Monday, October 15, 2018

Halloween Edition: Two Questions With . . . K. Bird Lincoln

For this week's Halloween edition of Two Questions With . . . I'm excited to welcome K. Bird Lincoln to my blog! 

Thank you Pat for hosting. I'm K. Bird Lincoln, an author of Historical and Urban Fantasy who may or may not be too obsessed with Japan, chocolate, and coffee. 

1. What is your favorite part of the Season? 

Fall is totally my favorite season. You get the Autumnal Equinox: equal amounts of day and night. It's a time of potential. Things could go either way, right? I live on the Minnesota Prairie and so a sense of urgency is in the air as we anticipate the freezing winds and crushing snow of winter. I could go on and on in a philosophical vein, but what I really like the best about Fall is the sweaters.

I work from home for a testing company, and there's nothing like "going to work" by curling up in my computer chair with a comfy sweater, a latte from my stove top Bailetti Mukka Express, a pumpkin chocolate chip muffin. There's just something about sweaters that make the day better. A built-in hug. Coziness without being a slob. Everyone wins.

2. Monsters: Do you prefer: External--something that we have to overcome, something that isn't "Us" (Giant Sharks, alien invasion, Rabid Trees, etc.) or Internal--something that shows us that "We" could be monsters (Carrie, Psycho, Vampires, etc)?

Internal for the win! Rabid Trees certainly would scare the stuffing out of me, but the evil that most fascinates me is the Hannibal Lector/Jekyll & Hyde/Dark Phoenix kind of monster. Monsters like Vampires and Aliens are scary, but not insidious. They don't creep into our psyche and lodge there, stubbornly seductive and morally ambiguous.

It's the ones who could be good, and yet choose evil, who fascinate me the most. Protagonists who walk the fine line between wanting to "fix things" and using their powers in evil ways in order to "fix things" are my catnip. Koi, the heroine of Dream Eater, has this emotional arc regarding her dream eating powers. Will her hunger for dreams overcome her innate decency? Will she become a monster before she can stop herself from killing? The best moral quandaries are ones where the character could go either way!


K. Bird Lincoln is an ESL professional and writer living on the windswept Minnesota Prairie with family and a huge addiction to frou-frou coffee. Also dark chocolate--without which the world is a howling void. Originally from Cleveland, she has spent more years living on the edges of the Pacific Ocean than in the Midwest. Her speculative short stories are published in various online and paper publications such as Strange Horizons. Her medieval Japanese fantasy series, Tiger Lily, is available from Amazon. In 2017 World Weaver Press released Dream Easter, the first novel in  an exciting, multi-cultural Urban Fantasy trilogy set in Portland and Japan. It happens to be on sale for 99 cents the month of October to celebrate the release of the sequel, Black Pearl Dreaming.

She also writes tasty speculative fiction reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Check her out on Facebook, join her newsletter for chocolate and free stories, or stalk her online at


Koi Pierce dreams other people's dreams.

Her whole life she's avoided other people. Any skin-to-skin contact--a hug from her sister, the hand of a barista at Stumptown coffee--transfers flashes of that person's most intense dreams. It's enough to make anyone a hermit.

But Koi's getting her act together. No matter what, this time she's going to finish her degree at Portland Community College and get a real life. Of course it's not going to be that easy. Her father, increasingly disturbed from Alzheimer's disease, a dream fragment of a dead girl from the casual brush of a creepy professor's hand, and a mysterious stranger who speaks the same rare Northern Japanese dialect as Koi's father will force Koi to learn to trust in the help of others, as well as face the truth about her herself.

"Lincoln successfully mixes Japanese, Native American, and Middle Eastern mythologies in her modern setting, and Koi's wry voice gives a new perspective on the problems of paranormal gifts."
--Publishers Weekly

"DREAM EASTER brings much-needed freshness to the urban fantasy genre with its inspired use of Japanese culture and mythology and its fully-realized setting of Portland, Oregon. I'm eager to follow Koi on more adventures!"
--Beth Cato, author of The Clockwork Dagger and Breath of Earth

Find it Online:

Barnes and Noble
Independent Bookstores
iTunes/Apple iBooks

Monday, October 8, 2018

Halloween Edition: Two Questions with . . . Ken Schrader

I’m kicking off this week with a fantastic guest author. Welcome, Ken Schrader.  

Thank you, Pat, for letting me practice my darkest arts *Kaff, Kaff* Post...yes, Guest post on your blog today as part of our “Two questions with... ” The Halloween Edition
For those of you that don’t know, my name is Ken Schrader. I write Science Fiction, Fantasy, Weird Westerns (though, not necessarily in that order). 

So you’re here for answers, and answers you shall have.

Come, pull up a chair. Don’t mind the shadows. The Moon is full, and the wind is in the trees...

Let us talk of monsters...

Question #1. How do you define Horror?

That is a tough one. Certainly there can be horrific elements in any story, but I don’t think that makes it a “Horror” story. 

I think that for a story to fall into the Horror category there has to be a very real chance that any character in the story could die. This includes the Protagonist.

There is no such thing as a safe place in a horror story. Even staying put will bring the danger to you eventually. Often, by then, it’s far too late.

Question #2. Do you have a scary anecdote you could share? 

I woke up one night - I can't remember exactly what for - and, unbeknownst to me, one of my dogs followed (Maybe I left the bedroom door open).

I don't know where he went, but we separated. As I'm making my way back to the bedroom, half asleep, in the dark, I hear a low growl in front of me.

The breeze must not have been going in the right direction, or something, but he didn't recognize me until I said his name. And he meant business.

Let me tell you something:

Nothing, and I mean nothing, speaks to the part of your brain that used to huddle around the fire and pray for the dawn like the sound of an apex predator in the dark.


I am a science fiction and fantasy writer, a shameless Geek, a fan of the Oxford comma, and I make housing decisions based upon the space available for bookshelves. I collect books, movies, and music. 
I sign out loud when I think there's no one around, and try to get a blog post up once a week -- one of which I have managed to do consistently for the past few years.

I love music of all kinds, books, and the big sky off my front porch, Stars Wars, Firefly, Blind Guardian (to which, I write almost exclusively), Rugby, star gazing, jasmine tea, and the smell of rain on the air. 

My favorite flavor of ice cream is chocolate. My favorite food is a grilled steak, and I can suspend disbelief embarrassingly quickly. 

I live in Michigan, am co-owned by several dogs (especially the Border Collie), and I am one of the rare breed of folk that enjoys mowing the lawn. My short story "Haven" appears in the "Weird Wild West" anthology. My short story "The Price of Power" appears in the "Trials" anthology. My short story "The Intern" appears in the "Chasing the Light" anthology. 

I am represented by Dorian Maffei 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Two Questions With . . . Halloween Edition~ Anne Raven

I’m thrilled to start off this Halloween edition of Two Questions With . . . super special guest author, Anne Raven.  

Thank you, Pat, for hosting me on your blog today as we start our “Two questions with... Halloween Edition” blog tour series. I’m Anne Raven, and I write romance, anything from suspense to paranormal.

*sets broom and pointy hat down beside the table*

Now to kick off our bewitching questions...

Q: How do you define Horror?
A quick internet search will bring up definitions like, “painful and intense fear, dread, or dismay”, “aversion or repugnance”, and “an overwhelming and painful feeling caused by something frightfully shocking, terrifying, or revolting”.

I confess, I’ve never been a horror fan. Mostly because I define horror as something that’s often excessively filled with lots of gore—think the Sawmovies. I know it’s a huge industry, probably one of the biggest even, but I’ve never understood the willingness to read/watch something purposely designed to repulse you. I’m assuming it has something to do with an adrenaline rush, but sadly, it’s not my thing. Also, I have a highly active imagination, so I tend to be more fearful of what my own brain will conjure up post-horror movie. And I daren’t ever try to read a horror book because I’d likely never sleep again—thank you, imagination.

That said, I love dark and twisty things, and I have enjoyed a few horror movies over the years, but they’re generally more of a psychological horror which I’d probably class as more of a thriller… which leads to question number 2…

Q: Is there any difference between Horror and Thriller? If so, what is it?
I truly believe there is a major difference between Horror and Thriller. I dislike Horror, but I LOVE Thriller!

Again, a quick internet search provides definitions like, “a high degree of intrigue, adventure, or suspense”, “an exciting and frightening story”, and “surprise, anticipation and anxiety”.

So, while Horror is designed to repulse, Thrillers are meant to, well, thrill. They’re exciting and make you think. They take you on a suspenseful journey through twists and turns, and if done well, they’ll surprise you with something at the end. Sure, there are overlaps, but I think in general there can be a clear distinction between the two genres.

Anne Raven was born and raised along the windy coast of South Africa, and can assure everyone there are no lions roaming the streets—unless you count the feral cat next door. When not reading or writing, you’ll find her being bossed around by her adorable niece, taking freshly baked goods from the oven, or drinking too much coffee. Her romantic suspense IN THE NAME OF THE MOTHER was showcased in Pitch Wars 2017. Anne is represented by Amanda Jain at BookEnds Literary Agency.