Saturday, April 30, 2016

Novus: The Cresecren Chronicles Book 1 by Crystal Marcos is on SALE!

NOVUS (The Cresecren Chronicles, Book 1) has recently received two book awards and a revamped cover! To celebrate the eBook will be on SALE for $1.99 from 4/30/2016- 5/15/2016

~"Official Selection" Winner in the E-Book Young Adult category, 2015 New Apple Book Awards!~

~Winner Best Books in the Young Adult category, 2016 Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards!~

Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite- 5 STARS

Novus by Crystal Marcos is one of those gems that make you care about the characters within the story, and while you definitely want to know what happens to them, you can't help but also not want to get to the end of the book. It's the kind of book whose characters you miss when you finish the book.


Ideal for Hunger Games and Divergent fans, Crystal Marcos delivers Novus, a riveting novel set in a dystopian future of action-adventure, suspense, and romance. Intriguing characters and a gripping storyline keep the reader turning page after page.

Being a teenager is hard enough. And what if your life's path is predetermined? On top of that, you aren't even Human?

Cayden was given life as a Cresecren. He expected to live out his days with the dysfunctional Human family he was assigned to serve. One fateful night, however, landed him in Gavaron, the home of maimed, elderly, or defiant Cresecren.

Beyond its borders is the Den, an area much more dangerous than he ever imagined. Now seventeen, Cayden unwittingly becomes involved in a conspiracy and is one of a handful of survivors fleeing a deadly attack. They set off on a perilous journey in search of refuge and the truth. Along the way, Cayden begins to comprehend the difference between fully living and merely surviving, while trying to balance his emotions and a forbidden love.  

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Author Bio
Award-winning author Crystal Marcos has been a storyteller her entire life. As the oldest of five children, she had to do a lot of entertaining. She lives on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State with her husband, daughter Kaylee, and infant son Jaxon. Crystal is the author of BELLYACHE: A Delicious Tale and HEADACHE: The Hair-Raising Sequel to BELLYACHE. Novus, her third book and first Young Adult novel, is Book One of The Cresecren Chronicles.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

S.P.M Barrett-The IAN Interview

Hello! So my name is Sam and I write under the pen name S.P.M Barrett. I am an Irish citizen and I have been soaked by more showers of rain then I have seen sunshine! Aside from the obvious fact that I am an author (I know, I am a little shocked too!) I have a few other passions, ranging from dodgeball, dancing and ketchup. I absolutely love to taste new types of ketchup and yes, it’s as delicate an art as tasting wine. I love animals and wanted to be a vet but had decided to become a comparative physiologist instead and now I write Sci-fi and fantasy. A bit of a jump I know but I think that you’ll enjoy the story I have to say.

So Underbelly was born almost completely of procrastination. I had my exams in third year of college and I really did not want to study. I felt this uncontrollable urge to create and craft and I tried to quell it by writing a bit of poetry but it wasn’t enough. Then I remembered that one time my English teacher had tried to get me to publish a short story that I had written for an exam and I had refused to, I decided to use the story as a skeleton. So Underbelly was born. It was so much more than the short story I had originally wrote; the Dynomamian Empire rose from my mind and conquered Islandari and it is into this unstable world that Merissa is born into and the warring factions savaging for control. Beautiful conflict, and I was somewhat inspired by a quote by one of my favourite authors “darkness does not always equate to evil, just as light does not always bring good.” P.Cast. Merissa soon finds out that not everyone in the Underbelly is not as straight forward as it seems.

At this moment in time, it is only available as an e-book on Amazon, however I am working on other media options. It will be in paperback form in July 2016 but until then it is only available as an e-book.

Link here:

I’m very excited to be working on the next book Surface, the next in the Turf Wars series. It feels amazing to be looking at a blank screen and pages again and feeling like I could go anywhere with it (obviously I have a rough idea where I’m going but why not take the scenic route and meet and see interesting things and people?).

IAN: You’ve mentioned that you have a background in science and as a Sci-fi author, does this feed into how realistic your book is?

S.P.M Barrett: That’s actually a good point and it raises an idea that I’ve come away with from doing my course. As a fantasy author too, one might expect me to believe in magic however as I have a strong science background, I no longer believe in magic, just unexplained science. While for others this may be a buzzkill, for me it means that I have to think of logical reasons as to how something has happened. I think that it’s incredibly tempting for fantasy, and Sci-fi authors to an extent, to just wave a wand around and just fix the problem. But as I introduced new elements of the story to Underbelly, I had to really think each of them through and make them as watertight as possible. I wanted people to believe the story was possible. 

IAN: Interesting, since you’ve put this much thought into the mechanics of the book, would I be right in presuming that you have a specific message for readers?

S.P.M Barrett: Aside from, please enjoy the story! I am a big advocate for mental health awareness and in all of my works, I tend to tackle a particular facet of the stigmas that surround mental health. In Underbelly, it was all about forgiveness and learning to trust again. While I believe that there are some unforgivable acts and that distrust forms naturally, holding that kind of baggage is just so corrosive to our mental health and as a species we tend to generalise. So if we are hurt enough, we learn not to trust anyone and I decided to explore this as an undercurrent theme in Underbelly.

IAN: So do you see writing as a career?

S.P.M Barrett: Absolutely, I am actually working in Eason and sons and this is the main book shop in Ireland. So I can see the business side of it and there is certainly a career to be made out of it. It’s hard, it’s gruelling and it’s full of doubt. But that is what makes it rewarding! Even if in the end and no one likes my writing at least I can hang up my pen saying that at least I tried.

IAN: Since the road to becoming an author is so difficult, if you could have a writing mentor, who would you have?

S.P.M Barrett: J.K Rowling. Without a doubt. I don’t think I would even use her as a writing mentor, she seems to be such a genuinely lovely person that I would love to be on friendly terms with her. Sure it might even be nice to have deep meaningful conversations about life and beyond in the wee hours of the morning. And if some of her genius does rub off of me, I’ll not complain!

IAN: You’ve already touched on this, but what exactly inspired you to write Underbelly?

S.P.M Barrett: So as I’ve already said Underbelly was essentially a procrastination project. At the time I had just discovered Wattpad, a free publishing website where you could just post up a story and others could read it for free, vote and comment on it. So I did that. I threw up a chapter every day for 19 days, with no editing. It went all around of the world, it was read by nearly 900 people in 6 of the 7 continents and I got huge support for it and it convinced me that maybe this story was worth publishing. But the real push came when a mole on my left hand started changing colour and bleeding and for several days I thought that I had melanoma. I remember standing in the shower thinking that I had cancer and thinking that I was going to die, it was singularly the most terrifying thought I ever had. But I was thankfully given the all clear and I had the mole removed as a precaution but in those weeks I knew that I wanted to do and that was to tell people stories and to share my insights into this crazy thing we call life.

IAN: Oh wow, that must have been intense. Did you have much support outside of your family?

S.P.M Barrett: Oh yes, I have a wonderful partner John who was my rock. He’s not much of a reader though! But he soldiered through all of my drafts of Underbelly and I think that nearly says more, when someone does something that they don’t like when they know that it’s important to you, you know he’s a keeper! I had also a great support in the form of my friends and even at work, my colleagues were always supporting me with my ups and downs. I have also recently made contact with the only Sci-fi and fantasy magazine in Ireland, Albedo and I’m hoping that they become an even greater help than they have already. I also had a kickstarter project to raise funds for my book trailer for Underbelly and that has made a great community that is so supportive.

IAN: Ok I just a couple of more questions before we wrap up, as I am sure that you’re aware writing is hard, but what did you find particularly difficult about writing and what advice would you give to other novice writers?

S.P.M Barrett: I think for me, the actual difficult part of writing, are the nitty gritty details. I always excited to write the interesting parts but the dry parts that were necessary to advance plot can sometimes be a little boring and I struggled to capture the magic within myself to power through it. There was one part where I spent weeks going through it to get it right because it was so detailed and it was like chipping away at marble, a sliver of stone here, a chunk there. Eventually it was there but my mind was a little fatigued! I think this feeds into the advice that I would give to new writers, keep at it. Write what you want to write, free speech exists for a reason. Everyone has a story to tell and it’s up to you whether or not you get to tell it.    

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Stacy Juba-The IAN Interview

Stacy Juba got engaged at Epcot Theme Park and spent part of her honeymoon at Disneyland Paris, where she ate a burger, went on fast rides, and threw up on the train ride to the hotel. In addition to working on her new Storybook Valley chick lit/sweet romance series, Stacy has written books about ice hockey, teen psychics, U.S. flag etiquette for kids, and determined women sleuths. She has had a novel ranked as #5 in the Nook Store and #30 on the Amazon Kindle Paid List. Stacy is also the founder of the Glass Slipper Sisters, a group of authors with Cinderella-themed romance novels. When she’s not visiting theme parks with her family, (avoiding rides that spin and exotic hamburgers) or writing about them, Stacy helps authors to strengthen their manuscripts through her Crossroads Editing Service.

IAN: Please tell us about your latest book.

S. Juba: My latest book is Fooling Around With Cinderella, the first in the Storybook Valley series. What happens when the glass slippers pinch Cinderella’s toes? When Jaine Andersen proposes a new marketing role to the local amusement park, general manager Dylan Callahan charms her into filling Cinderella’s glass slippers for the summer. Her reign transforms Jaine’s ordinary life into chaos that would bewilder a fairy godmother. Secretly dating her bad boy boss, running wedding errands for her ungrateful sisters, and defending herself from the park’s resident villain means Jaine needs lots more than a comfy pair of shoes to restore order in her kingdom.

IAN: Is Fooling Around With Cinderella published in print, e-book or both?

S. Juba: It is published in both print and e-book formats.

IAN: Where can we go to buy your book?


IAN: What inspired you to write the book?

S. Juba: I was inspired to write Fooling Around With Cinderella when I was at a fairy tale theme park with my family. We had just gone to visit Cinderella and suddenly I stopped short. This whole plotline popped into my head, about a reluctant theme park Cinderella trying to find her Prince Charming.

IAN: Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?

S. Juba: I always use an outline, written on index cards and hanging on a bulletin board in my office. Sometimes I change things, but I always have a road map and keep my outline updated with the latest additions.

IAN: How did you come up with the title?

S. Juba: The title has a double meaning – “fooling around” in the romance sense, as there is a romance between Jaine and her boss Dylan. But the real reason is that Dylan, the general manager of the theme park, is having a tough time finding a reliable Cinderella to finish out the season. He had one go Goth, another get pregnant, and another quit, so he is tired of fooling around with Cinderella. 

IAN: What do you hope your readers come away with after reading Fooling Around With Cinderella?

S. Juba: I hope they will have laughed and found the book a temporary vacation from their daily stresses, and want to return to Storybook Valley for future books.

IAN: How much of the book is realistic?

S. Juba: Actually, more of it is realistic than you would think. I did hours of research, researching theme park management, watching job recruitment videos for theme park chains, and watching videos of former theme park employees and behind the scenes videos of former “princesses” and characters. I researched everything, down to how to do a princess wave. As a former journalist, I really strive to find authentic details to incorporate into my fiction so that readers learn something without knowing they are learning something.

IAN: What books have most influenced your life most?

S. Juba: I have also published several mystery novels, so I would have to say I was influenced by the juvenile mystery series I read growing up – Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden in particular. I started writing mysteries in fifth grade as I was so hooked on those series, and my love of reading mysteries led me to writing my own mysteries.

IAN: Do you see writing as a career?

S. Juba: Yes, I definitely see writing as my career, but there are ups and downs with being an author so most authors need to have another job also. I am fortunate to be a freelance editor, so that I am always keeping my editing skills sharp, and I also find it very rewarding to help other writers make their books as strong as possible. In the case of beginner writers, I find it rewarding to mentor them and help them to make their publishing dream come true.  I’ve also done freelance magazine writing and marketing writing, and am a former newspaper reporter, so I have always made my career as a writer. 

IAN: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

S. Juba: Stop by my website for some free books – you can download them on this page.  Feel free to sign up for my newsletter and join the Glass Slipper Sisters Facebook page I always love to connect with readers!

IAN: Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand-alone?

S. Juba: It is the next book in the Storybook Valley series, Prancing Around With Sleeping Beauty.  All the books in the series can be read as standalones, but they feature familiar settings such as the Storybook Valley theme park and have recurring characters. Jaine and Dylan, the leads of Fooling Around With Cinderella, will play a supporting role in Prancing Around With Sleeping Beauty. The protagonist is Dylan’s sister, Rory, a dance instructor whose real name is Aurora. (hence the Sleeping Beauty)