Monthly Archives: August 2015

“Highway To Hell” Will Be Updated in September

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Yep, I’ve made the decision to update Highway To Hell from the NC-17 graphic story to a more R rated one. I haven’t rewritten anything other than some of the really sexual parts, while still retaining the rest of the story. 

In the end, I thought the excessively graphic sexual parts did nothing for the story itself. It even took away from it once I went back and reread it. Again, I wrote this novella five years ago and haven’t read it since it was published. 

I also wanted it more in line with the rest of the Dying Days series as well as fit seamlessly with the sequel, Highway To Hell 2, which will be coming on November 3rd. It will also be a kinda-sequel to Dying Days: Origins as well, wrapping up both stories at the same time. 

So on September 1st I will upload the newer version of Highway To Hell. If you want to read the original first, feel free to buy it asap. Once it is gone it won’t be changed back. I’m not sure how Amazon works but I think you can get the updated version if you bought the original previously, as I’m just updating the files. 

I will also be changing the print copy, too… so the few I have in stock at home will eventually be sold at cons and direct from me, too. 

If you’ve read Highway To Hell and have been asking for the sequel, Highway To Hell 2 is now up as a pre-order. It goes live November 3rd but feel free to show the love and loyalty and place your order now. 

Armand

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Guest Post: Marian Allen

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So I’m at the vet’s and we get to talking about books, you know, like you do, and I pull out a postcard with my publisher’s (Per Bastet Publications http://perbastetpublications.com) catalog on it and point out which ones are mine.

 

The next time I come into the vet’s (two ancient cats and my Mom’s cat, who is now DOWN to 15 pounds … I see the vet a lot), and he says, “I looked up your publisher and I was surprised to see you write science fiction. I thought science fiction was written by physics geeks.”

 

I say, “I am a physics geek.”

 

I think that, by “geek,” he meant “someone who understands physics,” but I meant “someone who geeks out over physics.” Of course, Richard Feynman claimed that if you think you understand physics that proves you don’t. Kind of like the Tao.

 

This would all be by way of digression, except I’m not sure I had a point.

 

Oh, yeah – marketing.

 

I guess.

 

It’s really hard for me to push myself. Whenever I hear my own voice telling people about my books (unless I’m at a place where I’m supposed to be selling them), I hear a donkey braying. Okay, a jackass. Or, since I’m a girl, a jennyass. But I can totally talk to people about books in general and reading and other people’s books and, by the way, mine, too.

 

That postcard has been good for me. On the front is my publisher’s logo, web address, and QR code linking to the web site. On the back is a listing of titles with tweet-length tags for each title and thumbnails of the covers.

 

If the person I give it to freezes up, scared I’m going to plunge over the rim of the volcano, dragging them with me into hard-sell hell, I can say, “Take that with you and look it over if you want to or pass it on to somebody you think might be interested,” and turn the conversation to something else.

 

If the person is immediately interested and wants to know more, I can talk about the books that aren’t mine or I can gloss over mine in passing.

 

If the person specifically wants to know about my books, I bite the bullet and talk about them.

 

I’ll have to get a bigger postcard, because my publisher is coming out with two of its authors’ books on Audible, Winter Wonderland by T. Lee Harris and Bitter Cold by Katina French. And, by the way, a new collection of short science fiction stories (’cause I’m a geek) by me: Other Earth, Other Stars.

 

Per Bastet Publications – http://perbastetpublications

Marian Allen, Author Lady – http://MarianAllen.com

Other Earth, Other Stars – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B012HN603I

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Marian Allen writes science fiction, fantasy, mystery, humor, horror, mainstream, and anything else she can wrestle into fixed form.

Allen has had stories in on-line and print publications, on coffee cans and the wall of an Indian restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky. Her latest books are the SAGE fantasy trilogy, her science fiction comedy of bad manners SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING, and her YA/NA paranormal suspense A DEAD GUY AT THE SUMMERHOUSE, all from Per Bastet Publications.

She blogs daily at Marian Allen, Author Lady (http://MarianAllen.com),  weekly at Fatal Foodies (http://fatalfoodies.blogspot.com), and monthly at The Write Type (http://writetype.blogspot.com).

Guest Post: Nick Cole

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What We’re Really Writing about when we Write about Zekes

 

I’m not saying you shouldn’t read Zombie Novels and think we’re not just writing zombie novels for fun.  We are.  We’re having fun doing it.  What I’m saying is there might be a little more going on than meets the eye.  Go ahead, read all the zombie novels you can get your hands on.  They’re great.  From JL Bourne’s Day by Day Armageddon Series to any of Maestro Armand Rosamila’s horro-romps.  Even that cat everybody like, what’s his name… Max Brooks.

Zombies are hot and they’re only getting hotter.  Which is ironic.  (They should be cool, when you think about it.)

But let’s step back for a moment.  Zombie Stories.  What’re they really all about?  Are they really about Zombies?  No.  There actually about two other things.  There about us, and, they’re about survival.  I’m absolutely convinced that people who read zombie books, and watch shows like The Walking Dead, are playing the home game all along, inside their heads.  At home, or wherever it is they’re reading that book.  No, zombie books are sort of a sweet little training simulation for what we’re all coming to believe might be some sort of societal collapse heading toward us on the interstate like a crazed trucker hopped up on Meth and Monster.  The need to take our health, welfare and security into our own hands is becoming apparent with each passing horror show some call the nightly news.  The problem is we get dangerously close to unwanted extra attention from Big Brother when we write/read directly about those things.  So, instead we use the zombie scenarios.  I don’t mean “we” the writers.  I mean a lot of readers are the “we” and in their own way their sim-ing the Meltdown by reading Zeke-Books.  This is nothing new.  It was actually one of the first accusations leveled at the Zombie Genre way back in the sixties.  That is was mere cover for the coming “Race War” we were all s’posed to throw on each other’s behalf.

Zombie Hunter

So, there’s that.

The other thing we’re writing about is ourselves.  Not the mindless monsters chasing us through the halls of the mall, or banging on our boarded up front door.  No, we’re writing about the monster who’s sharing our space, our rations and running and gunning alongside of us.  Because, isn’t that the real monster you should be afraid of.  The one that really scares you.  To death.  After all, who have you thrown in with, exactly?  The zekes, well… their just mindless.  But the sociopath next to you, watching your back, watching you while you sleep, what kind monster is that freak.  When police and government services have gone down and there’s no one to restrain them from all the booze and unlimited ammo they can do, well, you’re about to find out who, exactly, has your six.  And that’s what we’re writing about when we write zombie PA fiction.  We’re writing out our survival fantasy and the obstacles we’re going to encounter just to make it through the night.  Some of us may even be writing our own personal Day at Disneyland.  Watch out for those, it’s probably going to get a little dark.  Zombie novels are about a lot more than just chills and thrills.  A lot more.

Nick Cole is the author of The End of the World as We Knew It.

‘In the future, an artist specializing in historical records creates a piece of art based on three separate accounts of the Pandemic. What follows is a patchwork tale of survival and horror as two lovers struggle to survive the undying dead and the collapse of an America turned charnel house. Told as memos from Ground Zero, and later in the journal of a Dark Tower-like quest by train and foot across a nightmare landscape of ruined cities and raving corpses, the three accounts reveal more than just the grim realities of society’s collapse. The Notebook meets The Walking Dead in this stained glass depiction of the end of the world as we knew it.’

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Guest Post: E. Chris Garrison

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By Any Other Name: Why I am an Out and Proud Transgender Author

By E. Chris Garrison

When I first started putting myself out there as an author, I used my first name, Eric, although I hadn’t gone by it since 1999, using my middle name instead. Why did I drop Eric in 1999? Well, as the title of this article implies, I am transgender. Which means, I have felt for most of my life that I should have been born a girl. A fact I hid as a very close secret for decades, because the world wasn’t very friendly toward people like me. It still isn’t, but it’s gotten much better in the past 10 years.

 

So if I was going by Chris, why did my books say Eric? Well, I’d published articles in college as Eric, when I was part of the staff of the Purdue Engineer Magazine. That’s not a very good reason, though, since that was in 1987-1990. I guess I used Eric Garrison because it sounded more authorly to me, or more official sounding, since it was my given name.  I don’t remember why now, but I self-published my first book in 2007, and then another each year for the next few years, and since they were all linked together, I kept the same author name on it. I told myself it was like a pen name.

 

Then, in 2013, Hydra Publications published Reality Check, and I had another chance to change my byline, but it felt like a bad time to change, what with four books out already, why make this one stand alone?

 

And later that year, Seventh Star Press began to publish my Road Ghosts books, I could easily have changed then. I had a few hints that it might be a good idea, since I had begun to make friends at conventions, authors and publishers who’d meet me standing next to my books, and would call me Eric. I’d put a lot of effort into getting people to call me Chris in 1999 and 2000, but it seemed like I’d made a mistake using that old name as my byline, because it was undoing that work. I was becoming Eric again to many people.

 

And it felt uncomfortable. Chris is a nice androgynous name. I had gotten used to it. Hearing people call me Eric again reminded me why I’d changed. The problem gnawed at me, a vague imbalance, a minor trigger of my gender dysphoria. I didn’t want to be called an obviously male name. I’d struck a balance over the years to cope with my gender identity issues by straddling the fence, being as androgynous in presentation as possible. This upset that balance. It took having a good friend point this out in early 2014 for me to think to act on it. She asked me if it caused me cognitive dissonance to sell books with my male given name on them. I answered yes.

 

Also at that time, I was in the process of outing myself. My closest friends had known I was trans since the 90s, and the feelings I’d had during a couple of Transgender Days of Remembrance in November 2012 and 2013 had driven me to not want to keep secrets anymore. If I did nothing else for other transfolks, I could at least be a visible, positive ambassador for people like us, since most people don’t know any trans people. Or don’t realize they do. By being out like that, I thought, I could help change transgender from an abstract condition to an actual human for everyone I encountered.

 

I went on an epic trip to New Jersey (how often does anyone say that?) to take part in the Steampunk World’s Fair with K.A. DaVur, Katina French, and Thomas Lamkin, Jr. I spent the whole time dressed in skirts and a corset, and a rather silly steampunk hat. I interacted with all the customers as a woman, despite my books saying Eric on them. I had to explain to some that it was my pen name. People still treated me with courtesy and people still bought my books. It was a thrill to get to be myself and not one person treated me oddly, no one gave me funny looks, no one said anything mean to me. It was as if it was perfectly normal, at least within that space.

 

Since then, I’ve been attending more social events and events as an author presenting as myself. Sometimes I hide behind feminine costumes at conventions or shows, and sometimes it’s just ordinary circumstances. I make sure to surround myself with friends, and as long as I smile, it seems like I get very little friction from anyone else. And from the stories my trans sisters and brothers tell online, it seems like I have lived a very charmed transgender life.

 

So to continue this, I am spending the whole of Imaginarium as a woman. I’m packing a steampunk costume for the Masquerade, sure, but I’m also not packing any specifically male clothes. This is sort of a test; I’m inching my way toward transition to living full-time as a woman, and while this is another convention with anti-harassment policies, I want to see how it feels mingling with friends and new acquaintances, and the general public, for three days, as myself.

 

And meanwhile, if people realize I’m trans, then I hope my friendly smile and sense of humor will help show them that transgender people aren’t as strange as they might have guessed. And maybe they’ll take a chance on my books, whether they say Eric Garrison like my Road Ghosts Trilogy, or E. Chris Garrison like on Blue Spirit and Girl in the Gears!

 

If you’re going to Imaginarium, I hope to see you there! And if you don’t mind, my preferred gender pronouns will be she, her, and hers.

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About the Author: E. Chris Garrison (who also writes as Eric Garrison) is active in the writing community in Indianapolis, Indiana. He lives in the Circle City with his wife, step-daughter and a cabal of cats. He also enjoys gaming, home brewing beer, and finding innovative uses for duct tape.

 

Chris’ novel, Reality Check, is a science fiction adventure released by Hydra Publications. Reality Check reached #1 in Science Fiction on Amazon.com during a promotion in July 2013.

 

Seventh Star Press is the home of Chris’ supernatural fantasy series, Road Ghosts, including Four ‘til Late, Sinking Down, and Me and the Devil.

 

 

Book Synopsis for Blue Spirit: Gamer girl Skye MacLeod can see fairies, but only when she’s tipsy. More Grimm than enchanting, some of these fairies are out to ruin her life, wreaking havoc with her job, her home, and her relationships.

 

With the help of her tiny fairy friend Minnie, Skye has to protect her vampire wannabe gamer friends from all-too-real supernatural threats only she can see. Can she keep it together and hold fast against a wicked fairy Queen’s plot?

 

Blue Spirit is the first book of A Tipsy Fairy Tale series!

 

Author Links:

website:

http://www.sillyhatbooks.com

Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/EricGarrisonAuthor

Twitter:

@ecgarrison

 eBook and Print Links for Blue Spirit

Print:

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Spirit-E-Chris-Garrison/dp/1941706827

Kindle:

http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Spirit-Tipsy-Fairy-Tale-ebook/dp/B00X6571BC

Barnes and Noble Link:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blue-spirit-eric-garrison/1105805795?ean=9781941706824

Guest Post: Amos Cassidy

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Crimson Chaos by Amos Cassidy, the thrilling conclusion to the Crimson Series, is out today! Rose, Raven, Roman and the gang must face their own personal demons and come together to fight an invisible threat that challenges the existence of their world.

 

An ancient prophecy.
An entity older than the beginning of time.
Surely the survivors of bloody battles on fey beaches deserve a timeout, a chill period, a chance to reflect? Yeah, right!
When the gang are faced with an ancient threat, it’s just another day at the office until they realise that this time their efforts may not be enough. This time maybe fate won’t be thwarted, because this time their foe is more powerful than anything they could ever have imagined. It’s a race against time, a race against the unpredictable, and, for the first time, the odds are stacked against them. It’s anyone’s game. No guarantees. No returns.
When Khaos strikes, who will be left standing?
 
What readers are saying…
…Amos Cassidy always does an amazing job of giving you just enough info to follow while still keeping you in the dark until the last possible moment…
…This series has been twisty and turny from book one, which I thought was going to be a typical UF but NOOOOO … we can’t have that. And following the gang’s story has kept me on the edge of my seat for the last three years…
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Fancy A Peek Inside?
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Don’t miss out on the Goodies!
 
EXCLUSIVE!!!!!
 

For the next 48 hours only, you can grab the LIMITED EDITION. Purchase it before 12AM 29th August PST (8AM GMT) to get access to an exclusive download link where you can get books 2 and 3 FREE. The limited edition also contains 7k worth of exclusive content; character interviews, shorts, an author bio from a few years back, told by Roman himself, and Raven does karaoke…yep, that happened.

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Want to know a little bit more about the Authors?

 Amos Cassidy is the pen name for Richard Amos and Debbie Cassidy. Amos is a 31 year old Diva and Cassidy a 38 year old mother of three; well, four if you include the husband. A common love of all things Joss Whedon, Urban Fantasy, and a tug of war over Jensen Ackles, brought them together, and one cold February afternoon, over nibbles and coffee, their partnership was born.

You can find Cassidy hard at work in her fortress of solitude which has eaten up the majority of her garden, and Amos…well he’s still trying to get the invisibility gizmo he got off a friendly alien in exchange for a pair of earphones to work. Funnily enough he hasn’t been seen around much lately…

Frequent doses of Sugary snacks, coupled with regular injections of caffeine aid in their production of a unique brand of cross genre tales. They are always writing, but are happy to take a break to chat to their wonderful readers, so drop them a line at amoscassidy.com, or just pop over to see what they’re working on and they’ll bust out the biscuit tin.

Links to Stalk the Author’s!
      

 

 

Guest Post: Andy Peloquin

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Why Do We Love Horror So?

 

Horror as a genre is quite a fascinating one!

What is it about the “things that go bump” that sends a chill down our spine? Why do our hearts race when we read tales of werewolves, vampires, zombies, or demons? What makes us shiver and quake when we read stories about mind-stealing aliens, hordes of nightmarish creatures, and monsters from mythology and lore?

Fear is a pretty interesting emotion. There are two types of fear:

  • Fear of something — Disease, death, theft, suffering, pain, dishonor, loss of money or status, etc.
  • Fear for something — Fear for your family and loved ones.

Which one causes more terror? Neither trumps the other–both are equally terrifying!

When we experience these fears, our body does some interesting things:

  • Our heart speeds up (by as much as 15 BPM faster than our resting heart rate)
  • Our skin temperature drops
  • Our palms begin to sweat
  • Our muscles get all tense and knotted up
  • Our blood pressure rises

What is causing all of these reactions? Why do our bodies act like this?

Simply put: it’s all about evolution.

Animals and humans have evolved over the years (centuries, millennia, etc.), adapting to their environment. Our brain and bodies have evolved slowly, and there are still certain aspects of our physiology and psychology that have not yet evolved. Look at the appendix and the last thoracic vertebra (the tail bone)–neither of these are strictly necessary, but we still have them.

Our psyche has changed a lot over time, but there are still things that remain unchanged. When we see something that is a threat (even if it’s just on a TV screen or in our minds), our bodies react out of instinct. The “animal” within us has that visceral gut reaction of fear and anxiety, and there is no control over it.

Psychologists aren’t quite sure what makes horror and action movies so appealing to us. Some believe that it has to do with the concept of “rites of passage”. Young males had to undergo certain physical and psychological tests and stressors to be considered “men”. Though many of those rites have disappeared from modern society, they’re not entirely gone.

Look at the “hazing” many college students endure. It’s all about “surviving” the torments–physical and mental. Horror movies and books have that same effect on us. They push our bodies to the limits of fear, and they give us a way to prove our courage. The “scarier” the movie or book, the “tougher” we are to survive it unscathed and unaffected by it.

Here’s an interesting thought: all of the physical effects of horror listed above (the increase in blood pressure, the racing heart, the sweaty palms, etc.) are the same effects caused by arousal and sex drive. Perhaps we “enjoy” horror so much not because of the actual horror itself, but because of the reaction it produces in our bodies. The flood of adrenaline, the surge of excitement, and the emotional “rush” caused by horror is a variety of the pleasure we feel when attracted to someone else.

Whatever the reason, horror is a genre that is here to stay! After all, what would we do without a good book or movie that gets our heart racing, sends chills down our spines, and gives us an excuse to cling to that handsome man or pretty woman beside us?

 

A faceless, nameless assassin. A forgotten past.  The Hunter of Voramis–a killer devoid of morals, or something else altogether? (Blade of the Destroyer–dark fantasy with a look at the underside of human nature)

 

The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer

The Hunter of Voramis is the perfect assassin: ruthless, unrelenting, immortal. Yet he is haunted by lost memories, bonded to a cursed dagger that feeds him power yet denies him peace of mind. Within him rages an unquenchable need for blood and death.

When he accepts a contract to avenge the stolen innocence of a girl, the Hunter becomes the prey. The death of a seemingly random target sends him hurtling toward destruction, yet could his path also lead to the truth of his buried past?

 

Title: The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer

Author: Andy Peloquin

Official Launch Date: August 21st, 2015

Publication Date: July 11th, 2015

Paperback Price: $15.99

Digital Price: $3.99

Pages: 298

ISBN: 1515038955

 

Amazon Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Blade-Destroyer-Last-Bucelarii-Book-ebook/dp/B012EI9M4A/

Amazon Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Blade-Destroyer-Last-Bucelarii-Book/dp/1515038955/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25269614-blade-of-the-destroyer

Book Launch Event:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1625045874438351/

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Andy Peloquin: Lover of All Things Dark and Mysterious

Andy Peloquin–a third culture kid to the core–has loved to read since before he could remember. Sherlock Holmes, the Phantom of the Opera, and Father Brown are just a few of the books that ensnared his imagination as a child.

When he discovered science fiction and fantasy through the pages of writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs, J.R.R Tolkien, and Orson Scott Card, he was immediately hooked and hasn’t looked back since.

Andy’s first attempt at writing produced In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent. He has learned from the mistakes he made and used the experience to produce Blade of the Destroyer, a book of which he is very proud.

Reading—and now writing—is his favorite escape, and it provides him an outlet for his innate creativity. He is an artist; words are his palette.

His website (http://www.andypeloquin.com) is a second home for him, a place where he can post his thoughts and feelings–along with reviews of books he finds laying around the internet.

He can also be found on his social media pages, such as:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndyPeloquin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andyqpeloquin

www.linkedin.com/in/andypeloquin/

https://plus.google.com/100885994638914122147/about

https://www.amazon.com/author/andypeloquin

https://www.facebook.com/andrew.peloquin.1

10 Things You Need to Know About Me:

  1. Hot wings, ALWAYS!
  2. I never forget a face, but rarely remember a name.
  3. I’m a head taller than the average person (I’m 6′ 6″)
  4. Marvel > DC
  5. I was born in Japan, and lived there until the age of 14.
  6. Selena Gomez and Five Finger Death Punch are both in my playlist.
  7. Aliens are real, but it’s self-centered of us to believe that they would come to visit Earth.
  8. Watching sports: suck. Playing sports: EPIC!
  9. I earned a purple belt in Karate/Hapkido/Taekwondo.
  10. I dislike most Christmas music, aside from Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Reviews:

“Creative, gritty, and beautifully dark…fantasy addicts will love it!” — Peter Story, author of Things Grak Hates — http://peterjstory.com/

“The fantasy world has a compelling new antihero…the Hunter will terrify and captivate you.” – Eve A Floriste, author of Fresh Cut

“From the first words on the page this fantasy holds the reader spellbound even after the book is finished…his character is very well-defined even if his past is a mystery. Root for an assassin? Oh, yes, one must!” — Carol Conley, for InDTale Magazine

Guest Post: Firi Kamson

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Ere’s Secret by Firi Kamson
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance

I have a secret.

In three days, I’ll be turning 40 and I’m in love for the first time. Decades ago, I sacrificed my life for the good of my family. But tragedy struck too close to home, reminding me of the brevity of life.

Now I have a choice to make: continue living in shadows or allow my true self to emerge.

 

My life was uninteresting and would have stayed that way until I met Luke. This was a chance meeting and I could say we were destined to meet, who knows. It was a Sunday evening and I was at this point tired of my life and living my life as society wanted it to be lived. It was the day I defied all odds and subdued my nerves as I went into my closet and put on a black pair of pencil jeans and a black loose fitting Tee-shirt, that Cassandra, my oyibo Canadian neighbor who never took no for an answer, even though she had been unsuccessfully trying to invite me for coffee at hers for years; gave me. Surprisingly, when I put this on, it struck me how much weight I had lost. I looked like a skinny school girl instead of a 38 year old mother of three. Ignoring the inquiring looks my boys gave me, I told them I was going out with my friends. Further ignoring the equally curious look I got from Musa, our old reliable gateman who refused to leave us when Opuada died and was content with whatever I could pay him. With a straight face, I told him I was going out and would be back in a couple of hours.

 

Firi Kamson was born in Nigeria, where she grew up. Becoming a lawyer, a writer and a pilot was her childhood dream, she dropped the lawyer part and got a B.A. in foreign languages and literature speciality French. Worked as a freelance translator and a photographer for a couple of years before she decided to explore the creative world of writing. She writes a column for http://www.sabinews.com, as Tee, an online Nigerian based magazine, where she journals her experiences in south east Asia. The dream of becoming a pilot is still there and who knows one day it would be fulfilled. She lives in South East Asia with her nerdy husband and very active daughter and son. Ere’s Secret is her first work.
Firi Kamson would like to hear from her readers so you can send her an email phiri@secretlilies.com or check out her site http://www.secretlilies.com
Or follow her on Twitter @tmkamson

 

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“Highway To Hell” Revisited – Naughty Language Ahead

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Highway To Hell #zombie #novella – too graphic?

Dying Days

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Before you read this post lemme tell ya… there is some horribly graphic language ahead. NC-17 shit going on, so be warned… if graphically bad sexual and violent situations scare you, please read something else. I won’t judge you. Even my wife refuses to read Highway To Hell

Highway To Hell was the first zombie novella I wrote after having done a few flash fiction pieces for a now-defunct anthology. I wrote it to see if I could write something extreme, which was what the submission called for by Comet Press when I answered the call… something like that. 

The story is graphic in spots. Really graphic. Even though it technically kicks off the Dying Days series, I often shied away from promoting it without a bunch of warnings. 

Sure, the idea behind the Dying Days story is that these zombies don’t want to just bite you, they want…

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Guest Post: RJ Sullivan

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The Bass Player Quit Again

Or, the Chemistry of Author Co-Ops

 

“She wants to be an author when she grows up!” I looked down into the wide eyes of a tween girl. Her parents pulled her over to my booth so they could tell me this, apparently in hope that I could grant some words of wisdom on the spot. So I tell her half the truth. The good half. The encouraging half.

Thanks to modern technology, specifically ebooks and digital publishing, this little girl is growing up in a time when anyone who wants to chase their dream of being an author will have more choices before them than any era before. She can choose to avoid the lifelong frustration of rejections and never getting that break. Her destiny will be in her own hands, and success or failure will be more in her control than ever. The parents smiled and the girl glowed and my duty to inspire future generations was done for the day.
I had, of course, only told her the good news. What I didn’t tell her was that her destiny will be in her own hands, and success or failure will be more in her control than ever.

Today, authors are expected to be our own brands, marketers, promoters, formatters, editors, proofreaders, and (the historical antithesis of everything authorly) social!

The duties and responsibilities of a fiction author are overwhelming, and many people fail because they go at it alone. Some people compare being an author to being a full time one-person business. But that’s not accurate. It’s actually more akin to a small business of five to ten employees. No, forget all that. The best analogy is that of a garage band.

That brings me to author co-ops. I am a part of one; it’s called the Speculative Fiction Guild. Finding and cultivating an author co-op is the sanity-saving approach to being an author. Author co-ops form organically as a result of that pesky socializing and networking. They’re formed through shared experiences and often shared adversity. There are a million co-ops and a million stories.

In your co-op, you may have a strong cover artist. Another who creates strong back cover blurbs (this happens to be my specialty) yet others who create book trailers, create websites, formats ebooks, etc. Because these are people you’ve cultivated a relationship with, you all bond and help each other by sharing expertise. You’re all in it together and you share in each other’s successes and failures.

Yes, you can still be Bob Dylan or Melissa Etheridge and do it all, but there’s a reason that the Dylans and Etheridges are few and far between. It’s easier to master the keyboard and go find a good bass player, drummer, and lead singer to jam with.

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            Being in an author co-op is like having your own band while being an occasional player in other author’s bands. So I’ll lay down a track for E. Chris Garrison and John F. Allen, and in return they help me figure out the lyrics to this new song I’m putting together. And then you load up the tour van, go out on the road, split hotel and gas, and learn too much about what your bandmate mumbles in their sleep.
Yeah, it’s a lot like that.

Unfortunately, the resemblance to garage bands doesn’t end there. Sometimes a member trashes a hotel (not literally … well, okay, sometimes literally). Sometimes your guitarist has to step away. Sometimes the drummer wants to go a direction the bass and guitar don’t get. Maybe two players go off and form their own band (and call it Journey…sorry, did I just show my age there?)

And that’s okay. These things have to happen to keep the creative process healthy.  But when you find a few others who get your groove…the jam sessions are magic!

SFG will be well represented at Imaginarium. I’ll be there with my regular session guys John and Chris, plus Kat French and Matt Barron, and perhaps a couple more, not quite confirmed as of this writing. Storytelling by its nature is a solitary venture, but you don’t have to go it alone.

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R.J. Sullivan writes paranormal thrillers and science fiction through Seventh Star Press. His short story collection, Darkness with a Chance of Whimsy, came out earlier this year. Learn more at http://www.rjsullivanfiction.com

Guest Post: Sarah Elle Emm

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~ Release Day Blitz ~
 
About the Book:
After two members of The Freedom Front are arrested and interrogated by the UZTA’s tyrannical President Nicks, Rain Hawkins and her friends face the alarming reality that their plans to liberate the mixed zones across the United Zones of The Authority might not come to fruition. While the resistance movement is growing outside the walls of the zones, the president’s forces are strengthening and putting citizens everywhere in more peril than ever. When Rain receives warnings that her cousin, Calista, has agreed to support plans to kill the mixed zones, and that her life could be on the line at the upcoming pure zone initiation ceremony, she must decide where her loyalties lie and if all of her allies can be trusted. As The Freedom Front use their abilities to unravel the mystery of the ceremony, The Authority captures some of their friends, forcing TFF to either go into hiding, or plan a rescue mission that could jeopardize everything they’ve been fighting for.
 
 

Buy NOW from Amazon – Paperback or Kindle





Hooray, it is finally release day for Nacreous! Thanks for stopping by the fabulous Release Day Blitz, organized by b00k r3vi3w Tours. To kick off the blitz, here are a couple of “Fun Facts” about my writing process… I hope you enjoy!


Writing Playlist:


So…Music. Some authors swear by it. They have their playlist set in the background while they pen their latest manuscript. Me? Not exactly. Music is very important to me. I believe in dance parties, and by dance parties I mean cranking up my I-pod to the music fitting my mood, be this salsa, classic rock, blues, country, classical, whatever, and dancing alone in my room or kitchen. (Yes, I said classical and country in the same list). My kids may or may not be in attendance. They like to watch and laugh. Sometimes, they join in. But as far as my writing process goes, the music is sort of my warm up. So I might turn on some music that fits my mood for parts of the story and listen to it in my car or at my desk before I write, but not while I am actually writing. I need it to be quiet in the room, so I can tell the story…(Ahem, hear what my characters are trying to tell me). 😉 While I wrote Nacreous, and the other books in the Harmony Run Series, my favorite music warm-up to set the mood was Lorde. Specifically, the songs Team and A World Alone. In fact, if any of the books from my series could be made for film, I would beg producers to include one of those songs in the movies.


My Writing Process:


I can’t sit down and force myself to write everyday because it begins to feel too mechanical, but I am definitely one of those people who thinks about writing, story ideas, characters, scenarios all of the time, awake or asleep. I love using my dreams in my writing and have written a few of them into scenes in the Harmony Run Series. Back in college, the good ol’ stone ages, I had one of the most terrifying dreams of my life about a man with a triangular-shaped eye chasing me down a corridor, one door after the other, with this woman’s voice echoing all around us, telling him to kill me. When I got to the end of the corridor, I opened the last door, and he was standing there facing me. I woke up sobbing…About a year later, a psychology professor at my university asked some of us to share dreams with him so he could demonstrate dream analysis. I bravely raised my hand, (this was huge for me, since I am very shy in person), and shared my dream in vivid detail. After I finished talking, the entire class got eerily quiet and the professor told me I was dealing with issues beyond his realm of help, and went on to the next student’s dream. That student shared a dream about not being able to make a goal in a soccer match, and the professor dissected his dream in depth for fifteen minutes. Years later, I incorporated that dream, adding on some twists and turns of course, into book one from the Harmony Run Series, Prismatic. 


I also come up with ideas when I’m looking out of the kitchen window, when I’m walking, driving, cooking, gardening, taking my kids to martial arts, helping with their homework, basically, every waking moment. I take heaps of notes. I jot notes down for days. And when I’m ready, I sit down and type everything I can. I woke up the other night, and grabbed the notebook and pen beside my bed and wrote down an idea for another story. So my writing process is sort of a twenty-four hour thing. Oh, and probably the most important part of the process…How could I forget? My dog, Shorty, has to harass me to sit in my lap throughout the day. She eventually gives up and sleeps at my feet or nearby. She spares me the occasional glance or sighs every so often when I talk too much. Yes, I like to talk aloud to myself more often than not. If that dog could talk…Well, thankfully that’s not an issue. Here’s a photo of my writing pal…

Isn’t she cute? I hope you stick around to read about Nacreous. I’m going to look up that old psychology professor to see if he wants to read my latest book… 😉


Previous Books in the Series:

 
  
(Click on the Cover to know more)
 
About the Author:



Sarah Elle Emm is the author of the HARMONY RUN SERIES, a young-adult fantasy and dystopian series, released in May 2012 by Winter Goose Publishing. (PRISMATIC, May 2012, OPALESCENT, February 2013, CHATOYANT, September 2014, NACREOUS, August 2015) Her debut fiction novel, MARRYING MISSY, was published by Bird Brain Publishing in October 2011. Sarah is a graduate of The University of Evansville, she has lived and worked in Mexico, Germany, England, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and has traveled extensively beyond. Sarah lives in Naples, Florida with her family. When she’s not walking the plank of her daughters’ imaginary pirate ship or snapping photos of Southwest Florida scenery, she is writing.








Stalk the Author:
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Guest Post: Eva Pohler

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When seventeen-year-old Gertie leaves New York to study abroad in Athens, she learns that vampires and demigods are real and unwittingly becomes a catalyst to an uprising led by Dionysus, lord of the vampires.

Vampire Ascension Final
In this final installment, Gertie, Jeno, and Hector struggle to bring a peaceful resolution to the war in Athens, but any success they make comes at great cost. How many more people must die for freedom and justice? The teens quickly learn that nothing is fair in love and war. Sometimes even love requires a terrible price.

Vampire Addiction 3D FINAL

 

If you don’t already have the first book, Vampire Addiction, go here for your FREE copy: http://www.evapohler.com/facebook.

 

 

 

Check out this one-minute series trailer!

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“An absolutely EPIC conclusion to an awesome tale of vampires and Greek mythology!”–Jeanine Walsh Palinkas

Vampire Ascension Teaser

“The unique blend of the paranormal with Greek mythology is breathtaking and will leave you dying for more.”–Jonel Boyko of Pure Jonel (A book review site)

Buy your copy of Vampire Ascension: The Vampires of Athens, Book Three at your favorite retailer today for $3.99 for a limited time!

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Come celebrate this new release with fun games and prizes at our Facebook event tonight! Click to join!

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As part of the celebration, Eva is giving away a signed set of paperbacks of ALL SIX books in her Gatekeeper’s Saga, plus an Eva Pohler’s Books drawstring tote full of swag. Click here to enter!

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Eva's Author Pic 2Eva Pohler is the Amazon bestselling author of The Gatekeeper’s Saga, The Purgatorium Series, The Vampires of Athens, and The Mystery Book Collection. She also teaches writing and literature at a university, where she lives with her husband, three children, two dogs, and two guinea pigs.

Guest Post: L.P. Dover

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One girl. Two wolves. Promised to
one. Destined for the other.
To escape the cruel,
overbearing, Kade, the Yukon Pack alpha she’s been promised to, Bailey
Whitehill flees her home in search of a new life, one of freedom where she can
make her own choices. However, Kade will stop at nothing to make her his and
begins the hunt.
As Bailey starts her new
life, everything she’s known to be true, is not. Time is of the essence and
choices have to be made or consequences suffered. Not only does Bailey fear
Kade, but another danger lurks deep in the recesses of the forest. Unbeknownst
to her, that danger is what she’s been searching for all along. At the turn of
the moon, her fate hangs in the balance . . . and it’s up to her to make the
right choice.
 
 
There was a time when I lived for the pack, when I would do
anything to save my people. The white wolves were slowly reducing in number,
and now everyone was desperate, struggling to make ends meet before we were
wiped into extinction. I was twenty-four years old, and a daughter of the
Northern pack alpha. It was my duty to continue my lineage. The only problem
was, there were no other unmated alphas around other than my best friend,
Sebastian, and the supreme douche, Kade Whitemore.
There was no way in hell I was going to alliance myself with that
rat bastard. He was alpha of the Yukon pack, violent, and an overbearing ass
who’d rather see me on my back with my legs spread open than being his equal.
I’d rather die than be forced to be his mate for all eternity. Why couldn’t I
mate with Sebastian? Thinking of fucking him gave me the willies, but anything
was better than Kade.
Anger racked my body and I sat there, seething . . . until I felt
him. He was coming for me; I could sense him drawing near. The closer we got to
the meadow, the more I could smell Kade and his excitement—his lust. Hopefully,
he could smell the rage and disgust coming from me.


 

 

 

 

NYT and USA Today Bestselling author,
L.P. Dover, is a southern belle residing in North Carolina along with her
husband and two beautiful girls. Before she even began her literary journey she
worked in Periodontics enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries. Not only
does she love to write, but she loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes,
white water rafting, and you can’t forget the passion for singing. Her two
number one fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime and those
songs usually consist of Christmas carols. Aside from being a wife and mother,
L.P. Dover has written over nine novels including her Forever Fae series, the
Second Chances series, and her standalone novel, Love, Lies, and Deception. Her
favorite genre to read is romantic suspense and she also loves writing it.
However, if she had to choose a setting to live in it would have to be with her
faeries in the Land of the Fae.

 

      
 

Why Librarians Don’t Want to Buy Your Self-Published Book

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Why Librarians Don’t Want to Buy Your Self-Published Book

Libraries and Sel-Pub Authors

wrapped up in books

When a self-published author contacts someone in the collection development department at my library, we let out a collective groan. Inevitably, our answer to the request to add their book to our collection will feel personal, which is awkward. It will definitely mean more work for us no matter what, and for acquisitions and cataloging staff as well if we do accept the book as a donation or decide to purchase it.

Librarians don’t want to buy your self-published book, but not for the reasons you think. 

I’ve been thinking about self-published books and their place in libraries a lot recently, as my library has been updating our collection development policy and brainstorming ways to streamline how we deal with requests from authors to include their self-published materials in our collection and how our collection development work complements our strategic goal of supporting content creation in our community.

Then, this weekend…

View original post 919 more words

Guest Post: Amy Braun

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Why You Shouldn’t Stress About Reviews

 

I’m one of those readers who loves a good series. Nine times out of ten, the second book in a new series is even more incredible than the first one. And the one after that, and the one after that, until the final book leads to an explosive conclusion that leaves you satisfied, though you may be grudgingly accepting that your favorite series is coming to an end.

 

Talk about pressure.

 

It took me years to finally release the first book in my first trilogy: Demon’s Daughter. I put everything I had into it. Gave the story my all. I was proud of it. And of course, I was nervous as hell when it was released.

 

I mean, just because I think it’s good, doesn’t mean that it is. Would other readers like it? Would it help build my fan base? Or would it crash and burn?

 

Thankfully, almost every review Demon’s Daughter has gotten so far has been overwhelmingly positive. I’ve spent a lot of time reading author blogs and guest posts saying that you can’t please everyone, and I’ve accepted that. I’m sure that one of these days I’ll get a crushingly negative review that will be like a punch in the gut and make me question every little thing I do, but reviews are subjective.

 

General reader opinion however? Not so much.

 

I don’t have a large fan base. Barely a handful that I can claim in confidence. But as it steadily grows, I understand that their opinions matter to me. They’re the ones who are going to talk to their friends and other readers about my books and recommend them. They’re the ones who are going to help my career continue. I don’t want to let them down, and with the sequel to coming Demon’s Daughter in December 2016, I’m nervous about what they think.

 

Do I think the sequel is good? Absolutely. But do I know their minds intimately enough to know exactly what they’re looking for and wanting? Of course not. And the truth is, I can’t. Either they’ll like the sequel, or they don’t. Obviously, I’m going to work myself to the bone to impress them, but in the end, I’m going to try not to stress too much about it.

 

Because I have two other books series I’m working on to stress about.

 

I’m not a writer who wants to stick to a certain book for forever. I have too many ideas I want to try and expand on, movies in my head that I want to put on paper. Some will appeal to my slowly growing fan base, some won’t. I’m not in control of that. All I know is that I have a story I want to write and share with other avid readers. I want them to feel the same excitement I feel when they get to the next page. I want to help them escape reality for a little bit and get lost in a world of deadly magic and dangerous fun.

 

Which is why, when my anxiety kicks in, I can take a step back, breathe, and tell myself that it will be okay. I’m taking a risk, and it’s part of the writing business. Could I fail? Definitely. Could I also continue to have growing success? Most definitely.

 

I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t love the little ego and confidence boosters that come with good reviews and readers asking for more. But what I really, truly, deeply love is writing. For me, it’s a drug with a never-ending high. Regardless of what others think, I’m going to put my story out there. I’ll take those risks and be proud that I gave it a shot, no matter what anyone else tells me.

 

Because I could spend my time fretting about what other people think, or I could focus on the story in front of me and give it my all.

 

I think it’s obvious which the better option is.

 

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Amy is a Canadian urban fantasy and horror author. Her work revolves around monsters, magic, mythology, and mayhem. She started writing in her early teens, and never stopped. She loves building unique worlds filled with fun characters and intense action. She has been featured on various author blogs and publishing websites, is an active member of the Writing GIAM community, participates in NaNoWriMo, and is the recipient of April Moon Books Editor Award for “author voice, world-building and general bad-assery.” When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, watching movies, taking photos, gaming, and struggling with chocoholism and ice cream addiction.

 

Amy’s current work includes various short stories such as Hotel Hell, Call From The Grave, the full length novels Cursed: Demon’s Daughter and Path of the Horseman, and the novella Needfire. She has short stories in various anthologies such as Survivalism in The Dead Walk: Volume 2, Dismantle in The Steam Chronicles, Lost Sky in Avast, Ye Airships!, Secret Suicide in That Hoodoo, Voodoo, That You Do, Bring Back The Hound in Stomping Grounds, Charlatan Charade in Lost in the Witching Hour, and her award winning short Dark Intentions And Blood in AMOK! Amy can be found online through her frequently updated blog, Literary Braun (literarybraun.blogspot.ca), as well as on Twitter (@amybraunauthor) and Facebook (facebook.com/amybraunauthor).

 

Guest Post: Sam Davis

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For a limited of time only Ryan Revisited by Sam Davis is ONLY $.99!  Get your copy Today
 
 
Blurb:
When you don’t have any idea who you are, how do you decide who you want to be? 
 
Who is Ryan Ester? The Southern-belle-in-training her estranged father wants her to be? The laid-back Montana girl she became after her parents’ divorce? Or someone she has to discover on her own? 
 
When Ryan’s only shot at going to college is on her father’s dime, Ryan leaves Bluffs, Montana to return to the antebellum South she once called home. As if the move wasn’t hard enough, Ryan’s first love, who recently left her a broken-hearted mess, has a scholarship to none other than Ryan’s destination, the University of the South. 
 
Ryan Ester may not know who she is, but she sure as heck knows who she doesn’t want to become. As she tries to navigate scandal, heartache, and the unbearable pressure to look and act perfect every waking second, she resents being pushed by everyone who wants to decide for her. For the sake of her own sanity and the hearts of those she cares most about, she will have to find a way to forge her own path. 
 
RYAN REVISITED is the story of a young woman’s search for identity. For serenity. For the perfect landing spot for her aching heart. 
 
Author’s Note: RYAN REVISITED is suitable for mature YA readers as it does not contain graphic sexual situations.

Mando Method Of Writing #amwriting

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Yeah, I know, I know… I surely didn’t invent anything and calling it the Mando Method is egotistical and unnecessary unless… you’re me. 

I find it comforting. Shall we move on?

I am easily distracted by Facebook and e-mail and Twitter and a myriad of other time-sucks during my day when I should be writing. 

I have a modest goal of 2,000 words a day, 5 days a week, for 10k a week, roughly 40k a month, and 520k for a year’s time. People ask me how it is possible to have 150+ releases for sale, and I point out my daily goal. Simple as that.

Except, it ain’t always simple.

Most days it feels like the pressure to write 2,000 words in an hour so I can go play is overwhelming. I just want to relax for a day and watch Netflix documentaries or read until I fall asleep in my chair and take a nap. I’m old and lazy, what can I say?

But then I hit on the winning formula for me, and I have Jonathan Maberry to thank.

On his excellent Three Guys With Beards podcast on Project iRadio with fellow hosts Christopher Golden and James A. Moore (also the home to my two podcasts, but I digress) Mr. Maberry mentioned setting his alarm each hour and writing for 50 minutes, then getting 10 minutes to play with Facebook, e-mails and maybe even rearrange his Hawaiian shirt collection. 

I tried it. It didn’t work. After half an hour I felt like I was ready to never write again. The ideas weren’t flowing and I threw in the towel. I decided to try something else the next day. 

What was it? The Mando Method (patent not coming anytime soon)

I realized I wrote in bursts, and the first few minutes sitting down and tapping away with two fingers usually got me the most words. So I decided to just write for 15 minutes and see what happened. 

493 words. Not bad at all 

So I kept going for eight hours, writing at the top of every hour for 15 minutes and then getting to check e-mails, Facebook, etc. the other 45 minutes. 

My results were great and so easy to get. I’m kinda mad I didn’t think of this sooner, because I could knock off a million words in a year like this… okay, don’t get ahead of yourself. It’s a couple of days. 

Hour 1 – 493 words

Hour 2 – 644 words

Hour 3 – 602 words

Hour 4 – 596 words

Hour 5 – 677 words

Hour 6 – 550 words

Hour 7 – 585 words

Hour 8 – 781 words

Total of 4,924 words. I could’ve easily done a 9th hour and broke 5k but I decided to quit while I was ahead. Besides, I had an episode of Mr. Robot to watch. 

There was no lagging during any of the writing time. I knew I was up against the clock and it actually made what I was writing better when I read back through at the end of the night. Each hour was a fresh start, and the 45 minutes between let me reset and think about what was coming up next, too. I’m a pantser so the thought process was important before I started to write again. 

Can I keep it going? So far so good. On day two so far I’ve hit 589, 767, 569, 580, 637 and 616 words and I still have 2 hours left to write. I’m already at 3,758 words on the day. 

Try it and see if it works for you… 

Armand

Guest Post: Linda Joyce

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 Artist Amelia Britton battles her older brother for the right to remain on the family farm—their inheritance after their parents’ tragic deaths—she faces a looming mortgage, weather threatens to destroy her crops, and the man she secretly loves only sees her as Craig’s little sister.

 

 
After serving his country in Afghanistan, Lucas Dwyer expected to return home to his family’s farm, but the bank foreclosed. Undeterred, he begins combining-for-hire to support his younger sister in college. His best friend convinces him to discourage local guys from dating Amelia. Craig wants her back in the city, farming is too hard for a woman alone. Only one problem—Lucas has fallen in love with Amelia.
 
With family, the bank, and the weather conspiring against them, can Amelia and Lucas ever hope to grow the love blooming between them?

 

 
 

 

 
 
“If I say, ‘I love your sister and want to marry her,’ he’ll laugh his ass off, or worse yet, when he finds out what just transpired, he’ll want a duel at dawn. How did a man born and raised in the country come to equate vast open spaces, glorious sunsets, and fresh everything with an inferior lifestyle?”
 
“Are you speaking to me, young man?” An older man approached on the sidewalk. His cane tapped against the pavement as he walked.
 
“No, sir. Talking to myself.”
 
“Crazy are you?” the man asked as he continued walking.
 
“Yep. Crazy about a woman.”
 
“Continue on, then,” the man said as he passed. “Try telling her about it rather than talking to strangers.”

 

Book Viral Book Review
Our review……
A novel with authentic appeal and  genuine depth, Her Heart’s Desire is the new release from Linda Joyce. Book 1 in her Sunflower Series, it certainly won’t disappoint her many fans, with a thoughtful and sophisticate narrative that has it all.  Love, pain, laughter and tears with a home country feeling that genuinely captures the authenticity of her rural setting, it begins at an almost  languid pace with an overt sense of ordinariness and yet there’s nothing simplified as it quickly gathers momentum. Just as in real life, complexities of the heart prevail and with an acerbic pen Joyce draws her readers into an unfolding drama that feels wholly believable. She knows what her readers want and delivers it without the emotional baggage, underpinning the characters of Lia and Lucas with back stories that play to the romantic tension developing between them. They’re both incredibly likeable and certainly strong enough to carry a new series, but they also remind us that even in the aftermath of loss, life does goes on; sometimes in new and exciting directions.
A genuinely guilty pleasure, Her Heart’s Desire bodes well for the Sunflower Series and is recommended without reservation.
 
 
Linda Joyce is an
award-winning contemporary romance author born on Christmas Eve. Her
Louisiana family’s roots run deep, and they’re intertwined with her Japanese
heritage. Her vagabond childhood afforded her a variety of travel
opportunities. Now she lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and their
three dogs: General Beauregard, Gentleman Jack, and Masterpiece Renoir.
Linda penned her first
manuscript while living in Japan as a U.S. Air Force dependent. Her classmates
lined up at recess to read her latest pages. During high school in Florida, a
literary magazine published her poetry. In college, she worked on the school’s
newspaper as a reporter and learned layout and design.
A graduate of the University
of Florida, Linda holds a Bachelor of Science in Management. She worked in
corporate America, earned the Senior Claims Law Associate professional
designation, and completed Six Sigma Green Belt training.
Linda is a self-professed
foodie and has the kitchen of her dreams. She enjoys painting when she can fit
it in. She and her husband, Don, love college football. They frequently go
RVing, and at last count, they’ve traveled to twenty-one states with “the
boys.”
 
 
 

 

 

Guest Post: Brian Downes

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Carrefour Crisis Front Cover

How Much Detail Gets You to 1939?

All fiction is historical fiction, sooner or later. My own novel, The Berlin Fraternity, was written in the twenty zeroes, and begins almost ninety years earlier. The follow up that I am writing now, Red Sleeper, is set in 1956. In those books, I had to create – or recreate – believable historical periods for the characters to strive and suffer in.

But the book I wrote between those two, The Carrefour Crisis, was written in 2010 and 2011 – and is set in 2012. But I knew that the book would have a life long after the year in which it was set. When readers encountered it in 2022, or when readers not yet decanted from their natal tanks when I was doing the writing found it online in 2050, it would be historical fiction.

Our digital evernow makes period detail extremely easy. O Google, to what motion picture does my teenage protagonist take his girl in the summer of 1939? O Google, who manufactured the engines on a Junkers 52/3 transport plane? O Google, please give me four brands of canned soup available to survivors of the zombie outbreak of 2012!

 

But just because you can find it doesn’t mean you should use it – that’s the most important lesson of the internet. So how much period detail adds a vivid sense of place, and how much becomes a show-off and an annoyance?

Prioritize period details that seriously affect the character’s environment, and spend some words on explaining how. In 1939, for example, telephones were cabled down. Someone who went out to a restaurant was cut off from communication from home, unless someone knew where to go to find them, or where to send a written message by courier. The person at home might get in touch with the diner by telephoning the restaurant, but that assumes that they know which restaurant to telephone, and the telephone number at the restaurant, and that the restaurant staff is willing to alert the diner to the call. All of this could be essential to your plot, so explain it.

Second, be wary of the familiar. Writers have an instinct to include period details that everyone already knows – Adolf Hitler, The Wizard of Oz. But familiarity might make those things uninteresting. And if you emphasize brands and institutions that also exist in the present day, you risk undercutting the sense of place you are trying to build. This is a danger in writing a book set in the 1950s, as I am doing now. “Haigwood drove home, drinking a Coca-Cola in his Chevrolet, and found his kids watching Mickey Mouse on the TV in the living room”, is not a sentence that sets anything off from 2015.

So mix it up with period details that are unfamiliar, even jarring, to the modern reader. Mad Men reveled in this kind of thing. But do not mistake period detail for a story.

Story is drama, not detail. Story is what people do and fail to do, and how that makes them feel.

So historical events should be included as plot points, not lectures. Do not include the Nazi invasion of Poland because you think history is fun – include the Nazi invasion of Poland because it causes someone’s husband to be shipped to the front, or because it convinces your protagonist to start opposing Hitler’s regime. Make the history muscle instead of fat. Make it your plot.

BF Author Photo

About the Author:

Brian Downes is a novelist and contributor to Florida Geek Scene. He lives in Orlando, Florida. His new novel, The Carrefour Crisis, is launching at Gods & Monsters on International Drive on August 22nd at 10 PM.

On Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Brian-Downes/e/B00OY54JRW/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1439433264&sr=8-1

At Florida Geek Scene: http://www.floridageekscene.com/contributors/

At Gods & Monsters: https://www.facebook.com/events/1617017921901302/

 

 


Reblog: Brian Keene News

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He might’ve mentioned the interview we did for Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast at Scares That Care Weekend… and a few other important things going on with him… 

http://www.briankeene.com/2015/08/17/on-diversity-the-approaching-maelstrom-delayed-books-and-more/

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The Misadventures of Bob the Zombie: A Review

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The Misadventures of Bob the Zombie: A Review

Jaime Johnesee gets reviewed! #zombie #author

Eden Royce - The Dark Geisha

I’ll admit it. I’m not a huge zombie fan when it comes to horror books. I’ve read a precious few and no standouts come to mind. Although I’m tempted to give Armand Rosamilla’s Winter of Zombie a try later this year.

Not that they aren’t a good monster; they are—ravenous, relentless, single-minded in their drive to devour you. But I tend to feel they work better on screen. In addition, I’ve noticed some publishers stating outright in their calls for submissions: No Zombies.

I understand. There is a plethora of zombie books out there and I imagine slush readers have to wade through a ton of not-so-creative stories to find any glimmer of new penny brightness. Bob the zombie

The Misadventures of Bob the Zombie was that newness for me. While the series of novellas by Jaime Johnesee isn’t marketed as Young Adult, she crafts the character of Bob with plenty of…

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Scares That Care Is the Best Convention in the World

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Scares That Care Is the Best Convention in the World

Jonathan Janz sums up Scares That care perfectly… see ya there next year!

Jonathan Janz

Was that a direct enough statement?

I’m not a veteran convention-goer, and I’m only currently doing four or so a year. Next year, I plan to add Stokercon to my list of conventions, and I’m sure it’ll rock, but folks? Scares That Care 2 was absolutely epic.

Rather than writing a novella here, I’ll give you some pictorial highlights. But before I do, let me mention a few people that aren’t pictured…

Tim Waggoner is a truly special human being (as well as an incredible writer). I’m blessed to call him a friend.

I finally got to hang out with Hunter Shea, who’s a wonderful guy and a great friend.

I am very proud of Kristopher Rufty, who conducted his first-ever reading and knocked it out of the park.

I had a blast selling books with Adam Cesare. Did I mention we sold a lot of them?

Fred Godsmark, my…

View original post 424 more words

Guest Post: Julieanne Lynch

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Title: Beneath The Lighthouse
Author: Julieanne Lynch
Release Date: December 1st. 2015
 
HE lives in silent fear, dangerously dancing on the edge of the blade. His home life shattered, never to recover.
SHE hovers in between the living and the dead; searching for a vessel to reveal her killer.
The bond between them runs deeper than the events that have destroyed their lives. Something more than blood has brought them together, and nothing will stop it, not until the truth has been revealed.
 
 

 

 
Julieanne Lynch is
an author of urban fantasy books for both adults and teens. Julieanne lives in
Northern Ireland, is married to her childhood sweetheart and together they have
five children.
Before becoming a
writer, she considered a few different career paths, a rock star being one of
them. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at The Open
University, and considered journalism as a career path. However, she decided
writing was the way for her and believes all of her education and reading
prepared her for it.
An avid reader,
Julieanne has always had an encompassing fascination with folklore. When not
writing, she enjoys crime series such as Criminal Minds, CSI, NCIS and Cold
Case, and loves anything with Vampires, listening to metal, meeting new people,
drinking lots of green tea, and sharing her dreams with her children. She is a
self-professed goth wanna-be,and is happy when left to write into the early
hours of the morning.
Julieanne’s YA
series, the Shadow World novels, so far contains Within the Shadows &
Escaping Shadows, the third instalment, Fighting Shadows will be released in
2015. It follows the war between vampires and shadow creatures. Giselle
Bergman, an 18-year old human girl, falls victim to a scheme by one of her
closest childhood friends, and embarks on a journey that sees her become the
centre of a battle between good and evil.

Guest Post: Raye Wagner

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 Amazon: 
 
  How long can a monster stay hidden in plain sight?
 
Seventeen year-old Hope Nicholas has spent her entire life on the run. But no one is chasing her. In fact, no one even knows she exists. With her mom, she’s traveled from town to town and school to school, barely staying long enough to meet anyone, let alone make friends. And she’ll have to keep it that way.
 
It’s safer.
 
When her mother is brutally ripped away from her, Hope’s life shatters. Is this the fulfillment of Apollo’s curse? Is Hope being hunted by the shadow monsters of the Underworld? Orphaned and alone, Hope flees again, but this time there’s no one to teach her who to trust—or how to love.
 
Set in a universe where mythology is alive and well in the modern world, Curse of the Sphinx irresistibly blends action, suspense and romance. Curse of the Sphinx is the first book in the young-adult Sphinx saga.

 

 
Hope looked up from the bouquets to see the shadows at the back of the stall shift. A short man dressed in black advanced, his step both graceful and predatory. 
 
This was not the same man she had seen by the Fish Market earlier, and yet his movements were eerily similar, as were his pale skin and dark eyes. 
 
Her heart rate doubled, and instinctively, she stepped back. Her conversation with Priska came crashing back to her. She knew what this was. 
 
“Leto! Hope!” Priska’s petite figure pushed through the crowd toward them. Time seemed to slow. 
 
Leto took the change from the vendor and turned toward her best friend, her expression morphing from excitement to terror. The paper-wrapped bouquet slipped to the ground.
 
Hope’s eyes shifted from her mother to her aunt, and her muscles tensed even as her vision tunneled. Out of the corner of her eye, the dark figure was coming straight for them. She suppressed the cry that bubbled up her throat. 
 
Priska crashed into them, grabbing at both of them with shaky limbs. Her head jerked side to side, her eyes bulging. “Holy Hades! WHAT IN THE NAME OF ALL THE GODS ARE YOU DOING HERE?”

 

 
“A fast-paced read with myth and reality seamlessly woven together to create  a story that will appeal to fans of Percy Jackson. I can’t wait to see what’s next for Hope!” 


-Jen McConnel, author of Daughter of Chaos
 
 
 
 


 







Raye Wagner grew up in the suburbs of Seattle, the second of eight children, and learned to escape chaos through the pages of fiction. As a youth, she read the likes of David Eddings, Leon Uris, and Jane Austen. Inspired by a fictional character, Raye pursued a career in nursing, and thought to help the world one patient at a time. 
One summer afternoon, a plot dropped into her head, and she started writing. 
 
Raye enjoys baking, Tae Kwon Do, puzzles, and the sound of waves lapping at the sand. She lives with her husband and three children in Middle Tennessee.
 
Origin of the Sphinx is her first publication, and the beginning of the Sphinx series. 
 







 

 

 






 










 
Origin of the Sphinx




 

Zombie Escape Amsterdam

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zombie-room

Have you ever heard of an escape room? Being voluntarily locked up in a room with a bunch of friends. You have an hour the time to try to get out. And if you don’t? You fail the game and they just let you out.

Sounds a little anticlimactic doesn’t it? We also had that idea, so we came with something new: Zombie Escape Amsterdam

In our escape room the atmosphere and fear for the zombies is real. Were you are normally pretty comfortable in an escape room, here you really want to get out. With zombies closing in on you, you have to keep focused on all the puzzles en riddles in our laboratory. What kind of genetic modification experiments did these professors preform? Challenge your will power and courage in this escape room full of miserie and mystery.

Opening begin September in Amsterdam.

Www.zombie-escape.nl

+31207527722

info@zombie-escape.nl

zombie-room2

Guest Post: Barbara Ehrentreu

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Barbara at Fairfield Bookstore signing headshot

Barbara at Fairfield Bookstore signing headshot

We have all gone through high school and know the kinds of things you can encounter there. Add to this the joys of being an adolescent when your body is changing daily and you have the experience of a typical high school student. However, sometimes a student wants desperately to be popular and will do almost anything to get there. Add to this the fact that this student has been the brunt of the girl who is the most popular. What if this same popular girl has a deep, dark secret that will stop her chances of being an Olympic hopeful? Carolyn Samuels on the first day of her freshman year in high school finds she cannot escape her enemy, the perfect and popular Jennifer Taylor. She figures the year will be a rerun of middle school when Jennifer taunted her every day for her breathing problem. Carolyn also doesn’t like her body and thinks her hair looks like “shriveled spaghetti”. Then an event changes everything. She finds that perfect Jennifer isn’t so perfect after all. Jennifer has been bullying her and now she has a way to stop it once and for all.

Bullying is a subject that is now being addressed by many schools. It has many forms and doesn’t need to be physical. There is emotional bullying that is relentless and hurtful. Such is the case with Carolyn and Jennifer. Carolyn is taunted by Jennifer, who repeats the phrase, “Breathe, Carolyn, breathe.” Carolyn never knows when Jennifer will say it to her and soon it becomes intolerable. Carolyn never says anything to anyone but her friends, Becky and Janie. But the bullying takes its toll and the first day of high school finds Carolyn unable to get out of bed for fear of facing Jennifer Taylor. Bullying can sap a student of their joy and will to live and in some cases it has been fatal. Students have been bullied both in school and out of school on social media like Facebook and a few have not been able to live with it. Being adolescents they didn’t tell anyone and instead took their own lives. 

When I wrote this novel, I did not have the topic of bullying in mind, but as I thought about it I realized that my character had been bullied in middle school. So why does she want to be like this bully, Jennifer Taylor? What causes Carolyn to become friends with Jennifer and what does she learn? Now add into the mix Carolyn’s crush on Brad Morrow, the hot Junior quarterback, who is of course, Jennifer’s boyfriend. Yearning for Brad, Carolyn stumbles into a kind of friendship with Jennifer. If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor is all about holding secrets and being popular. What will someone do to become popular and when is it not okay to keep a secret? Also what happens to your relationship with your old friends who have stood with you all the time?

Some high school students have to deal with problems at home. Such is the case with Lauren Walstein whose father calls home in the middle of the Mets game while he is having a heart attack. Everything in Lauren’s life changes after that phone call. Unlike Carolyn, she is an athlete. She pitches for her softball team and she is hoping for a scholarship to go to college. Also Lauren has a best friend who is a boy, Joey, who has been her BFF since kindergarten. Since they are so close, Lauren hasn’t really needed other friends. However, Joey has a mean girl friend Amber, who keeps Joey away from Lauren and she hasn’t seen him for awhile. On the night of the phone call Lauren calls Joey and he comes to the hospital to console her. During the time her father is in the hospital and subsequently needs bypass surgery, Joey is always there for Lauren. In school Lauren reconnects with an old girl friend who helps her through this time too. She also gets closer to her sister and her mother as they band together to help each other. Soon Lauren realizes her feelings for Joey might not be friend-like anymore. After is about  Lauren’s life after the phone call and there is a sweet romance that doesn’t make Joey’s girlfriend Amber happy at all. In the process of dealing with her father’s illness, Lauren learns there is more to life than softball and the Mets. 

I actually took the story of After from my own husband’s hospitalization and a lot of the dialogue and events of the story come from my own experience. A lot of the time students go through life events such as a parent’s illness and really have no way to deal with it. As Lauren deals with the fact that her father is seriously ill she learns who she can trust and what is really important to her. 

 
 
Bio:
 

Barbara Ehrentreu grew up in Brooklyn and moved to Queens. She has lived and taught in Long Island, Buffalo, NY and Westchester, NY as well as a year in Los Angeles, CA. She has a Masters Degree in Reading and Writing K-12. Currently she is retired from teaching and living in Stamford, CT with her family. If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor won second prize in Preditors & Editors as Best Young Adult Book for 2011. It was inspired by Paula Danziger for her children’s writing workshop at Manhattanville College. Her second book, After, considers what can happen to a teen when her father becomes ill with a heart attack. It is based on her own experiences when her husband had a heart attack and the aftermath of what she and her family experienced. She is preparing the sequel to If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor. Barbara also writes poetry and several of her poems are published in the anthologies, Prompted: An International Collection of Poetry, Beyond the Dark Room, Storm Cycle and Backlit Barbell. She has a blog, Barbara’s Meanderings, and she hosts a radio show on Blog Talk Radio, Red River Radio Tales from the Pages, once a month. She is a member of PEN Letters and SCBWI.

AFTER333X555

After:

MuseItUp Publishing:

http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/young-adult/after-detail

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/After-Barbara-Ehrentreu-ebook/dp/B00NDYDC3C/ref=la_B00J0URGVM_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418409175&sr=1-2

For Nook on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/after-barbara-ehrentreu/1120349821?ean=2940046242980

Ibooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/after/id919272959?mt=11

ICBLJT Cover

If I Could Be Like Jennifer Taylor: (print and ebook)

MuseItUp Publishing: http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore/index.php/museityoung/if-i-could-be-like-jennifer-taylor-detail

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/If-Could-Like-Jennifer-Taylor-ebook/dp/B005NWRLL6/ref=la_B00J0URGVM_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1418409175&sr=1-1

For Nook on Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/reviews/If-I-Could-Be-Like-Jennifer-Taylor%2FBarbara-Ehrentreu/1105870667?csrfToken=7tl0EbMuS9kryS71CGU8jWQqfAkqgZfa&sort=3#reviews

Ibooks : https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/if-i-could-be-like-jennifer/id470233900?mt=11

Blog: Barbara’s Meanderings: http://barbaraehrentreu.blogspot.com

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/BarbaraEhrentreu

Twitter: https://twitter.com/barbehr

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4797564.Barbara_Ehrentreu

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/