Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Heartless by James Ticknor


The Heartless by James Ticknor

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Eighteen-year-old Menar Redfield, a gifted Healer apprentice, plans to settle in the city of Cajoi with his pregnant fiancée. However, his unexplained visions show him a secret war masked by the king’s political regime, placing them both in danger. When his visions come true, his fiancée is killed in the attack on Cajoi by the Heartless, a malicious raider cult.

In his body-strewn path of vengeance, Menar intercepts intelligence revealing the location of Crual, the Heartless’ sadistic combat commander and the one responsible for the death of his fiancée and unborn child. Menar vows to slaughter Crual and sabotage the Heartless’ insurrection. Yet the more blood he spills, the more a dark power grows within him.

If he can use this power to overcome Crual, end the war, and disband the Heartless, their increasing control over the debilitated country will be stopped. But he must hurry, because the dark power Menar possesses threatens to consume him.




Interview

Will Green: Tell us about your books that you have available.

James Ticknor: The Heartless is my debut novel, and it is the first in a trilogy. It is about a young man preparing to begin his life with his fiancée, but she is killed by a malicious raider cult. This atrocity makes him catapult himself into a clandestine war hidden by a political regime. As the story progresses through the book and the trilogy, his internal struggle fans the flames surrounding a corrupt political hierarchy and incites chaos among factions vying for control of the country. In this trilogy, I kept the action/pace intrigue of Game of Thrones in mind, and I also drew inspiration from the Eragon Cycle in the sense of magic. (Though, there are no dragons in this trilogy. It is light fantasy.)

Will Green: What can you tell us about your next project?

James Ticknor: Quite simply, my next project is going to be working on the second installment of this trilogy. This second novel should come much faster than The Heartless. For my audience, I promise that I will write it in six months. For myself, I promise to write it in three months. That way, I can surprise my readers if I finish early, but I can give myself some slack if I need to. In this second book, the political spectrum and factions are given a bigger spotlight, but I really wanted the first book to be focused on introducing and developing the characters. I know how to execute intrigue while still taking my time, something I admire George RR Martin for very much, and he’s played quite an influence in this trilogy.

Will Green: Where do you get the information for your book(s)?

James Ticknor: Well, at first it was Wikipedia. Then I realized researching was turning into an excuse. It also kind of sucked because I would read something about the era I’m writing in that I found astounding (such as impressing seals as signatures), and I would want to write all about how it’s done. Now, I only research on the edits, and skimp over what I don’t fully know in the first draft.

Will Green: What was the most surprising thing you’ve learned since you started writing?

James Ticknor: Without any shadow of uncertainty, I was immensely surprised that writing something could make me gasp and sting my eyes with tears. I am not an emotional man. I didn’t cry at The Notebook, Titanic, or even Forrest Gump. What I find amazing is that for most things, I kinda already knew what was going to happen. However, I remember when I was writing one part of the story and a character said something totally shocking and out-of-character for himself, and I didn’t gasp until after I had typed it- after he said it. I hold that as proof that characters act for themselves, and they can surprise you.

Will Green: How long does it take you to write a book?

James Ticknor: Oh, God. You know, Stephen King once said that writing a book should never take more than three months. This book took me…oh….nearly 5 years to write. I was writing on and off, because I joined the military and for about 2 years my writing suffered immensely with deployments overseas and training. During that time (before the military) I also experienced homeless and extreme poverty (I’m talking $5 a week to eat off of and nothing else). There were several other personal issues that I would never discuss, but the 5 years it took me to write this is poured with every emotion and influence of going through all this. I will never take so long to write a book again. 3-6 months is ideal, 1 year max. The thing that made it take so long aside from these is I was 16 at the time, and I’m 21 now. My writing style changed very much during that time, and the book was written by a different person in the beginning, middle, and end.

Will Green: Who or What inspires you to write?

James Ticknor: Sad songs inspire me. Seeing a couple kiss. Seeing a leaf fall. Squashing a spider in my house. Anything inspires me to write, because I will craft the craziest shit from the dumbest stuff. It’s easy to be inspired to write, but it’s practically impossible to maintain that inspiration. Inspiration is like an adrenaline shot, but it takes an Olympian writer to keep working after that boost.

Will Green: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

James Ticknor: You know, I had to think for a second before I answered this, and I actually have a good one for you. I’ve always treated my characters as if they were real. Occasionally, I will have them randomly engage in erotic behavior with one another, kill each other for no good reason, etc. Of course, I know I am going to delete this, but the characters are real, and I think they need a little release sometimes. If you’ve ever seen Monster In Law, you know what I mean.

Will Green: What book are you reading right now?

James Ticknor: I am reading two, actually. I am reading Under the Dome by Stephen King, and I am also reading A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin.

Will Green: Who is your favorite author and why?

James Ticknor: Stephen King! Oh God Stephen King! The guy is a freaking literary master, and he has proven it over and over again. He takes the most ordinary things and makes them outrageous, yet still believable. I love hearing how he comes up with stories. However, the main reason I am so enthusiastic about him is because of his interviews. A multi-million dollar entrepreneur, he walks into TV spotlight with blue jeans and a pocket T shirt that only my grandfather would wear. He cusses and engages with the population vocally in the same style of his writing. If I find out he voiced an audiobook of one of his books, I’d buy it and ask him to autograph it. I know it makes no sense, but I’m using “shut up and take my money” logic here.

Will Green: What kind of music do you listen to and why?

James Ticknor: Quite frequently, Evanescence. Although she said in an interview she doesn’t consider herself dark, I think she is. Nearly everything that I write is dark. I’ll otherwise listen to classical music. Songs can sometimes distract me.

Will Green: What do you watch on TV and why?

James Ticknor: I watch Netflix, not cable. On Netflix, I watch Futurama, Family Guy, American Dad, and American Horror Story. I love Disney movies too. I watch these comedy shows because comedy, in my firm belief, is the element of surprise, to get you to look at something in a new way that sparks sudden emotion and physical reaction. For American Horror Story, it’s because I like a long story, but still want to move on to other things at one point. For Disney, it’s just a good story. Also I like understanding the fucked up plots I didn’t understand before. My favorite Disney movie is The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and I love looking back at it because I didn’t understand the religious intolerance, lust, and ethnic persecution when I watched it at 5 years old.

Will Green: What kind of advice could you give an aspiring writer?

James Ticknor: Get the fuck off the internet. That doesn’t mean go and watch TV or check your phone for “just one more text”. Electronic recreational devices or social media is the death of inspiration and writing. How many times have you been inspired from something you read on Facebook? Exactly. No, I’m serious. Don’t argue with me. Get. Off. It.

On another note, live in doubt, but don’t let it cage you. Doubt makes us question all aspects of our writing, which is good. There’s going to be people who hate your writing. Listen to criticism, but be aware of who is speaking (Stephen King quote). I remember when I was in high school I wrote the worst, most profane literary piece to no one in particular. However, it got to the principal somehow. There was no violence, no threats or anything- just cuss words. In this public school where assault warranted 1-2 day suspension, I was initially suspended 10 days with recommendation for expulsion based on that writing piece. That is when the biggest critic of my life made me believe (from the amount of controversy and trouble it caused) that I was damned good writer. The message from that is even if someone hates your work, it can be because you are a very powerful writer.

Connect with James Ticknor

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Random Editing Fact #4


In today’s post, we are going to talk about two sets of gender-specific words… Words that mean the same dang thing, but have different spellings for male and female. It is just one more thing that grammar does to try and trip us up. This one is for you, Michael. 

The first words are Blond and Blonde

Traditionally, blond is used for male and blonde is used for female. However, in the US, blond is more gender neutral and can be used for both. Blonde, however, is only used for female. 

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The second words are Fiancé and Fiancée.

Until I started editing, I had no idea about this. I would swear up and down that I never saw it in a book, and I have been voraciously reading since I was 5. I was sucking down Harlequin romance at ten years old. I had no idea that there was any other way to spell fiancé, except the way I just spelled it. Imagine my surprise to learn that there was. 😀

fiancé is a man engaged to be married.

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fiancée is a woman engaged to be married. 

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And that is all there is to it. If you can remember it, that is. Sometimes, I truly believe they make grammar hard just to mess with people. If you are in need of an editor to help you with your current grammar woes, you can find my packages, references, and prices HERE.

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***$0.99 Amazon eBooks & Boxed Sets***


*** $0.99 Amazon eBooks and Boxed Sets ***

GET THEM WHILE THEY ARE HOT! These are new or semi-new releases!

(Check and make sure still $0.99 before one-clicking)

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Love’s First Bite: Bad Boys and Alpha Vampires Boxed Set (6 book bundle)
Love Charms: A Paranormal Romance Boxed Set (10 Book Bundle) (Insatiable Reads)
Ultimate Supernatural Horror Box Set
Mooncalled: Demons, Weres, Ghosts & Kick-Butt Girls: (6 YA Fantasy Novels)
Magic, Myth & Majesty (7 Fantasy Novels)
Zombie Armageddon: The Unwashed Dead & Walking with Zombies
Silicon Man
The Hazards of a One Night Stand
The Snow – Part 1 (A Post-Apocalyptic Story)
Sizzling Hot Alpha Male Paranormal Romance Box Set
2020: Episode 1 (The Thrilling Post-Apocalyptic Series)
Full Measures (Entangled Embrace)
Getting Dirty
Deadly Dozen: 12 Mysteries/Thrillers
Lucky 7 Bad Boys Contemporary Romance Boxed Set
First Chance (Rock Romance)
Firemancer Collection (Books 1-3) (Fated Saga Box Set)
Hard Body Rock (Rockstar Romance) (The Body Rock Series Book 1)
Accepted Fate
BURN (Ignite)
Shattered Worlds: Six Dystopian Novels
From Darkness Comes: The Horror Box Set (8 Book Collection)
The Fixed Trilogy: Fixed on You, Found in You, Forever with You
Show No Mercy
Fated Mates: The Alpha Shifter Boxed Set (12 Book Bundle) (Insatiable Reads)
This is the End: The Post-Apocalyptic Box Set (7 Book Collection)
Forbidden Fruit: Volume 1
The Last Days: Six Post-Apocalyptic Thrillers
Valkyrie The Vampire Princess Saga Box Set (Books 1- 4) ( Birthday Edition) by Pet Torres books
Sinners & Sorcerers: Four Urban Fantasy Thrillers
Fighting for Love (A Second Chances standalone)
The Arotas Trilogy Box Set
Troubled Son: Savage Sons MC Romance
The Valley of Ten Crescents Series (Box Set: Books 1-3)
Crash (Book One)
Cogs in Time Anthology (The Steamworks Series)
Supernova
Sweet Harmony

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*Feel free to Re-Blog*

Random Editing Fact #3


Today we are going to talk about something that makes me…

Laugh every single time I see it. Not because I am laughing at the person who wrote it… Nope! It is because I am so guilty of shuddering when I see it, but saying it when I am talking. I blame it on being southern. Actually, I blame a lot of what comes out of my mouth on living in Alabama. Not that it is actually Alabama’s fault.

Seriously, if you could hear me talk sometimes, you might wonder why in the world you would put your manuscript in my hands. I admit it. However, talking is nothing like editing. It is not throwing your hands up in frustration and telling your kids, “You are acting like you ain’t got no sense!” (I’m so guilty of that one.) Editing is work, just like any other. Talking is just words that come out of your mouth. Sometimes you think about them, and sometimes you don’t. Regardless, I am getting off subject. 

Ok, back to the topic at hand.

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I will make this easy on you with pictures and everything. 

DRAG is the present tense. It means to pull something, as well as a lot of other stuff that we don’t really care about right now. For this Random Editing Fact, to pull something is all we need to know. 

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First off, this picture made me laugh out loud. 

Right:

The caveman drags the girl from the cave.

The caveman is dragging the girl from the cave.

The caveman dragged the girl from the cave. 

Always Wrong:

The caveman drug the girl from the cave.

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This picture made me laugh even harder…

And that’s it, people. Always dragged and never drug. It is as easy as that. 

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T.E.D. by Jayson James


From the author of the Finding Our Way series comes a new story.


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T.E.D. Cover

Tim is being bullied. No one in high school wants to be known as a tattle-tale and to do so would only make things rougher for him. The repercussions would most likely make him an outcast, and without any friends.

Eric is frustrated with life. His parents are overbearing and if they ever knew the person he really was, they would throw him out of their house. His friends are not much better, they only like him when he is who they expect him to be.

Delsin is gay and ready to come out.  Unfortunately, life at home is on the brink of falling apart with his parents constant fighting. Admitting the truth could bring his whole world crashing down around him.

Each of these three needs to decide whether the risks of being honest about who they are outweighs the importance of being true to themselves. This could mean ruining life as each of them knows it. Maybe it is better to remain miserable in order to play it safe. On the other hand, doing nothing doesn’t seem to work either.

And be sure to connect with Jayson James.

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Kindle Fire HDX Giveaway


Kathy at I Am a Reader blog teamed up with other authors and bloggers to giveaway 2 Kindles!!

The first one is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to bloggers who post about this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter in the rafflecopter.

Kindle Fire HDX March

Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)

Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HDX 7″.


The winner will have the option of receiving a 7″ Kindle Fire HDX (US Only – $229 Value)

 

Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)

 

Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)

 

 

Giveaway Sponsors:

I Am A Reader
Feed Your Reader
Inspired Kathy
Ripple Effect Romance Series
Author M.A. George
The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something year Old Girl
Meredith & Jennifer’s Musings
Owl Always Be Reading
Author Jennifer Laurens
Bonnie Blythe’s Pure Romance
Bella Street’s Weird Romance
Author Jennifer Faye
Good Choice Reading
Reviews from a Bookworm
Barbara Silkstone
Rae Z. Ryans, Author
The Stubby Pencil
Author David Pandolfe
Hallowed Ink Press
Author Louise Caiola
The Reporter and The Girl
More Than a Review
Kathryn Jones
Once Upon a Twilight
Author Jason Parent
Author Amanda Tru
Author Cidney Swanson
Paige W. Pendleton
Claudia Burgoa
P.M. Richter – author
RoAnna Sylver
Tigris Eden
The Bloggers Nest
J.L. Weil
The Cheap Ebook
Luthando Coeur
Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke
Author Alecia Stone
KellysLuckyYou
Rebecca Talley
Author Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Simple Wyrdings
Tressa’s Wishful Endings
Paranormal book Club (PBC)
Author Stephanie Faris
Author Inger Iversen
Author Theresa DaLayne
Where The Broken Lie by Derek Rempfer
Bound 4 Escape
Author Laura Diamond

 

Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Giveaway here:

http://www.iamareader.com/category/kindle-giveaway-sign-ups

 

Giveaway Details

1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7″ HDX (US Only – $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International).

There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7″.

Ends 3/31/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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