Friday, October 7, 2011
For today's Fall Feature, in honor of my daughter's first school field trip to a pumpkin patch, today's Fall Feature is whichever one you pick. You can either go out and find a book you've never read before and list it here, or recommend a book you've already enjoyed or even your own- Self-Promoters are always welcome here :) and list it in the comments. Please link to the book, so visitors can access it easily.
There's lots of books out there of all different shapes and sizes that are ripe for the pickin! Happy Harvest!
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Franklin shares this with us:
Did you ever question the Tolkienesque idea that Orcs are unredeemable? Has the concept that Orcs may be more than stupid, savage barbarians ever crossed your mind? Have you ever heard of a group of Orcs who, when they learn of Elves in trouble, actually turn back to help them? Have you ever heard of Orcs defending modern London from an Elvish invasion? Did you ever consider that Orcs could renounce evil in favor of goodness?
Unwelcome Survivors wishes to give you another look at Orcs, through the warrior culture of the nation of Jirenzia, and the counter-culture created by a visionary witch and her disciples.
"Kirustinu, an Orcish nurse practitioner and the last druid, awakens after a shipwreck to find herself in Jirenzia. Her benevolent personality and refusal to accept the sexist ways of the militaristic barbarian culture immediately sets her at odds with Regent Gandriel and his son, Lord Ikhero. Knowing she'll be killed if she stays, Kirustinu, and a group of malcontented Orcs who are as sick of their society as she is, flee from Jirenzia. These Orcs hope to found a better, more benign society on an island only Kirustinu can find, while she teaches them druidism in hopes of reviving the faith. But to get to that island, the Orcs must travel through Dromek, the world of Elves, to seek help from Kirustinu's sister, Sharai, who waits for her return. Hounded by both the Elven army and Lord Ikhero's vengeful Orcish forces, can this band of Orcs escape, or even survive?"
Here is an excerpt:
“Beep!” Once more, a light flashed on Cibre’s computer. Now getting used to having the lights go off, he activated the link, and listened to the broadcast.
“Captain,” Cibre cried out!
“Now what is it,” Kojyc barked?
“There’s something coming in on the radio,” Cibre said. Lieutenant Charlenine left the now almost completely cleaned up coffee mess, and went to the computer. She looked at it, as Cibre listened closely.
“It’s on the emergency frequency,” Lieutenant Charlenine said. “What’s it say?”
“A ship,” Cibre said. “Begging for help. And they’re using some kind of code I don’t understand. I. D. S.”
“I. D. S.,” Sietara interjected. “International distress signal.”
“What is going on,” Nadeera ventured? She and Rojier looked at each other.
“Focus,” Kojyc directed. At Kojyc’s command, Cibre focused entirely on the radio broadcast, and listened with quickened attention.
“Crap,” Cibre called out! “An Elvish ship is sinking. I think it was an attack,” Cibre replied. “Lots of people are dead, and injured.” Redoubling his focus, Cibre tried to listen to the broadcast, but it was too fast for him to follow. He figured out how to answer back, however. “Your message is coming too quickly,” Cibre reacted. “Repeat your broadcast.” His eyes widened, his body stiffened, and his jaw dropped.
“That bad,” Lieutenant Charlenine declared.
“How bad,” Kojyc barked?
“It’s an Elf ship,” Cibre declared. “Luxury liner, with no weapons. It’s sinking.”
“Did they hit rocks,” Lieutenant Charlenine inquired?
“No, it was a shark attack,” Cibre explained. “And it’s still happening. The life rafts are all gone, destroyed by the sharks, along with everyone who tried to escape on one. Lots of people are already dead, and if the ship sinks, everyone else will die, too.”
“Then they’re running out of time,” Sietara said. As she finished the words, all other sound stopped cold. No one even dared to breathe for three straight seconds.
“Where are they,” Kojyc blurted out?
“Already scanning,” Sharai remarked. “Nothing on the short range scans. Switching to the long range scanners.” Rojier took the printouts, and started to read how to use the navigation scanners. Within seconds, he found the answer, and switched the scanners over by pushing the correct buttons. With that, he read his computer screen.
“Found them,” Rojier shouted! “Fifteen and a half miles southwest of us. And there’s about six or seven moving objects in the water, circling them.”
“Confirmed,” Sharai assented. “They’re on the border of the long range scanner.”
“Should we do something about this,” Sietara asked?
“Yes,” Kojyc said. “Thialmayne, turn this boat southwest. Rojier, get us to that ship! Sharai, as soon as you can, raise shields on them. Try and protect them.”
“Energy armor will be raised as soon as I can,” Sharai agreed.
“Cibre, tell them we’re coming,” Kojyc said. “Now make it happen!”
“Yes Sir,” Thialmayne shouted! He pushed the buttons, turning the ship around with his steering wheel. Rojier reviewed the notes, and programmed the new course.
“Southwest, straight for their ship,” Rojier said.
“Hang on,” Cibre announced over the radio. “Hold fast for as long as you can. Help is coming. We’re on our way. Hang on, we’re coming . . .” then he blinked, and looked at Lieutenant Charlenine. “I can’t find them any longer.”
“You’ve lost their signal,” Lieutenant Charlenine said. “Try another channel.”
“Okay,” Cibre said.
“Are we too late,” Sietara worried?
“No,” Kojyc said. “We can’t be! We won’t be! Thialmayne, fast as you go!”
“Yes Sir!” Elatedly, Thialmayne happily obeyed.
“Shall I target the sharks as soon as we get within range,” Sharai asked?
“Absolutely,” Kojyc told her. Except for Cibre, he felt very proud of his crew.
A luxury ship, decorated in a frilly shade of pink, with painting that almost seemed like lace. In all things, elegance was the best possible word to describe this ship. At least, it would be if blood and broken wood, shattered life rafts, and dead bodies were littering the sea near the sinking, nearly capsized boat. Seven tiger sharks circled around the slowly submerging boat, revealed by their unsubmerged fins. All over the ship, there were just under a hundred Elves scurrying up to the stern of the ship, which was sticking straight up in the air, making it the highest point away from the water. The green door opened, and Kojyc walked onto the deck, where Lady Angalisha and Zeliadrith waited and watched.
“I’m glad you came,” Lady Angalisha said.
“Of course I came,” Kojyc replied. “It’s an emergency out there.” He shut his eyes, casting his mental energies into one unseen place. Swiftly, the green door opened again, and out stepped Sharai. She cleared out her throat.
“Ahem,” Sharai said.
“Yes,” Kojyc asked?
“First Officer Charlenine sent me to tell you that there’s another message from the Elf ship. There are ninety-one people still alive on the ship. They’re trying to gather at the port stern. And sixty-five of them are injured. The ship can’t last much longer before it sinks completely.”
“At which point they’ll all be done for,” Zeliadrith stated.
“So let’s send out life rafts and go get them,” Lady Angalisha said.
“We can’t,” Kojyc told her. “Any raft we send out there will get torn to pieces by those sharks, along with anyone who is riding on them.”
“Then let’s use magic against the sharks,” Lady Angalisha suggested.
“There’s a better use for magic, my girl,” Kojyc said. “Why cast several spells when a mere one will do? Sharai, go back and raise the energy armor, luv. When you’ve got that up, fire on the sharks.”
“All right,” Sharai said. Then she returned to the control room.
“Let me try something,” Kojyc said. Casting his eyes at the ship, he rubbed his hands together, and then he folded them, generating purple power. As soon as that was done, he broke his hands apart, and a tiny purple portal appeared on the deck. “Everyone get back! Angalisha, Zeliadrith, I want you two loading cannons. Get ready to fire once I give the order!” Angalisha and Zeliadrith went to the other side of the deck.
“We’ve already done that,” Zeliadrith replied.
“Yes, they’re ready at your word,” Angalisha answered. “These are Elf waters, Sir. It seemed a reasonable defensive measure.”
“Excellent,” Kojyc proclaimed. “I commend you on your quick thinking. Now get ready. We’re about to have some extra passengers. Here they come!” The purple portal expanded, and before anyone knew it, the purple portal also disappeared. In its place were the Elves, all ninety-one of them. The sixty-five Elves who were injured were bleeding heavily, victims of shark bites.
“What is this,” an Elf male in navy clothes of gold and scarlet asked?
“We’re dead,” a female Elf in an expensive white dress, with very decadent pearls. Her dress was ruined with blood.
“Hardly,” Kojyc said. He knelt down, and helped her up. “Welcome aboard.”
“Orcs,” a male Elf screamed! The healthy Elves all stood up, and started reaching for their weapons.
“We don’t appreciate being kidnapped!”
“You’d rather be shark food,” Kojyc countered? Kirustinu came onto the deck, with her backpack and several medical kits. Malerth and Doctor Nolandreskiosh followed her, carrying as many medical kits as they possibly could. Nadeera came in right after that, carrying bandages, tape, alcohol, and clean white cloths.
“We’ll go nowhere with you,” a male Elf boldly protested!
“You’ll go nowhere at all,” Kirustinu declared! As soon as they ventured out just a little bit, Kirustinu, Doctor Nolandreskiosh, Malerth, and Nadeera looked at each other. It was hard to tell at first where they should begin.
“What do we do,” Doctor Nolandreskiosh asked?
“Nadeera, we need triage. You’re an Elf, and have the power of life energy, so you’re our triage girl,” Kirustinu ordered. As soon as she finished the words, she knelt down to the most wounded person, an Elf boy with several bites, and massive bleeding.
“No,” shouted his mother! A wealthy female Elf with beautiful blonde hair and a frilly pink dress, sat there with him. Kirustinu dropped her medical kits, and her bag. She opened a medical kit, and donned gloves, and started to examine the boy. It did not take her long to see she needed medication, so she opened her backpack and searched.
“Malerth, I need you,” Kirustinu insisted!
“Coming, Doctor,” Malerth insisted! Joining Kirustinu, he sat with her, as she filled a syringe with the medication. She injected the boy. Doctor Nolandreskiosh searched out the second-most grievously injured Elf, and when he found her, he treated her on his own. Nadeera was giving Elves numbers; this current one was the number fifty-five. She moved on to another Elf, cleaned him up and bandaged his wounds.
“What is she doing,” asked one of the male Elves? He pointed to Kirustinu.
“She’s a nurse practitioner,” Nadeera explained. “Trained at the Nursing Corps.”
“Aren’t you a Doctor, too,” asked one of the Elves?
“No,” Nadeera said. “I’m just a student. All I know is first aid and anatomy. My job is to rank you guys for the severity of illness so the medics know who to treat first.”
“How can we trust her,” asked a female Elf? “The woman’s an Orc!”
“Doesn’t matter,” Nadeera said. “She took an oath of medical racial neutrality.”
“Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,” the boy cried, as Kirustinu used a clamp on the boy’s leg, which caused him to scream.
“Shouldn’t you sedate him,” Malerth asked?
“Not in his condition,” Kirustinu said. “His stats are too low. The sedative would kill him. He’ll have to endure the pain until he’s much better,” Kirustinu said.
“Get away,” his mother barked. “Don’t touch him!”
“I can help him, but I need time,” Kirustinu assured her, calmly.
“No, leave him alone.” She pushed Kirustinu! “Can’t you see he’s hurt enough?”
“Madame, please,” Kirustinu beseeched.
“I will not have my son butchered by an Orc . . .” before she could finish, Kojyc placed his hands on the Elf mother’s shoulder.
“Madame, be calm,” Kojyc explained. “This is my sister, Doctor Kirustinu and her assistant, members of my medical staff. Please don’t interfere in any way.”
“Uh, I . . .” the mother began.
“Malerth, I’m prescribing safflower,” Kirustinu insisted. “See that she gets it.”
“Yes, Doctor,” Malerth said.
“Malerth,” Doctor Nolandreskiosh screamed! “We need morphine here!”
“Sure, Doctor,” Malerth said. “Be right with you!” He ran off, as Kirustinu continued providing critical medical care to the boy.
“I will save your son,” Kirustinu said to the mother, and went back to her work. A teenage girl with exotic white skin, wild, flowing crimson hair, green eyes, a lavender scarf around her neck and front, and a deep pine-green robe with viridian spirals and stars over it, ran out of the red door, with a medical kit. She began to join in, helping to heal injured patients.
“Who is that,” an Elf asked? Kirustinu and Kojyc saw her. Just for a moment, a pair of white wings sprouted out of her back, and then disappeared.
“You don’t have enough medics. I offer myself as a nurse for this emergency.”
“Thank you, Kylie,” Kirustinu said.
“Who is she,” asked an Elf?
“Kylie . . . Temperance,” Kojyc stated. “Nurse Kylie Temperance.” Without delay, Kylie and Kirustinu both dove intently into curing the injured shark attack victims.
“So you’re the Captain,” said a male Elf. He wore a kimono of purple, with gold trim, and he had expensively coiffed features and expensive adornments. “So am I.”
“I see,” Kojyc said. “You mean of the Elf ship?”
“The Poclaroice, and it used to be a top of the line ship,” said the Elf Captain. “Until we sailed into those blasted sharks.”
“Damned shame. Bad luck, but at least you’re all aboard here. And you’re safe.”
“We’re not safe on an Orc ship . . .”
“They can’t get through our energy armor,” Kojyc said. “Look!” He turned the Elf Captain around, and the Elf Captain saw, to his shock, magnetic missiles, and cannon balls, raining down on the bloodthirsty sharks. Two were hit and killed. The others were attempting to swim away, chased by the cannonballs and the magnetic missiles.
“So you can fight off sharks, meaning you’re a war ship,” scoffed the Elf Captain. He crossed his arms. “Are you planning to turn my wealthy passengers over to a torturer for interrogation?”
“I’m turning you Elves over to someone, all right,” Kojyc said, intentionally being menacing. But then, Kojyc broke into a smile, and pointed to Kirustinu. “Her. She’s a nurse practitioner from the Nursing Corps in Flourae. If anyone can save your passengers, it’ll be her.” Having saved the Elf boy’s life, Kirustinu now performed life-saving surgery on an Elf girl.
“When was her last surgery,” Kirustinu asked the Elf girl’s father?
“A year ago,” he replied. “Appendicitis.”
“What’s her blood type?”
“A positive,” he told her.
“Good. Is she allergic to any kind of medications or herbs,” Kirustinu asked?
“One,” he said. “Meadowsweet.”
“So that means aspirin and its variants are right out,” Kirustinu realized.
“That’s her kind of questioning,” Kojyc said to the Elf Captain. “And any torture she or her assistants would put you through would be medically necessary, and not anything else.” Malerth and Kylie provided health care to different Elves.
“How can I believe a word you say,” the Elf Captain asked?
“You know your way around by the stars, right,” Kojyc barked?
“Yes, of course, what sailor wouldn’t . . .”
“Then watch this, and let this be your proof!” Angered, but keeping it in check, Kojyc went to the computer on the wall, and pushed the button. “Cibre, this is the Captain. Tell Thialmayne to turn this boat back to the nearest dock in Dromek.”
“Captain,” Cibre cried out over the radio!
“Did you hear me, Cibre,” Kojyc complained?
“I must have been wrong, Sir, I thought you wanted me to tell Thialmayne . . .”
“Just what I said,” Kojyc ordered. “We’re taking the Elves home. Is that clear?”
“Captain, no, the Elves will kill us the moment they realize . . .”
“Either relay my instructions or get me someone who will, but make your choice, now! I’m sick of this, Cibre!” The radio went dead. Offended, Kojyc pushed the button, reactivating the link. “Cibre! Cibre! Damn you, Cibre, answer . . .”
“Sietara here,” Sietara said over the radio. “Cibre said he wasn’t ever touching a radio again if his life depended on it!”
“If I give you an order, will you do it, even if it shocks you,” Kojyc inquired?
“Yes,” Sietara told him.
“Then tell Thialmayne and Rojier to turn us back to Dromek. We’ve got a ship full of Elves who need to go home.”
“You saved them,” Sietara said. “Bless you.”
“We can get through the sharks safely. It’ll take hours for another Elf ship to come here. It’s easier for us to take them back.”
“Safer too. Why reveal where we live to a bunch of Elves,” Sietara assented?
“So will you tell them?”
“Be right back,” Sietara stated. Then she turned off the radio, and Kojyc stood there. The Elf Captain approached him, and began to tap his feet.
“So what dirty trick are you planning now, Sir?”
“Back,” Sietara said over the radio. “We’re turning back to Dromek in just a minute or two. Rojier is trying to figure out how to do it right now.”
“Turning back to . . .”
“That’s right, turning back. Excellent, Sietara,” Kojyc said. “How do you feel about cooking for a hundred?”
“All I’ve got in the galley that can stretch enough to feed a hundred people in a single meal is vegetarian spaghetti, Sir,” Sietara confessed.
“That’s perfect,” Kojyc said. “Take Cibre, Sietara. Make him help you.”
“Yes Sir,” Sietara replied. She broke the link once more.
“Satisfied,” Kojyc asked to the Elf Captain? “We are not your enemies. Now relax. Everything is going to be all right.” He pointed to Kirustinu, as she, Kylie, Doctor Nolandreskiosh, and Malerth tried to provide medical care to everyone they could. Nadeera was cleaning other patients up, and assigning them numbers. Since he could not be helpful in any other way, so Kojyc ran around, trying to help by casting healing spells.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Jed shares this with us about his writing:
I have written several short stories and online articles, as well as four novels. I also had a poem and short story published by a
literary magazine. I definitely prefer prose to express myself, to tell stories. Three of my novels make up the War for Profit Trilogy,
of which First Enlistment is the beginning. I’ve studied literature and writing and have earned a degree in English with a minor in Professional Writing from Cameron University, giving me the tools needed to tell a story in a way readers can enjoy.
makes my stories hard to put down; I certainly hope so.
The main reason I chose to start writing was because I ran out of
things I wanted to read. The military science fiction genre is slim,
narrow, and limited. An average reader could chew through it in a
couple of years and be left with nothing more to enjoy. I complained
about it and my friends who said, “What are you doing about it besides
So I learned to write and then wrote some stories and I hope, wrote them well.
Please, enjoy my stories.
Sevin’s decision became clear. The lead tank destroyer
blinked off the screen. Then tank zero one blinked off the screen. The
last tank destroyer turned east and ran at top speed along the river
bank. Galen checked his auxiliary status screen. Sevin had been in the
tank alone, driving it with the commander’s override controls. His
status was black. Dead.
“Jones, can we go any faster?”
“This is it, Chief. We got a problem with the left final drive and the
track tension is a little sloppy on that side. The computer won’t let
us roll any faster.”
Galen studied the situation map. He checked the estimated speed of the
enemy vehicle. It would catch up to them before they reached the
perimeter of the main body. But three zero was the only operational
tank left on the situation map. The task of stopping the tank
destroyer was Galen’s.
“Stop, driver. Pivot a half-left and pull a half a klick up into the draw.”
Jones did as instructed.
“Okay, whoop it around and back up into the trees. Get us in real good.”
The Hornet was parked facing the river, dense crab apple trees and
higher ground on three sides. Galen had a nice view down to the river,
and was high enough to see the river bank where it met the water. He’d
have a clear shot at the MS-100’s left flank.
“Tad, charge seven.”
The MS-100 came at full speed. It was tilted to the right, its right
track splashing in the river’s water. Galen waited, waited until he
was sure of a good hit. He fired the laser cannon, scoring a hit at
the base of the hull between the road wheels. A hot glob of metal
splayed the inside of the vehicle. The laser bolt was strong enough to
continue through the right side of the hull and explode river water
into a geyser of steam. The MS-100 veered right and drove into the
river, a dead driver at its controls. It continued to shove itself
into the river until its piston engine became drowned with river
water. Its symbol disappeared from the situation map.
The Hornet’s main power was off for fifteen seconds, and then came
back on line. Galen spoke into his hand mike, “Jones, we can join the
main body now. But take it easy, there’s no hurry.”
Tad gripped Galen’s shoulder, “Nice shot.”
“I do my best. Did you see Sevin’s work?”
“Yeah. He did well. Too bad he didn’t make it.”
“He knew he wouldn’t make it. But he had to do it. He knew we’d be dog
meat if he didn’t do it.”
“I think so.” Tad looked up.
“He knew he wouldn’t make it,” said Galen, in a voice too low for
anyone else to hear. “He knew.”
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Fall Feature #11. Novels described with one letter from A to Z (or most of them) just waiting for you to discover them.
A (Angels) Whispers Of Angels
B (Bronze Age Ireland and Brave hero/heroine in) BENDING THE BOYNE: A novel of ancient Ireland
C (Castro. Cuba. Communists. CIA. Cennedy) Bay of Pigs, Blood of Cuba
D ("Desert." Also, descent, difficulty, and dear friends. Desolation, dehydration, and death. Disillusionment, desperation, and a dreadful decision.) Kingmaker - YA High Fantasy
E (eerie) Something Most Deadly, Something Very Ghostly , and Something Most Evil .
F (the Fox, who saves the day this time around) Revenge of the Gingerbread Man!
G (Grizzly, Griffin, Great mural painter) Collinsfort Village
H (HUGE rodent in the Harbour!) Gulliver Mouse
I (inspiring) In Memory of Dad
J (Jesus. Jesus has returned but claims he's not the Christ....) SCARS: An Amazing End-Times Prophecy Novel
K (Kalkar - who stand smoking in the sunlight and move only at night burning everything in their path.) Revealing Rexa (Secrets of the Revealers)
L (Love, Longing, Life, and Language) Ember of Dreams (The Clarion Chronicles)
M (Mysterious, mania, malevolent men, misery, magnetism, misinterpreted motives, maltreatment) Formula Rx:17
O (Orgasmic) Knockout! A Passionate Police Romance
P (Passionate Politics, Playful People with Panache) Between a Rock and a Mad Woman
Q (quixotic) There is Strangeness in the Universe (Volume 1)
R (realistic) Falling Star (The Watchers)
S (Science, Short Stories, Sensual, Sexual, Scintillating, Smart) Symphony of Discovery
T (Time (Space) and Taxes, Time Travel, Teleportation) Time, Space and Taxes
V (violent) The Libertines Motorcycle Club: An Outlaw Is Born
W (WESTERN) Odessa
X (X Factor) Not One of Us (The Flower Ladies Trilogy, Book 1).
Born and raised in Sioux country, Katie McCabe, daughter of an Indian trader, finds herself alone and adrift after her family is killed in a battle between the Indians and the soldiers. Black Moon, the fierce Oglala warrior who has vowed to fight to keep the white people from taking his land, rescues Katie and brings her to live in his village. As Black Moon tries to reconcile his hatred of the whites with his desire for the trader’s daughter, Katie struggles with an obligation to marry a man she does not love while yearning for the fierce-hearted Black Moon. The love that ignites between these two wild hearts is tested by Katie’s promise to a dying woman, the treachery of a jealous adversary, Katie’s abduction by the Crows, the cavalry lieutenant who falls in love with her, and the tensions that erupt between the Sioux and the U.S. Army. From the desolation of the Great Plains to the opulence of St. Louis, a headstrong white girl and a proud Oglala warrior fight for their love and for the wild country of their birth.
You can read an excerpt on Nancy's website http://www.nancymorse.com/.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
About the Author:
Born and raised in the Charleston, WV area, this young single father started writing when unimaginable circumstances thrust him into a situation beyond his control. As a way to stay connected to his beloved daughters, he began writing stories to entertain them - first a fantastical, magical adventure, the Edge of Knight series.
What started as entertainment for his daughters evolved into a coping mechanism to maintain his sanity as he waged a monumental battle against injustice. The battle continues, and as his daughters have grown into teenagers, the stories have changed to more mature fiction. M.O.D. is the first book to be published.
J. C. Allen is a pseudonym, represented by the author's middle name, his younger daughter's middle initial, and his favorite niece's initial. Both girls have been instrumental in bringing his books to the public.
About the Book:
M.O.D. is about a wanted hacker from the '80s who resurfaces with the means and intent to overthrow what he perceives to be a corrupt government. Scott Carver is asked to make this decision when the hacker, "M.O.D." asks him to help plan a revolution.
While eluding authorities for decades, M.O.D. has pirated trillions of dollars in funds and equipment for his rebellion. He aims to topple the government in the name of the Constitution and its founding fathers. Is he maniacal? ... or is he right?
Amazon: Kindle e-book or Paperback
Barnes and Noble: (Nookbook)
Video Book Trailer
Friday, September 30, 2011
Today's Fall Feature is Edwin Stark's 90k humor novel "Eco Station One".
Edwin shares this with us about himself and his work:
I'd like to introduce myself: The name's Edwin Stark and I currently live in the middle of a typical rainforest. I'm so far away from civilization that not even radio signals dare to reach here. Gosh! Not Even TV! So I write to stay moderately sane, and in the process I found that I can really spin a tale. During the years 2005-2006 I wrote all the tales in my book "Cuentos" and I thought they'd just molder away in my Fabled Writer's Trunk, until self.publishing made possible that they could finally reach an audience. I grabbed the best picks of the litter from a batch of 200 stories I wrote during that period and slapped them together.
But after I finished this project, I realized that there was still something more to be done, so I set down to write "Eco Station One", which ended up being my second novel. This book is a great departure from all my provious work, because I basically write creepy, dark tales with a hidden golden nugget of hope; most of my characters, even while going through terrible ordeals, have incredible moments where they can think "I can make it through", so I expect my readers to walk away from my books thinking. "What a dark story! Yet I found it uplifting!" So I dropped all the foreboding backdrops, monsters and creepy stuff and I began writing an incredibly cheery albeit zany tale about a guy who gets involved in a zany scheme to fleece a major corporation with a project in an ecological research outpost in the middle of a tropical rainforest (now... why does that sound familiar? Hmmm).
Though Eco hasn't earned as many 4 and 5 star reviews as "Cuentos" (people find the book's humor too off-kilter sometimes), it's certainly a funny read. I'll leave you with this brief fact that some people may find fascinating: The title "Cuentos" means "Short Stories" in Spanish, which brings me to a point that I think most readers will be amaze about, in given time: Since my first spoken language isn't English but Spanish, this lends my work with a certain texture and flavor that some people find quite appealing. And those who read my works, before knowing I switched languages somewhere along the way, suddenly gain an improved appreciation tho what I write: they go... "WOW" I can't really believe that you're not a native English speaker!". I also have other books, "AI Rebellion", which is a bit preachy, and "The Clayton Chronicles".
An excerpt from "Eco Station One" can be viewed by visiting the amazon.com listing here.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Today's feature is Rebecca Stroud's 15k Suspense/Thriller Novella "Do Unto Others".
Rebecca Shares this with us about her Novella:
I am an avid animal lover…have been all my life. My experience with them has been all over the map. I worked for veterinarians; for humane societies and wildlife sanctuaries; and - then - I became a columnist, writing The Animal Advocate for various newspapers. Now I'm proud to say I'm an 'indie' author.
So it should come as no surprise that everything I write involves an animal (primarily dogs, who I personally think are the most fabulous creatures on this planet).
That said, Do Unto Others is not a 'comfy cozy' book. Meaning: Over the years, I've become so sick and tired of animal abusers getting off with a simple slap on the wrist that I took my frustrations out in this fictional story.
As our legal system seems to be perpetually hamstrung when it comes to punishing those who commit these horrendous crimes, my 'special' twins have no such problem. Ergo, the book is - at times - quite gruesome and graphic.
Of course, I understand this book isn't for everyone. Yet, if you believe as I do that those who abuse the helpless - be they animals, children, or the elderly - deserve to pay dearly, then I also believe you'll find this novella right up your alley.
Here is a brief excerpt:
Serenity Smith lay spread-eagled on her canopied bed, arms and legs tied at each corner post. Sonia was no longer naked but Smith was. And she was bleeding profusely.
The sisters sat on either side of her and told her why she wouldn't live through the night.
"First of all, Serenity," Linda said in a calm and matter-of-fact voice, "you betrayed an innocent creature. A dog who loved you with all his heart, who depended on you for everything. Yet you chose to ignore him completely. He had no food, no water, he literally lived in his own crap…" She gritted her teeth, her voice trailing off in disgust as she held up the pair of small lawn clippers, prepared to remove the last of Smith's toes.
"Furthermore, you thought you'd get away with this, didn't you?" Sonia sneered at the gagged and terrified woman, nodding at her sister to proceed.
Smith's eyes bulged as Linda smiled and snipped off Serenity's right thumb.
"Sorry," she said. "But your stinking feet were making me sick."
Click here to visit Amazon.com to read a longer excerpt and/or purchase the novella.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
The Chosen is a YA fantasy that is approximately 83,000 and is the first book of a trilogy. I built my own mythology that is based both on the Greek gods and Gnosticism to create something I’ve never seen done before. I do borrow some practices of the ancient Greeks, which is most notable in the funeral practices. There’s a huge range of mythological creatures that are featured in my novel, including demigods, merfolk, and vampires.
Kaia’s entire life has erupted in flames after an assassin appears and burns her village down. She’s rescued by a god from another planet who requests her help because she’s the descendant of their last savior. Together with Reeze — the only other survivor from her village and her appointed guardian — they set off on a quest to find the treasures of the gods in hopes of preventing a dire prophesy.
Kaia and Reeze quickly meet the Tueors, a group of people many thought extinct, who are searching specifically for Kaia. Their intention: to protect the truth. As Kaia discovers more about the truth and her family’s past, she also learns of the Tueors’ bloody secret. Will Kaia be the savior the gods have been waiting for? Or will she let the prophesy come true?
Excerpt from Chapter One:
The arms were unrelenting. Kaia thrashed and threw her body against them until her body grew limp from exhaustion. The arms loosened around her slowly; her body slumped down into a heap. As she sobbed, a hand rested tentatively on her shoulder sending a shiver down her spine. Hesitantly, Kaia lifted her eyes to see who had stopped her from rescuing her mother.
She expected to see the face of someone much older, but was surprised to find a teenager of around seventeen—an adult to her village’s standards. His eyes were mysterious and glued her eyes to his. They penetrated her, appearing to see every thought and
secret. His hair, like hers, was an unusual color, though his was a light
indigo. He kept his hair a bit longer than most males, but wore it tied back. The glow of the fire caused his face to seem hard, which only frightened her more since he showed no sign of friendliness. Whatever he was to her, she wished he would stop looking at her.
After what felt like an eternity, he finally spoke. His voice was tough, straining to sound friendly, but failed and came out commanding, “Go to the shrine. It’s safe there.”
“Why?” she asked, tentatively, her voice barely a whisper.
“There’s no time to explain. Just do it!”
She still didn’t move and just as she was about to question him again they heard a noise. In a nearby tree, they spotted a man standing on a sturdy branch. Dressed in black, he held a box of matches and had
a sword at his side. He tossed the box up and down, up and down, and then suddenly stopped. He looked at them and feigned surprise. Casually, he threw the box into the inferno and gave a sinister smirk.
“It would appear that I missed two,” he said, gracefully unsheathing his sword and directing it at them.
“Now, who should I kill first? Her—or you?”
The man looked over Kaia and her face scrunched up in revulsion as the man smirked and licked his lips slowly as he clutched the hilt of his sword. The teenage boy’s eyes hardened and he stepped closer toward Kaia.
As she took a few tentative steps back to distance herself from the man and the steadily approaching flames, the teenager said, “I don’t think you’ll be killing us. Or anyone else for that matter.”
She looked quickly at the teenager, but his face was still without
emotion. The man in the tree laughed, turning Kaia’s attention back to him.
“And why won’t I be killing anymore?” he bellowed.
“I’ll tell you why,” the teenager said, his voice rising with anger, “because I’m going to put a stop to it!”
Kaia saw that he had a sword of his own. He agilely unsheathed it and pointed it toward the man in black. The man only laughed.
“You’re barely out of diapers, and you think you can take me on?”
The teenager said nothing, but coldly stared back. More quickly than she could follow, the man jumped down from his perch. Kaia squeaked and moved behind the teenager. The teenager, however, didn’t flinch. He seemed steadfast and sure of himself. The man in black also noticed his demeanor and his grin vanished.
“What’s your name?” the man suddenly asked.
“The name’s Reeze,” he answered coolly. “And yours?”
The man gave a wolfish grin. “You can call me Tipton.”
Kaia closed her eyes for a split second, wishing desperately that everything was just a dream. Opening her eyes, she found Reeze
right in front of her holding back an attack. Sweat glistened on his forehead as he strained to push Tipton back, while Tipton was again grinning. His smile frightened Kaia more than death.
“Go!” Reeze yelled at her. Reluctantly, she scrambled up and mustered enough energy to get up and sprint toward the shrine, never looking back.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Remain In Light is a mystery, but also contains elements of magical realism, poetry and film noir. Set in Paris in the late 1990s, the main characters could not be more opposite. Irène Laureux is a feisty, 69-yearl-old widow determined to find the man, Frederick Dubois, who knows the circumstances of her husband's mysterious death 30 years earlier. Helping in her search is American expat Martin Paige, a young, gay writer who has moved to Paris to get over a damaging relationship. I wanted to write a mystery that didn't play to the stereotypes of the macho, hard-boiled detective or beautiful forensic pathologist. Irène and Martin are flawed, average citizens thrown into extraordinary circumstances and must rely on their unlikely friendship and tenacity to solve a mystery that only grows deeper and more dangerous the closer they get to the truth. I also wanted to explore the underworld of Paris, the simmering xenophobia, class warfare and organized crime that is glossed over by the travel brochures.
Prologue: Time Ticks
Hands in motion. Fingers fly over letters and numbers, type out a message, a brief history of self, of time, of need and directionless desire. The screen bathes those hands in bruised light, flickers on a face in the darkness. A face grown two years older, forehead scarred by a bomb blast often hidden by blonde bangs and more tiny lines around the eyes behind glasses. There is an unmistakable tattoo on the left hand between the thumb and index finger: two interlocking crosses, equal but opposite.
Here is how the monster is kept at bay: he surfs through pornography, lurid images and chatrooms, searches for the lowest common denominator. There’s a picture of a beautiful young boy, only eighteen, on one side of the screen and an open dialogue box on the other. 17 Rue Ferrandi, the boy types. I am Thierry. What is your name?
He types back: Martin.
He leaves the apartment on rue Rampon silently, makes sure not to wake his roommate. But she is awake. She hears the almost imperceptible click as the laptop switches off; his feet pad down the
hardwood floor of the hallway. Then there’s the other click, the one that makes her mouth go dry with dread and disappointment. It’s the sound as the door softly opens and closes, a maneuver only she hears. Even the cat at the foot of her bed, with preternatural senses, sleeps through his leaving. These late night disappearances happen at least twice a week, and they’ve been going on for months. Every time he leaves, it’s still a surprise, as if it’s happening for the first time. She gets out of bed and opens the doors to the balcony.
It is late summer, the tourists have gone home, the city is quiet, but there is expectancy in the air, something or someone she cannot name. She feels it as intensely as when Martin Paige’s arrival was imminent just two short years ago. It is early morning; Venus is visible overhead. It rivals the moon for the sky. Irène Laureux leans on the balcony, the tattoo on her pale left hand in sharp relief against the metal railing even in the weak light. Equal but opposite – the same ink she shares with Martin. Irène looks up, summons the inevitable with words that have served her well in the past: Paris, Paris, Paris.
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Chelle shares this with us about herself and her novel:
I am a romantic dreamer. Despite all of the rumors that writers are full of angst, I really like my life - so I love to write about the things in my life... but my books are pure fiction.
After the 2005 hurricane season and the devastation it caused to parts of Louisiana and Texas, I heard many stories about the people down there and their remarkable spirit. (As an aside, my hubby was a rescue worker down there and he came home with incredible stories to tell.)
Deanna Blair, the heroine of my book Hostage Heart, was born from these stories. Add to that my sometimes "questionable" imagination and my need to let everyone have their special romantic moments and I added Ryan Hunter and a few other interesting characters. Then I tossed in a bank robbery.
The book starts in New York City, a city that never sleeps and the place where I was raised. The bulk of the story takes place down south in Baton Rouge, LA and Little Rock, Ark. Although I grew up with a southern-born mama, I still did a lot of research into Deanna's Cajun heritage and the local customs. It was really fun for me.
I want my readers to experience the flavors of a beignet (a Louisiana fried fritter) and the dialect of a Cajun as they read my story. More than that, I want them to feel the love between my characters and each of the relationships they have. And of course I hope that they sit on the edge of their seats as they wonder what will come next.
Here's an excerpt:
Deanna tried to pull away. Tears came to her eyes. “Please, let me go.”One lucky random commenter will win a PDF copy of "Hostage Heart" sent to them via Chelle. Good Luck to everyone and thank you to Chelle for stopping by!
“Hey Roy, Miss Southern Bell said please.” He mocked her pronunciation. One of the other two men laughed at her distress.
The third man got up and grabbed her chin. He held her face still as he forced the neck of another open bottle of beer between her lips and poured. Deanna choked and spit out most of it. “Come on, swallow.” He kept pouring and she finally swallowed some to keep from choking. “That’s right baby, you’re going to feel much better. We just want you to enjoy too.”
After most of the contents of the bottle of beer was either down her throat or spilled down the front of her blouse, the bottle was put on the table. Deanna fought to keep from gagging as the beer hit her stomach and started an abrupt return trip. “I’m going to be sick.”
The first guy stood and nearly dumped her on the floor. They let her heave the contents of her stomach while she bent over. They laughed at her. When she was done, one of the men splashed her face with even more beer to rinse her off. Then the front of her blouse was torn open.
“Oh God, please don’t...:” Unable to defend herself or run away with her hands and feet still tied, she cried and pleaded.
Tugging the front of her bra as if to rip it off of her, the second guy found her grandmother’s ring. “What’s this?” He dug the piece of jewelry out.
She looked longingly at the ring. “Please, that’s all I have left of my mamere.” They still hadn’t recovered the old woman’s body long after the flood waters receded. “Please don’t take that.”
One of the men leered at her. “Maybe we’ll let you earn it back.”
“What the hell is going on here?” His booming voice surprised everyone.
“Hey man, we were just having some fun. She doesn’t mind. Do you?” One of the three drunken revelers pouted.
“I told you, she’s my property... and I don’t share with anyone.” The pseudo bank customer had returned from his errand. He walked to them and grabbed her roughly by her arm. “What’s that?” He questioned the guy with the ring in his hand.
“She was hiding it.”
“Give it to me. Now.” The ring was put into his outstretched palm and he put it into his pocket. He looked at the floor where she spit up. “Clean this up.”
“Hey man, we were just bored.
“That’s not my problem.” He pulled Deanna into the small kitchen and helped her wash her face and rinse her mouth at the sink.
“So long as Jacob is gone, I’m in charge around here. And I don’t like having my orders ignored.”
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Today our fall features is Melinda Clayton's 73,000 historical fiction "Appalachian Justice".
Melinda shares this with us about herself:
I'm an odd mix of psychotherapist and writer who has always loved to read, and who has always loved to explore the motivations behind the choices we make. I try to give my characters depth and to demonstrate the thought processes behind the decisions they make.
I’ve always loved to write, even as a very young child, though for most of my life it was a private hobby. When my children were young I took some time off from my career in order to be more available to my family, and that seemed the perfect time to seriously explore this passion of mine. I began by writing mental health and relationship oriented articles for various print and online magazines. Once I felt I had some experience under my belt, I branched out, writing short stories for inclusion in several anthologies.
Appalachian Justice is my first novel, and it's dark, no doubt. But it's also a tribute to the many brave women and children with whom I've connected over the years through my therapy practice. They have my deepest, deepest respect and admiration.
Appalachian Justice was recently chosen to receive the Sapphic Readers' Award for 2011, an honor of which I am most proud.
Melinda is happy to give away a free Smashwords download of Appalachian Justice to the first person to comment on this feature page.
Have a look at the excerpt for the novel by clicking here to visit amazon.com.
Friday, September 23, 2011
Our first Fall Feature comes from Chile! The author Charmaine Pauls is stopping by to share her 83,000 women's fiction (drama with a strong romantic element) "Between Yesterday and Tomorrow".
Between Yesterday and Tomorrow is South African born Charmaine Pauls’ debut novel. The story tells the tale, in the form of a memoir, of a woman who refuses to deal with her painful past after the disappearance of her fiancé. Her life is reduced to an emotionless existence, protecting herself from the pain of facing the possible truths. Eight years after the tragic event, she is forced to travel to picturesque Castries, in the south of France, to claim her estranged French family inheritance. The main character, Marlien, is forced through a series of new unfolding events and a strange country to finally face her past. Not only is the enigmatic French veterinarian, Jean-Christophe, set on winning her heart, but she is thrown into the arms of the gypsy musician, Laurent, when he saves her from the crushing hooves of the bulls during the midst of the Arles bull run. But Marlien does not have to choose between Jean-Christophe and Laurent in order to find happiness. She has to choose between living in her past, or acceptance, in order to make way for her future. She does not only find answers to the most haunting questions of her life, but she also finds happiness through her epic journey of self-discovery. The first-time author used her experience of having lived in the romantic south of France as a backdrop for the book. She currently resides in Chile with her husband and two children.
"Yesterday and Tomorrow" is available from Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle format: Click here to go to Amazon to purchase.
Charmaine is offering a giveaway for hard copies of her novel. To win a copy, follow these easy steps.
1) Become a follower of "Indie Day in the Sun" via www.blogger.com.
2) Be the first to answer one of these two questions by reviewing the excerpt of the novel:
What color and model vehicle is the main character's luggage placed into?
Where are the wild horses from that the main character admires?
Good luck everyone and congratulations to Charmaine on your debut novel!
Monday, September 19, 2011
It's been a while since I've worked on my Indie Day in the Sun Blog, and I wanted to let everyone know that I'm looking forward to featuring authors who'd like to showcase their work and share links during the fall season.
If you'd like to be feature, please follow the steps below to reserve your place in line :)
1- Email me at indiedayinthesun @ gmail.com with a subject of "Fall feature" and the title of your book. In the body, please include your author name, title, the name of the book, the genre(s) you feel best suit your work and word count.
2- Please also include about 200 min-500 words max about your work as a writer, introducing the novel to be featured, or what you hope the readers gain from reading your work.
3- Please feel free to offer an excerpt as well, but please do not include as part of the word count. The reader could just pull that up on Amazon, we want you to be able to show your unique style and take this opportunity to entice readers to add you to their bookshelf!
4- If you'd like to offer a giveaway or any other type of promotion on the site, feel free to do so! Please include the specifics of what you'd like to offer for the promotion, what the prize will be and how to do so. If you can't agree to offer a promotion, and want to decide that later, feel free to do so. But please keep in mind if you change your mind, you will want to make sure that I am contacted before your post goes live. We don't want to false advertise :(
I'm looking to feature approximately 90 novels, so first come, first serve basis. Please include all of the requested/required information to be added to the list. If you fail to include anything, I won't be able to feature you. If you don't get an email back confirming that you've been added to the list, please review your original email to me and make sure you've got everything listed. If it's missing something, feel free to correct it and resend.
Please do not contact me to feature repeat novels that have already been featured on the site, but another novel from the same author is more than welcome!!
Please share the site address as a wonderful way to support your fellow authors and help readers embrace their hard work!
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Authors-What type of behaviors do you implement to maintain the integrity of not only yourself as an author but that of your work?
Readers-What behaviors/tactics have you seen from Indie authors that you are absolutely appalled by? Please be honest.
Please keep this discussion respectful. If we aren't open to feedback, there's no room for growth. If you aren't open to growth, how can you become something bigger than you are now? Some comments may strike a nerve, but remember each person is entitled to their opinion. Of course I will delete any inappropriate comments, but please take the time to reflect on why a particular comment is striking nerves with you before you respond.
To start the discussion I’m going to share a trend I've noticed from several Indie authors, not just one! Please note the difference between stretching the truth and a lie, especially on things that are easy to check online.
Here is a randomly created very cheesy example of stretching the truth:
"My book will change your life! I've got nothing but five star reviews, so I'm sure you'll love it too! (Insert link to where to buy said book)"
Reality- you have 5 star reviews from readers, wonderful. If I'm an eighty year old southern male, your book about a single woman's fast paced life in the big city isn't going to change my life. Your goal as an author was to sink a hook into those who it would appeal to, so not a big deal.
Here is a common lie: "My book is a top seller on (insert site that has its lists public)."
Reality-NO it's not. Why is this bad? Because I can see that list and so can every other potential reader out there. You are making yourself look like an idiot by insulting the intelligence of your audience. And why is that bad for you? If your own intelligence comes into question, then the products of your intelligence a.k.a. the integrity of your work, goes flying out the window right along with it. Yes some people may fall for it hook, line and sinker- but how often do you really expect it to work. Let those few be served up and let that sale pay for your dinner. But not me, any guess as to what I'm going to do immediately after I’ve popped right on over to the list you referenced to validate you in my mind as a liar? Yes-that’s right. I’m not gonna buy your book.
I may not directly call you out on it, but I do like to make these things known in a discreet manner. Why? Just in case you’ve somehow failed to miss something else that should be obvious-most people who spend money on books are very intelligent. They possess the ability to take words from a page and use their imagination to breathe life into them and create vivid played out scenes comparable to an HD screen. What a reader possesses is a gift that commands respect.
Please think of how you would react to a salesperson that disrespects you while visiting their store before you make such false claims that carry a backhand to their intelligence. Furthermore, please think everyone else’s reputation that you are dragging through the mud along with your own.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Emily McKeon's Thoughts on Revision
“Bottom line: you've got talent, but this isn't ready yet. Spend some more time with it and my suggestions, and we'd be pleased to look at a resubmission.” These are words I always thought I’d be ecstatic to hear. It meant someone, besides my family and friends, saw something worthwhile in my writing.
After countless rejections (Ok, they could be counted, but I’d prefer not to) including one on a requested full, here was my opportunity to edge my way into the publishing world. The best part about this resubmission request was that it came straight from a publisher, not an agent. So what did I do?
I’ll be honest; I cried. After all the rejections that garnered little more than a sigh and a flurry of submissions to other agents, this opportunity caused tears. I’m not really sure why, but I think it had to do with knowing I was so close and still not being able to reach the finish line. The other rejections had been form, “Sorry, but this isn’t for us.” This one gave me reasons.
I know I should have jumped right on those suggestions and started revising, but I didn’t. Instead, they sat in my inbox for the weekend while I debated what I wanted to do. Most of it was simple enough to change: eliminate ‘that’, ‘just’ and ‘I’ wherever it wasn’t necessary or the sentence could be restructured. Others, like rewriting the entire opening, weren’t as easy.
Over that weekend, I mulled over how much I was willing to change my work to make it publishable. My husband looked over the suggestions and managed to convince me they weren’t as bad as I thought they were. With him pushing me along, and armed with the publisher’s critique, I set to work.
Doing the revisions, I realized there were a lot of things both the publisher and I had overlooked in previous read-throughs. Things like my characters’ penchant for constantly opening and closing doors or smiling all the time. Most of these were cut along with the ‘that’s, ‘just’s and ’I’s.
I went through and revised several times over the following weeks. Each time, finding more of the things she had pointed out and corrected them. Last Thursday, tired of looking at it and sure I would throw my computer out the window if I had to do another revision, I hit the send button.Now, I’m sitting and waiting to hear back as to whether or not I’ve managed to revise it enough. Keep your fingers crossed. Meanwhile, now conscious of my most over used words and phrases, I’m off to edit my other MSS before they get sent off to Queryland and come back with the same comments.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
July 20th, 2009 7:00am I held her hand and kissed her face with the arrival of a sunny beautiful morning, hoping for a miracle. The shift change for nurses and doctors was in full swing. Staff checking in, charts being reviewed, doctors and nurses exchanging information; vital signs being verified. Debbie’s breathing is very labored as it had been for the last twenty four hours. I never knew if each breath would be her last. The cancer was running its course through her beautiful body at a terrible pace. An aide came in to change the sheets and clean her up. She asked if I would like her to wash Debbie's hair. I pondered the thought for a minute looking at the love of my live and replied in a hushed, choked tone, “She would like that. How long will it take you to change her bed and wash her hair?” She said about fifteen minutes. I stepped out of the room and called her friend Cathey to get an estimated time of arrival. She assured me she would be at the hospital within thirty minutes.
Debbie was in good hands with the aide. I decided to get a little air, purchase a coke and have a cigarette. I went to the store with one thought running through my mind, Is there anything else I can do for her? Had I done everything I could for the “love of my life”? Would God sit by her side and let her live out her life on earth or whisper in her ear, take her hand, and guide her to heaven? I had no control over what was happening to her.
Have you ever loved someone with all of your heart and soul? Have you lost a dear loved one to breast cancer? I have. I sought out my high school love for twenty-five years. We reunited in Jan of 2009 and were allowed to spend the most amazing seven months together.
Get a copy today to find out how deep one can truly love.