Book Blast!! David Evans

•December 26, 2013 • 2 Comments

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Title: The Arkansas Connection

Pic

Author Name: David Evans

 

Author Bio:

 David Evans

David Evans is a Toronto-based pain consultant with an interest in all types of chronic, intractable non–cancer pain. An avid fly fisherman, crossword and Sudoko aficianado and global traveler, The Arkansas Connection is David’s first novel but he is hard at work on a second one!

 

Author Links –

www.thearkansasconnection.com

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18334552-the-arkansas-connection?from_search=true

http://www.amazon.com/The-Arkansas-Connection-David-Evans-ebook/dp/B00BJCFNKA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384466022&sr=8-1&keywords=%22the+arkansas+connection%22

 Giveaway – $25.00 Amazon Gift Card

 Tags/Labels:contemporary fiction, The Arkansas Connection, moonshine, baseball, fiction novels, David Evans, virtual book tour cafe, authors on tour, book blog tours,

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Book Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Publisher: Jemsdale Publishing

Release Date: February 21, 2013

Buy Link(s): http://www.amazon.com/The-Arkansas-Connection-David-Evans-ebook/dp/B00BJCFNKA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384466022&sr=8-1&keywords=%22the+arkansas+connection%22

Book Description:

Frank Munro, manager of the New York Mets, leads a turbulent life trying to win with a team of dysfunctional underachievers. Soon after the Mets lose the final game of the season, Frank finds out his mother has died, and he must return to his hometown of Catsville, Arkansas, to arrange her funeral. His attempt to give her remains a grand send-off results in mayhem, and out of pity his mother’s friend Alice invites him to a “tea party” with three other ladies, where the tea is actually moonshine. Frank gives them a play-by-play of that final game, and manages to survive the evening. He returns to New York to find the Mets’ owner has decided to give him one more chance. 

Meanwhile, Bobby Sherward, a doctor-turned-right fielder who sustained a concussion from the fly ball and lost the Mets’ final season game, decides that his future is in medicine, not baseball. He takes a position at a veteran’s hospital in Arkansas. Upon arrival, he is amazed to find it’s within spitting distance of Frank’s hometown. 

That’s not the only unsettling coincidence Bobby must contend with, for it soon becomes apparent that Broken Arrow Memorial is the medical equivalent of the Mets. Run by a psychotic medical director, the hospital is the home of indifferent or incompetent doctors, electro-convulsed patients, and assorted weird experiments.

Bobby soon has enough, but before he leaves town he encounters a remarkable sandlot baseball player named Jonathon Brown. Besides being a phenomenal player, Jonathon is also a mathematical genius who runs a highly successful investment group in the back room of a local diner. 

Bobby manages to convince Jonathon to try out for the Mets, and his incredible skills both on the field and in finance bring him and the team fame and prosperity. But Jonathon also raises the ire of the brokerage firm losing customers to his sound investment advice. As a result, the company’s CEO makes plans to “eliminate” the new competition. Will Jonathon survive his trip to the big league, and complete the Arkansas Connection?

PLEASE NOTE: There are some suggestive scenes and swearing in the book- so it’s not for children.

Thanks

Excerpt One (300-500 or so Words):

The Arkansas Connection

by David Evans

Excerpt 1

The baseball season ended dramatically for Frank Munro, when he was ejected in the eighth inning of the final game of the regular schedule for saying unkind things about the first base umpire. At precisely the same time, Frank’s elderly mother, who happened to be watching the game in her home in Catsville, Arkansas, just as dramatically dropped dead from a heart attack in front of her television set.

Two days later Frank was airborne, heading south to attend his mother’s funeral. Frank hated flying, and the captain’s announcement that they would be running into a little turbulence only made him more nervous and depressed. His dark mood was not so much brought on by his mother’s death, which in many ways was a godsend, but by the fact that her funeral merely postponed his annual show-and-tell luncheon meeting with the team’s owner, Steve Conroy. Frank had been manager of the Mets for five years, and inevitably Steve would bring the meeting to an end by making the same demand: “Frank, give me one fucking reason why I shouldn’t fire you.” And Frank would just as inevitably answer that he didn’t have one.

This year was even more critical, because the team had managed to pull off one of its worst seasons since Steve had bought the club ten years previously. To make matters worse, the final game against the Giants would probably go down as one of the greatest debacles in the history of baseball.

Frank stared morosely into what was left of his third Scotch, and pondered the fate that had led him into managing such a bunch of dysfunctional, psychotic underachievers. The problem wasn’t that they lacked talent, but that most of their energy seemed to be directed toward their extracurricular activities – drinking, self-medicating with dope, beating up their wives and girlfriends, fighting in bars, and generally whoring around. Baseball just seemed to give them something to do between all the other stuff.

After landing in Dallas, Frank took a white-knuckle hedgehopper to Broken Arrow and rented a car for the last leg of the trip to Catsville. The airplane food and multiple Scotches had left him with heartburn and a major hangover, but he still felt a pang of unfamiliar nostalgia as he drove the eight miles down the road to his hometown. Besides being the home of Potter Plastics, the biggest employer and polluter in the county, Catsville was also a major trading center for the vintage moonshine liquor that was distilled in the pine forests surrounding the town. If you looked carefully as you drove down the winding road into the valley, you might see wisps of black smoke sneaking through the trees, indicating that there would soon be new product hitting the market.

For Frank right now, Catsville was a retreat where he thought he could relax, say a final good-bye to his mother, and hide for a couple of weeks from the New York media, which was vicious in its criticism of his handling of the team. Apart from the usual carping that he should never have been hired in the first place, there were more serious charges that cast aspersions on his birthright and sexual proclivities. One caller to a radio talk show, mixing him up with a serial killer of the same name, suggested he should have his testicles cut off and stuffed down his throat.

Excerpt Two (500-800 or so Words):

The Arkansas Connection

David Evans

Excerpt 2

Bobby did return the next week to watch the Tigers play against a team that apparently had no trouble with their septic tanks, the Brownwood Dodgers. The teams were made up mostly of young enthusiastic guys in their thirties trying to escape from their wives and kids for a night out with the boys. There were also some veterans, a few who had played in semi-pro leagues. Jonathon Brown stood out, both physically and athletically. He was twenty-two years of age, about six feet four inches tall with long, blond hair. Most women, Bobby thought, would consider him extremely handsome. He had the upper body of a heavyweight boxer and the legs of an Olympic sprinter, and seemed to glide over the field, defying gravity.

He played right field, and propelled the first ground ball that came to him like a radar-guided rocket to first base, to get the runner before he was halfway there. He moved effortlessly to the right or left, making impossible-looking catches and gathering up ground balls that were drawn to him like magnets to a refrigerator door. He was also impressive at the plate. He hit three monster homers and drove in eight runs. Bobby had to keep telling himself that this was a primitive team in a primitive league. In this company, even he might look like Willie Mays. Yet he had the feeling that Jonathon would look good in any league, including the Majors.

Bobby returned a number of times, and was never disappointed. The boy was good. Good enough that he was determined to call Frank Munro and try to get him to give Jonathon a trial. Of course, he had to talk to Jonathon first. For all Bobby knew, the guy might already have been scouted and have an agent. He knew that that even in a population of three hundred million, it was rare for someone with Jonathon’s talent to go unnoticed.

He was determined to do this after his next visit. As it turned out, he made a mistake reading the schedule and he didn’t watch Jonathon the jock perform but Jonathon the investment counselor. Having found the field bereft of baseball players, Bobby asked a gas station attendant where he might find Jonathon.

Monday nights you’ll find him in the back room at Betty’s Diner,” the attendant told him. “He runs some sort of club for people who want to get into the stock market. Can’t understand why anyone would want to chuck their money away like that. The bank was good enough for my grandfather and my father, and it’s good enough for me. Mind you, by the look of the cars they’re driving, they must by doing pretty good.”

Betty’s was about a mile out of town, an oasis in a wide expanse of cow pasture. There were about ten cars parked in front, and Bobby couldn’t help noticing that besides half a dozen of the ubiquitous half-ton pickup trucks, there were also a couple of fancy looking sport utilities, and even a Corvette and a Porsche. Betty was standing behind the counter reading the latest line on the nags running at Pimlico. There were no customers in the diner.

“I’m looking for Jonathon Brown,” Bobby said. “The guy at the gas station thought he might be here.”

“Yep,” she said, pointing a greasy finger to a door at the rear of the diner. “He’s got his meeting in the back room. Every month. Investments and things. Danged if I understand it, but some of those guys are now gentlemen farmers….Well, I dunno about gentlemen, but they’ve certainly given up shoveling shit for a living.”

“Do you think they’d mind if I went in?”

“Nah, I don’t think so. It ain’t exclusive or nothin’ like that.”

Bobby invested in a Coke and a multi-layered burger and fries, and quietly slipped into the back room. Jonathon was explaining the finer points of a graph thrown onto a screen by an overhead projector. He was dressed in black pants, a pure white shirt and a red tie. He was also wearing suspenders. There were about ten people in the audience taking notes.

Jonathon paused and acknowledged the presence of the stranger. “Can’t say I recognize you,” he said. “You’re not from around here, are you?”

“No,” Bobby agreed. “I came to see you play baseball, but got the days mixed up. I wanted to talk to you. Would you mind if I sat in until you’re finished? If not, I’d be quite happy to sit in the diner…. ”

“No, no,” Jonathon insisted, “stick around, by all means. We’re talking stocks and stuff, so it may be a bit boring. Baseball it ain’t.”

Bobby sat down and listened for two hours, fascinated by a discussion surrounding the stock market potential of about twenty small to medium-sized companies. All were listed on various stock exchanges around the country. As far as Bobby could tell they were mostly computer companies, but there were also a couple of banks and oil and gas companies.

Each member of the club apparently had the responsibility of assessing at least one stock. This assessment meant reading annual reports, scanning the major business papers for articles or mere mentions. Specific trade journals would be scanned. Especially important was the strength of management, earning potential, product uniqueness and market share. Often a member would actually go to the town where his company was located. He would look at the plant and watch for activity. If possible, he would inveigle his way into the plant and observe production lines. He might also pick up some local gossip as to how the company was doing. All this information was given to Jonathon. He would then plug that information plus some of his own ideas into a computerized model that he himself had developed, to give a bottom line: Buy or Sell.

 

 

New Book Coming Soon!! Need Help!

•December 12, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Okay everyone, I need some help.  Working on a YA Fantasy novel and I need to decide on a book cover.  Look at the options below and vote!!

  1)

Dragonne 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2)

Dragonne 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3)

Dragonne 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4)

Dragonne 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Blast! Paul DeBlassie III

•December 9, 2013 • 2 Comments

Hey everyone…introducing “The Unholy” by Paul DeBlassie.  Happy reading!!

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The Unholy

Paul DeBlassie III

 PD Book Cover

About The Author

 PD Book BlastPaul DeBlassie III, Ph.D., is a psychologist and writer living in Albuquerque who has treated survivors of the dark side of religion for more than 30 years. His professional consultation practice — SoulCare — is devoted to the tending of the soul. Dr. DeBlassie writes psychological thrillers with an emphasis on the dark side of the human psyche. The mestizo myth of Aztlan, its surreal beauty and natural magic, provides the setting for the dark phantasmagoric narrative in his fiction.  He is a member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy.

Author Links – The link for any or all of the following…

Website pauldeblassieiii.com | Blog pauldeblassieiii.blogspot.com | Facebook https://www.facebook.com/theunholy.deblassie?ref=hl  | Twitter https://twitter.com/pdeblassieiii | Pinterest | Linkedin | Goodreads | Amazon http://www.amazon.com/The-Unholy-A-Novel-ebook/dp/B00F8OEH70/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381767109&sr=8-1&keywords=the+unholy+deblassie

Giveaway –   $25 Amazon gift card

Pit Crew: Will you be offering a donation to our Street Team that will be helping promote your tour?  yes

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Tags/Labels:The Unholy, Paul DeBlassie III, psychological thriller, psychological thriller novels, thriller and suspense, good vs. evil, life and death, destiny, virtual book tour café

Book Genre: Psychological Thriller

Publisher: Sunstone Press

Release Date: August 2013

Buy Link(s): http://www.amazon.com/The-Unholy-A-Novel-ebook/dp/B00F8OEH70/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381767109&sr=8-1&keywords=the+unholy+deblassie

Book Description:

A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, “The Unholy” is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.

Excerpts

Excerpt One (300-500 or so Words):

At that moment, a howling wind came up. Through the window, Claire saw dust devils swirling outside, their dance frenzied, grit and grime spewing every which way as they crisscrossed an endless expanse of desert. As the window began rattling like a bag of old bones, both women looked up and saw a large black crow perched on the ledge outside. It stared at them, then cawed defiantly, unaffected by the winds.

Elizabeth bolted upright, eyes wide. “I have to go,” she said, fingers trembling as she slipped on her shoes, more frightened than Claire had ever seen her. Claire thought of trying to help her settle down, but held herself back, not wanting to risk upsetting her further.

“What’s wrong?” Claire asked, trying to disguise her own sense of unease. Her words went unanswered.

As Elizabeth reached the door, she glanced back at the window where the crow had been. The wind had died down, and the crow had vanished; yet the dark force of moments past crackled through the atmosphere like sparks of electricity jumping wildly from shorted wires.

The hairs on the back of Claire’s neck stood on end. She clenched her teeth in anticipation of something worse about to happen. A chill swept through the room as if a ghostly presence had made itself known. Involuntarily, Claire shook her head as though waking herself from a bad dream.

“Get out of here while you can, Claire,” Elizabeth stammered. Her eyes were wide as the full moon sitting low across a midnight desert landscape.

“What are you so afraid of, Elizabeth?” Claire asked, moving forward to calm her. “Please, talk to me about what’s going on with you.” Carefully, she placed a hand on her patient’s taut shoulder.

Elizabeth shrugged it away, saying, “Let go of me.” Claire knew that Elizabeth could turn on her, becoming violent. Still, Claire inched a little closer and said, “Elizabeth, I could help if you’d let me.” But the words seemed futile.

“Help me? Help yourself! Face what is yours to face,” Elizabeth hissed. She yanked the door open then forced it to slam behind her.

Claire stood still for a moment, feeling as if a tornado had swept through the room. Elizabeth’s demand had left her shaken. She drew a deep breath, then went to her desk and picked up her tea, noticing her trembling hands.

Turning toward the window, Claire saw a muscular orderly accompanying Elizabeth to the locked ward at the far end of the hospital compound. A flock of crows circled high overhead, seeming to follow the two receding figures. As they arrived at the outer doors of the locked unit, the orderly reached for his keys. The crows circled while the two crossed the threshold of the unit, Elizabeth suddenly pausing, turning, and looking outside, her gaze riveted on the flock of birds.

All but two flew off, disappearing into the piñon-covered hills. The two that remained came to rest on the red brick wall adjacent to the locked unit, their black eyes boring into Elizabeth. She looked panicked then enraged and, shaking a finger at the creatures, yelled something. Her frantic gestures told Claire that she was screeching curses to ward off evil.

Claire took a step back from the window, from the impact of Elizabeth’s rage. The orderly grabbed Elizabeth roughly by the arm and pulled her inside. The crows waited, watched, then flew away.

Excerpt Two (500-800 or so Words):

Prologue

Lightning streaked across a midnight dark sky, making the neck hairs of a five-year-old girl crouched beneath a cluster of twenty-foot pines in the Turquoise Mountains of Aztlan stand on end. The long wavy strands of her auburn mane floated outward with the static charge. It felt as though the world was about to end.

Seconds later, lightning struck a lone tree nearby and a crash of thunder shook the ground. Her body rocked back and forth, trembling with terror. She lost her footing, sandstone crumbling beneath her feet, and then regained it; still, she did not feel safe. There appeared to be reddish eyes watching from behind scrub oaks and mountain pines, scanning her every movement and watching her quick breaths. Then everything became silent.

The girl leaned against the trunk of the nearest tree. The night air wrapped its frigid arms tightly around her, and she wondered if she would freeze to death or, even worse, stay there through the night and by morning be nothing but the blood and bones left by hungry animals. Her breaths became quicker and were so shallow that no air seemed to reach her lungs. The dusty earth gave up quick bursts of sand from gusts of northerly winds that blew so fiercely into her nostrils that she coughed but tried to stifle the sounds because she didn’t want to be noticed.

As she squeezed her arms around the trunk of the pine tree, the scent of sap was soothing. Finally, the wind died down and sand stopped blowing into her face. She slowly opened her eyes, hoping she would be in another place, but she was not; in fact, the reality of her waking nightmare was more obvious than ever.

Wide-eyed with fear at the nightmarish scene playing out before her, she clung to the tree. In the distance, she saw her mother raising a staff with both hands, her arm muscles bulging underneath her soaked blouse. Directed straight ahead, her mother’s gaze was like that of an eagle, her power as mighty as the winds and the lightning. The girl loved her mother and, through her mind, sent her strength so that she would win this battle and the two of them could safely go away from this scary place.

The girl turned to follow as her mother’s gaze shifted to an area farther away and so dark that only shadows seemed to abide there. To and fro her mother’s eyes darted before fixing on a black-cloaked figure who emerged from behind a huge boulder surrounded by tall trees whose branches crisscrossed the sky. He was much bigger than her mother, at least by a foot, and his cloak flapped wildly as winds once again ripped through the mountains.

Swinging a long, hooked pole, the man bounded toward her mother like a hungry beast toward its prey. His black cloak looked like the wings of a huge bat as they reflected the eerie light of the full moon. As his pole caught the moonlight and a golden glow bounced back onto the figure, the girl saw his face with its cold blue eyes that pierced the nighttime chill. He seemed to grow bigger with each step, and the girl’s heart pounded so loudly that she was sure he would be able to hear it.

The stranger stopped a short distance from the girl. Crouched low between rows of trees, trying to make herself disappear, she saw him clearly as he threw his head back and let out a high-pitched cry like a rabid coyote. The air crackled. Thunder struck. Lightning flashed. She was blinded and then could see again.

Quick as a crazed coyote jumps and bites, the man struck her mother, his black cape flapping wildly in the wind.

The girl leapt to her feet, her legs trembling, her knees buckling.  Straining to see through the branches, she was terrified.  The moon vanished behind dark clouds rolling overhead. Then came a scream of terror that cut to the bone. Now the night was lit up again by lightning flashing across the mountain range, and the girl could see the blackhooded man hit her mother again and again.

Her mother crumpled to the ground and stopped moving.  The girl’s hand flew to her open mouth, stifling a scream.  The man stood over her mother, his long pole poised in the air, ready to strike again.

A twig snapped in the forest, and the girl spun toward the sound, holding her breath. Then she saw three gray forms slowly creeping toward her through the darkness and recognized them as wolves. She was not afraid as they encircled her, their warm fur brushing her skin. One after another, the wolves lifted their snouts and looked into her eyes, each silently communicating that she would be protected.

Her mother cried out again. The girl turned and saw her rising to her feet, then striking the man’s chest with her staff.  As he batted his pole against her shoulders, her staff flew out of her hands, landing yards away in a thicket of scrub oak.  Her mother screamed and blindly groped for it.

The girl jumped up, then stopped when the black-hooded figure looked her way. Tears clouded her vision, and all she saw was darkness. Tears rolled down her cheeks, dropping into the tiny stream of water running beneath the tree she was clutching. She looked down and saw the dim reflection of her frightened self.

As she peered through the trees to catch sight of her mother, a wailing wind blew the man’s cloak into the air, making him again look like a monstrous bat. Once more he swung his rod high and smashed it against the back of her mother’s head. She saw and heard her mother’s body thump against the hollowed trunk of the lightning-struck tree and slump to the ground. The evil man bent over her mother’s limp body and howled.

Suddenly, the girl felt arms encircle her waist, and she was swept away, deeper into the forest. She sobbed and at first let herself be taken because she had no strength. But then she became angry and started pushing against the arms carrying her, trying to escape and run back to her mother. She wanted to make her mother well, and then this nightmare would stop and they could go away.

“Hush now, child,” said a voice she recognized as that of her mother’s closest friend. “The man cannot harm you, mijita, as long as you are with us.  We will make him think you are dead. But you must be very quiet. Ya no llores,” the woman warned, raising a finger to her lips.

The woman then carried her into a dark cave illuminated by the light of a single candle. The cave was frightening, with shadows of what appeared to be goblins and demons dancing on the red sandstone walls. “I will return for you soon. You will be safe here,” the woman said. The girl watched the woman walk away, shivering as a breeze blew through the cave’s narrow passages.

Closing her eyes, she rocked back and forth—imagining herself safe in her mother’s arms—then opened her eyes to the light of the full moon shining through the mouth of the cave. The shadows on the walls were just shadows now, no longer goblins and demons. As she slipped into a trance, images flickered in her mind. She saw the woman who had brought her to this place scattering pieces of raw meat around the open mesa where her mother had struggled, helped by two other women the girl could not identify.

Suddenly, the scene shifted to a stone ledge jutting over the mesa, and she heard the pounding footsteps of a man running toward the women. The girl felt her heart race and her breathing quicken, afraid that the bad man would spot them and kill them. Then the image shifted again, and she now saw on the mesa three gray wolves circling the raw meat and the man walking away from the granite ledge. As he left, she heard his thought: The child is dead.

 

Treating Writing Like My Day Job

•December 8, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Heart of IndiaIt took me six years to write the first two chapters of my first novel; The Heart of India.  It took six months to write the next 14 chapters.  I often ask myself why it took so long to finish those two chapters and I realized it boiled down to a few things.  The first reason? I wasn’t focused.  Wow.  A writer not focused.  (No shit, Sherlock).  I have found, in my few years as a writer, that writers are the most easily distracted people on the planet.  We can wake up with an entire series in our heads, but damn, anything, can cause us to lose it. Just. Like. That.  And then it is gone.  We blame writer’s block, we blame significant others, the cat, dog, aliens from outer space or whatever, but the truth is, to be a writer takes time and focus.

The second reason it took me so long to write those first few chapters was because I wanted it perfect.  I didn’t exactly write when I sat down to write.  Instead, I found myself editing…and editing…and editing.  I did more editing than I did writing.  While editing is great, trust me, it can also eat into your writing time.  Most self-published authors have other jobs or responsibilities, so finding the time to write is hard in itself.  Wasting most of that time constantly editing a few pages eats away at the little time you had to begin with.

The third reason was that I was treating writing like a hobby.  A seasonal hobby.  One that you did when you remembered to do it.  If you want to be a writer, you cannot write when you feel like it; you have to treat it like a job.  Writing is HARD.  Really freaking hard.  And it pisses me off when I read author interviews and they make it seem like it was nothing to write a book.  Please.  We know how much you put into it.  This is one of the reasons I get pissed off at negative reviews (but…lol…another story for another time).  Writing takes work.  And the mental and physical exhaustion can take its toll on an author.  But so does any job.

If you want to be successful at writing, you have to take it seriously and treat it like a real job.  Does that mean you have to write every single day like clockwork?  Not necessarily, but it does mean you pull out that laptop, or tablet, or good old-fashioned paper and pen, and you write.  You may not produce the best work every single day, hell you don’t even do that on your real job, but you show up every day and you work.  Writing should have the same amount of dedication.  You should put the same amount of work into it.  You were the one who said, “Hey, I want to be a writer!” So, stop bitching about how hard it is to write and simply do it.

Set goals and try to stick to them.  I personally try to write at least five pages each day.  Some days, I write ten, other days, I can barely write three; but I find the time to write.  Save editing for another day.  You can always edit.  But don’t waste valuable writing time by going back and editing thirteen chapters before you can write chapter fourteen.  You have an idea or a name or something else you want to change?  Jot it down somewhere and get to it later.  Your goal today is to write.  But there is no way I can possibly write 5 pages a day!  Okay.  Then write three.  It’s not about the numbers, it’s about the progress.  And you can’t progress unless you write.

Those of you who have already written your first novel know the pleasure that comes with writing “The End.” Those of you who are still in the process, trust me when I say, it is one of the sweetest joys in life.  But you cannot get there unless you get started.

So my challenge to you today is this; get that laptop out, set a writing goal, and write.  Remember, some days you are gonna be so hot, it’s like you’re on fire.  Other days, it will take a fire to get you moving.  But, you have to write.

Book Blast!! Karen Faignes

•December 5, 2013 • 1 Comment

Okay guys…by now you should know that I am a passionate paranormal fan and author, so it is with pleasure that I present this book blast for Karen Faignes.  Sexy vampire? Check!  Intrigue? Check!  And romance? Check! Happy reading!!

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Shaytonian Chronicles – Book 1: Destiny Sets

KF Book Cover

Karen Fainges

 Author Bio: http://shayton.net/Author.htm

KF HSKaren Fainges works as a trainer in business and computing. A wife and mother, she started thinking up sci-fi stories at the age of 10. Editor of the K-tips business and computing ezine, she longed to present her fiction to the world. So she took those long ago stories, a love of the absurd and wrote about beings that were not humans. Sometimes you see a lot more about humanity and yourself when you are looking at someone else.

Author Links – The link for any or all of the following…

Website | http://shayton.net/

Facebook Author page | https://www.facebook.com/pages/Karen-Fainges/83671225033

Facebook Series page | https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shaytonian-Vampire-Fiction/88608175544

Twitter | https://twitter.com/annalisamara
Linkedin | http://au.linkedin.com/pub/karen-fainges/a/b99/424/

Goodreads | https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/10612018

Amazon| http://www.amazon.com/Karen-Fainges/e/B0050KEU3S/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3?qid=1382177091&sr=8-3

Giveaway – details for your giveaway, be specific. You may pick one prize of more than one.

Ebooks, paperbacks, Swag or gift cards

3 pack of ebooks Shaytonian Chronicles Book 1-3

3 pack of Paperback Shaytonian Chronicles Book 1-3 Signed if willing to wait for post from Australia or from Amazons if not.

Hosting Incentive: 3 pack of ebooks Shaytonian Chronicles Book 1-3

3 pack of Paperback Shaytonian Chronicles Book 1-3 Signed if willing to wait for post from Australia or from Amazons if not.

Pit Crew: 3 pack of ebooks Shaytonian Chronicles Book 1-3

3 pack of Paperback Shaytonian Chronicles Book 1-3 Signed if willing to wait for post from Australia or from Amazons if not.

About The Book

 Book Genre: Scifi/Fantasy Vampire

Publisher: Writers Exchange

Release Date:

Buy Link(s): http://astore.amazon.com/shaytonchroni-20

Book Description:

Destiny Sets is the first novel in the Shaytonian Chronicles.

Lightning sears a scene against the eye. Trapped between reality and death, every scrap of life is fighting for existence. To stop fighting is to die.

Some precious moments of peace can be stolen from small pockets of calm. Life can take a breath and wonder at the harsh beauty. But only for a moment, then struggle resumes. And others watch.

The Shayton Chronicles begins in Destiny Sets, the story of one man. He is that drop of chaos that can spell success or failure.

Born from a vampiric race of slaves, genetically moulded to provide comfort for their masters, he alone decides to be truly free. Irreverent humour and a fierce need to know ‘why’, war within him and entire worlds are changed.

“The Stainless Steel Rat with fangs.”

 Excerpt One:

 Painting the mythic vampire

The deep royal blue sky of the Italian Riviera provided the perfect backdrop to the posed woman. She was an otherworldly figure set amongst the ancient columns. Her softly accented voice broke the stillness. “Are you sure about this?”

She watched as he added a daub more paint, “I am sure. You said it yourself, the best way to deny something it is to say it is true.”

“And what if the Council finds out?”

Alfredo dabbed on a different colour. Going by the look on his face, he still did not have the skin colour the exactly right colour of purple. It had been frustrating him all evening. There was a timeline that neither one of them had mentioned, but it loomed in their thoughts. He was getting older, and no one lived forever. His words dragged her out of the wave of sadness that swept through her. “This mythical Council of yours, what if they do notice the paintings? They are just paintings.”

“The Council is no myth. They rule our world.”

“I thought the King ruled your homeworld?”

Lisa started to shrug but remembered in time not to move from the pose. “His rule is absolute, so long as he leaves all the day to day decisions, like whether to exile his daughter to Earth, to the Council.”

“And you, as this poor exiled waif are concerned that one of those ‘day to day’ decisions may be objecting to this painting?”

Lisa snorted at the sarcasm in his voice, knowing it was meant more to chide her out of the doldrums than anything else. “They defend of the safety of Shayton. They hold dear her anonymity. It keeps her from being destroyed by those that fear the different, which, my dear, you must agree describes most humans remarkably well.”

Alfredo nodded, “And trust me, the picture of a masked dancer with obviously fake wings…” Lisa snorted again at this description of her body, “will ensure that any little slip ups like the one in Venice, will be seen as a publicity stunt and nothing else. Your Council will thank us.”

Excerpt two:

 They had made it to the bed before falling asleep in each other’s arms. Talkar woke to a cry from downstairs.

“Molly!”

He was half way down the stairs when he saw a staggering shape in the darkness. Talkar growled. He knew that smell. It was her father. And blood. Molly’s blood.

“What have you done?”

“The slut, she was laughing at me. All these fine new clothes and friends. She belongs to me. I…I was just taking her back.”

Talkar pushed past him. Molly lay in the shadows, her chair lying on its side beside her. She had obviously come downstairs, unable to resist checking on the cafe.

“Talkar.”

Talkar caught up her hand. “Molly.”

“He will never leave us alone. Kill him.”

Talkar looked at her for a moment. “Are you sure?”

“This was my perfect night. He tried to take it. I want him dead.” The last words came out in a sob of pain, hatred and fear.

Talkar let her see his fangs grow. “As you wish.” He turned slowly. Molly’s father seemed to be shaking from the shock of her words. Talkar walked up to him. With one hand, he dragged him to his feet. Pulling him close, Talkar whispered in his ear, “Run.”

“You can’t,” the man cowered, trying to drop out of Talkar’s grasp.

“I warned you once. Molly is mine now. You will never hurt her again. Because you are about to die.”

Talkar felt the need hit him. “Run!”

The man ran, stumbling into the darkness, whimpering in fear. Talkar watched him go. And then, calling to the darkness, he flew off after him. Talkar felt the Hunger course through him. It had never been this strong.

The smell of the man’s fear filled his senses, there was nothing left but the chase. Still Talkar hung back, taunting him. For long moments, he would let the man think he had escaped, then hunt him again. The man’s heartbeats filled his ears. He could taste his whimpered tears. Finally, he could bear it no longer. Tearing into the man’s throat, he ripped the terror out, drinking it down in great draughts. The heartbeats faltered, sped, then stopped.

Talkar felt his own hearts falter. He fell to his knees. The man’s blood was tainted. Not just alcohol, but other drugs burned through every cell in Talkar’s body. He screamed his pain to the sky.

He felt himself change, fill with power. A noise made him turn. He grabbed for the corpse. It was his now. This feeling was his. The Other would have to leave. Or he would fight them for it. At the back of his mind, a voice began to call. He ignored it. The flood of heat washed it away. He was in Hell again. Heat and power everywhere.

“Talkar!”

The heat dimmed. Her voice was like a cool cloth.

“Mother?”

“Fight it, son. Do not let it claim you like it claimed him. Do not lose yourself.”

“Mother, help me…it is too strong.”

“No, it is not. You are stronger. Fight it because you must.”

Talkar held on to her words and dragged himself towards them. At last, he came to his senses. He was kneeling on the grass. Underneath him was the mangled corpse of Molly’s father.

Melinski drew close and Talkar felt himself snap at her. The beast was still there. She drew closer, soothing noises calming him. “Remember this, my son, remember what it is like for the others. Remember the beast and cage him inside you. You will need him. But do not let him loose until then or he will destroy everything.”

Talkar collapsed into her arms. She tenderly kissed the top of his head. “It hurts, mother,” he whimpered as he had never done as a child.

“I know.”

 

The Trouble with Names

•November 27, 2013 • Leave a Comment

As a teacher (my other job), I have been privy to a host of names that will hurt your feelings to pronounce…or spell.  We’ve all heard the story of La-a (pronounced La-dash-a, sure) and the others like Placenta, Lemonjello (La-mon-juh-lo) and his twin brother Orangejello (Or-ang-juh-lo).  Even a recent article in GQ magazine laments the decline in the names of our children today and cautions against the popular sentiment of naming children to be cute.  But dammit, sometimes cute is…well…cute.

I am still in love with the name Heaven (not the modern counterpart of Neveah, which is heaven spelled backwards), and I am still upset with my best friend Neavada, for not naming her daughter Sahara.  Come on, Neavada (Nevada) and Sahara.  Cute.  Sickeningly cute.  I have already decided that if I decide to eventually have a child, I am going to pick a name that is hella cute.  No Susie, or Jane, or Mary for me…and this is from the woman who have aunts named Margaret, Victoria, Cheryl, and the like.  No, I want a name that will stand out without sounding stupid or obnoxious or both.

But what about naming characters?  Should you go the “cute” route?  I recently read a self-published novel (which was pretty decent), but I almost gagged at the name of one character.  And I have characters named after continents.  In fact, my alter ego Rianna Morgan, published a book with the main characters named Africa, India, and Asia.  So, what was the name of this character which made me stop reading the novel for a few days?  Ready?  *Drum roll* Paige Turner.  Tada!  Oh…you don’t get it?  A character in a book named “Paige Turner?”  I am certain the author thought it was cute, and to him, it probably was.  But to someone like myself; a self-proclaimed connoisseur of cute, it was damned annoying.

But that’s not what this post is about.  This post is about naming characters in the best way for the character and the book.  In my Blue Moon Trilogy, my main character (Layla) was named because I associated it with Laila Ali (the female boxer) and I wanted a strong female lead.  I was tired of the wussy females who needed the vampire to get them out of the troubles they got themselves into (again, another story for another day), so I picked Layla.  The book title was deliberate.  In my research I discovered a Native American website (this was Layla’s heritage) and I wanted to be as authentic as possible.  With Native American roots of my own (Arawak), I understood the need to be true to her family ties.  The name Tala (book one) means ‘wolf’, while book two, Maikoda, means ‘power of the moon’, and the book three, Hania, means ‘spirit warrior’.  These titles fit perfectly with what I was trying to accomplish with the book.  As Layla, (who was a Werewolf), got stronger and better understood her powers, she changed…and so did her titles, per se.  But it was all in the name.

When naming your characters, be original, but make the name fit.  Are the parents of your main characters ultra conservative?  Then Susan or Kimberly or Jennifer might be best.  They are not going to name their twin daughters Spring and Summer.  Are they superstitious?  Religious?  Werewolves?  Have  the names fit the personality of the characters.  Was the main character born under extraordinary circumstances?  Then naming her Hope or Precious or Destiny is quite fine.  When I was a kid, there was a family down the street who had daughters named Joy, Charity, Faith, and Love…but, their father was a minister and since these were some of the Godly virtues, it makes sense (in a way).

Readers inherently KNOW when the name is being forced onto a character and when the personality of the character does not fit the name.  Unless its deliberate, where the main character laments not living up to the name bestowed upon them or trying to be more like their namesake, let it go.  Save the name for another character, because chances are, this will not be your only book.  Right now, I am holding onto Angel Haven.  Yeah, its cheesy and utterly ridiculous, but its still kinda cute.  In fact, I came up with the name when I was in middle school and wanted to write a book about a girl born to a fallen angel and a mortal.  I still want to write that book (with more mature changes, of course) and so, I am still holding onto that name.  For better or worse.

Get your ‘ish’ together or get a real job.

•November 26, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I am tired.  I am tired of writing.  No.  In actuality, I am tired of writing only to have who I perceive to be talentless, little “Twilight” knockoffs writing a book of useless drivel and fan fiction, awarded with a publishing contract.  Let’s be fair.  We read.  Romance, paranormal, sci-fi, mystery, whatever…but we read.  Whatever our reasons, we still do.  And while most of the time, the works are ones we enjoy; we very rarely want to read the same book…again and again and again and again.  Unless it extraordinary.  Exceptionally extraordinary.  But we are in society where “talent” is a measure of how many followers or book sales you have, regardless of the structure, plot, hell, even the grammar and spelling in your book.  I am not the best when it comes to grammar.  I struggle.  My mom has to proof my rough drafts, because that part of my education is sorely lacking, but I try to put the best product I can out there.

So, that being said, I am tired.  It’s an uphill battle.  A raging battle, one that I may not return from, because I am so tired.  But all is not lost.  As an avid fan of “The Doctor,” (before David Tennant), I am always empowered at the last moment when all seems darkest.  So, in this darkest of moments, the calm before the storm, the moment before the last star in the galaxy is snuffed out and I remain the lone person in the Universe, I give in.  Notice, I did not say I give up.  Give in as I realized that I don’t have to quit.  So what if I am not getting the sales I used to or want?  So what if I have four unpublished manuscripts sitting on my desktop?  And so what if I just can’t get past this little, well, large, massive, yawning hole of a writer’s block and finish the sequel my readers are yearning for?

It’s there, in me, waiting…waiting for me to care, to not be so tired, to not give up—so I give in.  To the urge to write, to the urge to do what I want to do in life.  I was never the little girl dreaming of being a teacher.  I wanted to write.  But my very practical patriarchal upbringing set me on a different path.  I teach because I am good at it and I want to inspire the youth to seek their own fortunes.  I write because I don’t know who I would be if I didn’t.  The only time I have ever experienced true love is when I write the last word to a novel.  And begin with the first word of another.

So I write.  And read, and laugh, and cry, and bitch, and moan, and bitch some more.  Because that’s what you have to do in this business of writing.  Read what you write, see what’s out there.  You don’t want to be that knockoff bitch…but that’s a story for another time.  It burns me to see how inundated the market is with self-published books.  Books that with a bit of execution and style would be amazing, but alas poor Ulrich (or whatever his name is, was), the overall product is sorely lacking.  I don’t consider myself to be the best paranormal writer out there.  Just like my photography (when I try my hand at it), the way it looks in my mind is never the way the photo eventually turns out.  Similarly, the countless plots, and characters, and settings in my head, never seem to pan out just the way I imagined.  Sometimes, they’re better, other times—well, I just scrap the book.

The Blue Moon Trilogy was never meant to be—a trilogy that is.  It was supposed to end with Layla as a short story.  But my imagination got the best of me and well, the end result was a three-book series (and an introductory prologue) which received rave reviews.  And it was all because I gave in—to that little voice, that overwhelming urge, that undeniable yearning, to write.

So, whenever the day seems the darkest, or you can’t get your brain in gear to write the words you had been holding onto all night, or even if the kids are driving you mad…don’t forget to give in…and write.

New cover for Tala (Book one in the Blue Moon Trilogy).  Look for book two, Maikoda, coming this December!

Tala Nov 2013