Author Archives: Michele Israel Harper

Whispers in the Dark Blog Tour: Author Interview

Oh my goodness, I’m so excited to be a part of this blog tour!

This book snatched my interest right away, and I immediately bought it.

I cannot wait to share it with you.

But first! An interview with the lovely author herself:

Hello, Pam! I’m so excited to have you on my blog today. Let’s dive right in!

  1. Where did you get your idea for your story?

I’ve always loved Beauty and the Beast-type stories. I like the diamond-in-the-rough heart-of-gold underneath a scary exterior. Just that little extra thrill of danger, the lure of the forbidden, the realization that you can see through to someone most other people can’t reach.

Being the “Beauty” is exciting and powerful, because she’s basically his only hope. In many ways the “Beast” is powerless–he can hold her there, but he can’t force her to love him, which is what he really needs. So then I thought, what if he didn’t even have that much control? What if she could walk away? And if she can, why wouldn’t she?

I like a challenge, and wanted to make people believe that a girl could fall for a monster. My readers do–I think half of them are in love with him, too–the word ‘adorable’ keeps coming up!

On a more serious note, it’s about judging someone for their actions, not their appearance or their social skills. That’s personal for me, because my son has autism. He’s incredibly sweet but it’s going to be challenging for him to find love, so I want to encourage people to see past the surface.

That sounds wonderful! Thank you for encouraging others to look beneath the surface.

  1. Do you like zombie lore or do you watch any zombie shows? (Such as Walking Dead, I am Legend, World War Z, Resident Evil…okay, I think those are the only ones I’ve heard of!)

Honestly I’m not a zombie fan at all–I don’t like violence or horror or gore. I mean, I was familiar with the lore just in a general way. But then someone recommended the movie Warm Bodies, and the trailer completely hooked me. Awkward, introverted, funny guy…who also happens to be a corpse. He falls in love with a girl, rescues/kidnaps her, confuses the heck out of her, and learns to be human again. Because of the aforementioned Beauty & the Beast thing, this was something I had to see. I found the movie during a really stressful time in my life, and it was my happy place for a while. Great humor, great music. It’s based on a book which is also amazing, but the book is darker so I prefer the movie. Gradually I started wondering what if…? A little later on, I was also reconnecting with God, so I wanted to make this Christian-friendly, which obviously required changes!

One of my early readers was also a huge fan of the movie, but she said she actually preferred my book, which was awesome.

So glad to know I’m not the only one who finds zombies horrid! (Yet still wrote a zombie book. Hmm…)

  1. Zombies scare the living daylights out of me, but I find the story wrapped around them fascinating. What scares you yet oddly intrigues you?

Scary yet intriguing? Hmm… good question! I’d have to go with the ocean. Seriously, I love being on the beach and watching the waves, for hours, but there’s so much power in the water. I live in the Carolinas, so hurricanes are a thing. A very destructive thing. Maybe I’ve seen one too many tsunami videos, but water can destroy whole towns. Not to mention the possibility of sharks. I’ll watch from a safe distance, thanks very much.

Also, I pay attention to politics, which is way scarier than fiction sometimes.

Lol! Yes, they are!

  1. Who did your fabulous cover art? He’s a genius!

I know, right? I am so blessed with that cover. Found a guy on a Facebook group–I asked about recommendations for cover artists, and told a little bit about the book. Venkatesh volunteered and said he’d be excited to work on what he called an epic project. His website is called killerbookcovers.com and man, did he deliver. He asked what I was thinking, and I told him the basics. He blew me away with the result. I still sometimes just look at it and sigh happily. He’s got very reasonable rates and was always responsive to my concerns, so I cannot recommend him highly enough.

Hmm…I shall keep him in mind… ;)

  1. Is this a series? If so, how many more do you have planned?

Nope, not a series–a guaranteed happily ever after. I might do more in that universe, but I probably won’t. I have a sci-fi/romance/adventure series I’m working on next–four books and counting in that one, but they need a lot of revisions.

Oh, good! I love happily ever afters more than anything! And more books in the works? Yes, please!

Thanks for having me! I appreciate it!

Thank you so much for coming on my blog today! I absolutely loved having you!

And now you, dear reader, need to go check out this book ASAP. Just sayin’.

I hope you love it!

In Him,

Michele

She’s a preschool teacher. He’s kind of a zombie. It would never work.

Karen teaches post-apocalypse preschool, safe inside city walls. She never intended to get caught outside.

Leo is technically alive, but perpetually zoned out: Mindless. He can see emotions as colors now, though, so at least there’s that. Like the other Mindless, he feeds on the emotional energy of humans. Then he meets Karen–her unique energy jolts him partly awake, and he’s hooked. He protects her but when she’s rescued, he lands in a cage.

Karen wants to go home, but until then, she also wants to spy on her sketchy host, which brings her into contact with Leo.  He’s recovering, and surprisingly sweet, and he’ll protect her in any way he can.  She returns the favor, but this alliance can’t last; she’s leaving, and he’ll be killed for science.

Leo doesn’t expect her to even talk to him, much less help him. But she does–and that emotion she has when she looks at him?  He doesn’t know what to call it, but it’s not fear.

Karen can go back to her life–if she abandons Leo. She can’t stay with him, she can’t take him home…but without her, he’s dead.

He saved her. Can she save him?

 Winner: Fool for Love contest, VA Romance Writers, Dark Paranormal category (2015)

Finalist: First Impressions contest, American Christian Fiction Writers, Speculative category (2015)

Purchase Links:

About the Author:

Pam Jernigan started writing in elementary school and never quite got over it. Invisible friends are some of her favorite people. She was born a Yankee but realized the error of her ways in her early twenties and moved to North Carolina, where she now lives with one husband, two almost-grown children, and two almost-grown kittens. The cats may move out before the children do; time will tell.

She’s always been a sucker for variations of Beauty & the Beast and is partial to romance stories that feature a hero who falls for the heroine on sight and has to hustle to get her attention and prove himself worthy. Snappy dialog is always a plus. She’s a firm believer that people have enough angst and drama in their real lives, so she writes to entertain and let readers escape to fun worlds which are not entirely constrained by reality.

Pam has written and shared weird stories for thirty years, and in 2017 she finally got up the courage to self-publish. Whispers in the Dark is not the first novel she’s written, but it was the first to get up to publishable quality. Self-publishing has been an adventure. She looks forward to doing it again, as soon as those other novels are whipped into shape.

She religiously avoids talking politics in public (which is to say, she tries to avoid it but sometimes fails) but will cheerfully confess to being a Christian. She loves to sing anything from Handel’s Messiah to modern country to Christian rock.

Social Media Links:

Website / Facebook / Twitter

And a Giveaway!

Five Poisoned Apples Cover Reveal

Oh my goodness, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be a part of the Five Poisoned Apples cover reveal! I love these fairy tale retellings so much!

To refresh your memory, first there was Five Glass Slippers.

Then Five Enchanted Roses (for which I began writing Kill the Beast but didn’t finish in time to submit. I’m sensing a pattern with this particular story…)

Then Five Magic Spindles.

Happy sigh.

Aren’t the covers gorgeous?

Well now you get to see Five Poisoned Apples.

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Wait for it…

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It’s coming…

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It may be my favorite of them all…

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Ta-da! Isn’t that perfection? Sigh. So gorgeous… (insert sappy, starry-eyed emoticon here)

So now the nitty-gritty details.

This is a contest.

It begins today.

Open to all authors anywhere.

Snow White themed.

Any genre whatsoever.

(Are you catching my excitement yet?)

In other words, you can write up a delicious story, submit it to this contest, and quite possibly be published in this gorgeous fairy tale-retelling collection.

In other words, WHY ARE WE BOTH NOT WRITING YET??? Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!

(Yes, I used all caps. Yes, I shouted. Yes, I used too many punctuation marks.)

But what are you waiting for? Check out the details and get to writing!

I’ll be cheering you on the whole way.

In Him,

Michele

THE FINAL FAIRY TALE CONTEST
Rooglewood Press invites you to join the adventure of the Five Poisoned Apples creative writing contest!

*Cover Model/Photography by Wynter Clark

*Covers by Julia Popova

Five Reasons Why I Love Linneah: An Editor’s Perspective

I can’t even tell you how excited I am to be a part of J.M. Hackman’s blog tour for her new release, Spark!

(And I must say, it’s such fun to put down the pen of being an editor and simply bask in reading a story I love! It’s so good, you guys. So good.)

When Spark first crossed my desk, I knew we had to publish that book. It was incredible. Vivid characters, beautiful imagery, a fun and light read…Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing needed that book in our line-up.

And I was never so thrilled when J.M. Hackman agreed!

Then came the months of editing, working with formatters and cover designers, marketers and publicists.

And then we had a finished product. And I got to sit back and simply enjoy the story.

Brenna is just a normal teen. Going to school, hanging out with friends, shooting fire from her bare hands…um, what? When her mother disappears, Brenna will do anything to find her. Even travel through a portal. But life on the other side involves intimidating griffins, cryptic prophecies, and elusive enemies. Brenna must choose wisely whom to trust or lose everything.

I love it so much! And here’s why.

Five Reasons Why I Love Linneah

  • Because starting fire with your bare hands (without getting burned) or pulling down a tornado from a cloud above is considered perfectly normal

I mean, Come. On. How cool is that? I’m ready to jump through a portal right now! (Okay, okay, I’m not exactly Linnean, which apparently I’d need to be in order to have those powers, but still.)

  • Because bonding with a griffin is now a new life goal of mine

They fly, they communicate without saying a word, and they’re handy in combat. I definitely want one of these on my side!

  • Because portals

I really don’t think anything else needs to be said here…

  • Because as terrifying as the Silvastamen forest is, it’s still freaking cool

Blade pines, Dragon Demons, Blood Spinners–on second thought, maybe I’ll just stay at the castle…

  • Because I’d get to meet Anna the shapeshifter

She’s wicked awesome, her slang is endearing, and she has a heart of gold. Plus, getting to see her change into wind? Where is this portal again?

From Spark:

Talus stepped forward, but I held up a hand. “Please don’t ask me who I think I am. I’m Brenna the Firebrand, fulfiller of the First Prophecy.” I drew a deep breath, praying for oxygen mixed with courage. “For better or for worse.”

There are so many more reasons why I love this story, but I need to go get ready for the Facebook Launch Party now.

I’ve got ebook codes to send, prizes to mail, and posts to get ready to go. So much fun!

But before I go, be sure to check out yesterday’s blog post, a lovely review of Spark by The Story Sanctuary.

Tomorrow’s post will be a behind-the-scenes peek on www.KatHeckenbach.com about Spark’s magical world.

And you can get your very own copy here! (I hear the ebook is $2.99 instead of $4.99 for this week only!)

And do not miss the Facebook Launch Party today! So many prizes, so much fun–I cannot wait.

Click this link to come to the party!

(Psst. Below is a sneak peek of one of the giveaways. Also a book I adore! There are many, many more prizes!)

See you there!

In Him,

Michele

About the author:

J.M. Hackman has held many positions: assistant librarian, office assistant, office manager, substitute teacher, writer, wife, and mother. She still holds the last three. And loves it. She received a degree in Elementary Education from Pennsylvania State University and now spends her days writing stories, consuming massive quantities of chocolate, and looking for portals to other worlds. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, or at www.JMHackman.com.

I am thrilled!

Author Laurie Lucking from Lands Uncharted made my year!

In her post titled “Top 3 Books That Exceeded My Expectations,” she includes Zombie Takeover! My book! She likes it! And she hates zombies, too!

Oh, I am positively giddy.

You simply must read this fabulous blog post.

See the post here.

She also reminded me of a guest post I wrote for Lands Uncharted last year titled, “My Top 3 Spec Fic Books.”

I adored these three books then, and I love them even more today! (Yes, they may possibly be the three pictured above…)

See my guest post here.

Isn’t that marvelous?

Thank you, Laurie Lucking, for loving my book as much as I do!

In Him,

Michele

Kill the Beast and Writer’s Block

As many of you know, Kill the Beast was supposed to release mid-March. Key word there being “supposed.”

Oh, by the way, hi! I haven’t posted anything about my writing for months and months, so I thought I should remedy that! ;)

Ahem. Back to Kill the Beast.

So here I am, plugging away at this incredible story in my head, exploring all the different threads, and I finish my story. Look at the word count. 35,000. No, no, no! This glorious book needs to be a full-length novel, not another novella!

(The prequel story to Kill the Beast, “Beast Hunter,” is in the anthology Hodgepodge. Let me just say, novellas are easy-peasy to write. Unless, you know, it’s the novella to Zombie Takeover that’s been sitting on my computer for two years. Unfinished. I digress.)

So in November 2016 I do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, for those of you who may not have heard of it) and get the story up to 95,000 words.

Success!

Right…?

Not so much.

I’m thankful I did it. I am. I pulled so much depth and additional storyworld and motivation from this story, it makes my heart sing. I adore this story so much more than I did when I started writing it! It is glorious. Or will be. Someday.

For now it is a tangled mess that laughs at me. I cannot untangle it. The characters (who are also laughing at me, btw) are telling me this is how the story should be but giving me no clue how to jump from one scene to another. How to weave the story back together so it’s as glorious on paper as it is in my mind.

So there it sits, mocking me, and I want to cry every time I look at it.

So when will Kill the Beast come out? Once it untangles itself. Once I hack it to pieces. Once I have a draft my editor won’t look at as if it’s a piece of poo to be dropped in the nearest wastebasket.

Sob! (I will not wallow, I will not wallow…)

So, now that you have a peek into my world as it is in this moment in time, I am going back to editing other people’s works of art. You know, people who actually can write and aren’t stuck like a tractor in a sinkhole, sucked into misery and wallowing. No! I will not wallow!

What about you? Have you ever been stuck on a project, whether writing or something else? (FYI, we are not calling this writer’s block. Not at all. I refuse to believe that’s a thing.) :)

I hope your week is fabulous, your days full of hope, and your years full of joy.

Happy Writing!

In Him,

Michele

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