Monthly Archives: September 2015

Guest Post: Charlene Brown



To People That Want To Turn Clicks Into Profit But Can’t Get Started


Struggling to Gain Attention for Your Brand

I struggled, knew it would take time, but branching out on my own was much tougher than I realized – especially with a 9-to-5. I was tired of complaining about what was not happening and decided to learn how to make things happen.


I had to answer a key question: What are proven methods used to attract customers and increase a brand’s visibility and profitability?


A proven technique I learned to use to turn clicks into profit is to speak with my network (friends, families, and/or associates), reach out to past customers and “strangers”, and inquire online, especially those who are fans of my business and the product(s) and services I offer.

Build Your Village

“It takes a village to raise a child” but in our case a Brand. Networking is a great way to make connections. Yes we solopreneurs are busy with the day-to-day operations, but you still should make time to get from behind that computer screen and connect with like-minds face-to-face. The film “The Net” with Sandra Bullock would make anyone want to eagerly attend social events; even if you have to schedule them in advance. Attending 3 events per month or 5 every two months can do wonders for getting you and your Brand in front of people and introduce yourself.


Perhaps work with your local Chamber of Commerce. They hold networking functions to meet other business owners in your area. Exchange business cards or LinkedIn profiles and make that connection meaningful. This is a proven method for building contacts in business. After the social function visit their business or website, continue developing a relationship with them beyond that first meeting and occasional hellos.


Be an Active and Valuable Village Member

Acquiring referrals, via word of mouth, remains a powerful resource and is the hardest to get. Join communities of like-minded people. They will become invaluable assets to you. Learn from and help those around you. I have been fortunate to join amazing communities that have been inspiring and highly motivational to me.


It is vital that you choose your communities wisely. Consider why you are joining? What can you provide them? What would you want from them?


You want to, and should be, able to provide helpful advice and constructive criticism to them. Make strong and dependable connections (perhaps even friendships) that lead to your personalized village (of sorts) that include the benefit of lead generations for your business.


What to do when my online business fails to generate the profits I hoped for?

Try three things to help tweak your Brand’s success:

  1. Are getting sufficient quality traffic to your site: The type of traffic you attract can be assisted by where you promote your website. Try to share your link to groups and communities that you know have the audience you are focusing on. This may not deliver more hits to your website but it will bring more people who will purchase more of your products and in turn generate more income. Have customers? At least 30% of them will be repeat buyers and this number will continue to grow if you use the follow-up techniques discussed below.
  2. Re-evaluate customer base. Who’s in your audience?: Repeat customers come if you follow-up with them. If they already like your product(s), they’ll probably return if you offer them another product or a discount on what they already purchased. Thus leading them to promote your business to their friends. When customers like a product, they tell others, heck, they tell the world (reviews)! The more follow-ups and offers from your business, the faster your brand recognition grows and profit increases.
  3. Do the Work!: No one else’s path will ever be yours. Instead know that you need to put in that work and use the advice you learn to build your own roadmap to success. You need to still put in the work to build your brand from obscurity to success; and your success will be different.

The Art of The Follow-up

I’m still experimenting with follow-ups myself when balancing time zones and work, but follow-ups are personable and help connections between you and your audience blossom.

  1. Rewards. Reward customers for using your website, purchasing something, and sending referrals. Special “Thank You” notices for their purchase or offering a small discount when they return or refer your business to a friend are all great ways to upsurge your profit margin.
  2. Confirmations. Send confirmation messages to customers that their requests, comments or questions were received. Rather than simply saying, “we received your request” add a little oomph (something extra) in there. This is a great time to offer them something and be creative because you’ll be amazed at the responses you’ll receive.

Boss Up

Follow-ups are important. Let your customers know that you care if they are happy with their purchase and/or your Brand’s message. Should they have any questions or concerns let them feel comfortable enough to contact you. Don’t annihilate them with sales pitches. Let that message be secondary.


Charlene Brown is the Founder and CEO of Bklyn Custom Designs, LLC. and LOVES helping small businesses turn their brands from barely there to thriving and profitable businesses. She constantly seeks the best avenues to help her audience achieve their dreams with as little frustrations as possible. Code lover, avid reader, traveler, and chills out with her family and friends, all while enjoying all that life has to offer.


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Guest Post: A.M. Hargrove


Title: Sabin, A Seven Novel
Genre: Sci-Fi
Release Date: October 29th, 2015







The Seven have a code: find and protect Judgment Day (a weapon of mass destruction that poses as a harmless necklace) and the ones who possess it at all costs; and never, under any circumstances, divulge information about ourselves.
I have always abided by this code. Until Serena Callahan, a sassy, no nonsense female, found the damn choker, and now I’m the one being choked by my own emotions. Ever since the day she entered my life that code has meant nothing to me. And for the life of me I can’t figure out why I’m allowing a damn woman to lead me around by her slender finger. The rules have changed and she’s calling all the shots only she doesn’t know it. But if we can’t find the necklace soon, none of it will matter anyway.
My name is Sabin and I am the commander of The Seven.
 One day, on her way home from work as a sales
manager, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life was
 on fast forward and if she didn’t do something soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her
whole life. So, she rolled down the passenger window of
 her fabulous (not)company car and tossed out her leather briefcase. Luckily, the pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a dodge ball pro and
had über quick reflexes enabling him to avoid getting
 bashed in the head.Feeling a tad guilty about the near miss, A. M. made a speedy turn down a deserted side street before tossing her crummy, outdated piece-of-you-know-what laptop out the window. She breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone, called her boss, and quit her
job. Grinning, she made another call to her hubs and
told him of her new adventure (after
 making sure his
heart was beating properly again).

So began A. M. Hargrove’s career as a Naughty and Nice Romance Author. Her books include the
 following: Edge of Disaster, Shattered Edge and Kissing Fire (The Edge Series); The Guardians of Vesturon Series (Survival, Resurrection, Determinant, reEmergent, and Beginnings); Dark Waltz, Death Waltz, Tragically Flawed (Tragic 1), Tragic Desires(Tragic 2), Exquisite Betrayal, Dirty Nights; and lastlyFreeing Her, Freeing Him, and Kestrelall part of the Hart
Brothers Series.

Other than being in love with writing about love, she loves chocolate, ice cream, and coffee and is
 positive they should be added as part of the USDA food groups.





Guest Post: Jaqueline Kyle


Picking your Supernatural Villain


When I decided to write Ebenezer Scrooge: Ghost Hunter, I knew that ghosts would be involved. It’s implicit in the title, right? However, I needed the stakes to be a little higher, A Christmas Carol already had four ghosts (if you include Jacob Marley). To just fight ghost after ghost would be redundant and boring, so “Ghost Hunter” became a misnomer for a hunter of all sorts of supernatural creatures.


My decision making process for finding villains and supernatural creatures to populate my story began by making a list of all the popular villains (i.e. zombies, vampires, werewolves) and throw them out! There were a couple of reasons that I did this. First, I’m afraid of zombies. Seriously. Fifteen minutes of the Walking Dead will have me up to all hours in the night, plotting my escape should zombies attack. Zombies are a definite no-go for me.


Second, I felt like between Underworld and Twilight, vampires and werewolves were done. That’s a full spectrum of cheese-tasticness which makes it trite and a complete no-go again for me.


Third, I did a lot of traveling in my 20’s. I worked for a travel agency and had the opportunity to travel to unique locations and hear local folklore first hand. I knew there was a wealth of other myths to draw on for rich and frightening characters.


When you write a mash-up there are already characters and thus, opportunities to slip in new traits and dynamics. I did that as much as possible in Ebenezer Scrooge: Ghost Hunter. In the end, I spent a lot of time googling keywords like “folklore shapeshifter” to find my villains.



Here’s the final list of supernatural creatures that make an appearance!

  • Ghosts
  • Goblins
  • Bad Fairies
  • Bean Nighe
  • Humbug (my creation)
  • Doppelganger
  • Jikininki


About the Author:

Jaqueline Kyle once stood on top of an active nuclear reactor. It glowed. She dove the Great Barrier Reef and the fish swarmed to check HER out. On her 16th birthday she flew a plane solo – just to enjoy the view. She once ran a marathon – because it was faster than walking. When she bungee jumps, she always goes first, so her friends can jump off the bridge after her. Jaqueline Kyle is not the most interesting man in the world – because she’s a woman.


Ebenezer Scrooge: Ghost Hunter

Ebenezer Scrooge: Ghost Hunter expands the original text of Charles Dicken’s classic with all-new scenes of malicious ghosts, soul devouring wraiths, deadly doppelgangers and other terrors from the netherworld. Our story opens seven years after Marley’s violent death. Ebenezer Scrooge has given up ghost hunting and embraced an inevitable slow death by alcohol poisoning. When the spectre of his deceased partner appears to him on Christmas Eve, Scrooge learns that he must face three Ghosts – one who will try to help him, one who will try to harm him and one that cannot be killed.

In a story that spans a lifetime of torment, Scrooge must face the demons of his past and his failures in the present in order to prevent the horror that is his future. The stakes for Scrooge’s soul have never been higher than in this wicked retelling of the classic, A Christmas Carol.



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Guest Post: Amos Cassidy


Do not
stray from the path.
There is
magic in the forest, a serenity that calls to your soul.
The woods
may turn your head, they may keep you forever…
knows no peace. Fear and disappointment are her constant companions and hope is
simply a word. A stepfather who watches her every move with desire, a mother
who spends her days and nights in an alcoholic stupor, and a cottage too small
to escape from it all. The forest is the only place Scarlett can breathe, the
only place to run, until the final straw, until the final betrayal. Scarlett
makes a choice that will change her life…
steps off the path…
“The woods can turn your head… It’s easy to lose
yourself in amongst the trees and you, my sweet Scarlett, are a delicious treat
the woods would love to keep forever.”



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, 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: Peter Welmerink





The TRANSPORT Series. A fictional Military Action-Thriller, set in Michigan 2025-2026, with zombies.


The series was fun to write. I am told it is a good read in all its POST-post apocalyptic glory.


“…faced with the two most common threats in modern horror, zombies and human nature…it does not feel like something we have seen time and time again.”

The Rage Circus vs The Soulless Void Reviews


“…a fascinating sign of where zombie narrative, road narrative, and narrative in general might be moving…”

  1. Andrew Cooper’s Horrific Scribblings


But you know what? The guts of the book would have been pretty boring if I hadn’t been able to work with the great editors and beyond-awesome artists that I was graciously provided to work with.


Rodney Carlstrom proofed and edited the first TRANSPORT book, and also HUNT FOR THE FALLEN. (Prior to getting the first book picked up by a publishing house, Tyson Mauermann went through it, and helped me polish it for publication most certainly.) We worked together via email and phone conversations.


Scott Sandridge did the editing of UNCIVIL WAR, the third and final book in the series. Again, through mainly emails, we volleyed the manuscript back and forth until we felt the piece was ready for readership.


Through all these professional editors, they offered their thoughts on the mechanics and technicalities in and of many aspects of the books contents. They were an invaluable asset when bringing the final pieces to the table.


Typically my publisher enlists one artist to do the cover art AND the interior illustrations. I got lucky to work with a cover artist, Jason C Conley, and an interior artist, Tim Holtrop.


I had been in touch with an old (as in years known, not age LOL) illustrator who was excited about the TRANSPORT concept before it had been accepted for publication. Tim Holtrop (who had done work for DC Comics and Sony Entertainment) had done some sketches of THE HURON, the big armored personnel carrier starring in the series along with its crew. I wanted to bring him into the mix as I knew he’d do fabulous stuff for the project.


Again, I got very lucky after the publisher and Tim corresponded, and the publisher (Seventh Star Press) brought him into the fold.


Jason C Conley had been contracted to do the cover art for the three books. After some emails back and forth with my vision for each book cover, Jason came back to me one day asking if I’d be interested in him doing a triptych. I had to look up the term, figured out kind of what he was getting at, and let him run with my ideas and his vision of doing ONE BIG EXTENDED COVER that could be divided into three covers BUT, when placed side by side, became one illustration.


Jason, like Tim’s work, hit it out of the ballpark.


Jason did a kickass full color, extended cover with a depiction of THE HURON, agitated zombies, embattled soldiers, an Abrams tank, a close-up of Captain Billet (though he made him with blond hair) standing over a reaching, rotting Zee, and a hovering Apache helicopter…all before the skyline of the main city in the story: Grand Rapids, Michigan.


Tim did awesome illustrations of all my main crew members: Billet, Phelps, Stokes and Mulholland. He did an excellent B&W illo of Billet, Bob the 1950’s gas station attendant zombie, and Black Hair the Zombie Assassin, duking it out for UNCIVIL WAR. He also did a great illustration of Sister Mary Mirose standing over Billet with her AA-12 shotguns roaring.


I gave my editors and artists a slow zombie nod of appreciation as it all came to fruition.


I can’t thank these gents, editors and artists (and publisher!) enough for all their work on bringing my little insane vision to life.


At one point, before the first book was available to the public, and I had seen all the great artwork to adorn the inside and outside, I commented, “Cripes, I hope the guts of the book (the crazy drivel I wrote) is as good as all the fantastic artwork.”


In the end, I am very proud of this book series, and I think you’re going to enjoy it immensely.




Peter Welmerink ( was born and raised on the west side of pre-apocalyptic Grand Rapids, Michigan. He loves his hometown and West Michigan, which is why he writes about it. He writes Fantasy, Military SciFi, and other wanderings into action-adventure. His work has been published in ye olde wood pulp print and electronic-online publications. He is the co-author of the Viking berserker novel, BEDLAM UNLEASHED, written with Steven Shrewsbury. TRANSPORT is his first solo novel venture. He is married with a small barbarian tribe of three boys.




Twitter: @pwelmerink

BLOGS (TRANSPORT-related posts) (author interviews and all things fantastical)



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Guest Post: Amy Braun





I love fall. The colors of the leaves, hot chocolate (I resist the Pumpkin Spice temptations), warm sweaters, and of course, Halloween, the best holiday of the year. Sure, Christmas and Thanksgiving and Easter are great because we spend time with families, and I’m sure that other would argue novelty holidays like Valentines or St. Patrick’s Day deserve recognition. But I’ll pick Halloween every time. Not just because I love all the detailed costumes, the mountains of chocolate, the creepily decorated haunted houses, or the marathons of blood-soaked horror movies, but because I love the tradition of Halloween, and the superstitions that come with it.


Black cats, the story of Jack for Jack-O’-Lanterns, Samhain, crossroads, bats, you name it, there’s a superstition or tradition for it. All of it is inspiration gold. Especially since writers like me love having our characters come across those superstitions, and making them go horribly, fantastically wrong.


I used superstitions and bad omens in two of my Mocha Memoirs short stories. In Call From The Grave, I worked with the belief that if you raised an aggressive spirit from the dead, the spirit would turn on the person/people who tried to control it. And you better believe that it did. In Hotel Hell, my character Milo learned the hard way that you should never, ever, ever enter a creepy looking hotel in the middle of the night, when you are positive it has never been there before.


Recently, I finished the basic plot line for my upcoming full length novel, Resurrection Roulette. A good portion of the novel focuses on the main character being a gambler, and gamblers are among the most superstitious people in the world. Counting your money as you gamble, singing or whistling, crossing your legs, even fifty dollar bills are considered to be unlucky. Seriously.


What I find most interesting about superstitions, and Halloween superstitions in particular, is that everyone knows how ridiculous they can be. Walking around a ghost nine times to make it disappear? Yeah, because people are going to be comfortable around a ghost long enough to do that. Hearing a sigh on the wind that signals you’ll die within a year? How do you tell a sigh from the wind simply passing through trees, and what kind of sigh are we talking about? Turning your clothes inside out to meet a witch? I don’t even think I need to comment on that. But the ideas that writers can draw from them are unlimited. Why walk around a ghost nine times? Maybe this ghost is contained in a ceremonial circle and you need to get information from it, but to do so you must walk a full circle around it to keep it contained before finishing the ninth pass and returning it to rest. Hearing a sigh on the wind as a sign that your death is on the way? That’s the perfect chance for a demon with a grudge to mess with the mind of a character. Turning your clothes inside out upon greeting a witch? Seems pretty standard to me if the witch wants to make sure that the person meeting them doesn’t have any herbs or hex bags or charm or other weapons that could do them harm.


Superstitions are silly. but, there’s no denying that they’re cemented into our society, traditions carried on through generations even if the meanings were lost. And I know plenty of writers who can create a story from a superstition, and give us a reason to be scared of it again.


Amy Braun 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, 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 (, as well as on Twitter (@amybraunauthor) and Facebook (


Guest Post: Inge Saunders



I haven’t jumped on the Magic Mike train *collective gasp* …Oh come on, seriously? Typical of the western world to believe that everyone thinks half naked gyrating men is a turn on. In fact, to me‒ sometimes liberal minded, all about gender equality‒ woman from the lovely continent of Africa find the whole concept hilarious. As in ‘ha-ha-ha’ funny.

Now bear with me for a moment (that is if I haven’t put you off by not voting for this ‘classic’).

I saw my first Chippendale show on TV at age fifteen. I went a year early to school so I was in grade ten (which by no stretch of the imagination makes that okay). I think it might have been a two hour special *laughs* Men dancing, sliding over women on beds…There might’ve been a pole involved somewhere.

Either way, I laughed throughout most of it and asked myself, “Why in the world would men want to do that?” Look I understand; there are women who like this form of dancing. I don’t. I prefer more the categories of hip hop, ballet, jazz, etc.

Anyway, back to me watching the Chippendales as a teenager. Funnily enough, I wasn’t surrounded by women when I did. One gay male was present, and two straight ones and me. A pretty diverse group. And me being me, I kept asking questions, like “Why did he have to roll his hips like that? It just looks weird.” I was basically the Jessica Day in that scenario.

Flash forward into the future (I always wanted to say that!) and I’m still asking the same sort of questions.

And now I’m going to get a bit murkier (and no offence meant to all male strippers) but all that grinding and junk being rubbed up in faces, seem to take away something of the male psyche to me. I don’t want to say masculinity, because I don’t think the word explains what I mean.

Women I believe are apt at this and not because of history and gender roles.

Have you ever seen a Bollyhood movie? Have you noticed those belly dancers? That’s what I’m talking about. There’s a mystery in the sway of a woman’s hips, there’s a story there. She’s communicating something to you. There’s more going on than what’s assumed to be overtly flirtatious or even sexual.

This is what men try so hard to figure out when they look on a dancing woman. I inadvertently stumbled on this when I unceremoniously learned at a social that this one guy loved to watch me dance if he noticed we were at the same club on a Saturday night. Yeah I was freaked out too. All of my friends heard him say this and they went a bit ballistic.

I’m schooled in the art of hips-don’t-lie but my intent hadn’t been to draw him in. Like most people who have an aptitude for dance and loved to express themselves through it, it’s what I usually did. Every song was a means to ‘tell a story’ or convey a mood. And I know not everyone does this, but women are always telling you something when they’re dancing, whether it’s ‘if you’re ready come and get it’ or ‘right now we’re crazy youngsters’, either way there’s a point. And when men in shiny costumes grind and it’s not on ‘I believe in miracles, where you from, you sexy thing’, aka The Full Monty‒ that great British movie‒ of yesteryear that wasn’t just about oiled and tanned bodies, it does seem ridiculous to me. The Full Monty was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Music Score, winning the latter.

No I’m not a fan of Magic Mike (I recently saw it on TV but flipped between Basketball Diaries and it, so *shrug*) and I don’t mind if someone says; there’s more to it than my impressions. Of course there is *rolls eyes* Strip *wink* the gorgeous men out of it and what do you have? A flaky romance plot.

I do get why it’s popular. It feeds into the current culture of women ‘getting theirs’. We’re always made to take off our clothes in movies, so yeah, let them have a taste of it, while doing the two-step *laughs* Understandable.

But I’m seriously not going to sit here from the sideline and be all ‘oh yeah that movie’s awesome, it was on my movie bucket list’. Uh, no. I’m so not watching the second one and if there’s a third or fourth (because franchises of everything seem to be the trend these days) I also won’t be seeing those. If the movie had taken more of a serious angle highlighting what it’s really like being a male stripper (and how the job doesn’t just include stripping for WOMEN) than yeah, it would’ve been interesting. Instead Hollywood glamorized the movie, threw in a cast of popular actors and sat back as the money rolled in.


Author Bio:

Inge Saunders forms part of Romance writers` Organization of South Africa (ROSA) and currently has two books out with Decadent Publishing; Falling for Mr. Unexpected and her latest release Dance of Love.

Dance of Love has qualified for The Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice Award-Winter 2015 in the Contemporary Romance category. Voting for nominations is open until the 30th of September. Here’s a link:


Buy Links:



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You can connect with Inge here:

Blog: Inge Saunders – Inside These Lines

Books by Inge Saunders:




The Average Earnings of Authors


Reblog: The Average Earnings of Authors

A Writer's Path


It is a frequent occurrence in the news to hear about authors cutting multi-million (or even billion) dollar book or movie deals. Famous examples of ridiculously successful authors, such as J.K. Rowling, E. L. James, and Stephen King, often lead people to think that becoming an author will undoubtedly lead to an equally as lucrative outcome. However, it turns out that the average author makes much, much less.

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Guest Post: Laxmi Hariharan


About the Book:

His family is being held to ransom by a deadly mastermind. 

Vikram never should have left his family, but when Vikram’s father brings his half-brother Vishal home, life will never be the same. Vikram thinks things will be better now that he’s gone. He’s met the love of his life, his future looks bright and then everything is shattered. Now, his family’s life is hanging in the balance, and only Vikram can do what needs to be done to save them. From the bestselling dystopian fiction author with over 200 reviews and ratings of her dystopia books across Goodreads, Amazon and other retailers. 

If you’re looking for books like Hunger Games, then this dystopia romance series, The Ruby Iyer Series is it.

Book Links:
Goodreads I Amazon

An exclusive excerpt and GIVEAWAY from The First Life of Vikram Roy
The Ruby Iyer Series—by Laxmi Hariharan
Ash and I have agreed whoever shows up late for cricket practice has to roll out the pitch—and roll it back up after practice. And so, here I am, on the pitch— just rolled out by Ash—ready to bat. I watch her run in for the next ball. When she raises her arm her shirt stretches firmly across her chest, outlining her breasts. I can’t see the shape of her nipples at this distance, but torture myself for a second imagining what they would look like, if she wasn’t wearing that shirt. The ball hits the uneven pitch and bounces at me. I manage to duck just in time so it flies over me rather than at my face. I look up to find Ash grinning. 
“Well played.” She gives me a thumbs-up sign.
“You mean well avoided, right?” I walk across the pitch to hand over the bat and the batting pads we wear to protect our legs. “I don’t get why we don’t wear helmets during practice?”
“Scared, Vik?” She dares me to contradict her. 
She likes pushing me to my limit. Constantly testing me. As if she’s seeing how much I can take before I hit back. It turns me on. Or maybe I just like being tortured by her. 
“No. Just being careful,” I reply.
I take the ball from her and grip it between my fingers the way she’s been teaching me. 
“Wow, you sure like to live by the rules, don’t you?” Her voice is bored.
“No, just don’t want to be stupid.” I try to raise an eyebrow at her. It’s something I have picked up from Tenzin. I’ve seen him use the same expression with great effect. It makes him look cool and aloof, yet sexy. Or so I’ve heard the girls whisper.
“What are you trying to do?” She looks confused.
“Uh! Nothing.” I obviously need to practise more in front of a mirror. I walk to the end of the clearing in preparation for my run-up. “Ready?” I yell to where Ash is taking guard. 
When she nods, I run onto the pitch and bowl. The ball bounces off a rough patch and goes full tilt at her. Ha! Ash is getting a taste of her own medicine.
The next moment, I am running towards her fallen figure. The ball has grazed her head, before flying over the wickets and into the woods beyond. No. No. I didn’t mean for that to happen. I hope she’s okay. Please, please let her not be hurt. My heart is beating so fast now I can hear the blood pump in my ears. 
“Ash!” My voice comes out all choked. 
Dropping to my knees, I pat her cheeks lightly. Is she unconscious? She’s not dead, is she? A thin stream of blood trickles from her temple. I bend closer, bring my face parallel with hers and place a finger below her nose. When I feel her warm breath brush over my skin, I heave a sigh of relief. 
“Ash. Ashley, can you hear me?” I ask again, with more urgency, patting her cheek again. She doesn’t move. 
Should I try giving her the kiss of life? Not that I know how to do that. Or perhaps press down on her chest? I place the heel of my right hand in the centre of her chest. 
“What are you doing?” I feel the rumble of her voice through my palms.
“Ash!” I cry in relief. 
She looks at my face, then down to where my palm is still resting on her chest.
“Oh!” I remove my hand. “Sorry, I thought you were dying.”
“You are such a pussy, Vikram.”
“What do you mean?” My face warms at her words. 
“Here I was hoping for some mouth-to-mouth … You know?” She blinks her eyelids at me coyly.
It only maddens me further. “You mean like this?” I touch my lips to hers, and desire slams painfully into my groin. 
Giggling, she pushes at me, so I sit back on my heels. 
“Too late now, dummy.” So saying, she springs to her feet, dirt clinging to her jeans, her white T-shirt splotchy with grass stains. Bits of mud stick to her braid. That’s when I completely, utterly, crush on her. 
“Ash …” I whisper.
“Come on.” Still smiling, she holds out her hand, and taking it, I rise to my feet. “Let’s head back, shall we?” 
We’re still holding hands as we enter the school building.
Dad was right. I really do need to work on my timing.

Want to find out what
happens next? Click

About the origins of Ruby Iyer:

up in Bombay, my daily commute to university was inevitably nightmarish. It’s
just how public transport is here. The man behind you on the bus will brush up
against you. You know you are going to be felt up on a crowded train platform.
All you can do is accept it and get on. Or so you think. I did too, until, a
young photojournalist was raped in the centre of Bombay in broad daylight.  It made me furious. Nothing had changed in
this city in all these years. Then, I had a vision of this young girl who would
not back down; who would follow her instincts, stand up for herself regardless
of consequences.  Thus Ruby Iyer was
born. Make no mistake, Ruby’s her own person. She leads. I follow. You can
download the RUBY IYER DIARIES, the prequel novelette in the series free
About The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer

2015 Readers’ Favorite (Bronze) YA Action
Finalist 2015 IAN Book of the Year Award
Finalist 9th Annual Indie Excellence Awards

her best friend is kidnapped, Ruby will stop at nothing to rescue him.
Criminals run the streets of Bombay. Jam-packed
with the worst degenerates. The city is a shell of the pride and joy it used to
be. Ruby knows something must be
done, but it isn’t until her best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr
Braganza that she knows that she and she alone must save city, save her best
friend, save the world from total destruction. Armed only with Vikram, a
cop-turned-rogue they are about to embark on a road they may never return from. If you’re looking for fast-paced books
like Hunger Games or dystopia fiction like Angelfall,
the Ruby Iyer series is perfect for you. 

All SEPTEMBER earnings
CHILD REFUGEES OF SYRIA. All the RUBY IYER books with their brand new
covers, are on SALE all this month at 99p/c & Rs 69/49. Click 
HERE to buy them. 

YOU can also donate to SAVE THE
CHILDREN directly 

About the Author:

She almost died. But when dystopia romance author Laxmi Hariharan had a near death experience, she was told to write. Laxmi is the creator of dystopian romance series, RUBY IYER SERIES (The MANY LIVES OF VIKRAM ROY – FINALIST Indie Excellence Awards, the bestselling The RUBY IYER DIARIES , The FIRST LIFE OF VIKRAM ROY, The SECOND LIFE OF RUBY IYER & VIKRAM ROY, PANKY’s FIRST LIFE), and the Amazon bestselling, eLit Gold winner, The Destiny of Shaitan (Bombay Chronicles, 1). If you’re looking for books like Divergent and Angelfall, you’ll love the RUBY IYER SERIES.

Laxmi writes books similar to Hunger Games while listening to electronica & progressive rock, and downing innumerable cups of extra sweet ginger-chai. She is also an avid photographer of street art and believes she was a tree — a redwood — in her past life. London is where she creates. Bombay is what fires her imagination. 

Receive a free copy of THE RUBY IYER DIARIES when you sign up to her Newsletter 
The First Life of Vikram Roy, The THIRD book in the RUBY IYER Series, launches this month. To celebrate the launch of the FIRST LIFE OF VIKRAM ROY I am giving away a $30 gift card. Winner will be drawn, Oct 1, 2015, and announced in my next newsletter.

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Guest Post: Sarah Elle Emm


Book Tour Banner

People occasionally ask me why I write dystopian fiction. I like writing dystopian because it is a release of all of the crazy things running through my mind. Dystopian allows you to explore questions like…What if the government became a dictatorship? What if people weren’t allowed to go to school? What if teenagers could save the world because their parents have lost hope? What if?

I admit I have an overactive imagination. (I’ve seen every episode of The Walking Dead, and even though I know zombies aren’t real, I still check my closets and look under the bed for zombies after each and every episode). Anyhow, I think my parents had a lot to do with how I write today. One of their favorite dinner table conversations growing up was deciding which of their children, (there are three of us), they’d pick to be stranded on the infamous deserted island with, if they had to be stuck there with only one. They usually chose my sister because of her internal GPS system and leadership skills. They often decided on my brother because he has MacGyver-like qualities, and they were sure he could build a hut out of sand or something. And they never chose me. Though they often laughed and said they’d take me if they were interested in being entertained.

Another usual at our dinner table was Dad asking if the “bad guys” were to enter our house at that exact moment, what item in the room around us could be turned into a weapon. My siblings were very talented at this. Surprise, surprise. Me, not so much. I usually panicked. (I’d think of a hiding place so they could do the fighting).

Another family favorite? Dad’s strategy talks about how when you enter a room, you should look around immediately, assessing the situation and room for possible exits, windows included, were any emergency to occur.

I think my parents came by it honestly. My mom’s dad was a WWII vet who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He’d rush his family to the basement when it thunder stormed, never having recovered from the war or the memories of bombs and explosions. My dad’s parents took us on a family vacation to the Caribbean every year, and they’d try to split up flights between my aunt and my dad’s side, just in case there was a crash. They wanted some of the family to survive to take care of the family business. That always freaked me out. I’d worry the entire flight. (About not only crashing, but trying to figure out what was wrong with my family). J

My family always had movie night growing up. Every Sunday. We would either go see one at the theater or rent one and watch it in our basement. The genre of choice was always action, usually a thriller. I remember watching scenes where someone would go outside to investigate the “strange noise” in the night, and my family would be yelling at the screen. (If we were home. They were well behaved in theaters. Mostly). They’d yell for the character to go back inside. Of course, the character never would. My brother would always be the first to point out the girl character who was going to get killed by not reacting rationally. He’d yell at the screen as she tried to start her car but couldn’t even get the keys into the ignition because her hands couldn’t stop shaking from fear.

I was sitting in my driveway last week, trying to start my car. I couldn’t get the key in properly, and I started to panic. The more I panicked, the more my fingers fumbled and I couldn’t get my key in. I could hear my brother’s voice in my head saying, “Hurry up, Sarah. You’re gonna die. The bad guys are going to get you. Start the car!” After a moment, I started laughing at myself. Eventually, I pulled it together and managed to insert the key properly to start the car.

Anyhow…Why do I write dystopian? I think you get the point. I guess never getting chosen for Survival Island, never quite figuring out what to make a weapon out of, and just those what if conversations in general really stayed with me. I promise you right now, that if you were to go to either one of my parents’ houses or my siblings’, you’d find emergency supplies in their basements complete with water, food, and back up power supplies in case of an emergency. I barely have my fridge stocked right now by the way. My plan is to head to one of their houses when the world ends. I just hope I make it there in time…I guess it makes sense that I never was picked for that island.

I smile affectionately when I think of my childhood and when I think of my family. True, they may have scarred this introvert for life, ha, ha, ha, but they have to be credited for inspiring me to write some of the dystopian stories I write today. Thanks so much for stopping by the blog tour. If you’d like to risk getting inside of this head a little bit, all four books are on sale right now for only $1.99 each on Kindle. If you read any of the books, I’d be flattered if you left a review and connected with my page on Facebook, where I’ll keep you updated on future books. You just never know what this dystopian writer will come up with next. J  ~Sarah



About the Books:


Rare glimpses of birds are the only reminder of the freedoms Rain Hawkins once had. Now segregated into a mixed-race zone within the United Zones of the Authority, under tyrannical rule of President Nicks, Rain is forced to endure the bleak conditions set upon her. The possibility of a way out arises when Rain discovers an organized resistance called The Freedom Front, and learns that she, along with many other multi-racial people, has special abilities. Determined to overcome her situation, Rain sets out on a mission with the resistance that will fill her life with wonder, romance, and the undying hope for a better world.

Goodreads I Amazon


I Have Too Many Releases For Sale


Jay Wilburn And Me

Jay Wilburn is a fellow author and good friend. I’ve had the privilege of doing several book signings with Jay over the last couple of years and many more are scheduled and will be done in the future. 

His philosophy is simple: don’t show all your books at once. Overloading potential buyers with too many books will only confuse and annoy people, or something to that effect. I always disagreed and piled 30+ releases on the table. 

Who usually sold more books? I don’t want to talk about it. 

I was interviewing a fellow author for my podcast (Arm Cast: Dead Sexy Horror Podcast – HERE is the link. Go listen and then come back. I’ll wait) and we talked about having too many books and stories out and confusing readers. 

Arm Cast Podcast Logo

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I have too many choices and sometimes it might be overwhelming to figure out where to jump into my work. I used the short stories a couple of years ago to build up my numbers and get my name out there and it definitely worked. But now I worry I’ve over-saturated the market with smaller works. Right now on Amazon I have over 150 releases. Crazy, right?

So… I’m making an adjustment, which is part of the fun of being a self-published author. I know I can’t do anything about stories released by publishers but I can do my own stuff, right?

Right now I have 81 releases in Kindle Unlimited. I love the program and I make good money with so many pages read, so the problem isn’t having so much in KU, it’s what I have in KU to begin with. 

I’ll begin slowly working some titles out of the system over the next few weeks, but here’s the basic ideas so far…


  1. All of my Flagler Beach Fiction Series releases except the Complete books with all 10 stories will go bye bye. Right now I have 5 parts plus the Complete of each of the 7 books and I’ll get rid of the 99 cents parts in favor of readers wanting to read all 10 stories of each at once. I think it makes sense. 

2. Same with Keyport Cthulhu. The five parts will now be deleted and the final collection sold only. 

3. In addition, I’ll be slowly pulling the early Metal Queens nonfiction books in favor of box sets with all of them together

Fashion & portrait

That’s just the start. 

A few other things I’ll be working on:

Doing more box sets with multiple books for a better bang for your buck

Revamping the main Dying Days series with new covers


Pulling a few titles to rewrite/re-edit or keep out of print

Recently out of print works like Chelsea Avenue, Creeping Death, Tool Shed and Necromance updated and on sale

always adding new works to the pile

More information on these last few parts will be rolled out over the next few weeks and months, so stay tuned!


Guest Post: Brick Marlin



Brick Marlin’s Top Ten in Horror Movies


My top ten favorite horror movies.  The ones which have given me chills, even to this day:

1. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (both versions, 1956 and 1978)

2. The Fly (both versions, 1986 and 1958)

3. House of Wax (1953)

4. The Black Cat (1934)

5. The Thing (1982)

6. Christine (1983)

7. Salem’s Lot (1979)

8. The Martian Chronicles (1980)

9. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984)

10. The Amityville Horror (1979)

About the author:

Brick Marlin has been writing since he was a child. From an early age he was exposed to older horror movies. The great ones making their mark in history. He also tackled reading the likes of Stephen King, Clive Barker, Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Dean Koontz, Charles Dickens, Harper Lee, H.G. Wells, etc. Thus, he decided to engage himself and write horror, dark fantasy and dark sci-fi, scaring readers such as his parents, his friends, neighbors, and even leaving a few school teachers scratching their heads wondering if the boy should be committed or not with his gruesome tales of terror. Short story ideas continued to visit. A book idea or two sometimes stopped by for a sit. In 2007 he decided to take a more professional approach with his work. Hence, as a member of the Horror Writers Association, already having nine books published by small presses – this you hold in your hand, constant reader, makes his tenth –  nearly thirty short stories published, adding to the few anthologies and collaborations with other authors, Brick Marlin trudges onward, hoping to achieve more creations, wallowing in the brain pans of his characters, giving them the choice whether to twist the knob and enter through the Red Door, or enter through the Blue Door where a group of servo monkey badgers are consuming packages of cinnamon-flavored Pop Rock Candy with a Kung Fu Punch of caffeine.


Book Synopsis for Shadow Out of the Sky:

A scarecrow crucified on a wooden cross made from a pair of two-by-fours sits in a field of corn, placed there to frighten away birds and protect the crops. Under its straw hat large buttons pose as its eyes, placed there by child’s fingers, view something sinister in the grave sky, appearing in front of the full moon.


Twisting, it forms into a sleek black mass, peering down upon the town of Woodbury. Four demons called The Reckoning has pulled this shadow, this urban legend from the past, out of an unmarked grave to bring terror across the planet, shoving it toward an apocalypse.


Now it cuts through the air, as if it were opening wounds in flesh, peering down at the first house that it hovers over…


Shadow Out of the Sky is Book One of the Transitional Delusions Series


Amazon Links for Shadow out of the Sky

Print Version

Kindle Version

Barnes and Noble

Author Links:







#WinterofZombie This November



Another November and another Winter of Zombie event.

This year will be even bigger, with over 40 zombie authors!

Get ready for interviews, guest posts, teasers from their zombie books, giveaways, contests and so much more

In October we’ll begin slowly rolling out the authors involved and come November 1st it will begin!

Make sure you follow Dying Days Zombie blog so you don’t miss any of the posts

Join the Winter of Zombie FB Event so you don’t miss the contests and giveaways


Kindle Unlimited Pages Read Rate for August, 2015


Kindle Unlimited Information – or what we have so far #KindleUnlimited


Image from ShutterStock. Image from ShutterStock.


Amazon paid $0.00514 per KENP read in August, 2015.

Compare that to the $0.005779 pages read rate in July, 2015.

That’s a drop of 11%. If you had 10,000 pages read in July, would earned $57.79, but for the same 10,000 pages read in August, you only earned $51.40.

On the one hand, an 11% drop is significant, but on the other hand, unless you had a million pages read through Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime, that 11% doesn’t amount to a whole lot.

And if you had a million pages read, you’re thriving in the program (compared to most authors).

But the concern really isn’t over one drop in the payout of 11%.

The concern extends beyond that. 11% is a pretty sizable change. It’s not a small fluctuation.

So one concern is stability.

If it drops 11% in August, another 11%…

View original post 2,000 more words

Guest Post: Simi K. Rao


Milan-cover (2)

 ‘Behind the scenes at an Indian Wedding’

Indians in general are deeply rooted in tradition. Our culture gives us our identity. Most of us (especially those living away from the homeland) cling to it, even though several aspects in these particularly modern times, make no sense at all. Why do we do so? Perhaps because it brings us together as a community and provides us comfort in a foreign environment. The same I think applies to immigrants from all over the globe.

Marriages in India, in particular Hindu marriages are long drawn intricate affairs fraught with age old tradition. Little has changed over the centuries except for certain embellishments due to modernization. To non-Indians these ceremonies appear just that—elaborate colorful rituals flavored with plenty of pomp and show.

In the following story I take my readers on a ‘behind the scenes’ tour at a traditional Indian wedding. I’ve tried to illustrate the proceedings from engagement to the wedding ceremony with “generalized” Indians—my characters, and have also made an attempt to expound on the emotional upheavals that occur in the background and often aren’t spoken out loud. Milan is more of a ‘short story’ concept where it shows the before/during and after of an event than it is a ‘long novel’ about characters with hopes and dreams and goals. And its purpose is exactly that, to show the emotions Indian couples go through during the process of a wedding. This story may help the reader get a better insight into the culture of marriage in India.

The Setting of MILAN:

Whenever I travel back to my homeland, I prepare for a culture shock. The crowds, the noise, the pollution have all increased several fold as the country races forward at breakneck speed to catch up with the rest of the world. There are very places left where it still seems like life goes on as it did a few decades ago, where people are laid back and nature is not at war with mankind.

MILAN is set in one such place; Coonoor— a hill town located in the Nilgiri Hills, about 56 kms from the Coimbatore Airport, in the southern Indian State of Tamil Nadu. It is part way from its more well-known cousin Ooty. I spent some time there during my last trip and was so enchanted that I chose to use it as a setting for my story. Known for its tea plantations, Coonoor is a lovely, rustic little town. With its abundance of greenery and quaint architecture it is a throwback to India as it used to be. The temperate climate and serene environment help the restless soul to relax and take a few breaths of peace. When you are there, don’t forget to take a ride on the Nilgiris meter gauge train, as well as a personalized tour of the tea estates.

I want to thank Debdatta for giving me this opportunity to express myself and for hosting this blog tour. I also want to thank all the bloggers who are participating in this tour and have made space for my book on their blog. Your time and generosity is much appreciated.

Please visit my website for more info on me and my work. You can also connect with me on Facebook and twitter

Happy Reading!

Simi K. Rao

simi k rao

Guest Post: L.P. Dover



Title: Roped In
Author: L.P. Dover
Series: Armed & Dangerous (standalone)
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: October 19th, 2015


Who says a wild heart can’t be tamed?
For years, I lived for the job and let it control me. Violence was all I knew. I protected, killed, and served. My name is Blake Evans, one of the best undercover cops in the country. I thought I was about to live a quiet life on my ranch in Wyoming until an old friend showed up and changed everything. He brought me her, Hadley Rivers, country music sensation and the one woman I couldn’t have. I didn’t want her but she had me completely roped in.
 My job is to protect her, to keep her away from some psycho who wants her for himself. However, there’s more to her story than I was led to believe. I promised to keep her safe and I won’t back down . . . even if I have to die trying. I can’t let him have her.

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 and promoting and selling the best teeth whitening strips across America. 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.

Guest Post: Bryan Fuller



Is a Zombie Apocalypse Really Possible?


There are so many TV shows, movies, documentaries, books and a whole lot more about zombies. Some people are even so obsessed about zombies and believe that they could actually exist that they build their own zombie apocalypse survival kit. While some would regard this as fictional and just simply impossible, could there really be a scientific basis on which zombies could one day exist?


The Killer Fungi Cordyceps


If you’ve ever come across the term Cordyceps, then you must have already heard how this killer fungus has affected different types of insects the same way a “zombie virus” would. Similar to the game “The Last of Us”, the fungi attacks ants and other insects and alters their brain turning them into “zombies”. After a few weeks of being infected by the Cordyceps, the insect dies and can its “virus” affects insects around him. It can wipe out an entire population of insects at a time and make them all zombies! The question though is how Cordyceps can infect humans. We’ll never really know if there’s a hidden science lab out there already conducting and experiment about this or if anyone will ever volunteer to become the subject of the experiment. If Cordyceps or a similar kind of fungi affects humans, though, then most possibly, a zombie apocalypse could actually take place.


Top Secret Laboratories and Virus Experiments


Biologists and other scientists just can’t get enough of experiments. They always need to feed their curiosity, or they need to find out information so they can provide knowledge for the rest of the world. There are so many crazy experiments, and we wouldn’t be surprised if a zombie-fanatic scientist has already begun studying how one can be a zombie and how one can be cured after he’s become a zombie. All those episodes of The Walking Dead just won’t let you sit down and do nothing, right? Before it even happens, you have to prepare. These are the thoughts perhaps of that scientist who’s aiming to become a world hero one day. What if an experiment has gone wrong or what if that experiment actually succeeded, and a zombie was created? With the limitless possibilities offered by science and technology, it wouldn’t be surprising at all if an actual zombie would exist out of an experiment!


While zombie movies and TV series could be exciting and thrilling, in reality, it would be difficult to survive a zombie apocalypse even if we are equipped with amazing technology. In order for an apocalypse to actually happen, at least a few hundred or thousand people should be affected. People will die the moment they get bitten by a zombie, and the world will be in chaos. Even if there should be a medication created for it, your brain is already dead so it would be useless. However, we do not disregard the possibility that it could actually happen. If that day comes, shouldn’t we be prepared with our survival kits and weapons?



Guest Post: CP Mandara



Title: The Ties That Bind
Genre: Dark Erotica, BDSM, Suspense


Will Mark Matthews accept Redcliff’s terms for his daughter’s release, surrendering both body and mind to the enemy? Petal’s sanity depends

upon the fact, for in the sixth and final book of Pony Tales she is to discover that the fate in store for her at Albrecht is not a pretty one.

Shipped off to Leyland Forbes in a steel cage, the pony-girl will have to endure all sorts of imaginative bondage and BDSM at his palatial manor, as her body is photographed intimately by several of the world’s top photographers. As the day progresses she will find herself taken out to dinner in chains, before being cleverly and expertly divested of her virginity.

Trouble awaits when she returns to the stables, however. One of the trainers has taken a monstrous dislike to her and intends to prove his superiority, both in the dungeon and beyond.

Escape is beginning to seem like an impossible dream…

Content warning: M/f, F/f, M/M, kinky underwater bondage, dub-con, non-consensual sex


“She’s been screaming her head off for an hour, Michael. Can
I knock her out, or at the least move the woman somewhere far, far away,
preferably underground?”
There was a long sigh at the end of the telephone receiver
and it was clear that the owner of the voice was in a testy mood.
“K, darling. It’s unlike you to be so squeamish. What’s up?”
The blonde on the other end of the receiver sighed again.
Michael’s voice was not one of sympathy and it was clear that her sentry duty
was far from over. “Your son is putting muddy footprints all over my brand new,
silver travertine tiles. He’s already necked most of the alcohol in the house
and has now taken my remote control prisoner.” She added a little growl for
effect, to let him know she was not at all pleased by the turn of events.
There was a slight pause as her complaints were considered
before all of them were rebuffed as she had expected.
“You have a cleaning lady who will be in first thing
tomorrow to clear up the footprints and any other mess he might leave, paid for
by me I might add, and I’m more than happy to get you a delivery of whatever
tipple might take your fancy. Of course, you realise you can’t drink anything
with her in the house and nor can you watch TV, so I fail to see your point.”
The voice had taken on a bemused tone. “It’s the screaming that’s getting you
down, hmm? And here I thought you enjoyed that sort of thing.”
The blonde heard a burst of uncharacteristic laughter erupt
from her handset and nearly fell over from her position, leant casually against
the granite kitchen countertop. As it was, several cookbooks fell to their
demise and a jar of chrome utensils quickly followed suit.
“K, dear, are you OK? It’s nearly all over now. We’ll have
him right where we want him in just a couple of days. The girls are in place,
and there’s the added bonus of having both Isabelle and Jennifer as an incentive to get Mark to co-operate. I think the
man has a conscience, but we’ll find out shortly, darling.”
“What are you planning to do with them?” Scuttling around on
the floor, she banged shiny serving spoons, spatulas and ladles back into their
container, loud enough to create pretty impressive backing for a drum and bass
“Something diabolically nasty, what else? I want to watch
him squirm and I want him to know exactly what I’m capable of. When you take on
someone of Matthews’ calibre, you make sure he understands you the first time,
because there’s no way you’ll get hold of him a second time.”
The banging stopped abruptly and a smile flittered across
K’s face, her bright red lips uplifting in sudden comprehension. “Oh goody, we
get to play with them, too?”
Michael Redcliff cleared his throat and smiled to himself.
“Yes, dear, that was the plan. Have you cheered up a bit now?”
“A little,” she admitted, her voice having taken on a soft,
dreamy quality and her thoughts were suddenly whisked to far more pleasurable
“But what about the damn screaming,” she groaned, coming
back to earth firmly with a bump.
“Do you have your cell phone handy?”
K finally managed to get herself upright and set the utensil
jar safely back on the counter. She pulled the receiver away from her ear and
looked at the phone as if it had sprouted purple fur and claws. Rolling her
eyes, already wondering where this was leading, she put the handset back to her
ear. “Of course I have a cell phone, but I’m on the home phone at the moment.
You want me to call you from my cell?”
“No darling. I want you to record the delightful Isabelle’s
screams. A little bit of sobbing and begging wouldn’t go amiss, either. Let’s
stir Matthew’s up and get him a little jumpy. Make the recording around a
couple of minutes in length and then send it to me. I’ll need to deliver it from
an untraceable account. We don’t want to give the boy any ammunition he can
“OK, give me ten minutes and I’ll get it to you. Out of
curiosity, though, why aren’t you keeping her at yours?”
“Ahh, that’s because there’s always the chance that Matthew’s
may be really stupid and have the authorities come barging in here. I’m the
only link he has. He doesn’t know that you’re my sidekick. You won’t even be up
for consideration. He gets very protective of his staff, I hear, and has gone
to some great lengths to ‘save’ them in the past. It helps that he’s got a soft
spot for Isabelle and a hard one for my daughter.”
“But Isabelle isn’t one of his girls, is she?”


“She is now.”


“We need to work together, you and I,” said Mark, and his
lips descended to nuzzle her neck, “because I suspect we want the same thing.”
“You want ten tonnes of sugar and a three litre vat of
coffee?” She was rewarded with a sharp nip for her troubles. “Don’t go vampire
on me,” she threatened, “I’ve already got you down as the big bad wolf.”
He laughed. “Because I can see you, smell you and eat you
better than anyone else you’ve ever known?”
“No, it was a ‘whose afraid of the big bad wolf thing,’ but
you’ve been replaced in that department. Anyway, tell me what we’re working
together on.”
“I’m never especially comfortable around you,”
she yelped as she received a backhander on her left butt-cheek, “but I’m not
afraid of you, no.”
Her right cheek was subjected to the same
treatment and it felt divine. He then pressed something cold and hard against
the entrance to her pussy, and she instinctively moved upwards to avoid it.
“Relax. It’s just a set of Ben Wa balls.
They’ll help improve your pelvic floor muscles because you’ll have to squeeze
tightly to keep them inside of you. Lots of squeezing makes my fun in the
bedroom infinitely more entertaining.” Another slap on her backside, but the
first ball was already being worked inside her and it felt sublime. It was
heavy, smooth and almost certainly made of some kind of metal. Her money would
be on stainless steel.
“These are some of the heaviest ones I can
find, mainly because I don’t like to make my games too easy for you. If you
live under my roof, you’re going to have to work for everything and I mean everything, but that’s all part of the
fun. If you can figure out a way to please me, I’ll make your life bearable.”
He stroked the line of her throat and tongued the unbelievably sensitive spot
just behind her earlobe. She shuddered.
“Does bearable include unlimited amounts of
coffee and chocolate?” There was another petulant yelp as he increased the
strength of his swats, but she didn’t wiggle out of the way.
“No, and never tell me stuff like that, because
now I’ll ration both coffee and chocolate until you’re begging for the stuff. I
like watching women beg. There’s something amazing about watching a woman beg,
especially for sex.” He winked at her. “I’ll remember to cover you from head to
toe in chocolate body paint frequently, in order to torment the hell out of
you.” The second kegel ball was slotted into place, as deep inside her as his
fingers would go. There was a pause as her body took a moment to spasm all
over. Mark aroused her just by speaking, damnit, and all the rest of the stuff
was just overkill in her opinion. Biting her tongue sharply, she managed to get
a hold of herself.
“That might be OK, as long as I get a chance to
lick the stuff off,” said Jenny thoughtfully.
“Oh no. I’ll be painting your chocolate rations
somewhere far more interesting.” Mark
pulled her away from the bed and stood directly in front of her. Jenny was
trying hard not to laugh. She couldn’t help it. The image of Mark with his cock
covered in chocolate was doing strange things to her libido.
“Now I’m curious. Would you like your chocolate
rations orally or as a suppository? I’m sure the sugar would hit you quicker if
“Nooo,” Jenny bit out, and the man had
successfully wiped the smile off her face in an instant, which she guessed was
his goal.
“Right, enough distractions. The name of the game is this… I
have a pair of bolt cutters that will make moving and walking far less
embarrassing for your restaurant visit. You keep those balls inside you for the
next ten minutes, no matter what I do to you, and I’ll see what I can manage
with regards to your restraints. You’ll still have the cuffs on, of course, but
you’ll lose the chains – so more freedom for a little bit of effort. What do
you say, Miss Redcliff?”
“Game on,” came the reply.
The pressure of the heavy metal balls within her had seemed
fine at first. Mark made her crawl around the floor a bit, and introduced a
flogger to the proceedings, but it was not particularly hard work to keep them
securely inside her. She had to squeeze the muscles of her vagina tightly together,
but the initial effort required to do so was sustainable, or so she’d thought.
Moving around proved difficult, not because of the chains,
she’d almost become used to those, but when the balls vibrated and bounced
together they sent shock waves of pleasure radiating through her body. The
flogger drove her this way and that throughout his apartment, and each twist
and turn was murder on her insides.
“I’ve waited a long time to fuck you, Jennifer Redcliff.”
His voice echoed in her ears but she didn’t fully comprehend their meaning
until a few moments later. “Whatever I want is usually delivered immediately to
me, with no questions asked. I guess that’s one of the perks of being me.
Having to wait over a week for something I really want is unheard of, and yet
here I am still as excited by you as the first day I laid eyes on you. Scrap
that, even more so. I want to pin you to the wall like a fucking Van Gogh, Miss
Redcliff, and just like the Van Gogh, I wouldn’t mind if you graced my wall for
several years or more. Does that scare you? Do you want to serve, Jenny? Do you
want to serve me? Or are you, perhaps, just telling me the words I want to hear
so you can run out on me at the first opportunity?”
To prove his point, Mark had scooped her up off the floor
and slammed her backside against the bright white wall behind her. He obviously
preferred the minimalist look, because not a single painting adorned it, which
was probably a good thing when your head was being slammed against it. Not that
she cared. Her body was buzzing with an intensity that had little to do with
the vibrating balls inside her. Just one look from the annoying man in front of
her and she was reduced to speaking gibberish. He had his flies undone and his
cock nudging for entrance at her pussy, which might explain her inability to
articulate words, but then again those smouldering brown eyes could produce
naked flames if one weren’t careful. When he thrust himself inside her and
smacked into the two balls, she nearly exploded on the spot.
There was no question that she was wet. Dripping wet. These
days she was always soaked. But having two heavy, vibrating balls slammed into
your cervix was an experience she was not going to forget in a hurry. Finally
she got a grip on her tongue. “So,” she said breathlessly, feeling his mouth
hovering above her nipple, “where are
the Van Gogh’s?” Bathing in the hot air from his mouth, her nipple pleaded for
more, and finally he teased it with his tongue. Small licks and flicks was all
it was treated to, but it cried out for more, stretching and straining its
little self until it could grow no more.
“I already told you, you
are the Van Gogh, and if you don’t shut up, I might decide to hang you here
permanently for my own personal use.”
His strokes were blunt but fierce. He worked the balls
inside her as deep as they would go, cupping her reddened ass in his hands and
tilting her towards him. Grinding against her clit, she was once again mute, so
his threat had been a pointless one. Her head was in another place entirely and
it was a happy place. Each thrust knocked the balls about inside her and they
played a decadently wonderful tune.
“Madam, I am at your cervix for the entire evening,” Mark
whispered, barely holding back a chuckle. Jenny didn’t care. She was almost at
the point where she was hoping his earlier threat might come true. Being pinned
against his wall for this kind of regular treatment wouldn’t be a hardship. Au
contraire. It would be a fucking amazing. Before that thought had a chance to
be examined, he pulled out of her.
Two heavy metal balls plummeted downwards and she did her
best to slow their descent by clenching her PC muscles as hard as she could.
Her face twisted as the effort of gripping them took hold.
“I’m not going to make this easy on you, Pet. You’re going
to have to work to keep those balls inside of you. Grabbing her wrists, one at
a time, he slammed them into the wall above her head. “Tell me what you want,”
he growled.
But she wasn’t going to give in that easily. If he wanted to
play nasty, then so could she, and the chocolate episode was still fresh in her
mind. “I want,” she breathed in sexily and fluttered her eyelashes in great
swoops that Cleopatra would have been proud of, “the largest cup of coffee that
you can find.”
He grinned evilly, and she knew instantly that she’d made a
mistake, but controlling the things that flowed out of her mouth had never been
one of her strong points, and even less so in the heat of the moment. His cock
slid between her legs and gently strokes the edges of her labia. Moving back
and forth he teased her gently and she groaned in arousal. “There goes your
‘before-dinner-orgasm’ darling, and you’ll be lucky if I don’t take you out to
dinner stark naked and wearing even more chains than you are already. Does that
“No,” she mewled, swiftly curtailing anything else that
might have threatened to spill out of her mouth. She had more important things
to worry about. The heavy balls inside her were slipping. If she’d have behaved
herself, she would barely have had to work for her bolt cutters, but now,
without his help… things were getting difficult. Clamping together her tiring
muscles, the lines of strain became evident upon her face.


“So let’s try that again. Tell me what you want.”

Christina Mandara was born in the UK, but has spent most of her life travelling the world. She speaks three languages and has been chiefly employed in the fields of finance and travel. Her favourite city is Sydney and her favourite holiday destination is the south of France.

She loves keeping fit and enjoys running, cycling and water sports. Think surfing or sailing. She’s a big fan of BDSM in all of its glorious forms, and her favourite item in the toy closet (a box simply isn’t big enough) is her riding crop.

In her spare time she’s usually cuddled up with a good book, exploring the countryside, or baking in the kitchen. In fact, she loves her kitchen so much, she’s one of the few woman who wouldn’t mind being tied to it! Her first and foremost love is writing, however, and more often than not you’ll find her on a laptop spinning tales of romance, erotica or dark, paranormal fantasies.


C.P. Mandara’s Sexy Sizzler Newsletter Sign Up

Christina is generously running a giveaway during The Ties That Bind book tour and giving away the following:
First Prize: $10 Amazon Gift Card
Second Prize: A signed copy of ‘The Riding School,’ with signed bookmark
Third prize: A black flogger and fridge magnets

Guest Post: Bernard Cenney



Bernard Cenney Guest Post

The worst experience to suffer is the death of your child.

The hypertrophic cardiomyopathy death of my fourteen-year-old son, James Cenney, was a tragedy that nothing in this present world can ever make right.  James was young, innocent, and just starting life.  One day he was playing his guitar; the next day he was not.  One day he was playing football and exercising; the next day he was not.  One day he was going to school, laughing, and joking; the next day he was not.  One day he was here … the next day he was gone.  No father should outlive his child.

James’ unexpected death shattered my wife, my daughters, and me.  Parents who lose their child never bounce back.  Speaking for myself, his death eroded my spirit, my resiliency, my resolve, my fortitude, my joy, my hope, and my self-worth.  It became impossible to feel any sort of happiness for years.

The sheer madness and incomprehensible horror of his death destroyed my understanding of a loving God.  Suffering became a daily companion.  I convulsed at the clichés of “all things happen for a reason,” or “God never gives us any burden we can’t handle.”  I avoided those who declared they were “blessed by God.”  It made me feel as if my life was surely cursed by him.

I had seen death before, privately and in my military career.  But this was intensely more personal, more visceral, more agonizing.  I started to have vivid dreams and visions of James.  I documented and kept a record of them all.  I could never (and still can’t) control the mental image of my son James passing away.  I have always (and still do) blame myself for not being able to somehow save him.  It became an unimaginable situation.  It began replaying itself, over and over, every day of my life.  I was in a very dark place.

Group and individual therapy was helpful at first, but soon was not enough for me.  Depression developed into apathy to even want to wake up.   A terrible schism evolved between wishing for nonexistence, and a father’s obligations to the rest of his family.

After he died, I thought the world would end.  In my mind, I waited for the end to come.  But it didn’t.  My mind tore to pieces over whether to stop moving or to keep pushing onward.  I knew that I had to control my grief and move forever onward.  These were the thoughts constantly pounding through my mind.

James’ death started me to think deeply, perhaps for the first time in my life, and to read incessantly.  I read The Upanishads, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, and The Bible.  I studied the Greek historians and philosophers: Aeschylus, Aristotle, Epictetus, Herodotus, Plato, and Sophocles.  I devoured just about any book that dealt with the subject of reincarnation and life after death.

Pain and suffering must be understood and fully absorbed.  You cannot deaden the feelings.  You cannot even attempt to understand life without suffering.  What I understood for myself was disconcerting.  Tragedy strikes everyone.  Those who think they are immune, only have but to wait.  It will come.  More tragedy is lingering around the corner.  Life is the great equalizer.  You cannot barter for a better life.  You must push on through tragedy with all the strength you have inside.  Despite unanswered prayers, you must forever move forward and do what’s right.  To be alive is to have constant pain and struggle.

You must push yourself forward.  You must master discipline.  You must keep focus.  You must practice compassion.  You must hone understanding.  You must think.  Learn to speak less, and listen more.  Put others first and yourself second.  Try to help as many people as you can in your life, and if you can’t help them at least don’t hurt them.  The best possible life you can have is one of helping others, and constantly striving to do what is right, regardless of the outcome.

How do you know what is right?  Search your heart.  Buddha is about compassion; Jesus is about love.  Put those together and it’s pretty powerful.  Treat everyone with dignity, respect, love, and compassion.  The reward you receive is the knowledge and peace of mind that you did what was right.

I spent a career in the U.S. Army continually taking and giving orders, and telling soldiers what to do.  I came to an understanding that I could not control events.  All I could do was try to lead a good life, help others, and set a positive example.  I have failed over and over again.  My joy comes from helping others when I can, and watching my children excel and lead good lives.

Now to the subject of my novels.

Writing the books Sparrow’s Tears, Close Your Eyes and See, Timeless Terror, and Timeless Soldier became therapy for me — the best therapy.  When I think of my son James, I see him always helping others — those who could not help themselves — whether at home or in school.  He made me realize that nothing is without purpose; that there is a majestic plan which unfolds itself across the vastness of time equally embracing each life, no more or less important than another.  Writing the novels became my way of honoring and paying tribute to James.  It allowed me to envision him as an adult, giving him the type of life I would have wished for him.  Writing the books allowed me to dream my son a life which I felt had ended too quickly.  James Cenney is alive in the pages of my novels.  He encourages my readers and me to move forever forward in life.  The hero of my novels — Captain James Ross — is patterned after my son.  They both have the same looks, style, loves, and ambience.  They are heroes.  But even more than that, as my son James Cenney would say, they “… are intelligent human beings.”



Guest Post: Peter Welmerink


TRANSPORT Triptych Cvr Spread_with Text

By Peter Welmerink

Hello, my name is Peter Welmerink. I have a day job, yet write on the side, in the wee morning hours, when the family and world is still sleeping, and seem to get a few short stories and/or novel length books (or close to) out. And occasionally get the published.

Why? Why do I write?

I don’t know.

I was at a family gathering this past Sunday. A somber whole family gathering, a memorial celebration of the life and passing of my cousin who fought the good fight against cancer, but ultimately lost.

So I was sitting with some of my relatives, and my aging mother. My mother asked my uncle if he’d read any of my TRANSPORT books. You know, my post-POST apocalyptic military-thriller zombie mayhem series that is currently out now (and the last book, TRANSPORT: UNCIVIL WAR is coming out in September). He said YES, he read book two (TRANSPORT: HUNT FOR THE FALLEN) but, though well-written, he said, he didn’t like it. Not his cup of tea: shambling undead, a big ass military vehicle and its quirky crew finding adventure in a land trying to re-build itself.

Even based in my uncle’s home state of Michigan USA! Nope, he didn’t like it.

Now, I don’t know. That might kill some writers, some artists, enthusiasm to continue on, to continue to create, to write in a genre that they love. What’s the use? One person didn’t like it, and told you bluntly. Give it up, man. This endeavor is a waste of time. Story telling. Pah-sha!

No, it didn’t faze me. You know why?

1. At least the guy read it.
2. He might not have liked the book, BUT if he just so happens to run into someone who just so happens to like my book subject, he might tell them to check it out. And if that person likes it, or doesn’t, and perchance passes the word on…and then THAT new person passes it on…

I guess what I am saying, not everyone is going to like the written shit that gushes forth from head, mouth and fingertips. But as long as you keep pushing onward, getting the job done, getting your work out there, there is still a chance of you possibly turning that day job and wee hour writing job around so you can call the latter one the main job.

Or not.

If not, the main thing is: keep writing. It’s in your blood, boys and girls. Keep writing.

author pic

Peter Welmerink ( was born and raised on the west side of pre-apocalyptic Grand Rapids, Michigan. He appreciates his hometown and West Michigan, which is why he enjoys writing tales about it. He writes Fantasy, Military SciFi, and other wanderings into action-adventure. His work has been published in ye olde wood pulp (paper) print and electronic-online publications. He is the co-author of the Viking berserker novel, BEDLAM UNLEASHED, written with Steven Shrewsbury. TRANSPORT is his first solo novel series. He is married with a small barbarian tribe of three boys.

Twitter: @pwelmerink

BLOGS (TRANSPORT and other Alt History Michigan-related posts) (author interviews and all things fantastical)


TRANSPORT, a Michigan-based Military Thriller…with zombies and other beasties (that includes humans), is out now through Seventh Star Press and all fine booksellers. Support your local bookstores and ask for it by name: Peter Welmerink’s TRANSPORT books. Thank you. Rock on.

Guest Post: AshleyRose Sullivan




Alternate Alternate History

I love history. I love alternate history. I love looking at our past through a cracked lens and imagining a different present. Often, when we think of alternate history, we think of World War Two; we think of Nazis; we think of Hitler. Growing up on Star Trek, I saw a lot of this. And I get that. It was, after all, a world war. It was fairly recent, it was huge, it was well documented, and the Nazis are a captivating, singularly terrifying baddie. So there’s quite a lot of WW2 Alternate History floating around.


But of course there was plenty of human history before Hitler made the scene. In fact, folks have been dreaming up alternate history for about as long as humans have been recording actual history. The first known example (thanks Wikipedia!) of alternate history is from around 26BC and it’s all about what might’ve happened if Alexander The Great had taken his military east instead of west.

And, really, that’s what all Alternate History is. It’s a big, “What might’ve happened if___?”


In Silver Tongue, I ask the question, “What might’ve happened if George Washington fell into the Delaware instead of crossing it?” In the Silver Tongue chronology the American War of Independence was fought and lost more than fifty years before Claire and her friends go on their epic road trip riverboat adventure. What’s happened in that time? How is their country different from the one we would’ve known in 1835? What world events have shifted or not occurred at all? Answering those questions is all part of looking through that cracked lens.

Delving into this post-revolutionary war era allowed me to learn about a less written about period and to create my own, original world within that new timeline. Unlike WWII, there’s not a whole lot of Napoleonic American alternate history so it feels like a fresh stomping ground.


So, George Washington falls into the Delaware and drowns. But why? Well, because of secret, supernatural reasons, all of which come to bear in Silver Tongue when Claire, Phileas, and Sam have to face a much more supernatural, much more monstrous, and much more French version of our history.


Book Synopsis for Silver Tongue: The Colonies lost the Revolutionary War. Now it’s 1839 and the North American continent is divided into three territories: New Britannia, Nueva Espana, and Nouvelle France where seventeen-year-old Claire Poissant lives. Claire has a magical way with words-literally. But a mystical power of persuasion isn’t the only thing that makes her different. Half-French and half-Indian, Claire doesn’t feel at home in either world. Maybe that’s why she’s bonded so tightly with her fellow outcasts and best friends: Phileas, a young man whose towering intellect and sexuality have always made him the target of bullies, and Sam, a descendant of George Washington who shares the disgraced general’s terrible, secret curse. But when Sam’s family is murdered, these bonds are tested and Claire’s special ability is strained to its limits as the three hunt the men responsible into dangerous lands. Along the way they cross paths with P.T. Barnum, William Frankenstein and other characters from both history and fantasy as they learn the hard way that man is often the most horrific monster and that growing up sometimes means learning to let go of the things you hold most dear.




Barnes and Noble Link:




About the Author: Born and raised in Appalachia, AshleyRose Sullivan now lives, writes, and paints in Los Angeles. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University and her first novel, Awesome Jones: A Superhero Fairy Tale is available from Seventh Star Press. She can be found at her website or her blog, My Year Of Star Trek.


Author Links:


Facebook page:

GoodReads page:

Twitter: @MyYearOStarTrek

Guest Post: Denise Grover Swank



The third book in the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Wedding Pact series.
Libby St. Clair believes in fate–so much so, she’s willing to pin everything on a curse a fortune teller placed on her and her two best friends when they were kids. The curse, that each of them will marry before thirty, have a disaster of a wedding, and end up with a man other than her original fiancé, has come to fruition for both of her friends, who are now deliriously happy. But Libby’s attempt to quick-start the curse by proposing to her wrong-for-her boyfriend ends in a wild dash from the altar. She’s rescued by her friend Noah, the only person who understands her impulsive decisions–because he’s the same way.
Having spent most of his adulthood fleeing responsibility and commitment, Noah McMillan is finally ready to grow up. Of course, figuring out how is still a work in progress. When he realizes he’s in love with Libby, he flies to Kansas City to put a stop to her wedding. But Libby’s already pulled a runaway bride. Eager to cheer her up and prove that he can be the man she deserves, he takes her on a madcap car trip that will bring them all the way to the City of Sin.
In Vegas, those who risk it all either win big or lose everything, so what will happen if Libby and Noah take a gamble on love?


New York Times and
USA Today bestselling author Denise Grover Swank was born in Kansas City,
Missouri and lived in the area until she was nineteen. Then she became a
nomadic gypsy, living in five cities, four states and ten houses over the
course of ten years before she moved back to her roots. She speaks English and
smattering of Spanish and Chinese which she learned through an intensive Nick
Jr. immersion period. Her hobbies include witty Facebook comments (in own
her mind) and dancing in her kitchen with her children. (Quite badly if you
believe her offspring.) Hidden talents include the gift of justification and
the ability to drink massive amounts of caffeine and still fall asleep within
two minutes. Her lack of the sense of smell allows her to
perform many
unspeakable tasks.
 She has six
children and hasn’t lost her sanity.
Or so she leads you
to believe.
Catch up with the rest of The Wedding Pact Series