Operation Mallory

Several times, I’ve extolled the virtues of the indie world and the wonderful authors I met on Twitter and Facebook. When people complain that technology is limiting interactions in real life, I can’t help but think that I would be so alone without said technology.

Recently, Julia Hughes contacted me and asked if I wanted to give a hand in a collective effort to help a fellow author in need, Stephen C. Spencer. Stephen has been battling brain cancer for a while, and doesn’t have the time and energy to keep marketing his books. As any indie author knows all too well, if you don’t advertise your books they disappear, buried under millions of other titles. Soon, your sales dwindle to nothing and your livelihood is seriously compromised. Imagine having to pay exorbitant medical bills on top of that.

Authors following Stephen on Twitter and Facebook—fans of his books—touched by his personal tribulation decided to do something for him, and Operation Mallory was born.

Several authors have come together to help revamp Stephen’s thriller series and put his books once again on bookshelves worldwide. Sean Campbell has put together a new website, found a graphic designer, Clarissa Yeo, who created brand new covers for the series, coordinated the cover and blurb release, and looked for venues where to advertise the titles. As you can imagine, it took a great effort to manage a launch of such magnitude.

Copy of It's Always Darkest Paul Mallory 1At the moment, the first Paul Mallory novel, It’s Always Darkest, is free on Smashwords. If you like thrillers, grab a copy and please consider spreading the word. Sharing is free, but it can make a huge difference for an author to be discovered.

Operation Mallory

Writing Process Blog Hop Tour

The Writing Process Blog Tour:

Last week, Angela Roquet invited me to participate in the Writing Process Blog Hop. She asked me to answer a few questions and to introduce a few other authors. I immediately accepted, because if there is anything I like more than writing and reading, is talking about the great authors I’ve been fortunate enough to meet through Twitter and Facebook. The camaraderie and support of the indie community is something rarely seen in other fields of life. People who were strangers to me helped me in a way I never thought possible. I am honored to count them as my friends now.

clip_image002I met Angela last year, when a common author friend, Clare Davidson, invited both of us to participate in yet another blog tour. Angela is one of those individuals with sunny and supportive personalities who are a pleasure to have around. Her series, Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc., is urban fantasy with a twist, because it takes place in the underworlds, since—in a very democratic way—every religion is accounted for. I started reading the first in the series, Graveyard Shift, which is currently free everywhere, and I had such a blast I had to read them all. Its main character, Lana, a reaper, is an independent woman with a great sense of humor, and quite the interesting love life. Despite she would like nothing else than to be left alone, she gets from one big trouble to the next in a series of daring adventures. Angela Roquet is currently working on the fourth title in the series, and I can’t wait for it to be published. Meanwhile, she is coauthoring a book with her husband. How cool is that?

Now, for my questions:

1) What am I working on?

I’m working on a new paranormal romance series. The first title, The Lost Centurion, is ready to be published, while the second, The Immortal Greek, will be in my editor’s capable hands tomorrow. I’m already outlining the third, The Broken Angel, and I’ll start writing it next week. I am quite excited for this series, because this is the first time I work also on the covers almost all by myself—my husband is helping me whenever I lose my patience with all those technical things I don’t understand,  and there are a few of them.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

The whole series is set in Italy, with flashbacks in the ancient times. I’ve been refreshing my knowledge of the Roman and Ancient Greek cultures for a different project, and decided to incorporate details here and there in this series too. I researched both on paper and online any little detail I can find about food, clothing, games, anything related to daily life in those ancient times. I even followed a Roman recipe and baked libum, a type of bread soaked in honey, to have a taste of what they ate. I had forgotten how much fun is studying.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I write love stories. They can be dystopian, fantasy, paranormal, you name it. The common denominator is always love. I believe in humanity’s fundamental goodness. In the end, Amor Vincit Omnia. Love conquers all.

4) How does my writing process work?

My writing process used to be whatever the plot and characters dictated, which wasn’t very effective. Starting with this new series, I have drastically changed my approach. Now, I outline the whole story, chapter by chapter, and the characters. Then I write at least three thousand words a day. I am pleased with the result of the new method, and I am trying to write faster so that I can dedicated a few hour a day to marketing.

And now, here are the two author friends I have the honor and pleasure to introduce:

clip_image004Julia Hughes, is the author of several series, and among them The Griffin Riders’ Chronicles which is a great example of YA fantasy done right. If you want to give it a try, The Griffin Cryer, the first in the series is currently only 99 cents. I loved it, and immediately downloaded the second, The Griffin Boy, when it came out. Her Celtic Cousins’ Adventures series is testament to Julia’s ability to write with the same level of expertise in different genres. A Ripple in Time, one of the titles in that series, is part alternate reality, part fantasy, and part dystopian. Through a ripple in time, its main characters end up altering the course of the Titanic, creating havoc in the universe. Truly a fascinating concept, isn’t it? Not only Julia is a great author, she is also a great supporter of the indie community, always ready to give a hand to the marketing-challenged authors like yours truly. We are both participating in the #OperationMallory, a great cause started by Sean Campbell to help thriller author, Stephen Spencer, who is currently going through a bad moment in his life. If you want to give a hand, please consider spreading the word on Twitter and Facebook and/or take Sean’s challenges on his blog. This week was all about writing a blurb and several authors came up with great ones!

clip_image006Javier Robayo is one of the most prolific authors I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. Javier can write like no other and in the most disparate environments. He is a trooper when it comes to churn out words. He is the author of several great titles. Among them, The Gaze series, that is probably the only contemporary romance series I’ve ever read. Javier’s writing and storytelling is that good that made me read in a genre that I’d never tried before. The first, The Gaze, is centered on a love story that not only is unusual, but makes you think about how everything is relative when it comes to human feelings. Its main character, Samantha, is probably one of the most complex characters I have ever read. The second title in the series, The Next Chapter, narrates the evolution of Lewis, Samantha’s best friend. If possible, since I truly enjoyed reading The Gaze, The Next Chapter is even better. Javier has also published the first in the My Two Flags series, a bittersweet memoir of his teenager years as an immigrant in a new and not so welcoming land. If you prefer shorter reads and want to get a taste of Javier’s literary talent, he has also published several shorts. At the moment, he’s probably working on ten projects at once and already halfway through all of them.

Writing Process Blog Hop Tour

A Ripple in Time is back and with an offer you can’t refuse!

Lovely Sunday, everybody, from the Pacific Northwest. Today, my guest is Julia Hughes, a British author and a dear friend. Julia is one of those rare storytellers who are able to mix different genres in the same novel to create exquisite world building. From sweet romance, to dystopian and alternate realities, time travel, magic, a tad of paranormal, a hint of horror, griffins, sinking ships, and detective stories, she does it all, and exceedingly well.
Now, she has outdone herself. Performing the magic trick of the millennium, Julia Hughes will give the lucky winner of the A Ripple in Time giveaway the most incredible gift: a special edition of A Ripple in Time with the winner’s name in the Titanic’s passengers list!

A Ripple in Time: Synopsis

Celtic Cousin Wren makes a psychic connection with a girl emigrating to America in 1912. Through his eyes, she is able to foresee the fate of the ship taking her across the Atlantic.
Consequently, RMS Titanic steams safely into New York Harbour: an anomaly which creates devastation for future generations. Twenty-first century Britain still has an Empire, and World War One continues to ravage Europe.
Wren must somehow turn back time, and repair history; even if it means sacrificing everything he loves.

From the author, Julia Hughes:

An iconic image of the last century, the Titanic represents hope, ambition and tragedy. It also marks the beginning of the end of an era.  However, “A Ripple in Time” isn’t all about the Titanic. It’s about making unbearable decisions, taking chances and allowing faith, and love to grow.

About this book:

“A Ripple in Time” is a time travel romantic adventure. Protagonist Wren Prenderson was nominated for “Best Hero” in the E-Festival of Words 2013 Awards Hall, and voted by readers into joint second place.
“A Ripple in Time” has been newly re-edited for a smoother reading experience on your ebook reading device.
Available from all good virtual bookstores, including: Nook Books, from Amazon, WH Smith and Smashwords and in paperback from December 10.

WIN! A customised copy of “A Ripple in Time” FREE entry: unique to you, as your name will appear in print as a passenger on board RMS Titanic. Paperback to be released on December 16.

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A Ripple in Time is back and with an offer you can’t refuse!

Julia Hughes

The Griffin Cryer web useToday, I have a special guest on my blog, author Julia Hughes. She just released a YA fantasy novel, The Griffin Cryer, which I recently read and highly recommend. One of the many five stars reviews this novel has already received says: Among the vast sea of titles labeled for young adult readers, The Griffin Cryer is a gem worth discovering. Julia Hughes’s novel is a fresh take on griffins’ folklore, and her fifteen years old heroine, redhead Frankie Shaunessy, is fierce and full of life. The story flawlessly intertwines the expected drama of a teenager in high school with the unexpected factor of parallel universes temporarily opening into ours. By calling her dog, Frankie accidentally summons a griffin and his Rider. What happens next is a ride full of action that will make you laugh and cry along the way. I couldn’t put the book down. For young adults and adults young at heart.”

Now, let’s read Julia’s answers to my eight questions.

When you were a kid you wanted to be…?

An Explorer! I wanted to find lost pyramids, discover the resting place of the Titanic, and be the first woman on the moon.

The first book you read was…?

I’m pretty certain my first ‘read alone’ was “One Rainy Night” written and illustrated by Pelagie Doane. It’s about a little girl who couldn’t resist the gentle patter of rain falling, and slipped out of her bedroom in her nightgown to explore the dark and rainy night.


You discovered you were quite good at writing when…?

My English teacher kept embarrassing me by reading out my work to the class. It wasn’t until recently that I had time to write a full blown novel, then I discovered just how much I still had to learn!

As a reader, your favorite genre is…?

In fiction: Thrillers – I’m also a proud beta reader for Stephen Spencer, an indie writer whose Paul Mallory Adventures are in my opinion amongst the best. Non fiction: I’m currently reading Bill Bryson’s “A Short History of Nearly Everything.”

No, really, what’s that title you’re hiding in your kindle…?

LOL my last kindle read was “Linda of the Night” an excellent fairy tale, and I’m not hiding anything!


You write…?

With more passion than expertise – There are three Celtic Cousins’ Adventures – “A Raucous Time“; “A Ripple in Time” (check out the beautiful artwork on this one’s cover!) and “An Explosive Time“. “The Bridle Path” is my romance, I was enormously pleased when someone commented it read like an old fashioned Mills & Boon but with an edge!

Finally, “The Griffin Cryer” is my latest title, written for the YA audience, but suitable for anyone who’s ever dreamed of riding on the back of a griffin.

The praise about your writing you like the most is…?

Any! Seriously, I cherish each and every positive review – from the one liners “enjoyed this book!” to the most amazing readers who really make a connection and want to express more fully what they took from the story.

What’s next…?

“The Griffin Cryer” is to be published as a paperback, and should be available at all good bookshops, as well as your favourite online stores round about the 20th March. To celebrate, a free promotional run of “The Griffin Cryer” in ebook format is planned for 26th – 30th March. I hope your readers will grab a copy for their kindles – there’s also a free contest to win a signed paperback copy of “The Griffin Cryer” and entry couldn’t be simpler. Anyone leaving a comment on this post at your site will be entered automatically, or your readers can enter by ‘liking’ and leaving a comment on the Griffin Riders’ facebook page. Tweeters can follow and retweet Griffin Riders on Twitter for extra entries. In addition to the first prize, there’s also runners’ up prizes up for grabs – including all three “Celtic Cousins’ Adventures” in ebook format, and some very special prizes donated by the griffins of Ella-Earth.

Julia’s website: Julia Hughes

Tweet to @Tinksaid

The Griffin Cryer” is free from 26th March – 30th March – why not download a sample on your kindle now so you’re ready to roll with Frankie and friends!

Julia Hughes