Sunday, June 25, 2017

Author Spotlight: A.M. Rycroft



Please welcome A.M. Rycroft to Fantasy Fun Reads. She has a new book out in just a few days that is available now for pre-order. I love reading Teen Fantasy and when there is sword and sorcery involved I just can't resist so as I was prepping this post I went on over to the following link and picked up the first book in the series for only 99cents.

Buy on Amazon!

The Joy Thief releases in just two days and is available for pre-order.

Blurb:

Can dreams kill?

The battle against The Harbinger took a deep toll on sell-sword Aeryn Ravane and the young thief Theo Weldon. The peace they've found ends when they travel north to the city of Eben and discover a malevolent force is feeding on the dreams of Eben's children. It comes for Theo next.

She fights a losing battle as her nightmares spill into reality. Aeryn's search for some way to help Theo leads her to a dark legend and a creature no one believes is real. But is it really just a myth?

Aeryn races to find out the truth before Theo's nightmares become the death of her.



Biography

A.M. Rycroft read her first book of horror short stories when she was just eight years old. Her first fantasy book followed shortly after. She loved them both and went on to devour many more books in both genres.

Scary stories and fantasy books quickly took over her life. She wrote her first horror short when she was nine, much to the horror of her English teacher and her parents. It wasn't until well after high school, however, that she tackled her first fantasy novel, not long after reading "A Game of Thrones" by George R.R. Martin. This time, it was to the horror of her college writing professors, who shunned all things having to do with "genre fiction".

Rycroft's dark fantasy Cathell series is a clear melding of her two reading loves: sword and sorcery fantasy and spine-tingling horror. The strong female characters' experiences parallel the classic hero's journey, but with a dark and bloody spin. She takes great delight in drawing a rich world with flawed characters and villains that seem to get more terrifying as the series progresses. Her teachers would be so proud.


Friday, June 23, 2017

Author Spotlight: Beverley Lee


Please welcome Beverley Lee, dark fantasy author of The Gabriel Davenport Series.

Blurb to Gabriel -

In a house built on truth something lays hidden.

Beth and Stu Davenport moved to Meadowford Bridge to give their young son, Gabriel, an idyllic childhood. But one night, their dream is shattered by a hidden, ancient darkness-- and their lives are forever changed.

Years later, Gabriel goes looking for answers about his mysterious past. Soon, his life begins to unravel as he discovers that the people he loves and trusts most are harboring sinister secrets of their own. As the line blurs between darkness and light, Gabriel must confront the terrible events that destroyed his family all those years ago.

His choice: continue living a lie in blissful oblivion, or give himself over to a terrifying new reality. The darkness awaits.

The first few lines to Gabriel, to set the scene -

'She dreamed in grey, the colour of misery.
The pall bearers lowered her coffin into the ground. She banged on the lid, bloody fingers clawing at the wood. But she wasn't trying to get out. She was trying to get in.'

http://mybook.to/TheMakingofGabrielDavenport

Check out the Readers Favorite Review

Blurb to Shadows -

Gabriel Davenport has been remade from darkness. Now, he must adapt to survive .

In a small seaside town, Gabriel's maker unwittingly takes his wards into the throes of a deadly new game. There are rumblings on The Bloodvyne, the mental web of linked vampire consciousness. Whispers about a cleansing, about the ruling council hunting vampires with impure blood.

Gabriel finds himself thrust into a new nightmare, where the hunter becomes the hunted. When his maker is taken, he must battle to untangle the mystifying clues laid out in an uncovered labyrinth to find the only creature strong enough to fight against those that hunt his new-found family.

Gaze long into the darkness, and you'll find old vampire foes out for revenge, new ones with their own agenda, and a witch who holds the key. But just who is the monster in the middle?





Author bio -

'Beverley Lee is a freelance writer currently residing in the south east of England. In thrall to the written word from an early age, especially the darker side of fiction, she believes that the very best story is the one you have to tell. Supporting fellow authors is also her passion and she is actively involved in social media and writers’ groups. The Making of Gabriel Davenport and A Shining in the Shadows are the first two books in The Gabriel Davenport series.'

Links -










Saturday, June 17, 2017

Author Spotlight: C.H. Clepitt


Please welcome C.H. Clepitt to Fantasy Fun Reads ♥
I recently read I Wore Heels To The Apocalypse and loved it!
Just a lot of fun....




Is anyone truly prepared for the apocalypse? Well, Kerry certainly isn’t, and she fairly quickly discovers that looking sharp in a business suit and heels is not going to help anyone when there’s an apocalypse, with possible zombies!



This is a laugh out loud comedy with romance, heart and talking badgers, and is not to be missed.

What would you wear to the apocalypse? #IWoreHeels

I Wore Heels To The Apocalypse is out now. Buy it on Kindle, Smashwords or in paper at Lulu.com. Follow C H Clepitt on Facebook, Twitter.




C H Clepitt has a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of the West of England. As her Bachelor’s Degree was in Drama, and her Master’s Dissertation focused on little known 18th Century playwright Susannah Centlivre, Clepitt’s novels are extremely dialogue driven, and it has often been observed that they would translate well to the screen.

Since graduating in 2007, she gained experience in community and music journalism, before establishing satirical news website, Newsnibbles in 2010. In 2011 she published her book, A Reason to Stay, which follows the adventures of disillusioned retail manager, Stephen, as he is thrust into village life and the world of AmDram. Clepitt’s feminist fantasy, The Book of Abisan not only crosses worlds, but confuses genres, and has been described as a crime drama with magic. She has often said that she doesn’t like the way that choosing a genre forces you to put your book into a specific little box, and instead she prefers to distort the readers’ expectations and keep them guessing. Her 2016 work, I Wore Heels to the Apocalypse does just that, as just like the characters, the readers won’t know what’s going on in this laugh out loud satirical scifi.




Monday, June 12, 2017

Author Spotlight: Sonnet O'Dell


It's my pleasure to welcome Sonnet O'Dell to Fantasy Fun Reads with a spotlight on her latest book,
Blessed by Blood. I have read many of Sonnet's books. She is an excellent writer and I have never been disappointed.

Blurb

Delilah Stanton, a disillusioned romance novelist, knows her life needs to change. She needs to drink less, write more and stop fooling around with men who are no good for her. When a lawyer arrives offering an inheritance - a house in a small far away town - she doesn't look back.

Mistral Cove at first glance is a quaint township set against an ocean backdrop. Scratch the surface however and you get - a ransacked house, a great aunt whose death was no accident and a town full of supernatural suspects.

Mistral Cove has a lot to offer Delilah. Peace, purpose and the prospect of a new love. But is this new life worth its price?

Buy Links
Kindle US  http://a.co/dKSexrt


Bio:

Sonnet was born at the John Radcliffe in Oxford and spent many years living in different spots all over the UK.
Sonnet now live in Worcester, Worcestershire, home of Lea & Perrins and the site of the last battler of the Civil War. Sonnet enjoys nothing more than reading or writing a good book. She is fascinated with worlds created by words and has a passion for mythology that can be seen in some of her works.
She has a BA Hons Degree in Creative Writing & Writing for Performance and a writing companion in the form of a large black tom cat called Salem.

Social Media
Twitter:  @sonnetodell


Friday, June 9, 2017

Paranormal Authors Unite!


Paranormal Authors Unite! A pair-of-normal paranormal authors have gotten together to introduce you two new reads you will enjoy. Rose Montague's Jade http://amzn.to/2q7QXC1 and Raven Maid: Out of the Darkness by Erik Schubachhttp://amzn.to/2r0ebL1 .

I'm so happy to pair with Erik Schubach on this cross promotion. One thing I have noticed since I first published is how his books show up on my book pages under the customers who bought this also bought section. We share readers in common and this should encourage more of our readers to try each other's books....

Jade:  
4 LOLs, 5 WTFs, & 6 OMGs
Surprises, plot twists, & shockers keep coming ♥

Blurb:

Meet Jade Smith, a magical mutt with a mission. A detective partnered with a shifter named Rolfe, she’s on the case to solve a slew of murders: Vamps are killing humans, and nobody knows why. When London Jane, the most powerful vamp in town, is implicated in the murders, Jade knows something isn’t right. Together with Jill, the Winter Queen of Faerie, Jade and Jane take their investigation underground. On the run, with nowhere to hide, they uncover a secret that could destroy Faerie, as well as the human realm. Will Jade stop the killer in time? Or will she be the next victim? 

Magic, mayhem, and mystery abound, and the odds are stacked against them; it’s three against three hundred.

Raven Maid: Out of the Darkness:

Blurb:

Adelaide Oliver, raised in the bayou in New Orleans, flees the Big Easy to Seattle when she believes she is seeing things and losing her mind.

What she doesn't realize is that she is a Raven Maid, a secret of the Voodoo, Vodoun faith.

She walks the path between this world and the next, guiding lost souls to their final destination, whether that be the wayward spirit's idea of heaven or hell.

But what happens when a soul doesn't wish to leave the mortal realm?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Guest Post: Jesse Frankel



Those of us in the Indie Author and Small Press community know how hard it is to sell a few books. When we find out that someone out there is stealing our work and using it to further their nefarious ends, it's not a good feeling. Today I have Jesse Frankel, a prolific author talking about book pirates.

Aaaaar, matey, you've been pirated...
Not a good feeling, is it? You've worked hard on your manuscript, you've sweated and slaved and bled and cried and exulted in a labor of love...and a few days after it's been officially published, it turns up on a pirate torrent for anyone to download it--free.

This can be disenheartening for anyone. It was for me. Privately, as well as publicly, I raged, not only at the individual who set up the site--one of many, perhaps--but also against the people who gleefully boasted "I've been searching for a FREE copy of this book for a long time!" (For anyone's information, it was The Menagerie. In the past, it was Star Maps, the first edition).

People out there must understand that, in general, writers are not wealthy. If I were Stephen King or J.K. Rowling or any other well-known writer whose earnings run into six digits or more a year, I probably wouldn't care.

However, the vast majority of writers, regardless of whether they're traditionally published or self-published, do NOT make millions. Were that to be true, I wouldn't be writing this article. Every sale IS important. Word of mouth is important. Reviews are important, and pirate sites giving away our stuff for free undercuts our potential by, IMO, a significant margin.

For those who are niche writers, it's even worse. We already struggle; we don't need some unscrupulous person to make things worse. Of course, they don't care. They figure "Oh, so-and-so is already getting money. I wanna make mine!" And the readers--at least some of them--figure the same thing. So either they're wilfully ignorant or downright stupid. Place your bets!

So, the question arises of what to do in this situation. Options include sending a complaint letter--which I have done--but chances are the site owner will ignore it and step up their efforts to sell.

Two, threaten legal action. Good idea, but reality shows that it costs the suer more than the suee. (Soo-ee? Arnold, anyone? That's a Green Acres reference,, for those out there old enough to remember the show).

Three, publicly name those who not only sell, but also buy. This is risky, as it verges on libel, and short of magically traveling through the Internet to find out where their computer is and popping up in their living room, there isn't much one can do.

Another author mentioned that he considered it an honor to have his work pirated in the sense that someone was reading it and others might buy it in the future. Well, he is entitled to his opinion, and I respect that. Me, I felt bitter at first and then royally angered--to put it mildly--but I came to realize that some people--the aforementioned site owners as well as some readers--are unscrupulous to the max and will not change.

However, I can. I can only do what I think is best for me, and that's to keep writing, something Suzie Carr, a terrific writer and friend, mentioned recently. I can only do my best and hope that readers will be honest and buy my books and not cheat me or other writers or the system. I can only hope.

And that four-letter word is what sustains me, that, and the good wishes of fellow authors and readers who have bought my work in the past and I hope will continue to buy it in the future.
_____________


Links

Hi, I'm Jess Frankel, pen name J.S. Frankel, an expat Canadian now living in Japan. I write primarily YA Fantasy, and some of my better known novels are the Catnip series (five books), The Titans of Ardana trilogy, Star Maps, and Picture (Im)perfect, my only romance novel.
My latest novel, a YA suspense/thriller, The Undernet, will be released in late June. Here's the link, and I hope everyone will give my books a try.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Discovering New Authors


Discovering new and exciting authors is like finding an unexpected treasure ♥
Here are my latest discoveries....


You can see I tend to binge read when I find an author and series I love. There is another one after this that I'm sure I will be purchasing soon. The Aria Fae Series is awesome! I'm so glad I discovered H.D. Gordon. This is a young adult superhero series with a kickass heroine and lots of action. Suitable for older teens, it is also a series that adults will love. Here's the link...

https://www.amazon.com/Aria-Fae-4-Book/dp/B01M639PZW


I read these two in two days. The Southern Vampire Detective Series is fantastic. I will grab the third in the series as soon as it releases and will probably try a few other books by Selene Charles. This one is a paranormal romance with vampires and werewolves along with many other supernatural creatures. Here's the link....

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071R22LVK

I haven't been writing much lately but the big upside to this is reading and discovering wonderful authors like these two.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Time is on our side...


A little comic I made about a year ago using stripcreator.

It seems the more books I write the less time I put in actually writing. I feel this urge to market and promote all of my books and I suppose that is only natural. As writers we want people to read our books and in my current financial situation, I also want to see some modest financial gain from the time and energy I put into it.

I have found that the best way to get sales is to continually publish new books. Every time I publish a new book, I see an increase in sales. It's not only the new book that sells but it also seems to start a surge in sales of my back list of previously published books. Then I spend a couple of months riding that wave of new sales, then a couple of more months wondering why my sales are now down and coming to realize I had better get busy on writing that next book.

Of course, if I had done better on writing that next book during those four months I would probably have it ready to publish rather than scrambling on getting it written. It's a cycle I am going to do my best to avoid after Wiznewski James is published. I'm going to try and starting writing the next book almost immediately this time rather than spending the majority of my time looking at the sales and promoting and marketing the new release. I'm going to strive for more of a balance this time around.

Wish me luck, it won't be easy to resist the urge to focus exclusively on my new release....


Coming soon (meaning I will get it done as soon as possible).

Thursday, March 30, 2017

New Release: The Caging at Deadwater Manor by Sandie Will



I'm so excited to be able to help Sandie Will spread the word about her debut novel. I just bought my copy at today's special price and I hope you will do the same!

Do you like a suspense-filled novel? If so, I’ve got a treat for you. My friend Sandie Will has just published her debut novel The Caging at Deadwater Manor and it is a treasure.

It’s about a young woman named Jeannie who finds herself held against her will by staff at Deadwater Manor - a psychiatric hospital with an unscrupulous past. Inspired by true events, this is a captivating story where Jeannie shares her heart-wrenching experience while getting treatments that will make you cringe.

Jeannie’s story takes you on a disturbing, edge-of-your seat nightmare that will prey on your psyche for years to come. And it can be yours TODAY ONLY for just $2.99.

To grab your launch-day priced kindle copy of The Caging at Deadwater Manor and to learn more about this fabulously cringe-worthy read, head to…

www.DeadwaterManor.com

Don’t miss this opportunity to be one of the first to know how Jeannie’s story ends!



Monday, March 27, 2017

Cover Reveal: Wiznewski James by Rose Montague




Coming soon ♥
I hope to have everything finished by the end of April and a book release sometime in May.

Hello. My name is Wiznewski James. I'm a real person but that's not my real
name. My real name is GEM (Genetically Engineered Modification) Set 231
Batch 31,390. My sister is called Kate and she's not a real person but that is the
real name I gave her. She's an AI (Artificial Intelligence). She rides around with me
in my brain. Together we are on the run and hiding in plain sight. It was only a
matter of time before we ran into ConGlom again.

I've got the Genesis Egg and ComGlom wants it. I'm going to make sure they
don't get their greedy hands on it. When they find out who I really am, they will want
me almost as bad as they want the device. I've decided to take a stand. It's going
to be a real fight and they have no idea what they are getting into. They made me
and I will make them regret it.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Jade: Excerpts


1. "I held the dagger up and the light of heaven shone forth, brilliant, seeking every shadow and filling it with that light. Other than Emily, the rest had turned their eyes away from it. She was stronger in her magic and I could tell she was fascinated by the dagger. I withdrew my dagger from my right boot sheath, a close copy I had found, very similar in design and replaced it in my boot sheath with the Sicam Tenebrarum."

2. ""Nice tattoo," he said, I looked at my arm and in the same place where the little dragon had been when I went to London Jane's party, was now a pentagram tattoo, perfectly formed. Looking at the TV again and smiling he asked, "Your doing?"
"Maybe so," I said, smiling as he pushed buttons on the remote, to no avail.
"Mayberry will just have to do," he replied, setting the remote back down on the bar."

Get Jade here:

Meet Jade Smith, a magical mutt with a mission. A detective partnered with a shifter named Rolfe, she’s on the case to solve a slew of murders: Vamps are killing humans, and nobody knows why. When London Jane, the most powerful vamp in town, is implicated in the murders, Jade knows something isn’t right. Together with Jill, the Winter Queen of Faerie, Jade and Jane take their investigation underground. On the run, with nowhere to hide, they uncover a secret that could destroy Faerie, as well as the human realm. Will Jade stop the killer in time? Or will she be the next victim?
Magic, mayhem, and mystery abound, and the odds are stacked against them; it’s three against three hundred.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Jane: Excerpts


Excerpts from Jane (Three J'amigos Book 2)

Two excerpts from Jane by Rose Montague:

1 ."It was an old beat up two-tone Dodge Monaco but we were
not complaining. There was plenty of room in the back seat and
Caryn had told us we had a several hour drive before we made it to
Seattle. It was a spur of the moment thing for them to come down
and Caryn said she just wanted to give Rae a feel for a universal
portal as part of her early education as a witch.
As we drove the radio softly played Somebody Loan Me a
Dime.
“That’s weird,” said Caryn. “The radio in this thing hasn't
worked for years.” She turned knobs and pushed buttons but the
song stayed on.
I looked at Jade. Rae sat between us, handing Jade handfuls of
the second bag of chocolate espresso beans. She was attracted to
Jade’s power and was having a good time. Jade just shrugged as
she crunched. I didn’t think it was her doing.
The song changed to She Caught the Katy and Caryn asked
over her shoulder, “What are your plans in Seattle?”
Jade swallowed and answered, “We’re on a mission from God.”
Then she took another handful of beans from Rae and stuffed
them in her mouth.
I slowly banged my head on the window, thinking okay, why
not?
“We’re chasing the Devil,” I said."

2. "In that brief moment I could tell the remaining two were just
a few steps behind me. I leaped at the approach wall, planted my
feet near the ceiling, and pushed outward with my legs, curling
into a ball with my hands at my ankles drawing the last two
daggers from my boots. The last vamp was quick enough to have
slashed his sword as I flew back past him and sliced me all the way
across my back from the right shoulder to my ass. In one more half
twist, this time landing in a crouch, I had raised the two daggers
in front of me in a crisscross and caught his sword lunge straight
at my head. Directing it upwards, I rose, stepped into his body
and ripped his throat out with my fangs in a quick, snake-like
strike, body pressed against him. I had not counted on him having
a dagger as well and he managed to leave it in my side before
he fell to the floor, blood pumping out of his jugular. Leaving one
of my daggers in his heart on his way down, I threw the last dagger
at the vamp that followed, causing him to pause as it thumped
hilt-first against him. I so needed to take knife throwing lessons if
I ever got the opportunity."

Get Jane here...

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Get Jewel for 99 cents: Limited Time!


I must be crazy. For the first time ever, I have priced one of my novels at 99 cents. I'm planning on trying this for a few days only so you better grab it quick. Price reduced on Amazon venues only.
If you have been waiting, now is the time...
US http://amzn.to/1FdKmWL
UK http://amzn.to/18KgEfd
DE http://amzn.to/1AB1u2B
AU http://bit.ly/1EKMRBc
CA http://amzn.to/1CfS2as



Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Guest Post: Georgia Carter Mathers


I'm very pleased to have Georgia Carter Mathers on Fantasy Fun Reads today. She has some great tips for Indie authors, tips I wish I had read when I first started publishing.

Guest Post:


Editing in the wild wild west of indie book production

The life of an indie writer is like weathering a dust storm in an old western. We must produce quality books quickly or die a death that results from our readers forgetting about us. We don’t have the benefit of a big publishing team or a big budget. When the dust storm arrives, we’re tough enough to ride it out, release another book, and still find time to socialize on Facebook and woo that blogger.

While a trade-off in book production results when speed is favored over quality, indie writers can still produce books with minimal errors to a strict time schedule, sometimes in as little as three months, by implementing some or all of these suggestions:
  1. Assess your goals

If you’re writing as a hobby and hoping to make a little bit of money on the side, you may only want to take up some of these suggestions. Consider all of these suggestions if you’re writing as a professional writer and you want to make a lot of money.

  1. Be proactive; learn your grammar and your style guide.

This is one of the most important suggestions I can make to you. It is based on the way that journalists work. Because sub-editors are being phased out or outsourced, journalists are now required to produce high volumes of work, accurately and quickly, and they must produce material that is grammatically correct every single time. An indie writer is no different. Getting it right the first time is in your best interests.

If you know you have a problem with grammar, do something about it. Buy a book of exercises that teaches basic sentence construction. Work through it slowly. Learn to recognize basic errors, and it will save you time and money in book production. At the very least, learn from websites like the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

Get a copy of your style guide and use it as a reference until you start feeling comfortable with the conventions. If you’re writing for the US audience, you might want to use The Chicago Manual of Style.

  1. Develop an army of beta-readers, but don’t treat them like editors.

Rather than give your manuscript to one or two friends, give it to upward of six people in your network. Select those who like the genre you’re writing in and give it to those who can provide feedback on the issues you’re writing about. When they have finished reading your manuscript, ask them whether they enjoyed it and what they thought could be improved.

If you’re writing a character from another culture, get a sensitivity reader. Be prepared to hear that you’ve written a stereotype that makes them angry. This means that you need to be prepared to either dump or significantly rework your characterization. Be prepared to repeat this process until the sensitivity reader is happy.

Use your beta-readers to make decisions about how much work your manuscript realistically needs and whether it is worth spending money to publish this manuscript.

Some beta-readers will correct your grammar, and that is great. If they are correct, by all means, thank them, take their advice, and make the changes. But they will not be able to correct grammar reliably; they don’t have the skill required. If the indie has used a beta-reader instead of an editor, the indie will eventually receive feedback that an unacceptable amount of mistakes have been missed. Often there is no time for another round of editing. The indie writer is already in the middle of producing another book, and they will have to wear the embarrassment.

  1. Develop an editing schedule that includes all the editing phases and stick to this schedule

The kinds of editing that occur in each phase can differ between editors, so it is best to ask what the editor will do before you hire them. Incorporate the scope of the work to be done into the editing contract.

Make sure your editing includes structural and developmental editing, copyediting or line editing, and proofreading after your manuscript has been put into the book template. Don’t skip any of these steps. You will be sorry if you do.

Lay out your editorial schedule and keep to it as though it is your bible. The structural and developmental edit might come back with editorial suggestions that will take a long time to fix, but wherever possible, keep to your schedule.

  1. Develop an editing team you know you can rely on.

So, this all seems like a long and drawn out process. It doesn’t have to be. When you’ve done it once, you will learn what works for you and what doesn’t. Basically, you will develop a set of procedures or steps that you know will need to be completed to produce a quality book. You will get quicker the more books you produce. You will learn who supported you and who didn’t. You will also learn which team member is worth the money you paid them. All this increases your efficiency in producing quality books.

When you follow these steps, and you’re announcing over social media that you’re releasing another book, your readers will come back for more. The behind-the-scenes-stuff that often feels like an almighty dust storm has not influenced the quality of your latest book. When readers buy it, they will have nothing to do but enjoy the book, knowing you produced it with love and skill. They’ll also know another book will be coming from you very soon.

Georgia Carter Mathers is an Australian writer and freelance editor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, an Associate Degree in Creative Writing, and is currently halfway through a Graduate Certificate in Publishing at The University of Sydney. Her latest book, Trelloran Seduction, is a dystopian romance. She is currently writing the second book in the series, The Miana Prophecy. You can find Georgia at her website https://darklovestories.com




____________________________________________________________
Trelloran Seduction is available for pre-order!



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Guest Post: Barbara Custer


I'm very pleased to host author Barbara Custer this week. The beginning of a book is so important, it keeps a reader interested and the ending gets them motivated to look into your other books or the next one in a series. 




Guest Post:

Those Troublesome Beginnings and Endings

This past month, I wrote a short story. It took a week to write it, but I needed another two weeks to rework the ending. According to my beta readers, I started off with fire but fell flat at the end. People ask what I find most difficult about writing. I’d say that writing beginnings and endings are tough. Especially endings.

Years ago, I started writing short stories. Now and then, an editor might ask for a rewrite, saying, “Your ending needs work.” That was when I’d start groaning. Behind the editor’s desk now, I notice that other authors struggle with their endings. When I request a rewrite for Night to Dawn magazine, it usually involves the ending.

“One Last Favor,” a novella-length story in the City of Brotherly Death gave me the hardest way to go with its ending. This tale features Tara, a nurse who goes up against the leader of a zombie colony. On my first draft, it ended with Tara willingly becoming undead. Then I realized that a dedicated nurse like Tara wouldn’t throw in with monsters that terrorize humans, so I attempted a different ending. My editor felt that my revised conclusion didn’t work, and she was right. That story went back and forth between my writer’s group and the editor three times. I came up with Tara marrying Chris, another major player, but my editor noted that I needed to resolve Tara’s pursuit by the revenants stalking her town. Several pots of coffee later, I came up with a workable ending. Thankfully, my editor had patience and a sense of humor.

When Blood Reigns didn’t give me any grief with the ending because it’s part of a serial. My current WIP is probably the last in the series. However, I was supposed to introduce my characters when I’m writing the second and third books in a serial, in case the reader hadn’t gotten around to buying the first book. Since that hadn’t happened, I wound up reworking the beginning by writing a prologue where Alexis tells someone about the struggles she went through in the previous novel (Steel Rose).

With my current WIP, I suspect I’m in for it as far as endings go. I’ll need to tie up the subplots and show that my characters have changed. A “twist” ending may work, but it has to be believable. The ending has succeeded when, upon arriving at the last word, the reader and I feel satisfied.

Why is this process so hard? In the beginning, I’m introducing a cast of new characters; I need to get to know them before I can construct a beginning that works. The thought crossed my mind to write the ending and use that as a basis for my story. The trouble is, my characters have minds of their own, and their decisions take me in different directions. Someone suggested that I let the characters decide their ending.
Have beginnings and endings posed a struggle for you? I’d love to hear about your experiences with this.

Blurb for When Blood Reigns:

Marked for death, Alexis accompanies her lover, Yeron, and four survivors of a zombie invasion on a search for the renegades who created a chemical that induces a zombie-like state. On the way, ravenous flesh-eaters attack Alexis’s team; one survivor turns on her. She realizes too late that the renegades have been tracking her every move. When officials capture her, she becomes deathly ill. Can DNA splicing save her? Will Yeron’s attempts at rescue jeopardize all their lives?

Author Bio & Links

Barbara lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she works full time as a respiratory therapist. When she’s not working with her patients, she’s enjoying a fright flick or working on horror and science fiction tales. She’s published Night to Dawn magazine since 2004.
Other books by Barbara include Twilight Healer, City of Brotherly Death, Infinite Sight, and Steel Rose; also novellas Close Liaisons and Life Raft: Earth. She enjoys bringing her medical background to the printed page, and then blending it with supernatural horror. She maintains a presence on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and The Writers Coffeehouse forum. Look for the photos with the Mylar balloons,
and you’ll find her.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Guest Post: Jeremy Breitenbach


I met Jeremy at the event, Our books Are Not Free. He was looking for an author slot and they were all filled but after talking with him, I offered him a spot on my blog. Thirty-one years ago my son was born a two pound preemie and has cerebral palsy. He's the best son I could ask for and I admire anyone with a disability that strives for happiness. Here is Jeremy's story and I hope you will support him by buying his book, sharing this post with friends, and connecting with him on social media.

Guest Post:

I was born prematurely at 24 weeks gestation.  I am blind (legally blind to be specific).  I have no vision in my right eye and limited in my left.  I use braille to read and write.  I also have cerebral palsy which limits me to the use of one hand, my left.
 

I use a device called a VoiceNote Apex to write/braille my books.  It is part of the BrailleNote family of products from HumanWare.  The VoiceNote Apex's only difference from a BrailleNote Apex is that the VoiceNote doesn't have a refreshable braille display.  It uses text-to-speech (tts).
 

The first book I published is called The Gateway: A physicist opens a gateway on a planet within another dimension which leads to an alien invasion; violence and strong language.

Buy on Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Gateway-Jeremy-Breitenbach-ebook/dp/B00P453Y2M/

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-gateway-jeremy-breitenbach/1120684018?ean=9781502377043

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28286896-the-gateway



Connect with Jeremy:

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JeremyBbach

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







Wednesday, February 8, 2017

New Release: Blood Brothers by Julie Nicholls



Hi!
I’d like to announce the release of Blood Brothers. This is the 2nd book in the Blood Trilogy. We have already followed the characters – K34GEN, Gabriel, Lyssa, and GH05T from book one, Blood Ties, but it seems their trials are not over yet.
Gabriel is pure lycan and was caged by Dr. Keller at Solgen Labs. Dr. Keller is a genetic scientist who used Gabriel’s lycan DNA to create the perfect soldier by splicing his genes with a human. K34GEN was Solgen’s top hunter…but then Keller realized he could improve the enhancements he’d given the human and created GH05T. She was faster and stronger than K34GEN, with a few added enhancements, and it meant K34GEN was no longer the top dog. The former hunter, K34GEN teamed up with Gabriel and together they attempted to bring down Solgen Labs.
The story continues in Blood Brothers

Synopsis : Blood Brothers

When you've been a “guest” of Solgen Labs, brothers from another mother takes on a whole new meaning. Keagen and Gabriel thought they were experts on all Solgen's dirty little secrets. Until they met Ghost and found the deceit and conspiracy goes more than bone-deep; it goes right down to their spliced and enhanced DNA.

Need a sneaky peek?

“Your room’s better than mine.” Keagen pushed the door open wider as he edged his way into Ghost’s quarters. “I guess it’s a girl thing.” He snickered.
“Hey, if you want the pink duvet, take it,” Ghost quipped.
Keagen casually scanned the room while closing the space between them. He noticed the furrows congregating along Ghost’s forehead and blew out a weighty breath.
“I know what’s going on in there.” He pressed the tip of a finger to Ghost’s temple. The possibility she might be right and he should tell Gabriel about his condition was on his mind constantly, but finding the courage to admit he was imperfect wasn’t something he could do easily. He’d never concerned himself with the worries of others previously but seeing Ghost’s agitated expression bothered him. The realization that he could end up like K44 gnawed at him like a dog with a bone, and it was highly probable that this rabid dog would need putting out of its misery. Fear wasn’t in his vocabulary. There had never been anything he was afraid of…until now.
Ghost grabbed his finger and with pleading eyes stared at Keagen. She felt his pain. The possibility not only his body, but also his brain, might betray him was stinging—lacing him with more poison on an already infected wound. She wished he would listen to her and willingly let Lyra and Gabriel help, but the stubborn mask he wore wasn’t about to come off anytime soon.
They turned simultaneously to the sound of a knock on the door followed by Lyra’s soft voice.
“I’m sorry to disturb you. I know you’ve had a long journey, but Michaels wants to brief you on the current situation with K44.”
“It’s okay. We’re ready,” Ghost replied.
She released Keagen’s finger and moved toward the door, but Keagen halted her departure with a firm grasp of her arm. He pulled her close and let his mouth rest against her neck.
“I will tell Gabriel and Lyra about my problems…I promise.”
Ghost shrugged her shoulders. “It’s your business. I get that. I’m sure I’d feel the same, but it doesn’t mean I can’t worry about you.”
She smiled tentatively and headed out the door with Keagen following.
“Where’s Gabe?” Keagen directed his question to Lyra, who was already striding down the corridor.
She called over her shoulder and smiled. “He’s in recovery.”
Keagen charged forward and grabbed her arm, spinning her around. “From what?”
“The procedure.” She frowned. “Didn’t he tell you he’d agreed to give us the samples we need to help K44?”
“No, he didn’t.” Keagen scowled. “He said he wasn’t going to allow anyone else to experiment on him. What changed his mind?”
“You did,” Lyra replied and continued on to Michaels’ office after pulling her arm free and leaving Keagen standing with his mouth gaping.
Ghost sucked in a deep breath and braced. She approached Keagen from behind and stopped suddenly as he whirled around to face her. His furious expression greeted her.
“You told him…didn’t you?”
Ghost lowered her eyes. Before she could open her mouth to apologize, Keagen turned and followed Lyra to the operations room. Her eyes fell shut as she sucked in another large breath. She knew she’d fucked up. Her heart told her to chase after him and make him understand why she’d told Gabriel, but she knew he wouldn’t be interested. While something inside her said it was for the best, she felt guilty because she’d broken his trust.