Friday, August 8, 2014

Cephrael’s Hand Cover Reveal and Interview Giveaway!


Cephrael's Hand - NEW COVER

Hello, I welcome you to my blog and to the exciting cover reveal of Cephrael’s Hand by Melissa McPhail!   Look below for the Rafflecopter Giveaway! Be sure to sign up to win a Kindle Fire!!!

Interview with Melissa McPhail

Interview, Cover Reveal & Giveaway with Fantasy Author, Melissa McPhail

1. How important do you think cover art is to selling your books?
I think cover art is essential to book sales. A well-crafted cover will tell the reader in which genre the book is classified, represent in some way the story's theme, and give an overall impression of the world. Fantasy book covers are vital to presenting a sense and feeling of the world. In many cases, the cover is the only visual representation a reader gets.
And of course, we all know that a book cover done well will catch a potential reader's attention. It's your best and sometimes only chance to make that memorable first impression. 
2. For self-published and small house published authors, what do think is important to remember when deciding on the final cover for your work?
I stand firmly on the side advocating book covers that support the central themes of the story they contain. For literary fiction, you can get away with more creative (or minimalist) covers that don't have much to do with the story itself but are artful and visually compelling. 
But for fantasy and other genre fiction, covers should capture a particular feeling that's prevalent in the story (loneliness, peril, mystery, love, longing...) and give the reader some sense of the world.
No matter your genre, ensure your cover communicates the things you need and want it to communicate, and don't settle for anything less. The cover is your first communication to a potential reader. Make sure the communication you want is what gets across to them.  
3. Who did you choose to use for cover art, and why? What was your process for deciding on who to use?
With the original covers for Cephrael's Hand and The Dagger of Adendigaeth, I used an independent digital artist, Kentaro Kanamoto, to create the artwork, and then I designed the covers around the artwork. 
The new covers were produced by Damonza.com. I really liked their approach to cover design and was attracted to them originally when I saw a cover they produced for another independent author. They ask for a lot of information about the story and its central themes up front, and then they get busy creating. They worked with me through a number of revisions until I was happy with the covers.
4. How does the new cover better relate to the book and its characters?
It was important to me to ensure that the new covers give a sense of the world as well as some of the story's key thematic elements. All three of the new book covers give a visual representation of more themes that are central to their part of the story. 
Cephrael's Hand is the name of a constellation that features prominently in book one, so of course those stars are represented on the cover. 
Patterning is the name of the magic system in the world, and some representation of Patterning is included on all of my new covers. 
For the cover of Cephrael's Hand, the most central character in the story is working a pattern. This was important to me, as I feel having that image there helps establish a visual concept of Patterning for the reader early on in the series. The new Cephrael's Hand cover also gives a sense of the time period and setting of the story.    
5. Can we expect similar covers for the rest of the series?
Yes. I decided to rebrand the entire series with new covers. Having all of the books similarly branded as part of the same series is important for continuity and will help readers from becoming confused. The covers also help establish a growing concept of the world as the story grows.
Interestingly, I debated rebranding the earlier books, since ideally once your readers are heading into the second or third books, they're already committed to your series. It brooked the question if book covers were still that important later in a series. But as I looked at this topic, I saw that you never know at what point a reader will come across your books. Too, it isn't always the first book that grabs their attention. So great covers are a must for every book.  
6. Speaking of the series, when will books 2 and 3 be available?
Book two, The Dagger of Adendigaeth, was released in 2012, and book three, Paths of Alir, will be available in October 2014.

The Cover Reveal & Giveaway

Are you ready for the reveal of the new Cephrael’s Hand cover? Because here it is! What do you think? Does it do a good job conveying the fantasy genre? Is it a book you’d be attracted to in the store? Does it make you want to learn more?
Thank you for helping us celebrate! If you’d like to see the new covers for books 2 and 3 in the series stop by www.MelissaMcPhail.com, and check them out.
Guess what else? The author is offering a special giveaway as part of this grand event. Check out the Rafflecopter form below (it’s also available at www.novelpublicity.com/cephrael-cover-reveal/) to find out how you can win a Kindle Fire. Hooray!
Oh, and don’t miss learning more about Cephrael’s Hand and where you can pick up a copy—that’s below too.
“All things are composed of patterns…” And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross:
In Alorin… three hundred years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centuries past earned him a traitor’s brand. It is the Adept Vestal Raine D’Lacourte’s mission to learn what Bjorn knows in the hope of salvaging his race. But first he’ll have to find him.
In the kingdom of Dannym… the young Prince Ean val Lorian faces a tenuous future as the last living heir to the coveted Eagle Throne. When his blood-brother is slain during a failed assassination, Ean embarks on a desperate hunt for the man responsible. Yet his advisors have their own agendas, and his quest for vengeance leads him ever deeper into a sinuous plot masterminded by a mysterious and powerful man, the one they call First Lord.
In the Nadori desert…tormented by the missing pieces of his life, a soldier named Trell heads off to uncover the truth of his shadowed past. But when disaster places him in the debt of Wildlings sworn to the First Lord, Trell begins to suspect a deadlier, darker secret motivating them. Honor-bound to serve the First Lord in return for his life, Trell continues on his appointed path, yet each day unveils new and stranger secrets that eventually call into question everything he knows.
Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or wherever awesome eBooks are sold!

WANT TO WIN A KINDLE FIRE? SIGN UP ON THE RAFFLECOPTER LINK BELOW!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



























Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Cephrael’s Hand Cover Reveal and Guest Post 2 Giveaway


Cephrael's Hand - NEW COVER


Hello, I welcome you to my blog and to the exciting cover reveal of Cephrael’s Hand by Melissa McPhail!  Keep an eye posted this week for an interview and another guest post!!!  Look below for the Rafflecopter Giveaway! Be sure to sign up to win a Kindle Fire!!!

GUEST POST #2


Three Must-Read Series for the Fantasy Connoisseur

A Guest Post & Cover Reveal by Melissa McPhail
Having been a fantasy reader for more years than any southern-bred lady should ever admit, I’ve encountered some excellent fantasy novels. Over the decades, I’ve watched many wonderful books rise to a height of popularity, enjoy the thrill of riding that wave of reader buzz, and then bob away to take their place on a shelf with others of like fame. With so many outstanding fantasies rising and ebbing across the years, it’s easy for newer readers to overlook some classics. Since I’ve been swimming this sea for a while, I thought I would share a few favorites you might’ve missed.
All of these novels have inspired my work in some important way.
Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber
“Amber is the one true realm, casting infinite shadows of itself.”  Only the royal family of Amber have the innate talent to navigate the shadow realms of Amber, of which Earth is one such shadow. At the beginning of Nine Princes in Amber, the first book in the series, Corwin wakes in a hospital with no memory of his identity. As he learns that he’s a prince of the royal family of Amber, so also is he pulled back into his brothers’ and sisters’ perpetual treacherous vies for their father’s abandoned throne.
Corwin moves from one near-catastrophe to another, each one often devised by a different family member, but his wit and his wry, cynical view make all of his misadventures—and indeed, this series as a whole—a joy to read.
The patterning described in my series is nothing like the pattern the royal family of Amber must walk in order to manipulate the shadow realms of Amber, yet Zelazny’s novels did provide a spark of inspiration for my own realm of Alorin, where “all things are formed of patterns.”
Anne McCaffrey’s The Rowan
The Rowan is a beautiful blending of science fiction and fantasy. The story follows The Rowan’s life from a traumatic disaster on a far colonized planet through her training as a telepathic and telekinetic adept with a powerful gift. Adepts such as The Rowan form the foundation of space travel in McCaffrey’s tale, which is part adventure, part coming of age, and part love-story. Ultimately, in trying to save her true love, The Rowan births a gift that may be the key to saving all of humanity.
The way McCaffrey described The Rowan made an indelible impression on me. The Rowan provided the early inspiration for the Healer Alyneri in my series.
C.S. Friedman’s Coldfire Trilogy
This is one of those series that never really loses that popularity wave. But in case you missed hearing about it the last time it crested, the Coldfire Trilogy, starting with Black Sun Rising, is a must.
Gerald Tarrant is one of the most memorable anti-heroes ever written. More admirable still when you realize Friedman wrote him long before Mark Lawrence made the villainous blackguard interesting. In Gerald Tarrant, Friedman presents a man of cold arrogance and bold evil—and makes you fall in love with him, hook, line and sinker.
The artful way she crafted Tarrant inspired me to explore virtue and vice in my own story’s cast of personalities. Some of my more alarmingly compelling characters have Gerald Tarrant as their distant grandsire.

The Cover Reveal & Giveaway

Are you ready for the reveal of the new Cephrael’s Hand cover? Because here it is! What do you think? Does it do a good job conveying the fantasy genre? Is it a book you’d be attracted to in the store? Does it make you want to learn more?
Thank you for helping us celebrate! If you’d like to see the new covers for books 2 and 3 in the series stop by www.MelissaMcPhail.com, and check them out.
Guess what else? The author is offering a special giveaway as part of this grand event. Check out the Rafflecopter form below (it’s also available at www.novelpublicity.com/cephrael-cover-reveal/) to find out how you can win a Kindle Fire. Hooray!
Oh, and don’t miss learning more about Cephrael’s Hand and where you can pick up a copy—that’s below too.
“All things are composed of patterns…” And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross:
In Alorin… three hundred years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centuries past earned him a traitor’s brand. It is the Adept Vestal Raine D’Lacourte’s mission to learn what Bjorn knows in the hope of salvaging his race. But first he’ll have to find him.
In the kingdom of Dannym… the young Prince Ean val Lorian faces a tenuous future as the last living heir to the coveted Eagle Throne. When his blood-brother is slain during a failed assassination, Ean embarks on a desperate hunt for the man responsible. Yet his advisors have their own agendas, and his quest for vengeance leads him ever deeper into a sinuous plot masterminded by a mysterious and powerful man, the one they call First Lord.
In the Nadori desert…tormented by the missing pieces of his life, a soldier named Trell heads off to uncover the truth of his shadowed past. But when disaster places him in the debt of Wildlings sworn to the First Lord, Trell begins to suspect a deadlier, darker secret motivating them. Honor-bound to serve the First Lord in return for his life, Trell continues on his appointed path, yet each day unveils new and stranger secrets that eventually call into question everything he knows.
Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or wherever awesome eBooks are sold!

SIGN UP FOR KINDLE FIRE GIVEAWAY BELOW!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway






















Monday, August 4, 2014

Cephrael's Hand Cover Reveal and Guest Post Giveaway!!!


Cephrael's Hand - NEW COVER

Hello, I welcome you to my blog and to the exciting cover reveal of Cephrael’s Hand by Melissa McPhail!  Keep an eye posted this week for an interview and another guest post!!!  Look below for the Rafflecopter Giveaway! Be sure to sign up to win a Kindle Fire!!!

GUEST POST #1

One Often Overlooked Element of World-Building
A Guest Post & Cover Reveal by Melissa McPhail
Every author should understand world-building. Whether engaged in the writing of genre or literary fiction, an author crafts a unique world with each novel. Even when set in the present day, the novel’s events layer a new dimension upon our visible reality. It’s the dimension of those characters, of that story, but it should feel as real to the reader as his own tangible environment.
One overlooked element in world-building is religion. Often when religion isn’t factoring into the plot of the story, the author may fail to mention it. Yet when we take a look at how religion influences our daily lives—even when we ourselves may practice no particular faith—it’s clear that religion of some nature is part and parcel to nearly every culture that inhabits this earth.
Religion influences our daily interactions with others (moral codes, traditions) and for many, it determines at least in part the way they spend their mornings, nights or weekends. It even influences the words we swear (or curse) by. 
Religious symbols and icons are prevalent in society, from cathedrals to dollar bills to the skylines of Earth’s most ancient cities. Sadly, in today’s culture, the subject of religion provides unending fodder for politicians, litigators, pundits and malcontents; yet these detractions aside, the belief in something greater than ourselves continues to offer spiritual succor for a majority of the world’s population.
Whether you as the author practice any faith, it’s impossible to escape the cultural foundations the world’s religions—from the pagan to the divine—have established through the centuries. Why would life be any different for other cultures, other worlds, other lands? Or for your magical vampire hunter detective?
Don’t overlook this valuable tool for making the world of your novel more real to the reader. The inclusion of some religious mention—whether mystical, magical or mythological—can bring greater depth to any story and create instant bonds of reality between the reader and your characters.
With that said, happy writing!
The Cover Reveal & Giveaway
Are you ready for the reveal of the new Cephrael’s Hand cover? Because here it is! What do you think? Does it do a good job conveying the fantasy genre? Is it a book you’d be attracted to in the store? Does it make you want to learn more?
Thank you for helping us celebrate! If you’d like to see the new covers for books 2 and 3 in the series stop by www.MelissaMcPhail.com, and check them out.
Guess what else? The author is offering a special giveaway as part of this grand event. Check out the Rafflecopter form below (it’s also available at www.novelpublicity.com/cephrael-cover-reveal/) to find out how you can win a Kindle Fire. Hooray!
Oh, and don’t miss learning more about Cephrael’s Hand and where you can pick up a copy—that’s below too.
“All things are composed of patterns…” And within the pattern of the realm of Alorin, three strands must cross:
In Alorin… three hundred years after the genocidal Adept Wars, the realm is dying, and the blessed Adept race dies with it. One man holds the secret to reverting this decline: Bjorn van Gelderan, a dangerous and enigmatic man whose shocking betrayal three centuries past earned him a traitor’s brand. It is the Adept Vestal Raine D’Lacourte’s mission to learn what Bjorn knows in the hope of salvaging his race. But first he’ll have to find him.
In the kingdom of Dannym… the young Prince Ean val Lorian faces a tenuous future as the last living heir to the coveted Eagle Throne. When his blood-brother is slain during a failed assassination, Ean embarks on a desperate hunt for the man responsible. Yet his advisors have their own agendas, and his quest for vengeance leads him ever deeper into a sinuous plot masterminded by a mysterious and powerful man, the one they call First Lord.
In the Nadori desert…tormented by the missing pieces of his life, a soldier named Trell heads off to uncover the truth of his shadowed past. But when disaster places him in the debt of Wildlings sworn to the First Lord, Trell begins to suspect a deadlier, darker secret motivating them. Honor-bound to serve the First Lord in return for his life, Trell continues on his appointed path, yet each day unveils new and stranger secrets that eventually call into question everything he knows.
Get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or wherever awesome eBooks are sold!


SIGN UP FOR KINDLE FIRE GIVEAWAY BELOW!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


















Sunday, August 3, 2014

Interview with R.J Parker-BTSE Magazine Feature

 

Hello everyone and welcome to my blog!! Today’s post is a feature of BTSE Magazine. If you haven’t looked at this great reading resource, please do so now!!!  Special thanks to Babs of BTSE Emagazine for giving me this post to share!!


Below is the feature  Link http://issuu.com/btsemag/docs/july-aug-2014/21

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Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 3.17.39 PM

Interview with RJ Parker  

What is the hardest part of writing true crime novels?

Gathering information. I've contacted the FBI and have been given quite a bit of information, as well from their archives. You can obtain a great deal of information from the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act). Some things get blacked out however. The FBI policy on extracting information is that you have to rephrase or edit every paragraph, or, every 40 words. If the perp is captured and sentenced, than court documentation is a great source and very explicit in detail. If someone is interested in writing, those are two avenues plus, contacting the local police station that investigated the crime and if the case is closed, they will give you a summary of the crime but not crime scene pictures unfortunately.

What is the most heinous crime you've written about?

Writing about school shootings. When I was writing No Killing in the Hallways, I was an emotional wreck. Being a parent of two teenage girls in school, and to research and write about what happened at V. Tech and Columbine, was emotionally draining.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Unchained Memories Blog Tour

 

UnchainedMemories_w8038_300

Blurb: 

As a rising medical malpractice attorney, Charlotte Taylor believes in standing up for the injured, giving them a voice, and advocating for their rights. She couldn't do it for her mother, so she does it for others, even if it means losing the love of her life.
Dr. Clayton Montgomery believes in working hard and playing even harder, until he reconnects with Charlotte. Barely noticing her crush when he tutored her ten years ago, Clay has a chance to make up for lost time when the beautiful lawyer comes back into town...until he discovers her chosen career path.
Now, philosophical differences soon become a reality and Charlotte is faced with the choice of representing a client against the hospital and against Clay. Will Charlotte give up her career and her tribute to her mother for a second chance with the man who got away?


Buy link:  Amazon-http://tinyurl.com/o3wgbdp

Website:http://www.mariaimbalzano.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MariaImbalzano

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/mariaimbalzanoauthor

Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/search?query=Maria+Imbalzano


EXCERPT

Red. Hot. Sexy.

Like magnets, Clay’s eyes clicked on Charlotte, unable to repel the force holding them. Her chestnut hair was held up in a loose, sexy do that had him itching to pull the pins to release it. Her strapless dress showcased a long neck and creamy shoulders that called out to be kissed. His involuntary focus on her lovely traits throughout the evening had made him a rude dinner companion; unable to answer even the easiest of questions.

He had come here tonight to socialize with the powers that be at the hospital, to talk up the ER, to lay the groundwork for future requests. But his concentration had been directed elsewhere. Since he’d squandered his opportunity to network, he should leave. But here he was at the bar at ten-thirty, waiting for a scotch and soda. The band was heavily into their Motown set and many of the revelers packed the dance floor.

Across the room, Clay zeroed in on Charlotte talking to a group of men, her red gown like a flame in a sea of black. He smiled. She sure knew how to turn heads. His included.

But he knew her better than those clowns. He knew the sweet, tough eighteen-year-old who’d lost her parents within hours of each other. The broken girl whose emotional health had worried Dr. Collins, their Chief of Surgery, much more than her physical wounds.

As the band segued into a slow song, Clay covered the distance between them. “Excuse us, gentlemen, but the lady promised me a dance, and I’d like to claim it now.” He deposited his drink on an empty table and guided her toward the dance floor.

“I don’t recall promising you a dance.” Her beautiful face held the hint of a smile.

“You don’t? I must have dreamed it.”

He pulled her into his embrace, and moved with the music around the floor, feeling like one of the luckiest men there. Although she hadn’t promised anything, she glided around the room, following his lead. Her perfume intoxicated him more than any drink ever could, and the movement of her graceful body against his had his heart palpitating.

Little Charley Taylor had certainly grown up, and he couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to know her now. As an adult. Ten years removed from the time their lives had intersected.


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About the author:

I was born in Trenton, NJ , in the heart of Chambersburg, the Italian section of town. My father was a barber and my mother, a State employee, who also taught me to jitterbug at the tender age of four. We loved to dance in the living room while watching American Bandstand. Hardly star material, but I was driven nonetheless. The product of a Catholic School education, I learned the basics, and took for granted  I would be successful doing something, even if it entailed cutting hair. I attended Rutgers University as a psychology major, but after three years decided I liked political science better. My first job led me to Manhattan where I worked as a paralegal for four years before attending Fordham University School of Law. There I learned to think like a lawyer, write like a lawyer, and speak like a lawyer, all while living like a pauper in the city of my dreams. Living in New York City, albeit on a tight budget, allowed me to indulge my love of ballet, art museums, and theater. Did you know you could walk into a theater after intermission and no one checks your ticket? I enjoyed the second half of many plays as well as ballets.

My love of reading dates back to my childhood when I would borrow at least four books from the library every week. During the summer, I would sit in the house and read, until my mother, totally frustrated, would send me outside to play and lock me out. I always found my way back in. However, I must confess, I hated to write. In every English and writing class throughout college, I dreaded trying to be creative. As a friend from law school so aptly put it, “The reason why we’re here is because we don’t have a creative bone in our bodies.” I agreed.

Despite my dislike of creative writing back then, I embraced legal writing, and was first published in Volume 5 of the Fordham International Law Journal. My article was entitled “In re Mackin: Is the Application of the Political Offense Exception an Extradition Issue for the Judicial or Executive Branch?” I would advise you against reading it, for you will surely fall asleep.

Following law school, I returned to central New Jersey and took a job at a local law firm where I have been a partner for many years.  My area of practice is divorce, and while emotions run high and clients are living through the worst time of their lives, I find the practice very satisfying.  In addition to litigation,  I have added mediation and collaborative divorce to my repertoire, which are much more civil ways of dealing with issues in family law cases.

In addition to practicing law and raising two daughters, I’ve been working towards my second career.  Memoranda of Law and Legal Briefs, although fascinating, pale in comparison to writing romance/women’s fiction. So how does one transition from divorce lawyer by day to romance writer by night? That’s the beauty of having two distinct passions. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

WIN A KINDLE FIRE HDX!!!!!

Enter to win 1 of 2 great prizes. Winner's choice of a Kindle Fire HDX or $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 Paypal Cash! The first prize is available via the rafflecopter below. The 2nd is available only to bloggers who post about this giveaway. You can find info on how to enter the 2nd giveaway in the rafflecopter. Kindle Fire April

Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)
  Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)
  Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)
    Giveaway Sponsors: I Am A Reader Feed Your Reader Inspired Kathy Author Rachael Anderson Author Carolyn Cooper Author Kimber Leigh Wheaton Laurie Here - Contemporary Fiction and MORE Fabio Bueno, YA Author A Book Lover's Retreat Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews Becoming Books Fae Books Author Christie Anderson Author David Pandolfe Jetpack Dragons Clutter Your Kindle Crossangels Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke Alexandrea Weis Author Addicted Readers Author Alecia Stone Tressa's Wishful Endings Author Rae Z. Ryans Bella Street's Weird Romance Bonnie Blythe's Pure Romance Author Inger Iversen Author M.A. George Theresa DaLayne Buried Under Romance Author Myrna Mackenzie Owl Always Be Reading Jacqueline Diamond Author Joan Leacott Free Bookster Emma Michaels Jennifer Laurens - author My Nook, Books & More LOVE. WITHOUT YOU The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something year Old Girl Bound 4 Escape Reviews from a Bookworm The YA Buzz Claudia Burgoa Lynda Raymond Books for Young Children A. Wrighton, Author Author Niki Danforth Lori's Reading Corner Hearts On Sleeves Book Blog The Forever Girl Series Author Crystal Donahue A Leisure Moment : A Casual Conversation about our love for Literature Author Elizabeth Parkinson Bellows Me, My Shelf and I Author FA Michaels The Reporter and The Girl Author Ashley Stambaugh Extaordinaryreads Laurie Treacy, Author Faithful Acres Books   Sign up to sponsor the next Kindle Giveaway here: http://www.iamareader.com/category/kindle-giveaway-sign-ups   Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire HDX 7", $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash. Ends 4/30/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Waking the Dead by Heather Graham

 

Waking the Dead by Heather Graham

Releases March 25th 2014

Blurb:  They say a painting can have a life of its own…

In the case of Ghosts in the Mind by Henry Sebastian Hubert, that's more than just an expression. This painting is reputed to come to life—and to bring death. The artist was a friend of Lord Byron and Mary Shelley, joining them in Switzerland during 1816, "the year without a summer." That was when they all explored themes of horror and depravity in their art…. 

Now, almost two hundred years later, the painting appears in New Orleans. Wherever it goes, death seems to follow.  

Danielle Cafferty and Michael Quinn, occasional partners in solving crime, are quickly drawn into the case. They begin to make connections between that summer in Switzerland and this spring in Louisiana. Danni, the owner of an eccentric antiques shop, and Quinn, a private detective, have discovered that they have separate but complementary talents when it comes to investigating unusual situations. 

Trying to blend their personal relationship with the professional lives they've stumbled into, they learn how much they need each other. Especially as they confront this work of art—and evil. The people in the portrait might be dead, but something seems to wake them and free them to commit bloody crimes. Cafferty and Quinn must discover what that is. And they have to destroy it—before it destroys them.

Link to page in Magazine: http://issuu.com/btsemag/docs/mar-apr_2014/73

BAD MONSTERS BLOG TOUR

 

Bad Monsters -- Blog Tour Banner


Bad Monsters Cover

 

STOPPING TO HEAL – 80'S INFLUENCE ON "BAD MONSTERS"

In Clinton D. Harding's debut novel "Our Monsters", Jon Graves and his friends escaped their parents and the military, leaving behind the only home they'd ever known, the small town of Carpenter. But their freedom is short lived as they find themselves in more danger than before they left Carpenter.

"Bad Monsters"—the second book The Our Monsters Chronicles, released March 2014—picked up where its prequel ended. Jon and his friends are on the run and hunted and by General Mauser and his military dogs. Jon can practically feel them breathing down his neck, as the jaws of the military dogs snapping at his heels.

Blood is spilled, friendly and not, and now Jon must answer his friends' questions sooner than later, or risk one of those friends dying. He's just not sure he's the person to be deciding their fates or if he, Alice, and George are fully prepared to walk away from their normal lives.

A farm in northern California may serve as salvation to this scared, but brave, group of teenagers. However, can they trust the inhabitants they find there, who themselves have a history with Carpenter? If Jon can talk his way past the shotgun in his face, he might just discover what he and his friends need; answers about the history of Carpenter, the hybrids, the powers the teens borrow from their hybrids and who are the true monsters. In all this confusion and danger, Jon may also find a young woman who can help heal the wounds left by Mikaila when she left him and the group.

Pick up "Bad Monsters", the second installment in The Our Monsters Chronicles, is now available and can be found in e-book and paperback form at major online retailers: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords.

***

I grew up in the 80's. When I was young, my mother worked a second job on the weekends to pay the bills. While most kids were teaming up for a baseball games on Saturdays, my mother took my sister and me with her to that second job. My sister and I brought books, comics, toys, rented videos from Blockbuster, and a portable 16-inch combination TV/VCR.

Imagine a deserted office building in Marina Del Ray California. The lights off. Trash cans emptied with new plastic liners. Empty cubicles. Boardrooms with vacant chairs. Powered down computers and copiers.

While my mother worked all weekend, my sister set out our books and pushed play on the TV/VCR. Those tapes wore out quickly. Blockbuster made a lot of money. I'm still perplexed why Blockbuster went out of business! I should have singlehandedly funded its future operations!

In those days movies like "The Karate Kid", "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", "War Games", "The Goonies", and "The Lost Boys" occupied my time. I wore out those VHS rental. Maybe that's why Blockbuster went out of business? They had little usable inventory left after I broke in my membership card.

When it came time to write "Bad Monsters", the second novel in The Our Monster Chronicles series, I went to an old staple for inspiration.

The entire novel series is based around a group of teenagers combating the short-sightedness and corruptness of the US military. Jon Graves and his friends rescue a group of test-tube monsters—called hybrids—from murderous mental conditioning and lives as weapons meant as disposable instruments on the battlefield. Adults, their parents are the enemy. Friendship is the teenagers' greatest weapon. If Jon, his human friends, and their hybrid companions stick together they're a team the military has no chance in oppressing.

Sounds like an 80's movie, right?

In "Bad Monsters", the teenage heroes and their hybrids are now on the run. They've escaped the military's base but a group of highly trained soldiers and their own leashed hybrids are on the trail. Disaster strikes, leaving one of Jon's number near death.

That's how the film—or rather the novel—begins. The teenagers and hybrids go in search of sanctuary but find even more trouble. They also cannot avoid the military forever.

One of my favorite movies (and comics, for that matter) is the first—and best—"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". While many similarities can be found between "Bad Monsters" and the film and comic, there is one in particular similarity that inspired me. In the film, the turtles and their human companions are attacked by the evil Foot Clan. Raphael, the grumpy brother of four in need of anger management, is injured in a rooftop battle and the turtles are outnumbered. So the turtles flee. The group heads to a farm to recuperate and meditate on their relationships with each other and their goals in the current conflict.

This was part of the inspiration for "Bad Monsters", or at least the germ that I never knew I had infecting my imagination.

I need my heroes to find a direction. At the end of "Our Monsters" the teenagers and their hybrids escape military bondage but... now what? I knew the answer, of course. I plotted the series. However, I needed the characters to come together and find the answers for themselves. Jon, George, and Alice are also a dysfunctional unit. While I don't think their little family will ever stop fighting, nor will Trick stop playing pranks on Bo, after the events in "Our Monsters" the characters needed to come together. They needed re-forge. They needed to stitch their individual patches into the beginning of a cozy quilt.

So I dropped the characters on to a quiet place in Northern California, out in the middle of nowhere, to reflect and heal together. There they'll discover new allies, reassess their advisories, and unearth clues as to the origins of the hybrids and the hybrids' bond with their individual human companions.

Nothing goes right. Everyone is at each other's throats. Trouble is not far down the road.

Read "Bad Monsters" to see just what kind of trouble. Also, look for more articles on the some of the new characters appearing in "Bad Monsters" and more on the novel's and the series' additional inspirations.

***

Clinton D Harding (author pic)

When Clinton D. Harding is not busy wrestling and taming wild Scottish Terriers in wilderness of Oxnard California, he's using a magic pen he pulled from a stone to craft new worlds filled with fantastic beasts and evils that need fighting. He is also the author-publisher of The Our Monsters Chronicles, a YA series of novels that combines fantasy/sci-fi elements with horror chills. For more information about Harding and his creations visit his website, like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, or become a fan at Goodreads.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

MARCH 2013 EDITION OF BTSEmag

HEAD OVER AND CHECK OUT THIS AWESOME

E-BOOK MAGAZINESmile

Stray Ally Blog Tour

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It's launch day for the newest book by Troy Lambert, and you're invited to participate!  This incredible book is being released by Tirgearr Publishing, just after it's recent Anniversary event, on the 4th of March.  As ever, Troy's kept everyone abreast of the writing of this book on Facebook, and even had a mini-competition to name it.  Troy is a stalwart supporter of other writers and is well worth following. blurbblack

Stray Ally by Troy Lambert - 500 A strange accident on the freeway, accusations of murder, and an encounter in the Idaho wilderness all propel Todd Clarke into a new friendship with a dog named Sparky. But Sparky is no ordinary dog, and there is more going on than Clarke could have imagined. A military commander he investigated for Aryan activity and links to domestic terrorism is after him, and he’s not sure why until another chance encounter provides the answer. With Sparky and the help of his canine friends, will he be able to figure out the Colonel’s plan and stop him in time? All Clarke knows for sure is none of it would be possible without the help of his Stray Ally. Buy the book here, from the Tirgearr Publishing. 

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The skateboard collided with my windshield, and I braked with both feet, screeching forward. The body hit the glass next, spider-webbing it as the skater’s helmet-clad head struck the glass in the center of my vision. The rear view mirror separated from the window and hit the center of the seat with a thud as the car skidded to a stop.
Marsha is gonna be pissed, came the unbidden thought. We just replaced this windshield.
Where did he come from? Creedence still blared from the stereo speakers and I turned the ignition key to the rear. Silence descended, broken a moment later by distant sirens.
I lifted my hand and felt wetness on my forehead, cut by—something. Glass? Must have been.
I opened the door, dazed. Under the helmet, a young face offered a blank stare. Nothing but blackness in the eyes: no color. Not good.
“You okay, kid?” I felt stupid asking. Stupider for expecting a response. “What were you doing on the freeway?”
I heard distant voices. Looked up. Kids, on the overpass above. Did he fall?
They pointed. One slugged the other one. A scuffle brokeout and they ran. All of them.
The sirens came closer. Another car pulled up, tires squealing as it stopped, rocking on its springs.
“What happened? Is everyone okay?” the driver asked.
Struck dumb, I just pointed. The skateboard rested half on the roof, half on the shattered windshield. The skater lay below it, unmoving, his left foot against the hood ornament, the Mercedes star cocked sideways.
“Is he..?”
He didn’t finish, but rushed over, feeling for a pulse, checking for breath. All things I should have done, but couldn’t.
He shook his head, glanced over at me. “What was he doing here?”
I shrugged.
“Did you see him?”
Head wag, substituted for speech.
“Are you okay?”
Another head wag. I couldn’t articulate what was wrong.
“You’re bleeding.”
I managed a nod, and then my legs gave out. I dropped to the pavement and grimaced as my tailbone impacted the hard surface. I heard a whimper. It must have been me, because the other driver rushed over.
I stared ahead, seeing and not seeing the scene.
The sirens got closer, red and blue light illuminated Marsha’s car, the body, the skateboard, the chrome of her wheels, even making the brake lights appear to flash.

Help arrived, even though the boy was clearly beyond help. So was I, but no one knew it yet.


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Troy works as a freelance writer, researcher, and editor. He writes historical site characterization reports for those performing remediation on former resource extraction sites, software instruction and help guides, and edits the research of others as well. His true passion is writing dark, psychological thrillers. His work includes Broken Bones, a collection of his short stories, Redemption the first in the Samuel Elijah Johnson Series, Temptation the sequel to Redemption, along with the horror Satanarium, co-authored with Poppet, a brilliant author from South Africa and published by Wild Wolf Publishing. His next novel, Stray Ally, will be published March 4th by Tirgearr Publishing. The final in the Samuel Elijah Johnson Series, Confession will be published May 1st. Troy lives with his wife of twelve years, two of his five children and two very talented dogs. He is a skier, cyclist, hiker, fisherman, hunter, and a terrible beginning golfer.
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Author Website |Twitter |Facebook | Amazon Author page | Goodreads | Smashwords | Linkedin | Pinterest

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Best story of a dog (Stray Ally) that you rescued or that helped you through a hard time sent to author@troylambertwrites.com by March 29th wins a $25 Amazon gift card. Winner and story shared on my blog Monday, March 31st. Share your story today!
You can also enter our Rafflecopter below...
Troy is appearing on multiple blogs in the next few days - head on over to The Finishing Fairies for tour central, information and more!
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