More books and about that vacation

As i said in a previous post or two I went on vacation last week, so didn’t get a whole lot of books like usual. I went to visit family and also got to tour the Lookout Mountain and Chickamauga battlefields in Tennessee. (Y’all saw the “ghost” right? It was the only one I *might* have seen. If there were more there, they were being gentlemen. (See why Caitlin loves her soldier ghost in the Antique Magic series, folks?) Anyway, the battlefield tour was so totally cool! :) I’ve been geeking out over the history of the two since then and reading whatever I can on it (slowpoke though I am about reading). Oh my gosh! It was so neat. Fear of heights, mainly forgotten. For a little while anyway. :) (Yes, I am a geek)

So these are what I got my hands on and am starting to poke through.

shermaninvadesjscalesSherman Invades Georgia by John R. Scales (who, yes, I went to the battlefield with so it is signed to me by the author! :)See that line above about geeking out at Lookout Mountain ;)).

Synopsis:

A longtime Special Forces officer with a Ph.D. in systems engineering presents a new perspective on one of the legendary campaigns of the Civil War, General William T. Sherman’s invasion of Georgia. Unlike most Civil War books that either treat individual battles and campaigns in a historical sense and give short shrift to planning, or study campaign planning with snippets from various campaigns to document specific features, General John Scales’s book takes advantage of modern planning techniques to fully examine what went into the Georgia campaign. He has limited the information in his book to that possessed by General Sherman at the time, as documented in his correspondence during the campaign and not in his after-the-fact reports and autobiography. Laid out in chapters that follow the format of an “estimate of the situation,” this book doesn’t simply recount the facts or attempt to provide a definitive history – other books do that – rather it offers a narrative of the campaign that illustrates a logical decision-making process as formulated in modern times. Published in cooperation with the Associations of the United States Army, the book serves two audiences: military professionals can use it for training purposes and Civil War buffs and interested laymen can gain a sense of the uncertainty that real commanders face by not having all the records of both sides at hand.

I also got: Union Soldier of the American Civil War (a Visual Reference) by Denis Hambucken and Chris Benedetto. (Yes, I bought a book about the North on the Southern battlefield’s store. Why, yes. I was blushing and ducking! But it’s for research,I swear!)

(Yes, I do kinda wish I’d gotten the companion Confederate Soldier of the American Civil War too). Are they suggesting story ideas? You bet. I’ve already got a WIP cooking. (*shh* If the muse hears me talking she’ll throw a  hissy fit). We’ll see what happens.

Faeries on parade! Otherwise known as a book tour.

Changeling's Crown Button 300 x 225

I hope you all had a good weekend. I did. :) I tried to do some reading but in the end, I ended up vegging out on the couch, watching Gandhi (it’s a good movie! :)). Hope I’ve stored up enough energy because…starting today, Changeling’s Crown is going on tour. That’s right. I have a Bewitching Book Tour scheduled. The stops for this tour are as follows:

 

Today I am at: The Simple Things in Life

 

and Fang-tastic Books
with an excerpt for you and a prize pack giveaway.

 

And there are a few more:
July 29 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair.

 

July 29 Spotlight
Cassandra M’s Place

 

July 30 Guest blog
Butterfly-o-Meter Books

 

July 10 Spotlight
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too!  http://3partnersinshopping.blogspot.com

 

July 31 Spotlight
Books & Tales:

 

July 31 Spotlight and review
Painful Reads

 

August 1 Spotlight
Fantasy Book Lane

 

August 1 Spotlight
Romance That’s ‘Out Of This World’

 

August 1 Spotlight
Deal Sharing Aunt

 

August 4 Interview and review
Ebook Escapes

 

August 4 Spotlight and review
Musings of the Book-a-holic Fairies, inc.

 

August 4 Spotlight
Share My Destiny

 

I hope to see you there! :)

Seeking a bay fort

West Metro Mommy Reads

I’ve been in Pensacola, the last week, running around like a madwoman, erm, that is, scouting future installments in my Antique Magic series of paranormal fantasy novels. Where was I scouting, you ask?

Fort Pickens Road sign

Yep. I finally got to Fort Pickens–and it was fantastic! So, for this Saturday Snapshot, I’ve got some site-seeing photos to share.

Dunes

Santa Rosa gnarled Tree by Juli D. Revezzo

Once you get on the island, there are just miles of these gorgeous sand dunes, and signs everywhere that warn drivers to watch out for nesting seabirds (unfortunately, we didn’t see any though. I guess it was too hot for them). Then the Gulf Islands National Seashore sign, but we’re still seeking out the fort.

Fort Pickens Gulf Islands National Seashore sign

Then finally, we come around a corner and see… (eep!) This:

Battery Langdon

Battery Langdon

Getting a little excited now! *rubs hands* We must be close. Yes. Once inside we see…

Guarding the bay

Guarding the bay

Was that all? Oh, no. But, patience, my friends. I’ll show you more next week! Have a great weekend.

To see more participants in Saturday Snapshots, go here.

And if you’d like to sample the (currently) freebie novella, see the post here for details on how to get it.

Author Gary F. Vanucci chats about dragons, elves, and the walking dead….

Fantasy author Gary F. Vanucci has been involved in the fantasy genre forever. He’s written an RPG along with his multi-volumed high fantasy series Realm of Ashenclaw, complete with elves, magic-wielding soldiers, and assassins! Now he’s sidestepped into the horror/dystopian subgenre with his new release Wake the Dead. I invited him to take time out of his busy schedule to chat with us today.

Hi Gary, thanks for your time. When did you start writing, and who are your influences?

Gary F. Vanucci: I started a science fiction book back in ‘99-2000 or so and never finished it. My father, a pianist, passed away in 2010 and I decided to take the craft a bit more seriously as I felt he died with the music still in him. I did not want to do that. I have always been a huge fan of R.A. Salvatore, George R.R. Martin, J.R.R. Tolkien, Michael Moorcock, Howard and the like, and have always been a huge fan of fantasy, sci-fi, horror and comic books. And so, while laid off in 2010, I began to write a fantasy series. This was inspired by the concept of an entire world that I had begun creating in the late 1980’s and into the 90’s for an RPG which I used as the basis for the Realm of Ashenclaw/land of Wothlondia.

 

I’m sorry to hear about your father but… OMG! Another Moorcock fan. Be still my heart! :) So I guess that answers my next question: What made you fall in love with fantasy novels?

 

Gary F. Vanucci: The escapism it provided and the imagination that it awoke in me. No matter how bad a day, no matter how many real stresses or responsibilities I have, I always found it very easy to lose myself in a fantasy world. The allure is immeasurable.

What can you tell someone who has never read the Realm of Ashenclaw stories about them?

Gary F. Vanucci: Firstly, it has a good deal of satisfying and familiar elements that the genre offers. The tales themselves are founded in a richly detailed world, where an eclectic group of people with varying skill sets, hailing from different lands and upbringings, are handpicked for a very dangerous assignment. They all come together agreeably, but have very different motivations for completing the quest. I like to think that I have put a slight twist on the common fantasy archetypes and such, but it still has very common elements that one would desire in an epic fantasy. I also have some other changes and surprised lined up in the near future for fans of the series.
Of your books, what do you enjoy better, writing the characters, or the storyline itself? Or the world building?

 

Gary F. Vanucci: I enjoy it all! Creating the characters is the most fun, followed by the storyline, and then the world building, though I do put in the effort on all facets. I’d go so far as to say that I take the world building seriously enough to have released a D&D 4th edition compatible supplement that has quite a bit of detail in it, which can be found in hard copy on Amazon/CreateSpace and in digital format at RPGNOW.
Your body of work is quite vast, how do you keep up such a pace?

Gary F. Vanucci: Well, I am actually a slow writer and reader, to be honest. I try to write a certain amount of words per week, and hit the goal at least half the time. :) I do feel that I put in a lot of hours going from one job to the writing on most nights. I watch minimal TV, try to avoid distractions and keep my focus when writing. Also, I do have a close knit support group that makes this much easier to do.

 

Having that support helps a lot. *nodnods* Your new book, Wake the Dead, just released. You’d written zombies before, in Realm of Ashenclaw series, now they’re a central feature and their mayhem affects our world. How did you decide to write this story, rather than return to your secondary-world fantasy realm of Wothlondia?

 

 Wake the Dead by Gary F. Vanucci Gary F. Vanucci: Well, firstly, I love the undead! Secondly, I was having minimal success gaining traction with the fantasy writing and decided to switch it up for a change of pace. While I enjoy the Realm of Ashenclaw greatly, it has not gotten the exposure that I wanted…yet. So, I was inspired to write a no-holds-barred zombie apocalypse novel as I wanted to see what I could do in another genre, using a modern setting as well as write for a strictly adult audience. I was pleased with the results and so far, it has done pretty well for me. I am working on the 5th book of the RoA series as well as a Wake the Dead companion piece, of which there will be more.

 

Will a reader of the Beginnings saga see these heroes (Rose, Ganthorpe, Dinah, etc) again at some point?
Beginnings Box set
 

Gary F. Vanucci: There are always more plot twists and scenarios in my head for future stories in the RoA, not centered around these heroes, so yes! I plan on doing a great deal more in that world over the next few decades, so fantasy fans stay tuned! Unfortunately, I have a full time job already that really cuts into my writing and creative time, or else I’d be releasing 3-6 books a year instead of maybe 1 or 2. Such is the life of a part time writer!
True. What advice can you give to a fantasy author contemplating indie publishing?

Gary F. Vanucci: Be prepared to work your butt off. Fantasy is much harder as you need to create everything from scratch. Magic, the world, its history, the characters, the social and political structures, and so on. It is not for the faint of heart. Of course, I could say that about all writing really, but fantasy and even science fiction are much more immersive. Anything where you need to create more than just characters, you have your work cut out for you! That being said, it is that much more rewarding.

 

I must admit, that’s the part I love the most about writing and reading fantasy! :) And finally, where can my readers find out more about you and your works?

 

Gary F. Vanucci: All of my Realm of Ashenclaw series is on Kobo, Barnes and Noble, CreateSpace, Amazon, Smashwords and iTunes. As of now, Wake the Dead is exclusively with Amazon and will be for a while longer. I can also be found occasionally lurking at any one of these places: WattPad, the Independent Author Network, Eye on Ashenclaw/Ashenclaw.com, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Smashwords and Goodreads, where I am currently hosting a giveaway for two signed copies of Wake the Dead.

(Wothlondia Rising is also free on Amazon, right now.)

Sounds like you are keeping busy. Thank you for taking time out to meet with us! We will look forward to them all. Folks, if you have any questions for Gary, feel free to leave a comment. And I hope you enjoy his works. ;) I think you will!

 

Author Gary F. Vanucci

Author Gary F. Vanucci

Gary Vanucci was born in Pennsylvania in 1968. He enjoys writing, reading, music, art, anything at all that promotes creativity and activities that push the mind beyond conventional thinking. He has spent time as an amateur singer/songwriter and has spent multiple decades creating role-playing scenarios and playing games amongst various genres. Years of reading graphic novels, comic books, fantasy/science fiction novels and the like has led him to discover his true passion—writing!  His education includes a Bachelor’s of Science in the field of Information Technology and an Associates of Arts in the field of Graphic Design. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”  ~Aristotle.

Recharging the batteries…

Yesterday, I had lunch with my girlfriends, authors Marsha A. Moore and Patty G. Henderson. :) I always enjoy seeing them, and recharging my batteries. I feel a little something like this now…

charging cat

I always do love seeing my gals. After our lunch, I’m raring to show you my pretty new cover and book but… Patience, my dears! It’ll be a little longer.  We’ve all got so many new projects bubbling.  Yes, the creation process is the best part but, you know? I also can’t wait to see them all out. I blame it on springtime. :)

In other news… Do you use a Nook? I see Barnes and Noble finally put my paranormal romance novel Passion’s Sacred Dance on sale. If you’ve been waiting for that, it’s available here. It’s showing the $.99 price, but I don’t know for how long.

My friends with Kindles, the sale price is still in effect for a limited time for you all, too. Meanwhile, I’ve got some revisions to do on book two in the series.  I hope to have more news for you on the book’s progress, in coming months. *rubs hands gleefully*

 

(Cat image from LOLshelf)

Blogging about B…Books

Well, I guess I missed the sign in date But since I’ve already written these, what the hey? I’ll post them.

B) Books. I have many to choose from but I like to laugh about this (cue the Blues Brothers) I write Both kin’s of story, fantasy and romance. I also dabble in historical subjects and other things. It’s what I do. I write, therefore I am… :)

I’ve been writing forever, like I said in the last post, I don’t expect that to ever change. Not everything will become a book but I hope most will. :) We shall see. I’ve written  the Antique Magic series:

 The Artist’s Inheritance

The balance between good and evil can be an art… or a curse.

Trevor and Caitlin were once happy newlyweds, profiting from Trevor’s art. Until Trevor inherits his brother’s house, and with it, his part of a family curse. Now, Caitlin will stop at nothing to save her beloved husband from insanity and suicide, even if it means she must embrace her destiny and become a witch.

 

Caitlin’s Book of Shadows

Something terrifying stalks Caitlin and her beloved Trevor. Something the bits and pieces she left claimed she had to make sense of–or so legend says. When the curator of their collection finds Caitlin’s long forgotten diary, she wonders will it tell the whole tale? Will it tell why Caitlin seemed so determined to tell the difference between reality and nightmare even as she continued the fight to defend her family from evil? Will it explain why she thought her world twisted? If she really became a witch?

What will the holidays hold for Caitlin? Perhaps the answer lies between the lines of her story, one of lessons, struggles, and the hopes she carried like a warrior’s shield.

**This is a side (or supplemental, if you will) story in the Antique Magic series, a companion to The Artist’s Inheritance (Antique Magic, Book One).

 Drawing Down the Shades

Business can be hell…

Life is good at Starfort Collectibles until the owners, Caitlin and Trevor Fulmer, acquire a beautiful statuette with a murky past. Shortly thereafter, mysterious hauntings wreak havoc on the couple when a ghost in the attic threatens retribution. Caitlin presses her coven for help before the ghost succeeds in meting out deadly punishment–on Trevor.

And the paranormal romance pieces Passion’s Sacred Dance and Murder Upon a Midnight Clear, and I’m planning a new one, coming sometime soon. And I have others, way more…you know. Stay tuned.

As to reading books, ha. You should see my bookshelves! They’re bending.  My Kindle’s always, more or less, in use too. I read (mostly) widely, fiction, non-fiction, doesn’t matter. I’m currently reading several books on my Kindle, and I have research tomes on my couch, plus, Dark Oracle by Alayna Williams plus, Pagan Stone by Nora Roberts, which to be honest, I think she could’ve ended the series in book one. Book two (The Hollow) and three (Pagan Stone) just aren’t as compelling as Blood Brothers (Or the Key and Three Sisters Island series). I’m also looking forward to reading Clash of Wills by S.G. Rogers and Divided Allegiance by Elizabeth Moon, and…many others. So! Books. :)