Live and Let Bite {Declan Finn}

If you’re interested in signed copies of Declan’s books or looking for a discussion about the industry with A Pius Geek, Declan’s 2017 appearances include RavenCon, LibertyCon, and DragonCon.

live-and-let-biteCongratulations to Declan Finn on the release of Live and Let Bite (Love at First Bite Book 3). In honor of the feat, he’s agreed to share his thoughts on writing… and a question most writers face… Why?  

 

 


Usually, when people tell me “I want to be a writer,” I tell them, “Turn back now.” When people tell me “I have to be a writer,” I tell them to go on full speed ahead, because there’s really no other way to do it.


Why do we write?

Why not?

The honest answer to the question is that I have to write. I have to. Must. I am obligated to write. Call it compulsive. Call it obsessive. But I have annoying people in my head talking to me, urging me to write stuff down … if you don’t understand it, you must not be a writer. There’s a reason I call being a writer legalized schizophrenia.

Usually, when people tell me “I want to be a writer,” I tell them, “Turn back now.” When people tell me “I have to be a writer,” I tell them to go on full speed ahead because there’s really no other way to do it.

To be perfectly honest, people who want to be writers don’t know what they’re in for. People who have to be writers don’t have any other choice in the matter, so much as well lean into it and charge ahead at full speed.

On the one end, you could say that writer’s are playing God. Technically, we are. We’ve created worlds, people, history of a planet – even if it’s just the fictional background of characters. On the other hand, as Dorothy Lee Sayers brought up in The Mind of the Maker, being god of your own little world isn’t as easy as it’s cracked up to be. After a while, the characters will start making decisions on their own. Which helps me, because I’m lazy and I don’t outline, so I just let them run rampant all over the place.

Some people write to entertain, which is probably the best way to go about it. Some people want to slip a message in there to go along with it, which is fine, as long as they keep the story going. Personally, any message I slip in comes from my own point of view. I am a monotheist, Thomistic philosopher. I have certain ideas of how the world worlds. I see things from a certain point of view.

Take, for example, my Love at First Bite series. There’s one character who believes themselves a blood-thirsty monster, even though they’ve only ever killed someone in self-defense. We have another one who is a vampire, and working on redemption….Yes, a contrite vampire. Because why not?

What happens when “the blood-thirsty monster” enjoys killing … but only does it when the life of self or others is at stake? Is that person evil because they enjoyed doing what was necessary? Especially if the intent is to save lives, but the enjoyment was a side benefit?

If your answer is “Yes, X person is evil,” then you must also condemn Winston Churchill and George Washington who remarked on the thrill of “being shot at without effect.” Does that means every soldier who has ever done a victory party that they survived a shootout must be evil because they’re happy to have survived while the ones trying to kill them didn’t?

If your answer is “No, this person isn’t pure evil, because his actions were good, but his thoughts are impure,” then that might be closer to the truth.

The first person who is pure may step up and throw the first rock.

As a Catholic, our catechism tells us that God made us to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, so we can live with Him forever in Heaven in the next.

But we all know God in different ways. Thomas Aquinas knew God through reason. Francis of Assisi knew Him through nature.

And some people know God by dying for Him.

When a world consists of evil vampires trying to take over a city by slaughtering innocent people, sometimes knowing God means being a soldier for Him.

For He has died to make men Holy. Some will die to make men free.

Is it a message? Maybe. At most, I just figure it should be a conversation starter about the nature of redemption. Of what’s black, and what’s white, and what’s a shade of gray – and not a collection of bondage porn.

Being a writer is who I am. It’s what I do. It’s all I really know how to do well. I just try to write some fun stories and throw some ideas in there for the audience to chew on and let any “message” attend to itself.


14971387_10101562879084690_146218567_nDeclan Finn is the author of books ranging from thrillers to urban fantasy to SciFi. This most popular of these books includes the 2016 Dragon Award nominated novel for Best Horror, Honor at Stake: Welcome to New York City, where vampires don’t sparkle, they burn. The sequel, Murphy’s Law of Vampires and Live and Let Bite are already out.

Finn is one of a legion of writers over at The Catholic Geeks blog (a legion, for we are many). Other books he has written includes the comedy-thriller It Was Only on Stun! where he blows up a sci-fi convention (no, not this one). The sequel is Set to Kill, a novel that spun off of his parody, Sad Puppies Bite Back.

He co-authored the science fiction espionage novel Codename: Winterborn, and Codename: UnSub. However, he is most proud of his The Pius Trilogy – book one of which, A Pius Man, will be rereleased from Silver Empire Press in 2017. Finn also hosts the Catholic Geek Radio show and can be found wherever someone is starting trouble.

If you’re interested in signed copies of Declan’s books or looking for a discussion about the industry with A Pius Geek, Declan’s 2017 appearances include RavenCon, LibertyCon, and DragonCon.


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Honor at Stake

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Murphy’s Law of Vampires

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Live and Let Bite

The Reward of Anavrea {Rachel Rossano} + Giveaway

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We all like a reward, don’t we? But, not all rewards are what they appear. That’s the case in the latest installment of Rachel Rossano’s Theodoric Saga. Rachel created an intriguing Historical-like Christian Fantasy as she tells the tale of Jayne and Liam. Find out more and be sure to check out the giveaway (at the end of the post)!


 

I’m so pleased to have my guest, Rachel Rossano, today. She’s a spectacular lady, and I’ve already jumped into The Reward of Anavrea. I’m enjoying the world she’s created.

What Inspires me to Write

  1. A good book that I enjoyed immensely always gets me in the mood to try and create something of my own.
  2. A badly written book makes me want to prove that I can do better.
  3. A good movie gets me thinking about characters, situations, or other inspiring ideas for stories.
  4. Interacting with people in the general public always gets me thinking about individual’s lives and experiences.
  5. Talking to older people always gets me wondering about something that happened in the past. That leads to research, which leads to more ideas and then stories or characters.
  6. People watching and observing interpersonal interactions also inspire ideas.
  7. Talking about my books and characters with fellow writers or readers always gets me thinking.
  8. Going away into a quiet place where my kids aren’t clamoring for my attention or making noise also usually transitions into words written.
  9. Listening to other authors talk about their books gives me ideas.
  10. Listening to anyone talk about pretty much anything can spark an idea.

 


About the Book

web2-rossano-reward-finalShe couldn’t hide forever.

A hard life taught Jayne to avoid men, powerful men most of all. When a new nobleman arrives to take over the vargar, she takes her family and hides. But the new baron seeks her out and makes her an offer she can’t refuse: protection. However, once they were sheltered behind the dark stone walls of the vargar, who would protect her from the new master?

His reward isn’t what it seems.

King Ireic of Anavrea charges Liam, a former bodyguard, with the task of retaking and taming a corner of the northern wilds. Upon arrival at Ashwyn Vargar, Liam finds challenges beyond his military experience. The keys to the vargar are missing and so are the field hands who should be harvesting the fields. Once he finds the keeper of the keys, she raises more questions than answers.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N2JATTB/

 


About the Author

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Rachel Rossano is a happily married mother of three children. She spends her days teaching, mothering, and keeping the chaos at bay. After the little ones are in bed, she immerses herself in the fantasy worlds of her books. Tales of romance, adventure, and virtue set in a medieval fantasy world are her preference, but she also writes speculative fantasy and a bit of science fiction.

Giveaway

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Rachel is giving away one of her favorite CDs to listen to while she writes. If you’ve ever wondered what kind of music she likes to listen to, you can check out the CD on Amazon and then come back here and enter the giveaway. https://www.amazon.com/Piano-Guys/dp/B009EAO38C/

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Tour Schedule

January 2
Bookish Orchestrations-Tour Intro and Book Review
Julie Coulter Bellon-Review
Bokerah-Guest Post

January 3
The Overactive Imagination-Guest Post
Queen of Random-Book Spotlight
Rachel Rossano’s Words-Book Spotlight

January 4
Stephany Tullis-Book Spotlight
Ember’s Reviews-Author Interview and Review

January 5
Frances Hoelsema-Book Spotlight
Laurel’s Leaves-Author Interview
Author Franky A Brown-Guest Post

January 6
Zerina Blossom’s Books-Review
Shout outs-Guest Post
God’s Peculiar Treasure Rae-Book Spotlight
Rebekah Lyn Book-Character Spotlight

January 7
Bookish Orchestrations-Giveaway Winner

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When Love Arrives {Johnnie Alexander}

Review of When Love Arrives by Johnnie Alexander

 

dsc_1469When Love Arrives is book two in the Misty Willow Series, the follow-up novel to Johnnie Alexander’s book, Where She Belongs (Misty Willow Series #1).

In Where She Belongs (Misty Willow Series #1), we were introduced to Shelby Kincaid and AJ Sullivan, two characters on opposite sides of a years-old family feud. By the end, AJ and Shelby discovered that a shared history can create a beautiful future. In Johnnie Alexander’s first installment, we also meet a supporting character, Brett Somers, as he learns some life-altering news.

In When Love Arrives, we follow Brett Somers as he copes with the reality that he has fathered a son, only learning of the child after unfortunate circumstances land the boy in a coma. As Brett’s heart changes and he seeks to make things right, he’s brought face-to-face with the damage that his selfish behavior has caused.

As Dani Prescott digs for dirt on the man who ruined her mother’s reputation, she inadvertently runs into Brett as she follows him to the hospital where Brett’s son resides. When Brett asks Dani on a date, she says yes, telling herself that it will be the quickest way to find a devastating secret to use against him. Shelby, AJ, and the whole Misty Willow cast welcome Dani with open arms, giving her the family that she so desperately wants. As time wears on, Dani’s bitterness is slowly dismantled by the new man Brett is trying to be. But the truth Dani keeps hidden has the power to destroy the burgeoning romance.

Johnnie Alexander’s story-telling skills shine again as she deftly weaves themes of abiding love through her characters’ search for peace and redemption.  Dani’s heartache is palpable, even as classic movies compliment Brett’s new-found chivalry. As a reader, I thoroughly enjoyed the by-play between the new characters and the appearance of some of my favorite characters from book one.

When Love Arrives was a wonderful addition to the Misty Willow series, and I’m eager to read book three. With believable characters, smooth writing, and light humor, this inspirational, Christian romance is a highly recommended read.

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Johnnie Alexander

When Love Arrives: A Novel

Misty Willow series

Revell Publishers

978-0800726409, paper, 368 pages, $14.29 (ebook also available)

September 2016

 

About the Author

61z-bdbii9l-_sy200_Johnnie Alexander imagines stories while raccoons and foxes occasionally pass by her window. Her debut novel, Where Treasure Hides, was a CBA bestseller and has been translated into Dutch and Norwegian.

Where She Belongs (Misty Willow Series #1), her first contemporary romance, was a Library Journal Pick of the Month. Recent releases include The Healing Promise (Courageous Bride Collection) and When Love Arrives (Misty Willow Series #2).

In addition to winning the prestigious American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) Genesis Contest (Historical), she was named a Bronze Medalist in the My Book Therapy Frasier Contest and has received several conference awards.

Johnnie is marketing director for the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference and president of the ACFW Memphis chapter.

A graduate of Rollins College (Orlando) with a Master of Liberal Studies degree, she lives near Memphis with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, the princely papillon who trees those pesky raccoons whenever he gets the chance.

Join Johnnie on her website at http://www.johnnie-alexander.com to experience the charm of country living, the love of random travel, and the joy of treasured memories.

Twins for the Win + Giveaway

It’s been a busy few months on the farm. These are a few of my favorite things…

(Psssst! There’s also a giveaway at the bottom of the post. Don’t miss it.)

Meet one of seventeen new additions. This is Yellow Leader, the head of the Rebel Alliance (AKA our baby Pekin flock). She is the chosen one, and I am teaching her the ways of the force. She must bring balance and lead them all to victory against the Empire.

There’ve been phone calls, high school planning, and researching home school options for driver’s ed (Texas’ parent-taught drivers ed class). Here in the country, we don’t have the best reception, so I have to go outside to talk on the phone.

This is what making a phone call looks like at my house. Wherever they are, the turkeys come running. They find me. Every time. They also always seem to be in the middle of an argument with one another.


Common Scenario

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, can you repeat that? My tukeys seem to be arguing amongst themselves.”

CSR, with a chuckle: “I know kids can be a handful.”

Me: ….

CSR: ….

Me: “They sure can.”

Disapproving Turkey Demands Silence in His Yard

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The broilers are nearing their graduation day (borrowing the term from Justin Rhodes). This came this week. And this. You know what that means. Our survival rate had been good (only lost one so far) with only about one week left until processing day. Our boys feed them their organic feed, then move the chicken tractor to fresh pasture every morning. We’ve used garlic and apple cider vinegar in their water to help keep them healthy, and we’re ahead of the expected food needs on the Red Broilers from Ideal Poultry. We feed pumpkin occasionally for the anti-parasite properties in the pumpkin seeds with organic veggies and greens to round-out their diet. They’ll have their own post with numbers and information by the end of the month.

Over 300 pounds of food later, they’ve gone from this to this.


We’ve had a new set of twins. Look at those fuzzy feet! Goat kids are so adorable.

Meet Bifur.

And this one is Bofur. He likes to complain.

We’ve added an American Black Belly ram to our polyculture. Our oldest dubbed him Mountain Man. He gets along with our ewes, and we probably already have spring lambs on the way.

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It’s November. November always makes me want to spend time in the kitchen. This is in the oven, and this is in the crock pot, filling up the air with a million fabulous smells.

We had an unexpected, fall garden surprise.

Congratulations! It’s a zucchini!

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On a sadder note, we had a death in our permaculture family. We lost one of the September goat kids (we think to a snake bite). We knew we were due a loss, but it’s still disheartening.


But we’ve also had airplane rides and awards…

Birthday orchids…

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And family dentist appointments (I’ll spare you the pictures). (:

All in all, LIFE goes on, here on the farm.

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Congratulations! You made it to the end.

In honor of my short, Ishka’s Garden

(in A Fellowship of Fantasy Anthology: Fantastic Creatures),

I’m giving away a $5 Amazon gift card & a signed paperback.

Enter Below

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Latest Fiction News

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About Fantastic Creatures (Fellowship of Fantasy Book 1)

Here be dragons … and selkies and griffins and maybe even a mermaid or two.

Twenty fantasy authors band together to bring you a collection of thrilling tales and magical monsters. Do you like to slay dragons? Or befriend them? Do you prefer to meet cephalopods as gigantic kraken or adorable tree octopuses?

Each story focuses around a fantastic creature from folklore or mythology, and they range from light and playful tales for the whole family to darker stories that may make you wish to leave the lights on. These stories carry the Fellowship of Fantasy seal of approval. While our monsters may be horrifying, you won’t stumble into graphic sex and constant swearing.

Perfect for the fantasy lover who can’t get enough of mythical beasts.

 

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Fantastic Creature Anthology Release and Scavenger Hunt!

Happy Release Day to A Fellowship of Fantasy Anthology: Fantastic Creatures!!

In honor of this lovely book, the authors have banded together to create a scavenger hunt. Just visit each of the blog stops and hunt down the clues. You could win…. (Drumroll, please!)

fcsh-giveaway-graphic-2THE GRAND PRIZE:

a Kindle Fire, pre-loaded

with ebooks from many

of the anthology authors.


Enter Below

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Today, I’m happy to welcome Nicole Zoltack to my blog. She’s another outstanding author from A Fellowship of Fantasy Anthology: Fantastic Creatures. Take it away, Nicole!

What Makes an Adventurer?

  1. An adventurer doesn’t necessarily have to be brave, but he or she needs to be able to face adversity head on.
  2. A quest. Every adventurer needs a reason behind the adventure! Without one, he or she will just wander about aimlessly.
  3. Now curiosity isn’t always a good thing, but a healthy dose of it keeps things interesting, so long as the adventurer makes smart choices.
  4. Which leads to intelligence. Without a brain (and using that brain!), the adventurer might not survive their quest!
  5. A tragic past. This is not always necessary, but it often plays a role in his or her quest.
  6. The more prepared the adventurer is, the better his or her chance to obtain their goal or finish/complete their quest.
  7. Fitness/endurance. Most adventurers are out in the fields or woods or swamps. They have to be strong to face their foes.
  8. During their treks, they need to know how to best utilize the land and nature.

My story in the collection An Adventurer’s Heart features one such adventurer who exhibits all of these qualities or traits. She’s not one to be messed with, that’s for sure!

Sign up for my mailing list during this scavenger hunt and comment below letting me know if you have what it takes to be an adventurer, and I’ll enter you to win your choice of one of my ebooks.

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Nicole Zoltack loves to write in many genres, especially romance, whether fantasy, paranormal, time travels or regency. She’s also a freelance editor and a ghostwriter. Her works include the Magic Incarnate series, the Heroes of Falledge trilogy, and the Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy.

When she’s not writing about knights, superheroes, or witches, she enjoys spending time with her loving husband, three energetic young boys, and precious baby girl. She enjoys riding horses (pretending they’re unicorns, of course!) and going to the PA Renaissance Faire, dressed in garb. She’ll also read anything she can get her hands on. Her current favorite TV shows are The Walking Dead and Gotham.

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Check out the fabulous new book for clean fantasy lovers of all kinds!

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Giveaway

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Scavenger Hunt Stops

Kandi J. Wyatt
A. R. Silverberry
Bokerah Brumley
H. L. Burke
Lea Doué
Morgan Smith
Jessica L. Elliott
Caren Rich
Julie C. Gilbert
Nicole Zoltack
D. G. Driver
Intisar Khanani

Since you scrolled ALL the way to end, you scored a bonus!

Here’s another giveaway.  (:

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Happy Release Day, Fantastic Creatures!

To celebrate the release of Fantastic Creatures, The Fellowship of Fantasy has planned a Release Extravaganza! Join our open house-style Facebook party today (Nov 17) from 3:30 – 7 pm to meet many of our anthology authors and get a peek at the fantastic creatures highlighted in our stories. There will be fun, games, and, of course, DRAGONS!

You can also join our Fantastic Creatures Scavenger Hunt from Nov 17-20th. Each of twelve stops will feature a post with exclusive content from one of our authors. Many will also include a mini-giveaway… Visit all the stops and collect the clues–a number featured in each post–and you could win a Kindle Fire plus a 12-book digital library! Make sure to scroll down to find the list of Scavenger Hunt stops and get started right away!

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Here be dragons … and selkies and griffins and maybe even a mermaid or two.

Twenty fantasy authors band together to bring you a collection of thrilling tales and magical monsters. Do you like to slay dragons? Or befriend them? Do you prefer to meet cephalopods as gigantic kraken or adorable tree octopuses?

Each story focuses around a fantastic creature from folklore or mythology, and they range from light and playful tales for the whole family to darker stories that may make you wish to leave the lights on. These stories carry the Fellowship of Fantasy seal of approval. While our monsters may be horrifying, you won’t stumble into graphic sex and constant swearing.

Perfect for the fantasy lover who can’t get enough of mythical beasts.

Get it on: Amazon | B&N (Nook) | Kobo | More!

And find out more at the Fellowship of Fantasy website.

fof-fantastical-creatures-scavenger-hunt-banner

The Fantastic Creatures Scavenger Hunt

Visit these authors’ blogs to find the numbers hidden in each post, discover exclusive content about the stories in our anthology, and find a few mini giveaways along the way! Each author is hosting a different author’s post, so be sure to visit them all. Once you’ve collected all the numbers, add them together and enter the total in the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a Kindle Fire and 12 book digital library!

Scavenger Hunt Stops

Kandi J. Wyatt
A. R. Silverberry
Bokerah Brumley
H. L. Burke
Lea Doué
Morgan Smith
Jessica L. Elliott
Caren Rich
Julie C. Gilbert
Nicole Zoltack
D. G. Driver
Intisar Khanani

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Farmgirl ISO Ladybug

Our garden isn’t exploding as quickly as I had hoped. The herbs are doing well, but the seedlings are struggling more.

(Of course, I imagine expansive food forests, foraging walk-abouts, and returning to the kitchen with my arms laden with produce. Don’t tell Farmer Bill. I think that dream is probably more like 4-5 years away. Perspective may be an issue for me.)

Researching organic ways to combat bad things, I came upon the idea for Ladybugs. I know, I know! No brainer. But, more often than not, on this Permaculture path, we find something that someone else does and immediately say, “Of course! Why didn’t I think of that?!” Sadly, we’ve all been trained to first reach for the chemicals rather than natural ways.

Later, I found Ladybugs on Amazon . I ordered them a few days after and immediately turned uber-excited. I love nothing better than adding a new component to our polyculture. I try to be cool, but it doesn’t quite work out that way. I think I clapped and danced on my toes when I found the package in our mailbox.

Per the instructions, they said to release them in the morning or the evening, watering first. The ladybugs would be thirsty, and water meant they could breed sooner, too.

The next morning, we prepped the beds.

All ready.

 

I opened the box. They were crawling all over inside their netted container.

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Time to set the ladybugs free.

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They’re already congregating beneath leaves and breeding, too. While they won’t fix all our garden ills, it never hurts to add Ladybugs, so that’s a win-win for our little farm.

Next up? Nematodes and a flock of Praying Mantises.

And worms. Definitely more worms.

I found this native guy in the garden yesterday.

It made me so happy, I decided he needed his own photoshoot.

Until next time.

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