Guest Post: Linze Brandon

*** BOOK  TOUR ***

It was time for the Lords of the High Council to step in when the Grandmaster of Kryane is accused of murdering his own people. They had little choice but to prevent the collapse of the whole magicians order, so they sent Michael to investigate the allegations.
The people of the desert planet were an enigma, but none more than Andesine, the healer assigned to assist Michael. Why did she report the Grandmaster? Was she involved, or was there something more sinister going on?
The more people they interrogated the more they suspected that nothing was as it seemed. Not the murders, nor the Grandmasters’ motive as everyone thought.
Unable to resist the growing attraction between them, Michael and Andesine learn that they had to trust each other with their own secrets, and risking any future they might have.
Time and again the High Lords had to step in to prevent chaos on Kryane, but time was running out for Michael and Andesine. They had to get a new Grandmaster in place before the Kryane Order collapsed completely. And they had to find the who the true culprit was.
Fortunate to escape an attack from this monster once, they were risking the lives of many others in the process. Before the High Lords could formulate a plan, Michael and Andesine were captured, leaving the High Lords helpless to prevent it.
Kidnapped and imprisoned, Andesine was confronted with the realisation that if they were to survive their ordeal, it was up to her and her long suppressed powers. But as a healer she saved lives, would she be able to destroy the monster before he forces her to unleash her power to destroy the future of mankind?

About the Author:

Teaching herself to read before she went to school, it was the start of her life long love affair with books. Trained as an engineer, Linzé has worked as an export consultant and is presently a project manager. Although she still loves to read, she also enjoys counted stitch embroidery, archery, tai chi, fly fishing, painting, her husband’s medal winning photographs and watching Manchester United play.

She counts both novels and short stories to her publishing credit. Her fourth novel, Waiting for Adrian, is planned for publication early in 2016. Her story, The Vernal Equinox, was a finalist in a sci-fi flash-fiction competition in 2015.

Linzé Brandon lives in Pretoria, South Africa, with her engineer husband and German Shepherds who are convinced that the world revolves only around them.

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Guest Post: Dan Padavona

Dark Vanishings series

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me, “I liked the book, but the movie was scarier,” I’d be a rich man.

Let me be clear about one thing. It is hard to frighten someone with the written word alone. I don’t care if your name is Ketchum, King, or Laymon. Scaring people with mere words is incredibly difficult and is only fleetingly accomplished, even by the most gifted horror writers.

The truth is that horror movies hold significant advantages over novels when it comes to delivering scares. While films, due to their brevity, cannot compete with books for character and plot depth, films take advantage of musical score, strong acting performances, camera angles, and innovative direction. And although cliche’, the horror movie can also deliver “jump scares,” momentary shock scenes – for example, the killer leaping out of the closet, or the false jump scare, where the hissing cat suddenly bounds across the set – which are almost impossible to replicate in printed form.

Yet authors have managed to frighten readers since the advent of horror fiction, and for my money, Salem’s Lot by Stephen King and Intensity by Dean Koontz are the most heart-pounding examples. But how should a writer attempt to frighten a reader?

The Slow Burn

The trend in fiction and film is to deliver action immediately, and while I don’t disagree with this methodology, I believe it is less than optimal when it comes to horror.

My horror fiction employs a slow burn, a creeping dread if you will, similar to the gradual builds of 1970’s horror films (think Black Christmas and The Exorcist). Similar pacing dates as far back as horror has existed as an art form, yet it was perfected by Alfred Hitchcock and leveraged by the classic horror films of the 1970s.

Everything begins with characterization. A book should contain characters which the reader can get behind and put emotional stock into, whether the characters are villains or heroes. The reader should believe in and care about the character. Then, when the character is put into jeopardy, the reader’s natural reaction is to become stressed. This alone isn’t enough to frighten the reader, but it’s a necessary beginning.

Read a Clive Barker or Stephen King novel, and pay particular attention to the author’s pacing during a frightening scene. In most cases, a slow burn is utilized. Nothing is rushed, and the scene is allowed to unfold gradually. When done to perfection, the horror broods and broods until the reader realizes she has been trapped and is without an escape route.

Let’s take the classic example of the monster or boogeyman hiding in the closet.

If I come right out and show you the boogeyman, I’m not likely to frighten you. Inside of a movie, I could use a cheap jump scare to get you to drop your popcorn, but in fiction I have no such advantage. In order for me to frighten you, the scene must unfold with near perfection.

For one thing, you’ll need to feel a sense of place. If the boogeyman is hiding in the closet, I haven’t done my job until I walk you from the kitchen to the bedroom and sit you upon the bed with cookie in hand. You need to feel the cookie crumbs on the bed sheets. You need to see the room – the lamplight pooling around the base of the nightstand and dying in the middle of the room, the Black Sabbath poster scotch-taped to the paint-chipped wall, the way the bed sheets and blankets covering your chest and legs won’t stretch past your neck.

And even then you won’t believe the boogeyman exists. But if I place you in that desolate room and make you hear the muffled rumble of the television through the floor, so that no matter how loud you scream, your parents won’t hear you, then I’m at least halfway home. Because once your closet door starts to creak open, and once those shadows start to spill into the bedroom like a black ocean, I need you to be that kid in the bed.

And then if I do everything right, and if I catch you in a receptive mood, I might just chill you to the bone with the written word.

Don’t Let Them Run Away

Think about how expert directors like Hitchcock paced their scenes, allowing the disquiet to simmer before the monster was unleashed. The shower scene of Psycho didn’t open with Norman Bates holding the knife. We followed Janet Leigh through the dingy motel room, watched her peel her clothes off and step into the shower, and saw from her perspective the spray cascading down. Think about how you would write this scene, if you were constructing a Psycho novelization.

Two more excellent examples are the directions of Fred Walton’s When A Stranger Calls and When A Stranger Calls Back. The pacing of the brooding horror is tortuous. You cannot help but squirm as the babysitters are unknowingly stalked by madmen. In a bad slasher movie, the opening scene to When A Stranger Calls would last a few minutes. In Fred Walton’s direction, it lasts over twenty excruciating minutes in which the viewer is trapped inside the creepy house.

The best horror authors never allow their readers to run away before the monster gets them. They lure the readers in, then they lock the doors.

As authors of horror novels, it is important we slow down and allow our readers to immerse themselves in a scene. Slower is better. Go for a gradual build, and never rush the process. Writing for horror is incredibly challenging, and it is imperative we give ourselves every advantage.

Take your time with the scene. Then scare Jessica to death.

About the Author

Dan Padavona is a horror and dark fantasy author. Dan’s gothic vampire novel, Storberry, reached the top-10 among Amazon horror novels, and his post-apocalyptic series, Dark Vanishings, has been compared to Robert McCammon’s Swan Song and Stephen King’s The Stand. You can visit Dan at his website,

Guest Post: Brenda Pandos

by Brenda Pandos
Mer Tales, Book Four

The underwater world of Natatoria is enjoying a long awaited period of peace — and with it, the merpeople’s very first chance to visit human civilization. Ash and Fin’s wedding marks the perfect opportunity for the mers to celebrate their newfound freedom. But when they return home to Tahoe to prepare, Ash’s absence from the human world has raised more than a few questions about where she’s been. When blaming fingers point to Ash and Fin as the culprits who burned down Fin’s home, even his mindjacking mojo hasn’t stopped the authorities from issuing the happy couple an early wedding gift—a matching pair of arrest warrants. 

Instead of bringing their families together, Ash and Fin’s upcoming wedding drives a wedge between the very cultures they’re trying to bridge. And when their reality takes an unexpected twist, Ash realizes her dual existence comes with a hefty price. Neither her human nor her mer family understand the sacrifices they’re asking of her, and as much as she wants to please both her mer and human mothers, she knows she’s one misstep away from breaking two maternal hearts. 
But while everyone is distracted in preparations for the big day, there are those who are intent on elevating their own bloodline, even to the point they’d risk exposing the mer secret. Ash and Fin must scramble to save their families, their societies . . . and their love. The only thing they know for sure is that when it comes to Natatorians, old habits die hard. 

And a royal should never get too comfortable. 

My heart pounded with thoughts of
why they’d come. Did something happen to Dad? Gran? My mother? Once I entered
the house, the taller of the two cops stopped talking.
“Ash?” My mother blinked at me, eyes red and swollen. Then
she jumped up and attacked me with a hug.
My arms circled around her, squeezing tight. I didn’t
understand why the happy reunion since
I’d only been gone for a few weeks. Tears wet my cheeks anyway. I’d wanted
this, for her to miss me. Gran hugged me next, followed amazingly by my sister,
Lucy. Then they all stared at me like my
head might pop.
“What’s going on? Why are they here?” I gestured to the
Mom eyed me up and down “What are you wearing, and why are
you all wet?”
I looked down at the puddle under my feet from my pink
beaded gown, realizing my mistake. Luckily, Fin walked in behind me. He quickly
sang, using his mer mojo to get them to
ignore my attire.
“I’m sorry to interrupt the reunion,” the shorter cop turned
to me, “but you’re under arrest, Ashlyn, for arson.”
“Arrest?” I leaped backward.
Mom stood between us. “I told you. She didn’t do this. I
don’t care what evidence you have!”
“Ma’am, please…”
Fin started to sing, “Ash is innocent, and it’s time for you
both to leave.”
The cops’ eyes glazed over.
“Sorry for the confusion.” The taller of the two looked at the shorter one, then nodded and they left.
“We’ll be going.”
I swallowed hard, my heart thundering.
Then my mother’s gaze turned cold. “Where have you been?”
I flicked a glance at Fin. She’d been mojoed. How could she have forgotten? “I was on
a mission trip in Africa.”
She chuckled. “Really? And where are your plane tickets?
Your visa? Your passport?”
Fin opened his mouth to sing, but I grabbed onto his hand to
stop him.
“No. Let me handle this.” They deserved answers, not some
fishy mind-jacking makeover. I turned to my mother. “You’re right. I wasn’t in
Mom’s jaw tightened. “Then where were you?”
“I was with Fin and his family.”
“Doing what?”
I gritted my teeth. What could I say that didn’t sound
totally lame? “Just traveling.”
“Traveling?” Mom barked out a laugh. “Are you kidding me?
Oooh! Jack and Maggie are going to get an earful!”
“Karen,” Gran said. “I’m sure there’s a logical
“Let me handle this, Mother!” Mom snapped.
“Please,” Fin whispered to me.
I held up my hand for him to wait, but I had no excuse to
give her that wasn’t a lie. How was that any better than just singing them a story? “Mom, just trust me—”
“Trust you? You disappear without a word, and I’m just
supposed to look the other way?” She stretched the small space between us and slapped me. “This is unforgivable, and
your life will be over as you know it, Ashlyn Francis Lanski. You can leave
now, Fin.”
“Karen!” Gran scolded. “That’s uncalled for.”
I turned away, gasping while I held onto the stinging flesh. My mother and I may have had a strained
relationship, but she’d never hit me before.
Gran begged for Mom to calm down, while Lucy let out a rude cackle. Fin sang for everyone to
sit and be quiet. Tears trickled down over my hot face, and my stomach turned
over, making me want to vomit. I knew coming home wouldn’t be blissful, but
this? The wedding most definitely wasn’t happening now.
Fin walked over to me. “Let’s just smooth this over and find
out what’s happened.”
I wanted to, but with the cops ready to arrest me, I knew whatever
had happened was irreparable.
Find the series on Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Author Brenda Pandos lives in California with her husband, two energetic boys, eight chickens and a grumpy orange cat. She writes fast-paced stories about kissing, hot mermen, bad boy vampires, and occasionally zombies–not all in the same stories. When she’s not writing, or wrangling her kids, she’s failing at her latest Pinterest replication or delivering a really bad pun. More than anything she loves to hear from readers. Feel free to email or write on her facebook wall.

Guest Post: Eric R Asher

Steamborn, Book One
Jacob, a tinker’s apprentice and sometime thief, has lived his entire life in the mountain city of Ancora, protected by the city walls. These towering barriers keep the Deadlands creatures at bay, but the monsters move higher into the peaks every year. More and more, they breach the defenses of the Lowlands while the Highlands rest easy.
A swarm overruns the walls and wreaks utter devastation on the Lowlands. Charles, the old tinker, suspects the attack may not be natural. With help from Jacob’s closest friend, Alice, and Samuel, one of the city’s elite spider knights, Jacob and Charles will uncover a terrible darkness at the heart of their city.
Exclusively at iBooks for a limited time for 99¢.
Releases to other platforms on December 1st, 2015.
Pre-order from Smashwords –
Steamforged, Book Two
Exclusive iBooks release date of January 19th, 2016.
Steamsworn,Book Three
Exclusive iBooks release date of March 22nd,
Meet the author, Eric R. Asher
Eric is a former
bookseller, guitarist, and comic seller currently living in Saint Louis,
Missouri. A lifelong enthusiast of books, music, toys, and games, he discovered
a love for the written word after being dragged to the library by his parents
at a young age. When he is not writing, you can usually find him reading,
gaming, or buried beneath a small avalanche of Transformers.

Guest Post: ST Bende



By: S.T. Bende
Release Date: February 9th, 2016


Rule the realms.
Brynn Aksel is a valkyrie—a battle goddess tasked with protecting both the God of War and the future of Asgard. She fends off giants and dark elves with an iron fist, a glossy smile, and no less than perfekt control. She’s focused one-hundred-percent on rising through the valkyrie ranks, and not at all on her lifelong crush on Henrik Andersson—the one guy in all the realms who could be her undoing.
Henrik serves as War’s other bodyguard, and he’s too focused on protecting their shared charge to realize that Brynn’s a girl. When an unprecedented surge of darkness abducts the Goddess of Love, Brynn’s already-steely focus is singularly directed on her new assignment—accompany Henrik to recover the realms’ source of light before the cosmos descends into chaos.
While battling demons, dragons, and the not-quite-dead, it becomes clear that immortality does not equal invincibility. And when Hel herself puts a hit on Brynn, the valkyrie has to decide if staying in control is worth losing everything . . . or if it’s time to rule the realms.


Before finding
domestic bliss in Suburbia, S.T. Bende lived in 
Manhattan Beach (became overly fond of
Peet’s coffee) and 
Europe… where she became overly fond of
the musical Cats. 
Her love of Scandinavian culture and a
very patient Norwegian 
teacher inspired the Elsker Saga. She hopes
her characters make
 you smile and that one day pastries
will be considered a health 

TUR is currently available for FREE for newsletter subscribers!

Guest Post: Chrissie Parker

About the Book:

Gabriel is weary, hunting for a murderer.
Patience is adrift, her life a complete lie.
Nate is scared, hiding from his worst fears.
Juliet is frantic, her time is running out.

As four fragile lives collide, the truth is finally revealed.

And betrayal and death become inevitable.

Book Links:
GoodreadsAmazon KDP * Amazon Paperback * Barnes & Noble * KoboiTunes

Read an Excerpt: 

Lake Tranquil was
vast.  So much so that Patience couldn’t
see where it ended or began.  Despite its
size, it was deserted.  She was the only
human in sight and she loved the thought of being so alone, immersed in the
beauty of nature.  An occasional bird
flitted in and out of the trees, or swooped down to land at the water’s
edge.  In the distance, a rabbit ran
through the trees, its tail bobbed, flashing white as it ran for cover.


Trees lined craggy mountains that surrounded the lake.  They were thick, green and tall, and reached
to the shoreline; only a small wavering line of pebble-covered beach sat
between the shimmering waters and the forest.



It was heavenly. 



It wasn’t the first time Patience had been to Lake
Tranquil.  Once, as a child, she had
visited it with her mother and enjoyed a week of blissful freedom away from the
chaos of life.  Now here, fleeting
memories flooded back.  Swimming in the
lake as her mother sat on the deck and read.
Running through the trees playing hide and seek, and sitting on the
shore as the sun set.  Watching the stars
appear overhead as her mother cooked fish over a smoky fire.  It was a time in her life that stuck in her
mind, when her mother had been truly happy and content. 



It was why Patience was here.



her mother.To try to be closer to her, to try to understand her.To try to find
some peace.

About the Author:

Chrissie lives in Devon, UK, with her husband and is a freelance Production Coordinator working in the TV, documentary and film industry.
Chrissie is also an Author.  Her thriller Integrate was released in October 2013 and her historical fiction Among the Olive Groves was released in July 2014.
Other written work includes factual articles for the Bristolian newspaper and guest articles for the charities Epilepsy Awareness Squad and Epilepsy Literary Heritage Foundation.  Chrissie has also written a book of short stories and poems, one of which was performed at the 100 poems by 100 women event at the Bath International Literary Festival in 2013.

Chrissie is passionate about Ancient History, Archaeology and Travel, and has completed two six-month Archaeology and Egyptology courses with Exeter University.   She is learning to play the Ukulele and likes to read, collect books, listen to music. To find out more about Chrissie visit her WEBSITE

Stalk Links:
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