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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Great Summer Reads - Day 10




Stephen R. Watts was born and raised at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains in Northern Utah, where he developed a love for stories at a very young age. Having spent his adolescence creating alternate worlds where he could escape the hardships of mental illness, Stephen wanted nothing more than to grow up and write his own epic tales capable of entertaining readers in ways that reminds them of their untold worth. Stephen’s debut novel was a fourteen-year labor of love, and when he isn’t studying story craft he can be found traveling the world or spending quality time with his family in Salt Lake City.






When sixteen-year-old Harius is chosen to guard a mystic key and sword, he’s sure there’s been some mistake. Protecting the divine relics requires the celestial flame, a power that only mystic warriors can wield. And while Harius is training to become such a warrior, he’s lacked the faith needed to access the flame ever since his mother’s tragic death.

Despite his doubts, Harius accepts the calling at a time when evil forces threaten to destabilize his world. As the son of his nation’s most controversial leader, Harius soon becomes a delegate to a foreign land filled with technological marvels capable of saving his ancient race of winged men. Acquiring the necessary tech won’t be easy, though, as the king of this land won’t share it unless Harius uses the celestial flame to rescue the royal family from a foe out to conquer the realm.

With so much resting on his fragile faith, Harius fears he will ultimately fail. Yet, amid all the danger he will learn that the relics he guards hold the secret to not only restoring his faith, but to revealing his untold destiny.




Author Interview:

1)     What is your favorite book that is not yours?

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. The author’s narrative style and unique point of view of one of history’s most savage wars provided a fascinating look at human existence, reminding me as the reader that it’s not where you come from, but who you are as an individual that defines the quality of your character.

2)     Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favorite to write?

Since the only books I’ve written so far have been for an epic fantasy series, I will have to say that this is my favorite genre to write. I do love science fiction, though, and wish to one day try my had at writing a sci-fi trilogy I’ve been playing around with for a while now.

3)     How young were you when you started writing?

I would say that I first tried my hand at writing novels when I was in middle school, though I’ve never finished any of those books. As far as creating stories, though, I can recall imagining a slew of epic tales as far back as the second grade.

4)     If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?

Of all my favorite authors, I would say I would want to meet Charles Dickens above all others. His novels, such as “A Christmas Carol,” are rich with symbolism that speaks about humanity in ways that transcends the time period in which it was written—and that is something I’ve aspired to achieve in my own writing.

5)     How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?

As far as rough drafts  go, the fastest I’ve ever written a book was a month. It was during an advanced fiction writing course I took in college, in which the professor had me and my peers simply write the book without editing it. The manuscript I churned out for that course turned out to be my debut novel, which took six years and many revisions to get it ready for press. (Don’t ask me how many revisions it took, for I stopped counting after fifteen.)

6)     What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?


Road trips/travel. I love visiting new places I’ve never been before, and when I can afford it I will take entire weeks out of my schedule to go on a trip that not only feeds my need for adventure, but also provides me with experiences that help me improve my stories.





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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Great Summer Reads - Day 9



Adam Gowans is the youngest of five Air Force brats, out of which his siblings have voted him the weirdest. He loves anything that deals with stories, including movies, novels, television dramas, music, video games, manga/manhwa, and webtoons.

In his mid-twenties, he lived and taught English in South Korea for four years before returning to the States to live, like many LDS authors, in Utah.

His first novel is On Angelic Wings, which has a planned sequel, but the sequel will be released after two other novels that are calling for his attention.





Ever since magic caused his mother's death, Ha-Neul, crown prince of Balhae, hates witches and the magic they wield. He has instituted harsh laws against all magic users.


Lisa is a young witch working undercover as a servant in his palace, hoping to gain freedom for her people. The last thing the two expect is to fall in love. But when Ha-Neul learns that Lisa is not only a witch, but the daughter of the Prince of Vires, land of witches, he banishes her. Distracted by heartbreak, he is caught off-guard by a military coup.

In hiding and on the run, Ha-Neul swallows his pride and travels with his siblings to Vires, planning to beg Lisa's aid, only to learn that she has mysteriously vanished.

Now his only hope in reclaiming his kingdom and reuniting with Lisa lies in the remote Northern Mountains, a country no one has ever penetrated and rumored home of a powerful magic source. There, Ha-Neul learns that a being powerful beyond comprehension has been carefully guiding his destiny. But if Ha-Neul can't let go of his hatred of all things magic, and accept the new path offered to him, it will mean the destruction of his entire world.




Author Interview:

1.     What is your favorite book that is not yours?
Pride and Prejudice. I read it once every year.
2.     Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favorite to write?
I don’t. I’m not sure why, but I prefer to write stories with science fiction and fantasy elements, though I do have ideas for an alternate history novel and others that take place here on Earth.
3.     How young were you when you started writing?
I started writing in the 8th grade, so I was fourteen.
4.     If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?
I have three, two present and one past. J.K. Rowling, Rainbow Rowell, and Jane Austen
5.     How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?
At least a year or more. Raven’s Eye took me less than a year to write though.
6.     What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?

Stay indoors as much as possible. I’m a bit of a homebody, and introvert. I also don’t like the summer temperatures of Utah.





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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Great Summer Reads - Day 8




William C. Tracy is a North Carolina native and a lifelong fan of science fiction and fantasy. He has a master’s in mechanical engineering, and has both designed and operated heavy construction machinery. He has also trained in Wado-Ryu karate since 2003, and runs his own dojo. He is an avid video and board gamer, a reader, and of course, a writer.


In his spare time, he wrangles three cats. He and his wife enjoy putting their pets in cute little costumes and making them cosplay for the annual Christmas card.

You can visit him at williamctracy.com.




On a bright August day, the sun disappears.

Sam van Oen barely escapes freezing to death in his house, as his watch stops and fire ceases to burn. He is pulled into the Nether—a nexus between ten diverse alien cultures—where he meets two maji who can control the musical foundation of the universe. While coping with anxiety attacks prompted by his new surroundings, Sam must learn to hear and change the Symphony, and thus reality, in order to discover what happened to his home.

Sam is surrounded by aliens, both strange and familiar. Soon, he meets sister and brother twins, also new to the Nether, who support him during his anxiety attacks. Sam finds he is attracted to both of them, and does not want to choose.

But more freezing voids like the one that started his journey are appearing, and Sam’s chances of getting back are fading. The Assembly of Species is threatening to dissolve and the maji are being attacked by those they protect, while rumors grow of an ancient, shape-changing species of assassins, returning to wage war.

The Dissolution is coming.




Author Interview:

1.     What is your favorite book that is not yours?
a.     That’s a hard one. It changes because I keep coming across really great new books. If I have to pick one I come back to again and again, I’d go with Sir Terry Pratchett’s Small Gods, with Pyramids being a close second.
2.     Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favorite to write?
a.     Yes and no. I generally write Science Fiction and Fantasy (which I consider to be the same genre) but within that umbrella, I’ve written a space opera, an epic fantasy, a coming-of-age adventure, a political thriller, a mystery, a superhero story, a time travel story, a collection of alternate reality short stories, and a mid-grade adventure. My favorite genre is probably the adventure-style stories. They flow a lot easier, and I enjoy the sense of wonder while I write.
3.     How young were you when you started writing?
a.     About 14. I noodled around with creative writing, then didn’t do much in college, then picked it back up after I started my day job.
4.     If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?
a.     Sir Terry Pratchett, because by all accounts he was a very kind, genuinely witty man, and Jules Verne, because I’d love to know how he came up with his ideas.
5.     How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?
a.     This depends on size and topic. I wrote The Seeds of Dissolution in almost exactly one year, from start to publication date. However one of the other books I have out to agents has taken about 2 years, on and off, and I’m still not sure it’s right. They’re both similar in length.
6.     What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?

a.     Tend my garden, and harvest and eat the different fruits I grow (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, and pears). I also enjoy the summer con schedule. I’ll be attending 5-6 cons this year between June and September.




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Monday, July 16, 2018

Great Summer Reads - Day 7



Marcia was born and raised in Argentina during the military regime which ended with the loss of many young lives in the invasion of the Falkland Islands. Amidst the devastating effects of military government and war, reading and writing became a passion which expanded and transported her imagination with the possibility of a brighter future.

At the age of eighteen, she moved to the United States, where she studied English and started her own family. She soon discovered that the love she has for her husband and children would naturally unfold towards her European roots, leading her to become a genealogist and family historian. A decade of searching, compiling, and learning the stories of thousands of people has instilled in her a profound gratitude for the strong ties that can be achieved in families through personal sacrifice.

So it is that through fiction, Awaken explores and exposes the characteristics of true love and loyalty in times of fear, war, and finally, death. But perhaps the most captivating element in the story is the battle within the souls of the main characters as they search to know who they really are and how they are connected.

~ Facebook



Could there exist a love powerful enough to overcome the grave?

Hard times during the Great Depression force nineteen-year-old Florence to leave her service at the monastery and seek employment. Fate brings her to work for a wealthy recluse, General Alexander Sterling. Despite many daunting events and a meddling housekeeper with dark secrets of her own, Florence and the General find themselves falling deeply in love.

What she doesn’t know is that General Sterling has left his native country escaping a painful past, one he yearns to forget. Destiny won’t allow it as he meets Florence, whose resemblance to his deceased wife is unbearable. Could Florence actually be the same woman who still owns his heart and haunts his dreams?

When their blossoming romance is shattered by an explosive truth, a mysterious stranger gives her an opportunity to go back in time to unlock the secret to her existence. Florence must strive to return to the present time to save their relationship from the imminent
 danger that awaits them.



Author Interview:

1.     What is your favorite book that is not yours?

And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie

2.     Do you write in multiple genres? Which genre is your favorite to write?

I love writing a combination of genres. Awaken is a mixture of romance, mystery, time travel, and action with a supernatural twist.

3.     How young were you when you started writing?

I started writing short stories when I was about eight years old.

4.     If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?

I would meet Agatha Christie. She had an incredible ability to capture the reader’s attention. She was a master of showing through her writings the difficulties facing society. So believable were her characters that when her famous detective, Hercule Poirot, passed away, The New York Times honored him in their obituary page.

5.     How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?

Awaken took me a few years to write since I was doing it for fun and didn’t have much time to work on it. Awaken’s sequel took me about nine months.

6.     What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?


In the summer I enjoy traveling, swimming and being outdoors.





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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Great Summer Reads - Day 6





Emily-Jane Hills Orford is an award-winning author of several books, including Gerlinda (CFA 2016) which received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, To Be a Duke (CFA 2014) which was named Finalist and Silver Medalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. She writes about the extra-ordinary in life and her books, short stories, and articles are receiving considerable attention. For more information on the author, check out her website at: http://emilyjanebooks.ca


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There are so many possibilities that affect the course of history. One change, one small item overlooked, can make a world of difference, not only in a person's life, but in the history and well-being of an entire nation. And then there are those multiple scenarios of what if? 

What if King James VI of Scotland didn't succeed in amalgamating Scotland with England? What if there had been another heir to the throne of Scotland? One who would secure its independence? Would Scotland have remained free and independent and a nation of its own well into the twenty-first century? And would Scotland, this independent version, make its own decision to join the European Union when its southern neighbor was choosing to pull away?


"Queen Mary's Daughter" presents another plausible timeline, one that incorporates both historical fact and fiction with the endless possibilities of time travel.






Author Interview:

1.     What is your favorite book that is not yours?
a.     Hard question. I have so many favorite books. So here's one of my many favorite books: Jude Morgan's "Symphony".
2.     Do you write in multiple genres?
a.     Yes. I write memoirs, creative nonfiction, historical fiction, fantasy, Middle Grade novels. Which genre is your favorite to write? Creative nonfiction.
3.     How young were you when you started writing?
a.     As soon as I could write my name, I was writing stories. Probably about 6. 
4.     If you could meet any author, past or present, who would it be and why?
a.     Susan Vreeland - I love her passion for the visual arts and her ability to weave a painting and a painter's life into a story.
5.     How long does it take you to write a book, and what was your fastest book to write?
a.     My first novel took ten years to write. A complete first draft usually takes about six months. That doesn't include all the months of editing, which is an endless task.
6.     What is your favorite thing to do in the summertime?
a.     Work in my garden and sit in my garden reading.





To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event Page