Sons of Gods Blog Tour & Excerpt

SonsOfGodsTourBanner.png

Today I am thrilled to share an excerpt of Arthur J Gonzalez’s YA Fantasy, Sons of Gods. There is also an international, tour-wide giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card. So make sure that enter at the end of the post.


The Book

SonsSons of Gods
By Arthur J Gonzales
ISBN: 9780988891678
Pages: 444
Genre: Fantasy/Mythology/YA

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Long ago, the wrath of the three God brothers marked the onset of the Great War. The other Gods watched in horror, until they, too, were forced to take sides. Their beloved Mt Olympus collapsed, ruin was brought to all Divine, and the Age of Darkness gripped the world in its clutches. But a group of Gods was wise, and before their impending deaths, they had crafted a pact, committing to one day rebuilding the Territories – the Heavens, Seas, and the Underworld. It would usher in the world they protected and honored out from its darkness. And from it would rise the new Greats: the Sons of Gods.

Cienzo has always had an affliction for metal and fire; never did he anticipate it would one day translate to wielding dormant powers. It is during a journey to fulfill a promise to his dying sister, that he is plunged into a dark and magical world, and where great responsibility is bestowed upon him.

Is he worthy of assuming the throne of the Territories? Can shattering steel and splitting fire change his mind?

Purchase Links: Amazon.com  Amazon.UK


The Excerpt

KAYANA

THEY HADN’T WANDERED far from the hut, but Kayana couldn’t shake the tightening in her chest. An alarming energy enveloped her. The tiny hairs on the back of her neck tingled. She sensed something. She just wasn’t sure what. Maybe it was simply for leaving Cienzo alone in the hut.
Wild animals ran around freely. A peacock here, an elephant there, a fire-eyed phoenix just beyond them. A
couple clunked by on wooden stilts, dressed in nothing but gold-feathered briefs and enormous wings fashioned to their boots. Beside them, three drunken men engaged in a sluggish sword fight.
The music blared throughout the air. It was a blissful sound, full of hard beats and energetic strings. Zendaya glanced down at her boots—which she realized had been tapping along to the rhythm. She stopped herself. She turned her focus to the drunks that paraded and stumbled around them like fools, masks drooping sloppily from their faces. She couldn’t believe how careless people were. They had drunk themselves defenseless. In the event of an attack, a blade would barely have to be lifted to take a life. It was as if death was so desperate to be granted.
“How do these people not care?” she asked, eyes set on detecting the smallest swing in the normal rhythm of the crowd.
“That’s quite the accusation,” Caleseus said. “Some would say they are here because they care. They cherish their fallen Gods and hope that celebrating them shall directly impact the state of their afterlives. I find it admirable.”
“Admirable?” She turned to face him, breaking her concentration.
His eyes lingered on a group of men and women hoisting wooden sticks attached to the bottom of long and massive paper puppets of peacocks, lions, dolphins and serpents. Beside them, women with beautifully silver- painted faces spun torches of fire above them. Magenta flames streaked the air with outlines of flowers and birds.
“To think,” he continued. “That even after all these years, their beliefs and faiths are so strong they are willing to sacrifice their safety.”
She raised a brow at a yellow-hooded carnal bent over a barrel. A man behind her chugging from a steel flask fondled her laces, trying to pry them free. “Right. So they run around like fools …all in faith? How wise.”
Caleseus turned to her and tilted his head. “You know yourself that wisdom and practicality don’t always follow the same course.”
She knew exactly what he meant and grunted. “Okay, Cal, I get it—”
A loud shriek tore through the air. Kayana felt the terror in it, and without preamble she drew her bow and arrow. The feeling in her chest. She knew it. She launched onto Caleseus’s back, feeling the contraction of his muscles beneath her hands. She glanced up and watched as a group of Roamers spilled into the Serpent’s Head, wielding sharp, double-bladed swords dripping with the appetite for destruction. Where did they come from? How had she not noticed them? They had appeared as if from thin air, riding the backs of their winged horses, the Pegasi. Each of them was robed in the Roamer’s armor: bone helmets accented by flame-engulfed wings, half-masks with painted mandible skulls that covered only the bottom half of their faces.
“Cienzo,” Kayana gasped. “We need to hurry back to him.”
Caleseus had already spun to gallop toward the pale charcoal hut. The tightening in her chest clutched its fingers around her heart. How could she have left his side? How could she have not sensed their presence? If he was injured again—or worse—it would be on her. And there was no remedy known to even the Gods that would cleanse her soul of that guilt.
She would die before allowing that to happen.


ArthurAbout the Author

Arthur J. Gonzalez is a Young Adult author of the Photo Traveler series. Originally born in Miami, FL, you can now find him living on the West side in Los Angeles. If he’s not drinking coffee or playing with his adorable Schnoodle, Sookie, then he’s probably enjoying a nap. Also, he forgets the lyrics to nearly every song.
Follow Arthur J. Gonzalez: Website  Facebook  Goodreads  Twitter


The Giveaway

  • Tour-wide & International
  • $25.00 Amazon Gift Card
  • Not sponsored or Administered by Books, Vertigo & Tea.

Enter Here


I would like to thank Xpresso Book Tours & the author for providing me with this opportunity. You can follow the tour (April 16-20) here.

Happy Reading & Good Luck!

Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram

Interview With ‘Apparitionist’ Author, Rogan Whitenails

Today I am pleased to share an interview with Rogan Whitenails, the author of Apparitionist. This particular piece of work and correspondence has been of great significance to me, as the collection touches on very familiar & relevant themes. I am currently absorbing it all at a slow pace, as some things must not be rushed.

The Book

apparitionist.jpgApparitionist
By Rogan Whitenails
Publisher: Indoor Fighting Press
ISBN: 9780953456635
Pages: 88
Genre: Poetry

goodreads-badge-add-plus

This unique book of prologue poems with frayed ends, rhyming couplets with obsessively counted syllables, at 6 by 9 inches may not fit into your back pocket, but you will want to carry its secrets around with you always. Together the poems form an existentialist novella about a man outside his own time and a study of empathy and pity. The front cover painting by Andrew Salgado is another secret, a parergon to the artist’s Storytelling era, which has never been exhibited. The book is introduced by Ned Raggett who offers his own thoughts on the Apparitionist.


Interview With Rogan Whitenails

Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself? How would you describe yourself as a writer?

Whenever I greet people in the street, I’m likely to simper at them slightly as I say “Morning” or “Hello”, and then I invariably let out a weak laugh, which is involuntary. I’ve often tried to suppress this laugh, but can’t seem to bottle it up. It always comes out, a little nervous giggly sound, and, despite it only being audible to me, I find it infuriating. Then there are sides to my character that show me to be far less worried about public approval or validation, a side that allows me to cope well in an emergency, so that I can talk fluently to paramedics, and a side that can tear a strip off someone who’s upset one of my loved ones in some way. This disregard for approval is evident in my writing, but so is that irrepressible simpering laugh. I do have a strong sense of empathy, however, which is perhaps what defines my work more than anything, though I resist the didactic approach.

My speech patterns in social situations mark me out as an eccentric, and can alienate me quite quickly, and these ways of speaking mirror my literary idiom. I will often use highfalutin and bamboozling language in a social setting, and, as with that little laugh, I can’t seem to stop myself. But then in contrast, for example, someone will express some uncalled for annoyance with my driving, and, without thinking, I’ll get out of my car and hear myself shout in a Basildon accent, “You got a problem mate?” Going from eloquence to base inarticulacy manifests in my writing as bathos.

I know that you and I have spoken about Apparitionist, but could you please share some of your inspiration behind the collection for others?

I was interested in making use of several techniques in the writing of my book. I’ve already mentioned bathos. I find it a useful, playful way of wrong-footing the reader: just when they think they have me pegged, the prevailing colours in a poem will digress.

Colour was at the forefront of writing the poems, not only because I’ve always seen colours whenever I hear sounds, but because I’d made a decision to work closely with painters, mainly Andrew Salgado. Andrew’s style of painting is always developing, and he too seems to enjoy wrong-footing people, but essentially his style is recognisably gestural. I would write to/stalk Andrew, and he would occasionally reply, and my book took some if its shape from my thoughts about his work.

One other technique worth mentioning is a process that I call “Evanescing”. “Poets ninth removed from the Somme, deprived of generous hell, will glom onto trifles,” is a line from one of my early poems, and the motif that runs through much of my work. Of course I feel immensely grateful and privileged to have never seen conflict first hand, but I’ve often wondered what my role as a poet might be potentially. I wanted to write about conflict in our world, the devastation in its wake, but was unsure how I could go about this without appearing crass. I also wanted to stay clear of didactics. I came up with the idea of using this evanescing approach, which allows me to travel without moving from my location, at all times making clear that I know who I am and where I am, but seeing through empathy others’ desperate situations.

What has been the most challenging aspect of writing Apparitionist?

The words fall into place pretty fast when they do come, and so on a practical level it has been hard to get them down quickly enough on occasion, especially when I’ve been interrupted by prosaic but unavoidable activities like needing to go to the toilet or eat. In fact, there is much about going to the toilet in this book, as there is about eating. I explore why, oddly, notions of both promote strong feelings of empathy within me. It has something to do with how these bodily functions are related to milestones in our early development, and can be taken away in a stroke.

Likewise, what has been the most rewarding part of the writing process?

There was a realisation, after I had written quite a lot of the poems, that they were not simply individual pieces, but were instead forming a homogenous narrative about someone who is reviewing their life after their death. It was unexpected, perhaps, but felt very natural at the same time, and has sparked a new energy in my work: keep writing, revisit themes, and a wider story will emerge.

Do you currently have a work in progress that you could tell us about or any upcoming ideas?

Since publishing my book, I’ve realised that the reference point for my narrative has shifted away from the Apparitionst towards a different character, which I’m calling Flâneur-fabular. For anyone who is interested, this subtly new perspective is unfurling and free to read on my Blogspot.

Do you spend a lot of time reading? If so, what would be your favorite genre?

I do spend a lot of time reading novels, but because of my obsessive tendencies, I make painfully slow progress, and tend to get slower towards the end of a book as I re-read each passage. To counter this obsessiveness, I intersperse novel-reading with poems. At the moment I’m reading The Book of Monelle by Marcel Schwob in tandem with the selected poetry of Herbert Read. I like a central character that is profoundly introspective, I suppose, which one finds across the genres.

Do you have one book or author that you draw inspiration from and would recommend?

A poet I hold in the highest esteem is Gerard Manley Hopkins. He illustrates to me why poetry is the greatest art form. That’s my view. People will often praise a poem by saying it’s so good, it is close to music. Poetry is not “almost” music; to say that is doing it a disservice. It has an oral dimension and tradition, obviously, but its power lies in the fact that it makes use of quietude and is ineffably inside of you, as much like a prayer as a song. Other poets I like very much are Nizar Qabbani and Celia Dropkin, whose work is hard to find in print.

I’ve also been a long-time admirer of the lyrics and literary work, blogs etc, of Nick Currie, aka Momus. I find him fascinating, how much of his work manages to be simultaneously tender and unnerving. I write to him/stalk him sometimes too.

Can you please share something with us about yourself that we would not know from your bio?

People may be surprised to hear this, but I spend rather too much of my time wondering why I’m not more liked, why my work is not more recognised. I confess that I would like to be more popular, but at the same time, I can never compromise. No space but this thin place for me, as art’s consensii sits entrenched, but I will not mimic.

And I have to ask, as I always do, do you drink tea? If so, what would be your favorite blend?

My favourite is camomile tea, which I drink with the bag on its string left in the cup.


image1About The Author

Whitenails is a writer of prologue poems and rhyming couplets with obsessively counted syllables. Since the age of 21, he has suffered from a neurological condition that affects his balance. His book, Apparitionist, a study of empathy and pity, was published by Indoor Fighting Press in November 2017. Its poems build to form an existentialist novella about a man outside his own time. He is seen as an outsider, and is rarely published in magazines. His poems are more likely to appear in the exhibition catalogues of artists with whom he has established a creative bond.
 
Buy his book:  Amazon.com  Amazon UK

Follow his blog here.


I want to extend my appreciation to the author for this wonderful review and my copy of Apparition.

Happy Reading,

Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram

Drift Stumble Fall Blog Tour: Author Interview with M. Jonathan Lee

I am thrilled to take part in the Drift Stumble Fall blog tour. The book is available the 12th of April, 2018 through Hideaway Fall, and today I have a wonderful interview with author M Jonathan Lee for you.

The Book

Full-cover-final-353x539Drift Stumble Fall
By M. Jonathan Lee
Available 4/12/18
Publisher: Hideaway Fall
ISBN: 9780995492349
Pages: 310

goodreads-badge-add-plus

Richard feels trapped in his hectic life of commitment and responsibility.  From the daily mayhem of having young children, an exhausted wife and pushy in-laws who frequently outstay their welcome, Richard’s existence fills him with panic and resentment. The only place he can escape the dark cloud descending upon him is the bathroom, where he hides for hours on end, door locked, wondering how on earth he can escape.

Often staring out of his window, Richard enviously observes the tranquil life of Bill, his neighbour living in the bungalow across the road.  From the outside, Bill’s world appears filled with comfort and peace.  Yet underneath the apparent domestic bliss of both lives are lies, secrets, imperfections, sadness and suffering far greater than either could have imagined.  Beneath the surface, a family tragedy has left Bill frozen in time and unable to move on.  As he waits for a daughter who may never return, Bill watches Richard’s bustling family life and yearns for the joy it brings.  As the two men watch each other from afar, it soon becomes apparent that other people’s lives are not always what they seem.

Purchase Drift Stumble Fall:  Amazon.com  Amazon UK


Interview With M. Jonathan Lee

Before we get into books, I know that you are a very active mental health awareness campaigner and advocate. Could you tell us a bit more about that and Mind, Time to Change and Rethink today?

Yeah, sure. I lost my brother to suicide in 2004, just before my twins were born. Ten years earlier he’d already tried to take his own life (surviving a jump from a multi-storey) so mental health has always been something huge in my life. I was at a very low point when I wrote my first novel and in hindsight saw it as my legacy. Writing, without question, saved my life. I have written for the above named charities and I am working with Mind now to launch a mental health website. Something new, to keep people alive.

Were you able to draw on some of your own personal experiences while developing Drift Stumble Fall and the protagonist Richard?

Yep, absolutely. When I was very depressed, I remember clearly driving past Christmas lights in people’s windows and absolutely wishing I was them. It all looked so warm and cosy. So desirable. I would have traded lives at that moment, without even knowing what their lives were like.

What was your favorite aspect of writing Drift Stumble Fall, was there perhaps a favorite scene or specific elements that you enjoyed the most?

That’s a great question. I absolutely feel that DSF is a story of positivity. I really do. At the time I was writing it, I’d say to my wife, this is a story of hope. I loved throwing in the scenes where the family watch Jurassic Park and Titanic. Though, I absolutely loved writing Bill and Rosie’s story.

When I read, character development is everything. There has to be a certain amount of viability and connection. How do you ensure that your characters remain relatable to readers?

I always write from the perspective that I am simply chronicling something that is happening in front of me. Almost like watching a play. I am a very down to earth, observant person from the north of England. Most of my characters I have met somewhere down the line and I can almost hear them speaking when I write.

Now that you have published several titles, how has your writing process changed, or has it?

Certainly. I could spend an evening telling people how not to write. My first novels were written chronologically, with meticulous time spent making sure every sentence was perfect. There are two issues here. The first is that if you write in order you may get in from an awful day and then have to write a happy scene. This automatically causes issues because you have to try to change your mindset. Instead, if its been a bad day, I write something bad. The piecing together of the novel comes at the end. Secondly, if a sentence doesn’t work in thirty seconds, I highlight it and move on. That way everything flows. When I come to the edit I have maybe a hundred sentences to change.

I have to often wonder how authors feel about their own books being reviewed. It has to be a somewhat emotional or perhaps stressful process. Do you read your book reviews and if so, how do you handle any criticism that you encounter?

Yes, I do, and I suppose I wish I didn’t. Writing is my life; I love it. So when a new novel comes out I read perhaps that first thirty or forty reviews to make sure that people understand what I was trying to put across. If they do I’m happy. I don’t mind a bad review, after all I am comfortable that everyone can’t like everything.

How long do you spend researching before starting a new story or is this an ongoing process?

It is totally an ongoing process. I spend no time with research because I write about every day life. I write about things that happen around me, with an added twist of course.

If you had the choice to rewrite any of your books, would you?

That’s a fantastic question. Hmm. The answer is a definite no, but only because the earlier books are a snapshot in time of how I wrote then. Don’t get me wrong I am hugely proud of the first two but there are parts now, that I would write differently. Of course, part three of the trilogy is yet to come.

As a writer, which books or authors have you drawn the most inspiration from? Any recommendations?

I’ve always loved Mark Haddon. I love how he forms sentences. I also love Yann Martell and have read everything Nick Hornby.

Last but least, I always ask, do you drink tea and if so, what is your favorite blend?

I love tea. Almost black one sugar. And simple Yorkshire Tea, of course.


RLT18-200x300About the Author

M Jonathan Lee is a Yorkshire-based author and mental health awareness campaigner. He began writing seriously in 2006, shortly after the suicide of his brother, Simon, and his own struggle with anxiety and depression.  It took nearly five years for Jonathan to write his first novel, The Radio – a black- comedy which deals with suicide which was shortlisted for the Novel Prize 2012 (for unpublished authors) and subsequently published in 2013.

Jonathan campaigns tirelessly to remove the stigma associated with mental health problems and works closely with various mental health charities including MindTime to Change and Rethink, frequently blogs for the Huffington Post and is a regular guest on BBC Radio Sheffield talking about mental health. He regularly speaks in local schools and colleges on writing and mental health and is currently spearheading a local outreach project in which local churches provide assistance to those affected by anxiety and depression. Before writing full-time, Jonathan held a senior position in a FTSE100 company.  He lives in Barnsley, Yorkshire, with his second wife, five children, two cats and a dog.

Follow M. Jonathan Lee:  Website  Twitter  Facebook


Follow the Tour

Blog Poster Complete

I would like to thank M. Jonathan Lee and Hideaway Fall for this opportunity and their time!

Happy Reading,

Danielle ❤

Connect With Me: FacebookTwitterTumblr and Instagram