Prizes up for grabs in the Blog Tour Sweepstakes include:
Carry on the Flame: 1 signed paperback, 1 ebook
Twin-Bred: 1 signed paperback; 1 ebook
Raven: 2 ebooks
Sunset: 1 signed paperback, 1 ebook
The Fool's Journey: 1 signed paperback, 1 ebook
How to Enter:
Enter your answers to the trivia challenge in the comments section, numbered 1-10. I will check them and the first person to get all the answers right will win a signed author copy of The Last Way Station!
Close Encounters with Fiction ... Plus, a Trivia Challenge
Almost every author has had one life-altering encounter with a work of fiction that left him or her as obsessed, and driven, as electrical lineman Roy Neary becomes, after his run-in with a UFO, in Steven Spielberg's, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Now, a handful of indie authors have agreed to "go public" about the close encounters that most shaped their literary careers.
Today's five authors include: Nuayma Jeggels, author of the fantasy novel, Raven; Arshad Ahsanuddin, author of, Sunset, the first book in his gay vampire sci-fi series, "Pact Arcanum;" Kristina Jackson, author of the paranormal novel, The Fool's Journey; Karen A. Wyle, author of the hard sci-fi novel, Twin-Bred and Jodine Turner, fantasy author of Carry on the Flame: Destiny's Call. All are featured authors in "The Last Way Station Mega Book Tour," a new concept in virtual book touring that showcases up-and-coming indie authors and features them in tag-team guest blog appearances, like this one.
The tour, named in honor of founder and sponsor, Jon Reisfeld's book, "The Last Way Station,", is sponsoring a Sweepstakes that will award a Kindle Fire to its grand-prize winner and a series of ebook bundles to runners up. Click here to learn more about today's featured authors and the other indie writers on the tour and Click here to enter your name in the Sweepstakes!
The Books That Most Inspired Our Authors
|The Lord of the Rings||The Sandman||Sparrow||Discworld||The Mists of Avalon|
For Author Nuayma Jeggels, the Novel that "Started Everything" was …
The Lord of the Rings
I have to be honest. It’s so difficult to point out a single novel that had the greatest lasting impact on my writing career. There are so many books that just …gained a place in my heart, with nearly no effort. But if I want to speak about my really short career, I would have to go with the novel that started everything, and that would be, The Lord of the Rings.
What should I say? I think that the series speaks for itself: The world building, the vivid characters, the heroic deeds —everything. Why did it have such a profound affect on me? I think it has to do with Tolkien’s attention to detail and the quality of his writing. But most of all, The Lord of the Rings inspired my own creativity, giving me the idea for my main character, Shardaie.
The Lord of the Rings has touched the imaginations of millions of readers across the world. Isn’t that wonderful?
Close Encounters Trivia Challenge
Take our authors' trivia challenge and see how well you score. Two questions come from each of their favorite works of fiction. (Answers will be provided on the day that our book giveaway winners are announced.)
1. The main character of the Sandman comic book is Dream, one of a group of anthropomorphic conceptual manifestations called the Endless. How many Endless are there?
2. Saga of the Swamp Thing by Alan Moore detailed the story of a human scientist whose personality was impressed upon a plant elemental. What was this scientist’s name?
3. Who wrote the novel, The Mists of Avalon?
4. What famous legend was portrayed in the novel The Mists of Avalon?
5. How many Rings of Power were there all together, in The Lord of the Rings?
6. What was the effect of the drink that Merry and Pippin consumed at Treebeard’s house?
7. In The Sparrow, how did Emilio Sandoz and Anne Edwards meet?
8. What was the nature of the first message Earth identified (in The Sparrow) as originating in the vicinity of Alpha Centauri?
9. In Discworld, what can't happen to the Hedgehog in the song?
10. Who was the first Troll officer in the Guards?
Author Arshad Ahsanuddin Took a Permanent Break from "Super-Hero Comics"when He Picked Up
I started collecting comic books seriously in junior high school. They were mostly fun and lighthearted reads, typically super-hero comics. Then one day, I came across a new title called, Sandman, by Neil Gaiman. It was STRANGE, different in mindset from the other comic books that were being produced at the time. The mystical/occult storyline, replete with original mythology, hooked my interest, and I followed the series loyally to the end.
Sandman completely changed my understanding of comic books. It broadened my outlook on the limitations of the medium and sent my interests branching out into other mystical titles that subsequently exploded onto the comic book scene. These included major players from the pre-Sandman era (most notably Alan Moore’s work in Saga of the Swamp Thing, and his post-Sandman classics Watchmen and V for Vendetta).
The revival of interest in contemporary and paranormal fantasy eventually led DC comics to establish a separate imprint called Vertigo, when the company finally realized the “gold mine” it had in its hands. I credit this shift in my tastes toward well-written and thought-provoking fantasy comics as a key element in my later decision to write in that genre.
Sci-Fi Author Karen A. Wyle Rates “No Book Higher” Than
|Karen A. Wyle|
In general, I dislike naming a single favorite in any category, including books. Nonetheless, I am only slightly uncomfortable in declaring that Mary Doria Russell's, The Sparrow, is my favorite novel. I majored in English and American Literature (lo these many years ago), so I have read quite a few “classics.” I rank none higher.
The Sparrow is not the first science fiction novel to exemplify how perfectly suited the genre is for examining deeply human issues. Using wonderfully lovable and articulate characters and a fascinating setting, it explores themes of interpersonal and cross-cultural communication, the struggle to understand one's own beliefs and feelings, and unintended consequences. It inspired me to address similar themes when I finally began writing my own fiction.
Ms. Russell, in defiance of much omnipresent advice for authors, has not confined herself to one genre. She also has produced marvelous works of historical fiction, including, A Thread of Grace, and, most recently, Doc. I take comfort from her example as I edit my second novel, which I do not regard as science fiction. (It takes place in an afterlife of my own devising, and one I that do not expect any starship to discover.)
A Boy’s Loud, Spontaneous Laugh Caught Author Kristina Jackson’s Attention and Led Her to the Book that Caused It:
There is, without a doubt, one series of books that has inspired me, enthralled me and had me laughing out loud in the bath: Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. I am sitting here pondering precisly what it is about the Discworld series that has had such a lasting impact on my writing career? Perhaps, if I share a memory with you it all may become clearer.
It was summer. The sun beat down and swallows screamed overhead. My best friend and I were lying in a hammock in her parentâ€™s garden, sipping Lemonade out of those glasses with curly straws entwined and attached up the sides. Her brother, a serious, studious boy suddenly, burst out laughing. Not just a guffaw, but a good belly laugh. It was enough to topple us out of the hammock and onto the soft ground below, spilling our lemonade. In his hands he held a Terry Pratchett book. Later on, he loaned me one, and both my Dad and I became hooked.
It is that memory that still burns like a beacon. I want to write to make people react strongly, in ways they normally would not.
Fantasy Author Jodine Turner’s Favorite Book, The Mists of Avalon May Have Magical Powers:
It Not Only Focused Her Writing; It Found Her a Husband!
When I first read the classic fantasy novel, The Mists of Avalon, I was enchanted with the story’s setting in Glastonbury, England, the ancient, 'Isle of Avalon.' I visited Glastonbury several times, and eventually moved there for 13 months in order to immerse myself in the energy, and do research, as all of my novels take place in Glastonbury. I actually met and married my husband there!
During my daily excursions to the Chalice Well, one of Glastonburyâ€™s sacred sites, I experienced waking visions that stirred my soul. I studied the local folklore and legend. Glastonbury taught me to explore the realms of mystery and magic, worlds seen and unseen. The worlds that lay parallel to our everyday existence. I tapped into these realms of legend and archetype, especially Celtic lore, to weave the dark and edgy magical fantasy aspect present throughout my novels. Using all of my experiences, I began to write my Goddess of the Stars and the Sea series about priestesses who had lived in Glastonbury throughout the ages and up through today.
Glastonbury remains one of my favorite spots. The Chalice Well Gardens, the beacon-like hill called 'the Tor' - all the sacred sites 'The Mists of Avalon' first introduced me to â€“ touched me deeply and continue to inspire the content of my magical fantasy, visionary fiction, paranormal-romance novels.
Thank you, Rachel, for allowing us to share our author's literary “close encounters” with your readers! - Jon Reisfeld