Friday, October 30, 2015

The Week in Links 10/30/15 Halloween, Free Comic Book Event, Binge Reading

Book Marketing and Branding
How to Create the Perfect Book Media Kit
5 Ways to Create Infographics for Instagram

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Guest Post | Writing Tips & When to Ignore Them by D.M. Marlowe

D.M. Marlowe will be awarding handcrafted jewelry representing character/theme of her book to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and handcrafted jewelry representing character/theme of her book to a randomly drawn host. Prize is available for international shipping. Enter giveaway at the bottom of this post!
Studying, working to improve your craft—it is part of the job. Every writer works at it, from the greenest newbie to the multi-published bestseller. It’s not onerous, either. Listening to other writers and, commiserating can be great fun. Comparing processes can be fascinating. It can also spark a light bulb moment relating to your own work.

The trick, however, is being able to filter the useful sparks from the blinding light.

When I was a beginning writer, I went to a writing workshop. I was excited because, based on the description, I thought I was going to learn the formula for writing a book. The trouble? The instructor gave us the formula for writing a book. She was knowledgeable and successful and the subtext was ‘Do it this way and you will be, too.’

I wasted 6 months trying to twist and squeeze myself into writing her way. A lost cause. Her way was not my way—and it took me that long to gain the confidence to believe that. Once I did, the angst fell away and my productivity increased.

The truth is that there as many ways to write a book as there are writers. And as much as a beginner might wish to be given a blue print, they shouldn’t make that wish. Finding your own process is how you become a writer. Make no mistake, it’s a hard slog while you are in it, filled with surprises, flights of joyful confidence and the corresponding descents into despair. (Get used to this—it never ends.) But relax, if you can, and enjoy the journey.

Don’t stop going to workshops, reading craft books or listening to authors. Just learn how to cherry pick the nuggets that work for you. Feel free to discard the rest. Find the way that makes putting words on the page a joy—and guard that process like the treasure it is.

Writing is hard. Publishing is hard. (That’s a whole other blog!) So preserve the wonder. Learn everything you can. Become a master of your craft. But protect the joy.

And create.

D. M. Marlowe lives in North Carolina with her family and two cats. When she is not spoiling them all, she is probably writing. Failing that, she's likely lost in a book or movie, on a long walk, gardening or hanging with her friends.

In her other life, she is a USA Today Bestselling author of Historical Romance.

Title: Eye of the Ninja
Author: D.M. Marlowe
Genre: YA Fantasy Adventure

Blink—and you’ll miss her.

Mei Barrett has been hiding all of her life. Raised in solitude by her beloved father, she’s been trained to fight, to adapt, to defend. She couldn’t prevent his death, however, when it comes at the hands of a mysterious creature straight out of legend. She could only run—and learn how to hide in plain sight.

For four long years Mei has lived alone on the fringes of a society still recovering from the devastation of quakes and disasters along the infamous Ring of Fire. Mei’s concerns are more immediate however. She must hide her eyes and their despised mutation, and she must stay one step ahead of the strange wind demon that continues to hunt her.

Detection was inevitable. But Mei begins to make some discoveries of her own. For it seems that her old enemy is not the only mythical creature on the loose. Nor is she the only one fighting them.

And perhaps her own tragedies are not as far removed from those the world is facing, after all.

Something was off. Not in the same way as before. But I felt . . . something. Eyes watching.

I veered suddenly into the parking lot of a used bookstore.

Something moved in the line of trees at the far edge, right at the spot where I would have walked past. Something large set the high branches to rustling. I moved easily, acting as if I didn’t notice.

The bookstore door was locked. I cursed under my breath before nonchalantly turning to the rack of free books lining the front of the place. Picking a title, I leaned against the door and opened it. I eyed the parking lot from beneath my brim, then tossed the book back and chose another—a thick, oversized edition of Sherlock Holmes tales. Nothing moved out there. Not a branch or a leaf or a rustle of wind.

I wasn’t fooled.

I hefted the book and pretended to be absorbed. Slowly I moved out, head down, nose in the book, ambling west again, but this time taking the alley behind the bookstore’s neighboring houses. The lane was lined with full-grown trees, providing some cover. When I hit their sheltering darkness I tucked the book under my arm and took off at a fast, silent run.

Not for long. Something thumped to the ground, directly in my path. I skidded to a stop, backpedaling rapidly.

Panic and disbelief nearly stopped my heart. My mouth hung open.

This was not the creature of my nightmares and memories. It was something different altogether—and yet still entirely unbelievable.

On two feet, broad and heavily muscled, it stood over twice my height. Its skin was a deep, dark red, its nose large and curved over like a beak. Large, heavily muscled arms flexed as its hands opened and closed. Long, white hair flowed back to meet huge, rustling black wings.

It tilted its head in a distinctly avian gesture and peered down at me. A thin, trilling sound echoed in the alley. “So small you are, to be the cause of so much trouble." 

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Building Dark Worlds Update

Building Dark Worlds: A World Building Guide is supposed to be available today. It is but it's having some technical difficulties.

-For some reason, the Amazon listing doesn't have a cover image. The book cover meets all the requirements. I don't know what went wrong. Amazon is looking into it. They said they'll have an answer for me by Friday. Fingers crossed.

-Also, the book has some formatting issues that didn't show up in the preview.

-I republished the book with the cover before I knew about the formatting issues. I'm waiting for the book to be updated so I can upload the new book file. A nicely formatted book will mean nothing if I can't get the cover to appear on the Amazon page.

This has never happened before. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Dark Twisted Fate: Story and Giveaway Part 4

Welcome to the last day of #DarkTwistedFate. Thanks for following and voting. Revisit Parts 1, 2 & 3. Giveaway ends midnight tonight.


Kiran grabbed Va and raced for the door. He sensed nothing following them. The door was closer. Still nothing pursued them. Why was the entrance hall so large? Would they make it? Va pulled ahead. She reached the door first and threw it open. Nothing happened. They ran outside. The door clicked closed behind them. Va stopped. Kiran ran into her back.

Human-shaped shadows rose from the red smoke covering the front yard. They packed the grounds, cutting off any escape. They were taller--much taller.

Damn. Kiran couldn’t see a way around them.

“What are they?” he asked Va.

Maybe she could give him some clue to get around these things.


This was not the time to withhold information.

He stepped around Va and faced her. Why did she have to be taller?

“What are they?” he asked through his teeth.

She stared at him. Kiran wouldn’t back down.

“Most demons believe we still have some power. We can’t access it anymore. When Lyalls took over the human and demon worlds, that unused part of ourselves, the power inside us, stored the hatred we couldn’t properly express. It’s believed that unused part finds freedom in death. It becomes a Nechtan, an entity who's only purpose is to make others feel as it does. It's unstoppable. It gets inside the mind and takes away who you are.”

They were the essence of dead demons? Why were they shaped like humans? Va said they were supposed to be a myth.

Inside sounded like a more attractive option. He was not going to die here because thoughtless humans picked a rotten place to have a party.

Humming reached through the door. Not that damn song again. Kiran braced himself. The humming didn’t sound like Mom. It was sweet but wrong like a stuffed animal missing an eye. The shadows shivered. The song grew louder. Invisible cold claws raked up and down Kiran’s back. The song reached an ear assaulting shriek. A presence rushed toward Kiran’s back. He dragged Va away from the door. It burst open. The thalig Va was after raced out. It stopped in the yard. The shadows collapsed. Darkness moved, but the Nechtans seemed unable to take their human-like form again.

Kiran forgot how large thaligs were. Its teeth were taller than Va. Those hungry gold eyes killed all thoughts, stopped all movement. Just one of those tree-trunk legs could crushed Kiran. That beast was cursed with six of them. Kiran needed to do something. But what?

“Stop staring and let us leave before they wake up.”

Vikramma and the children sat on the beast’s back.

Was he saving them? His kind were savages. They destroyed worlds. They killed his family. They tortured for fun.

Why would he save them?

Va’s arms hooked around Kiran. She jumped on the thalig’s back. She released Kiran as they sat behind the children. The beast lunged forward, nearly throwing Kiran off. He adjusted himself and turned to Va.

“Are you insane? Why are we accepting help from a Lyall? They will kill us.”

“We did not destroy the worlds nor did we enslave human and demon kind. We experiment. We don’t run worlds.” Vikramma said. “They did it.” He pointed to the shadows as they regained their nearly sold form. “Them and the Chetens, the hooded creature.”

“Why would be believe you?” Kiran demanded. Nechtans were the essence of dead demons. Weren't they? Why wasn’t Va saying anything. Why did she merely frown at Vikramma? Why did she go with this Lyall without a fight?

“You have other problems, demon. That Cheten wasn’t here for us or the dead humans.”

Kiran’s blood ran hot then cold.

“Are you saying it’s after us?” Va finally said.

Why didn’t she sound frightened or surprised? Vikramma aimed a frown at Va.

“You know what it wants.”

She looked down at Kiran. “I might.”

Vikramma faced forward. “I’ll finally learn why we were ordered to let the last Neeal live.”

Kiran stiffened. “What does my family have to do with this?”

“Demons are stupid,” the little girl said.

“They make better toys. We must play with them,” the boys said.

“Not those two. We need them. You have this thalig to play with, now."

The children cheered.

“Need us? Vas asked.

“You’re going to save us,” Vikramma said. 

Va snorted. " I doubt that."

"I wasn't asking."

Va clicked her tongue. She slipped her arm around Kiran’s waist, resting her chin on his shoulder.

“Do you trust me?” she asked.

“Not at the moment.”

“I’m serious.”

Kiran sighed. “Yes.”

He always sensed something odd about Va’s family. He attached himself to Va because she felt the most honest. The Ka treated him as family. He never felt like an outsider. A thought in the back of his head always nagged at him. Kiran’s family never dealt with the Kas before they died. Why did the Kas take him in?

“My family loves you, but they didn’t adopt you out of kindness,” Va said.

Kiran leaned again Va. She didn’t throw him off. The night didn’t turn out so bad.

Enter to win a Journal and 2 Styluspens. Giveaway ends at midnight

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Friday, October 23, 2015

The Week in Links 10/23/15 Magic Systems, Anime Preview, Self-Editing

Book Marketing and Branding
YouTube Strategy: How to Plan Your YouTube Marketing Success
9 Instagram Tips and Tools for Marketers
Seven Online Tools To Help You Generate Content For Your Blog

MIND MELD: The Children’s Movies That Scared Us the Most
Mitchell Hogan, Author of A CRUCIBLE OF SOULS, on Magic Systems: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Letter From Hell by M. Lee Mendelson

Title: Letter from Hell
Author: M. Lee Mendelson
Genre: Horror

A simple, routine call to 911 unexpectedly erupts into a grisly suicide. Mike, a well-seasoned deputy is uncharacteristically disturbed by the gruesome scene. Who was this tortured soul, and why did this happen? 

Innocently, most of us accept our destiny. We assume our life experiences are the result of mere chance. Few of us discover that our fate is actually an orchestrated tapestry woven from beyond our world. When that influencing weaver is from the netherworld, you may likely find yourself on a dark, terrifying, and tragic journey. 

What if you discovered a letter penned by a desperate soul from beyond the grave, a literal letter from hell? What if that letter could alter your perception of reality by revealing that you are not in control? Would you dare read it?

Suddenly, out of the deafening silence, there erupted a bloodcurdling shriek from the quiet house which Mike had just walked away from, confident that all was well.


Mike whirled around. As he did, he saw a bright flash looking like the strobe of a camera in a dark room, illuminating the large plate glass window of that beautiful house. With the flash came a single, thunderous “BOOM.”

Mike’s experience and training instantly took over. Instinctively, he drew his weapon and took cover behind the trunk of a large oak tree in Beatrice’s front yard.

Taking a quick inventory of himself first, he then looked and saw Steve, who had almost made it to his car, standing in the middle of the road. He appeared to be paralyzed with uncertainty.

The senior, more experienced Mike called out, “STEVE, GET YOUR RIFLE AND TAKE COVER!”

Mike then turned and cried out, “MRS. JOHANSEN, GET INSIDE YOUR HOUSE!”

Steve snapped to and reacted to Mike’s commands. He ran to his trunk and retrieved his AR-15 rifle.

He then took cover behind his patrol car.


“Dispatch to four-thirteen, copy shot fired.”

The once quiet radio now sparkled to life. “Dispatch to four-oh-three, four-oh-nine, four-twenty-two, four-thirty-seven, Supervisor six, Canine seven, respond to 2701 Red Oak Circle for a reported shot fired.”

From the report, Mike could tell it had been a large caliber weapon that he’d heard, probably a shotgun or rifle. All units reported en route. Mike could now collect his thoughts.

He rapidly assessed. Am I okay? Check. Is Steve okay? Check. Is Mrs. Johansen okay? Check. Help coming? Check. In the distance, Mike could hear the sounds of sirens. The cavalry is coming!

In what seemed like an eternity, but in reality was only a span of a few seconds, Mike had run his checklist and was satisfied he was ready to continue.

His thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the sound of the same female voice piercing the silence.

Following the sound of her screams, Mike heard, “OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD, HE’S DEAD! HE’S DEAD! HELP ME, HELP ME!”

A first time author, M. Lee Mendelson and his wife Yvonne have six children between them, three boys and three girls. Yes–the Brady Bunch. He was inspired and encouraged by Yvonne to write his first book after he proposed the concept to her. 

M. Lee never dreamt of writing anything before his first book, but has now discovered he has a passion for writing, with one idea after another pouring out of him. A rare native Floridian, M. Lee recently retired from a career as a full-time firefighter and part-time law enforcement officer. His twenty-six years of experience on the streets have given him a vast array of experiences; some good, some bad. 

His recent retirement allows him much more freedom to dedicate to his newfound obsession with the written word. His first book, “Letter From Hell,” is a complex horror novel with a little something for everyone M. Lee’s real-life experiences, coupled with an active and vivid imagination, allow his stories to come alive. 

Striving to paint pictures with words, he immerses the reader into his scenes. His ambition is that people will enjoy reading his work and deem it worthy to recommend to others.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Guest Post | Fantasy World Building by KJ Taylor

KJ will be awarding an eCopy of Wind to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour, and choice of 5 digital books from the Impulse line to a randomly drawn host. Info at the bottom. 

I absolutely love creating a new world. The reader gets to explore my creation – but so do I! Half the fun of writing a book is discovering the world it’s set in; plenty of details reveal themselves to me as I go along, and it’s amazing how everything falls into place as if I’d known it all along.

That doesn’t mean I start with a completely blank slate, though – far from it. In the beginning I have a concept in mind; eg. a world in which people ride on griffins, or a world in which some people have the power to summon dragons to serve them. Once I know the core concept, I have to consider how this would affect a society. In the case of The Drachengott, I saw that the people who don’t have magic or dragons would no doubt be very cowed and frightened and would value skills with ordinary weapons since that’s their only defense.

Meanwhile, when it was time to write about the people who do have magic, I designed their cities and lifestyles to reflect their special abilities. The ordinary people use lamps to light their streets at night, but those with magic use differently colored, eternally burning flames to not only provide light but also indicate which area of the city you’re in (that would look so beautiful). Non magical people (called “Gottlosen” in the books) top their city walls with spikes and string up nets of chains to keep dragons out, but magic users don’t have any of that because the dragons are their allies.

It’s important to pay attention to the little details as well. In the cities of the magic users, or Jüngen, you see commoners using magic for practical purposes. If you want ice, then you can buy it from a man who knows how to freeze water with magic. Someone who needs a new fork goes to a blacksmith who uses magic to shape a piece of metal into one right there on the spot. The Jüngen really haven’t developed any technology to speak of because they don’t need it.

But meanwhile in the neighbouring country of Espan, there is no magic and therefore their technological progress has not been hampered. They have guns. The Jüngen don’t.

A major trap an author can fall into is to put something into a fictional universe without considering the full implications. There have been quite a few series in which magic exists but is never used in ways you would expect people to use it. I had a character in a different series I wrote who could disappear at will. I asked myself “if he can do that, why doesn’t he just sneak into the enemy stronghold and poison the leaders of his enemies?”

I quickly saw that there was no reason why he wouldn’t, so that was exactly what he did. And if he hadn’t, I suspect a lot of readers would have been asking why not. If you give your characters certain powers, they should use them logically and to their full potential, and if they don’t then there has to be a proper explanation for it. In one case I had a character who refused to use a power he had at his disposal because he also had a code of honor and insisted upon sticking to it despite having an unfair advantage over his enemies.

And if your characters have powers, then it’s going to affect the world they live in. Again and again I’ve told aspiring writers that “you can’t change something major and expect nothing else to change”. It’s just not believable. And in any case, putting believability aside, it’s boring! Developing your world properly is fun to do, and it makes the book more enjoyable for readers as well. That way, everybody wins.

Title: Wind: Drachengott Book 1
Author: KJ Taylor
Genre: Fantasy

Wendland is a land of dragons, and of magic. The mysterious Drachengott grants magic to his worshippers - but is he truly a god? Rutger von Gothendorf is only a simple furrier, but he has become his village's local eccentric, thanks to his obsession with the murder of his brother by the Drachengott's servants. He holds onto the vague hope that he will one day have the chance to fight back against them - until one day a mysterious and beautiful woman named Swanhild comes into his life. Rutger is instantly smitten - but Swanhild knows more than she says, and a web of lies and deceit threatens to sour the love beginning to grow between them.

And all the while, the Drachengott waits ...

K.J.Taylor was born in Australia in 1986 and plans to stay alive for as long as possible. She went to Radford College and achieved a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications at the University of Canberra, where she is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Information Studies.

She published her first work, The Land of Bad Fantasy through Scholastic when she was just 18, and went on to publish The Dark Griffin in Australia and New Zealand five years later. The Griffin’s Flight and The Griffin’s War followed in the same year, and were released in America and Canada in 2011. At the moment, she is working on the third set of books in the series, while publishing the second.

K.J.Taylor’s real first name is Katie, but not many people know what the J stands for. She collects movie soundtracks and keeps pet rats, and isn’t quite as angst-ridden as her books might suggest.

Follow the Tour!

The wind whistled through the darkness, shaking the branches all about and putting a chill into the air. It carried a scent with it, straight to Rutger’s nose. He took it in and immediately tensed.

‘Did you smell that, Horst?’ he hissed, snatching his older brother by the arm.

Horst shook him off. ‘Not now, Rut — we’re in enough trouble without worrying about funny smells.’

‘But it smells like rotting meat!’ Rutger insisted. He paused, ignoring Horst’s impatient look, and breathed in deeply. The smell hit him again — worse, this time. He retched slightly. ‘Can’t you smell it?’
Horst, big and muscular, turned his head in the gloom and sniffed. A moment later, he grimaced. ‘You’re right: something’s dead out there. Come on, let’s move on before we find out what.’

He strode off, Rutger hurrying after him. ‘You don’t think it’s spiders, do you?’
‘Could be,’ Horst said shortly. ‘Keep your eyes open.’

Rutger swallowed and put a hand on the hilt of the long dagger looped through his belt. He had never seen a giant spider before, and he wanted to keep it that way. Silently, he wished he had never asked to come out here into the forest with Horst. But it had all seemed so harmless — just a quick stroll through the forest to check Horst’s mink traps. But then they hadn’t been able to find the last trap, and now they were lost.

I really am the unlucky seventh son, he thought glumly.

If Horst was as worried as his brother, he didn’t show it. He walked slightly ahead, dead mink swinging from his belt. A big old woodaxe hung on his back, brought along for protection. Night was falling now, and the sooner they got out of here the better.

The forest all around was dense and looked threatening, its spiky pine needles sighing in the relentless wind. Night always seemed to come early here. But at least the putrid smell had gone away.

‘How close do you think we are now?’ Rutger asked in a low voice.

Horst shook his head. ‘Not sure — I think there’s a clearing up ahead, though.’

Rutger came to his brother’s side, and the two of them climbed a small rise into the clearing. The instant Rutger left the shelter of the trees, it hit him again: the hideous stench of rotting meat slamming into his nose, so powerfully that his eyes watered. Beside him, Horst had stopped. Rutger heard him swear softly. He looked up, intending to tell his brother that they should go — and then he saw it.

Ahead, in the clearing, a faint light began to glow. It shone on the dark, lumpy shapes which hung from the trees at the far side. Some could have been animal corpses, but the rest . . .

Horst wrenched the axe down off his back. ‘Get behind me, Rut,’ he said sharply. ‘Get out of here. Now.’

‘What—?’ Rutger started to say — but too late.

As the light brightened, two of the hanging shapes dropped to the ground and stepped forward. They wore rough leather tunics with hoods which covered their heads, but on each of their chests was a pair of red gemstones, set into an amulet. They glowed faintly in the light, making a halo over each of the two men, like a pair of glowering eyes.

‘Jüngen!’ Rutger heard himself say.

One of the pair pointed accusingly at them. ‘How dare you enter this sacred grove?’

Horst started to back away, axe raised.

The two Jüngen joined hands, and the light around them intensified as their linked hands rose. An instant later, a great flash blinded Rutger. He cried out as he fell back, but his voice was drowned out by a screeching roar from above.

A pitch-black dragon was hovering over the Jüngen’s heads, its eyes glowing red. Light crackled over its wings, and it roared again.

The Jüngen let go of each other, and the second of the two spoke to the dragon. His words were a short, cold command.

‘Kill them.’

KJ will be awarding an eCopy of Wind to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour, and choice of 5 digital books from the Impulse line to a randomly drawn host.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 19, 2015

Dark Twisted Fate: Story and Giveaway Part 3

It's week 3 of #DarkTwistedFate. You decided how the story ends. If you've joined for the first time, check out Part 1 and Part 2.

"Leave without responding" won.  Enjoy Part 3 and vote what happens next.
Clicking her tongue, Va turned and headed for the door. Kiran was more than happy to follow her this time. She walked too slowly. Kiran wanted miles between them and this building.

A humming rose. Mom’s song. Kiran stopped.

Child Kiran stood beside Mom. She smelled of dira flowers and shima oil. The family blade sat across her lap. She held her hand over it. Black and yellow smoke poured from her palms, surrounding the sword. That blade would be his one day. He gripped Mom's dress. She smiled at him, humming.

The song turned into a scream.

Mom disappeared. Darkness remained. The scream attacked his skull like a spiked terist horn. He slapped his hands over his ears. Cool liquid met his hands. He stuffed it back into his ears. Maybe that would stop the scream’s sickening assault. He pushed the liquid. It didn’t protect him. The scream pierced behind his eyes. It wove through his skin like a sewing needle. He felt it everywhere.

That monster, Vikramma, defiled Mom’s song. Kiran stopped covering his ears. The beast savaged his warmest and last memory of Mom. Blood ran out of Kiran's ears like water. It leaked from his eyes. He let it.

He represented the Neeals and the Kas. He’d make his lost family and his new family proud.

The darkness disappeared. The blood soak entrance hall appeared. The scream assaulted.

A frown disturbed Vikramma's once haughty expression.

Kiran was on his hands and knees. Va petted his head. Warm waves eased the pain still moving through his body. Va's mouth moved. He couldn’t hear her. She was facing Vikramma.

The scream died.

“If we bow before you, we cannot stand in front of our families,” Va said.

Vikramma was a Lyall. His kind enslaved humans. They took the demon’s home, power and freedom. They poisoned both worlds with their insatiable plants and animals. They could never destroy a demon’s pride.

Human shaped shadows flowed into the room. Dozens of them milled into the hall like late party guests. The air buzzed with garbled chatter. Their shadow feet floated over the carnage. The gore disappeared.

Their bodies of darkness became more solid as they inhaled the humans' remains. 

Va stepped back. She never retreated. What were these beasts?

“I’ve heard stories.” Va grabbed him arm, hauling Kiran to his feet. “Those things are supposed to be a myth.” She stepped toward the door.

A robed figure almost as tall as the room floated it. Wind disturbed the fabric though no breeze penetrated the room. No solid body was under that robe though skeletal arms stuck out of the sleeves. The hood was pulled tight around its misshapen head. No feet fell out the bottom the robe. 

The two children shivered behind Vikramma who eyes were wide. The color left his face. What sort of beasts were these creatures that even a Lyall was afraid of them?

 Select or comment your response. Come back next Monday for the final installment of Dark Twisted Fate!

Enter to win a Journal and 2 Styluspens. Giveaway ends 10/26

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Friday, October 16, 2015

The Week in Links 10/16/15 Murder Houses, Blogging Tips, Pre-NaNoWriMo

Book Marketing and Branding
11 Ways You May Be Spooking Your Readers on Social Media
15 Top Bloggers And Writers Reveal Their Best Writing Tool For Killer Blog Posts
Top Brands Rediscovering YouTube: New Research

Why Ghost Stories Are The Absolute Scariest
Let's Talk About Horror In Art
You Think You’re Good at Cosplay? Check Out This Guy’s Hulkbuster Costume
Powers Boothe is Coming to Scowl at the ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

Did you read any memorable articles this week?

-Horror Short-

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Five Warriors

Title: The Five Warriors
Author: Angela J. Ford
Genre: YA Fantasy

What if...
your best friend started a rebellion in the middle of a war?
your lover awakened a deep evil and helped it grow?
your people were too cowardly to face a battle?
you stole an ancient power source?
you gambled with the fate of the world?

Join five powerful warriors each with a unique ability and magical weapons. Their quest is to discover where the transformed creatures are coming from and put a stop to it.

Along the way they run into treacherous immortals, sea monsters, powerful beasts of the air and talking animals.

Each has their own reasoning for joining the quest, but one carries a deadly secret which just might be the destruction of them all.

Starman stood at the shore of the great Dejewla Sea and stared at the enormity of the swaying body of liquid. The water shone like sapphires, beckoning him to crawl into its watery graves and swim and dive as if he were a child of aqua. Waves rippled across the surface but any animals that used to dwell near the Sea had long since disappeared. He could smell the richness of the soil as the plants close to the water stretched their roots deep, bloating themselves on saltless seawater.

Alaireia, on the other hand, had already dropped her pack of supplies and was loosening the black belt that carried her long sword. “It’s good we’re camping here for a time,” she was saying, sitting on a fallen log to unstrap her black boots as Starman continued to be captivated by the Sea. “I, for one, would like one last swim before we enter the desert. Swift claims it is a dry, barren place.”

“It smells like dead fish,” Starman said, wrinkling his nose.

“Starman?”Alaireia asked, standing barefoot on the shore. “Are you coming for a swim?”

“Oh.” Starman’s face turned red. “I…I…uh…”

Alaireia laughed as she waded into the water to see how it felt. “The water is fine!”

“Uh…” Starman turned to go, almost tripping over his feet. “I’ll go downstream with the others,” he stammered.

“Wait, Starman,”Alaireia called. He turned around, still blushing, but she stood knee high in the water, staring into it. “What did you say it smelt like?”

Starman opened his mouth to reply when something leaped out of the water, snatching Alaireia and dragging her under. “Fish! Crinte!” Starman shouted all at once. “Help! The fish have Alaireia!” He drew his sword and ran to the waterside, but all was still again. Eyes like saucers, he ran back to the trees. “Crinte! Marklus! Swift! Hurry!” he yelled.

He ran back to the Sea only to shout and leap back in surprise as a monster surged out of the water, its long, brown-spotted tentacles waving in every direction. Along the length of each tentacle suction holes moved in and out as if the creature were breathing in air and water at the same time. Its round head had barely emerged but it was the center of the tentacles with two, horrifyingly large, ink black eyes.

 Starman could see a mirror black image of himself drowning in the sticky elixir of those eyes and immediately leaned over to vomit in a bush. As he wiped his mouth on the back on his hand he saw Alaireia, wrapped in one of the sucking tentacles. It was one of the most beautiful and terrifying sights he had ever seen as she rose with the creature, streaming with now muddied water. Her black hair hung long and her shoulders were bare as she gripped the tentacle in both arms, her face a mass of concentrated fury as she struggled for release.

“Alaireia!” Starman yelled, dashing into the water with his sword raised. A tentacle reached out for him and he slashed at it, ripping it open and causing black blood to leak out. Starman almost gagged as the stench of decaying fish overwhelmed him in the water. Despite it he moved closer to the great creature. It towered above him, lifting Alaireia higher into the air. 

Starman slashed at the next tentacle that tried to capture him, but ultimately failed as one wrapped its slimy length around him and hugged his body uncomfortably close. Still waving his sword, he proceeded to chop at the thick length that held him, but the creature was unforgiving. It reared its head even further out of the water, displaying a wide gaping mouth. It opened it and roared.

Angela J. Ford is an imaginative and entertaining writer who creates stories of fanciful worlds that enable young adults to confidently believe in possibilities and overcome differences to be stronger together.

Born in Ann Arbor, MI, and raised in Alabaster, AL, she moved to Nashville, TN, where she currently resides, to pursue a degree in Music Business at Belmont University.

Although her career has not been largely focused on creative writing, it has been an integral part of her lifestyle. Brought up as a bookworm and musician, she began writing The Four Worlds, a fantasy action, adventure series at the age of 12. The storyline of those books was largely based off of creative games she played with her sisters.

Originally finished when she was 16, after college, Angela began to re-write the Four Worlds Series, bringing it from a child's daydream to an adventure young and old alike can enjoy. Inspired by fairy tales, high magic and epic fantasy, you’ll enjoy your adventures within the Four Worlds.

If you happen to be in Nashville, you’ll mostly likely find her at a local coffee shop, enjoying a white chocolate mocha and furiously working on her next book. Make sure you say hello!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Brave Men Die

Title: Brave Men Die: Book 1 of 3
Author: Dan Adams
Genre: Fantasy

Part one of an exciting epic fantasy series written by a new voice in Australian fantasy.

Castor and Pollux Fallon are members of the Buckthorne military, and have been since their mother handed the unruly little bastards into the care of the Baron after their father's death.

When the Kyzantine Empire attacks the Murukan outposts in the Callisto Mountains the brothers answer the call to war. Behind the front-line battle scenes are brutal assassinations, political backstabbing and the re-emergence of a dark power long thought eradicated from the land. The conflict escalates, all the while forcing each brother to make another difficult decision between sacrifice and duty until the day that the toll is unbearable ... and there is only one type of sacrifice left.

In the vein of Mark Lawrence and Peter V Brett, this is an exciting new name in medieval epic fantasy.

Riding over the loose sun-dried dirt, Volans kicked up dust as he rode back along the column. There had been little rain since the beginning of summer and the hardened travel road had become brittle and cracked. Volans’ face was covered in dust and his sweat had smudged it in. He looked over the faces of the unit as he went past. The men mainly looked casual, but under the bored expressions were men willing to receive and carry out any of his orders. He continued riding until he found the two men he was looking for.

A smile formed on his parched lips. Volans watched as the faces of the two young men turned sour. Castor appeared to take it to heart, his sullen expression revealing his opinion for only the briefest of moments before control returned. Argol on the other hand was furious. He muttered something so low under his breath that Volans could only make out some key words, not appropriate language to be directed at a superior officer.

‘What else do you want us to do?’ Argol asked, highly suspicious and aggravated at Volans’ arrival and not at all worried about letting it show.

‘Lieutenant,’ added Castor.

‘Hydrus has a lovely job for you two.'

Castor looked at Argol and raised an eyebrow. ‘And what does it involve?’

‘You two get to ride down the Trasken road and act as decoys.’

‘Sitting targets? No fair!’ exclaimed Argol.

‘Everyone else will ride cross country. Either you will draw them out or we will flush them out.’ Volans remained rigid, trying to press on the youngsters the seriousness of the situation.

For a brief moment Volans wondered if they would disobey him. Castor and Argol were his closest friends within the unit but he drew a fine line when they were on duty and he was their superior.

Fate stepped in. Castor nodded his head in acceptance and started to ride off. Argol sucked in his gut and puffed out his chest before audibly exhaling. ‘It’s all good mate. We know where the orders came from.’

Volans turned and rode about twenty paces behind Castor and Argol. They sat straight and tall in their saddles, even amongst the sniggering and laughter from the rest of the Nails. Since the rest of the unit was older they seemed to enjoy the novelty of youth, and when those two got the shit jobs they couldn’t help but smile, the tension between Hydrus and those two obvious to all. Argol and Castor never returned the unflattering remarks. As they passed Hydrus the boys both saluted, mocking Hydrus and his orders. Volans glanced at Hydrus. His face displayed no sign of offence, his lips remaining a hard, straight line.

With big smiles the boys dug in their heels and rode off.

As Volans pulled up at the front of the company next to Hydrus, it occurred to him that neither Castor or Argol were part of Hydrus’ loyal followers. Castor, having grown up and tutored with him, thought of him more as a sibling, an annoying, snobbish one at best. As for Argol, Hydrus was just another competitor who was slightly older and lucky enough to have a better station in life. They respected him and grudgingly followed his orders, but when the opportunity presented itself they followed their own agenda. Well, more so Argol’s. Volans smiled and Hydrus raised an eyebrow at the sudden shift in attitude. Volans shrugged it off and regained his composure. Those two were not Hydrus’ men. They were his.

Dan Adams is a Sydney-based writer. When he's not penning kick ass war stories, he's working on his guns - the arm variety, rather than the weapons featured so prominently in his books. He loves slushies and always finds himself climbing too many stairs on Wednesdays.

Dan will be awarding an eCopy of Brave Men Die to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour, and choice of 5 digital books from the Impulse line to a randomly drawn host.
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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Sceptre of Morgulan

Title: The Sceptre of Morgulan
Author: Matthew D. Ryan
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: Nov. 10, 2015

Coragan of Esperia has another job to do. Can he and his companions capture the Sceptre of Morgulan and prevent an apocalypse? Or will Korina outmaneuver them again and escape with the prize? So much hinges on the efforts of so few—if they fail in their quest, if the evil witch Korina the Black succeeds, she may gain an unrivaled power over the forces of darkness; a power she will not hesitate to use.

It appears my mistress needs me again, which is good, in a way ... my hunger has returned and I am due for another feeding. I relax as I am pulled up the last short channel of the jar; I concentrate on the sensations and feelings that barrage my mind as my essence twists and turns, undulating in response to the summoning magic.

Coalescing from mist form to human, I become aware of another presence in this chamber. Something strong and powerful, reeking of magic and other rancid odors. Glancing in the creature’s direction is enough to identify it: an arcagrich, a demon I am familiar with, although I have not seen one in a thousand years. I turn away from the demon and glance back towards Korina. She stands several feet from me in a summoning circle; she looks ... pale, almost frightened. I’m glad she still respects me, but really? I do not intend to break my word ... at least, not yet.

The crack of a multi-lashed whip splits the air and my vision explodes. Staggering, I drop to one knee as the shock and pain hit me. I gasp: there was more than just metal behind that whip! I lift a hand to my face; it is a mangled ruin. Three long furrows streak across my cheek and another one mars the pale flesh of my neck.

I turn to look at my assailant, angry, yet cautious.

“Lucian! Slay that demon,” Korina says.

Now, I understand. Her pet has escaped. And she wants to use me to clean up her mess. I might have refused, if the creature had not attacked me. But it is an arcagrich. Can I take an arcagrich?

Why, yes. I believe I can.

Matthew D. Ryan says he receives his inspiration from his many years as an avid role-player and fantasy book reader. He has spent many long hours devising adventures and story-lines as well as gaming systems for role-playing games, playing a motley assortment of characters in RPG worlds, as well as digesting the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan, and others. As a result, he has great depth of experience in the fantasy genre and feels it was a natural shift for him to move into fantasy writing.

Mr. Ryan is the author of the exciting dark fantasy novel, Drasmyr, The Children of Lubrochius, and The Sceptre of Morgulan, as well as a growing number of short stories. His first novel, Drasmyr, won the book of the month award on Long and Short Reviews: Young Adult for the month of September 2012. Drasmyr serves as the prequel to his series: From the Ashes of Ruin. In addition to Drasmyr, The Children of Lubrochius, and The Sceptre of Morgulan, he has published several short stories on-line, including: “Haladryn and the Minotaur”(published at the now defunct Pegasus On-line), “The River’s Eye”(published at , “Escape”(published at, and the three-story collection Of Dragons, Love, and Poison.

He has also spoken on the topic of “World-Building” utilizing his considerable experience as an author and game-designer. When not engrossed in his fantasy worlds, Mr. Ryan can be found volunteering at the local food shelf or playing with his cat, “Confucius,” who is as wise and wily as his name suggests.

Matthew will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.

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