Tuesday, January 12, 2016

#GiveAway #Interview - Blood’s Force by Ellis Morning


Blood’s Force
by Ellis Morning

Ellis Morning will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner during the tour. Please use the RaffleCopter below to enter. Remember you may increase your chances of winning by visiting the other tour stops. Those locations may be found here

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Interview:

Crystal: Today I have the pleasure of hosting Ellis Morning. Welcome Ellis! I'm so happy to have you here today! Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?

Ellis: Hello, Crystal! Thanks so much for hosting me today! :) I'm a 33 year-old who lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband. An all-purpose computer geek by trade, I jumped out of the rat race to write full-time two years ago, and I've never looked back.

Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?

Ellis:  I've always been partial to when Dame Jessamine has her first conversation alone with Captain Ingvar Leirfall, the first person in Nidaros who seems less than impressed with her.

I managed to wait until we were alone in the corridors, then darted up alongside him with a gleeful grin. “You think I’m full of it! Don’t you?”
At my strange accusation, Ingvar halted within the estate corridor as though he’d struck an invisible wall, staring at me in bloodless terror.
My glee never faltered. I stopped at his side, grinning. “What else do you think is full of it?”
He remained transfixed, probably not sure what to make of the bizarre tone accompanying my questions.
“Want me to go first? Gladly.” I bounced on my toes, giddy enough to illustrate the blasphemy I hoped to hear from him. “How about Master Ormyr pushing off important business to schmooze? How about Baron Tristan knuckling under because of Ormyr’s ‘magic’ drivel?”
“And what of knights errant, and the tripe ye peddle from one cesspool to the next?” Ingvar snapped. A scowl chased away his disconcertment. Annoyance restored the color to his face. “The only loyalty any of ye arse-head sellswords know is to your coin-purse! Ye serve no actual purpose short of bashing each other’s heads in and dazzling people with lies!” An accusing finger jabbed at my nose. “Your garbage may impress the others, but I’m wise to you! Pretending like ye’re the next coming of Zander. Skíta! If ye’d ever actually earned a shred of Lord Catherwood’s confidence, he’d have made you a proper knight in his service! Don’t know what ye’re supposed to be doing here, but damned if I’ll let you make things worse!”
At this welcome display of nerve and candor, I burst out laughing. Weak knees backpedaled me against a wall, where I doubled over, laughing until every assisting muscle ached and I struggled to breathe.
Ingvar had frozen in place with a worried expression, maybe thinking he’d stepped too far.
“That was outstanding,” I hurried to reassure him, pushing away from the wall and wiping at the tears my amusement had forced out.
Ingvar remained still, silent, and tense.
“I’ve thought all the same things about most of my ilk.” I spoke with difficulty, stray giggles escaping here and there. “I have to play those games too, but, I really do try to be the good person in my stories.”
Like Branigan. A second unwelcome wave of tears clouded my vision. I shoved away the thought with a sniffle and shake of my head, passing the whole thing off as further recovery from laughter.
Ingvar continued to watch me as though I were a snake coiled to strike. Confusion gradually overshadowed his anxiety. “Ye’re not—?”
“Offended?” I supplied with a smile. “Hell no. The truth’s refreshing, not offensive. Aside from the murky ill intent, you sniffed me out. Good work.”
Ingvar still seemed confused, his tense posture unable to relax.
I stepped closer to him and lowered my voice to further press my luck. “Besides, I said some pretty grave things about your master adept. I notice you haven’t yet hanged me for heresy.”
“Not tonight. A rain’s coming, poor weather for’t.” There were no windows nearby to lend Ingvar any guess as to the weather. His steel gaze latched onto mine, and he lowered his voice in turn. “Ormyr is full of rot, besides.” He resumed his walk down the corridor.
I held back, staring after him in approval. A member of Baron Tristan’s court who didn’t jump when Ormyr found an invisible hole in the floor, and was brave enough to speak his mind. Was it just Ormyr he thought was full of it, or superstition in general?
My heart pounded. Could we be even more kindred than I suspected? Though I longed to know the answer, it was something to probe carefully. I didn’t want to scare him off—and really, some caution remained warranted. This was possibly an act; Ingvar might’ve been earning my trust so he could draw me out and condemn me later. I didn’t believe it, but I had to keep the idea in mind.


Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for Blood's Force?

Ellis: I've long had a habit of writing when things were slow wherever I worked. Short stories, fan-fiction, RPG posts, whatever I happened to be into at the time. In 2006, I randomly had the idea of a hard-nosed galactic mercenary who happened to carry the title of knight errant, and drafted the start of a short story at work. My husband encouraged me to continue it, but for many years, it sat untouched. I hadn't had much aside from a neat idea, which didn't bode well for finishing a draft.

In 2009, I revisited that idea with the intention of actually creating a novel-length story for it. I settled on a quest, then fleshed out more details about the world and the characters who'd populate it. Dame Jessamine's hard-nose sarcasm melted into compassion (with the occasional side of sarcasm). Because I was working full-time and also committing the cardinal sin of editing before I was done drafting, it took me a very long time to complete a draft. That finally happened in 2014. Another year or so of editing, and I had a published manuscript, plus a draft for the next adventure.

Crystal: What are you currently working on?

Ellis: I'm in the middle of edits and rewrites on the second book of the Sword and Starship series, entitled Harbingers, which will pick up right where Blood's Force leaves off.

Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing? 

Ellis: I sit down in front of my laptop with coffee and instrumental music, typically in my office with the door closed. I favor writing in the morning, when I feel the most "on." In fact, now that I write full-time, I keep regular office hours (8:00-12:00 Monday through Friday), but when real life gets in the way of that, I can adapt.

Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned you would like to share with us?

Ellis: Surprisingly, even sci-fi/fantasy requires a good bit of research. My personal martial arts experience helped with the fight scenes, but the protagonist, Dame Jessamine, is more prone to heal one's wounds than cause them. At one point in Blood's Force, she faces the challenge of extracting an arrow without any modern medical equipment. Not being a doctor myself, I had to do a good bit of research for this part. I happened to find reports concerning a Dr. Joseph Howland Bill, who wrote the definitive reference on arrow extraction in America during the late 1800s. One interesting thing I learned: you wanted to avoid pulling out the arrow. The shaft could be used to locate the arrowhead, which could otherwise be dangerously elusive inside the human body.

Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?

Ellis: Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut are at the top of my fiction list. For any fellow Mark Twain fans, you'll find a little flavor of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court within Blood's Force. Carl Sagan is my favorite non-fiction writer for the simple, gentle way he encouraged others to explore science and critical thinking—also important themes in Blood's Force.

Crystal: Is there a genre you haven't written that you would like to try?

Ellis: I have some ideas for historical fiction, superhero, and Western stories that I might explore once the Sword and Starship series is completed. I've already written hard sci-fi and mythological short stories, which are available for free at my website for anyone who may be interested!

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BLURB:

Where superstition is law, there is no order!

Dame Jessamine is a knight errant with a spaceship for a steed, a pupil of ancient science and technology who quests on behalf of the downtrodden. She's accustomed to forging her own path through the galaxy—until she's hijacked at sword-point and sent to investigate Nidaros, a remote barony known for bursts of rebellion.

In Nidaros, Jessamine finds a populace short on food and patience, innocents detained for torture, and a court trapped in a web of delusion. The Baron considers her a distraction. The magicians, convinced of a "curse," dismiss her pleas for rational action. Even as Jessamine forges an alliance with the soldiers, an unknown foe seeks to frame her as an agitator.

Stuck amid murderous intrigue and cut off from her mentors, Jessamine must figure out how to save Nidaros from starvation. But the only people who understand the true "curse" have been accused of witchcraft—and if Jessamine's not careful with her ancient knowledge, she'll join them in the dungeon!

Blood’s Force is Book 1 of the Sword and Starship series of science fiction/fantasy adventure.

GENRE: Sci-fi/Fantasy

LINKS FOR BUYING THE BOOK:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks   


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EXCERPT:

At my strange accusation, Ingvar halted within the estate corridor as though he’d struck an invisible wall, staring at me in bloodless terror.

My glee never faltered. I stopped at his side, grinning. “What else do you think is full of it?”

He remained transfixed, probably not sure what to make of the bizarre tone accompanying my questions.

“Want me to go first? Gladly.” I bounced on my toes, giddy enough to illustrate the blasphemy I hoped to hear from him. “How about Master Ormyr pushing off important business to schmooze? How about Baron Tristan knuckling under because of Ormyr’s ‘magic’ drivel?”

“And what of knights errant, and the tripe ye peddle from one cesspool to the next?” Ingvar snapped. A scowl chased away his disconcertment. Annoyance restored the color to his face. “The only loyalty any of ye arse-head sellswords know is to your coin-purse! Ye serve no actual purpose short of bashing each other’s heads in and dazzling people with lies!” An accusing finger jabbed at my nose. “Your garbage may impress the others, but I’m wise to you! Pretending like ye’re the next coming of Zander. Skíta! If ye’d ever actually earned a shred of Lord Catherwood’s confidence, he’d have made you a proper knight in his service! Don’t know what ye’re supposed to be doing here, but damned if I’ll let you make things worse!”

At this welcome display of nerve and candor, I burst out laughing. Weak knees backpedaled me against a wall, where I doubled over, laughing until every assisting muscle ached and I struggled to breathe.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Ellis has always loved staging adventures in her head before going to sleep each night. When she was twelve, she started putting these adventures on paper.

For the next twenty years, she wrote with varying degrees of seriousness, but always as a hobby. In that time, she fell in love with Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut, the original Star Trek series, and Mystery Science Theater 3000. Science fiction became her favorite domain to work in, but she also enjoyed reading fantasy, horror, Western, and detective stories, and incorporating their elements into her work. One of her favorite things to do was make people laugh.

Ellis denied being a writer for decades. But then she sold articles to The Daily WTF, and a short story to Analog Science Fiction and Fact. After quitting her full-time job to finish her first novel, it was time to own up to writing as her calling. She's currently an editor at The Daily WTF, and having the time of her life penning novels and short stories.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Google+: https://plus.google.com/+EllisMorning 
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/EllisMorning 
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7871892.Ellis_Morning 

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

42 comments:

  1. Really enjoyed reading the entire post, thank you!

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  2. thank you for the chance to win :)

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  3. What is your favourite place to read?

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    1. Hello Mai! I answered in another comment but want to reply directly just to be safe:

      I'll happily read anywhere, but I prefer my couch on a quiet day, when I have a few hours. No distractions, lots of time to indulge in "one more chapter." :D

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  4. Hi everyone! Thanks so much for stopping by - and thanks again to Crystal for hosting me today! :)

    Mai, I'll happily read anywhere, but I prefer my couch on a quiet day, when I have a few hours. No distractions, lots of time to indulge in "one more chapter." :D

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  5. How did you decide on the cover for your book?

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    1. Hi, Helen! I had a rough idea of what elements I wanted on there, and my cover artist did a fantastic job fleshing them out. His name is Chris Howard (www.saltwaterwitch.com).

      I think an action-oriented book should have a nice dynamic cover, or at least the promise of something awesome to happen. :) It's nice to see characters, but better to see characters doing something. The art can tease at plot details, but doesn't have to give everything away.

      However, the cover should never lie. I was always disappointed as a kid when I read books where the cover had nothing to do with anything!

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    2. Thank you for taking the time to reply! It's a brilliant cover - full of movement. I love it! Agree with you totally, the book cover should reflect what's inside!

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  6. thanks for sharing the great excerpt!

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    1. I'm really glad you liked it, Danie! :)

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  7. I really enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for sharing it.

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  8. I really enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for sharing it.

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  9. Really great post! Sounds like an awesome book, thanks for sharing :)

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  10. If you could travel to another country, where would you go?

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    1. Hello, Becky! :) I’ve already been to Mexico, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, and Switzerland. They’re all wonderful in different ways! A country that’s on my bucket list is Iran, which is where my mom comes from. Traveling there isn’t really feasible right now, but I have a wonderful family there whom I’d like to meet in person someday.

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  11. I love science fiction stories, this one sounds like an interesting mixture that reminds me of the stories by Christopher Stasheff. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you very much, ELF. Keep reading sci-fi! :)

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  12. Thanks for the giveaway!

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

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  13. Thanks for the giveaway! I like the excerpt. :)

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  14. I really enjoyed the excerpt and interview, thank you for sharing!

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  15. If you weren't an author, what would you be?

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  16. What was the first book that you remember reading?

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  17. Did you come up with the title for your book first, or at the end, once you'd finished writing it?

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  18. Bit random this time, but are you a dog person, or a cat person? (or neither!)

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