Kai Leakes Website

Kai Leakes Website
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Monday, December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays #Teamsineaters/cursed and upcoming New Year!

Happy Holidays #Teamsineaters & #Teamcursed!

I've been a busy bee and missed updating you all in November. I'm sorry about that. I guess that's how it goes when you are writing.

So, here are a few updates.

As the weather has been getting colder and snow comes, my home St. Louis continues to locked in discord. But, also in educating and enlightening. I am proud of those carrying on the mantel of activism and protesting against injustice. My Sin Eaters series is about that and currently everything around me that has been going on is inspiring me for hopefully a third book.

Outside of that, I have just finished another book with the working title "Pleasure Principle". This story takes me out of my comfort zone and into the world of Contemporary Romance with a touch of erotica. Hopefully, this story will be picked up and you all will get a chance to see me write in a different light.

Now, as I said, I like to give treats around the holidays and for those of you who follow me and stay up with the literary mind of Kai Leakes, I want to say thank you for the love and support you all have given me in 2014. I look forward to the blessings and good surprises '2015' has for me and #teamsineaters/cursed. Please continue to share both SE 1 and SE 2 to the world. I'm sure many are missing out on learning about my magnificent guardian angels.

With that, please take a visit to The Compound and enjoy my new gift there.

Happy Holidays all!

~K.L

Friday, October 3, 2014

October is Black Speculative Fiction Month Pt. 2

Hello #TeamSineaters/Cursed!

It's October again and you know what time it is again? Black Speculative Fiction month!! This year it's kind of slow due to behind the scenes i.e. life happening. However, to update you all, I'm still working on my Steampunk novel and have romance novel to finish behind it.

There are new reviews for both books on Amazon. If you enjoy leaving reviews I ask that you also do the same at Barnes and Noble, Walmart, Goodreads, and other places where you might purchase the books. The movement is steadily growing, hopefully more buzz will draw more attention. I thank you all so much for leaving the reviews you do.

Beyond that, October is Black Speculative Fiction month. What is that? Well, let me break it down for those who are new, BSF is a term coined for all fiction based in the genres of fantasy, Sci-Fi, Steampunk, Horror, and more, based on sharing a Black experience.

Like with Sin Eaters, my books falls into these varied genres, SE is fantasy, with a touch of Horror and plenty of romance. So celebrate this great month with me. You won’t be disappointed. Visit your local library, or shop at your local bookstores, and support the plentiful authors listed below.


PLEASE CHECK OUT THESE BSF AUTHORS:

L.A. Banks: The Vampire Huntress Series, The Crimson Moon Series, Conquer the Dark & Surrender the Dark series, as well as the YA novel Shadow Walker

Octavia Butler: Kindred, Lilth's Brood, et.al.

Tananarive Due: The Good House, My Soul to Keep

Crystal Connor: The Darkness, The Spectrum Trilogy

Lori Titus: The End is Now

Valjeanne Jeffers: The Immortal series, The Switch II: Clockwork (includes books I and II)

Milton Davis: the Meji Series, The Changa Safari Series, Steamfunk! (as co-editor)

…And don’t forget to get your copy of Sin Eaters: Devotion Book One by Kai Leakes, as well as the follow up: Sin Eaters: Retribution (Devotion Book Two) they make for a great gifts. :)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Happy Fall! September Post

Hello, hello to my #Teamsineaters & #Teamcursed.

Summer left us feeling over baked and Fall came smoothly through. During this month, I've been very very busy writing my next standalone story. I'm finding that I'm enjoying this genre, I'm very nervous about the steampunk world, hoping that I'm doing it justice, however I'm enjoying it and will share a piece of it soon.

Through the rest of the month, I've had new #Teamsineaters and #Teamcursed grab copies of SE1 to make it close to high ranking on Amazon. What a awesome experience that was.  I also was honored with a chance to participate in a discussion about Sin Eaters, those of you follow me on Twitter can find the questions asked and answers there.

Outside of that, there is no new news on upcoming signings or book discussions. I'm still in struggling author mode as usual. Looking for means to garner more sales for both books and more reviews to draw attention. The life of a author is not easy, never thought it would be, but for those who are looking for advice to become a full time author, I suggest this, have a part-time job. LOL

As, I said, this post is going to be short, I want to say happy Libra Season to my fellow Libras, and for you all to continue spreading the love and support for the Sin Eaters series.

Remember you can find me at FB, Twitter, and my website. If you are looking for signed copies, please contact me via my website for purchasing information.

Blessings to you all and speak to you all in October, my favorite month!

~The Light always prevails~




Tuesday, August 12, 2014

St. Louis - My City something has to change! #forpeace #mikebrown

Hello #Teamsineaters/cursed,


This post is difficult for me right now. For those who don't know, I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. I came here when I was around thirteen and graduated from High School all in St. Louis. So, to hear, and be very close to the tragic event...murder, of a young boy Mike Brown in my hometown, that is occurring right now has me at a loss for words. Truly, it has me in a state of sadness, anger, frustration, grief, and tiredness.

Ferguson, Missouri. It is an area I grew up around and constantly, back in high school, traveled through. I shopped there (The Clock Tower, Walmart, Sams, Shoe Carnival, etc). I have friends that lived (still live) there. I'm still not that far away from Ferguson. I'm in tears over this and it has me at a loss. Racist remarks are being spewed around people I know because of this. Fear is thriving. I have so many thoughts going on about this but, I'm choosing to keep my words simple here. I've been posting on FB articles, and keeping a watch on everything going on. This has definitely affected my life and what I planned to do with my writing. Sin Eaters is grounded in St. Louis and grounded in fighting against harm, evil, wrong doings, and this all has me thinking about it heavy.

August 10 through the 13th (and still going) 2014, will forever be etched in St. Louis history. We have been tired for a very long time, and something needs to be done, so something like this, the loss of Mike Brown, the loss of Renisha McBride, Trayvon Martin, and countless others, can never be allowed or accepted again. Hear me when I say that this is not about looting, or opportunists using this young man's death for their gain. They aren't gaining a darn thing. This is deeper than that, please understand.

Please pray for the family of Mike Brown, for my city, for Ferguson and the people fighting against injustice. Something has to change. My city as a whole has to change.

I sum this up in leaving a poem I wrote about Trayvon Martin's death (and posted on my blog) and with a quote I heard from my local news:

 "We're scared, and now you're scared."

No More by Kai Leakes (Written July 16,2013) 
It seems as if change has come,
With the remaining echoes of protests and rallies past,
Now long gone.
To battle and bleed for rights that refused to fall into foundation for our cause.
The night encumbers and snatches us whole.
As the past so shall it was,
Has now become our is.
The cadence of an ungodly force knocks us back,
To see the faces of those who have fallen for the rights of us all.
The faces of our ancestors,
Throats shackled.
Bodies strung,
Like decoration in trees.
It sparks a flaming reminder.
Those strange fruit,
Whose necks were clasped by the hands of enemies that point their barrel at us still.
The pulse is harsh,
Menacing and cold,
But in its force,
The bullet stops and falls at the feet of those intended to fall.
No more is shouted from the echoes of our ancestor’s cries.
We stand our ground without holding a weapon,
Or using our hands,
And watch our enemy fall.
You attack us and try to end us.
But as you target,
And stalk us,
We only grow strong.
What is called our weakness,
Is only what will be your karma as we yell,
'No more.'
You will never take from us again.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

HAPPY NATIONAL BOOK LOVERS DAY!! & other musings August 2014

Hello Hello #Teamsineaters and #Teamcursed!

Welcome to the month of August.

I hope you all are enjoying the last month of summer, I am, even though it has been raining like crazy. As I explained last month, I have been in a major writing funk, but that has changed. I have written a short story entitled "Free Your Mind", for a future anthology based in a afrofuturistic world. I'm hoping that it will be selected and if so, #Teamsineaters, you will have a taste of something new. I have also decided to put my contemporary romance to the side and focus on my steampunk novel.

Those of you on FB were lucky enough to see a peek of that work and loved it. It makes me excited to see that the characters in my mind can entertain and inspire you all. I thank you and love you guys for the feedback, I truly mean that.


Several of my #Teamsineaters/cursed FB fans participated in mini contests that I gave throughout the year, and several of them received gifts. I am just not seeing the responds and it is so cool to see the joy!  Everyone keep an eye out, it's important for specific impromptu contests that I give. A next one will be coming in the later months on the website and Twitter, for a chance at a #TeamCursed Shirt. Stay tuned!
There is not much to report to you all outside of that, however, it is HAPPY NATIONAL BOOK   LOVERS DAY!!

Take the time to read a book today and share the wealth!

Here are the three books that still are my inspiration and that started it all!




Friday, July 18, 2014

July, signings & reviews (Behind the scenes)


Hey #Teamsineaters/Cursed,

It's the middle of July and a lot has been going on. First, I want to say thank you all for making this month special. From sticking with me and buying SE2. The sales were great on Amazon and made my day, so thank you all.

Now, I am not big on blogging, its the funniest thing. I can not stay devoted to being constant with the blogging, but here I am. LOL A lot has been going on with me as a writer vs. being an author. Who said writing and being an author was easy? It's not. Sales have been great with SE2 however, reviews have been very, very, mixed and it's disheartening. I can't help myself, I am human.

Since seeing the reviews, I've been in a writing funk. I was in one before, but now, everything I do I am questioning and that is the hard part of being a writer vs. an author. These thoughts are what comes with the territory as a emerging author and I'm struggling to use it as tools to get better. Why? Because I'm human and I feel like I failed you guys. It's sad. I know, but I'll move past it. It always happens with me, when I read some reviews.

Alas, outside of those thoughts. I had a great time in Atlanta (see the pics), on July 10, 2014. I was able to see Atlanta some more (I saw where specific characters in the SE live and thrive), and was able to visit Nubian Bookstore in Morrow, GA. Nubian Bookstore was a welcoming environment. I have a self-proclaim bookstore addict and Nubian Bookstore did not help my addiction. LOL.

I introduced a few new people to the Sin Eaters world which was promising. I never know when it comes to marketing how people will take my book. I met a filmmaker, who I hope I am able to get in touch with again. I've also had a wide range of responses from, some people saying, they do no like to read (Yet they are holding their cellphones and texting), others who were clutching their pearls and stating that they do not read about demons, or they don't do scary books.

Now you #Teamsineaters/Cursed fans out there know that, this book is not horror rooted at all. My close friend said it best though, if they read the bible then they are essentially reading about demons. LOL Anyway, I respect everyone's opinions and I move on. We all have a right to read and like what we like. It's still disheartening.


These are the behind the scenes things I deal with as a writer. This is not a glamorous world for me but I enjoy it and respect it. Many blessings have come from this great experience and I will be able to tangibly have something to show my future children when they are older. I get that privilege to say that I was at one point an author. (I hope to still be one when I have children but the future is what it is).

We now move on into August soon and I have to scramble my brain around what I will be doing in the future as Kai Leakes. I have a romance novel that has been kicking my butt that I am close to finishing. I am going to be a part of an Anthology based on afro-cyber/futurism genre (which should be really fun once I finish my short), and I have a YA I need to rework and a Steampunk story to write.

Finally, there is the fate of the Sin Eaters brand. You guys are my breath. If there is a need, then I am there. If there is a want, then I am there. SE3: Rebirth (I love that title and picked it before I even finished SE2) could come into reality (I have several ideas). However if you all want more Sin Eaters, I have know it and you all have to shout it to the rafters. Leave reviews, leave me comments, inbox me (FB/Twitter), email me.

Now that this series is "over" how did it resonate with you? Who did you love, hate, like, etc.? What were your favorite moments, quotes, and more? Raise up #teamsineaters/cursed.

I'll hear you and love to get to know you all. Stick with me, and travel in my mind. There is a method to it all. Thank you for your love and support. I promise to step out of this funk, I really do and once I do, more works will be there. I hope to travel to several other states to meet you all as well. Hopefully, I can build up a team to do a book tour and also visit some Cons (Comic-con is my dream).

Until then, remember you are your own warrior. *hugs*

Go #Teamsineaters/Cursed!

 ~K.L.  -When the Light and Dark are at war, sometimes the Grey can only be your salvation-

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Happy Sin Eaters Day!

Hello Hello #Teamsineaters/Cursed!

Today is the big day and can you believe the it is finally here? What am I talking about? Well the second release to my Sin Eaters Devotion Book Saga!



Sin Eaters: Retribution - Devotion Book 2 (long title huh? LOL) Is finally here and I am so happy, but also extremely nervous.  Why? Because this is the end, or is it really the beginning to a whole new world order? I don't know yet. I have a lot going on in my mind, but I also know it hinges on what you all think of the work. The good, the bad, the ugly and my favorite area, the in between.

Sin Eaters will always be my favorite and first child birthed into actually being published. With SE1 the words came easily from my dreams, but with SE2 that was a little effort. It started out one way, then I had to go back and rewrite the whole story.

For my #Teamsineaters/Curse, this means that there is a lot of background story and information that was left on the cutting board that I've been sitting on and waiting until the release of SE2. So, if you are familiar with my website, I suggest that you keep an eye out. You never know what gems that I may share.

With that, I was to discuss something major that happened a week or two ago. My #Teamsineaters/Cursed are the best. You all have been paying attention to my site, and on FB and Twitter, and have been contacting me and sharing pictures of where you've seen the books.

Recently, one such picture came my way, tagged to me on FB and it blew me away. #Teamsineater/Cursed fan Kenneth, happened to be visiting the Niagara Falls Comic Con when he snapped an awesome picture with Tony Todd.

Who is Tony Todd? Well the one and only Candyman himself.


He was quoted as saying, "Gotta support characters of color."

The moment I saw that picture, I honestly shed tears and jumped for joy. Then later he followed me on Twitter, everything became surreal. I was and still am so honored, as well as thankful, by this experience. It was not something that I had expected, especially in asking for you fans to share your pictures with me.

As a writer, an emerging one, and still learning one, I never thought my words and the characters in my books would have this impact. I was told it would by my pen-wife (as we jokenly call each other) Nikki-Michelle, that it would be a well loved series, however, it still is something I don't fully accept in my journey. I've seen many comments from readers who did not understand the book, or wasn't sure what genre it was, or assumed that it would be scary to read and not want to give it a chance. It's worried me. Stressed me. Gave me tears, but through it all. I have stuck with this process and am still elated and feeling blessed by it all.

I love my #Teamsineaters/Cursed! Thank you all. You all are the best, especially when you all share your stories with me. Let's keep this growing and I hope to meet you all in person, to even see some of you dress up like the characters or create your own Nephilim, or Cursed character. It's all love.


July 10th, 2014 I will be in Atlanta at Nubian Bookstore at 3:00 pm until 6 pm. Located: 1540 Southlake Parkway, Suite 7A, Morrow, Georgia 30260  
I hope to see you all there and who knows, it may be other areas in Atlanta, that I am willing to make an appearance while visiting 'Hotlanta'.

Well this ends this session with you all. Until then, keep an eye out for the New World Order, and always remember, When the Light and Dark are at war, sometimes the Grey can only be your salvation.

~Kai Leakes
Website - FB - Tumblr - Twitter

Sin Eaters: Devotion Book One:

Amazon: http://goo.gl/xrSEkn
Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/K9OvLg
Walmart.

Sin Eaters 2: Retribution:

Amazon: http://goo.gl/YtqkOu
Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/MEKt6H

Available at all retail stores and online markets!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Butler/Banks Book Tour: Closing the Tour but not ending it with Balogun Ojetade


Hello #Teamsineaters/cursed!

Today is our final day. I want to say I am thankful to having been a part of such a fun book tour and learning right along with you, about these wonderful authors.Thank you for following us through this tour and for those new readers that have met us through this tour. Please continue to follow us, share who we are and connect with us.

So we end it in thanks to the wonderful roster of talented authors:

Alan Jones  - Balogun Ojetade - Milton Davis - Valjeanne Jeffers - Jeff Carroll - Keith Gaston - Carole McDonnell - K. Ceres Wright - DaVaun Sanders - Clarence (“Zig Zag”) Young - Crystal Connor, as well as myself, Kai Leakes.

And in memory of Octavia Butler and L.A. Banks. Please take the time to buy both women's works by clicking their names.

Thank you for following the tour. I now leave you with Balogun Ojetade:


For those who know me, I am a writer.
For those who don’t know me, I am a writer.
I write speculative fiction – mainly Steamfunk, Dieselfunk, Rococoa and Sword & Soul.
Recently, I have expanded my writing into the  Fight Fiction – aka Action / Adventure, aka Pulp – genre, which was pretty much inevitable because my novels contain lots of exciting action and fight scenes.
What, exactly, is Fight Fiction. You ask?
Fight Fiction is comprised of tales in which the fighting – whether it happens in a temple in Thailand, a boxing ring in Las Vegas, a cage in Atlanta, or in a bar in New York City – is not merely in the story to make it more exciting; or to add a different spin to it. The fighting must be an integral part of both the story and its resolution. Take the fighting out and you no longer have a story. Think Fight Club; Rocky; Blood and Bone; Kung-Fu Hustle; Million Dollar Baby; and Tai Chi Zero.

Writing fight scenes has always been something I enjoy and that I believe I do fairly well. This is probably due to the fact that I have been a student of indigenous African martial arts for over forty years and I have been an instructor of those same martial arts for nearly thirty years. I am also a lifelong fan of martial arts, boxing and Luchador films.

Recently, I joined a team of stellar authors, who all write under the pen name Jack Tunney (for e-book versions only; paperback versions are in the authors’ names), as part of the Fight Card Project.
The books in the Fight Card series are monthly 25,000 word novelettes, designed to be read in one or two sittings, and are inspired by the fight pulps of the 1930s and 1940s, such as Fight Stories Magazine and Robert E. Howard’s two-fisted boxing tales featuring Sailor Steve Costigan.

In 2013, the Fight Card series published twenty-four incredible tales of pugilistic pandemonium from some of the best New Pulp authors in the business. I am writing under the Fight Card MMA brand with my book, Fist of Africa.

Here’s a brief synopsis: 

Nigeria 2004 … Nicholas ‘New Breed’ Steed, a tough teen from the mean streets of Chicago, is sent to his mother’s homeland – a tiny village in Nigeria – to avoid trouble with the law. Unknown to Nick, the tiny village is actually a compound where some of the best fighters in the world are trained.  Nick is teased, bullied and subjected to torturous training in a culture so very different from the world where he grew up.

Atlanta 2014 … After a decade of training in Nigeria, a tragedy brings Nick back to America. Believing the disaffected youth in his home town sorely need the same self-discipline and strength of character training in the African martial arts gave him, Nick opens an Academy. While the kids are disinterested in the fighting style of the cultural heritage Nick offers, they are enamored with mixed martial arts. Nick decides to enter the world of mixed martial arts to make the world aware of the effectiveness and efficiency of the martial arts of Africa.

Pursuing a professional career in MMA, Nick moves to Atlanta, Georgia, where he runs into his old nemesis – Rico Stokes, the organized crime boss who once employed Nick’s father, wants Nick to replace his father in the Stokes’ protection racket. Will New Breed Steed claim the Light Heavyweight title … Or will the streets of Atlanta claim him?
I really enjoyed writing this book because I have always wanted to share with the world the fierceness, efficiency and effectiveness of the indigenous African martial arts for self-defense, as well as their transformative powers in the building of men and women with self-discipline, courage and good character. Fist of Africa is a perfect outlet for my unique brand of Fight Fiction, which I am sure you will enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing it.

In Fist of Africa, readers will experience jaw-dropping action on the mean streets of Chicago, in the sand pits of Nigeria and in cages in the “Dirty South” (Atlanta), as well as a bit of romance.
Please, enjoy this excerpt, then hop on over to my website, or to Amazon and purchase the book. You’ll thank me later.

ROUND SIX:

Vee-Vee’s was packed. The line of men and women spilled out of the Nigerian restaurant and onto the hot sidewalk as the lunch crowd eagerly awaited the mouth-watering, sweet fried plantains, egusi soup with pounded yam and coconut rice.
Standing in the line, Nick and Baba Yemi still had two customers ahead of them before they were in the door. Nick rubbed his hands in excitement.
Baba Yemi raised an eyebrow. “Is the food really that good, Nicholas? You look … eager.”
“You just don’t know, grandfather,” Nick replied. “I haven’t had Vee-Vee’s in over ten years.
“You’ve had Nigerian food in Nigeria,” Baba Yemi said. “What’s so special about Vee-Vee’s?”
“It’s Vee-Vee’s,” Nick responded with a shrug.
Baba Yemi shook his head.
“Excuse me, you just jumped ahead of me,” a woman’s voice said.
Nick peered over his shoulder. A rotund woman addressed three young men who stood in front of her in the line.
“Look, lady, we just want to get some plantains up out of here,” one of the young men – a lanky teen with jeans hanging halfway off his butt – said. “You look like you’re about to order the whole damned menu.”
The young men laughed heartily and exchanged high fives.
“Teens today have no respect,” the woman said. “If you are the future, we’re in big trouble.”
“Shut up, pendeja!” Another young man spat. “That’s moron, in case you don’t know … pendeja!”
More laughter from the young men.
“Hold my place in the queue,” Baba Yemi whispered.
“Grandfather, don’t …” Nick muttered.
Baba Yemi approached the young men, stopping a few inches behind them. “You are being very rude. This young woman deserves an apology.”
The teens turned to face Baba Yemi. The largest of the trio, a tall, athletically built young man, who had not yet spoken, looked Baba Yemi up and down.
“Push on, old man, before you get yourself hurt,” he said.
Baba Yemi smiled and tapped the young man on his muscular chest. “Hurt? How?”
The lanky young man with the sagging pants placed a firm hand on Baba Yemi’s shoulder. “Get gone, old dude, before we kick your …”
The young man hit the pavement with a dull thump.
“My hand!” He screamed, clutching at his wrist and writhing in agony.
The Spanish-speaking young man launched an awkward-looking kick toward Baba Yemi’s belly.
The old wrestler side-stepped to his left, bringing his right arm up to scoop the young man’s leg. Baba Yemi shifted toward the trapped leg, grabbing it with both arms in a tight grip. He ducked under the leg, lifting his arms over his head at the same time.
The young man’s knee twisted at a sickening angle. He landed next to his friend with the dislocated wrist, who joined him in a chorus of cries, whimpers and yelps.
Baba Yemi exploded toward the remaining member of the trio.
The young man stumbled backward, then whirled on his heels and sprinted off.
The teen with the sagging pants and damaged wrist helped the young man with the dislocated knee to his feet. “Sorry, ma’am,” they said in unison.
Baba Yemi laid a hand on the shoulder of the young man with the sagging pants. The young man jerked in fear.
“Relax,” Baba Yemi said. “Let me fix it.”
The young man cautiously gave Baba Yemi his damaged hand. The old man grabbed the teen’s fingers and yanked hard. The teen winced at the pain of his wrist sliding back into its correct position.
“Thank you,” the young man said. “And I … I’m sorry.”
“What about my knee, sir?” The Spanish-speaking young man inquired, still gasping in pain.
“That is going to require more treatment than I can do here,” Baba Yemi answered. “Do either of you have a car?”
“Yes, sir, I do,” the Spanish-speaking youth said.
“What’s your name, boy?” Baba Yemi asked.
“Hector, sir,” the young man said.
“And yours?” Baba Yemi asked the young man with the sagging trousers.
“Miles,” he answered.
“Miles, take Hector to the hospital,” Baba Yemi said. “They’ll put the joint back in proper position, then you bring him to me and I’ll really heal him. Talk to my grandson over there. He’ll give you the address.”
“Yes, sir,” Miles said, approaching Nick.
“Thank you, sir,” Hector said.
Vee-Vee’s waitress, who had come outside to see what the commotion was all about, handed Nick an ink pen and an order slip. Nick wrote the address to his parent’s house on the slip.
The two young men shambled off, Hector’s arm wrapped around Miles’ shoulder for support.
“Thank you!” The pudgy woman shouted. She wrapped her arms around Baba Yemi’s torso and held him in a warm hug.
The people in line applauded as Baba Yemi returned to his place in line.
“We’re running a compound for young thugs out of my parents’ house now?” Nick said, shaking his head.
“You weren’t so different when you first came to me, Nicholas,” Baba Yemi said.
“True,” Nick said.

“So, I ask again,” Baba Yemi said. “What now?”


~~~

Balogun is the author of the bestselling Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within and screenwriter / producer / director of the films, A Single Link and Rite of Passage: Initiation.
He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk – a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach of life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or steampunk fiction - and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at http://chroniclesofharriet.com/.
He is author of six novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the Urban Science Fiction saga, Redeemer; the Sword & Soul epic, Once Upon A Time In Afrika, two Fight Fiction, Action-Adventure novellas – A Single Link and Fist of Afrika and the two-fisted Dieselfunk tale, The Scythe. Balogun is also contributing co-editor of two anthologies: Ki: Khanga: The Anthology and Steamfunk.
Finally, Balogun is the Director and Fight Choreographer of the Steamfunk feature film, Rite of Passage, which he wrote based on the short story, Rite of Passage, by author Milton Davis.
You can reach him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Afrikan.Martial.Arts; on Twitter @Baba_Balogun and on Tumblr at www.tumblr.com/blog/blackspeculativefiction.





Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Butler/Banks Book Tour: Presenting Crystal Connor


Hello #Teamsineaters/cursed.

It is day 16! This is our final week and 2nd to last blogger/author feature. Now this author is aimed to give you shivers and have you swinging at that night. Which makes her perfect for tour! If your into horror, fantasy, and epic fantasy, this author is for you.

Let me introduce you to the next feature blogger/author: Crystal Connor!


Crystal grew up telling spooky little campfire-style stories at slumber parties. Living on a steady literary diet of Stephen King, Robin Cook, Dean R. Koontz and healthy doses of cinema masterpieces such as The Birds, Friday the 13th, Hellraiser, The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone; along with writing short stories specializing in the Science Fiction & Horror genres since before Jr. high School, it surprised no one that she ended up writing horror novels! 

She now lives in Seattle, WA, where she is a member of the Dark Fiction Guild, and belongs to both the Authors Anonymous and The Seattle Women’s writing groups and she is also an active member of The Critters Workshop. 

The Darkness, is her first full-length novel, followed by And They All Lived Happily Ever After and Artificial Light, the sequel to The Darkness.

Check her out at http://www.wordsmithcrystalconnor.blogspot.com/.

Getting to know Crystal Conner:

An entire year ago, I swore an oath of secrecy when I agreed to co-write a book with paranormal-romance author Lori Titus under the penname of Connor Titus. The reason, in the beginning, for the vow of silence was simply for the sake of peace.

Now this is in no way meant to be a complaint, but my fans take their jobs seriously. It takes about a year for me to write a book, but just a month or two after announcing a new WIP that’s all my fans talk to me about, and writing is all they want me to do. 

I know some of you remember me posting in ‘Walgreens incident.’ Two weeks after the release of Book II: Artificial Light I was standing in line in Walgreen and asked the woman in front of me where she got her drop dead gorgeous shoes. When she turned to tell me, I was recognized, and she demanded to know why I wasn’t at home writing. Sadly she didn’t tell me where she got her shoes.

If my fans had found out that I had teamed up with Lori their excitement would have been too much especially because at the time we where both working on our own books which of course held more priority than a joint project, so we didn’t even know when this book would be finished.

About a 3rd of the way into the project, the fact that mum was the word literally became a life saver, because we started to realize that we were going to be writing two books. And at that moment it stopped being about peace and immediately became a trade secret.

“One catastrophe. One Town. One story told two different ways.”

We co-wrote, two, stand alone books about the same thing.

We’d never heard of anyone doing that before and because it’s such an insanely original idea or had been done which such infrequency that the concept isn’t widely known we didn’t want anyone finding out what we were doing and beat us to the punch.

Once the decision was made that this story was going to be told from two different points of views, we also made the decision to not only stop working together, but to also not to talk to each other about what was written from that moment forth. I mean we went into complete radio silence, we didn’t even see each other’s cover until they were revealed earlier this month as part of our blog tour. We did this because we didn’t want to influence each and judging by the reviews that turned out to be a really good move.

After our books were shipped off to the editor Lori and I decided to interview each other for our own blogs. Those interviews turned out to be a blast and that’s what I am going to share with you today. 


The Wordsmith: Ok, 1st off I need to get something off my chest. I heard through the grapevine that you prefer Pepsi over Coca~Cola. Is that true?

Lori: Yes, I’m a Pepsi drinker,

The Wordsmith: Oh hell no, this is a crime against the Crown. This interview is over, we’re not friends anymore. Lol I’m just kidding.

Lori: LOL! But I drink Coke if I’m at a place and that’s what they’re selling. I still get the specific craving for Coca Cola now and again.

The Wordsmith: Oh, okay …good save cuz I was about to send you straight to the gallows. I write straight up horror with a service of science fiction and dark fantasy on the side. As a rising star in paranormal romance what was it that made you want to be a part of the Mt. Empyreal project?

Lori: I think of dark fiction as being one genre, whether it includes romance or science fiction. I love anything that challenges the characters with something greater than themselves, and that was definitely the obstacle our characters faced in the Keep. Since I’m a huge romantic, something of that always comes through. I couldn’t write you a cookbook without some reference to romance in there.

The Wordsmith: OMG that’s so true! I knew from the beginning that the story would have elements of romance but you do it really well so I wasn’t worried. That’s one of the things that interested me in co-authoring with you is seeing how we would build off each other’s strength. You also co-authored the novel Harmony’s Prophecy, with Angel Brown Kemph, which is now out of print, was it the same kind of writing process or was it totally different and if so why/how?

Lori: The book with Angel was very different. She was the primary author. I worked on editing with her, and we had some sessions where we tossed around story building ideas, but it is  her book. I was really pleased and surprised that she felt my efforts earned a co-author credit.

The Wordsmith: Dude, how in the hell did we end up co-writing two books? Who does that?

Lori: I think only we do, ha! It was a great idea that you came up with. We both got to have complete creative free reign. Whenever I read about authors who co-wrote together, I always hear about the constrictions placed upon the authors, and how one person ends up being the leader with the other being the follower.  We were able to build our foundation for the stories together, and then throw the proverbial paint against the wall to see what would stick.

The Wordsmith: I like that concept, that we both had creative free reign. The constrictions was something I knew I wanted to overcome before either of us wrote word one. It didn’t take long to see that we had two very different ideas of how this story should be told but I didn’t want to sacrifice one idea for the other and that’s what made me start thinking about doing something completely different.

The funny thing is, I didn’t start researching ‘how to co-write a book’ until we we’re nearly done. Otherwise I don’t think I would have done it. LOL, speaking of horror stories about co-writing, what was the hardest part about working with me? (Tell the truth).

Lori: The hardest part was figuring out where we needed to split! I was enjoying watching the story unfold, and I was so curious as to where you were going to take it. Once we did split, it took a week for me to get back into the story properly, because I missed being able to see what you had written and talk about our ideas together.

The Wordsmith: OMG I was the exact same way. I was starting to think that splitting up wasn’t going to be a good idea. Thank God we didn’t chicken out of that decision lol. Was there anything that worried you about Mt. Empyreal?

Lori: Yes! I was really concerned about which characters were going to make it, and who wasn’t. With a story like this one, there is a balance between making things so hard that it’s impossible for your characters to triumph, and making it too easy.  You don’t want to make it so easy that the readers roll their eyes at how neatly things work out. That’s often a concern I have when I’m writing. Real life is messy, and I tend to like stories that reflect complexities in character and outcome.

The Wordsmith: I know one of the things I was worried about and brought up often was I felt like I had unfairly taken charge and all the ideas were mine. I didn’t mean for it to be that way, I was just having so much fun that my excitement got the best of me. This was my 1st co authored book, so I guess my question would be, is this just the way things work when co-writing a book or was it really not an issue for you?

Lori: It’s part of the beast – someone has to start, (The Wordsmith nods head) and you wrote a beginning that was so unique and chilling that I wanted to let you run with it. Once our start was firmly in place, I was able to see what I wanted to elaborate on and where I wanted things to go. That said, I don’t think that our writing partnership is like anyone else’s. While you were in the driver’s seat I was already planning.

The Wordsmith: LOL, that’s the Virgo in you, I was thinking ahead when you were the one with the pen too. Which of the characters that we created together do you think will totally blow my mind?

Lori: I always say Emerson; I love that character in ways that I could never have expected. We have talked about Khrystle before, and that she surprised you with some of the things she did in our shared copy of the book(s). Jerrod is also going to be a big surprise to you. Just you wait until you read it!

The Wordsmith: I can’t wait to read it either, you have no idea how hard it’s been not to open  the ARC copy you sent me to send to my reviewers.

Wait…I don’t think I mentioned this, ok so the reason Lori said she can’t wait until I read her book is because once we stopped working together we promised each other that we would not read each other’s books until our editor signed off on both books. And we didn’t even see each other’s covers until the 18th of April. Dudes, its been brutal.  
So far our reviews have been really good but every time a review for yours comes in it just amplifies my excitement. That’s it, I’m changing the subject! You have another book coming out soon, can you tell us a little more about that?

Lori: lol. Bell House is a ghost story about a modern southern family with many skeletons in their past. At the forefront of the story are two half-sisters, Jenna and Diana, who share a  contentious relationship. They were raised by different mothers, and most of what they believe about each other comes from things that they have been told by others, some of which may not be entirely true. After a tragedy in the family, Diana moves into a house willed to her by her father, and all sorts of trouble ensues.

The Wordsmith: Just for fun. If you got the funding to take a year off to write where in the world would you live for that year and why?

Lori: It could be Hawaii or Bora Bora, but I want to live somewhere on the ocean. I think it would be great to wake up every day with the ocean right outside, and take my laptop out onto the patio and write while I enjoyed my coffee. And of course I’d want a great big house where I could invite my friends to come out and stay for as long as they want. That would be great.

The Wordsmith: Dude for as long as they want, by the beach, in Bora Bora? And you expect to actually get any work done? Yeah ok.

(With laughter in the background fade to black)


We were lucky enough to have our forward written for us by Jaime A. Geraldi from, wait for it…..RT Book Review Magazine! (screams, swoons, and faints) But 1st let’s set the mood with the book trailer!


“One catastrophe. One Town. One story told two different ways by two different authors…What started in the foothills of Mt. Empyreal could be the end of all of us.”

The dynamic duo known as Connor Titus have merged together to create a story that will chill you to the bone. Each adds a dark and distinctive quality to this compelling read and it's almost impossible to favor one over the other as the ink bleeds upon the page for everyone to witness.

Connor's interpretation is fierce and grabs readers by the throat as they gasp for breath once Old Man Winter strolls in and they're left powerless. She allows you to visualize the characters movements and endure their emotions without flaw. The highly descriptive settings throughout will make one feel as if they're part of the story which makes her rendition realistic and absolutely terrifying.

Titus' version captivates one by taking hold of their mind first before they even know what hit them. Then the emotional setback follows. Her gifted storytelling ability will have you thinking you're reading just a novel, but your brain may tell you something different as you actually may experience bouts of terror or feel perspiration at your brow.

Each author singularly has the ability to lure you into the book quickly, but as a pair it may feel as if they'll never let you leave.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Mt. Empyreal. -Jaime A. Geraldi, RT Book Review Magazine




Thank you so much for letting me take over this blog for today , if you would like to see the interview of Lori interviewing me here is the link: http://loribeth215.wordpress.com/

And to follow us on our blog tour as we promote both books please click here. If you follow us be sure to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of both books, a promo T from each of us plus a signed copy of The Darkness along with a signed copy of Ryder.

http://junipergrovebooksolutions.com/foothills-mt-empyreal-connor-titus/


Monday, April 28, 2014

Butler/Banks Book Tour: Presenting Clarence (“Zig Zag”) Young


Hello Hello #Teamsineaters/cursed!

It's Day 15 of our final week of the Butler/Banks Tour! I'm excited to introduce you to yet another author, yet sad that this is the last week. However let's get to it. This author has a awesome nickname.

Let me introduce you to your next feature blogger/author: Clarence "Zig Zag" Young!

I love fiction. Period. Worlds imagined, worlds altered, whether simply reshaped or irrevocably twisted. Anything that fires the imagination is a gift from the gods. I grew up on Star Trek, the Twilight Zone, Sir Graves Ghastly’s Saturday Matinee Movies (for us Motown folks), and the other-realm lives of a bunch of kids ganged up against one named Charlie Brown. Peanuts was “Village of the Damned” minus the world domination, mixed with a psychic dog trying its best to be human.

Which is to say all fiction is speculative fiction. That’s what the spirit of the Butler/Banks tour celebrates, because how else can you get away with writing things like this (from Historical Inaccuracies):

“The only evidence I need of Intelligent Design,” said Senator Bloodaxe, unsheathing his crusted blade and laying it before the security dogs for evidence of illegal killing, “is what I have seen with my own eyes.”
           
“But, Senator,” someone said from the throng of pelt-clad reporters, “isn’t it true you were once a staunch supporter of the scientific prin—”
           
“Who said that!” Bloodaxe raged, grabbing up the sword that had sent scores of unbelievers to undeserved glory and swinging it round.
           
The news crews were used to his rages and smoothly raised shields. The senator calmed.
           
“Senator, it’s been rumored,” came a crisp, female voice from beneath the turtle’s back of shields, “that you yourself have killed angels and that this conversion is purely political.”
           
Bloodaxe grinned at their fear. “Face Bloodaxe, wench,” he said, eyes scanning. “Taste congressional steel.”
           
Movement issued from the rear. Reporters parted until she stood before Bloodaxe (R) from Indiana. The huge man’s eyes narrowed.
           
“I am Kurok, daughter’s daughter of Couric,” which sucked balls because politicians hated a reporter with something to prove.
           
“Bring it, wench.”
           
Kurok approached. “Today is a good day to cry…”

HISTORICAL INACCURACIES contains several science/speculative fiction selections, including the pile-driver “Revolver,” praised by Lois Tilton of Locus Online as “harrowing” and one that delivers. These are stories meant to disturb the dust, call forth the spirits, and sit with you a while.

As Clarence Young, I write humor and drama. As Zig Zag Claybourne I wish I’d grown up with the powers of either Gary Mitchell or Charlie X but without the Kirk confrontations. My fiction and poetry, ranging from science fiction to street-lit satire to magic realism, have appeared in The Wayne Review, Flashshot, Reverie Journal, Stupendous Stories, and numerous online attractions. The books Neon Lights, By All Our Violent Guides, and Historical Inaccuracies are all independently-published.

You can find me scribbling like a mad man at my author site www.Writeonrighton.com, Amazon author page Zig Zag Claybourne, tweeting or squawking at: @zzclaybourne, while having silly fun at www.thingsididatworktoday.blogspot.com.

Show your credit card a good time at these links, and—by all the ancestors and ancients staring over our shoulders—find any and every way you can to reshape the world!

Paperback – Createspace
Paperback & Ebook – Amazon