Audio Spotlight: The Sparks & Author Interview

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Title: The Sparks

Author: Kyle Prue

Narrator: Jon Eric Preston

Length: 9 hours 14 minutes

Series: The Feud Trilogy, Book 1

Released: Feb. 24, 2017

Publisher: Cartwright Publishing

Genre: Fantasy; Young Adult

One teen assassin-in-training must unite three warring supernatural dynasties before death comes to them all…

Find out why USA Today calls The Sparks “a crackling read” that “builds a vivid world (both) otherworldly and relatable.”

Neil Vapros just wants to make his father proud. The sixteen-year-old aspires to serve his family as an assassin, but he nearly dies in the process. As if that wasn’t bad enough, Neil’s family, as well as two rival dynasties, have abandoned an ancient promise to protect their city. An unknown evil has begun hunting all three houses from the shadows…

As Neil’s relatives fall one-by-one, he attempts to unite the three supernatural families against a common enemy. But earning trust after years of assassination attempts could prove impossible. Neil’s fight may involve more than a bloodthirsty empire, as betrayal rears its ugly head…

The Sparks is the first book in the award-winning Epic Feud trilogy of young adult fantasy novels. If you like captivating characters, inventive world building, and supernatural battles, then you’ll love Kyle Prue’s action-packed coming-of-age tale. Buy The Sparks today to ignite your thirst for adventure!

“A crackling read. The Sparks builds a vivid world that is at once otherworldly and relatable. Characters spring from the page in a deft twist on mythology that belies Kyle Prue’s young age. He’s a voice to be heard.” (Scott Bowles, USA Today)

Winner of numerous national awards including: Best Book in Florida and Best Fiction for Young Adults 2015 from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association. The Sparks was runner up for Best Young Adult Fiction at the Florida Book Festival and won Honorable Mentions at the New England Book Festival, Midwest Book Festival, Southern California Book Festival, and the International London Book Festival. Prue also won an International Moonbeam Award and Indie Fab award for Best Young Author.

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Q&A with Author Kyle Prue
  • Do you believe certain types of writing translate better into audiobook format?
    • I think Fantasy stands head and shoulders above other genres as far as audiobooks go. Fantasy, especially high fantasy, is filled with so many deeply textured characters with their own rich traditions and sets of values. These worlds also come with so much dramatism. All that pomp and circumstance is just dying to be read aloud.
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • My writing has always been written with the spoken word in mind. (Side effect of my time in the theatre.) Often I would read monologues aloud to make sure that if they were performed they would carry the necessary weight. Preston took that and ran with it.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • Preston auditioned against dozens of his talented peers. However at the end of the day my team and I decided that there was no way it could be anyone else.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • All writing is on some level autobiographical. If an author says otherwise they might be hiding something.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • The Feud Trilogy is filled with so many larger than life characters. Preston’s narration REALLY makes that evident. Whereas when you’re reading on your own it’s possible to fall into a rhythm and start to hear characters talking in the same voice, Preston does an incredible job of adding interesting nuance to every single role.
  • What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”?
    • I’d probably say, “hey maybe it’s weird to care so much about this distinction. When was the last time you went outside? It’s nice out there. Let’s touch some grass.”
  • How did you celebrate after finishing this novel?
    • I took a shower.
  • What gets you out of a writing slump? What about a reading slump?
    • The more I write the rarer I find writer’s block, however when it does come it hits HARD. My advice, while it might seem counterintuitive, is to step away. Sleep. Eat. Watch something. Do some life living. So much of good writing is about finding a flow and forcing words out usually just leads to later rewrites.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
    • Writing a series is such an advantage from a story perspective because you’re allowed to put things on simmer. You don’t have to force characters through their narrative arcs on a ticking clock. I also think that the more pages you have to work with the more layers you get to add. While one book is a simple machine, a series is a swiss watch, with gears clicking away against each other. The con of writing a series is that you have to write more than one book.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • Read. Sorry that’s not a very glamorous answer, but that’s what any author will tell you. You have to read.

Kyle Prue is an award winning author, actor and comedian. Kyle wrote The Sparks: Book 1 of the Feud Trilogy when he was just 16 years old. Kyle has spent the past year on a national book tour visiting over 80 middle and high schools and meeting over 60,000 students. Kyle is now a freshman at the University of Michigan, studying acting and creative writing. He still visits schools and is a keynote speaker for conferences.

Kyle is the founder of Sparking Literacy, a non-profit dedicated to lowering the high school dropout rate by inspiring teens to read, write and follow their dreams. The Sparks has won numerous national awards including Best YA Fiction awards from: The Florida Authors and Publisher’s Association, the Florida Book Festival, New England Book Festival, Midwest Book Festival, Southern California Book Festival, and the International London Book Festival. Kyle also won an International Moonbeam Award and IndieFab Award for Best Young Author.

Narrator Bio

Jon Eric Preston received his Theatre degree from Florida State University after returning from the London program. He earned top honors narrating in the Dramatic Interpretation category on the Speech and Debate team, and performed professionally in Children’s Theatre companies and did National Tours of A Christmas Carol, Twelfth Night, and Othello.

As a SAG BookPAL and a father reading to his two boys for more than 12 years, moving into the booth to record audiobooks was a natural and joy filled progression.
He is thrilled to be narrating and giving voice to the characters for Kyle Prue’s Feud Trilogy.


 

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Audio Book Blitz: Reason to Love, by Sedona Venez

REASON TO LOVE AUDIO BLITZ

Title: Reason to Love
Author: Sedona Venez
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Shifter Romance
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR

Blurb:
Vampire princesses can’t be tamed… unless it’s by a dominant Alpha Shifter desperate to make her his mate…

Reason Orlov, the headstrong daughter of the vampire king and black sheep of her coven is determined to make her own path in life. 

While her father wants her married, pregnant, and out of the way, Reason isn’t interested in any of it…until a sexy wolf comes in to demand her submission.

Jack “Jackal” Alagona hates vampires after they took what was most precious to him, but when he meets Reason, a passion erupts between them that cannot be contained.

Love between vampires and shifters is forbidden, but Jackal and Reason know what fate demands. 

When Reason must break the covenant in order to save Jackal’s life, she puts her own in jeopardy.

Can their love survive the tumultuous world of paranormal politics or will they be driven apart forever?

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Sedona Venez lives in New York City with her hot ex-military hubby–hooah–and their fur babies. She loves writing sizzling, sexy intricate stories about strong but broken characters who push limits, overcome their fears, and risk it all for love.
Author Links:
99 CENTS FOR A LIMITED TIME ON AUDIO!

 

 

Audio Spotlight & Excerpt: Tristan, by S. Legend

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AUDIOBOOK OUT NOW

Book Title: Tristan

Author: S. Legend

Publisher: S Legend Fiction

Narrator: Curtis Michael

Release Date: November 24, 2021

Genre:  Arranged Marriage M/M Romance, fantasy

Tropes: Enemies to lovers, age gap

Themes: Self-discovery, forgiveness

Heat Rating: 4 flames     

Length: 9 hours    

It is not a standalone story. Tristan is book one of the Tristan Trilogy. The story ends on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Audiobook Out Now

Audible US  |  Audible UK

Also available in Kindle Unlimited, Hardback and Paperback

Amazon US   |  Amazon UK  

 

An alliance forged through marriage.  The cost?  One Man’s dream.

 

Blurb 

An alliance forged through marriage.  The cost?  One Man’s dream.

Tristan dreams of the day he’ll succeed his father as the next Warlord of Markaytia.  Elves—creatures famous for their darker passions and tantalizing culture—approach the Markaytian king with an offer he can’t refuse: an alliance with the Elves for the one Tristan Kanes. 

Tristan is forced to give up his dream. 

He’s not thrilled, but Tristan is a man of duty above all else.  What choice does he have?  He cannot refuse the king or Markaytia. He begrudgingly comes to terms with the arranged marriage. Is he a tad sour about it?  Yes, but he’ll get over it.  

Probably.

Maybe it won’t be so bad.  Elves have cool weapons, maybe he’ll get one? 

Corrik bans him from cool weapons.

Corrik’s seen Tristan’s gruesome death on the point of a sword in a prophetic vision.  He bans Tristan from picking up a sword ever again.  Tristan wants to accept the marriage with grace to make his people proud, but he resents Corrik for his remorseless attitude over his life’s work.

Facing the Ice Prince and himself.

Tristan’s conflict follows him on the journey to the mysterious Elven land of Mortouge.  He hates Corrik for taking him from the life he loved, boy does he, but his new Elven husband is an enigma and he’s captivated.  He sets Tristan’s blood on fire and freezes it at the same time.  Corrik unravels Tristan’s true nature and despite his best efforts, Tristan falls for his ice prince. 

But Corrik won’t bend.

Corrik wants to be obeyed.  He’s demanding and possessive.  He’s overbearingly protective. 

Can these two find a suitable compromise?  Or will Tristan’s resentment and Corrik’s arrogance ruin forever their chance at love?

Tristan by Mock (S. Legend) is a gay romance fantasy featuring enemies-to-lovers vibes, an age gap, arranged marriage, first times, and a happy ending (um, eventually). This is the first action-adventure romance in the Tristan Trilogy.  Mock may have written it down, but truly it’s told by your lovable host, Tristan Kanes.  He’s funny, sarcastic and while it may not seem it at times, he’s the real person in charge of this story.

 

Excerpt

I remember the day I was called to the Great Hall alone, which set o all kinds of warning bells. Lucca and I were attached at the hip then and were usually called to the Hall together. In hindsight, I think it was because my uncle, King Amarail Kanes, knew Lucca would react poorly when he heard the news.

I walked into the hall with my stomach already churning and when I saw that my father and uncle were not alone, it plummeted like it had been shoved in ice-cold water.

That was when I saw him for the rst time.

The power of his features came from what wasn’t there, rather than from what was. The man was devoid of imper‐ fections; not one thing about his face or his body hinted to a deciency. There was no weakness in his impenetrable demeanor—the man was used to winning and getting what he wanted. His cold purple eyes knew no warmth or sunshine and sat as sentinels atop the high bridge of his patrician nose, complementing the supercilious manner that surrounded him. Without a smile on his face, he looked cruel and stony. At the same time, there was no darkness in him, whatsoever. Gold hair owed long over silver robes that were open to reveal porcelain white skin; unmarred, and solid. The breezy, pretty robes did nothing to diminish the restrained force of his chest and abdomen muscles—he seemed to dominate the eeminate attire, as if he’d already defeated it. Not a body built for eldwork, but for blood—war.

My cock stirred for him and made it impossible to deny that I was attracted to this ice mountain of a man—I blushed. This was not the place I wanted to have an erec‐ tion. I shifted my eyes away from the prince, down to my boots, placing my hands over my crotch.

“King Vilsarion, Prince Corrik. This is Tristan, my son,” Father introduced me.

“Welcome,” I said, giving a deep bow to each using the Markaytian etiquette Papa taught me, then I took my place beside Papa.

“Tristan,” my uncle said. “We are honored to announce that we have reached an alliance with Mortouge.”

I smiled my best smile. Absolutely, bloody fantastic! The Elves didn’t align themselves with just anyone and knowing what I knew of the recent unrest in the Northeastern Plains, since we helped them a while back, I knew it was best to have as many strong alliances as possible, if the Kanes were to maintain our hold of Dragon’s Rock. For the rst time in millennia, we had to take extra measures to protect Markaytia’s crown city.

“That is excellent, Sire.” I turned to the Elven king. “I’ve been named as successor to my father at my coming-of- age ceremony, and as future Warlord, I will look forward to dealings with your Warlord. We Markaytians could learn from your teachings. I’ve read much about your weapons—I know you forge the best ones,” I gushed.

I wage for peace, but war is inevitable and the prospect of ghting alongside an Elf was exciting. All I knew of Elves at the time was of their weapons and great wars. I had little interest in their other qualities. The Elves are a beautiful, mysterious race, but I didn’t see much use getting involved in their politics or anything else about them since they were also a private race who didn’t often allow outsiders into their grand kingdom.

I didn’t expect the Elven king to frown at my words. The smile on his face lit up the room before, and especially standing next to his grouchy-looking son, the contrast was far reaching. I turned to look at Papa, confused, and he took a sharp breath, ready to cry. Father stepped between us; his dark eyes pinned me in place.

Uncle continued. “The alliance will be sealed with a marriage, Tristan. You to Prince Corrik.”

The displeasure must have been plain on my face, though I tried for the life of me to hide it.

 

 

About the Author 

Some of you know her as Mock, others as S. Legend, or Miss S.  She welcomes all names but will often go by Mock, a name given to her by her readers.

Mock is an ambitious creative, weaving the most precious aspects of her soul into stories.  She is an architect, building fascinating worlds, designed from inquiry, rooted in worldly wonderings.  It’s an intuitive process where she is the scribe, the translator, the conduit. 

It helped that storytelling was the language spoken at home.  One simply didn’t say, “We have an ant infestation. ” In Mock’s family it was, “I was on my way to the living room, when a peculiar ant crossed my path.  I looked to my right, a suspicious line of them marched toward the pantry.  In that moment I knew; my kitchen was under siege.”  The natural flow of conversation always took this form.  

And so. 

When Mock wrote her first novel, she didn’t plan it chapter by chapter, there was no outline, no “plotting” to speak of.  But she didn’t “pants” it either, she didn’t make it up as she went along.  She knew how the story felt, where it curved in places and hollowed in others; she knew the destination it rushed toward.  Instead of orchestrating, she let the world inspire her, and held space for the words to come, trusting the characters knew what they were doing.  All she had to do was tell a story, as she always had done; like breathing.  

This is her peace, her healing and solace: Gifts better shared.

Mock’s works are the comfort you seek when you need to come home.  Her unique writing style will take you, wayfaring reader, to unexpected destinations. 

She always says, “I’m not in the business of making up stories, I couldn’t if I tried.  I’m lucky enough to get picked to share someone else’s story when I ask a question to the universe.  Someone answers; I write it down.” 

 

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About the Narrator

Curtis Michael is a worldly creative and proud member of the LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities. Having traveled and taught drama overseas for upwards of the past decade, he has somewhat recently taken up voice acting and narration. You’ll hear some of the flavourings of his experience in the Tristan audiobook, as the characters are wildly inspired from not only the world of Tristan, but also Curtis’ different cultural encounters. With two dogs, two cats and a Corrik of his own, Curtis currently resides in Southeast Asia. He can be found on the many beaches or secluded in his vocal booth poring over juicy stories at every chance he gets.

Website  |  Instagram

 

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