Thursday, 31 March 2016

The Story of Lucius Cane by Vanya Ferreira

Vanya Ferreira was born in South Africa and spent 5 years of his life in Australia. He has been reading since he can remember and has a passion for writing; he simply finds the syntactical nature of language to be a beautiful and mesmerizing creature. 

Apart from his short story collection, Vanya is also currently working on a full length psychological crime thriller that should be released before the end of the year.

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About the Book

London, 1794. Lucius Cane, a peculiar vampire, comes upon an opponent the likes of which he has never seen before - a brute with remarkable abilities. But not all is as it seems as their encounter unfolds in a manner that neither of them expected.

Get it today on Amazon!

Keep reading for an interview with the author:

Why did you decide to be a writer?

I guess that I decided to be a writer when I noticed that I didn't fit in anywhere. I simply did not want to be part of the corporate machine where we slave away day after day just to survive. I wanted to break out of the wheel of conformity and writing allowed me to do this.

What genres do you write?

Horror, Paranormal, Psychological Crime Thriller and some Non-fiction

What authors/books have most influenced you?

I don't really know if they influenced me; perhaps they did. My favorite writers are Stephen King, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Oscar Wilde, Christopher Paolini, Paulo Coelho and a myriad of others.

When did you first consider yourself an author?

I suppose that I considered myself an author when I published my first work. However, in many ways, considering yourself an author implies that you already got where you want to be. I think that, as a writer, it's important to know that it doesn't matter where you are or where you start, there is always room to improve so that you can become an established author.

What is the biggest obstacle you face as an author and what do you do to overcome it?

Lack of flow. Renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow first described psychological flow in 1964 as a predisposition to the peak experience. Even though I have once experienced the "peak experience", I use flow to write and sometimes its there while at other times it isn't.

Does your family support you in your writing, or are you on your own?

Yes, my family does support my writing. In fact, the person that got me to write is my wonderful life partner of two years, Snezana Rakic. The rest of my family, after seeing some of my work that hasn't been released to the public yet, agreed that I should be writing and have been supporting me ever since.

Have you ever had a particularly harsh critique? How did you handle it?

Indeed, I have. I think that any writer has to go through harsh critiques. There are some people that will love your story and there are others that will hate it but it doesn't mean that if you get rejected by a publisher or reviewer that you should give up. I handle it by taking what I can from it and moving on. If I can't take anything useful from it, I let it slide like water off a duck's back. To be a writer is to put yourself out there to be judged and I think you need a fairly thick skin for that. Believe in yourself and nothing else matters.

What made you decide to self-publish?

I felt that I needed to put myself out there to try and understand the market and to see where I stand as a writer. My main novel is an unfinished psychological crime thriller and the reasoning behind writing The Story of Lucius Cane is not only to get a break from my main novel but also as a learning experience to see what I am doing right and where I am making mistakes. Self-publishing is taking over and I think that it's important for people to see where the pros and cons of self-publishing lay.

What fears do you have about writing and being an indie author? How do you cope with your fears?

Fears? Oh, there are plenty - self doubt is the main culprit. Am I good enough as a writer? Is my story good enough to tell? Am I descriptive enough? Am I going to fail? etc. I get over it in the most paradoxical sense - I write. The only way you will ever find the answer to those questions is to write and if you fail, write again. I think the most important part of conquering your fears is to never give up.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It really depends on what's happening in my life at that particular moment, my mood, my level of inspiration, the amount of editing that I need to do. For a short story it can take anywhere from two weeks to two months and for a full length novel, six months to two years. There really isn't a steadfast timeline.

How do you come up with the titles for your books? Do you find it difficult?

No, on the contrary. Personally, names just kind of jump into my mind as I write and I think. It's very rare that I'll have to actually do research about a name.

Do you have any advice for other authors?

Yes! Never, ever, give up! If you believe you can do it, you can! You'll never be able to dream a dream that you couldn't make a reality.

Monday, 28 March 2016

The Highly Capable by Jayme Beddingfield

Jayme Beddingfield has been crafting stories since her third grade assignment to write her own fairytale. She has been writing professionally for five years. 

Originally from Northern New Jersey she now lives in Seattle, the city of her dreams. She lives with her husband, two children, and slew of adopted pets.

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About the Book

What would you do if you could control objects with your mind?

Would you be able to choose between right and wrong?

Eighteen-year-old Ruby Dawson was born with the powers to move things with her mind. She thought she was the only one of her kind until she met Tristan-a self-destructive drug addict and a crew of super-powered thieves. Working in the shadows, the crew follows their fire conjuring leader, Madison, as they descend further and further into the world of organized crime.

Ruby finds herself in a whirlwind of wrong decisions, lies, murder, and realizations she isn’t ready to face. As Ruby watches Tristan disappear further into his drug addiction and her team fight for more money and territory, she struggles with who she has become. Can Ruby walk away from the closest thing she has to a family and be the hero she is actually meant to be?

The Highly Capable- Volume One of the Ruby Dawson Saga, an urban fantasy, is a tormenting and emotional tale of self-discovery.

Get it today on Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

Keep reading for an excerpt from the book:

LIFE MASTERS THE ELEMENT of surprise. Everything goes on just the way it always does until something unexpected turns the world on its head. Change isn’t something to plan for; it is an event to embrace when it presents itself, because it always will. I walk quiet and slow down an unfamiliar hallway with a sour feeling in my stomach. Something just isn’t right tonight.

“Ruby, let’s check in here. It looks like the master bedroom,” Brody whispers as he ducks into a room at the end of the long, dark hallway.

“It’s crazy how some people carry on such lavish existences,” I whisper back. My toes will touch his heels if I’m not careful. Getting through this night quickly is best. This house is enormous and decorated to the nines—probably like most houses on top of Queen Anne.

Tonight has a strange odor. I couldn’t smell it while I was eating my cheeseburger on the boat, and I couldn’t smell it when my phone rang—but I smelled it the second Tristan and Tolkien didn’t show up. Now that Madison, Julian, Brody, and I are rummaging around in an empty house, I can’t escape the weight of it.

We shouldn’t run jobs without the whole group. All our talents play important parts. I don’t like that Tristan and Tolkien aren’t here. Our current tasks have the advantage, over us—not something I'm used to feeling. The others probably got high and forgot we were meeting here instead of at Brody and Julian’s. I almost forgot, too. Madison changes protocol on us daily.

I’m usually pretty confident when we’re robbing houses. Being telekinetic takes a lot of hassle out of theft—that’s why we’re here. Our abilities make it easy. However, tonight, I don’t feel confident. The smell of something not quite right is now in my bones. It’s hard to pinpoint what the cause is just yet.

Brody is in his zone as he picks through the dresser drawers. His messy, green hair hangs over his eyes. My mind swirls around the handle on the nightstand drawer. My fingers point, then fold toward me. The drawer pulls open. Weight is lifted from my mind; my thoughts belong to only me. A leather journal and book-light are revealed—nothing worth taking.

A smirk plays with the corners of his mouth. Brody removes a safe the size of a child’s shoebox from the top dresser drawer. I should know how I feel about Brody. We are messing up fooling around together. I should know where I stand. Restlessness can be dangerous.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Dirt by CC Hogan

C.C. Hogan is a writer and musician who loves good humour, good wine, the odd rum and to spend as much time telling stories as possible.

He writes about both fantastical and real worlds and tries not to be embarrassed about including the odd dragon amongst his eclectic selection of friends.

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About the Book

Johnson Farthing is a tall, strong, nineteen-year-old who has been pushing a cart around the coastal town of Wead-Wodder since he was a kid and he and his sister and were orphaned. Poverty and shifting other people's dirt is just about their entire life. Beer is a luxury and so has food been at times. They are about as poor as you can get and still have a roof. His current job is much like all the rest of his jobs have been over the years; he is digging a hole.

When Farthing wakes one morning to discover his sister is missing, his life turns completely upside down.

Now he has to race to her rescue across an ocean in the company of a beautiful Sea Dragon, Fren-Eirol, and an ancient, unreliable magician.

And so begins a far greater tale and soon the world is plunged into war, and the lowly cart-pusher, his friends and the dragons are right in the middle of it all.

Series one includes a trilogy, plus a sequel, Hope, which is also a prelude to series two.

Read more about the series!

Get it today on Smashwords, Scribd, iBooks, Createspace, Inktera, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon!

Keep reading for an interview with Mistry Jinx from Dirt:

Where were you born, and what was it like growing up there?

I was born in a tiny cottage in a small village in Tharkness, in the shadow of the Black Hills. This was a very tiny, very conservative place, with very fixed views about women and young girls. They were not my views at all. Most girls would be married off at sixteen to some letcher chosen by her father, and women were not allowed to own land or property. Sadly, that still exists in many parts of Dirt, even now.

My mother died at childbirth and I was brought up by my father who feared me becoming sixteen. We had a very small amount of land that we rented; basically two paddocks, our cottage and a shed. Dad cured pork and goat for a living and I bred goats and made cheese from the age of ten.

What is the happiest memory from your childhood?

I think it has to be learning to drive. I love horses. Yes, I know, people say I am obsessive about them and tease me constantly, even now, but I really love horses and I can't help it. Sitting up on a wagon seat with four huge Bekon Brown draught horse in front of me is wonderful. Now, we couldn't afford such beautiful beasts when I was young and my team of nags was not properly matched, but they did what they told, I kept them pretty and fit and they suited me perfectly.

When we were out on the road with our old, tatty wagons, trundling along, raising the dust, the oppression and harsh life of our village just faded away.

Tell us a little about your world, and where you fit in?

I want to tell you a little, but I have to be careful; I know you might not yet have read the stories.

You see, I am not certain where I fit in. I think I can tell you that I have lost my home, and my family are my friends these days, especially the dragons. But wherever I stay, so wrapped up with the trials that we all face, it is not my home.

I can't tell you why, I can't really explain it, but finding a home is terribly important for me. I do not know where that is. I have, several times, lived in places that might have become home, but it wasn't to be.

I think, perhaps, my childhood in a place that I hated so much, though I loved my father dearly, has made me a wanderer. If I cannot feel at home, I would rather be on the road; working, travelling, and driving my horses. Is that so bad?

Did you have a close relationship with your family?

I did with my dad, but not my older brothers. They were much, much older than I and my mother was rather older when she had me. They blamed me for her death and when they moved out, had little to do with me again.

When I was ten, my father decided I should learn to drive a wagon and horses. For several months each year, we would travel across Bind to the slave market in Jerr-Vone. We would sell our cured meats and cheeses both during the trip and at the market, and on the way back, we would trade for whatever goods we needed for ourselves. 

If we could drive two carts, we could trade better and, with any luck, we would save up enough to move from Tharkness to somewhere that did not see women as nothing more than housemaids. Epinod, was the place my father would have liked lived. They grow tea in Epinod and he liked tea.
My father was a very special man.

What is your greatest fear? How did you overcome it?

I fear the loss of people. War brings loss; you cannot help that and it affects everyone. I haven't lost more than others, but I think I do not handle it very well.

Do I overcome it? No. But I think people believe I do because I fight so hard. For me, though, that is how I hide the pain and the fear.

What is the strangest situation you've ever found yourself in?

Now that would really give away far to much of the story and, worse, some secrets of mine that I hope will never make it into story!

I will say that I am rather good at being in strange situations, or those that confuse me. One of the oddest was coming across a group of starving deserters. They were hoping to find our army as they were so sick of their own. They were wounded and lost and when we found them, they hadn't eaten for days. 

And yet, just ten paces behind the trees where they had camped, was a little stream full of baby browns. You know, those little fish you can catch with your hands?

I know they don't taste wonderful and are bony as anything, but when you are hungry, who cares?
Starving in a desert I understand. Starving when surrounded by food? I don't get that at all!

Who has been the greatest influence in your life? Why?

Eafa. You may know him as Weasel.

I don't know what it is about that bloke, but he just gets me. I think it is because he is a wanderer too.
I know I can be mad and I know I and Mab-Onin took ridiculous risks at times, but I got fed up with everyone constantly worrying about me and getting annoyed that I did my own thing, made my contribution in my own way.

Eafa didn't. Oh, I think he worried, but he was not going to stop me. He knew why I did it and the bloke had so much knowledge based on all those long years, he knew what I had to do. What I did was vital; not just for Farthing and the rest, but for me too.

Eafa saw right through my young stupidness and saw my heart and my need. And he gave me the space and support to sort myself out. 

Good bloke that.

Do you have any hobbies? What are they?

Making maps. I love them. When I was young I couldn't read or write, but I knew my numbers and I understood patterns in things and shapes. 

Maps are brilliant; they not only tell you where you are, but tell you how you can live, what the dangers are and what your enemies are up to.

The mountains, rivers, deserts, plains all shape our lives and how we live them. If we map them out, take away the surprises, then we can take control of the way we live.

Yep, maps. Love 'em to bits!

Do you have a secret you've never told anyone? Would you tell us?

Oh, yes; quite a few.

Some people, like that bloody magician Weasel, are good at digging my secrets out like a whelk from a shell. But most, thankfully, are useless at it. 

I keep a lot of things my little heart that I don't know what to do with, and it is not easy sometimes. I suspect much of it will come out one day; I am not that good at keeping things quiet. You will have to wait, sorry.

Have you ever been in love? How did that work out for you?

Oh, don't!

Yes, of course I have. The first time was when I was eight, I think. He might have been nine. I think we held hands one day and that was it. I mean, I was completely in love, but we never hands again.
What? There should be more to love?

I wish there wasn't sometimes. Despite that, I do not fall in love easily and I do not give myself at the drop of a hat. Yes, I have been in love and I cherished that love for many years.

What kind of clothing do you prefer to wear?

I am a touch modest, I admit that. When I was young it was probably because of how I was brought up. Later it was the amount of scars I had picked up. You might like to boast about your cuts and bruises mate, I would rather not.

So, what I wore most were rider's leathers. When you are a few thousand feet up in the air on some idiot draig (got to love them) it can be bloody cold and your hair can get in a right mess. So us riders are nose to toes leathers with our hair tied up or braided.

Riders leathers are funny things. They are certainly not revealing and they are too tough and practical to be sexy, but you kind of grow into them; so much so that you feel really odd if you are not wearing them. They are just so easy and practical though mine always were pretty tatty, if I am honest.

Famously, I hate wearing skirts. I used to get into trouble with my neighbours when I was young because I wouldn't wear skirts when I took the goats up to the common grazing. But, bloody hell, you ever tried herding goats while your long skirts are dragging through the mud? It can be wet on the flanks of the Black Hills! 

If I were to pick one clothing item I love more than anything else, it is my hat. I am quite dark skinned and my father thinks my mother had a bit of Pharsil-Hin, the plains nomads, in her, but despite that, I do burn quite quick. So, I have worn big floppy hats since I was a little kid. All these years later? I still wear them - even on a dragon, though I have to tie it on tightly!

What is your favorite food? 

Pies and Beer. Especially the beer.

Is beer food? I think it is. I am not very good at big quantities; well, good at drinking them, but not good at handling it. Farthing thinks it is my small body, but I can't keep up with that big, blond git. But I do love it. I sometimes um and err between stout and wheat beer, but I think generally I prefer the big frothy beers that they used to sell up in Sarn-Tailin. Oh, the Jipperson's stout was special, but there was something about the huge, clay pots that you get in Bind with the froth right round your nose that is sublime.

Oh, yes, you said food. Good goat pie; gets me every time. Thankfully, lots of taverns sell pies, so I am often happy!

Name some of your bad habits.

Killing. Sorry, I think you wanted me to be jokey, but this was a war and sometimes the jokes are hard.

I am small, you see, but I am very strong. I am also very fast. I can't take Farthing, and the bugger knows it, but then no one else can either, not even Martin and Ben.

So, if I get into a fight, wounding and trussing up is probably not an option, and I will tend to kill.
Yes, it is a bad habit, because for me it is an easy way out. Sorry, not what you wanted to hear from a small, pretty girl with brown eyes? Tough.

If you had one day left to live, what would you do with your last day?

One of my closest friends, Fren-Eirol, has answered this question in her interview. She has said that more than anything else, on her last day she wants to fly. She is a dragon and flying is what dragons do and love.

You know, I might not be a dragon, but up there, on the back of one of the Draig yr Anialr is something I love. So, me too. If I had only one day left, I would want to fly on the back of the fastest dragon, as I high as I could go till I was breathless.

Or, on the other hand, it would be to get on a horse and ride for leagues at a gallop. I love that too.

See a theme here?

There you go, Renee. I am not always good at answering questions about myself, so perhaps you caught me on a good day. But, you know, if you really want to know us all, you are going to have to get yourself to Dirt, walk in our shoes, fight our battles, and share a drink with us all in the tavern. 

That was what it was all about in the end - the love between us all. It kept us strong.

Here's a hug for you. Hugs I can always do.


Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Shadow Stalker: Falling to Pieces (Episode 14) by Renee Scattergood

Renee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She has always been a fan of fantasy and was inspired to become a story-teller by George Lucas, but didn't start considering writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing dark fantasy.

She is currently publishing her monthly Shadow Stalker serial, and she has published a prequel novella to the series called, Demon Hunt. She is also working on a new series of novels, Savior of the Serpent Isles.

Aside from writing, she loves reading (Fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her homeschooled daughter. Visit her site for more information and a free copy of Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6).

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About the Book

Things go from bad to worse after Cali is captured by the Galvadi. The new technology they have employed is making a rescue attempt impossible and endangering the lives of all the shadow stalkers. Auren refuses to give up though, but the more she tries to fix thing, the more Kado tightens the leash.

Get it today!

If you haven't read any of the series, download Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 - 6) free here!

Keep reading for an excerpt from Episode 14:

I woke on the rough floor of an alcove in the cave which doubled as Kado's office. He was sitting at his make-shift desk. I tried to sit up, but when I met resistance, I noticed I was cocooned tightly in a blanket.

"Stop fidgeting and relax," Kado said without taking his eyes off of whatever he was doing.

I struggled in the blanket again. "Can I get up?"

"No," Kado said, almost absentmindedly.

I groaned. "Why?"

"Because I want you to relax."

"Kado, I swear I'm fine." I tried once more to wiggle out of the blanket.

He drummed his fingers on his desk. "Either you lie there quietly and relax, or I'll sedate you again."

"I think you're going a bit overboard," I mumbled to myself. "How did you bring me back to Appolia?"

Kado gazed at me, eyebrows raised, then went back to what he was doing. I sighed. It made no sense to force me to lay here like this. I needed to get up and do something. Staying here with nothing to do but think about Cali would drive me insane. After my experiences on Nadiria, my imagination showed me, over and over again, in great detail what was likely happening to her right now. I knew what those Dansig Troopers were like, especially towards shadow stalkers. I shivered as I remembered the threat from the trooper on Nadiria just before he released me to return the demon back to the shadow world. Worse, they didn't seem to have any qualms about raping young girls.

No. I couldn't stay here like this. I tried to wiggle my arms free, but they wouldn't budge.

"Be still, Auren," Kado said, his voice stiff and a little deeper than before.

"I have an itch." I didn't really until I mentioned it. Now I seemed to have several, including one on my nose that was driving me nuts.

Kado didn't respond. Why was he doing this to me? It must have been some sort of punishment, though I had no idea what I'd done wrong. Perhaps for allowing Cali to be captured. That had to be it. Tears pricked my eyes. I deserved much worse than this for not getting her out of there. I had to help her. Then Kado might forgive me. I tried to shift, but even though I sensed the veil, I was anchored to the physical world as though bound by an invisible rope. I was completely powerless.

"Please, Kado," I said, no longer able to hold back the tears. "I need to do something. I won't leave Appolia, but we can do some sparring or something. Please don't make me stay here like this."

"No. I'm not going to allow you to go off somewhere to bury your grief while it turns to anger. You'll face it here and now."

So that's what it was. He wanted me to grieve for Cali. "Kado, she's not dead. We can—"

Kado stood over me. "Auren, that's enough. I told you it's not possible to go after her. You need to accept that."

I screamed. How could he not even discuss it? How could he not even try? Well, I wasn't going to just stay here like this. I struggled again in the blanket. Maybe if I rolled myself over I could loosen it. Kado knelt next to me, laying a hand on my shoulder to hold me in place when I started rocking myself back and forth. I cried and yelled a lot of incoherent things before I finally exhausted myself. Kado placed his hand on the side of my face, rubbing my temple gently with his thumb. It was something he'd done often when I was young to calm me, and it had the same effect on me now.

"I love Cali too, Auren. She is my niece and one of only two blood relatives I have left in this world. But as much as I love her, there is nothing we can do for her right now that won't risk the lives of other people I love as well. Cali knew and accepted the risk just as any of us do, and she wouldn't want us to risk ourselves for her if there was so little chance for success."

"Doesn't even the smallest chance make it worth it?" I asked, my voice hoarse.

Kado shook his head sadly. "Let her go, Auren."

"I can't." My eyes blurred again.

He sighed. "You have no choice."

Kado pulled me into his arms and held me while I sobbed.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Extreme Dust Storms May Exist by RJ Mirabal

RJ Mirabal has lived in the Middle Rio Grande Valley for most of his life. Recognized with awards for his teaching, RJ taught high school English, speech, drama and computer literacy. Now retired, he purses writing and music while volunteering with various organizations. RJ enjoys exploring New Mexico’s wilderness on his four-wheeler and traveling with his wife, Cheryl.

The Tower of Il Serrohe (Finalist in 2013 New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards) is his debut novel and Book I of The Rio Grande Parallax series. The newly released, Extreme Dust Storms May Exist is Book II while Book III will conclude the series in 2016.

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About the Book

It is five years after the final events of The Tower of Il Serrohe and Esther, a sixteen-year-old honor student and athlete, suffers a mysterious accident and dreams of a valley much like her Rio Luna home, yet ominously different. Next, a bat repeatedly slammed its body against her window during a powerful wind storm. And then there came a whispering in the darkness.

Soon, she discovers the whispering comes from the bat, Nightwing, who used his wiles to persuade Don, Esther’s older cousin who been missing for years. Nightwing tells her of the Valle Abajo clans and the evil Soreyes who have returned to terrorize the Valle Abajo—the valley of Esther’s dreams. As she shares these disturbing details with her best friend, Markey, they both worry Esther is going insane.

Now Nightwing must persuade Esther to take on a new quest using her intelligence and resourcefulness to drive away the Soreyes. However, new dangers threaten when word reaches the Valle of a murderous clan in the far away Mountains of Sky east of the Valle while in the west there lives another band of Soreyes.

As Esther considers these challenges, a mysterious presence makes itself known as the saga of the Rio Grande Parallax continues.

Get it today on Black Rose Writing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords!

If you'd like an autographed copy, contact RJ at rjmirabal (at) gmail (dot) com.

Keep reading for a guest post from the author:

I’ve always loved the way fantasy and science fiction take my imagination beyond the ordinary. Realizing the obsessive creation of stories in my head meant I should be a writer, I set out to fashion a unique niche for my musings calling it Southwest Contemporary Fantasy, specifically New Mexico fantasy. My series, The Rio Grande Parallax, introduces my twist on epic fantasy. Thus Don, Nersite, Raquela, Esther, and all the other characters were born and sent out on their unpredictable adventures.

But like many children, they have their own ideas, and I struggle to keep up with them, attempting to tell their story as accurately as I can. I admit they share some of my life experience growing up in New Mexico with its unique culture, terrain, and climate. But at times, I wonder where these people came from! Join me as I chronicle their adventures and challenges.

Some of my characters are obviously fantasy, but based on interesting human peculiarities of most every person I’ve ever met. Even Don, though a regular human, is not based on any one person, but a collection of individuals I’ve known and other characters I’ve encountered in literature. I’ve tried hard to “test” my characters—even the fantasy ones—against reality so that I hope readers will find them believable given the setting and plot I’ve created.

In "Extreme Dust Storms May Exist," Book II of my series, my main goal was to introduce teenage characters because their earnestness, naiveté, and idealism adds elements that weren't fully explored in the first book. I believe Esther and her friend, Markey, offer a refreshing contrast to Don's cynicism. Esther is bright and enthusiastic but not yet fully prepared to take on the serious challenges of the conflict in the Valle Abajo. She learns a lot in this adventure.

One of the larger social issues in my work is that people tend to put themselves in little groups and the groups come into conflict with each other. I think people from different cultures are a bit suspicious of each other. The clans in the book have some elements of New Mexico, but they are also universal; they could be from any part of the world.

The message of this series is: “All of what we perceive to be reality is a function of our perception which is informed by our normal senses and our emotional and philosophical states of being.” And, as always: evil is bad, kindness is good, and love is essential to life. Finally, I have no big agenda other than entertaining my readers who will share in my imagination as they read the book.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Nefarious: The Awakening by Tim W Byrd

Tim is an author of horror and paranormal/country songwriter of Hell on Wheels. His books include The Nefarious Inside series, The House of Pain, and Into the Paranormal.

He is the youngest of six children born in Butler County, Ohio in 1967 to Johnathan Shackelford and Peggy Couch. He has been on numerous radio shows, Darkthirty, Fermolot Entertainment, Parabnormal, and Deadxradio, and honored by Strathmore's Who's Who publication.

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About the Book

Five years has passed since the tragedy at the Monroe manner when Rebecca Brown moves into the manner. And the Awakening begins and Abigail finds herself in trouble once again.

Get it today on Amazon!

Keep reading for Part 2 of the interview with Tim:

What are your goals as an author? Where do you see yourself in five years?

My goal is to write one the most exhilarating thrilling horror books that wind up becoming a movie. I see myself in five years as a best selling author.

What is the biggest obstacle you face as an author and what do you do to overcome it?

So far I have not had any obstacles. Luck that way so far.

Does your family support you in your writing, or are you on your own?

Yes my wife and children support what I do.

What is the best compliment you've ever received as an author?

I'd have to say a fellow who read my book and said, "Excellent writing."

Have you ever had a particularly harsh critique? How did you handle it?

Not so far, but waiting. You always get the bad with the good, but that should make you want to be a better a writer.

What is the best writing advice you've ever received?

Don't sell yourself short. A writer should never say someones writing is better than theirs. Think of your writing as good as others.

What do you enjoy doing aside from writing?

Writing country songs and playing guitar. I wrote the country song, Hell on Wheels, and Kyle Dunn co-wrote and preformed it. Check it out here.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Little Miss Somebody by Christy Lynn Abram

After enduring years of childhood abuse and struggling with depression and PTSD, Christy Lynn Abram embarked on a journey to self-healing using holistic wellness as her guide.

Now, as an Wholistic Muse (guide to one's self) and author, she teaches others how to love themselves healthy. Christy is trained in eight healing modalities, including: a Reiki, EFT, reflexology, massage therapy, and a crystal healer, all of which aided in her discovery of how to heal herself naturally. These life-changing skills also served as the foundation to enhancing her gift as an intuitive healer. 

She has been recognized for her knowledge of the chakra system (by best-selling author of the Chakra Bible, Patricia Mercier), gemstone healing, and energy medicine. She also contributes to several online publications on the subject of holistic healing and offers individual coaching, e-courses, and workshops all designed to assist and encourage others on their journey toward a better, fuller life. Christy also loves to use her gift of writing to help others. In her book Chakra Wellness: 7 Ways to Renew the Total she dives into the seven chakra centers from a mind-body-soul perspective. Readers learn how to discern key issues, heal imbalances, and maintain energetic barriers to eliminate stress and increase their overall well-being.

 her latest release, Little Miss Somebody, Christy wears her heart on her sleeve and delivers a poignant tale of love and sacrifice. To learn more about Christy and her mission visit

Connect to the Author

About the Book

Fourteen-year-old Nikki’s world is turned upside down when her mother makes an impulsive move to Missouri. Having left everything she knew behind, Nikki is left to fend for herself from her mother’s vicious cycle of abuse and abandonment while living at her grandmother’s house amidst her mother’s drug addicted siblings. 

Feeling unloved and more than ever like a burden, Nikki seeks to find a missing piece to the puzzle of her life- her father. Along the way, she unravels more layers of family abuse and pain causing her to feel helpless. But she won’t give up. Not yet, Not Nikki. Not until she finds what she is looking for. 

Will Nikki find the love she so desperately needs?

Get it today on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Gravity Books!

Keep reading for an excerpt:

St. Louis, Missouri 1993

“HEY, WHITE GIRL!” I heard a voice as I passed by. I turned to find the lead G-G (Ghetto Girl), Sophia, standing with her hand on her hip.

I took a deep breath and answered, “Yeah?”

“I heard you’ve been talking to my boyfriend, Arthur.”


“You know who I’m talking about. Don’t play stupid!”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I shook my head in puzzlement.

“Arthur said you stalked him at Saint’s until he gave you his number, even though he told you he had a girlfriend.”

I wanted to tell Sophia that it was the other way around, but I knew it would only infuriate her.

“Sorry, I think you have the wrong person.”

“No, I don’t. He described you. The dirty girl from Washington who thinks she’s white.” Sophia’s crew burst into laughter as she stood there with her arms crossed, staring me up and down. I was pissed, but instead of arguing back, I muttered, “Whatever,” and walked off.

“That’s alright. You ain’t going to be saying ‘whatever’ when I kick your ass after school!”

I knew I shouldn’t have told Arthur where I went to school. It wasn’t like we went out or anything. He was just a boy I met at Saint’s a couple of weeks ago. All we did was talk on the phone. Besides, I liked someone else—an older boy named André.

Oh, man, what have I gotten myself into? I thought.

The G-Gs were always giving me problems for no reason. I think they were mad because the boys at school liked me; they were always calling me “cutie” and “fine.” The G-Gs constantly called me names like “dirty white girl” because I spoke “proper,” or “white”, as they called it. They also hated the fact that I was light-skinned with what black people call “good hair.”

They were the reason I hated King Middle School. It was rough and harsh—a lot different than my school in Washington State. At that moment, I really missed Washington. I had a lot of friends there and never had to worry about girls trying to fight me over stupid stuff. Honestly, I was tired of fighting.

Now, I’d had my share of rumbles, but the G-Gs were professionals. If they knew they couldn’t beat someone, they would jump them. I was scared, but I wasn’t going to stand there and let them punk me. My plan was to hit as many of them as possible and try to get away. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but it was worth a try.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Nefarious Inside by Tim W Byrd

Tim is an author of horror and paranormal/country songwriter of Hell on Wheels. His books include The Nefarious Inside series, The House of Pain, and Into the Paranormal.

He is the youngest of six children born in Butler County, Ohio in 1967 to Johnathan Shackelford and Peggy Couch. He has been on numerous radio shows, Darkthirty, Fermolot Entertainment, Parabnormal, and Deadxradio, and honored by Strathmore's Who's Who publication.

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About the Book

This is a story of Three teenage friends who take up Ghost hunting for fun ,but wind up face to face with a demonic force,now in a fight for there lives only one can help them.

Get the book today on Amazon!

Keep reading for Part 1 of an interview with Tim:

Why did you decide to be a writer?

My father always said I could tell a good story, especially when I came home late and I had to think fast. LOL And I've always loved horror movies as a child and teen. Torso was the first Horror/Thriller I've ever seen.

Do you have a "day job"? If so, what do you do?

My day job is what I do. I'm a full time book writer and country song writer.

What genres do you write?

Horror and paranormal with a little comedy and romance.

Is there a genre that you've been wanting to experiment with? If so, what is it and what attracts you to it?

Action. Westerns. What attracts me to western movies and books is it takes you back in time to a place and feel of how the world once was. Plus I used to train horses.

What inspires you to write?

The fact that I love Horror and the paranormal and I love for people to experience the thrill of a good scare.and its a way for me to share the realness of both the paranormal and Horror.

What authors/books have most influenced you?

Wes Craven, Steven King, Larry McMurtry, and Steven Spielberg

If you could choose an author to be your mentor, who would it be?

Steven King

When did you first consider yourself an author?

After the first sale of my book, I received great reviews from people asking and telling me to write more. They actually were calling me an author before I was calling myself one.

Read the next part of this interview next week...

Saturday, 5 March 2016

The Midnight Land: Part One: The Flight by E.P. Clark

E.P. Clark starting writing fiction as soon as she deigned to learn to read, which was not particularly early—she spent a good deal of her childhood doing more important things, such as pretending to be a unicorn. Slightly later, she wanted to be a world-class equestrian. But, much to her surprise, the heavy finger of fate pointed her way and she ended up moving to Russia, which led, very circuitously, to her earning graduate degrees in Russian from Columbia University and UNC-Chapel Hill, and her current employment teaching Russian at Wake Forest University. 

Along the way there have been some odd travel opportunities: for example, almost being trampled by stampeding reindeer in Finnish Lapland. She continued writing fiction throughout all this, however, and has had multiple short stories published. This is her first novel, in what is shaping up to be a trilogy in seven volumes.

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About the Book

After a life of unhappy luxury, Krasnoslava Tsarinovna (Slava to her friends, if she had any) is desperate to escape her position as the younger sister of the Empress of all of Zem’. When an explorer comes with a request to be given Imperial support for her mission to map the Midnight Land, the territory above the sunline, Slava asks that she be allowed to come along—and to her surprise, her wish is granted. 

As she travels North with her new companions, she encounters people from all walks of life, and also discovers that there is more out there than just the world of women. The spirits of the forest, and even the gods themselves, have taken an interest in her and her gifts, which begin manifesting themselves ever more strongly as she journeys. Hoping to gain answers to her questions about her growing abilities, she goes in search of sorceresses, but instead of magical assistance, she stumbles into a plot to curse her own sister, one that she may not be able to avert—or want to. 

Combining motifs from classical Russian literature with the genre of high fantasy, this book is both a gripping coming-of-age tale and a subversive exploration of gender, morality, and subjectivity.

Get it today on Amazon!

Keep reading for an interview with the author:

Do you have a "day job"? If so, what do you do?

My "day job" is as a Russian postdoc at Wake Forest University. I teach Russian language and culture classes, and work on Russian-related research projects. I like to think of my day job as the raw material for my writing, and, conversely, my fiction writing as "field research" for my day job.

What genres do you write?

When I originally started writing I went back and forth between fantasy, detective fiction, and sci-fi. For the moment I've settled pretty firmly into what I guess you'd call "high fantasy" or "epic fantasy," although it's also very influenced by the Realist "family novels" of 19th-century authors such as Tolstoy or George Eliot.

Is there a genre that you've been wanting to experiment with? If so, what is it and what attracts you to it?

I've become very interested in paranormal romance, and have been thinking about venturing into it once I finish my current series. I became interested in it after the tremendous popularity of the "Twilight" saga, and the backlash against it. "Twilight" and similar works obviously touched a very important chord with a huge number of female readers, and at the same time they've received an absolute deluge of hate and derision. This made me think that there's probably something there that's really meaningful and empowering for female readers, and so I started studying them, trying to figure out what that is. I'd like to try my hand someday at writing something that includes paranormal romance motifs, although I'm not sure I'm ready yet!

What authors/books have most influenced you?

For fantasy, I'd say the biggest watershed moments for me were reading "The Lord of the Rings" at 13, Terry Pratchett's "Equal Rites" at 14, "A Game of Thrones" at 16, and Jacqueline Carey's "Kushiel's Dart" my first year in grad school. Each one was amazing in its own way and opened my mind to new possibilities in fantasy. Pratchett is probably my biggest influence, although that may not be immediately apparent on reading my own work. For non-fantasy, of course I have to list Tolstoy and Dostoevsky, particularly Dostoevsky's "The Idiot," but at least as important for me were Sholokhov's "And Quiet Flows the Don," Solzhenitsyn and Shalamov's camp literature, Grossman's "Life and Fate," and Tsvetaeva's lyric poetry. A contemporary Russian work that has definitely influenced me is Arkady Babchenko's "One Soldier's War," about the author's tours of duty in Chechnya.

What is the biggest obstacle you face as an author and what do you do to overcome it?

My biggest obstacle is not having enough time and energy to do all the writing I want to do. Academics as a career is sort of great for an author, since you have a fairly flexible schedule, but it's also incredibly competitive and forces you to spend a lot of time writing. There's a lot of evening and weekend work involved, and there's no cut-off to the amount of time you can spend prepping, grading, and researching. Plus, given the precarious nature of most academic employment these days, you have to devote a significant portion of your time to applying for jobs, interviewing, and then packing everything up and moving to your new job in your new state, going to your new DMV when you get there, finding out where the grocery stores are, trying to fit in a little extra work so that you can afford said grocery stores once you've found them, filling out tax forms for multiple states...and this goes on for years. So I have to keep telling myself that my fiction writing is important, and make a commitment to doing a little bit every day. The good thing is that I get lots of practice writing, and lots of fodder for my fiction!

What is the best writing advice you've ever received?

Something along the lines of "Keep writing, write a little bit every day." Also when other authors say that it's okay to write bad first drafts and make mistakes.

What is the worst writing advice you've ever received?

There's a lot of advice out there, both for academics and for fiction writers, about how you need to envision your audience and write specifically for them, get lots of feedback, polish everything until it's perfect and never, ever, ever make a mistake. Which is all well-meant and has an element of truth to it, but for me trying to follow it ranged from harmful to totally paralyzing. The things that I've written trying to cater to a specific audience have been in general poorly received, while the things I've written just to please myself have generally managed to please other people as well. And fretting over typos and mistakes and what other people might think of me would stop me from writing and sending stuff out at all. I've recently started noticing that most of the published works I've read by big-name authors have typos and other errors in them. This has been incredibly liberating, because it tells me that you don't have to be 100% perfect (which I personally am never going to be able to obtain) to put out something that's high-quality and well-received. 99% or even 98% is still an A+, and is much more achievable.

What do you enjoy doing aside from writing?

I have a daily yoga and meditation practice, and I spend as much time as I can walking and playing with my dogs! I've always been a huge animal lover, and animals feature heavily in both my "real" life and my writing.

What book or series do you enjoy reading over and over again?

Aside from the books I've mentioned as influences, I've read Nick O'Donohoe's "The Magic and the Healing" and "Under the Healing Sign" so many times my copies are in danger of falling apart.

What made you decide to self-publish?

Two things: first of all, as an academic I've gotten to experience the submission-rejection-multiple forced revisions process enough to know that I find it incredibly stressful and frustrating, and that the improvements that result from it are of rather doubtful quality. I decided that I was going to put out something that was meaningful to me, rather than just being another line on my CV, it needed to be something that was *actually* meaningful to me, and not something that had been ground down through that mill. Second of all, self-publishing has been the norm for a lot of Russian literature, as a way to get past the censors, so I feel like I'm participating in the same tradition as some of my favorite authors.

What is your writing process?

Sit down and write, write, write! I used to start at the beginning and write till I got to the end, but recently I've been getting more and more ideas for scenes from the middle and end of the book I'm currently working on, so I'v been writing those scenes as they come to me.

What are you working on now?

The sequel to "The Midnight Land." It's, I can't talk about the plot at all, because anything I said would be a spoiler. I've actually already written the final book in the series, which is set approximately 100 years later, and now I'm going back and working on the middle book, which is called "The Breathing Sea."