The Day The Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour…

…has been live and in full effect since Dec. 26th.

Good thing it lasts until Dec. 31st. Gives me plenty of time to jump on the train and visit the following awesome blogs by some awesome authors.

Gives you plenty of time too. Join us for fun activities and contests by visiting the blogs! Also, check out the author interview links and book covers below.

BLOGS TO VISIT:

Johanna K. Pitcairn http://themanicheans.blogspot.com/

Matthew C Wood www.sunstoppedshining.wordpress.com/

Micheal Rivers http://michealrivers.com/blog/

Axel Howerton http://www.axelhowerton.com/

Renee Pawlish http://tobecomeawriter.com/

Andy Holloman www.andyholloman.com/

Tim Ward www.timothycward.com/

Tim Ward podcast www.audiotim.com/

Jason McKinney http://jasonmckinney.wordpress.com/

Keith Weaver http://www.aboutkeithweaver.com/dream-weave-blog.html

Andrew Bell www.flightofman.com/

Dicey Grenor www.diceyblog.wordpress.com/

Rae Lori http://raelori.blogspot.com/

Marie Harbon www.marieharbon.com/

Amanda Haulk Taylor http://www.backwoodsauthor.wordpress.com/

Joseph Pinto http://josephpinto.wordpress.com/

Julie Jansen http://juliejansen.blogspot.com/

Kelly DeWitt http://ravencsmccracken.com/

Kim Koning http://kimkoning.wordpress.com/

Caitlin Hopper http://caitlin-thefreelancingwriter.blogspot.com/

Alesha Escobar http://www.aleshaescobar.com/

Marissa Farrar http://www.marissa-farrar.blogspot.com/

Cecilia Robert http://cecereadandwrite.blogspot.com/

Edward Owen http://dangerunfilteredcontent.wordpress.com/

Georgina Kamsika http://www.kamsika.com/

James L. Hatch http://cookinwithmisshavana.blogspot.com/

Lindsay Edmunds http://www.writersrest.com/

P.R Mason http://agirlwithacomputer.blogspot.com/

Qwantu Amaru http://qwantuamaru.com/

Shelley Workinger http://bookfare.blogspot.com/

Nadina Boun http://nadinaboun.wordpress.com/

Julia Antione http://juephraime1.blogspot.com/

Charles Jones http://bizzarofiction.blogspot.com/

Michelle Franklin http://thehaanta.blogspot.com/

Brian Johnson http://fatherthunder.blogspot.com/

Sheila Lamb http://sheilarlamb.com/

Diane Hartsock http://diannehartsock.wordpress.com/

Eileen Clemens Granfors http://www.authoreileengranfors.blogspot.com/

Andrea Pearson http://andreapearsonbooks.blogspot.com/

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AUTHOR INTERVIEWS:

Since I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing several of these authors prior to the tour, I’ll add links to those interviews here along with their book covers:

Alesha Escobar: Warlocks, Wizards, Occult Powers…and WWII?

Georgina Kamsika: Blood, Corpses, and HELL.

Nadina Boun: The Woman Behind “The Thinking Man”.

James L. Hatch: Lucifer’s Match Wear Heels…And Teaches.

Julia Antoine: Black Top Hat, Summer, And An Eagle.

Micheal Rivers: Ghosts On The Coast…Of NC.

Cecilia Robert: Beware. The Grim Reaper Has A Novice.

Kim Koning: A Writer With A Charitable Heart.

Black Top Hat, Summer, and An Eagle.

The next author interview I am happy to feature on my blog is with Julia E. Antoine. She has several blogs for you to learn more about who she is as an author: Julia Antoine, Ju Ephraime, and Ju Ephraime1. You will also learn more about her books: The Man In The Black Top Hat, State of Ecstasy, and Temptation to Sin.

This interview will appear differently than the others because the questions did not originate from me, but the answers are still informative about the author. And it’s just in time for our The Day The Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour that officially begins today.

Let’s get started…

Q. If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
A. I would most definitely go back to the past. I like the past and the way some things were. The simple life.

Q. If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose?
A. My father. I had a very close relationship with my father, and sometimes I miss him terribly.

Q. What is one book everyone should read?
A. I would have to say, Oliver Twist. It has something for everyone.

Q. Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
A. The Man In The Black Top Hat, is based on a true story, and it’s disturbing, dark, and cutting edge.

Q. Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
A. Yes. I am currently working on finishing my novel, Loving Therese. It won the NaNoWri this year, and it’s the follow-up to my first novel, State of Ecstasy.

Q. What inspired you to want to become a writer?
A. My love of reading, which took me to all the different places I could not go to in real life. It was my escape.

Q. Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
A. Receiving positive reviews from my readers, and knowing they were patiently awaiting my next release.

Q. What is your favorite Quote?
A. “Perseverance is the key to success.” Julia E. Antoine

Q. Who are your favorite authors of all time?
A. Lisa Kleypas, Karen Hawkins, Gaelen Folly, Christine Feehan and Sherrilyn Kenyon. There is something unique about each one.

Q. If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
A. Driven To Endure

Q. What’s your favorite season/weather?
A. Summer. I love the heat of the summer. There are so many fun things to do in the summer.

Q. How did you celebrate the sale of your first book?
A. I went out to dinner.

Q. Hidden talent?
A. Interior Designer.  I can walk into an empty space and visually see the finished product, when no one else can.

Q. If you were a bird, which one would you be?
A. An eagle. I admire the graceful elegance of the eagle.

Q. Favorite places to travel?
A. Europe, the Caribbean.

Q. Favorite music?
A. Classic Rock.

Q. In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?
A. I’m not going to put the name out there; I’m very superstitious that way.

Congratulations on winning the NaNoWri this year, Ju! Thanks for sharing these answers and giving us a glimpse into who you are and what makes your books special.

Lucifer’s Match Wears Heels…And Teaches.

Missed me? Well, I missed you, dear reader. Been itching to get back to this blog all week, but circumstances prevented it until now. Oh, yes–my family’s trip from Texas to North Carolina for the holidays was H-E-double-hockey-sticks, but we finally made it safely.

Speaking of HELL…

I had the pleasure of interviewing James L. Hatch, author of The Substitute,where Lucifer meets his match in a high school substitute teacher. James has written several books, but since we’re discussing HELL, I thought this one was highly appropriate. Plus, James is one of our wonderful authors for The Day The Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour, which begins tomorrow.

So…

1. My, goodness. Who does your covers? They are stunning. Do you tell your designers what you want or just see what they come up with on their own?

James: There’s an interesting mixture of creativity—some mine and some others. The cover for The Final Experiment was created entirely by the publisher, xoxopublishing.com. The covers for The Judge and Infinity Quest were collaborative produced between xoxopublishing.com and me, whereas I worked with a local studio to create the cover for The Empress of Tridon (an image of my daughter’s face is superimposed atop a Hubble Space Telescope image) and Aftermath Horizon (I took the mountain picture from Mt. Rainier, and the studio later used Photoshop to add crater images from the Nevada Test Site web page). Solstice Publishing was entirely responsible for the covers for The Substitute and Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana! Likewise, Eternal Press created the cover for Kill Zone with no input from me. The amount of my involvement has been driven entirely by the creativity of the assigned artist, and the publisher’s willingness to accept input from me. Xoxopublishing.com was very flexible when their artist was a little overwhelmed, so I helped where I could. To my surprise, my favorite covers (The Substitute and Kill Zone) were developed by publisher artists with little to no input from me. In both cases, the artists read the book, and then used their own impressions of the text to create the cover.

Dicey: Wow. That seems like an involved process. And it works, especially for The Substitute. I made sure to link to each book. I’ll be happy to update this post with the link for Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana! when it’s released.

2. With seven novels and one short story, which one did you enjoy writing most and why?

James: Without question, the most enjoyable to write was The Substitute. I had completed my Sci-Fi trilogy and my contemporary fiction works, and wanted to make a change in genre. The concept for Miss Havana, a stunning substitute teacher who everyone loved to hate, struck me in a dream, and I immediately got out of bed and started writing. It was a case of the main character (Miss Havana) taking over the author in quite a literal sense. I laughed almost the entire time I wrote that book – for about two months. Solstice accepted the novel in less than 24 hours from the time I pitched it (the editor wrote that she could not put it down). The only purpose for The Substitute is to make people laugh; however, all the biblical references in it are real. What struck me funny, while Miss Havana outwitted Lucifer and her daughter, Lilith, was the wild interpretations I could give to the biblical references. I tried to be accurate relative to the twenty-seven indicators pointing to the rise of the Antichrist, but every “rule” has a humorous (and a bit twisted) implementation.

While The Substitute is definitely my favorite, Aftermath Horizon runs a close second. Aftermath Horizon intertwines two love stories with a load of adventure. Instead of focusing on the doomsday scenario that kills almost everyone on earth, the novel concentrates on the recovery about 180 years after the end times. The heroine is a sixteen-year-old girl who is brave, honorable and quick on the uptake. Her adventures take her into a world of unbelievable peril, where every scrape with death brings her and her mate closer together. I loved the irony of writing about a time gone by, while presenting one potential future for the human race.

Dicey: Your concepts are intriguing, indeed. I can see why these are your faves.

3. In a recent blog post, you wrote: “In The Substitute, Miss Havana proved more conniving and evil than Lucifer, and eventually caused him great pain. People like it when the devil is defeated; it was easy to get laughs at Lucifer’s expense.” Which one is the real villain in your story? Miss Havana or Lucifer, and which one was more interesting to write? Why?

James: An excellent question! The answer to the villain question is “neither.” The real villain is the daughter of Lucifer and Miss Havana, Lilith. The daughter inherits the evil nature of both Miss Havana and the devil, making her twice as caustic as her parents. As to which was the most interesting to write, that would be Miss Havana. I loved her complex, two-faced nature and the fact that no one could guess what she’d do next. Her quirky nature means no one will guess the end of the novel, even within a couple of paragraphs from the conclusion.

Dicey: Hope I didn’t force you to reveal a spoiler about the daughter. 😉 Then again, I guess that’s not the big secret since no one will guess the end even right up to the conclusion. I like surprises…in literature, that is.

4. In that same blog post, you wrote: “On acceptance of the manuscript, the Solstice Publishing editor offered, ‘I found it to be a humorous, gory, graphic, moral and ultimately satisfying tale.’ That is exactly what I intended.” How did you insert morality into the story without losing the humor, gory, and graphic nature of the book?

The quote is in reference to the sequel novel to The Substitute, called Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana! The book is written like a saw tooth, with sharp teeth of humor between each horrifying social issue I addressed. To add humor, Miss Havana’s spirit haunts a beautiful advice columnist known as “Miss Jackie.” Of course, no one in their right mind would take the advice Miss Havana dispenses, but her multiple stints offering advice is a great opportunity for humor. As advice columnist, Miss Havana is guided by two basic tenets. First, that ‘everyone is entitled to her opinion’, and second, that she reached the point in life where everything was a lie; therefore, she is able to discern the truth. When her spirit is not destroying Miss Jackie’s career, it occupies various felons, and she exacts retribution from almost everyone she stumbles into. She makes a great assassin as she comes to see herself as “The Angel of Death.” As in the case of The Substitute, no one will guess the end of Oh, Heavens, Miss Havana! That ending is the most poignant I’ve written, so much so that one reviewer stated, “And what an ending…! I won’t give it away but if it doesn’t give you at least one sniffle, in the midst of all that dark laughter, then you’ve got Lucifer’s sensitivity.”

Thanks for having me on your blog, Dicey. Your questions are by far the most insightful I’ve addressed. Your readers can find more about me and my books at http://cookinwithmisshavana.blogspot.com/, where I will also be posting inputs from other “The Day the Sun Stopped Shining” blog tour authors. There are also free books and a cool contest there.

Dicey: With “Sharp teeth of humor” and “Lucifer’s sensitivity”, I can see you have a way with words that is both witty and entertaining. Thank YOU for taking the time to answer my questions with such depth. I’m glad you found them insightful. Your passion for your books showed through.  It’s been my pleasure. I’ll stop by your blog to check out the contests and other author features.

Merry Christmas to all!

Ghosts On The Coast…Of NC.

I have a loooooong ride ahead of me today from Houston, TX to Greenville, NC. With my hubby and two little ones. We have DVDs, satellite radio, snacks, and designated stops along the way. And when we get there, my dad will see my sixteen-month-old son for the first time. Exciting stuff.

Very appropriate to have Micheal Rivers, a seasoned writer and native North Carolinian, interview on my blog today since he writes about things that kept me up at night when I was younger.

Micheal: Thank you very much for having me with you today, Dicey. It is a very great pleasure. To you and all of your readers I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Dicey: It’s my pleasure. So glad you took the time to do this. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.

I’m always excited to chitchat with authors from my home state. There are more of us than Nicholas Sparks. 🙂

Let’s dig in…

Q: With over thirty years investigating and collecting paranormal stories, is Ghosts of the North Carolina Shores intended to be informative, historical, frightening, or entertaining? Or is there something else you want your readers to gain from reading it? Please explain.

A:  Ghosts of the North Carolina Shores is actually all of the above. This book gives the reader information on the areas the hauntings were witnessed in. Historically speaking there are many of the spirits who came from a particular era and the areas they derived from are of great interest to many people. There are some frightening moments as well as entertaining and a bit of mystery. This book was made approved reading for the North Carolina Public Schools reading list for its geography, English, and historical value. I wanted the readers to not only know some of the mysteries of the state of North Carolina but also its historical significance in the shaping of our country. These are just a small number of things our younger generation should know to identify with their heritage as true Americans.

Dicey: Impressive. A textbook and Halloween campfire tale combined.

Q:  Did having a co-author for The Black Witch make it easier or more
difficult to write and why?

A:  There is actually no co-author for this novel. When it was posted by Amazon they listed my editor as a coauthor and wouldn’t remove it per my request. So it remains to look as though I have a co-author. All of my novels are written by myself and an irritable keyboard.

Dicey: Wow. Thanks for clearing that up.

Q:  As someone who served in the United States Marine Corps during Vietnam, I imagine you experienced a lot. Of the genres you write in, which do you think is most influenced by your military experiences: Fiction, Horror, Thriller or Paranormal. How so?

A:  I never use anything I have experienced from my days in the military. I usually draw my characters and stories from paranormal experiences from over the years. Each character is a compilation of many characters, or people I have been associated with over a lifetime. Fiction, Horror, Thriller or Paranormal they all have a life of their own.

“Be the host to your ghost”

Dicey: Don’t worry, Micheal. I host several ghosts in my head daily. 🙂

Micheal is also part of our The Day The Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour, so you know he’s good people.

And may I add: Micheal, thank you for your service to our country.

Now, I gotta load the car with my precious cargo. Happy Holidays to all!

The Woman Behind “The Thinking Man”.

The Day The Sun Stopped Shining Blog Tour is approaching fast, just like the holiday season and end of the year. In preparation of the tour, I’ve interviewed several authors and shared their works with you. Nadina Boun is another of our creative authors and she has granted me the following interview:

1. Since your novel The Thinking Man, Paralysis By Analysis is a comical compilation of rules in a man’s head, by what method did you channel your character as a female writer?

Nadina: Interesting question! Just a matter of observation and analysis really, and a minor understanding of the male’s point of view. However the rules or scrolls in the book extend to emotions in general, thus relating to us as human beings as opposed to a certain gender.

Dicey: Fascinating! I imagine it would have to be comical to spend time analyzing a man’s thoughts, which you do a good job of, based on the sample I’ve read. Football…beer…women… You mean there are emotions in there somewhere too? 🙂

2. In Earth and Venus you mix science fiction with romance. Which audience are you hoping to appeal to more, sci-fi or romance lovers and why?

Nadina: Well, I did not think about it when I had plenty of fun writing it. But I suppose it would suit more the science fiction audience than it would romance lovers. The use of words is still somewhat cosmic related:)

Dicey: Science and fun in the same book? Who knew. 🙂

3. As a writer of poetry, short stories, fiction, and plays, which do you find the most challenging to write and why?

Nadina: I find longer stories to be challenging because they require a longer amount of time and concentration. So fiction novels I have began writing always ended up incomplete. It is a challenge to finish them!

Dicey: Interesting how we have the opposite challenge here. I find it difficult to keep something short. A short story for me is 70k words. Anywho–I think it’s awesome that you’re able to do a little of it all.

Thanks for the interview, Nadina. I wish you much success.

Sexy Demons. Oh, My.

I haven’t blogged in a few days because I’ve been a ‘lil busy. Busier than usual. Yeah, I still have legal work to do, family time to share, dinners to cook, sequel chapters to write, social media circuits to work… Sometimes I even sleep. But none of those things are new. So what’s gotten me so tied up that my blog has been neglected?

The Demonica series by Larissa Ione.

Oh, yeah, baby. I am LOVING it. So in addition to everything on my plate, I’ve been reading about sexy demons. The kind that would make ultra-conservative folks squirm.

I’ve only read the first two (Pleasure Unboundand Desire Unchained), but believe me when I tell you–I was jonesing for the third as soon as I read the last word in the second book. Good thing I bought all of her books at the same time. They’re just sitting on my desk…waiting to feed my paranormal literary addiction.

Like my paranormal novel Sleepy Willow’s Bonded Soul: The Narcoleptic Vampire Series, these Demonica books are NOT for everyone. But if you’re in the mood for something dark, sexy, fast-paced, and veering outside the box (which I always am), AND you’re not offended by graphic sex scenes and profanity, you should give these a try.

Now, I gotta go. Gotta get back to Passion Unleashed. I’m at the part where sexy-ass Wraith is about to–

🙂

Revenge.

I’ve been chitchatting so much about my vampire novel lately, that the characters in my novel SHAMEFUL are feeling left out. I’ve had to explain to them that their story is a tougher pill to swallow for readers. That some are offended by merely the subject matter alone. That I have to ease it on folks. I mean, it involves statutory rape and infidelity, for goodness sakes. I’ve also explained that paranormal escapism is typically more fun than stories based in realism.

I think Joanne and the gang are finally understanding why they don’t get as much attention as Sleepy Willow and her gang. Nevertheless, I promised to mention something about them today.

That damn Joanne finds herself making some bad decisions in SHAMEFUL. And, as she finds out, bad decisions have terrible consequences, just like in the 1990 movie Revenge. I’d say Joanne gets off easy considering all the things that could have happened. That being said, she in no way rides off into the sunset to live happily ever after without her share of suffering. Her story is a character study about seeking fulfillment, making tough decisions…and living with consequences.

In Revenge, Kevin Costner plays a man who knowingly, willfully, and recklessly enters into a forbidden romance with the wife of a powerful Mexican. The sultry wife is played by Madeline Stowe, and it’s a good thing, because a viewer has to believe Costner is stupid enough to risk everything for this woman. They are drawn to each other like buzzards to a carcass, and that’s too bad for them because her husband does not play that sh*t.

By the end of the movie, a viewer may actually root for the couple even though they were obviously wrong to begin their affair. It’s obvious their love is strong. Stronger than her love ever was for her husband. Not dutiful, but passionate. Costner’s character goes through hell and highwater (given the circumstance, as well he should), to get back to her, if only for the briefest, most tragic of reunions.

Oh, yeah. They have real love for each other. But the movie doesn’t make it easy for them. It doesn’t glorify the affair. It’s about real love. But it is not about love conquering all. When your love hurts people, you get hurt.

I like that the movie characters, like mine in SHAMEFUL, do what the spirit, soul, and body wants regardless of what they know is right. I also like that they don’t get away with it.