Blog Ring of Power Interview — Matthew Cox and his new book, CALLER 107

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Today I welcome back speculative fiction author Matthew Cox. Matt has been featured on the Blog Ring of Power before, but he has a new book out, so welcome him again!

Also, the Blog Ring of Power is happy to be part of the official blog tour for Matt’s new book, CALLER 107!

Caller 107 Blog Tour Banner

You can find the other four parts of the Blog Ring of Power interview with Matt on the following blogs, so please check them out to get the whole story!

Emily LaBonte Sandra Ulbrich Almazon T.W. Fendley

MCox_02_Light_wb2How many published works do you have?

I’ve written 12 novels, co-wrote 1, and have an anthology of short stories. Of those, 2 are released (Caller 107 being #3 on 7/22.) Two more (Division Zero 2 and Prophet of the Badlands) are slated for release later this year. The book I co-wrote with Tony Healey may be released in October.

What genre do you write?

Most so far has been science fiction, cyberpunk with paranormal (psionic/ghosts/demons) elements. I’ve branched out a bit in short stories with some horror, post apoc, and fantasy. Caller 107 is… as best as I can say, contemporary paranormal.

What is your favorite theme/genre to write about?

My favorite genre is somewhere between cyberpunk and post apocalyptic. Regarding theme, I tend to think of stories from the characters’ on outward. It changes a bit from story to story, though I do try to capture a sense of character evolution in the face of an often-cynical world.

Do you consider yourself a professional writer? What does that term mean to you?

Well, on one level, I have received royalties for a published book… So, in a literal sense I suppose I am. Were the day to come when I could live off writing alone, that would feel more concrete. Each time I am humbled by a reader telling me they enjoyed one of my stories, I’m reminded why I write. Being able to live off it would be a nice side perk, but it’s not what’s motivated me to write in the first place.

Outside of writing, what is the best part of being an author? The worst part?

The best part, by far, is hearing from a reader that I ‘reached’ on some level. Hearing that they connected with one of the characters and empathized with them, or got into the story… That’s why I do this. The worst part of being an author is trying to climb over that initial hill from a place where nobody knows who you are to a place where readers can find what I’ve written.


When thirteen-year-old Natalie Rausch said she would die to meet DJ Crazy Todd, she did not Caller 107 eCovermean to be literal.

Two years is a long time to be stuck between two people who want nothing more than to destroy each other. A tween crush on the larger-than-life jock from a local radio station is the only trace of a once-happy life ruined by warring parents.

Whenever WROK 107 ran a contest, she would dive for the phone, getting busy signals and dead air every time. She never expected to get through, but at least with her best friend at her side, it used to be fun.

Before her parents ruined that too.

Her last desperate attempt to get their attention, falling in with a dangerous group of older teens, goes as wrong as possible. With no one left to blame for her mess of a life but herself, karma comes full circle and gives her just a few hours to make up for two years’ worth of mistakes–or be forever lost.

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CROWN OF ICE Countdown — Day 44: F is for FROZEN

Unless you’ve been living under a snowdrift for the past year, you’ve undoubtedly heard about a little film called FROZEN.

copyright sign(I would put a picture here, but Disney is pretty protective of things like that, so… just imagine, okay?)


Yeah, that one.

So, of course, a lot of people have asked me if CROWN OF ICE was inspired by FROZEN.  The answer, in a word, is NO.

Now, I have seen FROZEN and I think it’s a wonderful film. I understand why people love it, and I would never, ever, want to say something bad about that movie. It’s sweet, beautiful, exciting, and all kinds of fun, and who doesn’t like that?

But I do want to clarify that CROWN OF ICE was written before I had any idea that Disney was cropped-2005__Stamp_of_Belarus_06141.jpgcreating a film based on “The Snow Queen.” In fact, I was querying CROWN before I ever heard of FROZEN.

I actually worried a little bit because I thought people might believe I was just “coat-tailing”. Then I read about the film, and finally saw it, and my worries were put to rest.

Because, except for the fact that one character in the film and one character in my book can control snow and ice, there is absolutely nothing similar about them.

LukiQuite simply, they both draw inspiration from the original story of “The Snow Queen,” written by Hans Christian Andersen.  (I will say, as an aside, that CROWN OF ICE sticks closer to the original, but that’s neither here nor there).

So my feeling is — why not enjoy both versions? Heck, there are all sorts of “Snow Queen” inspired books and films out there, so why not appreciate them all?

<— (I have it on good authority that Luki agrees with this plan).



CROWN OF ICE COUNTDOWN — DAY 45: E is for Enchantment

Day 45 — E is for Enchantment

There is a great deal of enchantment going on in CROWN OF ICE. There are enchanted beasts sent to attack the main characters by an evil sorcerer, an enchanted reindeer named Bae…


Shattered mirrorBut the most important enchantment centers around a broken mirror.



My protagonist, Thyra Winther, must piece together this shattered mirror before her eighteenth birthday, or spend eternity as a wraith.

It’s a difficult task, not just because of the dire outcome that awaits Thyra if she fails. The truth is, the sorcerer who seeks its restoration believes he is in control, but this isn’t entirely correct — the mirror holds ancient magic of its own.


CROWN OF ICE COUNTDOWN — Day 46: D is for Determination

The countdown continues with day 46 — D for Determination.

Many of the characters in CROWN OF ICE show great determination and grit, but none more so than Gerda.


Armed with nothing more than faith and love, Gerda sets off to find her missing childhood friend, Kai, and bring him home. She doesn’t have wealth, fighting skills, magical powers, or anything else to aid her in her quest. She’s just an ordinary girl with an extraordinary capacity for love.

Although she is not the protagonist of my version of the story, Gerda has a vey important role to play in CROWN OF ICE!

My Picks and Maybes for the NEW AGENT CONTEST


My picks were:

Eponine — Melanie Stanford

Hoodlum — Mia Siegert

Remembering Diana — Rena Olsen

Side Show — Corey Daniel

My (final — I waffled a lot) “maybes” were:

The Driver’s Wife — Susan Keogh

The Swan — T.A. Brock

Serafina Ballerina Beats the Blues — Sarah Floyd

Dreams the Insanity — Jacqueline Davis

The Soul Program — Shelly Walker

Plus two that others picked as their final four (yay):

Sajiva — Marjorie Brimer

Steve and Austin — Heather Murphy Capps

I also voted “yes” on all the team picks! (Some were initially yeses or maybes for me personally).



Day 49: “C” is for CRYSTAL –

I thought I’d share a brief excerpt from CROWN OF ICE, one of the many passages that describe my protagonist’s icy world:

As darkness creeps over the fields and forests we head to a castle carved of ice. We head home.

At night the palace’s crystal halls are tinged sapphire. One of the first bits of magic that Voss taught me was to set the carved walls alight so that I’m not forced to walk the halls in darkness.I conjure a cold light that glows within the thick walls without melting the ice. I mastered this trick quickly once I knew what those shadows held. If I leave an area in darkness, they come—the girls who reigned as Snow Queen before me.

“I must find it.” Their hollow words wind about me like a shroud. “The last piece. I must place it. Give it to me.”

Crystal Cave, Iceland




Continuing the countdown to the publication for CROWN OF ICE (Sept. 9th!) –

Day 52 — “B” is for Blizzard!

Of course, snow and ice play a major role in CROWN OF ICE. My 17yo Snow Queen, Thyra Winther, has the power to summon and control snow and ice, and uses this to her advantage.

There are several blizzards in the book — in fact, these storms are integral to the plot.

You may want to sit by a fire sipping some nice, hot cocoa while you read CROWN!


Starting the Countdown for CROWN OF ICE’s RELEASE — DAY 53

Sept. 9CROWN OF ICE releases in 53 days! Yes, that’s right — Sept. 9th is the book birthday for my debut novel.

In honor of that upcoming event, I’ve decided to start a countdown to publication. On most days that I do not have another blog post scheduled (I do have some other authors to highlight and celebrate!) I will do a short post that provides some information or “teaser” info. about CROWN. I think I will make use of the alphabet — since words are the building blocks for any story.


Today, DAY 53 — A is for ANIMALS.

There are several animals depicted in CROWN OF ICE. The two most important are LUKI, a wolf pup0f8bb3bc92bcf7bce42d00b4d3551570









Bae5and BAE, the enchanted reindeer.









Both are VERY important characters in CROWN OF ICE. I can’t wait for you to meet them!

News, News, News!

Just a quick update post to fill you in on all my news — As mentioned before, CROWN OF ICE will be published on September 9th! Celebrate CROWN is now available for pre-order! (Kindle only at this point, but there WILL be a paperback version as well)

I have an author page on Amazon!

My first reading/signing will be held at 3PM on September 14th at Scuppernong Books, 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro, NC 27401

Would love to see you there!

J.S. Hazzard Interview — Blog Ring of Power

BRoP Logo RevisedToday I welcome speculative fiction author J. S. Hazzard. You can find the other four parts of the Blog Ring of Power interview with J. S. on the following blogs, so please check them out to get the whole story!

Emily LaBonte Sandra Ulbrich Almazon T.W. Fendley

Hazzard - BLOOD LEVERAGEHow long have you been writing?

I’d been writing legal briefs and academic papers for two decades, but only began writing fiction approximately three years ago. 

When and why did you begin writing?

There were two real influences in my decision to attempt writing fiction. First, my father (for no specific reason that I know of), had been telling me to “write a book” for years. Then, once I began to research writing a book, I kept seeing other authors write about how everyone thinks they can write a book, but few really can. The quickest way to make me do anything is to tell me I’m incapable. I’m snarky like that.

When did you first consider yourself a professional writer?

Wait, is this supposed to have happened already? Half the time I don’t even feel like a professional adult yet. I’ll let you know.

What genre do you write?

Currently I’m working on the second book in a paranormal dramatic series—almost a coming of age. Though there are romantic elements in the books, I don’t feel them to be the primary focus of the story.

If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?

Well, having done the attorney thing already, I’m going to say event planner. Crafting a great party is like crafting a great story. It should take its visitor to another place and leave them wanting more.


Author Bio.:

I grew up in a tiny town in Western New York and now live in the suburbs of Buffalo with my Hazzard photohusband and our little pit bull, Casanova. After years of term papers and legal briefs, I decided to attempt writing fiction mainly to see if I could do it. (It also sounded a lot more fun and possibly easier than practicing law.) Looking back, I’m pretty sure somebody must have slipped me special kool-aid, because there’s nothing easy about the worlds of writing and publishing. That said, releasing Blood Leverage has been a joy, and I’m so grateful for all the support I’ve received. The only thing better than writing something you love is having someone else love something you’ve written. I absolutely love discussing Blood Leverage with my readers, so if you liked my work or have a suggestion for me to improve, I’d love to hear from you! I do my best to personally answer each and every one of my emails, and I can be reached through

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As humanity struggles with the aftermath of a century-long vampiric bloodbath, life outside the remaining great cities revolves around being inside by sunset and never questioning the status quo.

Aurora Strong is practically a pariah in her village thanks to her mother’s infamous involvement with vampires — not to mention her own inability to play by the rules. Not content with being a mere social outcast, Rory conspires in a secret, and very illegal, blood brokering scheme. She enjoys her private rebellion against the town that shuns her — until her partner in crime goes missing, and suddenly it’s not about her anymore.

Now, with her partner either enslaved as a living blood bank or already dead, Rory’s illicit blood brokering contacts are her only hope of making things right. Assuming they allow her to leave…or even to live.