Meet the Characters Blog Tour: Azari Crossing Excerpt

Have you made your rounds? If you haven’t, get busy. 🙂 Today marks the last day of the Meet the Characters Blog Tour. We have something special for you this post. Carolyn Hockley has offered up an excerpt from her book Azari Crossing Quinn’s Evolution – Book One. Enjoy!

Azari Crossing: Quinn’s Evolution

Maya’s right hand flew to her chest as her body shook with fear. She stared at the man she knew to be Mister Jeffery, but she couldn’t shake her confusion enough to say his name. Nothing but a small squeak came out: “Meis?”

Mister Jeffery smiled at her. He reached for her right hand and squeezed it ever so gently. “Yes, Maya, it’s me. Please don’t be scared. We will explain what is happening,” he said in his calm, quiet voice. Then he looked over at Miss Charlotte and nodded.

The warrior standing in front of Quinn nodded back and said, “Yes, let’s get a bit more comfortable, shall we?” She rolled up the left sleeve of her uniform to expose a copper-coloured bracelet on her wrist. As Quinn watched her use her index finger to trace one of the lines on the bracelet, he realized it was, in fact, a tattoo. All at once the sandy floor disappeared beneath their feet; a thick chocolate-brown carpet took its place. He hadn’t felt a thing, but as she spread her arms out to the sides, a bright copper light flooded the space around them and the space directly in front of them transformed into a cozy living room, complete with leather furniture, coffee tables covered with drinks and food, six floor lamps, a huge bookshelf, and a stone fireplace. The walls were covered with antique oil paintings of historical events and two windows draped with thick tapestry curtains hung opposite the fireplace.

April screamed and then collapsed. With lightning quick reflexes, Mister James scooped her up before she hit the carpet and gently laid her body down on one of the loveseats.

“M-Miss Charlotte?” Quinn repeated with questioning eyes. He didn’t know whether to feel relieved or betrayed that the warrior was her. Her face was the same but her physique was trim and more athletic. “H-how did you just… I mean, there’s no way you…” He couldn’t finish. He had absolutely no idea how to finish. He looked over at the other teens closest to him in age; his eyes searched theirs for help.

They were as white as vampires. None of them had spoken or even blinked for the past several minutes. Finally, Mister On reached out for Juina. As soon as his hand touched her arm, she snapped out of her trance and jumped back, arms swinging out in an effort to shoo him away. He somehow managed to coax her into sitting down. Miss Susan moved to Janus and led him to a loveseat. He moved robotically as he let her gently pull him along. Mister Jeffery did the same with Maya.

Then, one high-back wooden stool materialized next to each teen. The gift givers moved to the stools and sat down. Miss Charlotte motioned for Quinn to sit on the lounge chair beside her.

Maya subconsciously reached for her shoulder and gently rubbed the sock in an effort to settle the throbbing. She stared at Mister Jeffery’s clothes. His impeccably-tailored suit look had been replaced with a taut black battle uniform. The new clothing could not hide his solid, muscular form. He looked so formidable. She opened her mouth to ask him something and then closed it again. No one was talking. She would wait. The teens were studying the warriors beside them – people they had known their whole lives. The gift givers were calm and allowed the teens some time to relax.

After a few more minutes, Miss Charlotte cleared her throat and stood. She walked to the centre of the “room” and began to speak, her thick Scottish accent gone. “We are Luminares, which is Italian for Luminaries. We are immortals but have returned to our human forms for our assignment.” She paused and looked each of the five teens in the eyes for a brief moment before resting her gaze on Quinn. “I am your Luminare, Quinn. I am like a guardian. I was sent to Edinburgh to watch over you from the time you were born. I know all of this must be hard to believe,” she paused again to acknowledge the other Luminares. “We are here to guide and help you…”

About the Characters

Five teens, seemingly average kids from five different countries across the globe, are anything but ordinary. When approached by their ‘Luminares’, or guardians, and each presented with a small copper box, life gets interesting. These ‘Luminares’ are adults who have been in their lives since they were born – watching, guarding, protecting the teens until the day when the Arazi Royals need them. Brought together and zipped off to a new, unknown world, the teens are told of their true destinies. Accepting their new futures, Quinn, Maya, Janus, April and Juina must travel together, back in history, and help each other fulfill their own personal quests. Will these five teens become the new Royals of Arazi Crossing? Will they stand together, united for Good against a multitude of Evil forces? For the future of the human race… we hope so.

About Carolyn Hockley

Lives in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada. Loves her two children, her BF, her super-smart German shepherd and her small, but fiercly devoted circle of friends. Fav past-times are writing, reading, landscape photography, spending time talking with teens, prime time tv shows, movies, drinking coffee, watching her kids glide through the water during swim meets and practices, hiding from “G” (her dog) and giggling until she finds her, playing fb games and beating the pants off her opponents!

Find Carolyn Hockley online!

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*A comment here also enters you into the Mid-Month Commentator giveaway!

Guest Post: Scott Nicholson on Blog Tours

I put out a call to Indie Writers a week or so ago, and was lucky enough to have a quite few authors hit me up. Despite being eyeball deep in blog tours right now, Scott Nicholson was generous enough to offer a guest post. Thanks for joining us today!

90 Days of Nightmares
By Scott Nicholson

http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/

I like to create nightmares.

Mostly, I create them for myself.

I’m an “idea person.” I get an idea and I write a book about it. I get an idea and I create a lot of work. I invent trouble, and I stay open-minded. I prepare for the worst and live through the worst, and occasionally it all comes together.

I’ve always been a tireless promoter of my books, mostly from working in media, but the Internet has changed everything about the book business as well as most other businesses. Newspapers rarely review books, and book blogs are now where most of the enthusiasm and conversation generates.

I’ve done a few “book launch” events where I tried to do flash mobs and spur a flurry of sales, but noticed that the work involved wasn’t worth the temporary buzz. So as I was driving to work one late-August morning, I got the idea of doing a tour and launch for ALL my books at the same time. After all, I had none of the artificial panic caused by the traditional publishing system and its insane, upstream distribution system in which you have 30 days from release to determine the entire fate of your book sales (let’s skip the more complex reality that your book’s fate was determined long before you even signed the book contract).

Lots of authors were doing 30-day blog tours for a new release, often organized by a corporate publicist who could ply the bloggers with boxes of free books and other goodies. I decided to do mine the hard way, researching and personally contacting book bloggers to ensure a good match.

Originally I was going to give away one paper book at each stop (I own a few hundred copies of my first collection I bought cheap when the publisher went out of business). Including postage, the entire tour would have cost about $300. But then I realized my audience is primarily Kindle owners, and my future audience is future Kindle owners. So I decided to give away a Kindle. I contacted Amazon and asked for their support and they agreed to donate a Kindle DX and Kindle 3 for the tour, since I would be promoting Kindle and ebooks. I could then afford to throw in bonus Kindle giveaways if any books hit the Top 100.

I hit the ground running, with only a few weeks before the tour started. The whole thing was going to be improvised along the way, and as of this writing I still haven’t scheduled all the stops. But the response has been wonderful, and we’ve created a new community where authors, readers, and bloggers are meeting. Some just want to win a Kindle and that’s cool, while others are having fun, which is cooler.

It’s also been a great opportunity to learn about the blogging world. I admire those who use their spare time to share a passion for books. They are a critical force in this new era of indie publishing, helping overwhelmed readers decide which books are worthy of time, money, and attention.

I haven’t become an overnight success, and the highest I’ve hit on the bestseller list is #148, but my sales have steadily improved and my audience has expanded, mostly with people who spent some time on the tour getting to know me before trying my books. I’ve always been fairly reserved about my private life, but the tour has allowed me to open up a little and show my different interests and passions, as well as explore my real motivations for writing and connecting with readers.

Ninety blog stops. That’s a lot of extra writing, probably 200 pages by the time I’m done. I’ve probably emailed 300 or 400 different bloggers, which takes some time, but also has allowed me to build personal relationships with some of them. I probably could have used a professional agency to set up the tour, but I doubt they could have reacted as quickly as I did and it would have taken months and months through formal channels. Not to mention it probably would have cost me a few thousand dollars, which I’d rather spend on more Kindle giveaways or other prizes.

If you’re a writer, I’d say “Why not set up your own tour and have some fun?” Beats continually hyping yourself on the same old overcrowded, noisy forums. Whether it’s seven days or 30 days or 90 days, each stop is a chance to meet someone who has never heard of you. If you’re a reader, then I recommend hanging out at some blogs and catching the buzz and sharing the joy.

Best of all, it’s a chance to build new relationships and meet cool new friends who dig books. And that’s worth a little work and a few nightmares.

————-

Scott Nicholson is author of 12 novels, including the thrillers Speed Dating with the Dead, Drummer Boy, Forever Never Ends, The Skull Ring, As I Die Lying, Burial to Follow ,and They Hunger. His revised novels for the U.K. Kindle are Creative Spirit, Troubled, and Solom. He’s also written four comic series, six screenplays, and more than 60 short stories. His story collections include Ashes, The First, Murdermouth: Zombie Bits, and Flowers.

To be eligible for the Kindle DX, simply post a comment below with contact info. Feel free to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog. Visit all the blogs on the tour and increase your odds. I’m also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free e-books to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. Thanks for playing. Complete details at http://www.hauntedcomputer.com/blogtour.htm

Find works by Scott Nicholson at Barnes & Nobles || Amazon || The Book Depository || Kobo || iTunes || Smashwords