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411 on Books Authors and Publishing News Guest Post

If you had to compare this to any book out there, what would you say this like? Or is it a combination of a few books? Or is it like nothing we may have read before?

Hey! Thanks for hosting me today.

It’s so funny you asked this question, as I was recently discussing this very thing with a librarian recently. I was trying to figure out what Outfoxed could be compared to.

We both drew blanks. Well, I drew little hearts all over the sheet of paper I was using, as I couldn’t think of anything, so I doodled. I doodle hearts and roses to make myself feel better when my brain fails to produce a satisfactory answer.

Doodling didn’t help me, as we were discussing comparisons to help me connect with readers who might like this book. The problem is simple: we aren’t aware of anything out quite like it. I came up with one comparative, which is this:

For fans of Twister… with a magical… er… twist. (I’m going to my room now, and I will come out after my assigned hour of punishment is over.)

It’s a genre twister.

I’m going back to my room now.

My comparative is really bad, and I’m sorry.

But seriously, that’s exactly what it is: it’s a genre twister. I take some modern elements of urban fantasy, I toss in the action-adventure of supernatural suspense, and I fling in a hint of slow burn paranormal romance. Then I add in a pissed off Mother Nature, a quadrant named the Alley because it’s predominantly what we know of as Tornado Alley in our society, and a lot of tornados. A lot of them. It has an element of storm chasing to it, but with a magical twist and unreliable meteorology. (You’ll find out more of why it’s unreliable in the book.)

Sprinkle in a villain in the background, a heroine who isn’t sure how the heck she became the heroine of this story (she wants off the ride now, if you please), and a hero with morals almost as twisted as the latest funnel cloud to say hello to Tulsa.

I just can’t think of anything quite like it. Most urban fantasy systems don’t break up the United States, instead doing ‘secret society’ or something similar, where I’ve flat-out integrated the magic system—and doing so early enough in history to change how technology developed as a result. 

I can’t even mish and mash good books from various sub-genres to get something almost like Outfoxed. I read a lot, but… I just haven’t seen anything quite like this, which is part of why I wrote it. I can think of one book that integrates storms really, really well, which is Resenting the Hero by Moira J Moore. It has storms, and it has storms in a really interesting way. It does not have storms in the same way I use them in Outfoxed, but it’s the first (and only) fantasy book I can think of. It’s also hilarious, and I quite enjoyed the story!

I recently found out there were more books in the series than the first one, so I’ll be reading them at a later date to see if they live up to the first one for me. I have my doubts because I loved the first one that much.

But at the end of the day, Outfoxed is for those who want something a lot different in their urban fantasy/supernatural suspense.

I hope you enjoy the read!

 

Outfoxed
R.J. Blain
(The Fox Witch, #1)
Publication date: November 3rd 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Death is a way of life outside of the safety of Inner Tulsa, and Jade means to keep flipping Mother Nature off until old age claims her. With one eye always on the sky, the last thing she needs is a pack of bounty hunters out for her living head. With no idea of why anyone would want her, her wits might keep her free, assuming she can resist the charming lures of Sandro, one of the men out to claim her as his own.

Left with the choice of being the evening snack of a tornado or taking shelter with the bounty hunter, she does what she does best: she lives on the edge.

Striking a bargain with the handsome bounty hunter buys her another day of life, but it also dumps her into the heart of a sinister plot, one meant to enslave the residents of the storm-tossed city—and the others brave and foolish enough to call the Alley home.

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Author Bio:

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.

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Secret Legacy
Carissa Andrews
(The Windhaven Witches #1)
Publication date: September 15th 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal

☆☆~~ 50% of Royalties Donated to the American Cancer Society! ~~☆☆

Nestled in the woods of Windhaven, Blackwood Manor waits to unleash a dark and deadly legacy…

When Autumn Blackwood shows up at Windhaven Academy for the Witching Stick Orientation, she hopes to find out what dormant powers she could possibly possess to have been accepted to the elite supernatural school. Instead, the academy is in chaos as everyone frantically hunts for two missing girls.

But as school begins with Autumn no closer to figuring out her powers, strange occurrences start to follow her everywhere. Even at home, Blackwood Manor keeps many secrets, and Autumn can’t escape its haunting past.

New friends urge her to learn more about her family’s history in order to unlock her powers and make sense of what’s happening at Blackwood Manor, but Autumn’s not so sure. Once an accident brings Autumn face-to-face with death, however, she realizes her gifts are tied to a legacy that can either save or doom them all…

Fans of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, Joe Hill’s Locke & Key, or MR Forbes’ Necromancer: The Complete Series will love The Windhaven Witches.

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Interview with Carissa Andrews

  1. Tell me about your writing process? Do you have the story mapped out in your mind or on paper before writing? Or are you a “pantser,” making it up as you move along?

In the past, I was definitely a pantser. I loved the idea of letting the story take you where it wanted to. These days, though, I map out the plot first and go from there. I start by creating a loose “skeletal” outline for the series (if there is one), then the book or books. Once those are in place, I go in and create chapter-by-chapter outlines that allow me to see where the story really is going at a glance. The process is almost like pantsing, since it’s the first glimpse into the way the story will go. I don’t typically try to force the plot into my idea, instead, I look for patterns and what would make a cool twist or plot development.

  1. What was your inspiration for this book? What gave you the idea to write it?

Secret Legacy has a long legacy. (Thus, its name! HA!) It originally started out as part of a dream I had when I was 14 years old. The dream itself felt so real that I could swear to this day it was a past-life memory. I’d never been in a house with such grand (or old) features before. The dream took me into what would become my “new bedroom” and from there, I found a small door hidden behind the wallpaper. I couldn’t get it opened at first because the handle was missing – which, in my dream, I found I the closet. (Spoiler: that’s not where my main character finds hers. HA!) When I opened it… I was shocked to find what I did. I woke up just after opening it. So, to me, in many ways, the mystery of the house and the little door were the primary focal points in Secret Legacy, but there’s a lot more hidden beneath the surface – which starts to come out in the following books.

  1. If you had to compare this to any book out there, what would you say this is like? Or is it a combination of a few books? Or is it like nothing we may have read before?

It’s hard to say what it’s like for sure. In some ways, it’s similar to The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong, though I only recently read it thanks to a few readers suggesting it was like that book. Some of the themes are definitely the same. Supernatural beings, ghosts, finding out you have powers you didn’t know you had. But Secret Legacy follows a character who’s twenty, so she’s much older than the fourteen -year-old in Armstrong’s books. The house aspect of Secret Legacy reminds me of The Haunting of Hill House. There are hidden rooms, strange places, and of course, ghosts… I also have had a number of readers liken it to The Gateway Series by EE Holmes, and I would have to agree with that in some ways. So, if you like any of those books, you’ll likely enjoy Secret Legacy.

  1. Do you have any interesting facts or anything about your book (or the writing process) that you want us to know about?

One of the fun things we’ve done this year with Secret Legacy is that we’ve created a live-action trailer for it. My husband got the idea of doing something bigger for it and he’s always wanted to take a stab at filming and directing. He took the book, wrote a small script, and created the storyboard/scenes/set. (Yes, he built most of the set for it!) The entire process has been an experience, particularly thanks to the pandemic, but one that I will have such fond memories of for the rest of my life. We gathered up some of the most amazing young people we know, asked them if they’d join us in this crazy experiment, and we found that we surrounded by some incredible talent. From actors to makeup artists, we really have it all. It’s safe to say, you’ll likely see more live action trailers coming from our court in the future.

Author Bio:

“An author emerges from the depths of Minnesotan waters. Sci-fi/Fantasy is my pen of choice.”

Carissa Andrews is a Minnesota-based genre-bending author who writes a combination of science fiction, fantasy, and dystopia. When not writing her own books, she’s busy reading them.

Carissa’s internationally bestselling trilogy, The Pendomus Chronicles, is now in digital, print, and audiobook formats. She has hit the scene as an up and coming speculative fiction author who uses a mix of scifi and fantasy, twisted in modern mythology and alternative history. Check out The Final Five, Oracle, Awakening, and Love is a Merciless God!

Carissa has big plans for 2020. Check out her upcoming series, The Windhaven Witches.

For more information on their release, visit Carissa Andrews’ author website: http://www.carissaandrews.com and sign up for her newsletter notifications.

She lives in central Minnesota with her husband and brood of five kids. Not to mention, her insane husky puppies, Aztec and Pharaoh.

Carissa is also a freelance graphic designer, writer and content creator, social media manager, and marketing professional. She writes consistently on topics of science, technology, art, writing, photography, graphic design, health, self-improvement, and more. Her articles can be found published across the interwebs. Carissa is also a Top-Rated Freelancer on Upwork, and can be contacted for freelancing opportunities: http://bit.ly/UpworkCarissaAndrews

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