Category Archives: Action/Adventure

Urban Fantasy Spotlight and Author Q&A: Mage Emergence by Christopher George @CGNovels

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Urban Fantasy, Contemporary Adventure

mage emergence

Release Date: December 15, 2017

War sweeps across the globe as a minor conflagration is turned into a major world war. Mages have emerged from the shadows and turned on each other after generations of hiding. As the conventional war fizzles to a close, the real war continues – the war for supremacy amongst Mages.

Devon, broken and crippled by his former Master has determined that none of his kind should survive the evil that they have unleashed on the world. Though physically weak, his Mana has never been greater as he seeks out the one thing he cannot find – revenge against his former Master.

No one has seen or heard from Victor Whittlesea in six years, however Devon knows that a final confrontation is coming and that his only hope is to discover a way to kill a man who cannot die.

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And so we come to the end. It is fitting that my ending takes place where I began. It is also perhaps fitting that I am surrounded by the ruins of the city in which I was born. This is my legacy. I leave behind me only waste and desolation.  Those who come after me will not remember my name fondly. Any friends and family who still remain behind will not even know I have passed. There will be no one to mourn my name when I am gone. Yet, I am content. This is as it should be.

My name is Devon Wills and I am going to die very soon. I can feel it in my bones. I can taste it in the very air around me. With each passing moment I become more certain that I will not survive the night. Even as I kill more of those sent to end me, I know it is simply a matter of time. I have already dispatched three teams of soldiers who sought to kill me, but it will not be such as those that will be my downfall – it will be my former master.  I glance down at my watch uncertainly. It’s past time. He is late.

My former master is Victor Whittlesea and he is never unintentionally late.

I grip the mobile phone in my pocket nervously as I glance across the city. I’m not looking at the city as it is now, with its fallen towers and burning streets. I’m not seeing the scavengers hiding in bolt holes and sewers. Their fates don’t interest me. I look past the gangs and marauders who have taken control of the streets since all order had fallen. No, I’m looking at the city as it had once been.

God knows it hasn’t been perfect – we’ve had homelessness and graffiti, vandalism and muggings in the past – but it was better than this. It had worked.  It deserves better than this. I remember shopping with my father at a small supermarket that was now a pile of rubble. I had eaten at a restaurant that has since been gutted and opened to the elements. I had probably ridden the exact tram car that was now smashed and lying abandoned in the middle of the street.

I don’t care to see the people on the street below now, as they fight and kill each other.  I know in my heart that many are just victims of circumstance and they aren’t truly responsible for their actions, but it doesn’t really make much difference at the end of the day. A starving man killing another for tinned fruit is still just as damaged as a psychopath who kills for pleasure. The damage is still done and there is no coming back. I know all too well the damage done by being forced to commit murder. I have killed many times and I will kill again, once more at least.

I still see those who have fallen before me when I close my eyes. I hear their death screams and I remember the light as it left their eyes. Yes, there is truly no coming back from inflicting death. I am broken, but I am not unusual in that. Everyone in the city below me is broken in one way or another. I wonder how many new damaged souls have been created as our ‘war’ intensifies across the globe. It had begun so simply and has spiralled out of control so quickly.

Our kind spread like wildfire across the globe as we turned upon each other in righteous fury. We fought each other in an attempt to prove our dominance over one another and we had dragged the rest of the world along with us.

I had chosen to stand against my kind. I saw them as nothing more than a cancer on the face of world that needed purging. We were the evil. We were the ones who had started all this. Our quest for power had brought the old world down. I knew the hypocrisy of my statement, as amongst my peers I was the most responsible, but that just meant I had to be the one to do something. Many of my kind had fallen to me, but there were always more. As the war expanded across Europe and then into the United States I realised I could no longer work alone. The collateral damage was too much. This war needed to end.

What had started as a conventional war had twisted into something new, something more dangerous – a mage war.  In a conventional war, the winner is usually determined by who has the better tech. A mage war winner is determined by one simple factor – power. Whichever side has the more powerful mages wins.

That didn’t matter to me though. With every fallen mage on both sides, my objectives would be furthered. The death of my kind would relieve the shackles held around the world’s throat. This war would pass, and people would recover, and the countries and economies would regrow. Soon the world would return to the old ways and it would be as if our kind never existed. I was a fool. It had taken me far too long to see this simple truth: the old world was gone. In the end I was forced to come to the same conclusion as everyone else. There simply wasn’t enough left to save. Our war had changed everything.

Only one true relic remains from the old world: my former master. And I am going to remedy that tonight.

Victor is here; he has been for some time now. He isn’t hiding from me. He is far too sure of himself for that. So why does he delay? I am here, alone and unarmed. Well, at least as unarmed as our kind can be.  Why hasn’t he struck me down yet? I’m sure it’s not through a lack of motivation. He’s already tried to kill me before.

He had almost been successful, too, on several occasions. Instead he had left me crippled and broken. Only my magic prevented my injuries from seriously handicapping me. I had used Mana to make myself powerful once again. I had used it to keep myself mobile. I had used it because I had no other choice.  Without my powers I was as feeble as a child, barely able to walk or hold myself upright, but with them I was unstoppable.

Victor and I are probably the last two most powerful practitioners of our art left. Once he deals with me he will have free reign and stand supreme. His domination will be complete and he will rule over the remains of our planet with a tyrannical fist.  The problem is, should I survive, my rule won’t be any less brutal. I’ve already proved I am capable of acts no less savage than his. My evil is just as pronounced as his. It doesn’t really matter who wins – our future is fucked either way.

I don’t much like my chances of survival, but I am going to fight anyway. Why? Because I have no choice – this conflict needs to end. I know it and so does Victor. All he has to do is come and finish me off. And here I am, standing on a building rooftop in plain sight.  Surely this opportunity is too much to pass up?  So why isn’t he here? I check my watch again.

“Victor!” I call out, using my Mana to amplify my voice. “Come out and finish this. It is time!”

My voice would have been heard across every inch of this city. He would have heard me, but more so he would have felt the Mana surge across the city as I amplified my voice.  I can still see the shockwave caused by my Mana passing over the smouldering rubble of once-familiar buildings and across the beloved landmarks of my childhood now falling into ruins.

The loud explosion of sound that usually precedes a teleport spell brings me spinning around to face my old master. It is time. I steadied my nerves as I gripped my fingers into fists. I casually clip the loose battery on my mobile phone into place and close the lid. I carefully flick the phone on, never once taking my eyes from my adversary. The familiar electronic jingle notifies me that it has finished loading and then I drop it into the rubble beneath me as I step forward and look at my upcoming death squarely in the eyes.  I will not flinch in the face of it. I am ready.

This is how it ends. It is fitting. Let me now tell you how this begins.

About the Author:

christopher george

As an avid science fiction and fantasy reader Christopher George has been immersing himself in books from a young age. In 2004 Christopher completed his Bachelor of Multimedia at Monash University and has been working as an IT professional ever since. He currently lives in Melbourne with his partner, her daughter and three cats.
Mage Catalyst is his first completed novel and was written in a variety of hotel rooms and airports across Australia. Catalyst is his first non-technical piece and he finds it much easier to write fiction than software documentation.
It’s also very recently come to light that he is simply awful at talking about himself in the third person.

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Author Interview:

Thanks for doing an interview! You’ve written several books in the science fiction/fantasy genres. How do you stay inspired to come up with new plotlines and ideas?

That’s an interesting question, the storyline for this series has remained pretty static, I knew what was going to happen and how the series would end, but I didn’t know how I was going to get there. It was a curious mixture of awe and terror as the series unfolded itself towards its eventual final scenes. As the fourth book ends shortly after the prologue from the first book starts it was really surreal to be writing a scene that I’d originally penned down nine years ago.

How many books do you currently have published in your series?

The Mage Series currently has four books, Mage Catalyst, Mage Accession, Mage Dissolution and finally Mage Emergence.

Has the series taken the direction you originally planned for it?

All, in all. Yes. I guess it did, but in a curious way No it didn’t. A third of the plot for the third book was almost rewritten from scratch taking the series into a whole new direction. This was terrifying as I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to bring the whole thing back together again. Fortunately, the rewrite was critical and it basically allowed for the fourth book. I hadn’t exactly left myself too many plot points with my original ending for the third novel.

What’s next for 2018?

I’m busy writing as always. I’ve got another piece coming out early 2018. It’s a spin off from the main series starting all new characters. I’m also trying to branch out into other genres, I’m still working on a high fantasy piece which is no where near ready yet and a science fiction piece called Skybound that has basically dominated my thoughts for the past six months. I can’t wait to share that with you all. It’s not ready yet, but it will be soon.

What do you enjoy most about writing? What do you like least?

Storytelling. I love telling stories and I love discussing my work with my readers.

Could you tell us some about your book covers? Do you design the artwork yourself? What do you look for when it comes to covers that best represent your books?

There are two people responsible for my covers. My good friend Ian Harding who did all the photographic work. And Meg Owenson who did the Illustration. I did all the layout and design. It’s been an interesting journey with the covers – the hand is a difficult thing to shoot properly.

Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you?

Yes, it’s funny it’s not the main characters, it’s always the minor ones. They’re usually fleshed out enough to further the understanding of the main character, but occasionally they’ll jump from the page and demand more details. That’s when I know that I’ve created someone interesting and not just background noise.

Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why?

I’ve got a soft spot for Victor. Villians are easy to understand their motivations, but it’s not like that for Victor. I’ve never liked the concept of Good Verses Evil. For me it’s always been ever more shades of grey. Victor’s like that. He’s definitely the antagonist of the series, But after four books and looking back. I’m not sure he’s the villain. I think that role might fall to Devon.

So far, what has been your favorite scene to write?

There was scene in Mage Catalyst where Devon is facing off against his first real mage fight with Vin. This scene just seemed to flow from me as if I was watching it on a screen in front of me. I’ve never felt anything like it since. The whole section was written in one session and it didn’t feel like keys on the keyboard. I could see it in my mind. Each crash, each crunch and finally Vin’s brutal death screams were vivid in my mind as my fingers did their work.

What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers?

Keep at it. Doesn’t matter what you’re writing. Just get it down. Do whatever you can to get that first draft finished. Then – well, then your work is just started. I was surprised by how much of the novel was crafted from the editing process. But that’s as it should be. Good stories are crafted – not blurted out in one sitting.

Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release, a summary of a deleted scene, or a teaser about a surprising plot twist or character?

I do, I hinted at it before, but I’ve got a spin of series due out early 2018. It’s going to be set in the same world as Devon and Co, but set just after the events of Mage Catalyst. Whilst Devon himself won’t appear, a few familiar characters might appear. Stay tuned!

If you were doing a book to film adaptation, which actors and actresses do you feel would best represent your main characters?

Ooh, Good question, I had a Poll on my website about this a few months back. I think we settled on Alycia Debnam Carey for Renee & someone like Marcus Vanco for Devon. I’ve always pictured Liam Neeson as Victor and Jared Leto as Marcus.

Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read?

I wish I had more time to read, but when I did I was a massive fan of Terry Pratchett & Ben Elton.

What about television shows? Movies?

Game of Thrones. What else? Loving the new Star Wars movies.

Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why?

Frank Herbert’s Dune. There was a man who truly understood power.

If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say?

… I think my keyboard is broken.

Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers?

I’d like to thank them for sticking with me through four novels. It’s been a long journey and I’m exceedingly proud of the result. Thank you.

Adventure Thriller Feature and Interview: CABAL by Rick Jones @rikster7033

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Action/Adventure Thriller


cabal rick jones

The Vatican Knights Book 9

In an abandoned church deep inside the Syrian Desert, Father Jenkins watches over a group of children who’d been orphaned by war and unrest. Having been marked for extraction by the Vatican Knights, a cabal of ruthless killers from the Islamic State cripples all attempts of safe passage and gives chase across a desert landscape that’s completely ruled by scorpions and snakes. With little options and less hope, the Vatican Knights quickly discover that they’re in possession of a precious cargo: a young boy by the name of Farid.

As Kimball Hayden and the Vatican Knights fight to preserve the lives they protect, another ISIS team marches on the Vatican to take out the highest and most sacred seat in the land.

But as ISIS marches on Rome and Vatican City, Kimball Hayden, the fulcrum between sinner and saint, finds himself divided by saving the lives of the children and the life of the pontiff, with little chance of preserving both.

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About the Author:


rick jones

Rick Jones was born and raised in the Boston area and moved to Las Vegas in the early eighties where he graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a degree in English. He is retired from law enforcement and currently resides in Las Vegas, NV where he writes fulltime.

Rick Jones is the bestselling author of the Vatican Knight series (THE VATICAN KNIGHTS, SHEPHERD ONE, The ISCARIOT AGENDA, PANDORA’S ARK, THE BRIDGE OF BONES, CROSSES TO BEAR, THE LOST CATHEDRAL, DARK ADVENT, and the soon to be released CABAL), the psychological thriller, FAMILIAR STRANGER, and the bestselling action/adventure series, The Eden Saga (THE CRYPTS OF EDEN, THE MENAGERIE and THE THRONES OF EDEN).

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If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? Term Limits by Vince Flynn, which is why I became an author in the first place. His writing, his characterization, everything stood out to me. I wanted to develop somebody like Mitch Rapp, and I think I succeeded with Jon Jericho, the main character in the Hunter series.

What makes this particular genre you are involved in so special? I love Thrillers in the vein of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor, with a political backdrop with a plot developed from today’s headlines.

How important is research to you when writing a book? Very. Though I do take certain liberties to bend a dramatic situation in order to make the story run. It is fiction, after all. And sometimes real life can be very boring.

How often do you write? It all depends. Some days I’m in the mood to write and other days I’m not. That’s the blessing of being an author. You work your hours during moments of inspiration. Since I make my living strictly as a writer, I try to sit down every day and type out a few words, anywhere from 1000 to 5000.

How hard was it to sit down and actually start writing something? After spending quite some time on the Prologue or opening chanter(s) it’s not difficult, at least not for me. Writing is something I have come to enjoy over the past 30+ years.

Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you? I actually start with a title, which is odd enough. Then I take additional ideals from current events, which is obvious in CABAL, and piece them together. Then I allow the natural flow of incidents to take place logically as I see them play out. In other words: if this happens, then this has to happen. I‘ve never written an outline to any of my novels.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? Actually, I read very little since I’m a slow reader. But I do read as much as I can. I actually learned storylines and characterization through watching and studying high-end Thriller movies, and took substantial notes. That’s probably why all my books read like movies, or so I’m told.

What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion? For me, and this is always subjective, is pacing and characterization. If you’re going to read a Thriller, then it has to be lightning quick. But the main character also has to be more than likeable and flawed since that has become the rule of thumb in the industry.

What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title? Extremely important. An eye-catching cover, preferably bright in hue and speaks ‘action,’ along with a good title (just as important), and the synopsis on the back cover is more than half the battle in trying to get someone to pick up your book. A poor cover, one that looks cheap, will probably never get a second look.

Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers? In the words of Vince Lombardi: Winners never quit and quitters never win. Live by these words because I truly believe that determination and perseverance will get you there every time.

Do you recall the first ever book/novel you read? Yes. ‘Salems Lot by Stephen King. Since I was a slow reader and had difficulties as a child due to zero-comprehension, it was the first book I was able to read fully and understand from beginning to end. It was a doorway that finally opened to me.

Which book inspired you to begin writing? A few, really. Mostly books by Stephen King, Vince Flynn and Robert R. McCammon. I know, a strange combination, but one that worked for me.

How realistic are your books? As realistic as possible. But I also add non-realistic elements to make the book race. Like I said before: it’s fiction. And usually reality isn’t quite as exciting.

Do you have a day job other than being a writer? And do you like it? No. I strictly make my living as a writer. You know the adage: Don’t quit your day job if you want to be a writer. Well, I did. And it worked out for me.

Have any of your books been adapted into a feature film? Not yet. However, the Vatican Knights series has recently drawn the interest from an award-nominated producer who has held extremely high-end positions with major production companies with offices in Hollywood and London. Talks are ongoing, however.

Have you ever marketed your own books yourself? It is every author’s obligation to market their own work. Without marketing, there’s no visibility.

Are you satisfied with your success? Yes. But as a writer you always strive for the next level. Be ambitious and never settle. The moment you settle, then you begin to stagnate.

Was it all too easy for you – the writing, the publication, and the sales? No. I don’t think it ever is. But like I said before: Determination and perseverance will get you there all the time.

What is the secret to becoming a bestselling author? Honestly, I think it’s 30% writing and 70% luck. I’ve read books that I thought were horrible but became bestsellers. But then again: it’s all subjective. If you become a writer, then you have to realize that some people are going to like you, some are going to hate you, and some will be indifferent to you. But if you can get more to like you than the other two listed, then you’re winning the game.

What advice would you like to give writers who are struggling with their first novels? Stick with it. If you give up at any time, then this business is not for you. You have to have a thick skin.

Which book would you want adapted for the silver screen? Any of my works since they all read like movies..

How much of a say do you have when your books are being adapted into films? Still in the talking stages.

What other genres do you enjoy reading? Action/Adventure in the vein of Indiana Jones and lost relics. Horror. Maybe a combination of both.

Can you tell us about your current projects? Currently working on Book #10 of the Vatican Knights. Probably after that, the sequel to Night of the Hunter, which the plot is brewing in my head.

Have you ever written a character with an actor in mind? Absolutely. I see Dave Bautista, who plays Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy and a fine actor, as the leading male. And Kate Beckinsale, a great lead for any of my female characters.

And who is that one author you would love to write the biography of? Vince Flynn. A phenomenal talent taken too soon. He’s my mentor, my teacher, everything about his Mitch Rapp novels are exceptional. Though he was dyslexic, he ultimately fought and overcame to succeed in a big way. Again, determination and perseverance.

Thanks for the awesome interview, Rick!

Thriller Spotlight: The Barbed Crown by Rick Jones @RIKSTER7033

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Action /Adventure, Thriller

the barbed crown

The Vatican Knights Book 13

Release Date: 10/1/2017

In Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1943, a place where ashes rain down on a daily basis to cover the ground with a mantle of gray, a rebel force of Jews band together in a fight for survival.

A young Jewish woman from Warsaw and an SS guard lean on one another inside the death camp where violence is the norm with brutal slayings and summary executions occurring daily. The stacks are constantly smoking, bodies are swinging from the gallows for days on end, and murder becomes a sport.

But as time moves on and a relationship grows to the point where two people learn what they are capable of, Frederic Becher, an SS guard who falls in love with a Jewish girl, lays the groundwork for the creation of one of the most formidable forces in the world—the juggernaut that would eventually become the Vatican Knights.

This is an Origins novel.

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About the Author:

rick jones

Rick Jones was born and raised in the Boston area and moved to Las Vegas in the early eighties where he graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a degree in English. He is retired from law enforcement and currently resides in Las Vegas where he writes fulltime. He is the bestselling author of the Vatican Knight series (THE VATICAN KNIGHTS (soon to be a television series from Amber Entertainment), SHEPHERD ONE, THE ISCARIOT AGENDA, PANDORA’S ARK, THE BRIDGE OF BONES, CROSSES TO BEAR, THE LOST CATHEDRAL, DARK ADVENT, CABAL, THE GOLGOTHA PURSUIT, TARGETED KILLING and SINNERS AND SAINTS); the psychological thriller, FAMILIAR STRANGER; and the bestselling action/adventure series, The Eden Saga (THE CRYPTS OF EDEN, THE MENAGERIE and THE THRONES OF EDEN); and CITY BENEATH THE SEA.

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Action Book Spotlight: Sinners and Saints by Rick Jones @rikster7033

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Action /Adventure, Thriller

Sinners and Saints Book

The Vatican Knights Book 12

Release Date: 7/18/2017

In Geneva, a highly valued product with the power to cause major destruction is stolen from The CERN.

Eighty kilometers from the Austrian border, a young girl becomes the key that controls the will of the man with the power to create and destroy.

In the mountainous regions of Switzerland, a hostile force from a pariah regime attempts to extract a scientist from a fast-moving train.

Kimball Hayden, lead commander of the Vatican Knights has been asked by the Vatican to retrieve a mysterious guest from Zurich and escort him to Rome by train. Onboard the train, Kimball finds himself unwittingly caught up in the mix of an operation known as Scepter’s Rule. Even though the mysterious stranger tries to direct him, Kimball has an agenda of his own. Now, with the lives of more than 400 innocent people onboard the express, Kimball Hayden must become a sinner or a saint to achieve the means, and in the process must choose between damnation and salvation.

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About the Author:

rick jones

Rick Jones was born and raised in the Boston area and moved to Las Vegas in the early eighties where he graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a degree in English. He is retired from law enforcement and currently resides in Las Vegas where he writes fulltime. He is the bestselling author of the Vatican Knight series (THE VATICAN KNIGHTS (soon to be a television series from Amber Entertainment), SHEPHERD ONE, THE ISCARIOT AGENDA, PANDORA’S ARK, THE BRIDGE OF BONES, CROSSES TO BEAR, THE LOST CATHEDRAL, DARK ADVENT, CABAL, THE GOLGOTHA PURSUIT, TARGETED KILLING and SINNERS AND SAINTS); the psychological thriller, FAMILIAR STRANGER; and the bestselling action/adventure series, The Eden Saga (THE CRYPTS OF EDEN, THE MENAGERIE and THE THRONES OF EDEN); and CITY BENEATH THE SEA.

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Historical Adventure Book: Exodus Lost by S.C. Compton

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exodus lost

Genres: History, Adventure

Exodus Lost reopens cold cases from antiquity and applies cutting-edge science, classical scholarship, and tenacity to solve them. The adventure begins with Aztec and Mayan chronicles of an epic voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. By mapping the details within these texts, the author tracks down their lost homeland and corroborates the local traditions of an ocean-crossing long before Columbus. This discovery leads to new insights into the origins of Mexican and Western civilizations, the Bible (including new archaeological evidence for two major biblical events), the alphabet, and much more. Enter a world of exploration and discovery, mystery and revelation. Whether your passion is archaeology or religion, history or simply a great adventure, Exodus Lost delivers. Beautifully illustrated with 126 photos, maps, and engravings.

Buy this book now at:


About the Author:

 S. C. Compton has been fascinated with ancient civilizations since childhood adventures living in the rainforests of Peru with his grandparents and exploring Incan ruins in the nearby Andes. He went on to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in the Humanities cum laude from Shimer College, a Master of Liberal Arts from the University of Chicago, a Master of Arts in Literature from Northwestern University, and studied at Oxford University and in Switzerland at L’Abri. Compton dedicated 14 years to the research and writing of Exodus Lost, including travels to archaeological sites in Egypt, Mexico, Greece, Israel, and Turkey and to relevant museum and library holdings across Mexico, Europe, and America. He currently edits academic journals in the fields of history and literature for Oxford University Press.

YA Fiction Feature and Author Interview: Pirate Princess by Catherine Banks @catherineebanks

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YA Fiction, YA Action/Adventure

pirate princess

As the daughter of the Pirate King, Tilia Swanson has an unusual upbringing learning skills that aren’t often available for women. As the heir apparent for the Kingdom of Crilan, her skills set her apart as she is trained by the best in the land and taught to harness her magic. However, piracy is in her blood, and draws danger to her in the way that treasure draws pirates. Some treasures are more valuable than others. Will this lesson be learned in time or will the betrayal of those around her be her undoing?

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“You aren’t going to force me into an arranged marriage, are you?” I asked them.

Esmeralda looked like I had smacked her. “Of course not!”

“We haven’t done arranged marriages in a century,” Jared said.

I exhaled. “Well, my dad wasn’t sure and told me to be prepared just in case.”

“Does your dad do arranged marriages?” Esmeralda asked.

I shook my head. “No.”

“Well you don’t have to worry about that,” Jared said, “We aren’t going to force you to do anything.”

“Except not be a pirate,” I fake pouted.

Esmeralda laughed. “Except that.”

“Well, I guess I’m okay with that. Most pirates don’t have very long careers anyways,” I said.

“Speaking of marriage,” Esmeralda said, moving her horse closer to mine. “Technically we are supposed to have a ball for your seventeenth birthday so that all of the available men can come so you can start looking for a suitor.”

“WHAT?” I asked in an almost scream.

“You don’t want a boyfriend?” Faxon asked.

I blushed and said, “I just didn’t know it was a formal thing and, uh, hadn’t really thought about it yet.” That was a lie. I thought about boys like every teenage girl did, but my options were slim at the Capitol.

“Well, it’s a tradition and I thought I would let you know now that we’ll be having it while we are in Markleville,” Esmeralda said.

“I don’t have a dress,” I said, hoping that would cancel the plans until we returned home, “I didn’t bring one.”

“That’s fine. I will have one made for you,” Jared offered.

How generous. Ugh. “But if I find a guy I like in Markleville, I won’t even be able to see him when we return to the Capitol,” I said.

“That is where the true romance is supposed to begin,” Esmeralda said with a smile. “They have to try to keep you interested with letters and poems and gifts.”

“It’s very tedious,” Jared said.

“Only because you had to find others to write poems for you,” Faxon said.

“I knew you didn’t write that poem!” Esmeralda said with a triumphant shout.

“I’m going to skin you, Faxon,” Jared growled.

“It’s time she learned the truth,” Faxon said.

“I already knew,” Esmeralda said, “I just never had confirmation.”

“How did you know?” Jared asked.

“You haven’t written me a poem once since then. Every other guy who wrote me a poem continued to write them, not just one,” she said honestly.

“Who else wrote you poems?” Jared asked with crossed arms jealously.

“Yes, I’m really looking forward to this,” I muttered.

Griffin laughed.

“Not every man is like him,” Faxon said defensively.

“I can’t believe you helped him,” Esmeralda said.

“I’m a good friend,” he said with a shrug, “it’s a curse.”

About the Author:

Catherine banks

Catherine Banks is the author of the Artemis Lupine Series, Little Death Bringer Series, Ciara Steele Novella Series, and the novel Daughter of Lions. She began writing fiction stories when she was only four years old and finished her first full length novel at the age of fifteen. Catherine is a Northern California native and has lived within a twenty mile radius her entire life. She plans to travel to as many places as possible in her thirties to make up for her lack of traveling experience. She is married to her soulmate and best friend, Avery, who blessed her with two amazing children. After her full time job she reads books, plays video games and watches a lot of anime shows and movies with her family to relax.

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Interview with Catherine Banks:

When did you start to have a love for books? I’ve had a deep passion for books since I was a child. Both of my parents are avid readers and allowed me to stay up half an hour past my bedtime only if I was reading.

What was your favorite book as a child? As a teenager? As a child, Misty of Chincoteague. As a teenager, The Hobbit.

What was that turning point that changed you from a reader to a writer? In high school Anne Rice was very popular, but I wasn’t a huge vampire fan and instead had a deep love of werewolves. Since there were hardly any werewolf novels at the time, I decided to write my own.

Inspiration can often be found in the oddest people, places, and even situations. In the past, what has inspired you? Lyrics from songs, a vineyard, and even scenery have all inspired me and given me something to write about.

What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why? Pirate Princess has been my favorite book to write so far because it is so much fun and there is so much action that I didn’t want to stop writing it.

What about your favorite character or characters? Which characters from your books do you think readers will really feel a connection to? One of my favorites is Marin from my Little Death Bringer Series. She’s tough, kind, and a person that I would love to hang out with if she were real. Faxon is a character I think many of my readers will like because he is dark, mysterious, and yet funny, loyal, and protective.

So far, what has been your greatest moment in your writing career? My greatest moment has been seeing my name/book listed under a complete stranger’s top 5. It’s unreal and so amazing to see.
What can readers expect from you next? I’m working on book two of the Pirate Princess Series as well as book three of the Little Death Bringer Series. There are a few other projects that are new and not part of any other series, but those won’t be available until next year at least.

Nobody knows your books better than you! In your opinion, readers of what genres will enjoy your books the most? Readers of fantasy, young adult, action/adventure, and romance will love my books.

Now that we’ve talked about the books, let’s get to know you as the author! What are your favorite books now as an adult? Television shows? Movies? I can’t list a couple favorite books, but I can tell you that my favorite adult book series is the Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews and my favorite young adult book series currently is the Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas. My favorite television shows list would take up a lot of time, but my current favorites are: Firefly, One Punch Man, One Piece, Game of Thrones, and Phineas & Ferb. My favorite movies are: Princess Bride, Army of Darkness, Godzilla, Tales from Earthsea, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and Rustler’s Rhapsody.

If you could meet one author–from any time era–who would it be and what would you talk about? Can I meet a team and meet the couple who makes up Ilona Andrews? I would talk about their knowledge of mythology and religions. They are so knowledgeable and it’s amazing.

How would you describe your life in ten words or under? Video Games, reading, writing, working, children, video games, anime, Netflix.

What is your favorite place to visit? Pismo Beach, CA.

What words do you live by? “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”

Anything else you’d like to share with readers? Thank you for reading and giving my books a chance! I am eternally grateful and if you ever want to talk to me, please feel free to send me a message!

Thanks for letting us interview you, Catherine!