Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Liefdom: A Tale from Perilisc by Jesse Teller

Jesse Teller fell in love with fantasy when he was five years old and played his first game of Dungeons & Dragons. The game gave him the ability to create stories and characters from a young age. He started consuming fantasy in every form and, by nine, was obsessed with the genre. As a young adult, he knew he wanted to make his life about fantasy. From exploring the relationship between man and woman, to studying the qualities of a leader or a tyrant, Jesse Teller uses his stories and settings to study real-world themes and issues.

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About the Book

A zealous guardian in a peaceful city, Gentry Mandrake is a fairy unlike any other. Cast out and hated for his differences, his violent nature makes him wonder at the purity of his soul. He hunts for belonging while fighting to protect the human child bound to him. Explore the mythical realm of The Veil, the grating torture of the Sulfur Fields, and the biting tension between power and purpose in this wondrous struggle against a demonic wizard and his denizens. Can Mandrake overcome such terrible foes to defend those he loves?

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Keep reading for an interview with the author:

Why did you decide to be a writer?

I had to do something with telling stories. They were there, unwilling to go away, needing to be expressed, and I couldn't walk away from that. I had been writing since fifth grade, but it wasn't an easy choice. For a long time, there was a block in my head, and I couldn't draw the two lines together. Now, looking back, it's the only thing that makes sense. I should have seen it coming from a long way off. But it took awhile to pair together needing to tell the stories and writing them.

What inspires you to write?

My characters themselves have always been inspiring to me. I watched a documentary once about storytelling. It said everything starts with the character. If you write a good character, a strong character, an interesting character, fascinating stories will pour out of them. I think it was a Disney documentary. I think it was about Belle and the Beast. Don't quote me on that.

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

Oh, that's easy. My choice would be Robert E. Howard, hands down. He wrote in the 1920s, created the character Conan. He was one of the formative voices of the fantasy genre. His work has a vitality to it that is rare. The page sweats. He was terribly disturbed, didn't do well in crowds, pretty much hated people. He was obsessed with his work. He was a genius. He never would have given me the time of day. But if I could choose anyone, if I could hold a gun to his head, it would be Robert E. Howard.

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

The biggest obstacle for me, hands down, is typing. I developed horrible habits when I taught myself to type, and my list of bad habits continues to grow—things like the word "one" turns into "on", "and" becomes "adn", and I just keep on moving. When I'm done, the end product is barely legible. It's sloppy and horrible, but I have a translator. She's a cute little thing that I married. She's been reading my bad typing for so long, she speaks my brand of typo. She reads back what I write every day, normally with no problem. But every now and then, she'll get a puzzled look on her face, and squint at the screen, with no idea how those particular letters are supposed to form a word.

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

This happened the other day. I was in my Tuesday writers' group. One of its members, a brilliant poet named Charlotte Hegg, asked me if I'd ever been compared to Faulkner. I almost wet myself. She was talking about world-building and how his life's work was primarily in one particular county in the South. His stories overlapped, his world developing with every tale. My work has the same features. If you read my work long enough, it all interweaves. I'm still high from the Faulkner comment. It's going to be a long time before that one fades.

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

Take a break. I was told this many times by well-meaning friends and family. Maybe I need to stop, slow down, walk away for awhile. I look at them and smile, say, "I'll consider it." But it's just not going to happen. I've been on a roll for six years, and it doesn't look like it's going to come to an end. I'm always working on a book. I write almost every day. If I don't have a plan for the day's writing, I write anyway. If I'm lost in a book, and I don't know where to go next, I go from a walk to a run, throw myself into the work headlong. The only way for me is reckless and wild, the only way to write is right on the edge of out-of-control.

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

The quick and easy answer is the Cthulhu work by H.P. Lovecraft. But lately, I've been enjoying Steven Erikson's Malazan series. I'm working my way through it a second time. The man is just brilliant. You can smell the blood. The world is well-formed, which makes sense, since he was an archaeologist for many years, studied civilizations and their fall. In my opinion, he's a genius. His work is not easy; you have to earn it. But he never flinches. No matter how dark or disturbing an idea is, he will hammer it out on the page, unapologetically. I respect that. It's very easy when you're writing to say to yourself, "This is too extreme. This doesn't fit in anyone's zone of comfort. I better not do this." It's the true artist that beats that tiny voice mercilessly and puts the work on the page as it was inspired. There are a lot of people doing that now. George R.R. Martin is not afraid of his own darkness. Glenn Cook's Black Company series doesn't hold back. But I think that Erikson is the most devout to the religion of uncompromising exploration into the shadows of the fantasy realm.

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

The main fear that comes with being an indie author is quality. For years, I tried to publish Liefdom, and finally came to the conclusion that the concept is too bizarre to take a chance on. When Grisham wrote A Time To Kill, no one was interested in publishing a book that took place primarily in a courtroom. Didn't sound exciting enough. It was a hard sell, and he had to self-publish. Such is the way with Liefdom. Liefdom is about a fairy warrior, a brutish, aggressive, violent fairy. Those things don't go together. It's a wild idea no one was ready to take a chance on. It got to the point where it was either publish the book myself, or let it rot in a closet. I believed in the story too much to let that happen, so I published it myself. I might be wrong, but I think all indie authors suffer from self-doubt on some level. That's just my opinion.

Are you a pantser or outliner?

Oh, I'm a pantser. I've never heard that term, but the moment I heard it, I knew exactly what you were talking about. I'm too wild for an outline. I need to rush into the dark and find out what's out there, one step, one breath at a time. When I'm looking at a map, I can see the entire journey and every stop along the way. I get bored. I need to feel the rush of the wind as I'm running. I need to stumble and fall, skin the knees of pride as an idea falls flat or a page needs to be deleted. It's an adrenaline thing for me. But when I reach out, when I run, it's always there. The ground never drops out from under me. Or, at least, it hasn't so far.

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

So far the titles of my books, with the exception of a short story collection, have been the names of cities. My world is pretty detailed. Each city has its own feature. I believe no city in the world is exactly the same as another. Bangor, Maine has a completely different feel than Providence, Rhode Island. Every town has its own sweat, its own odor, that rises up from its streets. My world is no different. The title Liefdom comes from the name of the capital city of the fairies. In October, I'll release a book called Chaste. It, as well, is the name of a city. The line of my books reads like an atlas, at least, the books in this epoch. In another time, in another age of my world, that may change. But for now, all my books are named after the cities they take place in on the continent of Perilisc.

Have you ever wanted to put one of your characters together with a character from one of your favorite novels? What characters would you choose and how would their meeting go?

I've always wanted Aaron the Marked to fight Conan the Cimmerian. Conan was the ultimate warrior. Robert E. Howard called him the damndest bastard that ever lived. He was brilliant and brutal, a king, the perfect man. Aaron the Marked is disturbed and dark, riddled in self-doubt, emotional, trembling on the verge of control. I'd like to test him. I'd like to set this broken soul against the greatest warrior ever written. If he could stand his own, I think it might heal him.

Have you ever gotten an idea for a story from something really bizarre? Tell us about it.

I had a twisted movie night. I'm bipolar. I have a rapid cycling form of bipolar that allows me to be up and giddy one moment, dark and angsty the next. So, one day, I watched A Midsummer Night's Dream, the one with Michelle Pfeiffer and Stanley Tucci. It was bright and cheery, frolicky and funny. It was exactly what I needed at that moment. I walked away from the TV for five minutes, after the movie was over. When I came back, I needed to see something bleed. My mood had plummeted, and I threw in Die Hard 3, because nobody bleeds better than John McClane. It was beautiful in another way, exactly what I needed at that moment. When I was done, my head was swirling with fairies and cynical, out-of-control protectors that just needed to punch something, and boom, pop, Gentry Mandrake, my warrior fairy, was created.

Do you have any advice for other authors?

Write all the time. The more you write, the more you train yourself to write. I heard once that a habit takes 21 days to form. I was quitting smoking. I was trying to form the habit of not dragging on a cigarette. First 21 days were horrible. If any of you have been there, you know. After that, it was easier. It's the same thing with any activity. Writing's just a habit you have to form. The more you do it, the more you train yourself to do it. When I'm done with this interview, I'll go to my office and write 3,000 words. I won't stop until every word has been written. It's a habit now. When I hear the clack of my super-loud keyboard, my brain says, "Oh, we're doing this now," and it takes off. So, form the habit. Train yourself to write every day. Pablo Picasso said, "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working."

Do you have anything specific you'd like to say to your readers?

To my readers, I'd like to say, stay tuned. Liefdom is a strong beginning, but it is by no means an end. So far, I have written rough drafts for 17 other books. I write a few books a year, and have plans for enough books to publish two a year until 2050. I've got a lot more to say. You're going to hear more from me.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

American Nights by Gerrie Ferris Finger

Retireed journalist for The Atlanta-Journal Constitution,Gerrie Ferris Finger won the 2009 St. Martin’s Press/Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery Novel for The End Game. The Last Temptation is the second in the Moriah Dru/Richard Lake series. She lives on the coast of Georgia with her husband and standard poodle, Bogey.

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Saudi Arabian prince, Husam al Saliba hires Dru, a PI specializing in tracing missing children, to find his missing wife, Reeve Cresley and daughter, Shahrazad (Shara).

At a dinner to introduce himself and his story to Dru—and Richard Lake, her lover and an Atlanta police detective—he strikes Dru as charming but unbelievable. He tells of falling in love with Reeve, of turning his back on his possible ascendancy to the power structure in the kingdom for the woman he loves. He also talks of his king’s disapproval of him marrying and siring an infidel. But then he says his family wants him to return, marry his betrothed Aya and get in line to be an heir to kingship. Confused Dru thinks she’s fallen into a fairy tale. After all the prince is known to be a great storyteller and is partial to reciting tales from the Arabian Nights.

The investigation had just begun when Reeve’s parents, Lowell and Donna Cresley, who do not seem disturbed that Reeve is missing with Shara, are killed. That brings the Atlanta police into the case.

A U. S. resident, Prince Husam is a partner in a New York law firm. Reeve is a scientist who works for NASA. The couple spend little time living together. Husam goes off to Paris to see his Saudi princess, Aya, and Reeve is in an affair with Thomas Page. As Dru remarks, nobody in this tale is faithful. Then she finds out all have something too dreadful to hide.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:

Portia Devon folded her hands on her desk. The tilt of her head and her scheming eyes reminded me of our young days when we planned midnight excursions to forbidden clubs. She said, “Your fame has caught the attention of a prominent person.”

“You called me here to tell me that?”

“Also to explain the nature of his attention.”

“And who would this prominent person be?”

“An international figure who wants you to find his daughter.”

So like Portia, judge that she is, to draw out a mystery. Wriggling into the leather chair designed for the discomfort of adversaries to her chambers, I thought, This could mean a free trip, courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service. Atlanta was weighing on my well-being. My fame, as Portia labeled it, came about
because of a horrendous case the city had offered up owing to its drug and gang wars.

I said, “I get that it’s a him who wants to hire me to find his missing girl. Where internationally?”

“Starting here, in this fabulous international city.” Her sarcasm illustrated she meant Atlanta, a city that was trying hard to wipe the slate of its quasi-genteel southern roots. “More precisely, his wife disappeared with their daughter.”

I opened my mouth to ask a pertinent question, but she raised a hand. “I don’t know much more than I’m telling you, but the trace appears to be straightforward, not much danger.”

I thought about other child traces. Danger could be and often was an issue. I said, “You know I don’t do heights and tight places, like jumping out of planes or diving in caves.”

“There is a cultural element.”

“Cultural in what way?”

“Ethnic customs, religious differences.”

“All right, Porsh, out with it—your prominent person by name, and those of the wife and daughter.”

“You are familiar with the Middle East?”

Involuntarily my shoulders drew back. No wars or terrorists, please. “We’ve worked with the state department in getting children back from fathers that . . .” I paused, because up until now I’d worked only with mothers in their quest to get their children returned from countries outside the United States.

“This is not about absconding fathers,” Portia said.

Portia could be so tedious when she wanted to be. “So mama snatches the girl and brings her here? How old?”

“Four.” Portia tapped her expensive ballpoint pen as she spoke the words. “I don’t know where she’s taken the child, but there will be no state department involved.”

“Sounds like a Hague case, in reverse.”

“It is not a Hague.”

I considered her no-argument tone of voice in terms of Hague cases. If someone illegally kidnapped a child from American soil and fled to a partner country, the Hague Abduction Convention kicked in. A Hague application was filed and forwarded to the Foreign Central Authority in that country. That was what I was used to working with; apparently, the reverse of what Portia was presenting to me, but I was not sure how.

Monday, 19 September 2016

As Wings Unfurl by Arthur M Doweyko

As a scientist, I've authored 100+ publications, and share the 2008 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award for the discovery of Sprycel, a new anti-cancer drug. I write hard science fiction, fantasy and horror. My debut novel, Algorithm, a story about DNA and the purpose of humanity, garnered a 2010 Royal Palm Literary Award (RPLA) and was published by E-Lit Books in 2014. A number of my short stories have been honored as finalists in RPLA competitions. Several have been awarded Honorable Mentions in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest.

I live in Florida with my wife Lidia, reaching college chemistry and happily wandering the beaches. Read more about Arthur on his website www.ArthurMDoweyko.com

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Applegate Bogdanski returns from Vietnam with a missing leg, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. A fair trade, he thinks, for a coward, whose only remaining passion is to dull his grief with morphine. He stumbles through each day working at an obscure Newark, New Jersey bookstore, looking forward to nothing and hoping it would arrive soon. Enter Angela, who claims to be his guardian angel. Neither one is an angel, but together, they uncover a conspiracy which threatens to undo humankind itself.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:

She reached into her oversized patent-leather purse and pulled out a manila envelope. A black-and-white eight-by-ten glossy slid out onto the desk. “I believe you know why I am here.”

Jason stiffened. “That picture… that picture doesn’t belong to you.”

“I’ve come for the rest. There must be more, and don’t forget the negatives.”

“Did the monsignor send you?” His voice shook. Only the monsignor knew about the pictures. “I thought he was coming here himself… with the money.”

“Money? He didn’t say anything about money.”

“That was our agreement. These pictures prove the monsignor’s suspicions.”

“Oh? And what were they?”

Jason knew he had said too much, but there was something about the woman that made it hard to keep quiet. “I can’t tell you. That’s between the monsignor and me.”

Her smile sent ice-cold fingers tapping across his abdomen. “Oh, didn’t you hear? Monsignor Touhy passed away this morning—something to do with his heart, I believe.” Her teeth, gleaming white, seemed to erupt from her crimson lips. “Where are they, Jason?”

Jason began to tremble as she rose from his chair. “You’re the one… with the cardinal in the photos.” He stood, teetered, then braced himself on the desk with both hands. “There aren’t any other pictures. My deal was with the monsignor.”

“Perhaps you don’t understand.”

Jason saw only a blur—a brief passing of a shadow between them. Something moved on the desk—a pear rolled out of his lunch bag and split into two halves, the freshly cut pieces see-sawing.

“How did you do that?” Jason’s eyes were locked on the rocking fruit. His bowels started to quiver.

The pitch of her voice descended. “Where are the negatives?”

“Your stupid magic trick doesn’t scare me, and you can tell your cardinal boyfriend to screw off. If the monsignor is really dead, I’ll be going to the press. That’s what he’d want me to do. Now scram.” Jason edged toward the door.

A sharp pain stabbed at his right hand. He jerked it up, leaving a trail of bright-red oval droplets along the doorjamb. His eyes widened. The tip of his right forefinger was gone. Squealing half in anger and half in terror, he pinched the bloody stub with his other hand.

“Bitch! What the hell?” His eyes darted to his desk. The Smith and Wesson might as well have been a thousand miles away. He didn’t see a knife. His knees began shaking.

“Jason, calm down. Tell me where the negatives are, and this unpleasantness will end.” She held up his fingertip, wiggled it at him, and tossed it into her mouth.

“Son of a bitch.” Jason ran into Viola’s office. Surely there would be someone in the hallway. Several paces short of the door, his head lurched forward. His hands flailed at his neck. He was lifted off his feet and dragged back.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Into the Shadow Wood by Allison D. Reid

Allison RekerAllison D. Reid was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her love for medieval fantasy was sparked by the Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis, which fed both her imagination and her spiritual development. When at the age of thirteen her family moved to Germany, her passion for medieval history and legend only increased, and she found herself captivated by the ancient towns and castles of Europe. Allison returned to the United States to study art and writing at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. She earned her B.A. under the tutelage of the well-renowned and prolific writer Andrew Salkey, a student of her other great inspiration, and the father of fantasy, J. R. R. Tolkien. After graduating from Hampshire College, Allison moved to Connecticut. There she got the opportunity to attend seminary and further explore her faith before returning to her home state of Ohio. Allison now lives in the Miami Valley area with her husband and children. She continues to work on her first published series while taking care of her family, editing for other independent writers, and managing a home business.

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Into the Shadow WoodOnce a proud member of the Sovereign’s prestigious personal guard, Einar has lost everything: his home, his Sovereign, and his purpose. Most of his closest friends have either been killed in battle or executed. His friend Nevon died trying to fulfill a dangerous oath…one that Einar disagreed with, but now feels honor-bound to take up in his stead. The quest plunges Einar into the depths of the dark and twisted Shadow Wood, testing the limits of his strength, his beliefs, and his sanity. What he finds in the Wood is far more ominous than anything he’d expected. If he’s not careful, Nevon’s fate might end up being his own.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:

Through the haze, I saw a red-yellow glow. A torch? A distant fire? I stopped watching my commander, and squinted in the direction of this new threat as I tried to distinguish form from shadow. But everything was muddled and in motion. Two red lights appeared, like burning coals; then two more, then four more. I heard a low, threatening growl that set my heart racing. A smoky howl lifted up, hanging suspended on the air as though it was a living thing of its own. My blood chilled and a heavy sense of dread came over me. Hounds. My greatest fear upon entering this wood was that we would encounter them and their master. This was their domain, and as far as I knew, no man who had stood against them in battle had lived to tell about it. They were circling us, surrounding us, just as they had surrounded Nevon. And it was too late to run. I raised my bow and aimed it between two of the smaller lights, which I took to be eyes. I might go down, but not without a good fight.

My arrow released, and though I expected to hear the satisfying thunk of its tip penetrating flesh, it whistled on into the distance and disappeared, leaving the two red eyes still steadily fixed on me. What new devilment was this? I knew the Hounds were flesh and bone, because I had killed one to save Elowyn. The red eyes lunged toward me with a snarl and I released another arrow with no effect. What came at me looked like a Hound, breathed what seemed to be fire, and had the full throaty voice of a true beast, but was in fact nothing but a vapor. And yet as it passed through me, I felt as though my blood had turned to ice, and my skin burned with a searing pain I was not eager to feel again.

Alaric swung his sword erratically at the swirling targets moving all around him. His inability to strike something solid had completely unnerved him.

"Steady!" I called out. "They aren't real."

"They're real enough to kill us," our commander responded. "This is it, men, we've found it.”

"Found what?" Alaric asked. "Whatever secret this place is hiding...one the darkness is trying to protect."

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Take the Body and Run by Jada Ryker

KINDLE SCOUT WINNER Jada Ryker snagged the Kindle Press publishing contract for her new book, Take the Body and Run, through Amazon’s Kindle Scout program. The contemporary mystery/romance is about a hunted woman hiding under a dead friend’s identity, a handsome lawman, a death doctor with fart machine-will travel, and a cranky cat with a nose for crime. It’s expected to be released in August 2016.

Jada lives in central Kentucky with her wonderful husband and their cat, rescued from the animal shelter. The cat rules the household and also loves to collect shiny trinkets. Once, she stole a Bluetooth and hid it under the couch. It took her humans several days to locate her ill-gotten booty.

In her day job, Jada works in higher education. She holds a masters degree in public administration.

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Macey’s first day in the college employee relations department ends with a knife at her throat.

Macey is certain things can’t get any worse. She’s wrong. An angry employee vows to put her on an online hit list. When he turns up dead, she’s a suspect—and on the hit list.

To keep her secrets and her life, Macey partners with two unexpected allies who cause her pulse to race with steamy attraction—and exasperating annoyance. Vince, a handsome, driven lawman, digs up more than just clues to the brutal murder. Brett, a fun-loving pathologist with a deadly sense of humor, drives everyone crazy with his fart machine-will travel. Macey’s supersized black cat Wikket, possessing courage, curiosity, and crankiness in equal portions, assists in his own grumpy, feline fashion, golden eyes open and claws extended.

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Keep reading for an interview with the author:

Why did you decide to be a writer?

I spent the first twenty-odd years of my life in rural Kentucky, many of those years without electricity or running water. I decided to draw upon my early years of deprivation. I took those dark times and turned them into creatures of the light. My books combine humor and murder in a total package of entertaining and fun southern adventures. At the same time, I sketch in addiction/recovery issues and childhood angst with a deft and compassionate touch.

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

I work in higher education. There are a ton of "hot button" issues in colleges and universities right now. It breaks my heart when I see instances of racism on college campuses. The administration has a duty to address and eradicate racism.

What genres do you write?

I write mysteries. I've spiced them with paranormal, romance, humor, chick lit, and even horror.

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

My husband, mother, and aunt read everything I write. (Thanks, guys!) My children are busy with their lives and families. My mom says: “Make the girls read your books.” Ah, I haven’t figured out how to do that.

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

Never give up. If I had given up, I wouldn't have won the June 2016 Kindle Press contract through the Kindle Scout program with Take the Body and Run.

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

Give up.

Are you a pantser or outliner?

For each book, I develop a broad roadmap for the chapters. I find that the characters like to take their own unusual turns…and I let them. The initial concept and the finished product are wildly different.

How long does it take you to write a book?

When I pushed myself to see how quickly I could write a book, it took me about five weeks for a 60,000 word novel. But I used a week of vacation, and I didn't have a life outside writing. I'd rather take my time, enjoy the process, and have fun. In that case, it takes me about twelve weeks from start to finish.

Do you write about real life experiences, or does everything come from your imagination?

I’ve written mysteries without a supernatural element. Then, a mystery that included a paranormal element started cavorting around in my head. Celeste Carr and Ericka Maah run the Carr – Maah Consulting Agency, a human resources consulting agency. The Karma mystery series was born.

The characters are complete opposites. Celeste is practical. She rejects anything of a supernatural nature. Ericka is mysterious, with odd, unexplained things happening when she’s around. The two business partners clash, but each would give her life for the other.

The real life experience comes into play with the homelessness element. I work in a fair-sized city. I saw homeless people roaming the streets. I did some research on the homeless population. It inspired me to include a homeless man in the Karma series. Hobart plays a major role.

Do you have any advice for other authors?

If you work a day job while you're writing and promoting, it takes off the pressure. I read a Facebook post by a new author who wrote: “I'm depending on my writing to finance my retirement.” I've read many excellent books by independent authors who are not (yet) famous and struggling to break even. Don't bet the farm on fame and fortune through your writing.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Being Me series Book 4 by Tricia Copeland

Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia but now lives outside the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado with her family. In addition to the 4th and final book of the Being Me series, out Sept. 20, 2016, the series includes Is This Me?, If I Could Fly, and Think You Me. Her YA paranormal short story Drops of Sunshine published first in Spellbound, a YA paranormal novella collection from Brix Baxter Publishing. An avid runner and paranormal fan, she also enjoys hiking, trivia, and Scrabble. You can connect with Tricia and other readers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and on her website at www.triciacopeland.com.

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“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”
-The Great Gatsby

In attempt to manage her rage and shame after a violent assault, Amanda loses touch with reality. Her spiraling physical state forces her to act or die. To face her demons, she must revisit the emotions she ran from in the first place. But she is determined to pick up the pieces of her life. Can she mend broken bonds with her friends and family? Will her epic love survive? Find out in this roller coaster finale of the Being Me series.

Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia and now lives in Colorado with her family and multiple four legged and finned friends. Her new adult Being Me series includes, Is This Me?, If I Could Fly, Thinking You Know Me, and the final installment, Being Me. Drops of Sunshine is her first young adult and paranormal book. If she’s not on a trail, you can find Tricia at www.triciacopeland.com or on your favorite social media.

Coming September 20th!

Keep reading for a sneak peek:

Why hadn’t I gotten help? I’d talked in support group, to my therapist, done all the things they’d told me. Still, deep down I knew I’d been keeping the truth from everyone. I did everything I was supposed to without really admitting the pain and emptiness I felt. As soon as the hole in my chest had shown me the darkness of its expanse, I’d boarded it up and run the other way. Fitting my arms around my stomach, I curled up in a ball. I’d done this to myself, created my own mess. No one else could be blamed. Through my tears, I said a prayer into the darkness.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Saving Phoebe Murrow by Herta Feely

Herta B. Feely is a writer and full-time editor. Her short stories and memoir have been published in anthologies and literary journals, including The Sun, Lullwater Review, The Griffin, Provincetown Arts, and Big Muddy. In the wake of the James Frey scandal, Feely edited and published the anthology, Confessions: Fact or Fiction? She was awarded the James Jones First Novel Fellowship and an Artist in Literature Fellowship from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities for The Trials of Serra Blue. She has also received an award from American Independent Writers for best published personal essay for a piece on immigration. In Saving Phoebe Murrow, Feely continues her commitment to activism on behalf of children. A graduate of UC Berkeley and Johns Hopkins University, Feely is the co-founder of Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization dedicated to saving children from unintentional injuries, the leading killer of children in the United States. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and cats.

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About the Book

A story about the timeless struggle between mothers and their teen daughters with a razor-sharp 21st century twist. This heart-wrenching, harrowing debut novel for fans of Big Little Lies (Liane Moriarty) and Reconstructing Amelia (Kimberly McCreight) will make you question what's needed to keep your children from harm. Phoebe's mother, Isabel, is precariously balancing her career and her family. Hard-working and caring, worried but supportive, all Isabel wants, in a world of bullies and temptations, is to keep her daughter Phoebe safe. With her busy schedule, though, she fails to recognize another mother's mounting fury and the danger Phoebe faces by flirting with a mysterious boy on Facebook. A cyber-bullying episode aimed at Phoebe pushes her to the edge with horrific consequences. In her search for justice, Isabel, a DC lawyer, sets out to find the culprit behind this cruel incident. Saving Phoebe Murrow, set amidst the complicated web of adolescent relationships, tells a story of miscommunication and malice, drugs and Facebook, prejudice and revenge.

Get it today on Amazon (US), Amazon (UK), and Upper Hand Press!

Keep reading for an excerpt:

At the end of the day, as Isabel stepped through the large glass doors of her law office, a strange thing happened. Outside in the cold, she suddenly felt trapped in a bright cone of light. As if some alien spaceship were training its eye on her.

Uneasily, she gazed into the dark November sky. There was the culprit. A smiling gibbous moon. Or was it smirking, maybe even mocking her? Yes, she thought, that would be more appropriate. Work had become insanely busy, though in its own strange way that kept her mind from dwelling on her recent topsy-turvy personal life.

Which included that awful teen party at Sandy Littleton’s, an event that had ruined the weekend. Phoebe drunk, and when Isabel brought her home, Ron found their daughter’s wobbly walk vaguely amusing. In front of Phoebe, they’d kept a united front. But later, in the bedroom, Ron told Isabel she was being too harsh on their daughter.

“She’s thirteen, Ron.”

“Almost fourteen,” he’s said.

She really couldn’t understand Ron’s blasé attitude toward the drinking that Sandy had allowed, encouraged even, nor could she understand Phoebe’s recent obsession with some boy named Shane. They’d met on Facebook, of all places, and he’d promised to show up at the party, then hadn’t. Ron had attributed Phoebe’s drinking to her disappointment over this no show, as if that made it okay. Not okay, definitely not.

Nor did she like the fact that Phoebe had never actually met this character Shane, that all of her communication with him had been online. Who was he anyway? Again, Ron thought it was no big deal! “That’s the way kids communicate these days,” he’d said.

In the end, Isabel had caved, and Phoebe received little more than a slap on the wrist. Mostly because she feared the possibility of the 9th grade kids teasing and taunting her as so many classmates had the previous year. Now, she was eager to get home to find out how Phoebe’s school day had gone. She hoped there had been no fallout from the Saturday night fiasco, though of course Phoebe didn’t know what she had done. Kids could be incredibly cruel.