#BadMoonRising The Tower in the Mist by Deby Fredericks #darkfantasy #thriller

Happy Saturday! Hope you’re having a relaxing weekend. Grab a cup of coffee if that’s your beverage of choice (it’s a stiff cup of hot chocolate for me), sit back and enjoy the interview with today’s author. She’s a repeat visitor to Bad Moon Rising and may surprise you with her answer to the movie that kept her up at night. Welcome Deby Fredericks!

Has a movie or book scared you so much that you couldn‛t sleep? Which one?

The Chuck Norris movie, Silent Rage. A mentally unstable man is experimented on and effectively can‛t be killed, but he‛s an insane killer now. Good job, mad scientist! That one kept me up at night.

If you were in a horror movie, would you rather have a loaded gun or a car that wouldn‛t break down?

My priority would be to get out of that whole situation, so I‛d take the car. Assuming I could get there…

Would you rather put your hand in a box and feel something slimy or furry?

Furry. Even if it bit me right away. No slime for me, thanks! 

Do you write to music?

Yes, I have a couple of Pandora playlists. One has exciting music from movies and games to keep me in the mood. The other has quiet piano tunes for when I‛m feeling stressed about my progress.

Which comes first for you — plot or character?

For me, I have to know what the story is ‟about‟ in order to get started. I often come up with the character and the situation simultaneously. ‟This kind of character has this kind of problem.‟ Then I start to explore the world they‛re in and last I begin to build the plot. I‛ll typically have a short string of two or three plot events planned before I begin writing.

What are you working on now?

I‛ve published three novellas in my dark fantasy series, Minstrels of Skaythe. The next step is to collect those in one paperback, which I hope to have ready by this Christmas.

Zathi’s job is to capture renegade mages, but Keilos isn’t like any other mage she’s dealt with. Her drive to bring him in only leads them deeper into a cursed forest. Together, warrior and mage will face deadly beasts and grapple with decisions that compromise every principle. Until they stumble upon a place of ancient, forgotten magic. Zathi must choose — allow Keilos to claim it, or kill him once and for all.

Purchase:

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QL476BJ

Draft2Digital: https://books2read.com/u/3nK1Mo

Author Bio

Deby Fredericks has been a writer all her life, but thought of it as just a fun hobby until the late 1990s. She made her first sale, a children’s poem, in 2000. 

Fredericks has six fantasy novels out through two small presses. More recently, she self-publishes her fantasy novellas and novelettes, bringing her to 15 books in all. Her latest is The The Ice Witch of Fang Marsh. Her short work has been published in Andromeda Spaceways and selected anthologies.

Social Links

website:  http://www.debyfredericks.com

blog:  http://wyrmflight.wordpress.com twitter: http://www.twitter.com/debyfredericks

#BadMoonRising: One If (Virago Fantasy #1) by Carol B. Allen #darkfantasy #indieauthor

Today’s author is also making her first appearance at Bad Moon Rising.  I had the pleasure of reading her dark fantasy a couple months ago, and her science nerd main character stole my heart.  If you’re claustrophobic, you might want to skip the first question below – I struggled to breathe.  Welcome Carol B. Allen!

Would you rather sleep in a coffin for one night or spend the night in a haunted house?

Here’s what happens to me when buried in a shallow grave. Barely breathing, I attempt to move my legs and arms a mere few inches. My fingers tap the top of the make-shift coffin in a Morse code sequence. Will anyone hear? A flimsy breathing tube emits a trickle of light and air. But how long can I count on the dim glow of day before ink fills the sky? I’ve been left alive and promised release in the morning. Spindly, hairy spider legs crawl up my bare legs and arms. They don’t bite, but the sensation is unbearable.  Anxiety will kill me before anything else. Need I say I unequivocally choose the haunted house. I won’t be questioning that my feet will take me where I need to go when day breaks.

If you could time travel, where would you go and what year would it be?

I am heading to 19th century Paris. I am on a mission as I wander the boulevards blending with idle strollers. Paris is alive with the laughter of people of all ages and colors. In a trance-like state, I observe cultures blend and lines blur. Yet as a female writer, I am well aware barriers exist for me. Somehow, I arrive at the ornate Parisian home of George Sand. I need to know why was she compelled to write with a male pseudonym? My question is absurd—even females in the 21st century pound their chests to let their voices be heard. How much have things changed? I am invisible to George. I observe her write and silently whisper in her ear, “Why is it that when we choose to live by our pens, we provoke outright rejection?” Her face brightens. Her thoughts drift. She notes to her secretary, Emile Aucante, and encourages him to open a literary agency that will serve as an intermediary between writers and publishers. Have I inspired her mission?

If you were in a horror movie, would you rather have a loaded gun or a car that wouldn’t break down?

If you insist I choose, I’ll opt for the car that refuses to break down. My horror movie features ghosts, aliens, and random evil spirits. The ghosts dance on the hood of my car. Skeleton faces smirk and taunt me—their bony feet patter on my roof. The aliens use their telepathic mind to control me. I may cock the gun, and release bullets—but they don’t stop those who pursue me. The choice is clear. For me, freedom comes with the ability to keep moving. Stay alive. A car that won’t break down leads to the path of safety. I hope.

What was the hardest scene to write in your featured book?

My lead character, Parker, an introverted science nerd, has been abducted to save a dying planet from climate change. At a pivotal point in my book, she must overcome her innate shyness and build consensus with the other teens who have also been selected to foster a healthy ecosystem. As Parker’s emotions and values are revealed to the reader, only one choice remains for her.  I’ll admit I had a difficult time making that choice for Parker. And I can’t tell you what she decides, you have to read One If to find out.

What are you working on now?

Readers of One If will be relieved to learn I am wrapping up my sequel. One If closed with a thrilling cliffhanger. Readers email me daily desperate to know what happens. The good news is —by the time, Bad Moon Rising publishes this blog, my sequel, Two If will be near release.  I will be offering readers of Bad Moon Rising a special offer on the duology —two books for the price of one.

Which comes first for you—plot or characters?

For me, the story comes first—the foundation of why we write. I believe all good books have a story to tell that people want to hear. And then, strong, fully developed characters move the story forward. Neither can be weak—both must be rich in message and emotion to be successful. But without a compelling story entwined with memorable characters, a book isn’t going to hook a reader.

When Parker Kittridge, a quirky science student from New York City, is lured to her terrace by a frisky hummingbird, she slips and plunges 18 stories to the street and awakens in Spyridon, a planet destroyed by climate change and locked in civil war. Parker quickly discovers she is not alone. Two other teens have also been kidnapped and they must join forces to save the planet if they have any chance to return to Earth.

The teens’ struggle for survival is fierce: murders, deceptions, power plays, love triangles and magical fantasy elements make this a high-stakes, coming-of-age adventure pitted against a race with time.

A Note from the Author

The Virago Fantasies are meant for everyone interested in the thrill of an adventure and our planet’s sustainability. As technology evolves and career opportunities change, I hope my books enhance interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and inspire the advancement of women in STEM. A percentage of the sales of my books will be donated to organizations that benefit these interests.

Purchase Links

Author Bio

Carol B. Allen is an author and international, award-winning creative professional. She has held leadership positions in firms that believe in strengthening community across the New York Tri State Area. She plays an active role in supporting opportunities to enhance young women’s interest in the STEM fields as well as advancing causes that protect the environment.

She serves on the Advisory Committee for Advancing Women in Science and Medicine (AWSM), part of Northwell Health’s Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. Additionally, she has participated in an advisory capacity for the Girl Scouts STEM program.

A University of Michigan graduate, Carol received high honors and the prestigious Student of Distinction recognition.

Carol resides in Westchester County and is an active member of the Pound Ridge Authors Society. When she isn’t writing, Carol enjoys the city life and the country life, balancing her time with her family, exploring the cultural offerings of Manhattan as well as the great outdoors of the Northeast woodlands.

Social Media

Instagram: @carol.b.allen

#BadMoonRising: Diaballein by Cage Dunn #horror #darkfantasy

Today we have an author making a first time appearance at Bad Moon Rising.  I read a wonderful review of Diaballein last week at D. Wallace Peach’s blog HERE  The list of three items to take into a haunted house totally makes sense – well thought out.  Welcome Cage Dunn!

Would you rather sleep in a coffin for one night, or spend a night in a haunted house?

For prickly-skin inspiration, I’d like to walk through a haunted graveyard at midnight on my way to sleep in the abandoned haunted house, but not in a coffin.

What three items would you take to the haunted house?

  1. eReader, of course, ‘cos how else am I going to get weird reflections of the ghosts who think I can’t see anything behind me?
  2. Pump-up mattress, ‘cos even sleeping with ghosts should offer some comfort, and old haunted houses are not conducive to a good night’s sleep, are they?
  3. A notebook, so I can offer to relay the stories the ghosts want to have told.

Ghosts have many stories to tell, many woes to share, and if I can steal one idea from any of them, or show a reader what it feels like to be there, how the heart races at the tickle of cold air that touches the face like a dead lover’s caress – that’s a good moment. Fear is the anticipation of something bad happening, and I love to talk to the things that cause fear, find out why they do it, how it works.

Would you rather boogie down to Monster Mash or get your groove on to Thriller?

For musical inspiration, I’d like to boogie down with Monster Mash followed closely by Thriller.  Music is the soul of writing stories. A piece of music can inspire a story or enhance it. The rhythms of the sound transferred to the story demonstrate the subtext, the pace, and the sense of movement. Not every piece of music works for a story, but when it’s right, it’s so very, very right.

Do you write to music?

Funny you should ask that. I do, but only sometimes. I’m tone deaf, so the music can’t have voices, and if it’s the wrong music, I can’t write. So the music has to be non-vocal, and clearly defined between beats. It’s the beats I feel that need to be expressed into the pacing of the story, or the feel and atmosphere. It may not make sense, but it’s fun.

What is the hardest part of writing an author bio?

Do I have to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? I mean, I tell stories … but in the end, I told enough of the truth mixed with enough of the dreamer to satisfy both me and the muse. Maybe.

What are you working on now?

There are two series, or maybe serials, in novella formats.

The stories are based on the paths taken to achieve the highest level of magic. Not the type of magic that waves a wand, but the real magic where a person calls on their elemental nature, their strengths through familiars, and patterns of power to assist the people in the world who need it.

The second is a series about a man I’d call a negotiator, a fixer. He knows everyone on the dark side, and everyone knows him. The man youu call when you want a good thief to retrieve the family secrets, or to barter for the return. This man employs the skills of psychics and future-tellers as well as punishers and common thieves. You want something done on the quiet, he’s your man.

One man, one woman, one Diaballein — who will survive?

Kano Varre seeks a rare mineral in Outback Australia to prove his controversial and dangerous research — what he finds is a nightmare.

His body is possessed by the Diaballein, whose purpose is to open a gateway for his brethren, Kano must defeat the enemy while there’s only one, and he needs Eyza’s help to do it before the world falls into slavery, torture, death — worse than any nightmare ever imagined.

The gate is open …

Purchase Links

Amazon: http://amazon.com/author/cagedunn 

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cage-dunn

Books2Read: https://books2read.com/ap/nkG5gn/Cage-Dunn

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CageDunn

Author Bio

Cage Dunn is a dedicated Fibber, Fabricator, Teller of Tall Tales who writes Australian stories, rural and outback urban/dark fantasy, horror, and twisted tales, stories about fearful things, dreams and horrors.

Cage was born in the wide-open landscape of inland Western Australia, lived all over the startling country of Australia – now in Adelaide – and worked at everything from sewage collection to computer programming. Still learning, still writing, still scaring the pants off those willing to listen to the stories …

Social Media

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cage_dunn   @cage_dunn
Blog: https://cagedunn.wordpress.com

#BlogTour Queen of Volts (The Shadow Game #3) by Amanda Foody #bookreview #YA #fantasy #TuesdayBookBlog

Return to the City of Sin, where the final game is about to begin…and winning will demand the ultimate sacrifice.

Only days after a corrupt election and brutal street war, one last bloodthirsty game has begun. The players? The twenty-two most powerful, notorious people in New Reynes.

After realizing they have no choice but to play, Enne Scordata and Levi Glaisyer are desperate to forge new alliances and bargain for their safety. But while Levi offers false smiles and an even falser peace to the city’s politicians, Enne must face a world where her true Mizer identity has been revealed…and any misstep could turn deadly.

Meanwhile, a far more dangerous opponent has appeared on the board, one plucked right from the most gruesome legends of New Reynes. As the game takes its final, vicious turn, Levi and Enne must decide once and for all whether to be partners or enemies.

Because in a game for survival, there are only losers…

And monsters. 

Queen of Volts was one of my most anticipated reads this year, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.  I’m just sad my time with these characters is over.

The first two books in the series are told from Levi’s and Enne’s POVs, but this time I was delighted to see Harvey, Lola, and Sophia included.  Initially, I didn’t want to hear anything from Harvey for reasons I can’t discuss (spoilers), but as the story progressed, I couldn’t deny his wonderful character arc and the important part he plays in the plot.

Talk about high stakes – they’re pushed to the max.  In this dangerous new game, your life isn’t just in your own hands, it’s also tied to the survival of other players.  The complexity of the author’s story boards connecting everyone and their interwoven stories had to be quite impressive.  So. Much. Happening.

Although the book is lengthy at over four hundred pages, pacing is perfect, and I tore through the last thirty percent because I couldn’t stand to put it down or wait to see what happened to some of my favorite characters.  As with the other novels in the series, be prepared for surprising revelations, heart-stopping moments of panic and grief, and once again, heartbreak, but the ending is everything I’d hoped for.

Dark, gritty, fantastically imagined, and full of power plays and political maneuvering, The Shadow Game is among my favorite YA fantasy series and one I’d highly recommend to fans of the genre.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About the author

Amanda Foody has always considered imagination to be our best attempt at magic. After spending her childhood longing to attend Hogwarts, she now loves to write about immersive settings and characters grappling with insurmountable destinies. She holds a master’s in accountancy from Villanova University and a bachelor of arts in English literature from the College of William and Mary.

Social Links:

Author website: www.amandafoody.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/amandafoody
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amandafoody/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37545599-queen-of-volts

Five Dark Fates (Three Dark Crowns #4) by Kendare Blake #bookreview #YA #darkfantasy

After the battle with Katharine, the rebellion lies in tatters. Jules’s legion curse has been unbound, leaving her out of her mind and unfit to rule. Arsinoe must find a cure, even as the responsibility of stopping the ravaging mist rests heavy on her shoulders, and her shoulders alone. Mirabella has disappeared.

Queen Katharine’s rule over Fennbirn remains intact—for now. But her attack on the rebellion exacted a high price: her beloved Pietyr. Without him, who can she rely upon when Mirabella arrives, seemingly under a banner of truce? As oldest and youngest circle each other, and Katharine begins to yearn for the closeness that Mirabella and Arsinoe share, the dead queens hiss caution—Mirabella is not to be trusted.

In this conclusion to the Three Dark Crowns series, three dark sisters will rise to fight as the secrets of Fennbirn’s history are laid bare. Allegiances will shift. Bonds will be tested, and some broken forever.

The fate of the island lies in the hands of its queens.

Being such a fan of this dark fantasy series, I bought this book the day it was released, but hate that it took me months to finally read it.

Admittedly, I was a little lost at the beginning.  Part of the reason is the length of time between finishing the previous book and starting this one, and the other is listening to the audiobook.  I’ve learned that when an extensive character list is involved, I do better reading the book instead of listening, so that’s on me.

Between the three sisters, I can’t say I really have a favorite, but I admire certain qualities about each of them, and they all have distinct personalities.  From the beginning, the world-building fascinated me – triplet girl queens, each possessing different gifts, who must fight to the death for the crown upon reaching a certain age.  Years ago, I attended a panel where the author explained what sparked the idea – bee hives, of all things.

In this last novel, explanations come to light, mysteries are solved, and deaths abound – plenty of them.  I can’t say it ended as I’d hoped or expected, but the unexpected isn’t always a bad thing, either.  This YA dark fantasy is one I’d recommend to fans of the genre.

#BadMoonRising: The Gellboar by Deby Fredericks #darkfantasy

If you see a woman hanging around a graveyard wearing good running shoes or awkwardly dancing to Thriller while hiding behind the crowd, it might be today’s author.  Welcome Deby Fredericks!

Would you rather be part of the X-Files team or the Ghostbusters?

I think X-Files, because I have a lot of secretarial skills and I could help them research what’s going on.

Would you rather boogie down to Monster Mash or get your groove on with Thriller?

I’m not a very good dancer, so that would put Thriller out. On the other hand, who can resist the sinisterly-sexy voice of Vincent Price? I would dance to Thriller, way in the back where I wouldn’t wreck the show.

Would you rather  walk through a haunted graveyard at midnight or spend the night in a haunted, abandoned house?

This is kind of cheesy, but I’d only have to walk through the graveyard once, right? Whereas I’d have to be in the house all night, so — Graveyard, with good running shoes on, just in case.

As a writer, what would you chose as your mascot, avatar or spirit animal?

I have always had a thing for owls. Their faces are so striking with the big yellow eyes. They are reputed to be smart, connected with the goddess Athena. Yet they also are kind of stealthy and just watch without saying much. But I definitely want an avatar that can fly.

What is your favorite cover of all your books?

The cover for The Seven Exalted Orders shows a mage dressed in stony gray, with his staff catching fire. It really captures the mood of that character who had to shed expectations and embrace his true desires.

What are you working on now?

I’m about 3/4 through the third novella in my series The Minstrels of Skaythe. A group of good mages are trying to fly under the radar of an evil regime. In this novella, the main character adopts a volatile, traumatized boy and tries to teach him a more peaceful way. But she herself is a trauma survivor and finds herself facing the one person who hurt her most.

The Holy Mothers have decreed that only women can be trusted with the awesome powers of sorcery. But Dan can no more live without magic than he could go without breathing. Disguised as a woman, he struggles to provide for his sickly daughter through illicit magic. But his life of lies has drawn a darker eye than that of the Holy Mothers…

Purchase Link
Amazon
Draft2Digital link: http://www.books2read.com/u/bMr7k5

Bio

Deby Fredericks has been a writer all her life, but thought of it as just a fun hobby until the late 1990s. She made her first sale, a children’s poem, in 2000.

Fredericks has six fantasy novels out through two small presses. She also self-publishes her fantasy novellas and novelettes, bringing her to 11 books in all. Her latest is The Tower in the Mist. Her short work has been published in Andromeda Spaceways and selected anthologies.

In addition, she writes for children as Lucy D. Ford. Her children’s stories and poems have appeared in magazines such as Boys’ Life, Babybug, Ladybug, and a few anthologies. In the past, she served as Regional Advisor for the Inland Northwest Region of the Society of  Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, International  (SCBWI).

Social Media

Newsletter:   http://eepurl.com/geV_nX Join and get a free e-book!
Blog:  http://wyrmflight.wordpress.com
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/DebyFredericks
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDebyFredericks/

Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1) by Emily A. Duncan #bookreview #fantasy #TuesdayBookBlog

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings. 

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

I’d seen rave reviews for this book throughout the blogosphere, and that, along with a gorgeous cover and riveting description, had me requesting this book from NetGalley.

Did this book live up to the hype?  Well…mostly.  This is a captivating dark fantasy that weaves the elements of religion, magic, and politics into a thought-provoking storyline.  Many reviews stated the beginning is a slower pace – something I agree with – but the brisk pace and shocking reveals at the end make up for it.  Yes, the pace takes off – but I’d guessed the shocking reveals early in the book, so maybe it’s my fault I was a tad underwhelmed.

The three primary characters exist in the fluctuating areas of gray between good and bad – and that’s my favorite type of character.  Each are wonderfully flawed, possess traits to love and hate, and are ruthless, driven, and distrustful at certain points.  They all believe they’re doing the right thing.  Supporting characters are loyal, well-developed, and occasionally humorous.  Stellar characterization.

Wicked Saints is a brutal, bloody, dark fantasy set in a world rich in history and lore.  It’s very well-written, and if you’re not into YA, give this book a try, because it’s easily a crossover.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.