Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cheree Alsop with DR. WOLF and a CONTEST!

Cheree Alsop
knows more than she's telling
Cheree Alsop is wonder to me. A successful productive self-published phenom who seems incapable or unwilling to share her secrets of success. I’ve many times asked her how to get a blog tour going or where to find reviewers and each time she tells me stuff and I flummox around and realize that it can’t be me, it must be Cheree who’s at fault.

Using the excuse of her new book, DR. WOLF: SHOCKWAVE, THE FAE RIFT SERIES BOOK 1, I brought her into the Blog Mansion for some answers

Cheree: When the divide between the fae world and the human world is torn apart, Aleric Bayne is thrown into the ensuing chaos. Hurt and disoriented, the werewolf finds himself in a hospital emergency room. When other fae creatures begin to show up, Aleric sneaks them into the D wing of the hospital. With no one else able to treat their unusual conditions, Aleric steps into the role of Dr. Wolf. He has one goal in mind, to help the fae and close the Rift. But Dr. Wolf has walls around the memories of his own broken past that threaten to unravel the world he is holding together by a thread.

Johnny: So you use Fae?

C: They are central to the book.

J: I mean to get noticed.

C: What?

J: It’s obvious to me that you have some kind of special power over the self-published world. You find bloggers and I can’t, you get reviewers when I don’t.

C: You get those.

J: Yes, but not like you. You have a gift, or rather a power. I used to think it was a pact with the devil, but now I think I see what’s really going on. You’re in league with faes.

C: No it’s not like that.

J: Yeah? Well tell me about this rift.

C: It’s a tear in the divide between the human world and the fae world. Aleric has to figure out what caused the Rift and how to get the fae creatures home. Unfortunately, many who went through the Rift were injured because of the fall to the human side, and so Aleric finds himself in the position of caretaker for these creatures because humans has no idea what to do with them.

J: Are the fae in DR. WOLF: SHOCKWAVE more like Tinkerbell or Legolas?

C: Both, actually. There are elves, fairies, ogres, demons, werewolves, vampires, and many other kinds. I also enjoy delving into the lesser-known fae, so you never know what is going to show up!

J: Do the fae that slip through do favors for human on our side? Interact?

C: The human world is terrified of the fae creatures because many who come through are truly the beasts of nightmares. One of the problems Aleric faces is prejudice against those fae who don’t mean the human world any harm. Because of his werewolf side, he understands the need to protect pack or family, but he is on the side receiving the hatred, and so he faces that along with patching up those who were hurt crossing into the human world even by choice or by accident.

J: Ha! See.

C: I see that you are skeptical about these fae. All I can say is that you have to read it to believe it. If a Rift happened in today’s world and creatures from another world started showing up, I’d hope there would be someone like Dr. Wolf who knows the lore and ways to deal with these Light and Dark fae.

J: And they grant unnatural beauty too, right? Supercharged marketing charisma powers?

C: Haha! Each type of fae has their own characteristics. The fairies are overly positive and optimistic in almost sickening quantities; selkies have the expected fishy scent, and demons aren’t to be trusted, although as Aleric learns, not everybody is what they seem. He realizes he also has prejudices he has to overcome.

J: I saw you dressed as a vampire last Salt Lake Comic Con FanX. Explain that.

C: Hmm. Where to begin. It originally came from being the bass player for my husband’s garage band, Alien Landslide. We dressed up and played gigs at The Fear Factory, bars and venues all of Utah, and we even won Battle of the Bands. Comic Con brings on its own type of cosplay, and it carried over because I love the opportunity to dress up with people who love vampires and werewolves!

J: Is DR WOLF: SHOCKWAVE a new genre for you?

C: I’ve become known as the ‘Werewolf Author’. It began with a love for wolves when I was younger. I was drawn to their family packs and the fact that many wolves choose one mate for life. The more I learned about them, the more I realized how misunderstood they are. I had an idea for one book, and so I wrote Silver. I figured that appease the werewolf muse; however, as muses often do, it struck again. The idea for one book became the 7 book Silver Series, and then there was a branching 7 book series called The Werewolf Academy Series that demanded to be written. Dr. Wolf is a brand new series also with a werewolf as the main character. I’m excited to be back writing werewolves!

J: What was the genesis for the book? How’d you find yourself needing to write this?

C: I just finished writing the 5 book sci-fi/space opera Girl from the Stars series and I found myself missing writing paranormal. I was listening to music one day and the idea for a werewolf doctor hiding out in our world surfaced. I thought it would be fun to have him pretend to be a normal human, but to have the D Wing of the hospital where he sneaks the fae creatures that come in. The complications with hiding his werewolf nature, especially during the full moon, and trying to care for the myriad of problems that can come with an E.R. filled with fae creatures ran away with me!

J: DR. WOLF: SHOCKWAVE is only the first of the is fae/Cheree collaboration, I mean series of books. “The Fae Rift Series Book 1.” How many do you foresee in the series?

C: I foresee probably 7 books in this series, the Fae Rift Series. For some reason 7 tends to be my number. I really enjoy Dr. Wolf’s character and am writing the books as though they are episodes in a television series, so you get story arcs and snippets of what his life is like, and each one grows from the last while resolving the issues he confronts. Because of this, I see branch-off series happening very easily. Dr. Wolf is a fun, sarcastic character who rolls with the punches and comes up swinging.

J: You are a very productive writer. Is this a key to your success?

C: Definitely. I release a book every 2 and a half months. I feel this keeps my readers actively searching for my books because they know it won’t be 2 years for the next book. As soon as I publish a book, my inbox is filled with requests and demands for the next one. I love it! It keeps me writing, which is always a good thing!

J: What’s your process?

C: My process is a crazy one. I’m what is known as a ‘pantser’, or a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants author. I get an idea and run with it. I may plot a little bit along the way, but mostly I just write the story as it comes to me. It keeps the story fresh. I find that if I am excited about it and want to know what happens next, my readers do, too! The one thing I do before starting a book is to create a music playlist. I’ll load it with 9-10 songs that capture the different emotions I want in the book. That way if I get stuck, I just listen to the songs that match the scene I am writing. It keeps me from getting writer’s block and if I don’t have time to sit down and write, I can still listen to the music in what I am doing!

J: How do you get your covers - they’re gorgeous!

C: I have found some incredible cover designers! I have them listed on my website. My current designer is Dean Samed. He designed the cover for Girl from the Stars Book 1- Daybreak, and when I approached him with my idea for the Dr. Wolf covers, he was all in. He is a genius and I just love his art!

J: Authors of all kinds, self-published and traditional can learn so much from you. How much of your time is spent on writing compared to marketing? Would you say this is required or are you a “go-getter?”

C: Marketing is definitely required. The hardest part with self-publishing is that the industry is always changing. It used to be that if you were paying for marketing, you were doing it wrong. Now, you can’t market without putting some money into it. It’s recommended to spend 10 percent of the amount you want to make that year in advertising. I’ve found facebook ads, Bookbub ads, GoodReads ads, and bloggers to be the best possible form of marketing for me. I know many authors who have made other social media sites work well for them. Other authors do their own blogging and find a following that way. I think the best idea is to find what you enjoy doing, find what works best for you, and run with it. The best kind of marketing is to release another book.

J: What outlets have you found to be the best for distribution of you books?

C: I have my books available on the big sites- Amazon in both paperback and ebook, Barnes & Noble the same way, Smashwords, Kobo, GooglePlay, iBook, and many others. I feel that the more accessible my books are to my readers, the easier it is for them to move on to the next book, which is the ultimate goal. I’ve really enjoyed getting my books recorded on audio through It’s been fun to hear what the narrators do with them and to find the voices that match my stories.

J: Besides supernatural assistance and pacts with certain infernal potentates, to what do you say owe your success?

C: I was given one very meaningful piece of advice from Robin Hobb, an author I respect very much. She told me when I was just starting out and wrote her for any advice, that I would never have more time to write than I do right now. So I follow that. I write in the ten minutes snippets or the 3 hour breaks (very rare). I bring my laptop to the park and write when my kids are playing, I take notes on my phone when I am waiting to pick up my kids from school, and I am always listening to my music playlists to keep the ideas fresh in my head. I don’t wait until tomorrow. I write any moment I get, and that has worked well for me.

J: Your protestations mean nothing to me. I know the truth. I see the pixie dust there in your hair. My one question is this…

C: One?

J: Don’t make me get the fly swatter. My question is what do you have to give back to the fae in return for their magical marketing assistance?

Fae Zapper
C: Chocolate. They’re a huge fan, like me.

J: I had intended to strap you to that chair and torture you for your secrets of finding promotional contacts but my bug-zapper is on the fritz and I don’t dare start without it. You might summon your little friends with their little plastic cocktail swords.

C: But if I’m using Fae magic...

J: I have a sponge for that.

C: You do? You do—

J: Not my first big rodeo. I’ll have to content myself with stalking until I can get you to sit down and walk me through it. In the meantime, where are the best places to stalk you?

Amazon for paperback & ebook
Barnes&Noble for ebook
Smashwords for all ebook formats

J: Wait what’s this? A bribe? For me?

C: Keep the sponge away and I’ll give you free ebooks to give away through Smashwords.

J: What do they have to do to win?

C: That’s up to you.

J: Okay. If any of my readers can send me proof that they’ve bought one of my books, I’ll put them in a drawing to win your first Dr. Wolf book on ebook for free. Our readers both have good taste, so it’s a win-win.

(email me your proof - whatever it is to Contest ends 7/9/16)

C: That sounds like a great idea. I sure appreciate your friendship and the time you’ve taken to do this interview. You write such amazing books and I’m so happy to see all of your success! I wish you much more and many, many amazing book ideas. Thank you.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

MUTI NATION Cover Reveal

The awesomely talented Monique Snyman presents her debut horror MUTI NATION from Omnium Gatherum. Check out this awesome cover and check out this excellent book. I helped to bring it to life as an editor. It's really good, full of supernatural spooks, local South African color, a sexy protagonist and Pretorian mayhem. All the good stuff. Put this one on your list.

When Esmé Snyders – a young occult-crime expert – investigates a grotesque muti-murder in Pretoria West, she doesn’t realise she’s become a player in the killer’s deadly game. Before long, more savagely mutilated corpses join the tally, proving that the evasive murderer is slipperier than what she’s used to when it comes to muti-killers. While searching for a monster capable of such heinous crimes, Esmé is thrust into a dangerous adventure of love, sex, death and the paranormal. Can she win a game she doesn’t know she’s playing?

Click the link to join in the ThunderClap promotion.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

SNOW FRIGHT cover reveal

Longtime Blog Mansion friend and Jolly Fish Press alumni Amie and Bethanie Borst have another book coming out— SNOW FRIGHT, the final installment of the Scarily Ever Laughter Series. The previous books, CINDERSKELLA and LITTLE DREAD RIDING HOOD were awesomely fun and I'm really looking forward to this one.

Today we get our first peek at the cover of SNOW FRIGHT. Enjoy.

Scroll down for a Rafflecopter giveaway and enter to win a free copy!

Sarah White is gorgeous even if she is a little bit rotten. A mirror arrives on her twelfth birthday and she thinks it’s the perfect gift. But when an innocent game of laser tag gets out of hand, the mirror swallows her whole!

Sarah finds herself dead center of the Underworld. As if repeated run-ins with Mr. Death weren’t bad enough, Sarah now has to deal with her decaying flesh and sudden craving for brains. Not to mention she keeps having brain freezes, all due to the seven worms living in her head.

Of corpse, by the time Sarah escapes the Underworld, she finds her new zombie life less than appetizing. Even worse, she needs to return to the Underworld to save her friends, Cindy and Scarlet.  With a poisoned apple, a crow named Raven, and a glowing necklace, Sarah’s pretty sure that if she doesn’t rescue her friends, she’ll be a brain craving zombie forever. And that’s more dead-ication than she’s willing to accept.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

DELIVERANCE with Adrienne Monson

Adrienne Monson
Adrienne Monson, vampire, author and expert is a longtime friend of the Blog Mansion. She's visited before to talk about her BLOOD INHERITANCE TRILOGY. First with DISSENSION, then with DEFIANCE. The exciting finish is now here, DELIVERANCE, so of course I had to have her over. From past experience I knew to schedule the meeting for the middle of the night and keep garlic out of the room.

Johnny: How've you been getting on? Staying out of the sun?

Adrienne: It isn't good for my complexion.

J: I've known you for years now. You always look so good. It's almost as if you don't age.

A: You flatter me, Johnny. (And that's all the response I have. ;) )

J: Just look at yourself in the mirror.

A: A mirror?! You know I don't do looking glasses.

J: Oh right. Sorry. That's one there.

A: That? I thought it was a window into another room.

J: Lift up a glass or something, you'll see.

A: I said no mirrors.

J: Right sorry. No need to get all hissy. And clawy.

A: Sorry, I must be hangry. Have anything to eat?

J: There's the remains of my old agent in the fridge.

A: Anything fresher?

J: I'll look. In the meantime, bring me up to speed with the BLOOD INHERITANCE series. It's been a while. where'd it leave off?

A: The last scene in DEFIANCE was with Leisha and Samantha going into hiding with the prophecy child.

J: Now tell me about DELIVERANCE.

A: DELIVERANCE picks up three years later. I don't want to give too much away, but it's an epic conclusion to the whole story.

J: You've had a lot of success with this series, definitely proving wrong the critics who said vampires were over.

A: What can I say? Vampires are timeless!

J: Everyone loves vampires. And they love us. And you do vampires very well. You have an almost hypnotic presence.

A: I promise that I don't use hypnosis on my readers. If my abilities happen to transfer to the pages while I write is not my fault.

J: Like at your signings—you're the queen of signings. Are you keeping up on your in-store appearances?

A: Thanks, Johnny! I took some time off from book signings last year, but I'm making up for lost time now. I have one June 10th at the Midvale B&N, then June 11th at the Layton B&N. And I always love to be at Comic Con. There will be more over the summer but I haven't set the dates yet.

J: I'm envious.  I don't do half the store signings I'd like to. But we do run across each other at conventions. Comic Con and such. Do you find those successful or just super fun?

A: Both. Definitely both! And I will say this: The readers at those conventions almost always end up being my hardcore fans. So it's always a blast to see them there at the cons.

J: To quote the jolly bard, What a Long Strange Trip It's Been. Now that the series is wrapping up, finishing, in print and out there, what lessons have you learned? What experiences have you taken away from the ride of BLOOD INHERITANCE?

A: I think the biggest lesson I've learned is that this is just beginning! Yes, the Blood Inheritance trilogy is now finished, but there are so many more books waiting to get out. I'm excited to keep writing and watch my readership grow. :) It doesn't matter that I'm not on the NY Times bestseller list (yet!) or that I get more book sales in Australia than in the U.S. because I'm just getting started and I'm excited to see where this roller coaster is going next. 

J: Could we see more of Leisha, Samantha and Nik? Or would that a spoiler?

A: Again, I don't want to give away too much. Let's just say that I know what happens to the characters after Deliverance. And even though I'm not planning anymore books in this series, the characters still have full lives.

J: Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, DELIVERANCE will take your time for some some, but what's on the horizon for you after that. What's next?

A: I'm currently working on a new series that I'm pretty excited about. It's an adult dystopian about a nun who is an assassin for her church. Hopefully book 1 will be out by next year.

J: Where on the internet can peeps find out more about you and keep in touch?


J: Here's a snack for you while you fill out that form.

A: What is it.

J: Fish.

A: Fish? What kind of fish?

J: Jolly.

A: LOL!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Way Out - Wonhundred Word Wednesday

Continuing my commitment to flash fiction practice as part of WonHundred Words Wednesday challenge, here's this week's.

The Prompt.

The words.

It was that situation I’d always feared. Company event. Summer party. Barbecue and beer. Sunshine. Coworkers and their families. The boss comes up to me and says you remember my wife. I didn’t. I couldn’t think of her name or ever meeting her. He stood there, waiting for me to say something, I couldn’t see any other way out. I peed myself. They forgot all about introductions after that. I can start work on Monday.