Monday, 11 December 2017

Tie Died by Kathryn Elizabeth Jones

Kathryn Elizabeth Jones has been a published writer since 1987. She started as a newspaper reporter, published her first novel in 2002, attended college in her 40s, and opened the doors to Idea Creations Press in 2012. She has published 12 books to date in the genres of Christian fiction, nonfiction (including Christian and business) mystery, YA and LDS middle reader. Kathryn offers opportunities for authors to get their books out into the world using her publishing services and loves speaking to authors about writing, publishing and marketing.


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About the Book


When 18-year-old Brianne James discovers a murdered young girl at Montgomery Park – a 15-year-old who has been left for dead in the icy snow – there is only one thing she can do: search for the killer.

Brianne has a nose for sleuthing. She can connect with people; even scary people. She has the smarts to solve even the most underhanded crime, and she can solve it with or without the help of the police or her parents.

When it comes to Conner Ryan, however, his unrelenting assistance is quite another story. When you’re in love with one of the hottest guys in school – who in the heck cares?

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Keep reading for an interview with Brianne James, a character from the book:


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


I was born in New Jersey. My brother and I grew up with terrible parents, but eventually found our way to a new family who took us in.

Do you have a close relationship with your family?


Yes, and I'm grateful for that. Still, my mother is often in my business more often than she should be. Dad is more easy-going, but he isn't well, and I try to keep things as positive as I can with him.

What is the happiest memory from your childhood?


The day I was taken in by Susan and Henry. I still remember the first time I stepped into my new bedroom. It was actually pretty. I even had a bedspread and a place to hang my clothes.

Who was your best friend growing up?


My brother, Oscar. He and I took care of each other. Mom was not often among the living. She drank a lot, and so did Dad.


If you could compare yourself to someone from another novel, who would it be? 


I read mostly from the computer screen, but rarely novels. I'm more into finding the answers to clues, researching how people die, and stuff like that. I might look into what causes a person's skin at death to turn blue. Stuff like that.

Mom would say I'm a lot like her. She would say that she's showing me the ropes through her Susan Cramer Mystery series - a series that you can read right before this book. Because I'm not really blood related to either Susan or Henry, I would say that I'm my own unique person. Sure, I like solving murders like Mom, but Mom and I are totally different.

Who is your enemy?


Criminals. Did you know they come in all shapes, sizes and ages? I find that incredible. People who sneak around and take another life, may think they will never be found out, but they usually are. I'd like to think that I'm helping the police out. They might not like it either, but who cares?

Who do you most admire in your world?


As much as I tease her - my mom. She started this detective stuff out years ago, not really knowing what she was doing. People haven't always been kind to her. But she has always been kind to me, even in the beginning when I played with mud balls, and probably looked like one. She fed me and my brother when we were hungry, and took us in when we needed a place to crash.

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


Some might say I'm too smart for my own good. Maybe they're right, but my favorite subject in school is biology - and that's not just because Conner Ryan is my science partner.

What was the most embarrassing moment in your life?


Maybe this is more scary than embarrassing, but you'll want to pay special attention to the secondary characters in this book. Some of them are not what they seem to be.

What is your greatest fear?


I have more than one fear. One of them is that Henry will die. He's been so good to me and my brother. Another is that I will never have a boyfriend.

What is the most important lesson you've learned about life?


Love is more important than any investigation, but it's hard to balance the two.

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


Too many strange situations to count. Not counting my younger years, I would say finding a girl lying dead at the local park.

What is the greatest obstacle you have ever had to face?


Letting go of my birth parents, and opening my heart to the future.

Do you have a secret you've never told anyone?


Okay. I'm not really as secure as I sometimes sound in the book. I mean, the past is always creeping up. Stuff I might not even share, but that you will more than likely see between the lines. How can a person be totally secure when their birth parents really didn't care about them?

Have you ever been in love?


Yes. Conner Ryan is the hottest guy in school. I'm not going to tell you if or how it worked out for me, however. You'll have to read the book.

Friday, 8 December 2017

The Renegade Series - A Beautiful Glittering Lie, A Beckoning Hellfire, A Rebel Among Us by J.D.R. Hawkins

J.D.R. Hawkins is an award-winning author who has written for newspapers, magazines, newsletters, e-zines, and blogs. She is one of only a few female Civil War authors, and uniquely describes the front lines from a Confederate perspective. Her Renegade Series includes A Beautiful Glittering Lie, winner of the John Esten Cooke Fiction Award and the B.R.A.G. Medallion, A Beckoning Hellfire, which is also an award winner, and A Rebel Among Us, recipient of the 2017 John Esten Cooke Fiction Award. These books tell the story of a family from north Alabama who experience immeasurable pain when their lives are dramatically changed by the war. Her nonfiction book, Horses in Gray: Famous Confederate Warhorses, has recently been published. She is currently working on another sequel for the Renegade Series. Ms. Hawkins is a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the International Women’s Writing Guild, Pikes Peak Writers, and Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She is also an artist and singer/songwriter. Learn more about her at http://jdrhawkins.com.

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About the Book


J.D.R. Hawkins’ Renegade Series describes the trials, tragedies, and triumphs of several families during the Civil War. With colorful settings and vivid descriptions, the series portrays life during a tumultuous time in American history. From the spring of 1861 until the end of the war in 1865, the characters in this family saga come to life, experiencing pain and suffering, as well as joy and jubilation. The Renegade Series is astounding in its imagery, and truly one not to miss.

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Keep reading for an interview with the author:


Why did you decide to be a writer?


I've been a writer ever since I can remember, and have written everything from songs to poetry to short stories and novels.


What genres do you write?


Primarily historical fiction, but I have also written children's books and a nonfiction book.

Do you have a daily word or page count goal?


Five hundred words is a basic goal. When I'm writing a book, though, I shoot for a page a day.

If you could be one of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?


I would be Anna. She is strong and strong-willed, and although she has experienced personal loss, she has big goals and dreams.

What is the most difficult thing you've ever researched?


Battle scenes were the toughest. It gave me nightmares! I startled awake one time after I dreamt a bullet whizzed by my head. I drew a lot of description from actual journals and diaries, so the descriptions are real.

What are your goals as an author?


I would like to be an international best seller. I would also like to write three or four more books.


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


Show don't tell. I fall into this trap frequently, which is easy to do when writing historical fiction. It helps to have a great editor to point these issues out.

How many books do you have on your "to read" list?


I'm really behind on reading some of the best sellers. I'd like to read The Girl on the Train and A Broken Kind of Beautiful.

Do you write in first or third person, past or present tense, and why?


Mostly I write in third person, but one of my books is in first person. They are all in past tense. I thought that would be the most effective way to tell the story.

How do you come up with the titles for your books?


I don't have a problem with coming up with titles. The first book in the Renegade Series, A Beautiful Glittering Lie, was taken from a quote a Confederate soldier wrote in regard to the Civil War, stating that it was "all a glittering lie."

Have you ever gotten an idea for a story from something really bizarre?


I wrote a book about my great aunt and uncle, who ran a hotel in my hometown, Sioux City, during the Depression. Supposedly, there was gangster activity going on there, and money was hidden behind the wallpaper!


What inspired your current work?


Seeing the Gettysburg battlefield was awe inspiring, because I had never seen a Civil War battlefield before. It inspired me to write the first book, which turned into a series.

What was the hardest part about writing your latest book?


It was nonfiction, which I hadn't done before on that large of a scale. There was so much research involved. It was exhausting!


Do you have any advice for other authors?


Write what you love and feel passionate about, and never give up!


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


I decided to write from the Southern perspective because it has nearly become lost to history. Slavery was an issue but it wasn't the cause of the Civil War. I didn't understand that because I grew up in Iowa and wasn't told about the Southern side. So I researched it myself and discovered the truth.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Hidden Revolt by Jeffrey Bardwell

Jeffrey Bardwell wrote his first fantasy epic when he was 7 years old: a thrilling single page adventure. Subsequent epics have grown and matured alongside their author. He devours fantasy and science fiction novels and is most comfortable basking near a warm wood stove. When not writing, Jeffrey enjoys cooking, gardening, and shooing baby dragons from the compost bin.

The author lives on a farm. He is overfond of puns and alliterations and a gigantic ham. He is also an unabashed history, mythology, and ecology buff and would love to hear from you. Send him an email!



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About the Book


Welcome to the revolution. Fire up the dragons!


The Iron Empire is ripe for revolt. The guilds are repressive, the price of dragon rum and steaks are soaring, and the mage menace spreads unchecked. Resentment builds. One day a young hero clanks into the capital and promises to kick the imperial palace to rubble.

Devin, more artifice than mage with his mechanical foot, returns to the empire, his nemesis Captain Vice in hot pursuit. The firebrand mage stirs the passions of imperial citizens under the guise of dragon conservation. We are all like slabs of dragon flesh: once powerful and mighty, but the empire bleeds us until nothing remains but bones and ruptured organs. The message resonates. A rebellion is born in secrecy and treachery. Beneath their cloaks of lies and shifting alliances, mages, gentry, and commoners alike reach for the mantle of the butchered dragon while Captain Vice's iron fist slowly closes around them.

Rise up and smash the state in Book Three of The Artifice Mage Saga. Join the fantasy steampunk brawl of metal vs. magic where sorcery is bloody, science is greasy, and nobody's hands are clean.

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AmazonTwigboat Press


Keep reading for an interview with the author:


Why did you decide to be a writer?


I enjoy telling stories and crafting worlds.

What genres do you write?


I write speculative fiction, primarily epic fantasy steampunk.


What is the quirkiest thing you've ever done while writing?


Wore my cat on draped across shoulders like a snoring fur stole. She kept my neck warm and I provided her a bony bed.

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


Delegating is the hardest task I face. It's too easy to fall into the trap of wanting to do every single thing yourself.

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


Someone once told me that my language was beautiful and my imagery evocative and my characters felt like real, flawed people. Just not the same someone at all three times.


Have you ever had a particularly harsh critique?


Wept. Gnashed my teeth. Scanned it again for the useful advice.

What fears do you have about writing and being an indie author?


Oh, doubts galore. Who doesn't? They're a part of me, but they're not the boss of me.

Would you recommend self-publishing to other authors?


If it's your lifelong dream, go for it. If it's not your lifelong dream, go for it anyway. Either way, you'd better be the most stubborn son of a . . . . ahem, determined individual in the world to make it work.

What is your writing process?


Idea. Character arcs. Outline. First Draft. Developmental Edit. Second Draft. Copyedit. Third Draft. Format. Publish. Shout out to my editor and beta readers! The second half of that process would get pretty rocky without you. Thanks, everyone.

Are you a pantser or outliner?


I am an outliner, though probably an outlier outliner. Whole scenes have a way of just sneaking into my outlines.


What are you working on now?


I am currently writing the third book in 'The Artifice Mage Saga,' an ongoing fantasy steampunk adventure where the destiny of an empire rests on one man's shoulders.

What inspired your current work?


I was inspired by my father's old workshop filled with mysterious hand tools to write about an artificer who gets caught in a situation where all his vaunted tool knowledge is useless.


How do you market/promote your work?


Lately, I've been experimenting with AMS ads. I've got a background in statistical analysis, so exploring different multivariate analyses on my own sales dataset has been fun.


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


Thank you for allowing me to have a career I love. I've enjoyed getting to know some of you via emails. I hope to meet more of you face to face at a fantasy convention some day and look forward to producing more stories for years to come.

Friday, 1 December 2017

A Daffodil for Angie by Connie Lacy

Connie Lacy worked for many years as a radio reporter and news anchor after dabbling in acting in college and community theater. Those experiences show up in some of her novels.

Her passion for human rights prompted her to write “A Daffodil for Angie,” a historical novel set in the 1960s. Her interest in climate change led her to imagine a not-too-distant future when oceans have risen fifteen feet. That's the backdrop for "The Shade Ring Trilogy." And her fascination with time travel and the paranormal are on display in "The Time Telephone" and "VisionSight: a Novel."

Growing up, she lived in Japan and Okinawa where her Army dad was stationed. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke with a degree in Journalism and Creative Writing.

She and her husband live in Atlanta.

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About the Book


1966. A tough time to be a teenager, especially for Angie Finley. Her dad’s in Vietnam as antiwar protests mount. School integration is underway. Bullies target the first black girl in her class. Her mom’s pushing her to be a cheerleader. Women are pressing for equal rights. Oh, and a good-looking football player can’t keep his hands off her.

Looks like ditching her glasses for contacts and frosting her hair might not make life at Lafayette Senior High as successful as she imagined.

Set against a backdrop of the Sixties, A Daffodil for Angie is a compelling coming-of-age story about a girl on the cusp of womanhood facing tough choices during one of the most tumultuous decades in American history.

Angie comes face to face with growing antiwar sentiment and racial violence as rising social consciousness transforms American society with a little help from the likes of Bob Dylan, the Beatles and Aretha Franklin.

Get it today on Amazon!


Keep reading for an excerpt:


It was Miss America pageant weekend, something I used to love when I was little. We’d gather in front of the TV and pull for our favorites. But, somehow, watching young women try to out-pretty each other didn’t seem romantic anymore. And I wasn’t sure I wanted to take part when it came time for our school pageant either. Although I knew my mother would be jazzed up about it, just like she was when Deedee was in high school. Of course, beauty was Mom’s business. She started out as a beautician and now owned her own salon.

Ever since the divorce, she held a Miss America Hen Party, complete with beer, chips and dip, deviled eggs and a roomful of jabbering, smoking women. All of them were former beauty pageant contestants who matured into plump, middle-aged, self-appointed beauty experts. They ranted and raved about each and every contestant’s legs, hair, teeth, makeup, evening gown, bathing suit, choice of shoes and breast size.

I sat on the front porch, trying to keep my distance as the ladies passed judgment, turning our house into the Beer Hall for Catty Women.

The two yellow maples in the front yard were still green, but their leaves were getting ready to morph into that brilliant golden color that made our house look kind of charming in the fall. It was thanks to Dad that Mom didn’t have them chopped down when we moved in. She argued they killed the grass with their shade. He convinced her they’d increase the resale value someday.

It was a modest house – three bedrooms and one bath – but Dad also planted pink azaleas and blue hydrangea bushes in the front yard, which made me get my camera out every spring to take pictures. And he set out a big patch of daffodils by the mailbox that poked their pretty yellow heads up every January, like beacons of hope reminding me, even in the dead of winter, that spring really was just around the corner. Mom had to concede Dad’s gardening did actually “enhance our home’s curb appeal.”

A huge guffaw wafted through the door.

The porch was my refuge after failing to come up with a better alternative. I’d called Janet, but she said Dottie and Craig’s sister, Sherry, were coming over to watch the pageant with her. She said I could come too, but you know how it is when someone only invites you last minute like that. And, besides, I wanted something better to do. Like have a date with a boy? Like Craig, maybe?

Unfortunately, a squadron of mosquitoes used me as their evening field rations, forcing me to retreat to my room much sooner than I’d hoped. I slipped inside by the carport door, snagging a Coke as I tiptoed through the kitchen.

The clucking from the living room got louder and louder.

“Lord-a-mercy! That one’s way too busty.”

“She just needs a better bra!”

“Judges don’t want giant, bouncing boobs.”

“But men do!”

“Har har har!”

They didn’t notice me at all, glued as they were to our new TV.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Atancia by Wren Figueiro



Wren Figueiro is the author of The Durand Duology, a paranormal romance series for young adults. She first decided to write the story after a long conversation with her sister where they both grumbled that the majority of PNRs they had read lacked an element of surprise. She set out to write a story that she hoped would leave readers guessing. She’d love to know if she’s succeeded. Send her a note and let her know if all the plotting worked!


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About the Book


Atancia is a paranormal romance for young adults. It tells the story of Atancia Clark, a young woman who discovers she is Durand—an immortal being who survives by transferring energy from other living things.

Get it today on Amazon!


Keep reading for an interview with Matthew, a character from the book:


Did you have a close relationship with your family?


I had a close relationship with my mother. She was the only family I knew growing up. I'm trying now to form a relationship with my half-brothers. I only met them recently.

What is the happiest memory from your childhood?


Running around the Greek island of Poros. I would play on the beach and then meet my mother for lunch. Everything I ate there was extraordinary.

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


My world is limited by my nature. I am immortal and therefore need to keep a low profile. While my people have money, we cannot do anything that would make us conspicuous.

I am Durand, but just barely. I come from a line that started as human. My mother did not have enough Durand blood to be immortal. I am the first of her family with the ability to transfer energy.

What was the most embarrassing moment in your life?


When I met Atancia Clark for the first time, and I blurted out how beautiful she was. Apparently being covered in mud at our meeting wasn't embarrassing enough; I had to add some more to the pile by staring at my brother's girlfriend while he stood right there next to her.

What is the greatest obstacle you have ever had to face?


Losing my mother. She died when I was starting college. I was quickly found by my half-brothers and asked to live with them and my father, but my mother had always kept me separate. She didn't really tell me why. It makes it difficult to trust people. I don't have anyone I feel I can speak to about what it was like for me to lose her.

Do you have any hobbies?


I like to ride my mountain bike. I also play the guitar and sing in a band with a couple of friends.

What is your favorite food?


All food is my favorite food, especially since I'm told eventually I'll stop caring about eating any. Durand prefer the "taste" of energy as they mature. If I had to choose one food though, I'd say moussaka. It's like a lasagna made with eggplant, ground beef and bechamel.

What do you own that would be hardest to part with?


The guitar my mother gave me.

What do you regret most in your life?


Not being with my mother when she died.

Would you ever or have you ever lied?


Funny you should ask. I have this ability that makes people tell the truth whenever I ask a question. In light of that, I find it would be unfair for me to lie. I usually blurt out the truth even when I know others will find me awkward.

Monday, 27 November 2017

EXOTIQA (YA Cyberpunk Dystopia) by M. Black

Enter Tomorrow is my brand that focus on robots, AI, SIMS, wildlife, nature, grafting, genetics, social divisions, and future tech.

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About the Book


EXOTIQA is a YA cyberpunk dystopia set in British Columbia where the line between root and man is blurred. When a computer virus infects most of the population, Fione-our heroine, and Maci- a flex, will have to fight o destroy it and save their friends and family.


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Keep reading for an excerpt:


I stretch my left hand forward, my fingers scraping the bark of the log, as my back registers Thirty’s metal knee pushing into my hardwired spine. To the human eye, this might look like a fight between two individuals of the human species, but I know better.

The faux human skin covering his exterior doesn't fool me. Volumetric scans detect the advanced nanowiring and metal foam in every inch of Thirty’s athletic form, and I have to get out of here before his Exotiqa program alerts the other Trackers and they soon surround me. I won’t stand a chance then.

My fingernails catch the edge of the bark on the log and I tug. Thunder cracks and a few fingers wrap around the wood and I yank the only hope I have toward me. As Thirty pushes my body further into the mud with the weight of his own, I dislodge my elbow, allowing 360-degree motion of my arm, and swing.

The log hits his metallic-cold face—nothing warm-blooded about him now except the crimson-colored coolant running through faux veins. The brief knock from the log releases the full force of his body weight on me for just a second. A second is all I need.

Rain pours and my body flips upward underneath him as my hands shoot over his hard shoulders. My eyes catch his charcoal-dark pupils as I push my weight into him, turning, and roll with him in the mud and rain several times before kneeing him in the chest.

Grunting, he almost sounds like he is in pain as his grip loosens and his dark hair, wet from rain splays across his face. I shuffle to my feet before kicking him in the stomach. His arm swings into my standing legs, tripping me backward onto the ground. My hands brace my fall into a puddle, splashing, before I slide on my side to ram my foot into his chin. His neck jerks back with his head as my foot connects. The golden sliver sliding over the whites of his eyes—the sliver that tells me he is connected to Exotiqa—fades, and his left leg jerks in a quick uncontrolled motion.

I push my palms against the mud in a struggle to stand. “The rain must be jamming your joints and the Exotiqa frequency.” I say.

Thirty stares at me with his intense glare. He always had fierce expressions, now more stoic, and he hates losing. Maybe he is this way because Russell Wagner designed him that way. Or maybe because, like me, Thirty developed a sense of himself—at least, before the corporation dissolved him into the collective.

Hands struggle to reach me in desperation as his voice vibrates in and out of monotone syllables making their callous way to my ears. “This is not over yet.”

Friday, 24 November 2017

Shadow Stalker Part 3 (Episodes 13 - 18) 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 and paranormal thrillers.

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, A God's Deception.

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

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Things go from bad to worse when the Galvadi Empire develops a new technology to use against the shadow stalkers. Now Kado and Makari are more determined than ever to keep Auren away from their enemies, but Auren decides enough is enough and takes matters into her own hands. She turns herself over to the Galvadi to get close to Drevin and Makari has no choice but to play along. He is forced to either torture Auren to prove his loyalty or die knowing she will be tortured and enslaved anyway. Somehow they must get close enough to Drevin to bring him down and put an end to the Galvadi’s tyranny once and for all.

Episode 13: Defiance


Three years have passed since Auren and Shai escaped the daily torture of the Galvadi. With Makari's help, they have learned more about the Galvadi's technology and discovered ways to overcome its effects on their power, which gave them an edge in the war. However, the Galvadi have spent that time developing new technology that could mean the end of the shadow stalkers.


Episode 14: Falling to Pieces


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.

Episode 15: Into My Own


Just when Auren thinks she’d had enough of Kado’s overbearing and overprotective nature, he surprises her by apologizing and admitting he had been wrong. Auren finally accepts that she is not at fault for Cali’s death after visiting her in the shadow world, but Kado and Makari are still preventing her from confronting Drevin. They don’t feel she is ready, and Auren is beginning to believe they will never let her fulfil her destiny. It’s time she takes matters into her own hands.


Episode 16: A New Emperor


Makari is told the only way he can prove his loyalty is by torturing Auren, but he refuses to go through it. So Jharak, Drevin’s master interrogator, took the liberty to be the one to break her, but in the end, it would take forcing her to watch him torture and kill Makari.

Episode 17: Allies to Enemies Part 1


Traitors are weeded out and new allies are found. Auren and Makari are determined to bring peace once again to the Serpent Isles, but they have a deadline. If they don’t make it in time, they could end up at war with their own people.


Episode 18: Allies to Enemies Part 2


General Graves wants Auren and Makari dead. When Makari demands one of Graves’ men, who secretly supports Makari, is sent to him for extra security at the palace, Graves uses a mind control drug to get him to assassinate them. Will Auren and Makari learn what happened before it’s too late?

Get it for 25% off through the 27th!



Or


Find out how you can get Shadow Stalker Parts 1 & 2 Free and Get Part 3 for 50% off!

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Risen by Roxanne Heath

Roxanne Heath's interests and ambitions have changed many times over the years, but the one constant has been her affinity for fiction. Her primary hobby in childhood was writing stories, and the habit continued well into her high school and college years despite pursuing a degree in science. Her favorite genres to write are those that dabble in paranormal horror and fantasy, along with psychological thrillers.

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Ragnarok – the cyclical occurrence resulting in the slaughter and resurgence of the universe – is once more coming to pass, taking with it the best warriors that can be offered up to the jaws of Fenrir and his monstrous kin. When three of the best and most burnt-out warriors decide that dishonor is their only hope of permanently escaping the cycle, they abdicate their homeworld and make the jump to Earth. Taking refuge in unsuspecting members of a fragmented family they find that, while the fallen soldiers of their home are returning to fight in the battle, Earth’s deceased are mistakenly doing the same. The dead are rising, and their only call is to destruction.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:


At that moment the three of them hear a snapping twig and the low sounds of someone or something shuffling through uncut grass. When they hear the wet snarl that accompanies it the three of them wheel around to see several creatures stalking out of the trees, their gait awkward and their eyes blazing yellow.

Ása is the first to her feet, reaching for the staff she’d propped against the log. She takes a firm hold on the canvas-bound grips at either end and begins to rotate them in opposite directions, feeling the internal mechanism engage. Under pressure of her grip the blades swiftly begin to protrude from inside the hollow, thick-walled staff. As the rotational abilities of Ása’s wrists come to an end the blades lock into place, a gleaming fourteen inches of sharp, oiled metal protruding from each end of the weapon. She takes several wide steps towards her enemies, giving her ample room for offensive maneuvers. Behind her and to either side she hears Ari and Egill draw their weapons, and she need not look to see where they’ve positioned themselves. She knows their tactics as well as her own.

Ása closes her eyes for a moment, taking the split second to trigger within herself an adrenaline rush that slows the scene to half-speed. She takes hold of the spear by the middle grips and begins to twirl it, positioning it to her left and to her right, picking up speed until she is essentially wielding a silver blur that makes her both lethal and unreachable. The first of the Risen makes its way into her range and she moves the spear upward, catching it under the chin with a sickening crunch as metal meets bone. Its head snaps backward and it falls. Another takes its place and she catches it in the cheek with the staff itself, watching its rotten face splatter open. With no close enemies she resumes the twirling pattern, backing up towards the sound of Egill’s voice.

The creatures take her retreat as their cue to break from a slow shamble to a fearsome rush. Ása turns away and sprints to the outskirts of the area in which they fight, crossing the mock boundaries in her head and creating a viable gap between herself and her enemies. She stacks the Risen – keeping one positioned behind the other at all times – and when the next of the monsters closes the gap she brings the spear up and twirls it, swinging it against its face twice as she finishes out the move. The momentum of the blunt force trauma to its head snaps its neck, and as the creature stumbles Ása shoves him back. He is the last to fall, and Ása returns to the others where they stand, chests heaving, among blood-stained grass and remains.

“We may be too late,” Egill says in the post-battle silence, slow to catch his breath. “They have already begun to rise.”

Friday, 17 November 2017

Thunder Moon by Tonya Coffey






Tonya Coffey lives in southern Kentucky with her husband and two teen sons. If she isn't reading or writing a fantasy novel, you will find her sitting in front of a canvas with a paintbrush in hand.

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About the Book

Micha, King of Ancients, hoped the fighting between the realms would ease since the treat had been eliminated, yet the forest is filled with enemies who are not what they seem. They can be a plant, animal or even disguised as a friend.

While Micha battles Shifters, old enemies and himself, Jessa struggles to regain her life. A friend, in the spirit world, guides her through the adjustments of the truth, allowing her to uncover the Wars true beginning and of a man who will stop at nothing to obtain the True Power.

Micha must tread lightly as the Shadows reorganize the kingdom, demanding a union between Micha and Roselle. His only hope for happiness is for the curse Jessa cast upon herself to be broken by a Sorcerer, a man he did not trust. Will the King get his true Queen or will evil win?

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Keep reading for an excerpt:


As I moved over a small creek, the shallow water trickled down a rock then dripped one slow drop at a time. My eyes swept the forest as I paused there. A feeling deep in my gut told me I needed to be more vigilant, so I heeded the call and listened beyond what was normal.

The drip of water echoed a slow beat and with it a faint growl surfaced. Narrowing my eyes, I searched the underbrush. Hunkering down to get a better view of the land, I tried to see where the growl came from. I could not see past my outreached hand but movements were noticeable.

I knew it was stretching it as I narrowed my eyes into the shadows but I hoped it was a raccoon or an opossum.

When nothing stood out, I sighed as I rose and stepped over the stream. With each of my steps, I lightly set my boot down—heel to toe—to keep from making any more noise than I needed.

After a few steps, the sound of paws stepping on dried leaves drifted through the night. It was soft, light as a feather dropping on the vegetation. It became louder the closer it tread. I turned to my left, ready to face what closed the gap on me.

Readying my stance, I waited but the sounds stopped. It was as if the animal knew of my readiness. I frowned. Why? I wondered.

Then as if it heard my thoughts, a growl rolled from deep inside the bushes not far from where I stood. Slowly, I reached for my sword, hoping my movements did not threaten the animal. As my hand gripped the handle, a pair of eyes, blue as the autumn sky appeared from the darkness.

A panther; black as the night around us, slipped between the branches into my line of sight. Hair erupted along his back and his ears laid back in a warning to me. I did not want to engage, however as the panther slowly moved forward, I was afraid it was inevitable.

His lips pulled back, showing me teeth as long and sharp as a dagger. Even though I did not want to fight, I knew I had to stand my ground. After all, I was not in his territory. He was in mine.

Pulling my sword from its sheath, I watched the panther. His eyes never left my movements as he came forward, still showing me his aggressive intent. Narrowing my eyes, I waited. I refused to make the first move, however I would make the last.

As I waited, watching him, something struck me as odd. He moved forward but not in a movement to attack me. Panthers were known for their stealthiest and that made me wonder why he came out of hiding to attack me. He could have jumped me from cover and I would have been useless. He would have won.

So as he made his gestures, I realized he was a decoy. He made me keep my eyes on him while…

I turned, raising my sword into the air. A second panther stood feet from me, ready to slice into my gut with one swift swipe of his claws.

I was right, I thought as I swiftly stepped to the side, keeping both cats in front of me. Smart boys…

With my next step back, the second panther sprang. His teeth barred at me. His paws outstretched, nails flashed in the moonlight. I swung my sword, hoping to not get a face full of teeth or claws. My blade hit; the feel of the metal parting flesh caused me to pull back. I wanted no part in killing him. I only wanted to keep him from killing me.

When I did, the cat cried out. A roar erupted from the animal as if it were a woman screaming to the top of her lungs. The reaction surprised me. I lowered my weapon and watched as the first panther ran to the other. It stood by the animal as it got to its feet and limped off. He watched me then narrowed his eyes, growled a warning and stepped into the underbrush after it.

What the… I stood in the forest, my mouth ajar. Panthers should not act that way…

Sliding my sword back into its home, I turned back to my castle and continued on. If it was not one thing, it was two more. I had hoped the realms would calm down and accept a new reign but the attack was proof someone did not want a peaceful union. They wanted war and I would give it to them.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

At Horizon's End by Chris Sarantopoulos



Chris Sarantopoulos studied Geology in Scotland (you may hear him say aye a couple of times), then decided to diversify and did a Masters in Service Management. Alas, words and stories won him. Now he meddles with the lives of fictional characters in genres such as science fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction, dystopia, cyberpunk, fantasy, high fantasy, dark fantasy, and horror (not the splatter type though). When Chris is not writing, he spends his time crafting new stories and worlds, talks to friends who considered him lost somewhere in an imaginary world, or plays video games. Oh yeah, he likes music too. And books. He lives in Greece, and if you happen to spend time there, contact him. He may be able to arrange a meeting.

His work has appeared on Beyond Imagination, Voluted Tales and Eternal Haunted Summer among others.

You can sign up for his newsletter for updates and news at http://eepurl.com/cUX9hr

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About the Book


Death made a mistake.


The Man Who Fed On Tears always knows whose time it is to pluck from the world of the living. His existence is one of a symbiosis between his need for the tears and woe he causes to those closest to the deceased, and the natural order of life and death to which he is bound. He never questions himself or his actions and has never made a mistake. Until now.

Stella is a four-year-old girl who misses her mommy and wants to see her again. She doesn’t yet understand the concept of loss, so when she sees close family members crying, she tries to stay cheerful and optimistic. After all, Mommy said they’d see each other again when the time comes At Horizon’s End. So if they’ll meet again, why is everyone crying?

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Keep reading for an interview with the author:


Why did you decide to be a writer?


Unlike most writers, I didn't always want to be one. Occasionally, I felt the urge to write something, but I had a little voice in my head (a very loud one) that dissuaded me every time I tried it. I'm very happy I silenced that voice eventually.

Do you have a "day job"?


I'm on a fixed term contract with the Municipality of the city I live in, and once that's over I'll be unemployed again.

How often do you write?


When I was unemployed I wrote or edited six days a week, for five hours each day. Now that I have a job, I try to write or edit for two hours during week days and another five hours on Saturdays. Sundays are write-free days.

What is the quirkiest thing you've ever done while writing?


Forget to eat. It sucks when it happens. Also, being bilingual and deep into my main character's point of view, I have sometimes answered as that character. In English (remember, I'm Greek, therefore I speak Greek)


What authors have most influenced you?


In no particular order: Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, G.R.R.Martin, R. Scott Bakker, Peter V. Brett, Richard K. Morgan, Stephen King


What are your goals as an author?


I'd like to get a foot into traditional publishing but I keep my options open with self publishing and small presses. Five years from today I'd like to have published not only my two yet-unpublished novels, but perhaps another two. One more at the very least. I'd like to start having a steady readership, and of course I'd like to have learned a thing or two about book promotions and marketing.

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


A couple of weeks ago, a twitter follower complimented my latest short story (At Horizon's End). Why was it so nice? Because I hadn't advertised my work to that follower (or anyone else on twitter for a long time) and he not only spent money on my work, but he also took the time to let his followers know about my story. We had never spoken to each other, didn't know one another, but he did all that for me.


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


Write ten books per year. Sorry, that's not how I do things. I can't work like that.

How many books do you have on your "to read" list?


I'm on the third book of The Expanse so the rest are in my "to read" list. Mistborn is there as well, the second trilogy of R. Scott Bakker's The Prince of Nothing and so so so many more.

What made you decide to self-publish?


I wanted to learn as much as possible about marketing and promoting my work, preferably before I published my first novel. Which is why I'm publishing my short stories and trying things out.

What is your writing process?


First, extensive planning and outlining. I use a modified version of the Snowflake method for my novels. For my short stories, I use the 7-point system. After outlining, I draft the story. For a book, I usually need three months, maybe less. Once that's done, I put the story away for at least a month. Then I start revising and editing it. I usually go through fifteen to twenty revision and editing rounds. Then it's off to my beta readers. Once I get all their feedback I start revising and editing again, but it's hard to tell how many rounds of edits it takes me.


How long does it take you to write a book?


Drafting takes three months. Revising and editing it takes up to two more years. Planning and outlining takes at least another six months.

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?


You've caught me off guard. The thought has never crossed my mind, so it's something I have to consider.

What inspired your current work?


The effect modern technology has on us, and even worse, the effect and impact future technology will have on our world.

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


I'm looking forward to hearing from all of you. If you ever come to Greece, let me know. I might be able to arrange a meeting or something.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Cassidy by Andrew Gates

Formerly an on-site educator at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, Andrew Gates is now a Virginia-based science-fiction writer and magazine contributor. He is best known as the author of the Color of Water and Sky series.

Gates has always been fascinated by science-fiction and fantasy ever since he was a kid. His writing style has been compared to that of Isaac Asimov, author of the Foundation series. Gates's multiple POV writing style focuses on world-building and large scope politics. Though his stories take place in a fictional world, his characters are realistically portrayed and grounded in reality.

When Andrew Gates is not writing, he enjoys running competitively and watching films.


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About the Book


The world thinks them dead. But they are very much alive. After a deadly attack from an unknown enemy, Captain Sara Gessetti and Lieutenant Damien Saljov are separated from the Cassidy X20 experimental submarine and left to drown in the depths of the Atlantic. Cut off from society, from technology, even from each other, both pilots struggle to survive in this harsh new world, where danger lurks around every corner. But they are not alone. The surface holds many dangers, and some of them come from within...

From the pages of The Color of Water and Sky, this official spinoff story takes place in parallel to books 1-3 in the series.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:


Carter opened his eyes and looked himself in the mirror. The suit fit him well. He was not accustomed to seeing himself so dressed up. He made sure his tie was straight, then ran his fingers through his hair.

He took a deep breath. This was it. This was the moment he had been waiting for.

Carter grabbed the holographic projector from the sink top and held it firmly in his sweaty hands.

"Here we go," he said aloud.

The 32-year-old engineer turned and walked out of the men's room. The black hall outside was bustling with well-dressed men and women, quickly making their way through the office complex. Carter tried not to get caught up in the excitement of it all. He held his projector firmly in hand and proceeded to the committee room. It did not take long to get there. He pressed on the thick door and hastily proceeded through.

Some of the elected officials, or EOs, were already present. Their chairs faced him as he entered the room. A massive crimson flag hung above their heads, adding a bit of color to this otherwise dark interior.

A young Navy guard in a white suit approached him.

"Name, sir?" the man asked. He looked about 20, not much older than Carter was when he first enlisted.

"Dr. Carter Brown," he answered. He pulled out his ID. "I am here for the hearing."

"My apologies, Dr. Brown. I did not know it was you. I expected someone..."

"Older?"

The Navy man was silent. He simply motioned to an empty chair behind a desk facing the EOs.

"Please," he said.

Carter followed the guard's order and took a seat behind the desk. A glass of water was already waiting for him. He instinctively took a sip as a few more EOs arrived and took their seats. It was not long before Deborah Otto, Chairwoman of the Oceanic Committee, arrived. Her bright white suit stood out in the world of black.

She took a seat and moved the microphone to her mouth.

"Good morning, everyone," she said. Her voice echoed throughout the room. "Thank you all for coming. I know it is never easy to come back to work after the New Year celebration."

This had been the first day back to work for most of the city following the bicentennial, but not for Carter. He had worked tirelessly over the last few days, making sure everything was right for his presentation.

"I would like to especially welcome our guest today, Dr. Carter Brown," Otto continued.

Carter was not sure how to respond to this introduction. He simply waved back. He felt the EOs glare back at him. He must have been doing it wrong.

"The purpose of this hearing today is to evaluate Dr. Brown's proposal to grant funding for the testing of his new exploratory ocean vessel. We will hear testimony firsthand from Dr. Brown himself and open the floor to questioning from members of this committee."

Otto paused and looked to her colleagues as if waiting for confirmation to proceed.

"Are we all ready?" she asked.

There were nods all around.

"Very well," Otto said, turning back to face the room again. "I see no reason to delay. Dr. Brown, I look forward to hearing what you have to say. The floor is yours."

Here it goes.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Embracing Hope by Janell Butler Wojtowicz

Janell Butler Wojtowicz, born and raised on an Iowa farm, was one of those kids who loved to write the dreaded “What I did on summer vacation” essay. It’s no surprise that she has spent her entire 30-year career in writing, including newspaper journalism, Christian higher education and nonprofit public relations, and local government public information. Much of her writing has been the “people stories” of trial, tragedy, and triumph, which are reflected in her debut novel, “Embracing Hope.” Janell is a freelance writer/editor, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She and her husband, Frank, live in New Brighton, Minnesota. She has two step-sons, a step-daughter-in-law, and three step-granddaughters.




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Christian college dean Drew McKinley mourns his dead wife and still wears his wedding ring. He stumbles on a desperate journey to understand God’s motives for her tragic death. Crossing his perilous path is Allison, a graduate student and new employee in the dean’s office. Even as she deals with financial hardships, she recognizes Drew’s unresolved grief from her own loss. Putting up a roadblock is Chris Whitney, the handsome but egotistical student senate president. He carries the secret burden of a dysfunctional family and a below-the-surface temper. The road Drew must navigate is fraught with career upheaval, a reawakening heart, substance and domestic abuse, a violent assault, and the struggle for forgiveness and restoration. Will Drew finish his journey to embrace the hope God offers, the love Allison shares, and the guidance Chris needs, or will he turn his back on all three with catastrophic consequences?

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Keep reading for an excerpt:


Drew wrung his hands. Something else was wrong. Mitch had never seen Drew visibly upset. Even during those first days after Kendra’s death and throughout counseling, he had never displayed much emotion beyond sadness, loneliness, and the inevitable questions. But tonight, the young man’s discomfort was painfully evident as his eyes darted about the room and he pulled the coat tighter around him.

“This isn’t just about chapel, is it?” Mitch asked.

Long seconds of silence passed. Then, finally, “I crossed the line,” he mumbled.

Mitch froze. “What line?”

Drew’s hand scraped through his hair again. “With a student. I … I hugged her.”

Mitch barely heard Drew’s whispered words.

“She was upset … and about to cry—” He jumped up and retreated to a dark corner of the room. “I—I could be in trouble with my job. They fire men for this. It’s…it’s sexual harassment! She could press charges!”

Mitch followed Drew, his heart accelerating. “Take it easy. Don’t panic. Explain slowly what happened.”

Drew backed against the wall, his arms stiff at his sides, hands fisted. “I don’t remember most of it…just hugging her. I’m not even sure what we were talking about before.”

“Where did this happen? Who was it?”

Drew stared at the floor. “My office. I didn’t do it on purpose and the door was wide open.” He shook his head. “I can’t tell you who… I don’t want to get her in trouble.”

Mitch released the question, but he already knew the answer. “Was it Allison Bennett?”

Drew’s head snapped up, fear-filled eyes wide.

Mitch placed a firm hand on Drew’s forearm afraid his friend would run out of the house. “Relax. I know you. It wasn’t sexual harassment, and I’m sure Allison realizes that, too.”

He steered Drew back to the couch. “You didn’t cross the line. You aren’t her professor. You aren’t her dean. You aren’t her direct supervisor. You’re both university employees and you’re both responsible and single adults.”

Drew twisted his ring. “I feel like I cheated on Kendra.”

“That’s a natural feeling. But it’s OK to move on, Drew, as hard as it seems right now. The bigger problem is you’ve been holding your emotions in too long and someday they’ll come out.” Mitch chuckled. “Actually, I think they leaked out this afternoon.”

Drew groaned and pinched the bridge of his nose. “This can’t be happening. It’s not right.”

“What do you think of Allison?” Mitch wondered.

His friend opened his mouth then closed it again. Was he even breathing? Finally, “I like her.”

“Obviously,” Mitch snickered. “Why?”

Drew looked up as if searching the sky. The silence stretched on and Mitch gave him a gentle pat on the back.

“Be honest.”

He inhaled deeply. “She’s genuine and honest. She doesn’t try to impress you or turn the attention on herself. She’s a bit negative at times, yet she’s also warm and supportive. But this afternoon, she was hurting, and I wanted to stop the hurt.”

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Journey from Skioria by Kandi J Wyatt



Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school, Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that's her own five or the hundreds of students she's been lucky to teach. When Kandi's not spinning words to create stories, she's using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.






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About the Book


Tania is lost, shipwrecked on an unfamiliar shore. With no friends or family, the nine-year-old girl must make her way through the realm of the woodland people to a town she's never heard of. With unexpected allies from the forest, Tania departs on a wild adventure where storms rage and the forces of nature do their very best to end her journey before it has truly begun.

In a land full of forests, oceans, and small people, what will it take for one young girl to make it home alive?

Lord of the Rings meets Narnia in this standalone middle-grade fantasy by author Kandi J Wyatt.

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Keep reading for an excerpt:


Incessant chattering reached Tania’s ears, along with bone-chilling cold on her back and great warmth on her face. It took a moment before she realized that the sound contained words.

“Say! What is this? Is it a man? Is he hurt? Say, he’s a she! Look at that beautiful hair! It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before! Wow, what would Fil say about that? Even the Avarians don’t have hair that shade of blond.”

Tania tried to move away from the cold underneath her, but she had no energy. Instead, she opened her eyes.

“I say, are you awake?” A brown, hairy face looked down at her. Deep brown eyes expressed concern.

Tania blinked and struggled to a sitting position. She rubbed a wet hand across her aching forehead. “How could I sleep with all that chatter? And Mom and Dad say I talk too much! I wish they could meet you.”

“Mom and Dad?” The man glanced around the wooded riverbed. “Where are they? Are they near here?”

Memories flooded back. Tania hung her head. “No. I … I don’t think so. I don’t know for sure.”

“You don’t know for sure? Why ever not?”

“I … I … I was on the boat. Mom tried to warn me, but the next thing I knew, I was in the water.” Tania wiped at her eyes but only managed to get her face wet. A shiver ran down her body. She climbed to her feet.

At first, she thought she’d landed in a state park because the only place she’d ever seen such clean woods had been in Honeyman State Park in Oregon. Next, she wondered if she were dreaming. The man beside her stood no taller than any other kid in her fourth-grade class, and yet he didn’t look like a dwarf or a midget.

The man’s forehead wrinkled as he looked down the waterway. “This river surely wouldn’t have gotten that bad. I mean I’ve seen it pretty rough, but even the old-timers have never seen an accident where people turned up on the bank.”

“Oh, this wasn’t on a river. We were enjoying a vacation and went crabbing.”

“You were out on the ocean!” The little man sat back on his heels. “How’d you make it into the river and here?”

“Well, I did have my life jacket on.” Tania tried to adjust the bright orange vest.

“Lifejacket? What’s that?” The man’s bushy eyebrows disappeared behind his hair.

“Don’t you know anything? It’s this here.” Tania unzipped the jacket.

“Oh, I thought it was just your vest to keep warm. Like mine.” He looped his thumb through the armhole of his buckskin-like vest, then adjusted his dark brown shirt at the collar. He smoothed his brown, leather pants.

Tania stared up into the trees. Their boughs obscured the sky but let streams of sunlight through. “Do you have any idea where I am?”

“That, I can answer. Oh, where ever are my manners? Let me introduce myself. I’m Trilicius. You’re just a half-hours’ walk from Skioria, my home. Why don’t you come with me, I can find a place for you for the night, and then we can see about getting you back to your parents.”

Monday, 6 November 2017

Devils A Collection of Devilish Short Fiction by Erik Henry Vick



Erik Henry Vick is an author who happens to be disabled by an autoimmune disease (also known as his Personal Monster™). He writes to hang on to the few remaining shreds of his sanity. His current favorite genres to write are dark fantasy and horror.

He lives in Western New York with his wife, Supergirl; their son; a Rottweiler named after a god of thunder; and two extremely psychotic cats. He fights his Personal Monster™ daily with humor, pain medicine, and funny T-shirts.

Erik has a B.A. in Psychology, an M.S.C.S., and a Ph.D. in Artificial Intelligence. He has worked as a criminal investigator for a state agency, a college professor, a C.T.O. for an international software company, and a video game developer.


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About the Book


Come, step inside the dark passageways of Erik Henry Vick’s mind. Come meet his friends, devils, one and all.

Robert is a war hero on his way down. Addicted to cocaine, wallowing in guilt, he meets a beautiful woman with the quirky habit of telling everyone she’s the devil.

Rick Bergen learns the true cost of revenge when he enters the world of the voodoo pantheon and meets the manifestation of vengeance.

Rena is kidnapped by polygamist extremists bent on creating an army for the apocalypse—by any means necessary.

An ancient evil has returned to stalk the shores of Lake Seneca. A colonial New Yorker, with the help of an Onondowaga warrior, must confront beings that can’t be killed or reasoned with.

A man is trapped in Rochester, NY by a massive snowstorm, but if he doesn't make his appointment in Buffalo, his entire bloody itinerary will be in jeopardy.

Mind your step. Don’t attract these devils’ attention.

Get it today on Amazon!


Keep reading for an interview with the author:


Why did you decide to be a writer?


I have always written -- stories, non-fiction, whatever. I started when I was seven, in order to win a contest hosted by my second-grade teacher. I wrote 70 single page stories to win a trip to McDonald's. As an adult, I got distracted by various things (academia, work, etc.), but was disabled about 8 years ago. I focused on writing fiction again as a way to cope with my disability.

Do you have a "day job"?


No, I'm disabled by a chronic illness (rheumatoid arthritis), also known as my Personal Monster (tm). Most recently, I was a professor teaching video game development.


What inspires you to write?


Stephen King and my Personal Monster (tm). Yeah, I know that sounds a bit strange, but it is true. When I was first disabled, I turned to fiction for solace. I read my favorite books again and again. Perhaps my all time favorite series is The Dark Tower, and as I was reading it a few years ago, I began to think about how much fun it would be to write something like it. At the time, computer use was very difficult--even sitting in an office chair for longer than 15 minutes was painful--but the idea wouldn't let go. I found a way--a modified sit-stand swing arm and a recliner, along with a bunch of gadgets to accommodate the variable nature of my disease. I also wanted to raise awareness about the disease, chronic illnesses, and life with an invisible disability. All of those things together became my novel, Errant Gods, which will be released this fall.

How long does it take you to write a novel?


This is actually a very difficult question to answer. Not only are most novels different lengths, but in my experience, each novel has a "personality" (for lack of a better word) of its own. Some just come running, others you have to chase a bit. Then there's the whole first draft vs. finished draft thing, which is a whole other can of worms. I can say that I've written a novel in a month (which was horrible and will never be published), and others have taken years. Then there's the whole Personal Monster (tm) thing. It delights in becoming the largest monkey wrench it can be.

If you could be one of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?


The character Hank Jensen (Errant Gods) is largely based on me, so definitely not him! I'd like to be Meuhlnir for a day (or century), maybe.


What is the most difficult thing you've ever researched?


In my novella, The Devil, the character Lily uses slang from multiple languages, including Mexican, Dominican, Hebrew, Russian, German, and Arabic. Keeping all that straight was tough.

What are your goals as an author?


Still writing and self-publishing.


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


Hands down, my disability. There are weeks and even months at a time when I can't be productive. Unproductive time like that can be the death knell of a novel -- the story dies, the characters become something else, the thread gets lost... One of the best tricks I have in my arsenal at the moment is something I stole from Stephen King -- the "next note." When I'm done writing for the day, I add a "next note" to the bottom of the manuscript. I write what happens next, and if I can't get back to it the next day, it's still there when I can. I also use OneNote to track ideas, characters, settings, etc., because I can get to it from any device.

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


A recent reader told me to think of her as "Constant Reader" (which is how Stephen King addresses his readers in his author's notes).


Have you ever had a particularly harsh critique?


Yes, of course. The thing is, all critiques are good. Even if they are bad. The worst critiques are the "vacuous" ones: things like "this sucks" without further comment. I can't do anything with that. I read every review, every critique, and try to learn from them.

What do you enjoy doing aside from writing?


Reading, joking around (with everyone), finding the best funny T-shirts.

If you were stranded on a deserted island, and you could only have five books with you, what would they be?


I would have to take 8. The Dark Tower books.

What made you decide to self-publish?


Not to sound like a broken record, but my illness imposes certain restrictions on me. I wrote my non-fiction book right before I was disabled, and meeting deadlines was a problem. With self-publishing, I am the deadline, so they're much easier to meet.

What fears do you have about writing and being an indie author?


Gaining traction with readers, really. I'm proactive about marketing--that's the only solution, I think.

Do you write in first or third person, past or present tense, and why?


All of the above. I don't like present tense much, but when it makes sense, I use it.

Are you a pantser or outliner?


Pantser!

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


I write from experience, but as a horror writer, my imagination definitely gets in its licks.

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 think it would be cool to have Hank Jensen meet Roland Deschain. They would argue about firearms most likely.

How do you market/promote your work?


I do social media and have spent the past few months building a mailing list, and from there, a launch team of readers who are very interested in my writing.


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


I am very thankful to have readers. I'd love to hear from you!

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A.R. Brown A.S. Crowder Alessandra Torre Alexander Wallis Alexis Lantgen Ali Cross Alistair Cross Allison D. Reid Amber McCarty Amie Irene Winters Amy Koppelman Amy Rose Bennett Anais Chartschenko Andrea R. Cooper Andrew Daly Andrew Gates Annette Montez Kolda Archer Kay Leah Artemis Crow Arthur M. Doweyko Ben Jackson Beth Schulman Betty Jean Craige Bluette Matthey Brent A. Harris Brent Ayscough Brooklyn Ann C H Clepitt C.B. MacGillavry C.M. Huddleston Carl Schmidt Carol Ann Kauffman Caroline A. DeJong Carolyn Watts Catherine Green CC Hogan Cesario Picca Charlotte Henley Babb Cheri Lasota Cheri Schmidt Chris Berman Chris Sarantopoulos Christa Wojciechowski Christine Haggerty Christopher Mannino Christy Lynn Abram CJ Matthew Connie Johnson Hambley Connie Lacy Connie T. Colon Coreena McBurnie D. Odell Benson D.B. Mauldin D.H. Gibbs Dan Sofer Darke Conteur Debbie Manber Kupfer Diana Strenka Dimitri Sarantis E. A. Barker E.E. Smith E.P. Clark Elaine LeClaire Elizabeth Raven Elizabeth Stephens Ellie Douglas Erik Henry Vick Erin Bedford Fiona Skye Francis H.Powell Frankie Bailey G H Neale Genevieve Raas Gerrie Ferris Finger Gina Briganti Gino Bardi Glenn McGoldrick Grant Leishman H.M. Jones Herta Feely Iris Sweetwater Ismael Manzano J Lenni Dorner J.D.R. Hawkins J.J. White J.L. Hendricks J.N. Sheats Jack Brutus Penny Jada Ryker Jamie Cortland Jan Marie Janell Butler Wojtowicz Jayme Beddingfield Jean Lowe Carlson Jeffrey Bardwell Jeffrey M. Thompson Jr. Jesse Teller Jessica Lauryn JESSie NW Joshua Robertson Joyce McPherson Judy Alter Julie Anne Addicott K. K. Harris Kandi J Wyatt Katharine Grubb Kelly Wilson Kerry Watts Kim Alexander Kirsten Campbell KJ Hawkins Lacey Dancer Lakshmi Raj Sharma Larry Watts Laura Elvebak LB Gilbert Lee Dunning Lincoln Cole Linda Lee Kane Lonnie Ostrow Lorana Hoopes Louise Findlay M. Black M. Handy M.E. May M.G. Marshall M.J. Evans M.J. Moores Maggie Kast Mara Powers Maria Grazia Swan Maria Riegger Mark Pannebecker Mark Piggott Mary M Schmidt Melissa A. Joy Melissa Barker-Simpson Melissa Saari Mohy Omar Nan Klee Nat Hobson Nichole Giles Nicole Chason Olly Cunningham P.J. Nunn P.R. Principe Paul Briggs Paul Lonardo Piken Sander Quan Williams Quanie Miller R.R. Brooks Radine Trees Nehring Randall Lemon Rebecca Jaycox Renee Scattergood Rita Emmett RJ Mirabal RM James Robin Deeter Robin Leigh Anderson Ronelle Antoinette Roxanne Heath S. M. Sevón S.J. Cairns S.L. Smith Sadia Ash Samantha Bryant Samantha E. Payne Scott T Evans Shanna Lauffey Shaun Hume Stephanie Baruffi Sue Owens Wright Sylvie Stewart Tabi Slick Tabitha Barret Tahlia Newland Tam May Tara Botel Doherty Taren Reese Ocoda Teiran Smith Thomas Duder Tim Baker Tim W Byrd TK Lawyer Tom Fallwell Tonya Coffey Tracy Shew Tricia Copeland V.M. Sang Vanya Ferreira Vijaya Gowrisankar Whitney Rines Wren Figueiro