FANtastic interview for Lawless blog tour

Hey remember when I hosted a cover reveal for an amazing, steampunk fantasy novel about Dragonshifters? Oh, you don’t, Click here.

Well anyway, it’s out now!

 

You can buy it from these fine retailers:

Amazon  Apple  Kobo  Barnes & Noble  Signed copies here: Uncommon universe press.  

The salvation of humans and dragons lies within a convicted murderer.

 Dragonshifter Kesia Ironfire has one goal—to redeem her past by serving the cruel dragon Pinnacle as a soldier in the dragon-human war.

 Then a rogue mission to spy on a new airship explodes into sickening green smoke. The same mysterious green smoke that was present the night of Kesia’s crime. When her dragon overlords deny any involvement, she and her tactical partner Zephryn Nightstalker try to investigate–and are sentenced to death.

 Still searching for answers, Kesia and Zephryn flee to the human military capital, where Captain Shance Windkeeper has been furloughed after the destruction of his airship. Eager to discover what–and who–blew up his vessel, he agrees to help Kesia and Zephryn infiltrate High Command. In exchange, Kesia must pretend to be his betrothed so Shance can escape an arranged marriage. If only she knew what ‘betrothed’ and ‘arranged marriage’ meant.

 But human social customs are the least of her worries. Dark secrets surface as Kesia delves deeper–secrets that challenge the facts of her crime and undermine the war itself.

 A steampunk fantasy adventure with a side of quirky romance and snark.

This blog tour is super special because the author is hosting a scavenger hunt, and I am one of the stops.

ScavengerHunt

I’m actually the last stop. To find the rest of the clues you need to visit the other blog tour stops marked with *.

Sept. 21* – Laura A. Grace – Unicorn Quester – Author Interview 

Sept. 22* – Josh Hardt – Character Interview

Sept. 25 – Annie Douglass Lima – Realm Explorers

Sept. 26* – Anna Tan – Steampunk, Fantasy, and Cultures

Sept. 27* – Fanni Suto – Author Interview

Sept. 28 – Leanna Shields – Character Chat

Sept. 29 – Kessie Carroll – Book Spotlight

Sept. 30* – Bethany Jennings – Character MBTI

Oct. 1 – Melissa Sasina – Book Spotlight

Oct. 2 – Alexander Preston – Book Review

Oct. 3* – Kyle Shultz – Character Interview

Oct. 4* – Cathrine Bonham – FANtastic Interview

Oct. 5 – C. S. Johnson – Book Spotlight

Oct. 6 – Kara Swanson – Character Interview

And now to get the seventh and final clue you must first read this FANtastic interview with author Janeen Ippolito:

C: Hello Janeen and thank you for taking the time for this FANtastic interview.

Let’s start with Steampunk. What does Steampunk mean to you?

J: Oh man, steampunk means possibilities. I was already a history nerd in addition to a science fiction and fantasy nerd, so when I discovered there was this whole subculture of alternate Victorian history with anachronisms? Be still my beating heart! And then when I learned it had expanded to other fun anachronistic time periods with alternate history, it just made my life better.

 C: Do you have anything to say to those who would disqualify your novel from the steampunk genre, simply for having dragons in it?

 J: *shrugs* Nah. Everyone’s entitled to their preferences. Live and let live. And I choose to live with dragons.

 C: Who wouldn’t choose to live with dragons? Especially, superpowered shapeshifting Dragons.

 Your characters have unique Talents. Kesia can shapeshift. Zephryn can cloak, and Shance has windpowers. If you could possess a talent from your story world which one would you pick?

 J: Oh man, I had so much fun with the Talents! Oh dear. Probably wind powers. I’ve always wanted to control wind currents. I blame my favorite comic being X-Men. Go Storm!

 C: If you find yourself suddenly sucked into your own story world, which character would you most want to be your companion and protector while there?

 J: Kesia Ironfire all the way. Sorry Zephryn and Shance. Y’all are great, but Kesia has the most resources and abilities because of SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS.

 C: Yes Kesia would be my choice too, because of all the, [SPOILERS]!

 OK, while we are on Characters, I know you can answer this.

  Dream cast and . . . GO!

 J: Woohoo!

Kesia

 

 Kesia Ironfire – Rachel Bilson. I love the sweet face with that mischief. Kesia is so often underestimated because she looks so *nice*.

 

 

Shance

 

 

Shance Windkeeper – Alex Pettyfer. As soon as I saw his face, I knew he was Shance. Equal parts capable, strong-willed and romantic, with that edge of pretty-boy.

 

Zephryn

 

 

 

Zephryn Nightstalker – young Masood Ali Khan. I found him on Pinterest and immediately knew he belonged in the story. It was one of the few times where a ref came to me at the same time as the actual character.

 

C: Yes to Alex Pettyfer. I can totally see him as Shance.

 Lawless features a pretty unconventional love triangle. What are your feelings on love Triangles in speculative fiction? Are the themes in Lawless meant to reflect a more realistic approach to love?

 J: I’m a huge fan of messy relationships in fiction and that includes romantic relationships. In my mind, nothing makes a character’s day worse like romantic difficulties—and I’m a hopeless romantic at heart, so I can’t leave the feels out of any story! As a student of culture and anthropology, I’m also fascinated with how one approaches love and affection reflects in individual personalities, whether or not they’re even involved with anyone.

 Okay, now you’re getting some flag-waving.

 Love triangles don’t have to be some weird, sappy thing where two guys inexplicably fall for the same girl. In many works of classic literature they are used in ways that create real stress and tension in the plot, and unsatisfied love can lead to great character growth! One of my favorite love triangles is in A Tale of Two Cities—which also takes place during a time of great upheaval and conflict (aka, The French Revolution). The love triangle only adds to the stress and character journeys, rather than being a fantasy pipe dream.

 AND I’m also a pragmatist who constantly observes others. I’ve seen love triangles play out in Real Life. Astonishingly? There is often far less drama. People can be like adults and get over themselves. They can even be friends with the “winners” and go on to have healthy lives, with or without Significant Others. So yes, I wanted to show more of that side of love triangles. And that doesn’t mean it’s easy. What does it look like to have to make your brain stop seeing this person as a potential lover and instead see them as a friend? Pretty awkward sometimes. But all of that is part of character growth, which adds a different kind of fun tension.

 Unless I’m body-snatched, I’ll always have some romance in my fiction, but I’ll always take unique angles that offer new perspectives on tropes, further individual character development, and increase the intensity and friction in the overall plot. Again, more of A Tale of Two Cities instead of Twilight.

 C: Not only are the characters and the plot of Lawless amazing, it also takes place in a pretty unique world. I have to say, I love your story world, and I want to live there.

 From conception to final draft, how long did it take you to refine?

 J: Oh man, I started brainstorming it in around February 2015. It first started with about 10,000 words in what will now be Book 3. Then I kept building the world and thought I’d write this other story to explore it—that story ended up being Book 2. And I already had ideas for Book 4. And when I fully realized what the dragon-human war was, I knew I had to write Lawless as Book 1, and that I needed a final book to round up the series. So then I outlined all five books in one afternoon, and shortly after I started drafting Lawless.

 C: Okay let’s just get this out in the open, Lawless is the first book in the Ironfire Legacy, how long will this series be and, most importantly, how long am I going to have to wait for the next book?

 J: The Ironfire Legacy will be five full-length novels, with at least two novellas. The novella, Priceless (Book 1.5) which follows the journeys of two compelling side characters, should be out in late winter 2018. The next novel, Faithless (Book 2), should be out in late summer 2018!

 C: Wow I can’t believe I have to wait so long, next summer feels like an eternity away. Anyway that you for stopping by and for having such FANtastic answers to my questions.

Janeen

 

 

Janeen Ippolito is two authors for the price of one! She creates writing resources and writes speculative fiction with monsters, misfits, and mushy stuff. She’s also an experienced author coach, editor, teacher, and the Fearless Leader (president) of Uncommon Universes Press. In her spare time, she enjoys sword-fighting, reading, geeky TV, and brownie batter. A lifelong misfit, she believes different is beautiful and that everyone has the ability to tell their story. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. This extroverted writer loves getting connected, so find her on Twitter: @TheQuietPen, Facebook, Instagram: janeen_ippolito, and at her two websites: janeenippolito.com and writeinsideout.com

 

 And now for your final clue:

 

You have until the end of the Facebook release party to enter.

And it’s Tonight! October 4th, 9PM til midnight.

So get your thinking caps on and get those answers in. The winner will be announced on Thursday with the rest of the giveaway winners from the party.

Don’t forget to RSVP to the event.

 

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White Wolf and the Ash Princess Blog tour.

Hi, guess what? I’m participating in another blog tour. This time it’s for the book: The White Wolf and the Ash Princess by Tammy Lash.

 White Wolf and the Ash Princess

About White Wolf and the Ash Princess

Eighteen year old Izzy’s limited world begins to feel cramped after she completes her self-appointed book dare. After reading two-hundred and fifty books, a thought that had been once tucked away as tightly as the books on her library shelves becomes too irresistible to ignore…”Who am I?”

Memory loss prohibits Izzy from remembering her life before age seven when she was injured in a fire. Fifteen year old Jonathan Gudwyne and his head housekeeper rescued her and took Izzy in as their own, but who did she belong to before Jonathan took her in?

Crippling panic keeps Izzy from wandering beyond the stables but Tubs, the Gudwyne’s thirteen-year old stable boy, encourages Izzy to go beyond the property’s rock wall to a world that promises possible answers. A scorched castle in the woods and its mysterious cellar reveal secrets that push Izzy beyond her discomfort to embark in a journey to the New World with her young friend.

Here, she finds love and a home in the most unexpected of places.

 Purchase Link

– Amazon (available on KindleUnlimited): http://a.co/0XX0PDf

 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34103987-white-wolf-and-the-ash-princess

I am excited for this book, though I haven’t read it yet, how can you resist a book that involves a book dare?

 Today I invited Tammy over to my blog and gave her the floor to talk about anything she wanted.

 She kindly agreed, and wrote this great post below:

*****

 How to Write with Anxiety Disorders

 Oooo! I’m having a mini panic attack. I was asked to write two blog posts. Two blog posts—and one of them is to be on whatever I want to write about.

Yikes! That’s double pressure. A) I need to write two blog posts. B) One of them is to be on whatever I want to write about.

My first instinct is to run for my bed covers and snuggle there until the “noise” goes away—but, I have a promise to keep (that’s a story for my other panic-inducing blog post)—and I won’t run and hide because I know I can do this. To help drown out the negative chatter in my head, I’ll just crank up my King Arthur soundtrack a little louder today. Together we’ll talk about what I know best—battling anxiety—and we’ll learn how to use it to our advantage in our writing.

 Accepting the Distracting Tri-head of Anxiety

I had no idea what was happening inside my stomach at age five. It felt like something angry was living there. I finally found out at age thirty that my “angry something” had a name. Three names, in fact. Over the years, the angry something grew and it morphed into the noisy tri-head of OCD, Panic Disorder and Generalized Anxiety.

Living with the trio is like wearing a headset playing the uncomfortably loud “Assassins Breathe” from the King Arthur soundtrack. You try to do your daily tasks but the noise that storms through your ears and into your brain makes it difficult. It confuses you. It makes simple tasks seem scary and it makes the days ahead feel like a maze you’ll never find your way out of.

With Christian counseling, the help of my husband, family and close friends, my tri-head has gotten a little less angry. I can still hear the noise from the headset—but the volume is a little less loud.

This isn’t a post meant to spark a debate on whether Christians should have these types of disorders. I am a Christian and—I have these disorders. The debate never gets off the ground for me. I know what the Bible says about them. The Lord desires us to “be anxious for nothing” and He asks that we “do not fear”. I’ve camped out in the Psalms, begged for relief and prayed the words in different ways hoping I’d finally say the right combination. I listened to pastors who said I was doing something wrong and I let them make me feel like a weak imposter.

 On my last day of therapy, a thought woke me up and it completely changed how I see myself and my anxiety. What if my angry trio was meant to be a part of me? Isn’t God the Master of everything? Time, weather, circumstance—mental health? He could cure me if He chose to, but He hasn’t. I may never be free—BUT is that so bad? I smiled at my therapist when I told him my new discovery. He smiled back and nodded an agreement. The kind of smile that said I passed my years of therapy with an A+. I have come to believe that OCD, Panic Disorder and Generalized Anxiety disorder are no different than the diabetes of your uncle or the high blood pressure of your aunt. These are life’s annoyances that are no different than the wart on your knuckle that won’t go away no matter how much you pick at it. It’s there—possibly forever—and why does that have to be bad? It’s an inconvenience— not the result of sin or a lack of faith.

I have come to believe that the Maker and Creator of all things gave me my trio to serve a purpose. This makes me special and unique. How could a gift like this be bad? So, with this new realization, I poured my experience with my trio into my writing. From it, White Wolf and The Ash Princess was born and this is how I did it…

 OCD Can Be a Good Thing

If you have it too, you’re probably shaking your head. I know, I know—sometimes it can be a complete pain. My OCD is mild for the most part. It’s cute and funny with a sprinkling of irritating. My family and I call my weird OCD hang-ups “ticks”. For example, before I can go to bed, I must first: take a sip of water. Second: smear chapstick on my lips until I reach the “you-can’t-possibly-be-putting-any-more-on-you’re-just-smearing-it-around” phase (hubby quote). Third: one last careful sip of water to keep my lip layers intact. Heaven forbid, I forget to go to the bathroom. Miss this step, and the three steps NEED to be done all over again. My husband finds this funny. He’ll sit at the edge of the bed with an amused smirk to try to catch the number of times the stick passes over my lips. We have yet to see how many times I do it. Apparently, I’m super-fast at it.

OCD in writing can be an amazing thing. It can keep you from moving on from a ho-hum scene. In Letters from the Dragon’s Son (the coming sequel to White Wolf and the Ash Princess), I could NOT leave one of my chapters. I literally read it or thought about it all day for days on end. Each time I thought about it, I looked harder into the scene. Every time I read it, I made the adjustments that my daydreams told me to. When I finally felt ready to let the chapter go, I was stunned at what my OCD tendencies left behind. Jonathan was the “rawest” and most pure in emotion that I had ever seen him in. Shaping and combing it until I felt it was right helped me bring him and his circumstance to a richer level. The extra flourishes were made by my OCD brush and I wouldn’t have reached that color of emotion if it weren’t for my “tick”.

 Panic Disorder Can Be a Good Thing

Out of the three, I despise this one the most. Panic disorder is uncomfortable—it’s scary—and it’s debilitating. This disorder feeds you heaping portions of terror until you are helplessly full. Overstuffed, you can’t catch your breath and your heart pounds so fast you fear it will short-circuit and stop. Our brain tries to convince us we’re dying and our body angrily fights back to keep it from happening. Feeling this type of panic is like getting to see what dying could be like in sample size for free (without actually dying)—like the tiny, clear cups of granola that they pass out at Wal-Mart in the grocery area to see if you really like it or not. Who wants to die? Nothing good can come from a disorder that gives you free test samples of death? Can it?

White Wolf absorbed the heaping helpings for me and it housed most of my anxious energy. It gave me the will to keep going, to share, and to help someone else struggling with panic. Writing helped me focus on something other than terror. Yep. Good things can come from panic disorder. You just have to look and find them.

 Generalized Anxiety Can be a Good Thing

This is the disorder that I’ve had the longest and it’s the one that has the strongest grip. I’m afraid of so many things, it’d take up pages for me to list them all. Some are crazy and insane and if I tell you, you’ll laugh. Ok. Maybe at this point we all need a laugh. Mascots (the cuter the scarier), clowns, policemen, TASERS (My terror is getting caught jay-walking. That’s when I’ll get tased, I just know it!), flying sticks, firemen, people in costume, talking on the phone, flying sticks—did you catch that one?

My anxious spirit seems quieter now that I’m writing about the things that I’m afraid of. I feel like a mean ogre piling it high on my characters, but I promise them a happy ending and that seems to suffice them. The things that had once seemed threatening before in the outside world, seem to lose their power when they’re shoved in a book. I find myself thinking more about storylines, scenes and characters than the looming doctor appointment that I have coming up or the broken garage door. I’m not losing touch with reality, I’m leveling it out. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Isn’t thinking on a book for His glory most, if not all, of those things?

White Wolf and the Ash Princess and Letters from the Dragon’s Son are more than steps towards healing and wellness. They’re a way for me to reach out and help others who feel the same as I do. If that doesn’t make my angry trio a blessing, I don’t know what does. As uncomfortable as they sometimes are, I’m so thankful and blessed to have my disorders.

 A Challenge for Those Struggling with Disorders

How about you? Do you struggle with the same three “thorns of the flesh” as I do? If you do, don’t listen to their voices of limitation. Don’t be afraid of them. Use them to your advantage and put them in your work. Use your strengths and weakness for Him. Lean on Him and trust Him. Don’t give up and let the trio engulf you. Use them while you’re battling them and do it for His glory. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish with His help. You—and your writing—will grow in ways you never dreamed possible.

Tammy Lash             About the Author

Tammy lives in Lower Michigan with her husband and her three children. Izzy’s home in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Munising) is where she and her family enjoy exploring. Tammy enjoys hiking, kayaking, beach wandering, “hunting” for birch bark and hopes to someday find a porcupine quill. White Wolf and the Ash Princess is her first novel. She is published in Keys for Kids and has been in children’s ministry for over twenty years.

Social Media Links: Website // Facebook // Instagram // Pinterest

*****

I want to thank Tammy for her insightful post and I apologize for any extra anxiety I caused. 🙂

 White Wolf Giveaway Banner

Tammy has generously offered to give away a signed paperback of White Wolf and the Ash Princess, birch bark bookmark, and necklace (three winners). US only. 

Good Luck: Click Here

I almost forgot, check out the rest of the tour here:

 Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 7th

– Launch Day – Unicorn Quester

– Guest Post –dolphin18cb– You are here

 Tuesday, August 8th

Book Review – Ashley Bogner

 Wednesday, August 9th

– Book Review – Indie Book Reviews

 Thursday, August 10th

– Guest Post – Dream. Write. Repeat.

 Friday, August 11th

– Interview – Lands Uncharted

 Saturday, August 12th

– Wrap-Up Post – Unicorn Quester