Wednesday, August 29, 2012

All Roads Lead to Rome... Except This One!

The Road to Hell: The Book of Lucifer
A novel by Christopher C. Starr

You already know my name and, yes, I am that Lucifer.  Fall from Heaven, Garden of Eden, ruler of Hell, Satan, the Devil, the Adversary, blah blah blah.  I am the one you condemned without, what do you call it? A fair trial.  Forget what you think you know:  I want to tell my side of the story.  The Road to Hell is all about how a pathetic group of short-sighted angels kicked me out of Heaven.

Humans are naturally curious and I suspect you’re asking ‘why now?’  Well, He has a book and it’s been pretty successful, so I figured what the hell?  Found a ghostwriter and gave it a go.  After all, the story is fantastic!  It has everything you clods of dirt crave:  a love story, a little sex, intrigue.  Murder.  War.  Lots of blood.  And a cast of characters you already know and love—Michael, Gabriel, Raphael—along with a host of others.  Even has a special guest appearance by the Father and that damned boy.

So, let’s get down to business or brass tacks or whatever colloquialism works for you.  I have plenty to say and plenty of time:  The Road to Hell is just the first in a series of novels about my experience with Him, with my brothers and sisters, with you.  If you’re interested in featuring me, reach out to the pile of dust below; if not, well, I’ll see you soon.


Christopher C. Starr is the author of The Road to Hell: The Book of Lucifer, the first novel in the Heaven Falls series. These stories examine the God’s relationship with Heaven and Earth, told through the eyes of the angels. The next book in the series, Come Hell or Highwater, is scheduled for late 2012/early 2013.

Chris makes it a point to look at the dark side of his characters, both heroes and villains, and his work explores the “grey”—that place where good and evil come together in all of us.

When he’s not being chased out of churches, Chris enjoys comic books and movies, staying away from cemeteries, and poorly participating in P90X. He lives in Seattle with his wife, two kids (The Boy and the Honey Badger), and his huskies, Rocky the Wonder Dog and his colorful sidekick, Leylah Redd. You can check out his blog at


Lucifer heard me: as soon as my feet touched the glass surface of his platform, he laughed aloud and doused all the light in Heaven.
“I know why you’re here, Raphael,” Lucifer said in the darkness. “You’re afraid.”
I was afraid but I wasn’t willing to admit it. Instead I said, “Why should I be afraid? The Father is with me.”
“You sure about that?” And I could see Lucifer’s teeth glinting in the light wafting from my body. He was smiling. “You think he’ll still back you up now that you’re failing him?”
His face was the color of fire, deep and red, and a haze made him seem like a mirage. Even in the darkness, in the heat of his rage, Lucifer was still beautiful. His thin face, the angular cheekbones, his wide, open eyes, his halo of shimmering hair—all presented a portrait of absolute perfection. Even in this dark hour, I envied the crude formation of my own round face, my pudgy nose, the softness of my jawline.  
I tried to sound as sure of myself, as certain as he was but my voice cracked, “I’m not failing—”
He pounced on me, laid long, thin fingers on my shoulders, pushed that gleaming grin into my face. “Sure you are! Why else would you be here, Peace Keeper? Angels are dead, Raphael. It’s slipping through your fingers. Sounds like failure to me.”
“This is your doing!” I pressed him back.
“Raphael, you insult me; finger pointing seems so…beneath you. Besides, I’m bound, remember?” He fondled the chains streaming from his wrists and ankles, smiled at me again. “You chained me up so I couldn’t cause any problems for the others. Weren’t those your words?”
He was right. And I hated him for it. “Yes,” was all I said.
“So you failed them or you failed him. Either way, you’re a failure, kiddo.”
“I want to talk about what we do next.”
He was walking around me now. I could hear the chains scraping the surface of the glass.
“And I want to talk about your fears,” he said and his voice sounded like velvet in my ears.
    “This doesn’t help us, Lucifer. It doesn’t help us end this nonsense. ”
“Maybe I don’t want to end it. Maybe this is exactly what we need.”  He got louder, bolder. Closer. “Does that scare you, Raphael, that you won’t be able to keep it together? Is that why you tremble in the darkness? Because when it’s just you and the Father and all the light and noise is gone, you know you’re going to have to tell him you failed?”
He had me. I understood in that moment how Lucifer could enflame the deepest of emotions. His words touched the very root of me; spoke directly to the futility flexing in my palms. It was out of my hands—I knew that much. Lucifer knew it too. By virtue of the fact that I was there, standing before him while he taunted me, it was out of my hands.
I tried to turn it back on him, “What about your fears? What about what you’re afraid of?”
“I’m scared,” he whispered, “that the Father won’t want me back once I’m finished.” The smile was gone.

Interested? BUY THE BOOK:
The Road to Hell is available at:

Amazon: (

Barnes & Noble: (


Amazon Author Page:
Facebook Fan Page:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Grab Your Panties, Crimson Darkness is COMING!

Okay, all you fever fans out there (yes I'm talking to you) you NEED to check out this series! 

In honor of the upcoming release of book 2 in the Crimson Midnight Series on September 1st 
(on Amazon, Amazon UK, and Smashwords)
 I have a little treat for everyone!  
It's a fantastic series that I highly recommend, 
and my review of book 1, Crimson Midnight, 
can be found on Passionate Book Divas.  
I haven't finished my review of book 2, because I wanted to re-read the final edited version, but I gave book two a Dark Obsession Chronicles rating of
It truly is a series not to be missed!

But now, I'm sure you're tapping your foot, saying, 
"You said something about a present.  Where's our present?"
Amos and Cassidy wrote a special story for me to post.  If you haven't seen it before, be sure to visit my interview with them from the Crimson Midnight Blog Tour.  They are a hoot, and I'm tickled pink to have them grace my blog with their presence again!
Without further ado...
a glimpse into the past, back when the werewolves were in their teens.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Do Not Meddle in the Affairs of Dragons...

... for your are crunchy and good with ketsup!
 Welcome to The Dragonslayer Series 
Blog Hop!
Resa Nelson's 4-book Dragonslayer series:
Synopsis for The Dragonslayer's Sword (Book 1)
For Astrid, a blacksmith who makes swords for dragonslayers, the emergence of a strange gemstone from her body sets in motion a chain of events that threaten to destroy her life. Her happiness is shattered when her lover--the dragonslayer--disappears without a trace, and the life that she knows and loves implodes without warning.
Astrid lives in a world of shapeshifters whose thoughts have the power to change not only themselves but others. Everything Astrid knows to be true is called into question when she learns the truth about her past and the mysterious family from which she was separated as a child.
Reality turns inside out as Astrid gradually learns the truth about the people she loves as well as those she disdains. With the fate of dragons, ghosts, and slaves in foreign lands resting on her shoulders, Astrid faces the challenge of deciding who she is and how she will stand up inside her own skin. Will she withdraw and hide from the world that has disappointed her so much...or will she rise to lead others to freedom and peace?

Synopsis for The Iron Maiden (Book 2)
Astrid is reluctant to travel the winter route beyond the Northlands, even though it's her duty. She'd rather stay home in her village, surrounded by friends and neighbors. Ignoring the bonds of tradition, she decides to spend the cold winter months in the warmth of her blacksmithing shop. Why should she leave the comfort of her cottage to serve and protect foreigners who might raid and harm her native Northlands?
Everything changes when a traveling merchant steals Starlight, the first dragonslayer's sword Astrid forged and her last link to her sweetheart DiStephan. Having no time to alert her friends, Astrid races in pursuit of the merchant, determined to reclaim Starlight as her own and return home in time for dinner. Instead, her quest leads her to new lands, unexpected friendships with foreigners, and a harrowing encounter with the damage done by the followers of a new god that considers women as nothing more than servants to men. All the while, she must be ready to face any dragon traveling the winter route.
In Book 2 of the Dragonslayer series, Astrid must learn that deciding who she is isn't a decision she can make just once. It's a decision she must make every day.

Synopsis for The Stone of Darkness (Book 3)
In Book 3 of the Dragonslayer series, Astrid accepts her duty and follows the winter route--until she's bitten by a dragon. Everyone knows dragon bites are poisonous and deadly, so she reluctantly accepts her impending death. In a twist of fate, she survives. Desperate for an explanation, Astrid believes she has somehow been protected by the black stone she keeps with her at all times, a stone that emerged from the sole of her foot a year ago.

Determined to find out what the stone is and what kind of powers it possesses, Astrid begins a journey that leads her to alchemists and an army of men under the rule of the powerful warrior, Mandulane, the acting lord of the Krystr army. Mandulane's mission is to spread the word of the new god Krystr, which preaches the evil intent of women and the danger they pose to all men, who are entitled to dominate the world. Rumors about this new god and army have spread, but Astrid is the first Northlander to encounter them.

Soon, she stumbles upon a secret of a far-reaching and mind-numbing plot that will impact the entire world. Astrid must find a way to spread the news of this threat and protect her people and everyone else at risk. She's convinced the answer lies inside the Stone of Darkness, and she must find a way to understand the stone and the powers she's convinced it must hold before it's too late.

Book 4 will be published in November 2012
Hang on to your bootstraps because I have some questions for you...

Why did you steer away from magic and go for more of a species specific mythology behind the world of your fantasy?
Everything I write is organic.  No pesticides!  (Just kidding.)  What I really mean is that when I write, I draw from my own life, my own experiences, my own belief system, my own opinions, my own world view, and so on.  I think there’s a lot we don’t know about the world.  I think there are a lot of unexplained things that happen in our world that have scientific or rational explanations, and we just haven’t discovered those explanations yet.  My main character Astrid is a lot like me in that she believes there are perfectly good explanations for things that other people believe to be magic.

Did you ever, at some point while writing book one, just stop and think, "Poor Astrid!" She really got the short end of the stick, didn't she?

That’s a great question, Alana – no one has asked me that before!  What you just described is how I felt before I started writing Book 1!  This all began as a short story that was published and got a lot of positive reader feedback, which made me think about turning the short story into a novel.  But I will only write a novel if I come up with an idea that I love with my whole heart and that I feel excited about.  So for 8 years I kept coming up with ideas for a novel about Astrid, but the ideas were never good enough.  I’d think, “Oh, that’s too boring.”  Or “So what?  Who cares?”  Or “This seems ridiculous.  I’d never believe that story.”  Finally, after 8 years of thinking about different ideas for the novel, I came up with an idea that made me feel excited about writing it.  When I started thinking about how all the events would affect Astrid, I literally started crying.  This time, I thought, “How can I do such horrible things to Astrid?  This is terrible!  How can I be so awful to my poor character?”  That’s the moment when I knew I’d come up with a novel that was worth writing.

Having read your background, have you ever used any of the blacksmith techniques that you wrote about?

That’s another great question – yes!  First, all the details of fire and blacksmithing tools and slag and the way iron turns different colors all comes from my experience with blacksmithing.  More specifically, one time in my blacksmithing course, the assignment was to make a pair of tongs.  The goal was to make one tong in one class and the other tong in the next class and then rivet them together.  My first tong came out perfectly, and I was excited about the next class and finishing the assignment.  But in the next class, for some reason nothing went right.  My fire acted weird, and it wasn’t heating the iron the way I expected it to.  I had a hard time getting the iron up to the right heat for hammering – it kept coming out the fire too cold.  I got really annoyed and thought, “I’ll show you, you stupid fire!  I’ll leave the iron in extra long to get it up to heat.”  I ended up leaving the iron in the fire so long that when I pulled it out, the iron glowed white-yellow and threw off sparks, which means the iron is ruined and should be thrown away.  I felt devastated because it ruined my entire project and I walked away without a pair tongs.  But when writing Book 1, I needed a scene where Astrid was having a bad day at the forge.  If you read the beginning of Chapter 4, that’s all from the experience I just described.  Astrid is making a dagger blade instead of a pair of tongs, but everything else is exactly what happened to me.

Do you use music, or pictures, or any type of multi-media when writing your books?
(Like to keep your descriptions straight of characters, or pictures of the area, or music for mood...etc.)

When I start a new series or standalone novel, I make “character cards.”  For each important character, I start with an index card and write the character name at the top of the card.  I flip through stacks of old issues of Entertainment Weekly magazines and look for an actor who matches the character I have in mind.  In a nutshell, I cast each character as if I’m making a movie instead of writing a novel.  When I find an actor that matches the character, I cut out the photo and tape it onto the card.  Then I write a few words about the character on the card.  I put all the character cards in a stack and keep them next to my computer.  Every time I write, I pull out the characters in the scene and put the cards where I can see them while I’m writing.  I also play the soundtrack from a movie (The Mystery of Rampo) because it’s like a bridge that I walk across from reality into the world of the novel I’m writing.

Your Favorite Quote? (From any source.)

That which does not kill me makes me stronger.

Any specific sources of inspiration for your writing?
Everything comes out of my own life and my own experiences.  And my own opinions.  I’m extremely opinionated, but I don’t want to force my opinions on anyone else.  I just want to have the freedom to have my own opinions and write about them.


(I have a pretty good guess at the answer, but still have to ask:)
Gandalf or Dumbledore?


Is there always room for Jello?

As long as it’s chocolate

Favorite Bumper Sticker Slogan? 

The only one I can think of is “If you can read this, you’re too close.” 

If all the world is a stage, where is the audience sitting?

The front row, right behind the orchestra pit

Star Wars or Star Trek?

Star Wars

How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?


What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?

It’s all material
Resa Nelson has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop.

Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for
Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Her first novel, The Dragonslayer's Sword, was nominated for the Nebula Award and was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine's first Readers Top Ten Poll. The Dragonslayer's Sword is Book 1 in her 4-book Dragonslayer series. Book 2, The Iron Maiden, was published last December, Book 3 was published in May, and the final book in the series is scheduled for publication in November.
Resa's standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is a fantasy/mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star review, calling it "a riveting fantasy, very highly recommended."
Resa lives in Massachusetts.

Resa's website: 
Free “mini” ebook of Dragonslayer short stories:
GoodReads giveaway:
Facebook page:!/
Dragonslayers-Sword/122200661871 ResaNelson
Ebooks ($4.99 each) are available directly from Mundania Press at:
php?author=Resa+Nelson (get a 10% discount at checkout with the coupon code MP10)
Paperbacks are available from Mundania Press, Amazon, and Barnes&Noble:
php?author=Resa+Nelson (get a 10% discount at checkout with the coupon code MP10)
athr_dp_pel_1 c/resa-nelson  

Think Out Loud #1 and Stop ePiracy Blog Hop

Think Out Loud is a weekly meme started to
get bloggers to post something out of the ordinary.
A pic, video, recipe, rant....
you get the picture.
Do whatever YOU want!
Well Think invited me to do her new weekly meme, and I've been meaning to, but just seemed too busy for a while there.  Well, finally, I'm not.  So... something different, unique.  Something this blog hasn't seen before.

This is wonderful artwork of one of my great friends, 
Mars Montgomery.

I love it so much 
(some of the earlier works are framed on my wall at my house)
I imagine her artwork may end up being a regular fixture on my 
Think Out Loud 

But wait, there's more!

It's also BLOG HOP Time!  Woohoo!

In the spirit of the Think Out Loud meme...

Top 10 Reasons NOT to Be a Pirate!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Crimson Darkness Cover Reveal.... Oooohhhh! Aaaahhhhh!


London is in the grip of an unnatural darkness. Rose is in the grasp of an unrelenting power and Raven and Thistle, along with their supernatural allies, are battling to survive and find a way to restore their home city.

For the fey, the song remains the same. They must return the power to Faerie or die. Unfortunately for them, the task has been superseded by an even more important one - help save Earth or perish along with it!

For Rose, the stakes are even higher as she is forced to make a terrible deal that will damn her if she does and damn her if she doesn’t.  

Now enemies must work together as allies if they are to save their worlds from an ancient threat…

Join us as we celebrate the upcoming launch of Crimson Darkness, the second book in the Crimson Series. There will be sneak peaks, character guest posts and plenty of giveaways. Don’t miss out! Add these dates to your diary!
The Tour Stops:
20th August – Join us on Laura’s blog to find out what some of the Crimson Cast would like for their birthday!
21st August – Join Kerry for sneak peek into Crimson Darkness and a chance to win a copy in a giveaway!
22nd  August – Head on over to see Lissa for another sneak peek and giveaway!
24th August - Pop over to Think Think’s blog for another glimpse into the pages of Crimson Darkness and a giveaway.
25th August – There’s some karaoke going on over in Lissa’s corner today!
26th August - Alana has a glimpse into the past, back when the werewolves were in their teens.
27th  August – Pay Maggie a visit for another Crimson Darkness sneak peek!
28th  August -  Join Mel for a previously unpublished scene from Crimson Midnight, and a giveaway!
29th August – Chill out with Sheri for her interview with Raven, and another chance in a giveaway!
After the Blog Tour, come and join us for an interview with the werewolf pack J
And then…
CRIMSON DARKNESS is released on September 1st 2012 !
Available on:
Amazon UK

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wrap-Up of Read-a-Thon

Read-a-thon Signups

Here is the pile of books I managed to read during the 
Summer Wrap Up Read-a-Thon.

*Long Hard Ride wasn't in my original pile, just one I had been meaning to read for a Author Q&A

 ... and got a Beta unexpectedly, but that's still on the down-low.

and read,

Reading right now:

*I really enjoyed participating in a few of the challenges, but wasn't very successful, I believe* 
And the final challenge in the Summer Wrap-Up Read-a-Thon was to show y'all places I love to read... but honestly, anywhere I am is my favorite place because I read everywhere: in the line at the grocery store, in my car waiting on a train to go by, at work during lunch, at home while cooking dinner (just to name a few).  I am transported by my reading into the world of the book (if it's a good book, anyway,) so I don't have a specific place.  But here is a few pictures of me out and about with a book or my Kindle...
In order of appearance:
◘At the Ilona Andrews signing at BookPeople in Austin, TX.  (You may not be able to see the signed copy of Gunmetal Magic on the table in front of them.  But trust me, it's there.)

◘At the Congress Ave. Bridge in Austin, TX while waiting for the bats to emerge (with my signed copy of Obsidian!)

◘St. Maarten... you can't see me or my book, because I took the picture.  But even on my honeymoon in paradise (years ago) I still had a book .... I believe it was Prey by Michael Crichton.

◘At BookPeople once again (in Austin, TX) this time at the 'Chicks Who Kick It' Tour with Kelley Armstrong and Holly Black.  Also at the signing, but not in the picture, Cassandra Clare, Rachel Caine, Melisa Marr, and Alyson Noel.

◘Me with my 'Precious' (Kindle on Christmas.)

◘... And finally, ANYWHERE where the temperature gauge does NOT read that (115 F)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Summer Wrap Up Read-a-Thon Day 1: Pile

Read-a-thon Signups

Here is the pile of books I am hoping to read during the 
Summer Wrap Up Read-a-Thon.

Since I'm already reading once book,

 and got a coveted Beta unexpectedly, I don't expect to be reading all of these this week.

*Crossing my fingers on the challenges this week!*

Stacking the Shelves #10

Stacking the Shelves is a *new* weekly meme to feature all the books that have made their way into our homes this week! 
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Be sure to check out Tynga's Reviews on how to participate and create your own post!

Purchased from Amazon:

Free from Amazon:
 *While I got them for free from Amazon, there is no guarantee that they are still free on Amazon.  The special promotion may have ended.  
And as you can see... I went a little crazy this week.

Free from Shashwords:

During August, get your own free copy on Smashwords.


There are oodles of winners from recent events!
Congrats to everyone!

Monday, July 22nd

Well, I guess I could be considered the winner from this, since I didn't end up with any sign-ups.  I'll likely add the signed bookmarks to a future giveaway.

July 26th- July 29th
eBooks from John Corwin and P.A. Lupton!

Christie Rich
won Dark Light of Mine, Book #2 of the Overworld Chronicles
Also, her book, Five was the co-winner with Dark Light of Mine for the All's Fair in Blogs and More Online Book Fair Awards!

And there were three winners for P.A. Lupton's Bound by Blood:

A S (Kindlemom)

I have sent out emails and much get a response within 48 hours or new winners will be chosen.
 Feel Welcome to leave a link or a comment on a 
'Stacking the Shelves' of your own!