Guest Post: My Top Five Tips For Writing Great Sci-Fi Fantasy Novels by Michael Phillip Cash

Hey everyone. I’m honored to share this amazing guest post from author Michael Phillip Cash. Be sure to check out his website and links down below, and don’t forget to follow the link to the Rafflecopter giveaway as well! Take it away Michael!

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“My Top Five Tips For Writing Great Sci-Fi Fantasy Novels”

By Michael Phillip Cash

When you’re just starting out as an author you may be tempted to heed the advice to “write what you know.” But what about writers who want to write in the Science Fiction Fantasy genre? That’s certainly not a world you’re going to have some knowledge of. But wait. Don’t get discouraged. You have a distinct advantage over some other genres. Everything you need to know about writing Sci-Fi Fantasy is already stored right in your noggin. That’s because it’s your world and you get to create every single thing about it. It’s known as world building and it’s awesome. As long as you keep some things in mind you’ll be good to go. Here are my top five tips for writing great Sci-Fi Fantasy books:

  1. Read, read and then read some more

Read every science fiction/fantasy book you can get your hands on. Study them like you would any other reference book. Learn from the masters. Take notes as you read. Don’t aim to copy, but use other books as jumping off points for your own unique stories.  

  1. Tap into traditional fantasy elements

It’s okay to include the standard trolls, elves, giants, wizards, warriors, or whatever. Just use them in totally different and unique ways. Use these tried and true elements, but do it as originally as possible.

  1. Combine basic writing principles in distinctly unique ways

Boy loves girl. Boy gets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy gets captured by a ten-foot tall giant and girl must use her magical powers and her talking dragon to fool the giant into letting boy go. You get the idea. Much of what works in say for instance romance or another genre will work in fantasy. You just have to do it with a magical sort of imagination.

  1. Make sure your characters have dreams, hopes and goals

If your characters have nothing at stake, or nothing to overcome then no one will care what happens to them. When you’re creating your cast of characters, be sure to give them strengths, weaknesses, fears and flaws. Even fantasy characters have these and this is what will keep your readers invested in your story.

  1. Study old (and new) maps, and learn about different cultures and climates.

Maps are beautiful and artistic props to use as inspiration – particularly older maps. Imagine what it might be like to live in a foreign land. Research the clothing, tools and equipment other cultures use now and in the past. Considering what the terrain or climate might be like in your fantasy world will ultimately allow your readers to immerse themselves in your story.  

About Michael Phillip Cash

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Michael Phillip Cash is an award-winning novelist and screenwriter. His novel The Battle for Darracia is a three-part saga and is available on Amazon.

Michael’s novels are best-sellers on Amazon under their genres – Young Adult, Thriller, Suspense, Ghost, Action Adventure, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and Horror. Michael writes full-time and lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wonderful wife and screaming children. You can follow him @michaelpcash or connect with him via his website.

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Release Blitz & Giveaway: Hybrids (Underlays #1.5) by T.A. Moorman

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Hybrids

Underlayes, #1.5

by T.A. Moorman, GothicMom’s Studios

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Anya has never been one for the spotlight, but her family seems to now be front and center, and the talk of the town in Underlayes. In the aftermath of her mother’s death, the discovery of said mother’s deceit, and Anya’s half sister getting ready to challenge her own father for the witches throne, keeping a low profile may prove to be difficult. Add in the fact that she’s pregnant, by her female mate, and it may be impossible.

Kierra has never been one for many words. So if she were forced to explain how she impregnated Anya, it probably wouldn’t be easy for her. Especially since the truth would mean revealing her origins; she’s not a vampire, or even anything close to it. And living in realm where her kind isn’t allowed may cause a few ramifications. Plus, should the kid call her Mom, or Dad?

Jump right back into the world of Underlayes where this magical family takes dysfunction to brand new heights.

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Click Here ⬇ for the Facebook Release Event June 5, 2018!:

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Chapter 1

“What the fuck happened to you, Anya?” were the only words thrown at me as I flashed into my living quarters, right before being pulled into a crushing embrace by my mate who was so emotional she kept flashing between being male to female. My entire body was so numb I couldn’t tell how many times she transformed. Truth be told, I didn’t care. Being in Kierra’s arms was all that mattered, whether there was a perfectly sculpted masculine chest or a large pair of succulent breasts. It meant I was finally home.

After everything that had just transpired, my entire being had felt numb, right down to the depths of my soul, the feeling going beyond skin and bone-deep. Being with my Fated One didn’t take all the pain away, but it did at least make me feel grounded again and helped me to feel something other than the pain of losing a mother whom I never had a chance to figure out I loved more than I hated her or vice versa. So, not only did I miss out on having a mom to idolize when I was young, and fight with and terrorize as a teen, I also would never be able to confront her as an adult for everything that she had done. Even though I was more vampire than witch than my sister Tialanna, I still resented being the one our mother had decided to let go.

My mind replayed what had happened no more than a mere few hours ago…

“Anya, I’m not going to insult you with apologies.” My left eye twitched at that. I couldn’t help it, and I hadn’t bothered to try and hide it. She wasn’t supposed to die yet, and she owed me so much more than an apology. “What I did, I did only because of how much I love you. The beliefs as they are right now within the witch community? No way would you have been able to survive that. The king would have taken one look at you and killed you on sight, no questions asked and no answers needed. Which is something you girls are going to have to change. Your fire may be gone, but a flame still burns bright within you, honey. Hone your new element and let it shine through.”

My mother sucked in one long, final gasp of air. “I love you girls, all of you, and I know you will make all this right.”

With that, her eyes glazed over and her body went completely limp. Looking at my sisters, Tia and Elyssia, with tears streaming down their faces, my own remained dry. And for a brief moment, I hated them both. Which was completely unfair. It wasn’t their fault what happened, any of it. But I couldn’t help the anger I felt for them having been with this woman for their entire lives, none the wiser that I had even existed. When I looked back down at my mother’s body, I felt anger at her for abandoning me and fear at what she had left us to face. There was also the fact that she had given her element to me so that I could live. There was a turmoil of emotions dominating for control inside of me.

I allowed myself to sink deeper into Kierra’s embrace, losing myself as her lips captured mine in a kiss that went beyond physical contact and began to put a healing balm on my shattered soul. I don’t think I ever referred to her as a male, even when she was penetrating me as one. Some distant part of my brain was telling me that this time, however, I needed to help her regain control and remain in her female form. But right then, neither of us cared about anything except being as close to one another as possible.

So, when Kierra was finally able to settle on just one form, it didn’t matter to me that it was her male form. And I also didn’t stop to spell myself against getting pregnant.

I reached up and ran my hands through now shoulder-length, silky jet-black hair as Kierra deepened the kiss even more and brought my body flush against a chest that was all male and packed with smooth, hairless muscles, and an erection that was impossible to miss. At some point we both must have done away with our clothes, because before I knew it, we were already on the bed with my legs wrapped firmly around Kierra’s waist. And we made love, as male and female.

If I were being one-hundred percent honest with myself, I would admit that Kierra’s male form was exactly what I needed at that moment. I loved making love to Kierra in her female form, but that wasn’t what I needed at that particular moment in time.

Kierra entered me hard and strong, and for a couple of moments made no move, leaving her rock-hard shaft, seemingly growing in length, lying there inside of me, and rubbing my clitoris with her thick, calloused thumb. My mind blanked out of all thoughts, and primal instincts took over where all I could do was feel as Kierra began to thrust, rubbing and hitting against my walls at a perfect pace. “Harder,” I managed to say, right before I sank my fangs into the throbbing pulse point that seemed to be calling out to me.

It wasn’t long before juices began flowing out of me as Kierra let out a long stream of thick, wet heat inside my core. After a few more thrusts, we came
together once more. Without breaking our connection, Kierra rolled over so that I was the one on top, and just held me as I laid my head down on that sweaty, muscular chest. We both drifted off, content in each other’s arms, not yet ready to let reality back in.

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The Succubus, The Demon, & The Witch by T.A. Moorman Book Blitz

TSTDTW BannerThe Succubus, The Demon, & The Witch

By T. A. Moorman

Published by After Glows Publishing 3/27/2018

Paranormal/Supernatural

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Blurb:

In Underlayes, a dimension separate from our own,
where all mystical creatures reside, lies an orphanage for seemingly cast-off children, known as the Abbey. Children who are born from two or more factions.
There they learn both who and what they truly are, and what powers they have
lying within. What these children do not know is they were put there for their
own good, for their protection, not because they were unwanted or unloved. In
fact, the very opposite is true. Many would kill to get their hands on these
children.
As Jelissa comes of age, she is about to learn the
hard way to what lengths one such being is willing to go.
Jelissa has been a resident of the Abbey for as long as she has been alive. She has also never known what she is, besides being part witch. At the age of twenty-five, she will learn just what types of blood run through her veins. She will also find out much more — that she is also the long-lost princess almost no one even knew existed.
Tialanna secreted her only child away for her own protection. Before she can tell Jelissa the truth, Jelissa is kidnapped. All Tialanna’s greatest fears unfold before her very eyes, and her past comes back to haunt her in more ways than one.
As most do when they come of age, Jelissa will learn the hard way that adult life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And Tialanna learns the hard way that if you don’t learn from your past, it will come back and bite you on the ass.
Tialanna and her band of unmerry misfits are in a race against the clock to rescue Jelissa. Will they find her in time? And if they do, will they be able to save her from a danger they hadn’t anticipated: herself?
About the Author:
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When you become a Mom, you begin to put yourself last, and your
combat boots begin to collect dust. Going to your child’s PTA meetings in full
Gothic, especially industrial, regalia is pretty much frowned upon. Especially
by your own children, and your teens would die of a heart attack. But, one
should not have to completely stop being themselves, uniqueness is greatness. All
of that darkness is put into the words in her books, and designs in her jewelry
sold in her GothicMoms DarkCharms shop.
Single mother of five beautiful children, but by
far more than just that. T. A. Moorman is an artist, a former violinist, a
seamstress, a crafter, a writer, a blogger, a reviewer, a dark confidant and a
darkly dangerous, fiercely protective friend.

Author Links:

Be sure to join in on the Release Day Partay on FB:

Blog Tour: The Pariah Child & The Ever-Giving Stone by Natasha D. Lane

Blurb:

When Sarah was four, she promised her mother she would be a good girl — a proper young lady in their small country town — and that she would ignore the creatures who appeared to her and whispered in her ear of things unknown. But like all creatures of myth and legend, they won’t be ignored forever.

Now thirteen, Sarah is attacked by a wolf with poisonous black fur and strange, human-looking eyes. With the help of a few unexpected friends, she manages to survive the attack but soon discovers the creatures have returned. They want Sarah to find a powerful gemstone and bring it to them in Lyrica, their magical homeworld.

Her new friends urge caution, however. There may be more monsters like the black wolf. And the creatures themselves are frightening. Can Sarah trust them? Stuck between reality and imagination, her mother’s wishes and her own desires, Sarah faces an impossible choice – break her promise or do nothing to save a world in peril.

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Interview with Author Natasha D. Lane

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I started writing as a kid. I was probably in elementary school when I realized how much I loved writing. Eventually, it became an outlet for me. I took everything I had to hold inside and put it on paper. It started with poetry,then eventually grew to short stories, before I started my first novel. My middle school teacher Ms. Snyder was the one who saw my talent and pushed me to write my first novel. It was called (get ready for this) “An Imperfect Utopia.” Great title, right?

Anyway, I never stopped writing. I was traditionally published as a romance author in college and did that for several years, before returning to the genre that always held a special place in my heart: fantasy. Now, here I am with one of the first fantasy novels I have ever written ready to be published.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

So much! Life experiences, other stories, and just a simple desire to write.

“The Chronicles of Narnia” and the movie “Eragon” (I know, I know, it was a horrible adaption) gave me a lot of fuel to write my novel. I love the sense of pure adventure both stories have and I wanted to write something like that, too. At that time, most of the fantasy novels I read had heavy aspects of romance in them which I didn’t mind but I began to wonder what it would be like to read a story that focused on the journey and less on some love triangle, ya know?

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

Love yourself even when the world tells you that you’re somehow wrong or unlovable. Love yourself.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

Fantasy is a genre known for escapism. I think as a kid I wanted to escape from a lot of the crap that was happening. I was bullied at school and had very few good relationships with the adults in my life, so everywhere I looked there was this chaos, this negativity, and so much stuff out of my control. When I read fantasy I got to leave all of that behind.

I also got to leave some of the things I used to hate about myself behind. When I read fantasy novels I wasn’t a nerd or loser. I was a warrior going on a journey to save the world or a magician with hidden powers that no one understood. I felt like an underdog and fantasy novels are famous for turning the underdogs into the heroes of the tales.

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

Oh, good question! Hmmmm. If I had to pick, I think I’d sit down with Serwa. She’s one of the main characters in the story and a very powerful witch. I think I’d ask her how she manages to carry all the burdens she does and how she handles people’s misconceptions about her. I don’t want to go into too much detail because her background has more explanation in the sequel. However, I will say that Serwa is one of the most misunderstood characters in the series. She’s often viewed as mean or a monster when in reality she’s trying to do what she can to save everyone.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Twitter and Instagram are my favorite platforms. Specifically, Insta for readership but Twitter is good for branding and networking. I like Insta because it’s such a positive sight. Seems to me like it has less drama than other social media platforms.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

“Write your way through life.” That’s my mantra because, like any form of art, writing is an outlet. When life gets tough (which it always does) write out all madness, the beauty, the good and the ugly. It’s a healthy form of expression.

Beyond that, I’d say take any marketing classes you can and build your platform now! The sooner you build your platform, the more opportunities you’ll have to test what works best for your brand and how best to develop it.

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

Lots of new projects. After “The Pariah Child & the Ever-Giving Stone” is released into the world, I plan on publishing my second novel. It’s tentatively titled “The Woman In the Tree” and is an Arthurian legend retelling that takes a different spin on how Arthur became king. I’m already writing the book, so it won’t be too long a wait.

Once that’s done, the sequel to The Pariah Child is next on my list.

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Author Bio

Natasha Lane enjoys reading a wide variety of genres, but fantasy has always been dear to her heart. After a brief stint in romance, Natasha’s returned to fantasy and currently has two works in the making. She plans on releasing her first fantasy novel “The Pariah Child & the Ever-Giving Stone” March 22, 2018.

Natasha hopes one day to be a well known published author, whose writing informs as well as entertains her reader.

Besides being a bookworm, Natasha is a documentary junkie, rom-com addict, health advocate, entrepreneur, and chef (in her own way).

She currently resides in Baltimore, MD. Despite where life may take her, one thing is certain. Natasha will always keep writing.

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8547000.Natasha_D_Lane

Twitter: https://twitter.com/natasha_lane1

Website: https://www.natashalanewrites.com/

Excerpt: https://www.natashalanewrites.com/excerpt/

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

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Book Tour: Bleeding Hearts by Dana Provo

Title: Bleeding Hearts

Tag Line: Finding love is difficult, especially when it tries to kill you.

Genre: New adult, romantic suspense

Blurb: Orphaned at an early age, now twenty-four-year-old Camryn Lucks is ready to commit to find that special someone, and so accepts a date from a charming, gallant, handsome stranger. The last thing she imagines after accepting that first date with Carson would actually be the beginning of her worst nightmare.

Red roses, a reminder of her parents’ killer, soon become an emblem of horror for Cami as one by one, those closest to her fall victim to a serial killer. Cami becomes an obsession for Carson, the man she had finally allowed herself to love. Not only is he vying for her heart, but also her life.

Finding herself in a whirlwind of torments shadowed by the blood-colored bloom, Cami finds solace in Isaac, a neighboring police officer. She’s desperate to escape the haunting memories, but she must revisit them in order to catch her would-be killer. Living life in constant fear has driven Cami to second-guess every choice she makes. Will the police catch the illusive murderer, or will Cami be forced to face him once again?

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Short Blurb: When Cami Lucks accepted a date with a charming, gallant stranger she didn’t know it would be the beginning of her worst nightmare. She becomes an obsession for Carson, her first love. Not only is he vying for her heart, but also her life. Now Cami must work with the police to stop the illusive murderer before he finds her.

Author Bio:

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Dana Provo has always loved books and reads everything from young adult fantasy to adult historical romances. When she’s not reading or writing her next novel, Dana can be found riding her horses and getting ready for competition. Dana lives with her husband and two house plants in Richmond, Virginia.

Excerpt:

My arm trembles as I grip the cool handle of my pistol, keeping a firm grasp to ensure it doesn’t slip out of my sweaty hand. It usually stands sentry in my left nightstand to scare the nightmares away. But this isn’t a dream. The room is dark and hides the face of the man whose intent is to kill me. But I know who he is. A metallic taste fills my mouth; I want to gag. My blood drips off the blade in his hand in slow, steady beats on the carpet. My arms shake as I lift the barrel and point it in his direction. He doesn’t move. His heavy breaths alert me to the meager distance between us.

We’re at a stalemate.

A soft glow from the lamppost just outside my window casts a sliver of light on his face. His dark, beady eyes that I have grown to know rake over my body like I’m another one of his many victims. He lifts the edges of his mouth into a smile. My heart plunges into my stomach. I know what that sinister expression means, and I think back to all the times he had looked at me like that before. I had been so blind.

Before I react he lunges at me, grabbing onto my waist and twisting me to the ground. I shriek as my head slams against the bed frame. Black spots flood my vision. I squeeze my hand only to find it empty. My gun is gone. The sound of the knife clattering on the floor gives me slight hope. Not much though. He climbs up my body trying to pin my arms to the floor. I thrash my fists around, desperate to knock him off.

“Get off!” I scream, pulling on his shirt and kicking him off balance. Wrapping his hands around my arms, my attacker cuts off the circulation of blood. Rug burns flare across my skin as he drags me across the carpet. He closes his hands around my neck, shutting off my air supply. I pull at his hands but it’s no use; he has always been stronger than me. My pulse drums a frantic beat in my ears. The air slowly leaks out from my lungs, killing any hope I may have left. I search for the gun around the room; it may be my only savior now.

“Why are you doing this?” I struggle to get the words out. He squints his dark eyes. I’m wondering if there might be a chance that he will stop this madness. I am wrong.

“It’ll be over soon, sweetheart.” His hands again tighten around my neck, blocking the air from entering my lungs.

 

Social Media Links:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DanaProvo

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/icehorses12/

Blog: https://authordanaprovo.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/authordanaprovo

Amazon: https://goo.gl/aL1YR8

 

Buy Links:

Amazon: http://a.co/3z28apX

Barnes & Noble: http://fw.to/mfIx33N

iBooks: https://itun.es/us/KydHeb.l

Kobo: http://goo.gl/ea1W0W

Smashwords: http://goo.gl/r99gn5

 

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Book Release: Blood and Romance by Anthony Avina

Hi there guys. Seven years ago I released a short book of poetry called Blood and Romance. Today I updated the book to better reflect my writing, gave it a cool new cover and finally gave the book a paperback version. Now the book is available in Kindle and Paperback formats. If you enjoy good horror and romance themed poetry, then pick up this cool book for only $4 on Amazon, and best of all it’s available for Prime members (free shipping)! I hope you guys enjoy it and in the comments below if you read the book tell me your favorite poem.

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Book Blitz: Jasmine in Love by Toni Cox

Jasmine In Love

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Love. How do you define it? Is it something tangible? Hormones, pheromones, testosterone? Or is it something more elusive? Is it something the brain decides? Does your body make the decisions for you?

 

If you had asked Jasmin two years ago, she would not have been able to answer those questions. Now, however, she looked at the world differently … and not just because she was looking at a different world.

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About The Author

Toni Cox Author

Born in Germany in 1976, Toni Cox moved to South Africa in 1991. Although she has spent much of her working career in the timber wholesale business, she is also an accomplished horse rider, has a diploma in project management, photography and nutrition, and has a passion for books and all things fantasy.

From an early age, her dream had always been to put her imagination into words – give the stories life. When she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2013, she decided life is too short not to follow her dream. So, with the support of her husband and three children, she began writing book 1 of the Elemental Trilogy in January 2015.

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The Elemental Saga is a fantasy story spanning over 35 books. These stories all take place on the various Life Planets of the Milky Way galaxy. The first 4 books were published between 2016 – 2017, with 5 more books coming in 2018.

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The Andromeda Saga takes place in the Andromeda galaxy and will be a mix of sci-fi and fantasy. Hopefully, by 2020, we will see the first books of this saga published.

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Toni Cox also writes dystopian fantasy, and her first novel, Resilient, is due for release in 2018.

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The Elemental Trilogy
1. Elemental Rising
2. Elemental Betrayal
3. Forbidden Elemental

The Elemental Short Stories
1. On Fire
2. Midnight Tales
3. Jasmin In Love
4. Luke
5. Rebirth
6. The Blade of Death