Sunday, February 27, 2011

Darklands by Donna Burgess

Halloween night, twenty years ago, college student Susan Archer watched as her beloved twin brother was brutally murdered at the hands of a stranger she invited into their home. Still haunted by the guilt of that night, Susan is now a tough but bitter cop in a nowhere town, trying as best she can to lead a normal life. When she is nearly killed during a wild shoot-out, she realizes she is not as strong as she first thought.

Fearing a breakdown, she flees the confines of her safe boyfriend and familiar surroundings to find salvation in the arms of “Deathwalker” Devin McCree—the very man who killed her brother.

But things aren’t always what they seem and she quickly realizes Devin was not the monster she originally thought, but a kind of guardian angel instead.

On the run from a crazed Nazi vampire-hunter named Kasper, she and Devin must find a way to endure the dreary urban landscape of a dying metropolis and escape Kasper’s wrath.

About the Author:

Donna Burgess was born at the end of the 1960's and has been writing since she was able to hold a pencil. She has been published in numerous genre anthologies, magazines and websites as author, poet, artist or editor. She lives on the South Carolina coast with her two children and husband, Dan.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Listen to Your Heart by Margaret Lake

World War I - Lena Manning is barely 20 years old and already a war widow with a baby on the way. Her church takes care of her, gives her employment and wraps her in its secure world. When the bishop appoints a new pastor, a young, handsome widower, she is forced to seek other employment to avoid any hint of scandal.

Her new job as social secretary to the wife of a wealthy New York banker thrusts her into a seductive world of money and privilege. When the son of the house pursues her, he awakens feelings she thought long dead.

Can she survive his secrets or will fear send her running back to the security of her church and the pastor who waits for her there?

About the Author:
I was born in New Jersey, but moved to Florida when I was 13. Reading has always been my favorite activity, even as a child. I've been downsizing and have probably donated 5,000 books in the past several years. I still have seven book cases crammed full and I can't even count how many on my Kindle.

My other passion is history, especially English History. I think my interest really began when I read "Catherine" by Anya Seton. When the inspiration came to write my first book, I naturally gravitated to the Wars of the Roses because of that book.

My favorite author is Susan Howatch, my favorite book is "Outlander" and my favorite series is Harry Potter. I lead a Harry Potter book club at the elementary school and help with the chess club.

I'm still waiting for the rescue kitty lady to find me a kitty I can rescue.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland by Barbara Silkstone

A murder by beheading sends Alice Harte, reluctant real estate broker for thugs, running into the arms of Nigel Channing, a charming British con man.

This urban fantasy is set in Miami and London. Fans of Stephanie Plum will cheer for Alice as she watches her back in attempting to keep her head, while being stalked by Nigel's daft ex-wife and inept, but dangerous mobsters. Alice's world is filled with memorable characters strangely reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland. She's guided through her dangerous adventure by her own Cheshire Cat.

Nigel, a chubby John Cleese with serious dress-code problems, whisks Alice to England. Alice sees him as her White Rabbit rescuer. The plot trips along at a cracking pace with Alice flinging zingers like a drive-by shooter.

After Alice discovers a gangster's freshly beheaded body in his Miami mansion, she launches a desperate self-defense in a kangaroo court. The main witness against her is Algy Green, a bumbling cockney swindler who super-glues his bat wing ears to his head and commits perjury for theme park tickets. But in the middle of the trial a small piece of evidence opens her eyes.

About the Author:
When you're a freelance writer with a quirky sense of humor, being in the right place at the right time helps a lot. If I just stand still for five minutes... wham! Something funny and worth writing about will happen to me. I've accidentally sky dived, been elected president of the Japan American Society (I'm not Japanese), been stalked by crazies, and ran off with a real life White Rabbit.

I'm a single mother, living on the edge in South Florida. My background includes parochial school, commercial real estate, public speaking, teaching, and church administration. My writing history is equally as diverse. I started an underground newspaper in grade school and was threatened with excommunication by the nuns. After being published in the horror genre, I was fortunate enough to take part in writing workshops with Stephen King, Robert B. Parker, and James Michener.

I enjoy doing playful things with language, blending two distinct words to create a new word. If I'm laughing out loud when I'm writing, then I know I've hit the mark. I'm working on Wendy & the Lost Boys right now. I laugh so loud while I'm writing that the neighborhood committee has asked me to move.

For six years I traveled the United States listening to men reveal their darkest secrets for my book, The Adventures of a Love Investigator, 527 Naked Men & One Woman. When I was finished with my adventure, I realized the only man I should have interviewed was Lewis Carroll, unfortunately he was long gone. So I set out to pay homage to his logic by re-telling Alice in Wonderland in a contemporary setting. The result is The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters ~ comedy thriller that takes place between Miami and London.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Guest Post by Tracy Falbe, Author of Union of Renegades

Tracy is the author of Union of Renegades. Her book is on tour this week through AuthorAdvenTours, and we are proud to be one of her tour stops. Tracy has kindly written a guest post for us on the art of killing off your characters. Enjoy!

Killing characters - A fantasy writer confesses her sins

by Tracy Falbe

I have blood on my hands. The blood is fictional, but I still feel bad. As the author of four fantasy novels, I've killed a few people. Honestly I don't like doing it, but when you have epic battles and backwoods skirmishes and slavering beasts, you simply must kill people. If everyone always lived, then it would not be the least bit reasonable. If everyone is going to be waving swords around, then people must get hurt. That's just how it is.

Such facts do not make it any easier to kill. I even put off writing a chapter when I know I have to basically shoot Old Yeller. I try to write every day, but when it's time to let the axe fall, I'll start procrastinating. I'll also reconsider the whole thing. Maybe I can save him! All I have to do is NOT kill him. But these eleventh hour pleadings never sway my cold writer's heart. If someone must die, then he or she must die. It is written, or at least it will be as soon as I write it.

The hardest death scenes to write are when I have to kill someone I like. When my mom read my fantasy series The Rys Chronicles, she complained that I killed her favorite character. I totally sympathized. I loved him too, but he served the story best by making the ultimate sacrifice. To be honest, I aim to make the characters I kill likable so I can gain more emotional impact when they kick the bucket.

I don't kill everyone I like. I hardly reach the fifth act of Hamlet levels, but for the sake of telling a strong story, I do send the occasional character to the next world. I am trying to be dramatic, and the death card makes a strong hand when you're telling a story. I'm a fan of Frank Herbert's Dune, and his killing of Duke Leto really got to me. I never got over that literary death, which is strange because Leto is only in a few chapters, but his presence was so monumental. He was an icon of just leadership, and his death was a blow to all that was good. I aspire to this level of impact.

Murder has consequences too. Killing characters is a dangerous business with readers. They might not forgive you, but if I've actually upset a reader with a character death, then at least I have touched that reader on an emotional level. He or she was wrapped up in my creation enough to care. When I kill a character I'm hoping that the reader will become more tightly bound to the surviving characters and share in their grief.

Tracy Falbe is the author of Union of Renegades, The Goddess Queen, Judgment Rising, and The Borderlands of Power that comprise The Rys Chronicles fantasy series.

About Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I - Have you ever looked at the facts of your life and realized your dreams won't come true? Have you ever looked into the unknown and seen opportunity? For Dreibrand Veta, a young officer in the Horde of the Atrophane Empire, these questions explode from his spirit in a fit of rage and launch him into an epic struggle. After he encounters a rare super race, the rys, he is forced to choose sides between passionate rivals and navigate his way through a foreign culture all while plotting to seize his own wealth and glory.

Fantasy readers can sample the first novel Union of Renegades by downloading a free copy from her website Paperbacks available too.

All her fantasy novels are also widely available at major online retailers.

Amazon Kindle
Barnes & Noble Nook
Google Ebooks
Apple iBooks

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Summer Solstice by Gayle Hayes

When an old woman falls while answering her doorbell at one o'clock in the morning on the SUMMER SOLSTICE of 2010, her niece enters the same orbit as a dangerous and diverse group of people whom she otherwise never would have known.

JAYME BAKER appears to be in her thirties and is attractive, newly divorced, and hopes to write nature stories for children someday. She leaves her "dream job" to become caregiver to her aunt, CORA, in Port Owen, Montana, nestled on the shores of Flathead Lake, a tourist attraction. Jayme meets SHERIFF R. BATES RIGGS on the plane to Montana. He is a disgruntled former FBI agent who is still sexy at fifty-five, plays jazz piano, and photographs wildlife instead of mounting them on his wall. He is the son of a Native American mother and "a high roller from back east by way of Texas who had a good job with the Bureau of Indian Affairs under Eisenhower."

Jayme rides to Port Owen with the sheriff, who loans her his car when he leaves to investigate an accident. This "sensible decision" leads to the first of three crimes where Jayme finds herself a victim of the type of people she has seen only from a distance as a criminal paralegal. Seemingly minor crimes have tragic consequences. The story moves quickly as the crimes and criminals overlap. As companion to the sheriff, Jayme is privy to the investigation of a series of murders. Jayme's attention to detail and analytical mind make her a valuable sidekick. A "quirk" in her personality compels her to follow a good mystery.

If you long for a wholesome, old-fashioned love story with an admirable hero and heroine in believable predicaments and enjoy solving a mystery, SUMMER SOLSTICE will not disappoint.

About the Author:

Gayle (Evankovich) Hayes was bitten by the writing bug while a student at Sacred Heart Grade School when she won the American Legion award for her essay on the American Flag. At Butte High School, the newspaper editor opted not to publish her story, The Snail, which was a torrid, ill-fated romance on the beach. Instead, the editor wanted a "cat's eye view of Christmas." Undaunted, Gayle went on to major in English and graduate from Montana State University at Bozeman. Her flirtation with words developed into a love of the language and its possibilities while at the university. She published one poem, Pyrogenic Meditation. Several years later, she wrote a humorous column, A Piece of My Mind, for the Montana Standard, her hometown newspaper. Then Gayle took a shot at screenwriting before putting her typewriter away. For the next sixteen years, she took on a fixer-upper in the country. By the time the house was just right, Gayle was ready for a change. She enrolled at the University of Montana College of Technology in Missoula, Montana at age 54 to become a paralegal. She discovered the creative embers were still alive when she wrote essays for Comp 101. Gayle graduated with high honors and went to work for the Missoula County Attorney in the Criminal Division. When she retired in 2009, she was putting the finishing touches on a new home in the Bitterroot Valley south of Missoula. Although it had again been several years since she wrote creatively, Gayle was inspired to write about the small delights she observed while at the creek on the property. Then one day, she realized she had waited long enough for an idea worthy of a novel. Gayle sat at the computer determined to write something or give up on the Dream once and for all. The characters came to life and would not let her rest until she told their story. The result is her first novel, SUMMER SOLTICE.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lost on Spirit River by Tommy Batchelor

For ages 12 and up. Thirteen-year-old Tony's parents are in the middle of divorce, his mother sends him to his Grandpa's along the banks of the Flint River in Southwestern Georgia. With his younger cousin Kathryn, they set out to look for a Christmas tree for the holidays, along with Grandpa's aging beagle, Sally. The three become lost in a snowstorm, which has not hit Georgia in three hundred years. Finding shelter in a hidden cave, stumbling upon Native American art. Now the adventure begins... In Lost on Spirit River, author Tommy Batchelor has written an entertaining young-adult novel with a multi-pronged message. He uses suspense and adventure to capture his audience's attention...The dialogue is crisp...The characters are well developed... Readers glimpse the spirit world of ancient native tribes in a way that will stir imaginations...Kim Reale's illustrations solidify the images already created by Batchelor's exceptional ability to describe scenes and setting. Highly Recommended by William Potter for Reader's Choice Book Reviews.

About the Author:

Growing up in central Georgia gave Author Tommy Batchelor many outdoor adventures either in the woods or along the banks of the Flint River. "Lost on Spirit River", is Book 1 of the Spirit River Trilogy and Tommy's first Middle grade fiction for ages 8-12. Tommy resides in Middle Georgia with his wife, Cathy.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Luminous and Ominous by Noah M Mullette-Gillman

If you had three days’ warning of the end of civilization and a safe place to hide:

What would you take with you? Who would you save?

And who would you leave behind?

Henry Willingham and his friends have three days to make the most terrifying decisions of their lives. The world has been infected by an inescapable living nightmare of alien vegetation that will replace all life on Earth. They must get everyone they love safely underground into a fallout shelter. There's not enough time. There’s not enough room for everyone. Who will they save? Who will they leave behind?

How will they live with the consequences?

After hiding underground for a year, the last three survivors must brave the otherworldly infestation and travel through what used to be upstate New York struggling for their lives and their humanity.

About the Author:

Noah Mullette-Gillman was born in Montclair, New Jersey. He spent his childhood there, as well as in the town of Manly, Australia, and the woods of Upstate New York. He earned a multidisciplinary degree in Philosophy and Creative Writing at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.
His favorite color is blue.
His favorite number is 8.
His favorite song is currently Moment of Surrender.
He thinks better and more clearly as the day goes on, arguably climbing to his intellectual summit in the middle of the night, when the world has gone to sleep and he can think without any interfering broadcasts from other brains.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wizards by John Booth

Jake has a secret hidden in his bedroom, under the carpet. It is a game that every child knows and plays. But for Jake, there is one small difference. This game takes him to strange and wonderful worlds. He calls it hopscotch and it helps him find missing people. It helped him find Jenny.

Jake is a wizard but he doesn’t have a clue.

But that’s not all; Jake has yet another secret, hidden away in the attic. It’s an accident, a strange object from another world. Jake has forgotten about this secret, but that’s all about to change. Because this secret is about to hatch!

Jenny doesn’t think Jake is weird - she likes weird. Princess Esmeralda of Salice thinks Jake should repay past mistakes. Evil wizards, kingdoms at war, chases, rescues, an offer he can’t refuse …

Jake is a wizard and his life is about to get interesting.

About the Author:
Hi, my name is John and I am a writer.

I had always dabbled in writing but in late 2006 I discovered I could write novels and in the next two and a half years I wrote 16 of them. To be honest, at that stage they weren't very good because I hadn't found my voice.

I joined Authonomy and spend a year editing and promoting a book called Shaddowdon to win a gold star. Harper Collins reviewed that book and their review was very positive.

Somewhere along the way I found out how to write and I went back and selected some of the best of those novels I'd written and kicked them into shape. Three publishers have found those books good enough to publish and the first two are now in print. Shaddowdon and others are in the pipeline.

I write because I find it highly enjoyable. I also get a kick out of others enjoying my stories. What could possibly be better?


This week's featured author: Susanne Lambdin

Susanne's love for Star Trek took her to Los Angles in the late '80s. She is best known for her 'based in part' contribut...