Q and A with #paranormal #romance author Jessica Kong

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to a new author who I’ve met. Jessica Kong is a paranormal author specializing in Science fiction settings. Her latest book, A SEACAT’S LOVE was recently released and is already pulling in praise. I asked Jessica to come speak with my readers today and she graciously took time out of her crazy-busy holiday schedule to do so.

For readers who’ve never met you can you tell us a little about yourself, so my readers can get to know you?

Author Jessica KongJessica Kong: My name is Jessica Kong. My writing career began with the publication of the first two books in the Sea-anan Saga, A Lost Kitten and A Forgotten Kitten. The themes and story lines of my books are based on my real-life experience in an interracial marriage. I also incorporate experiences my triplets went through growing up, like being treated as outsiders by kids who weren’t minorities or multiracial, or, now that they’re older, being labeled or avoided. My books have a message about not judging others before you get to know them. Also, by making the differences between races more exaggerated, I emphasize how, when you look past the tiny factor of race, we all share the same basic needs, desires, and cultures.

Care to tell us a little about your novel A Seacat’s Love?

Jessica: A Seacat’s Love is a science-fiction action-romance about a grieving government spy and a humanoid feline scientist who meet in the corridors of a secret laboratory during an attempted escape. The first book in the Oceanan Trilogy, it’s an exciting action-adventure with themes of friendship, honor, and trust as well as doing what’s right, not being too quick to judge—and intergalactic love.
Rick McCall is a spy who can’t forgive himself for making the bad choice that led to the death of his wife and unborn daughter. Leonora is a brilliant scientist and high-ranking Seacat Warrior from the planet Oceana who is captured by the human army, imprisoned, and secretly subjected to experiments by government agents. All it takes is one look into her pale blue eyes, when Leonora collides with him during her attempt at freedom, for Rick’s heart to stir and his life to change its course.
When he discovers that Leonora’s claims about the government experimentation are true, Rick sees that he must help her and her colleague, Tigif, escape the planet, at great risk to his life and career. As they try to retrieve the aliens’ ship while avoiding a massive government dragnet, Tigif’s treachery turns out to be more than an obstacle to the growing relationship between these two people of different worlds, and his advances on Leonora become more and more forceful.
Combining the imagination of science fiction, the steamy passion of a romance, the thrills of an action-adventure, and the all-too-human conflict of a drama, A Seacat’s Love will appeal to a wide audience of readers. And fans of the Sea-anan Saga will be thrilled to find out how the parents of the multiracial protagonists they’ve met in books one and two come together.

What inspired the story of A Seacat’s Love?

Jessica: Shortly after my triplets were born, I sat in front of my computer hoping to escape into a world that I had complete control of. As I played my video game, I thought of a scene from a black and white romance movie that I once saw. It was a couple laying on the beach in an intimate embrace as the incoming waves washed over them. While I continued to play, I also recalled my favorite books and movies. Even though the stories were great, there was always something I wished the characters had done differently. This led me to ask the ‘what if’ question. What if the man on the beach was a secret agent and the woman he held in his arms was an alien from another world that he was protecting from his government? What if this alien humanoid evolved from felines? My mind began showing me a storyline heading in a different direction than the movie’s. I found it interesting and fun, so I turned off my computer game and opened up a word document and started typing. My new ‘escape from a chaotic world’ was created.
As I wrote about this blossoming romance, the couple became more real to me. Their story continued to unravel in my head. It began to include family members, best friends, traveling into space, even a timeline. As my triplets grew, I wrote storyline after storyline from that one beach scene, eventually writing my first book ever, “A Seacat’s Love”, a science fiction romance of how that human spy and alien feline met.

You’ve self-published several titles, what made you jump into self-publishing and have you been pleased with the results? Does it live up to your expectation?

Jessica: In the beginning, my plan was to go the traditional route. However, I read how more and more authors were leaving the publishing houses and going solo. The higher royalties and total control over book content was definitely a plus for me, and the reason I decided to go at it alone. For the most part, being self-published is great. The only downside for me is the time I have to spend self-promoting. Time spent on promoting is time away from writing. Then again, if you don’t promote, you don’t sell.

I hear that! Is there anything you haven’t yet achieved in your career—or any specific thing you haven’t written about yet—that you dream of doing some day?

Jessica: I have yet to reach the top bestseller list, have yet to receive 100 reviews, have yet to win any awards. :) I say I have a lot of growing, learning, and improving to do.

What’s on tap next for you? Any new manuscripts in the works, currently?

Jessica: At the present, I am working on the third installment to the Sea-anan Saga called, “A Kitten’s Tale”. :) This is the story about Mathew McCall, Areo’s twin brother. I will show how he is reunited with his childhood friend and relative, Sev, the king of the purebloods. I will also show how he meets Serena, the woman that stirs up deeply suppressed feelings of hatred and betrayal in Mathew towards the race that had tossed his family to the curb like garbage. Their relationship has its ups and downs during their trip to the Sea-anan Empire on board a White Star. I plan to publish this book before next year’s end.

Sounds like you are going to be busy in 2015.  Where can people find out more about you and your works?

Jessica: All my books are on sale at the following locations.

My Amazon US Author Page

My Amazon UK Author Page

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/jessica-a-kong

Books-A-Million.

A Seacat's Love by Jessica A. KongAbout A Seacat’s Love:

In the first book of the Sea-anan Saga, A Lost Kitten, readers meet John McCall. The second book, A Forgotten Kitten, features Areo McCall. Both of these intriguing protagonists are children of an intergalactic marriage. Now, fans of the saga will be thrilled to learn the story of how their parents get together.

A Seacat’s Love takes readers back in time to planet Earth, where Rick McCall is committed to living the lonely life of a government spy after losing his wife and unborn daughter due to his own arrogance and poor decisions.

Leonora, one of the top scientists on the planet of Oceana and a high-ranking Seacat Warrior, is a humanoid feline who has come to Earth to study human evolution and find similarities between earthlings and oceanans. But her expedition’s camp is stormed by the human army.

Rick and Leonora first encounter each other at a secret military lab during the cat woman’s attempt to escape her captors. When she collides with Rick in a corridor, Leonora begs for his help, claiming that the government has been experimenting on her, and one look into the frightened feline’s pale-blue eyes is enough to stir the hardened spy’s heart. For Leonora, the spark ignites in her chest after Rick dares to defy his government and his own commanding officer to aid her and her colleague Tigif. She recognizes the nobility in this selfless act of helping strangers—aliens from another world, no less!

Now committed to helping Leonora and Tigif remain safely out of the clutches of a wrongful government and find a way back to their home planet, Rick faces many difficult choices—but he doesn’t want to repeat the past and make another devastatingly wrong decision. His relationship with Leonora grows in fits and starts, constantly undermined by Tigif’s devious plots, and Leonora is threatened by Tigif’s increasingly forceful advances. As they avoid a massive government dragnet, fight off dangerous feline fevers, and try to retrieve the aliens’ ship, heated emotions of jealousy, distrust, and resentment that arise in the confusion put their very lives in jeopardy.

Author Jessica Kong seamlessly blends multiple themes into her Sea-anan Saga and Oceanan Trilogy books, including loyalty, racism, family, and love. In A Seacat’s Love, the theme of multiracial relationships is particularly prominent, where the difference in race between the two protagonists is exaggerated to galactic proportions. As in all of the volumes in the series, this book shows how fundamentally similar we all really are when it comes to our basic needs, desires, and even cultures.

But readers don’t have to be fans of the saga to enjoy A Seacat’s Love. The novel stands on its own as an exciting and exotic science-fiction action-romance. Though it is an adult-content book, it is written in simple language that is easy to read—and even easier to get caught up in. Its cross appeal to science-fiction enthusiasts, romance lovers, action-adventure fans, and anyone who enjoys exploring human nature through the lens of creative imagination makes it attractive to a wide audience.

Thank you for being with us, Jessica! And best wishes on your series, and for your forthcoming books. We will be looking forward to them! Folks, if you’d like to learn more about Jessica Kong, see her website at:

http://www.seaanan.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jessica-Kong/155150417957328

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/AreoMc

Good reads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6533956.Jessica_Kong

And you can find all her works at the above links. We hope you enjoyed this conversation, have a lovely day, and as ever, keep reading!

Scratch til it bleeds…A little flash fiction

Best laid plans and all…

I was going to participate in a “call” for flash fiction awhile ago that I saw on one of my author groups, but you know…I just kept coming up with stuff that didn’t work. It was either longer than I think the call-er takes (the guidelines asked for 300 words) or it didn’t end happily. ;) So, for your giggles, here’s what I came up with.

The picture for the prompt looked something like this:

cowboys, flash fiction, shapeshifter fiction, shape shifter fiction, paranormal

Note the fact that the dude has no hair on his chest (or at least I don’t see any in the picture). Looking at this, a little shapeshifter story popped into my head for your Halloween reading pleasure. It goes something like this: (**Might have a bit of language some of you might consider offensive. Be warned).

Scratch til it bleeds

Once king of the Known Savanna the humans bested him. He couldn’t remember now how it happened.

The concubine’s soulless eyes swept over them; one after another she scrutinized the men standing in line with him.

Balless twits the lot of them. And every one of them shaved clean. He’d never known such a shifter pride to be so chicken. Every one of the shifters beside him exuded an arrogance he didn’t deserve. Did they see what they’d given up for a chance in her bed?

He kicked himself for he followed the example. Pride, survival? T’was a hard call.

His skin itched from the shave he’d given himself trying to blend in with the conqueror. Foolish move, that. He’d give anything right now, to scratch! But she watched. And he wouldn’t let her know she’d won. Be still. Overlooked. Freedom awaits!

“You!” she said.

He touched his hat. “Ma’am.” Damn. Caught. Time was, he’d crept across the savanna like a hunter, not the hunted. You’ve grown weak, son.

She pointed at him.

The guards grabbed his arms and escorted him into her quarters. Opulence oozed from the walls, but the furs gracing the bed and marble floor made him shiver. Lion, leopard. His kin.

His skin itched as his fur wiggled beneath the human facade. He couldn’t help himself; he drew his sheared-short fingernails across his chest. Damn playing a human was hard!

She shut the door and slid out of her robes, standing naked before him.

“Really, now.” She stalked closer, as if he were the prey and she the lioness in tall grass. “Why do you scratch?”

He gave her a cheeky grin. “Come here and I’ll show you.”

She removed his hat, pushed him down on the bed, and stripped him of his jeans.  Her caressing hands made it hard to concentrate.

She kept missing the right spot!

His lush golden fur wouldn’t be contained; as it slipped through his skin relief flooded him.  “That’s why,” he said.

She screamed bloody murder… His claws came out…

He dropped her corpse and scratched, sighing relief. Satisfied, he picked up his hat, wondering, were the thin blood streaks across his chest from her claws, or his?

***

Hehe. I hope you enjoyed this little bit of flash fiction

copyright 2014, Juli D. Revezzo

*Sorry. I do not know the photographer of the above cowboy. It was just provided as part of the prompt.

Launching…Michael S. Fedison’s The Eye-dancers in paperback

I’ve been following Michael S. Fedison and his intriguing novel The Eye-Dancers for a while now, so when he told me he had a new edition of it, I asked him to come tell you, my readers, a little more about it.  He kindly agreed. Michael, you have the floor….

The Eye-Dancers, a Young Adult sci-fi/fantasy novel that explores the very concept of what we term “reality,” has been available as an ebook since late 2012, and while it was a great feeling releasing the novel as an ebook, it is especially rewarding at this time to release it in paperback form.
What is The Eye-Dancers about?  Here is a quick synopsis! . . .

The Eye-Dancers by Michael S. FedisonSeventh-grader Mitchell Brant and three of his classmates inexplicably wake up at the back edge of a softball field to the sounds of a game, the cheering of the crowd. None of them remembers coming here. And as they soon learn, “here” is like no place they’ve ever seen. Cars resemble antiques from the 1950s. There are no cell phones, no PCs. Even the spelling of words is slightly off.

A compulsive liar, constantly telling fantastic stories to garner attention and approval, Mitchell can only wish this were just one more of his tall tales. But it isn’t. It’s all too real. Together, as they confront unexpected and life-threatening dangers, Mitchell and his friends must overcome their bickering and insecurities to learn what happened, where they are, and how to get back home.

The answers can be found only in the mysterious little girl with the blue, hypnotic eyes. The one they had each dreamed of three nights in a row before arriving here. She is their only hope. And, as they eventually discover, they are her only hope.

And time is running out.

I also wanted to include an excerpt.  What follows is a portion of the opening sequence in the novel . . .

Peering out his bedroom window, his eyes flattened into squinting slits, Mitchell Brant saw her.

“No,” he said.  “It can’t be her.  It can’t be.”

But it was.  She had come again.

He looked away, at the night-shadows on the floor, at the sheets jumbled and strewn on his bed.  Maybe she wasn’t really out there.  Maybe it was just an illusion, some odd distortion of the light.

He looked out the window.

She was still there.

He felt the fine hairs at the nape of his neck stand up.  Gooseflesh, cold against the stifling humidity filtering in through the open window, speckled his forearms.

The girl was standing under the streetlamp, looking straight in at him—the same way she had last night and the night before.  She was just a child, probably no more than seven years old—his sister’s age.  What was she doing out in the street, alone, well past midnight?  Was she a runaway?  And why had she come three nights in a row?

I asked Michael a few questions about the book, here’s what he said. :)

What inspired the story of The Eye-Dancers?

Michael: Actually, the germ of the idea began decades ago!  When I was in high school, I had a nightmare I never did forget.  In the dream, there was a little girl, maybe seven years old, standing out in the road, beneath the street lamp.  The light from the lamp streamed right through her–she was more ghost than girl.  In the dream, I was looking out through my bedroom window, and she saw me, beckoning me with an index finger to come outside.

I sensed, more than knew, that she wanted to take me somewhere–perhaps the cemetery, or some version of limbo where I might forever remain, a prisoner.  When I woke up, my bedsheets were jumbled in a heap at the foot of my bed.  I was sweating, my heart beating too fast and too hard. 

Once I managed to get my bearings, I realized I had some very gripping material for a story.  (Even back then, I wrote all the time–I’ve always needed an outlet for my imagination!)  I jotted down the pertinent details of the dream, determined to include this “ghost girl” into a story.  Over the next few weeks, I tried, but nothing worked.  It appeared the “ghost girl” might remain on the fringe, never able to fit into a workable story.

Then, two decades later, I experienced the same dream!  But this time, upon waking, the idea for The Eye-Dancers was in place.  When I had gone to sleep the previous night, I had nothing.  Then, in a flash, after a restless night, I had a novel to write.  The creative process never ceases to amaze me. 

The opening scene of The Eye-Dancers, where Mitchell Brant, one of the novel’s main characters, has a nightmare of the “ghost girl,” mirrors my own dream. 

Finally, after twenty years, the “ghost girl” had a home, after all.

Who’s your favorite character in the book?
Michael: Mitchell Brant is one of four main characters in The Eye-Dancers.  He was the most personal character for me–by that I mean, he shares several of my own characteristics at that age.  In that sense, he is the character I feel the strongest kinship with.
That said, Marc Kuslanski, the science wiz, was awfully fun to write for. I’ve always had a soft spot for the science genius/know-it-all/idiosyncratic character.
Is there a particular intriguing tidbit you’d like to share about The Eye-Dancers?
The parallel world where Mitchell and his friends find themselves is loosely based on 1950s America.  I wasn’t even born in the ’50s, but nevertheless, I have always been drawn to the decade.  The styles of the ’50s have always called out to me.  It was fun incorporating this element into an alternate reality novel.
Is there a secret about Mitchell and his pals you can tell us that your readers might not know?

Michael: Actually, the four main characters–Mitchell Brant, Joe Marma, Ryan Swinton, and Marc Kuslanski–are all inspired by friends I knew growing up.  I still keep in touch with them, even after all these years. 

What authors might you list as particular influences?
Ray Bradbury would have to top the list.  His unparalleled enthusiasm and imagination have always inspired me.  Truman Capote is a master wordsmith.  When I want a primer in how to write well, I simply open up one of his stories.  Stephen King’s characterization, an underrated quality to his writing, has left a mark as well.  His characters tend to be well-rounded and real.  And, though a different medium, the original black-and-white Twilight Zone has always been a favorite.  The Twilight Zone features numerous landmark episodes that stretch the imagination and yet, at the same time, force us to look inward–at our society, our values, ourselves.  One of the greatest shows in television history, without question.
Now for a fun question: if you could face and vanquish any literary (or movie) villain, who would it be?
Michael: Hmm.  That is very interesting!  This is where my comic book geekiness will come out.  Who else but Doctor Doom?
Uh oh! Remind me never to get on your bad side! ;)Finally, do you have any forthcoming projects you’d like to share with our readers? What’s next for you, now that The Eye-Dancers is released?
Michael: A short story collection is in the works.  And I am currently writing the sequel to The Eye-Dancers.  The sequel takes place five years after the conclusion of The Eye-Dancers.  Writing for the characters now that they’re older–one year away from heading off to college–has been a very interesting and fun experience.  I can’t wait to see how it all turns out!

As part of The Eye-Dancers coming out in hard-copy format, I am running a special promo for the ebook.  Until September 30, 2014, The Eye-Dancers, the ebook, will be on sale for just 99 cents.  Please grab a copy today!
At Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Eye-Dancers-ebook/dp/B00A8TUS8M
At B &N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-eye-dancers-michael-s-fedison/1113839272?ean=2940015770261
At Smashwords:  http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/255348

And, if you’d like to buy a hard copy! . . .

http://www.amazon.com/The-Eye-Dancers-Michael-S-Fedison/dp/0692262784/ref=tmm_pap_title_0
Or . . .

https://www.createspace.com/4920627

Sounds great, Michael. Good luck with it!

author Michael S. FedisonAbout Michael:

Michael S. Fedison was born in Rochester, New York, and now lives with his wife, Sarah, and regal cat, Luke, in the green hills of central Vermont. Michael has been writing creatively for as long as he can remember, and has had short fiction published in several literary magazines, including Iconoclast and The Written Word. He works as a full-time technical writer and also is a freelance proofreader and copy editor.

Michael has been a lover of imaginative stories his entire life. He enjoys any story that takes you by the hand, lifts you up, and transports you to another place, a new and creative way of looking at the world around us.

Connect with Michael at his blog: http://eyedancers.wordpress.com/

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/msfedison27
At The Eye-Dancers Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Eye-Dancers/213004492164436
And at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6592469.Michael_S_Fedison
*********************

I think The Eye-Dancers sounds really intriguing, don’t you folks? Best of luck, again, Michael, and thanks for being here!

Indie Book of the Day

I was awarded Indie Book of The Day award for Changeling’s Crown for September 1st, 2014.

IBD winner :) Pretty nifty, huh?

Changeling's Crown; Juli D. Revezzo; fairy godmother; paranormal romance

Cover art by Boulevard Photografica

If you’d like to read it, Changeling’s Crown is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and Createspace.

 

 What a nice surprise on Labor Day. I had to share.:)

 

I hope you all have a good one!

Twitter 101–or public service announcement for writers…and anyone else who needs it.

twitterOne of the things we’re always told, as writers, is that we must blog, blog, blog. The second most important thing once you’ve blogged (and this can be true for any other kind of blogger too) is that people must share your blogging. That’s not all that hard in this day and age. Most blogging systems provide gadgets that a reader can click to open your post up on Facebook, Twitter, and the like.

Not all of them, but some. (Sometimes you have to go to Add This and open an account to get code to place in your blog post to allow others to share your stuff.) But I digress from the point of this post. Those of you that have wordpress.com blogs can set up your blog posts to share to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and whatever else when you publish your post. Nifty cool, right? Continue reading

Mila A. Ballantine: Best Sellers & Other Worthy Mentions

 

Best Sellers

 

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Thin Skin Soul Pinned  

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Blurb:

Exotic items are invaluable and some only come around once in a lifetime. Marie Tousant, a native of the Bayou, finds herself in a dilemma when practitioners of the dark arts embark on an eternal hunt. An opposing force materializes and shares secrets that may save her from the grasp of evil. Fortunately, her allies are willing to protect her, even if it cost them their lives.

 

 Book Trailer:

 

 

Download a copy here >>  B&N / Smashwords / Amazon 

 

 

 

THIN SKIN SOUL PINNED has a sequel:

 

 

 

 

Download a copy here >> Amazon / B&N

 

 

Blurb:

 

While on a road trip, two friends make a pit stop in a quaint town. They spend more time there than they anticipated. It’s debatable if they’ll ever reach their destination or if they’ll live.

 

Download a copy here >> B&N / Smashwords / Amazon 

 

desolate terrain

 

 

Author Bio

Mila A. Ballentine is a mystery writer who doesn’t shy away from writing about things that grasp the core of her imagination. Her writing is an extension of her mind’s eye and there is always an element of truth in each of her books. She studied Creative Writing and Communication Arts at a City University of New York. When she’s not writing, she enjoys traveling or doing anything that allows her to put her creative energy to use.

What can you expect from a book written by Mila A. Ballentine?

“Author Mila A. Balletine’s originality shines through all of her stories. She is creative, adventurous, and honest about everything that goes into the pages of her books. If Mila were to get lost in the woods, she would use her time wisely. Her senses would be alert and her creativity would skyrocket through the roof.  Mila would find a way to write a story on a leaf. Besides Mila being a good author, she is bubbly, outgoing, and extremely shy, but don’t let her coyness fool you.  Her characters are strong, honest, and ready to jump into an adventure without hesitations.” ~ S.J. Dennery

In her own words…

My writing style is an extension of my wide-ranging imagination. I try to write my stories as if I have walked in the character’s shoes. Like most of my characters, I have many-sides. I enjoy exploring the struggles, triumphs, and vulnerabilities in their lives. After all, they are an important part of the story. Therefore, I strive to make the reader care about what happens in their lives.

She’s also graciously included me in her giveaway, so for another chance to win a copy of my latest book (ebook only), Changeling’s Crown, fill out the form at this rafflecopter link below. Giveaway ends June 20.