New Beginnings

DEALT IN SIN

by

Sasha Hanton

Morgan wants power so she makes a deal. What she doesn’t account for is deals with a demon always come with a hidden cost.

New Beginnings Anthology BookBaybZ Author interviews

Sasha Hanton grew up in the tropics of Darwin, Northern Territory. From a young age, she devoured books and iced coffee, both of which she continues to intake on an almost daily basis. Now living on beautiful Bribie Island in Queensland her time is split between writing and spoiling her puppy Miley.

Sasha, who has a Bachelor of Journalism from Bond University, has dabbled in the journalistic profession but finds fiction far more fascinating. Her first published work The Short Story Press Collection draws on her love for a diverse range of genres and passion for short stories.

Throughout her life, she has been a lover of history and mythology, and at any time will find some way to weave one or the other into her storytelling. When she’s not writing or reading she can be found walking her dog and volunteering.

Q.   Which book left you empty inside once you finished writing it?

I have an ebook called Customerpocalypse which was pretty draining on me to write. Mostly it left me empty because I wrote it during a difficult stage in my life, I was working in a tiresome job and coming home dead tired but forced myself to write it for NaNoWriMo. The subject material and genre were also very outside my normal zone; it’s more of a comedy and handles working in customer service and living in a post-apocalyptic society.

Q.   Have you ever read the ending of a book after only reading the first few chapters? If no, why, if yes…why?

Yes because I was very dissatisfied with a plot development that was occurring so I peeked at the ending to see if I was interested in finishing the book (it was the first in a series)—I wasn’t.

@aaronburden

Q.       Who is the best villain you have written to date?

To date probably the only overtly villainous character I’ve written is Celtic, a malevolent spirit in my manuscript It’s All Magic to Me (which I’m currently sending out to publishers).

Q.    Best closing scene, you have written?

I actually really like the closing scene I wrote for Customerpocalypse, both the original closer I wrote for it and the epilogue closer I added later. For a book that completely drained me I’m really satisfied with how I ended it.

Excerpt from your story.

The heady smell of lavender choked the air. Shadows danced across the walls, twisting with the flicker of candlelight. Morgan sat in the centre of the room, her burgundy hair tumbling over her shoulders and creating a veil over her face.

She had agonised over every little detail in her preparation and it had taken days of planning to acquire the resources for the ritual. The thick white chalk lines alone had taken over a day to correctly mark on the cement floor. Twisted words rolled off her tongue as she started with a whisper, slowly raising her voice. Her eyes were closed, the strain of keeping them that way but a small price to pay if this worked. She felt a breeze surrounding her, heard the low whistle piercing the silence and sensed—deep in her gut—the pull of magic, fear and anxiousness.

“Who summons me?” The voice assailed her ears, its words creeping inside her and writhing beneath her skin. Biting her bottom lip and clenching her nails into her palms, Morgan struggled to keep her eyes closed.

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The Teacup

BEGINNINGS

Beginnings Belinda Brady BookBaybz

16 stories.

16 Australian authors.

One theme.

Beginnings.

Austin P. Sheehan BookBaybZ

Austin P. Sheehan is a writer of speculative fiction, a lover of language, literature and ’90s TV.

Armed with a psychology degree, he went out into the world to further study humanity, and now prefers the company of his wife and their greyhounds.

He grew up in the valleys of Victoria’s high country, and despite living in Melbourne for the past decade, he always feels at home amongst the mountains. In fact you’ll often find mountains in his stories, whether they’re sci-fi, fantasy or alternative history.

Austin has also been getting coffees and doing photocopying as the work experience kid at the Aussie Speculative Fiction group.

Q. What sentences in writing have changed your life?

“Two possibilities exist; either we’re alone in the universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.”

Q.   Which book left you empty inside once you finished writing it?

My novel tentatively titled ‘Emma and the Madhouse Kids’ was the first book I’d written, it was a bizarre feeling of elation and exhaustion when i finally wrote ‘the end.’  I thought I’d finally be able to return to a normal life and see my friends and family again. 

 

Q.  What don’t you want to see in a well-written villain that happens frequently?

Usually if they’re written well, they aren’t one-dimensional stereotypes. or completely flawless except for one glaring weakness.

Q. Best closing scene, you have written?

The ending of ‘Emma and the Madhouse Kids’ still brings tears to my eyes, but people have also reacted rather strongly to the end of ‘A Song for Ganymede’ so I can’t wait to share those with the world.

 

@heftiba

‘The Teacup’ is a story set in an alternate-history Germany, where something particularly nasty is hiding in the mountains near Rettenberg.  It focuses on Franz Kessler, the village repairman, his wife Marguerite, and their daughter Astrid, who enjoys reading Franz’s tea leaves.

EXCERPT FROM THE TEACUP

Franz Kessler gave his teacup to Astrid, who smiled back at him before examining its contents. This was their ritual. Every morning she would whisper a word to him, over breakfast he would consider it while he sipped at his tea, and pass the teacup back to her when it was almost empty. Today he was meant to focus on the future, but his thoughts kept returning to his work.

While Astrid had a keen interest in reading tea leaves and fortune telling, Franz just did it to make her happy. The older he got, the more important his bond with his daughter became. His wife Marguerite, on the other hand, wouldn’t have a bar of “that silly hocus-pocus,” as she called it. She wanted Astrid to focus on finding a full-time job and a decent partner, both of which were in short supply in their village.

Seeing the exchange, Marguerite picked up her sudoku book with a huff and shuffled out of the room, shaking her head with disdain. Franz watched his wife leave, perplexed as usual by her deep-seated dislike of Astrid’s harmless hobby. When Franz looked back at his daughter, her free hand covered her mouth and her face was ashen. His eyes caught hers, deep green and full of fear. Turning to the sink with trembling hands she emptied and washed the teacup. Franz joined his daughter to dry the remaining breakfast dishes, looking out the window which offered a view of their small yet well-kept front garden. A faint frost still covered the grass, the warmth of the day’s sun hadn’t reached them yet.

 

Beginnings Belinda Brady BookBaybz

BUY BOOK HERE

CONNECT WITH AUTHOR

TWITTER – @AustinPSheehan

FACEBOOK – @APSheehanAu

 

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Break The Spell

BEGINNINGS

Beginnings Belinda Brady BookBaybz

Australian Speculative Fiction Anthology Vol 1

 Belinda Brady – Author of ‘Break the Spell’

Belinda is passionate about stories and after years of procrastinating, has finally turned her hand to writing them, with a preference for supernatural and thriller themes; her love of both often competing for her attention. She has had several stories published in a variety of publications, both online and in anthologies. Belinda lives in Australia with her family and has been known to enjoy the company of cats over people.

 

Q. What sentences in writing have changed your life?

Way too many to choose from. I adore so many authors and they each have their own talent and unique way of writing that I simply can’t point at one sentence and state it changed my life. If I had to mention one sentence, and this I remember from one of my childhood favourites, is from R.L. Stine’s thriller titled Beach House. 

He slid the glass door shut, closing out the sound of Amy’s last terrified screams.” 

That line gave me such chills, and I loved this book so much that I still have my original copy, all these years later.

@aaronburden

Q. Have you ever read the ending of a book after only reading the first few chapters?

Reading the end of a book is a weakness of mine, especially if the book comes highly recommended, and I can’t help but spoil things for myself. One book I couldn’t stop myself from reading the ending of was, ‘Gone Girl’, by Gillian Flynn. I was already hooked on the storyline and wanted to see how it ended, but of course I still read the entire book after that little spoiler.

Q. Who is the best villain you have written to date?

My villain in my story, ‘Break the Spell’. I have a fondness for all my villains, but this one really stands out. You’ll have to read my story to find out why!

Unsplash

Q. Which book left you empty inside once you finished writing it?

Though I am yet to write a book, a short story I wrote titled, ‘A Quick Minute’, which can be found in Issue 7 of The Ginger Collect publication, left me feeling empty for what I had done to my main character. Even though I knew her fate when I first thought of this story, it still hurt to write it. I think the normalcy of her situation, before it all goes to hell, is what really hit home for me

Q. Best closing scene, you have written?

I’m really fond of the closing scene I wrote for my story, ‘Break the Spell’, in this anthology. It’s a wicked little twist and one I thoroughly enjoyed writing. 

Beginnings Belinda Brady BookBaybzBUY BOOK HERE

CONNECT WITH BELINDA ON INSTA – @witchy___woman

 

Thank You for taking the time to chat to us about your writing and your book.

 

Cherry Blossoms, Umbrellas, and Heroes in Tutus.

About the Book

Literary Crush Publishing brings you a new spring anthology with four brand new sweet romance stories each written around the theme: April Showers.

 

About Your Story Jayne Kingsley

Cherry On Top

Adeline Miller has just accepted her dream job coordinating the final event of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, but being back opens up old wounds she’d rather keep buried.

Mason Smith knows he’d be nothing without Clarise and Jeffery Miller. They fostered him when he was a teenager and gave him a chance. But he knows, better than anyone, that he is to blame for the rift between them and their only daughter, Adeline.

A young love that wasn’t to be, can Mason now prove he’s worth the risk? Is Adeline ready, finally, to admit why she ran away, and by doing so achieve everything she wants in life and love?

Jayne Kinglsey

Jayne Kingsley writes contemporary romance filled with fashionable and fun heroines and hunky heroes. She holds a Bachelor of Design – Fashion and Textiles and spent 12 years working in the Fashion industry before hanging up her stilettos (temporarily) for life as a mum.

Q. Have you ever read the ending of a book after only reading the first few chapters? If no, why, if yes…why? 

Yes, either to find out who the real hero is or to check there is a happy ending, I don’t like books that don’t have an obvious happy ending. Having just read Stella’s answer I might hide now though 🙂

Excerpt from Cherry on Top

                                “Adeline?” A soft voice sounded behind her.

Oh no.

He wasn’t supposed to be here. She’d checked the guest list. Twice. His name wasn‘t there, which was the only reason she’d ticked yes to coming tonight.

Taking a deep breath, she turned on the spot; the air whooshing out as her eyes met whiskey brown depths. She stared, unable to pull her focus away before a slight bump from behind and distant apology flicked the switch back on her brain. Taking another sip of her glass she realized she’d finished it. Well done Addie, not quite the sophisticated image she’d been hoping to project. Mason signaled a waiter, taking her empty glass and replacing it with a full one, his fingers brushing hers with a whisper touch, yet she still felt the sizzle all the way to her heart…

 

About Your Story Stella Quinn

The Umbrella Diaries

Duncan needs a hero — he just isn’t expecting her to turn up on his front porch under a tattered red umbrella.

Marianne needs a new venue for her dance school to escape the unwanted attentions of a creepy groundsman, so the For Let advertisement in the newspaper seems like a lucky omen. Enquiries to 241 Hope Street, Cathedral Springs, between four and five pm, today only.

She plucks an umbrella from the stand in the hallway and sets off for make her enquiry. Her dance school business means everything to her; since the injury which destroyed her career, it’s the only dream for her future she has left. And today, she’s feeling lucky.

Duncan doesn’t leave his house. Not today, not yesterday, not since he left the hospital all those months ago with steel pins holding his leg together and the words of a dying teenager imprinted forever on his brain.

Turns out, he doesn’t mind living grumpy and alone in his big old house. At least, that’s what he’s been telling himself.

But then one day a young ballet teacher knocks on his door and pirouettes her way straight into his heart. Duncan’s going to have to find the courage to forgive himself if he wants a chance at living in the world again. And now he’s got a reason to try.

Stella Quinn

Believes romance, adventure and escape are the reasons we love to read. They’re also the reasons she loves to write. She’s just finished a trio of holiday romance novels:  Tropic Storm, Stowaway, which came second in the RWA Emerald Award for best unpublished manuscript in 2018, and Island Fling, which won the coveted Valerie Parv Award in 2018. She is thrilled her novella, The Umbrella Diaries, is being published in Literary Crush Publishing’s 2019 April Showers anthology, and she has a short story, Beneath The Waves, published in an RWA Australia anthology.

Q. What sentences in writing have changed your life? 

Some poetry lines have stuck with me over the years. “Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gire and gymble in the wabe”, from Jabberwocky – I love this because it’s nonsense, but the heft and hew of it still manages to convey voice and imagery. Another is from a poem by Alfred Noyes: “The highwayman came riding, riding, riding; the highwayman came riding, upon a moonlit shore”, which I love for the sheer romance of it. Horse manes ruffling in a sea breeze, the thunder of their hooves … wonderful. There are heaps more, but those lines have been circling in my brain for decades.

Excerpt from Umbrella Diaries

Tuesday it was raining. Not that he was watching for her, because why would he be? He just happened to be at the window, that’s all. Purple leggings. Black boots with a heel that seemed a tad reckless given the icy conditions of the sidewalk. A coat of – what was that color? Grass green? Pea green? Frog green?

And today’s umbrella was tartan, like the tins of shortbread he remembered from the pantry when he was a boy. She’ll put the umbrella down to come through the gate, he thought. Then he’d see her face. But she put down the knapsack she brought with her each day to work instead. Dropped a hand over the latch and was through and out of sight before he could finish the thought. Not to worry. It couldn’t rain all week, and then she’d have no need of an umbrella. He could wait until the next day. He was good at waiting.

Connect with with these gorgeous Authors

Stella Quinn

I’d love it if readers could subscribe to my newsletter so I can let them know about all the upcoming releases I have scheduled for 2019.

WEBSITE

Jayne Kingsley

As Stella has said, I’d love if readers would like to subscribe to my newsletter to stay in touch, sign up even comes with a free short story!

WEBSITE

Thank You for taking the time to chat to us about your writing and your book.

Stella: Thank YOU Michelle and Melanie xxxxxx

JK: Thank you for having us lovely ladies! xxx

Sensational Awesome Authors, Support one another!

The ‘Bindarra Creek Short and Sweet Anthology’ is a series of nine related stories within the world of Bindarra Creek, a best-selling rural series by thirteen Australian authors.

Continue reading “Sensational Awesome Authors, Support one another!”