Sunday, March 26, 2017

Character Interview with November Snow

My newsletter subscribers got first crack at this a few weeks ago, but now it's time to share this interview with the rest of you.  Get a peek into November's thoughts at the start of She Marches Through Fire (November Snow Book 3).  Be warned that there are minor spoilers.  If you like to go in blind, save this for after March 28th.  Happy reading!

So, what’s it like being a vampire with superpowers?
The saving the world part is good.  The teleporting does make me feel like kind of a badass.  Things still somehow manage to go wrong, though, even for a teleporting psychic.  I don’t regret it, though.  Winding up like this, I mean.  This is still a better life than I had before I met all these crazy people.

Better how?
I guess it’s just more honest.  I’m more honest with the world, with myself.  I always had to hide my visions before William found me at the carnival.  I had to lie to almost everyone about what I was going through, every single day.  That’s no way to live.

What is the hardest part of being you?
I suppose that it’s living with the guilt.  I’ve killed people— out of necessity, mostly, not desire— and that is hard to carry around.  The other tough part is the expectation heaped upon me, by others and by myself.  It’s a lot of pressure.

How’s your love life these days?
Ha!  I don’t have a love life.  I have ill-advised flings and doomed romances, also ill-advised.  I’m not really in the right headspace for an actual relationship, nor am I convinced I’m going to live long enough to see one through.  Maybe someday.

How are you feeling?
Like I’m being continuously run over by a bus.  A bus with claws.  William poisoned the heck out of the bullet he shot me with, and we’re frantically trying to find an antidote before I bite the dust.  I’m stuck drinking a ton of vampire blood to try to stay alive.  It’s a pretty discouraging situation.

What are your hopes for the future, aside from saving the world?
I hope I get to see Eden.  It’s this community of fairies, humans, werewolves, and vampires living together.  I know the guy who founded it, and after all the violence I’ve seen lately, it sounds like absolute paradise.

What do you regret most?
I regret killing that boy in Oakland who was attacking my friend Jaime.  It was an accident.  I wish I’d had more self-control. 
I regret how things ended with Ilyn.  I wish we’d had more time together.  Not that I think we would have necessarily wound up living happily ever after, but I would have liked the relationship to begin and end on my terms, you know?  Instead of having him stolen from me because of other people’s machinations.

How’s the vampire family?  Is there drama?
Oh, jeez.  How much time do you have?  We’re driving each other nuts, living in close quarters like this.  Getting to know Raina a little has been good, though.  She’s a hoot, and she doesn’t put up with any nonsense.  Swears like a sailor.  She’s got Luka locked up in silver stocks that he evidently gave her for Christmas, like, 500 years ago or something.  I don’t know where the hell Nigel is.  I hope he’s okay.  William is, presumably, doing something terrible as we speak.  Gregory and Savita are on their way to Eden.  Savita is a total wreck, or so they tell me.  So am I, I guess, when you come down to it.  I’m just trying to keep my head above water. 

I notice you left out Luka.  How is he doing?
Yeah . . . Luka is awfully chipper for a prisoner who has lost almost everything.  He is all up in my business, all night long, every night.  So eager to “help.”  It’s infuriating.  He’s like one of those plants that works its way into the cracks in the wall, and before you know it, it’s knocked the whole damned thing down. 

Intrigued?  Grab your copy of She Marches Through Fire, and find out just where November’s story goes.

Monday, March 20, 2017

She Marches Through Fire Blog Tour

With March 28th around the corner, I'm embarking on my release blog tour for She Marches Through Fire.  You'll want to hit every stop so you don't miss any of the sneak peaks and exclusive bonus material I'll be revealing this week.  If you haven't yet grabbed your copy, you still have time to pre-order!

Here's the schedule:

March 20 Hosted by S.J. Hermann

March 21 Hosted by Pandora Spocks

March 22 Hosted by Jolie Mason

March 23 Hosted by Patient Lee

March 24 Hosted by Mae Clair

March 27 Hosted by Lincoln Cole

March 28 Hosted by Yvette Caillero

I'm so grateful for the talented authors who are hosting me!  Hope to see you there!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Early Review of She Marches Through Fire

I received this lovely early review yesterday from fellow author Stuart Kenyon.  If you've never tried his books, you should.  Swiftly Sharpens the Fang is brilliant, and I'm looking forward to trying his dystopian Subnormal series.  He is a top quality indie author, so his good opinion of She Marches Through Fire means the world to me.  Read on below:

"Author Ms Manay had a tough job if she wanted to top book 2 of the November Snow Series, She Lights Up the Dark, especially given its climactic ending. However, she's done so in style: Book 3 is even smarter, even more compelling and even more powerful than its predecessor.

Young vampire prodigy November begins proceedings in dire straits, poisoned by her new arch enemy, William. Robbed of her myriad powers, she must find an antidote, because so much more than her own life is at stake. The fate of the whole world, of humans and supernaturals alike, hangs in the balance, as a family dispute threatens to trigger all-out race war. November needs not only to regain her strength, but also to realise her full potential, the majority of which remains untapped.

Characterisation is as sharp as ever, and the dialogue is wickedly humorous. Interplay between the unlikely allies is inspired, with bad-boy-forced-to-be-good Luka stealing most scenes. Most impressive for me is the novel's ambition. Time travel, teleportation, alternate realities, time freezes - somehow, Manay crams all of them into a book without slowing or confusing the plot. Furthermore, she manages to make a salient point about the era in which we live. There are too many Williams in the world today, but not enough Novembers, Guls or Savitas, and if we continue to allow the war-mongers to enthrall us, dark days are ahead.

Usually, books are plot-driven, character-driven or theme-driven. Rarely have I seen all three facets combined with such skill. I take my hat off to the author; SHE MARCHES THROUGH FIRE is an outstanding piece of literature."

You can see why this review made my week.  :-) Now that you've got his endorsement, pretty please head on over to your ebook retailer of choice and pre-order She Marches Through Fire so you can see what the fuss is about just as soon as March 28th rolls around.

New Release From Top Indie Author Lincoln Cole

Lincoln Cole always puts out high quality work, and I anticipate Raven's Rise will be no exception.  Release day is March 21st, and it is currently available for pre-order. This is the third book in the series that began with Kindle Scout winner Raven's Peak, which I thought was fabulous.  Huffington Post agreed with me, naming it one of their Best Self-Published Books of 2016

From my review of Raven's Peak:

This is a very polished horror thriller with interesting main characters and plenty of danger. I enjoyed the contrast between Abigail and Haatim, the way the complemented each other, and the way their bond developed over the course of the book. The writing is clear and not overly embellished. The mythology is parceled out nicely. The story is compelling and frightening in equal measure. The gore is there, but it isn't offensive. All in all, very well done. I have high hopes for the rest of the series.

Check out the blurb for Raven's Rise:

Everything has come crashing down after the events of Raven's Fall: barely anyone is left standing and the Church is blaming Abigail for the fallout.

Haatim and Dominick are struggling to understand how their worlds were flipped upside down so completely, but they are running out of time. The threat that began in the mountains is far from over. They need to find a way to survive what comes next and put a stop to the cult that is threatening their existence before it is too late.

Lincoln Cole is a prolific and gifted author, and you would do well to check out his entire oeuvre, which spans multiple genres.  

Monday, March 13, 2017

Favorite Moments in the November Snow Series

As the release day for She Marches Through Fire fast approaches, I’ve found myself thinking back over the series, recalling some of my favorite moments.  Some are moments of triumph or catharsis.  Others are scenes that, while dark, were a heck of a lot of fun to write.  I thought I would share some of my favorite scenes with you, in no particular order.  There may be some spoilers for books 1 and 2 below, so perhaps you should avert your eyes if you aren’t caught up on my supernatural oeuvre.

1) November’s Visions
I have a lot of appreciation for November's visions.  After all, the first book is built around her only vision of her own future.  They are fun to write, I think, because they are so visual and descriptive.  Which of November’s visions is your favorite?  Mine are probably the burial visions.

2) November Meeting Luka
The moment in the back half of She Dies at the End when November finally comes face to face with Luka is pretty epic, if I do say so myself.  After lurking in the shadows and looming over the action for hundreds of pages, there he finally is, in all his gleeful, sociopathic glory.  He is a villain who likes to speak, and to speak well.  His dialogue, in general, is probably the most enjoyable thing to write in the whole series.

3) November saving Nigel from the Werewolves
In She Lights Up the Dark, November and Nigel have an unfortunate run-in with some hostile lycanthropes.  In order to save Nigel, November manages to teleport herself across town to get a weapon.  This is her first time accessing that particular power.  I enjoy scenes when November grows into her abilities, using them in a new way in order to save the day in the nick of time.

4) The Battle Scene at Luka’s Arizona Fortress
Writing the rescue/battle scene toward the end of She Dies at the End was great fun.  It felt quite cinematic to me.  I am very much influenced by film, and I prefer action, heist, and comic book movies to chick flicks.  In addition, the chance to finally release the tension of the captivity chapters comes as a relief, as a writer and as a reader.

5) The Capitol Attack
I do like the climax of She Lights Up the Dark, in spite of the heartbreaking death contained therein.   (You know what I’m talking about.)  Watching November manage to kick butt and foil evil plans is always satisfying.  And I do love to spring a surprise.  I also like the fact that things don’t go exactly according to plan for our heroes.  People make mistakes, and there are negative consequences.  The other thing I like about that chapter is the revelation of the supernatural world.  I knew when I started the series that I wanted the ordinary and the supernatural worlds to collide in the second book, so to get to that point was satisfying for me.

Now, I would love to review my favorite moments in She Marches Through Fire, but I don’t want to spoil your fun.  We’ll have to wait to discuss them once you’ve had a chance to read it.  You have pre-ordered it, right?  Well, then, what are you waiting for?

Before you go, what are your favorite scenes in the November Snow Series?

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Trailer Tips

Book trailers are practically required these days for book releases.  Those who have the money spend big making videos to rival major movie studio trailers.  The rest of us do what we can with what is available to us for free.  Take a look at the trailer for SheMarches Through Fire here.

This is my third time making a book trailer, and I’ve learned a few things along the way that I thought I would share with you. 

1) Keep it short.  You don’t want to go much over a minute.  You don’t need to describe the whole plot.  Just tell people enough to get them interested and give them a feel for the book.

2) Find good pictures.  Pixabay is a great source for royalty free images.  Think about the images you want to represent your work.  Learn to use a simple photo editor like Canva or Picmonkey to tweak the details to match what you need.  For instance, that green gem up there was pink when I found it.

3) Find a good song.  I sing, so I usually record something in the public domain, like a folk song or spiritual.  My microphone of choice is the Yeti.   Recording your own music may not work for you, but there are plenty of sites with royalty free music available.

4) Get your friends to critique it.  Are the words going by too fast?  Does the music work?  Are you lingering too long on some images and not long enough on others?  Are there typos?  Get some feedback before you share it with the whole world.

With this final volume of the November Snow Series, I wanted to give potential readers a sense of the dire nature of November’s situation and just what is at stake for her, her companions, and the world at large.  What do you think?  Does my latest trailer pique your interest enough to make you want to order She Marches Through Fire?  What are your book trailer tips?