Books, cats and fine wine are the best things in life.


Monday, September 29, 2014

#ReviewShare #BookReview #Horror - Imaginary Friend by Troy McCombs @sonne3

Imaginary FriendImaginary Friend by Troy McCombs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you love being surprised, this is a book for you. I must mention that despite the fact that this touches on child abuse, it is no way meant to be read by anyone who is younger than 18. There are some very strong themes of violence, bloody scenes and some younger readers may find this too much to digest.

To start, you have the old cat man’s usual rant. Guessed it yet? Sure, you have. The book cover. It’s black. It’s tacky and it despite its best effort to create an imagery of Max, all I got was, no. Knocking three images together does not make a good cover. I like the idea of it but presentation did nothing for me. Would I pick up this book based on the cover alone? No. Which is a pity because this was a fantastic read.

The mystery of Nathan’s imaginary friend and the way it was unfolded really appealed to me. The author’s writing style was easy to connect with. Overall story progression and plot was good, made more interesting by side characters Nathan meets along the way.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads UK Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my book review. This book review is based on my thoughts, opinion and understanding of the book. This book review does not reflect the opinion of other book club members.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Amanda Lee on Querying Publishers & Mistakes to Stay Away From @GayleTrent #AmWriting #WriteTip

8:00 AM Posted by Quality Reads UK , , No comments
1)      Don’t study your markets.
You wouldn’t choose a babysitter you know nothing about. You wouldn’t choose a bank that was housed in a tent on the side of the road. Why would you throw your manuscript to every publisher you can find without first knowing that publisher’s reputation, contract terms, and specialty?

2)      Once you know your markets, ignore the rules.
Go ahead and submit your horror novel to Harlequin. There’s no romantic subplot at all, but, hey, they need to learn to branch out, right? Your book is so good that it transcends things like genre.

3)      Begin your query letter with, “I know this isn’t the type of stuff you usually publish, but—“
When I was acquiring manuscripts for a small press, I actually got a query letter that began with those very words. When, out of the goodness of my heart, I wrote the writer a very nice letter explaining why he should only submit his manuscripts to editors whose houses do publish the type of work he was trying to sell, he wrote me a scathing reply. Even if he’d later written something that we’d have loved, I wouldn’t have considered it because he’d burned his bridge.

4)      Burn bridges.
Only be nice to important people, because no one will ever get promoted or demoted in this business. Besides, it takes so much effort to be nice! When someone gives you helpful advice, throw it back in their faces, especially editors. How dare they criticize an expert like you? They’re not really trying to help you make your manuscript better anyway; they just like being mean.

5)      Follow up…every few hours.
What parent hasn’t ridden in a car with a child and delighted in hearing Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Editors feel an affectionate glee for writers who constantly ask, “Did you get my manuscript? Have you had time to look it over yet? Do you like it? Are you considering it for publication?” Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? If said editor finally does get back to you with suggested revisions, see Number 4.


Embroidery shop owner Marcy Singer is about to have the rug pulled out from under her....

Marcy can’t wait to see the new exhibit at the Tallulah Falls museum on antique tapestries and textiles, including beautiful kilim rugs. But her enthusiasm quickly turns to terror when, the day after the exhibition opens, she discovers a dead body behind her store, the Seven-Year Stitch, wrapped up in a most unusual fashion.

The victim appears to be a visiting art professor in town for the exhibit. Did someone decide to teach the professor a lesson, then attempt to sweep the evidence under the rug? Along with her boyfriend, Detective Ted Nash, Marcy must unravel an intricate tapestry of deception to find a desperate killer.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Cozy Mystery
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Amanda Lee on Facebook

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Christopher Mannino on What Inspired "School of Deaths" @Ctmannino #YA #Fantasy #GoodReads

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What Inspired Me to Write My Book

The idea for SCHOOL OF DEATHS emerged when I was finishing my graduate degree at Oxford University. I spent four months abroad, far from everyone I knew. Every week, I traveled somewhere I had never been before. I would climb castle ruins in Wales and visit cathedrals in England. One of my favorite trips was to Tintagel Castle in Cornwall. After misjudging the time it’d take to get there, I became stranded. The tourist office was closed, and I couldn’t find a hostel. I walked from pub to pub asking if I could sleep above their bar.

The next morning, having slept none, since I’d found a room over a noisy pub, I crept to Barras Nose before dawn. Barras Nose is a stone peninsula, or rocky outcropping jutting into the Celtic Sea, just north of Tintagel. Tintagel itself is a small island with castle ruins on its cliffs. Some believe it to be the birthplace of King Arthur. When I reached Barras Nose, the winds howled so fiercely that I had to crawl on all fours to keep from being blown into the ocean below. Then dawn broke. No other humans were in sight. I struggled to keep my balance, but watched the sun rise on the ruins of the ancient castle, listening to the thunder of waves pounding the fifty foot cliffs I clung to. Wind battered me with ferocity, and I imagined a character being buffeted by winds, completely alone. I envisioned Suzie, alone in a world of men, buffeted by sexism.

School of Deaths

Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail.

Caught in the middle of a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths, Suzie must uncover the reason she’s been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.

Buy Now @ Amazon & Smashwords
Genre - YA Fantasy
Rating – PG
More details about the author
Connect with Christopher Mannino through Facebook & Twitter

Friday, September 19, 2014

Things You Didn't Know About @LoniFlowers #AmWriting #AmReading #Romance

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Things You Didn’t Know About Author Loni Flowers
What is it about me that you probably don't know already? I'm a very open person, so I really had to dig deep for these.

I'm the only one in my family to have Asthma.

I grew up with severe asthma when I was a child, but every time I had an attack and my parents took me to the hospital, I was be fully recovered by the time we arrived. We could never show them proof asthma attacks. It turned out the calmness of the car ride was a good trick to relieving an attack. It wasn't until my teenage years that a car ride wouldn't fix my problems and I was finally able to prove to a doctor my lungs weren't "normal." And worse, the seasonal weather changes are usually the main cause of an attack. Sucks!

I'm allergic to most dogs and house dust.

Weird right?! When I was five, my mother became obsessed with birds. At one point we had 20 different types. I know that sounds like a zoo or something, but it never felt like we were "the crazy cat lady" type. Most were small birds, but we had a couple really large birds too. Among the asthma flare ups, I would also break out in hives around my eyes and they would spread all over my body. My eyes would swell shut and itch like crazy. Test results confirmed I was allergic to dogs and house dust. This basically included any animal that didn't have hair similar to a human (like a Poodle or a Yorkie). I could still pet them and be around them, but I always had to wash my hands afterwards or else the eyes would swell shut and hives would spread. Fun times! We ended up getting rid of all of the birds but a few.

I had plastic surgery on my ears when I was about 7 years old.

Yep, cosmetic surgery to be exact. My ears stuck out like Dumbo the flying Elephant. Go ahead. Laugh. I know you want to, and it’s alright. It is But even in elementary school, children are cruel and I was picked on for it. So my parents took me to a wonderful doctor, William P. Magee Jr. who had just started a charity while I was in his care. You may have heard of it: Operation Smile. Their charity has done more than 200,000 free surgeries for children and young adults who suffer from cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities. So I pretty much got worked on by a rock star surgeon and have the best, most beautiful ears ever!

I competed professionally in horse shows when I was about 10 years old.
My family are animal lovers, if you can't already tell from the previous facts. At one point in my childhood, we owned seven horse. They are loving, friendly, beautiful animals. I was a natural, or so my parents and trainer said, when it came to riding and the ease of the sport allowed me to compete effortlessly in Equestrian riding. I entered basic classes, but I will never forget my first horse show. There were about twenty other competitors and all were adults except for about three children, including me. During one show you compete in three rounds and can win a ribbon and points for each round. Points are added up after the three rounds and a overall winner is names. I walked out of my first show with 2- first place ribbons and 1- second place ribbon earning me a Champion ribbon for my overall class. My mom was so excited and I was like, "What the heck does all this mean?!" I learned pretty quickly and by the time the showing season was over for the year, I earned Reserve Champion (2nd place overall) in point standing for the entire show year. Pretty awesome for a first-timer!

I know, I know. I’m so dang interesting it’s a bit hard to handle. Just kidding. I think most people find the whole ear surgery thing the most interesting. And despite my asthma and allergies, I will always have pets. I don’t ride horses anymore, but it was a part of my childhood I will always remember. I had so many great times when it was just me and my pony, Coco, enjoying a Big Mac and fries. Yes, she ate what I ate.

So that’s a bit about me. What is something not many people know about you? Please share!

Witness to my Heart
Keep a low profile. That's what Abigale Peterson was supposed to do, especially when the person she was being protected from was one of the world's worst crime lords. After seven years in the Witness Protection Program, she felt no safer now than she did when she was seventeen. Revenge was rarely forgotten when it came to a professional criminal like Zerilli.

Low profiles meant no social life and definitely no love life.

Paranoia and lies became daily habits, going against everything Abigale believed in, but they kept her safe. They kept everyone safe.

Until a house fire puts her out of that safety and into the arms of a stranger. Max Smith is sexy, smart, and has major attitude. He’s the only one who seems to get her. He calms her fears and comforts her from her nightmares. But he also sees right through her lies.

Before Abigale can stop, she’s in too deep; confiding too much and breaking the one rule she promised herself to uphold: Never fall in love.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Romance
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Loni Flowers through Facebook & Twitter

SHADOW JOURNEY #Excerpt : A Mrs. Blackstone Story by S.D. O'Donnell @sdodonnell #AmReading

I sit in the gazebo, alone. No cup of tea. No neighborly conversation to help fill the silence. Haunted by 85 years worth of musings, I watch the sun set and feel my age.

A November breeze kicks fallen leaves across the hillside and I’m happy I have on a heavy shirt since I’ve forgotten my shawl. I brush tears off my cheek before the wind can chill them.

Today is an anniversary. Not a good one but one that has come and gone 35 times. Only a few are left who remember the significance of this date. Only I have ever known the truth of it.

The weight of that truth grows heavier the closer I get to my own end. Maybe some part of me feels guilt and wants the release of confession. More likely, the weight comes from vanity. I don’t want the most significant event in my life to never be known, even though I will never speak of it while alive.

The last rays of sunlight disappear behind the peaks as I reach a decision. I'll expose my secret on paper and leave it for my friends Saul and Jayne, the two people most likely to care when I’m gone. This way, they can remember the whole of who I was, the worst along with, I hope, the best.

Shadow Journey

Love ... Loss ... Secrets

A Haunting Psychological Read

She starts alone.

"I SIT IN THE GAZEBO, alone. No cup of tea. No neighborly conversation to help fill the silence. Haunted by 85 years worth of musings, I watch the sun set and feel my age."

She ends alone.

And exposes a closely-guarded secret of 35 years in between.

˃˃˃ Meet Mrs. Vera Blackstone

First introduced in the thriller Deadly Memories, she quickly became a well-loved character -- even though she isn't the main one. But you don't have to read Deadly Memories before you enjoy this novella.

˃˃˃ Warning

This story will make you think and stays with you long after the last word is read.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Short Fiction
Rating – PG-13
Connect with S.D. O'Donnell on Facebook & Twitter

Thursday, September 18, 2014

#ReviewShare #BookReview #SelfHelp - From Stress to Stillness: Tools for Inner Peace by @GinaLake

From Stress to Stillness: Tools for Inner PeaceFrom Stress to Stillness: Tools for Inner Peace by Gina Lake
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

From Stress to Stillness is a first step in a learning journey about the stress that we manufacture in our own minds. Gina Lake shares her words of wisdom gently and without pretension, leading the reader gently to a sense of empowerment and control.

Creating an awareness of the personal dangers of stress is the first—and most important—piece of this book that drew me in. Gaining an understanding that negative thoughts and worries were my own will helped me open up the the messages of From Stress to Stillness. Lake effectively breaks through the defensive moment when most people decide that stress is outside of their control or just something they have learned to deal with. Realizing that stress “undermines happiness, effectiveness, and relationships” as well as health, and that stress begins when we believe our thoughts are more important than they are was enough to truly strike a chord with me.

From Stress to Stillness succeeds in teaching the reader to know when to disconnect from harmful and negative thinking, and how to reprogram their thinking to remove themselves from negative stress-driven behaviors. Although gaining increased consciousness and awareness is a challenging task, Lake thoughtfully draws from common human experience to keep the reader engaged in finding their own meaningful connection to the book.

Lake creates a place for the reader where they may come to understand things about their inner voice and ego, encouraging mindfulness about the way we think. She is not the first person to help readers understand that they are not their inner voice, or that we can overcome and better cope with the negativity our inner voice creates for us, but her methods are different, and simply wonderful. From Stress to Stillness does not judge or over philosophize, but creates a perfectly relatable learning space within the page for readers of any type.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads UK Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my book review. This book review is based on my thoughts, opinion and understanding of the book. This book review does not reflect the opinion of other book club members.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

#ReviewShare #BookReview #Poetry - The Poetic Art of Seduction by @ClarissaClemens

The Poetic Art of Seduction: Erotic Poetry CollectionThe Poetic Art of Seduction: Erotic Poetry Collection by Clarissa O. Clemens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Everyday is Valentine’s day with a collection like this. The words flowed like silk and almost every poem was something I could imagine. Where technique is concerned, the old cat man does recommend it for poetry lovers who appreciate the sensual theme. The author makes it a point to communicate honestly, raw emotions are visible in every stanza while the reader is gently whisked away to a state of pleasure in body, mind and soul.

It’s a good book, correct? Yes. I’ve made that very clear and I will say it again I loved the way the poems were written. Now, here’s the big BUT. My usual rant is about to commence about book covers. Why black? This was a point of curiosity from more than one reader I knew. The poems were about passion, love, seduction … which are introduced with a big chunk of black. Then, there was the text on the cover. Without a magnifying glass or reading glasses, if anyone can clearly read what it says from the second line onwards, I am in awe of you. Because try as I might, from the cover, I can’t even read the author’s name.

The other thing that significantly bothered quite a few of us were the pictures used in the book. I’m certain not all the images were taken by the author or are of the author and yet no source, photographer or site name is cited. This is definitely something I think the author should look into fixing to avoid any confusion later on. Were the pictures used with permission? Were there stock images? Too many questions.

In a nutshell, the cat man more than liked this book and thinks where the writing is concerned, it definitely deserves your time.

Disclosure - As a Quality Reads UK Book Club member, I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation for my book review. This book review is based on my thoughts, opinion and understanding of the book. This book review does not reflect the opinion of other book club members.

View all my reviews

Cheryl Rice on What Inspired Her to Write Her Book @RiceonLife #AmWriting #SelfPub #Memoir

What Inspired Me to Write My Book

One life changing event and three simultaneous inner urgings inspired me to write my book, Where Have I Been All My Life? A Journey Toward Love and Wholeness.

The life altering event was the swift, merciless death of my mother – who happened to also be my best friend – when she was an otherwise robust and healthy 68 years old and I was 45. I was completely unprepared for life without her. Her death broke me open in unprecedented, yet ultimately life-affirming, ways.

While I was mired in grief, and playing all sorts of grief games in an effort to stay connected with her, I also felt compelled to live more boldly, authentically and vibrantly than I ever had before. Even though I had always prided myself on living with intention and enjoyed setting and reaching challenging goals, there were a few dreams, like writing a book, that I had been too scared and overwhelmed to tackle. But in the wake of my mom’s death there was no time for just thinking about “tomorrow” or relegating my long buried dream to “someday.” My someday was now.

The second thing that inspired me to write my book was a deep, intrinsic desire to produce something that would outlive me. While I had two wonderful stepchildren and a puppy I treated as my baby, I hadn’t yet truly offered the world something tangible that would endure. And now I had a fierce longing to give creative birth to something that would speak for me when I was gone – something that would be part of my legacy.

The third thread of inspiration for my book came from a yearning to find and validate my own voice. Ironically, as a professional leadership and life coach I was comfortable and competent helping others, especially women, claim and cultivate their own voice yet I had been remiss in doing the same for myself. Coming from a family of writers (but never identifying as one myself), I always knew that writing was a wonderful way of clarifying and cleansing one’s thoughts, but beyond penning some bad adolescent poetry and keeping journals episodically throughout my life, I never took myself or my writing seriously. That changed once my mother died, my heart broke, and my time and need for self-inquiry and validation burst forth.

Lastly, I had a strong desire to reach out and connect with other people, women in particular, who were struggling with similar issues. Issues like self-acceptance, using longing as a substitute for loving, and overcoming the loss of a loved one. Reading books, especially stories of personal resilience written by women, had always been a comfort and balm to me. Through the brave and honest stories of other women I found strength, companionship and validation. My loneliness or isolation would lift, even for a bit, and my fortitude and hopefulness would be reignited. Also, since I adore championing women, writing a book felt like a natural and necessary vehicle to connect with them on both a deeper and broader level and to inspire those who are on a similar journey toward love and self-acceptance.

Where Have I Been All My Life

Where Have I Been All My Life? is a compelling memoir recounting one woman’s journey through grief and a profound feeling of unworthiness to wholeness and healing. It begins with the chillingly sudden death of Rice’s mother, and is followed by her foray into the center of mourning. 
With wisdom, grace, and humor, Rice recounts the grief games she plays in an effort to resurrect her mother; her efforts to get her therapist, who she falls desperately in love with, to run away with her; and the transformation of her husband from fantasy man to ordinary guy to superhero. In the process, she experiences aching revelations about her family and her past—and realizes what she must leave behind, and what she can carry forward with her.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Memoir
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Cheryl Rice through Facebook & Twitter

Friday, September 12, 2014

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Kari Nichols @TheKariNichols #AmReading #HistFic #Fantasy

 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Kari Nichols

My name is Kari Nichols, and here are ten think about me that you probably didn’t know!
  1. I’m a massive sports fan. Even though I spend the majority of my time reading, writing, taking photos, and creating art, I absolutely love sports. Whether it’s NFL, NBA, NHL, or the Olympics, I’m a huge fan. My favorite sports to watch are NFL and NBA. And I’m actually in a fantasy football league with my husband every fall!
  2. I was homeschooled for ten years. From first grade all the way through tenth grade, I was a homeschooler. Now, I wasn’t the kind of homeschooler that has zero social interactions and can’t function in society. My parents were very proactive about getting us involved in lots of activities. We were a part of a co-op, an athletic league, and various groups to make sure we were exposed to all kinds of social interactions.
  3. I’ve traveled to sixteen countries. Traveling is one of my passions, and I have a list of about two hundred places I desperately want to visit over the course of my life. My favorite countries so far are Italy, France, Ireland, Swaziland and Thailand. Hopefully I’ll be able to add more countries to my list soon!
  4. I’m obsessed with lists. It’s a little over-the-top at times. I’m so addicted to crossing things off my to-do list that sometimes, at the end of the day, I’ll make a list of all the things I’ve done that day just so I can cross them off. Yeah. Obsessed.
  5. I can read a good book six or eight times. I don’t know what to tell you, but if I really enjoy the book, I’ll read it over and over again until I’m sick of it. I think I’ve read Catch-22 four times, and it never gets old. I’m currently reading the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead for the fifth time. It’s just that good.
  6. I grew up in the South and have worked very hard to get rid of my southern accent. You can still hear it when I say certain words, but I try my hardest to speak without an accent. I love to imitate other accents (and was recently told by a man from London that my British accent was better than his best friend’s!). But in everyday life, I try to keep the accents to a minimum.
  7. I’m a professional wedding photographer. My husband and I opened Cottonwood Studios in 2007 and have photographed over one hundred fifty weddings since.
  8. I’m the youngest of three sisters. This means I grew up with an actual mother and two sisters who also acted like mothers. We’re all great friends now, but let’s just say I had authority issues for a large part of my life. It’s a wonder that I work for myself now …
  9. I love love love scavenger hunts. The greatest gifts I’ve ever received were gifts I had to find using clues. I don’t know why, but adore them.
  10. I have two tattoos. I have a tattoo of orchids on my right shoulder blade and one of swallows flying on my right collar bone. And I have plans for many, many more.


“We stand united, Family of Immortals. Plagued by life. Cursed by the hand of God …”

Rogue was born into an immortal family whose wealth is marked by a trail of blood. But when he meets the unnervingly familiar assistant of his next target, an unexpected rush of emotions begins to unravel his carefully laid plans.

Lissie lives a mundane life filled with work … and little else. She hasn’t taken a risk since she moved to New York City after college—seven years ago. But when the mysterious Matthew McCloud walks through the door of her office, she finds herself diving head-first into a whirlwind romance she never saw coming.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Urban Fantasy, Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Kari Nichols on Facebook & Twitter

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Blood Dynasty Chronicles #Excerpt by David L Dawson #Paranormal #Romance

She felt the tears staining her cheeks.  “I don’t trust anybody.  Not any more.”

“At least trust that I am human and that the vampires are bad.”

Ashlyn nodded.  She knew at least that much, or was sure that vampires were the bad guys in this situation.

He held his gloved hand out towards her.

“Our ride will be arriving any minute,” vowed the man.  “You’ll have one chance to come with me.  My compatriots are holding out the stairs further down but we can’t afford to dally.”

Ashlyn felt her heart beating fast and her hands shaking.  She was still in a white flimsy hospital gown and she felt that everything was closing in on her from all sides.  The man was right, though.  The vampires were bad.  They were giving her as a slave to someone called Lord Sublime.  Anything had to be better that that, including going off with someone who was most likely a terrorist.  Or a freedom fighter, as she half suspected.

She took hold of his hand and smiled, showing her the confidence she had in him.  His words moved her.

“What’s your name?” she asked him.

He saluted and said, “Union Jack.”

“Pleased to meet you, Union Jack.”

Excerpt 4

“Wake up,” someone whispered.

Ashlyn stirred in bed but kept her eyes closed.  She’d just had the most terrible dream, but she was still sleepy.  Surely she couldn’t have the same nightmare twice?

“Please wake up,” the voice pleaded once more.  “You’ll get into trouble and I really don’t have time for this.”

“Harry?” Ashlyn mumbled.

She sat up in bed as a bucket of ice-cold water was thrown over her.

“Mom, what are you…”

The room wasn’t light pink with mirrors, posters and art prints.  It was dark brown and the sole tiny window had bars on it.  A stern looking woman with her arms crossed was standing by her bed.  It reminded her of a nun’s cell from a documentary she’d watched on TV last year.

“Who are you?” Ashlyn asked.

“I am Dotrice,” said the wrinkled old woman.  “You will get yourself dried and tidied up and then you will put on your uniform.  Then I will show you around the house and allow you to get a handle on your duties.”

Ashlyn wiped the water from her eyes and said, “What duties?”

“Your duties as a slave of Lord Sublime,” said Dotrice.

Ashlyn staggered out of bed, finding herself in a damp white nightgown.  Dotrice’s spindly fingers reached out and cupped her chin.

“You look confused,” she said.

“Where am I?” Ashlyn asked.

“You are in London at Sublime House,” said Dotrice.

“Who is Lord Sublime?”

Dotrice smiled.  “You will meet him later.  Get yourself dry and dressed and I will show you the house and tell you all you need to know.”

At that, the middle aged woman turned to leave.

“I will try to escape,” Ashlyn vowed.

Dotrice turned to face her and said, “You can escape if you want, but where would you go?  Who would look after you?”


“Your family died centuries ago.  You have no friends and you cannot buy food if you haven’t an official stamp from a vampire family.  You would just end up in the slums, starving to death.  Is that what you want?”

Ashlyn hung her head, thinking about her family.  They were all dead.  Harry would’ve died from the cancer and her parents from old age.  Even her friends would’ve had children and died a long time ago.  She had nobody now.

“I miss my family,” she sobbed.

Epic paranormal romance with a dystopian twist!All 6 parts of the epic Blood Dynasty Chronicles in one super-sized boxset!

Ashlyn Fountain has woken from a thousand year sleep.  Her family is dead.  Her friends are dead.  Her whole world is gone, replaced a new terrifying reality; a future ruled by vampires, where humans are viewed as cattle, and kept as slaves.  She is sold into slavery and bought by the powerful Sublimes, a decadent vampire family ruled over by the charming Grey Sublime and his wicked wife, Catherine.  Ashlyn resigns herself to her fate.  What can she do but accept what is her life now?
Then she meets Jensen Sublime and Union Jack.  Both are sexy, intriguing, and inject a little romance and mystery into her life.  Who will ultimately win her heart – the handsome vampire, or the man who could free her from slavery for good?
The Blood Dynasty Chronicles is a bold new paranormal romance series, fusing the passion and romance of vampire fiction with the adventure and intrigue of dystopian adventures.

This boxset contains the following:
1. The Girl From Yesterday
2. The Streets Are Paved With Blood
3. Masks
4. Movie Night
5. New Whitby
6. The First Vampire
That’s over 180,000 words of vampires, romance and dystopia!

OUT NOW – “Shadow of the Snow Queen”, a Blood Dynasty Chronicles Christmas Special, featuring a long tale all about Ashlyn, and several short stories featuring the other characters.

Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Paranormal romance
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with David L Dawson through Facebook

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

K S Ferguson Says, Authenticity is the Writer's Watch Word #AmWriting #UrbanFantasy #GoodReads

Authenticity is the writer's watch word. If you're describing a location like Chicago or Los Angeles, you'd better get the Starbucks at the right corner of the intersection. Intend to sink a nuclear sub? Make sure you mention all the right switches and buttons on the control panel. If you don't, readers will let you know that you screwed it up.

David Morrell, author of Rambo and over thirty other bestselling thriller novels knows this rule. That's why he's attended the FBI defensive driving course, knife-fighting school, and spent months learning to sail a boat.

Of course, David Morrell can afford to spend the time and money on research to ensure that his details are authentic. The rest of us merely mortal authors aim a little lower.

In my contemporary fantasy, Touching Madness, hapless hero River Madden is both schizophrenic and a dedicated pacifist. (Think about it—would you give a deadly weapon to someone who hallucinates?) But being a pacifist doesn't excuse River from facing physical danger.

River needs to 'get the goods' on a local mob boss and his drug lord supplier. He convinces the criminals to rendezvous with him in an abandoned factory under the pretext of making a drug buy. River's plans never go quite like he intends. I needed a contingency plan that would allow him to escape without turning to violence once things started to go wrong.

That's when I thought about smoke bombs (possibly because my brother got suspended from high school for a few days for lobbing one onto the football field at half-time). According to dozens of YouTube videos, they're dead simple to make, requiring only stump remover, newspaper, string, and an empty soda can. It was exactly the kind of home-made solution River would use. For the sake of authenticity, I thought I better try it out.

Really good smoke bombs aren't as simple as they seem. To get the necessary billowing clouds of smoke I wanted, I needed to get the air holes just right. And I needed a mass of bombs all going off at the same time. Fuses were an issue. Cotton string just isn't that flammable. Throwing them was a joke. I could barely get ignition when they were sitting on the ground in ideal conditions. In the end, I ditched the smoke bombs.

But all was not lost. I had a very authentic experience convincing the fire department and my neighbors that I was only a harmless writer and not a terrorist. I'm sure I'll use that conversation in a book someday.

Touching Madness

Light bulbs talk to River Madden; God doesn't. When the homeless schizophrenic unintentionally fractures a dimensional barrier and accidentally steals a gym bag containing a million dollars, everyone from the multiverse police to the local crime boss—and an eight-foot tall demon—are after him. Can he dodge them long enough to correct his mistakes and prevent the destruction of three separate dimensions? If he succeeds, will the light bulbs stop singing off-key?

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Genre – Contemporary, Urban fantasy
Rating – R
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Kate Bracy Shares Five Rules for Beginning Writers #WomensFic #AmWriting #IndieAuthors

7:30 AM Posted by Quality Reads UK , , No comments
Five Rules for Beginning Writers

If you are serious about writing – or anything else – you will at some point be asked to meet ridiculously ambitious deadlines. Here are five helpful rules that can keep you sane, yet productive, in the face of intimidating time targets.

Be honest. Tell the truth to yourself and your editor about what you can and cannot do. This is a gift to everyone. Let’s say your agent asks for the last five chapters by the end of the summer, and you are getting married in August. Do your marriage a favor and say, “I’m planning a wedding. I can get them to you by the end of September, but not by Labor Day.” Presumably, your agent will then tell you why that date was so important, and you can decide whether to cancel the wedding or the chapters. But making promises that you know you can’t keep is never good, and you’ll get a reputation for standing people up – either at the presses or at the altar.

Next, anticipate.
Walk a project back and figure out exactly how much you have to write every day/week/etc. in order to meet the deadline. If you are writing a chapter for a medical text, and it is due in four months, figure out a writing schedule that gets you in well under the wire and then stick to it. I did this sort of math/planning for a book on Menopause that I wrote, and it saved my life. I was able to meet some pretty brutal deadlines writing only on my weekends. (I don’t recommend a demanding timeline that steals all your weekends, but it can be done.) Even if you’re the sort of person who thrives on the pressure of a deadline, let the little deadlines pressure you. That way, when you are in the home stretch, you will only procrastinate on the last few pages instead of the whole darn chapter – which results in much better writing and no ulcer.

Third, communicate.
Stay in touch with your editor, agent or whoever is requesting the work. It keeps you on track, and helps reassure them and set the expectations as things go along. Building your relationship with them and establishing your reliability is based on trust. Keep them in the loop.

Fourth, admit what is impossible.
If a writing assignment is too much for you, don’t take it. You will have many chances to write and to create work that you can be proud of. If something sounds like a big break, but you know it’s impossible, don’t put yourself – or your reputation – at risk by promising more than you can deliver. I quit a gig writing as a guide for I couldn’t meet their deadlines and do the writing I wanted, so I let it go – even though it paid pretty well. I hope someone else is rocking that assignment, but if I had kept doing that I wouldn’t have been able to write my novel. When you are in it for the long run, don’t make short-run crazy-making decisions.

Finally, quality matters most.
If you know you can improve a piece exponentially by having it another couple of days, talk to your editor. Even if you have to send the lesser version in, ask for an extension if you know you want it to be better and can do it. Your text and your byline will be “out there” and available for a long time. Others will be looking at it to judge your credibility and maybe to hire you/sign you for other things. Make sure it is your best work. Chances are, your editor wants that, too.

Once in a while, you may mis-guess how long a project will take. But some careful attention to deadlines – well in advance – will save your sanity and their bottom line. Don’t be too hard on yourself – you may overshoot now and then.

But mostly you won’t.


Winner of four independent publishing awards, including the IndieReader Discovery Award in Women's Fiction, this debut novel hits the mark for smart, discerning readers.

There's nothing about her life that doesn't need a little work, so Melanie Davis thinks of herself as a "fixer-upper." Her history with men leaves her gun shy; her teenaged daughter can't string two civil words together; her best friend Donna just found out she has a life-threatening illness. When Donna also reveals a decades-old secret that still haunts her, Melanie makes it her mission to solve the mystery and reunite Donna with a precious link to her past - before it's too late. 

Along the way Melanie discovers with startling clarity the pricelessness of love and friendship. With a finely-tuned emotional compass, Kate Bracy carries us through a trial-by-illness as funny as it is touching. Her narrator, Melanie, comes to realize the enduring power of love - between men and women, between mothers and daughters, between friends. Through her vivid, endearing characters Bracy creates a small-town world in northern New York where old loves rekindle, friendships prevail, and secret wounds are finally healed. This debut novel will leave you with an awakened heart and a strong urge to send postcards to all the people you love.

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Genre - Women's Fiction
Rating – PG-13
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