Saturday, July 13, 2013

Into the Fire Blog Tour and Giveaway with Author K. Gorman






Book Info-
Title-Into the Fire
Series-Mieshka Files Book # 1
Publication Date- March 23, 2013
Approximately 56000 words

Blurb:

"I've got magic?"
"I'm afraid so."

Secure under its Mage-powered shield, Lyarne ignores the war that has taken the rest of the country.

Inside its borders, refugees are first pitied, then assimilated.

Mieshka knows this well. Coping with the loss of her mother and the grief of her father, she keeps her head down at school and maintains a neutral stance with her new Lyarnese friend.

Things change when she meets the Fire Mage. There's a lot more to this city—and herself—than she could imagine.

And Lyarne's shield is not as impenetrable as the city would believe…

Excerpt


Aiden, the Fire Mage, has drawn a transfer mark on Mieshka’s hand to help her get used to magic. It leeches off of any nearby magical sources.This is her first time in the Underground--the city that is buried underneath her city.

“Guns, huh?”
She’d wondered when Jo would bring that up. Dusty naked bulbs strung along a bundle of wire at the top left corner of the brick-and-concrete tunnel. Two pipes ran along the floor, also to the left. A leaking joint in the smaller one had resolved any unasked questions about Underground plumbing. Mieshka tried not to think about the larger one.
“Yeah. Guns.” Except for the tread of their boots and the click of Jo’s mint, the tunnel was quiet. “I don’t know why. My mom was shot, but…”
Her throat clenched around the sore topic. She’d read somewhere that muscles clenched up around injuries. She suspected something similar happened in the mind.
The mint stopped clicking. Jo stared ahead, eyes unreadable. Her jaw muscles tensed.
“I’m sorry for your loss.”
Mieshka heard that a lot.
Silence thickened, each carefully not looking at the other. The tunnel was full of echoes. Some lights hummed in their sockets.
“So, Meese, huh?”
“Yep.”
The tunnel shifted, angled down, and ended in a dim doorway. A draft drifted past her cheek.
“City’s getting close,” Jo said.
They entered an old shopping mall. The lights and wire stretched along the right wall. They disappeared into the distance, gleaming off empty display windows. It was cavernous. The lights only lit a very small portion. The rest of the space was lost in darkness.
Mieshka clicked on her flashlight and flicked it left. Their path was edged by a grimy guard rail. Across a shadowy chasm, a second path hugged the opposite side. Escalators descended into the gap, dusty, dark, and dead. On the floor below, a vacant concierge advertised a long expired sale.
Mieshka and Jo followed the string of lights to the right. The occasional mannequin loomed inside shop displays, their clothes long stripped. The quiet was palpable, and smothered Mieshka’s senses like a pillow.
She tried not to think of how far down they were.
They began to hear things. Sounds. Echoes. Mieshka gripped her flashlight hard again, wide eyes trying to pierce the dark. Jo noticed.
“Spooked? It’s just the city. Weird acoustics in here.”
Mieshka nodded. Still, she didn’t linger.
Eventually, the middle chasm ended, and the two opposing paths angled together into a foyer. Four large doors were boarded with plywood. There was nowhere else to go.
Jo held one open for her, revealing a sidewalk on the other side. Mieshka stepped out into the city under the city.
It was a normal, night-time street. An eclectic mix of buildings crowded either side; the oldest were made with brick and wore decorated trims; the mall they had left was an anachronism amongst the century-old community. Bright storefront displays cast squares of light onto the sidewalk, mixing with the diffused glow of streetlights.
A displaced hydro pole stood in the middle of the street, the concrete around its base newer than the road. Mieshka looked up, and her mouth went slack.
Much like the spaceship’s underground hangar, this underground city had a framework to support its roof. It was a hybrid of steel and timber beams, crossing the street midway between the second and third floors of the buildings. The beams rose into shadow. Mieshka couldn’t see the ceiling.
She turned to Jo. “How far—”
“Ten storeys in some places. Here it’s more like five, ground to ceiling.”
Jo’s face was shadowed by the overhang of the mall. Mieshka toed the curb, her eyes following the line of hydro poles down the street.
“Do people drive down here?”
“No. Carbon monoxide isn’t so good. Lots of bikes, though.”
Shops lined the street: groceries, DVDs, clothes. Across was a café, its brickwork a black and red checkerboard pattern. People moved inside. She smelled fresh baking and coffee.
If it weren’t for the ceiling and the antiquated buildings, Mieshka could easily have believed she was in a less-populated section of Lyarne. There was even a draft.
“How big is it?”
“If you include all the outlying tunnels? Big. It’s quite elongated, but the Core itself is roughly seven square blocks. There are other sections—residential, mainly—around the Core: Eastside, Westside, and Southside. We entered near Westside.”
Before the mall, the tunnel had branched several times. Most of those arms had looked rather well-used.
Jo stepped onto the street. “There’s about half a million people down here.”
Mieshka followed. The street curved away from them to the right. The mall’s exterior ended with the city block. Shops had moved into its prime retail space. Farther down, she spotted a cathedral. A light burned outside its door. Supports encircled its spire.
“Let’s eat. This petty cash is burning my pocket.”
They drifted more than walked, Jo quietly letting Mieshka take the lead. A number of people greeted Jo, giving Mieshka curious looks as they passed. Mieshka intuited that she must be well-known down here. After a few blocks, Jo turned her down a cobbled side street. The support beams swooped lower, hung with naked bulbs. The brickwork on either side was black with age. How old had this place been before it was buried?
Jo led her into a café parked on the corner of an intersecting alley. Soon, Mieshka found herself staring out from a lace-curtained window, her shoulder pressed to the glass. Jo sat across from her. A pot of green tea sat between them, with promises of cake to come.
“You’ve been quieter than I expected,” Jo said.
Rather than pester Jo for answers, Mieshka had been figuring out the mechanics behind the place for herself. She stared at the writing on the café’s window.
“There’s a lot more Chinese writing than in Uptown.” She’d been noticing it for a while.
Jo also glanced at the window.
“There’s a lot more Chinese down here. Higher density, anyway. Bit of a racial thing.”
“Racial thing?”
Jo’s chair creaked as she tipped it back.
“The Chinese were the first to be refused housing. Other minorities followed. It makes sense that there’s a large group down here.”
“Why were they refused?”
Jo didn’t answer. Mieshka tried not to move under her stare.
“Your guess is as good as mine. I wouldn’t bring it up down here, though. Bit of a sore topic. Ah,” she said, her eyes lifting up to look behind Mieshka. “I was wondering if he’d show.”
Mieshka looked behind her. The man by the doorway was about as tall as Mieshka, dressed in black, and had a wide-brimmed hat that put shadows onto his face. He looked Chinese.
Mieshka hoped he hadn’t heard their conversation.
“Long time no see, Joanne.”
Joanne? Mieshka hid a smile. As the man drew closer, that smile faded. The back of her hand tingled. Mieshka tensed like she’d seen a gun.
“Not long enough.” Jo’s voice had teeth.
“You wound me.”
“As I recall, we were both wounded last time.”
“An accurate recollection.”
Mieshka felt she was missing part of the conversation. She didn’t have time to dwell on it: her attention was pulled to the edge of her senses, where she’d felt the fire before.
“Is that a transfer sigil?”
Mieshka blinked. He’d come closer while she’d looked away. He stared at the mark.
“It is.” Jo’s voice was vaguely triumphant. “And you can tell your boss that, too.”
“She’s new, isn’t she? What is your name?”
Mieshka didn’t want to tell him. The energy through the mark felt taut, like the spring of a trap. She forced herself to stay calm.
“I don’t believe you’ve told me yours, yet.”
His expression was unreadable. After a moment, he held out his hand.
“Roger.”
“Mieshka.”
When they shook, it felt like a weight dropped into place.
“A pleasure to meet you,” he said. “Mind the tea.”
She looked back at her cup. The liquid spilled above the brim, floating in the air.
She let go of his hand. It fell back with a soft plop.
“Are you the Water Mage?”
Jo snorted into her drink.
Roger looked amused. “No. I’m her apprentice. I assume you are Aiden’s?”
Was he the water elemental Chris had talked about? Her jaw tensed. She found herself nodding. He seemed friendly enough now, but it was clear he and Jo had a history.
“That explains the rumours, then.”
Rumours? There were rumours about her?
“Word spreads awfully quick down here,” Jo commented dryly.
“It does.”
Mieshka tried not to look worried.
“I expect we will be seeing more of each other, Mieshka.” With a tip of his hat, he left. He waved through the window as he passed.
Jo and Mieshka watched the transfer mark. They did not speak until the glow had gone.
“So you’ve decided? You’ll be his apprentice?”
“Maybe. What did you mean by ‘wound’?”
Jo took a sip of her tea. “He likes to pick fights.”
Perhaps he wasn’t as amiable as he seemed. Mieshka rethought his last words to her. She decided that she didn’t particularly want to see more of him.
A moment later, the cake came.
 

Links-


Our Author Interview



What would you have done differently if you were the main character of your book?

Given the circumstances and stress, I’ve tried to imagine what I’d do in Mieshka’s shoes. I think that, had Mom died recently, I doubt I would have been much use in school. I would have tried to keep the stiff upper lip attitude, just like she has, but Mieshka has a lot more strength than I do. If I were her, I would have broken down a long time ago.

What was your inspiration behind this book?

This is going to sound a bit silly. I used to role-play with my friends, and our character used an elemental base just like in the book. I’ve modified it for the story, but it’s there. I’m also an avid fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender and, while I was a bit disappointed about The Legend of Korra, I still felt rather deprived when I flew through every episode that existed. I needed to tell my own elemental story, and Mieshka was raring to go.

Why did you become a writer?

I’ve always wanted to be one, even as a little girl. I guess that I’m just taking that step now. Any of you reading this now, if you ever want to be something, go and make that step! It’s worth it!

As a reader and writer I think it is important to get to know your fans and make a connection with them as an author who takes the extra step to hear what their fans think and want in their continued writing is continued success and key to selling more books. Do you agree with that?

I do and I don’t. I would really, really love to get to know my fans. I am determined to connect and make myself available, and I think it is a key part of success. A lot of writer advice out there says to “know your audience”, and what better way to do so than to interact with them?

But six years of working customer service have made me a bit leery to taking advice. I worry that my work might end up more like fanfiction than mine, if you get my drift. It’s important to connect with people. Very, very important. I enjoy doing so. But I feel that if I got too involved, people might get offended when/if the story didn’t go the way they wanted.

Maybe I’ve watched Misery once too many.

Do you have a favorite author or authors?

Oh, goodness yes! Guy Gavriel Kay, Shirley Jackson, Holly Black, Peter S. Beagle, Cherie Priest, Charles de Lint, and Lindsay Buroker, just to name a few.

Do you like to write your books in a continuing series?

Depends on the book. I’m writing for a series right now (I’ve got two sequels planned, so far. And two spin-offs), but I have a couple of ideas for novels that feel like they should be finished in one book. One long book, but just one book.



If you could date any character from any book, who would it be and why?

Em. Hrm. A slightly younger Dean Winchester? Hehe. However, I’ve only seen him on TV.

I think I’d go for Mike Havel from S.M. Stirling’s Emberverse series. He’s a strong leader, practical, doesn’t take crap from anyone. We also have a similar taste in humour.

His wife would kill me, though. Literally. With a sword.

What kinds of books do you like to read in your spare time?

All kinds. I’m currently going through Religion and its Monsters and The Dresden Files simultaneously. I lean toward anything under the fantasy umbrella, preferring a healthy dose of adventure or thriller in my book.

Do you cry when writing sad scenes?

I blubber more than a whale. I sniffle through it like through a weird kind of allergy season. Sometimes, I turn to ice cream and cuddle my stuffed animals.

Did you have a Cover Designer?

I use Streetlight Graphics. I also peruse Go On Write for all of his beautiful Pre-mades.

Who is your fictional boyfriend or girlfriend crush?

Eric Northman from True Blood. Or maybe just Alexander Skarsgard who plays him. Yum.

If you were able to dine and have a one on one with your favorite writer/author who would it be?

Charles de Lint. I think I’d want to get a PhD in mythology before I was comfortable having a one on one with him, though!

Do just re-read your favorite books?

I definitely re-read my favorite books. The Haunting of Hill House is sitting next to me right now, having just been references. The Last Unicorn is on its fourth or fifth round through, and I read The Lord of the Rings and all Harry Potter books six times when I was in high school.

There are favorites that I can’t re-read anymore. I’ve grown too much since I read them that I just can’t get into them anymore. The Wind Singer, The King of the Wind, Black Beauty--they shall remain forever on my shelves.

Do you ever get in a reading slump like your readers do?

Not often, but yes. Usually when I’m stressed or when I’ve read too much (it is, unfortunately, possible to read too much). I find that going for walks, listening to music, running, or doing anything to take one’s mind off it will cure the slump.

What is the funniest book you ever read?

One of the Hitchhiker’s Guides. Can’t remember which. Douglas Adams was a genius.


About the Author-



After a year spent living in South-West China, K. Gorman has returned to her life as a university student in Western Canada. During high school, she spent her days ignoring classwork to focus on reading or writing. She has been a voracious consumer of Fantasy and Science Fiction for as long as she can remember. When not reading or writing, she moonlights as a horse-drawn carriage driver, combining her love of history with her long-time passion of working with horses.

Links-
Website/Blog: http://kgorman.ca/











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Author Interview with Aubrie Dionne , Excerpt and Author Spotlight for her book Reconnaissance

 Reconnaissance


Series: Paradise Reclaimed Book # 2 


By: Aubrie Dionne


Expected Publication Date: May 1, 2013


Published By: Inkspell Publishing



Blurb-

 Nova Williams has lost her one shot at Lieutenant hood and at love. Lieutenant Crophaven has promoted her rival, Andromeda, all because her life-mate, Sirius, sacrificed their mission to win back Andromeda’s love.


While sneaking out to prove Andromeda is a fake, Nova finds an alien ship hovering over their colony. Lieutenant Crophaven assigns her to a reconnaissance mission, giving her a second chance to redeem herself. Sirius must fly her and a research team to the vessel to decide if they are a threat. Thrown together with the life-mate that betrayed her, she battles with her own jealousy while her team battles for their lives.


Can she forgive Sirius in order to save her team and warn her colony?

Excerpt



A drone, as deep and low as the growl of a primordial beast, resonated in my gut and I yanked my hand away. My heart sped like someone had fired a starter gun to a race, and my chest tightened until I couldn’t breathe.



That blaring blasphemy wasn’t from my ship.



The sound tapered off, leaving me in silence. I stared at the bones, wondering if I’d imagined it, or if I should hide here in the ruins in case the sound came back.



What am I doing? I’m a team expedition leader, for crying out loud!



I pulled myself back together. Everyone else was attending the ceremony on the ship. The thick hull, designed to protect us from deep space, blocked all sounds from the outside world. I was the only one who would have heard it. The only one who could investigate. I thought about going back for help, but every second I delayed, the source of the sound could disappear. Besides, I didn’t want the credit taken away from me. Not this time.



I scrambled to the window and climbed over the ledge, throwing myself down so fast my ankles exploded in pain. Cursing, I hobbled up the embankment of the excavation site. The sound boomed around me, vibrating the crystals underneath my feet. I fell to my knees and covered my ears. It reminded me of warping metal, growling monsters, and screeching alarms all at the same time.



The sound came from the jungle. I pulled myself up the incline and peered over the edge. A dry, fiery breeze blew my hair back, and I looked above the rustling canopy.



My heart stammered then beat into a frenzy. A massive ring of a ship, twice as large as the New Dawn, hovered over the jungle. Spires jutted from the top and the bottom, like a two-sided pin cushion. Blinking reddish lights adorned the ends. The hull was a dull gray shield of impenetrable metal with no sight panels or markings of any kind.



The buzzing sound made my eardrums throb. I pressed my nose up against the crystal ledge and peered over as my whole body shook. The lowest spire, thick as a nuclear reactor, lengthened from the belly of the ship until the tip hovered a meter from the jungle canopy. A trap door opened, and a beam of white light seared a hole in the foliage. The smell of burnt vines choked my throat, and I cowered against the side of the ledge.



I have to warn the ship.






Info on Book 1 -Colonization can be found 




Links-





Inkspell Publishing: 





Our Interview 



What would you have done differently if you was the main character of your book?



Gosh, I’m not sure. I have to really think about that. I wouldn’t have forgiven Sirius so easily. I tend to hold a grudge. So in that way, my main character is more understanding than I am! I probably would have been scared out of my wits by the giant alien monster spiders and unable to move- nevermind save everyone else. So, again, my character is more awesome than me. Oh well. 



What was your inspiration behind this book?



I wanted to give my audience a big monster enemy, because the first book doesn’t have that. I hate spiders, so I thought- that’s perfect! My inspiration for the spiders came from many sources: Arachnophobia the 1990 movie, Shelob, the spider in LOTR, the spiders in Harry Potter, and- for some strange reason- the alien bugs in Starship Troopers.





Who designed your book cover for you ? 



Naj. She’s awesome. She designs all the Inkspell covers and makes them all beautiful works of art that should be hanging in some art gallery somewhere.



Why did you become a writer ?



I loved reading, and I got bored and frustrated reading other people’s books. I wanted to have my own story with my own characters and have them do what I wanted them to do. Little did I know they have a mind of their own!



As a reader and writer I think it is important to get to know your fans and make a connection with them as an author who takes the extra step to hear what their fans think and want in there continued writing is continued success and key to selling more books .Do you agree with that ?



I love connecting with famous people, and the people I admire, so I want to give my fans that same happiness. I remember when a certain celebrity wrote me back on Twitter- I was on cloud nine for days. I saved the DM message in my email. So, if you write to me, I will write back!





Do you have a favorite author or authors?



Patricia McKillip, Tad Williams, Ursula Le Guin, Sherri S. Tepper, Orson Scott Card, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte. I could go on and on!





Do you like to write your books in a continuing series ?



Yes, I always feel like there is more story to tell. Even when I finished  the 4th book in my New Dawn series, I knew that wasn’t the “true” end.







If you could date any character from any book, who would it be and why?



Legolas from Lord of the Rings. Do I need to give a reason or is it apparent? LOL





How hard do you laugh when writing a funny scene?



I probably just smile at the computer screen.





What kinds of books do you like to read in your spare time ?



Epic fantasy is my favorite genre. Right now I’m reading Game of Thrones. I didn’t think I’d like it, because it’s so dark, but it turns out I LOVE it. I also try to read in all genres to broaden my writing skills.





Do you cry when writing sad scenes?



Not usually, but my scenes really aren’t all that sad for the most part. I try to write positive, uplifting fiction.



Thanks for the interview! Great questions!



About the Author- 



Aubrie grew up watching the original Star Wars movies over and over again until she could recite and reenact every single scene in her backyard. She also loved The Goonies, Star Trek the Next Generation-favorite character was Data by far-, and Indiana Jones. But, her all time favorite movie was The Last Unicorn. She still wonders why the unicorn decided to change back to a unicorn in the end.

Aubrie wrote in her junior high yearbook that she wanted to be "A concert flutist" when she grew up. When she made that happen, she decided one career was not enough and embarked as a fantasy, sci fi author. Two careers seems to keep her busy. For now.


Now for the professional bio:


Aubrie Dionne is an author and flutist in New England. Her writings have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, Emerald Tales, Hazard Cat, Moon Drenched Fables, A Fly in Amber, and Aurora Wolf. Her books are published by Entangled Publishing, Lyrical Press, and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. She recently signed her YA sci fi novel with Inkspell Publishing titled: Colonization: Paradise Reclaimed, which will release in October 2012. When she's not writing, Aubrie teaches flute and plays in orchestras. She's a big Star Trek TNG fan, as well as Star Wars and Serenity.



Author Links-
















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