About K.M Jenkins

K.M. Jenkins is a published speculative fiction author who writes epic battles, forbidden romance, and tales of fantasy and adventure. She released her first short story, “​A Father’s Protection” in 2018, and plans to publish several more short stories before the year is out. When she is not writing, you will find her running her business as a cover artist at ​KJ Magical Designs, LLC and chasing her twin boys around the house. Between the three she has epic battles throughout the day and nothing ever gets boring.

Book Review: Dead Wolf

This series is turning out far from expected. So, far several of the books turned out to be trips down memory lane. These trips unfold a story that helps create the bigger picture. Each book shows how delicate Tim O’Rourke has woven each thread and needs to be shared in a timely manner.

The Review

Murphy and Potter have come to save Kiera only to find that she saved herself. Now faced with the reality of his failed attempts Potter faces her wrath. Not only that Murphy now has to fuss up to his passed. Kiera now knows the truth about herself and her past. Now she has to face Murphy as he relives his mistakes by telling her and Potter everything.

This book turned out to be similar in style to book five. But, instead of Seth reliving his past now it is Murphy’s turn. Tim O’Rourke placed delicate threads and they are slowly unraveling before Kiera’s eyes. This book was interesting and kept my interest but fell short to the others. I found myself interested to an extent but wandered away to other adventures. Overall, the only reason I finished it was because I love Murphy as a character and I was eager to get to the next book in the series.

Ranking: 4 out of 5 stars!


The Book

DEAD WOLFDead Wolf

Learning the painful secrets of her past, Kiera must understand why the truth had been kept from her. When confronting Murphy, Kiera soon discovers he has been keeping his own terrible secret.With Kiera’s and her friend’s past lives coming back to haunt them, Jack Seth tells her, she must discover the identity of the hooded photographer if she is to push her life back and save those she loves. But is the photographer linked to Murphy’s past? If so, can they be trusted to help Kiera like Jack says they can?

Dead Wolf is Book Six of The Kiera Hudson Series Two.

FREE on Kindle Unlimited or $2.99 to Purchase.

Purchase Today!


About the Author

Tim O’Rourke is an obsessive writer, spending eight hours a day, five days a week hunched over his laptop, completely immersed in the worlds he has created in his own imagination.

In the real world, Tim lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife, three sons and a cat.

Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Amazon | BookBub

New Release: A Powerful Rivalry

Welcome to another Saturday. But today is not just any ordinary Saturday. Today is the Release Day for A Powerful Rivalry. I hope you pre-ordered your copy ahead to have it sent directly to your book library, but if you haven’t check out the details in this post. I got a special excerpt for you and some fun facts about myself. If that doesn’t get you wanting to read this awesome story I don’t know what will. Happy reading… :).

A Powerful Rivalry (Excerpt)

By: K.M. Jenkins

Serena jumped when a twig snapped to the left of her, and she turned to look for the source of the noise. Her eyes grew wide as a white stag with silver antlers stepped forth from the nearby trees. He stood a head taller, with bright blue eyes that looked deep into her soul. Serena took a deep breath, her heart racing as the stag came near. Intelligence shone back at her from behind his eyes. He is so magnificent.

“You aren’t bad yourself,” echoed a male voice inside her head.

Serena’s mouth dropped open in surprise. She knew the creatures within the forest were magical beasts. It was just hard to believe they were capable of human interaction, or in his case, mind speech. Her hand reached out to his snout and stroked his delicate flesh. He tipped his head forward. “Don’t be afraid, I won’t hurt you.”

“I’m not afraid, just stunned. You are such a gorgeous creature.”

“Thank you. I’ll try not to let it go to my head.”

Serena giggled as her hand pressed firmly against his snout. His coat was silky to the touch and felt like butter as her fingers slipped up towards his mane. She walked alongside him, her hands trailing along his muscular neck and onto his shoulders. His back had an arch that would allow someone to ride him if the need arose. Her eyes went to his short tail which he flicked about. It had golden spots on it.

“You are so unique. I have never seen a creature like you before.”

“I highly doubt you would, miss. My kind only lives within the Forest of Ferrês. We don’t like the outside world.”

“That’s a shame. I know a wonderful place where they would love to have you among their kind.”

His head turned to get a better look at her. He blew hot air from his nostrils onto her face. She laughed as she straightened her hair.

“Where exactly would that be?”

“Elërya, the city of mages. There are dozens of magical creatures that reside within the mountain peaks and the forestland around that magical city. You would be a welcome guest among them.”

His eyes sparkled with interest.

“Perhaps one day. But till then, I’m content to stay here.”


JENKINS_2020_APR_NR_BANNER

The goddess Nütari rules alone over all the beasts in the Forest of Ferrês. She hoards the forest’s glory, keeping it only for herself and those few she trusts. But a young goddess, Serena, wants the freedom to walk through the forest and open its beauty to everyone. She is determined to change the Council of Gods’ laws.

Will she create a creature powerful enough to take the land by storm? Find out how this powerful rivalry between two goddesses began in the final installment in the Tales of Ferrês series.

Purchase Today for 99¢!


About K.M. Jenkins

JENKINS_AUTHORPIC_2018K.M. Jenkins is a published international bestselling author that writes epic battles, forbidden romance, and tales of fantasy and adventure. She has a big love for the fantasy genre and loves dragons above all creatures.When she is not writing, you will find her chasing her twin boys around the house. Between the three she has epic battles throughout the day and nothing ever gets boring.

5 Fun Facts:

  1. I am the proud mother of twin boys. They were born in June 2017, and are a big handful.
  2. Besides being a published author I also run my own cover design business, KJ Magical Designs.
  3. The first book I read with dragons was Elizabeth Kerner’s “Song in the Silence”. This book is what sparked my love for dragons.
  4. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design and a minor in Mass Communications.
  5. I have lived in Sioux City, Iowa my entire life minus two years over in Lucas, Iowa. My dream place to live would be Tennessee or Utah.

Connect with Me:

Website | Blog | Newsletter | FB | Readers’ Group | Twitter | Instagram

AllAuthors | Amazon | Bookbub | Goodreads

Progress Report: March 2020

Wow it has been awhile since I updated my blog. Let alone kept you guys and gals up to date on my writing. I plan to start doing bi-weekly reports again titled: Progress Reports. It has been so long I don’t even know what you have been updated on recently. So, I will just give you the latest.

This weekend I’m releasing the final installment in my Tales of Ferrês series, if you haven’t pre-order your copy yet you can HERE. It has been a long time coming. I swear I was starting to wonder if I would ever finish this series. But, it isn’t done yet. In May I will release the bundle book featuring all the stories along with a bonus story. The bundle book will have rewrites of several of the stories and I have it geared towards the YA audience. Once I release the bundle book then I will finally be done with this road and ready to start another path. I do have Tales of Ferrês bundle book up for pre-order, you can grab your copy HERE.BookBrushImage-2020-1-25-12-4933

Another fun update is my Gargoyle Sighted book. I’m releasing chapter 10 to my newsletter subscribers this month on the 27th. I have chapter 11 written already just waiting for Allison to edit it. I probably will work on the next two chapters throughout this month. I’ll keep you updated on that front. But if you want to read this book as I write it SIGN-UP HERE. You will also get a free short story.JENKINS_2019_VORTEX_NEWSLETTER

These two projects are the main ones I have been working on these last few weeks. I plan to start working on my next collection of short stories here soon. Along with working on my first novel series. I am in the plotting phase so I will keep you updated on this as well.

If things go as planned I should be giving you another fun update on March 26th. So expect to here about my writing and process by then. Until next time…

~K.M. Jenkins

Book Recommendations: Fantasy Adult Books

Welcome to my Book Recommendations post. If I am not doing a book review you will find that I like creating lists of books I loved reading. Check out the list below and perhaps you might find one that interests you. These books are geared towards Fantasy readers that are older than 18. But that doesn’t mean under 18 readers can’t read them.

My Favorites:

51h-GhhltQL

Journey to Aviad by Allison D. Reid

Journey to Aviad is a clean read that centers around the growth of two young girls. They are thrown into a world they aren’t entirely aware of and need to make a safe passage. I found Allison’s writing enjoyable and couldn’t put the book down. She writes more for an adult audience but this book is also good for a young adult reader. This book is also PermaFREE.

61elsjrOT3L._SY346_

By the Sword by Mercedes Lackey

I fell in love with this book the moment I started it many years ago. I actually have re-read it several times and can’t get enough of it. I would say it is suitable for young adult readers but is geared more towards adults.

Shadow Stalker Part 1 Resized Small 72 DPI (1)

Shadow Stalker Part 1 by Renee Scattergood

Contains episodes 1-6 from the Shadow Stalker serial series. I rather enjoyed reading this short novellas and really got into it. I would suggest this book to anyone looking for a series to start. Plus this book is PermaFREE.

51IPEyJLzoL

Vampire Shift by Tim O’Rourke

This book was actually the first book with vampires. I actually was surprised to find that the vampires were mindless blood thursty creatures where the Vampyrus were powerful bat like creatures. It was a good experience and I couldn’t get enough. I actually devoured the series and the other four in the Kiera Hudson series. This book is good for young adult readers and adults. Big bonus it is FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

51RI609E2pL

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

This has and still is a popular book. I avoided reading it for so long. Then when I was in the hospital my uncle bought it for me. I started it and couldn’t put it down. I have re-read it several times since then, and it is by far one of my most favorite dragon books. I believe this book is suitable for adults and young adults too. You just have to have a love for dragons.

What’s New Wednesday: Get a Free Copy of my Short Story Collection

Allison D. Reid

Progress Update
2019 had a promising start with the publication of Shards of Faith in early spring. But it ended up being a challenging year for me personally, which made it difficult to get substantial writing done on the next book. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t working, however. I used my creative dry spell as a time to get other things accomplished, like a much needed re-edit of Journey to Aviad, and my series timeline, which is now quite extensive and current to the chapter I’m writing now. Though it’s not something readers will ever see, it was important for me to make sure I hadn’t accidentally made any mistakes, and that I don’t make any going forward.

By the end of 2019 I was really starting to feel the pressure, and I managed to get my writing back on track. Now in 2020, I’m making up for lost…

View original post 154 more words

Book Review: Dead Seth

We are now to the halfway point for this series. Book five is by far one of my favorites because you get to see inside the mind of Jack Seth. You get to see the boy before he became the killer they know him to be. What makes a killer? How does his child hood effect the way he ends up as an adult? You will find out the horrors of his past and how it connects to Kiera Hudson.

The Review

We left Kiera Hudson as a captive of Jack Seth. Now facing death at his hand she believes Potter has betrayed her. Her friends aren’t coming and she is on her own. She is turning to dust by the minute. The worst fate is sitting across for a killer as he tells her the story of his life while her father bleeds on the floor.

Emotions are high in this book and leave you craving more. I found this book refreshing because Tim O’Rourke lets you see inside the eyes of Jack Seth. You get to see the story of his life unfold and how it has affected him. He even lets his guard down and shows Kiera a side to him she never knew existed. Kiera will face yet another choice forced on by Jack himself. Will she become a statue, let her father die, or save Jack? The twists and turns left me reeling with excitement. This by far is one of my top favorites. Highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to get into the mind and past of a killer.

Ranking: 5 out of 5 stars!


The Book

DEAD SETHDead Seth

Held hostage by Jack Seth, Kiera Hudson must not only find a way to escape, but save Potter and her father before she turns to stone. With Jack becoming evermore unstable and dangerous, Kiera soon realises the choice he is forcing her to make has far more terrifying consequences than she first believed.As Jack’s past begins to unravel, Kiera finally understands what turned him into a serial killer, and how his disturbing past affects her future…

Dead Seth is Book Five of The Kiera Hudson Series Two.

FREE on Kindle Unlimited or $2.99 to Purchase.

Purchase Today!


About the Author

Tim O’Rourke is an obsessive writer, spending eight hours a day, five days a week hunched over his laptop, completely immersed in the worlds he has created in his own imagination.

In the real world, Tim lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife, three sons and a cat.

Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Amazon | BookBub

Bright Star: Goddess of Light

Bright StarBright Star was the firstborn from the shadows and lights union. She is the Queen of the gods and rules with a gentle demeanor. Her power is the good within people and guides those that seek the path of righteousness. Bright star is an influential goddess that brings great power to the world.

She has long flowing blonde hair, pouty lips, and has an hourglass figure shape. Her eyes are blue like the sky and sparkle with stars within. Many say the stars in the sky are her eyes and she uses them to watch over her people from afar.

Her constellation takes the form of a white wolf when times of war are on the horizons. Normally her constellation remains vacant from the skies unless times of turmoil take place.

Bright Star is the proud mother of Mortez the god of dragons and Serena the goddess of magic. The father is unknown to the gods, but the gods know these two were created from the union between the Goddess Bright Star and a human. These two are looked on as two lesser gods because they are a half and half. But, Bright Star loves them all the same.


Disclaimer: The images used in this post were found on Pinterest and led to no source. These are not my own, and they are only examples. If this is your work, please let me know. I want to give you credit. 

Wednesday Writing Tips: How to Build Fantastic Worlds

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writing: How to Build Fantastic Worlds
by: Kameron Hurley

So, you’re ready to write a science fiction or fantasy novel. But where to start? Lots of writers begin by creating a map, or researching some distant heavenly body. Six novels into my speculative fiction career, I’ve discovered that I create my best work when I begin building my fantastic worlds by starting not with magic systems or geography, but with a single character. Here’s why this method has been so successful for me.

Asking the Right Questions

When you begin your worldbuilding process by creating a character first, then asking what type of world created that character, you focus on the parts of the world that matter most to the people in it. That means spending less time on research that you ultimately aren’t going to use. I look at my worldbuilding and character creation processes as interconnected. They don’t – in fact, can’t! – exist independently of one another. As I flesh out a character, the world, too, will come into sharper focus. If I create a skilled government assassin who’s tasked with bringing in deserters from a centuries-long war, I have to ask myself what the war is about. If it’s about a lack of resources, what does that world look like? Dry, dusty, low in metals? If a planet was low in metals, how would their technology progress? What would they use to power their vehicles? If they had crashed there on a big generation ship, what was the likelihood they would ever get back into the stars, and how would that change their religious philosophies?

Overcoming the Gauntlet

Most approaches to building new worlds ask you to fill out long questionnaires about geography, magic systems and technology levels, social structures, governments, how people greet one another, the languages they use… the list goes on and on. But how much of that are you really going to squeeze into your novel? How much is relevant?

The first fifty pages of a science fiction or fantasy novel are what one of my editors calls “The gauntlet.” It’s in these vital first pages that readers must orient themselves to a new world, complete with unique societies and ecologies. Dumping all of this information onto readers in long narrative chunks up front overwhelms most readers. Few will be able to get past those first fifty pages.

To dissuade this tendency to dump information onto my reader up front, I only map out my worlds in broad strokes before I start writing. I knew that in my recent space opera, The Stars Are Legion, there would be a legion of living starships that each had independent ecological systems. I knew the worlds would be inhabited entirely by women, whose bodies the living ships relied on to birth vital pieces of themselves. I wanted the two primary societies to be surface-dwellers who organized themselves into authoritarian states. But the nitty gritty details of how people ate, what they wore, and how the ships themselves functioned was something I left for myself to discover during the writing process. By doing this, I was able to convey details about the world to the reader in manageable bites.

Continue Reading…

Book Review: Dead Statues

We are now on to the fourth book in the Kiera Hudson Series Two collection. In the last book we left our heroes fleeing for their lives. One of the group gets killed off and they are now in mourning for this person. I won’t name names because that would ruin it for you as the reader. This next book is twisted to the core as a new enemy appears that they haven’t figured out yet if they are friend or foe.

The Review

Our heroes are now fleeing for their lives. Kiera finds out Potter is keeping secrets from her and she has to make a decision. This decision to find her father will jeopardize their mission and possibly be her end. Now they know the pictures they have been finding with the word ‘Push’ on them are from events not happened yet. They only problem is if the photographer witnessed at the scene is a friend or foe.

In this adventure things get heated between Kiera and Potter leaving their relationship on the brink of destruction. The emotions are high and Tim O’Rourke leaves you turning the page with hunger to find the ending. I couldn’t put this book down with so many dangers on all sides the excitement never ends. The ending leaves you in fear for Kiera Hudson’s life, but does she make it out of this one alive? Find out by reading this awesome new installment in the series number two.

Ranking: 5 out of 5 stars!


The Book

DEAD STATUESDead Statues

With the Skin-walkers closing in, Kiera and her friends flee across the English countryside. Learning Potter has been keeping secrets from her, Kiera makes the painful decision to split from the group and leave her friends behind to go in search of her father. Can Kiera reach him before she turns into a statue, like the ones that appear to be following her? Desperate to win back Kiera’s trust, and fearing she is walking straight into a trap, Potter goes after her. But with a more desperate and cunning enemy anticipating Kiera’s and Potter’s every move, will Potter’s past secrets ultimately lead to the death of Kiera Hudson?

Dead Statues is Book Four of The Kiera Hudson Series Two.

FREE on Kindle Unlimited or $2.99 to Purchase.

Purchase Today!


About the Author

Tim O’Rourke is an obsessive writer, spending eight hours a day, five days a week hunched over his laptop, completely immersed in the worlds he has created in his own imagination.

In the real world, Tim lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife, three sons and a cat.

Website/Blog | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Amazon | BookBub

Book Spotlight: Untangled

It’s the start of another week and I got a book spotlight for you. Check out this awesome book by L. Loren titled: Untangled. Hope you enjoy and just think this book is FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Untangled 

Untangled cverBullied in her youth for being dark skinned and ugly, Gugu Brown is obsessed with beauty. Now the Queen of the cosmetics industry, she is a notorious boss. Her ageless beauty is unrivaled. A woman of 45, she looks no older than 23.  Beauty is life and without it she sees no value in living. And Gugu is living her best life! But she has a secret that could topple her empire and bring her to her knees. 

Sin Maddox is a silver fox who is enamored with Gugu’s beauty. He is determined to make her his. After dating her for a while, he sees the real her and finds her beauty pales in comparison to her true personality. When her world comes crashing down, will he be able to convince her that she is more beautiful on the inside than she is on the outside? How can she believe that when she was so damaged in her youth? Sin may be the one to convince her that pretty hurts, but true love heals. 

Each book in the Once Upon A Villain series is a standalone. This series does not have to be read in order.

FREE on KU or $1.99!


About the Author

IMG_1009L. Loren holds a Business Management Degree from the University of Mount Olive. As a former call center supervisor, her desire to write lay dormant for years, until she found the courage to live her dream. She is currently based in Birmingham, AL with her loving and supportive husband.
L. Loren created her own brand of erotic romance that she dubbed LoveRotica – Love stories with an edge of sexy. Her catalog of sexy stories is self-published and available on Amazon.
Her stories and poems have appeared in various anthologies, publications and literary journals. L. is also the curator of the Love is Color Anthology, available for free on Smashwords.

Connect with the Author

Website | Rebirth of Lisa | FB | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

Author Interview: Kenzie Macallan

Welcome to another wonderful Thursday. You want to know what the best thing about Thursdays are? They are followed by Fridays, which means the weekend is near. Now to start off this early weekend cheer I am sitting down with Kenzie Macallan in her very own author interview. Hope you will take the time to read and get to know this wonderful author. Happy reading everyone. 🙂

Author Interview

Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I live with my husband in New England and we’re huge dog lover. We used to have two rescue pitbulls who ran our world and we loved every minute of it. Their loss was really hard to get over. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel all over the world to place in Europe and Africa.

I used to paint portraits, take photographs, and I love to bake. You would think for all the creativity that I would know how to cook. But those skills elude me. Maybe it’s just not interesting enough. I remember as a kid being more interested in playing outside than eating. All of my experiences have added to my storytelling especially when writing about strong women and alpha men.

What genre do you write in? Why?
I write action adventure romance., romantic suspense. I love a good mystery or twist in a story. I want the plotline to suck me in and never let go. Deep characters with plenty of problems always adds to the plotline. These are the type of books I like to write. It’s engaging for me and for the reader. If I’m not moved or inspired in a scene, I change it.

What inspired you to become an author?
This is going to sound crazy but about five years ago, I had just finished reading several romance novels and woke up with these three sisters in my head with their stories. I knew where the story was going to go from beginning to end. For me romance is at the heart of a good story. It all falls in line with my desire to create. Writing is wonderfully manipulative. It can be changed easily to get across a feeling or plot point. I guess you could say I’m inspired by the characters I create.

Tell us about your latest release?
Masks is the last book in the Art of Eros series and probably the most powerful. All the questions are answered in this book. 

The youngest sister of the Luccenzo brood, Raquelle, gets to tell you her story with all her flaws and insecurities. Passion for painting is what drives her almost to the point of obsession. She becomes inspired by her creations and becomes consumed by them. 

Michael is a complex character. He appears to be powerful and in control but he may only be a puppet for someone else’s benefit. Underneath it all, he craves Raquelle and her creative spirit. I can’t give more away about him or I’ll spoil it for everyone!

How did you come up with the story within your books? What inspired your creativity?
I never would have believed that you could wake up and have three books in your head but that is exactly what happened. As I got into each story, the characters tell you where to go and what they want out of it in the end. I get some of my story ideas straight out of the headlines of what’s happening day to day. 

Each of the three Luccenzo sisters is an artist in their own right. Marabella is a sculptor, Leigha is a photographer, and Raquelle paints. I have experience in two of those three areas. I have never been a sculptor. My artwork always inspired me because you can get lost in the experience of it.

When you write your books do you go straight for pencil and paper or a computer? Why?
I write an extensive outline that’s done on paper. I love writing with a really good pencil that way I can erase and add as I want to. Even with the extensive outline, things always change. 

When I get to the part where I dive in, I go for the computer. I also write on a tablet with a keyboard. Much of Masks got written on a long car ride to Gatlinburg, TN in the car. It all came to me and I just kept writing while my husband drove.

Tell us about your main character in your book. What makes them unique?
Raquelle is a spitfire. She takes no prisoners with her bold attitude. She knows her way around men and doesn’t apologize for her passions. Titus is her pitbull rescue is an important part of her story. I wanted readers to know about how pits could really be through her eyes. 

She’s stubborn and a fighter. Tough on the outside, mush on the inside. She gives Michael a run for his money.

What is the one thing you want to say to your readers?
I love to write stories for an escape not only for me but for the readers. I strive to improve my writing with every book I publish. Readers shouldn’t be afraid to try a new author. You never know what you’ll find.

Are you Indie Published or Traditional? Why did you choose this route?
I’m strictly indie for a lot of reasons. The top reason is I have total control over how my covers look, editors I chose, and formatting. Often times a publisher can sign you and then drop you a year later but they own the rights to your books. Then you have to usually have to hire a lawyer to get them back. In either case, you are responsible for your own promotion. So I figured I might as well work for myself. I’m very happy with my decision.

What should we expect from you in the coming months?
I’ll be working on the next book about Sean Knight. He’s ex-military and never got over a girl from his past but they have a lot to work through before they get together. My next three books will focus on the men who won MBK Global Security. They are very different and unique.


About the Author

KMgoldKenzie lives with her husband in New England and is a huge dog lover. She has been fortunate enough to travel all over the world to places like Africa, Greece, Switzerland, Holland, France, England and, of course, Scotland. Edinburgh is one of her favorite places. 

It’s all led to an overactive imagination. Creativity seems to be part of her soul as she paints portraits, takes photographs, and bakes. They have all added to her storytelling especially when writing about strong women and alpha men. She looks forward to adding to her adventures and her readers.

Website | FB | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Bookbub


Masks

Masks Kenzie Macallan - E-CoverBetrayal can be born from the deepest love and blind trust.

Raquelle struggles as an artist to escape the shadow of her famous father. After his mysterious death, she’s convinced she needs to play in a game of deceit. Spying on her powerful client, she paints a face of betrayal that leads to a chilling discovery.

Michael appears to run the investment firm but acts as his father’s pawn. When the company is investigated for fraud, his father goes missing. Left in charge, he uncovers the shocking truth, forcing him to make a life altering decision.

Lives collide on a course driven by fate. 

The tables turn on betrayal.

 Her deception pales in comparison…

Purchase Today for $2.99!

Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Apple | Nook | Kobo | Google Play | Goodreads

Wednesday Writing Tips: Writing Fantasy Races

Writing Fantasy Races
by: Andrew P. Miller and Daniel Clark

Any attempt to survey the multitude of races that exist in legend and imaginative literature is open to criticism of being incomplete in some areas and too inclusive in others. The obvious dilemma is the question of how one defines a “race” in fantastic literature and legend. In reference to humans, the term race is fraught with political and cultural implications; in general, it refers to similarities and differences in certain physical characteristics like skin color, facial form, or eye shape. Political and cultural affinity factor into the debate as well and are sometimes more important than an individual’s particular genetic heritage. But humans as a group are far more similar in appearance than the groups that populate the landscape of the imagination. Bushmen and Celts are virtually indistinguishable in comparison to the differences between merfolk and trolls. But just as with defining human races, there are considerations beyond the physical that enter into the issue. It’s not just a question of which arbitrary physical features to consider since the differences in these imaginative beings are long established; it’s really a question of what distinguishes a fantastic race from a fantastic creature.

The terms race and creature suggest differences, and one difference is in total population in a group. It’s easy to see that a unique being like the Hawaiian shark man is a creature and not a race. Or that rare beings like the rocs are creatures and do not constitute a race. But there is a qualitative difference between the way groups of beings, like elves and giant squids, are portrayed in fantastic stories that has to do with a metaphysical hierarchy. It’s not merely a question of humanoid shape; elves are obviously patterned on humans—often they are more diminutive and more beautiful than the average human—and giant squids are patterned on their smaller counterparts in the real animal kingdom, but what about the Yahoos and Houyhnhnms of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels? The Houyhnhnms, outwardly equine in shape, have a complex society and appreciate art and intellectual pursuits, whereas the Yahoos, outwardly human in shape, have no language and live in packs in the forest like wild dogs. Obviously, similarity to human shape is not the most important factor in determining the difference in race and creature.

As Gulliver’s Travels points out, we must not be too anthropomorphically bigoted when we determine where various groups rank on the Great Chain of Being in fantastic stories. Instead, we tend to be prejudiced by the nonphysical attributes and values of humans. For our purposes in this chapter—and this seems to hold generally true for the body of fantastic literature and legend—we define race using the following criteria:

  • Physical Similarity: This one is pretty obvious. Elves look like elves, dwarves like dwarves.
  • Population: It can’t be a unique being and still be called a member of a race. Now there can be exceptions to this; Tolkien, at the end of The Trilogy of the Ring, suggests that the fantastic races are slowly dying out and humans replacing them. A writer could create a scenario in which a being is the last of her kind, but the implication is that there once were many more.

Continue Reading…

Wednesday Writing Tips: Magical Realism Short Stories

THIS IS WHERE TO START WITH MAGICAL REALISM SHORT STORIES

By: Mary Kay McBrayer

As with any genre categorization, the edges of magical realism short stories are blurry. The term “magical realism” itself seems to be an oxymoron: if it’s magical, how can it be real? The definition, however nebulous, depends on whom you ask.magical-realism-short-stories

HOW DO YOU DEFINE MAGICAL REALISM SHORT STORIES?

I tried to reduce the definition to its most simplistic qualities: the world of the story is realistic, just like this one, or maybe a little worse. Magical elements are introduced to the world of the story, and the characters in the world treat them as though they are real, a part of their crappy world. The characters are not astounded by the presence of what seems (to the reader) magical.

Naturally there are some dissenting opinions, and because humans like to categorize things, there are some distinct sub-genres. Surrealism is “concerned with upending accepted realities,” and fabulism “is known for putting fables and myths into a contemporary setting.” (For more on these topics, click here.)

For our purposes, we have another chunk of that genre to define as well: what is a short story? What qualifies as “short,” and what makes a “story.” Again, I tried to reduce this definition to its most simplistic qualities: if I can read it in one sitting, then it’s “short.” If I have to get up for snack breaks, to check my email, et cetera, it doesn’t qualify. As far as defining “story”: there needs to be a narrative. That means, to me, SOMETHING HAPPENS. Something happens after which nothing is the same, a new status quo is reached. Much of the time, the magical entering the realistic world works as the “something,” but not always.

With those VERY loose terms defined, here are some of the most impactful magical realism short stories, including magical realism short story collections and magical realism short story authors.

Continue reading…


The Indieverse Resource Library—Your Gateway To All Things Indie!Are you looking for author services like editing, book cover design, or marketing & promotional services? Want to know how to covert your manuscript to pdf or mobi? Are you a reader looking for tips on how to maintain a home library?

The Indieverse Resource Library (IRL) is an online directory of resources for both Indie authors and readers who are seeking information and guidance on a variety of topics, including book selection, maintaining an at-home library, writing, publishing, promotion, marketing, business-management, book reviews, translation, and a whole host of other issues relevant to our Indie community!

We’re constantly updating our Elibrary with new services, articles, and blogs, so whether you’d like to just stop in for a few minutes, or submit an item or service to us, we’re standing by, ready to assist!

Access to our Indieverse Resource Library is absolutely FREE, and here’s the best news… We’re open for business 24/7! Come and visit us now at https://www.authorjbrichards.com/indieverse-resources

Pre-Order Sale! Dare to Look

51puemCDRVLPre-Order Book Two in the Series between 12:01 AM to 11:59 PM EST on 31st December 2019, send proof of purchase to KyraFoxAuthor@gmail.com, and Get Book One Free on Release Day
(3 March 2020).

**Best friends, a decade of hidden desires, an irresistible attraction, an explosive outcome** Trista is a vibrant young woman who seems carefree and fearless, a mask she’s honed down to perfection. Brian, her best friend’s older brother, is no stranger to tragedy and quickly becomes one of her closest friends when she finds herself in need of someone to lean on. They spend years hiding their true feelings, but circumstances eventually force buried desires to the surface, revealing Brian as a lust-driven man with irresistible dominance, and Trista soon learns she craves the pleasures of submission as they discover a new heat-filled connection. A melt your screen friends-to-lovers romance novel, Dare to Look is the story of a boy and a girl, the harsh life realities they had to learn at too young an age, and how their friendship means so much, they’re afraid to let their love shine lest it ruins the one that saved them at their darkest hour.

Pre-Order Today!


Kyra Fox

nogahazan 2Kyra Fox is the pen name of a self-published writer of Contemporary Erotic Romance (not necessarily in that order), reader of books, painter of whiskey, lover of food and general wanderlust.
I write women the way I would have liked to read myself if I were a character in a book, and men the way I want them to treat me in real life.

InstagramDare to Desire Book ClubFacebook
TwitterGoodreadsAmazonNewsletter

How To Market Your Book In 2020

Nicholas C. Rossis

Ronita Mohan | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksHere’s another post from Ronita Mohan, one of this blog’s favorite guest bloggers. Book marketing is like building on quicksand: just when you think you know what’s what, everything changes. Thankfully, Ronita shares here some tips about the book marketing trends for the new year.

Ronita is a content marketer at Venngage, the online infographic and design platform. She is an avid reader with an interest in mystery fiction, history, graphic novels, marketing, and diversity. Twitter: @Venngage

How To Market Your Book In 2020

Book marketing in 2020 | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksPhoto by Jamie Street on Unsplash

The marketing world is in constant flux, and book marketing ends up being impacted by these changing trends.

In 2020, certain aspects of book marketing will remain the same. For example, social media and networking will be just as important as they’ve always been.

But you also need to know about the new ways you can use the digital…

View original post 1,179 more words