Tuesday, January 29, 2013

ExcerpTuesday: Melinda Leigh

Melinda Leigh is a fully recovered banker, wife, mom, lifelong dog lover, and second degree black belt in kenpo karate. She is the author of SHE CAN RUN, a 2012 Thriller Award nominee and a Kindle Bestseller. Her latest book, SHE CAN TELL, released December 4, 2012 and became an immediate Kindle Bestseller. Find out more about Melinda: website / facebook / twitter
#1 Bestselling Romantic Suspense
An Amazon editors’ pick for December romance

Praise for SHE CAN TELL

“Relentless tension builds to a riveting crescendo in Leigh’s romantic thriller… Leigh (She Can Run) easily juggles multiple story lines, romance, and suspense.” ~Publisher’s Weekly

“The highly suspenseful plot spans decades, pulling secrets from the past and melding them with the present, and is paired with a steamy romance that explores vulnerability, passion and trust.” ~ RT Book Reviews (4 Stars)

““Leigh has created a nail-bitingly suspenseful romance novel that’s sure to put your manicure in danger.” ~ Booklist/


A horse trainer’s homecoming turns deadly when a vicious stalker, a cold murder case, and a hot police chief threaten to expose family secrets that a killer wants to keep buried.

After a terrible accident ends her riding career, horse trainer Rachel Parker returns to her hometown to a hostile welcome. Her efforts to rebuild the family farm are hampered by her sister’s domestic crisis and a violent vandal who threatens Rachel’s new business and her life. She is also blindsided by the undeniable and unwanted attraction she feels for hot police chief handling her case. Someone is systematically trying to destroy her. Someone who knows private things about her. Someone who’s been watching her…

As his investigation uncovers the turbulent past Rachel keeps carefully hidden, Police Chief Mike O’Connell finds himself with too many suspects and too many feelings for his fiercely independent victim. His desire for Rachel is a conflict of interest that jeopardizes everything he stands for. Long buried family secrets, a skeleton, and a corrupt local official with a grudge against Mike complicate the case, but the escalating violence against Rachel convinces him he doesn’t have much time. Whoever is watching Rachel wants her dead. Mike and Rachel race to untangle a web of deceit and lies that stretches twenty-five years into the past—before her stalker strikes again.

Twenty-five years ago

He liked to watch.

To see the secret, private things people did when they thought they were alone.

From the moonshadow of an evergreen, he stared across the weedy backyard at the dilapidated rancher. Harry was inside. The Watcher’s breath steamed out into the crisp winter air. Twenty yards of crabgrass was all that separated him from retribution.

Harry had to die.

It was the only way to make things right.

Impulsive responses, while satisfying, were rarely successful in the long term. Discipline was the key. He’d buried his rage and weighed all the options. Harry’s life against his actions. His future against the impact of what he’d done. Ultimately, it was what Harry intended to do that made the difference.

Don’t worry. Just come with me. I’ll take care of you. I promise.

An hour of standing on the frozen ground, waiting for the house to go quiet and dark, had left the Watcher’s toes with a numb ache. Fiery tingles shot through the balls of his feet as he crept toward a dark window cracked an inch for ventilation. The ground was too frozen for his boots to leave prints, but the crunch of dead grass echoed in the otherwise silent night. He crouched under the window, then peered over the sill. No sound. No light. No movement. He raised the sash and climbed through into the living room. Lacquer fumes and sawdust stung his nostrils. Heat rattled from a baseboard register as the aged furnace tried to raise the temperature above meat locker.

The Watcher had never been in Harry’s house, though the carpenter had invited him over a few times to watch hockey games. They were both Flyers fans. They had other things in common, too, but they wouldn’t be friends. Not ever. Not after what the Watcher had seen—and what he’d heard—the other night.

Don’t worry. Just come with me. I’ll take care of you. I promise.

Betrayal sliced into him like the drop point of his knife through a deer’s belly.

Silver moonlight gleamed through bare windows. In the far corner, a drop cloth shrouded a battered recliner. The gutted house had a hollow, unfinished feel that matched the empty space in the middle of his chest. <\p>

Monday, January 28, 2013

From the Creator of Jak and Daxter: Untimed

Chapter One:


Philadelphia, Autumn, 2010 and Winter, 2011

My mother loves me and all, it’s just that she can’t remember my name.

“Call him Charlie,” is written on yellow Post-its all over our house.

“Just a family joke,” Mom tells the rare friend who drops by and bothers to inquire.

But it isn’t funny. And those house guests are more likely to notice the neon paper squares than they are me.

“He’s getting so tall. What was his name again?”

I always remind them. Not that it helps.

Only Dad remembers, and Aunt Sophie, but they’re gone more often than not — months at a stretch.

This time, when my dad returns he brings a ginormous stack of history books.

“Read these.” The muted bulbs in the living room sharpen the shadows on his pale face, making him stand out like a cartoon in a live-action film. “You have to keep your facts straight.”

I peruse the titles: Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Asprey’s The Rise of Napoleon Bonaparte, Ben Franklin’s Autobiography. Just three among many.

“Listen to him, Charlie,” Aunt Sophie says. “You’ll be glad you did.” She brushes out her shining tresses. Dad’s sister always has a glow about her.

“Where’d you go this time?” I say.

Dad’s supposed to be this hotshot political historian. He reads and writes a lot, but I’ve never seen his name in print.

“The Middle East.” Aunt Sophie’s more specific than usual.

Dad frowns. “We dropped in on someone important.”

When he says dropped in, I imagine Sophie dressed like Lara Croft, parachuting into Baghdad.

“Is that where you got the new scar?” A pink welt snakes from the bridge of her nose to the corner of her mouth. She looks older than I remember — they both do.

“An argument with a rival… researcher.” My aunt winds the old mantel clock, the one that belonged to her mom, my grandmother. Then tosses the key to my dad, who fumbles and drops it.

“You need to tell him soon,” she says.

Tell me what? I hate this.

Dad looks away. “We’ll come back for his birthday.”


Charlie’s the kind of boy that no one notices. Hell, even his own mother can’t remember his name. And girls? The invisible man gets more dates.

As if that weren’t enough, when a mysterious clockwork man tries to kill him in modern day Philadelphia, and they tumble through a hole into 1725 London, Charlie realizes even the laws of time don’t take him seriously.

Still, this isn’t all bad. In fact, there’s this girl, another time traveler, who not only remembers his name, but might even like him! Unfortunately, Yvaine carries more than her share of baggage: like a baby boy and at least two ex-boyfriends! One’s famous, the other’s murderous, and Charlie doesn’t know who is the bigger problem.

When one kills the other — and the other is nineteen year-old Ben Franklin — things get really crazy. Can their relationship survive? Can the future? Charlie and Yvaine are time travelers, they can fix this — theoretically — but the rules are complicated and the stakes are history as we know it.

And there's one more wrinkle: he can only travel into the past, and she can only travel into the future!


Andy Gavin is a serial creative, polymath, novelist, entrepreneur, computer programmer, author, foodie, and video game creator. He co-founded video game developer Naughty Dog and co-created Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter. He started numerous companies, has been lead programmer on video games that have sold more than forty million copies, and has written two novels including The Darkening Dream, a dark historical fantasy that puts the bite back in vampires.

website: http://all-things-andy-gavin.com/
FB: https://www.facebook.com/andygavin
Twitter: https://www.facebook.com/andygavin
GR: http://www.goodreads.com/asgavin
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/andrewgavin/
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Gavin

BUY NOW LINK: Amazon paper book
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Giveaway: $25 Amazon GC signed copies of his video games Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter.
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Authorsday on another blog

Check out this interview with Micki Peluso http://www.kimberlyshursen.com/#!micki-peluso/c17fn

Friday, January 25, 2013

Discovering Hidden Gems

Discovering Hidden Gems

I like to think of myself as a very passive version of Indiana Jones, the globetrotting archaeologist and adventurer played so brilliantly by Harrison Ford in the film series. In real life, a writer's life isn’t nearly as thrilling as Dr. Henry Jones fighting Nazis and rescuing priceless treasures. In fact it’s pretty boring on the thrill-o-meter, but when it comes to unearthing awesome historical details, writers are in a league of their own.

The key to writing a credible novel filled with fascinating tidbits—both true and nearly true—is research. And it’s amazing what I’ve learned while researching my books. MATANZAS BAY, my first Quint Mitchell Mystery, was set in St. Augustine. I thought I knew the nation’s oldest city fairly well since I live nearby and have visited dozens of times. But while researching this story in which Quint, a private detective with an anguished past and an interest in archaeology, digs up the vice mayor’s body, I learned that the settlement of St. Augustine was literally birthed in blood. It seems the Spanish settlers were a vengeful sort and when they located several hundred shipwrecked Frenchmen who were caught in a hurricane near present day St. Augustine, they ferried them ashore from the sandbar where they found them and proceeded to put them all to the sword. Hence the name Matanzas, which is Spanish for “place of slaughter.”

I had to do even more research for my recently released mystery, BRING DOWN THE FURIES, since it wouldn’t be located in Florida. I wanted find a setting where archaeology might play a small part in a larger mystery, as it did in the first offering. Searching the Internet, I found the Topper site outside Allendale, South Carolina where they’ve discovered artifacts made by the pre-Clovis people dating back thousands of years. Claxons began ringing in my head, and I asked myself what if a Creationist minister feuded with the archaeologist and it boiled over into a tension-packed media circus. Now I felt I was onto something that could explode from a single idea into a longer, more compelling narrative.

With more research I learned that General Sherman’s troops had burned down the original town of Allendale during the Civil War. This bit of historical news tripped another set of creative neurons and I decided fire would play a major role in the story. That led to the idea of a serial arsonist at work in Allendale.

But a writer can get lost in the research if he’s not careful, and there’s always much more fascinating trivia then we can use. For example, in researching General Sherman, I discovered he was actually living in the South when the Civil War broke out acting as superintendent of the Louisiana Seminary and Military Academy, which later became LSU. The Allendale Courthouse plays a major role in the climactic scene of FURIES, and my research told me that an arsonist tried to burn down the courthouse in 1998. Of course, I used that in the book. <\p>

With a serial arsonist at work in the book, I dug deeply into that subject and learned that nationally, only 16% of arsons are ever solved. And that only 12% of serial arsonist are female.

While I may think of myself as a desk-riding Indiana Jones because of the research I’d done, the real excitement came in the story. BRING DOWN THE FURIES is a fast-paced romp through the old south complete with arson, murder and compelling characters. Some of my early readers have been very kind. Bestselling thriller author Steve Berry had this to say, "Another terrific outing for Parker Francis, who definitely delivers what readers want. He's a powerhouse storyteller and a welcome addition to the thriller genre. Hang on tight and remember to breathe."


Sherman’s troops burned it the first time. Now a serial arsonist threatens a small South Carolina town and private investigator Quint Mitchell is caught in the backdraft. When Quint follows the “Heartthrob Bandit” to the hamlet of Allendale, he finds himself in the crossfire of an ugly cultural war between an ultraconservative minister and the scientist who may have discovered proof of the oldest humans ever found in North America.

As the heat grows more intense, arson turns to murder, and Quint is embroiled in a growing firestorm that threatens to destroy Allendale for the second time. A media frenzy surrounding the clash of faith and science whips emotions to a fiery crescendo. With time running out, Quint is the only man standing between a vicious killer with nothing to lose and his plan to bring down the furies on Allendale and Quint.


Parker Francis writes gritty, fast-paced mysteries filled with murder and violence, but laced with humor and emotion. Parker’s career was in broadcasting and special events where he his diverse duties included public affairs producer, director, reporter, fundraiser and producer of the Jacksonville Jazz Festival. He wrote an award-winning trilogy of adventure/fantasies with a feline protagonist under his given name, Victor DiGenti, prior to taking on the mantle of mystery writer and the Parker Francis pen name. The WINDRUSHER trilogy won multiple awards and attracted readers of all ages. Parker (aka Vic) lives in Florida with his wife and their rescued cats who tolerate them as long as their bowls are filled and litter boxes emptied.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Neat author interview

This guy sounds pretty interesting. http://www.kimberlyshursen.com/#!massimo-marino/c1v9x

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Scam Factory

Please tell us about your current release.

SCAM FACTORY is a modern day White-Collar Crime Novel that begins in 2001 and continues into 2009. The 4-part story tells about the events that led to the U. S. Financial Crash that started in late 2007. The story’s main character, Michael Crayter, begins a new career, in mid-life, with an ultra-private Washington D.C. Consulting Firm. The Consulting Firm (TierGroup) represents seventeen of the worlds’ largest and most powerful industries who are making tremendous financial gains with no end in sight. SCAM FACTORY is also a story that takes its reader to Iraq, New Orleans, the Caribbean, and other major US cities. I believe I have described the story well in the Back Cover Copy and Prologue.

Can you tell us about the journey that led you to write your book?

The journey for writing SCAM FACTORY started with a dream I had one night about interviewing for an executive position at a major Consulting Firm. I landed the job in my dream, but after I woke up, I still had no idea what they did. I thought to myself: That was not a legitimate company, it was a Scam Factory. Then I further thought to myself that it might make an interesting book or even a movie. The war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, and the U.S. financial crash, which all occurred within the last 12 years, were also a perfect fit for this story.

Can you tell us about the story behind your book cover?

I designed and created the book cover with help of an associate. The title says it all: SCAM FACTORY. There is a silhouette of Washington D.C. in the background on the bottom of the cover, with the Washington Monument broadly standing out almost like a smoke stack from a factory, and sub tittles give the reader added information about the story. The font colors are also mean to stand out. I may add a light watermark of hurricane Katrina in the background later.

What book on the market does yours compare to? How is your book different?

That is a very good question. I had to do some research on this since SCAM FACTORY is a work of fiction. I only found one white-collar fiction book being sold today to compare it to: “RUDIGER” by David Lender. It had some of the same types of crimes committed in parts of my book. Several modern Nonfiction books, currently on the market, also include many of the same types of crimes that I wrote about. I didn’t have much luck, but it could be that I don’t know where to look. Maybe someone out there will find other comparable books and share them with us.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Over all I can say that writing SCAM FACTORY is the biggest quirk because I only type with two fingers! I was not using the ‘Tab’ key where needed and hit the ‘Hard Return’ key too often, which made more than double the work for editing and formatting. This is my first novel and I am almost surprised that I was able to accomplish the challenging task of writing it.

Open your book to a random page and tell us what’s happening.

SCAM FACTORY -PART 3- Chapter 20 –Failure Is An Option:

During a private meeting with the three largest U.S. bank owners Michael Crayter (the CEO of TierGroup) speaks privately with Henry Strassburger (the secret owner of 100 independent banks) against the strong advice of his legal team. Michael knows that now is the time to take advantage of a very lucrative opportunity, find cracks in the system, and manipulate Strassburger. Their ‘mutual’ goal is to keep Strassburgers interest in the 100 independent banks a secret while acquiring the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) funding from the US Treasury Department. The amount Strassburgers’ banks need is about $125 million for each bank (or $12.5 billion total). Michael Crayter does not trust Strassburger at all. He senses Strassburger is hiding the 100 banks loses and making false statements about their true financial condition to the government. What Henry Strassburger does not realize is that Michael Crayter does not intend to help him keep the banks from taking major loses or closing…

Do you plan any subsequent books?

I am not sure about that right now. I have two or three other fictional book ideas in mind, but want to see how this one goes. I have been told that SCAM FACTORY would make a great movie, so a movie script may be in the works in the near future.

Tell us what you’re reading at the moment and what you think of it.

I am not an avid reader, but I am always interested in new documentaries, news, and events that help me stay connected to current events. I watch programs on public television, cable and learning channels, and other major media outlets. I am usually going over Business and Real Estate opportunities being offered by others. Sometimes I am doing the actual business planning, modeling, and research for others, which requires a ton of evaluation, writing, and revisions.

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Author Interview

This guy sounds pretty interesting. http://www.kimberlyshursen.com/#!massimo-marino/c1v9x

Friday, January 18, 2013

Post Apocalyptic novel writer

This guy sounds pretty interesting. U really need to check out this interview. http://www.kimberlyshursen.com/#!massimo-marino/c1v9x

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Farm Girl goes Tropical

All my life I’ve watched movies, TV shows, and advertisements set in tropical locations and wished I could travel there. So far I’ve yet to have that experience, but it didn’t stop me from going vicariously through my characters.

When the notion came to me to write an action adventure romance I immediately knew I wanted a jungle setting. And I needed illegal drugs to be in the story to have a hero who is a DEA agent. Not wanting to stray from the branding I’ve worked hard to instill in my writing, I had a heroine who studies Native American cultures. With this combination I came up with the idea to set the book in the Guatemalan jungle at an archeological dig.

I dove into the research—ordering books and dvds on the rain forest, Guatemala, and the Maya. I also found online newspapers about the area, read all the information for people visiting the country and contacted a blogger who lives in Guatemala. While writing the book I spent lots of time watching Youtube videos and getting a feel for the area where I set the book and learning about the people.

To help me show the dig site as authentic as I could, I read books and about archeological discoveries in the area. Then I made up a dig, set it in an area that worked for the drug trafficking angle and started writing the story.

To further help me become ensconced in the feeling of the jungle and the ancient carvings talked about in the story, I listened to Mayan music.

While I never set foot in the rain forest, I used all the information I gathered to help me feel like I was traipsing through the jungle with my characters. Experiencing the mosquitoes, the cry of the howler monkey, and the downpour of rain.

Have you ever been to a rain forest or a tropical island?

Secrets of a Mayan Moon Blurb:

What happens when a brilliant anthropologist is lured to the jungle to be used as a human sacrifice?

Child prodigy and now Doctor of Anthropology, Isabella Mumphrey, is about to lose her job at the university. In the world of publish or perish, her mentor’s request for her assistance on a dig is just the opportunity she’s been seeking. If she can decipher an ancient stone table—and she can—she’ll keep her department. She heads to Guatemala, but drug trafficking bad guys, artifact thieves, and her infatuation for her handsome guide wreak havoc on her scholarly intentions.

DEA agent Tino Kosta, is out to avenge the deaths of his family. He’s deep undercover as a jaguar tracker and sometimes jungle guide, but the appearance of a beautiful, brainy anthropologist heats his Latin blood taking him on a dangerous detour that could leave them both casualties of the jungle.

Secrets of a Mayan Moon is available at:
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Isabella-Mumphrey-Adventure-ebook/dp/B008SIB0C8
Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secrets-of-a-mayan-moon-paty-jager/1112373605?ean=2940014960717
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/211404

Wife, mother, grandmother, and the one who cleans pens and delivers the hay; award winning author Paty Jager and her husband currently ranch 350 acres when not dashing around visiting their children and grandchildren. She not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.

She is a member of RWA, COWG, EOWG, and EPIC. Her contemporary Western, Perfectly Good Nanny won the 2008 Eppie for Best Contemporary Romance, Spirit of the Mountain, a historical paranormal set among the Nez Perce, garnered 1st place in the paranormal category of the Lories Best Published Book Contest, and Spirit of the Lake, the second book of the spirit trilogy, was a finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.

You can learn more about Paty at her blog; www.patyjager.blogspot.com her website; http://www.patyjager.net or on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/#!/paty.jager and twitter; @patyjag.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Massimo interview

This guy sounds pretty interesting. U really need to check out this interview. http://www.kimberlyshursen.com/#!massimo-marino/c1v9x

Friday, January 11, 2013

Richard Sharpe

A Sharpe Interview with Richard Sharpe http://www.kimberlyshursen.com/ #author #interview #blog

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Authorsday: Janis Patterson

1. How long have you been writing?

I wrote my first book at four – details below. I was first paid for writing (an advertising slogan) when I was nine years old. I sold my first novel in 1979, when I was long past nine. In the interim years I have done advertising copy, magazine articles, commercial copy, industrial films, political speeches… I literally cannot remember a time when I wasn’t writing something.

2. How did you pick the genre you write in?

I tend to write in a genre that doesn’t bore me at the moment. I have been published in historical mystery, contemporary mystery, horror, historical romance, contemporary romance, gothic romance, Regency romance, children’s, non-fiction and scholarly non-fiction. So far.

3. Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants?

I use a system I call ‘the suspension bridge’. We all know what a suspension bridge looks like. With a story I know where it’s going to start and approximately where it’s going to end (though I may have to scoot that around a little bit if the ground of the story won’t support it). There are a couple of immovable plot points (the middle towers). Then it’s just a matter of stringing the webwork of the story between them. It’s a mere skeleton, but that gives my imagination freedom.

Other than that, I don’t outline. I hate outlining. I detest outlining. To me it is the antithesis of creativity. Once I took a very highly recommended course in outlining and did rather well in it, ending up with an extremely well-plotted adventure novel. A novel that unfortunately will never be written, because by the time I had the outline finished I was so incredibly bored with the story that I never wanted to see it again.

My desk, however, does bloom with a blizzard of sticky notes on the works in process. As I do tend to work on a minimum of three books at a time (I do bore easily) I have learned to color code and use one color for each book.

4. What drew you to the subject of EXERCISE IS MURDER?

I find I like writing mysteries. I used to have an antique shop (let’s be honest – it was really just old stuff instead of true antiques) and a dear friend lived in an exclusive condo like the Olympus House. Then I started wondering what if there were an older woman who was the ‘dark side’ of Miss Marple… Voila! A book.

5. What was the name of the first novel you wrote? Did you try to publish it?

I don’t think it had a title. I do remember it was about some children playing in the park and how they captured a lion escaped from the zoo and still made it home in time for dinner so their mothers wouldn’t worry. Not much of a storyline, I admit, but then I was only four years old and my critical faculties were still developing. I wrote the story, then carefully hand printed and illustrated about six or eight copies and then stitched the pages together with Mother’s sewing thread. (My first foray into self-publishing!) My father had told me the difference between glued, saddle-stitched and signature-sewn bindings, so I knew I wanted the best. I also learned that making up the stories was much more fun than printing/illustrating/binding them, so that’s when I decided to be a writer than a publisher. I think in my late mother’s papers there’s still a copy or two of that book – it was about 12 finished pages, as I recall, which to a four year old is quite a big book!

My first truly published novel was one of the old Dell Candlelight series called WHERE SHADOWS LINGER. It was a contemporary (for the time) semi-gothic/romantic suspense about a young widow who finds out that her Mexican husband’s legacy is a drug farm in a remote area of Mexico. Added in were a former lover, a couple of vengeful relatives-in-law, a drug war and a couple of murder attempts. As I have brought out a number of my backlist titles I’ve thought about self-publishing it, but it’s so dated it would take a lot of work to revise. Some things should just stay buried.

6. What do you know now that you are published that you didn’t know pre-published that you wish you knew?

I honestly don’t remember what I knew before I was published – I’ve been in the industry so long and everything has changed so much it wouldn’t be relevant anyway.

I do know that the term pre-published is one of my hot buttons. It is a nonsense term and should never be used except when applied to the time period between signing the contract and the appearance of the book. Not everyone who writes will ever be published. The only way ‘pre -‘ ever correctly applies to any group of people is that we’re all pre-dead. I love words and hate the egregious way they are used today – and ‘pre-published’ is a prime example of that, especially when it is applied to wanna-bes primarily as a ‘feel-good’ stroke. Can you tell I loathe that particular phrase?

7. How many rejections have you received?

Good grief, I can’t count that high! At one time I had a file of rejection letters that was about three inches thick. I threw it away during a move some 15-20 years ago, but have had probably that many or more since. Nowadays, though, there is a terrible trend among agents and editors both not to reject, just to say ‘we’ll contact you if we’re interested.’ That is most unmannerly and poor business practice in my opinion.

8. What was the best writing advice someone gave you?

Never give up – never stop writing. Never stop learning. Get it right! Learn to spell and how to use apostrophes correctly. (Misused apostrophes will make a book a wallbanger for me.)

9. What was the worst? Did you know it at the time?

Anything that begins with ‘Nobody’ or ‘Everyone’ or ‘Never’. Yes, I did, and still do. I have never been big on absolutes, especially in a field as idiocyncratic and subjective as writing.

10. If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be?

Why don’t you buy more of my books? I could use the money.

Author Bio:

Janis Susan May Patterson is a 7th-generation Texan and a 3rd-generation wordsmith who writes in mystery, romance, and horror. Once an actress and a singer Janis has also been editor-in-chief of two multi-magazine publishing groups as well as many other things, including an enthusiastic amateur Egyptologist. Janis’ husband even proposed in a moonlit garden near the Pyramids of Giza. Janis and her husband live in Texas with an assortment of rescued furbabies.

Book Blurb:

Invalided out of the police, Rebecca Cloudwebb has become an antique dealer. While delivering some earrings, Rebecca witnesses the brutal murder of Laura Tyler, a harmless widow.

Almost everyone connected with the murder has multiple reasons to kill everyone else connected with the murder, but no one had any motive to poison Laura Tyler. A mad mix of politics, big money, extra-marital affairs, blackmail, strong personalities, gambling and assorted secrets, the mystery proves almost impossible to solve, but solve it Rebecca does, and in the process learns something about her own problems since the shooting that crippled her.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What's In It For Me

By Karen L. Syed

I can't remember a time when I didn't love books. I've been reading since I was about four years old. Obviously not well, back then, but I've always considered books to be among my dearest friends. I think I have always held a great fascination with words. I have a tendency to read everything, and I do mean everything. Eventually, I learned that words were more than scribbles on a page and that when used properly they offered the most wonderful stories.

As a reader I find myself craving adventure. It doesn't have to be bone chilling, though I will admit to being fascinated by serial killer novels. Nor do they have to be exotic; it could be as simple as a woman finding her own independence in the working world after becoming single again, for whatever reason. I've run the gamut of genres as a reader, but one thing is always the same. I want something different. I want stories that I've never heard before, with enthralling places, and even more enthralling characters.

This is what I had in mind when I really started getting serious about writing and publishing. When I write, I want to tell a story about people and what makes them laugh and cry. I want to feel what they feel and see what they see. This is very difficult for me as a writer. I'm actually a very dialogue driven writer and I find it agonizing to write description.

That being said, I think it is my strength in publishing. When I read the materials submitted to Echelon, I need the description to move me. I want to feel and see and smell and all the other wonderful things that confirm life for those characters. As a writer, it all plays out in the sound bytes, but as a reader, it's a wonderful visual journey inside my head.

Over the last decade, I've begun to notice a shift in the toe of books, in most genres. I don't think as many writers are taking the care to write anything original. My choices of books are getting slimmer because so many writers are trying to rely on what is "in." What is "in" isn't always what readers really want, but more what publishers want readers to have. As a publisher, I fight against this conformist attitude with every ounce of my being. As a writer, I use that knowledge as a tool to keep my stories fresh, and not recycle other people's ideas.

Am I alone? What do you want as a reader? What is most important to you when reading a book? I'd really like to know. <\p>
About the Author:

Karen L. Syed is one of those people who just can't decide what to be good at. She's done everything from teaching two-year-olds how to count, put their own shoes BACK on, and go pee pee in the potty to selling gold chain by the inch to truck detailing for Ford Motor Company to running her own publishing house. The latter is by far her favorite.

One of her greatest loves is writing. With too many stories to tell and not enough life expectancy to write them all, she finds pure joy in publishing the words of others. Working with authors to help them find their potential and place is just about the coolest thing.

Raised as a good little Methodist girl in Florida, she has moved around a bit, only to find herself back in Florida. She recently converted to Islam and is finding a lot more joy and peace in life. And it doesn't hurt that she gets to go to Walt Disney whenever she wants.

Moonlight For Maggie

Maggie Howell is as independent as they come. She can handle anything life throws her way, including gangsters. Without a man's help!

Paul Remington knows where a woman belongs. Not in the line of fire. He's determined to convince Maggie she needs his help, even if it kills him.

And it might!

But it's all in the name of love. Moonlight, mystery, and passion shoot sparks across the Louisiana sky!


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

ExcerpTuesday: Patricia Kiyono

From The Samurai's Garden by Patricia Kiyono

Publisher: Astraea Press


"I hoped Sato-san would sell me the animals and let me make payments later." Her embarrassment turned to anger as Hiro burst into laughter. "What’s so funny? Do you doubt my ability to work the farm and turn a profit?"

"I don’t doubt your ability at all. But I can just imagine what kind of payment that vermin would want from you," he rasped. "I heard some of the things he said." He took her arm as she turned away. "If you don’t have the money, then perhaps you could give me a place to stay for a while. The inn here is full, and there are no other accommodations in town. I’ve been traveling a long time and I’m tired."

Hanako looked closely at the stranger. Her sharp eyes took in the rich fabric of his obi, the fine craftsmanship and fit of his clothing, and the bejeweled hilts on both his long and short sword. "I can’t offer fine accommodations like you are accustomed to having." Her eyes narrowed as another thought occurred to her. "And why should I believe you would not expect the same payment as you suspect Sato-san wanted?"

Hiro drew himself up. "I have taken the oath of the Bushido. You are not an enemy, so I would not harm you or anything that is yours."

It was Hanako’s turn to laugh. "It was a band of your honorable men who came and raided my home, killed my husband, and burned my crops last fall. I do not have much faith in your code."

At the mention of the masterless samurai known as ronin, Hiro's lips curled in disgust. Though many former samurai had taken positions in the Emperor's army or had found new careers, a few wandered the country aimlessly, causing havoc. Now, Hanako wondered if her insult had pushed the stranger too far. If he chose to punish her for speaking to him so, she would have no defense against his strength. She watched his expression, wondering if she should try to run. Finally, he bowed stiffly and spoke. Hanako braced herself for the worst. But her jaw dropped in surprise at his words.

"I apologize for the actions of my fellow samurai," he began, "and you may consider the animals partial payment toward retribution for your loss. In addition, I will work for you this season so your lands may be restored to their former value."


Hiro Tanaka prepared for a life as a samurai warrior. But his world changed when Japan's feudal system was abolished by the Emperor. Now, he must find a new vocation. Disillusioned with fighting and violence, he travels alone, going north to the island of Hokkaido. Many other samurai wander through the country and are known as ronin. Some have forsaken their honorable way to prey on the less fortunate.

Hanako Shimizu experienced first-hand the devastation caused by these disreputable wanderers. The previous winter, they raided her farm and killed her husband. Now, she needs to rebuild but has no money and no prospects -- except for the dubious intentions of the town merchant.

When Hiro, tired of his wandering, encounters Hanako in the market, arguing with the merchant, he poses as her late husband’s cousin then offers to help her on the farm in exchange for a place to stay. Working on the land, Hiro finally finds the peace he has been seeking. But the reappearance of the rogue ronin, led by an unscrupulous leader from Hiro’s past, forces him to take up his swords again. But now, the stakes are higher.

This time, he's fighting from the heart.


During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level.

She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her children and grandchildren. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Saw this great interview with Author Richard Sharpe. Check it out here: http://www.kimberlyshursen.com/ cmr

Great Interview: Richard Sharp

Check out this great interview with #author Richard Sharp. http://www.kimberlyshursen.com/ #interview

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Darkening Dream


The Darkening Dream is the chilling new dark fantasy novel by Andy Gavin, creator of Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter.

Even as the modern world pushes the supernatural aside in favor of science and steel, the old ways remain. God, demon, monster, and sorcerer alike plot to regain what was theirs.

1913, Salem, Massachusetts - Sarah Engelmann's life is full of friends, books, and avoiding the pressure to choose a husband, until an ominous vision and the haunting call of an otherworldly trumpet shake her. When she stumbles across a gruesome corpse, she fears that her vision was more of a premonition. And when she sees the murdered boy moving through the crowd at an amusement park, Sarah is thrust into a dark battle she does not understand. With the help of Alex, a Greek immigrant who knows a startling amount about the undead, Sarah sets out to uncover the truth. Their quest takes them to the factory mills of Salem, on a midnight boat ride to spy on an eerie coastal lair, and back, unexpectedly, to their own homes. What can Alex's elderly, vampire-hunting grandfather and Sarah's own rabbi father tell them? And what do Sarah's continuing visions reveal? No less than Gabriel's Trumpet, the tool that will announce the End of Days, is at stake, and the forces that have banded to recover it include a 900 year-old vampire, a trio of disgruntled Egyptian gods, and a demon-loving Puritan minister. At the center of this swirling cast is Sarah, who must fight a millennia-old battle against unspeakable forces, knowing the ultimate prize might be herself.

Online Reviews

"Wonderfully twisted sense of humor" and "A vampire novel with actual bite" -- Kirkus Reviews

"Inventive, unexpected, and more than a little bit creepy!" -- R.J. Cavender, editor of the Bram Stoker nominated Horror Library anthology series

"This book will satisfy any fan of the vampire genre and then some!" -- Must Read Faster

"In a similar vein to George R.R. Martin's writing style, Gavin often dangles his characters in the maws of danger and doesn't shy away from ... their blood being spilled." -- Andrew Reiner, executive editor of Game Informer magazine

"Now this is a vampire novel! It flows so perfectly between character point of views, it's a great blend of historical fiction, mythology and paranormal." -- Little Miss Drama Queen Reviews

"Action-packed and suspenseful, and there were twists all over the place." -- Les Livres

"Andy Gavin has taken a bevy of supernatural elements, compelling characters, and an intricate and superbly developed storyline, and expertly weaved them together to create an original and enthralling book." -- Word Spelunking


Andy Gavin is a serial creative, polymath, novelist, entrepreneur, computer programmer, author, foodie, and video game creator. He co-founded video game developer Naughty Dog and co-created Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter. He started numerous companies, has been lead programmer on video games that have sold more than forty million copies, and has written two novels including The Darkening Dream, a dark historical fantasy that puts the bite back in vampires.


website: http://all-things-andy-gavin.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/andygavin

Twitter: https://www.facebook.com/andygavin

GR: http://www.goodreads.com/asgavin

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/andrewgavin/

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Gavin


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Darkening-Dream-ebook/dp/B006PIMYLY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1351633149&sr=8-2&keywords=the+darkening+dream

• Amazon paper book

• Amazon Kindle copy

Giveaway: 1 50.00 GC , 1 Signed Poster, 1 Signed Game, and 4 Bookmarks

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Authorsday: On another blog

Go read this great interview with Richard Sharp. Here: http://www.kimberlyshursen.com/

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Blonde Demolition

She glanced at Trey.

He raised a dark eyebrow. "You used to know when I was near."

"Been a long time since I've had to watch my back."

His long slender fingers spread across his chest. "That hurt."

"Truth does."

Cal looked her way from the beer tent, his brows knit. The carnies didn't often stop to talk to the firefighters. Cal moved his big frame in front of her as if she needed protection.

She noted that he looked tired. Maybe she shouldn't bring up her idea about finding her parents today. It could wait until the fair was over.

His pace was slow but steady as he moved toward her. He tugged Mark, the new guy, along with him.

The idea always amused her when they circled the wagons around her. It was sweet how they protected her.

They had no clue she could defend herself armed or unarmed. That information didn't go along with her trust fund reputation. No need to enlighten them.

Trey's words brought her back. "Have you thought about it?"



"I didn't come up with an answer."

She wouldn't be rushed. She would decide this in her own damn time. Not on someone else's schedule.

"Better soon."

"You better move on, Trey."

He glanced back at the firefighters who walked his way. A sardonic grin creased his face. "Well, well."

"Leave, Trey. I don't want to see anyone hurt."

"Me or them?"

He walked past her as if she didn't exist.

Buy here: http://amzn.com/B0065KM0DY