Saturday, January 26, 2013

Music is My Muse: Catherine Stovall Blog Tour

Catherine Stovall is a great author and friend, so keep track of her on the haunted blog tour. Things go wrong, almost to the point where it seems sinister. So if you dare, read on and enter to win a copy of Reborn. You won't regret it. Leave a comment stating how music inspires you for another chance to win.

Music is My Muse

Catherine Stovall

     Other than Hatter, the voice of insanity inside my head, music is my muse. I couldn’t carry a tune in a five gallon bucket, the list of my musical instrument capabilities consists of dashboard drummer, and I would fail miserably if I was asked to keep time to anything. Now that I have made it clear that I am by no means a music expert, I can share with you the music that has guided me through the creation of the Requiem of Humanity Series. Here is a sneak peek into some of the songs that helped build scenes in both Stolen and Reborn.

     In the opening pages of Stolen, you will find Jenda in the midst of a struggle with the mysterious and frightening vampire Matteo. As I wrote this particular piece, the forlorn sound of Falls Apart by Hurt played on my iPod. Something about the raw emotion of the song speaks to me about the battle waging.

     Excerpt: The intruder stood inches from her, his black eyes boring into her as if the entire world depended on this very moment in time. He stood almost a full foot taller than Jenda. His broad shoulders tapered down to a trim waist. He appeared to be well muscled but not overly large. He was almost handsome except that his presence sent tremors of pure undiluted terror screaming to every brain cell and nerve ending inside her. All of her senses told her to wake up, to run, and to escape as quickly as she could.

Link to Falls Apart by Hurt:

      Another great moment in Stolen features Jenda’s change from frightened human girl to vampire fledgling. As every ounce of torture and fear compounds around her, Jenda is brought to the finality of her life. For me this moment was sad. To see Jenda robbed of her humanity tore at my heart and no other song could express that sadness better than Hurt by Johnny Cash.  

     Excerpt: “Oh my God! No, no, no!” Was all Jenda could think. This wasn’t death. This was being changed. Belle was making her a vampire, a monster, an inhuman soulless being. She could feel the pin prick of Belle’s teeth now, could feel the pulling on her veins from the same spot. They were sharing blood! Jenda tried desperately to regain control of her body. She fought through the fog so hard that it did start to clear. Trying to ignore the painful burning, Jenda struggled to find the surface.

Link to Hurt by Johnny Cash:

     One of my favorite parts of Stolen is when Soborgne loses her mind and starts hunting the streets for blood. She finds her victim, a depraved and morally corrupt monster, lingering near an alley. The pure evil that pumps through Sobo as she stalks her prey surprised even me. The upbeat, dark tempo of This is the New S**t by Marilyn Manson captures the heat of the moment perfectly.

     Excerpt: At first, he was confused and then recognition dawned on him. He began to cry, to blubber like a baby. Soborgne dropped him to the ground in front of her and in a cold and passionless voice, she continued. “Beg. Beg as you made them beg. Scream for your mother and your father. Better yet, scream for your god. Bargain for your life. Promise anything so I will spare your pathetic existence.”

 Link to This is the New S**t by Marilyn Manson:

     Reborn took on a personality all its own and along with it, came several new playlists. One of the most powerful scenes for me was Jenda’s first feed from a living human. It was a moment of self-discovery and of understanding for her. The melancholy and melodic song Blood by The Pierces swayed me through this section so well.

     Excerpt: Jenda’s mind raced, her body felt as if her nerve endings were coming to life for the first time. The blood poured into her and she wandered how it could ever be wrong to do this act. Only moments before she was afraid and now, she was in pure ecstasy. As her mind locked in on the rhythm of Dominique’s heart, the images came.

Link to Blood by the Pierces:

     Soborgne may be reckless but without her, the Requiem of Humanity Series would be just the good guys against the bad. I always have had a soft spot for the grey area. Letting herself slide into the dark side, Soborgne learns how the other half live as she finds her prey within a chemically enhanced club, deep within the 8th District of Budapest to the sound of Blood by In This Moment.

     Excerpt: She could taste a hint of the cheap whiskey in his blood but it only gave it a heady spice. She did not fear the alcohol. She did not fear anything. The darkness came into her with his blood. It danced and dipped through her mind. It told her to follow the heartbeat down into the abyss. It guided her to the boys’ death. It told her she was doing what she meant to do. Its reasoning was winning her over.

Link to Blood by in this Moment:

     I try to avoid the love stuff as much as possible but without it, The Requiem of Humanity just wouldn’t be complete. Matteo and Jenda are overcoming many obstacles to love each other and one moment brings them together so completely, the reader will believe nothing would ever come between them. As they declare their intentions and bare their hearts, I could hear the song Stolen by Dashboard Confessional in my mind.

     Excerpt: They stared lovingly into each other’s eyes for a moment before he kissed her. Soon she was lost in the kisses and vows of love so thoroughly, nothing, not even Soborgne mattered. Somewhere off in the distance she thought she heard someone weeping and a strange image of an angel flashed through her mind. Jenda didn’t care.

Link to Stolen by Dashboard Confessional:

     I hope you have enjoyed this musical journey. In closing, I would just like to say thank you to the music makers of this world. You inspire, uplift, and give the gift of joy to so many.


Catherine Stovall is the author of The Requiem of Humanity Series and the short story Fearful Day. Catherine received her Associates of Science from Colorado Technical University. After working in the Criminal Justice field for several years, she has decided to dedicate her life to her true passion, creating captivating works of fiction. She lives in Southeast Missouri with her husband, three children, and pets.

Stalk Me:
Twitter: @CathStovall
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Where to Buy:
Stolen and Reborn at the Untreed Reads Store:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Author Friendships

Author Friendships
Guest post by Jason E. Maurer
The bond between true friends can never be broken. You may fight over something trivial or monumental, but eventually find your way back to each other because you’ve come so far in your relationship. So what if he slept with your brother behind your back? It’s just water under the bridge, right?
Maintaining a steady relationship with those we care about is part of who we are as a species. Most of us do not like being alone, and strive to create connections with everyone, lovers and friends alike.
Take my friends, for example. They are classified into two distinct groups: Those I can hang out with in real-life, and those I know online but have yet to meet.
My close circle of real-life friends is mainly the same people I knew in high school, with a few new faces added over the years.
The same can be said about my online friends. There are not many, but a few of the people I’m friends with through the vast expanse of web space seem as much a part of my inner circle as do the friends I have in person.  Some online friends have been in my life for a decade or more.
Does knowing someone that you’ve never met make them any less of a true friend? No, because we know each other’s secrets and are supportive of one another in spite of the vast distance between us.
Humans, as a whole, can have support in many ways, but in my personal experience friends are the ones who will stand by each other, through thick and thin.
If you are an author and have a friend who is also an author, this is equally important because they are your true supporters, the ones who tell you to push forward even when you think you will NEVER get that damn novel finished. They understand what it’s like to feel pressured.
You can talk to each other about your craft, and understand when she tells you the reason she didn’t clean her house today was because she just needed to get these thoughts out on paper. You accept this statement, because you know exactly how she feels.
Writing is a fickle thing, at least for me. I can wake up in the morning, have breakfast, sit down at my laptop and write a few thousand words in what seems like a few seconds. Other times, I can stare at a blank screen for HOURS and not write a single sentence. Our author friends know how it is, and can relate because they’ve been in the same boat. No matter how little we write, our friends are the ones sitting on the sidelines, pumping their fists in the air and screaming for us to reach the finish line.
One of my favorite quotes of all time found online many years ago pokes fun at the sincerity of friendship:  “If you and I were together on a sinking ship and there was only one life jacket, I’d miss you heaps and think of you often.”
What kind of friend would throw the other one ‘under the bus’, so to speak? Or in this case, out of the boat? A true friend would share the lifejacket, in the hopes of being rescued before you both drowned.
Why should the friends of an author be any different? If you have written something that another author friend doesn’t like, should she tell you truth or keep her mouth shut and allow you to shoot yourself in the foot, thereby pushing you out of the proverbial boat?
The simple answer is: She should tell you how she feels. A true friend will be honest, at all times. But, there is a difference between being honest and being cruel. You can be constructive in your criticism, judgmental without being harsh.
True friends are not afraid to tell you what they think. If you arrive dressed for a night on the town in a mumu and stilettos, your friend should laugh his ass off and tell you that you need to change your clothes because he will absolutely NOT be seen out in public next to you while you’re wearing such a ridiculous outfit!
Just because you are friends does not mean they need to coddle you and gush over how amazing your novel is.  In fact, your author friends should use their trained eyes and be the first to point out the flaws.
Remember that you cannot please every person, all of the time. Roll with the criticism, and strive to perfect your work. As authors, we need this validation and analysis of ourselves, for without it we are simply gliding along in a world of loneliness.  We need friends who will hold our hands and keep us grounded when shit gets crazy.
Also, expect some good-natured jealousy. If your novel sells a hundred copies, while your friend’s novel sells only ten, they may become envious. However, just because they have turned an ugly shade of green does not mean they want you to fail.
The important thing to remember is that true friends support each other, through the good AND the bad. We want the best for our comrades-in-arms, and to see our names in lights, side by side on the New York Times Bestseller list.
If she becomes successful while you are still struggling to get noticed, you simply need to try harder, push yourself more and work with a new outlook. And by all means, support each other!
Hold your friends close to your heart. This is important, because without them, we are alone. And no one likes or deserves to be without a companion, in love or otherwise. Be proud and treat each other with respect and honesty, and above all remain loyal and treasure them. With enough hard work, friendships can last a lifetime.
From quiet homes and first beginnings
Out to the undiscovered ends
There’s nothing worth the wear of winning
But laughter and the love of friends
---Hilaire Belloc

Author Bio:
Jason E. Maurer is the author of several short stories and novels that range in genre from romance to mystery, and everything in between. The work he produces is the result of a mind that can only be defined as ‘eclectic’.
His latest novel “Trust and Love” is a gay story that centers around the hope for a better future by advocating the “It Gets Better” Campaign, a cause that helps prevent teen suicide.
Jason lives in central Pennsylvania, and has chosen to dedicate his spare time [which at this point is anytime he is not sleeping] to the pursuit of the American dream on the road to happiness.
The links to his extensive list of social media can be found on the “About Me/Links” page of his website.
Where To Buy “Trust and Love”:

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Reborn (Requiem of Humanity book two) by Catherine Stovall

5 out of 5 stars!

SynopsisJenda, Matteo, and Soborgne have escaped to Budapest in search of a safe hiding place from the Dracul. Knowing their future is unsure and danger surrounds them, they seek out the help of Matteo’s old friend, Celeste, at the Castle Vajdahunyad. When Matteo confesses all his secrets, the girls learn their part in an ancient prophecy that foretells the destruction of humanity.

After a deadly attack on the castle, Soborgne disappears with the strange man from her dreams and Jenda is left trying to convince the others of her friend’s innocence. While Soborgne is busy relishing the life of a vampire unrestrained and learning the dark secrets of her own life, Celeste calls together a meeting of the Coven and the Clan--a group of vampires and witches--to prepare for war against the Dracul.

Trying to save her and Soborgne from certain death, Jenda works to unravel the mystery of the prophecy. Driven by unanswered questions, she ventures back into the astral world where she comes face to face with an enemy they all thought could never hurt them again. Jenda learns the key to finding Soborgne and preventing the prophecy, but it comes at a steep price.

Review: Reborn, the second installment in the Requiem of Humanity series, by Catherine Stovall starts and ends with a bang. The action doesn't let up from the first to last page and does sequels everywhere a favor. I enjoyed Reborn even more than Stolen, and I enjoyed Stolen quite a bit. They are different in the fact that Stolen builds slowly and envelopes the reader in back-story and lore, and by the time Reborn comes around you pretty much know it all and can get right into the meat of the story. Holding true to her writing style, Stovall keeps the emotions raw, the scenes mystical and enchanting, and the characters convincing.

Reborn doesn't read like a vampire novel. It is more like the hero's journey that just so happens to be about vampires. She is keeping the series fresh and away from the tired vampire cliches. Faraway places, rich culture, witches, vampires, and demons await you in this enthralling read. I can now say for certain that the Requiem of Humanity series(so far Stolen and Reborn) are the best vampire books I've read in I don't know how long. I honestly can't think of one that I've enjoyed as much or more than this(especially one that doesn't rely on sex, profanity, and over-the-top-violence).

If you haven't read Stolen, make sure to do so you can enjoy this stellar read.

You can get your copy of Stolen HERE, and Reborn HERE Happy reading!