Spotlight & Excerpt: Piper’s Song + Author Interview & Giveaway

Piper's Song

BookCover_pipers song

Piper’s Song
Alpha Academy, #2
by Sara E. Tall
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Billie thinks stopping her fellow students from committing murder and almost getting kicked out of the Realm is as bad as it gets, but she should know better.  Not only are seven of the most powerful students out for her blood, but Sedna —her former enemy turned ally— turns her enemy again when Billie refuses a part in her revenge scheme.  What’s more, Alpha Administration’s refusal to address the injustice in their school is sparking a full-on rebellion, and a lot of innocents are going to be caught in the crosshairs. It isn’t just the school either, the Realm itself is overrun with violence and hatred, which will have deadly consequences. Lucian, her self-imposed magical guru, insists Billie’s extraordinary magic is the key to stopping the flood of violence coming their way.  Billie knows her magic is extraordinary, but she also knows its destructive power. It might do more harm than good.

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Excerpt:

Nothing said, “I’m sorry,” like a scalding hot iron mallet to the face. Especially when you were a Faerie, and allergic to Iron. Saranya and her friends really knew how to make a girl feel special.

At least, we heard they were going to attack me with a mallet, it was hard to keep up with all of Saranya’s schemes to get revenge on me for preventing her from torturing another student. The nerve of me.

I tightened my grip on the empowered soap Iris, my roommate, had given me. It paid to be friends with an Elf, I’d learned, as they possessed the ability to infuse magical properties into a variety of house-hold objects. And all she ever wanted in return was my help getting books down from her top bookshelf.

“Uhh, Billie,” Thea, my other roommate, said. “Perhaps it would be in your best interests to not look so tense? We are supposed to be discussing a class project, after all.”

I loosened my grip on the soap and gave her a quick smile. Thea was terrified of Saranya and the others, but that hadn’t stopped her and Iris from telling me about their plan, or offering to help me thwart it. She had a lot to lose, too. As a Wizard, she had a certain image to keep up, and helping a Misfit against other Wizards would do nothing good for that image.

Author Interview:

Tell us a little about how this story first came to be. Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma or something else?

I guess you could say my original concept for the Alpha Academy series was “mean girls with magic.” And I like to think I delivered on that premise. Since Piper’s Song is the second book in the series, it deals with another theme I really wanted to explore, “Deception, Manipulation, and the seduction of revenge.” Billie is heavily plagued by all of these in Piper’s Song.

What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?

I brought in a lot of mythology, so it was incredibly exciting to revisit some of my favorite myths as well as discover some new ones. While I relied a lot on Greek/Roman, I was also able to explore Norse, Celtic, Aztec, Chinese, Persian, and a myriad of other lesser known, but equally fascinating mythologies.

This book also let me really explore first love and heartbreak, which are two things I don’t think anyone fully understands, but that impact us all so much anyway

What surprised you the most in writing it?

There were definitely some characters who I thought had certain arcs or motivations, but they did a 180 on me halfway through the book and became completely different people. Some for the better, some for the worse, but they were all incredibly fascinating discoveries.

My villain also really surprised me. I kept trying to write them as sadistic and cold, but they surprised me with how much pain, passion, and even guilt they weaved into their story. That discovery of who my villain really was has reshaped the entire series.

What does the title mean?

In addition to myths, I like to draw on folklore and fables as inspiration for my magical world. The Pied Piper is pretty familiar story. When a town fails to head their promise to the magical pied piper, he gets his revenge by leading all their children to their watery deaths.

Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?

I wouldn’t say any of them were inspired by real people. I do think I drew on elements of one of my exes for one of them, but in that case, this person does not know.

Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?

I try not to be preachy in my fiction, but I do think we write and read fiction to explore and understand difficult situations or dilemmas. A lot of stories have “happily ever afters” because we want to see these moral dilemmas worked out in a positive way, because it gives us hope as we deal with these problems in the real world. Billie grew a lot as a character throughout the book, and she learned a lot about forgiveness, acceptance, and where true power comes from. I know I learned a lot from her journey, and I hope my readers feel inspired by her story as well.

What is your favorite part of the book?

That’s a hard question, as there were a lot of parts I absolutely loved to write. There’s a chapter near the end called, “The Revelation,” that was probably the most exciting, albeit difficult part to get right. It was worth all the extra revisions though. It’s the chapter where Piper’s Song earns its title.

Which character was most challenging to create? Why?

Lucian, Billie’s friend and mentor, has always been a difficult character for me to write, in part because it has taken me a while to really understand him. While my other characters will let me flop around as I figure them out, Lucian likes to be written correctly in the first draft, and he’s not patient with the mistakes I make with him. He’s lucky he’s my favorite or I might not put up with him.

What are your immediate future plans?

The third book of Alpha Academy, Queen’s Fall, will be released this fall. I also have another couple novels in the works, and I will be returning to in Yellowstone National Park this summer. So I would say good things are ahead.

 

Author Informarion:

Sara’s enjoyed creating fantastic stories since she was old enough to hold a play sword, around the time she learned how to walk. Gradually she learned to direct her creative energy into writing, and it’s been a downward spiral ever since then. When she’s not writing she’s probably either dancing or reading batman comics. She also loves running away to the mountains of Utah and Montana. Nothing gets more fantastic that those views.

Sara E. Tall

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION:

Sara E. Tall will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Audio Spotlight & Excerpt: My Blood Runs Blue + Author Guest Post

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Author: Stacy Eaton

Narrator: Alex Black

Length: 6 hours 13 minutes

Series: My Blood Runs Blue, Book 1

Released: May 5, 2020

Publisher: Nitewolf Novels

Genre: Paranormal Romance

 

Officer Kristin Greene has always felt that something was missing from her life. Although her job with the Fawn Hollow township police department keeps her busy, she still feels like there is something else out there for her.

She soon finds herself investigating a homicide where a young woman has had her throat ripped out. As she begins to dig for the answers, she finds herself thrown into a world she didn’t know ever existed.

When the two strong and silent men walk into her life, she finds herself being pulled into a love triangle that has been going on longer than she has been alive. Who are they, and why do they keep calling her Calista?

Join Kristin as she fights to learn the truth about the recent murder, the two seductive men who have entered into her life, and the real truth about herself.

My Blood Runs Blue series is an adult paranormal action/romance series, and it is intended for mature audiences.

Buy Links

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Guest Post

Where the idea came from- Stacy Eaton

My Blood Runs Blue was the first book I ever wrote. Before I started that I had never thought of writing a book. I was a full-time police officer with two kids and a husband who worked opposite shifts as me.

But one night I was at work, it was like two in the morning, and I was parked in one of our parks having coffee and stretching my legs. I glanced back at a cropping of trees and noticed something glowing. Like eyes that were watching me. I watched them, they watched me. The eyes were way to far off the ground to be one of the animals that I was used to seeing in the area, and I had no clue what it was.

I glanced away when I heard a sound and when I looked back, they were gone. Needless to say, so was I. I got back in my patrol car and started driving around. At two in the morning in a small country township, there isn’t much to do some nights. So instead of running from call to call, I drove the streets and let my imagination run wild.

What if those eyes had belonged to a vampire? What if I did a traffic stop, and some bad dude pulled a gun on me and assault me? Would the vampire come to my rescue?

For hours I played over scenarios and I thought to myself, that would make a really good story. That afternoon after I’d gotten up, I told my husband I was going to write a book. He laughed and said, yeah, okay. A few days later, I handed him four chapters and he started to read them. He was like, wow. Okay, you are writing a book.

Eleven weeks later, My Blood Runs Blue was done. A few months later, it was published, and I was already done writing what was then, the second book in the series, Blue Blood for Life. Since then, a novella has been moved in-between those to answer a few questions.

Stacy Eaton is a USA Today Best Selling author and began her writing career in October of 2010. Stacy took an early retirement from law enforcement after over fifteen years of service in 2016, with her last three years in investigations and crime scene investigation to write full time.

Stacy resides in southeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, who works in law enforcement, and her teen daughter. She also has a son who is currently serving in the United States Navy, and two grandchildren.

Stacy is involved in Domestic Violence Awareness and served on the Board of Directors for her local Domestic Violence Center for three years.

Be sure to visit www.stacyeaton.com for updates and more information on her books.

Sign up for all the latest information on Stacy’s Newsletter!

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Narrator Bio

Alex Black is an articulate, engaging, and versatile narrator based in Cambridge, Vermont. He’s worked in theatre, film, audio production, and appeared on radio. As an accomplished audiobook producer with over 90 titles, he’s worked closely with independent authors and publishers.

He’s received more than 500 5 star reviews and specializes in Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic, Mystery & Thriller, LGBTQ+, and Memoirs.

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