Sunday, April 20, 2014

Banks-Butler Book Tour: Keith Gaston



  • Paperback: 324 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1456473298
  • ISBN-13: 978-1456473297


  • D-Shroud, a criminal kingpin, has dreams of growing his empire. By selling three suitcase nuclear weapons to buyers that have no compunctions about using them, he believes he can secure his vision. Tease, his number one assassin, is beautiful and deadly. When a mysterious Washington attorney named Shaw asks too many questions about D-Shroud, Tease is ordered to put an end to Shaw’s life. Shaw is blamed for a crime he didn’t commit. Pursued by police and being tracked by an insane killer, his problems become even more complicated by an undeniable heat rising between him and Tease. With tens of thousands of lives at stake, will Shaw’s passion for Tease take precedence over his sense of duty?


    • Print Length: 187 pages
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B007WH8KPQ

      After Tease is abducted by an unknown organization, her face, name, and very identity are eradicated. They trained her to be a better assassin. 

    She becomes Sphinx--she’s fouled mouth, hot tempered and deadly.

    Her first mission as Sphinx is to travel to a remote tropical island posing as a scientist to get close to Viceroy, a ruthless drug lord. Her goal is to entice him and to discover all she can about Grandeur, a new, incredibly addictive drug. Standing in her way is Boss (The Devil) Jacobs, Viceroy’s adviser and security chief. He is immediately suspicious of Sphinx and does everything in his powerful to find out if she is who she claims to be. 

    With little patience for the spy game or taking orders, it’s only a matter of time before Sphinx falls back on the psychotic ways of her former self. And when that happens--all hell will break loose.



    • Paperback: 296 pages
    • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 26, 2013)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1482632306
    • ISBN-13: 978-1482632309


    In his Washington DC office, his door reads: Shaw, Attorney at Law, but he has never fought a case in court. He has no known residence and barely anyone who he can count as a friend. He works for a clandestine agency with no name and no real ties to the government. His true identity is cloaked in mystery. Tease, once an assassin for a powerful crime lord, now works for an agency no one knows exists. Her face and body has been changed, along with her identity. As Sphinx, she was trained to be a better killer and brought down an operation marketing a deadly new drug called, Grandeur. Always a loner, she is forced to work with a team who does not have a problem cutting her throat if she ever steps out of line. The chase for two deadly men who control nuclear devices nears its explosive end. The tables have turned on Shaw. For years he was the hunter, but now he has become prey. Assassins from around the world have been commissioned to take him down at any cost. Fighting to stay alive long enough to complete his mission, Shaw knows the clock is ticking ever closer to a nuclear explosion unless he succeeds. With hundreds of thousands of lives at stake, failure is not an option. To make matters worse, a familiar enemy of Tease’s reemerges from her past, rekindling their deadly rivalry. This time the killing isn't for business, it’s personal.




    About the Author

    D. Keith Gaston was born in Detroit, Michigan. He served in the military as an Infantry soldier. After leaving the Army, he earned his Bachelors degree at Davenport University and began a career in Computer Networking. Since then, he’d earned two Masters Degrees from the University of Phoenix. Keith Gaston is a devoted husband and father residing in Michigan. He is currently working on his next novel.








    This is his Author Page at Amazon:

    Saturday, April 19, 2014

    Banks Butler Book tour: Jeff Carroll







  • Paperback: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Hip Hop Comix N Flix (2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982008732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982008737

  • Amidst the darkest demons there are heroes/forces/beings, which speak the same language of violence, and terror that the demons do. These are the guardians who protect us. We call them angels but to the vampires and werewolves they are called thugs. Thug Angel Rebirth of a gargoyle tells the story of Maurice Keita a thousand year old gargoyle who is peacefully raising his daughter but when werewolves attempt to stake claim to his turf they find out he is the wrong immortal to mess with. Since becoming a father sitting in the shadows perched on the top of a buildings just couldn't do it for him anymore. Gargoyles have been protecting human souls since long before the pyramids were built. Their battles have been fought in underworld environments where humans are not aware of. Maurice could contain his battles to shadows of humans when he was just protecting random people but when his daughter gets mixed up with a gang of vampire his fury will not be limited. For years vampires only fought hunters wielding wooden stakes and werewolves fought off silver bullets now they will have to fight someone who will go full out gangster on them. A gargoyle who is tough enough to match their evil. Someone who will kill their human helpers just to get to them. Another immortal who is not scared of them, a Thug Angel. The devil has a new enemy and it is Maurice Keita! THUG ANGEL Rebirth of a gargoyle is set to change the face of Streetlit and Black Scifi by author Jeff Carroll. Jeff Carroll a lover of Scifi films and action stories sought to bring his two loves together in his second novel. It was when he novelized his award winning movie Gold Digger Killer and it was classified as a streetlit story he then realized the lack of diversity in the streetlit genre. The goal he set for himself was to write a story in a universe like the movie Underworld with the energy of the movie Training Day.

    His website is: http://hhcnf.blogspot.com/


    Friday, April 18, 2014

    Banks-Butler Book Tour: Valjeanne Jeffers




    Valjeanne is the author of Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend, Immortal III: Stealer of Souls, The Switch II: Clockwork (includes books I and II), Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds and several short works of fiction. She was also interviewed in the groundbreaking volume, 60 Years of Black Women in Horror Fiction.
    Her writing has appeared in numerous anthologies including: Steamfunk!, Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology, PurpleMag, Genesis Science Fiction Magazine, Pembroke Magazine, Possibilities, 31 Days of Steamy Mocha, Griots II: Sisters of the Spear, Drumvoices Revue, Say It Loud: Poems About James Brown, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, Liberated Muse: How I Freed My Soul Volume I (also under Valijeanne Jeffers and Valjeanne Jeffers-Thompson) and Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction Volumes I and II.


    • Print Length: 34 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    • Publisher: Valjeanne Jeffers-Thompson (October 25, 2011)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B005ZWQ66K


    An erotic, science fiction tale of betrayal and rebirth (sneak peek)

    "In the instant before he lifted her face to his strange puckered mouth she saw them. Stripes of brown and orange all over his body, and a dozen suction caps lined his chest..."

    Allandra has always dreamed of life on other planets. But this mission she'll find more than she ever dreamed of. From the mind of Valjeanne Jeffers, author of Immortal, comes an erotic tale that's out of this world. Cover art and design by Quinton Veal. 

    Look for the full novel of Colony: A Space Opera later this year!


    Thursday, April 17, 2014

    Banks-Butler Book Tour: Milton Davis



    Milton Davis is one of the prime movers in Black independent publishing of speculative fiction through his publication company, MVMEDIA. His own books include the "sowrd and soul" books: 
    Meji Book Two
    Changa's Safari, 
    Changa's Safari Volume Two
     and A Debt To Pay


    Milton Davis has also been credited in leading the revival of Sword and Soul, a heroic fiction subgenre created by Charles R.Saunders, author of Imaro and Dossouye. He is also an innovator of Black speculative fiction anthologies. 

    The anthology he has edited include:
    Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology
    Griots II: Sisters of the Spear
    and the critically-acclaimed Steamfunk!

    Milton currently resides in the Metro Atlanta with his wife and children. He continues to work as a chemist while finally enjoying his passion for writing.


    His now venture will be providing Children's and Tween speculative fiction for Minority and African-American children.  


    • Print Length: 222 pages
    • Publisher: MVmedia, LLC (December 15, 2013)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00H0J152G


    Thirteen year old Amber Robinson's life is full of changes. Her parents are sending her to a private school away from her friends, and high school looms before her. But little does she know that her biggest change awaits in a mysterious city hidden from the world for a thousand years. 

    Why? Amber's grandmother is a princess from this magical kingdom of Marai. She's been summoned home to use her special abilities to select the new king but she no longer has the gift, and her daughter was never trained for the task. That leave only one person with the ability to save the city: Amber! But there are those who are determined that Amber never reaches Marai and they will do anything to stop her. 

    Prepare yourself for an exciting adventure that spans from the Atlanta suburbs to the grasslands of Mali. It's a story of a girl who discovers her hidden abilities and heritage in a way that surprises and entertains.


    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

    Banks-Butler Book Tour: Balogun Ojetade



  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: MVmedia, LLC (September 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0980084237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0980084238

  • An exciting Sword and Soul tale by Balogun Ojetade, Once Upon a Time in Afrika Tells the story of a beautiful princess and her eager suitors. Desperate to marry off his beautiful but "tomboyish" duaghter, Esuseeke, the Emperor of Oyo, consults the Oracle. The Oracle tells the Emperor Esuseeke must marry the greatest warrior in all Onile (Afrika). To determine who is the greatest warrior, the Emperor hosts a grand martial arts tournament inviting warrior from all over the continent. Unknown to the warriors and spectators of the tournament a powerful evil is headed their way. Will the warriors band together against this evil?







    He is one of the co-creators and co-producers of Rite of Passage, a steamfunk movie






    Balogun Ojetade is the author of the bestselling Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within and screenwriter / producer / director of the films, A Single Link and Rite of Passage: Initiation. He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk – a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach to life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or steampunk fiction – and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at http://chroniclesofharriet.com/. He is author of three novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the Urban Science Fiction saga, Redeemer; and the Sword & Soul epic, Once Upon A Time In Afrika and contributing co-editor of two anthologies: Ki: Khanga: The Anthology and Steamfunk. At present, Balogun is directing and fight choreographing the Steamfunk feature film, Rite of Passage, which he wrote based on the short story, Rite of Passage, by author Milton Davis. He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk –a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach to life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or steampunk fiction – and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at http://chroniclesofharriet.com/. He is author of three novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the science fiction gangster saga, Redeemer; and the Sword & Soul epic, Once Upon A Time In Afrika. He is also co-creator of the soon-to-be-released role-playing game, Ki-Khanga™: The Sword & Soul RPG. Balogun is Master Instructor of the Afrikan Martial Arts Institute and Technical Director of Martial Ministries of America, a non-profit organization that serves at-risk youth. He is also a traditional African priest, actor and conflict resolution specialist, who works and lives in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife, his seven daughters and his son.


    This is his website




    Tuesday, April 15, 2014

    Banks-Butler Book Tour: Alan D Jones






  • Series: To Wrestle with Darkness
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Rising Sun Group Publishing; 1 edition (October 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0966667964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966667967

  • EXCERPT:


    Review:
    From slavery to sacrifices to victory -- a journey worth taking February 10, 2014
    By Ruth DeJauregui

    This fascinating prequel to "To Wrestle With Darkness", Sacrifices, which is book two of the trilogy, follows the four sisters -- Cil, Deborah, Ruth and Sarah have a destiny to fulfill.
    I'm not usually a fan of stories that leap back and forth in time, from the 1700s to the present, but in this case, Jones did a masterful job in not only keeping the story on-track through the centuries, but as the book drew to a close, it all became clear. The story really was in sequence, although at first it didn't look that way at all

    From slavery to sacrifices to victory, the story of the family and their journey from the past to the future is deeply imbedded in not just Christianity, but also ancient mythology, Sacrifices tells us of both Faith and the consequences of actions and reactions, whether well-meant or knowingly stepping off the path of righteousness.

    I not only thoroughly enjoyed this book, I'd read it again, and again. There's depths to the story that will only reveal themselves on rereading, and I'm looking forward to the journey.

    Excerpt from “Sacrifices”

    One by one, four black horses, exploded out of nothingness into the white pristine snowfall of a Scandinavian winter night. Each horse ran hard through the woods of fresh powder. Atop each horse, rode a daughter of Hosea draped in black. Each rider rode with such purpose that no words were needed. Each knew her destination. On the way, they encountered a time walker dressed in white by the name of Akina. Cil pulled on the reins of her steed and her sisters followed suit. “Akina, all is as expected?” she asked.

    Akina pulled back her fur lined hood to reply, “Yes, Auntie, all is as expected. But, you know that. Don’t you?”

    Cil said nothing but smiled before she kicked her heels into her horse and rode off into the darkness. One
    by one, each of her sisters proceeded past Akina. First was Deborah, who had, as Akina would later describe, a wide-eyed, overly-excited look on her face. It was almost a bloodlust. Next came Ruth Ann, with a thousand miles away stare on her face. Bringing up the rear was Sarah, with her ever-present sunglasses firmly in place. She rode past Akina flashing her trademark irrepressible smile. Sarah’s opponents hated that smile and longed to wipe it off her face. The sisters followed Cil through the woods and towards the castle on the northern bay. They rode hard and fast through the woods as a winter’s full moon illuminated their path. 

    As the sisters broke through the tree line, a castle and the wall that surrounded it were plainly in sight. They rode toward the guard tower along the outer wall. Nordic soldiers lined the top of the wall in a heightened state of readiness. As the sisters approached, a gate in the wall swung open and they passed through on their shiny black horses. Aunt Cil led them up the central corridor toward the castle beyond. Residents in the courtyard gasped as the four hooded riders proceeded, escorted by several guards on horseback. 

    The ladies quickly dismounted in front of the castle and walked briskly towards the large wooden front doors. One of the guards barked out a command and once again a set of doors swung open before the women this time opening into a grand hall. The king and his court were sitting in their assigned places at the other end of the hall. It was clear that the Aunties were expected. 

    The members of the court were adorned in their finest coats and pelts. A feast for four was laid out on the great dining table, but the sisters paid it no mind. It was an offering of sorts, but Cil and her sisters had no time for such things. 

    They stood before the court and removed their hoods. This action froze the crowd more than the weather outside ever could. The sight of the four black women standing shoulder to shoulder left their mouths agape. 
    Deborah leaned over to Ruth and whispered, “They’re looking at our hair.” 

    Ruth rolled her eyes.

    Cil motioned for Deborah to step forward. Deborah did so and began to speak to the king and his court in their native tongue. Deborah had the gift of speaking in the tongue of many languages. She could even speak languages that she’d never heard before. So, she translated between the parties. 

    “King Helwig, Queen Helwig, and members of the royal court as our herald undoubtedly communicated to you, we are here to rid your realm of the terror currently approaching your gates.”

    King Helwig stood up, “We saw what your herald can do but what can you do that would warrant us putting our faith in you to resolve this matter?” He pointed at the Aunties as he made this last point.

    Cil nodded to Sarah. She removed her shades which immediately revealed her glowing eyes. Then, she gazed upon a large urn of water and unleashed a red hot beam from those eyes that split the urn in half spilling the water it contained onto the stone floor.

    Next, Ruth Ann stepped forward. She raised her hands, and in a single scooping motion projected a blue shell which scooped the remains of the broken and still smoldering urn into the air. The sphere hovered in the air spinning slightly before launching upwards bursting through the ceiling and into the night sky. The entire court could see the blue ball accelerate towards the great beyond and out of sight.

    Then, when all eyes landed on Deborah, she simply vanished. From the spot on the floor where she had stood, a spring sprung up spouting water thirty feet into the air. The geyser began to rage and quickly filled the hall with water. Suddenly, water began to flow into the hall from everywhere. Water flowed from every opening including the windows, the cracks in the walls, and the new hole in the ceiling. Members of the court scurried up the king’s landing and to the throne to escape the rising waters. Just as her audience began to panic, the water disappeared and Deborah reappeared right where she had been when the phenomena began as though nothing happened.

    Finally, Cil raised her staff but before she could demonstrate anything, the king motioned towards her vigorously shaking his head. There was little need for Deborah to translate.

    Deborah glanced towards Cil and then said to the king, “About our fee…”


    Link to Purchase book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sacrifices-Wrestle-Darkness-Book-Jones-ebook/dp/B00G1R1C1W/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1397533249

    Or if you prefer, the TinyURL: http://tinyurl.com/kydzcee

    “Sacrifices” blog post: http://alandjones.com/2013/10/19/sacrifices/

    About Me: http://about.me/alan.jones

    Website for Sacrifices: http://alandjones.com/sacrifices/

    Reading from Book Release, Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FlBQ31RhRfI

    Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/?ref=tn_tnmn#!/pages/Sacrifices/130230720341543

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/poppa1050


    Instagram: http://instagram.com/poppa1050

    This is his blog


    Monday, April 14, 2014

    Butler-Banks Tour kicks off with Colby R Rice


    The tour kicks off with Colby R Rice:

    This is her book page on amazon

    Her books are:

    • Print Length: 239 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    • Publisher: Rebel Ragdoll Press; I edition (December 2, 2013)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B00H86G7JW

    For over one hundred years the Civic Order and the Alchemic Order have held a shaky truce, peppered by violence and mistrust. But when Koa, a Civilian-born insurgency, bombs an Alchemist summit, the truce is shattered. Now, Koa is rising. War is coming. And all sixteen-year-old Zeika Anon can do is keep moving as she watches the lords of alchemy slowly overtake her home.
    But when clashes between Koa and the Alchemic Order put a final, deadly squeeze on the remaining Civilian territories, Zeika finds herself in the crosshairs of fate. She must walk the line between survival and rebellion against the Alchemists. On one side of the line awaits death. On the other, the betrayal of her civilization, her loyalties, and herself. --- GHOSTS OF KOA is a fast-paced, post-apocalyptic survival tale, set in the streets of a dying city that has been crushed by alchemic law. Layered with the elements of gritty crime drama, dark urban fantasy, hard sci-fi, and horror, GHOSTS OF KOA is a wild ride to the end of a young girl's sanity as she struggles with an impossible choice: to keep one step ahead of a war... or to be consumed by it.


    About the Author:
    Sci-fi, Fantasy, & Thriller Novelist. Screenwriter. Film Producer. Globetrotter. Action Junkie. Rebel Ragdoll.
    A shameless nerd and bookworm since the age of five, Colby R Rice is the author of Ghosts of Koa, the first novel in The Books of Ezekiel, a dystopian-urban fantasy decalogy. She was an Air Force BRAT born in Bitburg Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany and came to the States at the age of one. Colby bounced around a lot, but finally settled in Los Angeles, where she could at last deal with her addictions to creative entrepreneurship, motorcycles, and traveling.
    Now, armed with a mound of animal crackers and gallons of Coca-Cola, Colby takes on fiction writing in a fight to the death!
    Current projects include: the second novel in the Books of Ezekiel series, the first novel in a middle grade SFF detective series, the first novel in an adult sci-fi thriller series, development of her first sci-fi thriller film, and the growth of her production house, Rebel Ragdoll. Stay tuned at www.colbyrrice.com! ;-)


    Find out about Colby Rice here:
    This tour is dedicated to the memory and hard work done by these two writers:  L A Banks and Octavia Butler.


    Banks/Butler Book Tour: Interview about the Constant Tower



    An interview I had with Mirta Ana Schulz for her blog:

    Carole McDonnell is a gifted writer. I first encountered her work when I readWIND FOLLOWER some years ago. THE CONSTANT TOWER is an even more ambitious novel with the same profoundly multicultural and spiritual voice. I wanted to interview her on the blog–my first author interview here–because she is on the long list of nominees for the CLIVE STAPLES AWARD (see yesterday’s blog post). I’d like her to make the shortlist. Her novel deserves it. Deserves to win, imo. But in any case, deserves to be more widely read, especially among folks who love SF and who love God–though one certainly doesn’t need to belong to any religion to enjoy this exciting, rich, poetic, complex novel of family conflict, tribal wars,  personal growth, love, trials, adventure, and discovery.
    So, here’s my Q and A with Carole (links to her web presence sites are listed at the end):
    Q. Before we get to any questions on the book/story, could you give a brief introduction of who you are and what you write and even, perhaps, why?
    Hi, thanks for interviewing me, Mir. My name is Carole McDonnell. I write, Christian multicultural fiction and Bible studies. I’m not sure why I write, or maybe I write for many reasons. I write to live, I think. I write to share what I know about this life. I write because like any little minority girl, I grew up subtly making mental adaptations of televised stories — “Why isn’t Juliet Black? Why didn’t the writers create a black girl in Single White Female?” I write to people Christian fiction with minorities and to people secular minority fiction with Christians. I write to make a little money. I write because certain characters come to me and I love them so much that I want to share them with the world. Thus, I have to finish a story..so other people can get to know my characters.
    Q. The novel is long and complex. But if you had to give us one sentence to encapsulate the heart, the core of this novel, what would you say? What would you say was the core theme?
    Oh gee, so many there are so many themes in the book. But if I could choose one, I’d say it’s about the main theme is about clans we are born into –racial, spiritual, cultural– and how sometimes we don’t quite fit into that clan. As a Christian, an ethnic minority, etc. But families, clans, gangs, are not our true home. We will find found families, especially the found family of “called-out ones” as the church is called. Still, we’re humans and we’re kinda stuck.  Also, the constant tower represents the true religion and how it is there for any who can recognize it.
    Q. Can you comment on what trigger (s) inspired this story, the seed that set your imagination growing about Psal and his world?
    I dreamed of a world where an old couple woke up to find that the landmarks, trees, houses, roads, in their neighborhood were all moved. Then one of them said, “But the tower is constant.” After that, some of the characters started appearing to me in dreams to introduce themselves.
    Q. Your novels WIND FOLLOWER and THE CONSTANT TOWER both use a world-creation situation that I call “bringing the globe together”: you bring cultures together as if the continents had joined and they were forced to affect one another directly. It has a sense of otherness and “usness” at the same time. Where does this global vision of yours come from that gives such a unique multicultural flavor to your tales?
    I was a little so-called Oreo who grew up pretty much alone and stuck inside watching PBS when not in school. We also were in a building that didn’t have much blacks. I was in an integrated public school in Brooklyn. The public school had a mini-school within it, made up of 120 special kids, of whom only three of us were black. It was a weird kind of subversion. My best friends were artists and musicians, and they were Orthodox Jewish, secular Jewish, and unitarian. I spent my time chilling with gay music teachers, little old Jewish ladies, or Jamaican women. In college most of my friends were gay guys. I was always kinda other and kinda among friends all at the same time. The PBS thing was also influential. My mother had this terrible fear that we would “come home with the belly” (not something that would ever happen but my mother was a proud Jamaican type) and so I spent my childhood watching tons of archaeology and anthropology programs on TV and watching Janus Films — Japanese, Danish, Swedish, etc. Not to mention British programming such as Masterpiece Theater and cultural shows like “Great Performances.” There were also lots of literature books and archaeology/anthropology books around the house because my mother loved anthropology and archaeology. So of course I read them. I was always fascinated by marriage and courtship rituals. It was interesting to see how those cultures viewed their gods and how they viewed sin. I was especially fascinated with the Yanomamo– the fierce people.
    Q. I loved the character of intelligent, sensitive, damaged Ephan, the albino, and while I understood why dramatically the story that had to be told was Psal’s, I found that I wanted to hear Ephan’s internal tale, too. Is there any chance that there will be related stories in future that give us other character perspectives, that add to the tales of this world? And will we any other novels set in this world in future?
    Ephan would be the perfect hero of a fantasy and I didn’t want that. I hate tropes and I think as a Christian, we need tropes that reflect “God looks on the heart and not the appearance” and also “God’s ways are not our ways.” Christian fiction often tend to be about man’s ways. I wanted a hero who saved the world in spite of himself– God alone doing the work, even though Psal isn’t aware of it. Psal kinda stumbles into the conspiracy. He didn’t even set out to usurp his father’s rule. Psal is an emotional mess, touchy, and over-sensitive. He’s not the type one would think of as a savior…and he really isn’t. But to tell Ephan’s story would mean falling into the common trope of saviors. And definitely telling the story through Netophah’s POV would also be the wrong way to go. The story is told to a child who already knows Ephan’s story because Ephan is such a hero so I wanted to play with that idea.
    I really love this world. If I could create a pleasure planet when I get to heaven, I would create a planet like Odunao. I don’t think I could add more stories to this world, though. Who knows? But when i leave a world, I tend to leave it.
    Q. What was the inspiration for the idea of keening and towers with sentience that move?
    So many stories are about the human mind. I wanted a story about the human heart. Christians are not supposed to trust mental faith but heart faith, and it’s our conscience and our heart that steers us. Everything in the Constant Tower is about the heart and so the towers are ruled and led by human hearts. There’s a touch of quantum physics there. There is also a level of empathy/telepathy/communication between humans and humans and between humans and other living or non-living things. I didn’t want to overdo it but there are moments when someone thinks a thing and then there’s a kind of lag time and suddenly the character he’s talking to then repeats what the first character thought. It happens when Nahas talks to Ktwala, when Psal talks to his father, when Ephan talks to Psal. That’s the way human communication often happens…but we aren’t aware of it because we have been taught to listen to words. But because the humans in CT are used to thinking that “hearing the heart” is no big deal, they have no problem with sentience. I also wanted to show that scientific development doesn’t mirror earth’s. The science in Constant Tower doesn’t say “steel age must follow iron age.” So the towers have solar crystals and there is a bit of quantum physics and the knowledge of astronomy.
    Q. Can you define the term “unmaking,” and was there something in particular that triggered you to create this story phenomenon?
    The god of this world wants to show people how lost they are without community. The history of Odunao was rife with bloodshed and this unmaking is a reminder to the people about their need to learn how to live in community. To be unmade is to feel one’s body being scattered and remade because –usually because of one’s sin against community– one has been cast out. It is a nightly meeting with one’s own death and one’s own conscience and it’s designed to make one think twice about acting against one’s community.
    Q. THE CONSTANT TOWER offers tribal marital customs that might make some readers, particularly those of the conservative clans of the faith, uncomfortable. Could you define an eimi for our readers and talk a bit about how you chose this system for the marital formation?
    American Christians tend to be pretty addicted to American culture and to legalism. The laws in Exodus were made for the Israelites but when we try to get someone saved, we don’t show them the good news of God’s kingdom or even the good news of salvation. We generally just show them that they were bad and now that they are saved they must be good for Christ’s sake and behave according to our laws. I do think we should behave sinlessly but Christ’s love and God’s love is more important and is the main thing. The Creator in Constant Tower has laws as all good Creators do. But he is also love. And he is a god of Odunao, not of Earth. He is against adultery, yes, but he is not against extra-marital sex. In fact, he commands it if a woman is alone (kinda like in Leviticus with brother/widow marriage.) And he is against incest, tribal-prejudice, and selfishness. When a Conservative Christian reads this book, he must try to not be American about his views. In the same way, if a conservative missionary goes to another country or into the house of a neighbor who is another religion, he is supposed to separate his Americanness from his proclamation of the kingdom.
    The Wheel Clan is profoundly eugenistic, profoundly addicted to aborting sick children, profoundly imperialistic, profoundly committed to population control. In such a world, they use abortifacients. Women are always dying from that. So there is a lack of women. In addition, they prevent certain people from marrying. Before Nahas became king, his father was even worse. Hence, there is a lack of women. Since warriors are the only ones allowed to marry, and since longhouses can only hold so much, and because “the Wheel Clan loves children and every child should have a good home (as abortion activists always say)”..the result is that each woman must have two husbands.
    Q. If a Christian reader shows concern that there is talk and some scenes that encompass sexual aspects of relationships, how would you address their reticence?
    I will only say that I saw the characters doing and saying what they do and say. If that’s how a story comes to me, I can’t change it. Reading anthropology made me realize that many countries are not as uptight about sex as Christians are. I will also add that I don’t just write sex scenes to write sex scenes. Not only sperm is being conveyed. ;-) In Wind Follower, for instance, none of the sex scenes were joyful. There was temptation and cruelty and mindgames. In CT, we are faced with a sex scene– a great act of communication, one would think– but we have a character plotting evil at the same time.
    Q. The songs/poems in the novel are beautiful, very well done. Do you have a favorite one among the songs/poems? Were you inspired by tribal traditions of any particular cultures, from Scripture, both? Can you recommend any of your sources in researching these traditional songs?
    Thank you so much. I was a poet before I became a novelist. My favorite is Psal’s love song about Netophah’s wedding. Psal is the better poet, more so than Ephan. Or at least, as far as we know. I think the directness of Chinese poetry is what influenced me. The song of Solomon also. And general warrior poems and sagas as well. There’s a great book of Chinese poetry called Sunflower Splendor. I highly recommend it.
    Q. Is there a scene or passage or chapter in THE CONSTANT TOWER that as a writer you are especially proud of, one that was very difficult but ultimately successful, or perhaps one that flowed fully from your heart and spirit and with which you are joyfully satisfied above others?
    My favorite scenes and chapters. Favorite chapter #1: When Psal comes down from the tower in order to talk to his father about the three clans under one roof. The scene has so much in it: Psal’s fear of his father, foreshadowing of the Maldon disaster, another glimpse of Nahas’ personality, a hint of Psal’s spirituality, and the fatherly love Nahas has toward his sons. The picture on the back of the parchment is just so human, or at least so about human boys with raging hormones. My great love for Constant Tower is because there are these little throwaway moments of humanity in a book of epic fantasy. Not everything is related to war and clan issues, and yet…war and family are everywhere.
    My other favorite is the battle with the unfleshed ones. I wanted to totally go all out with the spiritual aspects of the story. Throughout the story, we see all kinds of battles..but at last the real battle and the true battle is shown. And I could try my best to teach anyone — Christian or non-Christian– about the weapons of our warfare.
    Q. What do you hope the reader takes away, ultimately, from this long and painful, but ultimately triumphant story?
    I don’t know. I guess I want them to take away whatever they need to take away to get closer to Jesus. Every one of us are planting seeds in other folks’ lives, or are watering seeds that others have planted in folks’ lives. And we really don’t know what that person might need to understand. But God is able to make a reader see something in a book that brings them further in their journey.
    Q. Any personal comments you’d like to make to those who have read and/or to those who may read this terrific story?
    Please read it. I love these characters. I love Psal, and Ephan, and Nahas, and Cyrt. I love Ktwala, and the Voca Queen, and Maharai, and Gidea. I love, love, love Lan. And I so want everyone to meet and know them all.  I also want to make a mark in Christian fiction. If I can pull Christianity out of its Tolkien/Lewis mimicry and make it become what it must be for our times, I would be so happy. And –oh yeah– I so want to make a tonna money.
    ~~~
    Thanks, Carole. Here’s to a bigger readership and that “tonna money” for ya.




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    Introducing the Banks-Butler Speculative Fiction Tour


    "What is the Banks-Butler Spec-Fic Tour?" you may ask.

    The State of Black Science Fiction Presents: The Butler Banks Book Tour
    In honor of Octavia Butler and L.A. Banks, two giants in the world of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror and, indeed, the entire world of literature, we are launching the Butler / Banks Book Tour.
    The tour is 30 (or more) days of Speculative Fiction (Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror / Paranormal) written by and about Black people.
    Each day, a different author will take the stage and bring us into their world – or worlds – through exciting book excerpts, reviews of their books, cool book trailers, audio recordings of a chapter or two and anything else fun and exciting y’all would like to share.
    All authors involved will share that day’s featured author’s post on our blogs as a guest post and we will all shout that person out on the various social media we are part of (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Goodreads, etc.).
    To join the tour, you must have at least one book published and you must have a blog. Books include novels, novellas, anthologies, graphic novels, comic books and even chap books - traditionally published and self-published.
    Please use the #blackscifi, #blackbooktour and #afrofuturism hashtags each time we shout it out as this will help build our brand and help others shout us out, too.


    APRIL 2014
    April 14
    Colby R. Rice: Sci-fi, Fantasy, & Thriller Novelist. Screenwriter. Film Producer. Globetrotter. Action Junkie. Rebel Ragdoll.
    A shameless nerd and bookworm since the age of five, Colby R Rice is the author of Ghosts of Koa, the first novel in The Books of Ezekiel, a dystopian-urban fantasy decalogy. She was an Air Force BRAT born in Bitburg Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany and came to the States at the age of one. Colby bounced around a lot, but finally settled in Los Angeles, where she could at last deal with her addictions to creative entrepreneurship, motorcycles, and traveling.
    Now, armed with a mound of animal crackers and gallons of Coca-Cola, Colby takes on fiction writing in a fight to the death!
    Current projects include: the second novel in The Books of Ezekiel series, the first novel in a middle grade SFF detective series, the first novel in an adult sci-fi thriller series, development of her first sci-fi thriller film, and the growth of her production house, Rebel Ragdoll. Stay tuned at www.colbyrrice.com!
    April 15


    Alan D. Jones: Former columnist for the Atlanta Tribune, Alan Jones has worked most of his adult life as a Business/IT consultant, working all across America from Los Angeles to Wall Street. Born in Atlanta, Alan attended GA-Tech and GA State, obtaining his MBA from Georgia State University's Robinson School of Business. In addition, Alan was a feature writer for the student newspapers at both schools. Alan also served on the board of the Atlanta chapter of the National Black MBA association.
    Alan, is the author of the Science Fiction novels, To Wrestle with Darkness and its prequel, Sacrifices.

    April 16 
    Balogun Ojetade: Balogun is the author of the bestselling Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within and screenwriter / producer / director of the short films, A Single Link and Rite of Passage: Initiation.
    He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk – a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach to life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or steampunk fiction – and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at http://chroniclesofharriet.com/.
    He is author of six novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the Urban Science Fiction saga, Redeemer; the Sword & Soul epic, Once Upon A Time In Afrika, two Fight Fiction, New Pulp novellas – A Single Link and Fist of Afrika and the two-fisted Dieselfunk tale, The Scythe. Balogun is also contributing co-editor of two anthologies: Ki: Khanga: The Anthology and Steamfunk.
    Finally, Balogun is the Director and Fight Choreographer of the Steamfunk feature film, Rite of Passage, which he wrote based on the short story, Rite of Passage, by author Milton Davis.
    You can reach him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Afrikan.Martial.Arts; on Twitter @Baba_Balogun and on Tumblr at www.tumblr.com/blog/blackspeculativefiction. Http://Chroniclesofharriet.com

    April 17
    Milton Davis: Milton Davis is owner of MVmedia, LLC , a micro publishing company specializing in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Sword and Soul. MVmedia’s mission is to provide speculative fiction books that represent people of color in a positive manner.
    Milton is the author of eight novels; his most recent, Woman of the Woods and Amber and the Hidden City. He is co-editor of four anthologies: Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology and Griots: Sisters of the Spear, with Charles R. Saunders; The Ki Khanga Anthology with Balogun Ojetade and the Steamfunk! Anthology, also with Balogun Ojetade.  MVmedia has also published Once Upon A Time in Afrika by Balogun Ojetade.
    Milton resides in Metro Atlanta with his wife Vickie and his children Brandon and Alana.
    April 18


    Valjeanne Jeffers: Valjeanne is the author of the SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend, Immortal III: Stealer of Souls, and the steampunk novels: Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds and The Switch II: Clockwork (includes books 1 and 2).
    Her writing has appeared in: The Obamas: Portrait of America's New First Family, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, Drumvoices Revue 20th Anniversary, and Liberated Muse: How I Freed My Soul Vol. I. She was also semi-finalist for the 2007 Rita Dove Poetry Award and she was interveiwed in 60 Years of Black Women in Horror Fiction.
    Valjeanne's fiction has appeared in Steamfunk!, Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction, Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology, Possibilities, 31 Days of Steamy Mocha, and Griots II: Sisters of the Spear. She is co-owner of Q & V Affordable editing. Her two latest novels: Mona Livelong: Paranormal Detective and Colony: Ascension will be released later this year.
    Preview or purchase her novels at: http://www.vjeffersandqveal.com

    April 19
    Jeff Carroll: The award winning Golddigger Killer was Jeff Carroll’s second film, which screened in over 10 film festivals and film series. Jeff Carroll’s first film, Holla If I Kill You, is the second rated all time best seller on B-Movie.com, the number one site for cult movies.
    Jeff coined the term “Hip Hop Horror” and is pioneering this hybrid genre.
    As well as being a writer and a filmmaker he is owner of Red, Black and Green Promotions, a college entertainment company where he works as an entertainment agent. Jeff Carroll is a leading voice of Hip Hop male/female relations reform and tours colleges and universities coaching students on dating.
    He published his latest novel Thug Angel: Rebirth of a Gargoyle, through his own company, Hip Hop Comix N Flix
    Jeff  lives in Miami, Florida, with his wife and son. Check out other great works by Jeff at http://hhcnf.blogspot.com/.


    April 20
    Keith Gaston: Also writing as D.K. Gaston, Keith was born in Detroit, Michigan. After serving in the military as an Infantry soldier, he earned his Bachelors degree in Computer Science, a Masters in Technology Management and a Masters in Business Administration.
    Keith is the author of mysteries, thrillers, science fiction and fantasy, including the wildly popular Urban Fantasy novels, Taurus Moon: Relic Hunter and its sequel, Taurus Moon: Magic and Mayhem.
    Keith is a devoted husband and father and when not enjoying time with his family, he is always working on his next novel.
    Check Keith out at: http://www.dkgaston.com/

    April 21
    Carole McDonnell: Carole McDonnell holds a BA degree in Literature from SUNY Purchase and has spent most of her years surrounded by things literary. Her writings appear in various anthologies including So Long Been Dreaming: Post-colonialism in science fiction; the anthology, Fantastic Visions III; Jigsaw Nation; Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology; Life Spices from Seasoned Sistahs: writings by mature women of color; Fantastic Stories of the Imagination; and the Steamfunk! anthology.
    She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, two sons, and their pets. Her novels – The Constant Tower and Wind Follower, were published by Wildside Books. Her other works include My Life as an Onion and The Boy Next Door From Far Away , Seeds of Bible Study: How NOT to Study the Bible. Her collection of short stories, Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction, is available on kindle.
    Check her out at http://carolemcdonnell.blogspot.com/

    April 22
    Kai Leakes: From Iowa, but later relocating to Alton, IL and St. Louis, MO, Kai Leakes was a multifaceted Midwestern child, who gained an addiction to books at an early age. Sharing stories with her cousins as a teen, writing books didn't seem like something she would pursue until one day in college. Storytelling continues to be a major part of her very DNA, with the goal of sharing tales that entertain and add color to a gray literary world.
    In her spare time she likes to cook, dabble in photography, and assists with an internet/social networking group online. Loving to feed her book addiction, romance, fantasy and fiction novels are her world. Reading those particular genres help guide her as she finds the time to write and study for school.
    Kai is the author of Sineaters: Devotion book one and the soon-to-be-released Sin Eaters: Retribution: Devotion book two, coming in June.
    You can find her at: kwhp5f.wix.com/kai-leakes.

    April 23 
    Milton Davis: Milton Davis is owner of MVmedia, LLC , a micro publishing company specializing in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Sword and Soul. MVmedia’s mission is to provide speculative fiction books that represent people of color in a positive manner.
    Milton is the author of eight novels; his most recent, Woman of the Woods and Amber and the Hidden City. He is co-editor of four anthologies: Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology and Griots: Sisters of the Spear, with Charles R. Saunders; The Ki Khanga Anthology with Balogun Ojetade and the Steamfunk! Anthology, also with Balogun Ojetade.  MVmedia has also published Once Upon A Time in Afrika by Balogun Ojetade.
    Milton resides in Metro Atlanta with his wife Vickie and his children Brandon and Alana.

    April 24


    K. Ceres Wright: Daughter to a U.S. Army father, K. Ceres Wright has lived in Asia and Europe, where her mother dragged her to visit every castle she came across. She attended undergraduate school at the University of Maryland, College Park, with a double major in economics and finance.  She then worked for 10 years as a credit and treasury analyst before deciding to change careers, entering the writing and editing field.
    Wright received her Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, and Cog was her thesis novel, which was later published by Dog Star Books. Wright’s poem, “Doomed,” was a nominee for the Rhysling Award, the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s highest honor. Her work has appeared in Hazard Yet ForwardGenesis: An Anthology of Black Science FictionMany Genres, One CraftThe 2008 Rhysling Anthology, and the upcoming Far Worlds anthology.
    She works as an editor and writer and lives in Maryland with her two children. Visit her website at http://www.kcereswright.com and find her on Twitter @KCeresWright.
    April 25
    Carole McDonnell: Carole McDonnell holds a BA degree in Literature from SUNY Purchase and has spent most of her years surrounded by things literary. Her writings appear in various anthologies including So Long Been Dreaming: Post-colonialism in science fiction; the anthology, Fantastic Visions III; Jigsaw Nation; Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology; Life Spices from Seasoned Sistahs: writings by mature women of color; Fantastic Stories of the Imagination; and the Steamfunk! anthology.
    She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, two sons, and their pets. Her novels – The Constant Tower and Wind Follower, were published by Wildside Books. Her other works include My Life as an Onion and The Boy Next Door From Far Away , Seeds of Bible Study: How NOT to Study the Bible. Her collection of short stories, Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction, is available on kindle.
    Check her out at http://carolemcdonnell.blogspot.com/

    April 26
    Valjeanne Jeffers: Valjeanne is the author of the SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend, Immortal III: Stealer of Souls, and the steampunk novels: Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds and The Switch II: Clockwork (includes books 1 and 2).
    Her writing has appeared in: The Obamas: Portrait of America's New First Family, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, Drumvoices Revue 20th Anniversary, and Liberated Muse: How I Freed My Soul Vol. I. She was also semi-finalist for the 2007 Rita Dove Poetry Award and she was interveiwed in 60 Years of Black Women in Horror Fiction.
    Valjeanne's fiction has appeared in Steamfunk!, Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction, Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology, Possibilities, 31 Days of Steamy Mocha, and Griots II: Sisters of the Spear. She is co-owner of Q & V Affordable editing. Her two latest novels: Mona Livelong: Paranormal Detective and Colony: Ascension will be released later this year.
    Preview or purchase her novels at: http://www.vjeffersandqveal.com
    http://valjeanne.wordpress.com
    April 27
    DaVaun Sanders: If imagination was a mutant power, DaVaun Sanders could have enrolled at 1407 Graymalkin Lane. Instead, he went the safe route and earned a Bachelor's degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 2002. After two fulfilling service terms with AmeriCorps in Phoenix, he eventually acquiesced to the student loan gods and returned to architecture. Yet his passion for the field faded as he spent more free time writing and performing spoken word poetry. 
    The Seedbearing Prince began as a dream vivid enough to play like a movie trailer. Deciding to write his debut novel took some time, as it wasn't part of “The Plan,” but the housing market collapse forced DaVaun's small design firm under in 2008. He decided to plunge into writing full-time, and is loving every minute of it. When the keyboard cramps his fingers, DaVaun gets lost in the great outdoors of Arizona or attends open mic spots in the Valley. DaVaun is currently hard at work editing The Course of Blades, the third book in his World Breach series. Follow him on Twitter @davaunwrites and like on Facebook (facebook.com/davaunsanders) for updates and giveaways!

    April 28 
    Zig Zag Claybourne: Sometimes he is Zig Zag Claybourne, sometimes he is C.E. Young. Whatever the name, he is always respectful of the magic between him and his readers. He wouldn't forgive himself if he wasted your mind, so it is his goal that every book you experience be a gift a thousand-fold.
    Zig Zag is the author of the books Neon Lights, Historical Inaccuracies and (as C.E. Young) By All Our Violent Guides.


    April 29
    Crystal Connor: Crystal grew up telling spooky little campfire-style stories at slumber parties. Living on a steady literary diet of Stephen King, Robin Cook, Dean R. Koontz and healthy doses of cinema masterpieces such as The Birds, Friday the 13th, Hellraiser, The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone; along with writing short stories specializing in the Science Fiction & Horror genres since before Jr. high School, it surprised no one that she ended up writing horror novels! 
    She now lives in Seattle, WA, where she is a member of the Dark Fiction Guild, and belongs to both the Authors Anonymous and The Seattle Women’s writing groups and she is also an active member of The Critters Workshop. 
    The Darkness, is her first full-length novel, followed by And They All Lived Happily Ever After and Artificial Light, the sequel to The Darkness.

    April 30
    Balogun Ojetade: Balogun is the author of the bestselling Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within and screenwriter / producer / director of the short films, A Single Link and Rite of Passage: Initiation.
    He is one of the leading authorities on Steamfunk – a philosophy or style of writing that combines the African and / or African American culture and approach to life with that of the steampunk philosophy and / or steampunk fiction – and writes about it, the craft of writing, Sword & Soul and Steampunk in general, at http://chroniclesofharriet.com/.
    He is author of six novels – the Steamfunk bestseller, MOSES: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2); the Urban Science Fiction saga, Redeemer; the Sword & Soul epic, Once Upon A Time In Afrika, two Fight Fiction, New Pulp novellas – A Single Link and Fist of Afrika and the two-fisted Dieselfunk tale, The Scythe. Balogun is also contributing co-editor of two anthologies: Ki: Khanga: The Anthology and Steamfunk.
    Finally, Balogun is the Director and Fight Choreographer of the Steamfunk feature film, Rite of Passage, which he wrote based on the short story, Rite of Passage, by author Milton Davis.
    You can reach him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Afrikan.Martial.Arts; on Twitter @Baba_Balogun and on Tumblr at www.tumblr.com/blog/blackspeculativefiction. Http://Chroniclesofharriet.com




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