Saturday, November 10, 2018

Books: New release: The Gaia Project by Claire Buss

New Book Feature:

The Gaia Project (The Gaia Collection book 2) by Claire Buss:

While Martha Hamble gets to grips with being Governor of City 42, Kira and Jed Jenkins travel to City 15 but they are not prepared for what they find. Corporation are tightening their grip on those who don't conform, threatening to split families and reassign the natural born children. With Gaia weakened, the group of friends must try to find a safe place to live and help the spirit of the Earth recover but everything stands against them. Will Corporation succeed in their tougher regime or can Kira and her friends find a new home?

Here is the link for the book -

Follow Claire Buss on her social media links:
Sign up for her newsletter -

Claire's bio:

Claire Buss is a science fiction, fantasy & contemporary writer based in the UK. She wanted to be Lois Lane when she grew up but work experience at her local paper was eye-opening. Instead, Claire went on to work in a variety of admin roles for over a decade but never felt quite at home. An avid reader, baker and Pinterest addict Claire won second place in the Barking and Dagenham Pen to Print writing competition in 2015 setting her writing career in motion.

The Gaia Effect, a hopeful dystopian novel and winner of the 2017 Raven Award for favorite Scifi/Fantasy novel, was published in 2016.

Tales from Suburbia, a collection of humorous plays, blogs and short stories was published in July 2017.

The Rose Thief, a humorous fantasy inspired by Claire's love of Pratchett was published in November 2017.

Claire has had two short stories published in 2017. 'Underground Scratchings' can be found in the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Tales from the Underground, published by Inklings Press. 'Patient Data' can be found in the sci-fi anthology The Quantum Soul, published by SciFi Roundtable.  

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Books: Interview with Houston writer Carrie Pulkinen

Just in time for Halloween, we have the pleasure of interviewing the wonderful Carrie Pulkinen, who writes paranormal romance (not the scary Halloween horror but the hot, sexy, alpha werewolves!) - so keep reading to find out more about her and her books!

Where are you from and what's your background?

I live in Houston, Texas, with my husband, two kids, and two dogs. Professionally, I started out as a marketing coordinator for a computer company before quitting my desk job to become a high school teacher. I taught high school journalism/photojournalism for eleven years, and then I became a full-time writer.

That's fantastic! When did you realize you wanted to write and when did you start writing?

I was in eighth grade the first time I realized I was good at writing. I was selected to write a short, weekly column about my school in the local newspaper, but I didn't start writing fiction until I was much older. I was at a Twilight convention with some friends (diehard Twilight fan here) and, like all conventions, we spent A LOT of time waiting in lines. To pass the time, I made up stories and told them to my friends. They were impressed with my ability to make things up on the spot (I thought everyone told themselves stories in their heads to pass the time!) and they told me I should write a book. I thought there was no way I'd be able to do it, but I sat at my computer when I got home and tried. Six weeks later, I had my first first draft of a novel!

What a fun way to start your writing career! What genre do you write and what's your target audience?

I write paranormal romance. While I do have one young adult novel published, my primary target audience is women who like a little magic with their romance.

Sounds great. How did you come up with the idea for your newest release? Tell us about it!

My idea for Werewolves Only, and the Crescent City Wolf Pack Series, came to me when I was at a
bar in New Orleans. They had a cardboard sign on the door that led to the kitchen, and it read "Employees and Werewolves Only" written in black marker. I asked the bartender what was up with the sign, and he said an employee made it as a joke because customers said that the bar owner looked like a werewolf. As soon as he told me that, the gears started turning, and the ideas began to flow. I borrowed a pen and scribbled out my plans for the story on a napkin for the next half hour, while my dear husband sat patiently, waiting for me to stop playing with the people in my head.

That's what I'd call getting your creative juices totally flowing! What is your favorite quote and who wrote it?

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”  ~Paulo Coelho

He's one of my favorite Brazilian writers. Do you have a favorite author? Who? Has this author or his book(s) influenced your writing in any way?

I have several favorite authors, and I think they've all influenced my writing in one way or another: Dean Koontz, Heather Graham, Charlaine Harris, and Lara Adrian are just a few.

Wonderful influences. If you could be a character from any book, who would you like to be and why?

I wouldn't mind being the heroine of any romance novel, because I'd be guaranteed a happily ever after! I've always wanted to go to Oz, so I wouldn't mind being Dorothy either!

I hadn't thought about that, and I love your thinking! Happily ever after. What are you working on now?

I am doing the final edits on Bound by Blood, book 3 of the Crescent City Wolf Pack series, and then I'll be starting on book 4!
How exciting! Where can we find out more about you and your writing?

All of my books are listed on my website. To get to know me and be the first to hear about my new releases and promotions, you can sign up for my VIP Reader Group (you'll also get a FREE short story as a thank you!)

You can also find me in the following places:

Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?

I love connecting with readers, so please don't be afraid to say hello!

Thank you so much for your time telling us a little more about you and your books. Wishing you great success in your writing career and your next release! 


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Books: Interview with talented fantasy author DL Jordan

We've met with talented author DL Jordan, who has written a great fantasy series. Read below to find out more about him and his writing.

Where are you from and what's your background?

I am from a small town called Swainsboro, Georgia. However, I currently live in Atlanta. I am a graduate of East Georgia State College and Georgia Southern University. My entire life has been filled with a love for writing and reading. I’ve been enthralled with books ever since I can remember, and that is why I chose to pursue degrees in both English/Language Arts and Communications. I have worked in public education as well and I currently work as an analyst for the state of Georgia.

That’s great. Although you already said your entire life has been filled with a love for writing and reading, when did you realize you wanted to write and when did you start writing?

I first started writing when I was just seven years-old when my parents gave me a journal as a gift. I had always loved to read books, so the sight of one that was completely filled with empty pages confused me. I was so perplexed about what to do with this small, empty book in my hands that I didn’t know what to do with it. That’s when they told me that I should just write down everything I saw and everything that happened. So, that’s just what I did. I wrote down everything that happened around me in my neighborhood — kids playing in the street, our neighbor’s dog running and barking after every car that passed by, and even the smell of the freshly cut grass under the marvelous blue sky. Everything around me was a source of inspiration.

But eventually, like most kids who get something new, I eventually lost interest in writing and didn’t really regain that interest until I was 14.

At the age of 14, I was in high school and my English class was given an assignment to write a story about a boy who finds a pebble. That evening, as I pondered on what to write about, my mind instantly became flooded with ideas about the boy and the pebble. I began thinking, “Could it be a magical pebble? What if someone had lost it and was desperately trying to retrieve it? Maybe it leads to a wondrous underwater metropolis completely unseen by humans?” I eventually finished my assignment, going along with the latter idea and turning it in to my teacher the next day. But I couldn’t get the idea of the boy and this unrevealed metropolis out of my head. I then began to scribble ideas about the boy’s background and certain things he liked to do. I would also write about the history of the civilization he would visit. Within a few months, these ideas became my first completed manuscript. I was so proud of myself and I wanted others to share in my joy. That was the defining moment for me. I knew then that I wanted to be a writer.

I love this – what a great defining moment indeed. What genre do you write and what's your target audience?

So far, I’ve published a children’s book and I’ve even written a few screenplays. However, I’ve mostly published books in the Fantasy genre. That’s the genre I like the most. My The Erlonan Tales series is a Fantasy series and it’s the series that’s been the most fun to write. My target audiences are young people, but I like the fact that even some adults have come to me and said that they like my writing. That’s always delightful to hear and it brings me immense joy. So, to be honest, I would have to say that my target audiences are readers Middle Grade and up. 

Fantastic! What do you expect to accomplish with your writing?

Through my writing, I hope my words can take the reader to a place they’ve never seen before. I want them to escape to a place that’s so extraordinary, so unprecedented, that they never want to leave. I grew up reading great writers like J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, and Patrick Carmen. Their books transported me to worlds that really challenged my imagination. That’s the feeling I want to bring to the reader. Matsuo Basho said, “Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought.” In other words, you must follow your own path and create an experience that will benefit you on your journey, whatever that journey may be. Through my writings, I hope the reader attains a sense of pride that they are reading something they enjoy -  like I did when I was young.

Great answer, I’m sure your readers will appreciate discovering your worlds. What is your favorite quote and who wrote it?

My favorite quote is by Terence, who was born in northern Africa and brought to Rome as a slave around 170–160 BC. He was eventually freed and, because he had a passion for words and writing, later became one of the most well-known and celebrated playwrights at that time. He’s been celebrated throughout the years by great writers like William Shakespeare, Phillis Wheatley, Langston Hughes, and even Maya Angelou, yet hardly anyone outside of academia even knows his name. These writers were greatly influenced by his works and it can be seen in their writings. Terence said many things in his plays throughout his life, but one quote of his has stood out above the rest. This quote is at the center of my creative process and I try to keep it in mind every time I write. It’s from his play Heauton Timorumenos (The Self-Tormentor). The most famous quote from the play is, “I am human, I consider nothing human alien to me.” I consider this quote to be a great line because it lets me know that life is about helping and accepting others, no matter who they are or where they come from. At the end of the day, we are all each other’s people. Nothing that is human should be strange to us. Other people have felt the same emotions we have felt because we are all human beings. This helps when it comes to storytelling because, as writers, we can convey an emotion on the page and make it relatable to the reader – no matter their age, gender, ethnicity, etc. In our hearts, we are all the same.

What a meaningful quote. Thanks for sharing! You already mentioned about some authors you grew up reading, but do you have a favorite? Who? Has this author or their book(s) influenced your writing in any way?

My favorite author is J.K. Rowling. Her world-building and character construction are superb. She’s greatly influenced my writing in many ways and she never stops creating.

She’s truly an amazing writer. If you could be a character from any book who would you like to be, and why?
This may sound silly, but if I could be any character from any book it would have to be one of my all-time favorite characters from childhood – Winnie-the-Pooh. He’s so generous and lives such a simple life thinking about honey all day. For just one day, I would like to be, as A.A. Milne himself described, “a bear of very little brain”.

That’s a cute answer! What are you working on now?

Currently, I’m working on the fourth book in my Erlonan Tales series called The Erlonan Tales: The Golden Trinket.

And where can we find out more about you and your writing?

People can check out my website at

I’m also on Twitter: @DLJordan90

Is there anything else you'd like to share with our readers?

Never give up on yourself or your writing! I’d like to leave a piece of advice to, not just writers, but to anyone who is pursuing their dream. My advice would be to not procrastinate and to have a sense of discipline when it comes to your work. No one else can bring your ideas to the world like you can. So, never bury your talent!  

That’s great advice. Thank you so much for your time sharing your talent with our readers. Wishing you much success in your writing career!

To check DL Jordan’s books, click on the link below:

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Blog Tour: Love Under Fire boxed set on pre-order

Romantic Suspense, Mystery & Thrillers all in one set!



Twenty-one Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and other bestselling authors bring you a heart-pounding collection of 21 BRAND NEW, NEVER-BEFORE PUBLISHED stories all in one amazing romantic suspense limited time boxed set. 

From around the edges of every day existence lurks mystery, betrayal, greed, and death. 

With every turn of the page, feel the heat of adrenaline as fear lights up the night. Fight alongside the tenacious heroes and heroines as they battle for survival. They'll put everything on the line to thwart the evil coming after them. 

They want to trust in the power of love. But is it enough? 

Click to buy and let the adventures begin. 


Judith Lucci - RUN for your life
"Besieged by threats and haunted by memories, can Alex and Jacob survive another fiery attack?"

Stephany Tullis - Blue Lady's MISSION UNDER FIRE
"The mission changed. Her cover is blown. With no where to run and nowhere to hide, what can she do to survive?"

Fiona Quinn - Cold Red
"Undercover, under fire, under arrest, it's hard to save a special agent's life while handcuffed."

Anna Celeste Burke - Lily's Homecoming Under Fire
"When Lily returns home to California's wine country, sparks fly amid a hail of bullets as she and US Marshal Austin Jennings take cover. Who wants Lily dead?"

Margaret A. Daly- Monsters in my Closet
"No one knows her secrets, not even her best friend. Can she keep her secrets and her monsters at bay long enough to give love a chance again?"

Linda Watkins - The Witches of Storm Island, Book I: The Turning
"In 1685, a forbidden love catapults young Maude Prichard into a life fraught with danger...."

Tamara Ferguson - Two Hearts Under Fire
"Will Two Wounded Hearts Under Fire Survive LOVE?"

Suzanne Jenkins - Running with Horses
"Moving horses to the high country comes just in time when Mindy and her coffee date witness murder at a Mojave Desert cafe."

Inge-Lise Goss - Diamonds and Lies
"When murder upends a diamond heist, can the jewel thief trust the mark who vows to protect her?"

S.R. Mallery - Tender Enemies
"When Lily sets up a spy trap, she faces great danger--of falling in love."

Jinx Schwartz - Baja Get Away
"Sometimes love is... Murder."

Uvi Poznansky - Virtually Lace
"Michael creates a virtual reality simulation of the murder. Can he solve it in time, before the killer turns on the woman he loves?"

Kathryn Knight - The Haunting of Hillwood Farm
"A dangerous ghost brings them together...but will they survive long enough to find happiness?"

Stephanie Queen - Ace Under Fire 
"Can this bad boy make a come back to save an old flame?"

Casi McLean - Reign Of Fire
"Lies, Corruption, and Murder... exposing the truth leads to love--and a ghostly encounter. "

Valerie J. Clarizio -The Code Enforcer
"Can they overcome their painful pasts--and a murder investigation--to find happiness together?"

Chris Patchell - Deception Bay
"She's armed. He's dangerous. Together, can they stop a killer from tearing a small island community apart?"

Aaron Paul Lazar - The Asylum: A Carmen Garcia romantic suspense novel
"Carmen has a secret, and his name is Dr. Micah Worthy."

Alyssa Richards - Chasing Secrets
"Her husband's secret is priceless, her attempts to retrieve it could be deadly."

K.M. Hodge - Summer of '78
"Susan Evenbright, pledges to make her last summer in Texas a killer one."

Pamela Fagan Hutchins - Buckle Bunny
"The last guy to call Maggie a buckle bunny didn't make his eight seconds."
What’s my novel about?

A new place, a new start on a life, that’s all Becky wants. A place she can feel safe and free herself from her past. No one knows her secrets, not even her best friend. 

She wasn’t ready for love, not just yet. At least that’s what she kept telling herself. Deep down she yearned for it, even burned for it. But every time she lets herself fall, it fails miserably. She isn’t going to let that happen, not this time. She will find herself first. 

All of her plans are thrown out the window the day she runs into Stephen. His smile captures her and no matter how much she fights it, she can’t deny the pull in her heart. Can Stephen help her chase away the past? Can she keep her secrets and her monsters at bay long enough to give love a chance again?

Are you ready for some samples? Those are next. Keep reading on!

It is such a pleasure meeting you all! I hope to see some new friends on my Facebook page as well as my Book Bub account where you can get updates when I publish my next books!


Drawing in a breath, I turned the corner at the intersection I had mapped in my head earlier. Really, this was a new beginning for me. I wasn’t lying about that. 

But find my prince charming? Now that was a tall order. I didn’t want the perfect man. I wanted a stable, caring man who knew he was no longer a teenager. I wanted a man who could see the value in me and chase my nightmares away. 

I just wanted to feel safe in a man’s arms, to trust him so completely that I lost myself and my past in him. I wanted to be happy. Didn’t I deserve it? Hadn’t I suffered enough?

A sound behind me shook me out of my thoughts and I turned around quickly, my hands on the mace key chain in my pocket. I never went anywhere without it, even when I went running. 

There was nothing there, an empty stretch of street behind me. 

“You’re being ridiculous,” I said to myself, scolding myself for even reaching for the mace. There was no one that was going to get me. I was safe here, safe. 

I forced my feet to move and soldiered on down the sidewalk, shaking off the goosebumps that had scattered across my skin. My heart pounded against my chest wall, my steps a bit quicker. One more turn and I would be home free. 

As I rounded the next corner, a solid wall of muscle smacked against me. 


“Well,” Stephen said as we walked out of the alley, our hands linked together. “They will never forget us.”

I giggled, my face still flushed from the exertion. “Maybe they will hire us out. I think we made a good impression.”

He drew me closer, until our arms brushed each other as we walked back to my building. “I think we make a good team Becky.”

“Me too,” I murmured. Never would I have done the things tonight we had done in public, but Stephen had this way about him that made me want to join in. It wasn’t just mindless silliness we had gotten into, but a genuine good time. 

“Well,” Stephen said turning me toward him. “Here we are.”

I looked up at the building, surprised and a bit disappointed that we are already here. “I-I really enjoyed myself tonight.”

“Even if the original was a bust?” he inquired. 

I nodded. “Even so.”

He reached up and brushed a strand of hair away from my face, stealing my breath as he did so. 

“I will look at the schedule. I still want to take you dancing.”

“Okay,” I said breathlessly, looking into his eyes. A night in his arms surely had to be something special. “Sounds like a plan.”

“Good,” he said, his hand drifting down my cheek. 

I closed my eyes against the softness of his touch, my entire body shivering from the inside out. Oh, how easy it would be to invite him up to my apartment, to bask in his soft touch all night long. But I knew regret would be between us in the morning, regret that we rushed something special and I didn’t want that to happen. 

I was determined to take this slow, even if it killed me. 

“May I kiss you Becky?” he asked softly, his eyes searching mine. 

My breath halted at his tender expression, his simple question. 

Oh my god, was he really asking me? I had never had a guy ask me if they could kiss me. “I.”

“Too soon,” he said, stepping back. “I understand.”

“N-no,” I answered, closing the gap between us. “It’s not too soon.”

His expression changed, and his hands slid up my arms, leaving goosebumps in their wake. I shivered under his touch and closed my eyes in anticipation, my lips parted softly. I wanted him to kiss me. His lips were soft on mine, so light that I could barely feel them. Even so, my body reacted anyway, the flush spreading from the roots of my hair to my toes. 

I felt wonderful— I felt alive.

When Stephen deepened the kiss, I fell headlong into that hole of emotions, allowing myself to be carried away by his kiss.


Right now when you order Love Under Fire on Apple iBooks or as a Nook Book you qualify for a special gift of Nineteen FREE books from the authors of the set! PLUS, if you act before August 25, 2018 you can get this special gift when you purchase on Amazon Kindle as well! Fill your kindle up with these great books while you wait for Love Under Fire to release on November 13, 2018! All for $0.99 AND you will be supporting a great cause! The authors of Love Under Fire are officially supporting Pets for Vets! Preorder your set today and send your proof of purchase to to claim your free books!

If you are active military, a veteran or military family you qualify to enter! 

If you aren't please share this giveaway with your friends so they can enter! 

VISIT for full details!

Thank you so much for stopping by!
Sponsored by

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Books: Fun with #bookloversday Book Fair

Do you know what is celebrated on August 9?

August 9, marks National Book Lovers Day. It’s a special day for bibliophiles to celebrate their love of literature and reading.

The origin and creator National Book Lovers Day is unknown, notes National Day Calendar.

However, Google Trends shows that searches for “National Book Lovers Day” began in August 2007. Searches for “Book Lovers Day” started in 2004, but in November instead of August.

By 2012, August 9 was embraced as “National Book Lovers Day,” as that’s when searches for it really began to spike. The site True Book Addict and others mentioned the holiday in 2012.

To celebrate Booklover's Day, shop this great selection of romance books. There are stories from across the world, from New Zealand and Australia, to the States and Canada – I’m sure you’ll find some European stories in there as well. 

Books are free or priced between $0.99-$2.99 for the duration of the promotion.
(Please check prices before you do the “oneclick”) on the site below:

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Lifestyle: Buy a book to help Greece Wildfires Relief Fund

From today through August 31st, all proceeds from purchases of the book Olympian Passion, by Andrya Bailey, both e-book and paperback version, will be donated to the Greece Wildfire Relief Campaign on gofundme:

This campaign is hosted by the Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC) and Chicago Sister Cities International - Athens Committee. Both HALC and the Athens Committee are official, registered American non-profits. HALC has launched several relief and fundraising campaigns for the people of Greece before. We have close contacts with the government, with non-profit organizations across the country and with community leaders. We have an excellent track record of accountability, transparency and will make all fund disbursements public. HALC and the Athens Committee are not retaining a single cent of any funds raised: all funds will be distributed directly to help the people of Greece.

HALC works with registered, vetted nonprofits and other organizations that have a clear record of transparency, accountability and effectiveness. We are in the process of continuing our vetting but at the moment, 100% of funds raised will be directly distributed to the following vetted, approved organizations:

* Hellenic Red Cross (Ελληνικός Ερυθρός Σταυρός)
This organization is providing direct, urgent emergency relief to those affected, such as first aid, shelter, and more.

* SOS Children's Village Greece (Παιδικά Χωριά SOS Ελλάδος) 
This organization provides support services to children. At least 23 children have been injured by the fires, some in critical condition. We will distribute funds directly for any medical care, feeding of displaced families, housing of displaced families or care for orphaned children.

As your donations are dispersed, we will provide a full accounting of where the funds were distributed and how your donation helped.

To purchase the book click below:

Olympian Passion is the first book in the Olympian trilogy, by romance author Andrya Bailey. It is the recipient of Readers' Favorite 5-star seal and 2016 New Apple Literary Medalist Winner in Contemporary Romance.

Sabrina loves everything about Greek mythology and can't believe when she's accepted for an internship at the Fine Arts Museum in Houston. There, she meets the handsome Greek archaeologist Nikos Soulis, who will spend two months at the museum, and she falls head over heels for him. But the sexy professor seems too busy and already spoken for... so why does he insist on helping her with her project? Can Sabrina avoid heartbreak when she is seduced by the hot Olympian-looking god of her dreams?

"A great romance that does justice to the mythological theme."

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Music: Interview with Canadian artist and musician The Feasting

We've had the pleasure of interviewing a new artist from Canada. Check out what he has to say about his music!

Please tell us a little about your background and where you are from.
I'm 26 years old, from Ontario, Canada, a small town called Exeter. I've been making all types of different music since I was 14 years old, playing in bands and solo acts as well.

What made you fall in love with music and play?
The feeling when you write a song and show some people, and they dig it and just the feeling I get from making music.

Who was your greatest influence to follow in the music career? Why?
My mom and grandmother, who bought me my first electric guitar.

How nice! What is your favorite musical genre and why?
I like all types of music other than country, and I like rap, metal and punk as well. 

When was the first time you performed live and how did you feel?
When I was 15, I performed in a band called Damage Remains at a big birthday bash for my drummer's mom.

Is there a specific performance you feel was your best so far? If so, where and why? 
A live show in an apartment building with my last band Terror Slug. We have been played on radio stations in the United Kingdom , Scotland, and Japan.

That's exciting! What do you enjoy the most about your interaction with the fans?
The pure joy that people get from listening to music.

Music does inspire, so how do you draw inspiration to write your music? 
I listen to music I enjoy and then find the perfect beat for the lyrics, or just writing down lyrics sometimes gives you great ideas.

What are you working on now and what are your plans for the future?
I just released a 4 track EP called Wilderness. I also dropped a new freestyle track before I start working on the album cover for my first full album which is half done as we speak. Just a few more tracks left and will be released.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Believe in yourself because anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

Great advice! To find more about his music, check out: 

And subscribe to his Youtube channel:

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Blog Tour: Can they rekindle the love they once had? Joanna's Destiny by @KarenJMoss

It's Release Day for Joanna's Destiny!

Struggling with the past, Joanna can’t forget the love she lost and the man who broke her heart. During the summer at a rock festival, Joanna meets him again. Niko is now an international rock star. Can they put the past behind them and rekindle the love they once had?

Mike stood by her when no one else did, but Niko still wants her. Joanna becomes entangled in a web of lies and deceit. Niko is the love of her life, but she cannot leave Mike in confusion and betrayal.

In Joanna’s Destiny, she has some fun times in France and mingles with the stars in Montreux. With a backdrop of music and fashion, emotions and friendships are tested. But her love for Niko never falters, showing that love can conquer all, but at what cost?

Available Exclusively on Amazon!
All Countries Safe Link
It costs nothing, zero, zilch, not-ta, not a penny to enter to win this #giveaway! But you could win a book and money... 
There's Just HOURS left!
(5 Hours at the time of post)
US Entrants: Enter To Win a digital copy of Joanna’s Journey by Karen J. Mossman and a $10 Amazon Gift Card!

UK Entrants: Enter To Win a $15 Amazon Gift Card that can be used towards the purchase of Joanna’s Destiny by Karen J Mossman.

Get your copy of this great Romantic Suspense and support your Indie Author!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Fun: giveaway and writing contest!

Giveaway and writing contests this summer!

If you haven't yet, sign up for Andrya Bailey's newsletter:

This month, there's a giveaway going on and you can enter it for a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card (worldwide) or a Starbucks $5 gift card (US only):

Between June 18 to July 14 enter for a chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card (worldwide) and a $5 Starbucks card (US only) by clicking the link below:

Giveaway sponsored by Andrya Bailey:

If you write, consider submitting to the following writing contests:

A prize of $750.00 and publication in The Ocotillo Review Winter 2019 will be awarded for a poem of up to 65 lines. Submit up to three poems of no more than 65 lines each with a $20.00 entry fee by August 20, 2018.

A prize of $750.00 and publication in The Ocotillo Review Winter 2019 will be awarded for a short story. Submit one story of less than 4200 words with a $20.00 entry fee by August 20, 2018. All entries will be considered for publication. All entrants will receive a copy of the journal containing the winning story.

For more info and to enter, click on the link below:

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Music: Interview with video game composer Monish Corona

This talented video game composer has shared a little about his life and music with us. He's developing music for a new video game and it sounds very exciting! Read on to find out more about his career and musical skills!

Please tell us a little about your background and where you are from.

I was born Downey California, and was then raised in the Hawthorne/Lawndale area. Music has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember. I actually used to have fantasies about growing up and becoming a singer as a child. When I decided to learn how to play music I joined a rock band in middle school, where I learned how to play the drums and started singing. However, when I got to High School I began studying video game music in freshmen year. Since video games were a big part of my childhood, this seemed to be the natural progression. During that time I really focused on learning percussion in different forms, and began playing the piano towards the end of high school. After that, I studied music composition at Santa Monica College for 3 years, and then transferred to Berklee College of Music in 2016.

You mentioned you learned to play instruments. How many, and what’s your favorite?

As I mentioned, my main instruments of choice at this point would be my voice, percussion, and the piano. However, I also learned how to play a little bit of guitar and bass from the bands I played in growing up. In high school, I dabbled in the flute for marching band. I actually became pretty good at playing the Ocarina at some point. I was really inspired by the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time to learn it, and to this day, I love picking it up every now and then.

Sounds like you really have a talent for music. Who was your greatest influence to follow in the music career? Why?

I’ve actually had quite a bit of influences growing up. I can definitely say in my early years learning music, I was into a lot of rock and metal bands, however I enjoyed a bit of everything. A few of my favorites growing up were Led Zeppelin, Avenged Sevenfold, Deftones, and Linkin Park. If I were to go on, there would way many to mention in this article. However, as I fell in love with video game music, I found my biggest influence to be Yoko Shimomura. There was just something about the way she brought very classical elements and made them sound modern that I loved. I discovered her music when listening to the Kingdom Hearts series, which to this day holds a very special place in my heart. I also fell in love with composers like Nobuo Uematsu, Yasunori Mitsuda, and Jeremy Soule, but in terms of pure influence, I always come back to Shimomura.

That’s great. So many great influences in music! What drove you to start composing scores?

I actually started off by transcribing some of favorite music from the video games I played. One day realized that I could use the knowledge I learned from the techniques I saw from the composers and started to create my own music. After that point, I wrote a lot of original music through high school in the style of my favorite composers growing up all the way up. When I started college I met up with few other students who were also trying to get into the game industry. We started making short games for fun, and I learned a lot more about the programming side of game audio. At some point, I started going to local Game Dev meet ups, just to meet other people who appreciated video games as an art form. I actually started writing music for a few games since than as well, and I always become excited to work on new projects!

That’s exciting! What's your favorite movie/game score? Why? Has it helped shape your work in any way?

Monish with his favorite composer Yoko Shimomura
I mentioned how my favorite composer was Yoko Shimomura, and while she composed the music for all the Kingdom Hearts games, my favorite soundtrack of hers so far have been her work on Kingdom Hearts 2 and most recently, Final Fantasy 15. However, I have to give an honorable mention to Uematsu’s soundtrack for Final Fantasy 8, Mitsuda’s soundtrack to Chrono Trigger, and Chrono Cross, and Nick Arundel’s work for the music in the Batman Arkham series. When it comes to movies however, my favorite soundtracks include Howard Shore’s work in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, and I actually really love the music in Hans Zimmer’s “Man of Steel” soundtrack as well! I think everything that Hans Zimmer does is really well done. I can’t get enough of that man’s work!

Hans Zimmer is great and “Man of Steel” soundtrack is one of my favorites too! How do you draw inspiration to compose?

It really depends on the game and what the emotion the development team wants to convey. I usually will ask devs for a screenshot, or script of the game to convey those emotions and see what fits then mood. When composing scores, it’s really important to focus what’s best for every game because you want the music to immerse players and not become a distraction. Music can still be noticeable, and the one I love about game music is that they have a strong focus on melody, but you never want to distract the player too much from the game. There are many aspects to video games, and music is just one of them.

That’s an interesting side of composing! Do you prefer to compose at night or during the day? When are you most creative?

I really prefer to compose at night since I’m a natural night owl. I feel like some of my best “hoorah” moments happened when I was up late, and didn’t want to stop composing until I couldn’t stay awake anymore. However, as I got older, and time became more valuable, I learned the value of getting up early in the morning to get work done. Now, I really enjoy composing after a morning workout, and a good breakfast. I know I will become a night owl again at some point in the future, but for now, most of my creative moments happen in the morning, when I am the most focused and energized.

What's the favorite music you've created? What inspired it?

Actually, the most favorite music I created at this point is for my soundtrack for an upcoming game called “Bindstone”, as well as a few solo pieces I’ve made in the last year that pushed me to experiment a lot with my sound. I think when it comes to the music on Bindstone, the reason why this project is different from others I’ve worked on is because up until this point, is because the team is really great at critiquing my work. It’s also a project that pushes me out of comfort zone, and forces me to experiment with new musical ideas. I’m used to writing music for RPG’s, Platformers, and Puzzler games, and I never wrote music for a online multiplayer game before. I’ve loved the ideas that have been coming out of my head, and it also seems to be some of the most polished work I’ve made since I’m going through many rewrites for some tracks.

I’m sure it’s a great soundtrack. What are you working on now and what are your plans for the future?

Well, besides the soundtrack for Bindstone, I’m actually working on creating content for my YouTube channel, where I release a lot solo music, and video game music analysis videos. I will also be working on my first RPG soundtrack next year when further developments come further along.

Congratulations on your accomplishments. Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I would just like to thank you for taking the time to interview me, and giving me an outlet to share my musical history so far! It’s always nice to have a conversation with someone about a composer’s story, since everyone’s journey will be different.

Thank you so much for telling us a little about you and your music. We wish you a lot of success in your musical career.

To connect with Monish and hear more of his music: