Marie Johnston

The Ghost of Christmas Book Blast

Ghost of Christmas Book Blast

Happy Holidays! Tis the season when once again, the good folks over at Support Indie Authors are hosting another free book event. On Saturday, the 19th of December, forty authors will be offering more than fifty books in a wide variety of genres absolutely free! What better way to de-stress, decompress, and take a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of the holidays than to curl up with a good book? Once again, all of the free books will be listed on the official Book Blast website

As is our tradition, each of the authors participating in the book blast has told us a little about themselves. Each name links to the author’s Goodreads profile, so feel free to give them a follow if you like what you see. Below are interviews for ten of the forty participating authors. At the end of this post are links to three other blogs with the additional thirty authors. Please be sure to visit each and thank you for continuing to #SupportIndieAuthors


What is your name?

Ann Livi Andrews

What genre or genres do you write in?

Superheroes

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Nice

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

The life of a superhero is not all glamour and fame. The truth is that they just want to live as close to normal lives as they possibly can, and they’ve found a man who they believe can offer that to them. Not only does he promise to find cures for their “powers,” but he offers a retirement plan as well!

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

My mother and I make trays and trays of Christmas cookies and candies every year, but my favorite is probably the fudge or the chocolate covered peanut butter balls. In addition, no Holiday Season is complete without white almond bark covered oreos, homemade snickerdoodles, and my mother's homemade sugar cookies (the best EVER!)

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

My grandmother always used to give to the ASPCA, so that would probably be mine as well. I've always had a heart for animals and it breaks every time I see an animal purposefully neglected or injured. https://www.aspca.org

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: www.annliviandrews.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnLiviAndrews

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnLiviAndrews/

Other: https://www.pinterest.com/annlivi/


What is your name?

Charles Freedom Long

What genre or genres do you write in?

Science Fiction

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Nice

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

A jihadist trained for a suicide mission on the moon, begins to question his own beliefs when he falls in love with a coworker, a cat-like bipedal alien named Quenby and realizes that he must choose between his mission or love. At once a poignant human/alien love story, a science fiction thriller, and a foray into the realms beyond the veil called death, this novel explores the questions of what is truth, the power of love, and what lies beyond this present life.

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

Curling up with my three Maltese dogs in my lap.

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

The Salvation Army. I never pass by their little red baskets without putting something in. http://www.salvationarmyusa.org

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: http://www.charlesfreedomlong.com/


What is your name?

Marie Johnston

What genre or genres do you write in?

Romance

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Nice

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

Cassie Stockwell's one night stand throws her into a world of wolf-shifters, their Guardians, and the menace out to destroy them all. It's up to Jace Miller to keep her safe and convince her he's worth more than one night - he's worth forever.

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

Candy Cane Cookies

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

Goodwill http://www.goodwill.org

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: mariejohnstonwriter.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjohnstonwriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Marie-Johnston-593148834163855/?fref=ts


What is your name?

B.B. Wynter

What genre or genres do you write in?

Fantasy

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Naughty

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

A story of magic, monsters, cabbage-fairies, jester-pirates, earth born Gods and fated love.

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

I can only list one? Oh no, now I have to make choices :( !

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

The National Autistic Society - http://www.autism.org.uk

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: bbwynter.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bb_wynter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BeeBeeWynter/


What is your name?

Shannon Reber

What genre or genres do you write in?

Fantasy, Teen & Young Adult

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Only a Sith thinks in absolutes.

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

 My books are young adult fantasy. Two are swords and sorcery, the other a dystopian future with a powerful female MC.

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

Nothing is underrated in my world, but lemon sugar cookies are a MUST!

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

A local group called Union Relief which gives Christmas presents to kids whose families can't afford them.

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: www.authorshannonreber.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShannonArtWrite

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Shannon-Reber-1450668291923946/


What is your name?

M. Ray Holloway Jr.

What genre or genres do you write in?

Science Fiction, Religious, Paranormal

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Naughty

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

 "The Picture of the Ghost" is a novellette about a team of ghost hunters that get it all wrong. "Gretchen's Shoot" is about two sisters have to work through a serious misunderstanding. "The Empath" is about a young man with a amazing ability.

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

Wassal. I am always so pleased when someone offers it to me. I need to learn to make it.

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

Big Brothers / Big Sisters www.bbbs.org

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: http://mrayhollowayjr.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ray.holloway.77


What is your name?

CB Archer

What genre or genres do you write in?

Fantasy, Erotica, Humor & Satire, Elfrotica

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Naughty

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

Do the novels you read contain naked elf protagonists, magical sex powers, steamy Minotaur orgies, and no regard for the fourth wall? If your answer is no then perhaps you are reading the wrong novels. *Contains m/m content and vigorous monster banging.*

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

Stocking Stuffing (Giggle)

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

The Ovarian Cancer Society of Canada

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: www.annalsofgentalia.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cb_archer

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/CB-Archer/100006197627949


What is your name?

Christina McMullen

What genre or genres do you write in?

Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Dystopian/Apocalyptic, Teen & Young Adult

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Only a Sith thinks in absolutes.

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

The Eyes of The Sun offers action, adventure, a little bit of romance, and a whole lot of genetically enhanced vampires. Kind of Like Life is a YA sci-fi thriller with one hell of a twist. And Going Green is the most lighthearted romp through the zombie apocalypse you will ever read.

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

I really like fruitcake and I can't figure out why it's got such a bad rep.

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

There are so many great charities, but one that sticks out is Hope for Paws. This is an animal rescue based in Los Angeles that finds and rehabilitates animals that are suffering either on the streets or in kill shelters. They also document every step of the way and host videos that would make even the hardened of hearts cry. Check them out at http://www.hopeforpaws.org

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: http://mcmullenwrites.blogspot.com

Twitter: Twitter.com/mcmullenwrites

Facebook: Facebook.com/mcmullenwrites


What is your name?

D.E. Morris

What genre or genres do you write in?

Science Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Nice

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

Join the adventures of alien scientists Quigbat and Zort, with their accidental companion from Earth, Marcy. "Aliens in the Gift Shop" follows their first and disastrous science mission to Earth. "Aliens and the Race to Earth" continues their exploits as the three try to save Earth from a deadly weapon.

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

Peppermint Mocha

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

World Vision provides child sponsorship and humanitarian relief for the poor and needy of the world. www.worldvision.org

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: http://www.authordemorris.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/author_demorris


What is your name?

Quoleena Sbrocca

What genre or genres do you write in?

Literary Fiction, Historical, Time Travel

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Only a Sith thinks in absolutes.

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

Time travel is a naturally occurring phenomenon. Every four and five years, invisible, time travel doorways open and close. Any person or creature caught within the magnetic, gravitational pull awakens incoherently to a future world.

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

I think holiday treats are pretty much on even footing, but my favorites are fruit pies, especially my mom's peach cobbler. It's my all-time favorite. The holidays are that much more grim without it.

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

The Dawn Saves Wildlife campaign. It's the only brand I buy. http://dawn-dish.com/en-us/dawn-saves-wildlife

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: http://www.quoleenasbrocca.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/QJSbrocc 


Check out additional interviews!

Alp's Blog

Amanda's Blog

Shoshanah's Blog

Marie Johnston

Book to Brain Blog Tour

Fast Facts

  • Author: Marie Johnston
  • Genre: Paranormal romance and contemporary romance
  • Books:
    • The Sigma Menace Series
      • Fever Claim (Book 1)
      • Primal Claim (Book 2)
      • True Claim (Book 3)
      • Reclaim (Book 3.5)
    • Fleet Week Romance Series
      • Rebound
      • Shooter 
  • Official Site

Bio

Marie Johnston still considers herself a microbiologist, though she left infectious organisms and full-time work over five years ago to be a stay at home mom. She is currently working occasionally as a fill-in medical technologist in clinic labs to support her habit of being home with the kids. Marie began writing a year ago and is still going strong. She’s an avid reader of paranormal and contemporary romance, therefore these are the stories hanging out in her head waiting to be told. Marie lives with her husband, four kids, and an old cat in the upper-Midwest where the winters are as brutal as the summers are beautiful.


Accomplishments

Marie served two years on her children’s elementary school’s PTO (never again), teaches Sunday school (swears never again, but ends up volunteering every year), and is currently serving on the board for the local chapter of Mom’s Club (the socialization keeps her sane). At no point, has she ventured into coaching her kids’ teams, but there’s still many more years left of soccer, volleyball, and softball.


Blurb True Claim (The Sigma Menace #3)

Over a century ago, Bennett Young found his mate, a human woman he trusted and was brutally betrayed by. With his one chance at happiness gone, Bennett throws himself into his work. He dreads the inevitable day he turns feral and his partners will be forced to put him down, then a routine mission brings him face-to-face with his worst nightmare. A human mate. Discovering the lovely, but evasive woman is being hunted, Bennett can’t bring himself to abandon her, at least not until she’s safe.

Spencer King has a boy’s name and lives in the boondocks for a reason. The tall, sexy shifter who showed up on her doorstep was unwelcome…and pushy. The mating instinct she feels for him threatens everyone she’s worked to keep safe. Realizing the frustrating, brooding Guardian doesn’t intend to leave her alone, Spencer has to figure out if she can trust him, and to decide – stay and fight, or run for her life?


Excerpt from True Claim (The Sigma Menace #3)

WARNING: Sensitive readers be forewarned. This excerpt contains some language.

What a nice spread.

A good three hundred and twenty acres sat next to the Guardian’s land. Both chunks of land were far enough away from city limits to be considered extremely rural and isolated. The Guardians kept tabs on all the land owners around their acreage. There were just a few owners really, and only one wasn’t a shifter. The previous non-shifter owner was okay letting the land grow wild, snoring loudly all night while shifters freely ran his property, and heading into town to hit on the silver-haired ladies at the senior center all day. It was an ideal situation until the guy hadn’t shown up in town one day and the senior center ladies called the local police, concerned about him, and found he’d passed away quietly one night.

The new owner might be an issue. Recently, shifters exercising their wolves in the woods had some near misses with steel traps. Concerning enough, until Kaitlyn came back from inspecting the traps claiming they were plentiful, covering the entirety of the property like land mines.

Driving down the ambling, dusty road that served as a driveway, Bennett decided at the last minute not to pull too close to the house. If he was in his furry form, the fur would be standing up on the back of his neck. Instead, he parked on the circular drive so he was angled toward the exit and protected by the SUV when he stepped out.

After he climbed out, he let his senses soak in the surroundings. Birds were singing, enjoying the sunny spring weather after a harsh winter. Two cows stood in a pasture, a good hundred yards from the main house. Who the fuck only had two cows?

Bennett spun when he heard a screen door open and resisted the urge to transition when a large German shepherd slammed the door open the rest of the way. Growling and snarling, the beast roared toward him, fangs bared.

Without hesitation, Bennett flung out a mental command. Halt!

The beast stopped abruptly, already midway between the house and Bennett. He swung his furry head toward the house where a figure stood shadowed in the doorway, and then the dog made a lunge back toward Bennett.

Mentally, Bennett held the large dog in place, grateful his erratic mental ability was steady today. He rarely used his gift. Seriously, who needed to talk to animals? And how long could one guy put up with Snow White references? All of his pack’s gifts had been increasingly erratic for the last century, so much so they’d become less and less dependent on them almost to the point of disuse. That is, until the last year, when some of them started finding mates. It seemed as if their powers became stronger and more grounded with each mating. Bennett thought that meant he was screwed.

The German shepherd whined and sat with a huff on his haunches, then turned his head back to the house.

Keeping his hold on the loyal dog, Bennett took in the figure that walked out.

Shiiiiiit. He felt his chest growing tight, his breathing becoming shallower. Not due to the shotgun emerging from the doorway, thankfully pointed downward, but it was the arm attached to it. Bennett ran his eyes up from where the tanned hand confidently gripped the shotgun barrel, up the delicately muscled arm encased in a red plaid shirt to where the rolled-up sleeve showed off a slight bulge of bicep. His eyes continued up the sun-kissed skin of a slender neck, bared by a clip holding up the sun-bleached, honey-brown hair, letting it cascade down from the clip like a waterfall of ripened wheat. Bennett took in the lash-lined hazel eyes and full, raspberry hued lips and felt like he’d been punched in the gut.

Because it wasn’t the stunning beauty, cautiously stepping off the porch, suspicion ripe in her bright, intelligent eyes that made Bennett feel like he was suffocating. It wasn’t the glinting, steel weapon in her hand, or the dog trained to attack.

No. The bottom dropped out of Bennett’s world as soon as he caught the scent, drifting toward him on the gentle breeze. The scent of lavender and vanilla, the signature smell of this human female. The scent of his mate.


Interview with the author

Tell us about yourself?

I started writing about a year ago, but have always gravitated toward it. When I worked full-time in the lab, I volunteered to write procedures and really enjoyed it (really, I did). Before I wrote Fever Claim, I had only written scientific papers (not as enjoyable) but always joked about how one day I was going to write a book. I never did because I would try to think of the entire story first, whereas I’d been making up individual scenes in my head for years (and years). At my husband’s urging to “just write,” I finally decided that I was getting older and still had written nothing so what was there to lose.

When I’m not writing, I’m running the kids around and trying to hold my peace together amidst the chaos. I also still work as a fill-in med tech occasionally throughout the month. For fun (though my knees really hate it), I play softball in the summers and dabble on a women’s hockey team (noncompetitive!) during the winters.

Is this your first book?

Fever Claim was my first book. There were three earlier attempts at different stories and two of them I plan to go back to, but the plot and emotions were much more complex than I could express, so I wanted more experience first. Fever Claim was followed by Primal Claim and True Claim and the short story Reclaim, all part of the Sigma Menace Series. Book 4, Lawful Claim will debut in early fall 2015.

I’ve also started a new contemporary romance short story series I’m really excited about: Fleet Week Romance. These stories will each be independent reads, with the first two shorts being Rebound and Shooter. They are meant to be quick, sweet, and steamy reads.

What genre do you enjoy the most?

I LOVE paranormal romance - both reading and writing. I love the emotions, the chemistry, and as far as writing goes - I get to make the rules. Creating your own world is fabulous.

What inspired you to write this book?

Lawful Claim (Book 4 of The Sigma Menace) is in progress. An underlying theme of the main character in the book, and the main character for upcoming Book 5, is about originally good people stuck in bad situations. Romance has a lot of bad boys, but I’ve always been drawn to good guys that behave badly, and exploring the reasons why.

How did you come up with the title of your book and series?

When I was in the lab, we were introduced to an efficient system called Six Sigma and I just plain liked the word “sigma.” On top of that, it’s has a math reference…be still my science geek heart.

I wanted a theme to tie all the books together and well, they’re about wolf-shifters and their mates, hence there’s a lot claiming going on. Each title, I strive to make relevant to the overall story of the main characters.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art.

I’ve solely used P and N Graphics and I love working with them. I feel like Sahara Kelly has become a mentor for me as I’ve learned so much from her. For the Sigma Menace series, I told them I wanted a dude with a background and they’ve kept a constant underlying tone to the covers while still utilizing relevant backgrounds from my story. They look sharp and professional.

For the Fleet Week romance series, I had a vague vision: I wanted a couple on the front, not too steamy, not too sweet, and with a naval background. And somehow make it all not look absurd. I didn’t have much inspiration to pass on, but Sahara sent a cover idea for Rebound and I was thrilled. She nailed it.

 What Hollywood actors would play your characters?

Duuuude…I have no idea. I don’t mix my books and movies. It sounds weird, but if I watch the movie, I don’t care to read the book and vice versa (confession: I haven’t read any Harry Potter books). If I happen to see a movie that I’ve already read the book for, I find I prefer my imagination over Hollywood’s adaptation.

What authors have inspired you to write?

JR Ward, Laura Wright, JR Ward, Larissa Ione, JR Ward, Kresley cole, JR Ward, Gena Showalter, JR Ward, Karen Marie Moning. Did I mention JR Ward? That woman is epic and I want to be her when I grow up. Those stories, the chemistry, the dialogue, her alpha males…just…wow. I’m in awe of her. I fall into utter deadbeat mom status when I’m reading one of her books.

Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others?

Action. By far, action. Am I being too technical, am I being realistic, does it read well, was I descriptive enough? My mind likes to ruminate over emotion and the expression of it, so physical action is tough for me.

That being said, love scenes aren’t easy. Not if I want to be original, steamy, and again not too technical. I don’t want to gloss over them too quickly, but they don’t need to drag on for pages and pages.

I don’t seem to struggle as badly with dialogue, and I hope that now I’ve said that, I won’t start. A natural introvert, I’ve spent my life watching people, listening to what’s going on around me so dialogue seems to flow more smoothly as I write, though I have a lot of room for growth.

Do you read your reviews?

Absolutely. I don’t have many, but I may or may not have read them once or five times. I love Goodreads and the groups where we can swap reviews, but life gets so busy, I find myself shying away from review swapping because it can be a bit time consuming. I enjoy doing it, and I love helping out fellow indies, but the last few months have been especially busy so I hope to get back into it once school starts again and I’m not moderating children’s activities (and arguments).

Where do you write?

On my couch, with my legs stretched out. I still want to find the guy that recommended a laptop when we went in to buy a new computer. I couldn’t imagine being tucked away at my desk with my back to the world (well, on most days).

Naptime is writing time. When naps become fully boycotted (not by me!), then afternoon TV/quiet time will become writing time. Otherwise, on the weekends, I sneak back to the bedroom and write with some semblance of privacy.

When I first started writing, I used to go to the library. But I’ve gotten better tuning out the world at home where I don’t have to pack up all my gear to go to the bathroom.

Are you a plotter or do you write by the seat of your pants?

I’m a pantser. Which is totally weird if you knew what an uptight planner I am. I have my yearly agenda, and every week is written out for each day exactly where and when we need to be somewhere, who I need to call, what needs dropping off, etc…But writing is different. Unless I’m out for a long walk or run and my mind can wander, I can’t force a storyline. I have to let it play out for me.

Have you always enjoyed writing?

Yes. When I was a kid, I wrote a few short stories, but didn’t recreationally write until I wrote Fever Claim. Well…my emails got a bit wordy. In college, especially for my master’s degree, I wrote A LOT of papers. I’m even published under my microbiologist alter ego, so if you’re curious about the incidence of Campylobacter in turkey carcasses, give me a call. In my career, I’ve written lab procedures and headed up a newsletter for the section where I also wrote an article or two. No matter what I was doing, there’s been writing.

Do you have pets?

I have a fifteen year old cat, Killian (you know, named after the beer), that likes to yowl in front of the toddler’s room at 5am. I’d love a dog, but seriously, I want all my kids out of diapers and then a long reprieve from dealing with other beings’ bodily functions on my carpet.

What is your favorite song?

Right now, there’s a close tie between two. I’d been away from country music for years before I heard “Drunk on a Plane.” My first thought was,what hick song is this? Then I listened to the lyrics, which tell a good story, and let Dierks Bentley’s voice caress my ear drums and fell in love with the song.

“Sangria” by Blake Shelton is on my repeat-at-least-twenty-times list. Not only does he have a smooth voice with a hint of drawl, but the lyrics spike my romance writer jealousy. How can a couple of verses paint such a complete, vivid picture of a couple getting ready to get it on? “Wrecking ball dancing down the hallway…you’re holding your shoes wearing my shades…”

Do you remember the first book you read?

The first for realz book, when I got through all of the quickie reads for kids at that time (like Nancy Drew and Sweet Valley), I was in fourth grade and found my mom’s The Diamond Throne by David Eddings. I had to keep asking my mom what some words meant and got the standard “look it up in the dictionary” response. I gobbled up every David Eddings book after that and started a long love affair with fantasy. I even read Game of Thrones in real time, up until book four when I’d already found JR Ward and become a romance convert.

I knew there was something special about my husband when I first met him, because he was reading a David Eddings book. He was the only other person I’d met besides my mom that read the genre I did (I was only 19 when we met, but still…).

What book are you reading now?

I just got done reading The Shadows by JR Ward. In fact, I have a book hangover because I stayed up hours past my bedtime to finish it so I could read in peace. I adore that woman’s writing and The Shadows ripped me up, but I trust certain authors to carry me through their character’s gut-wrenching story.