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Author Interview: ‘The Thirteen Gates: Apprentice’ by Elton Gahr

About the Book:

Magic has been banished from our world for five hundred years.

The day that Nate died, everything changed for Quinn. His long-term mentor helped him through the death of his father, years of being bullied and far more. It also changed for everyone else. Nate was a wizard and five-hundred years ago had closed the thirteen gates cutting the world off from magic. With his death, those gates opened and magic returned to the world.

The world is unprepared for the return of corrupt wizards, monsters, fae, jinn, olympian gods and nameless elder abominations. But unbeknown to him, Nate had prepared Quinn for this day. He encouraged him to read books that explained the gods of Olympus, faerie tales, the words of H. P. Lovecraft and many others even though Quinn didn’t know it they were all real.

Now Quinn must prove he isn’t a murderer, learn to control magic and protect the world from threats it hasn’t faced in five-hundred years, all while avoiding being killed by his best friend’s ex-girlfriend.

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Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

Hi. I’m Elton Gahr and I’m a science fiction and fantasy writer. I grew up in Montana playing video games, baseball, hiking, fishing and all the small town stuff you might expect. I moved to Missouri about twenty years ago.

There is no one moment that got me into writing. There are a lot of small moments. In kindergarten I wrote a nineteen page story about a balloon in a penmanship class. A couple years later I wrote a choose your own adventure book that was passed around my class and I never actually stopped writing stories after that.

As for a career I was planning to go into computer programming, but my computer teacher took the time to explain what being a computer programmer was like. I decided that I’d rather be a writer and I’ve been selling my writing ever since.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Most of my writing is done in the morning in my office. I eat breakfast, check my email and then write for three hours. But as much as I enjoy writing, that’s still work. When I want to do something more fun, I’ll go to the Panera Bread with my laptop. I get all the coffee I want and can pretend that being in the same room as people while writing makes me social.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

Mostly from other books. I love to read, but often when I read something I find some part of the story that doesn’t fit with the way I think things would work. Sometimes that’s just ignoring a basic convention of a genre. For example, a lot of urban fantasy and even some science fiction works on the assumption that no one would notice if strange things were happening. I think that by the time someone is riding a dinosaur down the streets of a major city someone would notice. So, I wrote a story about how the world figured out that it was full of magic and monsters and what happens after that.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I usually believe I have a plan and depending on the story I have things that need to happen because there are more books in the series planned out and I can make the plot and characters cooperate and stick to the plan. 

Then there are stories like Middlemen: The Brother’s War. I started out with a plan and realized about halfway through that a side character I had stuck in to fill out the world was actually the protagonist and let him take over. That changed the story entirely and made it much better.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I write and mostly read science fiction and fantasy. I was drawn to science fiction at first because of how much I enjoy reading about science history and scientific advancements. But the idea of spending years experimenting and testing things sounds like far too much work. So, instead I let other people make the discoveries, do the math, test it carefully. And while they do that, I make up stories about what might happen if it works.

Then I discovered one of the major problems in science fiction is that you can be wrong. You could misunderstand a theory or not know about one. You could use a parsec as a measure of speed or tell people that they only use ten percent of their brain. That drew me to fantasy, where I got to make up the rules of how the world works so that no one can tell you that you’re wrong. And of course I love reading both.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

This is the hardest question for me for a couple of reasons. In general, I’m terrible at the whole dream casting thing because I don’t know that many actors. It’s worse with my most recent book because the characters are all teenagers so none of the actors I know are currently the right age. But we’ll ignore that part.

The main character is Quinn, a sixteen-year-old boy, nerdy, loves to read and overly caution. There are a few options but Elijah Wood at the right age looks the part and is a good enough actor to carry the emotional weight of the story.

Tim is Quinn’s best friend. Because he brings a lot of the humor to the books, is Irish and needs to make Quinn look a little short I think Ashton Kutcher at the right age could handle the humor, look the part and surprise people in the moments when he becomes serious.

The third of the main characters in Hanna. She needs to be scary, look like she’s right on the edge of breaking and show the difficulty of controlling her power and feeling dangerous while not being all that physically intimidating. Since that’s more or less the character of Eleven from Stranger Things, the simple answer is that Millie Bobby Brown could do it. And she’s actually near the right age now.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I usually try to read a couple of books a week and most of the time I succeed. For me, there are two different types of writers. Those who I read and see what techniques and skills they used. For me these are writers like Isaac Asimov, Brandon Sanderson, and Stephen King. Brilliant writers who I learn from and from and understand.

The other writers are doing a magic trick I don’t get. I don’t like them more, but I am more intrigued by them. For me the best of these are Douglas Adams And J. R. R. Tolkien. I have read everything both of them have written multiple times and read and heard interviews about what they do, but when I read their books all of that disappears and I’m transported back to reading books as a kid with no idea how someone could do it.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I just finished Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer. It’s about the competitive memory scene and helps you to understand the type of person who would spend a year learning the technique to memorize a phone number rather than just writing it down. It’s a good book, but I haven’t had time to see how memorable it will be yet.

I also started the Brandon Sanderson novella Perfect State. I’m only a couple of chapters in, but I always find Brandon Sanderson’s science fiction stories interesting because to me he writes fantasy with a more science fiction style that almost anyone with his hard magic systems that often feel more like an alternate type of science than magic.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

My go to for favourite book has been “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. I love the whole Hitchhiker’s series in virtually every form and it’s still the book I’ve read more than any other. It’s funny, smart and makes me feel better when I read it. 

But recently there have been two other books that may someday break that glass ceiling. The first is “The Way of Kings” by Brandon Sanderson. It’s the first book in a decade that I read, then immediately read again. It has some of my favourite moment in fiction and it gets better when reread.

The other book is the one that I have only read once, but if someone asks for a book recommendation, It’s almost always “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor E. Frankl a book that everyone should read.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

My joke answer is always don’t. And it’s not entirely untrue. Writing is a lonely job that is a ton of hard work that will almost certainly pay you less than what you’d make putting the same amount of effort into anything else. 

Once I’ve hopefully saved the people who think writing a book is a get rich quick plan from a lot of heartache I move onto the people who want to write because they love to do it. For them I have two pieces of advice. 

First, read everything. Read fiction and non-fiction, books you love and books you hate. Pick up the classics and the trashiest novels you can find. Reading is how you create the writer’s toolbox and if you only read in the genre you love, it’s like building a toolbox with just a hammer. Also, when you read an absolutely terrible book that got published it gives you more confidence than reading a hundred good books.

The second point is deliberate practice. I used to just tell people to write, and that’s at the heart of the advice. But deliberate practice is more than that. It’s writing in a way that makes you better. It means writing beyond your skill level and sometimes failing. All too often writers hold back on stories or ideas because they are too precious or difficult. But you learn more by failure than by success. And it actually works for everyone and not some specific subset of people who write exactly like you do.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?

My blog is the best place to start. From there you can sign up to my newsletter ( to get a free book. The newsletter is always going to be the most up to date on current projects, where I talk most freely about myself, and make some bad jokes. Facebook is Or you can follow me on twitter @eltongahr where I vacillate between avoiding it entirely because I don’t want to get angry and having conversations about my books and writing for a few days before I get drawn into one of the trending topics and have to log out. But I also put my announcements up there, including free books and short stories almost every week.

About the Author:

Elton Gahr was born the fourth of four children in Kalispell, MT on April, 30 1977. While there, he began to study the craft of storytelling. By kindergarten he was writing short stories, and in fourth grade he wrote his first fantasy epic. A handwritten choose your own adventure story in the style of the Lone Wolf series.

In 2002 he moved to Joplin, MO, and began to focus more on his writing. He collected the signatures of several well-known editors on the bottom of rejection slips from their magazines and returned to creating comic books with his friends.

Since then he has published five novels and two anthologies. Including the epic fantasy The Middleman Saga and his space opera series Spaceship Vision. His next story is a modern fantasy story named “The Thirteen Gates: Apprentice” that will be released May 7th.

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Release Blitz: ‘Running on Diesel’ by Melissa Foster

Running On Diesel  by Melissa Foster is now live!

He’s secretive and broody. She’s untrusting and sassy. Sparks don’t just fly, they ignite in this sinfully sexy story.

A funny, sexy, and emotionally riveting standalone contemporary romance by New York Times bestselling author Melissa Foster. RUNNING ON DIESEL is the perfect love story for those who enjoy fiercely loyal and insanely sexy alpha heroes, smart, sassy heroines, strong family bonds, bikers, babies, and more!

Desmond “Diesel” Black is a Nomad with the Dark Knights motorcycle club. He protects others with his life and always rides alone. Tracey Kline left the only family she had for a man who broke more than her spirit, leaving her untrusting and on her own. When a twist of fate reveals pieces of the other no one else sees, will they be able to help each other mend their past hurts and learn to trust the chemistry and connection that’s too strong to deny?

The Whiskeys are perfect beach reads with depth of story, strong family ties, and a wealth of emotions. Small town love stories with happily ever afters guaranteed. The Dark Knights motorcycle club is not a typical MC book. These bad-boy bikers are tough, but they have hearts of gold…and they’re not afraid to use them.

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Meet Melissa Foster

Melissa Foster is a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of more than 100 novels. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and women’s fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Melissa’s emotional journeys are lovingly erotic, always family oriented, and feature fiercely loyal heroes, smart, sassy heroines, and complex relatable issues. Melissa enjoys chatting with readers and book clubs. Send her an email invitation to your next event!
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Release Blitz: ‘The Puck Drop’ by Jaqueline Snowe

The Puck Drop by Jaqueline Snowe is now live!

Falling for the coach’s daughter was never part of the plan…

Michael Reiner has the new start he’s been craving, where no one knows about his past and he can finally figure out what he wants out of life. Because one thing’s for certain—he can’t play hockey anymore, and life without hockey seems daunting. But when he gets the chance to intern under the Central State Hockey coach, he couldn’t be happier. Until he finds out the mysterious hottie he met at the bar is the Coach’s daughter.

Naomi Fletcher-Simpson has always been the weird twin. She prefers spreadsheets and trivia nights while her popular sister is everyone’s favorite. Things have been tense in her family, so when she gets a chance to pair up with the hockey team for a huge stats project, she takes it. She can repair her relationship with her dad and hopefully score her dream internship in the process.

Neither Michael nor Naomi expected to like each other. Complete opposites in every way, they slowly form a deep friendship that makes their chemistry sizzle, and friends with benefits is the only option to deal with their growing attraction. Michael can’t afford to lose the internship, and Naomi can’t afford to lose her heart to a hockey guy.

For the guy who’s suffered enough loss, and the girl who’s always left behind, they can’t risk falling in love—not when they both know all things come to an end, right?

Download today or read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!


Meet Jaqueline Snowe

Jaqueline Snowe lives in Arizona where the “dry heat” really isn’t that bad. She prefers drinking coffee all hours of the day and snacking on anything that has peanut butter or chocolate. She is the mother to two fur-babies who don’t realize they aren’t humans and a new mom to the sweetest baby boy. She is an avid reader and writer of romances and tends to write about athletes. Her husband works for an MLB team (not a player, lol) so she knows more about baseball than any human ever should. 
Connect with Jaqueline
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Release Blitz: ‘The Castle’ by Anne Montgomery

Title: The Castle: A Novel

Author: Anne Montgomery

Publisher: TouchPoint Press

Genre: Women’s Romantic Suspense

About the Book:

Maggie, a National Park Ranger, is back at the Castle – an ancient Native American pueblo carved into the face of a limestone cliff in Arizona. Maggie, who suffers from depression, has been through several traumas: the gang rape she suffered while in the Coast Guard, the sudden death of her ten-year-old son, and a suicide attempt. As part of her therapy Maggie volunteers at the local rape crisis clinic.

Maggie has several men in her life. The baker, newcomer Jim Casey, always greets her with a warm smile and fills pink boxes with sweet delicacies. Brett Collins, a scuba diver, is doing scientific studies in Montezuma Well, a dangerous cylindrical depression that houses a deep spring filled with strange creatures found nowhere else on Earth. Then there’s Dave, with whom she’s had a one- night stand, and her new boss Glen.

One of these men is a serial rapist, and Maggie is his next target.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

About the Author:

Anne Montgomery has worked as a television sportscaster, newspaper and magazine writer, teacher, amateur baseball umpire, and high school football referee. Her first TV job came at WRBL-TV in Columbus, Georgia, and led to positions at WROC-TV in Rochester, New York, KTSP-TV in Phoenix, Arizona, and ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut, where she anchored the Emmy and ACE award-winning SportsCenter. She finished her on-camera broadcasting career with a two-year stint as the studio host for the NBA’s Phoenix Suns. Montgomery was a freelance and/or staff reporter for six publications, writing sports, features, movie reviews, and archeological pieces. Her novels include Wild Horses on the SaltThe Scent of Rain, and A Light in the Desert. Montgomery taught high school journalism for 20 years and is a foster mom to three sons. When she can, she indulges in her passions: rock collecting, scuba diving, and playing her guitar.

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Twitter: @amontgomery8



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Book Tour: ‘Ancient Tales and Legends Series’ by Cheryl Carpinello

“Unforgettable Characters… Ancient Mysteries Solved… Time-Defying Travel… A Teen / YA / Historical Fiction Must Read… “

Ancient Tales and Legends Series by Cheryl Carpinello

Title: Tutankhamen Speaks
Author: Cheryl Carpinello
Publisher: Beyond Today Educator
Pages: 81
Genre: Teen / YA / Ancient Egypt Historical Fiction


From over 3000 years ago comes the voice of the Boy King.
Scrolls found buried in the basement of the Egyptian Museum. Transcribed in an ancient hand. Record the words of King Tut for all to read.
Tutankhamen answers all of the lingering questions, including the big one.
Discover the real story behind this famous pharaoh. Transport yourself back to an Ancient Egypt filled with mystery, magic, and danger!


Growing up in Akhet-Aten

From the time I was able to walk, I had the run of our palace. Usually it was just me and Ankhesenpaaten. We played the normal childhood games.  We would run through the palace chasing and hiding from each other. The gardens and the pools were great places to hide. All too often one of us would fall into one of the pools as we raced by. Then we would move the game outside into the heat so that our clothes would dry. In Egypt’s heat, it didn’t take long. [missing text]

Sailing toy boats

When I was small, palace carpenters made me toy boats. Sometimes these were made to resemble the barges that would carry crops and animals down and up the Nile from one settlement to another. Some were fully outfitted royal barges complete with sails and the poles used when the barge was moving up river. I started playing with these in the palace pools. Later, as I got better at loading them and maneuvering them, I would find a place near the palace where the Nile ran slower. There I would dig out canals for the boats to float in. Sometimes Ankhesenpaaten would help me. One time we had so many canals built that it took all afternoon for our crop barges and the royal barges to enter into the canal system and then sail through and re-enter the Nile. I loved those days with Ankhesenpaaten and the Nile.


In the evenings we would play Senet. My sisters and I became skilled Senet players, and our games would often last late into the night. My favorite were the casting sticks.


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Author: Cheryl Carpinello
Publisher: Silver Quill Publishing
Pages: 189
Genre: Teen / YA / Ancient Egypt Historical Fiction


A grandmother’s gift usually bring happiness. Rosa’s gift: a very different story. Hearing the dead alienated her from classmates. Not good for a 15-year-old.

Many times very insistent, the dead cared little for her surroundings. They even bothered her in class. Dates? Forget that.

Then one day, he shows up in her room. An old dead guy. A really old famous dead guy. In living human form!

Thrilling story of battling good and evil in an ancient world.


Excerpt from Chapter 11 of Sons of the Sphinx by Cheryl Carpinello

A well-traveled dirt road leads back into the valley formed by the hills on either side. Although not high by my experience, rising up from the sandy floor, the Theban Hills are impressive. Jagged crevices run up and down the sides of the hills, and in many places, man-made square arches can be seen. The Tombs of the Pharaohs. I’m walking in the footsteps of an ancient people. How cool.

I hurry to catch up with him. A mistake, sweat stings my eyes and grit scrapes my cheek when I wipe my face. My shirt is sticking to me by the time I come even with him. Does Re never find a cloud to hide behind? Did I say Re? Now I’m starting to think as an Egyptian. Good grief. Must be the heat. There is no shade anywhere. Like a shimmering mirage on a hot highway, the heat rises in waves off the barren hillsides. No trees can withstand this burning furnace. The only shelter exists under the entrances to the tombs.

Tut hurries ahead, but I may never get here again, so I take my time. We pass one entrance, and I walk over closer to it. Heavy wooden doors covered in hieroglyphs bar the way. Ancient rope—rough, scratchy, and strong—twisted around the door handles and knotted tight, holds them closed. On the right door handle there is a clump of mud molded like those wax seals used on letters. It covers the handle and the rope. Symbols are pressed into it. 

“Tut, what is this for and what does it say?”

He hurries over, curious. 

“Why the rope and this lump of mud?”

“Lump of mud? Oh Roosa, you are looking at the Necropolis Seal placed here by the priests. That it is still here means that the tomb is intact. No one has entered since the burial.”

“Does the seal say whose tomb this is? Is it a pharaoh?”

“No, not a pharaoh. Here.” He points to a set of hieroglyphs. “These state that this is the tomb of the dignitary Ramose.” He pauses. “I remember hearing stories about him when I was young. He was the governor of Thebes during Thutmosis IV’s time.”

“Do all the tombs carry this seal?”

“Yes, but even in my reign, it was becoming difficult to keep the tombs sealed. Thieves continually broke in to steal the property of the dead.”

“Tomb robbers.”

“Yes. When they were caught, their hands were chopped off.”

I gasp at such horrible consequences.

“You are shocked. I understand that in your time, there does not exist an undisturbed tomb here.” He waves his hand around the entire valley. “Who are these people who think they have the right to touch a Pharaoh of Egypt, even a dead one? They disturb our sacred resting places and steal the items left for our journey into the afterlife. May they all be cursed along with their families.”

I stand beside him, my mouth agape. Up to now, Tut has been determined in his mission, angry at Horemheb, but he hasn’t lost his composure. Until now. I try to find words to soothe him.

“They only want the world to know about the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. How magnificent they were. How they lived.”

He turns on me. “You don’t learn about a people by stealing what is sacred to them. In my time and yours, they are nothing more than common tomb robbers!”

“Scholars have shared what they learned. They search for knowledge. I learned about you from the artifacts in the exhibit.”

“Harrumph! What do you and they know? Nothing. Nothing at all! All you do is seek the treasures and the gold to make yourselves rich.” He spits in the dirt. “You wouldn’t know wealth if you were buried in it. Tomb robbers, the whole lot.”

He stomps away almost at a run, propelled by his anger. I hurry to keep up with him. We round a bend and to the left a small path winds up a cliff and then disappears. His chest heaves with ragged breaths and he’s actually vibrating he’s so enraged.

“We aren’t all like that, you know.” I whisper, wanting to avoid a harsh response. “Some of us understand that true wealth comes from within, from one’s heart, from love for others, and from respect for family.” I pause. “Some of us do.”

He says nothing; he doesn’t turn to look at me, but his breathing slows; his fingers unclench.



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Cheryl Carpinello taught high school English for 25 years. During that time, she worked with numerous students who didn’t like to read for a variety of reasons. However, she discovered that even the most reluctant readers became engaged in the classroom and in reading when she introduced units on King Arthur and the works of ancient world writers. Upon retiring, she set out to write fast-paced, action-filled stories in these setting to encourage young readers to read more. When not writing, you can find her reading, spending time with family, and traveling.

“In 2008, my husband and I spent three weeks traveling around Egypt via train and visiting all those magnificent archeological sites. Since we returned home, Egypt has never been far from my thoughts. I truly believe that I left part of my soul in that ancient land. To satisfy my longing to return, I wrote Sons of the Sphinx and Tutankhamen Speaks.





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