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About Valerie Willis
Valerie Willis is the Chief Operating Officer for 4 Horsemen Publications, Inc., an expert digital typesetter, and a fantasy romance author based out of Central Florida. When writing, she loves crafting novels with elements inspired by mythology, legends, folklore, fairy tales, and history. As COO, she oversees the design of all books including covers, typesets, and author branding where she pulls in creative print design while making versatile eBooks.
You can find her hosting workshops or attending as a guest speaker at many events (MegaCon, DragonCon, OCLS Writers Conference, Florida Writers Conference, SavvyAuthors, Women in Publishing Summit, etc.). She’s been on panels with best-selling authors from Peter David to Delilah Dawson sharing her expertise in writing, research, worldbuilding, character development, book design, reader immersion, and more. You can also find her co-hosting on the Drinking with Authors Podcast speaking with Jonathan Maberry, Heather Graham, Charles Gannon, and many more on their own journeys as an author!
Her award-winning dark fantasy paranormal romance, The Cedric Series, is a blend of genres that appeals to a wide range of readers who describe it as “dramatic, lustful, and fantasy fulfilling.” The motto here is: “No immortal is beyond the ailments of man” that includes powerful creatures, demons, witches, and deities! Many of the monsters are derived from Medieval Bestiaries adding a fun flavor of new yet deeply-rooted assortment such as Coin Iotair, Shag Foal, Cynocephali, and more.
For readers of fantasy MM romance, check out her pen name V.C. Willis with the Traibon Family Saga starting with books The Prince’s Priest and The Priest’s Assassin. If you are looking for steamy paranormal erotica, chase down Urban Legends and modern tellings of Fairy tales with Honey Cummings.
In 2020, she joined 4 Horsemen Publications, Inc. to bring over a decade of typesetting skills and industry knowledge to the table. Nothing is more rewarding for her than making fellow author’s dreams come to life in physical format. Designing and writing books has been a longtime passion since childhood of hers and she continues to inspire and encourage authors around the world whenever possible.
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Titles By Valerie Willis
This tome holds a variety of answers for those seeking to become typesetters, looking to self-publish their book, or simply want to learn how to communicate and prepare their manuscripts to get the most out of their designers.
The Writer's Bane is a curse and passion, both a want and need to tell a story. In this volume, you will learn the importance for prepping a book for layout as well as laying it out in a way that appeals to your readers of any genre including picture books, chapter books, fiction, memoirs, textbooks, workbooks, and everything in-between.
Book design has advanced drastically with the aid of software, print-on-demand options, and digital devices making accessibility of information for authors and designers has gotten a lot easier. Discover your options and get ready to make a checklist! This volume covers many topics of research including:
- Glossary & terms
- Anatomy of book interior
- Software & Program Options
- Print options for Digital Typesetting
- What CMS formatting means
- Industry standards vs. reader expectations
- Prepping manuscripts for format
- Trim size options based on type of book
- Formatting for print and eBook
- Do’s and Don’ts for formatting
- Step-by-step formatting guides
- Layout recommendations
- Storyboards and Templates
- File preparation checklists
- Examples of books types
- Illustration and graphics handling
Urban legends have thrilled and chilled us for years, always with a slightly different twist in the telling. Discover the truth behind some of these legends. From the legend of the Chupacabra, to the Headless Horseman, to Friday 13th or a Kidney Thief.
Twenty one different authors, twenty one tellings. These are your stories.
LA LEYENDA DE LA CHUPACABRA
Sightings of the chupacabra are rare and believed to be a case of mistaken identity. It is what everyone believes until the Hurricane. The island has need of it's misunderstood hero, the only catch? She's hungry.
The Legend of the Horseman:
The legend of the Headless Horseman begins in Sleepy Hollow, New York, during the American Revolutionary War. Traditional folklore holds that the Horseman was a Hessian artilleryman who was killed during the Battle of White Plains in 1776. He was decapitated by an American cannonball, and the shattered remains of his head were left on the battlefield while his comrades hastily carried his body away. Eventually they buried him in the cemetery of the Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow, from which each Halloween night he rises as a malevolent ghost, furiously seeking his lost head. That's all there is...or is it?
A Night at the Inn:
August 4, 1892. Andrew and Abby Borden have been hacked to death in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. Their spinster daughter, Lizzie, is charged with the murders and acquitted. To this day, no one knows what really happened.
Fast forward to present day. Will takes paranormal-obsessed girlfriend Emma to the supposedly-haunted Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast. The home, famous for the murders of Lizzie’s parents, is now a popular tourist destination for thrill seekers, ghost hunters, and lovers of the macabre. Did Lizzie really kill her parents? Only Max, a black cat who has taken up residence there, knows for sure. And he’s got a story to tell…if the couple will listen.
DEADLY EXCHANGE: A CHANGELING STORY
Edretta of the magical swamp people has lost two babies to an evil group bent on massacre of her kind. She will not lose another. Swapping her infant son with a human baby is the only way to keep her baby hidden and safe.
At 42, Montgomery never thought his dreams of being a father would ever come true. He couldn’t be more excited about his new son and is determined to love his...unusual...baby—sharp teeth and all.
But both babies come to mortal danger when the swamp baby is exposed in the human world and the evil group kidnap the human child.
Will the babies survive in their strange, dangerous worlds?
Fearful of others discovering his true nature, he weds the Lady of the Court, Angeline, after winning a tournament. The dormant magic in her veins overwhelms his senses, forcing him to realize she’s more than what she appears. He must ask himself: are his feelings a creation of his incubine bloodline or true romantic emotions? Torn between his tragic past and his suicidal quest to kill his creator, Cedric and Angeline must learn to trust each other or lose themselves to the oncoming war.
Angeline was a commoner serving a noble cousin when a sleepless night led to her discovering Cedric's dark secret: he's not human. Memories muddled by magic, she fears the revered knight and her destiny leads her to being his betrothed. As she travels alongside her monstrous, short-tempered husband, she will soon discover there is fear behind the rage and her feelings begin to shift when Cedric is at his weakest.
Enter a world with memorable antagonists like Succubus Queen Lillith, Romasanta the Father of Werewolves, Battle Goddess Badbh, and many more. Lose yourself to lores and history long forgotten from the 12th Century and beyond.
Tony finds himself facing new urges and new problems like the paranormal beings he serves since his change. With trouble on the horizon, Lillith has ghosted, and he's left with Batlle Goddess Badbh for his training. When a ghost from the past appears, a former King will teach the new King how to be true to both his lineages. Meanwhile, no one knows when Cedric and the gang will emerge from the Otherworld.
Lillith will have to face what she fears most: true love. Desperate to prepare Tony to take Cedric's place, she sends him to seek out the Salamandra for a weapon worthy of slaying Gods and Titans. Meanwhile, she goes on her own quest to unfold more about her own dark secrets before it could unravel centuries of preparing for a civil war no mortal or immortal has ever seen.
Will Tony's training be enough to protect him, or will Lillith have to use her magic to protect her newfound love?
Readers and Lovers of Paranormal Romances with elements of shifters, vampires, demons, and mythology will find this refreshing with an interesting blend of known and unknown creatures for myths of Greek, Russian, Slavic, Caribbean, and South American origins!
Be mindful these stories were published in 1865 and the content will have “current” events the author had encountered as well as mythological findings in terms of what was known and understood at that time. From the legends of using magical wolf skins to the terrifying accounts of lycanthropy, you will find both known and forgotten accounts, including a variety of content ranging from Greek and Nordic Mythology to superstitions in a variety of cultures like were-beavers, were-bears, were-birds, were-hyenas, accounts of lycanthropy, serial killers, and even a in-depth account of Gilles of Rais (Joan of Arc's companion and child-killer) and his accusations, trial, and execution. It is amazing to see the variety of cultures covered side-by-side as the author takes us to North America, Africa, India, France, and even Iceland and Russia.
There are overlaps in vampire lore, especially midway as he ventures in the real-life accounts, men and women both abandoning their humanity and indulging in horrific actions. From eating people to mauling them, you will find names, dates, and information forgotten. This includes stories involving Elizabeth Bathory and Jean Grenier.
You are about to set foot on a bizarre adventure, a funny fantastical one filled with demonic animals. The first few stories are light, more about the giggles, but be warned. As you read further, the dark creepy side will sneak up on you. Within this entertaining tome you will find spiders, snakes, sheep, wolves, manatees, hummingbirds, squirrels, and many more!
Romasanta finds himself a cursed man and struggles with his internal demon, literally. All his troubles start with a stone, and after that, he will be losing everything he's ever loved. Faced with clinging on to what little humanity he has, he will lose it many times before reaching the end of his journey.
His life's tale will take you through time to see how every lore, every moment in history tied in with wolves, all comes back to him. They call him the Ancient One, others simply refer to him as the Father of Werewolves, but we know him by his name, Romasanta. Many battles will be fought before he gets closer to his goals, but will he be ready to finish what was asked of him at the very beginning of his horrible fate?
Will he be able to return the Eye of Gaea and free the love of his life from the laurel tree in the Black Forest?
The Writer's Bane is a curse and passion, both a want and need to tell a story. In this volume, discover ways to use research to help creates and enrich your characters, world, and plot. Join me as I share my passion for research for creating my work and how it can aid you with your own. Whether you need help with character development, worldbuilding, and making that plot turn in the direction you need it to go, there's a little something in here for everyone.
This volume covers many topics of research including:
- How to keep organized
- Types of research
- Resources to consider
- Breaking down how to use it for: Characters World Plot
- Several activity sheets
- Countless examples from the author's own work and existing work
- What to do with leftover research to benefit your author journey
- Writing Prompts from her "Fact Inspiring Fiction" workshop
- Articles from author's own leftovers for real life examples
2018 FAPA PRESIDENT'S BOOK AWARD SILVER MEDALIST
"Rich fully fleshed out characters jump off the pages and into your imagination..." Reader, 5-Star Review
With Angeline back in Cedric’s arms and the Eye of Gaea in Romasanta’s grip, the next step in their journey begins. All eyes are set on Mt. Parnassus where the Oracle is protected by Delphyne, the mother of all dragons and beasts. Assembling a group of willing patrons, Romasanta leads them to Delphi, Greece where they will cross into a realm void of technology.
Only brute strength and magic reign in a place where packs of Mimick dogs, Wyverns and Jaculus still run wild. Meanwhile, back home, Lillith takes on a mysterious curse cast on Tony who will have to make a life changing choice. The question weighing on all their minds is if two werewolves, the Incubus King, and a demonized sorceress will live to fight their way into Gaea’s Gate to enter the Otherworld.
"Romance, action, and fiction all in one book..." Shawn Walker, Reader
"As usual this story artfully combines tales and myths with a new twist and point of view on everything in the world." Glückskind from 3 Degrees of Fiction Blog
All proceeds from this collection will be given to the World Literacy Foundation. Literacy is a right, not a privilege, and The Alliance of Worldbuilders advocate learning and education for all. Improving literacy skills is a key first step in eliminating poverty.
From authors all around the world, these science fiction and fantasy stories bring memorable worlds and exciting characters to life.
Cedric, Angeline, Romasanta, and Nyctimus have crossed over into the Otherworld where spirits, faeries, and other strange creature live under the rule of the Halls of Gaea and many other forgotten titans. Again, Cedric finds himself separated from Angeline, but the words from a familiar face make him realize it may be for the best.
Here in the Otherworld, you become your inner self. True to this concept, Romasanta and Nyctimus are nothing more than men while Cedric has taken on a demonic form massive and wild. They now must travel through the levels of the Otherworld in order to reach the Hall of Freya and Gaea's domain.
Can they find a way back to the Mortal Realm and when they get there, what has changed?