counter?" Jonathon called from up front.
I coughed and set the box of tea down.
"Yeah, sure!" I answered, brushing my hands down the apron I wore.
I glanced at the clock on my way through the small dining area.  Ten more minutes until the end of my shift.  Ahhh, bliss.
* * *
Downtown San Luis Obispo was still crowded when I left work.  There were always people out and about after dark, but with the new school year just around the corner, college students old and new were returning back to campus and settling in as they awaited the first day of class.  A large clump of young students, made obvious by all the Cal Poly gear they wore, stood in my way.  Gritting my teeth, I hiked my purse further up onto my shoulder, wrapped my arms around my torso and ducked my head, ready to burrow my way through them like a bull.  I managed to escape the press of fresh-faced incoming freshman with nary a bruise nor shout of irritation thrown my way and soon I was enjoying the privilege of personal space as the crowd thinned.
The night was chilly, but not unbearable.  Loosening up the death grip on myself, I glanced up at the banners welcoming the students back to school, their gold and green colors warped in the orange glow of streetlights.  Cal Poly was the local state college, a good school but way too expensive for my budget.  Cuesta was a better fit and my student loans took care of most of it.  What the loans didn't cover I had to work for, hence my job at the Tea Leaf.  I was all on my own after all, no proud parents willing to sacrifice some of their spending money so their daughter could improve herself by earning a better education.  I guess if I fit into their image of a perfect child, my foster parents would lend me the money I needed, but there was no way in hell I was going to change for them.  Not because I was stubborn or that I thought their own beliefs were ridiculous.  That wasn't the case, though they would never believe me if I told them so.  They thought I was a lost soul and the only way for me to be saved was to cast aside my 'sinful and heathen ways'.  Unfortunately, that's who I was.  I knew deep down in my soul that their way of life wasn't the one for me.  I only wished they could see it too.
Sighing, I tossed my hair over my shoulder and turned down a familiar alley.  My house was only six blocks from the Green Tea Leaf, but that distance was cut in half if I took a few short cuts and I had left my bike at home this morning.  Okay, technically it wasn't my house.  I rented out the basement apartment from the four girls that lived in the main building.  The space was small, but I made it work.  I had a bathroom with a shower, a spacious living room and a kitchenette off to the side.  I'd taken down the doors to the closet to convert it into a bedroom of sorts.  My twin bed fit inside the alcove perfectly and a set of drapes closed it off from the living room.  Heck, it wasn't a four star hotel but it was home.
I took one more street past one of the local high schools and spilled out onto a quiet street decorated with a variety of Victorian era houses, all of them in different states of decay.  None of the buildings were completely derelict, but a few of them could definitely use some fresh paint and a garden renovation.  A common problem in a college town.
The house I lived in was toward the end of the street, a pink, two-storey structure complete with lacy molding around the windows and a covered front porch.  My roommates, well, housemates really, must have been throwing a party because the door was wide open, the lights were on and rap music was blaring from the windows, making the panes of glass rattle inside their frames.  Three guys holding red plastic cups, undoubtedly full of beer, laughed and conversed on the path leading from the gate.  I cringed as I passed by them since every other word of the conversation was an f-bomb.  Lovely.  Made one question a society's education system.
Fortunately, the three vocabulary-challenged party-goers didn't notice me as I bypassed the porch and headed for the side of the house.  The door to my basement apartment was sunken into the side of the building and framed by an arbor of clematis.  The flowering vine, along with the side garden space, was what made me choose this apartment above all the others when I'd first looked.  There had been a few more that had extra space in them for the same rent, but none of them featured a place for planting flowers, herbs and vegetables, many of which were currently on the verge of being ripe.  I didn't hang out with my Wiccan friends from high school anymore, but I still needed that connection with the earth and growing things.  Breathing in the muted scent of flowers and spicy herbs, I let my purse drop from my shoulder.
I dug around for my house key in the semi-dark, gritting my teeth against the pounding music and continued crude conversation on the porch above me.
A rustling in the bushes at the edge of the yard drew my attention away from my task the way a gunshot spooked a horse.  The house sat not too far away from the dead end of the road, where the land sloped downward into a small ravine.  A seasonal creek cut through the gap and ran behind the house.  Above the creek an old road bridge stretched across the breach, creating a popular campground for some of the homeless people who called San Luis Obispo home.  In my experience, most of them were harmless and usually kept to themselves.  Unfortunately, there were still a handful who were dangerous.  Drug use and mental illness combined with desperation often stripped people of their humanity.  I hoped that the disturbance I'd heard just a few feet away wasn't someone looking for an easy victim.
Whatever had been moving in the bushes stopped and I quickly got back to my task of hunting for my keys.  Probably just another stray cat or dog . . .  A moment later my hand swept across something hard and metallic.  Aha!  There they were!
Before I could so much as pull my keys free, however, something crashed through the shrubs clogging up the end of the street about fifty feet away.  I jumped in surprise and dropped my bag.  One of the homeless men who frequented the campsite beyond the end of our street stumbled onto the pavement, his arms and threadbare jacket wrapped around something.  I squinted my eyes and tried to make out his features in the faint glow of the street lamp.  Despite his dirty clothes and shaggy hair and beard, I recognized him.  Jerry, an older man who had been living on the streets probably as long as I'd been alive.  I had talked to him from time to time and discovered that he was one of the kinder people who shared our city.  In fact, seeing him now, clearly trying to escape while hiding something, worried me.  As far as I knew he wasn't into the drug scene and he didn't waste what little money he managed to scrape together on alcohol.  He did, however, have a soft spot for the local stray dogs and cats, and that, at least, I could sympathize with.
Forgetting my desire to get inside and catch up on my favorite TV shows with a nice mug of tea, I turned back toward the street and headed to the edge of our fence.
"Jerry?" I called out.
At first Jerry didn't hear me.  He looked pretty distressed and my concern spiked.
"Jerry!" I tried again.
This time he jumped and turned to consider me.  The fear and anguish in his eyes melted away, but perhaps that was just the tears gathering in their corners.
"They got the rest of the litter," he rasped in that gravelly voice of his.
I furrowed my brow.
"What?"
"They got the litter, and the mama cat."
Carefully, he pulled back his jacket and drew his arm out, two tiny kittens in his huge hand, both pale in color.  Suddenly, a bad feeling fell over me.
"Who has the other kittens?" I asked.
"Them punks who come down and try to take my Maggie."
Maggie was his dog, another stray he had taken in to keep him company.  What meager change he managed to coax out of the kindness of strangers he mostly spent on food for her.
"Wh-what do they want to do with them?" I murmured.
I had moved beyond the fence and was now much closer to Jerry.
"They is in some kind of cult.  They, they . . ."
He trailed off, but he didn't need to finish.  My heart dropped into my stomach and my skin began to prickle.  I had a pretty good idea what kind of cult he was talking about.
"Jerry, stay up here, I'm going to go check it out."
He shook his head vigorously, but I pulled out my cell phone.  "I'm just going to look.  Maybe it isn't what you think.  And here's my phone.  If it looks dangerous, I'll come back up here and call the police."
Jerry pulled the two kittens back in close and shuffled off to the side of the road.  Taking that as a sign to proceed, I headed toward the end of the street.  Yes, it was unwise of me to approach a gang of sadists who were probably getting their kicks by torturing a cat and her kittens, but the raw anger that boiled up in me refused to let it go.  I doubted a petit girl of five foot two could intimidate them into finding a less cruel hobby, but I had to try.  I had my waspish personality to arm myself with, after all.
When I reached the end of the street, I could just pick out the low voices of a few people muttering.  No, not muttering, chanting.  That was odd.  Most bored teenagers who took up animal cruelty in groups thought their actions were so hilarious.  I expected cruel laughter, not soft chanting.  Feeling a little bolder, I squeezed my way past branches and leaves and had to brace myself a few times as the rudimentary trail shifted downward.  A minute or so later I spotted the site where many of the homeless camped, a cleared out patch of land tucked beneath the street bridge and above the shallow creek.  What I saw next made me draw in a sharp breath.  Five figures, all dressed in black hooded sweatshirts with the hoods up and cinched tight around their faces, stood in a circle.  In the middle of the circle there appeared to be a small fire pit constructed of stone.  Instead of flames crawling around inside the stone circle there was something else . . . kittens.  A harsh yowl from the bushes told me where the mother was.  My heart clenched and I gritted my teeth.  Poor things.
The chanting stopped and I returned my eyes to those surrounding the fire pit.  The lighting down here wasn't that great, but there was enough streaming down from the road bridge above to make out a few details.  Their sweatshirts were all the same, black with a large, silver reverse pentagram emblazoned on the front.  Someone pulled out a cigarette lighter and a clump of something that looked like dried sage.  And that's when I figured out what I was dealing with.  Wonderful.  A group of neo-pagans who preferred to focus on destroying the gifts of nature instead of rejoicing in them.  I was ninety-nine percent certain that these lunatics weren't really pagan at all.  They just used the label as a cover for their carnage while making the rest of us look bad.
Silver flashed and I realized that one of them had a knife.  Okay, things were getting serious real fast.  Time to climb back up to the street and call the cops.  I didn't want these sick bastards seeing me.  I shifted my feet so I could turn around and head back up the trail.  Unfortunately, my movement caused a large rock to come loose from its resting place and slide down the hill.
The five dark figures forgot about the squirming kittens and turned to stare directly at me.  Well, at least I thought they were staring at me.  Hard to tell with those dark hoods pulled up over their heads.  Not bothering with stealth, I bolted forward, digging my feet into the loose sand of the steep trail and using the roots and branches on either side of me to heave myself upward.  The loud crashing of breaking foliage behind me announced their pursuit and my heart kicked up its pace.  Would these people be bold enough to murder me?  Did they want to risk being caught by the police?  Did they care?
Panting, I pushed myself harder.  Almost to the top of the trail, almost . . .  A hand grabbed my shoulder and I caught a quick glimpse of a tattoo between the thumb and index finger.  A skull with goat horns and sharp, elongated canine teeth.  The symbol was familiar to me, but before I was able to recall anything else about it, the fingers tightened, digging into my skin and I felt myself being yanked backward.  I couldn't freeze.  If I froze, then these people would have me and goodness knows what they'd do to me.  Of course, I couldn't help the small cry that escaped my throat either, but in the end I think it helped me.  My attacker eased up a tiny bit and I took advantage of the moment by lifting my leg and kicking back as hard as I could.  My foot made contact with something soft, the person's stomach or groin.  I was hoping for the latter.  Either way, his hand dropped from my shoulder and I could hear him falling back and crashing into his friends.
I dug my toes into the steep trail like a mountain goat and pushed with all my strength.  By the time I stumbled out of the brush and onto the street, I was shaking and nearly stumbled over my own feet.
Jerry came shuffling over, still holding the kittens.  "You okay?"
I gasped and continued to head further away from the end of the road.  Nodding, I breathed, "I think so.  I'm going to call the police, though.  Not sure if the kittens got away.  Hopefully I distracted them long enough."
Jerry looked nervous and I couldn't blame him.  The police officers might push him out of the place he called home.  I really didn't want to go through the hassle of filing a report, but maybe it wouldn’t come to that.  I pulled out my cell phone and dialed the number.  When I got someone on the line, I told them that I saw a group of people going down into the homeless camp near my house and that I thought I saw them carrying knives.  Not a complete lie, but it might encourage the cops to look into it.  Hopefully that would scare the bastards away and I wouldn't have to get any more involved than I already was.
I hung up and moved closer to my basement apartment.  If those idiots wanted to come after me, they'd have a hard time doing anything with the party raging in the house.
Five minutes later a police car pulled around the corner making my roommates' guests scatter like cockroaches.  The car rolled up alongside the sidewalk and I stepped out of my basement room.  Jerry had long since disappeared and I'd decided to play it safe by locking my doors.  I had spent the time it took the cops to get here thinking about that tattoo.  Back when I was still regularly attending outings with my Wiccan friends, they had warned me about a small gang around town who liked to dabble in black magic.  They called themselves the Noctyrnum and frequently practiced animal sacrifice.  And it was people like them that made ultra-religious people like my foster parents equate "pagan" with "devil worshipper".  And that tattoo on my attacker's hand was the spitting image of the small, black symbols I'd seen painted in random places throughout San Luis.
"Noctyrnum," Claire, the founding member of our group, had said with a grim expression.  "Do not mess with these guys.  They make the wannabe vampire crowd look like little girls having a tea party."
That had been over a year ago, right after I’d moved up here and enrolled at Cuesta.  At first I had been a regular member of Clair’s pagan group, Earth Bound, but eventually school and my job got in the way.  Gradually, my attendance tapered off until I stopped going altogether.  It had been three months since I'd last made it to a meeting and as I thought about that tattoo and what I'd say to the police, I realized just how much I'd missed going.  Maybe it was time to get back in touch.
Sighing, I walked down the narrow strip of concrete that stretched from my door to the sidewalk, my senses on high alert for any sounds coming from the bushes at the end of the street.  The window of the police car rolled down as I approached.
"Were you the one who called in gang activity in this area?" the officer asked.
I nodded.  "At the end of the street."  I pointed to where the asphalt came to an end some fifty yards away.  "A group of young adults dressed in black and wearing hoods went down that way.  I thought I saw one or two of them with a knife and I know that some homeless people sleep down there sometimes.  I was afraid they were planning on hurting some of them."
The officer turned his head and said something to his partner, then looked back at me.
"We'll check it out.  You can go back inside now."
"Thank you," I said as they turned off their car and started to clamber out.
Once back in the relative safety of my apartment, I put a kettle of water on the stove and prepared a pot of tea.  While I waited for the water to boil, I pulled my curtains to the side and watched as the officers' flashlight beams disappeared down the trail.  Good.  That should scare them off, at least for tonight.  If I was lucky, that would be the last I'd ever see or hear of them in this area again.
 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A New Post at Last and Title Reveal for the Next Otherworld Novel!

Hello wonderful world of readers!

Finally!  I am able to get onto my blog and get some posts written :P.  The reason I've been so absent of late is because one, my old laptop decided to stop functioning properly (could not access my blog to add posts to save my life) and two, I've been very busy with writing and writing events.  So, first off I think I'll start with a recap of the past month or so.

The Vegas Valley Festival of Books was not what I'd call a huge success, but it was a small book festival and I met some interesting and wonderful people while there.  Also, I got to see Las Vegas for the first time and I have to say, it was pretty awesome.  I can see myself going back again someday; maybe to next year's festival ;).

Secondly, for those of you who don't follow me on Facebook or Twitter, Ghalien is up on all the sites where ebooks are sold (Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, iBooks, Sony and Kobo) and is also available from Amazon as a paperback book.  I'll be working on getting a link up on my sidebar.  Ghalien ended up being a novel-length book and a good chunk of it strictly consists of Cade's adventures during the summer between Faelorehn and Dolmarehn while he's away from Meghan.  I also delve deeper into Enorah's past in this one and you also get to meet a few new characters (one of them will be playing a pretty significant role in the next Otherworld novel told from Robyn's point of view . . .). 

Ah, and about that next novel . . . For so long I've been calling it "Robyn's story", even though I've had a title for it for some time now.  Perhaps I'm a little reluctant to share because Ghalien took so much longer than I thought it would to publish, and you were left with the title and cover image and no book in the foreseeable future.  I feel, however, that I'm ready to reveal the title for Robyn's story, if not the cover image (although I have that done as well ;) ).  With that being said, the title for Robyn's story and the next Otherworld novel will be Lorehnin.  For those of you who have already read Ghalien, you might have some ideas about what to expect.  For those of you who haven't read Ghalien, now might be a good time to start :).

As of right now, Lorehnin is somewhere in the 96,000 word count range, though that could change drastically as I tie up all the loose ends.  And yes, I'm getting close to the end, but it may take a while to read through and edit, so I plead for your patience.

With that being said, I'd like to spend a little time talking about my decision to take part in NaNoWriMo.  For those of you who know what I'm talking about, no explanation is needed, but for those who do not, feel free to read on.

National Novel Writing Month (a.k.a. NaNoWriMo)

November is National Novel Writing Month and it is a time of year for writers, newbies and pros alike, to sit down and get some serious authoring done.  Although I've known about it for quite some time, I've never taken part, maybe because of the way I write.  I usually go through spurts, where I might write 10,000 words in one week and then write nothing for the next one.  NaNoWriMo challenges writers to type 50,000 words in thirty days, so I was a bit leery about signing up.  This year, however, my local writing group encouraged me to do so, and so far I've managed to keep up.

Originally, I mapped out an entirely new project for NaNo, but that quickly went by the wayside as my other current projects - most notably the manuscript for Lorehnin - (and some other books that have been sitting on the back burner) insisted on attention.  So, I've been using NaNoWriMo to finish up this next Otherworld novel and to add some substance to my other books.  I'm also hoping that I'll be able to include the fourth Oescienne book in this pile as well, but no new plot twists have come to mind yet.

So as you can see, I've been quite busy.  I have a few events coming up, including the Tucson Festival of Books in the spring, and I'm going to try and get a booth at FaerieCon West in Seattle, which will take place in February, though plans for that have yet to be solidified.

I hope I'll be able to post more now that I have gotten past my technology glitch, and I hope to have Lorehnin out to you as soon as possible.  As always, thank you for all of your support and until next time, happy reading!

-J.E. Johnson

Monday, October 14, 2013

Author Spotlight: Interview with Melissa Crowe

 
1. Quickly, give us the title and genre of your book and a 30-word or less tagline:

Journey, The Beast Within novellas #3.

It is Urban Fantasy. Ian is summoned to the Otherworld by the Goddess Danu, but Karina won’t let him go without a fight. Would you travel to the ends of the earth for the one you love?

2. Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?

The NA market is my target audience. I had never heard of the Tuatha De Danann before and I have shaken up Celtic mythology with my own little twists. So if you are looking for something different, then The Beast Within novellas will appeal to you.

3. How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

The Beast Within represents discovering things about yourself that you didn’t know existed. When you have a life changing event you will find an inner strength and unleash your ‘inner beast.’

4. Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?

I have a friend of a friend who has a photography business. She has never done book covers before and was willing to help me out so we work together.


I tell her what I am thinking of and she comes back with exactly that. I try to tie in a scene from the book that appeals to me, to represent the cover.


5. Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

Karina is my favourite, she is kick ass. I love strong powerful women.

6. How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?

Fintan. He was introduced towards the end of Journey, but he will be a larger character in the coming novella’s. He is arrogant and pompous and will be a real antagonist in book 4.

7. If you could change ONE thing about your novel, what would it be?  Why?

Wow what a question! I guess I would show a little more of Karina’s character in book 1. Some of the reviews did point out that she is a little docile, given the life changing information she has dropped on her.

8. Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:

My series explain lycanthropes as a religious curse. I know there are different theories on what they are, but that is the quirky twist I am taking on it.

9. What other books are similar to your own?  What makes them alike?

If I am being completely honest, I have never read any werewolf or fairy books. Everything from this series is from my own imagination. I’m sure there would be other stories similar to mine, but just wouldn’t know of any. If any readers can tell me that would be great, I’d love to have a read.

10. Do you have any unique talents or hobbies?

My five year old son has made up a superhero for himself. He calls it Super Giraffe, and I am his honorary side kick. I am Super Mum and my super power is baking muffins to throw at people. I’m not sure if I should take this as an insult to my cooking, but that is really the only unique talent I have.
 
11. How can we contact you or find out more about your books?

Facebook

Goodreads

Title: The Beast Within

Add on Goodreads!

Amazon - Kindle or Paperback

Smashwords

Title: Haunted

Add on Goodreads!

Amazon - Kindle or Paperback

Smashwords

Title: Journey

Add on Goodreads!

Amazon- Kindle or Paperback

Smashwords

12. What can we expect from you in the future?

I am working on book 3 from The Ivory Series, my NA vampire stories.
Then I will start book 4 of The Beast Within novellas.


13. What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Reviews are really important, it helps people ‘stumble’ across you. You can also connect with me on facebook and stay in touch with updates.

14. Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?

I never really thought about how much work goes into writing a book until I actually did it.

First you need an idea, then you need to research the topic, write, re-write, then write some more.
Cover ideas, marketing, publicity, networking, editing, releasing, all while juggling home life!

I have two young kids and my husband and I both work. So finding the balance is hard. Don’t ask me how I do it, because to be honest I don’t really know. I just get it done.
Writing is not a 9-5 job, it’s a 24 hour one because idea’s will come to you in the strangest of places.

So be prepared to work hard.

15. Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I’d like to thank you for giving me this great opportunity. Also a big thanks to all my fans, without their support in promoting me I wouldn’t be here.


16. And now, before you go, how about a snippet from your book that is meant to intrigue and tantalize us:

The car was dangerously silent as it sped south through the countryside. Karina’s eyes didn’t move from Aedan’s silhouette as he concentrated on the road ahead. Lines of worry were forming around his eyes. In the back with her, Ian and Lorcan drifted in and out of consciousness as Lakeyn drove. How dare he order me around, she thought, and what exactly did he mean by her and Ian meeting our fate?

“Are you going to speak to me or continue to throw visual daggers at me?” He asked turning around.

“Let’s get one thing straight. You don’t order me around.”

“If you weren’t hell bent of trying to get yourself killed then I wouldn’t have to.”

Karina’s mouth dropped open. “I’m not trying to get myself killed!”

Aedan raised his eyebrows. “In the last few hours you have attempted to swim across the North Channel through a swarm of Lion’s Mane jellyfish, tried to slit your wrists, went toe to toe with a lycanthrope and wanted to run into the night, on the full moon, looking for a Guardian.”

She crossed her arms over her chest and scoffed. “You should have been with me for the last few weeks then.”

He shook his head and laughed. “You are like no Tuatha De Danann I have ever met. I’ll give you that.”

“Until a year ago I hadn’t even heard of the Danann, so excuse me if I don’t conform to protocol.”

Lakeyn let out a deep belly laugh and Aedan joined him. Karina blushed with embarrassment.

“You’re in for a surprise,” Lakeyn commented. The two continued to laugh at Karina’s expense a little longer before Lakeyn turned the car around and stopped.

“What are we doing?”

“Just checking,” Lakeyn answered as he stepped out of the car and listened.

“I don’t feel anything,” Karina said and looked out into the night as her fingers tightened around the handle of Ian’s blade. Her knees was bouncing with anticipation, they were so close she could sense it. Something was urging her to continue on. Lakeyn strode away from the car and began to jog. Aedan undid his seatbelt and turned to Karina. “Stay here.”

“Yeah right,” she scoffed and opened the door.

Aedan followed Lakeyn and Karina looked around. The moon was high above and illuminated the landscape. A man was lying in the field and Lakeyn was now at his side trying to rouse him. Aedan stopped and turned to Karina, his face was sympathetic and she knew it must be Noah. Running down the hill she joined them.


*****

Thank you Melissa for taking part in my Author Spotlight interview! I hope your writing continues to flourish and we hope to see more of you in the future.
*****
If you or an author/illustrator you know is interested in being interviewed, feel free to send me an email at
authorjejohnson@gmail.com