Friday, May 19, 2017

Indie Author Spotlight: Christina McMullen (again)

So what do you do when you're a girl in your early 20's who's covered in mysterious spots, has internationally famous parents, and towers over your peers? Well, if you're Ellie Whitmore, you'll probably find out that you're actually and alien with an ancient relic of your people hidden within your genetic makeup. What's even more awkward is that you have an evil space emperor after you trying to steal that relic so he can gain power. Not exactly the greatest thing that could happen, but, hey, there's an assassin you can turn to for help (oddly enough), and things might just go a little better than you would think.

If you pay attention to me (which isn't many of you) you'll know how much I love Christina McMullen's work, expansive as it is. Nothing about that has changed with A Space Girl from Earth. I love the sci-fi genre, but generally find sci-fi books to be rather tedious and boring. Soooooo much exposition on races and histories and blah, blah, blah. Snoozefest. But then here comes Christina and she gives a big ol' middle finger to all that noise. Sure, there's all the necessary back story to give a reader any knowledge that they need to follow the story, but it's not bogged down with all the superfluous higledy pigledy. The story is fast-paced, entertaining, and well written. Another slam dunk!

You can buy it here!

Now let's get reaquainted with our superstar!

Christina McMullen is a science fiction and fantasy author who dreams of flying cars and electric sheep. She currently resides in Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband and their dogs. When she isn't writing, Christina enjoys travel, vegan cooking, modern and classical art, and of course, reading. Check her out on Facebook and Twitter.

As per usual, give us a tweet synopsis of the book (140 characters or less):

Yesterday, Ellie Whitmore's biggest worry was failing an exam. Today, it's saving the galaxy.

What kind of struggles did you encounter in creating the intergalactic world in A Space Girl from Earth?

First of all, the hardest part was creating a variety of names and language cues for three different cultures. Then there was the way to name the characters. Surnames are not used in the Ghowrn system, but the Eidyssic people (Ellie's father's side) have a name structure that will be touched on extensively in the third book, but should be fairly easy to figure out in this one.

Who was your favorite character to write?

That's a toss up between Vito and Bethany. I got to channel my inner New Yorker for both of them, plus Vito got to channel a little inner Bogie (my Discordant series demon, not Humphrey Bogart). I'm happy to say they're both pretty gosh darn important to the rest of the series. 

If you could be any fiction alien race in your book, which one would you choose?

I'm definitely drawn to the ancient Eidyssic. We don't get to see too much about the current children of Eidyn until book three, but I say you can't go wrong with a civilization based on the quest for knowledge.

Star Wars or Trek? Why?

That is an entirely unfair question. As a kid who grew up on the original Star Wars trilogy, nothing, not even the trainwreck that was George's prequels, can tarnish the memories I have of those films. But Star Trek, especially The Next Generation, probably had a bigger hand in shaping my worldview both as a writer and in my everyday mindset. I honestly can't chose.

Describe your A Space Girl from Earth using only  sci-fi movie references:

Oh tough one! Especially since I wasn't really thinking sci-fi as I wrote (Svoryk was so much Vizzini from The Princess Bride that I had to stop myself from making him say "Inconceivable!"). But since you mentioned Star Trek and Star Wars, I shall use:

"Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few." 
- Spock (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)

"These aren't the droids you're looking for."

-Obi Wan Kenobi 

If ASGfE was made into a movie, which character would you cast me as?

Hmm, you might do well as a Fhasmyrric or Sintarian, but I haven't really introduced too many of them yet. Though once you meet Captain Gevandar, you might be mad at me for saying so. :-)

What's next for Christina McMullen?

Book two in the Kyroibi Trilogy, obviously. Look for that around November of this year. But I've also got a sci-fi/dark comedy short story coming out in August called SELIA's Plan. And later in the summer, while the Texas heat is melting my brain, I'll be working on An Honest Living, book two in the newly christened Maxima City Talent series. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Indie Author Spotlight: Shannon Reber

The people of Avalon think that Emery is a disgrace. They all have access to many forms of magic, but Emery has only one. Or that's what they always believed.

After a brutal war, the new Queen of Avalon sends Emery to the human realm to find the last druid. Emery takes that mission eagerly, certain it's a sign that, unlike everyone else, her mother may have some faith in her. Her mission, to find Liam, the illegitimate son of the former king and bring him back to Avalon is no easy feat. Mercenaries are also searching for him, but the biggest problem for Emery, is the link formed between them when Liam's power touched her.

If you know Shannon Reber, you know what kind of a quirky sense of humor she has. That sense of humor is very evident in Friends and Foes. This book possibly has the largest number of wacky, non-swear insults I’ve ever seen and they constantly made me laugh. I’d never thought I’d see the world butt plug recur so frequently outside of an erotic story. The complete lack of any real swearing could potentially come off as a little childish, but here I thought it was rather charming. Outside of the humor, Shannon has crafted a well told story full of magic, intrigue, betrayal, and Iowa for some reason. Friends and Foes is the first book in a new series, and it’s definitely off to a great start. Anyone who’s a fan of YA fantasy or the word tallywhacker should read this book.

Now let's meet the author!

Shannon Reber was born a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away . . . or her imagination was anyway. She lives in western New York with her husband and a wide variety of both real and imaginary friends who often battle it out for dominance in her head. Who needs yet another normal person in this messed up world? Read her books, or the evil overlord will take control of her mind!

Check out her website, watch the book trailer, and buy the book on Amazon!

First of all, give us a Twitter synopsis of the book (140 characters or less):

Friends and Foes is a fun, clean-ish, fantasy adventure with lovable characters and a touch of mystery/romance/goo.

What was your favorite part of Friends and Foes to write?

I had a blast writing the whole book, but my favorite chapters are the ones that take place at the football game and at the Halloween party. Liam’s sister is based on someone I know (and no, I won’t tell you who that is), so it was fun coming up with snarky things for her and Emery to say to each other. Snark is my favorite language, in case that wasn’t obvious!

Which character do you identify with the most?

Emery. All my life, I’ve been either looked over, or mocked for who and what I am. I get her and am a little like her, in that I speak without thinking and often make a fool out of myself. I just wish there was a way for me to develop a superpower! *Evil laugh.*

Who is your favorite side character and why?

Geir! I adore him! He’s modeled after one of my best friends, who I consider family, just like Emery thinks of Geir. Okay, so my friend has never saved my life, but he DID save my sanity once or twice, so I suppose that’s the same thing.

If you could have any type of Druid magic, what would you choose and why?

LOL, I’d go for the power over the wind. (Stop laughing at me, Ben.) Think of all the ways having power over the wind could make your life easier. You could dust without even touching a cleaning rag, you could make a vortex around anybody who was impolite, you would even make yourself or a car go faster! Yes, I know I’m a huge dork. I can handle that!

You have a lot of titles to your name. Which of your books would you recommend a reader start with if they wanted to get acquainted with your work?

In all honesty, Friends and Foes. Gray (Awakening Book 1) was my favorite for a long time, but F & F surpasses it in my mind. The fun, funny, yet still serious story is what I love, along with the way Liam and Emery react to everything. It’s real, despite the fact it’s a fantasy tale.

Who is your favorite character from any of your many books?

Layna from The Uniters Code series is my ultimate favorite. She’s a tough girl, without being hard and is funny too. I don’t know if it’s obvious, but I love funny, snarky, sarcastic characters…and people.

If Friends and Foes was made into a movie or tv show, what side character would you cast me as?

Probably Finley. I see you as the good friend who could be a good adviser…maybe.

What’s next for Shannon Reber?

Book 2 (Life and Lies) is next, but after The Druid Heirs trilogy is finished, I have two other series to complete and I should probably think about cleaning my house once, or even seeing my friends again. I’ve been so obsessed by writing, it’s gotten hard to stay in touch with them!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: A Review

WARING: This posts contains spoilers. Please do not read if you haven't seen this movie and want to be surprised.

Anyone who read the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book should have gone into this movie with a healthy amount of skepticism. There is literally zero plot to this book. It's basically just a beastiary. Very interesting if you, like me, love to read about interesting creatures. There's little to no history of Newt Scamander outside of the fact that he wrote this book. But how could this possibly be turned into a movie? 

Well the answer is, it can't. At least not well. Given the fact that there's no plot to follow, they have to take quite a bit of liberties to create something watchable. This isn't always a bad thing, but it isn't often a good thing either.

Probably my biggest issue with this movie was the setting. The wizarding world of Harry Potter is so magical and so wonderful. Even though the original series is set relatively close to modern day, it feels older. No electricity, no cars, etc. Everything relies on magic. It's a fantastic element to the books/movies that I think people often overlook. Fantastic Beasts is set in 1920's New York and it shows. So much so that I felt like it robbed the magic from the entire premise. There were no fantastic settings akin to Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade. We see the Senate or Congress or whatever it was, but everything was so utilitarian. It's so industrial and borderline steampunk-y. It was every 1920's setting in every movie ever. That set the mood for me right off the bat and not in a very good way.

This is the first thing I've ever seen Eddie Redmayne in personally, and I'm not a fan. I did not like his portrayal of New Scamander at all. He's nervous and fidgety, never makes eye contact. He's the kind of person you wouldn't feel comfortable being around in real life and that's not what I want to see on screen. Like I said, there's no history or anything on Newt so it's open to interpreation, but I thought it was a very bad interpretation.

Now being called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them you'd think the movie would be heavily focused on the beasts. Well, forget that. The beasts are such a subplot of this movie it's almost an after thought, even though they were one of the better parts. I wasn't sure if the obscurus was supposed to be a beast or not. It was never explained and it was definitely portrayed as just something that everyone knows about in the wizarding world. The niffler and the demiguise were both adorable and fun to watch, but a lot of the other beasts felt more like aliens than magical beasts. I was very much looking forward to seeing some magical creatures and there were only a few and even fewer of them were an intricate part of the plot.

There has been a lot of discussion/debate on them internets about wandless and unspoken magic in the movies versus the books, but this movie takes it to a whole new level. Colin Farrell is essentially a Sith Lord in this movie and it makes zero sense. 

There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of actors in the world. A seemingly endless amount of possibilities for casting. And yet, Johnny Depp finds his way into every goddam movie on earth somehow. STOP. USING. JOHNNY. DEPP. FOR. EVERYTHING!!! When he was revealed to be Grindewald at the end, I was pissed, and not just because he looked like a bleach blonde, chubby KD Lang. The whole inclusion of Grindewald in general was stupid, but to cast Johnny Depp was even worse.

Now, there are a few redeeming qualities to Fantastic Beasts. Dan Fogler as Kowalski was simply delightful. He provided some much needed comedy and the way he always seemed to look at everything in amazement was a perfect portrayal of how we would all probably feel if we learned magic was real. His relationship with the blonde witch whose name I can't remember was just adorable. These two were the saving grace of this movie. 

...that's probably the only redeeming qualities of this movie, actually.

The whole thing was just kind of ok. It had a chance to be really fantastic and fun, but decided to get really dark and political. They barely even touch on how the American wizarding world works and name drop aplenty. How they can possibly string four more movies out of this is so far beyond me I can barely wrap my head around it, but as long as they bring Kowalski back, there's at least some promise. 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Indie Author Spotlight: Christina McMullen

By day, Lisa “FrostByte” Raskin is a mundane, albeit vastly over-qualified IT employee working for one of Maxima City’s biggest companies. By night she’s second-in-command to the city’s only female supervillain. Overall, it’s a pretty decent life, despite having an ultra-lame fashionista wannabe nemesis always popping up when she’s least wanted. But Lisa wants a little something more out of life. She wants revenge. She wants to make Magnificent Man pay for the tragedy that turned her life upside down. When she gets an offer to become the next member of the Coalition of Evil, FrostByte just might get what she’s after. She just has to wade through the murky waters of branding meetings, skimpy costume designs, and financial responsibility first.

It’s no secret to anyone who might be paying attention that I love Christina McMullen’s entire library of work. It might just be because of that or my lifelong love of superheroes, but I can easily say that A Shot at the Big Time is her best work to date. It’s chalk full of all the things Christina is best at (sarcastic, witty humor, an engaging storyline, and loveable characters) but she’s taken it to a new level here. I did a literal LOL so, so many times during this book. Christina lampoons some of the more ridiculous aspects of the superhero genre with such a razor’s edge that it made me wonder how these things became so conventional in the first place. Experiencing the story through Lisa/FrostByte’s perspective gave the whole thing a very genuine and sarcastically hilarious feel. My single, solitary complaint with A Shot at the Big Time is that it’s too short, but that’s not a bad thing. I just wanted like a thousand more chapters because I annihilated this book. If you’ve read and enjoyed any of my books and none of Christina McMullen’s, you’re doing yourself a serious disservice.

Now let’s meet Christina!!!

Christina McMullen is a sci-fi and urban fantasy author who dreams of jetpacks and electric sheep.

Christina enjoys travel, vegan cooking, modern and classic art, and championing the progressive nature of ebooks and independent authors. She is obsessed with robots and the internet, and revels in the fact that she was fortunate enough to have been born in an era where she was able to witness the 'future' finally come into being. And for the record, the year 2000 will forever be the future no matter how far it falls into the past. Call it a perk of growing up at the end of a millennium.

In 2014, she took a vow to read and review only independently published authors. It is unlikely that this will ever change as she has since dedicated the time when she is not writing to further push independent publishing into the mainstream.

Check out her blog, buy her books on Amazon, or follow her on Twitter!

First of all, give us a Twitter synopsis of the book (140 characters or less):

Heroes are overrated, but being a villain ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

What was your favorite part of A Shot at the Big Time to write?

Tough question. Nearly every scene has some sort of nod, reference, homage, or Easter egg, so most of it was fun to write, but… I have to go with the brand consultants, Harold and Ronny, and their argument over whether ultra or ultimate was better. I tend to pepper my books with scenes inspired by real life and this was no different. My husband was looking at some software packages and commenting that one was called ultra and the other ultimate, but he couldn’t figure out what that actually meant or which was better.

Bonus: There’s also the scene where Frostbyte is talking to Nocturno and he’s using every name he can come up with besides hers. I had a lot of fun coming up with absurd ice-themed names.

Which character do you identify with the most?

Well, despite the fact that Lisa’s boss is named Mary Sue and described as looking like me, I’m not actually a billionaire with every superpower, so it’s not her. Obviously, there’s a little of me in the main character of Lisa, AKA Frostbyte. I definitely tend to identify with villains and anti-heroes more often than might truly be healthy, but like Lisa, that doesn’t mean I’m a total psychopath. And the whole thing about wanting pockets on her costume, that’s all me.

Who is your favorite side character and why?

Are these all going to be tough questions? There are many, but I gotta go with the unapologetically cheesy boyfriend character, Dennis DeMarco, AKA: Wildcard. Wildcard is the embodiment of every character Mel Gibson played in the eighties, every hair metal song ever written, and every character who ever walked calmly toward the camera as something exploded in the background. He’s the kind of bad ass with zero self-awareness that we all secretly wish we could be, but would be mortally embarrassed if anyone was to find out.

If you could have any super power, what would you choose and why?

Finally, a softball! Teleportation. I’m a travel junkie and I love the convenience of living in a big city, but it gets expensive. If I could teleport, I’d buy a cheap house in some sleepy little town and teleport to whatever big city or travel destination catches my interest.

Describe A Shot at the Big Time using only 90’s movie references:

This is much harder than I thought…

“Show me the money!” (villainy is more expensie than you think)

“Let’s kick some ice!” (apologies, but look on the bright side: I didn’t answer in only Mr. Freeze quotes)

“There’s no crying in baseball!” (or supervillain-ing)

“This job would be great if it wasn’t for the f**king customers.” (did I mention there are brand managers in this?)

Which of your books would you recommend a reader start with if they wanted to get acquainted with your work?

Depends on what kind of a mood the reader is in. Kind of Like Life is my personal favorite and a good way to introduce readers to my inability to stick to one genre at a time, but to get a feel for my sense of humor, A Shot at the Big Time probably sums it up nicely.

Who is your favorite character from any of your many books?

Easily Nai from the Rise of the Discordant series. She’s literally pure evil, but well-rounded pure evil and despite the rather short timeline of that series, shows a decent amount of growth. In fact, I’ve got a follow-up series planned in which she’ll be the star.

If A Shot at the Big Time was made into a movie or tv show, what side character would you cast me as?

Do you even have to ask? You’re such an obvious Lane. Seriously though, as someone who is partially to blame for my brain coming up with this idea, I’ll make sure that when I sell the rights, it’s stipulated that you get to pick the character you want to play.

What’s next for Christina McMullen? Perhaps a book following FrostByte’s hulk of a brother, Lane?

Lane is definitely next on the list to get his own story. After all, he’s acting a little sketchy in this one and I think we all need to know what’s up. But first, I’ve got a couple of other projects that need some work as we get into the dark days of winter. At the moment, I have a space opera problem child that I’ve twice now set aside. Here’s hoping third time’s a charm.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Kindle Scout: One Dude's Journey

I’ve been seeing more and more talk about Kindle Scout and whether it’s worth it or not. As someone who has been through a Kindle Scout campaign, I thought it would maybe be helpful to share that experience for anyone interested in participating in this program. Everyone wants to know what they’re getting themselves into before they commit to something right?

*NOTE* This is based off my experience alone and does not represent all Kindle Scout users and their experiences.

So you wrote a book. Something you’re proud of, something you think deserves to be read by the world. Maybe you’ve submitted it to agents/publishers and gotten nothing but rejections (like me), or maybe you don’t want to explore the trad pub route at all. Maybe the humble life of the underappreciated indie author is the way you want to go. Either way, you’ve finally come across the Kindle Scout program.

At first glance, everything about this program seems a little too good to be true. Free to enter with the promise of a publishing contract and a $1500 advance if selected? That’s a pretty sweet deal. But there are unseen pitfalls in the process that Kindle Scout isn’t going to openly highlight and address.

Here’s a quick rundown of the process for those of you who aren’t completely familiar:

  1. Submit your book (must be a professionally edited, publish ready MS), cover image, book description, tag line, author bio/photo, and a quick ‘Thank You’ note that goes out to everyone who nominates you.
  2. Once that has been submitted, you have to wait for the campaign to be approved by Kindle Scout, you’ll get a start date, and you can start planning your advertising strategy.
  3. When the big day arrives, you have 30 days to convince as many people as humanly possible to go to Kindle Scout’s website and nominate your book.
  4. At the campaign’s end, you (and anyone who nominated you) will be notified via email if you were selected or not.

Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, it is to an extent. That’s really all there is to it, but there’s one thing in there that creates a major problem for the unknown indie author: ADVERTISING!!!!

If you’ve chosen the life of the indie author (or had it chosen for you through rejection – like me) that means you probably have a day job. And chances are that day job doesn’t allow you an unlimited budget to pour into advertising your Kindle Scout campaign to the world. There’s a stigma that comes along with being an indie author which prevents people from giving you a chance simply because they’ve never heard of you and you aren’t traditionally published. I paid for advertising on both Twitter and Facebook, as well as promoting it in a few groups on Goodreads and papering the greater Denver metro area with fliers.

What that did for me, I can’t really say. By the end of the campaign I had approximately 700 page views and spent several days (collectively) in the Hot & Trending section on the Kindle Scout website. Sounds pretty good, right?

Well, who knows? That presents another downfall to the program. You can’t see how many nominations you get. You’ll never know. All you can see is how many page views you get and even where those page views came from. But a page view doesn’t necessarily translate to a nomination. Someone just clicked through for more details. If you didn’t impress them, they moved along. They only get 3 nominations, after all. They can’t go nominating things willy nilly. So you sit there in the dark for 30 days watching your page views (hopefully) increase and just have to assume these people are nominating you.

The Hot & Trending section presents a bit of a problem for me as well. Yes, it’s cool to see your campaign trending on Kindle Scout. That means people are paying attention! However, there are 2 other sections on the site that help push you there without you really having to do anything. You’re featured in the Recently Added section as soon as you go live and when your campaign is close to over you get featured in the Ending Soon section. These sections are reserved for a handful of books only, so anyone cruising these sections is most likely going to give you a click simply because there’s only a few campaigns to search through, thus increasing your likelihood of being in the Hot & Trending.

I ran a campaign for a completely different book that I told literally no one about and even that managed to spend 24 total hours in Hot & Trending.

However, in those middle two weeks of your campaign, you’re in no man’s land. It’s 100% up to you to push that campaign and get those nominations and hopefully get back into Hot & Trending. But, as previously discussed, it’s no easy task to make that happen. So you’ll probably spend two weeks beating your brains out while you try your best to advertise and see little to no result from it.

So what does all that suggest? Well, in my experience and opinion, Kindle Scout highly favors those authors that already have a substantial fan base to support them with nominations and sharing social media posts, or those that have a lot of disposable income to dump into advertising so that, by sheer numbers, they’re getting randos to view their campaign.

Possibly the most frustrating part of Kindle Scout is the enigma that is the selection process. Of course you want as many nominations as you can possibly get because it will influence the final decision, but how much is impossible to tell. On the Kindle Scout website it states that nominations only give them an idea of what books readers are interested in, but ultimately it’s up to their team to make the decision. So, in the end, it’s really no different than querying an agent or publisher except you have a little extra interest behind you to show them that some people would be willing to read the book. Instead of having it completely powered by the readers, it comes down to personal preference and subjectivity.

I’ve nom’ed one book that was selected. It wasn’t particularly exceptional, but it wasn’t exceptionally bad either. It just made me question the whole selection process in general.

There are a few upsides to the process as well. If you aren’t selected, you have the ability to have Kindle Scout notify everyone who nominated you that your book is available once you’ve self-published. Personally, I didn’t see any influx of sales when I did that, but it’s nice to have. Obviously the advance and marketing is a big plus, but as far as I was able to determine, all the marketing that happens is the book being featured in the Kindle Scout newsletter, and who really reads newsletters. The publishing contract does state that if you haven’t sold 25,000 copies by the end of a 4 year period, you’re free to get out of it to pursue publishing elsewhere. But this isn’t a guarantee you’ll sell that many copies, which can definitely be misconstrued as such. Basically what I’m trying to say is that even the upsides have their downsides.

Now, I want to be clear that my experience with Kindle Scout wasn’t necessarily a bad one despite everything I’ve said to this point. I just think that the process is a little flawed and favors those with more means than others, but that’s true of the trad pub route as well. The biggest plus of Kindle Scout is that it costs nothing to enter so there’s very little risk in giving it a shot if you think your MS is good enough.

To reiterate, I’m only one person and this is by no means a comprehensive and in depth look at the Kindle Scout program. This is my experience and my opinion. Others will agree or disagree as they wish. I’m simply trying to shed some light on the process as it seems to be a bit of a mystery to a lot of people.

Now get out there and write to your heart’s content. If you choose to start a Kindle Scout campaign, I wish you the best of luck!

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Golden Hourglass: Meet the Crew!

If you haven’t heard yet, The Golden Hourglass is now officially for sale! You can buy a copy on Amazon today and lose yourself in the topsy-turvy world of Cubonia and all the adventures that take place therein.

Now that the book is out, I thought it would be fun to introduce our merry band of misfits and royalty that you’ll meet inside the pages of The Golden Hourglass. As an added bonus, and just because it’s fun, I’ll share my dream cast for each character. If you’d rather form your own vision for each character, stop reading now.

Broderick Porter: The hero (more or less) of this little tale. Broderick is renowned all over Cubonia for being a top notch treasure hunter. He is most certainly not a thief. Having set foot on nearly every continent on Cubonia, Broderick knows more about the peoples, customs, and creatures of the world than possibly anyone else. He’s not particularly quick to help unless he can see the benefit for himself, and he greets most situations with sarcasm. Broderick’s interests include money, treasure, weapons, and sticky buns.

Broderick Dream Cast: Dulé Hill (Psych, The West Wing, Ballers)

Adhemar Stonefeather: Every good story needs a jive talking animal sidekick, right? Well Adhemar fills that role to a T. A member of the proud gryffon race, Adhemar was exiled from his people for reasons yet to be revealed. He and Broderick have been a team for years, their overall attitude about life and love for all things culinary a perfect match. Adhemar thinks primarily of food before anything else and isn’t one for violence unless he’s forced into it. The gryffon picked up his biting wit from all the years spent with Cubonia’s most sarcastic treasure hunter. Adhemar’s interests include sticky buns, sticky buns, and drinking.

Adhemar Dream Cast: James Roday (Psych, Gravy, Christmas Eve)

Princess Alexandra: The youngest child of the royal family with mysterious purple eyes. Alexandra is the often overlooked child of Queen Annelise which is just fine by her. She’s not one for all the royal nonsense. Alexandra’s greatest desire is to leave the royal life behind and travel Cubonia hunting monsters even though she knows it’s not particularly becoming of someone in her position. She’s intelligent, determined, and has a strong sense of right and wrong even if she maybe doesn’t always follow it. Alexandra’s interest include archery, monsters, and definitely not dancing.

Princess Alexandra Dream Cast:  Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games, Sleepy Hollow, Lemonade)

Alderman Hubert: Captain of The Royal Watchmen, Elazio’s peace keepers. Originally born in Paragotia. Alderman Hubert is gruff, quick to judge, and fiercely loyal to his queen and country. He worked hard to climb the ranks of The Watchmen, proving his skill in both battle and command. Alderman hates law breakers and has a generally poor opinion of anyone who isn’t proven to be a fine upstanding citizen. His interests include weapons, law and order, and peace and quiet.

Alderman Hubert Dream Cast: Nick Offerman (Parks and Rec, Gilmore Girls, Axe Cop)

The Witch of the Wastes: Our tale’s villain. The Witch of the Wastes is an almost ageless creature that has been twisted and warped by the Darkest of the Dark magic. She resides in the heart of The Wastelands of Time where she controls the flow of time as more of a hobby than anything else. She’s cunning, devious, and just generally unpleasant. While she is one of the greatest sorceresses on Cubonia and a major threat to daily life for all Cubonians, most everyone leaves her be as she doesn’t meddle where she does not feel the need. The Witch of the Wastes’ interests include Dark magic, hobbling about, and musty, tattered robes.

The Witch of the Wastes Dream Cast: Rosario Dawson (Daredevil, Sin City, Kids)

These are only the major players in The Golden Hourglass. Many more characters have a part in this story. Some play a big role, some small, and others are the stars of their own stories. To learn more about Cubonia and all the characters in The Golden Hourglass, buy your copy today!