Sunday Surprise

Hi guys,
I’m Samantha and I come from another world – the original, old Silvery Earth, where people are immortal and never grow up. When I’m not switching bodies at will, I travel to other universes, especially books or movies. That’s how I met Rajveer the vampire, for example!

So, I’m taking over the interviews on this blog! And here I am, meeting people from other books/universes/whatever!

Soo! Tell me a little about yourself.

My name is Th’alia Erlis, Eltenda of the Elfkind – that’s scholar or Lorekeeper to you, human.
I come from Ilthendra, that’s a town in the Shimmering Forest. My age? I think I am about 25 summers.

My oh my… I’m 22 forever, so not really human, am I? *chuckle* Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

I have honey blonde hair, and elven features.

Do you have an enemy or nemesis? If so, who are they and how did they become an enemy?

Ha! Do I have enemies? I am a forest elf caught up in a game of intrigue in which I must commit terrible things, lie and deceive. It will likely kill me. Humans are my enemy – not every human – I am Elfkind thus I am nothing more than a slave or servant to the humans. I must obey no matter what is asked of me, or risk death. I find myself in an impossible situation – I must lead these people…my friends and… and her to the ambush. Their lives for mine, my sister and my town.

Would you kill for those you love? And would you die for them?

Yes, if I had to.

Where do you live?

You don’t listen, do you? I come from Ilthendra, that is in Erana.

*roll eyes* Uptight much? Next question. Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

*Answers carefully. Not as such. But I am Marden’s elf so he takes his pleasures with me. I used to hate him for it, but now I find it’s not so bad. I take the pleasure for its own sake. We are not an elf and human or captor and captive, we are just a man and woman when we are in bed. He doesn’t beat me or actually force me into that; it’s an ‘arrangement’.
I did have a man in Ilthendra, but he belonged to someone else. I must forget him.

What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Staying alive. Finding the lost city.

Do you have a family? Tell me about them.

I have a twin sister, M’alia. She is currently the captive of the Order of Witch-Hunters. They rule the land, hate elves and all magic and their word is law. M’alia is both elven and magical; we fell into their hands when we went to seek the Lady of the Light. She will bring us salvation and freedom. Unfortunately, we were captured on the way. That’s why I am doing this – to protect my sister.

Well, I have a twin sister too, so I know what you mean. Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

An unusual fact? I can speak High Elvish – the old noble language. Not many people can – not many elves.

What 2 or 3 questions do you wish I’d asked and what are your answers to them?

Why are the elves so oppressed? War, death, tainted magic. There was a plague which almost destroyed the elves and men and the elves were blamed. All elves are a little magical and this plague fed on magic and spread across the lands. The humans say the Order took over to impose martial law, the elves say they did it to end the dominion of the Elfkind, but the plague and the wars had already done that.
How do I feel? I am ashamed, frightened and alone.
Will I live to see the end of this adventure? I doubt it.

Well, I wish you good luck. I’m sure you’ll make it alive. Let me ask my nosy questions to someone else now – hoping he’s not that uptight… Tell me a little about yourself, mister.

I am Captain Marden Harlsen – I’m about thirty – but who is counting?

I most certainly don’t! Describe your appearance in ten words or less.

Sandy hair, well built human male.

What is your role in the story?

It’s complicated. I’m a Witch-Hunter under cover in a group of elves and mages. My role is to ensure Th’alia does what is required. Or at the least deal with this Archmage. For appearance’s sake (and my own safety) I am her escort through the human lands.

What is your relationship with the protagonist?

It’s complicated…Th’alia is an elf. She can not be more than a bit of amusement. I cannot allow myself to become attached to her, but I do find myself enjoying her company, now and then…

Where do you live?

I live at Greytower fort. I don’t really have another home. I don’t often see my family.

Are you involved in a relationship? If so, with who and what is it about them that you find appealing?

There are women now and then, or elves if I am bored but no one special. It’s difficult to maintain a relationship in my profession. It’s not actually forbidden but it causes conflicts of interest.

What is the biggest challenge you face in the story?

Not being found out. I suspect in a group of elves, half elves and mages I’m not going to be popular. To be honest I’m not sure I thought it through when I agreed. I am one man… let’s home Th’alia does what she needs to and my back up arrive.

Do you have a moral code?

I’m a Witch-Hunter. My word is law. In theory, of course there are plenty of people who think otherwise. Moral code? I don’t kill unless it’s necessary and I try and give those I do kill a quick death.

Please give me an interesting and unusual fact about yourself.

I’m not keen on snakes.

LOL! Who is? What 2 or 3 questions do you wish I’d asked and what are your answers to them?

Do I feel guilty about who and what I am?

No, not often. Well not very often. The Witch-Hunters uphold the law and protect the populous against magic.

Do I think I will live through this? I hope so… although as time goes by I feel less and less certain.


Book(s) in which the character appears and links

The Shining Citadel – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles – Book II

Amazon UK

Barnes and Noble


Amazon UK

Audible UK

Author bio

British-born Alexandra Butcher (a/k/a A. L. Butcher) is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative.  She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.

Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.

Social Media links

Amazon Author page

Facebook Author Page



Library of Erana Blog

Linked In



Sunday Surprise

And it’s a guest! As announced, our mighty curator A.L. Butcher is here to talk about her first bundle – More Than Human – and all those neat things happening in her writerly life! You may remember her from the Wyrd Worlds Anthologies… Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back A.L. Butcher!

Where do you live and write from?

I am from the UK, born and raised in the South East and now residing in rainy Bristol (in the South West).

Why do you write?

Because I enjoy it, because it’s part of who I am and because otherwise all the people, ideas and voices in my head would drive me mad.

Writing is a release – and to me it is freedom. Nothing is impossible in fiction, unlikely yes, but not impossible. That’s one reason I like to read and write fantasy. Fantasy is the ‘what if’, ‘it can be’, it is pure escapism.

When did you start writing?

I was the ‘imaginative’ child at school – the one who couldn’t concentrate on boring things and was usually off somewhere in my own head. Hmm, not much changes…I’d often write poetry or short stories for the school displays. I suppose though it was when I started writing adventures for Role Playing Games (yes, yes I’m a geek and proud). The novels and short stories developed from those.

I’m lucky, my parents always encouraged us to read from an early age and be creative. One sister is an artist, and one teaches English and drama.

What genre(s) do you write?

Poetry, fantasy, fantasy romance, short stories, and a bit of horror.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

To give up the day job I don’t like much and be able to write full-time. What am I doing about it? Writing, networking, writing more, working on various projects. Studying too although I don’t have much energy for that as well, these days.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Write what you want to read. If you want to read it, someone else will too. Don’t necessarily write what is ‘popular’ today, as it may not be popular tomorrow.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Improviser, definitely. I have an idea and things grow from that. The story usually tells me where it wants to go, sometimes after it’s got there…

I have a full-time job, and various health issues so I don’t write as much as I’d like. Often I’m too tired or brainfried to do anything creative so I tend to write in spurts. So I suppose both and neitheranswers the second question…

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

I have two – The Shining Citadel is the second in my Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles series but can be read as a stand alone. It’s set in the world of Erana – a dark fantasy world where magic is illegal, but pretty much everywhere, and elves and non-humans live as slaves. Mages can be executed simply for being mages, if they are caught, and to be an Elven mage is doubly dangerous. Humans are more likely to report a non-human.

So our heroes set out to find a missing elven artefact and end up discovering a lost elven citadel and a lot of unwelcome truths. We have a human (well he isn’t but you’ll have to read the book to discover WHAT he is) sorcerer, who is also a nobleman and a crimelord; an elven sorceress who used to be a slave and knows little of her own history; a half-elven servant, who is also an assassin and works for the crimelord; a forest elf trying to regain her people’s heritage; a Witch-Hunter undercover, and a Troll prince… Plus two elves who are in an impossible situation and might be about to commit treason…

Of course. Nothing is as simple as it first appears, people have secrets which might well be fatal and then there is the ‘lost’ elven citadel hunted for by our heroes, who want to preserve it, and our bad guys who want to destroy it. And there is a bit of romance and time for naughtiness too 😊

The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales – is a collection of short fantasy stories featuring mischievous imps who lurk in your washing machine and raid your fridge, a baffled wizard/god in charge of a rather familiar blue/green world, cunning thieves and a secret kitchen. It’s a lot of fun.

Tell us about your latest book

The latest publication is The Watcher – A Jack the Ripper Story. It’s a short story from the Ripper’s point of view, covering the last murder. It’s dark. Technically it’s not new as it was previously published in an anthology but has been revised and expanded.

The Watcher – A Jack the Ripper Story
The year is 1888, and the place is Whitechapel, in the very heart of London. But the heart is bleeding. A mysterious killer is stalking women of the streets – his true name is unknown but his legend will go down in history. This is a short tale of Jack the 18 rated for scenes of violence.

Amazon UK


Barnes and Noble


Bundle Rabbit

Shortly before that I published Tears and Crimson Velvet – which is part of the Legacy of the Mask Tales. These feature characters based around Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera. They are ‘what ifs’and ‘might have beens.

Madam Giry finds herself embroiled in the tragedy unfolding at the Opera house; mystery and murder stalk the corridors and, it is said, a ghost haunts the place. Giry knows the truth, for she recalls the caged man she met so many years ago. This is her story, their story.

When murder and mystery begin at the Opera House one woman knows who is behind it, and what really lies beneath the mask. Secrets, lies and tragedy sing a powerful song in this ‘might have been’ tale.

A short, tragic tale based on characters from Phantom of the Opera.
A Legacy of the Mask Tale.

Not to mention the More Than Human Bundle

Bundle Rabbit




To save. To guard. To heal.

Beloved people, precious things, and sacred spaces move our hearts and inspire us to defend them.

In these tales of redemption and rescue, more-than-human heroes stand forth as champions to protect all that is worthy of protection.

Walk with these elves, imps, wizards, dryads, gods, and guardians as they subdue demons, free the enslaved, preserve the world, comfort the exiled, and cross swords with the dark. Read and revel in their triumphs and tribulations.

The Shining Citadel – A. L. Butcher
Technological Angel – Barbara G. Tarn
Needle-Green – Debbie Mumford
The Cartographer’s Daughter – Karen L. Abrahamson
Serpent’s Foe – J.M. Ney-Grimm
The Crystal Courtesan – Karen L. Abrahamson
The First Book of Old Mermaids Tales – Kim Antieau
The Guardians – Book 1 – Don Viecelli
Love Apidae (A Recumon Story) – Michael R. E. Adams
The Flat Above the Wynd – Alexandra Brandt
The Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales – A. L. Butcher

Any other projects in the pipeline?
Lots. I am working on Book IV of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles, which picks up after events of books II and III. Also, I am working on a novella for my Tales of Erana series, various short stories and a couple of ‘secret’ projects.
I have various bundles planned – including Mythic Tales in November, Immortals, Frisky February, Seasonal Bundles, Here Be Dragons, and lastly a Warrior’s Bundle to raise money for a couple of charities which support wounded and elderly ex-service persons.


Author Bio:

A. L. Butcher is the British author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles series and several short stories in the fantasy and fantasy romance genre.  She is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet and a dreamer. When she is grounded in the real world she likes science, natural history, history and monkeys. Her work has been described as ‘dark and gritty’






Sunday Surprise

And here’s another bundle author! This time from the U.S. of A. and I even had the pleasure to meet her – although both being introverts, our conversations weren’t worth listening to… but our books are worth reading, I promise! 🙂 So, without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Sabrina Chase!

Where do you live and write from?


Why do you write?

My favorite writers don’t write as fast as I read–and I like telling stories. Then I discovered it was even more fun having readers!

When did you start writing?

I think I was around 13, probably a school assignment. That poor teacher probably wondered where the spaceships came from. I make no apologies for my love of spaceships.

What genre(s) do you write?

Science fiction and fantasy of all flavors (steampunkish alt-history, high fantasy, YA adventure)

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

My goal is writing that sucks the reader in, transparent and immersive. Readers should not even be aware of the page or the writing, just the story. I also want my books to be the kind that people read again and again for pleasure, like old friends.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Use all five senses to really draw the reader into the world you’re creating. Never forget you are competing for the reader’s beer money (i.e. deliver entertainment and value).

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

Improviser, or pantser. I vary on speed, never as fast as I want to be… there are too many books I want to write.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle.

Firehearted was the very first book I wrote. It started off just as a short story, but one of my beta readers got quite agitated and insisted there was more and I had to write it. I used things I learned from my military history hobby, filing off the serial numbers of some historical battles and using them in the story. At heart it is about how different cultures have different descriptions of honor, but they all have the concept of honor–and understanding the core allows for mutual respect. Also, pet tigers are cool!

Tell us about your latest book.

One Blood is the continuation of the story started in The Scent of Metal, which was my revenge-for-Pluto book. Pluto is really an abandoned alien ship! And a computer geek explorer wakes up the AI by accident. Find it on Amazon.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

Soul Code , the sequel to One Blood with more evil aliens and rescued AI ships!


Find Sabrina online



Author Central



Sunday Surprise

As promised, I shall start introducing you to my fellow bundle authors! And the first is ahead of me, down under, so I thought it would be perfect to introduce her first! 😉 Although she was the first to answer my questions probably because she’s ahead of the rest of us… And hey, we have the same writing guru (altough we did different online workshops from his list)! 😀 Anyhow, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Diane J. Cornwell!

Where do you live and write from?

I live in a country town in Northern New South Wales, Australia, about 2 hours from a major city and an hour from the closest beaches.

I love the peace and quiet, and slow pace of a country lifestyle, which is so different from the fast pace of cities.

Why do you write?

To amuse myself.

When did you start writing?

In primary school.

What genre(s) do you write?

So far, I have written in Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Cosy Mystery.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

My goal as a writer is to continue to learn how to write stories that immerse the reader from start to end without putting the book down. Basically write every story as a Page Turner while leading the reader on an emotional journey.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?

Best advice? “Keep writing and keep learning” from Dean Wesley Smith.

The next best advice was from Boy George talking about singing. He said “Break their hearts.” I took this to mean let the reader feel the emotions of the characters in each story.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I outline just enough to know where the story leads, then wait for my muse to change direction as the action unfolds. And enjoy the story as I write it.

I would say I am a slow writer, as I only write in the mornings, averaging 500 to 700 words per hour. If I am not interrupted by family and friends, or chores requiring my attention, I can keep writing for 3 – 5 hours.

Tell us more about your book in the bundle

Rider is the first in my Tracker series.

It came about during a Dean Wesley Smith workshop course on Genre differences. One assignment gave us a male protagonist who works with horses and an female assassin antagonist, in a big city setting, searching for a missing person. I had to come up with story outlines for Romance, Mystery, Science Fiction and Fantasy.

I let my muse play with the four outlines since I was out of my depth with Romance and Fantasy. Fun, to say the least. Yes I got the assignment done, and finished the Genre workshop.

After the workshop, I was planning on writing the SciFi story, but a Series course was developed by Holly Lisle, so I changed tack and chose to work through the series course writing in the new fantasy world I created based on the fantasy outline during the Genre course.

Thankfully, I am still amusing myself after writing Rider, Guard, Judge and Mage. Now I am writing the fifth Tracker story, I hope to tie up all loose ends developed over the four stories. I want to end the series positively, in case I want to add more stories to the series in a year or two, but I can’t guarantee there will not be any deaths of main characters or even minor characters.

When I have completed the Tracker series, I still want to write the Science Fiction outline from the workshop. And if I have time, the Romance and Mystery outlines at some future date.

You can visit the Tift Publishing Tracker Series page to see the covers and blurbs of the rest of the published Tracker series, and follow the links to the different distributors. However, I don’t expect the fifth book will be ready for a few months, as I have to finish writing it, then get it edited while the cover is created and approved. As soon as possible, the cover will appear on Tift Publishing home page and Coming Soon page, advising the publishing date.

Any other projects in the pipeline?

I definitely don’t have a problem writing outlines from one or two ideas. There are always ideas popping into my head. If I think they are worth following up at a later date, I write down enough of the idea outline, 2 – 3 sentences, to remind me later what I was thinking, then promptly forget it while I work on current WIPs. Otherwise I would not get any stories completed, because I would jump from one idea to another.

An example of other projects is, while writing one scene, I wanted a talisman for the assassin, so I stopped writing to make a tatted bangle with beads. I had to borrow a jewellery making book from the library to work out the clasp. Once done, I went back to the scene and added the details of the tatted bangle. Then had to add the bangle onto the assassin’s arm in the cover images. Here’s a link to my djmills writer blog page with images of the bangle.

Story reveal here so stop reading if you want to read the stories.



My assassin, Misty Locke, is not a mage. Can’t do any magic at all. So, mages can stop her from killing them, if they are quick and agile.

She can not receive images in her mind from dragons and tracker horses. As she rides a tracker mare, Sweetie, but can not “hear” Sweetie communicate, and can not receive dragon images in her mind, I worked out how she could receive a talisman so that she can “hear” both trackers and dragons. The dragons would gift her a talisman, with the magic in the beads to allow her to receive dragon images.

The side benefit was she could also “hear’ her tracker mare, Sweetie, when she touched the talisman. You can read about the dragon talisman on my writer blog.

This was done to keep true to the culture in the Tracker series world. Now I am thinking about tooth extraction of citizens of Convane by medic mages or ordinary citizens. Fun and games.

If you want to learn more on my creative efforts you can follow my writing blog.

Or my DianeJCornwell author blog announcing new releases and sales, and other information for readers.

You can also sign up for the Tift Publishing Newsletter to announce each release and other publishing news, or by clicking the Tift Publishing link on the other two blogs.

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