Author Yolanda Sfetsos, Urban Fantasy & A Patch of Darkness – Guest Post

Hello Friends, I’m happy to have Yolanda Sfetsos, author extraordinaire, back again. Welcome, Yolanda :)

Hi there! Firstly, I’d like to thank Ren.

It’s great to be here. :)

So, today I’m going to talk a little bit about urban fantasy. It’s one of my favorite genres to write and read. I have HEAPS of UF books on my TBR pile. I’m addicted to them! And have a lot of UF ideas I want to write, too.

My upcoming release from Samhain Publishing is called A Patch of Darkness, and happens to be the first book in my Sierra Fox series. So, who’s Sierra Fox, and what kind of world does she live in? Well, it’s pretty much a world like ours, but with a few differences. For starters, everyone knows that ghosts are real. They’re mostly spirits who aren’t ready to move on yet, but that’s not always the case. Some stay with their living relatives, others haunt places peacefully, but there are some nasty spooks who like to cause chaos. And some were never human.

That’s where Sierra comes in. She’s a registered Spook Catcher, which means people hire her to investigate and capture these disruptive, pesky ghosts. Once they’re captured, she delivers them to the Spook Catcher Council for sentencing… but of course, that’s just one facet of her world. There are other creatures and dangers hidden in the dark.

Urban fantasy is a genre that allows me to delve into some pretty dark situations. While the story is set in a contemporary world we all recognize, it’s also a mix of fact, fiction, and myth. It throws everything we think we know out of balance. I also shake Sierra’s life a little by introducing several love interests, and a hidden family legacy.

So, that’s why I love this genre! It’s a perfect mix of just about everything. I love the creative freedom an urban fantasy world gives me.

Do you like reading urban fantasy? If you do, what do you especially like about it?

Thanks for reading,

Yolanda

Now, kiddies, check out the excerpt for Yolanda’s new release, A Patch of Darkness (Book #1 of the Sierra Fox Stories) available on May 15th

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SYNOPSIS:

In a perfect world, Sierra Fox would have stayed away from the Council she left years ago. But in this world—where spirits have the right to walk among the living—it’s her job to round up troublesome spooks and bring them before that very same Council.

 

Though her desk is piled high with open cases, she can’t resist an anonymous summons to a mysterious late-night meeting with a bunch of other hunters, each of whom seems to have a unique specialty. The news is dire: something is tearing at the fabric of the universe. If the hunters can’t find who or why in time, something’s going to give in a very messy way.

 

As current cases, family secrets, new clues and her tangled love life slowly wind themselves into an impossible knot, Sierra finds herself the target of a power-sucking duo intent on stealing her mojo. And realizing she holds the key to the last hope of sealing the widening rift.

EXCERPT:

Chapter One

“Are you daydreaming again?”

I blinked a few times, trying to clear the jumble of thoughts from my mind so I could focus on the man sitting across from me.

How romantic! We were supposed to be enjoying a nice dinner together and I was trying to mentally sort through my to-do list.

Jonathan Wells tries hard to accommodate my unconventional life. Yet, most of the time he’s the one going out of his way, or being stood up because “something important came up” at the last minute. It was hard to balance everything sometimes.

Most of the time I find myself torn between feeling sorry for him and feeling like I don’t deserve him. I’m very interested in him, though. I want us to become more than just a string of dates never tying together. Jonathan makes me laugh. He makes my heart beat faster. He’s an amazing, kind-hearted man with stunning, boyish looks I find myself gazing at all the time.

“I’m sorry. I was just thinking about…” I closed my mouth. That sounded so pathetic. Why was I thinking about anything when he was sitting across from me in a beautiful Italian restaurant? The weight of his leg against mine suddenly distracted me from everything else.

“You usually are,” he said with a sheepish grin.

“I promise, no more daydreaming. Well, unless it’s about you. Oh, and never when you’re just across the table from me.”

Jonathan’s grin widened and the corners of his eyes wrinkled in an adorable way that made my stomach drop.

“It sounds to me like we just made a deal, Ms. Fox.”

I flashed him a quick smile and nodded. “Thanks for bringing me here tonight. I really need a break from everything.”

“Well, maybe it’s time you and I got away from it all by taking off for the weekend.”

“I’d love to, Jonathan, really I would, but you know I can’t just up and leave. I’ve got a ton of unresolved cases.” And even more I haven’t even looked at.

“There’s a haunted lighthouse in it for you, if you agree,” he said, waggling his dark eyebrows. Jonathan sure knew how to tempt me.

I bit down on my bottom lip. “As tempting as that sounds, I can’t leave right now. Maybe in a few months…” I sighed. “I mean, it’s not just me. What about the bookstore? You can’t close up for the weekend, can you?”

Jonathan’s disappointment was obvious. He averted his dark eyes to wind a clump of spaghetti around his fork. “The bookstore could have a month off and no one would notice. Oh, hold on—it did! And as I said, no one noticed.” He shoveled the Bolognese-smothered forkful into his mouth.

I smiled sympathetically. His bookstore, Prologue, was a cramped two-story corner store in the heart of the city. It was hard to compete with the large book chains only blocks away. Still, Jonathan gave his bookstore all he had and specialized in genre-specific novels and occult reference books other places didn’t stock.

That’s actually where we met, while I was on a job in Prologue. Of course, I waited until the job was done before giving in to a date with him. It’s not wise to cross professional and personal wires. I find it’s better to separate the two when possible.

Jonathan had called me because a poltergeist was tearing his books and store apart. I was contracted to find him, her, or even them—sometimes they like to team up, it’s very adolescent but not out of the question.

Chaotic ghostly behavior is unacceptable in society. It’s my job to locate and deliver them to stand trial. Break the rules and they’re forcibly isolated from society, and that’s if they have a lenient judge. Most times, something this severe could land the spook a one-way ticket to the ghostly patch forever, never able to return again after banishment.

I’ve been responsible for a few of those cases.

Read the rest of the excerpt here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Wife. Mother. Writer. Bibliophile. Dreamer. Animal lover. Intrigued by the supernatural. Horror freak. Zombie enthusiast. Movie & music fan. Slave to her muse.

Yolanda lives in Sydney, Australia with her awesome husband, lovely daughter, and cheeky cat.

Where to find Yolanda

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Sean & Jen talk Flashy Fiction and Other Insane Tales – Guest Post

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I am very happy to have Jen Wylie and Sean Hayden here to talk about their latest joint effort:
Flashy Fiction and Other Insane Tales.

The Short Truth Behind Flashing

Jen: Greetings peepsies, this is Jen and Sean here to speak about a very important topic.

Sean: Spaying and Neutering your pets and relatives. Just kidding. Today we shall be discussing FLASH FICTION and SHORT STORIES.

Jen: Though Spaying etc. IS important. Help control your local pet population folks! (And ya, don’t get me started on people…)

First off let’s make sure you know what flash fiction and short stories are, since some people tend to be confused about this.

Sean: Okay. Good call. Well, flash fiction you write while wearing a trench coat and nothing else.
Okay, I’m teasing again. Flash fiction is, you’re given a topic. Say, oh i don’t know, FIREFLIES. You take that topic and write a very short story incorporating the topic into your story.

Jen: The main point being you write it quickly, and it’s SHORT.

Sean: Yeah. Just like I said. I write my flashies in one sitting

Jen: If you want to get technical, flash fiction is generally under 1000 words, usually about half of that or less, depending on who you ask.

Sean: Yes, but also depending on who you ask determines whether there are eight or nine planets in our solar system.
I make my own rules and I say PLUTO is a planet people. Deal with it.

Jen: Back to the topic… short stories, on the other hand, are well… short stories.

They are longer than flash fiction and they tell a tale, with a beginning, middle and end

Sean: Definitely. Short stories are generally under ten thousand words. Anything over that is considered a Novella. I’ve actually had some of mine take longer to write than novels.

Jen: People not used to reading these short works often end up disappointed. Which is sad. There are many wonderful short works out there, and they are wonderful for a variety of reasons. Many people used to novels will complain its too short, or that it was only part of a story, or not detailed enough. Which is all true. THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE.

Sean: As authors, we try to label them as such. I can’t even begin to tell you how many nasty reviews I’ve received based upon the length of the story. “It was incredibly well written, I just felt that there was enough story to make it a full length novel.” Um….Yeah. Short Story. Why do you think it’s so cheap? We price our novels considerably higher.

Jen: Which is a very good point. Also, a lot of times an author might try out a story idea as a short, or write a short to accompany something else they have written. Or the story was only ever meant to be short. The point of reading is enjoyment, to get your brain and imagination working. If our story gets your gears a-turning and what-ifing…then our job is well done.

Sean: I for one have written short stories that I intended never to revisit again. I wrote them as an experiment so to speak, to see if I liked writing in a particular unfamiliar genre. Because of POSITIVE feedback, I now have both pre and sequels planned for that short story.

Jen: Let’s use Flashy Fiction and Other Insane Tales as an example. It has some quickies, a wide range of genres and even different writing styles. I was all over the place in my selections for it. I like to try new things and see not only what I like to write, but what readers like to read.

Sean: And it was the peoples thirst for something a little longer that we decided to put a whole bunch of them together for a longer, meatier, bigger, stronger, faster, something for them to enjoy. We went for crazy, paranormal, fun, and exciting. This is just the first one of a whole series of them we have planned. Hope you enjoy them!

Jen: So on that note, thanks for stopping by! Please comment away about what you think about flash fiction and short stories. Feel free to ask us any questions too!

Sean: Try the veal and don’t forget to tip your waitress.

About the Anthology:

An anthology of the strange, bizarre, and just plain weird.

Zombies, vampires, ghosts, and …crickets? Try a taste of writing from two very different fantasy authors. Flash stories are super short and perfect for when you ‘just have a minute’. This anthology contains 15 stories from authors Sean Hayden and Jen Wylie. Run the rampart of emotions in this exciting mix of tales. From humor to twisted, there is something for everyone.
Note: Some stories contain adult language.

About Jen Wylie

Jennifer Wylie resides in rural Ontario, Canada with her two boys, Australian shepherd a flock of birds and a disagreeable amount of wildlife. In a cosmic twist of fate she dislikes the snow and cold.

Before settling down to raise a family, she attained a BA from Queens University and worked in retail and sales.

Thanks to her mother she acquired a love of books at an early age and began writing in public school. She constantly has stories floating around in her head, and finds it amazing most people don’t. Jennifer writes various forms of fantasy, both novels and short stories. Sweet light was her debut novel published in 2011 by Echelon Press. She also has a number of fantasy short stories out, including a YA short story series called Tales of Ever. Coming Oct 2012 from Hadley Rille Books is another YA fantasy, Broken Aro.

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About Sean Hayden

Born the son of a fire chief, Sean naturally developed a love of playing with fire. His family and friends quickly found other outlets for his destructive creativity. Writing is his latest endeavor.

Always a fan of the macabre, mythical, and magical, Sean found a love of urban fantasy and horror. After writing several novels in this genre, he found, fell in love with, and immersed himself in steampunk. He has always wanted to rewrite history and steampunk gave him that opportunity.

Sean currently lives in Florida as a fiber-optic engineer as well as an author. He was blessed with the two most amazing children he could ever hope for, has met the absolute love of his life, who coincidentally is his partner in everything. His hobbies include grand designs on world domination as well as a starring role in his own television sitcom.

Website

Blog

Twitter

Goodreads

Facebook Fan Page

Amazon Author page