Thursday, June 28, 2012

Authorsday: Cathy Tully

1.) Thirteen years ago, my eight-year-old daughter sat on my lap and asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I couldn’t answer her, thus began my search to find something that interested me. After all, both my girls would grow up and find lives someday, so should I. I saw an ad for The Institute of Children’s Literature and filled out the form and sent it in. I took a test and received a high mark. I checked out their curriculum and decided to give writing children’s book a try. I finished the course eighteen months later. The teacher and I became good friends and she introduced me to an editor at Kidhaven Press. She opened the door but I had to get myself inside. I wrote three chapters and an outline, revised three times and was offered a contract to finish NEBRASKA for Kidhaven Press in 2004. It’s still available on Amazon. Timing, however, was against me because library sales were low and publishing houses were using their stable of authors and weren’t taking on new authors. So…..the editor who became a friend suggested I write a romance. I almost laughed out loud. Right a romance. Hah! What did I know about writing romance? So I went to a second hand bookstore and bought an entire box of romance books. I had to have at least eighty. I spent the next three months reading and reading and reading. I hated a lot of them and didn’t finish half of them. But the ones I loved were keepers. There’s a saying among writers “write what you know” and “read who you want to write like.” Reading all those books helped me discover what I wanted to write and the authors I aspired to be like. The rest is history as they say, I’ve been writing romance since and haven’t looked back. 2.) I’ve been writing twelve years and have received countless rejections. At first I used to keep the rejections. Why? I don’t know. This business is very subjective. What one editor hates, another loves. You learn to grow a thick skin and sooner or later, rejections don’t affect you anymore. Now form rejections are used as scrap paper in my house : ) 3.) I picked romance because I love a happily ever after. I like to give myself over to the story and the suspension of disbelief and let go. I think most people who read romance also read it as an escape from the everyday; the mundane, and I couldn’t agree more. I write women’s fiction, Contemporary romance and Sweet romance. Some people say you should pick one and stay with it. I say, how can I tell all these people in my head to take a number and shut the heck up? When stories come to you, they come to you, and I have to get them out of my head : ) I think most writers will understand this. So, for now I write three different genres. 4.) When I first began writing romance I didn’t plot very much and I found myself being blocked a lot so I started plotting more and more as time went by. Today I plot a lot although I’ve never plotted an entire book, scene by scene. I usually have a firm grasp on the beg, mid and end, and scenes I’d like to see in between. However, I do find the more I plot, the faster I can write the book, and this still allows me plenty of room to be creative. 7.) The name of my first novel is, HEARTSTRINGS. No, I’ve not published it yet. I’m hoping to find time to revise now that I know sooooo much more about writing. Each time we write a book is another exercise in becoming a better writer. I’ve written five books and this month will publish my first, ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE, with Astraea Press. It will be available for download this Thursday, June 28th on Amazon.com. 10.) The best writing advice I’ve ever gotten was ‘don’t let anyone change your writing voice.’ I’d been involved in a few critique groups before the one I am currently a member of, and let me tell you, when you’re first starting out it’s easy to listen to other people about how you should be writing because as beginners we have little to no self-confidence. It took a friend from Texas to read something of mine before and after my then crit group had at it, to say, ‘what are you doing?’ Your voice is funny, light and real. I don’t know who this is? It was a necessary wake up call for me. A lot of writers will ask, how do you find your voice? All I can say is for me it happened over time. With better writing skills, more confidence and a good feeling about what I wanted to write, out came my voice. Honestly, I haven’t been able to shut it up since : ) 17.) My writing strength is my ability to write tight eliminating unnecessary words, etc. However, lately my strength is working against me : ) When we write romance it’s not always possible to keep emotion short and sweet. We have to clue the reader into what the hero/heroine are thinking in a way they can understand and still enjoy the ride they’re taking with your story. This is hard to do if after you read a sentence you want to delete the next two. What can I say? It’s a work in progress for me, one I’m sure I’ll master sooner or later : ) 19.) My writing schedule has changed drastically over the past few years. Once I began getting rejection letters that were detailed and the editorial points were ones I couldreally use, I started to incorporate them into my book and write every day. Even if it was a half an hour, I got into the habit of writing everyday. Now that I’ve sold, I’m so glad I started this a year or so ago because once you sell, editors want more from you and isn’t that why we’re in this business? To write and sell books? 27.) My favorite thing about ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE is the dog, Little Man. His character is based on our family dog, whom we lost last August to illness. Little Man was with us for nine glorious years and this book is the biggest tribute I could ever pay him. Anyone who has had or has a dog or cat they love more than will understand my love for him. Here is my Blurb: Jack DeVane is on the fast track to becoming CEO of Cunningham Coffee and nothing will get in his way. Until...a little dog wanders into his condo and a beautiful dog walker wanders into his heart. Caitlyn Stiles has one dream. To take over the family business. When she returns from college and learns this is no longer an option, she travels to Promise, Massachusetts to take care of her grandmother and takes a job as a part-time dog walker. Can one sweet, little dog teach Jack there's more to life than just work? Teach Caitlyn, to let go of her resentment? And teach both of them that ALL THEY NEED IS LOVE? ------ Cathy Tully has spent the last eight years writing Sweet Romance, Contemporary Romance and Women’s Fiction. Prior to romance, she wrote a children’s non-fiction book titled, NEBRASKA for Kidhaven Press in 2004.. Her first Sweet Romance, ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE, is available this June through Astraea Press. A Member of Romance Writer’s Of America, The Liberty States Fiction Writers, and The Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators, Cathy is a firm believer in continually honing her craft. Cathy can be found on Facebook and at www.cathytully.com. A born and bred Jersey girl, Cathy lives in central New Jersey with her husband, Joe, and their two daughters.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ExcerpTuesday: Donna Galanti

Excerpt from A Human Element (paranormal suspense/Echelon Press 2012) by Donna Galanti Ben Fieldstone meets the Man in Black: “I am not here to hurt you,” the man said when Ben shrunk into the rock. “I’m going to cut the ropes.” In a few swift movements he slit the ropes binding Ben, who staggered back. The man caught him and held him up, then ripped off the duct tape. “Who are you?” Ben’s body trembled from the rush of fear and a fierce headache pounded in his temple. The man didn’t answer. He bent over one of the dead Samoans and pulled out a wallet. He looked inside and threw it at Ben. “It’s yours.” Then the man led him by the arm up the overgrown path. Ben looked back at the dead men sprawled face down. They oozed like two fat walruses sunning themselves in the moonlight. “Don’t worry about them,” the man said. “I’ll dump them later, somewhere they’ll never be found.” In a daze, Ben followed his savior along the rough road, stumbling behind him in the dim moonlight. “I’ll take you back to base and you’re on your own,” the man said once they reached his car, parked off the main road. “Don’t speak of this to anyone. Understand?” Ben nodded and climbed in the car. He looked over at the stranger in black who had saved him. His mammoth biceps flexed as he drove, hunched over the wheel. The man’s body looked crushed in the sedan. Ben turned to the window and closed his eyes. He had so many questions jumbled in his head. The wind blew soft on his face as they sped down the mountain curves. Giddiness rose in him from the pit of his stomach to his throat. He bent over his knees with laughter. He laughed and laughed and then he sobbed with relief. He would live. Just like when he chose to save himself from his foster father. But this time a stranger chose for him to live. The man looked over at him, both hands gripping the wheel. “Get yourself together,” he warned Ben. “I know what those bastards planned to do to you. This island is a cesspool of crap.” Ben stared at him, and then a memory flickered. “You were at my foster mother’s funeral. Why are you following me? Why save me?” “I’m an interested party. Leave it at that.” “I can’t. I would have died up there for sure.” The man didn’t respond. “Thank you.” The man looked at Ben. His green eyes glowed in the moonlight that filtered into the car. “Someday you might not thank me. Someday you might not survive.” About A HUMAN ELEMENT: One by one, Laura Armstrong’s friends and adoptive family members are being murdered, and despite her unique healing powers, she can do nothing to stop it. The savage killer haunts her dreams, tormenting her with the promise that she is next. Determined to find the killer, she follows her visions to the site of a crashed meteorite–her hometown. There, she meets Ben Fieldstone, who seeks answers about his parents’ death the night the meteorite struck. In a race to stop a mad man, they unravel a frightening secret that binds them together. But the killer’s desire to destroy Laura face-to-face leads to a showdown that puts Laura and Ben’s emotional relationship and Laura’s pure spirit to the test. With the killer closing in, Laura discovers her destiny is linked to his and she has two choices–redeem him or kill him. Reviewers are saying… “A HUMAN ELEMENT is an elegant and haunting first novel. Unrelenting, devious but full of heart. Highly recommended.” –Jonathan Maberry, New York Times best-selling author of DEAD OF NIGHT “A HUMAN ELEMENT is a haunting look at what it means to be human. It’s a suspenseful ride through life and love…and death, with a killer so evil you can’t help but be afraid. An excellent read.” –Janice Gable Bashman, author of WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE, nominated for a Bram Stoker Award. BIO: Donna Galanti is the author of the paranormal suspense A Human Element. She has a B.A. in English and a background in marketing. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Horror Writers Association, SCBWI, The Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group, and Pennwriters. She lives with her family in an old farmhouse in PA with lots of nooks, fireplaces, and stinkbugs. Visit her at: www.donnagalanti.com (http://blog.donnagalanti.com/wp/) Connect with Donna here: Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/DonnaGalanti Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DonnaGalantiAuthor Blog: http://blog.donnagalanti.com/wp/ Link to book cover A HUMAN ELEMENT here: Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Human-Element-Donna-Galanti/dp/1590808762/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Authorsday: Peg Cochran

When did you know you wanted to be a writer? I was around seven years old, and I’d just read my first Nancy Drew. I decided right then that that was what I wanted to do—write books. I even found the perfect spot in our neighborhood to hide a body! Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants? Mostly I plot although not necessarily every single scene. If I knew exactly what I was going to write, I would feel as if the story had already been told, and I wouldn’t want to write the book. But I do need plot points to write toward—inciting event, end of act one, big reversal at the mid-point, end of act two, the black moment and the resolution. I also learned about “pinch points” from author CJ Lyons—they come on either side of your mid-point and are usually an “emotional” turning point for your character. So I basically have a road map but there’s still room for the occasional detour! How many rejections have you received? Ha! I started submitting seriously in 1997 so…a lot. I did track agent rejections over the course of a two year period where I was circulating three different manuscripts. I had over 400 rejections in just that period. What was the best writing advice someone gave you? Don’t quit. If I’d quit after 200 of those rejections, I wouldn’t be looking forward to my first two books coming out in August and September! What’s your writing schedule? I usually write on my lunch hour (day job) instead of going out. Then I might write a little before dinner and while cooking dinner (and hope I don’t get so into the book that I burn the meal!) and for a bit after dinner. If a deadline is approaching, I try to grab a bigger chunk of time on the weekends. But I’m always thinking about the book so even walking the dog can be productive if I iron out a plot problem. If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be? What’s the one thing that makes you put down a book and not pick it up again. Where do you write? I write for an hour at my desk at work during my lunch break. At home, I have a desk in the kitchen where I write while I keep an eye on the dinner cooking. Our family room has a huge comfy chair where I like to sit with my laptop (and my dog Reg is almost always curled up right next to me—he’s quite convinced he’s my muse!). I do have a bedroom that’s been turned into an “office” and if I’m going to work for any length of time I go up there. What was the name of the first novel you wrote? Did you try to publish it? I don’t remember the name—it was a romance and I sent it to Harlequin. It promptly came winging back! I’m sure it was terrible. That was “back in the day” as my kids say, before computers so you had to type the whole thing and make a photocopy. Arduous! My first “real” attempt at getting published was in 1997 and the book was a mystery titled A Rogue’s Gallery—set in a NYC gallery. I was managing a gallery at the time which was owned by Pierre Matisse, the son of the artist Henri Matisse. I figured I’d go with what I knew. I got an agent for it but she was unable to sell that book or the two I wrote subsequently. I put the writing on hold for a few years and then went back at it again. What authors do you admire? Mysteries are my first love, and I’m drawn to English authors or American authors who write about England like Deborah Crombie. I love P.D. James—her sense of language is phenomenal. Peter Robinson is another favorite—his characters are so real, and he’s done a great job of showing their growth over the course of his series What place that you haven’t visited would you like to go? I’ve been fortunate enough to have done a fair amount of traveling already—Europe, the Far East, the Caribbean. But I haven’t been to Italy yet, and I’m dying to go! I’m half Italian, and I have this feeling that I’ll be very at home there. Plus all that delicious food and wine! And they say that even middle-aged women get whistled at in Rome which certainly doesn’t happen here! BOOK BLURB Allergic to Death by Peg Cochran Business is looking up for Gigi's Gourmet De-Lite, thanks to her newest client, restaurant reviewer Martha Bernhardt. Martha has the clout to put Gigi's personal meal plans on everyone's lips. But instead of dropping a few pounds, Martha drops dead from a severe peanut allergy...right after eating one of Gigi's signature dishes. When the distractingly debonair Detective Mertz identifies traces of peanut oil in Martha's last meal, Gigi suddenly finds her diet catering business on the chopping block. Now she'll have to track down who tampered with her recipe before her own goose is cooked. Includes delicious--and healthy--recipes! Bio: Peg grew up in a New Jersey suburb about 25 miles outside of New York City. After her first husband died, Peg remarried, and her new husband took a job in Grand Rapids, MI where they now live (on exile from NJ, she likes to joke). Peg managed to segue from the art world to marketing and is now the manager of marketing communications for a company that provides services to seniors. Her greatest love though has always been writing-particularly mysteries! She has two cozy mystery series debuting from Berkley Prime Crime-the Gourmet De-Lite series set in Connecticut in August and the Sweet Nothings Vintage Lingerie series, written as Meg London, set in Paris, TN in September. She also has a humorous mystery, Confession Is Murder, first in the Patron Saint Mystery Series, available now for Kindle.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

MFRW Summer Camp: Savannah Chase

As authors we know that marketing is one of the most important things to be able to do and learn. Marketing is what gets our face, our book, and our brand out there for the world to see. We know the struggle we face especially when we are first starting out. There are so many web sites, social networks and everyone has their own advice to give you with what you should or shouldn’t do. I remember starting out and having to learn about everything that had anything to do with getting my name and my books out there. I had very few people to give me advice or show me the ropes. Point me in the right direction. It was trial and error and reading a lot of articles and blogs. Learning as you go along. Now being a part of Marketing For romance Writers I only wish I’d known about this place during that time. In such a short amount of time I’ve had the honor of meeting so many wonderful people who have been so open to teach you and guide you in new ways to market yourself and your work. This group of authors is not just teachers but they are friends and colleagues. You can ask questions, get feedback, and learn through workshops. There is always someone who is willing to answer your questions and if need be hold your hand while you take the first step of marketing. Everyone is so supportive and I love that about the group. If you’ve not had the chance to stop by and join I suggest you do. You will not regret being a part of this truly fantastic group. There will always be something to learn especially since times are changing. Marketing is not what it used to be. You have social networks, blogs, web sites, and so many other things that you can utilize for your marketing plan. The perfect time to join is now, especially since we have a Writers Summer Camp coming up. Savannah Opportunity Knocks at Marketing For Romance Writers Summer Camp. Open the door to: SEEK, TEACH, LEARN, SHARE, SUCCEED...and discover MFRW'S MOTTO of Achievement Join FREE- http://is.gd/mfrwgroup FREE MFRW Summer Camp July 14-15 Here are some testimonials of the amazing experience authors have had being a part of Marketing for Romance Writers Through the MFRW, I learned about a wonderful promotions company, who is organizing an upcoming virtual book tour for my two newly released short novels. (Karen Mueller Bryson, creator of Short on Time Books: Fast paced and fun novels for readers on the go!) MFRW: Everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask... Sign up @http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MarketingForRomanceWriters/ Another Testimonial from Marketing for Romance Writers... MFRW helped me discover new and unique ways to market my work and my brand to my readers. Savannah Chase, author of Bid for Love. Satisfy Your Desire., Indulge the Temptation.... MFRW: A must for every writer's career. Sign up - It's FREE http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MarketingForRomanceWriters/ MFRW is an invaluable resource to all authors both new and established. Shashauna P. Thomas' Passions (Where Erotica is Limitless) MFRW: A compass for writers around the globe. Sign up - it's FREE! http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MarketingForRomanceWriters/

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

ExceprTuesday E.F. Watkins

Excerpt from ONE BLOOD, E. F. Watkins, Ch. 12: “You’re wearing your glasses again today,” Kat commented, when they met in the museum lobby. Sharpay used one finger to rebalance them on the bridge of his arched nose. “I mainly need them during the daytime. I have a slight vision problem that is worsened by too much light.” She gestured left. “Then why don’t we start with the Permanent galleries? The lighting there tends to be more subdued.” They strolled into the first of these, devoted to Northern and Italian Renaissance art. Now and then, Sharpay would compare a work by a 14th-century Dutch painter to something he’d seen at the Riksmuseum, or an Italian madonna-and-child to one hanging in the Uffizi in Florence. Kat reflected that, instead of her giving him a tour, it was turning out almost the other way around. “You’re something of a Renaissance man, yourself,” she noted. “Writing criticism on both art and music. What surprises me is that you also specialize in military history.” “I don’t know…Some would say there’s also an art to war. The strategy involved, judging when and how to make one’s move.” The comparison disturbed Kat. “No offense, but I don’t feel there’s anything creative or imaginative about war. It’s purely destructive.” Sharpay glanced at her with the gleam in his eye that she never knew how to interpret. “I see. You don’t think killing is ever justified. You believe in diplomacy, negotiation. But what if you faced a madman -- one with an army?” Thrown off-balance by the intense turn of their conversation, she sidestepped his question with a joke. “If this is a job interview, I don’t think I want the position!” Sharpay laughed out loud, a rich sound that echoed through the nearly-empty gallery. “Purely theoretical. But you must admit, your great-great-grandfather took a more direct approach. If you accept the events of his book as fact, he and his friends hunted down and executed a man they thought posed a threat to humanity.” Once again, Kat thought, she was stuck having to answer for Elias’s bizarre reputation. “If you accept his book as fact, what they executed wasn’t a man, but a monster from some old legend.” “But you don’t believe that.” “Of course not. None of the events in that book ever happened. It was either deliberate fiction or a product of Elias’ disturbed imagination.” Again, Sharpay fixed her with those black eyes, potent even through their protective lenses. “Naturally, you wish to view it that way. Otherwise, you’d have to accept the possibility that your ancestor took part in a murder.” # ONE BLOOD, by E. F. Watkins—Short Synopsis Disgusted with his long, bloodthirsty existence, Jon Sharpay discovers a fresh challenge—the last living descendent of the arch-enemy who nearly destroyed him a century ago. He travels from New York City to Princeton to hunt down Kat Van Braam, a curator at the university’s art museum. But Sharpay also is being hunted, by two men—one determined to avenge the death of his pregnant young wife, the other a foreign agent out to recruit Sharpay’s paranormal skills for an international crime organization. When Sharpay meets the brilliant and beautiful Kat, his plans for her expand beyond mere revenge. Kat also is drawn to “Dr. Sharpay,” the mysterious Eastern European scholar… until she learns his true nature and identity. Then she fights his enslavement of her will and vows to succeed where her ancestor failed—to keep this creature from ever harming anyone else. But will she be undone by her own “sympathy for the Devil”? # E. F. WATKINS BIO E. F. Watkins specializes in paranormal suspense, and since 2003 has published six novels with Amber Quill Press LLC. Her first, DANCE WITH THE DRAGON, received a 2004 EPPIE Award from the national organization EPIC (Electronically Published Internet Connection.) as Best Horror Novel. Next came the romantic mystery RIDE A DANCING HORSE (as “Eileen Watkins”). Her third book, BLACK FLOWERS, was a Finalist in the Thriller category for both the 2006 EPPIEs and the 2007 Indie Excellence Book Awards. She also has published the paranormal thrillers PARAGON and DANU’S CHILDREN. Her latest, ONE BLOOD, is a prequel to DANCE WITH THE DRAGON and was a Finalist in the Paranormal category for the 2012 EPIC eBook awards. Her website is www.efwatkins.com.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

ExcerpTuesday: Jannine Corti Petska

Prior to this scene, Alessa was in the French quarter, standing in the street, frozen because she thought she saw a Spirit. It was dangerous for women to be alone surrounded by Frenchmen, especially at night. Out of nowhere, a man from atop his horse whisks her up and away. “Unhand me!” Alessa shouted, fearing a French soldier had swept her off the street. If only she knew how to say it in French. Adding to her misery, rain started to fall. Drops as large as grapes crashed onto her back. It wasn’t long before the heavens opened up with a torrential downpour, soaking her to the bone. Despite her sodden clothing hampering her movements, she found the courage to fight, pounding her fists on the man’s arm. And in spite of her precarious perch, she flailed and twisted. A muffled curse exploded above her head. The man flipped her onto her stomach to stop her brave attempts to get away. Just when she feared her ribs were about to shatter, the horse ceased its swift gait. Of a sudden, she slid downward, guided by a strong hand grasping her upper arm. Worried the stranger might lose his grip and drop her, Alessa clutched at whatever was close in hand, anything to keep her from falling to the hard cobblestone. Her fingers closed around something brittle. It wasn’t what she hoped for, and she landed on her backside in a puddle of water at the entrance to Fabroni’s shop. Shivering, she clenched her teeth and struggled to stand. She endeavored to untangle the mess of wet hair from her face. Every breath she took intensified the pain in her ribs, but she was determined to learn the identity of her abductor. “Almighty! What manner of beast are you?” she shouted above the storm’s fury when finally she pushed the last of her hair aside. Shielding her eyes from the unrelenting raindrops, she gawked up at the dark-cloaked figure. When he pushed his hood back, Alessa gasped. The tutor’s eyes glowed hotly through the cold. “You be the judge, mademoiselle.” Alessa stumbled backward and bumped into the door. The gentleman her cousin had spoken of was gone, replaced by a demon more frightening than any she conjured up in her head. “Why did you not identify yourself before snatching my feet from the ground and brutally handling me upon your horse?” “Better me than a Frenchman,” came his forceful reply. He threw his leg over the flank of the fine animal and dismounted. “What will it take for you to learn the dangers a woman faces while walking alone in Naples? Did you know where you were?” Between her aching ribs and the tutor’s misplaced rage, Alessa’s own fury rose. “As my tutor, your rights do not exceed teaching me French.” He struggled with his mouth, as if he knew not whether to keep silent or speak. His gaze Dropped then. Alessa followed his lead, at first baffled by what caused the sudden lustful burning in his eyes. Her cloak had folded behind her, and her wet clothing conformed to the contours of her body. Imagination be damned. Every bit of her was boldly outlined. She held her breath when the tutor’s hand reached around her arm to release the latch and swing open the door. The meager touch of interior heat instantly warmed her back, but it was the tutor’s piercing look that thawed the chill from the rest of her. “Take heed, Signorina Podesta. I may be your tutor, but I am not beyond teaching you more than French.” Bio: Jannine Corti Petska was born in New York but raised in Southern California. Her parents' first language was Italian, and Jannine was raised in an Old World environment. She began writing romance novels when her three daughters were young and she was a stay-at-home mom. In-between writing and caring for her family, she tutored Italian, Spanish, German, and English as a Second Language at a local college. Although she loves placing her stories in medieval Italy, she has also written romantic tales of the cowboy in the American West. Jannine lives in Southern California with her husband of 40 years and three high-energy Rat Terriers. To find out more about Jannine, please visit her website. www.jcortipetska.com Blurb, DANTE’S FLAME Alessandra Podesta writes illicit tales unsuitable for a young lady. Exasperated, her father sends her to visit relatives in Naples to curb her wild imagination. But in her undying need for adventure, she toys with the affections of her tutor and is forced to marry him. When she unknowingly falls into a dangerous game of supremacy between two countries, she trusts the wrong people and endangers her life. French tutor Dante Santangelo is secretly aiding the French in maintaining their rule over Naples. When he is manipulated into marrying the visiting cousin of the Valente Family, he seizes upon the perfect opportunity to infiltrate the family, who are under suspicion of helping the Spanish. When Alessandra's life is in jeopardy Dante must choose between love and duty. Will he offer up his life to save Alessandra? Or remain duty-bound to the French?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Authorsday: Laurence St. John

1. When did you know you wanted to be a writer? I knew I wanted to be a writer since I was around the age of 12. However at that time I was preoccupied with other things like baseball, football and having fun being a kid. 2. How long have you been writing? I have been writing for about 6 years. 3. Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants? I begin with brainstorming, and then I write a paragraph for each chapter. After that I build on each paragraph to make a chapter. Then I go from there.
4. How many rejections have you received? I have received about 88 rejection letters. 5. What was the best writing advice someone gave you? Author Keith Lee Johnson: Follow your dream, stay positive and don’t give up. 6. If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be? If you like or disliked something about the story what was it? This way I could learn from my audience. 7. Tell me one thing about yourself that very few people know? I can speak like Donald Duck. 8. What three things would you want with you on a desert island? A beach chair with an umbrella, cold beverages to drink and a motor boat so I could come and go as I please. 9. What place that you haven’t visited would you like to go? I would love to go to Hawaii. One of my future novels will have something to do with Hawaii. (hint hint) I could perform actual research other than just online or a library. 10. What was the hardest scene to write? The beginning paragraph. This has to make the reader wanting to read more. I probably rewrote the first paragraph of METATRON: The Angel Has Risen about a couple dozen times. Author Bio Mr. Laurence A. St. John was born on January 11, 1965. He graduated from Genoa High School in 1983. When Mr. St. John was 25 years old he married the love of his life, Julie in 1990. Mr. St. John’s place of employment changed hands, for the third time in 2006; fighting for his job, again. In the same year his first granddaughter, Kendall, “Papa’s Angel” was born. It was during this time when he became inspired to write his penned-up thoughts on paper. Nearly four years later, he had completed his first novel, Metatron: The Angel Has Risen.
Book Blurb Twelve-year-old Tyler Thompson has a secret... After his father's tragic death, Tyler finds himself in one predicament after another, until one day he and his faithful dog Maxx fall into a cesspool of mysterious green goop. When his grandfather bestows him with an object not from this earth, Tyler soon discovers he has strange powers. Unfortunately, so does the sinister Dr. Payne. Together with his best friend Lukas and Maxx, Tyler embarks on a journey to put an end to Dr. Payne’s evil scheme to control the world's children. To do so, Tyler must make a life-altering choice...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Authorsday: Jamie Friesen

Blurb; Tokyo. Sydney. Beijing. Cairo. Paris. Rome. New York. Los Angeles. One by one, the world’s great cities fell to the zombie plague. What chance does a small, non-descript city in Canada like Edmonton have? The world as we know it is finished. Civilization has collapsed and humanity is on the brink of extinction. Billions of people are dead, victims of a horrific plague. Bi-weekly paychecks, Tim Horton’s double doubles, men’s league hockey and cheap winter vacations to Cancun. That was the life Xander Barnes had known for years until a pandemic swept the globe. Efforts to slow its spread or develop quarantine zones, in many cases were too little, too late. Nowadays, life consisted of avoiding the plague victims, ghouls who had an insatiable appetite for human flesh and finding enough food to survive day to day. How long can one ordinary man survive in a world gone mad?
Excerpt; Fire lashed out from the base into the horde of approaching infected. Mortar bombs exploded over the infected heads, sending dozens of sharp razor-like fragments down into the skulls of the infected. In some cases, it killed them, in others, it was nothing more than a mosquito bite. The handful of heavy machineguns opened fire, spraying hundreds of rounds of lead into the group, each round tearing off a limb of an infected person in the front, then continuing on into the infected behind it and tearing off one of their limbs too. The heavy machineguns were so powerful that the rounds likely went through a half dozen or more infected before finally stopping. Stone thought back to his heavy weapons course eons ago and what his instructor had told him about the heavy machinegun the Canadian Forces used. He winced as he watched them fire, mowing down rows of infected. They fell below the massed fire like wheat before a scythe. Thank god he had never been on the receiving end of one of those monsters, he thought to himself. The only problem with the weapon was that they would go through their ammo in a minute or two, and then would need several minutes to refill their ammo hoppers. Sure enough, well before the horde was gone, the machineguns stopped firing. Their crews scrambled to reload as fast as possible. Once the mortars and heavy weapons opened up, many soldiers began firing far more rapidly and unfortunately, far more inaccurately. While the heavy weapons were unlikely to kill many infected outright, it tore them apart and knocked them down, or otherwise disabled them so that snipers could finish them off later. Meanwhile, Master Corporal Stone and the other marksmen continued their steady, methodical slaughter of the infected. Below him, troops at the fence had shoved their barrels through the chain links and were firing indiscriminately into the horde. The horde was huge and their bodies lay in heaps everywhere, but they kept coming like some elemental force such as the tide. Stone had engaged the first infected at more than five hundred metres. Now, ten minutes later, the horde was about three hundred metres away and still closing. Stone kept firing, reloading and firing until his shoulder was sore. He hadn’t fired this much in a long time. A thundering roar came from behind him and Stone glanced backwards. Purchase info; Zombie Night in Canada on Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/Zombie-Night-Canada-Period-ebook/dp/B007KR4OYY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1331903528&sr=8-1 Feel free to offer this reduced price Coupon Code at Smashwords.com (allows for all e-book formats to be purchased) for your blog's readers Promotional price: $3.99 (regular price $4.99) Coupon Code: CX94Y Expires: June 10, 2012 Bio; Jamie Friesen was born in Lahr, West Germany while his father was serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force. He attended the University of Alberta where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History, and followed it later with a Masters of Arts in Communications & Technology. After obtaining his Bachelor's degree, Jamie went abroad and taught English in Japan and Taiwan. He now lives in Edmonton, Canada with his wife and daughter, working in the Public Relations field and writes in his spare time, which usually translates to early mornings and lunch time. Zombie Night in Canada: First Period is his first novel. Contact info; My blog - http://www.jamiefriesen.com/ Twitter - @jamiefriesen ZNIC Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Zombie-Night-in-Canada/262078575266

Friday, June 1, 2012

City of Brotherly Death

City of Brotherly Death Vampires, Revenants, and Zombies from Philadelphia
Excerpt from “One Last Favor” A mob of figures headed for the patient cubicles. In the next instant, the sound of bloodcurdling screams and tearing flesh assaulted her ears. Tara recognized the sound, having assisted with surgeries. Desatnick pulled out his gun and fired. His bullet flashed through an elderly man’s chest. Despite the bullet size, he did not bleed. No blood? Tara gasped at the sound, huddled against Chris’s shoulder. Doesn’t he have any? The man dug his finger into the hole and withdrew the bullet, loosening green pus. “Shit,” he muttered in a gravelly voice. He leaped at Desatnick. Before Desatnick could fire again, the figure snatched his gun and tossed it aside. Its bony hands wrapped around his throat and squeezed. Tara and Chris hugged each other, screaming. They’re dead, dammit, she kept thinking. What are they doing here? Maybe they picked up some virus that turned them into zombies. Just like in the Night of the Living Dead documentary she’d watched in her Literature class. They reeked like carrion. They were dead, after all. Dead people weren’t supposed to come back to life. Apparently, someone forgot to tell them that. The crunching of bones and smacking of lips were punctuated by ear-splitting shrieks. Something wet rolled into Tara’s knees. A glance at the floor gave her the source. Geysers of blood from Desatnick’s wounds sprayed the floor and flowed under the desk. If Scarlett was here, she’d fight. Tara nudged the doctor’s shoulder. “Chris,” she whispered through panting lips, “if we stay here, we’re good as dead.” Chris nodded with agreement; his shoulders trembling, green eyes wide and fearful. “You’ve got that right. But we need weapons. There’s a fire extinguisher on the left wall, by the cubicles.” Tara pressed her face against the desk panel, scanning the wall for a potential weapon. There it was, an extinguisher hanging by the first cubicle. “I see it,” she whispered. “Lucky for us, Desatnick insisted on keeping these things in every room. We’ve got oxygen tanks in the storeroom, too. Think we can grab some protection and run while these zombies are busy with Desatnick and his patients?” “I think we can if we go out the back, through the kitchen. That’s where I’m heading.” Tara eased from under the desk, followed by Chris. She snatched the extinguisher while Chris made a beeline for the storeroom. She sprinted to the hall, hugging the extinguisher under her arms, Chris ahead of her. Minutes later, strong, skeletal hands clutched her by the shoulders. Tara wrenched free, ripping the collar from her uniform. She walloped her assailant on the head. His skull cracked open, spilling fluid resembling Cream of Wheat. Tara spurted ahead, hoping to catch up with Chris, but he was gone. Clattering footfalls sounded behind her as three of the creatures chased her down the hall. Whirling around, she aimed the nozzle at her assailants. Gray smoke swirled, providing an effective screen between Tara and her attackers. She ducked inside a soiled utility room. The door had a combination lock, but such devices wouldn’t stop the walking dead. Where could she hide? If there were live humans around, these monsters would smell them. The laundry chute. No doubt their brains had rotted, and they’d never think to search the laundry room. Tara keyed in the combination and crawled inside the chute. Hands gripping the door rim, she dangled her feet. The drop had to be twenty feet. Pounding at the utility room door. Those creatures smelled her. Any second, they’d break in and see her fingers on the rim of the chute door. She let go, screaming all the way down. She landed on a mountain of dirty linen. Landing on that soft pile spared her from broken bones. She scurried away from the chute and nestled between bags of soiled clothes. Surely the dirty linen smell would camouflage her scent. She’d have to remain intact if she wanted to escape. Later, she would search for Chris Atkins and see if she could team up with him. He had become a good work buddy, someone she could trust with her life. For now, her best chance for survival lay in sitting tight and waiting until the beasts had either satisfied their hunger or given up to hunt somewhere else. A tall, wasted man dropped from the chute. She’d underestimated them. Hadn’t she told herself that combinations wouldn’t stop the dead? This one landed in the same laundry pile she had. Something had eaten away half of his gray-complexioned face. He slithered toward her, his hands outstretched. A brief look at the other stories Bad Seed – Disowned by her father, Susan drowns herself in work and booze after her fiancĂ© dies in a car wreck. On New Year’s Eve, when her loneliness is at its worst, a battered corpse calls her name. Her fright turns to dismay when she recognizes him as a former employee whom she’d fired. Night Fighters – A terrorist group targets the Philadelphia hospitals. They hire Todd to lure victims. One day, he picks on the wrong person, never realizing that the dead have mobilized their own army against terrorists. Garden of Souls – Skeletal figures climb out of a patch of soil near Diane’s apartment building, terrifying Diane. She later learns that a family of five died in a hit-and-run accident near her home. Suspecting her ill-tempered boyfriend, she confronts him. But the dead victims have their own agenda.
Back Jacket Blurb William Penn never suspected that his beloved Philadelphia would turn into the city of brotherly death. But that’s what’s happening in Philadelphia and other major cities. And it’s only going to get worse. The dead are coming—revenants, vampires, and zombies—people who have scores to settle with the living. So padlock your doors and pack up your guns and survival gear. If the dead passed because their funds, administrators, or heartless caregivers prohibited lifesaving treatment, they will come back seeking revenge. Their anger makes them hungry for flesh. So very hungry. Even vampires won’t be immune to the terrors of revenants and zombies. The collection of 12 tales will keep you awake at night and make you wonder if you’ll ever be safe again. Alexis – Vampire Edric, takes pity on an abused little girl, Alexis, and adopts her. When Alexis matures into a woman, his love develops into possessive obsession, and he kills her in a fit of anger. But some people just won’t stay dead. A Lesson on Suffering – Viola, a home health aide, specializes in eldercare abuse, especially after she suffers a back injury. One day, she goes after the wrong person, and the woman’s son, who happens to be a vampire, commandeers an army of walking corpses to go after Viola. Lorraine’s Life Preserver – Lorraine cares for her elderly father, but no matter how hard she tries, she can’t please him. Her relatives come down hard on her, especially her niece, who is after the family’s money. Her niece tries to kill Lorraine by withholding her asthma medicine. Instead, she meets a Good Samaritan, a vampire, who turns her to save her. Now endowed with immortality, Lorraine pays a visit to her family…. Bad Seed – Disowned by her father, Susan drowns herself in work and booze after her fiancĂ© dies in a car wreck. On New Years Eve, when her loneliness is at its worst, a battered corpse calls her name. Her fright turns to dismay when she recognizes him as a former employee whom she’d fired. Night Fighters – A terrorist group targets the Philadelphia hospitals. They hire Todd to lure victims. One day, he picks on the wrong person, never realizing that the dead have mobilized their own army against terrorists. Garden of Souls – Skeletal figures climb out of a patch of soil near Diane’s apartment building, terrifying Diane. She later learns that a family of five died in a hit-and-run accident near her home. Suspecting her ill-tempered boyfriend, she confronts him. But the dead victims have their own agenda. Death’s Dividends: Leila, a nurse, grieves when her boss cuts off her friend’s life support treatment when the patients’ insurance expires. Her friend Anna dies because she didn’t have the funds to pay. Instead, Anna comes back to life and forms an unholy alliance with Leila. The hospital’s administration made a huge investment in death, and now Anna, Leila, and their army of the dead are ready to pay out dividends. My other tales include “Alexis,” in which a revenant comes back to haunt a vampire. This goes with my biography: All of these stories have appeared in small press magazines. “Alexis,” “A Lesson on Suffering,” “Rebirth,” and “Lorraine’s Life Preserver” appeared in Margaret Carter’s The Vampire’s Crypt. Margaret doesn’t publish the magazine any more, but she turns out great vampire tales. Her website: www.margaretlcarter.com. The other tales have appeared in magazines such as Outer Darkness, The Midnight Gallery, Explosive Decompression The Black Abyss, Prohibited Matter, Classic Pulp Fiction Stories, and The Ultimate Unknown.