Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Where the Magic Begins by Vonnie Winslow Crist

Hey all! Today we have a guest post by Vonnie Winslow Crist. Her epic fantasy novel, The Enchanted Skean – Book I of the Chronicles of Lifthrasir, is available now.
Where the Magic Begins

By Vonnie Winslow Crist


   As I sit with J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit open on my lap, I'm thankful for the wonderful speculative fiction that I read as a child. It was those books from long ago that stirred my imagination and inspired me to write stories like my new epic fantasy novel, The Enchanted Skean – Book I of the Chronicles of Lifthrasir.

   I still have a stack of 10-page fairytale booklets published by The Platt & Munk Co., Inc. in the early 1930s given to me one at a time for “something to look at” when my parents visited with an elderly friend on the other side of Baltimore.

   Before I entered kindergarten, I'd taught myself to read during those visits using Cinderella, Chicken Little, Dick Whittington, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Tom Thumb. And who knows, maybe the seed for the precocious cats in The Enchanted Skean formed as I read  Platt & Munk's Puss in Boots.

   Three of my favorite books when I was a second grader were Ruth Stiles Gannett's My Father's Dragon series. In her tales, right under the noses of people in the “real world” lived a family of blue and yellow dragons. I had such vivid memories of the beautifully-colored dragons, I didn't realize until I bought a copy of the books years later as an adult that the pictures were rendered in pencil. The stunning hues of the dragon family had been imagined by me. And dragons remain one of my favorite things to draw and write about, so I put a blue dragon in The Enchanted Skean.

   Perhaps the most serendipitous introduction I had as a preteen student to the world of magic and folklore came from the librarian at Perry Hall Elementary. In the fifth grade, I'd rush through my regular classwork, and then, ask to go to the library to help put books back on the shelves. By the end of the year, not only did I know the Dewey Decimal System quite well, but the librarian gifted me with 3 slightly damaged books.

   The first gift book was Lupe de Osma's The Witches' Ride and Other Tales from Costa Rica. I was immediately infatuated with the ghosts, witches, fairies, and other magical beings written about in that book. The beginnings of the wisewomen and owl sprite in The Enchanted Skean? The second gift book was about prehistoric creatures that never existed. Among the critters written about were merfolk. The beginnings of the sea-hags in The Enchanted Skean?

   Writers tend to write about what they know. What I've known since toddlerhood were fairy tales, folktales, myths, legends, and magical creatures introduced to me by books. Still an avid reader, I gravitate to work by Neil Gaiman, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Charles de Lint. It's the fantastical and sometimes dark worlds created by these writers that draw me in. And as a writer, I strive to create my own darkly magical worlds for my readers to enjoy.

   For a taste of the world of The Enchanted Skean, here's the link to a 3-chapter excerpt:  and a link to the novel's book trailer:

   You can find The Enchanted Skean and other books by Vonnie Winslow Crist on Amazon: and elsewhere.

   Born in the Year of the Dragon, Vonnie Winslow Crist has had a life-long interest in reading, writing, myths, folklore, fairy tales, legends, and art. A firm believer that the world around us is filled with miracles, mystery, and magic, Vonnie still sees fairies amidst the trees, mermaids on jetties, and ghosts and goblins of all sorts in the shadows. Visit her website: and blog: Become her friend and fan on Facebook:  and Goodreads:  And follow her tweets:


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cover reveal - BLOOD FOR THE SUN

Most cover reveal posts put the cover at the end. However, the artwork for Errick Nunnally's BLOOD FOR THE SUN is so amazingly badass I'm putting it up front where it belongs.

Yep, it's awesome, and it will be available March 2014 from Spence City. Here's the jacket copy:
After more than one-hundred and forty years, Alexander Smith is suffering from memory loss that plagues him like a supernatural Alzheimer’s. He has lasted longer than most by clinging to the love he has for his adopted daughter, the vampire Ana, and puzzling out cases of missing or murdered children. Without them, he wouldn’t be able to ignore the ghost of a child from his guilty past or fight the whispers goading him to kill. On his latest job, he’s stumbled upon a vampire conspiracy that has left a trail of child murders up and down the East Coast—a conspiracy that promises inoculation against the sun. If true, the conspirators’ success would mean a bloody conflict, altering the balance between humans and the supernatural forever. Losing more of his mind every day, Alexander has two impossible tasks ahead of him if the world is to survive: stop the vampire coven and reconnect with his humanity.
And, here is Errick's bio:
Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, Errick A. Nunnally served one tour in the Marine Corps before deciding art school would be a safer—and more natural—profession. He always strives to develop his strengths in storytelling and remains permanently distracted by art, comics, science fiction, history, and horror. Trained as a graphic designer, he studies Krav Maga and Muay Thai kickboxing in his spare time. Errick’s successes include: the upcoming publication of his book, Blood For The Sun; a comic strip collection, Lost in Transition; first prize in one hamburger contest; the short story Who Bears The Lathe? in eFiction’s inaugural SciFi issue; the sci-fi short, Legion, in the anthology Doorways to Extra Time; two lovely children; and one beautiful wife.