Connor Titus: In the Foothills of Mt. Empyreal

May 9, 2014

 

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Two Writers Two Books One Name

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In The Foothills of Mt. Empyreal: The End is Now

Crystal Connor,

writing as Connor Titus

Published:  May 26th, 2014

Word Count:  approx. 81,000

Genre:  Horror, Dark Fantasy, Apocalyptic

Content Warning:  Adult content and violence

Recommended Age:  17+

Synopsis:

The End is Now CoverThe Order of the Sentinels.

The Order of the Learned.

The Order of the Writs.

The Order of the Cloth.

In the foothills of Mt. Empyreal the most powerful forces in the world are drawn into combat.

And the fate of all the world hangs in the balance.

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Excerpt from In The Foothills of Mt. Empyreal:

The End is Now by Connor Titus:

For hours, she drove in silence, enjoying the beauty of the wintry landscape that seemed somehow amplified in the quiet of a planet without the noise of technology. The  rumble  of  the  engine against  the  backdrop  of  the stillness lured Khrystle into a state of calmness that she had never  before  achieved,  but when the abomination wrapped its  tail  around her  wrist,  she was jerked back to reality by the  sounds  of  her  own screaming.

She slid to a screeching stop and jumped from the ATV. After a deep breath, she put the demonic spawn back in the cargo space and picked up her shotgun for comfort.

The reprieve was short-lived.

It was a military plane, a fighter jet, and its silent descent from the sky was nothing short of memorizing. There was an earth-shattering explosion. Moments later, she was blasted off her feet by the hot wind.

Standing, she watched the black smoke climb into the bright sky. How long she stood staring, she couldn’t remember, but after a while, she straddled the vehicle and started the engine.

It had taken her two days to reach the …

… Devastation.

It took Khrystle a moment to realize that the dissemination before her was the result of the fighter jet slamming into an Amtrak.

The sickly sweet, acrid smell that seared her throat was so strong she could actually taste it. When it donned on her that it was the smell of burning flesh, she fell to her knees and soiled the pristine snow as her body violently emptied the meager contents of her stomach.

At that moment, she couldn’t remember a prayer, so she wept instead.

The dog’s growling was barely heard above the girl’s sobbing, but was loud enough to cease her tears.

Rising from the basin with the black smoke and red-orange flame was a man. She stood as she watched him stumble, fall, and struggle to his feet, only to fall again.

Blood poured from beneath his hair to fall across his swollen face like a cascade. The purple bruising around his right eye had caused it to close; his left eye stared at nothing.

The  threads  of  his  charred pants  billowed  in  the  winter breeze,  exposing  muscle and bone from the  rip  in  flesh above his right  knee.  Second and third degree burns covered his skin and a book was clutched within his blistering arms.

How was it, she asked herself, that this man would be able to walk away from a train wreck?

When he was mere feet from Khrystle, he collapsed. She ran to him. Kneeling, she unzipped her duffle bag, but was distracted as she reached in for her medical kit.

It was a feather, a large black feather from a crow.  She looked up in time to watch the black bird land on the power line. Before she had the time to look away, another bird landed.

And then another, and yet another.

In just minutes hundreds of crows were assembled judiciously above her.

Their silence was alarming.

She dragged her attention from the birds to the man who lay injured. That simple act caused her vision to blacken along the edges.

Her question was answered when she saw the book he clutched. The storm that surged across her mind was as forceful and devastating as a category five hurricane, leaving debilitating fear and biting goose bumps in its wake.

And through the dark, he will come to shield the book.

The embossing on the book was written in Aramaic, but she knew what it said anyway.

This is the Book of the First.

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INTERVIEW:

It is my pleasure to feature Crystal Connor, writing as Connor Titus, to Room With Books. I know your schedule is insane during a tour and I appreciate your time!

Would you please describe your book in 5 (five) words.

Co-written, apocalyptic, scary, unconventional, and unsettling.

What inspired the idea for your story?

I don’t remember what it was that made Lori and I consider writing a book together, but once we started talking about it, we started working on it fairly quickly. We didn’t have an outline or talk about plot ideas she sent me four writing prompts and I sent her the first couple of chapters the next day. We were basically reaction writing. Writing in the Foothills of Mt. Empyreal with Lori was really fun, exciting and a little completive.

When you start writing, do you outline the story or do your characters dictate what will happen?

I never write an outline, I have a general idea of what I want to write about but the for the most part I just let the characters dictate what will happen.

And do you ever have arguments with your characters? If you do, who usually wins?

Oh my gosh, all the time! And usually the characters win.

What do you dread or enjoy the most about writing?

What I dread the most is shipping it off to the editor. It usually takes me about a year to write a book, once it’s in the hand of my editor she goes over it with a fine tooth comb so the reworking/editing process last for months and I get to the point where I’m just tired of looking at it. I know that sounds really weird but the editing process is the most important part and because of that all my attention is focused on the book being edited and the other books I’m working on get put on the back burner.

What is something about you which your readers would be surprised to know?

That I write my manuscripts in longhand.

What is one of your favorite quotes?

Of all time, or from In the Foothills? My favorite quote of all time is “And in the end there is only darkness.” from Stephen King and my favorite quote from The End Is Now is “Only your God, the Almighty God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has the power and fury to unleash a punishment like me.”

What was it that prompted you to begin writing?

I’ve always told creepy little stories but I didn’t start actually writing them down until I was in Jr. High.

Is there special music that inspires your writing?

Anything without lyrics, it can be classical drum and bass mixes, or dark epic scores. Music that inspires me to dance and singing along it counterproductive to my writing process…lol For a really good example of my current writing soundtrack look up ‘Phaeleh – The cold in you’ on YouTube. It’s really dark and allows my wild imagination to run rampant.

What are you working on right now?

Right now I am working on the 1st book in my next series A Prince in Exile and a novel entitled ‘The Family’

Fun Facts:

What is your favorite breakfast? Chocolate cake, lol, I’m just kidding (kind of) I’m not sure what the actual dish is called but I like scramble eggs with sausage, bacon, and veggies.

What is your favorite color? I love all the hues of red and orange.

What is the last thing you Googled? Me, lol

What is your guilty pleasure? I don’t think you should feel bad about doing things that make you happy or boosts your mood when you need a little pick me up. I need to lose 40lbs but I was really kicking myself every time I ate anything. That had to stop because no one is meaner to you than you are, besides it wasn’t helping. Dreyer’s makes these itty bitty single serve ice creams so now I just get one of those and call it a day.

What is the first thing you reach for when you are stressed? If it’s something small or medium, I just make comfort food and zone out in front of the TV. When I’m really stressed out about something I take a bath, cry it out and then sleep it off. Both methods prevent me from making split decisions while I’m upset.

Where can your loyal readers, both old and new, find you on the World Wide Web?

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and here…

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About the Author:

Crystal-Connor

Crystal Y. Connor 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 it surprises no one that she ended up writing a horror novel!

Crystal now living in Seattle has been writing poetry and short stories specializing in the Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror since before Jr. High School. The Darkness, her début novel and book I in The Spectrum Trilogy has been selected as a two time Award-Winning Finalist in the 2011 International Book Awards in the fiction categories of Cross Genre Fiction and Multicultural Fiction.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | Shared Twitter | GoodReads | Blog | Google+

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The Guardians of Man:

Black Feathers Fell in the Foothills of Mt. Empyreal

Lori Titus,

writing as Connor Titus

Published:  May 26th, 2014

Word Count:  68,000

Genre:  Horror, Dark Fantasy, Apocalyptic

Content Warning:  Adult content and violence

Recommended Age:  17+

Synopsis:

The Guardians of Man CoverIn the mountain community of Fate’s Keep, the battle for mankind had begun.

After a geometric storm plunges the world into darkness, destroying electronic communication, light, and power, residents living in the shadow of Mt. Empyreal struggle for survival. Terrified of what is yet to come, they hide in their homes, waiting for the first, overdue snowfall of the year to come.

Along with the snow comes an ancient evil, free after centuries of imprisonment. The birth of a child and the worldwide power outage are only the start of events that have been prophesied.

With time running out, and supernatural enemies surrounding them, will The Guardians of Man be able to save the Earth?

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Excerpt for the Guardians of Man: 

Black Feathers Fell in the Foothills of Mt. Empyreal:

And through the dark, he will come to shield the book.

Jessica heard the words as if they came to her from some faraway place, but she was very sure of what was being said. Despite the fact that the words were not English, some primal instinct made the words as clear as her mother tongue.

In the dream, she was outside in the snow. From a mountain top she looked down and saw the town below. Part was lost in smoke and ashes. She could make out movement in the streets. Black crows rose in the air, unfettered by the acid snow that fell upon them.

Book Trailer:

About the Author:

Created with Nokia Smart CamLori Titus is the author of Lazarus (September 2010), Green Water Lullaby: A Collection of Short Stories (March 2011), and Hailey’s Shadow (June 2011).

Lori is also the Managing Editor of Flashes in the Dark, a website that features flash fiction, serials, and author interviews.

Lori splits her time between blogging, and working on several writing and editing projects.

Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Shared Twitter | Twitter | GoodReads | Blog | Google+

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Giveaway Details:

There is a tour wide giveaway. Prizes include the following:

  • One lucky winner will win signed print copy of BOTH books, T-shirt of each book, Signed print copy of The Darkness: Book 1 of the Spectrum Trilogy by Crystal Connor, Signed print copy of Hunting in Closed Spaces: Vol 1 of the Marradith Ryder Series by Lori Titus (INT)

Giveaway is International.

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