TJ Nichols on Mytho Origins and Lust and Other Drugs (Mytho #1) by T.J. Nichols

Standard

Lust and Other Drugs (Mytho #1) by T.J. Nichols

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Tiferet Design

Buy Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Kobo | iTunes | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host TJ Nichols here today on tour for Lust and Other Drugs.  Welcome, TJ.

 

 

Mytho—Origins

One of the first thing people ask when a new book comes out is ‘where did the idea come from?’

It would be nice if there were an easy answer. A point in time where I could pinpoint exactly how the pieces came together. A story, for me, comes in many bits that have to be assembled without any instructions.

I think the first bit that appeared was Edra. I wanted to write a dragon shapeshifter and thought it might be fun if he had invisibility issues (he can’t control it all that well), which can make things awkward.

I wanted to set the book in the here and now, not an alternate earth like the Demonology series. But I had no idea how dragons fitted into our world so let the idea sit.

Months later I remembered reading something about the Hadron Collider and remembered all the predictions of ripping the world apart that had been made—but I still had no story at this point.

Then I went to a crime writing workshop (for no good reason besides a general interest) and thought that maybe I could add that in, maybe the love interest is a cop. And the love interest likes pretty lingerie (I don’t know why, sometimes a character insists and it’s easier and more interesting to go with it, so I did). So Jordan arrived with his pet can and lingerie.

Then it all snowballed into an idea that I could play with.

What if it wasn’t our world the Hadron Collider destroyed, but the Mytho world. The place where mythological creatures and people lived, though they had sometimes interacted with our world, thus our myths and legends. What if the Mytho world collapsed into ours and now we have werewolf and vampire and ogre refugees?

I had to make a choice here, I either wrote about the disaster, the fighting, marshal law and internment camps for mythos that would inevitably happen in such a disaster or I let all of that happen and write 10 years on when humans have grudgingly accepted that the Mythos are here to stay and cops are trying to police satyrs and mermaids and beings they know very little about. I went with the later simply because I didn’t want to write the grim fighting and death and destruction (I was writing the Demonology series at the time and this series needed to be a little lighter.

I plotted out the romance arc over several books, gave Edra and Jordan a crime to solve in each book and that was that. And that was about two years before I started writing Lust and other Drugs. All the plots and character arc sat there waiting for attention.

This sometimes happens, book ideas have to wait until I have time or the calling to write them (it’s kind of like my brain going, THIS ONE NOW and everything falls neatly into place).

The only thing I hadn’t decided on was where to set the story. I had two locations in mind Sydney, Australia (I’m an Aussie so that was the easy choice) of San Francisco. Both places have bridges and an island in the bay (both of which matter). In the end I went with SF (Which I’ve only visited once) so yay for the internet and the brilliant SFPD website.

Of course the Mytho world collapsing into ours changed a few things so any errors are clearly meant to be there and happened as part of the disaster…

About the Author

TJ Nichols is an avid runner and martial arts enthusiast who first started writing as child. Many years later while working as a civil designer, TJ decided to pick up a pen and start writing again. Having grown up reading thrillers and fantasy novels, it’s no surprise that mixing danger and magic comes so easily. Writing urban fantasy allows TJ to bring magic to the every day. TJ enjoys writing novellas and novels and has a series, Studies in Demonology, coming out with DSP Publications.

With two cats acting as supervisors, TJ has gone from designing roads to building worlds and wouldn’t have it any other way. After traveling all over the world and Australia, TJ now lives in Perth, Western Australia.

Website: www.tjnichols-author.blogspot.com

Twitter: @TobyJNichols

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TJNichols.author

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cO-YRz

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/TJ-Nichols/e/B01B463R6W

Bookbub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tj-nichols

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14669076.T_J_Nichols

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tjnichols.author/

Blurb:

Mytho: Book One

Police officer Jordan and dragon shifter Edra might have to work together, but they don’t trust each other—even if sparks do fly between them.

If anyone finds out Jordan’s a mytho sympathizer, it could kill his career. No one can know that he frequents the satyr dens and uses the drug Bliss. Another satyr overdose might not get much attention, but two dead humans? That shouldn’t be possible.

And it might not be an accident.

Edra, Mythological Services Liaison, has been covering up mytho crimes to protect the community’s reputation. With a mayoral election looming, the last thing his people need is a scandal.

To get a murderer off the streets, Jordan and Edra will be spending a lot of time together, and it won’t be easy to keep up with their deceptions… or to keep resisting each other.

A Alisa Release Day Review: Rogue in the Making (Studies in Demonology #2) by T.J. Nichols

Standard

Rating:  5 stars out of 5

The blood sacrifices have brought rain to Demonside, but across the void, the Warlock College of Vinland is still storing and gathering magic, heedless of the warnings of the international magical community. The underground is full of warlocks who disagree with the college, but do they care about wizards and demons or only about snatching power?

With a foot in each world, Angus is no longer sure whom he can trust. The demons don’t trust humans, and even though he is learning more magic, he will never be one of them. He is human and only tolerated. Some demons would be happy to slit his throat. It’s only because his demon is powerful in his own right that Angus is alive.

Saka only has a year to prove that Angus’s people can change and that the magic taken will be rebalanced, but the demons want action. His affection for Angus is clouding his judgment and weakening his position in the tribe. Time is running out, and he must make a choice.

I was so excited to see Angus and Saka again and I was disappointed.  This story was just as in depth and thought out as the last one.  This story seems to pick up just after the last book when Angus and the trainees are in demonside following Angus’ injury.  This book was even more trying for these characters as they continue to try and help both worlds.

The story’s focus was still primarily on solving the problem of rebalancing the magic in Demonside and fixing the problems in Vineland but we continue to see Angus and Saka’s relationship blossom and Angus continue to grow his relationship with Terrance in the human world.  Angus is torn between them both but also trying to decide how to deal with the growing doubt he has in the underground.

We got to see both Angus and Saka’s points of view throughout the story.  Both were torn between the one they loved and doing what is “right” for their people.  Saka continues to have push back from others in his tribe while he is trying to keep the peace and mend the rift between the two worlds.  I felt the most for Angus because he seemed to be having to have so many different faces depending on who he was talking to he always seemed to have to stay on guard for one reason or another.  As I see this story continue it makes me even more anxious for the next book to come out for a conclusion.

Cover art by Catt Ford is wonderful and connects well with the setting of the story.

Sales Links: DSP Publications | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 284 pages

Published: May 22, 2018 by DSP Publications

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-452-4

Edition Language: English

Series: Studies in Demonology #2

TJ Nichols on Expanding the World and their new release Rogue in the Making (Studies in Demonology #2)

Standard

Rogue in the Making (Studies in Demonology #2) by T.J. Nichols 
DSP Publications

Cover Artist: Catt Ford

Sales Links:  DSP Publications | Amazon  | iBooks | B & N | Kobo

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host T.J. Nichols here today on tour for Rogue on the Making. Welcome, T.J.

✒︎

Expanding the world by TJ Nichols

When writing a series, especially on that centers around the same characters I think it’s important to offer the reader something new. That means the difficulties the characters face need to be different, bigger and more dangerous. The characters need to continue growing.

I knew how the series was going to end so I had a vague idea about how the characters would need to change over each book.

The other thing I did in each book (the third book, Blood for the Spilling, is in edits) was to expand the series world, giving the reader new things to explore with the characters.

In book one, Warlock in Training, the world I introduced was Demonside. I wanted the desert and the demons who lived there to be real. The human world is much like ours, but with warlocks and magic and I didn’t need to go into too much depth in the book, it was enough to know that the Warlock College was the big bad and our human hero was going to get into trouble if he didn’t start to figure things out. The reader figured things out along with Angus.

In Rogue in the Making I went back to the human world and peeled back the layers. More time is spent in Vinland looking at the Warlock College, and what has gone wrong. The hints that were there in book one get pulled open and the horror is revealed.

For each book I had to research various things. In book one it was how desert civilizations lived. In book two I looked at desert survival, what happens to deserts in the rain—life happens fast—but I also looked at modern countries where media is controlled, what happens to people who discover the truth and how the takeover happened without bloodshed. The Warlock College didn’t start out wanting to control all magic, but somewhere along the way it became corrupted and when it went unchallenged the corruption spread until they effectively run the country, and everyone believes that demons are the bad guys who are threatening another war. I don’t think any of the warlocks in charge would call themselves evil, they believe they are making magic safe by removing demons.

In book three I expand the world beyond the Vinnish boarders. There are hints in the first two books about book three. The cover (which I have seen a draft of) gives another major hint. Another way of using demon magic is explored, and I researched jungles and a past civilization, so I could bring it back to life in a world where magic is real.

If I’d put all of this world building in the first book there would’ve been no room left for magic and lust and it would’ve made for a very dry read. One of the advantages of having a series is the ability to dig deeper and widen with each book. As an author I love being able to expand my story world and as a reader I love the way long running series bring in new things—as long as they don’t become so sprawling the point of the story doesn’t became lost. Character arcs and plot shouldn’t get swallowed up in favor of lush world building IMHO.

 

Rogue in the Making (Studies in Demonology 2)

The blood sacrifices have brought rain to Demonside, but across the void, the Warlock College of Vinland is still storing and gathering magic, heedless of the warnings of the international magical community. The underground is full of warlocks who disagree with the college, but do they care about wizards and demons or only about snatching power?

With a foot in each world, Angus is no longer sure whom he can trust. The demons don’t trust humans, and even though he is learning more magic, he will never be one of them. He is human and only tolerated. Some demons would be happy to slit his throat. It’s only because his demon is powerful in his own right that Angus is alive.

Saka only has a year to prove that Angus’s people can change and that the magic taken will be rebalanced, but the demons want action. His affection for Angus is clouding his judgment and weakening his position in the tribe. Time is running out, and he must make a choice.

About the Author

TJ Nichols is an avid runner and martial arts enthusiast who first started writing as child. Many years later while working as a civil designer, TJ decided to pick up a pen and start writing again. Having grown up reading thrillers and fantasy novels, it’s no surprise that mixing danger and magic comes so easily, writing urban fantasy allows TJ to bring magic to the every day.
After traveling all over the world and Australia, TJ now lives in Perth, Western Australia.

Website: tjnichols-author.blogspot.com

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/TJNichols

Twitter: @TobyJNichols

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TJNichols.author

Newsletter: http://www.eepurl.com/cO-YRz

An Alisa Advent Release Day Review: Poison Marked (2017 Advent Calendar Daily – Stocking Stuffers) by T.J. Nichol

Standard
Rating:  3 stars out of 5
Kill his lover or disobey his king and instigate civil war?
As the feared court poison master, Nikko is sworn to do as his king bids. As the lover of the king’s nephew, Lord Rodas, Nikko must hide his affection or risk being labeled a traitor and punished. A former thief who clawed his way into the palace from the filthy streets, Nikko longs to be deserving of Rodas’s love.
A respected war hero, Rodas is in a delicate political situation. He is not the kingdom’s natural heir, though many support his claim over the wastrel, Prince Fortin. The last thing Rodas wants is war. His highest ambition is for Nikko to openly wear the jewels he’s bestowed on him as a public declaration of their love.
Neither man is prepared for the king to order Nikko to poison Rodas during the solstice feast or for the deadly intrigue they’re plunged into, which exposes their affair and rocks the foundations of the kingdom.
This was a nice story, however as I thought when I first read the description it isn’t what one would think of as a Christmas story.  It is focused on the Solstice but doesn’t have the same feel.  I could feel Nikko’s pain of indecision and duty when he is ordered to kill his lover.  Rodas seems genuine but I didn’t really get a good feel for him.  I’m not a fan of the whole have to have an heir thing but I can have a lover also; it just feels too close to cheating to me but in the world they seem to live in it’s the best that  Nikko could hope for.
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza.  Great cover….for anything but an Advent story.  Not sure how I feel about it.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 56 pages
Published: December 12, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

TJ Nichols on Plotting and Planning and their latest release Olivier (Order of the Black Knights #7) (guest post)

Standard

Olivier (Order of the Black Knights #7) by T.J. Nichols
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

Buy links:   Dreamspinner Press |  Kobo | iTunes | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have T.J. Nichols here today to talk about the latest in the Order of the Black Knights series, Olivier and share some insight into the author’s writing process.  Welcome, T.J.!

✒︎

Plotting and planning by T.J. Nichols

I like to get to know my characters and have an idea about where my story is going before I start writing. Because Olivier is part of a series written by several authors there were also some basic rules that I had to follow, such as including the prologue (about the Knight’s last life and how he died) and also the detail about how Olivier became a Black Knight.

Aside from those couple of things the world was my own to create. It is less fantasy than my other works, but I love a cursed hero and the lure of including past lives was too great for me to pass up the opportunity.

The first thing I did was work out why Olivier signed on with the wizard. Who did he want revenge on and why? Then I needed to show an echo of that in the prologue and have him confront that issue once again in the actual story. After all those lives of killing and seeking revenge without understanding why, he has to eventually learn the lesson.

With one character established I then had to work out who it was that Olivier had been killing over and over again through the centuries. What had this guy done in the past and who was he now? While he hadn’t signed on with the wizard he’d been dragged into the curse.

I knew when I started that I didn’t want the breaking of the curse to become part of the Happily Ever After. It had to be another complication that only makes things worse for Olivier and Cody.

Somehow as I was writing it all got rather tangled and I had to go back to my reliable method of fixing a plot: make a list of every scene with a one sentence summary and a note about whose point of view it’s in. This method has saved many a story as I can see quickly when someone is taking over, or when scenes are missing, or need deleted. What I usually find is that when things get messy I’ve jumped ahead and missed scenes or I’ve taken a wild wrong turn and I need to rewrite one scene to put it back on track. Writing this list also helps me remember what the story is about and to keep true to that instead of trying to make it something else.

With this story one of my problems was working out how to deal with Cody’s father. I couldn’t let him walk away, but I also knew that he was too slippery for the police. Once I’d worked out what to do with him the ending came together—though not as I’d originally planned.

Olivier

Order of the Black Knights

Olivier Merlo works for a dangerous man. He does what he’s told without asking questions because he needs to protect his sister and niece. When someone gives his boss trouble, Olivier does what he does best. It’s a routine hit—until the victim’s brother starts poking around.

Cody Anders left his family behind a decade ago—along with their wealth and influence—to live on his own terms. Still, he knows his twin didn’t die of a drug overdose, and he’ll do anything to find the truth. What he uncovers is a conspiracy that will topple his family and leave him staring down the barrel of a gun.

Olivier must decide if he’s going to obey orders or free himself from the curse that has guided his hand for centuries. Cody, who challenges Olivier’s notion that no one can love him, holds the key to breaking his chains. But when the truth finally comes out, it might be more than Cody can accept.

About the Author

TJ Nichols is an avid runner and martial arts enthusiast who first started writing as child. Many years later while working as a civil designer, TJ decided to pick up a pen and start writing again. Having grown up reading thrillers and fantasy novels, it’s no surprise that mixing danger and magic comes so easily, writing urban fantasy allows TJ to bring magic to the every day. TJ enjoys writing novellas and novels and has a series, Studies in Demonology, coming out with DSP Publications.

With two cats acting as supervisors, TJ has gone from designing roads to building worlds and wouldn’t have it any other way. After traveling all over the world and Australia, TJ now lives in Perth, Western Australia.

Website: www.tjnichols-author.blogspot.com

Twitter: @TobyJNichols

Facebook: www.facebook.com/TJNichols.author

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cO-YRz

An Alisa Releases Day Review: Warlock in Training (Studies in Demonology #1) by T.J. Nichols

Standard

 

Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

warlock-in-training-by-tj-nicholsAngus Donohue doesn’t want to be a warlock. He believes draining demons for magic is evil, but it’s a dangerous opinion to have—his father is a powerful and well-connected warlock, and Angus is expected to follow the family tradition.

 

His only way out is to fail the demon summoning class. Failure means expulsion from the Warlock College. Despite Angus’s best efforts to fumble the summoning, it works. Although not the way anyone expects.

 

Angus’s demon, Saka, is a powerful mage with his own need for a warlock.

 

Saka wants to use Angus in a ritual to rebalance the magic that is being stripped from Demonside by warlocks. If Angus survives his demon’s desires and the perils of Demonside, he’ll have to face the Warlock College and their demands.

 

Angus must choose: obey the College and forget about Demonside or trust Saka and try to fix the damage before it’s too late. Whatever he does, he is in the middle of a war he isn’t qualified to fight.

 

This is wonderful and thought out story.  Angus has been struggling with himself since his father placed him in Warlock College and has been trying to figure out how to get out without just quitting like he wants to.  When Saka takes him back to Demonside most of his beliefs and research about the use of demons in his world are confirmed.

 

Both Angus’s and Saka’s worlds were well developed and I wasn’t questioning the actions of the characters throughout the story as can often happen with little things seem to be missing.  While the “relationship” between Angus and Saka is not the main focus of the story it is important for this story for the future in this series.  They both have a deep connection to the other, but are unable to actually voice this to others or really themselves.

 

We see the views of both Angus and Saka in this story.  Angus is trying to figure out how to help Saka while also not being a rogue on his side; unfortunately he has more confrontation than he planned on.  I couldn’t help, but feel his desperation and how hopeless his situation felt at many points throughout the story.  Saka has never fully agreed with what many on his side deem the proper solution for bring the worlds back into balance, but as long as he is able he will work to do what he thinks is the best solution.  This is a great start to this series and I look forward to more of these stories.

 

Cover art by Catt Ford is wonderful and shows both of the worlds Angus is trying to live in.

 

Sales Links: DSP Publications | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 226 pages

Published: February 14, 2017 by DSP Publications

ISBN-13: 9781635332674

Edition Language: English

Series: Studies in Demonology #1

A Lila Advent Calendar Review Day 22: The Vampire’s Dinner (2016 Advent Calendar – Bah Humbug) by T.J. Nichols

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

the-vampires-dinnerFor vampire Charles Redfort, Christmas is a bitter reminder of the day he was killed by a werewolf. After fleeing the vampire army he was created to serve in, he has lived in exile in England. Once a year he allows himself to tell the truth about his life over dinner. Then he eats the man he’s hired for the night.

Blake Wells is an engineering student by day and escort by night. He works Christmas because he doesn’t want to see his father, and his mother doesn’t want to see him. When he meets Charles, he thinks he’s gotten a bonus present that he can’t wait to unwrap. But as the truth is revealed, Blake will have to think fast to live until morning and convince Charles to give up his lonely life.

The Vampire‘s Dinner is a refreshing change from the standard Christmas story. I liked Charles best. It’s easy to feel all his years of disappear and loneliness as we learned of the events he had lived over the centuries. Even so, he still has some humanity left in him and when meeting Blake, it becomes an obstacle in his well-designed plan.

Blake might be working as an escort, but he has his life organized to perfection in order to graduate from college and get a job in his career field. His life hasn’t been easy, but he had persevered and it’s now closer to his goal. Meeting Charles presents a new opportunity.  

This short story is well-paced, funny, and smexy; all in one unusual plot. The banter and the negotiations between the main characters leaves the reader hoping for more in the future. It does have a satisfying ending with a HFN but it has a lot of potential for a longer story, and perhaps other couples in the same world.

The country descriptions and the food tasting were another great detail integrated by the author. As well as the hotel setting and the characters’ descriptions.

The generic cover is definitely Paul Richmond’s signature style but doesn’t go with the story.

Sale Links: Dreamspinner | AmazonARe

ebook, 39 pages
Published: December 1, 2016, 
Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 1635331846 (ISBN13: 9781635331844)
Edition Language: English