Saturday, August 15, 2015

Darklight On ... Nicole Murphy

Today's Darklight On is ... Nicole Murphy,
Welcome, Nicole


When a series is done…

In July, the third book of the Jorda Series, ‘Protecting her Heart’, was released.

I had such a ball writing the three books in this SF romance trilogy. It was a long time coming – I first conceived of the idea somewhere around 1983! The characters had me from the start, but it took a long time to find the story that best suited them. W

When I did, the stories just poured out of me. Even ‘Protecting her Heart’, the hardest of the three because I didn’t know I was going to write it until I did, was one of my most enjoyable writing experiences.

So when it’s all done, and the stories are finished – it can be a bit of a let down. I adored working in that world. I can still see potential in it. But sometimes you have to drop something and walk away, because to stay there too long will be overkill.

Which makes the fact the very next book I wrote was related to my very first trilogy (the urban fantasy ‘Dream of Asarlai’) somewhat of a hypocrisy. But it had always been my plan that there would be six books set in the Gadda world (in fact with the novella there’s going to be seven, and there’s been a couple of short stories too) and I knew that what I was doing was fresh and interesting.

And there had been several years between the publication of the first trilogy, and working on the second trilogy. So it felt more like returning to a place I’d loved and finding out it was still cool to visit, rather than sticking somewhere because I was scared to move on.

It’s been great to sink back into that world again. I don’t have to create anything else – it all exists, full and ripe and ready for me to play in. So I can let my characters loose, let them do what they need to do, and enjoy it all happening in what is to me a real, settled place.

Who knows – maybe in a few years, inspiration will strike about Planet Jorda and I’ll head back there again and see what has changed, and what has stayed the same. In the meantime, it’s Sclossin and the world of the magical Gadda that now has me entranced.

Except for the cool new idea that’s buzzing in my mind. The idea I can’t start working on for more than a year because of commitments.

Anyone know how we’re going with that cloning thing?



Nicole Murphy is the author of the ‘Dream of Asarlai’ urban fantasy trilogy and the ‘Jorda’ SF romance trilogy. As Elizabeth Dunk, she writes contemporary romance and erotica. She lives in Queanbeyan with her husband Tim and their budgie Freddy.

You can find out more about Nicole at her Website or follow her on Twitter

You can find links to buy the Jorda series of SF romance here: Escape Publishing

Or buy the Dream of Asarlai trilogy here: HarperCollins 

Thanks, Nicole

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Enchanted Orb with Claire Boston

This month's Enchanted Orb post is with Claire Boston who shares the inspiration behind her writing life.


Mixing business with creativity

Most writers begin a story or a novel because they’ve had a great idea and want to get it down on paper. Each person has their own end goal: some just want to write a novel, some want to be published, and some want to make a living from their writing. I fall in to the latter category. I want to earn enough from my novels that I can write full time, so at some stage I needed to address the business side of writing.

There are some creatives who think business is a dirty word, but I’m not one of them. I see it as a means to my end goal. The truth is authors are their own small business. They need to track their expenses and their income and think about things such as promotion and marketing, and whether the contract they’ve been offered is right for them. In today’s market they also need to decide whether they want to go down the traditional publishing route, try self-publishing or do a hybrid of both.

For me I wanted the traditional publishing contract because I felt that would validate my writing – someone I didn’t know thought my novel was good enough to be published. But after I got that first contract I was already thinking about how I would get my second one, so I began to think with my business head on.

I emailed my publisher and asked them what they would like from me next. I pitched them several ideas that had been floating around my head for years and I suggested I could do a sequel to the first book. I figured if I wrote what they wanted, I’d have a better chance of getting that next contract. In the end they liked one of my story ideas, but they wanted me to make it a sequel to What Goes on Tour. That was perfect for me. It saved me the decision of which of my story ideas I should write next and also gave me the setting for the story.

By the time I finished writing what would become All that Sparkles, I knew I had to write two more stories in the series; George’s story and Piper’s story. When I sent through All that Sparkles for my publisher’s consideration I also pitched the rest of the series and the result was a three-book contract and The Texan Quartet series was born. Thinking about the business side of writing enabled me to get multiple contracts and take the next step towards being a full-time author. I can highly recommend mixing business with creativity.

Under the Covers is George’s story and book 3 of the series.



What if the one time you didn't want love was when you truly needed it?

Forced to flee her abusive ex, alone with no support, Elle is determined to rebuild her life and protect her five-year-old son. Not one to take the easy road, she opens a bookshop café, but opening day almost ends in disaster. In the midst of this chaos, the last thing she needs is a man as charming as George Jones getting in her way.

George has always been a sucker for a damsel in distress, and Elle ticks all the boxes. But Elle's not interested in being rescued by anyone, especially not him. She knows her taste in men can't be trusted, but fighting George's charisma is harder than she expected. And George, who is not one to ignore an itch, has found there's something about Elle that's got under his skin.

When Elle's ex turns up to cause trouble, George must overcome his boyish flirtatiousness if he's to convince Elle to trust herself and let him into her life. But can Elle put her past behind her before it overwhelms her present?

About the Author
Claire Boston is the best-selling author of The Texan Quartet. In 2014 she was nominated for an Australian Romance Readers Award as Favourite New Romance Author.

Her debut contemporary romance novel, What Goes on Tour caught the attention of Momentum’s Joel Naoum when her first scene was read aloud at the Romance Writers’ of Australia (RWA) conference in 2013. This led to a four book contract for The Texan Quartet series.

Claire is proactive in organising social gatherings and educational opportunities for local authors. She is an active volunteer for RWA, as a mentor for aspiring authors and the reader judge coordinator.

When Claire’s not writing she can be found in the garden attempting to grow vegetables, or racing around a vintage motocross track. If she can convince anyone to play with her, she also enjoys cards and board games.

Claire lives in Western Australia, just south of Perth, with her husband, who loves even her most annoying quirks, and her grubby, but adorable Australian bulldog.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | YouTube | Reader Newsletter

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Darklight On ... JL Addicoat

Today's Darklight On  is ... J.L. Addicoat
Welcome, J.L.


Your latest release is Entangled Destinies. What inspired you to write this book?

I wrote Entangled Destinies over two consecutive years during NaNoWriMo.

Originally titled ‘The Bottle’, the book developed from a comment my husband Kevin made about finding a bottle with a message inside. We talked over a few ideas and he suggested I write it. Really, what he said was, ‘A bottle is found washed up on a beach with a message inside. Write a story about it.’

So, for the next 30 days I did.

Did you plot or pants this novel?

A bit of both really. The first part had each Chapter loosely plotted, until I got to Chapter Eight which became, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen.

The second part, written over the second NaNoWriMo stint was totally pantsed. I knew what I wanted to happen and where I wanted it to lead, but the characters took off on their own little journey.

However, they didn’t get it all their way. In first edits, I rewrote the last ten thousand words.

What genre would you place Entangled Destines in?

That’s not an easy question. This novel has smatterings of a few genres. There’s Horror, Paranormal, Romance, Contemporary and Science Fiction. A bit of nearly everything I think.

When is your Entangled Destinies due to be released?

Release day for the ebook is the 22nd July, but could be a few days early.

I am self-publishing the paperback, and these will be available from my website hopefully around the same time.

Thanks, JL

E-Book Cover
Paperback Cover 


Can a message found in a century old bottle bring a government to its knees?

Have you ever found yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time?

When Sarah glances out the window in time to see her employer, Edmund Starke, emerge from the shadows covered in blood, only her mistress’ brave actions allow Sarah to escape with her life.

With only a small bag and her diaries, she needs to leave England, but can she gain passage on a ship bound for America without Edmund’s henchmen catching and dragging her back?

 Buy the ebook here: Rogue Phoenix Press

About the Author

J. L Addicoat, (better known as Jenny or Jen) grew up in a small suburb in Melbourne.

Her mother, a German immigrant, pushed her to learn to read at an early age so she could give her mother a better understanding of the English language.

Books and J. L. soon became best friends and a means to escape to other worlds, be they fantasy or science fiction, J. L. loved them.
She now lives in a small rural Queensland town, with her husband Kevin and two spoilt felines.

Find J.L. here: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Enchanted Orb with Anna Hackett

Today we have Anna Hackett, science fiction and action romance writer, joining us and her book, Hell Squad - Marcus is free.

“Inspiration is only the beginning.”Anna Hackett

I love to hear about the inspiration behind my favourite authors’ stories. Sometimes inspiration strikes like lightning in a dream, in the shower, or in the middle of a movie. Sometimes story ideas grow over time, stewing a little until the ingredients come together.

My latest series, Hell Squad, had a couple of sources of inspiration. This is a post-apocalyptic, action-adventure, science fiction romance series. Aliens have invaded and the series focuses on the human survivors (primarily a rough, tough group of soldiers) and their battle against the aliens. The first source of inspiration was obviously a long list of movies, TV shows, games, and books. You’ll probably see shades of Jurassic Park, Independence Day, Falling Skies, and Gears of War in Hell Squad.

The second source of inspiration was the romance in the first book, Marcus. I had a clear image of a tough, scarred, battle-hardened soldier and a beautiful society girl. In what situation would these two very different people fall in love? The middle of an alien apocalypse, of course!

And the third source of inspiration was the science behind the gadgets and weaponry in Hell Squad. Most of the technology that’s mentioned (the series is set about a hundred years into the future) is based on current research projects to develop exoskeletons, weaponry and armour.

BUT, like I said above, inspiration is only the beginning. Having a great idea is easy…making it a reality takes effort, hard work and determination. I’ve published four Hell Squad books this year…and there are more in the works that will be out before the end of the year. My number one tip I have for anyone struggling to bring their inspired story ideas to life: write every day. Not when you feel like it, not once the kids are back at school, not starting tomorrow. Every day, even if it’s only for a short time (and I think this can be applied to anything we want to achieve, not just writing!)

When I decided to get serious about my writing, I pored over interviews by successful authors. One thing jumped out at me…they all mention writing every day and not making excuses. Inspiration is easy, getting the words on the page is where we have to knuckle down and make it happen.

So, how many words did you write today? And how many are you going to write tomorrow?

About the author: Anna Hackett
I'm passionate about all things action romance. I love stories that combine the thrill of falling in love with the excitement of action, danger and adventure. I write about people overcoming unbeatable odds and achieving seemingly impossible goals. I like to believe it's possible for all of us to do the same.

Grab the first book in Hell Squad, MARCUS, for FREE:


In the aftermath of a deadly alien invasion, a band of survivors fights on…

In a world gone to hell, Elle Milton—once the darling of the Sydney social scene—has carved a role for herself as the communications officer for the toughest commando team fighting for humanity’s survival—Hell Squad. It’s her chance to make a difference and make up for horrible past mistakes…despite the fact that its battle-hardened commander never wanted her on his team.

When Hell Squad is tasked with destroying a strategic alien facility, Elle knows they need her skills in the field. But first she must go head to head with Marcus Steele and convince him she won’t be a liability.

Marcus Steele is a warrior through and through. He fights to protect the innocent and give the human race a chance to survive. And that includes the beautiful, gutsy Elle who twists him up inside with a single look. The last thing he wants is to take her into a warzone, but soon they are thrown together battling both the alien invaders and their overwhelming attraction. And Marcus will learn just how much he’ll sacrifice to keep her safe.

Download your FREE copy!

Amazon US | Amazon AU | Nook | iBooks

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Darklight On... Kathrine Leannan

 Today's Darklight On is ... Kathrine Leannan
Welcome, Kathrine


How did you come to write fantasy? What attracted you to the genre?
To write for me, is as innate as it is to breathe. I couldn't imagine a world without dragons and faeries, unicorns or Pegasus. I have always been drawn to the fey. Magic is all around us, as is darkness. My muse is named Mimi, she is a 1000 year old dragon who crashed into my life two years ago.


Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?

Until very recently, I was a Pantser.

In the past, I would know, say, the end of a story, or a great middle bit, but little else. I always have a good idea of the main characters, but as is the way of epic fiction, numerous other characters are born along the way. At least that was the way it had been with the writing of Warrior Born - Book 1 of the Katana Series. 

However, that apparently was the honeymoon period. Reality well and truly set in when during the recent edit (rewrite) of Redemption - Book 2 of the Katana Series, I learned the rhythm of each scene and how crucial that is, to good writing. The great first line, the story arc and the BAM sentence to finish. That takes planning. This I have learned.

Do you have a favourite of your characters?

I love Angus. He to me, is just a delicious Highland male. I love that he is so strong, honourable and protective. Yet at the same time he can be brutal. Of course I love Hades the magnificent Friesian stallion. He is beautiful beyond words. As for Jilly Louise she is all sass. She is me.


What are you currently working on?

I am currently in final edits for Redemption. I am also mapping out the book from my PhD thesis—but that is another story for another day. All of my works of fiction have a Scottish theme or influence. I am so completely drawn to them. Curse of the Witches of the Moor is a book about a secondary character in the first two Katana books. This is very different from the first two. I am looking forward to finishing it.

What is your favourite part of the process of writing? 

That moment when Mimi and I are in sync and the ideas come so fast I only have time to make dot points. This is why I have a note pad and fifteen pens in every handbag I own. Mimi is oblivious to  anything but the story. Many times, I have had to veer off the road, grapple with my handbag and scrawl the words down—dragons don't take kindly to repeating themselves. Also the elation when after reading the work I am satisfied with the voice, style, flow and tempo. Those two words "The End" also feel great, especially after rewrites and edits.

What can we expect from Kathrine Leannan in the future?
Books with strong characters, written with passion, in a style that is different. Also I hope to achieve critical acclaim as an author of non-fiction and leave a legacy to my profession. Such is my commitment to these goals, that I have given up work, to write full time. The Katana Series is four books in duration. The Dark Witches Coven Series also is four books. After that, I imagine the creatures of the dark will continue to find their way to my pages.

Who are your favourite authors?

I am a fantasy/paranormal devotee. I rarely read outside the genre because I am easily bored - the exception to that statement is Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander Series. My favourites (Who else) J. R. Ward., J. K. Rowling., Karen Marie Moning., Richelle Mead., Sara Douglass., Jean M. Auel., P. C. Cast., Sherilyn Kenyon., Kresley Cole.


What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading: The Ruby Circle - Richelle Mead

Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?

Beauty and the Beast- the series, The 100, Star Crossed, Penny Dreadful, Stargate Atlantis, 12 Monkeys, Eragon.

Do you have advice for emerging writers?

This is something no one will tell you. There are rules to writing. Find like-people, join groups, learn the craft. But most important of all, keep writing—find the joy that the words bring and give them life.



Warrior Born - Book 1 of the Katana Series

From the immortal kingdom of the Samurai, Imperial Leader Yokami Sukani and his wife Tomoe Gazen yearn for the child they know they will never birth. Tomoe’s Katana keens bereft, for the next Daughter of the Sword. Meanwhile, Bishamon, the God of War, and his Katana, wreak havoc in his endless pursuit of pain and suffering. 

Bishamon’s Sword of War must disappear, forever.
The battle of Culloden Moor is forty-eight hours away. Epona, Goddess of horses, dogs, healing springs and crops, prays for the coming of the girl child prophesized to be born with the Sight for the magnificent Friesian horses.

Yokami’s Katana recognises Marie MacDonald.
A bargain is struck.

In modern Australia, the awaited one, Connor MacDonald is birthed, awakening the ancient Scottish Horsemen from their three-century slumber.

Brutality finds her.

Bishamon, mad with rage, hunts for his blade.

Will he regain his instrument of destruction?

Born of the blood of the ancient Scots, named Daughter by the immortal Samurai, doubly blessed or doubly cursed, will Connor MacDonald be Bishamon’s instrument of revenge?

Buy links:  Amazon / KoboSmashwordsiTunes / Barnes & Noble / Grimoire Books

About the Author:  FacebookTwitter / LinkedIn / Google Plus / Website

Friday, June 5, 2015

Real Life Paranormal with Kathrine Leannan


In 1986, I became aware of the relentless tick, tick, ticking of my biological clock. At 29, my then, partner and I decided we should tie the knot and set about making a baby. We were ecstatic, when just three months later, I was pregnant. I had all the usual worries that occur to all mothers to be, praying the baby was born well and healthy.
As the pregnancy progressed, I became increasingly worried and anxious about the child. I had no evidence on which to base these concerns as I was very well and everything was proceeding as expected.
By the time I was eight months along, I had gained the body weight of a small horse and my dreams started to be invaded by darkness and fear. I couldn't explain it. All I knew was that I was terrified that my baby was going to die. I knew these were unreasonable thoughts. I also knew, as an overachiever, I was worrying myself to a frazzle over nothing more than fear and my constant companion—dread.
My son was born after a long labour. He was beautiful, healthy and...did I mention beautiful? I on the other hand, became a she-bear. I wouldn't let him out of my sight. He slept with us and was always in the same room as us, so I could see him and hear him. My sense of fear for his wellbeing escalated. I became obsessed with checking on him. Twenty times a night, I would lay my hand on his chest to make sure he was breathing. I lived in absolute, unreasonable fear of losing him.
When he was just four months old, I was working a casual shift in Neonatal Intensive Care, when I received a phone call at work. It was my husband.
My blood ran cold.
In the background, all I could hear was the sound of a gasping child. My husband was frantic. He said our son was very hot and that he kept going stiff and then floppy and that he wouldn't wake up.
I don't remember the hour drive home. I flew into the house and all of my worst fears came crashing down on me. My son was fitting continually and he was unconscious.  Every bit of training as an RN and a Midwife left me. I walked around the house, holding my son, telling him not to die, pleading with him, not to leave us.
Sometime after this, common sense kicked in and we called an ambulance. A paediatrician friend was at the hospital waiting for us. After he assessed our son, he came out and put his arm around me and told me that my little boy had suffered a massive cerebral haemorrhage (stroke), was completely paralysed down the left side and that he was going to die.
My son was transferred to a big city hospital paediatric intensive care unit. The overwhelming fear that I had lived with for so many months, paradoxically had left me. I knew in my heart that the threat to him had passed and that with our love, he would survive.
 It took a very long time with exercise, stimulation and absolute determination to achieve not only his survival, but his continued improvement. I still wouldn't let him out of my sight. I would still wake up twenty times a night to make sure he was still breathing. He was 7 years of age before he slept through the night.
It took me a lot longer.


Trailer to Warrior Born - Book 1 of the Katana Series. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Darklight On ... Christina Craig

Today's Darklight on is ... Christina Craig
Welcome, Chris

How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre?
The first novel I ever read was Lythande, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Although it was pure fantasy, I fell in love with any fiction that was beyond my everyday realm. Speculative Fiction, in essence I believe, questions the boundaries of what could be and what secretly is – I find this very exciting!

Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?
I start as a pantser and when I realise the story or character has potential I make a conscious effort to develop the plot. It always changes though when a character decides to do their own thing.

Do you have a favourite of your characters?
Yes, she’s a sub-character in the first novel I wrote ten years ago. She’s a skilled fighter with sword and knife and keeps her heart guarded. One day I’ll bring her story to light. I’ll keep her name a secret for now but her initials are BB.

What are you currently working on?I’m working on Through The AusHole, a speculative fiction with quirky humour and fantasy elements. My partial 50 pages scored me a publisher interview a few years ago, before I had children, so I’m determined to work through my edits and get it out there.

What is your favourite part of the process of writing?
When a plot twist works, when a character says the perfect line to the bad guy, and of course, finishing!

What can we expect from Christina Craig in the future?
As a writer I simply hope to keep perfecting my craft and getting my novels polished and published. As an artist, designing premade and custom e-book covers as Two Decade Designs.

Who are your favourite authors?
Marion Zimmer Bradley, Juliet Marillier, Paulo Coehlo, Lian Hearn, Terry Pratchett, Anne McCaffrey, Sara Douglass, Alastair Reynolds, Kym Wilkins, David & Leigh Eddings, and of course many others.

What are you currently reading?
There’s a lovely newbie at work and when we discovered we liked the same fiction she loaned me her favourite book - Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey.

Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?
I have enjoyed Tripod, Dr Who, Star Trek Generations, Voyager and Deep Space Nine, Torchwood, Game of Thrones, Stargate, and my favourite movies are Labyrinth, Willow and The Fifth Element.

Do you have any advice for emerging writers?
Don’t compare yourself to others but do aim to master the craft of writing. Listen to your voice because what makes it unique is what will make your story fly.
Thanks for having me, Chris


Target Solstice (published in the novella collection, Sisters of the Shadows)

They are us … or are they?

The Phain have been trapped on Earth for a century. They pretend to be human. Flesh by day, Phain by night. Some manipulate, use and abuse us. The others defend us, while searching for a way to leave Earth.

When Cressida Ryan’s husband Gabe is killed, she learns his secrets and why her unborn child is a threat to the Phain.

Now she is a target. To save her life she must discover her heritage and follow Gabe’s ghost across the world.

If she can trust the Phain she might survive, and if they trust her, she could give them something even greater.

Buy Links:  Amazon / Smashwords
About the Author:  Facebook / Ormiston Press / Two Decade Designs