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Introducing E M McIntyre

My June spotlight falls on award-winning author E M McIntyre, friend and fellow member of Independent Authors United.

E M McIntyre is the author of the Red King Trilogy. Her first novel, The Phantom of Faerie Mountain won 1st place in YA Fiction for the 2016 Purple Dragonfly awards and Silver placement for YA Mystery in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite awards. E M is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives in Nebraska where she works as a Pediatric Cancer research lab manager. When not daydreaming of magic, mystery, and mischievous characters, E M enjoys gardening and spending time with her crazy pack of Italian greyhounds.

I am always eager to learn how other authors find their inspiration, and I asked E M how she arrived at the idea for the Red King Trilogy.

E M: The Red King Trilogy evolved from the combination of a distance-learning writing class I took through the Institute of Children’s Literature (ICL), and a prior once-in-a-lifetime adventure in the Highlands of Scotland. I was fortunate to spend eleven days in central Scotland during the summer of 2001. I fell instantly in love with the Highlands and, well, everything about that land so far from my home. I didn’t know it then, but a day-trip I made to climb Ben A’an (a popular miniature mountain) would shape my future goals.

GW: Sounds like an amazing adventure. Did you start in right away?

E M: Only if you consider a lapse of eight years to be ‘right away’.

GW: Please tell us more. What prompted you to start writing?

E M: The final assignment for my writing class at the ICL allowed me to begin a novel.

GW: Did you know from the outset where you would set the novel and who the main characters would be?

E M: There was no thinking about it; my story, my life-long dream of authorship, would take place in Scotland. A YA fantasy, aimed toward younger individuals in the spectrum became my goal. I knew I wanted my protagonist to be strong, intelligent, and perhaps a bit stubborn, but she would need an indigenous sidekick as well as a mythical companion.

GW: I know you have completed the first two installments in the Red King Trilogy. Can you share anything about your progress toward completing the third book?

E M: This final assignment for the ICL writing class led to the creation of my award winning THE PHANTOM OF FAERIE MOUNTAIN. I recently published the second installment in the trilogy, THE SECRET OF BERRY BRAE CIRCLE, and am in the planning stages of the conclusion, THE TALISMAN OF DARKTREE HOLLOW.

E M has been kind enough to share samples of THE PHANTOM OF FAERIE MOUNTAIN and THE SECRET OF BERRY BRAE CIRCLE with us.

 

 

THE PHANTOM OF FAERIE MOUNTAIN

A telepathic dog. An ancient prophecy. Two devious faeries. 14 yr old Abby Fletcher must unravel their connection when she is thrown into a world of unknowns after receiving a mysterious message from a frightening beast: The Red King must set me free. Determined to discover the meaning of this puzzling phrase, Abby sets off to explore a nearby Scottish mountainside in search of clues. What Abby doesn’t realize, however, is that it’s not a matter of where she will find her answers but when. Whisked back to the early 14th century, Abby must find the courage to solve the mystery of the Red King and save not only herself but a group of powerless captives wrapped up in a faerie plot.

Scene from Chapter One

A gruff, deliberate voice entered her mind: The Red King must set me free.

“Wha, what?” Abby choked in a whisper.

The beast blinked, entering her mind once again. The Red King must set me free.

Abby sat transfixed, hypnotized by the creature’s piercing gaze. She wanted to scream or cry or close her eyes, but she couldn’t look away. After a few moments, the creature raised its head, turned with a snort, and strode back toward the road. Disappearing into the thick fog, it paused for one purposeful glance back at Abby.

The Red King must set me free.

Then it was gone.

Abby stared in disbelief out the window. Did that really just happen?

 

THE SECRET OF BERRY BRAE CIRCLE

A kidnapped father. An ancient tome. A mystical gem. When 14-yr old Abby Fletcher returns home to present day Scotland with the help of her magical dog, Finlay, she receives a disturbing message: the Book of Shay in exchange for the life of her father. Pressed for time, Abby and the young Scotsman, Rory, set off in search of the mysterious book. In a whirlwind adventure filled with time travel, frightful adversaries and enchanted beings, their path leads to a time-worn stone circle. There, with Berry Brae’s secret revealed, Abby must make a life-changing decision in this second installment of the Red King Trilogy.

Scene from Chapter One

Abby felt a gentle hand stroke her forehead. “A-by?”

Abby opened her eyes. Her head throbbed. “Wha…What happened? Am I awake now?”

Rory’s fiery braids brushed Abby’s neck as he leaned over her. “Aye, A-by.” Concern filled the young Scotsman’s eyes. “Ye gave us quite a scare. Ye’ve been lost to us from the moment we arrived in yer time.”

“Are we really back?” Abby sat up with Rory’s help, unaware of those gathering around, watching her. Her mother held back tears as she shared hugs with Agatha and Mrs. MacTavish. Abby rubbed her face. “How long was I unconscious?”

 

CONNECT WITH E M MCINTYRE

Website: https://redkingtrilogy.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/finlayforever
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheRedKingTrilogy
Amazon: amazon.com/author/redkingtrilogy
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13855383.E_M_McIntyre
Book 1 Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsGWWIr2-xU
Book 2 Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYhgEqoIa8E

 


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Introducing Nicole Fitton

May’s featured writer is Nicole Fitton, whose second novel, Forbidden Colours, will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Image 5-1-17 at 12.08 PMNicole Fitton is an author and freelance writer who has lived in such glamorous locations as London, New York and Croydon! She currently resides in Devon, UK with her family. Forbidden Colours is her second novel. Her career has spanned over 3 decades working in PR and marketing within the music industry. She currently works within healthcare in the UK.

Alongside her novels Nicole has a passion for writing short stories.This year has seen her short ‘Soaring’ featured in an anthology by the Black Pear Press. Her stories always have a happy ending, but, the way in which they get there will keep you guessing right up until the last page! She admits she gets bored easily and can often be found enjoying new adventures!

I asked Nicole how the concept for Forbidden Colours came to her:

Nicole: Forbidden Colours was the evolution of a question that had been rattling around in my brain. You know, those annoying questions that wake you at 4am and won’t let you rest until you’ve written something. Well, that’s how it was for me. I had read a newspaper article about the complexity of the human brain and well, it all started from there.

GW: I know exactly what you mean. How would you categorize the novel?

Nicole: Forbidden Colours is a gripping love story which contains elements of psychological suspense. It has enough adrenaline-fuelled drama to power the national grid!

GW: (chuckling) Sounds like a good source of renewable energy. I’m always interested in the evolution of a novel. With Forbidden Colours, did the plot dictate the characters, or vice versa?

Nicole: Once I had the protagonist Midori Yates firmly fixed in my mind’s eye she took charge and dictated the direction of travel.

GW: I love that feeling where the character drives the story. What can you share with us about the plot? Without introducing spoilers, that is.

Nicole: The story centres around a new drug being brought to market that does not quite do what it is supposed to…. I shall leave it at that. I have a passion for science and being able to incorporate that into a book is very exciting.

GW: You mentioned that the idea for Forbidden Colours came to you as a question at 4am. Would you let us in on the question?

Nicole: It’s a question I often ask myself, but seldom has it led me in such an unusual direction…… ‘What if?’

 

Nicole was kind enough to share a sample of Forbidden Colours with us.

Forbidden Colours

41v7ICy+ooLWhat if your memories were not your memories? What if the drug hailed as a cure becomes your  curse and ultimately your destruction?

Forbidden Colours is a gripping tale where nothing is quite as it seems. Neurologist Nick Campbell is all set to believe in new drug Centoria, but when his patients start turning up dead he starts to wonder whether his faith has been blind.

Determined to uncover the truth, pharmaceutical employee Midori Yates and Dr Nick Campbell find a conspiracy that is to have devastating consequences for both of them. Forbidden Colours is a clever contemporary thriller that has numerous twists and turns that will make your head spin! A book for bedtime? Maybe but don’t expect to get any sleep.

Excerpt

Katzuko Yates eyed her daughter thoughtfully. A sense of apprehension gripped her. Those years in Japan were long ago; she wondered if she could be clear with her explanation. Even though buried, her memories continued to breathe under the mountain of life she’d lived. Dare she even speak of them? Could she speak of them? Their place of residence had become an unmarked grave in her history. Her family had a right to know, after everything that had happened. His world was dark and full of shadows; where would she begin? For over 25 years she had told no one. Now she was being drawn back into his world. It was a time she wanted to forget. The tie that had been bound to her so tightly was about to be broken.

 

CONNECT WITH NICOLE FITTON

Website address: https://www.nicolefittonauthor.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nicolefittonauthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MisoMiss
Pinterest: https://uk.pinterest.com/fitton3818/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nicole-Fitton/e/B01A3NSIL6/


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Introducing Victoria Schwimley

author photoThis month, I am delighted to turn the Gone Writing spotlight on my friend and fellow member of Independent Authors United, Victoria Schwimley.

Victoria Schwimley is the author of the Jessica Crawford romantic suspense series: Coveting Love and Confronting Truths. She also writes children’s mystery/adventure stories, and a YA Faith series: Capturing Faith and Twisted Faith. Her stand-alone novels are In The Victim’s Shadows and Lacy’s End.

I know that Victoria is especially proud of Lacy’s End, and I asked her to share with us how she came to write the story.

Victoria: The idea first came to me several years ago, when a close friend disclosed that she had been an abused spouse and nobody knew it. I was shocked, considering the friend, as I knew her, didn’t seem like the type to let someone abuse her. What I learned from her is that sometimes it isn’t as easy to leave as people think. I didn’t want to divulge any of her secrets, so I tried to put Lacy and Brenda into a situation that made it difficult for them to leave.

GW: Who is Lacy? What can you tell us without giving away any of the story?

Victoria: Lacy is a teenager being raised by a stay-at-home mother and by her father, who is also the town sheriff. She might seem like an ordinary teenager, but Lacy often goes to school with bruises on her body, and is somewhat shy and withdrawn. The faculty and Lacy’s peer group suspect what goes on in the Waldrip home, but given that Lacy’s father, and abuser, is also the sheriff, they turn a blind eye.

GW: When I read Lacy’s End, I was struck by a rather mysterious character who appears when Lacy needs him most. Who (or what) is Jake?

Victoria: I wanted Lacy to have someone to be her guide, someone who would know her thoughts and needs.  Is Jake real? I suppose that’s up to the reader to decide. My strong faith in God leads me to believe that someone like Jake could be very real. An after-death experience with my father sealed my faith in God and led me to believe that God gives us what we need, even if that is in the form of a guardian angel. Not everyone would agree, which I suppose is why I let the reader decide who or what Jake is to him or her. He could be an angel. He could be a figment of Lacy’s imagination, perhaps a special friend born out of desperation. Perhaps he is a gift from God after a frantic plea for help. Whatever he is, he’s a comfort to Lacy, and as you’ll see after reading the story, he’s what gives Lacy the strength to do what she must do to save her mother’s life.

GW: What else can you tell us about Lacy’s End?

Victoria: For most of Lacy Waldrip’s life, she and her mother, Brenda, suffered abuse at the hands of the man who is supposed to love them, cherish them, and protect them. To make matters worse, their abuser wears a badge and uses it to keep his deputies from interfering with his ‘right’ to discipline his women. Each woman has accepted her fate, each is determined to stay in the relationship to help the other. Then one day, the sheriff goes too far, and Lacy and Brenda end up in the hospital where they meet Dr. Allen Petoro. Together with a determined social worker, Angela Martin, Dr. Petoro vows to help the two victims break free of their abuser. However, Sheriff Peter Waldrip isn’t going to let his family go that easily.

Victoria was kind enough to share with us an excerpt from the first chapter of Lacy’s End.

“Lacy sat by the pond, one lonely toe poking into the water, swirling it around and around as she stared at her reflection. The action caused a ripple effect, sending tendrils of water outward in a circular motion.

She could still hear the yelling, even all the way out here. Even this far, the loud sounds caused her to flinch with each strike of his hand. Instinctively her hand went to her cheek, which still smarted from the sting of his whacks on her bare skin. It didn’t hurt as much as it used to, though. The beatings were so commonplace now that she no longer wondered when they would come, but rather how hard they would be. Her ears still vibrated from the thump, thump, thump of the landing blows.

She glanced nervously toward the house. Should she go now? If she went in too early, he was likely to turn on her again. What kind of help would she be then? She wrapped her arms around her still sore ribs, guilt plunging like a knife through her heart, but it was her mother’s turn now. Hadn’t she already had enough today? She couldn’t even remember what misdeed had set him off this time. The types and number of infractions these days were always trivial.

Her mother cried out, screamed was more like it. Lacy winced as she heard each strike to her mother’s face. She closed her mind against the knowledge of what he was doing. After all, wasn’t she the one who should be protected? Wasn’t it her mother’s job to look after her? It wasn’t supposed to be the other way around. Why her mother took it, she didn’t know. Couldn’t she stand up to him…just once?

Her mother screamed again, the sound so deafening Lacy closed her eyes and covered her ears. She feared this could be the one—the one time he’d go too far and kill her mother.

She knew, from experience, she would try to block the blows, first with her left arm, then with her right. Then finally, she would crouch low in the corner, trying to shrink herself as low as possible—hoping, against all hope, she could hide from him. Lacy knew that wasn’t possible. She had been there far too many times, and no matter how low she huddled, no matter how tight a ball she formed with her body, he’d still see her.

In her mind, she saw her mother trying to ward off his blows, and her heart swelled with sympathy. Lacy was young and strong, but years of abuse had weakened her mother. How much more could she take?

Her mother’s cries had become weak, diminishing as the strength left her. She knew her father’s hand would rise one last time and come down smartly on her neck. This blow would knock her unconscious and, mercifully, the beating would end.

Lacy looked toward heaven. “Please God—I need help. I can’t handle this on my own anymore.” She had no idea whom that someone would be. She had only one friend in the entire world, Millie Watson, and Lacy didn’t even understand why she was still sticking by her. The rest of her classmates thought she was a loser—not that she disagreed with them. One only had to look at her to see the qualities she lacked.

Her clothes were plain, her personality dull and lifeless. Her best feature was her eyes. They had a peculiar green color that sparkled like jewels. She liked stupid things like butterflies, daisies, long walks along the river, just as the sun was setting in the west and cast a fiery glow on the desert horizon. The thing she desired the most, however, was a soft, cuddly puppy. She wouldn’t dare own such a wondrous thing, though. Her father had enough punching bags as it was.

She started to rise, as slowly as she could to delay what she wasn’t looking forward to, even knowing her mother would need her, by the time she reached the house. She turned and as she did, she saw a figure standing across the pond. She was startled for a moment, her heart skipping a beat. She cocked her head at him, a curious expression coming to her smile.

He nodded his head toward the house, reminding her of her mission. She looked toward the house. All was quiet now, a sure sign she’d better hurry. Her mother’s head would need some ice.

She waved. She didn’t know why she did this. It just felt natural. She felt strangely drawn to the figure, despite the fact that her father had warned her—no, forbidden her—from having any contact with boys. She ran to the door, paused a moment in the doorway, and turned back to see her visitor. He was gone. As suddenly as he had appeared, he disappeared.”

Readers’ Favorite described Lacy’s End as “…an intense novel with compelling characters and a dramatic storyline.” I couldn’t agree more.

Lacy’s End is available from Amazon at: http://amzn.to/2fNRTn0

Victoria Schwimley lives in Elk Grove, California with her husband, children and many loving grandchildren who entertain her with wild antics and loads of laughs that give her plenty of story ideas.

To learn more about Victoria and her writing, connect with her here:

Website: http://www.victoriaschwimley.com/

Blog: victoriaschwimley.wordpress.com

Twitter: twitter.com/Schwimley

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/VictoriaSchwimleyAuthor

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/victoriaschwimley/

Amazon: Victoria Schwimley Author Profile

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/4952648.Victoria_Schwimley

The Romance Review: www.theromancereviews.com/vschwimley