Thursday, November 29, 2012

Spotlight on, Interview, and Giveaway with Marsha A Moore Author of Lost Volumes

Hello Muses and Fallen Friends,


     Today we have a fun-filled post featuring an interview with Marsha A. Moore and a spotlight on her intriguing Enchanted Bookstore series. She also has a great giveaway going on so be sure and check that out at the end of the post. Enjoy!



Lost Volumes: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Three 

by Marsha A. Moore

Genre: Fantasy romance

Amazon

Description:


When Lyra McCauley learns residents of Dragonspeir’s Alliance are suffering with a deadly plague, she doesn’t heed the warnings of her fianc√©, wizard Cullen Drake, to remain safe in her human world. After all, she’s the present Scribe—one of five strong women in her ancestry who possessed unique magic, each destined to protect the Alliance against the evil Black Dragon of the Dark Realm. With Cullen dependent upon Alliance power to maintain his immortality, the stakes are doubled for Lyra.

She leaves her college teaching and puts herself at risk for the community afflicted by black magic. To find a cure, she and Cullen travel into the vile, lawless underworld of Terza to strike a bargain with an expert. Their efforts further enrage the Black Dragon, vowing to decimate the Alliance and avenge the murder of his heir.

Lyra must secure the three lost volumes of the Book of Dragonspeir. Written by the three earliest Scribes, each book contains energy. Possession of the entire set will enable overthrow of the Dark Realm. Following clues into dangerous lands, Lyra and Cullen seek those volumes. His assistants, Kenzo the tiger owl and Noba the pseudodragon, prove invaluable aids. Only if they succeed, will the Alliance be safe and Lyra reach closer to the immortality she needs to live a life with Cullen.

Series Blurb: Enchanted Bookstore Legends

The Enchanted Bookstore Legends are about Lyra McCauley, a woman destined to become one of five strong women in her family who possess unique magical abilities and serve as Scribes in Dragonspeir. The Scribes span a long history, dating from 1200 to present day. Each Scribe is expected to journey through Dragonspeir, both the good and evil factions, then draft a written account. Each book contains magic with vast implications.
Lyra was first introduced to Dragonspeir as a young girl, when she met the high sorcerer, Cullen Drake, through a gift of one of those enchanted books. Using its magic, he escorted her into the parallel world of Dragonspeir. Years later, she lost that volume and forgot the world and Cullen. These legends begin where he finds her again—she is thirty-five, standing in his enchanted bookstore, and Dragonspeir needs her. 
When Lyra reopens that enchanted book, she confronts a series of quests where she is expected to save the good Alliance from destruction by the evil Black Dragon. While learning about her role, Lyra and Cullen fall in love. He is 220 years old and kept alive by Dragonspeir magic. Cullen will die if Dragonspeir is taken over by the evil faction…Lyra becomes the Scribe.





Excerpt Lost Volumes


From Chapter One: An Urgent Message

Lyra almost deleted the email marked urgent, suspecting some virus that might take control of her computer, but stopped when she realized the sender was her lover—a 220-year-old wizard, who rarely used a computer. She couldn’t open the message fast enough.
Lyra,
Alliance mortals and lower magicals are taking violently ill. I’m leaving the bookstore for a while to offer aid. DO NOT come to Dragonspeir. Stay safe in your world.
Love always,
Cullen
She stared at the screen, twisting a strand of her long hair. Leaning forward, she gripped the armrests of the chair. Her breath caught when she noticed how the dragon’s sapphire eyes on her new bloodswear ring sparked from the energy of her concern. His message left her undecided, reading between the lines and weighing the choices.
Those affected—mortals and lower magicals—seemed to place her in the risk group, obviously Cullen’s concern. However, those mortals were all born in Dragonspeir, while she originally came from Tampa. Lower magicals did include members of both worlds. But as the current Scribe, Lyra possessed inherited power at least as great as high-order wizards. She just didn’t fully grasp how to command her magic yet.
She did want to help. Since her parents and dear Aunt Jean died, the Guardians, wizards, dragons, and other residents of the Alliance were her only family. Lyra’s unique powers might be useful, especially since they now lacked an alchemist.
Eburscon disappeared after he attempted to steal her scribal aura, and she’d heard no reports of him since, so he was presumed dead by many. According to Cullen, no one wanted him back. However, living without a person capable of creating remedies for a plague or widespread illness had left many residents uneasy. Some talked about trying to persuade Tarom, the Dark Realm’s alchemist, to switch his allegiance. Two centuries ago, he served the Imperial Dragon, leaving only when he couldn’t tolerate working under Eburscon any longer.
Despite ranking as the top wizard, the Imperial Sorcerer in the Alliance High Council, Cullen lacked alchemical skills. Even though untrained, Lyra possessed a keen intuitive sense in the craft. She could help him. Aries guided the fire in her scribal powers and also fueled her impatience.
Lyra checked and secured Aunt Jean’s cottage since the last gasps of late winter storms in the upper peninsula of Michigan could be brutal.
Dashing off a few emails to her college students in Florida, she gave them feedback on their independent study in the Fantasy Lit course. She was glad her leave from on-campus teaching responsibilities continued until the next fall term.
Lyra saved and printed the chronicle draft of her bloodswear quest, completed at the end of last year. It was mid-March, and she’d almost finished the written account, storing magic in her words that would empower the Alliance—her role as a Scribe. The hard copy she stuffed into a commuter bag to work on later with the Imperial Dragon and the other three Guardians. She needed to sort through their research details that had helped her kill the heir to the Black Dragon. Additional supplies could be conjured from memory.
Outside, the dock in the backyard looked weather-beaten but sound. Waves from Lake Huron lapped at its old boards. In the flower bed, the first spring perennials peeked through the packed ground and would require plenty of care soon. Lyra hoped to be back in time to maintain what her aunt had loved so much. Crocuses stood bravely against the melting snowpack—a reminder.
As she turned from the garden, a large black butterfly flitted around her head. It was the same type that had spied on her before and been in her aunt’s room when she was killed—purple spots like eyes on its wings. Suspecting it was a transformed magical from Dragonspeir’s Dark Realm, Lyra swatted at the insect. Thinking that someone watched her leave caused a chill to run down her spine.
Finally shooing it to the nearby bushes, she lifted her head high, put her bag inside her silver Subaru sport wagon, and drove straight to Drake’s Bookstore.
After parking in back, she twisted her dragon ring to unlock the back door of Cullen’s shop, no longer needing the magical skeleton key. “Sheridan, I’m using your portal,” she called out.
From his cage on the showroom counter, the cicada chirped, “I already knew it was you, sweetheart. Nice perfume.”
Lyra shook her head. Darned bug never stopped flirting.
“By the way, Sire Drake told me to not let you pass. Something about an illness in the Alliance. Don’t make me use my magic on you.”
“I’m going anyway,” she replied as she prepared herself in the storage room.
“Like I knew you would,” he snapped.
She gave her ring another twist and stated, “Pateo porta!” In response, two metal bookcases moved apart. Between them lay the connector to Dragonspeir. She stepped across. The familiar tingling sensation now felt invigorating, when last summer it had frightened her. Her jeans, t-shirt, and jacket transformed into a full-skirted gown of light blue cotton under a navy cloak.
It was her first time back since being publically honored for completing her bloodswear quest and sorcery studies. She’d have to wait to find out if her new abilities could alter the clothing she acquired at the portal.
Lifting one side of the long garments, Lyra ran the short distance along the wooded trail to the location of the old, sentry tree, Gatekeeper Cranewort. Reminding her of the shape of grand live oaks in Florida, his branches spread wide and high, taller than any nearby. His large, flat leathery leaves were turned to collect the warm morning rays.
“Hello, Cranewort,” she called ahead. “I don’t mean to disturb your sunbathing, but I need to pass to the Imperial Dragon’s lair, or to the Meadow—whichever place I can help most with those who are sick.”
“Not sunbathing, child, merely enhancing my immune functioning to bolster my health after the harsh winter. Sire Drake instructed me to not permit your passage. He and all of us fear you will fall ill.” He lifted extensions of his roots into a spiky barricade, one of his gate-keeping defenses.
“Perhaps I can help,” she maintained, hands on her hips.
“It looks to be a horrible disease—elevated fever, chills, vomiting blood. Some are dying. Please stay here, Adalyra.”
“I’m not like any from Dragonspeir. I won’t get it.” Lyra hoped what she said was true but couldn’t turn her back on thousands who were ill.
“Well…you most certainly are unique.” He folded his leaves and tipped his trunk forward to look at her directly. “The Alliance relies on your special scribal abilities to battle the Dark Realm. Losing you to illness would risk too much. Be wise and stay back.” He smoothed down his bark and held out a twigged hand to her.
She stepped beyond his touch. “The entire Alliance is my family, and I need to help them.”
The gnarled tree let out a sigh and lowered his roots. “Very well. You have your own mind, and it is one of a leader. That is your inheritance from the four female Scribes in your family. But, I expect you to use every caution available. Sire Drake is in the Meadow. Stay with him.”
“I promise.” Lyra hurried toward the crossroads, which connected dozens of trails. There she selected the short path leading to the Meadow.
Pluch trees lined the trail. Their weeping branches, active with new sap, swept after Lyra in attempt to caress her golden hair, now grown almost to her waist. Flower buds on the bell flowers peaked out. The air held gentle notes of fragrant jasmine from the vine’s first purple flowers. She took a deep breath as she sped down the familiar walk. She had missed Dragonspeir.
Along the way, Lyra thought about her action, entering the land without permission. Although she recently passed sorcery training for all crafts except powerthrowing, Lyra only elevated her immortal status. In Dragonspeir, they used the term afflationhaving received divine impartment of knowledge and strength to endure more physical hardship than a non-magical. Until gaining enough afflation to become fully immortal, she needed to be invited by the Imperial Dragon to be his guest in Dragonspeir.
As a new Alliance sorceress, the Imperial Dragon decided when he needed her. Lyra clearly broke his established protocol. But she often bent Alliance customs to suit her needs while working for the greater good. So far, she had only raised eyebrows, and no one troubled her. She hoped this time would be the same, but entering a plague-ridden land against orders was a bit different than wearing jeans or hugging dragons.



An Interview with Author Marsha A. Moore


Thanks so much for asking to interview me today, Kasonndra!
You're very welcome Marsha...:D Let's get started!

What inspired you to write your first book?

It’s basically a fantasy lover’s dream, being able to step into a favorite book as a character. I know my initial inspiration came after watching the recent Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland movie. From that, I wanted to work with parallel worlds and have a heroine who must save the fantasy world from danger.
I envisioned a series with the magical complexities of the Harry Potter world, but for grown-ups, with characters who faced more complicated life issues. I had strong opinions about choosing my heroine’s age. I wanted her to have experienced enough hard times to be able to truly appreciate true love, honor, courage, fairness, all that is good. In this way, she can truly commit to whatever obstacles lie in the path to happiness. She knows herself and is determined. As the series progresses, I admire her strength.

Do you have a specific writing style?

My process begins with a setting I find interesting, somewhere I’d like to spend some time. In writing fantasy, world-building is everything. Then, I create the main characters, appearance and personality. From there, how they will become involved goes hand-in-hand with developing the plot. I do outline a lot, since there are many interwoven subplots in this series. This Enchanted Bookstore Legends series is epic in scope, and details would get lost if I didn’t plan. Outside of the key features on the outline, I do allow the in-between progress in each chapter to flow freely, which I enjoy a lot. Some of the most imaginative bits arise that way.

I write epic fantasy with romantic elements and will likely do more in that subgenre.  I enjoy reading magical realism, mythpunk, and mythic fiction—all subgenres that sit on the border between fantasy and literary fiction. I expect my writing will shift in that direction over time.

I like the complexity of fantasy, the feeling of being transported into another world. However, most fantasy books are written for young adults. In my reading, I longed to find more fantasies written for adults. The element of romance I include is far less about adding sex than about adding deeper connections between the hero and heroine, allowing them to be more three-dimensional and work with more complex issues.

How did you come up with the title?

I usually have to force myself to create titles. Most of the time, titles don’t happen easily for me. I usually brainstorm several and then go back to the list later to narrow it down. I formed all of the titles for these Enchanted Bookstore Legends at the same time. The first is Seeking a Scribe, book two is Heritage Avenged, and the new release is Lost Volumes. I’m currently writing Staurolite, and the fifth/final book is entitled Quintessence.

What books have most influenced your life most?

I loved Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. The symbolism is amazing; the more you read, the more layers you find. Inspired by that, I like to hide things in my stories.

From the present, picking one book is too hard. The Harry Potter series is one of my all-time favorites. Again, the layering of hidden plots, which spin to completion later in the series, really captures my imagination. The last few books that really pulled me in were Natasha Mostert’s Season of the Witch and Erin Morgenstern’s Night Circus. In both of those, magic caused mental effects for both the giver and receiver. I enjoy the complexity of that theme and employ it myself in a very different way. My heroine, Lyra, must learn to mentally control her vast inherited powers as the new Scribe. That is something she struggles to master through the series.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I’d love to work with Natasha Mostert. The complex design of her work melds seamlessly into an effortless flow.  I’m sure I could learn much from her. Also, I’d really enjoy learning about character development with Sarah Addison Allen. I love her magical realism novels.

What book are you reading now?

I’m currently reading The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen, a magical realism novel. She’s one of my favorite authors.  I love how her characters spring off the page, and the magical elements seem so natural.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I enjoy the poetic style of my dear friend, Charlene Wilson, in her Wizards of Shilo Manor books. She and I began writing our first novels for publication together. I loved her style then and still do.

What are your current projects?

I’m writing the fourth book in the Enchanted Bookstore Legends. There will be five total. I still enjoying working with these characters, letting them grow and develop. I’ll miss them when the series ends, but I do have a new series planned that I’m looking forward to. It will be more magical realism than high fantasy.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I didn’t struggle with the first two books of these Enchanted Bookstore Legends, but had a difficult time finding what internal conflict my heroine needed to deal with in the third book, Lost Volumes. I actually had to live it, pass through a difficult experience in my own life with the recent passing of my mother, in order to see what the character needed to do. That was a real moment of discovery for me, since I’d been too close to the forest to see the trees, so-to-speak.

Who designed the covers?

I designed the three covers of my Enchanted Bookstore Legends. They each began as original watercolor sketches that I finished with digital painting on photoshop. It’s been a fun part of the publishing process, and I’m not limited by stock images. I prefer an illustrated artwork for fantasy genres covers.



About the Author:


Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Her creativity also spills into watercolor painting and drawing. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she’s happily transforming into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors. Crazy about cycling, she usually passes the 1,000 mile mark yearly. She is learning kayaking and already addicted. She’s been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and that spiritual quest helps her explore the mystical side of fantasy. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at new stories with toes wiggling in the sand. Every day at the beach is magical!

And Now For a Great Giveaway:  

Win one of 3 sets of the three released Enchanted Bookstore Legends: Seeking a Scribe (book 1); Heritage Avenged (book 2); Lost Volumes (book 3)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 26, 2012

Spotlight on and Interview with James Lacey Author of Perserverance


Perseverance: A Zombie Tale
James Lacey

Publisher: 23 House Publishing
Pages: 324

Genre: Horror

Book Description

It didn't happen the way it was supposed to...

I am a teacher. At least, I was before it all happened, before I was forced to survive. I taught social studies at the high school. I was also the coach of the school's successful debate team. It was a cold Saturday in January when I heard the first rumor of trouble...

You know, pop culture had defined the zombie apocalypse time and time again, all coming from the minds of horror writers, film producers, and video game designers. Who knew that when it really happened, it wouldn't be anything like they all predicted. Oh sure, the dead reanimated, and they were certainly hungry for living flesh...but what were the mysterious red-eyes, zombies that moved faster than their stumbling counterparts and seemed to not only communicate, but to exert some kind of control over the others.


"James Lacey takes the classic zombie story that we all know and love, and then twists it off into the new directions and unexplored territory. Perseverance is fresh, exciting, and edge-of-the-seat spell-binding."

- Samantha Murphy, 13 Nights of Blood: Legends of the Vampire



Before we get to the interview take a peek at this fun video James povided for us today:



Now on to the Interview with James Lacey


What inspired you to write your first book?

Perseverance started out as a short story.  As people who read it kept asking me what would have happened next, then it continued to grow.  Eventually I had a full-length novel on my hands, which was pretty exciting.  The original short story was inspired by watching a friend of mine and just wondering how he would handle it when the apocalypse strikes.

How did you come up with the title?

That was definitely one of the harder parts of completing the novel.  I knew it had to be one word, and I knew that word needed to describe a key element of the novel.  Throughout the story, the hero is struggling to survive in this world overrun by the undead.  I literally sat down with a thesaurus (a bound copy, not online) and looked at words related to struggle.  As soon as I read “persevere,” I knew I had my title.

What book are you reading now?

The nerd in me needed to reread The Hobbit before Peter Jackson takes it to the silver screen next month.  Once that is done I will be reading The Glass Parachute.  It is a collection of science fiction short stories.  Usually science fiction isn’t really what I’m into, but a friend I used to work with, S.C. Wade (www.scwade.com) has two of his stories in it, so I’m really excited to check it out.

What are your current projects?

If you’ve seen my website then you know that my friends and I put together a parody of “Call Me, Maybe” with zombies.  We’re working on another parody video now.  And I’ve been slowly working on some bonus content for the book to feature online.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

My best friend, Wes, has been one of my biggest supporters.  Aside from being one of the select few who read the first draft,

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

This was my first, and even though there are some things here and there that I’m not over-the-top excited for, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Finding the time to write is always a struggle for anyone who writes.  When I’m not writing, I work with special needs children and adults and I am working on a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis.  It’s been a very busy few months.  I like when I get time off from work and school, because it lets me focus more on my favorite hobby.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

This industry is really tough, and you can’t ever give up and get discouraged if you expect to see your book published.  It took me way more time to find a willing publisher than it did to write the first draft of the book.  And even after I found one, it still took over a year and half before the book was on sale. I had over 30 rejections before I finally got the nod from 23 House, and I’m really grateful to them that they gave my work a chance.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I found more success in writing for myself then I did writing for others.  Sure, it’s great to get feedback, but what happens in a story needs to be what you want to happen, not what others think.  I think a big league example is Mockingjay, the third book in the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins.  I know a lot of people who really did not enjoy that novel or how the story developed, but I give Mrs. Collins And lot of respect for not giving people what they wanted or expected.  She wrote what she felt should happen.

A Fun Fact About James:

What is your favorite type of food?

I hope this doesn’t make me sound boring, but I’ve been on this kick lately where I have just been loving different types of bread.  I might even buy a bread maker and try to make some myself.


About the Author:

James Lacey lives in the Pocono Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania.  When not writing, he works with disabled adults and children as a paraprofessional and Special Olympics coach.  James also enjoys hiking, camping and watching football.


Barnes and Noble   Amazon

"James Lacey takes the classic zombie story that we all know and love, and then twists it off into the new directions and unexplored territory. Perseverance is fresh, exciting, and edge-of-the-seat spell-binding."

- Samantha Murphy, 13 Nights of Blood: Legends of the Vampire

http://www.jameslacey.net/

www.twitter.com/JLaceyWrites
















Welcome to the Dreaming of Summer Blog Hop




Hello Muses and Fallen Friends,

     I'm excited to be hosting this week's hop because it's so appropriate for this time of the year. The Dreaming of Summer Blog Hop is hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer and Me, My shelf, and I blog sites.  To decide on the prizes for this hop, I had to think of authors who represent the summer time in some way. This can be something as simple as a story that takes place in a beach setting or even a hard core love story which always makes me think of summer for some reason.

    So now, on to the four authors that I've chosen to feature in the summer of love and dreaming. Ahh. LOL

Abbi Glines 



Jessica Sorensen


J.A. Redmerski




KaSonndra Leigh (Wait! That's me) LOL


The Rafflecopter genie has chosen Courtney Wyant as the winner of this giveaway! 


The winner gets to choose 1 ebook from any two of the author's listed above. It can be any ebook in that author's catalogue and not just the ones listed above. Limit $10.00. This contest is open internationally, so go ahead and place your entries in the rafflecopter now! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


E. Van Lowe Cyber Monday Giveaway

Hello Muses and Fallen Friends,


Welcome to the E Van Lowe Cyber Monday Giveaway hosted by Bewitching Book Tours. You can win a YA based Christmas theme Gift Basket containing a plush bear, Santa hat, fuzzy socks and gloves set, Christmas socks, sparkly Christmas tree decoration, snowman snow globe, and a Bath and Body Works holiday gift set trio. Check out the adorable pictures:








Open to US Shipping

The Winner will be announced on December 7 so there will be time for the package to arrive before Christmas




Be sure and stop by again on December 14th when E. Van Lowe returns to the Seraphine Muse for a chat. Don't wanna wait to find out what all the fuss is about surrounding the Falling Angels Saga. Then click on the links below for information on E. and links to purchase Books 1 and 2 today!






Saturday, November 24, 2012

Spotlight on the Edge of Never by J.A. Redmerski

Hello Fallen Friends,

     I'm thrilled to bring you a spotlight on a great novel by a good author friend. If you haven't heard of it yet, then I'm sure you will soon enough. It's called the Edge of Never, a New Adult Contemporary Romance by J.A. Redmerski. In between polishing up Silver Moons and working on my own Valentine's Day surprise for you all, I'm reading this story about loss, love, and hope: a few of my favorite themes. Plus, this baby is on sale for only $1.99 for a limited time! So hurry up and grab your copy before it goes back up to full price! I leave you with the gorgeous cover. It has certainly won me over and the story will touch your heart too.


Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.

Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.

With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.

But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?


Due to sexual content and language, this book is recommended for 17+ – Adult Contemporary Women’s – New Adult Fiction 

Purchase the Edge of Never at: Amazon  and   Barnes&Noble

See more of Camryn and Andrew from THE EDGE OF NEVER on Pinterest! 


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Interview with and Spotlight on the Dracula Chronicles: Bound By Blood Shane O Neill



The Dracula Chronicles: Bound By Blood
Shane KP O’Neill

Genre: Gothic Horror

ISBN:  978-0-9556701-0-7
Word Count:   261,281

Cover Artist:  David Evans – GraphicStudio4


Book Description:

The Dracula Chronicles is the brilliant and terrifying new concept of Dracula. It is an epic journey through the ages where the forces of Light and Darkness struggle for supremacy until the Second Great War, as foretold in the Book of Revelations. This bitter feud began after the creation of mankind. Lucifer’s jealousy leads to the First Great War of the angels. Hundreds of thousands of years on the feud simmers beneath the surface. It plots the course of history as we know it today. Both sides manipulate the major players through the centuries to seek an advantage over the other.

On a cold night in December 1431 in Sighisoara an old gypsy woman delivers a prophecy to the great Vlad Dracul. She tells him he is about to sire two sons, one an angel and the other a devil. He returns to his fortress just as his wife bears him a son, whom he names Vlad. In the very same moment across the country on the border between Transylvania and Hungary a gypsy girl gives birth to another son, Andrei. The die is cast. The twin souls are born. The young Vlad Dracula becomes the instrument of the forces of Darkness. To balance this, the baby Andrei is blessed by the angels and bestowed with awesome powers. These chronicles are their story.

Book Trailer:  http://youtu.be/MxL9XzO7x28


 About the Author:

The author developed a fascination with Dracula from an early age.  Like many others he was enthralled by Christopher Lee’s portrayal of him on the big screen.  It was in his late teens that he discovered Dracula the man and the love affair began from there.  An avid historian, he studied the period in which the real historical Vlad Dracula lived, 15th Century Balkan, for many years.  It followed from there then that with his love of writing he would always choose Dracula as his subject.

Away from writing, the author has a wide range of interests.  He has lived and travelled all over the world.  He has a love for all things historical, with a particular fascination for medieval Europe.  Anywhere he travels he likes to search out locations with an historical interest.  He is well read and in recent times has a preference for the work of James Patterson, Carlos Luis Zafon, John Grisham, Jeffrey Archer and Stephen King.  He also keeps his library well stocked with historical texts.

For a time he played scrabble on the international stage and represented Wales at the 2007 World Championship in Mumbai, India.  He has a real love of sport, most notably football, rugby union, cricket and boxing.  His great loves in the football world are Manchester United, Glasgow Celtic, Internazionale and lowly Luton Town.  His sporting heroes include George Best, David Beckham, Roy Keane, Ian Botham and Muhammad Ali.  His only other activities away from these are long country walks and time spent with friends and family.


Let's Get to Know More About Author Shane O'Neill


What inspired you to write your first book?

I’ve been interested in and loved Dracula for as long as I can remember. I used to baby-sit my kid sisters at quite a young age and with my parents out I got to see quite a few of the old Hammer horror movies, and especially those with Christopher Lee as Dracula. And then, at a later age, I discovered the real historical Vlad Dracula.  I always felt it had been my destiny to write, and therefore I wanted to write about Dracula.  But I wanted to do something grandiose with him and epic in scale.  I hope I will achieve that with The Dracula Chronicles series by the time I am finished with it.

Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes, definitely.  In my younger days, and even in my earlier drafts of my books, I used to write sprawling prose and very long sentences.  Whereas I felt some people would like and appreciate that, I thought that the majority would not.  I wanted to write in a way that would hold appeal for everyone, knowing different people have different levels of literacy. I wanted to reach people who speak English as a second language and maybe even people who read very little or even not at all.  Therefore, I completely changed my style. I focused on making my work much more concise and trimmed it down considerably.  I took out longer words and substituted words that are easier to understand, I shortened my sentences noticeably and concentrated on fluidity and readability.  I made it my goal to have something on every page to keep my reader interested so that when I delivered a shock, they would feel it.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Yes, I’m interested in a few and looking to expand all the time on the people I read, as I like to read a lot.  New writers who have caught my eye would be Luke Romyn, Alexandra Anthony, Samantha Young (whose success pleases me no end), and Joseph Beekman.  I appreciate one or two of these have been around a while, but they’re all new to me.  I’m also very interested in reading the works of A.k. Kuykendall. His books look mouthwateringly good.

What are your current projects?

The Dracula Chronicles. This project actually first saw life 20 years ago, but has been a serious entity for the last 9. There will be 8 Chronicles in all.  Each of them is a mammoth project individually and they each offer a lot to my readers.  I have just released a prequel to the series, ahead of the pending release of Bound By Blood.  This is called Birth Of The Monster, and is available on Kindle from Amazon.
I’m also working on a series of short horror stories, called Tales Of The Black Sabbath, which will be available as individual entities and then together in an anthology where I’ll probably give each a different ending.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Sure, I’d love to. I have so very many excerpts to choose from, but will try and use one no one has seen before.

Chapter 14 - November, 1494. Dracula's oldest living enemy, Vintila Florescu, sits alone at home awaiting death. His son and heir, Victor, has been murdered and his head sent to him in a box.

The men paused to reflect on their conversation.  Florescu had heard enough.  He stepped away from the window and sat down in his chair.  It was the most plausible explanation for what had happened.  But to murder his son and then send him his head?  That was personal and indicated a real grudge.  Could his nephew dislike him that much?  It gave him plenty to ponder. 

He gazed at Victor’s head where it had spent the last four days on the table in front of him.  His tears had long dried up now.  They would do Victor no good.  He was a broken man.  If Death were to call, he would be welcomed.  He sighed hard and then, drinking the last of the wine in his cup, he drifted off to sleep.

His dreams took him back to another time.  He was much younger then.  Dead bodies littered the streets from the fighting.  Smoke hung over the city from the buildings that burned in the aftermath.

A woman stood naked at the gallows.  A rope hung around her neck.  He grinned at her, though she did not seem afraid.  Even then as her moment of death was upon her she showed only strength.  She stared at him, her eyes full of hate.  He hated her as much, but secretly admired her resolve.

Her face remained engrained there in his mind.  He pushed her down naked on her bed.  The bed she had only ever shared with her husband.  He forced her to watch in the mirror, as he took her from behind.  Holding her by the hair their eyes met in the glass.  The first silent exchange of hatred passed between them.
He then sat in a chair.  One after another his men took turns with her while he watched.  He loved every one of her cries though she fought hard to stifle them.  Pound the Draculesti whore his men encouraged each other.  One at a time they did.

Her face remained there.  Purple and swollen it turned as the rope tightened around her neck.  Her legs dangled free, kicking aimlessly against the cold night breeze. A tongue black and swollen protruded from her mouth.  Her eyes bulged as the noose slowly choked the life out of her.  Yet still they burned into his.

He turned his focus on a man much younger than he.  A son crushed by the image of his mother dangling from a rope.  One who had already brought himself much honour on the battlefield.  Battered and bruised, he looked up defiantly.  On his knees he cursed them, each and every one.

Florescu looked down at the hot coals nearby.  He picked out an iron, its metal red and glowing.  A thousand sparks flew against the darkness when he blew on its tip.  The young man eyed it with fear.  He struggled against those who held him down.  It did him no good.

He pressed the hot iron against soft flesh.  A loud hiss followed by the most horrible scream.  Then silence as the molten iron ate through all in its wake.  Flesh and bone melted into one.  He saw a blinded convulsing body thrown down into an open grave.  It was an image he could not escape.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Yes, absolutely. It was my ambition to write a novel or novels in which I re-created the world in which the real Dracula lived and breathed.  I have seen a few noble attempts at this by other writers, but none that satisfied me as a reader and a student of his life and times.  So I took it upon myself to attempt this and to do it within the scope of my premise - Lucifer trying to ascend again to Heaven through the destruction of the institution of the Catholic Church – was definitely a challenge.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Probably trying to do that which I spoke of in the last question, without altering any true historical fact.  I have had to carefully manipulate real historical fact and real historical figures to fit around my plot.  I absolutely loved doing this, but at times it proved quite a difficult task.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

Absolutely.  When conducting such extensive research on a project you are sure to be better educated as a result, even in areas you know well.  This was true for me.  I also stumbled upon many legends, which I have used in all the books, in spite of the fact their historical accuracy might be deemed a little dubious.
I also learned how to be better at my craft.  However good, or bad, a writer may be, writing and writing will always improve them.  This applies to me too.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Yes, definitely.  The Dracula Chronicles will not disappoint.  They will open your eyes to a breathtaking new world.  It is labeled a Gothic horror, but it is so much more than that.  One of the aspects that make this series so exciting is that it crosses over into many genres.  It is a sprawling historical adventure, a paranormal fantasy and a romantic tragedy laced with erotica.  On the surface it might appear to be a man’s book, but it is far from that.  It is a book for women too.

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?

Well, as an historian myself my biggest fear was to make an error with my historical content and be pulled up on it by an expert in the field.  Therefore, I have had to be meticulous with my preparation to ensure I got it right.  And then to maintain historical accuracy around my premise threw a few obstacles my way that I had to negotiate.  I also wanted to create a fresh Dracula legend that lovers of vampire lore would like and admire and that was uppermost in my mind as I put this project together.




Want Even More? 


CHAPTER 1

Wallachia.  The chapel at Snagov.
December 1476.

Dracula pulled open the door of the chapel.  Relishing his newfound strength he ripped it clean off its hinges.  He strode out into the night.  All eyes fell on him and he glared back at his people with real menace.  They were on their knees in the cold and the rain praying for the repose of his soul.
He laughed at the irony of it.  The heady aroma of blood filled his nostrils.  The blood of his people.  It almost overwhelmed him.  He felt the vibration of it in the ground beneath his feet as it pumped through their veins.  With the taste of blood still in his mouth he would have to have more.
The smell of the blood of the dead reached him too.  It was a repugnant scent.  He realised then that only the blood of the living could satisfy his thirst.  That was the price of immortal life.  Lucifer warned him if he did not drink he would die.  In taking Gabrul he realised that to drink he would have to kill.  But the kill was good too.  Looking at the crowd before him he did not care how many would need to die to satisfy his needs.
His people gazed at him in awe.  Some noticed he had recovered fully from his injuries.  They were no longer visible on his body.  Others observed his naked state and skin that looked deathly pale.  The green pupils of his eyes almost glowed in the dark.  Two grotesque fangs hung down over his lower lip.  They were long and sharp and a touch yellowed.  His penis stood erect and long too.  It twitched, filled with the blood of his recent kill.
“Thank God,” one of the few women gasped.  “He is alive.”
He shot her a stern glance.  If she did not look so frail he would have taken her there and then.  His eyes scanned the crowd for a better target.
Cheers rang out from the rear.  Vlad Dracula, the scourge of the Infidel, was alive and well.  It elated them to see him.  Those at the front did not make a sound.
The Maglak warriors knew the scene did not ring true.  This man looked like their voivode, but they knew he was not.  They placed their hands on the hilts of their swords, ready to fight the demon that stood in his place.
He could read the thoughts of everyone in the crowd.  At first it was a jumble of sounds.  A thousand noises in his head.  He put his hands to his ears to try and drown them out.  The cacophony almost overwhelmed him, as much as the initial scent of blood.  He had to fight the urge to run away, but he could not leave.  The aroma of the blood around him was far too strong to ignore.
When he looked into the eyes of any one person their thoughts became images in his mind.  He heard the individual voices behind them.  Perhaps it was something he could control after all.  He stepped forward towards the crowd.  But then an acute scent wafted on the breeze to his nose.  Fresh blood.  He turned his head in its direction.  His sharp eyes focused on a wounded soldier lying further back.
He walked slowly through the crowd.  The marble floor inside the chapel had scorched his feet.  Now he found relief from the cold ground.  How had Lucifer walked in there if I could not?  Perhaps it was not for him to know.  He looked beyond the people to the frozen lake.  A walk on the ice appealed to him.
He stopped in front of the abbot.  It amused him to scan the mind of the holy man and hear his silent words.  The abbot looked up at him, knowing he was a demon.  He grinned evilly at the little man, sensing his fear, and drawing pleasure from it.  He thought of killing him there and then.  But the blood of the soldier was too strong for him to resist.  The scent grew stronger on the wind.  He had to have it.
The people around him gasped.  He vanished into thin air before their very eyes.  In one bound he had leapt almost a hundred feet to the spot where the wounded soldier lay.  He moved with speed that the naked eye could not match.
They looked about in an attempt to locate him.  No one could see him at the base of the slope behind them.  It was on the boundary where the island met the lake.  Then one of the women screamed.  The others followed the line of her arm as she pointed to the night sky.
The crowd looked up as one in horror.  They saw Dracula hovering some twelve feet in the air above them.  He had sunk his teeth deep into the soldier’s thigh near to his wound.  The soldier dangled upside down in his arms.  He screamed for his comrades to save him.
Many of the men drew their swords.  The bolder ones jumped up and swung them.  When they did they found him just out of their reach.  An archer removed an arrow from his quiver.  He took careful aim and fired.
Without as much as a glance to the side, Dracula caught the arrow in his left hand.  He held it there while he drank the soldier dry.  The bloodless corpse dropped to the ground with a thud near a group of the women.  They screamed as one at the face of the dead man.  He looked up at them with eyes that could no longer see.
Dracula then turned to glare at the archer.  The man felt a lump build in his throat.  His limbs froze at the sight of those penetrating green eyes.  He did not react when the arrow came back at him.  It moved with real venom through the air.  The vampire’s throw drove it through his eye and out the back of his skull.
A chorus of screams rang out.  Dracula hung in the air above the corpse and laughed.  His people scrambled to get away from him.  The urge to get off the small island overrode any other thought in their minds.  They fell over each other in a blind panic, as the mass exodus moved to the frozen lake.  Men and women alike slipped and lost their footing on the ice.  The surface was slushy from the heavy rain.  With the sudden weight on it cracks began to appear almost at once.
“Hurry!” someone screamed, as they looked down.  “The ice is going to break!”
“Get off the ice!” another of the men urged.
With the need to escape the island so strong, few of the people heeded the warning.  More and more bodies stepped onto the ice.  Only when they all began to slip and slide on the surface did they realise the danger.  Many tried in vain to go back.  For them it was too late.  The ice began to splinter and crack.  Each new fissure filled the hearts of those on it with terror.  Geysers of freezing water shot up into the air.  In each spot the ice depressed and collapsed.
A thousand screams filled the air.  In their dozens the people fell down into it.  Their cries did not last.  Each one of them went into shock the moment they took the plunge.  Dracula watched as they disappeared from view.  The freezing water snuffed out one heartbeat after another.  He felt them succumb to their icy grave.
The chorus of sounds in his ears faded fast.  The loud voices he could hear became whispers.  Then, one by one, the icy water silenced them.
Only his loyal Maglak warriors and the monks remained on the island.  They stayed, intent to fight this beast that possessed their master.
Dracula circled them from the air.  He bellowed at them so loud it hurt their ears.  “Run my friends!  Run while you still can!  It is him that I want!”
They turned to see the lone figure of the abbot.  The little man shrunk further when he heard Dracula speak.  All alone on his knees, he muttered a prayer to God to give him the strength he needed to make a stand.  His courage soon returned, for when the vampire gazed down at him he held up a crucifix to try and ward him off.
“Get thee hence, foul demon!” he commanded.  His voice showed conviction he did not know he had.  He rose to his feet and held the crucifix up higher.
The Maglaks looked at each other.  They waited for one of them to make a decision.  In the end they sheathed their swords and ran into the chapel.
Dracula returned to the ground to face his new enemy.  The abbot stood firm, the crucifix shaking in his hands.  It seemed he might drop it at any time.  As the clouds moved in the skies above them the light of the moon shone against the cold metal.  The glare stung Dracula in both eyes.  He hissed at the abbot in anger, a long stream of obscenities flowing from his mouth.  He needed to break the resolve of the little man and get the icon from his hand.  It proved to be an object of real power when the one holding it believed in it.
He stepped back a few paces from the abbot.  His eyes remained trained on him, as those of a hawk waiting to swoop on its prey.  It encouraged the holy man to come forward.  His fear clouded his logic and he pressed on.  He felt sure he had his enemy on the retreat.  When a large gap opened between them he broke into a run.
Dracula stooped down and picked up a large rock.  He grinned and then hurled it at the oncoming man.  It struck his right foot with real force and crushed every tiny bone below the ankle.  The abbot cried out in agony and fell down.  The metal cross dropped from his grasp.
In the blink of an eye his enemy was upon him.  He grabbed the abbot and dragged him away from it.  The holy icon remained there on the ground, no longer of any use to its owner and no longer posing a threat to him.
“Do you still feel as brave, holy man?” he taunted him.  “Is your sweet Jesus going to save you from me?”
“Get away, you foul beast,” the abbot half shouted and half pled.
“I think not,” Dracula grinned.  “Not before you lie dead on the ground.”
“In the name of Jesus Christ!  Get thee from here!”
The words seemed to stun the vampire.  He released his grip on the abbot and took a few steps back.  A brief lull followed, though the abbot groaned at the pain in his foot.  Dracula ignored him for a moment and looked about the area.  It occurred to him that He might appear and save the little man.  When He did not, he grabbed hold of the abbot once more.
“I would say He is not coming to your rescue, holy man.  Perhaps He does not even exist.  But I do, abbot.  I exist.  And I am the truth!”
He placed his palms against the abbot’s temples.  The little man screamed at the slightest exertion of pressure.  He felt Dracula’s cold breath against his neck.  Fear gripped him inside.  Was this to be the end?
“Worry not, holy man.  I do not want your blood.  It is your life that I want.  Your precious Jesus can have your soul.”
Dracula increased the pressure.  He heard the crunch of bone as he crushed the abbot’s skull like an egg.  Brain tissue spilled as a mashed pulp all over his hands.  It tempted him to eat, but he knew that he could not.
Through his conversion he knew certain things.  The same way a newborn baby uses its instinct to find the nipple his instincts told him of his limitations.
He could not feed from the dead, unless it was his kill.  Once the soul had left the body the flesh soured and the blood turned to poison.  The Pope had blessed the abbot upon giving him his Holy Orders.  Alive or dead, Dracula could not touch him.  He could touch no man or woman blessed by the Pope’s hand.  If he had drunk from the abbot he would have endured a slow and agonising death.  Consecrated blood would be acid in his veins.  It would rot him from the inside out.
He heard the cries of thousands in the distance.  It urged him to leave the island.  He glided over the surface of the lake.  The bodies of his people remained there, trapped beneath the new thin blanket of ice that had formed. 
The sounds drew him back to the battlefield.  He stopped in the spot where the Turks had ambushed and wounded him.  The bodies of the dead lay strewn about where they had fallen.  He trod through them, careful not to touch them with his feet.
All around the souls of the dead rose from their broken corpses.  Dracula gasped at the sheer spectacle of it.  He watched them rise up in the order they had perished.  The souls hung in the air above each corpse.  There they waited.  Soon others would come and claim them.
Then they came.  The White Ones and the Black Ones.  They were the messengers and soul collectors from Heaven and Hell.  A few of the Black Ones came close, but did not look at him.  He held no interest for them.
He stayed for a time to watch.  Those claimed by the Guardians of Hell screamed in desperation.  They were aware now of the nightmare that awaited them.
When he came early, Lucifer spared Dracula this torment.  He would not feel the agony of the Black Ones ripping at his flesh with their claws.  Nor would he gaze into the fiery Abyss before they dragged him down.  It sent a shiver through him.
One of the Guardians of Heaven drew close.  Dracula stepped aside to avoid it.  It was here to claim the soul of Ivan Olescu.  He observed the absolute joy on the face of his old friend.  The stresses of life and the pain of death had all left him now.  It was a feeling Dracula knew he would never experience.  The White One took Olescu by the hand and rose up towards the heavens.  The vampire watched the ascent for a time.
Dracula did not find it a pleasant scene.  He turned and disappeared into the night.  When he had gone, Christ descended to the island and claimed the abbot.

You can find out more about Shane O'Neill by visiting the following sites:



http://www.draculachronicles.co.uk  website

http://www.draculachronicles.co.uk/blog blog

@ShaneKPONeill   Twitter

http://www.facebook.com/ShaneONeillsDraculaChronicles  FB author page

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/12341417-shane-o-neill  Goodreads