Tuesday, 15 April 2014

One Thousand World Interview with Mark Boyd

 One Thousand Worlds is delighted to welcome back Mark Boyd, who showcased the first one thousand words of his debut novel, The Prophecyhere last month. The Prophecy is the first book in his trilogy, A Dragon's Tale.

Tell us about The Prophecy.

The Prophecy is the first book of ‘A Dragons Tale’ trilogy. It sets the storyline and introduces the dragon/human element of the trilogy.
To backtrack, Mishmakon, The Dragon King is the third book. The Dragon King is born of human/elven/dragon blood and unites the races in the final battle for control over life or death of the world. 
The Prophecy tells of this foretelling and of its initiation with the love between Anaterri (a blue dragon in human form) and Prince Leandro Sargovia. There are those that fervently seek to stop this union before it goes any further and thus the story is told.        

How many books have you written?  

The Prophecy was the first and I have just completed Book 2, The Book of Genevieve.

What are you working on at the moment?    

The Book of Genevieve is now in the final editing stages and should be released, April 2014. I have already started writing on the third and final book of the trilogy, Mishmakon, The Dragon King.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?  

Patience, humility and a dedication to your reader base tends to keep one sane.  Also listening to and trusting in where your story is coming from.  A must is also trusting that the Universe will deliver all of that when it is required.

How much impact does your childhood have on your writing?    

A lot. I lived in a fantasy world much of my young adult life. It was easy to get lost in books when my world was not going well. It opened my mind to universe’s and realms to discover and conquer.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

Making out with girls, you asked.

If you could meet any of your own characters, who would it be?    

It would have to be Anaterri, a female blue dragon that chooses to live in human form. When she came to my mind, she was my ultimate fantasy for a partner, loving, sexy, tough, intelligent, beautiful, and a healer.

Do you have a favorite character among the ones you've invented?   

I would say Leto Sargovia is my favorite at this point.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I can let you know...if I ever decide to grow up.

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?  

What do you think about when you are alone in your car?  

Why are all these idiots on their cell phones? Get a clue people.

What song best describes your work ethic?    

Wow, this is a tough one but the first song that came to my mind was Free Bird by Lynard Skynard. I love the idea that I am free to write, free to publish at my discretion and free to speak my story. My mentor, Terri Valentine, an award winning romance author told me to never let an editor take my voice away. The traditional world of publishing has been bogged down with so many self interests that it will soon be a dying breed. Right now, it’s better to be a Free Bird.

Where you can purchase The Prophecy:

Connect with Mark Boyd:

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Jason's Indie Review - Fiona Skye's "Faerie Tales" on One Thousand Worlds

Faerie Tales

Faerie Tales is the first book of the "Revelations" trilogy by Fiona Skye.  Ms. Skye can be found on Twitter (@FionaSkyeWriter), Google+ (+Fiona Skye) or at her blog (http://fiona-skye.com/).  I met her on Twitter and she gave me a copy of Faerie Tales for an honest review.  You can find the book on Amazon (http://amzn.to/1imESg0).

Faerie Tales was featured on One Thousand Worlds in February 2014. You can read that post here.

Riley O'Rourke is a werejaguar responsible for exposing the world of the Preternatural to the rest of Humanity. But not all the things that go bump in the night are happy with the new world order.

The Queen of the Winter Court, a cruel and vicious faerie, is determined to punish Riley for her role in the Night of Revelations and sends some of the nastiest storybook characters imaginable after her.

Salvation comes from the Summer Queen, who asks Riley to steal a magical artifact from the Winter Queen, a mirror that will determine the winner in the eternal war between the Fae Courts. Riley's reward for returning the mirror is the protection of the Summer Court.

Joining Riley on this quest are her mentor, a 3,000-year-old vampire, and Riley's lover, a federal law enforcement agent with a secret of his own.

Their successful completion of this quest has unexpected consequences that could doom the entire world.

Fiona Skye writes well in Faerie Tales.  She has a sharp command of language, and the book comes across well edited.  I was impressed with how Ms. Skye's prose flows throughout the book. 

As I read this book, I most enjoyed the way Ms. Skye intertwines several different types of modern fantasy details into the novel.  There are were-creatures (not just wolves either, but many animal types), vampires, faeries, and magicians.  Magic exists, both old and new.  Ms. Skye takes the time to mix various real life myths and superstitions into one universe, and I found it worked to move the story along.

The book is written in the first person, from Riley's point of view.  It makes sense then, when Riley transforms, so does the author's writing style.  The character changes to something more primal and instinctual, no longer concerned with telling a story.  The glimpses of "Jaguar's" motivations and understanding of the world added to Riley's own emotions about being a preternatural.

If there was one part of the book I had trouble connecting with, it is with Riley and her romantic relationships.  As a man married most of my adult life, I could not relate to Riley in this regard.  Riley struggles with her feelings toward a love interest throughout the book.  Still, Ms. Skye spends ample time explaining Riley's troubled past, which helps put Riley's struggles into perspective. 

I wonder if in the future Riley will come to realize some of her issues with relationships are actually based in how the character approaches relationships and sexuality in the first place.  It would be interesting to see her grow in this regard in future books, and not fall into some sort of "love conquers all" simple solution.

While the book is a little slow to build up to the action, I was satisfied in the end.  I felt the book successfully sets up the world in which Riley lives and builds the necessary tensions and antagonists that will take the trilogy forward into book two.

I am excited to see how Fiona Skye continues the Revelations Trilogy.  She most impressed me with her clean writing style and ability to intertwine a number of disparate elements into a cohesive world. 

I recommend Faerie Tales to anyone looking for a modern fantasy tale of magic and preternatural action with a little romance thrown in, and look forward to seeing more of Ms. Skye's work in the future.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Author Interview - Raymond Bolton on One Thousand Worlds

One Thousand Worlds is delighted to welcome back Raymond Bolton, who featured here last month with the first 1000 words of Awakening.

About Raymond Bolton:

My goal is to craft gripping stories about the human condition, whether they are set here or another world. I've written poetry, for which I've received some recognition, and four novels. Two are explorations in science fiction: Awakening, an epic, released in January, 2014, and Thought Gazer, an adventure, part of a planned trilogy and prequel to the epic.

In 2013, under its working title, Renunciation, Awakening was one of eight finalists among 950 entries from the U.S., the U.K.Canada, Europe and Australia in the Pacific Northwest Writers Associations Literary Contest.

Tell us about your latest book.

I assume by this you mean my most recently published book, which would be my debut novel, Awakening. This was the first book I ever wrote, and when I finished it for the first time, it read like it. Even now, I have a hard time rereading the original draft, a meandering 174,000 word behemoth my wife rightly termed verbose. Over the course of several more years spent honing my craft by studying accomplished authors and writing other books, I kept returning to it, tightening the language, strengthening the plot, eliminating unnecessary subplots. You see, despite my inadequacies as a writer, I always believed in its underlying story.

Today, the recognition it is winning, like being one of eight finalists among nearly one thousand entries in a major literary competition, and the stellar reviews it has earned, tell me the efforts were worth it.

How many books have you written?

I have completed four novels. Two, including Awakening, are science fiction explorations. Two others are political thrillers. While I enjoy basing my stories in the real world, the amount of research it takes to produce compelling, credible work draws out production time to two years or more per book. In order to maintain a readership, I believe I would need three or four completed novels at the ready, while working on another, to be able to publish a series at the rate today’s readers demand. Consequently, I will probably stick to the sort of other-world sci-fi stories I can produce annually.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am developing Awakening’s prequel trilogy. Currently, I am engaged in the second rewrite of Thought Gazer, the trilogy’s first volume and have already completed seven chapters of Foreteller, the volume to follow.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?

You mean aside from caffeine? Hah! I, for one, need to keep in touch with other people, not only through the social networks, but face to face, skin to skin. Fortunately, my day job as a high-end hairdresser working in two cities 1,100 miles apart helps incredibly. The people in my chair, as well as those in the seat next to me as I fly, have stories to tell that keep me in touch with my humanity. And, eventually, these stories turn into characters.

How much impact does your childhood have on your writing?

Like many, I was bullied as a child. I was always the nerdy one. Fortunately for me, instead of allowing my tormentors to claim victory by beating me into docile submission, I fought back—not only physically, but psychologically and emotionally. The sensitivity I developed manifests as multi-dimensional characters.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

That life’s greatest lessons are not learned in school.

If you could meet any of your own characters, who would it be?

I suppose I would like to meet Pithien Dur—a telepathic outlaw with an attitude.

Do you have a favourite character among the ones you've invented?

No. I love them all. I hope that shows when people read about them.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

You mean “if.” Although running businesses in both Portland, Oregon and Santa Fe, New Mexico requires a great deal of maturity and responsibility, I would hate to lose the child-like imagination that spawns my stories.

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional, with whom would it be?

There was a time when I could have named someone. Not any more. After years trying to get to the heart of me, to work out who I am, I am finally content with whom I have become. In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

You can purchase Awakening from Amazon:

In paperback at US 

Kindle edition at US

In paperback at UK

Kindle edition UK

Connect with Raymond Bolten:

Facebook Author Page


Twitter at @RaymondBolton 

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Author Interview - Jeffrey G. Roberts on One Thousand Worlds

One Thousand Worlds today has the pleasure of interviewing Jeffrey G. Roberts.

About Jeffrey Roberts-
I was born 2/24/49, in New York City. I graduated from North Miami Senior High, in N. Miami, Florida, in 1968. I attended Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, Arizona, receiving degrees in writing and history. My hometown is Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, but 3 years ago I moved to Tucson, Arizona. I have written 7 novels and 10 short stories; mostly science fiction, fantasy, horror, and comedy. The Healer is the 1st to be published, by BookLocker.com. I have a life-long interest in aviation, having soloed in 1968, while attending Miami-Dade Junior College.

Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book The Healer, is a science fiction novel set in the year 2181. Dr. Reynolds Cully is awarded a Harvard grant to travel to Mars with his family. His assignment is to research the physiology of an ancient race there, now long extinct. All their recorded history lies within the titanic edifice known as The Face on Mars. But while there, authorities discover an eons old Martian time/space travel device. This is apparently how they explored the universe, when dinosaurs still ruled our Earth. But a mystery has always intrigued him: he is granted a National Science Foundation grant to use the ancient device, and travel to Earth in the year 2013, to try and solve the medical mystery known as The Great Alaskan Plague of 2012. Eventually he does reveal the cause. But unbeknownst to him, back in 2181 Mars, a sinister group of religious zealots known as the Creation Purity Brigade, believe unearthing of Martian artifacts and cultural icons is sacrilege and blasphemy to Judeo-Christianity. And they blow up the time/space travel apparatus! Dr. Cully is now stranded in a violent & primitive world – ours; 168 years and 150 million miles from his wife & children. How will he survive? How will he heal using 22nd century technology, without exposing his real identity; and possibly altering the course of history in doing so? It is a crisis of conscience he must grapple with. But he has no choice. For he is – THE HEALER.

How many books have you written?
I have written 7 books. THE HEALER is the first to be published, by Booklocker.com.

What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am working on # 8, a novel entitled The Horror on the H.M.S. Cottingly; a comedy science fiction story, My Pet Carrot Speaks Norwegian; and an essay, The Cult of Infinite Complexity.

What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
The most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer are: faith in a higher power, enough sleep, treating yourself occasionally to comfort foods, good friends, a hobby or diversion, and a 55-gallon drum of industrial strength Ibuprofen right next to your computer.
How much impact does your childhood have on your writing?
My childhood impact on my writing had to be more nature than nurture: my father was a writer for the radio show Duffy’s Tavern, after the end of WW II.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
The greatest thing I learned in school (Northern Arizona University) is that creativity & imagination cannot be taught. They are innate.

If you could meet any of your own characters, who would it be?
If I could meet any of my characters, it would have to be Dr. Reynolds Cully, of The Healer.

Do you have a favourite character among the ones you've invented?
One of my favorite characters would have to be Ogden D. Fwipplesnifter, from my fantasy/comedy novel The Weird and Wondrous Bottle.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
What do I want to be when I grow up? Who says I have any intention of growing up? But when I was growing up I wanted to be a test pilot. My ultimate dream job would have been to work for NASA on the Mars exploration team. But math aptitude was never my strong suit. So much for astronautical engineering.

If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. with whom would it be?
If I could trade places with someone for a week, it would probably be either Donald Trump- for his money- or Dr. Franklin Chang Diaz, former NASA astronaut, and physicist who now heads Ad Astra Corp., developer of the VASIMIR engine for interplanetary flight, which will be capable of speeds of 123,000 miles per hour.

What do you think about when you are alone in your car?
I don’t think about anything in my car because I no longer own one. Eventually I will again. But when I did own one, I usually concentrated on where I was going, and my driving.

What song best describes your work ethic?
The song that best describes my work ethic? I Did It My Way, by Frank Sinatra.

Where you can purchase The Healer:


Connect with Jeffrey G. Roberts:

Friday, 4 April 2014

Whispers of a Storm (Book One of the Storm Trilogy) by Anthony Lavisher - A One Thousand World Review

If you enjoy a well written epic fantasy adventure, then you won't go far wrong in reading Whispers of a StormIt is the first book in what promises to be a great trilogy and no doubt the start of a blossoming writing career for its author Anthony Lavisher. Anthony is kindly offering a signed copy as the first prize in a giveaway, with an ebook version for the first three runners-up. For a chance to win, scroll to the end of this post.

The Blurb
The inhabitants of the Four Vales have enjoyed over fifty years of relative peace, since its armies defeated the Reven Hordes threatening their homeland. Under the fair rule and guidance of the high duke, its people have thrived and prospered, free from the shadows of war. The Vales are peaceful and the capital city Karick is quiet. But in the gardens of the high duke's keep, dark plots are whispered and fell deeds being planned. A humble stonemason falls asleep whilst working in the gardens and upon waking, inadvertently overhears a conversation that plunges him deep into the heart of the coming storm. A young noblewoman is to be kidnapped and used as a pawn in this dark game... Whispers of a Storm follows the stonemason and noblewoman's fortunes as they unwittingly become involved in a dangerous game of survival, as they try to find out what dark storm is about to break out across the Four Vales. Who would seek to unsettle this harmony? Why would they want to? How can the stonemason and noblewoman discover what is going to happen and more importantly, expose those behind the plot, before it is too late. A tale of political intrigue and high adventure, Book One of The Storm Trilogy follows the fortunes of two individuals, whose personal journey of survival may yet help to save and shape the future of their homeland.

Richie's Review

Although this is Anthony Lavisher’s debut novel, he is clearly a wordsmith of much merit. Whispers of a Storm is an intriguing, beautifully written story following the fortunes, or more like the misfortunes, of the immigrant stonemason Khadazin, and Cassana, daughter of the Lord of the North Vales.

The story sets off at a great pace, jumping straight into the action. Lavisher paints vibrant scenes which appeal to all the reader’s senses. He expertly builds a believable world populated by some great characters, tantalising the reader with many as yet unanswered questions – this is the first instalment of a trilogy.

I certainly enjoyed all the different strands of the story, especially the parts concerning Khadazin. Whispers of a Storm is a fast-paced page turner, which maintained its inexorable pace more or less throughout, switching from one story line to the other. Being harsh, there was a very occasional typo, but this in no way spoiled my enjoyment of an excellent book.

There’s a great cliff-hanger ending, which left me looking forward with excitement to reading the soon to be released second book of the series.

Overall, Whispers of a Storm is a thoroughly enjoyable and beautifully written story.

One Thousand Worlds' rating: 5 stars.

(Buy it now!)

You can purchase Whispers of a Storm from:

Connect with Anthony Lavisher:

Reviewed by Richie Earl. Please note that I purchased this book after recently coming into contact with the author via Twitter.

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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Further Explorations (David Russell) in One Thousand Words

Further Explorations by David Russell is today's feature on One Thousand Worlds.

Further Explorations-

Energised by their lovely liberating experience, Janice and Cedric are determined to ‘spread their wings’ and take the world by storm, a two-person conspiracy. They head off physically in different directions, but remain in constant depth communication electronically, ever comparing notes, monitoring each other’s minds and experiences for a depth of mutual understanding. They may meet again fully equipped with a great depth of self-knowledge, and a knowledge of each other’s depth. They negotiate giddy peaks of high finance; Janice even does into ‘dreamscape’, making a pact with the devil. Further delights of sensuality are explored by both, with exotic partners; the depths and shallows of life are all embraced …

About the author-
b. 1940. Resident in the UK. Writer of poetry, literary criticism, speculative fiction and romance. Main poetry collection Prickling Counterpoints (1998); poems published in online International Times. Main speculative works High Wired On (2002); Rock Bottom (2005). Translation of Spanish epic La Araucana, Amazon 2013. Romances: Self’s Blossom; Explorations; Further Explorations; Therapy Rapture; Darlene, An Ecstatic Rendezvous (all pub Extasy (Devine Destinies). Singer-songwriter/guitarist. Main CD albums Bacteria Shrapnel and Kaleidoscope Concentrate. Many tracks on You Tube, under ‘Dave Russell’

They beamed at each other, sizing up their physiques again, comparing their respective performances which had led up to that climax. Then Janice breathily broke the silence. “You were an astral rocket, surging, grounding, resurging.”
“And you the booster supreme.”
After a final hug, they wistfully shrugged, along with smiles and suspicions of tears. “We’ve both got our planes to catch, darling…we’re all wired up.” They turned their backs on each other going down their separate lanes.
Janice and Cedric’s bittersweet parting, executed with watertight composure, froze that moment of perfection. Their state-of-the-art arrangements, so efficient in sustaining long-term contact were so effortlessly executed—miraculously, none of the hitches either of them experienced with their other contacts—that they simply had to have been exquisitely premeditated, but all the more because, regarding functioning in the immediate present, they were both prone to fumble and stutter.
Yet, there was a sense of permanence in that kaleidoscope world of fleeting acquaintances. Shattering glasses always sharpens, enriches the vision. Closet pyromania fantasy makes every dreamer dynamic—visions of the inferno, crashing of all solid architecture, but with the stench of charred flesh blanked off. Such an abundance of good looks and vibrant expressions passing by on the streets; it felt that any one of them had destructive potential, mighty cataracts at close quarters. The diffusion of that potential sustains the world’s equilibrium, global spark potential.
As they lived so exclusively for the depths, the buoyant currents of life had forced them up to the surface, to embrace the shallows, while sustaining their ability to forsake them, in perfect control of their natural buoyancy. That was the precarious stability engendered by their conjoint imbalance, melding of premeditation and blind panic, undermining and invigorating—generating a zest for life through the threat of its loss. But privately, they both missed the comfort of a little warming clumsiness. Living without it was like negotiating ungritted ice on a road—so easy to be injured if the path is too smooth, and the ugly, grinding monster can be a saviour.
If it was a matter of being nourished by the celebrity images, there was some potential there of Hugh Grant meeting RenĂ©e Zellweger—weights adjusted just right without painful drab dieting, though they were both thorough in burning away the calories. Perhaps next time, they could let go a little, though each of them always looked naturally spruce and together. Their negatives were revealing full images in the darkroom, the changing room, the transformation room, under the common denominator of its red light—great to contemplate the universal monochrome, fabulous the flaunting, waving of the leanness to reach out for their ideals.

It is good that kindred souls sustain contact when travelling in opposite directions. Vacua are good for slow-tempo reflection…
Geographically, their paths and areas had been quite close since childhood. Their respective parents’ careers had been near parallel in terms of both town and position in the hierarchy. Minute adjustments, of course, could easily have driven them oceans apart. But as things actually mapped out, in the cold, fluorescent light of reality, early-life setbacks were happily avoided while their protective shells hardened. Their respective cynicisms had come to full fruition and then their sophistication cracked and burst with full pollen prior to their encounter. From the bottom of the jaded fatigue of disillusionment, they could only rise, bubbles in the bottle, beaming at all their onlookers.

Now they would expand their disrobing into global recklessness. The repartee, live and electronic, proliferated and ricocheted.

They’ve got the right to do what they want to do with each other and keep themselves to themselves, and don’t bother anyone, thought Janice.

“Yes, I appreciate that the boundaries of tolerance are shifting dramatically, but we can’t just stand still…” mused Cedric.

Having speculated so long, so timidly about becoming swingers—and with a great deal of initial revulsion, they had at last done so. Having lagged so long in the rear, they had jumped to the head of their queues without jostling, without pushing. The tides of change had broken down each one’s formidable, well-tried barriers. And in this case, miraculously, the reality made a snug fit with the anticipation and reverie. They made high fidelity recordings with their memories. Ok, so there might be subsequent evaporation, a dry, crumpled-parchment residue, but perhaps renewable with a suitable inundation.

The museums are so state-of-the-art now when there is such a polarity between their structure-shells and their contents. Those obscure vaults long ago lost the allure of their inaccessibility. So many now can be satisfied by reproductions or flickering images of their contents. The antique facades are now so brazenly open to the stonemason. Mentally, perhaps physically, they would become daredevil athletes

They simultaneously fired that starting-gun of supreme adventure at each other. “It’s time to burn the boats!”

Theirs was the ice-skating giddiness of euphoria, with its swirling skirt concomitants—its figure eights. Janice felt a few querying ripples about her orientation. Sometimes it felt it was fuzzying and melting round the edges, the aesthetics of concocting an eclair. She did appreciate beautiful women, those ballerinas, runners, swimmers—yes, and skaters! She loved to see herself as she would love others to see her, galvanise the cameras, be their elusive, flirtatious magnet.

Cedric did indeed have some androgynous, near-feminine grace about him. Perhaps this had been a precious, isolated incident to compare, contrast and counterpoint, manipulate the borderlines, her mirror-image, melting the gender barriers including her gaining some desired hardness—or maybe massed mirrors, modulating every angle. Or did she, at heart, wish to stand before eternity as a crystalline statueposthumously fulfilled? A pilgrimage to the great melting-pot seemed called for. In her fantasy, she could coach him to become her ideal. They had both enjoyed their mudlarking as kids, before appearances took over and they polished their presentable interfaces for the smooth world.
Again, they had attended many of the same cycling rallies, but never meeting, each radiating impeccable chic with state-of-the-art crash helmets, elbow and knee pads. Superbly enjoyable events, great heady highs without hangovers, defiantly streaming past those harassed motorists in their traffic-jam queues—neither had witnessed a crash.

Where you can purchase Further Explorations:

Amazon UK

Amazon US