Monday, August 26, 2013

Meet Danielle D. Smith !!

Welcome back for another Monday Mention. Today we are showcasing the wonderfully talented Danielle Smith, an amazing artist with the Tiger Dynasty Crew. Much like last week, be sure to stay til the very end of this post or you will miss something that NOBODY has sen yet *winks*

Now without further ado.....Let's meet her.


DANIELLE D. SMITH (aka Dani Smith)  is both a writer/creator of gritty "outside the mainstream" paranormal tales, and an accomplished artist and illustrator whose visual work has appeared in various public, private, and gallery exhibitions and in national publications. In her career thus far she has studied everything from costuming to tattooing, and she is always on the hunt for the next great artistic adventure. Originally a focused fine artist trained in classical painting and drawing techniques, Dani now works in a more "popular" art style, marrying her two greatest loves, storytelling and visual art. Rights to her popular BLACK DOG AND REBEL ROSE Series has recently been released by Solstice Publishing, and is currently under development as a comics/graphic novel series. Another recently released title under development as a graphic novel is "In The Neon", a darkly romantic horror story reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast. She is also developing a paranormal horror/action one-shot, "The Black Dog Diaries: A Boy and His Beast", based on the early adventures of the popular BDRR Series hero, Skriker.

Other projects on the burner include another creator-owned Paranormal/Dark Urban Fantasy series following a demonic biker gang, to be published as a flagship series for Jagged Jaguar Comics, and work on the 4th issue of PLB Comics' bestselling vampire series, Gideon & Sebastian.

She credits fine artists including Michael Parkes, Luis Royo, the Pre-Rapaelites, Michaelangelo, & Bosch, and comics/pop culture artists such as James O'Barr, J. Scott Campbell, Andrea Sorrentino, Jo Chen and  Lee Bermejo (mentioned together because their work is very "fine art" in itself), Jim Lee, Gabriel Bá, Joe Quesada, Jae Lee, Tom Nguyen, Clint Langley, and scores of her own friends and fellow creatives as her inspiration.

Dani lives in San Diego with a large number of books, indie flicks, and documentaries. She is a tomboy, usually spotted wearing motorcycle boots and wife beaters, although she does enjoy some feminine pursuits, including fine scented bar soaps and rose tea. Her stories appeal to dreamers, troublemakers, dark romantics, horndogs, and general escapists who are tired of the same old thing in paranormal fiction world. She is of Anglo-Celtic (Irish, Scottish, Welsh, English, French), Scandinavian, Russian, and German Jewish descent. She is the proud mother of a lovely little son named Ryker and the owner of several beautiful tattoos, the number of which just keeps growing. She is proud to say she is 110% one-of-a-kind, sweeter than she looks, easy to work with, and loyal to a fault. :-)


1. What was your favorite comic/comics growing up, and how did those titles influence your current work? 

I was always really big on “indie” comics from smaller presses. The two biggest influences on me as a comics artist would have to be “The Crow”, by James O’Barr, and the “Elfq Quest” series by Wendy and Richard Pini. I adore O’Barr’s gritty—and at times brutal—inks and paintings, and Wendy Pini’s beautiful, semi-realistic fantasy style. I think you can see how both artists influenced me from an early age in my own work.

2. When did you know that you wanted to pursue comics as more than just a hobby? What steps did you take from that point on to make a future in the industry?

I think I realized that comics were a good fit for me because I could merge storytelling with art and enjoy both at the same time. I also was drawn to comics because the prose novel and fine art industries have fallen short in recent years, whereas the comics industry is still alive and kicking, and a place where even an indie creator can make a living doing what they love.

3. If you could have any superpower, what would it be, why do you favor that ability, and would you use it for the greater good or visceral villainy?

Oh, shit! Hahaha. That’s a tough one. I think I’d like to be able to control some kind of element, like water or fire. And I definitely would use it for good—I’m a mom, after all, and need to set a god example for my young son. ;-)

4. Who is your favorite of all your characters? 

If I could only pick one, that would have to be Skriker, from my Black Dog and Rebel Rose Series (publisher pending). He’s just so fun and easy to write AND draw. He’s both the tattooed bad boy and the kindhearted hero—and the fact that he’s half-demon who can sprout fangs, claws, and a spiked tail makes him fun to play with. ;-) As far as my Sheol City (with Jagged Jaguar Publishing) stories go, I have two favorites: Ashe, the “lancelot” hero-figure who is caught between loyalty and pussy (*wink*), and his motorcycle club’s Prez, Antiochus Drake, who is just so bad it’s FUN.

5. Which of your characters has the best power in your opinion? 

Probably Alexius, the angelic father of my Nephil heroine, Rose. He’s, well, an angel, and they’re powers are pretty much Numero uno, after the Creator’s.  Alexius lost his wings for love, but still maintains a lot of rockin’ powers: healing, “ether speaking” (telepathy), the ability to travel great distances in the blink of an eye, mastery of sword and lance and angelic fire. You can’t get much more powerful than that.

6. If you could write a comic without any limits on anything what would you write it about? 

Hahaha, I already feel like I am with the Sheol City series! Demonic biker gangs, drug-addicted angels in City Hall, a werewolf police force, faeries in the ghettos and slums…yeah, already doing it!

7. What was your inspiration for your upcoming comic book series, Sheol City

Sheol City is my “go all out and wing it” series. I wanted to take a facet of criminal culture (in this case, outlaw motorcycle clubs) and put a supernatural/paranormal spin on it. Think of the Sons of Anarchy if they had horns, fangs, claws, and would eat human bikers for breakfast.

8. If you could pick one comic book character to come to life so that you could question their choices, who would it be?

Probably Rose, the heroine of my Black Dog and Rebel Rose series. Being a Nephil, she is a very fragmented creature, and can be very difficult to figure out, even as her creator. I would want to ask her about her true feelings for Skriker, her half-demon companion—sometimes those come through as…fuzzy. She definitely has a lot of growing to do, and if I could meet her in real life, I could really pick her brain about everything she chooses to do, as well as what some of the answers to the Universe’s mysteries are. Naturally, Rosie would be privy to some pretty unique information, being an angel’s daughter. promised......Thank you for staying till the end, we hope you enjoyed learning about yet another of our lovely crew. 
For your prize in staying you will get to see something NOBODY has seen yet..... 

Right now, Danielle is working on an amazing project....It's called Shoel City, and it is the first Comic to be released with Tiger Dynasty Publishing!!!
Today, right here and now, you will get the first look and the cover. This is a NEVER SEEN BEFORE item and we are proud and glad to be sharing it with you today. 

Thank you again for being here, remember to check back next Monday for yet another team member.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Meet Gabrielle Franchetti !!

Welcome back to another installment of "Meet the Author" We are pleased today to bring you, our very own Fire Sprite Gabrielle Franchetti for your reading pleasures.
We talked to Gabrielle for a bit, asked her some tough and not so tough questions, and even have a special treat for you at the end, so stay tuned the whole way through.


§                          1. If dragons were alive and well in the here-and-now, would you fear them or befriend them?

I would of course fear them but also respect them. I would love to befriend them, however; only if they wish it. If dragons were alive today I fear they would be misused for their power, strength and abilities. They would most likely not want to befriend any human. It would take time and patience to befriend one of these amazing creatures. I would need to first regain their trust. 

§                            2. You suddenly find yourself in the world of the Crimson Rose novels; what is your weapon of choice?

This is a difficult question to answer. The world is infused with different weapons that can be wielded. It would depend on what my goal or purpose was for being there. If I was a warrior I would have both a bow and a broad sword. I would also carry a ghost blade (a blade forged with dragon scales).  I do not want to say anything else as it would give away much of this important tool.

However, if I were to have to pick just one, it would be a ghost blade. 

§                            3. Did you read comics when you were growing up and, if so, which comics would you attribute as being the biggest influences on you as an artist?

I read comics with my father since he introduced them to me. I read most of the superhero comics like Superman and Justice League. The art did not intrigue me but the vast dialogue did.  Comics sparked my interest in screen plays and novels. Artists Amy Brown and Nene Thomas were my biggest influences on me as an artist. I would draw a replica of their art but add my own flare to the piece. It wasn’t until I had been drawing for seven years that everything came together for me as an artist. My art work somehow evolved into a talent I did not recognize. 

§                           4.  What is your favorite medium to use when working on your artwork?

I grew up using traditional graphite. I preferred mechanical pencils because of the sharp thin tip. It was not until I was older when I became introduced to oil pastels, charcoal, different shades of graphite pencils and black ink drawing pens. I love charcoal, however; my shading is still a little rusty. I know in time I will master the techniques needed to use charcoal as a medium fully. 

§                           5.  If you could only draw one thing for the rest of your life (i.e. people, animals, etc) what would you choose to do your artwork on?

I am very meticulous about how I draw dragons/want them to look.  So sadly, it would not be them. If I could draw one thing, it would be my character in my stories. Doing them helps me develop them and to fully picture them.

§                            6. What was the first thing you drew/created that started you on your artistic path?

The first thing I drew was a drawing from Amy Brown’s art book. I drew a fairy holding a staff with a crescent moon at the top. The fairy was clothed in a deep blue cloak with a wolf sitting beside her. 

§                            7. What advice would you give aspiring writers?

Write often and never stop. The best advice I ever received was from my cousin Patrick. He told me to write about anything even if it was just about what happened during the day.

Take anything you see in the world and place your own interpretation onto it.  This allows you to take anything and turn it into a story. Having an open mind throughout your day opens a whole other world of opportunities. Having an open mind also allows you to see stories waiting to be told that can stem from one simple event or object in everyday life.  I see writers as the interpreters of the world. Do not be afraid to tell any kind of story.

Also, enjoy writing. Do not get caught up in editing while your creative juices are flowing; that takes place later. Enjoy the story you are within and telling from the inside out without the worries of editing.

§                            8. If you had to choose vampire or werewolf which would you share your life with?

I would choose a werewolf probably because one of my best friend’s characters that I am in love with is a werewolf. I also have my own character as one but with a different twist. I enjoy their protective instincts and toughness. I have always favored werewolves over vampires out of preference for as long as I could remember. 

§                           9.  What would you tell young girls who want to become writers?

Same thing as above. I do not see young girls differently from anyone else. They should not feel pressure or inferior to a male writer. Take chances with your writing; after all it is YOUR writing and YOUR interpretation of the world you see or wish to see around you. Write from your heart. 

§                          10.   Have you ever wanted to base your life on one of your stories or someone elses?

Of course I have. I believe every writer would love to life within their stories, however; us writers tend to take a perfectly good character and see what they can do to make their life a living hell. Knowing that, I would still love to base my life off my stories or someone else’s because it’s the adventure that I am after. 

§                           11.  What makes your character, Crimson, so important to you?

Crimson is very dear to my heart despite how frustrating he is. He demands everything to be about him when he clearly knows the story is about others as well. He is very difficult to write because I am so close to him. I see Crimson as an extension of myself. I see him as all the mistakes I have made and all the dangers in my life that I fear. Crimson is all my phobias into one along with forbidden temptations of everyday life.  He is the part of my mind that goes wild when I walk around in the dark to say just take the trash out. He is also a haven or comfort for me. Crimson is my rational thoughts of reason. He is my decision maker when I am stressed or frazzled. Crimson is all that I love, all that I hate and all that I fear. 

§                          12 . If you were to write a Tell All book, what would you include? What wouldn't you include?

I would write about how to market your own novel from self-publication.  Not all writers are fortunate enough to have a publisher to market and turn their world into something more. Marketing a book is hard work and not everyone knows the proper way to go about this.


Born in New Jersey, Gabrielle was raised around a slew of artists that only aided her overactive imagination and was fully brought to life from her love of books, storytelling, drawing, and movies. At the age of twelve, Gabrielle moved to live with her mother and younger sibling.
Unlike most children, she adored middle school and high school because this is were her writing career first began to flourish. Gabrielle spent her days sitting at her desk and her head firmly within the stories she wrote as her teachers went along their daily activities for the class. With the help of inspirational teachers, they were able to guide her work and mind set in the right direction to pursue her dream of becoming an author. The birth of her Crimson Rose series sprouted while she daydreamed within her torturous math class.
As most characters grow in stories, Gabrielle slowly began to ease from the comfort of herself. There were always many paths before her, however; none took kindly to her heart. Her love began to reside in her stories instead of finding hope in another as a partner. Nonetheless, when she wasn't looking when her loving fiancé, Vincent appeared in her life. He helped to motivate her when blocks hit her and was there to bounce ideas off of. With Vincent's encouragement, she was able to finally finish her series as well as reach her dream as an author. Like any good shifting story, Gabrielle had to quickly adjust to the pros and cons of being in a military relationship.
Gabrielle continues to write many years after her early beginnings sitting at a desk in middle school with a handful of notebooks to accompany her. Her work stretches far beyond her series now with short stories, poems, sketching out her characters and much more.


And promised we have a special treat.  On December 31st, 2013 Gabrielle's first novel will be hitting readers everywhere. Her book titled Crimson Rose will be available on Amazon among other places, and just for you, lucky readers, we have some special words form the author herself.  We hope you enjoy this tasty tidbit, and will run out...or type whichever the case is, and purchase our lovely Fire Sprites amazing words in print. 

Blurb from Crimson Rose:

When Alachia learns that children are mysteriously vanishing for an unknown reason, she must fight with a burning force growing stronger inside her as she unravels the explanation of this pandemic.  Death and creatures only heard in stories torment her along her quest while being haunted by the lives lost in her old home. They long for a life instead of laying waste to the dead kingdom and Alachia makes a hefty promise to them.
While carrying the murdered souls, Alachia must make sure her own changing nature does not disrupt them. Questions swarm her mind wandering if she will make it in time for her lost people and the children. Alachia must choose between a path of destruction, or one of everlasting peace. An eerie man makes the decision for her and sets her off on an unforgettable journey to the possible demise of her friends and herself.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Meet Crystal Barnard!

Well here we are at another Monday, are you ready for the next author?  Well here she is: Crystal Barnard. She is a paranormal horror writer who loves anything involving Vampire and Werewolves, mixed with horror and gore.  So without further ado...


  1. If you found yourself unable to write for any reason, how would you choose to tell your stories?

If I was unable to write I would most likely try my hand at drawing or do some roleplaying. Usually when I roleplay and take on a character, it helps me to get back in the groove for writing and even gives me a few new ideas to play with.

 2. What was your favorite book/series when you were young, and how do you attribute that book/series to your style?

Wow...there were actually a few but I would have to go with Christopher Pike. Anything by him really, his young adult ones really caught my attention and is pretty much what started me off on my fascination with Vampires. From there my horror obsession only grew as I got older and started on my Stephen King kick and that lead to a whole new world for me involving creatures, gore and many ways to slaughter and

3. If you were challenged to write something COMPLETELY outside your comfort zone, what would the piece be about?

It would most likely be either a children's book or spiders. I know, it's sad that I can write horror, mad blood and guts but ask me to write about spiders and all bets are  Maybe one day I will tackle it if I really wanna see if I can be the ultimate writer and hit my fears head on, but until then I will stick to my fictional

 4. If you had to pick one genre to write about for the rest of your days, which genre would you pick and why?

I would definitely pick Paranormal. There are so many different avenues it can be taken and not all of them have been touched yet. I would love to dive into research on all the different kinds of paranormal creatures there are through history and pill out a random one and try my hand at something nobody has tempted yet. Not to mention it leaves me able to write about my pure loves of Vampires and Werewolves.

5. What is your dream goal with your writing - what is your "I've made it" mark?

My I've made it mark...hmmmmm......That's a biggie. I guess for me, my big mark would be sitting in a chair, at a table in Chapters in my hometown, signing copies of my first novel for family and  I know it seems so cheesy and small, but for me getting one of my books into somewhere I know my family and friends will see it is a BIG deal to me and will change everything.

6. When did you have your "aha" moment that you decided you wanted to write, and what was it?

Wow...that's a tough one actually. My moment came when a really good friend of mine, who is like a sister to me, challenged me to write something and submit it to a publisher. I had never thought of myself as a writer, and really doubted I could do it, But I took the challenge head on and wrote my first short story called, A Cupids Time in the Anthology Cupid's Chokehold. I wasn't with that publisher long, but it still gave me the courage, just seeing the contract and seeing my words published, to take another step and join a publishing company. I now have a bunch in the process and three waiting to be re-released into the world.

7. What was your favorite subject in school?

That was most definitely I have always been writing, mostly poems, but it all started there. Any project we did I wrote all original stuff for my classes, never using anything from books or other authors or poets, everything was my own. And it really got me interested in the subject just being able to show what I could do.

8. How did you decided to start writing?

I decided to start writing after seeing the reaction to my short story. Since then stories have been popping into my head one right after the other, and even going so far as to challenge myself to write pieces I never thought I would write. Thanks to my love of the paranormal most of my stuff is in that genre, but it's where I am most comfortable and I never run out of ideas.

 9. What is your reasons for writing?

My main reason for writing is pure entertainment. I love knowing that someone out there, somewhere, is either in a warm bath, or snuggled up in their bed, and the possibility that they are reading something I wrote gives me chills. Just knowing that someone who loves to read could be holding one of my books either in their hand or on their tablet puts such a huge smile on my face and makes me believe that I can do it and only makes me want to write more.


Crystal Barnard is a woman who loves anything paranormal. She especially has a fascination for Vampires and Werewolves and often considers herself an Alpha Female. Having grown up surrounded by the horror genre and having to deal with her own twisted and gruesome thoughts, she often found herself sitting down and writing.
Living and growing up in Canada, she often finds herself in wooded areas, feeling more at home then anywhere else. Her stories tend to run on the paranormal side, but also have been known to hit very graphic horror right down to the last eyeball falling out and blood spattered walls.
At the young age of 35 she is enjoying her time writing and spending time with family and friends, and yes, that includes those who turn furry and go bump in the night. Her childhood was normal like anyone else's, with the exception that her grandfather had a habit of waiting until the quiet parts in a movie and scare her. This went on till about age 8 and then her mind took over on it's own and what would normally be gorey and sickening to most is what she thrives on.
Now when she watches movies, it usually consists of watching them, laughing, and rating the blood and gore factor to see which has the most guts falling out of bodies and which made her fall asleep. Most people find the monsters scary, but not Crystal, she pretty much has them over for dinner to discuss techniques and helps them with their ideas, needless to say dinner parties are never a good idea.
I am a huge horror lover, and of course anything paranormal is first and foremost on my watch list, but the horror factor helped shape my devious mind and create the illusion of innocence meanwhile secretly twisted and deranged.


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Thank you for spending another Monday, getting to know yet another staff member and Author. We are so glad to have you with us. Come back next week when we bring out yet another member for you to find out about.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Introducing DJ Shaw

Welcome back and thank you for coming to check out another Monday of "Meet the Author". This Monday we will be meeting and talking with the awesome DJ Shaw.


1. What's one of your biggest secret sources of inspirations (yes, you have to share with the world)?

Honestly, my husband is my biggest secret sources of inspirations. I usually come up with a story idea just by listening to him talk.

2. How do you feel about killing major characters in your work?

I’m not sure how to answer this question because I haven’t come to this issue as of yet in my work, but I think if it was part of the storyline or to even end a series (you don’t want a series to be too long do you?  I mean there comes a time when the readers just get bored with that character) then killing off a major character would be fine.

3. If you could team up any character from any of your pieces with a character of another franchise, who would it be and how do you think that interaction would turn out? 

I would love to team up Annalise from my “Devilish Delights and Rancid Offerings” piece with Merideth Gentry from Laurell K. Hamilton’s Merry Gentry series. I think Annalise might be able to learn a thing or two from the fairy princess that is Merry Gentry.

4. When killing a character in your writing (major/minor), how do you come up with your ideas, is it from being angry at someone or do you just go with the flow of the piece?

I go with the flow of the piece. All of my pieces seem to write themselves as I sit in front of my computer so when I killed Terry off in my “Things in the Mirror”, it just seemed to be what the characters needed.

5. If one of your pieces was placed in a time capsule to be opened in 50 years, which piece would you choose and why?

“Devilish Delights and Rancid Offerings” would be the piece I would choose and there are two reasons behind this. One: because it was my first piece ever published and Two: because the Leanan Sidhe are an underused and misunderstood mythos.

6. How do you come up with your pieces?

Everything around me; music, TV, movies, husband, even my kids, help me come up with my pieces. When it comes to the main characters and what they are in paranormal life, I never know until right before I finish the piece. I sit in front of my computer and just start typing whatever comes into my head. Sometimes it comes out as gibberish that I need to organize and sometimes it just becomes a piece that I’m proud of.

7. If you could bring any one character to life from your works, who would it be?

MacKenzie Spayde hands down

8. Would you ever create a character based on a real person in your life?

I have actually. In a piece I wrote titled “Cupids are Girls too”, I based the two male Cupids off of my husband and a friend of mine that I have known almost 20 years