Release Day Party and GIVEAWAY!

I am excited to be a part of the release day party and giveaway for author Katie Jennings.  Please be sure to take a look at what she has to say about her books, and enter her giveaway!

About Katie

Katie Jennings is a mid-twenty-something year old girl with an imagination for days and a supportive husband who thinks she’s a colossal nerd. She writes because she loves it, and because breathing life into characters is the greatest escape she’s ever found.  Most of her time is spent puttering around online, editing her latest book, or feeding people food to her cat.  She lives just north of Los Angeles, and enjoys reading fantasy and romance novels, watching Once Upon a Time, playing around on Photoshop, and finding new music to fall in love with.  She believes in, above all else, happy endings.

About her new releases:

A Life Earthbound blurb: (Book Three)
Her name was Rhiannon, and she was Earth. 

She was graceful, intelligent, and undoubtedly a workaholic. She could put a crack in the Earth’s surface a mile wide and grow the loveliest flower ever to have existed right beside it, a contradiction she held with both reverence and pride. For she herself was something of a contradiction: a girl, seemingly free, but silently trapped within her own heart and mind, never to be released.

Or so she thought. She never wasted much time on impractical dreams or wishes she figured could never come true. But all her life one person has been there, a constant reminder of the true girl living behind her mask of cool indifference and solitude.

But the tides of her fate were changing, and her helplessness building as a master plan was in the works that would only bind her wrists further, and destroy everything she never even thought she could have.

Throw in a dash of murder, vicious accusations, and plenty of family drama, and it could very well be a recipe for freedom, or for death.
Of Water and Madness Blurb: (Book Four)
His name was Liam, and he was Water.
His heart was as expansive and deep as the ocean, with emotions that could both rage like storms and soothe like a clear and quiet stream.  He lived for the smell of rain, and thrived in the knowledge that it was he who made it fall.
But while most everything in his life seemed to be going great, there was still this impending doom just over the horizon, threatening to wipe his home completely off the map.  All he had to do was rise to the challenge and fight once the war came.
But there was just one little problem:  he had gone, quite simply, mad.
Not that he knew it, nor did anyone else.  But he wasn’t himself any longer, and the truth behind the lies would eventually come out.  And when it did, Liam would discover the burned bridges and the destroyed hearts he’d left in his wake.
It was a funny thing, madness.  A funny, cruel, and violently destructive thing.
Now for the trailers for all of the books in this series (I have to say, I REALLY want to read this series!)

And now for the giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive signed print copies of books 1-4! How awesome is that? Click the rafflecopter link below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Where to find Katie:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dryadquartet
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/dryadquartet
Blog: http://katieajennings.wordpress.com/
Website: http://www.katieajennings.com/index.htm

Writings From the Heart blog tour schedule changes and updates

Hey everyone! There have been some changes and updates to the blog tour schedule! Please take a look at them. Thanks!

June 13- Erin Danzer www.erindanzer.com/blog

June 14- Me, My Shelf and I www.memyshelfandi.com

June 15- Bilinda Ni Siodacain http://bilindanisiodacain.blogspot.com/

June 16- Beth Ann Masarik www.bahbammymusings.wordpress.com

June 17-Nikki http://www.closeencounterswiththenightkind.blogspot.com

June 18-Lizzy Ford http://www.guerrillawordfare.com/

June 19- Tricia Kristufek  http://triciakristufek.com

June 20- Martha http://theshortone08.blogspot.com

June 21-Danica Page

June 22- Cassie from Gathering Leaves http://gatheringleavesreviews.blogspot.com/

June 23-Misty http://www.the-top-shelf.com/

June 24-Ali http://myguiltyobsession.blogspot.com/

June 25- Sheri www.makingconnectionsgroup.blogspot.com

June 26-Adrienne DeWolfe www.writingnovelsthatsell.com

June 27- Cambria Hebert www.cambriahebert.com

June 28-Audris http://yabookmark.blogspot.com/

June 29- Miriam Pia http://www.uranianfiction.webs.com

July 1-Heidi Permann www.rainydayramblings.typepad.com

June 30- Tiffany http://reviewsalatiffany.blogspot.com/

July 2- Kindlegraph book signing and www.literarylunespublications.com release & new website launch party!

July 3-Vix Parungao http://www.mum-writes.com

July 4- Jenn at www.indiesupporter.com

Tour Stop: Charade guest post!

I am EXTREMELY EXCITED to have on the blog today one of my favorite authors (who seem to mention a lot on this blog), Cambria Hebert. For those who may not remember, Cambria is the author of the Heven and Hell series.  I’ve reviewed her book Masquerade, and her novella titled, Before.  Unfortunately, I have not been able to read Charade or Between yet, but it is on my summer to-read list!

Today, Cambria is going to talk to us about writing and naming characters.

Dying at the hands of a psycho was a shock. Having my life returned to me by an angel was incredible. Being named a Supernatural Treasure and being given Sam as my guard was pretty darn awesome. Acquiring a debt for it all—well, I should have seen it coming.

Now here we are, fighting demons from Hell, caring for a boy that I just don’t trust, and traveling to faraway places to return a treasure to its rightful place. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone wears a mask; everyone puts on a charade. It’s up to us to separate the truth from the lies and reality from fiction. A hard task when my new reality involves fallen angels, witches and dragons… and did I mention Hell?

Anchoring me down through it all is Sam. Sam, who must face tragedies of his own and is put to the test again and again.

If we fail in our task, life as we know it—life as you know it—will end. Forever.

Take it away, Cambria!

Hey everyone!

Great to be here today as part of the Heven and Hell Tour: Charade. As we all know, I am a writer. I also am a scuba diver, a mountain climber and a bus driver. Okay, I’m not but doesn’t that lie – I mean – statement prove how good of a writer I am?? 

Beth Ann has asked me to talk about writing for today’s tour stop so after a lot of thinking and latte sipping I decided to talk about naming characters. Naming a character can be very difficult. To me, there has to be some kind of balance to a name. It can’t be difficult to spell because that would make it difficult to read. And if it’s difficult to read the reader will stumble over it every time they see it and it will disrupt the story. But a writer wants to be unique, and what better way to show that than a name?

Course, the characters always want a say too. When I pick the wrong name the character will let me know – loudly. For this series, the Heven and Hell series, I have a mix of unique and traditional names. There is one character in particular that told me his name – most definitely. This character becomes a big character in the third book, Tirade. I searched for about an hour or so, looking at names on baby name sites to pick something that would fit him. I read name meanings, looked at hundreds of names. Finally, I found one. I went back to the manuscript and I wrote his first scene, his introduction. In this scene he is asked his name… I thought “here we go, I can use the name I picked!” So when asked his name, he responded.

With a completely different name.

Yup. And no matter how hard I tried to write in the name I chose, he wouldn’t have it. He had a name and it wasn’t the one I chose. So that was about an hour of research time right down the toilet…

LOL.

Yes, I could have used the name I chose but when I do something like that I walk around day and night feeling like I have an itch that I can’t scratch. Something feels “off” about the manuscript and it’s a terrible feeling so it’s best for me to just do what the character wants.

Here is a brief list of names that I chose in the Heven and Hell series and the reason I chose the name:

Heven – I actually first heard this name because a friend of mine has a daughter named this. When I started writing Masquerade I thought of the name and I really liked it, it seemed to fit the character and I also think it’s very fitting considering some of the themes in the book.

 

 

 

Sam–  I went through a whole host of names for Sam, I actually wanted something more unique. A lot of the names I went through did begin with the letter “S” but none of them seemed to fit him. I worried that there were too many “Sam’s” already out there but once I thought the name I knew that was it. And I actually thought that because he is such a unique character, with unique abilities that a more ordinary name was fitting. He told me he wanted something normal about himself and so I gave him something. 

 

 

Kimber Kimber needed a unique and trendy name. I hadn’t read a book with this name in it before so I figured it would be a good fit for her. Of course, I since seen it around but that’s okay. It still fits her.

 

Cole – another semi-ordinary name. To be honest, I just liked the name and thought it fit. His was relatively easy to choose.

 

 

Gemma (She is introduced in Charade)- I thought the name was strong, unique and kind of sparkly. LOL. Just how I pictured the character and I like the way it looks in print so it was a good fit.

So those are some of the names that are in the Heven and Hell series. It was fun picking the names but even more fun getting to know the characters behind the names.

A big thanks to Beth Ann for having me on her wonderful blog today!!!

 

To stalk, er follow Cambria, please visit the following links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Cambria-Hebert/128278117253138

Blog Tour announcement: Writings From the Heart

  As you can tell by the title and the banner image, I am going to be running a blog tour for Writings From the Heart.  Several bloggers have graciously offered their time and space to help promote this wonderful … Continue reading

Tour stop and guest post: Author, Dr. George H. Elder

 I am happy to have on the blog today author, Dr. George H. Elder.  He is here to talk about his latest release, The Last Hope of a Dying Universe.  I am going to turn over the blog to him!  Please read all the way through to the end, for there will be an excerpt from his latest novel.

About the Author

Dr. George H. Elder has a Ph.D. from Penn State in Speech
Communication and a Masters Degree in nonfiction Writing
from UNH. He also has a very eclectic work and personal
history. He has been a college teacher, custodian, upper-level
scholar, drug addict, weight lifting coach, bouncer, and much
more. He has authored numerous articles in the popular press
and even a scientific text book that examines the
neuropsychological basis of human communication. He has
also addressed subjects such as philosophy, free speech,
weight training, drug use, nutrient effects, street life, and a
wide range of other issues.

His varied life experiences and education give him a unique and interesting perspective,
and he often weaves philosophical insights and pathos into his texts. His books are
action-oriented, but they do not have simplistic plots wherein good vs. evil or some other
hackneyed approach is used. Instead, Elder employs plot shifts that allow the characters
and readers to question the relationships we often take for granted. For example, a hero
may do great wrongs while a species once perceived as malicious can be revealed to be
honorable and wise. This offers refreshing and exciting perspectives for readers as they
delve into Elder’s texts, for one never knows what to expect.

A Little More Personal….

I have a very eclectic work and personal history—from college teacher, custodian, upper-level scholar, drug addict, weight lifting coach, bouncer, and much more.  My lifestyle included hedonistic excesses and reckless physicality, the costs of which have come home to roost. My eating, drinking, and drug use were the stuff of local legend, and as a result I suffer from heart trouble, diabetes, high blood pressure, and arteriosclerosis. Heavy weight lifting and other extreme activities led to several collapsed discs, lots of torn up joints, broken bones, and advanced arthritis.

On top of all that, I developed Multisystem Atrophy (MSA), a primary degenerative neurological order that has no known treatment or cure. However, I doubt MSA will kill me.  Indeed, I was VERY lucky to have survived my last heart attack and am acutely aware that every day is precious. Hey, it’s all borrowed time from here on end. That’s why I’m writing like crazy, having completed six books in less than a year. There is no time like the present when one doesn’t have much of a future! Ho, ho, ho! Ah, life is a hoot! Indeed, I’ve never felt more alive than now, and my only regret is all the time I wasted getting high.

I was a successful writer and scholar before embarking on a retail sales venture that devoured eight years of my life in mind-numbing tedium–and very long work hours. I had published numerous articles, some in magazines with over a million readers. My previous writing addressed nonfiction health-related issues for the most part, and I wanted to embark on something more meaningful. Granted, it’s late in the game to take on a new career, but the challenge doesn’t worry me. I’m free of most concerns, and am highly motivated to do what I can while I can. How long I can be active is an open question!

Sci-Fi offers me the possibility to explore subjects I could never undertake before. Indeed, the adventures within Child of Destiny allowed me to subtly explore philosophical issues that I find compelling. For example, we all develop ideas about who and what we are, as in what defines us as an Italian or Scott, Christian or Jew, scholar or warrior, and so it goes. But what happens when nearly ALL our notions of who and what we are evaporates? What happens when we are reduced to a realization that nearly everything we once held as being true is shown to be a lie? How does one climb out of the valley that ensues? That is Kara’s essential conflict, for at its nadir her despair become nihilistic–as are the forces she is supposed to be fighting against.

Currently, I am completing a spirituality oriented text that reads like a Sci-Fi novel in many places. This is only natural because the book is about dreams, a few of which have found places in the Genesis series and the prequel Deep Thought. However, the dreams actually happened, and the messages they left me with should be shared while I can still write. The subject matter ranges from violence and greed to searching for God—and it places the experiences will certainly grab the reader’s interest. The writing is very difficult because it is 1st person active voice, a present tense flow that brings the reader into the text as an active participant. I will turn it over to the text editor in eight days or so, and then start on the next work.

I have managed to do a lot of writing in a short time because my personal situation demands it. We are only at life’s table for a short while, and I have spent all too much of my time engaged in self indulgent behaviors. Hell, I still eat too damn much. But the point is, time is best spent when it is shared with others. These books give a disabled man a means of sharing time, to go out-and-about as it were. I’ve picked up some insights along the way that may help a person or two find some meaning. Perhaps others will be entertained, and it is time for me to be generous of spirit. Spirit is nearly all I have left to give, but I’m more at peace now than ever. There is no fear, no worry, just the vexation of finding the right words and the joy of sharing dreams and stories with new friends. What could be better than that?

SYNOPSIS

Child of Destiny (The Genesis Continuum trilogy #1) by Dr. George H. Elder

The universe is nearing its inevitable end, everything is being rapidly devoured. The last hope of a dying universe is to awaken the Seeker, a legendary metaphysical being known only through ancient tales. The Seeker has the capacity to link the entire universe; they alone may be able to spark the rebirth of the universe.

Many of those that remain desperately want existence to continue. As the remaining races struggle to survive and fight over saving existence, lofty ideals give way to brutal pragmatism. Missions are sent out in search of the Seeker. One such mission encounters Kara an outcast noblewoman of the Labateen, a Stone-Age warrior culture. Kara is well versed in the Seeker’s litany, beyond what would be considered coincidence –to Kara the litany is simply the ways of God. Will Kara be able to help locate the Seeker?

 

Those who wish the universe to end in disorder, with no more than a whimper are not willing to sit by as others race to alter the end universe. As these opposing forces mount their defenses, racing to see their goals are achieved one question stands out…

 

Is Kara the key?

 

 

EXCERPT

Child of Destiny (The Genesis Continuum trilogy #1) by Dr. George H. Elder

Edited by Julie Tryboski & Illustrated by Randall Drew

 

THE ANCIENTS BELIEVED THE PURPOSE OF LIFE IS TO EVOLVE SPECIES THAT CAN PERPETUATE THE POSSIBILITY OF CONTINUED EXISTANCE THROUGH THEIR THOUGHTS AND DEEDS — WITH THOUGHT BEING A SEMINAL POWER THAT CAN OVERCOME THE DARK FORCES THAT DRIVE ALL THAT IS TOWARD NOTHINGNESS (“NOTLOH THE OLDER” OF HARKAD PRIME).

CHAPTER 1: ISHTAR’S CHILD

 

Kara had worked tirelessly piling heavy boulders around her hillside cave’s entrance, leaving a thistle-covered opening on the mound’s top that was barely wide enough for her to squeeze through. Over the years, successive layers of soil and jagged rocks were heaped on the boulders, and the humble shelter could now resist the fiercest storm and harshest winter. Long razor grass, thorny briars, and shrubs flourished on the stout construction, providing Kara’s home with a camouflaged barrier that served well against both four- and two-legged predators. The only drawbacks were meager lighting, invading spiders and centipedes, and the poor ventilation provided by the narrow entrance. Yet these were relatively small prices to pay for security. Moreover, the shelter was adjacent to a spring-fed stream that froze for only part of the winter. Of course, there was a constant need to collect firewood, gather fruits, nuts, and berries, and hunt, but Kara was proficient in these arts. She had to be, for such is an outcast’s lot.

She sat cross-legged on the cave’s floor, bathed in a shaft of sunlight that poured through the entrance. The flint tip of her spear needed sharpening, and she deftly chipped away tiny flecks of stone with a hard rock. Kara’s father had taught her the ancient art of blade-making, not that Torok ever envisioned his daughter would depend on such a skill to sustain a solitary existence. No, he had felt she was destined for great things within the tribe, which was only appropriate for the child of a Labateen chieftain such as Torok. And Kara grew to be a most unusual girl, a precocious child who tagged along behind hunting parties and played violent war games with the tribe’s boys.

By her fifth season Kara’s deftly thrown spear was regularly taking down prey that was nearly as large as she, all of which were proudly dragged back to the great cave. She even learned the old storyteller’s sacred litanies, repeating without error the lengthy and complex tales to the delight of family and friends. Torok was proud of Kara’s intelligence, strength, and courage, and considered her an ideal daughter. Never a man of many words, he once told her, “Blood of my blood, you are a very special child. God has blessed you in many ways and you make my heart proud.” Kara basked in the warmth of his approving smile, and found confidence in the tribe’s universal acknowledgment of her rare talents.

Yet neither Torok nor Kara knew about the awful mark she bore high on her scalp, the one her mother had worked tirelessly to conceal since Kara’s birth. The Labateen were the true Children of God, and only the most perfect in form could be accepted into the tribe. And to all appearances Kara’s long, thick, red hair, green eyes, hazel skin, and lithe athletic body were ideal, the quintessential elements of a Labateen woman. Indeed, all was perfect, except for a dark brown birthmark that hid underneath a luxurious mane of hair.

Leah, her mother, was horrified when she first saw the blight, although there was no one to share her shock in the isolated birthing cave. Her labor was long and difficult, and there were times Leah thought death would be a welcome reprieve. And a lonely, painful demise for mother and child was the inevitable penalty for a failed childbirth. This most sacred process was overseen only by God –- and God alone would dictate if both mother and child survived. But survival was only the first step, for then came the mother’s responsibility of ensuring that the child’s body was perfect in all ways. This was God’s test of a mother’s will to abide by the sacred laws that guided the Labateen for countless generations. These were the same laws Torok was sworn to uphold as the tribe’s Dorma, and thus Leah felt particularly driven to follow the ancient codes.

The birthmark’s grotesquery compelled Leah to contemplate bashing Kara’s tiny head against the jagged walls of the birthing cave, the floor of which was richly littered with tiny bony reminders of Labateen mother who had done their duty. Every Labateen woman knew that allowing an unfit or marked child to live would introduce impurity into what were God’s chosen people. The only right and merciful thing was to end such a star-crossed life swiftly. Leah roughly grabbed her writhing daughter, who still wore the blood and slippery wetness of a new life. She stared into the infant’s eyes, and suddenly her will to follow the old ways evaporated. Perhaps it was the long torment of giving birth, or maybe it was the blood loss, but Leah felt that God was guiding her thoughts and deeds. ‘Yes, God must want this infant to live,’ she thought, ‘And to live for a divine purpose.’

Leah deftly severed the umbilical cord with an obsidian blade and suckled the crying infant. With every passing moment the bond between mother and child grew stronger, as did Leah’s conviction that she was doing God’s work. But Leah’s convictions were the stuff of sacrilege, and that would lead to a dreadful fate for any Labateen. However, it was customary for a new mother to remain away from the tribe for ten suns after giving birth, which was yet another trial to help ensure that only the most able would walk amongst the Labateen. Leah took the time to make dyes from nearby plants and berries, being well versed in the art of marking. Indeed, as the daughter of an Elder and wife of the tribe’s Dorma, Leah was expected to be an exemplary marker and healer.

She carefully dyed her infant’s head, hands, and feet deep black, all signs that the child was one with God’s earth by thought and deed. She repeated the procedure over the coming days until the rich dyes were absorbed by Kara’s skin, hiding any sign of the blemish. When the day came to rejoin the tribe, friends and relatives saw the baby’s markings and she was quickly dubbed “Kara,” meaning, “Companion of God.” Many in the tribe thought it odd that Leah didn’t change Kara’s markings as the child matured, but few dared question a Labateen aristocrat. The query might be seen as an insult, and only blood could assuage such folly. The ploy served well in giving Leah’s daughter time to grow a thick and luxurious mane of dark red locks that hid the sin, at least until the age of ascension.

The spear’s tip was nearly ready, and Kara examined it in detail. A good spear and sharp knife were as essential as stealth, speed, and strength when hunting. Yet the hunt had gone poorly for seven suns, and Kara did not know why. Normally, late spring provided ample game, although one had to be ever watchful for the swift grenlobs that followed the migratory herds. The large, bipedal reptiles were armed with sickle-shaped claws and serrated teeth that turned many hunters into prey. However, a hunting party of Labateen was more than a match for any animal. Even a small party could bring down a tork, a hulking, wooly, four-legged brute with a nasal horn taller than a man. Yet tribal lore aptly described a lone hunter as the personification of a “sad thing,” and Kara was reduced to stalking relatively small rodents and marsupials, with an occasional fish supplementing a meager vegetarian diet.

She preferred hunting in the nude. But it was a chilly morning, so Kara donned a pair of well-worn moccasins and the long rawhide tunic her mother once wore. Although much-patched, the tunic was one of Kara’s prized keepsakes, and as she put it on thoughts of that terrible day wafted anew. The Right of Ascension takes place during the 14th springtime of every Labateen’s life, and the ritual is overseen by the tribe’s Elders. For women, Ascension entails having the head shaved with dull blades, being tattooed with sacred symbols, and silently enduring purification via the excruciatingly slow application of steaming hot water to the clitoris. The unremitting pain often caused visions, and these were a blessing from God if their meaning could be divined.

This week at a glance

Hello everybody! Who’s ready for Monday? I know I’m not. While I don’t have any meetings during the week, I still have a ton of other things to do. I have to finish formatting Literary Lunes Magazine, set up the rest of my blog posts for this week, & send out emails galore.

Plus, I have to order my prize packs for my tour winners.

And, speaking of tours, I am hosting the lovely Lizzy Ford on my other blog which is http://www.literarylunespublications.com this Friday. She is a best selling author, & publishes a book every three months (give or take). She will be talking about why she writes, & will be hosting an EPIC giveaway. Her blog tour kicks off tomorrow, & the tour schedule can be found by going to her website at http://www.guerillawordfare.com.

Well, that’s all for now folks. I will have some more updates tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

Oh! One last thing. Thank you to everyone who has entered my Blog Hop giveaway. You have until Tuesday to enter! And hello to my new blog followers 🙂

Relocation for today’s tour stop

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, today’s tour stop was moved to http://www.literarylunespublications.blogspot.com I hosting an EPIC GIVEAWAY AND SCAVENGER HUNT! Stop on by!

Writing for Women: Guest post for C.S. Splitter

Thanks for having me here, Beth!

Beth Anne and I have become Internet buddies and she asked me: “How did you start writing?”

The ridiculously short answer is: women!

But that answer is misleading. Hey, I am a fiction writer, what did you expect? Women were not why
I originally put pen to paper. Or, more precisely, why I put fingers to keyboard. Actual writing did not
come until much later in life.

I discovered books before I discovered women. And I discovered women before I ever thought about
writing books. As a matter of fact, once I discovered women, I thought of little else for a long time.
So, how did my quest for women come into play in my writing?

Early on in life, I realized that I was not not blessed with stunning looks and I had not been born into a
wealthy family. There would always be better looking guys, guys with more money, and any of those
other qualities that I thought young girls found enticing. Then, someone told me that women liked
funny guys. It made no sense, but I was desperate enough to try anything by that point.

Jokes are nothing more than really short stories with surprise endings. Sometimes, the jokes are funny.
Sometimes, the way you tell them is funnier than the joke itself. Either way, when you tell a joke, you
are telling a story. Writers are story tellers.

Tell a joke well and you get a laugh. A reaction! Write a story well and you get a reaction which can
be a laugh, a tear, or the manifestation of any myriad of emotions. So, in my quest to gain the attention
of women through humor (by the way, women do like humor), I became a story teller. Once I started
putting those stories on paper, I became a writer.

That is still the simplistic version of how I became a writer.

I have always written. In school, I loved writing assignments. I could BS my way through an essay
question like few others. I read a lot of books, mostly fantasy, and had the dream of one day writing an
epic fantasy story.

The problem was, I never got a good idea for a fantasy story that had not been done before and better
than I ever could write it. There are hard-drives full of starts to many fantasy stories in abandoned
computers in various closets around my house. None of them were good enough to revisit now. I now
view them as the practice I needed to write and not completely suck at it.

I busied myself writing political pieces and articles for industry magazines. It wasn’t fiction, but there
is always an aspect of story telling even in non-fiction. At least I was writing in my spare time. I spent
more than a decade coming up with and discarding ideas for a fantasy series. Eventually, I gave up on
the idea of of writing and I even abandoned my love of fantasy.

Then, in 1996, George R.R. Martin put out Game of Thrones. The book and the two that followed
rekindled my love of the genre and I started thinking about writing fantasy again. Still, no original
ideas found their way into my brain.

In 2008, I came across “The Crown Conspiracy” by Michael J. Sullivan. I probably found it while

searching for information on when Martin’s long overdue next book would be released. As much as I
liked Martin’s first three books in his series, the wait for the fourth book was like four years (and the
book did not live up to the first three in my mind). At the time, there was no end in sight to the wait
for his fifth book. I was hugely frustrated and a part of my mind asked, “How hard can it be to write a
book? What takes so long?”

Unlike Martin, Sullivan seemed to be releasing a book or two per year. That baffled me. I did some
further research and found that the whole series had already been written, they were just releasing them
at intervals. I got even more curious and did a little research on Sullivan.

He was a new breed of author called “indie.” No Big Six publisher (at the time), no huge company
backing his books. I got intrigued by the prospect of putting out my own books…of course, I had none
to put out so my enthusiasm, while heightened, still had no outlet.

A good, original idea for a fantasy series still eluded me. Then, one evening, a police officer
acquaintance stopped by our table to say hello. Cops have the BEST stories so we chatted a while.
During the conversation, he made the comment that criminals get caught because they are stupid. They
brag about their exploits and leave obvious clues. I also had the feeling that since most criminals were
very poor that they really did not have the means to “get away with it.”

Though I had heard comments like his before, this time they stuck. I started wondering if a “criminal”
that had a little means, a bit of intellect, and could keep their mouth shut, could pull off capers without
getting caught. I knew immediately that I did not want to write about a cop chasing bad guys, that had
been done. I also had no taste for writing about a stone-cold criminal.

The question hit me….what if you were asked to do something really bad for really good reasons?
Could you? Would you? This was my lightning bolt moment. I did not want the character “forced”
into crossing the line of legality, I wanted it to be a choice.

By the time I got home that evening, the story for the series and the first book had already formed in
my head. I knew that Tom Crayder was going to be a regular guy who made choices that put him in
hairy situations. I knew he was not going to be the prototypical hero in a white hat and that he would
be torn up by some of the things he had to do. Yeah, I like “gray” good guys and really nasty bad guys.

For the first time, I had what I thought was a good, original idea. It just wasn’t fantasy. Finally, I was
going to see what writing a book, a whole book, was like. How hard could it be?

In a weird way, I my writing to Martin’s slowness. I also owe it to Sullivan for being the first indie
author that I read.

For the record, call it confidence or experience, but now I cannot keep story ideas out of my brain. I
even have what I think is a good fantasy story and character rolling around in there. When the dam
broke, the flood began. I won’t live long enough to write all of the stories I want to.

There you have it. From hormones to frustration to inspiration to actually writing. It took a long time
but, when I saw “The Reluctant” climbing the Amazon charts last month, it made all of it worth the
price.

What advice would I give to other writers? Just write. Don’t stall out looking for an idea. Write and

those ideas will start flooding your brain. I wish I had been smart enough to “just write” before I lost a
decade.

Splitter

Splitter’s Amazon Author Page: amazon.com/author/splitter

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Interview with author Stephen Prosapio of Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum

Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum

Interview with Stephen Prosapio

Hello everyone!  I am pleased and privileged to host Stephen not only once, but TWICE on his blog tour for his book, Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum.  Back in January, he visited my other blog, Literary Lunes Publications, where he talked about his favorite author, Stephen King. Today, I was graced with an interview by the talented author himself.  For those of you wondering how we know each other, we share the same publisher, Otherworld Publications, and we share an interest for the paranormal (which is probably why we get along so well lol). 

I am also very excited to announce that he is also hosting a GIVEAWAY! Yup! That’s right!  Down at the end of this interview, is a rafflecopter that you can fill out, and a winner will be drawn over the weekend on President’s Day.  You can enter as many times as you want, for the stakes are pretty high!

1)      Please describe Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum in 140 characters (Twitter style!)

A television ghost hunter—who is himself possessed—investigates an asylum and uncovers as many dangerous secrets as he does spirits.

2)      Have you always been into ghost stories?

I certainly was attracted to them at a pretty young age. I guess Legend of Sleepy Hollow was an early favorite of mine. I loved mysteries before they were really popular (Encyclopedia Brown, The Hardy Boys) and of course we can’t underestimate the effect Scooby Doo had on our generation!

3)      How long did it take you to write Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum?

It’s hard to believe now because all my other projects have taken so much longer, but I wrote the first draft of GHOSTS OF ROSEWOOD ASYLUM in about 3 months. Editing took a few more. I ran it by beta readers and my agent and refined it. The whole process took about 7 or 8 months. This one flowed amazingly well.

4)      What is your favorite color? Red

5)      What is your favorite holiday and why? Thanksgiving. It used to be for the food, but I try a day at a time to maintain a healthy relationship with that substance. Now I just love a day built entirely around giving thanks…being grateful. Typically I try to get out early for a walk or a jog and spend the whole time thanking God for every person/event/thing in my life over the past year and beyond. It sets the tone for an amazing day. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s also a day with a lot of football.

6)      What is your favorite TV show and why? Past: Cheers as a comedy and Sopranos as a tragedy. Currently:  Breaking Bad. The 5th season is coming out this spring and it has the chance to be, in my opinion, the greatest television series of all time. The writing is superb. The multiple layers of conflict both internal and external are something like we’ve not seen since the days of Shakespeare. The chemistry between the two lead male characters is astounding and indescribable. Lastly, it’s a show you can’t help but wonder, in just about each episode, what you would do if put in that particular situation.

7)      What is your favorite childhood memory? I’m blessed with an incredible memory from childhood and am extremely fortunate to have many fantastic memories (some rather horrific ones as well). Narrowing it down to one is tough…I don’t think I’ve every been asked this before, so kudos to you. [long time thinking]

Here we go. It’s short. Really silly, and strangely involves all my family including both my parents who divorced when I was 12. Not really my favorite memory but the funniest one:  One night we were all watching something on TV. Back in those days it was a special event (before cable/VCRs etc). My baby sister who was about two years old at the time was experiencing some stomach problems. My mom told my dad to get a heating pad and put it on her. So he gets up and takes care of it. The rest of us (my mom, brother and other sister) go back to watching whatever program it was (likely the Wonderful World of Disney). A bit later, my mom looks over and my baby sister is sitting on my dad’s lap.

“I thought you were going to put a heating pad on her.”

“I did. She’s sitting on it.”

“Tom, not on her butt! On her stomach…”

As we all start laughing at the absurdity of him having my baby sister sit on a heating pad, he hits us with the Coup de grace:  “But she’s passing gas…”

Maybe you had to be there. The big best memory I have has to be going up to northernWisconsinto my great aunt’s lake house with my grandpa. He was a really sweet and great grandpa and I got him all to myself for a whole week of fishing and boating and eating cookies.

8)      Do you have any advice for your fans and aspiring writers?  For my fans:  1. Shut the heck up and just keep buying my books! 2. Keep giving my books out to all your friends, family, people you meet on busses, in bars or under the stars….okay okay. I guess that’s too much. Just keep reading my work. If you enjoy it, please help spread the word. It’s tough sleddin’ out there right now for aspiring authors.

For other writers:  1. Have realistic expectations. Your chances of being the next Stephanie Meyers or Dan Brown are about the same as hitting the lottery…regardless of how well you write. 2. Be prepared to put in 10 years of honing your craft. Especially if you’re writing fiction, you’ll need to craft openings that are better than most books you read. You need awesome character development. You’ll need to master pacing, plotting, word choice. Learn and conquer your writing shortfalls (and you will have them). Learn to incorporate feedback (and you will need it!), and be a master of rewrites. If you do all that and are also prepared to deal with relative obscurity as you figure out how to market yourself and have others market you, then you are prepared to be a writer. May all your reviews be 5-stars!

Thanks for having me, Beth Ann!

THE GIVEAWAY:

Stephen was nice enough to offer a giveaway in addition to this wonderful interview.  He is offering: an ebook copy of Ghosts of Rosewood Asylum, a bookmark, and a signed copy of the book cover to one lucky winner.  How sweet is that?  To enter, simply follow the instructions on the rafflecopter.  If you have any issues, please let me know, and I will gladly go ahead and automatically add you, but I will need proof that you did as the copter asked. It’s only fair after all.

My website:  www.prosapio.com

The XPI website:  www.xavierparanormal.com

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/stephenprosapio

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/#!/stephenprosapio

YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcgJVhX3puY

Continue reading

Special Valentine’s Day Giveaway & Scavenger Hunt stop!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY EVERYONE!  I really do hope that you all are having a wonderful day with your special someone.  I’d like to invite you all over to my good friend and “twin”, Erin Danzer’s blog to meet the MC’s of my novel, The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness, Selene & Damien.  Yes, you’ve met them briefly through my Character Chats, but now you’ll get to meet them as a COUPLE.  All together now: AWE! LOL.

PLUS, if you hop on over to Erin’s blog, you can enter for a chance to win the mega grand prize at the end of the month PLUS an ebook! How awesome is THAT!?  Also, you should check out her post for the big reveal of the scavenger hunt grand prize.

So, what are you waiting for?

Wait, what? You need the link you say?

It’s: www.erindanzer.blogspot.com

Now, what are you still doing here? Come on…I’ll race you!