I Promise You Won't Learn A Thing From This Blog

The official blog for author Ashley Chappell. Check back every week for a few laughs at my expense or, if you know the love-hate process that is writing, commiseration.

Friday, November 15, 2013

HOT OFF THE PRESS! "Moonless" by Crystal Collier

Football season, schmootball season! Don't people realize that fall is also book release season? I'm thrilled to pieces to get to host another one of this season's awesome new books on the blog today. What do you get when you cross Supernatural with Jane Eyre? You get the killer paranormal historical romance "Moonless" by fellow author (and fellow cheese fiend!) Crystal Collier. Crystal was kind enough to share the top ten fantasy novels that most influenced her writing, so be sure to check them out at the end! I think I found a few new titles to add to my reading list ;-)

This book only released this week and critics are pouring love for this story already, calling it "...powerful, compelling, packed with soul," and that it "...transports us to a time of elegance and mixes in supernatural splendor that gives goosebumps." Are you hooked yet? 

From the book cover:

Alexia’s nightmares become reality: a dead baron, red-eyed wraiths, and forbidden love with a man hunted by these creatures. After an attack close to home, Alexia realizes she cannot keep one foot in her old life and one in this new world. To protect her family she must either be sold into a loveless marriage, or escape with her beloved and risk becoming one of the Soulless.

So what are you waiting for? It might be cold outside, but this is just the thing to warm you back up so go grab yourself a copy, turn down the football, and treat yourself to a romantic fantasy unlike any you've ever read!


Top Ten Fantasy Books that Have Influenced Crystal's Writing

10. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White: It's rare I read a book with so much personality packed into its pages. I aspire to write a book with this much spunk.

9. Tiger's Voyage by Colleen Houck: Foreign backdrops, a new culture, even some historical content, I LOVED this book. Colleen tutored me in character relationships.

8. The Magicians Nephew by C.S. Lewis: This book set my mind on fire with cross-world travel an the importance of world building--especially in the real world.

7. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare: If you want to know how to get 'er done as far as plot goes, you can't have a better pattern. Action takes a front seat. And the dialog? Whew!

6. A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L'Engle: Again cross-world travel, but the importance of familial relationships really shines through.

5. Searching for Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede: A whole education on taking classic fairytales and molding your own world out of it. I still marvel about the mechanics of the Enchanted Forest.

4. Unenchanted by Chanda Hahn: A clever meshing of the Grimms tales and the real world, I adored how Chanda built relationships.

3. My Friend the Monster by Clyde Robert Bulla: The first story I ever read where a monster could be a good guy, this story left a lasting impression.

2. Another Fine Myth by Robert Asprin: Comedy meets fantasy. This series was my own brand of cheese merged with my first reading love.

1. The Windrose Chronicles by Barbara Hambly: Merge fantasy, technology and complex world building with an anti-hero, and you've got magic. This was the first time I saw THE bad guy (no questions asked) suddenly become the hero. Seriously, such a powerful transition that it's the only entire series I've read twice.

Crystal Collier, author of MOONLESS, is a former composer/writer for Black Diamond Productions. She can be found practicing her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, three littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. 

You can find her on her blog and Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.

Buy MOONLESS HERE or add it on Goodreads.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

COVER REVEAL: Dragonfly Warrior by Author Jay Noel

I always love getting to participate in cover reveals for new books, but this is one that I'm particularly excited about. First of all, I'm immediately won over by the title because I'm kinda-sorta-totally obsessed with all things dragonfly (even if only vaguely related!). But even without the incredibly awesome title, this one is an eclectic and entirely unique steampunk novel that I've been waiting to read from the moment I read the description. Unfortunately, I still have to wait two months from tomorrow until this little beauty comes out! At least in the meantime I can ogle the BEAUTIFUL original artwork :-)

Check out the book information below and don't forget to leave a comment to tell Jay what you think!

Dragonfly Warrior Blurb:

The Mechanica Wars: Savage Machines Are Afoot...

At the age of sixteen, Kanze Zenjiro's bloody footprints mark the bodies of those who stood in his way to protect the throne of Nihon. Now, the tyrannical Iberian Empire is bent on destroying his kingdom, and they send their steam-powered giants and iron spiders against him.

Zen embarks on a quest that takes him on the most dangerous journey of his life. To succeed, Zen must live up to his nickname, the Dragonfly Warrior, and kill all his enemies with only a sword and a pair of six-guns. He is called upon to somehow survive a test of faith and loyalty in a world so cruel and merciless, it borders on madness.

Dragonfly Warrior is a steampunk adventure like no other. It's a dynamic mix of Asian and European mythology, the Wild West, martial arts, traditional fantasy, and high powered steam action that will keep you turning the pages.

Dragonfly Warrior is the first book of The Mechanica Wars, and will debut on January 6, 2014.

Author Bio:

After doing some freelance writing and editing for more than a dozen years, Jay decided to stop procrastinating and pursue his dream of being a novelist. He's been blogging for over eight years, and even had a comedy podcast syndicated all over the internet. All of that was fun, but all the steampunk-inspired stories in his head just wouldn't leave him alone. Jay spends his days working in medical sales, but he can be found toiling over his laptop late at night when all is quiet.

He draws inspiration from all over: H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Shakespeare, Ray Bradbury, Douglas Adams, and Isaac Asimov.

And Jay loves cookies.

Connect with Jay!

Thanks for visiting, Jay!