Sunday, 23 October 2016

The Heron Prince (Book Two of The Demon Door) by Kim Alexander

Kim Alexander grew up in the wilds of Long Island, NY and slowly drifted south until she reached Key West. After spending ten rum-soaked years DJing in the Keys, she moved to Washington DC, where she lives with two cats, an angry fish, and her extremely patient husband. She began writing when she ran out of authors to interview (and they pulled the plug on her channel, Sirius XM Book Radio.)

Kim was in her twenties when she finally read a book not prominently featuring spaceships and/or wizards. Turns out Jane Austen was pretty funny!
THE HERON PRINCE continues the story of Rhuun and Lelet in the worlds of Mistra and Eriis and is the second in the fantasy series called THE DEMON DOOR. Her husband tells her she needs to write at least ten more books if she intends to retire in Thailand, so thank you for your patronage.

Connect with the Author

About the Book

The Demon Door can be opened...but the price is deadly.

Rhuun, the half-human heir to the demon throne of Eriis, has found acceptance among the humans on Mistra. He even found love with the tempting and infuriating human, Lelet va’Everly.

With Lelet at his side, his ability to create fire has finally awakened, proving that he is not the cursed cripple all of Eriis believed him to be. There are secrets in his blood, unique and powerful...and worth killing for.

When Rhuun is betrayed and tricked into returning to Eriis, Lelet has no choice but to turn to exiles, children, and madmen to save him. She must do the impossible: transform herself into a demon and travel to a forgotten city to make an agonizing bargain for his life.

Surrounded by dark Mages, a war-hungry Queen, mercurial Goddesses, and enemies on every side, the demon prince and the human woman will find the Court of Eriis a subtle and dangerous place, and one false move could doom them both.

Best-selling author Kim Alexander works her magic once again, creating a novel with worlds that are as rich and complex as her characters. The Heron Prince is the second book of The Demon Door series.

Get it today on Amazon!

Keep reading for a guest post from the author:

What was it like to write the sequel to The Sand Prince?

In some ways it was easier. My series follows the adventures of a cast of almost 40 characters across two very different worlds, and a lot of that groundwork got covered in the first book. We know Eriis is a desert wasteland recovering from a devastating war. We know the demons who live there have powers humans consider magical. And we know the humans of Mistra have almost completely forgotten the enemy they almost wiped out 100 years ago.

It was harder for some of the same reasons. When you have a large cast you have to know what everyone is doing, what they know, who told them, why they are where they are, how they got there and where they wind up! It’s like herding cats, if cats were bad tempered (sexy) demon princes and infuriating (also sexy) human women.

The fun and challenging part for me was exploring the characters who played a more minor role in book one. In particular, Rhuun (the bad tempered demon prince) has an ex-girlfriend back home on Eriis, and she got the short end of the stick (so to speak) when he went through The Door to Mistra. In book two, she faces her phobias and does some exploring of her own. And we spend some time with Rhuun’s arch mortal enemy, Niico, and find out why he behaves the way he does. Meanwhile, back among the humans, we’ll be seeing more of Lelet’s older sister May, and her youngest sister Scilla (evil genius in training--she’s only 12!)

I also loved giving Lelet herself a chance to save day (more than once) and find her strength. And Rhuun begins to see there’s more to him than he ever thought.

Of course I put everyone through the wringer--this is only book two!

Thursday, 20 October 2016

A Level Best Story Collection: Giving Voice by Connie Hambley

Connie Johnson Hambley embraces the changes in the publishing world by being both traditionally and independently published.

Hambley grew up on a small dairy farm just north of New York City. When she was a child, an arsonist burned her family’s barn to the ground. Memories from that experience grew the stories that have become her independently published thrillers. Working with survivors of human trafficking sparked the idea for Giving Voice, a short story published by Level Best Books in the award-winning Best New England Crime Stories anthology.

Proving that truth can be stranger than fiction, her experience at a major bank in Boston introduced her to the clever schemes people dream up to launder money.
Hambley uses every bit of personal experience to create a story that is as believable as it is suspenseful. Leveraging her law and investment background in ways unique, creative, but not altogether logical, she has enjoyed robust professional pursuits that include writing for Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Massachusetts High Tech, and Nature Biotechnology.

Hambley writes about strong women from their perspective in situations that demand the most from them. No special powers, no gadgets, no super human abilities – just a woman caught up or embroiled in something that she has to get out of, hopefully alive. The Charity is the first in The Jessica Trilogy. The second in the series, The Troubles, will be followed by The Wake in 2017. Look for updates and information on and follow her on Twitter at @conniehambley.

Hambley blogs and speaks on the changing publishing world and how to market effectively. Find her Author-to-Reader Marketing (#A2R) posts on her Out of the Fog Blog,

Connect with the Author

About the Book

The Level Best website describes this collection the best:

"Level Best Books publishes an annual anthology of Crime Stories set in New England each November. Well-regarded by readers and reviewers, stories published by Level Best have won the Agatha, Anthony, Macavity, Derringer and Robert L. Fish (Award for Best First Short Story presented at the Edgar® banquet) Awards and have been recognized as “Distinguished Mystery Stories,” by the editors of the Best American Mystery Stories series. Level Best also publishes the winning story from the Al Blanchard contest every year.

Founded by Skye Alexander, Kate Flora and Susan Oleksiw, Level Best’s goal is to publish the highest quality short fiction produced by crime writers either from or with stories set in the six New England states. From the beginning, the anthology has contained tales from established as well as previously unpublished authors."

Connie's short story, Giving Voice, will be featured in this anthology, due to be released in November 2016!

In the meantime, check out Connie's books, The Troubles and The Charity on Amazon!

Keep reading for an interview with the author:

Why did you decide to be a writer?

Becoming a writer wasn't a decision. As a student and in various jobs, I was the team member who converted concepts, ideas, and solutions into the written product of proposals, briefs, and marketing collateral. My brain sees in words.

Do you have a "day job"? If so, what do you do?

I'm a lot of "formers." Former lawyer, former banker, former COO, former model, former windsurfing instructor ... You get the idea. Now I use all that experience to infuse my stories with realism.

What genres do you write?

Suspense. My sweetspot is writing high-concept thrillers revolving around real-life events.

What inspires you to write?

If I don't, I would explode. So I guess you could say I'm inspired by pure self-preservation.

What authors/books have most influenced you?

I gravitate toward Scandinavian thrillers. Stieg Larsson's and Jo Nesbo's books weave complex tales that respect a reader's intelligence. Certainly I love their high octane action, but I'm also pulled toward certain works by John Grisham. I love the crux a legal issue can give to a plot. Lastly, I love Colleen McCullough's "The Thorn Birds." She told a heart-wrenching, multi-generational tale of love and loss and how the past shapes a future. Larsson's and Nesbo's thrillers lack the emotion of McCullough's work. By doing so, they alienate a swath of readers that want emotion along with action. These authors' influences can be seen in my work because I deliver on creating three dimensional characters with pasts and emotions in settings and situations that zing with realism. A new term is popping into use, it's "Literary Thriller." I fit nicely into that category, but until it's firmly in use, I'll use "Suspense" because it allows for more character and thematic development than "Thriller."

If you could choose an author to be your mentor, who would it be?

Have you read Stephen King's memior, "On Writing"? I felt like he was talking directly to me. So, yeah, go for the master. I'd chose King.

When did you first consider yourself an author?

I still don't. Calling oneself an "author" connotes a ponce hoisting a long cigarette holder in one hand while tossing a feather boa over her shoulder with the other. I'm a writer who crafts kick-ass stories, but I have to shorten it to "author" because of character constraints on Twitter and business cards.

What are your goals as an author? Where do you see yourself in five years?

I am going to work as hard as I can for as many years as it takes to be an overnight success.

What is the biggest obstacle you face as an author and what do you do to overcome it?

The biggest obstacle was the label "independent publisher" or "independently published author." A handful of readers push back against the indie label, but the entire book selling industry is rigged in favor of traditionally published authors. Everything from distribution channels to rankings on Amazon are geared to favor traditionally published authors from established house. I'm not whining. I'm good at marketing and making things happen, so for me, this obstacle is a challenge that keeps my life interesting. Now, I'm a "Hybrid" author, meaning I'm both traditionally and independently published. "Giving Voice" is a short story published by a traditional house in an award-winning anthology. I can already feel some other barriers softening.

Does your family support you in your writing, or are you on your own?

My family totally rocks in the support department. Special kudos goes to my husband. His unofficial title is "Book and Author Sherpa." We make an awesome team and I couldn't do what I do without him.

What is the best compliment you've ever received as an author?

At signings, I always place my business card with my email address into each book and encourage readers to contact me. I received an email from a reader with a 2 AM time stamp lamenting that she was still awake because she could not put my book, "The Charity," down. "As soon as I think I'll finish one section and put it down for the night, something happens and I have to find out what happens next! Dang you!" For me, that's the biggest compliment because my job as a kick-ass thriller writer is to give my readers a RIDE. So, box checked.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, and you could only have five books with you, what would they be?

Homer's Odyssey, Shakespeare's anything, Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice," and then lots of paper, pens, a computer if possible to write my own.

What made you decide to self-publish?

A small traditional press wanted to publish my first book. One look at the terms, percentages given away, volume estimates for sales, and the short length of time the house would have dedicated to promoting my work was enough to have me turn tale and swim for the indie shores. My short story, "Giving Voice," is published by a well-regarded traditional publisher, Level Best Books. So, I'm officially a hybrid author having both indie and traditional credits.

Do you write about real life experiences, or does everything come from your imagination?

Real life with a skewed imagination makes for great books...hopefully. My family was the target of an arsonist when I was a girl. You want to kickstart wheels turning? Try that one on for size.

What was the hardest part about writing your latest book?

Writing a sequel is like playing a game of bumper pool. You know you want to sink that eight ball into the corner pocket, but you can't shoot it in a straight line because there are all of these "hard stops" in your way. In a sequel, the hard stops are time and plot lines, character motivations, and established history. It's hard work.

Do you have anything specific you'd like to say to your readers?

To my readers: I love you and thank you for your support and encouragement!