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Showing posts with label guest post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guest post. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jaye Frances Guest Post

Thank you, Cade, for hosting me on Braintasia Books today. I really appreciate the opportunity to talk about The Kure, and to let your readers know about my “Resolve To Read” promotion on Amazon through the month of January.
What would you do if an ancient and evil influence threatened both the sanity and soul of those you hold most dear? And what if you were the one who unleashed the wicked curse, and now had to find a way to protect those in its path? When one of the main characters, John Tyler, seeks an alternative remedy to heal a devastating disease that is ravaging his body, he discovers an ancient book of healing, the Kure. Driven to pursue its evil secrets, John seeks out Sarah Sheridan, the one person who fulfills the requirements of a forbidden ritual. What John doesn’t know is that he has unwittingly awakened the power of the demonic book, and both he and Sarah are about to be haunted by its malevolent control.
In the following excerpt, John becomes concerned with Sarah’s unusual behavior after their failed attempt to invoke the power of the ancient ritual, and he fears that she may have fallen under the sinister influence of the Kure.
Here’s an excerpt:
Sarah pulled herself tighter, her knees touching her chin as she continued to move like the pendulum of an over-wound clock.
He began to imagine the worst. What if her behavior was a symptom of regret? What if she had decided to end their relationship and was only indulging him until the weather would allow him to leave?
He did not want to consider the more heinous alternative—not because it was a lesser possibility, but because it would mean her sanity was being threatened by the same predatory demons that had pulled him into the very pit of hell. While he could no longer dispute the book’s power, he could only hope the evil and vicious overlords of the void would recognize the difference between his transgression and hers, considering her unselfish motives before extracting payment from the innocent.
John became increasingly uneasy as he waited, watching for a sign, a blink, a nod, a gesture of any kind—to confirm she was not under malevolent control. But her eyes remained as somber as the dark clouds, her disturbing motion as constant as the shocks of rain assaulting the roof.
Nothing. Only the unbroken sway of her body as it paced the steady surge and swell of the wind.
He tried again. “Sarah, are you listening? Please say something . . . anything. Just talk to me.”
Although there might have been a slight change in her expression—he wasn’t sure— she remained silent, giving no indication she was even aware of his presence.
Sarah’s behavior was completely out of character, and it forced John to consider the grim possibilities: Was her dazed detachment the result of an awakened conscience, or had her mind been abducted by demons, her soul forced into a nightmare of conscripted service to the devil?
Here’s a brief synopsis:
John Tyler, a young man in his early twenties, discovers he has contracted a ghastly affliction affecting a most sensitive part of his body. When the village doctor offers the conventional, and potentially disfiguring, treatment as the only cure, John tenaciously convinces the doctor to reveal an alternative remedy—a forbidden ritual contained within an ancient manuscript called the Kure.
Although initially rejecting the vile and unholy rite, John realizes, too late, that the ritual is more than a faded promise scrawled on a page of crumbling paper. And as cure quickly becomes curse, the unholy text unleashes a dark power that drives him to consider the unthinkable—a depraved and wicked act requiring the corruption of an innocent soul.
Ultimately, John must choose between his desperate need to arrest the plague that is destroying his body, and the virtue of the woman he loves, knowing the wrong decision could cost him his life.
               For a limited time, read “The Kure” for only $.99 (kindle version)
I always spend the last few days of December reviewing my writing plan for the coming year—to determine what’s going to receive priority and how I will budget my time to make sure I get it done. During one of those planning sessions, I noticed my husband was also putting a few goals together for the new year. When I asked him to tell me about his “resolutions,” he said that one of them was to read more, especially books that fall outside his favorite genres, “just to see what else is out there.” We began to talk about how many more people are now reading books of all kinds, primarily due to increased availability and choice of low-cost eBooks for the kindle and nook. I’m constantly reading comments from readers who decided to try a particular author’s work because it was ninety-nine cents, or in some cases, free. Then my husband asked an interesting question: “Why don’t you offer some kind of promotion to encourage more people to read The Kure, with the idea that they’ll be more inclined to read the book if you temporarily lower the price?” I really had to think about this one, but after realizing it might motivate a few more folks who are not familiar with The Kure to take a look, I
decided to do it. I’m calling it “Resolve To Read”, and it’s going on right now. Effective for the month of January, the kindle version of The Kure can be purchased for ninety-nine cents on Amazon. So if you were planning on buying a kindle version anyway, why not take advantage of the “Resolve To Read” promotion and save two bucks?
I’d like to conclude by sharing a few details about myself. I was born in the Midwest and grew up surrounded by traditional values and conservative attitudes (which I quickly discarded). I’ll readily admit that my life’s destination has been the result of an open mind and a curiosity about all things irreverent, and I invite visitors to my website with a friendly caveat: “Be forewarned, my life has not followed the traditional path of homemaker, wife, and mother.” When I’m not consumed by my writing, I enjoy cooking, traveling to all places tropical and “beachy” and taking pictures—lots of pictures—many of which wind up on my website. I live on the central gulf coast of Florida, sharing my home with one husband, six computers, four cameras, and several hundred pairs of shoes. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

GUEST POST: Piper Maitland

The History of Vampirism
in Acquainted With the Night

Back in 2008, when I started working on a vampire novel, I began paying attention to the hours between dusk and dawn.  I tried to look at the world through the eyes of an immortal. Would I miss daylight? Would I try to adapt? Would I plant night-blooming flowers in my garden? Perhaps I’d buy a telescope and study the constellations.
Early in the process, I knew the book would center around Historia Immortalis, an ancient manuscript that details the immortals’ history, along with their secret society, traditions, covenants, and ethics.
Historia Immortalis
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia                                                  
Historia Immortalis, sometimes known as the Book of the Night, is one of the lost Christianities. Written before 200 A.D., the manuscript was considered heretical due to its subject matter: death and resurrection. The book is distinguished by graphic accounts of people rising from the dead.
Although the author is unknown, some theologians believe Historia Immortalis was written by monks known as νυχτοπερπατητής, the Greek phrase for “night walkers”—early astronomers who’d mapped the evening sky. They were been dogged by rumors of blood sacrifice and longevity. Other scholars claim the book was forged by the notorious Carpocratians. However, the majority believed that Lazareth of Bethany penned the manuscript.
In the 4th century, leather-bound papyrus scrolls were discovered in the Gilf Kebir region in southern Egypt. While being transported to a monastery, the scrolls vanished. Many scholars scoffed at their existence. Critics were mystified when a Coptic version of the book appeared in the Alexandria library, however this copy went missing before the great fire.
Interest in the manuscript piqued again when codices were discovered at Nag Hammadi. After the 12th volume was burned by a Bedouin woman, fragments were examined. Some scholars believed they were pages from Historia Immortalis.
During the 8th century, the papyrus scrolls surfaced long enough for Charlemagne’s monks to translated the text into Medieval Latin. All five hundred vellum pages were lavishly embellished (see illustration) with  vibrant, sometimes disturbing illustrations. The scrolls were allegedly burned during a fire at the scriptorium in Marmoutier, France. Illustrated copies of the manuscript were adopted by certain sects (see Catharism) in Southern France. These copies were ruthlessly hunted during the Albigensian Crusade and ignited the Inquisition.
In 1982, ten pages of the Latin translation were auctioned at Sotheby’s for 1.5 million pounds. Weeks later, the pages vanished.

Countless copies of the book were destroyed, but a few managed to elude the crusaders. “There’s just something odd about Historia Immortalis,” a collector said. “It won’t stay put. It possesses a type of kinetic energy.”
The book has a disturbing history of its own. During World War II, ten vellum leaves were found in the basement of the Louvre and were taken back to Berlin. A Munich collector bought them. Not long afterward, his only son  hanged himself. The pages were sold to an Austrian violinist. Days before her murder, she sold the pages to a South American dictator who couldn’t get rid of them quickly enough. Before he could find a buyer, the pages were stolen. Decades later, they ended up at a Sotheby’s auction.
Most importantly, for mortals, the book serves as an introduction and a guide to the secret world of vampirism. Several chapters describe how immortals are irresistible to humans. They’re rather like cone shells, with brown-and-white patterns that are intricate and beautiful as a mosaic. Conidae are toothed shells. They are hungers, built for survival. They impale their prey and inject it with venom.

“I know what is written in Historia Immortalis,” Father Aeneas said. “It is forbidden for a vampire to love a human. Yet they do, of course, because an immortal’s libido is as powerful as their craving for blood. They freely mate with humans, but it is nearly impossible for them to reproduce. A mortal woman can conceive a child by a vampire, but the pregnancy usually ends in a miscarriage.”
 In less than half a percent of cases, a half-vampire baby is carried full term. These rare offspring are called hybrids, and they possess unique traits. They don’t consume blood. They have unusual speed and strength, coupled with an ability to heal rapidly. They have strong immune systems. And they exude a type of olfactory chemical that attracts, then repels. Hybrids cannot form lasting relationships with any human. Most possess a hyperawareness of danger. Some an even read minds. Others can sense when immortals are near—that’s why hybrids often make successful vampire slayers.
Of course, just as in today’s world, the ancient vampires didn’t keep their own rules. Exceptions were made when an immortal fell in love with a well-connected human, and vice versa. If you were in the peerage, if you possessed land or influence, the vamps looked the other way. Greed is a human response to an inhuman dilemma. However, when a high-born vampire romanced a lowly human, the rules were enforced, and the unfortunate lovebirds were ostracized.
Some scholars believe that Historia Immortalis was forged by the notorious Carpocratians, a heretical Gnostic sect. But many others believe the text was written by second-century monks. The language is typical of the era and reads like a Gnostic Gospel.
A Coptic version was translated during Charlemagne’s era. Each vellum page was covered with illustrations and lavish black script, and the script was unique, with upper and lowercase letters. The words were also spaced. This is why the book was called a Carolingian minuscule. It was an illustrated manuscript, a picture book for the illiterate.

Caro saw ten vellum sheets, each one lavishly illustrated. Magenta knights held shields, each one woven with infinity symbols, and below the knights, a dead stag lay with its neck ripped open. Many pages showed graphic, alluring illustrations of sex and vampirism.
She lifted a page, and the dazzling colors seemed to vibrate, washing over the back of her hand. Obsidian, lapis, topaz, amethyst, shot through with gilt. Each page curled at the edges like dried tobacco leaves.

Part of this tome is a treatise about the night—nocturnal animals, moon phases, constellations, and botany. It also contains the vampires’ moral codes. The book’s theme is resurrection. The first line says, “This is the secret Gospel of the night. Whoever finds the correct interpretation of the text will find eternal life.”
In the 8th century, a copy of Historia Immortalis found its way to the Vatican. The Church had always fretted endlessly about heresy, but it also had a means to eliminate it. The Pope objected to the book because it was a chronicle of people who’d achieved eternal life. And God did not intend for man to live eternally without His judgment.
The Albigensian Crusade was launched, and copies of Historia Immortalis were ruthlessly ferreted out and burned—along with their owners.  The book was a threat—it had the power to shake Christianity, and humanity itself. Historia Immortalis would eventually ignite the Inquisition.
Centuries later, the book was still causing problems. Collectors longed to own a copy. The Church wanted to burn it. The owner of a London pharmaceutical company hoped to exploit it:
The book was much more than the history of vampirism: It held secrets to longevity and, interestingly enough, methods of destroying the immortals. Mortals were no match for the vampires’ superior physical abilities, not to mention their otherworldly skills such as telepathy and telekinesis. The lot were canny survivalists. For thousands of years,, they’d endured in a symbiotic relationship with humankind. They’d restrained themselves. If they got the upper-hand, humans would be openly slaughtered, and as the earth was depopulated, wide-spread panic would erupt. A polarized society is a weak society. Civilization would disintegrate. The immortals would roost in Buckingham Palace, feeding on animal blood, and humans would go the way of the Neanderthal.
If the tome fell into the wrong hands, it would pit science against religion. Men would lash out against vampires, depriving them of rights, but the battle would inevitably disintegrate into a predictable man-against-man conflict. Some humans would oppose the immortals, and some would offer support—or even breed with them.
Initially the outing of vampirism would cause a social upheaval. The affluent, centuries-old clans would be ostracized. After all, the royals were a bit finicky about bloodlines. However, that would be the least of the vampires’ problems. The wealthy and common alike would go into hiding. While they reorganized, they’d be sought by fringe groups and bounty hunters. Enthusiasts might hunt them for sport.
As Caro’s uncle Nigel once said:
“If you didn’t wish to grow old, if you preferred a short but interesting life, get yourself mixed up with Historia Immortalis. Each cursed page attracted death—ironic for a tomb that celebrated immortality.”
Acquainted With the Night will be published November 29th (Berkley). Piper Maitland is currently working on the sequel, A Requiem for Daylight.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

GUEST POST: Nova Sparks

Hello Guys!
My name is Nova Sparks and I'm the author of the sci-fi urban fantasy romance series, the DOME trilogy. The first installment of the trilogy is called the DOME and is available now on Amazon, BN, and Smashwords. The second installment of the trilogy is called the DOME revelation and will be made available on November 30th!
Being an author, I find myself reading a lot. Even before I started writing, I would read a whole bunch. Even though the DOME trilogy is an adult series, I also enjoy reading a lot of Young Adult books, my secret love. When a book is SOOO good, I get caught up in the story. I love character driven stories, Darwin's Children/Unnatural Law by Natasha Larry and Caleo by James Crawford are AWESOME because of the amazing story they tell and the amazing characters.
But being caught up in a story that is so good causes you to glance over certain things. Now before I mention these things, many people may decide that these things aren't important details, and in fact, a story can survive without them. And they will be right, a story can survive without these "unmentioned details". In fact, I know of tons of stories that have done ridiculously well, selling millions of copies, without never once mentioning these details. So, what are these details? If we are writing about fiction human characters, these charcters still have to be really human. And being really human, even in a fiction would, means doing things that real humans do in real life. So, why is that many books have characters that never eat, never use the bathroom, and never take showers?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you guys are saying...that these things are not important and don't contribute to the fabric of a good story. And again, I will say you're sorta right. I just find it quite odd that many authors, including myself, choose to ignore human habit and behavior. In the Dome trilogy, I had to literally remind myself every time I wrote a new day, to feed my characters and make sure they took showers. It just didn't seem right not adding that in there. Does this make me crazy? Am I obsessing about meaningless details? I hope not, because if I am, many of you may find it quite odd that I made my teenage character, Emma, go through her menstrual cycle. Hey, she's a young girl and months go by. Don't females have the rag every month? lol

Nova Sparks Author of the DOME (the DOME trilogy #1)

Sample or purchase the DOME (the DOME trilogy #1):

Friday, July 15, 2011

GUEST POST: Christy Dorrity - Book Blogger's Cookbook - Kindle Contest!

Christy Dorrity put together an awesome cookbook for people who love good food and good books, and she was kind enough to do a guest post for us today, too!
Here's a link to the launch website. Anyone who comments and promotes the launch will be entered to win an Amazon Kindle Wi-Fi! For more details, visit the launch site.


5 Tips for “Reating”-the Fusion of Books and Food.

One of the greatest pleasures in life is the combination of good food and good books. When all of the kids are in bed and the lights in the kitchen are off, get ready for some “me” time. Snuggle up with a good book and something yummy! Some people say that it is unhealthy to eat while you are reading, but if you follow these helpful tips, you can give yourself permission to enjoy the fusion of great reads and great eats. 

5 “Reating Fusion” Tips:

1.     Choose a Great Book—one that you can’t wait to get into. If you need help choosing a read, there are loads of great book bloggers out there that give honest reports about what’s great and what’s not.
2.     Pick a food that is a treat for you. My favorite reading treats are chocolate, if I’m craving sweets, or chips and salsa when I want something salty. My husband prefers to have seconds of dinner for his dessert—especially when we have tacos.
3.     Portion out your treat into a serving size that makes sense for you. If you are going to have a treat that comes in a large container, such as a bad of potato chips or a box of malt balls, take out a sensible amount and put away the extra. That way you won’t mindlessly munch during the intese action scene in your novel.
4.     Find a comfortable place to snuggle up. Some of my favorite spots include bed, a cozy couch with a soft-glow lamp, the back deck, a bench in the forest or park, and a hammock on the beach (I wish!).
5.     Relax and enjoy yourself. Immerse yourself in the experience of a tasty read and adventurous foods. 
What’s your favorite Reating Fusion blend?