Monday, November 17, 2014

Mind of the Beast




BLURB:



When a vampire asks Nick St. James to investigate his friend’s murder, the answer should have been easy, right? NO. Okay, not so easy. How do you say no to a friend like Felix?

Besides, with Thelma by his side, what could go wrong? She’s got that, umm … cute pink backpack of Voodoo magic. Of course it hurts that she manages to look good even when she accidentally conjures and gets possessed by a drunk loa. No, it won’t be at all distracting to have her along.

Since no good deed goes unpunished, a crazy man with starry eyes jumps out of the shadows at the victim’s apartment and pummels them. Their attacker doesn’t just beat them up but also infects them with some bad mojo that’s killing Thelma and making Nick angry … angrier.

If the trail to the suspect—the Green Man—is any indication, they’ll be killed before the poison finishes the job. The old gods are more dangerous than helpful. The Watchers—even the one who seems to have a brain—are always a hazard. And what’s with the all the minions? Who has minions anymore? Not to mention the rapid progression of the infection that quickly upgrades Nick’s condition to ‘blind-rage-filled.’

Why couldn’t Felix have just asked Nick to help him move?

Contest: 
Brian and Juliet will be awarding a $25 Amazon giftcard to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $25 Amazon giftcard to a randomly drawn host.
a Rafflecopter giveaway  


About the Authors: 

After 18 years of marriage, Brian and Juliet Freyermuth decided to try something crazy; write a book together.

Brian’s writing is not limited to print. For twenty years he wrote and designed games such as Fallout, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy, Epic Mickey 2 and Lichdom: Battlemage.

Juliet’s love for writing began with a fourth grade assignment. She has been writing ever since. Her writing took a new direction when she enrolled in journalism and met amazing people. Whether it is an article about anthropology or a hero’s journey in a magical world, she hopes to inspire readers to new possibilities.

When Brian and Juliet aren’t writing, they enjoy reading, watching shows like Persons of Interest and going on road trips with their son, Kyle.

Brian: @brianfreyermuth
                 
Juliet: @julietfrey 


               
               

Buy Link:
               
Demon Dance (Sundancer, Book 1): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CA9IAOW
               
Mind of the Beast (Sundancer, Book 2): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MQ38D2Q


Author Interviews: 

November 17: Interview at Our Families Adventure

1.     What were you like at school?
Juliet: I was a shy girl that never spoke up in class. Once I was around my friends though, I was very playful. I read everything from Lois Duncan to Stephen King to Edgar Allen Poe. I loved going to the movies with my friends and hanging out at the beach.

Brian: I wrote and played video games, but also hung out with my friends. But mostly I loved getting lost in a good book or a good game.

2.     Were you good at English?
Brian: Two of my favorite teachers in High School were my English teacher, Mrs. Head, and my creative writing teacher, Mrs. Bobadilla. I’ll always remember when Mrs. Head came back from a two week vacation and asked us to write a short story guessing where she had been. I wrote a horror story called Mirror Image that terrified her. She still gave me an A, though.

Juliet: I was there when Mrs. Head came up to Brian after class and said he gave her a fear of mirrors. It was obvious that she was proud of that fact. It would have been nice to have her as a teacher. I loved creative writing with Mrs. Bobadilla too. She was really great at getting me to try new things. I enjoyed college English, especially when my perceptions about a passage in a book were different than the teacher’s.

3.     What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Juliet: Lately I’ve been figuring out how to finish my journalism degree and write profile articles about interesting people who have accomplished miraculous feats. I’ll continue to write novels and maybe someday write for TV or film.

Brian: Right now we’re working on Book 3 of the Sundancer Series, and then who knows? I love writing for games and books, so I’ll keep doing that until I’m old and grey. The one thing great about writing is that you never have to retire.

4.     Which writers inspire you?

Brian: Dean Koontz showed me how to create a really dark tale, and yet have a feeling of hope at the end. Neil Gaiman and his Sandman comics sparked my interest in mythology and blending it into the real world. Jim Butcher and his Dresden novels began my love affair with all things Urban Fantasy.

Juliet: For me, there are too many to count. Agatha Christie made me love a good mystery. My favorite is And Then There Were None. Stephen King helped me feel comfortable writing about the darker side of humanity. Jeaniene Frost is great at character development. Her character, Vlad, is so amazing and multidimensional that you just can’t help but love him. Pamela Clare uses her romantic suspense novels to shine the light on horrible things happening here in the U.S. I hope one day to be half as good as these guys.

5.     Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
Nick St. James is a former PI turned novelist. He got into the business to help people because he has some unusual gifts, even if he doesn’t know where they come from.

He suspects his abilities come from his MIA father, whom his mom refuses to talk about. Something turns on and he can suddenly run faster, see in the dark, heal amazingly quick and much more. But when these “gifts” couldn’t help him save his beloved wife, Ann, Nick gave it all up and moved to Seattle a broken man.

But the one thing he can’t do is turn his back on his friends, so, grudgingly, he’s been brought back to save the world from demons, deities and whatever else that threatens the people closest to him.

6.     What are you working on at the minute?
Brian: Currently I’m working on the first draft of Book 3 of the Sundancer series. When Juliet and I co-write a novel, we both brainstorm and come up with the story beats, and then I work on the rough draft. It then gets passed back to Juliet to tweak, cut, and redo scenes. At that point it’s the “official” rough draft, and we can both begin editing.

Juliet: While Brian is working on his part for Book 3, I’ve been going over old stories to see what to do with them. You can find Brian’s short story, Sliding Down, on our website, but I’m also working on making it available for kindle and epubs in the next few months.

7.     What’s it about? (*if relevant)
The sequel to Mind of the Beast is going to take place in Las Vegas. Nick and Thelma search for a missing friend and they stumble upon a supernatural threat that will alter the course of history.   

8.     What genre are your books?
Mainly urban fantasy, but Sliding Down, the short story on our website, is science fiction.

9.     What draws you to this genre?
Juliet: There is something fun about taking an ordinary city like Seattle and creating a magical underworld within it. We’re doing the same to Las Vegas for Book 3 of the Sundancer Series.

Brian: Ever since I read the Sandman comics, I’ve been fascinated about the concept that there is a darker, magical underbelly to the mundane world. Like Juliet said, we’ve tackled Seattle in the first two books, and now we have our sights set on Vegas.

10.                        When did you decide to become a writer?
Juliet: When I was in 4th grade, Mrs. Saunders gave us an assignment to write a short story. It was love at first write (pun intended). Seriously, I was hooked.

Brian: We’re similar in that aspect, except mine was a 5th grade teacher named Dr. Denver. My first short story was about a kid having fantastical adventures in the clouds, and all the trouble he gets into.  I’ve been writing ever since.

11.                        Why do you write?
Juliet: I like to take people on a fun emotional rollercoaster ride so by the end they say, “Can we do that again?”

When I’m not doing that, I want to empower people or at the very least make them think a little differently. Every story I write has an exciting adventure, but it also shows someone overcoming something.

Novels aren’t enough for me to fulfill this purpose, so I also created a blog at http://www.trustyoucan.com. It’s still in the initial stages but I found videos from people like Toy Story creator Andrew Canton, Ray Bradbury and Sting. Each one of them explains how you can follow your dreams.

Brian: Writing is like food. When I don’t write, I get cranky. (Just ask Juliet). But more than that, I want to bring others into the worlds I build in my head. I want people to laugh and cry, and feel that, just for a moment, they are actually there with me. It’s how I felt while reading novels at a child, and it’s what I want to share with the world.

12.                        What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
Juliet: Have you ever had a feeling nag at you until you did it? Usually it’s a chore, but in my case it’s fun. I create the story and characters long before I sit down at the computer sometimes. In these cases, the characters are the nags. They want their story to be told.

Brian: I had been writing since I was little, and after writing a bunch of shorter stories in Junior High, I decided to bite the bullet and write a novel. It ended up being a huge, 150 page long fantasy epic. I don’t even remember what the title was, or even where the pages are, but it served its purpose. It proved to me that I could start something huge and finish it.

13.                        Do you write full-time or part-time?
Brian: I design video games for a living, so I have to write part time. I make sure to take a chunk out of every day to sit down and continue whatever I’m working on. Even if it’s only an hour.

Juliet: Part-time. I have a teenage son who is about to graduate, so a lot of my focus is on him.


14.                        Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Juliet: I like to write first thing in the morning, it’s when I’m most creative. The rest of the day is doing errands and promoting books. I tend to do a lot of my writing away from the computer, so I’ll figure out a scene or a blog post while I’m doing other things. Writing is an all day excursion.

Brian: I work during the day, so I have two one-hour blocks for writing. I try to write in the morning, but if the morning gets too hectic, I make sure to write at night. No matter how busy I am, I make sure to write at least one hour a day.

15.                        Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
Juliet: More like a 7 day/ 24 hour work week. I’m constantly problem solving plot holes or trying to get to know the characters better. By the time a book is done, I know these characters better than my closest friends.

Brian: I need to write every day, even on the weekends.

16.                        Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Juliet: I can write about 1500 words a day for novels, blogs and newsletters.

Brian: Same for me. I usually average 1500 words a day, but I try for 2000.

17.                        Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
Juliet: We both write on the computer. Longhand is too slow for my thoughts.

18.                        Where do your ideas come from?
Juliet: I just finished watching a TED Talk with the author Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote Eat, Pray, Love. She spoke about the Romans having geniuses that gave them guidance about what to write. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they were real.

I’ll be playing Worlds of Warcraft while listening to an audiobook or a TED talk when, WAMO! I’m struck with inspiration for something. This also happens in the car on long trips or when I’m doing something monotonous.

Brian: Most of my stories come from dreams. I’ll have a fantastical scene in my head when I wake up, which I’ll mull over for an hour or so. This scene usually becomes pivotal to the story idea that forms as the day goes on. I’ll write down the idea, filling in the gaps, until something exciting comes out of it.

19.                        Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Juliet: It really depends. If I’m working with Brian, we need an outline so we can both be on the same page. But sometimes it’s fun to just write and see what happens. I have a supernatural hit man story I’m working on that I have no idea how it’s going to turn out.

Brian: I’m always a planner, even when I write solo. I need to have an end game in mind when I begin a story. Now, that doesn’t mean the outline won’t change. The outline for Demon Dance changed three times as I wrote it, and the outline for Mind of the Beast changed twice. If a character decides to take the story in a different direction, I make sure to redo the outline as well.

20.                        How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Juliet: The more I write, the more I get to know myself a little better, as I learn what’s important to me and what I’m comfortable and not comfortable writing.

Brian: I’ve learned a lot over the last twenty years in the video game industry. How to tell a story, write dialog, build characters, etc. With each story I write, I learn a little more.

21.                        What is the hardest thing about writing?
Juliet: Realizing the characters are in control and have a better idea about what they should do than you do. Sometimes you need to take your plans, throw them out the window and follow their direction.

22.                        What is the easiest thing about writing?
Juliet: Writing is easy? In what reality? It’s supposed to be hard. That’s what makes it so incredibly great. That’s why you get that rush when you can’t type or write fast enough because it’s finally all pouring out.

Brian: Like Juliet said, it’s supposed to be difficult, but one thing that comes easy to me while writing is character names. I’m not sure why, but the name usually just comes to me when I create the character.

23.                        How long on average does it take you to write a book?
7 months

24.                        Do you ever get writer’s Block?
Absolutely. It’s part of the package.

25.                        Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Juliet: There are two reasons I get writer’s block. One is that I’m trying to shoehorn something into a story that doesn’t belong, which means I need to back up to where it was right and start over from there.

The other reason is self doubt. But here’s the thing: all first drafts are horrible.  When I started thinking of it as modeling clay, it got easier. The first draft is that bulk of clay that has some form but isn’t recognizable. It’s when you rewrite by adding here or taking away there that it becomes a work of art.

Brian: Like Juliet, my writer’s block comes when I’m trying to push the story in a direction it doesn’t want to go. It might be that the characters are refusing to follow the plot, or that the plot is just not ringing true to me. Either way, the best thing to do is go back to the point when it was on track, and pick it up from there.

26.                        What is your favourite motivational phrase.
It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.
- C. J. Cherryh

Excerpt:

She shot him again, but he continued toward her. Two bloodstains formed on his ratty shirt. He swung at her, but she quickly shifted to the left.



It was my turn. I punched him from the side and sent him flying into the desk across the room. Sounds of the monitor shattering and wood splintering filled the air as I rushed toward him.



Another sound of gunfire rang out but didn’t stop him from getting to his feet. He barreled toward me like a freight train. The gunshots slowed him considerably, but it didn’t stop him. Pain radiated through my chest as his fist made contact, sending me into the wall between the two rooms. A crack traveled up the wall to the ceiling, and plaster rained down around us.

More shots sounded as I got back to my feet. Two more holes opened in the man’s shirt. He was almost to Thelma when I grabbed him from behind. I used all my enhanced strength to lift him and toss him toward the kitchen. His body flew through the open door, smashing the wood of the frame in the process.

On the counter was the third gnome, his hands covering his speak-no-evil lips. I grabbed it and swung for the man’s head. It contacted with a sick thunk, and blood splashed across the gnome’s face. The bastard wouldn’t go down! I snarled and swung again, but this time he grabbed my wrist in midair and twisted it before tossing me to the ground.

Disclaimer: 

I received a free copy of this book/Ebook/Product to review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations. I am part of The Goddess Fish Review Crew.
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