eBookSoda Promo

My book is being featured on Friday August 1st 2014 at eBookSoda, a new readers’ site where they’ll send you ebook recommendations tailored to your taste. http://www.ebooksoda.com.

Witchy Halloween Promo

For the next three days (30th, 31st October & 1st November) I am taking part in a witchy/paranormal promo.

Some of you might be thinking “Witches? Your book is about vampires & werewolves, not witches!” Well, I do have one scene in Forgotten where a witch is referenced in passing, but (and this is a spoiler for book two) witches will feature more prominently in the next book in the In The Shadows series. I’m making good progress with book two although it’ll be a while before it’s released, but luckily for me this promo also includes paranormal books and Cate Dean included my novel. 🙂

You can find out more information on the promo here. You can also enter a rafflecopter giveaway here and win some fabulous prizes such as Amazon giftcards, books, or keyrings.

Also, for those who patiently waited for the next post in my behind the scenes series, well, the wait is almost over as tomorrow I will be posting all about my werewolves.

Take Care

Catherine

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Author Interview: Ravin Tija Maurice

RebirthCoverTitle: Rebirth (The Afflicted)
Author: Ravin Tija Maurice
Ebook: 351 pages

Books And Bites: Congratulations on the publication of Rebirth! Tell me a little about it what’s your pitch?

Ravin Tija Maurice: Thanks for talking to me! Rebirth is my debut novel, the first in my young adult paranormal/historical series, The Afflicted.

Katrine only ever had thoughts of a normal life. One fateful night all of that changes. Her life is torn apart when she learns she is related to the famed Countess Erzsebet Bathory, and that the events of that fateful night have turned her into something she could never have imagined. Who is Countess Bathory? She is believed to be one of the world’s most prolific female serial killers, rumoured to have bathed in the blood of virgin girls, and suspected of being both a vampire and a werewolf.

Rebirth is currently available in ebook from most ebook retailers including Kindle, Smashwords, B&N and Kobo.

BAB: No two authors seem to take the same route to publication, but almost every author has an interesting story about their journey. Care to share yours?

Ravin Tija Maurice: My road to publication was full of dips and turns. Rebirth was originally published under a different title by a small niche press (I won’t name any names, the past is the past!). Things did not work out, and I found myself with a book that needed a home and readers that I did not want to disappoint. So, after some soul searching and unsuccessful agent pitches I decided to put the book out myself. I wanted to get back to my readers and get back to what I love to do so it made sense.

BAB: How did you get the idea for your novel?

Ravin Tija Maurice: I’ve always been interested in history, and historical fiction is one of my favourite genres. The idea of writing something historical was always in the back of my mind, but I needed the right idea. Queen Mary I of England, Henry VIII’s oldest daughter, has been a bit of an obsession for many years and because of her I became fascinated with the label of ‘bastard’ and what it could do to a person’s life. I am also a huge lover and supporter of vampire fiction. Vlad the Impaler had always fascinated me, and when you read into some of the cultural history of vampires the name Elizabeth Bathory is side by side with Vlad. So, when I found out that Bathory was believed to have had a ‘bastard’ daughter before her marriage, the idea came into my head almost fully formed. Finding out that you were the ‘bastard’ child of someone so infamous is a story in itself but add in the possibility that she was in fact a vampire and to me, that’s just amazing.

BAB: Do you have another book in the works?

Ravin Tija Maurice: I am quite actively wrapped up in writing other books in The Afflicted series. I wrote Rebirth and the second, Ikon, back to back and I am editing it now while I am working on the third and trying to plan the fourth.

BAB: Your current novel, Rebirth, is marketed as a young adult novel. Did you originally set out to write a YA novel?

Ravin Tija Maurice: I did not set out to write a young adult novel, and in some ways I don’t feel like Rebirth is entirely young adult. I think it’s a lot of things, and trying to give it a genre label was very hard for me. But I love the young adult genre and I am pleased to be involved in it. I started writing Rebirth thinking that I wanted it to be the sort of book that I would want to read, combining elements that I love. I wasn’t really concerned about genre, and I hope that people from all walks of life can enjoy it.

BAB: How did you get the inspiration for writing about the Bathory family?

Ravin Tija Maurice: For years Countess Bathory had come up in my research about vampires, along with the legend that she bathed in the blood of virgins. I’d toyed with other ideas for stories about her, and some may come up in later books, but the real story came together when I found out she’d had a secret child before her marriage. I hope that I can tell more of her story, I find her so fascinating.

When I began writing Rebirth I had originally not thought much about putting other members of the Bathory family in my stories. As I kept writing I had this ‘future vision’, where I saw what could happen to Katrine and some of the other characters in our time. Gabor Bathory was there, along with some other members of the family who’s names I won’t mention because I don’t want to spoil anything. This future vision is where I would like to end up with the series, so I made sure that all of those who were present ended up in the story. It wasn’t forced, they fit quite well into the natural flow.

BAB: Who is your favorite character? Why?

Ravin Tija Maurice: That is a complicated question! I have so many favourites for so many different reasons. I know this may seem kind of cliché but I do feel quite deeply for my main character, Katrine. She and I have been through a lot together and her story is very close to my heart. I hope that I can do it justice.

With the other characters I love Vincenzo Amori and Grisela Delphine. Vincenzo has such a deep and complex story that I haven’t been able to really get into yet that I am quite excited for, and Grisela has so much history that even as I do research I find things that tie to the back story I have built for her and to me that’s exciting.

BAB: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

Ravin Tija Maurice: I knew I wanted to be a writer very young, around six years old. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. When I was little I used to write myself into classic stories. I recently found my retelling of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with myself in Charlie’s place that I wrote in the fourth grade…it was pretty funny!

BAB: In writing, Rebirth, what was your most surprising discovery?

Ravin Tija Maurice: The whole premise behind my series, The Afflicted, is that there was all sorts of paranormal things going on in history that no one knows about. I was surprised when I would do some research on a time period, a person, or some other historical detail how easily I was able to incorporate paranormal elements throughout. It’s always amazing, and sometimes surprising, when you have an idea and it really works.

BAB: What’s your writing routine? Do you write in the mornings, nights, daily, or when the mood strikes you?

Ravin Tija Maurice: It’s generally when the mood strikes me but that seems to happen at night. I do my first draft the old fashioned way, writing it out by hand, and I can do that pretty much anywhere but I find I am the most productive sitting outside in the sun.
I started writing things out by hand when I was in college, because on more than one occasion inspiration would strike during class and it was easy to pull out a piece of paper and just start writing and it really worked for me so I kept doing that and now its turned into a habit.

BAB: You write many wonderful and graphic scenes that makes the reader feel as though they are actually participating in the scene. One of my favorite scenes in the novel is; When Anastasia is tied to the tree and changes into the beast. What are your favourite scenes?

Ravin Tija Maurice: I have several, but some of my favourites are when Katrine meets Countess Bathory and the events surrounding the Countess’s arrests in 1610. Because of the fact that the Countess was a real person and the events are such a key part to her story I was concerned about not only keeping it consistent and truthful but I wanted my representation of the Countess to ring true for those who love her. I tried to show a bit of who I thought she would be, and how she would sound.

BAB: What experience did you have with your publisher? Good? Bad?

Ravin Tija Maurice: Since the book is self published this is a totally new experience for me. Ebook distribution sites like Kindle and Smashwords make it incredibly easy to do, but also incredibly easy to screw up. Making my own cover has probably been the most out of the box experience for me but I really enjoyed it. It’s been an interesting process but at the same time fun and exciting so I would say good.

BAB: If you had to pick one author as your favorite, who would it be?

Ravin Tija Maurice: I have so many I’m not sure I can pick just one! For vampire fiction, Laurell K Hamilton and Charlaine Harris are my favourites. For historical fiction, its between Philippa Gregory, Susan Fraser King and Sandra Gulland. For young adult its Ally Carter. I am also a huge fan of Lisa Lutz.
But my favourite author of all time would have to be Stephen King.

BAB: Finally, thank you for taking part in this interview. Before you go, what message would you like to send to your fans?

Ravin Tija Maurice: For my fans, thank you for reading. Thank you for sticking with me when things got rough, and thank you for your support. I greatly appreciate it, and I look forward to sharing more of my work with you. There are some exciting things on the horizon!

Rebirth is available for the places places:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon Canada
Amazon Germany
Amazon Spain
Amazon France
Amazon Italy
Amazon Japan
Amazon Brazil

Smashwords
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
WHSmith

To check out what is happening next for Ravin you can visit her at the following places. Facebook, Twitter & Blog.

Welcome to Canada & Brazil

Christmas is coming and Amazon gave Kindle authors a present by opening two brand new stores in Brazil & Canada. This brings the total up to nine Kindle stores now.

*Blatant promo ahead*

ForgottenForgotten is a YA paranormal that revolves around two sisters. It has action, mystery, drama, vampires, werewolves, & even a cute fluffy bunny. What more could you ask for?

If you liked Fear Street, Nightworld or Point Horror you’ll love this!

*End of blatant promo*

You can buy Forgotten from the following places:

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon Germany
Amazon Italy
Amazon Spain
Amazon France
Amazon Japan
Amazon Canada
Amazon Brazil

I also have to tell you all that, sadly, my paperback won’t be released before Christmas. Something that I thought would be in place fell through but, rest assured, when the paperback is released next year I will announce it here on this blog along with on my twitter, Facebook & website. I have also been asked again when Masquerade, aka book two, will be released. As I mentioned in my first edition of Ask Cat (which you can find here) there are no firm dates as of yet, although I can say it won’t be ready before February 2013. In the meantime, I do have something that I will make an announcement on soon which I hope will be a pleasant surprise for those who are waiting patiently for the next book in the In The Shadows series.

I have noticed that I get a lot visitors looking for the release date for, Strange Fate, book ten in the Nightworld series by L.J. Smith. So, I thought I would give another update on the status because if other fans are like me then you’ll be eager to know how the series is going to end. Below are the dates I found on a couple of the Amazon websites. I hope that this helps anybody who is interested. 🙂

Amazon US

Paperback – No date given
Hardback – 31st December 2030 (yes, that does say 2030, it isn’t a typo)
Kindle – 31st December 2030
Audio – 1st April 2013

Amazon UK

Paperback – 31st December 2013
Hardback – February 2014
Audio – April 2013

Amazon Germany

Paperback – 31st December 2013
Hardback – 31st December 2030
Audio – April 2013
Kindle – 31st December 2030

Lastly, for those of you who are waiting for the Behind The Scenes peek at my werewolves, your wait is nearly over as the post will be up within the next couple of weeks. Just when I think I have finished, my werewolves want to reveal more of themselves; they will do anything to out do my vampires!

Anyway, as always, thank you for your patience & your continued support. It is always appreciated.

Take Care,

Catherine

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Author Interview: Barbara Winkes

Autumn Leaves coverTitle: Autumn Leaves
Author: Barbara Winkes
Publisher: Eternal Press (November 7, 2012)
Paperback: 216 pages
ISBN-10: 1615727973
ISBN-13: 978-1615727971

Books And Bites: Congratulations on the publication of “Autumn Leaves”! Tell me a little about it—what’s your pitch?

Barbara Winkes: It’s the story about women with a very different background who become friends and eventually develop feelings for each other that go far beyond that. Rebecca is a married mother of two, Callie an out lesbian writer who came to town to finish her latest work. Their curiosity and discoveries lead to changes not only for them, but in the social dynamics of the small town Autumn Leaves. Not everyone is accepting of these changes, and while help comes from unexpected sources, they have to question whom they can trust.

BAB: No two authors seem to take the same route to publication, but almost every author has an interesting story about their journey. Care to share yours?

Barbara Winkes: It was always a dream of mine to get there eventually, but I got more serious about it when I started writing in English and sharing stories online. The internet made a big difference, too, enabling me to connect with other writers all over the world, hear about their experiences. I had established a writing routine before I even started thinking about submitting. When I was ready, I was lucky to hear that Eternal Press was actively looking for lesbian-themed books, and I thought “Autumn Leaves” would qualify. I’m glad it was accepted.

BAB: How did you get the idea for your novel?

Barbara Winkes: I wanted to explore the world of someone who has adopted stereotypes without meaning to, and their reaction to being confronted with a different reality. For some, it can cause unease and even fear, and it depends on many factors how they handle those emotions. Rebecca doesn’t just have to correct some preconceived notions, she has to re-evaluate everything she thought was for certain in her life. It’s a turning point where people either move forward or stagnate, laying the blame on someone else.

BAB: Do you have another book in the works?

Barbara Winkes: Yes. While Autumn Leaves works fine as a standalone novel for the reader, the concept is for a series, and I’m on to book three at the moment. For the upcoming year, there’s also a mystery on the schedule, taking place in a fictional town in the province of Québec.

BAB: How did you get the inspiration for your characters?

Barbara Winkes: Rebecca and Callie in particular evolved from following the discussion about marriage equality in various parts of the world. Why would anybody be against it, or uncomfortable with it? How would stereotypes influence a person and hinder them in living their lives authentically? I’m looking for answers as a psychologist, but also as someone who was able to get legally married in my wife’s country of origin, and I like to explore them with my characters. What’s important for me to show is that individual stories differ as much as they do with straight people, and they can have happy endings.

BAB: Who is your favorite character? Why?

Barbara Winkes: I’d say Rebecca, because she has to go through so many changes and comes out stronger on the other side.

BAB: When did you know you wanted to become a writer?

Barbara Winkes: I’ve always been writing–poems, short stories, longer ones. I got serious about attempting to get published in the past few years. There were some big changes in my private life: I got married, and moved to another country, circumstances that allowed me to concentrate on this goal more. Instead of squeezing in some writing time after work and on the weekends, I can do it fulltime.

BAB: In writing “Autumn Leaves” what was your most surprising discovery?

Barbara Winkes: I was taking part in NaNoWriMo for the first time back then, in 2010, working two jobs. It was a great experience to have that I could actually do it, no excuses, and there were some unexpected turns in the story. It’s always fun when the characters seem to take it out of your hands and tell you what happens. Your only job is to type fast enough.

BAB: What’s your writing routine? Do you write in the mornings, nights, daily, or when the mood strikes you?

Barbara Winkes: I try to do an average of 2,000 words a day, with a little leeway on the weekends (when it’s not NaNoWriMo time). Ideally, I start at about 8 a.m. When I get to 2,000 depends on where I am in the story–at the beginning, it’s faster. I keep a notebook around for when the mood strikes.

BAB: What experience did you have with your publisher? Good? Bad?

Barbara Winkes: Very good! Since this was my first time getting published, I had no idea what to expect. It’s been exciting to learn about the process of a manuscript becoming an actual book, and great to work with people who care about the outcome as much as you do. It mattered to me to have a publisher who has a GLBT section and would bring out a print copy along with the e-book. I’m old-fashioned that way, and it was always the dream to actually have a book of my own to hold.

BAB: If you had to pick one author as your favorite, who would it be?

Barbara Winkes: Do I really have to pick just one? J.M.Redmann, Tess Gerritsen, James Patterson, Stieg Larsson, Karin Slaughter and Ken Follett have all created incredible female characters. That is what I go for as a reader and admire most as a writer, when you care so much about characters that you almost forget they are not real. It’s the ultimate goal.

BAB: Finally, thank you for taking part in this interview. Before you go, what message would you like to send to your fans?

Barbara Winkes: Thank you! I’m grateful for this opportunity to live my dream and everyone who shares the world of Callie and Rebecca with me, and you’re welcome to come by to chat on my blog any time! www.barbarawinkes.blogspot.ca

Autumn Leaves is available at Amazon in Kindle & Paperback and at Amazon UK in Kindle & Paperback.

A video trailer for Autumn Leaves can be found on Barbara’s Amazon author page.

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