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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Fellowship of Fantasy Fan Art Contest!!!

I'm especially motivated to tell you about this in hopes that some of you have created artwork related to my own books, of course, but this is a fun opportunity for any reader who has been inspired by an indie author. It's really easy to find artwork inspired by best sellers or books that have gotten movie/tv deals, but the less known authors often have awesome worlds that look great in a visual medium.

Read on to find out how you can enter your indie inspired fan art:

Do you like to draw, paint, or sculpt? Have you read a book by a Fellowship of Fantasy author and been inspired to create art? Here’s your chance to show it off to our page followers … and maybe win an awesome prize.
Announcing the 2017 Fellowship of Fantasy Fan Art Competition!

To enter email a scanned copy or photograph of your artwork as a PNG or JPEG file to hlb@hlburkeauthor.com.
Name of the artist.
Title of the Piece (if applicable)
Name of the book the art represents.
Age of the artist (or what age category the art should be entered if if you would rather leave off your exact age. The three categories are 16+, 11 to 15, and 10 and under.).
Verification of your contact email address.

The winner of the 16+ age category will receive a Fellowship of Fantasy ebook library of 16 fantasy titles. (prize available internationally)
The winner of the 11-15 age category will receive a Fellowship of Fantasy mini-library consisting of 5 paperback and 8 ebook fantasy titles (ebooks will be substituted for a non-US winner due to shipping costs).
The winner of the 10 and Under age category will receive a mini-library of 5 paperback titles as well as a colored pencil set (digital prize such as an Amazon gift certificate may be substituted for non-US winners depending on shipping restrictions to the winner’s location).

While artists maintain the right to the artwork, the artist entering their work in the contest gives us license to post the work in our public feeds and use the image in promotional materials if desired.
Art must depict characters/scenes from an Indie fantasy author. Not from an IP controlled by a major publishing house or corporation.
Winner will be chosen via social media likes. There will be three winners selected, one for each age category (16+, 11 to 15, and 10 and under).
Commissioned artwork is disqualified from the contest. This does not disqualify artists who have sold other artwork, just they cannot have been paid specifically to create this artwork for the writer (so no cover art).
The art needs to be easily represented in a still image or by photographic means. Sorry no videos, performance art, or written word pieces at this time.
Inappropriate art or art deemed insensitive or inappropriate for our audience may be disqualified at the contest runner’s discretion.
Authors may not submit art directly related to their own work, though they may submit art related to the work of another author.
Children, spouses, friends, relatives of authors are free to enter even if the art is related to that author.
Art must be original work, submitted by the artist or the legal guardian of the artist if the artist is a minor.

Submissions and Deadlines:
The submission period runs from August 14th through September 16th.
All eligible submissions will be posted on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/fellowshipoffantasy) for readers to admire and to vote using their “like” buttons.
Winner determined by social media response October 1st.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Random Interview Saturday! Savannah Jazowski

The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.
There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author.
Our next author sails in on an airship ... I wonder what she named it. It's Savannah Jezowski!!!

Savannah Jezowski

Author Blurb
Savannah Jezowski lives in a drafty farmhouse in Amish country with her Knight in Shining Armor, her little warrior princess and a loyal brigade of dogs and kitties. She is the author of When Ravens Fall and is also a featured author in Five Enchanted Roses from Rooglewood Press. Her work has been published in Ray Gun Revival, Mindflights and in the student publication of Fountains at Pensacola Christian College. She likes books, faeries, writing hats and having tea with her imaginary friends.
Sum up your life in five words and two punctuation marks.
This one is easy: FAMILY!
Pirates, Ninjas, or Vikings? Choose carefully.
Vikings all the way. I would have chosen pirates once upon a time, but after writing my last novella (yes, it was about Vikings) I have to say I have a fondness for the rugged and ornery Northmen. Have you ever read Nordic poetry? Some of it is actually pretty cool, and they're legends are over-the-top-awesome. Did you know there is a gossiping squirrel called Ratatoskr who runs up and down the great tree causing mischief between the bird at the top and the serpent at the base? He inspired Tosk, the comedic and painfully chatty squirrel in my book When Ravens Fall. And that’s only one of many legends that wormed their way into my short novella. So many unique stories one can draw inspiration from. And their outfits are cool.
Are computers friends or foes?
Aren't they both? They really can be useful--my brain moves too quickly for me to write a novel longhand, but the relationship between Operator and Computer is pretty dicey. I mean, I'm not sure I would even classify it as a relationship. More like mortal combat. It's like grabbing a dragon by the tail and saying "Hi, there! We're friends, right? Yes? Maybe? Oh, you want to eat me now. Okay. I'm good with that. When you're all done with your snack, can we finish my novel?"
If you had the honor of naming something really big (a country, a spaceship, a planet) what would you want it to be and what would you name it?
I would totally name an airship. I've always wants to write a steampunk novel about an airship called the Persephone. It just sounds like an awesome name for an airship.
If you favorite historical era had an ice cream flavor made in its honor, what would it taste like?
You mean I have to pick one favorite era? because they're all pretty neat. For example, the civil war era they wore those awesome dresses, and the Victorian era were so refined and turn of the century. Then there's the Vikings, or the age of Chivalry...I guess if I had to choose, I would choose the era of Downton Abbey. I love the elegance and the love with tradition, but also the excitement of change and rising technology. What would it taste like? Orange and lemon sherbert--mixed. A traditional flavor that's been around a long time and another one that packs a nice punch.  
Did you bring me anything?
Um...my daughter is blowing kisses? Does that count? Before you decide, you should know she’s six months old so her kisses are mostly, uh, spit.

Vs movies seem to be all the rage. If you had to put one together, what on screen match up would you like to see?
Wolverine vs. the Thundercats because the Thundercats are that amazing. You do know who the Thundercats are, right?
What film era do you feel best represents your day to day life?
My life is pretty quiet, all things considered. I'm not sure what film era would fit that best...but I love BBC movies based off classic novelists like Dickens, Gaskell and Austen. I watch films like Pride and Prejudice, Little Dorrit, Cranford…ooh, my all time favorite is North and South based off the book by British author Elizabeth Gaskell. It’s about the tensions between a girl from the idyllic southern portion of England and Mr. Thornton, the brooding factory owner of the cold, materialistic north. But what that has to do with my, uh, everyday life is anyone’s guess. My husband works in a factory. And I live in the country. So there. I guess it fits just fine.

If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?
I’m rather introverted and get nervous when people ask me questions, especially personal questions that require me to bare my soul and share my most appalling secrets…so, I guess the safest question would be: What is your name? To which I would answer, “Savannah,” because even on my worst day I know the answer to that question.

Author Links
When Ravens Fall
Five Enchanted Roses

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Review: The Beast of Talesend by Kyle Shultz

The Beast of Talesend (Beaumont and Beasley Book 1)

by Kyle Shultz

Private eye Nick Beasley lives in a world where fairy tales ended a long time ago – where zeppelins now soar the skies instead of dragons, and where the first automobiles have taken the place of flying carpets. He’s made a name for himself across the Afterlands by debunking fake magicians and exposing fraudulent monsters. This is the modern age, after all. Magic and monsters are long gone.

At least, that’s what Nick believes. Until he gets magically transformed into a monster, that is.

The only person who may be able to help Nick is Lady Cordelia Beaumont, one of the last enchantresses in the Afterlands. But in order for her to cure him, they’ll have to retrieve a powerful artifact from a ruthless crime lord – who is also Cordelia’s father.

The fate of the Afterlands lies in the hands of a runaway enchantress and a monstrous ex-detective. What could possibly go wrong?

Perfect for fans of Doctor Who, Once Upon A Time, or The Dresden Files, the Beaumont and Beasley series features high adventure in a world where fairy tales are history.

My Review

This book is so much fun!
I've read a lot of fairy tale detective attempts that got things wrong, so it is refreshing to read one that gets it right, mainly with the world and characters. Yes, they are exaggerated and larger than life, but they remain relatable with believable flaws and strengths. While nothing comes too easily, they also avoid the "characters bumble around like idiots for easy laughs and to make the plot go longer" mistake.

One thing it does so very, very right is committing to the world and characters. They are written "real" with more than one layer rather than a veneer of "this is a type of character you've seen before so you will recognize them and I don't need to try any harder" that you often run into in this tongue and cheek type of fiction. The world is believable and grounded while still retaining a bit of self-referential snark.

There is a fun, old Hollywood feel to the story. Like I can see Nick cast as Jack Lemmon or Bob Hope in a Ghost Breakers style movie.

Nick is a pleasant mix of over-confidence and vulnerability. Cordelia is unpredictable but competent, more flexible than Nick, resilient but believably damaged by a backstory that is subtly hinted at.

This reads as a complete tale (though a few important story points are left unresolved for sequels as well as hints of future adventures) which I would highly recommend.

Purchase on Amazon

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Random Interview Saturday! RACHEL TRAUTMILLER

The H. L. Burke Random Interview is not like other interviews. The questions are all over the place. They have no purpose. Their purpose is their lack of purpose.
There are nine questions because cats, but these nine questions are subject to change without notice, so the questions one person answers may not be the questions answered by the next author.
Again, I apparently am bad about counting questions because this author is the second to accidentally receive 10 questions in spite of my carefully crafted intro ... but she answered them well, so I give you Rachel Trautmiller!!!
Rachel Trautmiller
​Author Bio:
Rachel writes novels filled with murder, mayhem, and romance that leave her readers wanting more incredible twists and turns. SIDE NOTE: A nightlight may be required. Some bleary-eyed mornings have been known to occur. When she’s not riveting readers with the chaotic and sizzling mess of her character’s lives, she can be found poolside with her husband and extremely cute toddler, a dog, and one fat cat. She enjoys football, reading, fingerpainting with her daughter and discussing the NFL draft with her husband. She loves anything to do with the FBI, law enforcement, and the military, spending time with friends and family. And interacting with her readers. 

If you had a store, what would you sell?
A little bit of everything. I LOVE garage sales. I love digging through junk and finding treasure. One time when I was nine, a friend and I found an old newspaper clipping (no actual recollection of what it said) and we were sure something sinister had happened and began an all-out search for more clues. I'm pretty sure this type of store isn't in high demand, but if money is no object, why not? RACHEL'S JUNK. YOU WANT IT, WE PROBABLY HAVE IT, UH, SOMEWHERE? IT'S IN THE JUNK!

Sum up your life in five words and two punctuation marks.
Married young. Waited for Children!

What is your ideal writing space?
Ideal? Really? After my store comment? I could write anywhere. Sometimes, I do. Standing at the kitchen island while my daughter eats lunch. Sitting in our overstuffed chair facing our salt-water fish tank, outside overlooking the pool. If I've got my laptop (or even pencil and paper) I'm good to go. And inspiration. That's a must. Just this evening I wrote with paper and pen while my daughter listened to Psalty The Singing Praisebook (hope that takes a few of you back!).

Give yourself a totally new look, as dramatic as you want. What is it?
Rainbow-colored hair comes to mind. My daughter is currently obsessed with it. Original, I know, but I'm pretty uncreative in this area. Until recently, I still owned clothes I wore in eighth grade! 

Tree House or Cave? And why?
Tree house! Have you heard what could be in CAVES? Spiders, bats, bears, snakes and murderers (why not?). Did I mention BATS????

Nic Cage: Mad man or misunderstood genius?
No idea, but he has a bit of lisp when he says certain words. And all I'm picturing is the tick he has in Matchstick Men. It's enough to make me crazy! 

If you could live inside a theme park ride, which would it be?
Peter Pan at Disneyland. 

What’s the most important lesson you ever learned from a cartoon?
If you pull on a cat's tail, his head will then move in an equal and reciprocal motion on the other side of his body without any kind of physical harm. Kidding... Or am I??

Do you consider yourself a cat person, or a dog person?
Both. I find both to be lovable and annoying at times. Our pit is almost always ready to snuggle with you, but at attention regarding any feline within fifty miles. Or stray leaves. The neighbor taking out his trash cans. And our cat, before he passed, was up for a good scratch on HIS terms and not a second before. If he didn't instigate, he got ornery fast. 

If this question were any question in the world, what question would you want it to be and how would you answer it?
Do I like this type of question? No. No, I do not. BUT I may have some better answers for it on my blog. www.racheltrautmiller.com

Mailing list: http://eepurl.com/bzNfCf


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Ultimate Nyssa Glass: Realm Award Winner!

The Faith and Fantasy Alliance has created the Realm Awards to recognize the most excellent speculative fiction books written by Christian authors in the previous calendar year.

I'm so proud and excited to announce that my book Ultimate Nyssa Glass is the winner of the YA Category for the 2016 Realm Awards!

About a year and a half ago, I'd just finished Cora and the Nurse Dragon and was trying to decide what to write next when I got an idea for a book that was a deconstructed puzzle/adventure game ... and somehow a teenage girl popped into my mind with a snarky voice and a distinct sense of self and a compassionate determination to do the right thing even when face with impossible odds. I later realized that I modeled her after my daughter, Coryn, as I anticipate her growing up, but at the time she was just Nyssa Glass and Nyssa Glass became a current that swept me along for over a year.
As a writer all my characters and stories are important, but there's just something about Nyssa (and Ellis), so seeing them now honored as the Realm Awards' Young Adult winner (beating out books that had actual publishers behind them when I'm a "doing it on my own" Indie) is incredible.
Thank you everyone who followed Nyssa's journey.
Thank you Jennifer who designed those awesome covers.
Thank you, God, for planting Nyssa somewhere in my brain, and thank you to the designers of the Myst series because I worked this story backwards from being addicted to your adventure/puzzle games in high school and trying to dissect what made those games so much dang fun.