Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Gargoyles and Soul Thieves - An Interview Swap with Rebecca Chastain!

Hi, guys! A few weeks ago, I got an email from a fellow urban fantasy author asking if I wanted to do an interview swap. I love stuff like that, so I jumped on board right away. Rebecca and I have chatted quite a bit since then, and she's super cool and so are her books! Gargoyles and elemental magic are the feature of her latest series. Oh, and she's an Amazon bestseller, so that's rad. Are you ready? Rebecca's answers below, and my answers about the Zyan Star series over on her blog!

She looks badass, right?!

Me: Gargoyles and elementals together? Yes, please. What else can you tell me about your Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles series?

Rebecca: If you took the United States in the early 1900s, added in a population who can all wield varying levels of earth, water, air, fire, and wood elemental magic, and topped it off with multifarious mythical creatures, you’d have the world of the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles. Within this magic-saturated setting, I built my story around an ordinary woman, because I’ve always felt that no matter how fantastical the world, the best stories involve relatable characters making tough decisions.

Mika is a midlevel earth elemental who has worked a lot of late nights as a freelancer to hone her skills with delicate quartz projects. Her goal is to leave her dead-end quarry job and open her own artisan shop. Unfortunately, her carefully constructed five-year plan—and years of hard work—are jeopardized when a baby gargoyle bursts into her studio and begs for her help on a desperate mission.

As you can probably guess, she can’t say no to a baby gargoyle. Could you?

When you built the world for Magic of the Gargoyles, how did you start?

I start every story by opening up a fresh Word document and typing everything that comes to mind in a non-stop brainstorming session. A lot of…we’ll call it “fluff” comes out in these session, but there’s nothing like that moment when a spark of an idea ignites into an entire story. With Magic, it was baby gargoyles. The moment I pictured a housecat-sized gargoyle, I knew I had to write the story. After that, I researched quartz and mythical creatures, but mostly I focused on building a magical world that would be fun to romp around in for a few novels.

If you could manifest the magical traits of one of your characters, what would it be?

Mika’s elemental abilities, definitely. She can alter the structure of quartz with her magic, shaping it into incredible masterpieces. Plus, she’s the one that gets to help baby gargoyles…

Have you ever traveled (or have plans to) in the name of research, and where?

I don’t know if this counts, but my Madison Fox series is set in my hometown. In essence, every errand run around town could be construed as research.

What are your reading habits these days? Do you have rules about what you read while you’re writing?

I do have rules! While writing the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles, I refused to read anything with gargoyles in it. In general, I try not to read anything in the genre I’m writing, and when I’m deep into a writing project, I often skip fiction entirely and focus on nonfiction. I have an idea for an alternate history fantasy that may or may not ever happen, so for the last two years, I’ve been reading tons about the world around 1492. I’m now a font of weird facts. For instance, did you know there were no earthworms in the United States before colonists started carting in soil from England? They’d been killed off in an earlier ice age, and those in warmer climates farther south had never burrowed back up this way. 

And here's a synopsis of Magic of the Gargoyles:

To help a baby gargoyle, Mika will risk everything.

Mika Stillwater is a midlevel earth elemental with ambitions of becoming a quartz artisan, and her hard work is starting to get noticed. But when a panicked baby gargoyle bursts into her studio, insisting Mika is the only person she’ll trust with her desperate mission, Mika’s carefully constructed five-year plan is shattered.

Swept into the gritty criminal underworld of Terra Haven, Mika jeopardizes everything she’s work so hard for as she attempts to save the baby gargoyle from the machinations of a monster—and to stay alive…

From the imaginative mind of international bestselling fantasy author Rebecca Chastain, Magic of the Gargoyles is a spellbinding adventure set in a world full of elemental magic and adorable gargoyles that is sure to enchant young adult and adult readers alike.

Want to pick up a copy? (sure you do - 99 cents!)

Amazon, US                Amazon, everywhere

Rebecca's official bio:

Rebecca Chastain is the internationally bestselling author of the Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer series and the Gargoyle Guardian Chronicles, among others works. She has found seven four-leaf clovers to date, won a purebred Arabian horse in a drawing, and once tamed a blackbird for a day. Writing stories designed to amuse and entertain has been her passion since she was eleven years old. She lives in Northern California with her wonderful husband and three bossy cats.

Hit her up on the Internet!

Hope you all enjoyed our swap! If you want to check out my answers to the questions, hop on over to Rebecca's blog. TTFN!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

IWSG - The Nicest Thing That's Been Said About My Writing

Hi, writer friends! It's July! Fireworks, beach and popsicle time! One of my books came out yesterday! My birthday is next week! It's definitely one of my favorite months :)

For this month's IWSG post, there is now a question you can answer if you want, which is: What's the nicest thing anyone has ever said about your writing?

Well, two from recent book reviews spring to mind. The first is a review of Martinis with the Devil, and the person said:

"I just love the story line and the characters to pieces, to death, to the end of the world, whatever..... man I wish it never ended and just went on forever."

And then a very recent review of Whiskey and Angelfire, which came out yesterday (three snippets from one review):

"I am completely in love with this series. Earlier this year, I read both the prequel novella and the first book in a frenzy of insomnia and emotions and I've been dying a little ever since then because I needed to know what happened with these characters and this world...." and "This group is so great because it feels like you fell right in the middle of a family and you can't help but love them all and want to make sure they're happy." and "I'm seriously considering selling my soul to Lucifer so I can read the next book right now..."

So, that's all INCREDIBLY flattering and I'm SO happy people are loving the book. On the flip side of that though, you get bad reviews... so I guess that's my insecure thing for the month. Whenever you release a new book, you want everyone to love it, or at least most people. So, as these first few reviews start coming, there's a lot of nail biting going on for me :)

How about you? How's your month going?

Don't forget to visit the other IWSG posts, and of course our lovely host Alex Cavanaugh! (I nearly made a corny joke there about our lovely host Alex Trebek) (I'm probably not the first to go there).


Monday, July 4, 2016

Whiskey and Angelfire Book Birthday!!

It's here!

Zyan Star Book Two! Lovers of urban fantasy, your 4th just got a lot spicier :) 

"I'm seriously considering selling my soul to Lucifer so I can read the next book right now..." Top 100 Goodreads Reviewer Emily Seamir

**blushes furiously**

This is what Zyan's doing in the second book:

Can Zyan avert the war that's brewing before her past catches up to her, quite literally?

When one of the angelic warriors goes missing, Zyan and Eli head off to Dublin to join the search. As soon as they arrive, they're swept into rising tensions between the angelic forces and the other supernatural races. As more supernaturals go missing, Archangel Michael will stop at nothing to put the perpetrator behind bars, even if it means placing the city under martial law.

To add to the mess, Zyan's sister Anna is in Dublin, and where Anna is, Lucifer is only a step behind. Not to mention Alexander, Zyan's sworn enemy. Zyan has more than a sneaking suspicion they're at the heart of a spree of recent demon invasions. But something is odd about these demons, and if she doesn't figure it out before Lucifer reveals his ultimate plan, the price could be catastrophic.

As if things couldn't get worse, being back in Ireland where she was turned immortal has dredged up the worst from her past. Including her maker, Olga, who's none too pleased that Zyan's come back.

Plus, I'm trying something new for this book: leave a review and get a free download of the prequel novelette to the Zyan Star series! Just email me or leave a comment here (include your email if you don't have responses set up), and I'll send you a Book Funnel code to download it for free. 

Plus, you can vote on which Zyan backstory novelette I release later this year. Either Zyan in the 1920s, or when she met Riley and Quinn (or you can throw in another idea)!

Barnes and Noble

I'm SOOOO excited to share Zyan's story with everyone, and I can't imagine a better day than a day of fireworks and fun. Happy 4th of July everyone!!